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WHITE SPIRIT – Right Or Wrong featuring the late Brian Howe, now out.

White Spirit was around briefly during the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal era. The band’s time included a lone album in 1980, some line-up changes, and further recordings, which never saw the light of day then. The significance of those unreleased recordings was that they featured singer Brian Howe, who’d replaced Bruce Ruff, And guitarist Mick Tucker (ex Axis, pre Tank) – who’d replaced Janick Gers (who went on to Gillan and Iron Maiden) . Following the death of Brian Howe in May of 2020, Tucker, and (keyboardist) Malcolm Pearson (who is the lone original member of White Spirit on this album) set about finding the tapes and then getting the album done and out. (*see bio below for more details). Anyway, the album features newly recorded parts, including the recently recruited rhythm section of Russell Gilbrook (Heep) and Neil Murray (Whitesnake, Sabbath).

As a fan of Howe’s work with Bad Company – sure I would’ve loved to hear all of his vocals here, but from old tapes they couldn’t all be saved, and you can’t go wrong with the singers used to finish this album – Jeff Scott Soto and Lee Small (Lionheart) each sing lead on 2 tracks, while Steve Overland (UK’ FM) sings on an excellent new version of “Holy Water”. Right Or Wrong is classic British hard-rock, with easy favorites being “Runaway”, “Got To Get Out” and “Lady Of The Night”, the first 2 featuring grand keyboard intros, and all just really good tracks sang by Howe. This album is full of energy, great guitar and keyboard leads, melodies, harmonies, and solos. If these songs were originally written and intended for 1981, you would never know by hearing it!

Safe to say if you like Brian Howe’s era in Bad Company – these songs will be very enjoyable, as if they would’ve fit anywhere on one of the 4 Bad Co albums he wrote and sang on! Jeff Scott Soto sings the title track, which leads off the album – a strong melodic rocker, as well as the Rainbow-ish rocker “Better Watch Out”, while Lee Small sings the excellent “The Dice Rolls On”. My fellow Uriah Heep fans will dig Russell Gilbrook’s performance here, especially on “Rock n Roll (Is Good For You)”. Am thankful to hear this album, a very good album, and it’s release is a fitting tribute to Brian Howe.

“Right Or Wrong” is the title track of the new album from White Spirit, out now and features the colossal vocals of Jeff Scott Soto.
White Spirit’s self-titled debut album was released in 1980 to great acclaim, and a constant schedule of touring saw the band build up a large and loyal following. Line up changes introduced us to a then unknown singer named Brian Howe and the band entered the studio in 1981 to work on their second album, with then Gillan keysman, Colin Towns at the production helm. The album was never completed. The band broke up and Brian Howe went on to mega platinum success replacing Paul Rodgers as the singer in Bad Company.
Those 2nd album session tapes were rediscovered in 2020 and after a delicate restoration process, the performances were transferred to digital. Some of the sound quality had deteriorated over the years, so the musical backing was completely replaced by White Spirit veterans Mick Tucker and Mal Pearson, along with Russ Gilbrook (Uriah Heep) and Neil Murray (Whitesnake). Brian Howe’s vocals on five of the tracks survived well, but the other takes had too much degradation, so guest singers stepped in as tribute to the late singer who tragically died in 2020. Jeff Scott Soto was a powerhouse in replacing the original Brian Howe vocals on “Right Or Wrong”, delivering a performance that is as good as anything in his illustrious career.
Pontus Norgren (Hammerfall) mixed the album in Sweden, and the result is an incredible body of work with power, finesse, great songs, and amazing vocals.
Ten tracks with a nod to the past, but fresh and vibrant arrangements fit for 21st Century ears.
Be prepared for an album that, had it come out when it was originally written, could have placed White Spirit amongst the giants of melodic rock.
The album Right Or Wrong featuring lead vocals from Brian Howe, Jeff Scott Soto, Steve Overland and Lee Small, was released on 29th July 2022 through Conquest Music on limited edition CD and via the digital platforms.–






WHITE SPIRIT featuring Brian Howe Release first single

White Spirit Airs First Single With Brian Howe

RUNAWAY is the first single from the new album, Right Or Wrong, and is accompanied by a lyric video that reflects the carefree, good time vibes of 1981, when Brian Howe’s stunning vocal was originally recorded.

RUNAWAY is a time capsule. A pure slice of joyous, melodic rock layered with luscious keyboards, driving guitars, a powerhouse rhythm and a barnstorming vocal from a young Brian Howe that showed he was destined for stardom.

After their debut single, Backs To The Grind was released on the legendary NEAT Records in 1980, White Spirit were hot property and their debut album was loved by critics and the public.

After line up changes, the new and improved White Spirit entered the studio to work on their second album, but the album was never fully completed, the band broke up and musicians went their separate ways.
Singer, Brian Howe crossed the Atlantic and became frontman for Ted Nugent, before achieving mega platinum success as the replacement for Paul Rodgers in Bad Company.

So White Spirit were seemingly consigned to music history, with former members proceeding to forge impressive careers built on this promising foundation. Four decades on, the location of these 2nd album sessions remained a mystery.

The day following Brian Howe’s tragic death from a heart attack in May 2020, guitarist, Mick Tucker and keysman, Mal Pearson were on the phone reflecting on those heady White Spirit days. The missing tapes were once more discussed, but still neither had any idea where to find them.

Fate stepped in, and during a house move, Mal Pearson was looking through his furniture in storage when he found a dusty old bedside cabinet. Inside were four sets of tapes. One labelled Chiswick Studios – White Spirit. This was it. The one they’d all thought was lost forever.

The tape was handed over to Conquest Music boss and Tank guitarist, Cliff Evans who arranged for the delicate process of restoring the tapes to retrieve the old recordings.
Successful as the process was, the sound quality of some elements of the tracks were just not good enough for today’s ears so Tucker & Pearson decided to replace all of the musical accompaniment with a stellar line up of players. Neil Murray (Whitesnake) and Russell Gilbrook (Uriah Heep) made up the rhythm section, with the guitars and keyboards replaced by Mick and Mal.

Pontus Norgren (Hammerfall) was chosen to mix the album in Sweden, and the result is an incredibly fresh body of work with power, finesse, great songs, and amazing vocals.
Ten tracks with a nod to the past, but fresh and vibrant arrangements fit for 21st Century ears.
One can only wonder what may have been if the album was released as originally planned in 1981.

So the wheel of fate that saw White Spirit disband 40 years ago, turned once more, unveiling the lost tapes that finally reveal the first album recorded by Brian Howe, sounding as fine as he ever did.

The album Right Or Wrong will be released in July 2022 on Conquest Music.
Be prepared for some surprise guest stars and a body of work that, had it come out when it was originally written, could have placed White Spirit amongst the giants of melodic rock.

White Spirit are planning live shows, with Tucker & Pearson already writing the next album. We can be sure it won’t be another 40 years before that is released.

The first single, RUNAWAY features an exclusive radio edit, alongside the full, album version of RUNAWAY.
Find RUNAWAY on digital services below.


The stunning nostalgic lyric video is here:






SAXON – Metalhead (Revisited)

Released in November of ’99 Metalhead was the first SAXON album I actually got – and really liked! I vaguely remember a track from the Rock The Nations album received some radio play over here at the time (“Northern Lady” or “Waiting For The Night”), and I picked up that album in a cut-out bin not too long after. It didn’t make a huge impression on me and through a few moves the album was lost or given up (I hated packing things up, so on a few occasions parted with some records). Anyway, Saxon was not on a major label here, nor did I hear much else from them, aside from that cover of Christopher Cross’s “Ride Like The Wind”. In late ’99 I received the Metalhead CD (and bio) and put it on. The title and cover was certainly appealing to me, as a metal fan, and one looking for a great ‘new’ (old) band to discover and pick up on. Metalhead featured the founding members – Biff Byford and Paul Quinn, along with guitarist Doug Scarratt, bassist Nibbs Carter, and German drummer Fritz Randow (ex of German prog bands ELOY and EPITAPH).

From the opening build-up leading in to the title track I was expecting something big, and by the time I got to the end of the 4th song – I had to go back and re-listen! “Metalhead”, “Travelers In Time”, and especially “Conquistador” (love the acoustic intro before the band kicks in and the song takes off). These had my hooked and I listened to the first 3 songs repeatedly before I even got to the rest of the disc. And after that there’s really no duds here, this is a full-on classic metal album, with further great tracks like “All Guns Blazing” (killer intro) , “Watching You”, and epic finale “Sea Of Life”. Love the production, the big guitar sound, Biff’s distinctive voice; it all worked so well. A great album, and the follow up (w/ the same line up) made for a fine pair. Killing Ground featured another outstanding title track, as well a cool cover of King Crimson’s “In The Court Of The Crimson King”.

KJ, 02/’22