Sunday, August 21, 2011

Forgotten Gems-Warhorse-Red Sea

Vertigo/Angel Air

When bassist Nick Simper was out of Deep Purple in 1969 he joined Marsha Hunt's backing band. Meanwhile he was also on the lookout for others to possibly form another band. When Marsha Hunt became pregnant Simper and a couple other members of her backing band decided to form their own band. Rick Wakeman was originally to be part of this group, but he missed so many practices that he was booted out. Soon the line-up was complete with Simper on bass plus former Marsha Hunt band members guitarist Ged Peckand drummer Mac Poole. Also in the line-up were keyboardist Mac Poole formerly of the Rumble and Ashley Holt who had tried out for Deep Purple in 1968. The band cut a demo "Miss Jane" in 1970 and interest from several labels before signing to Vertigo. The band's self-titled debut came out in November of 1970, but was not released in North America. Not long after that Ged Peck left and was replaced by Peter Parks. In 1971 the band was ready to record again, but their label informed them the budget would be tighter on their sophomore release. Yet Warhorse came up with an album that was as good if not a little better than their debut. "Red sea" is a mix progressive rock and early metal. The sounds range from hard punches to lengthy intense jams, but there are smooth grooves throughout. A few songs do parallel what Deep Purple was doing at the same without Simper. It was obvious that Warhorse had quickly became a very tight outfit and their ideas seem to come to them easily as well. I think they sounded more confident than on the debut. However things were not looking up for the group. By 1973 they had fallen out with their label and were released. The band recorded some demos and began shopping them around. During this time drummer Mac Poole left and was replaced by Barney James. Warner Brothers initially showed interest in the demos and some handshakes were exchanged, but no contract came. Eventually Warhorse did get a contract from a sub-label of Tamia Motown, but the day it arrived Barney James and Ashley Holt announced they were leaving. So the band called it a day. Fortunately they left two good albums. Angel Air released a version of "Red Sea" with bonus tracks including a live version of "Ritual" and five demo tracks.

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Blogger Rockin' Jeff said...

This record is awesome. Obscure city. I thought i was the only person who had ever heard it.

9:50 PM  
Blogger Metal Mark said...

Rockin' Jeff-Agreed. I got my copy used for like $5 maybe 7 or 8 years ago.

4:29 AM  

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