SAVATAGE - Fight for the Rock - 12" LP ALBUM VINYL

 "Fight for the Rock" is the third full-length album released by the American heavy metal band SAVATAGE, released in 1986. It is their first album with new bass player Johnny Lee Middleton, who has since become the only ever-present member on each Savatage record released.


SAVATAGE - Fight For The Rock 12" LP Album Vinyl 
 front cover
The album front cover is based on the iconic photo, taken by Joe Rosenthal on 23 February 1945, during the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II. The album's front cover shows soldiers raising a flag atop Mount Suribachi.
Album Description:

"Fight for the Rock" is the third full-length album released by the American heavy metal band SAVATAGE in 1986. The album marked a significant transition for the band, as it introduced new bass player Johnny Lee Middleton, who would go on to become the only constant member in each subsequent Savatage record. Produced by a team of talented individuals, the album showcased the band's evolving sound and solidified their position in the heavy metal scene of the time.

Production and Sound Engineering:
"Fight for the Rock" benefited from the expertise of several individuals involved in its production. The album was executive produced by Rick Smith and Steven Machat, while Robert Zemsky and Stephan Galfas took on the roles of producers. Sound engineers such as Dan McMillan, Mario Rodriguez, Mark Jolley, Ralph Mastrangelo, and Bob Ludwig contributed their skills to ensure the album's sonic quality. The album's mastering was done using Direct Metal Mastering (DMM) at Masterdisk by Bob Ludwig. The artwork direction was handled by Bob Defrin, and the photography was captured by Andy Unangst.

Band Members and Performers:
The lineup for "Fight for the Rock" consisted of talented musicians who played vital roles in shaping the album's musical direction. Jon Oliva, who also provided vocals, showcased his piano skills on the record. Criss Oliva handled all guitar duties, contributing to the album's heavy and melodic sound. Steve "Doc" Wacholz demonstrated his drumming prowess and percussion skills, providing a solid foundation for the band's music. Johnny Lee Middleton joined the band as the new bass player and contributed backing vocals, establishing himself as a permanent member of Savatage for years to come.

Musical Style and Impact:
"Fight for the Rock" represented a shift in Savatage's musical style compared to their previous works. The album incorporated elements of traditional heavy metal with a touch of hard rock, displaying the band's versatility and willingness to experiment. Tracks such as "Fight for the Rock" and "Out on the Streets" showcased the band's signature heavy riffs and catchy melodies, while tracks like "This Is the Time (1990)" and "Red Light Paradise" delved into more melodic and introspective territories.

While the album received mixed reviews from critics at the time of its release, it remains an important part of Savatage's discography. "Fight for the Rock" helped the band gain recognition within the heavy metal community, paving the way for their future successes. The album demonstrated Savatage's ability to evolve their sound and adapt to changing musical trends while staying true to their core identity.

Music Genre:

  Hard Rock / Heavy Metal 
Album Production information:

The album: "SAVATAGE - Fight for the Rock" was produced by:

Rick Smith - Executive Producer

Robert Zemsky - Producer

Stephan Galfas - Producer, Sound Engineer

Steven Machat - Executive Producer

Dan McMillan - Sound Engineer

Mario Rodriguez - Sound Engineer

Mark Jolley - Sound Engineer

Ralph Mastrangelo - Sound Engineer

Bob Ludwig - Direct Metal Mastering (DMM) at Masterdisk

  Bob Ludwig Bob Ludwig is an American mastering engineer and record producer. He is widely regarded as one of the best mastering engineers in the music industry, and has worked with a diverse range of artists across various genres, including classical, rock, pop, and jazz.

Ludwig has been active in the music industry since the 1970s and has worked on numerous critically acclaimed and commercially successful albums, including records by Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, and many others. He has also been recognized for his contributions to the industry and has won several Grammy Awards for his work.

Throughout his career, Ludwig has been known for his technical expertise, attention to detail, and his ability to bring out the best in recordings. He has also been a strong advocate for the preservation of audio quality and has worked to promote the use of high-quality analog and digital technologies in the recording and mastering process.

Overall, Bob Ludwig is a highly respected and accomplished mastering engineer who has made a significant impact on the music industry through his work with many of the biggest and most influential artists of our time.

Bob Defrin - Art Direction

Bob Defrin, a prominent figure in the world of graphic design and album cover art, is best known for his significant contributions as the director, graphic designer, and head of art for Atlantic Records. Born on April 13, 1946, Defrin's creative journey began in Brooklyn, New York, where he developed a passion for art from an early age.

Defrin's career in the music industry took off in the 1980s, a pivotal era for Heavy Metal music. His unique artistic vision and ability to capture the essence of a band's sound through visual imagery made him a sought-after figure among musicians and record labels. As a director and graphic designer at Atlantic Records, Defrin played a pivotal role in shaping the visual identities of numerous Heavy Metal bands during this period.

One of Defrin's notable accomplishments was his work on album covers. He understood the power of album artwork in conveying the spirit and energy of a band's music. Defrin's ability to translate the raw power and intensity of Heavy Metal into captivating visuals earned him widespread recognition and accolades. His designs often featured bold, eye-catching imagery, intricate details, and striking typography, perfectly complementing the music within.


Defrin's portfolio boasts an impressive array of iconic album covers. Among his most renowned works are the covers for AC/DC's "Highway to Hell" (1979), "Back in Black" (1980), and "For Those About to Rock We Salute You" (1981). These covers captured the band's energy, attitude, and electrifying sound, becoming iconic symbols of Heavy Metal culture.

Additionally, Defrin's artistic contributions extended beyond AC/DC. He collaborated with numerous other influential bands, including Twisted Sister, Bon Jovi, Krokus, and Skid Row, among others. Each album cover he designed encapsulated the essence of the respective band's music, making a lasting impact on the visual landscape of Heavy Metal.

Bob Defrin's expertise in graphic design and his ability to understand and interpret the musical vision of Heavy Metal bands made him an invaluable asset to Atlantic Records. He left an indelible mark on the music industry, helping to shape the visual identities of some of the most influential Heavy Metal acts of the 1980s.

Beyond his work with Atlantic Records, Defrin's influence continued to resonate in the field of graphic design. His unique style and contributions left a lasting impression on album cover art, inspiring generations of designers to think creatively and push the boundaries of visual storytelling.

Bob Defrin's legacy as a director, graphic designer, and head of art for Atlantic Records endures as a testament to his immense talent and profound impact on the Heavy Metal genre. His ability to merge music and visual artistry has forever left an indelible mark on the history of album cover design.


Andy Unangst - Photography

Record Label Information:

  Atlantic 781 634-1 (781634)

Media Format:

  12" LP Vinyl Stereo Gramophone Record
Total Album (Cover+Record) weight: 230 gram  

Year & Country:

  1986 Made in Germany
Personnel/Band Members and Musicians on: SAVATAGE - Fight for the Rock
    Band-members, Musicians and Performers
  • Jon Oliva - Vocals, Piano
  • Criss Oliva - All guitars
  • Steve "Doc" Wacholz - Drums, Percusssion
  • Johnny Lee Middleton - Bass, Backing Vocals
Complete Track-listing of the album "SAVATAGE - Fight for the Rock"

The detailed tracklist of this record "SAVATAGE - Fight for the Rock" is:

    Track-listing :
  1. Fight for the Rock 3:55
  2. Out on the Streets 3:58
  3. Crying for Love 3:27
  4. Day After Day 3:40
  5. The Edge of Midnight 4:52
  6. Hyde 3:51
  7. Lady in Disguise 3:08
  8. She's Only Rock 'N Roll 3:14
  9. Wishing Well 3:20
  10. Red Light Paradise 3:56


Front Cover Photo Of SAVATAGE - Fight For The Rock 12" LP Album Vinyl


SAVATAGE - Fight For The Rock 12" LP Album Vinyl 
 front cover

 Note: The photos on this page are taken from albums in my personal collection. Slight differences in color may exist due to the use of the camera's flash. Images can be zoomed in/out ( eg pinch with your fingers on a tablet or smartphone ).

Photo Of The Back Cover SAVATAGE - Fight For The Rock 12" LP Album Vinyl


SAVATAGE - Fight For The Rock 12" LP Album Vinyl 
 back cover

First Photo Of Custom Inner Sleeve SAVATAGE - Fight For The Rock 12" LP Album Vinyl


SAVATAGE - Fight For The Rock 12" LP Album Vinyl 
 custom inner sleeve

Close up of Side One record's label SAVATAGE - Fight For The Rock 12" LP Album Vinyl

"Fight For The Rock" Record Label Details: Atlantic 781 634-1

"Fight For The Rock" Record Label Details: Atlantic 781 634-1

Savatage: A Trailblazing Heavy Metal Band in the 1980s

SAVATAGE Band Description:

Savatage is a heavy metal band that formed in 1978 in Tarpon Springs, Florida, USA. Throughout the 1980s, the band released a series of albums that helped to establish them as one of the most popular and influential bands in the heavy metal genre. 

The band's first album, "Sirens," was released in 1983, and it was an instant success among heavy metal fans. The album featured the band's trademark sound, which was characterized by Jon Oliva's powerful vocals, Criss Oliva's shredding guitar work, and the band's fast and heavy rhythm section. The album's title track, "Sirens," quickly became one of the band's most popular songs, and it remains a staple of their live shows to this day. 

In 1985, Savatage released their second album, "Power of the Night." The album was notable for its harder, heavier sound, which showcased the band's growing confidence and musical prowess. The album's title track, "Power of the Night," was a rousing anthem that became a fan favorite, and the album as a whole cemented Savatage's reputation as a major force in the heavy metal genre. 

The band's third album, "Fight for the Rock," was released in 1986. The album marked a departure from the band's previous sound, as it featured a more commercial, radio-friendly approach. The album was criticized by some fans and critics for its lighter sound and lack of the band's trademark aggression, but it still managed to produce a few memorable tracks, such as "Out on the Streets" and "Crying for Love." 

In 1987, Savatage released what would become one of their most popular and enduring albums, "Hall of the Mountain King." The album marked a return to the band's heavier sound, with fast-paced riffing and complex arrangements that showcased the band's growing musical sophistication. The title track, "Hall of the Mountain King," was a thunderous anthem that featured Criss Oliva's virtuosic guitar work and Jon Oliva's powerful vocals, and it remains one of the band's most beloved songs to this day. 

The success of "Hall of the Mountain King" helped to establish Savatage as one of the premier heavy metal bands of the era. The band's live shows became increasingly popular, with elaborate stage setups and pyrotechnics that added to the band's already powerful stage presence. The band's growing fanbase also helped to pave the way for their future musical experimentation and innovation. 

Throughout the 1980s, Savatage was known for their willingness to experiment with new musical styles and approaches. While the band's core sound remained rooted in heavy metal, they were also influenced by a variety of other genres, including classical music, progressive rock, and even Broadway-style show tunes. This eclectic approach helped to set Savatage apart from other heavy metal bands of the era, and it helped to establish them as one of the most innovative and forward-thinking bands in the genre.