Silverhead were a British band, fronted by singer/actor, Michael Des Barres. The other members of the band were: Robbie Blunt (guitar), Rod Rook Davies (guitar, percussion, vocals), Nigel Harrison (bass guitar) and Pete Thompson (Drums, percussion, keyboards, vocals). They recorded two studio albums, Silverhead (1972) and 16 and Savaged (1973), and a live album that was only released in Japan after they had broken up.
This band had the misfortune to be ready and willing to go to the next level, yet never managing to get there, not from lack of trying or bad songs, just bad luck. The band is already tight and the songs grab you on the first album, with the boogie and glam in full force. The songs are catchy, full of life and still sound great after all these years. You get gritty vocals, raunchy guitar riffs, hand-clap boogie beats and songs that stick with you long after the album is over. This has some great songs such as “Rolling With My Baby,” “Johnny,” “Ace Supreme,” “Rock’n’Roll Band” and “Long Legged Lisa.” You also get the 7” single versions of “Ace Supreme” and “Rolling With My Baby,” as well as live versions of “Ace Supreme,” “Rock ‘n’ Roll Band” and “Sold Me Down the River,” taken from singer Michael Des Barres’ own collection, and previously only released in Japan.
On second album 16 And Savaged, the band gets even better, playing tighter and with a swagger that you have to hear to believe. The songs are still catchy and get into your ears and won’t let go. “Hello New York” and “More than your Mouth Can Hold” are just two amazing songs that haven’t diminished with time, they are a breath of fresh air in these boring musical doldrums. The band seemed to be trying to get to that higher echelon that they saw other bands around them hitting, and the album sounds like a chart topper. The remastered album also includes live versions of “Cartoon Princess,” “More Than Your Mouth Can Hold,” “Bright Light,” “Rock Out Claudette, Rock Out,” the title track plus “Hello New York.” Also included is the promo only debut solo 45 from Michael Des Barres, “Leon” b/w “New Moon Tonight.” Also included is the discovery of two tracks from the shelved third Silverhead LP, “James Dean” and “Marilyn,” released here for the very first time.
On the posthumous live album, Silverhead were caught live, and not realizing that they were being recorded when they opened up for Deep Purple. This performance shows that they were made for a live setting as you can hear the band ripping through their songs with energy and pure excitement. The band sounds energized and makes the songs that were on vinyl, sound so much better here. You can feel the electricity from the crowd, and the band come through the speakers. This is a collection of the best songs from their first two albums, plus “James Dean” from what would have been their third LP. There is also an alternative live recording of the aforementioned “James Dean,” plus a cover of Chuck Berry’s “Roll Over Beethoven,” and also includes the band’s previously unreleased live recording at the BBC’s Paris Theatre on August 31st, 1973. The sound on these remastered CDs is terrific with the clarity that makes them stand out from previous releases. The booklets included with the CDs has great information from new interviews with Silverhead front man Michael Des Barres, plus founder members Nigel Harrison and Rod Rook Davies.
If you’re a fan, you need these and if you’re curious, you really need these albums. This is a band that deserved better and to have people hear them and appreciate them….do it now and make your ears happy.