The semi-legendary Hartlepool, England, band WHITE SPIRIT was formed by guitarist Janick Gers and drummer Graeme Crallan in 1975 with Bruce Ruff on lead vocals (replaced by Brian Howe in 1981) Phil Brady on bass guitar and Malcolm Pearson on keys. Although they were ushered in on the gigantic new wave of British heavy metal, their sound more closely resembled 1970s hard rock acts such as Deep Purple or Uriah Heep.
The band issued their jaunty organ-heavy debut single, “Backs to the Grind” on the fledgling heavy metal indie label Neat Records in 1980.
Though, after an appearance at the Reading Festival, the band encountered a wobble in their career trajectory when Gers accepted an offer from former Deep Purple frontman Ian Gillan, to join his solo outfit Gillan in place of Bernie Torme (1981.) He later went on to play with Iron Maiden.
Now, some forty years after it was written and recorded (!) the second WHTE SPIRIT album “Right Or Wrong” is to be released.
“Right Or Wrong” features the vocals of the late Brian Howe (who went on to fame with Bad Company and found success with a solo album, in 1997.) This disc was produced by Colin Towns (Gillan) though it was never consummated or delivered because the musicians broke up the band, to go their separate musical ways. Howe became frontman for Ted Nugent, and later went on to hypercoast upon that success as the replacement for Paul Rodgers.
Following Howe’s tragic death in May 2020, original keyboardist Malcolm Pearson and Gers’ replacement Mick Tucker, reminisced on those fevered days and chatted about the missing tapes of that second mysterious album. A little while later, Pearson was going through furniture in storage when he found a dusty old bedside cabinet. Inside were four sets of lost tapes. One was labeled Chiswick Studios – White Spirit. This was it. The tape that had been lost in time!
One was labeled Chiswick Studios – White Spirit. This was it. The tape that Had Been lost in time!
The tape was handed to Conquest Music boss and Tank guitarist, Cliff Evans. He arranged for the painstaking and meticulous process of restoring & retrieving the lost recordings. He discovered that some elements were not good enough for modern standards, so Tucker & Pearson replaced the musical the rhythm section with a new acoustic layering provided by bassist Neil Murray (Whitesnake) and drummer Russell Gilbrook (Uriah Heep) with palimpsest guitars and keyboards replaced by Tucker and Pearson.
Pontus Norgren (Hammerfall) was selected to mix the album in Sweden, and the result is a ten-track, high-quality, artistic creation that offers potent virtuosity, sparkling songcraft, and magnificent vocal prowess.
Two singles will be released before the album “Right Or Wrong” is finally unveiled in July 2022.
And White Spirit are planning live shows, with Tucker & Pearson already writing the next album. The next forty years ought to be fun!
“Right Or Wrong” is due July 2022 via Conquest Music