Gotthard is a rock band out of Switzerland and sadly never got much, if any, airplay here in the states. This is another band I was introduced to thanks to the website Melodicrock.com. I don’t think I would have ever heard of them otherwise, and I would have missed out on a great band.
The band was started back in the early 90’s and they have gone on to be one of the top selling bands in Switzerland. I believe at one time, the top selling was a little known band named Krokus. Who doesn’t love Krokus.
The moving force behind Gotthard was the lead singer Steve Lee. He had such an amazing voice and he could rock out or sing a heartfelt ballad. He had a little raspiness in his voice and his vocals brought so much passion and life to these songs it gave you an instant connection to them.
Sadly, in October 2010, Steve Lee was killed in a freak accident when he was on a motorcycle tour in the U.S. I still remember when I heard the news and I can say I was truly upset. I spent the next few days listening to their albums non-stop.
The band has gone on to replace Steve with a new lead singer, but it is not the same. The band I am writing about here is specifically the era of Steve Lee.
I started listening to the band around 2005 with the album Lipservice. It was the style of rock I grew up loving. For me, it was just straight up rock & roll.
Based off this album, I got a couple more including Human Zoo and a collection of their ballads called One Life, One Soul. After that I just had to have more and more and eventually I had everything they had put out.
The next album that came out from Gotthard in 2007 was Domino Effect. That album sealed the deal and I was a lifelong fan. It didn’t matter what they put out, I was going to buy it. Domino Effect is my favorite Gotthard album and there are so many great songs. Almost 10 years later, I still play that album on a regular basis.
In 2009, Gotthard released Need to Believe. Little did any one know it would be the last album with Steve Lee. Looking back on that album now, it holds a special place in my heart for that reason.
Most of the band’s success in Europe was during the 90’s, but it is the 2000’s that I came to love them and those songs are my favorites. But no matter what, you should definitely check out all their stuff and decide for you what are your favorites.
There is an artist biography by Jason Birchmeier on allmusic.com that talks about their early career if you are interested. What I thought was cool from the write-up was the below comment:
Gotthard sold over two million albums worldwide, one million of them sold in Switzerland alone (a country of less than eight million inhabitants, keep in mind), as practically all of the band’s albums were Swiss chart-toppers.
Below is a list of what I feel are the Essential Gotthard Songs and a list of all their albums with Steve Lee (excluding Live albums).
The Essential Songs (if you have to start anywhere – start with these):
“The Call” – Domino Effect
“The Oscar Goes To…” – Domino Effect
“Come Alive” – Domino Effect
“Domino Effect” – Domino Effect
“Master of Illusion” – Domino Effect
“Lift ‘U’ Up” – Lipservice
“Anytime Anywhere” – Lipservice
“And Then Goodbye” – Lipservice (This is my favorite – so damn good!!)
“Janie’s Not Alone” – Human Zoo
“Heaven” – Homerun
“Shangri La” – Need to Believe
“Need to Believe” – Need to Believe
“Right From Wrong” – Need to Believe
“Mountain Mama” – Dial Hard
“Hush” – Gotthard
“Sister Moon” – G.
“You” – Open
Gotthard – 1992 (BMG)
Dial Hard – 1994 (BMG)
G. – 1996 (BMG)
Open – 1999 (BMG)
Homerun – 2001 (BMG)
Human Zoo – 2003 (BMG)
Lipservice – 2005 (Nuclear Blast)
Domino Effect – 2007 (Nuclear Blast)
Need to Believe – 2009 (Nuclear Blast)
One Life, One Soul – Best of the Ballads – 2002 (Nuclear Blast)
One Team, One Spirit (2CD) – The Very Best – 2004 (Nuclear Blast)
I hope you check them out and get as much enjoyment as I do out them. It still sucks to think there won’t be any new music featuring Steve Lee, but at least he left us a bunch of albums and songs to remind us of his talent.
Let me know what you think.