Jason Ritchie highlights the recording history of NWOBHM band Demon
Formed in Stoke back in the NWOBHM the band initially lived up to their name with singer Dave Hill rising up from coffins on stage, along with lots of devil references on ‘Don’t Break The Circle’ or ‘Night Of The Demon’. Their debut album is one for all lovers of NWOBHM and still sounds good today.
By the mid-80’s they went more progressive with The Plague being their peak. The title track (containing a lovely bass riff from Chris Ellis) and ‘Blackheath’ are great songs for anyone’s collection.
Try also British Standard Approved, the last album to feature co-lyricist Mel Hill who sadly died shortly after the album was released. It has Titanic references throughout (the captain of the said ship came from Stoke) and some wonderful keys/guitar interplay, making this the band’s most progressive album along with its follow-up Heart Of Our Time. That album freatured Steve Watts on keyboards and has some real gems like ‘Expressing The Heart’ and ‘High Climber’.
1987’s Breakout is another must have with ‘Life On The Wire’ and ‘Hurricane’ mixing metal riffs with hard rock catchiness. Less progressive, more guitar led and Dave Hill is on fine vocal form throughout.
The follow-up 1989’s Taking The World By Storm contains possibly one of their heaviest sings to date the excellent ‘Commercial Dynamite’. Hold On To The Dream (1991) is one of their more melodic rock offerings with a hit-single-that-never-was in the shape of ‘Nothing Turned Out Right’. ‘Ivory Tower’ kept the prog rock quota up on that album.
The band split up in 1992 and after a long lay-off reformed in 2001. Spaced Out Monkey was a return to form and the keys were back more in the mix. It was followed some time later in 2005 by Better The Devil You Know, which has its moments and Unbroken (2012), a return to a more straight ahead rock/metal sound.
The band’s latest album to date is 2016’s Cemetery Junction where the band mixed their hard rock and progressive sides to great effect, Highlights include the title track, ‘The Best Is Yet To Come’ and ‘Out Of Control’.
You can delve into any of their albums but avoid Blowout (1992) as it is not their finest hour. Dave Hill also did a solo album Welcome To The Real World, released only in Germany and hard to find, although tracks have subsequently appeared as bonus tracks on some re-issued Demon albums.
David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 30 August 2020.
UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 8 September 2020.
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Featured Albums w/c 14 September (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 PERFECT PLAN Time For A Miracle (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 OVERLAND Scandalous (Escape Music)
14:00-16:00 ANNIE DRESSNER Coffee At The Corner Bar (indie)
Power Plays w/c 14 September (Mon-Fri)
GALLOWS CIRCUS Medicine Man (indie)
ROY ZIV Currents (indie)
NOVATINES Honey (indie)
KILFEATHER Never Stop (indie)
VANILLA FUDGE Immigrant Song (Golden Robot Records)
BROKEN MACHINE Sweet Mary Jane (indie)
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