Legs Diamond

Fire Power

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After failing to score so much as a modest hit with any of the songs off their first two albums for Mercury Records, Legs Diamond became free agents by the time 1978 rolled around, and, given the sorry state of American hard rock during what was then the height of the disco boom, they probably felt fortunate when the independent Cream label agreed to take them on. Unfortunately, their new backers couldn't have been more insensitive to the band's musical strengths, never mind their personal vision, and the only album spawned of the two parties' brief union -- 1979's Fire Power -- would duly suffer the consequences. Cutting to the chase, the problem arose from Cream, in their "infinite wisdom" forcing the band to record inadequate material supplied by outside songwriters, including everything from Boxer's forgettable 1976 album cut "More Than Meets the Eye" and the tepid MOR of "Help Wanted," to a really inappropriate cover of the Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" that simply failed on every artistic level. Luckily, Legs Diamond clung stubbornly to their hard-and-prog-rock guns for a handful of impressive originals, beginning with opening stunner "Underworld King" (which found them predicting '80s trends by weaving synthesizers in amongst some of their best ever guitar riffs); continuing with the darkly evocatively "Remember My Name," and the rip-roaring boogie rock of "Chicago" (which is reminiscent of Boston, funnily enough); and culminating on the slide guitar showcase "Midnight Lady," where singer Rick Sanford does his best Robert Plant squeal. Too bad that lazily executed late album creepers "Come with Me" and "Tragedy" wind up letting the side down, though, joining the aforementioned covers in dragging Fire Power down as a whole, and sinking Legs Diamond themselves into a half-decade career "break" they would never truly recover from.

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