WIDOWMAKER – Widowmaker


This obscure rock album from 1976 was issued by a band that failed to click. A supergroup of sorts, Widowmaker were fronted by singer Steve Ellis, formerly of Sixties popsters The Love Affair and featured guitarists Luther Grosvenor (ex-Mott The Hoople) and Huw Lloyd Langton (exHawkwind).

Family’s Roger Chapman was originally under consideration as lead vocalist. Widowmaker had the breaks: support slots with The Who, a contract with Don Arden’s Jet Records and a US tour supporting label mates ELO.

The album – supplemented here by a few live tracks – unfolds like a multi-band compilation. Led Zeppelin here, Free there, and some Bad Company, Humble Pie and Lynyrd Skynyrd too. The efficient music is supplemented by template lyrics about being on the road, dreams and ladies. “Pin a Rose on Me” could have been a stadium singalong. But the success of the bands they emulated never rubbed off on Widowmaker. Punk was around the corner and they folded after a second album in 1977.

http://www.theartsdesk.com (February 2013)

THis new edition of the LP is augmented by some bonus recordings – Bob Harris introducing three non-album performances which tstify to Widowmaker’s prowess in a concert setting.

The Beat (February 2013)

Angel Air’s remaster sounds great, and the inclusion of 3 bonus live tracks from The Paris Theater in London that same year in 1976 (all gritty rockers and not tracks included on the studio album) is a wonderful treat. The booklet has a nice history of the band, complete with commentary from Bender & Ellis, plus a host of photographs, making this an overall exceptional package and one of early 2013′s most anticipated reissues.

www.seaoftranquility.org (February 2013)

This fine outfit only ever made this one album, now released on CD for the first time with three bonus live tracks added.

Bev Bevan

What a shame that Widowmaker never achieved the level of success they so clearly deserved, but that’s the music biz for you, baby! On an upbeat note, the album should be a lasting part of everlasting love, and no pun intended.


What a shame that Widowmaker never achieved the level of success they so clearly deserved, but that’s the music biz for you, baby! On an upbeat note, the album should be a lasting part of everlasting love, and no pun intended.

Claudia A, music-news.com (March 2013)

…all too often we hear of albums touted as ‘forgotten gems’ which deserve forgetting, but this is the genuine article. A great record, made even better by the bonus material.

Classic Rock Society

Long out of print, this reissue is one to be lapped up by lovers of classy seventies rock and when you factor in three scintillating live tracks recorded for radio, including a cracking run through of the Ellis number ‘El Doomo’, none of which feature on the main album, then this is a piece of forgotten rock history not to be missed.

Fireworks magazine (April 2013)

…the band were accomplished and had a brash rock panache on tracks like ‘Such A Shame’ as well as the ability to play more convincingly on more tender, slightly countryish material like the lovely ‘Pin A Rose On Me’.

Blues In Britain (April 2013)

…plenty of riffage and gorgeous, fluid playing from Grosvenor…and Ellis in fine voice on the excellent ‘Too Late’…This material hints at what might have been possible under different circumstances.

Dave Atkinson, www.getreadytorock.com (April 2013)

Supporting ELO in the States was about the pinnacle of Widowmaker’s achievements – but, who knows, had they formed in 1969 instead of 1976, the story could well have been different… his solid debut, originally issued on Jet, saw them backed by Bob Daisley (later Ozzy Osbourne’s songwriting bassist), Lindisfarne’s Paul Nicholls and the late Huw Lloyd-Langton of sometime Hawkwind fame…

Michael Heatley, Record Collector (March 2013)

…this album, released in 1976, was a conglomeration of musical styles that begins with a high-tempo, hard blues rock of ‘Such A Shame’ and ‘On The Road’ but then splinters into protofunk and gospel with ‘Shine A Light’ and then veers more towards pop with ‘Running Free’. The end result is an album that is exuberant in its stylistic variation, you really don’t know what’s coming next. What the album lacks in consistency and structure, it definitely gains in variety and sheer fun.

Hi-Fi World

Classy hard-rock 1976 debut by Steve Ellis (ex-Love Affair), Ariel Bender (Mott/Spooky Tooth), Huw Lloyd Langton (Hawkwind), Bob Daisley (Chicken Shack) and Paul Nicholls (Lindisfarne) reflects their soulful promise

MOJO magazine


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