Friday, December 09, 2016

Songoftheday 12/9/16 - Fallen angel ripped and bruised think on better days, life is rude treats you bad tears your wings away...

"The Angel Song" - Great White
from the album ...Twice Shy (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #30 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 4

Today's song of the day is from the hard rock band Great White, who pun-titled ...Twice Shy album had scored them a top ten pop hit in America with their cover of the Ian Hunter classic "Once Bitten Twice Shy". After a second single, "Mista Bone", went to #27 on the rock radio chart during the time "Once Bitten" was a hit on mainstream stations, the group released the power-ballad "The Angel Song". Written by band guitarist Mark Kendall with producer Alan Niven, the song checked all the metal slow song buttons - the keyboard opening, the whispered opening verses, the naive girl coming to the city to get defiled, and the symboling "flying", whether it means dying or drugs are both, it never ends well...

"The Angel Song" became Great White's second and final top 40 pop hit in the U.S. in December of 1989. The song also climbed to #18 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart. In the UK, the more upbeat "Heart The Hunter" from the album was released at about that time, and spent a couple weeks on the chart, peaking at #91. Coasting into the next year, the blues/western-tinged "House Of Broken Love" from the set was released on both sides of the Atlantic, landing them another top ten hit on the rock radio chart in the U.S. (#7), and minor pop hit both places (#83 US, #44 UK, their biggest British hit).

Continuing their nautical theme, their next album, Hooked, came out in early 1991, and while the first single "Call It Rock N' Roll" was their highest-charting rock radio hit at #4, it stopped below the halfway mark on the pop Hot 100 in the US at #53, and was their final hit in Britain at #67. In 1994, they returned to the Mainstream Rock top ten at #9 with the richer "Sail Away" which sounded like an Alice In Chains record, and then again five years later with "Rollin' Stoned" (#8), that like its name recalled the Glimmer Twins' 80s-90s punch. Unable to keep up the momentum, and with Kendall's health issues and lead singer Jack Russell's problems with addiction, the band broke up for a bit.

Eventually Russell and Kendall would reunite, using the "Jack Russell's Great White" moniker to tour behind. In 2003, at the beginning of one of those shows in the Station club in suburban Rhode Island, a pyrotechnical error caused a tragic fire killing a hundred people including the band's guitarist at that time Ty Longley. The band's tour manager and the nightclub owners ended up serving time, and the band's reputation itself never recovered on a national level, though they still retain a fanbase even when there's two competing versions of the band - one with Russell and one with Kendall (the latter with the late Jani Lane of Warrant singing for a while).

(Click below to see the rest of the post)

Here's the band appearing on TV to promote the single...

Up tomorrow: An animated rabbit brings the swing back to the charts.

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