Classic: The Angels – Dark Room (1980)

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This album is almost 40 years old!  Which is amazing in itself, because I still remember seeing Doc and the boys performing No Secrets on Countdown, and thinking that that was my new favourite song.  And then my Mum got me this album on cassette for my birthday and I remember thinking it was my favourite birthday present.

It’s a rare album in that it does not have a dud song on it.  And it needed to be that good because The Angels had jumped ship from Albert’s who released their first three albums and made them Australia’s most popular rock band.  But they wanted to crack the world, so they signed to CBS for a worldwide deal and went into four different studios (three in Sydney and one in LA) and self produced this beauty.

They, of course, didn’t crack the overseas market, but in certain parts of the world, as Angel City, they did became somewhat of a cult success.  Most notably covered by US band, Great White, who released a version of Face The Day from this album.

Face The Day is a song that almost sums one half of The Angels up perfectly.  It’s brooding and menacing and you have to listen to Doc’s lyrics carefully to truely get their meaning.  The musicianship is beyond reproach and Doc’s voice was that of an evil pied piper.

Poor Baby is the other side of the coin.  It’s a flat to the floor stomper. A pure head banger that makes me hit the repeat button whenever I hear it.

The Angels were not ones for ballads, but when they did them, they were tender, as demonstrated here on the gorgeous, The Moment.  The organ sitting in the background all the way through drives it just right.

The only issue I have with the album is that it only has nine songs on it.  But they are quality. EVERY. SINGLE. SONG.

People will cite Face To Face or Beyond Salvation as better Angels albums and I agree that they are exceptional platters.  But I challenge you to not Shout out – Poor Baby. Too Tough To Talk To Me along with Doc, regardless of time of day or your location and I’m sure you’ll agree with the abundant charms of this album.

Review by Gregg Heldon

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