German metallers Running Wild originally formed in 1976 with mainman Rolf Kasparek as Granite Heart. They became Running Wild in 1979, named after the Judas Priest song. After several line-up changes they eventually they won a record contract with new German label Noise Records and recorded their debut album ‘Gates To Purgatory’ in 1984. The follow up ‘Branded And Exiled’ appeared the following year.
The first two records largely dealt with satanic imagery but for their third album Kasparek wrote a number featuring a pirate theme called ‘Under Jolly Roger’. He began researching pirate history and started writing more songs with lyrics inspired by his readings and eventually had a whole album about pirates. The album was named after the first track and when they hit the road costumes and set designs fit the albums concept. Pirate Metal was born and the band continued with this theme for their subsequent career.
Running Wild were out on their own with their new genre and it wasn’t until the 2000’s that new bands inspired them began to also sing about pirates. Although Running Wild split for a time they reformed in 2011 and have continued releasing new albums and their discography now contains sixteen studio sets! Now their classic early albums for Noise have been reissued.