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Nuclear Cowboy

John Sykes

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Album Review

Best known as the guitarist for Thin Lizzy and Whitesnake (and to a lesser degree, Blue Murder), John Sykes has also managed to issue sporadic solo albums throughout the years. The early 21st century saw Sykes keep a pretty tight schedule (as he was steadily on the road with a reconstructed version of Thin Lizzy), and somehow still find the time to issue 2003's Nuclear Cowboy. Sykes will forever be linked to '80s metal (after all, it was his nimble fingers doing the fretwork on Whitesnake's "Still of the Night"), but he manages to embrace a modern hard rock production on this 2003 release. However, longtime fans need not worry — Nuclear Cowboy is unmistakably John Sykes, as evidenced by such tracks as the six-string showcase "We Will," the Def Leppard-esque title track, and the melodic metal of "I Wish It Would Rain" (which brings to mind Bon Jovi at times). The album also sees Sykes reunite with his one-time bandmate in Blue Murder, drummer Carmine Appice, as well as his bandmate in the 21st century Thin Lizzy, bassist Marco Mendoza. Undoubtedly one of the more underrated guitar shredders of the '80s, Sykes shows that his talents are still definitely intact throughout Nuclear Cowboy.

Customer Reviews

Nuclear Cowboy

The album is a must for Sykes fans.It isn't however his best work.The solos are buried in the mix. Most of the songs are well written.It is one of those albums you have to listen to for 4-5 times to get into.It's not up to the BLUE MURDER days(some of his best stuff) but it is a good album at a good price.I think most people that like heavy rock will like it.John Sykes is one of the greatest guitar players out there.His talent far exceeds most,sadly this album didn't capture it.Overall I do recommend this album as a good listen....Hope we get a new one from John .....He truly is one of the greatest players to ever pick up a guitar.

Great to hear this!!!

I have been a fan of John Sykes since he first picked up the guitar as one of the many hired guns to have been part of Whitesnake. It is unfortunate that both his and David Coverdale's greatest success was overshadowed by their personal rifts. Sykes is a master guitar player who has never received the accolades he truly deserves. From his days with Thin Lizzy, Tigers of Pan Tang, Whitesnake and Blue Murder to his solo efforts the guy can flat out play. Living in the states, we don't get to hear, or buy, much of his stuff. So glad that i-tunes picked up some of his catalogue. Nuclear Cowboy is a worthy purchase for any fan of his, or great guitar work. Much of it is underneath, but still great. Pick it up!

I know it's a ballad...

but "I Wish It Would Rain" is the best song on the disc. The rest of the disc is hit or miss as Sykes seeks to update his sound with uneven results. "Arc Angel" gives us a glimpse at what Blue Murder would probably sound like tin 2003 and is my favorite rocker on the CD. "We Will" is a pretty good anthem. You will have to listen to the rest of the songs yourself, because I'm not a big fan of the "modern" sound he is trying to achieve. The third star in my rating comes from my love of "I Wish It Would Rain."


Born: July 29, 1959 in Reading, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Best known for his stints with hard rock outfits Thin Lizzy and Whitesnake, guitarist John Sykes was born July 29, 1959 in Reading, England. He began playing music at 14, and joined the group Streetfighter in 1980; a stint with Badlands followed before Sykes joined the Tygers of Pan Tang, issuing the LP Spellbound in 1981. After completing work on the album Crazy Nights, he left the Tygers to join Thin Lizzy in time for the group's final studio LP, 1983's Thunder and Lightning; the following year,...
Full Bio
Nuclear Cowboy, John Sykes
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music, Metal
  • Released: Mar 25, 2003

Customer Ratings