Nightwing - Long hard road, from "Black Summer", their second album, released in 1982. Nightwing are the subject of this week's Dino Quiz ( number 160 ), and a copy of "Black Summer" is the giveaway prize. Nightwing were unfortunately one of the "lesser" known bands of the NWOBHM (New Wave of British Heavy Metal) scene, and, indeed, probably weren't even considered as a rightful member of the movement as they tended to veer in a more progressive/hard rock keyboard orientated direction, much the same as Magnum, Pendragon, Pallas and others, although they could certainly rock with the best of them. The band's roots go back to the late seventies when they evolved out of Strife, an early to mid seventies hard rock trio who recorded two quite good albums, one in 1975 and the other in 1978. Lack of interest caused their break-up, and bassist/vocalist Gordon Rowley formed Nightwing in 1979. They released their first album, "Something in the Air", in 1980, and it was fairly well received, but it was this second album, complete with it's stunning musicianship and melody, that impressed the music press, and it was given rave reviews. Unknown vocalist Max Bacon joined the band for their third album "Stand up and be Counted" album in 1983, and it's follow-up, "My Kingdom Come" in 1984, but he left to join Bronz that same year.( He also appeared with Steve Howe, Steve Hackett, Geoff Downes, Jonathan Mover and Phil Spalding in the short-lived GTR in 1986, and he also sang on Phenomena's "Dream Runner" album in1987 ). A fifth and final album, the live "A night of Mystery - Alive! Alive! ", was released in 1985, but the band folded after its release. Rowlet reformed Nightwing in the mid nineties and a sixth album, "Natural Survivors", was released. It's not known if the band is in existence today. All of Nightwing's albums are available on CD and are worthy additions to you collection. Question: Name the band that Nightwing evolved from. Was it Styx, Strife or Stryper? Answer: Strife. 

Nightwing 
Nightwing - You keep me Hanging on, from "Something in the Air" in 1980, their debut album. UK outfit Nightwing were formed in the late seventies by bassist/vocalist Gordon Rowley, previously with mid seventies hard rock outfit, Strife. When Strife split in the late seventies, Rowley joined forces with Alec Johnson and Eric Percival on guitars, Kenny Newton on keys and Steve Bartley on drums, and Nightwing was formed at the beginning of the NWOBHM scene. This debut album, released on Ovation Records, was a g randiose affair, with serious Styx and Kansas influences. Not only do they d o this great cover of the Holland/Dozier/Holland classic, they also do an excellent version of Graham Nash's "Barrel of Pain". But Nightwing's strength wasn't their ability to do great covers - they were hardly a covers band - their strength was their ability to write and perform good, solid rockers with catchy hooks. Later albums included "Black Summer" with it's brilliant "Overnight S ensation", in 1982 (without the departed Eric Percival) and "Stand Up and be Counted" (with new vocalist Max Bacon) the following year, with "My Kingdom Come" being released in 1984. Bacon left shortly afterwards for Bronz and was replaced by Dave Evans. Johnson also left and was replaced by Glynn Porrino, and this line-up featured on the band's first (and last) live album, "A Night of Mystery - Alive! Alive!", released in 1985. This unfortunately proved to be the band's final album and they split that year. Rowley and Bartley later appeared with Stray's Del Bromham in the shortlived but promising Razorback, and they released one album, "First Bite", a few tracks from which are featured on" Reincarnation vol 1", a compilation of NWOBHM bands which was released earlier this year. Nightwing reformed in the mid nineties, and a sixth album, "Natural Survivors", featuring Rowley, Bartley, Porrino, Evans, Newton and new keyboard player Kerry Beswick, was released in 1996. It was a great comeback album and it showed serious promise, but, as far as we know, nothing further came of this reformation. All Nightwing's albums are available on CD and are worth c hecking out.  
  
 


Reviews of the bands albums will feature here.. 

 

Max Bacon
Steve Bartley
Alex Johnson
Kenny Newton
Gordon Rowley

 

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Nightwing - 1980 - Something int the Air - 2/5

Nightwing - 1982 - Black Summer - 3/5

Nightwing - 1984 - My Kingdom Come - 3.5/5

Nightwing - 1996 - Natural Survivors - 4/5

Nightwing - 2002 - A Night of Mystery Alive - 4/5

Rating

 

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