Pretty Maids: Undress Your Madness-2019.

Pretty Maids is a Danish hard rock/heavy metal band from HorsensDenmark. Formed in 1981 by Ronnie Atkins and Ken Hammer, their sound and music can be described as classic guitar-laden heavy rock with a strong emphasis on melodic elements like vocals and keyboards.

Over the years, Pretty Maids have sold hundreds of thousands of records, but have never broken through in a major way, except in Japan during the 1990s. They have supported well known bands such as Black SabbathWhitesnakeDeep PurpleAlice Cooper, and Saxon, and were also featured at the 1987 German version of Monsters of Rock, where Metallica headlined along with Deep Purple.[1]

After a prolonged international touring hiatus before the release of the 2006 Wake Up to the Real World album, the band have every year since been touring their primary markets of Denmark, Sweden, Germany, and Spain.

1980s

Pretty Maids were formed in 1981 by friends Ken Hammer and Ronnie Atkins in Horsens, Denmark.[2] They were initially a cover band first named Pretty Pretty Panick, but soon started writing their own material and a self-financed demo resulted in a deal with the English record label Bullet Records.

In 1983, the band released their debut self-titled EP under the name Pretty Maids, recognition was fuelled by great reaction to their UK tour the same year. The band outgrew their label, and in 1984 signed to CBS Records, who remixed and re-released their self-titled EP with a different cover.

In 1984, the band released their debut studio album, Red, Hot and Heavy,[2] which was a success.[citation needed] More acclaim[according to whom?] followed with their second studio album, Future World, released in 1987.[2] It was recorded in New York City with renowned producer Eddie Kramer. The album is considered to define the band’s sound, with typically aggressive rockers alongside more commercial, melodic moments.

1990s

The 1990 follow up Jump the Gun, produced by Deep Purple bassist Roger Glover,[2] offered more of the same catchy riffs. The record label had put in all efforts to break the charts worldwide with this record, but it never took off, except in Japan. The band more or less broke up after the lack of success with this record, leaving only founding members Ron Atkins and Ken Hammer.

They would not quit so recruited drummer Michael Fast and bass player Kenn Jackson, and went on to record Sin-Decade in 1992 with Metallica‘s producer Flemming Rasmussen. The album produced the hit single “Please Don’t Leave Me” – a John Sykes/Phil Lynott cover which opened the band up to an even wider audience.

The band did very well in Japan in the first half of the 1990s and have a large fanbase there. The Asian audience has a special craving for Pretty Maids’ ballads and more soft repertoire.

In 1995 however, the band surprised the fans and critics by releasing the storming Scream. This was an altogether heavier and guitar-lead approach which gained numerous plaudits and saw the band release their first live album, Screamin’ Live.

The follow-up Spooked, released in 1997, was regarded by many as an instant classic, maintaining the energy and heaviness of Scream whilst still capturing the quintessential melody that is Pretty Maids.

1999’s Anything Worth Doing Is Worth Overdoing produced the commercial, hard driving rock song Hell on High Heels.

2000s

In 2000 the band released the album Carpe Diem, which was more melodic than their previous offerings, disappointing certain factions of their fan-base.

In 2002 Pretty Maids released the album Planet Panic which was a trip back to the heavier sides of their catalogue.

In 2003 their management company Rock On went bankrupt due to some unwise business moves in September 2002. This left Pretty Maids in a bad financial situation and also left them with a lot of legal problems as well as lot of business and copyright mess.

Lead guitarist Ken Hammer had a heart attack on December 6, 2003. He has since recovered completely and has been on stage numerous times since the incident.

As of July 2005 the drummer since 1991, Michael Fast, decided to leave before the recording of Wake Up to the Real World – an album that was originally intended to be released in 2005, but the initial recordings was postponed to the summer of 2006. In April 2006, new drummer Allan Tschicaja (Royal HuntKingdom Come) was announced as Michael Fast’s replacement. In 2006, Morten Sandager (ex-Mercenary) joined Pretty Maids, playing the keyboards.

2010s

On May 14, 2010, Pretty Maids released their twelfth studio album, Pandemonium, through Frontiers Records, which was named one of their best albums.[citation needed] In April 2010, Pretty Maids announced that they have parted ways with bass player Kenn Jackson.[3] In May 2010, it was announced that American bass player Hal Patino (formerly of King Diamond) had replaced Jackson.[4] Patino announced in April 2011 that he had left Pretty Maids.[5]

Celebrating their 30th anniversary, Pretty Maids played a concert at Tivoli, Copenhagen, which featured Rene Shades [Mike Tramp] on bass. Rene Shades has replaced Hal Patino.

On September 15, 2012, Pretty Maids played in the US for the first time in the ProgPower festival.

Pretty Maids released their thirteenth studio album Motherland on March 22 in Europe and on March 26 in North America through Frontiers Records. Ronnie Atkins has called it the band’s “best album song by song”.[6]

In December 2015, Pretty Maids announced that their fifteenth studio album is set to be released in 2016.[7]

In February 2016, Pretty Maids announced that keyboard player Morten Sandager had left the band.[8] In September 2016, Pretty Maids announced that Chris Laney has joined the band, playing keyboards and guitars.

Pretty Maids released their fifteenth studio album Kingmaker on November 4, 2016 through Frontiers Records.

On May 1, 2017 it was announced that drummer Allan Tschicaja had left the band. In a statement he said: “It’s been a difficult decision for me, but I want to focus more on family, friends and other projects.”[9] He was replaced by Allan Sørensen on May 9, 2017, where he played for the first time with Pretty Maids on their opening slot for Kiss in Horsens, Denmark.[10]

On July 9, 2019 it was announced that Pretty Maids were forced to cancel their September 2019 ProgPower appearance due to personnel changes.

Discography:

Demo 1982Demo1982 
Heavy MetalDemo1983 
Pretty MaidsEP1983
Demo IIDemo1984 
A Place in the NightSingle1984 
Waitin’ for the TimeSingle1984 
Red, Hot and HeavyFull-length1984
DemoDemo1985 
Red Hot and HeavyEP1985
Demo 1986Demo1986 
Future WorldSingle1987
Love GamesSingle1987
Love GamesEP1987
Future WorldFull-length1987
Savage HeartSingle1990 
Young BloodSingle1990 
Quiet Riot / Pretty MaidsSplit1990 
Jump the Gun / Lethal HeroesFull-length1990
In Santa’s ClawsEP1990
Sin-DecadeFull-length1992
Please Don’t Leave MeSingle1992 
OffsideEP1992
In the Minds of the YoungSingle1992 
StrippedFull-length1993
If It Ain’t Gonna ChangeSingle1993 
ScreamFull-length1994
Walk AwaySingle1994 
Screamin’ LiveLive album1995
Hard Luck WomanSingle1997 
If It Can’t Be LoveSingle1997 
SpookedFull-length1997
The Best of…Back to BackCompilation1998
Anything Worth Doing, Is Worth OverdoingFull-length1999
With These EyesSingle1999 
Hell on High HeelsSingle1999 
Massacre’s Classix Shape EditionCompilation1999 
First Cuts … and Then SomeCompilation1999 
Carpe DiemFull-length2000
ClaySingle2000
For Once in Your LifeSingle2000 
Planet PanicFull-length2002
Alive at LeastLive album2003
Wake Up to the Real WorldFull-length2006 
Little Drops of HeavenSingle2010 
PandemoniumFull-length2010
It Comes Alive (Maid in Switzerland)Live album2012 
Mother of All LiesSingle2013 
Sad to See You SufferSingle2013 
MotherlandFull-length2013
Louder than EverFull-length2014 
Original Album ClassicsBoxed set2015 
KingmakerFull-length2016 
A Blast from the PastBoxed set2019 
KingmakerSingle2019 
Undress Your MadnessFull-length2019
ScreamSingle2020 
Maid in Japan – Future World Live 30 AnniversaryLive album2020 
Ken Hammer
Guitars (1981-present)
See also: Find Lizzy, ex-Roads, ex-Silvergrey Acid
Ronnie Atkins
Vocals (1982-present)
See also: Avantasia (live), Nordic Union, Ronnie Atkins, ex-L.A., ex-The Mini Four
Allan Tschicaja
Drums (2006-2017, 2019-present)
See also: ex-Furious Trauma, ex-Royal Hunt (live), ex-Missing Tide, ex-Jane Doe, ex-Kingdom Come (live)
René Shades
Bass (2011-present)
See also: Shades & Peters, ex-!pride!, ex-Sateria, ex-Vegas Vampire
Chris Laney
Keyboards (2016-present)
See also: Leif Edling, ex-Dion Fortune, At the Movies, Gathering of Kings, Laney’s Legion, Nu Jävlar!, Zan Clan, ex-Animal

Past Members:

Benny PetersenGuitars
See also: ex-Jackal, ex-Encore, ex-Artillery, ex-Evil, ex-Mercyful Fate, ex-Devil’s Symphony, ex-Harlot, ex-Trash
John DarrowBass (1981-1984)
See also: ex-Attica, ex-Shylock, CoverTrain, ex-Back to Black, ex-Lost Connection, ex-Toronto
Phil MoorheedDrums (1981-1991)
Pete CollinsGuitars (1982-1984, 1985-1989)
Alan “Stevie” OwenKeyboards (1982-1990, 2000-2002)
See also: ex-Fear Itself
Allan DelongBass (1984-1991)
See also: DeLong, ex-Shylock
Rick HansonGuitars (1984)
See also: ex-Shylock, ex-Pentagon, ex-Shotz
Ricky MarxGuitars (1989-1991)
See also: Now or Never
Dominic GaleKeyboards (1990-1996)
Kenn JacksonBass (1991-2010)
See also: ex-Now or Never
Michael Fast PetersenDrums (1991-2005)
See also: Den Danske Mafia, Glam Gang, Queen of Denmark, ex-Cold Pizza, ex-Dudes in Limos, ex-Fanny Hill, ex-Find Lizzy, ex-Hero
Morten SandagerKeyboards (2006-2016)
See also: ex-Behind the Curtain, At the Movies, Firesoul, ex-Mercenary, ex-Melodic Meltdown, ex-Elopa
Allan SørensenDrums (2017-2019)
See also: ex-Narita, ex-Stonehenge, ex-Cornerstone, At the Movies, Scarlet, Statement, ex-Royal Hunt, ex-Prime Time, ex-Highway Jam

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