Blue Murder
Blue Murder

Solo band of John Sykes, who made a name for himself in Thin Lizzy and Whitesnake and also has released several solo discs. Initial trials for the band included vocalist Ray Gillen (Black Sabbath/Badlands) and versatile drummer Cozy Powell. However Sykes would end up doing vocals himself and adding ex-Firm bassist Tony Franklin, drummer Carmine Appice (of Vanilla Fudge, King Kobra, Ted Nugent, etc.) and Nik Green on keyboards. Later incarnations of the band included Marco Mendoza (bass) and Tommy O'Steen (drums) and for a short while Kelly Keeling (ex-Baton Rouge) as lead vocalist.

Blue Murder (Geffen) 1989

1. "Riot" (6:21)
2. "Sex Child" (5:59)
3. "Valley of the Kings" (7:51)
4. "Jelly Roll" (4:44)
5. "Blue Murder" (4:55)
6. "Out of Love" (6:44)
7. "Billy" (4:11)
8. "Ptolemy" (6:29)
9. "Black-Hearted Woman" (4:47)

Blue Murder 1989
John Sykes, Tony Franklin, Carmine Appice

Blue Murder were sort of a supergroup with fret-burner John Sykes (Tygers of Pan Tang/Thin Lizzy/Whitesnake) at the healm. Also in the band is Tony Franklin on bass and Carmine Appice, drums and backing vocals. When I purchased this CD, I expected a guitar heavy album like Pat Travers, Joe Perry Project or Gary Moore. However, on first listen, I was a bit disapponted as the album was much more glossy and pop than what I had hoped for. Subsequent listens proved the album to actually be much better than I initially perceived. Produced by Bob Rock (Metallica), the albums slick sound is due to a trebbly mix and echoey drums. The album, however, is much more complex than the glossy production lets on. It is a detailed stadium rock album, occassionally funky, with some ornate guitar playing by Sykes. The album sounds very British, very 80's with a hint of Zep-influence. (See "Jelly Roll")

I have read that Ray Gillen was initially considered for the roll of vocalist. However, Sykes is an excellent vocalist himself. Years later Sykes would sing for a resurrected Thin Lizzy.

Nothin' But Trouble Blue Murder- Nothin' But Trouble (Geffen) 1993

1. "We All Fall Down" (4:47)
2. "Itchyoo Park" (3:46)
3. "Cry for Love" (6:57)
4. "Runaway" (5:58)
5. "Dance" (4:08)
6. "I'm on Fire" (4:45)
7. "Save My Love" (4:48)
8. "Love Child" (5:29)
9. "Shouldn't Have Let You Go" (4:10)
10. "I Need an Angel" (7:02)
11. "She Knows" (3:38)

Blue Murder 1993

John Sykes returns with the second disc on Geffen with a completely new band that included bassist Marco Mendoza, who later went on to do the Thin Lizzy reunion with Mr. Sykes. In any case, this disc has a big, beefy 80's sound with big choruses and even bigger production. The first disc, didn't bowl me over on initial listens, but this one has already seen play several times within the first week since I owned it. John's voice is stronger than ever as are his shredding guitar solos. To bad it took four years to follow up the debut. This long delay had to hurt the band's following. "Itchyoo Park" is a Small Faces cover.

Screaming Blue Murder Blue Murder-Screaming Blue Murder-Dedicated to Phil Lynott (Geffen) 1994

1. "Riot" (7:16)
2. "Cry For Love" (7:53)
3. "Cold Sweat" (3:26)
4. "Billy" (6:45)
5. "Save My Love" (3:36)
6. "Jelly Roll" (4:51)
7. "We All Fall Down" (5:24)
8. "Please Don't Leave Me" (7:27)
9. "Still of the Night" (8:48)
10. "Dancing in the Moonlight" (4:39)

A Japanese only release, recorded live in Japan on December, 1993. Stellar show featuring, of course, axe-master John Sykes. Oddly enough, the full title of the disc is Screaming Blue Murder-Dedicated to Phil Lynott. It's so amazing that Phil's life had such an effect on Sykes that some ten years later he is still lamenting the death of his friend. As such, there are two Sykes/Lynott penned songs on this disc. Of course "Cold Sweat" was originally recorded on Thin Lizzy's "Thunder & Lightning" disc. The other track "Still of the Night" was never released on any official Thin Lizzy cd. There is also the classic Thin Lizzy song "Dancing in the Moonlight". All three songs are reason enough to own this disc. However, add to that Sykes huge hit from his Whitesnake years, "Still of the Night," plus several Blue Murder classics, and this is one fine collection. I must say that I found it a bit odd hearing such a faithful rendition of "Still of the Night" without David Coverdale on vocals though. The sound quality of this disc is excellent and actually puts a bite to some of the Blue Murder material like "Riot." Sharing the stage with Mr. Sykes is Marco Medonza (bass), Tommy O'Steen (drums), and Nik Green (keys).

Marco Mendoza & John Sykes
John Sykes & Marco Medoza

.Related bands:
Thin Lizzy | Whitesnake | Sykes | Phillip Lynott

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