BADLANDS (1989–92). Jake E. Lee (guitar), Ray Gillen (vocals), Greg Chaisson (bass), Eric Singer (drums).
Formed around ex-Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Jake E. Lee and latter-day Black Sabbath vocalist Ray Gillen, Badlands were to a large extent a band out of time. Toward the end of the hair band era, the group looked more to the early seventies hard rock of Free and Led Zeppelin for musical inspiration, and their gritty back to basics approach in some ways presaged the coming of grunge, which similarly sought to strip hard rock and metal of its more pretentious elements. But the band never really took off since they weren’t really embraced by pop/hair metal fans and didn’t really fit in with the post-punk grunge aesthetic that was just around the corner.
After a promising debut and follow-up, internal disputes about the band’s musical direction led to a falling out between Lee and Gillen, and the singer left the band. While the band attempted to soldier on with new singer John West, the band was dropped by their label (Atlantic) and went their separate ways shortly thereafter.
Discography: Badlands (Atlantic, 1989); Voodoo Highway (Atlantic, 1991); Dusk (Pony Canyon, 1999).