Great Metal Albums of 1986: Anthrax- Spreading the Disease

Posted in Uncategorized on May 31, 2020 by 80smetalman

220px-Spreading_The_Disease

While Metallica toured America in support of Ozzy Osbourne in 1986, they were already popular enough in Europe to headline smaller venues. In the September, Metallica headlined the London’s Hammersmith Odeon and with them in support was Anthrax who were making their own mark in the metal world with their second album, “Spreading the Disease.” Of all the concerts I’ve regretted not seeing, missing Metallica with Anthrax is the one I regret the most. I had been travelling through Europe and then Southern England at the time, so I only learned of it when I got to London. That must have been an awesome show!

“Spreading the Disease” happens to be my favourite Anthrax album. First, while “Battery” from Metallica is the best opening song of all time, coming number two in the 80sMetalman list is the opener from this album, “A.I.R.” This song makes me want to run at 200 mph, while picking up and throwing large vehicles in the process. The first two times I saw Anthrax live, (I’ve seen them six), they opened with “A.I.R.” and they way it starts then only gets faster, the energy just flows through your veins. I know these days, they open with the classic “Caught in a Mosh” and that’s a great opening song too but can you imagine if in concert, they opened with “A.I.R.” and then went straight into “Caught in a Mosh.” To me, that’s the perfect one-two punch!

The opener quickly gives way to another hidden gem on the album, “Lone Justice.” This track only carries the party along further. It’s not as fast as the opener but it does not lack in intensity. Here’s the paradox with “Spreading the Disease.” When the album came out in 1986, it displayed a large black label in the upper right hand corner which read, “This album contains NOT one hit single.” For many metalheads, “Madhouse” is considered a hit single. Sure, it had very little, if any airplay on commercial radio and MTV refused to show the video because they said it was offensive to people with mental illness. But if you listened to Anthrax in 1986, you knew about “Madhouse.”

Anthrax speed things up again with “Stand or Fall.” I remember moshing along to this song quite a bit back in the day. It’s just a great song to do that to. Ending side one, is what I call the least strongest song on the album, there’s no weak tracks here. Nothing wrong with “The Enemy” and I do like it, a lot, but for me, it doesn’t quite measure up to the rest of the songs on the album.

Maybe “The Enemy” was put in as a breather because once side one was done and you flipped the record or cassette over, you are totally belted by the power that is “Aftershock.” The speed of this song is somewhere in between “Stand or Fall” and “A.I.R.” I find myself shouting “Hey!” along with the band at the middle of the song. “Armed and Dangerous” carries the madness along although at a slightly slower pace. I do love that pseudo acoustic intro to the song. Even if Anthrax weren’t considered thrash, it would be a good metal tune. That could have been a breath catcher as well because they go total speed with the remaining two tracks. Both come and go in a whirlwind and before you know it, you are shouting “Not” at the close of the album.

“Spreading the Disease” was the first album to feature new lead singer, Joey Belladonna, although according to some reports, the band weren’t too impressed with his musical background. Happy ending though because they gave Joey his chance and realized what a great singer he is. He shows that he can sing thrash metal and sing it well. The other mention I have to make is lead guitarist Dan Spitz. He does lay down some cools solos on the album, especially on my favourite, the hidden gem and “Aftershock.” His contributions on the album should not be ignored.

Another point to ponder: Is Frank Bello underrated as a bassist?

Track Listing:

  1. A.I.R.
  2. Lone Justice
  3. Madhouse
  4. Stand or Fall
  5. The Enemy
  6. Aftershock
  7. Armed and Dangerous
  8. Medusa
  9. Gung- Ho

anthrax

Anthrax

Joey Belladonna- lead vocals

Dan Spitz- lead guitar, backing vocals

Scott Ian- rhythm guitar, backing vocals

Frank Bello- bass, backing vocals

Charlie Benante- drums

I did get to see Anthrax and Metallica together at Donington, 1987. The disappointing thing was that neither band opened with their all time great opening songs. If they had, that would have made a great day even greater. Still, you can’t go wrong with “Spreading the Disease,” another album which defined metal in 1986.

Next post: Mass- New Birth

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

You Will Be Able To Buy Rock and Roll Children Direct From Me

Posted in Uncategorized on May 28, 2020 by 80smetalman

RockAndRollChildren-CC1[1]

Some of you have expressed interest in my book “Rock And Roll Children.” Since, Amazon no longer carries it, I found that I can purchase copies direct from the publisher and sell them on. My first order of ten books, two are already earmarked, have been ordered and are on the way to me. When they get here, I’ll find out shipping costs and then copies will be officially for sale. Plus, since they’re coming directly from me, I, the author, will personally autograph each copy and personalize the autograph for you.

Anyone interested can email me direct at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

It’s the 1980s and heavy metal music has exploded across America and Frankie, Bob, Rick and Jeff are caught up in it. From Dio to Twisted Sister, these metal heads hit up every concert they can. Attending college in different states, and even countries, heavy metal music is what brings these four best friends back together summer after summer. But with the middle of the 1980s begins the “intolerance” of heavy metal music. Girlfriends, yuppies and Jesus freaks want to put an end to the heavy metal scene just as artists like Ozzy Osbourne and Aerosmith are playing their greatest hits! Cracks begin emerging in their friendship while everyone is trying to make their own way in the world, especially when Jeff’s travels lead him to England. Will heavy metal all like Ted Nugent, Anthrax and Judas Priest bring these four friends back together, or are their partying days soon to be over?

Look forward to hearing from you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1986: Metallica- Master of Puppets

Posted in Uncategorized on May 27, 2020 by 80smetalman

220px-Metallica_-_Master_of_Puppets_cover

Here is one album which changed the shape of music in 1986. When Metallica’s third album, “Master of Puppets,” exploded onto the music scene in March of said year, no one was prepared for the storm it was to cause. Before this album, a lot of people, including some metalheads, turned up their snouts at thrash metal. There were the same old cliches that it wasn’t proper music or even proper metal, the musicians couldn’t play, the singer just screamed, yada, yada, yada. However, this album bulldozed all of those myths into oblivion and with “Master of Puppets,” thrash and speed metal became mainstream.

Let’s start off with me gushing over my all time favourite Metallica song, the opener “Battery.” Even thirty-four years later, every time I hear the song, I want to mosh around the place, smashing up small objects and throwing television sets and dogs and cats out of windows. (Note: I wouldn’t really do any of that.) “Battery” places first in another 80sMetalman Category: It is the best album opening song of all time. This is one song that grabs you by the pubes and makes you listen. It is the song which forms the foundation of this iconic album. I can go even further. The first time I saw Metallica live, supporting Ozzy in 1986, they opened with “Battery” and their set was fantastic! The second time I saw them, Donington 1987, they didn’t open with it and I thought they weren’t as good, I would go on to say they were disappointing as a result. Therefore, if Metallica were to play my dream concert, they would be contractually obligated to open with “Battery.”

The album tends to slow down after that manic opener. The title track is less fast paced but still ferocious. It does go bit acoustic in the middle but that helps make an eight minute plus song so great. Great lyrics contribute to it’s greatness as well. Things continue to slow down with “The Thing That Should Not Be.” Again, not a bad thing because the slowness of the song augment the power chords in it. It also gives it that ‘horror movie’ feel which I think Metallica were going for. That continues with the final song on side one, (I first got this on cassette), “Sanitarium.” The eerie intro on it actually makes you believe you are in such a place. Again, the lyrics and the way James Hetfield sings them add to that feeling. Even though, I have heard “Sanitarium” many times over the past three and a half decades, I have a fonder appreciation for it these days.

Side two starts with two songs I could personally identify with at the time. Three years after leaving US military service, I was feeling like a “Disposable Hero.” The American dream wasn’t working out for me the way I had hoped and the lyrics: “Twenty-one, only son but he served us well.” were felt in my veins. Of course, the speed and power of the song did their job in bringing those lyrics home to me. On the other hand, while “Leper Messiah” didn’t identify with me personally, I could still identify what it was about. Metallica were having a dig at the TV evangelists, like Jimmy Swaggart, who seemed to rule American television every Sunday morning. The lyrics, “Make a contribution and get a better saint,” definitely rang true on this song.

Closing out “Master of Puppets,” are the songs “Orion” and “Damage Inc.” “Orion” is a very interesting instrumental which wouldn’t be out of place on a prog-metal album, but it is not out of place on this album either. It builds you up for the great closer that is “Damage Inc.”

In any case, one thing this album proves is that one can be a talented musician and still play thrash metal. All four members do their jobs so well. James is  decent singer but an exceptional rhythm guitarist. While I don’t put Kirk Hammett on the same level as Vai, Van Halen or Malmsteen, he is still a great lead guitarist and I do disagree with those who call him “overrated.” Lars Ulrich proves his drumming skills here because not many drummers can play with such ferocity and then change tempo mid song and I can see why bassist, “Cliff Burton” was so badly missed after his tragic death later on in 1986.

Track Listing:

  1. Battery
  2. Master of Puppets
  3. The Thing That Should Not Be
  4. Sanitarium
  5. Disposable Heroes
  6. Leper Messiah
  7. Orion
  8. Damage Inc
metallica

Metallica

James Hetfield- rhythm guitar, lead vocals

Kirk Hammett- lead guitar

Cliff Burton- bass

Lars Ulrich- drums

220px-Bass_burton

Master of Puppets is the last album made with Cliff Burton- R.I.P. Cliff

Cliff’s untimely death wasn’t the only tragedy that befell Metallica in 1986. During their live set in Washington DC, a young man was stabbed to death. There were stabbings at other concerts that year including Miami Sound Machine but of course the main stream media paid less attention to those. This is another thing that makes “Master of Puppets” so great, the fact that it was able to rise about the anti-metal feeling at the time and be the great album that it is.

Next post: Anthrax- Spreading the Disease

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1986: Ozzy Osbourne- The Ultimate Sin

Posted in Uncategorized on May 24, 2020 by 80smetalman

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One great anticipation I had throughout 1985 was that I knew Ozzy would be coming out with a new album. I read all the reports in magazines like “Hit Parader,” (Motley Crue Magazine), about his time at the Betty Ford Clinic where he wrestled with his demons of alcohol and substance abuse. When he came out, Ozzy stated that his new album would deal less with demonic related themes and more topical ones like nuclear destruction and corporate greed. It was on this premise that “The Ultimate Sin” was released in early 1986.

First, let me address the controversy surrounding this album. Okay, maybe I shouldn’t call it controversy but Ozzy has stated that this was his least favourite solo album. He said, all the songs sounded the same. Of course, people have been saying that about heavy metal since it arrived on the scene but that’s not the point. I don’t think all the songs on “The Ultimate Sin” sound the same and I should know, I’ve seen Cannibal Corpse in concert and to me, it sounded like they played the same song fourteen times. That backs up my argument that these songs aren’t same sounding.

What could be said is that many of the songs don’t stray from the traditional Ozzy sound. For example, “Never Know Why” sounds like it would have fitted nicely on any of his previous albums. Especially with the way Jake E. Lee cranks out the guitar solos on it. However, even if it does adhere to the formula, it doesn’t sound at all tired. Another example is “Secret Loser.” This song is so generic Ozzy that at some point many years ago, I had forgotten it was on this album. Still, it’s pretty good.

Flip-flopping back to an earlier point, the opening title track is the song that deals with corporate greed, saying that putting profits over people is ‘the ultimate sin.’ The video for the song takes from the then popular “Dallas” where Ozzy plays the role of a corporate big wig. The nuclear destruction themed song is also my vote for hidden gem, “Thank God for the Bomb.” I think the reason I love it so much is because I saw Ozzy on this tour, yes the one with Metallica in support, and he used the song for a little audience participation. Even after thirty-four years, I still get a little tingly when I think back to that night where twenty-thousand of us were all singing or screaming “Thank God for the bomb!” at Ozzy’s direction. Sadly, which was the problem with “Rock and Roll Children,” I don’t do that part enough justice.

Coming in second for hidden gem, is “Lightning Strikes.” It has a beat that gets your head bopping along at the start and continuing to do so at the very catchy chorus. I have to give full marks to the rhythm section of Phil Soussan and Randy Castillo here as they definitely earn their stripes with it. Then the cool guitar solo from Jake just propels the song even further into the exosphere. After the guitar solo, there is a musical bridge that reminds me a little of “Crazy Train.”

Not wanting to take away from the others songs, “Killer of Giants” is damn good with that intro, but I feel the need to ask why the single, “Shot in the Dark,” was the closer. There is nothing wrong wit hit singles being closers but it doesn’t seem to be right as this album’s closer. Thinking about it, “Killer of Giants” would have been better as the closer, hearing the way it goes out, the end of the song screams “album closer.” But that’s probably me again. In any case, my little nit pick doesn’t in any way dampen the fact that I really enjoy listening to “The Ultimate Sin.”

Track Listing:

  1. The Ultimate Sin
  2. Secret Loser
  3. Never Know Why
  4. Thank God for the Bomb
  5. Never
  6. Lightning Strikes
  7. Killer of Giants
  8. Fool Like You
  9. Shot in the Dark
ozzy

Ozzy Osbourne

Ozzy Osbourne- vocals

Jake E. Lee- guitar

Phil Soussan- bass

Randy Castillo- drums

Mike Moran- keyboards

Like it or not, Ozzy Osbourne was back in 1986. At least it got the Jesus freaks something to get in a dither about. Ozzy/Metallica was the first concert where I encountered them. That was a brilliant night and while I don’t say that this album is as great as his first three, it’s still a pretty good album to me.

Next post: Metallica- Master of Puppets

Since these two were so great together in concert, I thought it only right that I post their great albums in succession.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1986: Queen- A Kind of Magic

Posted in Uncategorized on May 21, 2020 by 80smetalman

220px-Queen_A_Kind_Of_Magic

Originally, I had forgotten about this album and I was ready to go charging boldly forward to the metal portion of 1986. However, one follower sent me an email requesting I visit the album, which I have now done. Thinking back to that time, I was quick to use the ‘selling out’ branding iron on artists I thought were sounding too commercial. After all, I had already branded 38 Special, Van Halen and Huey Lewis and the News as sell outs and in my view, Queen were already heading in that direction with “Radio Ga-ga” from their previous album. So, when I heard the single, “A Kind of Magic,” I naturally assumed Queen were selling out. How wrong I was!

If anything, the 1986 “A Kind of Magic” album is a slap in the face to what the music industry was doing at the time. People wanted to put artists into nice, neat little boxes, be it synth pop, rap or heavy metal or whatever else. What’s great about this album, is that you can’t put it into any one category! There are songs on here to satisfy everyone, me included.

Things open with “One Vision,” which I already was familiar with from the “Iron Eagle” soundtrack. On this album, Queen extend it a little longer. I don’t know, maybe they were trying to get a dance single out of it. The title track comes next giving the top 40 crowd their song which they could play on their walkmans. Saying that, Brian May’s guitar solo is pretty good on it, though there were better things from him to come later on in the album.

There was no doubt in my mind that Queen was capable of a great ballad. It comes in the form of, “One Year of Love.” Vocally, Freddie Mercury just totally nails this song and the others do that great harmonizing which made Queen famous. I think next time I want to get in the mood with Mrs 80smetalman, I’ll use this song. After that comes the song which I sort of wish wasn’t on the album. I can see what they were trying to do with “Pain is So Close to Pleasure,” and I know many people out there probably really like it, but it doesn’t do much for me, except for Brian’s guitar work of course but that’s not enough to save it for me.

“Friends Will Be Friends” is the first song that sounds like the Queen I remembered as a teenager in the 1970s. From the way Brian brings the song in with great guitar work to the vocals of Mercury and that great underrated rhythm section of Deacon and Taylor. I go back in time forty years every time I listen to it and that is not a bad thing.

They go way out there with “Who Wants to Live Forever,” which appears on the soundtrack of the film, “Highlander.” It is very close to 70s progressive rock here with the organs and the guitar parts. In addition, Brian accompanies Freddie on the lead vocals and both do a great job. While, I would expect no less from Freddie, Brian May has always been underrated as a singer and this song shows what he can do with his set of pipes.

Now comes my favourite part of the album and probably the favourite of many metalheads. It is no exaggeration when I say that “Gimme the Prize” is pure heavy metal mania! The power chords are right up there with many of the metal bands I was so dearly loving at the time. I love the spoken part, “I have something to say. It’s better to burn out than fade away.” Pure brilliance in my humble opinion and I would gladly use the song to blow the ear drums off anyone who says Queen sold out. The strangest thing is that this is not my favourite song on the album.

My favourite isn’t the next song either. Saying that, if anyone wanted to convert me to 80s synth pop, the best way would be to play the track, “Don’t Lose Your Head.” There were synth pop bands a plenty in 1986 but none of them come close to this track. It is that good.

Now comes my favourite track on the album, closing track, “Princes of the Universe,” which was also used as a single on the “Highlander” soundtrack. This too, could be a metal song but it has just slightly more appeal than “Gimme the Prize.” Maybe it’s because the song begins with Queen’s famous harmonizing reminiscent of “Bohemian Rhapsody” or “Fat Bottomed Girls.” The rest of the song is so much full of energy that if I heard this at a concert, I would want to start a mosh pit to it. Moshing to Queen, why not? I think they would have been pleased by it.

Track Listing:

  1. One Vision
  2. A Kind of Magic
  3. One Year of Love
  4. Pain is So Close to Pleasure
  5. Friends Will Be Friends
  6. Who Wants to Live Forever
  7. Gimme the Prize
  8. Don’t Lose Your Head
  9. Princes of the Universe
queen

Queen

Freddie Mercury- lead and backing vocals, keyboards (tracks 2, 4, 5, 9)

Brian May- guitar, backing vocals, lead vocal on track 6

Roger Taylor- drums, backing vocals, synthesizer on track 2

John Deacon- bass, backing vocals, synthesizer (tracks 3 & 4)

It’s a good thing I don’t remember anyone in 1986 saying Queen were has- beens. “A Kind of Magic” proves otherwise and if I had remembered anyone saying it, I would have to travel back in time and give them a slap or at least play the album to them.

Next post: Ozzy Osbourne- The Ultimate Sin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rest in Peace Paddy Bowden

Posted in Uncategorized on May 19, 2020 by 80smetalman
220px-Iron_Maiden_en_Costa_Rica_Bruce

Bruce Dickinson

It is my sad duty to announce the death of Iron Maiden front man Bruce Dickinson’s ex wife, Paddy Bowden, who has died in what has been described as a tragic accident. Two ambulance crews were dispatched to the home where Paddy used to live with Bruce while they were married but according to one of the crews, the patient had already died.

Bruce and Paddy were married in 1990 and had three children. Eldest son Austin is known to many metalheads as the lead singer in Rise to Remains and As Lions. Bruce had this to say:

This is a terrible tragedy which appears to be a tragic accident. Our children, Austin, Griffin and Kia and I are devastated. Out of respect for Paddy, we won’t be making any statements at this hugely painful and difficult time for our family.

I hope all well join me in expressing my deepest sympathies and regrets to Bruce and his family.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1986: Black Sabbath Featuring Tony Iommi- Seventh Star

Posted in Uncategorized on May 17, 2020 by 80smetalman

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The common reaction from many a metalhead back in 1986 when they heard that there was now a band called Black Sabbath Featuring Tony Iommi was, “What the hell?” Note: some used stronger words. A lot of people shunned their album, “Seventh Star” on the grounds that it wasn’t ‘true Black Sabbath.’ After all, there was no Geezer Butler on bass and many of the younger metalheads did not know who Glen Hughes was and wished that Ozzy, Dio or even Ian Gillan was on the vocals. So, the question I ask as I re-familiarize myself with the album is, “Did it deserve to be so ignored?”

The first three tracks on the album point to the fact that Tony never strayed far from his Black Sabbath roots. The opener, “In For the Kill,” sounds a little Judas Priest like and that is not a bad thing. It’s a good way to open the album. Next comes a rather good power ballad in the form of “No Stranger to Love.” This could rank up there with the other great power ballads but it’s here where the one flaw on the entire album comes through. Missing is Tony’s power chords which someone who has much experience of Black Sabbath had come to love about the band. It seemed that the guitar was turned down too much and that keeps the really good songs on the album from being great. Even on the third track. “Turn to Stone,” the loudness of the guitar just isn’t there and while it’s a good song, it could have been that much better.

Where things are done right in regards to the guitar is on the title track. True, the guitars could still be louder but they come through well enough. This song sounds the most like the gloom metal that Black Sabbath was famous for and it does house Tony’s second best guitar solo. “Danger Zone” is a straight-forward metal jam and it proved that Sabbath still had the goods to play. “Heart Like a Wheel” is a trademark bluesy Sabbath song but again, I wish the guitar had been turned up one more setting. That would have made it mind blowing. Hughes’s voice does strain a little on the high parts but Tony delivers his best guitar solo for the album. In fact, it just won my vote for hidden gem. “Angry Heart” starts off like the KISS classic, “Lick It Up.” It’s decent but once again, it could have been so much better if the guitar was louder. A bluesy sounding power ballad, “In Memory” does a very good job in closing the album. It has that eerie sound which I have always loved about Black Sabbath. I think Glenn’s vocals are the best on this one and this song alone would have made me buy another album, if the band had been around to put out another one.

Due to the fact that it wasn’t the regular members of Black Sabbath, I feel I must come in here and praise the efforts of the band here. Glenn Hughes’ vocals are right for the songs on it. He does do a good job here. When it was said that keyboardist Geoff Nicholls was made a full member of Black Sabbath, my response was, “It’s about time.” Geezer might have been gone, but the rhythm section of Dave Spitz and Eric Singer prove to be a formidable one to say the least. Therefore, it doesn’t surprise me in the least that Singer would eventually go on to play in KISS.

Track Listing:

  1. In For the Kill
  2. No Stranger to Love
  3. Turn to Stone
  4. Sphinx (The Guardian)
  5. Seventh Star
  6. Danger Zone
  7. Heart Like a Wheel
  8. Angry Heart
  9. In Memory

bsfti

Black Sabbath Featuring Tony Iommi

Tony Iommi- guitar

Glenn Hughes- vocals

Geoff Nicholls- keyboards

Dave Spitz- bass

Eric Singer- drums

Note: Six songs into the tour, Glenn Hughes was fired after a confrontation with the production manager and was replaced by Ray Gillen for the tour.

In spite of my praise for “Seventh Star,” things didn’t go well for Black Sabbath featuring Tony Iommi. I saw them on this tour and they played before a half empty Philadelphia Spectrum. Even WASP as support band couldn’t save it and I have to say, “Ray Gillen nailed the Dio era songs. I thought that was tragic but that doesn’t stop this album from being good and possibly very underrated.

This wasn’t the only thing to go wrong for Tony Iommi in 1986. The year would also be the end of his engagement to Lita Ford.

Next post: Queen- A Kind of Magic