Perfect from start to finish, somehow this disc isn’t among rock’s royalty. The production is first rate for rock and roll sound. Original rock and a cover of Montrose’s “I Got the Fire” that was a little slicker than the original. Barth (who vocally sounds like a young Sammy Hagar at times) and Michael Osbourne deliver a one-two punch on guitars. If you love Montrose, Aerosmith,and Blackfoot, then you will appreciate this overlooked classic.
Axe were a metal rock band led by vocalist Edgar Riley and guitarist Bobby Barth. They released numerous albums in the 80’s and have had a cult following ever since. Their two biggest albums were Offering (1982) & Nemesis (1983), their only Billboard charting albums. Offering rose to # 81 in 1982. First time on CD. Wounded Bird. 2003.
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During the early 80’s, as I was in High School, I was (and still am) a hard rock, heavy metal fan. I collected everything I could get my hands on. I was on a trip to get SAXON’s Denim and Leather LP and it wasn’t in. I started shopping around to buy something and started in the A’s. I quickly ran across AXE OFFERRINGS and loved the cover. I shopped by the cover sometimes if I knew nothing of the band. When I put the LP on my turntable I didn’t like it at first. I was expecting heavy guitars like SAXON or Iron Maiden. This album had a certain sofistication in it that, I, as a teenager, had to listen to a few times to grasp. Never heard a Hard Rock album with piano lead ins. After all these years, this album remains in my top 10 LP’s (now CD) to play. Reminds me of so many things, and looking back, it was my first step toward expanding my horizon on what Hard Rock/Heavy Metal was/is. Axe’s sound, to me, is like Bob Seger electrified!! Great job on this CD and their second one, NEMESIS. Got them both at the same time and immediately put them in my CD roullette.
No, don’t shy away from the title “80’s Metal” as the decade isn’t completely defined by hair bands and power ballads. Axe were much too, how do you say it, plain looking to be confused with Def Leppard, Whitesnake, or even Quiet Riot (a band who they actually toured with and consistently smoked off the stage as the opener).Axe were your typical hard rock bar band type that had just enough licks to find them tapping on the shoulders of 80’s A.O.R. radio stations. In order to get there, however, they put on a lot of polish to keep the airwaves sweet, which means that “Rock And Roll Party In The Streets” could have easily used some Everclear in the punch. Axe seemed to have enough chops to translate “Offering” to the stage, but failed to accomplish what lesser bands have done: translate a sh*t hot live set down on wax. This is as close as they got and they were better than some that went farther. Recommended if you’re reading this. Not so much if you’ve clicked onwards.
OFFERING is the best album that Axe ever did. Bobby Barth’s lead vocals and lead guitar are white-hot, and Michael Osbourne’s rhythm guitar is strong and assertive. The entire first side is terrific, and the second side is, too, until the last song or two. I own this album on cassette, and it’s great that it’s now been made available on CD. Unfortunately, Michael Osbourne is not around to enjoy it; he died in a car crash in 1984.
Offering is the first cassette I sought to replace when CDs emerged on the market. I had “20 Years from Home” but had been devistated to find the songs I remembered and loved remixed on it.
Most people can claim a song or a band as their generation’s trademark call to party; Axe’s “Rock and Roll Party” and “Burn the City Down” was ours. I had 3 cassettes of Offering, one for my car, one for my boyfriend’s and one for the portable player I took on my morning run. Friday nights started out with these songs blasting on the stereo.
Of course such reminisence tells little about the music. Axe supplied some pounding rock rhythms with lyrics that were identifiable and discernable, if not especially profound. They successfully built a bridge from rock to heavy metal, spanning dance/pop in a style similar to (but equal or better) that of other popular rock songs of that time period unique enough to transcend the predominating punk/pop culture, like Tonight is What it Means to be Young (off the Streets of Fire album), Dancing in the Dark (Springsteen) and On the Dark Side (Eddie and the Cruisers). Axe offered refreshment to a generation who had teethed on the likes of Led Zepplin, Rush, Yes, The Who and The Doors, but were getting cavities on the pop candy tunes of Madonna, the GoGos, Prince and Duran Duran. Axe’s intrepid style earned them airplay on most radio stations and a loyal fan following. This style is showcased on Offering. I am thrilled that the music on Offering has been preserved for the evaluation and, hopefully, enjoyment of generations to come.