Great Rock Albums of 1984: TNT- Knights of New Thunder

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 21, 2018 by 80smetalman

You’ve probably guessed that I’ve been off from my main job the past several days or why else would I be able to post three days in a row? That all changes as I’m back in work tonight so before I go, I thought I’d leave it with a post about an album from whom I call my favourite Norwegian band, TNT. Leaves Eyes does come a close second though. I didn’t hear their second album, “Knights of New Thunder” until 1986 and I have to say that I was quite impressed when I did.

“Knights of New Thunder” was the first album to feature American born Tony Harnell, though for some reason, he is credited on the first few TNT albums as Hansen. Anyway, Tony’s fantastic vocal range completed what is essentially a great band. I can totally understand why my sister put him into her band of underrated musicians. Speaking of underrated, guitarist Ronni Le Tekro doesn’t get the true recognition he deserves either. He does hammer out some really amazing guitar solos on this album.

Things open on the album with probably the best known track on it, “Seven Seas.” It seems to be the one most people remember whenever it is mentioned. The reason for this is a no-brainer. Harnell’s vocals shine through straight away supported by Le Tekro’s guitar work. We must not forget the rhythm section of Morty Black and Diesel Dahl who are as tight as any on this album. While “Seven Seas” is the most well known track on “Knights of New Thunder,” the rest of the album is just as good. In fact, the only tracks that might be called filler are “USA” and “Deadly Metal” though I like both of these tracks too. On a personal note, the lyrics to “Break the Ice” were very important to me in late 1986. The title track ranks right up there with the best album closers.

There is one difference in the tracks on the US version and the European version of the album. Having the US one, I was treated to my favourite track on the album, “Eddie,” while Europeans had the track “Tor With the Hammer” which itself is a pretty good track. “Eddie” is a very good power ballad whose lyrics I found very amusing. I think the song is about a deranged dog but I have known humans who fit in quite nicely with the lyrics of the chorus.

“Eddie likes torture and pain;

And Eddie’s crying in the rain;

Eddie’s got a twisted brain;

And neighours think that he’s insane;

Eddie strikes again.” 

Track listing:

  1. Seven Seas
  2. Ready to Leave
  3. Klassik Romance
  4. Last Summer’s Evil
  5. Lost Without Your Love
  6. Break the Ice
  7. Tor With the Hammer
  8. USA
  9. Deadly Metal
  10. Knights of New Thunder
  11. Eddie (Track 6 on the US version)

TNT

Tony Harnell (Hansen in the credits)- lead vocals

Ronni Le Tekro- guitars, backing vocals

Morty Black- bass, backing vocals, synthesizer

Diesel Dahl- drums

Because of “Eddie,” there are two power ballads on the US version of “Knights of New Thunder.” While I prefer “Eddie” to “Lost Without Your Love,” I do think Le Tekro’s guitar solo on the song is amazing. It has been said that “Knights of New Thunder” would be TNT’s last pure metal album as they would go more glam after. My sister was always jealous of the band’s hair. While, I will explore that theory down the line, I will say for now to just kick back on enjoy the delights of this one.

Next post: Deep Purple- Perfect Strangers

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://crreadac.cf/current/ebooks-free-download-rock-and-roll-children-fb2-by-michael-d-lefevre.html

 

 

 

 

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Rest In Peace Bruno Sammartino

Posted in 1980s, Rock with tags , , , , , , on April 20, 2018 by 80smetalman

Bruno Sammartino

It’s my sad duty to announce the passing of the first ever legend of the WWE, the only real living legend, Bruno Sammartino. He was two time WWE champion and to my knowledge, his first title reign was the longest in the history of the federation, from 1963-71. His second title reign might have only been half as long but that has been longer than many champions since. Bruno Sammartino was also called, “Wrestling’s only true good guy.”

Bruno winning the title.

Although first retired in 1980, he did make a comeback in the mid 1980s, right when the rock and wrestling connection was getting into full swing. He may not have been fully active in that but his presence was still felt in the wrestling world. A tragic loss for wrestling and it seems 2018 will continue to suck as so many greats are taken from us.

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1984: Tank- Honour and Blood

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 19, 2018 by 80smetalman

A term that has been batted around quite a lot here on 80smetalman is ‘hidden gem.’ In most cases, I use it to describe a song I really like on an album that has a well known single or two on it. On occasion, I have also used the term to describe albums from bands who have more well known albums than the one I am posting about at the time. Now, I’m going to use it to describe a band or two. Whenever the new wave of British heavy metal, (NWOBHM), is mentioned, the first bands that come to mind, even mine, are Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Def Leppard and maybe Saxon. All of them great bands who have given us more than three and a half decades of great music. However as I tour through the years, I have discovered two hidden gems from the NWOBHM age. One I posted about a couple of months ago, Grimm Reaper. The other is brought to you now, Tank. I knew of both bands back in the day and loved them and often wonder why neither of them were as big as the others.

Back in those days, I had become quite diligent in scouring the heavy metal import section at my local record store and that’s where I came across what I think is their best album, “Honour & Blood.” The problem is that I didn’t appreciate it enough back then, so I’m making up for it now. What you get with this album is seven songs of pure metal magic. The shortest song is a mere four minutes and thirty-seven seconds long and there is only one other song less than five. Tank go off on crazy long metal jams which are just superb. There is not one song, even the two that are eight minutes long, where I am thinking that the song has gone on for too long. BTW, those eight minuters are the opening and closing tracks on the album and a good way to do it. Especially so on the closer because it features the very amusing lyrics, “Kill, the poor bastard’s dying.” What a fun way to the close the album, of course the cool guitar solo kind of punctuates it too.

As for the songs in between, they are all great! “When All Hell Freezes Over” is a typical but well done pure metal jam and I’m hooked by the way they sing the chorus. Blistering guitars adorn the title track. “W.M.L.A. (Wasting My Life Away)” and “Too Tired to Wait For Love” are also great metal anthems and more than just amusing titles. However, my favourite track is the cover of the Aretha Franklin hit, “Chain of Fools.” I admit, the rhythm reminds me a little of the Rolling Stones classic, “Satisfaction,” but the song just kicks it.

Track Listing:

  1. The War Drags Ever On
  2. When All Hell Freezes Over
  3. Honour and Blood
  4. Chain of Fools
  5. W.M.L.A. (Wasting My Life Away)
  6. Too Tired To Wait For Love
  7. Kill

Tank

Algy Ward- bass, vocals

Cliff Evans- guitar

Mick Tucker- guitar

Graeme Crallan- drums

The more I reflect back to those years, the more convinced I am that Tank were a hidden gem in the new wave of British heavy metal. They may not have hit it as big as the others, constant personnel changes didn’t help them there, but they left behind several albums, including “Honour and Blood” for us to enjoy.

Next Post: TNT- Knights of New Thunder

To get Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://crreadac.cf/current/ebooks-free-download-rock-and-roll-children-fb2-by-michael-d-lefevre.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1984: David Bowie- Tonight

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 14, 2018 by 80smetalman

Every year through the journey through the golden age of heavy metal, there is no doubt in my mind that I missed an album or two that was considered a great album in that year. One I nearly missed was the “Tonight” album from the legendary David Bowie. My (poor) excuse for this was the fact that I was so caught up in posting about all the great metal albums that this one nearly past me by.

Thinking back to said year, I remember when the single, “Blue Jean,” from the album first appeared on MTV, my reaction to the song was, “Hey, David has gone back to his more traditional roots that brought him fame, no pun intended, in the 1970s.” “Blue Jean” is considered a light rocker in my eyes and it is the best song on the album. Back then, it persuaded me that “Tonight” would be better than his previous album, “Let’s Dance,” so I went out an procured it. After a listen, I came to the conclusion that “Tonight” was better than “Let’s Dance,” but not that much better.

For the first few songs, “Tonight” sounds like it was it was preformed by a late 1970s lounge act. Everything that comprises such a thing is present in these songs. It’s definitely music to mellow out to, however, I can not fault the first rate musicianship on the songs. It is why I can say that while theses songs aren’t exactly my cup of tea, they still provide good listening to if you are in the right mood. Two prime examples are the seven minute long opener, “Loving the Alien” and his mellowed cover of the Beach Boys classic, “God Only Knows.”

For those who have “Tonight” on vinyl or cassette, side two goes in a more harder rock direction starting with “Neighbourhood Threat.” This is a decent rocker and even more harder than the single “Blue Jean” and precisely the reason why it’s the hidden gem on the album. The single comes next and things pretty much carry on from there, although the remainder of the songs aren’t quite as hard rock as these two. Saying that, I do like the horns sound in “I Keep Forgettin.'” The second side is definitely the better side for me.

Track Listing:

  1. Loving the Alien
  2. Don’t Look Down
  3. God Only Knows
  4. Tonight
  5. Neighbourhood Threat
  6. Blue Jean
  7. Tumble and Twirl
  8. I Keep Forgettin’
  9. Dancing With the Big Boys

David Bowie

David Bowie- lead vocals

Derek Bramble- guitar, synthesizers, bass, backing vocals

Carlos Alomar- guitar

Omar Hakim- drums

Carmine Rojas- bass

Mark King- bass on “Tumble and Twirl”

Rob Yale- CMI on “Loving the Alien,” “Tonight” and “God Only Knows”

Guy St Ange-marimba

Sammy Figueroa- percussion

Tina Turner- vocals on “Tonight”

Iggy Pop- backing vocals on “Dancing With the Big Boys”

Robin Clark, George Simms, Curtis King- backing vocals

The Borneo Horns:

Stanley Harrison- alto and tenor saxophones

Lenny Pickett- tenor sax, clarinet

Steve Elson- baritone saxophone

Arif Mardison- string arrangements, synthesizers

Okay, David Bowie’s 1984 album “Tonight” doesn’t make me stop wanting to listen to “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and Spiders From Mars” but it is, at least in my opinion, better than his more commercial album, “Let’s Dance.” While it’s not something I would want to listen to in conjunction with any metal album, it is still a good album to lay back, mellow out and appreciate the fine playing on it.

Next post: Tank- Honour & Blood

To get Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://crreadac.cf/current/ebooks-free-download-rock-and-roll-children-fb2-by-michael-d-lefevre.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1984: Whitesnake- Slide It In

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 11, 2018 by 80smetalman

Well, here I go! This is my fourth post in as many days and my fifth in the past six. See what happens when a person has too much time on their hands. It is a good feeling compared to when I am so swamped, I worry that I won’t get out my self appointed quota of two posts a week. What better way to end this run than to post about the first Whitesnake album I seriously listened to, “Slide It In.”

One thing I didn’t realize back in 84 that I learned shortly after was that Whitesnake were going through their normal personnel changes at the time the album was recorded. After the recording of the album, both guitarists and bassist would leave bringing in guitarist John Sykes and bassist Neil Murray to play on the US version of the album. As it was the US version I’m most familiar with, the focus of the post will be in light of that.

For those who have Whitesnake’s “Greatest Hits” album, one would believe that they put out loads of power ballads. However, those who delve further into the band’s discography would quickly discover the misconception of that belief. The two tracks on “Slide It In” that comes even close to being a power ballad are “Love Ain’t No Stranger” and the single, “Slow and Easy.” Even those songs only appear to be such at the beginning before going much harder.

The album also leads off with the title track and my all time favourite Whitesnake song. This song demonstrates that Whitesnake has always had it in them to be more than a commercial metal band who played nothing more than power ballads. These days people say that about Bon Jovi but I digress. The rest of “Slide It In” follows in the vein of my all time favourite song. The songs are harder although there is some good melody in them. I like the Jon Lord’s keyboards sound in “Gambler,” especially the way it links up with the guitar solo. “Guilty of Love” is similar to the title track as a metal tune. It would have sounded even better if the guitar on the mix was turned up a fraction higher. Same things can be said for the remainder of the songs for I can see why some people argue that “Slide it In” was Whitesnake’s last real metal album.

Track Listing:

  1. Slide It In
  2. Slow and Easy
  3. Love Ain’t No Stranger
  4. All Or Nothing
  5. Gambler
  6. Guilty of Love
  7. Hungry for Love
  8. Give Me More Time
  9. Spit It Out
  10. Standing in the Shadow

Whitesnake- 1984

David Coverdale- lead vocals

Mel Galley- guitar, backing vocals

Mick Moody- guitar

Carl Hodgkinson- bass

Jon Lord- keyboards

Cozy Powell- drums

John Sykes- guitar on US release

Neil Murray- bass on US release

John Sykes

Was “Slide It In” Whitesnake’s last real metal album? I won’t get roped into that debate, especially when I hear some of the songs from their next album. However, that wouldn’t come out for another three years so it’s hard to judge. What I do know is that I really liked this album and it compelled me to go check out Whitesnake’s earlier material, particularly when I got to England.

Next post: David Bowie- Tonight

To get Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://crreadac.cf/current/ebooks-free-download-rock-and-roll-children-fb2-by-michael-d-lefevre.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A New Metal Discovery- Slave to Sirens

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 10, 2018 by 80smetalman

“Oh my God,” you’re all probably thinking. Is 80smetalman on speed or has he lost one of his jobs? Neither, hwile I admit it is a rarity that I make three posts in as many days. Actually it will be four in four as I intend to write my Whitesnake post tomorrow but this is something I must post about. While originally created to take readers through the history of 1980’s heavy metal and sell “Rock and Roll Children,” I have expanded to reporting on festivals, concerts and to alert people of new metal acts that people might be interested in hearing about. Cue Black Emerald and Hannah Wicklund and the Steppin Stones but this morning I have, thanks to Google Alerts, been led to another cool metal band, Slave to Sirens.

                                                Slave to Sirens

As you can see from the photo, Slave to Sirens are and all female band and that’s important in light of yesterday’s post. I am on a campaign to stamp out sexism in metal, there’s no need for it. However, being all female isn’t the most interesting part about this band, what is more interesting is the fact that they hail from Lebanon. This is a country that has been experiencing its an East-West clash for several decades and has had problems with Islamic Extremists. So, for these girls to play metal and even daring to wear Western style clothing is a testament to the guts these ladies possess. Furthermore, I think that they display these guts in their music. I’ve listened to their four song demo, which I will share at the bottom of the page.

Slave to Sirens is:

Shery Bachara- lead guitar

Tatyana Boughara- drums

Alma Douhmani- bass

Maya Khairallah- lead vocals

Lilas Mayassi- rhythm guitar

Don’t expect any love songs here, just straight forward fast, speed metal. They cement my belief that heavy metal is for all people regardless of race, gender or culture. I think these five ladies would agree with that.

Track Listing:

Terminal Leeches

Humanesticide

Slave to Sirens

Congenital Evil

 

Listen and enjoy!

 

WOMEN IN METAL: I SALUTE YOU

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on April 9, 2018 by 80smetalman

I think this writer hits the nail on the head here.

Atom Smasher Music

5877F79B-former-arch-enemy-singer-angela-gossow-i-want-to-do-a-new-extreme-metal-project-image “What’s a pretty girl like you doing making a horrible noise like that?” 

 “Are you the groupie or the merch girl?”

 “Watching with the sound off cos I don’t wanna listen to your music but I wanna fuck you so bad.”

“Angela Gossow would kick your ass and Simone Simmons is way hotter than you.” 

These are just a few of the comments I’ve received as a woman playing in a metal band. I think I despise the last one the most.

Firstly, Simone Simmons is the fantastic soprano singer in Epica. I play guitar in a post metal band. But, despite having very little in common musically, our appearances apparently *must* be rated against each other.

No one compares the handsomeness of our male guitarist against say, Bruce Dickinson, because they realize how ABSURD and IRRELEVANT that is. They manage to discuss the boys’ vastly different musical merits without…

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