Axel Rudi Pell (born 27 June 1960) is a German Heavy metal guitar player. He commenced his musical career with Steeler (1984–88) before leaving in 1988 for a solo career. During this time, he has played with such drummers as Jörg Michael (Stratovarius, Rage, Running Wild), and Mike Terrana, (Rage, Tony MacAlpine, Vision Divine) and singers Charlie Huhn (Ted Nugent, Gary Moore) Johnny Gioeli (Hardline), Jeff Scott Soto, and Rob Rock.(Avantasia, Timo Tolkki´s Avalon) Johnny Gioeli remains the longest surviving vocalist of the band, having joined the group since 1998 on the album "Oceans of Time", Gioeli's first musical appearance since the 1992 Hardline album Double Eclipse.
Axel often says his music is about a Knight in shining armour going on various adventures. Each album continues one new quest after the other, and songs are told as separate stories. Axel's main influence in guitar work has been Ritchie Blackmore from Deep Purple, Rainbow and Blackmores Night.
SPV Records released a live DVD on 25 February 2008, titled "Live over Europe", which includes the full performance from the Rock Hard Festival in 2007, and comes with a bonus disc which includes live footage from Pell's own archive. In 2012 a new Axel Rudi Pell live concert CD/DVD Live on Fire was released.
In 2013, ex-Rainbow drummer Bobby Rondinelli joined the band, replacing Mike Terrana after his initial departure in 2013. Mike Terrana wanted to pursue other projects, such as becoming a member of the supergroup The Ferrymen, featuring Rainbow singer Ronnie Romero on vocals. Axel celebrated his 25th anniversary as a musician in 2014, headlining the Bang Your Head festival in Balignen Germany on July 11, 2014. It featured one of the original line up's singers: Jeff Scott Soto. Special guests also included Jörg Michael, Rob Rock, Ronnie Atkins (Pretty Maids) John Lawton (Uriah Heep), ex-Rainbow singers Graham Bonnett, and Doogie White, keyboardist Tony Carey (Rainbow) and drummer Vinny Appice (Black Sabbath, Last in Line). The show consisted of 3 acts: a short Steeler reunion and brief Axel Rudi Pell original line up reunion with Jeff Scott Soto, a full modern Axel Rudi Pell show with vocalist Johnny Gioeli and current band members, and the last act featuring various Deep Purple and Rainbow covers with a full ensemble.
In 2019 the band celebrated their 30th anniversary, releasing a double live album called "XXX - 30th Anniversary Live". The songs were recorded on various dates of the Knights Call 2018 tour. The group's Facebook page stated at the time that the band did not know they were being recorded but when they heard the audio they were amazed and wanted to release it to celebrate the group's 30th Anniversary. It was released in June 2019 on CD and LP.
On February 5, 2020, they announced their latest album on their Facebook page, titled "Sign of the Times", due for release in April 24, 2020. A German tour will follow in support of the new record. Axel is well known for his extensive touring, mostly around Germany and his home town in Bochum. He rarely tours in western countries, however has performed a few one off shows in London. There is often high demand to bring him to other countries, but he prefers to perform local shows. They are also famous for attending many music festivals such as making multiple appearances at Wacken Open Air. In March 2020, the band announced a delay of the release of their upcoming album, "Sign of the Times" due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, and was released on May 8th, 2020.
A tour in support of the new album was also postponed to 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In late 2020, Axel announced his newest album "Diamonds Unlocked II", due to be released sometime in mid 2021. It will be another covers album similar too Diamonds Unlocked from 2007. A track list is yet to be announced.
Rulin' the Earth (1985)
Strike Back (1986)
Undercover Animal (1988)
Wild Obsession (1989)
Nasty Reputation (1991)
Eternal Prisoner (1992)
The Ballads (1993) compilation
Between the Walls (1994)
Made in Germany (1995) live
Black Moon Pyramid (1996)
Oceans of Time (1998)
The Ballads II (1999) compilation
The Masquerade Ball (2000)
The Wizard's Chosen Few (2000) compilation
Shadow Zone (2002)
Knights Live (2002) live
Knight Treasures (Live and More) (2002) dvd
Kings and Queens (2004)
The Ballads III (2004) compilation
Diamonds Unlocked (2007) (cover album)
Tales of the Crown (2008)
Live Over Europe (2008) dvd
The Best of Axel Rudi Pell: Anniversary Edition (2009) compilation
The Crest (2010)
One Night Live (2010) dvd
The Ballads IV (2011) live compilation
Circle of the Oath (2012)
Live On Fire (2013) cd/dvd live
Into the Storm (2014)
Magic Moments: 25th Anniversary Special Show (2015) live
Game of Sins (2016)
Knights Call (2018)
XXX Anniversary Live (2019)
Sign of the Times (2020)
Diamonds Unlocked II (2021) cover album
Axel Rudi Pell - guitar (1989–present)
Johnny Gioeli lead vocals (1997–present)
Ferdy Doernberg – keyboards (1997–present)
Volker Krawczak – bass (1989–present)
Bobby Rondinelli – drums (2013–present)
Charlie Huhn (1989)
Rob Rock (1991)
Jeff Scott Soto (1992–1997)
Jörg Deisinger (1989)
Thomas Smuszynski (1989)
Jörg Michael (1989–1998)
Mike Terrana (1998–2013)
Georg Hahn (1989)
Rüdiger König (1989)
Kai Raglewski (1991–1992)
Julie Greaux (1993–1996)