Archive for October, 2011

Great Rock Albums of the 70s: Aerosmith- Rocks

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

Aerosmith could not have put out a better album to follow up on the highly successful and popular “Toys in the Attic” album. “Rocks” does exactly what it says on the label, it rocks! Many albums have what I call great opening tracks and this is definitely with the opener here. “Back in the Saddle” can be listed as one of those first tracks that say “You’re gonna listen to this album and like it.” Of course, the other tracks on the album like “Last Child” and “Nobody’s Fault” along with all of the others back up the first track and make “Rocks” a truly memorable album.

One track which also must be mentioned here is “Rats in the Cellar” for two reasons. As with the rest of the album it is a great track, but not only that, Tom Hamilton states that it was originally written as a counterpart to the title track “Toys in the Attic.” I can see a little bit of humour on this. But more importantly for me, Hamilton says the track was inspired by the death of the band’s drug dealer. This, to me, is kind of ironic because it has been said that after “Rocks,” Aerosmith began their descent from musicians dabbling in drugs to druggies dabbling in music and began, to quote Joe Perry, “Make albums in order to pay their dealers.”

Track Listing:

1. Back in the Saddle

2. Last Child

3. Rats in the Cellar

4. Combination

5. Sick as a Dog

6. Nobody’s Fault

7. Get the Lead Out

8. Lick and a Promise

9. Home Tonight

Aerosmith

Steven Tyler- vocals

Joe Perry- lead guitar

Brad Whitford- guitar

Tom Hamilton- bass

Joey Kramer- drums

Many great metal acts from the 80s and since have sited Aerosmith’s “Rocks” album was one of their greatest influences. Acts from Metallica to Kurt Cobain to Slash and more all pay homage to this great offering in music. Furthermore, many tracks, especially “Nobody’s Fault” has been covered by many times. As great classic rock albums go, this is one of the best.

Next post: Aerosmith- Draw the Line

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Froogle and Barnes & Noble

 

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Great Rock Albums of the 70s: Ted Nugent- Cat Scratch Fever

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music with tags , , , , , , , , on October 27, 2011 by 80smetalman

Growing up as a teen in the late 70s, I did not own one of those bulky home entertainment centers like my friend did. Instead, I had to rely on an antique radio that only got AM and had a limited range. As a result, I only got to hear a rock song if it got into the top 40. So, immagine my surprise when listening to my relic when one day the song “Cat Scratch Fever” by Ted Nugent came blasting through it. I’m surprised that that old radio didn’t explode upon the heavy riffs which were blasting out of it. That song would change me in more ways than I could have immagined back then.

When I said top 40 earlier, I didn’t mention that back in 1977 when this great album was unleashed, that the charts were full of disco. Back then, we had to contend with the “Saturday Night Fever” onslaught, so it was a welcome relief to hear a true rock song on the radio. For me, it was “Cat Scratch Fever” that got me to join the “Death Before Disco” club.

Like the “Hair of the Dog” album by Nazereth a few years earlier, the “Cat Scratch Fever” album could also be cited as a model on what future heavy metal albums were to sound like. When I eventually heard the album in its entirety, I was impressed that it was full on kick ass rock from start to finish. I was mesmeried by the full power of it and even then, I regarded Ted Nugent as a guitar god who could wail away with the best of them.

Track Listing:

1. Cat Scratch Fever

2. Wang Dang Sweet Poontang

3. Death by Misadventure

4. Live It Up

5. Homebound

6. Working Hard

7. Sweet Sally

8. A Thousand Knives

9. Fist Fighting Son of a Gun

10. Out of Control

Ted Nugent- vocals, lead guitar

Cliff Davies- drums, vocals

Derek St Holmes- rhythm guitar, vocals

Rob Grange- bass

When I did finally get to see this guitar god live, I was impressed with how he played “Cat Scratch Fever” and then followed it on with “Wang Dang Sweet Poontang” although I would have preferred to hear the first song played in it’s entirety. Both concerts are mentioned in “Rock and Roll Children.” “Cat Scratch Fever” will forever go down in the annals of heavy metal history as one of the great albums of all time.

Next Post: Aerosmith- Rocks

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle

 

Great Rock Albums of the 70s: Rush- Farewell to Kings

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

It is said that it is difficult to follow up on a great album, however, the “Farewell to Kings” album from Rush does exactly that. Following on from 2112, this album proves to be the next step which would eventually lead to the band’s domination of rock in the late 70s to early 80s.

For me, “Farewell to Kings” proves the band’s versatility. I immediately start headbanging away to the title track and then get caught up in the eleven minute long “Xanadu” where I just want to sit down with a beer and just get into the vibe. Far from being an album of long concept songs, the second side hits you with some short sharp songs starting with the classic “Closer to the Heart” before finishing up with another 10 minute long track that just gets you to wind down. From start to finish, this album is a real gem.

Track Listing

1. Farewell to Kings

2. Xanadu

3. Closer to the Heart

4. Cinderella Man

5. Madrigal

6. Cygnus X- 1 Book 1- The Voyage

Rush:

Geddy Lee- voclas, bass, 12 string guitar, mini moog, bass pedal synthesiser

Alex Liefson- guitars- bass pedal synthesiser

Neil Peart- drums, percussion

Rush fans have been debating for three and a half decades which is the better album between “2112” and “Farewell to Kings” and this argument will probably go on for three and a half decades more. These are both truly great albums.

Next post: Ted Nugent- Cat Scratch Fever

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle

 

Great Rock Albums of the 70s: Rush- 2112

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

I didn’t know much about Rush until I joined the marines in 1979 where a couple of buddies there introduced me to them. It was an introduction that I have been forever grateful for, otherwise, I would never have heard some of the great music that Rush has treated us to for more than three decades, this album being one of them.

2112 has been listed as one of the albums you must listen to before you die. I have listened to it but that was such I long time ago that I think I need to listen to it again and definitely long before I die. I know several die hard Rush fans and a good percentage of them say that this was their greatest album. I’m not sure about that but it does definitely rank up there for me.

What I like about this album is the title track concept 2112. It’s a 20 minute long song which is broken down into several parts. It tells of a future where the planets are ruled by the Red Star of the Solar Federation and bey2112, the world is ruled by the priest of the Temple of Syrinx who dictate everything including music. A man discovers a guitar which gets destroyed and as a result, goes into hiding and ends up committing suicide. A planetary battle begins resulting in an ambiguous ending. However, it is a great case of rock music meeting science fiction and it’s a great listen as is the rest of the album.

Track Listing:

1. 2112

i. Overture

ii. Temple of Syrinx

iii. Presentation

iv. Discovery

v. Oracle: The Dreamer

vi. Sililoquy

vii. Grand Finale

2. Passage to Bankok

3. Twilight Zone

4. Lessons

5. Tears

6. Something for Nothing

Rush

Geddy Lee- bass, vocals, synthesiser

Alex Liefson- guitars

Neil Peart- drums, percussion

As far as concept albums go, this is one of the best. There are some great moments on 2112 and I can see why some call it their best.

Next Post: Rush- Farewell to Kings

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Froogle and Barnes & Noble

 

Great Rock Albums of the 70s: Bruce Springsteen- Born to Run

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 17, 2011 by 80smetalman

Growing up in New Jersey in the 70s, it would have been an act of betrayal if I didn’t include this classic from Bruce Springsteen. While “The Boss” was still making a name for himself throughout the rest of the world, he was loved as a local boy who was making it good. Therefore not many people living in my neck of the woods were surprised when “Born to Run” sprinboarded Springsteen to fame.

One thing I notice about a lot of metal bands who haven’t quite made the big time, (yes I know Bruce Springsteen isn’t heavy metal) is that they are hungry and that hunger is reflected in the music. I can say the exact same thing about the “Born to Run” album. There is a definite hunger reflected in the tracks of this album and it is why many Springsteen officianados say that it is his best of all time.

Track Listing:

1. Thunder Road

2. Tenth Avenue Freeze Out

3. Night

4. Backstreets

5. Born to Run

6. She’s th One

7. Meeting Across the River

8. Jungleland

The E-Street Band

Bruce Springsteen- lead vocals, guitars, harmonica and percussion

Roy Bittan- piano, backing vocals

Ernest “Boom” Carter- drums on “Born to Run”

Clarenece Clemmons- saxophone, tambourine, backing vocals

Danny Federici- organ

Suki Lahav- violin on “Jungleland”

David Sancious- piano, organ on “Born to Run”

Gary W. Tallent- bass

Steven Van Zandt- backing vocals, horn arrangement

Max Weinberg- drums

 “Born to Run” is one of those classics that even hardcore metal heads like me proudly say they love. Besides it can be said that the album did have an influence on heavy metal. Bruce Springsteen’s famous saxophonist, the late Clarence Clemmons, plays on the Twisted Sister song “Be Cruel to Your School,” which I will be looking at more in the distant future. I only wish I posessed hindsight so I could have made more of it in “Rock And Roll Children.”

 Next Post: Rush 2112

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle

 

 

Great Rock Albums of the 70s: AC/DC: Let There Be Rock

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 15, 2011 by 80smetalman

This is the first time I’ve done a back to back post with the same act. Usually when I think of the great rock artists from the 70s, there is one album that sticks out. However, with AC/DC, this isn’t the case. None of the four albums they put out between 1976-78 stick out for me, I love them all equally. This post looks at the second of these, “Let There be Rock.” But don’t worry, the other two albums in this group, “Powerage” and “If You Want Blood, You Got It” will definitely be featured in future posts. There is a method to my madness.

“Let There Be Rock” picks up perfectly from where “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” left off. It continues to showcase the hard rock sound that is unique to AC/DC and each time I listen to it, I start headbanging from the opening notes of “Go Down” and don’t stop until the final notes of “Whole Lotta Rosie.” Other highlights include the title track that tells the story of the origins of rock through great music and after listening to the track, I totally agree that Hell ain’t a bad place  to be.

Track Listing:

1. Go Down

2. Dog Eat Dog

3. Let There Be Rock

4. Bad Boy Boogie

5. Problem Child

6. Overdose

7. Hell Ain’t a Bad Place to Be

8. Whole Lotta Rosie

As I wrote each track down, I found myself singing that track in my head, that shows what a kick ass album it is. Scott, Young, Young, Evans and Rudd prove themselves to be the good tight band which would see them climb to the top a few short years later, although this would be the last album for bassist Mark Evans.

AC/DC

Bon Scott- vocals

Angus Young- lead guitar

Malcolm Young- rhythm guitar

Mark Evans- bass

Phil Rudd- drums

It was albums like this one why AC/DC are still a great live act even after all these years including an account in “Rock And Roll Children” which took place in 1985. If you listened to “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap,” then why don’t you continue the party and listen to “Let There Be Rock.” You won’t be disappointed.

Next post: Bruce Springsteen, Born to Run

To buy Rock And Roll Children visit: www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle

 

Great Rock Albums of the 70s: AC/DC- Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap

Posted in Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 9, 2011 by 80smetalman

I didn’t hear of this album until 1981 when it was re-released in the U.S. By that time, AC/DC had already climbed to the precipice of rock with killer albums like “Highway to Hell” and “Back in Black.” “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” was originally released back in 1976, when practically no one outside of Austrailia knew who they were. This was a shame because back then, AC/DC definitely had the hunger which many acts who haven’t made it to the big time have and this album is living proof of that.

Like Judas Priest, AC/DC were an act that paid their dues throughout the 70s before making it big in 1979 and 80. I was one of the many, who after hearing either “Highway to Hell” or “Back in Black,” explored the early discography of this band. So, when this particular album came out, I immediately went out and bought it and I haven’t regretted it for one minute. 

While the album showcases AC/DC’s hard rocking sound that millions around the world have come to love, it also shows a more humourous side to them. Listening to the lyrics of the title track and the double entendre behind “Big Balls,” which must still give the PMRC a stroke, brings a smile to my face each time I have listened to it over the past 30 years. “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” continues to be one of those lost treasures still enjoyed today.

Track Listing:

1. Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap

2. Love At First Feel

3. Big Balls

4. Rocker

5. Problem Child

6. There’s Gonna Be Some Rockin’

7. Ain’t No Fun (Waiting Around to be a Millionaire)

8. Ride On

9.  Squealer

Bon Scott- vocals

Angus Young- lead guitar

Malcom Young- rhythm guitar

Mark Evans- bass

Phil Rudd- drums

This is a classic album from one of the classic bands of all time. If you haven’t heard this album in a while, take it out and relive some great classic rock by a greatly loved band.

Next post: AC/DC- Let There Be Rock

To Buy Rock And Roll Children, go to www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle