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MARK TAYLOR'S BIG CITY NIGHTS
ANVIL: 'STRENGTH OF STEEL', 'POUND FOR POUND' AND 'WORTH THE WEIGHT' RE-RELEASES
The story of Anvil is a long and complex one best documented on the ground breaking film 'Anvil: The Story Of Anvil'. Since then Anvil have gone from strength to strength and finally reaped the rewards following years of flogging themselves out on the road to an audience who had almost all forgotten about them.
In the early eighties Anvil were one of the prime speed Metal bands around and released a trio of classic albums with 'Hard 'N Heavy', 'Metal On Metal' and 'Forged In Fire'. Anvil had the world at their feet but creeping up from behind them were an array of thrash Metal bands like Metallica and Anthrax who would leave Anvil in the dust.
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Anvil got lost between the hair Metal scene for which they were considered too heavy and the thrash scene for which they were now considered not heavy or fast enough. Aerosmith manager David Krebs took charge of our Canadian heroes but his promises came to nothing and Anvil were left in limbo having to wait four years before they could be released from his contract and that had a massive negative impact on their career.
Life has now gone full circle for Anvil with the release of last year's critically claimed album 'Juggernaut Of Justice' embracing a whole new generation of fans.
SPV/Steamhammer Records are re-releasing those albums recorded during the wilderness years starting with 'Strength Of Steel' (1987), 'Pound For Pound' (1988) and 'Worth The Weight' (1992) and digi-pack CD's and glorious coloured vinyl of 'Worth The Weight'. This will be the very first time that album has been available on vinyl.
'Strength Of Steel' was originally released on the Metal Blade label back in 1987 and although the sound was still Anvil, the band's look had more in common with Motley Crue and Ratt, which alienated a lot of the hardcore fans.
Fluffy hair and red leathers made Anvil look desperate whilst ironically the bands that Anvil influenced in the whole thrash scene were getting away with wearing ripped jeans, trainers and t-shirts.
'Mad Dog' was more in the Ted Nugent mode and the band made a mad video of it for MTV. 'Concrete Jungle' is one of the better songs on this album, as is the chaotic instrumental 'Flight Of The Bumble Beast'.
A year later 'Pound For Pound' was out and would be the last to feature the original classic line up with Anvil going back to a more traditional look with Lips getting on his moral compass writing about the dangers of TV evangelism on 'Corporate Preacher' and the new fear of AIDS on 'Safe Sex' with the lines; "If I abstain, I'll go insane, Safe Sex. Give me sleaze and not disease", which inspired the 'Rubber Glove' tour. On the opposite end there was the un-PC 'Toe Jam'.
It would be another four years before the next studio album, 'Worth The Weight', which came out on the Mausoleum label with a new guitarist in Sebastian Marino playing in a more duelling role with Lips. This album would also be the last to feature original bassist Ian Dickson.
The album is a more darker and dense affair with more lyrics involving the fear of too much sexual lust in 'Sins Of The Flesh'. The nine minute, doomy 'Sadness - Love Me When I'm Dead' is about the young stars such as Jimi Hendrix and James Dean dying all too early.
There is more than enough in these re-releases to warrant an interest from new and old fans alike. Well worth the wait.