Black 'n Blue - Rarities
Crash Music
Hard Rocking Hair Metal
11 songs (43:05)
Release year: 2007
Crash Music
Reviewed by Jeff

Every year between the months of May through August, I find myself listening to alot of Hair Metal. Maybe that is due to the fact that I consider the music of most Hair Metal bands to be of a partying nature, and summer is probably the biggest and most active time for party's of all kinds! Out of all the Hair Metal bands, Black N' Blue is the one I find myself listening to the most. I've always liked how these guys managed to write alot of catchy, hard rocking material.

Since the beginning of 2007, some of the major Hair Metal bands from the 80's have released "new" material, some well worth it, just to keep their flames alive. Poison just released Poison'd, a collection of cover songs. Winger came out with Demo Anthology, which is basically what the title says. Dokken dug deep into their tape vaults and came out with From Conception: Live 1981, a concert that showcased material from the Breaking The Chains era. Ratt is set to release a remastered best of package in August called Tell the World: The Very Best of Ratt.

As for Black N' Blue, they are no exception. They have released product in the form of compilations, live recordings and unreleased material more so within the last decade than they did when they were together. Rarities is their latest.

Rarities is a collection of "unreleased" material. The reason I have the word unreleased in quotes is because some of the material on here has already been released. Tracks 1-5, (Violent Kid - 1982, Sign In Blood - 1983, Wicked Bitch - 1983, Cold Heart - 1983 and Hold On To 18 - 1983), are demo versions that have already been released on The Demos Remastered Anthology 1 CD. The biggest difference between the two is that the mastering on the songs from Rarities is not as loud. You can have the stereo volume at around 2 or 3 when listening to The Demos Remastered Anthology 1 CD while you would need to crank it up to about 5 or 6 when listening to them on the Rarities CD. If you are interested in reading a review on The Demos Remastered Anthology 1., do a search in our data base.

The rest of the songs, as far as I know, have never been released before. Lickety Split - 1986 is an up tempo blues based AC/DC styled rocker in which the quality is about average for a demo. The next three tracks, (Serious Drag - 2002, So Long - 2002 and Hell Yeah - 2002) are demo versions which were written for the Hell Yeah album, something that has been somewhat very hard to come by as it has only been available as import. The quality on these songs is very good and can almost be mistaken for the final product. The line up on these songs do not include any of the other original Black N' Blue members but if you didn't read the credits it would be very hard to tell the difference. These three tracks sound like songs that Jaime St. James could have used for his solo effort but when the other Black N' Blue members (minus Tommy Thayer) decided to get back together again, he figured they would be better suited for a new Black N' Blue album. Also, Jaime St. James sings in a much lower, nasally sounding voice. It's probably an octave or so lower when compared to the sound of his voice from the first four Black N' Blue albums.

The last two tracks, Autoblast and I'm The King were recorded live in 1984. They both sound like they could be bootleg material as the quality is a little below average. I'm somewhat disappointed that they would even be release these as I've heard better live Black N' Blue material, such as that on the DVD included in the Collected Box Set (another review to come). . There is alot of high end tape hiss and the drums seem a bit louder than everything else, making the recording sound a little muddy. The performance is actually pretty good though.

I recommend Rarities to only the die hard Black N' Blue fans looking for a little something extra to add their collection. If you are really looking for something different, go with The Demos Remastered Anthology 1. I also hope that Hell Yeah will be more readily available at some point. I'm really interested in hearing what the whole album sounds like after getting a taste of the three demos presented here.


Killing Songs :
Violent Kid, Cold Heart, Hold On To 18, Serious Drag, So Long, Hell Yeah
Jeff quoted 60 / 100
Other albums by Black 'n Blue that we have reviewed:
Black 'n Blue - Collected reviewed by Jeff and quoted No Quote
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
Black 'n Blue - Black 'n Blue reviewed by Mike and quoted 90 / 100
To see all 8 reviews click here
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There are 3 replies to this review. Last one on Tue Jul 03, 2007 3:35 pm
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