Great Rock Albums of 1981: Diesel- Watts In a Tank?

220px-Diesel1

The same friend who first introduced me to The Fools and U2 in 1981, also introduced me to this album by Dutch rockers, Diesel. I instantly identified with the big Top 40 hit “Sausalito Sumernight,” because the rambler they were singing about in the song could as easily have been the beat up 1973 Chevy Nova I was driving at the time. Trust me. However, even if it wasn’t for that, I still would have liked the song for its humorous approach and the guitar solo at the end. What was more fortunate was that this friend played the entire “Watts In a Tank?” album and I could see that the rest of it was pretty good too.

Back then I was also a big Dungeons and Dragons player too. Hey 1537, maybe we should get together for a game sometime. Anyway back to this album, one evening shortly after, while playing said game, all of the characters in the party where at an inn when the Dungeon Master (DM) announced that the evening’s entertainment would be provided by Gimli and the Dwarves. Next thing, we were treated to “Down in the Silvermine” from this very album. Since, I was playing a dwarf character that night, I stated that he immediately got up on the table and started dancing to the music. Note: the character did this, I didn’t do it myself. Ever since then, that song has been my favourite Diesel song.

There are some other great tracks on the album as well and some that have some personal meaning to me. I listen to or think of the track “Good Morning Day” on the morning after there has been some change in my life. “Going Back to China” has a humorous nod to it as does  “Remember the Romans.” Both songs are really well played. “Alibi” is another stand out track. “Watts in a Tank?” falls somewhere between hard rock and power pop and that’s is probably why it had some chart success in 1981 and probably why I like it. Going back to “Good Morning Day,” there are some decent power chords in that one. The same goes for the closer “Bite Back” that takes the album home very nicely.

Track Listing:

1. Sausalito Summernight

2. Going Back to China

3. Alibi

4. My Kind of Woman

5. All Because of You

6. Down in the Silvermine

7. Good Morning Day

8. Ready For Love

9. The Harness

10. Remember the Romans

11. Bite Back

Diesel

Diesel

Rob Vunderink- guitars, lead vocals

Mark Boon- guitars, lead vocals

Frank Papendrecht- bass, backing vocals

Pim Koopman- drums, keyboards, backing vocals

I once heard chart show host Casey Kasem say in 1981 that the Dutch bought more records per capita than anyone else in the Western world. So, it’s easy to imagine a Dutch band making it in the US. (Not sure how they did in the UK that year.) Fortunately instead of giving the world another trendy plastic bubble gum pop boy band, they gave the world Diesel and “Watts In a Tank.” That’s something to thank the Dutch for.

Next post: The J. Geils Band- Freeze Frame

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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6 Responses to “Great Rock Albums of 1981: Diesel- Watts In a Tank?”

  1. I have never heard of these guys before! Sounds like I need to check them out now.

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    • If it hadn’t been for my friend playing the album to me, I would have put them in my One Hit Wonders section for 1981. “Sausalito Summernight” did make it to 25 in the Billboard charts.

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  2. Ha! I think there’s a lost generation of us D&D-ers out there, all hoarding our D4’s and our DM screens!

    I have genuinely never even heard of Diesel, which is so unusual for me – even if I’ve never heard a note, I usually know the name at least. Love the cover too.

    Like

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