There's not a great deal of info around when it comes to this mysterious outfit, one of those bands that, seemingly out of nowhere, somehow managed to record a session for BBC Radio One's "Friday Rock Show". The four songs from Euphoria were broadcasted in December 11th 1981, and it's fortunate that Tommy Vance's introduction to the session was preserved on tape, this being the primary source of reliable info when it comes to this elusive band.
Actually, it transpires that Euphoria was the solo effort of a certain Peter Leyden, a guitarist based in Tyneside who recorded a few demos in his own bedroom - pre-empting the boom of home-made recordings of the late 90s in at least a full decade - and, fearless of the consequences, sent the recordings to the famous radio rock show. Quite unexpectedly, Tommy Vance really enjoyed what he heard and asked Euphoria to lay down a session for the Friday Rock Show - something that created a bit of a problem for Peter Leyden, as there was no proper band to assist him in the first place. Everything was put together in a hurry, I suppose, but somehow he managed to recruit Ken Donaldson (B) and Alan Hepplewhite (D) to help him out in the short term, with Leyden himself assuming vocal duties.
Musically speaking, you won't get much of NWOBHM after all, as Euphoria's music is more in an unpretentious melodic rock vein, with pleasant (but quite uncomplicated) guitar arrangements and simple, puerile lyrics. The comparisions with Jimi Hendrix's music done by Tommy Vance in his preambule are not that off-the-mark, as there's definitely a feel of a bygone age - but of course don't expect anything near the guitar attack of good old Jimi, as it surely wasn't even the intention here. It's not that hard to enjoy listening to Euphoria's music, but there's nothing memorable in it too - apart from the simple-but-catchy riff of the first song, I simply can't remember anything else after listening to it, no matter how much I try. As I'm working with mp3 files who ommit the part where Tommy Vance revealed the name of the songs, your guess is as good as mine, although I think that "Looking For You" (the opening track) and "Don't Want To Lose You" (the third song) are safe bets and I would be surprised to be wrong in that. All things considered, though, I wouldn't really recommend it unless to the more open-minded NWOBHM fans, as the only logic connection of this bunch with the genre we all love is that they recorded a session for BBC while the NWOBHM boom was still pretty much going on. It's not bad at all, though - give it a chance and perhaps you might enjoy it a lot more than I did.
I'm almost entirely certain that this session for Friday Rock Show was the swansong of Euphoria, rather than the breakthrough that perhaps they thought it would be. I wouldn't be remotely surprised if they never even took shape as a proper band at all, being together solely for the purposes of this one and only recording session. Whatever the story, Euphoria vanished into oblivion in a matter of weeks after their session was broadcasted, never to be heard from again. I seriously doubt that any of the musicians involved took part in any other bands of note in later years, but i's quite difficult to determine further details on this subject. On the other hand, I was informed that Peter Leyden may actually have died not a long ago, which would no doubt be really unfortunate - but, you know, it will happen to us all eventually, so may God rest his soul. If you happen to know anything else about them (or took any role in their fortunes, even the slightest), I would wholeheartedly invite you to get in touch...
Last update: June 16th, 2013
Peter Leyden (V, G), Ken Donaldson (B), Alan Hepplewhite (D).
Have you been involved with any of the bands mentioned here? Have any extra info and/or corrections? Please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know!