Martin Popoff - The Fortune: On The Rocks With Angel - Book
Kiss on one shoulder, Angel on the other, Casablanca refereeing between the two… yes, it’s arrived, gossamer wings flapping in the wind. The Fortune: On the Rocks with Angel is one of my most ambitious of band biogs, weighing in at 326 pages of Heaven-sent progressive metal and later, shockingly, power pop, rendered in my usual format, namely every song discussed, one chapter per album, with tipped-in sections of colour photography, but also with black-and-white imagery lovingly marbled throughout. You’ve all been very kind in making my recent books like this on Mercyful Fate, Saxon, Sabbath, Maiden and Priest sell pretty damn good, so this one is very much a style match to those, with lots of detail and trivia nugget-mining not found amongst the frankly pretty scant material out there on this band.
As the back cover sez…
“Pressure point is building higher an’ higher!”
They were the envy of all the more “earthly” rock acts scrambling to make it in the world of ‘70s hard rock, each and all aspiring to the success levels of Aerosmith, Ted Nugent, Blue Öyster Cult, Styx and Angel label mates Kiss.
But the story of Angel is of a band out of time, playing regal progressive heavy metal and then changing to try reach radio, in either guise, not quite clicking with enough Kiss fans—Kiss were the devils in black and Angel were the good guys in white—nor the fans of progressive rock or, later, those more inclined to Foreigner, Journey and Cheap Trick.
But along the way, the band went first class, with the best gear, a killer stage show and tons of promotion from Neil Bogart and Casablanca until they had racked up a million dollars of debt by the end of their blessed run, the guys often oblivious to what lesser bands had to go through.
Indeed, this is a story of a band hailed as rock stars and indeed often headlining like rock stars, without the record sales to justify the crazy spending that a believing Bogart threw at the band. Then it was all over and we heard virtually nothing from any of them (save for keyboardist Gregg) after 1981 until… well, both Punky Meadows and Frank DiMino stormed back with solo albums. And then, appearing outta nowhere like they did in their famous stage show, Angel recently returned with a blindingly white and quite sprightly new album called Risen.
Come celebrate what it was like to live as the alter-ego to Kiss as we examine the band’s five studio albums of the original run, the crushing concert album, Live Without a Net, as well as where it all went wrong and the inspiring return of Frank and Punky through the spirited hard rocker that is Risen.