Great Metal Albums of 1981: AC/DC- For Those About to Rock, We Salute You

Posted in 1980s, films, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, soundtracks, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 19, 2014 by 80smetalman

220px-ForThoseAboutToRock_ACDCalbum

For some of you, this is going to be a bit of a shock. The fact that I am writing about an AC/DC album without first going to see AC/DC tribute band Hell’s Bells. The ironic part is that they are coming to town next Saturday, unfortunately, I am heading off to the States for two weeks on Thursday. I am a little miffed at not going to see them but this time I have a legitimate excuse. So, you’ll have to settle for a picture of Hell’s Bells from the last time I saw them.

Hells Bells at their usual greatness

Hells Bells at their usual greatness

Most everyone on the planet knows that “For Those About to Rock” was the follow up to the most highly successful “Back in Black” album. Many of the same people say that the follow up isn’t as good but I say “Come on!” It would have been a monumental feat indeed if AC/DC or any band to think of it, was able to put out an album that measured up to “Back in Black.” Credit where due though, “For Those About to Rock” comes fairly close.

I have heard many a person say that the only thing good about the title track is the cannons. True, they are brilliant and it’s even more mind blowing to see it live. Hell’s Bells do try to copy it using a computer but while it’s a commendable effort, it’s just not the same. I do try to describe this wonderful phenomenon in “Rock And Roll Children,” but I probably fail. Even without the cannon, this song would probably have been my favourite on the album. The rest of the album also has the typically great tracks you expect from an AC/DC album. I remember hearing “Let’s Get It Up” blasting out of many a juke box in the cafes of Toulon, France and “Evil Walks” is definitely a worthy choice for the “Iron Man 2″ soundtrack. Angus Young works his guitar magic throughout the entire album but the most noteworthy from me is on “Night of the Long Knives.” What “For Those About to Rock” proves is that AC/DC weren’t about to rest on the laurels of just one great album.

Track Listing:

1. For Those About to Rock, We Salute You

2. Put The Finger  On You

3. Let’s Get It Up

4. Inject the Venom

5. Snowballed

6. Evil Walks

7. C.O.D.

8. Breaking the Rules

9. Night of the Long Knives

10. Spellbound

AC/DC

AC/DC

Brian Johnson- vocals

Angus Young- lead guitar

Malcolm Young- rhythm guitar, backing vocals

Cliff Williams- bass, backing vocals

Phil Rudd- drums

The best thing about it not being 1981 anymore is that you can listen to “For Those About to Rock” without the specter of “Back in Black” hanging over it. This follow up is truly a fantastic album on its own and definitely one that reminds you why AC/DC have continued to rule for more than three decades.

I don’t know when I’ll be posting again but when I do, it will be: Black Sabbath- The Mob Rules

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1981: Venom- Welcome to Hell

Posted in 1980s, Death, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 17, 2014 by 80smetalman

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Thank God that my local record store back in the mid 1980s had the foresight to have a heavy metal import section otherwise I might not have heard of Venom for at least two more years from when I did. While Venom came out with all the other great NWOBHM acts in 1981, they didn’t quite enjoy the commercial success of the likes of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest or Saxon. This was in spite of the fact that commercial radio didn’t totally suck at that time. There was a genuine danger of them slipping beneath my radar totally but fortunately they didn’t and I got to hear great metal delights like their debut album “Welcome to Hell.”

After my obligatory listen, twice, to “Welcome to Hell,” I have come to the conclusion that Venom were actually ahead of their time. True, some people worried that rock music was the devil’s tool and would lead many an impressionable young mind to sacrifice goats to the dark lord, there wasn’t the all metal is Satanic fervor that would come a few years later and I was even dead smack in the bible belt at the time, thanks to the military. A few grumbled about demonic persuasion in music but Venom was the first band I know to come right out and sing about it. Songs like “Sons of Satan,” the title track, “One Thousand Days in Sodom” and “In League With the Devil” are all songs that would have the bible bashers wanting to throw copies of this album onto the fire pit. The best thing is that I get the firm impression that Venom just didn’t give a shit. I would never have taken the lyrics seriously then or now. In fact, I would have had a good giggle at them while enjoying the powerful metal that they deliver along with all those amusing lyrics. It can also be argued that they. along with Motorhead, were the first pioneers of thrash because there are a lot of thrash overtones on this album. I honestly believe that most of America wasn’t ready for this type of ear bashing back then though I would have been. “Welcome to Hell” is just a totally enjoyable album.

Track Listing:

1. Sons of Satan

2. Welcome to Hell

3. Schizo

4. Mayhem With Mercy

5. Poison

6. Live Like an Angel (Die Like a Devil)

7. Witching Hour

8. One Thousand Days in Sodom

9. Angel Dust

10. In League With Satan

11. Red Light Fever

Venom

Venom

Conrad ‘Cronos’ Lant- bass, vocals

Jefferey ‘Mantas’ Dunn- guitar

Tony ‘Abbadon’ Bray- drums

Reflecting back, I think the real reason why Venom and “Welcome to Hell” escaped my notice in 1981 was the fact I was down South at the time. It has nothing to do with religion, it was more the fact that I was in the South when Southern Rock had also ascended to its zenith. Come to think about it, what a fantastic year 1981 was for music! We had both Southern Rock and New Wave of British Heavy Metal. What more could a 20 year old US Marine, who was really digging music, could ask for?

On a personal note, I would like to thank everyone for their thoughts on the death of my father in law. The funeral went really well and again, thanks for all your support.

Next post: AC/DC- For Those About to Rock, We Salute You

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1981: The Plasmatics- Metal Priestess

Posted in 1980s, Death, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 12, 2014 by 80smetalman

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Before I launch into this great mini LP or EP or whatever you want to call it from The Plasmatics, I must give forewarning that I might not be posting very much over the next three or four weeks due to family problems. My father in law passed away last week and the funeral is on Wednesday which means we will make the 200 mile trip to Grimsby on the Tuesday. I know for Americans, that distance is just a Sunday drive. The following week, I’m off to the States to visit my mother who I haven’t seen in eight years and hasn’t been well since her accident Christmas time. I know, I’ll get plenty of time to hang with old friends and my brother and sister but I can’t be sure of how much computer time I will get. I have always endeavored to post twice a week here but please bear with me if I can’t post that many times over the next few weeks. Thank you.

The best way to bring us out of the melancholy feeling I’ve just produced is to look at an album that has been left out of the spotlight for so many years. “Metal Priestess” was made because of the success with The Plasmatics’ previous album “Beyond the Valley of the 1984.” The producer, Dan Hartman, (you may have heard of him) thought that the band should have something to build on that success and since a full length album wasn’t on the cards at the time, the six song “Metal Priestess” was made. There may have been only six songs on the album but wow! What great six songs they are proving that quality is sometimes better than quantity. Each song is an explosion of pure metal mania. Things begin with an impressive guitar opening in “Lunacy” and those guitars dominate but it’s the voice of Wendy O. Williams that gives it the extra edge. Her sinister sounding vocals give meaning to the title of the song. That combination works equally as well on the track “Black Leather Monster” and I love the beginning of “Twelve Noon” as well. It too is a brilliant song and the live recording of “Masterplan” as the closer was stroke of genius for this LP. If you want a pure metal album from 1981 and that’s exactly what this album is, pure metal, there are few which are better than “Metal Priestess.”

In the past and even more so in the future, I have paid and will pay tribute to rock goddesses and metal queens. I have already mentioned such important ladies as Pat Benatar, Debbie Harry, Ann and Nancy Wilson, Grace Slick and even the first true queen of rock Janis Joplin. Future posts will include lovely ladies like Lee Aaron, Lita Ford and Doro Pesch. However, when any of these queens are mentioned, the name Wendy O. Williams seems to be missed out and to me that is a travesty. Speaking as red blooded male, Wendy is just as hot as any of the ladies I’ve just mentioned, hell, look at the album cover. And vocally she’s no less talented. So let’s give Wendy to adoration she so richly deserves when we talk about the great females who have contributed so greatly to our beloved genre of music.

Track Listing:

1. Lunacy

2. Doom Song

3. Sex Junkie

4. Black Leather Monster

5. Twelve Noon

6. Master Plan

The Plasmatics

The Plasmatics

Wendy O. Williams- vocals

Richie Stotts- lead guitars

Wes Beach- rhythm guitars

Jean Bouvoir- bass

Neal Smith- drums

Proof that sometimes less if more, the six songs on “Metal Priestess” can all be counted as great metal tunes. I rocked out to each one of them when I listened to it. Another album from a band that didn’t last longer into the 80s and this album as the previous has me asking why. Maybe I’ll get the answer further down the line.

Next post: TBA

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1981: Motley Crue- Too Fast for Love

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 9, 2014 by 80smetalman

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Back in 1981, I thought I did a great job keeping up with all the music that was going around at the time, especially considering the fact that I was a bit hampered by serving in the military back then. However, the more I explore this year in music, not only have a drawn the conclusion that 1981 was a killer year for music, I feel slightly sick at my discovery of how many great albums that went past me unnoticed, including this debut album from Motley Crue.

I did hear the album in retrospect after hearing the great follow up to it and I did like it then but hearing it again after such a long lay off, I like it even more. There are some killer jams laid down on this one. The first five songs on this album really get things going here. All of them can be metal classics so I find myself asking “Why aren’t they?” Maybe I will find the answer as I continue the journey through the golden age of heavy metal. Actually, I should say the first six songs because “Piece of the Action” was quite a good belter as well. Again, I don’t take anything away from the rest of the album as they too are decent songs and the title track quite rightly can stand along side the first six. What I conclude was that in 1981, Motley Crue were definitely hungry and that hunger shown in the intensity of “Too Fast For Love.”

Another issue from listening to the album has also surfaced here. I now offer an official apology to Crue guitarist Mick Mars. See, I always had him written down as the worst guitarist in metal but now I withdraw that branding from Mick. Getting things in perspective, I am not going the other way and start comparing him with the likes of Van Halen, Nugent, Rhodes or even Iommi, but “Too Fast For Love,” proves to me that he’s not as bad as I first figured. Mick, if you’re reading this, my most humble apologies.

Track Listing:

1. Live Wire

2. Come and Dance

3. Public Enemy #1

4. Merry Go Round

5. Take Me to the Top

6. Piece of the Action

7. Starry Eyes

8. Too Fast for Love

9. On With the Sh0w

Motley Crue

Motley Crue

Vince Neil- vocals

Nikki Sixx- bass

Mick Mars- guitars

Tommy Lee- drums

“Too Fast For Love” shows Motley Crue at a time when they were hungry and just wanted to create some good in your face heavy metal. As we will see further on down the line, something changed but we can leave that til another day. In the mean time, lets celebrate what has become for me, one of the biggest surprise albums from 1981.

Next post: The Plasmatics- Metal Priestess

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1981: UFO- The Wild, The Willing and The Innocent

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Humour, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 6, 2014 by 80smetalman

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Like Riot, UFO were another band that I should have listened to back in the day but never did. While, Riot were always in my to do tray, UFO almost completely passed me by. I had heard of them but nothing more. It wasn’t until I came to Great Britain in 1986, that I finally listened to them thanks to a friend who had been listening to them for years. More unfortunate was the fact it wasn’t this damn fine 1981 album, “The Wild, The Willing and The Innocent” but due the the year, it was the material they had put out around the time.

Now that I have rectified that mistake, I feel slightly sick that this great album escaped my notice for so so many years. What’s not to like on it? The album starts with a very attention grabbing guitar riff and then blossoms into “Chains Chains,” a song that will be added to my ever growing list of great album opening tracks. “Long Gone” moves the album along very nicely and makes me want to bang my head (against a wall for missing out this album.) While some people may debate whether UFO should be considered “proper metal,” I must bring a little history into the debate. See, back then, even as early as 1981, there were some who were quick to label any music with a hard guitar riff, heavy metal and right or wrongly, UFO were put into the group. True, the next two tracks, I would consider to be more AOR sounding, but not really any less heavy. However, the three tracks after that, do stamp UFO’s heavy sound. I love how “Lonely Heart” where the combined title and intro sucks you in with the belief it’s going to be a ballad before ambushing you with some really heavy sounds and the guitar riffs in “Couldn’t Get it Right” are just sublime. The album finishes with a bit of irony. Any song called “Profession of Violence” would lead me to believe that it would play well to those in a mosh pit. Instead, it’s a very well played bluesy number with some impressive soloing. Well done lads, this album made a believer out of me.

Track Listing:

1. Chains Chains

2. Long Gone

3. The Wild, The Willing and The Innocent

4. It’s Killing Me

5. Making Moves

6. Lonely Heart

7. Couldn’t Get It Right

8. Profession of Violence

UFO

UFO

Phil Mogg- vocals

Paul Chapman- guitars

Neil Carter- keyboards, guitars, saxophone, vocals

Pete Way- bass

Andy Parker- drums

If like me, you let this album slip past you, do like me and listen to it straight away. If you do so on Youtube, you may have to search one track at a time but it’s worth it. “The Wild, The Willing and The Innocent” is a great album.

Next post: Motley Crue- Too Fast For Love

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

Great Metal Albums of 1981: Triumph- Allied Forces

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on October 2, 2014 by 80smetalman

Triumph_Allied_Forces

 

For all the moaning I do about Canadian metal not getting the respect it deserves, Triumph are one band that my moaning certainly applies to. Sure, they have enjoyed lots of success in the USA where they have sold many albums and have given Yanks many a good concert memory but if you mention them here in the UK, there are a lot of British metalheads who would answer “Who?” Now before I get a load of responses from my British readers shouting from the roof tops how much they love this band, there are many out there, including some long established metalheads who haven’t heard of Triumph. Sacrilege, I know.

“Allied Forces” was the album that first introduced me to Triumph and for me, it was love at first listen. I was hooked from the very first notes of “Fool For You Love,” a great rocking track and a very appropriate opener. I really love the second track, “Magic Power” and how it starts with a guitar intro that hints at being a fantasy ballad and then hits you over the head with all out power. That song got a couple of extra listens on its own. Like a good baseball team, the album has a very good middle of the order. All four songs are just fantastic, so much so, I can’t pick one that stands out above the other. They’re just all good. Thinking about it, Rik Emmett does play a rather mean guitar solo “Hot Time in the City Tonight.” The two instrumentals on the album are both short and to the point and that’s not a bad thing. It all closes with a very suitable “Say Goodbye” and while you know the album is finishing, you can’t help wanting to go back and listen to it all over again. I know I did.

Track Listing:

1. Fool For Your Love

2. Magic Power

3. Air Raid

4. Allied Forces

5. Hot Time in the City

6. Fight the Good Fight

7. Ordinary Man

8. Petite Etude

9. Say Goodbye

Triumph

Triumph

Rik Emmett- all guitars, vocals

Gil Moore- drums, percussion, vocals

Mike Levine- bass, all keyboards

If there is any album that supports the notion that Triumph should be heralded as a great band, it’s “Allied Forces.” I made me believe and I’m sure I’m not the only one this album did that to. If you haven’t heard it, have a listen and it will have the same effect on you.

Next post: UFO- The Wild, the Willing and the Innocent

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

Great Metal Albums of 1981: Riot- Full Down Under

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on September 29, 2014 by 80smetalman

220px-RiotFDUnder

Riot were one band that, all throughout the 80s, I always intended to listen to but never got around to doing so. The opportunity finally came in 1987 when my sister made me a tape of various metal songs on it for my birthday and one of those songs was the great opener, “Swords and Tequila.” That song had and still has the same effect on me that Hanoi Rocks’s “Tragedy” has on me. I want to jump about my living room playing air guitar to it. “Swords and Tequila” has another dimension to it though. The stick in your memory line “Swords and tequila carry me through the night,” had actually meaning for me. Okay, I never had much use for the first item in the title but there were times when the second item did what the rest of what that line says. Oooh, fond memories indeed.

If I had listened to the “Fire Down Under” back in 1981, I would say that it would be the album that set the standard for all future heavy metal. In that sense, it could be argued that Riot were ahead of their time. That could be why they never had the commercial success they should have. There are so many great songs in the classic heavy metal sense that if I were to mention them now, I wouldn’t have to write a track listing but I will say the second half of the album probably just edges out the first. “Don’t Hold Back” is a definite stand out here and I love the guitar solo in it. “Altar of the King” starts with really cool acoustic intro before blowing you ear drums with some great power chords and “No Lies” follows on very very nicely. Saying that, I can’t take anything away from the rest of the album because it’s just that damn good.

Track Listing:

1. Swords and Tequila

2. Fire Down Under

3. Feel the Same

4. Outlaw

5. Don’t Bring Me Down

6. Don’t Hold Back

7. Altar of the King

8. No Lies

9. Run For Your Life

10. Flashbacks

Riot

Riot

Gary Sparenza- vocals

Mark Reale- guitar

Rick Ventura- drums

Kip Leming- bass

Sandy Slavin- drums

After both Hanoi Rocks’s “Tragedy” and “Swords and Tequila” in back to back posts, I find myself contemplating what it would have been like if I had heard both of these songs back in 1981. It would have been mind blowing for sure! Way back when I first introduced 1981, I said that music got me through some rather difficult times that year. It would have been even more up lifting to have had “Fire Down Under” from Riot. If I had heard it back then, I would have declared myself a total metalhead right there and then.

Next post: Triumph- Allied Forces

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

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