The Band

Latest News

- - - - - - -
Law of the Order (1990)

S'cool Buss (1986)

Altar Ego (1982)

- - - - - - -
Other Releases

Demos, Promos and Bootlegs

- - - - - - -
- - - - - - -
Shark Island Links
- - - - - - -
The Complete? A-Z of Shark Songs

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Bill's Best Rock Music Page
These pages are no longer updated and are left for archive purposes only. Enjoy.

Last Updated : 9 April 2002
Shark Island Logo

GreatnessHeaviness
The best stuff on earth. We're not worthy! Like a leaf
Most excellent music x You can juggle with this stuff
Enjoy the melodies No problem, I can handle that
Hmmm....background music Get off your backside and rock! x
They call themselves a rock band..... Bloody osmium mate

Band Member Pictures
Greg Ellis
Spencer Sercombe
Richard Black
Chris Heilmann
Drums and Percussion
Guitars, Background Vocals
Lead Vocals
Bass Guitar, Background Vocals



Shark Island were the biggest band in L.A. in the 80s, calling themselves "the longest running successful rock show in L.A.". They play moving hard rock which has great energy and makes you want to rock with it. They are an old group but their music is great.

The guitars are not too heavy or chuggy like in some bands and the guitarist is very good indeed - he plays great riffs and can play very fast lead solos. The vocalist has a brilliant voice which fits in with the music really well.

Shark Island started off as "Sharks" in 1979 with the two principal members being Richard Black on vocals and Spencer Sercombe on guitar. The two met at high school and formed "Sharks". Line-up changed continuously over the years and the band released an album called "Altar Ego" independently in 1982.

Over the years, the band were to grow immensely being a great live band, selling out most of their shows. They headlined at "Gazarri's", a Hollywood nightclub, every other weekend on Friday and Saturday nights and also played cover songs every week at a small club in Pasadena called, "Richard's Inn." The band changed their name to "Shark Island" around 1985 (I'm not sure when exactly) and released another independent album, "S'cool Buss", in 1986.

The band were raved about for several years as one of the best rock bands in L.A., but getting a record deal was not an easy process. The band were initially signed to A&M, butlater dropped and picked up by Epic. Drummer Walt Woodward left and joined The Scream, and guitairst K.K.Martin who had been with the band off and on from 1984 parted ways, citing "artistic differences".

I believe Richard Black was at first the only member who was signed, but Spencer evidently followed him and bassist Chris Heilmann and drummer Greg Ellis joined in 1989 to record and release their best effort yet - "Law of the Order".

What happened to Shark Island is somewhat of a mystery to me. How did the "the fast becoming greatest band on the strip" suddenly disappear? From what I've heard, I think it was mainly to do with record company problems.

No albums came after "Law of the Order", the bands only release through a record company. I have some unreleased songs from 1992 but that's as far as it goes. I know that Richard Black sung in "Contraband", a supergroup also made up from members of Ratt, MSG, Vixen and LA Guns. Contraband released a self-titled album in 1991 but despite the big names, it is not a masterpiece. For a bit more on Contraband, try http://www.i-way.co.uk/~tristang/MSG/contra/contra.html .

Greg Ellis left the band and played in Michael Monroe's band. I also heard that Spencer and Chris did a project called "SLIP" (or something like that).

Spencer went on to play in the band "Riverdogs" with Vivian Campbell from Def Leppard. They recorded a self-titled album in 1995(?). Afterwards, he played in Bill Ward's band (ex-Black Sabbath) and recorded an album in 1997 called "When the Bough Breaks". He played in a ZZ Top tribute band called "Fandango" and I also heard that he did some records with a band called "Jamie Rio & Newmatic Slam"(!). You can visit Bill Ward's webpage at : http://www.billward.com/ and read Spencer's biography.

Richard started up a band called "Black 13" who were rehearsing together in 1995/1996 but never released any material and only performed a few shows. They played various unreleased Shark Island tunes among other songs and were intending to start recording but the band fell apart. Unfortunately, a lot of the members were busy with various side projects.
The line-up for Black 13 was :

Richard Black - Vocals
Damir Simic Shime' - Guitar
Ricky Riccardo - Bass
Eric Ragno - Keyboards
Keith Grahm - Drums

To find out more about Black 13, visit Eric Ragno's website at - http://www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/Venue/1046/ .


The Band

Latest News

- - - - - - -
Law of the Order (1990)

S'cool Buss (1986)

Altar Ego (1982)

- - - - - - -
Other Releases

Demos, Promos and Bootlegs

- - - - - - -
- - - - - - -
Shark Island Links
- - - - - - -
The Complete? A-Z of Shark Songs

Back to Bill's
Best Rock
Music Page


















Latest News

! WARNING !
Someone on the internet has got hold of a collection of rare and unreleased Shark Island recordings and is manufacturing CD-Rs, calling the records "Deep Cuts, Volumes 1,2,& 3". THESE ARE NOT NEW SHARK ISLAND ALBUMS. This has been done behind the band's back and is ILLEGAL. Please do not buy these CDs. Hopefully, with time, some of these songs may be released officially by the band, but until then please do not allow someone to make money for themself on the back of someone else's music.

I have compiled a The Complete? A-Z of Shark Songs . Please have a look and let me know if there are any more I haven't heard of.

Spencer has moved back to Germany (where he is from) living with his family. The rumour of him releasing old Shark songs is unlikely to happen.

Chris Heilmann played in a band called "Spike's Soul Thing". The line-up was :

Lead Vocals - Spike (ex.Quireboys)
Bass Guitar - Chris Heilmann
Kathy Valentine (ex. Go-Go's)
Drums - Dony Gray (ex. Burning Tree)

and two guitar players, a keyboard player and a horn.

He then went on to release a CD in the band "Chromosapien", with Doni Gray on lead vocals and Chris on guitars. Check out the band at ExposureUSA - http://www.exposureusa.com . Here you can download audio, check out bio info, & order the CD.

Richard Black is now in a new band called Bourgeois Pigs also featuring Jake E. Lee (Ozzy, Badlands) and Michael Guy (House Of Lords). The band have been signed to Frontiers / Now & Then and there is an album, Calamity of Vanities, in the works, so I hear. Have a look at http://www.rockreunion.de/interviews/guyinterview.htm for some more info. Also, there's an excellent page describing how Richard got involved with the band at http://209.25.124.149/Bourgeois%20Pigs.htm .


The Band

Latest News

- - - - - - -
Law of the Order (1990)

S'cool Buss (1986)

Altar Ego (1982)

- - - - - - -
Other Releases

Demos, Promos and Bootlegs

- - - - - - -
- - - - - - -
Shark Island Links
- - - - - - -
The Complete? A-Z of Shark Songs

Back to Bill's
Best Rock
Music Page















Law of the Order (1990) 9 out of 10 Law of the Order Album Cover

This is a great album which has some brilliant hard rockers in it. There is quite a variety of songs - some fast, some slow - but all the same Shark Island style. Check this album out.


1. Paris Calling : 10/10
Whoa!! Shark Island really know how to start off an album. This song rocks! Listen to it loud and enjoy the music. The verse has two parts to it with different riffs on the guitar and this makes a good effect to build up to the kick ass chorus.
2. Shake for Me : 8/10
I love the riff on the guitar during the verse of this song. It's kind of bouncy but has a modern rocky sound. The riff reminds me of the kind of music you hear in a teenage film. The chorus is a bit poor though, but the verse makes up for it.
3. Somebody's Falling : 10/10
Excellent intro to this song with great vocal line and a power chord reply on the guitar. The verse riff comes in and the vocal line is brilliant. You really have to listen to this song as it is really hard to describe because it is different to conventional rock songs, but it is really good.
4. Bad for Each Other : 8/10
This song's a ballad with electric rhythm guitar and has a good catchy chorus but I don't think it's up to the standard of the rest of the songs on this album..
5. Passion to Ashes : 8/10
A short drum intro brings us straight into a chunky riff and a verse which has style. The chorus is good but Richard tends to hold onto the "Ashes" and "Dust" a bit too long. This song is fairly slow but rocks well.
6. Spellbound : 8/10
This song starts straight into a superb guitar riff at a moderate speed. The verse is really cool with the guitar answering the vocal lone. The chorus is good and the solo has style.
7. Get Some Strange : 10/10
This is one of the highlights of the album. The music moves fast. The intro is a perfect contrast to the main riff which rocks. The vocal line is, once again, brilliant and catchy. The lyrics are good too and there is a great bit after the second chorus where the singer has a sarcastic(!) argument with his girlfriend and then churns out a great scream which kicks ass as the main riff comes back. Excellent song.
8. Why Should I Believe : 10/10
An amazing ballad. A fairly simple guitar line but it is brilliant and the voice line is slow and mellow. The whole song is catchy. I love it.
9. Ready or Not : 8/10
Another fast moving song but the riff on the guitar at the beginning is played lead and lacks the power of chords. The verse has no bass and a great drum line but the chorus isn't as good. I don't like the bridge to the solo but the solo is good. The chorus gets a bit annoying by the end.
10. The Chain : 9/10
This is a Fleetwood Mac cover but it doesn't sound like Fleetwood Mac! The start is slow and has a drawn out vocal line which works well. There are also a lot of pauses at the beginning and during the verse which get a bit annoying. However, half way through the song, the tempo suddenly doubles and the song kicks ass. There is a two minute instrumental with superb guitar playing and a great moving riff.


The Band

Latest News

- - - - - - -
Law of the Order (1990)

S'cool Buss (1986)

Altar Ego (1982)

- - - - - - -
Other Releases

Demos, Promos and Bootlegs

- - - - - - -
- - - - - - -
Shark Island Links
- - - - - - -
The Complete? A-Z of Shark Songs

Back to Bill's
Best Rock
Music Page















S'cool Buss (1986) 7.5 out of 10 S'cool Buss Album Cover

Still unsigned, the band give it a good shot. An improvement to Altar Ego with some good hard rockers, a great ballad ("Read My Lips") and a superb version of "New York New York". The opener, "Deja Vu" kicks and "Sex Drive" is a moving rocker with a superb vocal line. "Here Comes Trouble" has a dismal chorus and "Palace of Pleasure" is a new breed of Shark Island song that, really, we could do without. However, the good ones make up for the bad ones and this is an album worth having.


Track Listing :
1. Deja Vu 2. Sex Drive 3. Excess Marks the Spot 4. Here Come Trouble 5. Puss in Boots 6. Read My Lips 7. Automatic Girls 8. New York New York 9. Palace of Pleasure


The Band

Latest News

- - - - - - -
Law of the Order (1990)

S'cool Buss (1986)

Altar Ego (1982)

- - - - - - -
Other Releases

Demos, Promos and Bootlegs

- - - - - - -
- - - - - - -
Shark Island Links
- - - - - - -
The Complete? A-Z of Shark Songs

Back to Bill's
Best Rock
Music Page















Altar Ego (1982)
7 out of 10

Getting rave reviews when this came out (all those years ago), this isn't a 90s album. I find it hard to judge because the quality of the recording I have isn't very good and production of course, being from 1982, is not perfect. However, the songs are good and would rock live, especially "L.A. Rock". "Into The Wheel" is a good rocking opener and "Shoot To Kill" kicks but there aren't too many tracks that stick out.


Track Listing :
1. Into the Wheel 2. Whirlpool 3. Rock Kids 4. Already Gone 5. Hard to Get 6. Under the Table 7. Innermission 8. L.A. Rock 9. Shoot to Kill


The Band

Latest News

- - - - - - -
Law of the Order (1990)

S'cool Buss (1986)

Altar Ego (1982)

- - - - - - -
Other Releases

Demos, Promos and Bootlegs

- - - - - - -
- - - - - - -
Shark Island Links
- - - - - - -
The Complete? A-Z of Shark Songs

Back to Bill's
Best Rock
Music Page















Other Releases

Hey, Bang a Gong .

<
"Point Break" 1992? Soundtrack
Great film about surfing and robbing banks with Keanu Reaves.
My City

"Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure" 1990 Soundtrack
All time classic film, as eveyone knows!
Father Time : 10/10
My best song ever! This is total rock mode. One helluva good song. Best appreciated at FULL volume. It has a great chorus and an amazing instrumental for two minutes at the end of the song which has some damn good guitar playing in it. If you want the lyrics, look here.
Dangerous : 8/10
Another good rockable song but nothing so special as "Father Time". It's got the modern hard rock type sound.
It was these two songs that got me into Shark Island in the first place.

Law of the Order 1990? CD (Jap)
Japanese release with bonus track Make a Move (Live). I've also heard of another Japanese version of Law Of The Order with 3 bonus tracks: Father Time, Dangerous, and My City .

Have a Metal Christmas and a Heavy New Year Christmas 1983 45 Vinyl
Santa Claus is Coming to Town : 8/10
How Shark Island manage to make this tune rock, I don't know, but it does!

I'm Electric : 8/10
One of the oldest Shark tunes, but it's groovin'.

Live Sharks 1982?? 45 Vinyl
Recorded live at the Ice House in Pasadena, CA. With a full color poster.
Kid Sister 1980 45 Vinyl
A shaped vinyl released on Mystic Records as a limited edition with only to 500 copies. Check the picture below :

Kid Sister 45
Kid Sister, Your Car or Mine?


The Band

Latest News

- - - - - - -
Law of the Order (1990)

S'cool Buss (1986)

Altar Ego (1982)

- - - - - - -
Other Releases

Demos, Promos and Bootlegs

- - - - - - -
- - - - - - -
Shark Island Links
- - - - - - -
The Complete? A-Z of Shark Songs

Back to Bill's
Best Rock
Music Page















Demos, Promos and Bootlegs

1992 Cassette
I Had a Dream, Will to Power, Need Your Love, Lookin' for the Sun, Welcome Goodbye, Tomorrow's Child, To the Ground, Life Goes On.

Tied Up and Held Down 1990 Promo CD
Spellbound, Spellbound (Live), Sanctuary (Live).

Bad for Each Other 1990 Promo CD
Bad for Each Other.

"Alive at the Whiskey" July 14th 1989 Bastille Day Promo CD / LP
This is a live mini-album that was released just prior to 'Law of the Order'. It contains 5 songs from the album and and another one, "Make a Move". A brilliant show, Richard Black's vocals are perfect and he show himself off as a superb frontman. The live atmosphere is amazing, and recording quality is top notch.
Paris Calling, Ready or Not?, Shake for Me, Get Some Strange, Passion to Ashes, Make A Move

The Interview 1989 Promo Cassette
Released in August 1989, total time 39:55, EAT1868. The cassette cover has the questions printed (the are not spoken on the cassette). Questions are like "how did you get together", "why did you change the name from The Sharks", etc. and Richard & Spencer respond.

Paris Calling 1989 Promo CD
Paris Calling, Paris Calling (Live).

Studio Demos 1985/87 Cassette
I'm Not Falling in Love, Tonight You're Mine, Metal Mary, Tell Me, Heaven.

Live at the Country Club 1987 Cassette
Go West, I'm Electric, Puss n' Boots, Need Your Love, Girls Going Down, Secrets on the Phone, Get Some Strange, Here Comes Trouble, Deja Vu Sex Drive, Excess Marks the Spot.

Live at Jezebel's 19/12/1986 Cassette
Puss n' Boots, Palace of Pleasure, Excess Marks the Spot, Read My Lips, Dangerous Already Gone, Twist and Shout, Bones, New York New York, Automatic Girls.

Live at the L.A. "Street Scene" 07/1986 Cassette
Grapevine, You're Hot, Dangerous, Deja Vu, Walking the Dog, Read My Lips, Sex Drive, Excess Marks the Spot.

Live at Gazarri's, Hollywood 04/05/85 Cassette
Grapevine, Sex Drive, Girl of My Dreams, Walking the Dog, Excess Marks the Spot, I'm Electric, Dangerous, Deja Vu, Automatic Girls, Here Comes Trouble, Puss n' Boots.

Other Studio Demos ?? Cassette
Go West, Rock-a-bye Baby.


The Band

Latest News

- - - - - - -
Law of the Order (1990)

S'cool Buss (1986)

Altar Ego (1982)

- - - - - - -
Other Releases

Demos, Promos and Bootlegs

- - - - - - -
For Sale
- - - - - - -
Shark Island Links
- - - - - - -
The Complete? A-Z of Shark Songs

Back to Bill's
Best Rock
Music Page















For Sale

Law of the Order offers CD Album
Now deleted and very rare, but a must for all rock'n'rollers.


The Band

Latest News

- - - - - - -
Law of the Order (1990)

S'cool Buss (1986)

Altar Ego (1982)

- - - - - - -
Other Releases

Demos, Promos and Bootlegs

- - - - - - -
- - - - - - -
Shark Island Links
- - - - - - -
The Complete? A-Z of Shark Songs

Back to Bill's
Best Rock
Music Page















Shark Island Links





Back to Bill's Best Rock Music Page