Great Metal Albums of 1987: Bad News

At Donnington 1986, after being very impressed by opening act Warlock, there came a band I had never heard of before called Bad News. They definitely got my attention when they came out on stage and announced they weren’t going to start playing until the crowd started shouting, “Fuck off Bad News!” When they did begin playing, I have to say that although I wasn’t blown away by them, I thought they were okay. I was especially amused when they played “Teenage Virgins From Hell” which lasted all about three seconds. It brought back memories of songs of the same length by the Stormtroopers of Death. What I found out later was that they were considered a joke band as pointed out by Kerrang’s review of the day.

In the years following, I would eventually find out that Bad News was actually a made up band consisting of members from the UK television series “The Young Ones,” a show I thought was so good because it was so stupid. The band was an episode from another TV series called “Comic Strip,” where they follow the band who are trying to make it big in the heavy metal industry. I haven’t watched it in years, so maybe a revisit should be on the cards. I assure you it’s really funny.

The Young Ones

Before I launch into their self-titled 1987 album, I have to point out that Steveforthedeaf and I just happened to be on the same page here. His recent posts on made up bands has been excellent and well timed. There was no collaboration between Steve and me, my Bad News post would have gone out today but whether you want to call it fate, coincidence or an act of the heavy metal gods, it’s just happens that our posts on the topic has been at the same time. Now for the album.

Like with a lot of albums around the time, the album opens with a song which sounds as if it’s recorded live, “Hey, Hey Bad News.” It’s a good way to open the album. The remaining five songs are all very amusing and from a heavy metal perspective, well played. One song, which sticks out is their very interesting cover of the Queen classic, “Bohemian Rhapsody.” I warn hard core Queen fans that they may find this song offensive if they don’t have a sense of humour. That is the only way one can appreciate the song because lead singer, Vim Fuego, (aka Adrian Edmonson), screeches his way through the song. Saying that, it can’t be that offensive as Brian May produced it and lends his guitar skills to several songs on the album.

Another song of note is “Bad News,” where each member of the band gets their own break in the song. We get a few chords of bass and a drum roll but when rhythm guitarist, Den Dennis, who nearly misses his cue, plays, you hear excerpts from “Whole Lotta Love.” Lyrics from two songs are very amusing. “Ghengis Khan” is about rape, pillage and burn and “Masturbike” has lyrics which I’m surprised wasn’t noticed by the PMRC. However, my favourite song on the album is the closer, “Drink Till I Die.” It sounds like they’re trying to copy Motorhead and it was said that Lemmy viewed Bad News with a great sense of humour. Anyway, going back to my mindset back in 1987, a song about getting drunk appealed to me a great deal. Saying that, I laugh and wince at the same time when I hear the line, “Put your dick in a blender.” Ouch! Still, it’s a great way to end the album.

Track Listing:

  1. Hey, Hey Bad News
  2. Ghengis Khan
  3. Bohemian Rhapsody
  4. Bad News
  5. Masturbike
  6. Drink Till I Die
Bad News

Vim Fuego- vocals, lead guitar

Den Dennis- rhythm guitar

Colin Grigson- bass

Spider Webb- drums

Brian May

Brian May- guitar on “Bad News” and “Drink Till I Die”

So the question is: Are Bad News a joke band? That was the original intention when Adrian Edmonson, Nigel Planner and Rik Mayall got together on the project. While some so called metal purists may agree with the premise, my thought is that while they may be a joke band, they have left behind a legacy and an amusing album. Oh, one thought which really pisses me off is that non-metal people site Bad News as proof that you don’t need talent to play heavy metal. No, it isn’t! Of course, that was before Metal Church identified the human factor and Brian May did lend a hand. That just makes the album even better.

Next post: Flotsam and Jetsam- Doomsday for the Deceiver

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24 Responses to “Great Metal Albums of 1987: Bad News”

  1. Fantastic! Bad News were a rite of passage with my school buddies and I. We played Drink Til I Die alongside Killed By Death and Breaking The Law and considered everyone in on the joke. I think they were a bit of wish fulfilment for the Comic Strip Gang. They were treated like rock stars anyway. Might as well start a band

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Never heard of Bad News, but I have heard of The Young Ones, so that had me interested. Even Lep did a video that paid tribute to The Young Ones. I think it was for Me and My Wine.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Love Bad News. The most funniest LP I ever had. “Warrior” I’ll kill myself one dayyyyyy. Lol

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Joke band? Maybe. But what I want to know is, do they have anything to do with the new romantics?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My favourite was their Christmas song ‘Cashing in on Christmas’, which if memory serves was released in July!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Nver heard of them ’til this post. Fascinating!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. JayEyeworthy Says:

    Love it! Bad News is one of my fav episodes of the Comic Strip (along with More Bad News which features footage from the Donington gig!):

    If you have’t got the full BN album, I *HIGHLY* recommend it. Hilarious stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

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