Over the Rainbow but not far away, freedom fighter finds wings for a solo flight.
Having parted company with a band he shot to fame with, Joe Lynn Turner was ready to strike on his own, and his solo debut “Rescue You” turned out to be a solid work which somehow fell through commercial cracks. Not that the singer didn’t promote it – he did, fiercely so, often pushing the album’s AOR aura to the hard rock limit on-stage. The result of the artist’s effort, as documented on this record, might come as a surprise to his today’s audiences who run the veteran to the verge of predictability.
Self-confident enough to play only two RAINBOW tracks – “Stone Cold” segueing into “Street Of Dreams” – given pride of place here and delivered with much gusto, Turner surprised punters back in the day, too, by opening his show with a still-unreleased number “I Found Love” which packs a punch even now demonstrating not only the band’s harmonies but also the listeners’ enthusiasm. Bobby Messano weaving guitar filigree around Chuck Burgi’s percussive attack and Al Greenwood adding a pomp layer to Barry Dunaway’s bass, there’s energy oozing out of each performance, most of them from the aforementioned LP, but Joe’s vocal edge on the desperate likes of “Rescue You” and “Losing You” is baring the inherent soulfulness of his songs. Yet just as easily the ensemble whip up the period’s ethereal, if sharp, arrangements when a different kind of emotion is required for “Young Hearts” or “Feel The Fire” where riffs complement a pop bounce, while “Get Tough” provides the instrumentalist with an opportunity to indulge in a funky wigout.
Turner’s sincerity, devoid of any mannerism not suited for a band leader, is the reason why such pieces as “Endlessly” remain riveting, and the rare “Good Girls Gone Bad” rocks with the same swagger three decades on down the line. But Joe seemed to foresee what was coming as he used to finish the concerts with a boisterous take on Buddy Miles’ “Them Changes”: unfortunately, after the album’s flop it would take JLT another ten years to shake off others’ groups shackles again, although, by then, his street of dreams turned into a death alley. This recording is a testament to better times and to the talent deserving much more than he gets.