Entire Silverhead catalogue reissued on Purple Records

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Review in this month’s issue of Classic Rock Magazine

Cherry Red are proud to announce the resurrection of Purple Records with the release of Silverhead’s classic catalogue.

Deep Purple were originally signed in 1968 to Parlophone Records in the UK, before switching to EMI’s progressive imprint, Harvest, the following year. Purple Records was set up in 1971, not just to release Deep Purple’s records from “Machine Head” onwards, but also the various side projects that the band members were developing, and artists that they were discovering and respected. The label would eventually become home to debut solo releases from Deep Purple’s Jon Lord, Roger Glover, David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes, as well as early releases from Yvonne Elliman and Ronnie James Dio with Elf.

Purple Records tenth release was from a new band called Silverhead, which featured Blondie bassist Nigel Harrison, future Robert Plant guitarist Robbie Blunt, and fronted by the legendary Michael Des Barres. Their much feted self-titled debut was released by Purple in 1972.

Each 2016 reissue features rare memorabilia, exclusive bonus tracks, and liner notes based on new interviews with Silverhead frontman Michael Des Barres, plus founder members Nigel Harrison and Rod Rook Davies.


Produced by Martin Birch, famed for him work with Iron Maiden, Whitesnake, Fleetwood Mac, Black Sabbath, Rainbow, and of course, Deep Purple, Silverhead’s debut is a mixture of hard rock, glam rock and even elements of proto-punk.

This definitive version now includes the 7” single versions of ‘Ace Supreme’ and ‘Rolling With My Baby’, as well as rough and ready live versions of ‘Ace Supreme’, ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Band’ and ‘Sold Me Down the River’, taken from singer Michael Des Barres’ own collection, and previously only released in Japan.


Silverhead’s second album for Purple Records, “16 And Savaged”, now features a wealth of bonus tracks, including live versions of ‘Cartoon Princess’, ‘More Than Your Mouth Can Hold’, Bright Light’, Rock Out Claudette, Rock Out’, the title track plus ‘Hello New York’. Also included is the promo only debut solo 45 from Michael Des Barres, ‘Leon’ b/w ‘New Moon Tonight’. But most exciting of all is the discovery of two tracks from the shelved third Silverhead LP, ‘James Dean’ and ‘Marilyn’, released here for the very first time.


When Silverhead supported Nazareth at North London’s famed Rainbow Theatre on November 9, 1973, they didn’t even know that they were being recorded, which no doubt added to the lively and spontaneous recording here. Posthumously released in Japan only in 1975, by which time the band had sadly disbanded, it is a collection of the best songs from their first two albums, plus ‘James Dean’ from what would have been Silverhead’s third LP. As well as an alternative live recording of the aforementioned ‘James Dean’, plus the obligatory cover of Chuck Berry’s ‘Roll Over Beethoven’, this release also includes the band’s previously unreleased “In Concert” recording at the BBC’s Paris Theatre on August 31st, 1973.

The life and times of Michael Des Barres, including the short but incendiary career of Silverhead, are included in a new documentary “Michael Des Barres: Who Do You Want Me To Be?”




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