Attention, Ascension

Posted: November 30, 2011 in Discography

After the party that was ‘Wake Up…’, Rokkard went back to the studio re-energised. Both Chester and Roger Green wanted to recreate the epic sound of The Journey but in easier to digest morsels. They hired pop producer Randy Fairchild and thus ‘Climb The Mountain‘ was born.

Featuring the single Metal Detective, which clogged the Surrey airwaves during one week in late April 1982, Climb The Mountain is proto-prog-pop-metal to a tee. Unfortunately most of it was before its time and it crippled Mallard Worm Records and their entrepreneur founder Sir Walter Panhandle who, soon after the release, vanished from his Chobham hacienda.

Only now can Climb The Mountain be totally appreciated.

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Wakey Wakey

Posted: November 28, 2011 in Discography

There’s no doubt about it, ‘The Journey’ took its toll on Rokkard. Lead axeman Gordon Isleworth didn’t even pick up a guitar again until Chester found him to play on 1996’s Lord Of The Rokk. The rest of the band knew that they couldn’t attempt something of that scale again for a while. Instead, after a riotous New Year’s Eve celebration, where they wrote the majority of the album, they decided to kick back and write some fun rock songs.

Featuring original artwork from guitarist Derek Tapiacombula, ‘Wake Up It’s 1981‘ (or !98¡ as it is stylised, which incidentally confused a lot of reviewers who incorrectly called it ‘Wake Up It’s 98’) is a great fun album. Damn Busters is a floor filler in every church hall in Surrey and Rock All Day, Sleep All Night is the number 1 single they never had. If you ever have a sleepy head, throw on ‘Wake Up’ and you certainly will!

Take A Trip

Posted: November 24, 2011 in Discography

‘Are you ready to take a journey?’ asked the press release that accompanied Rokkard’s eleventh album. Sprawled over three discs, ‘The Journey‘ is a wonder of music. Whether it be the haunting acoustic Chibaiskweda or the 22 minute ode to the world’s largest star, ‘The Journey’ haunts and delights its listeners.

After the success of ‘…Eagle…’, Chester decided to change everything, bringing in four new members and giving keyboardist Roger Green free reign to take the album where it needed to go.

The album was a massive hit in the Suceava county of Romania, where Rokkard headlined their annual Plough Festival in 1981.

Far From Over

Posted: November 23, 2011 in Discography

After the turmoil of the ‘Piss Off Elvis‘ album, Rokkard re-grouped to produce their most focused album to date. ‘(It Ain’t Over ‘Til) The Eagle Spreads Its Wings‘ attracted a whole new wave of fans in areas as far away as Lincoln and Great Yarmouth. Rumours of a European tour excited all but failed to materialise.

‘Eagle’, as the Rokkard faithful call it, was the resurgence that the band needed and they used this as a springboard to bigger and better things. ‘Eagle’ was also re-released in 1998 for its 20th anniversary, with two less tracks; Chester opting to trim out the fat of Synapses and King Hermann’s drum solo, ‘Martyrs’ Bones’.

High Treason

Posted: October 10, 2011 in Discography

After the commercial failure of 1975’s ‘Jesus Died…‘ Chester took time off to reassess Rokkard’s mission. He spent the time writing some of the most straight-up rock songs he’s ever produced. He was all set to go and record them when, one night in August 1977, he heard about the death of Elvis Presley. Chester was so inflamed by the outpouring of grief for someone he thought as both a charlatan and a circus performer, he scrapped the songs and furiously wrote an entire album based on his hatred for Elvis.

Much like its predecessor, ‘Piss Off Elvis‘ was not well received; it failed to chart anywhere. A shame because the closing track of Stealing Priscilla is a piano ballad as heartfelt as anything Chester had ever written.

Chester is still adamant the album is a classic, but at the time another rethink was needed.

For Christ’s Sake

Posted: October 2, 2011 in Discography

Rokkard’s eighth album, Jesus Died For Rokkard’s Sins, was one of their most controversial. Deemed by some as the first death metal album, the record was immediately banned in 47 countries due to its blasphemous artwork. After poor sales, Rokkard were forced to issue an alternative version. This was banned by 57 countries because by this time they had heard the music.

Chester has offered no apologies for the album’s content but there was some fallout. Gerald Llama, Rokkard’s lead guitarist for the previous two albums, was upset by the anti-Christian message and left the band during the recording. Antelope Jones was drafted in and was an ideal replacement, due to his Jewish background.

Kill The DJ

Posted: September 30, 2011 in Discography

Details of Rokkard’s 1974 anti-disco album The Day The Disco Died have been added to the discography section.

‘Disco’, as it was affectionally known to fans, struck a chord with the band’s UK fanbase mainly because many bought it thinking it was a pro-disco album. The band bought in the funk bass of Dave Smegson for the album to mock the disco sound and the album spawned the sleeper hit Welsh Rarebit.