“Anthology ’83-‘89” by White Lion

Artist: White Lion
Title: “Anthology ’83-‘89”
Label: Deadline Records
Release Date: 6/27/2006
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 2/5

As someone who grew up in Brooklyn and was a frequent patron of L’Amour the Rock Capitol, I felt that the idea of a White Lion Anthology would be something to look forward to and also something that would be really enjoyable. The reason behind this was because to many people like me White Lion were the hometown heroes and when they played the club you could not get in anywhere. It was over the top Hard Rock power with one of the best guitarists you could hope to hear; Vito Bratta was our own Eddie Van Halen and actually Mike Tramp was our David Lee Roth in most cases. Drumming was Greg D’Angelo and bass was handled by James Lomenzo with the result being some truly memorable Hard Rock with a commercial edge that gained them tremendous success. The band released three studio albums and a best of compilation on Atlantic Records and thus far we have not seen these albums remastered. This fact is a shame since the band also had a strong presence on MTV and made the label quite a bit of money. The Anthology would have been perfect if it actually included music from these 3 albums but instead we get unreleased versions and outtakes. While I am not sure of the reasoning behind this, it seems clearly obvious that perhaps no access was granted to the original music in order to release it in this fashion. This would only leave the outtakes and demos for the tracks available. The oddest part of the release was its total exclusion of real versions of the bands debut, “Fight To Survive”. While “Pride” was the groups major label debut, the smaller independent label Grand Slamm released the bands true first album and it was killer. We do have acoustic versions of songs from this release but they are terrible, and the re-do of “Broken Heart” was beyond dismal. It especially took the fire out of the original song, so you can imagine how bad an outtake of this disaster could be. I cannot honestly recommend this CD for anyone more than the staunchest of band supporters and even they should be warned about it. The inside foldout (there’s not even a book with a good amount of photos to enjoy on this) finds Tramp lining out where blocks of songs came from.

My rating stands because of my disappointment in the release but I left it as higher than 0 based on it reminding me of this music. After suffering this CD, I dug out my original releases and played them. I was brought back to a time where Hard Rock was as pure as it was exciting. If you don’t own any of these albums then find a copy of “Pride” or the “Greatest Hits”, I doubt you can find “Fight To Survive” anywhere no matter how hard you try. While Lion was a band that never did a “Farewell Tour”, and instead just vanished. There would be no “Reunion Celebration” when these shows became the fashion in the industry either. You only have the legacy music to remind you of the special nature of this group.

Song Listing:
1. Hungry
2. Lady Of The Valley
3. Wait
4. All Join Our Hands
5. Tell Me
6. Say Goodbye
7. When The Children Cry
8. Little Fighter
9. If My Mind Is Evil
10. Living On The Edge
11. Cherokee
12. Cry For Freedom
13. How Does It Feel
14. The Road To Valhalla
15. Early Warning
16. Lights And Thunder
17. Back On The Streets
18. Love Don’t Come Easy
19. Out With The Boys
20. It’s Over
21. You’re All I Need
22. Broken Heart
23. Till Death Do Us Part
24. Farewell To You
25. Deep In Love With You
26. Two People
27. Rock You Tonight
28. Evil Angels
29. Ride Through The Storm
30. We Rock All Night

Official Web site: www.miketramp.com
Official Band Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Lion

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