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This release collects together music made across three short but prolific years, when the band Derringer released three studio albums plus two live albums.
• Rick Derringer first found fame aged just 17 in 1965, when his band The McCoys had a number one hit in America with ‘Hang On Sloopy’, famously knocking The Beatles’ ‘Yesterday’ off the top spot. Subsequently making significant appearances with Edgar Winter and Johnny Winter, as well as Steely Dan and Alice Cooper, and even squeezing in a solo hit with 1973’s ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll, Hoochie Koo’, before deciding to put together his own band in 1976. Naming the band Derringer, the singer and guitarist was joined by bassist Kenny Aaronson, future Black Sabbath and Dio drummer, Vinny Appice (brother of Cactus, Iron Butterfly, Beck Bogart & Appice and Rod Stewart drummer Carmine Appice), with the quartet completed by guitarist Danny Johnson.
• Going for a rockier, harder, less poppy sound than Rick’s previous musical excursions, Derringer signed to Blue Sky Records, a subsidiary of Columbia Records, in 1976. Simply titled “Derringer”, among the original tracks the debut included lyrical collaborations with famed song writer Cynthia Weil. Although the band had yet to perform live together, they nevertheless set out on the road, forging a formidable live reputation, playing shows with the cream of 70s rock, giving Journey, Tom Petty, Boston, Foghat and Peter Frampton a run for their money.
• Although only achieving cult status, the 1976 debut was followed up by “Sweet Evil” in 1977. Although the “Derringer” debut was produced by Rick himself, Jack Douglas, famed for his work with Aerosmith, was enlisted for the 1977 follow up for a more commercial edge.
• As it was felt that the band didn’t quite capture their onstage fire in the studio, the release of a live album in 1977, simply titled “Derringer Live”, made perfect sense. It was also to be the final recording from the original quartet, as the band slimmed down to a three piece in 1978. With future Pat Benatar drummer Myron Grombacher coming in to join Aaronson and Derringer for the more contemporary sound on “If I Weren’t So Romantic, I’d Shoot You”, Derringer’s final album was produced by Mike Chapman, famed for his work with Blondie, Sweet and Suzi Quatro, among many others.
• This set also features the rare, promo only “Live In Cleveland” album, which includes an onstage version of ‘Rock And Roll, Hoochie Koo’ as well as a cover of Bowie’s ‘Rebel Rebel’. This collection is also completed with rare mono single versions for ‘Let Me In’, ‘Don’t Stop Loving Me’ and the Warren Zevon song ‘Lawyers, Guns And Money’, plus liner notes from Malcolm Dome based on new interviews with Derringer members Kenny Aaronson and Vinny Appice.
FOR FANS OF: TED NUGENT / MONTROSE / VAN HALEN