This is the middle It Bites album and the one to have. Sure, in 1988 the world didn't need some digitally-recorded, full-on prog rock lunacy - but they got it anyway and the UK music scene was all the better for it.
Hats off to Richard Branson and Virgin for funding this cos it really was the last gasp of progressive rock. Mainly recorded at the Manor, scene of Oldfield's Tubular Bells et al, obviously under the influence of various 'substances', OATW is essentially one side of pop/rock mainly produced by another Virgin prog survivor Steve Hillage and the other side featuring some completely brilliant, barmy prog rock songs.
Take 'Plastic Dreamer', for instance. It fits an unbelievable amount into its four minutes, including a vocal harmony section that would make Roy Thomas Baker drool, a stunning Holdsworth-like guitar solo from Frank Dunnery and some propesterous 'fantasy' lyrics that would have Syd Barrett turning in his grave. The title track is quite simply astounding considering it was recorded in the same year as Kylie's 'I Should Be So Lucky' and has to be heard to be believed. Amazingly, they could play all this stuff live too, and with great elan.
John Beck's keyboard textures have dated a bit and pale in comparison compared to what Trevor Horn and David Sylvian were doing with synths at the time, but people often forget what an amazing rhythm section It Bites had. There's a solidity there that suggests that they were always influenced by much more than just progressive rock music, and Frank Dunnery's guitar playing and vocals still have incredible bite.
The lads took a much heavier direction after this, but this is the one to get. A great band at its peak with peerless musicianship.