Archive for May, 2014

Proof That The Sun is Anti- Heavy Metal

Posted in Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Humour, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on May 31, 2014 by 80smetalman

thesun

This is a supplemental post. Way back in the very early days of 80smetalman’s Blog, I wrote an article asking if the Sun Newspaper, the best selling in the UK is anti- heavy metal. I put forward arguments both ways although most of the evidence pointed to “Anti.” The only response I had thought they were anti- heavy metal as well, thanks Stone. Last Thursday, the paper reported a member of One-Direction caught smoking a joint in the back of the car and the editorial page had this to say about it. I quote verbatim:

“One Direction aren’t KISS or Motley Crue.

They’re role models to a generation of very young, impressionable kids. Smoking a joint in the back of a car isn’t the world’s most serious crime. But if you think that it doesn’t matter at all, read what disillusioned fans and their parents say. Zayn and Louis have a responsibility to their following, it’s the price for immense wealth and fame in a squeaky clean pop group. 

If you want to behave like rock stars lad, then join a heavy metal band.”

True, many a good heavy metal band loves the sex, drugs and rock and roll life style. They’ve earned it. But heavy metal artists aren’t the only ones who engage in such play. George Michael has been caught smoking weed and fresh faced pop acts have done far worse. Still, The Sun chooses to ignore that and single out heavy metal bands. In my view, this paper has always been against heavy metal. I would have expected this if the newspaper was printed in a bible belt state in the US but I have always thought better of Great Britain where there is much more tolerance to the music by the non metal world.

Things like this get me mad but now I have put my feelings here, I am now more relaxed. Furthermore, I am confident that no matter what the metal hating Sun might say, heavy metal will not die. I think I’ll go listen to some Motorhead.

 

 

 

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Great Rock Albums of 1981: Stevie Nicks- Bella Donna

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, television, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 29, 2014 by 80smetalman

220px-Bella_Donna_(album)

Stevie Nicks has one thing in common with George Harrison in a sense. I have already mentioned that George’s solo material his my favourite among The Beatles. Likewise, of the solo productions from the members of Fleetwood Mac, it is Stevie Nicks’s material that comes out number one for me. I have heard all of the comments about her having a voice like a sheep. In fact, I enjoyed South Park’s little parody about that. The thing is that I don’t care whether or not she sounds like a sheep, I like her voice and the music that accompanies it. The album “Bella Donna” being one of them.

snonsp

Thinking back to when the songs of this album were played on commercial radio, I am reminded why I don’t like it very much. Back in 1981, the two songs that seemed to get all of the air play were the two duets that appear on the album. One was done with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, okay not really a duet, but “Stop Dragging My Heart Around is a decent song. So is the other duet she performs with former Eagles drummer Don Henley, the mellower “Leather and Lace.” I heard this song played on radio several months back and at its conclusion, the deejay only attributed the song to Stevie Nicks. It made me quite cross the Henley didn’t get a mention in the credits, especially as it was a classic rock station and have played Eagles songs in the past. Okay, rant over.

The point I was wanting to make pre-rant was that while the two mentioned songs are decent and so are the other tracks on the album, one song stands head and shoulders above the rest. It is “Edge of Seventeen” that has me banging my head every time I hear it and that is quite often as it’s on one of my MP3s. For Stevie, this is a great rock tune and shows that she can sing rock with the best of them. It is also a song that I would love to hear covered by a metal band.

Track Listing:

1. Bella Donna

2. Kind of Woman

3. Stop Dragging My Heart Around

4. Think About It

5. After the Glitter Fades

6. Edge of Seventeen

7. How Still My Love

8. Leather and Lace

9. Outside the Rain

10. The Highway Man

Stevie Nicks

Stevie Nicks

Stevie Nicks- lead vocals

Lori Perry- backing vocals

Sharon Celani- backing vocals

Tom Petty- guitar, accompanying vocals (Track 3)

Michael Campbell- guitar

Don Felder- guitar

Benmont Trench- piano, organ, backing vocals

Stan Lynch- drums

Don Henley- drums, accompanying vocals (Track 8)

Fleetwood Mac may have been on a hiatus in 1981 but Stevie Nicks was tearing up the rock world with this great album. She showed that she was perfectly capable of making it on her own. Even if some people think she sounds like a sheep.

Next post: A New TV Station is Born

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

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

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1981: The Pretenders II

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on May 25, 2014 by 80smetalman

220px-Tppii

Maybe they thought that because it worked for Van Halen, it would work for them. That is having their first album self-titled and then calling their second one “II.” Whatever the motivation, that is exactly what The Pretenders did. Now my weird imagination has me speculating the result of David Lee Roth and Chrissie Hynde having a child together. Strange yes, but he or she would probably have a great singing voice and know how to work an audience. Anyway, let’s put my imagination back in the closet and focus on the album at hand. One thing I can say about this second album from The Pretenders is like Van Halen and even Boston, the second album follows on nicely from the first and like the other two bands, if the first two albums were available as a single pack, I would buy it.

Like I said, Pretenders II follows on very nicely from Pretenders I. That first album breathed a fresh air of new wave music into the scene in 1980 and it seems that since that worked so well for them a year earlier, they would follow suit with this one. I have to say that it works very well. Hynde’s vocals are in fine form on each song on the album and the rest of the band gives their full support. There are a few well timed guitar solos from James Honeyman-Scott although I’m not going to add him with some of the greats. What surprised me when I explored the background to the album was although the song I am most familiar with, “Talk of the Town,” was released as a single, it doesn’t seemed to have charted. The one single that did was “The Adultress,” which made it to number 12. Another reason I never paid too much attention to the Top 40 charts, I suppose, although I wouldn’t take anything away from “The Adultress” because it is a fine song. Other tracks that really stand out for me are “Day After Day” and “Birds of Paradise.” Another amusing point is I, like many other people, thought the final track, “Louie Louie” was going to be a cover of the sixties classic. Now normally when I a song doesn’t sound like I expect it to, I dislike it out of sheer disappointment but that closing track doesn’t disappoint, it’s a decent closer.

Track Listing:

1. The Adultress

2. Bad Boys Get Spanked

3. Message of Love

4. I Go to Sleep

5. Birds of Paradise

6. Talk of the Town

7. Pack It Up

8. Waste Not, Want Not

9. Day After Day

10. Jealous Dogs

11. The English Roses

12. Louie Louie

The Pretenders

The Pretenders

Chrissie Hynde- lead vocals, guitar

James Honeyman-Scott- lead guitar, keyboards, backing vocals

Pete Farndon- bass, backing vocals

Martin Chambers- drums, backing vocals

In 1980, The Pretenders brought a fresh sound to music and in 1981, followed it up with a good second album. It has been argued back then that part of the success of this album was down to disco finally being laid to rest in 1981. There may be some truth in that but it only proves to me that while some genres come and go, rock and roll will never die. The Pretenders spear headed the influx of new wave that would come to light in the early 80s.

Next post: Stevie Nicks- Belladonna

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.stategicpublishinggroup.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 1981: Dire Straits- Making Movies

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 22, 2014 by 80smetalman

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In spite of the fact that I loved both of Dire Straits’ previous two albums, “Making Movies” kind of passed me by in 1981. What is even stranger is that I know the first three tracks on the album very well. Track three, “Skateaway” is my second favourite Dire Straits song of all time. I still haven’t forgiven them for not playing it when I saw them live in 1985. They did play the other two songs and my number on favourite, “Sultans of Swing”  but that’s little consolation.

Thinking back to that night I saw them live, “Tunnel of Love” was the concert closer and for some reason, I remember it being played slower than what appears on the album. My theory was that they may have been trying to sound more mid 80s. The version on album has all the trademarks of the great music this band was making at the time. Mark Knopfler plays his classic licks throughout and he does the same with the second track, “Romeo and Juliet.” Those two songs build up perfectly to the song whose praises I can’t sing enough, great song but I know I’m biased here. However, three tracks don’t an album make and the great music that is on “Making Movies” continues to go on long after. In fact, it goes on immediately into the next track “Expresso Love.” The opening riffs to the song are rocking and I can’t take anything away from the final three tracks on the album. The first of those three, “Hand in Hand” might be a little slower than the rest but it doesn’t detract from the quality of this album because the last two songs bring it all home very nicely. So, this is yet another album that makes me want to travel back in time and force the me back then to listen to it.

Track Listing:

1. Tunnel of Love

2. Romeo and Juliet

3. Skateaway

4. Expresso Love

5. Hand in Hand

6. Solid Rock

7. Les Boys

Dire Straits

Dire Straits

Mark Knopfler- guitar, lead vocals

John Illsley- bass, vocals

Pick Withers- drums, vocals

Additional musicians

Roy Bittan- keyboards

Sid McGuiness- guitar

One historical part in “Making Movies” was that David Knopfler left the band during the recording of the album in 1980. I don’t know the reasons behind this but am always open to enlightenment. “Making Movies” is a fantastic album and hearing it makes me slightly sick that I let it go by me for all these years. Still, I’m not yet ready to forgive Dire Straits for not playing “Skateaway.” It could be a reason why I don’t give an account of the concert on “Rock And Roll Children,” just merely a mention.

Next post: The Pretenders II

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 1981: Rick Springfield- Working Class Dog

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on May 18, 2014 by 80smetalman

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In the mid 1980s, I thought that Rick Springfield was one of those commercially produced artists who’s sound was out to try to please everybody. I still think that. My motivation for visiting the “Working Class Dog” album comes from elsewhere. Back in the summer of 1981, my marine buddies and I used to frequent a go-go bar outside the base called The Driftwood. During that summer, Springfield’s biggest hit, “Jessie’s Girl,” received a lot of play on the juke box. There was this one dancer, I only knew her as Twinkles, seemed to be on stage a lot when it was played and believe me, she knew how to work the stage to the song. It was just how she used to use the poles to move along with it that was eye catching and that image comes to the forefront of my brain housing group whenever I hear “Jessie’s Girl.”

The Driftwood (I can't believe I found a picture of it online)

The Driftwood (I can’t believe I found a picture of it online)

Having listened to the album again after so many years, (that’s one major plus in writing this blog) I have come to the conclusion that it isn’t the commercial rock that I associate with Rick Springfield later on in the decade. “Working Class Dog” is far from a metal album but it is an enjoyable rock album. There are some decent rock tunes on it and I’m not just talking about the forementioned famous hit. There is the more minor hit “I’ve Done Everything For You,” which is a good song on it’s own right, except Twinkles never danced to it. I also thought the title track, “Hole in My Heart” and “The Light of Love” are all in the same light; good, listenable rock tunes. However, I found the big surprise to be the penultimate track, “Red Hot & Blue Love.” This song goes against the flow of the rest of the album with a more guitar blues sound. The guitar solo is ear catching showing why Neil Geraldo doesn’t get the recognition he deserves. Once again, I find myself pleasantly surprised although my opinion of Rick Springfield’s later stuff hasn’t changed.

Track Listing:

1. Working Class Dog

2. Jessie’s Girl

3. Hole in My Heart

4. Carry Me Away

5. I’ve Done Everything For You

6. The Light of Love

7. Everybody’s Girl

8. Daddy’s Pearl

9. Red Hot & Blue Love

10. Inside Sylvia

 

rspring

Rick Springfield- vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards

Robben Ford- guitar

Neil Geraldo- guitar, bass

Gabriel Katona- keyboards

Jeff Eyrich- bass

Mike Baird- drums

Jack White- drum

Jeremiah Cox- french horn, backing vocals

Tom Kelly- backing vocals

This post has given me further ideas, there were other songs that were made to come alive when danced to by some of the ladies at the Driftwood. My mind flashes back to one named Beverly who made me appreciate REO Speedwagon’s “Take It On the Run” in a different light and there were others. The other thing was that experience has burned unique memories of certain songs and like in the case of Twinkles with “Jessie’s Girl,” got me to listen to the album more. In the case of Rick Springfield and “Working Class Dog,” it was a nice surprise.

Next post: Dire Straits- Making Movies

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 1981: George Harrison- Somewhere in England

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 15, 2014 by 80smetalman

georgeh

Once again, I know that I’m repeating myself here because I did say this when I visited Mr Harrison’s self-titled 1979 album but I feel the strange need to say it again. Of all the solo work from the members of The Beatles, it’s George’s the I like the best. I did really like Paul McCartney with Wings in the early 70s but I felt he went too disco at the tail end of the decade. For the more astute, you may have realised that I never visited Wings’ 1979 “Back to the Egg” album, now you know why. However, George Harrison was consistent with his music throughout and didn’t bow to trends in music. While the 1976 album “33 1/3” remains my favourite of his albums, “Somewhere in England” has to rank up there as well.

Warning, this is not a bang your head rock album. George Harrison’s music has always appealed to my more mellower side and this album is no different. However, what comes through on most of the tracks is a subtle lead guitar in the background and for me, that makes most of the songs where it happens. Most notable is the opening track, “Teardrops” and “Unconciousness Rules.” Other tracks have this guitar sound on it as well and there are one or two tracks that make you think George is going to let loose, especially with some of the guitar intros on a couple of tracks but the song goes into the more melodic sound that I know him for. Even so, he makes it sound really good and since the album was released just a few months after former band mate John Lennon’s death, the single “All Those Years Ago” is not only a dedication to him, the other former band mates, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr appear on the song marking a true tribute to Lennon.

Track Listing:

  Blood From a Clone

Unconciousness Rules

Life Itself

All Those Years Ago

Baltimore Oriole

Teardrops

That Which I’ve Lost

Writing On the Wall

Hong Kong Blues

Save the World

George Harrison

George Harrison

George Harrison- Lead vocals, guitars, keyboards, synthesisers

Alla Rakha- tabla

Gary Brooker- keyboards, synthesisers

Al Kooper- keyboards, synthesisers

Mike Moran- keyboards, synthesisers

Neil Larsen- keyboards, synthesisers

Tom Scott-Lynicon- horns

Herbie Flowers- tuba, bass

Willie Weeks- bass

Ray Cooper- keyboards, synthesisers, percussion, drums

Jim Keltner- drums

Dave Mattacks- drums

 I probably appreciate this album much more these days as I’m mellowing with age, although play a Slayer or Amon Amarth song and I will be going full tilt. Over the years before his death, George Harrison put out some good light rock and “Somewhere In England” is one of the best.

Next post: Rick Springfield- Working Class Dog

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 1981: Journey- Escape

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, soundtracks, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 11, 2014 by 80smetalman

journeyescape

“Escape” by Journey is probably one of the best known albums of 1981. I remember in the final months of that year, there always seemed to be a song from the album playing on the radio, whether it was “Who’s Crying Now,” “Open Arms” or the now very popular thanks to the TV show “Glee,” “Don’t Stop Believing.” It is also the reason that many people site this album as the turning point in Journey’s sound from their more traditional progressive hard rock sound towards the more commercial sound of their next album “Frontiers.” Either way, it was a very important album in 1981 in many ways for a lot of people, including me.

Looking beyond “Don’t Stop Believing” which is still a good song in spite of how it has been used recently. The piano intro by Jonathan Cain is still very unique and even though it is a top forty tune, Neil Schon still hammers out a decent guitar solo. Similar things can be said about the second single on the album, “Who’s Crying Now,” which comes right after track number two “Stone In Love.” I wonder if that song was written for one my fellow metal bloggers here, tee hee. Anyway, back to “Who’s Crying Now.” There is a mysterious vibe to the song and it ends with some more fantastic guitar work from Schon. That leads perfectly to the harder sounding “Keep On Running” and hearing that, the listener can be assured that Journey have not departed from their hard rock roots. The title track bears some great progressive sounds and the next few songs feed well off it. Then another rocker, “Mother, Father” and more impressive Schon guitar licks before the closer, “Open Arms.” I liked that song back then but it holds a more special meaning for me these days. It was mine and Mrs 80smetalman’s first dance song at our wedding.

Track Listing:

1. Don’t Stop Believing

2. Stone In Love

3. Who’s Crying Now

4. Keep on Running

5. Still They Ride

6. Escape

7. Lay It Down

8. Dead or Alive

9. Mother, Father

10. Open Arms

Journey

Journey

Steve Perry- vocals

Neil Schon- guitars

Ross Valory- bass

Steve Smith- drums

Jonathan Cain- keyboards

I must make a confession here. The first dance song wasn’t taken from the “Escape” album but from a soundtrack to a 1981 film, which I will be visiting down the line. Still, it goes to show just how big this album was in the year.

Next post: George Harrison- Somewhere in England

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