There is one release that almost made it to Banzai, and it is the first and only official album by Montreal band Deaf Dealer - Keeper of the Flame. Michel Meese, Banzai's president, was their manager. But since Banzai was mostly known for licensing albums from other labels, he felt that releasing the album on Polygram's subsidiary Mercury would push the band as a more serious contender in the metal community. It was licensed to Metal Blade in the U.S., Steamhammer in Germany and Neat in the U.K. On the back sleeve of the Neat pressing, there is the mention "Licensed from Banzai Records".
An oddity I've come across, courtesy of Ebay, is this double LP pressing of Helloween's first 2 releases, plus 2 bonus tracks. I didn't win the auction, fearing it was either a bootleg or a sleeve/records mismatch. The seller responded vaguely to my questions so I could never verify its authenticity. The catalog number wasn't close to ressembling a Banzai release and the auction's pictures don't show the Banzai logo on the back sleeve. The grooves on the first album don't match my copy of the EP or the 4-tracks on each side listed on this back sleeve. The whole thing looks quite suspicious! If anyons has a copy, please contact me to clarify the details.
Since there may not exist a whole lot of Banzai ads and features from the past in the press, I'll start by adding them here. click for bigger version!
Banzai Advertisement and Michel Meese Interview, from Metallion #4, 1985
Metallica's Ride the Lightning ad, from Metallion #2, 1984
Venom's Canadian Assault ad, Insert flyer from the "Black Metal" Banzai release, 1984
A release sheet named Fact Finders of many (if not all) of the Banzai titles was supplied to record store dealers, as a promotional tool. Claude Doiron, a good friend of the site, has supplied me with photocopies of the ones he was able to collect many years ago. There are 7 in total. I've included them on each of the specific album's page, and I'll link them here for quicker access. Keep in mind those are scans from copies of copies, so the quality isn't the best.BRC 1942 Destruction - Infernal Overkill
BRC 1955 Bathory - The Return...
BRC 1964 Celtic Frost - To Mega Therion
BRC 1972 Kreator - Pleasure to Kill
BAM 1003 Hellhammer - Apocalyptic Raids
BAM 1007 Celtic Frost - Morbid Tales
FORCE 1 Force of the Blade
Added release sheets scans for 7 releases, updated links, made a few corrections and created the "Almost Banzai" section
There are 113 Banzai catalogue releases. I now own 111 of the 113. I only collect vinyl. For the 2 missing ones, I'm now convinced they were never released by Banzai. My guess is that they were scheduled to be released, but it never happened. They were given a catalogue number, but something happened that cancelled the release, like the master tapes not being delivered. The titles still made the insert page, and that's why they are listed in the discography. If you own a copy, please contact me so I can acknowledge their existence!BRC 1927 Savage Grace - Master of Disguise
BRC 1949 Oz - Fire in the Brain
I'm also not sure if I have every insert lyrics and photos sheets that were included with each release. I will post everything I own on each album's page. If you own these albums and have inserts that I haven't posted, I'd be interested in having a picture or a scan of them, to make these pages as complete as can be! Label colour variations of the first releases (if they exist!) are also welcome!
Needed are inserts from:BRC 1914 Sortilege - Metamorphose (lyrics inner sleeve)
BRC 1922 Axewitch - Visions of the Past (not yet confirmed insert exists for Banzai pressing)
BRC 1936 Exciter - Long Live the Loud (merch insert for Exciter t-shirts)
To everyone that takes the time to write, send me scans and info!
but mostly to:
Stéphane Giroux, Wayne Slipperjack, Jay Van Deventer, Jacques Pigeon, Sylvain Lafrenière, John Maffett, Terence Skytte, Steve "Mop" Desrosiers, Shawn Drumm, Hugo Beaulieu, Stefan Wik, Aaron Hoffman, Matt Knopp, Evil Eye Ron, Ronald McGregor, Major Warfare, Cindy Steel, Claude Doiron, Annick Giroux, Sylvain Latour, Jørgen Rødli
my e-mail You can write in english or french.
Banzai Records myspace page. Fan page made by Cindy Steel. A good place for Banzai collectors to get in touch and interact.
Banzai Records facebook page. Created by Jay Van Deventer. Another great place to meet fellow collectors. You can also post pics of your Banzai record collection!
The Banzai Records Companion Another creation of Jay Van Deventer. A Fanzine dedicated to the greatest metal label of all time! Complete with reviews of all the Banzai titles. Issue #1 covers the first 20 releases. Issue #2 covers releases from BRC1920 to BRC1938. Issue #3, covering BRC 1939 to BRC1957, is now out!
Copies are $6 each + $2.50 s/h in Canada. e-mail Jay for info and to order a copy.
Amateur Productions Where you can buy Banzai Speed Metal swirl buttons and Banzai Axe Festival replica t-shirts. They also have vintage concert flyers scans, and dvd transfers of classic metal shows.
Bang to Rights T-Shirts Another place to buy Banzai Tees.
The Corroseum A fine place for anything regarding '80s underground metal. Their labels section has complete discographies of nearly all the small and medium labels from the era. I love the Banzai page.
Adrien Begrand's tribute to '80s metal and Banzai records. A Great read.
Demolish Mag Curt King's hard rock/metal blog/fanzine. A great chunk of metal history! Complete with past interviews (with current band updates), features, reviews and tons of pics from all the bands that help define what metal is today!
Bar Les Katacombes that hosts a Montreal metal night on select wednesdays. Lots of Banzai releases in their discography!