Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Armageddon - s/t 1975

Armageddon's lineup reads like a who's who of 70's heavy rock royalty. It features vocalist Keith Relf of the Yardbirds and Renaissance, Martin Pugh, lead guitarist for Rod Stewart's An Old Raincoat Will Never Let You Down, and Steamhammer, Bobby Caldwell, drummer for Captain Beyond and Johnny Winter, and Louis Cennamo, who was the bass player and bandmate of Relf's in Renaissance and Pugh in Steamhammer.

Armageddon was the last band to feature the Yardbirds' Keith Relf. He had founded Renaissance after the dissolution of the Yardbirds in 1968, and left Renaissance after two albums (actually half way through the second album) - to produce bands like Medicine Head (for whom he also played bass), Hunter Muskett, and Saturnalia.
Pugh Sennamo had broken up Steamhammer in 1973 - they then decided, with Relf (who'd assisted them in the production of the final Steamhammer album) , to leave England for L.A. They tried out a few drummers in California, and decided on Bobby Caldwell to complete the Armageddon lineup.

According to the booklet in the Repertoire Records CD re-issue of the album in 2001, Pter Frampton and Dee Anthony recommended the band to A&M records, and it was likely because he was their top selling act at the time that they signed the band.

Although the band's debut album was well received by critics and fans, the band did no tour to support it, consequently sales suffered, and Relf returned to England due to poor health shortly after the album was released. He died shortly after returning to England, when he was electrocuted while playing guitar, although he did record one more song: "All the Falling Angels" that is included on an album by Illusion called Enchanted Caress. (Illusion was the original name the members of Renaissance chose when they reunited, as the Annie Haslam incarnation of the band that existed at the time).

After Armageddon folded, bassist Cennamo reunited with his Renaissance bandmates (the aforementioned Illusion) and later worked with Jim McCarty in the bands Stairway, and Renaissance Illusion. Drummer Caldwell returned with Captain Beyond for an album and tour.

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