Once In Your Life” opens side 1 initially with a Guitar Intro followed by heavy drums and bass. This gives a flavour of what is to come. A tight band feel with loud drums and bass and guitar solos. The track ends abruptly.
Run”, with its pounding rhythm carries on where “Once in your life” leaves off. It is in the hard rock vein a la Whitesnake. Nice touches of guitar work from John with some riffs and a neat solo. It is by far the heaviest track on the album.
Blinded” is followed by “You’re the one” and starts with a synth and backing harmonies that have a haunting feel. Slower than its original incarnation it is a very catchy track that will have you humming hours after the album has finished. Although planned as a single it never made it onto 7” perhaps as a result of the failure of ballads such as “The Right To Sing”.
I Need Your Love” starts side 2 and is followed by “Hard Time”. This is a straightforward rock number which has a gutsy feel. The track has an air of nostalgia about it with some of the melodies and lyrics making you feel you have heard it before.
Next up is “Who Knows”. Synth and drums start the intro with a little guitar work following before it turns into its bouncy rhythm. Although there are no dance tracks as such on the album this one comes closest.
Don’t Lie To Me” begins with a little synth before quickly moving to the tight rocky rhythm of the drums and bass. It has some nice touches of driving rock with some dance-ability thrown in.
The last track on the album is “Watching Over Me”. It starts with the title being repeated a few times before moving onto the first verse. The vocal style is reminiscent of Sting and the Police. The drums are more in the background compared to the other tracks and there is a gentler feel about the track although the power does tend to build and ends with a nice guitar solo and then repeats the chorus. Perhaps one of the reasons for the different feel of this track is that it is the only track on the album produced by Beau Hill.
Stephen Carson

After being re-introduced to John Miles twelve months ago, Transition was the first album I managed to get on the second hand market. To one who had not progressed beyond Zaragon, the culture shock was enormous. I just hated Transition, and almost gave up. Listening to the album again has done little to change my mind.
"Once in your Life" starts off with a dreadful drum beat, especially when heard through headphones, and the incessant "bash bash bash" goes on through the whole track. The recording sounds very thin and badly engineered.
"Run" still suffers from a very insensitive, thumping drum line, although I find the melody is more interesting.
The one redeeming track of the whole album is "Blinded". It can be no coincidence that this was produced and engineered in Hollywood, instead of Wales. "Blinded" makes up for the whole of the rest of the album. I could listen to the powerful last 2/3 minutes for much longer, were there not a premature fade out, even shorter on the single. It is disappointing that the B side of the single version of "Blinded", "Good, So Bad" does not appear on the album.
"You're the One" has an adventurous opening, but the remainder eventually disappoints, as it is back to the incessant drums. Otherwise it is an enjoyable track.
The second Hollywood track, "I Need Your Love" has quite an unusual opening, although it does sound as though the producer has just discovered stereophonic recording, fading back and forth between channels. I find the continual changes in tempo rather disturbing.
"Hard Time" is one track where the total backing seems to consist of those blasted overemphasised drums, and little else. Definitely a miss.
I enjoyed "Who Knows". The melody line is interesting, as is the backing arrangement. The recording is rather thin though.
I would rather not comment on "Don't Lie To Me"
"Watching Over Me" is another track I would prefer to pass over.
My favourite four tracks are very difficult. "Blinded" stands out head and shoulders above the rest. As I am forced to choose, my list is:
1) Blinded
2) You're The One
3) Who Knows
4) Run
Had it been on the album, I would have put "Good, So Bad" at no 2, and dropped "Run". Roll on Upfront!
John Webster

Some controversial thoughts from John re the Transition album. I must say although this is no Zaragon or MMPH, I think this album is really good to listen to.
Lets get the bad points out the way first. After hearing You're the One live on the Play On tour with its beautiful piano ballady style, the album version was a bit of a let down. Also I was so looking forward to hearing "You're Only In It for the Money" to appear on the album, only to see it did not appear. Incidentally if anyone has live recordings of the above tracks, Id love to hear from you.
Blinded is the obvious big song and such a brilliantly crafted song to boot. Once in your Life is a great opener and Run to follow shows off John's heavy moments at his best. I need your Love, Who Knows and Dont Lie to Me are my other faves.
So to my faves:

1) Blinded
2) Once in your Life
3) I Need Your Love
4) Who Knows
Still a sucker for a ballad, I hope the new collection of songs recorded last year comes off soon.
Malcolm Leeves

The first thing I want to say about Transition is that I can't believe it's 16 years old! It arrived at a time when John was really struggling to get an audience or airplay in the UK. "Music" was almost 10 years previously and John had seen two LP's, Miles High and Play On, do nothing in the charts. It was great to see a new LP but I suppose the main question that the loyal fans who would buy it were asking was "which JM do we get this time"? Would it be powder pop like Play On, concept rock like Zaragon or perhaps the variety of styles shown on Rebel, SITC, MMPH etc. Would the production be better than Miles High? I then heard from the fan club that the LP was going to be an even more different approach, and thankfully featuring Guitars! The LP would also be from the John Miles BAND, not just JM .The only thing that concerned me was the different producers, studios and engineers that were being used, as this would mean an inconsistent style from song to song would show through.
The main thing that happened when I put the LP on for the first time was the sudden departure of our Cat, at VERY high speed, as the drums/guitar intro of Once In Your Life thudded out of the speakers and woke it from its slumber. It carried on running as the song got going featuring, err, "Loudness". By the time Run started my Girlfriend joined the Cat complaining at the aforementioned "Loudness". I meanwhile was grinning like a mad person. I like the rocky stuff, and to finally hear John Miles really go for it in a big way was wonderful. Next up was Blinded, a great song, done with power and real emotion in John's voice. Then came a breather with You're The One, which I had heard on the previous tour. Nice song, well played and a good finish to the best first side of a JM LP since MMPH.
Side two starts disappointingly with the strange intro of I Need Your Love. In fact I got to like this song after several plays, I just don't like the start. The next 4 songs are good and strong, with some excellent hooks. I really like Who Knows and Hard Time. The Band approach comes to the fore, the whole LP seems to have almost a "live" feel to it emphasising the excellent playing throughout. Barriemore Barlow, who I had seen play for Jethro Tull, really puts some effort in, as he did when he toured with John.
So, for me, this is an excellent LP. Sure, it doesn't hang together well because of the different production styles used, and some of it now sounds dated and over the top on "Loudness", especially the drums, as mentioned by John Webster, but when I need to blow the cobwebs out or drown out the kids noise, this is the LP to play!
TOP 4.

1 Blinded,
2 Once In Your Life,
3 Run,
4 Who Knows
Really missed that Cat though! (not the girlfriend)
Richard Townsend

Blinded has to be THE most under rated non hit of the 20th Century. I remember when my daughter was christened I was playing Transistion and the song Blinded blew everyone away. "Who IS that?" they all said. "John Miles . Never heard of him but I love the song" was the typical reply.
I love Transition. I was lucky enough to get it on tape and whenever I am going on long trips, it goes with me.
My top 4.

1. Blinded
2. Once In Your Life
3. Hard Times
4. I Need Your Love
Steven McIlveen

I liked Transition quite a lot - difference in production syles didn't bother me. It was more pleasing to me than "Play On".
My Transition Faves:
l) Blinded: (would have picked it for 1 and 2 if it were legal.) Love the soft instrumental background, contrasting with the strong vocal and wonderful guitar. Both guitar and vocal are just flat out "go for it".
2)I Need Your Love: Nice intro with the unusual voice effects. It's an interesting arrangement with the background singers, keyboard/synthesizer. I love JM's voice quality on this track - only missing some great guitar.
3)You're the One: This arrangement is pleasingly simple. It is one of the ballads that JM does so well. I like the "two hearts together" refrain running through it. Can't believe I picked another without a big guitar, but, what the heck - it's pretty.
4) Don't Lie to Me: I think this is some interesting music - with intriguing bits of discordance and tricks plus gorgeous guitar. I loved every minute of this rather raucus track.
Jean Hickman

I got the album as soon as it was released, and was pleased with Barriemore Barlow's inclusion, as on the Play On tour - I was and still am a big Tull fan, and have always regarded him very highly as a drummer (check out his contributions on the Heavy Horses album by Jethro Tull for example!). It would seem from the previous contributions that most people think the drums are too loud. I'd have to disagree - at no point do we have to struggle to hear JMs vocals. The drums are certainly very powerful - this is mostly because BB is using a synthesised drum kit, playing electronic drum pads which triggered samples of drums. The type of samples used are generally samples with gated reverb, which tends to give almost a gunshot quality to the sound. This was first used (you could say it was invented) by Phil Collins and his producer/engineer Hugh Padgham, and was used to drammatic effect on In The Air Tonight. Anyway, in my opinion, the drums fit in fine with the style of the music - rocky, but with modern electronic overtones.
The intro on I Need Your Love is actually JMs voice which has been sampled into a keyboard, producing an effect that would be very difficult to reproduce by singing (try it!) - it sounds like JM because it is, but doesn't because of the processing in the sampler! The keyboard sounds on many of the tracks are very typical of the kind of contemporary stuff around at the time - for example, You're The One has keyboards which are very similar to Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark. I Need Your Love also includes another idea which was popular at the time - the keyboard/guitar solo, where both instruments play in unison (as done by Nick Kershaw frequently). However, despite a lot of contemporary feels and influences, the overiding feel is of rock, which I have always felt is where JM is firmly rooted!
Anyway, after all of that preamble (not that it compares to Stephen's detailed essays!), on to my favourites - you can probably guess if you've noticed the sorts of things I like best off of previous albums!
1. Once In Your Life - I just love this for an opener and because of the beautiful guitar contributions. The lead break has a brilliant sound, quite different to the sound of previous albums - very thick and bassy, but with a very sharp edge as well. The sound seems to have a gated reverb effect on it as well. When I got my first digital programmable FX unit, I created a patch which I called "Transition" as it typified the guitar sound - it's still one of my favourites! I love the chorus as well on this one!
2. Run continues in the same vein - the lead break is another killer, showing off the lovely guitar sound again. It also features one of my favourite lyrics - "Born on the wrong side of the tracks, never defend you just attack!" - YES! Love it! To be honest, I find it difficult to separate these two tracks - I'd prefer them both as equal first really!
3. You're The One - not long after this album came out, I was in hospital and I had this on cassette to listen to whilst I was in: this song seemed so apt for the way I felt about my fiancee at the time (who eventually became my first wife), and it appeals to the hopeless romantic in me (my main personality trait after being an incurable rocker!!).
4. I Need Your Love - I like the light and shade in this one, and again I like the thoughtful ballad lyrics - it again reinforced my need for my fiancee, especially as I was missing her a lot whilst in hospital. The sampled vocal intro reminded me of some of the Yes stuff I liked, not surprising in view of Trevor Rabin's producing (although he's no where near as good a guitarist or keyboard player as JM!).
I thought the album was excellent, and was looking forward to seeing the songs in concert - I had tickets for the furthest south JM was coming - Stafford, but was told that the tour had been cancelled because JM had a throat infection as I recall. Whether I'm remembering correctly or not, I can't be 100%, but that's what has stuck in my memory... I'd still love to see JM perform these songs, as they deserve a live outing!
TOP 4.

1 Once In Your Life,
2 Run,
3 You're The One,
4 I Need Your Love
Bimal Jangra

Having taken note of John's comments a couple of days ago regarding past album reviews, I've put my bunch together. As there are so many I haven't commented on the individual tracks (I'd be at it for hours), so with no further ado the run down is as follows:-
1) Don't Lie to Me
2) Once In Your Life
3) I Need Your Love
4) Hard Time
Zoë Pinchin

1) Run
2) Once In Your Life
3) You're The One
4) I Need Your Love
Dan McVeigh