Note: I am aware that this entry is far from complete and does not track lineup changes correctly. As such, it doesn't even begin to tell the full Winters Reign story. But don't just whinge about it, send me the missing details!
Long-lived pop-metal band from Dublin founded by the Larkin brothers and managed by Joe Wynne, who'd previously managed the Mama's Boys. Future boy band impressario Louis Walsh was their booking agent. Their publisher in Ireland was RCI Records.
The original band made "The Mini Album" (1983) which was recorded over a number of years. It is highly rated by fans of the style, comparable to early Bon Jovi.
There was a series of lineup changes from 1984 onwards. Brian Heffernan left in 1984, replaced by Paul Dixon and Mick Cavanagh joined as guitarist/keyboards. A number of singles were released on labels like Scoff, Pussy and their own Q Records during this period (1984-86). The Larkin/Larkin/Cavanagh/Dixon/McMillan lineup began work on the follow up LP "The Beginning" at Westland Studios in Dublin. This was the bands first serious experience of the studio environment. The album was recorded in installments, so to speak, as funds allowed for more studio time.
After a Saturday night gig in Cavan, there was a major argument between Leo Larkin and manager Joe Wynne. This was the culmination of a power struggle between the two. Leo saw the band as his creation but Joe dictated policy as manager. Leo left the band as a result, and Billy followed him. In retrospect it seems odd that the Larkins left their own band! Stuart MacMillan left aswell, probably out of loyalty to the Larkins. The remaining three band members, Mick Cavanagh, Paul Dixon and Robbie Hurley continued as Winter's Reign. Robbie Poole became the drummer (Nigel Glockler of Saxon also played with the band at some point); Eoin O Donnell played guitar at some point.
By the time "In The Beginning" was completed, the lineup was Rob Hurley (vocals), Mick Cavanagh (guitar), Rod Pepper (bass) and Wataru T. Noguchi (drums). This lineup played the Moscow Peace Festival at some point (anyone know the details) so presumably good quality footage exists somwhere.
The Larkin brothers later returned as Foundation and Venture. They were also involved in Touchdown.
The band appeared on TV many times. Check the Videos page for links.
A-side off the mini-LP, B-side is another version of "Karen"; a rare single, possibly promo only
Note the inscription which reads "Jim, please play this if you like it!" is signed by Louis Walsh, the boyband manager.
Notes:: Lineup: Robbie Hurley - lead vocals & keyboards; Mick Cavanagh - lead guitar; Robbie Block - keyboards; Rodney Pepper - bass; Wataru Nogughi - drums & percussion.
Cover artwork by Jim Fitzpatrick
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