Any fan of 80s heavy metal has surely seen ‘The Decline of Western Civilisation Part II’. Featuring bands like Megadeth and Chris Holmes from WASP (the latter hilariously getting drunk in a pool while is mother watches, speechless). Inadvertently, she catalogued the dying days of the hair metal movement. One of the unsung heroes of the movie was a band called London. A staple of the Hollywood scene, it’s former members included Nikki Sixx (he was a founding member), Blackie Lawless and Izzy Stradlin.
This is London’s third album and it’s more common to see it credited to the band ‘D’Priest’ (that’s the name on our copy). This name is taken from Nadir D’Priest, the name of the lead singer. The movie came out in 1988 and London were not featured on the soundtrack. Of the two songs they played on the movie (“Breakout” and “Russian Winter”), only the latter track appears on this CD.
Song titles like “It’s So Easy”, “Miss You” and “Money Honey” almost advertise an absence of originality and that’s pretty accurate. This is largely hair metal by the numbers, right up to the obligatory power ballad (that would be “Miss You”). “Money Honey” sounds more like Status Quo than AC/DC, but it’s definitely retro.
Songs like “Love Games” and “Heart Beat” show off the bands chops and their era a bit more accurately. The fact is, there’s a lot of hair metal from the 80s where it’s obviously not surprising that they didn’t hit the big time, but for people who loved that era of music, there’s still a lot of ‘new’ music to be discovered. The thing that elevates this is the chance to hear “Russian Winter”, from the movie, and discover that band a little more. Any fan of music from that era has seen that movie, or needs to, and everyone who has seen it remembers the name of London.
“Hot Child In The City” was a hit for Nick Gilder (don’t ask) in 1978 (the year London was formed). It’s definitely more commercial than the other tracks.
The inclusion of a song dedicated to the fall of the Berlin Wall certainly dates this CD, but after over a minute of organ, it actually turns into a pretty decent rocker. History, of course, records that people were more interested in ballads with whistling at the time, but this song is a definite highlight of the CD.
The album closes on the same note it opened. To be honest, there’s not much WASP, Guns n Roses or Motley Crue to hear here, by the time this was recorded the band had followed the times and was sounding like a cut rate Poison or Ratt. Nevertheless, this is worth owning if you’re a fan of the era, for the reasons mentioned, even if you’re only likely to listen to it a few times so that you can say that you did.