1/  Got a Feelin'                              (Salas,Miles)                 6.31
  2/  Waiting On You                             (Miles)                       6.10
  3/  What's Goin' Down                          (Salas)                       5.06
  4/  Love Obsession (When the Eagle Flies)      (Miles)                       4.31
  5/  Hard Look                                  (Salas,Miles,Collins)         6.06
  6/  Shake It                                   (Salas,Collins,Friendly)      4.26
  7/  The Walls Come Down                        (Salas)                       4.14
  8/  500 Years                                  (Salas)                       5.42
  9/  Tell Me                                    (Salas)                       5.22
  10/ Leakin'                                    (Salas)                       4.20

          Recorded at Greenpoint Studio, Brooklyn, New York
          Engineered by Robert Musso and Oz Fritz
          Assistant: Imad Mansour
          Drum Tech: Artie Smith
          Mixed at RPM, New York City by Oz Fritz for High Velocity
          Assistant: Iron Mike Krowiak
          Produced by Bill Laswell and Stevie Salas
          Coordination: Tracy McKnight/Material Inc.
          Mastered at Masterdisk by Howie Weinberg
Stevie Salas: guitars, vocals; Bootsy Collins: space bass, vocals; Buddy Miles: drums, fuzz bass, vocals; Gary "Mudbone" Cooper: background vocals; Bernard Fowler: back-ground vocals; George Clinton: background vocals; David Friendly: digital bullocks; Vince McLean: digital bullocks; Matt Stein: digital bullocks.

          1992 - Black Arc/Rykodisc (USA), RCD 10304 (CD)
          1992 - Polystar (Japan), PSCW-1151 (CD)
Note: Bill Laswell does not play on this album.


Hardware was a one-off power rock trio composed of Bootsy, onetime Hendrix drummer Buddy Miles, and guitarist Stevie Salas. The genre's been done to death, but the tunes are good ("Got A Feelin'"), the lyrics are intelligent ("500 Years"), and Salas shows a real command of his instrument. Most of the tunes are by Salas, with Miles writing two songs ("Waiting On You," "Love Obsession (When The Eagle Flies") and Bootsy getting just two co-writes ("Hard Look," "Shake It") - though "Leakin'," attributed to Salas, seems to be a remake of Bootsy's 1988 tune with that name. Backing vocals added by Mudbone Cooper, Bernard Fowler, and George Clinton. Produced by Bill Laswell, co-produced by Salas.

3 stars out of 5

David Bertrand Wilson (courtesy of the Wilson and Alroy's Record Reviews website)


The group was originally known as Third Eye, and that's the way the 1993 Japanese CD reads, but before they released the CD in the US, it was discovered that another group had that name and was ready to sue. This was one of the first Black Arc releases, produced by Bill Laswell. It revives the 'supergroup concept' of a hardrocking band based around drums, guitar and bass. The main problem with the whole thing for me is that I don't much care for Stevie Salas. His guitar playing is too bombastic, lacking subtlety and taste. On the other hand, it's great to hear Bootsy doing rock material, a side that was never properly explored when he joined Funkadelic. Because Salas is essentially a one-trick pony, all of the songs start to sound alike, with only some Bootsy variations keeping it afloat. The few rhythm-dominated songs are the best here, as there is simply too much emphasis on guitar otherwise. With Bootsy and Buddy Miles, there's no way that the album should have been this unfunky.

"I Got A Feeling" shows the album's problems in a nutshell. The drums and bass are solid, but the loud guitar overwhelms them, and Salas' vocals are also rather dull. It does eventually evolve into this weird Hendrixian breakdown, with Bootsy rapping and a mighty bass groove forming. "Waiting On You" sounds almost like a Led Zeppelin song that does have some good singing. It also evolves into something fairly funky, with space bass dominating and Salas playing a decently funky guitar lick. "What's Goin' Down" also echoes Hendrix, with backwards guitar ala "Are You Experienced." "Love Obsession" is a slow song with more solid bass playing, and good vocals from Miles. It was good to hear a song not going at a zillion miles per hour, although there was nothing extraordinary about this one. "Hard Look" is probably the best song here, with more restrained guitar playing and interesting lyrics. "Shake It" is the obligatory funk rock number, with Bootsy very noticable on vocals. The drumming is excellent here, and the guitar sounds more disciplined, interacting more with the bass instead of just playing over it. "The Walls Came Down" is another slow tune that sounds like pure heavy metal. "500 Years" is a better mid-tempo tune with good vocals and a decent riff. "Tell Me" is another heavy metal ballad. "Leakin'" is a very funky cut driven by Bootsy's bass and vocals. The bassline recalls "Cosmic Slop" a bit, slightly turned around. The guitar slices in well here, cutting up big riffs and turning it up during the solos. The main solo is also more interesting than others on the albums, hitting the feedback.

2 1/2 out of 5

RC (courtesy of the Motherpage website)