Shaw's "Girl's With Guns" goes long way beyond Styx
Nov. 25, 1984
By Joe Abernathy
Tommy Shaw's new "Girls With Guns" is a vibrant, well-done album that, if you listen carefully, will give a lot of insight into the soaring success enjoyed by Styx in the late 1970"s
Shaw, who performed with Styx from 1975 until 1982 (?) is touring behind the album now with his own West End Band. They Performed Saturday in Lawton, Okla.
Before making the decision to go single, Shaw penned songs such as "Crystal Ball," "Blue Collar Man," "Renegade," "Foolin Yourself," and "Too Much Time On My Hands." In fact, the only song by Styx that is not a Shaw composition and that anyone still remembers is "Lady." (OK he wasn't real accurate :))
Shaw said recently that his split with Styx was necessary because that band was "no longer growing" and the quality of "Girls With Guns" goes a long way toward validating that claim. Far from the techno-pop that characterizes that band's most recent turnings, Shaw's new album - some cuts of which had been offered to Styx, and rejected - is innovative rock and roll with a sharp edge of creativity.
The songs themselves offer a great deal of variety. The title track is a hard rock piece much in what will come to be seen as Shaw's basic style."Lonely School" is a rock ballad, and "Kiss Me Hello" is a meandering instument showcase.
Mike Stone was enlisted to produce the album. His previous work includes both platinum Asia albums and "Escape" and "Frontiers" by Journey.
"Girls With Guns" which pays tribute to modern, independent women, has been released as a video in the wake of a first failed version that Shaw now calls his "$100,000 home video." A video of "lonely School" will be released this week and in early 1985 West End Band will release a documentary produced for Music Television on the subject of superstars who leave their groups to start over on their own. A video single will be culled from live concert footage in that film. (Tommy Shaw Solo ???)