The 1984 album ‘Out On Bail’ from Legs Diamond is another forgotten gem from one of hard rocks premier hard luck acts.
Written by: Dangerzone
ARTIST: Legs Diamond
ALBUM: Out On Bail
LABEL: Music For Nations
SERIAL: MFN 52
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Rick Sanford – vocals * Jim May – guitars * Mike Christie – bass * Jeff Poole – drums * Michael Prince – keyboards, guitars
TRACK LISTING: 01 Out On Bail * 02 Fugitive * 03 Walkaway * 04 Doomsday Flight * 05 Find It The Hard Way * 06 Nobody’s Fool * 07 Seems Like A Dream * 08 One Way Ticket
WEBLINKS: Site Link
Despite glowing reviews for all three late 70’s releases things never worked out for Legs Diamond, as their respective labels Mercury and Cream ignored the band, their poor promotion causing the band to come to a standstill following 1979’s ‘Firepower’. According to Michael Prince guitarist Roger Romeo was writing new wave influenced hard rock, which didn’t go down to well with the others. Romeo left and was replaced by Jim May in 1980.
After recording some demos, a lack of label interest ground Legs Diamond to a halt temporarily. Thanks to a DJ in San Antonio constantly plugging the band, Legs reformed in 1983 sans original bass player Michael Diamond, replaced by Mike Christie who took the place of Greg Chaisson, ever so briefly as the bassist. The comeback LP was on a par with the much heralded 70’s output, with an obviously updated 80’s sound, mainly in the keyboard department.
A hard as nails band for sure, the title track proves no steps had been lost, a gritty affair with no keyboards, harsh riff based hard rock in the manner expected from the band. ‘Fugitive’ might lead you to think this is a concept album, but only this time a fugitive from love of course. Starting out as mega AOR things toughen up as the chorus hits, the guitars chugging away to some atmospheric synth work.
It’s almost impossible to top the masterful AOR of ‘Walkaway’, as good as any from 1984, and in contrast ‘Doomsday Flight’ is 70’s based hard rock, with the organs flailing in true Jon Lord fashion. Shifting once again to AOR with ‘Find It Out The Hard Way’, the results are even more jaw dropping, with just the right amount of heaviness erasing any wimp tag.
This style is continued with ‘Nobody’s Fool’, although the opening riff to ‘Seems Like A Dream’ is the best moment of all, the real deal in US hard rock, surging pace and host to deadly harmonies in that killer hook. At seven minutes ‘One Way Ticket’ is somewhat epic, the keyboard stabs at the 2:38 mark enough to make the heart race!
A significant piece of music, followed up by ‘Land Of The Gun’ in 1986, another impressive outing which saw a further lineup change, this time Jonathan Valen on drums taking original Jeff Poole’s position, although Valen was ousted by Dusty Baker shortly after the albums release.
Since this period Legs Diamond have continued to exist in one form or another, 1990’s ‘Town Bad Girl’ worth investigating, featuring the return of Roger Romeo. Whether or not Legs Diamond ever complete their long awaited studio album is uncertain, but they can feel under appreciated again with ‘Out On Bail’, another forgotten gem from one of hard rocks premier hard luck acts.
Entire Album (Select Tracks)