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Bay City Rollers “Breakout ’85” Reviewed

The very end of the Bay City Rollers as anything more than a nostalgia act, Breakout ’85 found Les McKeown back fronting the band and Alan Muir replacement Ian Mitchell and rhythm guitarist Pat McGlynn back in the band. Eric Faulkner took a back seat, though Woody had about the same place, and the band as a whole were so much less than the sum of all their parts. Released only in Japan and Australia, it did no business and left the band in disarray, something they never completely recovered from.

Conceptually, Les and Pat constructed white funk pop grooves for the majority of the tracks and Eric added some classic rockism here and there. Les wrote or co-wrote eight of the songs, Eric wrote one: conclusion, they had to bribe Les back in the fold by agreeing to sing songs that they are stupendously unsuitable for.

Ten songs, and not a winner in the lot. You can on listing in a deep hope that it can’t be all that bad. You start off with “Breakout” and say well a funky groove but no song, let’s see the next, and you get “Heartbreaker” and then “Groovy” and slowly it darns on you that there isn’t going to a breakthrough track at all, it is all bad grooves. It is all, terrible AOR pop funk and it is just completely frustrating, as though everything we refused to believe about the band is, in effect, true. It will be fifteen years before the greatest hits, sixteen till Rollerworld, thirty till the Christmas album. Breakout was deadly. Their worst album.

Grade: D

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