Friday, June 9, 2017

"Girls with Guns" by Tommy Shaw

Song#:  2065
Date:  09/29/1984
Debut:  76
Peak:  33
Weeks:  12
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  With Styx kaput, the two main singers/songwriters/rivals of the band set out on their own solo careers. Dennis DeYoung was first out of the gate with his debut single "Desert Moon," but a month later Shaw was hot on his heels releasing this single. The song would do very well at Rock getting to #6, but ended up peaking just short of the Pop Top 30. It would be Shaw's best solo effort at Pop. His debut album of the same name would sell fairly well getting to #50

ReduxReview:  DeYoung's and Shaw's musical styles were different and that ended up benefiting Styx when they were together. However, as the band aged their ideas and preferences became vastly different and that clash broke up the band. So when they released solo material, it wasn't at all surprising that DeYoung went for a more Pop sound while Shaw hooked into commercial Rock. Being a big Styx fan, I ran out and got both solo albums. I didn't much care for either album, but at the time I ended up listening to DeYoung's LP more because of "Desert Moon." These days I think Shaw's album is much more consistent and a better listen. This first single is just plain fun. That dorky synth riff sets the tone and Shaw completes it with an arena-ready chorus. Is it a song in the vein of the awesome ones Shaw wrote for Styx like "Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)," "Renegade," or "Fooling Yourself (Angry Young Man)?" No. But it's a solid tune and very non-Styx, so it worked quite well.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  According to Shaw, this song nearly did not make the album. Even though it was the title-track to the album, Shaw was unhappy with the tune when it was initially finished and decided to scrap it from the track listing. However, on the last day of recording, he revisited the track and made some adjustments, including writing some new lyrics. The second version seemed to pass muster with Shaw and it not only got on the album, but became his first solo single and a Top 40 hit.


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