CD Reviews

Jeff Paris - 'Wired Up' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     October 25, 2016    
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An album that all Melodic Rock fans should own.

One of Rock's most underrated singer/song-writers, Jeff Paris will probably be best remembered for having his songs recorded by Mr Big, Vixen and others, but he actually recorded some of those songs himself before loaning them out. Several of his Vixen hits were originally on his second release 'Wired Up', arguably the best and raunchiest of his five solo records from back in 1987. At the time he was being launched into the market by Polygram Records as the next Bon Jovi or Bryan Adams and he had a band that would eventually all go on to do things of note in the scene, bassist Gary Moon replacing Jack Blades in Night Ranger, guitarist Michael Thompson becoming a top session player and leader of The Michael Thompson Band, and drummer Matt Sorum going on to replace Steven Adler in Guns 'N' Roses via The Cult.

Paris' debut album 'Race To Paradise' had been a cracker, Rocky without being heavy and with the liberal use of keys and layered backing vocals to make the songs shine. 'Wired...' was more of the same, but with the added pressure to come up with that big, anthemic "radio hit", which was obviously meant to be the first single and MTV video 'Saturday Nite'. Its big beat and massive chorus was aimed at the people who'd made Def Leppard massive with 'Pyromania', but other songs were better.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

The fast and furious title-track, the gorgeously catchy 'Trial By Fire', the BJ-ish 'I Can't Let Go' and the punchy Hard Rocker 'Illusions'. Paris had also found a sharp edge to his voice on most of these songs, but also commercial gold on the tracks Vixen made more famous, including the hit single 'Cryin'' and the simple Rock 'n' Roll of 'Charmed Life'. 'A Matter Of Time' was a heartfelt ballad and 'Heart To The Flame' is another winner too.

Unfortunately, Paris has always considered himself a writer and certainly not a Hard Rock front-man, and seemingly the fans of the genre felt the same, but the album is still too good to be forgotten and is deserving of another chance. The re-mastering makes the best of Tony Platt's slightly thin and crunchy production and Jeff Paris' story is told by AOR guru Rob Evans, but despite the lack of bonus tracks, 'Wired Up' is an album that all Melodic Rock fans should own.

Phil Ashcroft

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