Winger often gets the brunt of the 80s rock vitriol, which is really unfair. Sure, the 80s could be ridiculous with the hair, wardrobe, and lyrics, but at least it was a fun and unique decade, which is something you really can’t say about the current state of music. Winger, in particular, is a really talented band that were lumped into the fluff category for hard rock. Also, it didn’t help that the geek character (Stuart) in Beavis and Butthead wore a Winger shirt, while Beavis and Butthead wore AC/DC and Metallica shirts. I commend Winger though, they even sell a Stuart-style Winger shirt on their website now, which I’m tempted to buy.
The debut album from Winger features a few of their biggest hits with Seventeen and Headed for a Heartbreak. The album is good, but my favorite Winger album would be their follow-up In the Heart of the Young. I own the Rocky Candy version of the debut which features a really good bonus track called Higher and Higher.
Fun trivia - You might notice the album cover features the word Sahara on the bottom right. The band originally wanted to call themselves Sahara, but another band had that name at the time. However, the album cover was never updated!
My faves: Madalaine, Hungry, Seventeen, Time to Surrender, Poison Angel (yeah!)
Whereas Ty Tabor’s Platypus spin-off side project Jughead went in a pop rock direction, its sibling The Jelly Jam remained on a more progressive path, continuing in–and in many ways expanding on–a course set by its predecessor. That’s not to say that progressive rock is the sole offering by the trio of Tabor on vocals and guitars, Dream Theater bassist John Myung, and drummer extraordinaire Rod Morgenstein of Dixie Dregs and Winger fame, as witnessed by today’s track from the band’s second release 2.
Both 2 and The Jelly Jam’s 2001 eponymous debut explore a sound comprised of solid grooves, wall-of-sound guitar production, and Beatles-influenced harmonies that pays homage to classic arena rock, psychedelic jam bands, and AOR pop radio, all without a single hint of the pretentiousness often found in supergroups with members of this caliber. Gone are the swirling organs and keyboard flourishes provided by Derek Sherinian in Platypus, a heavier–and in the case of 2, a darker–more modern guitar sound taking center stage.