Taking on the World

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Although Gun's 1989 debut, Taking on the World, wasn't a huge mega-smash in the United States, it did reasonably well and indicated that the Scottish outfit had a great deal of potential. With this CD, Gun's original lineup -- Mark Rankin on lead vocals, Guiliano Gizzi and Baby Stafford on guitar, Dante Gizzi on bass, and Scott Shields on drums -- unveiled an attractive alternative rock/arena rock sound that could be described as a blend of INXS and U2 (who came from Scotland's Celtic neighbor, Ireland). The U2 comparison is especially valid on "I Will Be Waiting," "Can't Get Any Lower," and "Shame on You," whereas the disc's mildly funky offerings -- which include "Girls in Love" and "Money (Everybody Loves Her)" -- bring to mind INXS. And in fact, INXS' Andrew Farriss ended up joining the band in the '90s (after Gun had become G.U.N.). But that isn't to say that Gun ever tried to emulate INXS, U2, or anyone else -- being influenced by artists isn't the same as trying to emulate them. Parliament/Funkadelic leader George Clinton, for example, was influenced by James Brown and Sly Stone, but he never tried to be a clone of either of them; Clinton, in fact, turned out to be just as distinctive and influential. And similarly, Gun was able to absorb different influences and still project an identity of their own. While comparisons are all well and good, Taking on the World demonstrated that Gun was an appealing, promising band in their own right.

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