Rock Candy Reissues: Danger Danger + Bullet Boys


A couple of must haves…

Rock Candy LogoFor any fan of the melodic rock genre’s golden years, journalist and A&R man Derek Oliver is a household name. He’s since gone on to make the leap of faith into label ownership look like a walk in the park. For several years now, his new-upstart-on-the-block reissue label, Rock Candy, has been renovating, remastering and reissuing classic AOR albums by the fistful, almost invariably adding value in the form of essays, extended booklets, interviews and bonus tracks.

Here, MR’s Brian McGowan takes a listen to the re-releases of the debut albums from Danger Danger and Bullet Boys from 1989 and 1988, respectively.

Danger Danger – S/T

Spawned by MTV, Danger Danger have frequently been damned by faint praise, but despite a stuttering career, they have proved themselves to be one of the more enduring outfits of the ‘hair metal’ age. Ted Poley, Andy Timmons and Paul Laine have all gone on to enjoy relatively high profile careers within the genre.

The self-titled debut has now undergone a Rock Candy makeover, but more than two and a half decades later it still sounds like the product of a well thought out, precision cut template. Rising producer Lance Quinn framed the music in an energetic, boys-with-toys fun environment. It seems deliberately ragged edged, a neo Bon Jovi / Sunset Strip mash-up, the songs informed by a knee trembling bunch of teenage daydreams – ‘Naughty, Naughty’, ‘Bang Bang’.

That said, the real revelation on this re-issue is the sheer, spine tingling energy of the live tracks. Ripples of bombast run through these beefed up recordings, revealing the fact that the band had one, a fair few road miles already on the clock and two, a lot more to offer than just conventional eighties’ radio rock appeal.

Danger Danger - Reissue7 out of 10

Track Listing:

  1. Naught Naughty
  2. Under The Gun
  3. Saturday Nite
  4. Don’t Walk Away
  5. Bang Bang
  6. Rock America
  7. Boys Will Be Boys
  8. One Step From Paradise
  9. Feels Like Love
  10. Turn It On
  11. Live It Up
  12. Boys Will Be Boys (bonus live)
  13. Bang Bang (bonus live)
  14. Groove Or Die (bonus live)
  15. Naught Naughty (bonus live)
  16. Rock’n’Roll Hoochie Koo (bonus live)

Bullet Boys – S/T

Still going strong, Bullet Boys’ ever present vocalist, ex-King Kobra’s Marq Torien has presided over something of a franchise since the band’s recorded inception, in 1988. Around 15 musicians have passed through the revolving door of band membership, including DJ Ashba, Steven Adler and Kerri Kelli. The band’s staying power owes a lot to that impressive debut album, one that enjoyed some minor skirmishes with the Billboard Charts – including two singles, ‘Smooth Up In Ya’ and ‘Hard As A Rock’ climbing into the US Top 100.

The band, that at first looked to be just another hairsprayed, blow dried product of its time surprised many with the calibre of their songwriting and a confrontational vibe that actually sounded authentic. You would guess that Rock Candy have been working on this reissue for quite some time. The remastering is superb. Elsewhere and too often, reissue labels sacrifice dynamics at the altar of volume and level. That’s not the case here. Experts at work.

Perhaps Bullet Boys were unlikely to have gone on to be the next Van Halen or Guns’n’Roses, but they could’ve given these bands a run for their money. Unfortunately, when the tide went out on rock music in 1992, Bullet Boys were just one of many left stranded on the shore. But they survived, and are touring still.

Bulletboys - Resiisue8 out of 10

Track Listing:

  1. Hard As A Rock
  2. Smooth Up In Ya
  3. Owed To Joe
  4. Shoot The Preacher Down
  5. For The Love Of Money
  6. Kissin Kitty
  7. Hell On Wheels
  8. Crank Me Up
  9. Badlands
  10. F#9

Both these now reissued albums would have attracted high marks on their original release, but the value add of bonus tracks, interviews, new photos and critical essays that assiduously avoid the hagiography trap (respectively by Malcolm Dome and Joe Elliott, no less) , bump the score up to “must have” status.



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