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[King Kobra Band Picture]

Artist: King Kobra

Title: Ready to Strike

King Kobra Homepage

(click on Artist's name above to return to artist's main page)

King Kobra Ready to Strike Album Cover King Kobra Ready to Strike Album Cover


Category: Hard Rock

Year: 1985

Label: Capitol (Japan)

Catalog Number: TOCP-8054


Mark Free vocals
David-Micheal Philips guitar
Johnny Rod bass
Mick Sweda guitar
Carmine Appice drums


1.  Ready to Strike  5:19
2.  Hunger  3:24
3.  Shadow Rider  4:02
4.  Shake Up  3:28
5.  Attention  3:41
6.  Breakin' Out  3:57
7.  Tough Guys  4:19
8.  Dancing With Desire  5:33
9.  Second Thoughts  3:45
10.  Piece of the Rock  3:32
Total Running Time:  41:00

If you see any errors or omissions in the CD information shown above, either in the musician credits or song listings (cover song credits, live tracks, etc.), please post them in the corrections section of the Heavy Harmonies forum/message board.

The music discographies on this site are works in progress. If you notice that a particular King Kobra CD release or compilation is missing from the list above, please submit that CD using the CD submission page. The ultimate goal is to make the discographies here at Heavy Harmonies as complete as possible. Even if it is an obscure greatest-hits or live compilation CD, we want to add it to the site. Please only submit official CD releases; no bootlegs or cassette-only or LP-only releases.

EPs and CD-singles from King Kobra are also welcome to be added, as long as they are at least 4 songs in length.

Existing comments about this CD

From: Huss Date: February 7, 2001 at 0:04
This CD is one of the best ever. King Kobra burst onto the metal scene with a great rookie album! The title song 'Ready to Strike' is incredible.

From: kim Date: February 24, 2001 at 3:47
A great rock cd, heavy & melodic. One of the many great cd 's in my collection. Recommended.

From: sandri Date: March 3, 2001 at 3:10
I think is an incredible album from these master rockers, with a fantastic Mark Free on vocals.

From: sandri Date: March 3, 2001 at 3:11
I think is an incredible album from these master rockers, with a fantastic Mark Free on vocals.

From: Mike A Date: December 18, 2001 at 18:06
One of the top 5 albums of the 80's. Mark Free sounds incredible as usuall. 'Tough Guys' & ' Second Thoughts' are great melodic rock songs. 'Ready To Strike' & 'Breakin' Out' are excellent heavy songs & 'Dancing With Desire' is an awesome acoustic song. This album should have been a hit.

From: Bryan Date: July 28, 2002 at 2:08
Visit Marcie Free's Official site: www.marciefree.com -Under Reconstruction-

From: Marcos VC Date: July 29, 2002 at 7:48
This is great, great guitar works!!! Mark Free made the best work ever.... One of best ever work of 80´s hard rock.....

From: Baris Date: September 8, 2002 at 2:26
I watched the video of 'Hunger'. It was nice. Mark Free is a great front man.

From: Date: September 11, 2002 at 22:23
A great hard rock CD. Mark Free also performed on Unruly Child's debut, but Unruly Child has more of an AOR sound where this one is pure hard rock! 'Cause I'm ready... to STRIKE!

From: freddy de keyze Date: October 22, 2002 at 3:17
Not that good, indeed , it's good hard rocking, but where are the hooks. Mark Free has done a lot better on his own CD's and especially on the brilliant Signal CD !!! By the way, the second King Kobra is classic stuff, this is only hardrock by numbers !

Heavy Harmonies Volunteer
From: Blue Charvel Date: October 22, 2002 at 5:58
By far KK's best release, everything after seems to pander to the so-called 'AOR Experts'. Thumbs up on this one though, good rockin' stuff even if a little bit cliche.

From: byrdman Date: December 25, 2002 at 15:23
this is by far the best heavy metal production of the 80s. the band was tight and the singer was magnificent, two fists up!

From: Trick Taylor Date: February 4, 2003 at 22:33
I always likened KK to Rough Cutt, not in sound, but in fate. Both released groundbreaking, innovative hard rock albums as debuts, then decided to go into an ill advised pop direction for their follow-ups. Ready to Strike offers an energetic slice of pre-RATTPOISONWARRANT LA strip magic, done long before it all became so watered down. Mark (Marcie) Free was the perfect vocalist for this batch of songs. Good times, but too bad about the follow-up.

From: koogles Date: February 6, 2003 at 3:32
The follow-up is an AOR masterpiece... songs so well-crafted you'd swear Jim Peterik's pen was involved. Pop? And Ratt, Poison, Warrant aren't? Give your head a shake there, TT, and then feed it fries from the same Happy Meal.

From: Jayglam@hotmail Date: March 17, 2003 at 12:40
One of my Favourite Cds of the mid eighties, Four bleach blond hair metal dudes with a Black haired drummer carmine appice. This was the start of a great career for Mark Free, one of the best vocalists ever. This absolutely rocks From the opening track Ready to Strike, Tough guys, Hunger and the catchy second thought this album is all killer no filler. 9.5 out of ten. Jay from Australia.

From: fasteddie Date: December 29, 2003 at 16:23
Love the heavy (even though slightly synthesized) guitar sounds - very smooth, very melodic while still very tough. One of my fave discs from the 80s.

From: Metal Pete Date: January 30, 2004 at 17:32
I like this one. Heard 'Tough Guys' on Metal Shop and ran out and got it. The title cut rocks HARD! Also Breakin Out and Shadow Rider..Second thoughts, good stuff! I hoped they would make more good music. Sadly, I was terribly mistaken.

From: red Date: February 4, 2004 at 18:53
Loved this album when I bought it in 85 and I love it now. Very overlooked, but the next album was terribly commercial and it got them kicked off of EMI.

From: Kevin Date: February 17, 2004 at 13:33
This album was great, I like 'Shake Up' dug this out recently and took a listen and felt was back in the 80's, keep on rockin!

From: King Kobra Date: April 22, 2004 at 9:00
Is the best album i've ever heard!!!!!!!Mark free .....simple perfect vocals,carmine appice,Johny Rod,David Michael phillips and mick sweda. The best songs of the album : Dancing with desire,tough guys,Second thoughts,Ready to strike,hunger.....Join them!!!!!!!!

From: Big Papa K Date: June 13, 2004 at 2:30
Decent debut by King Kobra. The best song is a cover of Kick Axe's 'Hungry', but the rest of the tracks show some good guitar work by Phillips and Sweeda. 6/10

From: Hard Rocker Date: June 28, 2004 at 22:54
Excellent album... No filler songs here. This is not AOR but hard rock music at its best. Mark Free is a great singer. An absolute classic!!!

From: Metal T Date: June 28, 2004 at 23:43
Mark Free WAS a good singer. Note WAS . He is now a full-blown transexual .Pretty screwed up in head, id say .'Ready To Strike' is the only record by KK i can stand . --------

From: Hard Rocker Date: June 29, 2004 at 21:03
Mark Free IS an excellent singer.... note: IS!!!! He/She is here with us... He is a transexual but this does not mean that he has lost his great voice. Come on people do not critisize so easily human's reactions. Everybody does whattever he wants... as long as he does not bother me. Marcie is still writing music... not in the music industry anymore but by herself. I do not like to think that Mark has had a sex change but it is the truth and we must live with that. Mark you ruleeeeeee!!!

From: James Date: June 29, 2004 at 21:59
I'm 95ure he went through with the whole sex change thing. Messed up? Yes, but that shouldn't take away from what he did in this band. Priest old stuff doesn't lose any credibility because Rob came out and anounced he is gay. Same should apply here in my opinion

From: Paolo Date: June 30, 2004 at 5:51
Mark Free was, is and will be a GREAT SINGER!! One of the best of the whole hard rock scene. Now his name is Marcie? Who cares??! What's important here isn't musicians sexual direction but music and music only!!! Hey, Metal T have you received some obscene proposals from him???

From: Scott Date: September 29, 2004 at 9:09
Hair, bleach blonde and teased to the sky, that is except for resident drum hero Carmine Appice who sets himself apart with his dark brown doo. The music here is a fairly decent slab of melodic, 80's pop metal. For this style this CD is fairly heavy as well; hanging with the likes of Dokken. The band manages to write some decent anthems, although their sound is a bit generic. Vocalist Mark Free has a decent set of pipes to boot. Some of the leads even take on a slight Thin Lizzy dual lead style.

From: Peter Humbert Date: October 1, 2004 at 2:23
Got hooked on this fantastic album back in 1987. Lost it for a while, then managed to get another copy a short time ago. Still one of my favourites. 'Hunger' and 'Tough Guys' still stand out to me as the best overall.

From: Rycheage Date: October 6, 2004 at 11:55
I don't understand the lukewarm reviews here. I think this is different from the 2nd album and should be judged as such. This is a near perfect slab of melodic rock full of energy and melody and the 2nd album is a near masterpiece of AOR. 'Hunger' and 'Ready To Strike' are 2 awesome songs and the rest are a bit behind. This is a fun, melodic rock album. They quickly lost whatever audience they garnered and just didn't make it as big as they should have been.

From: ALEXX GLAM Date: December 29, 2004 at 11:20

From: ace66 Date: January 18, 2005 at 7:04
This album stood the test of my time.Superbly executed and punchy PIECE OF THE ROCK !!!!

From: Geoff Date: January 19, 2005 at 3:53
Very good CD. I'd love to get the King Kobra CDs on disc as I don't have any and must admit I seldom pull out the old tapes. This is great 80's hard rock. I think 'Tough guys' was my fave.

From: Nick C Date: January 28, 2005 at 18:56
A great album which got loads of airplay in the old rock clubs I used to frequent! Hunger always signalled a mass invasion of the dance floor and loads of hair flyin'. Both the first two KK albums are excellent, of the two I would say this is the harder one and possibly the better one, though it's a tough call. Mark Free as ever is in top form and his soaring vocals made this stand out from the crowded U.S. scene at the time.

From: onemorecast Date: March 10, 2005 at 23:44
Wasn't Mick Sweda the guitar player for the Bullet Boys?

From: ArnoldLancelot Date: March 29, 2005 at 13:55
You can feel immediatly the weight of the songwriting since from sec n.1 and it is amazing. I would say something in between the 1st an the 2nd Icon's release(with all the differences taken on the vocals of course). Tough and proud but at the same time smooth and melodic hard-rock; and I have to agree with Koogles: RATTPOISONWARRANT???????????????? What that suppose to mean??? This is a serious band.

From: : Date: April 27, 2005 at 13:04
Maybe we should set the tranny up with halford ... ergh metal is dying!

From: Mudhawk Date: September 15, 2005 at 12:43
Ignore the above idiot homophobe. Absolute masterpiece. Hunger is a strong, brooding number with a lot of passion in the vocals. Piece of the Rock originally written by Kick Axe actually sounds better than the Kick Axe version (see the Rock The World remaster edition of the CD) Mick's guitar work dazzles in Ready to Strike. You can hear echoes of Bullet Boy's Smooth Up In Ya in some of the songs. The bottom end of this CD is superb. Carmine's best work (besides his Blue Murder appearance).

From: themartin Date: July 20, 2006 at 10:44
Sorry to disagree with the good reviews above, but IMO this album sucks, the only worthy song is 'Hunger' that it aint even written by them.Existing Whitesnake, Dokken, Mötley, Queensryche, Dio, ufff.. Why should I listen to King Kobra? The most notable thing about this is that the singer is now a woman. Aguante Argentina!!!

From: SangreAzulForever Date: September 2, 2006 at 9:50
One of the most valuable gems of melodic rock. Like Icon´s Night of the crime, the band perfectly combined the toughness of heavy metal with the precious melody of AOR music. Mark Free is my favourite singer ever, more than one would say that his voice is unique. The drums were awesome, just take a look who is the drummer and you´ll notice. 10/10. PS: Hunger is an excellent song.

From: metalhead4life Date: September 24, 2006 at 1:42
This one is good. Good songs and musicians all around. Definitely recommended for 80's rock fans; a classic. Carmine Appice on drums (who played with Ozzy and I believe he also co-wrote 'If you think I'm Sexy' with Rod Stewart). Mark Free has a good voice. Definitely prefer this to Signal. Kick Axe (Spectre General) covered 'Hunger' on the Transformers soundtrack and their version falls short compared to King Kobra's. Not that Kick Axe is a bad band.

From: Figge Date: October 23, 2006 at 16:37
I love this album! Certainly one of the best american melodic hard rock albums of all time. Great sound, excellent performances and especially some very very good SONGS! Mark Free is (was) a superstar. Very different to the second KK release, which is a pure AOR album (and a pretty good one) with a distinct commercial direction forced by the record company. I much prefer this one and would include it in my 'top 20 best of the 80's' list.

From: metalhead4life Date: November 3, 2006 at 13:02
Definitely. 80's rock fan=go buy it

From: YNGWIEVIKING Date: August 22, 2007 at 2:23
GREAT ALBUM 95/100 EXCELLENT MARK FREE is as always AWESOME I think 'hunger' it's one of the best song on this planet ! Buy it !!!!!!

From: RockMan10 Date: May 29, 2008 at 23:54
Another classic from '85. Simply great from start to finish. I really wish that this could be remastered with a bigger bottom end. Tremendous singing and playing with extremely memorable riffs and harmonies. One of the top 20 from the '80s. 90/100

From: Axldobby Date: December 14, 2009 at 7:06
I've heard many good things about KING KOBRA and Mark Free, and unfortunately I've not this release ... just SIGNAL-Loud&Clear But now, I've Ready To Strike, a perfect Hard Rock of the 80's ! Great songs are here : Ready to Stike, HungerShake Up, Attention, Tough Guys, Second Thoughts, Piece of the Rock ! A f****** masterpiece !

From: CMGio Date: April 10, 2010 at 17:55
Great album. I believe Mick Sweda and David-Michael Phillips to be one of the best guitar duos of the 80's. And (then) Mark Free's voice is just impeccable. However, I still say "Thrill of a Lifetime" is their best album.

From: metalmaniac777 Date: January 9, 2011 at 14:19
A sensational singer and some solid songs, but scarcely the sultans of 80s hard rock that some make it out to be. That said, several of these songs have sharp hooks big enough to swallow you like a python gulping down its prey, and if the production sounds a bit dated and a little cheesy by today's standards, it worked well for the era in which this was originally released. Anyone who is ready to hear what a top class melodic rock vocalist sounds like needs only to crank this up and hear the awesome voice of Mark Free, though to be honest, I think he is better suited to his later AOR-tinged projects (Signal, Unruly Child). Bottom line, you won't feel like punching yourself in the face for buying this album, but in my opinion it doesn't quite deserve the raving overrated accolades it usually receives.

From: hair metal again Date: January 22, 2015 at 4:18
excellent debut by this all star band back in mid 80s!the LA metal scene was on fire at the time and KING KOBRA helped ,as it was one of those acts that set things ready for the hair metal explosion later on!the production has this certain Proffer style and the songs are pretty good ,guitar driven but always on the commercial path!"second thoughts","shake up","hunger" and "tough guys" are the highlights of this must have

From: titothetitan Date: November 10, 2017 at 12:49
Great debut indeed with excellent vocals by AOR god Mark Free and musicianship. Rumours has it that Carmine actually stole the song 'Hunger'. The only low points are their horrendous hair and visual.

From: titothetitan Date: April 16, 2019 at 16:00
When I was a teenager i thought this album was awesome and one of the best in the genre. But now that I'm 30 I think this is only a, Ok album, with a great singer and drummer. Nothing more. Lyrics are very cheesy and the guitar and bass players are too posers.

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