Thursday, July 31, 2008


An unusual speedy little post for you chaps this evening, some DOORS related stuff for your discerning palettes. Again, this is just a short post to tide you over until normal service is resumed, and is not indicative of any shift in the style of music we'll normally be posting here. It just so happens i'd posted these records recently for a couple of friend on other boards and thought some of you might enjoy hearing them as a little change of pace.
As even the most Doors sceptic amongst you will doubtless be aware, following the death (?) of vocalist Jim Morrison the remaining trio of Manzarek, Krieger & Densmore carried on under the Doors name for two more years & two more studio albums, (Other Voices & Full Circle). Robbie Krieger explains now what happened next.
"Before "An American Prayer", we did two albums as the Doors, "Full Circle" and "Other Voices", which were fairly well received albums. But the problem was after Jim had gone, the three of us couldn’t get along anymore. We did for a while but after a while, it got very strange. We all decided to go to England and maybe find a singer over there. So we all went over there, kind of moved over there. Then Dorothy, Ray’s wife, got pregnant and she had gone through some weird stuff. So Ray decided to go back home.
John Densmore and I were stuck over in London, so we formed this group called the BUTTS BAND with Phil Chen, who at that time was the hot bass player in England, like the James Jamerson of England. We had a singer named Jess Roden who'd been in the band BRONCO, and a keyboard player named Roy Davis. It was really a good band. We recorded half of the record in the U.K. and half in Jamaica which Phil helped with because he is from there and he was able to visit his mother and father for the first time in ten years. Then we came back to Los Angeles and we couldn’t hold the band together because half of them lived in England and half of us lived here. They got homesick and stuff didn’t happen as soon as we had hoped. The record got shuffled around to two or three record companies so then we did another album as the Butts Band with a whole different line up. Karl "Slick" Rucker was the bass player, Mike Stull sang & played guitar. What a great singer, he sounded like the Righteous Brothers. And we also had a lady keyboard player named Alex Richman. With this line up we did an album called “Here and Now”."
So here they are, both of the Butts Bands albums. They're pretty different from each other as you'd expect from the wholesale personnel changes between albums 1 and 2. The first album is my personal favourite of the pair, with Jess Roden's excellent vocals a particular highlight. As you'd expect the musicianship is exemplary throughout and these guys could certainly still write memorable songs. By album No 2, "Hear & Now", they'd lost their focus somewhat and couldn't seem to settle on any one individual style of music to focus on, but there are still some quality moments scattered throughout the disc. See what you think.

BUTTS BAND - Butts Band (1973) USA/UK

BUTTS BAND - Hear & Now (1975) USA

Whilst his former colleagues were playing as the BUTTS BAND, RAY MANZAREK had recorded two critically acclaimed solo albums, "The Golden Scarab" and "The Whole Thing Started With Rock'n'Roll", but was missing the band environment. Following an abortive attempt at forming a band with ex-STOOGE IGGY POP, he set about forming a new act, to be named NITE CITY. As he said at the time of the group, "Nite City sorta represents the dark side of LA. We're not the Eagles and we're not Jackson Browne. We're not part of the laid-back country scene. We're a big-city band. LA is a big city and we're part of both it's electricity and it's strangeness." NITECITY's debut is one of the better mid-70's rock albums you will hear, but is unfortunately one of the least known. Ex-DOORS keyboard wizard Ray Manzarek was the bands linchpin, with the rest of the band consisting of ex-RARE EARTH guitarist Paul Warren, former SILVERHEAD/future BLONDIE bassist Nigel Harrison, drummer Jimmy Hunter who later played with NICK GILDER, and unknown singer Noah James. The group played extensively throughout the USA in support of the record, opening shows for THE KINKS, HEART and THE RAMONES, as well as playing headlining club dates, but the record label never really gave the album the push it deserved.Musically this is a dark rock record with many moments which are bordering on Hard Rock. Sleazy, driving & moody, but also peppered with uplifting and beautiful moments too. Vocalist Noah James sounds like a cross between MICHAEL DES BARRES and ERIC BURDON in places, with Manzarek's unmistakable keyboard sound well to the fore too, but although the familiar organ sound may be used as the hook to grab your ear and draw you in initially, this sounds like a real group effort, an ensemble piece with everyone pulling their weight fantastically well. If you download only one album from tonight's post, make it this one, it's a little cracker! Many thanks to TOXXY for providing the link and permitting us to use it here, top man!
"Golden Days Diamond Nights", was their second & final album. Following their self-titled 1977 debut, the band dispensed with the services of their singer Noah James, with guitarist Paul Warren taking the lion's share of vocal duties on their sophomore disc. Manzarek himself also handles lead vocals on two tracks, but neither of the pair had distinctive enough vocals to elevate the album to the heights of it's predecessor.Their U.S. label shelved the record after hearing the results, but it was released in West Germany where the debut LP had been a reasonable success.
Frustrated by their lack of headway, bassist Nigel Harrison accepted an offer to join BLONDIE, and despite draughting in a replacement for a short tour, the writing was on the wall for Nite City, and the band folded soon after. Drummer Jimmy Hunter went on to play with FLO & EDDIE and STEPPENWOLF, becoming a respected session musician. Paul Warren became a long time ROD STEWART sideman and Manzarek forged ahead with a moderately successful career in production, with X being a notable success for him in this field.
"Take out your eyes".

NITE CITY - Nite City (1977) USA

NITE CITY - Golden Days Diamond Nights (1978) USA

Hope you find tonight's diversion interesting and worthwhile, my ongoing problems with my service provider should be sorted out within the next fortnight, hopefully this'll keep you all going 'til then.
Stick around, as i've got some great stuff coming your way then, i think you'll approve.
In the mean time keep commenting and let us know what you think of Butts Band & Nite City.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


Folks, sorry about the continuing hiatus here. I'm having some problems still with my internet connection which should be resolved within the next couple of weeks with a little luck.
Thanks for the support & patience, and don't worry, normal service will be resumed eventually.
In the meantime here's a quick post to tide you all over 'til we get back on our metaphorical feet.
For starters, another in our occasional series of KISS tribute albums, this one being 1994's Norwegian effort, " Flaming Youth", an 18 song trawl through the classic Kiss songbook, with some interesting interpretations along the way. To be honest, the only contributing band i'd heard of prior to this album was MOTORPSYCHO, but many of the others acquit themselves excellently too.

VARIOUS - FLAMING YOUTH : Norwegian KISS Tribute (NOR-1994)

Some vintage NWOBHM for you next, this is the "AD 1980" album by Legend. Formed in Kent in 1979, LEGEND's first line-up comprised of vocalist Chris Thow, former STREAMLINER and JAGUAR guitarist Mark Dawson, ex TORPEDO bassist Jose Rodriguez and ex BLOODSHOT & DERVISH drummer Alan Tracey. Following the 1981 ‘Hideaway’ single release, Rodriguez lost his place to erstwhile DERVISH bassist Gavin Matthews.LEGEND split in 1982. Dawson, Matthews and Tracey are now all in a covers band called TASTE STATION ZERO. The "AD-1980", album is made up of early recordings made from the bands early 80s demos. Not to be confused with the other NWOBHM band called Legend who were from Jersey.

LEGEND - A.D. 1980 (UK-1980)

Ruffkut were a traditional good time Heavy Metal power trio formed in Long Island New York by guitarist John Roggio in the early 1980's. With Bass player Tommy Henriksen and his brother Gene on drums & vocals the band was complete and became very popular on the local club scene, playing cover versions initially but adding their own material to the set as time went on. By 1984 they had enough material to enter a local studio and record a five song Mini LP which sadly was to be their only release. Now quite sought after, the scarce "Fight For The Right" Mini LP was privately pressed by the band and only available at Ruffkut gigs and from a few local record stores, but the quality of the songs & production bely the shoestring budget they had at their disposal, and the disc is a surprisingly good listen. Although very much of it's time, the bands upbeat VAN HALEN influenced Metal holds up remarkably well in the here & now and is beginning to pick up a cult audience 20+ years after its recording. Following the record's release the band expanded to a quartet, with Jay Nova joining on drums leaving Gene Henrikson free to concentrate on the vocals. Unfortunately, this arrangement was short-lived and Gene was shown the door in 1985, and replaced by another Henriksen brother! Bassist Tommy would leave the band in 1986 to join German Metal band WARLOCK, and subsequently played on DORO's solo debut, later playing and recording with WAR & PEACE & ex-DOKKEN guitarist GEORGE LYNCH. Henriksen was later also a member of ex-LOVE/HATE guitarist Darren Householder's band JAILHOUSE & then the short-lived NEEDLE PARK alongside POISON guitarist CC Deville.
Ruffkut carried on playing the club circuit for a few more years, but appear to have split around 86/87 after shortening the bands name to THE KUT.

RUFFKUT - Fight For The Right Mini LP (USA-1984)

Swedish Heavy Metal quintet Biscaya were formed in Göteborg in 1982. Their debut release was to be their self titled debut album which emeged in 1983 on RCA Records and is now hailed as a minor genre classic. They followed this in 1984 with the more commercial four song "On 45" EP, splitting later the same year. BISCAYA guitarist Martin Hedström would session on the 1993 PAGAN album 'The Weight'. Ex-bassist Hans Johannson resurfaced in Heavy Metal act PAIN AND PASSION during 1998. Erstwhile BISCAYA drummer Birger Löfman would feature in the 2002 DESTINY line-up. Pär Edwardson has produced a number of bands and albums (ROAD RAT, PSYCHOTIC YOUTH, HUMAN RACE, PAGAN, MILLION, etc). He also released a solo album in 2005 featuring guest performances by Ia Eklundh (FREAK KITCHEN), Kee Marcello (EUROPE, K2) and Tomas Lindberg (AT THE GATES) among others.

BISCAYA - On 45 EP (Swe-1984)

Dutch band Spoiler was formed after Gorinchem based band Crash disbanded. Where Crash had concentrated on playing rock music, Spoiler followed the path of 'hard rock' with a feel for melody but also some metallic corners. Spoiler did some demo stuff, which was followed by a track on the 3rd edition of the Metal Power EPs. This track was one of their bests so far, a real straight forward heavy metal song with classic riffs which deserve the moniker 'heavy' indeed!. In 1986 Spoiler released their 7" called "Kick down the Wall". This song was pretty good, but sounds like it's released in '81 rather than '86. The band hadn't really progressed since the song on the Metal Power 7". Unfortunately Spoiler never impressed too many people (at least, not outside their region). Anyway, I like this song, as well as the B-side which is a ballad (called "Starblindchild").
The band felt the need to make their music maybe a little more attractive. They started using make-up, line-up changes followed and not really much was ever heard from Spoiler again.

SPOILER - Kick Down The Wall 7" (Hol-1986)

NWOBHM band AURORA, issuing the solitary 1982 single 'I'll Be Your Fantasy', would feature the AIIZ pairing of lead vocalist Dave Owens, guitarist Duncan Ferguson and drummer Simon Wright, the latter also citing prior credits with TORA TORA. At one stage AIIZ's Gary Owens would also feature. In latter years Simon Wright would carve out a worthy career in Rock n' Roll as member of such outfits as TYTAN, AC/DC, DIO, RHINO BUCKET and UFO.

AURORA - I'll Be Your Fantasy 7" (UK-1982)

Birmingham Heavy Metal band STEEL's business affairs were handled by former JUDAS PRIEST manager Dave Corke and ex-JUDAS PRIEST drummer John Hinch. Their lone release was to be the "All Systems Go" 45 on Neat Records in 1981.Frontman Paul Tunnicliffe had previously played with Gainsborough act EXCALIBUR and the group added new drummer Ian West in 1984.Two members of STEEL later formed Pop band BOY. Vocalist Paul Tunnicliffe would forge ROUGH JUSTICE alongside ex-REQUIEM bassist Gordon Denny, then later front Thrash Metal band SLAMMER for two albums. Drummer Simon Atkins would later turn up in THE EARTHMOVERS and RANDOLPH FLAGG.

STEEL - All Systems Go 7" (UK-1981)

Hope this little lot will keep you going 'til things get back to normal, enjoy!!