Lost heroes? Living legends? Heavy metal veterans? I guess that all these phrases can used with Jaguar, the classic metal formation that stormed the British charts in the early 80â€™s. Being a part of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement, the band quickly gathered a large group of fans, selling thousands of records in England alone. Their career came to a halt after 1985, when the group decided to retire from the music scene. Thankfully Jaguar returned years later to reclaim their rightful place among heavy metal heroes. â€œThis Timeâ€ is one of the most important albums from the bandâ€™s early period â€“ itâ€™s both an artistic experiment, as well as a truly magnificent collaboration of glam rock and heavy metal. The album, released in 1984, showcased a musical mixture that blended together elements of metal, classic rock and even pop music. The band was not afraid to experiment, delivering both intense, powerful tunes and emotional ballads. For those who havenâ€™t heard it yet â€“ this your chance to get to know one of most talented NWOBHM acts ever.
Metal Mind Productions will re-release â€œThis Timeâ€ on 10th March in USA (via MVD). New digipak edition includes 4 bonus tracks (demo, live and remix) and is limited to 2000 copies. Digitally remastered using 24-Bit process on a golden disc.
â€œThis Timeâ€ (remastered + bonus tracks)
Label: Metal Mind Records
Cat. No.: MASS CD 1254 DG
Format: CD Digipak (limited edition of 2000 numbered copies)
Release date: 19.01.2009 Europe / 10.03.2009 USA
1. This Time
2. Last Flight
3. A Taste of Freedom
4. Another Lost Weekend
5. Stand Up (Tumple Down)
7. Tear the Shackles Down
10. (Nights of) Long Shadows
11. (Nights of) Long Shadows (demo)
12. Last Flight (demo)
13. Sleepwalker (live)
14. This Time (remix)
The story of Jaguar begins in December 1979, when three young musicians from Bristol â€“ Garry Pepperd (guitar), Jeff Cox (bass & backing vocals) and Chris Lovell (drums) â€“ decide to form a band together. After writing a bunch of original material, the trio recorded a 3-song demo which was their ticket to the Battle of the Bands held by Melody Maker magazine in March 1980 (they turned out fourth competing with 699 other artists). In April Jaguar welcomes their first proper vocalist and frontman – Rob Reiss. Together they record a second demo and release it around February 1981. The 6-track demo tape instantly caught the attention of Heavy Metal Records who signed a contract with the group and released their single â€œBack Street Womanâ€ in November 1981.The single soon became a NWOBHM cult classic, selling over 400,000 copies. Unfortunately, due to some major disagreements with the label, Jaguar parted ways with Heavy Metal Records, cancelling their contract. This caused the departure of Reiss, who no longer saw his future in the band. Fortunately, he was soon replaced by Paul Merelli.
In 1982 Jaguar played a stunning show in Denmark, which brought them a deal with Neat Records. After the release of the single â€œAxe Crazyâ€ in September 1982, Jaguar begun working on their official debut album. â€œPower Gamesâ€ saw the light of day in March 1983, instantly becoming a NWOBHM sensation and increasing the bandâ€™s fan base. Encouraged by the success, Jaguar decided to show a different image of their music on the follow-up. â€œThis Timeâ€, released in 1984, showcased a musical mixture that blended together elements of metal, classic rock and even pop music. The band was not afraid to experiment, delivering both intense, powerful tunes and emotional ballads. The change of stylistics was considered by many fans as controversial, but nonetheless â€œThis Timeâ€ proved to be a valuable addition to Jaguarâ€™s discography.
After the album was released, drummer Chris Lovell left the group due to musical differences. He was soon replaced by Gary Davies and in this line-up the band started working on their third opus â€“ â€œHorrible Truthâ€ â€“ which hit the stores in 1985. Unfortunately, Jaguarâ€™s artistic decisions disappointed many fans and the album failed to gain the proper success it deserved. Furthermore, along with the death and thrash metal revolution the interest in classic heavy metal drastically decreased, which affected the popularity of bands like Jaguar. Thus the group decided that it was time to retireâ€¦but thatâ€™s not the end of the story. In 1999 Jaguar reunited due to a revival of interest in the NWOBHM movement across Europe. A year later they returned with a brand new album called â€œWake Meâ€, featuring Nathan Cox on drums and Jamie Marten handling the vocal duties. The band clearly proved that their back in business, releasing another LP â€œRun Raggedâ€ in 2003 and 2 live albums in the following years â€“ â€œHollandâ€™82â€ in 2006 and â€œArchive Alive Volume 1â€ in 2007.
This re-release of Jaguarâ€™s second and perhaps most controversial of all albums, brings an image of a band that is well aware of their skills and musical taste. â€œThis Timeâ€ will satisfy all those who value artistic freedom in music and miss the good old 80â€™s hard rock/heavy metal collaborations. For all fans of NWOBHM, this is certainly an album worth knowing. Beware â€“ the Jaguar is still on the prowl!