Autograph (1983-1989, 2002-2005, 2013-present): a Glam Metal band from Pasadena, California, USA.
t originally began in late 1983 as a solo project for singer, songwriter and guitarist Steve Plunkett, who had recently left the band Silver Condor. Plunkett was playing and recording his own material with a group of his musician friends, most of whom had previously played with him in other bands, including Steve Lynch (lead guitar, backing vocals), Keni Richards (drums; R.I.P. 2017) and Steven Isham (keyboards, backing vocals; R.I.P. 2008). It didn't take long for these jam sessions to form into a bonified effort at a band. Plunkett chose the name "Autograph" for the band, inspired by hearing Def Leppard's similarly titled song, Photograph.
The act recorded a demo. The big break came when Keni Richards played the demo for David Lee Roth, who subsequently invited the band to open for Van Halen on their 1984 tour, ultimately playing 48 shows, an act of distinction for an unsigned band. Due to their rising popularity, Autograph soon signed a contract with 'RCA Records', following a performance at Madison Square Garden in New York City in late 1984.
It wasn't long before the band was in the studio with their debut album, Sign In Please (1984), resulting. The album was a sleeper and did not make an appearance on any record charts until January 1985 where it eventually climbed the charts to 29 in the US and certified gold later. The album contains the band's only major hit, Turn Up the Radio. The song was one of the last recorded for the album, and the band members were initially very lukewarm toward it. However, the tune would become a top-30 hit on its own, pushing album sales past the gold award mark. The song was then featured in an episode of Miami Vice (entitled Little Prince) and was also leased out to numerous other films; even further elevating its popularity.
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This would be the top of the ladder for the band for they could never again come close to this success, effectively making them a one-hit wonder. Their second effort, That's the Stuff (1985), was quickly knocked out in an attempt to utilize their new found hit status. The album was not enough for a gold award, but made 92 in the US charts all the same. The band then recorded a song titled Winning Is Everything for the film Youngblood.
The third album took longer to record than the other two combined but the Loud and Clear (1987) title song's music video featured Ozzy Osbourne and Vince Neil of Motley Crue as extras it gained some traction. The album charted at 108 in the US and would be their last to ever chart.
The band left 'RCA Records' in early 1988. Isham left the band to pursue other options but was not replaced, as the band felt they no longer needed keyboards, and wanted to take a heavier direction. Richards also left the band around this time. However, in early 1989 the band toured with new drummer Eddie Cross while continuing to sporadically record. They would eventually be offered a new deal with 'Epic' in 1989, which they declined. Disappointed, the remaining members disbanded in December of 1989.
Missing Pieces (1997) would be released posthumously then re-released with seven new tracks in 2003 as More Missing Pieces.
The group attempted a reformation between 2002 and 2005 resulting in Buzz (2003) and The Anthology compilation set being released posthumously in 2011, but the act fell apart again.
In late 2013, original remaining members Lynch, Rand, and Richards got back together for a reunion. Due to Plunkett not being interested in doing the reunion, they replaced him with singer/songwriter/guitarist Simon Daniels. A year later, Marc Wieland would assume drums to record Louder (2016) and Get Off Your Ass (2017).
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Dashboard for Autograph