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Articles Home » 1984 Articles » Electric Eels - 1984 Electric Eels
 
Electric Eels - 1984 Electric Eels



ARTIST: Electric Eels
ALBUM: Electric Eels
LABEL: Gaffenburg Records
SERIAL:-
YEAR: 1984
CD REISSUE: 2002, Red Fox (France), RF-624 (bootleg) * 2009, Retrospect Records, RR-447
SPONSOR: Retrospect Records

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Jerry Leal - lead vocals, guitars * Tim Hamilton - guitars * Chuck Leal - bass * Roger Prisco - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 She's A Lady * 02 Silly But It's True * 03 Speed Kills * 04 Excalibur * 05 Woman Of Evil * 06 Cry My Lady Sue * 07 Black Leather * 08 Way Of The Night * 09 The Scent Of Fear * 10 Fast As I Can * 11 Go Go Video


Background
If Montrose began the North American hard rock and metal revolution with their amazingly advanced debut in 1973 then the forgotten Electric Eels weren't far behind. This is an unbelievable statement from 1974 that is so far ahead of its time in the whole heavy metal stakes.. that this could easily be 1984. (Actually.. it is .. Ed). Information on the band is non existent but the music tells the story, with guitar work and riffs that predate a whole genre of bands in the years to come. The back cover also shows a band member sporting a guitar synth, in 1974!? Melodically it equals Montrose, Kiss, Aerosmith etc and exceeds the latter two for heaviness, with flashy, speed driven guitar solos that must have been unheard of back then. It's not the Ritchie Blackmore type of soloing, more the kind bands like Riot and Van Halen would pick up on. Compared to this Starz shouldn't even be considered pioneers.


The Songs
Checking the song titles makes for good reading, 'Speed Kills', 'Excalibur', 'Lady Of Evil', 'Black Leather', 'Way Of The Night' to name a few, which would give the impression this is some dungeon and dragons metal. 'Silly But True' has a drum sound that is reminiscent of the mid eighties, full and processed and I cannot fathom this is 1974. Red Fox must have touched this up when they reissued it in 2002 as a bootleg surely. It's perfect melodic hard rock, with the mentioned fast guitar work. 'Speed Kills' opening riff was ripped off by bands like Iron Maiden, Saxon and Accept (think 'Power And The Glory', Flash Rockin' Man' and 2 Minutes To Midnight'), and this is more than prototype metal, its still contemporary today. Thinking back to the band Axtion whom I once reviewed, they sounded less advanced than this in 1985. Early fantasy metal rears itself with 'Excalibur', and the album cover reflects this also, the main riff here pure NWOBHM. The riffs crunch during 'Black Leather', the Eels knowing something about the forthcoming metal revolution nobody else did! 'Way Of The Night' features more shredding guitar work and 'The Scent Of Fear' is totally 80's metal, the whole production recalling Tokyo Blade or early Iron Maiden with the guitar harmonies. You will not believe this once heard. 'Fast As I Can' ends things on a slow, almost ballad note, the bass pumping with guitar work that Tony Iommi might claim as his own while Jerry Leal's vocals on the whole album are supreme.


In Summary
If anybody can verify this is 1974 it would be much appreciated. Most of us have been around long enough to know the difference between the seventies and eighties and for once the proof that this is genuine comes from the album cover itself which states 1974 as the year it was released. What label it first saw daylight on is unknown (Gaffenburg Records), but the reissue by Red Fox was a wise move. If things had turned out different this could have been one of the most influential albums of all time. Apparently this was available only as a private pressing in 1974 so it would have not been readily on offer and naturally it was the bands only effort. This is worth every cent to own and one I can't get my head around. Anybody with any knowledge of the band contact me here at Glory Daze to calm my mind.

Editor Footnote: As at 2008, this album is getting the re-release treatment from Retrospect Records. The label also says they will be putting out an unreleased set of material from 1985. Wow!


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Comments
#1 | super80boy on January 01 1970 01:00:00
I recently acquired a sealed vinyl copy of this private press gem. Wow
#2 | Harvey Mettle on December 04 2006 16:49:01
I bought this from Shades years ago. I'm sure it was on Gaffenberg Records from 1980, sadly I no longer have the vinyl to confirm it
#3 | gdazegod on May 03 2007 07:08:50
Jerry Leal was involved with Groundstar, The Heritage and Eves Burden, all bands that have featured Sharon Jordan. *blushing*
#4 | gdazegod on August 12 2007 09:41:36
Jerry Leal himself (via email) has clarified the situation for us. Here's his response..

'Ok, the LP was produced in the early 80s and released in 1984, but it was only released on vinyl. Since then several bootleg copies have been unofficially made on CD claiming different original release dates, but the whole LP was done from 1983 to 1984. I'd be happy to give you more info if you need. Thank you' - Jerry Leal.

So there you have it. If you have a CD of this album and it says 1974, then you have a bootleg.
#5 | gdazegod on August 13 2007 00:41:58
The review has been edited and re-posted to the 1984 section. That is one mystery cleared up. clap
#6 | Recordjnky on April 10 2009 22:31:25
Wait til you hear the 2nd album!Grin
#7 | Recordjnky on July 31 2010 12:29:39
This CD and Electric Eels II are now available at Retrospectrecords.com!
#8 | gdazegod on July 31 2010 12:59:56
Electric Eels II review in the pipeline!
#9 | luckydaye on September 25 2012 23:57:55
i was lucky enough to see the ELECTRIC E.E.L.S.
LIVE IN L.A.
at the Troubador THEY ROCKED!!and after the show I talked at length with Jerry Leal
here are some interesting tidbits about the first album
the song Black Leather was originally entitled
"LEATHER AND LACE" and a "friend" told jerry
to submit the song to this new publishing co
in L.A. called pinguin publishing and he did
penguin publishing was owned by none other than
Stevie Nicks ....and I must say Stevie nicked the title
also the guitar synth he is holding on the back cover
is an instrument jerry designed and patented called
the Synthitar, he is a very talented musician.
Word has it that he is the masked man behind
"Rick Cortes and Knightskope" and the producer as well.
I would really love to see more cds with
"Produced By Jerry Leal" in the credits.
I really like Eve's Burden and cant wait for the new
Eve's Burden cd to be released!
 
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