Under The Radar: Strapps

Published on 22 September 2021 at 10:49

Strapps are a British hard rock band formed in 1974. They came to be after Mick Underwood met up with an Australian singer-guitarist named Ross Stagg. Their best known lineup was completed by bassist Joe Read and keyboardist Noel Scott.

They had a period of prolonged rehearsal before they were signed to EMI’s Harvest label.
Shortly after this, they recorded their debut album at Ian Gillan’s “Kingsway Recorders” music studio in London, and their album was produced by Roger Glover.

After their album was released, they went on tour to support the album. Sadly, their marketing strategy didn’t go down well with everyone since their publicity photos for their debut album featured a topless model which raised concerns with radical feminists.

These women gathered at Strapps gigs, and it made things very uncomfortable for the band.
Despite, this negative publicity, they were given the supporting slot on Deep Purple’s final tour in UK and Japan, which allowed them to have invaluable exposure with their target audience.

Soon enough, they were back in the studio at Basing Street Studios, where Chris Kimsey took on the role of producer. Their upcoming album, “Secret Damage” continued with their already popular music formula, and the cover art was much less controversial than their prior release.

In 1977, Strapps took on the support slot for The Ian Gillan Band’s UK tour. Sadly, despite their success on stage, didn’t translate into record sales. Since they weren’t able to sell a sufficient number of records, they were dropped form the label.

Luckily, Japan had not forgotten about the band, and they were able to strike a deal with a smaller deal, for distribution in Japan only.

The last two albums were “Prisoner Of Your Love” and “Ball Of Fire”, which were only released in Japan.

Strapps was officially done after Mick Underwood accepted Ian Gillan’s offer to join his new band, “Gillan” in 1979.

When I first found out about Strapps, it was 2013. I was going through my dad’s collection of Japanese music magazines.

I’ve always found them interesting, and I really started going through them during my teenage years and I found so many photos of bands I already loved, and new bands too!

Now, this story is gonna sound crazy but the reason I checked out Strapps was because I saw so many photos of them and I was sent over the edge, and I give you this direct quote, “If they’ve been featured this many times, they better be the best band I’ve ever heard.”

So, I went on Google and searched for a while before I found good quality copies to listen to, and they are amazing.

They are one of the many great bands that had to struggle, but they never earned the critical success that they deserved.

I consider them to be among the bands who were too great. I think that sometimes the general public doesn’t always understand truly great music, because it’s so rare. People aren’t really sure how to process it when it comes, and it causes so many bands to get misread, because these bands are amazing, but the label needs sales or the band loses their record deal.

This is crazy because you would think that good music would get popular, but it never turns out that way. The best artists struggled to get signed, while the artists who sound like everybody else get signed. I could never understand why this happened, but now that I’m older I do.

If a record label signs someone who sounds like everyone else, they aren’t taking a risk because this type of music is popular and it will sell. If a record label signs someone who doesn’t really sound like anyone else, they are taking a risk, because they can’t put this artist into a category and they can’t be compared to someone else.

If it can’t be categorized, and people aren’t familiar with the style, it’s less likely to sell because it hasn’t been done before. Surely, people might check it out, but that doesn’t mean everyone will understand it. Now, this doesn’t mean it’s bad, but it does mean that more ears need to hear it, more minds will be expanded.

Now, this doesn’t mean that whoever this band is has to be your favorite, but it does make a difference if you give it a listen. By giving it a listen, you give the band a chance before you give an opinion.

This should be applied more often because a lot of people pass judgment on music before they give it a proper listen and it causes us to become close minded.

So, here’s another one of the many truly great bands, who didn’t have massive commercial success, but they have cult value and a lasting impact…and that matters more.


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