|Genres Heavy metal|
Genre Heavy metal
Albums The Witch of Berkeley
|Years active 1979–1982|
Active until 1982
Record label Polydor Records
|Origin Manchester, United Kingdom (1979)|
Similar Hollow Ground, Tytan, Vardis, Sweet Savage, Simon Wright
A II Z were a heavy metal band founded in 1979 in Manchester, England by guitarist Gary Owens. The original lineup consisted of David Owens (vocals), Gary Owens (guitar), Cam Campbell (bass), Karl Reti (drums). For a short time they were one of the forerunners of the new wave of British heavy metal movement. They disbanded in 1982.
Manchester's A II Z (named after street-finder atlases) were the beneficiaries of fortuitous timing, being formed by brothers Dave (vocals) and Gary Owens (guitar), Cam Campbell (bass), and Karl Reti (drums), just in time (late 1979) to be swept up by the initial, deafening hubbub surrounding the new wave of British heavy metal. Immediately signed by major label Polydor, the group, whose style bore resemblances to Motörhead, Sweet Savage and Weapon, recorded their 1980 debut album named The Witch of Berkeley, live at a hometown gig (actually the hall of Hazel Grove High School), then were sent out on the road in support of Girlschool and Black Sabbath. Neither of these experiences aided record sales, however, and following releases for Polydor 1981's "No Fun After Midnight" EP and "I'm the One Who Loves You", were dropped. Internal dissension had also taken root by this time and the Owens had in fact dispensed with their original rhythm section to work with new bassist Tony Backhouse and drummer Simon Wright (future AC/DC) on that final single. But the quartet's new and more commercial AOR direction failed to bear fruit and by the middle of 1982, A II Z dissolved. Guitarist Gary Owens joined the similarly ill-fated NWOBHM band; Tytan.
In 1993, Reborn Classics reissued The Witch of Berkeley as a bootleg CD which includes both singles as well as a four track demo from Jaguar. In 2006 Majestic Rock officially re-released The Witch of Berkeley and also included the two singles and their b-sides.
The Witch of BerkeleyThe Witch of Berkeley · 2006
No Fun After MidnightThe Witch of Berkeley · 2006
Valhalla ForceThe Witch of Berkeley · 2006