Lauded upon its release in 1981 as a landmark album for the burgeoning NWOBHM scene, Raven’s Rock Until You Drop remains one of the standouts of the era, a record absolutely buzzing with ridiculous amounts of energy, and playing that ranges from fast to even faster.
Tyrant Of The Airways aside, it’s pretty much full-on pedal-to-the-metal… er, metal from brothers Mark and John Gallagher – paint-stripping vocals/lead guitar and bass/ vocals, respectively – and drummer Rob ‘Wacko’ Hunter, their influence on nascent mid-80s thrashers undeniable. As a celebration of the phenomenon that was early Raven, this four-CD edition curates a host of other goodies of varying quality, all in one incendiary package.
There are bonus B-sides (including the excellent Wiped Out) and compilation cuts to fill out the studio album, while disc two presents the band’s Neat Records three-track demo from 1980 (Let It Rip sounds wobbly but great) and a very rough-sounding eight-song demo from 1978.
The bootleg fun continues on discs three and four with recordings from Sasso Marconi, Bologna and Manchester Apollo, both 1982, the band’s extraordinary live attack largely transcending the dodginess of the audio. On this showing, Raven should have been huge.