Through the years, it has been interesting to witness the number of classic rock artist combinations have joined together having the Ritchie Blackmore connection. Certainly England has an incestuous history in the classic rock department, as almost all of the artists that are associated with Black Sabbath, Whitesnake, Rainbow, Deep Purple, and The Gary Moore Band are interlinked. So, I guess it makes perfect sense then that Glenn Hughes and Joe Lynn Turner have finally joined forces to put out this, very smooth, classic rock-influenced one off. Glenn's influence is more evident here, likely due to the fact his solo style is more well defined than that of Turner, who has released two albums of cover material in his later years. Right out of the gates this record burns serious rubber with "Devils Road," which is on par with the classics of Rainbow and earlier Hughes output, especially with Hughes/Thrall. The high spiritedness continues on the next two selections, "You Can't Stop Rock n' Roll" and "Missed Your Name." Then in an instant, things are brought back to Rainbow circa 1983 with Turner's "Mystery of the Heart," a trademark AOR ballad topped with one of Joe's more subtle croons.
Not surprising given the fact that JJ Marsh handles lead guitar chores, much of the material sounds like Hughes' recent solo outings, heavy into funk beats and churchy organs. This is particularly evident on "Sister Midnight," which could have easily come off of sessions from either one of his past two solo efforts. On the later songs, Hughes vocals tend to drown out those of Turner, who seems to be doing more color commentating than lead vocalizing. A minor complaint though, as it's always a joy to hear Glenn's soulful inflection riding over smooth but gutsy melodies. To complete the classic rock circle, they've called upon none other than guitar meistros John Sykes and Paul Gilbert to burn it up with a couple of solo breaks, Sykes on the Hughes led ballad "Heaven's Missing an Angel" and Gilbert on the aforesaid thud romper "You Can't Stop Rock N' Roll." Without a doubt, these inclusions cap off the calculated nostalgia trip to a tee.
Fans of any of the above mentioned bands will undoubtedly be intrigued by this release. I have to say personally that this impresses more than it could, or I ever thought it would. Obviously a good deal of enthusiam and thought was put into this project, which is more than can be said for most commerically cynical pairings. This record actually builds towards its cresendo, as to end the proceedings there is the record's crowning achievement, the 7 minute opus "On the Ledge." Beautiful, powerful... dramatic. Nuff said, now go and buy the thing.