It has been 30 years since Nashville’s Raging Fire released the debut album ‘A Family Thing’.
To mark the benchmark anniversary the Tennessee cowpunk band will reissue expanded editions of its entire catalogue including previously unavailable studio recordings, alternate takes and live tracks and a new 24 track compilation.
Raging Fire rose at the time of The Gun Club, The Replacements and The Cramps off the back of the international interest in Jason & The Scorchers. The four members were on a mission from Godsey, Micheael Godsey who was to become their guitarist. “The first night I met Michael, at a party, we started talking about music,” Zaner said. “He listened to some songs I’d written for a band I was in (Color Flag). He said I should leave and form a band with him and Mark. I told him I’m not a punk singer; I don’t scream. I identified with punk music, I just didn’t sing that way.”
The band members are Michael Godsey on guitar; Mark Medley on drums; Les Shields on bass and Melora Zaner on vocals.
Shields left in 1985 and a number of line-up changes took place with Lee Carr in for Shields followed by Rusty Watkins with Jerry McFadden then added to the line-up.
By the end of the 80s the band dissolved … and then grunge happened. “The sound everyone said they didn’t know how to market suddenly became one of the most popular styles in the world,” Medley said.
Zaner noticed the similarities too. “I kept having people tell me they thought they heard us on the radio,” she said. “It turned out to be all these bands that sounded a lot like us. To me, at least, it said we were onto something. I look back at it all very fondly now.”
Had they happened a little later, Raging Fire might have had a different history. “We all still followed our passions — that was something I think we took from working in Raging Fire,” Zaner said. “There are things I wished had turned out differently, but I have no regrets.”
The Raging Fire catalogue will once again be available from October.
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