Pretty Maids are a Danish hard rock/heavy metal band from Horsens,
Denmark. Formed in 1981 by Ronnie Atkins and Ken Hammer, their sound
and music can be described as classic guitar-laden heavy rock with a
strong emphasis on melodic elements like vocals and keyboards.
Over the years,
Pretty Maids have sold hundreds of thousands of
records, but have never broken through in a major way, except in Japan
during the 1990s. They have supported well known bands as Black
Sabbath, Whitesnake, Deep Purple, Alice Cooper, and Saxon, and were
also featured at the 1987 German version of Monsters of Rock, where
Metallica headlined along with Deep Purple.
After a prolonged international touring hiatus before the release of
Wake Up to the Real World
Wake Up to the Real World album, the band have every year
since been touring their primary markets of Denmark, Sweden, Germany,
In March 2014,
Pretty Maids released their 13th studio album Louder
2 Influences and Legacy
3 Band members
6 External links
Pretty Maids were formed in 1981 by friends Ken Hammer and Ronnie
Atkins in Horsens, Denmark. They were initially a cover band first
named Pretty Pretty Panick, but soon started writing their own
material and a self-financed demo resulted in a deal with the English
record label Bullet Records.
In 1983, the band released their debut self-titled EP under the name
Pretty Maids which is still the same today, and further recognition
was fuelled by great reaction to their UK tour the same year.
Inevitably the band outgrew their label, and in 1984 signed to CBS
Records, who remixed and re-released their self-titled EP with a
In 1984, the band released their debut studio album, Red, Hot and
Heavy, which was a success. More acclaim was followed with their
second studio album, Future World, released in 1987. It was recorded
New York City
New York City with renowned producer Eddie Kramer. The album is
considered to define the band's definite sound, with typically
aggressive rockers alongside more commercial, melodic moments.
The 1990 Follow up Jump the Gun, was produced by
Deep Purple bassist
Roger Glover, offered more of the same catchy riffs. The record label
had put in all efforts to break the charts worldwide with this record,
but it never took off, except in Japan. Whether it was lack of hits,
marketing or they were simply another victim of grunge music is
unknown, but the record didn't live up to expectations. The band more
or less broke up after the lack of success with this record, leaving
only founding members Ron Atkins and Ken Hammer.
They would not quit, but however, so they recruited drummer Michael
Fast and bass player Kenn Jackson, and went on to record
1992 with famed
Flemming Rasmussen at the buttons.
The album produced the hit single Please Don't Leave Me - a John
Phil Lynott cover which opened the band up to an even wider
audience of dongers.
The band did very well in
Japan in the first half of the 90s and
founded large fanbase over there. The Asian audience has a special
craving for Pretty Maids' ballads and more soft repertoire.
In 1995 however, the band really surprised the fans and critics by
releasing the storming Scream. This was an altogether heavier and
guitar-lead approach which gained numerous plaudits and saw the band
release their first live album, Screamin' Live.
The follow-up Spooked, released in 1997, was regarded by many as an
instant classic, maintaining the energy and heaviness of Scream whilst
still capturing the quintessential melody that is Pretty Maids.
1999's Anything Worth Doing Is Worth Overdoing, whilst certainly
having an overdone album title, also produced one of the songs of the
year with Hell on High Heels, an absolute monster of commercial, hard
In 2000 the Danish heavy rockers released the album Carpe Diem. A
touch more melodic than their previous offerings - a fact that hasn't
gone down too well with certain factions of their fan-base, but this
is still a classic album which has all the
Pretty Maids trademarks in
Pretty Maids released the album
Planet Panic which was a trip
back to the heavier sides of their catalogue.
In 2003 their management company Rock On went bankrupt due to some
very unwise business moves in September 2002. This left Pretty Maids
in a very bad financial situation and also left them with a lot of
legal problems as well as lot of business and copyright mess.
Lead guitarist Ken Hammer was struck by a heart attack on December 6,
2003. He has since recovered completely and has been on stage numerous
times since the incident.
As of July 2005 the drummer since 1991, Michael Fast, decided to leave
before the recording of
Wake Up to the Real World
Wake Up to the Real World - an album that was
originally intended to be released in 2005, but the initial recordings
was postponed to the summer of 2006. In April 2006, new drummer Allan
Tschicaja (Royal Hunt, Kingdom Come) was announced as Michael Fast's
replacement. In 2006, Morten Sandager (ex-Mercenary) joined Pretty
Maids, playing the keyboards.
On May 14, 2010
Pretty Maids released their twelfth studio album,
Pandemonium, through Frontiers Records, which was named one of their
best albums. In April 2010,
Pretty Maids announced
that they have parted ways with bass player Kenn Jackson. In May
2010, it was announced that American bass player
Hal Patino (formerly
of King Diamond) had replaced Jackson. Patino announced in April
2011 that he had left Pretty Maids.
Celebrating their 30th anniversary,
Pretty Maids played a concert at
Tivoli, Copenhagen, which featured Rene Shades [Mike Tramp] on bass.
Rene Shades has replaced Hal Patino.
On September 15, 2012,
Pretty Maids played in the USA for the first
time in the Progressive festival ProgPower.
Pretty Maids released their thirteenth studio album Motherland on
March 22 in Europe and on March 26 in North America through Frontiers
Records. Ronnie Atkins has called it the band's "best album song by
In December 2015,
Pretty Maids announced that their fifteenth studio
album is set to be released in 2016.
In February 2016,
Pretty Maids announced that keyboard player Morten
Sandager had left the band.
In September 2016,
Pretty Maids announced that
Chris Laney has joined
the band, playing keyboards and guitars.
Pretty Maids released their fourteenth studio album Kingmaker on
November 4, 2016 through Frontiers Records.
On May 1, 2017 it was announced that drummer Allan Tschicaja had left
the band. In a statement he said: "It’s been a difficult decision
for me, but I want to focus more on family, friends and other
projects." He was replaced by
Allan Sørensen on May 9, 2017, where
he played for the first time with
Pretty Maids on their opening slot
for Kiss in Horsens, Denmark.
Influences and Legacy
Pretty Maids have on various occasions mentioned Thin Lizzy, Led
Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Kiss, Icon, Slade, and Queen as some of their
Over the years, they have recorded cover songs from many of these
influences, including their most famous hit to date: A 1992 cover of
John Sykes' ballad Please Don't Leave Me.
Pretty Maids' song "Back to Back" from their debut album Red, Hot and
Heavy was covered by two Swedish metal bands;
HammerFall on their
Legacy of Kings
Legacy of Kings album in 1998, and
Arch Enemy on their Will to Power
album in 2017.
Ronnie Atkins (Paul Christensen) – lead vocals (1981–present)
Ken Hammer (Kenneth Hansen) – guitar (1981–present)
Rene Shades (Rene Sehic) – bass (2004, 2011–present)
Chris Laney – keyboards, guitar (2016–present)
Allan Sørensen – drums (2017–present)
John Darrow (Johnny Møller) – bass (1981–1984)
Phil More (Henrik Andersen) – drums (1981–1990)
Alan Owen (Allan Nielsen) – keyboards (1981–1990), studio
Pete Collins (Jan Piete) – guitar (1981–1989)
Allan Delong (Allan Jensen) – bass (1984–1990)
Ricky Marx (Henrik Mark) – guitar (1989–1991)
Michael Fast – drums (1991–2005)
Kenn Jackson (Kenn Lund Jacobsen) – bass (1991–2010)
Morten Sandager – keyboards (2006–2016)
Hal Patino – bass (2010–2011)
Allan Tschicaja – drums (2006–2017)
Temporary members – mostly live support
Benny Petersen – guitar (1984) Mercyful Fate, White Lion
Angel Schleifer (Chris Gerhard) – guitar (1987) Sinner, Bonfire
Dominic Gale – keyboards (1992, 1995, 1998, 1999) The Shout
Henrik Hilsson – keyboards (1993)
Jan Møller – keyboards (1997, 2001–2004)
Jørgen Thorup – keyboards (2000) Shu-Bi-Dua
René Shades (René Sehic) – guitar (2004) Mike Tramp, Sateria,
Shades & Peters, Shotgun Revolution
Jacob Troutner – keyboards (2004)
Søren Andersen –
Guitar Mike Tramp, Marco Mendoza, Glenn Hughes
(Louder Than Ever X-Mas Tour, 2014)
Guests on records
Billy Cross – guitar (1984)
Phil Hart (Knud Lindhard) – background vocals (1987–present)
Graham Bonnet – background vocals (1987) Rainbow
Ian Paice – drums (1990) Deep Purple
Roger Glover – bass (1990) Deep Purple
Freddy George Jensen – harp (1990)
Ian Gillan – vocals (1992) Deep Purple
Ivan Pedersen – background vocals (1992–1995)
Pretty Maids discography
Red Hot and Heavy (1984)
Future World (1987)
Jump the Gun (1990)
Stripped (acoustic) (1993)
Anything Worth Doing Is Worth Overdoing (1999)
Carpe Diem (2000)
Planet Panic (2002)
Wake Up to the Real World
Wake Up to the Real World (2006)
Louder Than Ever (2014)
Pretty Maids - 'It Comes Alive'". Blastmagazine.net. Retrieved
^ Lorenzen, Karina (27 April 2010). "
Pretty Maids siger farvel til
bassist Kenn Jackson" (in Danish). Retrieved 23 April 2017.
^ Rimestad, Chr. (10 May 2010). "
Pretty Maids skifter bassist" [Pretty
Maids replaces bass player].
Horsens Folkeblad (in Danish).
Horsens. access-date= requires url= (help)
^ "Bassist HAL PATINO Quits PRETTY MAIDS, Schedules Dates With KING
DIAMOND Tribute Band". Blabbermouth.net. 12 April 2011. Retrieved 23
^ Gregersen, Per (2014-06-16). "En god sang tager du aldrig fejl af"
[You can never go wrong with a good song].
Vejle Amts Folkeblad (in
Danish). Vejle. access-date= requires url= (help)
^ Pretty Maids
Pretty Maids - PRETTY MAIDS ANNOUNCEMENT !!
^ "Trooper Entertainment Inc. - ARTIST-Arch Enemy" (in Japanese).
Trooper Entertainment. Retrieved August 20, 2017.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Pretty Maids.
Comprehensive German fansite and fanclub
Complete discography with pictures and small bio
Pretty Maids at AllMusic