Veteran producer, Mike Stone (Queen, Journey, Kiss) was brought in to oversee and mix the first of the albums, and the band’s self-titled début album, was finished. The album was warmly acclaimed by the fans and press, especially in the UK and Japan, In Japan they were ouselling huge Rock bands reaching sales of 50.000 records. After less than one year came The Name of the Rose, still today considered by many to be Ten’s best album to date. The title track was voted “Song Of The Year” by the readers of BURRN! in Japan. The band was then completed with John Halliwell (guitar), Ged Rylands (keyboards) and Shelley (also from DARE on bass). The following album, The Robe was a huge step forward in the sound of TEN, leading strongly towards epic and majestic atmospheres and influences. Songs like the title track, "Arcadia" and "Ten Fathoms Deep" are considered to be amongst the best expressions of the British hard rock of the 90's.
However, their major commercial success - especially in Europe - came with their following album: Spellbound, in 1999. The record had all the elements which decreed the vast success of TEN within the hard rock fans: melody and class, but also power and epic atmospheres, inherited by the tradition of the British bands of the 70's such as Rainbow, Thin Lizzy and UFO. A few line-up changes (most notably Steve McKenna taking on bass duties and Don Airey and Paul Hodson later on keyboards) did not really change the musical styles and success of the band that also gathered a great exposure and acclaim with the following release Babylon, a concept album based on a futuristic story of a computer programmer and his tragic love affair. The following two records Far Beyond the World(2001) and Return to Evermore (2004, which saw the début of the new guitar ace Chris Francis, taking the place of Vinny Burns) served only to solidify the band’s reputation for great music and exquisite arrangements in great melodic hard rock fashion. To mark the band’s 10th anniversary, a two disc album The Essential Collection was issued in January 2006, comprising the best Rockers and Ballads re-recorded in the style of how the band currently play their music. Ten’s most recent appearance was in March this year at the Atarfe Vega Rock Festival in Spain, where they appeared to great critical acclaim along side WASP, Twisted Sister and Stryper. Ten’s latest album is The Twilight Chronicles. It is a mixture of rock and ballads with a strong atmospheric mood and lyrics that tell tales of love, lust, death, glory, revenge and darkness. Once again the album has been penned by Gary Hughes, who consistently delivers songs of immense quality and who must in fact rate amongst the worlds most accomplished and consistent songwriters for the last decade. The album is considered to be quite cinematic in nature; it features mighty orchestral passages and boasts all the usual opus of hooks, riffs, haunting melodies and themes that is always expected and associated with any Ten release. In creating this new album, Ten has risen the standard once again for all other bands of similar following.
Ten has now entered their second decade at the top of their genre, and with albums and material of this calibre they will surely be there for a great many years to come. The current lineup for Ten circa May 2006 are Gary Hughes – Vocals, Chris Francis – Guitars, John Halliwell – Guitars, Paul Hodson – Keyboards Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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