Thursday, June 5, 2014

Rank and File - Long Gone Dead

Following their 1982 debut, Rank and File returned to the studio for their next work. The result was 1984's Long Gone Dead which is celebrating its thirtieth anniversary this month. It spent three weeks on the US Billboard Album chart and peaked at number 201.

Side one begins with the title track and second single. "Long Gone Dead" has a jangle-pop sound to it that takes the edge off the inevitable end that we all face.

The first single was "I'm an Old Old Man", a quick-step country-tinged tune about a wealthy old man on the prowl for a sweet young thing.

The B-side to the first single was "Sound of the Rain".

The tracks transition seamlessly from the previous to "Hot Wind", a second meteorological themed tune. The guitar hooks on this one are rather catchy.

The first side of the original vinyl album closes with "Tell Her I Love Her", a doe-eyed love song.

Side two starts with "Saddest Girl in the World", one about a girl who waits at home for her guy to call. The opening bars reminded me a 70's pop sound before it shifted to the new-wave/country vibe the band cultivated.

"Timeless Love" has an appropriate timeless throwback sound.

"John Brown" is a song about the darker chapter of America's history. Brown was an abolitionist who believed armed action was his way to overthrow those that supported slavery.

Next up is mid-tempo "Last Night I Dreamed".

The album closes with the pessimistic "It Don't Matter". It has a country-waltz rhythm to it.

Just like 1982's Sundown (click here for that review), I completely enjoyed Long Gone Dead on the very first listen. I suspect this one will be joining my digital music library very soon. You can sample both albums (and more) over on Spotify under the 2004 Rank and File double-album compilation The Slash Years.

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