Black 'n Blue - The Demos Remastered: Anthology 1
Zoom Club Records
Hard Rock / Heavy Metal
12 songs ()
Release year: 2002
Reviewed by Jeff

Black 'N' Blue was a 1980s heavy metal band from Portland, OR. Formed in 1981, the lineup was Jaime St. James (vocals), Tommy Thayer (guitar), Jeff Warner (guitar), Patrick Young (bass), and Peter Holmes (drums). They moved to Los Angeles in 1982 and released their self-titled debut album on Geffen Records in 1984. It was followed by three more through 1988, but none were notably successful, and Black 'N' Blue broke up in 1989.

Within the last few years Black 'N' Blue has released four albums: "The Ultimate Collection", "Live In Detroit 1984", "One Night Only Live" and the one I'm reviewing here. What makes this hard to come by album so unique and desirable is that it contains demo versions of some of the tracks that later showed up in a polished and better recorded format on their debut for Geffen Records. Even more so is that it has some unreleased songs that never made it to any of the albums, 5 out of the 12 to be exact!

I must say that I'm a bit skeptical when it comes to anything with the word "demo" in it since I'm a stickler for good quality and production. After listening to the album I can tell you that the quality of most of the songs is very good. It's always interesting to listen to a song in its demo format and then listen to the final product. Most of the songs that ended up on the debut stay pretty close to the demo versions. What makes the demos almost as good as the studio cuts is the raw and punchy compressed sound and atmosphere of the recordings. Sure, there are minor tape dropouts on some parts of the songs that are almost unnoticeable. As far as the remastering goes, I could hear a big difference. The demo version of "Chains Around Heaven" was originally included on Metal Blade's Metal Massacre I compilation. When I played that CD version to the one on the Anthology CD, they were light years apart.

It's unfortunate that songs like "Squeeze Me", "Violent Kid", "Sign In Blood", "Cold Heart" and "Lifeline" were never included on any of the studio albums. There is a live version of "Violent Kid" that was included on the reunion recording of "One Night Only-Live". I like these songs just as much as any others and they would have fit perfectly on any of those records.

The only really poor quality track is "Autoblast (LIVE)". It sounds like a bad bootleg that was recorded off of the radio during one of their earlier live performances. The sad thing is the performance itself was flawless. It's just a really bad recording, but you can still listen to it.

All in all this is a welcomed addition to the Black 'N' Blue catalog. Now if only Van Halen would officially release some of their demos…….

Killing Songs :
I’m The King, Squeeze Me, Violent Kid, Sign In Blood, School of Hard Knocks, Cold Heart
Jeff quoted no quote
Other albums by Black 'n Blue that we have reviewed:
Black 'n Blue - Collected reviewed by Jeff and quoted No Quote
Black 'n Blue - Rarities reviewed by Jeff and quoted 60 / 100
Black 'n Blue - In Heat reviewed by Mike and quoted 62 / 100
Black 'n Blue - Nasty Nasty reviewed by Mike and quoted 76 / 100
Black 'n Blue - Without Love reviewed by Mike and quoted 83 / 100
To see all 8 reviews click here
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