Those were the times of paying your dues. When we did the mini LP for RaveOn, I had planned all the backing vocals. A choir. The engineer was like, “No, you don’t have the time. You can have one backing vocal.’ I was like, “What?! I can’t do anything with that!’ He just said, “Well, you don’t the time. Don’t use them.’ I mean, Hank has a solo on “A Corpse Without Soul.’ He had two takes and the engineer said, “You know what? We don’t have all day.’ He was just about to do his third take. So, that was it. His third take went on the album. We had to move on. Talk about pressure.
– King Diamond, Three Decades of Roadrunner Records
Known variously as Mercyful Fate, EP, and Nuns Have No Fun; this was the first official release by MERCYFUL FATE.
Released on this day in 1982 by Dutch label RaveOn. The 12″ (45rpm, just under 23 minutes) opens with the classic A Corpse Without Soul. It’s the standout on the mini album and remains one of MF’s best.
…we had done a demo kind of thing that turned into us being on a compilation album called Metallic Storm in England. That was one song.
Then we did the mini-LP, and that was, of course, more substantial, but it was not what we expected because everything that you hear on Melissa, those type of arrangements and things, were meant to be on the mini-LP, as well. So it was a surprise when we showed up and they said, “No, we have two days here – we do not have time; it takes longer than that.”
We’d done some demos before, so we thought it was just like doing demos, and it was not exactly like that, because it was a real recording – it was more precise. And we had two days to record and mix four songs for the mini-LP. So that was the problem for us, that we couldn’t do what we had planned – so it was a letdown to learn that my choir-pieces turn out to be “You can use one double.” What? I don’t need a double of my lead – I later learned that it can be good to do, but that was not the point – that would not give me what I was after.
And the same thing with Hank and stuff like that, doing solos – “Well, you tried twice now to do the solo for ‘A Corpse Without Soul,’ and we don’t have time for this stuff. Whatever you do now goes on the album, okay?” Talk about the pressure there, you know? And that’s what is on the album, the third take, because we weren’t given any more takes after that.
– King Diamond, Your Last Rites (2014)
After that [Metallic Storm compilation] came out, interest really grew and we were invited to go and do the BBC Friday Rock Show. We did three tracks and they got such a great response that they were re-broadcast and came to the attention of Rave On Records who wanted us to go down to Holland and record an EP. That was a real turning point.
Me and the guitarists had all these harmonies worked out but there was no time to do most of them. It was the same with the guitar solos. ‘Corpse Without Soul’ had a long intro solo and we’d done two takes and still weren’t satisfied. But it was like ‘Whatever you do next, that goes on the album!’ Talk about pressure! When Roadrunner came in a little later and offered us eight days to record ‘Melissa’, we were like ‘Oh my god! Now we can do all the things we had planned last time!’ Then for ‘Don’t Break The Oath’ we got 12 days! But the EP did a lot of good for us. It was exported to a lot of different countries; I know Lars Ulrich and Brian Slagel heard it together at Brian’s place.
– King Diamond, Iron Fist