Buffalo, one of the most legendary bands of the revered New Wave Of British Heavy Metal, is back with a brand new vinyl album on High Roller Records (strictly limited to 500 copies worldwide). This is the band's first release since the "Best of Buffalo" CD, privately issued in 1999! Mick Priestley formed Buffalo (not to be confused with their Australian namesakes including one Peter Wells of Rose Tattoo) in Lancashire as far back as 1978 (when they recorded their first demo). With the line-up of Mick Priestley (g), John Ralphs (v), Mike Bailey (g), Tom Reid (b) and Pete West (d) the band recorded their debut single "Battle torn Heroes" for Heavy Metal Records in 1981, followed by the much improved second single "Mean Machine" one year later on the same label. Inbetween, Buffalo had played prestigious gigs with the likes of Gillan, Motörhead, Demon, Y & T and also Witchfinder General (marking one of their incredibly scarce live appearances). Everything was set for the first full-length album, Buffalo delivered a five track cassette to Heavy Metal Records, but somehow Paul Birch, head of the Wolverhampton-based label, was slow to react. Of those five songs, "Backs to the Wall", "Detroit Motor City", "In the Flesh", "Gimme some Lovin'" and "Take it to the Limit", three appear on the new vinyl album "Bones of the Beast" for the first time ever! Back in 1982, however, mainman Mick Priestley was bitterly disappointed with the record companies refusal to sign Buffalo, as he explained in Kerrang! magazine: "We were very pleased with the demo and sent it off to twelve different A&R departments with high hopes. So far we have heard nothing. They haven't even had the decency to return the tape. It seems to me that if you don't mention devil worship and that kind of demonism in your songs, then you can't get anywhere." 24 years long years later, and here it finally is, the first-ever Buffalo vinyl longplayer. This is what Mick Priestley had to say about the individual songs on the new album "Bones of the Beast":
Side A: "Why in Hell" (1995) This track was written about 1995 and was a big favourite with the band at the time. We decided to go into the studios (Splash Studios, Wigan) and record "Why in Hell" and "Nobody's Fool". This track "Why in Hell" was used for a self-financed video which was shown on British TV on a Granada production called "Noisy Mothers".
"Backs to the Wall" (1982) After the departure of John Ralphs (vocals) we regrouped and formed this four-piece line up with ex Tank drummer Gary Taylor. Mick Bailey now took over lead vocals (guitar) at this time and we wrote and recorded this track and four more for a new direction and demo for a new record deal. These songs were recorded at Park Lane Studios, Preesall, near Blackpool.
"Detroit Motor City" (1982) This track was recorded on the same session along with "Backs to the Wall", "Take it to the Limit", "Gimme some Lovin'" and "In the Flesh".
"Gimme some Lovin'" (1982) This cover version arrangement of the Spencer Davis Group song was included as we used to play it live and was always well received. At this time Carrere Records had an interest in signing Buffalo and releasing this version of the track. However at the same time a Liverpool band called Nutz were just being signed up by Carrere Records and they actually released a cover of this under the band name Rage. So we missed out there again! I hasten to add that the Buffalo version is far superior to the version by Rage.
"Ezy" (1980) This track was one of the first recordings made by Buffalo in 1979 and has a slightly less N.W.O.B.H.M. feel to it. This track has always been one of my personal favourites. We recorded it at Cargo Recording Studios in Rochdale Lancashire. We recorded many tracks at this studio, as did a lot of the N.W.O.B.H.M. bands like Turbo and Streetfighter at this time.
Side B: "Night Run" (1994) We wrote this track when we put this line up together in the early 90's. It was recorded and engineered by myself in our own studio, although we did another recording at Revolver Studios, Birmingham, a few years later which is featured on the "Best of Buffalo 79-99" CD.
"Bad bad bad" (1994) Written in the early 90's, recorded and engineered by myself in our own studio. This track and the following tracks were the first songs we wrote together and represent the differing styles of our playing and were helpful in developing later music by Buffalo.
"River of Life" (1994) Written in the early 90's, again recorded and engineered by myself in our own studio. This was sort of experimental in the way we sound on this track. I hear a little Dream Theater influence in this song.
"So long" (1994) Written in the early 90's, recorded and engineered by myself in our own studio. The basic song was actually written by myself in 1977 and called "Pretty Blue". We wrote new lyrics and arranged it again for this era.
"On her Knees" (1994) Also written in the early 90's, recorded and engineered by myself in our own studio. This song originated in a jam in the studio and the lyrics written by Kriss Webber, the subject of which probably is the talk of most bands at some point in time!
Matthias Mader (Iron Pages)