Diamond Head – Lightning to the Nations (The White Album) – Remastered 2021

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Recorded in 1979 and released in 1980 in a white cardboard sleeve with no title or track listing anywhere to be found, little would four lads from Stourbridge in the West Midlands (not too far from Black Sabbath’s Birmingham, for those of you thinking, “where?!”) know how significant their debut album would become. A major influence on Metallica – and therefore every one of their fans who started a band – this album has been re-packaged and re-released so many times over the years and re-recorded in 2020 with the current vocalist, Rasmus Bom Andersen, it begs the question, why another release? According to PR, this is the ‘ultimate version of the ultimate album’ and will feature the original album from ¼ inch master tapes and alternative mixes of ‘Lightning To The Nations’, ‘The Prince’, ‘Sucking My Love’, ‘Am I Evil?’ and ‘Sweet And Innocent’ never publicly released (or heard) before. It also features brand-new cover artwork based on an idea Brian Tatler had, to show a character referred to as ‘The Lightning God’, and a set of ‘deep and detailed notes’ on the era and each track.

In truth, there’s not much to say about this that hasn’t been said before. It remains a great album and all the tracks remain great tracks. And for those very reasons, this is the release that this album deserves. Every detail is right there to be heard in all its metal menacing glory. When audiences listen to this edition, they’ll understand exactly why the band had such an impact on Metallica and so many since. The writing, the playing, the sheer force behind the music is now being presented as it should have been all along. Unless there’s some new form of technology about to emerge that will completely transform music itself into something beyond our collective imaginary capacities, I suppose we could call this the definitive version. But in the meantime, get this, give it a blast, and go see them on tour in Europe and the UK during October and November as special guests to Saxon.

Review by Jason Guest

Released on 30 September through Silver Lining Music

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Track list:

  1. Lightning to the Nations
  2. The Prince
  3. Sucking My Love
  4. Am I Evil?
  5. Sweet and Innocent
  6. It’s Electric
  7. Helpless
  8. Lightning to the Nations (Lost Original Mix)
  9. The Prince (Lost Original Mix)
  10. Sucking My Love (Lost Original Mix)
  11. Am I Evil? (Lost Original Mix)
  12. Sweet and Innocent (Lost Original Mix)

Bonus Tracks:

  1. Shoot Out the Lights
  2. Streets of Gold
  3. Play It Loud
  4. Waited Too long
  5. Diamond Lights
  6. We Won’t Be Back
  7. I Don’t Got

Diamond Head 1980 line-up:
SEAN HARRIS: Vocals
BRIAN TATLER: Guitar
DUNCAN SCOTT: Drums
COLIN KIMBERLEY: Bass

Diamond Head are:
RASMUS BOM ANDERSEN: Vocals
BRIAN TATLER: Lead, Rhythm Guitars
KARL WILCOX: Drums
ANDREW “ABBZ” ABBERLEY: Rhythm, Lead Guitars