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Old 2017-03-17, 11:15 PM   #5
Ryan F
Hungry Hippos World Champion
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The Savage Streets soundtrack album is ace - it also contains an instrumental version of "Nothing's Gonna Stand in Our Way", which is also way cool. The only way to get it on CD is either as an uber-rare German promo, or as a Russian bootleg (which my copy is). Still cost me forty quid, though.

IIRC the song was written by music mogul Randy Bishop, who was quite prolific. He kinda took Kick Axe (aka Spectre General) under his wing and guided their career, so to speak.

Kick Axe wrote "Hunger" themselves in an attempt to sell the song to Black Sabbath, who in the 80s had gone very middle-of-the road (less doomy, more hair-metal). In fact the Kick Axe singer was at one point mooted as a possible Sabbath lead singer (both bands recorded at the same studio, so they knew each other).

In the end Sabbath rejected it but Hunger was instead picked up by King Kobra, whose drummer Carmine Appice used to be in Ozzy Osbourne's band. So although Kick Axe/Spectre General wrote the song, the King Kobra version is not technically a cover, because it came out first.

Kick Axe were forced to change their name to Spectre General because of a contractual issue - they had some exclusivity arrangement which meant that they weren't allowed to have songs on other labels, so their manager changed the name to Spectre General to get round the fact that the film soundtrack was on Scotti Bros records (rather than Pascha, who they were contracted to).

The name change was their manager's doing and they were quite surprised when they saw the new band name in the credits. In subsequent interviews, Kick Axe have gone on record to say that they were essentially used, chewed up and spat out by the record industry. They also claim they could have had Stan Bush levels of 'success' (i.e. they could have made a career out of churning out anodyne rock albums to fleece to Transformers fans), but the confusion over the name change prevented that. That might be true, but they've also claimed that the only reason they never made it big is because their label didn't publicise them enough, which sounds a bit like sour grapes. (Kick Axe were okay, but even with the best will in the world they were never going to be mainstream). Their cover version of The Chain by Fleetwood Mac is way cool.

Erm, other soundtrack trivia...

Stan Bush used to be in a band called Boulder, who released one album before going their seperate ways (most of the other members joined Warren Zevon's band, which was ironic because the first song on the Boulder album was a Warren Zevon cover).

Lion are a group full of rock legends - drummer Mark Edwards was in a band called Steeler with Yngwie Malmsteen, and also released a solo album where he did a rock cover version of Boney M.'s Rasputin, which is surprisingly great. Singer Kal Swan and Guitarist Doug Aldrich later formed the band Bad Moon Rising, who became incredibly popular in Japan, which is why all of the Lion albums have been re-released on CD in Japan (to cash in on the popularity of Bad Moon Rising) but not in the West. Aldrich has also played guitar with Dio and Whitesnake, which makes him an insta-legend in my eyes.

Weird Al has a ginormous box-set coming out later this year (in the shape of an accordion, no less), which features a bonus CD of rarities that includes an instrumental Dare To Be Stupid.

Transform And Roll-Out
The Unofficial And Unauthorised Guide To The Transformers (1984-92)
Available now from Telos Publishing
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