Archive for February, 2016

Great Rock Albums of 1983: Greg Kihn Band- Kihnspiracy

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on February 28, 2016 by 80smetalman

kihnspiracy

1983 was the most commercially successful year for the Greg Kihn Band. They’re best known hit “Jeopardy” went to number two in the singles charts and only “Beat It” by Michael Jackson kept it off the top spot. Maybe they should have gotten Eddie Van Halen to play a guitar solo on that song.

“Jeopardy” opens the 1983 album, “Kihnspiracy” and once the single is done and dusted, that’s when the album really kicks into gear. The very next track, “Fascination” begins with a great luring guitar intro and it is a rocker that really shapes the rest of the album. Likewise with the next track, “Tear Down the City” but only this begins with some cool lead guitar licks. Things go down a similar vein with the next couple of tracks. “You Can’t Love Them All” is a very amusing track and the guitar solos on it are first rate.

Having this on cassette, I can say that side two does eventually slow down. “I Fall to Pieces” isn’t as fast as any of the songs on side one, barring the big single but the hard guitars are strongly felt nonetheless. “Someday” is the song where keyboards are heard the most but it is still a rock song. Lead guitarist, Greg Douglass, who joined the band on the album shows he knows a little about how to play a guitar. “Curious” is the hardest song on the second side and then the album goes out with two slightly more softer songs, although “How Long” does have a cool, almost acoustic intro. Listening to the album after so many years, I think some of these songs would sound really cool if covered by a metal bands. A surprisingly good forgotten album.

Track Listing:

  1. Jeopardy
  2. Fascination
  3. Tear Down the City
  4. Talking to Myself
  5. You Can’t Love Them All
  6. I Fall to Pieces
  7. Someday
  8. Curious
  9. How Long
  10. Love Never Fails
Greg Kihn Band

Greg Kihn Band

Greg Kihn- lead vocals, rhythm guitar

Greg Douglass- lead/slide guitars, vocals

Larry Lynch- drums, vocals

Steve Wright- bass, vocals

Gary Phillips- keyboards

The tragic thing about the Greg Kihn band is that when people think of them and remember 1983, they will always be associated with their biggest single and not for the hard rocking album that “Kihnspiracy” is. That is a tragedy.

Next post: The Tubes- Outside Inside

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 1983: Talking Heads- Speaking in Tongues

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on February 27, 2016 by 80smetalman

220px-Talking_Heads_-_Speaking_in_Tongues

What a difference thirty-three years can make! I didn’t bother too much with the Talking Heads’ 1983 release, “Speaking in Tongues” because when I first heard the single, “Burning Down the House” on the radio, I thought that with the strong bass, they were trying to sound more disco. Yeah, I know. Rolling Stone magazine stating that the band was experimenting in funk put me off a bit too. It may be because that while my experiences in the marines opened my mind up to different music, it also closed my mind to certain types. I regret that now. Going back to the Talking Heads, I can say that over the past three decades, “Burning Down the House” has slowly grown on me enough to finally give the “Speaking in Tongues” a listen. Now, I have come to the conclusion that in 1983, times had finally caught up with the Talking Heads and that their first album, “77,” was way ahead of its time.

In this case, it was probably a good idea that the album started off with their only top ten single. For me, “Burning Down the House” brought me into familiar territory. I now realise that the song sounds more like traditional Talking Heads than I had originally allowed myself to believe. The rest of the album follow suit. In fact, my initial reaction was that all the songs, while all well done, sounded pretty much the same. However, when I listened to the album again, I began to find subtle differences in the songs. The use of more keyboards on the album was done very well but done without sounding like the synth pop the 80s would eventually degenerate into. Two great examples of the keyboard use are the tracks “Slippery People” and “I Get Wild/Wild Gravity.” There are some really nice unique keyboards usages with those two songs. Other standout tracks for me are “Swamp” and “Girlfriend is Better.” Something else that this album has in common with the debut is a really good closer track and “Moon Rocks” is quite amusing.

th77

Another thing I first discovered on “77” and shows through more on “Speaking in Tongues” is that Tina Weymouth is a very underrated bass player and I wonder if the lack of respect shone to her abilities is down to gender.

Track Listing:

  1. Burning Down the House
  2. Making Flippy Floppy
  3. Girlfriend is Better
  4. Slippery People
  5. I Get Wild/Wild Gravity
  6. Swamp
  7. Moon Rocks
  8. Pulled Up the Roots
  9. This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)
Talking Heads

Talking Heads

David Byrne- vocals, guitar, keyboards, keyboard bass, percussion

Chris Frantz- drums, backing vocals, synthesizers

Jerry Harrison- keyboards, guitar, backing vocals

Tina Weymouth- bass, keyboard bass, backing vocals, guitar

Man I have seen the light and am now converted! I am glad I was so wrong about the Talking Heads in 1983 and their album “Speaking in Tongues.” They were considered punk in the late 1970s and new wave in the 1980s but the ‘new’ can’t be emphasized enough. They were ahead of their time and in 1983, the rest of the world finally caught up with them.

Next post: Greg Kihn Band- Khinspiracy

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 1983: Molly Hatchet- No Guts No Glory

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 22, 2016 by 80smetalman

No_Guts...No_Glory_(Molly_Hatchet_album_-_cover_art)

One Southern Rock band that did still get some attention up North in 1983 was the great Molly Hatchet. What excited many Hatchet fans north and south of the Mason-Dixon Line was the return of lead singer Danny Joe Brown to the band to record the “No Guts No Glory” album. For those who are new to 80smetalman, it might be a good idea to have a crash history lesson. Danny Joe Brown left Molly Hatchet after the magnificent “Flirtin’ With Disaster” album, actually he was kicked out because of his drinking, and replaced by lead singer Jimmy Farrar who sang on the next two albums, “Beatin’ the Odds” and “Take No Prisoners.” While there was nothing wrong with either of those albums and Jimmy Farrar is a very capable singer, there seemed to be something missing from those albums. It was hoped that Brown’s return would re-ignite the chemistry that brought them fame with “Flirtin’ With Disaster.”

The old chemistry certainly does return on the “No Guts No Glory” album from the very first song. Things definitely feel very upbeat on the first two songs and at the time, I wanted to scream, although I did inwardly, “Welcome back Danny!” While the first two tracks set the pace for the entire album, it is the third track that propels things into the ionosphere. “Sweet Dixie” is one of those Southern rock boogie tunes that has me bouncing in my chair whenever I hear it. Unless I’m walking, then it makes me quicken my step. Even when I returned north after I got out of the service, the lyrics reminded me of the good things about being down South.

“Just give me those stars and bars, Willie on the radio

A good cold beer and that rebel cheer

And man I’m ready to roll

That sweet sweet Dixie music really gets into my soul

So Mr Deejay won’t you play that Southern rock and roll.”

Of course the guitars of Dave Hlubeck, Duane Roland and Steve Holland are all over that song as well as the entire album but the song where they really shine is the best known song from the album, “Fall of the Peacemakers.” Written as a lament over the murder of John Lennon although I always saw it as an anti- war song, the three guitarists lay down some killer solos in the style of “Freebird” or “Highway Song” on the final five minutes of it. “Fall of the Peacemakers” has been said to have been Molly Hatchet’s own “Freebird.” The guitars are certainly good enough.

Having originally bought “No Guts No Glory” on vinyl, actually my first vinyl purchase upon leaving the service, the songs mentioned were side one. Side two is definitely not filler. There are five awesome tracks on it that keep the party going very well. Of those five, the standout for me is “Kinda Like Love.” They do throw in something a bit different at the end as the closer, “Both Sides,” is an instrumental. Some more great guitar work on it to end the album just right.

Other interesting facts about the album are the fact that this is the only Molly Hatchet album not to portray a Franzetta painting on the cover. Another is the use of keyboards. Danny Joe Brown was wise to bring John Galvin over from his Danny Joe Brown band to play on the album. The album also features a completely new rhythm section with Riff West on bass and Barry BB Borden on drums. They work very well here.

Track Listing:

  1. What Does it Matter
  2. Ain’t Even Close
  3. Sweet Dixie
  4. Fall of the Peacemakers
  5. What’s it Gonna Take
  6. Kinda Like Love
  7. Under the Gun
  8. On the Prowl
  9. Both Sides
Molly Hatchet

Molly Hatchet

Danny Joe Brown- vocals

Dave Hlubeck- guitars

Duane Roland- guitar

Steve Holland- guitar

Riff West- bass

Barry BB Borden- drums

Additional musicians:

John Galvin- keyboards

Jai Winding- keyboards

*Note- Steve Holland would leave the band during the tour for the album and John Galvin would replace him and become a permanent member

Thanks to the return of Danny Joe Brown, many would say that Molly Hatchet was back. I know they never really went anywhere but the “No Guts No Glory” album in my mind, returned them to former glory.

Next post: Talking Heads- Speaking in Tongues

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

 

 

Confess Are Facing Execution

Posted in Death, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on February 20, 2016 by 80smetalman

An update on the Confess situation. It seems that there is a stronger possibility they are facing execution under Iran’s blasphemy laws. FFI: Click the link.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3454413/Iranian-heavy-metal-band-face-execution-charged-blasphemy-writing-satanic-music-speaking-foreign-radio-stations.html

That’s why it’s even more important the petition to have them released is signed. For those who have it, I am again putting the link in.

https://www.change.org/p/president-of-iran-hassan-rouhani-free-iranian-metal-band-confess-from-jail

Please sign so we can free them.

Great Rock Albums of 1983: Blackfoot- Siogo

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 19, 2016 by 80smetalman

220px-Blackfoot_siogo

Further evidence to support the fact that Southern Rock was becoming a non entity north of the Mason-Dixon Line is to be found with Blackfoot’s 1983 album, “Siogo.” It’s also yet another reason why I was glad I got to spend three months in the South. In the years running up to 83, Blackfoot had been slowly but surely gaining attention in the North thanks to their three best known albums, “Strikes,” “Tomcattin'” and “Marauder.” However, when I did return North in the middle of the year, it seemed that no one had known they put out a new album and it was fortunate I had bought it in North Carolina because it would have been tougher to find it in New Jersey.

“Siogo” marked a slight change of direction for Blackfoot in the sense that they acquired keyboards player Ken Hensley. Many metalheads and hard rockers normally panic when a band known for hard power chords from the guitar adds keyboards. There is the belief that said band is selling out, going commercial or whatever and Van Halen in 1986 proves that point but that story is for another time. Well, you can all rest easy because when I first heard the single from the album, “Send Me and Angel,” I thought the keyboards went well with the hard crunching guitar that Blackfoot was known for. Everything else associated with Blackfoot was in place, the great guitar solos, Rick Medlocke’s unmistakable vocals and the rhythm section provided by Walker and Spires.

Let me get right to the point, “Siogo” is a great album and it’s unfortunate it has been overlooked so long. It also proves that the addition of a keyboard does not destroy the sound of a hard and heavy band if employed properly. Dio is the ultimate example but again, that’s for another time. Proof of this with this album lies in the track “Goin’ in Circles.” You can hear the keyboards in support at the beginning when the guitars pound in on the intro to the song. They add flavour to it and then go on a support role as the song gets into full gear and there’s a killer guitar solo on it. If you want to hear Hensley at his keyboard best, then the track “We’re Going Down” is the one. His keyboard solo is the highlight of a song that is no less rocky. The rest of the album is more old school Blackfoot if there is such a thing. Full of trademark intros, see “Teenage Idol” and “Crossfire” here and straight forward, blow your eardrums hard rock music. I said it before but it still applies with “Siogo,” Blackfoot could be called “Southern Metal.”

When I first looked at the track listing and saw a track called “Sail Away,” I thought that this was going to be some sort of ballad. After all, there are plenty of songs with similar titles that are. However, the song that bears the title on this album is nothing of the sort. Okay, maybe the first two notes of the intro may give that impression but the rest of the song just rocks! And don’t be fooled by the lyrics of “White Man’s Land.” It’s nothing racist, the song, at least to me, is a dig at the rat race and I can definitely see where they’re coming from here. Besides, the song reminds me a little of the classic “Train, Train.”

Track Listing:

  1. Send Me an Angel
  2. Crossfire
  3. Heart’s Grown Cold
  4. We’re Goin’ Down
  5. Teenage Idol
  6. Goin’ in Circles
  7. Run For Cover
  8. White Man’s Land
  9. Sail Away
  10. Drivin’ Fool
Blackfoot

Blackfoot

Rick Medlocke- lead vocals, guitar

Charlie Hargrett- guitar

Ken Hensley- keyboards, backing vocals

Greg T. Walker- bass, backing vocals

Jackson Spires- drums, backing vocals

I’m afraid that I’m going to have to say, “Damn Yankees” for the fact that this album has been overlooked up North. Fortunately, I was in the South so I didn’t miss out on it, to which I’m glad. “Siogo” is definitely a Blackfoot album that deserves a mention when you say the band’s name.

Next post: Molly Hatchet- No Guts, No Glory

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 1983: Doc Holliday- Modern Medicine

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 16, 2016 by 80smetalman

DOCHOLLIDAY_MM

Here’s another reason why I was glad that I spent my final three months in the marines down south. Nantucket headlined the Mayfair Festival that great day in May, 1983 and were fantastic but the band on right before them was just as good. On that day, Doc Holliday reinforced what I have always loved and continue to love about Southern Rock. If I hadn’t been there, I would have missed them because like I said previously, many people up North had moved on from Southern Rock in 1983. That is why my only album experience of Doc Holliday to this day was their 1983 “Modern Medicine” album.

The band being from Atlanta, Georgia, their album has all the trademarks of all things good about Southern Rock but that doesn’t stop Doc Holliday from putting their own personal stamp on things. All of the above is evidenced in the very first song on the album, “City Nights.” The keyboard at the beginning rams home the ‘these guys are a bit different’ feeling before quickly going into more harder southern boogie guitar work complimented by typical Southern lyrics about partying and getting drunk. “City Nights” sets the rest of the album perfectly.

Other songs go a bit harder after that for most of the songs. “Rock City,” “Hell to Pay,” “Gimme Some” and “No Relation to Love” are all hard rocking scorchers. But if you are looking for ballads, then “You Don’t Have to Cry” fills that bill very nicely. It’s a good Southern love song with some rather impressive guitar work. It provides a kind of break in the action between all the harder songs mentioned above so it’s not out of place. “You Turn Me On” sounds almost like a 1970s funk tune but Doc Holliday pull it off perfectly. It is my conclusion that those damn Yankees up North shouldn’t have been so quick to abandon Southern Rock because many of them missed out on one hell of a band.

Track Listing:

  1. City Nights
  2. Dreamin’
  3. Gimme Some
  4. You Don’t Have to Cry
  5. Rock City
  6. Hell to Pay
  7. No Relation to Love
  8. You Turn Me On
  9. We’re Not Alone
  10. You Like to Rock
Doc Holliday

Doc Holliday

Ric Skelton- guitar

Bruce Brookshire- lead vocals, lead and slide guitar, synths

Eddie Stone- synths, piano, backing vocals

John Samuelson- bass, backing vocals

Herman Nixon- drums

Thank God that in 1983 I got to go to the Mayfair Festival and witness this band. If I hadn’t, I would not have experienced the “Modern Medicine” album because Doc Holliday’s fame never spread to New Jersey. That is a shame but at least I got to hear them and can tell you how great they were and hopefully, you will give them a listen on Youtube.

Update: the petition to free Confess is near 2,500 signatures. If you haven’t signed it, please do so. You can access the petition by seeing my last post.

Next post: Blackfoot- Sirrocco

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

 

 

You Can Sign the Petition to Free Confess

Posted in Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on February 13, 2016 by 80smetalman

A few days ago, I posted about the Iranian band Confess, imprisoned for playing heavy metal. I have found an online petition that will get Amnesty International to call for their release.

https://www.change.org/p/president-of-iran-hassan-rouhani-free-iranian-metal-band-confess-from-jail

I hope you all enjoy me in helping to get our Iranian metal brethren out of prison.