Steele (US) … The San Francisco Band That Never Got That Record Deal (Heavy Metal) [Music/Discography/History/Review]

The History Begins …

STEELE is a remarkable name in the history of Heavy Metal from San Francisco. They were one of the most cherished bands by the local scene at the time, delivering pure U.S. Metal, as it was done in the early 80s. Without big budgets to support them, they managed to immortalize much of the feeling experienced in those crazy years of Heavy Metal.

After the discography the bands history continues...

(1983) Demo 1983 [DEMOTAPE]


The Legend of Satan Marie is the stand out track, Heavy Metal and Guillotine Nightmare are ok. This demotape is featured on the 2018 compilation album.

Favourite track: The Legend Of Satan Marie

1. I’m the One
2. Heavy Metal
3. Guillotine Nightmare
4. The Legend of Satan Marie
5. Cheater

Note: You can listen to the tracks further down below on the “Guillotine Nightmare” compilation.

(1984) Demo 1984 [DEMOTAPE]


When a bands second demotape is less good than the first one you’re in trouble. No songs to speak of here at all. If I have to chose one, I’ll go with Guillotine Nightmare.

Favourite track: Guillotine Nightmare.

1. I’m the One
2. Heavy Metal
3. Guillotine Nightmare
4. The Legend of Satan Marie
5. Cheater

Note: You can listen to the tracks further down below on the “Guillotine Nightmare” compilation.

(2018) Guillotine Nightmare – San Francisco Metal 83-85 [COMPILATION]


I have to say I like the first 5 tracks, the ones recorded in 1985, but the ones from 1983 and 1984 are a bit to “simple” and softish hard rock for my taste. It has been said here and there over the internet that people think it’s strange they didn’t become bigger, but I have to say they are not that good, they are okey but nothing special at all. With that being said, I love these labels that make these amazing packages and collect the songs, even if it’s just out of historical view, rather than the music is especially good. And ofcourse I’ll buy the vinyl edition.

Track 1-5 recorded in 1985, Track 6-10 recorded in 1983, Track 11-14 recorded in 1984.

Favourite track: The Legend Of Satan Marie

  1. Passion Screams
  2. Tora Tora
  3. U.S. Steele
  4. Rock Will Never Surrender
  5. Burning Bridges
  6. I’m The One
  7. Heavy Metal
  8. Guillotine Nightmare
  9. The Legend Of Satan Marie
  10. Cheater
  11. Bittersweet
  12. In My Life
  13. Survivors Of The Future
  14. Ain’t The Same

Album Versions: Discogs

… And The Bands History Continues here

Steele is another lost gem of early U.S. Metal, coming from one of the most proliferating metal scenes in the 80’s, San Francisco. They were formed in 1983, with founding members Dave Hart, Scot Harlan and Dan Levitan, and became a cult act in the Bay Are metal scene, when they opened for Saxon on their first U.S. tour. Hart even though he was a drummer, he at the end chose to become a guitarist. Throughout Steele’s history there were primarily two drummers. The majority of the time Jim Lang was the drummer but for a year or two Steve McLaughlin took on the role. Both are featured in the different demos that were originally released. While bassist Dan Levitan was also serving as their manager. After the opening live for Saxon they started to book some gigs in the Bay Area and at about this time Dan Levitan left the band, moved to L.A. and pursued his musical career there. Dan was replaced by Joe Amon and he would remain the bass player for the remaining history. ‘Guillotine Nightmare’ was a sort of their first hit single, as it was fans favorite in their live shows.

After several concerts and many articles and reports for their live stage performance and high energy their fan base was going forward and also opened for Joe Perry project, Aldo Nova and Y&T. At this point they changed directions and Dave Hart became the lead vocalist and relinquished his guitar duties to Dave Ledrech who had been their roadie for the past year. This gave Steele an improved guitar duo to work with. Eventually Dave left the band and was replaced on guitar by Dave Balano. Unfortunately they never managed to get a proper offer from a big label despite the offers they got from small independent record companies.

As the contract from a major label never came, after 6 years Steele finally went their separate ways to pursue other musical projects. Dave Balano went on to form Vain. Jim Lang went on to be part of Vicious Rumors and X-Men. While Dave Hart went on to form Savoir Faire. A strong release with guitar based sound, well written songs, decent high pitched vocals and an energetic 80’s feeling.

History information from Lost Realm Records and Metal Invader

Check out the bands discography
on Metal Archives & Discogs

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