|1979-1983: Helloween's history dates back to 1979 when two guitarists named Kai Hansen and Piet Sielck both were in a band called "GENTRY" and through different lineup changes through the years they named their band "IRONFIST" which then featured Ingo Schwichtenberg on drums and Markus Grosskoph on bass. Piet later left for other reasons and became a sound engineer for bands such as Blind Guardian, Grave Digger, Gamma Ray, and now has his own project....Iron Savior. Then came in Michael Weikath who left his band "POWERFOOL" for Kai's band. They then named the band "HELLOWEEN"...
1984: "HELLOWEEN" then recorded 2 songs for a NOISE compliation record called "Death Metal". The first track was called "Oernst For Life" which Weikath wrote, and the next was a heavier more sloppy and slower version of "Metal Invaders".
1985: 1985 came around and Helloween then recorded their first what you would call album simply titled Helloween or also known as "The Mini LP". It had 5 tracks, and that same year they released their first full length release titled Walls Of Jericho. In 1986 they released a single EP titled Judas. However Kai found it difficult to sing and play at the same time, so after the tour they searched for a new vocalist.
1986-1987: The band had considered former Tyran Pace vocalist Ralf Scheepers however they ended up finding a terriffic vocalist from a local band called "ILL PROPHECY", and his name was the ever famous Michael Kiske. The band then wanted to do a double album but Noise said no, so then they recorded the landmark release Keeper Of The Seven Keys Part 1. The album gave them worldwide success and did well in the United States while charting well in other countries as well as several magazines giving it praise.
1988: The band then took advantage of their now established fan base and recorded their most known album...Keeper Of The Seven Keys Part II. The band achieved even more success around the world as this album is (i think) their biggest seller and still sells well today! The album even did well in the US as well! That year a replacement was needed since Kai left in 1988 after Keeper II was released and the needed to still tour, so former "RAMPAGE" guitarist Roland Grapow was picked up and finished the tour with the band. In 1989 a live album called Live In The UK (for Europe)/"Keepers Live" (Japan)/I Want Out Live (USA) was released.
1990-1991: Helloween wanted to go to a bigger label, and that label was EMI Records and the Sanctuary group management headed by Rod Smallwood that helped bring the rise to "IRON MAIDEN". Helloween signed with EMI but Noise Records filed suit that the band had broken their contract with them and therefore Helloween could not release anything outside of Germany, the U.K., or Japan. This left many fans (especially in America) wondering what happened to Helloween. Markus, Kai and even Weiki said that the reason they broke their contract was because everyone but the band was making any money. Kai Hansen also formed Gamma Ray in 1989. In 1991 the band releases Pink Bubbles Go Ape, rumors about the band breaking up were widespread after the tour for this album. Tensions began to build up between the band members as well. Pitting Kiske and Ingo against Roland and Weikath with Markus in between them both...
1993: Helloween then released what some call their worst album ever - Chameleon. While musicially the album was pretty damn good... the fans did not like it and tensions grew even worse between the band members. Ingo fell ill and was forced to leave the band for the tour, which was not a success...
1994: In 1994 Helloween was signed onto Castle Communications and got a new Vocalist by the name of "Andi Deris" who came from one of Weiki's favorite bands "PINK CREAM 69". Uli Kusch (formerly of GAMMA RAY) took up drums. Master Of The Rings was released to great reviews and for the first time since the Keeper era the band had been getting along and had the same musicial direction in mind. The album was released almost a year later on Halloween in the USA with a bonus disk of all the Master Of The Rings B-sides...
1996: came around and another great release capitalizing on the success of "Master Of The Rings" was released in the form of the epic The Time Of The Oath. An album with total back to roots intent and that cemented once again the band's greatness (in my opinion). Tragedy also struck....Ingo Schwichtenberg jumped in front of a train to commit suicide as well....a tragedy that probably hurt Helloween and its former members....and fans alike. Also a great Live album called High Live was released!!!! Its 2 cds of pure kickass Helloween with Andi singing on the Time Of The Oath Tour! Former singer Michael Kiske released his first solo album titled Instant Clarity as well and recieved praise from magazines everywhere.
1997: Roland Grapow released his first ever solo album called The Four Seasons of Life which had a single for "I Remember" and featured Ralf Scheepers on one track. Andi Deris also had his first solo album come out called Come In From The Rain with singles for "1000 Years Away" and "Goodbye Jenny" which was a song about his grandmother.
1998: A boxed set called the The Pumpkin Box was released and contained the best material from 1985-1993 and featured a 4th disc with interviews on it. And Helloween's most recent album of original material was released in March and titled Better Than Raw.
1999: Roland Grapow began the year off with his newest solo release Kaleidoscope. He then did a very successful tour of Europe and Brazil as well and this album was recieved well. Markus Grosskopf not too soon after released his side project titled Shockmachine and featured Uli on the drums. Uli Kusch himself produced and released his Catch The Rainbow Rainbow tribute album which featured the best of the band Rainbow, re-recorded, and redone by some of the best musicians in the German metal scene! Former vocalist Michael Kiske also released his second solo album titled Readiness To Sacrifice. And now we come to the newest release by Helloween titled Metal Jukebox. Which contains cover tracks done in the Helloween fashion. Most recently Andi Deris' new solo album titled Done With Mirrors has recently been released in Japan!
2000: The band has finished recording of The Dark Ride this year (2000) and it was released October 30th 2000 in Europe and a few weeks before in Japan!! An upcoming tour will be planned.
2001/2002/2003: The band announces Mark Cross, former Metalium drummer as their replacement for Uli Kusch which was shortlived as Mark caught mononucleosis and was then replaced with Stefan Schwarzmann. Sascha Gerstner formerly of Freedom Call was called in to replace Roland Grapow. The band has just released their newest album entitled Rabbit Don't Come Easy which has charted in many countries around the world and has been critically acclaimed! Helloween completed a successful world tour, highlighted by the return of classic songs such as "Starlight", "Murderer", "Keeper of the Seven Keys" and "How Many Tears" to the setlist. Additionally, the band toured the United States for the first time since 1989 playing to sold-out crowds at nearly every venue.
2005: The year saw yet another line-up change following the "Rabbits on the Run" tour as it became apparent that Helloween and Stefan Schwarzmann did not share the same musical vision. As further noted by the band, he had some trouble performing fast drum parts, so he was replaced by Dani Löble, the previous drummer of German metal band Rawhead Rexx. A change in record company also followed as they inked a deal with German label SPV. Any fears that what had now become a revolving door of band members would affect the quality of their new album were laid to rest as Helloween's new studio album, entitled Keeper of the Seven Keys - The Legacy, was released in October 28th, 2005 in Germany, and November 8th in the U.S.A. to commercial and critical acclaim. The album had a pre-release single, Mrs. God, as well as a video for the track. The track Light the Universe was released as a single on November 22nd, featuring Candice Night of Blackmore's Night on guest vocals. She also appears in the video clip for that track.
2006: Helloween filmed and recorded shows in São Paulo (Brazil), Sofia (Bulgaria) and Tokyo (Japan), for their live album Keeper Of The Seven Keys - The Legacy World Tour 2005/2006. The DVD also featured extra footage of the band as well as interviews and a road movie. This is the second Helloween live album to feature Andi Deris as frontman, and third overall. It enjoyed chart success in several countries: Germany: 9 (DVD) & 58 (CD), Sweden: 9 (DVD), France: 10 (DVD).
2007: The band has since completed their latest studio album Gambling with the Devil, which was released on October 23, 2007. It is noted for featuring more keyboards. "As Long As I Fall" is the first single, released in early september is available only via download. The video for the song was shot and it is available at their official site. Helloween teamed up with Kai Hansen's current band Gamma Ray for the ongoing world tour, entitled Hellish Rock 2007/2008, that started in early November of 2007. Helloween are headlining and Gamma Ray are labeled as the "very special guest" with most shows going along fellow German "guest" Axxis. The tour is notable for Kai Hansen stepping on stage with his former bandfellows Weikath and Grosskopf to perform hits "I Want Out" and "Future World" in the last encore segment of Helloween set.
(Source: Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helloween)