Great Rock Albums of 1982: The Outlaws- Los Hombres Malo

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 25, 2015 by 80smetalman

220px-The_Outlaws_-_Los_Hombres_Malo

 It often pays to be in the right place at the right time and in the case of the Outlaws “Los Hombres Malo” album, I was fortunate to be in the south when this album was released. Otherwise, it might have passed me by. “Los Hombres Malo” isn’t one of the Outlaws’ better known albums like “Ghost Riders” or “In the Eye of the Storm” or in fact, some of the classic albums they made in the mid to late 1970s. All that aside, it’s still a pretty good album.

The Outlaws have never been as heavy as Southern Rockers such as Blackfoot or Molly Hatchet. Their sound is more bluesier with some great long lead guitar solos like their all time classic jam, “Green Grass and High Tides.” It is more of the same with “Los Hombres Malo.” “Don’t Stop” is a classic Outlaws type song and opens the album quite well and it’s followed up by the similar sounding “Foxtail Lilly.” “Rebel Girl” is the only song I remember getting any airplay, even on southern stations and it is a decent song except that the guitar solo isn’t as long. My assumption: they were asked to shorten the lead for airplay. The rest of the album goes back to the more traditional Outlaws sound and if, while listening to it, you think that every song is in the same vein, the album throws a curve ball with the more slower “Running.” It’s a ballad done the Outlaws’ way. “Easy Does It” and “All Roads” end the album just fine. While this album doesn’t make me want to forget some of the more classic albums, it doesn’t make me want to discard it for them either.

Track Listing:

1. Don’t Stop

2. Foxtail Lilly

3. Rebel Girl

4. Goodbye

5. Back From Eternity

6. Won’t Come Out of the Rain

7. Running

8. Easy Does It

9. All Roads

The Outlaws

The Outlaws

Rick Cua- bass, lead and backing vocals

David Dix- drums, percussion

Dave Lane- fiddle, violin

Dave Lyons- keyboards, lead and backing vocals

Freddie Salem- guitar, lead and backing vocals

Hughie Thomasson- guitar, banjo, lead and backing vocals

One event I regret missing in 1982 was that the Outlaws and Blackfoot toured together. That must have been an amazing show. They would have played some songs from “Los Hombres Malo” and that would have been cool.

Next post: The Top in in Israel, in April 1982.

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

 

 

Three Pronged Metal Assault On Bristol

Posted in Uncategorized, Heavy Metal, Music, Concerts, video games with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 19, 2015 by 80smetalman

It’s Monday morning and I still haven’t fully recovered from Sunday night’s mayhem. Last night, my stepson and I went to see a concert at the Thekla in Bristol, UK, with viking metal giants Amon Amarth, California metallists Huntress and  homegrown Savage Messiah. Let’s just say that the night was one to remember.

It’s about a forty-five minute ride from my home in Stroud, Gloucestershire to Bristol but that’s not important. We did have Megadeth’s “13” album to make the ride enjoyable and provide the inflight entertainment. Once we landed in Bristol, we immediately headed for a nearby pub called The Gryphon which specialises in metal. Four years ago, I had my most successful book signing evening for “Rock and Roll Children” there. There were only three other people in there plus the bartender but I did manage a pint of real ale and the entertainment provided by Sabbaton on the pub’s sound system. Great place for a pre-concert party.

Inside The Gryphon

Inside The Gryphon

Leaving the Gryphon, we made the ten minute walk to the Thekla, which is an old ship turned into a night club. This turned out to be a bit ironic since the headline act prided themselves on being descended from vikings. An email from them gave me the impression that the show would start at 7 but the reality was that that would be the time the doors opened. So, we had to wait in line for fifteen minutes but some rather partied out concert goers who play too much Skyrim made the wait more amusing. My stepson informed me that they were loudly making quotes from the game, although I can’t remember what they were.

The Thekla

The Thekla

So, we went in, found a good place near the stage and waited. The wait was well worth it because at precisely 7:30, Savage Messiah hit the stage at 300 mph. They might have only been on stage for a half an hour but they made sure you took in every minute of it. They gave every ounce of energy they had into that short time span with some powerful playing. I had little experience of them before this night but they were kind enough to play two songs of theirs I did know, “Hellblazer” and “Minority of One.” Both were done brilliantly as were the other songs they played. They only slowed down long enough for lead singer, Dave Silver, to lament how their van broke down four days into their tour and had to pay over £600 in repairs. He said he was going to put the bill on Twitter, so I may have to check that out. Still, it didn’t detract from their performance one bit and when they finished, they still had enough energy to play another half hour.

Savage Messiah

Savage Messiah

More Savage Messiah

More Savage Messiah

The audience didn’t have much time to catch their breath before the second band of the night, Huntress ascended the stage. They wasted no time in carrying on from where their predecessors left off. Huntress wowed the crowd with their own brand of powerful metal which brought out all the ghouls and thrashers. It was in the middle of their set that a mosh pit opened up. This only fueled Huntress more. Lead singer Jill Janus lead the procession very well with both her engagement with the crowd and her singing. I loved her quote, “Put the stars in your bong and smoke the galaxy.” Of course all backed up by her band who proceeded to hammer the ear drums of anyone who was inside the Thekla. Like Savage Messiah, I’m not too familiar with Huntress’s material but they did play the “love song” Lemmy wrote for the band, “I Want to Fuck You to Death.” That brought their show to a thrilling climax and when they left the stage a couple of songs later, I was thinking to myself, that couldn’t have been 45 minutes.

Huntress

Huntress

Blake Meahl hammering out a guitar solo

Blake Meahl hammering out a guitar solo

The only decent shot I got of Jill and she has her back to me

The only decent shot I got of Jill

From the moment they got on stage, it was crystal clear that Amon Amarth were not going to take any prisoners. Viking drums beat, swords and shields clashed and most importantly, guitars, bass, drums and vocals reigned down fire from Valhala as they launched into their domination of the night. A mosh pit opened up straight away and would stay that way for the rest of the evening. My step-son even went into it only to come out a few minutes later drenched in sweat. Like many of the established head liner acts I have seen over the years, Amon Amarth played exactly the right blend of classic and new material. Songs I remember from the night included “Loki Falls,” “Deceiver of Gods,” “Guardians of Asgard” and “Twilight of the Thunder God.” Just over the midpoint of the show, they paused the carnage long enough for lead singer Johan Hegg to explain that he had lost his voice the night before and his band plus assistance from Jill Janus saved the show. Let me say that last night, there were no signs of any vocals problems with Hegg. The band hammered the rest of the night in style and did return for two encore songs, the last of which Hegg got the crowd to sing along. I can only vaguely remember the first line, something about vikings in a ship. Still, the crowd singing was good enough for Johan to declare us honourary Vikings. When Amon Amarth left the stage, it was to thunderous reverence of having conquered Bristol that night.

Johan Hegg leading his troops

Johan Hegg leading his troops

Amon Amarth at their best

Amon Amarth at their best

More Amon Amarth

More Amon Amarth

Johan Hegg talking about his voice

Johan Hegg talking about his voice

Under the green lights

Under the green lights

The residents of Bristol may not realise this but on Sunday January 18, 2015, their town was taken over by vikings assisted by to metal forces in the forms of Huntress and Savage Messiah. The Thekla provided that small club setting which provides an atmosphere all on its own. Three bands reigned supreme that night and I was glad I was there to experience it.

Next post: Outlaws- Los Hombres Malo

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 Rock Albums of 1982: Rossington/Collins- This is the Way

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 16, 2015 by 80smetalman

220px-RossingtonCollinsBandThisIsTheWay

One of the best things about being in the Southeastern part of the US in 1982 was that while the rest of the world seemed to be getting into new wave and synth pop was starting to rear its ugly head, Southern rock was still going strong there. Of course heavy metal was growing into a monster out of control but that’s another story. As I have said many times before, Southern Rock had stamped its authority in 1981 but while most of the trendy world may have moved on, Southerners were still true to their music. The result being that there are still quite a few more albums in this vein for me to visit and one of the major ones was the second album from Rossington/Collins, “This is the Way.”

For me, “This is the Way” is as every bit as good as their debut album “Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere.” It has that very pronounced Southern down home boogie vibe that is synonymous with Southern Rock. Plus, having several ex Lynyrd Skynyrd members in the band, you can definitely hear their influence on the album. What is different about Rossington/Collins is the lead singer, Dale Krantz- Rossington. Not enough mention is given to her vocal ability which is very high indeed. She really shines on the acapella “Pine Box.” Her vocals are just as noteworthy in the songs that have music with them but they have the additional bonus of some of that great Skynyrdesque guitar play from Gary Rossington and Allen Collins. Great examples to this are “Gotta Get it Straight,” “Gonna Miss It When Its Gone” and “Means Nothing to You.” “Don’t Stop Me Now” has an added bonus of the piano work of Billy Powell proving that he could still tinkle the ivories. It beats me why he doesn’t get the respect he deserves as a keyboardist. The best example, though, is the more bluesy ballad “Tashauana.” This song puts together all of the things already mentions and makes a really good song. Dale’s vocals are superb, their is some great powerful guitar and you can hear Powell’s well done efforts as well. “Tashauana” demonstrates why “This is the Way” is such a great album.

Track Listing:

1. Gotta Get it Straight

2. Tashauana

3. Gonna Miss It When Its Gone

4. Pine Box

5. Fancy Ideas

6. Don’t Stop Me Now

7. Seems Like Every Day

8. I’m Free Today

9. Next Phone Call

10. Means Nothing to You

Rossington/Collins

Rossington/Collins

Gary Rossington- guitar

Allen Collins- guitar

Dale Krantz- Rossington- vocals

Billy Powell- keyboards

Barry Lee Harwood- guitar, vocals

Leon Wilkeson- bass

Derek Hess- drums

“This is the Way” would be the second and final album from Rossington/Collins. They would disappear after this for reasons I will never fully understand. Maybe it was because I didn’t appreciate them enough back then. If that’s the case, then that’s not good, because if they kept putting out albums like this one, I would have been listening to them for years.

My stepson Teal holding his concert tickets

My stepson Teal holding his concert tickets

On a personal note, this Sunday my stepson and I will be going to see Amon Amarth, Huntress and Savage Messiah at the Thekla Club in Bristol. I will provide full details of the expected mayhem that is gong to happen in my next post.

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 Rock Albums of 1982: Blackfoot- Highway Song, Live in London

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 13, 2015 by 80smetalman

blackfootlive

What is the most logical thing to do after your band has put out three very good studio albums? Well, in the case of Blackfoot, the answer is to put out one hell of a live album. That is exactly what they did in 1982 with the album recorded live in London. If it hadn’t been for the fact that I happened to visit London in the summer of 1983, this album would have past me by because I never saw it on sale at any of the record shops in New Jersey and that, to me, would have been a damn shame.

220px-Blackfoot_-_Strikes

220px-Tomcattin'

220px-Blackfootmarauder

Why is this live album so good? The answer is pretty obvious to any Blackfoot fan. At this particular concert, they played some of their finest material off their previous three albums, “Strikes,” “Tomcattin'” and “Marauder.” If I were to have produced the album, I would have done little different except ask the band to play “I Got a Line On You” from the “Strikes” album but that’s a personal thing. The album is fine as it stands. Things open with two songs from “Tomcattin,'” “Gimme, Gimme, Gimme,” which is definitely a great concert opener, especially at the beginning when Rick Medlocke announces “All right London, it’s boogie time!” You get little time to rest after the opener because Medlocke gets the crowd going by saying, “If someone messes with your queenie, you’re gonna mess up their god damn nose!” Then they launch into “Queenie, Every Man Should Know.” If the crowd isn’t fully up by now, then the almost thrash sounding, “Good Morning” definitely gets them there.

“Good Morning” is the first of three songs from the “Marauder” album. The other two songs that follow, “Dry County” and “Fly Away” sound much better live than the versions on the album and there was nothing wrong with those. It’s just the raw energy this concert gives that takes things up several levels. One note, in between “Dry County” and “Fly Away,” Blackfoot play their own version of John Lee Hooker’s “Rolling and Tumbling” and I will say that they put their own unique stamp on that song quite nicely.

The rest of the album/concert is dominated by songs from the “Strikes” album. “Road Fever” for all the Scotland rock and roll maniacs as how Medlocke introduces the song, rolls things along very well. After they play “Trouble in Mind,” Blackfoot take the show up on an enormous high with the two best songs from that album, “Train, Train” and of course “Highway Song” and both are cases of the live version being way above the studio version. This leads me to realise that if Blackfoot can improve on songs from great studio albums when played live, they are definitely a band to be reckoned with.

Track Listing:

1. Gimme, Gimme, Gimme

2. Queenie, Every Man Should Know

3. Good Morning

4. Dry County

5. Rolling and Tumbling

6. Fly Away

7. Road Fever

8. Trouble in Mind

9. Train, Train

10. Highway Song

11. Howay the Lads

Blackfoot

Blackfoot

Rickey Medlocke- guitar, lead vocals

Charlie Hargrett- guitar

Greg T Walker- bass, backing vocals

Jackson Spires- drums

I think back to that time in 1983 and thank God that I was in London and saw this album in a record store. Otherwise, I would have missed it. Then again, each time I listen to the album, I become pig sick at not having ever seen them live. Trust me, “Highway Song” will make you feel that way.

Next post: Rossington/Collins- This is the Way

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 Rock Albums of 1982: 38 Special- Special Forces

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 8, 2015 by 80smetalman

38_Special_-_Special_Forces

Before 2015 gets too far down the road, I must pause a second to reflect on an honour bestowed on me back in 2014. As a result of my post on Triumph’s “Allied Forces” album, I was given honourary Canadian citizenship by one of my Canadian readers. It may not seem like a big thing to some, but whenever I get any sort of honour bestowed on me, it is a big thing to me because it means that people actually like what I write. So thank you for the giving me this honour.

Whilst still reflecting on the old and new year, I made an interesting observation over the holidays. During the festive period, I consumed several bottles of The Trooper, the beer brewed by Iron Maiden. During my time in the States, I got to do likewise with many bottles and cans of Yuengling. Maybe it’s me but there seems to be a remarkable similarity in the look and taste of the two beers. I wonder if Bruce Dickinson came to America and somehow stole the recipe for Yuengling and is now using it in The Trooper. One can only speculate. I’ll have to research my theory further by drinking more of both.

The Trooper

The Trooper

Yuengling

Yuengling

Southern rock hit its highest point in 1981 but it hadn’t descended down the summit in 1982. There were still Southern Rock bands making some great albums and getting their songs played on the radio, even up North. One of them was 38 Special whose single “Caught Up in You” from the 1982 album “Special Forces” got into the top ten in the pop singles charts. I have said many times before that I normally didn’t pay too much attention to the singles charts but whenever I see that a good rock or metal band I like has a song that gets in there, I find it a cause for celebration.

Hit single aside and “Caught Up In You” follows the trend in 1982 of leading off the album, the rest of the album is the brand of Southern Rock I have always liked about the previous 38 Special albums. There are some great riffs in the likes of “Back on the Track” and “Breakin’ Loose” as well as some great rhythm and harmonies on the tracks “Back Door Stranger” and “Take ‘Em Out.” As usual, Donnie Van Zant and Don Barnes do a magnificent job with the vocals on the album singing the songs that play to their strengths. The track I find most fascinating, though, is “Chain Lightning.” It starts off with an acoustic riff and at first sucks you into thinking of a possible ballad but then the guitars slam in and the song totally rocks out. Jeff Carlisi reminds me on the song why I consider him very underrated among guitarists. And if you think “Chain Lightning” sounds good on record, you should hear it played live. I got that opportunity in 1984 and it was totally kicked ass. They do sneak another single in and I have to admit, I prefer “You Keep Running Away” to “Caught Up In You” even if chart history dictates otherwise. I have never considered “Special Forces” to be a totally mind blowing as “Wild Eyed Southern Boys” or “Rockin’ Into the Night,” it isn’t really that far below them. A good solid album that kept Southern rock in the spotlight in 1982.

Track Listing:

1. Caught Up in You

2. Backdoor Stranger

3. Back On the Track

4. Chain Lightning

5. Rough Housing

6. You Keep Running Away

7. Breakin’ Loose

8. Take ‘Em Out

9. Firestarter

38 Special

38 Special

Don Barnes- guitar, lead and backing vocals

Jeff Carlisi- lead guitar

Larry Junstrom- bass

Steve Brookins- drums

Jack Grondin- drums

Donnie Van Zant- lead and backing vocals

Additional Musicians

Jimmy Barnes- harmonica, harp

Terry Emery- piano

Steve McCray- keyboards

Lu Moss- backing vocals

Carol Bristow- backing vocals

38 Special achieved the double in 1982 by putting out a great album and breaking the top ten in the singles charts. This was a a great time for the band but what nobody saw back in that year was that the one achievement would have a detrimental effect on the other one with their future albums and attitude towards music.

Next post: Blackfoot- Highway Song, Live in London

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 Rock Albums of 1982: Dire Straits- Love Over Gold

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 4, 2015 by 80smetalman

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When I visited Dire Straits’ previous album, “Making Movies,” I mentioned that when I saw them live in 1985, how disappointed I was that they did not play my favourite song from that album and my number two Dire Straits song of all time, “Skateaway.” To add to that disappointment and my total perplexity on this, they did not play the biggest single from their 1982 album, “Love Over Gold,” “Industrial Disease” either. What was strange about that was even three years later, that song still got the occasional play on the radio.

“Industrial Disease” isn’t only the best known song on the album but it is the only track less than six minutes in length. The others are nearly seven or more and the opener, “Telegraph Road,” is just over fourteen minutes long. The opener sets the tone for the entire album. Normally, I view songs over ten minutes in length with both optimism and pessimism. Either the song is going to rock out with interludes of great solos and combined musicianship or just be boringly repetitive. Fortunately, “Telegraph Road” follows the former. While, Mark Knopfler’s vocals aren’t too intelligible on the track, he makes up for it with some sound guitar work in different points of the song. It helps that he has assistance from some polished keyboard work, compliments of Alan Clark. If Knopfler’s vocals aren’t intelligible in the opener, they are even less so on the next track, “Private Investigations” but like the first track, it is more than made up for with some fine instrumental work. “Industrial Disease” takes the middle slot of the album and we get more of same quality blend of progressive rock and blues based lead guitar with the title track and a very worthy closer. “Love Over Gold” might only have five tracks stretched out over forty minutes but they are definitely ones to remember.

Track Listing:

1. Telegraph Road

2. Private Investigations

3. Industrial Disease

4. Lover Over Gold

5. It Never Rains

Dire Straits

Dire Straits

Mark Knopfler- lead vocals, lead guitar

Hal Lindes- guitar

Alan Clark- keyboards

John Illsley- bass

Pick Withers- drums

After thirty years, I remain dumbfounded as to why Dire Straits never played “Industrial Disease” on their 1985 tour. I can only speculate that maybe they were advised not to play too much of their early stuff on tour because they were pushing their most commercially successful album then. Still, it would be a shame because there are five really good tracks on the “Love Over Gold” album and the longer tracks tend to sound much better live.

Next post: 38 Special- Special 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

 

Great Rock Albums of 1982: Toto IV

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 1, 2015 by 80smetalman

220px-Toto_Toto_IV

Before I launch into my first album visit of 2015, I would like to first wish all a happy new year and thank all my friends both old and new for visiting and sticking with me. It’s hard to believe that 80smetalman has been going for nearly four years now and I intend to be around for time to come. After all, I’m only in 1982 and the golden age of heavy metal didn’t end until 1989. So, I have a lot of ground to still cover.

Ozzy Osbourne

Ozzy Osbourne

One mega disappointment for the end of the year was that in spite of the many efforts, Ozzy Osbourne did not receive a knighthood. While I shouldn’t be surprised that he was ignored by the British establishment and I can’t even blame it on the metal hating Sun newspaper, it’s still a shame that his near half century of contributions to music still go ignored. Therefore, I say we redouble our efforts in 2015 so he can get his well deserved gong next year.

When I listen to the fourth album by Toto, I find myself pining for what could have been. Three years prior, they came rocking into the world with the heavy rock sound of “Hold the Line.” Those riffs are still catchy within my own mind and back in 1979, that song was an island that refused to be flooded in the sea of disco that was around at the time. “Toto IV” is a total departure from the sound in the song I have already mentioned. It follows subsequent albums in going into a more progressive, pop oriented sound. None of the songs on this fourth album come close to sounding like “Hold the Line.”

This doesn’t mean the album is bad, it’s not. The members of Toto are all talented musicians and it shows on the album. Take the opening song and like many albums of 1982 thus far, the biggest single on the album. If “Rosanna” had been done by some fly by night, 80s synth pop group put together by the likes of Stock, Aiken and Waterman, then it would have totally sucked. Sure, it might have been a top ten single but quickly buried and forgotten. The reason why “Rosanna” appears on a number of rock compilation albums is the good musicianship behind it. Hearing the lyrics does make me want to say “Oh God” but then comes a cool keyboard solo and later a decent guitar solo. They make the song and probably why it has stood the test of time. Other songs on the album are in the same vein. Eight out of the next nine songs are mellow out progressive jazzy blues sounding songs which are great to sit down and listen to but I won’t be listening to them on my way to Amon Amarth in a couple of weeks. The only song that goes anywhere near hard rock is “Afraid of Love” but that song is let down by a keyboard interlude where a cranking guitar solo should be. Still, the musicianship of Toto carry the songs through.

The closer, “Africa,” is more of the same but probably my favourite song on the album. Like the previous nine song, the closer is definitely a strong progressive song. Unlike “Rosanna,” the lyrics for me are more listenable and the quality musicianship remains but I think they could have used a better instrumental break than the one in the song, perhaps a guitar solo. Still, it is the best song on the album for me.

Track Listing:

1. Rosanna

2. Make Me Believe

3. I Won’t Hold You Back

4. Good For You

5. It’s a Feeling

6. Afraid of Love

7. Lovers in the Night

8. We Made It

9. Waiting for Your Love

10. Africa

Toto

Toto

David Paich- keyboards, lead and backing vocals, all horn and orchestral arrangements

Steve Lukather- guitars, lead and backing vocals

Bobby Kimball- lead and backing vocals

Jeff Procraro- drums, percussion ,tympani

Steve Procraro- keyboards, lead vocals

David Hungate- bass

“Toto IV” is probably the reason why Wayne Campbell of Wayne’s World fame put “anything by Toto” as the number two party killing song. I have to disagree somewhat here. While I wouldn’t listen to the album on my way to a metal concert, I would still listen to it at more appropriate times. This is a good easy listening album, with some decent songs and quality musicianship.

Next post: Dire Straits- Lover Over Gold

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

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

 

 

 

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