Great Metal Albums of 1985: Black ‘N Blue- Without Love


Did you ever go see a band live and then when you bought and listened to their album, find that it sounded different from what you remembered from the live show? For me, this was sort of the case with Black ‘N Blue’s second album, “Without Love.” I saw them live in support of this album as the opening act for the mighty KISS in 1985. I thought they were total metaled out that evening. However, when I put this album on, it sounded a little less metal and slightly power pop. I had to give it another listen before I heard the metal in “Without Love.”

What this album is full of is catchy tunes with some good metal playing behind them. I’m rather surprised that none of these tracks received any air play on radio or MTV from what I remember. The title track especially, could have scored a singles hit for the band if given the airplay. It is definitely a catchy tune while at the same time, there are metal hooks a plenty on it. The same can be said for the tracks “Nature of the Beach” and “Miss Mystery.” I was caught up in the vibe on both of these tracks and “Miss Mystery” gets my vote for hidden gem.

Another element which makes itself known from the opening track is the KISS influence. I can hear it on many of the songs, even on the much harder “Bombastic Plastic.” The possible exceptions are “Stop the Lightning” and the jazz sounding “Swing Time.” Both are good tunes by the way and if anything, they prove that Black ‘N Blue were capable of going outside the KISS bubble. Of course, if you have this album on CD, you might have the bonus track, their cover of the Aerosmith classic, “Same Old Song and Dance.” Definitely no KISS influence there!

Another KISS related aspect from this album is I can now see why that band would eventually snap up guitarist Tommy Thayer. He can really play and he would seem to be a natural fit with KISS. While he never joined KISS, lead vocalist Jaime St James does sometimes resemble Paul Stanley when he sings. At least he does on a couple of songs like “Swing Time.” Still, KISS or no KISS, they do merge to form the basis of a band who possibly should have gone farther.

Track Listing:

  1. Rockin’ On Heaven’s Door
  2. Without Love
  3. Stop the Lightning
  4. Nature of the Beach
  5. Miss Mystery
  6. Swing Time
  7. Bombastic Plastic
  8. We Got the Fire
  9. Strange Things
  10. Two Wrongs (Don’t Make it Love)
  11. Same Old Song and Dance (bonus track)

Black’n Blue

Jaime St James- lead vocals

Tommy Thayer- guitar, backing vocals

Jeff Warner- guitar

Patrick Young- bass

Pete Holmes- drums

Additional Musicians:

Jim Vallance- electric drums

Adam Bomb- additional guitar

Dave Pickell, Doug Johnson, Steve Procraro- keybards

Mike Reno- backing vocals on “We Got the Fire”

Should this have been a single?

Or maybe the hidden gem?

Black ‘N Blue were absolutely brilliant that night in December 1985 and I probably didn’t do them justice in “Rock and Roll Children.” Then again, I was going strictly on memory from 25 years earlier. “Without Love” was a good second album for this band and I can’t help thinking it should have done better.

Next post: KISS- Assylum

To download Rock and Roll Children, go to:















12 Responses to “Great Metal Albums of 1985: Black ‘N Blue- Without Love”

  1. I think I saw that Kiss Tour with Black & Blue, but honestly, don’t remember them as that was a long time ago. I never gave them their due but sounds like I should especially with Tommy in the band. Cool to see Vallance and Reno appear on the album in some shape or form. Great review. Can’t wait for the next one!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. […] Source: Great Metal Albums of 1985: Black ‘N Blue- Without Love | 80smetalman’s Blog […]

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I thought it was a pretty decent album for its time. Melodic Metal.
    I know my pal Tbone bought a cassette​ copy that had them doing a live in the studio version of Same Old Song and Dance by AERO with Reno and some other loverboy guys. Think that was the track

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have nothing from this band. I really should though, as part of my Kiss kollection.

    Liked by 1 person

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