Blue Murder review by Blue Murder

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  • Released: Apr 25, 1989
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 7.8 (4 votes)
Blue Murder: Blue Murder

Sound — 10
Blue Murder was a supergroup made up of lead vocalist/guitarist John Sykes (Tygers Of Pan Tang, Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake), bassist Tony Franklin (The Firm), and drummer Carmine Appice (Vanilla Fudge, Rod Stewart, King Kobra). They made their debut in 1989 with their self-titled debut album. The album features the thick clean guitar Sykes is known for having and the heavy bass end of Tony Franklin with his fretless bass. With the band coming out right after John Sykes was let go from Whitesnake a lot of the songs have the sound and power the songs off Whitesnake's 1987 self-titled album had. Songs like: "Riot", "Sex Child", "Valley Of The Kings", "Blue Murder", and "Billy" deliver powerful riffs and killer guitar solos the album also features two ballads "Jelly Roll" and "Out Of Love". "Jelly Roll" starts with Sykes on acoustic and doesn't seem like a ballad at first then after the second chorus Sykes plugs in and the song becomes a powerful power ballad. When it comes to the drumming, if the names Carmine Appice or Vinny Appice are part of the picture you know what to expect and nothing can be said about Carmine that hasn't been said already. All it takes it the opening of the track "Blue Murder" and you know he is the real deal.

Lyrics — 10
No matter if its the albums with Tygers Of Pan Tang, Thin Lizzy, and Whitesnake one thing was clear with John Sykes that he is an absolute guitar god. One thing Sykes was hiding was that incredible singing voice he carries if you never heard this man sing the opening track "Riot" will have you 100% amazed. One thing Sykes has said about this album is that his vocals are so high on this album being that he sang back up for Whitesnake's David Coverdale just two years prior being in the band from 1984-1987 and that he struggled to do so. John can say what he wants about all that for someone that struggled recorded this vocally it is a masterpiece. The lyrics deal with everything from crime ("Riot", "Billy"), history ("Valley Of The Kings", "Ptolemy"), heartbreak ("Jelly Roll", "Out Of Love"), sex ("Sex Child"), and betrayal ("Black-Hearted Woman"). Sykes sings each song like its happening to him at that very moment giving the songs a 1st person point of view.

Overall Impression — 10
Out of all the albums Sykes has ever played on this is one the best out of all of them. From the opening track "Riot" to the closing track "Black-Hearted Woman" this album does not let up for a second. Even the ballads keep you begging for more. Without a doubt this one of my favorite albums and it's one I'll own till I die no matter how many times I'll have to buy it.

6 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Nice review! I like this album a lot also. John Sykes is an incredible guitar player and like the reviewer says, has an equally incredible singing voice. However, what I really love about this record is Carmine Appice. Even though I'm a guitar player, for me, the drumming really stands out. Oh, what coulda been if John Sykes wasn't such a dick...or so I heard.
    Is that why he had the falling out with Coverdale? I always thought Coverdale should call him every single day and kiss his ass for saving his career.
    Coverdale had a sinus infection and the vocals were delayed, apparently Sykes wanted to replace Coverdale with another vocalist so the album could be finished. Coverdale came back, did the vocals then fired Sykes. I don't blame him. I guess if that didn't happen then we wouldn't have had this great album. Listen to Blue Murder, Whitesnake's 1987 & Slip Of The Tongue and tell me the odd one out and why.
    It's insanely clear which one he isn't on. Don't get me wrong Steve Vai is a amazing guitarist but like Eddie Trunk has said Vai just didn't really work in Whitesnake. It's a great album and great songs just if someone else besides Vai played them it didn't even need to be Sykes he could've had another album as good and as big as the '87 album
    I love this CD, I still have the original I bought in 1989 and it's been well worn, but with MP3s it sits among my other CDs collecting dust. My favorite era of music is late 80s to early 90s and for me this is one of the best releases from that time.