Fantastic melodic rock debut
Justin Gaines | Northern Virginia | 07/12/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Virginia Wolf, which featured drummer Jason Bonham, son of the late Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham, made their debut in 1985 with this self-titled release. Like Bonham's previous band Airrace, Virginia Wolf played polished, radio-friendly AOR/melodic rock.
This album is like the perfect soundtrack to every 80's movie. The band totally mastered the use of great melodies, prominent keyboards, and smooth vocals courtesy of Chris Ousey. You get these great, dramatic, up-tempo keyboard rock anthems that are just so quintessentially 80's (hey look, a sax solo!). I swear, albums like this make me want big hair, a Miami Vice suit, and a keytar.
I know that Jason Bonham's presence is supposed to be the selling point of the Virginia Wolf albums (his name is printed right on the cover), but these albums are worth checking out on their own merits, and are among the decade's best melodic rock releases. Fans of Survivor, Journey, Foreigner et al should definitely find a lot to love in Virginia Wolf (and Airrace as well).
Virginia Wolf went on to release one more album (1987's Push) before disbanding. Jason Bonham found success with his new band Bonham, and Ousey went on to join Heartland.
NOTE: Wounded Bird reissued Virginia Wolf in 2003, the first time the album has been widely released on CD. Like all Wounded Bird reissues, the album has not been remastered and does not have any bonus material. For my part, I'm just glad to see this great album readily available once more.
Stuart M. Tysinger | Johnson City, TN | 09/12/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's hard to say if this or Push is the better CD. Push is a little more polished than this one. But don't let that fool you. Chris Ousey (Heartland) shows us why he is the best singer in AOR music and how great songs and musicianship set this apart from its competition. If you like Eric Martin (Mr. Big), Journey, Night Ranger, FM/UK or AOR music then you must have this CD as well as their 2nd CD Push. Thank you Wounded Bird for releasing these classics for the first time."