Roxx Gang are set to release ‘Last Laugh (The Lost Roxx Gang Demos)’ on May 20th via FNA Records, with distribution through Cargo Records.
These recordings feature original Roxx Gang guitarist and co-founder Eric Carrell, who died in a mysterious accident in 1986. Eleven of the fifteen tracks on ‘Last Laugh (The Lost Roxx Gang Demos)’ were recorded from 1984 to 1986 when singer Kevin Steele and Carrell founded Roxx Gang, writing and recording these demos that include the original versions of classics like “Scratch My Back”, “No Easy Way Out” and “Too Cool For School”.
“These are Roxx Gang’s first demos, some of these are close to thirty years old and as a result the audio quality on some songs leaves something to be desired but the point is to pay tribute to my dear friend and co-founder of Roxx Gang, Eric Carrell,” said Steele. “He was taken from us much too soon and so few recordings exist of his playing that I felt this disc was necessary. This is not meant to be the new Roxx Gang album, it is a labor of love paying tribute to a great guitar player and a good friend.”
Among other highlights, the CD includes a cover of the Alice Cooper classic “I’m Eighteen” that was recorded live in the studio and the original song “Magic Carpet Ride”. Most of the songs on ‘Last Laugh (The Lost Roxx Gang Demos)’ were recorded at Morrisound Studios in Tampa, Florida with Jim Morris (Savatage, Iced Earth, Warrant and Trans-Siberian Orchestra) engineering the sessions. The album’s cover artwork is a photo of Kevin Steele shot in Tampa in 1987 by Mick Rock, the legendary British photographer best known for his album covers and iconic shots of Queen, David Bowie, Lou Reed, Iggy and the Stooges and The Ramones.
After recording these demos Roxx Gang exploded on the world music scene in 1988 with their classic demo-album ‘Love ‘Em And Leave ‘Em’ as a hybrid mixture of rock, blues and punk that virtually defied classification. ‘Love ‘Em And Leave ‘Em’ earned stellar reviews on both sides of the Atlantic and earned Roxx Gang a spot on the Top Ten Heavy Metal Albums Of The Year in Tower Records’ Pulse. In a short space of time the Gang did a series of showcase gigs, garnered a huge international following, and were signed to Virgin Records to be that label’s first hard rock band.
Their debut CD, ‘Things You’ve Never Done Before’, was released to great critical acclaim. Coverage in the international rock and music press was extensive. The band released two videos, “No Easy Way Out” directed by Nigel Dick (Guns N’ Roses, Oasis) and “Scratch My Back” directed by Ralph Ziman (Ozzy Osbourne, L.A. Guns), that received airplay on MTV. The band toured all over the world with ‘Things You’ve Never Done Before’ ging on to sell over 250,000 copies.
Always experimenting with many musical styles, Roxx Gang refused to paint themselves into a corner. They were unique in a watered down music scene. The intelligence behind their unbridled raw power, prolific songwriting and a mastery of the live performance made them, for a time, one of America’s greatest rock bands. The band is no longer together, but a recent resurgence of interest has lead to the release of last year’s box set ‘Boxx Of Roxx’ and now ‘Last Laugh (The Lost Roxx Gang Demos)’.
FNA Records will release a regular version, an autographed version, and a super fan pack version with a t-shirt featuring the popular Roxx Gang skull and cross bones logo. All three will be made available for purchase via the FNA web site at fnarecords.net and traditional retail outlets.
‘Last Laugh (The Lost Roxx Gang Demos)’ track listing:
Pre-‘Things You’ve Never Done Before’ demos featuring the original members of Roxx Gang: Kevin Steele (vocals), Eric Carrell (guitar), Doug Denardin (drums) and Pete Clauss (bass):
01. Too Cool For School
02. No Easy Way Out
03. Scratch My Back
04. Fastest Gun In Town
Earliest studio recordings of Roxx Gang featuring the same line-up as above:
05. Last Laugh
06. Kiss Of Death
07. Call Of The Wild
08. Burning Fire
09. I’m Eighteen
10. Burn This Town Down
11. Bad Man
Demos featuring the Virgin Records ‘Things You’ve Never Done Before’ line-up: Kevin Steele (vocals), Jeff Taylor (guitar), Wade Hayes (guitar), Roby Strine (bass) and David James Blackshire (drums):
12. I Want It, I Need It
13. I’m Cryin’
14. Your Love’s A Drug
15. Magic Carpet Ride (Alternate Rock Version)