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House of Lords

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House of Lords' foundations lay in Giuffria, a melodic rock band led by titular keyboardist Gregg Giuffria, best known for their Top 30 hit "Call to the Heart." After being dropped by MCA following the failure of its second album, Silk and Steel, the band started demoing songs for a tentative third album. While shopping for a new deal, the band caught the attention of Gene Simmons, who happened to be starting his own label at the time, Simmons Records. The famous bassist enjoyed what he heard, but would only sign them on the condition that they drop lead singer David Glen Eisley, as Simmons didn't like his voice. Connecticut-born James Christian was then brought in at the suggestion of bassist (and previous companion in L.A. Rocks) Chuck Wright. The band's eponymous debut album, which featured a heavier, less keyboard-driven sound than Giuffria, was released in 1988. The record sold respectably, hitting number 78, while lead single "I Wanna Be Loved" managed number 58. Following the completion of the album's tour, guitarist Lanny Cordola was replaced by Michael Guy. House of Lords released their second album, Sahara, in 1990, which boasted such top guests as Rick Nielsen and Robin Zander (Cheap Trick) and Mike Tramp (White Lion). Despite a cover of Blind Faith's classic "Can't Find My Way Home" doing well on AOR stations, and "Remember My Name" getting some MTV airplay, Sahara sold poorly, only managing to reach number 121, prompting Gene Simmons to drop them. Wright, Guy, and drummer Ken Mary would all depart by then, being replaced by Sean McNabb, Dennis Chick, and Tommy Aldridge, respectively. Amidst all these changes, grunge was also looming, essentially leaving their third album, 1992's Demons Down, completely in the cold, leading to an almost inevitable breakup. But the story didn't end here, as the original lineup reconvened for some concerts in 2002, with plans for a new album. The Power and the Myth finally arrived in 2004, by which time Giuffria had stepped down, with keyboard work made by various session musicians. Two years later, all bar James Christian had once again left, with Christian assembling what was essentially a new version of House of Lords. This incarnation released the albums World Upside Down in 2006 and Come to My Kingdom in 2008. ~ Ricardo Rainho

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