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John Wetton - Caught In The Crossfire CD (album) cover

CAUGHT IN THE CROSSFIRE

John Wetton

 

Prog Related

2.07 | 29 ratings

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Guillermo
Prog Reviewer
2 stars Songs to "Turn On the Radio", for the then "new decade" of the eighties. This, John Wetton's first solo album, was released in October 1980. I don't remember seeing this album in the record shops of my city in the eighties.

First, a bit of history: in March 1979 the band "U.K.", on which Wetton was the bassist and lead singer, released their second studio album, titled "Danger Money", as a trio, with Wetton, Eddie Jobson (keyboards and electric violin), and new drummer Terry Bozzio. They then went on tour, sometimes supporting JETHRO TULL, until the end of 1979, when they split due to some conflicts about the music direction of the band, between Wetton (who wanted a more Pop Rock music style for the band) and Jobson (who still wanted to play Progressive Rock music "more in the seventies terms", as Wetton said in one interview). Before they split, they still released a live album called "Night After Night", recorded in June 1979 in Japan, and released in September 1979, along with a single on which its Side "A" had an edited version of the "Night After Night" song from their live album, plus in its "B" side had a song called "When Will You Realize", composed by Wetton alone and recorded in a studio. As Jobson said in other interviews, "When Will You Realize" "was the song that split up U.K.". After they split, first as a six months period to give each member time to see what were they going to do in the future, their split was finally announced in mid 1980. Jobson then joined JETHRO TULL as a "special guest" to record their album titled "A" (released in August 1980, which initially was going to be a solo album by Ian Anderson, which finally became a JETHRO TULL album due to record company pressures, and which coincidentally has a different song also titled as "Crossfire") and toured with that band until the early months of 1981. So, Wetton recorded this first solo album, "Caught in the Crossfire", in 1980, and curiously, also including the apperance of JETHRO TULL'S guitarist Martin Barre.

This album is mostly a Pop Rock album, without influences from Progressive Rock music, and also including some New Wave influences, with also some ballads. It seems that by 1980 at last Wetton was making the kind of music that he wanted to make full time since 1979 with the band "U.K." It is not a bad album, but it gives clear indications of the musical direction that Wetton wanted to have in the future, and also gives some indications about the band ASIA which he founded in 1981. But even if ASIA still had some Prog Rock influences in their first album from 1982, this first solo album from Wetton is even more commercial in eighties terms. Maybe he was tired of the "old" Prog Rock from the seventies. So, this album is full of distorted guitar riffs, some appearances of sax here and there, a bit of keyboards, Pop Rock drums, and good lead and backing vocals, with Wetton as always being a very good singer. For this album, Wetton re-recorded "When Will You Realize" with a bit different arrangement which includes good distorted guitars plus a very good guitar solo played by Barre ("U.K."'s version included a bit of electric violin and organ played by Jobson, and it really sounded like being recorded in a hurry with less arrangements and production). If ASIA was going to be increasingly influenced by keyboards sounds than by guitars, this solo album from Wetton has the guitars as the central point. I'm not going to give a description for each song in this album as almost all sound very similar to me. But some of them are similar in style to the kind of songs that ASIA was going to record without guitarist Steve Howe and with other guitarists in the late eighties for their "Then and Now" album (which it really was a compilation album which also included other previously unreleased songs).

For Collectors / fans only.

Guillermo | 2/5 |

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