London, England's sparingly named More were one of the rare New Wave of British Heavy Metal bands lucky enough to enjoy the luxury of a major-label deal, but then More weren't your typically scrappy NWOBHM band. In fact, the group had originally begun as more of a blues-rock outfit in 1979, then undertaken some experience-building club tours through Germany before returning to England just in time to witness this new grassroots heavy metal movement as it was starting to explode.
Quickly moving to capitalize, the band's prime mover, guitarist Kenny Cox, consolidated More's lineup around two former members of pre-fame Iron Maiden, vocalist Paul Mario Day and guitarist Paul Todd (who infamously lasted all of two days with Steve Harris' bunch), plus bassist Brian Day (no relation) and drummer Frank Darch -- then scored a lucky break when Friday Rock Show producers booked them for a radio session. Taped on May 23, 1980, the broadcast results profiled several strong numbers in More's new, fast-resolving heavy rock style, and helped sway interested personnel (specifically AC/DC A&R man Phil Carson) at powerful Atlantic Records into signing the group, with their debut album, Warhead, emerging just a few months later in early 1981.
By then, Todd had already been replaced by one Laurie Mansworth on second guitar, and More set out to promote their memorable blend of hard rock and metal (similar to contemporaries like Quartz, Fist, and Tygers of Pan Tang) on successful tours across the U.K. (with Swiss hopefuls Krokus) and Europe (with their friends Iron Maiden). These road jaunts marked the debut of new drummer Andy John Burton and, along with subsequent gigs throughout the U.K. as headliners on the Atomic Rock Tour (showcasing up-and-coming heavy metal talent), they helped build More's growing on-stage reputation and land them an invitation to open the second yearly installment of the legendary Monsters of Rock Festival (also featuring Blackfoot, Slade, Blue Öyster Cult, Whitesnake, and headliners AC/DC that summer).
Next up for More was the recording of their all-important second album in early 1982, but here's where things started to go sour for the group (already reduced to a quartet following Mansworth's recent departure), when creative differences drove an irreparable wedge between guitarist Cox and singer Paul Day. The latter's sudden departure not only forced the group to put the sessions on ice while searching for a new vocalist, but also resulted in a last-minute withdrawal from a tour supporting Black Sabbath, costing them much needed cash and exposure. By the time More managed to resume recording and rework their material to suit the contributions of new singer Mick Stratton, their momentum had taken a hit, and so had Atlantic's confidence in the group.
Their sophomore album, Blood & Thunder, only barely saw release (and hardly any promotion) toward the end of 1982, and its lukewarm contents likewise failed to accomplish what the powers-that-be at their record company had seemingly already cut their losses on pursuing. By 1983, More found themselves in need of a new label (along with every other second-tier band associated with the fast-fading NWOBHM, it seemed) and wound up giving up the fight before the year ran out. Kenny Cox did attempt a half-hearted More resurrection in 1985, but his entirely new roster of unknown bandmates couldn't help to stir up any substantial interest in the group, which quickly folded once again, freeing the guitarist to join semi-supergroup Mammoth and pursue other projects. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia