Title - 'Spear of Destiny - The Albums 1983-1985'
Artist - Spear of Destiny
For those not in the know, Spear of Destiny is a British rock band, founded in 1983 by singer and songwriter Kirk Brandon and bassist Stan Stammers.
Complete with an ever-changing line-up throughout the years, the band's original line-up consisted of Brandon, Stammers, Chris Bell and Lascelles James.
In late 1983 this line-up was superseded by Dolphin Taylor on drums, Alan St Clair on guitar, John Lennard on sax and Neil Pyzer on keyboards and additional saxophone. In 1984 John Lennard was replaced by Mickey Donnelly on Saxophone.
Having released their debut album Grapes of Wrath in 1983 (which reached #62 on the UK Album Charts), their second album, One Eyed Jacks was subsequently released in 1984 (reaching #22).
It was no wonder then that Spear of Destiny’s reputation in the mid-1980s began to rise with their growing fame dependent on their powerful live performances.
In 1985, their album, World Service reached #20 but founder Stammers left the band the year later due to internal struggles. In the wake of the release of the fourth album, Outland (1987) and its Top 15 hit 'Never Take Me Alive', the band began achieving some chart success and staging sell-out concerts; including a support slot to U2 at Wembley Stadium.
However, ill fortune struck on the eve of the band’s appearance at the Reading Festival, as Brandon developed reactive arthritis which obliged the band to put all their plans on hold for nearly a year.
This just-released 56 track 3CD clamshell box-set entitled The Albums 1983-1985 contains pretty much everything that Spear Of Destiny released on Epic Records during their time with the label between those years.
Disc 1: Grapes of Wrath
1. 'The Wheel'
2. 'Flying Scotsman'
3. 'Roof of the World'
6. 'The Murder of Love'
7. 'The Preacher'
8. 'Omen of the Times'
9. 'The Man Who Tunes the Drums'
10. 'Grapes of Wrath'
11. 'The Hop'
12. 'Flying Scotsman (12" Version)'
13. 'The Preacher (Cassette Mix)'
14. 'Omen of the Times (Cassette Mix)'
15. 'Grapes of Wrath (Live)'
17. 'The Preacher (Live)'
18. 'Solution (Live)'
19. 'Roof of the World (Live)'
20. 'Love Is a Ghost (Live)'
The first CD album is their debut Grapes of Wrath and it features the #59 (UK Singles Chart) single ‘The Wheel.’ Recorded at a turbulent, yet creative time in the life of front man Brandon (who had been gaining notoriety with his band Theatre Of Hate during the beginning of the '80s, but couldn't keep a solid line-up together long enough to truly gel), the album was more of a hit on an underground level; reaching fellow musicians and artists if not the masses.
Now inclusive of a brilliant nine (9) bonus tracks comprising a rarely heard 12" vinyl cut,two cassette mixes never previously released on CD and five amazing live tracks (all featuring the original line-up), this album was the true sound of "New Wave" at the time (until the kids discovered synthesizers and shot the whole thing to shit!)
Disc 2: One Eyed Jacks
2. 'Young Men'
3. 'Everything You Ever Wanted'
4. 'Don't Turn Away'
6. 'Prisoner of Love'
7. 'Playground of the Rich'
8. 'Forbidden Planet'
10. 'These Days Are Gone'
12. 'Grapes of Wrath (1984 Version)'
13. 'Forbidden Planet (Single Version)'
14. 'Liberator (Dub)'
15. 'Liberator (Extended Mix)'
16. 'Rainmaker (Live)'
17. 'Don't Turn Away (Live)'
18. 'The Wheel (Live)'
19. 'Prisoner of Love (Live)'
20. 'Liberator (Live)'
One Eyed Jacks was the bands sophomore album and includes the UK singles 'Prisoner Of Love’ (#59) and ‘Liberator’ (#67). On an album where no chances were taken with their formula which meant that it barely progressed from the sounds of its predecessor, SOD brought forth the same clattering tribal drums, the same honking sax soaring through the mix, and the same near-operatic swoop of vocals and yelps seamlessly.
That said, a year of constant gigging had honed the band to perfection, and a clutch of new songs kick off with the triumphant 'Rainmaker' and just keep rising from there.
Now featuring an incredible ten bonus tracks, inclusive of another five (5) live cuts, the album is as complete now as it has ever been.
Disc 3: World Service
1. 'Rocket Ship'
2. 'Up All Night'
3. 'Come Back'
4. 'World Service'
5. 'I Can See'
6. 'All My Love (Ask Nothing)'
8. 'Somewhere in the East'
9. 'Once in Her Lifetime'
10. 'Harlan County'
11. 'Last Card'
12. 'Walk in My Shadow'
13. 'Cole Younger'
14. 'Young Men (Return Of)'
15. 'Come Back (Club Mix)'
16. 'All My Love (Ask Nothing) (Extended Version)'
17. 'Come Back (Dub Mix)'
The third disc is World Service which contains the singles ‘All My Love (Ask Nothing)’ (#61) and ‘Come Back’ (#55). A brash power-pop attempt that honestly doesn't match the raw energy of its predecessors it was seen at the time as an attempt to expand on the commercial appeal of their sophomore album.
The fact is though where its immediate predecessor possessed an acerbic bite, World Service was a collection of rather more blunt homilies that just didn't hold up in the same way.
However, and now emblazoned with seven non LP B-side cuts, inclusive of a rather powerful and still fantastic to hear 'Come Back (Club Mix)' and 'All My Love (Ask Nothing) (Extended Version)', the album is definitely one for the SOD completist.
3CD Box-Set Purchase Link