As we've mentioned in these pages and on air before, Demon are back with a bang! Hill reformed them a while back and they're currently in the studio recording tracks for an album due early in 2001. As we mentioned in our new releases section quite a while back, an excellent 15 track compilation called "The Best of Demon Volume One" came out in 1999 and is a perfect introduction, for the uninitiated, to one of the best bands to ever come out of the UK. If you know the band and their music, you'll really appreciate the re-mastering job of some of their classic tracks such as "The Plague", "Remembrance Day" and "Don't Break the Circle", done by engineer Denis Blackham and longtime manager Mike Stone. We await their new album with much anticipation - It's just so good that they're back!

Demon
Demon - The Lion's Share, from 1991's "Hold on to the Dream", their ninth album. You ask, we listen and we gladly play it for you. In fact, you don't need to ask us to play Demon on The Dinosaur Days - we've featured them many times since the beginning of the show and before that too, and they're well represented on these pages already. This album was the last album to feature keyboard player Steve Watts, who joined in 1985 from their "British Standard Approved" album onwards. Watts replaced co-founder member and guitarist Mal Spooner as co-writer with vocalist and leader Dave Hill when Spooner died in 1985. A final album, "Blow Out", which saw Demon adopt a more straight ahead keyboard-less hard rock stance, similar to their first couple of albums back in the early eighties, was released in 1992. Unfortunately this great British band split after this album, and Dave Hill released a solo album called "Welcome to the Real World" in the mid nineties. As we've said before, the good news is that Demon have reformed and a new album is apparently due sometime this year. A great 15 track "best of " compilation was released in 1999 - you can see our review of this under the new releases section. Demon were, and are, one of the best bands to come out of England and they released some absolutely amazing material. It's just a real tragedy that they didn't receive the acclaim that they no doubt deserved. Maybe now that they've reformed - who knows? Let's hope so.

Demon 
Demon - The Lion's Share, from "Hold on to the Dream" in 1991, their 9th album. It would appear as if many of our loyal listeners just can't get enough of Dave Hill's voice or his band. Our featured track was dedicated to all those "straight" politicians and presidents out there (Hi, uncle Bob!), who really don't give a shit about their people/supporters/believers. They want it all and damn the rest! Only the great Demon could have got the message across so succinctly. Never been one to mince his words, vocalist Dave Hill hits them right where the sun doesn't shine. Brilliant, as always! "Hold on to the Dream" was in fact the band's second last album (the last one being 1992's "Blow Out" before they basically split, with Hill going on to record a solo album later on). As we've mentioned in these pages and on air before, Demon are back with a bang! Hill reformed them a while back and they're currently in the studio recording tracks for an album due early in 2001. As we mentioned in our new releases section quite a while back, an excellent 15 track compilation called "The Best of Demon Volume One" came out in 1999 and is a perfect introduction, for the uninitiated, to one of the best bands to ever come out of the UK. If you know the band and their music, you'll really appreciate the re-mastering job of some of their classic tracks such as "The Plague", "Remembrance Day" and "Don't Break the Circle", done by engineer Denis Blackham and longtime manager Mike Stone. We await their new album with much anticipation - It's just so good that they're back!
  
(If you have more info on this band, please e-mail us)

 


Biography by Ed Rivadavia
New Wave of British Heavy Metal band, Demon were known for their shocking and elaborate performances (quite unique, considering the no-fuss, stripped-down philosophy characteristic of the movement), but never sounded as extreme as their name might suggest. Instead, they forged a mainstream hard rock/metal style, which, though it didn't stand out from the pack, has managed to keep them in business for over two decades.Singer Dave Hill and guitarist Mal Spooner had already cut their teeth with various amateur acts in their native Staffordshire England by the time they decided to join forces and found Demon midway through 1980. With the assistance of guitarist Clive Cook, bassist Paul Riley and drummer John Wright, they quickly secured a one-off single deal with independent Clay Records, resulting in the "Liar" 7" later that year. The disc sold surprisingly well and Demon were presently snapped up by French label Carrere (then also the home of N.W.O.B.H.M. stars Saxon) and shipped right back into the studio to record a full album, Cook and Riley making way for new lead guitarist Les Hunt and bassist Chris Ellis at this time. Released in July 1981, their debut Night of the Demon was loaded with darkly gothic heavy metal on the one hand (side A) and melodic hard rock on the other (side B), drawing positive comparisons to Judas Priest and latter-day Rainbow. A noteworthy stylistic balancing act, the semi-conceptual L.P. shifted quite a few units, as did its very solid 1982 follow-up The Unexpected Guest, which carried on in similar fashion while adding keyboard player Andy Wright to the mix. But with each passing album and tour, Demon seemed to place less emphasis on writing quality music than they did filling their performances with outrageous theatrics and special effects, with Hill in particular preoccupying himself with adopting a sinister alter ego and taking to jumping out of a coffin on-stage. Perhaps realizing that the group was losing their way, Carrere decided to cash in their chips before the arrival of 1983's terribly overwrought The Plague, which found the band exploring ambitious progressive rock territory and signaled the start of their decline. New members, John Waterhouse (guitar), Gavin Sutherland (bass) and Steven Watts (keyboards) took part in the sessions for fourth album British Standard Approved, but even before its release, the group suffered a major setback when founding member Mal Spooner — long suffering from numerous health problems — succumbed to pneumonia and passed away in December 1984. Singer Dave Hill vowed to carry on in his honor, but most fans agree that things have never been quite same without Spooner. 1985's Heart of our Time seemed to confirm this and was but the first in a string of increasingly overlooked LPs to emerge over the next decade. Guitarist Steve Brookes and bassist Nick Bushell (both of them former members of punk heroes Discharge, oddly enough) came aboard before 1989's Taking the World by Storm, which was in turn followed by 1990's live One Helluva Night and 1991's Anthology. Hill finally put the band on ice during the ‘90's and even released a solo album in 1994. But after compiling another best of set in 1999, he decided to hire a new group of back-up musicians and a re-vamped Demon inaugurated the new millennium with their tenth studio album, 2001's Space Monkey. 

 

Chris Ellis
Dave Hill
Les Hunt
Mal Spooner
Gavin Sutherland
John Waterhouse
Steven Watts
John Wright

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Rose Tattoo
Saxon
Discharge
Virgin Steele
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Into Another
Lucifer's Friend
Scabs
Warrior Soul
Savatage
Blind Guardian

If you have any contribution to make to this band or something to add, email me - Japie Marais.

 

 

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Demon - 1981 - Night of the Demon (Dead Ringer) - 3.5/5

Demon - 1982 - The Unexpected guest - 3/5

Demon - 1983 - The Plague - 2/5

Demon - 1984 - British Standard Approved (Dead Ringer) - 2.5/5

Demon - 1985 - Heart of Our Time (Dead ringer) - 2.5/5

Demon - 1987 - Breakout - 3.5/5

Demon - 1989 - One Helluva Night - 3.5/5

Demon - 1989 - Taking the World by Storm (Dead Ringer) - 2/5

Demon - 1991 - Hold On to the Dream - 3/5

Demon - 1992 - Blowout - 2.5/5

Demon - 2002 - Spaced Out Monkey - 2.5/5

Demon - 2005 - Better the Devil You Know - 4.5/5

Rating

 

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