Great Metal Albums of 1987: Shy- Excess All Areas

Back in the 1980s, Kerrang had section in the magazine called “Wimpwire,” where they would feature a “softer” metal band. It is here that I discovered the band Shy. Upon hearing their album, “Excess All Areas,” I tended to agree with Kerrang placing them in the section. There is a heavy keyboard sound on most of the songs but at the same time, there are power chords to be heard. Unlike some metal bands who tried to incorporate keyboards and synthesizers at the time, Shy does it very well.

Let’s start with the not so positive, it’s not really a negative. “Excess All Areas” is definitely a product of it time. There was the let’s turn up the keyboards a little more in the misguided belief that it would be more commercial successful. However, with the benefit of historical hindsight, we know that the idea didn’t work well with a lot of bands. Metalheads thought such bands were trying to go synth pop while the trendies heard the power chords and thought it was too metal. That is my conclusion as to why Shy didn’t get the recognition it deserved.

What I like about Shy was that they were really good musicians. I know I mentioned the keyboards but keyboardist Paddy McKenna plays them very well. His keyboard intros on the tracks “Emergency,” “Talk to Me” and the power ballad, “Just Love Me” are absolutely phenomenal. Furthermore, his work on the other tracks are no less such. The same can be said for guitarist Steve Harris, (no it’s not the bassist from another band playing guitar here). He plays a blinder of a solo on “Can’t Fight the Nights,” most notably but he too shows what he can do elsewhere on the album. Lead singer Tony Mills has the pipes for sure. He doesn’t have to go falsetto or anything like that but he just gets down to business on the songs. Roy Stephen Davis is more than capable on bass and the same for drummer Alan Kelly. The pair of them do form a formidable rhythm section.

Don’t get me wrong, while I said that the album has that, ‘dated effect” and while most don’t stand out, the songs are all decent. One song which really does is “Break Down the Walls.” Everything I said about the band counts double on the track. You get good, dependable vocals, a steady rhythm section, cool keyboard fills and some power chords and a brilliant guitar solo. That’s definitely the track and the fact Don Dokken co-wrote it with the band might have helped. Other good tracks is their cover of the only Cliff Richard song I like, “Devil Woman,” “Young Heart” and “Under Fire,” which is the hardest rocking track on the album. My conclusion that Shy had it in them to really rock out but bowed to the commercial pressure of the time because there was the potential for this album to have been colossal.

Track Listing:

  1. Emergency
  2. Can’t Fight the Night
  3. Young Heart
  4. Just Love Me
  5. Break Down the Walls
  6. Under Fire
  7. Devil Woman
  8. Talk to Me
  9. When the Love is Over
  10. Telephone
Shy

Tony Mills- vocals

Steve Harris- guitar

Paddy McKenna- keyboards

Roy Stephen Davis- bass

Alan Kelly- drums

Another band that seemed to have vanished into obscurity after the 1980s but there must have been something about Shy for me to remember them after all these years. They definitely had the tools to make it bigger but “Excess All Areas” made them a product of the time.

Next post: Montrose- Mean

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

12 Responses to “Great Metal Albums of 1987: Shy- Excess All Areas”

  1. I don’t know the band but that’s a great album title!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Don’t remember this band, but know Tony Mills.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yeah, that certainly is a product of the time. It’s pretty cool stuff, a band I totally never heard of way back when.

    Like

  4. QueallyFive Says:

    saw Shy at the Royal Standard in Walthamstow in ’88 – great front man – put on a real Rock N Roll show live but think the sleazier GunsNRoses type thing made them seem a bit tame at the time. Probably do better now in an age of synthwave & Frontier Records

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve been to the Royal Standard a few times and used to pass it all the time as I worked near there. Great you saw Shy and you have a point about the Guns N Roses thing.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: