Phenomena began life in the 80s as the brainchild of Ton Galley. Tom wanted a return to the concept album of the 70s but in an 80s style.
This he certainly achieved with Phenomena’s self titled debut. Featuring the talents of Tom, his brother Mel (Whitesnake, Trapeeze), the voice of rock himself Glenn Hughes (Sabbath, Purple, Trapeze), Cozy Powell (everyone ever!) and more, it is great lost hard rock album of the 80s – great songs, great playing and great production. There was a huge audience for this music and had they not being signed to the ailing Bronze Records, they would have been huge. The artwork by Iain Lowe (now famous as a maritime artist!) is very 80s horror/sci-fi and thus splendid! Cherry Red have done a great job with this re-issue which includes copious notes from Iain and Tom.
And it cries out to be released on vinyl!
Phenomena II maintains the quality. Glenn doesn’t handle all the vocals, with some being handled by the late Ray Gillen. Ray proves himself well able to hold his head in such exalted company, and it’s nice to hear his voice immortalised on record.
Finally, Phenomena III, released some years after the first two. It sadly doesn’t feature many of the major players of the first album, but it is a worthy recording in its own right.
All are essential for lovers of both 80s hard rock and the concept album.
(Cherry Red Records)