THRILLS originally began in 1973, with the quartet of Tony Monaco (keyboards, vocals), Rob Owens (drums, vocals), Dave Fullerton (guitars, vocals) and Bill Gilbert (bass, vocals) making their start and developing their skills playing clubs, colleges and high schools throughout Western Pennsylvania (particularly Pittsburgh), Ohio and West Virginia.
In 1977, THRILLS relocated to Long Island, New York where they continued their development of strong structured originals, instrumental virtuosity, sharp tight harmonies and skillful performance. After one year of playing the Long Island, New York City and New Jersey circuit, THRILLS was voted the Number One band on Long Island by Good Times Magazine in 1978.
Much of 1979 was spent playing and recording both in New York and Los Angeles where THRILLS completed FIRST THRILLS, their first album on G&P Records released February 1980. FIRST THRILLS had charted nationally which was the beginning of established notoriety for the group.
After a Midwest tour with John Kay & Steppenwolf, THRILLS returned to Los Angeles in September 1981 to record FRONT PAGE NEWS, their second G&P release. The album was recorded over a two month period at Smoketree Ranch in Chatsworth, California with Doug Parry as engineer. Smoketree was a growing studio which had recorded the last three Gino Vannelli albums and was used by Mike Post for his (Joey Scarbury/ Hill Street Blues) projects as well as a mixing studio for Rod Stewart. As engineer on these L.P.'s, Doug Parry had received five gold records including one for Dolly Parton's "9 to 5." While most groups recorded during normal daylight hours, THRILLS always took the late shift recording mostly from 8pm to 4am.
Front Page News, the album, was mastered at A&M Studios, Los Angeles, California by Bernie Grundman. Front Page News, the CD, was mastered in Los Angeles by Bernie Becker. This release is slightly different than the original album in that this is what was originally delivered to the record label. To keep all members happy, three songs had been remixed and additional keyboards added. Those masters were lost. Also, the song "Smiling" was not on the original album and had been added and dedicated to the memory of our bass player Bill Gilbert who sang lead.
To critical acclaim, and almost twenty years later, THRILLS released a CD, "THRILLS 3" on Rewind. This was an unreleased album originally recorded back in 1983 with hometown friend and new drummer Linda Mackley. The album had been shelved by G&P and when a fan, Stephen B. Allen heard of the album, he introduced the bands management to Dane Spencer of Rewind, a division of Song Haus music, who released it in 2000. Dane also released a "live" CD album Live from My Fathers Place (Rewind 2002), which was recorded at the famous My Fathers Place, Rosyln NY, celebrating the release of FIRST THRILLS and broadcast live over WLIR Radio out of Hempstead, New York on March 17, 1981.
THRILLS CD reissues have been released retrospectively, which is to say, their final album, first, working backwards, where lastly Aor-fm will reissue "FIRST THRILLS" with a bonus disc of yet another unreleased THRILLS album "FROM KINGDOM COME", as a two disc package.