Grand Prix - Grand Prix were a melodic hard rock UK outfit formed in the late seventies by ex- Dirty Tricks vocalist Bernie Shaw and keyboard player Phil Lanzon. The other members of the band were drummer Andy Beirne, bassist Ralph Hood and guitarist Michael O'Donoghue. Alongside early Magnum, they were considered to be one of the best pomp rock acts in the UK. They released their self-titled debut album in 1980 on the RCA Record label, and their second album "There for No One to See" two years later, also for RCA. Shaw left to join Praying Mantis and Stratus, and was replaced by a young Robin McAuley, who was the vocalist on this, our featured album (which has recently been released on CD by that great Zoom Club Record label. These guys really are on a serious mission to release some of the classic albums from the New Wave of British Heavy Metal era on CD. Good on them!). Unfortunately Grand Prix split in early 1984. Both Shaw and Lanzon ended up in Uriah Heep (and are still there today, making the current Heep line-up of Box, Kerslake, Bolder, Lanzon and Shaw the longest surviving one ever. Look out for a new live album and DVD from them soon). Robin McAuley, it may be remembered from last week's playlist, ended up featuring in MSG with Michael Schenker and he recently released an excellent solo album.  

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Biography by Steve Leggett
Rising out of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal scene in the late '70s, Grand Prix featured a more melodic approach to heavy metal than most of the bands on the British scene, generating an AOR sound closer in feel to American rock groups like Journey. Original members of Grand Prix included ex-Dirty Tricks drummer Andy Beirne, bassist Ralph Hood, keyboardist Phil Lanzon, guitarist Michael O'Donoghue, and ex-Legend singer Bernie Shaw, who was eventually replaced by singer Robin McAuley. The group signed to RCA and released a debut album, simply called Grand Prix, in 1980, followed by the more focused There for None to See in 1982, after which the group jumped to Chrysalis Records for the polished Samurai in 1983. Beirne left Grand Prix later that same year, reportedly because he felt the group's studio output wasn't hard-enough sounding. His drum chair was filled by Clive Edwards, but by early 1984 the group was out of gas and closed the door on a roughly three-year run as a band, leaving behind a small but solid discography. 

 

Andy Beirne
Ralph Hood
Phil Lanzon
Robin McAuley
Michael O'Donahue
Bernard Shaw
Michael O'Donoghue

Highlanders
Drivers

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

 

 

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Grand Prix - 1982 - There for None to See - 4/5

Grand Prix - 1983 - Samurai - 4/5

Rating

 

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