Archive for June, 2013

Great Rock Albums of 1980: The Soundtrack to The Blues Brothers

Posted in 1980s, films, Humour, Music, soundtracks, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on June 26, 2013 by 80smetalman

220px-BluesbrotherssoundtrackWhat happens when two known comedy actors produce a cool musical album? Well back in 1980, Dan Akroyd and John Belushi took their characters of Jake and Elwood Blues and made a hilariously smashing movie with a fantastic soundtrack. “The Blues Brothers” was probably the funniest film of 1980, (the only other contender would have been “Airplane”,) and ranks up there in the all time list. But what makes this film stand out more is that fact that not only was it a funny film that had me rolling in the aisle, but it had one hell of a soundtrack.

Bluesbrothersmovieposter

Some people were slightly disappointed that none of the songs from the Blues Brothers’ studio album “Briefcase Full of Blues” were featured in the film, especially the hit single “Soul Man.” My answer to that was that it didn’t need  to be. The songs in the film were totally magnificent enough to stand on their own. Many of the songs still had that great sound with Belushi, or should I say Jake Blues’ vocals powering away with a phenominal assembly of studio musicians behind him. Elwood (Dan Akroyd) also lends his hand in both the lead and backing vocals department. In addition, there are some songs from the great artists who graced the screen with their talents like Cab Calloway, Ray Charles and Artetha Franklin. The result is a great mix of good old fashioned blues and soul that is completely mind blowing.

Blues Brothers with Aretha Franklin

Blues Brothers with Aretha Franklin

Track Listing:

1. She Caught the Katy

2. Peter Gun Theme

3. Gimme Some Lovin’

4. Shake a Tail Feather (vocal by Ray Charles)

5. Everybody Needs Somebody to Love

6. The Old Landmark (vocal by James Brown)

7. Think (vocal by Aretha Franklin)

8. Theme from Rawhide

9. Minnie the Moocher (vocal by Cab Calloway)

10. Sweet Home Chicago

11. Jailhouse Rock

The Blues Brothers Band

The Blues Brothers Band

Jake Blues (John Belushi)- vocals

Elwood Blues (Dan Akroyd)- vocals, harmonica

Steve Cropper- guitar

Matt Murphy- guitar

Donald Dunn- bass

Murphy Dunne- keyboards

Willie Hall- drums

Alan Rubin- trumpet

Tom Malone- tenor saxophone

Lou Marini- alto saxophone

So if you want the combination of a good laugh and some great music, then go and watch The Blues Brothers film. I know that you will find that this film has plenty of both to go around.

Next post: Toto- Hydra

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 Rock Albums of 1980: J Geils Band- Love Stinks

Posted in 1980s, films, Humour, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on June 20, 2013 by 80smetalman

J._Geils_Band_-_Love_Stinks

The USA, Canada and the UK have always enjoyed a musical interaction with one another where acts from one country get the same notoriety in the other. However, this hasn’t been the case with all acts. For example, when I get to 1981, I will reveal who I think is the best American artist not to have made it in the UK. (I’m sorry, you’ll have to wait til then.) Something similar can be said about the J Geils band. While watching British MTV, they had a weekend viewing of one hit wonders and one of those was the J Geils band with the song “Centerfold.” I was astounded! How could they be considered one hit wonders when they had been making great rock in America all throughout the seventies? I would have thought they would have at least heard of the title track of the album I’m visiting here today because “Love Stinks” is the song I will always remember them for.

“Love Stinks” is my favourite J Geils song  and it has been covered by great rock and metal artists such as Joan Jett and Bile as well as been used in commercials and films such as “The Wedding Singer.” It is also the title of the eleventh album from them. As I mentioned earlier, they tore up the seventies with a number of great rock albums and I am slightly kicking myself for not featuring any of them in previous postings, my loss. This album is no different. I love the seventies hard sound with the keyboard in accompaniment that make songs like “Till the Walls Come Down” and “Just Can’t Wait” great songs. I am also amused by the band’s sense of  humour with “No Anchovies, Please.” Yes, “Love Stinks” is a great rock album to be enjoyed by any officianado of the fine art of rock music.

Track Listing:

1. Just Can’t Wait

2. Come Back

3. Taking You Down

4. Nighttime

5. No Anchovies, Please

6. Love Stinks

7. Trying Not to Think About It

8. Desire (Please  Don’t Turn Away)

9. Till The Walls Come Tumbling Down

The J Geils Band

The J Geils Band

J Geils- guitar

Stephen Bladd- drums, vocals

Seth Justman- keyboards, vocals

Danny Klein- bass

Magic Dick – harmonica, saxophone, trumpet

Peter Wolf- vocals

The song “Love Stinks,” along with “Centerfold,” will forever be identified with the J Geils Band. However, the rest of the album the first song comes from is definitely worth a listen as well. I hope my British readers will definitely take me up on the offer if they haven’t listened to any in the  past. I know you’ll like it.

Next post: The Blues Brothers Soundtrack

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

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

Great Rock Albums of 1980- Southern Fried Rock

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 17, 2013 by 80smetalman

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If there was ever any proof needed that Southern Rock had finally come into the spotlight in 1980, it is the fact that some corporate record executive had the bright idea to put out a compilation album of great Southern Rock songs. I first saw this album on record store shelves in the summer of 1980 and almost after it appeared, advertisements for it began playing on radio and television. I had heard most of the songs previous to this album and now there was an album where I could listen to them all together.

“Southern Fried Rock” is full of great songs featuring classics like “Ramblin’ Man” from the Allman Brothers and the Charlie Daniels Band classic “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.” There is also a lot of variation on the album with slower songs like “So Into You” by the Atlanta Rhythm Section and the big country/rock crossover from the Pure Prairie League, “Amie” to rock outs like “Flirtin’ With Disaster” from Molly Hatchet, “Train Train” from Blackfoot and 38 Special’s “Rockin’ Into the Night.” This album has it all in terms of Southern rock with fifteen great songs.

Track Listing:

1. Ozark Mountain Daredevils- If You Want to Go to Heaven

2, Blackfoot- Train Train

3. The Charlie Daniels Band- The Devil Went Down to Georgia

4. The Allman Brothers- Ramblin’ Man

5. 38 Special- Rockin’ Into the Night

6. Black Oak Arkansas- Jim Dandy

7. Molly Hatchet- Flirtin’ With Disaster

8. Pure Prairie League- Amie

9. Bellamy Brothers- Let Your Love Flow

10. Elvin Bishop- Fooled Around and Fell In Love

11. Wet Willie- Keep On Smiling

12. Atlanta Rhythm Section- So Into You

13. Greg Allman- Midnight Rider

14. The Outlaws- There Goes Another Love Song

15. Marshall Tucker Band- Heard It In a Love Song

Allman Brothers

Allman Brothers

Molly Hatchet

Molly Hatchet

Blackfoot

Blackfoot

Charlie Daniels Band

Charlie Daniels Band

If I had to nit pick at this album, it is the fact that there are no Lynyrd Skynyrd songs on it. They were one of the most influential Southern Rock bands and it is a travesty that none of their songs are on it. Still, this is a fantastic album for anyone who wanted to investigate some of the great gems “Southern Fried Rock” has to offer.

Next post: The J Geils Band- Love Stinks

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.80smetalman.wordpress.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 1980: The Outlaws- Ghost Riders

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 13, 2013 by 80smetalman


220px-The_Outlaws_-_Ghost_Riders

 

One of the things that got me listening to Southern Rock was that it featured prolonged lead guitar solos and there are some beauties that have blown me away over the years. There is the famous “Freebird” complements of Lynyrd Skynyrd and “Highway Song” courtesy of Blackfoot. Plus there are some from the Allman Brothers such as “Ramblin’ Man” and “Jessica” as well as one from Molly Hatchet which I will definitely be pontificating about when I get to 1983. However, it is The Outlaws who seem to do it best and do it with most of their songs. Their famous “Green Grass and High Tides” is a classic for guitar solos and this doesn’t diminish with their 1980 album “Ghost Riders.”

Let us begin with the single that got them recognition north of the Mason- Dixon Line, “Ghost Riders in the Sky.” There have been many covers of this song before and after The Outlaws put their own stamp on it. My father in law likes the version from 1948 and a British band, The Stranglers, made an instrumental version in 1980 and even Elvis sang it. “Needless to say, which version I like. But the album doesn’t begin and end with the one song. There are plenty of great songs on it and many of them have some outstanding guitar work. In fact, the second song “White Horses” has an impressive acoustic guitar sounding intro before going nuts with some harder stuff. The same can be said for the final song “Freedom Walk.” Even the slower “I Can’t Stop Loving You” is not lacking a cool guitar solo or two and “Angels Hide” is a total rocker. All in all, “Ghost Riders” typifies everything I love about Southern Rock. 

Track Listing:

1. Ghost Riders

2. White Horses

3. Angels Hide

4. Devil’s Road

5. I Can’t Stop Loving You

6. Wishing Wells

7. Sunshine

8. Freedom Walk

The Outlaws

The Outlaws

Rick Cua- bass, guitar, vocals

David Dix- drums, percussion

Billy Jones- guitars, vocals

Mike Duke- keyboards, vocals

Freddie Salem- guitar,vocals

Hughie Thomasson- guitar, vocals

The Outlaws are what the gods of rock envisioned when they forged this great genre known as Southern Rock. Great guitar solos innertwined with some hard rocking chords and even a slow acoustic chord. With “Ghost Riders,” you can’t go wrong.

Next post: Southern Fried Rock

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.80smetalman.wordpress.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 1980: The Charlie Daniels Band- Full Moon

Posted in 1980s, films, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 9, 2013 by 80smetalman

Before I start, I would just like to say that it was my birthday on Friday and my step daughter got me a really nice gift that I have to share here. She bought me two bottles of Iron Maiden Ale. Whoa! 

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IMG0028A

Yes, I enjoyed the first one and I will enjoy the second. Now here’s the next album, Charlie Daniels, “Full Moon

220px-Full_Moon_CDB_album

In 1980, The Charlie Daniels Band was riding high thanks to their 1979 hit, “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.” They even appeared in the 1980 film “Urban Cowboy” starring John Travolta. I won’t go into great details about the film but I will say that the Texas accent put on by Travolta in the film was unconvincing and I’m from New Jersey. 

John Travolta in Urban Cowboy

John Travolta in Urban Cowboy

“Full Moon” first came to my attention in the summer of this year courtesy of the hit single “In America.” As a young marine feeling slightly frustrated that President Jimmy Carter hadn’t sent me to Iran to go and rescue the hostages single handed, the patriotic lyrics struck a definite chord with me. That and the rocky edge to the song and that is what The Charlie Daniels Band was so successful at. They made the country to rock crossover look extremely easy and as a result won many fans in both camps. 

The album begins with another notable song, “The Legend of Wooly Swamp” and along with “Lonesome Boy From Dixie,” has that Southern boogie rock feel to them. They are sandwiched around the more ballad like “Carolina, I Remember You.” The fourth track, “No Potion For The Pain” has a definite blues feel to it and I liked the guitar work on it. The album does go a bit more country with the next few songs although I still like them. “Dance, Gypsy Dance” is the song where Charlie finally cuts loose with his fiddle reminiscent of that great 1979 song. The album returns to that boogie rock edge for the remainder of the songs which leaves the album to finish on a definite high with “In America.” 

Track Listing:

1. The Legend of Wooly Swamp

2. Carolina, I Remember You

3. Lonesome Boy From Dixie

4. No Potion for the Pain

5. El Toreador

6. South Sea Song

7. Dance Gypsy Dance

8. Money

9. In America

Charlie Daniels Band

Charlie Daniels Band

Charlie Daniels- vocals, guitar, fiddle

Tom Crane- guitar, vocals

Joel “Taz” Di Gregorio- keyboards, vocals

Fred Edwards- drums, percussion

James W Marshall- drums, percussion

Charles Hayward- bass

If anyone could unify rednecks and rockers, it was the Charlie Daniels Band. Their blend of country and rock was unique and worked on several levels. Proof in the pudding is in the “Full Moon” album. I might listen to it again while drinking my second bottle of Iron Maiden Ale.

Next post: The Outlaws- Ghost Riders In the Sky

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 1980: Molly Hatchet- Beatin’ The Odds

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on June 4, 2013 by 80smetalman

220px-Molly_Hatchet_-_Beatin'_the_Odds

By the summer of 1980, I knew that Southern Rock had established itself up North and was listened to quite extensively there. However, in the October of the same year, I learned that it had made its way across the Atlantic when I saw this very album from Molly Hatchet on sale in a record shop in Southampton, England. The very same marine buddy who first introduced me to Southern Rock was with me at this time and we did both exceedingly rejoice in the fact that Molly Hatchet was listened to in Europe.

Being very predictable here but one can’t fail to mention that “Beatin’ The Odds” was the first album to feature Jimmy Farrar as lead singer who had replaced Danny Joe Brown who left the band on account of alcohol problems or so I’m told. Many Hatchet fans want to totally forget the Jimmy Farrar period of the band’s career but when I listened to the album a couple of days ago, (the first time in about 30 years) I tried to do so in a more open minded manner.

First, Jimmy Farrar is not that bad of a vocalist. Had he come out with another band, he probably would have been right up there with many of those who were around then. The unfortunate thing for him was that he had some very big shoes to fill when he replaced Brown at the mike. Saying that, I feel that the album still lacks a bit of punch to me when compared with the epic “Flirtin’ With Disaster” album. Yes, Molly Hatchet still plays that Southern bad boy boogie sound and this is in no way a bad album, but it is a quite a come down from the previous one. The track that stands out for me is “Penthouse Pauper” which has a great guitar intro and the title cut is pretty good too. “Sailor” is also a strong track. However, in spite of all the good things, to me, “Beatin’ The Odds” lacks something.

Track Listing:

1. Beatin’ The Odds

2. Double Talker

3. The Rambler

4. Sailor

5. Dead And Gone

6. Few And Far Between

7. Penthouse Pauper

8. Get Her Back

9. Poison Pen

Molly Hatchet

Molly Hatchet

Jimmy Farrar- vocals

Dave Hlubeck- lead and slide guitars

Duane Roland- lead and slide guitars

Steve Holland- guitars

Banner Thomas- bass

Bruce Crump- drums

I have coined the phrase “Sophmore Jinx” to bands whose second album didn’t match the expectation of a great first album. As “Beatin’ The Odds” is the third album from Molly Hatchet, I can’t really use it here. Furthermore, like I said, it’s not a bad album and it is a good one to have on in the background when sitting in your back garden on a warm day and swilling down some brewskies. However, when you do listen to it, try not to compare it to some of their more iconic albums.

Next post: The Charlie Daniels Band- Full Moon

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