Archive for May, 2015

Great Rock Albums of 1982: Styx- Kilroy Was Here

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 14, 2015 by 80smetalman

220px-Styx_-_Kilroy_Was_Here

First of all, according to Wikapedia, I made a boo boo in regards to this album from Styx. All of these years, I assumed it was released in late 1982 because I was stationed on Okinawa and later Mt. Fuji, Japan at the time and there were many albums released in the late part of 1982 that didn’t come to my attention until 1983. This was because it took time for news of new albums to make their way around the world and therefore, I assumed this to be the case here. Wikapedia states that the last album by Styx, “Kilroy Was Here,” was released in 1983. So, I apologize for the historical inaccuracy on this one.

For me and I have said this several times already on other blogs, “Kilroy Was Here” is not my favourite Styx album. It doesn’t even come close to comparing to the likes of “The Grand Illusion” and “Pieces of Eight.” Styx definitely go for a more keyboard oriented progressive sound on this one. While there are some moments of the more traditional hard rock sound they were better known for, there’s not enough of those moments. Even with the heaviest song on the album “Heavy Metal Poisoning,” they hold back on it. The song should have been a straight forward bang your head and beat your chest rocker but sadly, it doesn’t quite come up to the mark. When I first heard the song, I thought it was an anti- heavy metal song but listening to the lyrics more closely, it rips on those who are anti- metal and would love nothing more to see it gone. Therefore, the song redeems itself a little here.

“Just Get Through This” is another song which goes along in the traditional sense of Styx but only because it is one of those that starts off with a soft piano and keyboard before a heavy guitar kicks in and the guitar solo also reminds me of better days. “Don’t Let It End” is another song that is more the Styx I had known and loved before that. However, I must say, if I was one those type of people who buy or not buy an album based on the single, then I would not have bought this album. “Mr Roboto” has never impressed me. Saying all this and in spite of my moaning about “Kilroy Was Here” not being hard rock enough, which it’s not, the album is not a disaster. There are enough good moments on here to make the listening enjoyable but nothing more.

Track Listing:

1. Mr Roboto

2. Cold War

3. Don’t Let It End

4. High Time

5. Heavy Metal Poisoning

6. Just Get Through This

7. Double Life

8. Haven’t We Been Here Before

9. Don’t Let It End (reprise)

Styx

Styx

Dennis DeYoung- keyboards, vocals

Tommy Shaw- guitar, vocals

James Young- guitar, vocals

Chuck Panozzo- bass, vocals

Jack Panozzo- drums, vocals

Another redeeming feature about “Kilroy Was Here” was I would eventually learn that the album tells a story about rock music being outlawed by a fascist government. The irony is that as the 1980s progressed, the fear of that happening was looking like a certain reality. Styx would split up after this album and many would point the album as the cause. There was strife between Young and Shaw about how progressive the band should go but there were other factors as well. “Kilroy Was Here” might have been the end of Styx but it could never kill the legacy of great music the band left behind.

Next post: Jefferson Starship- Winds of Change

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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Great Rock Albums of 1982: Glenn Frey- No Fun Aloud

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 10, 2015 by 80smetalman

nofunaloud

 It was often speculated back in the early 1980s if Glenn Frey and Don Henley were engaged in a rivalry after the Eagles split. Many thought the same thing a decade earlier with John Lennon and Paul McCartney after the Beatles broke up. The evidence in this case was the fact that in 1982, both Frey and Henley put out albums around the same time. Don Henley’s album was visited in the last post so this time, I’ll take a look at Glenn Frey’s debut album, “No Fun Aloud.”

One big similarity between the two albums from the former Eagles is Glenn Frey also uses a shit load of musicians to record the album. In fact, I recognised at least one name from the Don Henley album although Glenn doesn’t use any members from Toto on his album. Another big similarity is the fact that while Glenn Frey does add put his own stamp on the album, there are still plenty of hints from his Eagle days on “No Fun Aloud.”

Frey’s stamp is immediately put on the album with the two opening tracks, both of which are introduced with horns. Both, however, do the job in hooking your attention. The opener, “I Found Somebody” is a more bouncier tune while its successor, “The One You Love” is more of a slow jazz sound. The Eagles influence comes with the next song, “Party Town.” “Sea Cruise” comes from way out in left field because it wasn’t something I would have expected from Glenn. The song is more of a reggae, calypso sound but fair play, he makes it work. One song that sticks out for me is “That Girl,” which Glenn co wrote with Bob Seger. It is definitely Glenn’s style of song but you can hear Bob’s influence on it as well. It had me wondering out loud if these two did any more collaborations and saying it’s a shame if they hadn’t. Furthermore, I do like the lead guitar intro in “All Those Lies,” a classic Eagles type jam, kind of reminiscent of “One of These Nights.” The closer, “Don’t Give Up,” is the hardest rocker on the album. Some impressive guitar and a couple of solos make sure this album goes out on a high.

Track Listing:

1. I Found Somebody

2. The One You Love

3. Party Town

4. I Volunteer

5. I’ve Been Born Again

6. Sea Cruise

7. That Girl

8. All Those Lies

9. She Can’t Let Go

10. Don’t Give Up

Glenn Frey

Glenn Frey

Glenn Frey- vocals, guitar, organ, synthesizer, bass, keyboards, piano, clavinet

Wayne Perkins- acoustic guitar

Duncan Cameron- electric guitar

Danny Kootch Korchmar- lead guitar

Josh Leo- lead guitar

Roger Hawkins- bass, drums

Bryan Garofalo- bass

Bob Glaub- bass

David Hood- bass

Roberto Pinon- bass

Michael Huey- drums

John J.R. Robinson- drums

Allen Balzeck- keyboards

Clayton Ivey- piano

David Hawk Wallinsky- organ, synthesizer

Al Garth -tenor sax

Greg Smith- sax, backing vocals

William Bergman- saxophone

Harvey Thompson- saxophone

Jim Coiles- saxophone

Ronnie Eades- saxophone

Jim Horn- saxophone

Ernie Watts- saxophone

Lee Thornburg- trumpet

John Berry Jr- trumpet

Jim Ed Norman- strings

Steve Foreman- percussion

Heart Attack- horns

It’s hard to say for sure if there was any sort of rivalry between Glenn Frey and Don Henley or if Glenn had the dilemma that some artists have when they are/were in a group and record a solo album. All I know is that “No Fun Aloud” is a suitable solo debut album from Glenn Frey.

Next post: Styx- Kilroy Was Here

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 1982: Don Henley- I Can’t Stand Still

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 8, 2015 by 80smetalman

Don_Henley_-_I_Can't_Stand_Still

Sometimes I wonder if musicians who are in a band and then put out their own solo albums aren’t faced with an agonizing worry on how their albums are to be received. If the album sound too much like that of their band, they are accused of just putting out the same album with different musicians. On the other hand, if they venture too far from that band’s sound, they are criticized for being too diverse or if the album sounds somewhat commercial, selling out. People of little or no experience of heavy metal have accused both Ozzy and Bruce Dickinson of doing the former in spite of the fact that when you listen to those albums, there are notable differences  in the sound between Ozzy and Black Sabbath as well as Bruce and Iron Maiden. No pleasing some people I suppose. Having heard many a solo album, I think the one album that best successfully strides the line between these two extremes is the solo album by Tyketto’s Danny Vaughn, “Soldiers and Sailors on Riverside.” It is my favourite melodic rock album of the 2000+ era and while there are some moments where you can hear the Tyketto influence, he definitely does his own thing without totally diversing and it sounds very good. Therefore, I wonder if back in 1982, I wonder if Don Henley had such a worry when he released his first solo album following the demise of The Eagles.

dv-ssor

It took me a couple of listens to “I Can’t Stand Still” before I finally remembered how good it is. Fortunately,  I am more musically open minded than I was in 1982 and that helped me appreciate it even more. While the influence of Henley’s days with The Eagles is definitely there, he puts his own spin on things. It’s not “Hotel California” but it was wrong of me to expect it to be. The closest songs that come to that on “I Can’t Stand Still” are the tracks “You Better Hang Up,” “Nobody’s Business” and “Them and Us.” As far as The Eagles go, I have always believed that Henley’s voice was best suited for their ballads and this is certainly proven with the two ballads on this album, “Long Way Home” and “Talking To The Moon.” Ironically, it is the single from the album where Don puts his best personal stamp. “Dirty Laundry” may sound like new wave synth pop to the untrained ear but it is definitely his song and the guitar solos are the best on the album. The following track and probably my favourite, “Johnny Can’t Read,” gets the same sort of work from Don. What amazes me the most about “I Can’t Stand Still” is the sheer number of musicians Henley gets to play on the album with him. I mean, he practically used all of Toto at some point on the album.

Track Listing:

1. I Can’t Stand Still

2. You Better Hang Up

3. Long Way From Home

4. Nobody’s Home

5. Talking to the Moon

6. Dirty Laundry

7. Johnny Can’t Read

8. Them and Us

9. La Eile

10. Lilah

11. The Unclouded Day

Don Henley

Don Henley

Don Henley- drums, lead vocals, keyboards

Ras Baboo- percussion, timbales

Derek Bell- harp

Kenny Edwards- bass, guitar

Steve Foreman- percussion

Bob Glaub- bass

Louise Goffin- vocals, gut string guitar

Andrew Gold- keyboards

Max Gronenthal- vocals, gut string guitar

George Gruel- vocals

Garth Hudson- synthesizer

Maren Jensen- vocals, gut string guitar

Danny Kooch Korchmar- bass, guitars, synthesizers, backing vocals

Ross Kunkel- drums

Steve Lukather- guitar

Paddy Maloney- whistle, ulliean pipes

Jeff Porcaro- drums, moracas

Steve Porcaro- keyboards

Timothy B Schmidt- bass, guitar, vocals

Leland Sklar- bass

JD Souther- acoustic guitar, gut string guitar

Benmont Trench- keyboards

Waddy Watchel- electric guitar

Ian Wallace- drums

Joe Walsh- lead guitar

Max Williams- drums

Bill Withers- vocals, gut string guitar

Warren Zevon- vocals, gut string guitar

Don Henley made an impressive start out of the blocks in his solo career with “I Can’t Stand Still.” While he doesn’t completely abandon his past, he isn’t afraid to be his own person with the album and once that conclusion is arrived at, it makes the album that much more enjoyable.

Next post; Glen Frey- No Fun Aloud

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 1982: Pat Benatar- Get Nervous

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 4, 2015 by 80smetalman

Get_nervous

Pat Benatar entered 1982 as the undisputed queen of rock. Yes, I know some regarded Chrissie Hynde as queen but it was Pat who had my full allegiance from 1980. By the end of 1981, she had released three very kick ass rock albums to firmly cement her on the throne and it is evidenced by her 1982 album, “Get Nervous,” she wasn’t going to give up her throne without a fight.

“Get Nervous” was the first Pat Benatar album to incorporate keyboards. However, this did not make her sound any softer or really any more commercial. There was still plenty of hard rock left in her and her band and while I would agree that “Get Nervous” may not have been quite as good as her previous three albums, (“Crimes of Passion” is my favourite) it was still a good album from her.

Keeping in the 1982 tradition, the album opens with the hit single, “Shadows of the Night.” When I first heard the song and saw the video at a bar on Okinawa, I simply thought that this was another cool song from her, I still do. Still new to music video, I thought the World War 2 theme for the video was pretty cool as well. I could hear the keyboards but thought they complimented the song very well. The rest of the album, with one exception, follows one in this way. There are some great rocking tracks on “Get Nervous.” The ones which stick out for me are “The Victim,” “A Little Too Late,”  “I’ll Do It” and “Tell It To Her.” I must also give a shout to “Fight It Out” which reminds me a lot of “Hell is for Children” but is in no way a carbon copy of the classic.

One criticism aimed at Pat Benatar about this album back in the day was that it sounded too much like her previous three and her sound was getting tiring. I never agreed with this theory and that is where I bring in the one exception into evidence. “Anxiety (Get Nervous)” goes to more of a new wave sound but still Pat makes it work. It does throw something different into the mix and while you may not hear power chords or a blistering solo from Giraldo, the song is still enjoyable. It proves that while Pat was willing to bend, she still was not ready to give up her throne.

Track Listing:

1. Shadows of the Night

2. Looking For a Stranger

3. Anxiety (Get Nervous)

4. Fight It Out

5. The Victim

6. A Little Too Late

7. I’ll Do It

8. I Want Out

9. Tell It to Her

10. Silent Partner

Pat Benatar

Pat Benatar

Pat Benatar- lead vocals

Neil Giraldo- guitars, backing vocals

Charlie Giordano- keyboards

Roger Capps- bass, backing vocals

Myron Grombacher- drums

Unfortunately for Pat, in spite of having a great album, her throne as queen of rock would be usurped in 1982. Another queen, purely through her sheer power to rock would come and steal the throne away. Who that is will be revealed in the not too distant future. However, that in no way shadows what a good album “Get Nervous” was.

Next post: Don Henley- I Can’t Stand Still

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