Ethel the Frog

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Although they surely possessed one of the most implausible names ever chosen by a heavy metal band, believe it or not, Humberside, England's Ethel the Frog (named after an obscure Monty Python musical…
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Although they surely possessed one of the most implausible names ever chosen by a heavy metal band, believe it or not, Humberside, England's Ethel the Frog (named after an obscure Monty Python musical skit) were once promising participants in the New Wave of British Heavy Metal -- the same movement that spawned Iron Maiden and Def Leppard. Formed in 1976, Ethel the Frog consisted of vocalist/guitarist Doug Sheppard, guitarist Paul Tognola, bassist Terry Hopkinson, and drummer Paul Conyers, and would attract their first bit of press notoriety in 1978, when they released a self-financed single containing a surprisingly palatable metallic version of the Beatles' "Eleanor Rigby"! Their profile continued to rise with every club show thereafter, and, come 1980, the group was handpicked by influential DJ Neal Kaye to take part in the now legendary Metal for Muthas compilation (also featuring Iron Maiden, Angel Witch, and Samson, to name but a few) with the raw but vibrant track "Fight Back."

The collection's parent label, EMI, was also impressed enough to offer the band an album deal, but the resulting eponymous full-length was clearly rushed, suffering from uneven material culled from separate sessions dating as far back as the late '70s. The LP fell rather short of expectations (Ethel the Frog's included, as it were), and the band actually split into two warring factions by the time the album hit the streets. They briefly re-formed for a few gigs in early 1981 before collapsing yet again, never to be heard from henceforth, but unlikely -- thanks to their unique name and exploits -- to ever be forgotten, either.