RAVEN - STAY HARD 12" Vinyl LP Album

- Genuine MWOBHM, Heavy Metal

"Stay Hard" is the fourth full-length album by the British heavy metal band Raven, released in 1985. It is the first album recorded in the United States for the major label Atlantic Records, after the British band had passed under American management.

High Quality Photo of Album Front Cover  "RAVEN - STAY HARD"
Raven's "Stay Hard": A Polished Evolution of NWOBHM Power
Album Description:

Released in 1985 on Atlantic Records, "Stay Hard" marks a transitional period for the British heavy metal trio Raven. While staying true to their New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) roots, the album showcases a more refined and polished sound compared to their earlier work. This evolution, guided by renowned producer Michael Wagener (known for his work with Metallica and Ozzy Osbourne), elevated the band's musicality and songwriting without sacrificing their signature energy and aggression.

Historical Context and Genre

By 1985, the NWOBHM movement had reached its peak and was beginning to evolve. Many bands were experimenting with different sounds and production techniques, seeking to expand their reach beyond the underground metal scene. Raven's decision to work with Michael Wagener reflected their desire to evolve while maintaining their signature NWOBHM sound.

The album's music is a blend of classic heavy metal and hard rock, with a touch of speed metal's intensity. The Gallagher brothers' guitar work is as fast and furious as ever, but the production gives it a cleaner, more defined sound. John Gallagher's vocals retain their signature rasp and power, while the rhythm section remains tight and energetic.

Musical Exploration

"Stay Hard" showcases Raven's growth as songwriters and musicians. The album features a mix of hard-hitting anthems like the title track and "Hard Ride" (a re-recorded version of a song from their debut album) and more melodic tracks like "On and On" and "Break the Chain." This diversity demonstrates the band's versatility and their ability to balance aggression with melody.

Lyrically, the album explores themes of perseverance, determination, and the pursuit of dreams. The lyrics are often inspirational and motivational, reflecting the band's positive outlook and their refusal to give up on their musical aspirations.

Production and Recording

The album was recorded at Amigo Studios in Hollywood, California. Michael Wagener's production brought a new level of polish and professionalism to Raven's sound, without sacrificing the raw energy and aggression that made them a fan favorite.

Album Fact Sheet: RAVEN - STAY HARD

Music Genre: 

NWOBHM, Heavy Metal / Hard Rock 

Album Production information:

The album: "RAVEN - STAY HARD" was produced by: Michael Wagener and Raven

Sound/Recording Engineer(s): Norman Dunn

Assistent sound engineers: Alex Perialas, Peter Bombar

This album was recorded at: Pyramid Sound Studio, New York

Mastered by George Marino, at Sterling Sound, New York City.

Album art direction: Bob Defrin

Record Company / Catalog number / Label: 

Atlantic 781 241-1

Record Media Format and Weight:

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

Year & Country: 

1985 Made in Germany

Additional Information on Production Team Members


Michael Wagener is a renowned music producer, mixer, and engineer hailing from Hamburg, Germany. He is highly recognized for his work with numerous prominent hard rock and heavy metal bands, particularly during the late 1980s, when he achieved considerable success and acclaim for his production contributions.


Before his rise as a producer, Wagener had a musical career of his own. He was a guitarist and part of a German band called "Band X" in the pre-1970 era. Notably, Udo Dirkschneider, known for his involvement with the bands Accept and U.D.O., also performed alongside Wagener in "Band X". This early collaboration between Wagener and Dirkschneider acted as a precursor to the formation of Accept, the influential German heavy metal band.

While Michael Wagener began as a guitarist for Accept , he eventually transitioned into the realm of music production, where he found his true calling. His talent, expertise, and meticulous approach to producing and mixing led him to work with some of the biggest names in hard rock and heavy metal. Wagener became highly sought after for his ability to capture the energy and power of these genres in the studio.

In addition to his work as a music producer, mixer, and engineer, Michael Wagener is also the president of Double Trouble Productions. This production company, headed by Wagener, focuses on providing high-quality production services to various artists and bands in the music industry.

Over the years, Wagener's production credits have included collaborations with iconic bands such as Metallica, Ozzy Osbourne, Skid Row, Dokken, White Lion, and many others. His contributions to the sound and success of these bands have solidified his reputation as a prominent figure in the world of rock and metal production.

Michael Wagener's work is characterized by his meticulous attention to detail, ability to capture powerful performances, and his knack for creating an impactful and polished sound. His contributions to the music industry, particularly in the hard rock and heavy metal genres, have left a lasting imprint and have helped shape the sonic landscape of numerous iconic albums.


Alex Perialas is an American Producer and sound engineer, and owner of the "Pyramid Sound Recording Studios" in Ithaca, and has been responsible for the production and engineering of dozens of Heavy Metal albums during the 1980s. Perialas is a well-known music producer and engineer who has been active in the industry for over three decades. He has worked with a wide range of musical artists, including heavy metal bands like Anthrax , Slayer , and Overkill , as well as pop artists like Taylor Dayne and New Kids on the Block. Throughout his career, Perialas has become known for his technical expertise, creative vision, and ability to bring out the best in his artists.


Perialas was born in Greece and grew up surrounded by music. His father was a classical guitarist and his mother was a singer, so it was only natural that he would develop an early love for music. He began playing the guitar at the age of 12 and quickly became interested in recording and producing music. He moved to the United States in the 1970s to study music engineering and quickly began working in the industry, first as an assistant engineer and then as a producer.

One of Perialas' earliest successes came with the release of the album "Among the Living" by Anthrax in 1987. This album marked a departure from the traditional sound of heavy metal and helped to establish Perialas as a major player in the genre. He went on to produce several more albums for the band, including "State of Euphoria" and "Persistence of Time". He also worked with other heavy metal acts like Slayer, Overkill, and Testament, helping to shape the sound of the genre and establish it as one of the dominant forces in popular music.

In addition to his work in heavy metal, Perialas has also produced and engineered albums in a wide range of other genres. He has worked with pop artists like Taylor Dayne and New Kids on the Block, helping to create some of their biggest hits. He has also worked with hip-hop artists like MC Lyte and jazz musicians like Grover Washington Jr. This versatility and ability to work with a wide range of artists is one of the reasons why Perialas has been so successful throughout his career.

Throughout his career, Perialas has been dedicated to the art of music production and engineering. He has a deep understanding of the technical aspects of recording and a keen ear for what makes a song sound great. He is also a creative visionary who is able to bring out the best in his artists, helping them to create music that is both innovative and commercial. His work has been recognized with numerous awards and accolades, including multiple Grammy nominations and wins.

In conclusion, Alex Perialas is a music producer and engineer who has made a significant impact on the industry. His work has helped to shape the sound of heavy metal and establish it as one of the dominant genres in popular music. He has also worked with a wide range of other artists, bringing out the best in them and helping them to create innovative and commercially successful music

Peter Bombar a sound engineer who has been working together with Alex Perialas, Norman Dunn, Jon Zazula. During the 1980s he has been responsible for the sound recording for albums of the Heavy Metal bands: Attila, Raven, Thrasher, T.T. Quick and others.

George Marino: legendary mastering engineer behind iconic albums by Metallica, AC/DC, and more. Explore his life and groundbreaking career in music.

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.

Personnel/Band Members and Musicians on: RAVEN - STAY HARD
    Band-members, Musicians and Performers
  • John Gallagher - Lead vocals, Bass
  • Mark Gallagher - Lead Guitar
  • Rob "WACKO!" Hunter - Drums
Complete Track-listing of the album "RAVEN - STAY HARD"

The detailed tracklist of this record "RAVEN - STAY HARD" is:

    Track-listing Side One:
  1. Stay Hard (Gallagher, Hunter) 2:59
  2. When the Going Gets Tough (Gallagher, Hunter) 3:34
  3. On and On (Gallagher, Hunter) 3:54
  4. Get it Right (Gallagher, Hunter) 4:49
  5. Restless Child (Gallagher, Hunter) 2:45
  6. The Power and the Glory (Gallagher, Hunter) 3:37
  7. Pray for the Sun (Gallagher, Hunter) 4:22
  8. Hard Ride (Gallagher, Hunter) 3:15
  9. Extract the Action (Gallagher, Hunter) 3:04
  10. The Bottom Line (Gallagher, Hunter) 3:37
High Quality Photo of Album Front Cover  "RAVEN - STAY HARD"
High Quality Photo of Album Front Cover  "RAVEN - STAY HARD"
Album Back Cover  Photo of "RAVEN - STAY HARD"
Album Back Cover  Photo of "RAVEN - STAY HARD"  
Photo of "RAVEN - STAY HARD" Atlantic Record Label - Side One:
Photo of "RAVEN - STAY HARD" Atlantic Record Label - Side One:  
Photo of "RAVEN - STAY HARD" Record Label - Side Two:
Photo of "RAVEN - STAY HARD" Record Label - Side Two:  

Note: The images on this page are photos of the actual album. Slight differences in color may exist due to the use of the camera's flash.

The Ultimate Gallery and Discography of RAVEN's Vinyl LP Albums in the NWOBHM Genre

RAVEN - All For One 12" LP
   RAVEN - All For One ( 1983, France ) 12" LP
Neat Records

Raven's "All For One," released on the French label Bernett Records in 1983, is a high-octane explosion of New Wave of British Heavy Metal. This album, the band's third, showcases their signature blend of speed, aggression, and melody

- All For One (Italian Release) - All For One (French Release)
RAVEN - Live at the Inferno ( 1984, Netherlands ) 12" LP
RAVEN - Live at the Inferno ( 1984, Netherlands ) 12" LP
Roadrunner RR 9808 , 1984 , Netherlands

Raven's "Live at the Inferno," released in 1984, is a raw and electrifying document of the band's energetic live shows during the height of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) movement. This double LP captures the band's signature blend of speed, aggression, and melody, showcasing fan favorites

Learn more
RAVEN - The Pack is Back 12" LP
 RAVEN - The Pack is Back   12" LP
ATLANTIC 781 629 , 1988/1989 , Germany

Released in 1986, Raven's "The Pack Is Back" marked a shift in the band's sound, embracing a more polished production while retaining their signature energy. Produced by Eddie Kramer (Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin), this NWOBHM album features the anthemic title track and "Gimme Some Lovin',"

Learn more
RAVEN - Stay Hard ( 1985, Germany ) 12" LP
 RAVEN - Stay Hard ( 1985, Germany ) 12" LP
Atlantic 781 241-1 , 1985 , Germany

Released in 1985, Raven's "Stay Hard" marked a turning point, showcasing a more polished sound while maintaining their aggressive energy. Produced by Michael Wagener, this NWOBHM album features the anthemic title track, "On and On," and "Hard Ride," highlighting the band's evolution

Learn more
RAVEN - Life's a Bitch ( 1987 ) 12" LP
RAVEN - Life's a Bitch ( 1987 ) 12" LP
Atlantic 781 734-1 , 1987 , Germany

Released in 1987, Raven's "Life's a Bitch" showcases a matured yet unrelenting NWOBHM sound. Produced by Roy Thomas Baker, this album features a mix of hard-hitting anthems like "Lock and Load" and melodic tracks like "Playing with Fire," demonstrating the band's versatility and solidifying their NWOBHM legacy.

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RAVEN - Wiped Out ( 1982, Italy ) 12" LP
RAVEN - Wiped Out ( 1982, Italy ) 12" LP
NEAT 1004 , 1982 , Italy

Raven's "Wiped Out" LP, a rare Italian pressing on NEAT Records, signifies the band's evolution and transition from the label. This pivotal album blends speed metal and NWOBHM influences, encapsulating Raven's signature style.

Learn more