GUN - R3L0ADED Album Review

On 29th November, Scottish rockers GUN will release their best of album ‘R3L0ADED’. But this isn’t a standard greatest hits package. Here we have a duo of delights to celebrate the band’s first 30 years. Firstly we have a CD comprising of GUN’s 10 best singles which brilliantly capture the magic the band created over the last 30 years. The way the CD has been loaded is interesting. GUN have decided not to take a chronological ordering, nor have they chosen to prioritise the most successful tracks. It appears to have been more of a random ordering. That said, things kickoff in fine style with 1994’s Don’t Say It’s Over, a wonderful hard rocking and uplifting track which beautifully represents what GUN are all about. Next up is Better Days, arguably the most important track as this is the one that grabbed the world’s attention. Its impact was huge! This writer remembers how as a 15-year-old his group of friends would play this song in the street through a Saisho cassette player whilst alternating between playing football and pondering when we would actually be lucky enough to get girlfriends. Overall it felt like this song marked not just a turning point for music but the beginning of the next steps for a gang of mates growing up. Also included in this package are tracks such as Steal Your Fire (’92), Something Worthwhile (’95), Crazy You (’97) and Break The Silence (2012). The songs have aged beautifully. Yes, some may say the production on early tracks may sound a little dated but we would prefer that they be described as having a ‘classic vintage’ quality. The strength of the songs prove an important reminder as to how GUN landed some of the biggest gigs and tours possible. Artists such as Bon Jovi and The Rolling Stones were lucky enough to have them open their stadium shows.

Moving onto the second CD in this package, a collection of 10 covers, the first thing that needs to be said is that GUN have been incredibly brave here. The original songs covered here were all hugely successful. They were so perfect in their original incarnation it raises the question why anyone would want a different version. The answer present itself clearly when you hear the tracks themselves. The world is already familiar with the bands cover of Cameo’s Word Up, which fans will be pleased to learn is track 5. GUN scored a massive hit in 1994 by taking this song and giving it a huge sound and a refreshing energy. And that’s what they’ve done with every single cover in this package, all of which are taken from hugely diverse artists such as The Beastie Boys (You’ve Gotta Fight For Your Right To Party),  Stevie Wonder (Superstition), Blondie (Union City Blue), The Clash (Rock The Kasbah) and perhaps the biggest surprise Rihanna (Diamonds). 

Overall this package is a wonderful nod to the past, a covers cracker, and something that leaves the listener ready for more. This isn’t a eulogy package, it’s something that prepares us for the second half, to new challenges and the road ahead. So we have 10 singles, 10 cover songs and now 10 UK tour dates. Perhaps 30 should be the new magic number?


Tour dates are as follows:-

9th December - Bristol – o2 Academy

10th December - Southampton – Engine Rooms

11th December - London - o2 Shepherds Bush Empire

13th December - Wolverhampton – KK’s Steel Mill

14th December - Norwich – LCR UEA

15th December - Nottingham – Rock City

17th December Newcastle – o2 Academy

18th December - Leeds – o2 Academy

20th December - Manchester – Academy 2

21st December - Glasgow – Barrowland


R3L0ADED is available from 29th November. Preorder at https://gun.tmstor.es/cart/product.php?id=55712

In the meantime, enjoy the video to their latest single, Superstition below.