April Wine - Power Play

April Wine – Power Play

90 / 100

After taking considerable time off after the ‘Nature Of The Beast’ tour, April Wine reconvened for ‘Power Play’.

Written by: gdmonline

ARTIST: April Wine
ALBUM: Power Play
LABEL: Aquarius, Capitol
SERIAL: AQR-533, ST-12218
YEAR: 1982
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List

LINEUP: Myles Goodwyn – vocals, guitars, keyboards * Gary Moffet – guitars, background vocals * Steve Lang – bass, background vocals * Brian Greenway – vocals, guitars * Jerry Mercer – drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Everything You Want You Got It * 02 Enough Is Enough * 03 If You See Kay * 04 What If We Fall In Love * 05 Waiting On A Miracle * 06 Doin’ It Right * 07 Ain’t Got Your Love * 08 Blood Money * 09 Tell Me Why * 10 Runners In The Night



Canadian band April Wine are one of the longest serving rock bands coming out of that fair country, and as we look at the timeline of their existence in 2009, the band have been in operation now for forty years! Let’s be fair, there have been a few inactive years among the forty, and depending who you talk to, there will be debate as to what was their most successful tenure during their career.

I’ll put my head on the block and say ‘late 70’s/early 80’s’, as the band were quite popular outside of their native Canada, including many gigs played in Europe and the UK. Albums such as ‘Harder.. Faster..’ (1979) and ‘Nature Of The Beast’ (1981) proved popular, and their reputation as a live band was assured. After taking considerable time off after the ‘Nature Of The Beast’ tour, April Wine reconvened for ‘Power Play’.

The album sold nearly as well as ‘..Beast’ but the album is nowhere near as fiery as their previous work, suggesting the band had found some sort of corporate convenience in their mid-life crisis. Despite that, it has its moments, the redeeming feature being Mike Stone’s production, but admittedly, he has done better.

The Songs

Side One is stacked with numerous highlights. ‘Anything You Want You Got It’ is an entertaining opener, and all appears OK in the AW universe. ‘Enough Is Enough’ is a fave tune of mine, catchy, commercial and reasonably straight forward. ‘If You See Kay’ isn’t the best track in their discography, compounded by silly lyrics, vocal choruses that don’t work and a cheesy arrangement.

Much better is the ballad ‘What If We Fall In Love’. Aah this is very good, and a track that I’ve played often over the years. ‘Waiting On A Miracle’ is a straight-ahead rocker, a bit thin sounding, but the vocal choruses and slide guitar work add some interest. The band pick up the pace for the good time rock ‘n roll of ‘Doin’ It Right’.

There’s not too much wrong with ‘Ain’t Got Your Love’, perhaps the heaviest track on the album, however ‘Blood Money’ is nothing special, so too ‘Tell Me Why’ is soft rock that deserves to be on any album other than this. ‘Runners In The Night’ is the finale, with a slight southern rock twinge to it, a la Atlanta Rhythm Section or 38 Special from their respective 70’s era.

In Summary

Along with many others, I bought the album back in the day, and gave it a lot of listening time. In hindsight, the album is a tale of two halves, one half very good, the other .. So so. The writing was on the wall for April Wine over the next two years, as 1984’s ‘Animal Grace’ showed the band on the slippery slide, while 1985’s ‘Walking Through Fire’ couldn’t even be considered a true AW album.

After putting April Wine into retirement in the late 80’s, Goodwyn reformed the band during the 90’s and released a couple of albums in the process. The band’s most recent album was 2006’s ‘Roughly Speaking’, but the band now reduced to a quartet in late 2009 is still a going concern. No doubt Myles Goodwyn may feel inclined to release new material in the future.

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