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|Origin||London, Great Britain|
|Genres||Hard rock, heavy metal|
|Labels||CBS, Pony Canyon|
|Associated acts||Tygers of Pan Tang, Iron Maiden, Liar, The Next Band, Wildfire, Def Leppard, Lautrec, Wild Horses, Stampede, Tytan, Grand Prix, Stratus, Airrace|
|Past members||Dennis Stratton
Lionheart was a British hard rock band formed in late 1980, originally featuring singer Jess Cox (ex-Tygers of Pan Tang), guitarist Dennis Stratton (ex-Iron Maiden), guitarist Steve Mann (ex-Liar), bassist/vocalist Rocky Newton (ex-The Next Band, Wildfire), and drummer Frank Noon (ex-The Next Band, Def Leppard).
Lionheart made their debut one Saturday night at the Marquee Club in London but musical differences ended with Cox leaving the band replaced by former Lautrec frontman, Reuben Archer. Former Judas Priest drummer Les Binks replaced the Wild Horses-bound Noon for the 1981 UK tour with Def Leppard with former Wild Horses drummer Clive Edwards eventually replacing Binks. Archer, too, would briefly spend time in Wild Horses before forming Stampede with his step son, guitarist Laurence Archer, Noon, and bassist Colin Bond.
The song "Lionheart", recorded by Reuben Archer, Dennis Stratton, Steve Mann, Rocky Newton, and Frank Noon would belatedly surface on the Heavy Metal Heroes Vol. 2 (Heavy Metal Records) compilation in 1982. That track remains the only representative recording of the band's early sound as they would change their style significantly later on.
A demo recorded by the core of Stratton, Mann, and Newton landed Lionheart a deal with the American branch of CBS Records in 1984. Enlisting new vocalist Chad Brown and securing the studio services of Leo Sayer band drummer Bob Jenkins, the band proceeded to record their debut album, Hot Tonight, with record producer Kevin Beamish (REO Speedwagon, Starship) in Los Angeles, California. This was a slick AOR-styled effort that failed to capture the old fans' interest or that of their target audience in the United States.
In 1985 the band continued with former Grand Prix members, drummer Andy Bierne and keyboardist Phil Lanzon, appearing on Channel 4's popular ECT program. Lanzon eventually left to join the reformed Sweet (and later Uriah Heep), while Brown gave way to new vocalist Keith Murrell (ex-Airrace).
Failing to make any headway, Lionheart split up in 1986. Bierne went into management, Murrell fronted Irish rock group, Mama's Boys, and Newton and Mann joined the McAuley Schenker Group. Dennis Stratton later found fame in Japan as part of an all-star Praying Mantis touring line-up alongside former Iron Maiden band mate Paul Di'Anno.
Steve Mann would sign on with Sweet as the guitarist/keyboardist in late 1989, ironically replacing his former Lionheart band mate Lanzon. Mann stayed on into the mid 1990s when he was invited by Frank Bornemann, owner of Horus Sound Studio in Hannover, Germany to play guitar and some keyboards for his band Eloy, completing a line-up that consisted of Klaus-Peter Matziol on bass, Michael Gerlach on keyboards, and Bodo Schopf (ex-McAuley Schenker Group, Sweet) on drums. Mann guested on both The Tides Return Forever and Ocean 2: The Answer and also took part in a tour of Germany.
Unearthed - Raiders of the Lost Archives, a 30-song collection of Lionheart demos, was issued in 1999 by Pony Canyon in Japan.
In 2016 it was disclosed that Lionheart would appear at the three-day Rockingham 2016 melodic/hard rock festival, held in Nottingham, United Kingdom. They will appear on Saturday 22 October, third in a seven-act line-up headlined by Steelheart.
- Hot Tonight (1984)
- Unearthed - Raiders of the Lost Archives (1999)
- "Lionheart". Allmusic Retrieved 2016-8-8
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