King Kobra – III (1988)
One of the bands I got into back in the mid ’80s when I was growing up was King Kobra. I saw the video for ‘Hunger’ (from 1985’s READY TO STRIKE) but I wasn’t completely impressed but then the video for ‘Iron Eagle (Never Say Die)’ came out in 1986 and I was sold! I loved the movie Iron Eagle and I bought the soundtrack on vinyl (which I sold years later!), as well as, THRILL OF A LIFETIME (1986) on cassette (the song was part of that album). Over the years I’ve worn out my cassettes of the first two King Kobra albums and now I’m in the market to buy them on CD…..that led me to KING KOBRA III.
There were multiple personnel changes when this album was being recorded. The most important was the replacement of Mark Free on lead vocals with Johnny Edwards, who sang for Montrose on the MEAN album in 1987, went on to sing with Foreigner on UNUSUAL HEAT (1991) and collaborate with former King Kobra guitarist JK Northrup on various projects. Another cool connection for me is that two songs are written by members of KISS and were leftovers from the sessions for CREATURES OF THE NIGHT in 1982: ‘Legends Never Die’ (Gene Simmons, Adam Mitchell, Micki Free) and ‘It’s My Life’ (Gene Simmons & Paul Stanley). Going even further…..both songs were recorded by Wendy O. Williams for her 1984 solo debut W.O.W. and Doro Pesch later recorded ‘Legends never Die’ on her 2002 album FIGHT. That enough KISStory in a King Kobra post?
The direction of this album is more Metal than the AOR/Melodic Rock direction the first two had. I have heard this only a couple times online so I can’t give a great description but here is the video for ‘Take It Off’, listen for Peter Criss on background vocals!.
This album is a rarity on CD and it sells in the $80-$100+ range when it comes up on Ebay. The good news is that you can get a mint or near mint copy on vinyl for under $10…..that means I’ll buy one soon.