ARGUABLY NIGHT ARE one of the great lost acts of the late 70s/early 80s. Formed in London as a somewhat ad-hoc pub rock band going under the handle of Filthy McNasty, and fronted by two superlative vocalists, Chris Thompson (of Manfred Mann’s Earth Band) and Stevie Lange (wife of superproducer Robert ‘Mutt’ Lange). They secured a loyal following on the club circuit and were eventually offered a record deal from Planet Records, an American-based label affiliated to Warner Bros.
Night’s debut album certainly garnered critical and commercial attention, enough in fact to secure two hit singles in the lucrative American marketplace. Whilst the album stalled sales wise, the future still looked extremely promising and so with enthusiastic support they set about recording the follow-up record, ‘Long Distance’. Whilst the debut had been recorded during an extensive sojourn in Los Angeles, this time around, mainly for financial reasons, they opted to record in London. They also chose to switch producer and enlisted the services of bright young upstart Tim Friese-Green (Touch, Praying Mantis). It was a wise decision, as the album showcased a more strident style, moving away from the previous comparison to Fleetwood Mac, towards more forceful and harder rock laced with tougher guitars and solid hooks, a sound somewhat reminisant of REO Speedwagon and Survivor.
Released in 1980, the album, despite its sound quality and the undeniably good songwriting displayed, failed to ignite commercial interest. It also suffered from label politics, with Planet Records dropping the band and album, despite some great reviews and encouraging reactions at several American FM radio stations. But ‘Long Distance’ is one of the best overlooked albums of the era.
SPECIAL DELUXE COLLECTOR’S EDITION. Fully Remastered Audio, 16 page full colour booklet, 3,500 word essay, new interview and enhanced artwork with unpublished photos.
TRACK LISTING: 1.DR. ROCK 2.DON’T BREAK MY HEART 3.LOVE ON THE AIRWAVES 4.THE LETTER 5.CALLIN’ ME BACK 6.YOU CRIED WOLF 7.STEALIN’ 8.MISS YOU (LIKE I DO) 9.DAY AFTER DAY 10.GOOD TO BE BACK IN YOUR ARMS
THE STORY BEHIND Night is arguably one of the most intriguing and, by implication, frustrating in the history of rock. As a mini supergroup, with a super-slick FM radio style, they had the potential to fit neatly into the heavy-hitting platinum rock niche occupied by the likes of Fleetwood Mac, the Doobie Brothers and Air Supply. However, despite signing to an American record label and giving birth to two hit singles, their valiant efforts to compete fell short of expectations.
It’s therefore surprising to know that the band were actually formed in the UK, by Manfred Mann’s Earth Band lead vocalist Chris Thompson (he sang on the #1 single ‘Blinded By The Light’), together with celebrated backing vocalist Stevie Lange (wife of ‘Mutt’ Lange). Indeed, the band were well-known faces on the UK pub and club circuit before being unexpectedly signed up by Planet Records, a US-based label helmed by celebrated producer Richard Perry (Rod Stewart, Carly Simon, Pointer Sisters). The band moved to Los Angeles, and Perry recorded the album over an exhaustive twelve months, enlisting the help of special guest players, including Bobby LaKind, Steve Porcaro and Michael McDonald.
The results are pretty spectacular. Musically the sound was very much in vogue with FM radio, featuring strident yet powerful rock tracks and emotive power ballads. It was an album that yielded two American hit singles with ‘If You Remember Me’ and the anthemic ‘Hot Summer Nights’. However, despite this chart success, the album failed to perform as well as might have been expected and it was back to the drawing board for the follow up.
SPECIAL DELUXE COLLECTOR’S EDITION. Fully Remastered Audio, 16 page full colour booklet, 3,500 word essay, new interview and enhanced artwork with unpublished photos.
TRACK LISTING: 1.HOT SUMMER NIGHTS 2.COLD WIND ACROSS MY HEART 3.IF YOU’VE GOTTA MAKE A FOOL OF SOMEBODY 4.AIN’T THAT PECULIAR 5.IF YOU REMEMBER ME 6.COME AROUND (IF YOU WANT ME) 7.YOU AIN’T PRETTY ENOUGH 8.SHOCKED 9.LOVE MESSAGE 10.PARTY SHUFFLE
WE AT ROCK CANDY have always kept a special place in our hearts for Canadian artists, from Coney Hatch and Harlequin to Aldo Nova and all points in between. We feel there’s something unique about their songwriting and musical style that sets them apart from their cousins in the USA. Orphan are a perfect example of this special ingredient, lending their music a magical appeal and a sound quite unlike anybody else recording at the time.
Formed in Winnipeg from the ashes of a band called The Pumps (who had links to obscure RCA act Max Damian) the band quickly signed to the Portrait label, an offshoot of CBS records, who were bathing in the recent and unexpected success of fellow Canadian group Loverboy. With the record label deeming their name to be too new wave leaning they switched to Orphan, a more conventional and less restrictive moniker. Recorded in New York at the world famous Power Station studios and co-produced by its owner Tony Bongiovi (cousin of Jon Bon Jovi) and Lance Quinn (Bon Jovi, Danger Danger), the album hits the melodic hard rock nail firmly on the head.
As one of the best Canadian albums of the era, the record embraces all the great elements that make for compelling listening; great hooks, unrelenting melody and musical ability that takes full advantage of clever arrangements. It’s a similar, but not identical, sound to both Loverboy and Aldo Nova. Check out tracks such as ‘Miracle’, ‘Saved By The Bell’, ‘Hello’ and the title track for proof. And if it’s epic widescreen songs you like then look no further than ‘Night Parade’.
SPECIAL DELUXE COLLECTOR’S EDITION. Fully Remastered Audio, 12 page full colour booklet, 3,500 word essay, new band interview and enhanced artwork with unpublished photos.
TRACK LISTING: 1.LONELY AT NIGHT 2.WHAT KIND OF LOVE IS THIS 3.MIRACLE 4.SHE TOLD ME 5.SAVED BY THE BELL 6.ANY TIME AT ALL 7.HELLO 8.ALL OVER THE WORLD 9.NIGHT PARADE
IT MAKES LITTLE difference to us at Rock Candy whether a record sold a million copies or just a handful to a smattering of supportive friends and family. If the record is of a certain quality then facts and figures are irrelevant - all we’re interested in is shining a spotlight on music that has stood the test of time and continues to impress. Bite The Bullet are hardly a household name but to a select few who heard their one and only album they are one of the most invigorating and accomplished melodic rock bands of the era.
The group was formed by Mick Benton who already had some degree of experience, as a member of obscure NWOBHM related rock band Mother’s Ruin, and a subsequent solo deal with Atlantic Records that produced a well received EP. The seeds of Bite The Bullet came together in 1986, their demos attracting the attention of industry heavyweight Don ‘Mr Big’ Arden, the notorious owner of Jet Records, home to ELO and Ozzy Osbourne, who subsequently signed them and financed their lone album. Sadly, by the late 80s, though, the label had contracted to the point where it was no longer a powerhouse.
Recorded in London, and originally released in 1989. the record oozed class and sophistication, conjuring up immediate comparisons to other dynamic UK melodic rock outfits such as FM, Strangeways and Dare. Tracks such as ‘Change Of Heart’, ‘Edge Of The Rain’ and ‘Finished With Love’ showcase a band in full command of both their style and direction; a sound that could’ve been made for the American airwaves.
SPECIAL DELUXE COLLECTOR’S EDITION. Fully Remastered Audio, 12 page full colour booklet, 3,500 word essay, new interview and enhanced artwork with unpublished photos.
TRACK LISTING: 1.CHANGE OF HEART 2.FINISHED WITH LOVE 3.EDGE OF THE RAIN 4.FAITH HEALING 5.COLD SURPRISE 6.RUNNING TO STAND STILL 7.DARK AGE 8.PLAYING AT LOVE 9.BIG MOUNTAIN 10.SAILORS SONG 11.WATERSHED
THIS WAS RIOT’S 4th album. It followed a period of intense activity both physical and emotional, having survived a series of knockbacks over the years that would have decimated lesser contenders. The fact that they had recently survived several line-up changes, an underfunded UK tour supporting Sammy Hagar and bagged a spot on the 1st Monsters Of Rock festival was a minor miracle.
With interest building amongst grass roots fans the future was actually beginning to look bright.That was until frontman Guy Speranza made a decision to leave the band. Fatigued by years of touring and (literally) banging his head against a brick wall, he moved aside for Rhett Forester, a man seen as a golden ticket to bigger and better things. Now signed to Elektra Records, the band once again retreated to their management’s downtown New York studio to craft ‘Restless Breed’, a record that although well received in their circles, edged the band slightly towards the centre ground. It was less the full-on NWOBHM - inspired frenetic energy of their previous records and more disposed towards power metal.
The record was, in many respects, hamstrung by a new label who really didn’t know how to market their kind of act. Previous releases had benefitted from the band’s resourceful managers and an ability to connect with an underground fan base, but this time around they were left constrained by a label that refused to support them on tour and were dropping the promotional ball at every turn. Still, hats off to the band for crafting another album that still impresses to this day.
SPECIAL DELUXE COLLECTOR’S EDITION. Fully Remastered Audio, 16 page full colour booklet, 3,500 word essay, and enhanced artwork with unpublished photos.
TRACK LISTING: 1.HARD LOVIN’ MAN 2.CIA 3.RESTLESS BREED 4.WHEN I WAS YOUNG 5.LOANSHARK 6.LOVED BY YOU 7.OVER TO YOU 8.SHOWDOWN 9.DREAM AWAY 10.VIOLENT CRIMES
THERE ARE FEW guitarists who have created as big an impact on rock music as Steve Jones. As one of the founding members of the Sex Pistols it was Jones who outlined the band’s sound, with his mountainous guitar riffs and unbridled energy pushing the material way beyond the red zone. When the Sex Pistols self-destructed in 1979, Jones was cast adrift, feeling his way towards a solo career but not before entering a troubled time of abuse and addiction. His debut solo album, Mercy, was a regarded as a tentative step towards redemption but it was Fire And Gasoline, the follow up album, that really saw his creative juices flow freely. It was a tougher and far more direct display of fire-power, bringing Jones’ guitar prowess once more to the fore. Produced by British studio wizard Mark Dearnley (AC/DC, Motorhead) with help from The Cult’s Ian Astbury, and recorded in his newly adopted home of Los Angeles, the album made much of Jones’ history of mayhem by concentrating on red hot riffs and shout-it-out-loud songs. As good as biker rock gets, Fire And Gasoline was also bolstered by some interesting guest appearances, most notably from the CULT’s Ian Astbury and Billy Duffy, and Axl Rose. Although Jones self-penned the majority of tracks, there are also some notable co-writes with Rose Tattoo, Nikki Sixx and Ian Astbury. Also present is a fire and brimstone cover of the Pistols classic “I Did U No Wrong”.
SPECIAL DELUXE COLLECTOR’S EDITION. Fully Remastered Audio, Bonus track, 16 page full colour booklet, 3,500 word essay, enhanced artwork with unpublished photos.
TRACK LISTING: 1. FREEDOM FIGHTER 2. WE’RE NOT SAINTS 3. GOD IN LOUISIANA 4. FIRE AND GASOLINE 5. TROUBLE MAKER 6. I DID U NO WRONG 7. GET READY 8. GIMME LOVE 9. WILD WHEELS 10. HOLD ON 11. LEAVE YOUR SHOES ON. BONUS TRACK: 12. SUFFRAGETTE CITY
FOR MUCH OF the 1970s Steve Jones was a driving force in the music world. As a founding member of British punk pioneers the Sex Pistols, his guitar playing provided a trailblazing and furious backdrop to a sound that changed the face of rock. Amazingly it was the fact that Steve’s stun-guitar riffs and adroit chord changes that enthralled fans and critics alike, turning what, under normal circumstances, were simplistic songs into 24 Karat classics. When the Sex Pistols disintegrated in 1978 Steve involved himself in a number of diverse projects but also faced some serious lifestyle issues. Relocating to the USA, amidst a period of serious drug dependency, he looked to a process of recovery by building a career as a solo artist. Signed to MCA, his debut solo album Mercy, issued in 1984 was a unique and somewhat surprising statement from a man who had previously been viewed as a maverick guitar hero. Choosing to focus on songs and melody, the record turned heads for an entirely different reason than the Sex Pistols. Produced by Bob Rose (Miami Vice Soundtrack) and Jones, the album is built primarily around melodic rock songs (written mostly by himself) that, by any other artist, may have been labelled AOR. Of course these tracks provide a solid foundation for Steve to unleash some blazing lead guitar, however, the emphasis is not on power chords but carefully executed solos, helping to support the melody rather than burying it beneath mountainous riffs; overall the album is a somewhat surprising yet gripping, statement from this hugely influential talent.
SPECIAL DELUXE COLLECTOR’S EDITION. Fully Remastered Audio, 12 page full colour booklet, 3,500 word essay, enhanced artwork with unpublished photos.
TRACK LISTING: 1. MERCY 2. GIVE IT UP 3. THAT’S ENOUGH 4. RAINING IN MY HEART 5. WITH YOU OR WITHOUT YOU 6. PLEASURE AND PAIN 7. PRETTY BABY 8. DRUGS SUCK 9. THROUGH THE NIGHT 10. LOVE LETTERS
SAMMY HAGAR’S FIVE album tenure with the Capitol records label concluded with Danger Zone, a particularly gutsy album that moved the guitarist away from his more considered song writing style to a fuller hard rock sound boasting lashings of attack and excitement. It was a formidable album that set the red rocker up for major career advancement and a lucrative deal with his next label Geffen Records. Recorded in San Francisco, the record was originally set to be produced by Tom Scholz, the embittered leader of multimillion seller’s Boston, but it was a move nixed by Tom’s record label who insisted that he concentrate on finishing up their album first. Not to be outdone, Hagar recruited British engineer Geoff Workman fresh from recording Journey’s breakthrough album Infinity. That wasn’t the only Journey connection as both vocalist Steve Perry and guitarist Neal Schon made guest appearances helping to showcase a thoroughly impressive collection of tracks and a production that propelled Hagar’s stature ever upwards. Originally issued in 1980, the record contained ten golden hard rock nuggets including the cut and thrust of openers ‘Love Or Money’ and ‘20th Century Man’, two of Hagar’s most accomplished recordings to date. ‘The pace continues with ‘Miles From Boredom’, the sinister strains of ‘In The Night (Entering The Danger Zone)’ and the triumphant ‘Run For Your Life’. It is a record that enhanced his reputation as one of the most compelling and significant artists of the era.
SPECIAL DELUXE COLLECTOR’S EDITION. Fully Remastered Audio, 16 page full colour booklet, 4,000 word essay, enhanced artwork with unpublished photos.
TRACK LISTING: 1. LOVE OR MONEY 2. 20TH CENTURY MAN 3. MILES FROM BOREDOM 4. MOMMY SAYS, DADDY SAYS 5. IN THE NIGHT (ENTERING THE DANGER ZONE) 6. THE ICEMAN 7. BAD REPUTATION 8. HEARTBEAT 9. RUN FOR YOUR LIFE 10. THE DANGER ZONE
WHEN IT COMES to capturing the imagination and interest of progressive rock fans then Max Webster must surely be one of the successful. Once you get your head around the fact that they weren’t actually named after a real person, so no one in the band was actually called Max Webster, then suddenly all the weirdness becomes acceptable and endearing. It’s amazing to think that at one point the band actually grazed the UK singles chart and appeared on Top Of The Pops, the bastion of British light entertainment.
This was Max Webster’s fourth album, their most commercially palatable album by a country mile, and it’s one that secured them not only a Platinum record in Canada, with three hit singles, but also opened up the international market when they supported Rush on their 1979 ‘Hemispheres’ European tour. The album, in keeping with their quirky unconventional approach, was helmed not by a record producer who was a TV advertising executive and jingle writer. It was actually a smart move as the record not only celebrated their progressive rock roots but also showcased a determined ambition to widen their appeal to a broader market.
Recorded in their native Canada, at Phase One Studios, Ontario, the album contains a number of key tracks; including ‘Let Go The Line’, ‘Night Flights’ and the title track. Best of all though is ‘Paradise Skies’, a triumphant and hugely captivating composition that nearly, but not quite, secured them an international hit. It’s also a record that captured some of band leader Kim Mitchell’s most fluent and impressive guitar solos.
SPECIAL DELUXE COLLECTOR’S EDITION. Fully Remastered Audio, 16 page full colour booklet – 4,000 word essay, enhanced artwork with and interview quotes.
TRACK LISTING: 1. PARADISE SKIES 2. CHARMONIUM 3. NIGHT FLIGHTS 4. SUN VOICES 5. MOON VOICES 6. A MILLION VACATIONS 7. LOOK OUT 8. LET GO THE LINE 9. RASCAL HOUDI 10. RESEARCH (AT BEACH RESORTS)
THERE ARE TIMES here at Rock Candy HQ when our jaws hit the deck and much scratching of heads ensues. This was exactly what happened when we reacquainted ourselves with The Scream’s solitary album, a record that flew under the radar when it was first released, but has subsequently become one of the most respected and revered releases from the early 90’s. It represented a high point for blistering blues-based hard rock. But as we know, grunge engulfed them and others but at least they didn’t go down without a fight.
‘Let It Scream’ was recorded in LA. It was the product of an experienced line up that featured former members of Racer X and Americade, fronted by former Angora singer John Corabi. The band attracted the interest of a few labels and eventually signed with the newly-formed Hollywood label (funded by Disney). Produced by industry legend Eddie Kramer (Led Zeppelin, Kiss, Fastway) and originally issued in 1991, the album is a riot of riffs and thrills, with Corabi surrounded by the sort of thunderous mayhem that wouldn’t sound out of place on an Aerosmith, Cinderella or Skid Row record.
Although the album failed to sell well it did turn heads, not least of all Nikki Sixx and Tommy Lee of Mötley Crüe who, the very day that Vince Neil had left the band, placed a fateful call to Corabi encouraging him to audition as his replacement. Not unexpectedly he accepted the offer, leaving behind an impressive legacy before moving on to other projects, and eventually joining the Dead Daisies. SPECIAL DELUXE COLLECTOR’S EDITION. Fully Remastered Audio, 16 page full colour booklet – 4,500 word essay, enhanced artwork with and new interview.
TRACK LISTING: 1. OUTLAW 2. I BELIEVE IN ME 3. MAN IN THE MOON 4. FATHER, MOTHER, SON 5. GIVE IT UP 6. NEVER LOVED HER ANYWAY 7. TELL ME WHY 8. LOVES GOT A HOLD ON ME 9. I DON’T CARE 10. EVERY INCH A WOMAN 11. YOU ARE ALL I NEED 12. CATCH ME IF YOU CAN 13. YOUNG AND DUMB BONUS TRACKS (LIVE 1992) 14. OUTLAW 15. GIVE IT UP 16. I BELIEVE IN ME 17. FATHER, MOTHER, SON 18. CATCH ME IF YOU CAN 19. LICK AND A PROMISE