VARDIS: 100 MPH LP. VINYL: Mint condition. Live 1980. Classic NWOBHM Check samples.
Never was an album more aptly named. This Wakefield trio never let a good song get in the way of a rampant, high-speed guitar solo. Led by six-string maniac Steve Zodiac (a Johnny Winter lookalike who played barefoot), Vardis released a series of breathless singles before this frankly bonkers album hit the streets. Vardis’ finest hour came when they played the Heavy Metal Holocaust Festival in 1981 alongside Ozzy Osbourne and Motörhead.
Live video. Not the best sound ever, but will give you a rough idea of how they were performing live:
A hard-to-find 1980 British METAL LP. Vardis were a pioneering three-piece new wave of British Heavy Metal between 1978 and 1986. They were from Wakefield in England, and consisted of frontman Steve Zodiac on guitar and lead vocals, Alan Selway on bass and Gary Pearson on drums. Original Vardis records are rare and are valued highly in most record collectors books and guides.
They took the unorthodox approach of comprising their debut album, ‘100MPH’ (1980), of entirely live recordings. This is largely considered to be their finest hour and gained the band a large following early on in their career. They were invited to play the Heavy Metal Holocaust music festival in August 198l alongside Motorhead, Ozzy Osbourne and Triumph. Around 30,000 heavy metal fans were estimated to have attended with the PA reportedly reaching new heights of amplification at over 100,000 watts.
Label: Logo – MOGO 4012
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Stereo (VINYL: Mint condition. Visual inspection)
Steve Zodiac – Guitar, Vocals
Alan Selway – Bass
Gary Pearson – Drums
1. Out Of The Way 02:55
2. Move Along 04:07
3. The Lions Share 03:45
4. Situation Negative 03:34
5. Destiny 03:59
6. The Loser 03:54
7. Living Out Of Touch 02:59
8. Lets Go 03:28
9. 100 MPH 07:31
10. Dirty Money 02:31
11. If I Were King 04:12
Total playing time 42:55
5.0 out of 5 stars Quintessential NWOBHM live album.
Not being a particular big fan of Vardis, upon hearing their certified NWOBHM classic If I Were King, further investigation lead me to a live track called 100mph. Which really blew me away, leading to a few other singles. Although the best of could tide over most fans who can venture past first class NWOBHM legends like Venom, Tygers Of Pan Tang, Angel Witch, Saxon, Tank, Gaskin, Jaguar, Satan, early Iron Maiden, and veer off into more melodic and/or less sophisticated bands of the genre like Demon, Girlschool, early Def Leppard, Holocaust, this live album served as the groups debut album. Their latter efforts in the studio never quite held up as much as this amazingly raw and razor sharp recording of Vardis doing what they did best, playing live in the blue coller pubs and small venues of England. This record turned the tide for me, upon hearing samples it was apparent this was a must have. Each track is brimming with the vibrant energy of 3 British kids playing great fun rock and roll. Steve Zodiac on guitar is amazing and Alan Selway on bass is a great rhythm section. Tracks like Out Of The Way, Move Along, Living Out Of Touch, and more melodic anthemic rockers like Situation Negative, Lions Share, Destiny and The Loser are all brimming with amazing hard rock energy. The more raw and non polished sound helps as usual with any NWOBHM band. They sounded great because they were so raw and gritty, with no expensive productions or mixing done. It was honest and brutal. Of course their trademark song is included, but for me the keytrack here is the title song 100mph. A 7 minute excursion of kick ass hard rock jamming with some of Steves best guitar playing. The best of Vardis ridiculously cuts off the solo at the end of the track. Although whichever version you hear is still great. This is the song that attracted me to this band. So as a album in whole, its essential for fans of rare early 80s hard rock, although for that quarter of NWoBHM fans that like more faster pre-thrash era groups like Saxon, Accept, or Venom, you might be wanting a little more. But either way, this is definitely isn’t pop music and is the best outing these guys ever have. No NWOBHM fan should go without this.