Artist: Wild Frontier
Title: King of Pentacles
Genre: Melodic Hard Rock
Category: Full Length Album
Format: Compact Disc
Label: CoZee Publishing House
Catalog No: ZEE 333
CD Matrix: MADE BY DISCTRONICS B ** ZEE 333 ** #01
Collectors Status: Rare
Estimated Value: ~$25 – $50 AUD
01. Demi God
02. Modern Day Woman
03. Screaming Desire
04. Hope You’re Feeling Better
05. Two Worlds Apart
06. Subject ‘No More’
07. Voices in the Storm
08. Psycho Lady
09. Sad Songs
10. Wasted Years
Line-Up & Album Credits
John Zee (v)
David Costabile (k, bv)
David Scott (g, bv)
George Sarris (b)
Mark Mcleod (d)
All songs written by David Costablie & John Zee except ‘Sad Songs‘ and ‘Wasted Years‘ co-written by Alex Doukas and ‘Hope You’re Feeling Better‘ written by Gregg Rolie. Intro and outro to ‘Psycho Lady‘ written by Maurice Jarre ‘Theme to ‘Dr. Zhivago’.
Wild Frontier are a little known hard rock band from Victoria (Melbourne I think) who released this one off CD titled ‘King of Pentacles‘ in 1994. One of the first things I noticed when reading the CD booklet was the name “G. Rolie” listed as songwriter for track four ‘Hope You’re Feeling Better‘.
“For our Saturday Bubbling Under special, we drift back to 1971 and the third single from Santana’s second album, “Abraxas.” While “Black Magic Woman” charted at #4 and “Oye Como Va” made it to #13, “Hope You’re Feeling Better” failed to make a dent. It didn’t even show on Billboard’s “Bubbling Under” chart; however, Billboard mentioned that some jukebox owners reported that the song was in heavy play in certain markets. “Hope You’re Feeling Better” was the flip side of the first single “Black Magic Woman”; but apparently it was re-released as the third single. I’m not even certain that a commercial issue of the second version ever made it to the stores. Since it performed poorly, the second release was probably only distributed to radio and jukebox stockers. Written by keyboardist/vocalist Greg Rollie, the song features his characteristic Hammond organ as well as his lead vocals. Carlos Santana’s guitar work is unmistakable. He even employs a wah-wah pedal in places. This song has some great kicks as well. Good stuff from this classic version of the legendary band, Santana.”
© 2014 Jim Owston at Reading Between the Grooves
As it turns out this is the same (Gregg) Rolie I had in mind – most famous for his time spent as keyboardist/vocalist/guitarist in the early line-ups of both Santana and Journey but also for his brief tenure as lead vocalist on two of my all-time favourite albums ‘The Storm‘ (1991) and ‘Eye of the Storm‘ (1992) from cult AOR legends The Storm.
Image (above): Front cover artwork for ‘The Storm‘ (1991) and ‘Eye of the Storm‘ (1992)
Image (above): Gregg Rolie with Santana
Image (above): Gregg Rolie with Journey
Image (above): Gregg Rolie with The Storm
Of the ten tracks featured on this CD, the first eight were recorded in 1993 at ‘Jam Tin’ studios in Melbourne while the final two tracks were recorded in 1991 at ‘Platinum Studios’ in Melbourne. Musically there is a diverse offering of hard rock styles on here, some of which is perhaps a little alternative for my usual tastes, though tracks like ‘Two Worlds Apart’, ‘Voices in the Storm’ and ‘Sad Songs’ showcase what I believe are some of the best melodic hard rock tracks I’ve heard from an Aussie band. The vocals are strong throughout and they are obviously a talented bunch of musicians.
By taking the Gregg Rolie angle I actually had more to discuss in this post than I had expected. However I still have little information to share about Wild Frontier so any help from those of you who remember them would be greatly appreciated. As usual I would love to see any promo photos, gig flyers, magazine/newspaper clipping etc. This one is relatively rare though does show up from time to time if you keep an eye out for it. I can see a copy for sale online right now for $97 though I picked mine up for $20 if memory serves. If for no other reason, track it down so you can listen to ‘Voices in the Storm‘ – absolutely stunning!!