Another fortnight passed, the nights are drawing in, the heat of the sun beginning to wane somewhat, i'm afraid it's that time of year again.
What better tonic then, than some obscure, rare Heavy music from the simpler days of yore?
Who is KORY CLARKE?
It's a good question, and there are many answers.
Musically, he has always been very experimental, beginning in his teens as a jazz fusion drummer, taking lessons from a member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra to broaden his percussive abilities.
After leaving high school, he veejayed at various clubs, and became a leading influence in some of Detroit's most avante-garde Art-Punk bands, including L7 (not the all girl Grunge band) and THE TRIAL, who's live show featured two video cameras and two 25-inch television screens playing pre-recorded tapes.
After the demise of The Trial, some "legal issues" forced Clarke to leave Detroit, so he relocated, first to London, then to New York in 1985.
Soon after he found himself behind the drum kit for an embryonic version of RAGING SLAB, with whom he played for around 18 months.
Kory then got a job as a VJ at the achingly hip New York nightclub called Danceteria, controlling the giant video screens there three nights a week.
On nights off he performed at the Pyramid Bar downtown, a transvestite bar that specialised in spoken word and performance art.
His confrontational one man show was entitled "Warrior Soul", but before long his love of music resurfaced and took his focus in a different direction.
Keeping the WARRIOR SOUL banner, Clarke put together a Heavy Rock band of the same name, and within 6 months and 5 gigs together, the fledgling band were snapped up by major label Geffen Records.
The band's debut album, "Last Decade, Dead Century", was like nothing else released by a major label in 1990, stark, hard-rockin' and fiercely individual, with lyrics filled with grubby reality, politics, drugs, poetry and punk spirit.
METALLICA took Warrior Soul out as their support act on a European arena tour, and the band proved to be a formidable live act, with Clarke in particular equal parts shaman, rock star, political firebrand and genuine insurrectionist.
Back in the States, the band toured coast to coast with DANZIG, and recorded a second album.
"Drugs, God & The New Republic", was every bit as startling as it's predecessor, but the American label and management, seemed unsure how to market the band, sending them out on the road with QUEENSRYCHE, a billing that seemed to polarise audience opinions.
Album number 3, "Salutations From The Ghetto Nation", proved to be yet another brilliant set, with the songs shorter, harder and more focused, and the lyrics more biting and vitriolic than ever before.
However, yet again, Geffen dropped the ball, and the band fought to get out of their deal, but the label refused to relent, demanding a further album.
That album, "Chill Pill", proved to be a denser, more low key, introspective, artier record than it's predecessor, and was to be the last they'd record for Geffen.
Following personnel changes, a new look Warrior Soul signed to Music For Nations, and released "The Space Age Playboys", a blistering collection of songs, with a punkier edge than previously. The record fared well in Europe, where the band toured relentlessly, with the likes of THE ALMIGHTY, BANG TANGO and HEADSWIM, and played at both the Dynamo and Donington Festivals.
However, just after the album was released in the USA on the Mayhem label, the band imploded, and it looked to be the end of the road for Warrior Soul.
Clarke resurfaced soon after in a decadent Glam infused Punk act called SPACE AGE PLAYBOYS who released two albums on the Dreamcatcher label, but this band too soon disbanded.
After the demise of SAP, Clarke released his first solo album, "Opium Hotel", then a collection of Warrior Soul outtakes entitled "Fucker" in Europe and "Odds & Ends" in the USA, before reforming the classic Warrior Soul line up in 2000 and re-recording an albums worth of classic WS songs as "Classics", before that line up imploded yet again.
Clarke then joined DIRTY RIG, and released an album with them called "Rock Did It", before putting together a new line-up of Warrior Soul featuring English and Swedish musicians.
The new line up debuted with a live album, "Live In England", and have since toured Europe several times.
Clarke also found time to tour and record as the drummer with THE STONED, and recorded an album with a new project featuring ex-KILLING JOKE bassist Paul Raven, called MOB RESEARCH. Sadly, Raven died of a heart attack before "Holy City Zoo" was released.
Warrior Soul released a new studio album through their website in 2008 entitled "Chinese Democracy". After the initial run had sold out, it was again made available through the site as "And We Rock'n'Roll". It was finally given a proper release in 2009 with new cover art and another different title, "Destroy The War Machine".
A fine collection, it combines all the best elements of the band's past, and updates their sound for the new millennium.
A second solo album, "Will Work For Food", surfaced late in 2008, and is a collection of demos, collaborations with other artists and cover versions of bands as disparate as TED NUGENT, SCORPIONS, DEF LEPPARD, JUDAS PRIEST and JOURNEY.
Clarke is also now the lead vocalist for Chicago Doom/Classic Rock veterans TROUBLE, and debuted with them on their 2009, "Live In Los Angeles" album.
2010 sees Kory Clarke now living in Berlin, performing his new rock cabaret "Kory On The Rocks" with local backing band STASHBOX, and recording a studio album with Trouble in Chicago, provisionally called "The Dark Riff".
He is also gearing up for a new Warrior Soul album due in 2011.
So, you tell me.
Who is Kory Clarke?
KORY CLARKE - Will Work For Food (2008) USAhttp://www.megaupload.com/?d=N47FMNHZ
SARACEN were an Australian Heavy Metal act with strong Prog-Rock influences.
The band were formed in Perth, Western Australia, in 1980 by former FATTY LUMPKIN and EVEREST Vocalist/Guitarist John Meyer, Bassist Jon Ryder and Drummer Tony Cooper.
Around this time the band released a cassette only live album, called "Live In The City".
After a short time Tony Cooper left and Peter Thompson took over drums in 1981.
SARACEN was put on hold in 1983 when guitarist John Meyer opted out in an unlikely move to hook up with Australian Hard Rock institution ROSE TATTOO.
The two remaining members, frontman Jon Ryder and drummer Peter Thompson united with ex-BLACK ALICE guitarist Jamie Page to found TRILOGY.
After two years of rehearsing, gigging and refining the band's sound, Trilogy released their ten song debut album, "Life On Earth" in 1985 as a private pressing.
The album belied it's modest recording budget, with a sympathetic production giving the bands Heavy yet Progressive and accessible songs lots of light and shade.
After the album's release, and despite favourable reviews, Jamie Page left the band, later reappearing with ANGUS McDETH and then BLACK STEEL.
Peter Jenkins was brought in to replace Page, but it wasn't long before he was ousted in favour of the returning John Meyer.
The French Axe Killer Record label released Trilogy's second and final album, "Next In Line" in 1986 in Europe only.
By the time of the album's independent release in Australia later in the year, Trilogy had reverted to the SARACEN name, releasing the record as a self-titled Saracen album.
This incarnation of the band would also, sadly, prove to be short lived, with the members going their separate ways in 1987.
Bassist John Ryder reappeared in the early 1990's as a member of PROJECT X, who released an album entitled "The Mirror" in 1995.
Guitarist John Meyer went on to join CHAIN, recording three albums with them, before going solo in 1992.
Since then he's released four solo albums in a Blues Rock style, as well as playing on various sessions and doing production work.
TRILOGY - Next In Line (1986) Australiahttp://www.megaupload.com/?d=R5ZUIEQP
(Mirror courtesy of Sadness
THE STERLING COOKE FORCE was an American Heavy Rock band formed in 1980 around guitarist Sterling Koch (aka "Sterling Cooke"), in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.
The group made their recording debut with a self-released 1982 7" single, "Don't Need You Anymore", backed by a cover version of THE BEATLES "Tomorrow Never Knows".
The single somehow brought the band to the attention of Darryl Johnston, head of the UK based Ebony Records label, who signed the band, and brought them to England to record their debut LP, "Full Force", as well as producing the record.
The album has an obvious Hendrix influence to it, with Cooke leading from the front, fretboard pyrotechnics well to the fore with a tight and Hard Rocking band ably backing him up.
A 1985 Ebony single "Down On Love", contained more of the same, with a new bassist and singer beefing up the sound somewhat.
The Sterling Cooke Force returned in 1986 with the "Force This!" album on Ransom Records, but by this time Cooke was the only constant, recording with a revolving line-up of musicians.
A third album, "Taken By Force", was recorded in 1988 but was never released, as The Sterling Cooke Force disintegrated before finding a label to issue the record.
Cooke then pursued a solo career, releasing 3 instrumental shred-fest cassette only albums between 1990 and 1996, and becoming a born-again Christian.
1998's "In The Spirit", saw him go acoustic, as well as reverting to the Sterling Koch monicker, with a Christmas album following in 2000.
In this time, Koch put together a new band project called V.I.H. (Victory In Heaven), a more Blues-Rock oriented outfit, releasing three albums between 2001-2003, but this line-up of the band collapsed in 2004.
2 more solo albums were issued, before Koch decided he was resurrecting the V.I.H. name for a new band project, but by now he was playing more and more lap steel guitar, so the two subsequent V.I.H. albums have a far more rootsy sound than their predecessors.
Alongside V.I.H., Koch has continued to make solo albums, these also showcasing his love of lap steel blues guitar, with two in this style already released with a new Mini album "Steel Guitar Blues", released just recently.
THE STERLING COOKE FORCE - Full Force (1984) USAhttp://www.megaupload.com/?d=7GCIBNZZ
HARPO were a terrific Hard Rock outfit from Sunbury, Pennsylvania formed way back in 1974.
Their 1981 self-titled debut Mini Album on Mallard Records found favour within the Pomp Rock collector fraternity thanks to the classic track "Rendezvous" that clocks in at 8 minutes and truly is worthy of a place in your collection. The rest of the songs are shorter, more streamlined and rock harder, all great in their own right, but the aforementioned track is something truly special.
On Harpo went, but they were not to record their first full length album until 1987, when "Armed To Deliver" was issued by Atlas Records.
This is a harder collection of songs, but there's still space for Harpo to show their subtler side here and there.
The new album captured the attention of EMI and Polygram Records with EMI deciding to take a trip to Scranton to see the band a second time.
Harpo seemed on the verge of getting signed to a major record label when tragedy struck. Lead vocalist John "Lloyd" Kistner was involved in a very serious auto accident when he was struck head-on by a drunk driver on Christmas Eve, 1988.
After a year of extensive physical therapy, the tenacious Kistner was again ready to rock.
Before releasing a six song Mini LP entitled "Fire Your Fire" ; Harpo added a new drummer, Rich Smith, from Williamsport, PA.
Together with original members Kerstetter and Kistner, Harpo were, once again, heading in the right direction.
It then took until 1992 for their next album to appear, "Too Much Is Just Enough".
This one was a bit of a mish-mash, collecting five new songs and compiling tracks from their first 2 releases for their CD debut.
By the time of 1996's "Smokin' Gun", Harpo had become a far heavier proposition, but there's style and finesse in abundance beneath all the bluster.
The band's most recent release, 1997's "Harpo Live - Go Heavy Or Go Home!", finds drummer Kyle Gilbert replacing Rich Smith, with the band in blinding live form in front of a partisan home town crowd playing 4 brand new tracks as well as their live hits.
The band played their final gig on New Year's Eve 1998, and sadly, that was pretty much it for Harpo.
These days Kerstetter and Silvagni make their living by playing a mixture of classic Hard Rock/Heavy Metal covers in the band SUCKER PUNCH and occasionally reunite to play a full scale gig with their former band mates as Harpo, reviving their old "hits".
HARPO - Harpo Mini LP (1981) USAhttp://www.megaupload.com/?d=7VVVBCDK
A NWOBHM institution, the TYGERS OF PAN TANG never really capitalised on their impressive headstart despite some excellent albums.
The band formed in late 1978 in Whitley Bay with original vocalist Mark, guitarist Robb Weir, bass player Rocky and drummer Brian Dick.
This incarnation lasted a mere three gigs before Jess Cox was asked to join the trio as lead vocalist.
The band's debut demo recordings were cut at Impulse Studios in Wallsend and featured three tracks, namely 'Euthanasia', 'Straight As A Die' and 'The Final Answer'. Feedback generated from a Sounds magazine feature saw the band being watched at a Sunderland gig in 1979 by major labels such as Virgin, RCA and MCA.
However, local label Neat Records picked the band up for a 7" single, the ribald "Don't Touch Me There", which not only sold over 7000 copies for the indie Neat label, but its success helped the record company become an out and out Heavy Metal factory production line.
The Tygers Of Pan Tang were then snapped up by MCA Records, who re-released the debut single again in March 1980, whereupon it proceeded to sell yet another 7000 copies. The band played support dates with MAGNUM, followed by a myriad of gigs with DEF LEPPARD, DIAMOND HEAD, ANGEL WITCH, GIRLSCHOOL and IRON MAIDEN.
The band then added ex-STREETFIGHTER guitarist John Sykes following the release of the debut "Wildcat" album in 1980 and the band toured hard, supporting SAXON on their "Wheels Of Steel" tour.
It was following the group's 1980 Reading Festival performance, no doubt prompted by numerous press jibes that Cox could not sing, the Tygers ditched their frontman and duly replaced him with PERSIAN RISK vocalist Jon Deverill.
Meantime, Cox joined LIONHEART then formed the JESS COX BAND.
Jon Deverill made his debut with 1981's "Spellbound" album, a record which certainly improved the group's standing, selling well with the band again undertaking a heavy schedule of road work.
To capitalize on their momentum, the band were quick to record their third album, "Crazy Nights", but John Sykes left shortly after its release, finding fame with THIN LIZZY, WHITESNAKE and BLUE MURDER. In later years Sykes would rise to genuine superstar status in Japan as a solo artist.
Sykes abrupt departure two days before a scheduled French tour meant his replacement, ex-PENETRATION guitarist Fred Purser, had to learn the set in those two days before the band undertook the tour.
Next the Tygers Of Pan Tang produced their fourth album, the softer, slicker sounding "The Cage" which went on to sell over 200,000 albums globally and spawned two Top 50 hits in Britain. The band undertook a highly successful Japanese tour before returning home for a triumphant performance at the 1982 Reading Rock Festival.
Sadly, the band then faced a lengthy legal wrangle to free themselves from their MCA contract, due to the label's reluctance to promote the band in America.
Weir and Dick then quit in late 1983 to form SERGEANT.
The Tygers Of Pan Tang regrouped in late 1984 with Deverill, Purser, ex-JESS COX BAND guitarist Mark Proctor and former WARRIOR bassist Colin Irwin. However, Proctor soon quit to join BLITZKRIEG.
Following a series of further contractual hassles the band actually split, only to be re-formed in 1985. Joining Deverill and Dick were new members Neil Shepherd on guitar, Sergeant guitarist Steve Lamb and bassist Dave Donaldson of the Jess Cox Band. The resulting album, "The Wreck-Age", emerged through Music For Nations. Ignored and critically panned, the record sold poorly, finally causing the band's demise.
During 1986 Neat Records released a Tygers Of Pan Tang album titled "First Kill". The record was a collection of early material featuring Jess Cox from 1979/1980.
The Tygers Of Pan Tang did finally reform, after a fashion, with Cox and Weir banding together with members of Blitzkrieg for a one off reunion gig at the 1999 Wacken festival, which was released in America on the Spitfire label as the "Live In Wacken" album.
They had approached Jon Deverill to fill the vocal position but he declined to be involved.
Robb Weir decided to reform the band, despite being the only original member. The new Tygers line up were Dean Robertson (lead guitar), Brian West (bass) and Craig Ellis (drums) who remain to this day and are approaching the longest ever serving members of the band together with Robb.
The resulting "Mystical" album found founder member guitarist Robb Weir alongside Liddell, guitarist Dean Robertson, bassist Brian West and drummer Craig Ellis.
Two more live albums, "Live At Nottingham Rock City", and "Live In The Roar", were issued whilst the band worked on material for their next studio release.
It was announced however, that Liddell was no longer fronting the band, having been replaced by former Angel Witch bassist Richie Weeks.
The band's next studio album, "Noises From The Cat House", surfaced through Communiqué Records in 2004.
Soon after the albums release, the Tygers announced they had now recruited Italian vocalist Jacopo Meille from the band MANTRA.
Another live release surfaced in 2005,"Leg Of The Boot", issued through Angel Air Records.
In 2007 the band released a 5 Track EP entitled "Back & Beyond", which raised expectations for their next full length album.
The studio, "Animal Instinct" album saw release in June 2008 in Europe and Scandinavia, with a Japanese release on the Avalon Marquee label in July.
A new studio album is rumoured for release in 2011.
TYGERS OF PAN TANG - Reading Rock '82 : BBC Live (1982) UKhttp://www.megaupload.com/?d=7LPF5GI3
PARALEX were a Nottingham NWoBHM band that formed from the ashes of the 1978 act TOKIO ROSE, a band comprising bassist Tony Speakman, drummer Tim Bowler, guitarists Nigel Revell and Howard Cooper and singer Nick Shipley.
In their short period together TOKIO ROSE replaced Nigel Revell with Mick Hartshorn before the group split, with Speakman forming SOVEREIGN and Bowler joining Grantham act OVERLORD.
In 1979 Paralex recorded a 5 song demo, following this in 1980 with another 5 song cassette which, thanks to QUARTZ, brought them to the attention of Reddingtons Rare Records.
Reddingtons released the rare three song green vinyl "White Lightning" EP later in 1980, comprised of songs from the second demo.
With SOVEREIGN's demise, Speakman joined PARALEX, replacing Ian Dobbs in time to record a four song session for Nottingham's Radio Trent in 1981.
This session was later circulated by the band as the "Gettin' Somewhere" Demo.
PARALEX formed a band co-operative with two other local acts RACE AGAINST TIME and RADIUM and played many gigs together.
In 1982 Speakman left to form the pioneering occult Metal band HELL with ex-RACE AGAINST TIME vocalist Dave G. Halliday and ex-TOKIO ROSE drummer Tim Bowler.
Later that year Paralex issued another 4 song demo tape, with a further 2 song cassette surfacing in 1984.
Their final recording, another 5 song tape, was issued in 1986, with the band finally splitting in 1987.
That same year, Paralex were contacted by METALLICA's management about the possibility of Metallica covering "White Lightning" on their "Garage Days Re-Revisited" EP.
This never came to pass, but Paralex's original version of the song did later appear on 1990's Lars Ulrich curated "NWOBHM : '79 REVISITED" compilation album.
During the 1990's and onwards Paralex's EP has become a sought after piece, much in demand for any serious NWOBHM collection.
In 1997, all three of the EP songs were included on the Neat Records CD compilation album, "RARE METAL - Metal Rarities Vol.2".
PARALEX vocalist Phil Ayling later turned up in Thrash merchants METAL MESSIAH alongside former members of Punk band THE VARUKERS.
With Metal Messiah, he recorded the five song "Metal Messiah" Demo and a four song studio session for BBC Radio 1's Friday Rock Show, before being ousted from the band.
Bassist Tony Speakman, along with PARALEX guitarist Mark Gibson, was to forge SYZ releasing the 1986 single "Rock'n'Roll Children".
In later years Tony Speakman would be found on the covers circuit with RAINBOW tribute act RAINBOW RISING, before recently reforming Hell.
PARALEX - Gettin' Somewhere Demo (1981) UKhttp://www.megaupload.com/?d=4IWK9AJZ
Finally, courtesy of Nightsblood
, DIAMOND LIL were an English Heavy Rock quartet based in Braintree, Essex which formed in 1975, initially as a covers band.
During their first year, Diamond Lil evolved from a pure covers band to become a totally original group playing a repertoire of some forty self penned songs.
The band built up a healthy and enthusiastic fan-base with their energetic stage act and became a popular draw on the late '70's live circuit.
They also recorded an unreleased album featuring eleven songs, all originals and from the typical live set list at the time.
The album provided a snapshot of the group as it was during the late 70's with four tracks recorded in 1976, four from 1977 and three from 1978.
The group recorded eight of the tracks at Spaceward Studios in Cambridge, which at the time was involved in recording many of the heavy bands of the era.
The remaining three tracks were recorded at Speedway Studios in Romford, Essex.
Although the album was never formally released, a limited number were produced in acetate format with plain white sleeves to be used for promotional purposes.
The band went their seperate ways in late 1978, with guitarist Harry Spooner going on to form the NWOBHM band BERLIN RITZ who released the "Crazy Nights" 7" in 1980.
Berlin Ritz remained active, but didn't release further product until 2000 when they issued the "Slow Down" EP.
2003 saw the release of two full length Berlin Ritz albums, the first "1978-2002" was, as the title suggested, a compilation of previously unreleased material, whilst "Living On The Edge", was comprised of new recordings.
In 2004 Harry Spooner was approached by Malc Macmillan of Zerlinda Records with a view to releasing a limited edition 2 track Diamond Lil single.
Macmillan is best known as the compiler, editor and historian of the 800 page New Wave of British Heavy Metal Encyclopedia.
The tracks "Patron Of Hell" and "The Loser" were selected and the single was issued in 2005 in a limited run of 500 hand numbered copies on 7" vinyl.
2006 saw the release of the latest Berlin Ritz album, "The Berlin Dog".
Around this time a limited CD edition of the previously unreleased 11 song Diamond Lil album was briefly available as "Demos 1976-1978", from the now defunct Berlin Ritz website.
DIAMOND LIL - Patron Of Hell 7" (1976) UKhttp://www.megaupload.com/?d=5SJ0MRYQ
So there we are, plenty for you to get stuck into tonight.
Special thanks to Sadness
for supplying the mirror link for the Trilogy album, and to Nightsblood
who provided the Diamond Lil rip for you all to enjoy.
We salute you, sirs!
The comment response to the last post was overwhelming to say the least.
Thirty comments?!! Thirty!
That may be the most any single post here has ever received, so my many thanks to all who of you who took the time to contribute your thoughts, requests, opinions, remembrances, and, of course, your pirate themed terrible jokes.
I'm blown away!
Thanks also to Kelv
for contributing a mirror link for one of our Anonymous visitors, very good of you.
That's exactly the way i'd always envisioned the interactive nature and potential of the blog, so here's hoping this is just the start.
Hope you enjoy tonight's selection, and find the time to say plenty about it.
Have a grrreat weekend, see yer back here soon.