Few hard rock bands are as widely respected yet criminally overlooked as King’s X. The band, which combines progressive rock and soul with vocal arrangements influenced by gospel, blues and British Invasion groups, still features original members Doug Pinnick (vocals/bass), Ty Tabor (guitar) and Jerry Gaskill (drums). They were ranked #83 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock and released over a dozen albums featuring the radio hits “Over My Head,” “It’s Love,” “Black Flag” and “Dogman.”
King’s X released their first studio album, “Out of the Silent Planet,” in 1988. Despite being hailed by music critics, the album didn’t fare well commercially, peaking at #144 on the Billboard album charts. The band’s 1989 sophomore release, “Gretchen Goes to Nebraska,” fared slightly better from a commercial standpoint. Significantly, the song “Over My Head” received moderate airplay on MTV and radio. The increase in exposure would prove beneficial when the band released their third album, “Faith, Hope, Love,” in the fall of 1990.
“Faith, Hope, Love” was the group’s first album to crack the US Top 100, with the help of the successful single “It’s Love”. The band landed a gig opening for AC/DC in the U.S. and Europe for the first half of 1991. They also toured with Living Colour and were nearing the peak of their popularity.
King’s X signed with major label Atlantic Records for their next self-titled release. After parting ways with their longtime manager, the band enlisted veteran producer Brendan O’Brien, who had previously produced albums for Stone Temple Pilots and Pearl Jam. The ensuing release, “Dogman,” performed respectfully on the charts. This success resulted in the band opening shows for Pearl Jam and a show-stopping performance on the opening night of the mammoth Woodstock ’94 festival.
King’s X completed their contract with Atlantic Records with “Ear Candy” in 1996, before moving to Metal Blade Records where they released four studio albums and one live release. The band’s latest studio albums, “Ogre Tones” (2005) and “XV” (2008), were released on the InsideOut label. “XV” was their first album since “Ear Candy” to chart on the Billboard Top 200, ushering in a new wave of popularity for the band.