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Lillian Axe

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This melodic rock quintet, originally from Michigan, was formed by Ron Taylor (vocals), Steve Blaze (guitar), Jon Ster (guitar, keyboards), Rob Stratton (bass), and Danny King (drums). The band was taken under the wing of Ratt guitarist Robbin Crosby and named Lillian Axe. Produced by Crosby, their 1988 debut was a fine amalgam of infectious rockers and hard-edged pop tunes. Love + War was even more impressive, featuring extended atmospheric compositions that were both anthemic and memorable. However, the record sold poorly and MCA dropped the band from their roster. In 1990, King and Stratton were replaced by Gene Barnett and Darrin DeLatte, respectively, after which the Music for Nations independent label became their home for the next few years. Following the release of 1993's Psychoschizophrenia, the band decided to call it a day, with Blaze going on to form Near Life Experience with his brother Craig Nunemacher. Lillian Axe re-formed briefly at the end of the decade to promote the rarities collection Fields of Yesterday. In 2007, after numerous lineup changes, Blaze and company returned to the studio with new vocalist Derrick LeFevre to record Waters Rising. Sad Day on Planet Earth arrived in 2009, followed by Deep Red Shadows in 2010, and XI: The Days Before Tomorrow in 2012. One Night in the Temple followed in 2014. ~ James Christopher Monger

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