Archive for September, 2013

Great Rock Albums of 1980: Aerosmith- Greatest Hits

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 30, 2013 by 80smetalman

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Some newer Aerosmith fans may be wondering why Aerosmith needed to put out a Greatest Hits album way back in 1980 seeing that they have been going now for four decades. So, let’s travel back in history to that year. In 1980, Aerosmith were a completely different story. My joke about them going from musicians dabbling in drugs to druggies dabbling in music no longer applied because they weren’t even dabbling in music! Drugs, in fighting and departures were plaguing this band something chronic. As a result, this album was put out as some last hurrah for them because many people were writing them off as finished.

Finished or not, this album brought back the songs and memories that made them the great icons they were throughout the 1970s. I won’t list any songs individually here as it wouldn’t be fair to the ones I didn’t but this is one greatest hits album I am absolutely proud to own. Some of their best songs from their classic albums are all included here and I’m sure there is plenty of room for debate for other great Aerosmith songs to have been included as well. Me personally, I would have included the title cut from “Toys in the Attic” and for my own amusement “Big Ten Inch (Record)” as well. So here’s a look back to some of the great Aerosmith albums that made this compilation possible.

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Aerosmith_-_Night_In_The_Ruts

Track Listing:

1. Dream On

2. Same Old Song And Dance

3. Sweet Emotion

4. Walk This Way

5. Last Child

6. Back In the Saddle

7. Draw the Line

8. Kings and Queens

9. Come Together

10. Remember, Walking in the Sand

Aeormith

 
  Aerosmith

Steve Tyler- vocals, harmonica

Joe Perry- lead guitar

Brad Whitford- rhythm guitar

Tom Hamilton- bass

Joey Kramer- drums

I bet those who wrote Aerosmith off thirty three years ago are feeling foolish now because after a few more years of turmoil, they would be back and back to stay. Still for those who are new to the earlier material and are looking for a listen, then this album would be a great place to start.

Next post: REO Speedwagon- A Decade in Rock and Roll

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 Punk Albums of 1980: Dead Kennedys- Fresh Fruit for Rotten Vegetables

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 26, 2013 by 80smetalman

Dead_Kennedys_-_Fresh_Fruit_for_Rotting_Vegetables_cover

As I have stipulated in many posts thus far, back in 1980 and before, the term punk was brandished around fairly liberally in regards to bands who brought a unique sound to the music world. However, there are very few of theses acts which I would actually call punk, Talking Heads being one of the exceptions. My idea of punk was always in the form of the Sex Pistols, The Jam, The Ramones and the band whose album I’m visiting now, The Dead Kennedys. For me, Punk has always been the loud aggressive hardcore sound that the forementioned bands provided.

I have to confess, I didn’t listen to the Dead Kennedys much back in the day. I knew and loved their more notable songs, including two from this album “Fresh Fruit for Rotten Vegetables,” “Let’s Lynch the Landlord” (something I wanted to do to two of mine) and “Holiday in Cambodia” but I never listened to their albums in real earnest. My interest in listening to the Dead Kennedys again came about 8 years ago when I listened to some political speeches by former lead singer Jello Biafra. Side note: His speech on school shootings gave me lots of inspiration for my new book “He Was Weird.” And of course, when I get to 1986and 87, I will be writing posts on the criminal charges brought against him on the Dead Kennedys’ “Frankenchrist” album. Still, that’s down the line so let’s look more closely at their debut album.

Like I said, I already knew the songs “Holiday in Cambodia” and “Let’s Lynch the Landlord” and hearing them in recent times, I love them even more. However, two songs does not an album make. The rest of this album is just as hardcore and kickass. You can name any track on the album and I would give it my thumbs up but the standouts for me are: “Forward to Death,” “Kill The Poor,” “California Uber Allies” and “Chemical Warfare.” I also really love the cover of Elvis’s “Viva Las Vegas.” For me, this is what punk should be; loud, powerful and to the point. The combined total of the fourteen songs is just over thirty-three minutes.

Track Listing:

1. Kill the Poor

2. Forward to Death

3. When Ya Get Drafted

4. Let’s Lynch the Landlord

5. Drug Me

6. Your Emotions

7. Chemical Warfare

8. California Uber Allies

9. I Kill Children

10. Stealing People’s Mail

11. Funland At the Beach

12. Ill in the Head

13. Holiday in Cambodia

14. Viva Las Vegas

Dead Kennedys

Dead Kennedys

Jello Biafra- lead vocals

East Bay Ray- lead guitar

Klaus Flouride- bass, backing vocals

Ted- drums

6025- rhythm guitar on Ill in the Head

I slam danced my way for the entire thirty three minutes of this album. Thank God there wasn’t a stage for me to dive off of. But this is the effect “Fresh Fruit for Rotten Vegetables” has on me as is the case with most hardcore punk. By 1980, punk was moving away from the UK and re-establishing itself on the West Coast of the US. This album is prove that it had done so successfully.

Next post: Aerosmith- Greatest Hits

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: Talking Heads- Remain In Light

Posted in 1980s, Humour, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on September 23, 2013 by 80smetalman

 

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The Talking Heads were yet another band who were branded punk because of their unique sound that didn’t fit into any neat pigeon hole. Of course, of all the bands that I’ve said this about, they were probably the one band that might actually fit the title. While they weren’t in the same mould as The Sex Pistols, they were born of the New York Punk scene at CBGB’s in the mid 70s. So in that case, they can definitely be considered punk. I became convinced of this when I heard their debut album “77.” This album was totally different and “Psycho Killer” is definitely in my top fifty favourite songs of all time. Even in the early 80s, that album was considered by many to be “way out there.”

Roll on their 1980 album “Remain In Light.” It’s very difficult to for a band to match and album that you consider to be outstanding so I won’t make comparisons to “77,” especially as this album was a change in direction from their traditional punk sound to a more funky direction. I hear some reggae influence in the opening tracks, “Born Under the Punches” and “Crosseyed and Painless.” They are good songs and what really makes them for me is the humourous approach that David Byrne takes to not just these two songs but for the entire album. It is definitely evident in the album’s big single, “Once in a Lifetime.” However, it is this sense of humour that makes me listen more to the lyrics and gets me thinking. Then there are some interesting musical effects, especially in the closer “The Overload” and “Houses In Motion” is very effective too. I get the impression that the band had a rather good time in making this album.

Track Listing:

1. Born Under the Punches

2. Crosseyed and Painless

3. The Great Curve

4. Once in a Lifetime

5. Houses in Motion

6. Seen and Not Seen

7. Listening Wind

8. The Overload

Talking Heads

Talking Heads

David Byrne- guitar, lead vocals, keyboards, percussion

Jerry Harrison- guitar, keyboards, backing vocals

Tina Weymouth- bass, keyboards, percussion, backing vocals

Chris Frantz- drums, percussion, keyboards, backing vocals

“Remain in Light” would go on to be considered one of the best albums of 1980, if not the entire decade by many critics. I don’t debate it. This album provided people with something different at a time when there was mainly hard rock and disco. Fortunately the latter was dying a death. “Remain in Light” highlights the abilities of four very talented musicians and even after all these years, I consider it to be way out there and I like that.

Next post: The Dead Kennedys- Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables

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: George Thorogood and the Destroyers- More George Thorogood and the Destroyers

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 19, 2013 by 80smetalman

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The 1980s also saw the rise of a great blues guitarist and yet another great American rock act not to crack the UK, George Thorogood. Throughout the 80’s he, along with his band The Destroyers, would rock with some brilliant songs and albums played in his very unique style. What I didn’t realise until now that my all time favourite Thorogood jam “House Rent Blues” also known as “One Bourbon, One Scotch and One Beer” was on his debut album in 1977. I was always under the impression it was much later. But in 1980, he put out this album “More George Thorogood and the Destroyers which also rocked.

This album radiates cool blues rock with some great guitar efforts from the man himself. Every song has a cool enough guitar solo and quite a few of them are also accompanied with the saxophone efforts of Hank Carter. The opening song, “I’m Wanted,” kicks things off in style and even when there is a slower moment with the third song, “One Way Ticket,” it kicks back up two gears with “Bottom of the Sea.” “Night Time” and “Tip In Baby” keep the pace and when the album belts out another slower blues track with “Goodbye Baby,” it goes back to finish on a faster pace with “Restless” being an adequate closer. The whole album is what you would expect from George and company.

Track Listing:

1. I’m Wanted

2. Kids From Philly

3. One Way Ticket

4. Bottom of the Sea

5. Night Time

6. Tip In Baby

7. Goodbye Baby

8. House of Blue Lights

9. Just Can’t Make It

10. Restless

George Thorogood

 
      George Thorogood

George Thorogood- guitar, vocals

Billy Blough- bass

Jeff Simon- drums

Hank Carter- saxophone

George Thorogood seems to have been forgotten in recent years but believe me, in the early and mid 80s, many in America knew his name. He put out some great albums including this one and for me, his music will always continue on.

Next post: Talking Heads- Remain in Light

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: Bob Dylan- Saved

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on September 16, 2013 by 80smetalman

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“Saved” was Bob Dylan’s second album after his conversion to Born Again Christianity and like his previous album “Slow Train Coming,” he uses his music to express his beliefs. I never had a problem with this but then I used to listen to Stryper and Merciful Fate in conjunction with each other calling it my heaven and hell moments. Unfortunately, a lot of people did as I remember reading letters to rock magazines stating that Dylan should keep his religious beliefs out of his music. Then again, I sometimes wonder how people could say that in the first place because I found that Dylan seemed to mumble a lot through these songs so you couldn’t always tell whether or not he was singing about Jesus.

Many of the songs on here have a perky, uplifting gospel rock feel to it. It didn’t convert me but I did like many of the songs irrespective of the subject sung about. The title track “Saved” is definitely the stand out for me on this album. “Covenant Woman” is also rather a strong track. The rest of the album is more of a relaxed sound and it’s got me thinking about Pink Floyd now because I would use this album to mellow out like I do with Floyd and the content on the album would not stop me from puffing the magic dragon.

Track Listing:

1. A Satisfied Mind

2. Saved

3. Covenant Woman

4. What Can I Do For You

5. Solid Rock

6. Pressing On

7. In The Garden

8. Saving Grace

9. Are You Ready

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan- vocals, guitar, harmonica

Tim Drummond- bass

John Keltner- drums

Spooner Oldham- keyboards

Fred Tackett- guitar

Terry Young- keyboards, backing vocals

Carolyn Dennis- backing vocals

Regina Havis- backing vocals

Clydie King- backing vocals

Monalisa Young- backing vocals

Whether you are religious or not, this is still an album worth listening to, something to mellow out with. Bob Dylan’s future albums would steer away from religion but that’s another story. However, I remain convinced that it was these two Dylan albums that paved the way for Christian rock and that if it wasn’t for Dylan, than we might not have had Stryper.

Next post: George Thorogood and the Destroyers- More George Thorogood and the Destroyers

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

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

 

 

 

Tragedies and Triumphs in 1980

Posted in 1980s, Death, Heavy Metal, Illness, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 14, 2013 by 80smetalman

Yes, I know it should be the other way around but I always like to start with the bad and end with the good, I think most people are inclined to do the same. Therefore, I will start with the tragedy. Unless you’ve been living on Pluto, you would have known of the tragic death of AC/DC singer Bon Scott.

Bon Scott

Bon Scott

It was in 1980 when Bon Scott lost his battle with acute alcohol poisoning. To many AC/DC fans, his death couldn’t have come at a worse time as the band was just reaching the zenith of their popularity. Many doomsayers predicted that it would spell the end of the band, thank God they were proved wrong. In fact, that proof would come that very same year and I will be going there in a future post. But even after thirty-three years, the memory of Bon Scott carries on. His contribution to his band and to music as a whole will carry on forever.

Now for the triumph:

Paul Kantner- Jefferson Starship

Paul Kantner- Jefferson Starship

We nearly lost another famous rocker in 1980 as well when Jefferson Starship rhythm guitarist and founding member Paul Kantner suffered a cerebral brain haemorrhage. At first, things weren’t looking too well and doctors thought that he would need an operation as at thirty-nine, most people don’t survive a haemorrhage without one. Triumphantly, for Kantner and for rock, he would later go on to joke that is stay in hospital was more a vacation as he never needed the operation.

Some of you are itching to tell me of one other tragedy that occurred in 1980 and the reason why I am not mentioning it on this post is because that tragedy shook the entire world so much, that I feel it needs its own post. It also happened at the end of the year so I thought it would be a fitting remembrance to finish my tour of 1980 with it.

Next post: Bob Dylan- Saved

R.I.P. Bon Scott

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: Pat Travers- Crash And Burn

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on September 10, 2013 by 80smetalman

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Back in this year, I used to belong to one of those mail order record clubs. You know, you join by buying six albums for a penny and then you have to buy a certain amount of albums in two years. I think RCA ran the one I belonged to. They had an album of the month and if you didn’t say that you didn’t want that album in time, they would send it to you. I always got my no response in time, especially after my friend who didn’t and got sent an album by KC and the Sunshine Band. I bought a number of albums this way: Alice Cooper- “From the Inside,” Van Halen II, ZZ Top- “Eliminator” and I know for a fact that the very last album I purchased this way was Black Sabbath- “Live Evil.” Whenever, I would go through the booklet of albums to buy, this album “Crash and Burn” by Pat Travers was always in it. I never bought it, even after listening to his great previous live album, “Live! Go For What You Know.” Having finally heard this album, I regret never buying it all those years ago.

Pat Travers is responsible for rekindling my love for blues based guitar rock. I love the slow but hard riffs accompanied by a long guitar solo in the middle. His talents shine on the fore mentioned live album and they continue to do so on his 1980 effort, “Crash And Burn.” Saying that, you might be fooled by the opening title track as it’s more of a progressive rock song. However, the second track, “(Your Love) Can’t Be Right) goes back to the style Mr Travers has been best known for. Then comes the very famous “Snortin Whiskey” and you know that all is well. This is probably the most mind blowing song he’s done, at least in my limited experience of Pat. A great hard rocker with a just as amazing guitar solo. It bears all the trademarks associated with this great musician. The pace is then set for the rest of the album after that but I do love his take on the Bob Marley written “Is This Love” which is done with total pinache. The album goes well all the way down to its exciting closer, “Material Eyes” and sends the album out on a very definite high.

Pat Travers

Pat Travers

Track Listing:
1. Crash And Burn
2. (Your Love) Can’t Be Right
3. Snortin Whiskey
4. Born Under a Bad Sign
5. Is This Love
6. The Big Event
7. Love Will Make You Strong
8. Material Eyes

Pat Travers- lead vocals, lead and rhythm guitars, keyboards
Pat Thrall- lead and rhythm guitars, backing vocals
Peter Mars Cowling- bass
Tommy Aldridge- drums/percussion
Additional Musicians
Dawn Shahan- backing vocals
Michael Shrieve- percussion
First of all, I apologise for the lack of photos on this post. I don’t know what the problem is here but it’s not letting me do so at the moment. If I can sort it, then I will add them. Still, you don’t need photos to know what a great rocking album “Crash and Burn” is. I bet that Pat Travers hasn’t gotten anywhere near a nomination for the Rock Hall of Fame, sad.

Next post: 1980- Tragedy and Triumph

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