Solo band of John Sykes, who made a name for himself in Thin Lizzy and Whitesnake and also has released several solo discs. Initial trials for the band included vocalist Ray Gillen (Black Sabbath/Badlands) and versatile drummer Cozy Powell. However Sykes would end up doing vocals himself and adding ex-Firm bassist Tony Franklin, drummer Carmine Appice (of Vanilla Fudge, King Kobra, Ted Nugent, etc.) and Nik Green on keyboards. Later incarnations of the band included Marco Mendoza (bass) and Tommy O'Steen (drums) and for a short while Kelly Keeling (ex-Baton Rouge) as lead vocalist.
Blue Murder were sort of a supergroup with fret-burner John Sykes (Tygers of Pan Tang/Thin Lizzy/Whitesnake) at the healm. Also in the band is Tony Franklin on bass and Carmine Appice, drums and backing vocals. When I purchased this CD, I expected a guitar heavy album like Pat Travers, Joe Perry Project or Gary Moore. However, on first listen, I was a bit disapponted as the album was much more glossy and pop than what I had hoped for. Subsequent listens proved the album to actually be much better than I initially perceived. Produced by Bob Rock (Metallica), the albums slick sound is due to a trebbly mix and echoey drums. The album, however, is much more complex than the glossy production lets on. It is a detailed stadium rock album, occassionally funky, with some ornate guitar playing by Sykes. The album sounds very British, very 80's with a hint of Zep-influence. (See "Jelly Roll")
I have read that Ray Gillen was initially considered for the roll of vocalist. However, Sykes is an excellent vocalist himself. Years later Sykes would sing for a resurrected Thin Lizzy.
John Sykes returns with the second disc on Geffen with a completely new band that included bassist Marco Mendoza, who later went on to do the Thin Lizzy reunion with Mr. Sykes. In any case, this disc has a big, beefy 80's sound with big choruses and even bigger production. The first disc, didn't bowl me over on initial listens, but this one has already seen play several times within the first week since I owned it. John's voice is stronger than ever as are his shredding guitar solos. To bad it took four years to follow up the debut. This long delay had to hurt the band's following. "Itchyoo Park" is a Small Faces cover.
Blue Murder-Screaming Blue Murder-Dedicated to Phil Lynott (Geffen) 1994