Here's a selection of reviews (mostly of Tangerine) collected from various websites / magazines.
March 2016: scan of review for 9) Kerrang! added (Thanks to Sam)
In no particular order they are from :
|1 Q Magazine
|3 Dynamite Metal News
|4 The Harder Beat
|5 The Daily Vault
|6 AOR Hard Rock Hot Spot
|7 Hard Roxx
|8 Female Drummer Newsletter
|10 Metal Hammer
|12 Dave's Music Reviews
|13 Russ's CD Reviews
|14 Ear Candy
|15 The Final Cut
|16 In Your Ear
|17 Authority On Rock
|19 Live Review 98
Key : Tangerine Rev It Up Vixen Full Throttle Live
1 Vixen - Tangerine
"Late 80's big-haired, fairly foxy ladies return to surprisingly successful effect"
Pigeonholed as the female answer to the poodle rockers in their brief heyday, Vixen's playing ability was nonetheless never in doubt and that tradition continues with this partial reunion. Founder members Roxy Petrucci (drums) and Janet Gardner (vocals) are joined by Roxy's sister Maxine (bass) and former Poison Dolly's guitarist Gina Stile. Tangerine showcases with a set of well-crafted, commercial rock songs, particularly the title track, Never Say Never and Air Balloon, but ironically, Vixen's straight-down-the-line, no-gimmicks delivery make them sound quaintly ladylike beside their feistier younger sisters in today's metal climate. However, the concluding instrumental, Swatting Flies in Wanker County, should feature on lists of Best Song Titles for years to come. ***
2 Vixen - Tangerine (CMC)
Pop metal has been undergoing a mild resurgence lately, what with Dokken, Warrant, and Slaughter unleashing new platters recently. And now you can add female rockers Vixen to the list of the pop metal revival, a genre normally associated with testosterone-laden males. But the talented trio isn't just another one of those token female rock bands where the members look pretty and can barely play a note, beguiling unwary rock critics. Singer Janet Gardner, guitarist Gina Stile, and drummer Roxy Petrucci (they have a sit-in bass player) perform well and rock hard, and they know how to play with restraint when needed. (Although I must confess to having a crush on the ever-lovely Petrucci. Does anyone remember her leather-clad days with Madame X in the early '80s? Anyone remember the video to "High In High School"? That long, dark mane sigh )
Oh, right! The review. Tangerine should turn the heads of long-time Vixen fans as well as many rock listeners with its blend of '60s blues-rock, '80s pop metal, and '90s grunge aesthetics. Like current labelmates Dokken, the ladies in Vixen have opted for a drier alternative sound, but the trio manages to stay true to some of their roots while also flavoring the songs with other styles. And they do it well, unlike the embarrassing '60s-retro pretensions of the recent Slaughter record.
The best tunes on this latest opus retain those lofty '80s choruses with their shining vocal harmonies (I'm a sucker for those) while contrasting them with modern grunge verses, as is the case with "Never Say Never" and "Barely Breathin'." Other songs have their perks: the snarling "Tangerine" chronicles the disintegration of a high-school socialite into an adult loser, the hard-edged "Shut Up" is a cool rant against media stupidity (some of you probably saw that televised suicide on MSNBC recently?), while the upbeat "Air Balloon" reminds me of -- egads! -- Sheryl Crow. While the latter tune doesn't quite float my boat, it gets points for diversity -- Vixen fans may either find this quite broad-minded or be appalled. To top it all off, the untitled bonus track offers an agile composition ripe with speedy blues riffing from Ms. Stile and jazzy clarinet-playing from Ms. Petrucci. I never expected that.
Ultimately, certain songs stand out while others slip into the background of Tangerine, but it has moments of hard rock splendor. It's smart that the band didn't opt to rehash their past like many bands have done. That said, I kind of wish they'd thrown a couple more '80s-ish numbers into the mix, but then I'd probably say it was too retro, right? At least you can expect to listen to a good range of material on here. Just don't expect to hear "Edge Of A Broken Heart."
-- Bryan Reesman
3 Vixen "Tangerine" 1998 CMC International Records/BMG (49:50)
(1) Page (2) Tangerine (3) Never Say Never (4) Peace (5) Barely Breathin' (6) Bleed (7) Stay (8) Shut Up (9) Machine (10) Air Balloon (11) Can't Control Myself
Grade/rating: B ... Here's a pleasant surprise. Most of you probably remember the ladies from Vixen, the most well-known all-girl glam band from the '80s. With their new release on CMC International, the band pumps out eleven formulaic (yet enjoyable) hardrock tunes. Taking a simplistic, unpretentious approach, Vixen delivers with an album of songs ranging from heavy rockers to those oh-so-touching ballads. Granted, it does sound like a lot of other stuff out there, but I can't deny that it's entertaining. If this came out five years ago, MTV would have jumped all over it calling it "alternative" and plastering it everywhere. More highly educated buyers will recognize this disc as lazily engaging hard rock, pure and simple. It doesn't have the flashy feel of glam metal, but it will probably put a smile on your face.
4 Vixen - Tangerine, CMC Records
CMC Records is clearly the best at picking veteran bands that still have so much left to give. With their current slew of spectacular releases by Judas Priest, UFO, Saxon, and Deep Purple, Vixen's spankin' new release "Tangerine" is a perfect fit. Ridiculously more poignant than the band's previous 2 releases nearly a decade ago, the music is glaring proof that the band's talent is second to none. The music on "Tangerine" proves their success first time around was no fluke. The harmony vocals are just gorgeous. There's something about a harmony vocal that, when done correctly, is just plain addictive. In an industry that's becoming more and more receptive to female bands, there's no reason Vixen shouldn't rake in stacks of filthy money with "Tangerine." God knows they deserve it. Welcome back, ladies.
***** (Dale Lammers)
5 Vixen - Tangerine
Review by: Paul Hanson
I got a hold of this disc more because I was curious what this band would sound like in 1998. I think their last album was Rev It Up but from what I remember of it, it wasn't very memorable. They had a mildly successful radio hit with "Edge Of A Broken Heart" from their first self-titled release.
Selective amnesia has worked wonders for other bands and Vixen might be another wonder. The press kit that came with this disc bounces over the hairspray, cliche, and music from their earlier releases to portray this as a new band. After listening to Tangerine, I'd agree the band has gone in a new and better direction. Vixen have reinvented themselves and, unlike Dokken and Metallica, their redirection is successful.
Tangerine finds the band totally reworking their sound into a more 90s sound. For example, track one "Page" sounds like Alice in Chains. By second track "Tangerine," all memories of leather and hairspray are gone. There's a bite to this new sound that is catchy, heavy and radio-friendly all at once.
This disc satisfies on all levels. "Never Say Never" is destined to be a radio smash with its unbelievably catchy chorus:
"You said you'd never say never
I know you remember
Now your(sic) saying never
And I'm lost forever."
New guitarist Gina Stile shines the brightest with a scorching riff that softens its way to a calm melodic outro.
First single "Shut Up" might have been my second choice (first being "Never Say Never") but rocks nonetheless. The disc ends with a 2 minute scorching instrumental. If you had any doubts about the band's musical ability to this point, this untitled track erases all doubts.
Your mission, which you should accept with a smile, is to locate this disc. The 1998 repackaged Vixen will rock your world.
Assuming, of course, that they don't abandon this newfound style, I can't wait to get their next album. You'll see it here when it comes out.
6 VIXEN / TANGERINE
EAGLE ROCK UK EAG 069-2 OVERALL: 79%
Page Tangerine Never Say Never Peace Barely Breathin' Bleed Stay
Shut Up Machine Air Balloon Can't Control Myself Instrumental
Vixen are back! While not in their original form, line up or musically, we still have a strong record on our hands.
The girls now comprise of Janet Gardner on vocals, Gina Stile on guitars and Roxy Petrucci on drums. Mike Pisculli handles the studio bass duties.
The band have thrown off their anthem and multi layered good girl songs approach for a more 90's hard and raw feel. They haven't totally sold out to the alternative crowd, but this is certainly not going to appeal to the light and fluffy crowd.
This is a tough and gritty record that sounds loud and sounds raw. Fortunately the songs are still great. They may have taken a new path, but they still remember how to write a good tune.
All the songs have some sort of catch and a couple have a real 80's style chorus hidden underneath 5 layers of distorted guitars!
Page opens and is the most alternative number of all. Not bad, but not my favourite.
Tangerine has the same raw and 90's approach but offers a great hook for a chorus. Never Say Never is the type of track that shows these gals still have a lot to offer. Sonically as heavy as hell, the chorus is like a melodic oasis that just rocks my world. A great anthem!
Peace slows things down to start with, but has a heavier chorus that again hides their melodic roots behind some loud guitars and modern arrangements.
Barely Breathin' is as heavy as it sounds. A rough vocal with a few effects and a very 90's track. Not a favourite.
Bleed is an angst ridden number with a great chorus and some good vocals. A little more restrained overall.
Stay is a jazzier number and more laid back with some nice harmony vocals. Different.
Shut Up is big 90's rock with all the distortion of Nirvana. Not bad though.
Machine is similar but has a few more melodies and a catchy chorus. good vocals too.
Air Balloon again flirts with a jazzier/bluesier style. Breaks the album up Ok and builds to a cool harmony chorus.
Can't Control Myself ends the album with a track full of time changes and a little more progressive in nature. Sort of alternative, but with a Stevie Nicks style vocal. Might be a grower this one!
Track 12 is a hidden instrumental groover and just OK.
So after several years break, that is the new Vixen album. I think the girls have successfully re-invented themselves and recorded a very contemporary album that sees them break new ground and should also see them find new fans.
The only disappointment is that there may not be enough here to maintain the old fans.
Listen with open ears and approach with caution if you are looking for something like their debut.
PRODUCTION: 78% SONGS: 82% VIBE: 74% ATTITUDE: 85%
7 VIXEN - Tangerine
Even the name conjures up hedonistic images of the insouciant eighties, where females weren't accepted into the male dominated world of rock unless they were wearing skin tight leather or driving Harleys. Janet Gardner and Roxy Petrucci, the two surviving members, always looked the part (voluntarily or not!)
And although rock music was never going to be a suitable battleground to wage the feminism war, today's Vixen look cool, self-assured and in command. We're competing on equal terms now, their business like pose tells us. The music too is very much 1998. Harder, darker, denser, Vixen's third album, eight years after 'Rev It Up', is a much heavier affair.
The opening track 'Page' smells like a Nirvana ripoff, and was not a good way to begin the album. However, it improves rapidly from there, although the thick, heavyset melodies take some time to break free of the production's gravitational pull.
Among the first to escape are 'Shut Up', thanks to the intricately textured guitars in a King's X vein, and the title track 'Tangerine', where an aggressive melody scraps and scrambles its way determinedly through a sludgy, bass heavy riff and hammering, coal black beats.
'Air Balloon' and to an extent 'Bleed' are glances in the rear view mirror, recalling roads travelled on the first two albums, now bent and twisted in the shape of contemporary rock. Iron cored riffs clank ominously, and drums thunder menacingly on 'I Give You Peace' and 'Machine', underpinning sturdy, brooding tunes which are intense, and closely focused, in the manner of Soundgarden and Our Lady Peace.
Catching the ear elsewhere are 'Barely Breathin', filled with pulsating, sawtoothed guitars and caustic vocals. And the lurching riff of album closer 'Can't Control Myself', matched by the sinewy melody and off kilter rhythms.
As reinventions go, this one's impressive, although the timewarped fan may be alienated by the contemporising of the Vixen sound. Listeners new to the band may be surprised that these "old girls" can still cut it.
8 REV IT UP-Vixen.
Released 1990. Members: Roxy Petrucci-Drums; Share Pedersen-bass; Jan Kuehnemund-Guitar; Janet Gardner-Lead vocals.
In the 70's Heart was considered to be heavy metal (even though some say they've wimped out, which is not true.) I guess now the proper term is now "hard rock." In Vixen's case they had a touch of classic metal and serious hard rock. When it came to that, metal in the 80s at least this band were 'real' women (by this I mean those guy hair 80s bands who "wanted to look like women" only because everyone looked the same, put Vixen in this horrible position of being mistaken for men because they were loud and because of their long hair). There is no way this album doesn't constitute a good rock album in every sense of the word. From the power of "Bad Reputation" to the action of the great "Streets of Paradise." Their first album "Vixen" was light and hard with songs written by "other people," but nothing could compare to this great second and unfortunately album. The genius of "Wrecking Ball" puts together everything those "dumb guy hair bands" were only dreaming of achieving with their crap. None of that music withstood the power of this great and is worth picking up for its diversity and excellent drumming from the amazing Roxy. Hopefully this record will find its way back to the new ladies who are destined to become part of this business.
9 VIXEN 'Rev It Up'
(EMI MTL1054) KKKK
"I think we've made some great headway in the last two years, but now I think it's time to kick some major ass!"
Americans are prone to talk this way, and diminutive Vixen drummer Roxy Petrucci sees no reason to act differently.
Back in the real world, Vixen released a debut album as diluted and assuring as a Republican election promise. No edge, little sincerity and one million sales worldwide. They even clocked a UK hit, courtesy of Jeff Paris, with 'Cryin' '. You don't collect these kind of statistics by aping the Lunachicks. This was obtainable stadia, and besides, they were all very cute.
Almost two years later and Vixen have pieced together an album of 11 songs, and you have to admit that 'Rev It Up' is a very good record indeed. Admittedly this is no bag of fat, tormented pythons, though it's no simple seatbelt-cossetted ride either. It's an honest execution of some excellent material, matched occasionally with glossed trash. The latter, however, is, this time, very much in the minority.
The title track opens things with a punchy verve that openly surprised me; a recoil of guitar and an admirable Ann Wilson vocal soundalike from Janet Gardner. Though, unfortunately for Heart, Vixen look to have pinned down that credible mix of fire and soul that 'Brigade' was sadly lacking.
'How Much Love' is the duller edge of the Sambora/Jovi/Child school of songwriting, though I defy you not to hum it after a mere handful of listens. It's not home taping that's killing music, it's formula rock and roll.
'Love Is A Killer' is home to a sense of lyricism verging on the absurd: 'I've got a target on my back for a cupid dressed in black...', though this strange wordy bent is more than compensated for by the passionate grip of its strain. 'Not A Minute...' is a worldwide hit buoyed on chattering keyboards and just the right degree of impassioned longing.
'Streets of Paradise' is a paean to the haves and the have-nots, thrust in your face at a relatively breackneck pace. It's strong and unwielding, and for Vixen it borders on reckless commercial behaviour, but that still doesn't stop it being one of the very best songs on the record. 'Hard 16', which sounds remarkably like a softcore porn movie title, is a tale of the angst of puberty, responsibility and the plight of the runaway. A powerful refrain stamped horribly home.
'Bad Reputation' is formula toss, a hollow fist-raiser, as shallow as the title implies. 'Fallen Hero' floats momentarily as a Dire Straits flip side, then dips headfirst into a tale of the misguided tough. It marches purposefully, but very probably in the wrong direction.
'Only A Heartbeat...' is a lesson in the timeless tradition of all things power pop, and none the less for that. It even has a stamp-along section at its middle in preparation for the live set. 'It Wouldn't Be Love' is the backseat squeeze destined to cause someone some tears. Prime your lighters for the obvious that may just steal first base on an American Top Ten.
'Wrecking Ball' is the final excuse to remind us that this is a rock and roll band, Goddamnit! Humourless, devoid of sincerity and a case in point of someone trying too hard. A momentary lapse of reason in an otherwise pretty dutiful show of potency and strength.
Roxy? "Everyone was waiting for us to make a mistake because no one believed that women could really rock."
10 VIXEN 'Rev It Up' (EMI Records)
Vixen have got as far as their second album, no mean feat indeed for a genre of music which regards female rock with utmost suspicion. It must be said straight off that 'Rev It Up' doesn't go mad on the 'revving' front at all, being more likely to caress your ass rather than kick it. This is good melodic rock, hookline rich, as can be found on the title track 'Rev It Up', which comes across as Heart meets Bon Jovi. I find it sad that when the band can obviously write their own material to a high standard, they have to bring in corporate writer Diane Warren for 'It Wouldn't Be Love'. This kind of involvement is becoming increasingly cynical. It's as if the record company are saying that if a band doesn't chart with its own material, then with a Diane Warren or Desmond Child, they're guaranteed one hit single. 'How Much Love' is a dead cert for the charts, although for some reason brings to mind Heart's 'You Ain't So Tough'. The above criticism apart and ignoring the occasionally derivative nature of some material, there is not that much to fault here. The band have obviously worked hard on producing a good set of songs and have produced a largely entertaining album worth more than just a listen.
ANDY BRADSHAW 4/5
11 VIXEN 'Vixen' (EMI-Manhattan MTL 1028)
It's a well-known fact that when it comes to hard rock, most girls are as lacking in talent as Scunthorpe United's second eleven. In the past couple of months, however, an outstanding pair of prospects have revealed themselves (Ooo-er! - Ed), both of whom look promising.
One is Femme Fatale (featuring lead vocalist Lorraine Lewis), who've just released their debut album on MCA, and the other is all-girl band Vixen, a Los Angeles quartet who play their Metal with precision and stealth, strong in each and every department, unlike most other female troupes.
Axewoman Jan Kuehnemund maintains a high standard throughout, cranking out the decibels when the occasion is right ('Hellraisers') and holding back on the tear-jerkers ('American Dream' / 'Love Made Me'). And drummer Roxy Petrucci has drastically improved since her days with Madam X, linking neatly with the band's most recent recruit, bassist Share Pedersen. But the outstanding member (ouch!) is vocalist Janet Gardner, an excellent all-round performer.
For the most part, the songs are as reliable as the musicianship. Opener and first single 'Edge Of A Broken Heart' (produced and co-penned by AOR God Richard 'Should've Known Better' Marx) is a superb commercial introduction to the delights of Vixen, whilst the harder-edged, almost funky riffing of ' I Want You To Rock Me' shows that these gals really mean business.
There are, however, a few moments when the songs lack any real conviction; 'American Dream' plumbs the depths of inanity, and Side Two's 'Waiting' is just too lightweight for its own good. Nevertheless, the first-class production (handled by Spencer Proffer, David Cole, Rick Neigher and the aforementioned Marx), the top-notch playing and most of the songs suggest that those female stereotypes are yesterday's news.
DAVE LING 8/10
13 Vixen - Tangerine - CMC International
Has it already been ten years since "Edge of a Broken Heart" was all over the airwaves and MTV? Has it been ten years since the breakthrough female glam-metal band graced us with the follow up single "Cryin"? Not only has it been ten years since then, but also it's been roughly six or so years since Vixen split up. If the last few years have taught us anything, it is this: "Perhaps these glam rock bands aren't so bad." There's a time and a place to rant about that, so I'll save that for later. Anyway, Janet Gardner must have got sick of golfing (that's what she was doing in the MTV special It Came from the Eighties II) and decided to utilize the name that she retained the rights to after the band split. Gina Stile hops on board for guitarist number two, and former (and still) Vixen Roxy Petrucci returns on drums. Bass was done by session bassist Mike Pisculli (the first male Vixen?) who was replaced for touring by Maxine Petrucci. Tangerine takes Vixen a comfortable distance away from the radio friendly feel of Vixen, while not sounding as eighties as Rev it Up. Vixen embraces the last three decades of metal with Tangerine. "Barely Breathin" aggressively moves with a heavy groove and a well-harmonized chorus. Vixen may have been eye-candy for the mainly male metal audience in the late eighties, but don't sell their ability short. Janet Gardner can write catchy metal songs with the best of them, and her guitar work isn't bad either. "Stay" slows Vixen down without being an over the top ballad. The majority of songs fall into what hard rock/heavy metal is doing these days. "Never Say Never" has a nineties verse pattern with a decidedly eighties chorus (the best of both decades). "Bleed" mixes elements of Rush with an acoustic/electric sound. "Air Balloon" is, quite possibly, Vixen's most ambitious track. The quirky lyrics and mellow blues-rock arrangement strike a sharp contrast to movers like "Page". Vixen even gets a bit weird with the bonus track, which is an instrumental led by Roxy Petrucci's clarinet. Clarinet on a metal album you say? That was my reaction as well. Still, if you liked the direction that Vixen was going with Rev it Up and/or Drain S.T.H., L7 or Hole doesn't quite do it for you, Tangerine might do the trick.
14 Vixen - Tangerine (CMC International)
In the late 80s/early 90s just as heavy metal was hitting its popularity peak and beginning to cascade downward, Vixen gained relative populairty amongst the MTV crowd (myself included). Their self-titled debut album was produced by heartthrob and balladeer Richard Marx. The gals away from the glam and pop with their hard-edged second album and then as heavy metal lost its lead, they broke up. And also like many of their peers, they are back with a new album. with a line-up change in tow. The two main songwriters, bassist Share Pedersen and axe-specialist Jan Keuhnemund have departed. New member guitarist Gina Stiles joins drummer extraordinaire Roxy Petrucci and vocalist Janet Gardner this time out. On Tangerine, picks up the bass duties. Let me start off by saying that the odds were in Vixens favor that I was going to get this album. I was very pleasantly surprised to find the album at Towers Listening Station. After hearing the first few heavy seconds of Page... I was sold. The rest of the album follows in the same vain. Heavy. Vixen. Metal. Fuckin cool. Much of the metal coming out as of late is either re-hashed tired shit or well, just shit basically. Vixen has kept their musical edge and the lyrics and much more introspective and personal this time around. Gardner and Stiles wrote all of the songs on this album. The most interesting track on this album is the final one, in which drummer Roxy Petrucci re-lives her band-nerd days and displays her clarinet playing talents. Her music teachers would be quite damn proud. For Vixen fans, this is their heaviest and probably best album to date, though the absence of Pedersen and Keuhnemund are felt (and missed).
15 VIXEN TANGERINE (CMC International)
Ten years ago when names like Def Leppard and Poison ruled the rock world four leather- and spandex-clad women from Los Angeles named Vixen surfaced to claim their 15 minutes of fame and fortune. That fame and fortune was the hit single "Edge Of A Broken Heart" from their self-titled debut album, which got the group ample radio and MTV airplay. But the pressures of the music biz trying to follow up that single and carry the torch for women in hard rock, plus the changing climate of turn-of-the-decade rock took its toll, and Vixen went their separate ways. But seven years later, singer Janet Gardner and drummer Roxy Petrucci met up with a New York-based guitarist, Gina Stile, and Vixen was reborn. Now in 1998, the resurrection of Vixen is complete with this comeback disc, Tangerine, on heavy rock sanctuary label CMC International Records. In all honesty, I wasnt much of a Vixen fan the first time around; I dismissed them back in 1988 as a corporate-bred token all-girl band whose pop-metal fluff was contrived instead of honest. But I like this album. Vixen sounds more genuine and sincere this time around. The sound is rawer, the guitars given more edge and the commercial polish is missing. And Janet Gardner sings with more spit and sass this time around. And lyrically, the themes of broken hearts and "were here to rock" assertions are replaced by words of standing up for oneself and not being pushed around. Tunewise, there are numerous highlights the jagged opener "Page," the title song "Tangerine," the melodic "Peace," the angry "Bleed," the funk-edged "Stay," the raging L7-ish stomp "Shut Up," the thunderous "Machine," the jazzy "Air Balloon" and the muscular rocker "Cant Control Myself." Theres even a rockabilly-ish instrumental bonus track, showcasing Gina Stiles guitar spice and Roxy Petruccis talents on CLARINET! Unfortunately, I cant envision any spineless radio station program directors giving a second chance to Vixen on their playlists in this day and age. But I give Vixen credit for being true to themselves on Tangerine, an honest album that unlike the groups prior late-80s output proves to me that Vixen is genuine. Give it a listen. RATING 8.7/10.0
16 Vixen "Tangerine"
CMC Records; #06076862462
You don't often conjure images of metalheads and menopause in the same thought, and while the ladies of Vixen seem far from experiencing any life changes, they certainly have been on the music scene long enough to earn a spot among the venerable hard-rockers.
Vixen's latest is testament to the adages, "With age comes wisdom" and "Anything guys can do..." Filled mostly with straight-ahead heavy metal riffs, their lyrics give a much broader perspective on life's experiences.
The title track, for example, tells the story of the perfect girl in high school ... who can't keep it together as an adult. The disc takes a couple of deep breaths with the inclusion of quasi-power ballads "Peace" and "Air Balloon," but both tracks deliver their punch with enough wallop to keep respectability.
It's a shame that perception is nine-tenths of the law when it comes to musical marketing, because had Vixen been making a debut release instead of a comeback release, we'd be seeing them in heavy rotation across the entire country. Still, I continue to tip my proverbial hat to CMC International for providing a forum for artists who've still got it going on ... even if they appear, to today's record-buying public, as closer to polyester than leather.
17 VIXEN - The Best Of :
Razor & Tie (1999) 3/5
Haven't looked into it really, but if I'm right Vixen recently released a new record. This best of however compiles material from their 2 first records "Vixen" (1988) and "Rev It Up" (1990). On those two records the band comprised of Janet Gardner (vocals), Jan Kuehnemund (guitars), Share Pedersen (bass) and Roxy Petrucci (drums). One of few female melodic rock bands that managed to get some commercial success.
They had some minor single hits with "Cryin'" (a Jeff Paris remake), "How Much Love" (co-written with Steve Plunkett of Autograph), "Love Is A Killer" and the Richard Marx/Fee Waybill written rocker "Edge Of A Broken Heart". All of course featured here.
This album might not hold any spectacular material, or original, but musically it is worth the money and it's way better than today's mostly average melodic rock releases.
But I'm curious to know when putting together a best of why not fill the CD all the way out? Clocking in at 56:20 there is room for another 4-5 tracks. "Rev It Up", the Diane Warren written "It Wouldn't Be Love" and "Desperate" should've made it's way to this release.
Musically it's definitely good, but one star goes right off just because of the cheap attitude from the record company.
18 Vixen: The Best of Vixen -
(Razor & Tie)
Back in the 1980s Vixen were a rarity: a talented all-female band that played heavy metal - a type of music that was always dominated by men. Rather than surviving on novelty alone, they put out two successful albums of great music before disappearing for years with the rest of the heavy metal scene in the early 90s. Lately every band that had any success in the 80s seems to be putting on a "Best Of" CD, and they are no exception. However, this CD, put out by a division of their old label, EMI, appears to have been put together by the label without much input from the band itself. Their new album, Tangerine, which was released last year on CMC International, is completely absent here. In fact, the history of the band printed in the CD booklet, although written well after the release of Tangerine, makes no mention whatsoever of the fact that the band is back together.
The majority of the CD is evenly split between the first two albums, including their biggest hits (chart information for each is listed in the booklet) and most of the best of their other songs. However, even if you already have their first two CDs, there are a couple of songs here that might interest you. The first is a live version of "I Want You To Rock Me", which adds to the nostalgia when singer Janet Gardner tells the audience that she is warming them up for the Scorpions. The second is "Give It Away," a previously unreleased track - if you loved the 80s-era Vixen, you will love this one.
If you happen to be a fan of Vixens music from the 80s, and dont mind the absence of their new music, you might want to pick this one up. If you were disappointed by the new sound of Tangerine, "Give It Away" might help settle your craving for new Vixen. However, dont consider this at all representative of the Vixen of the 90s.
19 Vixen Concert Review
Name: Tony Rego
Venue: Birch Hill Club, Old Bridge, NJ, USA
Recently re-invented all female band Vixen played the Birch Hill club in Old Bridge, NJ. With a new CD out called Tangerine, the show featured mostly songs from it. However, they also played Edge of a Broken Heart, Cryin, and Rev It Up, with passion, and had fans from 1988-1990 rockin! The band recently added Maxine Petrucci (younger sister of Roxy on drums) to the line up. Her bass playing, a stage performance (and beauty!) had the mostly male audience in awe. Quite a performance for a band coming out of obscurity. After the show, their new CD was available for purchase, and all four members were signing autographs. Quite a night, and quite a performance. I only wish they were playing more dates in New Jersey.