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Tempest biography
Formed by drummer Jon Hiseman in 1974 after the break up of COLOSSEUM, TEMPEST (no relation to the US band of the same name) are most notable for their line up rather than their albums. Hiseman brought in an at the time very young guitarist by the name of Allan Holdsworth, with Mark Clark (bass) and Paul Williams (vocals) completing the band. Clark had also been a member of COLOSSEUM. Paul Williams had played with JOHN MAYALL'S BLUESBREAKERS and JUICY LUCY.

TEMPEST released two albums with Peter "Ollie" Halsall (PATTO, SCAFFOLD) replacing Holdsworth for "Living in Fear", and taking on keyboard duties for that album too. He replaced the departed Williams on vocals, resulting in a completely different sound for that album. Their music is more jazz rock than fusion, and Hiseman's COLOSSEUM influences can be heard in the jazz influences in both albums. While "Living in Fear" was more direct and dynamic than the first self titled album, neither was particularly satisfactory.

Hiseman went on to form COLOSSEUM II, while Holdsworth found varying degrees of success both as a solo artists, and with bands such as GONG, SOFT MACHINE, UK and BRUFORD. The late Ollie Halsall (died 29 May 1992) recorded with BOXER and Kevin Ayers among others. Clarke worked with various bands including NATURAL GAS, URIAH HEEP, MOUNTAIN AND RAINBOW.

: : : Bob McBeath, SCOTLAND : : :

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The Tracks We LeaveThe Tracks We Leave
Audio CD$8.41
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The Double-CrossThe Double-Cross
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Import · Remastered
Esoteric 2011
Audio CD$11.11
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Surfing to MeccaSurfing to Mecca
Firebird Records 1995
Audio CD$87.38
$5.88 (used)
Prime CutsPrime Cuts
Audio CD$17.50
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TEMPEST discography

Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help to complete the discography and add albums

TEMPEST top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.22 | 39 ratings
3.18 | 29 ratings
Living In Fear

TEMPEST Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

TEMPEST Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

TEMPEST Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Tempest / Living In Fear
3.11 | 8 ratings
Under The Blossom

TEMPEST Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Living In Fear  by TEMPEST album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.18 | 29 ratings

Living In Fear
Tempest Heavy Prog

Review by friso
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Tempest - Living in Fear (1974)

Tempest was an English heavy progrock outfit of the mid-seventies, nowadays primarily known for the presence of the then soon to be fusion-icon Allan Holdsworth on the debut-album. This second album has endured some serious criticisms, most of which I myself find uneasy to comprehend.

Tempest is a trio founded by ex-Colosseum (and ex John Mayal & The Bluesbrakers) drummer Jon Hiseman. A very talented musician indeed. Guitarist Ollie Halsall (Mike Patto, Kevin Ayers) is nothing short of amazing in skill and his playing is simply glorious throughout, blending jazz-rock and accurate heavy rock. Halsall also plays various keyboard on the album, adding to the progressive textures of the music. Moreover, Halsall proves to be a very exciting and gifted vocalist! Mark Clark (Colosseum, Uriah Heep) is a great groovy & melodic bass-player.

The songs have rock 'n roll, heavy rock, art-rock and jazz-rock influences. The band has an intense feel and well performed vocals that give the music an extra push. Within the song Tempest manages to integrated progressive elements (rhythms, chords-changes, original harmonies) without loosing that fine rockin' atmosphere. During some extended solo-sections the band freely shows how brilliant it can play, with the guitars of Halsall being especially exciting. Some have criticized the album for not having songs that 'really work', but I really find most of these tracks very catchy and uplifting.

Conclusion. Like most early heavy progressive rock groups Tempest must have been unable to find its audiance, being to progressive for rockers and to straightforward for symphonic prog listeneres. But if you like heavy prog like May Blitz and Captain Beyond this will surely please your ears. Fans of Uriah Heep, Deep Purple, Thin Lizzy (because of the melodic bass) and Colosseum might also want to give this album a try. Five stars for this one, a forgotten gem for sure.

 Living In Fear  by TEMPEST album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.18 | 29 ratings

Living In Fear
Tempest Heavy Prog

Review by Nightfly
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars After a promising yet unspectacular debut, Living In Fear, the second album from Tempest saw major changes in the line-up leaving only drummer Jon Hiseman and bassist Mark Clarke from that incarnation. Allan Holdsworth had jumped ship for Soft Machine, who he would also only stay with for one album and Vocalist Paul William's fear of flying had cost him his place in the band. One man was to replace them both, Ollie Halsall, formerly of sixties psych pop band Timebox who were to transform into the more progressive Patto.

Living In Fear was a further step away from Hiseman and Clarke's former band Colosseum than even the debut was, ditching any traces of jazz and opting for a more streamlined rock direction. Halsall was an absurdly talented guitarist and he gets his moments to shine but fails to live up to William's rich tones in the vocal department. Despite the occasional inspired moment like Dance To My Tune featuring some cracking guitar work from Halsall the album smacks of the ordinary including a limp version of The Beatles Paperback Writer which suffers big time in the vocal department in particular.

It's certainly not a bad album, just lacking the song writing spark to lift it above the mere ordinary. Worth hearing though on the strength of the fine musicians involved but if you want to hear Halsall at his most inspired I'd recommend you go and check out the first two Patto albums. 2 stars.

 Tempest by TEMPEST album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.22 | 39 ratings

Tempest Heavy Prog

Review by Nightfly
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Between Colosseum and Colosseum II Jon Hiseman formed the lesser known Tempest who released two albums in 1973 and 74. With the recent Esoteric remasters it would seem like a good time to review them.

Their eponymous debut is the better of the two and alongside Hiseman the band featured bassist Mark Clarke (also from Colosseum), Paul Williams on vocals and an early appearance from Alan Holdsworth on guitar. It's a good solid effort though it has to be said not on the same level as Colosseum at their best. Musically it's heavier than Colosseum - rock with a bluesy edge and some jazz touches. Williams is a decent singer, his low register not unlike Chris Farlowe, Hiseman's former bandmate. The band all play well as expected. Anyone hearing this for the first time may be surprised by Holdsworth's playing, which despite being an admirable performance, isn't yet showing his trademark sound being a much more rocky style.

Nothing really lets the album down and it showed good potential for a future, it's just not really got anything to lift it above the merely good. It is however a fairly consistent record and despite the lack of any real standout tracks is an enjoyable enough way to spend 40 minutes.

 Tempest by TEMPEST album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.22 | 39 ratings

Tempest Heavy Prog

Review by 1967/ 1976

4 stars If you search an album of Proto NWOBHM 'Tempest' is you album.

Formed by Colosseum drummer Jon Hiseman Tempest is a classical band of transition between Hard Rock and NWOBHM that does not disdain a jump in Prog, but not digging in Prog as Wishbone Ash or Rainbow.

This debut album is a typical album for great drummer and melodic aggressive guitar, made with great precision for writing, arrangements, executions and productions. These are the winning elements.

The songs are all at the same level and the description of songs is all in the musical genre description.

Probably 'Tempest' is not an album for true Progsters but a great album for Progsters. And, in any case, one of my preferred album in my collection.

 Tempest by TEMPEST album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.22 | 39 ratings

Tempest Heavy Prog

Review by Lady In Black


After the Colosseum's disbanded Hiseman formed this Tempest. Jihn Hiseman, probably, is one of the best Prog drummers and this band plays an energic Hard Rock where John Hiseman, Allan Holdsworth and Paul williams dominates the scene. In truth the guitar parts are the Prog side of the Tempest music. But if you think that this is a problem, you see this band like predecessor of NWOBHM. In this manner songs like "Gorgon", "Foyers Of Fun", "Brothers", "Up And On", "Grey And Black" or the beautiful ballad "Upon Tomorrow" plays so Saxon or early Def Leppard... Certainly "Tempest" is a easy album. But with immense feeling. This fact improve the emotions. And this last fact is present today like in 1973. Respect to 1973, today "Tempest" plays pure Hard Rockbut, doesn't forgotten that in 1973 "Tempest" played 100% Heavy Prog. In this sense the NWOBHM got to full hands from Tempest, Black Widow, High Tide and Atomic Rooster in Prog field (with Yes, King Crimson, Vdgg, Genesis and other for the melodic bands of NWOBHM). So "Tempest" is more imoportant today that in 1973. In every case is difficult to judge this album: It goes judged like in 1973 or for what farewell today?

 Tempest by TEMPEST album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.22 | 39 ratings

Tempest Heavy Prog

Review by Atavachron
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars Cream's influence on the heavy psych and blues scenes was about as deep as it gets, as evidenced by the seemingly endless throngs of Baker, Bruce and Clapton impressionists during the late 1960s. Fortunately many of those short-lived outfits progressed past that rather formulaic sound and began adding elements such as modern jazz, heavy metal and ersatz classical, comprising much of what would years later be termed 'Proto-Prog'. Legendary drummer Jon Hiseman's Colosseum was a product of that energetic period and, after their dissolution, Tempest emerged as its heavier younger brother. The Hiseman legacy would culminate a bit later with the crack Colosseum ll, a hard fusion monster. And though this album is no groundshaker, it holds a mildly warm place in the hearts of many progsters and fusionheads. It was also Allan Holdsworth's first real appearance after the negligible 'Igginbottom's Wrench' record, though he displays little of the attack he would eventually develop. Paul Williams shouts his way through much of this with his Jack Bruce-school vocals, and Mark Clarke does a perfectly reasonable job on bass. 'Gorgon' has Holdsworth opening on an acoustic guitar and turns into a plodding stonehouse rocker, 'Foyers of Fun' is pretty much just that with a touch of Sabbath and Mountain lingering in the back - quite good for what it is - and 'Dark House' just drags with tired White Rabbit psych. Finally some style on 'Brothers', a hard clanger with some soft jazz and a few good vamps, followed by the anthemic 'Up and On' and a neat guitar riff. 'Strangeher' is throwaway R&B save an early shredder from Allan, and 'Upon Tomorrow' is decent jazz-rock balladry featuring a very rare violin perfromance from Holdsworth. Nothing to get excited about and the layer of dust on this music gets thicker with every passing year, but it was a sincere attempt by musicians who would go on to be quite important.

 Living In Fear  by TEMPEST album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.18 | 29 ratings

Living In Fear
Tempest Heavy Prog

Review by thefalafelking

4 stars Tempest is a 70's power rock trio.I know very little about them except for the fact that famous guitar player Alan Holdsworth played on their self-titled debut album. Living In Fear is their amazing second album.

SIDE ONE starts of with the hard rocking "Funeral Empire" which sounds pretty much like Scandinavian 90's band The Hellacopters. The beauty of this song can't be said in plain words and the track is rather original. "Paperback Writer" is a herd-edged and faster version of the famous Beatles single.It's very similar to the original.The imitation of the vocal intro is well-done. Tempest added some heavy guitar solos. "Stargazer"'s got some soulful vocals on it, again written and sung very originally.The wonderful leading riff reminds me of the mood of Led Zeppelins "Trampled Under Foot" ( Physical Graffiti,1975).This track's got a nicely haunting bridge and a series of bluesy solos. "Dance To My Tune" closes the first side.It's a hardrock song with a very interesting middle section which becomes quite quiet and builds up majestically and eruptively up towards the end. This is the longest song of the album (nearly 8 minutes). SIDE TWO: "Living In Fear" is a blues song of a melodic masterclass.The chorus is fantastic and beautifully piano-driven. "Yeah Yeah Yeah" begins with a short smashing drum intro and is again melodically a verys trong song with Beatle-like vocal harmonies.The use of the double bass drum is highly effective. "Waiting For A Miracle" has got a magical multiple acoustic guitar solo.The verses sound like 60's psychedelic rock with some keyboard parts between the lines and in the closing section.Incredible stuff! "Turn Around" begins with lots of odd (cello-like) guitar effects and turns out to be a pretty complex and heavy song.Between the vocal parts we can hear a couple of unbelievable guitar fillings.

Tempest consists of three highly skilled musicians. Living In Fear is a supreme selection of catchy songs. Tempest knows what good entertaining rock is. Structure,melody and style fusions are their fields of excellence.It's difficult to put this band in a certain category as they combine blues, a bit of jazz, (hard)rock, 60's pop and psychedelic rock with progrock. 'Turn Around' are the final words of the record and that's exactly what you'll do.You will turn the LP around (back to side one) and you'll listen to it over and over again.

 Living In Fear  by TEMPEST album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.18 | 29 ratings

Living In Fear
Tempest Heavy Prog

Review by braindamage

4 stars Second album of TEMPEST released in 1974 "Living In Fear". Allan Holdsworth and Paul Williams left the band. However, expert Ollie Halsall who equals Allan Holdsworth joins and it becomes a trio organization. The sound is hard rock including a kooky rhythm and technical play. It is a performance which is frightening it is so good. It is a work that the speed and the heavy feeling have been very enhanced in the whole volume.
 Tempest by TEMPEST album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.22 | 39 ratings

Tempest Heavy Prog

Review by braindamage

4 stars The first album of TEMPEST released in 1973 "Tempest". The basis of the sound is hard rock. It is a work it makes to the first work and with the distinctive character already. Especially, the guitar play of Allan Holdsworth is an advanced performance that far exceeds usual hard rock. It is a presentation of one artistic, finished type of hard rock.
 Under The Blossom by TEMPEST album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2005
3.11 | 8 ratings

Under The Blossom
Tempest Heavy Prog

Review by Dick Heath
Special Collaborator Jazz-Rock Specialist

3 stars This is a most welcome release, not so much for the two studio recordings previous issued both as separates and paired as twoforone CDs (which have been covered here before), but rather that which has gained semi-legendary status, the BBC Radio One In Concert live recording. 'Legendary' from the fact of the dodgy nth generation cassette copies of the recording passed around containing a fuzz of sound, built up some almighty reputation for the gig. Through the fuzz you could make out both Allan Holdsworth (in the same year he had recorded a second album as part of Ian Carr's 'Belladonna') and the late Ollie Hassell (formerly of Timebox, Patto and subsequently part of the Rutles OST sessions).

The story goes: unannounced Hassell dropped in on the rehearsals for Tempest's BBC recording, and was invited to sit in - 36 hours later he had hd come to know the band's repertoise so well, he was being recorded with the rest of Tempest. (But alas not so long later, Allan Holdsworth departed - with hindsight not that surprising). Now we have good audio clarity of that session, so we hear the long work outs of material from the first studio album. For example the live version of 'Brothers' is a long guitar duel, and an extreme rarity for Holdsworth, this duo is recorded in real time. Check elsewhere and Holdsworth overdubs any duos (e.g. 'Truth In Shredding' with Frank Gambale), or normally doesn't do them. But here Hassell and Holdsworth are on fire - the modernday Holdsworth needs to be reminded that when he is forced to take risks within seconds, complimenting the playing of a fellow musician, it work superbly well!

And other rarity elsewhere on this double set, Holdsworth plays violin, and you'll have to wait to a 1979 recording with Gordon Beck before this was to happen again.

Thanks to Easy Livin for the artist addition.

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