FM – Tough It Out Live

Tough It Out Live Album Cover Art

FM – Tough It Out Live
Frontiers Music srl
Release Date: 09/04/2021
Running Time: 113:00
Review by Simon Black
8/10

You know, I am lucky enough to get to review a lot of albums from new bands that missed out on the 80’s but try not to let it show. I spend a lot of time making comparisons to what came out at the time, whilst forgetting how different it was on the ears back then. A rich production sound was a dream for most bands, so consequently live recordings really had a lot of power, as the band frequently got to make their true intentions audible and clear in a way that couldn’t be done in the studio without the support of a major label. FM were amongst the lucky ones back then and often had a rich and lustrous polish in their mix that many other bands envied, thanks to the support of label Epic. None more so than 1989’s ‘Tough It Out’, which is probably the album and song the band are most well-known for, fortunately firmly establishing them in the Melodic Hard Rock market before Grunge came along and upset the apple cart.

So, this release is interesting for a number of reasons – firstly in that this is in fact the first time the band have played the full album in its entirety but mostly because they’ve done a superb job in recapturing the original studio sound on this live recording. Recorded over a couple of UK and German shows in 2019, this is a double disk set with the full studio running order retained for the first disk, plus a full second disk of classics and rarities. At the time I was not so fond of AOR, and let’s face it, they don’t come much more ‘classic’ AOR than FM – whether you like those tinkling insipid 80’s keyboard melodies from the likes of ‘Everytime I Think Of You’ or not. Despite the fact that a fair few of these tracks were firmly in the ‘filler’ category back in the day, they come off surprisingly well live, mainly due to the fact that the band’s delivery is tight, focussed and absolutely held up to the rafters by the support of a crowd who are clearly loving every minute of it – and tracks like ‘Burning My Heart Down’ in particular sound spectacular with the interaction of the audience.

The second disk is more eclectic, with quite a few tracks I am not familiar with, but clearly with a hard core following in the audience this is not slowing them down in the slightest. And I defy anyone not to boogie along to the cracking rendition of Marvin Gaye’s ‘I Heard It Through The Grapevine‘ Steve Overland’s voice sounds remarkably good after all these years and although the recording skips much of the banter with the audience, you still get a sense of the immediacy of his contact with the crowd. For fans of the original album, this is probably a must, but for anyone looking for a good introduction to a band that can still deliver the goods after very long time then you can do much worse than this.

‘Tough It Out’ Live (Official Video)

TRACKLISTING:

CD1
01. Intro
02. Tough It Out
03. Don’t Stop
04. Bad Luck
05. Someday (You’ll Come Running)
06. Everytime I Think Of You
07. Burning My Heart Down
08. The Dream That Died
09. Obsession
10. Can You Hear Me Calling?
11. Does It Feel Like Love
12. Feels So Good

CD2
01. Digging Up The Dirt
02. Tough Love
03. Hollow
04. Dangerous
05. Hard Day In Hell
06. Wildside
07. Breathe Fire
08. Only The Strong Survive
09. Blood And Gasoline
10. I Ain’t The One
11. I Heard It Through The Grapevine

LINE-UP:
Steve Overland – Vocals & Guitar
Merv Goldsworthy – Bass
Pete Jupp – Drums
Jem Davis – Keyboards
Jim Kirkpatrick – Guitar

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Simon Black and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

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