King Kobra is an American hard rock band founded by drummer Carmine Appice after his tenure with Ozzy Osbourne from 1983 to 1984. For their first two albums, the band consisted of four relatively unknown musicians: vocalist Marcie Free, guitarist David Michael-Philips, guitarist Mick Sweda, and bassist Johnny Rod. After two albums on Capitol Records—Ready to Strike (November 9, 1985) and Thrill of a Lifetime (1986)—and the independent release King Kobra III in 1988, Appice decided to dissolve the band and join guitarist John Sykes for his Blue Murder project in 1989.
A new King Kobra emerged in 2010 with Carmine Appice on drums, Paul Shortino taking over vocal duties, Mick Sweda on guitar, David Henzerling (a.k.a. David Michael-Philips) on guitar, and Johnny Rod on bass. This lineup released the self-titled album King Kobra in 2011 on Frontiers Records and another album in 2013, titled King Kobra II.
The band went on hiatus following the release of their 2013 album, largely due to the other commitments of the individual band members. They played live gigs agin in 2016 without Mick Sweda.
- Ready to Strike (1985)
- Thrill of a Lifetime (1986)
- King Kobra III (1988)
- Hollywood Trash (2001)
- King Kobra (2011)
- King Kobra II (2013)
- The Lost Years (1999)
- Number One (2005 – Re-release of The Lost Years)
- “Iron Eagle (Never Say Die)” was included in the soundtrack album from the 1986 movie Iron Eagle.
- “Hunger”, covered by King Kobra but written by Kick Axe (listed as “Spectre General”), was featured in The Transformers: The Movie, and included on the soundtrack album.
- “Mean Street Machine” & “Redline”, were featured in RoadKill (video game) on radio station 69.3 QQQQ