Friday, December 18, 2015

RED DAWN-Never Say Surrender (1994)

ORIGINAL POSTING DATE: December 18, 2015

While there's been some of us who have been rockin' around the Christmas tree, I've just been rockin' and rollin' through the 80's altogether, having remained in the rock spirit ever since I cranked up the volume for my music senses listening to REO SPEEDWAGON's holiday album, "Not So Silent Night". And this particular Friday night indeed was 'not so silent' either, as I took a few minutes to unwrap something old that was entirely brand new to me. "Never Say Surrender" is the first (and only) album by the hard rock band RED DAWN, which became a must-have for my rock collection the instant I'd treated my ears to what has become arguably the greatest power ballad I've heard this year: "Take These Chains". This hidden gem was among the stash of rock jewels that were gifted to me a while back that included the likes of "High Enough" by DAMN YANKEES, VAN HALEN's "When It's Love" and DEF LEPPARD's "Love Bites"—a trio of personal favorites of mine from the awesome 80's; it's always these emotional ones with the loud vocals and the screaming guitars that get my heart racing! That same melancholy line from the hook keeps playing around in my mind: 'I wish you well'. After I found myself bound and shackled to "Take These Chains", I'd pretty much gotten locked up with everything rocked out by RED DAWN and their awesomely big-time 'hair band' sound (and yeah, these guys did have some big hair, judging from the back cover photo to this album). They do some serious jammin' on the upbeat, energetic numbers like "Flyin' High", "I'll Be There", the concluding title track and the bitter story about "Christine", which reinforces the fact that the emotions of pain run deep on a lot of these rock numbers about women who have done the songwriter wrong. Must've been that same woman the songwriter was alluding to on this album's third and fourth tracks: "Liar" and "Dangerous Child", respectively; whoever she was, she's certainly not gettin' too much love from the RED DAWN crew on either one of those. The 'hair band' grit and growl softened up some for the lovely warming piece, "I Can't Get Over You", accented by a smooth bluesy rock swing that awakened something real nice in my music-listening senses:

1. Flyin' High
2. I'll Be There
3. Liar
4. Dangerous Child
5. Promises
6. I Can't Get Over You
7. Christine
8. Take These Chains
9. She's On Fire
10. Never Say Surrender

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