Definitions

Raven_(band)

Raven (band)

Raven are an English heavy metal band associated with the New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement. They had a hit with the single "On and On", and refer to their music as "athletic rock".

History

Formation

Raven formed in 1975 in Newcastle, England, by brothers John Gallagher and Mark Gallagher. Raven quickly set the pace for the burgeoning metal renaissance in the United Kingdom at the time.

Raven began creating a sound which was rooted in British hard rock, with progressive rock tendencies, and a willingness to take musical chances. The band's highly-energized live show and interaction between band members developed an image and style of play-the-band, described as "athletic". They began wearing guards, helmets, and plates from various sports (hockey, baseball, etc...), and incorporating them into the playing of their instruments (for instance, elbow pads and hockey masks were used to strike cymbals for a unique performance angle).

They also opened for punk bands the Stranglers and the Motors.

Early years

Eventually, the band signed with Neat Records, the legendary, low-budget metal label of the Northlands. They released Rock Until You Drop in 1981, and Wiped Out in 1982, making an impressive showing on the UK charts at the time.

Sufficient noise was made for the American market to take notice and New Jersey's Megaforce Records signed them, issuing their next recording in the States as All for One in 1983. The band came stateside in 1983, and toured extensively with Megaforce bands Metallica and Anthrax, both of whom would gain a place of prominence in the growing thrash metal movement.

Commercial success

Manager/Megaforce founder Johnny Zazula believed that Raven was major-label material, and kept them touring constantly until the big labels noticed. The infamous Live at the Inferno recording, released in 1984, was a product of one of those tours. Atlantic Records signed Raven to a worldwide contract after a minor bidding war (major label contracts would follow for Metallica and Anthrax in the following year). The band moved its permanent base from Newcastle to New York.

Stay Hard was released in 1985, and proved a minor hit on the strength of single/video "On and On". The Atlantic years proved to be less-than-stellar for the band. A drastic shift in a more commercial direction came at the label's behest, with many die-hard fans being alienated by the slick, lightweight production of The Pack Is Back (effectively marketing the band with their weird musical forays, and confusing image was likely very difficult). However, the band recorded two more studio albums and the Mad EP before being let go by Atlantic.

After the tour for Life's a Bitch, Rob "Wacko" Hunter left the band in 1988 to spend more time with his new wife and family. He would later pursue a career in audio production and engineering, eventually working with jazz greats Branford Marsalis and Harry Connick, Jr..

Later years

Virginian Joe Hasselvander (ex-Pentagram) joined as drummer in 1988, and the band dropped the outlandish image for a more conventional denim-and-leather look for their 1988 release Nothing Exceeds Like Excess. After, the advent of grunge and the dissolution of their record label Combat Records led the band to concentrate on continental Europe and Japan, where they retained more of a following.

Recent events

The band recorded and toured until 2001, when a wall collapsed on guitarist Mark Gallagher, crushing his legs. Raven went on hiatus for nearly 5 years, from 2001–2006, while the guitarist rehabilitated, thought Raven never officially disbanded. As of 2006, Raven is touring with a new release in the works.

Band members

Current members

  • John Gallagher – bass, lead vocals (1975–present)
  • Mark Gallagher – guitars (1975–present)
  • Joe Hasselvander – drums (1988–present)

Former members

  • Rob "Wacko" Hunter – drums (1979–1988)
  • Paul Bowden – guitars (1975–1979)
  • Sean Taylor – drums (1977–1979)
  • Pete Shore – guitars (1979–1980)
  • Mick Kenworthy – drums (1976–1977)
  • Paul Sherrif – drums (1975–1976)

Lineups

(1975)

  • John Gallagher – bass, lead vocals
  • Mark Gallagher – guitars

(1975)

  • John Gallagher – bass, lead vocals
  • Mark Gallagher – guitars
  • Paul Sherrif – drums

(1975–1976)

  • John Gallagher – bass, lead vocals
  • Mark Gallagher – guitars
  • Paul Bowden – guitars
  • Paul Sherrif – drums

(1976)

  • John Gallagher – bass, lead vocals
  • Mark Gallagher – guitars
  • Paul Bowden – guitars

(1976–1977)

  • John Gallagher – bass, lead vocals
  • Mark Gallagher – guitars
  • Paul Bowden – guitars
  • Mick Kenworthy – drums

(1977)

  • John Gallagher – bass, lead vocals
  • Mark Gallagher – guitars
  • Paul Bowden – guitars

(1977–1979)

  • John Gallagher – bass, lead vocals
  • Mark Gallagher – guitars
  • Paul Bowden – guitars
  • Sean Taylor – drums

(1979)

  • John Gallagher – bass, lead vocals
  • Mark Gallagher – guitars
  • Sean Taylor – drums

(1979)

  • John Gallagher – bass, lead vocals
  • Mark Gallagher – guitars

(1979)

  • John Gallagher – bass, lead vocals
  • Mark Gallagher – guitars
  • Rob "Wacko" Hunter – drums

(1979–1980)

  • John Gallagher – bass, lead vocals
  • Mark Gallagher – guitars
  • Pete Shore – guitars
  • Rob "Wacko" Hunter – drums

(1980–1988)

  • John Gallagher – bass, lead vocals
  • Mark Gallagher – guitars
  • Rob "Wacko" Hunter – drums

(1988)

  • John Gallagher – bass, lead vocals
  • Mark Gallagher – guitars

(1988–2001)

  • John Gallagher – bass, lead vocals
  • Mark Gallagher – guitars
  • Joe Hasselvander – drums

(2001–2006) (Raven on hiatus)
(2006–present)

  • John Gallagher – bass, lead vocals
  • Mark Gallagher – guitars
  • Joe Hasselvander – drums

Discography

Studio albums

Live albums

Compilation albums

  • Unreleased Tracks (1990)
  • Raw Tracks (1999)
  • All Systems Go!: The Neat Anthology (2002)

EPs

  • Mad (1986)
  • Heads Up! (1991)

References

External links

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