Pretty Maids is a Danish Hard Rock band, started by Guitarist Kenneth Hammer and Vocalist Ronnie Atkins in 1981. The band has gone through a long list of past members, but since 2010, the lineup has been as follows:
- Ronnie Atkins (Vocals)
- Ken Hammer (Guitar)
- Morten Sandager (Keyboards)
- Allan Tschicaja (Drums)
- René Shades (Bass Guitar)
Pretty Maids debuted in 1983 with their self-titled EP, and released their first full-length album in 1984, titled "Red Hot And Heavy". In 1987, they released their second album, "Future World", which is widely considered their defining release.
Pretty Maids provides examples of:
- Aerith and Bob: Hammer and Shades aren't exactly common last-names in Denmark, and neither is Atkins or Tschicaja for that matter. Sandager, however... that's a fairly normal name.
- Seen from a non-Dane's point of view, though, Morten still becomes the odd one out, since Sandager is the only name that sounds completely differently when pronounced in English.
- Awesome Mc Coolname: The current lineup has a thing for this. Ronnie Atkins isn't really that special, being more of a stage-name to help the band get international fame. Ken Hammer and René Shades are specifically chosen because the names sound cooler than their birthnames. Allan Tschicaja is just a coincidence, since it's his given name, and Morten Sandager, well, his name just sounds awesome if you pronounce it in English (Sandager is a somewhat normal Danish last name).
- Back-to-Back Badasses: "Back to Back" is about "riders of the sun" who fight a battle back to back.
- Christmas Songs: In Santa's Claws EP features two christmas songs ("In Santa's Claws" and "A Merry Jingle", a medley of old christmas classics).
- Cover Version: "Little Darling" from "Red Hot And Heavy" and "Please Don't Leave Me" from "Jump The Gun". Both songs were originally recorded by Thin Lizzy, whom the band has openly stated to be heavily inpsired by in the first place.
- Darkest Hour: The 90's and early 2000's weren't particularly good for the band. After "Jump The Gun" was released, the band lost a lot of their fame and popularity, partly because Grunge emerged in the early 90's. Most of the original band-members abandoned the band, seeing its value as that of a sinking ship. The remaining members, Ronnie Atkins and Ken Hammer, released an acoustic album under the band's name, while trying to rebuild the band. They sort of succeeded, but they still didn't get back into the spot-light. By the end of the 90's, they had to choose between no recording-support from their label... or five liters of milk! With today's prices, that's a budget of 6$ to record a full-length Heavy Rock album with multiple tracks and overdubbed and harmonized guitars, something which easily increases the price of a good recording a lot! Fortunately, René Shades joined the band permanently in 2010, having toured with the band a couple of times in the past, and things have looked much better for the band since then.
- Hair Metal: The band started out as a mix between this and Arena Rock, but their later releases (especially in the 90's and 2000's) lean a lot more closely on regular Heavy Metal or Heavy Rock. IT's still as melodic as ever, it's just also heavier than when they started.
- Iwo Jima Pose: The cover of the album Planet Panic uses an altered picture of the statue version of the pose, which has the US flag replaced by one adoring the band's logo.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: The band jumps a bit around in this. Most of their early songs are around 6-7, and most later songs are more solid 8's, with a few 9's in the mix. And then there are the ballads that just outright play with this.
- "Yellow Rain" starts out as a nice, acoustic ballad, landing somewhere around 4-5, but half-way through it completely changes style and becomes a hard-hitting 8.
- "Savage Heart" is just like "Yellow Rain". their Live-performances are even more drastic with this, starting the song at a 3 and the second the solo comes around, it graduates into a full-blown 8!
- The Vietnam War: "Yellow Rain" is about a Vietnam veteran who suffers psychologically from the conflict.