Sunday, December 14, 2014

"Now or Never" by Axe

Song#:  1109
Date:  07/24/1982
Debut:  90
Peak:  64
Weeks:  6
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  This Florida band recorded two albums for MCA in 1978 and 1980 that didn't produce any real results. They moved over to Atco and issued the LP "Offering." It got some attention thanks to this single that spent a few weeks on the pop chart. After tours supporting A-list acts like the Scorpions and Judas Priest, they put out their fourth album "Nemesis" in 1983. Unfortunately, the following year two members of the band were in a severe auto accident. The crash killed guitarist Michael Osborne and caused major injuries to lead vocalist Bobby Barth. The aftermath of the accident was too much for the band and they split. Barth would recover and join the band Blackfoot for a short period. He eventually reformed Axe and issued the album "V" in 1997. He would revert back to Blackfoot in 2004.

ReduxReview:  The band's LP is rooted in Survivor-ish rock, but this single seems like a distinct stab at making a radio-friendly hit. It almost worked. I think they had all the right elements. The opening almost sounds like something that later influenced Bon Jovi. In fact, most of it sounds like Bon Jovi-lite. I think it is a good tune but I'm not sure if the hook is strong enough to capture a pop listener's attention. 

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Before becoming Axe, most of the band were members of the soft rock-leaning group Babyface. Formed in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, the band's self-titled debut album featured two minor AC chart entries. "Never in My Life" reached #30 in 1976, and "Make Way Miami" got to #50 in 1977. It must have not been enough to keep their label deal as the band made a move to Florida, had a personnel change, beefed up their sound, and renamed themselves Axe.


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