Lizzy Borden – Great American Metal [Favorite Tracks]

Formed in 1983 singer Lizzy Borden [who would take the stage name, and use it for his band name, in the same way Alice Cooper would], along with drummer Joey Scott, guitarists Gene Allan & Tony Matuzak, and on bass Steve Hochheiser. Michael Davis took over on bass soon after, and Alex Nelsen would replace Matuzak after the first album. The band would go through other changes over the years – mainly guitarists. The band signed to Metal Blade Records in 1984, after appearing on the labels “Metal Massacre IV” compilation. These compilation albums saw the start to many metal bands that went on to be huge, from Ratt,
to Metallica, Slayer, as well as Metal Church, Virgin Steel, Armored Saint…. Lizzy Borden would take on a theatrical live show featuring the axe [playing on the name of the infamous accused axe murderer in 1892], blood, and costumes. Check out the “Murderess Metal Road Show” [on video / youtube].
The band grew a strong following, but never quite broke through huge commercially; perhaps it was adding to the ‘shock rock’ scene after the likes of WASP & Motley Crue [?], or that those bands [and many other LA bands like Quiet Riot, Ratt, etc.. ] were signed to major labels [?]. Regardless the band did put out some solid metal albums, and are still active. They also took some bolds steps in the 80s with a double live album, prior to recording their 2nd full album. “The Murderess Metal Roadshow” [1989] featured 17 tracks, including a cool cover of Paul McCartney’s “Live And Let Die” [years before Guns N Roses]; they also recorded an ambitious concept album, complete with orchestra arrangements. Lizzy still has a great voice, and IMO the band’s recordings are pretty underrated. I saw the band in Toronto years ago on their “Summer of Blood” tour in 2012. The turn-out sucked, but the band [which also featured guitarists Dario Lorina and AC Alexander, at the time, as well as bass player Marten] was killer, playing an awesome set, with plenty of theatrics and blood for everyone there![I have a poster somewhere…] The latest Lizzy Borden album was in 2018, without a full band, but proved Lizzy could still come up with the songs, and still has the voice fans like. Here’s a list of Lizzy Borden’s best tracks [as chosen by me]. Let me know what you think and what I’m missing! Sorry, I didn’t pick anything from “Menace To Society” [1986] , an album that is still growing on me. I also didn’t include the project Starwood [which featured Lizzy, Joey Scott, and Marten Andersen], who released the album “If It Ain’t Broke, Break It”, in 2004.

lizzy 85

Give ‘Em The Axe
From the band’s debut EP in 1984. This kinda played on the band’s name and set the tone for the first few albums, fast paced metal, big guitar solo, a memorable chorus.

American Metal
From the band’s first full album “Love You To Pieces” in 1985. Classic album cover photo! Lizzy, perhaps trying in that Alice Cooper style could come up with a few good anthems, and this is probably their best one. A great live song too.

Also from Love You To Pieces, my favorite of the ’80s LB albums. A creepy stalker / killer tale; this was one for the band’s stage show. Cool bass intro and scary guitar build up. Solid rock tune. *Was reissued on CD in 2011 w/ 4 bonus tracks, as well as differing colors of vinyl [for Europe & US] in 2018, along with poster.

Me Against The World
Lizzy’s 3rd studio album – “Visual Lies”, and there’s plenty of memorable rockers here. This one features Joe Holmes on guitar [who went on to work with Ozzy years later]. This track’s another great anthem to lead off a solid album, love the heavy drums driving this one and the lyrics. Classic 80s rocker, surprised it wasn’t a bigger hit.

Master of Disguise
The title song to 1989’s theatrical concept album. A big change on this album with orchestrations, keyboards, ballads, lots of extra players. I really like it, and love the dramatic orchestrated intro to this song and album. 25th Anniversary CD edition adds 2 tracks, and improved graphics on the cover. this needs a vinyl reissue though. This was cited as a ‘solo’ album in the press, with a changeover in guitar players [again]

Hell Is For Heroes
After 11 years Lizzy Borden returned. This was the my re-introduction to the band, and I loved this CD when I first heard it; still like cranking it up in the car. Lots of great memorable hard hitting rockers. This is probably my favorite LB song – such an awesome tune with the frantic drum intro, the clever verses, and the memorable chorus.

Deal With The Devil
Great guitars intro… love the lyrics in this song; classic Lizzy Borden. My 2nd favorite LB album, every song rocks. A few cool covers of Blue Oyster Cult and Alice Cooper classics. This album would credit 5 guitar players and 3 bass players, with Lizzy, [drummer] Joey Scott, and [bassist] Michael Davis all from the original band, as well as keyboardist [producer] Elliot Soloman – who also played on Master Of Disguise. Cover-art by famed comic artist Todd McFarlane. Sadly, guitarist Alex Nelson – who also played on “Murderess Metal Road Show” & “Menace to Society” died in a car accident in 2004. Original bass player Michael Scott Davis would go on to play with Halford, and Death Dealer. *Japanese bonus track was an industrial version of Scorpions classic “We’ll Burn The Sky”.

lizzy 2012

Live Forever
Lizzy Borden returned in 2007 , but really they released an album in 2004 under the name ‘Starwood’. This project featured Lizzy, Joey Scott, as well as Marten Anderssen and Joe Steals – who both played on Deal With The Devil. Anyway, 20i07’s “Appointment With Death” band included Andersson [ex Lynch Mob], as well as guitarist Ira Black. The album also featured guitarists Zane, as well as Dave Meniketti [Y & T] and George Lynch. So, this is Lizzy Borden at their heaviest! A modern metal album, dark, well written and produced, my favorite LB album! Difficult to cut it down to a few songs here, no filler. Love the vocals, Lizzy on later albums is more in control vocally and lyrically. This track is one of a few killer rockers.

Tomorrow Never Comes
My favorite track off of Appointment With Death. Heavy, hard hitting metal rocker, crazy video… Lizzy in their goth look, with a death theme running through this album. Love the cover!

Under Your Skin
One of the video releases for Appointment With Death. This track was a bit less ‘metal’ than most on this album, with slowed down verses and keyboards, but a great heavy chorus, cool guitar solo…. lyrically, this song is about people who self-abuse themselves [cutting] , with a public service announcement at the end of the video. Guitarist Ira Black left some time after this album, but would return for live shows years later.

lizzy 2010

My Midnight Things
Lizzy’s latest album, and without a band! It’s just Lizzy and [drummer] Joey Scott [these guys are brothers in real life]. So, had no idea – but aside from drums, Lizzy can [and does] play everything else on this album. The album isn’t as heavy or ‘metal’ as the previous 2, but it’s a solid album. A fantastic riff and intro, and a killer song to lead off this album. Lots of Lizzy’s vocals layered, haunting keyboards, awesome chorus… A different sounding LB album, well worth checking out. Great cover.

Long May They Haunt Us
This one also from My Midnight Things. The album’s theme is songs about love, but with Lizzy it’s not a bunch of sappy love songs. This one is pretty haunting production, very memorable… Written with guitarists Alex Nelson and Corey James Daum both in mind – who passed away in automobile accidents 5 years apart. Lizzy looking pretty creepy in this video.

Close …. Love You To PIeces, Ursa Minor, Lord Of The Flies, Eyes Of A Stranger, One False Move, Psychodrama, Zanzibar, The Death Of Love.

lizzy 2018

Further reading:


Q&A: Lizzy Borden Talks New Album My Midnight Things

Ready For The Haunt: A Conversation with Lizzy Borden


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