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Blue Murder


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(1988 – 1992)

There is more than one artist with this name:

1) British hardrock band
2) Dutch guitarpop band
3) British folk group

1) Blue Murder was the hard rock brainchild of ex-Whitesnake and Thin Lizzy guitarist John Sykes. The original 1988 lineup of the band, also included ex-The Firm bass player Tony Franklin and drummer Cozy Powell (although he was almost immediately replaced by Carmine Appice). Ray Gillen was also briefly in the 1988 line-up before Sykes decided to take the vocal duties himself in addition to guitar.

Hoping to capitalize upon the success of Whitesnake’s multi-platinum 1987, Geffen Records signed Sykes to form a new band. After auditioning several vocalists (including Tony Martin and Ray Gillen), Sykes was encouraged to handle vocal duties himself.

Their self titled debut did moderately well, peaking at #69 on the Billboard Top 200, and spawned the singles “Jelly Roll” (#15, Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks) and “Valley of the Kings”, which received substantial airplay on MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball.

In 1993, the follow-up Nothing But Trouble was released. While the original lineup recorded much of the album, Sykes’ hesitancy at handing the vocal chores resurfaced; he recruited Baton Rouge singer Kelly Keeling. After spending more than a year laying down the vocal tracks for the album, John was not convinced that the vocals were to his liking. He proceeded to go over the lead vocal tracks with his own until Kelly had only one lead vocal track left, “I’m On Fire”.


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