Clicking around YouTube last night, I came across a Badlands video. What a great and grossly underrated band.
Guitarist Jake E. Lee formed Badlands in 1988, after leaving the Ozzy Osbourne band. Lee teamed up with singer Ray Gillen and drummer Eric Singer both of Black Sabbath. The line-up was set when bassist Greg Chaisson joined the group. Badlands earned some critical acclaim, but sales were never huge (according to Wikipedia, the album reached number 57 on the Billboard charts). The band made some music videos in support of their first effort, including support for the single "Winter's Call."
After a tour, Badlands entered the studio to record Voodoo Highway. It was during this time that Eric Singer was replaced by Jeff Martin. Unfortunately, this album didn't fare as well as the debut, and Badlands launched a quick fall into obscurity, thanks in part to weak support from Atlantic Records.
Singer Ray Gillen died of AIDS related complications at the end of 1993. Five years later, the remaining members of Badlands released Dusk.
Today, it's very hard to find the self-titled Badlands debut. The album is out of print, and eBay stores list the disc for upwards of 30 bucks! The price alone illustrates the musical chemistry the boys in Badlands enjoyed. Voodoo Highway and Dusk are also out of print, and also sell for a mint.
It's criminal that great albums go out of print but complete trash stays stocked on store shelves for perpetuity. Today, you can't even purchase a Bandlands single on iTunes.
I should have bought the debut disc back in 1989 when I had the chance. The lessons we learn.