original track list:
"Three Times Running" was produced by the band and John Smit at D.M.C. Studios in August 1983 and issued in 20 countries worldwide, including France, Spain, Italy, Ireland and even South Africa. Seperate editions were issued in Europe (Rhinoceros), United States (WEA International) and in Japan (WEA Japan). The Japanese verion was pimped with an inlay with lyrics transcribed from the record and a Japanese translation of the lyrics. According to drummer Gerard Haitsma, it sold 9,000 times in The Netherlands, 5,000 times in Sweden and 8,000 times in Japan. (Japanese and Swedish versions of this website are scheduled in 2014!).
Three Times Running was released in the same year as Metallica's Kill 'em All, Holy Diver by Dio, Mötley Crüe's Shout At the Devil, Saxon's Power And The Glory or Def Leppard's Pyromania. A couple of these albums were sold by the millions.
Several sources, including Arjen Lucassen himself in Headache magazine, claim that the bass lines on Three Times Running were played by himself and Rheno Xeros. Allegedly, Jeronimo only joined Bodine after the recordings were finished and the band started touring.
Three Times Running turned out te be a real powerhouse album. All the blues elements that were present on the previous albums, had disappeared. Axel's singing became less playful, but his voice had developed and allowed him to sing in a more disciplined manner. Bodine had made a next step in developing their own style of heavy metal. By this time, they sounded more like themselves and less like any other band.
The album opens with Shout, a great song which turned into some sort of a metal hymn among headbangers in those days. The song is a great composition and at the same time a perfect vehicle for a guitar solo duel between Rheno and Arjen that lasts until the end of the song. The song is an excellent display of their virtuosity and turning this track into a single was a very justifiable decision. The intrumental Free Kick was carved into the b-side.
Battlefield is a grim song about the life of warriors on the battlefields of war. The lyrics are written in the second person singular and deal with the personal psycholgical impact war has on those involved in battle.
Black Star Rising was inspired by the movie 'The Omen' and even has a quote from Father Brennan in the lyrics. Introducing horror elements was mainly Arjen's achievement. The song is quite sinister, it has a couple of breaks that sustain the listener's attention. There is a twin guitar solo in the middle followed by Rheno and Arjen playing solos in turns until the end of the song.
Below The Belt seems to have come about as a studio jam session, which has a strong build up nonetheless. It is an instrumental and it would be hard to imagine lyrics and vocal melodies to it. Rheno and Arjen are really at it in this song, letting rip their guitars and mess around with feedback, which creates a live atmosphere in this composition. According to Gerard Haitsma in 2011, it was recorded spontaneously in one take.
The B-side opens with The Force, a song that made a great impression played live at the Countdown session on 6 january 1984. It encloses the phrase "all through the night we're turning rock into metal", which exemplifies Bodine's music best: On the verge of hard rock and heavy metal, they carved out their own niche in the music scene.
The following two songs, Hard Times and Rampage are up tempo songs filled with frustration about the personal situation rockers find themselves in at times. Gerard's double drums at full throttle give these compositions a great drive. These songs are just dying to be covered by a contemporary metal band, but any band would have hard time doing it.
The album closes with another instrumental, Free Kick, which also evolved spontaneously messing around with the instruments. Both instrumentals are pretty strong tunes and putting two instrumentals on one record was something that happened quite rarely in those days in the metal scene. Nonetheless, recording two jamming outcomes on the same record, no matter their quality, seems to be a bit of an easy way out.
In all, Three Times Running is a strong album--no need to add: "for a Dutch band". Even thirty years later, the album is able to make big impression through its musical craftsmanship and drive. Even today, it easily stands the test of time and sounds crisp and fresh.
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