My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

Album Review – The Desert Rose Band – ‘Life Goes On’

220px-TheDesertRoseBandLifeGoesOn1993The Desert Rose Band’s final album Life Goes On hit stores in September 1993. Amidst lineup changes and other band-related discord it’s a miracle the CD even came out all.

Life Goes On spun two singles. Chris Hillman and Steve Hill wrote the lead “What About Love,” which was the only one to chart, peaking at #71. The track was typical fare for 1993 country radio complete with fiddle, drums, and ample steel. It’s actually not a bad song at all and likely would’ve charted higher had the band been a more solid unit with full support from their record label. Another excellent tune, “Night After Night” came next and failed to chart. I like this one, too, because of the beautiful steel guitar and drums in the production.

Compared to the band’s earlier work, Life Goes On is a very solid album. Gone are the horrid synth-heavy 80s arraignments and in their place are gorgeous pure country production choices that were nice to listen to and mostly in line with what was popular at the time.

Hillman had a hand in writing nine of the album’s ten tracks. Besides the singles he co-wrote, along with R. Alan Thornhill, the excellent mid-tempo “Walk On By,” mid-tempo shuffle “Love’s Refugees,” drum and mandolin-centric “That’s Not The Way,” mid-tempo steel heavy “Till It’s Over,” “A Little Rain,” pure blistering bluegrass, and steel-centric ballad “Throw Me A Lifeline.” Every one of the tracks, mostly co-written with Steve Hill, are excellent and among the strongest music The Desert Rose Band ever released. The only track Hillman didn’t have a hand in writing is Herb Petersen’s “Hold On,” an acoustic guitar led mid-tempo shuffle that’s another wonderful track.

My familiarity with The Desert Rose Band prior to our Chris Hillman spotlight was “One Step Forward” and “I Still Believe In You,” so I knew their music to have contained an 80s sheen, especially on the latter ballad. So it’s a very welcomed surprise that they made one decidedly country sounding album in their career although heartbreaking to know it came at the end, when radio and the fans had moved on to bigger and better during the 90s country boom. Life Goes On may just be their strongest album together and deserved to find a wider audience. It’s a shame the record label didn’t promote it better as it could’ve been a much, much bigger album if it was just given the change. I highly, highly recommend seeking out a copy if you haven’t done so already. You won’t regret it.

Grade: A+

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2 responses to “Album Review – The Desert Rose Band – ‘Life Goes On’

  1. Occasional Hope April 21, 2014 at 11:39 am

    I believe it never was formally released in the US, only in Europe.

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