There are many great bands that coulda, woulda, shoulda made it big. Not so Rage, who failed because they just weren’t good enough.
In the mid-70s, using the daft name of Nutz, the band made three albums for A&M, and in 1980 their song Bootliggers was included on the NWOBHM compilation Metal For Muthas. Then in ’81 they made a fresh start, rebranded as Rage, and signed to Carrere Records.
New-label debut album Out Of Control (3⁄10) is unmistakably a product of the NWOBHM era: rough-edged, no-nonsense hard rock. And yet, for all their gusto, Rage didn’t have the great songs that Saxon and Iron Maiden had, and their singer, Dave Lloyd, lacked star quality.
In 1983 came the follow-up, Nice ‘N’ Dirty (3⁄10). On a limited budget, Rage were never going to match what Def Leppard achieved with that year’s Pyromania, but the cheap-looking, sexist cover of Nice ‘N’ Dirty – two pouting rock chicks, a whiff of lesbian intrigue – was an accurate reflection of the band’s pedestrian rock and D-list status.
Run For The Night (4⁄10), also released in ’83, had better songs and a little AOR gloss, but it proved to be Rage’s swan song. The band split in 1984 after drummer John Mylett died in a car crash. A terribly sad end to the archetypal hard-luck story.