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Turbo: New Electric Warriors From Burnley | Stallion EP


In the immediate post-punk era -late ‘70s – early ‘80s-, in U.K. when the DIY culture meant bands could release singles faster than anyone could keep up with, it wasn’t uncommon to see regional or themed compilation albums and cassettes. In 1980 freelance writer Nigel Burnham (aka Des Moines) from Leeds created a N.W.O.B.H.M. sampler entitled “New Electric Warriors” via Logo Records, that featured 16 unsung heroes that except Vardis (that actually offered a re-recording of one of their finest moments “If I were A King” that closes emphatically their “100 M.P.H.” LP) or Stormtrooper never managed to escape their underground role or won the attention of the masses, still their songs are more than just good or honest and dignified; they are hymns of Heavy Metal! And this legendary collection opens with Turbo’s “Running”, a catchy and pounding straight-forward track with a great groove to it. That was my first taste from Turbo that later, far more later heard all of their material on YouTube and managed to buy their Stallion 7” for about 30 to 35 euros on internet…

The band was formed in 1979 in Burnley, Lancashire, England (not to be confused with the NWOBHM/Hard Rock band Turbo, from Grimsby) and their name isn’t just a collector’s favorite in terms of rarity or big prices to resell one of their 7”. Mostly we are dealing with not such a popular moniker that will please anyone that will invest his money on their material that regular will find in a reasonable price. Their 1981 Demo featured Charged for Glory, Race for the Dawn (Midnight Mover), Running and Take My Life performed by Turbo was back then singer Des Horsfall, guitarists Pete Mayhew and Ian Blackburn, bassist Rick Payne and drummer Chris Day. So the Stallion 7” single is based on their demo (actually half of their demo plus the title track), as the band reworked in a more professional condition their ideas. The songs are full of enthusiasm, probably naïve lyrics but damn catchy tunes as the five young musicians were not attempting to impress others with an appearance of greater importance, talent, or culture than were actually possessed. “Stallion” is a nice rocker, full of intensity and eagerness, with heroic lyrics and a memorable, catchy chorus that would easily became a hit single if Turbo had any luck in their journey, but they didn’t…We talk about the excellent “Running” above while “Take My Life” is a love ballad that is rather generic but works fine as its emotional with backing vocals , the keyboards by Cris Riley and nice melody. The 3 track EP is characterized by its energy and the passion these guys were performing their material which was way above average and pleasing if not tempting to the ears. After this release and taking advantage of the momentum of their track on “New Electric Warriors” compilation in the previous year, Turbo received a fair bit of rock radio airplay and even playing at London’s classic Marquee Club while they filmed one of these shows on video too.

Singer Des Horsfall accepted an offer to join Raw Deal from Leicester (later singing in “Lonewolf” 7” single, released on Neat Records in 1981, the moniker may ring a bell in die-hards of the genre as Raw Deal was formerly named Anvil, when Brian Ross was singing), while he is still active as a singer today with a semi-acoustic rock act called Kuschty Rye and all the other guys involved in Turbo’s early recordings unfortunately left, with only guitarist Pete Mayhew deciding to stay loyal. When their “Charged For Glory” single came out in 1982, Turbo had a very different line-up; Turbo was back then singer Steve McCann, guitarists Pete Mayhew and Paul Hartley (he later tried to play jazz and folk), bassist Chris Bartlett and drummer Pete Edmonds. And it’s remarkable that they managed to release a great follow-up to their debut EP, and with no big changes to the naked eye in their musical style. But Turbo never had any chance to succeed because after almost a year Pete Mayhew was tired of the new changes he had to face and decided to split up Turbo in 1984. Later Mayhew tried again with Silhouette (who recorded two singles in the mid-to-late 80s) before relocating to Germany and forming an AOR band called Turbo Red that released a self-titled album in 1991.

Giorgos Tsekas
Giorgos Tsekas
"Κάποτε Όταν Θα ‘χουμε Καιρό... Θα Σκεφτούμε Πάνω Στις Ιδέες Όλων Των Μεγάλων Στοχαστών, Θα Θαυμάσουμε Τους Πίνακες Όλων Των Μεγάλων Ζωγράφων, Θα Γελάσουμε Με Όλους Τους Χωρατατζήδες, Θα Φλερτάρουμε Όλες Τις Γυναίκες, Θα Διδάξουμε Όλους Τους Ανθρώπους" Μπ. Μπρεχτ

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