Archive for May, 2012

Great Rock Albums of 1978: Rainbow- Long Live Rock and Roll

Posted in 1978, Heavy Metal, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on May 28, 2012 by 80smetalman

First of all, I have been kicking myself for leaving out Rainbow albums in the past chapter of “Great Rock Albums of the 70s.” I should have at least included the “Rising” album in one of the posts. Not taking anything away from Graham Bonnet or Joe Lynn Turner, I will be visiting their contributions to Rainbow, but I remain convinced that the Ronnie James Dio era was Rainbow’s best, this album is one of the contributors to my belief.

At Bloodstock 2010, there were many tributes to Ronnie James Dio by many acts over the three days. While it could be said that some of the bands should have checked with eachother, it seems fitting that many of them played the title track, “Long Live Rock and Roll” as a tribute to Ronnie. I might be biased here, but it was Twisted Sister’s version of the song I liked the best.

Needless to say, the title track isn’t the only song that does this album justice. Other tracks like “Gates of Babylon,”Kill the King” and the mellow but eeriely appealing “Rainbow Eyes” also combine to make this album what it is, a great album. “Long Live Rock and Roll” is a great hard rocking album and one where metal bands can point to for inspiration.

Track Listing:

1. Long Live Rock and Roll

2. Lady of the Lake

3. L.A. Connection

4. Gates of Babylon

5. Kill the King

6. The Shed (Subtle)

7. Sensitive to Light

8. Rainbow Eyes


Ritchie Blackmore- guitars

Ronnie James Dio- vocals

  Cozy Powell- drums, percussion

David Stone- keyboards

Bob Daisley- bass

“Long Live Rock And Roll” would be the last album to feature Ronnie James Dio, who would go on to take over the singing duties for Black Sabbath. Rainbow would continue on and both would achieve greatness. I believe that Ronnie James Dio and Cozy Powell, who passed away a few years earlier, are jamming together in the after life and continuing to rock on.

Next post: The Who- Who Are You

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale in Foyles Book Shop in London.

Great Rock Albums of 1978: The Sweet- Level Headed

Posted in 1978, Humour with tags , , , , , on May 25, 2012 by 80smetalman

I’ve said this before, The Sweet were one of the great, hidden influences of many metal bands, both for their sound and the make up. They, along with Marc Bolan, personified glam rock back in the seventies and was one of the reasons I included them in the section of “Other Great Metal Influences” on here. For further imput, go back and read that posting.

This brings me to the 1978 album, “Level Headed,” which has been said by many to be the last great album by The Sweet. One of the reasons for this belief is that “Level Headed” contains their last big single, “Love is Like Oxygen.” I remember this being another cool rock song that came blasting through the speaker of that little AM clock radio of mine in the early summer of that year. When I first heard this song however, I thought it was ELO due to the vocals. It was only when the deejay announced it was The Sweet, that I knew different. But that didn’t change my view, it is still a good song. Of course there some other great tracks on this album ranging from the mellow sounding “Dream On” to the more traditional Sweet sounding ditties like “California Nights” and “Silverbird.”

Track Listing: (US version)

1. California Nights

2. Silver Bird

3. Dream On

4. Fountain

5. Love is Like Oxygen

6. Anthem N0 I (Lady of the Lake)

7. Strong Love

8. Letters D’ Amour

9. Anthem No II (Instrumental)

10. Air on “A” Tape Roof

The Sweet

Brian Conolly- lead and backing vocals

Andy Scott- guitar, synthesiser, backing vocals, lead vocals on “Dream On” and “Fountain”

Mick Tucker- drums, percussion, backing vocals

Steve Priest- bass, backing vocals, lead vocals on “California Nights”

US album cover

This would be the last album that would feature The Sweet as a foursome. Brian Conolly later left the band to persue a solo career and some say that this contributed to their decline after this album. I’m not sure about that, but I know this is a good album and is one of the reasons why The Sweet deserve their place in rock history.

Next post: Rainbow- Long Live Rock And Roll

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

Great Metal Albums of 1978: AC/DC- If You Want Blood; You Got It

Posted in 1978, Heavy Metal, Music with tags , , , , , , , , on May 21, 2012 by 80smetalman

First, let me say from the last post that everything I heard about AC/DC tribute band Hell’s Bells is true, they were absolutely note perfect. With the young lead guitarist who played Angus Young to a tee, which included the striptease and the mooning to the audience, they totally kicked ass on the past Saturday night and it was almost as good as if AC/DC were there. No one could completely duplicate the great AC/DC.

As a result of a great night of classic, killer metal, I thought it would only be fitting to visit this live 1978 album from the masters. Most of the material on the album was recorded from their concert at the Apollo Theatre in Glasgow on April 30 of that year. It covers many of the great AC/DC tracks from the first five studio albums including many of my own personal favourites like “Rock And Roll Damnation,” “Let There Be Rock” and “Hell Ain’t a Bad Place to Be.” However, it is the live version of “Whole Lotta Rosie” that seals the deal for me. This is a killer live album and must be listened to by any true AC/DC fan.

Track Listing:

1. Riff Raff

2. Hell Ain’t a Bad Place to Be

3. Bad Boy Boogie

4. The Jack

5. Problem Child

6. Whole Lotta Rosie

7. Rock And Roll Damnation

8. High Voltage

9. Let There Be Rock

10. Rocker


Bon Scott- lead vocals

Angus Young- lead guitar

Malcolm Young- rhythm guitar, backing vocals

Cliff Williams- bass, backing vocals

Phil Rudd- drums

“If You Want Blood; You Got It” is a classic live album where every track blows you away, enough said. It’s most likely why Hell’s Bells played at least 5 tracks from it, including the four I’ve mentioned. Therefore, I will post a shot of me going to see Hell’s Bells on Saturday night. Now that you’ve all seem my ugly mug, I hope it doesn’t put you off coming back. Ha!

Next post: The Sweet- Level Headed

To buy Rock And Roll Children go to

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London.

Great Metal Albums of 1978: AC/DC- Powerage

Posted in 1978, Heavy Metal, Music with tags , , , , , , on May 16, 2012 by 80smetalman

As I mentioned previously, back in 1978, the gods of rock were hard at work at their anvils forging the genre which we would come to know and love as heavy metal. Originally, I was going to put all the metal albums of 78 that I was going to visit in one block, however an event taking place this Saturday has changed my planned course. You see, this Saturday, I’m going to see AC/DC tribute band Hell’s Bells at the Subscription Rooms in Stroud. They are as close to AC/DC as you can get without actually being them. Critics and fans have described them as “note perfect.” Therefore, it is only fitting that I visit this great 1978 album from this iconic band.

There have been debates as to whether or not AC/DC is metal and I’m not going to elaborate on it here. I think they are and if they aren’t, they have influenced a hell of a lot of bands who are. That brings me around to “Powerage.” Like all their pre “Highway to Hell” albums, it was another one I first listened to when trawling the AC/DC archives and like those albums, it is a raw, hungry sound that is totally mind blowing. It also helps that the first track on it is one of my all time favourite AC/DC songs, “Rock and Roll Damnation.” The other tracks, espeically “Down Payment Blues,” “Sin City” and “Kicked in the Teeth Again” make this album the classic album that it is.

Track Listing:

1. Rock and Roll Damnation

2. Down Payment Blues

3. Give Me a Bullet

4. Riff Raff

5. Sin City

6. What’s Next to the Moon

7. Gone Shootin’

8. Up to My neck in You

9. Kicked in the Teeth Again


Bon Scott- vocals

Angus Young- lead guitar

Malcolm Young- rhythm guitar, backing vocals

Cliff Williams/ bass, backing vocals

Phil Rudd- drums

You can tell when you listen to “Powerage” that AC/DC were just a stone’s throw away from making the big time. This album truly rocks with the best of them. I’ll let you know all bout Hell’s Bells when I make the next post.

Next post: AC/DC- If You Want Blood, You Got It

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

Great Party Films of 1978: National Lampoon’s Animal House

Posted in 1978, films, Humour with tags , , , , , , on May 13, 2012 by 80smetalman

In 1978, we were treated to not one, but two great party films. The first, “Up in Smoke” was covered last week. The second one was the all time classic “National Lampoon’s Animal House.” This film revolutionised the party attitude, especially in colleges for the next few years. I remember toga parties springing up around the area and not just in colleges. This film became an inspiration to anyone who wanted to party.

Animal House was the first film for John Belushi from Saturday Night Live fame. His role as Bluto made him a legend. It also encouraged a lot of people to smash cans on their head, but who cares, it was funny like the entire film. Also, how many of us wished they could down a fifth of Jack Daniels the way he did?

“Animal House” has another importance to the heavy metal world. If it hadn’t been for this film, we never would have been treated to the ranting father in the Twisted Sister video “We’re Not Gonna Take It.” No one could have filled that role better than Mark Metcalf who played the infamous Niedermeyer in the film.

This film does get a mention in “Rock And Roll Children,” since it is such a great party film, it was only natural the characters would want to watch it. So if you feel like drinking a skinful in the future, watch “Animal House” before you go out. You will be truly inspired! One word of warning though, stay away from the mayor’s thirteen year old daughter.

Next Post: AC/DC- Powerage

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and for sale at Foyles Book Shop in London.

Book Signing- Result

Posted in Heavy Metal, Music with tags , , , , , on May 13, 2012 by 80smetalman

Last night was a rather successful evening. First, I mananged to sell three books although one was the pub buying one at cost. I also found Fat Lil’s to be a cool venue with a lot of true metal heads. It also features a lot of tribute acts. In the not too distant future such tribute acts as Mentallica, Greenish Day and Blondied will be playing there.

What a difference a year can make! Shepherd’s Pie were very good when I saw them last year, but last night, they were even better. Some great covers of some great songs from Iron Maiden, Rainbow and Metallica and yes, they did play a Dio song last night and were given a free copy of Rock And Roll Children as a reward. Their cover of “Holy Diver” would have made Dio proud.

I was also invited to host another book signing at a nearby village pub frequented by the Creepy Crawlies MC.

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to

Also available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London


Book Signing on Saturday May 12

Posted in Heavy Metal, Music with tags , , , , , , , on May 9, 2012 by 80smetalman


I will be on location at Fat Lil’s Pub in Witney, Oxfordshire to sell and sign copies of Rock and Roll Children. This will be my first book signing event of the year, so if you haven’t bought a copy of Rock And Roll Children, here’s your chance to get your own autographed copy. If you have, I will still autograhph it and you can tell me what you think of it.

Of course, it won’t just be a case of me signing books because also appearing on the evening will be the sensational metal covers band Shepherd’s Pie. These guys are a brilliant cover band and are definitely worth checking out. It should also be interesting to see if they rise to my challenge. A free copy of Rock and Roll Children is waiting for them if they play a Dio song during the night.

So, for a fantastic night of live metal and a chance to buy a great book, come to Fat Lil’s this Saturday night. You won’t be disappointed.

The next post will be Animal House as promised

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle. Also on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

Great Party Films of 1978: Cheech and Chong’s Up in Smoke

Posted in 1978, films, Humour, soundtracks with tags , , , , , on May 7, 2012 by 80smetalman

If any one film where it can be said influenced a generation, it would have to be the first film from the comedy duo of Cheech and Chong, “Up In Smoke.” This movie was put on many a VCR at parties during the late 70s and early to mid 80s and watched by millions of youth worldwide. Furthermore, it was demonised by the establishment because of the subject content of marijuana. It was feared that the film would encourage youth to take up smoking the weed and corrupt the moral fabric of society. Of course, I am laughing very loudly as I finished writing the nonsense.

Actually, “Up In Smoke” was a piss take of the whole stoner culture. Even funnier, stoners knew this and it only encouraged them to watch it more. Many of them could identify with a lot of aspects of that film. I have personal experience of a smoke filled car, although it was actually a small booth in the car park I used to work at. I won’t say any more on that one out of fear of self incrimination. But the film is rife with many pot related jokes as well as many other funny bits. I mean, how many of us would have loved to have pissed on a cop’s leg? And of course, there is the sex fantasy acted out in the van, my favourite bit.

What many people forget is that “Up In Smoke” also has a pretty decent soundtrack. I love the first song,  which is the title track and as memories came flooding back for this post, I found myself singing the lyrics to “Framed.”

“I was framed, I never do nothing wrong

But everytime I get the blame.”

There some other fun tracks such as “Rock Fight” and the final song, they perform as a punk band on stage, “Earache My Eye.” My marine buddies and I used to sing that song quite a lot.

Track Listing:

1. Finklestein shit Kid (dialogue)

2. Up in Smoke

3. Low Rider

4. 1st Gear, 2nd Gear (dialogue)

5. Framed

6. Searchin’

7. Ajax Lady (dialogue)

8. Strawberry’s

9. Here Come the Mounties to the Rescue

10. When You Gotta Go, You Gotta Go (dialogue)

11. Lost Due to Incompetence (Theme From Big Green Van)

12. Lardass (dialogue)

13. Rock Fight

14. I Didn’t Know Your Name was Alex (dialogue)

15. Earache My Eye

16. Up in Smoke- reprise

So, if you’re out to party this weekend, watch this film as it will be truly inspirational. Although I don’t mention the film in Rock And Roll Children, I am very sure the characters would have been influenced by it.

Next post: National Lampoon’s Animal House

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to

Also available on Amazon, Froogle and Barnes & Noble and for sale at Foyles Book Shop in London.

Rock One Hit Wonders of 1978

Posted in 1978, Humour, Music with tags , , , , , , , on May 3, 2012 by 80smetalman

I thought I’d take a break in the action and make a post of some of the great rock songs of 1978 which were done by one hit wonders. There are probably many others than the three I am going to mention here, especially with all the disco that was going around at the time. So without further ado:

Exile- Kiss You All Over

“Kiss You All Over” was a number one for the band Exile. They did get another song to number 40 in the charts but nothing else barely broke the top 100. This was one of those songs which successfully made the rock/disco crossover that year. Having refamiliarized myself with the song, I can definitely hear the disco sound with the keyboard with the intermitent sound of the rock guitar. It was the lyrics that made this song. I mean how many men have said to a lady:

“I want to kiss you all over, all over again,

I want to kiss you all over, til the night closes in.”

It was a cool amusing song, now we head to the next song, “King Tut” by comedian/actor Steve Martin.

Back in 1978, before “The Jerk,” Steve Martin was topping the world of stand up comedy. He was a constant host on the old Saturday Night Live show. It was on this show that he premiered his song, “King Tut.” The song made into the top 20 and was constantly played on the radio and making the number one on the Dr Demento show. It was my favourite song that summer as well, where I was amused by the line, “Got a condo made of stona.”

 This leads perfectly to my favourite song by a one hit wonder in 1978, “Thunder Island” by Jay Ferguson.

“Thunder Island” was a brilliant rock song, it still is. That is why it made it to my alternative compilation CD. It has all the trademarks of a good rock song and some very suggestive lyrics. As a naive teenager brought up in a religious environment, I found the lyrics, “With your dress undone” very amusing. So, of the three songs mention here, this one is definitely my favourite.

So, if you’re feeling nostalgic, have a listen to these songs. They’re readily available on YouTube, I’m sure you’ll love them.

Next post: Great Party Films of 1978: Cheech and Chong’s Up In Smoke

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London