A couple of spoonfuls of Rat Bat Blue, a dram and a half of Easy Action and voila, we have Red Fun, making for some bonafide bluesy Swedish melodic rock.
Written by: gdmonline
ARTIST: Red Fun
ALBUM: Red Fun
LABEL: BMG, Music For Nations
SERIAL: 74321 13775 2, CDMFN 173
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Sweden
LINEUP: Tobbe Moen – bass, backing vocals * Freddy von Gerber – drums, percussion, rhythm guitar, acoustic guitar, backing vocals, production * Kee Marcello – guitars, production * Tomas Person – lead and backing vocals, rhythm guitar, acoustic guitar
Additional Musicians: Mats Hedström – keyboards, rhythm guitar, backing vocals * Tommy Lydell – hammond organ, piano * Jan Johansen – percussion, backing vocals * Lena Wikström, Lotta Lundberg – backing vocals
TRACK LISTING: 01 My Baby’s Coming Back * 02 Dr. Love * 03 Could Have Been Love * 04 Rock This Town * 05 Midnight Stranger * 06 My Babe * 07 Bad Reputation * 08 Don’t Close Your Eyes * 09 Party * 10 Red Hot ‘N’ Ready
A couple of spoonfuls of Rat Bat Blue, a dram and a half of Easy Action and voila! We have Red Fun. I did actually own this CD at the time, mainly due to the Kee Marcello connection to Easy Action and Europe, even if 1993 wasn’t a great year overall. It’s Swedish, credentialled, but how did it fare during the grunge addled era of 1993?
Reacquainted with this album years later, it reminded me of how indifferent I felt toward it at the time. It’s an overly bluesy album that rocks occasionally, more an organic record than a synth driven Swedish epic. Think of bands such as Dream Police, Great King Rat, It’s Alive, D*A*D and Electric Boys and you soon get the picture.
The grittiness is apparent from the get-go with the very blues-laden ‘My Baby’s Coming Back’ which takes a while to get going. ‘Dr. Love’ is a fun-filled romp with shout out choruses and a killer solo from Marcello. ‘Could Have Been Love’ sounds like a slow burn bluesy version that
Easy Action might have attempted back in 1986. ‘Rock This Town’ sees the electrics kick into high gear but still the prevailing style is heavy-handed blues/rock. ‘Midnight Stranger’ switches to a boisterous melodic rocker, a party anthem with more hangers-on in the studio for backing vocals and chantalong choruses.
‘My Babe’ is the first ballad that we encounter, while ‘Bad Reputation’ crosses into cowpoke territory with mixed results. ‘Don’t Close Your Eyes’ features an organ backdrop, the song an improvement on the prior two. As you can assume from the song title, ‘Party’ has that vibe which could be late 80’s era Aerosmith in a different set of clothes. Thankfully, the band sign off with the coarse ‘Red Hot ‘N’ Ready’, ensuring they finish up on the right side of the ledger even if the album itself does not.
‘Red Fun’ is an unfortunate byproduct of that early 90’s malaise where former 80’s heroes thought they had to conform to some misguided industry rule to play this type of music. If only they knew then what they know now – things could’ve been so different. Overall, a good but not great album.