Archive for July, 2014

Great Rock/Metal Albums of 1981: Blue Oyster Cult- Fire Of Unknown Origin

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


Of the four artists who made the transition from hard or glam rock in the 1970s to heavy metal in the 1980s, at least in the minds of non-believers, Blue Oyster Cult’s album “Fire of Unknown Origin” is the one album that didn’t pass me by unnoticed. Once again, I have the marines to thank for that, pulling barracks security watch on the graveyard shift on a Saturday night. I also have to thank the radio station WXQR in Jacksonville, North Carolina for their Saturday Night Six Pack show where six albums were played in their entirety starting at midnight on Saturday nights. Old age, I said all this when I visited the Danny Joe Brown Band, but yes, it was here where I got to first listen to this great album, (and I do mean great) from Blue Oyster Cult.

First, I can now certainly reassure my fellow blogger Heavy Metal Overload that the track “Veteran of 1000 Psychic Wars” is the same on this album as it is on the soundtrack to “Heavy Metal” and a good track it is. “Burning For You” is the single from the track and I mention this because it appears on a compilation album I bought five and a half years ago and I was glad that it was any other B.O.C. song than “Don’t Fear the Reaper.” I think I have that song on at least three compilation discs. It’s still a good jam nonetheless.

If someone was to listen to just the opening and closing tracks on “Fire of Unknown Origin,” they may be tempted to think that Blue Oyster Cult had gone a bit progressive rock. The keyboard intro on the title track may give that feel and “Don’t Turn Your Back” almost sounds like a lounge act track, that is until it unleashes what is in my mind, the best guitar solo on the album. However, in between them is some great hard rock tunes like the two I’ve already mentioned, “Sole Survivor” and “Heavy Metal, The Black and the Silver.” That is taking nothing away from the tracks “After Dark” and “Vengeance, the Pact.”

Some of you are screaming inside about the one track I haven’t mentioned yet and that is because I’m saving the best for last, at least I think so. Blue Oyster Cult has a reputation for writing quirky songs and none can be quirkier than “Joan Crawford.” First, I love that piano intro, it gives me goosebumps every time I hear it and the lyrics: “Policemen hide behind the skirts of little girls” and the first line of the second verse, “Catholic school girls throw away their mascara.” Pure genius. Saying that, I still prefer the live version of this song but you will have to wait till I visit that live album in 1982 to find out why.

Track Listing:

1. Fire Of Unknown Origin

2. Burning For You

3. Veteran of 1000 Psychic Wars

4. Sole Survivor

5. Heavy Metal, The Black and the Silver

6. Vengeance, The Pact

7. After Dark

8. Joan Crawford

9. Don’t Turn Your Back

Blue Oyster Cult

Blue Oyster Cult

Eric Bloom- lead vocals

Donald Buck Dharma Roeser- lead guitar, lead vocals

Alan Lanier- keyboards

Joe Bouchard- bass

Albert Bouchard- drums, percussion

I have always considered “Fire of Unknown Origin” one of the best Blue Oyster Cult albums. For me, it marked a genuine attempt to return to the glory days of albums like “Agents of Fortune.” I leave you all to debate if it how well it does but for me, it came pretty close. Besides, it did get me through that graveyard shift that Saturday night.

Next post: Kiss- Music From, “The Elder”

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to

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





Great Rock/Metal Albums of 1981: Alice Cooper- Special Forces

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 27, 2014 by 80smetalman


Like the Thin Lizzy album in my previous post, this was another album by an established superstar of 70’s rock that passed me by back in 1981. I vaguely remember that Alice Cooper had an album out at the time and I even more vaguely remember that it was called “Special Forces” but that’s all I can remember. I never listened to it until now and if wasn’t for my fellow blogger mikledano, I wouldn’t have even done that. So, thank you Mike for enlightening me about this album.

Perhaps I can use a similar excuse to Alice for not experiencing this album back in 1981. He doesn’t remember writing or recording “Special Forces” or his next two albums due to being drunk all the time. Okay, I wasn’t drunk all the time even though the military bullshit was taking its toll on me at the time and I briefly became what is known in the military as a shitbird. But now that I have listened to it, (I got to thank youtube for that) I realise that I missed a rather good album. If Alice Cooper was drunk at the time, it might have been a good thing because “Special Forces” has some amusing songs played in well established hard rock fashion. “Vicious Rumours,” “The Prettiest Cop on the Block” and “Don’t Talk Old to Me” are all catchy, enjoyable songs. “You’re a Movie” and “Skeletons in the Closet” are just as amusing but more new wave in their sound. Still, they’re both decent songs and the one that stands out for me is “Seven and Seven Is.” For me, that song reminds me of the Alice Cooper that I came to love in the 70’s.

Track Listing:

1. Who Do You Think We Are

2. Seven and Seven Is

3. Prettiest Cop on the Block

4. Don’t Talk Old to Me

5. Generation Landslide 81(Live)

6. Skeletons in the Closet

7. You Want It, You Got It

8. You Look Good in Rags

9. You’re a Movie

10. Vicious Rumours

Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper- lead vocals

Duane Hitchings- guitar, keyboards

Mike Pinera- guitar

Erik Scott- bass

Danny Johnson- guitar

Craig Krampf- drums

“Special Forces” proves that you can put out a decent album while you’re drunk and have no recollection that you did. Now, I  could write the cliched “Imagine what he could have done if he was sober” line but I don’t think it really applies here. “Special Forces” was one of those surprise albums that make me ask myself, “Why didn’t I listen to this sooner?”

Next post: Blue Oyster Cult- Fire of Unknown Origin

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to

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










Great Rock/Metal Albums of 1981: Thin Lizzy- Renegade

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 23, 2014 by 80smetalman


There were several artists in the 1970’s and early 80’s that were hard rock bands but as the latter decade progressed, some people considered them to be heavy metal acts. The next four posts will be dedicated principal artists who fell into this category and some of them accepted being called metal better than others but they all put out albums in 1981. First of these, only because I listed them first, was Thin Lizzy. It’s hard to say how they would have reacted to being labeled heavy metal since they broke up in 1983. However, I know a lot of metalheads, especially in the UK, who were heavily into them.

One critic called the 1981 “Renegade” album Thin Lizzy’s worst album. Well after listening to it, I have drawn the conclusion that if this is their worst album, I have to hear what he calls their best. I find nothing to dislike about “Renegade.” True, I thought the first two tracks, “Angel of Death” and “Renegade” started off a little proggy but the first of those quickly reverted to the more traditional Thin Lizzy sound. The rest of the album carries on sounding like the Thin Lizzy I have grown to love. “The Pressure Will Blow” and “Hollywood (Down On Your Luck)” both carry the trademark sound and in between them is the slightly more bluesier “Leave This Town.” Another point this critic made was that there were elements of NWOBHM on the album. I can definitely hear that on the song “No One Told Him” but I say there’s nothing wrong with that. With the likes of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Saxon around at the time, it should come as no surprise that that sound should find it’s way into Thin Lizzy’s music. I think it sounds good. One song that is noticeably different to the rest is “Fats” which has a pop/lounge act sound reminiscent of the Little River Band. What is prominent on the song is the keyboard skills of Darren Wharton who had been fully included into the band on this album. Still, “Fats” isn’t enough to make me agree with the critic’s assertion that Thin Lizzy were trying to sound pop. The critic might have said the same thing about “Mexican Blood” although that has a harder sound than “Fats” and that leads to the rocking closer “It’s Getting Dangerous.” Maybe this critic thought so little of the album because of the drug problems the band members were experiencing at the time and there are occurrences in Lynott’s voice that suggest this but at the end of the day, there is nothing I dislike about “Renegade.”

Track Listing:

1. Angel of Death

2. Renegade

3. The Pressure Will Blow

4. Leave This Town

5. Hollywood (Down on Your Luck)

6. No One Told Him

7. Fats

8. Mexican Blood

9. It’s Getting Dangerous

Thin Lizzy

Thin Lizzy

Phil Lynott- bass, lead vocals

Scott Goram- guitar, backing vocals

Snowy White- guitar, backing vocals

Darren Wharton- keyboards, backing vocals

Brian Downey- drums, percussion

Some people considered Thin Lizzy to be on their way out with this album due to the drug problems and I have to admit, I never listened to “Renegade” until recently because I believed the same. But even with all that, I found that I nearly missed a great album by one of the major bands to influence metal.

Next post: Alice Cooper- Special Forces

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to

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










Great Soundtracks of 1981: Heavy Metal

Posted in 1980s, films, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, soundtracks, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 20, 2014 by 80smetalman


If I have to think back in time and pick out one major turning point in what made me the metalhead I am today, it would have to be this film and its superb soundtrack. Back then, I only thought of heavy metal music as a concept and it wouldn’t be until I left the marines two years later that I would actually call myself a metalhead but after seeing the film and listening to all the great music on the soundtrack, it was safe to say that I was well on the road to becoming one.

Even though as a film, “Heavy Metal” was dismissed by some critics, even science fiction ones, I thoroughly enjoyed it. When you’re twenty years old and your mind is under the influence of certain substances, seeing a space ship open its cargo door and then an astronaut comes out of it in a 1953 chevy corvette parachuting to Earth is mind blowing. For those who haven’t seen the film, the mentioned scene happens to be at the beginning. The astronaut drives home and is met by his daughter. He then gives her this gift which is a large green globe. The globe melts the father and then tells the daughter its going to kill her after it shows her six stories about how it is the sum of all evil. It is these individual stories that make the film. My personal favourite is story two, “Den” about a nerdy teen who gets transported to a fantasy world where is is this muscular hero who gets all the girls. For months, I went around repeating Den’s  lines from where he first discovers he’s in a new body. “No hair, mmm big.” Then the nerdy voice (done by the late John Candy) says, “There is no way I’m walking around this place with my dork hanging out.” And then later in that story, after he sleeps with the evil queen, “Eighteen years of nothing and then twice in one day.” Sorry, small things amuse small minds. While those lines amused me, the one that became the standard for me and my buddies was from story five when the two stoned aliens badly dock their space ship. Voiced by the late Harold Ramis: “One thing I know how to do man is drive when I’m stoned.”

Chevy Corvette parachutes to Earth

Chevy Corvette parachutes to Earth

You find out at the end that the entire film is tied to the very last story, “Taarna.” Taarna is the last descendant of a warrior race known as the Taarakians, who after extracting vengeance on the barbarians who destroyed a peaceful city, sacrifices herself so the green globe can’t take over the world. Her blood is in the young girl who becomes the new Taarakian defender. Yes, I thought the ending was a little naff but after watching the other six stories, I didn’t really care. Besides, it was this last story that has instilled my fondness for ladies wielding swords. That might be too much information.

Taarna with her sword

Taarna with her sword

Enough about the film, lets move to this fantastic soundtrack. I don’t use the term “fantastic” loosely here because I really believe it about this soundtrack. It’s a who’s who of great rock and metal artists from the period. Two bands, Grand Funk Railroad and Blue Oyster Cult were listed in my honourable mentions category in great heavy metal influences. Then there’s a song by Nazereth, whose album “Hair of the Dog” could have been used as a blue print for the creation of metal. Note: the Nazereth song on this soundtrack wasn’t from that album but it’s a good one nonetheless. Up an coming Sammy Hagar demonstrates why he would rise to glory in his own right with the song he plays here. There are also two great songs from Cheap Trick and my favourite Devo song and the soundtrack’s more tender moments give us “Open Arms” by Journey and ones from Stevie Nicks and Donald Fagen. And of course we can’t forget the contribution from one of the metal’s founding fathers, Black Sabbath. What better song for this soundtrack than “The Mob Rules.” However, the one song that gained the most notoriety was the second title track, (there are two on this one) by former Eagles guitarist Don Felder. If the soundtrack and film set me on the road to being a metalhead, it was this particular song that was the engine driving it.

Black Sabbath

Black Sabbath

Blue Oyster Cult

Blue Oyster Cult

Track Listing:

1. Sammy Hagar- Heavy Metal

2. Riggs- Heartbeat

3. Devo- Working in a Coal Mine

4. Blue Oyster Cult- Veteran of 1000 Psychic Wars

5. Cheap Trick- Reach Out

6. Don Felder- Heavy Metal

7. Donald Fagan- True Companion

8. Nazereth- Crazy (A Suitable Case for Treatment)

9. Riggs- Radar Rider

10 Journey- Open Arms

11. Grand Funk Railroad- Queen Bee

12. Cheap Trick- I Must Be Dreamin’

13. Black Sabbath- The Mob Rules

14. Don Felder- All of You

15. Trust- Prefabricated

16. Stevie Nicks- Blue Lamp



Cheap Trick

Cheap Trick

One useless piece of information: When I visited Journey’ “Escape” album, I mentioned that “Open Arms” was Mrs 80sMetalman’s and mine first dance song at our wedding. Actually it was the CD from this very soundtrack that was used for it. See, that’s how good this soundtrack was. Not much more I can say about it as the songs speak for themselves.

Next post: Thin Lizzy- Renegade

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to

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



Great Soundtracks of 1981: American Pop

Posted in 1980s, films, Music, Rock, soundtracks, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 17, 2014 by 80smetalman


Whilst I was on leave after my first deployment overseas, the animated film “American Pop” was at the cinemas. The fact that they used the spot where Jimi Hendrix plays “Purple Haze” was enough to make me want to go see it. The movie itself was all right but what was even better was the soundtrack. It had some of the great artists from the 60s and 70s on it and those songs together make this soundtrack very cool to listen to.

Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix

It has been many years since I have seen this film or listened to the soundtrack but for those who may not be familiar with it, I’ll go through a very quick synopsis of the movie. “American Pop” is about 4 generations of musicians. It begins in the early 20th Century and focuses on the character Zamwe who is a child star. However, is throat is injured while singing for the troops on World War One so he never gets to be a star. He also falls foul of the mafia. The story then goes to his son Benny who is an accomplished pianist in a jazz band. He is on the road to fame when World War Two breaks out. Unfortunately, he is shot in the back while playing a piano in a bombed out bar in France. However, Benny’s seed is passed on through Tony. Now in the 60s, Tony’s mother has remarried and has more kids making him an outcast. He goes on the road taking odd jobs where he meets a rock band and becomes their song writer. However, he gets involved with the female lead singer and also gets hooked on drugs ending his brief brush with success. Several years later, Tony is a down and out and his companion is a young street kid named Pete. Tony disappears after giving Pete a load of drugs telling him not to sell it all in one place. Several years more and Pete is a big time drug dealer and is selling to rock stars. One day, he asks the band he is selling to to hear one of his songs. The band refuse at first but relent when Pete threatens to withdraw his business. Pete plays his song and the result is he becomes a big rock star, the end.

Tony and Pete

Tony and Pete

At the time, this film was slated by a lot of people. The problem was that some people tried to take the film too literally. For instance, the girl singer comes across like Grace Slick, (the rest of the band does resemble Jefferson Airplane a little) but turns into Janis Joplin. Okay, those two 60s rock queens may have been fused together to create the character but I say good on them. The other one was at the end. It turns out that Pete’s song is none other than “Night Moves” by and I know I’ve said it before, the unsung hero of 70s rock, Bob Seger. The Pete character was never meant to be Bob, they just use his song. Besides, I did a little research and didn’t find any evidence that Bob Seger was a drug dealer. If I were to go back to that time, I would tell those people to lighten up because if you don’t try to look at things that aren’t really there, the film is quite enjoyable. Of course it is the soundtrack that really makes this movie.

Do they resemble Jefferson Airplane to you?

Do they resemble Jefferson Airplane to you?

Official Track Listing:

1. Pat Benatar- Hell is for Children

2. Big Brother and the Holding Company- Summertime

3. The Mamas and the Papas- California Dreamin’

4. Peter, Paul and Mary- This Train

5. Jefferson Airplane- Somebody to Love

6. Jimi Hendrix- Purple Haze

7. The Dave Brubeck Quartet- Take Five

8. Sam Cooke- You Send Me

9. Fabian- Turn Me Loose

10. The Doors- People are Strange

Songs in the film not on the Soundtrack

Bob Seger- Night Moves

Lynyrd Skynyrd- Freebird

Bob Seger

Bob Seger

Just from looking at this list of songs, it is obvious that I do not need to go into more detail about them. A great array of songs from several decades brought together to make one hell of a soundtrack and you can’t debate that whatever you think of the film.

Next post: The Soundtrack to Heavy Metal

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to

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

Why Dura Silex Should Be Signed

Posted in Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, television, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 13, 2014 by 80smetalman

Not long ago, I obtained possession of a demo CD from a band named Dura Silex. Before, I go on any further, I’d like to just say that I was hoping for a group photo from the band but since I haven’t received one, I thought I would post about them anyway. The reason is that after my first listen to their demo CD, I was so blown away that I promised myself that I would do a post listing my reasons why they should have a record deal in the same way I felt that Black Emerald should have had one when I saw them at Bloodstock last year.

Black Emerald

Black Emerald

First a little background: Dura Silex, which is Latin for hard rock, come from Southern New Jersey and at the moment comprise just two members, guitarist Mark Pickeral and lead singer Marie Christina. If her name sounds vaguely familiar, that is because she attended Rock and Roll Fantasy camp and got to perform along side the likes of Howard Leese (Heart), Kip Winger (Winger) and Rudy Sarzo (Quiet Riot, Whitesnake). The demo was recorded at Mark Pickeral’s home studio and he programs the bass and drums for it.

Now if you were counting on Dura Silex and Black Emerald together on a joint tour, it probably wouldn’t work. While Black Emerald are more your straight forward metal band and they’re very good at it, Dura Silex has a sound that favours a hard blues rock sort of vibe. First, since I have already mentioned her, let’s start with the vocals of Marie Christina. Her opera background comes through with the very first track and it is beautiful to hear. It is so good and unique that it’s hard to compare her to any other vocalist, though that’s not a bad thing. The closest I would say is Liv Christine of Leave’s Eyes. Christina’s operatic voice really shines through the most on the second track, “Ego Maniac.” However, the opera training does not compromise her power to go total rock and roll. The result is one part that makes Dura Silex, great vocals.

Liv Christine and Leaves Eyes

Liv Christine and Leaves Eyes

Now onto guitarist Mark Pickeral. I have to confess here, I may appear a little biased here because Mark is my brother in law but related or not, he definitely knows how to bend a six string. I have heard previous offerings from him in the past but on this demo he really goes to town. It is his playing that has led me to conclude that Dura Silex play a hard blues rock sound. His efforts remind me of Pat Travers or Rory Gallagher but at the same time, his playing style is unique. The end result is the combined playing style of Mark and the vocals of Marie make a great team. You only have to listen to the demo to be converted.

Rory Gallagher

  Rory Gallagher

Pat Travers

Pat Travers

 Track Listing:

1. Louder Than Lies

2. Ego Maniac

3. Thief of Hearts

4. For the Love

5. Roaming

6. Walk Through Fire

7. Through to You

8. Last Laugh

9. Waiting

10. Dream Walker

11. Down on My Luck

While it has been said that these aren’t the best tracks Dura Silex have laid down, (they’re saving their best for a more professional demo) the ones here would make up an album that would make any artist proud. “Louder Than Lies” is a great opener and “Down on My Luck” is a fantastic closer. In between, there are nine songs that really rock. The ones which really stick out for me are “Thief of Hearts,” “Through to You,” “Last Laugh” and “Waiting.” If these tracks should appear on line and I will let you know if it does, then have a listen to them. You should be in agreement with me that any record label who passes on them is just plain stupid.

Next post: American Pop, Soundtrack

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to

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

Great Rock One Hit Wonders of 1981

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

Originally, this post was going to be a promotion for an unsigned band whose demo has happened to come into my possession. When I told the band I was going to write about them, they were going to send me a picture of themselves but since that hasn’t happened yet, I’m afraid it will have to wait till next time. So instead I will post about the one hit wonders that graced us in 1981.

Joe Dolce

Joe Dolce

NO this isn’t a wind up! I am including “Shaddap You Face” by Joe Dolce among the one hit wonders. Yes, the song was a total wind up but Mr Dolce was probably laughing all the way to the bank. Besides, I have a more mercenary reason for putting it here. See, my ex wife was a big fan of Ultravox back in the 80s and in 1981, their hit “Vienna” was destined for the number in the UK charts. However, this strange song by Joe came along and usurped the top spot. My ex has never forgiven him for that and although we’re on amicable terms now,  the thought does bring a sinister smile to my face.


This might seem a wind up too but if you were around in 1981, you will remember Pac Man. This was the game to play at video arcades and it caught on so much that a group named Buckner and Garcia made a song about it. “Pac Man Fever” was very cheesy to say the least, the lyrics prove that. So, why am I including it here? The answer is that, “Pac Man Fever” gets my vote for being the worst song with a cool guitar solo. That’s the only reason why I liked it. After all, I never played Pac Man that much; instead I was getting my initials down on the top ten lists on Bezerk.



Climax Blues Band

Climax Blues Band

My British readers are now jumping up and down in sheer anger for calling the Climax Blues Band one hit wonders. I know they had much more success in the UK and were still going strong ten years after their only US hit “I Love You” was in the charts. Back in 1991-2, I used to work at a factory down the road from the famous Royal Standard pub in Walthamstow, London and I would see the band posted on the board outside for a Saturday night gig on several occasions. But, “I Love You” was the only song I would remember them for, especially as it’s one I can associate with yet another dancer at The Driftwood. I can never remember her name though.



Now it’s the turn of American readers to blow a gasket, especially those in the Northwest but I have always considered Quarterflash to be one hit wonders. After a little research, I saw that they had some other hits but that was in early 1982 and I was on my second tour overseas. Other songs didn’t make it across the Atlantic and like the Rolling Stones’ “Waiting on a Friend,” Quarterflash’s greatest hit, “Harden My Heart” was also blasting out of juke boxes in cafes in Toulon, France. This is the best of the songs I have mentioned so far, it is a true rock song. Back then, some were calling lead singer Rindy Ross, the next Pat Benatar. I wouldn’t go that far but Ross did have an excellent voice.

Kim Carnes

Kim Carnes

Always sounding like she had a frog in her throat, Kim Carnes dominated the US and other countries’ singles charts with her most famous hit, “Bette Davis Eyes.” Like Quarterflash and the Climax Blues Band, there is much scope for debate as whether or not she should be a one hit wonder. She has many song writing credits to her name including songs for David Cassidy, Kenny Rogers and Barbra Streisand, I know not real rockers. That’s why I was glad that this song tended to be slightly more rock.

We can sum up that the songs from one hit wonders in 1981 went from the ridiculous to the serious. Two of the ones mentioned here evoke the John McEnroe, “You can’t be serious” approach but the the ones that were are definitely good songs in their own right.

Next post: Hopefully- Another Band That Should be Signed

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to

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






Great Rock Albums of 1981: The Go Go’s- Beauty and the Beat

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on July 6, 2014 by 80smetalman


There were many all girl bands that came and went before 1981. I’m even going to pay tribute to one of them in my between the years post once the tour of 1981 is over. Don’t worry, that’s still quite a long way away. However, there was something a little different about The Go Go’s when I first heard them in 1981. They weren’t  heavy rock but they were hard enough in a new wave sort of way that was popular around this time. There was another reason I got into them. I once stated that in the mid 80s, many male metalheads, myself included, listened to Bon Jovi on account of the sole fact that our girl friends did. While, I wasn’t dating any particular lady at the time, I noted while at a party one evening that many of the ladies there were getting into them. It could be said that The Go Go’s were the first band that both genders could listen to without any worry girls being branded a rock slut and boys being branded a p*ssy.

Back in this time, there were some prehistoric notions that women couldn’t play instruments and that all female bands were there more to be looked at than listened to. I never thought that even before I heard this album. Still, this album shows that these girls are capable of playing although I will admit I liked looking at them too. True, the video to their first single “Our Lips Are Sealed” betrays this fact but even though it has been heralded as one of the greats of the 80s, there are some other good rock tunes here as well. Besides, I always preferred the other single, “We Got the Beat” anyway. If I had too much to drink and this song came on, I would start pogo dancing to it. However, the album doesn’t end with that song either. For me, “Lust to Love” is a hidden gem of a rocker and after its slow start, “This Town” shapes up pretty well. “Fading Fast” is another decent one as it “How Much More” and “Tonite” isn’t bad either. I thought the only track that didn’t quite measure up to the others was “Skidmarks On My Heart,” not that it was a bad song, I just couldn’t get into it. As one good song doesn’t make a great album, one song not up with the others, doesn’t in any way detract from the rest of the album.

Track Listing:

1. Our Lips Are Sealed

2. How Much More

3. Tonite

4. Lust to Love

5. This Town

6. We Got The Beat

7. Fading Fast

8. Automatic

9. You Can’t Walk in Your Sleep (If You Can’t Sleep)

10. Skidmarks On My Heart

11. Can’t Stop the World

The Go Go's

The Go Go’s

Belinda Carlisle- lead vocals

Charlotte Caffey- lead guitar, keyboards, backing vocals

Jane Wiedlin- rhythm guitar, vocals

Kathy Valentine- bass, backing vocals

Gina Schock- drums, percussion

Back on the subject of musicianship, I have always thought that Charlotte Caffey doesn’t get the respect she deserved then or now. I’m not saying she’s a Clapton or a Van Halen etc but she does play well enough to be respected. Listen to the album and judge for yourself as this is definitely one album from an all girl band that should be taken seriously. Did they open the way for others? Well, we can answer that as we journey through history.

Next post: Another band that should be taken seriously.

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to

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










Great Rock Albums of 1981: Rolling Stones- Tattoo You

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 3, 2014 by 80smetalman


Once again, the more astute among you may or may not have noticed that through my tours of both 1978 and 1980, I didn’t visit the two albums released by the Rolling Stones in those years. To many, this might sound very strange because the Rolling Stones have been one of the stalwarts of rock for over half a century now. Throughout the 1960s and 7os they put out a huge number of songs and albums that will continue to live on throughout rock history. There are even some songs that would sound great metalised. So why didn’t I visit the 1978 “Some Girls” album and the 1980 “Emotional Rescue?” For me, the answer is quite simple. I thought both of those albums were too disco for my liking. The 1981 album “Tattoo You,” in my humble opinion took them back to their roots. The album sounded like the Stones of old and they finally remembered what had made them so great.

“Tattoo You” is a two part album in a sense. The first six songs are all cool rockers, the first of which is the big single “Start Me Up.” When I first heard that song on the radio, I was convinced that the Rolling Stones had come back. Normally, I get concerned when the single opens an album because that’s usually the ploy of one hit wonders but I have to say, it works well for “Tattoo You.” That song is a good one to wake you up on a Wednesday morning. (Note: War Pigs by Black Sabbath is reserved for Monday mornings.) If you think that you can take a breath after “Start Me Up,” you can’t because “Hang Fire,” the second track has the same effect. The next four songs all have the same effect and I love the hard blues rock sound of “Black Limousine.” I don’t know if it’s Ronnie Wood or Keith Richards who play the solo on that song, but it is well done.

The remainder of the album goes into a more bluesier sound although not as hard as “Black Limousine.” “Worried About You,” “Tops” and “Heaven” are all in this vein  as is “No Use In Crying.” These songs wind the album down to the more mellow closer “Waiting on a Friend” which seems to close the album out very well. I remember hearing that song blasting out of cafe juke boxes when I was in Toulon, France in May of 1982. What the album does accomplish for me is the fact that it’s a massive improvement from the previous two.

Track Listing:

1. Start Me Up

2. Hang Fire

3. Slave

4. Little T & A

5. Black Limousine

6. Neighbours

7. Worried About You

8. Tops

9. Heaven

10. No Use in Crying

11. Waiting On a Friend

Rolling Stones

Rolling Stones

Mick Jagger- vocals

Keith Richards- guitar

Ronnie Wood- guitars

Bill Wyman- bass, synthesiser on “Heaven”

Charlie Watts- drums

After doing a little historical research, I was surprised to discover that the bulk of this album was out takes and previously unreleased material. Whatever the case, it worked and re-established the Rolling Stones as a serious force in rock.

Next post: The Go-Go’s- Beauty and the Beat

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to

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