Archive for October, 2017

Great Metal Albums of 1984: Rock Goddess- Hell Hath No Fury

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 29, 2017 by 80smetalman

Girlschool wasn’t the only female band to come along on the new wave of British heavy metal, (NWOBHM). In early 1984, I happened to catch another band of ladies who proved they could rock as hard as the men. That band happened to be the trio known as Rock Goddess. I have to admit, when I first saw the video for the big single from this album, “Hell Hath No Fury,” “I Didn’t Know Till I Saw You Rock and Roll,” I was totally smitten. Not only did these three ladies tingle my then 22 year old hormones, they could play metal as well and play it well. Note: this single doesn’t appear on the UK release of the album.

While the mentioned single can still be found on some compilation albums from time to time and is the song Rock Goddess is best known for, I can say with certainty that the entire album kicks ass. It’s just one complete blow your eardrums to pieces rock party from start to finish. In fact, if I had to pick, I would say that the opening title track is probably the least strongest track on here. I can’t use weakest because I don’t think that applies. “Gotta Let Your Hair Down” is a great example of what I mean by blow your eardrums metal. When I hear that song, I regret the fact that I never seen them live.

Because they are an all female band, I feel the need to make the cliched comment that they are just as good as their male counterparts. Take singer/guitarist Jody Turner. Now, I admit that her guitar playing isn’t equal to greats like Blackmore or Van Halen but it’s good enough. Her best guitar effort can be found on “In the Night” and runner up is “Hold Me Down.” Plus she has the added gift of having a good singing voice that can bellow to the high extremes and then soften to a melodic purr. If that’s not all, she was the songwriter for the band and to me, she does write some good songs. I find, “The Visitors Are Here,” a song about an alien visit, quite cool. As for the rhythm section of Julie Turner and Dee O’Malley, they are as tight as any other section I know of.

Track Listing:

  1. Hell Hath No Fury
  2. I Didn’t Know I Loved You Till I Saw You Rock and Roll
  3. Gotta Let Your Hair Down
  4. In the Night
  5. Hold Me Down
  6. The Visitors Are Here
  7. You Got the Fire
  8. It Will Never Change
  9. Don’t Want Your Love
  10. God Be With You

Rock Goddess

Jody Turner- guitars, lead vocals

Julie Turner- drums, backing vocals

Dee O’Malley- bass, keyboards, backing vocals

My question has always been, why didn’t Rock Goddess go further? According to Wikapedia, there were problems from the outset. Julie Turner was still a school age minor and there were legal limitation on how many live shows she could perform. Right before the scheduled US tour, Dee O’Malley announced she was pregnant and left the band. That was typical of the band’s history as bassists and sometimes second guitarists would come and go so they never became fully solid. Damn shame in my opinion because they could have achieved so much more.

Next post: White Wolf- Standing Alone

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1509302805&sr=8-3&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Great Metal Albums of 1984: Accept- Balls to the Wall

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 26, 2017 by 80smetalman

If ever the saying, “never judge a book (or an album) by its cover” was relevant, it was certainly the case with Accept’s album “Balls to the Wall.” Ever since it’s launch, the cover of the album has brought criticisms of homo-erotica and this debate continues even today. For me, while I never or will ever enter into that debate, I must admit that I was rather homophobic in 1984 and used to have the album face down whenever I listened to it. But homo-erotic album cover or not, it never stopped me from enjoying the content the album contains.

The title track is probably the best known Accept song ever. I remember it getting a considerable amount of airplay on the radio, though I don’t recall ever seeing the video for it on MTV. That song totally blew me away at first listen. That catchy chorus just gets you banging your head away and singing along to it with all your heart and soul. It does the same for me even after all these years. Even if the song had homo-erotic overtones, which the band has always denied, I wouldn’t have cared then or now.

As was the case in 80s Reagan America, the fact that the cover of the album was thought to entertain homosexual contents, meant the rest of the album must do so as well. Songs like “London Leatherboys” and “Love Child” also were accused of the same. Let me tell you that it was all a load of nonsense. The great track, “London Leatherboys” was about bikers and even if it wasn’t, it’s such a cool metal jam. “Love Child” is about gays but it’s also about all people who are oppressed, which back in that time, was any non-conformist group or individual. It still doesn’t stop it from being a great song. I have to agree with the words of guitarist Wolf Hoffmann who said, “You Americans are so uptight about this.” He was totally correct.

In addition to the tracks I’ve already mentioned, the rest of the album is of the same greatness. Except for the acoustic closer, which in itself, isn’t a bad song, each one of these tracks totally kicks ass. Then as now, I can’t really pick a favorite apart from the famous title track. Power and melody are fused so well it’s amazing. There is something to like about each and every one here whether it’s hard riffs, catchy choruses or blistering guitar solos. “Balls to the Wall” was my metal introduction to the year 1984 and what a great one it was.

Track Listing:

  1. Balls to the Wall
  2. London Leatherboys
  3. Fight Back
  4. Head Over Heels
  5. Losing More Than You Ever Had
  6. Love Child
  7. Turn Me On
  8. Losers and Winners
  9. Guardians of the Night
  10. Winter Dreams

Accept

Do Dirkscheider- lead vocals

Wolf Hoffmann- guitar

Herman Frank- guitar

Peter Baltes- bass

Stefan Kaufmann- drums

Like I said, “Balls to the Wall” was my metal introduction to 1984 as I first heard it in early February of that year. I don’t think I could have asked for a better one than this.

Next post: Rock Goddess- Hell Hath No Fury

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1509050330&sr=8-3&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great RockMetal Albums of 1984: Bon Jovi

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 23, 2017 by 80smetalman

Before I launch into the debut album by a band considered to be a symbol for 1980s hard rock and heavy metal, I thought I first begin by naming four more films of 1984 I missed. Two of them I can’t believe I did and two of them starred comedian Eddie Murphy.

Beverly Hills Cop was considered to be on a par with Ghostbusters at the time.

Conan the Destroyer with Arnie Schwartzeneger was a big let down in comparison with the first film

Another children’s favourite, Gremlins. Thanks to keepsmealive for bringing it to light for me.

 

Hot Dog- about freestyle skiing had its funny moments.

There was a fifth film called Best Defense with Eddie Murphy and Dudley Moore which was okay but just okay.

Now onto the self-titled debut from Bon Jovi. While I have always liked this album, at the time, I thought it was nothing spectacular. Yes, the single that got them on MTV, “Runaway,” was very good, probably still one of my favourite Bon Jovi jams, even if one friend of mine considered it to sound too much like Rick Springfield. Furthermore, I felt exactly the same way when I saw them open for The Scorpions in this year. I thought they weren’t bad but not anything phenomenal.

Like all Bon Jovi albums, when I listen to it, I ask myself the question why Bon Jovi are considered heavy metal. True, there are some hard rocking songs on the album and there was the potential for more had not the keyboards been too heavy on them. The tracks I’m talking about are “Burning For Love” and the second single, “She Don’t Know Me.” The latter officially became the first song I liked on account of the video for it. Had I heard it on the radio or the album, I wouldn’t have liked it so much. The former does have a great guitar solo on it though.

On the other hand, there are some decent rockers on the album in addition to “Runaway.” “Love Lies” is definitely one of those. Whenever I listen to it, I remember why I have always held the guitar abilities of one Richie Sambora in such high regards. He does shine here. “Breakout” can’t make up its mind as to whether it wants to be a rocker or not. I do like the standard keyboard intro followed by the thunder of the guitar. However, the keyboards come back in and take over a little too much in some places. The song sounds like a power struggle between the hard rock and commercial sounds. The decider is again, another good guitar solo from Richie. I have always said that a good closing song can do wonders for an album and “Get Ready” does that job well on the album. It is a strong rocker which ends things quite well. Plus, it gets some good support from the penultimate track.

Track Listing:

  1. Runaway
  2. Roulette
  3. She Don’t Know Me
  4. “Shot Through the Heart
  5. Love Lies
  6. Breakout
  7. Burning For Love
  8. Come Back
  9. Get Ready

Bon Jovi

Jon Bon Jovi- lead vocals, rhythm guitar

Richie Sambora- lead guitar, backing vocals

Dave Bryan- keyboards, backing vocals

Alec John Such- bass, backing vocals

Tico Torres- drums, percussion

Now here’s the big question I am going to explore on all my Bon Jovi posts in the future. Someone once commented that Bon Jovi represented everything that was wrong with heavy metal in the 1980s. What? I never thought there was anything wrong with metal back then. It’s something I’m going to investigate though. Thinking back to 1984 and this debut album, I certainly wasn’t thinking that. Then, I would never have thought that the band would go onto achieve so much.

Next post: Accept- Balls to the Wall

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1508760900&sr=8-3&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can’t Believe I Missed This One

Posted in films, Humour, Uncategorized with tags , , , on October 20, 2017 by 80smetalman

I’m surprised that no one has pulled me up on this, missing what was for me, the zainiest film of 1984. I’m talking about the very first Police Academy film! It is true that usually the original film in a series is the best and and that is certainly the case here. I laughed my butt off from start to finish.

 

The graduates from the first Police Academy.

I always like Tackleberry best.

Here’s Tackleberry

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some Great Films of 1984

Posted in 1980s, Death, Heavy Metal, soundtracks with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 19, 2017 by 80smetalman

Not only was I a big music fan back in 1984, as I am today, I was also a great cinema buff, unlike today. Posting about those two soundtracks from said year threw my mind back to some of the other great and not so great films I got to see in 1984. They may not have had soundtracks I wanted to listen to but most of them were good films or at least a good source of amusement. Therefore, in regards to the golden year of heavy metal, I thought I’d list the films I saw that year.

Ghost Busters

This was probably the most popular film in 1984. It’s theme song, sung by Ray Parker Jr, got a lot of play on MTV. Never cared much for the song but I did like this film as I was a fairly big Bill Murray fan at the time.

Karate Kid was probably the second most popular film in 1984

In spite of the above, I never accepted the proposition that all the blonde haired, blue eyed teenage boys in Southern California were all karate experts.

Ghost Busters might have been the most popular film, but The Terminator was my favourite.

“I’ll be back” has been a very popular catchphrase from the film. However, my favourite part was when the hotel landlord asks, “Do you got dead cats in there?” Robot Arnie’s brain flashes possible responses and he chooses, “Fuck you asshole.”

Hyped up to be the final chapter of the Friday the 13th series. No surprise it wasn’t.

These were considered the big films of the year but there were many more out there.

The Keep: Nazi soldiers are killed in a haunted castle

This was the first film I went to in 1984.

DC Cab: Mr T stars in a film about an on the rocks cab firm.

This was the second

Angel: High school honour student by day, Hollywood hooker by night.

There were some really funny quips in this film. Example: When Angel’s transvestite friend opens the door to the killer, he asks, “Who does your hair, dickface?”

Tank: A soldier uses a tank to rescue his wrongly convicted son from a redneck prison.

I had been out of the marines only nine months when I saw this film so I was able to identify all the military inaccuracies.

Patrick Swayze leads a bunch of high schoolers against the invading Communist armies.

This film was definitely made to encourage America to accept Reagan’s Contra war in Nicaragua.

Thief of Hearts: A burglar breaks into a home and discovers the wife’s diaries. He uses them to seduce her.

Starman: An alien world accepts Voyager 2’s invitation to visit Earth.

This was the last film I went to see in 1984.

Naturally, there were many more movies in 1984 but these were the ones I went to the cinema to see. That seems to be what I was doing when I wasn’t headbanging away. What films did you all see and like?

Next post: Bon Jovi

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1508426476&sr=8-3&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

Great Soundtracks of 1984: Streets of Fire

Posted in 1980s, films, Music, Rock, soundtracks, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 16, 2017 by 80smetalman

Unlike “Footloose” the soundtrack to the film “Streets of Fire” went with virtually unknown or less known artists, at least for the time. It would be six months to a year before I would hear about The Fixx. The only others I had heard of were Ry Cooder and The Blasters and I’ll get to them in a minute. Stevie Nicks does write and sing backing vocals on the Marilyn Martin track, “Sorcerer” but for the most part, the artists were virtually unknown to me at the time. However, I would take this soundtrack over that of “Footloose.” Quiet Riot, Foreigner and Sammy Hagar weren’t quite enough to tip it past “Streets of Fire” in my eyes.

Before I get onto the soundtrack, let me provide a little background about the film, which was slammed mercilessly by most critics. The 23 year old me in 1984 thought this film was okay. I mean it was the 1980s where one shot from a gun could set off multiple massive explosions and men settled their differences with sledgehammers. What wasn’t there to like? However, as I grew older, I realized how surreal the movie was almost bordering on the ridiculous.

“Streets of Fire” is about a famous rock singer named Ellen Aim who gets kidnapped by a motorcycle gang, led by a guy named Raven played Willem Dafoe, while performing a gig in her home town. Without going into great detail, Ellen is rescued by former boyfriend Tom with the help of an ex-army girl named McCoy played by Amy Madigan. After many explosions and action sequences where they receive aid from an all black doo-wop band called the Sorrells, Tom and Raven have their predictable show down at the end. First with the fore-mentioned sledgehammers and then with fists. Therefore, Dafoe gets his ass kicked twice. Other little details include Rick Moranis, playing the usual nerd but this time it’s in a serious role as Ellen Aim’s manager and current boyfriend. His best line in the film is, “It’s the shits.” He says it several times and his performance, while good, never made me think that doing “Honey I Shrunk the Kids” was a bad career move. The best performance was by Amy Madigan who did receive a nomination for best supporting actress, so I’m not just saying it because Mrs 80smetalman is a huge Amy Madigan fan.

Amy Madigan as McCoy

Rick Moranis as Ellen Aim’s manager. “It’s the shits.”

Willem Dafoe as Raven. Note the pvc dungarees.

Okay, the film wasn’t Oscar material but that doesn’t stop it from having a rather cool soundtrack. When it first came out, MTV plugged the film by constantly playing the video from the first single, Fire Inc’s “Tonight Is What it Means to Be Young.” I do really like the song which was probably why it didn’t go anywhere in the charts. The most successful song as far as chart success was “I Can Dream About You” by Dan Hartman. It is a good song but the irony here is that in the film, the song is performed by The Sorrells. Back in 1984 many people were amazed that a song performed by a black quartet in the film was actually sung by a white man. I think it’s great we’re more wiser about these things nowadays.

Dan Hartman

The Sorrells in Streets of Fire

While all the songs I’ve mentioned are good ones, for me, it’s the rockabilly songs that make this soundtrack. The two tracks by The Blasters are the best songs here and “Hold That Snake” by Ry Cooder gets the bronze. All three of these tracks are just really damn cool and the soundtrack wouldn’t be nearly as good without them. For the record, the song by The Fixx, while good as well, didn’t have me wanting to check out future material without hearing it first.

So, is “Streets of Fire” a bad film with a really cool soundtrack? Well, it’s not a bad film, but it does have a killer soundtrack.

Next post: Great and Not So Great Movies of 1984

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1508165794&sr=8-3&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great(ish) Soundtracks of 1984: Footloose

Posted in 1980s, films, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, soundtracks, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 11, 2017 by 80smetalman

 

There was a very strange trend in regards to movie soundtracks in the mid 1980s. It seems that in order to appeal to all forms of music lovers, there would be songs representing nearly every genre. There would be some trendy pop songs, some rock, some soul oriented songs and even a heavy metal jam or two. This is exactly the case with the soundtrack for the film, “Footloose” which came out in the very beginning for this year.

Let’s start with the trendy. Kenny Loggins was already known for hit songs from soundtracks. He achieved it with the 1980 film, “Caddyshack.” So, it was no surprise that he sings the title track to the film. It has always been one of those songs I’ve neither loved or hated. The “Footloose” soundtrack also gave one hit wonder Deneice Williams her one hit with “Let’s Hear it For the Boy.” That song seemed to be on every AM radio station during the summer of 1984. I’ve heard worse but I’ve certainly heard far better. On the other hand, the soundtrack was unable to give 1982 one hit wonder Karla Banoff her second hit. It’s a song that’s just there. Then comes the usual practice of using former hits like Bonnie Tyler’s “Holding Out for a Hero.” Finally, there’s the let’s take two singers from established bands and have them do a duet for the soundtrack. Cue, Mike Reno of Loverboy and Ann Wilson from Heart with “Almost Paradise.” It was supposed to be a power ballad that draws rock lovers and top forty fans together but no, it doesn’t. Both singers do a good job on the song and it’s better than most of the other tracks but not good enough to get into my top power ballad list.

Let’s side track for a moment. I have an experience with “Almost Paradise.” Mrs 80smetalman and I chose it for our wedding at our local registry office. Three weeks before our wedding, we get a letter from the registrar stating that we can’t use the song because it has religious connotations, which is not allowed at a civil wedding in the UK. I wonder if they would have said the same if I asked for a Deicide song.

Back to the point, “Dancing in the Sheets” by Shalamar was a definite attempt by the movie makers to appeal to music lovers of African origin. It’s like, let’s put in a song by a black band and black people will buy the soundtrack. That’s my take on it. Now, for true rock lovers like me and you, there’s the classic John Cougar song, “Hurt So Good” and another attempt to bridge the rock/top 40 gap, let’s bring back the Foreigner classic ballad, “Waiting for a Girl Like You.” Now to the metal, we got the great “Metal Health” by the then up and coming Quiet Riot but for me the best song on this soundtrack has to be Sammy Hagar’s “The Girl Gets Around.” Maybe someone heard the “Heavy Metal” soundtrack and said, “Hey, let’s use a Sammy Hagar song.” At least they chose a good one.

A note about the film: “Footloose” is about a teenage boy, played by Kevin Bacon, who moves into a small town, which is run by people who are anti-music. The local reverend is the spearhead of the anti-rock campaign. Of course, Kevin and the music win the day and music is allowed in the town but maybe Hollywood was onto something here. The religious right’s war on music was just in the early stages in 1984 and maybe this film could be a prophecy of things that could come about. It’s something to think about. Oh yes, the track by unknown band Moving Pictures called “Never” isn’t bad but it never (pun intended) made me want to explore their discography.

Track Listing:

  1. Footloose- Kenny Loggins
  2. Let’s Hear it For the Boy- Deneice Williams
  3. Almost Paradise- Mike Reno and Ann Williams
  4. Holding Out For a Hero- Bonnie Tyler
  5. Dancing in the Sheets- Shalamar
  6. I’m Free (Heaven Helps the Man)- Kenny Loggins
  7. Somebody’s Eyes- Karla Bonoff
  8. The Girl Gets Around- Sammy Hagar
  9. Never- Moving Pictures
  10. Metal Health (Bang Your Head)- Quiet Riot
  11. Hurt So Good- John Cougar
  12. Waiting for a Girl Like You- Foreigner
  13. Dancing in the Sheets (12 inch mix)- Shalamar

Quiet Riot

Bonnie Tyler

John Cougar Mellencamp

Foreigner

Sammy Hagar

“Footloose” wouldn’t be the only film whose soundtrack got the ‘corporate’ treatment. While there’s something for everyone, at least it’s thought so, there’s not enough songs here for me to ever go out and buy the album. Besides, I already have the tracks I do like from here on other albums.

Next post: Streets of Fire

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1507754027&sr=8-3&keywords=michael+d+lefevre