Silverhead - Underneath the light, from their self-titled debut album, released in 1972. Silverhead were one of England's best Glam Rock bands. Formed in 1971, they were the first real band to be fronted by singer/actor Michael Des Barres. They signed to Deep Purple's prestigious Purple label and released two albums for the label. They unfortunately fell victim to an uncertain market: they were far too heavy and gross for the teenyboppers, but not serious enough for the heavies, although they did release some really good material, the featured track being a case in point. They split in the mid seventies, with Des Barres joining Detective and bassist Nigel Harrison going on to find fame with Blondie.

Biography by Greg Prato
Just like every musical movement, the original glam rock era of the early '70s spawned both renowned artists (David Bowie, Alice Cooper, T. Rex, Slade, etc.) and bands that never caught on despite high hopes, such as Jobriath, the New York Dolls, and Silverhead. Comprised of Michael Des Barres (vocals), Rod Davies (percussion, vocals, guitar), Nigel Harrison (bass), Pete Thompson (keyboards, drums), and Stevie Forest (guitar, vocals), Silverhead signed on with Deep Purple's short-lived label, Purple Records, in the early '70s. The British quintet's self-titled debut was issued in 1972, with production chores handled by Deep Purple/future-Iron Maiden studio man Martin Birch. Judging from the album cover alone (which showed a dolled-up Des Barres, posing for the camera and wearing humongous bell-bottom trousers), Des Barres was the band's leader and main focal point from the get-go. Armed with such T. Rex-esque song titles as "Long Legged Lisa," "Ace Supreme," and "Silver Boogie," Silverhead should have fit in perfectly with the genre's heavy hitters, but for reasons unknown, Silverhead's debut failed to catch on with the masses.

Forest was replaced by Robbie Blunt for the group's sophomore effort, 1973's Sixteen & Savaged, but like its predecessor, it too failed to ignite the charts. An appearance in an unreleased movie called Arizonaslim failed to boost band morale, as Silverhead split up shortly thereafter, with a post-mortem live album being issued in Japan during 1976, Live at Rainbow. Harrison went on to be a member of another forgotten '70s rock outfit, Nite City, before signing on with new wave hitmakers Blondie, while Blunt would play on several solo releases by ex-Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant during the '80s. Des Barres also continued on, first as a member of the obscure outfit Detective, then as a solo artist and TV/movie actor, before landing a gig as Robert Palmer's replacement in the Duran Duran off-shoot group the Power Station. Although Des Barres never recorded with the band, it was the Des Barres-led version of the group that performed at the mammoth Live Aid benefit concert in 1985. In the late '90s, both Silverhead and Sixteen & Savaged were reissued on CD with remastered sound and extra bonus tracks, in addition to another live album being issued solely for the Japanese market, Show Me Everything. 



Deep Purple
Bad Company
Rick Derringer

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Silverhead - 1972 - Silverhead - 4/5

Silverhead - 1973 - 16 & Savaged - 3/5

Silverhead - 1976 - Live at the Rainbow London - 4/5

Silverhead - 1997 - Silverhead (Bonus Tracks) - 4/5

Silverhead - 2001 - Show Me Everything - 1.5/5



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