With all of the hoopla over Lita Ford’s new CD, Wicked Wonderland, I wanted to step back and check out her husband’s solo debut from 1987, Proud To Be Loud.
This CD features the talent of Michael Angelo Batio on guitar. If you have ever heard this guy play, then you know his skill falls somewhere between Vinnie Vincent and Yngwie Malmsteen. He is an impressive shredder, who can play at a ridiculous speed. On Proud To Be Loud sometimes his style of playing works and sometimes it doesn’t.
I would never consider Jim Gillette a great vocalist. He does have an impressive range, and can hit some notes that most singers would never try for. In fact, the only thing higher than the notes coming out of his mouth, is his hair. His lower range where most of his vocals fall is similar to, but not as good as Mark Slaughter. Overall, his voice takes some getting used to, and you will either love it, or hate it. Personally, I am not a fan, so I struggle with his vocals.
There are a couple songs on this CD that I did like, but not much more. On the song, “When the Clock Strikes 12” Gillette really belts the notes out. Michael Angelo Batio’s playing is top notch as well. The band slows things down somewhat for the song “Angel in White”. This isn’t what I would consider a power ballad, but probably the closest thing you will find to a hit on this CD.
If you grab the 2003 reissue of this CD, you will find 5 bonus tracks, some of which come from Gillette’s bands Nitro, and Organ Donor. The Organ Donor songs show Gillette singing in a lower tone that is very similar to his range on Lita Ford’s new CD. It is more of an alternative metal sound, which I could live without. For more information on that group, check out www.myspace.com/organdonorfresno. The bonus tracks don’t really add anything to the CD, but if you must have it, at least you get to check out a few more tunes.
Overall, I can’t recommend Proud to Be Loud. Batio’s playing would probably be the only true reason to grab this disc. As a whole, the majority of the songs on this disc make my head hurt.
This CD is now out of print once more, but you can find copies of it on Ebay from time to time. Tread at your own risk!
Rating: Out of 10
- When the Clock Strikes 12
- Head On
- Angel in White
- Flash of Lightning
- Proud To Be Loud
- Never Say Never
- Nitro – Guitar Solo
- Red Hot Rocket Ride
- Make Me Crazy
- Show Down
- Mirror – Mirror
- Nitro – Bitch on My Back
- Organ Donor
- D.Marks & J. Gillette – Out of Time
- Organ Donor – Six Feet Deep
- Slut – Dr. Monster