News - Jeff Jones

JEFF JONES- Rockhard ’86-’96 CD review in Metal Excess “good collection of raw Sunset Stripped rock!..”

Wednesday, 20 July, 2011

Jeff Jones is a songwriter/guitarist/producer that has been in a number bands over the years. He was a founding member of St. Elmo’s Fire (formed in 1978 in California) and played in the glam band Vamp Le Stat in the early ’90s. He also has worked a solo artist and has started up XXX Records America in order to reissue his previous works and to release new material as well. This album is a compilation that spotlights his work in St. Elmo’s Fire, Vamp Le Stat and solo material.

I’ll be honest with you, I am not familiar with Jeff Jones, St. Elmo’s Fire or Vamp Le Stat. In fact, I’d never heard of any of them so I wasn’t sure what to expect when I popped this disc in. I really didn’t know where this guy got off issuing a compilation when I’d never heard of him! Truth be told, I’m happy to have this disc in my collection. This is an album that takes you back to the glory days of the Sunset Strip! The album is chock full of enough glam and hair to make you wonder just why none of these bands caught a major break. I could understand Vamp Le Stat not making it in the early ’90s but it is the St. Elmo’s Fire material is strong enough that it should’ve built up a buzz for the band in the ’80s.

Hair metal junkies will definitely get their fix on this one. This isn’t polished pop-metal, it’s no frills hair METAL. RockHard is a good collection of raw Sunset Stripped rock ‘n’ roll and I’m interested in hearing the rest of XXX’s reissues. So yes, Jeff Jones has some nerve… and I’m glad he does!

Highlights: “Gonna Get Wild”, “Madame Blue”, “Caught In The Heartbreak”, “Powerdrive”, “Hot n’ Love”, “Bitch”, “Chain Around My Heart”

(see also Spaced Vamp Le Stat

JEFF JONES- Rockhard ’86-’96 review in Bearockr “..a MUST for rock and roll fanatics!..”

Wednesday, 20 July, 2011

We recently got to hear guitarist, songwriter and producer Jeff Jones’ album ‘RockHard’, featuring his music with the band ‘St. Elmos’, as well other acts he was associated with. Jeff was a founding member of St. Elmos Fire and was also in Vamp le Stat from 1993- 1995 during the “Bloodline” era.

The album began with a glam rock headbanging soundtrack in ‘Gonna get wild’, and well, its actually true to its title too ! Next up was a classic rock piece, ‘Madame blue’ which had a nice change in the vocals and great harmonization.

‘Mississippi wine’ was filled with  clean guitaring, a nice pattern and a great acoustic sound, that are perfectly well recorded. The guitar riff and vocals in the track ‘Caught in the heartbreak’ were so wonderful in bringing forth the emotions in the song. Jeff’s voice showed the expressions and the drums showed the power. The bass maintained the balance in between very well. Excellent coordination !

‘Don’t Drop it’ had a different beginning from the rest, and it was actually a welcome change that even I was expecting to see at some point in the album, though the drums didn’t amuse me much.

Well yeah, Guitar players must have heard of ‘Overdrive’ in their pedals, but how about ‘Powerdrive’ ? That’s what the next track is called! An awesome hard Riff, creative guitaring. excellent vocals and a powerful chorus sums up this track. Moving on to ‘Hot n’ love’, technically speaking, this one’s a strong soundtrack with a very power packed rhythm section.

‘Into the night’ was kinda my favorite in terms of the intros in other songs of the album.
‘Warning from the sky’ had an even more rocking intro, but later on, it lost the charm, but the chorus vocals turned out to be amazing.

The album then finally got off to a rock n roll finish with ‘Breaking Out’, loaded with a very impressive, strong, and speedy intro and amazing drum rolls. I bet you’ll be rewinding the intro a lot many times in this one!

Well, Overall, this album is a MUST for a Rock n Roll fanatic. Power packed riffs, headbanging rhythm, and amazing vocals: What else were you craving for, eh ?
see also Spaced, Keester, St. Elmo’s Fire, Vamp le Stat

JEFF JONES- Rockhard- Metal Observer review “. .7.5/10 ..fresh and exciting ..very well executed..”

Wednesday, 20 July, 2011

There was definitely a level of charm to the softer side of the 80s as heard in the later workings of bands such as DOKKEN, TYGERS OF PAN TANG, MOTLEY CRUE and others that are often seen as being on the borderline where Hard Rock ends and Heavy Metal begins. In some respects, the confusion of the terms between many prominent disc jockeys and MTV personalities is understandable, though a trained ear can easily hear the nuances that makes the lighter side of the NWOBHM distinct from overt Rock influenced acts like CINDERELLA and BON JOVI. Such is the case with a somewhat more obscure representative of all things sleazy and big haired heard on JEFF JONES’ release of a compilation of works dating from 1986-89.

While the sounds heard on “RockHard” are quite familiar for anyone who got a taste of the easy grooving, bluesy goodness with a crunchy edge that came out of RATT and KROKUS, they are very well executed and come off as quite fresh and inviting. The only thing at variance amongst the tight and together presentation is the vocal job, which suggests multiple lead singers from different eras, one in particular being high soaring and clean, the other meaner and more raspy. Otherwise, every drum beat is steady and enlarged with enough studio reverb to pass for an impressive live venue minus the audience, the bass is highly audible and largely an exercise in rock solid tightness rather than fancy showmanship, and the guitars are raucous yet restrained enough to walk a tight rope between Mick Mars and George Lynch.

From start to finish the song selection is planned out quite well, giving a good variety of catchy fanfares, attitude laced L.A. bluesy goodness, and somber fits of nostalgic musicality that could have rivaled LEATHERWOLF’S “Street Ready” had it garnered similar attention. “Into The Night” and “Warning From The Sky” are the obvious picks for the Metal enthusiast as they listen like perfect emulations of the galloping, bouncy riff work and semi-operatic vocal work of the early 80s British and German scenes. However, when hearing “Chain Around My Heart” and most of the material on the first half of the album, the influence is much more California oriented, sometimes resembling WASP, others L.A. Guns. It’s a very interesting dichotomy that all but renders the compilation into a sort of “VA comp” category, fed further by the contrast in vocals on different songs.

It’s definitely a pity that Jeff and his various projects didn’t get the due credit for solid songwriting and musicianship that they deserved, especially considering all the drivel that came out of the L.A. scene during the latter half of the 80s. Anybody with an ear for an archaic approach to music that was out of fashion until only a few years ago is sure to enjoy this, though it doesn’t quite nail the formula as well as some of the better known names, particularly that of RATT who pretty well perfected this style. But 80s Metal is a lot like good friends; the more, the merrier.
(Online June 7, 2011) see also Spaced, Keester, Vamp Le Stat, St. Elmo’s Fire

Jonathan Smith

JEFF JONES-Rockhard ’86-’96 review in Hard Rock Info “..hard rock with a lot of melodies…”..

Wednesday, 20 July, 2011

….here’s a discography of some stuff he did between 1986 to 1996, so that people like me can get an idea of what he has done to the world of hard rock.
… ’80s hard rock with a lot of melodies in it. For some reason it reminds me of the more melodic stuff with underrated U.S. heavy metal band THE RODS (which I really like). So in other words, something I would have loved when I was a kid. But I still like that kind of stuff of course. Among the better songs are “Caught In The Heartbreak”…

(also see Spaced, Keester, Vamp Le Stat, St. Elmo’s Fire)

JEFF JONES- Rockhard -’86-’96 CD Review in Rock Report “..a great way of getting to know this talented musician..”

Tuesday, 19 July, 2011

Let’s go back to 1979 when guitarist Jeff Jones formed St. Elmo’s Fire along with vocalist Tim Raynor-Allwein in Sacramento, California. In order to have a genuine band they needed a bass player and drummer to complete the line-up so enter Steve Raynor and Alan Kreutzer. They quickly built a name for themselves on the local club circuit opening up for acts such as Y&T and Nightranger but it would take until 1982 before they put out their first official release, a single called “Really In Love” through Real to Reel Records.
One year later the combo moved to LA and underwent a drastic line-up change. Founder Jeff was now joined by singer Zane Lazar, drummer Kris Gustofson and bassist Simon Evans. Also in 1983 manager/producer Dito Godwon (Great White, Wildside, Peter Criss) took them under his wing and through him they were able to release their self-titled debut on Dream/CBS France in 1986. The platter was well received by both press and fans.
The band continued gigging on the Sunset Strip scene strengthening their live act while also writing new songs that ended up on three more releases: 1988’s “Warning From The Sky”, “Powerdrive” which saw the light in 1990 and “Desperate Years” that came out a month after the combo had officially split up in 1992. All their hard work hadn’t resulted in obtaining a place in the premier league of melodic hard rock/metal and Jeff felt he had taken the band as far as he could.
Next Jeff would join hair metallers Vamp Le Stat and record the awesome “Bloodline” disc but by 1994 he was out on his own and the next year his first solo album was released through Border Records.
And this brings us nicely to the compilation album entitled “Rockhard ’86-‘96” which is currently playing in the background. Included here are several tracks lifted from the first 3 St. Elmos Fire platters, some from VLS’s “Bloodline” and one cut from mister Jones’s “Ride” opus.
The sound produced by St. Elmos Fire is ‘80’s melodic hard rock/metal and comes across as a mix of early Keel, Ratt at the time of their excellent self-titled EP and vintage Dokken. Nothing you haven’t heard before . But that doesn’t change the fact that Jeff’s guitar work is a pleasure for the ears along with the powerful, high pitched vocals of mister Lazar.
The tracks from the debut are a tad heavier than those of the 2 platters that followed cause on “Warning From The Sky” and “Powerdrive” the guys were clearly aiming for a broader appeal by going for a more commercial sound.
Currently guitarist Jeff Jones and drummer Kris Gustofson are planning a possible return of St. Elmos Fire.
The odd tune of the bunch is “Mississippi Wine” from Jeff’s solo debut. On this acoustic tune he dabbles with Southern Rock .Enlarging upon the tracks lifted is a few from from VLS’s “Bloodline” “Rockhard ’86-‘96” showcases a big part of the career of Jeff Jones and is a great way of getting to know this talented musician. (see also Spaced, Keester, Vamp le Stat)

JEFF JONES -Rockhard ’86-’96 in Musiikreviews “…classic melodic metal…always reflecting compositional mastery..”

Tuesday, 19 July, 2011

“Rock Hard” depicts the musician’s career points against each other, more precisely, songs of the  group. ELMO’S FIRE and VAMP LE STAT,
Of the former, the debut and the album “Power Drive” and “Warning From the Sky” are covered ( “Desperate Years” are left out), and “Bloodline”, his two successors in the recent past, were also published after 1996 . ST. ELMO’S FIRE offered for the typical eighties hard rock to heavy metal, . On “Gonna Get Wild” or “Madame Blue” (hard grooving Doomer) ruled, however, still credible street attitude and rudimentary yet effective game with accurate melodies between SKID ROW, DOKKEN or SPREAD EAGLE, Exciting, but always reflecting compositional mastery of what can be said of Jones’ solo  “Mississippi Wine”
VAMP LE STAT turn out a greasy side, from the peppy “Bitch”. The gloomy Glam (already established trend in the doldrums in 1992) stand out mainly because of their singer Jimmy Tuttle, and also the performance of Jones seems far more passionate . “Chain Around My Heart” is ominous and heavy as lead, a child of the grunge drawn metal of the early nineties, CONCLUSION: JEFF JONES delivers under its own name, a charming showcase of songs tare . Classic melodic metal with  indestructible themes:

see also Spaced, Keester, Vamp Le Stat

Jeff Jones “Spaced CD Review in Rock Report “ ..we’re dealing with a multi talented musician…”

Tuesday, 19 July, 2011

Jeff Jones is, as you might know, not only the label head of XXX Records but also a former member of melodic hard rock outfit St. Elmo’s Fire, hair metallers Vamp Le Stat and punk/trash duo Keester. Besides recording and releasing albums with the bands mentioned he put out a first solo offering entitled “Ride” in 1995.

Last year mister Jones found the time to piece together the follow up to his 15 year old solo debut and along with copies of “Rockhard ‘86-‘96” and VLS “Bloodline”, he sent us “Spaced”, a collection of 12 songs all written, recorded, produced, mixed and engineered by Jeff. Which goes to show that we’re dealing with a multi talented musician. The one thing that stands out on this disc is Jeff’s tasty blues tinged guitar  .
Best songs in the package are the ZZ Top styled opener “Queen Of Hollywood” and the uptempo “Not Your Love”. (see also Vamp Le Stat, Rockhard, Keester, St. Elmo’s Fire)

Jeff Jones “Spaced” CD review in The Rock Pit “.. the test of a great CD is that’s it’s been in my car since it arrived..!!”       

Tuesday, 19 July, 2011

You may not know the name Jeff Jones, but really you should. ‘Spaced’ is an album that captures your attention with its down and dirty sound which feels that it could have been laid down in late eighties Hollywood.
I like this from the off. Opener ‘Queen of Hollywood’ comes over all Georgia Satellites crammed into a sleazy Hollywood backroom bar.  What you get here reads pretty authentically, you can feel the dirt under the fingernails and if it wasn’t for the brief taste of glamour in the LA sleaze influence you could be at any rock bar in America at anytime in the last thirty years! Its good old fashioned, nicely crafted rock and roll that both tips a hat to the seventies British greats, adds a pinch of AC/DC and a whole heap of late eighties Sunset Strip attitude.

Stylistically it’s hard sleazy rock but with a sound that echoes the bluesier acts of the day. The closest comparison I could suggest especially on songs like ‘No Satisfaction Blues’ and ‘Hell to Pay’ would be a Junkyard or Great White. Elsewhere you can feel the shadow of more metallic bands like Dokken.

Best for us are opener ‘Queen of Hollywood’ and ‘Not Your Love’, which has a feel of early LA Guns to it and maybe a hint of Phil Lewis’ work in the underappreciated Torme. The test of a good CD is how long it stays in the car and this has been in there since it arrived. It’s great to hear music of this quality put together by a musician on his own label.

Anyone who loves the late eighties Hollywood but loved the bluesier side will get a lot out of this. Nothing groundbreaking but it evokes the feeling of an age some of us can’t let go, and which produced some great bands! I for one would love to hear more.! 
(by Mark Diggins) June 2011 (See also Rockhard, Keester, Vamp le Stat, St. Elmo’s Fire)

Jeff Jones “Spaced” CD Review in Mundorock ‘zine “..a great album of pure rock.. a sonic cocktail ..90/100 rating!!

Tuesday, 19 July, 2011

North American guitarist Jeff Jones, known for having participated in bands such as St. Elmo’s Fire or Vamp Le stat, has created his own record label recently. This is XXX Records,  with which he has decided to publish material of diverse groups in which it participated and Jeff also has two works of his solo career.

On this occasion, has published “Spaced,” a sonic cocktail of twelve songs of pure rock and roll. Somehow, the music (and especially the image) of Jeff in the “Spaced” is quite similar to the famous Ted Nugent. American Rock with enough melody and at times their Southern accents. “Queen of Hollywood” is a perfect opening for this great album, track by track is going so great. “Resurrecting” at times has an affinity for bands such as THE Guns. Another high point of the album is “Not your love.”

In conclusion, note that this is a great album of pure rock and roll, where Jeff composes, sings and plays it all,, giving free rein to his infinite creativity. Recommended for all lovers of rock without compromise. (See also Rockhard, Keester, Vamp Le stat, St. Elmo’s Fire)

Jeff Jones “Spaced” CD Review in Metal Observer “.A glory fest of hard rock…a solid collection of catchy songs..!”

Tuesday, 19 July, 2011

The advent of the internet and the breakup of the once de facto monopoly that a few labels had on the market has come a host of new and old, all out there for anyone fed up with the lackluster and tired content of FM radio. Among the old is a face that many will not recognize today, but whose history goes all the way back to the 1970s. For all of the plainness that one might expect from a name like JEFF JONES, this former 70s/Glam rocker has put together a pretty solid collection of Hard Rock that stylistically resembles his older projects, but has the benefit and clarity of a modern production job.

Combining a fair amount of old guard British influences from the likes of DEEP PURPLE, a subtle trace of AD/DC, and a whole lot of LA sleaze, “Spaced” is quite a fun,  tried and true ride down memory lane. When hearing safely crafted rockers such as “No Satisfaction Blues” and “Miss Tragedy”, one can’t help but take note of the obvious MOTLEY CRUE and GREAT WHITE influences. Things get kicked up a notch in aggression with “Hate Me”, which is heavy enough to qualify as one of DOKKEN’S nastier songs during their brief stint into groovier Heavy Metal circa 2002-2004. But the true highlight of this glory fest of Hard Rock orthodoxy is “Not Your Love”, which cooks with the intensity of early 80s JUDAS PRIEST, though the vocal attack out of Jones has a bit more grit than banshee to it.

Jones has put together a solid collection of catchy songs with some accomplished lead work that just manages to get out of the olden blues box that Jimmy Page never fully abandoned and that Blackmore and Uli Jon Roth were among the first to really step out of. There is definitely an added charm to the fact that this is an independently realized product, put together by a musician on his own label, which was all but unheard of during Jones’ earliest work. Anyone who fell in love with that segment of the 80s Glam scene that was a bit more conservative and stuck close to their Rock roots will definitely get some mileage out of this. Yeah, it’s been done before, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done again a few more times in a couple of other ways.

(Online June 5, 2011) see also Rockhard,  Keester, St. Elmo’s Fire, Vamp Le Stat