BRUCE TURGON – Outside Looking In

BRUCE TURGON - Outside Looking In


Frontiers Records
Release date: November 7, 2005

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There may be some of you out there unfamiliar with the name Bruce Turgon. Turgon is probably best known for his stint in the short-lived supergroup, Shadow King, which featured Lou Gramm from Foreigner and Vivian Campbell (Dio, Whitesnake, Def Leppard), who released one self-titled album in 1991. It is a mystery of the music industry how this melody fueled masterpiece failed to ignite the imagination of the record-buying public, but unfortunately this one album was all that was left.

Upon delving a little deeper, Turgon also played on Lou Gramm’s solo releases, as well as being a part of Gramm’s pre-Foreigner Black Sheep set up. His close ties with Gramm led to an offer in 1992 to replace Rick Wills in Foreigner for the Mr Moonlight opus and subsequent live duties, where he remained for the following ten years.

On leaving Foreigner, Turgon set about writing for his first solo release, Outside Looking In. This features a number of songs co-written with long time mate, Lou Gramm, and includes guest appearances by the man himself on backing vocals, as well as contributions by Denny Carmassi (Heart, Whitesnake, Montrose), Ronnie Montrose(Montrose, Gamma), Rocket Ritchotte (David Lee Roth, Rick Springfield), and Ricky Phillips (Bad English, Styx).

While this looks impressive on paper, the big question is does the album come up with the goods? Well the good news is that it certainly does.

Getting the album underway is “Living A Lie,” with its short keyboard refrain setting the tone, before the main theme kicks in with its punchy guitar line and instantly catchy chorus. It is clear from the start that this is one classy Melodic Rock number. Comparisons with Shadow King are inevitable, but well placed. To the uninitiated, this could well be the follow-up to the sole Shadow King release.

It would be easy to imagine Gramm handling lead vocals on this album, but let’s not take away from the fact that Turgon is a highly accomplished singer in his own right. In fact, his style is uncannily similar to Gramm, which is not surprising, bearing in mind the many years they have worked together.

“Any Other Time” is quintessential AOR, a mid-paced moody rocker with a keyboard driven verse and a stirring chorus to die for. Actually, the album contains a potent mix of high quality AOR, combining Melodic rockers (“Pleasure Dome,” Weapons of Love”) with brooding ballads (“These Tears Must Fall,” “Heart So Strong”), and ticks all of the boxes along the way. The main focal point, of course, being the superb emotion-drenched vocals of Turgon. This begs the question, why has it taken him so long to unleash his talents on the music world in his own right?

The album is superbly produced with a glossy sheen bringing out the best from the songs and features just the right mix of guitars and atmospheric keyboards, along with the vitally important vocal harmonies on each delightfully memorable chorus. The album’s highlight is the immense “Walk Thru Fire.” If you listen to one track on this album, make sure it is this one. This is as perfect of an example of AOR at its best that has not been heard in many a year… a bold statement perhaps, but check it out for yourself. If that chorus doesn’t get you, then nothing will.

In Outside Looking In, Bruce Turgon has succeeded in producing an album to match the quality of the awesome Shadow King album, and has surely created a collection that will be viewed as a classic in years to come — Highly Recommended!


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

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