Are you a bad enough dude to like Racer X?

To me, one of the great mysteries of popular music, is the fact that Racer X is not one of the most successful rock bands of all time.

Apparently, Racer X was kickin’ it around the Sunset Strip in the mid-late 1980s and just couldn’t get a major label to pick them up. Bands like Whitesnake, Dokken and Bon Jovi were molesting MTV and the billboard charts and Yngwie clones were spawning from musical orifices everywhere. If Racer X had been promoted just a little bit, they would’ve been superstars, I’m fairly sure of that.

It’s also strange this never happened, since someone in the band was pals with Rob Halford of Judas Priest. They signed with Shrapnel Records (the shred label which was just getting started at the time) and released two studio albums and two live albums before disbanding to pursue other projects. I know Paul Gilbert didn’t end up so bad, he got a gig playing guitar in Mr. Big (yechh…) and got to make some moolah. Racer X did reform for a couple more albums and tours starting in the late ’90s.

Their second album is a masterpiece of shred/pop/arena/cock-rock whatever you want to call it. It features a song called “Heart of a Lion” which is actually written by Judas Priest for their mid-80s masterpiece of pop-metal, “Turbo.” I wish the lead vox were louder in this live bootleg:

If only one band could come play in your town, and Queen was not touring, you’d damn well be hoping it was Racer X. I don’t know how Racer X didn’t become explosively huge. I understand they’re much more popular in Japan (was the same deal with the fabulous Jason Becker/Marty Friedman project, Cacophony) than in the United States.

Racer X is basically as cool as Tyrannosaurus’ flying F-14s.

Everyone on the planet needs to own their second album, ‘Second Heat.’ Vital, vital rock ‘n roll.

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~ by chaosrexmachinae on August 13, 2007.

4 Responses to “Are you a bad enough dude to like Racer X?”

  1. count me in .. Racer X, Racer X, Racer X, Racer X, ….

  2. fuck yes dude. I had a tape of them that I picked up at good will. There was a song about laser eyes on it that I was pretty deep into.

  3. Have you heard Cacophony’s “X-Ray Eyes”? Different concept I guess…

  4. […] Yngwie Malmsteen is pretty much famous for one album and one song, <a href="Rising Force“> and “Far Beyond the Sun” respectively. The dude’s put out some decent stuff since then, but it’s all basically the same and isn’t as raw or fresh as his first album. Actually, for most of the ’90s his stuff wasn’t selling in the US very much and you had to import his albums until the late ’90s. It wasn’t until Facing the Animal that Yngwie’s stuff started reappearing stateside (his old albums were still available, but his ’90s stuff wasn’t). Of course, it’s not like Yngwie changed a whole lot in this period. Besides, after the first few albums, he couldn’t hold a candle to some of the better Shrapnel shred. […]

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