Archive for April, 2019

Great Punk Albums of 1985: Dead Kennedys- Frankenchrist

Posted in Uncategorized on April 28, 2019 by 80smetalman

220px-Dead_Kennedys_-_Frankenchrist_cover

“Frankenchrist” was the third full length and most controversial album from the San Francisco punk outfit, Dead Kennedys. The band steered away from their hardcore punk and more towards a psychedelic side. For one, they introduced the use of keyboards and East Bay Ray’s guitar playing has been described as more atmospheric than on previous DK albums. I’ll get to that in a moment but some of the songs are slower and longer but other songs prove that they hadn’t completely abandoned the sound that shot them to the top of the punk scene in the early 1980s.

On the subject of East Bay Ray’s guitar playing on “Frankenchrist.” At that time, everyone was talking about the unique guitar sound of The Edge from U2 and I don’t disagree that he played some great licks on those early albums. However, I’m going to go out on a limb and venture the opinion that East Bay Ray blows him away with his guitar playing. His psychedelic-punk licks are splattered all over the album and for me, it is what makes this album unique and so brilliant. Backed up great vocals and a super rhythm section, he is simply allowed to shine. “Chicken Farm” is the best example.

Another great aspect of this album is the topics covered in the songs. The band, especially Jello Biafra, wasn’t afraid to speak out about the problems in 1985 through the music. Take the opener, “Soup is Good Food.” It’s about how someone gets made redundant from their job but after six weeks their unemployment benefit runs out so they’re no longer an unemployment statistic. All through 1984 and 85, the Regan administration kept saying how unemployment was going down when all they did was fiddle the figures. Then again, the Dead Kennedys were never afraid of being controversial.

The track “Jock-O-Rama” pokes fun at how high schools push sports over learning and how athletes, American football players especially get treated like Gods and can get away with things like getting drunk and then crashing the car. The verse about the injured player really sums the attitude of the time. It does reflect a scene from “Rock And Roll Children” where some football players start a fight with the main characters and when it’s broken up, teacher’s sympathies lie towards the jocks.

Of all the tracks, however, the best one is “MTV Get Off the Air.” This was very topical of the time because by 1985, MTV really began to suck and became nothing more than a glorified commercial radio station. These lyrics sum it up perfectly:

It’s a new frontier they say

It’s wide open, anything can happen

But you have a lot of nerve to call yourselves a pioneer

When you are too conservative to take real chances.

Track Listing:

  1. Soup is Good Food
  2. Hellnation
  3. This Could Be Anywhere
  4. A Growing Boy Needs His Lunch
  5. Chicken Farm
  6. Jock-O-Rama
  7. Goons of Hazzard
  8. MTV- Get Off the Air
  9. At My Job
  10. Stars and Stripes of Corruption
untitled

Dead Kennedys

Jello Biafra- lead vocals

East Bay Ray- guitar, synthesizer, 12 string bellzouki

Klaus Floride- bass, backing vocals

DH Peligro- drums, backing vocals

Additional Musicians

John Leib- trumpet on “MTV Get Off the Air”

Tim Jones- keyboards on “A Growing Boy Needs His Lunch”

“Frankenchrist” marked a change of direction for the Dead Kennedys but it was a turn for the good. In spite of this being such a great album, it did land the band, Jello Biafra especially in hot water. The four men photographed on the album cover sued the band, I guess for misappropriation of their images even though the photo first appeared in Newsweek magazine in the 1970s, nearly a full decade before the release of this album. Even worse, in 1986, criminal charges would be filed against Jello Biafra for distribution of obscene material to minors. This was down to the picture on the inner sleeve of HR Greiger’s painting called “Landscape XX” which showed a garden of penises and vaginas. More details of that will be told when I get to 1986.

Next post: Venom- Official Bootleg

To download Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://c-newfreepdf.cf/olddocs/freedownloadonlinerock-and-rollchildren-pdf-1609763556-by-michaeldlefevre 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Great Metal Albums of 1985: Kix- Midnite Dynamite

Posted in Uncategorized on April 25, 2019 by 80smetalman

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Sometimes, things just don’t change. When I first listened to Kix’s 1985 album, “Midnite Dynamite,” I thought it was a good album but not one to stand out and be noticed. When I listened to it again, a couple of times, recently, I thought that the reason it didn’t standout so much was down to all the other great metal albums of the year and that “Midnite Dynamite” got lost among them. However, thirty-four years on, I’m still of the same opinion. Everything to make this album great is there but nothing stands out, it’s just a good metal album.

While not standout, there is nothing wrong with this album. Kix did try to turn things up a notch by drafting in Bob Halligan Jr who has written songs for Judas Priest, Blue Oyster Cult and KISS, a very impressive resume to say the least. He co-wrote the first seven songs along with Donnie Purnell and there is nothing wrong with the song writing. The lyrics may not be as thought provoking like Bob Dylan or Pink Floyd, in fact they pretty much stick to heavy metal related themes. You know sex and in the case of “Layin’ Rubber,” fast cars, there’s a really cool guitar solo on that song by the way. The ballad, “Walkin’ Away,” is the typical lovelorn lament that has some good power chords but for some reason, I can’t take it seriously and I don’t mean in a Steel Panther “Community Property” kind of way either. Still, like I said, the power chords are fantastic.

Songwriting is good and I have to point out that the band plays the songs well. Metal hooks are plenty on the album and some good guitar soloing. Plus, Donnie Purnell plays a cool bass line on “Cold Shower.” I sometimes wonder if the vocals of Steve Whiteman is a detriment here but he’s not bad. Sometimes it does sound like he’s trying to be Vince Neil but his performance on “Scarlet Fever” along with the cool metal intro and guitar solo make it the gem of the album. Furthermore, Anton Figg is brought in for drumming duties on two of the tracks which adds extra dimension to things. So, everything was there to make this album a potential to be one of the biggest ones of the year, unfortunately, it doesn’t quite come up to it.

Track Listing:

  1. Midnite Dynamite
  2. Red hot (Black and Blue)
  3. Bang Bang (Balls of Fire)
  4. Layin’ Rubber
  5. Walkin’ Away
  6. Scarlet Fever
  7. Cry Baby
  8. Cold Shower
  9. Lie Like a Rug
  10. Sex
kix

Kix

Steve Whiteman- lead vocals, harmonica and saxophone

Ronnie “10/10” Younkins- guitar

Brian “Damage” Forstythe- guitar

Donnie Purnell- bass, keyboards, backing vocals, co-lead vocal on “Cold Shower”

Jimmy “Chocolate” Chalfont- drums, percussion, backing vocals, co-lead vocal on “Cold Shower”

Additional Musicians

Anton Figg- drums on tracks 9 and 10

Mike Slammer- guitar on tracks 5 and 6

Beau Hill- additional keyboards and guitars

8osmetalman Theory: Had Kix put this album out in 1982, it would have been considered one of the important albums of that year. However, it was made in 1985 and therefore drowned out by so many more important ones. Still, it’s a good metal album to listen to.

Next Post: Dead Kennedys- Frankenchrist

To download Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://c-newfreepdf.cf/olddocs/freedownloadonlinerock-and-rollchildren-pdf-1609763556-by-michaeldlefevre 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1985: UFO- Misdemeanor

Posted in Uncategorized on April 22, 2019 by 80smetalman

220px-Misdemeanor_albumcover

Following the death of guitar/keyboards player Paul Raymond the week before last, I thought it very appropriate to post on UFO’s 1985, “Misdemeanor.” Here’s what I didn’t know: UFO had actually disbanded the year before following their disastrous “Making Contact” tour. Singer Phil Mogg remained in Los Angeles where he contacted guitarist Atomik Tommy M. (Tommy McClendon) with the intention of reforming the band. Paul did rejoin the band and it resulted in the making and release of the band’s twelfth album, “Misdemeanor.”

Here lies the problem with UFO and “Misdemeanor.” These days, this album would have been praised as a great progressive metal album, which is exactly what it is. There is some good metal guitar vibes woven around some intricate keyboards compliments of the late Raymond. Unfortunately, back in 1985, so called pure metalists would have branded the band and the album ‘wimpy’ for it’s use of keyboards. These people would have said UFO was trying to sound too commercial. However, I don’t do labels and have always let my own ears judge a band or an album.

For me, the inclusion of keyboards with heavy metal has always been a good thing. After all, it worked for Deep Purple, Rush and Dio and it works well on this album too. The first three tracks may lean a little to the Survivor sound but there is enough hard rock to keep it from going totally that way. The fourth track, the power ballad, “The Only Ones” might give the same feeling of 1980s commercialness but it is a cool track and provides a buffer to mark a change of direction in things. Following on is two rather harder rock tracks “Meanstreets” and “Name of Love.” “Blue” starts outs as if its going to be another power ballad but turns into a great rocking track, the best on the album in my opinion. “Dream the Dream” is a ballad, not as powerful as “The Only Ones” but done well with a cool guitar solo. The final two tracks sums this album up, good hard rock with some great keyboard melodies to back them up.

While all the members of UFO make great contributions to “Misdemeanor,” what comes through loud and clear on just about every track is the guitar work of Atomik Tommy M. I mean, why haven’t I heard of this guy before because gee, can he wail a guitar and does so clearly and with much consistency. However, as this post is also a dedication to the late Paul Raymond, his keyboard skills are first rate here and it is quite clear that the guitar-keyboards combination of Atomk and Raymond is quite lethal. There could have been great things from this combo had not Paul left the band in 1986.

Track Listing:

  1. This Time
  2. One Heart
  3. Night Run
  4. The Only Ones
  5. Meanstreets
  6. Name of Love
  7. Blue
  8. Dream the Dream
  9. Heaven’s Gate
  10. Wreckless

ufo

UFO

Phil Mogg- vocals

Atomik Tommy M- lead guitar

Paul Raymond- keyboards, guitar

Paul Gray- bass

Jim Simpson- drums

It could be argued here that possibly UFO were ahead of their time. The “Misdemeanor” album seems to have been caught in that chasm which existed at the time between too heavy metal and too commercial pop. All I can say that this is a cool album with some great musicianship to be had.

Next post: Kix- Midnite Dynamite

To download Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://c-newfreepdf.cf/olddocs/freedownloadonlinerock-and-rollchildren-pdf-1609763556-by-michaeldlefevre 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Protecting Our Neighbourhood- The Final Part

Posted in Uncategorized on April 21, 2019 by 80smetalman

One evening, Philip answered a knock on his front door. He opened to find DS Wilkes and a uniformed constable. “Mr Baker, may we come in?” the detective sergeant asked politely.

Is it about the robbery?” Phil asked opening the door wider. Stopping suddenly, he pointed out to the officers, “I was there that night, nor did I make a report of the robbery, so why do you need to talk to me?”

We just need to ask you a few questions,” came the reply.

Phil let the officers in. They followed him to the living room, pausing while he picked up his little boy. As they entered, the two officers greeted Carly, whose bump was now extended out, noticeably showing she was pregnant. Phil bade the officers to sit down while Carly made the offer of drinks, which the guests politely declined.

DS Wilkes began, “We caught the two men who committed the burglary your friends took pictures of.”

Phil felt the excitement beginning to build as the officer continued, “But we won’t be charging them.”

His excitement instantly deflated and all Phil could muster was a meek, “Why not?”

This is why,” DS Wilkes stated as he reached into his pocket and pulled out a piece of paper and handed it over to Phil. It was the leaflet he had made and distributed around the estates inviting people to join his neighbourhood watch.

It was given to me by one of the defendant’s solicitors. A few weeks before the reported crime, you and your friends posted these leaflets all around the area. It seems that you have formed some sort of vigilante group around the neighbourhood. The solicitor told me that his client has seen groups of people walking around the area like vigilantes. The fact that you formed this so-called neighbourhood watch without police consent makes the pictures you took inadmissible in court. Therefore, we have to let them off.”

Phil couldn’t believe his ears. “Do you mean that because I, along with some concerned citizens, decided to protect our estates, you can’t charge a burglar who was caught and photographed in the act?”

I’m afraid so. If this went to court, any defence barrister would rubbish this. They would paint an even darker picture of vigilantes roaming the streets frightening people. That’s why the prosecutor won’t even touch it.”

We’re not vigilantes!” Phil protested. “We just wanted to keep our estates safe and everything we did was according to the law.”

Maybe so, but you can’t go around the area acting like you’re the police. If you were that concerned for your community, you should have joined the police force.

I tried to,” Phil explained, “But I never got past the application stage.”

DS Wilkes shrugged sympathetically, “Well that’s too bad, you might have made a good policeman. But that’s not the point. We can’t have gangs of citizens roaming the streets like vigilantes, no matter how well intentioned they are. I have been instructed by my superiors to tell you that you must disband your group. If you fail to comply, you could be charged with perverting the course of justice and taking the law into your own hands.”

Phillip fought back his inclination to say, “I wouldn’t have needed to form the neighbourhood watch if the police did their jobs properly,” but he knew that would only antagonize the situation more. Therefore, he muted agreed to comply with the police’s demand. However, the shock of the entire visit remained with him long after the two officers left.

Phil called an meeting of the neighbourhood watch a few days later and announced that the group was being disbanded. When asked why, he plainly told them about the visit he had from the police. The vast majority of the group were just as shocked as he had been.

That’s typical!” Christian ranted. “We come up with a way to keep our estates safe and the cops say we can’t do it. I say we ignore them and carry on anyway.” There were several comments in agreement with him.

That’s because if the police allow us to continue, then they’re admitting that they can’t do their jobs properly,” Martin pointed out.

Well, they can’t,” Christian fumed. “We know that from what we saw and what happened to Gurpreet.

Christian’s rant revealed that Gurpreet was absent. No one could figure out why and it wasn’t like him. Nevertheless, the announcement was made, the meeting concluded and the group headed down to the bar for a farewell drink.

After an hour or more of drowning their sorrows, the flow of alcohol was numbing the sting of Phil’s announcement. It was then, their absent friend Gurpreet turned up.

Putting his arm around his mate, Troy slurred, “Come join us for a farewell drink.”

Seeing Gurpreet’s bewilderment, Troy further clarified, “The cops have said we have to break up our neighbourhood watch and they’ll arrest us if we don’t.”

Throwing up his hands in disgust, Gurpreet sarcastically chimed, “That makes sense. The reason why I’m late is because my uncle’s shop was broken into last night. Whoever did it cleaned out all the booze and cigarettes and left the place looking like a tip. My uncle called the police and like with me, they told my uncle he has to wait until tomorrow before they can send someone around, which means the shop will have to be closed until then,”

That wouldn’t have happened if we had been out there,” Philip offered in sympathy.

Gurpreet smiled a weak smile, “No it wouldn’t.”

Great Metal Albums of 1985: Hanoi Rocks- Rock and Roll Divorce

Posted in Uncategorized on April 18, 2019 by 80smetalman

220px-Rock_N_Roll_Divorce

“Rock And Roll Divorce” from Hanoi Rocks has been called the sound of a great band falling apart. Even back then, it was plain to see that this great band was on its way out following the tragic death of drummer Razzle and the departure of bassist Sam Yaffa. Furthermore, singer Michael Monroe was planning to leave the band but agreed to do a small tour if a live album wasn’t released. Therefore, this live album from them was only a half official release whatever that means. Still, I do remember seeing it in my local record store in 1985 and picking it up.

Having seen Hanoi Rocks just a few weeks before the tragedy which would lead to their demise struck, I can say that one should not judge their live performance on this record. Apparently, their manager as since stated that “Rock And Roll Divorce” was an awful record that never should have been released. While I can say that my experience of when I saw them live shows they were more capable than what this live album shows, I still don’t think the album is that bad.

The album was recorded from several shows played in then Communist Poland and was referred to as the “Solidarity Tapes” and was supposedly put together for the amusement of the band. I find the album quite amusing as well. They play many of their greatest hits, “Back to Mystery City,” “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” the ballad “Don’t You Ever Leave Me” and my all time favourite Hanoi Rocks song, “Tragedy.” Is that a metaphor for this album? I can’t say. Saying that, I was never impressed with their performance of the CCR classic “Up Around the Bend” on this live album. I’ve heard them do it much better. On the other hand, “Malibu Beach” was done well though I think it might have been a better track to open the album, but that’s just me. “Million Miles Away” is also done quite well.

It seems that Hanoi Rocks, at least Michael Monroe anyway, was simply going through the motions here. There is some good musicianship and there are parts on the album that proves my supposition that Monroe is a very underrated front man, he can get a crowd going. There seems to be things lacking with “Rock and Roll Divorce” and while I enjoy listening to it, the teacher in me keeps thinking that they could have done better.

Track Listing:

  1. Two Steps From the Move
  2. Back to Mystery City
  3. Boulevard of Broken Dreams
  4. Don’t You Ever Leave Me
  5. Tragedy
  6. Malibu Beach
  7. Million Miles Away
  8. Taxi Driver
  9. Up Around the Bend
  10. I Feel All Right
  11. Rock and Roll
  12. Looking At You

hanroc85

Hanoi Rocks

Michael Monroe- vocals

Andy McCoy- guitar

Nasty Suicide- guitar

Rene Berg- bass

Terry Chimes- drums

Note: This live version of “Tragedy” isn’t from the album but since Youtube doesn’t have it, I thought I’d put this version on

Here’s one from Rock and Roll Divorce:

Was “Rock And Roll Divorce” the final death throes of a dying beast, an anti climax from what was a great band or just a way for them to go out on a high? History hasn’t been kind to this album and I can sometimes see why but I can also see the good things about it.

Next post: UFO- Misdemeanor

To download Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://c-newfreepdf.cf/olddocs/freedownloadonlinerock-and-rollchildren-pdf-1609763556-by-michaeldlefevre 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Protecting Our Neighbourhood- Part 5

Posted in Uncategorized on April 16, 2019 by 80smetalman

Two days later, with over a dozen photographs in hand, Gurpreet and Christian, along with Phil, strode into the local police station. Phil was especially proud of his team’s actions and wanted to be there when they reported the crime to the police. Feeling a great sense of pride, the trio approached the reception desk where Christian informed the attending officer, “We’re here about the burglary I reported two nights ago, the one on St. Stephens Street.”

Looking very confused, the officer told them to wait before disappearing. So they waited and waited for about 45 minutes before another officer, this one in plain clothes, returned. Apologetically, he explained, “Sorry to keep you waiting for so long but it took us a while to find your report of the burglary. The person whose house you say was broken into did make a report so we had to make sure yours and his was the same thing. Now, which one of you made the call?”

Christian put up his hand while at the same time saying, “I did.”

The officer, a tall white man in his mid-thirties, identified himself as DS Wilkes before beckoning them to follow him. The detective sergeant led them to a small interview room and asked them to sit down.

Do you have something to add about the burglary?” he asked

We have these,” Gurpreet responded with great glee as he laid the photos before the sergeant.

DS Wilkes was speechless! His jaw dropped as he studied each photograph very intently with his mouth agape. Meanwhile, the three friends fidgeted in their chairs with nervous excitement and when the DS did speak several minutes later, he asked, “How did you get these?”

Taking the lead, Christian relayed that night’s events. “I was walking down St. Stephens Street around half past eleven the other night with my friend Nikita who couldn’t be here today, when we saw this figure run between the houses. A minute later, we heard noise like glass breaking, that was when I dialed 999 and asked for you lot. We decided to hang around just in case, when Gurpreet here and his friend Martin, who also can’t be here today. That was when this white van pulled up and we saw the driver get out and together with the first guy, started putting things in the back of the van. That was when we thought we should take these pictures.”

Still taking in the enormity of what Christian had told him, DS Wilkes asked, “When did you take the photos of the broken window?”

We hung around for an hour waiting for you to turn up and when you didn’t, I decided to go between the houses and that’s when I saw the broken window. So I took a picture of it.”

I see,” was all the police officer could muster. Then, turning to Phil, he asked, “What was your role in all of this? Were you there?”

No, no,” Phil admitted, “I am just here to give my friends moral support.”

Oh,” DS Wilkes simply nodded. Looking at Christian and Gurpreet, he stated, “From what I see here, you two would make good policemen.”

The three men all laughed, all the while, Phil was thinking, “Could I quote that on an application form?” The sergeant continued, “We will take this photographs and conduct our investigation. However, we may need you to testify in court. Are you both willing to do that?”

Oh yeah!” Christian declared with his usual self assuredness.

Absolutely,” came Gurpreet’s reply.

What about the other two you say were with you? Would they be willing to testify?”

I’m sure they will, “Christian stated with the same bold assuredness.

Then, that’s all we need for now. We’ll be in touch once we’ve concluded our investigation.”

An air of confidence and accomplishment filled not only Christian and Gurpreet’s team but the other two teams as well. The knowledge of having brought two burglars to justice proved to them that the neighbourhood patrols were making a difference in keeping their estates safe from crime. Some of the members found it nigh impossible not to let the who affair go to their heads as they swaggered around the estates. Their confidence was further bolstered by the fact there seemed to be no more crimes committed during the four weeks following. Philip and his group truly believed that they were making a positive difference.

Rest in Peace Paul Raymond

Posted in Uncategorized on April 14, 2019 by 80smetalman

Another loss for the music world, this time it’s UFO keyboards and guitar player Paul Raymond who passed away from a heart attack, aged 73.

FFI: https://consequenceofsound.net/2019/04/paul-raymond-ufo-guitarist-dies/

It seems that 2019 is going to suck as much as the previous years with great musicians leaving us.