Friday, April 12, 2024

Whiesnake Offshoot Manic Eden Revisited

It was 1993, and Whitesnake was on a hiatus. David Coverdale was working on an album with Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page. Guitarist and keyboard player Adrian Vandenberg, bass player Rudy Sarzo and drummer Tommy Aldridge decided to put a band together of their own, Manic Eden.

Manic Eden released one solitary gem of an album in 1994, and remembering those times, Vandenberg said, “Rudy, Tommy and I just came out of the glamorous ’80s, having surfed the world’s biggest stages on the waves of the multi-million selling Whitesnake albums 1987 and Slip Of The Tongue. The expensive, polished Whitesnake videos had been all over MTV non-stop. Then the grunge scene hit.”

The music scene changed overnight. But the music itself never dies. Music Theories Recordings/Mascot Label Group has declared that it is “proud to announce the reissue of the self-titled album on 12th April

The Manic Eden album will be released on CD, and made available digitally and on vinyl for the first time. As a taster for what to expect, a video for the song ‘Can You Feel It’ has been released that you can check out here at RAMzine, and it may take many listeners by surprise.

Vandenberg wanted a more organic sound, one that reminded him of the bands he grew up listening to; Cream, Free, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and Mountain. “They still sound timeless and exciting and a bit rough around the edges,” he remarked. “Pretty much always recorded in a very short period of time, so the spontaneity, dynamics and emotion in the musicians’ performances are right in your face. Mixed in such a way that the listener feels he or she is right there in the room while the band is playing.”

Thus, for this newly formed band, unaware of what was around the corner, the moment came for them to return to their roots; bluesy, honest, in-your-face and organic music. After a week or two of rehearsing in Palm Springs, they started working in a small, funky, authentic 70s recording studio in Los Angeles. They had recruited Ron Young, the singer from American hard-rockers Little Caesar, to take on vocals for the recording. Young came off the back of two acclaimed albums with that band and a cameo appearance in the Hollywood blockbuster movie Terminator 2.
The band had already recorded the instrumental tracks, and Young adapted his vocal lines to the those. His instantly recognisable signature style fitted the songs and their approach perfectly. The recordings were done in about two weeks, 70s style.

Looking back, Vandenberg reflects, “When the album got its worldwide release, it was tough to get radio airplay because of the drastically changed music fashion of the week. Of course, we were anxious to hit the road and tour all over the place, but in the end, we only did an acoustic tour in France, which was a lot of fun. While in Paris, we recorded an extremely budget-friendly video for the song ‘Do Angels Die’, filmed by two students from the film academy in Amsterdam. Still one of my very favourite videos and songs of my career.”

The guitarist finished by saying, “Personally, this album is a timeless work of honest, organic blues tock with a twist by four musicians who’ve always been in the music business out of passion for music and who play from the heart. I’ve always been very proud of the Manic Eden album that my friends Ron, Rudy, Tommy and I recorded in 1993. After hearing the songs a million times, I still play the album regularly, which says a lot. It’s the real deal.”
Thirty years later, honest, authentic hard-rock is flying high by both the original torchbearers and those inspired by it, so what better time for Manic Eden to resurface as a hidden gem from a bygone era.

Tracks featured on the album are: ‘Can You Feel It’, ‘Gimme A Shot’, ‘Fire In My Soul’, ‘Do Angels Die’, ‘Pushing Me’, ‘Dark Shade Of Grey’, ‘Keep It Coming’, ‘When The Hammer Comes Down’, ‘Ride The Storm’, Can’t Hold It’ and on digital copies only ‘Crossin’ The Line’.

You can pre-order the Manic Eden album here.

Paul H Birch
Paul H Birch
RAMzine Senior Writer - Writer of fiction, faction and fact, has edited several newsstand magazines. He declares himself a hack for hire but refuses to compromise on the subject of music.

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