Saturday, July 21, 2012

Badlands - Dreams in the Dark

By the late 1980's, hard rock was enjoying huge commercial success, a backdrop that should have made Badlands big, big stars.  Surprisingly, though, the band's blues-rock sound did not resonate with the record- buying public, making Badlands a rare case of an underrated late 1980's hard rock band.

The driving force behind Bandlands was guitarist Jake E. Lee, who left Ozzy Osbourne with the stated intention of forming a band.  The addition of lead singer Ray Gillen from Black Sabbath helped to cement that sound, which was roughed up blues-rock (think updated Led Zepplin).  Although the band was well-regarded in the music industry, their debut album (Badlands) was a commercial disappointment, peaking at #57 on the album charts.

"Dreams in the Dark" was their lead single, and it did not chart.  The video shows the band's approach -- I would describe them as a "let the music do the talking" sort of band.  Unfortunately, this image just didn't click with their audience at the time.

Their follow up LP, Voodoo Highway performed worse, and the band broke up in 1993.  Jake E. Lee has kept a pretty low profile since then, although he has put out a few solo albums and continues to play.  Ray Gillen died of an AIDS-related disease in 1993.

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