Lillian Axe – ‘Self/Titled (re-issue)

 


THE BAND:
Steve Blaze – lead guitar, backing vocals
Ron Taylor – lead vocals
Jon Ster – rhythm guitar, keyboards, backing vocals
Rob Stratton – bass guitar backing vocals
Danny King – drums



BIOGRAPHY: (This bio just covers Lillian’s first two releases)
From humble beginnings, through big shot record labels, to over a quarter million records sold within the United States alone, New Orleans survivors and Hall of Famers Lillian Axe along with founding members persistence has pushed the band over the years to were still to this day, record new music and tour. The classic line-up came together when former Stiff members, Ron Taylor (lead vocals) and Jon Ster (rhythm guitar, keyboards, backing vocals), teamed up with Lillian Axe members Steve Blaze (lead guitar, keyboards, backing vocals), Rob Stratton (bass guitar), and Danny King (drums) in 1987. Within three years of touring the club circuit. The band’s live show had built a reputation that could not be denied and was becoming legendary. While performing an opening stint with Ratt, Poison and Queensryche, the guys caught the eye of MCA Records executive Irving Azoff and also Marshall Berle (nephew of Milton Berle) who, at the time, was managing rock superstars, Ratt. Irving Azoff immediately signed Lillian Axe. Produced by Crosby, their 1988 debut was a fine amalgam of infectious rockers and hard-edged pop tunes.
Their second release ‘Love + War’ was even more impressive, featuring extended atmospheric compositions that were both Anthemic and memorable. However, the record sold poorly and MCA dropped the band from their roster. In 1990, King and Stratton were replaced by Gene Barnett and Darrin DeLatte, respectively, after which the Music for Nations independent label became their home for the next few years.

TRACK FRAGMENTS:

Lillian Axe – ‘S/T’

 


Ron Taylor – lead vocals
Steve Blaze – lead guitar, backing vocals, keyboard
Jon Ster – rhythm guitar, backing vocals, keyboard
Rob Stratton – bass guitar
Danny King – drums


TRACK FRAGEMENT:
1.) “Dream Of A Lifetime” – This track opens with a very simple keyboard arrangement.  Over the top of the ending of the keyboard you can hear Ron Taylor whisper., “This is a dream of a lifetime”.  As the keyboards fade there is the effect of an alarm clock.  There was an alarm clock  to kick in the musical verse.  After the alarm the full band kicks-in.  To kick off the musical verse the entire band kicks-in.  There was a alarm clock connecting to a tom-tom fill.  Jon Ster opens the track after two riffs Steve kicks-in playing the same rhythm.  Over the top of the two riffs Ron sings a vocal accent.   Underneath Ron’s lead vocal lines there was a small rhythm guitar change.  There was a rhythm change for the musical chorus.  To connect the first chorus with the second verse there was a short drum fill.  After the second chorus Steve plays a lead solo.  At times the solo sounded double track.  It was literally at this point when I first heard this solo I knew Steve was going to be something special.  After the third chorus there was more of a major lead guitar solo.  After the fourth chorus there was a short breakdown section.              
2.) “Inside Out” – This track opens with the effects of a typewriter.  Steve rhythm guitar riffs end a small electric guitar lick.  There was a small rhythm guitar change for the musical verse.   For the chorus each guitar riff ended with a lead guitar effect.  After the second chorus Steve plays a lead guitar.  Though the solo was very melodic Steve does however throw a few very intense licks within the confines’ of the solo itself.             
3.) “Vision In The Night” – This track opens with a short tom-tom fill.  Over the top of the rhythm guitar arrangement Steve played several lead licks.   For the musical verse there was a rhythm guitar change.  The drum line underneath the rhythm guitar of the verse consisted of a hi-hat opening and closing pattern.  As a former drummer I really liked what Danny done on this track.  After hearing this solo I knew Steve was going to be around for a very longtime!  For the coda Steve threw in a few acoustic guitar licks.      
 4.) “Picture Perfect” -  I have always loved this intro arrangement.  During the guitar arrangement of the musical verse Steve threw in a few lead licks.  There was a rhythm guitar change for the musical verse.  After the second chorus there was a lead guitar lick to connect the second verse with the second pre-chorus.  After the second chorus the band slowed the music down.  This lead to a very blistering Blaze solo.       
5.) “The More That You Get” -  This intro opened with a drum rhythm underneath a rhythm guitar arrangement.  The band used the same rhythm for the musical verse as the one for the intro.  The was a rhythm guitar change for the musical chorus.  After the first chorus there was a couple lead licks connecting the second musical verse.      
6.) “Misery Love Company” – Nothing special musically about this track.  Except the lyrics and solo!
7.) “Nobody Knows” – One hell of a ballad!
8.) “Hard Luck”- This track opens with a keyboard effect.  After four measures the bands kicks the song in.  The song kicks-in with several tom-tom fills.  After the first verse there was a musical arrangement change for the musical chorus.      
9.) “Waiting In The Dark” -  Still to this day this ballad blows me away!!
10.) “Laughing In Your Face” –This should have should MCA this band should have made it into the main stream!!!!!!