Seemingly coming out of nowhere, The Rods’ self-titled debut album for Arista Records arrived in the shops in 1981 like a breath of fresh air. The New York-based band, dubbed by one UK journalist ‘The American Motörhead“, were loud and raucous, energetic and undeniably exciting to witness live.

But there is no such thing as an overnight sensation. Before The Rods started clocking up top-notch reviews vocalist/guitarist David ‘Rock’ Feinstein, drummer Carl Canedy and original bass player Steve Starmer had paid their dues and were respected musicians in their own right (Feinstein previously being a member of Elf, the band fronted by his cousin Ronnie James Dio).

Although Feinstein would say that they formed The Rods “as just a band to get together and have some fun and go play some bars and clubs and make a few dollars”, both he and Canedy were in his words “avid songwriters”, and once they began writing songs the next step was to see how they sounded on record. The result was Rock Hard, released in July 1980, an LP featuring ten original songs and two covers. Calling in favours and recording whenever the studio was available to them the band self-produced and self-financed the album and issued it in a limited print run of one thousand copies; a single, Crank It Up was taken from the album.

The records got them noticed, and Arista Records signed them shortly afterwards. But it all started here.

Original vinyl transfer by Marcus Mossmann (R.I.P.) at Phonographic Artifacts in March 2021.
Audio cleaning, restoration and mastering by Patrick W. Engel at Temple Of Disharmony in April 2021. Cutting by SST Germany on Neumann machines for optimal quality on all levels…

Sit Down Honey (Elf cover)
Music Man
In Your Panties
Power Lover
Roll With The Night
Hungry For Some Love
Get Ready To Rock & Roll
Crank It Up
Rock Hard
Gettin’ Higher
You Better Run (The Young Rascals cover)

CD Bonus tracks
Crank It Up (single version)
You Better Run (single version)
Roll With the Night (alternate mix)

David “Rock” Feinstein – Guitar & Vocals
Stephen Starmer – Bass & Vocals
Carl Canedy – Drums & Vocals

Rock Hard releases on August 30th.