US band was formed by ex- Guns N'Roses guitarist Tracii Guns and
Paul Black in Los Angeles in 1987, though the latter was soon
replaced by ex- Girl vocalist Phil Lewis. Working on material
that was a hybrid of metal, glam and blues-based rock 'n' roll,
they signed with PolyGram Records in the USA the following year.
With the addition of Mick Cripps (guitar, ex- Faster Pussycat
), Kelly Nickels (bass, ex-Faster Pussycat) and Steve Riley (drums,
ex- W.A.S.P. ) the line-up was complete. However, with Riley arriving
too late to appear on their self-titled debut, the band used the
services of Nickey Alexander (formerly "Nicky Beat"
of punk legends the Weirdos ). Cocked And Loaded was a marked
improvement on its predecessor; the band had matured as songwriters
and Lewis' vocals were stronger and more convincing. Hollywood
Vampires saw them diversifying musically, but retaining the essential
energy and rough edges for which they had become renowned. Touring
as support to Skid Row in Europe, it at last looked as though
Guns would no longer have to look longingly at the phenomenal
success his former band had achieved in his absence. However,
it was not to be. As the band disintegrated, Guns went on to form
a new outfit, Killing Machine, while Lewis formed Filthy Lucre.
However, L.A. Guns were soon re-formed when both these bands failed.
Vicious Circle continued the vampiric metaphors of the band's
previous album with the track "Crystal Eyes", a song
also included on Hollywood Vampires. Greeted as a strong return,
it was arguably the best recorded work to date by either Guns
or Lewis. Greatest Hits And Black Beauties featured new songs
and re-recorded versions of some of their old material.