John Norum – “Total Control” (1987)

John NorumGuitarist John Norum was a founding member of Europe, but he left the band at their commercial peak (on the heels of The Final Countdown album and tour) to venture out on his own.  For his first solo album, Total Control, John appears on the cover looking about fifteen years old.  The music itself, unsurprisingly, features lots of frenetic soloing.  But John also sings on most of the tracks, and his voice doesn’t suck at all.  Three of the songs feature ex-Madison singer Göran Edman on vocals, and as a Madison fan it’s good to hear ol’ Göran again.  On the whole, Norum’s stuff isn’t a far cry from Europe’s late eighties sound.  A little heavier, yes, but still melodic and still flush with keyboards.  The mix, however, has about as much finesse as a kick to the nut sack.  Everything is loud.  The snare drum sound is particularly obnoxious.  Two cover tunes appear on Total Control.  There’s Back On The Streets (a Vinnie Vincent Invasion cover), and Thin Lizzy’s Wild One.  Favorite tracks: Wild One, Law of Life, and Someone Else Here.  My score: B-

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One thought on “John Norum – “Total Control” (1987)

  1. Oh yeah I had this on cassette tape back in the late 80s! Also I really dug the album he did with Don Dokken Up From The Ashes! Solid contributed Norum was and is again with Europe!

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