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Imperial Band Zenekar

Smile were an English rock band based in London, and the predecessor to rock band Queen. The band was formed in 1968 by Brian May, who went on to become Queen's guitarist. It included Tim Staffell as lead singer and bass guitarist, and later, drummer Roger Taylor, who also went on to play for Queen. They recorded only six songs and disbanded in 1970. These songs were titled "April Lady", "Step on Me", "Polar Bear", "Earth", "Blag", and "Doin' Alright" (later re-recorded by Queen for their self-titled debut album in 1973). These songs exist on the CD Ghost of a Smile. "April Lady" was dedicated to Roger Taylor's girlfriend at the time.

Imperial Band Zenekar

Hampton School mates and guitarists Tim Staffell and Brian May joined other friends to form a musical group in 1965 called "1984". They played many gigs in West London, opening for more famous bands, and they recorded four cover songs at Thames Television in May 1967, as well as "Step On Me" written by May and Staffell. In early 1968, first May then Staffell left the group. May was an astrophysics student at London's Imperial College, and Staffell was enrolled at Ealing Art College. They placed an advertisement on the college notice board for a "Ginger Baker type" drummer, and a young dental student named Roger Taylor auditioned on bongos (his drum kit was elsewhere) and got the job. The band debuted by opening for either Pink Floyd or the Troggs (stories differ) at Imperial College in October 1968. The band now a trio had their biggest public performance on 27 February 1969 at a concert in aid of the National Council for the Unmarried Mother and Her Child, held at the Royal Albert Hall. May, Taylor and Staffell performed on guitar, drums and bass respectively.[2]

In March 1969, the band played at a venue known as PJ's, using claims to have previously been played on BBC Radio 1 to secure an audience. It seems likely that the claims were fictitious, however.[3][4] In May the band signed a one-off recording deal by Mercury Records to record three tracks, "Earth" (Staffell), "Step on Me" (May), and "Doin' All Right" (May/Staffell). These were recorded in June 1969 at Trident Studios in Soho.

Smile reunited for several songs on 22 December 1992. Taylor's band The Cross were headlining a gig, and he brought May and Staffell on to play "Earth" and "If I Were a Carpenter".[7] May also performed several other songs that night.

HIM (sometimes stylized as H.I.M.) was a Finnish gothic rock band from Helsinki. First formed in 1991 by vocalist Ville Valo and bassist Mikko "Mige" Paananen under the name His Infernal Majesty, the band broke up after only a few years, only to be reformed in 1995 by Valo and guitarist Mikko "Linde" Lindström. After being rejoined by Mige, as well as keyboardist Antto Melasniemi and drummer Juhana "Pätkä" Rantala, the band, now called HIM, released its debut album Greatest Lovesongs Vol. 666 in 1997. In 2000, now with drummer Mika "Gas Lipstick" Karppinen and keyboardist Juska Salminen, the band released Razorblade Romance, which reached the number one spot in Finland, Austria and Germany. The first single "Join Me in Death" also charted at number one in Finland and Germany, eventually going platinum and gold, respectively. Following the addition of Janne "Burton" Puurtinen on keyboards, HIM released Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights (2001) and Love Metal (2003). Both cracked the top ten in several countries and allowed the band to tour in the United Kingdom and the United States for the first time.

In 2005, HIM released Dark Light, which became the group's most commercially successful album to date. HIM also became the first Finnish group in history to receive a gold record in the US. In 2007, HIM released Venus Doom, the making of which was marred by problems in Valo's personal life. Nevertheless, the album gave the band its highest chart position in the US at number twelve. After 2010's Screamworks: Love in Theory and Practice, HIM went on a hiatus after Gas Lipstick was forced to take medical leave. Following several months of uncertainty, the band regrouped and released the album Tears on Tape in 2013. Gas Lipstick announced his departure from the band in 2015 and was subsequently replaced by Jukka "Kosmo" Kröger. On 5 March 2017, HIM announced that the band would be disbanding following a farewell tour in 2017. The band played its final show on New Year's Eve 2017 as a part of its annual Helldone Festival.

HIM is one of the most commercially successful Finnish bands of all time, with sales of over ten million records. HIM has also received numerous accolades, including eight Emma Awards. The band is known for its distinct sound, which combines more melodic and melancholic elements with heavier influences. This made it difficult for audiences to categorize HIM's music, which led to the band coining the term "love metal". HIM is also known for its logo, the heartagram, which has made numerous appearances in other media.

The first incarnation of HIM was formed in 1991 by childhood friends Ville Valo and Mikko "Mige" Paananen in Helsinki, Finland. Valo played six-string bass, which substituted for guitar, while Mige also played bass. The band had two rotating drummers: Sami "Juippi" Jokilehto and Juha Tarvonen.[1][2][3] Dubbed His Infernal Majesty, other names considered for the band included Black Earth, Black Salem and Kafferi.[4] After recording its first demo Witches and Other Night Fears,[5] His Infernal Majesty played its first show on New Year's Eve 1992 at the Semifinal in Helsinki. The band broke up shortly thereafter, when Mige began his national military service.[2][6][7] In 1995, His Infernal Majesty was reformed by Valo and guitarist Mikko "Linde" Lindström. Together they recorded a four-track demo, which featured Valo on drums and vocals, and Linde on guitar and bass. Valo originally intended to remain as the bassist for the group, but took up the role of lead vocalist out of necessity, after they were unable to find another singer.[7][8] Eventually the two were joined by returning bassist Mige and drummer Juhana "Pätkä" Rantala. The group played its first show on 19 December 1995 at the Teatro in Helsinki, opening for Kauko Röyhkä. The band's next show was also at the Teatro, this time performing Type O Negative covers, for which they recruited keyboardist Janne "Burton" Puurtinen.[9]

His Infernal Majesty continued to record several more demos, sending them to Nuclear Blast, Roadrunner and Spinefarm Records, among others, all of whom passed on the band.[10] Eventually they were signed to BMG by production manager Asko Kallonen, who was impressed by the band's cover of Chris Isaak's "Wicked Game".[7][11] In October 1996, the band, now called HIM, released the EP 666 Ways to Love: Prologue. Recorded in only five days and produced by Hiili Hiilesmaa, the EP also featured Oskari "Oki" Kymäläinen on guitar, but he was fired from the group after allegedly having an affair with Pätkä's girlfriend.[12] 666 Ways to Love: Prologue debuted at number sixteen on the Finnish Singles Chart and peaked at number nine five weeks later.[13] The band played a special album release show at the Tavastia Club on 19 October 1996, before starting a full tour, for which they recruited keyboardist Antto Melasniemi.[14]

HIM began recording its full-length debut album in 1997 with Hiili Hiilesmaa once again producing. Due to the band's minimal studio experience, Hiilesmaa played a critical role in helping "build HIM's sound", for which Valo dubbed him the honorary sixth member of the group.[15] Greatest Lovesongs Vol. 666 was released in Finland on 3 November 1997 and internationally a year later.[16] The album charted in Finland and Germany, peaking at number four in the former.[17][18] The singles "When Love and Death Embrace" and "Your Sweet 666" also cracked the top ten in the band's home country.[19][20] Greatest Lovesongs Vol. 666 received positive reviews from critics, with AllMusic describing the album as having "a very diverse sound" and ultimately succeeding "in pleasing everyone, whether they're into rock or pop."[21] Greatest Lovesongs Vol. 666 would eventually go platinum in Finland.[22] HIM also went on to win Newcomer of the Year and Debut Album of the Year at the 1997 Emma Gala.[23] The supporting tour for Greatest Lovesongs Vol. 666 began in mid-December 1997 at the Maxim in Kuopio.[24] Prior to HIM's first international tour, the band decided to fire keyboardist Antto Melasniemi, as they felt he was too disorganized and scatterbrained. He was replaced by Jussi-Mikko "Juska" Salminen.[25] After returning to Finland, the band also parted ways with Pätkä. According to the band, Pätkä's girlfriend had become pregnant, which left him with limited time to rehearse. He was replaced by Mika "Gas Lipstick" Karppinen.[26]

In January 1999, HIM began demoing material for its next album with Hiili Hiilesmaa.[27] These sessions proved to be unsuccessful, however, and the band decided to relocate to Rockfield, Wales with producer John Fryer.[7][27] In November 1999, HIM released the single "Join Me in Death", which charted at number one in Finland and Germany.[28][29] The single would eventually go platinum in Finland, as well as gold in Germany and Austria.[22][30][31] At the 1999 Emma Gala, HIM were named Export of the Year.[23] On 31 December 1999, the band performed at the Tavastia Club in Helsinki, Finland, which turned into a New Year's tradition for the group.[32] HIM's second album Razorblade Romance was released on 24 January 2000.[33] It peaked at number one in Finland, Austria and Germany.[34][35][36] The album would eventually be certified double platinum in Finland, triple gold in Germany, as well as gold in Austria.[22][30][31] Four more singles were released, all of which reached the top five on the Finnish Singles Chart. Razorblade Romance was mostly well received by critics. Soundi gave the album four out of five stars, while called it "yet another amazingly crafted album from Europe's best-kept secret."[37][38] At the 2000 Emma Gala, HIM was named Band of the Year and Razorblade Romance Album of the Year. The group also received the Viewers' Choice Award and the Video of the Year award for "Join Me in Death" at the 2000 VIVA Comet Awards.[23][39] During the supporting tour for Razorblade Romance, HIM played its first shows in the United Kingdom.[7][40] As the tour progressed, however, the band began to feel exhausted. They were also hit with several near-fatal accidents, where Valo nearly fell off a balcony and Salminen ended up in the emergency room after a prank gone wrong.[41] By the band's own account, HIM nearly broke up, though they eventually regrouped and began rehearsing for another album.[42] 041b061a72

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