Tuesday, January 24, 2017
FM: "Indiscreet 30"
RATING: RRRRR (Natch)
REVIEW BY: ALAN HOLLOWAY
I'm sure I'm not the only one who remembers buying this way back on it's release, marveling at the sumptuous melodies, the instant hooks and the dodgy haircuts. 'Indiscreet' has long been hailed as an AOR landmark, and it has stood the test of time as well as the likes of 'Slippery When Wet' and '1984'. So why re record it? Seems the band were never happy with the production on the original, (although the Rock Candy re-release certainly improved it), and also they hadn't lived with the songs like they have ever since. Look - they wanted to do it and that's that!
So it goes without saying that this is an amazing album - after all, it's the same tracks in the same order. The production is indeed better, as expected, but what you want to know is should you bother buying 'Indiscreet' again? Well, in a word, yes. Me, I already had the original and the Rock Candy release (and a French version), but I love listening to the tweaked version. In the main, there's really very little difference, with perhaps the most changed song being 'American Girls', simply because it now has a little more urgency about the guitars. Elsewhere there's small flourishes that will only be noticed by the rabid fan (guilty!), and Steve Overland is now allowed to sing in a lower key to suit his more mature voice. Again, this isn't that noticeable unless you are au fait with the original. Speaking of Overland, he sounds superb throughout as expected.
So you have the original album, but as this is FM mark II it wouldn't be a proper release without a ton of bonus tracks. There's re recordings of 'Let Love Be The Leader' and 'Shot In The Dark' tacked on, as well as a smooth new track, 'Running On Empty'. From previous EPs there's 'Love & Hate', 'Bad That's Good In You' and the superb "Rainbow's End', in my eyes one of their best tracks. Finish off with the amazingly good acoustic version of 'That Girl' and you have a pretty solid package.
So yes, this a chance to buy something you already own (if you don't, just stop reading and get it), but if you're a fan I seriously think it's worth the outlay. 30 years in the making, this takes a classic and makes if, well, different if not better, and different can be very good indeed.