Friday, October 28, 2016

Rocktober Deep Cut Artist #20: Blue Murder

For the criteria for bands and artists to be considered "deep cut artists," click here.

Band or artist:  Blue Murder
Where from:  UK/USA
Years active: 1988-1994
Number of studio albums:  2
Highest-charting single on the Billboard Hot 100:  N/A
Highest-charting studio album on the Billboard 200:  Blue Murder (#69)

The final Hair Band Friday Deep Cut Artist is Blue Murder, a supergroup of sorts, formed by English guitarist John Sykes in 1988.  Sykes was a veteran hard rocker, coming up with NWOBHM band Tygers of Pan Tang.  After auditioning to be Dio's guitarist, but losing out to future Whitesnake/Def Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell, Sykes joined Thin Lizzy for the band's final album, Thunder and Lightning.  After Thin Lizzy broke up, Sykes moved onto Whitesnake, where he co-wrote nearly all of the songs on the band's 1987 megahit self-titled album.  Whitesnake lead singer David Coverdale then fired all of the band, and, in 1988, Sykes decided to put together his own group, Blue Murder.

After a couple lineup changes, Blue Murder settled on its members:  Sykes on guitar and lead vocals; veteran, do-it-all drummer Carmine Appice (of Vanilla Fudge, Cactus, and Rod Stewart's backing band fame); and Tony Franklin on bass (fresh off of his gig with The Firm).  The band played hard rock, combining glam metal, straightforward hard rock, and blues-based rock.  They released two albums.  First was their 1989 self-titled debut (which got up to #69 on the Billboard album charts), which was dedicated to Thin Lizzy frontman Phil Lynott, who died in 1986.  Next, in 1993, they released Nothin' But Trouble, which didn't chart.  After that, the band released a live album (also dedicated to Lynott), before going their separate ways.  Sykes has released multiple solo albums (and reunited with some of the remaining Thin Lizzy members for a while).  Appice has continued drumming for a variety of acts.  Franklin has played bass for dozens of artists and continues to make music.

I was going to go with "Blue Murder," off of the Blue Murder album.  It is one of those rare moments in rock history where a self-titled song is off of a self-titled album, although it seems to happen in the hard rock/metal world more often than in other genres (Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Motörhead, and Bad Company, to name a few).  However, I like "Black-Hearted Woman" better, and both songs fit the Halloween week mold, so there you go.

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