SPV: ROCK OF AGES
Bringing The best Of Europe To America
by Todd K Smith
SPV are off to a great start after working out their efforts for American distribution. The German-based company is 17 years old and was organized in 1984, by its current managing director, Manfred Schütz. The company counts among Germany's four most eminent independent record companies and among the ten most successful record companies in Europe. SPV looks after a catalogue of over 4,500 products and since its existence has been instrumental in the development of numerous bands and multiple trends.
SPVs European office employs around 85 staff members and has all the equipment and facilities that a record company requires, with the exception of its own CD manufacturing plant. SPV has its own legal department, a promotion division for the various media sectors, its own A & R (Artist & Repertoire), export and data-processing departments and a graphic design unit that produces all the artwork that the company requires, from ads to CD booklets, as well as its own stock-keeping and central warehouse.
Soon after the label was founded, SPV became the first German label to help create and influence the heavy metal scene. As distributors for Roadrunner records, who at the time had just signed new artists like Metallica, Anthrax and Slayer, or melodic metal with acts like Helloween and Kreator, SPV made an important contribution from the start, while their own signings, like Sodom (over one million albums sold to date), Destruction and Metal Church, were also instrumental in the development of the market. Sub-imprint Steamhammer, which was founded around that time, is still an important part of the metal movement and has become the leading metal label worldwide.
The orientation towards Europe and the world has been a significant factor in the company's development. Germany is one of the most important markets worldwide, yet SPV have been emphasizing the development and promotion of a Europe-wide network from the beginning, making it possible to release the repertoire of a particular artist in all European countries from Finland to Portugal and from Greece to Iceland.
Hot on the labels current roster is MSG (Michael Schenker Group) "Be Aware Of Scorpions" featuring newly discovered vocalist Chris Logan along with bassist Rev Jones (Black Symphony) and drummer Jeff Martin (Racer X). The first track, "No Turning Back" has potential for a new MSG classic. In-your-face songs like "Because I Can" or "Blinded By Technology" are typical MSG standards and therefore both exciting and new while remaining true to the UFO / Scorpions gutairtists roots. Ballads "On Your Way" and "Be Aware Of Scorpions" showcases Schenkers ability to combine the force of his Flying V with his acoustic sensitivity.
Glenn Hughes has always crossed musical boundaries. Since 1973, when he was enlisted by Deep Purple as their bassist and vocalist. Hughes has brought out numerous solo albums, stylistically they reflect his moods in rock, metal, funk and soul, while also making a mark as a studio guest on countless projects by other illustrious musicians. Hughes current album is called Building The Machine another colorful mix of diverse styles, with Hughes characteristic voice standing out repeatedly.
Other brilliant SPV titles include, Saxon - Killing Ground, Blackmores Night - Fires At Midnight, Saga - House Of Cards and Angra - Rebirth