Sometimes considered to be America's answer to Deep Purple (but actually way better than that particular band!), Legs Diamond's finely crafted songs have been long admired by many connoisseurs of melodic US hard rock, myself very much included.
Although the genesis of Legs could be traced back to the moment in 1972 when bassist Michael 'Diamond' Gargano and drummer Jeff Poole first put the band together, Legs didn't really begin taking shape until 1974. The band's first appearance on record, the original version of the classic 'Rat Race', arrived in 1976, when they were included on a promotional album put together by L.A. based radio station K-West. The inclusion of this track partly led to the band's deal with Mercury Records, by which time the line-up of Poole, Diamond, vocalist extraordinaire Rick Sandford, guitarist Roger Romeo and keyboard maestro Mike Prince had solidified into an awesome combination.
They were soon put to work with producer Derek Lawrence (Deep Purple/Angel) on a self-titled debut album that, from opening cut 'It's Not The Music' to the closing 'Can't Find Love' (with the unforgettable likes of 'Satin Peacock' and the aforementioned 'Rat Race' in between) is still considered an absolute classic hard rock record by their legion of admirers to this day. The band toured the States with REO Speedwagon, Montrose, Styx, Ted Nugent, Rex and Angel, garnering a particularly strong following in Texas and returned to the studio full of hope for the recording of album number two.
'A Diamond Is A Hard Rock', produced by Eddie Leonetti (Angel), enhanced Legs' reputation with another stunning selection of songs (including 'Jailbait', 'I Think I Got It' and the legendary ballad 'Woman') that still stand up three decades on from its release in 1977.
However, problems between the band's then management and the record company put paid to the promotion of the new album and curtailed any further relations with Mercury, so Legs' third record wound up being released through the independent label Cream in 1979 and featuring a bizarre mixture of classic Legs originals (like 'Underworld King') and covers, although I personally feel the Legs rendition of The Righteous Brothers' 'You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'' to be the definitive version of this song!
The arrival of new wave to the States and the lack of a new deal drastically affected band morale at that point and the band split. But the spirit wouldn't die and they ultimately reformed in 1984 (with Mike Christie replacing Michael Diamond and Jim May supplanting Roger Romeo) to record their much anticipated comeback album, 'Out On Bail' through Target in the US and Music For Nations in Europe. It was a record that, somewhat bizarrely, utilised synthesized drums, but the album, the expanded re-issue of which you hold in your hands right now, was met with considerable critical acclaim, featuring the menacing title track, exquisite 'Walk Away' and 'Nobody's Fool', to name three highlights. An exciting second phase in the band's career had begun that continues to this day. A Diamond IS a hard rock.
Dave Reynolds, Februar 2005 (Classic Rock magazine, Kerrang)
Tasty hard rock delivered with an edge, best describes Legs Diamond’s unique sound. Legs has cultivated a dedicated throng of true believers whose numbers grow larger with each album and tour. They were formed in Los Angeles, California in early 1975 by Michael Prince, Roger Romeo and Jeff Poole. Their first official recording was an early version of “Rat Race”, which appeared on an unsigned artist compilation album: “L.A. Soundtrack ‘76”, which was sponsored by K-WEST radio. The band then signed a recording contract with Mercury Records on November 9, 1976. They opened for KISS on the “Rock & Roll Over” tour before their debut release had even hit the store racks. Their self-titled debut album, plus “A Diamond is a Hard Rock”, and “Firepower”, released from the end of the 70s to the early part of the 80s, blended hard rock with melody and generated great critical acclaim and rabid fan response in many territories.
In 1984, the fourth album, “Out On Bail” was released on Target Records and a follow-up, “Land of the Gun” saw the light of day in 1986. In early 1989, Legs Diamond began writing songs for their next album. In 1990 they released “Town Bad Girl”, their 6th album, and in 1992, “Captured Live”, a recording that truly captured the raw energy and power of hard rock at its best.
In December 1992, the band toured the U.K. for the first time and captured rave reviews from fans and media alike. The band released their 8th album, “The Wish” in 1994 and have continued touring ever since.
They have showcased their live skills & solidified their hard core audience on national tours with: Ted Nugent, Y&T, REO Speedwagon, Sammy Hagar, Triumph, Rush, Nazareth, Bob Seger, Riot, Styx and Moxy, to name a few. Legs Diamond has been hailed as America’s Deep Purple.
With the upcoming November 2005 release of “Diamonds are Forever” (a master piece of new songs) and new live shows scheduled, Legs is ready for battle and is stronger than ever. Due to an undying and massive fan request, many of the early Legs Diamond albums are now being released on CD.
The music more timely today than ever, a new album in the fall and a live show that just keeps getting stronger and stronger, point to 2005 and beyond saying truly, “Diamonds are Forever.”
This brand new studio album by this classy band was produced by Michael Prince himself at Clear Lake Audio & A4V Digital Studios during June & July 2005.
Line-Up Out On Bail:
Vocals: John Levesque
Guitars: Jim May
Drums: Jeff Poole
Keys: Michael Prince
Bass: Mike Christie
Line Up Diamonds Are Forever:
Vocals: John Levesque
Keys & Rh. Guit.: Michael Prince
Bass: Adam Kury
Guitars: Roger Romeo
Drums: Jeff Poole
Favorites Vol. 1 (2005)
Out On Bail +3 (2005)
Diamonds Are Forever (2006)
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