Archive for the 1979 Category

Great Rock Albums of 1982: Fleetwood Mac- Mirage

Posted in 1979, 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 22, 2015 by 80smetalman

220px-Fleetwood_Mac_-_Mirage

Back in 1982, music video was still very new to many artists. MTV had only been up and running for a year and there were many households throughout the USA who did not have the channel. There would have been no way that having it on any of the base televisions would have even remotely considered. Therefore, the only music video I got to see was if I happened to catch “America’s Top Ten” and that wasn’t something I went out of my way to watch, unlike “World Championship Wrestling.” So, it was just luck of the draw that I managed to catch it on one Saturday. That week, REO Speedwagon and John Cougar had the only songs I thought of any worth in the top ten but then Casey Kasem showed the video for the new single from Fleetwood Mac, “Gypsy.” I liked the song, thought the video was okay and was glad to hear that they had put out a new album.

“Mirage” is a pretty good album, the problem for me and I suppose many people, is that after putting out an album like “Rumours” five years earlier, it would always be an extremely difficult feat to measure up to. Back in 1979, I should have seen the “Tusk” album as a sign. The problem with “Mirage”  and “Tusk” for that fact is that it lacks the variety of the all time great. While listening to “Mirage,” I patiently waited for a rocking jam like “Go Your Own Way” or a killer guitar solo from Lindsey Buckingham similar to “Don’t Stop.” Plus, I don’t think it would have been too much to ask if they allowed John McVie to pump out a killer bass line like on “The Chain.” Even an amusing little ditty like “Second Hand News” would have been cool, but none of these things are present on “Mirage.”

Enough of the negative because it is still an enjoyable album. One thing that does come over from the “Rumours” album and I’ve always loved her dearly for it, is the eccentricity of Stevie Nicks. It’s her vocals on “Gypsy” that made me check out the album in the first place. She does a similar job on “Straight Back.” That is the first track where Buckingham stops being introverted with his guitar and plays a decent solo. That combination makes it the best track on the album for me.

If it was up to me, I would have left the first four tracks of this album off and started it with “Gypsy.” From there on is where the album shines with tracks like “Hold Me” and a little bit of “Second Hand News” humour on “Empire State.” The closer, “Wish You Were Here,” is where Lindsey finally gets into full swing with the guitar making it the best song contributed by Christine McVie. That track gives an all well that ends well feel to things.

Track Listing:

1. Love in Store

2. Can’t Go Back

3. That’s Alright

4. Book of Love

5. Gypsy

6. Only Over You

7. Empire State

8. Straight Back

9. Hold Me

10. Oh Diane

11. Eyes of the World

12. Wish You Were Here

Fleetwood Mac

Fleetwood Mac

Lindsey Buckingham- guitar, vocals, keyboards

Christine McVie- keyboards, vocals

Stevie Nicks- vocals

John McVie- bass

Mick Fleetwood- drums, percussion

My advice to anyone who wants to listen to “Mirage” by Fleetwood Mac is to not think about “Rumours.” The albums don’t compare and you may feel disappointed. If you listen to it with an open mind, you will find the album very much enjoyable. It was still one of the better softer rock albums in 1982.

Next post: Night Ranger- Dawn Patrol

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

 

 

 

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Great Rock Albums of 1982: Greatest Hits of The Outlaws- High Tides Forever

Posted in 1979, 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 5, 2015 by 80smetalman

ghoutlaws

 Whether it was down to the lack of commercial success of the 1982 studio album, “Los Hombres Malo,” or simply because they thought it was the appropriate time but in 1982, The Outlaws decided to release a greatest hits album. So, they chose eight of their best songs and put out what was to be a must have for any Outlaws fan or someone who considered themselves a purveyor of Southern Rock. I was the latter.

It might have been only eight songs buy by God, what eight great songs they are! There are the three best known songs, at least to me, “Green Grass and High Tides,” “Ghost Riders in the Sky” and “There Goes Another Love Song,” which I had always thought was on the “Los Hombres Malo” album because I remember it being played quite a bit on radio in early 1983. As an added bonus, the version of “Ghost Riders” is a live recording that sounds really good. The album also opened my eyes to some of the lesser known Outlaws jams as well. “Hurry Sundown,” “Holiday” and “Stick Around for Rock and Roll” are all great songs as can only be done by the Outlaws. All three have those long guitar solos in that Southern Blues based fashion. The only track that doesn’t go in this mold is “Take It Anyway You Want It.” It actually has a more harder edge but lasting only three minutes and fifteen seconds, is very short for an Outlaws song. It’s still a decent song goes well in this compilation of Outlaws’ history.

Track Listing:

1. Stick Around for Rock And Roll

2. There Goes Another Love Song

3. Take It Anyway You Want It

4. Green Grass and High Tides

5. Ghost Riders in the Sky

6. Hurry Sundown

7. Holiday

8. You Are the Show

The Outlaws

The Outlaws

Rick Cua- bass, lead and backing vocals

David Dix- drums, percussion

Dave Lane- fiddle, violin

Dave Lyons- keyboards, lead and backing vocals

Freddie Salem- guitar, lead and backing vocals

Hughie Thomasson- guitar, banjo, lead and backing vocals

There are so many greatest hits albums around that it’s no wonder that the Outlaws would put out one of their own. “High Tides Forever” contains the classics that made their name at the time.

Next post: Rush- Signals

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

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 Metal Albums of 1980: Triumph- Progressions of Power

Posted in 1979, 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on November 13, 2013 by 80smetalman

220px-Triumph_PofP

In 1980, we had metal contributions from Great Britain, the USA and Australia, so it would only be natural that we had at least one from Canada. Of course in this year of great rock and metal albums, there was a brilliant album from Rush, which I have already posted on, but since even they don’t want to be called heavy metal, I decided to honour their wishes and not refer to them as such. I’m digressing again, what Canada did give the metal world that year was a brilliant album from Triumph.

When I visited their “Just a Game” album during my tour of 1979, I explained that because heavy metal was still in it’s infancy back then, Triumph was still looking for the sound that would stamp them firmly onto the metal monument. I can now safely say that after hearing “Progressions of Power” twice, that they definitely found the sound they were looking for. For me, this is yet another great metal album from the year. Not only did the opener “I Live for the Weekend” had me banging my head away, but that lasted through the second song “I Can Survive.” Even the more power ballad “In the Night” didn’t lessen my happy mood. Then there were two great back to back rockers, “Nature’s Child” and “Women in Love” and I have to really sing the praises of “Tear the Roof Off.” That songs really gets me going even if it is followed by a total ballad in the form of “Take My Heart.” Finally “Hard Road” that takes the album to it’s conclusion in a very well done fashion.

The problem that has always plagued Triumph is that because they’re Canadian, the get compared to Rush. Shame on those who do that. They are noticeably different. While Rush likes to go more progressive, Triumph lets you know that they are a hard rocking band and should be seen as such. I’m even going to go out on a limb here and say that I prefer the guitar playing of Rik Emmet to Alex Liefson but that’s just me. The solos he performs on this album are just grand.

Track Listing:

1. I Live For the Weekend

2. I Can Survive

3. In the Night

4. Nature’s Child

5. Women in Love

6. Take My Heart

7. Tear the Roof Off

8. Finger Talkin’

9. Hard Road

Triumph

Triumph

Rik Emmet- guitars, prophet 5 synthesiser, vocals

Gil Moore- drums, percussion vocals

Mike Levine- bass, keyboards

Way back when I first began this blog nearly three years ago, I said that Canadian metal doesn’t get the respect it deserves. I hope that as people follow me through this journey of heavy metal history, they will begin to give that respect to them. If you want a good place to start, then I can wholeheartedly suggest this album.

Next post: Van Halen- Women and Children First

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/Metal Albums of 1980: Thin Lizzy- Chinatown

Posted in 1979, 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on October 10, 2013 by 80smetalman

220px-Thin_Lizzy_-_Chinatown

Let me say that I am feeling rather foolish at the moment for not including Thin Lizzy’s “Black Rose, A Rock Legend” in my tour of 1979 albums. After all, Thin Lizzy were a great influence on heavy metal as affirmed by many of the metal bands we would come to know and love in the 80s. For those who have joined recently or haven’t read it, check out my post “Other Great Metal Influences: Part 7- Thin Lizzy” for further information. Furthermore, many metal heads, especially many I have met in the UK, were all fans of Thin Lizzy.

It has been said that the 1980 album “Chinatown” didn’t measure up to their previous album which I mentioned earlier. Many have blamed this on the departure of guitarist Gary Moore, (yes his leaving was a major loss for the band) and the recognisable drug problems of Phil Lynott. However, after getting reacquainted with “Chinatown” after so many years, I don’t want to make any comparisons because for me, there is nothing wrong with this album. Ok, maybe one small thing, the opening track, “We Will Be Strong” went on a little too long but it was still a good album opening song. Then there are the two songs I have known for years, “Chinatown” and “Killer On the Loose.” Both are good rocking songs in the tradition that made Thin Lizzy famous. Other standouts include “Genocide, The Killing of the Buffalo” and “Having a Good Time.” However, I still rocked along to the rest of the album and it reminded me that Thin Lizzy, even this late in their career, were still a force to be reckoned with in the rock world. I can also see from this album why they would go on to inspire a many metal bands less than a decade later.

Track Listing:

1. We Will Be Strong

2. Chinatown

3. Sweetheart

4. Sugar Blues

5. Killer On the Loose

6. Having a Good Time

7. Genocide, The Killing of the Buffalo

8. Didn’t I

9. Hey You

Thin Lizzy

Thin Lizzy

    Phil Lynott- bass, vocals

Scott Goram- guitar, vocals

Snowy White- guitar, vocals

Brian Downey- drums, percussion

For many die hard Thin Lizzy fans, “Chinatown” might not have ranked up their with some of their other ones. However, for me, this is a damned good album and it reminds me why they were such an influence on the establishment of heavy metal. So much so, that many people in the mid 80s would class them as such.

Next post: Rainbow: The Soundtrack to Up the Academy

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishingroup.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 1980: The Knack- But The Little Girls Understand

Posted in 1979, 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on August 3, 2013 by 80smetalman

Little_Girls_Understand

So far, when I have been throwing around the term “sophomore jinx,” I have referred it to acts who managed to escape it. Great rock acts like Boston, Pat Benatar and The Cars who put out equally good or better second albums after having impacted with a great debut album. Unfortunately for The Knack, they didn’t escape the sophomore jinx with their second album “But the Little Girls Understand.” My first experience of it was when I saw the album’s first single, “Baby Talks Dirty” on the juke box in my Enlisted Men’s club. Expecting great things, I played the song but even before the song had finished, I concluded that I had wasted my quarter. For that reason and all of the negative things I began hearing about the album, I never bought it. I remember that it was universally slammed as being a long way down from their debut “Get the Knack” album. One rock magazine later on in 1980 ran an article “Will The Knack End Up On the 99cent Rack?” And when they put out their third album in 1981, a friend remarked, “They dare put out another album.”

The other night, I finally got around listening to a few tracks on youtube and I have discovered that the second album from the album may not have been as bad as I have been led to think. True, “Baby Talks Dirty” is still the dirge I thought it was 33 years ago but some of the other tracks are ok, not great but ok. None of them really stick out for me however and what I find disappointing from the tracks I did listen to is there wasn’t one guitar solo from Berton Averre.

Track Listing:

1.Baby Talks Dirty

                                                                                                       2.  I Want Ya

3. Tell Me You’re Mine

4. Mr. Handleman

7. The Hard Way

8. It’s You

The Knack

The Knack

Berton Averre- lead guitar

Doug Fieger- rhythm guitar, vocals

Bruce Gary drums

Prescott Niles- bass

One great thing about having a fabulous debut album is that it greatly affects the sales of the second album. In spite of all the negativity directed at “But the Little Girls Understand,” it still went platinum and peaked at number 15 in the charts. While I have to agree that it was a long way down from “Get the Knack” it’s not as bad as I first thought. Maybe I will listen to it one more time and see if anything sticks out.

Next post: I am going to be away a lot for the next two weeks as I’m going on holiday. The first week, I’ll be in Torquay and no I won’t be staying at the Fawlty Towers and the second, I’ll be in Grimsby visiting the in laws. However, in between the trips, I will be going to Bloodstock and I can’t wait. If I can get on here before Bloodstock, the album I will cover will be “The River” by Bruce Springsteen.” If not, then in two weeks, you will get my account from Bloodstock.

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 1980: Styx- Cornerstone

Posted in 1979, 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 8, 2013 by 80smetalman

Styx_-_Cornerstone

Like I did with 1978 and 79, I am starting off 1980 with albums that were released in the previous year but didn’t come to my attention until the year I’m posting about. “Head Games” by Foreigner was one and so was “Cornerstone” by Styx. The album first came to my attention in the February courtesy of what is probably their best known single, “Babe.” During that month, it seemed every time I would return to base via the back gate, that song was blasting out of the juke box in the bar across the street. I know for a fact that the bar in question was called The Zodiac because the bar next door to it, Dale’s, had mostly country music on their box, although they did serve a delicious bowl of chilli. As a result, I got to hear the song quite a bit and while on the subject, I promise that I won’t link every album between 1980 and 83 with my military experiences.

No band, with the possible exception of Kansas, was able to equal Styx in the art of fusing progressive rock and hard rock. Their previous two albums, “The Grand Illusion” and “Pieces of Eight” plus much of their earlier records bare witness to this. “Cornerstone” is more a lurch to the progressive side of their sound. Most of the album seems to follow the flow of the march behind “Babe” and their other single “Why Me” with the progressive sound. The one track that tends to be more harder rock is “Borrowed Time.” This is not to say that it’s not a good album, in no way is it bad and the guitar solo by Tommy Shaw on “First Time” reminded me of that great times of the previous albums.

Track Listing:

1. Lights

2. Why Me

3. Babe

4. Never Say Never

5. Boat on a River

6. Borrowed Time

7. First Time

8. Eddie

9. Love in the Midnight

Styx

Styx

Dennis DeYoung- keyboards, vocals, accordion

Chuck Panozzo- bass, vocals

John Panozzo- drums, percussion, vocals

Tommy Shaw- guitars, vocals, mandolin

James Young- guitars, vocals

When the album came out, many hard rockers were disappointed by “Cornerstone” for it’s more progressive sound. Some  rock historians say that this album began their slide into commericaldom. I don’t think so and I’ll argue the case in 1981. For me, it’s still a good album with a well known song that brings back memories. I wonder if The Zodiac is still there.

Next post: Pink Floyd- The Wall

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

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