Badlands Bio


1989 – Badlands
1991 – Voodoo Highway
1999 – Dusk

Badlands were a bluesy hard rock band with some big names from the ’80s metal scene who released some of the most revered albums in hair metal history. Infighting would destroy the band, and the death of vocalist Ray Gillen would seal their fate.

After parting ways with Ozzy Osbourne, guitarist Jake E. Lee joined forces with one time Black Sabbath lead vocalist Ray Gillen. Lee ended up recruiting bassist Greg Chaisson whom he had gotten to know when the latter auditioned unsuccessfully in Scotland during three weeks in the summer of ’85 for the bassist position with Ozzy Osbourne. The pair stayed in touch and eventually Lee called Chaisson to audition for the band. The group was rounded off by Eric Singer (ex-Lita Ford and Black Sabbath drummer). The self-titled debut released via Atlantic Records did well (over 475,000 units sold) backed by the singles “Dreams In The Dark” and “Winter’s Call” but was likely viewed as a commercial failure by the label. Singer would be gone by the time the second album came around, with Chaisson‘s former bandmate Jeff Martin (Racer X) taking over on the drum stool.

Things started to come to a head between Gillen and the rest of the band during the recording of Voodoo Highway as the singer felt that the group could come up with better more commercial songs while the rest of the band was satisfied with what they had. Voodoo Highway did reasonably well selling over 300,000 units but eventually, Gillen parted ways with the band. Lee, Chaisson and Martin would hook up with another singer Debby Holiday (Stiletto) and planned a six-week tour of the UK but apparently were told that promoters would not be happy with a band line-up without Gillen. The trio swalloed their pride and welcomed Gillen back into the band for what turned out to be a rather contentious tour. Gillen was out of Badlands again and replaced by John West who recorded some demos and played a few shows with the band before the group packed it in for good.

Dusk, which was released much later in 1999, was a series of demos that the band did a few days prior to going out on tour after the Voodoo Highway album had been released. Years later after the band had broken up, there was a lot of interest in Badlands‘ “lost” third album so Chaisson tracked down the engineer and bought the tapes. Lee and Chaisson ended up remixing the demos and selling them to a record company in Japan.

Eric Singer would go on to become the most famous of the Badlands alumni, touring and recording with both Alice Cooper and KISS including being the longest tenured drummer for the latter. Jake E. Lee released a few solo albums without much fanfare, before forming Red Dragon Cartel and even reuniting briefly with Chaisson in that band until the latter was diagnosed with cancer and forced to quit while he received treatment. Ray Gillen went on to join Sun Red Sun, but would pass away from AIDS on December 3, 1993 before recording for that band’s debut album was finished. Chaisson moved to Phoenix shortly after Badlands disbanded and released a solo album entitled It’s About Time in ’94 before pretty much disappearing from the public limelight to focus on his family. Martin went on to play with a number of people including George Lynch, Michael Schenker, Don Dokken and UFO.


Badlands (1989) album:
01. High Wire
02. Dreams In The Dark
03. Jade’s Song
04. Winter’s Call
05. Dancing On The Edge
06. Streets Cry Freedom
07. Hard Driver
08. Rumblin’ Train
09. Devil’s Stomp
10. Seasons
11. Ball & Chain

Band Members:
Ray Gillen – vocals and harp
Jake E. Lee – guitar and keyboards
Greg Chaisson – bass
Eric Singer – drums

Voodoo Highway (1991) album:
01. The Last Time
02. Show Me The Way
03. Shine On
04. Whiskey Dust
05. Joe’s Blues
06. Soul Stealer
07. 3 Day Funk
08. Silver Horses
09. Love Don’t Mean A Thing
10. Voodoo Highway
11. Fire And Rain
12. Heaven’s Train
13. In A Dream

Band Members:
Ray Gillen – vocals and harp
Jake E. Lee – guitar and keyboards
Greg Chaisson – bass
Jeff Martin – drums

Dusk (1999) album:
01. Healer
02. Sun Red Sun
03. Tribal Moon
04. The River
05. Walking Attitude
06. The Fire Lasts Forever
07. Dog
08. Fat Cat
09. Lord Knows
10. Ride The Jack

Band Members:
Ray Gillen – vocals and harp
Jake E. Lee – guitar and keyboards
Greg Chaisson – bass
Jeff Martin – drums

Badlands‘ “Dreams In The Dark” video:

– YouTube

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Badlands‘ “Winter’s Call” video:

Badlands – Winter’s Call

Hard Rock

Badlands‘ “The Last Time” video:

Badlands – The Last Time (HD)

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