Vardis “If I Were King”

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Note: This post is part of a collection of analyses based on the compilation New Wave of British Heavy Metal ’79 Revisited, an album put together by Lars Ulrich and Geoff Barton that is not only a significant account of a particularly important period in the history of heavy metal by two people who helped shape that scene, but may also be a revealing window into the influences and musical raw materials that Ulrich drew from when he founded what became the most successful metal band in history, Metallica.

The band Vardis was a threesome who originally began playing together in 1977 under the name “Quo Vardis.” The band had dropped the first word in their name by the time they released their first album, 100 MPH, in 1980. Unlike most debut albums, Vardis chose to compile their first record from live recordings. One of these songs, “If I Were King,” was recorded in a studio the same year and released on a compilation titled New Electric Warriors (1980). This studio recording is the version which appears on NWOBHM ’79 Revisited.

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Sweet Savage “Eye of the Storm”

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Note: This post is part of a collection of analyses based on the compilation New Wave of British Heavy Metal ’79 Revisited, an album put together by Lars Ulrich and Geoff Barton that is not only a significant account of a particularly important period in the history of heavy metal by two people who helped shape that scene, but may also be a revealing window into the influences and musical raw materials that Ulrich drew from when he founded what became the most successful metal band in history, Metallica.

Sweet Savage’s “Eye of the Storm” is the second track of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal ’79 Revisited compilation.1 According to the extensive and fairly reliable fan database Encyclopedia Metallum, “Eye of the Storm” was first released by the band in 1981 on Sweet Savage’s first demo tape.2 The version on the NWOBHM ’79 Revisited album doesn’t sound like a demo tape, and is from a live session Sweet Savage recorded for BBC Radio1 in 1981.3 Sweet Savage released a few singles in the ’80s, but they didn’t manage to put out a proper album until they had a reunion in 1996, too late to get the kind of fanbase or commercial success that landed bands like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest in the history books.4 Continue reading

  1. In the rest of this article, New Wave of British Heavy Metal is abbreviated NWOBHM. []
  2. This 1981 demo tape also is the first appearance of “Killing Time,” a song Metallica covered on their 1998 album Garage, Inc. Apparently the title “’79 Revisited” doesn’t refer to the year 1979 specifically. []
  3. This recording was released by the BBC the same year as part of a compilation of sessions from Radio1’s Friday Rock Show. http://www.discogs.com/Various-The-Friday-Rock-Show/release/1722530 []
  4. Eduardio Rivadavia over at AMG music describes this compilation as including “relative unknowns such as Sweet Savage…” []