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The World's Gone Mad - The Best of Vardis

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Album Review

The World's Gone Mad: The Best of Vardis offers everything (maybe more) that you'll ever need to hear from New Wave of British Heavy Metal trio Vardis. Virtually all of the band's career output is covered on this two-disc set, and what few items were omitted (mostly their ill-advised latter-day commercial excursions) were done so for good reason. Disc one is an absolute scorcher, boasting choice early singles and every track from the boogie metal merchants' inspired first album (which, incidentally, was recorded live), with judicious care taken to include alternate versions to highlight the best material: "100 MPH," "If I Were King," "Let's Go," and more. Vardis' second, only slightly inferior album is also featured in full (including their fiery version of Hawkwind's "Silver Machine") and we're well into disc two before the material takes a dip in either quality or sheer acceleration. Then, the band's diminishing fortunes (i.e., uneven third album, Quo Vardis) invariably lead them down the roads of commercial concessions and questionable attempts to expand their audience (witness the cringe-inducing ballad "To Be With You"). Still, even amidst such lamer offerings, outstanding barnburners like "Together Tonight" and "Boogie Blitz" carry the day thanks to colorful frontman Steve Zodiac's truly volcanic guitar leads. Throw in Sanctuary Records' dependably high-quality liner notes and packaging, and you've got a completist's wet dream; and at a discount price, even causal observers might want to consider this over the now-hard-to-find single-disc greatest-hits set.

Customer Reviews

British Boogie

In the pantheon of British boogie there is Status Quo, Spider, and Vardis. Check out the songs Blue Rock, All You Ever Need, Dream With Me, Walking and I Must Be Mad if you need proof.


Formed: Wakefield, West Yorkshire, Englan

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '10s

Though they enjoyed a reasonably long career by New Wave of British Heavy Metal standards, Wakefield, England's Vardis never really fit in with the genre's standard denim-and-leather credo. Instead, they employed a pretty unique style of raw, energized boogie with roots in hard-edged '70s glam and a very uncharacteristic sense of humor to boot. Initially going by the handle of Quo Vardis (an obvious homage to the influential Status Quo), the band was led by singer/guitarist Steve Zodiac, whose larger-than-life...
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The World's Gone Mad - The Best of Vardis, Vardis
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