That, in turn, led me to re-purchase that particular album on CD when the tape wore out. I also bought the followup CD years later. Not as good, but still managed a few good tracks. Great band. Sorry to know that they are not only defunct, but I can't really find anything substantial any one of them has gone on to do in the music industry.
But this entry is not about Big Pig.
This post isn't about them either.
Tora Tora and Nelson both made solid appearances on the soundtrack as well (though the latter appeared as "Power Tool" due to a contract arrangement prior to their debut album release), as did a couple other even lesser-knowns. But it ain't about them either.
Law of the Order was Shark Island's major label debut album, releasing the same year as the Bill & Ted soundtrack, as did Extreme's eponymous debut, and Tora Tora's Sneak Attack. It was a fantastic set of music, start to finish. Great riffs & catchy melodies abound, and Richard Black's vocals were spot-on throughout. This album should have been a huge success. It's a crying shame that Epic just let such genius material sit and rot.
FFWD>> to 2007, and I'm still listening to the album with some regularity. In August that year Shark Island released a new album. They'd apparently gotten most of the original band together to bring to fruition a bunch of old material and demos they'd had sitting around in the vault. This was exciting news. Unfortunately, the prospect was far more exciting than the final project.
Today I discovered on Apple Music that there's other Shark Island material out there as well. In 2004 an independent French label had the good sense to re-release Law of the Order in 2-disc format, adding a disc of live material recorded at the Whisky A Go Go in July 1989, five months after the release of Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, when these guys were raring for takeoff after having slogged along and slowly built up a pretty decent following after 10 years on the L.A. rock scene.
|Shark Island: Alive at the Whiskey - July 14, 1989 Bastille Day on iTunes|
There is kind of a heartbreaking moment buried in the glee I was feeling in enjoying this fantastic resurrected material. As the band finishes the final notes of "Get Some Strange" and they soak in the applause and cheers, singer Richard Black slips out of the rock star persona for a second and you get the sense that he suddenly truly noticed the crowd reaction and the fact that he was on this great stage with his band, getting major exposure on a really successful film soundtrack, and things were beginning to finally happen, that all their work was finally paying off. He shouts to the crowd, "Unbelievable!" Followed up with, seemingly more to himself, "My dreams have come true."
If only he had know how badly his record company was going to fuck him over. Such a waste.