Live in Germany

rating icon 5 / 10

Track listing:

01. Death Alley Driver
02. I Surrender
03. Power
04. Street of Dreams
05. Power of Love
06. Can't Let You Go
07. Jealous Lover
08. Your Love is Life
09. Blood Red Sky
10. Stone Cold
11. Can't Happen Here
12. Spotlight Kid
13. Burn

I've always found JOE LYNN TURNER to be a fantastic vocalist with a set of golden pipes rivaled by few, at least when it comes to singing from the soul. His work in RAINBOW on 1981's "Difficult to Cure", 1982's "Straight Between the Eyes", and 1983's "Bent out of Shape" defined the band's most commercially accessible era with a string of AOR hits. His performance on the two HUGHES TURNER PROJECT releases ("HTP" and "HTP 2") with Glenn Hughes has not received the same level of recognition, but is just about as impressive. As such, hearing Turner belt out the classics on "Live in Germany" isn't a chore. It is just little more than a RAINBOW greatest hits package with crowd noise.

Out of the 13 tracks on offer here, nine of them are from the aforementioned RAINBOW albums. If you loved those songs on the RAINBOW recordings, then your opinion probably will not change with these renditions, which stay true to the originals with near clinical precision. Turner's voice has held up well and he is equally adept in performing ballads like "Stone Cold" and "Street of Dreams" as he is rocking the house with "Power", "Death Alley Driver", "Spotlight Kid", and "Can't Happen Here". The tracks from his solo albums ("Power of Love", "Your Love is Life", and "Blood Red Sky") are nothing to sneeze at either. Finally, the riff to Coverdale-era DEEP PURPLE classic "Burn" always gets the blood boiling and Turner's treatment is worthy, even if it seems odd for him to include that track. Considering he has only sung on one DEEP PURPLE album (1990's "Slaves and Masters"),one wonders why he felt the need to include it at the expense of a HUGHES TURNER cut or something else from one of his solo albums.

The bottom line then is that if you are a big JOE LYNN TURNER fan, then you'll probably want to grab "Live in Germany". Otherwise, what you are essentially getting is a Turner-era RAINBOW live album (the four other cuts notwithstanding) without the Blackmore firepower, which seems rather pointless. Why not select a few RAINBOW classics and be done with it? It is not as though there is anything particularly special about the "live" aspect of this album. While the score may seem harsh given Turner's standing as one of the great front men and vocalists, it is indicative of the decision to release an album with this track listing, as opposed to any performance issues (there are none).

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