Black ’N Blue
From page 91 of Classic Rock Magazine November 2003
Black ’N Blue’s undemanding hair metal requires no more than a footnote in rock chronicles, yet in witness-to-history terms they’re the spandex Forrest Gump.
With a three-track demo seized upon by Brian Slagel, the mastermind behind the ‘Metal Massacre’ compilation that also introduced the planet to Metallica, the band moved from Oregon to LA in ’83. Their prosaic debut, ‘Black ’N Blue’ (★★★★★), was produced by The Scorpions’ knob-jockey Dieter Dierks, but even a man hardened by ‘Virgin Killer’ must have bridled at ‘Wicked Bitch’.
Nevertheless it proved erect enough to attract Bruce Fairbairn for ‘Without Love’ (★★★★★). While a band featuring Jamie St James and Tommy Thayer might never be said to have ‘matured’, Fairbairn produced a record that at least impersonated the Mötley Crüe vibe. A support tour with Kiss saw Gene Simmons champion the band and go on to produce ‘Nasty Nasty’ (★★★ ★★) and ‘In Heat’ (★★★★★), but when these failed to raise the band’s profile Simmons nicked Thayer as a cynically masked replacement for Ace Frehley. A terrific yarn, certainly, though tragically hobbled by a mediocre soundtrack.