Comprising members from Iron Maiden, MSG, UFO and Shy, since 1980 Lionheart have been rocking with their special brand of Classic Rock.
LIONHEART represent a veritable Who’s Who of British rock and between them have worked with Def Leppard, Whitesnake, Thin Lizzy, Bon Jovi, Scorpions, Ozzy Osbourne, Rush, Black Crowes, Sweet, Magnum, Saxon, Hans Zimmer, and Albert Lee to name but a few. The band’s latest album release is “The Reality of Miracles”.
LIONHEART was formed in late 1980 by Dennis Stratton (lead guitar/backing vocals, Iron Maiden), Steve Mann (lead guitar/keyboards/backing vocals, Michael Schenker), Rocky Newton (bass guitar/backing vocals, Michael Schenker), Frank Noon (drums, Def Leppard) and Jess Cox (lead vocals, Tygers of Pan Tang). The band began playing gigs including regular shows at London’s famous Marquee Club but initially had problems maintaining a consistent line-up. The core personnel of Dennis, Steve and Rocky remained but various singers passed through the band including Rueben Archer, John Farlham and Bob Hawthorn. They eventually settled as a 4-piece with Dennis and Rocky sharing lead vocals. The drummer’s stool was variously occupied by Les Binks (Judas Priest), Niko McBrain (Iron Maiden) and their current sticks-man Clive Edwards (UFO, Wild Horses).
Between 1981 and 1984 LIONHEART played regular live shows and supported both Def Leppard and Whitesnake on their UK tours. In between gigs they spent many hours writing and recording demos of new songs while searching for a record deal. It wasn’t until 1984 that CBS Records in the USA offered them a contract, by which time singer Chad Brown had joined the fold. They flew to Los Angeles in March 1984 to record their debut album Hot Tonight with producer Kevin Beamish (REO Speedwagon) and session drummer Bob Jenkins (Leo Sayer, Kiki Dee). The album was recorded at the legendary Sound City Studios in Van Nuys and mixed at Kendun Recorders.
Upon their return to the England LIONHEART recorded a high-budget video for the single “Die For Love”. The late comic genius Rik Mayall played the part of the mad professor and in later years the video achieved cult status on YouTube due in part to the wonderfully wooden acting of the band! Unfortunately, planned UK tours as support to Kansas and Foreigner were cancelled at the last moment. Promotion of the album suffered and LIONHEART found themselves in limbo. Chad Brown left the band in 1985 to be replaced by Keith Murrell, with his Mama’s Boys band-mate Toby Sadler and Phil Lanzon (Uriah Heep) guesting on keyboards. Andy Bierne (Grand Prix) appeared on drums for Lionheart’s ECT appearance on national UK television. More demos were recorded with the new line-up but unfortunately momentum had been lost and the band eventually decided to take a hiatus. Rocky went on to record backing vocals on 2 Def Leppard albums and join Michael Schenker with Steve, while Dennis spent 15 years with Praying Mantis.
In 2016 LIONHEART was invited to play at the Rockingham Festival in Nottingham, UK and all original members, apart from Chad Brown, agreed to it. Lee Small from SHY came into the band as lead singer and helped to elevate the band to a new level. The show created quite a stir, not least within the band itself, and it was decided to carry on with the subsequent recording of a new album followed by an acclaimed appearance at Sweden Rock. The resulting record, “Second Nature”, was created between November 2016 and May 2017 and was produced, engineered and mastered by Steve Mann in his own Flying Vivaldi Studio in Hannover. A mini tour of Japan with Praying Mantis took place in June/July with further UK shows with Airrace in November/December. The album was released on King Records in Japan on 21st June and on AOR Heaven throughout Europe on 25th August.
The latest record “The Reality Of Miracles” took 2 years to put together and was again produced, mixed and mastered by Steve Mann in Flying Vivaldi Studio. LIONHEART signed a world-wide deal with Metalville Records who released the album on 31st July 2020. King Records released the record in Japan and Korea on September 23rd 2020. Worldwide the album received rave reviews.
“This is one of my albums of the year and came completely out of the blue. You need to check it out.” – The Rockpit, Australia
“The Reality of Miracles is a true hard/melodic rock masterpiece.” – The Dirty Room
“The Reality Of Miracles is an audible time machine into the 80’s, with the album’s dominant power metal vibe sending the listener on an epic journey far away from the consuming madness of 2020”.
“The utopian optimism of Lionheart is a welcoming one, a reminder of better days, making it easy to escape into the fantasy world of The Reality Of Miracles” – Jazmin L’Amy
“You can’t have this much talent in a band and not expect the album to be great” – George Dionne (Metal Express Radio)
“What an album, having listened to it a few times it leaves you feeling positive and good about yourself” – StoakesMedia.co.uk