Archive for February 22, 2007

Legs Diamond - Town Bad Girl

Legs Diamond – Town Bad Girl (1990, Metal Blade)

  1. Town Bad Girl
  2. City Streets
  3. Stage Fright
  4. World On Fire
  5. Can’t Get You (Out Of My Mind)
  6. Never Enough Time
  7. Look In Her Eyes
  8. Pain Killer
  9. Cry No More
  10. I Am For You
  11. She Did It For Love
  12. Nervous
  13. Heaven Or Hell

Band Lineup:
Rick Sanford – Lead Vocals
Roger Romeo – Lead Guitar
Michael Prince – Keyboards, Rhythm Guitar
Dusty Watson – Drums
Mike Christie – Bass

Total Time – 57:40

Legs Diamond official website

The only things I knew about Legs Diamond before I picked up this album was that they were a Hard Rock band that started in the 1970s and that their albums were supposedly pretty good. Through some research, I noticed that TOWN BAD GIRL was out of print and going for decent dollars on Ebay. I was able to acquire this album for around $25 at auction.

This album is a fine slice of Hard Rock in 1990, probably one of the better albums released that no one really knows about. You’ve got good performances by all the musicians and the instruments compliment each other without taking over. For the most part, the keyboards compliment and work with the guitars and the rhythm section holds it tight. This is obviously an experienced band that has mastered their craft over the years.

What is most striking is singer Rick Sanford’s voice. There is a familiarity to it, you’ve heard it before and it’s good. Comparisons to Mark Slaughter (Vinnie Vincent Invasion/Slaughter), Tony Harnell (TNT), Stephen Pearcy (Ratt), Axl Rose (GnR) and Vince Neil (Motley Crue) can be made but I would roll them all into one as Sanford sounds like one or the other as the songs change. Sometimes he sounds like more than one: on ‘Stage Fright’ he sounds like a Slaughter/Harnell combo. Sanford has a great voice for ’80s Hard Rock.

The first four songs are excellent, very solid. ‘Town Bad Girl’ and ‘City Streets’ remind me of Def Leppard meets Ratt with the big gang vocals on the chorus. Both excellent uptempo rockers that grab the listener and immeadiately sucks them in. ‘Stage Fright’ is actually a cover of themselves, the original located on the first Legs offering in 1977. I’ve never heard the original but the updated version smokes. ‘World On Fire’ has a little more keyboard but it is another solid Rock song.

This album starts to lose steam as it progresses. The first four songs make such a good first impression and then some filler creeps in. ‘Can’t Get You (Out Of My Mind)’ is decent but I’ve heard it all before, more filler than meat. ‘Never Enough Time’ is the first ballad of the record, not sure how this missed radio in 1990 but it would have sat well alongside ballads of the time. My favorite song of the album is ‘Look In Her Eyes’, this should have been a big hit. Nice riff and complementing keys with Sanford’s vocal grit, and I really like the guitar solo. It’s the chorus that hooks you in and makes you want to sing along.

‘Pain Killer’ is a mid-tempo rocker that has some groove but it’s ruined by the keyboards. Sounds like a Ratt song. It has that dirty, gritty stomp but the power is deflated with frilly keys, take them away and it’s a great song. Good solo though. Another keyboard heavy song is ‘Cry No More’. More AOR/Pop Rock, something I could see John Waite singing in Bad English. All is forgiven when the opening guitar to ‘I Am For You’ kicks in. It’s similar to ‘Look In Her Eyes’ and sounds like something Tony Harnell would have had on a TNT record. It’s aimed directly at Rock Radio in 1990 and it was the first single and video.

The keyboard intro to ‘She Did It For Love’ just ruins the song for me. It’s a decent song but I can’t get by the synth. There is some good guitar and a decent Ratt-like groove but it sounds watered down. ‘Nervous’ kicks the album back into high gear with arguably the fastest, and hardest, song on the record. Sanford does a great Axl Rose/Mark Slaughter combo and the guitars are blistering. Should be located at the top of the tracklisting instead of being buried after the filler. ‘Heaven And Hell’ has a KISS vibe, sounds like a Gene Simmons penned tune from ASYLUM or CRAZY NIGHTS. The gang chorus is a little weak but the song holds up.

Bottom Line:
Overall, a solid Hard Rock album with some great songs and some top performances. There is some filler and there are some songs that have some overbearing keyboards but the overall feel and sound of the album is really solid. How this band didn’t do well is beyond me because they are very good. This album has me looking into the rest of the Legs Diamond catalogue. Favorite tracks: ‘ Look In Her eyes’, ‘Town Bad Girl’, ‘City Streets’, ‘I Am For You’, and ‘World On Fire’.