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The 'DEN OF THIEVES' Years.

This page is dedicated to the Den Of Thieves CDs recorded for the Zero Corporation in Japan (their subsidiary of EMI), a company which has since folded and makes these recordings much sought-after collectors items. Just a pity they weren't more sought after at the time (only joking, both albums reached sales in the Far East exceeding 40,000 units combined, not bad considering if everyone who bought one there attended a Den Of Thieves gig then we'd have needed Castle Donington to put the show on!) Thanks to Ivan Gunn (Balance Of Power / Pride) (who picked up on our Demo which had been given a four out of five rating in Kerrang) we were introduced to the world of recording contracts and all the aspirations for world domination that accompanies it. Well we were big in Japan anyway!

  'Honour Amongst Thieves' had a limited release here in Europe on the Long Island record company based in Germany, but alas, they too were short lived and couldn't promote it as enthusiastically as we had done writing and recording it!

Honour Amongst Thieves – Japanese Version.

HONOUR AMONGST THIEVES (JAPAN VERSION featuring Den OF Thieves MARK I)
John (Harv) Harbinson – Lead Vocals
Robert (Robbie) Barry – Guitars
Peter (Rondo) Macken – Bass
David (Dee) McNeilly – Guitars
Alan (Hammer) Wilson - Drums
produced by Gary Aiken

Song Listing and order on CD.

1. INTRO (MARIE CELESTE)
2. THE FOOLS YOU KNOW
3. FATAL ATTRACTION
4. ON A WING AND A PRAYER
5. FALLING OUT OF LOVE
6. RAT RACE
7. MEMORIES
8. NEVER LOOK BACK
9. BEATING OF A HEART
10. DAMNED IF YOU DO
11. PARADISE
12. PARADISE
12. BADLANDS
13. WHO'S BETTER THAN ME
14. SPELLBOUND.

My own personal opinion of this first recording is that we didn't do ourselves justice and watered down the powerful guitar sound (which originally got us signed) to please the management at the time. Hence the guitars are somewhat in the background, and that's a pity as there was some fantastic playing with performances from Robbie Barry and Dee on this outing and, although as said, they're held back in the mix, the energy from both musicians shines through.

I'd love the opportunity to re-mix this someday and have it sounding more like the demos which really reflected our power and energy at the time. The two ballads, 'Memories' and 'Paradise' still tear the heart out of listeners to this day, ('Paradise' still receiving airplay world-wide) and the heavier moments reflect the music we were totally dedicated to but, unfortunately, with the emergence of the 'grunge' movement at the time, was slowly becoming old-hat! (We knew different then, and most people have come 'round to our way of thinking again - thanks Darkness!)

Conspiracy album front cover.

CONSPIRACY (featuring DEN OF THIEVES mark II)
HARV- LEAD VOCALS
RAYMIE HALLER – BASS
DEE McNEILLY GUITARS
IAN ‘SPEEDO’ WILSON – GUITARS
STEVIE PROSSER – KEYBOARDS
DAVY BATES - DRUMS
Produced by Joe Goudy

Song Listing and order on CD.

1. NEW WORLD
2. CALL OF THE WILD
3. INVASION
4. ROCK ON THROUGH THE NIGHT
5. CONFUSION
6. CALLING YOUR NAME
7. STICK TO YOUR GUNS
8. TUGGING AT MY HEARTSTRINGS
9. CARRIE
10. HEART ATTACK
11. STRANGER THINGS
12. HOLD ON.

Production-wise this was more like it, really big sound and 12 powerful songs. This album also featured guest artists Ian 'Speed' Wilson on guitar and Stevie Prosser on keyboards. Recorded with Joe Goudie at the helm in One Zero Zero studios, Belfast, it was decided that there was no way guitars were going to be sacrificed this time, and although keyboards do feature in the overall sound, this is a full-blown rock album which tore the throat out of me to accomplish!

I really enjoyed everything about this period, from working with Joe to performing with the best around (ooeer missus!) to the photo-shoot where, seriously, we, as a band called 'Den Of Thieves', were almost arrested for trespassing on a condemned lot (see back of album). We also followed the O.J. Simpson trial from recording start to end and really discovered how much you can bond with the right guys and it stays with you in your heart and memories even when you don't see each other for ages!

HONOUR AMONGST THIEVES (GERMAN LONG ISLAND VERSION).

Honour Amongst Thieves – German Version.

This version of 'Honour Amongst Thieves' has a slightly different running order for the European market with the inclusion of the bonus track, 'HOUSE OF MURDER', a controversial track in subject matter dealing with pro-life issues, (it's a great Queensryche influenced song which can be enjoyed even without going into it's deep concepts).

Conspiracy – Back Cover.

The mid-nineties was a strange era for melodic and hard rock bands as record companies were panicing to sign the next Nirvana and Pearl Jam. Then came the emergence of the Linkin Park and Papa Roach etc, and while nobody can deny all those new bands their places in the world of rock 'n' roll, their successful introduction to the rock market sadly heralded the beginning of the end of the 'good old days'! Established bands who clung on for grim death such as Harem Scarem, Balance Of Power, Ten and Dream Theater are, amongst others still flying the flag for heavy melodic rock, but it's a sad fact that the smaller acts have all fallen by the way-side.

In that respect, Den Of Thieves accomplished much in a short space of time, especially as the odds were stacked against us. The eighties and early nineties were great days and, thankfully, the tide seems to be turning our way again. I don't think there'll ever be another emerging Van Halen or Thin Lizzy who'll achieve world domination with the music we grew up with and love, but at least it's not a matter of being looked down upon any more, and the world sees that melodic rockers were right all along. People do want more for their money!

For those who continue to rock – we salute you!.


 

 

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