Is there any mystery left in Olde Metal Hunting? A harsh question perhaps, but to the cynics and sceptics The Corroseum's answer will always be "Yes!" Plenty of features on this site will prove this point, often dealing with artifacts possibly even more obscure than those presented below. Yet strangely enough, the US and Canadian Metal 7"-scene is still one of the least explored niches in the domain of Old Metal Vinyl Collecting, at least in relation to its size and popularity. Hence forum member and long-time fan & collector of American 7"s, Kristian "Khnud" Knutsson has taken on this impossible feat of documentation, making this the 3rd and - surely in the long run - largest Singles-Special of The Corroseum to date...


A note on rarity Most of the releases reviewed herein are to be considered rare, usually released in either 500 or 1000 copies by small independent labels, or by the bands themselves. The rating is therefore an attempt at approximating how often an item shows up for sale.

 

= Rather common, a copy can most likely be found without too much effort

= Uncommon, still turns up a few times per year

= Rare, you'll most likely have to search a bit before you find one

= Very rare, expect to have to search several years before one turns up

= More or less impossible to find. The number of known copies can be counted with the fingers of one hand

 

Also, please note that rarity scores might change over time. A good example would be the Hazardous Waste 45, which was once believed to have been released in only 200 copies and was at that point a very expensive and desired item. Many years later another 300 copies were discovered in a warehouse and the item is, at the time this is written, reasonably easy to find at an affordable price.

 

A note on ratingReviews are subjective. What I think is great, someone else might think is crap. And the other way around. I strongly suggest using the reviews as a general guide and not as a definitive quality indicator.

 

= Bad. You probably don't need this unless you're a manic completist (like yours truly)

= Ok, but nothing spectacular

= Good, definitely worth checking out

= Great, buy or die!

= You need this more than oxygen...

 

Finally, I'd like to thank John Haupt, without him this project would never have been possible.


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Backward Glance - You'll Be Sorry / Mind Over Matter

(City Records, 1984)
"You'll Be Sorry" is a perfect example of female fronted riff-o-rama, almost up there with titans such as MALIBU BARBI. Unfortunately "Mind Over Matter" lacks both the energy and the power in order to make me declare this the best female fronted North American hard and heavy 7" of all time, but I definitely feel confident in stating that it's pretty darn good. At least half of it. Rating: - Rarity: - Country: 

Bad Connection - Wasted Time / (You Can) Still Rock In The U.S.A.

(Bad Connection Records, 1985)
Average hard rock/metal act playing some form of rather down tuned music reminiscent of "Salem's Rise" by WITCH, plus throwing in some quite interesting vocals in the mix. And when I say "interesting" what I really mean is "not that good". It's all embedded in a thick "high school" atmosphere, and I can see these guys rockin' campus auditoriums on more than one occasion. Rating: - Rarity: - Country: 

Banshee - Breakdown / I Am The Light

(Crossbow Records, 1983)
One of the most coveted North American heavy metal singles, and for a good reason. "Breakdown" is an above average, very well played mid tempo metal tune, but it's not what makes this single a cut above the rest. To me, there's absolutely nothing that can top the haunting majesty of "I Am The Light". Somehow, all the elements you could ever wish for in a heavy metal song, all come together here. Great songwriting, great production, a killer echoing guitar sound topped with the soaring vocals of JAMIE LEE SAINT. And the result is... beautiful. I don't think I'll ever use that word in a review again because nothing else really comes close. I want it to play this song at my funeral. Rating: - Rarity: - Country: 

Bent Sirkis - Stop Your Bitchin' / Pay It In Blood

(Evil Records, 1985)
Fuzzed out, angry, punky mix of equal parts VENOM and CELTIC FROST. It's also sloppy, simplistic, nihilistic, angry and a love/hate affair depending on whether you like your metal dirty or polished. If you dig the former, then this is certainly for you. Others beware. Did I mention it sounds angry? Rating: - Rarity: - Country: 

Black Onyx - Armageddon Skies / Miss Fire

(Bosa Records, 1987)
This is nothing short of a contradiction measured seven inches wide. Why? Because both entries on this slab of vinyl wrapped in a sleeve depicting the nuclear apocalypse are upbeat, cheerful, almost [i]happy[/i] heavy metal songs. It's almost as if the guys in the band are witnessing The End Of The Earth, and they're all enjoying the hell out of it. Well, I'm enjoying the hell out of it too, and so will you if you give this record a chance. Rating: - Rarity: - Country: 

Blackout - Horrows And Sorrows / Hell Bent Metal

(private, 1985)
You can hardly believe it's the same band playing on side a and side b. The a-side is an ultra soft pop rock song with mournful, crystal clear vocals, and the b-side is a gruff sounding US hard rock/metal hybrid with a singer sounding like he used to be in LESTER MADDOX. If you don't mind this slight schizophrenia, the b-side is certainly worthy of your attention. Rating: - Rarity: - Country: 

Bolts - Long Journey / The Reason

(private, 1982)
We’re venturing close to AOR/prog rock territory here, as this Detroit quintet had quite a lot in common with MANFRED MANN’S EARTH BAND, in their most rockin’ moments. That being said, this release still contains some pretty upbeat, airy, soulful music. For fans of melodic hard rock, tr00 metalheads beware... Rating: - Rarity: - Country: 

Boyz - Don't Cry / Fortune Teller

(private, 1982)
An utterly pointless 80's pop ballad turd on the a-side (this is a website dedicated to metal, and therefore it's perfectly fine to compare pop music cheese with excrement here, so sue me!) but it's somewhat saved from being a complete waste of plastic by the prog/hard rock b-side. "Fortune Teller" (let's not even mention the a-side by name) starts a bit on the slow side and sort of builds up as we go along. The RUSH inspired ending is fairly decent, but half a minute of 'decent' won't get you far here. I would have expected that Mr. MONTROSE didn't mention this to the band when he agreed to produce their pride and joy. Oh well. Rating: - Rarity: - Country: 

Breaker - Blood Money / Afraid Of The Dark

(Breaker Music, 1983)
No frills, classic US metal. "Blood Money" is a different version than the one later released on their debut album "Get Tough". And I'll be darned if I don't prefer this slightly cruder version. "Afraid Of The Dark" is a slow and crushing number which can be found on the 2CD rerelease of the above mentioned debut. But it's much more fun to own the original single, right? Rating: - Rarity: - Country: 

Burn - Let Yourself Go / Dangerline

(R.C.S. Records, 1986)
I don't know if it's the keyboards, the poppy, unmistakably 80's sounding melodies or the super catchy choruses, but I can't help but feel that this is how A-HA would have sounded like if they ever decided to start using distorted guitars. Enough said. Rating: - Rarity: - Country: 

Buster Cherrie - Sweet Evil / Surrender

(private, 1979)
"Sweet Evil" is nothing short of superb late 70's era hard rock greatness, with a formidable guitar solo surely up there with THIN LIZZY and the likes. Combine this with a vocalist quite similar to Bobby Liebling, and you've got yourself a definite winner. On the downside, "Surrender" has too much of a southern rock feel to it for this release to be able to compete with the best of the best. Rating: - Rarity: - Country: 
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...and the mandatory, accompanying, downloadable CDR-sampler:
For comments, questions and critique praise of this guide, please visit the designated North-American Heavy Metal 7"s Guide-thread in the forum, or contact The Corroseum (all messages concerning this guide will be forwarded to Khnud)
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