Ethel the Frog

Ethel the Frog was an English heavy metal band that released a 1980 self-titled album on EMI.

Members: Doug Sheppard (vocals, guitar), Paul Tognola (guitar), Terry Hopkinson (bass, vocals), Paul Conyers (drums)


Background

Ethel the Frog formed in 1976 in Kingston upon Hull, where singer–guitarist Doug Sheppard and guitarist Paul Tognola teamed with bassist Terry Hopkinson and drummer Paul Conyers. They took their name from a 1970 Monty Python sketch in which a BBC documentary program (Ethel the Frog) recounts the fictional criminal exploits of brothers Doug and Dinsdale Piranha and their battle with a giant hedgehog known as “Spiny Norman.”

In 1978, Ethel the Frog issued a rocked-up cover of the Beatles classic “Eleanor Rigby” on self-press Best Records, backed with the Sheppard original “Whatever Happened to Love.”

“Eleanor Rigby” appears on the 1980 EMI release Metal for Muthas, a compilation of acts aligned with the new wave of British heavy metal (NWOBHM), including Angel Witch, Iron Maiden, Praying Mantis, Samson, and Sledgehammer. EMI signed Ethel the Frog and re-released “Eleanor Rigby” as a promo single, backed with the group-written “Fight Back.”


Ethel the Frog

Ethel the Frog released their self-titled album in 1980 on EMI. It features “Eleanor Rigby” and its two b-sides plus seven Doug Sheppard originals, including “Don’t Do It,” “Fire Bird,” and “Why Don’t You Ask.” Terry Hopkinson plays six-string Fender bass.

1. “Eleanor Rigby” (3:17)
2. “Apple of Your Eye” (4:30)
3. “Staying On My Mind” (4:31)
4. “You Need Wheels” (3:22)
5. “Bleeding Heart” (4:24)
6. “Fight Back” (3:17)
7. “Don’t Do It” (2:48)
8. “Why Don’t You Ask” (4:01)
9. “Whatever Happened to Love” (3:59)
10. “Fire Bird” (7:28)

Sheppard produced Ethel the Frog, which features a cover illustration by David Dragon, whose artwork appears on early seventies releases by Jan Dukes de Grey and Leaf Hound.


After Ethel the Frog

Tognola and Conyers formed the Hull metal act Salem, which cut the 1982 single “Reach for Eternity” (b/w “Cold as Steel”).

Hopkinson earned a doctorate and became a lecturer at the University of Leicester School of Archaeology.


Discography:

  • Ethel the Frog (1980)

Sources:

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