Although nowhere near as influential as a Raven, Venom, or even a Jaguar, London, England's Weapon are one of those New Wave of British Heavy Metal bands one occasionally hears mentioned (not very accurately, they only had a few breakneck songs) as having helped to inspire the subsequent emergence of speed and thrash metal. Formed in 1979, initially using the unhappy moniker of Fast Relief, Weapon members Danny Hynes (vocals), Jeff Summers (guitar), Barry Downes (bass), and Bruce Bisland (drums) needed only a few local club gigs to finance their own debut single, "It's a Mad Mad World," which they released in mid-1980. But despite helping them land an opening tour with Motörhead and obtain a publishing deal with Virgin Records, no actual recording contract ever resulted, and after unsuccessfully peddling a few new compositions around town, Weapon quietly fell apart. In fact, were it not for the inclusion of their single's B-side, the irresistibly energetic "Set the Stage Alight," in Lars Ulrich's New Wave of British Heavy Metal '79 Revisited compilation in 1990, it's very unlikely anyone would still remember Weapon's existence. But, as weird as it sounds, that solitary song was enough to eventually set in motion a full-fledged re-formation of Weapon's seminal lineup, which finally patched together an album's worth of newly remastered, vintage recordings and old demos for release in 2003, under the title of -- what else? -- Set the Stage Alight.
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