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Previously known as Babyface with a line up of vocalist Edgar Riley, guitarist Bobby Barth, bassist Mike Turpin and drummer Teddy Mueller, the group adopted the new title of Axe in 1979 when the band added second guitarist Mike Osbourne. Signing with major label MCA Records, Axe released their self-titled debut in 1979 and immediately gained attention with a melodic Rock sound comprising heavy guitars mixed with ex-members of Babyface. Band leader Bobby Barth had first picked up a guitar in 1965, encouraged by his father who was already an accomplished player, although Bobby's first interest had been in the drums. As a drummer Barth had made his first public appearance in 1963, but wouldn't play in front of an audience in his new vocation until 1967 at a college gig in Colorado. Barth claims to have no recollections of the bands whose singles he played on early in read more...
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AXE Discography

AXE albums / top albums

AXE Axe album cover 2.25 | 2 ratings
Hard Rock 1979
AXE Living on the Edge album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Living on the Edge
Hard Rock 1980
AXE Offering album cover 3.50 | 5 ratings
Hard Rock 1982
AXE Nemesis album cover 4.06 | 4 ratings
Hard Rock 1983
AXE V album cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
Hard Rock 1997
AXE The Crown album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Crown
Hard Rock 2000
AXE Final Offering album cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
Final Offering
Hard Rock 2019

AXE EPs & splits

AXE live albums

AXE demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

AXE re-issues & compilations

AXE Twenty Years From Home 1977-1997: The Best Of album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Twenty Years From Home 1977-1997: The Best Of
Hard Rock 1997
AXE Twenty Years, Volume II album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Twenty Years, Volume II
Hard Rock 1999

AXE singles (0)

AXE movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

AXE Reviews

AXE Nemesis

Album · 1983 · Hard Rock
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Time Signature
CoVinyl Part 7

In my review of Axe's "Offering", I wrote that I picked it up becuase the band name and the cover artwork intrigued me. That also goes for this one. In fact, this one was part of the same haul as "Offering", and I was fortunate enough that the copy I got was a 1983 ATCO pressing. I expected 80s metal, but that's not quite what I got.

That also applies to this record, as it falls more under the rubric of hard rock with a couple of 80s metal elements thrown in than outright 80s heavy metal. And this is, in my opinion, quality 80s hard rock. While the previous record had Bobby Barth as the sole songwriter on most songs, there is more variation here as more of the other members of the band were involved in the songwriting. I think that might be a factor in this album being much better than "Offering" (that is not to say that Barth is not a good songsmith though or that "Offering" is not good - because it is). Pretty much all of the songs are good - with the exception of the ballad 'I Think You'll Remember Tonight' which is just plain silly. Fortunately, that song is easily forgotten in the midts of great tunes like 'Heat in the Street', 'All Through the Night', 'She's Had the Power', 'Eagle Flies Alone' and 'Girls, Girls, Girls' (no relation to the Mötley Crüe hit). Even the more ambient 'Masquerade' is actually a pretty good piece of music.

Now, one thing you can expect from this album is loads of 80s cheese, and some listeners might not appreciate that (in particular in the cover version of Edgar Winter's 'Keep Playing that Rock 'n' Roll'). In my opinion as someone who grew up in the 80s, there's good 80s cheese and there's bad 80s cheese, and - with the exception of 'I Think You'll Remember Tonight' - there's only good 80s cheese on this album.

As you might have guessed, 'I think You'll Remember Tonight' is the one major weakness of Axe's "Nemesis", but I will also point to the lyrics as a weak point. They're just fucking stupid. They're pretty much all about "manly" things like breaking the law, being a lone wolf, fucking lots of girls, and standing up to previous generations (so you can fuck more girls). In a way, the lyrics seem almost like an incel's dream before incels were even a thing. Interestingly enough, 'Girls, Girls, Girls' ends with women laughing at a man... so maybe the album really captures an incel's nightmare? Anyway, the two only songs with somewhat more mature lyrics are 'Let the Music Come Back' and 'Masquerade' - the latter of which is a more mature take on the generational gap than 'Foolin' Your Mama' is.

So, the lyrics are dumb, but the music is very good. The cover artwork is also awesome, depicting some kind of alien-looking figure wielding the bands guitar-axe logo with blood dripping from it. It screams metal, but it isn't... whatever, it's an awesome piece of cover artwork if you ask me which looks amazing on a vinyl record release. The copy I have also came with the original inner sleeve, which actually looks awesome too in its simplicity: on one side you have the lyric sheet (for better or worse) and the other side is just all black with the bands logo in white. It looks really great!

If you like 80s hard rock and don't mind 80s cheese (and can live with pretty stupid lyrics), you might as well pick up a copy of this album if you happen to come across a reasonably priced one. I'd say, at the end of the day, this album is just plain old good fun.

AXE Offering

Album · 1982 · Hard Rock
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Time Signature
CoVinyl Part 6

So, I came across a 1982 ATCO pressing of this album, and - I have to admit - I was intrigued by the name and the cover artwork both of which just screamed 80s metal at me.

That's not quite what I got. Axe were more of a hard rock act who emphasized melody, but injected elements of heavy rock and heavy metal into their music as well.

This definitely applies to "Offering", which opens with the uplifting party track 'Rock n' Roll Party in the Streets'. This song pretty much sets the tone for the entire album, as most of the tunes are indeed uplifting hard rockers which are definitely for the most part very enjoyable to listen to. The one thing is that there is a very good cover version of Montrose's 'I Got the Fire', and this song is leagues above Axe's own material in kick-assery, thus perhaps highlighting some of the flaws in Axe's own songs and obscuring some of the good things. That's a bit of a shame, because, as mentioned most of the songs on this album are definitely enjoyable.

"Offering" is a solid hard rock effort which, at times, draws on more melodic AOR along the lines of Boston and Toto. The songwriting is very good, and Bobby Barth, the main songwriter, is definitely a skilled songsmith who understands hooks, balance, and melody. The musicianship is impeccable as well and the production is quite good for an early 80s hard rock release.

The cover artwork is simple but brilliant. It draws on the guitar-axe metaphor and simply reeks of metal. I also like how, by having the character hold the guitar-axe up above his head, the artwork also captures the 'offering' notion. Of course, some might argue that the artwork kinda is false advertising, but, hey, there's no denying that it looks really good in alls its simplicity and epicness on a vinyl front cover.

Overall, this is a solid and uplifting hard rock release. If you come a across a reasonably priced copy of it, and you are into hard rock, just grab it.

AXE Final Offering

Album · 2019 · Hard Rock
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Kev Rowland
I can’t have been the only person to be rather surprised to hear there was a new Axe album available, given that the only releases in the last 19 years have been an anthology and a live DVD. But yes, singer/guitarist Bobby Barth has pulled together another band under that moniker and here we have the first new music since ‘The Crown’. Given that most of the years since that release in 2000 Barth has been involved with the other band for which he is most regarded, Blackfoot, it isn’t surprising that there is only one other survivor from the last Axe album, namely co-singer and keyboard player Bob Harris. This is the seventh album to have the Axe name but given that Barth is now 67 and four of the albums were released before 1984 the title of this could well be accurate if history is anything to go by.

Talking of history, one wonders what would have happened with the band if Barth and guitarist Michael Osborne hadn’t been involved in a car accident in the summer of 1984 which saw Barth badly injured and his friend pass away. Axe were finished that day in many ways, yet they had started with major promise in that the whole band were all veterans of many years playing clubs and cover music, with four lead singers, and all writers. They signed a deal before they ever played a gig, and like any young metalheads at the time I certainly knew of them back then. But what was this album going to sound like? Was it going to be heads down and meet you at the end? Look at the cover, a double-headed battle axe which is transformed into a guitar, but that certainly doesn’t describe what is inside.

I understand why the album was released under the name Axe, as it certainly made people like me sit up and take notice who remembered them, but I only hope the name and imagery doesn’t put others off who may not have heard of them before as this is polished and gorgeous from the start to the very last note. This is an album which could have been released by Axe at the height of their powers, and it is as if the last 35 years just haven’t happened as they mix and move through different styles of melodic hard rock. There is restraint, and the voices as well as the approach have matured, and the songs are all the better for it. In some ways it reminded me somewhat of the latest Black Oak Arkansas, more in approach than sound, as old rockers show the rest of the world they still have a great deal to offer and there is no doubt we are all richer for having this made available. Eleven songs on the CD but Escape Music have also released this on vinyl and for that there is one extra. If you had ever wondered what had happened with Axe then wonder no more, as with this release they are very much back centre stage and anyone who enjoys melodic well-crafted hard rock will find much on here to enjoy.

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