HANOVER FIST - Hanover
Release Date: 18th October 2019
1 THE MAZE 3:40
Lead Vocal: Frank Zirone
Produced and Engineered by: Stacy
Heydon (For P.P.I)
Executive Producer: John Victor
Hanover Fist’s self-titled debut
album might just be one of the greatest ‘80s heavy metal albums
you’ll ever hear. If
The album first appeared in 1985 and became a top selling import in the UK. The Toronto based outfit should’ve gone on to greater heights, but sadly the band’s story is an all too familiar one of outstanding ability and a bright future being all too quickly blighted and ultimately cut short by baffling record label and managerial decisions.
Hanover Fist’s debut LP was released in Canada in early 1985 and featured one of the most imaginative pieces of artwork ever to grace an album sleeve. Take a closer look and you’ll see a vinyl album under construction! It was all the work of Dean Motter (who could count LP covers for Zon, Loverboy, Anvil, Sheriff, Chilliwack, The Nylons, Triumph, Toronto, Lee Aaron and The Arrows on his CV up to that point).
Sadly, Motter’s impressive work wasn’t around long enough to be admired by as many as it should. There were some strange goings on behind the scenes and the album was no longer available for sale domestically after a mere two months. Upon the advice of MCA in the States, Frank signed with a US based management company and the album was released in America a few months after the original Canadian version had disappeared from view; albeit with some pretty sweeping changes being made to it before it hit retail; not least the album’s artwork being changed from Dean Motter’s engineering masterpiece to a depiction of a snarling black panther. Not only was the album re-titled ‘Hungry Eyes’ (so named after one of the songs on the original release) and the running order overhauled with two songs removed and a cover of Bryan Adams’ ‘Fits Ya Good’ added as the revised album’s opening track, but the band name was shortened to Hanover!
“The manager we hooked up with had something of a political conscience,” Frank diplomatically notes. “This was around the time when the PMRC were making noises in the States, so that’s why the cover got changed and we lost the ‘Fist’ part of the band name.”
Dates with Autograph, Heaven, a three month stint with Saxon and selective shows on their own, including gigs in Missouri and Arkansas followed, but the band would ultimately run out of steam. “The original vision had been compromised with the name of the band being shortened, the album cover being changed and especially the running order of the record being vastly different to the original version,” Frank explains. “There was not much drive to continue as the whole thing had been manipulated into something completely different from what we had originally created.”
Yet now the Hanover Fist album can be enjoyed in its original form once more. “It was interrupted mid-stream the first time just as we were on a major trajectory, but we’re back and the re-mastering on this Escape Music reissue is just fantastic!” Zirone enthuses. “It’s so very close to how the original studio sessions were in sound.”
Give in to the Metal of the night!