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...And Since We're Talking Obscure

Might as well just declare this obscure week here at Bring Back Glam! It gives me a chance to dig way back into the vaults...and allows you the opportunity to give me band suggestions.

One great semi obscure act is Contraband.

Now Contraband was actually born out of a MTV Unplugged taping. Some of the band members were on the show, later gathered some friends and -voilà! Contraband was born.  The band featured Michael Schenker (Michael Schenker Group), Bobby Blotzer (RATT), Share Pedersen (Vixen), Tracii Guns (LA Guns) and Richard Black (Shark Island).

Contraband released just one album, way back in 1991. That album was on the Universal label.

The album features:

All This Way From Memphis
Kiss by Kiss
Intimate Outrage
Bad For Each Other
Loud Guitars, Fast Cars and Wild Wild Livin'
Good Rockin' Tonight
If This Is Love
Tonight You're Mine
Hang on to Yourself

The band really only had one single, for "All This Way From Memphis."

It seems like the reviews of the album were - and always have been - mixed. I think the self titled release is pretty good for a super group side project. It's obvious Contraband never had any intentions of becoming a mega sensation (like Damn Yankees). It really seemed as if the members wanted to stay true to their main projects.

The draw for me is the dueling guitars of Schenker and Guns. Everyone and her sister knows I'm basically obsessed with Tracii Guns' guitar ability. Put Guns next to Schenker and my Glam - guitar heaven! Also, I just think it's cool that the big boys let a girl play for a change. People mock Vixen but Share Pedersen can hold her own among the men.

Here's the video for "All This Way From Memphis"


Reader Comments (16)

Holy god (lower-cssed), I totally forgot about Contraband!!!

Speaking of Unplugged, do you remember one of the very first(or, maybe the first, even)of the MTV Unplugged shows was Great White? Thier version of "Babe, I'm Gona Leave You" is one of my all-time favorites. I was in the 9th grade....I was in orchestra, and the guy on the drums behind me used to play the rhythm (the drum rhythm before the chorus), and I'd get it stuck in my head for days.

I got upset with my mother tonight and drank Crown & 7's and listened to bands like (old) GnR, SaltyDog, SkidRow, and Faster Pussycat :)

That'll show her!!! :P
January 29, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermissy
I don't remember Contraband but, I played that clip and I'm asking myself; "Where have I heard that song?" over and over. Finally, it came to me. It's Mott! Mott The Hoople, the OG from '72.
Cool version by Contraband btw, thanks for kick starting
the memory cells!
January 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPribek
I own this one too. All the Way from Memphis was an awesome cover (Pribek beat me to listing who did the original) and Bad For Each Other as well If This Is Love are two of my favorites from that disc. And, like King Of The Hill, they still hold up to this day.

Okay, other obscure glam-type bands:

Diving For Pearls (semi-hit was Have You Forgotten?)
Edan (semi-hit with Dead Flowers)
Vain (Beat The Bullet was their hit)
Lord Tracy (I own it on vinyl)
Blackeyed Susan (Dizzy Davidson post Britny Fox)
Electric Angels
January 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRyo Vie
Yep, I have this album.....has some really good stuff on it....

I think I'm really enjoying "obscure week" here on BBG!! Nice work Allyson...
January 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenteraXe mAn
January 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterALEXX
Have to agree on Black Eyed Susan!
Great debut album would of loved to
here more! Slammin Gladys was mentioned
how bout Smashed Gladys, that dude sounded
just like Janis Joplin, Great stuff. Anyone
remember Teeze who later became Roughhouse.
Love the Teeze album debut, still have it on
Vinyl 2 copies w/ different covers! LOL!!!
January 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTroy
^ The singer from the Smashed Gladys was not a "dude" was a girl, Sally Cato. ;)
January 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenteraXe mAn
You got me aXe mAn, I got my Glady's mixed up.
My bad, thanks for pointing out my oversite!
I was refering to this album, check out the link
Sorry guys!
January 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTroy
Does anyone remember E-Z-O? Japanese band, very cool stuff. My favorite song from them was "Here it Comes." There was a Japanese version of the song too released as a b-side on the single version, but I haven't been able to track it down. Last time I heard it (the Japanese lyric version) was over ten years ago.
January 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJT
How about Bonfire, Trash, Erotic Suicide, McQueen St, or Lemans with the late great Derek Frigo
January 29, 2009 | Unregistered Commentercrazynights
what most people don't know is that axy rose stole most of his stage moves from richard black. in the early days all axl did was pogo but he studied video tapes of shark island and copied black's style and the rest is history.
January 29, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdon
I actually thought the Contraband record was a dissapointment. I expected better from that lineup. I think they should of got a better singer. That guy just wasnt that great.
January 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKenny Crawford
Agreed, I thought the Contraband was basically a big let down. The covers of All The Way From Memphis and Good rockin' tonight were good, but the rest was pretty lame. Being a massive UFO fan from back in the day, I bought the Contraband CD right when it came out. Mostly a waste of $15 in my opinion.

the Lord Tracy album was awesome. The singer had been in pantera before that. the album was a great mixture of fun tunes, and funny little novelty songs -- a fun listen to this day.

EZO's first album was a monster although I'm not sure I'd call their style glam -- a little too heavy to be glam I think. I used to crank House Of A Thousand Pleasures in college to pump myself up for hard partying. Great stuff.
January 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBob
Contraband is a perfect example of the relative unimportance of Press; the group was in every magazine in the world back in the day but couldn't sell records to save its life!
January 30, 2009 | Unregistered Commentergerry gittelson
Kudos for the fun site and the hard work you obviously put into it. You're a real fan of ROCK! However, I have to point out that Michael Schenker is most widely known for his guitar pyrotechnics in the savagely under-rated band UFO, as opposed to listing him as from "Michael Schenker Group". Keep up the great work!
January 31, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterron
I think Michael put together some fantastic performances in UFO and fantastic performances in MSG. Take these two live albums side-by-side... UFO: Strangers in the Night; MSG: One Night at Budokan. They are both fantastic albums in their own right and Michael is on top form in both. These would both be in my Top 10 Live Albums if I had such a list. But which album is better ... can a BBG review decide it?
January 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLondon

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