I must admit when I agreed to do this album review I had no idea that it was re-recording of a previously released album. Being far too young (!!) to have experienced most of the bands from the 80’s first time round, I have had to rely on other people introducing me to bands and finding them on YouTube. And the more bands I discover the more I believe that I was born much too late as I really would have been in my element in the 80’s.
Indiscreet 30 is a total re-recording of FM’s debut album, funnily enough also called Indiscreet, using today’s technology and recording techniques that has given the album a new power and dynamic that was not possible to achieve in the 1980’s.
But let’s start at the beginning, shall we?
FM were formed in the summer of 1984 (see, I was only 7 then!) with the ex-Samson pairing of bassist Merv Goldsworthy and drummer Pete Jupp, the Overland brothers – vocalist/guitarist Steve and lead guitarist Chris (both formerly of Wildfire) and keyboardist Phili Manchester.
By the end of 1985, they had released their debut album Indiscreet and had hit the road in Europe, supporting Tina Turner, Foreigner, Gary Moore, Status Quo and Magnum and had also opened for REO Speedwagon at London’s Hammersmith Apollo. At the end of the year they accepted a spot with Bon Jovi, supporting them on the UK leg of their Slippery When Wet tour.
To date the band have recorded nine studio albums, three of which, Indiscreet, Tough It Out and Heroes and Villians, reached the UK album chart while 5 of the band’s singles also made inroads into the UK singles chart.
But the band split up in 1995.
On 27th October 2007, however, the band played together for the first time in 12 years when they headlined the sold out Firefest at Nottingham’s Rock City, and due to the reaction the band received, they decided to make the reunion a permanent one.
Just like any long running band there have been a few line-up changes over the years but three original members in Steve Overland, Merv Goldsworthy and Pete Jupp remain and are now joined by Jem Davies on keyboards and Jim Kirkpatrick on lead guitar, giving the band a younger perspective.
So what made them decide to re-record such a classic album? Obviously such a hit with the fans, and regarded by some as one of the best AOR albums of the 1980’s, it could be considered somewhat risky to re-record the entire thing. The band had previously been approached to re-record one or two of the songs and it was after they were recording the follow up to Heroes and Villains that they decided to put down a backing track to That Girl to see how it would sound with the huge sounds they were now achieving. The rest, as they say, is history.
Says bassist Merv Goldsworthy “we are not trying to recreate the original but this is our interpretation played by FM as we are today.”
Produced by FM themselves, recorded at Tremolo Studios and Coal House Studios in Staffordshire and mixed by Jeff Knowler (who also mixed albums Metropolis, Rockville and Heroes and Villians) Indiscreet 30 is not only a re make of the original album but also includes seven bonus tracks including a brand new track “Running on Empty.”
I can’t say I have listened to the original album so for me to make a direct comparison between the two would be both unprofessional and dishonest of me but I have taken a peek at some of FM’s earlier stuff on YouTube and one comparison I CAN make is about the voice of Steve Overland, which is still as fab now as it was back then.
Not many singers can maintain their standard of vocals the older they get but Steve has managed to do just that. I’m not sure if he trains his voice or whether he is just one of the lucky ones but he sounds as good now at the age of 56 as he did at the age of 24!
There is nothing to dislike about this album. The guitar work is faultless, the keyboards are a prominent feature of the sound and the percussion section keep everything tight and neat. Backing vocals are pitch perfect and harmonize well with Steve’s lead vocals, and the production is fantastic. There is a good mix of rocky songs and ballads as well as an acoustic version of That Girl, and this album will definitely have you dancing around your living room. I am listening to it while I write this review, it now being on its third or fourth time round, and I haven’t once got bored with it. There is something new to notice every time it’s played and this shows to me there are many layers to the songs and the tracks are not one dimensional.
AOR was not really a genre of rock and metal that I have paid particular attention to over the years but having reviewed the likes of FM, Nightranger and Tyketto in the last few weeks, maybe I should go and check a few more bands out.
That’s one of the great things about listening to rock and metal music. There are so many different genres out there that one week you could be headbanging to thrash metal and the next you could be bopping along to AOR.
I, for one, wouldn’t have it any other way!!
1. That Girl
2. Other Side Of Midnight
3. Love Lies Dying
4. I Belong To The Night
5. American Girls
7. Face To Face
8. Frozen Heart
9. Heart Of The Matter
10. Let Love Be The Leader (*)
11. Running On Empty (*)
12. Rainbow’s End (*)
13. Shot In The Dark (*)
14. Bad That’s Good In You (*)
15. Love & Hate (*)
16. That Girl (Acoustic Version) (*)
(*) bonus tracks
Steve Overland – Vocals, Guitar
Jim Kirkpatrick – Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals
Jem Davis – Keyboard
Merv Goldsworthy – Bass, Backing Vocals
Pete Jupp – Drums, Backing Vocals
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn Smith, The Metal Asylum and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.
Originally published on Ever Metal