Ken’s Retro Pick – KEEL (1985)

A little bit of history. Keel was formed by former Steeler vocalist Ron Keel. The original members included Ron Keel on vocals, David Michael Phillips on guitar, Marc Ferrari on lead & rhythm guitars (Trivia Note: Ferrari had a role in the movie Wayne’s World as a guitarist in the band Crucial Taunt), Bobby Marks on drums and Kenny Chaisson on bass guitar. Within months, Phillips left to join King Kobra and was replaced by Brian Jay. This was the lineup for their 1984 debut album Lay Down the Law. After the album’s release, Marks left and was replaced by Steven Riley, who subsequently left early in the recording of the band’s second album to join W.A.S.P., and was in turn replaced by Dwain Miller, forming a lineup which would remain stable for almost 4 years. Their debut album caught the eye of KISS’ Gene Simmons, resulting in his production of their second album, The Right To Rock, released on March 26, 1985. Their next and also Simmons-produced third album The Final Frontier was released on April 30, 1986. It included the single “Because the Night”, a song that was co-written by Patti Smith and Bruce Springsteen and had been a hit for Smith in 1978.

In 1986, Keel actually won the Best Band of the Year award in the 2nd annual Metal Edge magazine reader’s poll, beating such noted bands as Iron Maiden & Judas Priest. So in the 80’s you just never know what can happen in the world of metal.

Here is Keel’s first video and hit song, “The Right to Rock”.

 

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