King's X (1979): a Hard Rock band from Springfield, Missouri, USA.
ounded originally as The Edge by Doug Spinnick (bass/vocals), Ty Tabor (guitar) and Jerry Gaskell (drums); Spinnick and Gaskell met while both were touring with the Christian rock band Petra and the act did mostly cover tunes ranging from Top 40 to The Beatles, The Police and U2. The band changed their name to Sneak Preview around 1983 and released a self-titled LP under the same name with all original material; the material was pop 80s rock but is still of great interest to King's X fans as the genesis of some later King's X songs come from this album. At the promise of a record deal the group moved to Houston, Texas in 1985. The original deal fell through but the band met up with Z.Z. Top video producer Sam Taylor, who took them under his wing and suggested the name King's X.
King's X would then sign to 'Megaforce' in 1987 under the guidance of newly acquired manager Sam Taylor and assuming the current moniker. Their C.S. Lewis inspired debut album Out Of The Silent Planet came in 1988 fusing The Beatles like harmony with blues riffs to reflect their Christian beliefs, the track of note being Shot Of Love. The album was strong enough to attract major operator 'Atlantic' for the follow-up release, Gretchen Goes To Nebraska, in 1989. The album made 52 UK without sacrificing content for style. But rather than preaching, but still promoting spirituality in a more general sense, Faith Hope Love (1990) continued right along where the predecessor left off and got an 85 US and 70 UK. Their self-titled effort in 1992, as well as Dogman (1994), furthered this goal by quietly getting a 46 and 49 UK respectively, the last album being marred by the band's departure with long-time producer, Sam Taylor. The band, in search of a fresh direction from the reign of Taylor, teamed up with producer Brendan O'Brien (Stone Temple Pilots, Pearl Jam) for the album. The album was considered a break from their norm, where vocal harmonies and musicianship still were the key, Spinnick handled the lead vocals for the entire album, not to mention the theme of the album was less "spiritual" and more "down to earth".
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Their appeal was widened with their performance at 1994's Woodstock II festival but returned two years later with Ear Candy, an album that failed to keep them those fans. After their "best of..." compilation, The Best Of King's X (1997), indie label 'Metal Blade' came in to free them of big commercial pressures and the influence of outside writers to come out with Tape Head (1998), an album credited to the whole band and showing a sharpened focus. A heavier sound was displayed on Please Come Home Mr. Bulbous (2000), Manic Moolight (2001) and Black Like Sunday(2003).
In 2004 the band would release Live All Over The Place. The recording showing a raw interpretation of a typical King's X show. The double CD included a quasi-acoustic set which that band added for the Black Like Sunday tour.
On February 26, 2012, Gaskill suffered a major heart attack, temporarily stopping the band's touring schedule. He was on a ventilator for several days while also suffering from pneumonia. King's X compiled an exclusive live release from their archives entitled Burning Down Boston: Live at The Channel 6.12.91. The proceeds from the release went directly to Gaskill to help him offset his medical expenses.
The band returned touring until Gaskill suffered a second heart attack while recovering from a "scheduled minor procedure" on September 12, 2014, requiring him to undergo double-bypass surgery. King's X canceled all scheduled concerts, and announced an indefinite hiatus. In mid-2015, the band was back on tour, playing numerous dates on the east coast.
The band signed a world-wide record deal on October 8, 2018, with Australian independent record label, 'Golden Robot Records'.
An authorized biography by Greg Prato, King's X: The Oral History, via Jawbone Press was released in February 2019. In addition to extensive interviews with all three band members, the book included interviews with such rock musicians as Jeff Ament, Andy Summers, Mick Mars, Billy Corgan, and Eddie Trunk among others, as well as a foreword by Scott Ian.
Footnote: Ty Tabor would engage in a self-titled side project in 1998 to release Moonflower Lane. Other members would keep busy with several side projects themselves including Platypus (featuring members of Dream Theater), Poundhound, Jelly Jam (another Dream Theater collaboration), and Supershine (Doug Spinnick teaming up with two guys from Trouble).
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