Greetings friends it’s time to once again scroll back through the sands of time and pull out another classic album and celebrate its anniversary. Today we are raising a glass of whatever you like to drink the most and saying “Congratulations” to the band King’s X on the thirtieth anniversary of their debut album “Out Of The Silent Planet”. The album was released on this day thirty years ago on the Megaforce Records label and while it is a solid piece of musical work, there were far too many of us who missed out on it until much later. I say it like this because in 1988, the Hard Rock and Metal scene was getting ready for a dramatic almost seismic shift as the Grunge Movement from the Seattle side of the fence was getting ready to take a full hold of the music buying public. Back then I was listening to the reasonably new sound of Power Metal with bands like Helloween and the like and while I would catch King’s X on video playing networks such as MTV and their “Headbanger’s Ball” the bands sound eluded me. Sure, I liked a few tracks and the clips that accompanied them but was I dedicating myself to the body of work. No I wasn’t and it would take a few more albums for me to consider myself an acolyte of some kind.
That being said, many of my friends who found what I was listening to as “too much mayhem” for their liking, they became devoted followers of what King’s X was bringing to the musical table and would see them whenever they came to town. It would be many years later that I finally would catch them and one of the first things that I remembered about them that impressed me was that it was still the original three members of Dug Pinnick (bass and vocals), Ty Tabor (guitar and vocals) and Jerry Gaskill (drums and vocals). There are not many bands out there anywhere who can claim that the original founding lineup is still 100% in place. The second and probably the most important thing that I would notice when I would catch them was just how good they sounded and how close it was to the recordings that I had heard over the years.
Before we continue talking about “Out Of The Silent Planet” I should stress that this is not a line by line replay of information that is documented in numerous locations and while this release has a Wikipedia entry (which I’ve linked to at the close), it’s a pretty lackluster entry and needs an expert in the bands world to do some edits. If you didn’t know this part of the story, the album was named after a book by CS Lewis (“Chronciles Of Narnia and more) and features an image of Texas on the cover in some fashion. Below you’ll find the full track listing and as I cobble together these thoughts I am playing it in the background and finding it to be quite fresh to my ears. The melodies are strong and that in the pocket groove just seems to catch you with every note and hook. The members of the band were surely skilled musicians but they never seemed to overplay on their instruments and with all of them being able to sing, the harmonies are resounding. Let’s take a look at the tracks and then I will speak about my own favorites.
1. In The New Age
3. Power Of Love
7. What Is This?
8. Far, Far Away
9. Shot Of Love
From the original track listing, I’d have to say that the songs that were my favorites when I first heard them have remained so. As I’ve mentioned already, in 1988, this was not really my kind of sound and I was playing in a band that was delivering a more Megadeth meets Black Sabbath vibe and I guess that blindsight made me ignore what was in front of me and quite appealing. Don’t worry I regretted this immensely in later life after “missing the boat” for so long. The songs I enjoyed the most were the ones with the videos like “Shot Of Love” and “King” for sure. I also loved the flow of “Goldilox” and “Sometimes” and while in todays’ world I can sit and enjoy the full body of work, way back then it was always these few songs on constant repeat. You can let me know what your favorites were once we’re done.
For the anniversary I decided to pitch the band about the album and asked if they wanted to toss me a statement on the anniversary and here is what I got from both Dug and Ty.
“30 years of hating this record, but looking back, Kerrang! magazine put our photo on their front cover before “Out Of The Silent Planet” was released, where they Quoted, “ushering in a New Wave of Metal”. Did we?… hum…” – Dug Pinnick
“I can remember the first time we played all of the recorded songs in sequence. It was the moment that we heard OOTSP as an album for the first time. I remember thinking “Who is this band?” I felt like we were on the outside and this thing just sort of happened. Of course we had worked extremely hard on it, but the finished vibe blew me away because it wasn’t what I was expecting to hear. We had created something different. I remember wondering if anybody was going to like it. It didn’t sell very much in the US at first. Thankfully England loved it. They jump started our career.” – Ty Tabor
“Out of the Silent Planet was a long time ago. It was a new beginning. I experienced a distinct excitement of knowing that we would have a real album out in the world. I remember driving in my car listening to what we had done and I was surprised at the sound that we had created. It was unique yet it was completely familiar to me. I felt honored and proud. But at the same time I can rip the record apart and talk for days about the things I hate about it. I can do that with everything I do. It¹s always a love hate and everything in between relationship. I¹m very thankful after all these years we’re still talking about it”… Jerry Gaskill
I’ve mentioned how the bands videos helped me get a little more into them and King’s X delivered two clips from their debut in “Shot Of Love” and “King”. I’ve embedded the cleanest ones I could find but bear in mind that they are not from the label or official band resources. If cleaner ones surface I will edit this milestone. Let’s watch some videos. “Shot Of Love” is more of a performance piece while “King” tells a story about growing up.
I felt that this next clip was perfect for my toast. Back in 2016, with an appearance by the band at the Stage 48 venue, we were approaching the final song of the night so the microphones were turned out towards the audience. When they began their song “Goldilox” they did it instrumentally and the crowd sang every single line. For me as a fan of music, I found it to be one of the most moving moments of their live set and I was happy to capture it on video for eventual use in a milestone toast such as this. Are you part of the crowd singing along in this one??? There were several hundred people at the show so perhaps you are and if so, “nice job to all of you”. Fans who wish to share what this album means to them are welcome to do so down in the comments below. All topical notions will be approved.
In today’s music geography, King’s X still performs to solid crowds but also still seems to remain a bit of a cult or underground phenomenon. I’ve brought people to their shows who had never given them a chance and they’ve become instant fans and I’ve even done a few contests on the website to bring in more of the curious when I felt it possible to do so. Truly the band King’s X remains one of the finest Hard Rock bands in our genres history and on this occasion of their anniversary I say “Congratulations” once more and thank them for the music and the inspiration.
Official Website: http://www.kingsxrocks.com
Official Album Wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Out_of_the_Silent_Planet_(album)