Written By Braddon S. Williams
Badlands released their self titled debut in 1989 following guitarist Jake E. Lee’s departure from Ozzy Osbourne’s solo band (okay, he was fired in a telephone call from Sharon Osbourne).
Lee enlisted singer Ray Gillen and drummer Eric Singer, both former Black Sabbath replacement players, and bassist Greg Chaisson to form the hard rocking Badlands.
Lee’s bluesy tendencies came to the forefront on the Badlands album, especially in the amazing Rumblin’ Train.
Other excellent tracks included Dreams In The Dark, Winter’s Call, High Wire, Devil’s Stomp, and my personal favorite, Seasons.
I got to see Badlands at The Ritz in New York City in 1991, just 2 months after they released their second (and final album), Voodoo Highway.
Although there were plenty of tensions in the band by then, Lee demonstrated monster chops on the guitar, and Gillen sang like a man possessed. His death just 2 years later effectively ended any chance of Badlands making any further music.
It’s a shame, because their bluesy hard rock may have stood a chance even in the coming storm of the grunge movement.
The shining moments of their two albums still have a spark and real passion to the music, like a band that has something to prove.