5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Shy Album,
Excess All Areas is a superb 80 AOR british rock album, this was probably Shy finest hour, every track is a winner. A must if you like your rock with a touch of class.
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing “”SHY”” about this album,
Simply the best Shy album to date, has lasted the test of time and is still the most played album by any band I like. Can’t fight the nights is a cracker and they even manage to make Devil Woman ( a Cliff Richard song ) their own. As expected the ballads from shy over all their albums are first class. “”Just love me”” will have the air guitar out by the time the solo starts and and all too soon the album is over with “”Telephone””.. A cracking album which will certainly get it money worth with the amount of times you play this over the years.
5.0 out of 5 stars
SHY turn on the class and release their best album. Every tune is an AOR gem. Tony Mill is a superb vocalist and the guitar and keyboard and drums complement each other excellently. Three singles came off this album. A must have for melodic rock fans.
It is Shy only hit album and deserved to go higher in the UK charts. However this album put SHY on the rock map.
Highlights include Talk to Me, Young Heart, and the bonus track Only You – Brilliant. Classy songs and song writing with an energised delivery.
The band 1987 album, Excess All Areas, was recorded in Holland with producer Neil Kernon. The album featured Shy biggest hit, Break Down The Walls
co-written with Don Dokken. The album reached Britain top 75, with Metal Hammer magazine being particularly appreciative, suggesting that Steve Harris could give Bon Jovi Richie Sambora a run for his money.
Produced by Neil Kernon Musicians: Tony Mills (Vo) Steve Harris (G) Paddy MaKenna (Key) Alan Kelly (Ds) Roy Stephen Davis (B).
Side-A: 1.Emergency 2.Can’t Fight The Night 3.Young Heart 4.Just Love Me 5.Break Down The Walls
Side-B: 1.Under Fire 2.Devil Woman 3.Talk To Me 4.When The Love Is Over 5.Telephone
5.0 out of 5 stars If you love 80s “”hair bands””, you will love this
filled with flashy guitar riffs and high range of singing that was so popular in the 80s–you know, the type of band that if you sang along with a song, your throat would hurt for days. Tons and tons of keyboards. A few very well written “”power ballads””. This is very old (I think I bought it around ’85-’86…when I was 15), I thought it was a great tape then, and I still think it is now.
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic AOR/Hard rock album,
I really love this album!!All songs are AOR classic and well-written. Neil Kernon did a fine job. Keyboards are nice and moving.
5.0 out of 5 stars Shy one of the most melodic rock bands on the planet!
I had this album in the mid/late 80 on tape, and played it to death in the car, these guy hailed from the midlands and they where in my opinion very talented! try this particular album for yourself especially if you like rock in the melodic sense with big vocals and some good guitar soloing with excellent keyboards and drums thrown in, and a voice that as far as I can remember sampled from a pinball machine prior to the guitar solo, on the track “”under fire”” try it you won’t be disappointed.
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing rock band from the 80s
This album is amazing. Shy are a great band. If you like 80s rock music then you will love this.
There are no prizes for knowing what Shy, Terraplane, Tobruk, Strangeways, Heavy Pettin’, Airrace, Lionheart, and Grand Prix all have in common.
Yes, the answer is that all were popular British-based melodic hard rock acts from the mid-to-late 1980s. The decade, crowned by the success of Def Leppard, Bon Jovi and Europe, was the golden era of AOR, and for a while every record company craved its own poodle-haired, tight-trousered cash cows. Shy made albums for three major labels, and for a while the band seemed in with a genuine shot at the big time, but it ended up as a pipedream.
Before adopting the name Shy, the band’s roots lay in the altogether heavier, twin-guitar metal of Trojan. But even in 1982 they sensed the wind of change, and set out to leave pub-metal behind, emphasising the contribution of classically trained keyboardist Paddy McKenna.
Coincidentally, on the same day that guitarist Steve Harris (no relation), bassist Mark Badrick and drummer Alan Kelly received an offer to make an album for Hull-based independent Ebony Records, a helium-voiced ball of energy called Tony Mills was sacked by his own band. Early photos confirm Mills’s penchant for Bowie-esque face paint, although after an “arse-slapping incident” in what transpired to be a Birmingham gay bar the make-up box was slammed shut and binned. In late 1983, Kerrang! hailed the band’s debut album Once Bitten… Twice Shy as ‘perhaps the greatest English pomp rock album of all time’.
However, an interview the band did with the magazine was a testy experience that certainly didn’t endear Shy to the rock press and to other bands.
“Being so raw and naïve, we had no real idea how to handle ourselves in those situations,” Harris explained. “We often got portrayed as arrogant, and a lot of that was down to Tony. Things are very black-and-white with him, and we were always extremely confident, which sometimes got misconstrued.”
Kung fu enthusiast Badrick had an unfortunate habit of breaking fingers and thumbs (his own, that is), so Shy poached Roy Davis from local rivals Trouble just as Shy were signing a deal with RCA Records.
Thinking big, the label brought in Tony Platt, who had worked alongside Mutt Lange on records by AC/DC and Foreigner, to produce Shy’s 1985 album Brave The Storm. Platt worked especially hard on the vocals, bringing in Uriah Heep’s Pete Goalby and John Sinclair to multi-track the choruses.
In hindsight perhaps he went a little too far, although Hold On (To Your Love), Keep The Fires Burning and the big ballad Reflections all helped swell the group’s growing fan base. Having already gigged with UFO, Magnum and Twisted Sister, Shy then landed high-profile supports with Bon Jovi, Meat Loaf and Gary Moore.
For their all-important third album, RCA packed Shy off to Los Angeles to soak up the Californian hard-rock radio vibe and write some songs. It turned out to be a masterstroke. As did bringing in producer Neil Kernon, a red-hot property after major works with Dokken and Queensrÿche. The resulting record, 1987’s Excess All Areas (the group’s only top 75 album in the UK) kicked off with the Michael Bolton/Duane Hitchings-penned Emergency, and also boasted top-quality Shy-written anthems like Can’t Fight The Nights, Telephone, Talk To Me and Break Down The Walls.
According to Mills, Don Dokken’s co-credit on the latter was misleading: “We wrote a song with Don called Last Chance, which Neil Kernon thought was bollocks,” he said. “So all that was kept was the intro riff – which, quite frankly, ripped off Queen’s Hammer To Fall. But Don’s name stayed on the track for the association it could bring us.”
Mention of Dokken elicited weary sighs from the Shy men. “RCA paid him £1,000 for a day’s work with us, but he didn’t turn up till 1pm, and although we were halfway through a song he walked out as the clock ticked to 6.01pm,” Mills said curtly.
Such was the quality of Excess All Areas that (just like FM’s Tough It Out, and Native Sons by Strangeways) it still seems inexplicable why its creators weren’t propelled to major stardom on the back of it.
“In any genre, there will only ever be a couple of winners,” Steve Harris reflected. “But it’s surprising how many people talk of that album in hushed tones and don’t actually own a copy – or only bought the reissue.”
“Europe’s The Final Countdown was all over the radio when we were in Holland [where Excess All Areas was recorded]” Davis remembered. “It was an exciting time because everyone kept saying: ‘Shy are next’. But we waited and waited and ‘next’ never happened.”
Part of the problem was that egotism still sullied Shy’s reputation. While acknowledging that too much booze was sometimes consumed, the band still insist that their caustic sense of humour was misinterpreted. And while British rock fans will stomach brashness from American stars, they’re less prepared to accept it from someone who lives just off the M6.
“It got so out of control that people apparently used to come to shows to listen out for things that Tony might say to the audience,” Harris said. “I felt sorry for the guy, especially as I personally have never thought of him as excessively arrogant.”
Another thing Shy were criticised for was using sampled backing vocals in their live shows. In that respect they were far from alone, but Davis mused: “I never understood why we got slaughtered for it and nobody else did.”
Perhaps Mills had the answer: “Once during a gig at the Marquee, some guy in the audience threw a biscuit at Paddy,” the vocalist smiled. “As we played Devil Woman, this biscuit bounced off Paddy’s nose, hit the keyboard that triggered the samples, and the disc skipped: ‘She’s just a… Break down the walls…’. It was absolutely superb! But everyone in the band can sing now.”
Behind the scenes there was also intense friction between Mills and Alan Kelly, and, as Harris reluctantly admitted, the group often chose to back Kelly. It eventually lead to the singer’s departure. “As the band’s other strong character, Alan almost became our spokesman,” Harris explained. “What made things even worse was that, after Tony moved away from Birmingham, Alan sometimes wrote lyrics. Although Alan contributed to some major Shy songs, Tony found it very hard to sing things by the drummer – the band member he had the least respect for.”
After Shy were dropped by RCA, their new label MCA sent them back to California to work with Roy Thomas Baker (whose illustrious résumé includes Queen, Foreigner and Ozzy Osbourne) on the next album, Misspent Youth. But the enthusiasm of both parties vanished in a puff of smoke during a fierce row during pre-production.
Mills: “We’d worked up arrangements and already played some of the songs live. But after Roy heard Burning Up he told us: ‘I’d like to alter the introduction.’ Alan Kelly stood up behind the kit and announced: ‘You’re not changing any of my songs, you fat cunt.’ So Roy went: ‘See you in a fortnight’, got in his Rolls and went home.”