Archive for the 1978 Category

A Very Pleasant Surprise Gig

Posted in 1978, 1979, 1980s, Concerts, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 2, 2014 by 80smetalman

Last Sunday, a work colleague celebrated his fiftieth birthday and to celebrate he treated a number of us to tickets to see The Jam tribute band, From the Jam. Since I didn’t really get into them until the mid to late 90s, I accepted the invitation. I wasn’t disappointed. Unlike every other tribute band in the world, this particular one had something different, one of the former members of the band they paid tribute to was in the band; the member in question was none other than bassist Bruce Foxton. Unfortunately, because Paul Weller was not among them, they have to call themselves a tribute band.

Bruce Foxton

Bruce Foxton

Before I go into what a great night it was, let me start at the beginning. Supporting From the Jam was a band from Gloucester called The Cue and here lies my first regret. While I took photos of the night, the cell phone passed onto me from my step son for some reason doesn’t let me upload them onto any computer. It’s like the computer doesn’t recognise it. Furthermore, they do have a page on Facebook but I can’t seem to find it. That is why I haven’t posted a picture of them but I can tell you that they were good. Their music was based on the same late 7os punk that the band they were supporting would be playing. Therefore, they were an excellent prelude to the main event.

From The Jam

From The Jam

From the Jam dominated the evening from the second they hit the stage to the very second they left it for good after finishing with their most well known hit, “A Town Called Malice.” They played practically all of the best known material, strategically spacing out two of The Jam’s other two best known songs, (at least to me), “Eton Rifles” and “Going Underground” so that the capacity crowd kept interest. Several songs from Foxton’s solo album were also treated to and loved by the audience. It was amusing seeing so many people my age, many of them former punks all bobbing away to them. I know my colleague certainly enjoyed his big five- oh. The only problem for me was remembering that The Jam weren’t heavy metal and had to keep a lid on the temptation to flash the horns into the air. However, the most fascinating aspect was the energy of Bruce Foxton himself, a man who has to be in his late fifties. He didn’t slow down for a single moment.

For my UK readers, if From the Jam, ever come to your area, go see them. Even if you weren’t a fan of The Jam back in the day, seeing these guys will make you rethink your stance. If you’re too young to remember them, you will be wanting to study ancient history.

Next post: Gillan- Double Trouble

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London.

Great Rock Albums of 1980: Warren Zevon- Bad Luck Streak in Dancing School

Posted in 1978, 1980s, Humour, Music, Rock, video games with tags , , , , , on August 30, 2013 by 80smetalman

Warren_Zevon_-_Bad_Luck_Streak_in_Dancing_School

I plead guilty to the fact that when you hear an album from a particular artist, you expect their next album to be pretty much exactly the same and you are a bit disappointed when it’s not. However, I know I’m not the only one. This was the case when I heard this 1980 release from Warren Zevon. His 1978 album “Excitable Boy” had me rolling on the floor in stiches with songs like “Excitable Boy” and “Lawyers, Guns and Money.” Even the hit single “Werewolves of London” deeply amused me. However, I can’t say the same with “Bad Luck Streak in Dancing School.” None of the songs had me laughing the same way and maybe that was a good thing. I now appreciate how good of a musician Warren Zevon actually is.

Okay, so the album wasn’t as hilarious as its predecessor. The most amusing songs on the album are “Jeannie Needs a Shooter” (co written with Bruce Springsteen) and “Gorilla, You’re a Desperado” and then there’s the song “Play It All Night Long” which satirizes the famous Lynyrd Skynyrd tune “Sweet Home Alabama.” The rest of the album just contains some decent songs which are still enjoyable to listen to. It leaves me to conclude that Warren Zevon never got the recognition he deserved for his talents as a singer, musician and song writer. Furthermore, he puts a good band behind him and there are contributions on the album from Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt, Glen Frey, Don Henley, Don Felder and Joe Walsh to name a few.

Track Listing:

1. Bad Luck Streak in Dancing School

2. A Certain Girl

3. Jungle Work

4. Empty Handed Heart

5. Interlude No.1

6. Play It All Night Long

7. Jeannie Needs a Shooter

8. Interlude No. 2.

9. Bill Lee

10. Gorilla, You’re a Desperado

11.Bed of Coals

12. Wild Age

warren

Warren Zevon- vocals, piano, bass, guitar, organ, synthesiser, keyboards, harmonica

Jorge Calderon- guitar, vocals

David Lindley- guitar, violin, steel guitar

Rick Marotta- drums, percussion, bells, vocals

If you fancy a listen to a decent light hearted rock album, than this one is a sure thing. There are some amusing moments on it with some good songs to get into. I know, I’ll be checking out more of Warren Zevon’s work in the future.

Next post: Heart- Bebe Le Strange

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1979: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers- Damn the Torpedoes

Posted in 1978, 1979, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on December 13, 2012 by 80smetalman

damnthetorp

When I first heard the first single from this great album by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, “Don’t Do Me Like That,” I was convinced that whoever called this band “punk” back in 1978 was a complete and utter moron whose idea of hard rock was probably Hall and Oates. “Damn the Torpedoes” proved to me that they were a good tight rocking outfit, not that there’s anything wrong with punk because there isn’t. I just found the album very enjoyable.

It is true that “Don’t Do Me Like That” was the song that first properly turned my head to this band and this album but “Damn the Torpedoes” does contain my all time favourite song by these guys, “Refugee.” As always, the album isn’t just down to the singles although I do like their third single from this album, “Here Comes My Girl.” There some killer tracks on here as well like “Century City” and “What You Doin’ In My Life” to name just two. All of them have that trademark that made Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers famous.

Track Listing:

1. Refugee

2. Here Comes My Girl

3. Even the Losers

4. Shadow of a Doubt

5. Century City

6. Don’t Do Me Like That

7. You Tell Me

8. What You Doin’ In My Life

9. Louisiana

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Tom Petty- guitar, lead vocals, harmonica

Mike Campbell- lead and slide guitars, keyboards, accordion

Benmont Tench- piano, organ, harmonium, vocals

Ron Blair- bass

Stan Lynch- drums, vocals

I have always been of the mind that as a unit, the Heartbreakers have been severely underrated as a band. It is true that Tom Petty is the front man and you can’t take anything away from his talents, but the rest of the band seems to have been largely ignored and that to me is a shame. Have a listen to this classic album and you’ll see what I mean. 

Next post: My favourite Christmas album

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London 

Great Rock Albums of 1979: Olivia Newton John- Totally Hot

Posted in 1978, 1979, Music, Rock, soundtracks, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on November 19, 2012 by 80smetalman

Everybody reading this must be probably think that I’ve totally lost the plot here. Okay, I lost it many years ago but posting about an Olivia Newton John album, I must be totally bonkers. I mean she was the girl who played along side of John Travolta in “Grease.” We won’t go into some of the songs that were on that soundtrack. Even before “Grease,” ONJ was more of a country singer whose more mellower songs made the cross over into the rock charts. What I can say is that as a result of “Grease,” she wanted to shed her goody-two shoes image and so she went with a more rockier sound and “Totally Hot” was the result.

I’m not going to kid anyone into thinking this album is a total rock out, it’s not. In the rock stakes, Debbie Harry and Pat Benatar by far blow her away but I have to give her credit where it’s due, she tried. “Totally Hot” has both of my favourite ONJ songs of all time on it, “A Little More Love” and “Deeper Than the Night.” The first song does have some good rock guitar in it and of the two mentioned, it takes the number one spot. While I don’t shoot the devil horns in the air and start headbanging away to it, it is still a good song. The rest of the album is in my view more of an attempt at prog rock without the classy musicianship. Still, it is pretty good and that’s why after a long mull in the mind, I have decided to visit it here.

Track Listing:

1. Please Don’t Keep Me Waiting

2. Dancin’ Round and Round

3. Talk to Me

4. Deeper Than the Night

5. Borrowed Time

6. A Little More Love

7.  Never Enough

8. Totally Hot

9. Boats Against the Current

10. Gimme Some Lovin’

Olivia Newton John

Olivia Newton John- vocals

Mike Botts, Ed Greene- drums

David McDaniels, David Hungate- bass

Jai Winding, David Foster- piano

John Farrar, Steve Lukather- drums

Michael Boddicker- synthesiser

Steve Modaio- trumpet

Marty Grebb- alto sax

Chuck Finley- trombone

Gerald Peterson- tenor sax

Lenny Castro- percussion

The other thing I like about this album is that before it, I thought Olivia Newton John was on the skinny side for my personal tastes. But she put on some weight as well for this album and was looking good for the leather shot on the album cover. The album itself is still a decent listen.

Next post: The Jam- Setting Sons

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

Great Rock Albums of 1979: Todd Rundgren- Back to the Bars

Posted in 1978, 1979, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on November 12, 2012 by 80smetalman

It has been said that Todd Rundgren released this 1979 live album in an attempt to cash in on the success of other live albums such as “Frampton Comes Alive” and Bob Dylan’s “Hard Rain.” I’m not completely sure that I agree with that premise because of the content of the songs on this album. While “Back to the Bars” concludes with one of Rundgren’s greatest hits, “Hello It’s Me,” it doesn’t include some of his other noted songs. Furthermore, when he was preforming the live shows in 1978, it was around the same time his studio album “Hermit of Mink Hollow” was released.  So, if he wanted to cash in on a live album, surely he would have included a few songs from the new album, especially “Can We Still Be Friends.”

Enough speculating for now because “Back to the Bars” is actually a pretty good album. A good way to reminisce over Todd Rundgren’s creative days of the seventies. What I have always liked about him is the fact that you can’t completely pigeonhole him. Yes, many of the more known songs are in the progressive rock vein and he has his share of Top 40 singles but he is also capable of laying down some rocking jams as well and there are some on this album. Most notably, two songs from the “Something/Anything” album: “Black Maria” and one I’ve always really liked, “Couldn’t I Just Tell You.”

Track Listing:

1. Real Man

2. Love of the Common Man

3. The Verb To Love

4. Love in Action

5. A Dream Goes On Forever

6. Sometimes I Don’t Know What to Feel

7. The Range War

8. Black and White

9. The Last Ride

10. Cliche

11. Don’t You Ever Learn

12. Never Never Land

13. Black Maria

14. Zen Archer

15. Medley: I’m So Proud/ Oh Baby Baby/ La la Means I Love You/ I Saw the Light

16. It Wouldn’t Have Made Any Difference

17. Eastern Intrigue

18. Initiation

19. Couldn’t I Just Tell You

20. Hello It’s Me

Todd Rundgren

Todd Rundgren- lead vocals, guitar, keyboards

Mark”Moogy” Klingman- keyboards

Kasim Sultan- bass

Roger Powell- keyboards

John Willie Wilcox- drums

Additional appearances by Rick Derringer, Stevie Nicks, Daryl Hall and John Oates

For Todd Rundgren fans and novices, this album is a good way to reminisce or explore the mid seventies period of Todd Rundgren with some classic songs. Now, one or two people have said that he isn’t too good live, but listening to this album, I can’t agree with that sentiment. If Todd Rundgren isn’t in the Rock Hall of Fame, then it’s just another proof that the people who run that institution are just plain idiots.

Next post: Pat Travers- Live! Go For What You Know

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

Great Albums of 1979: Blondie- Eat to the Beat

Posted in 1978, 1979, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 26, 2012 by 80smetalman

There’s no denying it, it is a fact that 1979 was the year for Blondie. They began the year with their 1978 release “Parallel Lines” which included the number 1 hit single “Heart of Glass.” One of the few songs to successfully make the rock-disco crossover that year. Debbie Harry became a common fixture on the walls of many teenage boys, including mine. Then they ended the year with “Eat to the Beat,” also a good album. Along with “Get the Knack” and “The Long Run” by the Eagles, this was also one of the albums that first greeted me when I came home on leave from that no contact with the outside world three month period I call boot camp.

 

 

 

Debbie Harry

 

 

 

 

 

I won’t go into a compare/contrast with “Parallel Lines” the way I did with Fleetwood Mac’s “Tusk” album. “Eat to the Beat” took Blondie into a more new wave direction. The hard rock sound is still there but it seems more melodic this time around. There are some very good tracks like the singles, “Dreaming” and “Atomic” and I really like “Accidents Never Happen.” It is a good album on its own and kept Blondie at the top of the rock music hill for 1979 and early 1980.

Track Listing:

1. Dreaming

2. The Hardest Part

3. Union City Blues

4. Shayla

5. Eat to the Beat

6. Accidents Never Happen

7. Die Young, Stay Pretty

8. Slow Motion

9. Atomic

10. Sound Asleep

11. Victor

12. Living in the Real World

Blondie

Deborah Harry- vocals

Chris Stein- lead guitar

Jimmy Destri- keyboards, backing vocals

Nigel Harrison- bass

Frank Infante- guitar, backing vocals

Clem Burke- drums

“Eat to the Beat” was the second of two great albums from Blondie and the reason why 1979 was their year. Many boys like me first listened to them because they liked the lead singer, but stayed with them because of the music. It was something great to come home from boot camp to.

Next post: Jethro Tull- Stormwarning

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

Great Rock Albums of 1979: Bob Dylan- At Budokan

Posted in 1978, 1979, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on October 10, 2012 by 80smetalman

Cheap Trick weren’t the only ones who put out a live album from Budokan in 1979, Bob Dylan did too. Like Cheap Trick, this was taken from concerts recorded there in 1978 and released early in the following year. On the album, Dylan plays some of the long time classics as well as some of the tracks from the albums that were more recent around that time. For someone who didn’t have have every Bob Dylan album around then and wanted a good mix of Dylan material, this live recording provides all of this. Classics such as “Mr Tambourine Man” and “Like a Rolling Stone” feature heavily here and others like “Shelter From the Storm” also get a good play, although I still prefer the version of that song from “Hard Rain.”

When “At Budokan” was released, Dylan had some harsh reviews from critics and Dylan purists alike. Critics, like Rolling Stone said the album was slick and sterile while some purists accused him of selling out. This album was not a sell out for me. See, if Dylan wanted to sell out back in 1979, he would have put a disco beat in all of his songs. That would have been a sell out! To me, like I said above, this is a good and sometimes alternative listen to some classic Dylan tunes and there is nothing I dislike about it.

Track Listing:

1. Mr Tambourine Man

2. Shelter From the Storm

3. Love Minus Zero No Limit

4. The Ballad of a Thin Man

5. Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right

6. Maggie’s Farm

7. One More Cup of Coffee

8. Like a Rolling Stone

9. I Shall Be Released

10. Is Your Love In Vain

11. Going Going Gone

12. Blowin’ Like the Wind

13. Just Like a Woman

14. Oh Sister

15. All Along the Watchtower

16. A Simple Twist of Fate

17. I Want You

18. All I Really Wanna Do

19. Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door

20. It’s All Right Ma, I’m Only Bleeding

21. Forever Young

22. The Times They Are a Changin’

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan- rhythm guitar, vocals, harmonica

Billy Cross-  lead guitar

Steve Douglas- saxophone, flute, recorder

Debi Dye- backing vocals

Bobby Hall- percussion

Jo Ann Harris- backing vocals

David Mansfield- pedal steel, violin, mandolin, dobro, guitar

Alan Pasqua- keyboards

Ed Rash- tambourine

Steven Soles- acoustic rhythm guitar, backing vocals

Helena Springs- backing vocals

Rob Stoner- bass, backing vocals

Ian Wallace- drums

This album would be the last before Bob Dylan’s conversion to Christianity but that’s a story for further down the road in 1979. For me, this album is a great way to reminisce over many of the great classics of Bob Dylan.

Next Post: The Police- Regatta De Blanc

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1979: Dire Straits

Posted in 1978, 1979, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on August 30, 2012 by 80smetalman

The first time I heard the Dire Straits song, “Sultans of Swing” I was in the marines listening to it with a bunch of my marine buddies. One of them stated, “It’s Bob Dylan” and another added, “And he’s got Clapton backing him up on guitar.” While I would have loved to have seen such a calloboration, I am satisfied with knowing that Dire Straits is the closest I will ever get to it. Besides, Mark Knopfler  is a much better vocalist than Dylan and on this album he plays guitar almost as good as Clapton.

In spite of the fact that “Sultans of Swing” reached number four in the US charts, this first album by Dire Straits is definitely not a one song, the rest filler album. There are many great tracks that shows the guitar talents of Knopfler and supported by the rest of the band. Of course, the forementioned song is my favourite Dire Straits song of all time but there are some other good tracks on the album as well. It’s the later tracks that do it for me like “Soutbound Again,” “In the Gallery” and “Wild West End.” However, the entire album is a good soft rock listen with some fantastic blues guitar licks compliments of Mark Knopfler.

Track Listing:

1. Down to the Waterline

2. Water of Love

3. Setting Me Up

4. Six Blade Knife

5. Southbound Again

6. Sultans of Swing

7. In the Gallery

8. Wild West End

9. Lions

Dire Straits

Mark Knopfler- lead vocals, lead guitar, rhythm guitar

John Illsley- bass, backing vocals

David Knopfler- rhythm guitar, backing vocals

Pick Withers- drums

I didn’t get to hear this album until 1980 and I have always concluded that it was just one of those albums that came out when I was in boot camp in the summer of 79. Furthermore, in 1985, when everyone was raving about “Brothers in Arms,” I automatically thought back to this album and remembered that it was more genuine offering than the more commercially produced one in the mid 80s. This is the album I will always associate most with Dire Straits.

Next post: Cheap Trick- Dream Police

To buy Rock and Roll Children: go to www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1979: Queen- Jazz

Posted in 1978, 1979, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 27, 2012 by 80smetalman

 

Coming off the success of the 1978 smash, “News of the World,” Queen proved with the follow up album, “Jazz,” why they were a force to be reckoned with back in the late 70s. For me, “Jazz” was every bit as good as their last albums and some of the predecessors as well. Track after track on this album is consistently good and has me bobbing my head along each time I listen to it.

I remember when I heard the very first track, “Mustapha,” I wondered whether or not they were taking the proverbial. Maybe Freddie Mercury was doing a Frank Zappa bit and I had the paranoid worry that they were going disco. However, down the line of the song, the guitars kicked in and all was well after that. Then came my favourite track on the album, “Fat Bottomed Girls” and the hit “Bicycle Races” as well as some other fine songs climaxing with “Don’t Stop Me Now.” A very good album indeed and I’m glad I’m paying tribute to it here.

Track Listing:

1. Mustapha

2. Fat Bottomed Girls

3. Jealousy

4. Bicycle Races

5. If You Can’t Beat Them

6. Let Me Entertain You

7. Dead On Time

8. In Only Seven Days

9. Dreamer’s Ball

10. Fun It

11. Leaving Home Ain’t Easy

12. Don’t Stop Me Now

13. More of That Jazz

Queen

Freddie Mercury- lead and backing vocals, piano

Brian May- guitars, lead and backing vocals

Roger Taylor- drums, percussion, lead and backing vocals, electric guitar, bass

John Deacon- bass, electric and acoustic guitar

I have to confess, back in 1979, I tried very hard to dislike Queen, due to my homophobic views back then. Something I regret now. However, when I heard the singles from this album, I couldn’t help liking them. The music of Queen has the aura that is very hard not to like and today, I am a full fledged fan.

Next post: Dire Straits

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

Great Rock Albums of 1979: Toto

Posted in 1978, 1979, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on August 22, 2012 by 80smetalman

 

 

Although I was a big fan of Wayne’s World, there was one thing in their book “Extreme Close Up” I didn’t agree with. That was some of the songs they listed in the category of “Top Ten Party Killing Tunes.” There were at least two other songs that I felt shouldn’t have been on the list, “Hotel California” by the Eagles and “Freebird” by Lynyrd Skynyrd. However, down at number two was “Anything by Toto.” I don’t agree that every song by Toto is a party killer. Maybe in the case of “Georgy Porgy” but not their most noted song, “Hold the Line.” That was the song that made me aware of them and I still enjoy listening to it when I play any of the compilation CDs it appears on. Saying that, I do agree with Wayne’s number one choice, “Any disco tune.”

Sticklers for music history will point out that this album was released in 1978, but it didn’t come to my attention until March of 1979. How it did is an amusing story. An Air Force recruitment band came to my high school and played a gig. They introduced “Hold the Line” by saying that Toto had left Dorothy and the rest of the Wizard of Oz group and formed his own band. No, I didn’t find that funny either, but they did make the song sound good. Therefore, I was totally impressed when I heard the actual version by Toto.

If someone bought this album today after hearing “Hold the Line,” they may be disappointed in the fact that Toto aren’t a true hard rock band. They are more of a prog rock band with elements of hard and soft rock. I will go out on a ledge here and say they sound like 10cc with a bit of Kansas thrown in. While the album definitely isn’t party killing, it’s not a party enhancer either. This album is what I call a good wind down album. It’s great for playing when travelling home from a metal concert and you want something to bring you down. It’s also good for chilling in your big chair.

One thing I can say from this and other offerings by Toto is that they’re all talented musicians. The opening track, “Child’s Anthem” is a brilliant instrumental  intro to the album and while some of the song “I’ll Supply the Love” has that generic commercial 70s sound in some places, there is some good guitar licks and a keyboard solo to bring it up. A critic, which I’m not, might say that the musicianship makes up for any other flaws in the music.

Track Listing:

1. Child’s Anthem

2. I’ll Supply the Love

3. Georgy Porgy

4. Manuela Run

5. You Are the Flower

6. Girl Goodbye

7. Takin’ It Back

8. Rockmaker

9. Hold the Line

10. Angela

Toto

Bobby Kimball- lead and backing vocals

Steve Lukather- guitars, lead and backing vocals

David Paich- keyboards, lead and backing vocals

Steve Porcaro- keyboards, lead vocals

David Hungate- bass

Jeff Porcaro- drums

Toto are a good prog rock outfit, maybe not as good as Kansas in my opinion, but still good as their first album shows. And don’t pay attention to Wayne’s “Top Ten Party Killing Tunes” list.

Next post: Queen- Jazz

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London