Quartz – “Stand Up And Fight” (1980)

Quartz unleashed Stand Up And Fight back in 1980.  At the time British heavy metal was riding high, and tons of young British bands were emerging as part of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM).  Quartz were not exactly a young band at the time, as they had been knocking around for a while before the NWOBHM scene kicked into high gear around ’79.  (Quartz released their debut album in 1977.)  Nevertheless, Quartz are often lumped in with the NWOBHM by most writers and critics.  To me, Stand Up And Fight is one of the finest albums of the early eighties, NWOBHM or otherwise.  In fact, I would probably place it in my top five albums of the year 1980!

MCA Records released the Stand Up And Fight LP in 1980.  The U.K. pressing had the catalog number MCF 3080 .  The German pressing had a different catalog number (202 990-320).  A third catalog number also exists (MAPS 9716), but I am unsure as to what country this pertains to.  (MCA catalog numbers can be difficult to trace.)

MCA released Stand Up And Fight on CD for the first time in 1992 (catalog number MVCM-312).  This was a Japan-only release.  This CD contained a bonus track called Circles (more on the track Circles in the Info Nuggets section below).

In 2004, a U.K. label called Majestic Rock Records released Stand Up And Fight on CD (MAJCD037).  Once again, the bonus track Circles was included.

In 2008, Stand Up And Fight was again released on CD in Japan.  Universal Distribution released the disk with the catalog number UICY-93473.  This was a special edition SHM-CD (Super High Material CD) packaged in a numbered cardboard sleeve.  This version also contains Circles as a bonus track.  The CD was one of seven in a series called ‘NWOBHM – The Hall Of Fame Collection’.  The other six CDs in the set are John Sykes: Please Don’t Leave Me, White Spirit: White Spirit, Gary Moore: Spanish Guitar – Best, Fist: Turn The Hell On, Diamond Head: Borrowed Time, and Diamond Head: Canterbury.

(click to enlarge):

Info Nuggets

  • CD re-issues of  Stand Up And Fight contain the bonus track Circles.  This track was recorded in 1977 as part of the recording sessions for the Quartz album, but the track did not appear on that album.  The Quartz album was produced by Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath, and so it seems that Circles was also produced by Iommi.  Ozzy Osbourne provided backing vocals on Circles, although he his performance was uncredited due to contractual reasons.  So too was the performance of Queen’s Brian May on the track, as he provided some uncredited guitar help.  The track was eventually released as a B-side to the 1980 7″ single Stoking Up The Fires Of Hell (MCA 642), a track taken from the Stand Up And Fight LP.  (Side note: don’t get too excited about the Ozzy backing vocal.  You really can’t hear his vocals on the track, so consider it an interesting trivia piece but not an essential track by any means.)
  • The title cut, Stand Up And Fight, was released as a 7″ single (MCA 661).  It was backed by the track Charlie Snow.
  • There is a video performance (that should be easy to find the net) that shows Quartz performing Wildfire on BBC television in 1979.  It’s kind of weird to see what these guys looked like because their sound did not mesh at all with their visual image.  While certainly one of the better bands of the NWOBHM (in my opinion), these guys made some strange fashion choices.  Well, I guess that’s cocaine for ya. 
  • An earlier version of Wildfire appeared as a b-side to the Quartz’s 7″ single Nantucket Sleighride (released in 1980 on Reddington’s Rare Records, catalog number DAN 1).
  • Malc Cope is credited as not only playing drums on Stand Up And Fight, but also playing “briefcase”.  I’m not sure on what track or tracks that Cope provides this unique percussion.
  • The original U.K. pressing of the LP included an order-form for Quartz merchandise.  It was on the bottom of the LP insert (see gallery).

My Worthless Opinion:  A tip of the cap to Derek Lawrence for his fine production job on Stand Up And Fight.  The album sounds crystal clear and each instrument is distinct and well separated.  The bass and drums are really beefed up, shining a spotlight on the fine playing of Dek Arnold (bass) and Malc Cope (drums).  Not a dull track in the bunch (except maybe the CD bonus track Circles, which was recorded years earlier and does not really fit in on the album).  One of my favorite things about Stand Up And Fight is the inclusion of very cool bridge sections (or “middle eight” sections) throughout the songs.  I particularly love the hazy, trippy, slow section of Rock ‘n’ Roll Child  where it goes; “Look at me, look at you, I’m floating…”.  That part always get me.  Revenge and Charlie Snow also have similar cool sections.  This is a kick-ass album that is one of my favorite metal releases of 1980, a year with no shortage of  “classic” releases.  My score: A


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