Friday, November 04, 2005

Hit Parader's Wild Bunch

Back in late 1985 Hit Parader magazine released a cassette only compilation of metal bands. At the time most of the bands were either just starting out or were deemed on the verge of possibly becoming big. Probably more than half of them were either on independent labels or hadn't even released an album yet. Raven were probably far and away the most established band at the time this came out. I used to have this on tape, but I don't think that I do anymore. What I wanted to do was not so much write a review, but instead was to look at the bands and see what became of them because in late 85 these were bands that Hit Parader might become something. So here is the track listing and my comments on what I know happened to this band or in some case I actually had to do a little research on the bands.

Pull The Trigger" - Q5
This band did two albums in the mid-80's and they featured Floyd Rose, whose tremolo had only been around for a few years by 85. They didn't get very popular at the time, but most people who have heard their albums speak highly of them. If this song was representative of those albums then I would like to hear them some day as well.
"Rock Until You Drop" - Raven
This was a live version and like I said Raven were fairly established at this point having recently released their major label debut Stay Hard. Raven were on a major for another two years, but they never got a whole lot bigger than they were at this point. They are still around today and have always had a reputation for being a good live band.
"Marseilles De Sade" - Shok Paris
"Battle Cry" - Shok Paris
Not sure why they had two songs by Shok Paris, but they did. This band did two albums in the late 80's and the first received some promotion and had some good reviews, but not a lot of impact. I have a single of theirs in my closet somewhere and I remember liking it.
"Taken By Force" - Agent Steel
This song came from their debut album which was released not too long before the Wild Bunch. They would do an ep and another lp over the next year and a half. Their popularity grew on the underground, but their kind of speed metal became a little less popular over the next two years although I liked them quite a bit. They have reformed with the two guitarists who played for most of their stint in the 80's and have done two albums with a third due out soon.
"Never Enough" - Castle Blak
This band released two albums in the mid 80's and got a little bit of press, but didn't go very far. They later changed their name to Monster Island before breaking up in I believe the early 90's.
"City's Gonna Burn" - Laaz Rockit
The title track from their 1984 debut was an odd choice as their second album No stranger to danger was already out by this time. This LA band was once lumped in as a sleeze band due to their costumes and name by 87 they saw the speed metal trend and changed their sound and look to fit in. They achieved some success in the late 80's, but then faded and eventually changed their name to Gack before breaking up. Their cds fetch high prices on ebay so they have a cult following.
"Metal Thrashing Mad" - Anthrax
This was the Joey Belladonna version and at this time Anthrax's Spreading the disease had just come out. Of course we know that they would indeed make a big impression over the next five years and they have been going fairly strong since then although their prime was certainly from about 85-91.
"I Like To Rock" - Blacklace
This band did I believe two albums in the mid 80's. I remember seeing a review in Hit Parader once and maybe an ad for their second album, but that's about it. They seemed decent, but a bit mild.
"American Metal" - Lizzy Borden
Lizzy Borden's popularity was growing at this point and would continue to grow over the next two years, but then they kind of tanked it when they released the very ordinary Visual Lies in 87. They did a reunion album in 2000 and now Lizzy and drummer Joey Scott are in Starwood.
"Metal Queen" - Lee Aaron
Lee Aaron never got that popular here in the states, but in her native Canada she has continued to record and I believe still has a following there.
"Suck It And See" - Grim Reaper
Grim Reaper were out touring for their second album Fear now evil at this point. It seemed they might get bigger, but production problems delayed the release of their third album. By the time Rock you to hell came out in 87, it was very polished and I think their brand of metal was fading and they didn't last much longer.
"Chosen Ones" - Megadeth
Megadeth's debut had been out for a while and shortly after this they signed to a major label and began recording Peace Sells. By say late 86, their popularity would be soaring and growing even more over say the next six years. Along with Slayer and Anthrax, they were one of three bands on this compilation to really make it.
"Daze Gone By" - Antix
This band had done an ep in late 1984 that was produced by Don Dokken. They never really got anywhere. Occasionally there is a single by a band called Antix from 1987 that shows up on ebay, but I have never been able to determine if it was this band or not.
"Burning In Hell" - Possessed
These guys were teenagers at the time and their debut Seven Churches was perhaps the first real death metal album. They released another lp in 86 and the great Eyes of horror ep in 87 before breaking up. They were fairly influential on death and thrash metal during the time.
"Eyes Of The Night" - Jag Panzer
These guys had done an ep and an lp by this time and some people thought they had bigger things in store for them, but they went through a number of line-up changes and faded from notice for a long time. Most of the early line-up reformed in 97 and they have been steady in releasing albums since then.
"Party Hardy" - Teeze
It took me a while to find about these guys, but I found them. They were a glam band at this time and released an album. Later they later changed their name and to Roughhouse and changed their look as well. They got signed to a major label in 1988. The name change was done to avoid confusion with the 1970's Canadian rock band who had the same name with a different spelling. Apparently Roughhouse got little label support and broke up not too long after releasing their only album.
"Ace Of Spades" - Abattoir
Juan Garcia formed this band in the early 80's, but then left and formed Agent Steel. The band replaced him and released two albums in the mid-80's before breaking up. This is a good cover of the Motorhead classic, but they really should have chosen an original from the band instead.
"At Dawn They Sleep" - Slayer
By late 85, Slayer were on the brink of getting big. Hell Awaits came out earlier in the year and the were getting a reputation for their lyrics and for their speed and heaviness. Of course about a year later they would release Reign in blood and speed metal would never be the same.

So there you have the Wild Bunch which saw a mixed bag of success for the bands. Megadeth, Anthrax and Slayer all made it fairly big. Raven and Lee Aaron have been slugging it out through the highs and lows since the early 80's. Agent Steel and Jag Panzer are still doing albums although with different versions than their 80's line-ups. Looking back, I think this was a good compilation on the part of Hit Parader. There are a lot of bands and a lot of styles that range from very commercial hard rock like Teeze and Antix to classic sounding metal like Jag Panzer and Grim Reaper and even Slayer and Possessed who represented some of the fastest and heaviest bands of the time. I only wished Hit Parader had released it on album because then I would have kept my copy.


Blogger Xalicarius said...

I have a copy of this on cd if anyone is interested

7:04 AM  
Blogger Magpie said...

Just fot the record, Lee Aaron gave up on metal sometime in the 90's and became a jazz singer, which she does to this day. Despite a resurgent interest in her metal stuff from the 80's. she has recently claimed that she will never perform metal again, which is a shame.

6:56 PM  
Blogger twink_CCAB said...

I'd love to get the cd, just because i have the cassette, and it must be about 25 years old now, so... cd would at least be listenable.

5:27 PM  
Blogger tawoz said...

yes "Agent Steel" singing Taken By Force.good stuff.

7:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have it on cassette... I actually have 2 copies, 'coz I wore one of the tapes out so I bought another one :)

I've been trying to find most of the tunes on mp3/cd...

5:22 AM  
Blogger Slayer said...

I have digitalized the original cassette with all the tracks in very pristine condition, so if somebody wants this in an archive with pics from the original cassette just only tell in this same way, I can upload this very rarity for downloading

8:52 PM  
Blogger tawoz said...

yes please i mp3 copy would be great my email is i can trade if wanted.

4:36 AM  
Blogger Scheu said...

I would LOVE to have a copy of this. I also had it on cassette tape and wore it out to the point that it broke. I think I still have it in the garage somewhere! I haven't heard this compilation in many, many years. Did you ever post it for d/l? If so, I would be very interested in that link. I found a link on Megaupload that is no longer working. You can email me off list if you like at Thanks and have a good one.
Later, Scheu

4:13 AM  
Blogger Devon said...

Interestingly enough, the label that released this, Reach Out International Records (ROIR) only released cassettes, including stuff by the Bad Brains and the Dictators live reunion album 'F--k 'Em If They Can't Take a Joke', later released to CD as 'Dictators Live.' As for the Wild Bunch, that was the first place I ever heard Slayer, in late 1986; Today is the day after Jeff Hannamen left the world at the young age of 49. A tragic loss.

12:38 PM  
Blogger ronald matthew said...

Slayer i would love a copy of it .. you can contact me at please i would be totally grateful for it .. i wore my copy out many years ago

5:13 PM  
Blogger ronald matthew said...

if anyone has a copy .. i would love to get a copy of it please !!!!!!

5:14 PM  

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