Taking a break between stints with Rick Derringer and Meat Loaf, 1985 saw Alan Merrill release his first solo album in over a decade, drawing its contents from a string of sessions that dated back as far as 1977. Far from compromising the record's continuity, however, the resultant mélange only emphasized the man's sheer versatility -- in terms of hits, after all, Merrill was best known (at least in the western world; Japan was somewhat better educated) for a couple of smashes with the pop band Arrows, and Joan Jett's cover of his "I Love Rock N' Roll." Alan Merrill, however, had no difficulty in shifting away from such plateaux, to reveal the solid rock grounding that shines through some of his finest-ever compositions. To which, of course, can be added a stellar lineup of accompanying musicians, including Dallas Taylor, Alan Tarney, Trevor Spencer, Rick Derringer, whose distinctive guitar pins down the opening "Love Express," and a fabulous pairing of Steve Winwood and Mick Taylor (plus producer Jimmy Miller) on the closing "Always Another Train." But such star power is merely a curio alongside the electricity crackling through all ten cuts here, as Merrill positions himself firmly alongside such period greats as Bryan Adams and John Mellencamp, with an album that is more fun than either of them.
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AllMusic Review by Dave Thompson