The Cross (band)

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This article is about the band. For the Sigrid Undset historical novel, see The Cross (novel). For other uses, see Cross (disambiguation).
The Cross
The Cross 1990 Neu Isenburg 1.jpg
The Cross onstage in Germany, 1990.
Background information
Origin England
Genres Pop rock, dance-rock, hard rock
Years active 1987–1993, 2013
Labels Virgin, Parlophone, EMI Electrola
Associated acts Queen
Past members Roger Taylor
Spike Edney
Clayton Moss
Peter Noone
Josh Macrae

The Cross was a side project of Queen's Roger Taylor that existed from 1987 to 1993 and released three albums. Although the drummer in Queen, Taylor fronted The Cross as rhythm guitarist and lead vocalist. On its debut release, the classic rock band incorporated dance influences which they dropped on their remaining two albums. The band never enjoyed much commercial success, but continues to retain some interest among avid fans of Queen.

History[edit]

Taylor formed The Cross while Queen were on hiatus after the Magic Tour in 1986. He recruited Queen's tour keyboardist, Spike Edney, but advertised for the remaining musicians. When the band was formed, guitarist Clayton Moss, bassist Peter Noone (not to be confused with the Herman's Hermits singer of the same name), and drummer Josh Macrae were unestablished in the field. Taylor himself never played the drums in The Cross.[1]

The band's albums and singles were not commercially successful, although they did manage to reach the British charts with several and they enjoyed moderate success in Germany. The first album, Shove It, was released on Virgin Records in 1987. Largely a solo project for Taylor, who had written the songs prior to forming the band, the album and the three singles it spawned did reach the charts in the UK, where it also received some positive press. The band toured in support of the album before Taylor took a short break for the 1989 Queen album The Miracle, for which there was no tour.

First album: Shove It[edit]

After Queen's 1986 Magic Tour, the band members went their separate ways to do various solo work. Taylor decided to form a new band with whom he could tour. He had already written and recorded the album himself before finding a band to play the songs with. He eventually placed an ad for band members in a national newspaper, hinting he was a famous rock musician. The position of keyboard player was duly offered to Spike Edney after two successful Queen tours with him handling the keys. When the auditions were over, the line-up was completed by Peter Noone on Bass, Clayton Moss on Guitar, and Josh Macrae on Drums. Taylor himself would take the responsibility on lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist.

The first album, Shove It, was released in 1987. Two tracks featured featured fellow Queen band members: the track Heaven for Everyone contained Freddie Mercury vocals and Love Lies Bleeding (She Was A Wicked, Wily Waitress) featured Brian May on Guitar. The European CD contained an extra track (compared to cassette and LP) in The 2nd Shelf Mix, the US version having "Feel The Force" as its extra track. The band promoted hard in Germany especially, with many TV performances of singles including an appearance at the Montreux Golden Rose festival in 1988. The tour took in dates in the UK and Germany. Three singles were released from the album: "Cowboys and Indians", "Heaven for Everyone" and "Shove It". Another single, "Manipulator," was released in 1988, but it was not included on any album. It was also the only song from the time that had joint writing credits, Taylor sharing them with Spike Edney and Steve Strange.

The second single from Shove It, "Heaven for Everyone" would be re-recorded by the remaining members of Queen using the original lead vocals by Freddie Mercury from the album version. It was released as the lead single from the 1995 album Made in Heaven and went on to become a major hit in several countries.

Second album: Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know[edit]

Taylor performing with The Cross in 1990.

After finishing Queen's 1989 album The Miracle, Taylor went into the studio with the rest of The Cross for the first time to record Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know. The band composed the opening track "Top Of The World Ma". The rest of the album consisted mainly of individually written songs, except for "Power To Love" which was a joint venture by Macrae, Noone and Moss. Clayton Moss sang lead vocals on his own track "Better Things", and Spike Edney played mandolin on "Final Destination", which was written by Taylor. "Final Destination" was released as a single, as were "Liar" and "Power To Love", the latter being the last single to be released in the UK by the group. "Final Destination" came with a live rendition of Taylor's song "Man On Fire" as a B-side, and "Liar" (Noone) had a brand new track, "In Charge Of My Heart", which was also penned by Taylor. The 12" single and CD of "Liar" also included extended remixes of both "Liar" and "In Charge Of My Heart". The instrumental section at the beginning of "In Charge Of My Heart" was used as the opening to concerts on the accompanying tour. "Closer To You" (Edney) had been planned to be released in America, but the idea was never discussed again. The group having seemingly given up on the UK market, the accompanying tour only included dates in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Ibiza. Unusual for such tours, every song from the new album was played live.

Third album: Blue Rock[edit]

Made at a time when Taylor's efforts were concentrated on Queen and Mercury himself, Blue Rock gave the other members of the band a chance to take control of the upcoming album. It was in fact mostly written by Edney, who contributed three of his own tracks and contributed to four more. Once again the opening track was penned by the entire band, "Bad Attitude" was written (although not complete) by the Christmas fan club party of 1990. Blue Rock itself was only released in Germany (although promo copies were released in Italy and Japan), so it is pretty rare to find on the market. "New Dark Ages" (Taylor) was released in Germany with another live version of "Man On Fire", whilst "Life Changes" was released with the B-side "Heartland". It was however immediately withdrawn, due to the death of Freddie Mercury. The tour was in support of Magnum, so the concert lengths were short (45 mins.) and very few bootlegs survived. The tour was rapid, covering 20 dates in one month.

EMI Records refused to release a third album by the band. However, as the band had enjoyed moderate success in Germany, EMI's German branch EMI Electrola still released their third effort, Blue Rock (1991), in that country.

Break up[edit]

The band broke up in 1993 after performing a final show. Taylor continued working with Queen and produced solo albums. Drummer Macrae accompanied Taylor on his solo tours and also played percussion at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert. Both Taylor and keyboardist Edney participated in the Queen + Paul Rodgers tours, while Macrae worked behind the scenes as a sound engineer and Pro Tools engineer for them. In the late 1990s, Edney formed the SAS Band ("Spike's All Stars"), a group with an ever-changing line-up of 1980s rock stars.

2013 Reunion Concert[edit]

It was announced on Spike Edney's Facebook page on 23 July 2013 that The Cross would reunite for one night only at G Live, Guildford, on 7 Dec, twenty years after their official break-up. The set list was: In Charge of My Heart, Top of the World Ma, Cowboys and Indians, Heaven for Everyone, Liar, Sister Blue, Final Destination, Man on Fire, Ain´t Put Nothing Down, Power to Love, Dirty Mind, and New Dark Ages.

Tours[edit]

Shove It: 1988[edit]

Date City Country Venue
19 February 1988 Leeds England Leeds University
20 February 1988 Glasgow Scotland Glasgow University
21 February 1988 Leicester England Leicester Polytechnic
23 February 1988 Sheffield England Sheffield Polytechnic
24 February 1988 Nottingham England Rock City
26 February 1988 Manchester England Manchester University
27 February 1988 Bradford England Bradford University
28 February 1988 Newcastle England The Mayfair
1 March 1988 Southampton England The Mayfair Suite
2 March 1988 Cardiff Wales Cardiff University
4 March 1988 Norwich England University of East Anglea
5 March 1988 Birmingham England The Hummingbird
6 March 1988 Leeds England Leeds University
7 March 1988 Bristol England Bristol Studio
9 March 1988 Guilford England Guilford Guildhall
10 March 1988 London England Town & Country Club
11 April 1988 Bremen Germany Modernes
12 April 1988 Hamburg Germany Markthalle
13 April 1988 Metropol Germany Berlin
14 April 1988 Munich Germany Theaterfabrik
16 April 1988 Erlangen Germany E-Werk
17 April 1988 Frankfurt Germany Music Hall
18 April 1988 Hanover Germany Capitol
19 April 1988 Esslingen Germany Club Music & Action
20 April 1988 Mannheim Germany Capitol
21 April 1988 Düsseldorf Germany Tor 3
23 April 1988 Dortmund Germany Westfallenhalle II
24 April 1988 Bonn Germany Biskuithalle

Mad, Bad & Dangerous To Know: 1990[edit]

  • 01/04/90: Festival For Life (Geneva, Switzerland)
  • 21/05/90: Capitol (Hannover, Germany)
  • 22/05/90: Biskuithallen (Bonn, Germany)
  • 23/05/90: Blickpunktstudios (Dortmund, Germany)
  • 24/05/90: Outpost (Göttingen, Germany)
  • 26/05/90: Docks (Hamburg, Germany)
  • 27/05/90: Max Music Hall (Kiel, Germany)
  • 28/05/90: Metropol (Berlin, Germany)
  • 29/05/90: De Melkweg (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
  • 30/05/90: Hugennottenhalle (Neu-Isenburg, Germany)
  • 01/06/90: Ku Club (Ibiza, Spain)
  • 02/06/90: Ku Club (Ibiza, Spain)
  • 03/06/90: Bosenbachstadion (St. Wendel, Germany)
  • 04/06/90: Serenadenhof (Nuremberg, Germany)
  • 05/06/90: Akantz (Tuttlingen, Germany)
  • 06/06/90: Alte Feuerwache (Mannheim, Germany)
  • 07/06/90: PC69 (Bielefeld, Germany)
  • 08/06/90: Theaterhaus Wangen (Stuttgart, Germany)
  • 15/06/90: Donauinsel (Vienna, Germany)

Blue Rock: 1991[edit]

  • 03/10/91: Tavastia Club (Helsinki, Finland)
  • 05/10/91: Hagadal (Hultsfred, Sweden)
  • 07/10/91: Konserthuset (Gothenburg, Sweden)
  • 09/10/91: Music Hall (Hannover, Germany)
  • 10/10/91: Rock Heaven (Herford, Germany)
  • 11/10/91: Docks (Hamburg, Germany)
  • 12/10/91: Astoria (Bremen, Germany)
  • 13/10/91: Tempodrom (Berlin, Germany)
  • 14/10/91: Freiheitshalle (Hof, Germany)
  • 15/10/91: Circus Krone (Munich, Germany)
  • 16/10/91: Stadthalle (Memmingen, Germany)
  • 18/10/91: Volkshaus (Zurich, Switzerland)
  • 20/10/91: Schwarzwaldhalle (Appenweiher, Germany)
  • 21/10/91: Maintauberhalle (Wertheim, Germany)
  • 22/10/91: Stadthalle (Offenbach, Germany)
  • 23/10/91: Philipshalle (Düsseldorf, Germany)
  • 24/10/91: Stadthalle (Erlengen, Germany)
  • 25/10/91: Festhalle (Dietenheim, Germany)
  • 26/10/91: Sporthalle Birkelbach (Erntebrück, Germany)
  • 27/10/91: Forum (Ludwigsburg, Germany)

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Year Title UK
[2]
DE
[3]
1987 Shove It 58 -
1990 Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know - 48
1991 Blue Rock - -

Singles[edit]

Year Title UK
[2]
DE
[3]
Album
1987 "Cowboys and Indians" 74 - Shove It
1988 "Shove It" 83 -
"Heaven for Everyone" 84 68
"Manipulator" - - non-album single
1990 "Power to Love" 83 - Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know
"Liar" - -
"Final Destination" - -
1991 "New Dark Ages" - - Blue Rock
"Life Changes"

References[edit]

External links[edit]