CD Reviews

Badlands - 'Voodoo Highway' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     September 15, 2010    
0.0 (0)
10393   0   1   0   0   0





This release really brings home just how far the band could have gone.

Hardly a match made in heaven, the journey that took ex Ozzy guitarist Jake E Lee and his incongruent bunch of personalities and egos known as Badlands to their self titled debut in 1989 was a somewhat fractious one. Obviously painful to all those involved, you would have thought that it would’ve served as an obvious blueprint of how not to make an album, but no, the road to sophomore effort ‘Voodoo Highway’ was littered with as many potholes, all of which they managed to hit along the way. Infighting, disagreements (both in private and in public) and general conflicts of interest had dogged their efforts from the get go, and despite the critical success of ‘Badlands’, these were never far from the surface.

After six tortuous months on the road promoting ‘Badlands’, they returned to LA and promptly fired drummer Eric Singer. Auditions for a replacement began, and in the end it became a straight choice between Pat Dixon (ex Icon) and Jeff Martin (then primarily known as the vocalist in Racer X) – in the end the band went with Martin. Along the way they dispensed with the services of manager Paul O’Neill (who had produced the debut), pissed off just about everybody at their label (Atlantic affiliate Titanium Records), and generally trashed any real shot they had at stardom. Yet despite the odds being stacked against them, when they got together to make music away from all the bullshit, the results were as good as ever.

Pieced together at Rumbo Recorders in the tranquil surroundings of the San Fernando Valley, ‘Voodoo Highway’ was in reality the album they’d all wanted to make first time round. With Lee at the production helm any vague attempt at commercial compromise went straight out the window, all external pressures neatly sidestepped as the four musicians involved strove to present their musical vision in exactly the way they wanted.
Kicking straight into top gear with the crunching bluesy swagger of opener ‘The Last Time’, Badlands felt they had something to prove with their sophomore release, and prove it they most certainly did. Tracks such as ‘Show Me The Way’, ‘Love Don’t Mean A Thing’, ‘Soul Stealer’ and ‘Whiskey Dust’ had a raw kinetic intensity barely hinted at first time around, just like the old masters they were trying to emulate. Both Lee and Gillen were on fine form once again, the increasing personal tensions between them serving here to give the songs that much more bite, yet at the same time keeping them focused and accessible to anyone with a penchant for bluesy hard rock.

In fairness, ‘Voodoo Highway’ might not have provided the band with same chance of a ‘hit’ single as the debut (particularly as the scene was on the cusp of grunge), but from a purely esoteric and artistic perspective, it matched it every step of the way – indeed, to many scholars (me included) it was even better! Dusted off and given a fresh lease of life thanks to the dedication of the team at Rock Candy, this release really brings home just how far the band (Gillen’s illness not withstanding) could have gone had they all been pulling in the same direction.


Share this on the web.

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.


Comments (0)add comment

Write comment

security image
Write the displayed characters


Member Login


<<  February 2021  >>
 Mo  Tu  We  Th  Fr  Sa  Su 
  1  2  3  4  5  6  7
  8  91011121314

Search Here

Shout Here

Latest Message: 2 months ago
  • Johns Band : Will videos appear again in watch and listen. Good way for who albums to buy. I have Wrathchild - Live From London on DVD that might have been here. YouTube have averts now.
  • Berny : @rocktu: We used to produce a series of podcasts that were available for download on Rocktopia. Other than that, there's no radio station I am aware of.
  • rocktu : Hi i would like to know was there ever a radio station of fireworks
  • rocktu : Hi
  • Rocktopia Te : Fireworks #93 is out now! : - )
  • Berny : Hello @zigma33, you should have received a download link two days ago. Could you pls check your inboxes? Many thanks, B. :)
  • zigma33 : Hi! I purchased your latest issue #92 yesterday but never received my download.
  • daveomd : Got it along with my download, everything looks great! Thanks, Dave
  • Berny : @daveomd: We sent you a mail immediately after your purchase, and have just sent another email now. Please contact me at «email» should you not receive it. Many thanks!
  • daveomd : I purchased your latest issue #92 but never received my download.
  • Berny : @Hysteria & @KI2000: Many thanks for your kind words! :)
  • Hysteria : Received my download copy almost immediately and downloaded 50 magazines for free. Cannot complain! Thanks guys!!!
  • KI2000 : Love the new issue guys, great magazine!
  • Berny : @Mugi89: Your confirmation mail was sent on the 22nd, I've just sent it again. Please contact me at «email» should you not receive it. Many thanks!
  • Mugi89 : Hi! I purchased my digital copy of issue 92 2 days ago but still didn't receive it. When am I gonna be able to download it? thanks
  • Berny : @zom414: Your mail was forwarded to the Fireworks team yesterday, I am going to ask them again. Sorry for the delay!
  • Berny : @Mitch Perry: Your order was received at 4AM local time. As stated on the order page, all payments have to be processed manually. Your copy of Fireworks 92 was added to your download section, many thanks for the purchase.
  • Berny : @RobC68: I sent you two emails explaining the situation. There's not much more I can do for you at the moment, so I'd suggest you stop buying the magazine. Thanks.
  • zom414 : Still not received the latest issue by post, I've emailed as well but not heard anything. Can you let me know what's happening please?
  • Mitch Perry : Can I have my download link, please? Issue 92 22 Sep 2020 07:57:11 BST Paypal Transaction ID: 1BS38875MX3700248
  • RobC68 : purchased issue 92 in download version. been waiting more than a day....PATHETIC SERVICE as it happens with every purchase!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Berny : @rgilman: Please check your e - mail for download instructions.
  • rgilman : Hello I bought the Deep Purple issue how do I download it? Thanks
  • Berny : @jharper36: Please check your e - mail.
  • jharper36 : Hi, i purchased the download of issue #92. How do I download it?
  • Berny : @loudjlopez: Sorry for the troubles, pls. check your mail. Many thanks!
  • loudjlopez@m : Any word on my digital download of issue 91. Paid on Saturday. It is Tuesday. Thanks
  • loudjlopez@m : Paid for Fireworks #91 for digital download. No word since Saturday and it is Monday.
  • Berny : @fdr: Magazines were sent on Monday. Thanks for your purchase and best regards, B. :)
  • fdr : Hi, yesterday (august 12th) I sent you a payment for 21GBP for the purchase of issues 91 and 82 of Fireworks magazine. (code 7D3182072X778721A) but still haven't received a word od confirmation. Can you please check?

Only registered users are allowed to post

Follow Us


This website uses cookies to help us give you the best experience when you visit. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our Privacy Statement.

I accept cookies from this site