Following blues guitarist Joe Bonamassa’s decision to move on from Black Country Communion, it appears the band have been officially dissolved. Bonamassa has not granted permission for his other bandmates – vocalist/bassist Glenn Hughes, drummer Jason Bonham and keyboard player Derek Sherinian – to continue without his involvement.
The album’s strongest offering ‘Goodbye Don’t Mean Forever’ features Ousey’s greatest vocal performance; musically it hints at other melodic rock of the times. Elsewhere, the rock balladry of ‘It’s In Your Eyes’ provides a decent listen. Again, it’s melodic rock by numbers and I’ll even forgive the saxophone creeping in at the end. With 80s melodic rock, it’s the mid-paced tracks which hold up best and this is no exception. During the feel-good ‘Waiting For Your Love’, Ousey has moments where he sounds like Eric Martin (not as good though, obviously); it would also be up there with the album’s best moments, since it’s musical arrangement is strong, but some overblown female backing vocals let the side down.
The band followed this with a second album ‘Push’ in 1987, which offered more of the same (although with a slightly warmer feel, thanks to a better production). To be honest, even though both the Virginia Wolf albums have enjoyable moments, they’re not the greatest examples of British AOR. They sound a little weak when held up against the albums Magnum released during a similar period and they’re certainly nowhere near as great as Dare’s ‘Out of The Silence’ (rightly regarded as one of the best British examples of the genre).
After the band’s demise, Jason Bonham moved towards a harder musical direction with his own eponymously named band. As well documented, Chris Ousey became the vocalist with Heartland, whose musical journey continued on a similar path as Virginia Wolf.As a footnote, some CD reissues of the Virginia Wolf albums proudly state “featuring Jason Bonham” on the sleeves. It seems for some people, Jason is the band’s main attraction: frankly, if that’s your only reason for investigating them, you’re likely to be disappointed. For Chris Ousey and Heartland fans, though, the Virginia Wolf albums are well worth checking out, even though they’re both hit ‘n’ miss.