Monday, January 31, 2011

OPERATION MONGOOSE

Hello again my friends, it's that time again.
I've been down in the Rawk mines yet again, unearthing yet more obscure and archival Hard music for your enlightenment and aural stimulation.
All kinds of good stuff for you this evening, from Pomp to Punk and pretty much everything inbetween.
Something to delight even the most jaded musical palette.
Let's get on with it shall we?
Up first, In 1977, 4 teenagers aged between 15 and 16 formed one of the first Heavy Metal bands in Spain in Mislata, Valencia which they called WOLFRAM.
In late 1977 new drummer Javier Hervías joined, and after changing their name to ZARPA (which translates as "Claw"), in early 1978 they recorded their first LP, "Los 4 Jinetes Del Apocalypsis" ("The 4 Horsemen Of The Apocalypse").
By late 1979, the members of the band were obligated to undertake military service, and so released a demo entitled "Adictos Al Crimen" ("Addicted To Crime"), to keep the band's name alive whilst they served.
In 1981 the band returned to action, focussing initially on live work by touring all over Spain.
1982 saw the release of a new LP called "¿Ángeles O Demonios?" ("Angels And Demons"), on Xirivella Records label, a self-funded work recorded in just 24 hours.
In 1984 the band released their next LP, "Herederos De Un Imperio" ("Heirs Of Empire"), on the larger Twins Records label.
The album reached the national top 40 and Zarpa toured extensively and played several major festivals.
In 1985 the group recorded a demo which was never released called "Progress".
Zarpa toured Switzerland and France in 1987, and recorded their next LP in Geneva after recording a further demo, "En Ruta Hacia Europa" ("En Route To Europe").
On completion of the recordings however, the band are so unhappy with the album that the recordings are discarded.
In 1988, with the popularity of Heavy Metal on the wane in Spain, the group disbanded and the members went their separate ways.
In 1992 Zarpa reconvened, recording the 5 song "Like A Locomotive" demo, but this is as far as their tentative reunion gets.
2000 saw the limited release of the brand new self-pressed eight song "Zeta" demo album, the first from the new line up of Zarpa.
In 2002 the new line up of Zarpa recorded another album called "Luchadores De La Paz" ("Fighters For Peace"), reintroducing the band to old and new fans alike.
To celebrate the band's 25th anniversary, the following year saw the release of three (yes, three!) live albums, "En Vivo En Grilly", "En Vivo Sala Canaan" and "En Vivo Sala Garage".
With the release finally of the previously abandoned 1987 "En Ruta Hacia Europa", album (albeit in remixed and partially re-recorded form), coming in 2004, Zarpa signed with the German Karthago Records label and then released a brand new album called "Infierno" ("Hell").
This was the best time for Zarpa since the golden age of the group, with main man Vicente having finally found the ideal band members to realize his ever evolving musical vision.
Inspired by the resurgence of interest in Zarpa, 2007 brings a great new album called "El Yunque Contra El Martillo" ("The Anvil Against The Hammer").
In 2009 the band released their latest work, the "Iberia" album, which garnered Zarpa some of the best reviews of their career.
Here's hoping that the renewed interest in the band translates into sales and some respect for one of Spain's pioneering Heavy bands, as they're in great form just now, and it's long overdue.

ZARPA - Zeta (2000) Spain

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=4RQU0DB9

Another discography completed now, this time after a lengthy gap. I have to admit i forgot to post this when the others were uploaded, but now the situation is belatedly rectified.
Here's the 1977 debut album by Canadian Hard/Prog/Pomp Rock gods THE HUNT.
The Hunt formed from the ashes of Prog/Psychers DILLINGER who recorded a couple of highly rated early '70's LPs.
After adding former MAX WEBSTER drummer Paul Kersey, they changed their name to The Hunt and their style altered drastically too.
After this self titled debut there were some line up changes, before they recorded 1980's "Back On The Hunt", as a trio and built up a name for themselves as a popular touring act, especially in the Southern United States.
At this point bassist Frank Gagnon jumped ship to join FRANK SODA & THE IMPS.
They recorded their final album, "The Thrill Of The Kill" in 1982.
A diverse but tightly written album of quality Hard Rock with excellent arrangements, it featured the six string talents of MAX WEBSTER guitarist KIM MITCHELL on several tracks to boot.
Sadly, that was the end of the road for The Hunt, they went their separate ways later the same year.
If you enjoy this one, check out the archives for the rest of their discography, "Back On The Hunt", "Thrill Of The Kill", and a compilation album called "Tracked Down - The Best Of The Hunt", are all here somewhere.
Tally Ho!!!

THE HUNT - The Hunt (1977) Canada

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=WMOPZWV5

Initially known as OPERATOR, GMT were only operational during the year of 1985, and took their name from the surnames of the three founding members : Glen, McAuley and Taylor.
Bassist Chris Glen was previously an integral part of TEAR GAS, SENSATIONAL ALEX HARVEY BAND and subsequently MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP.
Drummer Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor was best known for his role in MOTÖRHEAD, whilst Robin McAuley, Phil Lanzon and Mick O'Donaghue had all been members of GRAND PRIX.
GMT would be a short-lived affair, however, recording a four song EP called "Angel" for Mausoleum in early 1985, with German guitarist Marcus Schleicher replacing O'Donaghue who left around the same time as Keyboard player Lanzon.
The band were to go their separate ways shortly after the release of the EP, which failed to set the world alight, announcing their split in November of '85.
Taylor then toured with FRANKIE MILLER before rejoining Motorhead, whilst McAuley issued a solo single, "Eloise", before teaming up with Michael Schenker as the McAULEY SCHENKER GROUP.
Chris Glen went on to play with IAN GILLAN before reuniting with SAHB, whilst Marcus Schleicher joined CRAAFT.
The GMT EP was re-released on CD with a bonus track as the "War Games" Mini LP in 1991.
Don't expect GMT to come on like a Motorhead/MSG hybrid, their sound owed far more to Grand Prix's blueprint, Hard Rock with a dollop of AOR.

GMT - War Games Mini LP (1985) UK

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=AFUQ7NRR

NWOBHM quintet BERLYN were formed in London in 1979 by former EVIL WAYS & URCHIN guitarist Maurice Coyne, but aside from a scarcely circulated 3 song demo, released nothing at the time.
On January 28th this year those three demo songs finally saw vinyl release courtesy of High Roller Records.
Founder and guitarist Maurice Coyne says of their newly released "Streetfights" EP:
"It contains re-mastered versions of the demo tracks we recorded in 1982".
Berlyn, who according to Coyne played around 150 gigs during their short lifespan in the early '80's, but did not put out any vinyl when they were still active.
Maurice explains why:
"We did try to get a recording deal with the band back in the early '80's but the companies weren't really interested.
Recording was very expensive in those days and we simply didn't have the necessary finance to do it ourselves.
How different things are now - we could have recorded an album on a laptop!"
According to Maurice, there is not a lot of Berlyn material left in his archive:
"There are two or three songs remaining that have not been released and a few cover versions that would be difficult to licence for such a small scale project.
We still hope to write and record some new material but the band members are scattered across the UK and it's very difficult to collaborate."
Coyne is very satisfied with how the two archive Berlyn albums on High Roller Records turned out:
"We have been very pleased with the albums High Roller have released.
("Berlyn" (1982) and "This One Bites" (1983), both recorded live, and released on Limited Edition vinyl only)
I think Steffen has done an incredible job and, let's face it, without him no-one other than the band, would have ever heard the material."
The EP has just become available from High Roller Records, if you like what you hear, go buy a copy and support Berlyn.
Be quick though, as "Streetlights", is a strictly limited edition of 500 copies only, 150 of these on Grey/Black splatter vinyl & the remaining 350 copies on Black vinyl.

BERLYN - Streetfights EP (1982) UK

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=58VZGZUJ

Cleveland Ohio quintet THE DEAD BOYS evolved out of the band ROCKET FROM THE TOMBS, and were originally called FRANKENSTEIN.
When the band members relocated to New York City in July 1976, they adopted the Dead Boys moniker which came from the RFTT song "Down In Flames".
Moving to New York City at the encouragement of Joey Ramone, the RAMONES' lead singer, the Dead Boys quickly gained notoriety for their outrageous live performances.
They frequently played at the legendary Punk Rock club CBGB, and in 1977 they released their classic debut album, "Young, Loud and Snotty", on Sire Records.
Their single, "Sonic Reducer" is often regarded as one of the classics of the punk genre.
Sire Records pressured the group to change their look and sound to appeal more to the U.S. mainstream, and this contributed to Dead Boys breaking up in 1979 following the release of the "We Have Come For Your Children" LP.
Several 1979 performances were featured in the 1980 Punk Rock film, D.O.A..
A few months after the breakup the band had to reunite to record a live album and thus fulfill their contractual obligations, however, to exact revenge on the label, Bators purposely sang off mic and the resulting recording was unusable.
When the material eventually surfaced as the "Night Of The Living Dead Boys" LP on Bomp! Records, Bators had re-recorded his missing vocals in the studio.
Cheetah Chrome went on to record solo records, as well as playing on albums by RONNIE SPECTOR and JEFF DAHL.
Post-Dead Boys, Bators recorded the solo LP, "Disconnected", before forming THE WANDERERS, who released a lone LP, "Only Lovers Left Alive", in 1981.
The same year Bators co-starred in the satirical John Waters film, Polyester.
Bators then formed LORDS OF THE NEW CHURCH with Brian James from THE DAMNED and Dave Tregunna from SHAM 69.
They released three studio albums on IRS Records, and had a few minor hit singles.
The Dead Boys reformed for several gigs in 1987, and recorded a new single, the 2 song 12" "All The Way Down", on Relativity Records.
A live album from the reunion shows was released in 1988, called "The Return of the Living Dead Boys", in mainland Europe, it was retitled "Liver Than You'll Ever Be", everywhere else.
Bators made a memorable cameo appearance in 1988 as "Dick Slammer", lead singer of "The Blender Children", in the offbeat comedy movie, Tapeheads.
In 1990, due to injuries sustained after having been hit by a taxi, Stiv Bators sadly died in Paris, France, aged just 40.
Dave Tregunna said that Bators, a fan of THE DOORS' Jim Morrison, had earlier requested that his ashes be spread over Morrison's Paris grave and that his girlfriend complied.
However, director John Waters denies this, saying that Bator's girlfriend snorted his ashes!
The Dead Boys re-released their first album in 1997 as "Younger, Louder & Snottier", mastered from a tape of the original rough mixes.
In 1999, the original rough mixes for the second album were also released as the "3rd Generation Nation" album.
In 2003, after the release of archive "The Day The Earth Met The Rocket From The Tombs", Cheetah Chrome reformed ROCKET FROM THE TOMBS.
The reincarnation of the group toured, and in 2004 entered the studio to record some of the band's old material for the first time.
These recordings were released as "Rocket Redux".
In September 2004, the remaining members of the DEAD BOYS re-formed for a one-off gig in Cleveland.
In 2005, they played a benefit show for CBGBs and then played a final reunion show on Halloween.
Chrome now plays with NEW YORK DOLLS guitarist and long time friend, Sylvain Sylvain in a band called BATUSIS, who are due to release a debut album in 2011.
Dead Boys are now rightly recognized as one of the Punk era's most influential bands, and their songs have been covered by bands as diverse as GUNS'n'ROSES, PEARL JAM and THE HELLACOPTERS.

DEAD BOYS - Search & Destroy 7" (1979) USA

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=6Q11LN42

Leamington Spa's CHEVY were a five piece NWOBHM band best known for appearing on the "Metal For Muthas II", compilation album.
Founded in 1979, this is not the same CHEVY that released the obscure 'Out On The Street' single the same year, even though for many years some publications led everyone to believe it was.
As they demonstrated on their lone album, 1980's "The Taker", Chevy were a little older, wiser and classier than many of the bands lumped in with the NWOBHM.
More of a Hard Rock band with Metallic leanings, they proved to be a formidable live proposition, touring hard in 1980 and '81 with the likes of WILD HORSES and HAWKWIND.
Their label, Avatar Records, released 3 Chevy singles during these years, and the band were also broadcast live on BBC Radio 1's "In Concert" programme.
In September 1981 both Steve Walwyn and Andy Chaplin quit, to be replaced by guitarist Barry Eardley and drummer Ted Duggan.
A projected second album was recorded, but the tapes were never finished and the band split.
In 1987 Poole, Cure, Walywn, Shanahan and Duggan re-emerged to form RED ON RED with ex-BADFINGER guitarist Bob Jackson and keyboard player Mark Stead.
Whereas Walywn went on to become a member of perennial R&B rockers DR. FEELGOOD.

CHEVY - Just Another Day 7" (1981) UK















http://www.megaupload.com/?d=PRU14IXX

Finally tonight, WILD HORSES wre formed by veteran ex-RAINBOW, STREET NOISE and HARLOT bassist Jimmy Bain and ex-THIN LIZZY guitarist Brian Robertson.
An early line up included former WINGS and SMALL FACES guitarist Jimmy McCullouch in the ranks and SMALL FACES drummer Kenny Jones.
McCullouch would soon be supplanted by guitarist/keyboard player Neil Carter (previously earning a wage with GILBERT O'SULLIVAN) and as Jones joined THE WHO erstwhile LONE STAR drummer Dixie Lee stepped into the vacant slot.
Lee's tenure was brief too though and PAT TRAVERS band drummer Clive Edwards eventually filled the gap.
Lee would join Canadian band STARCHILD.
The Rock public eagerly awaited the first WILD HORSES album as Robertson and Bain both had colourful pasts and were often in the media as a result of their well documented wild ways.
The first album was produced by South African guitarist TREVOR RABIN prior to his joining the reformed YES.
Carter soon quit however to join UFO (later enjoying a stint with GARY MOORE).
After the promise of their 1st LP, much was expected of their sophomore effort, but the bands party hardy lifestyle was taking it's toll behind the scenes, resulting in a harder darker album than it's predecessor.
The band were dropped by EMI as the tour to promote album no. 2, 'Stand Your Ground' fell apart after a few dates.
Robertson departed for an ill fated union with MOTÖRHEAD whilst simultaneously Edwards jumped ship to Bernie Marsden's S.O.S. (and later UFO) leaving only Bain and guitarist John Lockton.
With Robertson gone Bain recruited ex LAUTREC members vocalist Rueben Archer, guitarist Laurence Archer and ex DEF LEPPARD drummer Frank Noon.
Noon and the Archers went onto create STAMPEDE, and much later Lawrence Archer continued the trend of ex-WILD HORSES members by joining UFO.
Noon, while not managing to actually join UFO did the next best thing and joined WAYSTED, an anarchic outfit founded by UFO bassist PETE WAY.
Lockton joined the international act VICTORY based in Germany for their first line up.
Bain, after behind the scenes moves with the SCORPIONS, later teamed up with former RAINBOW colleague Ronnie James Dio to form DIO.

WILD HORSES - Criminal Tendencies 7" (1979) UK

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=WGP1TVZP

So there you have it, a little bit of everything that i hope will appeal to all of you.
Sorry to be a whinging tit about this, but lately the comment count has been well and truly dismal.
As per usual, the same loyal and dependable commenters keep their end up, but compared to the amount of downloads the ratio of communications is pretty pathetic.
I'm seriously considering making the blog invite only if this state of affairs continues.
If you don't want this to happen it's easy to prevent, let us hear from you.
If we end up going invite only i already know who will be getting asked to join, those who have contributed. I don't think asking you to take a few minutes to share your thoughts is too much to ask when weighed against the hours it takes to research, rip, post and blog the music we make available here.
If you enjoy the content and current format, get involved.
If not...
On a different tack, does anyone happen to know what became of the old HardBlog forum? It disappeared a few months ago and i thought i'd hear of a new location soon after, but it's all gone quiet out there. It was a great space, and i met many interesting and knowlegeable folks like Sergey etc, if anyone knows of a new URL for it please let me know.
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts, complaints, heady praise and foolish conjecture on how "Metal" dolphins are.
Til next time,
A-Wop-Bop-A-Loo-Bop-A-Wop-Bam-Booh!

12 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks a lot for the hunt lp!!!

Tuesday, February 01, 2011 3:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have to apologise for not commenting more, i do stop by regular and lately i've enjoyed stuff by Wild Horses , Shrapnel, Wurzel (couple of ace tracks on that), Funeral (two good tracks on that), Frankenstein, GMT a real variety of stuff. Many thanks, i'll try and get my ass in gear and comment more. Cheers keep it coming.

Carl.

Thursday, February 03, 2011 3:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks a lot -as always you come up with stuff I've never heard of!
cheers!
Rob Rob

Friday, February 04, 2011 5:44:00 AM  
Anonymous nightsblood said...

Hey 'kit- Interesting batch this time; I'm not really familiar with any of these. Might check some of them out when time allows, but I just got several CDs in the mail so they're dominating my listening time this week. Wanted to stop in and say hi though, and that I'm still working on ways to metalize dolphins. My current idea is to attach pointy metal spikes to the ends of their fins, maybe some saw blades along the edges of the fins too, make them look more menacing. We could also attach lasers to their heads, but I think that's usually limited to sharks :-)

Saturday, February 05, 2011 7:51:00 PM  
Blogger jp said...

Hello from France, I really enjoyed GMT, Robin McAuley's voice is immediately recognizable and the songs are typical (for me) melodic hard rock.

Sunday, February 06, 2011 3:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Sportsmemorabilia said...

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Sunday, February 06, 2011 7:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hope to see you soon back online mate .....You know who i am . Cheers !

Monday, February 07, 2011 9:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Feral said...

Splendid as ever sir, sorry I haven't stopped by as much in recent months but I've had a fairly hectic touring schedule, no excuse really, how long does it take to say a couple of words of thanks? Anyhoo, great work on GMT and indeed everything else, as I'm sure you're already aware, you rock!

Monday, February 07, 2011 4:35:00 PM  
Blogger the6070Rock said...

Heya BFoot, sorry if I can't help you with WITS END. I have only those 2 tracks from the band. Who knows if you have another request eh ? Lemme know.

Best wishes &
ROCK ON

Thursday, February 10, 2011 4:54:00 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Thanks for The Hunt, great stuff!

And thanks in general, I've been poking around and downloading from time to time, but haven't taken before now to express my appreciation for the great music and the correspondingly great commentary offered here.

Please keep up the great work!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011 2:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Maxine said...

Really helpful data, lots of thanks for the post.

Saturday, September 01, 2012 8:31:00 AM  
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