Archive for the Heavy Metal Category

Joint Posts

Posted in Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, soundtracks, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on September 28, 2022 by 80smetalman

After all of the great feedback and all the fun I had writing a joint post with 2loud2old, I would be happy to write joint posts with many of you in the future. It doesn’t even have to be two person post adventure and I’m sure many of us here could put our heads together and write a joint post. Posts could be ranking a band’s albums, ranking musicians or anything really, the sky’s the limit!

The only issue is that I would like to keep these type of posts spaced out as I am totally committed to the tour of heavy metal’s golden decade. Actually, I’m closer to the end as I am now well into 1988 and there’s only 89 left. However, it was never my intention that when I posted the final album of 1989, to end 80smetalman. You don’t get rid of me that easy! While I might cut down the frequency of the posts after that, I would still be open to ideas and joint posts would be one of them. Although, we could still write some along the way.

One point which I must absolutely insist on is that any joint post involving Savatage, Mike has to be included. He’s a big Tage fan as much as I am. Other than that, the sky is the limit.

Great Rock Albums of 1988: Steve Earle- Copperhead Road

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 16, 2022 by 80smetalman

Originally, I was going to post “Copperhead Road” by Steve Earle as a rock/metal album. The title cut of the album was my reason for it. I loved Steve’s image when I saw the video on television and the song proved that other instruments can be effectively included in hard rock and even metal. In this case, it was a mandolin. The song starts out with the mandolin and steel guitar and pedals giving it a country feel but then the guitar kicks in and takes it to a whole different level. The song itself is about a family of generations of moonshine makers and runners but the subject of the song, after he returns from Vietnam, decided to go into the weed farming business. It’s an excellent song.

Of course there are other great tracks on the album, although I have to agree with those who say that the first side of the album is better than the second. “Snake Oil” has a honky tonk piano combined with more great guitar riffs at the same time and talks about sitting president Ronald Reagan as a snake oil salesman. I agree with that sentiment. But Steve goes totally hard rock with the hidden gem on the album, “Back to the Wall.” It has a Tom Petty feel reminiscent of the “Damn the Torpedoes” album. There are some great guitar hooks on it and the best guitar solo on the album.

“The Devil’s Right Hand” is ahead of it’s time in the political music sense. The devil in the right hand Steve sings about is a pistol and this could be the first anti-gun song ever! Steve goes back to the returning veterans theme on “Johnny Come Lately.” In the song he contrasts how Americans treated servicemen returning home from World War II as opposed to Vietnam. It’s done to some great rockabilly music. My question is: Did Steve’s grandfather actually marry an English woman and bring her back home? Irish Celtic rock band The Pogues accompany him on this song.

As I said earlier, the second half of “Copperhead Road” isn’t as strong as the first half, although it’s by no means weak. The songs are less political and more love songs. I have no problem with that as they are done right. “Even When I’m Blue” sounds more like later Tom Petty and is some more good rockabilly. “You Belong to Me” sounds familiar but I can’t quite pick out the influence here. It’s a steady rocker with some good acoustic guitar as are the next two tracks. Things end with the rather tender ballad, “Nothing But a Child.”

Track Listing:

  1. Copperhead Road
  2. Snake Oil
  3. Back to the Wall
  4. The Devil’s Right Hand
  5. Johnny Come Lately
  6. Even When I’m Blue
  7. You Belong to Me
  8. Waiting On You
  9. Once You Love
  10. Nothing But a Child
Steve Earle

Steve Earle- lead vocals, guitar, mandolin, harmonica, 6 string bass

Danny Roberts- guitar, 6 string bass

Bill Lloyd- acoustic guitar, 12 string electric guitar

Bucky Baxter- pedal steel, lap steel, Dobro

Ken Moore- synthesizer, organ

John Barlow Jarvis- piano

Kelly Looney- bass

Kurt Custer- drums

Neil MacColl- mandolin on “Johnny Come Lately”

John Cowan, Maria MaKee, Radney Foster- backing vocals

Shane MacGowan- banjo, bodran

Daryl Hunt- bass

Andrew Ranken- drums

The Pogues on “Johnny Come Lately”

Telluride on “Nothing But a Child”

Here’s an amusing anecdote, I named a character in my second book, “He Was Weird,” after one from the title track. There is a John Peddlemore in the story. “Copperhead Road” further proved that there was lots of great alternative music out there and this was one American act I was glad came to Britain.

Next post: A Joint Effort

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

To give Bruce Dickinson his much deserved knighthood, click the link: https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson?redirect=false

Songs With the Same Title: Handful of Rain

Posted in Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on September 11, 2022 by 80smetalman

After obtaining permission from Big Bad Burch, thanks dude, I am writing my own post for songs with the same title. As you can see, the song title in question is “Handful of Rain” and I present three songs with that title. The first one comes as a result from when I put the title in a Google search. Paul Brett is a British guitarist who played in such bands as The Crazy World of Arthur Brown and although he was never officially in the band, played lead guitar in The Strawbs.

Paul’s “Handful of Rain” is a mellow acoustic number and listening to it, I ask myself, “Why wasn’t this song more known?” This is a great song to mellow out to. It’s mainly Paul on the acoustic guitar but the flute accompaniment makes it sound even better. Of the three songs, I would definitely say this one is a hidden gem since I already know the other two songs.

This isn’t the actual Savatage lineup from the song as the vocals are sung by Zach Stevens

Being one who likes to go from one extreme to the other on occasion, let’s go from the mellow rock sound of Paul Brett to the hard rocking sound of Savatage. It comes from their 1994 album of the same title. As many of my followers know, I’m quite the Savatage fan and this song is one of the reasons why. It just totally rocks!

Danny Vaughn

After going from one extreme to the other, I will end in the middle. The final offering of “Handful of Rain” comes from Vaughn, led by Tyketto lead singer, Danny Vaughn from the 2000 album, “Soldiers and Sailors on Riverside.” I have always classed that album as my favourite melodic hard rock album of all time and this song contributes to that. I have always considered Danny the most underrated male vocalist, period. His voice goes great with the melodic sound and the right use of power chords in the song make it great.

My verdict: All three songs are brilliant and they would each suit a particular mood for me. However, there is a winner and that goes to Savatage. That song just totally rocks it! However, this is just one person’s opinion, have a listen to the three songs and decide for yourself which one you like best. Remember, dissent is welcomed on 80smetalman so don’t be afraid to speak out.

Next post: Steven Earle- Copperhead Road

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

To give Bruce Dickinson his knighthood, click the link: https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson

Downfall of the Holy Man

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Humour, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on September 4, 2022 by 80smetalman
CDKBY4 Mar. 15, 2011 – Baton Rouge, LA, USA – Television evangelist Jimmy Swaggart breaks down in tears on televised sermon as he confesses his relationship with a prostitute. 1988 photo (Credit Image: © Robin Nelson/ZUMAPRESS.com)

One event in 1988, which many metalheads had a chuckle at, was the downfall of anti-rock music preacher, Jimmy Swaggart. Back during the tour of 1986, I posted about religion’s war on rock music and Jimmy was leading the charge. Have a watch here:

Swaggart’s downfall came in 1988 when he was caught watching porn videos in a motel room with a prostitute. Of course, he cried for forgiveness to his congregation, which you can watch below but he was expelled from his church. While he continued on independently, he never regained the popularity he enjoyed in the mid 1980s.

Served him right, I think.

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

To sign the petition to have Bruce Dickinson knighted, click the link: https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson

Donington 1988: Triumph and Tragedy

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 1, 2022 by 80smetalman

As per normal, through each year of the golden decade of heavy metal, (which is closer to the end than the beginning), I reflect on the triumphs and tragedies which occurred during that year. There have been great concert memories and artists whose lives were tragically shortened. In 1988, the triumph and tragedy occurred on the same day, at the Donington Festival.

You only need to look at the poster above as see that with the lineup, the day was going to be a complete triumph. Iron Maiden, KISS, David Lee Roth, Megadeth, Guns N Roses and Helloween made for what history will recall a great day for metal. Personally, I can’t speak for Helloween and Guns N Roses but I will get to that in a moment but the other four bands totally kicked ass!

Tragedy struck on the day during Guns N Roses’ set. A crowd collapse involving fifty people fifteen yards from the stage happened causing Guns N Roses to stop playing while concert security went in to attend to the injured. By the time they were fished out, two people, Alan Dick aged 18 and Landon Siggers, 20 were found laying down in four inches of mud. They were taken to hospital and pronounced dead. It was a tragic event which put a dark shadow on what was a glorious day for metal.

Of course, the metal hating newspaper, The Sun, spent more time focusing on the so called rowdy behaviour of the concert goers, making it out that somehow heavy metal caused the tragedy. Yes, it’s a load of BS.

On personal reflection, the reason I missed Helloween and Guns N Roses and half of Megadeth was because of a three hour plus traffic cue to get into the venue. It caused a lot of tension within the car although I can now see why my then wife would get a bit annoyed at me constantly saying, “I bet if it was a Madonna Festival, the roads wouldn’t have been so backed up.” The thing was the way metalheads were sometimes treated back in the 80s, it wouldn’t have been too far from the truth. Anyway, here are performances and a pre festival interview with Dave for you all to enjoy.

Next post: Scandals of 1988

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

To sign the petition for a knighthood for Bruce Dickinson, click the link: https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson

Great Rock Albums of 1988: All About Eve

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 21, 2022 by 80smetalman

Here’s a prime example of how a mishap on a mainstream channel can have a permanent negative effect on an artist. In 1988, British gothic rock band All About Eve appeared on the British television show, “Top of the Pops,” to perform their song, “Martha’s Harbour,” which was number seven in the charts at the time. As my British readers can confirm, most “live” performances on the show were mimed. All About Eve was introduced and the song started playing. However, the feed didn’t reach singer Julianne Regan and guitarist Tim Bricheno. As a result, the two sat there with Julianne looking more fidgety waiting for the song to start. Fortunately, the technical difficulty was sorted halfway through the song and Julianne and Tim were able to mime to the finish. Unfortunately, All About Eve will be more remembered for this technical blunder not of their doing as opposed to their great debut album.

The problem with this album is that it came out at the wrong time. If it had come out five years earlier, it would have been much more successful. All About Eve takes progressive rock in the form of Marillion with and adds elements of hippy rock and more dark alternative elements and makes their own sound, a sound which I really like. The opener, “Flowers in Our Hair,” has a hard edge to it but the next two tracks are more progressive before slipping in the haunting ballad which is “Martha’s Harbour.” I love an album which can’t be pigeonholed and this one is definitely that. The great thing is that in spite of all the different elements, the album flows very nicely.

In the case of my favourite track, “Every Angel,” they take all of these elements and put it all into one song. There’s a hippy sounding acoustic intro before Tim Bricheno’s guitar licks really gets cooking. With the rhythm section in tow, it all sets the stage for the vocals of Julianne. Haven’t having listened to this album for such a long time, I had forgotten what a great singer she is. Additionally, she and the band deliver on “Shelter From the Rain” which has a haunting melody backed up by more great playing. The bassline is clear and Tim cranks out a really nice guitar solo. This is definitely a hippy song for the 80s.

All About Eve completely nail down the sound on the remaining tracks. The dark, trippy, melodic tracks weave their magic all through the remainder of the songs. Even when Julianne is singing “Never promise anyone forever,” over and over again, it doesn’t get boring. Then the closer, “In the Meadow,” with the haunting vocals and guitar licks, stamps the final mark on what is a great album.

Track Listing:

  1. Flowers in Our Hair
  2. Gypsy Dance
  3. In the Clouds
  4. Martha’s Harbour
  5. Every Angel
  6. Shelter From the Rain
  7. She Moves Through the Fair
  8. Wild Hearted Woman
  9. Never Promise (Everyone Forever)
  10. What Kind of Fool
  11. In the Meadow
All About Eve

Julianne Regan- vocals

Tim Bricheno- guitar

Andy Cousin- bass

Mark Price- drums

Additional Musicians:

Mick Brown- drums (I don’t think it’s the same Mick Brown of Dokken fame)

Greg Brimstone- drums

Simon Hinkler- keyboards

Wayne Hussey- backing vocals on “Shelter From the Rain”

Paul Samwell-Smith- drone, horns, piano on “Wild Hearted Woman,” recorder, strings

Ric Sanders- violin

Peter John Vettesse- keyboards

Like I said, if this album had come out five years earlier, I think it would have been huge. More people would have remembered it instead of a technical hiccup. Still, I wish I hadn’t forgotten what a great album this really is. All About Eve should have gone further.

Next post: Traveling Wilburys- Volume 1

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

To sign the petition for a knighthood for Bruce Dickinson, click the link: https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson

Rest in Peace: Steve Grimmett

Posted in 1980s, Death, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 17, 2022 by 80smetalman

Man, it keeps coming! Once again, we have to say farewell and rest in peace to yet another from the music world. Former Grim Reaper singer, Steve Grimmett, has passed away, aged 62. FFI: Click the link: https://www.metalsucks.net/2022/08/15/grim-reaper-singer-steve-grimmett-dead-at-62/

Grim Reaper

Grim Reaper rode in on the New Wave of British Heavy Metal in the early 80s. They gave us three albums, one I will be posting about very shortly. After the disbandment of the band, Steve went onto sing with other bands such as Onslaught and Lionheart. Messages of condolence have been coming out. My sympathies go to his family and friends.

Rest in peace Steve Grimmett

Is There Something I Can Do?

Posted in Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 15, 2022 by 80smetalman

I did something stupid yesterday. I had CD1 of the above three CD compilation album in my car, listening to it on my way to and from work. When I got home, I put it into my back pocket to put away but guess what? Yes, sh*t for brains here forgot to take the CD out of his pocket. I only noticed it last night when I took Mrs. 80smetalman out for dinner and went to pay. When I reached for the wallet, I also found the CD and when I took it out, it was broken beyond hope. Yep, I acknowledge it was stupid.

Here’s my question: Is there any way I could just get CD1? I don’t want to buy it again when the CD’s two and three are working fine. Besides, the album was a birthday present from my daughter five years ago, therefore, it has sentimental value. If not, some great songs like Dokken’s “Alone Again,” the famous “Beth” by KISS, “Silent Lucidity” from Queensryche will be lost. Plus, there are songs from Damn Yankees, Free and a rather predictable one from Foreigner.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

Great Rock Albums of 1988: Georgia Satellites- Open All Night

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 14, 2022 by 80smetalman

A term which has been brandished around in the music world, I’ve been know to use it as well, is the ‘sophmore jinx.’ The term relates to bands who have great debut albums but their second album doesn’t live up to the hype created by the first one. Could this be said about the Georgia Satellites’ second album, “Open All Night?” Their debut album turned a lot of heads in their direction and gave them their best known hit, “Battleship Chains.” So, was the second album affected by the sophmore jinx? Some so-called critics thought so but I didn’t.

One thing no one can deny about “Open All Night,” is that the band definitely had a lot of fun recording it. That can be said throughout the album. The title cut opens and it’s good enough to hold interest but it’s the second track which is the song of the album, “Sheila.” They definitely put much fun into this one. I don’t know who Sheila is but the playing is brilliant, especially the guitar solo from Rick Richards.

One ‘critic’ called the cover of the Jerry Lee Lewis classic, “Whole Lotta Shakin'” a misstep on the album. True, Jerry’s version cannot be topped, although I would put it out for an “Original vs. Cover” post if anyone wants to hear it for themselves but the Georgia Satellites version definitely does the song much justice. I think Jerry Lee would have given it the thumbs up. The other cover is of a Beatles’ rarity, (actually, I discovered the song on the Beatles 1980 “Rarities” album), “Don’t Pass Me By” which was written by Ringo. Again, they totally rock the song out and make it theirs.

Speaking about a rock out, “Cool Inside” definitely does that! This is the rockingest song on the album and Richards delivers some great guitar solos on it. I could call this one the hidden gem as it appears, “Sheila” was the one released as a single. However, the second half of the album isn’t quite as good as the first. Don’t get me wrong, the songs are still good and the band has lots of fun playing and singing them and I find “Dunk and Dine” particularly amusing. It’s about a girl who works in a fast food establishment. “Mon Cheri” is rather amusing and proves that the band had a sense of humour and “Down and Down” has a cool opening riff. The album closes with the ballad, “Hand to Mouth,” which isn’t bad but I’m not sure if Dan Baird’s voice is suited to it.

Track Listing:

  1. Open All Night
  2. Sheila
  3. Whole Lotta Shakin’
  4. Cool Inside
  5. Don’t Pass Me By
  6. My Baby
  7. Mon Cheri
  8. Down and Down
  9. Dunk and Dine
  10. Baby So Fine
  11. Hand to Mouth
Georgia Satellites

Dan Baird- vocals, guitar

Rick Richards- guitar, vocals

Rick Price- bass

Mauro Magellan- drums

The question here is, can a band have fun making an album and be successful at the same time? In the case of “Open All Hours,” the critics would answer, “no.” For them, the album didn’t get past the sophmore jinx but for me, I love this album and don’t care what the critics think.

Next post: George Thorogood- Born to Be Bad

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

To sign the petition for a knighthood for Bruce Dickinson, click the link: https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson

Great Rock Albums of 1988: Night Ranger- Man in Motion

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 8, 2022 by 80smetalman

At least the 80smetalman curse can’t be blamed for the lack of success of Night Ranger’s “Man in Motion” album. For those who don’t know, the 80smetalman curse is that if I really like a band or a record it seems to be doomed not to be big. Examples, take three bands I have plugged on here. Black Emerald have broken up, Slave to Sirens are on a hiatus and are looking for a new singer and drummer and though Greywinds are still going, they haven’t gained that much attraction. However, back in 1988, I didn’t even know that Night Ranger had put this album out because in the UK, they were and probably always be known for two big songs, “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me” and “Sister Christian.” The thing is that now I have listened to “Man In Motion,” I think it’s now my favourite Night Ranger album.

When I heard this album, I was blown away how much it rocked! The power chords come in straight away on the opening title cut. The heavy keyboards from their previous two albums were toned down and the guitars turned up. Now, this could have been down to the departure of keyboardist Alan Fitzgerald, which in one sense was a shame because he was good but on the other hand, it did open the door for guitarists Jeff Watson and Brad Gillis to show what a great guitar duo they were.

Jeff Watson and Brad Gillis leading the way for Night Ranger

Here’s another paradox which confronts me in regards to the album. Normally, the hit single is not my favourite track on most albums but in this case, it is. “Reason to Be” is a cooker of a song which wouldn’t be out of place on many metal albums. After an ear catching acoustic intro, the song kicks into full gear and just simply rocks out and has a cool guitar solo. It was released as a single and was the highest charter making it to #’48. Logic dictates that I shouldn’t like it but I really do.

The second best track, I guess I can call this one the hidden gem, comes right after. “Don’t Start Thinking (I’m Alone Tonight)” takes me back to Night Ranger’s first two albums, “Midnight Madness” and “Dawn Patrol.” When I listen to this track, I keep thinking that they should have kept this sound all along. And the party doesn’t end there. A heavy metal intro brings in “Love Shot Me Down” and that metal sound continues all through the song. Man, I do love the guitar solo but unfortunately, Wikipedia isn’t letting onto which guitar virtuoso plays the solo on it.

Flashbacks of “Sister Christian” come through when I hear “Restless Kind.” I think they were definitely trying to recapture that former glory with this one and I do say that it comes pretty close but let’s be honest here, there is only one “Sister Christian.” Still, as far as power ballads go, it’s a good one. They go in a KISS direction on “Halfway to the Sun” as it does sound comparable to 80s KISS. It’s still a good song.

“Here She Comes Again” is more 80s pop rock and maybe should have been released as a single. It’s not a bad song but definitely not my favourite on the album but the fickle record buying trendy public might have bought it. More KISS vibes come through on “Right On You.” If fact, this one sounds more KISS than the previously mentioned KISS sounding song. It’s a great fun song to rock out to and things keep on rocking with “Kiss Me Where It Hurts.” It has the classic Watson/Gillis guitar solo tradeoff which is something I have always liked about Night Ranger.

The album closes with two decent but unspectacular tracks, “I Did It For Love” and “Woman in Love.” The former was released as a single abut only got to #75. Listening to it, I thought it might have done better but there’s better tracks on the album. “Woman in Love” does bring the album to a rocking close and it’s a good way to end things because I have difficulty picturing it being anywhere else on the album.

Track Listing:

  1. Man in Motion
  2. Reason to Be
  3. Don’t Start Thinking (I’m Along Tonight)
  4. Love Shot Me Down
  5. Restless Kind
  6. Halfway to the Sun
  7. Here She Comes Again
  8. Right On You
  9. Kiss Me Where it Hurts
  10. I Did It for Love
  11. Woman in Love
Night Ranger (1988)

Jack Blades- bass, lead and backing vocals

Brad Gillis- guitar, backing vocals

Jeff Watson- guitar

Kelly Keagy- drums, lead and backing vocals, percussion

Jesse Bradman- keyboards, backing vocals

Additional Musicians:

Alan Pasquale, Claude Gaudette, Eric Persing, Joyce Imbesi, John Purdell- additional keyboards

John Purdell, Kevin Chalfant- additional backing vocals

It was great that on “Man in Motion,” Night Ranger went back to a more hard rocking sound and without sounding like Rick Springfield. This is a cracker of an album which was why it didn’t have the commercial success it should have.

Next post: 38 Special- Rock and Roll Strategy

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

To sign the petition to have Bruce Dickinson receive a much deserved knighthood, click the link: https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson