Archive for June, 2012

Great Metal Albums of 1978: Van Halen I

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

I thought what better way to end the tour through 1978 than to visit the very first album by Van Halen. Like so many great rock and metal albums that came out in this year, this album didn’t come into my fields of vision for another year when I heard a marine buddy blasting it through the barracks. I only heard part of the album, but I was hooked. The weird thing was that I actually bought II before I bought this one.

Some metal officiandos have compared Van Halen to Led Zepplin and I admit there are some similarities. But Van Halen I gave Van Halen a unique sound of their own. To me this was just as heavy as Ted Nugent and it opened my eyes to a whole new world out there in music. You could say that Van Halen I was the final rock in the stream that caused the rivers of rock to overflow.

What really made this album for me was the fantastic guitar work of Eddie Van Halen. “Eruption” totally blew my mind and the way they metalised a classic Kinks song let me know that heavy metal was the road I wanted to travel down. I can’t really think of a track I don’t like but if you were to ask my favourite, it has to be “Ice Cream Man.” I loved the way it starts with the accoustic and then rips into a full metal frenzy. Yes, I can say that for me and others, Van Halen I was the album that paved the way.

Track Listing:

1. Running With the Devil

2. Eruption

3. You Really Got Me

4. Ain’t Talin’ About Love

5. I’m the One

6. I’m on Fire

7. Jamie’s Crying

8. Atomic Punk

9. Feel Your Love Tonight

10. Little Dreamer

11. Ice Cream Man

Van Halen

David Lee Roth- lead vocals, accoustic guitar

Eddie Van Halen- guitars, backing vocals

Michael Anthony- bass, backing vocals

Alex Van Halen- drums

I hope you have enjoyed my little tour through the rock and metal history of 1978 and will continue on the ride to 1979. There will be plenty of albums to come in that year. So, I will leave you for now with one artist I first discovered in 1978 on the Saturday Night Live show. I admit, I like some of Kate Bush’s eccentricities and her early music. It is also probably why I have a thing for British women, after all, I married two of them.

Next post: 1979- The Year the Damn Began to Burst

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: Ted Nugent- Double Live Gonzo

Posted in 1978, Heavy Metal, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on June 25, 2012 by 80smetalman

I didn’t get to hear this great live album until 1982 and when I did, I regretted not having seen Ted Nugent live. It wouldn’t be until 1986 until that opportunity came my way and when it finally did, I got the great delight in seeing him perform with the intensity that you can hear on “Double Live Gonzo.” For me, this album is the blueprint on which all live metal albums have followed ever since. Song after song gives you that “I’m there too” feel as the music pounds away. When he’s not showing why he appeared in my “Great Guitarists of the 70s” post last year, Ted Nugent is using his vocals or the in between songs banter. Therefore, it is no surprise why so many people regard this as one of the greatest live albums.

The first time I listened to “Double Live Gonzo,” I was mainly waiting to hear classic songs like “Cat Scratch Fever” and “Wang Dang Sweet Poontang.” While I was bobbing my head and thoroughly enjoying the other tracks as they built up to those two, it was still those two songs I was wanting most to hear. Then something happened at track number five. I got my metal ass totally kicked by “The Great White Buffalo!” That for me, with the possible exception of live “Freebird,” is the greatest live song ever. Every time I listen to it I feel a surge of energy, probably eminating from the energy Terrible Ted uses up while performing it. The guitars and vocals provide a great combination to take it well over the top. It is definitely the reason why in “Rock And Roll Children,” when the characters see Ted Nugent live, the Mitch character calls out for him to play it throughout his entire show. Like Mitch, I too was disappointed when he didn’t play the song either time I saw him.

Track Listing:

1. Just What the Doctor Ordered

2. Yank Me, Crank Me

3. Gonzo

4. Baby Please Don’t Go

5. The Great White Buffalo

6. Hibernation

7. Stormtroopin’

8. Stranglehold

9. Wang Dang Sweet Poontang

10. Cat Scratch Fever

11. Motor City Madhouse

Ted Nugent- lead guitar, lead and backing vocals

Derek St. Holmes- rhythm guitar, lead and backing vocals

Rob Grange- bass

Cliff Davies- drums

Even though, Ted Nugent didn’t play “The Great White Buffalo” when I saw him live, they were still both great concerts nonetheless. Still, I have the consolation prize of this great live album to hear that song recorded live and the best thing is that I can listen to it whenever I want to. Still, that great “what if” remains.

Next post: Van Halen I

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to

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

Great Metal Albums of 1978: Ted Nugent- Weekend Warriors

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

The media has made a lot about Ted Nugent’s politics recently and yes, he does love to slag off the president, but to me that doesn’t matter. I don’t agree with his politics and if he wants to be a spokesman for the NRA, then let him. None of this will stop him from listening to his music and reflecting on how he totally kicked ass when I saw him live twice back in the 80s. Furthermore, if I did lean more to the right in my political beliefs, I wouldn’t stop watching Morgan Freeman films just because he endorses Obama.

Enough of that, the 1978 “Weekend Warriors” album is one of the reasons why I like Ted Nugent so much. This was the first album to convince me that an album didn’t need a hit single to be good. The one single from this album, “Need You Bad” only got to 82 in the singles charts and I definitely don’t remember it being played on that little AM clock radio of mine. However, the entire album contains a steady stream of good songs which demonstrates Ted Nugent doing what he does best with a guitar. Every track does it for me here.

Track Listing:

1. Need You Bad

2. One Woman

3. I Got the Feelin’

4. Tightspots

5. Venom Soup

6. Smokescreen

7. Weekend Warriors

8. Cruisin’

9. Good Friends and a Bottle of Wine

10. Name Your Poison

Ted Nugent- guitars, lead vocals

Charlie Huhn- lead and backing vocals, rhythm guitar on “One Woman”

John Sauter- bass

Cliff Davies- drums, percussion, backing vocals

For me, Ted Nugent was heavy metal back in 1978. I was still riding on the wave of “Cat Scratch Fever” and this album just further cemented in my mind his place in metal. Memory flashback, I am now reminding myself of the time when Ted Nugent hosted the late night “Midnight Special” show on which was the first time I had encountered AC/DC as they were guests on it. In 1978, that would have been a magnificent concert.

Next post: Ted Nugent- Double Live Gonzo

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to

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

Great Rock Albums of 1978: The Rutles

Posted in 1978, Humour, Music, soundtracks, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on June 18, 2012 by 80smetalman

You’re probably thinking, “Is he serious? How can he post something like this after recent visits to great 1978 albums from such Gods as Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, The Who and AC/DC?” You may be even be thinking that I am posting a joke album here. After all when the programme that influenced this album, “All You Need Is Cash” was shown on NBC in that year, the main attraction was that it featured members of both Monty Python’s Flying Circus and original members of Saturday Night Live. So I can understand why people may think that.

“All You Need Is Cash” was about a band called The Rutles and followed their history from their formation in 1958 to their break up in 1970. And yes, it was very much fashioned on The Beatles, but with a more humourous approach. My one high school friend refused to watch the programme because he was a Beatles fan and thought it was taking the piss out of them. Okay, maybe it was and while, in spite of the cast, didn’t have me rolling on the floor laughing throughout, it was still pretty funny.

All that said, let’s take a look at the album by The Rutles. When I first listened to it, I assumed that it was going to be full of satirical lyrics making fun of Beatles classics. When you listen to the album, you can definitely hear the Beatles influence on it and can accurately identify most of the Rutles songs with the appropriate Beatles song it’s associated with. Some are quite obvious, like “Ouch” is definitely based on “Help” and “Love Life” is definitely “All You Need Is Love” and so on. Others you may have to listen a bit more carefully, but you do figure out which song it’s based on. However, most of the songs aren’t funny lyrics making fun, some are what you can call serious. While I did laugh my rear end off when I heard “Piggy in the Middle,” the song “With A Girl Like You” could be seen as a light hearted love song.

One thing that strikes me is that Neil Innes is a good musician who seems to have been overlooked. You may remember him as one of Sir Robin’s minstrels in “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” and he has some singing parts on the album “Monty Python Live at City Center,” but the man does have musical talent. He was the brains behind The Rutles and wrote the songs on the album. I think he deserves more credit than he has been given.

Track Listing:

1. Hold My Hand

2. Number One

3. With a Girl Like You

4. Living In Hope

5. Ouch

6. Love Life

7. Nevertheless

8. See How the Good Times Roll

9. Doubleback Alley

10. Cheese and Onions

11. Another Day

12. Piggy In the Middle

13. Let’s Be Natural

The Rutles

Ron Nasty (Neil Innes) guitar, piano, vocals

Dirk McQuirkley (Eric Idle) bass, vocals

Stig O’Hara (Rikki Fataar) guitar, vocals

Barry Wom (John Halsey) drums

Note: Eric Idle didn’t actually play on the album, other muscians also contributed

I hope you like my little break in the action, but in the mean time, why not listen to the album. You will have a laugh as well as hear some good songs. Back in 1978, this was a real “feel good” album for me and I still feel that way after 34 years.

Next post: Ted Nugent- Weekend Warriors

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to

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

Great Metal Albums of 1978: Judas Priest: Killing Machine

Posted in 1978, Heavy Metal, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on June 15, 2012 by 80smetalman

This album was released in the US under the title of “Hell Bent for Leather” because the American branch of the record company did not like the murderous implications in the title. Strange, because when I was in the marines, I was referred to being just that. Maybe we should have seen that as things to come for the 80s when metal was under constant bombardment from religious freaks in the USA. Anyway, we could go back and forth for days over the title of “Killing Machine” by the great Judas Priest, but it would deflect from the great album that it is.

“Killing Machine” was the first album that constituted a shift to more commercial sounding music, although this album still has the power Judas Priest is known for as well as the dark lyrical themes from the earlier albums. Two songs from this album appear on the “Greatest Hits” album, “The Green Manalishi With the Two Pronged Crown” and my all time favourite Priest song from the seventies, “Take On the W0rld.” “Hell Bent for Leather” is also a real kick ass tune an there are quite a few other great songs as well.

Track Listing:

1. Delivering the Goods

2. Rock Forever

3. Evening Star

4. Hell Bent for Leather

5. Take on the World

6. Burnin’ Up

7. The Green Manalishi With the Two Pronged Crown

8. Killing Machine

9. Running Wild

10. Before the Dawn

11. Evil Fantasies

Judas Priest

Rob Halford- vocals

Glen Tipton- guitars

KK Downing- guitars

Ian Hill- bass

Les Binks- drums

“Killing Machine” or “Hell Bent for Leather” would be the last album from Judas Priest in the seventies and the last one before the great “British Steel.” That was the album that got me into them, but I wish I had this album on hand back in 1978, I would have loved the rock out which it still is today.

Next Post: The Rutles

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: Judas Priest- Stained Glass

Posted in 1978, Heavy Metal, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on June 12, 2012 by 80smetalman

People are probably now getting fed up with me going on about how the Gods of Rock were hard at work at their anvils to forge heavy metal back in 1978. However, when I think back and listen to the album “Stained Glass” by Judas Priest, I remain convinced that those gods listened to this album and said, “It is good.” This raw, gutsy album from Judas Priest typifies everything that is good with heavy metal. Great guitars with some cool solos, a strong rhythm section and all held together by the unmistakeable voice of Rob Halford. As I listen to each track now and in the past, I think it doesn’t get much better than this.

Unfortunately, this album will forever be remembered for the law suit brought against the band because it was claimed that there were subliminal messages in the track “Better By You, Better Than Me,” which drove two teenage boys to shoot themselves. Now, I have listened to that particular track many times and I never picked up the words “Do it” consciously or subconsciously. I believe Glen Tipton when he said in an interview that “Back in 1978, we couldn’t even afford our lunch, let alone the expense it would take to put hidden messages on an album.” KK Downing stated that “If we had wanted to put a subliminal message on the album, it would be “Buy more records.”” My conclusion is that if the album had any hidden messages, it wouldn’t have taken 12 years for anything like this to happen.

Track Listing:

1. Exciter

2. White Heat, Red Hot

3. Better By You, Better Than Me

4. Stained Glass

5. Invader

6. Saints in Hell

7. Savage

8. Beyond the Realms of Death

9. Heroes End

Judas Priest

Rob Halford- vocals

Glen Tipton- guitar

KK Downing- guitar

Ian Hill- bass

Les Binks- drums

“Stained Glass” would prove to be a great sign of things to come in heavy metal. Every track on this album radiated metal in its pure form. Go nostalgic and have a listen and you will see what I mean.

Next post: Judas Priest: Killing Machine

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to

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

Great Metal Albums of 1978: Black Sabbath- Never Say Die

Posted in 1978, Heavy Metal, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on June 7, 2012 by 80smetalman

It is a common assumption that the last album made before a key member in a band departs is that the album isn’t that good. In 1978, “Never Say Die” by Black Sabbath would be the last album recorded with Ozzy Osbourne on the lead vocals as he left the band shortly after. However, refreshing my memory with a listen, I find that this was not the case. There is nothing wrong with the album as it radiates pure Sabbath throughout.

The title track was a big single for the band and it gave Sabbath their first appearance on “Top of the Pops” since 1970 as it reached 21 in the singles charts. However, other tracks like “Shock Wave,” Junior Eyes” and “A Hard Road” proved that Black Sabbath were a still a tight band in spite of the drug problems Ozzy might have been having at the time. When I listened to the track “Johnny Blade,” I got the feeling that this song would have made a great opening theme song to a kids’ action cartoon. I could picture my then seven year old brother watching it with me humming this tune whenever the show came on.

Track Listing:

1. Never Say Die

2. Johnny Blade

3. Junior Eyes

4. A Hard Road

5. Shock Wave

6. Air Dance

7. Over to You

8. Breakout

9. Swinging the Chain

Black Sabbath

Ozzy Osbourne- vocals

Tony Iommi- guitars

Geezer Butler- bass

Bill Ward- drums

Additional Musicians

Don Airey- keyboards

John Elstar- harmonica

William Malone- brass arrangement

While the departure of Ozzy following this album would be a body blow for Black Sabbath, it definitely wouldn’t signal the end for either. Ozzy would have a great solo career and Ronnie James Dio would step into Ozzy’s shoes to continue Black Sabbath’s domination. It can’t possibly happen now, but my dream concert would have been Black Sabbath performing with Ozzy and Ronnie and even Ian Gillian for a few songs doing vocals from their contributions to this legendary band.

Next post: Judas Priest: Stained Glass

To buy Rock And Roll Children: go to

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


Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, Some Thoughts

Posted in Heavy Metal, Music with tags , , , on June 4, 2012 by 80smetalman

This weekend, Great Britain has been celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. The Queen has reigned for sixty years making her the second longest reigning monarch in British history, Victoria is the longest. Now, I’m not a royalist, far from it. As an American, I remember reading about the struggle my forefathers had against what they saw as royal oppression and haven’t forgotten that. I know in reality, it was really Parliament who was taxing the colonies up the wazoo, but this isn’t the point.

What does bother me is that today is the Jubilee concert and from what I can see, there’s going to be performances from great British acts like Paul McCartney and Elton John as well as Austrailian born Kylie Minogue. What I don’t see is any metal acts on the bill. Now before anyone starts wagging a finger at me and saying they don’t need to play such bublegum events, I have a good argument why they should. You see, the jubilee is about celebrating things British and heavy metal is definitely that. With the exception of Jimi Hendrix, four of the five founders of heavy metal are British and so were many of the metal influences from the 70s. Therefore, it is only fitting that this great contribution to music gets its due credit in the celebrations of all things British.

The above album is another reason. You see, last week, “The Number of the Beast” album by Iron Maiden was voted the best British album in the last 60 years. That means it beat out the classic great albums from Led Zepplin, The Who, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple, plus all the Stock, Aiken and Waterman crap as well as all the other bubblegum pop acts. It is only fitting that Iron Maiden should perform at the jubilee.

There are other reasons why Iron Maiden should be allowed to play at the Diamond Jubilee. They represent British metal to a tee. I can think of at least two songs of theirs off the top of my head that are about British history. “Aces High” is about the Battle of Britain and “The Trooper” is about the charge of the light brigade. Both are significant events in the country’s history. Furthermore, Iron Maiden is one band who are definitely proud to be British! Therefore, not letting them play the jubilee is somehow wrong.

Looking at the reverse here, if Iron Maiden were to play the Jubilee concert, some metalheads would accuse them of selling out. I don’t agree here. This is about the Queen and being British and not some bubblegum pop event arranged to line the pockets of opportunists like Simon Cowell. I wouldn’t think any less of Iron Maiden if they took their rightful place on stage today. As I said earlier, Iron Maiden celebrates all that is great about British metal.


Great Rock/Metal Albums of 1978: Deep Purple- When We Rock We Rock and When We Roll We Roll

Posted in 1978, Heavy Metal, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on June 4, 2012 by 80smetalman

Before this album came into my life, my only experience with Deep Purple was the famous “Smoke on the Water.” This album changed all that, it showed me that Deep Purple were more than just one hit wonders. In fact this album showed me what a great band they were and now in my old age, (I’m 51 on Thursday) I can fully appreciate their role as one of the founding fathers of metal. For those who have been following a long time now, you may have noticed that the past few posts have been album put out by some of the great metal influences, The Sweet and Rainbow. It could be argued here, that The Who could be included among them as well. Therefore, I thought I would continue on this vien with one of the founding fathers.

There is little more one can say about this album, as it was the first of many greatest hits albums for Deep Purple. The album contains songs from the first three DP line ups, so there is a good variety here on it, including a live performance of “Highway Star” at the very end, which is the song they opened with when I saw them in 1985. I do give an account of the concert in Rock And Roll Children.

While the whole album for me totally kicks ass, the tracks I really like, if you put a gun to my head and make me say them, are the two I’ve already mentioned, plus “Burn” and “Woman From Tokyo” which is the one I put on my alternative compilation CD. I really can’t say anymore.

Track Listing:

1. Space Truckin’

2. Kentucky Woman

3. Hard Road (Wring That Neck)

4. Burn

5. Woman From Tokyo

6. Hush

7. Smoke on the Water

8. Highway Star

Deep Purple

Ritchie Blackmore- guitars

Ian Gillian- vocals

Roger Glover- bass

Jon Lord- keyboards

Ian Paice- drums

David Coverdale- vocals

Nick Simper- bass

Rod Evans- vocals

Glen Hughes- bass

During the Deep Purple concert in “Rock And Roll Children,” the band has left the stage for the second time leaving the main characters wondering if they will return. The Mitch character answers their question when he says, “They’ll be back, they haven’t played “Smoke on the Water” yet.” Yes, that is the song Deep Purple is most famous for and I have heard many versions of it. But it’s the version on this album I like the best.

Next post: Black Sabbath- Never Say Die

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 Rock Albums of 1978: The Who- Who Are You

Posted in 1978, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 1, 2012 by 80smetalman

The Who were considered the comeback story of 1978. They hadn’t put an album out in three years and all the band members were engaged in solo projects. Furthermore, drummer Keith Moon was having battles with drug and alcohol addiction, a battle that he would eventually lose.

I am reminded of the this album every time I see CSI Las Vegas on TV as they use the title track for the title sequences of the show. But for me, it is the lyrics of the song that do it for me. While I’ve never woken up in a Soho doorway, I know of people who have. I have been to parties in London and had to make my way home on the underground with a little bit of a sore head and asking myself that question.

With “Who Are You” the Who seemed to have returned to their more traditional blues/hard rock sound. In the mid 70s, they experimented with different creative thoughts, although I really do love “Tommy” and “Pinball Wizard” is one of my all time Who favourites. But this album reminds me more of the early days when they had a more aggressive harder rock edge.

Track Listing:

1. New Song

2. Had Enough

3. 905

4.  Sister Disco

5. The Music Must Change

6. Trick of the Light

7. Guitar and Pen

8. Love is Coming Down

9. Who Are you

The Who

Roger Daltrey- vocals, percussion

Pete Townshend- guitars, piano, synthesiser, backing vocals

John Entwistle- bass, synthesiser, brass, backing vocals

Keith Moon- drums, percussion

Keith Moon’s tragic death shortly after the release of this album would overshadow the success that “Who Are You” would have. The album would reach number 2 in the US and number 6 in the UK and showed that The Who were definitely back and in great form.

Next post: Deep Purple- When We Rock We Rock and When We Roll We 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