Game Theory were only a few months old when they began recording their debut album, 1982's Blaze of Glory, in a makeshift studio in the home of singer, guitarist, songwriter, and all-around idea man Scott Miller. Blaze of Glory is in many respects the work of a band taking baby steps, but it's also a very ambitious work that represents Miller's desire to move on from his juvenilia with his previous band, Alternate Learning, and this LP sounds like a rough draft for what Miller would achieve on albums like Real Nighttime and The Big Shot Chronicles. Considering it was recorded in a semi-pro home studio, the production on Blaze of Glory is assertive, and the first flashes of Miller's infatuation with audio montage and fragmented songwriting can be found here, though they're used very sparingly, and while it's clear the group was trying to emulate certain specific studio techniques of the day, the low-budget processing on the drums and the very dated synth patches doubtless have a lot to do with why Miller became reluctant to let fans hear this material in its original form (he re-recorded "Bad Year at UCLA" and "Sleeping Through Heaven" for the 1990 Game Theory collection Tinker to Evers to Chance, and most tracks from this album were remixed and/or given fresh overdubs for the 1993 collection Distortion of Glory). The grander attempts at a big sound on "The Girls are Ready to Go" and "Stupid Heart" work only so well (and are a reminder of how much producer Mitch Easter brought to the later Game Theory albums), but more modest performances like "Mary Magdalene" and "It Gives Me Chills" are very effective indeed, and tunes like "Sleeping Through Heaven," "Something to Show," and "All I Want Is Everything" make it obvious that Miller was already a superb songwriter with a unique take on smart pop. Game Theory would grow by leaps and bounds by the time they released their next full-length album, 1985's Real Nighttime, but Blaze of Glory shows that Miller's creative vision was very much in place in 1982, even if he was still working out the mechanics of putting it on tape.
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AllMusic Review by Mark Deming