Raw Power was started in 1981 in Poviglio, Italy, by brothers Mauro and Giuseppe Codeluppi (the singer and guitarist). They released their first LP You Are The Victim in 1984, on Meccano Records, a tiny Italian indy label whose sketchy business practices resulted in almost no copies of the record ever surfacing. Unhappy with the flat production and about to undergo a line-up change, Raw Power didn't rerelease this now ultra-rare collector's item until 2002. The band gained more acclaim from earlier cassette releases on the American BCT label, like 1983's Brown Studio Demos and the recently reissued Last White Xmas tape. At this point Mauro shared vocal duties with a maniac named Silvio, who produced some of the most shredding, shreiking screams imaginable. Their anthem "Fuck Authority," with Silvio's caterwauling vox and drummer Helder's trademark cow-bell fills, was featured on Maximum Rock'n'roll's Welcome to 1984 compilation LP. The song was a high point in an amazing line-up of international hardcore powerhouses. By now Raw Power was established as a mighty force in the world of punk, and won the attention of another US label: Arizona's Toxic Shock. When the band set out on its first U.S. tour in 1984, they arranged to record a second LP with Zero Boy Paul Mahern in Indiana.
By this time Silvio's voice had been decimated by his insane vocal style. When he had to stay home for tour, his vocal parts were imitated by lead guitarist Davide, who did a pretty damn good job. The Screams from the Gutter LP was released in 1985, a time when US hardcore was beginning to lose its direction. Short-sighted Americans who only paid attention to their own country often cite this time as the "death" of hardcore. One listen to Screams from the Gutter should put that idea to rest. Many would classify Raw Power as "crossover" hardcore because they employ heavy riffing and wanky solos in many of the songs, but their ferocity defied any generic label. Whether or not they were named for the Stooges album, Raw Power had as much to do with the ultra-high-energy of the Detroit rock sound as they did with contemporary heavy metal. That equation would start falling towards the metal side as time went on. 1985's Wop Hour EP and 1986's After Your Brain LP, both on Toxic Shock, were more metallic rock records but were still obviously Raw Power.
Hardcore may not have survived the mid-80's without the incredible records coming out of Europe and Asia, and Raw Power was at the head of the international assault. A legendary live band, Raw Power spread the gospel of hardcore on several US tours. They continued on over the years with various line-ups, with the Condeluppi brothers being the only original members. In the 90's they tried to get more professional and signed to the more commercial Godhead records. After failing to break onto MTV or the mainstream rock charts, Raw Power returned to Toxic Shock (now Toxic Ranch) to put out their 1998 Reptile House CD. The most recent album was released by the American label Hello. There are plenty of great Raw Power records are easy to find. The early cassette tracks have been reissued by BCT and Grand Theft Audio among others. The GTA CD, entitled Burning the Factory also has a great booklet with more info on the band. The Canadian label Ugly Pop has reissued the Screams from the Gutter LP with a new cover. The original, with its amazing day-glo psychadelic monster picture, isn't too hard to track down since Toxic Shock was good about pressing and distributing their records. And finally, the Spanish label Soulforce Records recently reissued You Are The Victim on CD.
Saddly, founding member and original guitarist Giuseppe Codeluppi passed away in October of 2002.
YOU ARE THE VICTIM LP (Meccano, 1983)
RAW POWER tape (BCT, 1984)
SCREAMS FROM THE GUTTER LP (Toxic Shock, 1984)
LIVE IN THE U.S.A. 1984 tape (BCT, 1985)
WOP HOUR EP (Toxic Shock, 1986)
RAW POWER/MOTTEK split 7" (Starving Missle, 1986)
AFTER YOUR BRAIN LP (Toxic Shock, 1986)
MINE TO KILL LP (Ratcage, 1989)
LIVE DANGER CD (TVOR, 1991)
TOO TOUGH TO BURN CD (Contempo, 1993)
FIGHT CD (Godhead, 1993)
LIVE FROM THE GUTTER CD (Godhead, 1996)
REPTILE HOUSE CD (Mad Mob/Westworld, 1998)
TRUST ME CD (Hello, 2000)
BURNING THE FACTORY CD (Grand Theft Audio, has 1983 demo, and live tracks)
SCREAMS FROM THE GUTTER LP (Ugly Pop, 2001)
YOU ARE THE VICTIM CD (Soulforce, 2002)
MUSIC ON FIRE tape (BCT, 1983)
LAST WHITE CHRISTMAS I tape (BCT/Cessophena, 1984)
RAPTUS LP (Meccano, 1984)
4 PER A//AA PER TUTTI 7" (A-rivista anarchia, 1984)
WELCOME TO 1984 LP (Maximum Rock'n'Roll, 1984) "Fuck Authority"
I'M BUCK NAKED tape (BCT, 1984)
I THRASH THEREFORE I AM tape (BCT, 1985)
RAPTUS vol.2 LP (Meccano, 1985)
WE CAN DO WHATEVER WE WANT LP (BCT, 1986)
EASTERN FRONT vol. 3 2LP (Restless/Eastern Front, 1986) "Fuck Authority"
WORLD WAR 3 LP (Rot, 1986)
I'VE GOT AN ATTITUDE PROBLEM 7" (BCT/Looney Tunes, 1987) "Raw Power", "You Shock Me"
RAT MUSIC FOR RAT PEOPLE vol. 3 LP (CD Presents, 1987)
Lyrics to Screams From the Gutter - After Your Brain - Reptile House
1984 Tour Report
A great retrospecive of the tour by Chris BCT, written in '03. Thanks a lot to Chris for letting me put it on the site. Find a slightly different version of this tour report on the La Baciarlata site, complete with photos and flyers, here.
Interview on Back to the Core Website
Here's a recent interview with vocalist Mauro Codeluppi on the excellent Back to the Core site.
Raw Power's official site, newly updated with a biography, discography, some photos, and some writing about the band.
This Spanish label recently reissued "You Are The Victim" on CD, with added video footage from the 80's, several interviews, and photos.