Archive for November, 2014

Great Rock Albums of 1982: Rod Stewart- Tonight I’m Yours

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized, video games with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 27, 2014 by 80smetalman

rstonightimyours

Balance has been restored in the world now. Rod Stewart’s “Tonight I’m Yours” is the first piece of new music I heard in 1982. It wasn’t the entire album but the second single from the album “Young Turks” which I heard several times on the AM radio of my beat up Chevy Nova during my journey home on my final weekend pass before going overseas. Like many of the Rod Stewart songs I heard throughout the 1970s, minus the two albums previous to this one because I thought they were too disco. Then again, I did like the song “Ain’t Love a Bitch” off the “Blondes Have More Fun” album but I digress. That single did stick in my mind like many of his other singles although I am glad I didn’t have MTV at that time so I was spared the cheesy video of the song where everyone is dancing on the roofs of cars. That experience would come in the April when I discovered that “Young Turks” was number three in the Israeli charts.

Abandoning the disco feel of the previous albums, Rod went a little more new wave with “Tonight I’m Yours” while at the same time, not venturing too far from his rock roots. The new wave part is obvious on the first two singles from the album: The title track and the already mentioned one with the cheesy video. Both are done well and I like Rod’s personal spin on his cover of “How Long?” which was his third single. He does get down to some more serious rock after that. On “Tora Tora Tora (Out With the Boys)” Rod truly rocks out. The guitar breaks in the song are great and the way it interlinks with the sax is nicely done. I don’t know which of the guitarists on the album played the solo here but he should step forward and receive his accolades. A pleasant surprise comes right on the heels of “Tora Tora Tora” in the form of “Tear It Up,” which begins with a piano intro that could rival that of “Piano Man” of Billy Joel fame. However, as far as piano intros go, it still doesn’t quite measure up to the best of all time: “Joan Crawford” by Blue Oyster Cult. Rod continues his rock tradition with the next few songs pausing in the middle to belt out the ballad, “Just Like a Woman,” originally a Bob Dylan tune. The album returns to new wave, with “Young Turks” before going out very nicely with the suitable closer “Never Give Up On a Dream.” This album certainly proves that Stewart’s voice is far more versatile than what some people give him credit for.

Track Listing:

1. Tonight I’m Yours

2. How Long?

3. Tora Tora Tora (Out With the Boys)

4. Tear It Up

5. Only a Boy

6. Just Like a Woman

7. Jealous

8. Sonny

9. Young Turks

10. Never Give Up On a Dream

Rod Stewart

Rod Stewart

Rod Stewart- vocals

Jim Cregan- guitars, backing vocals

Robin LeMesurier- guitars

Jeff Baxter- guitar on “Tonight I’m Yours,” pedal steel guitar on “Just Like a Woman”

Danny Johnson- guitar on “Jealous”

Byron Berline- fiddle

Jimmy “Z” Zavala- harmonica, saxophone

Kevin Savigar- keyboards

Duane Hutchins- keyboards on “Tonight I’m Yours” and “Young Turks”

Jay Davis- bass

Tony Brock- drums

Carmine Appice- drums on “Tonight I’m Yours” and “Young Turks”

Paulinho De Costa- percussion

Tommy Vig- tubular bells

Penny Jones- soloist on “Never Give Up On a Dream”

Linda Lewis, The Penetcostal Community Choir- backing vocals

I’m going to come out of the closet here, no not that way, but I am going to admit that I actually like a lot of Rod Stewart’s music. Something I would have never admitted to in male heavy metal circles. True, he’s not hard rocker or metal singer but his vocals and the music behind them is usually quite good. The album “Tonight I’m Yours” is proof.

Next post: U2- October

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

ALICE COOPER On This Day In METAL History – November 25th

Posted in Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on November 26, 2014 by 80smetalman

This is why November 25 should always be Alice Cooper Day

Metal Odyssey > Heavy Metal Music Blog

Alice Cooper - The Nightmare Returns Tour - classic logos - #1987NRAC

On November 25th, 1986Alice Cooper brought The Nightmare Returns Tour to the UK at Edinburgh Playhouse in Edinburgh, Scotland. Alice Cooper was touring in support of his solo studio album, released in September of 1986: Constrictor.

Alice Cooper - Raise Your Fist And Yell - tour program - cover promo pic - #1987

On this day in 1987Alice Cooper brought his Raise Your Fist And Yell Tour to the Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee.

Alice Cooper - Poison - promo single cover sleeve - #1987AC

On November 25th, 1989Alice Cooper peaked at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart with his hit Poison. This song was Alice Cooper’s final top ten single in the United States. Poison is featured on Alice Cooper’s 18th studio album from 1989: Trash. This song was co-written by Desmond Child and John McCurry.

Alice Cooper - classic bloody logo - #6671966

On this day in 2000 – A burglar broke into the home of Alice Cooper, in Paradise Valley, CA and stole $6,400 worth of clothes, shoes and video cameras belonging to his daughter. The…

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Great Rock Albums of 1982: The Police- Ghost in the Machine

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 24, 2014 by 80smetalman

220px-Ghost_In_The_Machine_cover

Normally, I start each year with the very first album or song from an album I heard at the beginning of said year. But my brain isn’t what it used to be and I only realised this mistake after this album was announced. So, you’ll get that one next post. I can’t even blame being caught in massive amounts of traffic and roadworks today while going to and from a supply teaching assignment that was miles away where my “Iron Man 2” soundtrack got scratched. Maybe it was all for the best because “Ghost in the Machine” by The Police might be a good place to start.

Tempting as it may be to once again mention my suspicion about albums whose hit single is the opening track being a ploy by one hit wonders, I won’t. True, the very first two tracks on “Ghost in the Machine” are the two singles from the album but I get a different impression here. “Spirits of the Material World” and “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic” are both good songs in their own right and worthy of being singles, my impression is that the idea behind putting them first was to say, “Now, you’ve heard the singles, now listen to the rest of our album.”

The rest of the album is no less inferior, in fact, I only like it more. “Invisible Sun” gives me a dark brooding feeling while I listen to it but I like it. Then things go the complete opposite way with the next two songs. “Hungry for You” and “Demolition Man” are almost party atmosphere songs and definitely make things come alive. With the latter, I hear a bit of fingerboard smoking from Andy Summers which is probably why it’s my favourite track on the album. So once again I ask, why did they not just give him one song to just shred? Answers on a post card please. “Too Much Information” sums me up perfectly at times and is an enjoyable song and “One World” sticks out as well. With “Ghost in the Machine,” The Police stick with the standard reggae-rock roots but at the same time weren’t afraid to venture out of their comfort zone a little. The result is a great album.

Track Listing:

1. Spirits in the Material World

2. Every Little Thing She Does is Magic

3. Invisible Sun

4. Hungry For You (J’aurais toujours faim de toi)

5. Demolition Man

6. Too Much Information

7. Rehumanizer

8. One World (Not Three)

9. Omegaman

10. Secret Journey

11. Darkness

The Police

The Police

Sting- vocals, bass, saxophone, keyboards

Andy Summers- guitar, guitar synth, keyboards

Stewart Copeland- drums, percussion, keyboards

It might not actually have opened 1982 for me musically but I think that perhaps “Ghost in the Machine” by The Police was a good place to begin the journey through the year.

Next post: The actual first album I heard in 1982, actually it was a couple of songs.

Rod Stewart- Tonight I’m Yours

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

 

 

 

1982- The Floodgates are Truly Open

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

To be honest, I was a little nervous about the year 1982 and expected a bit a turbulence during the ride through it. The reason for this was that I spent eight months out of the year overseas with the marines. From the middle of January to the very end of June, I made my second deployment to the Mediterranean and Indian Ocean. Then in the October, I went to Okinawa for the remainder of the year and the first three months of the following one. In fact, October 9, 1982 never existed for me as I was flying across the International Date Line. Because I was overseas so much, the year was fairly barren for me musically and I worried that I might not have enough albums to visit during the year. But, I will persevere and thanks to Youtube, I can listen to albums from that year that I never got the chance to listen to back then.

Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden

With the benefit of hindsight, I can say that in 1982, the new wave of British heavy metal (NWOBHM) had its claws firmly gripped on the industry. I saw this to be true when I was in Toulon, France in the May. Previously, I had heard of Iron Maiden but it wasn’t until I heard a song, I can’t remember which one, on a juke box in a bar there that I finally got my ears blown away by them. Of course, there were great metal delights served up by the likes of Judas Priest and Motorhead as well as many other rock and metal acts. It seems my journey through what turns out to be an important year that almost passed me by and I am going to put right something I got wrong in the said year. See, I never listened to Van Halen’s “Diver Down” album because a couple of marine buddies bought it while we were in France and said that the album sucked. Again, curse me for simply taking their word. I will listen to this album during the course of my trip through 1982 and give you my own thoughts on it.

Van Halen

Van Halen

As I go down the road of metal history, I realise that while I may have missed out on quite a bit of music history on account of military service, the year itself was a phenomenal one for metal. Thanks to NWOBHM and others, the floodgates opened and metal began to flood the world.

Next post: The Police- Ghost in the Machine

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

The Runaways- The First True All Female Metal Band

Posted in Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 17, 2014 by 80smetalman

Janis Joplin and Grace Slick for the first queens of rock in the 60’s and in the 70’s came Ann and Nancy Wilson who were arguably the first modern rock chicks. In the later part of the 70’s and early 80’s we had such great ladies like Pat Benatar, Chrissie Hynde and Debbie Harry. All of these women were rock queens in the true sense and their contribution to music will always be remembered.

Janis Joplin

Janis Joplin

Grace Slick

Grace Slick

Debbie Harry

Debbie Harry

Pat Benatar

Pat Benatar

 

Heart

Heart

The Pretenders

The Pretenders

In 1981, two all female bands made their way into the spotlight, The Go-Gos and Girlschool. While the former had a more commercial rock sound, the latter was straight forward heavy metal and stood alongside of many of the NWOBHM acts that were coming out that year. However, these two weren’t the all female bands who could blow speakers with great power chords. Before them came The Runaways.

The Go Go's

The Go Go’s

Girlschool

Girlschool

I had heard of The Runaways even before the film that came out a few years ago. Even at the tender (small chuckle here) age of sixteen, I was enamoured with these fine ladies who played such aggressive music. I did listen to their debut album and liked it. Likewise, I wanted to listen to their second one “Queens of Noise” but never got the chance. Must rectify that in the future. While, I never heard any of their songs on that cheap AM radio I had back then, they toured extensively and played many sell out concerts in the US and Japan. Furthermore, the likes of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Cheap Trick and Van Halen supported them. Unfortunately, accusations of mismanagement, rows over money and direction plus several personnel changes lead to break up of the band.

Albums:

The Runaways- 1976

Queens of Noise- 1977

Waitin’ for the Night- 1977

Live in Japan- 1977

And Now, The Runaways- 1978

The Runaways

The Runaways

Cherrie Currie- vocals

Joan Jett- guitar, vocals

Lita Ford- guitar

Jackie Fox- bass

Sandy West- drums

*Vicki Blue and Laurie McAllister also played bass during The Runaways reign

While The Runaways may be no longer, the members are still around and making themselves known. One of them would dethrone Pat Benatar as the queen of rock in 1982 and possibly become the first metal queen. That one is up for debate. Another ex Runaway would also make a huge splash in heavy metal circles nor would some of the other former members remain completely silent. Almost silently, these ladies would go onto to be an influence on heavy metal and I think the all female metal bands that would spring up less than a decade later can look to them for inspiration. Don’t take my word for it, watch the film and listen to their music for yourself.

Next post: 1982- The Floodgates Are Open

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 Metal Albums of 1981: Billy Squier- Don’t Say No

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 13, 2014 by 80smetalman

Billy_Squier_-_Don't_Say_NoYou’ve all been waiting with baited breath for this, okay, maybe not but here it is. After all my ramblings about great British artists who never really made it in America, it’s time for the best American artist not to have made it in Britain. That’s right, the award goes to Billy Squier. I know from feedback from British readers of “Rock and Roll Children” that this is the case. Since one of his concerts appears early in the story, several British readers have said, that they never knew him or even heard of him. This is true, I never heard his name mentioned in UK metal circles, heard any of his songs on the radio or seen his videos on the Kerrang or Scuzz channels. His only real association with the UK is the fact that he played the 1982 Reading Rock Festival but other than that, very little. This is a shame because Squier is an excellent musician with several fine albums including this 1981 release: “Don’t Say No.”

For all my goings on about my paranoia about the singles being the opening song on the album, I must say that Billy Squier goes even further on “Don’t Say No” by having all three released singles as the first three tracks on the album. This is not a bad thing in this case. I continue to listen to “In the Dark” and his biggest hit, “The Stroke” which even got played on AM radio back in 1981 but the third single, “My Kinda Lover” got the memories flowing. Furthermore, it doesn’t matter about where you put the singles on the track list because the rest of the album is definitely not filler. “Lonely Is the Night” could also have been released as a single, especially as I like the intro in that one. “Too Daze Gone” and “Whadda You Want From Me” are also very strong tracks and his tribute to John Lennon, “Nobody Knows.” I do think his vocals are a bit too high on that song but that is offset by a cool guitar solo. The songs on here don’t disappoint so once again I find myself asking, Why wasn’t this album better received in the UK?

Track Listing:

1. In the Dark

2. The Stroke

3. My Kinda Lover

4. You Know What I Like

5. Too Daze Gone

6. Lonely Is the Night

7. Whadda You Want From Me

8. Nobody Knows

9. Need You

10. Don’t Say No

Billy Squier

Billy Squier

Billy Squier- vocals, guitar, piano, percussion

Cary Sharaf- guitars

Alan St John- keyboards

Mark Clark- bass

Bobby Chouinard- drums

What I am hoping is that everyone in the UK reading this will rush out and buy this album or at least listen to it on YouTube. That will go a long way in making up for an opportunity that was missed over thirty years ago. By all means, Americans take it out, dust it off and listen to it once more. Then remember what a great album “Don’t Say No” really was. I thought it was a great way to end the journey through 1981.

Next post: A Tribute to Some True Heroines

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 Metal Albums of 1981: Black Sabbath- The Mob Rules

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, soundtracks, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 9, 2014 by 80smetalman

220px-SabbathMob

Vacation is over I’m afraid and now I am back in the UK. The remains of Yuengling and spicy buffalo wings are passing through my system. I had a great time on holiday although that wasn’t the real reason why I went over, that was to look after my mother whose not in the best of health but I did get some time to enjoy myself too as you saw in my last post. Now that I’m back, I will go back to posting twice a week and what better way to celebrate my return than with Black Sabbath’s 1981 album, “The Mob Rules.”

This was the second album with Ronnie James Dio at the vocals and it was simply a continuation of their fabulous “Heaven and Hell” album a year earlier. Rolling Stone might have slated the album when it came out but what do they know? “The Mob Rules” is a fantastic album. It’s yet another album that I really can’t go on about individual tracks because they are all that good. One thing I must point out is the title track. It has been said that the mix on the album is different to the version that appears on the soundtrack of “Heavy Metal.” This might be true but I don’t hear any big difference. Both versions are fine with me. Another observation I have made is that Geezer, Iommi and Appice have to do very little to alter their style to match Dio’s vocals nor does Ronnie alter his vocal style. The final three tracks definitely highlight this fact and what you get is some classic Black Sabbath at their best all over this album.

Track Listing:

1. Turn Up the Night

2. Voodoo

3. Sign of the Southern Cross

4. E5150

5. The Mob Rules

6. Country Girl

7. Slipping Away

8. Falling Off the Edge of the World

9. Over and Over

Black Sabbath

Black Sabbath

Ronnie James Dio- vocals

Tony Iommi- guitar

Geezer Butler- bass

Vinnie Appice- drums

Were Black Sabbath and Ozzy Osbourne in competition with one another back in 1981? Whose to say? If it was the case, that competition spurred all of them on to make a couple of magnificent albums in 1981. Half of that was “The Mob Rules.”

Next post: Billy Squier- Don’t Say No

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