Official Box Set Volume 1: 1976-1980

// September 7th, 2017 // Ambient
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Riot’s story is one of what might have been, and to some degree, a band being (or not) in the right place at the right time. What this 6 CD live collection does offer is unique, and often raw, insights into the growth and development of an influential hard rock and heavy metal band, as they graduated from small clubs in 1976 through to huge festivals in 1980. Riot formed in 1975, in New York City, when Kon-Tiki guitarist Mark Reale and drummer Peter Bitelli teamed up with bassist Phil Feit and vocalist Guy Speranza. Recording a four-track demo, they added Steve Costello on keyboards, and were subsequently picked up by New York producers Billy Arnell and Steve Loeb, who owned the independent label Fire-Sign Records. Signing to major label Capitol Records, this subsequently led to a UK tour in 1980 supporting Sammy Hagar (from where the Bristol show here was taken), and eventually a slot at the legendary “Monsters of Rock Festival” at Castle Donington the same year, on a bill featuring Saxon, Judas Priest, Scorpions and headlined by Rainbow. Mastered from tapes in the collection of the estate of founder member and guitarist Mark Reale, “The Official Bootleg Box Set Volume 1” captures the band at their formative, early club stages in 1976, where much of their repertoire included songs by the bands that had influenced them, such as their covers on Montrose’s ‘I Got the Fire’, ‘Good Rockin’ Tonight’ and ‘Rock Candy’, to UFO’s ‘Shoot Shoot’ and Deep Purple’s ‘Highway Star’, included amongst Riot originals, ‘Angel’, ‘Overdrive’ and ‘Tokyo Rose’. This 6 disc set concludes with their aforementioned Castle Donington slot in 1980.


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