For many, House of Lords will always be best known for their self titled debut from 1988. A massive piece of melodic rock, the recording introduced the world to the strong vocals of James Christian which, paired with a larger than life keyboard sound from ex-Angel man Greg Giuffria, resulted in the kind of huge sounding AOR that proved that a combination of poodle perms and big chorus hooks needn’t be wimpy. A cover of Blind Faith’s ‘Can’t Find My Way Home’ found the band courting the MTV crowd in 1990 and the future looked bright. Unfortunately, changing musical fashions led to the band splitting after a third album a couple years later, but their work was far from done.
A reformed band – minus Giuffria – released ‘The Power and The Myth’ in 2004, to the delight of fans, but to the indifference of the rock world at large. However, despite a lack of obvious commercial success, it was enough for House of Lords to plough onward, releasing new works every two or three years thereafter.
Following the dissolution of their short-lived band Place Called Rage in 1995, the founding members briefly went their separate ways. Guitarist Al Pitrelli joined power metal band Savatage and drummer Chuck Bonfante stepped away from the spotlight. Reuniting in 1997, the pair provided the driving force behind an almost equally short-lived project entitled Flesh & Blood.
Mark Mangold is an AOR legend. He first made waves as a member of American Tears, but for most AOR fans, will be better known as a member of melodic rockers Touch, makers of one the best early 80s rock discs and openers of the very first Donington Monsters of Rock Festival. That performance might now be better known for Touch’s bassist/vocalist having an incident with a bee, but it meant the band’s place in the rock history books was secured. Following Touch’s premature split, Mangold worked with Michael Bolton and eventually teamed up with vocalist Al Fristch to form Drive, She Said in 1989. In their original lifespan, the band recorded three very enjoyable melodic rock discs. The following years saw Mangold carving out a solo career, playing with other short lived bands and also sporadically reforming Drive, She Said. Say what you like, but you can’t say he hasn’t been busy.