Archive for November, 2017

Great Metal Albums of 1984: Ted Nugent- Penetrator

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

Guess what? For this Ted Nugent post, I’m not going to say anything about his politics. Even I know when to stop beating a dead horse. So instead, I’ll focus on his 1984 album, “Penetrator,” which was universally criticized by the metal world for his use of keyboards on the album. To my shame, even I was one of those critics. Thankfully, there’s a much older and questionably wiser me to listen to the album with a more objective mind. My thoughts: “Penetrator” still doesn’t make me want to put albums like “Cat Scratch Fever,” “Weekend Warriors” and “Scream Dream” nor any of his kick ass live albums on the scrap heap but it’s still a pretty good album.

The use of keyboards come through straight away on the opening song, “Tied Up In Love” but not until after a really cool guitar intro only which Terrible Ted can do. Before, I risk repeating myself over and over, the keyboards do make their presence known on many of the songs but they play a subordinate role on the album. Take the second song for example, “(Where Do You) Draw the Line.” This song was written by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance so one might be forgiven for thinking this was going to be some keyboard dominated soft rock song, it’s not. Ted’s guitar magic comes through very loud and abundantly clear. While still present, the keyboards take even more of a back seat on “Knocking at Your Door.” There are some good guitar riffs to lead the song and Ted nails the guitar solo perfectly. Even more so on the track after “Don’t You Want My Love.” Here the keys are almost non existent. Almost, but there are plenty of Nugent style rocking to be heard on it.

A curious twist comes up with “Go Down Fighting.” This is a song title that you would expect to be a belt it out of the park rocker but the keyboards make their presence known on it, almost making it a Journey type song. The strange thing is that the intro reminds me of Savatage, yeah really. Fortunately, Ted works his guitar magic so you know which side of the fence the song really is. Any doubts of that are dispelled with “Thunder Thighs.” This is a great rocker where Ted just takes control and jams and I hear not one trace of keyboards. It’s just Ted being how he always had been in albums past. However, I sometimes am reluctant to declare it my favourite song on the album because of the sexist connotations behind the title. “No Man’s Land” is just as heavy, if not more than it’s predecessor. Where you think there might be a keyboard at the chorus, there isn’t. After a couple of decent but non descriptive tracks is the closer “Take Me Home.” Again, maybe it’s me but this sounds like a Southern Rock anthem. Not something I’d expect from Ted Nugent but it’s the best song for the closer.

Looking at the credits and remembering recent posts, it turns out that Bobby Chouinard’s drum skills were in great demand in 1984. He played on some of the tracks of both Gary Moore albums I recently posted about and he plays on this entire album. It leads me to conclude that his skills have been forgotten about in later years and this is a travesty because, he’s that good.

Track Listing:

  1. Tied Up In Love
  2. (Where Do You) Draw the Line
  3. Knockin’ At Your Door
  4. Don’t You Want My Love
  5. Go Down Fighting
  6. Thunder Thighs
  7. No Man’s Land
  8. Blame it On the Night
  9. Lean Mean R&R Machine
  10. Take Me Home

Ted Nugent

Ted Nugent_ guitars, lead vocals

Brian Howe- lead vocals

Alan St John- keyboards- vocals

Doug Lubahn-bass

Bobby Chouinard- drums

Two interesting notes regarding Ted Nugent, the first coming from this post. Two years on, I would see Ted Nugent live with Savatage in support. It was a great concert even if it was poorly attended. The other was after my last Ted Nugent post, I put him down on the Bloodstock wishlist. The only comment I got back was someone saying they would love for him to play Bloodstock but he has only come to the UK four times since 1988. Anyway, back to “Penetrator.” This album was far better than I remembered it back in 1984, keyboards or not.

Next post: Great White

To get Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://spread-luv.ga/info/kindle-free-e-books-rock-and-roll-children-by-michael-d-lefevre-9781609763558-pdf.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Great Metal Albums of 1984: Lita Ford- Dancing on the Edge

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

With heavy metal actually dominating the rock music scene in the summer of 1984, (trust me, it did), metal acts were coming out of the woodwork thick and fast. It was only right that a female metal artist come forward in what is a male dominated world. The metal world had Girlschool and Rock Goddess from England and from the USA came former Runaways guitarist Lita Ford. “Dancing on the Edge” was her second album and I’m kicking myself for never noting her first one but it was this album which made me and the rest of the world take notice.

“Dancing on the Edge” came out amidst controversy in Lita’s personal life. First there was her supposed feud with former Runaways band members Joan Jett and Cherrie Currie. From what I’ve read, the feud with Joan was more or less fabricated by Joan Jett’s management who didn’t want Lita anywhere near their star. She was also engaged to Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi at the time and he appears in the video for “Dressed to Kill” from this album. However, Lita has said that the relationship was marred with physical abuse due to Tony’s drug problems back then. Therefore, it’s an amazing endorsement of Lita Ford herself that she could put out such a killer album in spite of all the things in her personal life.

Cutting right to the chase, let me just say that “Dancing on the Edge” is a fantastic metal album. There a lots of great power chords and Lita has a great voice but the best thing is that she can really shred. She does this very well on every song. So well in fact, that it has always been difficult for me to pick a favourite track on the album. Each time I listen, I discover something small in a song that I hadn’t noticed when I heard it before. Therefore, I am forced to conclude that the album simply has nine fantastic songs of pure metal mania. God, I’m pinching quotes from Dee Snider. While Lita shines on vocals and guitar, she has two very capable musicians providing that all important rhythm section. On bass was Hugh McDonald who is currently with Bon Jovi and Randy Castillo who would later play for Ozzy Osbourne and Motley Crue on the drums. That can only help make “Dancing on the Edge” that much better.

Track Listing:

  1. Gotta Let Go
  2. Dancing on the Edge
  3. Dressed to Kill
  4. Hit’N Run
  5. Lady Killer
  6. Still Waitin’
  7. Fire in My Heart
  8. Don’t Let Me Down Tonight
  9. Run With the $

Lita Ford- vocals, guitar

Hugh McDonald- bass

Randy Castillo- drums

Geoff Leib- synthesizers, backing vocals

Robbie Kondor and Aldo Nova- synthesizers

“Dancing on the Edge” cemented Lita’s permanent foothold as a serious metal artist in 1984. From there, her legacy would continue to this day with loads more great albums.

Next post: Ted Nugent- Penetrator

To get Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://spread-luv.ga/info/kindle-free-e-books-rock-and-roll-children-by-michael-d-lefevre-9781609763558-pdf.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1984: Gary Moore- We Want Moore

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 22, 2017 by 80smetalman

Listening to Gary Moore’s live album, “We Want Moore,” while it is a killer album all the way, it also brings on my regret of never having seen him live. I nearly did in 2000. While passing by what was then Colston Hall in Bristol, (it’s now called the Bristol O2 Academy), I saw that Gary was down to do a show a few weeks later. However, when I phoned the venue, I was informed that tickets had already sold out. What a bummer, I know. Therefore, I have to listen to his live albums like this one and reflect on what could have been.

“We Want Moore” coming right after his latest studio album, “Victims of the Future,” it’s no surprise that four tracks from that album are on this live one. Remembering the track, “Murder in the Skies,” from said studio album, I was a little surprised at first that it would be the opener on the live album. However, it is and it works. Like any good opening song is supposed to do, be it album or concert, “Murder” grabs the listener by the throat and demands that they listen to the album and like it. It does set the tone for the rest of the album.

What is great album a live album is that many artists aren’t as constrained by the songs when they play them live. With the exception of the “End of the World” and “So Far Away,” all of the other songs are in excess of five minutes, three of those are more than eight and “Cold Hearted” is more than ten! The reason for the increase in length is so that Gary can work his magic with the guitar, which he does on every song on here. When I previously posted about the “Victims” album, I raved about his guitar efforts on “Shapes of Things.” Well, he makes the song even better on the live album! It is eight minutes plus of a good song mingled with lots of fancy playing from Gary. He does likewise with the other songs as well and why I think that the live album outshines the studio album by miles.

Historical note: four of the songs were recorded in Detroit and four in Glasgow. One was done at the Hammersmith Odeon in London and the other was recorded at the famous Budokan in Tokyo. The way it’s put together though, the album sounds like it could have been recorded all on the same night. It makes me almost feel I was there, which what a live album should do.

Track Listing:

  1. Murder in the Skies
  2. Shapes of Things
  3. Victims of the Future
  4. Cold Hearted
  5. End of the World
  6. Back on the Streets
  7. So Far Away
  8. Empty Rooms
  9. Don’t Treat Me Like a Loser
  10. Rockin’ and Rollin’

Gary Moore

Gary Moore- lead vocals, lead guitar

Neil Carter- keyboards, rhythm guitar, backing vocals

Craig Gruber- bass, backing vocals

Ian Paice- drums on tracks 4-8 & 10

Bobby Chouinard- drums on track 1-3 & 9

Jimmy Nail- backing vocals track 10

Of course I regret never having seen Gary Moore live and I wished I had passed by Colston Hall a week or two sooner, I might have been able to get a ticket. Fortunately, there is a great live album in “We Want Moore” to soften the pain.

Next post: Lita Ford- Dancing on the Edge

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=1511373180&sr=8-3&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1984: Gary Moore- Victims of the Future

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 19, 2017 by 80smetalman

 

UK Album Cover

North American Album Cover

Gary Moore as a solo artist didn’t enter my radar until 1986 when I went over to England. Before that and I am ashamed of my naivety at the time, I only knew Gary as the guitarist who used to be in Thin Lizzy. Fortunately, I got a full course in the music of Gary Moore when I did get there thanks to a friend who was a big fan. As a result I got to hear lots of his albums including this one, “Victims of the Future” and I can say that my education in this subject has been top notch. Thirty years on, I have to say a special thanks to Kieran Devlin for being my teacher.

My first impressions of “Victims of the Future” as with many Gary Moore albums, now as it was then, was “He can really play a guitar.” His trademark solos permeate this album and now I am tempted to go into a rant as to how underrated he has been.  That might be true in North American terms but he has always been considered one of the greats here in Britain and of course his native Ireland. Just listen to “Shapes of Things” because that is in my opinion, his best guitar work on the album.

Many of the songs here are straight forward rock anthems. My personal favourite is “Teenage Idol” because that one comes out and hits me in the face the most. “Murder in the Skies” has a very cool guitar intro where he rips up the chords before the meat of the song comes pounding through. A look at history reveals that Gary wrote the song in protest of the Soviets shooting down Korean airline 007 in 1983. The same can be said for “The Devil in Her Heart” which is only on the US release. This is a good rocking song so I don’t know why it’s omitted from the UK version. “Law of the Jungle” is another exemplary rocker and the way it fades out makes it a great closer but he does go a little mellow with “Empty Rooms.” You can call it a ballad but he lays down some good guitar work on it.

Not only does Gary shine on “Victims of the Future,” he enlists some great musicians. Ian Paice of Deep Purple fame plays drums on half the tracks and Bob Daisley who played with Ozzy provides the bass work on two. Noddy Holder of Slade steps in to provide backing vocals on one song. The others who support may not be as recognized but they still do a magnificent job. Therefore, the album has all one needs to be great, good vocals, a steady rhythm section and of course, Gary’s guitar solos.

Track Listing (UK)

  1. Victims of the Future
  2. Teenage Idol
  3. Shapes of Things
  4. Empty Rooms
  5. Murder in the Skies
  6. Hold Onto Love
  7. All I Want
  8. Law of the Jungle

Track Listing (US)

  1. Victims of the Future
  2. Teenage Idol
  3. Devil in Her Heart
  4. Empty Rooms
  5. All I Want (cassette only)
  6.  Shapes of Things
  7. Murder in the Skies
  8. Hold Onto Love
  9. Law of the Jungle

Gary Moore

Gary Moore- guitars, vocals

Neil Murray- bass on tracks 1,3,7 & 8

Mo Foster- bass on tracks 4 & 6

Bob Daisley- bas on tracks 2 & 5

Ian Paice- drums on tracks 1,3,4 & 8

Bobby ‘Prime Time’ Chouinard- drums on tracks 2,5,6 & 7

Neil Carter- keyboards

Noddy Holder- backing vocals on “Shapes of Things”

So thirty-one years on, I have to say “thank you Kieran” for introducing me to Gary Moore and playing his albums for me, “Victims of the Future” included among them.

Other news: A band I have been promoting on 80smetalman, Black Emerald, has invited me to their album launch party in Reading, UK on February 10. Needless to say, I am excited and you will get a full report of the night’s festivities.

Next Post: Since I’m in a Gary Moore mood, it will be his 1984 live album, “We Want Moore.”

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=1511084083&sr=8-3&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Malcolm Young: R.I.P

Posted in Death, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 18, 2017 by 80smetalman

Another great legend goes to the great gig in the sky.

1537

My favourite member of the best rock band there has ever been has died today.  Rock in Peace.

Back in Black.

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Great Metal Albums of 1984: Grim Reaper- See You In Hell

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 16, 2017 by 80smetalman

Whenever the new wave of British heavy metal or NWOBHM is mentioned, it is usually Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Def Leppard and Saxon who spring to mind first. These great bands blazed a trail for metal bands from both sides of the Atlantic to follow. Leading the chase out of Great Britain was the heavy metal outfit, Grim Reaper. For me, the name alone made them worth giving them a listen and that turned out to be a very wise choice.

Coming from Droitwich which is in Worcestershire, England and only about 20 miles from Birmingham, there is no surprise in the Judas Priest influence with the band. However, lead singer Steve Grimmett has a vocal style that is somewhat like Iron Maiden although I can at times hear a little of Halford as well. Okay, I’m a wishy-washy bastard. Anyway, with this mighty infusion, it is little wonder that Grim Reaper sounds as good as they do and why I think their debut album, “See You in Hell” is cool.

The title track, which is the band’s best known song leads the charge. Listening to it, it is no wonder why it’s number 38 on VHS Most Awesome Bad Metal Songs Ever. It’s definitely my all time favourite Grim Reaper song. However, the seven other songs on the album aren’t far behind and make sure that it’s not a one song album. All throughout the album are the bashing power chords and way out soloing of guitarist Nick Bowcott and the fore-mentioned vocals of Grimmett. All of which are supported by a more than capable rhythm section of Dave Wanklin and Lee Harris. This makes it difficult for me to pick out a standout song beyond the title track. They are all stomp on your face metal tunes that rock. The only possible exception is the slower, at times ballad like “The Show Must Go On.” While quality wise, its as good but no better  than the other tracks, it does depart from the hammering chords of those songs and shows that Grim Reaper are versatile. Bowcott’s guitar work is quite eerily outstanding on it. However, that only changes things up slightly before the closer blasts your ears to pieces.

Track Listing:

  1. See You in Hell
  2. Dead On Arrival
  3. Liar
  4. Wrath of the Ripper
  5. Now or Never
  6. Run For Your Life
  7. The Show Must Go On
  8. All Hell Let Loose

Grim Reaper

Steve Grimmett- vocals

Nick Bowcott- guitars

Dave Wanklin- bass

Lee Harris- drums

Grim Reaper’s debut “See You in Hell” album led the charge for what many thought would be a second new wave of British heavy metal. Especially with Maiden and Priest coming out with albums the same year. In 1984, that was true and though things would go sour for this band a few years later, this is still an album to be proud of.

Next post: Gary Moore- Victims of the Future

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_8?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1510850234&sr=1-8&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1984: Black N Blue

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on November 13, 2017 by 80smetalman

Back in 1984, I was still pretty much relying on commercial media to bring me news of new albums and bands. I have to admit that in the early part of the year, MTV was a reliable source although this would quickly change towards the end of 1984. However, as commercial media was becoming less reliable in heavy metal terms, word of mouth and scouring record stores’ stock proved to be a God send. It was through the former method as to how I discovered the debut album from Black’n Blue.

If you have never heard the album before, you might react with a “This sounds very 80s” comment. True, I can see that, there is a definite 80s metal vibe here but I didn’t care at all back then and I don’t care now. The lyrics are definitely so but again, they make the songs fun. Take the second track, “School of Hard Rocks” where the lyrics go, “We’re gonna rock your socks off.” There are probably thousands of bands who have penned lyrics like this in the past three decades but for me, Black’ n Blue were the first ones to do it in a way that I really liked.

Funny thing, not long after I listened to the album, their best known single of all time, “Hold Onto 18” did get played on MTV. Although that was possibly the only time I saw the video for the song. I might have caught it again another time but my memory is playing tricks on me. This song was a banner for those who were reaching that age in 1984, like my sister. I was 23 and had spent four years serving my country but even I could appreciate the sentiment of the lyrics. Besides, it is a very powerful song to begin with.

The three tracks  before “Hold Onto 18” are all of that 1980s metal sound, if you believe there is such a thing. However, the track after, “Wicked Bitch” kicks things up several gears. This is a great metal tune that could fit well into any decade with fantastic power chords and a blistering guitar solo. Following that is a good cover of The Sweet classic, “Action.” They do metal it up quite well. That metal power continues through the remaining songs. All of them are kick ass power rockers.

Track Listing:

  1. The Strong Will Rock
  2. School of Hard Rocks
  3. Autoblast
  4. Hold Onto 18
  5. Wicked Bitch
  6. Action
  7. Show Me the Night
  8. One for the Money
  9. I’m the King
  10. The Chains Around Heaven

Black’n Blue

Jamie St James- lead and backing vocals

Tommy Thayer- guitar, backing vocals

Jeff ‘Woop’ Warner- guitar, backing vocals

Patrick Young- bass, backing vocals

Pete Holmes- drums

The great thing about 1984 was it helped to put bands I would have never heard of onto my radar. I guess I should be grateful for that. It’s also good that one of those bands was Black’n Blue because their debut album is killer. While it does get a mention in “Rock and Roll Children,” it isn’t for another year in the story and in my life where they get more into the spotlight.

Next post: Grim Reaper- See You In Hell

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1510595469&sr=8-1&keywords=michael+d+lefevre