Fireworks

April Wine - 'Animal Grace' & 'Walking Through Fire' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/0e/fd/22/3419_AprilWineAnimalGraceWalkingThroughFire_1363399648.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     March 16, 2013    
 
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Kudos to BGO for releasing these wonderful packages.

April Wine returned with a new studio album in 1984 titled ‘Animal Grace’. There had been tensions in the band, creative struggles and rifts between Goodwyn (who had moved with his family from Canada to the Bahamas) and his four cohorts. This would be the last album featuring the classic line-up of Myles Goodwyn, Brian Greenway, Gary Moffet, Steve Lang and Jerry Mercer. Sales were modest and reviews were mixed but ‘Animal Grace’ does contain some vintage April Wine tracks, notably, ‘Gimme That Thing Called Love’ and ‘Hard Rock Kid.’ Similarly to ‘Power Play’, however, it is an uneven album.

After its release the band announced a Farewell Tour and they subsequently went their separate ways. Although the band had broken up they owed one more album to their label. Released in 1985 (or 1986 depending on where you live), ‘Walking Through Fire’ features just Goodwyn and Greenway from the classic line-up backed by Montreal based session players Jean Pellerin on bass, Daniel Barbe on keyboards and Marty Simon on drums. Some fans dismissed the album although it does have a few excellent tracks. ‘You Don’t Have To Act That Way’, for example, is surely one of Goodwyn’s finest if most obscure achievements? ‘Love Has Remembered Me’ is a nifty AOR ballad and ‘Open Soul Surgery’ (written by Bryan Adams’ writer/producer partner Jim Vallance) is enjoyable enough. The opener ‘Rock Myself To Sleep’ was written by two members of Katrina And The Waves, Kimberley Rew and Vince De La Cruz. Again, as with all the post ‘The Nature Of The Beast’ releases, ‘Walking Through Fire’ is an inconsistent album albeit with some forgotten gems.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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In some respects these reissues represent the rise and decline of April Wine whilst also showcasing how truly great melodic rock can be when bands do it right. It also shows the genius of Myles Goodwyn as well as his egomaniacal nature. On the whole these three packages are an excellent set of albums and are probably best bought together as they illustrate the golden era of the band. There is no better time than now to revisit these albums. Canada has produced many fine rock bands but April Wine is just about one of the best. Kudos to BGO for releasing these wonderful packages.

Neil Daniels

Click HERE to read the first part of the review.

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