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BITCH- Damnation Alley 12″EP (Metal Blade Records, USA, 1982)

IMG_0539IMG_0540IMG_0538Three Metal posts in a row and now what? Right – another one!
Wait a second. Is BITCH a Metal group? Actually, this is totally punked up, sleazy, sexually aggressive, lustful, dominant, highly energetic Metal Punk of the finest sort. Singer Betsy is in the center of interest here, as her wild and powerful performance is a serious kick in the butt. If the first song doesn’t make you wanna jump around naked (check the vocal part from 1:50 on – incredible!), then go to “Damnation Alley” directly. You’ll never get the chorus out of your head again. This song makes you wanna do THINGS. You know – THINGS!!! Amazing!!! The only song I don’t think should be on this EP is “He’s gone”. It’s not bad, but it just can’t keep the energy level of the other smashers. Those of you who were around at the time will sure remember how attractive and seductive Betsy was -  just drippin and trippin in the wet fantasies of male teens. Stockings, leather, whip and all that – yummy. And hearing her receiving some whipped love on this version of “Live for the Whip”, bloody hell, that’s really rough.
Unfortunately, the follow up LP “Be my Slave” couldn’t fulfill the high expectations I had after I first heard this EP here and the incredible track from the first “Metal Massacre” comp (even rougher than this pearl – anybody has the complete four song demo in good sund quality?). It’s a good, kinda Power Metal-ish LP, but the punky edge is almost gone.

BITCH were the first U.S. female fronted Metal band. Betsy’s website says “First Lady of American Metal” – no offense, but I’d say ith Bon Scott “You ain’t no lady”, ha!, but “you sure got taste in men” (who knows).

I’ve seen two versions of “Damnation Alley”. One with the regular early Metal Blade label (brown paper with the blood dripping axe) and the one pictured above. I tend to believe that this is the first version. Who knows more? And before I forget: Doug Moody’s Mystic Records released a Bitch / Hellion split 7″ in 1983. I had it in my hands last year and even though it was only 3$, I didn’t buy it (damn fool!). I’d love to get one, if anybody has it for sale.

Ready? GO!!!!!! And if you like it, buy the official BITCH re-releases on CD or vinyl.

Saturdays.mp3
Never come Home.mp3
Damnation Alley.mp3
He’s gone.mp3
Live for the Whip.mp3

PS (added Dec. 13 2009): Here’s a message from Betsy herself (thanks much Chris L.!): betsylovesme

25 Comments

  1. fred

    I remember when she was in some ska band called the Box Boys. I think my brother had a 45 of theirs.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 10-Dec-09 at 14:43 | Permalink
  2. fuck yeah! four metal posts! thank you so much. this is good. i liked the lp but that’s just me.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 10-Dec-09 at 15:16 | Permalink
  3. I’m David Gasten, the webmaster of Betsybitch.com. Thanks for this deservedly great review of “Damnation Alley”–I can’t agree more that it’s an overlooked little masterpiece. As for as the lady thing, no offense taken at all, but I can tell you that she’s enough of a lady that a lot of other women could stand to take lessons from her. Betsy does have good taste in men too–she has a habit of picking really high-quality, trustworthy men and then essentially trusting them to take care of the details in her career. For example, Brian Slagel still looks out for her and her original drummer is her brother-in-law now.

    It’s nice to see a photo of the all black and white version of “Damnation Alley”; I tried my darnedest to get a copy of this version and failed so it’s nice to look at it in some detail. I think I would agree that this looks like the earliest version so I will update the “Bitch Discography” info in Betsybitch.com with this info.

    As for the punk-metal thing, the punk influence is indirect and actually comes from founding guitarist David Carruth’s interest in the NWOBHM, which is what brought the band to Brian Slagel and landed them on the “Metal Massacre” comp. More info on that in the “Bitch Biography” section of the site.

    I have detailed info on “Damnation Alley” and the Bitch/Hellion single in the “Bitch Discography: Albums” section of the site, and there’s a link in the “Damnation Alley” entry where you can buy the official MP3’s of the songs. I also have scans of the black-and-red Damnation Alley LP (front cover only) and the Bitch/Hellion 45 in said section of the site, so check that out.

    As for the Bitch/Hellion single, both tracks on that single are also on Mystic’s “Sound of Hollywood Girls” compilation LP. Here’s a link where you can download that album in its entirety:

    http://www.sleazeroxx.com/wforum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=12851&p=182528&hilit=Sound+of+Hollywood+Girls#p182528

    [Reply]

    Posted on 11-Dec-09 at 00:34 | Permalink
  4. Haven’t listened to this yet but funny that I did pull out the “Be My Slave” LP to see if I’m going to get rid of it just recently. The economy sucks.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 11-Dec-09 at 05:25 | Permalink
  5. Jay Thurston

    They were a “metal” band in a class of their own. Very unique sounding and really fucking rocked!!! Thanks Erich.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 11-Dec-09 at 05:29 | Permalink
  6. you have a way of jarring the memory with these posts. BTW my youtube page writing is froze but I meant to acknowledge your blog along with Pete’s KBD…oh well I do appreciate it greatly. I would say the band 1994 and The Cherry Bombz that I ripped over at Mark’s downunderground.blogspot.com are more great great female hard edged metal and I tell ya I could be back playin’ video games at the bowling alley we used to frequent at Southdale…but I digress….such greatness is to be enjoyed of the punk-metal or goth genres.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 11-Dec-09 at 10:01 | Permalink
  7. @ Dave: Thanks much for the input! I just bought me a copy of the “Hollywood Girls” Mystic comp. on ebay, I couldn’t resist it. Wish, as a collector, I had pickedup that single last year, though.

    Will have to check out Cherry Bombz, thanks for his Viacomeclsemedown!

    [Reply]

    Posted on 11-Dec-09 at 10:55 | Permalink
  8. While I wouldn’t be one to complain if I had the real things stuck in my face, I always had to question if it was a good idea not to airbrush out the sunspots on the front cover.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 11-Dec-09 at 20:04 | Permalink
  9. Hi Erich, I meant to say Simon’s blog Killedbydeath and Erich…don’t forget the band called “1994” and not the year Cherry Bombz came out…but lets not forget good old blow-your-hairs-off punk rawck like Victims Family for treble guitars.or their buds Rhythm Pigs:>}—-shall I use Walkingdeadman’s (link on my name above works now)..guitar fetishists…ha ha ha

    [Reply]

    Posted on 12-Dec-09 at 09:17 | Permalink
  10. chano

    What a bitch!!! 😀

    [Reply]

    Posted on 15-Dec-09 at 11:03 | Permalink
  11. Thanks Erich, I haven’t heard this one since I was a teenager. Good to have the music back.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 15-Dec-09 at 18:10 | Permalink
  12. Hello Metal Brother!

    I just wanted to let you know that I just checked out your cool blog/web site! Great job + BITCH very nice.

    I have a freshly-minted 80’s Metal Blog that I am now publishing and I would like to see if you would be up for trading links?

    I will be glad to add your site to my blog roll or cool Metal Sites page. Please let me know if you would like to participate and consider it done! Let’s do some true “old-school-style” underground networking. 😉

    My blog: DEMOLISH mag. is written like it is 1988 in PRESENT tense (even though it’s 2009).

    I didn’t want to make it one of those cheesy historical sites or one that says: “here’s how it was back in the day, blah blah, blah etc.”. So I made a firm decision to keep the lingo and the language PRESENT tense and so far our readers and many subscribers have really embraced us from the get-go. It’s a great way to re-discover your metal past and or if you are new to the scene (or if you were still a baby -or better yet, not even born yet)!

    I just started digging in the deep DEMOLISH vaults and I have unearthed all sorts of great photos, reviews, articles etc. at our current Chicago HQ’s. So look forward to a constant and varied set of posts by me from now on. I plan on posting everything I have saved for these past 21 years, which looks like there is no end in site for quite a long time! 😉

    If you have any special requests or anything that you (or your readers) might be interested in, then please just let me know. This blog is for all of the many METAL fans out there world wide and I certainly have the goods to deliver!

    Anyway, hit me up, please check out the blog and let’s also trade those links!

    Rock on!

    Curt “crusher” King

    Demolish Mag.
    Chicago

    http://demolishmag.wordpress.com/

    “The ritual of life is a rite of celebration, even when times seem darkest”

    [Reply]

    Posted on 17-Dec-09 at 08:52 | Permalink
  13. Curt – I’m sorry to say, but that sounds very, very silly.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 17-Dec-09 at 10:19 | Permalink
  14. Geoff S

    This is really good, thanks! Never actually bothered to listen to this band before, passed on the split with Hellion a lot of times because, well, yeah, can’t say a band named BITCH sounded too appealing to me, ha.

    Also, very offtopic, but do you have either of the two The Wops demo tapes (the band from the Raptus comp)? I found a unofficial (i think) Myspace profile of theirs, and not only is there a 83 demo which I think at least one or two of the comp songs originated from (albeit the comp tracks are faster and better recorded methinks), but also a song from a demo labeled as being from 1980. Can’t find anything else about this, have any info? Cheers!

    [Reply]

    Ermanno Reply:

    Ciao Geoff!
    I’m Ermanno the Wop’s guitar player.
    Send me a message of you like and I’ll ry to help you with info, music, photoes, and everything I know about The Wops.
    Peace and R&R.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 17-Dec-09 at 10:21 | Permalink
  15. M.

    A new record would be nice 😀

    [Reply]

    Posted on 17-Dec-09 at 13:35 | Permalink
  16. David Gasten from Betsybitch.com again.

    Erich: Glad to help! With the Bitch/Hellion single, I got mine off of GEMM.com for $9.25 incl. postage, and the vinyl looks like it has never been played. I found it by browsing by record label (Mystic) and found it listed under the artist name “Bilth/Hellion”. “Bilth”–sounds like the name of some mid-nineties alternative group with a kinderwhore singer whose CD is entitled “Bliss”. 😀 Anyway, keep an eye on GEMM and Musicstack and try some odd keyword searches like I did while you’re at it.

    M: I don’t know if you’re referring to a new vinyl rip or a new Bitch album, but if it’s the latter, Bitch are recording a new album as we speak with an All-Star lineup of famous musicians from other groups. The album is looking to be their best yet; it’ll definitely be an augmented version of the original group. More info on the “New Bitch Album” page of Betsybitch.com–check it out.

    Curt: I sure don’t mean to dog on you, brother, but my concern is that the idea may actually backfire because people may view it as deceptive. I’m a huge silent movie fan (pre-sound movies from the 1910’s/1920’s), and there’s this “F. Gwynplaine McIntyre” from the UK who posts reviews of lost silent films (i.e. no known surviving copies) on IMDb.com as though he’s really seen them. It ends up making him look like a flake and has pretty much ruined his credibility with other silent movie fans like myself. I want copies of these lost movies to turn up too, but going to that extreme is just causing more confusion. I would kindly encourage you to instead meld the past and present together in a way that is vibrant and compelling to readers–really make it all come alive as a whole. Eonian Records are doing a GREAT job of this with their Glam/Sleaze reissues–they take older material that didn’t get much exposure the first time around and give it the full treatment in a way that can make you forget that the albums are reissues.

    A word concerning the “Betsy Loves Erich” napkin photo: that was taken by a mutual friend of Betsy’s and Erich’s. Both Betsy and the mutual friend (Chris L.) were at the recent Metal Blade Records Christmas Party, and they got the idea to take a picture of Betsy holding up the napkin, and then sending it to Erich. Unfortunately no one around had a digital camera at the time, so they ended up taking a photo of just the napkin after Betsy left. (This info is courtesy of Betsy; she told me about it on the phone the day it was posted.)

    [Reply]

    Posted on 17-Dec-09 at 19:55 | Permalink
  17. Thanks again, David. Too bad you guys didn’t have a camera around that night.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 18-Dec-09 at 08:37 | Permalink
  18. el borracho

    my band is doing a cover right now of Bitch’s “Be My Slave”..you may not like that album,but that song rips- the riff is almost crusty. we dont do the middle part with the sassy vocals,drum solo,and guitar solo though- right there we insert the midtempo rocking middle riff from Sodom’s “Tired And Red”,then go back to “Be My Slave”….

    [Reply]

    Posted on 21-Dec-09 at 20:57 | Permalink
  19. el borracho

    oh,and were not a metal band..were a garage rock band

    [Reply]

    Posted on 21-Dec-09 at 21:27 | Permalink
  20. Clinton

    Hi Geoff, in regards to your post about the Wops tapes and the myspace. The myspace page is an official site, done by the guitarist Ermanno. He is a friendly guy, and although we have discussed my label doing an LP of the tapes I’m yet to hear the first demo as it was not really distributed but more of a promo recording that wasn’t circulated. You should try him though. The photographs of them are amazing.

    [Reply]

    Ermanno Reply:

    Wow! Clint, thanks a lot for keeping the Wops memories alive everywhere. I’ll try to make a copy of the first tape as soon as possible and send you one with a short video of a 1982 gig.
    Let’s keep in touch.
    Peace and R&R!

    [Reply]

    Posted on 22-Dec-09 at 06:45 | Permalink
  21. re:Admin wrote:

    Curt – I’m sorry to say, but that sounds very, very silly.

    ———————-are you referring to the “concept”, my post wording in general, or simply wanting to network and expose underground metal bands?

    either way, sorry you feel that way – I guess everyone has their own opinion. 😉

    an update:

    since I posted this, the idea had been received extremely well as I have received several thousand visits to my site, hundreds of great comments and emails regarding my “silly” concept.

    so, I guess there are quite a few peeps interested in all things 80’s after all- JUST LIKE IT WAS.

    Boy, I am sure glad that I did not listen to your “advice” last month when I was all excited to do the blog. Thanks anyway…

    Rock on!

    Curt King
    Demolish HQ

    [Reply]

    Posted on 21-Jan-10 at 00:15 | Permalink
  22. “Just like it was.” Haha. For instance, there was no internet in the 80s. That’s “how it was”. You might wanna publish your own little 80s xerox fanzine, how about that?

    [Reply]

    Posted on 21-Jan-10 at 08:50 | Permalink
  23. that’s exactly what I am doing. Publishing my fanzine online for people to read. You know, just like if you would pick up an old magazine and read it now.

    Obviously, you can pick up a “physical” magazine and you can also re-read one that someone has scanned for online use. Maybe if you actually visited my site you would understand what I am all about. or not…

    I am not sure what your beef is with me or what I am doing either way, it doesn’t really matter.

    good luck with the site.

    Curt King
    Demolish <————–"silly, little stupid 80's fanzine (B4 internet)

    [Reply]

    Posted on 21-Jan-10 at 20:33 | Permalink
  24. RIP Robby Settles, original drummer of Bitch. Robby left us May 26, 2010 due to complications from leukemia, which he had been battling for a year. Please visit the Robby Settles obituary page at:

    http://www.betsybitch.com/robby_settles_obituary.htm

    El Borracho: I would love to hear your cover of “Be My Slave”. I’m really happy about the garage and punk interest in Bitch and think it’s well-deserved. You can contact me through the site.

    Curt: I looked at the “Demolish” webzine site, and it’s not deceptive at all; it’s actually quite good! It looks like you are indeed writing in the style of an 80’s metal fanzine and “melding the past and present together” as I suggested. Love the Warlock interview and the piece on metal riffs. Keep up the great work, brother!

    And one more thing: just started an unofficial Facebook fanpage for RIOT. It’s called “RIOT featuring Mark Reale (Metal Band)”. You can join at:

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/RIOT-featuring-Mark-Reale-metal-band/121058097935122?ref=sgm

    –David Gasten
    Webmaster, BETSYBITCH.COM

    [Reply]

    Posted on 23-Jun-10 at 02:04 | Permalink
  25. Thomas

    Sad news. For those about to rock on the other side, I salute you.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 23-Jun-10 at 13:08 | Permalink

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