Record Frost and Fire • Band Cirith Ungol Format album • Published Sat 31 Jan 1981

Credits

  • Tim Baker – Lead and backing vocals
  • Jerry Fogle – Guitars, backing vocals
  • Greg Lindstrom – Guitars, Synthesizer, E. Bow, Vocals, Bass
  • Michael (Flint) Vujea – Bass (credited, but does not play on the album)
  • Robert Garven – Drums, backing vocals
  • Produced by Cirith Ungol
  • All songs arranged by Cirith Ungol
  • All songs written by Greg Lindstrom
  • Randall L. Jackson – Executive Producer
  • Michael Whelan – Cover Masterpiece – Our favorite artist and illustrator. For the incredible “Stormbringer” © 1977.
  • Warren Archer – Color Service – For all his help and friendship
  • Rusty Muir – Ivy Hill For his hospitality, and kind staff
  • Jim Auchterlonie – KM Records – For our pressing needs
  • Chris Bellman – Allen Zentz – For cutting the master so hot!
  • Mastered at Allen Zentz, Hollywood, CA
  • Tim Nelson – Goldmine – For his time, patience, and know how
  • Engineered by Tim Nelson
  • Re-mastered by Brad Vance at DNA Mastering (2015)
  • Cirith Ungol is a registered trademark of Tolkien Enterprises and is used here with permission
  • All songs published by La Rana Music, except “Cirith Ungol” published by Amgine Music/Molten Metal Music/Bug Music. BMI.
  • Administered by Bug Music.
  • ED – Santa Barbara Sound
  • Dan Keeler – Mike’s Drum Shop – For the sticks
  • Mike Shimizu – For not playing to the album
  • Neal Watson – For the English models
  • Norman Watson – For the lesson
  • Moose Choreography by Nick Charalambous
  • Michael Moorcock – Author – For creating Elric, Corum, etc., etc.,
  • Our Crew: Dan, Rick, Kevin
  • Pressed at KM Records, Burbank, CA
  • Sleeve by Ivy Hill Communications, Los Angeles, CA
  • Rear photography by Wallace F. Rollins
  • JD’s Typesetting, Ventura, CA
  • Color by Color Services, Monterey Park, CA
  • Stage Manager: Kevin “Dr. K” Sage
  • Road Crew: Dan Baker, Rick “Kirk” Love, Mike Mowrey
  • Contact: Liquid Flames Productions (805) 643-6003
  • 2021 Remastered original recordings and alternate mixes: baked, resurrected, and engineered by Armand John Anthony at The Captain’s Quarters, Ventura CA.
  • Thanks to Sam Maxons at Megasound Studios, for loan of the DAT machine.
  • All original album/promo photos by Wallace “Wally” F. Rollins.
  • Other vintage photos by: Heather Sanders, Bob Carey, Gary Phels, Tom Malone.
  • Posters, flyers, misc. memorabilia provided by Robert Garven from Cirith Ungol secret archives.
  • Introduction & Overview by Sarah Kitteringham.
  • Executive Producer: Jarvis Leatherby for Iron Grip.
  • Product Management: Shoulders & Markus “Bart” Grasseck for Metal Blade Records.
  • We would like to dedicate this album to the memory of Jerry Fogle, Randall “Randy” Jackson, Dan Baker, and all our friends that have passed beyond the vell.

Tracklist

CD / LP

title

vote

version

time

written / music by

year

earliest year

earliest live

earliest cover

earliest various

event/record/etc.

101 / A01

 

Jul 1979

1979 July

Live 1981

Frost and Fire Records (same as CU?)

Frost and Fire Fest

102 / A02

 

Mar 1980

1977 April 23

Live 1983

1988, Revelation (only instrumental)

2010, Convixion (live)

LA Steel (1986)

I'm Alive (release, 2019)

103 / A03

 

Feb 1980

1977 April 23

104 / A04

 

Dec 1979

1979

2005, Solemnity

105 / B01

 

May 1980

1977 April 23

Live 2017

1988, Revelation (fragment)

2012, Finger of Scorn

106 / B02

 

Nov 1979

1979 Dec

1988, Revelation (only instrumental)

Better off Dead! (release bootleg, 2009)

107 / B03

 

Mar 1980

1980 Mar

Live 1981 with lyrics

1988?, Revelation (unreleased)

108 (1999 re-released)

 

101 / A01 (2021 re-released)

Frost And Fire

40th Anniversary Remix

03:32

Lindstrom

102 / A02

I’m Alive

40th Anniversary Remix

04:46

Lindstrom

103 / A03

A Little Fire

40th Anniversary Remix

03:40

Lindstrom

104 / A04

What Does It Take (Goldmine Mix)

40th Anniversary Remix

03:24

Lindstrom

105 / B01

Edge Of A Knife

40th Anniversary Remix

04:27

Lindstrom

106 / B02

Better Off Dead (Goldmine Mix)

40th Anniversary Remix

04:38

Lindstrom

107 / B03

Maybe That’s Why

40th Anniversary Remix

06:05

Lindstrom

Total

29.12

201 / C01

Frost And Fire

Remaster From Original Tapes / 2021 Remaster

Remaster From Original Tapes / 2021 Remaster

202 / C02

I’m Alive

Remaster From Original Tapes / 2021 Remaster

203 / C03

A Little Fire

Remaster From Original Tapes / 2021 Remaster

204 / C04

What Does It Take

Remaster From Original Tapes / 2021 Remaster

205 / D01

Edge Of A Knife

Remaster From Original Tapes / 2021 Remaster

206 / D02

Better Off Dead

Remaster From Original Tapes / 2021 Remaster

207 / D03

Maybe That’s Why

Remaster From Original Tapes / 2021 Remaster

301

I'm Alive

Demo - April 23, 1977

Frost and Fire Demos - 2021

302

A Little Fire

Take 2 - April 23, 1977

303

Edge Of A Knife

Take 2 - April 23, 1977

304

I'm Alive

Demo - Sept 1980

305

A Little Fire

Demo - Sept 1980

305

Edge Of A Knife

Demo - Sept 1980

306

Maybe That's Why

Demo - Full Band - Sept 1980

307

Frost And Fire

Demo - Unknown Date

308

A Little Fire

Guitar Demo

309

What Does It Take

Demo - Unknown Date

310

Better Off Dead

Demo - Unknown Date

311

Maybe That's Why

Demo - Unknown Date

401

Radio Interview - Ventura, CA

Rare Interviews and Fan Tapes

402

- Los Angeles, CA

403

Rock Punto 7 Radio Interview - CDMX, Mexico

404

Answering Machine Fan Messages

Check it out here:
Editions

(self-packaging)

ID: 29912
permalink: https://cirithungol.org/edition/making-cover-faf/
title: making cover FaF

Release label: (self-packaging)

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(self-packaging)

ID: 29904
permalink: https://cirithungol.org/edition/rare-test-proof-prints-of-our-first-album-frost-fire/
title: rare test proof prints of our first album “Frost & Fire”

Release label: (self-packaging)

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1981 (test), USA, Limited 500 copies

ID: 29828
permalink: https://cirithungol.org/edition/grey-labels/
title: Grey labels

Release label: (test)
Release date: 1981
Country: USA
Limited: 500

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Sat 31 Jan 1981 Liquid Flames Records, USA

ID: 16976
permalink: https://cirithungol.org/edition/lp-liquid-flames-records-lf001-jacket-variant/
title: LP: (Liquid Flames Records; LF001) jacket variant

Release label: Liquid Flames Records
Release number: LF001
Release date: Sat 31 Jan 1981
Country: USA
Format: Vinyl

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Sat 31 Jan 1981 Liquid Flames Records

ID: 158
permalink: https://cirithungol.org/edition/lp-liquid-flames-records-lf001-second-copy/
title: LP: (Liquid Flames Records; LF001) second copy

Release label: Liquid Flames Records
Release number: LF001
Release date: Sat 31 Jan 1981
Format: Vinyl

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Sat 31 Jan 1981 Liquid Flame Records, USA, Limited 5,000 copies

ID: 157
permalink: https://cirithungol.org/edition/lp-us-liquid-flames-records-hm13666/
title: LP: US (Liquid Flames Records; HM13666) first copy

Release label: Liquid Flame Records
Release number: HM13666
Release date: Sat 31 Jan 1981
Country: USA
Limited: 5,000
Format: Vinyl

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1982 Liquid Flame Records, Limited 3,000 copies

ID: 24954
permalink: https://cirithungol.org/edition/lp-liquid-flames-records-lf001/
title: LP: (Liquid Flames Records; LF001)

Release label: Liquid Flame Records
Release number: LF001
Release date: 1982
Limited: 3,000
Format: Vinyl

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1984 Enigma Records

ID: 160
permalink: https://cirithungol.org/edition/mc-enigma-lfc-001/
title: MC: (Enigma; LFC-001)

Release label: Enigma Records
Release number: LFC-001
Release date: 1984
Format: Cassette/MC/Tape

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1985 Young RGE Records, Brazil

ID: 17114
permalink: https://cirithungol.org/edition/lp-young-308-7089/
title: LP: Young RGE Records – 308.7089

Release label: Young RGE Records
Release number: 308.7089
Release date: 1985
Country: Brazil
Format: Vinyl

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1987 Restless Records

ID: 16986
permalink: https://cirithungol.org/edition/lp-restless-records-70118-1/
title: LP: Restless Records – 70118-1

Release label: Restless Records
Release number: 70118-1
Release date: 1987
Format: Vinyl

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1987 Restless Records

ID: 16990
permalink: https://cirithungol.org/edition/mc-restless-records-70118-4/
title: MC: Restless Records – 70118-4

Release label: Restless Records
Release number: 70118-4
Release date: 1987
Format: Cassette/MC/Tape

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Tue 05 Oct 1999 Metal Blade Records, Germany

ID: 161
permalink: https://cirithungol.org/edition/cd-de-mbr-3984-14252-2/
title: CD: DE (MBR; 3984-14252-2)

Release label: Metal Blade Records
Release number: 3984-14252-2
Release date: Tue 05 Oct 1999
Country: Germany
Format: CD

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Tue 05 Oct 1999 Metal Blade Records, USA

ID: 16997
permalink: https://cirithungol.org/edition/cd-usa-metal-blade-records-3984-14252-2/
title: CD: USA Metal Blade Records – 3984-14252-2

Release label: Metal Blade Records
Release number: 3984-14252-2
Release date: Tue 05 Oct 1999
Country: USA
Format: CD

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2005 , Limited 500 copies

ID: 159
permalink: https://cirithungol.org/edition/pd-201-boot-pd/
title: PD: [bootleg, picture disc]

Release date: 2005
Limited: 500
Format: Bootleg and Vinyl

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Fri 13 Jul 2012 Metal Blade Records, Limited 500 copies

ID: 652
permalink: https://cirithungol.org/edition/pd-mbr-3984-14252-1pd/
title: PD: (MBR ‎– 3984-14252-1PD)

Release label: Metal Blade Records
Release number: 3984-14252-1PD
Release date: Fri 13 Jul 2012
Limited: 500
Format: Vinyl

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Fri 12 Jun 2015 Metal Blade Records/High Roller Records, Germany, Limited 200 copies

ID: 312
permalink: https://cirithungol.org/edition/lp-clear-green-splattered-vinyl/
title: LP: Clear/Green Splattered Vinyl

Release label: Metal Blade Records/High Roller Records
Release number: 3984-25019-1
Release date: Fri 12 Jun 2015
Country: Germany
Limited: 200
Format: Vinyl

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Fri 12 Jun 2015 Metal Blade Records, Germany, Limited 300 copies

ID: 311
permalink: https://cirithungol.org/edition/lp-green-yellow-splattered-vinyl/
title: LP: Green/Yellow Splattered Vinyl

Release label: Metal Blade Records
Release number: 3984-25019-1
Release date: Fri 12 Jun 2015
Country: Germany
Limited: 300
Format: Vinyl

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Fri 12 Jun 2015 Metal Blade Records, Limited 500 copies

ID: 310
permalink: https://cirithungol.org/edition/lp-mbr-3984-25019-1-180-gram-black-vinyl/
title: LP: MBR 3984-25019-1 – 180 Gram Black Vinyl

Release label: Metal Blade Records
Release number: 3984-25019-1
Release date: Fri 12 Jun 2015
Limited: 500
Format: Vinyl

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2016 Hellion Records / Nomade Records, Brazil

ID: 17003
permalink: https://cirithungol.org/edition/cd-hellion-records-nomade-records-nrcd0001/
title: CD: Hellion Records / Nomade Records – NRCD0001

Release label: Hellion Records / Nomade Records
Release number: NRCD0001
Release date: 2016
Country: Brazil
Format: CD

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2020 Hellion Records, Brazil

ID: 25079
permalink: https://cirithungol.org/edition/cd-hellion-records-hel-1369/
title: CD: Hellion Records – HEL 1369

Release label: Hellion Records
Release number: HEL 1369
Release date: 2020
Country: Brazil

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Fri 17 Dec 2021 Metal Blade Records, EU

ID: 24653
permalink: https://cirithungol.org/edition/40th-anniversary-2lp-black-vinyl/
title: 40th Anniversary 2LP – Black Vinyl

Release label: Metal Blade Records
Release number: 3984-14252-2
Release date: Fri 17 Dec 2021
Country: EU
Format: Bonus and Vinyl

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Fri 17 Dec 2021 Metal Blade Records, EU, Limited 500 copies

ID: 24652
permalink: https://cirithungol.org/edition/40th-anniversary-2lp-camouflage-green-marbled-vinyl/
title: 40th Anniversary 2LP – Camouflage Green Marbled Vinyl

Release label: Metal Blade Records
Release number: 3984 15809-1 / 3984-14252-2
Release date: Fri 17 Dec 2021
Country: EU
Limited: 500

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Fri 17 Dec 2021 Metal Blade Records, EU, Limited 300 copies

ID: 24655
permalink: https://cirithungol.org/edition/40th-anniversary-2lp-light-grey-marbled-vinyl/
title: 40th Anniversary 2LP – Light Grey Marbled Vinyl

Release label: Metal Blade Records
Release number: 3984-14252-2
Release date: Fri 17 Dec 2021
Country: EU
Limited: 300
Format: Bonus and Vinyl

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Fri 17 Dec 2021 Metal Blade Records, EU, Limited 300 copies

ID: 24654
permalink: https://cirithungol.org/edition/40th-anniversary-2lp-silver-vinyl/
title: 40th Anniversary 2LP – Silver Vinyl

Release label: Metal Blade Records
Release number: 3984-14252-2
Release date: Fri 17 Dec 2021
Country: EU
Limited: 300

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Fri 17 Dec 2021 Metal Blade Records/High Roller Records, Germany, Limited 200 copies

ID: 24663
permalink: https://cirithungol.org/edition/40th-anniversary-2lp-golden-yellow-marbled-vinyl/
title: 40th Anniversary 2LP – Golden Yellow Marbled Vinyl

Release label: Metal Blade Records/High Roller Records
Release number: 3984-14252-2
Release date: Fri 17 Dec 2021
Country: Germany
Limited: 200
Format: Bonus and Vinyl

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Fri 17 Dec 2021 Metal Blade Records, USA

ID: 24664
permalink: https://cirithungol.org/edition/40th-anniversary-2lp-leaf-green-marbled/
title: 40th Anniversary 2LP – Leaf Green Marbled

Release label: Metal Blade Records
Release number: 3984-14252-2
Release date: Fri 17 Dec 2021
Country: USA
Format: Bonus and Vinyl

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Fri 17 Dec 2021 Metal Blade Records, USA

ID: 24665
permalink: https://cirithungol.org/edition/40th-anniversary-2lp-midnight-blue-marbled/
title: 40th Anniversary 2LP – Midnight Blue Marbled Vinyl

Release label: Metal Blade Records
Release number: 3984 15809-1
Release date: Fri 17 Dec 2021
Country: USA
Format: Bonus and Vinyl

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Fri 17 Dec 2021 Metal Blade Records, Limited 2,000 copies

ID: 24650
permalink: https://cirithungol.org/edition/40th-anniversary-4cd-2lp-orange-marbled-artbook/
title: 40th Anniversary 4CD/2LP – Frost Blue and Fire Orange Marbled Vinyl – Artbook

Release label: Metal Blade Records
Release number: 3984-14252-2
Release date: Fri 17 Dec 2021
Limited: 2,000
Format: Bonus, Box set, CD, and Vinyl

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Fri 17 Dec 2021 Metal Blade Records, Limited 15 copies

ID: 24695
permalink: https://cirithungol.org/edition/40th-anniversary-4cd-2lp-ultimate-frost-and-fire-original-bundle/
title: 40th Anniversary 4CD/2LP – Ultimate Frost and Fire Original Bundle

Release label: Metal Blade Records
Release number: 3984-14252-2
Release date: Fri 17 Dec 2021
Limited: 15
Format: Bonus, Box set, CD, and Vinyl

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Fri 17 Dec 2021 Metal Blade Records

ID: 24651
permalink: https://cirithungol.org/edition/40th-anniversary-edition-digibook-2cd/
title: 40th Anniversary Edition – Digibook 2CD

Release label: Metal Blade Records
Release number: 3984-14252-2
Release date: Fri 17 Dec 2021
Format: Bonus and CD

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Wed 19 Jan 2022 DIW on METAL, Japan

ID: 25929
permalink: https://cirithungol.org/edition/ff-diw-on-metal-japan/
title: F&F DIW on METAL Japan

Release label: DIW on METAL
Release number: DYMC-6062/HMHR211119-004
Release date: Wed 19 Jan 2022
Country: Japan

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“This record was made to be played at maximum volume”

Frost and Fire was produced by Cirith Ungol and originally self-released through the band’s own record label—Liquid Flames Productions—in 1981. The album was re-released later that year by Enigma Records, re-released again along with King of the Dead on one CD by One Way Records in 1995, and finally re-released again in September 1999 on Metal Blade Records. A bootleg picture disc version of this LP, limited to 500 hand-numbered copies, also exists. While Michael “Flint” Vujea is credited as the bass player on this album, it has been confirmed in several interviews that Greg Lindstrom was actually the bassist on this album. In Brazil the LP Frost and Fire was released with the cover of the King of the Dead. (1985).

Frank Frazetta

At the time we wanted a “Sword and Sorcery” theme cover called “Berserker” by Frank Frazetta, a famous sword and sorcery artist, but it was taken by the country rock band MOLLY HATCHET! 

Robert Garven, Metal Nightmare interview 2000

Printer

I am the drummer of the band “Cirith Ungol” and I have a limited number of these very, very rare test proof prints of the cover of the Go Go’s & Tubes albums.

We were visiting the printer to proof the test printing of our first album, “Frost & Fire” which came out 1981. Several times when we were proofing the cover printing of our albums, they would have other bands also printed on the same sheet of paper. Depending on the size of the parent sheet of paper you could put several complete album covers unfolded. The reason for these single covers grouped together was many times they would print extra covers of albums just for promotional materials such as displays in record stores etc. That is a story of how I got these rare proofs.You will never find another like this and I only have a couple so if you were a fan of either or both of these bands your collection is not complete unless you have this item!

These measure 25 5/16″ x 13 5/8″ it would be perfect for framing. I’ve been trying to figure out how to ship these safely, and came up with the solution of them being rolled up loosely in a heavy duty box. In order to get it to the buyer safely I am including that in the shipping price. Of course there is no album included and all sales are final.

Rob (Go Go’s Beauty and the Beat & Tubes T.R.A.S.H. Very Rare Test Album Proofs 1981 at eBay)

The cover

I was reading Stormbringer by Michael Moorcock at the time and was thinking, “man this is the ultimate cover art!” I never thought we could use it but I contacted the publisher who got me in touch with Michael Whelan, who is one of the few people in our entire music career who was honest, friendly and kind, and we got to use it. I think we were the first album cover he had done at the time and we really wanted to use all his Elric series on our covers which we did! I told him that I always wanted to buy the painting for the cover of #1 (Stormbringer) from him if we made it big but we never did. He was quite successful then, but now he is probably the world foremost fantasy artist/painter/illustrator and his paintings cost a lot of money. It’s funny, DEEP PURPLE had an album named after the book and we got the cover. BLUE OYSTER CULT also had a song, “Bane of the Black Sword” which was based on Michael Moorcock’s writing.

Robert Garven, Metal Nightmare interview 2000

The cover was painted by Michael Whelan in 1977 and is entitled Stormbringer. According to Greg, it is one of the best album covers.

The painting was used for the DAW edition of Michael Moorcocks fantasy novel also called Stormbringer (The Elric Saga #6). The book was published and revised November 1977 and is available at Amazon.com. There are various editions of the book, and not all editions has the same cover. The book has also inspired Deep Purple’s “Stormbringer”, Magnum’s “Stormbringer” and many more. The song Stormbringer is also known as the Forever Black album (2020).

 

To me, Elric is a classic anti-hero. He deplores all the evil in his world, and tries to fight against it, but in the end, he cannot overcome it and even unwittingly aids the forces of chaos.

Greg Lindstrom, Tombstone interview 09/2001

See more here:

Michael Whelan

Michael Moorcock – Elric 6. Stormbringer

The cover looks almost identical. But there original is from 1981 and the second is 1999 and the third one 2015. The first one has purple text on the left upper. The second little dark green, and it says “Frost And Fire”. A third has a blue text, but without “Frost And Fire”.

 

About the album in the band’s own words

Actually, Michael didn’t join the band until after we recorded the “Frost And Fire” album in December 1980. I played bass on that record, but we put Flint’s name on the album so people would recognize him as a band member when they saw us live.

Greg Lindstrom, interview by Patrick Lefevre

 

I wish we could have gotten a heavier sound, but were all still learning how to use the studio. We definitely would have liked to put “Last Laugh” and “Hype Performance” on the album, but we basically just ran out of money to pay for recording time. Remember, we paid for everything on  “Frost And Fire” ourselves, from the recording time to the shrinkwrap.

Greg Lindstrom, interview by Patrick Lefevre

 

I’m partial to F & F, I just wish we could have gotten a heavier sound on the album, but we were on a very limited budget and we were all still learning how to use the studio. The sound I imagined in my head was much heavier.

Greg Lindstrom

 

How long did it take to make Frost and Fire?

It took a while because it was self-financed, so we would have to wait to get studio time and then more money. It probably took maybe a couple weeks altogether, so not that long. We had all the songs, and we had already done them all at our home studio as demos. So, we already knew what they were gonna be, and what the overdubs would be. So, once we were in a real — at that time — 16-track studio, it was already kind of ready to go. It was just a matter of picking the songs and getting ’em done.

Interviewer Chris Corry asking Tim Baker 

 

We wanted to make it big, but all of our music was so heavy and dark, we thought we would use our most commercial material on Frost and Fire, so that we would get air time and stuff. Although all the lyrics and some of the music on Frost and Fire were written by Greg, almost all of our songs over the years were a collaborative effort, some times “I” would even hum out parts until we got it right. Everything had to be perfect, sometimes leading to fist fights over riffs. Anyway, it just turned out Greg’s songs had the more commercial sound. After Frost and Fire came out it was only played a couple of times on the LA radio station KLOS because everyone said it was way too heavy….. So we figured FUCK IT!!! If they think that is heavy why are we holding back? Let’s show them something really heavy!!! We wrote about thirty songs with Greg that have never been released, some not even on tape. It was only understandable that we put some on King of the Dead. Greg did not leave until after Frost and Fire, so we were writing songs up to the day he left.

Robert Garven

 

One reviewer in Kerrang! called Frost And Fire the worst heavy metal album ever recorded! I think a lot of critics at the time just didn’t know who to compare us to and tended to dismiss us. But the fan reaction from all over the world was great. Unfortunately, our albums didn’t have very good distribution and were often hard to find in stores. And that’s part of the reason I quit the band. I felt I had reached a turning point in my life after graduating college and spending 10 years in the band. It was more than a year after Frost and Fire had been released, and sales were decent, but nothing was really happening for us, and I felt it was time to move on, which I did with much regret.

Greg Lindstrom

 

We used to walk around neighborhoods knocking on doors and offering to wash peoples’ cars! The first 3000 copies of “Frost And Fire”, as well as the recording costs were totally paid for by the band.

Greg Lindstrom, The Corroseum interview 

 

I think the confusion lies with “Frost & Fire”, which we wrote to get noticed and popular and so it was intentionally all of our most accessible or radio friendly or commercial songs. We wrote and played heavier songs before and after but that album was meant to launch our career. Unfortunately it was considered too heavy by the radio stations in LA, and though it did receive much underground and college airplay it was not apparently what we needed to succeed. After Greg left we said well, why try to appease an audience that we were to heavy for anyway so we made a conscious effort to make the next album much heavier and gloomier.

Robert Garven, Diabolical Conquest interview

 

Question: What are your ten most valuable records from a collectors view?

My ten remaining sealed copies of the original Frost & Fire LP on Liquid Flames Records! I’m not sure how valuable they are

Greg Lindstrom, interview

 

A review by Robert Garven

The Tales that Speak of “Frost & Fire”

As co-founder and drummer of Cirith Ungol for 22 years I feel I need to respond to some of the reviews here.

A previous reviewer mentioned that “Frost & Fire” sounded thrown together. The real truth is that we had been in the band for 9 years already and “Frost & Fire” was our attempt to get “commercial” airplay and find success with what we considered some of our more accessable music and yes radio friendly music! When the local LA station KLOS played it once and considered it too heavy, we decided to go for broke with our second album and pulled out all the stops. I disagree with some of the reviewers and think Tim’s singing is not only excellent here and that “Frost & Fire” has some of his best vocals. This album features his highest pitched and clearest singing. Anyone who does not call it sining has to compare it with some of todays death metal. “‘Im Alive” was one of our all time best songs, which we started almost every set with. The LA Times said that Pearl Jams “Alive” was a blatant rip off of our song, which is debatable.

I also think the title track “Frost & Fire” is excellent with a great middle break and solo and that “Better off Dead” has a great bass line and some of Tim’s greatest singing range. This is all said looking back with a historical view that only I of all the reviewers can comment on being there the whole time. Jerry’s solos are amazing and his passing was very tragic and sad.

This album has to be listened to many times to appreciate the lyrics, songwriting and performance as a whole not separate parts and to understand as opposed to it being thrown together is was a calculated attempt to obtain a major label contract during a time that only bands with catchy songs that would get any radio airplay were signed. Although i think “King of the Dead” was more representative of the band I am most proud of this album because not only was it our first but it was graced by the unbelievable cover illustration of Michael Whelan’s epic portrait of Elric of Melnibone holding Stormbringer high above his head. This was a dream of ours and after so many years of struggle it was our reality. And yes our music can never be worthy of this great artists work!

Considering we produced, self recorded and paid for the entire project and that we were one of if not the first independent band to put out their own album before the wave of indie productions during that time, I think “Frost & Fire” “King of the Dead” & “Servants of Chaos” are a mandatory listen.

That said “King of the Dead” is my favorite and the last album which we had total control over. I am proud that we are mentioned in the same breath as bands that were epic and hope you all appreciate what we were trying to acomplish at a time when only big label bands had any chance of distribution or airplay.

Unfortunately for you the listener you never got to hear the other 20 or so odd songs that never made it to print such as: “Half Past Human – A Quarter to Ape” & “Brutish Manchild” but then that is another story for another day…………

Robert Garven
Ventura, CA
March 2008

Amazon-review (5 out of 5 stars)

Fenriz approves

Fenriz of Norwegian metal band Darkthrone is an old fan of Cirith Ungol.

fenrizapproved

1980, USA, EPIC/TRUE METAL WITH 70S VIBES AND MORE SOUL THAN SLY AND THE FAMILY STONE!

Darkthrone, from their list of album recommendations in the booklet for the F.O.A.D. album.

Metalfan: But, of course, it’s hard not to ask you: regarding the music and its image, which is the most beautiful vinyl from your collection?

Fenriz: Most beautiful… never gave that much thought, I think the album front cover of the first Cirith Ungol and also the second is very beautiful.

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