NWOBHM Band of the Week - 19th June 2009: Tank (Part 1)


19. Jun. 2009, 20:32

(Previous NWoBHM Band of the Week)

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As I've missed a few weeks recently, and there are some rather major NWOBHM bands I want to have written something about but can hardly face doing so in one sitting, I thought I'd start to exploit the word 'week' in the title by breaking up this week's journal into multiple parts throughout the week. When all parts are up, I'll put the artist connections into this entry and submit the journal to any relevant groups.

Algy Ward - Pre-Tank

In the early days of Tank, while the band did generate a following, the band was criticised and disowned by a considerable portion of the British heavy metal fanbase, who considered Tank to be punks pretending to be metal purely for the commercial gain of being associated with the already named 'New Wave of British Heavy Metal'. Today the accusation seems like a contradiction in terms as the majority of acts associated with the movement had considerably more than trace elements of punk influence in their sound. What, then, could lead to an accusation that Tank were too punk for the metalheads of early 80s Britain?

Tank is centered around Bassist/Vocalist Algy Ward, whom, it can be argued, IS the band. Despite being born in Surrey, Ward's first notable appearance on vinyl was with the Australian punk band The Saints, with whom Ward recorded the band's second and third albums; 1978's Eternally Yours and (also 1978's) Prehistoric Sounds.

The two Saints albums spawned the singles This Perfect Day (streamable on last.fm), Know Your Product (below) and the OTIS REDDING cover Security (youtube).

Not to dwell on Ward's stint in The Saints too long, but it's plain to hear that there's very little heavy metal about The Saints, and I think the argument put across by the always divided British music fans who refused to listen to 'punks' is beginning to show some evidence. As if the evidence supporting claims the Ward was a punk wasn't already damning enough (no pun intended), the next move for the bassist was to join punk legends The Damned for their 1979 third album Machine Gun Etiquette.

Machine Gun Etiquette would be Algy's only album with the The Damned, and is also his first credit for vocals, having remained mute with The Saints. (not lead vocals yet though...also anyone else find it amusing that The Saints and The Damned could hardly have chosen names more opposed to each other?) MGE has become regarded as the point where The Damned became more experimental, adopting shades of psychedelic rock and pop, it features the singles Love Song (UK Chart position: #20, streamable), Smash It Up (UK Chart position #35, below and streamable) and I Just Can't Be Happy Today (UK Chart position #46, streamable). Subsequent re-releases of ...Etiquette have added the JEFFERSON AIRPLANE cover White Rabbit, a 1980 single - I am however unsure whether Algy played on this cover.

Algy Ward then formed TANK with Peter and Mark Brabbs (guitar and drums respectively) in 1980. In tomorrow's journal (hopefully) I shall be looking at the first few releases from the band who now have one of the largest cult followings of the nwobhm.

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Akzeptierte Übermittlungen
Heavy Metal, Altar of the Metal Gods, Heavy Artillery


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