A Look Back At Badlands 1989 Debut Album…

The Band That Should Have Been…

There are sadly many bands in the 80’s that should have made it big. Groups like Dangerous Toys could have been selling out arenas and even Quiet Riot worked for years to make a name for themselves to only be remembered by 2 songs. However, at the very top of this list should be a group that seldom people have heard.

Badlands should have been on top of the world when it came to the release of their debut self-titled album. Led by super star guitarist Jake E. Lee and powerhouse vocalist Ray Gillen, these giants set out to be an unstoppable force. Recruiting bassist Greg Chaisson and drummer Eric Singer to hold down the fort also helped solidify the group.

Bringing in a more 70’s rock/blues element than hair metal to the 80’s music scene, Badlands cemented their play it loud status with songs like “High Wire” and “Dancing On The Edge“. Meanwhile the blues infused track “Rumblin’ Train” shows the band can give a little bit of flair to the basics. However, the whole record doesn’t really come together until their showstopping number “Devil’s Stomp” takes the listener on a crossroads voodoo drenched journey through the mysteries of the bayou and hellish mystic messages.

The band knows when to lighten up a bit and tracks like “Winter’s Call” and the Led Zeppelin influenced “Seasons” show an amazing versatility with emotion and the musical flow of the record. They also give singer Ray Gillen a real chance to shine changing between intimate and softer vocals to gut wrenching wails.

Badlands had the chance to change the landscape of 80’s music and could have transferred seamlessly into the 90’s unlike many other bands at the time. Their Texas blues influence mixed with timeless rock and roll attitude made them a rarity during the hair metal scene. The record was given positive reviews and their shows were filled with so much energy and amazing performances by the whole group. It’s a pity that they didn’t last too long in the annals of music.

Check out the playlist of their debut release Badlands below and don’t forget to share with your friends: