Although its roots and influences would stretch much farther, the bands that are loosely bound together under the banner the “New Wave Of British Heavy Metal” (or NWOBHM), flourished across the UK from the late 1970s and well into the 1980s. Spearheaded by the likes of Diamond Head, Saxon and the Tygers Of Pan Tang, as this set illuminates, this underground scene was fertile and highly influential, producing many future rock legends.
• By the end of the 1970s, the original trio of British hard rock heroes Zeppelin, Purple and Sabbath had either graduated to the arenas of the world, or split up, whilst the second wave of British heavy rockers, including UFO, Motörhead and Judas Priest were beginning to fill major venues across the UK. Punk exploded in 1977, and the DIY approach that sprang up in its wake soon influenced the grassroots metalheads who had yet to leave their local pubs and clubs. Often independently released, some of the bands in this set never made more than one now highly prized and collectible 45 or one-off EP.
• As a sequel and companion piece to 2018’s “NWOBHM: WINDS OF TIME” anthology, we now unleash “NWOBHM THUNDER”. This 3CD collection contains 44 tracks from the golden age of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal, from 1978 – 1986. As well as better known acts that stood at the vanguard of this very British movement, including Girlschool, Samson, Venom and Iron Maiden’s ex-frontman Paul Di’Anno, this set mines even deeper for those precious heavy metal nuggets, including many rarities and obscurities. Those lesser known rockers include the likes of Siege, Midas, Demon Pact and Tarot.
• Championed in Sounds as leading lights of the NWOBHM scene, Saxon kick off this 3CD set in grand style with their self-explanatory ‘Heavy Metal Thunder’ from their second album of 1980, “Strong Arm Of the Law”. Next up is London’s all-girl power trio, Rock Goddess, with ‘Satisfied Then Crucified’, a track from their debut album which was also the B-Side of their debut 45, ‘Heavy Metal Rock ‘N’ Roll’. An important band at the vanguard of the NWOBHM was London’s Iron Maiden, and original singer Paul Di’Anno appears here with his band Battlezone. The North East of England was a stronghold for heavy metal, spurred by Neat Records, who brought us Tygers Of Pan Tang, Raven, and Venom, among many others. The highly influential Venom are represented here by 1981 classic, ‘Live Like An Angel, Die Like A Devil’.
• CD2 kicks off with Blitzkrieg’s ‘Inferno’ followed by a solo outing from Venom’s Mantas on the Fleetwood Mac classic, ‘The Green Manalishi’. NWOBHM was a broad church that could cover the more progressive sounds of Shiva, or the overtly glam rock posture of Girl, featuring future LA Gun Phil Lewis and Def Leppard Phil Collen. A number of the bands from the NWOBHM were snapped up by major labels with differing degrees of success, and Tygers Of Pan Tang had their share of chart action, including a minor hit with the rock ‘n’ roll classic ‘Love Potion No. 9’, recorded for MCA.
• CD3 kicks off with Raven’s ‘Break The Chain’, their last 45 for Neat before signing a major label deal with Atlantic to enjoy some major label exposure in the States. Before Bruce Dickinson joined Iron Maiden in 1981 he fronted London hard rockers Samson, featuring Paul Samson on lead guitar, and represented here by ‘Earth Mother’ from 1981’s “Shock Tactics” album. One of NWOBHM’s earliest proponents were another all-girl group from London, Girlschool, whose ‘It Could Be Better’ was released in 1978 on the B-Side of their debut 45, ‘Take It All Away’. Another band that enjoyed some major label exposure were Diamond Head, subsequently championed by Metallica on a number of their releases. Another minor chart success, the single ‘In The Heat Of The Night’, was taken from their MCA album, “Borrowed Time”. The third and final disc features a number of acts from the aforementioned Neat records, including Statetrooper’s ‘Veni, Vidi, Vici’, Heavy Pettin’s ‘Love Times Love’ and finally Fist’s ‘Lost And Found’.
• This set was compiled in conjunction with NWOBHM expert and author John Tucker, who also wrote the extensive and informative liner notes.
FOR FANS OF: SAXON / TYGERS OF PAN TANG / DIAMOND HEAD
1. HEAVY METAL THUNDER – Saxon
2. SATISFIED THEN CRUCIFIED – Rock Goddess
3. YOU GOT ME RUNNING –
Pauline Gillan Band
4. FLIRTING WITH SUICIDE – Praying Mantis
5. RADAR LOVE – Aragorn
6. PANDORA’S BOX – Elixir
7. THE GATES OF GEHENNA – Cloven Hoof
8. THE LAND GOD GAVE TO CAINE – Paul Di’Anno’s Battlezone
9. GODDESS OF FIRE – Siege
10. TOO MANY PEOPLE – Vardis
11. BURN THIS TOWN – Battleaxe
12. LIVE LIKE AN ANGEL,
DIE LIKE A DEVIL – Venom
13. SUICIDE MAN – Satan’s Empire
14. POWER – War Machine
1. INFERNO – Blitzkreig
2. THE GREEN MANALISHI – Mantas
3. LADY OF MARS – Dark Star
4. POWER IN THE SKY – Midas
5. JUST ANOTHER DAY – Chevy
6. RIDIN’ HIGHER – Black Rose
7. TIME WILL TELL – Hammerhead
8. CRAZY – Metal Mirror
9. ONLY HEAVEN KNOWS – Liaison
10. EN CACHENT (DEMO VERSION) – Shiva
11. HOLLYWOOD TEASE – Girl
12. A FACE IN THE CROWD – Saracen
13. LOVE POTION NO. 9 –
Tygers Of Pan Tang
14. DEMON PACT – Demon Pact
15. FEEL THE POWER – Tarot
16. NUCLEAR ATTACK –
1. BREAK THE CHAIN – Raven
2. I’D RATHER GO WILD – Witchfynde
3. SHE’S NO ANGEL – Streetfighter
4. LOVE TIMES LOVE –
5. ANOTHER LOST WEEKEND – Jaguar
6. EARTH MOTHER – Samson
7. LIAR – Demon
8. IT COULD BE BETTER – Girlschool
9. DIRTY FACED ANGELS –
10. STILL COMIN’ HOME – Stormtrooper
11. STEVIE’S VENGEANCE – Savage
12. IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT – Diamond Head
13. VENI, VIDI, VICI – Statetrooper
14. LOST AND FOUND – Fist