With Anytime in 1981, Henry Paul had thankfully stepped back from the precipice of the abyss that idiot biker rock bands fall into. Members of his original group continued to leave, as now both Jim Fish and organist Barry Rapp were out, though Rapp appears here as a guest, as does Joe Lala, who was an unofficial member. Anytime is a wild amalgam of musical excess; while "Living Without Your Love" echoed both Loverboy and Duran Duran, "Hollywood Paradise" felt more like Sammy Hagar hanging out with Saxon. It does seem that the band found a balance of writing tough and accessible pop songs and keeping its harder rock edge in much the same way that .38 Special had done with "Hold on Loosely." Take a listen to the positive anthem "Keeping Our Love Alive" for an example. The title track is quite beautiful, with twin lead guitars ushering a midtempo soft rocker with gorgeous vocal harmonies and a great singalong chorus. "Outa My Mind" harks back to the band's debut album, where country, folk, and rock entwine in a pop song, as they do on "Crazy Eyes." "766-2623 (Romance)" is a minor-key boogie rocker with dumb words, a killer hook, and even finer harmonies. But nothing can compensate for the hard, heavy rock cover of Van Morrison's "Brown Eyed Girl." It would seem that anyone who loves the original would hate this with a passion, but its drunken charm — as in everyone singing with a cover band in a bar on Saturday night — is undeniable. In fact, it pretty much smokes. There are no questions or feelings of loss in this version; it's all wondrous magical memory and even the bass solo in the bridge becomes a funky stroll along the boulevard. It's funny, crass, and cool. The final two tracks on the set are classic Southern rockers: The hard-rocking "Rising Star (In the Southern Sky)" should have been a model for the previous album, as it screams with power chords abounding, and the final cut, "Distant Riders," is Molly Hatchet meets Ennio Morricone. Yeah, it's a version of pure cocaine truth in cowboy archetypes. This is a pretty great record despite its dated sound, and the Wounded Bird CD reissue has excellent sound.
Henry Paul Band
Henry was a key member of the Outlaws. He made 2 albums with this band, both are very good Southern rock'n roll albums from start to finish. If you like that kind of music, this album is a no brainer.
Southern Cookin' Tastes So Good!
Growing up with southern roots myself, (my mom was born in South Carolina), I've always been a rabid fan of southern rock. The Outlaws will always hold a special place in my heart and I think if I had to explain why it would have to be their unparalleled musical talent, beautiful vocal harmonies and down to earth songwriting. When I heard that Henry Paul had left the Outlaws, I was first surprised and then saddened. The songs he had contributed to the Outlaws were some of my favorites including "Knoxville Girl", "Girl From Ohio", "Song In The Breeze", and "Gunsmoke". I eagerly followed his "solo" career through his first two albums and was not disappointed. I was at college when "Anytime" was released and I immediately bought it with high expectations. I was not disappointed! If you love southern rock you will not be disappointed either! This is the kind of album that has great rockers throughout. I mean, I can remember just slapping it on my turntable at school and rockin' out to every single song! Sure, their might be some tunes that I like more than others, but all of them are good. Looking back, I think the most pleasant surprise on the album was the cover of the Van Morrison song "Brown Eyed Girl". At that point in my life, I didn't even know who Van Morrison was, and I just figured this was an original tune by Henry Paul. I'm not usually a great fan of cover songs but this one is great! It was much later that I heard the original by Van Morrison and I love that one too. The vocal harmonies on "Anytime" are just beautiful and the guitar work throughout the album just kicks butt! Yeah, this album brings back a lot of memories and all of them are good! So if you like southern rock, and especially the Outlaws, then you need to give this CD a listen. It's guaranteed not to leave you hungry! Southern fried music never tasted soooooooo good! Enjoy!