WHITE SPIRIT – White Spirit [2-CD Special Edition remastered]

WHITE SPIRIT - White Spirit [2-CD Special Edition remastered] - full

This wonderful, cult classic NWOBHM album from 1980, WHITE SPIRIT’s self-titled, was already featured at 0dayrox in its 2022 Japanese reissue including 3 bonus tracks. However, there’s more recorded material from this short-lived band.
As requested, here’s the quite rare “WHITE SPIRIT [2-CD Special Edition remastered]” (used copies for over USD $100) including the main LP remastered, plus a bonus disc with 12 extra tracks; B-sides, demos, and songs exclusive for promo compilations such as the legendary ‘Metal For Muthas’.

The lineup that recorded the band’s album consisted of vocalist Bruce Ruff, guitarist Janick Gers, bassist Phil Brady, drummer Graeme “Crash” Crallan, and keyboardist Malcolm Pearson. Of these musicians, Gers later achieved the widest mainstream success as he would become a member of Iron Maiden in 1990, where he has been ever since. He also served a brief stint in Ian Gillan’s solo band, Gillan, following his time in White Spirit.
While operating in UK in 1980, WHITE SPIRIT wasn’t your typical NWOBHM act. Their music is more hard rock oriented with a strong Pomp edge with profuse keyboards akin Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, etc.

In 1980, the New Wave of British Heavy Metal was in full swing, with countless bands drawing the attention of headbangers, critics, and record companies alike. White Spirit, hailing from Hartlepool, was no exception to this.
The quintet had a sound unique from many of their competing bands, and enjoyed some recognition, but it was short lived. The band only recorded one album and a few singles and compilation appearances before disbanding.
It is a shame that this band of some of the UK scene top players could not catapult themselves to greater successes; they certainly deserved more credit than they got.

While clearly influenced by the classic hard rock bands of the 70s (they have drawn a lot of Deep Purple comparisons), White Spirit had a sound all their own that definitely helped them to stand out amongst their musical peers.
What really helped the band to stand head and shoulders above the competition was the way that they integrated keyboards into their music. Yes, numerous metal bands did this when they were taking on a more commercial or progressive sound, yet for these guys it came naturally and just seemed like part of the music, not a gimmick or anything of the sort.

This 1980 album is a lost classic, and the product definitely stands the test of time, perhaps even more so than some of the band’s better known peers.
While some tracks on the album are certainly better than others, there are not any moments I would consider to be “weak” either. All of the musicians are competent, superb performers; it is a shame that outside of Gers, none of these guys were known outside of the group.

The true standout talent in the band is keyboardist Pearson; he is able to achieve an unrealistically diverse number of keyboard sounds in the album’s relatively short duration. From lighthearted pop sounds to aggressive Pomp playing that rivals even the guitars, he was someone who should have gone on to greater things following an all too brief moment in the British metal spotlight.

Though the original LP is seven tracks long, the band does succeed in delivering a superb hard rock album with a sound all their own. What the band managed to do here, no other band at the time was doing, making it all the more appealing a listen for any fan of the NWOBHM.
Opening cut “Midnight Chaser” kicks things off well with a solid hard rock sound, complete with a brief but memorable keyboard solo! “Red Skies” continues the hard rock assault with the keyboards playing an even more substantial role, particularly in the song’s latter half. The band achieves a nice mix of heavy and melodic on this cut.

“High Upon High” is lighthearted and melodic compared to much of what else is found on the record, yet I would not quite call it “poppy” either. “Way of the Kings” is the album’s hardest and heaviest track, and arguably one of its finest, featuring a killer interlude that contains some of Pearson’s wildest keyboard work.
“No Reprieve” and “Don’t Be Fooled” are good rockers too, then the lengthy epic “Fool for Gods” ends the album in fantastic form with its sheer arrangements and diverse sounds explored throughout its duration. If you want to close an album out in epic fashion, you simply cannot do a whole lot better than this.

Anyone who gives this release a listen will be pleasantly surprised; the NWOBHM had many bands that were wrongfully neglected, this being one of the major ones. Find out why these guys should have been bigger than they were.
VERY, highly recommended if you are a fan of classic, old school hard rock/metal with a pomp feeling.


Disc One:
01 – Midnight Chaser
02 – Red Skies
03 – High Upon High
04 – Way Of The Kings
05 – No Reprieve
06 – Don’t Be Fooled
07 – Fool For The Gods

Original Album, 1980, MCA Records


Disc Two:
01 – No Reprieve
02 – Cheetah
03 – Backs To The Grind
04 – Nowhere To Run
05 – Can’t Take It
06 – High Upon High (Metal For Muthas II Version)
07 – Red Skies (Muthas Pride Version)
08 – Midnight Chaser (7″ Single Version)
09 – Suffragettes (7″ Single Version)
10 – Watch Out (Original Version Brian Howe’s Vocals Overdubbed)
11 – Backs To The Grind (7″ Single Version)
12 – Cheetah (7″ Single Version)

Tracks 1-5: Singles & Demos
Track 6: from Various – Metal For Muthas Volume II
Track 7: from Muthas Pride 12″ EP (EMI 5074)
Track 8: 7″ single, Midnight Chaser (MCA 638)
Track 9: B-side of Midnight Chaser (MCA 638)
Track 10: from Various – 60 Minute Plus Heavy Metal Compilation
Track 11: 7″ single, Backs To The Grind (Neat 065)
Track 12: B-side of Backs To The Grind (Neat 065)


Bruce Ruff – vocals
Janick Gers – guitars
Malcolm Pearson – keyboards
Graeme Crallan – drums
Phil Brady – bass


Try Here:

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.