With a combination of southern rock, heavy metal, and a lot of soul, Badlands was one of our favorite metal groups. Founded by former Ozzy Osbourne guitar slinger, Jake E. Lee, and a couple of old Black Sabbath members (Ray Gillen, Eric Singer), Badlands was in a league of their own.
Jake E. Lee thought he had a solid gig with Ozzy, touring throughout 1986 in support of The Ultimate Sin album, but he was unexpectedly fired by Sharon Osbourne. After releasing their first album in 1989, Badlands earned some decent MTV air time with the songs "Dreams in the Dark" and "Winter's Call".
Eventually, Eric Singer (drummer) left the band and ended up with Kiss, and it wasn't much longer after the release of Voodoo Highway that things went south. The band was having creative differences and conflicts with Atlantic Records, who wanted to steer the band into a more commercialized metal sound, and Lee and Gillen were not getting along. Gillen died in 1993 of HIV.
All the drama that surrounds Badlands is a shame considering how good their music was. The 1998 release, Dusk, was actually recorded long before the band broke up. We promise you will not be disappointed with this band. It is also worth mentioning that Jake E. Lee released an album in 2005, titled Retraced, which is very similar to the Badlands sound.
At the time of this writing, the Badlands Discography was as follows:
- 1989: Badlands
- 1991: Voodoo Highway
- 1998: Dusk