DIAMOND HEAD is of seminal importance to heavy metal music, and their debut album Lightning To The Nations is a key influence on the genre.
“We wrote instinctively,” explains cofounding member and riff lord Brian Tatler. “We had an undeniably unique sound. Four young lads, each with an element that, when combined, produced an alloy that was our own heavy metal sound.”
Lightning To The Nations (The White Album) [Remastered 2021] is the ultimate version of this ultimate album, set for release via Silver Lining Music on September 30th. The offering will feature not only the original album from 1/4-inch master tapes which Lars Ulrich helped Brian Tatler retrieve back in 1990, but also alternative mixes of classic cuts “Lightning To The Nations,” “The Prince,” “Sucking My Love,” “Am I Evil?,” and “Sweet And Innocent” never publicly released (or heard) before. There is also brand-new cover artwork based on an idea Brian Tatler had, to show a character referred to as “The Lightning God.”
“In 1990, as a celebration of the tenth anniversary of the NWOBHM, Lars Ulrich and Geoff Barton compiled the double album New Wave Of British Heavy Metal ‘79 Revisited which came out on Phonogram Records. It was Lars who made it his business to track down wherever possible the original master tapes because all he had were the old, often scratched singles,” recalls Tatler. “He told me that he would often call up members of the bands they wanted to feature on the album and the confused guy on the other end of the phone would assume it was wind-up. ‘Who? Lars Ulrich? From Metallica? Fuck off!’ When Lars called me, I explained that the original 1/4-inch masters for Lightning To The Nations hadn’t been seen since they were sent by our old manager to a guy called Horgi at Woolfe Records years back. Apparently, Horgi didn’t return the tapes, so Lars dispatched someone from Metallica’s German label to pay the guy a visit… The tapes were duly returned and after Phonogram had finished with them, Lars made sure they came home to me. I still have them stored safely.”
The original tapes were first quite literally baked — a process which allows degraded tape to be returned to playable quality — then restored and digitized before DIAMOND HEAD frontman Rasmus “Ras” Bom Andersen remastered the tracks, ending up with a pristine edition of the original recordings and the recently discovered alternative mixes. Pure treasure for all fans of both DIAMOND HEAD and the NWOBHM, the restored masters are supplemented by a set of bonus tracks originally recorded in the 1980s. Rounding-out this ultimate edition are a set of deep and detailed notes on both the era and each song by Brian Tatler.
“I don’t really know what inspired ‘Lightning to the Nations,’” says Tatler in his notes. “I can’t think of any other song by any other band that sounds like it and that’s a hell of a claim. Sean got the title from a painting he had seen in an art book somewhere and thought it would make a good title for a song. Once we had the song and it became track one, side one, it seemed like a good album title too. It’s still in the live set after forty years.”
Lightning To The Nations (The White Album) [Remastered 2021], will be released as a double CD, a deluxe 180-gram gatefold triple-vinyl edition containing the original album remastered, the lost mixes, and the bonus tracks. There will also be a single vinyl edition of just the remastered album, also on 180-gram. The complete recordings will also be available to stream and download.
A twenty-four-hour exclusive presale is available now via the band’s D2C record store HERE. General retail preorders will be available Friday, August 12th via the same link.
Lightning To The Nations (The White Album) [Remastered 2021] Track Listing:
1. Lightning To The Nations
2. The Prince
3. Sucking My Love
4. Am I Evil?
5. Sweet And Innocent
6. It’s Electric
8. Lightning To The Nations (Lost Original Mix)
9. The Prince (Lost Original Mix)
10. Sucking My Love (Lost Original Mix)
11. Am I Evil? (Lost Original Mix)
12. Sweet And Innocent (Lost Original Mix)
1. Shoot Out The Lights
2. Streets Of Gold
3. Play It Loud
4. Waited Too Long
5. Diamond Lights
6. We Won’t Be Back
7. I Don’t Got
Later this year, DIAMOND HEAD will embark on a string of shows where they will be joining Saxon as special guests for the European and UK dates on their Seize The Day world tour.
DIAMOND HEAD 2022 Lineup:
Rasmus Bom Andersen – vocals
Brian Tatler – lead, rhythm guitars
Karl Wilcox – drums
Andrew “Abbz” Abberley – rhythm, lead guitars
DIAMOND HEAD 1980 Lineup:
Sean Harris – vocals
Brian Tatler – guitar
Duncan Scott – drums
Colin Kimberley – bass