HEARTBREAKER (feat Ian Gillian) – Heartbreaker [’74/’78 Previously Unreleased] (2022) HQ *Exclusive*
HEARTBREAKER were formed in 1973 by singer / songwriter Steve Annetts, who would go on to join After Dark so we have a New Wave of British Heavy Metal connection. Heartbreaker took their name from the Free song of the same name and were a riff-driven bluesy hard rock band.
Heartbreaker attracted the attention major label attention and Ian Gillan got involved with the band, recording several tracks in his studio with guest appearances on a few songs of Colin Towns (Gillan’s keyboard player) and Mr. Gillan himself doing backing vocals and percussion.
This partnership with Gillan marks the epitome of the band but a record deal didn’t materialize: times were changing, all major labels in the UK were after Punk bands, and Heartbreaker demotivated and vanished for lack of support.
For the first time ever, the ”Heartbreaker” album made up of a collection of demos (all the Gillian recorded tapes) sees the light of day on CD (limited to 500) thanks to ProgAOR Records via their ‘Dyamond Roxx Series’.
There’s some earlier 1974 recordings as bonus featuring the original band line-up, all carefully remastered obtaining very good sound quality.
Overall we have fourteen very good ’70s bluesy hard rockers featuring some scorching guitar work and solid vocals. Gamblin’ Man and title track Heartbreaker punch away nicely. Sailor of the World brings in something of a trippy feel to proceedings to mix things up a bit.
Angel in Rags has a great melody and hook to it with more of the free-flowing guitar – as does Berlin Berlin, which starts in an understated catchy way breaking out in to a remarkable guitar-based extended play-out.
Quiet Lady being another classy cut with yet more superb soloing going on.
There are a couple of slower, moody, slow burning songs which fit in well among the more powerful stuff. Some proper tasty riffage going on throughout which does have a NWOBHM feel about it at times – perhaps a precursor to what Annetts would do subsequently with After Dark.
Top marks to ProgAOR Records / Diamond Roxx for unearthing this and organizing the limited edition run of 500 CDs. It certainly is, as it says on the jewel case, a “lost UK 70s rock gem”.
Track one down if you can before the 500 sell out.
You’ve seen it first at 0dayrox
01 – Gamblin’ Man
02 – Heartbreaker
03 – Sailor of the World
04 – Mister Moonlight
05 – Angel in Rags (feat. Ian Gillan & Colin Towns)
06 – Losing Touch
07 – Berlin Berlin
08 – On The Road
09 – Simple Man
10 – Out on My Own
11 – Quiet Lady
12 – Loser
13 – The Rain Song
14 – Kingsway Reprise (feat. Colin Towns & Ian Gillan)
Vocals, Acoustic Guitar – Steve Annetts
Guitar – Rob Snook, Roger Lewis, Tiff Turtle
Bass Guitar – Dave Sexton
Drums – Ian Foster
Keyboards – Andy Hill