Sunday, October 10, 2010

GOTTHARD....The full story.

Gotthard is a Swiss hard rock group founded in Lougano by Steve Lee and Leo Leoni. They took their name, Gotthard, from the 'famous' Gotthard Pass (is a high mountain pass in Switzerland). But the inverted T in the logo – and the remaining letters "GOT HARD" – alludes to an erect penis!!

Their influences include Whitesnake, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin and Bon Jovi. They have, also, covered songs from Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan and The Beattles among others. They have officially released nine albums, three lives and two compilations.

They released their debut album back in 1992 and it was a great piece of Euro hard rock with attitude and some really great performances! Songs such as the classic tune of 'Firedance', the cover song of Deep Purple's gem 'Hush' and the fantastic 'Angel' are all excellent examples of how a great hard rock album should sound!

Next year the Swiss boys were back with their new album 'Dial Hard'. A more U.S. sound in it than in their debut, a tight songwritting and some really ass-kickin' hard rock dynamites! 'Higher', 'Mountain Mama', ' Come Together' (Beatles), 'I'm On My Way' are some of the highlights from this one.

'G' was the band's third release and for most of their fans, this was (is) their best to date. An awesome release with a solid production. An inspired album with some superb tracks and Steve Lee's amazing performances. The hard rockin' tunes are perfectly balanced with the mid tempos and ballads and the whole album is probably one of the best of this gerne! The cover song from Manfred Mann's classic tune 'Mighty Quinn' is super!

In 1996 they released a live album which was titled 'The Hamburg Tapes' and included five tracks and in 1997 it was time for another one live with the title 'D-Frosted'. In both of the albums, Gotthard showed their huge capabilities on stage!

After two years, 1999, Gotthard are back with a brand new effort. 'Open' showed the band's turn to some more commercial paths. Not a bad album but for sure a softer one. This was the one that mixed-up the feelings of the die hards that desired a heavier album.

'Homerun' was Gotthard's entry to the new millenium. A very good melodic rock album but again far away from their big heavy rock sound of their first three releases. Some pretty good rockers along with a couple of  huge ballads and 'Homerun' maybe not a classic Gotthard, but it's a very good one.

It was time for their first compilation album and its name: 'One Life, One Soul(Best Of Ballads)' in 2002. As you asume this is an album that includes all their best of slower tracks. Gotthard was always a band that it used to write beautiful and emotional ballads. In this one you can find some new remixes of some of their earlier songs, a couple of covers and a Japanese bonus track.

2003 and the Swiss melodic rockers are releasing their brand new 'Human Zoo'! A good release with some really strong moments such as 'What I Like', 'One in a Million', 'Where I Belong' and 'Jamie's Not Alone'. Not their best album to date but for sure a solid release. One more compilation followed in 2004 with the title "One Team One Spirit". A very good "best of", which includes some new recordings too.

'Lipservice', in 2005, was the band's new album. This time Gotthard are back with a superb album!! A back to their more hard rockin' days with some really standout tracks. The fans welcomed the new album and 'Lipservice' was among the top releases of that year in many melodic rock sites. Freddy Scherer, on guitars, was the new band member. I have the feeling that Freddy Scherer gave a brand new 'air' to the band's sound!

"Made In Switzerland' was recorded live and it's an excellent live album! Superb set list, strong production and some huge performances make this live DVD/CD a must have for every Gotthard long time fan!

'Domino Effect' was originally released in 2007 and was a step forward from their last effort, 'Lipservice'. It was a very good album in the same vain with their last huge album, 'Lipservice'. Second effort with Freddy Scherer on board and it's nice to see and hear that the band is on top form once again!  Their last album was 'Need To Believe' in 2009.

After twelve no.1 albums, one Diamond Award, one tripple platinum album for 'Homerun', five double platinum albums (Human Zoo, One Life One Soul, Open, DeFrosted, Lipservice), six platinum albums (Gotthard, Dial Hard, G. One Team One spirit, Made In Switzerland, Domino Effect), one no. 1 single (Heaven), six top ten singles, one gold single (Heaven) and more than 2 million albums sold world wide, the tragic news about Gotthard's lead singer and founding member sudden loss stroke like a thunder to the melodic rock community.

Thanks Steve for all the great music and the memories. R.I.P.


(Steve Lee 5.8.1963 - 5.10.2010)