Originally released in 1989, Walk in the Fire was the third album from UK-based Strangeways, one of the better AOR/melodic rock acts of that decade (and you know that's saying something), and the last Strangeways album (until recently) to feature vocalist extraordinaire Terry Brock.
Walk in the Fire may not be quite as impressive as the band's 1988 masterpiece Native Sons, but it is still a first class AOR album. This was Terry Brock's second album with the band, and he delivers another knockout performance here. To my ears, the band took a somewhat less rocking approach on this album, coming in somewhere between Brian Howe-era Bad Company and Lou Gramm's solo material. There's definitely a more pop-oriented sound and less of the rock energy so prevalent on Native Sons. Still, as late `80s AOR albums go, it's hard to beat this gem.
Unfortunately, Walk in the Fire didn't take off the way Native Sons did, and it proved to be Brock's last album with Strangeways until the band's recent reunion album Perfect World. If you're a fan of that larger than life 80's AOR/arena rock sound, Walk in the Fire is bound to satisfy. It's one of three very impressive back-to-back releases from a band that really deserved to be a much bigger success at the time.
Edition Notes: Majestic's 2006 reissue of Walk in the Fire features digital remastering and two live bonus tracks - "Breakin' Down the Barriers" and "Walk in the Fire." It's a totally solid reissue that until recently was as good as it gets.
Edition Notes 2: The Majestic reissue was pretty impressive, but Rock Candy did a fantastic job with their 2011 reissue of Walk in the Fire. The new remastering job is just incredible, and is a noticeable improvement over the Majestic version. They also added expanded liner notes with rare photos and a band essay/interview by Classic Rock Magazine's Dave Ling. Rock Candy's reissue doesn't have the two live tracks, but they give us something even better - four very interesting bonus demo tracks, three of which feature Brock's replacement Charles Bowyer. It's enough to push a 4-star album into 5-star territory, and it's impressive enough that I didn't think twice about replacing my Majestic reissue with this version.