Archive for October, 2015

Great Metal Albums of 1982: Triumph- Never Surrender

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2015 by 80smetalman

TRIUMPH10

Just learned something. Different internet sites can provide different information about the same thing. Heavy Harmonies states that this classic album, “Never Surrender” from Triumph came out in 1982, while Wikapedia states that it was released in January, 1983. I can’t say because I never had to buy it at the time, my sister’s then boyfriend had it and let me borrow it. Needless to say, it got played to death.

I must also confess that I lied last year. I said that “Allied Forces” was my favourite Triumph album. Actually, “Never Surrender” is, although there isn’t much between the two and knowing me, I could listen to the other one again and things would revert back. That’s just how good both albums are.

It just so happens that “Never Surrender” contains my definite all time favourite Triumph song, “World of Fantasy.” The acoustic intro followed by the thundering guitar and supplemented with a catchy chorus and a great guitar solo from Emmett, make for an all time great. Full marks should be given to the band for creating such a masterpiece. It is always the first song to come to mind when someone says Triumph and that catchy chorus is playing through my head as I write.

Of course, there are other great songs on the album, otherwise the album wouldn’t be great. There are some great straight forward hard rock tunes starting with the opener, “Too Much Thinking,” which starts things off just right. Others include “All the Way” and “Writing on the Wall.” Then there’s the reggae sounding title track. Well not totally reggae because it does rock. Like my all time fave, “When the Lights Go Down” also starts with a cool acoustic intro, except this one sounds almost like it’s going to be a country or Southern rock song. It’s not, just typical hard rocking Triumph. Finally, while Emmett’s guitar skills are present throughout, I must say that his best effort is the instrumental closer, “Epilogue.” He really shines on this one. Putting all of these great tracks together, it’s easy to see why “Never Surrender” is such a stupendous album.

Track Listing:

  1. Too Much Thinking
  2. World of Fantasy
  3. Minor Prelude
  4. All the Way
  5. Battle Cry
  6. Overature (Procession)
  7. Never Surrender
  8. When the Lights Go Down
  9. Writing on the Wall
  10. Epilogue (Resolution)
Triumph

Triumph

Rik Emmett- lead vocals, guitar

Mike Levine- bass, organ, synthesizer, piano

Gil Moore- drums, percussion, backing vocals

It doesn’t matter whether or not “Never Surrender” was released in 1982 or 83. Whatever year, the album totally kicks ass as Triumph were at their prime. As I already said a number of times, 1982 was a famine year for me musically on account of my military commitments. I have come to regret missing many of those albums I have written about in that year but never got to listen to at the time. The sacrifices we make serving one’s country. However, 1983 would be different and I will be starting that pivotal year with albums that were released in 82 but brought my 83 in with such hard rocking style. But first, a break in the action.

Next post: Tribute to another great rock club

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: Venom- Black Metal

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 25, 2015 by 80smetalman

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When many people talk about the new wave of British heavy metal, (NWOBHM,) they usually do so with bands like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Saxon and Def Leppard in mind. A good number will also include Motorhead in with the above but most will leave black metal thrashers Venom out. One reason for that, according to some British metalheads I met upon my arrival in the UK, is that they couldn’t take Venom seriously. Who’s trying to take them seriously? I’m sure not in the sense of being some kind of music critic. I simply appreciate their loud, aggressive thrash metal sound supplemented by very amusing lyrics about death and Satan. Granted, they’re not the most talented musicians in metal but what they put together is enjoyable for me. This is evidenced the 1982 album, “Black Metal.”

Listening to “Black Metal” makes me regret the fact that I had never heard of Venom until 1984. I can’t even blame being in the service for that. This album would have satisfied the hard edge I was searching for in music and while I wouldn’t hear of the term ‘thrash’ for three more years, “Black Metal” would still have been the answer.

From the get go with the opening title cut, I immediately found myself soaking up the thunderous beat and thrashing guitars from the album. Even when they try to slow down with the introduction of “Buried Alive,” you know that in a second, you’re going to get your ears blasted. You know, I can never make out what they’re trying to do at the beginning of that song, but hey, who cares? Even though, I have to really concentrate to listen for when “Buried Alive” ends and “Raise the Dead” begins, it’s not a major thing to worry about. The album just goes on rocking your socks off.

I think one problem some people might have had with this album is that they couldn’t pigeon hole it. While the music is thrash, the lyrics are definitely black metal. Take “To Hell and Back” for instance.

“I have been to Hell and back – kissed satanic Queen
Traveling at the speed of light – saw thing never seen
Arm in arm with Lucifer – Belial on my back
I have swam the lake of flames – walked forbidden tracks
To Hell – – and back
To Hell – – and back”

True, part of me wants to roll on the floor laughing my ass off when I hear them but it also makes me want to scream them at any religious nuts who happen by. I think that this is something else that makes this album so cool. If you think that those lyrics are amusing, then check out “Teacher’s Pet” which opens with the line “Teacher caught me masturbating underneath my desk.” Then there’s my favourite track, “Sacrifice” where they constantly spell the title throughout the song. With all of this, no wonder it is said that “Black Metal” influenced a generation of metal.

Track Listing:

  1. Black Metal
  2. To Hell and Back
  3. Buried Alive
  4. Raise the Dead
  5. Teacher’s Pet
  6. Leave Me In Hell
  7. Sacrifice
  8. Heaven’s On Fire
  9. Countess Bathory
  10. Don’t Burn the Witch
  11. At War With Satan (preview)
Venom

Venom

Cronos- bass, lead vocals

Mantas- guitar

Abbadon- drums

History has rewarded “Black Metal” by saying that it influenced both the thrash metal and black metal scene. Hearing this album, I can certainly testify to that. It possesses what I have always loved about both sub-genres of metal. It’s just a shame I didn’t get to listen to it back in the day because I think Venom were ahead of their time.

Next post: Triumph- Never Surrender

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: Twisted Sister- Under the Blade

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 22, 2015 by 80smetalman

TS_UnderBlade1

From great EP’s often come great albums. Three of the four songs featured on Twisted Sister’s EP, “Rough Cutts” would go on to be recorded on their debut album, “Under the Blade.” Many people have said that the earlier the Twisted Sister material, the better and you can’t get much earlier than this album. Although for me personally, their best album was yet to come but that takes nothing away from just how great “Under the Blade” is.

Having seen Twisted Sister live five times, two of those as headliners, one thing I founnd disappointing both times was that they don’t play enough songs from their first two albums. Obviously, they will play more songs from their most successful album but I would have loved to have heard them play more from this album. The songs that were played were the title cut and “Shoot’em Down.” Both are fantastic songs, but I would have loved to hear “Run For Your Life” as well as my favourite track on the album “Bad Boys of Rock and Roll.” That’s one I like singing to myself whilst moving around the house. Furthermore, the closer “Day of the Rocker” would have been a mindblowing song to close the show. I don’t know if it’s Eddie or Jay Jay who play the guitar solo on this one but it’s a killer. Whenever, someone casts doubts upon the guitar playing of French and Ojeda, I immediately think of “Day of the Rocker” as a counter. Any other song would have been great to hear live and at the moment, both “Run For Your Life” and “Tear It Loose” come to mind especially.

Before 1985, this album was only available in the US as an import. I did see it in a music store once but had no money on me at the time. When I went back a few days later, it was gone. I had to wait until 1985 when it was re released on Atlantic Records to get it. That version has the very amusing single “I’ll Never Grow Up Now” on it. Back in the day, that was something I was feeling quite a bit  but it’s another song I like to keep singing after it has long since ended.

Track Listing:

  1. What You Don’t Know (Sure Can’t Hurt You)
  2. Bad Boys of Rock and Roll
  3. Run For Your Life
  4. Sin After Sin
  5. Shoot’em Down
  6. Destroyer
  7. Under the Blade
  8. Tear It Loose
  9.                                                                   I ll Never Grow Up Now
    10.                                                                    Day of the Rocker
Twisted Sister

Twisted Sister

Dee Snider- vocals

Jay Jay French- guitar, backing vocals

Eddie ‘Fingers’ Ojeda- guitar, backing vocals

Mark ‘the Animal’ Mendoza- bass, backing vocals

AJ Pero- drums

“Under the Blade” is such a great album. It’s raw and shows a band that were lean, mean and hungry. Every track is an absolute winner for me and it just so happens that Twisted Sister have one more chance to show off this album. They will be playing their farewell concert at Bloodstock next summer and I have every intention of making it there to witness this important piece of history. Let’s hope that they will play a few more songs from this iconic album.

On the same day at Bloodstock, two slots before the great Twisted Sister, Venom will be invading the stage. Therefore, in respect to that, their 1982 album will be my next post.

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: Saxon- The Eagle Has Landed

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 18, 2015 by 80smetalman

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One of the things I should have realised, but didn’t, is that there were some killer live albums in 1982. Three of them, Black Sabbath- “Live Evil,” Michael Schenker Group- “One Night at Budokan” and Blue Oyster Cult- “Extra Terrestrial Live,” I bought not long after they had come out. The fourth, Ted Nugent- “Intensity in 10 Cities” would escape my knowledge for a long while. That’s the problem when you are in the military and spend most of the year deployed overseas. It creates a Swiss cheese effect on things like musical releases from bands you might follow. This caused me to completely miss a fifth great live album and one that definitely stands shoulder to shoulder with the ones I’ve already listed. That is Saxon- “The Eagle Has Landed.”

Having seen Saxon live before I got to listen to “The Eagle Has Landed,” I had a very strong inclination that this was going to be an excellent live album. I was right. It has all of the classic Saxon songs at the time with the bonus touch of being played so well live. I thought it was only natural that they used the great song “Wheels of Steel” for the audience participation part of the show. After all, that song is one of their best known songs.

The added bonus for me was that the album was recorded while Saxon were on tour for my favourite album of theirs, “Denim and Leather.” “Princess of the Night” has its much deserved place on the album and is played brilliantly on it. Here is my personal slight disappointment about that. Other than “Princess,” the other two songs, “Never Surrender” and “Fire In the Sky” wouldn’t have been my first choices from “Denim and Leather” to use on the live album. Don’t get me wrong, they are both cool songs but why the hell wasn’t the title track on it? After all, “Denim and Leather” is a metal anthem that rings true throughout the metal generations! I thought it was only right that it be on the live album. Another song I would have used would have been “Play it Loud,” almost for the same reason. Saying that, “And the Band Played On” and “Midnight Rider” appear on the 2005 remaster. But enough of me nit picking, there are so many great songs on “The Eagle Has Landed” that it makes it a guaranteed good listen.

Track Listing:

  1. Motorcycle Man
  2. 747 Strangers in the Night
  3. Princess of the Night
  4. Strong Arm of the Law
  5. Heavy Metal Thunder
  6. 20,000 Feet
  7. Wheels of Steel
  8. Never Surrender
  9. Fire in the Sky
  10. Machine Gun
Saxon

Saxon

Biff Byford- vocals

Graham Oliver- guitar

Paul Quinn- guitar

Steve Dawson- bass

Nigel Glockler- drums

Like I said, there were many great live albums in 1982. Saxon’s contribution “The Eagle Has Landed” definitely belongs along side of the other great ones from that year.

Next post: Twisted Sister- Under the Blade

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: Hanoi Rocks- Self Destruction Blues

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

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First of all, no one spotted the mistake in my last post. Boppinsblog came close as he pointed out that “Live At Budokan” was a Cheap Trick album, so one 80smetalman gold star awarded there. But that wasn’t the mistake I was referring to. Boppinsblog was close though because the mistake had to do with the quote from Wayne’s World. See, the quote I used on the last post was from Wayne’s World 1 while the photo below it was from Wayne’s World 2. I’m afraid that no one gets the grand prize this time.

Now onto the second album in 1982 from Finnish glam metallers, Hanoi Rocks. When I visited the predecessor, “Oriental Beat,” I commented on what a great feel good, party album it was and I stick by that. I won’t be so flowery about the second album, “Self Destruction Blues.” The album just simply bloody rocks!

Just about every track on this album is an absolute corker and one thing that it has in common with its predecessor is that each songs seems to improve as the album progresses. Except for maybe “Whispers in the Dark,” that’s not quite as good as the others. However, putting it first wouldn’t be a good idea because “Love’s an Injection” is such a great opener. If you think that “Problem Child” was a cover of the AC/DC classic, it is nothing of the sort. It’s still a cool song.

What I find about most of the songs on this album is that the titles of the songs hardly appear in their song. “Desperado,” my favourite track, is only sung once. If I didn’t have the title in front of me, I would have thought it was called “Ten Thousand Heartaches.” Nevertheless, the song is just brilliant so full marks to the band for that little twist. The same can be said for such other cool tracks like “Beer and a Cigarette” and “Kill City Kills.” Again both are great tracks. The title track is actually done in a blues fashion and it’s good to hear Michael Monroe’s voice stretching out a bit. Full marks to the band again. The closer, “Dead by Xmas,” in my mind is a case of Bon Jovi meets The Clash. I mean the piano sounds very similar to that on the first Bon Jovi single “Runaway.” Then when the song kicks in, it sounds very much like The Clash but it’s well done. In fact, I think the humour that went into the album, along with some fine songs, make “Self Destruction Blues” a fantastic album.

Track Listing:

  1. Love’s an Injection
  2. I Want You
  3. Cafe Avenue
  4. Nothing New
  5. Kill City Kills
  6. Self Destruction Blues
  7. Beer and a Cigarette
  8. Whispers in the Dark
  9. Taxi Driver
  10. Desperado
  11. Problem Child
  12. Dead by Xmas
Hanoi Rocks

Hanoi Rocks

Michael Monroe- lead vocals

Andy McCoy- guitar

Nasty Suicide- guitar

Sam Yaffa- bass

Gyp Casino- drums

After the recording of the album, Gyp Casino would leave the band and be replaced by Razzle

Another fun hard rocking album from Hanoi Rocks in 1982. Had I been more aware of this band in the year, I would have concluded that Finland must be a place to rock because albums like this one certainly give that impression.

Next Post: Saxon- The Eagle Has Landed

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

 

 

Ted Nugent- Intensity in 10 Cities

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 11, 2015 by 80smetalman

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Someone once called me “clueless” because I stated that I would still go to a Ted Nugent concert in spite of his political ramblings. What do they know? What I know is that when you see the Motor City Madman on stage, you don’t care about politics, you are simply amazed by the energy Ted emits while on stage and the magic he creates with that guitar. Having seen him live twice and both accounts are recorded for posterity in “Rock and Roll Children,” I can personally testify to this.

wayensworld

“You’re Double Live Gonzo, Live at Budokan, Intensity in 10 Cities.” Wayne Campbell to Casandra in Wayne’s World 1

I have heard many a live album in my years and I can say that no one else brings the energy from a live show onto a record better than Ted Nugent. This is just as much true with the 1982 live album “Intensity in 10 Cities” as it was with the 1978 “Double Live Gonzo.” The songs recorded on the album were a series of songs that were never recorded previously. Ted believed that since those songs had been well honed over the months of playing them on tour, they would sound better recorded live as opposed to in the studio. I have to say, I think he was right on that one.

If “Intensity in 10 Cities” had been recorded as a live concert instead of over a series of concerts, it still would have been worth the price of admission. These are 10 songs that simply sound fantastic live and the order they appear is near perfect. If it wasn’t for his introduction of the song before he played, “Put Up or Shut Up” would have been a great show opening song. It’s one that would have definitely gotten the crowd on their feet.

While his trademark work with the guitar is well cemented on the album, it is the third track “My Love is Like a Tire Iron” where he really goes to the ionosphere with it. The long lead solo is simply hypnotic and the same can be said for the solos on “Heads Will Roll,” “Land of a Thousand Dances and of course, the instrumental “The TNT Overature.” Furthermore, his between the songs banter is best on “Jailbait” which is shows his more humourous side. However, the stand out track for me is “I Am a Predator” because that song has many of the elements I have already mentioned.

This mighty combination propels things very nicely to the closer “I Take No Prisoners.” It’s not a bad closer, especially when he works his typical guitar magic, but if I were in the audience and heard that song before he left the stage, I would certainly expect him back to play more. Me personally, like the Mitch character in the book, I would be screaming for him to play “The Great White Buffalo.” His failure to play that song either time I saw him is the only thing I can hold against his performances.

Track Listing:

  1. Put Up or Shut Up
  2. Spontaneous Combustion
  3. My Love is Like a Tire Iron
  4. Jailbait
  5. I Am a Predator
  6. Heads Will Roll
  7. The Flying Lip Lock
  8. Land of a Thousand Dances
  9. The TNT Overature
  10. I Take No Prisoners
Ted Nugent

Ted Nugent

Ted Nugent- lead vocals, lead guitar

Charlie Huhn- lead and backing vocals, rhythm guitar

Dave Kiswiney- bass, backing vocals

Cliff Davies- drums, backing vocals

So there you have it, a live album that would have sounded great as a concert on its own. Ted Nugent shows why he is so awesome live and puts that down on vinyl, cassette and CD. “Intensity in 10 Cities” is a tribute to a fine musician. BTW, can any of you spot the mistake in this post?

Next post: Hanoi Rocks- Self Destruction Blues

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChidren.html

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

Great Metal Albums of 1982: Motorhead- Iron Fist

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 8, 2015 by 80smetalman

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While Hanoi Rocks may be great to play at a party to kick it up a gear, Motorhead has always gone the more direct attack your eardrums approach. Their 1982 album “Iron Fist” is no different. From the very first song, it is determined to assault your ears and leave you shaking so much that some may think your are having some sort of episode. At least it does that for me. Each time I listened to it over the past few days, I strangely found myself headbanging frantically and looking for a mosh pit.

Unlike “Ace of Spades,” there is no signature track on the album. Each time I thought I found one, the next tracks sounds just as good if not better. Every song is determined to pound you into submission with that typical Motorhead sound. I even tried to put forward the view in my own head that possibly the songs are all too similar. No, there are differences in them, it’s just that fearsome musicianship of Clarke, Lemmy and Taylor that make the songs what they are. If I had to pick the best tracks on “Iron Fist,” I would have to go with “America,” “Shut It Down” and “(Don’t Need) Religion.” The middle of these contains Fast Eddie’s best guitar solo. However, pick any track off this album and I wouldn’t disagree with you that it’s a good one.

Track Listing:

  1. Iron Fist
  2. Heart of Stone
  3. I’m the Doctor
  4. Go to Hell
  5. Loser
  6. Sex Change
  7. America
  8. Shut It Down
  9. Speedfreak
  10. (Don’t Let’em) Grind Ya Down
  11. (Don’t Need) Religion
  12. Bang to Rights
Motorhead

Motorhead

Lemmy Kilmister- bass, lead vocals

Fast Eddie Clarke- guitars

Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor- drums

Lemmy has stated in interviews that “Iron Fist” was bad and inferior to other Motorhead material. Frankly, I don’t see it. To me this just another fine Motorhead album that makes me want to get up and smash a large object through a wall.

Next post: Ted Nugent- Intensity in 10 Cities

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