News - St Elmo’s Fire (1985-2011)

DEAD ON CLUB getting hot in Europe!

Thursday, 23 January, 2014

New XXX artist the DEAD ON CLUB is  quickly gaining momentum in Europe mainly on the strength of airplay in several countries including Germany, France and Sweden. Check out their promo vid as the featured video on the XXX Records site  www.xxxrecords.com

JEFF JONES-Rockhard ’86-’96 review in Rockingboy “..8/10..a collection of 13 stunning songs..”

Thursday, 21 July, 2011

Jeff Jones has re-released on his label XXX Records America several slices of his past. Including some records of the glam rockers VAMP LE STAT and from ST. ELMO’S FIRE. Under the banner of “Rock Hard ’86 – ’96” there are again some of the works of this American guitarist / songwriter. If you like, this record is a kind of Best Of ..  included are solo pieces, songs of VAMP LE STAT and  in particular ST. ELMO’S FIRE. This band was indeed founded in 1978 and released their last disc in 1992 .. There are four songs from it 1988 Album “Warning From The Sky”, 2 songs from the 1990 album “Power Drive” and 2 from the 1986 debut ‘St. Elmo’s Fire. “In addition to these pieces were also  3 more of VAMP LE STAT and their 1993’s release “Blood Line” and a song of Jeff’s solo album “Spaced. ” Also there is a demo version of “Breakin Out “.
“Rock Hard ’86 – ’96” is a beautiful collection of  13 stunning songs, which is due to  the talent of Jeff Jones , for he has always had raw talent for Metal / Hard Rock without frills or fanfare. Glossy fetishists are indeed at the wrong address, but every real Metal Head can  go into the time machine and make a dignified journey into the world of Jeff Jones – and there is a lot to discover. It’s worth it! 8/10 points

see also Spaced. Keester

JEFF JONES-Rockhard ’86-’96 in Strutterzine ” .. great classic ’80’s US metal..8 /10 points!..”

Thursday, 21 July, 2011

Californian guitarist JEFF JONES has already a long history behind him, releasing quite a lot records with different bands and projects, although his main band was ST. ELMO’S FIRE. I actually bought a CD of this band more than 20 years ago and remember until this day I had a good time listening to the DOKKENish Melodic Hardrock of the band. Now in 2011, Jeff has his own label, on which he has released most of his back catalogue. He was kind enough to sent me 4 CDs, VAMP LE STAT and KEESTER being the more modern sounding Hardrock albums, but his solo-CD ‘Rockhard 86-96’ contains some great classic 80s material actually, which is not weird when you will note that most of the tunes on that CD are taken from the ST. ELMO’S FIRE albums. That band released 4 records, of which I am only familiar with 1, so a lot of songs are new to me. The music is very 1980s Melodic Hardrock/Metal orientated, not too far removed from bands like RIOT, THE RODS, FIFTH
ANGEL and such. Especially the songs “Into the Night” and “Caught in the heartbreak” are really excellent tunes, resembling the classic 1980s US Melodic Metal sound. Therefore I am very interested in the 5 (!) CD releases of ST. ELMO’S FIRE that are also available on XXX RECORDS. Anyway, the other solo-CD of JEFF JONES is more in the Blues vein, . To be continued hopefully soon with coverage on Jeff’s 1980s band ST. ELMO’S FIRE, whom are even recording a new CD at the moment.  (see also Spaced and Keester)

JEFF JONES- Rockhard ’86-’96- Mundorock review “..9/10 stars!!..recommended..”

Thursday, 21 July, 2011

Jeff Jones has created the label XXX Records, which is responsible for publishing many of his solo recording projects and different bands which he participated in. And what a great success! And thanks to this effort has been releasing many musical gems that had been hidden over the years.

This “Rockhard ’86-’96” is a collection of diverse material from Jeff. It represents his music both as a solo artist as well as St. Elmo’s Fire and Vamp Le Stat. So you may notice the progression and changes over the years. But always with high quality every step of the way.

The sound from his time with St. Elmo’s Fire are different because they show  more of a  harder  rock style, with influences of bands like Dokken and Stryper. Then it passes through Vamp Le Stat Jeff shows a more sleazier side with sounds, close to bands like LA Guns. And finally, the solo tracks are more traditional rock and roll, sort of “Americana.”

In conclusion, a good appetizer to review the music of Jeff Jones. Recommended. (see also Keester and Spaced)
(Review by Diego Ramírez, May 2011)

JEFF JONES Rockhard -’86-’96 review in Metal Integral “..17/20 rating… excellent..!”

Thursday, 21 July, 2011

Jeff JONES is the founding guitarist of the group ST ELMO’S FIRE , American group that had released four albums!
St Elmo’s Fire in 1986 (on DREAM RECORDS/CBS the French label), Warning From The Sky in 1988 (on BELLAPHON in Germany), Powerdrive in 1990 (on BLACK DRAGON/BMG / France) and Desperate Yearsi n 1992 (BLACK DRAGON).
And also we  needto add the very rare first  single of 1982 ( Really In Love / Too Bad).
… in 1993, Jeff JONES joined the US group VAMP LE STAT that released one of the rarities of glam rock in  1993,Bloodline.

Then Jeff JONES leaves VAMP LE STAT to realize an album solo ,Ride that wet out in 1995.

This time, Jeff appears on some albums as a ” guest “, and in 2010 it creates the label XXX RECORDS that will release all the albums of ST ELMO’S FIRE and of VAMP LE STAT as well as his album solo and its unpublished titles.n
A reformation of ST ELMO’S FIRE is in the works and an announced album for the at the end of 2011!
XXX RECORDS will equally produce American groups of Hard Rock /Heavy 80’s!

This compilation  isvery well are presented in a digipack , and in limited editions!

This compilation contains eight titles of ST ELMO’S FIRE, three of VAMP LE STAT , one of Jeff JONES solo and an unpublished Breakin’Out demo version, excellent to “the German one” ).  (see also Space, Keester)

Style: Hard Rock /Heavy Metal
Artistic Party: 3,5/5
Interests for the Fans of 80’s Heavy Metal: 5/5
Interests for the Fans of traditional Metal usually: 3,5/5
RASKAL The French Warrior: 17/20
RASKAL THE Objective: 17/20

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)