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Great White – Elation (Album Review)

Great White – Elation
2012, Frontiers Records

1. (I’ve Got) Something For You … 4:31
2. Feelin’ So Much Better … 5:04
3. Love Train … 4:46
4. Heart Of A Man … 4:37
5. Hard To Say Goodbye … 5:19
6. Resolution … 5:18
7. Shotgun Willie’s … 5:07
8. Promise Land … 5:59
9. Lowdown … 5:56
10. Just For Tonight … 4:44
11. Love Is Enough … 6:05
12. Complicated … 4:16

Terry Ilous – Vocals
Mark Kendall – Guitar
Michael Lardie – Guitar, Keyboards
Scott Snyder – Bass
Audie Desbrow – Drums

Producer: Michael Lardie

There is one ingredient that’s missing from this album and it’s a very noticeable ingredient. Jack Russell, one of my favorite rock vocalists, is no longer a member of Great White. Well, he’s not a member of this particular version at least. Long story short, Russell now has a band called “Jack Russell’s Great White” while Great White has acquired the services of XYZ singer Terry Ilous.

It’s another L.A. Guns situation. We’ve got two bands using the same name, playing the same songs to the same niche audience and taking shots at each other in the press. Hopefully this won’t go on for too long because unlike the L.A. Guns situation, lawyers are involved and it would be nice for Russell and Great White to put this ugly incident behind them.

As far as I’m concerned this band that has just released Elation is the real Great White. I’d love and would prefer Jack back in the band, I have nothing against Russell, I’m actually looking forward to any new music his new group can put out but this is the deal real just like I think the Phil Lewis version of L.A. Guns is the only legit version of LAG. Time will tell which band is superior but I’ll be judging that based on new material only.

So, yeah, Russell is out, Ilous is in and the difference is quite noticeable. That’s nothing against Ilous though. Terry is a great singer and has done a fine job no matter what band he’s in. XYZ has some great tunes but I will admit it’s hard to accept Great White without hearing Jack Russell. There are times when he’s doing his best to sound like Russell but on other songs he comes across like Jeff Keith from Tesla. Ilous is good on Elation, he’s just no Jack Russell.

As for the music itself… It sounds like Great White to me. I know there were some complaints about Rising (which I liked a lot) being too laid back but I don’t think there should be too many complaints about Elation being soft. I felt Back to the Rhythm had some subtle modern moments but Elation gets back to basics with the band’s signature bluesy hard rock Led Zep-influenced sound. Yeah, there are some laid back moments, some slow burners, but that’s always been the Great White way. It’s not like they are playing acoustic rock.

In comparison to the last two albums, I place Elation slightly below Back to the Rhythm and on par with Rising, but this is coming from a guy who enjoyed both of those albums and doesn’t think Great White has ever released a bad record.

Sure, if Russell sang on this album it would’ve given Elation more impact but I think any Great White fan that truly listens to this album with an open mind will find it to be an enjoyable effort. Russell is so identifiable as the voice of Great White, I know having another singer in the band is a tough pill to swallow. This is not a classic, killer release but it is very good and it proves to me that the band is capable enough serve the Great White legacy well even without Jack Russell.

Highlights: “Feelin’ So Much Better”, “Love Train”, “Heart of A Man”, “Shotgun Willie’s”, “Promise Land”, “Love Is Enough”

Buy the album at

GREAT WHITE – Can’t Get There From Here

Great White – Can’t Get There From Here (1999, Portrait Records/Sony Music Entertainment)

Track Listing:
1. “Rollin’ Stoned” – 4:09
2. “Ain’t No Shame” – 4:19
3. “Silent Night” – 4:50
4. “Saint Lorraine” – 4:05
5. “In the Tradition” – 2:59
6. “Freedom Song” – 4:36
7. “Gone to the Dogs” – 2:42
8. “Wooden Jesus” – 4:24
9. “Sister Mary” – 4:55
10. “Loveless Age” – 5:23
11. “Psychedelic Hurricane” – 4:15
12. “Hey Mister” – 5:08

Jack Russell – Vocals
Mark Kendall – Guitar
Michael Lardie – Guitar
Sean McNabb – Bass
Audie Desbrow – Drums

Additional Backing Vocals: Jack Blades

Produced by: Jack Blades, Don Dokken (co-producing “Psychedelic Hurricane” only)

Great White is one of the more underrated bands from the hair era and this album proves it. Great White is a band that should’ve been bigger than they were during their commercial peak and they got a second crack at being that when John Kalodner was given a label by Columbia/Sony and signed them up along with Ratt. Kalodner (and Great White, I’m sure!) were looking to repeat Kalodner’s success with Aerosmith from the 80s, but despite a really strong record, it just didn’t work commercially. I do remember “Rollin’ Stoned” getting airplay on the local radio station though and to my surprise, I recently read it even went to #8 on the Billboard Rock charts at the time.

The album is a bit mellow and laidback with most of the album being mid-tempo. The sound is a bit more, dare I say, “mature”, and the band only really lets loose on “Gone to the Dogs”, but the whole album is still just good ol’ rock & roll. “Loveless Age” is classic Great White.

The album cover is one of my absolute favorites. It’s reminds me of Lisa Frank!

Highlights: “Rollin’ Stoned”, “Ain’t No Shame”, “Silent Night”, “In the Tradition”, “Loveless Age”

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