Archive for the 1979 Category

Great Metal Albums of 1979: The Scorpions- Lovedrive

Posted in 1979, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on March 10, 2013 by 80smetalman

Scorpions-album-lovedrive

I have to make a confession here, I have never, until now, listened to an album by The Scorpions pre- “Blackout.” I know, I need my head examined. In fact, I never knew of their existence until 1982 when I was stationed on Okinawa. There are some cool rock bars on that island and it was in such a place that I was first acquainted with them but that full story is for another time. What makes me feel even more foolish is that fact that I have been missing out on this great album from 1979.

“Lovedrive” is typical of why The Scorpions are probably Germany’s best musical export. Having now finally listened to it, the album totally does it for me. I love the riffs on the opening track “Loving You Sunday Morning” and other tracks like “Just Another Piece of Meat” and “Can’t Get Enough” had me going full tilt. I was also very impressed by the instrumental “Coast to Coast.” That really blew me away. Another reason why I should see a shrink is the fact that I know the ballad “Always Somewhere.” I had it on a compilation tape a long time ago but my car stereo decided it wanted the tape for lunch. Still, shame on me for not at least trying to find out what album it was on.

Track Listing:

1. Loving You Sunday Morning

2. Just Another Piece of Meat

3. Always Somewhere

4. Coast to Coast

5. Can’t Get Enough

6. Is There Anybody There

7. Lovedrive

8. Holiday

The Scorpions

The Scorpions

Klaus Meine- lead vocals

Rudy Schenker- rhythm guitar, backing vocals

Matthias Jabs- lead guitar, backing vocals

Francis Buchholz- bass, backing vocals

Herman Rarebell- drums, backing vocals

Guitar legend Michael Schenker plays lead guitar on two of these tracks as well adding another dimension to this album. What it has made me do is want to go out and buy all of their earlier stuff. If you haven’t listened to the album yet, don’t wait like I did, you’ll regret it.

Next post: The Boomtown Rats- The Fine Art of Surfacing

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

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Great Metal Albums of 1979: Motorhead- Bomber

Posted in 1979, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on March 5, 2013 by 80smetalman

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With the “Overkill” album, Motorhead knew exactly what direction their music was going to take. The proof in the pudding is clear with the “Bomber” album, released in the same year. This was another album that I listened to in retrospect, but upon hearing it, I was convinced that this was the sound that would define them. “Bomber” is one heavy speed-thrashfest from beginning to end. When I listened to the album the other night, I admit it was the first time in many years, I found myself head banging away. Unfortunately, I couldn’t crank it to the required volume as it was 3 in the morning, but I can’t safely say that it definitely did not put me to sleep.

Like “Overkill,” it is difficult to pinpoint any one track that stands out, for once again, they all do. This is in spite of the fact that there are some classic Motorhead gems on here such as “Dead Men Don’t Tell Tales,” “Sharpshooter” and “Stone Dead Forever.” Those tracks just go along with the rest of the other ones, making this one killer album. Lemmy and the boys should be dead proud.

Track Listing:

1. Dead Men Tell No Tales

2. Lawman

3. Sweet Revenge

4. Sharpshooter

5. Poison

6. Stone Dead Forever

7. All the Aces

8. Step Down

9. Talking Head

10. Bomber

Motorhead

Motorhead

Lemmy Kilmister- bass, vocals

Fast Eddie Clark- guitars, vocals on “Step Down”

Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor- drums

With “Bomber,” Motorhead were well and truly on their way to metal dominance. This is a classic album and I wish that I had heard it back in the year it had actually come out.

Next post: The Scorpions- Lovedrive

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Great Metal Albums of 1979: Motorhead- Overkill

Posted in 1979, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on February 28, 2013 by 80smetalman

220px-Overkill

While some bands were experimenting with their sound on the road to playing heavy metal, Motorhead was one of those bands who already knew where they were heading in 1979. “Overkill” was the first of two albums put out by these guys in the year the dam began to burst. Unlike Led Zeppelin or Duran Duran or the Spice Girls or Wham or JLS, nobody in America ever said that Motorhead was the best thing to come out of England since The Beatles. This is in spite of the fact that, with the exception of Led Zeppelin, they stomp all over the other mentioned names. Not that Motorhead would actually give a sh*t about that to begin with. 

Again, it would be several more years before they came to my attention so this is yet another of those albums I listened to in retrospect. Still it is everything I would later come to know and love about them. “Overkill” is a metal album that put several cracks into that bursting dam. Every song says to me, “I’m going to make your ears and nose bleed and you’re going to like it.” Therefore, it is difficult for me to pick out any one or two tracks that stand out. For me, when every song is that good, it makes for one hell of an album. 

With “Overkill,” I can see the birth of thrash and speed metal for these guys helped pioneer it. Everything from Lemmy’s gutteral vocals and thumping bass to the great guitar work of Fast Eddie Clark and yes, I’m going to add him to the list of underrated guitarists. Of course it is all to the beat of Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor on the drums. This album is a promise of great things to come. 

Track Listing:

1. Overkill

2. Stay Clean

3. I Won’t Pay Your Price

4. I’ll Be Your Sister

5. Capricorn

6. No Class

7. Damage Case

 8. Tear Ya Down

9. Metropolis

10. Limb From Limb

Motorhead

Motorhead

Lemmy Kilmister- bass, vocals

Fast Eddie Clark- guitars

Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor- drums

While I have been writing this post, I’ve been hoping a song would stand out for me. However, when one pops into my head so does another in direct competition, so no, there is not one song that stands out because they all do. That makes a good album and for many in 1979, it would be an indication of greater things to come. 

Next Post: Motorhead- Bomber

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

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1979: KISS- Dynasty

Posted in 1979, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on February 26, 2013 by 80smetalman

220px-Dynasty_(album)_cover

It has been said that KISS went disco with this album and use the hit single from it “I Was Made For Loving You” as the argument to support it. In some circles, in regards to the song, that may be true but I have a younger sister who was heavily into disco at the time. Therefore, I avoided going near her bedroom so I wouldn’t get my ears desecrated by “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor or anything the Bee Gees were doing at the time. I would take the KISS song over those every time. If my sister should read this, she will probably kill me for mentioning these embarrassing days of her youth. She did see the light a year or so later.

The disco consideration was not the reason I didn’t listen to the album back then and it wasn’t even boot camp either. Back in that time, I was still allowing my mind to be messed up by religion and I actually believed the crap that KISS stood for Knights In Satan’s Service and they were all admitted Satan worshipers. Thinking back to that time, I can’t believe I was that naive. The problem was that back in my teenage years in the 70s, I was a born again Christian, a Jesus freak if you like. I won’t go into details on it but I will say that as a teenager, religion messed my head up more than drugs or music ever could.

Anyway, to the “Dynasty” album. Having listened to it again, I didn’t feel the need to sacrifice a goat to the Dark Lord, well maybe a couple of chickens. Still even with the disco song included, it’s not that bad of an album. In fact, maybe there is an argument for removing “I Was Made For Loving You” from it because the rest of the album is pretty good. Like I said with Triumph, back then, metal was still in its early stages and many acts were still experimenting with their sound. So, I’ll give KISS the benefit of the doubt on this one. Besides, I especially love the last four tracks and “Magic Touch” and “X-Ray Eyes” stand out for me in particular. All of those final songs remind me that KISS are capable of putting out some great rock.

Track Listing:

1. I Was Made For Loving You

2. 2,000 Man

3. Sure Know Something

4. Dirty Livin’

5. Charisma

6. Magic Touch

7. Hard Times

8. X-Ray Eyes

9. Save Your Love

KISS

KISS

Paul Stanley- rhythm guitar, vocals, bass on “I Was Made For Loving You” and “Magic Touch”

Gene Simmons- bass, vocals

Ace Frehley- lead guitar, vocals

Peter Criss- drums, percussion, vocals

One thing KISS could still pride themselves back then was the fact that all four members took a turn at the lead vocals, not something most bands do. The Beatles and The Eagles were the only ones that come to mind at the moment. For KISS, they still continue to do that very well on the “Dynasty” album and there is something cool about hearing the different vocalists on it. That is why I this album probably deserves more credit than what it has been given.

Next post: Motorhead- Overkill

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Great Metal Albums of 1979: Triumph: Just A Game

Posted in 1979, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on February 22, 2013 by 80smetalman

220px-Triumph_Just_a_Game

First of all, I just want to say that whoever the sad individual(s) who said that Canada was a land of shitty music is a complete moron. They probably were Duranies back in the 80s and at this time were of the mind that disco would never die. Their only idea of Canadian artists was Bryan Adams. Canada has given us many great rock and metal artists over the years starting from Rush and going across the board to thrash legends Voi Vod. Of all the great acts from the Great White North (yes, I was a McKenzie Brothers fan too) one that should always be mentioned with them is the great band Triumph. 

Like a lot of acts, Triumph were well into the spotlight and already had some great albums out by the time they came to my attention. When I heard that stuff, I got it into my mind that they were heavy metal although we could debate that for hours. I listened to this 1979 offering by them retrospectively and I wouldn’t call it a metal album. Saying that, in that year, heavy metal was still finding its feet and many of the acts that we would come to know and love as metal were still experimenting with their sound. 

If I were to put this album into a category and I hate doing that, I would call it bluesy hard rock. Tracks like my favourite “Young Enough to Cry” and the title track as well as “Moving On” back up my thinking on that one. This doesn’t bar the listener from hearing the Triumph sound that would later stamp them. What I did notice was when I heard the track, “American Girls,” I thought for a second or two that I was listening to Boston and that’s not a bad thing. So, I did my usual practice of not trying to label the album and sat back and really enjoyed the sound of “Just a Game.”

Track Listing:

1. Moving On

2. Young Enough to Cry

3. American Girls

4. Laying It On the Line

5. Suitcase Blues

6. Just a Game

7. Fantasy Serenade

8. Hold On

Triumph

Triumph

Rik Emmett: guitars, vocals

Gil Moore- drums, vocals

Mike Levine- bass, keyboards

Forget catagorising and just sit back enjoy “Just a Game” from Triumph. You will see where they started to develop into the major force that they would later become and you’ll never have any doubts about the quality of Canadian music. 

Next post: KISS- Dynasty

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Great Rock Albums of 1979- Ted Nugent- State of Shock

Posted in 1979, films, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 16, 2013 by 80smetalman

220px-StateOfShock_TedNugentsalbum

This album has a bit of irony to it for me. As you have probably read many times until your sick to death of it now, I spent three months of 1979 in musical isolation. Actually it was Marine Corps boot camp at Parris Island, South Carolina, known in the film “Full Metal Jacket” as the home for the crazy brave. At the time, many of us referred to it as the land of sun and sandfleas. I digress. During those three months, I had no information of what music was coming out. Then one night, I pulled a guard duty where a radio was playing nearby. I was able to listen to it and several times during my duty, there was an advertisement for tickets to see Ted Nugent’s always kick ass live show in Savannah, Georgia. I concluded that he must have a new album out and when I went home on leave, five weeks later, I saw the “State of Shock” album at my local store.

When I first heard the album all of those long years ago, I thought it was brilliant, although it could be said that it was because I was musically starved at the time. Killer tracks like “Paralyzed” and “Satisfied” still come to mind and show what a true artist Ted Nugent is and how he can wail on a guitar like very few people could both then and now. The problem for me is time, having refamiliarised myself with the album, I am now in the mind that it doesn’t quite live up to the knock out punch of “Cat Scratch Fever,” Weekend Warriors” or the later “Scream Dream.” Still, there is nothing wrong with the album, it is still a great album with some fine guitar work from the master himself.

Track Listing:

1. Paralyzed

2. Take It Or Leave It

3. Alone

4. It Don’t Matter

5. State of Shock

6. I  Want To Tell You

7. Satisfied

8. Bite Down Hard

9. Snake Charmer

10. Saddle Sore

Ted Nugent

Ted Nugent

Ted Nugent- lead guitar, vocals

Charlie Huhn- rhythm guitar, lead and backing vocals

Walt Monaghan- bass

Cliff Davies- drums, backing vocals

Let’s not get into an argument on whether “State of Shock” compares to some of the other Ted Nugent classics. It is a good album and for me, it was a great reintroduction back into music after being deprived of it for so long.

Next Post: Triumph- Just a Game

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Great Metal Albums of 1979: AC/DC- Highway to Hell

Posted in 1979, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on February 8, 2013 by 80smetalman

Acdc_Highway_to_Hell

I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to get another post out before the weekend, but fortunately, as schools in the UK break up for half term on Friday, there isn’t a need for supply teachers. Therefore, I am able to bring you that album that consciously influenced my decision to join the ranks of heavy metal. “Highway to Hell” was the album that basically ended the seventies and opened up the door to the eighties for me and I’ve been eternally grateful ever since.

For me, the title track alone would make this album but the other songs lift it up to a place where you need the Hubble Telescope to see it. Those hard rocking riffs just set my head to bobbing and I just can’t stop it. While, I can go on forever about the first song, the album in no way loses anything with the nine other songs. “Touch Too Much” is a brilliant headbanger and with “Beating Around the Bush,” there has been no other lead-rhythm guitar combination that has been performed better than the way the Young Brothers do it on this song. Then, there is the amusing lyrics on “Walk All Over You.” Many times in the company of a lady, I have thought or even told her, “You look so good under me.” Of course, I have also experienced the lyrics in the song “Shot Down in Flames.”

Track Listing:

1. Highway to Hell

2. Girls Got Rhythm

3. Walk All Over You

4. Touch Too Much

5. Beating Around the Bush

6. Shot Down In Flames

7. Get it Hot

8. If You Want Blood (You Got It)

9. Love Hungry Man

10. Night Prowler

AC/DC

AC/DC

Bon Scott- vocals

Angus Young- lead guitar

Malcolm Young- rhythm guitar, backing vocals

Cliff Williams- bass

Phil Rudd- drums

As I said before, originally I was going to wait until the end of my journey through 1979 to visit this album, but with Hell’s Bells coming to town this weekend, I thought it appropriate to visit it now. Don’t worry, I’ll let you know how Hell’s Bells are in the next post and if they continue to be note perfect. If there is any album to get me into the mood for the night, it would be “Highway to Hell.” This for me, kicked my ass into the 80s.

Next post: Ted Nugent- State of Shock

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FFI on Hell’s Bells, go to http://www.hellsbell.info

 

Great Metal Albums of 1979: Saxon

Posted in 1979, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on February 5, 2013 by 80smetalman

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In a song on a later album, which I will cover down the line, Saxon asks, “Where were you in 79 when the damn began to burst?” I know I mentioned it before but I thought I should bring it up again because back in that year, Saxon were one of the bands who fired the first salvos at the damn. Their self titled first album was the weapon of choice and this album reminded me why I like to listen to up and coming bands so much. It contains a raw, gutsy, hungry sound that many heavy metal acts would possess when they were making their way up the ladder of success.

The first track, “Rainbow Theme” may not be a throat grabber of an opening song but it does the job in turning your attention to the album. I love the guitar work on the second track, “Frozen Rainbow”as well as the Thin Lizzy influence on “Judgement Day.” The rest of the album would lay the ground work for the later success of Saxon from the unmistakable vocals of Biff Byeford to some impressive guitar work from the likes of Graham Oliver and Paul Quinn. Another track that definitely stands out for me is “Stallions of the Highway.” It shows why I have always liked this band so much.

Track Listing:

1. Rainbow Theme

2. Frozen Rainbow

3. Big Teaser

4. Judgement Day

5. Stallions of the Highway

6. Backs to the Wall

7. Still Fit to Boogie

8. Militia Guard

Saxon

Saxon

Biff Byeford- vocals

Graham Oliver- guitar

Paul Quinn- guitar

Steve Dawson- bass

Pete Gill- drums

Back in 1979, heavy metal as we know and love it was still in its infancy, although back then, we didn’t realise how fast it would grow up. Saxon are one of the more unsung heroes of heavy metal. This first album shows the hunger that they had and metal bands after would acquire. So in salutation, have a listen to the first album from a great British band, Saxon.

Next post: I was going to save this until the end of my 1979 journey but as I am going to see AC/DC tribute band Hell’s Bells on Saturday, I thought I would make “Highway to Hell” my next stop.

Hells Bells

Hells Bells

FFI: http://www.hellsbells.info

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Great Rock One Hit Wonders of 1979

Posted in 1979, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on January 31, 2013 by 80smetalman

Like I did with 1978, I thought I would take a moment to talk about the a few of the one hit wonders of 1979. Those who were famous for that one song but even the album that it appeared on didn’t warrant its own spot here on 80smetalman’s blog. Although there is an exception to the rule in the post, so without any further procrastination, here we go!.

Amii Stewart

Amii Stewart

You’re all probably thinking that I lost the plot here. I know that Amii Stewart’s 1979 hit “Knock On Wood” was a disco song. However, I have decided to include it because throughout the whole disco era of the late 1970s, this was the only disco song I almost, sort of, kind of liked. It did have a catchy bass line which is why I never immediately reached for the volume knob to turn it down when it came on the radio. Funny thing was that when I was in the service on liberty in Toulon, France in 1982, she played a disco there and this was the song used to advertise her appearance.

Patrick Hernandez

Patrick Hernandez

Keeping in the French theme, the second one hit wonder of 1979 tribute goes to French singer Patrick Hernandez for his hit “Born to Be Alive.” Like “Knock on Wood,” this song wasn’t a hard rocking song but unlike it, it wasn’t disco either. I just thought and so did many others at the time, that it was a good fun song that didn’t take itself seriously. I also liked the guitar bit in the musical interlude between the verses. Ten years ago, I saw him being interviewed on television and he fully acknowledges the fact that he was a one hit wonder and he seemed quite proud of that accomplishment.

The Boomtown Rats

The Boomtown Rats

I’ll be the first person to say that the Boomtown Rats are not one hit wonders. The only reason I included them here is because their song “Don’t Like Mondays” wins my favourite song of 1979 award and is up there in the all time list. Back in 2000, I used to follow a metal band around the pubs of Bristol, England and although many of their originals were quite good, I liked the fact that they did an excellent cover of “Don’t Like Mondays.” Saying that, I will give the Boomtown Rats the respect they deserve and visit their 1979 album in the very near future.

There could have been more hits in that year but these are the ones I knew the most. I can point to the three months I was on Parris Island, South Carolina where I was starved musically as the reason why. Still two of the songs here are still worth a good listen and if I’m in the right mood, I can listen to “Knock On Wood” as well.

Next Post: Saxon

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Great Rock Albums of 1979: Jefferson Starship- Freedom At Point Zero

Posted in 1979, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on January 24, 2013 by 80smetalman

FreedomAtPointZero

This is one of my favourite albums of all time and definitely my favourite album from Jefferson Starship. Back then they were my favourite band and with this album, Jefferson Starship was progressing in the same way my personal music tastes were progressing. They had abandoned their more mellow progressive sound of the mid to late 70s and took on a much harder, rockier sound and I loved it, still do. Not everyone agreed with the change at the time, Rolling Stone stated that Jefferson Starship had become just another heavy metal band. My reaction to such a claim would have been the same as rhythm guitarist Paul Kantner’s reaction but I won’t tell you what that was til I get to their next album.

Some less informed persons have claimed that the reason why this was their best album was all down to the absence of Grace Slick. I can’t say that I agree with that either. I put the success of “Freedom At Point Zero” down to two other factors: a) Lead guitarist Craig Chaquico is given much more liberty to show what he can do with his guitar on the album and b) Paul Kantner does more of the song writing on it. If you are scratching your head over the last one, listen to the title track and the track “Lightning Rose” and you should see what I mean.

Craig Chaquico

Craig Chaquico

After the departures of lead singers Grace Slick and Marty Balin from the band, Jefferson Starship did leave their mellow out approach behind and took up a more heavier sound. There is their big single “Jane” which starts the album off with a rocky vibe that sticks with you. Other tracks like “Things to Come,” “The Girl With the Hungry Eyes” (that title has always amused me) and “Rock Music” are good rocking sounds that bear the banner for this album. Even the more laid back songs like “Fading Lady Light” don’t totally abandon this and the one thing I can say that despite the harder sound, their creativity from those earlier years still is evident. This is why it’s my favourite Jefferson Starship album.

Track Listing:

1. Jane

2. Lightening Rose

3. Things to Come

4. Awakening

5. Girl With the Hungry Eyes

6. Just the Same

7. Rock Music

8. Fading Lady Light

9. Freedom at Point Zero

js

Pete Sears- bass, keyboards

Ansley Dunbar- drums

David Freiberg- bass, keyboards, vocals

Paul Kantner- rhythm guitar, vocals

Craig Chaquico- lead guitar, vocals

Mickey Thomas- vocals

“Freedom At Point Zero” is considered the best album by Jefferson Starship in the opinion of myself and many others. They made a major transformation to the world of hard rock and did so with some impressive ease, although I always knew they had it in them. I thought there would be no better way of ending the great rock albums of 79 tour than this. I will be going into the great metal albums of that year after a one stop detour. However, I will pass on the advice that Jefferson Starship give in one of their songs: “Rock and roll is good time music, listen to it.”

Next post: Rock One Hit Wonders of 1979

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