Apologies for the erratic release of this column, I have been rather busy with a wedding, a funeral, and the recording of a few tracks of my own music. Nevertheless they pile of review material continues apace and I have been sneaking "listening" sessions whenever possible. This week we have a mixed media group with DVDs and CDs.
Stryper: Live in Puerto Rico Greatest Hits
Despite their multi-platinum career Stryper, especially in their bumblebee striped 80s heyday, have come in for a lot of stick. Their naff outfits, on their sleeve Christianity and bible tossing didn't endear them to many, but it cannot be denied that they are a talented bunch who can write a cracking catchy tune when they want to... just check out "Honestly" or "Always there for You" if you need proof. Even "To Hell with Devil" has got enough balls to satisfy the average hard-rocker. It could be argued that the subtle Christian approach of Kings X or Trouble might have been better for cred. Never the less you can't argue with success. Oh yes, I have met them and they are thoroughly nice blokes all around.
This "greatest hits" gig was recorded in Puerto Rico in 2004 in front of a rather keen audience. There are fourteen tracks on here, thirteen of their own and "Winter Wonderland". What is odd is that their biggest hit is on here but only in less than perfect archival footage from 1989. That aside this is a pretty good package, bereft of liner notes though it might be, and a must for any Stryper fan. I thoroughly enjoyed the 72 minutes of material on here and am not ashamed to say it. Take it from this heretic, there is talent in between all those yellow and black stripes.
Damn Yankees: Uprising Live
Now this lot I have always adored since their debut CD. They combine talents of some of the best bands of their genres from the 80s in the form of Ted Nugent, Jack 'Night Ranger' Blades and Tommy 'Styx" Shaw. Damn Yankees are a slicker paired down version of all those bands and are truly a supergroup. Take out the pomp of it all and just go for blues-soaked heavy rock of the heartland. All their big hits are on here including "High Enough", "Where you Goin' Now" and "Coming of Age". As would expect with such an outing you get some stuff for their pasts as well. The band banter in between the tracks shows a bit into how this lot of giant talents manage to produce anything without killing each other. There is even a bit of insight into how they manage those close harmonies. This was originally released in '92 on VHS and the DVD version suffers from none of the bad conversion problems that happens so often when using archive material.