Samson (band)

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Samson
Also known asScrapyard (1976)
McCoy (1976)
Paul Samson's Empire (1986)
Origin England
Genres Heavy metal, hard rock, NWOBHM
Years active19772002
Labels RCA Records (former)
Past membersSee: Members

Samson were a British rock band formed in 1977 by guitarist and vocalist Paul Samson. They are best known for their first three albums with future Iron Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson, then known as "Bruce Bruce", and drummer Thunderstick (real name Barry Graham Purkis), who wore a leather mask and performed on stage in a metal cage. Drummer Clive Burr was also a member of the band, both before and after his tenure with Iron Maiden. Drummer Mel Gaynor had a successful music career being a member of Simple Minds for over 20 years. Dickinson's replacement on vocals, Nicky Moore, performed with Samson throughout the mid-1980s and again from the late 1990s onwards; he has also been a member of the bands Mammoth and Nicky Moore and the Blues Corporation. They were also a part of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal.

Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, and developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and later, particularly in the United Kingdom and in the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew heavily on the genres of blues, rhythm and blues, and from country music. Rock music also drew strongly on a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical and other musical styles. Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music usually with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political.

Paul Samson was an English guitarist, closely associated with the new wave of British heavy metal.

Iron Maiden English heavy metal band

Iron Maiden are an English heavy metal band formed in Leyton, East London, in 1975 by bassist and primary songwriter Steve Harris. The band's discography has grown to thirty-eight albums, including sixteen studio albums, twelve live albums, four EPs, and seven compilations.

Contents

Career

In 1976 Paul Samson replaced Bernie Tormé in London-based band Scrapyard, joining bassist John McCoy and drummer Roger Hunt. The band name was changed to McCoy, and they built up a busy gigging schedule, whilst also independently playing various sessions. Eventually, McCoy left to join Atomic Rooster. His replacement was the band's sound engineer and a close friend of Paul Samson's, Chris Aylmer. Aylmer suggested a name change to Samson, and recommended a young drummer, Clive Burr, whom he had previously played with in the band Maya. Burr joined, and Samson was born, although for a time Paul Samson used bassist Bill Pickard and drummer Paul Gunn on odd gigs when Aylmer and Burr were honouring previous commitments. Various other people were tried out to expand the line up: Paul Samson got in touch with an old bandmate, bass player Stewart Cochrane, and asked him to try out with the group as a four-piece, with the current bass player Chris Aylmer on second guitar alongside Paul. Only one gig was played in this incarnation, at The Nag's Head pub in Rochester, Kent on 11 March 1978, where it was decided that Paul Samson and Aylmer's playing styles were not compatible, so they went back to being a three-piece. Cochrane joined the avant-garde jazz-rock band Spanish Fly; he later continued his career as an orchestra-leader for Holland America Line, Windstar Cruises and performed and recorded with members of bands The Animals, Nashville Teens and Steve Hackett Band. In October 1978, lead vocalist Mark Newman joined, but after about six shows, Paul Samson resumed lead vocals and they reverted to a three-piece line-up.

Bernie Tormé was an Irish rock guitarist, singer, songwriter, record label and recording studio owner. Tormé is best known for his work with Gillan, as well as his brief stints with Ozzy Osbourne's backing band and Atomic Rooster.

Atomic Rooster English band

Atomic Rooster are a British rock band, originally formed by members of the Crazy World of Arthur Brown, organist Vincent Crane and drummer Carl Palmer. Throughout their history, keyboardist Vincent Crane was the only constant member and wrote the majority of their material. Their history is defined by two periods: the early-mid-1970s and the early 1980s. The band went through radical style changes, but they are best known for the hard, progressive rock sound of their hit singles, "Tomorrow Night" and "Devil's Answer", both in 1971.

Rochester, Kent town and historic city in the unitary authority of Medway in Kent, England

Rochester is a town and was a historic city in the unitary authority of Medway in Kent, England. It is at the lowest bridging point of the River Medway about 30 miles (50 km) from London.

At the end of 1978, Burr left. They auditioned over 60 drummers, and eventually decided on Barry Purkis. The band were offered a recording contract, but Aylmer would not commit, so Paul Samson and Purkis decided that, as John McCoy was producing and had co-written much of the material, they would ask him to play bass on the album. The album was recorded for release on Lazer records, and given the title Survivors. In late 1979 Bruce Dickinson joined as lead vocalist under the name 'Bruce Bruce'.

A recording contract is a legal agreement between a record label and a recording artist, where the artist makes a record for the label to sell and promote. Artists under contract are normally only allowed to record for that label exclusively; guest appearances on other artists' records will carry a notice "By courtesy of ", and that label may receive a percentage of sales.

The band's second album, Head On , was released in July 1980 and peaked at No. 34 in the UK Albums Chart [1] The supporting tour was full of controversy and legal issues, due to problems with their management. [2] They kept writing and rehearsing for a new record. Ten songs had already been composed, by October 1980, and were ready to be recorded. [2] At the same time, the band re-issued their debut album, Survivors, now with Dickinson handling vocal duties. The tour continued until the end of the year, when Samson entered the studio to record their third album, Shock Tactics . This was the last album Dickinson recorded with the band. Samson faced innumerable problems with their management. [3] They were always being booked on ill-matched support tours. After leaving their management in 1981 they discovered that their record company was going bankrupt. Dickinson said they "made every mistake in the business". [3] His last performance with Samson was at the Reading Festival in 1981. This was recorded by the BBC and released in 1990, as the live album Live at Reading 1981 .

<i>Head On</i> (Samson album) 1980 studio album by Samson

Head On is the second studio album by British heavy metal band Samson, released in 1980. The cover art features the band's masked drummer, Thunderstick. This is the first album with future Iron Maiden-frontman Bruce Dickinson on vocal duties, although some later re-issues of the debut do feature alternative bonus versions of songs, re-done with Dickinson vocals.

The Official Albums Chart is a list of albums ranked by physical and digital sales and audio streaming in the United Kingdom. It was published for the first time on 22 July 1956 and is compiled every week by the Official Charts Company (OCC) on Fridays. It is broadcast on BBC Radio 1 and published in Music Week magazine, and on the OCC website.

<i>Shock Tactics</i> 1981 studio album by Samson

Shock Tactics is the third studio album by British heavy metal band Samson, released in 1981. It was singer Bruce Dickinson's last one with the band before joining Iron Maiden.

The group posted three entries in the UK Singles Chart. These were "Riding With The Angels (1981, No. 54), "Losing My Grip" (1982, No. 63) and "Red Skies (1983, No. 65). [4]

UK Singles Chart British singles sales chart

The UK Singles Chart is compiled by the Official Charts Company (OCC), on behalf of the British record industry, listing the top-selling singles in the United Kingdom, based upon physical sales, paid-for downloads and streaming. The Official Chart, broadcast on BBC Radio 1 and MTV, is the UK music industry's recognised official measure of singles and albums popularity because it is the most comprehensive research panel of its kind, today surveying over 15,000 retailers and digital services daily, capturing 99.9% of all singles consumed in Britain across the week, and over 98% of albums. To be eligible for the chart, a single is currently defined by the Official Charts Company (OCC) as either a 'single bundle' having no more than four tracks and not lasting longer than 25 minutes or one digital audio track not longer than 15 minutes with a minimum sale price of 40 pence. The rules have changed many times as technology has developed, the most notable being the inclusion of digital downloads in 2005 and streaming in July 2014.

Following Dickinson's departure, former Hackensack and Tiger vocalist Nicky Moore was recruited to front the band who had also signed a new recording contract with Polydor. Samson's first release with Moore was the "Losing My Grip" EP in 1982. The title track as well as "Pyramid to the Stars" had originally been cut with Dickinson. Those versions would remain unreleased until they surfaced on the Shock Tactics CD re-release in 2001. Samson issued two albums with Moore, 1982's Before the Storm and 1984 Don't Get Even, Get Mad before the group disbanded with Paul Samson carrying on solo. Samson reformed in 1987 and performed until 1991, through various line-up changes. The album Refugee was launched in 1990.

Nicky Moore is an English blues, rock and heavy metal singer, who is best known as a former member of the British band Samson. He replaced Bruce Dickinson who left the band to join Iron Maiden in 1982. Moore left Samson in the late 1980s and rejoined in the late 1990s.

<i>Before the Storm</i> (Samson album) 1982 studio album by Samson

Before the Storm is the fourth studio album by British heavy metal band Samson. It was released in 1982, with the new vocalist Nicky Moore. He was recruited to replace Bruce Dickinson after his departure, to join Iron Maiden. The drummer Mel Gaynor was also replaced by Pete Jupp, when Gaynor left to join Simple Minds.

In early nineties, Paul Samson asked New York singer/songwriter Rik Anthony to write lyrics and vocal melodies for Samson's "reunion" project with Thunderstick and Chris Aylmer. As a collaboration, Anthony wrote and recorded the lyrics and vocal melodies for eight songs while in New York, and in London re-recorded five demos at Picnic Studios. With limited time and budget, the band could only record five demo songs and the project was never completed. The Picnic demos were never picked up by Samson's record company, and sat idle for almost nine years. Anthony, Paul Samson, Gerry Sherwin and Tony Tuohy played some shows in Germany and the Netherlands under the name Paul Samson's Rogues, and as Samson whilst opening for Girlschool. After the dates in Europe, Anthony returned to New York. Samson had a new line-up in 1993 and recorded the album Samson.

In 1999, Paul Samson released a CD containing five of the compositions from the Picnic Demos, entitled Past Present & Future. The Samson-Aylmer-Thunderstick line-up reformed for a live show in Tokyo, and in 2000, with Nicky Moore back on board, a series of live dates, including a "25th Anniversary of the NWOBHM" concert at the London Astoria on 26 May 2000, which also featured Angel Witch on the bill. Samson's performance was recorded and released as a live album. The same line-up later appeared at the Wacken Open Air rock festival on 4 August 2000.

The group effectively disbanded with Paul Samson's death from cancer on 9 August 2002. Moore paid tribute to his late bandmate at the Sweden Rock Festival on 12 June 2004, with a set entitled "Nicky Moore plays Samson". [5]

Bass player Chris Aylmer (born Christopher Robin Aylmer, 7 February 1948) died on 9 January 2007 following a battle with throat cancer.

The band appeared in a short-movie Biceps of Steel in 1980, directed by Julien Temple, [2] which was intended as the B-film to a major feature produced and promoted by the record company. The film featured two music-video type sequences which form the 15 minute film. Though it has been largely forgotten, clips from it were seen in the movie The Incubus (1981). However, in 2006 Biceps of Steel re-surfaced on Bruce Dickinson's Anthology DVD.

Drummer Clive Burr died on 12 March 2013 after many years suffering from multiple sclerosis.

Discography

Official Members