After Midlands-based NWOBHM legends Cloven Hoof had issued their privately pressed debut EP “The Opening Ritual” in 1982, they came close to inking a major deal. The future could have been much different. So near yet so far!, comments Lee Payne, founding member and bassist of Cloven Hoof, today. For sure that was real low point, there was a huge buzz around Cloven Hoof, we had the deal in the bag and fame and fortune was beckoning. I was convinced that this was the momentum that would carry us through to a real breakthrough deal to put us alongside the metal juggernauts of that time. Ex-Judas Priest manager David Hemmings approached us and wanted to manage us through this exciting period. Dave managed to set us up with a life changing record deal with CBS Records but during negotiations he tragically died. In the end the proposed CBS deal fell through and Neat Records stepped in to release Cloven Hoof’s self-titled debut album in 1984. It is surely not the first time Cloven Hoof’s legendary first album is being re-issued on vinyl. But the careful re-mastering by Patrick W. Engel and some astonishing extras will make it the ultimate edition of this eternal NWOBHM classic. Lee Payne has for the first granted full access to the original photo session for the record. There will be lots of never seen before pictures included with the release, taken by David Peters at our original photo shoot at Brierley Hill Town Hall, deep in the heart of the West Midlands, explains Payne in more detail. As I recall, we had a lot of fun playing along to the tracks live as he shot away. The music inspired us, so David thought it best to snap while we rocked out. Crazy days.
Classic Metal (BRA), 2020.