Label: Provogue / Mascot
Release Date: January 27, 2015
Reviewed by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur
Is it possible a rocker release a 30-year retrospective and you have not heard of the man or his music? I say yes, as Jimmy Barnes is doing exactly that. The Aussie rocker/legend is revisiting hits and deep tracks from his career with the help of family and friends. “Lay Down Your Guns” is a killer rocker that features The Living End as Barnes backing band. The tracks rhythm gets the blood flowing and the head rocking. This is a great start to a long track list. “Time Will Tell” is next and opens with a great contribution from The Baby Animals rhythm section and is soon accentuated by the duet of Barnes and Suze DeMarchi. Her vocals nicely compliment the arrangement and Jimmy gruff rocker voice. “Stand Up” is a soulful rocker that stands up (excuse the pun) against the heavier and more mainstream tracks on this disc. The addition of Barnes’ daughter Mahalia and her band The Soul Mates gives this song a great groove and vibe producing a track unlike any other here. “Stone Cold” is a bluesy jam the features Tina Arena and Joe Bonamassa collaborating with Barnes on this great redux. “Going Down Alone” is proof that a good rock song can be remade better with seasoned vocals, but if you add a great guitarist like Neal Schon and keyboardist Jonathan Cain and a little slide guitar from Bonamassa to the mix, you are bound to go beyond some expectations. “No Second Prize” is a great rock track that stands out among the other ‘classics’ on this collection, due to Jimmy’s solid singing, great playing from Charley Drayton (drums), Ben Rodgers (bass and guitar), and guitarists Davey Lane and Franco Raggatt. “When Your Love Is Gone” slows the pace and gives the disc another soul-laden song that embraces the feel of the lyrics. “Walk On” is a keyboard driven rocker that marries a great set of riffs and the keys to Barnes’ vocals and sees his son David Campbell join in the fun.
“Ride The Night Away” is a great track that carries a very American-rock vibe throughout it, thanks no doubt to the addition of guitarist Steven van Zandt to the mix. Not only did he write the song way back when, but he added harmonies to this update. “I’d Die To Be With You Tonight” is a straight forward rocker that captures the imagination with its vocals and takes you on a pleasure ride with its mellow groove and classic rock feel. The duet of Barnes and brother-in-law Diesel (Mark Lizotte) on vocals and guitar gives the song depth. “Working Class Man” has a classic sound that is given power and strength from Jimmy’s strong vocals and doesn’t suffer from the contributions from Jonathan Cain of Journey on piano and Ian Moss from Barnes’ other project Cold Chisel on lead guitar. “Love And Hate” was set on its ear with a killer version from Barnes and Shihad. The power and aggressive playing behind this version injected a fresh attitude giving the track a new face and life. One of the best redo’s on the collection is the addition of Jimmy’s long-time friend Jon Stevens from Dead Daisies on “I’d Rather Be Blind.” This killer track raises the bar and gives the disc a song that encompasses all that classic rock is. “The Other Kind” is a nice rock/soul hybrid that suits the emotion and gruff in Barnes’ voice and delivery. Disc closer and classic track “I’m Still On Your Side” features Bernard Fanning of Powderfinger fame. This song benefits from the different styles from the two vocalists and a mellower approach to the musical accompaniment. If you know Jimmy Barnes, this disc is a great addition just to have the new versions and visions of these tracks. If you had/have no clue, do yourself a favor and educate yourself – I am so glad I did!!!
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