Archive for July, 2011

Great Rock Albums of the 70s: Jefferson Starship- Spitfire

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 28, 2011 by 80smetalman

A common proverb through the years has been “Never judge a book by its cover.” I have always wondered if the same concept applies to music albums. In 1983, I learned the hard way never to buy an entire album on account of one song when I bought “The Getaway” by Chris DeBurgh because I liked the song “Don’t Pay The Ferryman.” On the other hand, if I didn’t buy the Jefferson Starship album on account of the single “With Your Love,” I wouldn’t have bought this album and would have been poorer for it. Fortunately, I did judge the album by its cover. The idea of a pretty lady riding on a dragon that was formed by the smoke of her cigarette was a cool image for me. To me, the “Spitfire” album was the first really cool album cover in my eyes.

Back in the late 1970s, Jefferson Starship were renowned for being a mellow out type of band. They were noted for songs like “Count On Me” from the “Earth” album and their top hit “Miracles” from the “Red Octopus” album and even on the “Spitfire” album, the hit single “With Your Love,” branded this band as one who excelled in mellow out rock.

Tack Listing:

1. Cruisin’

2. Dance With the Dragon

3. Hot Water

4. St. Charles

5. Song to the Sun

i. Part 1 Ozymadias

ii. Part 2, Don’t Let It Rain

6. With Your Love

7. Switchblade

8. Big City

9. Love Lovely  Love

Unlike the hit single, the other tracks are much more rocking and showcase the great musicianship posessed by the band. There are some good rocking tracks like “Dance With the Dragon” and “Don’t Let It Rain” and there is some great progressive rock on the tracks St. Charles and Switchblade and show cases the keyboard wizardry that is Pete Sears. What I like about this album especially is that lead guitarist Craig Chaquico is let loose on most of the tracks and is allowed to show that he can smoke the fingerboard.


Jefferson Starship:

Marty Balin- vocals

Grace Slick- vocals, piano of Ozymadias and Switchblade

Paul Kantner- rhythm guitar

Craig Chaquico- lead guitar

Pete Sears- bass and keyboards

David Freiberg- bass and keyboards

John Barbata- drums

Back when the album came out in 76, before people started putting music into categories, this album worked on a lot of levels. There are good hard rocking tracks, some great progressive rock and for the top 40 followers, a solid hit single. This is a great rock album and with the cool front cover design, shows you can judge and album by its cover.

Next post: Bad Company- Straight Shooter

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Great Rock Albums of the 70s: Boston

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 24, 2011 by 80smetalman

If I could point to any one album back in my naive teenage days which opened my eyes to the world of heavy rock, it would have to be the first album by Boston. When I first heard the song “More Than a Feeling,” I was completely blown away and made sure whenever that song played on the radio in late 1976 and early 1977, the volume would get turned up to full. Boston was the major turning point leading me out of relying on the top 40 played on AM radio to more harder rock persuits.

Track Listing:

1. More Than a Feeling

2. Peace Of Mind

3. Foreplay/Long Time

4. Rock and Roll Band

5. Smokin

6. Hitch A Ride

7. Something About You

8. Let Me Take You Home Tonight

While “More Than a Feeling” is the most popular Boston song of all time, (it appears on many compilation albums including three of mine) many of the other tracks can stand alone in their own right. “Peace of Mind” and “Foreplay/Long Time” also both made the top 40 charts and I know that “Let Me Take You Home Tonight” also received play on the radio. Furthermore, all of the other tracks also feature on classic rock stations and back in the late 70s, many thought that “Rock And Roll Band” should have also been released as a single, I was one of them.

Boston is:

Tom Sholtz- guitar, organ, electric piano, accoustic guitars, clavinet

Brad Delp- vocals

Sib Hashian- drums

Barry Goudreau- lead guitar

Fran Sheehan- bass

Boston’s first album is the second largest selling rock album of all time, only “Appetite for Destruction” by Guns and Roses has more sales. This album while a good rocking album is quite melodic as well, which is why it works on so many levels. After 35 years, this album continues to set a standard for great rock.

Next Post: Jeffereson Starship: Spitfire

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Other Great Metal Ballads

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 20, 2011 by 80smetalman

Like I said in the last post, it is a common belief that every metal band has their “token” ballad. This is true with many of them, although I still wouldn’t say that to any fans of Exodus. This next list is more of those great ballads. These aren’t necessary love songs. I mean I wouldn’t play “Community Property” by Steel Panther if I were going for seduction. Same with Kansas, according to Family Guy, you only listen to this one when you are walking the streets in deep contemplation. Anyway, enough of me, here’s the list and a few piccies.

  • Kansas- Dust In The Wind
  • Lionsheart- Flights of Angels
  • Anthrax- Nice F*cking Ballad
  • Dogs D’Amour- How Come It Never Rains
  • Warrior Soul- We Cry Out
  • Dio- This Is Our Life
  • Black Sabbath- Too Late
  • TNT- Eddie
  • Bonfire- Good Night Amanda
  • Stryper- Together As One
  • Heart- Allies
  • Von Groove- Arian
  • Vaughn- Paradise Ain’t Home
  • Pretty Maids- With These Eyes
  • Rainbow- Rainbow Eyes
  • Westworld- Suicide
  • Megadeth- A Tout Le Monde (not exactly a ballad, but it is the closest they will ever come to one
  • Tesla- Sail Away
  • Night Ranger- Sister Christian
  • Steel Panther- Community Property

I know there are probably hundreds more I can list here, so if you have your own ideas what should be included, let me know. Knowing me, I proabably missed some obvious ones.

Next post: Great Rock Albums of the 70s, Boston

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Great Metal Love Songs

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 14, 2011 by 80smetalman

Much has been said about metal love songs as of late. In fact, the Kerrang Channel recently played what was considered the greatest fifty power ballads. I didn’t watch as much as I would have liked but I could agree with some of the songs, although I personally wouldn’t call “How You Remind Me” by Nickelback a love song or even a ballad, but everyone has different ideas to what a ballad is.

It has been often said that every heavy metal band has its token ballad, although I don’t think anyone would dare say that to Exodus and a few like minded bands. As I’m beginning to mellow with age, well just a liittle, I have been taking more notice of some of these softer songs. Today I’m going to list the ones that I think most metalhead males play to their female counterparts in the hopes it will get them laid.


  • KISS- Beth
  • Motley Crue- Home Sweet Home
  • Poison- Every Rose Has Its Thorn
  • Def Leppard- When Love And Hate Collide
  • Guns and Roses- November Rain
  • Jouney- Open Arms
  • Rush- Closer To the Heart
  • Twisted Sister- You’re Not Alone (Suzette’s Song)
  • TNT- Lost Without Your Love
  • Twisted Sister- The Price
  • Thunder- A Better Man
  • Extreme- More Than Words
  • Little Angels- I Ain’t Gonna Cry
  • Aerosmith- I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing
  • The Scorpions- Winds of Change (Yes I know its about the collapse of the Berlin Wall, but a lot of ladies still like it)
  • Def Leppard- Love Bites
  • Nazereth- Love Hurts
  • Slade- My Oh My
  • April Wine- Just Between You and Me
  • Tyketto- Standing Alone
  • Pretty Boy Floyd- I Wanna Be With You
  • Mass- Do You Love Me

  • Metallica- Nothing Else Matters
  • LA Guns- Ballad of Jane
  • Danger Danger- One Step From Paradise
  • Nelson- Love and Affection
  • Dokken- Alone Again
  • Crystal Ball- Silence of the Night
  • Alice Cooper- You and Me
  • Alice Cooper- I’ll Never Cry
  • Alice Cooper- Only Women Bleed
  • Heart- Alone
  • The Scorpions- Still Loving You
  • Def Leppard- Bringing On the Heartbreak
  • Heart- These Dreams
  • Whitesnake- Here I Go Again
  • Steelheart- I’ll Never Let You Go
  • Thin Lizzy- I’m Still In Love With You

Obviously, this list is in no means exhaustive and there are probably many more songs you metalheads play to your girlfriends in order to seduce them. Please, let me know your favourites.

Next post: Other metal ballads

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Great Rock Albums of the 70s: Peter Frampton- Frampton Comes Alive

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 11, 2011 by 80smetalman

“”Frampton Comes Alive,” everyone knows this album. If you lived in the suburbs you were issued it. It came in the mail with boxes of Tide.”

Wayne Campbell

My copy of this album must have gotten lost in the mail because I never received it, although my mother did get her box of Tide. I never bought the album either, I didn’t have to. Practically everyone I know had a copy of it so whenever, I went to someone’s house in 1976 or 77, you could be assured that it was playing loud on the stereo. That is what happens when an album sells 6 million copies worldwide.

The thing “Frampton Comes Alive” is probably most famous for is Frampton’s use of the “talk box” on two of the songs. I still remember sitting in my Sophmore biology class listening to two of my classmates debate the merits of it. Even though the talk box was only used on two songs, it was enough to catapult the single “Show Me the Way” to number 6 in the US charts and number 10 in the UK. “Show Me the Way” wasn’t the only single from this album. The single “Baby I Love Your Way” reached 12 and 43 respectively in the US  and UK charts. Furthermore, it led to an entire generation, me included, trying to imitate his famous “Thank You” at the beginning of the song. Of course, many people like me can also relate to waking up in the morning feeling the same way as described in the single “Do You Feel Like We Do.”

Track Listing:

1. Something’s Happening

2. Doobie Wah

3. Show Me The Way

4. It’s a Plain Shame

5.  All I Want to Be Is (By Your Side)

6. Winds of Change

7. Baby I Love Your Way

8. I Wanna Go to the Sun

9. Penny For Your Thoughts

10. (I’ll Give You) Money

11. Shine On

12. Jumping Jack Flash

13. Lines on My Face

14. Do You Feel Like We Do

Musiscians on the album:

Peter Frampton- guitar and vocals

Bob Mayo- guitars, piano, electric piano, organ

Stanley Sheldon- bass

John Siomos- drums

There were some good live album before “Frampton Comes Alive” and many more since, but none of them achieved the success this album did. For me, it was the first live album I listened to and it is why it will always be in my mind when anyone mentions great live albums.

Next post: I will be taking a break from the Great Rock Albums of the 70s series and will write about the great heavy metal love songs.

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Great Rock Albums of the 70s: Deep Purple- Machine Head

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 8, 2011 by 80smetalman

The period of 1970-71 was obviously a great year for rock as two out of the three albums mentioned so far were made then. This post makes it three out of four as I present the “Machine Head” album by Deep Purple. Again, this is another one I didn’t listen to until later in life, probably because I was only nine or ten when this album was released. However, I can say that I have definitely made up for it since and I can include it among the greats of the decade.

Needless to say, the best known track on the album is the famous “Smoke on the Water,” a song known by metalheads young and old. Even after 40 years, young guitar apprentices play those famous opening riffs when they first learn to play an electric guitar. The song did for Deep Purple and “Machine Head” what “Stairway to Heaven” did for Led Zepplin on their forth album. But like Led Zepplin IV, “Machine Head” has many other great tracks on it such as “Highway Star” and “Space Truckin” which can stand on their own and make this album great.

Track Listing:

1. Highway Star

2. Maybe I’m a Leo

3. Pictures of Home

4. Never Before

5. Smoke on the Water

6. Lazy

7. Space Tuckin

Deep Purple is:

Ritchie Blackmore- guitar

Ian Gillian- vocals

 Roger Glover- bass

Jon Lord- keyboards

Ian Paice- drums

In the eyes and ears of many metalheads and ageing rockers like me, “Machine Head” will go down as Deep Purple’s greatest album. When I finally got to see them live in 1985, I thought it was only fitting that the first and last songs of that concert were from this album, which I sing the praises of in “Rock And Roll Children.”

Next post: Peter Frampton- Frampton Comes Alive

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Great Rock Albums of the 70s: Led Zepplin IV

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 4, 2011 by 80smetalman

Of all the people in my age group I have met over the years, I have only ever met one person who had never heard the famous song “Stairway to Heaven.” For forty years, that song has been a classic anthem with rockers both young and old. I mean who hasn’t been to at least one music shop where there’s a sign on the wall banning people from playing it on the guitar in the shop. “Stairway to Heaven” is definitely among the top classics. However, if Led Zepplin had been around in the 80s, it would have been classed as their token ballad or they might have been accused of selling out by some metalheads.

While “Stairway to Heaven” is one of the reasons why Led Zepplin IV is such a great album, it isn’t the only good song on it. There is an argument for all eight songs on the album to given the spotlight. I’ve seen both “Rock And Roll” and “Misty Mountain Hop” on juke boxes and my favourite has always been “Black Dog.” Five out of the eight songs appear on the “Mothership” album. Each and every song makes this album such a classic.

Track Listing:

1. Black Dog

2. Rock and Roll

3. The Battle of Evermore

4. Stairway to Heaven

5. Misty Mountain Hop

6. Four Sticks

7. Going to California

8. When the Levee Breaks

Robert Plant- vocals

Jimmy Page- guitar

John Paul Jones- bass

John Bonham- drums

I will not debate anyone who mentions the many other great albums which Led Zepplin put out in the 70s. “Physical Graffiti” and “Led Zepplin II” already come to mind. However, it is “Led Zepplin IV” that shows the true rock talents of Led Zepplin and why it is one of the greatest rock albums ever.

Next Post: Deep Purple, Machine Head

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Great Rock Albums of the 1970s: Black Sabbath- Paranoid

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 1, 2011 by 80smetalman

Living the sheltered life I did as a teenager back in the 1970s, I didn’t hear this album until 1980. When I did, I thought this was the hardest rock album ever (until then). Hearing the Paranoid album changed my view on music forever. After that, I completely abandoned any feeling for the top 40 and have been a dedicated metal head ever since and this is the album I have to thank for it.

Every rock or metal compilation album puts the title track “Paranoid” on it knowing that it will boost the album. I won’t take anything away from the song, it’s a good one. However, the song that did it for me and is still my favourite Sabbath tune is definitely “War Pigs.” Having seen Sabbath twice in concert, I cheer the loudest when they play it. Of course, we can’t forget the brilliant riffs that is “Iron Man” as well as the other songs like “Fairies Wear Boots.” From beginning to end, it is understandable why this is one of the true metal albums of all time.

Tack listing:

1. War Pigs

2. Paranoid

3. Planet Caravan

4. Iron Man

5. Electric Funeral

6. Hand of Doom

7. Rat Salad

8. Fairies Wear Boots

Ozzy Osbourne- vocals

Tony Iommi- guitar

Geezer Butler- bass

Bill Ward- drums

No one can argue against the Paranoid album by Black Sabbath as being the template for what true metal albums since should be like. This album has been often immitated but never duplicated and will forever stand the test of time.

Next Post: Led Zepplin IV

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