Monday, February 22, 2010

Widowmaker - Self Titled 1976

One of the best record albums and guitar rock groups to come out of England in the 1970’s was Widowmaker whose self titled debut album is one of the best hard rock and blues rock album's ever made. Imagine Led Zeppelin meets Humble Pie with a 2 prong Gorilla Guitar attack and you have Widowmaker. Widowmaker consisted of Ariel Bender (Luthor Grosvener) ex- Spooky Tooth and Mott the Hoople on guitar, Huw Lloyd-Langton ex-Hawkwind on guitar, Steve Ellis ex- Love Affair on lead vocals, Bob Daisley ex- Chicken Shack on bass and Paul Nicholls on drums. Their 1975 debut album “Widowmaker” is a hard rock classic and one of my favorite 10 albums of all time. I’m guessing if it had come out a few years earlier, Widowmaker would have been a Gold Record and Widowmaker would have produced more than 2 albums. Please note, there was another band called Widowmaker later with Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider that had nothing whatsoever to do with this great UK group.

If you loved 70’s English Guitar Hard Rock and Blues Boogie as opposed to Heavy Metal, you can listen to Widowmaker 24 hours a day and not be bored. Quite simply, Widowmaker was what Guitar Rock was all about. Every single member of Widowmaker is amazing and I don’t think there has ever been a 2 guitar line-up as heavy as Ariel Bender and Huw Lloyd-Langton with as amazing a singer as Stevie Ellis. If you love Led Zeppelin or Humble Pie or both, you’ll love the Widowmaker album with a great balls to the walls production excellently recorded filled with original hard rock classics with great guitar riffs. “When I Met You” is one of the greatest hard rock tracks I’ve ever heard and should have been a hit single.

“On the Road” has one of the crunchiest guitar and drum riff attacks I’ve ever heard and “Shine A Light” is Spooky Tooth’s Evil Woman meet Humble Pie at their best.

Widowmaker like most bands unfortunately self destructed and Steve Ellis couldn’t stand some of the other members and left the group before they recorded their second album, “Too Late to Cry” which features many Steve Ellis originals. John Butler replaced Ellis on lead vocals for this album and does a decent job but unfortunately he’s no Steve Ellis, not many singers are. “Too Late to Cry” is still a very good album though not in the league of “Widowmaker” which is the “Citizen Kane” of English hard rock.

By 1976, the old English guard of heavy hitters, headed by Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Black Sabbath, had peaked, while young 'n' hungry groups were on the rise. The state-side hard rock scene witnessed the ascent of Aerosmith, Blue Oyster Cult, KISS, Lynyrd Skynryd and Ted Nugent, while across the pond Thin Lizzy, UFO and Judas Priest were taking flight. In addition, despite the onslaught of the snot-nosed punk movement, several rock group's emerged, but failed to bust out big. Widowmaker, featuring guitarist Ariel Bender (aka Luther Grosvenor), plus bassist Bob Daisley and vocalist Steve Ellis, debuted in '76 with their ten song self-titled debut LP, that failed to move major numbers.

Signed to Jet Records, the English group recorded the tracks for the Widowmaker album at De Lane Lea Studios in Wembley, during August and September of '75. Produced by the band, the grinding rocker, "Such a Shame", opens the disc with a cool vibe and attitude. Side one adds the mid-paced "On the Road", and the Humble Pie/Foghat blues 'n' boogie inspired "Ain't Telling You Nothing".

The raucous "When I Met You" kick starts the flip side with Bender accenting the track with slide work, and Zoot Money contributing barroom keyboards. By contrast, the boys-will-be-boys laid back acoustic "Leave the Kids Alone" offsets the highball rollin' action. The boys drop down to a stone cold blues groove on "Shine a Light on Me", which features backing vocals from Bobby Tench and Roger Chapman. "Running Free" starts on a mellow note, before Widowmaker abruptly bust out behind Daisley's tough bass line. The short, down-home, pass-the-bottle "Got a Dream", closes out the thirty-nine minute LP.

The Band

Ariel Bender (Luther Grosvenor)–Guitar
Bob Daisley–Bass
Stephen Ellis–Guitar and vocals
Lloyd Langton–Guitar
Paul Nicholls–Drums
Bobby Tench–Guitar and vocals
Zoot Money–Keyboards

  The Tracks

01    Such A Shame
02    Pin a Rose on Me
03    On the Road
04    Straight Faced Fighter
05    Ain't Telling You Nothing
06    When I Met You
07    Leave the Kids Alone
08    Shine a Light on Me
09    Running Free
10    Got a Dream

New Link


  1. Dear Abominog, thank you because i have this but i don't know that this album was an UH related. So thank you, this time for the information...
    Did you know the italian band "Moonstone Project" and their last album "Rebel on the run"? I think that you know, but if not, the keyboard player in some of the songs is... Mister Ken Hensley. This is a very good hard rock album, for me one of the best 2009 records, and with mister Hensley and the italians members of the band, there are partecipations of Glenn Hughes, Clive Bunker, Ian Paice and others big names.
    If you have not, i can upload as last time, for the blog or for your pleasure.
    Thank you and bye.

  2. Thanks Roby, I am aware of the moonstone Project But i dont have it, so an upload would be great.You could use the filebox in the sidebar(i recieve an e-mail when a file has been recieved) or leave a link here as before I'm sure you have figured out by now that the connection is one Mr Bob Daisley who was of course bassist on "Abominog" and "Head First" and for the record my real name is Colin cheers






  5. Hi Colin, here is the link:
    Excuse me but i prefer upload to mediafire, so i post the album in the comments of this post.
    PS: A little correction to my last comment: Ken Hensley is not present only in some songs of the Moonstone project because, in my information, he is the only keyboards player credited, so he plays in all the songs where the keyboards are presents (if not in all songs).
    Please, can i have some judgement from you on this album? For me is a bomb, with a fantastic 70 appeal but modern at the same time. And the keyboards parts are fantastic, mister Hensley is great as in the best times.
    Thank you and see you in the next post

  6. Roby thanks very much for the link. i am currently listening to the album for the second time and i must say i love it. very dificult for me to put into words just now. for me It doesn't sit in any genre other than "Clssic Rock" I will definatley be searching out their previous album and i would recommend this to ANYONE who loves good old rock music (i almost forgot there was a heep connection Till the soaring hammond came in as i was writing this)

    Once again thank you

  7. please someone has the lyrics by widowmaker?


Please feel free to leave any comments about this blog