When it comes to the birth of heavy metal and hard rock, the obvious acts to namecheck are British legends such as Sabbath, Purple and Zeppelin, but delving further back, and across the ocean, Blue Cheer were definitely forging their own brand of heavyosity at the tail end of the 1960s. However, one band of gonzoid proto-metal, stoner rockers who were able to give Blue Cheer a run for their money are the cult power trio, Sir Lord Baltimore.
Taking inspiration from Aerosmith and Van Halen, Ratt originally formed in Hollywood in the mid-1970s, eventually releasing the independent ‘Dr. Rock’ single in 1980, before contributing a track to the highly influential “Metal Massacre” compilation in1981, and their independently released, self-titled mini-album in 1983. But Ratt finally made their mark when Stephen Pearcy (vocals), Robbin Crosby (guitar), Warren DeMartini (guitar), Juan Croucier (bass) and Bobby Blotzer (drums) signed to Atlantic Records in 1984 for the “Out Of The Cellar” LP. Their tuneful hard rock found favour with both radio and on MTV, where clips for singles ‘Round And Round’ and ‘Back For More’ received heavy rotation. A big influence on the growing glam and hair metal scene based around LA’s Sunset Strip, “Out of The Cellar” would soon reach triple platinum status. The radio edit of 'Round And Round' is included as a bonus track.
When it comes to the most influential thrash metal bands of the 1980s, most focus on “the big four”; Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax. But one important, and often overlooked pioneer in the genre was Seattle’s power metal heroes, Metal Church.
A band slightly out of time, Girl formed in 1979, coming to prominence with their debut LP “Sheer Greed” in January 1980. Featuring singer Phil Lewis, guitarists Gerry Laffy and Phil Collen, and joined by Gerry's brother Simon on bass, they rocked hard enough to capitalise on the burgeoning New Wave Of British Heavy Metal movement that was sweeping across the UK, a scene led by Iron Maiden, Saxon and Def Leppard. Though it’s fair to say that with their pretty boy good looks and make-up, their glam leaning roots would make them a big influence on the “hair-metal” bands of the mid-1980s, but not necessarily with the then more prevalent denim & leather brigade of the NWOBHM crowd.
Crossover The Edge contains in-depth features on over a hundred key bands from the scene’s 1980s heyday, including Agnostic Front, Cro Mags, Crumbsuckers, Leeway, Gang Green, Nuclear Assault, Lethal Aggression, D.R.I., Corrosion of Conformity, Impulse Manslaughter, Verbal Abuse, Attitude Adjustment, Suicidal Tendencies, Excel, Beowulf, Dr. Know, Septic Death, Cryptic Slaughter, Accused, Dayglo Abortions, Discharge, Broken Bones, English Dogs, Sacrilege, Warfare, Raw Power, Rumble Militia, Lobotomia, Overkill L.A., Mentors, Void and Amebix. Another five hundred bands are also featured however briefly.
Whilst the nascent “New Wave Of British Heavy Metal” movement of the late 1970s and early 1980s was raging just across the English Channel, Belgium was fomenting its own highly influential rock and metal scene and at its forefront was Belgian heavy metal group Killer.
Britny Fox an American glam metal band established themselves early on as hard-hitting contenders. Their self titled debut album was released to great acclaim and one of the most successful premieres of 1988, winning them Metal Edge Magazines 1988 Reader’s Choice Award. Their second album “Boys In Heat” in 1989 fires on all cylinders and rarely misses a beat.
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 between 1979 and 1985. Spearheaded by the likes of Diamond Head, Saxon and the Tygers Of Pan Tang, as this set illustrates, this underground scene was fertile and highly influential, producing many future rock legends.
Extensive 5CD box set exploring the history of Thrash Metal in the UK – curated by author and scene chronicler Ian Glasper.
From legends such as Venom, Onslaught, Sabbat and Acid Reign to lesser-known, cult artists.
83 tracks across 5CD + 40pp booklet, including rare demo and live recordings and previously unseen photographs.
A 4CD Box Set of Samson material. This collection features 1985’s “THANK YOU AND GOODNIGHT”, the acclaimed live album recorded in Holland and Germany in March and April 1984 on the tour to promote the “Don’t Get Mad Get Even” album, “PAUL SAMSON’S EMPIRE LIVE AT THE MARQUEE” at London’s legendary club on 29th May 1986, “THE BLUES NIGHTS (SLIGHT RETURN)”, a collection of live recordings from some of his low-key blues jams and other projects and LIVE IN LONDON 2000” - the band's reunion show at London's LA2.
Riot’s story is one of what might have been, and to some degree, a band being (or not) in the right place at the right time. What this 6 CD live collection does offer is unique, and often raw, insights into the growth and development of an influential hard rock and heavy metal band, as they graduated from small clubs in 1976 through to huge festivals in 1980. Mastered from tapes in the collection of the estate of founder member and guitarist Mark Reale.
This new edition of FIRE & ICE by YNGWIE MALMSTEEN features liner notes from Classic Rock magazine’s Malcolm Dome, and has been expanded with the Japanese only bonus track, ‘Broken Glass’ plus the single version of the track 'Teaser'.
Samson’s career goes back to the mid-1970s London pub and club circuit, where early members included future Squeeze drummer Paul Gunn, and ex Zzebra bassist John McCoy. By 1977 the line-up had stabilised with future Iron Maiden drummer Clive Burr, and ex- Steamhammer, Castle and Tiger Lily bassist Chris Aylmer.
Each of the three albums is presented in a “mini-sleeve” of the original LP, and is housed in a “clamshell” box. The expanded booklet features an expanded essay by NWOBHM and Witchfynde expert, John Tucker.
This version of TRYING TO BURN THE SUN by ELF ft. RONNIE JAMES DIO features a brand new and extensive liner note by Classic Rock and Metal Hammer’s Malcolm Dome, based on new interviews conducted with producer Roger Glover, photographer Fin Costello, and Elf bandmates Mickey Lee Soule and Mark Nauseef.
This version of CAROLINA COUNTY BALL by ELF ft. RONNIE JAMES DIO features a brand new and extensive liner note by Classic Rock and Metal Hammer’s Malcolm Dome, based on new interviews conducted with producer Roger Glover, photographer Fin Costello, and Elf bandmates Mickey Lee Soule and David "Rock" Feinstein.
Initially released as a single LP, this version of "Live Sentence" by ALCATRAZZ now includes no less than seven bonus tracks, assembled in the original set-list order. Also included is a DVD-Video of the entire set, giving the fan the complete concert experience. Also included on the DVD are three exclusive tracks filed for Rock Palace USA.
Reissued with band approval and their full involvement, and featuring liner notes from Acid expert and Classic Rock/Metal Hammer writer Malcolm Dome, this release features the bonus tracks HELL ON WHEELS (7” Version), HOOKED ON METAL (7” Version), FIVE DAYS HELL (Demo Version) and WOMAN AT LAST (Demo Version).
RE-PRESS: CD ORIGINALLY RELEASED IN 2015
Reissued with band approval and their full involvement, and featuring liner notes from Acid expert and Classic Rock/Metal Hammer writer Malcolm Dome, this release features the bonus tracks drop DEAD, THE DAY YOU DIE and EXTERMINATOR.