Archive for the films Category

Great Rock Albums of 1984: Randy Newman- Trouble in Paradise

Posted in 1980s, films, Humour, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 11, 2017 by 80smetalman

Forget Toy Story, forget his controversial 1977 hit, “Short People,” my favourite Randy Newman song has always been “I Love LA,” which is the opening track on his album “Trouble in Paradise.” Released in 1983, this album didn’t come to my attention til the following year, courtesy of MTV, which is why I’m posting it here.

Alert, “Trouble in Paradise” is not an album for hardcore metalheads. Randy has always been a piano player and a very good one to say the least. His chops can be heard all throughout the album. However, there is one guitar solo on it. It appears on the track, “The Blues,” and is played by Steve Lukather of Toto fame. An additional bonus to this song is that he duets with Paul Simon on it and both do a fine job.

Many of Randy Newman’s songs have an air of humour about them. With this album, “Same Girl” and “My Life is Good” are good, funny tracks and I have always been tickled by some of the lyrics in “Miami.” “Miami, Blue day, best dope in the world and it’s free.”¬†However, he has a serious side. To my knowledge, the track “Christmas in Capetown” was the first song to talk about the Apartheid in South Africa. He deserves full kudos for that. “Real Emotional Girl” is more of a serious ballad as well.

Many guest artists appear on “Trouble in Paradise” including the two who appear on the track, “The Blues.” Of all the tracks, I do love the backing ¬†vocals from Jennifer Warnes, Wendy Waldman and Linda Ronstadt on “I’m Different.” For me, while Randy is his normal self on the song, it’s the backing vocals from these three ladies who really make this song shine for me. Definitely the second best track on the album.

Track Listing:

  1. I Love LA
  2. Christmas in Capetown
  3. The Blues
  4. Same Girl
  5. Mikey’s
  6. My Life is Good
  7. Miami
  8. Real Emotional Girl
  9. Take Me Back
  10. There’s a Party at My House
  11. I’m Different
  12. Song for the Dead

Randy Newman

Randy Newman- vocals, piano

Steve Lukather- guitar

Jennifer Warnes- vocals

Don Henley- vocals

Larry Williams- horns

Steve Madalo- horns

Jon Smith- horns

Ralph Grierson- piano

Neil Larson- piano

David Paich- keyboards

Michael Boddicker- keyboards

Nathan East- bass

Jeff Porcaro- drums

Larry Castro- percussion

Paulinho Da Costa- percussion

Christine McVie- backing vocals

Wendy Waldman- backing vocals

Lindsey Buckingham- backing vocals

Bob Seger- backing vocals

Linda Rondstadt- backing vocals

Rickie Lee Jones- backing vocals

Paul Simon- vocals on “The Blues”

Waddy Watchell- guitar

I won’t say that “Trouble in Paradise” is a great album to mellow out to but it does have its moments there. While Randy Newman is not as zany as Weird Al Yankovic, there is a good deal of humour if you listen for it. It’s a good album just to sit back and enjoy.

Next post; The Cars- Heartbeat City

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 Soundtracks of 1983: Flashdance

Posted in 1980s, films, Music, Rock, soundtracks, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on July 29, 2016 by 80smetalman

flashdance

As if! I never saw the movie and never listened to the soundtrack. The only tracks I heard from it were the title track sung by Irene Cara which made her a one hit wonder as did the other song, “Maniac” by Michael Sambello. Neither song was good enough for me one hit wonders post. The fact that they were played constantly in discos throughout the world makes no difference. If anything, it makes me less likely to want to listen to them. Funny thing was that there were some really cool films in 1983. “Trading Places” with Dan Ackroyd and Eddie Murphy, “War Games” featuring a very young fresh faced Mathew Broderick and “Pyscho II” to name just a few. However, I don’t remember any of these having cool soundtracks. If any of you know of a film from this year that had a cool soundtrack, let me know and I’ll listen to it and post about it.

Next post: Business as usual with Alice Cooper- Da da

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 1983: George Thorogood and the Destroyers- Bad to the Bone

Posted in 1980s, films, Music, Rock, soundtracks, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 30, 2016 by 80smetalman

220px-George_Thorogood_&_The_Destroyers_-_Bad_To_The_Bone

Here’s another album that was released in 1982 but didn’t come to my attention until 1983 on account of my military commitments. Then it was very late in the year and only because of the film, “Christine,” a film about a possessed car based on the book by Stephen King. The title track to this album from George Thorogood and the Destroyers was the main single from the soundtrack. I can’t remember anything else appealing to me from the soundtrack so I didn’t get it but because I only associated “Bad to the Bone” with the film, the album nearly passed me by, nearly.

chirs

I’ve always been a rather big fan of George Thorogood and his unique-ish guitar style. Then again, I’ve always been a fan of blues based guitarists. “Bad to the Bone” is no departure from this. His guitar and vocal style is present throughout the entire album. While he only pens three of the ten songs himself, he definitely leaves his stamp on the other seven.

“Bad to the Bone” opens with one of his own. “Back to Wentzville” is a 1950s style boogie blues jam and it is perfect to open this album. The next two songs are more in line with George’s traditional blues-riff style and I’m sure the Isley Brothers wouldn’t be too upset over the way he jams on their song, “Nobody But Me.” “It’s a Sin” is more of a slower song but the George and his band inject a great deal of power into it. Next comes my second favourite track, “New Boogie Chillun.” This was a classic John Lee Hooker song and again, the performance of it is phenomenal. After that is the title track and possibly my favourite on the album. Wow, that’s two albums in a row where my favourite track is the single, I’m hope I’m not starting a trend here. Anyway, it is the second song he writes on the album and I think the main reason I like it so much is that I have been listening to that one separate from the rest of the album way too much. Still, it’s a great tune.

“Miss Luann” is the third and final song he writes on the album. This along with the other two, shows that he can definitely write songs which has me wondering why he has used so many covers on the album. Then again, he does each and every cover total justice. For instance, the very next song, “As the Years Go Passing By” is the closest thing to a ballad on the album. However, it also highlights the fact that George’s voice has a little bit more range than what he is usually given credit for. Still, he lays down yet another grand guitar solo on it. After a classic Chuck Berry number, the album closes with a Bob Dylan tune, “Wanted Man.” Even though you can clearly hear the Thorogood stamp on it, you can still work out that this is Dylan through the lyrics. Nevertheless, it’s a great one to go out on.

Track Listing:

  1. Back to Wentzville
  2. Blue Highway
  3. Nobody But Me
  4. It’s a Sin
  5. New Boogie Chillun
  6. Bad to the Bone
  7. Miss Luann
  8. As the Years Go Passing By
  9. No Particular Place to Go
  10. Wanted Man
George Thorogood

George Thorogood

George Thorogood- vocals, guitar

Billy Blough- bass

Jeff Simon- drums, percussion

Hank Carter- saxophone

Ian Stewart- piano, keyboards

Besides the fact it was a rubbish film, I think that the soundtrack to “Christine” was the first of a long list of film soundtracks back in the 1980s to try to incorporate different forms of music in an attempt to appeal to everyone. I don’t know for sure as I have no intention of listening to it. Why should I? After all, the best single on it can be found on a far more superior album.

Next post: Planet P Project

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 1983: Golden Earring- Cut

Posted in 1980s, films, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 26, 2016 by 80smetalman

220px-Golden_Earring_-_Cut

Here goes my memory haunting me again. The major attribute about the band Golden Earring I have constantly forgotten over the years is the fact that they are Dutch. I won’t bore you by preaching to the choir that this is further proof that good music isn’t limited to any one nation, but you know. What my forgetfulness is forcing me to do is to change the post I wrote several months ago about my choices for National Anthems. For those familiar with the post, I chose the song “Down in the Silver Mine” by Diesel for The Netherlands. That is still a great song but there is a far better and more deserving song to represent Holland. That song is none other than “Radar Love” by Golden Earring. So, if nobody has any objections, I will go back to that post and amend this.

Unfortunately, many people, including a good number in the rock and metal world have Golden Earring down for being one hit wonders. They only know “Radar Love.” While I never had them down for that, I didn’t realize that they have an extremely rich discography which I am salivating over having a listen to. Some will argue that they are two hit wonders because of the single from this album in 1983, “Twilight Zone.” Believe me, the “Cut” album alone is too good to dismiss Golden Earring as such.

Without any of the flowery wording, let’s just say that “Cut” is a very good hard rock album. One could go as far as to say that they are melodic hard rock in respect to the album. The horns in the opener, “The Devil Made Me Do It” remind me slightly of their all time classic but there is some good rock to be had. The next three tracks are all melodic hard rock tracks with “Baby Dynamite” being the best of them. “Lost and Found” is more of a straight forward rock tune with some decent harmonizing by the band. I think “Chargin’ Up My Batteries” influenced later new wave artists but I can’t quite put my finger on who would sound like the song and “Secrets” is just simply a good closer.

Normally, I get a little nervous when the hit single is the best track on the album. If you heard “Twilight Zone” back in the day, please forget the shortened down radio/MTV version. The proper version is nearly eight minutes long and with some really cool long guitar solos. It makes a catchy radio oriented song that much better. Hey, there’s even a bass solo in it. A great song but while it is the best track on “Cut,” it doesn’t stand so far above the other tracks that it diminishes them. What this combo does is make the album that much better.

Track Listing:

  1. The Devil Made Me Do It
  2. Future
  3. Baby Dynamite
  4. Last of the Mohicans
  5. Lost and Found
  6. Twilight Zone
  7. Chargin’ Up My Batteries
  8. Secrets
Golden Earring

Golden Earring

Rinus Gerritsen- bass, keyboards

Barry Hay- guitar, vocals

George Koomans- guitar, vocals

Robert Jan Stips- synthesizer

Ceasar Zuiderwijk- drums

Not long ago, I commented on another blog that Golden Earring’s famous hit, “Radar Love,” appeared as a driving song in “Wayne’s World 2.” That is a great cruising song apart from being a classic rock tune. However, Golden Earring were never one hit wonders as the “Cut” album proves.

Next post: George Thorogood and the Destroyers- Bad to the Bone

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

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

 

R.I.P. Glenn Frey

Posted in 1980s, Death, films, Music, Rock, television, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 19, 2016 by 80smetalman
Glenn Frey

Glenn Frey

Another week in January 2016 and another rock legend has departed this world. This time it was The Eagles legendary singer, song writer and guitarist, Glenn Frey, who yesterday, succumbed after complications arising from rheumatoid arthritis. (The fact that it wasn’t cancer this time is of no consolation to me here.)

Glenn’s music career last for more than four decades. Throughout the 1970s, he made many a great record with The Eagles and wrote or co-wrote some of their classic hits, such as “Take It Easy,” Tequila Sunrise,” “New Kid in Town” and “Heartache Tonight.” In the 1980s, after the break up of the band, he went on to have a successful solo career with several more hits, which for me, the biggest one has to be “Smuggler’s Blues.” Frey even did some acting appearing in the 80s crime drama “Miami Vice” and in the 1990s, had a small role in the Tom Cruise film, “Jerry McGuire.” Still, it was his contribution to music that he will be remembered best for.

The Eagles

The Eagles

I have already been asked on Facebook if I will be visiting a Glenn Frey or an Eagles album in tribute to Glenn. I would love to but I don’t want to go out of sequence with things here on 80smetalman. The problem is that by 1983, The Eagles had been broken up for three years and Glenn Frey did not release a solo album in that year. So, this is what I’m going to do. I will be posting links to the Frey/Eagles albums I’ve visited over the years below. Read them all and remember just what a great influence to music both Glenn Frey and The Eagles were.

nofunaloud

https://80smetalman.wordpress.com/2015/05/10/great-rock-albums-of-1982-glenn-frey-no-fun-aloud/

220px-The_Eagles_-_Eagles_Live

https://80smetalman.wordpress.com/2013/07/10/great-rock-albums-of-1980-the-eagles-live/

The_Eagles_The_Long_Run

https://80smetalman.wordpress.com/2012/09/06/great-rock-albums-of-1979-the-eagles-the-long-run/

eagleshotelcal

https://80smetalman.wordpress.com/2011/08/19/great-rock-albums-of-the-70s-the-eagles-hotel-california/

Read, enjoy, listen to some Eagles records and some Glenn Frey solo material and pause a moment to reflect on what another tragic loss to rock his passing has been.

 

 

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1983: Frank Zappa- The Man From Utopia

Posted in 1980s, films, Humour, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 6, 2015 by 80smetalman

220px-The_Man_From_Utopia

If there was any more evidence to further my belief that 1983 was the year for humour in music, then it would have to be the album “The Man From Utopia” by Frank Zappa. For over a decade and a half before the release of this album, Frank had been successfully carrying out a two pronged assault of making some fantastic music while at the same time, making us laugh our asses off with his humourous lyrics. In the late 1970s, listening to Zappa was practically a requirement at my high school. 1983 would be the year that one of his songs would actually get airplay on commercial radio. Before that, his only access to radio play was via the Dr Demento Show. Yes, I know that “Valley Girl” broke into the top forty charts in 1982 but that song will always be associated with his daughter Moon.

Doctor Demento

Doctor Demento

That all changed when one day, while listening to the one decent rock station in Jacksonville, North Carolina, I heard the track “Cocaine Decisions.” Okay, the song never broke the top forty singles chart, but who really cares about that? I just thought it was great to hear Frank on the radio. True, “Cocaine Decisions” is an anti drug song. However, it is not aimed at the common man. Instead it pokes fun at all the high class executives who used to snort. There was a saying back in the 80s that went, “Cocaine was God’s way of telling you that you make too much money.” Frank’s song parodies that.

The rest of the album consists of everything that Frank Zappa has been doing to entertain us for all those years. There are a load of great parody songs on the album. At first, I thought “The Radio is Broken” was going to be about a broken radio. Instead, Frank is being a kind of prophet here. It would only be less than two years later when, in my view, commercial radio started to suck. This song is about that.

Then there’s “The Dangerous Kitchen.” This one takes the piss out of the rising health and safety culture and look where it is now these days. The track “The Jazz Discharge Party Hats” rips on musicians trying to get laid after every gig. However, my favourite track on “The Man From Utopia” is “The Man From Utopia Meets Mary Lou.” While the song is done with the usual Zappa sense of humour, there is a serious side to it. It’s about a down trodden housewife who gets away but then gets revenge by fleecing men. It is on this track that Ray White’s underrated vocals come out. Oh yes, “Sex” is a pretty funny track too.

If I were to nit pick anything about the album, it would be the absence of Frank Zappa’s guitar playing ability. He doesn’t go into any great solos and it could be said that there is a lack of guitar great Steve Vai’s skills. Honestly, I’m not really bothered. There are three instrumentals, “Tink Walks Amok,” “We’re Not Alone” and “Moggio,” on the album and they all boast the great musicianship from the people Frank gets to play on his albums. I think that “The Man From Utopia” might be his best album since “Joe’s Garage Act 1.”

Track Listing (CD)

  1. Cocaine Decisions
  2. Sex
  3. Tink Walks Amok
  4. The Radio is Broken
  5. We’re Not Alone
  6. The Dangerous Kitchen
  7. The Man From Utopia Meets Mary Lou
  8. Stick Together
  9. The Jazz Discharge Party Hats
  10. Luigi and the Wise Guys
  11. Moggio
Frank Zappa

Frank Zappa

Frank Zappa- vocals, guitar, drum machine

Steve Vai- guitars

Ray White- guitar, vocals

Roy Estrada- vocals

Bob Harris- boy soprano

Ike Willis- vocals

Bobby Martin- keyboards, saxophone, vocals

Tommy Mars- keyboards

Arthur Barrow- bass, rhythm guitar, keyboards

Ed Mann- percussion

Scott Thunes- bass

Chris Wackerman- drums

Vinnie Colaiuta- drums

Craig Twister Stewart- harmonica

Dick Fegy- mandolin

Marty Krystall- saxophone

Frank Zappa was still going strong in 1983 as “The Man From Utopia” shows. After all, if 1983 was a year for humour in music to step forward, it wouldn’t have been able to do so without Frank.

I have also made a rather disappointing discovery. As a teen forty years ago, I thought that by now, 2015, wars would no longer exist but there would be ROLLERBALL!

Rollerball

Rollerball

Next post: Weird Al Yankovick

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 Metal Albums of 1982: Anvil- Metal on Metal

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, films, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 1, 2015 by 80smetalman

220px-Metal_On_Metal

The other night I was watching Anvil performing the title track to their 1982 album, “Metal on Metal” and it got me thinking about the now famous Anvil Documentary that came out a few years back. Many bands admitted that they were blown away by Anvil back in the day and seeing their performance on You tube, I now know why. They were just so full of energy and the way they played was just mind blowing. I wished I could have seen them back then. Fortunately, their first three studio albums were just as mind blowing, including this one.

While I can easily say that all the songs on “Metal on Metal” are mind blowing metal anthems, it is the title track that I like best. Seeing it performed live only makes it that much sweeter. It’s just metal as metal was intended. However, it is likewise for the rest of the album as well. I get the distinct impression that the band had a good time recording this one. “Mothra,” “Jackhammer” and “Heat Sink” all fall in line with the title track, all great head bangers. The instrumental “March of the Crabs” show that these guys can actually play. One thing I do find surprising is the closer “666.” I’m surprised that it hasn’t appeared on an American fundamentalist Christian hit list, just for the title alone. The other reason I’m surprised the album hasn’t appeared on the same list is that “Metal on Metal” is what metal was meant to be. If someone with no experience of metal, who wanted to hear it in its purest form, this would be one of the albums I would reach for.

Track Listing:

1. Metal on Metal

2. Mothra

3. Stop Me

4. March of the Crabs

5. Jackhammer

6. Heat Sink

7. Tag Team

8. Scenery

9. Tease Me Please Me

10. 666

Anvil

Anvil

Steve ‘Lips’ Kudrow- vocals, guitar

Dave Allison- guitar, vocals on “Stop Me”

Ian Dickson- bass

Rob Reiner- drums

One observation I’ve made about Anvil today and was probably true back in the early 1980s, was that people either loved them or hated them. No prizes for guessing which side I’m on. Even when they played Bloodstock in 2012, these things were said. All I know is that their first three albums were all killer ones and though I didn’t experience them until 1984, I was glad for the opportunity.

Next post: Girlschool- Screaming Blue Murder

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