No Good Woman

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By 1978, most mainstream listeners considered Geordie to be so far past their sell-by date that it wasn't even sad anymore. Including Geordie themselves -- vocalist Brian Johnson had already quit, and the writing was on the wall for the remaining trio. But they held on for one final LP and, intriguingly, Johnson was back on board at least long enough to hand over five new songs -- which may or may not (depending upon which rumor you prefer) have been outtakes from his recent solo offerings. Either way, No Good Woman was scarcely the most eagerly awaited album of the year, and it's only with hindsight that we can see Geordie charging across that musical wasteland that preceded the emergence of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, keeping the Hard Rock flag flying for those who would later require it. But the obvious despair which drapes the proceedings scarcely shows up on vinyl. The songs are as powerful as Geordie had ever been and, if their eye for a good commercial singalong (à la "All Because of You" etc) has dimmed, still the title track, the triumphant "Rock 'N' Roll Fever" and the cynical, Moog-laden "Show Business" are no less powerful than ever the band was in the past. Add the blistering near-disco of "Sweet Little Rock'n'Roller," with the Johnson shriek turned up to stun, and No Good Woman emerges as one great album.

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