In the nineties MTV got many bands to play acoustic sets and release a TV presentation plus an unplugged CD with in some cases quite some succes for the band. Some 15 years later my favorite US melodic rock /hair metal/ whatever band Lillian Axe decided to release a best of album in acoustic setting for friends and family. A Pre-order was made fast and last week I received the nicely packed CD/DVD. Basically the CD's have been played constantly since and the DVD is on repeat turns already as well.
Those who liked the format in the past and appreciated especially strong releases from Tesla and Queensryche should see and hear this, as Lillian Axe brings the model to a whole new level. Helped by the fact that Lillian Axe don't do bad or average songs this 20 (well 19) song best of goes from one hghlight to yet another one. Never have I seen songs standing up so proudly without the shredding guitar solo's (as they happen to have one of the best melodic guitar shredders in Mr. Steve Blaze in the band). By saying that they mention one song to be the most representative Lillian Axe song ever and the guitar solo in Ghost of Winter is an emotional highlight. So here we have a band with 10 studio albums and of course I miss many songs, but at the same time I would not like to skip any one of the songs presented here. Another comforting fact is that while Lillian Axe has been through several line-up changes, the standard has always been stable and current vocalist Brian Jones does justice to all the old classics.
So I am a fan of the band and unfortunately one of the few in Holland as their empty shows told us two years ago. As a result I liked the interviews, Q&A's and repetition shots inbetween the songs. Those who want to see the songs only better listen to the double CD (as I did not discover that option on the DVD). As a fan I saw great added value in all that. Seeing Lillian Axe in their home territory gave a great opportunity to spot the differences, while being very similar in musical taste. With all respect the Christian, Support the troops, Cowboy shirts and hats are very typical Southern States and not so much northen Europe. As Steve explains in his answers, who cares! as long as you try to be a good person and to that most can relate probably. Hats off also for the local crowd who all sing along from start to finish on Nobody Knows (the Crowd version - song 20). As I have the debut album still on LP I checked but did not see lyrics and I only know lyrics from albums I have on LP (while Deep Red Shadows also had some acoustic songs including Nobody Knows and this time with lyrics). Mentioning the DRS album I did miss one song, the ridiculously haunting opener Under the Same Moon, which I would love to see in this format as well.
So anyone into music should see and or hear this. Being more specific anyone into great melodies, vocals, and acoustic solo's. Some explanations on songs that add emotion to the story, the wedding song that should be a global hit, a message to our children, the horror movie inspirations and lots more. I so much hope they can come back to Europe again one day. For those who hate acoustic guitars and soft versions, there is an extra with a live version of Take the Bullit, just to remind those how metal they are as well. The DVD just finished so now I go and put up Deep Red Shadows to hear Under the Same Moon and read along with Nobody Knows. What a band!