Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Today's entree into our N.W.O.B.H.M. series "NWOBHM WEDNESDAY" is another controversial addition much like Clientelle was. In fact, I'm not completely sold on Cracked Mirror as a heavy metal act myself (let alone a N.W.O.B.H.M. act) and, if there are fellow fans of the genre out there reading this, I'm bound to get some slack for covering this UK act today. One suspects the only logical reason that Cracked Mirror's sole release (the self-titled 1983 private release) came to be associated with the movement is because of two things (which are really rather related in nature): how rare this LP is and, as such, the fact that somebody somewhere most likely said "if we say this is a long lost nwobhm album we can double the price of it!". How else do you explain an album that has very little in the way of actual "heavy metal" being associated with the British metal scene? Does that mean that Cracked Mirror were not good? The band (Jozef Rytlewski-guitar/vocals, Michael Dixon-bass/vocals, Jackie Hazel-keys/Hammond and Paul Harbin-drummer) who were formed sometime around 1978 seemed to have been one of the few acts of the time period to draw influence from the likes of Deep Purple, Rainbow and Wishbone Ash instead of the usual Iron Maiden or Saxon worship. Despite the fact that they most likely knew that they were bound to draw blank stairs from those fans of the day expecting huge Judas Priest-style aggression the band did have an appeal thanks to their heavy guitar-rock sound. Indeed if 70's rock/hard rock is of particular interest to you then this long sought-after LP would be a worthwhile purchase. Never mind shelling out hundreds of dollars for an album that most likely was only originally released in a limited run (hundreds maybe?) as you can usually find this on CD fairly easily or, let's be honest here, this particular affair seems to be floating around on the web to download. Here's the thing though this is not really metal so as long as you are aware of that fact then you won't be disappointed. Even if your a die-hard NWOBHM fan please don't expect this to rattle your bones. If however you like 70's guitar rock along the lines of Rainbow or Deep Purple (only with a lot more Hammond instead of guitar solos) then this album is a fun listen.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have signed in under "Anonymous", as this is the only way that I can do it! My name is Paul Arthur Reeves, and I worked with Paul (Harbin) in the 1970's, and occasionally acted as his driver, transporting his drum kit (and him!) around various venues in London, such as The Rainbow, The Marquee, The Greyhound in S. W. London, The Windsor Castle in the Paddington area, and so on.

I left London in 1977, and after exchanging 1 or 2 Christmas cards, I lost touch with him.

I am now living on the Isle of Wight, and I saw somebody very like I imagined he would have looked like some 35 years on, in Ryde, a couple of years ago (maybe longer), but I was not sure enough to go and speak to him. He was over on the other side of the road, and once I could get across, he had disappeared anyway!

To prove that I did know him, I remember that he always had a "thing" about girls whose names began with J, so it was no surprise to me to find that the female member of the band was a Jackie.

Whether it was him or not, I wish him and the other members (ex-members) all the best and I hope, and believe, that he will still be playing somewhere. As for me, I still enjoy going to see the best of the live music that is available on the Island.

8:50 AM  
Blogger Andy said...

Very cool to hear from you and to find out some other information on the band. Thanks for sharing!

9:00 AM  

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