Most helpful positive review
The first album from the "new" Quo...
on 17 April 2012
After "The End of the Road" tour in 1984, this was the first studio album from Quo after the departure of Alan Lancaster and, for some, confirmation of the end of the "real" Quo.
As a result, a lot of Quo fans don't like this album - the harder edge of Piledriver, Quo etc was long gone and this was clearly another step towards more "pop rock" after Back To Back (but not as far down that path as 1988's "Ain't Complaining").
However, for me, it still has a good collection no-nonsense songs with the trademark Quo sound along with "hooks" that you can't stop humming. This re-mastered version also has the added bonus of the B sides from the singles which were lifted from Parfitt's never to be released solo album (more of that later).
The first two singles ("Rollin' Home" & "Red Sky") hit the spot - up tempo 80's rock pop at its best. The third release, the title track "In the Army Now" was ironically one of Quo's best selling singles, but is not in the traditional style. At the time it seemed "modern", but (in my opinion) hasn't dated that well.
The fourth release ("Dreamin'") was even more pop-orientated, but as a pre Christmas release, was fun, up-tempo and kind of hit the spot.
In terms of other highlights from the original album, "Overdose" showed more of Parfitt's heart-felt lyrics and softer side than usual, whilst "In Your Eyes" was typical Rossi/Frost fayre. "Invitation" (a "marmite" track if ever there was one) is straight down the line country pop and hinted at more to come from Perfect Remedy two albums down the line.
The beauty of this re-mastered album are the bonus tracks mentioned above. "Lonely" is a great tune, "Don't Give it Up" is potentially the strongest track on the whole album, whilst "Keep Me Guessing" & "Heartburn" show the harder edge of Parfitt's writing and benefit from the volume being cranked up.
So, in summary, if you're looking for a truly classic Quo album this isn't for you. However, if you want to a collection of pop/rock-based tunes which don't take themselves too seriously and offer an insight into how Quo evolved from the 70's into the 80's this is the one to buy...