Rebel - Stargazer

geoviangeovian Earth Orbit
edited March 2021 in Year-1982

Rebel was the one off German project featuring guitarist Tommy Clauss and vocalist/producer John Lawton, fresh from his 1981 solo LP and stints with Lucifers Friend and Uriah Heep.

Rebel - 1982 Stargazer
ALBUM: Stargazer
LABEL: Ohr Today
SERIAL: OHR 560.003
YEAR: 1982
SPONSOR: Metalapolis Records
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List

LINEUP: John Lawton - vocals, production * Tommy Clauss - guitars * Al Stübler - keyboards * Peter Weber - bass * Peter Garratoni - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Stargazer * 02 Broadway Nights * 03 Give It All You Got * 04 Iron Horse * 05 Surrender * 06 Innocent And Wild * 07 Hold Your Head Up * 08 Wings Of Fire

WEBLINKS: Metalapolis Records Site


This band and this album was recently given a brand new reissue a couple of weeks back (Dec 4th, 2020) from German label Metalapolis. That was brave on their part because originally back in 1982 Rebel had this album released on a very very small label, I'd hesitate to think that it would have gotten a reissue nearly three decades later but, a reissue has indeed materialized.

Rebel was the brainchild of guitarist Tommy Clauss, and it wasn't until producer John Lawton came into the picture that the band and album sprouted wings. Lawton as we know has a history with Lucifer's Friend and Uriah Heep, and as the 'Stargazer' album was about set to take off, the original singer didn't quite make the grade so Lawton stepped in.

Rebel Band pic 1982

The Songs

The album is styled very much along the lines of Rainbow and a touch of 'Wings Of Tomorrow' era Europe.

Both of the lead musicians do the heavy lifting throughout, but the backline provide ample support too. You can hear as early as the opening title track (can you see where the Rainbow came from?) that this album has a lot of merit.

'Broadway Nights' is as tough as old boots, and you just gotta love those crashing drum and keyboard collisions. 'Give It All You Got' copies Steely Dan's 'Do It Again' in the verse section (the similarity is amazing), and on this track Lawton powers up like Steve Walsh on steroids. Clauss fires off a six string salvo just for good measure. Impressive.

'Iron Horse' continues the wild ride that Rebel are whipping up, and by the halfway stage I'm really getting into this set. A cascading piano line introduces the ballad 'Surrender', and just in case you were thinking, no this is not the Rainbow or Russ Ballard version. Rebel build toward a rising crescendo by solo time.

'Innocent And Wild' showcases Lawton's vocal ability, this really is super stuff, it's a pity this line-up only delivered the one album. 'Hold Your Head Up' is indeed the hoary old chestnut from 70's proggies Argent which featured on their 1972 album 'All Together Now' (incidentally a track not written by Russ Ballard). This version however is pretty rockin'.

There's a hefty keyboard sequence preceding 'Wings Of Fire', a track which veers to the pomp side of the alleyway, thanks to a lesser guitar involvement on the verses. Apart from the ballad, this one only comes alive on the solo section thanks to Tommy's solos.

In Summary

This would be the only effort from Rebel, the album not doing a lot in the German and European Market other than subsequent releases in France and Belgium the following year. If there were any old vinyl LP's still out there on eBay they can now be superseded by this brand new clean reissue on CD which effectively puts all those scratchy and warped versions out to pasture. Thanks to Eddy Freiberger at Metalapolis.



Give It All You've Got

Wings Of Fire

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  • image
    Never released officially on CD, the 1982 REBEL album 'Stargazer' featuring John Lawton and Tommy Clauss will be reissued on Dec 4 by Metalapolis Records. It will be released for the first time, remastered by Jacky Lehmann (Saxon, Biff Byford). The reissue contains the original 8 tracks with no additional material.

    Track Listing:
    01 Stargazer
    02 Broadway Nights
    03 Give It All You Got
    04 Iron Horse
    05 Surrender
    06 Innocent And Wild
    07 Hold Your Head Up
    08 Wings Of Fire

    John Lawton - vocals, production
    Tommy Clauss - guitars
    Al Stübler - keyboards
    Peter Weber - bass
    Peter Garratoni - drums

    Here's a little history lesson.

    It is 1982 and the Hard'n Heavy scene in Germany is about to grow. Especially in southern Germany there is a big scene with a lot of great bands. One of them is called REBEL and it is the brainchild of a young guitarist called Tommy Clauss. Tommy got his first attention in a band called STEVEN. With his Ritchie Blackmore (DEEP PURPLE, RAINBOW) and Mick Box (URIAH HEEP) influenced style of playing he got noticed as a big talent.


    John Lawton, ex-Singer of URIAH HEEP and LUCIFER'S FRIEND, was on a promotion tour for his album 'Heartbeat' in Germany, when Tommy had the chance to meet him and to ask if he wanted to produce their album. After John agreed they started to record the album. Because the singer of the band had a few problems singing the songs, John himself stepped in. Together with Sound Engineer Ian Morris (John Parr) the album was recorded in one month, and released on small time German label Ohr Today.

    The result was 'STARGAZER' which unfortunately didn't get the success it deserved, because the album wasn't promoted well and so the band split up. Later in the 80's John and Tommy teamed up again for the first album of a band called ZAR. But this is a totally different story!
  • We haven't reviewed this one yet. Probably a good opportunity to do so before December the 4th.
  • Includes merged comments from a previous thread.
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