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Articles Home » 1978 Articles » Hellfield - 1978 Hellfield
 
Hellfield - 1978 Hellfield



ARTIST: Hellfield
ALBUM: Hellfield
LABEL: Epic
SERIAL: JE 36005
YEAR: 1978

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Mitchell Field - vocals * Dave Hovey - guitars, vocals * Jamie Larsen - bass, vocals * Rick Lamb - keyboards, vocals * Steve Coombs - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 The Pact * 02 Magic Mistress * 03 Too Long * 04 No Son Of Mine * 05 City Boy * 06 Fancy Nancy * 07 Tell Me Are You Listening * 08 Thinking 'Bout Ladies * 09 All Night Party * 10 You Got To Admit * 11 Feedback City * 12 Feedback City (Reprise)


Background
Hellfield was a Toronto based outfit that started life off during the 1977/1978 period. Led by drummer and vocalist Mitchell Field (hence the name Hellfield), he approached CBS Canada with a demo and tendered the likelihood of a recording deal. He was told he would have more luck putting a band together -which is what we did. After assembling the above lineup, he returned to CBS, and secured a two album deal. The self titled debut was released in 1978, and for lovers of both pomp and power pop styles, then this is definitely an album for you to hear.


The Songs
Though the band have consistently given out the message that their music veers toward power-pop, that comment is more of a smoke screen. There are a ton of keyboards in the mix here, which lends this more toward a pomp affair than anything. Check out the widdly diddly keyboards on the opener 'The Pact' for instance. You'll be thinking that this is Cinema Face or Avalon (the Canadian version) revisited. The piano romp of 'Too Long' is extremely pleasant, as is the wistful and dreamlike 'City Boy' which has Starcastle qualities to it.. believe it or not. the band ham it up for the rock n roll boogie of 'Fancy Nancy' but return to a more sophisticated sound with 'Tell Me Are You Listening' which reinforces the pomp aspect more than ever. Further rock n roll workouts can be heard on 'All Night Party' and 'You Got To Admit', the album finishing up with a lyrical overview of 'life at night' including the seedier aspects on the track 'Feedback City'.


In Summary
Hellfield kept relatively low key beyond the release of their debut. The album was only made available locally in Canada, though the band did achieve popularity on a regional basis in cities south of the border in the USA. Continuing their pomp/pop rock sound into a second album - 'Night Music' in 1979. Unfortunately a turnstile set of affairs with their personnel didn't help matters, nor did an ineffectual management company which crossed swords once too often with CBS Canada. As a result, the label did not renew their contract with Hellfield beyond the initial two-album deal and the band were let go. Mitchell Field decided to heavy up the bands sound as they moved into the early 80's time frame, but by 1982 it was all over. Most of the band members went onto other projects, with Mitchell Field the band leader undertaking a solo career in Montreal at last report. A good band, and for those of you into the likes of Bluebeard, Angel, Lynx and Zon, then Hellfield are well worth checking out.


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Comments
#1 | rkbluez on June 14 2008 02:51:12
George I gotta tell you I love that Hellfield 's/t' album it really was a great record and sadly overlooked pomp rock classic...funny I did that lp to CDR and E-mailed a song or two to people who never heard Hellfield and they were blown away by them...to me stuff like this should be on CD...a buddy of mine just got the 'Night Music' album from E-bay and did it to disc for me and that is a great record two...those two albums would make a great 2 on 1 release me thinks! A lot of lesser albums have made it to CD...why not Hellfield. I asked Terry at Wounded and he wasn't into doing it...but to be honest I'd rather see him do stuff like Hellfield than stuff like Quiver (? what were they thinking) & Del Fuegos (blah).
#2 | Nick C on June 14 2008 03:09:26
I used to have both the Hellfield albums (picking them up in Canada when over there visiting my sister back in 1980). The first one was without a doubt my favourite, The Oact is great and the opening line 'I am not a MORTAL MAN' boosted with the juicy harmonies on the last two words still live in my memory as a classic moment.
I say memory as I sold the album some years ago and I'm still kicking myself! I'll get around to rebuying it ... but Night Music was a little too wimpy for me ... but I'm older now (and wimpier) so I might even like it.
I agree with rkb a re-issue would be nice!
#3 | Nick C on June 14 2008 16:53:11
The Oact...yeah great song you noodle! I meant The Pact. BTW cheers Steve! Grin
#4 | richardb on June 17 2008 21:27:39
I've seen this album over in various bargain bins over the years but always passed it over. Based on what you say George, I'd be tempted to give it a try. A chance of hearing some tracks on the jukebox? (assuming these aren't up already and I'm just not looking properly).

Cheers!

Richard B
#5 | DEMONAOR on July 05 2008 14:21:58
Great albumgunsgunsguns
#6 | mitchell on February 07 2010 23:13:05
Thanks for all your kind words re Hellfield..
As the founding member,lead singer,writer,and drummer I have
great memories of those times.Sadly Rick passed away a few years ago.Jamie is out west still playing music..Paul was in Toronto teaching last I heard.Rod is bashin the skins out there..There is a HF site on myspace for those interested.
I am currently on tour with my British Invasion band the Hi-Fins..Singin and playin drums.New vids on youtube now.Pics and quotes on myspace and facebook..I also have a side project called Mitchells Field..A power trio,heavy on blusey rock and attitude...
pics and info at myspace.com/mitchellsfield.
I am also the in house arranger,drummer singer at Le Swamp studio complex.
my new cd featuring 6 original tunes is called 'Back again for the first time' ..Its available at cdbaby.I tunes. Rhapsody
etc..Samples and pics at
myspace.com/mitchellsongs
As far as the albums I liked the first one best..Tho I havnt listened to either of them in years.
I see they are now available on cd all over the internet along with records I signed years ago!.
The pact was a great tune written by Jamie where I got to yell my face off.Magic Mistress was a combination of 2 riffs and melodies Rick and I had..The truth is lots of tunes we wrote were finished in record time as Rick had many melodic ideas and I had lots of lyrical ideas.
Too Long is a perfect example of a tune we finished within an hour.. it just wrote itself...It was our first single and did well but curiously it really didnt represent what HF was about.
No Son was a Stonsey tune I had written before I put HF together..Always liked that one live.
City Boy was one of the first tunes I ever wrote.I had just got my first 12 string and was playin around with chords..I havnt played that one in 25 years and might have to give it a listen and learn it again!.
Fancy Nancy was a tune I wrote with Roly Greenway the bass player with Crowbar and great Canadian band.
Another fun tune to perform live .Faces like.
Tell me are you listening? was also a single that got a lot of airplay very heavy on the polyphonic keyboards.
Thinkin bout Ladies I wrote in 10 mins and I cant remember how it ended up on the record.
All Night Party was Ricks great riff I just threw on the words.
You got to admit was a slap at Punk that was just rearing its safety pinned head.
Had energy to spare but not what you would call Grammy worthy
Feedback City was my Bowie inspired futuristic attempt..Must have been around Diamond Dogs?
Cringe inducing last time I heard it!
A lot of water under the bridge for all of us since then..
I hope you are all still out there Rockin the world in your own way and keepin the music alive
My thoughts on the second album and what happened to HF after that in our next episode....CHEERS
#7 | gdazegod on February 08 2010 00:46:57
Well, we had better get around to reviewing that second album then.. lol! Thanks Mitch!
#8 | swazi on February 08 2010 15:28:08
So this is out on CD now ? I can't find it anywhere. Where can I buy it ?
#9 | mitchell on February 09 2010 14:48:10
CK OUT CDBABY.COM..SEARCH MITCHELL..OR GO TO MITCHELLSONGS.COM and CONTACT ME..I WILL GET YOU A COPY
#10 | mitchell on February 09 2010 21:30:52
CK OUT THE HI-FINS ON YOUTUBE NEW VIDS TODAY
#11 | swazi on August 20 2012 21:31:05
I am still desperately looking for these tracks. I can't find them anywhere. Can anybody maybe help me out ?? Thanks ....
#12 | Racer X on September 12 2012 03:24:58
Huge fond memories of this album, which seemed to burn a hole in my cassette player as it was always on repeat. Writing a review for the Ripple Effect right now.

I've seen it several times in discount bins, so it's around if you search.
#13 | gdazegod on September 12 2012 06:20:18
I think Bernd has a copy now, both from here and the AOR and Hard Rock Heaven blog.
#14 | swazi on September 12 2012 10:10:08
That's correct. The latter one was even in 320kb quality. If anyone wants me to upload it, let me know.
#15 | super80boy on July 27 2013 16:44:29
Good debut that warrants more recognition. 'Tell Me Are You Listening' is a very good single and I see why it got the well earned radio airplay. I look forward to listening to the 2nd LP.
#16 | tompa on January 08 2014 17:54:05
Simply put; I only like the heavy-ish songs on this album and those are too few. Long time since I heard Night Music (2nd LP) but I don't recall it very well. And there is probably a reason for that.
 
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