Archive for July, 2020

Great Metal Albums of 1986: Queensryche- Rage for Order

Posted in Uncategorized on July 29, 2020 by 80smetalman


Keeping with my newly established tradition, my one and only live experience with Queensryche came in November 1986, when I saw them open for Bon Jovi at London’s Hammersmith Odeon. What I remember most from their set was Geoff Tate’s rather eccentric hair style. Believe me, it kept attention centred on him the whole time the band was on the stage. However, I also thought that they played a good set but I don’t remember much more.

It would be a few more years before I would come to fully appreciate Queensryche and though I heard the album they were promoting on that tour, “Rage for Order,” it was one of those albums I didn’t grasp until years later. Therefore, I am going to apply what I know now to what I should have known back then. When I posted about their previous album, “The Warning,” I called it a promising start. With “Rage for Order,” it was a progression towards the greatness they would go onto achieve a few short years later.

Again, using current knowledge for explaining the past, my best description of “Rage for Order” is that it’s a blueprint for the spectacular “Operation Mindcrime” album which would come about in 1988. Just wait until I get to that one! Two songs from this album, “I Dream in Infrared” and “The Whisper,” would not have been out of place if they had appeared on “Operation Mindcrime” in the musical sense. Both songs have a unique but catchy vibe which I loved about the future album.

Having had a few listens to “Rage for Order,” I get the feeling that I remember them playing “Walk in the Shadows” when I saw them live. This album opener isn’t any sort of concept song but a straight forward metal tune. On the other hand, I’m not sure what to make of “Gonna Get Close to You,” though it does have a killer guitar solo from Chris DeGarmo. Further still, I don’t know why it was released as a single. I think “Walk in the Shadows” would have been a better choice for that.

Queensryche were not afraid to use keyboards on the album and they are used to the optimum on “The Killing Words.” But keyboards or not, that song still rocks and that one too, would have made a better single. Keyboards are also used at the right time on “Surgical Strike.” They come into compliment the guitar solo and don’t interfere with heavy power chords on the rest of the song.

Another song which would have fitted on “Operation Mindcrime” happens to be my favourite one on the album, “Neue Regel.” It’s here where they take all the things they do well on the other songs and combine it on this one to make one fantastic song. There are melodic intros and interludes in between some great power chords and from what I hear, DeGarmo and Wilton trade off guitar solos. Anchoring all of it is the vocals of Geoff Tate and while I will never ever ever fault his vocals, he seems to be at his best on this track.

With “Chemical Youth (We Are Rebellion),” we have a more traditional metal song. I love the faster paced riffs with it and I get the feeling that this song might have been a favourite among angry teens. I was in my twenties by then so I couldn’t say. It could also be said that “London” was a blueprint song for the next album, especially with the way they harmonize the song title and that melody and another great guitar solo trade off. I get the strange feeling that they might have opened with this one when I saw them. After all, they were playing in the city which bears the song title. Speaking of the next album, when hearing the intro for “Screaming in Digital,” if I were to close my eyes, I might be inclined to think that Queensryche were going to launch into “I Don’t Believe In Love.” However, that is the only similarity though it does set the tone for the melodic near acoustic closer, “I Will Remember.” The song’s melancholy tone ends the album on a fantastic note.

Track Listing:

  1. Walk in the Shadows
  2. I Dream in Infrared
  3. The Whisper
  4. Gonna Get Close to You
  5. The Killing Words
  6. Surgical Strike
  7. Neue Regel
  8. Chemical Youth (We Are Rebellion)
  9. London
  10. Screaming in Digital
  11. I Will Remember


Geoff Tate- lead vocals, keyboards

Chris DeGarmo- guitars, backing vocals

Michael Wilton- guitars, backing vocals

Eddie Jackson- bass, backing vocals

Scott Rockenfield- drums, percussion

Once again, applying what I know now to back then, Queensryches’ first album, “The Warning,” was a promising start. “Rage for Order” was a further progression along their road to greatness. One thing I do know, like with Accept, I would love the chance to see Queensryche live again.

Next post: Cinderella- Night Songs

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Great Metal Albums of 1986: Bon Jovi- Slippery When Wet

Posted in Uncategorized on July 26, 2020 by 80smetalman


No matter what anyone’s personal opinions are about this album, the fact is that “Slippery When Wet” was the album which propelled Bon Jovi into superstardom. It would go multi-platinum and several countries and give the band several big hits. On the other hand, some will say that the album was why Bon Jovi represented everything that was wrong with heavy metal back in the 1980s. I didn’t think anything was wrong with heavy metal.

Another speculation as to why “Slippery When Wet” was so successful was that that the more melodic sound and the good looks of Jon Bon Jovi appealed to teenage girls. From what I remember back then, a lot of young ladies were very big on Bon Jovi for both of those reasons. However, a lot of young men bought the album too. Of course, the more macho of males claimed they only listened to Bon Jovi because their girlfriends were so into them. That was my excuse back then but I have to admit, I do like this album.


Alternative cover

When the album first came out, there was a little controversy over the album cover. I first remember the one pictured here and it was slammed for being too sexist. Fearing record stores wouldn’t carry the album on account of it and a possible backlash from the PMRC, the cover was swapped for the one at the top of the page.

One can’t talk about “Slippery When Wet” and ignore all of the singles from it. At first, being my contradictory self, I have to admit that I wasn’t totally impressed with the first single, “You Give Love a Bad Name.” To me, it sounded more of what they had done with their previous album, “78,000 Fahrenheit.” Fortunately, they had better singles. When it first came out, liked “Living on a Prayer.” The only problem it got played to death everywhere I went and that put me off of it for a bit. Of course, these days it doesn’t get played to death so when I do hear it, I appreciate it more. The deejay at Jake and Grace’s wedding reception played it for us old rockers. Besides, I have always liked Richie Sambora’s use of the talk box on it.

I’ll skip to the fourth single, the ballad, “Never Say Goodbye,” which wasn’t released until 1987, just before the band headlined the Donnington Festival that year. It’s okay but not one I go nuts for. That brings me to the third single, “Wanted Dead or Alive.” This is my favourite track on the album, hands down. In fact, I’ve decided it’s my favourite Bon Jovi track of all time! Sorry, “Runaway.” I love the acoustic intro and Jon Bon Jovi’s vocals on the song just fit it so well. Then it just goes mad and I realize that I don’t give Mr Sambora the honours as a guitarist he so deserves, especially on this song.

Now let’s talk about the non- singles. Some of them could have been released as singles but I guess you need b-sides. Then again, I don’t think prudes in American and a few in Britain would have been impressed with a song titled, “Love is a Social Disease.” The use of horns on the song make it different enough to be good. Here’s my first criticism of “Slippery When Wet.” “Raise Your Hands” opens side two and I think that it should have opened the album. It fits my definition of a good album opener more so than “Let It Rock.” It could be because they opened with “Raise Your Hands” when I saw them live but my argument is that if it opened the show, surely it should open the album and “Let It Rock” open side two.

While it’s not a criticism, I do think that “Without Love” has an intro similar to a Bruce Springsteen song. “Hungry Heart” comes to the forefront of my mind here. The closer, “Wild in the Streets” also has a Springsteen feel to it. Then again, it might be something to do with the fact that both Bon Jovi and Bruce come from New Jersey. Then again, I grew up in New Jersey. Having mentioned “Runaway” earlier, the track, “I’d Die for You” reminds me more than a little bit of it and since “Runaway” is my second favourite Bon Jovi song of all time, “I’d Die for You” gets my vote for hidden gem on the album. In conclusion, this is what makes a great album, some great singles with some good songs backing them up.

Track Listing:

  1. Let It Rock
  2. You Give Love a Bad Name
  3. Living On a Prayer
  4. Love is a Social Disease
  5. Wanted Dead or Alive
  6. Raise Your Hands
  7. Without Love
  8. I’d Die for You
  9. Never Say Goodbye
  10. Wild in the Streets

Bon Jovi

Jon Bon Jovi- lead vocals, rhythm guitar, acoustic guitar on “Wanted Dead or Alive”

Richie Sambora- lead guitar, backing vocals, talk box on “Living on a Prayer”

Alec John Such- bass, backing vocals

Tico Torres- drums, perucssion, cymbals

David Bryan- keyboards, backing vocals, horns

I might of claimed back in 1986 that I only listened to Bon Jovi because my girlfriend did. I did eventually marry her but that’s another story. True, some say that “Slippery When Wet” might not be true metal and while there are other albums I would listen to before this one, I can’t argue against its success and girlfriend or not, I like it.

Next post: Queensryche- Rage for Order

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Great Metal Albums of 1986: Krokus- Change of Address

Posted in Uncategorized on July 23, 2020 by 80smetalman


From the last two posts, I’m getting the impression that 1986 might have been a year for bands putting out their worst albums. In my last post, Savatage said it about their “Fight for the Rock” album and from what I’ve read, Krokus as well as some of the music media at the time, said it about their album, “Change of Address.”

Two years after their 1984 album, “The Blitz,” Krokus were in grave danger of fading into obscurity. My first indoctrination to “Change of Address,” was via their first single, which got a fair amount of airplay on MTV, a cover of the Alice Cooper classic, “School’s Out.” To be fair, it wasn’t a bad cover of the song, if anything, it was done quite well but it didn’t make me want to rush out and buy the album either. Not long after, a friend of mine made the comment, “Krokus has a new album out, does anyone care?” I got what he meant. By this time, I was beginning to think that Krokus were going to be remembered for having one phenomenal song, “Screaming in the Night” from the 1983 “Headhunter” album. That song will always be in my top 20 of favourite songs.

Eventually, I gave “Change of Address” a go and it’s not bad. It did take me a couple of listens to get into it. My actual verdict is half of this album has decent tracks while the other half is filler. The weird thing is that they seem to alternate, well almost. Example: I think that the one and two songs should have been the other way around. “Hot Shot City” makes a better opener than “Now (All Through the Night).” As for the cover of “School’s Out,” I think that it was intentionally released in the early summer of 1986 to try to catch the mood of school actually being out for summer. The video definitely gives that impression.

It is after the power ballad of “Let This Love Begin” which is okay but only that, where the album picks up a bit more. Following it is my favourite track, “Burning Up the Night” which proved to me that they were still capable of producing some good songs. It’s not “Screaming in the Night” but it’s better than the catchy “Midnight Maniac” from “The Blitz,” so that should give you an idea of where it stands. I mean, you gotta love that intro and it genuinely sounds and looks from the video that the band actually had some fun recording this one. Plus, it’s home to Fernando Von Arb’s best guitar solo.

Like the rest of the album, side two is split between some good songs and pseudo filler. “Say Goodbye” kicks off the second side in fine fashion. With the hard guitar sound and probably Marc Storace’s best vocal performance on the album and some good harmonizing at the chorus, it is second best on the album. However, the next two songs, while not bad, are more filler. “Hard Luck Hero” doesn’t live up to the potential it shows at the beginning of the song and “World On Fire,” just doesn’t do it for me. Fortunately, “Long Way From Home” is a good enough closer to take the album out on a high.

Track Listing:

  1. Now (All Through the Night)
  2.  Hot Shot City
  3. School’s Out
  4. Let This Love Begin
  5. Burning Up the Night
  6. Say Goodbye
  7. World On Fire
  8. Hard Luck Hero
  9. Long Way From Home


Marc Storace- vocals

Fernando Von Arb- lead guitar

Mark Kohler- rhythm guitar

Tommy Keisser- bass

Jeff Klaven- drums, percussion

Paul Fox- keyboards

Jai Winding- keyboards

And just because I wasn’t uploading songs when I posted about the “Headhunter” album.

Krokus has claimed the reason why “Change of Address” was such a lackluster album was that they were under pressure from their record company at the time. That’s why they changed labels after this one. On account of this album and even “The Blitz,” I regarded Krokus as a mediocre band who made one smashing song. I think there’s a little more to them than that.

Next post: Bon Jovi- Slippery When Wet

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Great Metal Albums of 1986: Savatage- Fight For the Rock

Posted in Uncategorized on July 19, 2020 by 80smetalman


Actually, I should have posted about Savatage’s third album, “Fight For the Rock,” several weeks ago in accordance with my new plan to post albums of bands I have seen together in concert in conjunction with each other. In July, 1986, I saw Savatage supporting Ted Nugent at a small venue in Wildwood, New Jersey. Therefore, I should have posted about the album either right before or after Nuge’s “Little Miss Dangerous” post. As for the concert, I don’t think there were more than 200 people in attendance that evening but it didn’t stop Ted nor Savatage from putting on a great show. It is covered in “Rock and Roll Children.”

Two things I remember about Savatage from that show which conflict with the album. I know it’s more than thirty years ago but I swear I saw five people in Savatage. The album only lists four, so I wonder if they picked up a second guitarist for the tour. The other is that I wasn’t that impressed with the vocals of Jon Oliva that night. While, he’s not the greatest vocalist in music, his vocals on record are noticeably better than what I remember from that night.

Now onto “Fight For the Rock,” which was the album they were promoting on the tour. First of all, this album has been widely condemned by Savatage and their followers as one of their worst albums. It has been said that it destroyed the band’s credibility and drove Jon into his problems with alcohol and drugs. I can’t say for sure but my question is whether or not “Fight for the Rock” is all that bad.

One of the reasons behind the poor reception of the album was that Atlantic Records had Jon writing pop oriented songs for singers such as Jon Waite but then changed their minds and had Savatage record those songs. One song on the album confirms it, their cover of the 1971 Badfinger song, “Day After Day.” I vaguely remember the original and it was a bit of a hippy pop song. The problem here is that Savatage don’t metalize it up enough. It still sounds too much like a pop song. Sticking with the not so positive, “She’s Only Rock and Roll” is more filler except for the guitar solo and though “Lady in Disguise” starts off sounding promising, it doesn’t live up to the promise as the song progresses though I don’t dislike it. Those are the only things I find wrong with the album.

As for the positives, the first three tracks are really good. They hook you in and make you think that this album is going to totally kick ass. I know that “Out on the Streets,” was previously recorded on the debut “Sirens” album but it’s just as good on “Fight For the Rock” as it was on the debut. Furthermore, Criss Oliva rips a fine guitar solo on the opener. Even after the pop song, “Day After Day,” the two tracks following are pretty good. Criss rips another noteworthy solo on “Hyde.” The other cover on the album, the one of the Free classic, “Wishing Well,” is done very well. Things close out with “Red Light Madness,” which takes the album out on a bit of a high. I love the intro on it as it is a prelude of greater things to come in the future.

This was the first album to feature new bassist Johnny Lee Middleton who replaced Keith Collins. Was it a good move? The answer comes with the fact that Johnny has been the only member to play on every Savatage album since. Whatever else you might think of “Fight for the Rock,” they definitely got the right guy for the bass.

Track Listing:

  1. Fight For the Rock
  2. Out On the Streets
  3. Crying For Love
  4. Day After Day
  5. The Edge of Midnight
  6. Hyde
  7. Lady In Disguise
  8. She’s Only Rock and Roll
  9. Wishing Well
  10. Red Light Paradise


Jon Oliva- vocals

Criss Oliva- guitar, backing vocals

Johnny Lee Middleton- bass, backing vocals

Steve ‘Doc’ Wascholtz- drums, percussion

Additional Musicians

Larry Dvoskin- keyboards

Brent Daniels- backing vocals

Let me be frank, “Fight For the Rock” comes nowhere close to being as good as many of their other ones. If I was to rank it, it would be near or at the bottom. Even so, the album is not terrible and maybe that shows just how good a band the mighty Savatage actually was.

Krokus- Change of Address

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Great Metal Albums of 1986: King Kobra- Thrill of a Lifetime

Posted in Uncategorized on July 15, 2020 by 80smetalman


When there is so much good music out there, as was the case in 1986, there is some that’s going to escape your notice. That was the case of King Kobra’s second album, “Thrill of a Lifetime.” I had heard of King Kobra through magazines and I knew they were on the soundtrack for “Iron Eagle,” and that song made me take a more serious look at them, but never picked up the album. That means that the past three days has been a learning experience for me.

It could be that when I heard their contribution to the “Iron Eagle” soundtrack in the form of “Iron Eagle (Never Say Die),” it was the reason I never explored them more. While that is a very good song, I was a different animal back then. I was looking for more power chords and the way the keyboards were used, I might have had written them off as ‘wimp metal.’ Believe me, that term was actually used back then.

Having mellowed with age, I can listen to the album with a more open mind. Sure, there are keyboards all over the album but it doesn’t cover up the guitars and some of the bitchin’ guitar solos on many of the tracks. In addition, there’s the dependable drumming of one Carmine Appice and that’s always a good thing to have on any album.

While the opener, “Second Time Around,” doesn’t grab me by the throat the way many other album opening tracks do, it’s still good. The title of the second track, “Dream On,” may give the hint of a ballad, it’s not. It’s more a melodic straight-forward rock tune and no, it’s not a cover of the Aerosmith classic. It does set things up for what I think is the best track on the album, “Feel the Heat.” Guitars and keyboards come together very nicely with Mark Free’s vocals, which are good through all the album. It also hosts the best guitar solo.

The title cut hosts some cool vocal harmonizing and there are some pretty good guitar riffs on it. It could be that King Kobra were trying to fool people with the song titles, for “Only the Strong Will Survive” is more the power ballad. Still, if you listen carefully, you can hear lots of good little hooks in the song.

Following “Iron Eagle,” is the low point of the album. It would be another year before I discovered the Beastie Boys so at this time, white boys trying to rap sounded a bit ridiculous and they do this on “Home Street Home.” It puts a dampener on some of the great drumming and guitar hooks that do appear in the song. Never fear though because the album goes out with a bang with three really good rockers. “Overnight Sensation” boasts a blinder of a guitar solo followed by a cool keyboards solo. It carries on with “Raise Your Hands to Rock,” which is a definite metal song. Maybe it should have been the opener. Nevertheless, “Party Animal” is the perfect closer for the album and it too rocks. It’s my second favourite song. With these three songs, they definitely prove that King Kobra were more than wimp metal.

Track Listing:

  1. Second Time Around
  2. Dream On
  3. Feel the Heat
  4. Thrill of a Lifetime
  5. Only the Strong Will Survive
  6. Iron Eagle (Never Say Die)
  7. Home Street Home
  8. Overnight Sensation
  9. Raise Your Hands to Rock
  10. Party Animal


King Kobra

Mark Free- vocals

David Michael-Phillips- guitar

Mick Sweda- guitar

Johnny Rod- bass

Carmine Appice- drums

Duane Hitchings- keyboards

Maybe it’s me, when I hear large chunks of this album, I think of Harem Scarem, a band that wouldn’t come about for several more years after this. I will need to do a little more research there. Anyway, “Thrill of a Lifetime” is a good album, wimpy or not.

Next post: Savatage- Fight for the Rock

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Great Metal Albums of 1986: David Lee Roth- Eat’Em and Smile

Posted in Uncategorized on July 12, 2020 by 80smetalman


David Lee Roth’s “Eat’em and Smile” gets the 80smetalman award for the funnest album of 1986. This was an album that kick-started many a party and was just a great listen when driving in the car. Not the manic power chords I was normally getting my ears pounded by but all the ingredients of a good metal album are all there. Plus, the best thing about it was that, for me, it was a very uncomplicated album. Just listen and enjoy.

The smartest move Dave made when making this album was to get a magnificent band behind him, especially the strings section comprising of Billy Sheehan on bass and Steve Vai on guitar. Both of these men brought their impressive reputations and talents with them. I was already familiar with Vai’s guitar work with Frank Zappa and he produces the same great work for Dave. He does belt out more than a couple of great guitar solos. However, he  also provides guitar hooks galore on all the songs, which in themselves, make the album so brilliant. As for Billy, I had seen him plastered over many a rock magazine in the year leading up to this album and when I first listened to it, I did so with the idea of determining if his talents lived up to the hype. They most certainly do. Additionally, he and drummer Greg Bissonette make a formidable rhythm section.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a David Lee Roth album without Diamond Dave. His charisma and vocal talents are all over the album. Dave is the main reason why “Eat’em and Smile” is such a fine album. It’s almost as if he was taking full advantage of the freedom of being on his own.

As for the songs, normally, I tend not to pick the big single from any album as my favorite track but “Yankee Rose” is just too good to be anything else in my eyes. The zany video on MTV which first introduced me to the song had a lot to do with it. Furthermore, another track released as a single, “Goin’ Crazy” is another track which stands out. Maybe Dave or the record company was thinking of me when they released them as singles. But don’t worry, there is a hidden gem and for me, that is “Elephant Gun” with “Big Trouble” coming a close second. No matter what song you pick, there is not one here I would call filler on this fantastic album.

Track Listing:

  1. Yankee Rose
  2. Shy Boy
  3. I’m Easy
  4. Ladies Night in Buffalo
  5. Goin’ Crazy
  6. Tobacco Road
  7. Elephant Gun
  8. Big Trouble
  9. Bump and Grind
  10. That’s Life

David Lee Roth

dlr band

David Lee Roth and band

David Lee Roth- vocals

Steve Vai- guitar, horn arrangement on track 3

Billy Sheehan- bass, backing vocals

Greg Bissonett- drums, backing vocals on track 3

Additional Musicians

Jeff Bova- keyboards, track 1

Jesse Harms- keyboards, track 5

Sammy Figueroa- percussion, track 5

The Walters Family- backing vocals track 10

The Sydney Sharp Strings- strings on track 10

Jimmie Haskell- horn and strings arrangement, track 10

 Tempted to make another Steve Lukather joke here.

The biggest effect Dave’s “Eat’em and Smile” album had on the music world was to fan the flames of the Roth v Van Halen debate. Debates would take place all over the world in 1986 and beyond as to which was the better album between this one and Van Halen’s “5105.” From my perspective, it was advantage Roth.

Next post: King Kobra- Thrill of a Lifetime

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Great Metal Albums of 1986: Lizzy Borden- Menace to Society

Posted in Uncategorized on July 8, 2020 by 80smetalman


When metalheads could no longer rely on radio or MTV for news of new metal releases, even before 1986, they searched record stores and relied on discoveries by friends and acquaintances in order to learn of offerings from metal bands. Thinking about it, metal magazines such as “Hit Parader,” (I didn’t call it Motley Crue Magazine this time), also were a great source of information. However, it was through a friend of a friend as to how I learned of the album, “Menace to Society” from Lizzy Borden. I had heard of this band before then but never explored them to this point.

Lizzy Borden typified the LA metal scene at the time. Bands were coming out of that great metal city thick and fast and  Lizzy Borden was among them. There were many more never discovered but that’s a story for another time. The problem is that with so much metal albums around at the time, in order to get recognized, it had to be an album from a well known band, or an up and coming band had to open for such a band on tour or have a great, kick ass album. While, “Menace to Society” is a good solid metal album, it doesn’t stand out with some of the classics of the time.

What Lizzy Borden brought to the table with this album was a good core metal album and a typical glam metal image which was also getting lots of notoriety in 1986. I didn’t give two sh*ts about image, usually. Listening again after so many years, one can’t fault the musicianship and commitment of this band. Starting at the base, the rhythm section of Mike Davis (bass) and Joey Scott Harges (drums) is as good as any. Likewise, Gene Allen and Alex Nelson are very good guitarists. The rhythm guitars on “Menace to Society” make the rhythm section that much better but with the added bonus that both of them can shred when called on to do so. At the top of the pile is lead singer Lizzy Borden, yes that’s the name he goes by here. His vocals fit the sound really well. I’ll will say that he’s not quite a Gillan, Dio, Coverdale, Snider, Meine etc but he’s not far below them either.

Now you are wondering about the songs on the album. From my viewpoint, the best tracks all fall in between tracks two and six. While I won’t take anything away from the others, it is those five tracks which showcase the band’s talents the best. Of those tracks, while not too easy to choose, it wasn’t that tough to choose the best track on the album. That award goes to “Bloody Mary” with it’s slow, enticing intro before blowing into a solid burning song with some cool guitar solos. However, the band released “Ultra Violence” as the single which got nowhere. I don’t think it even got played on the late Saturday night radio show, “Metal Shop.” It was a good track too.

Track Listing:

  1. Generation Aliens
  2. Notorious
  3. Terror of the Town
  4. Bloody Mary
  5. Stiletto
  6. Ultra Violence
  7. Love Kills
  8. Brass Tactics
  9. Ursa Minor
  10. Menace to Society


Lizzy Borden

Lizzy Borden- vocals

Alex Nelson- guitars, backing vocals

Gene Allen- guitars

Mike Davis- bass

Joey Scott Harges- drums

The million dollar question here is: Was Lizzy Borden one of those many bands who were just not fortunate enough to catch a big break? Maybe if they had supported one of the ‘big boys’ on a tour in 1986 things might have worked out different. Judging from the “Menace to Society” album, they certainly had the potential.

Next post: David Lee Roth- Eat’em and Smile

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Rest in Peace Charlie Daniels

Posted in Uncategorized on July 7, 2020 by 80smetalman


Charlie Daniels

The first year of the new decade continues to suck as it is my sad duty to report the death of Charlie Daniels. Charlie was the lead singer of the Charlie Daniels band, whose most famous hit was “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.” However, he had a good many songs and albums, some of which were posted about here. What I loved about his music back in the late 1970s and early 80s was how he was able to so skillfully tread the tightrope between country and rock music and giving a unique sound to what was identified as Southern Rock. Therefore, without any further babbling, Rest in Peace Charlie!


Charlie Daniels Band

And here are two of my favourite Charlie Daniels songs:

The Devil has truly gone down to Georgia. R.I.P. Charlie!


















































Great Metal Albums of 1986: Accept- Russian Roulette

Posted in Uncategorized on July 5, 2020 by 80smetalman


Keeping with my newly established tradition of posting albums from bands I’ve seen live together in conjunction with each other is why this post is Accept’s “Russian Roulette” album. In 1986, I saw Accept open for Dio when Dio came back around to promote the “Intermission” album. Let me say that I was totally impressed with Accept and since this was the only time I’ve seen them live, I would love to see them live again. They were that good!

Have you ever listened to an album over the years and while you thought it was a good album, then you listened to it that one time and realized that the album is f*cking brilliant? I had that experience last year when I listened to this album last year while driving to a weekend away for one of my step-granddaughter’s birthdays. To be honest, it was the 2014 re-issue with three bonus live tracks but still, even without those tracks, “Russian Roulette” just kicks ass.

One reason why I love this album so much is that I struggle to pick out a favourite track on it. No matter what track I listen to, the next one is just as good and that’s what you want from any album. I can’t even pick out that many highlights on it because the songs hold their own so much, but I can try. Take for instance the title cut, if I didn’t have the album case by my side when I listened to it, I would have thought the title was “War Games.” That one, along with the opener are both anti-war songs and with Germany being the likely starting point for any armed confrontation between the US and USSR back in 1986, I can see why they might be a bit anti-war.

As much as I enjoyed Accept’s live performance, my friend wasn’t so impressed. He stated that they sounded too much like AC/DC. I do agree that there is an AC/DC influence in the songs on “Russian Roulette,” but I will not call Accept AC/DC clones. There is enough of a unique sound to say that they are truly their own band. Besides, I can detect a bit of Scorpions influence as well in the song, “Aiming High.” Maybe it was because lead singer Udo Dirkschneider has a high pitched vocal similar but not identical to Bon Scott and Brian Johnson. Still, the band behind Udo is superb in their playing. Love the guitar solo on “Heaven is Hell.”

Track Listing:

  1. TV War
  2. Monsterman
  3. Russian Roulette
  4. It’s Hard to Find a Way
  5. Aiming High
  6. Heaven is Hell
  7. Another Second To Be
  8. Waling in the Shadow
  9. Man Enough to Cry
  10. Stand Tight


Udo Dirkschneider- vocals

Wolf Hoffmann- guitars

Jorg Fischer- guitars

Peter Baltes- bass

Steffan Kaufmann- drums


If I were to re-make my top fifteen albums list, “Russian Roulette” by Accept would definitely be on it. This is a fantastic album, it’s just a shame it took me more than thirty years to realize it. I would love the opportunity to see them live again.

Next post: Lizzy Borden- Menace to Society

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Great Rock Albums of 1986: Dio- Intermission

Posted in Uncategorized on July 1, 2020 by 80smetalman


In an interview with Ronnie James Dio a year after this live album, “Intermission,” was released, he stated that he never wanted to put out a live album like this. Instead of the six song mini- album which is “Intermission,” he wanted to release a double live album. That’s what many fans, like me, were hoping for at the time and therefore, many were disappointed at this one.

While “Intermission” might have been a disappointment to many Dio fans, I must say that it’s not at all bad. It could be said that he chose the right six songs to feature on the album but with me, any Dio song could have been put here and I would have been thrilled, especially if was recorded live. Having seen Dio five times, (only four at the time of this album’s release), I can attest to how  absolutely dynamite they are live.

Because the album was recorded during the “Sacred Heart” tour, the opener of that album, “Kings of Rock and Roll” opens here. It is a decent song as far as openers go but I think that Dio knew that they already had a great opening song and that’s why when I saw them for the fifth time a year later on the “Dream Evil” tour, they went back to opening with “Stand Up and Shout.”

The next track represents one flaw with “Intermission.” It doesn’t have the continuity of their live performances from the tour. I have firm memories of the classic, “Rainbow in the Dark” being played at the encore. While the song is great no matter what position it’s played in, it does contradict my concert memories. If fact, the third track here, “Sacred Heart,”was played before the band’s first exit from the stage and subsequent encore. In other words, at concerts, “Sacred Heart” came before “Rainbow in the Dark.”

In an effort to introduce new guitarist, Craig Goldy, who replaced the fired Vivian Campbell on the tour, the band recorded, “Time to Burn.” You know, because I hadn’t listened to “Intermission” for a couple of decades, I had completely forgotten about this track. I couldn’t even remember if they played it live when I saw them in live when they came around on tour for this album. Thankfully, modern technology allows me to go back into history and I found that they did. That’s the thing, “Time to Burn” is an all right song and it does showcase Craig’s talents on the guitar, but it pales in comparison with many of the other Dio classics. This particular live show was recorded and it took place in June, 1986 at the Philadelphia Spectrum and I was there! The concert appears in “Rock and Roll Children.”

Also played live before “Rainbow in the Dark” but appearing as the penultimate track on the album was the medley of “Rock and Roll Children,” “Long Live Rock and Roll” and “Man on the Silver Mountain.” It sounds good on the album but I remember it sounding much better live.

Both the album and live performances end with the classic, “We Rock” from “The Last in Line” album. This particular song was used as the show closer on three tours, so that tells you all you need to know about what a great song “We Rock” is.

Track Listing:

  1. Kings of Rock and Roll
  2. Rainbow in the Dark
  3. Sacred Heart
  4. Time to Burn
  5. Rock and Roll Children/Long Live Rock and Roll/Man on the Silver Mountain
  6. We Rock


Ronnie James Dio- vocals

Vivian Campbell- guitar solos

Jimmy Bain- bass

Claude Schnell- keyboards

Vinnie Appice- drums

Craig Goldy- guitar on “Time to Burn” rhythm guitar overdubs on the live tracks

I put this video in because it shows the famous mechanical dragon.

“Intermission” isn’t a bad album, it’s not even a bad live album. However, with so much great material from three studio albums and Dio’s stints with Rainbow and Black Sabbath, it didn’t satisfy the pubic’s desires. A double live album would have been much better.

Next post: Accept- Russian Roulette

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