Phantom Blue (1987-1998, 2009): a Hard Rock band from Redondo Beach, California, USA.
heir intent was to be an all girl rock act in a time when such ideas were uncommon, featuring guitarists Nichole Couch and Michelle Meldrum, with Gigi Hangach (vocals), Kim Nielsen (bass) and Linda McDonald (drums). Nursed by Mike Varney and his 'Shrapnel' label, the group would succeed in places their all-female contemporaries couldn't. Marty FriEDMan (future of Megadeth) and Steve Fontano would produce their debut, Phantom Blue (1989), an album highlighted by their melodic voices counter balancing the screaming guitars. It was 9 tracks of mature,original music. They would flog their style of melodic metal around the world while on a 7 month tour, and return to eventually record the follow-up, Built To Perform (1993). Built To Perform included a cover of Thin Lizzy's Bad Reputation as well as featuring the guitar work of Karen Kreutzer in place of Couch. After a bidding war between rival record companies, 'Geffen' got the contract to release it. It was produced by Max Norman (Ozzy, Megadeth, etc.). The set failed to impress the public at large, causing much of their momentum from the first to be lost. In 1994 Rena Ross replaced Neilson on bass.
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They would return in 1995 with a fanciful comic book biography and the album Prime Cuts And Glazed Donuts (1995), after being nixed from 'Geffen' during the label's buy out by 'MCA'; Couch would be back on guitars.
Another European tour would then commence, as well as several awards, with Phantom Blue...Caught...Live! (1997) as their latest. By 1998 they were releasing the EP Full Blown (1998), in an attempt to regain lost ground and a fresh start with a revamped sound, now with the line up of Lucienne Thomas (vocals), Josephine Soegijanty (guitars), Tina Wood (guitars), Mary Jo Godges (bass) and Linda McDonald (drums). It was not to last, however, and the act broke up soon after.
Footnote: Meldrum would die as result of a cystic growth on her brain on May 21, 2008 after passing into a coma. She was married and had a son with John Norum of band
Footnote: Linda McDonald, Sara Marsh and Josephine Soegijanty joined the all-female tribute band The Iron Maidens in 2001.
Footnote: On May 26, 2009, Linda McDonald, Gigi Hangach and Kim Nielsen-Parsons reunited as Phantom Blue for a Michelle Meldrum memorial concert at the Whisky a Go Go in Hollywood, CA. Meldrum's position was filled by Tina Wood, while Sara Marsh and Courtney Cox of The Iron Maidens replaced Nicole Couch.
Footnote: Karen Kreutzer (guitar; ex-Uncle Fester) briefly attended the band.
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