Quartz – “Deleted” (1980)

quartzIn 1980, Quartz found themselves lumped in with the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) despite having debuted a full three years earlier with 1977’s Quartz (Jet Records).  1980 saw the release of four different Quartz products.  Most notably, there was their stellar full length Stand Up And Fight — a classic NWOBHM treasure.  A live album simply titled Live Quartz, and a 3-track EP/single called Satan’s Serenade were also released.  Jet Records, perhaps in an attempt to capitalize on the NWOBHM buzz surrounding Quartz, re-released 1977’s forgotten Quartz LP in 1980.  They re-dubbed the album Deleted and packaged it in a simple paper sleeve.

Deleted was produced by Black Sabbath legend Tony Iommi.  He did a fine job on this surprisingly solid Quartz debut.  Indeed, Quartz come off as a more articulate Black Sabbath on this hearty platter.  We are first introduced to the band on the standout lead number Mainline Riders.  Housing a gargantuan Sabbathian riff that could make any stoner drool (more than usual), this ode to cocaine (I think) captures Quartz at their mystical, dazed best.  Riffs abound on other potent rockers such as Devil’s Brew and Pleasure Seekers.  Quartz opt for a lighter touch on the hazy Sugar Rain and the somber Little Old Lady.  Both songs successfully find their mark thanks to Mike Taylor’s excellent vocals.  (Note: Taylor recently passed away in September, 2016.)

Deleted shows that Quartz were top-flight metallurgists well before the NWOBHM scene gobbled them up.  The re-release of their 1977 album with a crinkly brown sack over it implies some level of shame or disgrace, but with Quartz’s bowl-toking debut nothing could be further from the truth!  My score: B+ 

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