Rhino/Warner Music
Release date: March 7, 2006
Run Time: 53 minutes – 11 tracks (10 full length and 1 intro)

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Unless you’re totally new to Metal and/or Rock ‘n’ Roll, the names Glenn Tipton (Judas Priest guitarist), John Entwistle (The Who bassist), and Cozy Powell (drummer for many bands including Rainbow, Black Sabbath, & Whitesnake) should be very familiar to you. After all, they are 3 of the most respected and successful musicians in the history of modern day music. You likely also know that Entwistle and Powell have tragically passed on in 2002 and 1998, respectively.

Before Rock ‘n’ Roll lost these 2 household names, at a time when the future of Judas Priest hung in limbo due to the departure of Rob Halford from the band, Glenn Tipton decided to stretch his musical muscles a bit and began contemplating material for a solo album. Powell, generally being very active in Rock ‘n’ Roll, and Tipton had known each other from the past, and Tipton was able to gain his enthusiasm to see what they could accomplish together. Bill Curbishley used to manage The Who before managing Judas Priest, and that common bond led to the eventual meeting and relationship between Tipton and Entwistle –- Entwistle, not considered a Metal bassist in the past, confessed to being a closet Metalhead at heart, and was excited about being involved with respected individuals in the genre such as Tipton and Powell, especially after hearing some of Tipton’s solo musical ideas. One thing led to another, and eventually an album’s worth of tracks were put together. Tipton took these tracks to Atlantic Records, who liked the idea of a “Tipton solo effort,” but wanted younger musicians involved in the project too, since such statements were en vogue during that time in the Heavy Rock industry. Tipton really had little choice in the matter, and went on to create what then became Baptizm Of Fire, an album that did in fact include numerous supporting musicians. As a result, the Tipton, Entwistle And Powell collaboration got shelved, so to speak … that is, until now, when Rhino Records/Warner Music realized that this album was simply too good to not be heard!

When musicians who have been part of a band for numerous years decide to take a crack at it solo, they often go one of 2 ways: either their solo material sounds “just like” music created by the band they have been affiliated with, thus raising the question why a solo effort was consummated in the first place, or their solo material sounds radically different than anything their full time band has ever done, oftentimes disappointing or alienating many of their previously loyal fans.

With Edge Of The World, Tipton (and Co.) has avoided both traps, and has created a very entertaining and original-sounding album that clearly possesses his personal signature style, without greatly deviating from the musical mold fans have grown accustomed to over the years with respect to his affiliation with Judas Priest. Those who have seen Tipton on stage with Priest know that he has a calm and relaxed look about him when playing, and this same “unrushed” feel is apparent throughout Edge Of The World. It’s a Metal album, but it’s not frenetic or violent, and its pervasive mid-tempo pace grows quickly familiar like a comfortable pair of blue jeans after just a couple of spins.

The album starts off with a fairly quick opener called “Unknown Soldier,” a track that blends into the first full-length song, “Friendly Fire,” which is perhaps the heaviest on the album. Tipton punches out a solid guitar riff with plenty of energy, and a minor surprise surfaces that reappears throughout the CD … that being the use of keyboards! Don Airey provides most of the keyboard fills throughout the album (with Tipton delving in himself periodically), and it really comes across as a nice added touch – never a lead instrument, rather a means to add atmosphere to virtually all of the songs on this album.

More of the same follows with “The Holy Man.” Next comes “Never Say Die,” which is the first song where The Who influences of Entwistle can clearly be heard, especially in the opening guitar segment, and of course, in the bass lines throughout the song. Tipton rips through one of his many well-crafted guitar solos during this song and a few things by now become evident. First, Tipton indeed has established his own personality within the music by the end of this track … you can almost feel yourself understanding multiple Priest songs of the past better by this point, realizing what must have been Tipton’s contributions to them … and second, you realize that although Tipton has below average vocal abilities, he has passion within his singing, and can convey clear messages through his lyrics in an enjoyable fashion.

Following up this stellar track is “Resolution,” a song with a bit of “soul” to it, and likely Tipton’s best vocal performance. “Searching” is next, bringing the tempo down a few notches … a “ballad-ish” type track, if you will. The song includes some cool atmospheric keyboard segments in the vein of “Strawberry Fields” by The Beatles.

Perhaps the best track follows in “Give Blood.” The song starts out with a high-pitched guitar riff that follows a coincidental similarity to the opening bass riff of “Rock ‘n’ Roll Junkie” by Motley Crue. The similarities end at that point, however, and what you’re left with is a festive Rocker with solid guitar work, catchy lyrics, and a great beat.

“Crime Of Passion” is next and has ballad tendencies to it, including a majestic acoustic beginning. “Walls Cave In” features an enjoyably “funky” bass pattern, allowing Entwistle to again show his influences on the record. The title track, “Edge Of The World,” follows … an inspiring anthem-like song with a sing-along chorus that will have you humming the melody after the CD ends with “Stronger Than The Drug.”

As mentioned above, Edge Of The World indeed was the “original” Tipton solo album back in the mid-90’s before the eventual creation of Baptizm Of Fire. Comparatively, they indeed are albums with similarities, yet different personalities. Edge has a noticeable groove to it, and displays Tipton (and Co.) in more of an experimental mode than what is offered in Baptizm. Vocally and lyrically, Tipton seems to perform a bit better on Edge. Edge also has that relaxed feel to it (described above), seemingly coinciding more with Tipton’s true demeanor as a stage musician. There’s plenty of great Tipton-esque guitar work on both albums, but Tipton seems to focus more on his own axe-prowess on Baptizm.

Overall, Edge Of The World is a very solid effort, featuring 3 very familiar names in Heavy Rock music. Although now about 10 years past its original creation, this album sounds incredibly fresh and alive, featuring plenty of variation and originality. The CD as a whole generates a feeling when listening that these Rock icons were indeed having a great time when they put these songs together, and that energy translates to a successful end product that fans of Metal, Hard Rock, and Classic Rock should definitely enjoy.


  • Dan Skiba

    Dan is a former partner at Metal Express Radio, and also served as a reviewer, photographer and interviewer on occasions. Based out of Indianapolis, USA he was first turned on to Hard Rock music in the mid-1970s when he purchased Deep Purple's Machine Head as his first album. He was immediately enthralled with the powerful guitar sound and pronounced drumbeat, and had to get more! His collection quickly expanded to include as many of Heavy Rock bands of the time that he could get his hands on, such as Ted Nugent, Judas Priest, and Black Sabbath, to name just a few.

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