Highway Chile – “Storybook Heroes” (1983)
2015 32bit FULL Dynamic Range Remaster PROMO ONLY
**From PLAY IT LOUD FOREVER;
published on October 19, 2009 from https://playitloudforever.wordpress.com/2009/10/19/highway-chile-storybook-heroes-1983/
**Highway Chile! In 1983, three very distinct versions of Storybook Heroes were released. However, almost every music-related website fails to CORRECTLY distinguish the three versions (even Rockdetector and Allmusic have it wrong). So I have done a little research and I am ready to set the record straight once and for all, and give this kick-ass album a little justice…
The first label to release Storybook Heroes was Lark Records (INL 3651) in 1983. This was a vinyl release. Lark Records was a sub-label of the Belgian/Dutch company, Inelco. The gallery section below shows the track listing that appeared on the back cover of the Lark release. There were eight tracks in total.
|Front Cover Art|
** After the original release of Storybook Heroes by Lark Records (but prior to the 21 Records release), Lark released a 12″ EP called Fever (INL 3652). The EP contained four tracks including the first appearance of the tune Fever. This tune later wound up on the 21 Records and Mirus versions of Storybook Heroes.
The Mirus version of Storybook Heroes was the only version to contain the track Handing You Over. This track had previously been released on the Fever EP, and prior to that, as a B-side to the Endless Trail 7″ single (Lark catalog number: INS 1472).
Referring to the Lark version, the introduction to the track Highway Chile consists of an M.C. introducing the band to a live audience.[^] However, if you listen closely to the actual performance of Highway Chile, you will notice that it does not seem to be a live cut, but a studio version.
In the gallery section, I have included a promo insert/press release that was included with one of my Mirus promo pressings. I assume this sheet was intended to promote the band and give some biographical info to radio disc jockeys, in the hopes of getting Highway Chile’s music on the air in the United States.
Highway Chile was a Dutch band, however their lead singer Armand Vander Stigchel (despite having the most Dutch sounding name EVER!), did not sing with an accent. He was born in Chicago.
21 Records was founded by Freddy Haayen, the manager of another Dutch band, Golden Earring. The label existed from ’82 to around ’88.
The “epitaph” on the tombstone on the front cover says “Rock & roll is better than music”.
[^] The Disc jockey used for the intro is Dutch legendary 'Beton' Radio DJ Alfred LaGarde whom used the phrase "Rock & Roll is better than Music!" in his Dutch radio shows. Alfred (credited here as Al VanderGarde ('Big Al') produced this first 'Lark' version of the album and all the derived versions that came from it. ~ R.I.P. Alfred, Nestor of Rock Music and ONE BIG inspirator for Eddy Lite personally in the 80s and 90s. ~ Hanneke Kappen (also a Dutch TV and Radio Jockey needs to be mentioned here as well. She has also been an inspiration but also helped Highway Chile get along the road and in the saddles. Highway was frequently show cased in Hanneke's programmes and this made the band big time, in the Benelux for starters.
|Back Cover Art|
|1983 Lark 'Fever' EP|
More Info Nuggets by Eddy Lite:
The album was recorded at Soundpush Studios, the place where Golden Earring recorded frequently. Highway Chile's Road Manager at the time was Michel van de Moosdijk, later on worldfamous for his work on the Dynamo Open Air Festivals and Aardschok Magazine. (AARDSCHOK probably being the MOST incorrectly spelled Dutch word...)
In 1982 Guitarist and main songwriter Ben Blaauw won a Gibson Byrdland guitar provided by Ted Nugent nonetheless on a Radioshow. You've guessed it correctly, 'Big Al' Alfred LaGarde's Betonmolen show. I've participated in such events too and won a signed Lita Ford album shortly after Ben's bigger success... (;D)
After Armand vander Stigchel left Highway Chile in 1984 it was never going to be the same again. Though it seemed that with a new singer and a more mainstream USA inspired and produced album Highway was making it BIG in the States, the truth is that everything soon fell apart. I for one didn't like the new material very much and there was just no-one to replace Armand in a decent way. He was simply too good to be Dutch. (;D) For years me and my friends wondered; What the &^$# happened to our hero Armand vander Stighel?
A few years back we found Armand back, in the United States, living well and being a renowned gourmet BBQ chef! After Highway called it quits in 1985 the main troops evolved into Helloïse. More heavy metal and less rock & roll than Highway Chile but the first album 'Cosmogony' from 1985 is a damn fine album. The sound of this album seems a bit outdated now (more-so than this album here) but the tracks (of which many were penned in the Highway Chile era) were solid as a rock and are still played live in the reunion 'hybrid' band that is still on the road today as Highway Chile. This version of the band has members of both Highway Chile as well as Helloïse with singer Stan Verbraak being the most obvious link. Stan is an excellent 'schooled' singer (with way more singing techniques and better range but still not able to replace Armand vander Stigchel, and it shouldn't be...) It's great to see both Helloïse and Highway Chile on the road and sometimes even releasing new music but, I despise the fact they seem to take whatever they can get to keep it going. It's too forced in my opinion and especially the Highway Chile version is 'dirty' in my book. Without Armand there is no Highway Chile. Had they been doing Highway Chile songs in a Helloïse set-list I would've been deLited but since 2002 (the reunion year for Highway Chile) I simply have let go of these guys.
Eddy Lite december 2015
|1982 Lark 7" Single 'Endless Trail' b/w 'Handing You Over'|
|Liner notes by Alfred LaGarde (credited as Al vanderGarde)|
Lark – INL 3651
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Style: Hard Rock, Heavy Metal
A1 Carol (Lady Of The Dark Room)
Written-By – v.d. Stichel*, Blaauw* 03:53
A2 Jesse James
Written-By – v.d. Stichel*, Blaauw* 04:07
Written-By – v.d. Stichel*, Blaauw* 04:25
A4 Endless Trail
Written-By – v.d. Stichel*, Mens* 04:12
B1 Highway Chile ('live' version)
Written-By – Mens* 04:13
B2 Going Blind
Written-By – v.d. Stichel*, Blaauw* 03:58
B3 Run Run
Written-By – v.d. Stichel*, Blaauw* 04:30
B4 Nothing You Can Do About It
Written-By – v.d. Stichel*, Blaauw* 04:20
Produced For – TRC Productions
Distributed By – Inelco
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Lark Records
Copyright (c) – Lark Records
Recorded At – Soundpush Studios
Mixed At – Soundpush Studios
Manufactured By – Inelco Nederland B.V.
Artwork – Rini Van Leeuwen
Artwork [Highway Chile Logo] – Fred Icke
Bass – Eric Finck
Drums – Ernst Van Ee
Engineer – Jan Schuurman
Executive-Producer – Ed Wapper
Guitar – Ben Blaauw, Peter 'Barney' Barnouw*
Management – Ed Bos (2)
Photography By – Koert Engelsman
Producer, Sleeve Notes – Al Vandergarde*
Vocals – Armand Vander Stighel
Recorded and Mixed at Soundpush Studio One, Blaricum (NL)
Comes with an inner sleeve.
Tape to disc transfer by Kees Grijping at Dureco
Barcode and Other Identifiers:
Rights Society: STEMRA
Matrix / Runout (Side 1): PLAY LOUD k.g. INL3651 A 1C2
Matrix / Runout (Side 2): PLAY ALSO LOUD k.g. INL3651 B 1C2
2015 High Definition FULL Dynamic Range transfer from the original Kees Grijping (Inelco) analog master to 32bit 192kHz digital on december 9th 2015 by Eddy Lite.
Mastered for the soon to be released tribute to the original Highway Chile "Rock Hard, Live Free & Die Young" compilation album.
Will be available in Lossless FLAC (redbook) | Apple Lossy AAC LC (512kb/s).
(c) 1983 Lark Records, The Netherlands/ Inelco Records & Tapes B.V.
(p) 2015 Hipper Than Hell Records & Filmworks.