You Gotta Watch This!

Posted in Uncategorized on March 23, 2019 by 80smetalman

dirt

I’ve spent my Saturday evening watching “The Dirt” on Netflix. It’s about the history of Motley Crue and their rise to stardom and their subsequent fall and comeback. Let me say that the film is absolutely brilliant, I laughed my ass off through a good part of it. Especially, the scene where Ozzy pisses by the side of a swimming pool and then gets down and licks it. Okay, part of me thought, “sick,” but I still laughed anyway. There is no holding back in showing the band’s totally debauched lifestyle throughout the 1980s, from their humble beginnings playing the Whiskey A Go Go club in LA to their chart topping album, “Dr Feelgood.” The first half of the film is like one big party.

The big however is that it doesn’t shy away from the sadder parts in the band’s history. Vince Neil’s car crash which killed Hanoi Rocks drummer Razzle and the death of his daughter Skylar. Nor does hold back in highlighting Nikki Sixx’s heroin addiction although I would have like to seen a little more detail on Mick Mars’s health problems. The film made me regret even more the fact I used to think he was the worst guitarist in metal. All of the above nearly destroyed these men and the band.

Word of warning: If you are a hard core Motley Crue fan, you might be dismayed at some of the historical inaccuracies of the film. I know for a fact that Vince Neil served his time in prison in 1986, after the band completed the “Theater of Pain” tour. The film suggests his jail time was before. There are probably more in the film but as I learned from writing¬† “Rock and Roll Children,” one shouldn’t let a little thing like historical accuracy get in the way of a good story. The bottom line is, whether or not you’re a Motley Crue fan or even a metalhead, “The Dirt” is definitely worth a watch.

mcrue

Motley Crue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Great Rock/Metal Albums of 1985: Mountain- Go for Your Life

Posted in Uncategorized on March 21, 2019 by 80smetalman

220px-Mountain_Go_For

Here’s another example of how radio can be misleading. When it was announced locally that Mountain would be supporting Canadian greats Triumph, local radio started playing their most well known hit, “Mississippi Queen.” The result was many people like me thought it was a brand new single from their latest album, “Go For Your Life.” It was only when I got the album and the big single was missing from it, I learned that “Mississippi Queen” was released in 1970. Maybe it was a ploy to get people to buy the album, I don’t know. What I do know is “Mississippi Queen” was a fantastic song in 1970,¬† again in 1985 and it still rocks today.

This means that the multi-million dollar question here is: Does the album stand up on its own? My answer is a definite yes! It might have been fifteen years since they recorded that big single and eleven since their previous album but their sound hadn’t changed much. The only ‘modern’ sounding track, at least for 1985, was “Spark” because it begins with a bit of synthesizer before it becomes a radio ready blues charged rock song. Why this song was never released as a single totally baffles me.

As for the rest of “Go for Your Life,” it is a pure mean hard rocking album. While, I wouldn’t quite call it heavy metal, though many did back then, there are a lot of tracks here that simply cook. In fact, once again, I have found it difficult to pick a favourite track because there is something about each one. Leslie West shows he can do some very exciting things with his guitar and there are some very interesting riffs throughout. One that should be noted is “Shimmy on the Footlights.” However, they can change things up as well as noted in the blues based “I Love Young Girls.” Of course, if a band put out a song with that title these days, there would be a police investigation. Another point of note is the closing track, the short but near ballad like “Little Bit of Insanity” which was in memory of former band member Felix Pappalardi, who was shot and killed by his ex wife in 1983. The track does complete what was for me a surprisingly good album.

Track Listing:

  1. Hard Times
  2. Spark
  3. She Loves Her Rock (And She Loves it Hard)
  4. Bardot Damage
  5. Shimmy On the Footlights
  6. I Love Young Girls
  7. Makin’ It In Your Car
  8. Babes in the Woods
  9. Little Bit of Insanity

mount

Mountain

Leslie West- guitar, vocals

Mark Clarke- bass

Corky Laing- drums

Additional Musicians

Chuck Kirkpatrick- backing vocals

Eric Johnson- synthesizer on “Spark”

Miller Anderson- slide guitar on “Makin’ It In Your Car

Listen and decide if this song would have made a decent single

Thought I’d throw in the 1970 classic for good measure

Every time I listen to “Go For Your Life,” I ask myself, why wasn’t Mountain bigger than what they were? As the album proves, they certainly had the chops to do so. I wish I had gone to see them when they supported Triumph. That would have been a great concert to have written about in “Rock and Roll Children.”

Next post: Venom- Possessed

To download Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://fkidshelves.ml/print/free-download-rock-and-roll-children-by-michael-d-lefevre-pdf.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1985: Girlschool- Running Wild

Posted in Uncategorized on March 18, 2019 by 80smetalman

220px-Girlschool_running_wild

When I saw Girlschool live in 1985, they had my total sympathy. They were supporting Deep Purple and they were basically on a bare stage with limited lighting. The worst parts were they played before a half empty Philadelphia Spectrum and were only on stage for half an hour. I suggest this might be more of Ritchie Blackmore’s paranoia at work. While I totally loved them, the fact was it made sure they knew they were only a support act. Shame, because if they had access to a little more lights and effects, more people would have turned up to see them and maybe like me, heard what a great album “Running Wild” was.

Changes to Girlschool came in the forms of lead guitarist Kelly Johnson leaving, replaced by Cris Bonacci and Jackie Bodimead joining as a fifth member and sharing the vocal duties with Kim McAulliffe. The result on “Running Wild” was that it left me very impressed with the musicianship here. Now, Girlschool were always good in that respect on their previous albums but some of the playing goes above and beyond here. You have a good one-two punch with Bodimead and McAulliffe sharing the lead vocal duties but what won me over was the lead guitar work of Bonacci. She’s that good. Her best work can be found on the title track, “Something for Nothing,” “Are You Ready” and “Nowhere to Run.” The last one being the best of them all.

All of the songs on “Running Wild” are fairly evenly good. Only the title cut stands out above the rest but not by much. Like a good number of the other tracks, it has a really catchy intro. Speaking of which, the intros are all unique in their own way. “Running Wild” starts with an acoustic guitar while “Are You Read” blasts immediately into a cool guitar solo. The opener, “Let Me Go” has one of those introductions that make you take notice and the right choice to open the album. However, there’s no let up in the second half of the album. More great heavy metal work from what has been considered one of the best all female bands in the game, not that gender should have anything to do with it. “I Want You Back” provides some great melodic metal and “Nasty Nasty” is a pure rocker. “Love is a Lie,” complete with glass breaking sound effects at the beginning, provides some good metal moments before the closer, which has some interesting bits packed onto the end when you think the song is over.

Track Listing:

  1. Let Me Go
  2. Running Wild
  3. Do You Love Me
  4. Something for Nothing
  5. Are You Ready
  6. Nowhere to Run
  7. I Want You Back
  8. Nasty Nasty
  9. Love is a Lie
  10. Can’t You See

gs85

Girlschool

Jackie Bodimead- lead and backing vocals, keyboards

Kim McAulliffe- rhythm guitar, backing vocals, lead vocals on tracks 3 & 8

Cris Bonacci- lead guitar

Gil Weston-Jones- bass

Denise Dufort- drums

“Running Wild” was only released in the US and that was a big mistake because they already had a fan base in the UK. If it had, then the album would have done better because this could be one of their best.

Next post: Mountain- Go For You Life

To download Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://fkidshelves.ml/print/free-download-rock-and-roll-children-by-michael-d-lefevre-pdf.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rest in Peace Bernie Torme

Posted in Uncategorized on March 18, 2019 by 80smetalman

BERNIET
Bernie Torme with Ozzy

It is my sad duty to announce the passing of guitarist Bernie Torme. Bernie passed away yesterday in hospital from pneumonia, he was 66. He played guitar for Gillan and for Ozzy Osbourne following the death of Randy Rhoads. Furthermore, he had formed bands of his own such as The Electric Gypsies as well as teaming with Dee Snider and Clive Burr to form Desperado in the late 1980s.

FFI: https://www.loudersound.com/news/guitarist-bernie-torme-dead-at-66

btorme

Bernie Torme and his band

Bernie Torme’s musical career spanned over five decades and is yet another major loss for music.

Rest in Peace Bernie Torme.

Great Metal Albums of 1985: Keel- The Right to Rock

Posted in Uncategorized on March 14, 2019 by 80smetalman

Keel_TheRightToRock

Looking back, the opening title track of Keel’s second album, “The Right to Rock,” might have been a fore-warning of things to come in 1985. I saw the video for said song in January of said year but the whole thing with the PMRC didn’t happen until the Autumn. It turns out that the video showing life in an oppressed anti-music society was the first of many which came along thanks to the good old PMRC. With all that aside, it’s still a pretty good song to begin with.

While unlike one hit wonders who use their hit song as the opener to the album in order to generate more sales, “The Right to Rock” is still worth listening to long after the single is done. Different albums have different uses and although I never used it for this, it is a good album to have on the car stereo while going to a concert. Thinking back, it would have put me in total party mood while driving up the old Atlantic City Expressway towards Philadelphia to partake of a concert. That’s the best use for this album, it’s loud and manic, just what one needs.

Is it good for listening in general? You might ask. First, I’m going to beat those of you itching to tell me that this Keel album was produced by Gene Simmons. My verdict on Gene was that he produced this album to the best of HIS ability and I will let you all debate the pros and cons of that. He also wrote three of the songs, the first one, “Easier Said Than Done,” could have easily been recorded by KISS. The next track, “So Many Girls, So Little Time,” doesn’t sound like a KISS clone at first listen but the lyrics definitely give away the fact that Gene wrote it. The third Gene penned track, “Get Down” is no less obvious.

History points out that the reason, Keel used three Gene Simmons songs was down to the fact that they had only written three of their own songs when their label ordered them into the studio. It also explains the cover of the Rolling Stones, “Let’s Spend the Night Together.” Additionally, the closer “You’re the Victim, I’m the Crime,” was re-recorded from the band’s first album, which was titled “Tonight You’re Mine” on it. So, the question here was: Were Keel capable of writing decent songs themselves? The title track and track two, “Back to the City,” would indicate in the positive and though not as good, “Speed Demon” is still pretty cool. However, “Electric Love” might have been written by the band but it could have easily been written by Gene.

Track Listing:

  1. The Right to Rock
  2. Back to the City
  3. Let’s Spend the Night Together
  4. Easier Said Than Done
  5. So Many Girls, So Little Time
  6. Electric Love
  7. Speed Demon
  8. Get Down
  9. You’re the Victim (I’m the Crime)
keel

Keel

Ron Keel- vocals, guitar

Marc Ferrari- guitar, vocals

Bryan Jay- guitar, vocals

Kenny Chaison- bass, vocals

Steve Riley- drums, vocals

Dwain Miller replaced Steve Riley on drums but did not play on the album.

Whichever way you swing on Gene Simmons’ abilities as a producer, “The Right to Rock” is a pretty good album from Keel, especially if you’re speeding down the highway on your way to a metal concert.

Next post: Girlschool- Running Wild

To download Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://fkidshelves.ml/print/free-download-rock-and-roll-children-by-michael-d-lefevre-pdf.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Rock/Metal Albums of 1985: Aerosmith- Done With Mirrors

Posted in Uncategorized on March 11, 2019 by 80smetalman

220px-Aerosmith_Done_With_Mirrors

One of the most curiosity grabbing events of 1985 was when I heard the original members of Aerosmith had gotten back together and were putting out a new album. In the early 1980s, many people had written off Aerosmith as being washed up. All the drugs had gotten to them and their best years were long behind. So, the question was with the release of the “Done With Mirrors” album was: “Are they back for real?”

My first taste of this album was the first single “Let the Music Do The Talking.” When I heard it, I was quite impressed and though I wasn’t shouting that “Aerosmith were back!” I thought that it was a good song and it pressed my curiosity to explore the album more. Hearing “Done With Mirrors” in its entirety convinced me that these guys still had a few tricks up their collective sleeves.

While I won’t say that it belongs up there with their classics, Joe Perry didn’t think much of it at all, but I have to totally agree with his conclusion that it was a step in the right direction. “Done With Mirrors” goes back to more of what had made them icons of the mid to late 1970s. Again, it’s not as great as “Draw the Line” or “Get Your Wings” and not near “Toys in the Attic” but it did make me forget all about the flops that were “Night in the Ruts” and “Rock in a Hard Place.”

Another thing about “Done With Mirrors” is that I don’t feel any urgency to break it down and talk about individual songs here. All of the songs have something about them which I like. I will point out what were a few highlights for me. “She’s on Fire” has a bit of a Lynyrd Skynyrd vibe on it, which is done well. “Shela” has an 80s punk intro but Aerosmith put their own unique stamp on it and even with the intro, you know it’s an Aerosmith song. Tyler’s vocals are the cleanest I had heard from him in years and Joe Perry’s guitar work show that he was back and truly committed to the band. It was said by some that they tried too hard with “Gypsy Boots” because it sounds much like the famous “Walk This Way.” While I see what they mean, it’s still a good song in its own right. However, my favourite track on the album is “My Fist Your Face.” Even though it was only the second track, it confirmed to me that it was worth sticking around to listen to the rest of the album.

Track Listing:

  1. Let the Music Do the Talking
  2. My Fist Your Face
  3. Shame on You
  4. The Reason a Dog
  5. Shela
  6. Gypsy Boots
  7. She’s on Fire
  8. The Hop

aerosmith

Steve Tyler- vocals

Joe Perry- lead guitar

Brad Whitford- rhythm guitar

Tom Hamilton- bass

Joey Kramer- bass

For many people, “Done With Mirrors” didn’t take the music world by storm. What it did do was put Aerosmith back on the rock and roll map. I have to whole heartedly agree with those who say that it was a step in the right direction for them. They still had problems, they were still musicians dabbling in drugs but the positive was that they were no longer druggies dabbling in music.

It was on the tour for this album when I first saw Aerosmith live and it was clear that not all of the past was truly forgotten. Like most of the concerts I went to, I saw them in Philadelphia and during the show, Steve Tyler was quick to say to us, “Don’t throw anything up on stage, you remember what happened last time, Philadelphia.” It was clear that the band was not quite yet ready to completely forgive Philadelphia for bottle throwing incident of 1979. While I mention this in “Rock and Roll Children,” FFI, read my post on the “Night in the Ruts” album.

Next post: Keel- The Right to Rock

To download Rock and Roll Children go to: https://fkidshelves.ml/print/free-download-rock-and-roll-children-by-michael-d-lefevre-pdf.html

 

 

 

 

Weird Al Yankovic Interviews Madonna, 1985

Posted in Uncategorized on March 10, 2019 by 80smetalman

A recent post by my good rock buddy Mike Ledano has inspired me to share this. It actually took place in 1985. Watch and enjoy and thanks Mike for bringing back the memory of this.