DIAMOND HEAD HISTORY
Brian and Duncan first started writing music together in early 1976 with Brian on cheap fuzz guitar and Duncan on Biscuit tins. Brian had a poster of an album by Phil Manzanera called Diamond Head that was released in 1975 and he thought "that would be a good name for the band", but they needed a singer and auditioned several school chums until someone mentioned they had heard Sean Harris singing Be Bop a Lu La on a coach and so Brian asked Sean to try out and after one song he was asked to join. Colin Kimberley, an friend of Brian's from junior school completed the line up.
The first demo tape was cut in 1978 in a studio in Kidderminster. This was used to get gigs, and a copy was sent to Geoff Barton at Sounds, who was suitably impressed and put them on his play list, and arranged an interview. Continual gigging set them in good stead. This saw them opening for the likes of ACDC and Iron Maiden.
At the beginning of 1980, the band formed 'Diamond Head Music' as a means to putting out their own self financed material. Their first single was 'Shoot Out The Lights' backed with 'Helpless' on Happy Face Music.
They then recorded what was to become their first album release. Like Led Zeppelin's fourth album it had no official title and has been referred to as the 'White Album', or 'Lightning To The Nations'. There were initially copies 1000 pressed, which were in a plain white cover. Every copy was signed by one member of the band. This was available only at gigs or by mail order for £3.50 A further pressing of 1000 were done, which had the track listing on it. This contained 7 classic tracks including 'Am I Evil?', 'The Prince' and 'Sucking My Love'.
The next single was 'Sweet and Innocent' from the White Album, backed with a new track, 'Streets of Gold'. Two new tracks arrived in 1981 on DHM Records - the double A-side of 'Waited Too Long' and 'Plat It Loud'. The Diamond Lights 12" EP followed soon after giving us 'It's Electric' and three new tracks, 'We Won't Be Back', 'Diamond Lights' and 'I Don't Got'.
Later in 1981, the band signed to MCA Records, their first release being the 'Four Cuts' EP containing 'Call Me', 'Trick or Treat', 'Dead Reckoning' and a new version of 'Shoot Out The Lights'. A second single; 'In The Heat Of The Night' was released prior to the 'Borrowed Time' album.
A double single of this contained live versions of 'Play It Loud' and 'Sweet and Innocent' recorded at the Zig-Zag Club, together with a 14 minute interview with Tommy Vance recorded in June '82.
Diamond Head played a magnificent set at the Reading Festival playing new tracks and old. The live version of 'Sucking My Love' would later be released as a 12" with 'Out Of Phase', and the whole set 10 years later as part of the BBC sessions series.
Living On....Borrowed Time' was released in late September 1982, in a lavish gatefold sleeve with stunning artwork courtesy of Rodney Matthews and entered the UK charts at number 24. A 12 date UK tour followed in October and November to promote their new album taking in Birmingham Odeon, Mancheter Apollo and London's
1983 saw the release of the 'Makin' Music' single as a precursor to the album that was also intended to be called 'Makin' Music' but was changed to 'Canterbury'. During the recording both Dunc and Colin left the band. Colin was replaced
by Merv Goldsworthy, who was later to go on to form FM. Robbie France took up the drum stool and keyboard player Josh Phillips-Gorse was added. 20,000 copies of the album had pressing faults causing the first track to jump. This consequently affected sales, with it eventually charting at number 32.
'Out Of Phase', a second single was released backed with the album track 'The Kingmaker'. The band played the Donnington Rock Festival in the summer of 1983 and another tour of Odeon sized halls in October
to promote 'Canterbury'. Also in the summer of 1983, the band completed a European tour with Black Sabbath.
The band were preparing for a fourth LP, 'Flight East' in 1984 but were dropped by MCA. When their manager failed to get them a deal at the MIDEM music business convention, the band split.
Following the first break up of Diamond Head in 1985, Brian formed Radio Moscow, a more mainstream rock band. Early gigs would include 'Am I Evil' and 'Play It Loud'. singer Ritch Battersby later went on to join the 'Wildhearts'.
Radio Moscow's first release to feature Brian was an untitled four track EP. Although uncredited, their first album 'World Service' does feature some of Brian's playing. It was released shortly after he left the band.
In the meantime Sean went on to work with guitarist Robin George in a one-off pop rock project under the name of Notorious funded by Geffen Records. The resultant single 'The SWALK' was released in 1990. The album was released in America for only three weeks before being deleted.
The same year, Notorious also contributed a track to the soundtrack of the 'Highlander 2' in the form of 'Here We Go', a fast paced rock track. A second track on the album 'Who's That Man - part 1' saw Brian Tatler and Sean Harris team up again under the moniker of 'The Magnetic AKA' The track was written and produced by Sean.
The original line up got back together to jam through 'Helpless' and 'Am I Evil?' with Metallica at one of their shows at Birmingham's NEC.
The following year saw Brian and Sean team up once again as a band with Karl Wilcox and drums and Eddie Chaos on Bass. Playing only new material, the band completed a small tour of UK clubs under the pseudonym 'Dead Reckoning'.
It was obvious that Diamond Head were now back in business. The band entered the studio to record tracks for an EP entitled 'Rising Up'. Instead just a 2 track 12" was released available only at gigs and specialist record shops. 'Wild On The Streets' had its origins back in 1978, but had never been completed or recorded. 'Can't Help Myself' completed the single.
Following two further club tours, Chaos was replaced by Pete Vukovic to record the 'Death and Progress' album. The album features celebrity guests in the guise of Megadeth's Dave Mustaine who played on and mixed the track ''Truckin'. Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi also guests on 'Starcrossed', adding a very distinctive solo.
Prior to its release, the band opened a show at Milton Keynes Bowl featuring Megadeth and Metallica on 5th June 1993. The album sold more than 50,000 copies to their ever loyal fan base.
This show was later released as 'Evil Live' in 1994 along with extra tracks from the 'Death and Progress' sessions. This was to be Diamond Head's last show for 7 years.
The band again went their separate ways; Brian kept himself busy playing with a variety of bands such as Dizzy Lizzy, Jean Genie and Quill, with whom wrote new material and can be heard on three of their albums. Karl moved to the United States where he bacame involved with 'Bloodroot'. Pete Vuckovics formed ''Three Colours Red' and signed to Creation records,and released 2 albums "Pure" and "Revolt".
In late 2000, Brian and Sean started working on an acoustic project, reworking some of their back catalogue in an acoustic style with new recruit Floyd Brennan. The trio performed some low key gigs before recording a four track EP and perfoming at the Rock Shield Festival in Burton On Trent.
The acoustic shows had revitalised interest in Diamond Head, and new songs had already started to be written. Early in 2002, an offer to headline the New Jersey Metal Meltdown IV Festival as an electric band was too good a chance to miss. This signified the return of Eddie Moohan and Karl Wilcox. A couple of weeks rehearsal and a short 4 date UK tour warmed the band up for their first trip to American soil. Their headline performance proved a massive success with many US fans getting their first chance to see the band live.
More new material was written and another UK club tour was undertaken in September 2002 with a notable slot at the Derby Bloodstock Festival. At the end of 2002 and the early part of 2003, Diamond Head ventured into the studio to record a new album with Andrew Scarth. Although this album had been completed, Sean's reluctance to release it as Diamond Head or desire to play live, meant that it never saw the light of day. Determined to continue, the band played a short set at the Wacken festival in 2003 with Jess Cox on vocals.
2004 heralded a landmark in Diamond Head history as they will embark on a new phase for the band with new singer Nick Tart. The year saw them rehearse and write new material as a revitalised band, and record a new album with Nick, 'All Will Be Revealed'. The end of the year saw them perform their first gig infront of an invitation only crowd at JBs in Dudley. With their new album imminently available at gigs and via the website, Diamond Head are about to embark on a massive European tour supporting Megadeth. 12 years after the release of Death & Progress, the band are now ready to forge ahead and achieve the level of success their critically acclaimed past has always promised.
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