Genre: Melodic Heavy Metal
Pretty Maids is a Heavy Metal/Hard Rock (called Hard'n'Heavy) band formed in Horsens, Denmark, by Ronnie Atkins and Ken Hammer in 1981. Their sound can be defined as something between Europe and Running Wild.
Over the years Pretty Maids have sold hundreds of thousands of records, but have never broken through in a major way, except locally in Japan during the 90s. They have supported such well known acts as Black Sabbath, Whitesnake, Deep Purple Pretty Maids, Alice Cooper, Saxon, and were also featured at the 1987 German version of Monsters of Rock where Metallica headlined along with Deep Purple.
As of 2009 Pretty Maids are still active, and their latest album - Wake Up To The Real World - was released through Frontiers Records on November 10, 2006. The band have been touring their primary markets of DenmarkPretty Maids, Sweden and Germany every year since the release of the latest record.
Pretty Maids have been making music for over 20 years. Formed in 1981 by friends Ken Hammer and Ronnie Atkins, they were initially a cover band but soon started writing their own material and a self-financed demo resulted in a deal with the English record label Bullet Records.
In 1983 Bullet Records released a six track EP, and further recognition was fuelled by great reaction to their UK tour the same year. Inevitably the band outgrew their label, and in 1984 signed to CBS Records, who re-released their self titled debut EP.
Their 1984 debut album Red, Hot and Heavy was a success, and the band really hit their stride with 1987's Future World which was recorded in New York with renowned producer Eddie Kramer. This was the album that saw the band define their sound, with typically aggressive rockers alongside more commercial, melodic moments.
The 1990 Follow up Jump the Gun, was produced by Deep Purple bassist Roger Glover, offered more of the same catchy riffs. The record label had put in all efforts to break the charts worldwide with this record, but it never took off, except in Japan. Whether it was lack of hits, marketing or simply another glam metal victim of grunge music is unknown, but the record didn't live up to expectations. The band more or less broke up after the lack of success with this record, leaving only founding members Ron Atkins and Ken Hammer.
They would however not quit, so they recruited drummer Michael Fast and bass player Kenn Jackson, and went on to record Sin-Decade in 1992 with famed Metallica producer Flemming Rasmussen at the buttons. The album produced the hit single Please Don't Leave Me - a John Sykes/Phil Lynott cover which opened the band up to an even wider audience.
The band did very well in Japan in the first half of the 90s and founded large fanbase over there. The Asian audience has a special craving for Pretty Maids' ballads and more soft repertoire.
In 1995 however, the band really surprised the fans and critics by releasing the storming Scream. This was an altogether heavier and guitar-lead approach which gained numerous plaudits and saw the band release their first live album, Screamin' Live.
The follow up Spooked, released in '97, was regarded by many as an instant classic, maintaining the energy and heaviness of Scream whilst still capturing the quintessential melody that is Pretty Maids.
1999's Anything Worth Doing Is Worth Overdoing, whilst certainly having an overdone album title, also produced one of the songs of the year with Hell On High Heels, an absolute monster of commercial, hard driving rock.
In the Year 2000 the Danish heavy rockers released the album Carpe Diem. A touch more melodic than their previous offerings - a fact that hasn't gone down too well with certain factions of their fan-base, but this is still a classic album which has all the Pretty Maids trademarks in abundance.
In 2002, after the WTC attacks, Pretty Maids released the album Planet Panic which was a trip back to the heavier sides of their catalogue.
In 2003 their management company Rock On went bankrupt due to some very unwise business moves in September 2002. This left Pretty Maids in a very bad financial situation and also left them with a lot of legal problems as well as lot of business and copyright mess.
Lead guitarist Ken Hammer was struck by a heart attack on December 6th 2003. He has since recovered completely and has been on stage numerous times since the incident.
As of July 2005 the drummer since 1991, Michael Fast, decided to leave before the recording of Wake Up To The Real World - an album that was originally intended to be released in 2005, but the initial recordings was postponed to the summer of 2006. In April 2006 new drummer Allan Tschicaja (Royal Hunt, Kingdome Come) was announced as Michael Fast's replacement. In 2006, Morten Sandager (Mercenary) joined Pretty Maids, playing the keyboards.
- Red, Hot and Heavy (1984)
- Future World (1987)
- Jump the Gun / Lethal Heroes (1990)
- Sin-Decade (1992)
- Stripped (1993)
- Scream (1994)
- Spooked (1997)
- Anything Worth Doing, Is Worth Overdoing (1999)
- Carpe Diem (2000)
- Planet Panic (2002)
- Wake Up to the Real World (2006)
- Pandemonium (2010)
- Motherland (2013)
- Louder than Ever (2014)
- Kingmaker (2016)
- 1982 demo (1982)
- 1983 demo (1983)
- Demo II (1984)
- Demo (1985)
- Demo 1986 (1986)
- Pretty Maids (1983)
- Love Games (1987)
- In Santa's Claws (1990)
- Offside (1992)
- A Place in the Night (1984)
- Red Hot and Heavy (1985)
- Waitin' for the Time (1985)
- Future World (1987)
- Love Games (1987)
- Savage Heart (1990)
- Young Blood (1990)
- Please Don't Leave Me (1992)
- In the Minds of the Young (1992)
- If It Ain't Gonna Change (1993)
- Walk Away (1994)
- Hard Luck Woman (1997)
- If It Can't Be Love (1997)
- With These Eyes (1999)
- Hell on High Heels (1999)
- Clay (2000)
- For Once in Your Life (2000)
- Little Drops of Heaven (2010)
- Mother of All Lies (2013)
- Sad to See You Suffer (2013)
- The Best of...Back to Back (1998)
- Massacre's Classix Shape Edition (1999)
- First Cuts ... and Then Some (1999)
- Original Album Classics (2015)
- Screamin' Live (1995)
- Alive at Least (2003)
- It Comes Alive (Maid in Switzerland) (2012)
Ken Hammer - Guitars (1981-present)
Ronnie Atkins - Vocals (1982-present)
Allan Tschicaja - Drums (2006-present)
René Shades - Bass (2011-present)
Chris Laney - Keyboards (2016-present)
Benny Petersen - Guitars
Knud Lindhard - Vocals (backing)
John Darrow - Bass (1981-1984)
Phil Moorheed - Drums (1981-1991)
Pete Collins - Guitars (1982-1984, 1985-1989)
Alan "Stevie" Owen - Keyboards (1982-1990, 2000-2002)
Allan Delong - Bass (1984-1991)
Rick Hanson - Guitars (1984)
Ricky Marx - Guitars (1989-1991)
Dominic Gale - Keyboards (1990-1996)
Kenn Jackson - Bass (1991-2010)
Michael Fast Petersen - Drums (1991-2005)
Morten Sandager - Keyboards (2006-2016)