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|Birth name||Philip Neil Murray|
|Born||27 August 1950|
|Genres||Hard rock, blues rock, heavy metal , jazz fusion|
|Instruments||Bass, piano, trombone, vocals, guitar, drums|
|Associated acts||Colosseum II, Whitesnake, Gary Moore, Gogmagog, Vow Wow, Black Sabbath, Cozy Powell's Hammer, Brian May, Tony Martin, National Health, Peter Green Splinter Group, Michael Schenker Group, Snakecharmer|
Philip Neil Murray (born 27 August 1950) is a Scottish bass player, noted for his collaboration with Whitesnake,Brian May's band, Black Sabbath and with Gary Moore.
Originally a drummer who started playing bass in 1967, Murray formed his first band with school friends in 1967 (Slap Happy and the Dum-Dums). His musical tastes were heavily influenced by the mid-1960s 'blues boom' bands and musicians, especially Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce,and later by Motown legend James Jamerson and Tim Bogert of Vanilla Fudge, Cactus and Beck, Bogert & Appice. Murray moved to bass shortly before studying graphic design at the London College of Printing.
During 1973, Neil briefly played in Gilgamesh, a jazz-fusion band led by Alan Gowen. After his departure from Gilgamesh, Murray toured the USA with Junior Hanson, following a recommendation from Jeff Beck's bass player Clive Chaman. Hanson later became a member of Bob Marley & the Wailers under the name Junior Marvin. Neil spent early 1974 supporting the album he recorded with them, Magic Dragon.
Murray's next gig came again through a recommendation from Clive Chaman, touring with Cozy Powell's Hammer in 1974 and 1975. The line-up included keyboardist Don Airey and guitarist Bernie Marsden.
After Cozy Powell decided to fold Hammer, Murray and Airey joined a revamped version of the British progressive jazz-rock band Colosseum II. The band's leader, drummer Jon Hiseman, had evolved the band's sound in preference for a rockier sound courtesy of Gary Moore's guitar. This line-up of Colosseum II lasted for the first 1976 album Strange New Flesh (a title suggested by Murray, being a snippet of the lyric from their cover of Joni Mitchell's Down To You). Strange New Flesh was a little less intellectual than most of the jazz rock coming out of the UK. It did not have the blackness of bands like Weather Report, but offered more accessible melodies and rock power than the more "intellectual" Canterbury fusion scene presented at the time. Following months of touring Europe and the UK, Murray and vocalist Mike Starrs were fired, due to pressure from the record label Bronze Records, who soon after dropped Colosseum II altogether.
After Colosseum II, in 1976 Neil teamed up again with ex-Gilgamesh keyboardist Alan Gowen in National Health with whom he recorded a self-titled album in 1977. Prior to recording that album, the band played with drummer Bill Bruford of Yes/King Crimson fame, who was followed by ex-Hatfield & the North drummer Pip Pyle. Murray got the chance to work with Bruford again, playing on the rehearsals for Bruford's 1978 Feels Good to Me debut solo album, standing in for Jeff Berlin who was the actual bassist with the band (the LP cover read 'Thanks to Neil Murray: A bass player when I needed one'). Murray also deputised for Berlin on Bruford's Old Grey Whistle Test appearance in 1978.During this performance he sports a long sleeve T-shirt saying 'More Bass', predating Saturday Night Live's "More Cowbell" by more than 20 years.
National Health's complex music and the lack of commercial success prompted Murray to investigate other musical avenues planted in the world of bands like Cream, Jeff Beck or John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers. After playing with Bernie Marsden in Cozy Powell's Hammer, Murray had played on a couple of tracks on Babe Ruth's 1975 album Stealing Home, prior to Marsden joining two members of Deep Purple in Paice Ashton Lord.
In late 1977, ex-Deep Purple singer David Coverdale was auditioning drummers for his new band Whitesnake, which featured guitarists Micky Moody and Bernie Marsden. Marsden invited Murray to help out with the process which led to him landing the gig together with drummer Dave Dowle. Deep Purple's Jon Lord joined in the summer of 1978 and, after recording Lovehunter in 1979, Dowle was replaced by Ian Paice (ex-Deep Purple).
From 1978 until late 1986, Murray helped make Whitesnake one of the most popular bands in Europe and Japan, and later America. He recorded with Whitesnake ten albums: Live at Hammersmith (1978), Snakebite (1978), Trouble (1978), Love Hunter (1979), Ready an' Willing (1980), Live...In the Heart of the City (1980), Come an' Get It (1981), Saints & Sinners (1982), Slide It In (1984), and Whitesnake / 1987 (1987). Murray's melodic basslines, influenced by Jack Bruce, Andy Fraser and even Jaco Pastorius, stand out from the rock bass-playing of the time.
He did numerous tours in the UK, Europe, Japan and played at Reading Festival in 1979 and 1980 and the Monsters of Rock festival at Castle Donington, England in 1981. However, tours of the US opening for Jethro Tull in 1980 and Judas Priest in 1981 were not enough to match the band's success elsewhere.
In early 1982, after tense Saints & Sinners recording sessions, Coverdale decided on a complete shake-up of the band, management, publishing, and recording contracts. There was a period of uncertainty as to who would be in the 'new' Whitesnake, though Cozy Powell was definitely coming in to replace Ian Paice. Around this time, Paice and Murray had recorded Gary Moore's 1982 Corridors of Power album, and Paice had decided to join Moore. Murray followed suit, and was replaced by Colin Hodgkinson. Coverdale reshuffled the band as Bernie Marsden departed, replaced by Mel Galley, but Micky Moody and Jon Lord returned to the fold after initial uncertainty.
Soon after his departure, Murray briefly formed an outfit called Badlands (not to be confused with the American band featuring Jake E. Lee) behind Uriah Heep's John Sloman on vocals and future Thin Lizzy's John Sykes on guitars. The band recorded some demos, played London's Marquee Club and shopped for a record deal, to no avail. The band's music was hard rock and fitted the gap between a melodic band like Thin Lizzy, a blues influenced outfit like Whitesnake and a more straight-ahead AC/DC.
In 1982, Neil Murray and Ian Paice both joined Gary Moore for a very successful two years. Murray and Paice recorded three albums with Moore: Corridors of Power (1982), Victims of the Future (1983) and Rockin' Every Night – Live in Japan (1983).
The period 1979–1982 also saw Murray participating in a number of solo albums from Bernie Marsden, Graham Bonnet, Cozy Powell, Forcefield and Jon Lord, sometimes playing with drummer Simon Phillips, which led in 1981 to Murray playing with a trio of superstars – Jeff Beck, Sting and Eric Clapton – at two of the Secret Policeman's Other Ball series of four concerts at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London. This event was filmed and recorded; Murray is to be heard on "Crossroads" with Beck, Clapton and Simon Phillips even though the album sleeve does not contain any individual credits.
In late 1983, Whitesnake went through one of its many line-ups changes. Micky Moody and Colin Hodgkinson were no longer part of the band. They already had recorded a new album Slide It In (1984). At that time, Coverdale hooked up with A&R guru John Kalodner and signed with Geffen Records. After failed attempts at hiring Adrian Vandenberg and Mama's Boys' Pat McManus, Coverdale welcomed John Sykes (Tygers of Pan Tang, Thin Lizzy) to the band. Sykes brought a lot of fresh ideas, technical ability and an appropriate image to project the band on MTV. Murray was asked back and he and Sykes re-recorded a lot of the guitar and all of the bass parts for Slide It In, resulting in two available vinyl versions: one for Europe featuring Moody and Hodgkinson and a US remix version with Sykes and Murray. The US version was remixed by American Grammy-winning record producer and sound engineer Keith Olsen (Fleetwood Mac, Journey, Sammy Hagar, Pat Benatar) to give it a more radio friendly sound.
1984 was occupied with touring, headlining in the UK and Europe; however, Mel Galley injured his arm, resulting in him having to leave the band and John Sykes taking care of all guitar duties on the road after a couple of months. In the summer, Jon Lord left the band for the Deep Purple reunion thus making Whitesnake a four-piece outfit (Coverdale, Murray, Sykes, Powell) with off-stage keyboard player Richard Bailey (ex-Magnum). Support slots in the USA with Dio then Quiet Riot (at the height of their brief success) helped to bring Whitesnake to a much wider audience.
The album and tour, culminating with an appearance at the 1985 Rock in Rio Festival in front of 150,000 people, marked the end of an era for the band. Disagreements over financial matters led to Cozy Powell leaving the band for Emerson, Lake & Powell. Aynsley Dunbar (ex-Frank Zappa, Journey, Jefferson Starship) was in place for the recording of what was to be Whitesnake's most successful album.
The making of Whitesnake / 1987 (1987) was fraught with delays, illness and difficulties. Murray's status as an official member of Whitesnake was unclear and although Coverdale had given all members permission to get involved in other projects, there was not enough money to keep Murray and Dunbar on a retainer until the album was completed.
Murray continued doing sessions for several artists (Phenomena amongst others) and recorded with a band project put together by music impresario Jonathan King called Gogmagog, featuring former Iron Maiden singer Paul Di'Anno, future Iron Maiden guitarist Janick Gers (ex-Ian Gillan), ex-Def Leppard guitarist Pete Willis and another ex-Iron Maiden member Clive Burr on drums. The band released an EP I Will Be There to general apathy.
Whilst still waiting for things to move in the Whitesnake camp, Murray teamed up with guitarists Bernie Marsden and Mel Galley in the short-lived MGM. The band did some live dates (including the Reading Festival in 1987), but never really took off. A year after recording the backing tracks for Whitesnake / 1987 (1987), with work proceeding at a very slow and expensive pace on the album, Murray took the opportunity to redo some of the bass parts, but disagreements over leadership led to John Sykes quitting the band 16 months after recording had begun.
In early 1987, Coverdale put together a completely new version of Whitesnake in Los Angeles, and Murray was no longer part of the band. Murray had to hire lawyers to get his financial due from the huge success of Whitesnake / 1987 (1987), the album that went on to sell well over 10 million copies worldwide. To this day, Murray remains the individual who has played on the second most Whitesnake albums, behind only David Coverdale himself.
In 1987, Murray joined Japanese hard rock band Vow Wow, who had recently relocated to England, after having worked with its guitarist Kyoji Yamamoto on the second album by Phenomena.He recorded four albums with the band between 1987 and 1989, and toured the UK, Europe, and Japan. He also lived in Tokyo for a few months in 1988. Vocalist Genki Hitomi wanted to remain in Japan, so the group recorded what was supposed to be their last album titled Helter Skelter (1988), which was produced by Tony Taverner, who had previously engineered for Black Sabbath. Murray would later state that he never "really became a permanent member" of Vow Wow in order to keep his options open, partly because he was a member of MGM at the same time.
By 1989, with Geezer Butler's refusal to join the latest Black Sabbath line-up, Murray was asked by Cozy Powell to try out. He joined soon after the release of Headless Cross (1989) and toured with the band in support of the album. Murray stayed with the band until late 1990, recording the Tyr album and once again touring. Live, Murray was able to showcase various bass styles that had not been able to flourish in Whitesnake, ranging from Jack Bruce-type improvising to heavy metal soloing to delicate false harmonics.
After Black Sabbath reformed their 1981 "Mob Rules" lineup in 1991 with Dio, Butler and Appice for Dehumanizer , Cozy Powell and Murray started a band project and recorded songs with singer John West (Artension, Royal Hunt). Nothing came out of it until 1998 when those songs resurfaced on a tribute album released after Powell's death in April 1998.
In 1992, Murray played with Cozy Powell and Black Sabbath's Tony Martin, in a new version of Cozy Powell's Hammer that was short lived. Murray had earlier recorded most of Tony Martin's first solo album Back Where I Belong and later played at a series of concerts at Expo' 92 in Seville, Spain backing Steve Vai, Joe Satriani and Brian May. He also reunited with his ex-Whitesnake pals, guitarists Bernie Marsden and Micky Moody, for some dates in the UK with their Moody Marsden Band.
In 1992, Queen's Brian May was ready to go on the road for the first time as a solo artist. Murray and Cozy Powell had done sessions for May's solo album Back to the Light (1992) and they were a natural choice for the touring band. For two years, the band toured the world, notably supporting Guns N' Roses and releasing Live at the Brixton Academy in 1993.
The core of the Brian May Band (Neil, Cozy, Spike Edney and Jamie Moses) became the basis of the SAS Band (Spike's All Stars), which continues to this day, playing sporadic live gigs with many famous guest vocalists, including Paul Rodgers, Brian May, Roger Taylor, Chaka Khan, Arthur Brown, Lionel Richie, Bob Geldof and many others. After the first year, Steve Stroud became their main bassist, but Neil returns to play with the band every couple of years.
In late 1994, Cozy Powell and Murray returned to Black Sabbath. They recorded Forbidden (1995) and toured the US & Canada in 1995, although the tour of the UK, Europe and the Far East saw the return of Bobby Rondinelli on drums when Powell departed.
1996 and 1997 saw Murray and Cozy Powell helping to kickstart the return of the legendary Peter Green (John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, Fleetwood Mac) in his Splinter Group. Murray recorded three albums with Green and toured the UK with occasional European dates.
In 1998, Brian May released his third solo album, Another World , which Murray and Cozy Powell had once again played on, but Powell's death meant a tour with Eric Singer (KISS, Alice Cooper, Lita Ford, Black Sabbath) instead. 1998 also saw the posthumous release of Cozy Powell's Especially for You featuring vocal phenom John West (Royal Hunt, Artension, Badlands, Lynch Mob, Ten Man Push), guitarist Michael Casswell (Brian May Band), and keyboardist Lonnie Park (John West, Wrathchild America, Ten Man Push).
In 1999, Murray started working again with Bernie Marsden and Micky Moody, who had been working with British-Norwegian Whitesnake tribute band the Snakes. When Marsden and Moody eventually parted ways with their Norwegian colleagues, they changed the band name to the Company of Snakes with the vocalist Robert Hart (the Jones Gang, Bad Company, Distance, solo artist/songwriter) joined them, together with Don Airey on keyboards.
After of few years of gigging mainly in the UK and Europe, Robert Hart decided to leave to concentrate on his solo/songwriting career. The only available recording of this line-up (with Don Airey on keys and John Lingwood on drums) is on Micky Moody's solo album I Eat Them for Breakfast (2000). In 2001 Swedish singer Stefan Berggren was recruited and the Company of Snakes released two albums: Here They Go Again (2001, the gig was recorded in Germany and Norway with temporary ex-MSG singer Gary Barden, but his vocals were erased and Stefan Berggren overdubbed) and Burst the Bubble (2002), which featured songs written by most of the band.
Despite success on the touring front, the Company of Snakes called it a day in early 2002, with the band being transformed into M3 Classic Whitesnake, dropping recent original material in favour of a purely Whitesnake set. Ex-Sabbath frontman Tony Martin was their singer initially, before being replaced by Stefan Berggren. The band has released one live album (with Tony Martin on vocals) and one live DVD (with Stefan Berggren and Rainbow/Yngwie Malmsteen/Cornerstone singer Doogie White) featuring songs from the classic Whitesnake era 1978–1982. Murray is also a member of German heavy rock band Empire with whom he has recorded three albums. The band is the brain child of guitarist Rolf Munkes and featured Tony Martin on the Trading Souls (2003) and The Raven Ride (2006) albums.
Since April 2002, Murray has been in the band of the London musical We Will Rock You . He also performed at 2007's 'Classics in Rock' concert in Rotterdam and the first London Rock 'n Roll Fantasy Camp.
Murray played on the Michael Schenker Group album In the Midst of Beauty , which was released on 11 May 2008.
|1976||Colosseum II||Strange New Flesh|
|1978||National Health||National Health|
|1978||Whitesnake||Live at Hammersmith|
|1980||Whitesnake||Ready an' Willing|
|1980||Whitesnake||Live...In the Heart of the City|
|1981||Whitesnake||Come an' Get It|
|1982||Whitesnake||Saints & Sinners|
|1984||Whitesnake||Slide It In (US Mix)|
|1985||Gogmagog||I Will Be There EP|
|1987||Whitesnake||Whitesnake / 1987|
|1987||Vow Wow||Revive EP|
|1988||Vow Wow||Vibe / Helter Skelter|
|1988||Mona Lisa Overdrive||Vive La Ka Bum|
|1992||The Brian May Band||Back to the Light|
|1994||The Brian May Band||Live at Brixton Academy|
|1997||Peter Green Splinter Group||Peter Green Splinter Group|
|1998||Peter Green Splinter Group||The Robert Johnson Songbook|
|1998||Brian May||Another World|
|2001||The Company of Snakes||Here They Go Again|
|2002||The Company of Snakes||Burst the Bubble|
|2002||Rondinelli||Our Cross, Our Sins|
|2003||M3||Classic 'Snake Live Volume 1|
|2005||M3||Rough An' Ready (CD & DVD)|
|2006||Empire||The Raven Ride|
|2008||Michael Schenker Group||In the Midst of Beauty|
|2010||Michael Schenker Group||The 30th Anniversary Concert – Live in Tokyo|
|2014||Whitesnake||Live in 1984: Back to the Bone|
|2014||Space Elevator||Space elevator|
Whitesnake are a hard rock band formed in England in 1978. The group was originally put together as the backing band for singer David Coverdale, who had recently left Deep Purple. Though the band quickly developed into their own entity, Coverdale is the only constant member throughout their history.
Cozy Powell was an English rock drummer, who made his name with many major rock bands and artists such as The Jeff Beck Group, Rainbow, Michael Schenker Group, Gary Moore, Robert Plant, Brian May, Whitesnake, Emerson, Lake & Powell, and Black Sabbath.
David Coverdale is an English rock singer-songwriter best known for his work with Whitesnake, a hard rock band he founded in 1978. Before Whitesnake, Coverdale was the lead singer of Deep Purple from 1973 to 1976, after which he established his solo career. A collaboration with Jimmy Page resulted in a 1993 album that was certified Platinum. In 2016, Coverdale was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Deep Purple, giving one of the band's induction speeches. Coverdale is known in particular for his powerful blues-tinged voice.
Snakebite is the first official release by the British hard rock band Whitesnake. The original EP initially featured only four tracks and was released in the UK in June 1978 and never published in the US. Snakebite was re-released in September 1978 as a Double Extended Play containing four extra studio tracks taken from David Coverdale's second solo album Northwinds. The EP sleeve is entitled David Coverdale's Whitesnake and features photographs of the live band in concert. All tracks from the original EP also were used as bonus tracks on the 2006 remaster of Whitesnake's debut studio album Trouble.
Slide It In is the sixth studio album by British rock band Whitesnake, released in 1984. It was the first Whitesnake album to be released by Geffen Records in the US, but was remixed for the release there. Because of this, two different editions of the album exist, each with its own unique qualities. It was their fourth top 10 album in the UK, peaking at number 9. It includes their first breakthrough hits in the United States, "Love Ain't No Stranger" and "Slow an' Easy". In 1988 the album re-entered the US charts due to the success of the self-titled Whitesnake album (1987), and is certified double platinum. It was the final Whitesnake recording to use the band's original "snake" logo. The album eventually sold over four million records. The band delivered a harder sound than their previous albums.
Saints & Sinners is the fifth studio album by English hard rock band Whitesnake, released in 1982. It peaked at number 9 on the UK Albums Chart.
Live...in the Heart of the City is a 1980 live album by English rock band Whitesnake. Originally released as a double-vinyl album, and double-play cassette, it utilises recordings made in 1978 and 1980. The album charted at number 5 on the UK Albums Chart, and number 146 on the Billboard 200.
"Fool for Your Loving" is a song recorded by British hard rock band Whitesnake.
Live: In the Shadow of the Blues is the third live album by the band Whitesnake. Included are four new studio tracks. The album was recorded on a world tour which began on 9 May 2006 in Zepp Fukuoka, Fukuoka, Japan. The Japanese concerts were followed by concerts in Europe and UK. The tour went to twenty two countries and ended on 9 August 2006 in Nia, Birmingham, UK. The album was released in Europe on 24 November 2006 and was released in Japan on WEA. The album features most of Whitesnake's biggest hits.
Michael Joseph Moody is an English guitarist, and a former member of the rock bands Juicy Lucy and Whitesnake. He was also a founder-member of Snafu. Together with his former Whitesnake colleague Bernie Marsden he founded the Moody Marsden Band, and later, The Snakes, having previously collaborated with unofficial 5th Status Quo member Bob Young in Young & Moody. Along with Marsden and ex-Whitesnake bassist, Neil Murray, he formed The Company of Snakes and M3 Classic Whitesnake with which they mainly performed early Whitesnake songs. From 2011 to 2015, Moody toured and recorded with Snakecharmer, a band he co-formed.
Bernard John Marsden is an English rock and blues guitarist. He is primarily known for his work with Whitesnake, having written or co-written with David Coverdale many of the group's hit songs, such as "Fool for Your Loving", "Walking in the Shadow of the Blues", "She's A Woman", "Lovehunter", "Trouble", "Child of Babylon", "Rough and Ready", and the multi-million selling chart-topper "Here I Go Again".
David 'Duck' Dowle is an English drummer who has played with the bands Brian Auger's Oblivion Express, Streetwalkers, Whitesnake, Runner, Midnight Flyer, Bernie Marsden.
Mark Stanway is an English musician. He was the keyboard player for the English prog rock band Magnum, from 1980 until the end of 2016.
The Company of Snakes were an English rock band formed in 1998, by former members of the English rock band Whitesnake who were also members of The Snakes. They released two albums before morphing into M3 during 2004.
The Snakes were a British-Norwegian hard rock band, formed by former Whitesnake members Bernie Marsden and Micky Moody in 1997. The line-up consisted of guitarists Marsden and Moody with Norwegian musicians, vocalist Jørn Lande, bassist Sid Ringsby, who later joined the Norwegian band TNT, and drummer Willy Bendiksen. The band released one live album, one studio album and broke up in 1999.
"Don't Break My Heart Again" is a song by the English hard rock band Whitesnake from their 1981 studio album Come an' Get It. Written by vocalist David Coverdale, the song was inpired by the breakdown of his first marriage. The guitar solo performed by Bernie Marsden was recorded on the first take. Despite numerous attempts to top it, Marsden eventually conceded and agreed to use the first take. Guitarist Doug Aldrich later named "Don't Break My Heart Again" one of his favorite Whitesnake songs.
"Crying in the Rain" is a song by the English hard rock band Whitesnake. The song was originally released on the group's 1982 album Saints & Sinners, but was re-recorded on the group's 1987 multi-platinum album Whitesnake. The song was inspired by singer David Coverdale's divorce.
"Slow an' Easy" is a song by the English rock band Whitesnake, released as the fourth and final single from their 1984 album Slide It In. The album provided the group with a commercial breakthrough in the United States, and this specific song, which was released as a promo single, became a hit on rock radio. "Slow an' Easy" and previous single "Love Ain't No Stranger" reached #17 and #34 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, respectively.
Live... In the Still of the Night is a live concert DVD by the band Whitesnake. The concert was filmed on 20 October 2004 at the Hammersmith Apollo in London. It was released in 2006 featuring most of Whitesnake's biggest hits. The limited edition includes a bonus CD with selected songs from the same show.