On And On

Album: Stay Hard (1985)

Songfacts®:

  • Raven is a British Heavy Metal band that released four albums on the independent UK label Neat Records before signing a deal with Atlantic that was supposed to be their entry into the American market. Raven had built a vociferous fan base and found themselves in the vanguard of the genre - their 1983 opening act Metallica cites them as one of the best there was.

    The Stay Hard album marked a stylistic turning point for the band, however, as they softened their sound and image in an attempt to get on popular radio and MTV. But where Def Leppard and Quiet Riot succeeded, Raven could not. The crossover never came, and it eroded their core fan base. "Being that goal of coming into America, there was a lot of pressure and a lot of bad influence," their frontman John Gallagher said in our 2013 interview. Raven soldiered on, but never really recovered from this foray into Pop Metal.
  • The video for this song was never big on MTV, but has racked up plenty of views on YouTube. Curiously, the band is wearing football gear - the American kind. This was a bit of pandering by these Brits, but the original idea was to incorporate footage from NFL films, which would have tied it all together. "We went to the facility in Jersey, met all the guys, had all these great ideas," John Gallagher explained. "It wasn't an outrageous amount of money we asked for the video, but the record company said, 'Nope. We're not giving you that.' They basically dressed us up as clowns and then refused to support that."
  • Some songs come quickly to the writer and seem to write themselves. This isn't one of them. John Gallagher, who wrote the song with his guitarist/brother Mark and drummer Rob "Wacko" Hunter, told us the story:

    "We knew it was magic, the song. It was one of the hardest ones we've ever had to do. A lot of technical problems. Mark [guitarist Mark Gallagher] was playing a guitar with bad intonation, and there were a lot of suspended chords on that. It got to the point where he just threw it across the room and Mark said, "That's it, I'm going to the bar! I'm done."

    That first time we'd done so many vocals; there were about 18 to 20 tracks of vocals, and it was all me - it was all done in the old fashioned way of singing it, three part harmony or what have you. Just double, triple, quadruple, over and over again. It took a long time compared to everything else, but we just knew the song was that good.

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