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Black 'N Blue


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Black ‘N Blue was an American band that was labeled to be the “next big thing” in the mid-, but, despite having a loyal fan base, they never broke through commercially. Perhaps best known for their 1984 tune “Hold On To 18”, the group was formed by Jaime St. James (vocals), Tommy Thayer (guitar), Jeff Warner (guitar), Patrick Young (bass), and Pete Holmes (drums) in Portland, Oregon in 1981. Both Thayer and St. James have had somewhat successful careers since, the former even joining up with Black ‘N Blue’s major rock influence, Kiss.

By relocating to Los Angeles, they made their debut on the first ‘Metal Massacre’ compilation with the song “Chains Around Heaven” even before landing a major label deal. The band opened for Kiss in 1985, and they were able to reach a much larger audience as they toured on, yet it failed to translate into sales for the boys. Kiss’ Gene Simmons even produced the ‘Nasty Nasty’ (1986) and ‘In Heat’ (1988) albums, but even that couldn’t sell the band to the public, and, by 1989, the group had disbanded. Lack of a single iconic hit song, their equivalent of Ratt’s “Round and Round” or Warrant’s “Cherry Pie”, seemed to be the missing ingredient for this hard rocking quintet. By opening for some of the biggest names in the metal scene, the band was able to sell roughly a million units of their albums, but, with expectations placed so high upon them, that just wasn’t enough.


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