Archive for April, 2012

Great Rock Albums of 1978: Boston- Don’t Look Back

Posted in 1978, Heavy Metal, Music with tags , , , , , , , on April 30, 2012 by 80smetalman

In America, there is a phrase called the “Sophmore Jinx.” It usually applies to sports where a player has a great rookie season, but doesn’t do as well in his second season. In music, it applies to a band who puts out a fantastic debut album, but the second album isn’t as good. There are many unfortunate examples of this. However, there is no way that the Sophmore Jinx applies to the second album from Boston, “Don’t Look Back.”

When I posted about the great debut album from Boston, I couldn’t sing its praises enough. It has gone down as one of the greatest rock albums in history and there’s no way in hell that I am going to debate that fact. Now, their second album is every bit as good as the first, in fact, if anything, “Don’t Look Back” is just a continuation from the first. If anyone knows if these two album are available together on one CD, let me know.

The album begins with one of the most mind blowing rhythm guitar riffs which then leads to a mind blowing lead guitar and that’s just the start. The brilliant musicianship and the amazing vocals by the late Brad Delp make this album great and proved to many back then that Boston were for real. From the opening title track to such great songs like “It’s Easy” and “Party,” all the tracks make it a great rock album, one of the best in 1978.

Track Listing:

1. Don’t Look Back

2. The Journey

3. It’s Easy

4. A Man I’ll Never Be

5. Feelin’ Satisfied

6. Party

7. Used to Bad News

8. Don’t Be Afraid


Brad Delp- vocals

Tom Shotz- lead guitar, rhythm guitar, piano, organ

Barry Goudreau- lead, slide and rhythm guitars

Fran Sheehan- bass

Boston definitely beat the Sophmore Jinx with “Don’t Look Back.” This, along with their first album ranks along the all time great rock albums. Not many bands go two for two, so this one is definitely worth a trip down memory lane.

Next post: Great Rock One Hit Wonders of 1978

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Great Rock Albums of 1978: Jethro Tull- Heavy Horses

Posted in 1978, Music with tags , , , , , on April 26, 2012 by 80smetalman

I realise and apologise for the fact that I should have included at least one of the classic albums from the great band that is Jethro Tull in the previous category of Great Rock Albums of the 70s. My favourite of these has always been the album “Too Old to Rock and Roll: Too Young to Die.” I used to hear this album advertised all the time when my antique radio was able to tune into the Philadelphia stations and I got to listen to some of the tracks.

Which brings me to this album, “Heavy Horses.” I must admit that I haven’t heard this album in a long time, but praise the Lord for YouTube. Listening to such tracks as “And the Mouse Police Never Sleeps.” “Weathercock” and “Heavy Horses” reminded me of the crisp progressive sound that has endeared so many to Jethro Tull. It also had me thinking about going and puffing the magic dragon as that was another thing I remember this album for. But I couldn’t do that as I was still at work.

Track Listing:

1. And the Mouse Police Never Sleeps

2. Acres Wild

3. No Lullaby

4. Moths

5. Journeyman

6. Rover

7. One Brown Mouse

8. Heavy Horses

9. Weathercock 

Jethro Tull

Ian Anderson- vocals, flute, accoustic guitar, mandolin, whistles

Martin Barrie- electric guitar

Barrimore Barlow- drums, percussion

John Evan- piano, organ

David Palmer- keyboards, pipe organ

John Glascock- bass

Guest Musician: Darryl Way- violin on Acres Wild and Heavy Horses

Heavy Horses reminded me of why I like Jethro Tull in the first place. Few back in the 70s did progressive rock better than they.

Next post: Boston- Don’t Look Back

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Great Rock Albums of 1978: Foghat- Stone Blue

Posted in 1978, Heavy Metal, Music with tags , , , , , , on April 23, 2012 by 80smetalman

I suspect everyone thinks back to a classic song they haven’t heard in ages and then that song remains in the head for ages after. For me that song has been the title track to “Stone Blue” by the great Foghat. As a result, for the past week I have been singing to myself over and over the chorus, “Stone blue, but rock and roll sure pulled me through.” Great lyrics to a great song from a fine album.

“Stone Blue” has more of a bluesy sound compared to the more rocking albums like “Live.” Then again, I have been told that Foghat have always been a great live band and I regret never having seen them. However, it still show cases the talents that make up the members of Foghat.

Track Listing:

1. Stone Blue

2. Sweet Home Chicago

3. Easy Money

4. Midnight Madness

5. It Hurts Me Too

6. High on Love

7. Chevrolet

8. Stay With Me


Dave Peverett- rhythm guitar, vocals

Rod Price- lead/slide guitars

Craig MacGregor- bass

Roger Earl- drums

As I post, another song from this album is now running through my brain housing group. I’m now singing the lyrics to “Chevrolet” not out loud of course. This shows what a good album “Stone Blue” is. The songs come back to memory very easily and let you know the legend that was Foghat.

Next post: Jethro Tull- Heavy Horses

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Rest In Peace Levon Helm

Posted in 1978, films, Music with tags , , , , , on April 21, 2012 by 80smetalman

Blog entry- star date 21-04012, Supplemental

Not very long ago, I visited the soundtrack to the film, “The Last Waltz,” which depicted the final concert by The Band. Regrettably, I am saddened to learn of the passing of The Band’s drummer Levon Helm this past Friday. According to official reports, Levon died peacefully in his sleep at the age of 71.

Natrually, I am now reflecting back to the film, which I saw in 1978 and remember him very well. Not only was he a great drummer, he also sang lead on such famous songs as “Up on Cripple Creek” and “The Shape I’m In,” both hits for The Band. Tributes have already been pouring in from all over the music world, including Bob Dylan and I am expressing my deepest condolences for Levon’s family.

Rest in Peace Levon Helm


Great Rock Albums of 1978: Cheap Trick- Heaven Tonight

Posted in 1978, Heavy Metal, Music with tags , , , , , , on April 18, 2012 by 80smetalman

Like Reo Speedwagon, AC/DC and Journey, Cheap Trick were one of those bands where I heard their later albums and then went back through the archives to listen to the earlier stuff. I found that “Heaven Tonight” typifies everything I liked about Cheap Trick. They are definitely one band who seems to have a lot of fun when they make music as there seems to be an element of this in each of their songs. However, this doesn’t stop them from being a good hard rock band who has put out some great stuff, some of which will be reviewed at later dates. As for this album, the opening track “Surrender” is a clear example of this.

Let me add Rick Neilson to my ever growing list of underrated guitarists from the 70s. When I first saw him, I had to admit that he did not look like someone who could manipulate a six string so well. His image of the baseball cap and checkerboard trousers made me not want to take him seriously at first, then I heard what he could do with a guitar and my opinion changed rather drastically. Cheap Trick can also be recognised as the band who helped my younger sister get off disco and into hard rock, although I probably think this was down to the effect that Robin Zander and Tom Petersson had on her then fourteen year old hormones.

Track Lisitng:

1. Surrender

2. On Top of the World

3. California Man

4. High Roller

5. Auf Wiedersehen

6. Take Me Back

7. On the Radio

8. Heave Tonight

9. Stiff Competition

10. How Are You

11. Oh Claire (Not listed on album cover)

Cheap Trick

Robin Zander- lead vocals, rhythm guitar

Rick Neilsen- lead guitar, backing vocals

Tom Petersson- bass, backing vocals

Bun E Carlos- drums

“Heaven Tonight” is an album that is typical of Cheap Trick. It’s fun lyrics combined with a cool rock sound make it a good listen. It proved to be a stepping stone to their more successful later albums.

Next Post: Foghat- Stone Blue

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Great Rock Albums of 1978: Bruce Springsteen- Darkness on the Edge of Town

Posted in 1978, Music with tags , , , , , , on April 14, 2012 by 80smetalman

Being a New Jersey boy, it would be a complete act of sacriledge if I didn’t include this 1978 offering from The Boss. This was another one of those albums I never had to buy because everyone else I knew had it. The summer of 1978 was awash with car stereos, (casette and 8track) blasting this album out of their speakers as they drove around town. Furthermore, the single “Badlands” got lots of airplay on local radio merely because it was a local artist making good.

I believe, as do many others, that “Darkness on the Edge of Town” showcases Springsteen’s working class roots. The tracks from this album have a raw, gritty appeal and the lyrics in them compliment this feeling. This is why I consider this album a good cruising album, to play when you’re driving down the main drag of your home town. I know, because that’s what happened for my friends and me back in the summer and autumn of 1978 and beyond.

Track Listing:

1. Badlands

2. Adam Raised a Cain

3. Something in the Night

4. Candy’s Room

5. Racing in the Street

6. The Promised Land

7. Factory

8. Streets of Fire

9. Prove it All Night

10. Darkness on the Edge of Town

Bruce Springsteen- lead vocals, lead guitar, harmonica

Roy Britton- piano, vocals

Clarence Clemmons- saxophone, vocals

Danny Federici- organ, glockenspiel

Gary Tallent- bass

Steven Van Zandt- rythm guitar, vocals

Max Weinberg- drums

This was the first album that proved to me that you didn’t need a hit single to make a good album. The two singles from this album only just broke into the top forty charts, while the album made it all the way to number sixteen. It probably did better in New Jersey. At the time, a schoolmate of mine reckoned that Springsteen was the next Bob Dylan. I don’t know if I can agree with that, but I do know that this is a good classic album that shows why Bruce Springsteen is The Boss. If you have “Darkness on the Edge of Town” on CD, put it in your car stereo next time you go for a drive, you’ll see what I mean.

Next post: Cheap Trick- Heaven Tonight

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Great Rock Albums of 1978: Journey- Infinity

Posted in 1978, Music with tags , , , , , on April 9, 2012 by 80smetalman

While 1978 was the debut year for bands like The Cars and Molly Hatchet, for Journey, it was their break out year thanks to the album “Infinity.” It was the 4th album by Journey, the first three albums didn’t take the world by storm, at least none of their songs were played on my AM clock radio and it was also the first album to feature lead vocalist Steve Perry. The result would be this album that would set them on the road to the greatness they would have in the early 1980s.

“Infinity” contains my all time favourite Journey song, “Wheel in the Sky.” To me, this was the first song I heard that started with an impressive accoustic intro only to build up to a total rock out. Of course there are some other good rocking tracks such as “La Do Da” as well as some more slower songs such as “Patiently” and “Feeling That Way.” The album also shows that Neil Schon was another great guitarist in the decade whose talents weren’t fully appreciated by me at the time as well as others.

Track Listing:

1. Lights

2. Feeling That Way

3. Anytime

4. La Do Da

5. Patiently

6. Wheel In the Sky

7. Somethin’ to Hide

8. Winds of March

9. Can Do

10. Opened the Door


Steve Perry- vocals

Neil Schon- guitars

Greg Rollie- keyboards, vocals

Ross Valory- bass

Aynsley Dunbar- drums

If you’re fed up to the teeth of hearing “Don’t Stop Believing” because of Glee, then a good alternative is to take a journey back to Journey’s past and pull out this album. Guaranteed, you’ll hear some classic Journey stuff.

Next post: Bruce Springsteen- Darkness on the Edge of Town

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Great Rock Albums of 1978 Bob Seger- Stranger in Town

Posted in 1978, Music, soundtracks with tags , , , , , , on April 6, 2012 by 80smetalman

Bob Seger was the man who rocked the seventies but you didn’t notice it. Throughout the decade, he produced a lot of great albums with many great singles played on the radio and I am kicking myself for not putting at least one of his albums in my last chapter of Great Rock Albums of the 70s. Back then, even my little AM clock radio would be playing the songs he made great at that time. The problem is that while Seger was considered great back in the 70s, he seems to be one of the most forgotten people of rock from that decade. Strangest thing about this is that many of his songs still manage to make their way onto movie soundtracks proving that his music is still relevant today.

The 1978 album “Stranger in Town” exlemplifies why Bob Seger is a silent hero of the decade. First, he had four top 40 tracks from the album, all of which are clear in my memory as true rock anthems. “Hollywood Nights,” “Still the Same,” “We Got Tonight” and “Old Time Rock and Roll” are still enshrined in my memory and I have no doubt the memories of many others. All of these have that rock core with a catchy melody that gets your foot tapping away to them. Furthermore, with many of his songs, “Hollywood Nights” being a prime example, his lyrics tell a story or recall fond memories. There is definitely a feel good factor when you listen to this album and it is true with many Bob Seger albums.

Track Listing:

1. Hollywood Nights

2. Still the Same

3. Old Time Rock and Roll

4. It Shines

5. Feel Like a Number

6. Ain’t Got No Money

7. We Got Tonight

8. Brave Strangers

9 The Famous Final Scene

The Silver Bullet Band

Bob Seger- vocals, guitar

Drew Abbot- guitar

Robyn Robbins- keyboards

Alto Reed- saxophone

Chris Campbell- bass

David Teegarden- drums, percussion

The Muscle Shoasl Rhythm Section

Barry Beckettkeyboard

Pete Carr – guitar

                                                                                                                             Additional Musicians
  • Glenn Frey – guitar solo on “Till It Shines”
  • Don Felder – guitar solo on “Ain’t Got No Money”
  • Bill Payneorgan, synthesizer, piano, keyboards on “Hollywood Nights”
  • Doug Riley – piano, keyboard on “Feel Like a Number” and “Brave Strangers”

 I bet that if you were to hear any of these songs on the radio today, you would comment,, “I remember that one, who was the guy who sung it?” This is beacuse that Bob Seger was one of the unsung heroes of the 70s. He probably had as many hits as Abba but did so without all the publicity and hype that Abba had. What I do know is that if Bob Seger hadn’t been around to produce great albums such as these, music today would be a lot worse off.

Next Post: Journey- Infinity

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