Archive for August, 2011

Great Rock Albums of the 70s: Led Zepplin- Physical Graffiti

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 30, 2011 by 80smetalman

Although released in 1975, this is another album I didn’t get to hear until the early 1980s mainly owing to my self imposed repression back in my teenage years. I first heard this album in late 1980 or early 1981, I can’t pinpoint the exact time. All I know was that at the time, I was in the marines serving on a troop transport, which can get very boring. Therefore, in order to preserve sanity, we opened our musical minds and explored new horizons, something I am now very grateful about.

Enough about that though, before I heard “Physical Graffiti,” my main experience of these legends of the 70s was the fourth album, which really rocks out and a few odd tracks. My mind set of Led Zeppin was the standard four piece singer, guitar, bass and drums laying down some really cool hard rock. Therefore, I was at first surprised by the wide range of music the album had to offer. However, it didn’t stop me from liking the album any less. You could say that “Physical Graffiti” helped to expand my mind.

Track Listing:

1. Custard Pie

2. The Rover

3. In My Time of Dying

4. Houses of the Holy

5. Trampled Under Foot

6. Khashmir

7. In the Light

8. Bron- Yr- Aur

9. Down By the Seaside

10. Ten Years Gone

11. Night Fright

12. The Wanton Song

13. Boogie With Stu

14. Black Country Woman

15. Sick Again

Led Zepplin

Robert Plant- vocals, harmonica, accoustic guitar

Jimmy Page- electric, slide and accoustic guitars, harmonica, mandolin, synthesiser

John Paul Jones- bass, accoustic guitar, electric piano, meltron, mandolin, synthesiser, clavinet, organ

John Bonham- drums, percussion

I always have wondered what today’s put music neatly into categories world would make today if a noted heavy rock band like Led Zepplin put out a diverse album such as “Physical Graffiti.” Would the hardcore rockers accuse them of selling out? Fortunately, back in the 7os, people tended to listen to music with a more opened mind, which is why this album was so successful and is why it is listed among the albums you should listen to before you die.

Next post: Black Sabbath- Sabbath, Bloody Sabbath

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Great Rock Albums of the 70s: KISS- Destroyer

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 25, 2011 by 80smetalman

If there are any albums which I can site as being an album that converted me to metal, this would definitely be one of them. I wasn’t quite fifteen when this album came out and it would be a few months after its initial release before I actually heard any of it, but when I did, I was hooked. Before, I heard this album, my idea of hard rock was Bachman Turner Overdrive but KISS’s “Destroyer” album completely blew me away. This was in spite of my religious upbringing and some people trying to tell me that KISS were admitted Satan worshippers.

Track Listing:

1. Detroit Rock City

2. King of the Nighttime World

3. God of Thunder

4. Great Expectations

5. Flamming Youth

6. Sweet Pain

7. Shout It Out Loud

8. Beth

9. Do You Love Me

10. Rock and Roll Party

“Detroit Rock City” became a show opener for KISS for nearly the next ten years. I saw them in 85 and have the video of their 1984 tour and they opened both concerts with this song. Upon hearing it, I can definitely see why and is also why I include lyrics from the song in “Rock And Roll Children.” Of course the album includes the ballad Beth which, as I mentioned in previous postings, is the song that young rockers like me played to their girlfriends in the hopes it would lead to paradise.


Paul Stanley- rhythm guitar, vocals

Gene Simmons- bass, vocals

Ace Frehley- lead guitar, vocals

Peter Criss- drums, vocals

While KISS would dominate rock throughout the rest of the decade and go on to be a chief influence for many of the 80s metal bands, I’m afraid my religious affiliations would prevent me from getting into more of their music after this. However, although fear of hellfire at the time didn’t allow me to admit it, this album would always stick in my mind and be a big influence on me. But it just wasn’t me, many other great bands have covered songs from this album including Iced Earth, White Zombie and even Nirvana. But my favourite cover is Hammerfall’s cover of “Detroit Rock City.” If anyone wants to know where it all began, this album was one of the doorways.

Next Post: Led Zepplin: Physical Graffiti

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Great Rock Albums of the 70s: The Eagles- Hotel California

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 19, 2011 by 80smetalman

The Eagles are normally thought of as an easy listening band, mainly due to their countryfied sound. Throughout the seventies, they were able to cross over to both the country and pop charts with songs like “Lying Eyes,” “Tequila Sunrise” and “Take Me to the Limit.” The same can be said for this album because the single “New Kid in Town” hit number 43 in the country charts and number 2 in the pop charts. Therefore, it is no surprise that they have been labelled easy listening or country rock.

So if this band is considered easy listening, why did so many hard rockers like me go out and buy this album. The answer to this is simple, The Eagles can rock and tracks like “Life in the Fast Lane” and “Victim of Love” are testimony to this. But it’s not just these tracks, the title track itself was able to offer something that listeners of different musical genres could identify with. It also helped that back in the 70s, people weren’t as quick to categorise music like they do now. For me, it was that unique opening guitar riffs to the just hard enough rock melody throughout the middle to the cranking guitar solos at its finale. As a impressionable teenager back then, I watched a video of Hotel California and was totally blown away at the way lead guitarists Joe Walsh and Don Felder went back and forth trading guitar solos. I wonder if the metal bands who had dual lead guitarists who traded off solos got the idea here.

Track Listing:

1. Hotel California

2. New Kid in Town

3. Life in the Fast Lane

4. Wasted Time

5. Wasted Time Reprise

6. Victim of Love

7. Pretty Maids All in a Row

8. Try and Love Again

9. The Last Resort


The Eagles:

Don Felder: guitar, vocals, keyboards

Glen Frey- guitar, vocals, keyboards, piano

Don Henley- drums, vocals, keyboards

Randy Meisner- bass, vocals

Joe Walsh- guitar, slide guitar, vocals, keyboards

Another thing this album has in common with heavy metal of the 80s is that it has been accused of being satanic. Someone somewhere associated some of the lyrics of “Hotel California” with death and drew the conclusion that that was what the song was about. For me, I don’t waste my brain cells thinking about that. I just like listening to the great music it has to offer.

I am going on holiday for a week and when I return, the next post will be KISS- Destroyer

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Norweigan Tragedy, A Metalhead’s Take

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

Several weeks have passed since the tragedy that happened in Norway and I am still trying to get my head around as to why it happened. We now know that Anders Behring Breivik who carried out the atrocity was on the far right of the political spectrum and felt that he was saving his country from a takeover by Islam. Since the 1980s, there has been a more of a polarisation of political thought in Europe with more people going to the extreme right or left. However, for me this doesn’t wholly explain why it happened in the first place.

The main reason I am still struggling with this is because I went to Norway in 1980, not as a tourist, but as a member of the US Marine Corps, where I took part in a large NATO operation. I spent eight days walking the Norweigan countryside and getting rained on. September is the rainy season in Norway and it rained six days out of the eight I was there. But that’s not important, what is important is how extremely friendly the Norweigan people were. On the first night, we captured some Norweigan home guard as part of the war games and they in turn offered us all cigarettes and whisky. I don’t smoke, but did enjoy the latter. This was the case, the rest of the time. We would be in a position and the locals would come out and give us sweets, coffee and even beer. On the last day, as we marched back to the ship, we went past an all girls school and they came out and cheered us as we passed. This is my problem, I can’t understand how such a thing happened in a country where the people are so friendly.

Now you are probably asking yourself, what has this got to do with heavy metal? The answer is quite simple, there is a lot of metal in Norway. The first band that comes to mind is TNT who have been going since the 1980s and it was listening to their album “Realised Fantasies” that gave me the inspiration for this post. TNT have put out 12 studio and two live albums, but it was their first two “Kights of New Thunder” and “Tell No Tales” that are the most memorable for me. That is why I mention them quite a bit in Rock And Roll Children and give an account of the concert I saw at the Marquee in London.

Last year at the Bloodstock Festival, I had the opportunity to see another impressive band from Norway, Leaves Eyes. Of all the acts that were unknown to me before that weekend, Leaves Eyes is the one that impressed me the most. It was the way the operatic, melodic voice of lead singer, Liv Kristine and the more raw vocals of Alex Krull came together with the rest of the band. I suggest you check them out, you won’t be disappointed.

Of course, there are other metal bands in Norway like Angel, Bankok Babes, Wild Side and Hush to name a few. So, if you are trying to make sense of the tragedy, which befell Norway, then listen to a Norweigan metal band, I’m sure it will help you see things in a new light.

Next post: Back to Great Rock Albums of the 70s: The Eagles- Hotel California

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Great Rock Albums of the 70s: Kansas- Leftoverture

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 10, 2011 by 80smetalman

Back in the days when commercial radio didn’t largely suck, I remember riding in the car to go to the beach with my then girlfriend, when the song “Carry On My Wayward Son” came blasting through the airwaves and filling up the car speakers. It can be said that I was hooked from the moment. I found myself playing air guitar along to it and this was in the days before playing air guitar was popular.

“Carry On My Wayward Son” became a huge hit for Kansas, made the album “Leftoverture” a success and catapaulted the band into the limelight which would last throughout the rest of the 70s into the early 80s. The album itself was a do or die situation for Kansas as their record label was threatening to drop them if the album didn’t sell. Not only did “Leftoverture” sell, it went platinum and it is now established as one of the great rock albums of the decade. One of the reasons for its success, is that Kerry Livgren took over much of the song writing and took Kansas in a different direction. Out were the long sprawling songs of the previous albums in favour of shorter more accessible ones.

Track Listing:

1. Carry On My Wayward Son

2. The Wall

3. What’s On My Mind

4. Miracles Out of Nowhere

5. Opus Insert

6. Question of My Childhood

7. Cheyene Anthem

8. Magnum Opus


Phil Erhart- drums percussion

Dave Hope- bass

Kerry Livgren- guitar/ keyboards

Robby Steinhart- violin, viola, vocals

Steve Walsh- keyboards, vocals, xylophone, vibraphone

Rich Williams- guitar

While “Carry On My Wayward Son” is the most known song on the album, (it even appears in the Guitar Hero episode of South Park) the other tracks are very enjoyable as well. The entire album is one of those great summer vibe albums you can listen to while doing your outside summer activities. Listen and rock out!

Next post: Norway Remembered

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Great Rock Albums of the 70s: Bob Dylan- Hard Rain

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 5, 2011 by 80smetalman

Whenever anyone thinks of Bob Dylan, the first thought that enters people’s heads is the image of him playing an accoustic guitar, accompanied by his harmonica and singing folk style songs through his nose. It is true that most of his albums sort of fall into this vein and like me, most people who like Dylan, like him for his lyrics than for his music ability.

Then in 1976, I heard the Hard Rain album and upon hearing it, thought the album really rocked. Gone were the slow accoustic songs replaced by much harder versions on electric guitars. Old classics like “Lay Lady Lay,” “Maggie’s Farm” and “Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again” were given the rock treatment and in this blogger’s opinion, sound better for it. Unfortunately, most of the critics at the time didn’t share the same views as me and really came down on it. In spite of that, Hard Rain did go gold and peaked at 17 in the charts.

Track Listing:

1. Maggie’s Farm

2. One Too Many Mornings

3. Stuck Inside Of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again

4. Oh Sister

5. Lay Lady Lay

6. Shelter From the Storm

7. You’re a Big Girl Now

8. I Threw It All Away

9. Idiot Wind


Bob Dylan- lead vocals and guitar

T-Bone Burnett- guitar and piano

Mick Ronson- ~guitar

Steven Soles- guitar

David Mansfield- guitar

Rob Stoner- bass

Howard Wyeth- drums and piano

Gary Burke- drums

Scarlet Rivera- violin

This album was recorded live on Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue tour and it shows Dylan in a different light. It also shows that Dylan can rock a little.

Next Post: Kansas

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Great Rock Albums of the 70s: Bad Company- Straight Shooter

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

Since we are now in summer and I have heard a lot of talk about music that makes it feel like summer, especially from my friend Metalodyssey, I thought I would offer an album that reminds me of the summer. So now you have it, the second album by Bad Company, “Straight Shooter.” This album reminds me of summer mainly due to it’s hit single, “Feel Like Making Love.” That, to me, has always been a song for the lazy warm weather days. However, the other tracks on it compliment the summer feeling just as much. If I still had my copy, I would be laying on the grass with a beer in hand as I write this post from a laptop.

“Straight Shooter” was the follow up to Bad Company’s successful debut self titled album and was a big hit for them. While the album received mixed reviews from critics, it hit the top ten in the album charts in most countries, New Zealand being an exception where it only reached 13.

Track Listing:

1. Good Loving Gone Bad

2. Feel Like Making Love

3. Weep No More

4. Shooting Star

5. Deal With the Preacher

6. Wild Fire Woman

7. Anna

8. Call On Me

As I did my background research for this post, I was shocked to discover that the track “Shooting Star” was never released as a single. It’s defintely my favourite track on the album and I had no trouble finding it on a Limewire search. Furthermore, I have seen it on the odd juke box over the years. Maybe they should release it now as I’m sure many rockers would love it.

Bad Compny

Paul Rodgers- vocals, rhythm guitar and piano

Mick Ralphs- guitar, keyboards

Simon Kirke- drums

Boz Burrell- bass

There’s not much more I can say about this album. Just have a listen and enjoy the summer.

Next post: Bob Dylan- Hard Rain

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