Rock Chain #9: Rise above the enslavement

Lee Dorrian

This is something I used to do in a magazine I used to edit a couple of years ago. I took the idea from a column that used to appear on Scientific American magazine written by a British scientist called James Burke. His column was called “Connections” and consisted in relating history and science facts that were linked by a word until the cycle was finished. I just adapted it to Rock And Roll. Now, I’ll try to resurrect it every first Friday of the month here at the blog.

Cathedral’s singer Lee Dorrian is not only a fine vocalist; he’s also expert on underground late-sixties Psych, Folk, Prog Rock and the owner of the great label Rise Above Records.

Rise Above Records that started as a project from Lee, but grew so much that allowed him to put Cathedral to rest for good, something similar to what happened with Jon Oliva and Trans-Siberian-Orchestra regarding Savatage.

Savatage was a great Metal band, much heavier in their first two records. Ironically, they toured with Metallica supporting the less heavy record of their career, Fight For The Rock. A great picture of both bands backstage on that tour can be seen in the seminal book Murder in the Front Row.

Murder in the Front Row is a document about the whole Bay Area Thrash with flabbergasting pictures from all of the bands, but obviously focusing on Metallica.

Metallica whose film “Through The Never” had just won the “Best Picture Of The Year” award at the “Classic Rock Awards” held this week in LA by the greatest Rock magazine of all time, British “Classic Rock”.

The “Classic Rock Awards” also rewarded the re-releases from Led Zeppelin I, II and III, Greg Allman, Jeff Lynne, The Doors, Ozzy among others. However, the most surprising was Queen + Adam Lambert winning the band of the year award.

Queen + Adam Lambert have just announced a European Tour through January and February, to capitalize on the success they had on their tours in North America, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Korea. There’s no talk about a new album yet, which makes Queen’s last record of new songs, the rather nice “Cosmos Rocks”, with Paul Rodgers on vocals.

Paul Rodgers last year released an extremely nice record called “The Royal Sessions”, honoring his Soul and R&B influences on very well chosen covers.

Soul and R&B are influences on a large number of Rock singers, especially those who sang more Melodic Rock, like Jimi Jamison, Joe Lynn Turner, Eric Martin and mainly Steve Perry, former Journey singer.

Journey, strangely enough, along with Styx, Reo Speedwagon and Foreigner, is one of the favorite bands of Barney Greenway, Napalm Death’s singer.

Napalm Death’s had another singer in the B-side of their first record, “Scum” and their second record, “From Enslavement to Obliteration”. Do you know who it was? Cathedral’s singer and current Rise Above Records owner, Lee Dorrian.

Be sure to check out my book “Straight And Lethal”.

You can contact me at:

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