Diamond Head

Diamond Head was an English heavy metal band that released the 1980 album Lightning to the Nations on Happy Face Records, followed by the 1982–83 MCA albums Borrowed Time  and Canterbury.

Members: Brian Tatler (lead guitar, vocals), Sean Harris (lead vocals, guitar, 1976-85, 1990-94, 2000-04), Duncan Scott (drums, 1976-83), Dave Williamson (bass, 1976-77), Colin Kimberley (bass, vocals, 1978-83), Robbie France (drums, 1983-85), Mervyn Goldsworthy (bass, 1983-85), Josh Phillips (keyboards, 1983-84)


Diamond Head stemmed from a musical partnership between two Stourbridge classmates: guitarist Brian Tatler and drummer Duncan Scott. In June 1976, fellow pupil Sean Harris became their singer. After multiple bassists, Colin Kimberley completed the lineup in February 1978. They cut two demos and hit the Midlands bar circuit. As word spread, they secured opening slots for AC/DC and Iron Maiden at London’s Lyceum.

Their initial management team, Dave Morris and Ian Frazier, clashed with Sean’s mother Linda. Her companion, businessman Reg Fellows, rejected the label offers sourced by Morris–Frazier. Under Fellows management, Diamond Head emerged as the biggest independent band of the new wave of British heavy metal.

“Shoot Out the Lights”

In March 1980, Diamond Head debuted with the self-produced single “Shoot Out The Lights” (b/w “Helpless”).

A. “Shoot Out the Lights”
B. “Helpless”

“Shoot Out the Lights” (cat# MMDH 120) appeared on the Kempsey small-press Happy Face Records between releases by punk-rockers the Dangerous Girls and hard-rockers Cryer.

Lightning to the Nations (aka “The White Album”)

Diamond Head self-released their first album on July 1, 1980, as a special limited edition in a member-signed white sleeve (hence its unofficial designation as “the white album”). After the first 1,000 copies sold, they pressed 1,000 additional copies with an ‘EG’ matrix code. On October 3, Happy Face Records pressed 1,000 copies under the finalized title Lightning to the Nations. By popular demand, a remastered professional release with proper cover art appeared in 1981 on the German Woolfe Recs label.

1. “Lightning to the Nations” (4:15)
2. “The Prince” (6:27)
3. “Sucking My Love” (9:35)

4. “Am I Evil?” (7:39)
5. “Sweet and Innocent” (3:13)
6. “It’s Electric” (3:37)
7. “Helpless” (6:52)

Recorded February-April 1980
Studio Old Smithy Recording Studio, Worcester, England
Produced by Reg Fellows and Diamond Head

Sean Harris – vocals, rhythm guitar on “Am I Evil?”
Brian Tatler – lead guitar
Colin Kimberley – bass
Duncan Scott – drums

On August 8, 1980, Diamond Head released “Sweet and Innocent” as their second single, backed with the non-album “Streets of Gold.” The single appeared on Wolverhampton two-press Media Records between the limited runs of the parent album.

B. “Streets of Gold” (3:32) Diamond Head co-produced “Streets of Gold” with musician Robin George, the guitarist in (ex-Uriah Heep singer) David Byron’s band.

“Waited Too Long”

On March 13, 1981, Diamond Head released the standalone single “Waited Too Long” backed with “Play It Loud.”

A. “Waited Too Long”
B. “Play It Loud”

Borrowed Time

Diamond Head released their second album, Borrowed Time, on March 12, 1982, on MCA.

1. “In the Heat of the Night” (4:57)
2. “To Heaven from Hell” (6:14)
3. “Call Me” (3:54)
4. “Lightning to the Nations” (4:09)

5. “Borrowed Time” (7:39)
6. “Don’t You Ever Leave Me” (7:56)
7. “Am I Evil?” (7:21)

Recorded 1981
Studio Playground Studios, London
Producer Mike Hedges, Diamond Head

Sean Harris – vocals, backing vocals, percussion, vocoder
Brian Tatler – guitars, backing vocals
Colin Kimberley – bass, Taurus bass pedals, backing vocals
Duncan Scott – drums, percussion

“Call Me” appears on the April 1982 EP Four Cuts with the earlier “Shoot Out the Lights” and two non-album track: “Trick or Treat” and “Dead Reckoning.”

A2. “Trick or Treat”
B1. “Dead Reckoning”

In August, Diamond Head placed “In the Heat of the Night” on a double-pack with live versions of “Play It Loud” and “Sweet and Innocent.” The fourth track is a June 1982 Interview by Tommy Vance with Harris and Kimberley.


Diamond Head released their third album, Canterbury, in June 1983 on MCA.

1. “Makin’ Music” (3:51)
2. “Out of Phase” (3:32)
3. “The Kingmaker” (4:12)
4. “One More Night” (4:11)
5. “To the Devil His Due” (6:02)

6. “Knight of the Swords” (6:53)
7. “Ishmael” (4:01)
8. “I Need Your Love” (3:03)
9. “Canterbury” (4:58)

Sean Harris – vocals
Brian Tatler – guitars
Colin Kimberley, Mervyn Goldsworthy – bass
Duncan Scott, Robbie France – drums

Jamie Lane – drums
Chris Heaton – keyboards and fairlight
The Jolly Slaves – backing vocals

Mike Shipley – producer, engineer
Bryan ‘Chuck’ New – assistant engineer

“Makin’ Music” became the first a-side, backed with an interview by BBC Radio 1 DJ Andy Peebles, who airs “To the Devil His Due.”

In September, “Out of Phase” became the second single (b/w “The Kingmaker”).



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *