Category: Category 1

Some people may see it as a bold move to open your latest Live album with a track off the latest studio record when your most iconic album harks back to 1989, but Babylon A.D. is just one of those bands that has never put out a less than stellar record and ‘Saturday Night’ one of my favorites from 2017’s ‘Revelation Highway’ and the song I noted was sure to become a live favorite, more than holds its own.
Babylon A.D. roared back to live back in 2014 just a year before their 25th anniversary and hitting the live stage they proved to be a revelation and anyone who was lucky enough to catch them before their pre-covid guitarist shuffles and hiatus knew it! For me personally after catching up with Derek and Ron over the years finally seeing them live again after so long far surpassed any expectations I had. In 40 plus years of concert going I’d have them easily Top 10.

Over the last few pandemic-streaked years things have been quiet but the great news for fans is that Babylon A.D. is back and not just with a new live album but with plans to tour and writing underway. All of the original guys are back onboard too with the exception of Danny De La Rosa, who makes way for original guitarist John Mathews.

This recording Derek tells me came from two dates back in 2015 and the choice of tracks came down largely to the quality of the recordings. Of course, the wonderful debut makes up the majority and whilst as a fan of the album it’s a little disappointing to see so few tracks from the underrated follow up ‘Nothing’s Sacred’ we did hear plenty of those songs on 1999’s ‘Live in Your Face’ though two of my favorites from that record ‘Psychedelic Sex Reaction’ (which could have been a single – it got played every week at the club I went to back in the day) and ‘Slave Your Body’.

Of course, you can’t rate an album by its omissions so all I can say is that this sounds wonderful.

There’s always been an immediacy to ‘Hammer Swings Down’ and another of Revelation Highway’s best ‘One Million Miles’ follows. It’s a song awash with subtle guitar and full of melody (possibly even the most commercial song here) and sees a wonderful uplifting vocal from Derek. It’s the kind of song that would have been huge back in the day and it fits seamlessly between ‘Hammer’ and ‘Bang Go the Bells’ – two big guns that see Derek proving he’s one of the choice few vocalists of his era whose voice has increased in stature over the years.

I must admit I was surprised to hear ‘Sinking in the Sand’ from the criminally underrated ‘American Blitzkrieg’ but not because it’s not a great song, rather that is sounds completely comfortable here amongst what you might consider the big hitters.

Back in the day there were two songs on that classic debut album that elevated Babylon A.D. way above other bands of the era, both appear here and the first ‘Desperate’ is a ballad that takes some topping. To me it was one of the defining ballads of the era – it should have been a huge hit and on ‘Live Lightning’ it sounds huge. ‘Maryanne’ from the same record has rarely sounded better… MORE!

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