How ironic. If there was anyone who seemingly didn’t want to change the world, it’d be Stan Bush. For a start he’s still releasing records with versions of his big ‘hit’ Transformers cartoon theme The Touch, thirty years after it came out… and the sound he’s confected here, a melodious mix of his own 1987 Barrage album, Survivor and House of Lords, stopped being relevant at around the time somebody at Geffen Records decided what the world needed was not a new Danger Danger album but some Seattle-based misanthrope by the name of Kurt Cobain…
But that’s where the carping stops. Change the World is a near-faultless piece of AOR, featuring as it does Bush’s spectacular vocals front and centre and standing up for old fashioned values like songcraft and musical skill. Any one of the first eight tracks on the album could have featured on the soundtrack of some long-lost eighties action movie, and it’s that air of familiarity – even on the new material – that makes this album such a goosebump-inciting winner. Born to Win is basically a son of The Touch, and none the worse for that, whilst Never Surrender is similarly pumped-up, feel good anthemery taken to the ultimate degree. If you’re not wearing a brightly coloured towelling headband and punching something in a gym by the end of the song there may well be something wrong with you.
Purists and non-coms alike will debate the sense of releasing new versions of Dare and The Touch again when there’s clearly new material that’s just as good flowing from the Bush pen, but they are here and related faithfully. If you’re a long term Bush aficionado like me, best just to listen to them once and move on to spectacular new material like the Foreigner/Billy Squier hybrid Break These Chains or the Survivorish majesty of Live Your Dream.
It’s hard to see anyone under the age of forty five finding anything here to get their teeth into, but if you remember the times when the radio played people like Stan Bush from dawn til dusk then this won’t fail to bring a smile to the face. Marvellous stuff.