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King's X

Few hard rock bands are as widely respected yet criminally overlooked as King's X. The trio (bassist/vocalist Doug Pinnick, guitarist/vocalist Ty Tabor, and drummer/vocalist Jerry Gaskill) seemed destined for the big time with their irresistible blend of melodic Beatlesque harmonies, metallic riffing, and prog rock detours, yet for reasons unknown, never truly broke through to a mainstream audience. Pinnick (b. September 3, 1950) first met Gaskill (b. December 27, 1957) when the duo was touring with the Christian rock outfit Petra, and soon after, met up-and-coming guitarist Tabor (b. September 17, 1961). The trio joined forces in 1980 with the Top 40 cover band the Edge and thoroughly played the Missouri bar scene. By 1983, the band had changed its name to Sneak Preview and was now completely focusing on original compositions -- resulting in an obscure and very hard to find self-titled debut album released around this time.

Sneak Preview were offered a recording contract in 1985 if they relocated to Houston, TX, which they did, but the deal failed to materialize. Undeterred, the trio continued on and perfected its sound and songwriting further, catching a break when ZZ Top video producer Sam Taylor took the group under his wing, helping it secure a recording contract with New York's Megaforce label in 1987, and suggesting that the band change its name to King's X (the name of a local outfit that Taylor was an admirer of back in his high-school days).

In 1988, King's X released their debut album, Out of the Silent Planet. Despite praise among critics, the public didn't know exactly what to make of the group's original and multiple genre-encompassing style, and the album sank without a trace. But with the band's sophomore release, 1989's classic Gretchen Goes to Nebraska, a buzz began to develop around King's X in the metal community, as members of Anthrax and Living Colour praised them in the press, and MTV granted a few airings of their anthemic track "Over My Head." The stage was set for the group's big breakthrough, and things appeared to be going according to plan when the band's third release, Faith Hope Love, surfaced in late 1990.

The album just missed the U.S. Top 30 and nearly reached gold certification, due to landing a lengthy spot opening on AC/DC's sold-out arena tour in both the States and Europe, while the Beatlesque "It's Love" received major air time on MTV. What should have been an exciting time for the group quickly turned sour, however, as the bandmembers began to experience trouble with manager Taylor. King's X's self-titled release from 1992 (and first to appear on Atlantic Records without the Megaforce imprint) proved not to be as focused as their previous pair of albums, resulting in the album disappearing quickly from sight after release (and their ensuing tour halted), as they ended their relationship with Taylor.

But it appeared as though the change had refueled the group's musical desire once again, as evidenced by the Brendan O'Brien-produced stellar 1994 release, Dogman, which performed respectfully on the charts. This success resulted in the band opening shows for Pearl Jam and a show-stopping performance on the opening night of the mammoth Woodstock '94 festival. Atlantic Records began putting pressure on the trio to deliver a breakthrough hit but when Ear Candy failed to live up to expectations, King's X left the label (Atlantic would issue one more release from the band a year later, The Best Of, which featured 13 fan favorites, as well as three unreleased compositions and a live track).

In 1998 the group signed to the Metal Blade label, as both Pinnick and Tabor issued their first solo albums (Tabor with Moonflower Lane and Pinnick with Massive Grooves, the latter issued under the alias Poundhound), followed by the group's seventh studio release overall, Tape Head. Now free to issue albums at their own pace, the group issued two more albums only a year apart -- 2000s Please Come Home...Mr. Bulbous and 2001's Manic Moonlight. Pinnick continued his solo career in conjunction with King's X, issuing Poundhound's second release, Pineappleskunk, the same year (as well as forming a side project with former members of Trouble, dubbed Supershine), while Tabor issued two albums with the prog metal supergroup Platypus -- 1998's When Pus Comes to Shove and 2000s Ice Cycles. Around the same time, King's X received a pleasant accolade from their peers when they were voted as one of the "100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock" on a VH1 TV special. In 2003, they released Black Like Sunday, a collection of re-recorded songs from early in their career that had previously only existed as demos or bootlegs. Their first concert album, Live All Over the Place, arrived the following year, followed by their 11th studio recording, Ogre Tones, in 2005. King's X released XV on the InsideOut label in 2008. ~ Greg Prato
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

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Their sophomore offering Gretchen Goes To Nebraska is simply mindblowing. Another great band lost in the shuffle.
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Somehow I lost track of this band in the 90s. I wanted to get some of their stuff, but never did. Glad I found them!
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jamieb12871
Maybe jimi/zz
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I am one of their biggest fans. dUg. Ty. Jerry. Three amazing musicians.
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jamieb12871
Got 2 hang w/ them backstage in '89...really didn't know what 2 say(was17/ha d n ' t heard of 'em)...NOW I KNOW WHAT IT WAS LIKE 4 PEOPLE WHO 1ST MET DARRELL(ABBO T T ) / P A N T E R A
..BUT HADN'T HEARD(OF)THE M B4!!!
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jamieb12871
VERY.

VERY


VERY.

U. N. D. E. R.
A. P. P. R. E. C. I. A. T. E. D.
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jamieb12871
RUSH & IN LIVING COLOUR =baby
This would B their very gifted child
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Wow amazing musicianship . Underrated as hell.
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Great music, too bad Doug brought them down, too bad Ty lost his faith, I do wish them the best. Their music continues to be my favorite, except when Doug opens his foul mouth ...
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Great music from a great band!
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lisab72
Great band, great group of guys too. Seen them several times live and the biggest compliment to them? Each time the audience was full of musicians! They may never be big to the sheeple but when fellow musicians are your biggest fans you know you are doing something right.
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Powerful knock you on your a** wall of sound!
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briansreed0
Should have been huge! Great band!
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Kings x Ffuck rock oh yeah!!!!
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Love y'all!
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Incredibly talented and criminally overlooked.
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This band makes me proud to be a Houstonian. Best band besides ZZ Top to come out of H-Town.
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Best three piece out of Texas...
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AWESOME BAND PERIOD!!!!!! Pete
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I have seen them probably 20 tims since 1989 and I will see them in May.
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The Bee Gees song, World, and the King's X song, World, song are two different songs. This song was written by King's X.
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I've got the albums King's X, Dog Man, Out of the Silent Planet and XV. Glad my dad had a good taste in the early 90's
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Became a huge fan when I heard them on Rockline promoting Dog Man many years ago. Never get tired of them. If you think KingsX is mediocre, (you need to learn how to spell mediocre) your not really a fan of Rock music either.
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Saw them with Galactic cowboys at harpos once, pretty rad show!!!
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rytnbfytn55
These guys have inspired me to get back into the struggle again...Love them!
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Good artists copy; great artists steal. The beauty of King's X is their ability to assimilate the rock lexicon into something fresh and exciting.
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rick.sansom
Wow! I don't make fun of Bieber.
Report as inappropriate
I have a substantial collection and it has nothing from Kings X in it. I find them totally medicore, hackneyed and boring with almost every musical cliche possible in their music.
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if you don't have everything from kings x in your collection, you don't have a collection
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One of my all time favorite bands. seen them over 20 times threw the years recently in NYC at Stage 48. They still rock!!!
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I second what a lot of people have said here. This band is indeed huge-soundin g live...the instruments, and especially the harmonies, are flat-out ridiculous. I was up front, and Doug came over and jammed on the riser right in front of me. Totally freakin' EPIC.
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I like Sooner or later and mufd from ogre tones
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Greatest band ever!
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Freedom is such a cool song. These guys should have been huge.
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kvons1
Too bad they can't actually play the title track DOGMAN! What???
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Been a fan since out of the silent planet. Great band. Not underrated but certainly underplayed.
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i love them so much i tatoo'd em on my _______. fill in the blank
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i love them so much i tatoo'd em on my _______. fill in the blank
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bmiller367
You simply will not see a better live small venue show than King's X.
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something tells me that their Sneak Preview record from 1984 will never be on here lol
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been a fan since 1988 when they toured w/ Hurricane. Great band!
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I've seen King's X 4 times and they just get better with age... And wouldn't ya know it? They're really nice guys!
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sickles211
metal with soul.... awesome....
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A great band that is just spectacular live.
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Pleiades ...all time favorite KingsX tune (or a close second to The Big Picture) Chuck... aka Ergo
Report as inappropriate
kill.flex
I have been following the X since 1990 and let me tell you, they are the most overlooked band in history! They sound HUGE live...I love KingsX....yo u should too! :)
Report as inappropriate
Saw them with Dream Theater and Joe Satriani about 10 years ago. There was so much talent on the stage that night!
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jesse, thanks for turning me on to King's X....luv ya bro!
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I saw King's X open for AC/DC at Hirsch Memorial Coliseum in Shreveport and blew them away!!! Doug and his gianormous Hammer bass were on fire that night...
Report as inappropriate
One of my all time favorite bands, hands down, Kings X.
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