LOVE LIFE - Goodbye Lady Jane


Fans of the melodic hard rockers Fear Not take note. Before Fear Not, there was Love Life (Larry Worley, Gary Hansen, Rod Romero, Darin Eby), and Goodbye Lady Jane (1991) was their only full-length release. A bit more laid back, dreamy and less lyrically confrontational compared to the Fear Not debut release, these songs convey images of a simpler time – a time before the digital music era, of internet and cellphones, a time when music was just fun. I confess that I had never heard this music prior to this release – Love Life one of the many casualties from the early 90’s that quickly got lost in the wake of the grunge movement. Their music is best described as good clean, melodic hard rock with great melodies and some very solid guitar hooks. The origin of the Fear Not sound is evident, but Love Life sounds more stripped down and raw in comparison to the big glossy production sound of the Fear Not debut.

As was the source material for many of the records from the late ‘80s/early 90’s, these songs are rife with words about relationships and finding love, and in dealing with the loneliness we humans struggle with at times. I think the archival review by Ed Warner presented in the CD blooklet liner notes, along with clear lyrics, vintage photos and memorabilia (and that awesome Metal Attack International Playlist from Italy!) is an excellent summary of what’s going with these tunes and so I won’t regurgitate that here. Make sure to check out the CD version as to not miss out on this stuff – the labels reissuing these older albums make considerable effort to deliver quality product, in many cases improving upon both the music and the visual presentation of the original issue.

The Bonus Tracks (Demo tape)

In the liner notes, Bill Bafford discusses the bonus tracks, how they were “rescued” from the original tape reel, and mentions that of the 5 songs, only two were re-recorded for Goodbye Lady Jane. I think this is slightly off because the first 3 bonus tracks “Blue Again,” “Do You Believe In Love?” and “Real Love” are found on Goodbye Lady Jane, although it is worth noting that the studio version of “Real Love” differs from this demo version, particularly in the lyrics in a few areas – most notably on the demo version where it closes out with a clarifying “Jesus is the real love.” A shame that was cut out on the studio version. Also, the demo versions are a bit longer and the sound quality isn’t bad, just a bit muffled. “Believed In You” and “Lonely” are not represented on Goodbye Lady Jane, both tracks somewhat reminiscent of Stryper’s debut material. I am thankful the band moved in an edgier, hook oriented rock direction because it gave them more of their own sound on both the Love Life and Fear Not albums.

The Vinyl

First off, I love the “This Side”- “That Side” on the labels (pictured). The record comes in gold and black versions, with single lyric sheet insert and outer jacket. With the exception of “Real Love” and “Girl Gone Bad” from “This Side,” I think the other songs are just average. I definitely prefer the songs on “That Side” because they are just a bit heavier, grittier and more diverse. After the brief guitar rip (“Fill Er Up”), the band rips into the title track. And while this song does give a nod to Stryper’s early sound in the guitar melody, these tones sound very smooth in analog. The opening guitar chords on “In Blue Again” sound just a bit like the opening chords on Guns ‘n’ Roses “Paradise City.” Likewise, “1000 Reasons” with the acoustic guitars and Worley’s raspy vocal tone feels a bit like the Skid Row debut, in a good way. After the slightly out of place, but competently performed Beatles cover tune, the record side spins out with probably the best song on this entire album. “Do You Believe in Love?” is a powerful song, one with a quality that would play out more fully with the Fear Not debut. Overall, compared to the CD, the vinyl version has a greater low-end power and less treble shrill in the vocals. While I won’t say this is one of the better sounding vinyl cuts I’ve heard from Roxx and Retroactive (that Holy Soldier debut hard to beat!), it still sounds good.

Roxx Records

Release Date: Out Now

CD Track List:

1. Real Love (2:53)

2. Do You Love Me (3:38)

3. Heart of Fire (4:07)

4. When Loneliness Comes Knockin’ (4:29)

5. Girl Gone Bad (3:34)

6. Fill ‘Er Up (0:14)

7. Goodbye Lady Jane (3:49)

8. In Blue Again (5:01)

9. 1000 Reasons (4:57)

10. A Hard Day’s Night (2:34)

11. Do You Believe In Love (3:11)

Bonus

12. Blue Again (5:41)

13. Do You Believe In Love? (3:27)

14. Real Love (3:14)

15. Believed In You (5:57)

16. Lonely (5:28)

Vinyl

This Side

Real Love (2:53)

Do You Love Me (3:38)

Heart of Fire (4:07)

When Loneliness Comes Knockin’ (4:29)

Girl Gone Bad (3:34)

That Side

Fill ‘Er Up (0:14)

Goodbye Lady Jane (3:49)

In Blue Again (5:01)

1000 Reasons (4:57)

A Hard Day’s Night (2:34)

Do You Believe In Love? (3:11)

#RoxxRecords #FearNot #LoveLife

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