Angel – Live At KBFH (1976)

FrontCover1.jpgThis is the story of a real great heavy / hard drock band from the Seventies:

Angel was an American rock band from Washington, D.C., United States, formed in the mid-1970s by Punky Meadows and Mickie Jones. They were signed to Casablanca Records, and had the image of dressing in white.

Angel was discovered by Kiss bass player Gene Simmons performing at a nightclub and was eventually signed to the same label as Kiss, Casablanca.

Angel’s image of dressing in all white was a deliberate contrast to Kiss, which wore black. Angel sported an androgynous image and elaborate stage sets. They were slammed by rock critics, and Frank Zappa ridiculed the all-male band’s feminine appearance in the song “Punky’s Whips”. Angel never achieved mass commercial success but acquired a following as a cult band.

Their first album was the self-titled Angel (1975) and consisted of guitarist Punky Meadows, bassist Mickie Jones, vocalist Frank DiMino, keyboardist Gregg Giuffria, and drummer Barry Brandt. This lineup would hold for the following two albums, Helluva Band (1976) and On Earth as It Is in Heaven (1977), after which Jones would be replaced by Felix Robinson.

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They made an appearance in the film Foxes (1980) and Frank DiMino sang “Seduce Me Tonight” on the Flashdance (1983) soundtrack.

DiMino and Meadows departed the band in 1981, and the remaining members brought in vocalist Fergie Frederiksen (later of Toto) and guitarist Ricky Phillips (later of The Babys, then Bad English, then Styx), but this lineup dissolved shortly thereafter.

The former members of Angel went on to other things following the release of their live album. Lead vocalist Frank DiMino joined UFO guitarist Paul Raymond in the Paul Raymond Project in which he sang lead vocals. Bassist Felix Robinson played on the debut album of the band White Lion, Fight to Survive (1985/1986).

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Angel’s keyboardist Gregg Giuffria had modest success as the leader of the band Giuffria during the 1980s as well as with the band House of Lords, who – sans Giuffria – reunited in 2002 and released a new album, The Power and the Myth on Frontiers Records. In 2006, Giuffria appeared as a guest keyboardist on House of Lords’ LP World Upside Down, and they released Come to My Kingdom in 2008 without Giuffria.

In the late 1990s, Angel reformed with a new line-up. Keyboardist Gordon G.G. Gebert joined the band in 1999 but left in 2002. Currently, the band members are Frank DiMino, vocals; Barry Brandt, drums; Randy Gregg, bass; Steve Blaze, guitars; and Michael T. Ross, keyboards. The band’s 1999 release In the Beginning also features guest appearances by original guitarist Punky Meadows, as well as Robinson. In 2000 came the release of Angel: The Collection, making it the most extensive Angel greatest hits compilation, including 16 songs.

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In 2006, two compilations of career-spanning singles were released. “Better Days” from the White Hot (1977) album was notably replaced with “The Winter Song”. It had only been previously released on a rare 7″ single.

Bassist and founding member Mickie Jones (born Donald Eugene Jones on December 17, 1952), later changed to Michael David Jones in 1967, died in San Dimas, California on September 5, 2009, at the age of 56,[5] after a long battle with liver cancer. Jones performed on four Angel albums (Angel, Helluva Band, On Earth as It Is in Heaven and An Anthology). He toured extensively with the band in the United States for several years. Before Angel, he played in the rock group BUX, which included guitarist Punky Meadows (Angel) and singer Ralph Morman (Joe Perry Project, and Savoy Brown). BUX released one album on Capitol Records, We Came to Play in 1976 (recorded in 1973). Both Jones and Meadows were asked to join the New York Dolls but declined. After leaving Angel, he formed the Los Angeles band EMPIRE and was the lead singer. Empire included drummer Steve Riley (L.A. Guns). Over the years, he became interested in film production and would later work in the film industry.

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Singer Frank DiMino now resides in Las Vegas, Nevada and plays in classic rock tribute bands. Recently, he appeared on the Sin City Sinners Christmas album, singing lead vocals on the holiday classic “Winter Wonderland”. In 2015 he released his solo album “Old Habits Die Hard”.

Punky Meadows issued his first-ever solo album in 2016, Fallen Angel.

DiMino and Meadows are currently touring together performing a set of classic Angel songs and solo cuts. They are backed by a band featuring Danny Farrow on rhythm guitar, Charlie Calv on keyboards, Steve Ojane on bass and Billy Orrico on drums.
Trivia
Angel’s logo is ambigrammatic; it reads the same when turned upside-down as when viewed normally. (by wikipedia)

This show was recorded at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium (Santa Monica, CA) in 1976 for the King Biscuit Flower Hour while the band was promoting its second LP, Helluva Band. Angel innovated a hard-rock sound that, with a healthy dose of androgyny, found a niche in between 70s hard prog rock and 80s hair metal. The group had released its debut LP, Angel, the year prior on Neil Bogart’s Casablanca Records.

Only three tracks but … hear the power of Angel !

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Alternate frontcover

Personnel:
Barry Brandt (drums)
Gregg Giuffria (keyboards)
Punky Meadows (guitar)
Frank DiMino (vocals)
Felix Robinson (bass)

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Tracklist:
01. Chicken Soup (DiMino/Giuffria/Meadows) 5.54
02. The Fortune (DiMino/Giuffria/Meadows) 8.07
03. White Lightning (Meadows/Morman) 6.58

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Angel – Sinful (1979)

LPFrontCover1.JPGSinful is the fifth and most pop-oriented album by the rock band Angel. It was originally titled Bad Publicity and a few copies of the album with that name and a different album cover were sold before being replaced. The album went to #159 on the Pop Album Charts in the USA in 1979. (by wikipedia)

When I was a kid, my brother had this album on 8-track and I was fascinated with it. Not only b/c the 8-track casing was red and looked cool, but the main thing that struck me was how freakin’ killer the band themselves looked. I knew that when I grew up I wanted to be in a band and look just like Greg Giuffria or Punky Meadows; or even Paul or Ace from Angel’s sister band, KISS. And seeing them perform in the Jodie Foster/Cherie Currie movie, “Foxes”, made them even more fascinating. This was/is bubblegum glam/pop metal in it’s finest form. These guys drew the map for the Sunset Strip scene that came a little later on and included bands like Ratt, Dokken and Stryper. But Angel was far better than many of the bands they inspired. Just listen to the opening track, “Don’t Take Your Love”. You got fat, analogue slap-synth keyboards over catchy, upbeat and simple guitar and bass melodies, with vocals that are strong and befitting of metal and yet somehow innocent or something (pouty?). The way the bass kicks in after the initial beginning flourishes, you know you’re in for a treat. That opening track sets up and paves the way for what is, in my opinion, a perfect glam record, and THE prototype for what people now refer to as hair metal. I have all six of the Angel albums, in one format or other, but Sinful to me is their pinnacle. (Swedish Glamster)

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At the time of its 1979 release, Angel were floundering madly. They’d just come off their best selling and charting album, “White Hot,” and still could not break through to the success of their similarly themed or sounding acts. They still had one of the most talked about stage shows in the world (and still garnered those comparisons of being the “anti-kiss”). What they did not have was the breakthrough anthem or the hit single, and “Sinful” was meant to change that. Angel left behind the prog-rock of “Angel” and “Helluva Band” two albums back, and now had become a first rate glam-pop group.

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Eddie Leonetti, who also produced “White Hot,” came back to the boards for this album. “Sinful” is a more guitar focused album than “White Hot” was, but not the arena rock blast that Eddie Kramer gave to “On Earth as It Is in Heaven.” Greg Guifria is more in the background, but still shows his chops (“Don’t Take Your Love”). As a point of fact, “Sinful” is an album that bridges the 70’s rock of Styx’ “The Grand Illusion” to hair glam of the 80’s bands like Poison. Had they hung around for the more androgynous period of Twisted Sister and their ilk, Punky Meadows would have been a guitar god. “Bad Time” and “Wild and Hot” (eventually used in the film “Detroit Rock City”) should have been power-glam classics, but Angel were just too far ahead of the curve. (Tim Brough)

And this album is indeed a pretty good one … But their song “Wild And Hot” is a masterpiece of heavy metal … hard rock … call it what you like … it´s a monster song !

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Personnel:
Barry Brandt (drums)
Gregg Giuffria (keyboards)
Punky Meadows (guitar)
Frank DiMino (vocals)
Felix Robinson (bass)

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Tracklist:
01. Don’t Take Your Love (DiMino/Giuffria) 3.32
02. L.A. Lady (Meadows) 3.46
03. Just Can’t Take It (DiMino/Meadows) 3.44
04. You Can’t Buy Love (Brandt/DiMino) 3.38
05. Bad Time (DiMino/Giuffria) 3.42
06. Waited A Long Time (Brandt/DiMino) 3.14
07. I’ll Bring The Whole World To Your Door (DiMino/Leonetti/Meadows) 2.54
08. I’ll Never Fall In Love Again (Giuffria) 3.34
09. Wild And Hot (Meadows) 3.00
10. Lovers Live On (Meadows/Robinson) 2.59

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Up in the morning, ready for school
‘Nother day of that golden rule
Doin’ my homework, all week long
Same old exams, always get ’em wrong
Teacher don’t care, she don’t understand
We’re just crazy, ’bout rock n’ roll bands
When they get it together
There is nothing better
When I feel that beat
I just wanna jump out of my seat
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

‘Cause we’re wild and we’re hot
And we’re ready to rock
No one can make us stop
‘Cause we’re wild and we’re hot

Mommy and Daddy, think I’m a fool
Stay out nights, late for school
I don’t care what they say
When I hear those guitars play
When they play it together
There is nothing better
When I feel that beat
I just wanna jump out of my seat
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

‘Cause we’re wild and we’re hot
And we’re ready to rock
No one can make us stop
‘Cause we’re wild and we’re hot

The show is over, now I got to go home
Sit in my room, I’m all alone
I can still hear, my superstars
Gettin’ me high, takin’ me far
When I feel that beat
I just wanna jump out of my seat
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

‘Cause we’re wild and we’re hot
And we’re ready to rock
No one can make us stop
‘Cause we’re wild and we’re hot
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

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taken from thefinalvinyl.com

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The labels of the “Bad Publicity” edition