Archive for December, 2011

Great Rock Albums, 1978: ELO- Out of the Blue

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , , on December 28, 2011 by 80smetalman


 Before everybody starts getting on my case about historical accuracy, something I myself am big on, I know that “Out of the Blue” was actually released in 1977. However, I didn’t hear this fine album until 1978 and because it was the very first album I listened to that year, I thought it was only fitting that I begin the new series with it. I first heard it on the very first weekend in January 1978 while over my friend’s place and I must say I was hooked from the very first track, “Turned to Stone.” It was only fitting that I listen to the rest of it.

Back in 1978, I considered ELO’s “Out of the Blue” album to be state of the art as did many back then. I was completely impressed with the use of instruments, synthesisers and other sound effects like the recording of actual rainfall in the four song piece, “Concerto for a Rainy Day.” I was further impressed with how ELO used classical instruments such as cellos and violins and still maintained a unique rock sound. This is why the album was considered a scientific breakthrough back then.

Track Listing:

1. Turned to Stone

2. It’s Over

3. Sweet Talkin’ Woman

4. Across the Border

5. Night in the City

6. Starlight

7. Jungle

8. Believe Me Now

9. Stepping Out

Concerto for a Rainy Day

10. Standing in the Rain

11. Big Wheels

12. Summer and Lightning

13. Mr Blue Sky

14. Sweet is the Night

15. The Whale

16. Birmingham Blues

17. Wild West Hero



Jeff Lynne- lead vocals, guitar

Bev Bevan- drums, percussion

Richard Tandy- keyboards, guitar

Kelly Groucutt- bass

Mik Kaminski- violin

Melvin Gayle- cello, piano

Hugh McDowell- cello

Since this album kicked off 1978, for me I think it is only fitting to start 2012 by listening to this classic album once again and I invite you to do the same. I assure you, you won’t be disappointed.

Next post: Rory Gallagher- Photo Finish

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to

Also available on Amazon, Banres& Noble and Froogle

1978: The Year the Rivers of Rock Began to Overflow

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , , , on December 20, 2011 by 80smetalman

As I think back to this year, I remember that in some ways, 1978 appeared to be bleak. If you turned on many of the local radio stations, you were usually bombarded by a disco tune. Even the Rolling Stones and Paul McCartney would incorporate disco into their sound. The thing was with Paul, I realise that Wings’ “Band On the Run” album was an album which I should have included in the past category as it was a great rock album in the 70s. But I digress, early that year, Hollywood unleashed “Saturday Night Fever” onto the world and it was easy to say why disco seemed to dominate music.

If disco being in its prime wasn’t bad enough, Hollywood dealt rock another blow with the release of what was now in my mind, a rather atrocious movie. “Sgt Pepper.” That film saw Peter Frampton who less than two years earlier made one of the premiere rock albums of the 1970s, join forces with the driving force of “Saturday Night Fever,” the BeeGees and make a movie consisting of covers from Beatles songs. To some, the greatest insult from this film was that Aerosmith also appeared in this film. Most conclude that it was to pay their drug dealers, although I really like their cover of the Beatles classic “Come Together.”

In spite of this apparent bleakness, there were rumblings in the wildrness. When I was able to fiddle with my radio, I could get the good rock stations coming out of Philadelphia. Rock bands were striking back with great albums that would go down into the annals of history. Furthermore, disco might have been in its prime, but little did we know was that it would die a death in less than three years. Meanwhile the gods of rock were hard at work at their anvils begining to forge a new type of music, heavy metal. It was 1978, where a some great bands would get their lift off and other bands would go onto influence artists of the next decade. So take a trip back to this year and you will see that 1978 truly was the year the rivers of rock began to burst their banks.

First post: ELO- Out of the Blue

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to

Also available on Amazon, Froogle and Barnes & Noble

A Different Compilation Album

Posted in Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music with tags , , , , , , , , on December 16, 2011 by 80smetalman

Whenever a rock compilation is unleashed onto the public, you can bet that there will be a repetition of the same songs. When you buy it, you are really only buying it for a few songs you don’t have, because the other songs on it will definitely be on all the other rock compilations you own. These include:

Boston- More Than a Feeling

Blue Oyster Cult- Don’t Fear the Reaper

Black Sabbath- Paranoid

Deep Purple- Smoke on the Water

Rainbow- Fool For Your Loving

Whitesnake- Here I Go Again

Heart- Alone

Marillion- Kayleigh

Motorhead- Ace of Spades

There’s nothing wrong with any of these songs, I like all of them. But I don’t want them on every compilation I buy. Besides, there are songs from many of these artists which I like more than the ones listed here. Taking all of this into consideration, I have decided to put together my own compilation album, (not for sale) with the following songs.

1. Michael Stanley Band- My Town

2. Heart- If Looks Could Kill

3. Black Sabbath- War Pigs

4. Blue Oyster Cult-Godzilla

5. Whitesnake-  Slide it In

6. Jay Ferguson- Thunder Island

7. OPM- Heaven is a Half pipe

8. Anthrax- Make Me Laugh

9. Ted Nugent- High Heels in Motion

10. Saxon- Wheels of Steel

11. Marillion- Sugar Mice

12. Motorhead- Killed By Death

13. Night Ranger- Don’t Tell Me You Love Me

14. Boston- Piece of Mind

15. Rainbow- Death Alley Driver

16. Deep Purple- Woman From Tokyo

You might like some of these or most likely you have your own suggestions for a rock compilation. If so, feel free to post your suggestions here.

Next post: 1978- They Year the Rivers Began to Overflow

To Buy Rock And Roll Children- go to

Also available on Amazon, Froogle and Barnes & Noble

Rock And Roll Children- The CD

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music with tags , , , , , , , , on December 13, 2011 by 80smetalman

Book sales of Rock And Roll Children are a bit slow at the moment, so in order to jump start things, I will be now giving away a free CD with any books bought directly from me. All you have to do is email me at for more information. However, those lucky few who already have a copy can still get a CD by writing a review on Amazon, The Rock And Roll Children Page on Facebook or on any blog. Just alert me to it’s presence.

The CD obviously features songs mentioned in the book. When compiling the list, I originally chose 61 songs to use on the CD and I could have used a few more. Some of my British friends may wonder why “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me” by Night Ranger is not on it as the club we all used to go to back then played it every week. After much consideration, I eventually had to cut it down to 17.

Song List:

  1. Judas Priest- You Got Another Thing Coming
  2. Twisted Sister- We’re Not Gonna Take It
  3. Ratt- Round and Round
  4. Dio- The Last in Line
  5. Krokus- Screaming in the Night
  6. Iron Maiden- Two Minutes to Midnight
  7. Deep Purple- Perfect Strangers
  8. AC/DC- For Those About to Rock, We Salute You
  9. Dio Rock And Roll Children
  10. Stormtroopers of Death- Pussywhipped
  11. Aerosmith- Dream On
  12. Ozzy Osbourne- Shot in the Dark
  13. Anthrax- Madhouse
  14. Iron Maiden- Wasted Years
  15. Megadeth- Peace Sells
  16.  WASP- Fuck Like a Beast
  17.  Kiss- Crazy Crazy Nights


So, if you fancy a good read and you want some kick ass jams to accompany it, then buy the book and get this great CD.

Next Post: An alternative compilation album

To buy Rock and Roll Children: go to

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle


Great Rock Albums of the 70s: Styx- The Grand Illusion

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

This is the last offering in the chapter of great rock albums of the 70s. After a short commercial break in the next two posts, I will be moving onto albums from 1978 exclusively and then every year after that until I get to 1989. 1978 was the year the rivers of rock began to overflow and what the beginings of what was to become heavy metal started to evolve. Therefore, I thought it only fitting to end with what was for me, the very last album before 1978, Styx- “The Grand Illusion.”

I remember back in December 1977, the television ads for the album selling Styx as the hardest working band in rock. I will not debate that and when I first listened to the album, I can safely say that their hard work definitely paid off. “The Grand Illusion” is definitely one of Styx’s best and in my humble opinion, the best except for possibly “Pieces of Eight” which I will be visiting down the line. In “The Grand Illusion,” you have some really great hard rocking tracks like “Miss America” and “Superstar” as well as the big single “Come Sail Away.” There is also a lot of great musicianship on all of the other tracks as well and that is what makes it so good.

Track Listing:

1. The Grand Illusion

2. Fooling Yourself (Angry Young Man)

3. Superstar

4. Come Sail Away

5. Miss America

6. Man in the Wilderness

7. Castle Wall

8. The Grand Finale


Dennis DeYoung- keyboards, synthesisers, vocals

Tommy Shaw- electric and accoustic guitars, vocals

James Young- guitars, keyboards, vocals

Chuck Panozzo- bass, vocals

John Panozzo- drums, vocals

This is a truly great album and for me will always be one of the great classics. I hope you have enjoyed the tour through the great rock albums of the 70s. I know that there are many albums out there I could still mention and I apologise for any I have left out, it wasn’t intentional I assure you. One album I failed to mention and you can blame it on an old man’s swiss cheese memory is “Fly Like and Eagle” by the Steve Miller Band. Here’s a photo to compensate. Meanwhile, I hope you will continue the ride through my tour of heavy metal history.

Next Post: Rock And Roll Children, The CD

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to

Also available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle

Great Rock Albums of the 70s: Foreigner

Posted in Heavy Metal, Music with tags , , , , , , on December 6, 2011 by 80smetalman

Every male group of friends have their “cruising song.” It is one they all agree they like and one that they thing punctuates them the most. The song can change and another song takes over, but no matter how many times it does or how long it lasts, one song will be designated the cruising song. For a six month period, from October 1977 to April 1978, “Cold As Ice” by Foreigner from the debut album was the cruising song for me and some of my friends.

“Cold as Ice” propelled Foreigner onto the rock scene and got the attention of many listeners, especially rockers like me who were looking for shelter from the disco storm that was all around back then. The hard rock sound breathed a bit of fresh air to the many who embraced it and even for those who weren’t into the even harder rock of Ted Nugent, which I was, it was still a very palletable album.

Track Listing:

1. Feels Like the First Time

2. Cold as Ice

3. Starrider

4. Head Knocker

5. The Damage is Done

6. Long Long Way From Home

7. Woman, Oh Woman

8. At War With the World

9. Fool For You Anyway

10. I Need You

The follow up from “Cold as Ice,” “Feels Like the First Time” was also a very big hit for Foreigner. Although it never became one of my cruising songs, it helped make the debut album establish them as a force in the rock world.


Dennis Elliot- drums, vocals

Ed Gagliarti- bass, vocals

Lou Gramm- vocals, percussion

Al Greenwood- keyboards, synthesiser

Mick J0nes- guitars, keyboards, vocals

Ian MacDonald- guitar, keyboards

In late 1977, the rivers of rock were flowing fast and was getting close to overflowing. This debut album from Foreigner was one of those which helped speed the rushing waters.

Next post: Styx- The Grand Illusion

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to

Also available on Froogle, Amazon and Barnes & Noble


Great Rock Albums of the 70s: The Sex Pistols- Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols

Posted in Heavy Metal, Music with tags , , , , , on December 2, 2011 by 80smetalman

If any one band can be associated with punk, then that band would have to be the Sex Pistols. Throughout the late 70s these icons of punk sang, played and spat their way to the top of the punk scene in Britain. In the US, they quickly came to the attention of the religious right who made calls to ban them. Therefore, it is only fitting that their most popular album gets visited here.

“Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols” caused a stir as soon as it was released. The title itself became the subject of a court case and was only allowed to remain on the album when it was proved that the word “bollocks” was originally a legitimate old English term referring to a priest. More contraversy was caused with the lyrics of classic Sex Pistols songs “God Save the Queen” and “Anarchy in the UK” probably the most well known tracks on the album. Being contraversial, however, doesn’t take away from the fact that this is a damn good album.

Track Listing:

1. Holidays in the Sun

2. Liar

3. No Feelings

4. God Save the Queen

5. Problems

6. Seventeen

7. Anarchy in the UK

8. Bodies

9. Pretty Vacant

10. New York

11. EMI

The Sex Pistols

Johnny Rotten- vocals

Sid Vicious- bass

Steve Jones- guitar

Paul Cook- drums

Since punk and heavy metal have similar roots, it is easy to see why this album has inspired metal bands and why it is a favourite among metalheads as well as punks. God save the Queen!

Next post: Foreigner

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle