SILVERHEAD: S/T, 16 And Savaged, Live At The Rainbow London

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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.

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VCPS: Self-titled

 

This band was previously known as Vietcong Pornsurfers and as you can guess, not a very easy name to lookup online in a way, and a bit odd too, so new name, but same kick ass band. The good part is that the new name is the only thing changed, since the band who was known for great garagey, punkish rock’n’roll kept that and we thank you for that.

You get six songs on this EP, with a sound that mixes late ’70s/early ’80s punk and a touch of garage and glam and manages to sound better than KISS on “Ain’t Nothing For You.” Yes, they take the sound of KISS on that track and make one song better than KISS’ last two albums. The band slows down on “Yes I Can,” and “Hold Me,” and shows some restraint and almost a sweetness that was never there before….holy shades of maturing as a band! Luckily, those two songs are done well and fit perfectly into the scheme of things.

The album is played tight, mostly fast and gets the blood pumping. I just wish that they would get more music done and put it out, I hate waiting so long between releases.

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http://www.vcpsofficial.com/

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GIRLSCHOOL:Take A Bite

 

Take a Bite is the seventh studio album by Girlschool, and originally released by GWR Records in 1988. It is the first album to feature Tracey Lamb from Rock Goddess on bass, replacing Gil Weston-Jones. This album features a brief return from founder member Enid Williams, providing backing vocals on “This Time,” but also features FM’s Merv Goldsworthy and Pete Jupp, who sing backing vocals on “Girls on Top.”

Second album to keep the legacy of the band going, with maybe a bit more gloss than the previous album, but not enough to diminish the power of the songs. You get “Head over Heels” which is co-written by Lemmy from Motorhead, the Joan Jett sounding “Girls On Top,” and “Up All Night,” just three awesome songs on this album. The band is still playing with energy, maybe invigorated by Lamb’s joining the band, and full of chunky riffs and catchy choruses, the album is a delight to listen to. Their cover of “Fox On The Run” by Sweet is a classic by both bands. The remastering helps clean up the muddy sound of my original CD and makes the album much stronger sounding. The booklet has a great information about the album and has cool pictures included from the album release.

The band may have not been on the charts too much, but that never hampered their ability to write great songs and to love what they do right to this very day. The band is a class act and this is a great album that sounds as great today as it did nearly thirty years ago…….almost thirty years…..wow………

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http://www.girlschool.co.uk/mainindex.htm

GIRLSCHOOL:Nightmare At Maple Cross

Nightmare At Maple Cross is the sixth studio album by Girlschool, and was originally released on GWR Records in 1986. Under the direction of producer Vic Maile, this album marks the return of the band to the sound of their earlier works and to a four-piece band. All tracks were composed by the band, except for the cover of Mud’s “Tiger Feet.”

This is a definite return to form after their previous album which was more geared toward the American market, especially only being released there and more commercial sounding. This brings them back to the power, energy and FUN of their first two albums. The vocals, the laying and the catchy songs all combine to make this a fresh and fantastic listen. You can bang your head, jump around, shout along and just put on a smile as soon as you start to listen to this album. I love “Danger Sign,” “Never Too Late,” and so many more songs on here. The songs are so well written and you can hear that the band was having fun doing this album. I love the banter that the band has on the album, very reminiscent of their older albums. The cover of “Tiger Feet” from Mud is terrific, so peppy, catchy and the song should be played loud every time you put the album on……hell, every song on here should be too. The booklet is great, lots of info about the recording of the album and the remastering is flawless as well.

A band that I read about in CREEM magazine and got Hit And Run as a birthday gift, and been a fan ever since. This shows that they had so many great songs and could give their all to their fans. Grab a copy of this one today!

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http://www.girlschool.co.uk/mainindex.htm

BRIAN CONNOLLY’s THE SWEET: Let’s Do It Again (All the Hits and More)

After the break up of SWEET in the early 80′s Brian Connoly started a band called THE NEW SWEET, and other than that, he has released a lot of greatest hits for SWEET, probably because he  does not own the rights to the original music and wants to put out newer versions that he does own the rights to and sell them.

There are all of the hit and more as the title says on this collection of remakes that is a shock to see since Connolly died back in February 1997. That being said, the versions on here are all played faithfully with no surprises and I really enjoyed the collection a lot. I never bothered to get a collection of THE SWEET and then I got this sent to me, so this was a very cool treat. I really liked the versions on here and found that the playing was energetic and that Connolly’s vocals were really strong and he still had te ability to hit all of the notes.

If you want to get a collection of songs of THE SWEET, this is a really good collection and all of the obvious songs are here, “Little Willie”, “Ballroom Blitz”, “Wig Wam Bam” and of course “Fox On The Run”. It’s nice that his estate will get some money from this since a lot of these guys from the 60s and 70s got screwed out of their royalties.

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