Randy Jackson's China Rain - Bed of Nails (Beyond Records) 1991
Only Lonely Today" (5:35)
Best known for his work with Zebra, Randy Jackson was the voice and guitar behind that seminal 80's band. China Rain isn't that far off from where Zebra left off with "3.V", although this leans a bit closer to what was going on with pop metal at the time. "Bed of Nails" starts off with a song that is very much in the Zebra mode, mixing Zeppelin with melodic and progressive tendencies. This song is actually one of my favorite songs on the CD and contains some good guitar playing and a fat chorus. While the remainder of the CD has a similar vibe, some of the material here is a bit more pop metal oriented, glossed up with keyboards. What can you expect with song titles like "Psychedelic Sex Reaction"? Obviously Randy was attempting to ride that 80's melodic, pop metal train while it was still king, which it still was in '91. Randy even brings in a few well known musicians to help him write on this CD including Dave "Snake" Sabo (Skid Row) and Mark Slaughter (Slaughter/Vinnie Vincent). "Before It's Too Late", which was co-written by Slaughter, is another of the albums standout tracks. In this song, Randy even uses some of those falsetto vocals which was his signature in Zebra. Despite the move to a slicker, pop metal sound there is still enough meat in this album to satisfy Randy's fans, even if it's not quite up to par with Randy's former band.