Archive for February, 2013

Great Metal Albums of 1979: Motorhead- Overkill

Posted in 1979, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on February 28, 2013 by 80smetalman

220px-Overkill

While some bands were experimenting with their sound on the road to playing heavy metal, Motorhead was one of those bands who already knew where they were heading in 1979. “Overkill” was the first of two albums put out by these guys in the year the dam began to burst. Unlike Led Zeppelin or Duran Duran or the Spice Girls or Wham or JLS, nobody in America ever said that Motorhead was the best thing to come out of England since The Beatles. This is in spite of the fact that, with the exception of Led Zeppelin, they stomp all over the other mentioned names. Not that Motorhead would actually give a sh*t about that to begin with. 

Again, it would be several more years before they came to my attention so this is yet another of those albums I listened to in retrospect. Still it is everything I would later come to know and love about them. “Overkill” is a metal album that put several cracks into that bursting dam. Every song says to me, “I’m going to make your ears and nose bleed and you’re going to like it.” Therefore, it is difficult for me to pick out any one or two tracks that stand out. For me, when every song is that good, it makes for one hell of an album. 

With “Overkill,” I can see the birth of thrash and speed metal for these guys helped pioneer it. Everything from Lemmy’s gutteral vocals and thumping bass to the great guitar work of Fast Eddie Clark and yes, I’m going to add him to the list of underrated guitarists. Of course it is all to the beat of Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor on the drums. This album is a promise of great things to come. 

Track Listing:

1. Overkill

2. Stay Clean

3. I Won’t Pay Your Price

4. I’ll Be Your Sister

5. Capricorn

6. No Class

7. Damage Case

 8. Tear Ya Down

9. Metropolis

10. Limb From Limb

Motorhead

Motorhead

Lemmy Kilmister- bass, vocals

Fast Eddie Clark- guitars

Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor- drums

While I have been writing this post, I’ve been hoping a song would stand out for me. However, when one pops into my head so does another in direct competition, so no, there is not one song that stands out because they all do. That makes a good album and for many in 1979, it would be an indication of greater things to come. 

Next Post: Motorhead- Bomber

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

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

 

 

 

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Great Metal Albums of 1979: KISS- Dynasty

Posted in 1979, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on February 26, 2013 by 80smetalman

220px-Dynasty_(album)_cover

It has been said that KISS went disco with this album and use the hit single from it “I Was Made For Loving You” as the argument to support it. In some circles, in regards to the song, that may be true but I have a younger sister who was heavily into disco at the time. Therefore, I avoided going near her bedroom so I wouldn’t get my ears desecrated by “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor or anything the Bee Gees were doing at the time. I would take the KISS song over those every time. If my sister should read this, she will probably kill me for mentioning these embarrassing days of her youth. She did see the light a year or so later.

The disco consideration was not the reason I didn’t listen to the album back then and it wasn’t even boot camp either. Back in that time, I was still allowing my mind to be messed up by religion and I actually believed the crap that KISS stood for Knights In Satan’s Service and they were all admitted Satan worshipers. Thinking back to that time, I can’t believe I was that naive. The problem was that back in my teenage years in the 70s, I was a born again Christian, a Jesus freak if you like. I won’t go into details on it but I will say that as a teenager, religion messed my head up more than drugs or music ever could.

Anyway, to the “Dynasty” album. Having listened to it again, I didn’t feel the need to sacrifice a goat to the Dark Lord, well maybe a couple of chickens. Still even with the disco song included, it’s not that bad of an album. In fact, maybe there is an argument for removing “I Was Made For Loving You” from it because the rest of the album is pretty good. Like I said with Triumph, back then, metal was still in its early stages and many acts were still experimenting with their sound. So, I’ll give KISS the benefit of the doubt on this one. Besides, I especially love the last four tracks and “Magic Touch” and “X-Ray Eyes” stand out for me in particular. All of those final songs remind me that KISS are capable of putting out some great rock.

Track Listing:

1. I Was Made For Loving You

2. 2,000 Man

3. Sure Know Something

4. Dirty Livin’

5. Charisma

6. Magic Touch

7. Hard Times

8. X-Ray Eyes

9. Save Your Love

KISS

KISS

Paul Stanley- rhythm guitar, vocals, bass on “I Was Made For Loving You” and “Magic Touch”

Gene Simmons- bass, vocals

Ace Frehley- lead guitar, vocals

Peter Criss- drums, percussion, vocals

One thing KISS could still pride themselves back then was the fact that all four members took a turn at the lead vocals, not something most bands do. The Beatles and The Eagles were the only ones that come to mind at the moment. For KISS, they still continue to do that very well on the “Dynasty” album and there is something cool about hearing the different vocalists on it. That is why I this album probably deserves more credit than what it has been given.

Next post: Motorhead- Overkill

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

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

Great Metal Albums of 1979: Triumph: Just A Game

Posted in 1979, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on February 22, 2013 by 80smetalman

220px-Triumph_Just_a_Game

First of all, I just want to say that whoever the sad individual(s) who said that Canada was a land of shitty music is a complete moron. They probably were Duranies back in the 80s and at this time were of the mind that disco would never die. Their only idea of Canadian artists was Bryan Adams. Canada has given us many great rock and metal artists over the years starting from Rush and going across the board to thrash legends Voi Vod. Of all the great acts from the Great White North (yes, I was a McKenzie Brothers fan too) one that should always be mentioned with them is the great band Triumph. 

Like a lot of acts, Triumph were well into the spotlight and already had some great albums out by the time they came to my attention. When I heard that stuff, I got it into my mind that they were heavy metal although we could debate that for hours. I listened to this 1979 offering by them retrospectively and I wouldn’t call it a metal album. Saying that, in that year, heavy metal was still finding its feet and many of the acts that we would come to know and love as metal were still experimenting with their sound. 

If I were to put this album into a category and I hate doing that, I would call it bluesy hard rock. Tracks like my favourite “Young Enough to Cry” and the title track as well as “Moving On” back up my thinking on that one. This doesn’t bar the listener from hearing the Triumph sound that would later stamp them. What I did notice was when I heard the track, “American Girls,” I thought for a second or two that I was listening to Boston and that’s not a bad thing. So, I did my usual practice of not trying to label the album and sat back and really enjoyed the sound of “Just a Game.”

Track Listing:

1. Moving On

2. Young Enough to Cry

3. American Girls

4. Laying It On the Line

5. Suitcase Blues

6. Just a Game

7. Fantasy Serenade

8. Hold On

Triumph

Triumph

Rik Emmett: guitars, vocals

Gil Moore- drums, vocals

Mike Levine- bass, keyboards

Forget catagorising and just sit back enjoy “Just a Game” from Triumph. You will see where they started to develop into the major force that they would later become and you’ll never have any doubts about the quality of Canadian music. 

Next post: KISS- Dynasty

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

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

 

Great Rock Albums of 1979- Ted Nugent- State of Shock

Posted in 1979, films, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 16, 2013 by 80smetalman

220px-StateOfShock_TedNugentsalbum

This album has a bit of irony to it for me. As you have probably read many times until your sick to death of it now, I spent three months of 1979 in musical isolation. Actually it was Marine Corps boot camp at Parris Island, South Carolina, known in the film “Full Metal Jacket” as the home for the crazy brave. At the time, many of us referred to it as the land of sun and sandfleas. I digress. During those three months, I had no information of what music was coming out. Then one night, I pulled a guard duty where a radio was playing nearby. I was able to listen to it and several times during my duty, there was an advertisement for tickets to see Ted Nugent’s always kick ass live show in Savannah, Georgia. I concluded that he must have a new album out and when I went home on leave, five weeks later, I saw the “State of Shock” album at my local store.

When I first heard the album all of those long years ago, I thought it was brilliant, although it could be said that it was because I was musically starved at the time. Killer tracks like “Paralyzed” and “Satisfied” still come to mind and show what a true artist Ted Nugent is and how he can wail on a guitar like very few people could both then and now. The problem for me is time, having refamiliarised myself with the album, I am now in the mind that it doesn’t quite live up to the knock out punch of “Cat Scratch Fever,” Weekend Warriors” or the later “Scream Dream.” Still, there is nothing wrong with the album, it is still a great album with some fine guitar work from the master himself.

Track Listing:

1. Paralyzed

2. Take It Or Leave It

3. Alone

4. It Don’t Matter

5. State of Shock

6. I  Want To Tell You

7. Satisfied

8. Bite Down Hard

9. Snake Charmer

10. Saddle Sore

Ted Nugent

Ted Nugent

Ted Nugent- lead guitar, vocals

Charlie Huhn- rhythm guitar, lead and backing vocals

Walt Monaghan- bass

Cliff Davies- drums, backing vocals

Let’s not get into an argument on whether “State of Shock” compares to some of the other Ted Nugent classics. It is a good album and for me, it was a great reintroduction back into music after being deprived of it for so long.

Next Post: Triumph- Just a Game

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

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

Hell’s Bells and Hellrazor Rock Stroud!

Posted in Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , on February 10, 2013 by 80smetalman

The reason why I brought my visit to AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell” album so far forward was on account of last night when I saw AC/DC tribute band Hell’s Bells at The Subscription Rooms in my hometown of Stroud. Originally, I was going to mention the gig when I visited Ted Nugent’s “State of Shock” album but I concluded that it wouldn’t be fair to Ted Nugent or Hell’s Bells. So I thought it only proper to give Hell’s Bells their own slot.

Hellrazor

Hellrazor

The show began with the alter ego of Hell’s Bells, Hellrazor. It doesn’t take a genius to see that this was none other than the main act in another form. At least it explained why a keyboard was on stage before the show. Hellrazor performed some great covers including “My Generation,” “Highway Star” and the first time I ever heard it covered and it’s been 36 years since the song was first broadcast, a very good cover of “Carry On My Wayward Son.” The final song was none other than “Rock And Roll” by Led Zeppelin. Their set might have been a little short, but it provided a great warm up for better things to come.

Hell's Bells

Hell’s Bells

Hell’s Bells came out in full glory performing all the songs that made AC/DC famous. Once again, they were note perfect in regards of the Gods they were paying tribute to and this time, the lead singer was much more consistent in sounding like Bon Scott and at times, Brian Johnson. Of course, there were also some of the stage antics that made AC/DC famous like Angus Young’s striptease and consequent mooning of the audience. I did try to photograph that but it came out a blur. They promised to have the cannon similar to what AC/DC use for their giant hit, “For Those About to Rock, We Salute You.” While there was no physical cannon, they did use sound effects from a laptop for the cannon blasts. It still worked as they had the packed house on their feet and yelling in praise, me included.

Lead singer carrying lead guitarist around on his shoulders

Lead singer carrying lead guitarist around on his shoulders

That was what the photo was supposed to be anyway. But the blurred photo doesn’t do justice to what a cool show it was and the fact that I was able to grab an AC/DC dollar bill when they were thrown out to the crowd. Even though, they played the famous songs, there were still many different tunes from their previous visit nine months ago. Hell’s Bells provided a great night of AC/DC fun and I was glad I was there. I’ll probably go when they come back in the Autumn.

FFI http://www.hellsbells.info

Next post will definitely be Ted Nugent- State of Shock

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

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

Great Metal Albums of 1979: AC/DC- Highway to Hell

Posted in 1979, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on February 8, 2013 by 80smetalman

Acdc_Highway_to_Hell

I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to get another post out before the weekend, but fortunately, as schools in the UK break up for half term on Friday, there isn’t a need for supply teachers. Therefore, I am able to bring you that album that consciously influenced my decision to join the ranks of heavy metal. “Highway to Hell” was the album that basically ended the seventies and opened up the door to the eighties for me and I’ve been eternally grateful ever since.

For me, the title track alone would make this album but the other songs lift it up to a place where you need the Hubble Telescope to see it. Those hard rocking riffs just set my head to bobbing and I just can’t stop it. While, I can go on forever about the first song, the album in no way loses anything with the nine other songs. “Touch Too Much” is a brilliant headbanger and with “Beating Around the Bush,” there has been no other lead-rhythm guitar combination that has been performed better than the way the Young Brothers do it on this song. Then, there is the amusing lyrics on “Walk All Over You.” Many times in the company of a lady, I have thought or even told her, “You look so good under me.” Of course, I have also experienced the lyrics in the song “Shot Down in Flames.”

Track Listing:

1. Highway to Hell

2. Girls Got Rhythm

3. Walk All Over You

4. Touch Too Much

5. Beating Around the Bush

6. Shot Down In Flames

7. Get it Hot

8. If You Want Blood (You Got It)

9. Love Hungry Man

10. Night Prowler

AC/DC

AC/DC

Bon Scott- vocals

Angus Young- lead guitar

Malcolm Young- rhythm guitar, backing vocals

Cliff Williams- bass

Phil Rudd- drums

As I said before, originally I was going to wait until the end of my journey through 1979 to visit this album, but with Hell’s Bells coming to town this weekend, I thought it appropriate to visit it now. Don’t worry, I’ll let you know how Hell’s Bells are in the next post and if they continue to be note perfect. If there is any album to get me into the mood for the night, it would be “Highway to Hell.” This for me, kicked my ass into the 80s.

Next post: Ted Nugent- State of Shock

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

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

FFI on Hell’s Bells, go to http://www.hellsbell.info

 

Great Metal Albums of 1979: Saxon

Posted in 1979, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on February 5, 2013 by 80smetalman

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In a song on a later album, which I will cover down the line, Saxon asks, “Where were you in 79 when the damn began to burst?” I know I mentioned it before but I thought I should bring it up again because back in that year, Saxon were one of the bands who fired the first salvos at the damn. Their self titled first album was the weapon of choice and this album reminded me why I like to listen to up and coming bands so much. It contains a raw, gutsy, hungry sound that many heavy metal acts would possess when they were making their way up the ladder of success.

The first track, “Rainbow Theme” may not be a throat grabber of an opening song but it does the job in turning your attention to the album. I love the guitar work on the second track, “Frozen Rainbow”as well as the Thin Lizzy influence on “Judgement Day.” The rest of the album would lay the ground work for the later success of Saxon from the unmistakable vocals of Biff Byeford to some impressive guitar work from the likes of Graham Oliver and Paul Quinn. Another track that definitely stands out for me is “Stallions of the Highway.” It shows why I have always liked this band so much.

Track Listing:

1. Rainbow Theme

2. Frozen Rainbow

3. Big Teaser

4. Judgement Day

5. Stallions of the Highway

6. Backs to the Wall

7. Still Fit to Boogie

8. Militia Guard

Saxon

Saxon

Biff Byeford- vocals

Graham Oliver- guitar

Paul Quinn- guitar

Steve Dawson- bass

Pete Gill- drums

Back in 1979, heavy metal as we know and love it was still in its infancy, although back then, we didn’t realise how fast it would grow up. Saxon are one of the more unsung heroes of heavy metal. This first album shows the hunger that they had and metal bands after would acquire. So in salutation, have a listen to the first album from a great British band, Saxon.

Next post: I was going to save this until the end of my 1979 journey but as I am going to see AC/DC tribute band Hell’s Bells on Saturday, I thought I would make “Highway to Hell” my next stop.

Hells Bells

Hells Bells

FFI: http://www.hellsbells.info

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

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