Monday, 1 January 2018
Terra Nova (1980) by request
Many of you may never of heard of Terra Nova. For a brief period at the end of the the 70's and the start of the 80's this short lived group offered the promise of a 'new Earth Band'.
Following the release of Watch and the at the end of the band's last US tour, Manfred dissolved the band (later reforming with a new line-up for Angel Station). Chris Slade left the band at this time (1978) and together with Colin Pattenden who had left the Earth Band after 'Roaring Silence' and the subsequent tours formed their own band - Terra Nova. Joining Chris (drums) and Colin (bass guitar) were Pete Cox (vocals), Chris West (lead guitar) and finally Roy Shipston (keyboards). Roy was invited to join the band at a time when the other four members were already in place.
Colin and Chris were the financial driving force and of course the engine room. Chris West was the musical driving force with much of the material the band produced being written either by Chris (West) or Chris and Pete Cox.
There were suggestions at the time that the new band would also use the Earth Band name, something Manfred apparently wasn't bothered about. However Bronze records oppposed the suggestion and it was Chris Slade who came up with the name Terra Nova (New Earth!).
The band played a few warm-up gigs in England, then toured Germany, Holland and also the UK as support to The Scorpions. A studio album was also recorded, the eponymous Terra Nova. This was set up by Chris Slade and Colin Pattenden and was recorded at the Rock City studios in Shepperton. When playing live they included a number of Earth Band tracks in their live set.
However lack of commercial success soon led to the band starting to break up. Roy Shipston left for other projects and eventually the other band members moved onto other things. Whilst Terra Nova were short lived, the band members have crossed tracks with both current and ex-Earth Band members at various times in their careers. Roy Shipston played with Chris Thompson and the Islands (with Robbie McIntosh) in the 80's and has played with Geoff Dunn for 20 years in their band, First Light. First Light were first formed in the 1980's, recorded an album, toured North America. A couple of years ago they reformed and are in the process of recording a new album which is nearing completion. If you are in London, keep an eye open, they can be caught on the pub scene in London. Pete Cox on leaving Terra Nova moved on to join the hugely successful Go West.
If you can get hold of the album (although it's not easy), it's well worth a listen being a 'missing' part of the EarthBand's family tree.
Not so hard for us though. Here it is.
More information can be found on discogs.
The best track though the longest too, Ringtail, with its Robin Trower Bridge of Sighs feel, is the final one, and is quite representative of this purely classic rock - AOR record: