MORITZ was formed in early 1986 in London, UK. A joining of forces of two bands based in the south of England, with the simple aim.. to take on the Americans at crafting quality ‘AOR’ rock, a style of music so few UK bands were capable of, but the style of music that all the members of this exciting new band Moritz, were influenced by. Chief songwriters, guitarist Greg Hart and bass guitarist Ian Edwards quickly built up a fantastic wealth of songs, and by late 86 they were playing the first of just two now ‘legendary’ Marquee shows in London's West End. The line up comprising Mike Nolan and Greg Hart on guitars, Ian Edwards on bass, Andy Stewart on Keyboards, John Metcalfe on drums were augmented by vocalist Steve Annetts who departed from the ranks in early 1987.
Before long the band were joined by ex ‘Laurence Archers Secrets’ vocalist Pete Scallan, who had originally auditioned for Moritz before Steve Annetts. Almost immediately studio time was booked to record the now highly collectable 12” vinyl EP, “Shadows of a Dream”, along with a second ‘sold out’ Marquee show. Rare footage of this recently appeared on YouTube for the first time. The EP went on to sell out of its limited edition run, and a video was shot for the lead song ‘Can’t Stop Loving You’ in Autumn ‘87. A ballad penned by Greg Hart it is revered these days as a true classic of its kind, and would prove to be the band’s finest moment.
Alas, the band could not secure the major record deal that was so often spoke about and despite a few line-up changes, the ‘Moritz’ magic seemed to disappear, and in 1988 the band reluctantly folded. Peter went on to Join Samson and record the album Refugee,
with Hart, Edwards and Stewart forming the highly respected AOR outfit ‘If Only’, a band that Moritz perhaps should have become. Ironically, If Only and Samson played together at the London Astoria in the summer of 1989.
However with one album produced by Asia’s Geoffrey Downes, the band succumbed to the grunge movement in the early 90’s and dis-banded. The band members went their separate ways, some went into the ‘tribute circuit’, by now a lucrative living for musicians, and some faded out the business altogether, for a while...
Fast forward to 2007, and a chance conversation with ‘Moritz torch bearer’ Rob Evans from ‘Powerplay’ magazine, Greg Hart was asked to do a major feature discussing his musical ‘history’ from beginning to end. An enthralling read, it was not long before the subject of ‘Moritz’ surfaced. So after being pursuaded that the internet underground AOR scene was championing ‘Moritz’ it was decided that ‘Harmony Factory’ a label formed to release Hart’s solo album, would release the ‘Moritz’ back catalogue on CD, and should be made available for the fans. Without further ado ‘City Streets’ was released as a limited edition for first time on CD.
The blue touch paper had been lit...!
With interest gathering and reports flying in on lots of internet websites and magazines, a somewhat half-hearted joke by Evans, about “putting the band back together” amazingly became a reality soon after. Vocalist Peter Scallan by pure coincidence, got back in touch after years abroad, and within weeks via a few emails and old phone numbers, the original line-up were sitting round a table like life-long pals in deepest Sussex discussing the surreal prospects of ‘recording’ a new album......an album they felt “they always should have made”.
That album was ‘UNDIVIDED’..Released in 2010, it received incredible reviews, and even prompted Rob Evans to call it “the greatest UK AOR album of the last 20 years”, who were they to argue. Moritz..rather miraculously were back, and back stronger than ever in spectacular fashion.
Once the UK's ‘nearly rans’ back in the 80s, Moritz are now very much the front runners in everything about Classic Rock in the UK in 2013, and with the new album, and live dates imminent....who knows where the story will lead to now, one thing is for sure.....
THE MORITZ BLITZ IS BACK!