Cobra – “First Strike” (1983)

This was the first strike, as well as the last strike for this short-lived hard rock/AOR band.  And this first strike was NOT deadly (apologies to Testament on that one).  Nay, this album lacks any truly venomous tunage.  Cobra offered up a professional batch of guitar driven hard rock/AOR with an eye toward FM radio exposure that was all too safe and vanilla to rise above.  Cobra’s singer was Jimi Jamison.  After Cobra’s demise, he joined Survivor and had a run of hits with that band.  (Note: Jamison joined Survivor after Eye Of The Tiger, so he didn’t sing that gem, but he did sing the great Burning Heart song from Rocky IV!)  First Strike was produced by Tom Allom of Judas Priest fame.  The album doesn’t really warrant rediscovery, as it consists of too many by-the-book, stock ideas.  Sure, First Strike rocks a little here and there, but not enough to be remembered.  My score: C+

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One thought on “Cobra – “First Strike” (1983)

  1. Oh, man, you’re selling this album way short! This is a gem (now out on CD courtesy of Rock Candy!) from a band that sounded a lot like an AOR version of the mighty UFO (they even have a song called ‘Only You Can Rock Me’, one of UFO’s biggest classics!). Jimi Jamison is vocal gold and Mandy Meyer is a great guitarist, a bit like a less flashy Michael Schenker, and the rest of the band is rock solid. The songwriting is top notch whether it be rockers like ‘Blood On Your Money’ or ‘Danger Zone’ or ballads like ‘Looking At You’ (later covered by Swiss superstars GOTTHARD which Mandy became a member of in the 90s). The real standout though is the brooding ‘Travellin’ Man’ (also re-cut by GOTTHARD on ‘Dial Hard’ before Mandy joined the band!) – what a masterpiece! COBRA was the band that should’ve been big instead of the band that launched JJ with SURVIVOR and to a lesser degree Mandy (via ASIA, KATMANDU [w/ Dave King from FASTWAY], GOTTHARD, and currently – and again – KROKUS). Trivia: COBRA guitarist / keyboardist Jack Holder produced the cult classic MEDIEVAL STEEL EP (1984), one of the greatest slices of American Metal, period!

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