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For other uses, see Stabilizer (disambiguation).
The Stabilizers
Origin Erie, Pennsylvania, United States
Genres Pop
Years active 1981–1984, as Prophecy (precursor band)
1985-1991, as The Stabilizers
Labels Columbia Records
Members Dave Christenson
Rich Nevens
Past members Dan Haight
John Schaaf
George Hazuda
Jim Nordstrom
Paul Sullivan

The Stabilizers were an American pop/rock band from Erie, Pennsylvania, founded in the mid-1980s by musicians Dave Christenson (lead vocals), England-born[1] Rich Nevens (guitars and occasional keyboards), and Dan Haight (drums). They arose out of the ashes of the early 1980s band, Prophecy.


In the early 1980s, Christenson was the bassist/singer in the local Erie band, Prophecy, which also included keyboardist John Schaaf, who later joined The Stabilizers. Prophecy toured across Pennsylvania, Ohio, and New York, scoring a local hit with "Another American Rock 'N Roll Story" and generating mild record company interest in the process. However, the band, unable to secure a major label record deal, would not survive the mid-1980s, playing their final show in 1984; Christenson connected with Nevens later that year[2] to form The Stabilizers with other members, including Schaaf on keyboards and saxophone,[3][4] and Haight on drums.[citation needed] After continuing to tour the Pennsylvania area and recording original compositions on a 4-track recorder,[5] they were signed to Columbia Records in 1985, releasing Tyranny, their first and only album, the following year. By this time, only Christenson and Nevens remained in the official band lineup, with Haight, Schaaf, and other previous bandmembers not appearing on the recording.

The guitar and synth-laced album followed in the style of other 1980s bands such as a-ha, Duran Duran, Tears for Fears and Mr. Mister. The first single from Tyranny was "One Simple Thing," which peaked at number 21 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart in 1986 and number 93 on the Billboard Hot 100[6] in 1987,[7] helped by the band's performance of the song on American Bandstand. Two music videos were released to promote the album: "One Simple Thing", which was directed by David Fincher - who would go on to greater success directing the feature films Alien 3, Se7en and Fight Club - and "Tyranny", directed by David Hogan.

The "Tyranny" single failed to chart, and for the next five years, The Stabilizers disappeared from view. However, in 1991, an unreleased track from the Tyranny sessions, "Maybe This Time," surfaced on the soundtrack to the film If Looks Could Kill. Although no additional music has been released from the band since then, Tyranny has been re-released digitally via the iTunes Store.

Band Members[edit]

  • Dave Christenson: Lead vocals, Occasional Bass guitar
  • Rich Nevens: Guitar, Keyboards

Earlier members[edit]

  • Dan Haight: Drums[citation needed]
  • Jon Schaaf: Keyboards, Saxophone
  • George Hazuda: Drums
  • Jim Nordstrom: Bass
  • Paul Sullivan: Guitar