Quartz – Nantucket Sleighride + Wildfire (1980)

FrontCover1Quartz are a British heavy metal band.

Quartz dates back to as early as 1974 when they were known as Bandy Legs. They signed to Jet Records in 1976 and supported Black Sabbath and AC/DC. The band changed their name to Quartz for their 1977 debut album, Quartz. The album was produced by Tony Iommi and Quartz toured with Black Sabbath to support this release. Queen guitarist Brian May handled guitar on “Circles,” which also features Ozzy Osbourne on backing vocals. This track did not appear on the album but would turn up as the B-side to the “Stoking the Fires of Hell” single.

Quartz toured heavily during this time, playing the Reading Festival three times (1976, 1977 and 1980) and touring in support of some of the larger hard rock bands of the time (Iron Maiden, Saxon, UFO and Rush).

Quartz released their second studio album, Stand Up and Fight, in 1980 and their third, Against All Odds, in 1983 before calling it quits. In 1979 Geoff Nicholls left to join Black Sabbath. He contributed keyboards and songwriting from 1980s Heaven and Hell to 2004.

MickHopkinsIn 2004, doom metal band, Orodruin covered “Stand Up and Fight” on their album Claw Tower.

Prior to the founding of Quartz, Hopkins had played in Wages of Sin, a short-lived Birmingham band which toured as a backing band for Cat Stevens in 1970. After that band’s dissolution, two of his bandmates, expatriate Canadians Ed and Brian Pilling, returned to Canada and formed the band Fludd; Hopkins briefly joined that band in 1972 as a replacement for founding guitarist Mick Walsh, but left by the end of the year after they were dropped from their original record label.

Quartz reformed in 2011 playing a reunion gig on 16 December 2011 at The Asylum in Birmingham, England. The line up consisted of Geoff Nicholls, Mike Hopkins, Derek Arnold, Malcolm Cope and vocalist David Garner. (by wikipedia)

And this ist their extremely rare single with a great version of one of the best Mountain songs ever … Nantucket Sleighride, written bei Felix Pappalardi and Gail Collins …  This version was used as the theme to the long-running British political television show Weekend World. Listen to this very dynamic version !

Quartz was a very underrated group … And you´ll hear more from Quartz in this blog very soon !

Derek Arnold (bass)
Mal Cope (drums)
Mick Hopkins (guitar)
Taffy Taylor (vocals)
Alan Long (keyboards)

01. Nantucket Sleighride /Papplardi/Collins) 5.32
02. Wildfire (Arnold/Hopkins/Cope/Taylor) 5.17