Tuesday, January 5, 2016
Diamond Head - 'In The Heat Of The Night' & 'Borrowed Time' from Borrowed Time (1982) And 'Out Of Phase' from Canterbury (1983)
Diamond Head were at the forefront of NWOBHM proto-thrash. In fact, U.S. Bay Area Thrash wouldn't really exist in anything like its known evolutionary form were it not for Diamond Head's sprawling influence, most of which is derived from its first album Lightning To The Nations (1980)which the band considered demos for a 'proper' album, rather than an album in its own right, but it was this very immediacy and rawness which captured the imagination of metalheads everywhere. Weirdly I have never really cottoned to Lightning To The Nations, despite being a huge fan of Metallica, who started out life as (almost!) a Diamond Head cover band. Indeed, I have found that I actually prefer their 'major label' debut from 1982, Borrowed Time, which does indeed feature two songs from Lightning To The Nations in more polished form, as well as 5 newer songs. What is awesome to me is that Diamond Head clearly wanted to be Led Zeppelin in just the way that Metallica wanted to be Diamond Head, and the mis-translation of LZ by DH and the subsequent warping of DH by Lars/James/Dave/Kirk/Cliff etc is what gives us USSF Thrash more or less. What I dig about Borrowed Time as an album is that it pretty much gives itself over wholly to a sense of narcotized, faintly aroused lassitude, where eldritch vapors have turned the sky multiple sunset colors always and there is a lot of laying about in cryptic towers with many veils for interior decorating waiting for some curse or another to be broken or for someone to show up. There was a serious and rather direct Elric/Moorcock influence on Borrowed Time, and as you all (might) know, Elric Metal is just the best. Just Look! at that album cover! How Rad!!! It was apparently the most expensive/elaborate album cover art operation in MCA history. To help in the advancement of rock stardom, Diamond Head filmed a live performance for promo purposes in 1982 at the Manchester Odeon and the clips here are from that very performance. I am not including all of what is available of this show, rather I am sharing the songs I like the very best from Borrowed Time in the most interesting format! If you dig this, seek out the other clips from this show! And as always, many blessings to the recordists and uploaders of this stuff! Hooray to Thee! So here is 'In The Heat Of The Night' (my favorite), 'Borrowed Time' and because I can't not, 'Am I Evil?' all of which, like, rock, but in a considered, lyrical, almost prog/jazz kinda way. Right on, Diamond Head! On Diamond Head's next album, Canterbury (1983), they would move entirely into a crystalline world of interlocking, radiant guitars. soaring vocals. pomp-rock keyboards and pop-prog rhythm structures. It still rocked, but rocked in a way that 1983 might not have been ready for. Here is the incredible Medieval/Renaissance-themed video for 'Out Of Phase'. The song itself is about the risks inherent in making a new kind of musick that your audience might not be prepared for, and how remaining true to artistic vision is the most important consideration in such matters. This stuff seriously is amazing to me. I guess some people don't like it, but Canterbury might actually be my favorite Diamond Head album!!! Thanx to SacrifyX for uploading this!!!