Sunday, August 19, 2007


Hi people, a bit of a "back to basics" post for today, pretty much Hard Rock & NWOBHM all the way.
And there ain't nothing wrong with that!
To begin with, putting the "live" into "Live & Otherwise", is the 1981 "Live & Raw" album by French maverick rock'n'rollers Shakin' Street. This one captures the band at the height of their powers playing before the biggest crowds of their career as the opening act on the US "Black & Blue Tour" of 1980, opening for BLUE OYSTER CULT & BLACK SABBATH. This shows the band raising their game to win over the huge audiences, and by the crowd responses, it sounds like they were succeeding. BOC's BUCK DHARMA & LED ZEPPELIN's JIMMY PAGE show up to guest on "Vampire Rock" too! PAGE reappearing to make a cameo appearance on the exclusive studio bonus track "Mome Des Villes" as well!

SHAKIN' STREET - Live & Raw (1981) France

Now to the USA for the sole album from a band with an interesting back story. This is "Max Havoc No 1", by Los Angeles Hard Rockers Max Havoc. Initially the band was put together by BLACK SABBATH drummer BILL WARD after his departure following "Heaven & Hell", alongside frontman Pat McKeon. They eventually drafted the services of former WRATHCHILD guitarist Phil Vokins, and recorded some demos before Vokins departure to PERSIAN RISK, and Ward's temporary return to SABBATH for "Born Again".
McKeon put together a new line up with former MICKEY RATT and future SALTY DOG drummer Khurt Maier, guitarist Scott Lane and bassist Jim Hudgins. This is the line up which recorded the album, with Ward overseeing the project as "executive producer", and featuring guest contributions from QUIET RIOT guitarist CARLOS CAVAZO and W.A.S.P. drummer TONY RICHARDS. Musically, it's top-notch Hard Rock in the mould of early CRUE/W.A.S.P. with a more radio friendly edge. Strange then that so few are aware of the band, especially considering the calibre of the players involved. Rectify the situation now folks, this is some good stuff!

MAX HAVOC - Max Havoc No 1 (1983) USA

Another in the ever popular NWOBHM BBC session series now. This time around we're proud to present Wakefield three piece Vardis, with a four song session from back in '81, recorded for the late TOMMY VANCE's BBC "Friday Rock Show". Steve Zodiac and co. are on top form here, rollin' & a tumblin' through an inspired selection of their songs with verve and grit. For a while it seemed that Vardis were poised for the big breakthrough into the major league, but it never happened despite their initial promise. Listening to this, i'm baffled as to the reason why.

VARDIS - BBC Session (1981) UK

I'm afraid i don't have much info to impart on the subject of the next featured band, this is the "Phoenix Rising" EP by Phoenix, released in 1982 on their own Phoenix label. This contains four tracks of gritty, unmistakably British Heavy Metal, typical of the era in sound, but a cut above the norm in terms of songwriting. This appears to have been their only release unfortunately, fans of the genre will find much to appreciate here.

PHOENIX - Phoenix Rising EP (1982) UK

Next, as promised last time, here is the other release by Welsh Metallers Mithrandir, this is their debut 7", "Dreamers Of Fortune". This was released in 1982 on New Leaf Records and shows the band are capable of more concise songwriting than on their prog tinged "Magick" Ep. These songs are more straightforward and instant, and depending on your perspective, the "Magick" EP could be looked upon as a step backwards in comparison. Me? I like both. Considering the bands average age was 17 at the time of these recordings, it's astonishing that they'd mastered one style let alone two!

MITHRANDIR - Dreamers Of Fortune 7" (1982) UK

Another scintillating slab of prime NWOBHM black vinyl for you now, courtesy of Slough band Sledgehammer. This is their awesome "Living In Dreams" 7" from 1980, released to capitalise on the attention they'd gained from their appearance on "Metal For Muthas". The flipside, "Fantasia", is my favourite of the tracks, musically inventive with a slightly psychedelic edge and lyrically humorous to boot. "She blew my mind, that ain't all!" Great stuff from one of the unsung pillars of the early daze of the movement.

SLEDGEHAMMER - Living In Dreams 7" (1980) UK

Finally for now, here's the "We'll Rock The World" 7" by Sheffield based rockers Panza Division. This lot had been doing the rounds since 1978, initially under the name of ROKKA, releasing the "Come Back" 7" in 1980. Unfortunately, despite prime support slots with Y&T, SAXON & TWISTED SISTER, their recorded legacy is limited to this solitary 7". Eventually their bassist, Alan Edwards left to join WITCHFYNDE, leading to a period of personnel comings & goings and the eventual dissolution of the band. A pity, this is great Hard Rockin' fayre, and they must have had quite a catalogue of songs waiting to be recorded. Damn it!

PANZA DIVISION - We'll Rock The World 7" (1982) UK

See you again midweek, for some more rare treats!


Blogger micksguitar said...

awesome single. this is hard to find. a great share. thanx mick.

Sunday, August 19, 2007 2:42:00 PM  
Blogger Patrick said...

Thanks for the Max Havoc. I never knew the backstory of it, thanks for the album and the info!

Sunday, August 19, 2007 3:26:00 PM  
Blogger Alocacoc said...

Awesome! Thanks for the Shakin' Street live!!!

Sunday, August 19, 2007 3:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for sledgehammer and panza division.

Sunday, August 19, 2007 3:57:00 PM  
Anonymous bigfootkit said...

Glad you enjoyed it Mick, but you never said which single you meant.
Glad you enjoyed Max Havoc Patrick, a shamefully overlooked band.
Alocacoc, it's nice to give you something for a change, after all the great stuff i've gotten from your blog.
Kosmonaut, you're very welcome buddy, the Sledgehammer 7" is a personal favourite of mine, so i'm glad it went down well.

Sunday, August 19, 2007 5:39:00 PM  
Blogger Rob said...

wow great post...thanks a lot for all your efforts..2 shakin street albums in a day (vampire rock from Alocacoc this morning)and now this one I never even knew about !! great stuff

Sunday, August 19, 2007 5:57:00 PM  
Anonymous bigfootkit said...

If anyone's interested, i'm sure some will be, there are a couple of Baron Rojo albums over at Orion Awakes.
Go getcha sum!

Monday, August 20, 2007 6:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks again for you share, man!

Monday, August 20, 2007 9:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Indeed Vardis is one of the
hidden treasures of the NWOBHM (inspite they were more a heavy R&R band, but those guitarsolos,AWESOME)
Check out theit 100Mph debut lp,a real killerrrrrr!!!

Thanks for this post, Ron

Monday, August 20, 2007 12:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Nils Tibor said...

Many thanks for the Shakin' Street - Live & Raw album.
A great concert from a good band.


Tuesday, August 21, 2007 1:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

shakin street rocks!!! thanks

Tuesday, August 21, 2007 5:51:00 PM  
Anonymous bigfootkit said...

Glad you all enjoyed this post so much, hope you find as much to tickle you in the next batch.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007 6:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot - Sledgehammer rocks!

Thursday, August 23, 2007 2:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Danny said...

Been downloading a lot from your blog lately! Excellent stuff throughout!

Do you have Breakin' Chains (released in 2001) by Silver Mountain? Been enjoying them a lot lately ...

Thanks again for everything!


Friday, August 24, 2007 5:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Panza Division have a couple of tunes that are on a compliation: Scene of the Crime: Blitz & The Day Delta both tunes are great but Blitz is the hard movin number...almost sounds like Vardis

Thursday, March 20, 2008 2:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ps...i was so throttled when i commented the other night i forget where i left the Wireless debut lp
Don Mills & Lawrence(Donway East to be exact)
...Gasworks..Knobby..Piccadilly Tube..Yonge Station..El Mo

again..any possibility of upping Wireless debut if you have it!
i'll remember this post i am just under the influence of a pretzel right now!

thanx again for the great posts


Thursday, March 20, 2008 2:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if you have somewhere i can send it or any other nwobhm tunes...let me know where i can send it to and anything you may want...i have tons of nwobhm here and a shitload more at my exes in Kingston,lmao...i know what people are thinking...she's cool we get along great and they are all still there!!

Thursday, March 20, 2008 3:26:00 PM  
Blogger antimente said...

hi from chile!!! here most nwobhm bands remains unknow, and this kind of sound it´s almost forgoten in the dark ages of rock n roll!!!!!

check for antimente on youtube!

Monday, June 02, 2008 2:59:00 PM  
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