Since we are still on an ’88 kick, and this particular song and album was mentioned last week, why not take a closer look?
This is Greg X. Volz’s second solo album after having left Petra, and like Geoff Moore’s A Place To Stand that we looked at last week, not only has a song and release year in common, but is also probably one of–if not the most–unappreciated albums of Greg’s solo career.
The album was produced by George and Michael Atwell. Volz had previously worked with George during Petra’s less-successful Washes Whiter Than record in 1979. George Atwell had plenty of experience in the secular production world by the time Volz utilized him again nearly a decade later, so needless to say the production on this project stands out, and is among the best produced albums of the period. Sure, it’s dated a little, but as much as any other 80s-era secular pop album.
Come Out Fighting starts with a bang–the title track–which is lighter but perhaps more energetic than Moore’s version. Then, another energetic pop/rock anthem, “I Don’t Know Why,” is lyrically confessional, and is therefore appropriately followed by the powerful, “Take Me to the End.”
Rounding out Side 1 is the light, “Let the Mountains Fall,” and a dramatic rendition of the Aerosmith hit, “Dream On.”
Side 2’s opening songs are a little quirky, but the production and vocals make up for the slightly awkward melodies. The middle of Side 2 includes one of Volz’ best ballads, the prayerful altar call, “Will You Take Me Back,” followed by the solid, “I Know You By Heart,” and the album finisher, “Up to the Mountain.”
Of Volz’s early-era solo albums, this, as well as the following No Room in the Middle, are my personal favorites. I know, most of you will probably say his first, The River is Rising is probably the best. But overall, the sound, songwriting and performance on this record really shines above and beyond anything he has ever done, including (dare I say it?) even the Petra era.