Monday, August 18, 2008


Let's get the week off to a flying start with some kick ass artifacts to lift your spirits.
Up first, one of the first albums i ever bought, 1981's "The World's Insane", by Vardis. Created in 1977 by guitarist Steve Zodiac, a name adopted from the lead character in Gerry Anderson's early 60s 'Fireball XL5' Sci-Fi puppet series, as QUO VARDIS after the movie of the same name. The QUO prefix was soon dropped from the band name to avoid confusion or comparison with STATUS QUO. VARDIS carved out their distinction on the NWoBHM scene as a boogiefied Power Metal band heavily reliant on the talents of Zodiac, well known for playing gigs barefoot. VARDIS' first EP '100 M.P.H.', released in 1979 on Redball Records, sold out of the initial 2000 copies quickly enough for the band to release another single, 'If I Were King', on Castle. Shortly after the second record emerged the trio (completed by bassist Alan Selway and drummer Gary Pearson) were signed by Logo Records. Logo wasted little time in issuing debut product from VARDIS and, towards the end of 1980, '100 M.P.H.' emerged. The album was recorded totally live, displaying VARDIS' talents to the max and the ensuing 'Let's Go' single achieved a top 60 placing in the UK singles chart as the band hit their stride. The band's next album, the studio recorded 'The World's Insane', kept up the momentum.
VARDIS were invited to open the momentous Port Vale 'Heavy Metal Holocaust' event, which saw them followed onstage by FRANK MARINO, RIOT, TRIUMPH, OZZY OSBOURNE and MOTÖRHEAD. However, with third album 'Quo Vardis' the band chose to herald a new era of experimentation, utilizing both saxophone and piano. VARDIS fans did not appreciate the change in direction and began to drift away. Despite putting in a UK support tour to SLADE and even playing second on the bill to HAWKWIND at the Wolverhampton Monmore Rock Festival, sales slumped and the act were promptly dropped by Logo Records. VARDIS made a comeback album, "The Lion's Share", in late 1983 with ex-DIRTY TRICKS and OZZY OSBOURNE bassist Terry Horbury replacing Selway. Another stab was made in 1986 with the "Vigilante" album, but VARDIS were effectively a spent force and folded soon after.

VARDIS - The World's Insane (1981) UK

This next record got a lot of hype as one of those lost psych masterpieces.
It isn't.
Instead, "Savagery & Grace" by the US band Decadence is a surprisingly impressive slice of Hard Rock. The album was released on the bands own Decadence For Savagery Productions label in 1980, and was written and produced by guitarist Gary Richard Jinks, it's a concept piece (1st of a three part opera, the third piece was never recorded). Lead singer Jacque Hoffman is the Star turn of this Illinois-based outfit. For a no-budget home project, the set's not half bad. This is the first, and rarest, of the band's two independent albums. See what you think.

DECADENCE - Savagery & Grace (1980) USA

Staying in the US for the moment, here's the 1983 six song self titled Mini LP from Hellion. HELLION, fronted by vocalist Ann Boleyn, initially made their mark on the Los Angeles circuit with a series of demos. As a result of these Mystic Records offered HELLION a spot on a compilation album, 'Sound Of Hollywood Girls', but prior to these sessions Peyton Tuthill left the band, claiming Boleyn's involvement in the occult as a deciding factor. Tuthill later became ordained as a minister. Brian West was inducted for the recordings, which took place on New Year's Eve. The relationship with Mystic fragmented but, although HELLION had not gone to contract, the label paired off a HELLION track, 'Nightmares In Daylight', with another high profile Los Angeles female fronted act, BITCH, on a split 7" vinyl single. The same label also released a further HELLION 7" the following year, 'Driving Hard' / 'Black Knight'. In 1983 HELLION recruited lead guitarist Alan Barlam and bass player Bill Sweet and utilised Fiddler's Studio in Hollywood, California to cut demos, laying down four tracks overnight. With no deal forthcoming, HELLION manufactured custom imprint Bongus Lodus Records to press the material on 12" vinyl. The band, now managed by Wendy Dio, were soon the focus of attention when the record was picked up in Europe by Music For Nations. The London based label financed the recording of a further two songs, 'Break The Spell' and 'Up From The Depths', to make up the European release of 'Hellion' in January 1984. The HELLION line-up for the mini-album saw Boleyn alongside guitarists Ray Schenk and Alan Barlam, bassist Bill Sweet and drummer Sean Kelly. However, disagreements between management and band were to break this line up of the band apart.

HELLION - Hellion Mini LP (1983) USA

Four blasts from the past in a NWOBHM style coming up next!
Torture were a little known NWOBHM act active in the early 1980's. Their only release was this, the three track "Last Post" 12" EP , issued by Wildebeest Records in 1981. Now very scarce, this is reflected in the asking price on the rare occasions when it comes up for sale nowadays.

TORTURE - Last Post EP (1981) UK

NWOBHM quintet DEUCE sought to impress on their one and only single by covering the GOLDEN EARRING classic 'Radar Love'. This 7" 1985 Madhouse Records release featured their original song "Christine" on the flip side. DEUCE men Steve Barns, Paul Belton and Ade Fowler stuck together after the band split and later formed the more AOR themed ST. HELLIER, though Barns didn't remain in the band for long. ST. HELLIER would release the 1989 "Terra Firma" LP and support DEMON on their UK tour that year, subsequently releasing a 1991 7" called "Frustration". In 1988 former DEUCE members Steve Barns and Mick McGovern founded CHAYNED MAYLE. Not to be confused with the Nottingham act DEUCE who were also operational in the mid eighties.

DEUCE - Radar Love 7" (1985) UK

Cumbrian NWOBHM Hard Rock act GOLDSMITH was created in Barrow-In-Furness in 1981 by former BITCHES SIN guitarist Perry "Pez" Hodder. Originally a trio, with Pez handling lead vocals, Glen Milligan on bass and Mike Henderson on drums, the group subsequently added Pete Adams on second guitar. The band debuted with the "Evil Woman" 7" on their own Goldsmith label in early 1982. A four song demo, "'82 Demo", was then circulated after the single's release.
Late '82 saw the release of this further 45, "Life Is Killing Me", on Bedlam Records. Goldsmith then recorded a 12'' acetate called You Won't Catch Me, that was planned to be released in 1983. That never happened and only one copy of the acetate is believed to exist. The band petered out in early 1984, and that appeared to be the end of the Goldsmith saga. However, in 2004, an eleven song compilation of the bands '80's recordings, also entitled "Life Is Killing Me", was released by Obscure NWOBHM Releases Records.

GOLDSMITH - Life Is Killing Me 7" (1982) UK

Shywolf were a shortlived NWOBHM trio from Derby. Their only release was this one, the "Lucretia" 7" single which was backed with the song "California Jam". The single, released in 1982 on the MRS Records label, is now a pricey and sought after collectors item. Although lacking in individuality, it's a very enjoyable little record, capturing the spirit and sound of the era perfectly.

SHYWOLF - Lucretia 7" (1982) UK

That should satisfy you all 'til next we get to posting.
Please keep the comments, suggestions, praise & hate coming.
That's the shit that keeps this blogger going.


Anonymous nightsblood said...

Nice post, as always! Goldsmith's coupe de grace was 'Give Me Your Love', a great track only released on a compilation ('60 Minutes Plus' I think... don't have access to my ref material to dbl-check right now). The CD anthology did not feature any lost gems IMO.
Deuce did some cracking numbers earlier in their career that were featured on 'Southern Comfort Vol 1', one of those small local samplers from ca 1983. That particular vol in the series has 5 outstanding NWOBHM tracks on it (the other 5 tunes are more pop-synth stuff; not terrible, but not metal). Found a copy of it earlier this year and ordered it from Vinyl Tap in the UK, but when it arrived the cover was in terrible condition (had been advertised as Ex, it was barely Vg-), so I had to send it back (VT quickly gave a full refund). The high's and low's of record collecting :-)
Looking forward to hearing Shywolf; have seen it on lists over the years but never got to check it out.

Monday, August 18, 2008 10:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you very much. Great post.
Thanks especially for the Vardis album

Tuesday, August 19, 2008 8:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great to get back to regular posts. Your efforts are always appreciated. Really looking forward to hearing the Shywolf single. Do you have the Split Beaver LP - When Hell Won't Have You? Thanks a lot, Blofeld

Wednesday, August 20, 2008 7:04:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you very much.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008 9:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Ron..... the cheeb said...

Hello again, great stuff as always. I have the Goldsmith compilation cd. I don't know if it's still available, but I can upload it if that complies with the rules of this particular blog. It contains the "Life Is Killing Me" single, the 3 tracks from the "You Won't Catch Me" acetate, and 3 of the 4 tracks from the '82 demo. I believe "Evil Woman" from the acetate may be the same track that was originally on the demo, not sure. There are a few other unreleased cuts. I cannot find any mention on the 'net of an "Evil Woman" single release by the band.
While I'm here-- does anyone have some suggestions on how to gather solid, reliable info on nwobhm releases? I use and Sometimes they are incomplete, as seems to be the case with Goldsmith. Keep up the good work, BigFoot. Your spandex is blinding me from across the Atlantic.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008 11:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Ron..... the cheeb said...

Dangit !! I hate when I forget stuff. The Goldsmith compilation does contain "Give Me Your Love". It is not specified where it comes from. However, I compared it to the cut from "60 Minutes Plus" compilation, and they are the same recording. My best guess is that the comp cd used the demo track since the other demo tracks are there, which means that the 60 Minutes Plus cassette used the demo track. Okay then. My knickers are now un-bunched....sort of.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008 11:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Ron - You can get good info from BNR Metal Pages ( not comprehensive in band listings but OK), or the best source for all info is Malc MacMillan's Encyclopedia of NWOBHM although I'm not sure if this is still available. You could also try the Rockdetector site. Best wishes, Blofeld

Thursday, August 21, 2008 4:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks a lot for another great post !

Thursday, August 21, 2008 8:19:00 AM  
Anonymous Ron..... the cheeb said...

The second time I listened to the Deuce single, I noticed that the tracks are not split properly. The first part of Christine is on the end of the Radar Love file. I changed them so each MP3 file is one full song. Go to
(my first RapidShare upload, hopefully I didnt bungle it)
Roger, Roger, over and out.....and quit calling me "Shirley"

Thursday, August 21, 2008 5:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Ron..... the cheeb said...

I bungled it. Use this link instead for the Deuce single

Thursday, August 21, 2008 5:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said... is a good resource for finding out about releases by bands regardless of genres. is also useful for getting an idea of prices on rarer releases at auction.
Hope this helps,

Thursday, August 21, 2008 7:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Ron..... the cheeb said...

thanks to all who offered locations with nwobhm info! I found a new one myself.
It is dead for 3 years, but there are some really good high res pictures of record sleeves, for those poor saps like me who want to look at something while the song is playing. cheers

Saturday, August 23, 2008 6:50:00 PM  
Blogger micksguitar said...

great bunch of uploads.fantastic lp's thank you.

Monday, August 25, 2008 4:07:00 PM  
Blogger Ade said...

Check out:

There's some St Hellier stuff on there. More plus Deuce to come.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008 9:38:00 AM  

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