By Carl Begai
During a soon-to-be-published BraveWords interview in support of his new solo album, When Life Was Hard & Fast, vocalist / guitarist Ricky Warwick discussed the forthcoming box set from The Almighty. Warwick launched the band in with drummer Stump Monroe and bassist Floyd London in 1988; original guitarist Tantrum was replaced by Peter Friesen in 1991. The Almighty went on indefinite hiatus in 2008 when London announced he was leaving the band.
Warwick revealed the box set has been a long time in coming and only became a reality in 2020.
“It was a nightmare purely for that reason, just getting clearance from all the various labels and everything,” he says. “It took a while. Some labels were very cooperative and were very fast, others dragged their heels and took forever: It was definitely a labour of love, so big kudos to my management for pursuing it. I wanted to put the house in order because it was so messy; so much stuff was unavailable, so much stuff was all over the place. It bugged me for so long and I needed help to do that. I didn’t even know where to begin, so to have management helping me… they were fantastic. We’ve been working along with Stump for the last five or six years trying to put this together, so to finally get it all in one place is just wonderful. It’ll definitely come out this year. We’re just waiting on a release date.”
Asked is he has a favourite in The Almighty’s seven studio album catalogue, Warwick admits one stands out for him.
“For many reasons it would have to be Crank (released in 1994) because I just feel the band was at it’s most cohesive, most unified, and I had such a great time writing and making that record. And I think the band was at the height of its popularity at that point. It was a good time; 1994 was a good year to be in The Almighty and I have very fond memories of it.”
“It was a great experience, ” he constinues. “We holed up for about five or six weeks in January ’94 in this beautiful studio down in Sussex in the south of England. We had Iron Maiden’s monitor system in this barn – they lent it to us – and no pun intented but we had it cranked, thus the name of the album. We would just go in there and play full-on, and we were all so invested in it as a band. We were all focused and driven and inspired. Every day was exciting. I remember getting up every morning and couldn’t wait to get in there, plug in and play. We recorde it at the Manor – which is Richard Branson’s old place – during a beautiful hot summer. We’d work our asses off during the week, friends would come down on the weekends and we’d party. It was a great time and a great vibe. It was a good time to be alive and I think that’s why the album means so much to me personally. And it’s a killer album.”
Details of The Almighty box set have yet to be revealed, but following is a list of the band’s album catalogue from top to bottom, including live releases and compilations.
Blood, Fire And Love (1989)
Blood, Fire And Live (1990 – live)
Soul Destruction (1991)
Crank And Deceit: Live In Japan (1995 – release limited to Japan)
Just Add Life (1996)
The Almighty (2000)
Wild And Wonderful (2002 – compilation)
Anth’f**ing’ology (2007 – compilation)
All Proud, All Live, All Mighty – (2008 – live)
The All Fuckin B-Sides Vol 1 – (2008 – compilation)