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Gypsy Soul - 'Winners And Losers' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/ef/55/17/gypsy-soul-winners-and-losers-31-1519680102.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     February 26, 2018    
 
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If you like eighties Hard Rock, then you'll like this.

Gypsy Soul anyone? No, me neither! Maybe the names of J.K. Northrup (Paul Shortino, XYZ, King Kobra) and Johnny Edwards (Buster Brown, Montrose, King Kobra, Foreigner) might be a little more familiar to you. If so, then you might be interested to know that in the mid-eighties Northrup (vocals) and Edwards (lead guitar) – alongside fellow protagonists Justin McDaid (rhythm guitar), Larry Hart (bas) and Glenn Hicks (drums) – made up the band known as Gypsy Soul. The group was discovered by legendary guitarist Ronnie Montrose who brought them together in 1987 and produced their first demos.

They were soon the darlings of the LA Rock scene with a lot of the big labels like Geffen, Atlantic and MCA regularly turning up at their shows, with all of them showing lots of interest in signing the band. To top things off, John Kalodner then put the band in the studio to record six new songs to accompany the previous Montrose demos.

Unfortunately, nothing came of this initial furore and after a while, with no record deal in sight, the band went their separate ways; Edwards joining Foreigner for their 'Unusual Heat' album and Northrup hooking up with Shortino. This meant some great eighties Hard Rock songs ended up being left on the shelf to gather dust.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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However, these songs are now available for everyone to enjoy due to this fourteen track release from Escape. I will admit they are of a time and place, but they are also – for the most part – still a fine bunch of classy Hard Rockers that any fan who grew up during those years will want to hear. A few of my favourites include the mid-paced 'Ready For The Rain' (also recorded by Foreigner) with its classy Edwards vocal, the Bad Company-like title track, 'Burning In Her Fire', 'Outside Looking In', the powerfully attacking 'Survival In The Streets' and closing track 'The West' which brings to mind the mighty King Kobra circa their debut album.

A curiosity release certainly, but nonetheless a very interesting one which throws up that age-old question of why did so many less talented bands of that era make it while acts such as Gypsy Soul were left by the wayside? Summing this album up is easy – if you like eighties Hard Rock, then you'll like this.

Ian Johnson

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