Archive for September, 2015

Great Metal Albums of 1982: Twisted Sister- Ruff Cutts

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on September 27, 2015 by 80smetalman

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This time, I have an excuse for not discovering this 1982 album until 1985. That is the fact that I never saw it in any record store in America until then. Trust me, if the debut EP but Twisted Sister, “Ruff Cutts,” had been available anywhere, I would have found it. I was that much of a Twisted Sister fan. Then again, if I had heard it in 1982, I still would have bought it as, it was a sign of things to come for this band.

Three of the four songs featured on “Ruff Cutts” would later be re-recorded on their debut full length album that would come out later that year and obviously, I won’t let that one go by. “What You Don’t Know,” “Shoot’em Down” and “Under the Blade” are three of the corner stone songs on that future album so it’s no wonder they would appear on the EP. The tracks aren’t as polished as they would be on the album but that’s not a crime here. They are still as hard rocking and show a flash of greater things to come.

As for the fourth track, “Leader of the Pack,” that would appear on an album that would come out weeks after I discovered this EP but that’s another story. Trying to get into the band’s mindset back then, I wonder if they thought to include it for humourous reasons or were they saving it for later on. I never hated the song, but it does pale in comparison with the other three.

Track Listing:

  1. What You Don’t Know
  2. Shoot’em Down
  3. Under the Blade
  4. Leader of the Pack
Twisted Sister

Twisted Sister

Dee Snider- vocals

Jay Jay French- guitars, backing vocals

Eddie “Fingers” Ojeda- guitars, backing vocals

Mark “The Animal” Mendoza- bass

Joey Brighton- drums, tracks 1 and 2

Tony Petri- drums, tracks 3 and 4

The EP would arise in popularity in the 1980s and for many bands, it would be a good way to get them noticed without having to put out a full album. History shows that this might have been the case with “Ruff Cutts” for Twisted Sister as this would lead to some magnificent albums in the future.

Next post: Rainbow- Straight Between the Eyes

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 Metal Albums of 1982: Whitesnake- Saints and Sinners

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 24, 2015 by 80smetalman

Whitesnake-saints

Funny old world isn’t it? Even though I was in their native country in late 1982, I never heard anything of Loudness. On the other hand, the rock bar I frequented quite a bit on Okinawa introduced me to an English heavy metal band called Whitesnake. For the life of me, I can’t remember which Whitesnake songs got played but I do know that I liked them. Hell, I can’t even say if any of the songs were from the album I’m about to post on here.

As much as I like what I heard from Whitesnake, I never got around to exploring them more, silly me. I even had the chance to see them live in the summer of 83 but that’s another story. It wouldn’t be until another year after that I would finally listen to them in earnest. Furthermore, it was only when I got to England two years after that, that I made any attempt to listen to their earlier stuff, was I a fool? Judging from the album, “Saints and Sinners,” most definitely so.

“Saints and Sinners” is a much harder offering than the more commercial oriented material from later on in the 80s, which many people are more familiar with. What I found amusing about this album was the early recordings of songs that would be stripped down to sound more commercial in the years on. There is an innocence with the version of “Here I Go Again” on the album, that while I won’t go onto say it’s better than the commercialized version, (it’s certainly not worse), it does sound more genuine. Sort of the same can be said of “Crying in the Rain.” The version I have on the “Greatest Hits” album doesn’t sound like this one. I don’t remember hearing such a killer guitar solo on the hits album nor does it make me rock along to it as much.

Many of the other songs are cool rockers as well. “Youngblood,” “Victim of Love,” “Rock and Roll Angels” and the closing title track all fit the bill in my book. Then again, should I have expected anything less with former Deep Purple members Jon Lord and Ian Paice in the band. Furthermore, I have finally come to appreciate the guitar talents of Moody and Marsden. Of course, I won’t take anything away from David Coverdale as I have always rated him an extremely talented vocalist and should have put him in the same club with the other names I suggested Minoru Nihara join.

Track Listing:

  1. Youngblood
  2. Rough and Ready
  3. Bloody Luxury
  4. Victim of Love
  5. Crying in the Rain
  6. Here I Go Again
  7. Love and Affection
  8. Rock and Roll Angels
  9. Dancing Girls
  10. Saints and Sinners
Whitesnake (line up for Saints and Sinners)

Whitesnake (line up for Saints and Sinners)

David Coverdale- vocals

Mick Moody- guitar, vocals

Bernie Marsden- guitar

Jon Lord- keyboards

Neil Murray- bass

Ian Paice- drums

Maybe when I began posting about the year 1982, I should have called it “The Year So Many Albums Passed Me By.” Yes, I can blame it on being overseas in the military but I had no excuse with this one. As a result, I missed what turns out to be a Whitesnake album from the days they really rocked.

Next post: Twisted Sister- Rough Cuts

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 1982: Loudness- Devil Soldier

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 21, 2015 by 80smetalman

LOUDNESS_DS

Funny thing about Loudness, I spent the last three months of 1982 and the first three of 1983 in their home country, Japan, and never heard of them. Thinking back to my time there, I do not remember hearing any home grown music of any kind. The juke boxes in any bar I went to or even in the night clubs, all they seemed to play was Western music. My conclusion is that the Japanese are more receptive to Western music and for an act to make it there, it has to first make it outside of Japan. Loudness would certainly do that three years later but at this time, they would remain beyond my attention.

One thing that Loudness certainly prove with their second album, “Devil Soldier,” is that metal can rule no matter what language it’s sung in. As long as there is a great band behind a brilliant voice, great metal can break down barriers. Some of the songs are sung in the native tongue with some parts sung in English. Take “Rock the Nation,” I tried to follow along with the lyrics written down in English but they didn’t sound like English to me, except for parts of the chorus. Nevertheless, lead singer Minoru Nihara sings it very well and he is yet another singer whose talents haven’t been given the respect it deserves. I’m going to put my hand in the piranha’s tank and put him in the same class as Dio, Meine and Gillan. His vocals just come through on each and every song.

Talking about talent, guitarist Akira Takasaki has gotten some well deserved respect. Some have said that he copies other great guitarists but I don’t hear it. The closest he or the band in general come to copying is on the title track where the beginning of the song reminds me of Heart’s classic “Barracuda.” Thinking about it, I did see that song on at least one juke box when I was in Japan. Back to the subject, Akira lays down some good riffs on many songs, most notably, “Hard Workin'” and “Angel Dust.” When he’s not shredding, he does very well in accompaniment with the rhythm section. So, what do I think? Simply, this album kicks ass.

Track Listing:

  1. Lonely Player
  2. Angel Dust
  3. After Illusion
  4. Girl
  5. Hard Workin’
  6. Loving Maid
  7. Rock the Nation
  8. Devil Soldier
Loudness

Loudness

Minoru Nihara- vocals

Akira Takasaki- guitar

Masayoshi Yamashita- bass

Munetaka Higuchi- drums

In 1985, many in the West would say that thunder would come from the east and it did. However, in 1982, Loudness were still gearing up for their conquest with a great album in “Devil Soldier.” It’s proof to me that heavy metal could unite the world.

Next post: Whitesnake- Saints and Sinners

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishingroup.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 1982: Van Halen- Diver Down

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 16, 2015 by 80smetalman

Van_Halen_-_Diver_Down.svg

It was while on liberty in Toulon, France that I saw Van Halen’s fifth album in a record store there. I made a mental note about buying it then one of my marine buddies actually did. After giving “Diver Down” a listen, he proclaimed that the album sucked and had another person corroborate his feelings on it. That was enough to put me off buying it. Furthermore, when returning to the US two months later, hearing the first single, “Pretty Woman” didn’t inspire me with confidence and neither did the follow up single, “Dancing in the Street.” In fact, those songs gave me the impression that Van Halen had given up song writing and were simply getting by covering other’s songs. Then about a year later, I heard “Happy Trails” on a bar’s juke box and thought, “Now I’m definitely not going to buy this.” So, last Sunday night was the first time ever, that I listened to the full album.

Let me say that “Diver Down” doesn’t suck. However, it’s not as good as their previous four albums either. One thing I noticed and I wished I knew back then not to trust a song played on commercial radio, is that the radio version “Dancing in the Street” had much of Eddie’s guitar solo removed and that’s a shame. I think that song has his best solo on the album. While it may not be as good as it’s predecessor’s, there are some glimpses of what made Van Halen great in the early 80s. The first two tracks had me thinking that maybe this album wasn’t going to be as bad as I first imagined. There are three instrumentals on the album, nothing like “Eruption” but “Cathedral” is quite good. “The Full Bug” is a good one towards the end and it could have been the closer but now that I see that “Happy Trails” is at the end, I think that maybe they were trying to go out with a sense of humour so I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt on that one.

As for the band, David Lee Roth’s vocals are just as good and he stamps his personality on the album. Then again, his ego couldn’t be ignored and his limited vocal ability fits in well with the songs. As usual, Eddie has spots where his guitar work shines, it’s just unfortunate that there isn’t a cool solo with every song. Needless to say but the rhythm section of Alex and Michael is as solid as the other albums no faulting that. So, my verdict is that “Diver Down” is not bad. It would be even better if they had not included “Big Bad Bill (Is Sweet William Now.)” A totally unnecessary song in my view.

Track Listing:

  1. Where Have all the Good Times Gone
  2. Hang’ em High
  3.  Cathedral
  4. Secrets
  5. Intruder
  6. Pretty Woman
  7. Dancing in the Street
  8. Little Guitars (instrumental)
  9. Little Guitars
  10. Big Bad Bill (Is Sweet William Now)
  11. The Full Bug
  12. Happy Trails
Van Halen

Van Halen

David Lee Roth- vocals, synthesizer, harmonica, acoustic guitar on The Full Bug

Eddie Van Halen- guitars, backing vocals

Michael Anthony- bass, backing vocals

Alex Van Halen- drums

If I had ignored my buddy thirty three years ago and had bought “Diver Down,” it would have gone into my rotation. I listen to albums in a strict order, don’t ask. I wouldn’t have listened to it once and then forgotten it. However, when I did listen to it, it wouldn’t have been with the same enthusiasm as the first four Van Halen albums.

Next post: Loudness- Devil Soldier

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

 

 

My Top 15 Albums

Posted in Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 15, 2015 by 80smetalman

Typical me of my school days. I was always forgetting to do assignments which often got me in trouble with teachers. I almost missed the one set by a fellow blogger to list my 15 favourite albums. Looks like I’m just going to make the deadline here so don’t give me a detention. Well here they are:

sod

  1. Stormtroopers of Death- Speak English or Die

stend

2. Suicidal Tendencies

 kdbd

3. Killer Dwarfs- Big Deal

dio

4. Dio- Holy Diver

FreedomAtPointZero

5. Jefferson Starship- Freedom at Point Zero

 OneMoreFromTheRoad_LynyrdSkynyrdalbum

6. Lynyrd Skynyrd- One More From the Road

 imlad

7. Iron Maiden- Live After Death

 paranoidt

8. Black Sabbath- Paranoid

Aerosmith-Toys_in_the_Attic

9. Aerosmith- Toys in the Attic

tsyou

10. Twisted Sister- You Can’t Stop Rock And Roll

dv-ssor

11. Vaughn- Soldiers and Sailors on Riverside

hotdrise

12. Hair of the Dog- Rise

220px-Molly_Hatchet_-_Flirtin'_with_Disaster

13. Molly Hatchet- Flirtin’ With Disaster

nzhotd

14. Nazereth- Hair of the Dog

220px-REO_Speedwagon_-_Nine_Lives

15. REO Speedwagon- Nine Lives

Honourable Mentions

38 Special- Rockin’ Into the Night

Jefferson Starship- Winds of Change

Kreator- Pleasure to Kill

Van Halen- II

Dio- The Last in Line

Twisted Sister- Under the Blade

AC/DC- Back in Black

AC/DC- Highway to Hell

Pink Floyd- Dark Side of the Moon

Blackfoot- Highway Song

Damned Nation- Grand Designs

This is my list respectfully submitted on 15 September, 2015.

Great Metal Albums of 1982: Manowar- Battle Hyms

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 13, 2015 by 80smetalman

ManowarBattlehymns

Who says that heavy metal can’t be fun? Manowar would definitely disagree with anyone who said it couldn’t be. I discovered Manowar in 1985 and the weird thing about that discovery was that even though they are an American metal band, their albums were in the “import” section of my record store. Their first album, “Battle Hyms” was also recorded in America, so why would I find it in imports? Maybe my good Canadian metal buddy Mike, who used to work at a record store, can shed some light on this.

Even then, I didn’t buy any Manowar albums, they had three by this time. My reason was down to the fact that I had never heard of them before. That all changed when I saw them live in early 1986. They blew me away that much I made a promise to buy their records. One of my fellow concert goers that night suggested their debut album, “Battle Hyms.” After listening to it, I am in no doubt as to why.

“Battle Hyms” is just a total kick ass album, period. I get the distinct impression that when Manowar recorded the album, they did so with the “we got nothing to lose” attitude and just had a good time making the album. If that is the case, they should have recorded all of their albums with the same attitude. Each track is a true metal anthem, led by the stand out voice of Eric Adams singing along to some very amusing lyrics with some crazy guitar work by Ross the Boss. Joey DeMaio and Donnie Hamzik provide a tight rhythm section as well. The tracks that get make want to raise the horns and scream along to are “Manowar,” “Death Tone” and “Battle Hyms” but “Metal Daze” is even above that as I would be singing that one long after the song, album or concert ended. “Dark Avenger” is different, sort of a metal “Thriller” but done a heck of a lot better. My verdict on “Battle Hyms” is that it’s one of those albums that would bring a dying party back to life.

          Track Listing

  1. Death Tone
  2. Metal Daze
  3. Fast Taker
  4. Shell Shock
  5. Manowar
  6. Dark Avenger
  7. William’s Tale
  8. Battle Hyms
Manowar

Manowar

Eric Adams-vocals

Ross the Boss- guitars, keyboards

Joey DeMaio- bass

Donnie Hamzik- drums

I just realised something, I saw Ross the Boss at Bloodstock 2010. He was the third or fourth act on the Friday and while I don’t remember any great details from his set, I do remember thinking he was good. Another issue arising from Manowar and an issue I will address as I visit future albums is that in 1986, Kerrang magazine called them a joke band. While “Battle Hyms” is a fun album, I wouldn’t say that it made them a joke band in any way. To me, it’s just a cool album.

Next post: Van Halen- Diver Down

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 1982: Ted Nugent- Nugent

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 9, 2015 by 80smetalman

NUGENTTED_N

New Wave of British Heavy Metal or NWOBHM had clearly established its dominance around the world in 1982. However, thanks to bands like Riot and Y&T as well as others whose albums will be visited very soon, American metal wasn’t completely silent . Of all the American bands, the one artist who draped himself (and still does) in the American flag was Ted Nugent. In this year, the Motor City Madman put out a studio album and a live one. It is the studio album, “Nugent” that is being visited today.

Another reason why I’ve decided to visit the studio album first was that because of my military obligations, it was another album that passed me by in that year. Yet again, it’s another album I regret missing in 1982. “Nugent” has all the classic trademarks of the things that made Ted Nugent great. Most noteworthy, as is always the case with Ted, is the fact that he can wail on a guitar. His solos are present on each and every song, though the stand out for me is “Good and Ready.” “No, No, No” also comes to mind in this respect.

Apart from his exemplary guitar work, he does write some good songs. It is true that “Bound and Gagged” may be the first inclination of Ted’s feelings of fanatical American patriotism and right wing politics but I know I wouldn’t have noticed or cared back then. It’s still a cool song. That’s one problem with listening to the song with, in this case, the curse of hindsight. I also found myself wanting to sing along to “Fightin’ Words.” “Ebony” might be classed as his attempt at a single but I never heard it on the radio, not that you ever heard much of his material there to begin with. Nevertheless, it’s a decent song.

“Don’t Push Me” is short and to the point and definitely one I would have used to blast out the car window while driving. Note to self, maybe I should make my own CD of driving songs. Anyway back on the subject. The way he lays down the guitar jam while the band is repeating the title works for me in so many ways. If there was one thing I would change on “Nugent” it would be the order of the last two songs. “Tailgunner” is a good song but I thought the one before it “We’re Gonna Rock Tonight” would have been a better closer. It’s just that the lyrics and overall vibe of the song make it a great song to end the album on but that’s just me.

Track Listing:

  1. No, No, No
  2. Bound and Gagged
  3. Habitual Offender
  4. Fightin’ Words
  5. Good and Ready
  6. Ebony
  7. Don’t Push Me
  8. Can’t Stop Me Now
  9. We’re Gonna Rock Tonight
  10. Tailgunner
Ted Nugent

  Ted Nugent

Ted Nugent- lead vocals, lead guitars

Derek St. Holmes- guitar, vocals

Dave Kiswiney- bass, vocals

Carmine Appice- drums, vocals

Larry Brown- percussion

Donnie Backus- piano

Ted Nugent let the world know in 1982 that there was still plenty of good metal in America with his two albums. “Nugent” was one of those and proved that he could still rock with the best of them.

Next post: Manowar- Battle Hyms

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