Archive for the Concerts Category

80sMetalman’s Top 30 Power Ballads: 1-10

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 23, 2018 by 80smetalman

The moment of truth has arrived! I am going to real my all time top ten power ballads. Before I do, let me just thank you for all of your comments and for simply enjoying the ride. While sitting down actually figuring out my top 30 was more exhausting than I had anticipated, it was still great fun. Think of all the songs I got to listen to. I know some of you might be a little disappointed that a power ballad you really love didn’t make the list but believe me, there were so many to choose from. Pity poor Ozzy, he has delivered many a great power ballad but not one of them made my list. It’s not that I didn’t want to include him, my favourite Ozzy power ballad, “In Old LA Tonight” from the “Osmosis” album came pretty damn close. Maybe if he preforms it at Download, I may change my mind. Anyway, enough of me rambling on, here’s my top ten.

10. Dokken- Alone Again

9. TNT- Eddie

8. Beggars and Thieves- Your Love is in Vain

7. Steel Panther- Community Property

I can see with lyrics like these why some people don’t take SP seriously but this is a kick ass power ballad!

6. Tyketto- Standing Alone

Another reason why Danny Vaughn doesn’t get the accolades he so truly deserves as a singer.

5. Pretty Maids- With These Eyes

4. Twisted Sister- The Price

For me, this song put the power in the ballad!

3. Savatage- All That I Bleed

I had to do some complicated math to include this one. The first half of it is a piano ballad while the second half completely rocks. So I applied the formula ballad + power rocker = power ballad

2. April Wine- Just Between You and Me

Go back and re-read my post on their 1981 album, “Nature of the Beast” and you’ll see why it’s number two.

  1. Heart- Allies

Heart would put out two more commercially successful power ballads later on in the 1980s. However, in my mind, they would never be as good as this one, not even close.

There you have it, 80sMetalman’s top thirty power ballads. I hope you have enjoyed listening to them as much as I have.

Next post: A Great Unknown Philadelphia Band

To download Rock and Roll Children for free, go to: http://allkindlecloud.com/register/14510967-Rock_and_Roll_Children_pdf_premi.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Great Rock/Metal Albums of 1984: Deep Purple- Perfect Strangers

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 26, 2018 by 80smetalman

Destiny brought them back together again. At least that was the big advertising plug for the “Perfect Strangers” album from the newly reformed Deep Purple. Back in the day, this album split opinion among many metalheads. Older ones like me, (I was 23 then), embraced this album immediately. However, there was some dissent from many teen metalheads at the time. Some even said that Deep Purple never should have reformed. To them, “Perfect Strangers” was a disappointment.

Let me add my theory to why teen metalheads might have been disappointed with the album. See, all these youngsters ever heard about in regards to Deep Purple was the classic “Smoke on the Water.” For many, this was their only experience with the legends. Therefore, they expected the entire album to be like that classic and when Deep Purple showed their more progressive rock side, which they do on the album, these youngsters were put off.

My experience with Deep Purple, although late, was full on. Of course, I knew of “Smoke on the Water” but I also enjoyed their more progressive songs like, “Wring That Neck” and there’s my favourite, “Woman From Tokyo” which incorporates both the prog and hard rock they were famous for. While none of the songs on “Perfect Strangers” quite match up to my fave, they do a rather good job of fusing their progressive and hard rock sounds. I think what these young people didn’t understand was that the band couldn’t help but add a little prog rock into their music when they had one of the best keyboard players of all time.

Deep Purple try to explain to their listeners that they had progressed from the days of “Smoke on the Water.” The closing track and my pick for hidden gem, “Hungry Daze,” states this clearly with the lyrics:

“We all came out to Montreax, but that’s another song.” 

The opening track, “Knocking At Your Back Door” pretty much shapes the entire album. You have some killer guitar work from Blackmore, great keyboard wizardry from Lord, Ian Gillan’s vocals were as sharp as they had been ten years earlier and the bombarding rhythm section of Glover and Paice holding all together. It’ s a great song to begin the album with. Things just go on from there with the slightly harder “Under the Gun,” then the more progressive “Nobody’s Home”  which shows off Jon Lord’s best keyboard work and the more bluesy sounding “Mean Streak.

One of my biggest regrets after writing “Rock and Roll Children” comes with the title track. When I saw Deep Purple live in early 1985, there was a phenomenal light show accompanying the song. I loved how the lasers shot across the length of the Philadelphia Spectrum making different patters with the notes. I don’t think I did it justice in the story. It was the first single and an okay song. “A Gypsy’s Kiss” remind me of the old DP classic, “Burn” with Ritchie belting out a blinder of a solo as well as the trade-off with Jon Lord where guitar and keyboards go back and forth. Okay, there are two hidden gems on this album.

In regards to the other gem, I don’t think “Hungry Daze” should have been the closer on the album. It’s a good track but everything about the penultimate track, “Wasted Sunsets” screams closer! Just listen to the opening guitar solo and the way Gillan’s voice just takes over before relinquishing again to another blazing Blackmore solo. The slower blues beat with it bears even more witness that it should be a closer. Hell, even the title suggests it! Other than this track misappropriation, “Perfect Strangers” was a good album for them to come back on.

Track Listing:

  1. Knocking At Your Back Door
  2. Under the Gun
  3. Nobody’s Home
  4. Mean Streak
  5. Perfect Strangers
  6. A Gypsy’s Kiss
  7. Wasted Sunsets
  8. Hungry Daze

Deep Purple

Ian Gillan- lead vocals

Ritchie Blackmore- guitar

Roger Glover- bass

Jon Lord- keyboards

Ian Paice- drums

Was 1984 the right time for Deep Purple to return? I’ve always thought so. I admit, “Perfect Strangers” isn’t exactly “Machine Head” but it’s a good album. The musicianship of the five members is outstanding, proving that there’s more to them than “Smoke on the Water.”

Next post: Venom- At War With Satan

To get Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://crreadac.cf/current/ebooks-free-download-rock-and-roll-children-fb2-by-michael-d-lefevre.html

 

 

Great Metal Album of 2018: Black Emerald- Hell Can’t Handle All of Us

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 14, 2018 by 80smetalman

It’s been four days since my weekend in Reading and after listening to their debut album, “Hell Can’t Handle All of Us,” I can still say I’m really into Black Emerald. I’ve now given the album three spins and I am completely impressed. Back in the 1980s, I used to love to listen to up and coming bands because they were hungry and that hunger was reflected in their music. So, it’s great to see that more than thirty years on, that theme is still present.

Things start off with an intro that totally reminds me of Black Sabbath. You know, that slow gloomy bass and guitar sound that gives the eerie feeling of impending doom. Something I have always loved about Sabbath. However, unlike Sabbath, that mood quickly changes to a faster uptempo sound which the earlier hook leads you into banging your head away to. This is a good opener to the album.

Following on is the more speed metal “Life of Anxiety.” Gutlocker vocalist Craig McBrearty lends a hand on the lead vocals and his vocal trade off with Emerald front man Edd Higgs, is just great to listen to. On “Dr Stein,” we have a fusion of Black Sabbath meets Megadeath. An interesting combination to say the least but it works very well on this song. There is the speed of Megadeath to start and even the first chorus reminds me a tiny bit of one of my favourite Megadeath tracks, “A Tout Le Monde.” Later in the song things go to the slower, gloomier Black Sabbath sound. “Dr Stein” ends with a very interesting combination of sounds from the guitar, bass and drums.

Next comes my favourite song on the album, “B.O.D.” I have said many times before that if the music is good in a song, the content of the lyrics won’t matter. The song could be about loving Jesus, eating fruit or doing terrible things to cats with a spoon and I wouldn’t be affected. “B.O.D.” is an anti- drug song and at my age, I shouldn’t be amused by the lyrics but with the song being so good, I don’t care that the opening line is:

“Shoot it up and snort the line

Dropping acid to drinking wine.”

Even later in the track, there’s “Smoking weed to smoking crack,” but I’m still rocking away. It could be down to the fact that guitarist Simon Hall really opens up on this track.

“One For the Road” continues to show how well the band can change it up during a song with elements of speed metal and melody. Afterwards, there’s “Voodoo Princess” which features Remnant guitarist Andy Gunn. The guitars on this track give the song a Jimi Hendrix feel to it. Like I said when I saw Remnant, Andy Gunn can play a guitar and Simon is playing along with him. I get impressions of guitar solo trade offs in the forms of Tipton/Downing, Smith/Murray and even Hanneman/King.

The second song from the demo tape I was given at Bloodstock is “Drown in the River.” It’s is done even better on the album and now that I have the lyrics on hand, I know know that the singer is drowning in the Thames River and not the River Death like I thought he was the past four and a half years. It also has a cool guitar solo and a great fade out at the end.

Black Sabbath rears its influential head again on the intro for “Sculptures to the Sky.” Now before every starts going WTF? let me say that this track is what Black Sabbath would sound like if Tom Arraya was lead vocalist. I don’t know if that would work in real life but Black Emerald makes it definitely plausible here.

The final crossover track from the demo is “Figure on a Barbed Wire Cross.” During the show, Edd explained that the song was about Charles Manson. Reading the lyrics, I can see that but they could be singing about a Hitler, Manson, Satan orgy and I would still like this song. Another weirdo fanatic is featured in the near ten minute track, “Jonestown.” The song is about Reverend Jim Jones who ordered his cult to commit suicide in 1978. What I love about this song is that’s it’s a celebration of what the band is capable of. Great vocals, musicianship and some cool tempo changes just so you don’t get bored. Not that you would. “Jonestown” leads into the closing instrumental that is “Revelations” and that is a brilliant way to end the album.

Track Listing:

  1. Hell Can’t Handle All of Us
  2. Life of Anxiety
  3. Dr Stein
  4. B.O.D.
  5. One For the Road
  6. Voodoo Pricess
  7. Drown in the River
  8. Sculptures in the Sky
  9. Figure on a Barbed Wire Cross
  10. Jonestown
  11. Revelations

Edd Higgs- bass, lead vocals

Simon Hall- guitars, backing vocals

Connor Shortt- drums

 

 

You know what? Of the many hundreds of albums I have covered here, I have never broken an album down this extensively. This is because every track has something to offer. Black Emerald are hungry and this debut album is surely evidence of that. So, I hope I’ve converted all of you and you will all go out and buy this album.

Next post: WASP

To get Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://book-fm.cf/print/free-download-rock-and-roll-children-by-michael-d-lefevre-pdf.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Metal Madness in Reading

Posted in Concerts, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 11, 2018 by 80smetalman

Not long returned from my short break in Reading with Mrs 80smetalman. We spent the Saturday afternoon at The Oracle, which is Reading’s big shopping precinct. While there were many eating places along the Thames River, which runs right through the precinct, we wanted to get out of the rain and went straight for the mall. With her ability to sense out these places, my wife found the Lush shop and added to her collection of bath stuff. We can also say that Lush staff are super friendly wherever you go. After that, we hit a few places in the mall, had dinner and then returned to the hotel where I prepared for big night at the Face Bar, where I was invited to attend the launch party for Black Emerald’s debut album, “Hell Can’t Handle All of Us.”

After a couple of detours down some dead end side roads, I found the Face Bar without any real trouble. On the outside, it looks like any other rock club I’ve been to and probably on the inside too. However, the first honour done to me on the evening was when I announced who I was on the guest list, the people at the door seemed to be expecting me. Once inside, I met Sharon, the mother of Black Emerald’s drummer as well as the bassist/lead vocalist’s father, who incidentally, was the one who gave me the Black Emerald demo CD at Bloodstock 2013 and told me to go check them out at the New Blood Stage. A recommendation I will forever be grateful for.

Sharon and me. Sharon worked her socks off to make sure the evening was top notch. Full marks to her!

Four bands were on the card this night and the first one on stage was Remnant. Here’s one band you can’t pigeon hole in any way. Remnant are a mix of thrash, groove and a few more genres of metal. They have dual male/female vocalists who share the duties but unlike say Amy Lee of Evanescence or Live Christine of Leaves Eyes whose vocals are very melodic, Tori Walter’s vocals are just as gritty as her male colleague Lee Gordine. Another gender stereotype broken here resulting in a one-two vocal punch that doesn’t let up. Both do a great job but what impressed me the most about this band was the lead guitar work of Andy Gunn. When you weren’t getting pounded by the two vocalists, he shredded in spectacular fashion. All of the combinations worked well together to make one great sound. It was a great way to begin the night!

Remnant begin the festivities

Tori and Leigh on the vocals

Andy Gunn shredding away

FFI on Remnant, go to: http://www.remnantuk.co.uk/

The next band up was Thirty Giants, however, I never saw 30 giants go onto the stage. What I saw was four men who knew how to play heavy metal. Thirty Giants have a style I’ve become quite fond of in my waning years. They come out with some powerful metal during the verses only to go slightly more melodic while singing the choruses to their songs. Luca Cossu handles most of the vocals and does a great job with it but he has some good support from bassist Sam Yard. Meanwhile, Dave Gilburt does most of the lead guitar duties and solos very well but Luca does lend a hand at times on the guitar. They did do a solo trade-off on one of the songs and I always am impressed when that’s done well, which it was. My biggest impression of Thirty Giants was that I am convinced I heard a little Asphalt Ballet influence in a couple of their songs and that made me like them even more.

You can hear some of their offerings here: https://thirtygiants.bandcamp.com/releases

Luca and Sam begin things for Thirty Giants

Guitarists Luca and Dave wailing.

Luca on the vox

Dave plays a solo

Anyone thinking that after the first two bands, they might have a reprieve, they were completely wrong. Up next was Gutlocker, who set out to pound the ears of everyone in the Face Bar with their brand of sludge metal. Lead singer Craig McBrearty has the power and range in his voice as well as the charisma of a good front-man, while the other three members did a great job in supporting his vocal efforts with power chords, thumping bass and drums. They might have only been on stage about thirty minutes by they let you know they were up there that entire time.

To hear more, go to: https://soundcloud.com/gutlocker1

Craig with guitarist Peter Tucker

Peter and drummer Dean Walker

Bassist Ben Rollinson

Three bands had come and gone. Three different styles of metal, all of which were completely enjoyable. Now, you might have noticed that I didn’t say anything about the rhythm sections of any of the bands. That’s because I would have been repeating myself three times. I can safely say that the rhythm sections for all three bands were spot on. All three bands also did a great job warming things up for the main event. After all, this was Black Emerald’s evening.

The atmosphere was almost electric by the time Black Emerald took the stage. I could have been back at the old Philadelphia Spectrum in the 1980s seeing such greats as Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Twisted Sister or Dio. It was like that. The first thing I noticed when they took the stage was that while I said how good they were in 2013, they were miles better four and a half years later! Edd Higgs’s shredding had come on leaps and bounds and the vocals of Simon Hall sounded even better. Plus Simon and Connor Shortt had become an even more tighter rhythm section and I was very impressed with Connor’s drumming. They played their entire album, including the song “Dr Stein,” which I uploaded from  Youtube when I announced they were cutting an album. Plus, they played the songs from their demo, all of which I liked. During the set, Craig from Gutlocker came on for a guest vocal slot and it proves the versatility of this band, that they were able to fit their sound to his vocals. Just as good was when Andy Gunn from Remnant came up to play guitar on “Voodoo Princess.” It was a treat hearing Andy and Edd shred together on this song. When they announced their last song, the nearly ten minute long, “Jonestown,” I couldn’t believe that more than an hour had passed. Black Emerald were fab!

Edd shredding

Simon on bass and vocals

Connor on the drums

Craig on stage with Black Emerald

Simon working some more magic

Andy shredding with the band

Another shot of Edd

Simon has the pipes

Don’t forget Connor

Here’s an interesting observation. You hear all the time of parents disapproving of their children’s interest in playing music. Hell, even John Lennon’s mother told him that playing guitar was a nice hobby but it wouldn’t get him anywhere. Boy, was she wrong! Therefore, it was great to see the parents of the members of Black Emerald, truly supporting their sons. Special kudos goes to Sarah, (Connor’s mum), who worked tirelessly throughout the evening, helping to make it so good.

When I left the Face Bar, I began to ask myself: “Is Reading an unknown mecca for metal?” True, the other bands weren’t from Reading but close enough. Thirty Giants were the furthest away coming from Brighton. If it is, I must go there more. There was one more surprise in store for me. I went to purchase “Hell Can’t Handle All of Us” before I left but Sarah told me to hold on. Moments later, she returned with a goody bag which featured the CD, a flier signed by the band, a Black Emerald coaster and a Black Emerald mug! That was a nice surprise and I thank the band for it and all the bands for a great night of heavy metal in Reading.

My goody bag. Note: when I didn’t need to buy the Black Emerald CD, I bought Remnant’s one.

 

Next post: Black Emerald- Hell Can’t Handle All of Us

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1984: Armoured Saint- March of the Saint

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 7, 2018 by 80smetalman

One question I have been asked many times back in 1984 and today by non-afficianadoes of heavy metal is: Don’t you get tired of listening to the same sound all the time? My answer is no. The stereotype on metal is that they all play the same four chords over and over. That might be true with some bands but at least every band chooses four different chords to play. That is what makes their sound unique. Plus, it also has a lot to do with the singer and lead guitarist as well. I was asked this question when I was listening to some Armoured Saint back in 84 and their debut album, “March of the Saint” proved my point. They were pure metal but at the same time, sounded unique.

Most people who have experienced Armoured Saint know of the title track to this album. It has become their trademark song pretty much and I was exceedingly glad when they played it at Bloodstock in 2015. Boy, how time flies. If one song were to be used to introduce anyone to Armoured Saint, it would be that one. A great song to bring in the album and a great song to hear live. Of course, everything they played live on that day sounded great.

Armoured Saint establishing their dominance at Bloodstock, 2015. 

Following the historic title cut are nine equally, well nearly equally, fantastic songs. Each song possesses the unmistakable vocals of John Bull and the guitars of Dave Prichard and Phil Sandoval backed up the rhythm section laid down by Joey Vera and Gonzo Sandoval. What you get is a total metal package. While most of the songs are pretty much equal in the kick ass stakes, I do think that “Seducer” does slightly rise above the rest in my opinion. I can’t explain it but it just catches my vibe. However, there are lots of great things about the other songs. “Glory Hunter” is also a really cool track with some interesting little riffs in the middle of the song. Then again, there are some rather cool intro riffs in most of the songs. “Take a Turn” and “Envy” are great examples of that. That’s the problem when I listen to this album. Every time I want to praise one particular track, the next one comes along and deserves equal praise. So, I have to go back to my previous statement, you get the total metal package on “March of the Saint.”

Track Listing:

  1. March of the Saint
  2. Can U Deliver
  3. Mad House
  4. Take a Turn
  5. Seducer
  6. Mutiny on the World
  7. Glory Hunter
  8. Stricken by Fate
  9. Envy
  10. False Alarm

Armoured Saint

John Bull- lead vocals

Phil Sandoval- guitar

Dave Prichard- guitar

Joey Vera- bass

Gonzo Sandoval- drums

Since “March of the Saint,” the band have said that they were totally disappointed with the final mix of the album because it was too commercial for the more heavy metal sound the band wanted it. They would make up for that for sure in future albums. Still, I have always enjoyed this album and will continue to do so.

Next post: Another band I who impressed the hell out of me at Bloodstock 2013, Black Emerald, will be having their album launch party for their debut: “Hell Can’t Handle All of Us” in Reading, UK this Saturday. I’m on their ‘Special Guest’ list to which I am truly honoured! See, a note to fellow bloggers, say great things about a band and you get invited to album launch parties. Although everything I have said about Black Emerald is certainly true. Don’t worry, next post, you will all get a full account of the evening with plenty of photos.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Metal New Year 2018! Some Big Decisions

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Death, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 31, 2017 by 80smetalman

Another year has come and gone and as we enter into 2018 tomorrow, I am faced with some choices for the coming year. Don’t panic, 80smetalman’s Blog will continue on until the very last relevant album of 1989 is posted about and as I’m only in 1984 at the moment, it’s safe to say that there are a few more years left in this engine. However, reflecting upon all the great musicians that have departed this world in the last two years and the passing of my mother in law three days ago, I have come to realize that I’m not exactly a spring chicken myself. Therefore, it’s time to slow down a little.

What I am really talking about is the physical side. Four of the past five years, I have gone to one of the major metal festivals in the UK and hopefully, have entertained you with my accounts of those. The fact that I’m turning 57 this year and family history isn’t on my side with health of the heart, I know that frolicking in the mud and living out of a tent for a few days isn’t something I should be doing much more down the line. That is why and enough of the morbid crap, I have decided to go out in a huge blaze of glory in 2018! I intend to go to both Download and Bloodstock this year and end my festival days on the ultimate high.

The lineups for both are ideal for my departure from the festival scene. Like me, Ozzy says he will be calling it a day after this tour. He will be headlining Download on the Sunday. He won’t be like when I saw him in 1986 when he had come out of his first spell in rehab but seeing him again will be brilliant! Plus, I’ve never seen Guns N Roses or Marilyn Manson before so that will also be brilliant. I only hope that Manson isn’t headlining the Zippo Stage on the Saturday evening when Guns N Roses are doing the same on the main stage. That would be a tough choice. Other bands playing include Black Veil Brides and Bullet for My Valentine, so there’s a lot to look forward to.

Bloodstock is just as good, especially on the Friday. I’ll get to see Suicidal Tendencies again although the stage layout will prevent me getting another high five from Mike Muir. Headlining that night is none other than Judas Priest! Also, I have been told that the festival will be keeping with the precedent set down in 2016 where the headliner of the Sophie Lancaster Stage goes on after the headliner of the Dio stage is finished. So, on the Friday, after getting blown away by Priest, I’ll hop over to the Sophie Stage and get rocked by Doro! On the other two days, Gojira is headlining on Saturday and Fozzy, Devil Driver and Mr Big all playing the Dio Stage on the Sunday. The lineups for both festivals aren’t complete so there may be more surprises in store. Whatever happens, I’ll be ending my festival days with a massive triumph!

Welcome Suicidal Tendencies

 

Fozzy begin

 

Gojira are welcomed by their fans

Like me, I hope that all of you have great things to look forward to in 2018. Thank you all for taking the time to read and comment over the past seven years and I assure, there will more great things to come.

Happy New Year!

Next post: I’ll start 2018 out with one of my favourite 1984 albums, Dio: The Last in Line