CD Review: Rock ‘n’ Roll Rebels & the Sunset Strip – Volume I
Let me start out by stating as your ace reporter “80’s Guy for The Modern Eye” at TheyWillRockYou.com that never has there been a box set more eagerly anticipated by yours truly than the Eonian Records 4 CD set “Rock N Roll Rebels & The Sunset Strip ” Volume 1.
One of the constant criticisms that I have been hearing since about 1993 on why late 80’s /early 90’s west coast glam/sleeze/hair metal went out of favor with record labels and the listening public in general, was the fact that there too many bands signed and not enough quality coming out from them. Therefore a “flood of the market” ensued and interest levels dropped and many bands could not survive the crash and still others ended prematurely before they even got off the ground. I however never subscribed to this belief then nor do I feel as if it were ever really a good reason even now. Even though pop music in America in general has its ebbs and flows a lot of these so called Sunset Strip bands had very loyal followings in Europe and especially Japan even into the late 90’s and 00’s. The ones that were able to survive abroad and ride the wave of the Seattle based grunge movement seemed to have had a second life in recent years and many have found a home with labels like Frontiers putting out new music from these classic acts and other labels like Eonian bringing back to life thought to be long forgotten recordings from several bands of The Sunset Strip.
Now this set features 36 different bands and 72 songs over 4 cd’s and does not feature the dominant Sunset Strip bands from the era such as Quiet Riot, Van Halen, Dokken or RATT. However, the focus is on what I call second tier level (far from second tier level talent) acts such as LongGone, The Wild and Byte the Bullet. Not exactly household names but you will recognize a few names along the way, some of whom went on to join other bands that have had various degrees of success. Names such as Dizzy Reed and Ralph Saenz will certainly be familiar with fans of Guns n Roses and Steel Panther but some of their earliest recordings are going to be found here in this Volume One set. I think the “magical find” on this collection is found on disc four with the two tracks from Byte The Bullet who went onto become Southgang, who had two of what I like to think are some of the better albums of the early 90’s with Tainted Angel and Group Therapy.
The packaging on this set is top notch and the booklet holds a treasure trove of details, photos and bios of each band. I’m not going to review all 36 bands and each of the 72 tracks but rest assured there is something for everyone here for that there is no doubt. Ballads, straight ahead rockers and even some experimental type tunes round out all four cd’s. At a running time of over 4 hours this is something that will continue to entertain you day after day song after song. Soon like me these second tier level bands will become like old friends because the songs are so much fun. The greatest thing about the era was the emphasis on partying, sex and excess. What’s wrong with that? Hold on to your old band demos on cassette and any 45’s of bands that maybe just had one or two songs because although may not have any value on eBay they hold sentimental value of which you can never put a price tag on. What makes “Rock N Roll Rebels & The Sunset Strip ” Vol 1 so unique is its focus on the hard edged, cocky, in your face song writing and attitude that made the late 80’s/early 90’s Hollywood Scene the legendary time in musical history that it was.
To purchase or to find more info visit the official website.