Archive for September, 2019

Great Metal Albums of 1985: Wendy O Williams- Kommander of Kaos

Posted in Uncategorized on September 30, 2019 by 80smetalman

WOW_Kommander_of_Kaos

Yet another historical conflict between Wikipedia and my memory. According to the site, Wendy O Williams’s album “Kommader of Kaos” was recorded in 1984 and released in early 1986. However, I always thought it came out in 1985 because in the final days of the year, I saw her live along with Motorhead and the Stormtroopers of Death. She appeared between those two bands and was absolutely brilliant! I won’t go into too much detail because you can read it in “Rock and Roll Children.” It would have been an historical night, the Stormtroopers of Death totally blew me away that evening and it was the first time I got to witness stage diving. However, Motorhead came on after Wendy and when they played, Motorhead sounded as good as they were expected to be. However, Lemmy put a dampener on the night by constantly complaining about the sound. I thought they sounded okay. Anyway, it was my first time seeing Motorhead and while I enjoyed their show, I left with the feeling that Lemmy was a bit of an asshole.

No matter which year “Kommander of Kaos” came out, it reminds me of Wendy’s show that particular evening. It’s loud, fast and aggressive. After some dubious sounds at the very beginning, the album explodes into one big metalfest. Wendy’s vocals kill any doubt that women shouldn’t sing thrash, in fact, I think her voice is even better than when she was in the Plasmatics.

After the first two tracks totally beat your eardrums to death, things appear to momentarily slow down with the intro on “Goin’ Wild.” It reminds me a tiny bit of The Plasmatics’ classic, “The Damned.” However, that breather lasts less than a minute before more heavy metal bombards your ears. The guitar solo on the song is phenomenal and while I can’t say for sure, I can’t help thinking that it was during this tune when she carried her guitarist around on her shoulders when I saw her live.

Speaking of live, the track, “Ain’t None of Your Business” is recorded live and I love her dig at what she calls straight people at the beginning of the song as well as her long scream at the end. It’s definitely a top track on the album and it reminds me why I enjoyed her live show so much. Then again, seeing her as 24 year old man, I did love how she first appeared on stage in full biker leather, only to fling a piece of clothing out to the audience after a few songs until near the time she got to the end, she was only in her bra and panties.

Of course, the other tracks also vie for that top spot as well. All of them are great tracks on their own. They are loud and aggressive with some great musicianship to accompany Wendy’s vocals. However, I think “Fight for the Right” pips the others at the post for me. It just has that special I don’t know what. It could very well be that with all the PMRC bullshit that came around in 1985, this song was an anthem for us who opposed their silly campaign against rock music. It has a cool guitar solo as well. Saying that, I do love the chorus of Bad Girl.

I’m a bad girl baby, the baddest bitch around.

Track Listing:

  1. Hey Ho (Live to Rock)
  2. Pedal to the Metal
  3. Goin’ Wild
  4. Ain’t None of Your Business
  5. Party
  6. Jailbait
  7. Bad Girl
  8. Fight for the Right
  9. (Work That Muscle) F*ch that Booty

wow

Wendy O Williams

Wendy O. Williams- vocals

Michael Ray- guitar, backing vocals

Greg Smith- bass, backing vocals

T.C. Oliver- drums

Wes Beech- drums

This concert was just four days before Christmas so for me it was a great early present, even if Lemmy was a bit of an asshole that night. Fortunately, for Lemmy, I would see him again eight months later and he would redeem himself in my eyes. Meanwhile, I got the delights of a great album from Wendy.

Next post: Stormtroopers of Death- Speak English or Die

To downolad Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://tavacountnec.ml/print/free-download-rock-and-roll-children-by-michael-d-lefevre-pdf.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1985: Dokken- Under Lock and Key

Posted in Uncategorized on September 28, 2019 by 80smetalman

220px-Dokken_-_Under_Lock_and_Key

Listening to Dokken’s third album, “Under Lock and Key,” I’m going to have to retract a comment I recently made on another blog. There, I stated that I find it difficult to choose which album is better between this one and Dokken’s previous album, “Tooth ‘N’ Nail.” Having re-familiarized myself with “Under Lock and Key” after quite a few years, I have to say that I prefer “Tooth ‘N’ Nail.” In some circles, that makes me a heavy metal purist but that’s not the point. I just think, like so many other metal bands in 1985, Dokken were going for commercial success here and the album is slightly less metalized.

Now demoted to second favourite Dokken album, I can now concentrate as to how good “Under Lock and Key” is. After all, it did gain some commercial with success with two cool singles from the album, “The Hunter” and my personal fave, “In My Dreams.” With the latter, I’m just a sucker for the harmonizing intro before guitar, bass and drums come crashing down all around you. This combo works well throughout the entire song with the added bonus of a rather cool George Lynch guitar solo but it’s his solos as to why this album is good.

Here’s a conflict between history according to Wikipedia and my memory. Wiki says that the track, “It’s Not Love,” was only released as a promo single. However, I remember MTV playing the video half to death throughout the summer of 1986. You might remember it, it’s the video where the band play while riding on the back of a flatbed truck (lorry). Doesn’t matter though because it is a great song. I love the intro of George’s guitar lick which appears several times in the song.

What relegated the album to number two in my mind is the absence of a true hidden gem. The other tracks are good, even great, but none of them stands out for me. Even the power ballad, “Slippin’ Away” while good, doesn’t make me want to forget about “Alone Again,” from the previous album. However, it’s like I said, the remaining tracks are good to great but nothing stands out as the hidden gem. You get plenty of great vocals from Don and everything I’ve said about George on guitar still applies to the remaining songs. Plus, Jeff Pilson and Mick Brown could be one of the most underrated rhythm sections in 80s metal. With all of that going for it, “Under Lock and Key” can’t help but to be a very good album.

Track Listing:

  1. Unchain the Night
  2. The Hunter
  3. In My Dreams
  4. Slippin’ Away
  5. Lightning Strikes Again
  6. It’s Not Love
  7. Jaded Heart
  8. Don’t Lie to Me
  9. Will the Sun Rise
  10. Till the Livin’ End
dokken

Dokken

Don Dokken- lead vocals

George Lynch- guitar

Jeff Pilson- bass, backing vocals

Mick Brown- drums, backing vocals

“Under Lock and Key” did give Dokken some commercial success. The singles from the album, especially “In My Dreams,” got considerable airplay on radio and MTV. Furthermore, I got to see them live twice in 1986, first time supporting Twisted Sister and the second time, Judas Priest. Both accounts can be read in “Rock and Roll Children.” My sister got to see them a third time supporting Loverboy. In conclusion, while I might have decided that the album wasn’t as good as their previous one, it’s still a great album.

Next post: Wendy O. Williams- Kommander of Kaos

To download Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://tavacountnec.ml/print/free-download-rock-and-roll-children-by-michael-d-lefevre-pdf.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1985: Twisted Sister- Come Out And Play

Posted in Uncategorized on September 24, 2019 by 80smetalman

TwistedSisterComeOutAndPlayAlbumCover

Nobody in the entire world was more excited than me about the release of Twisted Sister’s follow up album to the famous “Stay Hungry” album, “Come Out and Play.” Thing was that the album was slammed mercilessly by critics and fans. Hardcore metalheads accused Twisted Sister of going too pop while pop fans continued to claim that they were too metal. An argument, I wouldn’t disagree with. In any case, was “Come Out and Play” as bad as what it has been made out to be?

My answer to the above was no. At my first listen to it, I was in no way, shape or form disappointed with the album. I never disliked the album and still don’t. However, I do have to concede that it wasn’t as good as their first three albums. I mean there is a noticeable difference in the drop in quality with “Come Out and Play” but that only shows how magnificent those other three albums are.

Let’s start with the not so positive. It wasn’t rocket science to deduce that the cover of the Shangri-La’s hit, “Leader of the Pack” was always meant to be a commercial single. Like with the videos from the two “Stay Hungry” singles, there was a bit of humour in the video. Unfortunately, “Leader of the Pack” only made it to about #75 in the charts and I can’t help thinking that it wouldn’t have been detrimental to the album if it had been left off.

One paradox with “Come Out and Play” is the track “Be Crool to Your Scuel.” Dee Snider explained in an interview that he believed that heavy metal wasn’t a separate entity from rock and roll and that was the logic behind the song. After all, they got the likes of Brian Setzer from the Stray Cats, Alice Cooper, Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen’s saxophonist, Clarence Clemons to play on the song. I think all do a good job and it would have been a more effective single than “Leader of the Pack” had not MTV banned the video for being offensive. That’s why I’ve included it below.

In the case of this album, it’s the lesser known tracks that make the album, especially the two hidden gems, which I will get to in a second. Now before people start shouting, I know how well known “The Fire Still Burns” is. It and the title track are the only songs from this album they played the last two times I saw them live at Bloodstock. That song does prove that Twisted Sister hadn’t fully abandoned their metal roots. The power ballad “I Believe in You” is done well and includes harmonizing vocals from Don Dokken. “I Believe in Rock and Roll” is also a great metal tune and with “The Warriors” being my all time favorite film, I love how a great scene from the movie is paraphrased on the opening title cut.

As for the hidden gems, “Looking Out for #’1” was my own personal anthem. The lyrics weren’t about being selfish, they were about being an individual, something I was still trying to establish for myself after four years of conformity while serving my country. It was my security blanket in an 80s Reagan America which was becoming more intolerant towards heavy metal and metalheads. The best track however, only appears on the cassette and CD release. For me, “King of the Fools” is the best track on the whole damn album. Done in a very bluesy fashion, the song really kicks ass and like the other gem, the lyrics speak to me on a personal level.

Who are these people who cast stones, better a fool than just a clone.

Track Listing:

  1. Come Out and Play
  2. Leader of the Pack
  3. You Want What We Got
  4. I Believe in Rock and Roll
  5. The Fire Still Burns
  6. Be Crool to Your Scuel
  7. I Believe in You
  8. Out in the Streets
  9. Looking Out for #1
  10. Kill or be Killed
  11. King of the Fools
twisedsister

Twisted Sister

Dee Snider- lead vocals

Jay Jay French- guitar, backing vocals

Eddie Ojeda- guitar, backing vocals

Mark Mendoza- bass, backing vocals

A.J. Pero- drums, percussion

Additional Musicians

Gary St John- keyboards

Don Dokken, Gary Holland- high harmony vocals on “I Believe in You”

Additional Musicians on “Be Crool to Your Scuel”

Alice Cooper- accompanying vocals

Brian Setzer- guitar solo

Billy Joel- piano

Clarence Clemons- saxophone solo

Julia and Maxine Waters- backing vocals

The Uptown Horns

Crispin Cioe- baritone sax

Arno ‘Cool Ray’ Hecht- tenor sax

Bad Bob Funk- trombone

‘Hollywood’ Paul Litteral- trumpet

I’m not going to ask if “Come Out and Play” was as bad an album as it was made out to be. It wasn’t, not in the slightest. While not as good as the first three, it’s still a very good listen.

Next post: Dokken- Under Lock and Key

https://tavacountnec.ml/print/free-download-rock-and-roll-children-by-michael-d-lefevre-pdf.html

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1985: Iron Maiden- Live After Death

Posted in Uncategorized on September 19, 2019 by 80smetalman

imlad

History has shown that 1985 was a damn good year for live albums. There was The Scorpions’ “World Wide Live” album as well as Molly Hatchet’s “Double Trouble Live” both considered to be two of the best all time live albums. Plus there were cool live albums from Hanoi Rocks and Venom to boot. Then when you might have thought that 1985 had enough great live albums, as the year was coming to an end, Iron Maiden come out with their “Live After Death” album and this just happens to be my favourite live album of all time.

This was the tour I first saw Iron Maiden live, having seen them in January of 1985. Twisted Sister was the opening act so you can imagine what a great night that was for me!¬† What “Live After Death” also did for me was to get me off my ass and start procuring their studio albums. Having seen them live, I still hadn’t done that, I know, shame on me, so this was also the first Iron Maiden album I bought. Actually, I didn’t buy it, my sister got it for me as a Christmas present, very nice of her don’t you think?

One piece of wisdom I can pass onto anyone who is looking to experience the Great Maiden, is that this album is a fantastic place to start. After all, it has all the great Iron Maiden classics played so wonderfully live. Great tracks and I’ll just name my faves here, like “Run to the Hills,” “The Trooper,” “Aces High,” I’ve always loved how that one followed on from Churchill’s WW2 speech, and “The Flight of Icarus” just to name a few. Furthermore, like I wrote in “Rock and Roll Children,” even the thirteen minute long “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” doesn’t get boring as Maiden blow your ears off with their great metal assault. This album was is still so fantastic, even after 34 years, there’s little more I can say here.

If I were to nitpick and the military used to say, “There’s always room from improvement” and that was it would have been cool if the album included an address to the American audiences from Bruce Dickinson. While on the “World Slavery Tour,” and this is also mentioned in “Rock and Roll Children,” Bruce informed every venue in America that Iron Maiden were not Satan worshipers. While, I thought this was amusing when I saw them, it was a shame that the band felt they needed to do this. But that was the hold the religious right had on America at the time. Still, even that small omission doesn’t detract from the fact that “Live After Death” is a stupendous live album. If the situation had been reversed and I heard this album before I had seen them live, I would have moved heaven and earth to go to see them the next time the played live.

Credit where due on another point from Maiden here. While the majority of the album was recorded from shows in Long Beach, California, they didn’t forget their British fans and include five tracks from their Hammersmith shows. When I eventually got to England, I got to fully appreciate what “22 Acacia Avenue” was truly about, thus adding further appreciation to the song.

Track Listing:

  1. Intro: Churchill’s Speech
  2. Aces Hight
  3. Two Minutes to Midnight
  4. The Trooper
  5. Revelatations
  6. The Flight of Icarus
  7. Rime of the Ancient Mariner
  8. Powerslave
  9. Number of the Beast
  10. Hallowed Be Thy Name
  11. Iron Maiden
  12. Run to the Hills
  13. Running Free

Recorded from the Hammersmith Shows

  1. Wrathchild
  2. 22 Acacia Avenue
  3. Children of the Damned
  4. Die With Your Boots On
  5. Phantom of the Opera
1985-band-lineup

Iron Maiden

Bruce Dickinson- lead vocals

Steve Harris- bass, backing vocals

Adrian Smith- guitar, backing vocals

Dave Murray- guitar

Nicko McBrain- drums

Not much more I can say here, this is just one magnificent live album and it’s what has made me an Iron Maiden fan for three and a half decades.

Next post: Twisted Sister- Come Out and Play

To download Rock and Roll Children go to: https://tavacountnec.ml/print/free-download-rock-and-roll-children-by-michael-d-lefevre-pdf.html

 

 

 

 

 

Rest in Peace Ric Ocasek

Posted in Uncategorized on September 16, 2019 by 80smetalman

ricoc

Ric Ocasek

thecars

The Cars

Naturally, there are much deserved tributes to lead singer, rhythm guitarist from The Cars, Ric Ocasek¬† pouring out all over the music blogosphere. When I posted about The Cars’ self titled debut album from 1978, it was said that they were ahead of their time and they were. For me, The Cars were one of the chief founders of the new wave/punk movement. Since all of the best words have already been said, the best I can do is to add my all time favourite Cars song, “My Best Friend’s Girl.”

Rest in Peace Ric.

 

 

 

 

 

Tribute to Eddie Money

Posted in Uncategorized on September 15, 2019 by 80smetalman

emon

Eddie Money

With the recent passing of singer Eddie Money, I realize that my total experience of him was his singles. For some inexplicable reason, I’ve never delved into his albums. Therefore, after reading several tributes to Eddie, (Mike’s was fantastic BTW), I’d thought I put my own spin on Eddie. Even though, I only have experience from what was played on radio and MTV, I do have a song which I consider an Eddie Money hidden gem. I remember “Big Crash” getting quite a bit of airplay on MTV and I like the song. The backstory to it also interested me because it was about someone Eddie knew from his days as a police officer. So, it is only fitting that Eddie Money’s “Big Crash” gets its rightful spin.

Rest in Peace Eddie Money

 

Great Metal Albums of 1985: Lee Aaron- Call of the Wild

Posted in Uncategorized on September 12, 2019 by 80smetalman

220px-Lee_Aaron_-_1985_-_Call_of_the_Wild

Thanks to that one copy of “Metallion” magazine I read in the summer of 1985, I discovered that the Canadian Metal Queen, Lee Aaron, was coming out with a new album in this year. The magazine’s interview with Lee prepared me for suspected changes from her first two albums. Like quite a few artists did in 85, she stated that she was adding a few keyboards to her sound. However, she also stated that the album would be no less rocky than those previous albums. After reading all that, I had to go and listen to “Call of the Wild” and make my own mind up.

helix

The projected synth pop sound that some might thought Lee was going to deliver on her third album never really materialize. In fact, the opener, “Rock Me All Over” sounds very much like songs from her first two albums. Like any good opening track, it rocks to the point of grabbing your attention and makes you take notice. The slight downside is the lyrics do sound a little juvenile which I read she complained about on her first album.

Keyboards do manifest themselves on the next two songs. Reflecting back to 1985, I am not in the least bit surprised that “Runnin’ From the Fire” was released as a single. It captured the commercial 1985 sound and that’s why I’m surprised that it didn’t do diddle squat in the singles charts. Maybe because there’s a little bit of rock on it. While present on “Champion,” the keyboards take a more supportive role in it and this sounds much better. However, the best song for combining keyboards with the metal sound that made Lee a hit with metalheads is my fave track, “Barely Holdin’ On.” The keyboards are done in a good progressive rock style in support of some great hard rock from Lee’s band. Guitarist John Albani plays a blinder of a solo on it. Some critics have accused Lee of screaming too much on the song but for me, it’s what makes the song. Even at that volume, she can still rock a tune.

That favourite track sets the tone for the rest of the album. The remaining seven songs are all rockers and while keyboards can still be heard on some tracks, they realize their place and take a supporting role. Like on the cover of the Kix song, “Burnin’ Love.” Again, John Albani’s guitar solo is fantastic. While none of those tracks stand out more than the other, they’re all good, they aren’t clones of one another. Each rocking tune is different in its own right, although “Beat ’em Up” has always amused me. However, all of them possess Lee’s magnificent voice backed by a hard rocking rhythm section and some great solos from John Albani, another guitarist whose efforts have never gotten the accolades they so richly deserve.

Track Listing:

  1. Rock Me All Over
  2. Runnin’ From the Fire
  3. Champion
  4. Barely Holdin’ On
  5. Burnin’ Love
  6. Line of Fire
  7. Beat ’em Up
  8. Paradise
  9. Evil Game
  10. Danger Zone
  11. Hot to be Rocked
leeaa

Lee Aaron

Lee Aaron- lead and backing vocals

John Albani- lead guitar, backing vocals

Simon Brierly- guitar

Bob Ezrin- keyboards

Jerry Mercer- drums

Spider Sinnaeve- bass

Chris Brockaway, Walter Zwolinski, Dick Wagner- backing vocals

I never really thought that “Call of the Wild” would be dumbed down to a trendy synth pop album. The keyboards know their place in the songs and let the guitars take the lead, like they should. What the album does show was how Lee was maturing in the music industry.

Next post: Iron Maiden- Live After Death

To download Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://tavacountnec.ml/print/free-download-rock-and-roll-children-by-michael-d-lefevre-pdf.html