banner ad
banner ad
banner ad

Shane’s Music Challenge: TRILOGY – 1985 – Life On Earth

| 17 January 2014

TRILOGY – 1985 – Life On Earth

Trilogy - Life On Earth cover

This album sounds like freedom to me – an explosion of colour in my brain, a brave new world that I entered illegally and would never turn away from.

I was still 16 when I first went to The City Hotel in Perth with Metal Billy (not that he had earnt this moniker by that stage), to see Trilogy playing 3 sets of classic rock (then known as ‘metal’) covers every Friday night, and we were there more Fridays than not over the next year or two, down the front of the sweaty dive (now the Belgian Beer Café, and retaining none of the rock cred it once had), banging our heads while the Marshall stacks roared.

Trilogy was singer/bassist Jon Ryder, ace shredmaster Jamie Page, and Ashley “Smashley” Cook pounding away in back (for the most part, though John Thompson is credited on the record), and those gigs were the first time I’d heard Gillan’s Running, White Faced City Boy; they turned me onto Rush – I’d never seen or heard anyone play bass pedals before, and Ryder was a bit of a whizz, and had a very Geddy Lee-like vocal and bass playing style. Page did a solo turn in Rainbow’s Man On The Silver Mountain, playing behind his head and often with his teeth – mind blowing stuff for a dumb, sheltered kid. Plus they served beer to us without hassling us too much for ID, even though we were obviously underage. Thanks for that!

I don’t recall us ever making any friends there, though we were always sociable, but we have met many people over the years who insist they were there at the same gigs, so paths must have crossed and been forgotten in the mists of the past three decades!

Slowly Trilogy started introducing original songs, and they were good – REALLY good! Take a pinch of early Rush, throw in some virtuoso guitar work and some great tunes and whammo – a classic power trio that, in my biased opinion, could have been huge had they not been from Perth.

Just as the album was about to be released, Page went to England to try his luck there, hooking up with Cozy Powell for a while (they recorded some unreleased demos, one of which songs ended up on a Brian May solo record, from memory) but nothing much came of it. He later surfaced in power metal band Black Steel and still plays around Perth nowadays. Lovely guy, too.

The album isn’t produced as brightly as I’d like, to be honest, and I confess I have hated the cover since the day I first saw it. Sorry! They probably got the best production they could afford, though, and how many world-worthy albums came out of Perth in 1985?

I rate this one massively, but here’s an interesting question: would rocker friends from around the world enjoy it as much as I do, or is it special to me because it remains synonymous with the first flush of freedom I felt from going out independently of family and exploring the world (and, in this case, a bar full of rockers, bikers, and others my Mum would have called ‘undesirables’!)?

Key tracks: Opener Fight Like The Devil lays down the ground rules: rock hard, don’t give up. It gets my head banging even now, 30 years later. Wastin’ Time predates Iron Maiden circa Seventh Son (1988), rockers Playin’ With Your Life and Rough Time, the eco-message-before-eco-was-a-term Life On Earth was even more ahead of it’s time, 100mph instrumental The Hammer nods the cap to Motorhead, and there’s a mega-power ballad in Holding You Close. The whole album was way ahead of it’s time, when I think about it now.


Category: Shane's Rock Challenge

About the Author ()

Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

Comments are closed.

banner ad
banner ad