Wild Horses (Rock Candy) 1980

1.  Reservation (3:50)
2.  Face Down (3:30)
3.  Blackmail (2:27)
4.  Flyaway (3:35)
5.  Dealer (4:58)
6.  Street Girl (3:28)
7.  No Strings Attached (3:59)
8.  Criminal Tendencies (3:48)
9.  Nights on the Town (3:21)
10. Woman (4:04)
11. The Rapist [b-Side] (3:37)
12. Reservation [demo](4:22)
13. Blackmail [demo](2:41)
14. Flyaway [demo](3:12)
15. Dealer [demo](4:49)
16. The Rapist [demo](3:38)
17. Retribution [demo](5:22)
18. Breathe on Me [demo](5:51)

Wild Horses was formed in the summer of 1978 by ex-Thin Lizzy guitarist Brian Robertson and ex-Rainbow bassist Jimmy Bain, who had were flatmates at the time. Both had left high-profile bands so it wasn't too wild of an expectation for Wild Horses to gain some immediate attention and label backing. The band was picked up by EMI after their 1979 Reading Festival appearance. They released their first single in 1979, "Criminal Tendencies" with "The Rapist" as the b-side track. The band stumbled through a number of second guitarists and drummers before settling on drummer Clive Edwards (ex-Pat Travers, Uli Roth) and guitarist/keyboardist Neil Carter, who went on to join UFO and Gary Moore in later years. This line-up recorded the Trevor Rabin (Yes) produced eponymous album in 1980.

The album has a very Thin Lizzy-esque feel throughout and even features Robertson and Bain co-writing song with Robbo's former Lizzy bandmates Scott Gorham ("Dealer") and Philip Lynott ("Fly Away"). When the band is writing hard-driving songs like "Dealer", "Reservation" and the b-side single "The Rapist" they are at their best. These songs are prime hard rock and would have been even better in a live setting. However, some of the album is more tepid than those tracks and generic Brit-pop-rock. Gearing themselves for the singles charts, the first single "Criminal Tendencies" is a fairly lukewarm song driven by light-weight 1980's style keyboards. Despite the attempts at pop singles, there is much to enjoy here. "Face Down" and "Blackmail" features some great guitar work from Robertson that definitely recalls his work with Thin Lizzy. These songs all have memorable hooks as well. With a grittier production these songs would probably have gone over better. As it stand the production is a bit too smooth and robs the band of a heaviness that would have won this band over with the growing fans of heavy metal in the early 1980's. Overall, Wild Horses is an enjoyable listen and should please fans of Thin Lizzy's lighter material.

The Rock Candy CD re-issue included the b-side track "The Rapist", which should have been the A side frankly. The CD also included all the demos the band recorded before re-recording the songs for this album. They are slightly more raw than the album versions, which isn't a bad thing at all. The very loose version of "Flyaway" features Jimmy Bain and Philip Lynott sharing lead vocal duties. The re-issue also comes with a 16-page booklet with an informative biography and photos of the band.

Stand Wild Horses - Stand Your Ground (Rock Candy) 1981

1.  I'll Give You Love (3:44)
2.  In the City (4:47)
3.  Another Lover (3:26)
4.  Back in the U.S.A. (3:50)
5.  Stand Your Ground (4:14)
6.  The Axe (4:22)
7.  Miami Justice (4:57)
8.  Precious (4:35)
9.  New York City (4:06)
10. Stake Out (3:41)
11. The Kid (3:15)
12. Everlasting Love (2:26)
13. Because I Care [demo] (5:36)
14. Are You Ready [demo] (2:40)
15. The Kid [demo] (3:16)
16. Saturday Night [live] (4:33)
17. Rocky Mountain Way [live] (7:20)

"Stand Your Grand" was the second and last album for Wild Horses. The album was recorded with high hopes to build off the debut, but the band was deteriorating from within. The two main characters in Wild Horses were friends and roommates, but during the recording of this album there was a lot of tension between the two and with their producer. What resulted is an album that has some great playing and songwriting but suffers from a thin, weak production. Songs like "I'll Give You Love" and "Another Lover" have that heavy Thin Lizzy vibe but for whatever reason the rhythm guitars aren't out front and in your face like they should have been, except when Robertson is laying down some tasty licks or guitar fills. Otherwise the rhythm guitar during the verses and chorus are just lacking any gusto. The album is overall a bit harder rocking than the first album but it does have the tracks aimed at hit singles. "In the City" is has a hooky but corny chorus, while "Back in the U.S.A." is obviously an attempt to gain some acceptance on the other side of the ocean. But the meat of the album is solid. The title track is one of the album's best songs and should have been released as a single, if it wasn't. Again, the Thin Lizzy vibe is present thanks in no small part to Brian Robertson's co-writing the song and unleashing some of his lethal guitar fury. Likewise "Miami Justice" features some nice dual guitar work and some Lizzy-esque guitar work. Overall, despite the weak production, Stand Your Ground is a solid rock album from two rock legends.

The 2013 Rock Candy CD reissue contains seven bonus tracks including the b-side tracks "The Kid" and "Everlasting Love". "This Kid" is a good song but "Everlasting Love" is cringe-worthy. Yes, this is a cover of the song made famous by Robert Knight. There is also two live cuts, including a seven-plus minute version of Joe Walsh's "Rocky Mountain Way" which includes a bass solo from Jimmy Bain. Three demo cuts are also included, two of which were not used on the album, the last of which was re-recorded as a b-side for a single ("The Kid").

See also: 3 Legged Dogg


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