The Weather Prophets

Judges, Juries & Horsemen

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Following the failure of their major-label debut, Mayflower (on Creation head Alan McGee's WEA-sponsored Elevation) the Weather Prophets moved back to Creation and released Judges, Juries & Horsemen in 1988. The record was a slickly produced big rock album that never found an audience, being perhaps too pro for Creation partisans and too indie for mainstream rockers. In retrospect, the album is loaded with some of Pete Astor's best tunes (like the anthemic and hooky "Always the Light," the conversational ballad "Never Been as Good," the Western gunfighter ballad "Sleeping When the Sun Comes Up," and the Dylan-esque "Joe Schmo and the Eskimo"), some white-hot Neil Young-inspired guitar slinging, and a sense of drama and romance that was often missing in their contemporaries. Sure, there are some production choices that may be misguided (the cavernous drums, the cheap-sounding synthesizers) and there are a couple of songs that don't quite carry their weight (the overly long and unfocused "Ostrich Bed," the rock-by-the-numbers "Thursday Seems a Year Ago," the thudding "You Bring the Miracles"), but overall the album stands as the group's finest and one that is certainly worthy of rediscovery for fans of literate and unfailingly adult guitar pop.

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