In a genre rife with obscure bands, Black Axe certainly ranks among the New Wave of British Heavy Metal's best-kept secrets. Featuring singer Chris English, guitarists Simon Parkes and Bill Kleir, bassist Stewart Richardson, and drummer Mike Thorburn, their first single, "Highway Rider," placed them squarely in the '70s English hard rock tradition, with stylistic nods to Thin Lizzy and UFO. Released in August 1980, the single was followed by a BBC session in March 1981, from whence was culled the track "Edge of the World," used for the Friday Rock Show compilation. But record company interest was not forthcoming, and by the time the group finally got around to recording a full album (with new drummer John Shearer) in 1984, they discovered that another band had already copyrighted their name. Issued under their newly adopted moniker of Wolf, the album entitled Edge of the World sank without a trace, and so did the band a short time later. "Red Lights," the B-side of their inaugural single was later featured on the popular, Lars Ulrich-compiled two-CD collection New Wave of British Heavy Metal '79 Revisited.
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