Great Metal Albums of 1985: Lee Aaron- Call of the Wild


Thanks to that one copy of “Metallion” magazine I read in the summer of 1985, I discovered that the Canadian Metal Queen, Lee Aaron, was coming out with a new album in this year. The magazine’s interview with Lee prepared me for suspected changes from her first two albums. Like quite a few artists did in 85, she stated that she was adding a few keyboards to her sound. However, she also stated that the album would be no less rocky than those previous albums. After reading all that, I had to go and listen to “Call of the Wild” and make my own mind up.


The projected synth pop sound that some might thought Lee was going to deliver on her third album never really materialize. In fact, the opener, “Rock Me All Over” sounds very much like songs from her first two albums. Like any good opening track, it rocks to the point of grabbing your attention and makes you take notice. The slight downside is the lyrics do sound a little juvenile which I read she complained about on her first album.

Keyboards do manifest themselves on the next two songs. Reflecting back to 1985, I am not in the least bit surprised that “Runnin’ From the Fire” was released as a single. It captured the commercial 1985 sound and that’s why I’m surprised that it didn’t do diddle squat in the singles charts. Maybe because there’s a little bit of rock on it. While present on “Champion,” the keyboards take a more supportive role in it and this sounds much better. However, the best song for combining keyboards with the metal sound that made Lee a hit with metalheads is my fave track, “Barely Holdin’ On.” The keyboards are done in a good progressive rock style in support of some great hard rock from Lee’s band. Guitarist John Albani plays a blinder of a solo on it. Some critics have accused Lee of screaming too much on the song but for me, it’s what makes the song. Even at that volume, she can still rock a tune.

That favourite track sets the tone for the rest of the album. The remaining seven songs are all rockers and while keyboards can still be heard on some tracks, they realize their place and take a supporting role. Like on the cover of the Kix song, “Burnin’ Love.” Again, John Albani’s guitar solo is fantastic. While none of those tracks stand out more than the other, they’re all good, they aren’t clones of one another. Each rocking tune is different in its own right, although “Beat ’em Up” has always amused me. However, all of them possess Lee’s magnificent voice backed by a hard rocking rhythm section and some great solos from John Albani, another guitarist whose efforts have never gotten the accolades they so richly deserve.

Track Listing:

  1. Rock Me All Over
  2. Runnin’ From the Fire
  3. Champion
  4. Barely Holdin’ On
  5. Burnin’ Love
  6. Line of Fire
  7. Beat ’em Up
  8. Paradise
  9. Evil Game
  10. Danger Zone
  11. Hot to be Rocked

Lee Aaron

Lee Aaron- lead and backing vocals

John Albani- lead guitar, backing vocals

Simon Brierly- guitar

Bob Ezrin- keyboards

Jerry Mercer- drums

Spider Sinnaeve- bass

Chris Brockaway, Walter Zwolinski, Dick Wagner- backing vocals

I never really thought that “Call of the Wild” would be dumbed down to a trendy synth pop album. The keyboards know their place in the songs and let the guitars take the lead, like they should. What the album does show was how Lee was maturing in the music industry.

Next post: Iron Maiden- Live After Death

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4 Responses to “Great Metal Albums of 1985: Lee Aaron- Call of the Wild”

  1. I bought this back upon release in 85. My personal favs are Paradise and Hot to be Rocked. Great songs. I always thought John Albani was an underrated guitarist so its nice to see you shed some light on him.
    Lee is releasing a new live album next Friday recorded at Wacken in 2017. I’m going to pick it up for sure.
    Great writeup Sir!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sweet! Thanks for turning me onto this. I don’t recall this band at all. I believe women weren’t represented like the guys in the glorious Metal days of the 80s. Can’t wait to check out the rest of their stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

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