The article below was one of the first I had published after joining my high school newspaper, The Viking Voice, in Mount Horeb. When we reviewed albums, our staff wasn’t usually given much of a word count to work with. Generally we had about three paragraphs to work with. Reading the review so many years later has me thinking…
“I see what you did here. In order to get a review of your favorite vocalist’s album published, you wrote a very diplomatic (and sometimes fake) review. Truth is, you don’t really care about the lyrical content (or lack thereof) and if there happen to be weak songs on the album. You’re having a hard time keeping this cassette out of the player and have memorized every word. Do you sing along with this album every chance you get? Don’t answer that – yes you do!”
I would be very interested to see how I’d review this album now. I haven’t listened to it in some time.
Album Review – Under A Raging Moon – 10/18/85
Roger Daltrey, former lead singer for The Who, has released a new solo album, ‘Under A Raging Moon.’
The first single, “After The Fire,” is moving quickly up the charts. It was penned by The Who’s former guitarist, Pete Townshend. All royalties from “After The Fire” will be donated to England’s “Band Aid,” which helps the starving in Africa. Another good track is “The Pride You Hide.” It features a good chorus and Daltrey’s vocals bring out a sing along attitude.
Two songs on the LP were co-written by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance. The first, “Let Me Down Easy,” is simply Adams’ “Somebody with the same music, but different lyrics. The other song, “Revel,” showcases powerful, driving music combined with Daltrey’s veteran, hard-edged voice. The most interesting cut is the title song, “Under A Raging Moon.” It was written by John Parr (who also did backup vocals) and Julia Downes. There is a dedication “To Kit,” which probably refers to Daltrey’s late manager, Kit Lambert. The song, however, seems to suggest a remembrance of The Who’s late drummer, Keith Moon. The instrumental break features several drum solos by the likes of Cozy Powell (Whitesnake), Stewart Copeland (The Police), Roger Taylor (Queen), and Ringo Starr’s son Zak. This is the best hard rock song Daltrey has done on a solo album since “Free Me” from “McVicar” in 1980.
Throughout his career, Roger Daltrey has been plagued by one thing: bad lyrics. Two songs on this album, “It Don’t Satisfy Me” and “Move Better In The Night” have meaningless lyrics. Daltrey covers up the lyrics with a strong vocal performance, while the band plays up to par. This album is worth the time and effort to listen to, mostly because Daltrey gives his best vocal performance in quite a few years. (Reviewer’s note: Caveat emptor – The cassette version of this album contains one extra song, “Love Me Like You Do.”)