Style: Power |
Year of birth: 1979
Views: 7919. Updated: 10 December, 2004 by Project Moderators
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Biography of Band
|1979-1983: Helloween's history dates back to 1979 when two guitarists named Kai Hansen and Piet Sielck both were in a band called "GENTRY" and through different lineup changes through the years they named their band "IRONFIST" which then featured Ingo Schwichtenberg on drums and Markus Grosskoph on bass. Piet later left for other reasons and became a sound engineer for bands such as Blind Guardian, Grave Digger, Gamma Ray, and now has his own project....Iron Savior. Then came in Michael Weikath who left his band "POWERFOOL" for Kai's band. They then named the band "HELLOWEEN"...
1984: "HELLOWEEN" then recorded 2 songs for a NOISE compliation record called "Death Metal". The first track was called "Oernst For Life" which Weikath wrote, and the next was a heavier more sloppy and slower version of "Metal Invaders".
1985: 1985 came around and Helloween then recorded their first album simply titled Helloween or also known as "The Mini LP". It had 5 tracks, and during that same year they released their first full length release titled Walls Of Jericho. In 1986 they released a single EP titled Judas. Which contained the song Judas along with some live tracks. However Kai found it difficult to sing and play at the same time, so after the tour they searched for a new vocalist.
1986-1987: The band had considered former Tyran Pace vocalist Ralf Scheepers however they ended up finding a terriffic vocalist from a local band called "ILL PROPHECY", named Michael Kiske. The band then wanted to record a double album but Noise records (the band's record company at that time) refused, so the band recorded their landmark release Keeper Of The Seven Keys Part 1. The album gave them worldwide success and did well in the United States while charting well in other countries as well as several magazines giving it praise. The album made such a huge impact that Helloween was invited to tour the United States on MTV's Headbanger's Ball Tour. The band opened up for Armored Saint and Grim Reaper.
1988: The band then took advantage of their now established fan base and recorded their most known album...Keeper Of The Seven Keys Part II. The band achieved even more success around the world as this album is (i think) their biggest seller and still sells well today!! The album even sold so well in the USA and MTV invited them back to tour the USA on the Headbanger's Ball Tour, this time the band toured with thrash metal greats Exodus and Anthrax! After the European tour for the Keeper 2 album, Kai Hansen left in December of 1988 and was replaced by Roland Grapow, who finished the rest of the Keeper 2 tour with the band.
In 1989, during the Headbanger's Ball Tour, Helloween released a live album called Live In The UK (for Europe)/"Keepers Live" (Japan), and I Want Out Live (USA). It featured live material with Kai though, from various shows the band did during their European tour in 1988.
1990-1991: The band enters a dispute with their record label Noise records and breaches their contract by signing with EMI records. Helloween and Noise had disputes in their contract in where the band felt they were being cheated out of money. A series of court battles ensued for a year before the band finally lost the courtbattle and was forced to not only pay Noise back a large settlement but they were forbidden to release material outside of Europe and Japan.
After many rumors of the band breaking up in 1991, they release Pink Bubbles Go Ape. Pink Bubbles was met with harsh criticism from the media and fans alike, and tensions started growing between all of the bandmembers. The band also summed up a large debt in the recording of this album which did not sell well by any means...
1993: Helloween then released what some call their worst album ever...Chameleon. Chameleon was met with even harsher criticism than Pink Bubbles Go Ape and tensions within the band grew deeper and deeper. Ingo fell ill during this period and was replaced on the tour by a man named Richie Abdel Nabi...
1994: In 1994 Helloween was signed onto Castle Communications and got a new Vocalist by the name of "Andi Deris" who came from one of Weiki's favorite bands "PINK CREAM 69". Uli Kusch (formerly of GAMMA RAY) took up drums. Master Of The Rings was released to great reviews and for the first time since the Keeper era the band had been getting along and had the same musicial direction in mind. The album was released almost a year later on Halloween in the USA with a bonus disk containing all of the Master Of The Rings B-sides...
1996: 1996 came around and another great release capitalizing on the success of "Master Of The Rings" was released in the form of the epic The Time Of The Oath. An album with total back to roots intent and that cemented once again the band's greatness. Tragedy also struck....Ingo Schwichtenberg their former drummer, jumped in front of a train to commit suicide....a tragedy that hurt Helloween, its former members, and fans alike. Also a double Live album called High Live was released!!!! Former singer Michael Kiske released his first solo album titled Instant Clarity and recieved praise from magazines everywhere.
1997: Roland Grapow released his first ever solo album called The Four Seasons of Life which had a single for the song "I Remember" and featured Ralf Scheepers on one track. Andi Deris also released his first solo album come called Come In From The Rain with singles for "1000 Years Away" and "Goodbye Jenny", which is a song about his grandmother
1998: A boxed set called the The Pumpkin Box was released and contained the best material from 1985-1993 and featured a 4th disc with interviews on it. And Helloween's most recent album of original material was released in March and titled Better Than Raw
1999: Roland Grapow began the year off with his newest solo release Kaleidoscope. He then did a very successful tour of Europe and Brazil. Markus Grosskopf not too soon after released his side project titled Shockmachine and featured Uli on the drums. Uli Kusch himself produced and released his Catch The Rainbow Rainbow tribute album which featured the best of the band Rainbow, re-recorded, and redone by some of the best musicians in the German metal scene! Former vocalist Michael Kiske also released his second solo album titled Readiness To Sacrifice. The band then recorded an album of their favorite 60's, 70's and 80's covers in the form of Metal Jukebox. Andi Deris released his second solo album titled Done With Mirrors
2000: The band finished the recording of The Dark Ride and it was released October 30th 2000 in Europe and a few weeks before in Japan!! A pretty successful tour went on for the Dark Ride which was held up shortly due to Uli injuring his elbow. After the last show of the tour however, the band parted ways with Roland Grapow and Uli Kusch. The band then released a best of collection called Treasurechest.
2001/2002/2003: The band announces Mark Cross, former Metalium drummer as their replacement for Uli Kusch which was shortlived as Mark caught mononucleosis and was then replaced with Stefan Schwarzmann. Sascha Gerstner formerly of Freedom Call was called in to replace Roland Grapow. The band has just released their newest album entitled Rabbit Don't Come Easy which has charted in many countries around the world and has been critically acclaimed!
Members of Helloween
| Current Members:|
Andi Deris. In Band at: 1994 - . Role: Vocals
Michael Weikath. In Band at: 1983 - . Role: Guitars
Sascha Gerstner. In Band at: 2002 - . Role: Guitars
Markus Grosskopf. In Band at: 1980 - . Role: Bass
Stefan Schwarzmann. In Band at: 2003 - . Role: Drums
Kai Hansen. Period: 1977 - 1988. Role: Guitars, vocals
Uli Kusch. Period: 1994 - 2001. Role: Drums
Michael Kiske. Period: 1986 - 1994. Role: Vocals
Roland Grapow. Period: 1988 - 2001. Role: Guitars
Piet Sielck. Period: 1979 - 1983. Role: Guitars
Ingo Swichtenberg. Period: 1980 - 1993. Role: Drums
Mark Cross. Period: 2001 - 2003. Role: Drums
|EP: Helloween (1985) Tracklist.|
EP: Walls Of Jericho (1985)
EP: Judas (1986) Tracklist.
CD: Keeper Of The Seven Keys Part I (1987) Tracklist.
CD: Keeper Of The Seven Keys Part II (1988) Tracklist.
CD: Live In The UK (1989) Tracklist.
CD: Pumpkin Tracks (1989) Tracklist.
CD: The Best The Rest The Rare (1991) Tracklist.
CD: Pink Bubbles Go Ape (1991) Tracklist.
CD: Chameleon (1993) Tracklist.
CD: The Master Of The Rings (1994) Tracklist.
CD: The Time Of The Oath (1996) Tracklist.
CD: High Live (1996) Tracklist.
CD: Better Than Raw (1998) Tracklist.
CD: Metal Jukebox (1999) Tracklist.
CD: The Dark Ride (2000) Tracklist.
Compilation: Treasure Chest (2002) Tracklist.
Comment: This is the two CD best of Helloween released by the band and management, although it was more of a contractual thing the band had a lot to say about what tracks went on this compilation. A few cool facts, Weiki originally wanted the live version of How Many Tears with Kiske singing put on the album which is found on Live In The UK but there was an error and the original studio version with Kai Hansen singing is on there. There is also a third CD with B-Sides called "Buried Treasure" which I will show a little further down....the band couldn't find all of the master tapes in a short period of time so they used what tapes they had and put them on the third special CD only found on limited versions of the album. There are three versions.......the first is obviously the normal edition with 2 CDs, the second is the Japanese version with a bigger booklet and some stickers, and the third opens like like a small chest and has the third CD which was released only in Europe.
CD: Rabbit Don't Come Easy (2003) Tracklist.