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12 Reviews
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Dated Gem
I'd loved this band for a long time, but only discovered this, their debut record, quite recently. If like me you're primarily familiar with their work from their two better known, stellar albums Once Around The World and Eat Me In St Louis, you'll be in for a surprise on hearing this. Where those records are the work of an experimental yet utterly coherent,...
Published on 4 Sep 2008 by Mr. J. Gibbon

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Yeah, but....
Some great stuff, with clever arrangements and great playin, but for me too many moments spoiled by that cheap '80s pop synth too high in the mix.
Published 11 months ago by G. Johnston


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Dated Gem, 4 Sep 2008
By 
Mr. J. Gibbon "The Lone Groover" (Derby, England) - See all my reviews
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I'd loved this band for a long time, but only discovered this, their debut record, quite recently. If like me you're primarily familiar with their work from their two better known, stellar albums Once Around The World and Eat Me In St Louis, you'll be in for a surprise on hearing this. Where those records are the work of an experimental yet utterly coherent, uncompromising progressive rock band, this is a vaguely quirky Go West with a guitar player who wants to rock. There's even some '80s pop-soul on there, in the form of Turn Me Loose. Some of this stuff reminds me of Mel and Kim. I'm not kidding.

The '80s keyboard stabs and production value raise a smile and it's infused with a boyish enthusiasm that's profoundly infectious. The songs are mostly very, very good and there are two drop-dead, killer-diller classics in the unusually-themed Screaming On The Beaches and the live favourite You'll Never Go To Heaven.

Stirring stuff, lots of ideas, a less kind reviewer might consider it a bit of a hotch-potch but it's a great ride.

Undoubtedly the odd stepsister in the It Bites album family, but she's a babe nonetheless, even if her dress sense raises an eyebrow at times.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where Francis Began, 24 May 2004
By 
DocBhoy (Invercargill , New Zealand) - See all my reviews
An excellent debut from what I thought would be an exciting bunch of 'prog pop rockers' . Ultimately the band broke up , but they've left a few albums as their legacy . This album features the poppy 'Calling All The Heroes' ( although it's not the mix for the single ) , the cracking harmonies and stop-start riffery of 'All In Red' , and the gargantuan sound that is 'Never Go To Heaven' . The title track at the end is a nice wee Francis only piece on acoustic guitar that is a fitting finale to the album .
Favourite track ? Never Go To Heaven .
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars it does not arf bite, 8 Nov 2012
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This review is from: The Big Lad In The Windmill (MP3 Download)
Recorded way back in the eighties, and I don't remember ever hearing any of this album on the radio or anywhere else in the intervening years. But I think it sounds absolutely brilliant there isn't one bad track and the anthemic 'you'll never go to heaven' is stunning.Buy it,listen to it. You will not be dissapointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars unsung heroes, 7 Dec 2005
By 
Belter! Always enjoyed this bunch's approach to carefully crafted heavy stuff that's not blues oriented (why do so many people with guitars play blues based rock year after year? Yeuch!)

Gorgeous delicate tinkly moments are also a delight

This is mainly fast, furious and clean-sounding well-produced music which is good for playing LOUD! Bust yer eardrums on the motorway!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars top album, 26 Oct 2004
By 
Mr. Z. Naylor "strictmachine10" (manchester) - See all my reviews
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went to same school as it bites how frank alway use to tap knifes falks & spoons on the dinner table and be told to stop by mr capstick..! well you showed them.. this album is fantastic the emotion in some of the songs like "never go to heaven" and the lyrics in the songs to are so real to life. my fav traxs are calling all the heros never go to heaven whole new world..all the singles they had out from their other albums were great also but this album is my favorite. it bites are suppose to be making a comeback lets hope they stick around a little longer this time
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4.0 out of 5 stars Solid debut album, 4 April 2014
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Admittedly, this is the 'poppiest' of It Bites 3 studio albums but, in my opinion, it is very good. The hit single, 'Calling All The Heroes' is joined by 2 'flops' i.e 'All In Red' and 'Whole New World', both of which deserved a much better fate. Of the other tracks, 'Turn Me Loose' is notable for having a brilliant, quirky middle section [It Bites were always much more than just a pop group; this album and its follow-up 'Once Around The World' share progressive leanings which didn't sit easily with some of their fans (or their record label) sadly]. 'Cold, Tired And Hungry' is a lovely mid-tempo rock number with a gorgeous guitar solo and 'You'll Never Go To Heaven' is a superior ballad that deservedly drew plaudits back in 1986.
Verdict:- Well worth buying at a reasonable price
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4.0 out of 5 stars If you like it, you like it!, 5 Nov 2013
By 
K. Chistopher "Zee" (Sweden) - See all my reviews
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Stocking up on my uni day music. Would recommend it, but prefer Once Around the World and Eat me in St. Louis.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Yeah, but...., 9 Aug 2013
By 
G. Johnston "gjohnston24" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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Some great stuff, with clever arrangements and great playin, but for me too many moments spoiled by that cheap '80s pop synth too high in the mix.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Really Impressed, 24 Jan 2013
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I bought this album as a download after a friend of mine told me he really thinks this band is cool !!, Well I now have this first album of there's and I must admit I only knew of 'It Bites' from there single Calling All The Heros in the mid-80's, but after listening to this I have discovered some very intresting music from this prog-rock band, as a die-hard Yes, Genisis, Asia, ELP, ect fan and bass guitarist myself who regularly indulges myself in this area of music will add 'It Bites' on too my list and shall discover some more material from these guys in the near future.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Heroes!!!, 30 Mar 2012
By 
Stotty (Bolton, England) - See all my reviews
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Anyone buying 'The Big Lad In The Windmill' when 'Calling All The Heroes' was in the charts back in 1986 must have had a shock.
Ok, there are some typically 1980s pop stylisations on display here and there ('Whole New World', 'Turn Me Loose', 'Wanna Shout'), but once 'Got You Eating Out Of My Hand' starts blasting out of the speakers, it becomes quickly apparent that It Bites aren't a cheesy beat pop combo. They play prog and can rock pretty hard too. They just give it a modern, contemporary, radio friendly edge.
'Screaming On The Beaches' pretty much sums up what the band are all about. Memorable hooks and melodies, some crunching guitar and a storming instrumental section, all played with premier league musicianship.
'Cold, Tired and Hungry', is a bluesy rocker with a big chorus and 'You'll Never Go To Heaven' is a beautiful ballad with a touch of 10cc about it.
'All In Red' is a solid singalonga rock track with a 1970s Kiss style guitar riff and the aforementioned 'Calling All The Heroes' somehow isn't as cheesy as I remember and has another good instrumental break halfway through for good measure. It's a track that in fact calls to mind Marillion's 'Market Square Heroes' and even the first half of Genesis' 'The Knife'.
Francis Dunnery's vocal is a blend of David Lee Roth and Peter Gabriel and his nimble fingered guitarwork is very impressive. But he's surrounded with equally gifted musicians. John Beck's keyboards have some dodgy sounds at times, but all in all there's more than a hint of Tony Banks and Peter Bardens about them.
The rhythm section is big, powerful and laced with flair, throwing in some decent time changes.
The whole thing is wrapped up in some engaging artwork too. Is the guy on the cover some sort of Ian Anderson figure, standing on one leg?
I always used to think that It Bites were a failed pop band/one hit wonders. Thanks to magazines like 'Prog' as well as YouTube, I've put that misconception to one side and am enjoying some of the best and genuinely entertaining music I've heard in years. I can't believe I missed them the first time round.
Give it a spin and I'll guarantee you'll have a smile on your face come the end.
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