Former MISFITS guitarist Bobby Steele, who played in the band from 1978 through the fall of 1980, has recorded his own version of the infamous "lost" MISFITS album, "12 Hits From Hell". Steele's version of the album can be heard on the "streaming player" on his band THE UNDEAD's official web site, www.undeadpunk.com.
The most controversial album in the MISFITS' tumultuous history, "12 Hits From Hell" was a collection of recordings made by the band in the fall of 1980. Halfway through the sessions, Steele was fired from the band and replaced by Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein, and many of these tracks were later re-recorded for 1982's legendary "Walk Among Us" album. A remixed collection of the original "12 Hits" tracks, featuring both Steele and Doyle on guitar, was originally released by Caroline Records in October 2001. However, it was quickly recalled at the request of MISFITS bassist Jerry Only and founding member Glenn Danzig. Considered by many fans to be sonically superior to "Walk Among Us", "12 Hits From Hell" remains a popular bootleg item.
The decision to cease the album's legitimate release subsequently led to an open feud between Steele and his former bandmates.
In a 2004 interview with Circus magazine, Danzig detailed his reasons for keeping the most powerful music in MISFITS history from reaching his fans.
"The reason that didn't come out was that was not a real CD," he said. "That was something that Bobby Steele went in and did on his own. He went in and re-recorded stuff. Bobby and somebody at Caroline did that. Actually, that is one of the only times Jerry Only and I got together and agreed on something. That was not a real MISFITS release."
Steele, who claims to have had absolutely no involvement in Caroline's plans to release the album, and who says that he was unaware of the album's impending release until a fan emailed him a news item about it, naturally has his own take on the matter.
"Caroline has never cooperated with me in anything, going so far as rejecting the live recordings that I own — so why would they suddenly decide to work with me?" he says. "Glenn and Jerry have constantly told people that I was fired for playing poorly on the original '12 Hits' session, and the real reason they don't want it out is because it exposes that lie. It seems more than a coincidence to me that '12 Hits' was remixed shortly after THE UNDEAD received rave press for our debut European tour. It's obvious that Caroline was trying to cash in on the fact that the European press was saying that the REAL essence of the MISFITS sound was in THE UNDEAD. The reasons for the recall in 2001 changed as quickly as I was able to openly shoot them down on various forums. Glenn finally resorted to claiming his dissatisfaction was in 'improperly credited photos' before claiming I faked the album. Glenn told Circus that '12 Hits' was a fraud, perpetrated by me. Actually, his statement could be taken in a number of ways, including defamation for falsely accusing me of committing copyright and trademark infringement. Or, since he says it's something that I did myself, it means the only person who has any right to make any use of these recordings, or to threaten anyone who does, is me. Well, my new recording of '12 Hits From Hell' sounds how it would've sounded if Glenn was finally telling the fans the truth. How he thought you'd buy his claim that I can sing like him is almost as laughable as my attempts to do so."
The track listing for THE UNDEAD's "12 Hits From Hell Un-Covered" is as follows:
03. I Turned into a Martian
05. London Dungeon
06. Night of the Living Dead
07. Horror Hotel
08. Ghouls Night Out
09. Astro Zombies
10. Where Eagles Dare
11. Violent World
12. Halloween II
THE UNDEAD is currently seeking licensing interest for the full recording.