90869-1 Live Free Or Die
Produced by Steve Brown
Released on 1988
US CHART POSITION #174
Find it at GEMM
90869-1 cover
[high resolution scan]
 

T rust me, after 10 minutes of this you’ll choose death willingly, happily. Balaam and the Angel (named after perhaps the paintings or the biblical passage that inspired them) started out as a goth/metal band (presumably not a very good one), but by Live Free Or Die they were making product pure and simple. This is what hair metal would sound like without the great guitar licks or over-the-top vocals or sexual innuendo, which pretty much leaves you with just the hair (and Balaam and the Angel do have a lot of that). It doesn’t even rock as hard as the New Hampshire license plate it’s named after (America’s Dairyland – that’s what they should have called it). Their second full-length album is full of filler: “Big City Fun Time Girl” (note: they’re not actually German, just really lyrically challenged), “Long Time Loving You, “On The Run.” The lyrics are pretty terrible and sometimes unintentionally creepy; e.g., “Hey young girl take a look at me now/I’m a long time loving you” (prompting the questions: How young and How long?). Cult-producer Steve Brown doesn’t do the band any favors; the arrangements are stripped down to basic guitar/bass/drums/vocals, which would be fine if there were some shredding or shrieking to fill the gaps. There isn’t. I’m not even sure there’s a single guitar solo on here. This is the tinseltown rebellion that Frank Zappa warned you about, and you’d do best just to move on and not make ear contact. For reasons I can’t begin to fathom (excepting maybe man’s bottomless capacity for cruelty), a digitally remastered expanded reissue of Live Free Or Die was released in 2008.

TRACK LISTING

  1. I'LL SHOW YOU SOMETHING SPECIAL    (Balaam and the Angel/Steve Brown)    4:26
  2. I LOVE THE THINGS YOU DO TO ME    (Balaam and the Angel/Steve Brown)    4:07
  3. BIG CITY FUN TIME GIRL    (Balaam and the Angel)    3:37
  4. ON THE RUN    (Balaam and the Angel/Steve Brown)    3:05
  5. IT GOES ON    (Balaam and the Angel/Steve Brown)    4:35
  6. LIVE FREE OR DIE    (Balaam and the Angel)    4:02
  7. LONG TIME LOVING YOU    (Balaam and the Angel)    3:54
  8. WOULD I DIE FOR YOU    (Balaam and the Angel)    4:45
  9. I WON'T BE AFRAID    (Balaam and the Angel)    4:17
  10. RUNNING OUT OF TIME    (Balaam and the Angel)    4:03

    CD reissue bonus tracks
  11. YOU TOOK MY SOUL
  12. I FEEL LOVE
  13. LET IT HAPPEN
  14. YOU'RE IN THE WAY OF MY DREAMS
  15. AS TEARS GO BY
  16. LIVE FREE OR DIE (TEXAS RED BEARD MIX)
  17. EAGLE

CREDITS

IAN McKEAN -- guitar
DES MORRIS -- drums, percussion
JIM WARD MORRIS -- guitar
MARK MORRIS -- bass, vocals
Steve Brown -- mixing
Mike Shipley -- remixing
Sheila Rock -- photos
KB4DKB -- sleeve

return to BALAAM AN THE ANGEL discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK 1988 Virgin LP V-2476 lyric sleeve
US 1988 Virgin LP/CD 90869-1/2 lyric sleeve
CAN 1988 Virgin LP VL-2476 lyric sleeve
GER 1988 Virgin LP 208 713-630 lyric sleeve
UK 2008 Cherry Red CDX CDMGOTH-34 digital remaster w. bonus tracks

 

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