While they'll forever be known first and foremost as Tommy Thayer's original band (the guitarist who would later go on to don Ace Frehley's makeup and occupy the "spaceman" position in Kiss), for a spell in the mid-'80s it appeared as though Black 'N Blue just might follow Ratt and Mötley Crüe up the glam metal ladder. And while their releases later in the decade saw them move further from their original path (and sweetening their sound in hopes of crossover success), early on they were certainly a hard-rockin' band -- especially on the concert stage. The 2002 archival release Live in Detroit 1984 proves this, with renditions of such tracks as "Chains Around Heaven," "Autoblast," and "Hold on to 18" that arguably outshine and out-rock the original versions. Since their studio albums never truly captured the group's live energy properly, Live in Detroit 1984 is not a bad introduction to the band for the uninitiated, and will obviously appeal to longtime fans searching for a mega-decibel blast from the past.
AllMusic Review by Greg Prato