The oldies circuit could certainly do with a band of White Spirit’s caliber delivering the musical goods once more, after 40 years.
Written by: gdmonline
ARTIST: White Spirit
ALBUM: Right Or Wrong
LABEL: Conquest Records
SERIAL: CNQ 011 CD
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
LINEUP: Mick Tucker – guitars * Malcolm Pearson – keyboards * Neil Murray – bass * Russell Gilbrook – drums * Jeff Scott Soto, Lee Small, Brian Howe, Steve Overland – lead vocals
TRACK LISTING: 01 Right Or Wrong * 02 Runaway * 03 The Dice Rolls On * 04 Lady Of The Night * 05 Gotta Get Out * 06 Better Watch Out * 07 Don’t Say No * 08 Wait A Little Longer * 09 Holy Water * 10 Rock And Roll (Is Good For You)
WEBLINKS: Site Link
Formed back in 1975 and from the Tyneside town of Hartlepool, White Spirit made their presence felt during the NWOBHM era, even if their sound was more keyboard and organ based, comparable to early 70’s acts like Deep Purple and Uriah Heep. They released one major label LP for MCA Records during 1980 (thanks to sn association with Neat Records), but never kicked on much to the regret of many. The band continued on regardless without much fanfare and released a full blown demo cassette in 1981 working right up to 1983 without any notable success.
Surprisingly, WS released a back catalogue of material during 2022 on Conquest Records, but unfortunately it’s not new stuff. They are in fact the remnants of their 2nd unreleased album sessions from around 1981. Much of the material here was also found on High Roller Records 2012 release ’21 Grams’ but in this instance nearly a decade later, they’ve been re-recorded and glossed up with a collection of proven perfomers hopping on for the ride, joining band members Mick Tucker and Malcolm Pearson in the backseat.
Gotta love the parping organs of the title track ‘Right Or Wrong’ which is given a harder modern rendering with Jeff Scott Soto’s vocal carrying the load. Things get glossy and sugar loaded for the pomp laden ‘Runaway’ with its GDM approved synth work and the late Brian Howe’s familiar voice (he was in the band prior to his American jaunt). Great track.
‘The Dice Rolls On’ features the voice of Lee Small, a name often found on GDM’s pages, a song which is a notch above the band’s original thanks to a modern spruce up. ‘Lady Of The Night’ showcases Howe once again, and its easy to see how this compares similarly to 90’s era Bad Company. Howe is also upfront for ‘Gotta Get Out’ but this one just sits down the pecking order for mine.
Soto is back on ‘Better Watch Out’, a tougher track probably closer to White Spirit’s 70’s origins. Lee Small joins in again on the galloping ‘Don’t Say No’, check out the teriffic keyboard solo from Pearson on this one. Love it. ‘Wait A Little Longer’ is very close to Uriah Heep‘s brand of rock.
A cover of Bad Company‘s ‘Holy Water’ is next, though surprisingly sung by Steve Overland and not Brian Howe. There is probably a good reason for this. The album concludes with the uptempo ‘Rock And Roll Is Good For You’, a kind of feelgood rocker not to be taken too seriously I’d suggest.
It’s hard to know what’s going on within the White Spirit camp at present, whether this is a one-off, or perhaps the beginning of something new and exciting. The oldies circuit could certainly do with a band of White Spirit’s caliber delivering the musical goods once more, and despite 40 years having passed, it’s never too late for a NWOBHM resurrection.
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