John Lawton's Gun Hill - 'Nightheat'
(
originally released in 1997 re-issued in 2016)


THE BAND:
John Lawton - Lead vocals, Percussion
Brian Bennet - Guitar, Acoustic Guitar
Neil Kavanagh - Bass, Vocals track 5, Keyboard tracks 3 & 6, Acoustic Guitar track 9 and Flute track 7
Chris Jones - Drums, Backing Vocals track 10

 

 

TRACK LISTING:
1.) "Don't Stop Believing" (Lawton) - This track opened with a keyboard arrangement.  Over the top of the keyboard arrangement.  John tells a short story of a young man going to a rock concert.  After James's monolog over the keyboard there was a whole-note that connected the monolog and keyboard arrangement with the musical intro.  The rhythm guitar arrangement consisted of a clean guitar underneath a distorted guitar arrangement. over the top of the rhythm guitar arrangements the was several minor lead guitar solos.  Some was single solos and some were twin lead guitar solos.  The band used the keep the same distorted guitar arrangement for the musical verse however they changed the clean electric rhythm.  For the musical chorus the band turned up the bass line making it more of a main instrumentation.  There was a twin solo connecting the musical chorus with the second verse.  After the second chorus the band slowed the music down leading into a very short lead guitar solo.                   
2.) "Ready For Love" (Ralphs) - By Mott the Hoople. Mott The Hoople were an English rock band with strong R&B roots, popular in the glam rock era of the early to mid-1970s. They are best known for the song "All the Young Dudes", written for them by David Bowie and appearing on their 1972 album of the same name.  "Ready For Love" is also featured on this album.  Over the top of the musical intro of this track there was a minor twin lead guitar solo.  The way the guys wrote the solo consisted of the solo's being played independently and over the top of each other.
3.) "Wall Of Silence" (Bonner/Rogers) * Written by Bonner/Rogers.  Recorded by Bonner. (could not find and any information about this song)   
4.) "Nobody Loves You The Way I Do" (Etheridge)- This track is off of the Melissa Etheridge self-titled debut album by singer-songwriter Melissa Etheridge, released in 1988 (see 1988 in music).  The album was re-released on 23 September 2003 as a two-CD remastered edition containing a bonus disc of ten tracks recorded live at the Roxy in Los Angeles and a five-track session from BBC Kent in April 1988.
5.) "Far From Home" (Douglas/Kavanagh) - This ballad opens with the effects of a thunder storm.  The song opens with an acoustic guitar. arrangement.  After a few riffs a second rhythm guitar kicks-in.  This second guitar was done with a clean guitar effect.  Neil's vocals were amazing!  Underneath the verse there was several lead guitar licks underneath the vocal lines.  After the first chorus there was a solid blues influenced lead guitar solo.  This was an amazing blues song!    
6.) "Eleanor Rigby" (Lennon/McCartney) - is a song by the Beatles, released on the 1966 album Revolver and as a 45 rpm single. It was written by Paul McCartney, and credited to Lennon–McCartney.  The song continued the transformation of the Beatles from a mainly rock and roll / pop-oriented act to a more experimental, studio-based band. With a double string quartet arrangement by George Martin and striking lyrics about loneliness, "Eleanor Ribgy" broke sharply with popular music conventions, both musically and lyrically.  Richie Unterberger of Allmusic cites the band's "singing about the neglected concerns and fates of the elderly" on the song as "just one example of why the Beatles' appeal reached so far beyond the traditional rock audience".
7.) "Don't Look Back" (Lawton/Hesslein/Hecht) -'Sumo Grip' is the ninth and final album by Lucifer's Friend II before their reunion in 2014. This album once again displays the wide variety of styles Lucifer's Friend is famous for throughout their previous albums, living up to the "no album is the same" mantra. The band would stay together for a few years after the album's release before breaking up.
8.) "Waiting For The Heartache" (Barnes/Child) - Was taken from 'Freight Train Heart' an album by Australian rock singer Jimmy Barnes, released in late 1987 in Australia by Mushroom Records and in early 1988 in the United States by Geffen. It spent 5 weeks at the top of the Australian Album charts in Dec 1987 / Jan 1988. Most of the tracks were written by Barnes and producer Jonathan Cain, however "Waitin' for the Heartache" was co-written by Barnes and Desmond Child and "Walk On" was co-written by Child and ex-Rainbow vocalist Joe Lynn Turner; (Turner would later record his own version with his band Sunstorm). Two songs were also written with Jim Vallance. According to Vallance, Cain also contributed "later", most likely during the recording process.
9.) "When A Man Loves A Woman" (Lewis/Wright) - is a song written by Calvin Lewis and Andrew Wright and first recorded by Percy Sledge in 1966 at Norala Sound Studio in Sheffield, Alabama. It made number one on both the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B singles charts.  Singer and actress Bette Midler covered the song and had a Top 40 hit with her version in 1980. In 1991, Michael Bolton recorded the song and his version peaked at number one on both the Billboard Hot 100 chart and the Billboard Adult Contemporary Singles chart.
10.) "Any Day Now" (Lawton/Hesslein/Eggert) -if featured on 'Sumo Grip' the ninth and final album by Lucifer's Friend II before their reunion in 2014. This album once again displays the wide variety of styles Lucifer's Friend is famous for throughout their previous albums, living up to the "no album is the same" mantra. The band would stay together for a few years after the album's release before breaking up.
11.) "Clearwater Highway" (Hort/Colwell/Kirke) - Taken off of Bad Company's 'Company of Strangers' and is the band's eleventh studio album, and their first with Robert Hart (in place of Brian Howe who had replaced Paul Rodgers in 1986 as lead vocalist). The album was released in June 1995.  To date, it is the band's latest studio album of all-new material.

“These two CDs are part of my musical history when I played together with some fine musicians, some quite young and some a bit more experienced. It was an opportunity to cover some tracks that I look back on as really great songs and a few original tracks that have stood the test of time.” - John Law

    In January 1994, despite the onset of the Seattle 'grunge' scene former Uriah Heep vocalist John Lawton formed Gun Hill [later to be known as (JLB-John Lawson Band)]. In 1995 John Lawton's Gun Hill released ' One Over The Eight' on cassette. This cassette was for fan club members only.
    'Nightheat' consists of three original songs, one remake of a John Lawton's Lucifer Friend song taken from their album 'Sumo Grip' released in 1994 along with seven cover songs. The intro to track one "Don't Stop Believing" opens with a narration. Guitarist Brian Bennet double-tracked his guitar tracks on this song. This along with most of his guitar work on the CD was amazimg! Brian Bennet is a name I had never heard of and that is a shame! Because he is about one of the best guitarist I have heard for this style of music, John really found a rare gem in the rough and it would be a travesty for John not to hire him again. His double-tracked guitar work especially on the opening song was pure magic!!!!!
I must admit the only Uriah Heep song I ever really liked was "Easy Livin'" (released as the second single from their 1972 album 'Demons and Wizards'). However I have to say the three original compositions on 'Nightheat' not only blows "East Livin'" out of the water but anything else Uriah Heep ever. These three original songs are so good John could have just release them just as an E.P. and I think most of his fans would have been just as happy. This compounded with the fact that you can no longer get the 1992 version of this CD makes it worth buying!
    I'm not the biggest fan of cover songs.  With cover songs I want a band to make the song their own not just play the notes as they was written.  Gun Hill done just what I like to hear.  The band recorded the cover songs as if they had written them themselves.  The only one that was close to the original es Rigby' was one of the best Beatles cover I have heard!
    Not only is 'Nightheat' a must have for all hard rock fans however also is 'One Over The Eight'.

(click here to read review of 'One Over The Eight' re-issue)
(click here to order)