With their glam-hippie apparel, a high-spend account at Rimmel and probably an endorsement deal with Harmony hairspray, they certainly had the look to sell a ton of records in an era when style very often triumphed over substance. But Enuff Z’Nuff arrived at the glam-rock party in 1989 with something in far shorter supply than smudge-resistant eyeliner and Sunset Strip-grade cocaine: quality songs.
Released late that year, the Chicago (near enough) four-piece’s self-titled debut album (7⁄10) was a sparkling collection full of hard-hitting hard-rock riffery, sticky-bud melodies and ear-worm choruses, and overall oozing real class.
Hugely Beatles-influenced in places, it was the product of a band better, cleverer and more astute than most of the pack. And in New Thing and Fly High Michelle respectively it had one of the era’s catchiest hard rockers and one of its finest ballads.
Released a year-and-a-half later, follow-up Strength (8⁄10) took all the best aspects of its predecessor, improved, refined and buffed them to a sheen. Again a mixture of hard rockers, ballads and some from somewhere in between, it was a killer album. The heavy punches (Heaven Or Hell, The In Crowd, The World Is A Gutter) were knockouts, the ballads (Goodbye, The Way Home) were intelligent in the writing and classy in execution.
But by now the rock scene was starting to bang its head to the beat of a different drum, the sound of which was being carried on chill winds blowing mostly from the Seattle area. Enuff Z’Nuff’s killer album never got the chance or the recognition it genuinely deserved, and the band remain one of rock’s footnotes. Both remasters come with a pair of bonus tracks.