Archive for the Music Category

Great Rock Albums of 1984: Toto- Isolation

Posted in Uncategorized, 1980s, Music, Rock with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 17, 2017 by 80smetalman

It is probably the case that “Isolation” is most likely my favourite Toto album was the reason that it didn’t do as well as its predecessors in the charts. Some would say one reason why I like it more was down to the fact that it doesn’t have any cheesy singles like “Rosanna” or “Africa.” I never thought either of those songs were to begin with. That accolade goes to “99” in my opinion. Besides, “Rosanna” has a really cool guitar solo on it. Additionally, there are no songs on “Isolation” that would be called ‘party killing’ tunes in the realm of Wayne’s World.

Wayne puts ‘Any song by Toto’ as number 2 on his party killing tunes list.

Now, some may say that the single, “Stranger in Town,” from this album is slightly cheesy. Again, I don’t agree, I’ve always liked it. In fact, it is my second favourite Toto song. “Hold the Line” remains number one. If there be cheese, Toto do what they normally do and hide any cheese behind some good musicianship. There is plenty of that to be heard on the song and every other track on the album. “Stranger in Town” is the third track on the album following two rather good tunes. I also really like the track that comes after, “Angels Don’t Cry.” There is some good guitar work and it reminds me of late 1970s Styx or Kansas in the sense there are some crunching guitars backed up by some cool but not dominating keyboard playing. The same can be said for “Endless.” Even the more keyboard dominated tracks are done very well with some good guitar solos in them. I never bought the critics claim that “Isolation” was a Journey clone. Where did they get that one from?

The new event which occurred on this album was that it was the first one to feature Fergie Frederiksen on lead vocals who replaced Bobby Kimball after the band terminated his services. I never knew what lead to the switch in singers but I’ve never bothered to find out. Admittedly, I didn’t even know they had a new singer until I looked on the credits of the album. However, Bobby Kimball still provides backing vocals on three or four of the songs.

Track Listing:

  1. Carmen
  2. Lion
  3. Stranger in Town
  4. Angels Don’t Cry
  5. How Does it Feel
  6. Endless
  7. Isolation
  8. Mr Friendly
  9. Change of Heart
  10. Holyanna

Toto

Fergie Frederiksen- lead and backing vocals

Steve Lukather- guitars, backing vocals, lead vocal on “How Does it Feel”

David Paich- keyboards, backing vocals, orchestral arrangements, lead vocals on “Stranger in Town” and “Holyanna,” co-lead vocals on “Carmen”

Steve Procraro- keyboards, electric sounds

Mike Procraro- bass

Jeff Procraro- drums, pecussion

Bobby Kimball- backing vocals

Back in 1984, Toto’s “Isolation” album was my come down a little bit album after listening to three or four metal albums on the trot. The great progressive rock musicianship that comes out of the speakers when it’s played was the reason why. I didn’t think about it then but for me, I’ve come to the conclusion that after the demise of both Styx and Kansas in 1984, this album was the progressive album that carried that sound on.

Next post: Molly Hatchet- The Deed is Done

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1502997743&sr=8-7&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

An Evening of Ska-Punk in Newcastle

Posted in Concerts, Humour, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 11, 2017 by 80smetalman

Well, I’m back from my three days in Newcastle Upon Tyne and before I left, I did promise that if I saw any great bands at Newcastle’s premier rock club, Trillian’s, I would share the experience here. However, the American tourist in me has briefly taken over so before you get to read what great bands Planet Smashers and Faintest Idea were, you’re going to have to view my holiday snaps. Don’t worry, there aren’t many.

The view from my hotel room, It rained a lot on the first day

Great weather on Thursday. Here’s a view from the Gateshead Millennium Bridge

The bridge opens to let a boat go through

At first, it seemed the rain on the first night was too heavy and I wouldn’t make it past the pub across the road from my hotel room. The Blonde Barrel does do great food though. Thankfully, the Gods of Rock smiled on me and the rain slowed do to a fine spray so I was able to go into the city centre and get to Trillians. I discovered that the two named bands would be playing on the Thursday evening so I went down to the bar where I made another amazing discovery. Motorhead has a beer called Road Crew. Naturally, I had to try some and I can say that it’s very nice.

The next day, I made inquiries about Road Crew being available in shops. I was directed to one place that sold eccentric beers but the owner told me that the beer was massed produced and available in major supermarkets, not where I live. I made a further inquiry at the small supermarket but they didn’t sell it. However, one of the staff advised me to try a small shop in the train station grounds. So I went to a place called CentrAle and yes they did sell Road Crew. Then another surprise, right next to it was another beer called Anthrax War Vance and yes, it’s endorsed by Anthrax. Apparently some cases were left behind after their last UK tour and Bruce, the manager of CentrAle, got them. CentrAle is the only place in the UK where you can get Anthrax War Vance. So, I got lucky there.

Bruce with a can of Anthrax

Eventually, the big night came and I went off to Trillians to see Planet Smashers and Faintest Idea, two bands I knew absolutely nothing about. With nothing to expect, I had a very open mind to them when they came on stage. Faintest Idea took the stage first and that would begin my education. Before this particular evening, I had practically zero experience with ska. I offer no reason for this except it was something I never explored. That will change for sure. Getting back to Faintest Idea, listening to them, I have concluded that the Ramones will never have to go in the ska direction because that’s what this band sounded like. The Ramones playing ska. Every song was done in the ‘one, two, three go’ style that the Ramones made so famous during their career. However, Faintest Idea did it with horns. To that point, I’ve never heard such a tight brass section, fair dues to them. Of course, I can’t take anything away from the guitar, bass (also lead singer) and drums either and together they fused ska and punk very well. Songs I remember the most were “Bull in a China Shop” and “Youth” but all of the songs were played well and I was very much impressed.

Faintest Idea on stage

After a brief intermission where the keg of Road Crew ran dry, headliners Planet Smashers from Quebec, Canada took the stage. My first impression was that there was a Madness influence here. Not a surprise because many put forward the argument that Madness were one of the originators of ska. Madness or not, Planet Smashers stood well enough on their own. Plus, this band has a great sense of humour while on stage. Guitarist/lead singer Matt Collyer knew how to engage the crowd with his banter. However, it was definitely the music that was the main attraction. Not often does one get to see bands with two very tight brass sections on the same night but that’s what I saw. Songs that I remember most were “Life of the Party” and my personal favourite, “Super Orgy Porno Party.” You got to believe that anyone who comes out with a song with a title like that has to be very good and they were.

Planet Smashers

And from the other side

I left Trillians with a much better knowledge of ska music then I had two and a half hours earlier and I’m a much better person for it. But the night didn’t end there. Not feeling tired and knowing the Mrs 80sMetalman and our two granddaughters were asleep, I decided to hit another pub I knew was open later. I can’t remember the exact name, I had too many pints by then. While I was inside, both bands turned up and so I ended up drinking with them. That’s something that doesn’t happen to me every day. The members of both bands were great people and that rounded off a fantastic night.

Meeting up after hours

Next post: Toto- Isolation

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1502488199&sr=8-7&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1984: The Kinks- Word of Mouth

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 6, 2017 by 80smetalman

In the waning months of 1984, I was hit by a sudden epiphany one day whilst I was watching MTV. The video for The Kinks’ first single, “Do It Again” from the 1984 “Word of Mouth” album came on and it hit. While many bands and genres in rock had come and gone, the Kinks were still going strong for twenty years. In fact, “Word of Mouth” was their 20th album! What helped was the fact that I really liked “Do It Again.” On Friday nights, after a heavy night’s partying, my friends and I would go to our favourite diner. Back in the day, diners had individual juke boxes in each both, so we would have to put on some tunes while we awaited our feasts. In the last months of 1984 and the first months of 85, “Do It Again” was constantly selected. Why not, it was a great song and still is.

One thing the Kinks have always been so successful at during their tenure was to bend a little with music trends while at the same time, remaining The Kinks. On this album, their sound is definitely in the no man’s land between hard and progressive rock and I don’t mean this in any derisory way. I mean that track I have loved so much over the past three decades and opens the album is a good hard rock song. The next couple of tracks follow suit, although the title track is the harder one of the two which follow “Do It Again.” Then comes another really great track that is hot on the heels of my favourite track. “Living on a Thin Line” has both elements of hard and progressive rock. There’s a very catchy melody accented by keyboards but the guitars really crunch when required to do so. An added bonus for me back then and now is the political statement in the lyrics. Dave Davies wrote the song to convey his hatred of politicians with the insinuation that politics in Britain then hadn’t moved on much from England in the middle ages. I can see that as this album came out during the peak of the miner’s strike.

Following on are two very interesting rock songs in the form of “Sold Me Out” and “Massive Reductions.” The keyboards on the latter track are a bit of a paradox for me. In my mind, the Kinks’ 1983 single “Come Dancing” was the worst song they ever made. I know a lot of you probably don’t agree and that’s cool. Anyway, on “Massive Reductions,” the keyboards sound very similar to that song I don’t like very much. However, with the hard rock of the guitars, the keyboards work well on that song. “Guilty” is a straight forward rocker and the lyrics “Guilty until proven innocent” seemed to ring true for me at the time. Not that I was in any trouble with the law. “Too Hot” is a fun song that reminds me of the Kinks of old, not that they really changed that much over the years. It’s just a catchy vibe that makes you want to wiggle back and forth in your chair.

Another interesting song is “Missing Persons” which is the closest song to a ballad on the album. It is a slow song but the drums are done in military fashion and it does get harder when it needs to punctuate its point. “Summer’s Gone” is a cross between 1960s pop and heavy metal. Sounds weird I know but believe me, it works on here. Some good guitar work on here too. Maybe it was a summertime fun song for the 1980s. “Going Solo” is a good closer and I have always wondered about it. With the lyrics: “My little girl’s going solo” combined with the fact that the band members were parents, that it’s about a daughter who’s grown up and leaving the house. Just a thought, but you can’t fault the album.

Track Listing:

  1. Do It Again
  2. Word of Mouth
  3. Good Day
  4. Living on a Thin Line
  5. Sold Me Out
  6. Massive Reductions
  7. Guilty
  8. Too Hot
  9. Missing Persons
  10. Summer’s Gone
  11. Going Solo

The Kinks

Ray Davies- guitar, vocals, keyboards, harmonica

Dave Davies- guitars, backing vocals, lead vocal on “Living on a Thin Line” and “Guilty”

Jim Rodford- bass, backing vocals

Mick Avory- drums on “Missing Persons,” “Sold Me Out” and “Going Solo”

Bob Henrit- drums on all other tracks

Ian Gibbons- keyboards and backing vocals

Twenty years and the Kinks were still going strong as the “Word of Mouth” album certainly showed. Looking back, it amazes me just how much good rock was out there in the year so much metal was being aired.

Next post: There will be no post later on this week as I’m off to Newcastle Upon Tyne for a much needed break. However, I will go to Trillian’s and if I happen to see a good band or two whilst I’m there, you’ll read about it here.

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1502046608&sr=8-7&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1984: Tommy Shaw- Girls With Guns

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 2, 2017 by 80smetalman

 

Styx guitarist, although back in 1984 it was former, Tommy Shaw’s first solo album is yet another reason why I don’t let one song influence me when I buy an album. It was the opening title track that was played by radio and while “Girls With Guns” is a decent song, it on its own, wouldn’t have been enough for me to buy the album. What influenced me to buy it was the songs Tommy wrote whilst he was in his former band.

The great thing about Styx in the 1970s and 80s was that Tommy, Dennis De Young and James Young all had the ability to write and perform great songs. While I don’t have a preference in this realm, the songs that Tommy wrote which I really loved were: “Too Much Time on My Hands,” “Blue Collar Man,” “Renegade” and “Man in the Wilderness” for starters. Therefore, like with Dennis’s solo album, I used the memories of the great Styx songs Tommy wrote to influence my decision to buy “Girls With Guns.”

Styx

Did my logic work out? My answer is yes. It’s true that the opener, title track and first single was always intended to sound more 80s synth but I did like it. It doesn’t really matter because each track after offers up something new each time. The very next track, “Come In and Explain” is very much heavy rock and Tommy does open up with his guitar on that one. Following that, he attempts a ballad with “Lonely School.” Now, I don’t want to knock his voice because Tommy Shaw can sing and it’s not a bad song but I don’t think that voice is made for ballads, at least on this song. Just my thoughts that’s all. However, he does go into more familiar territory with “Heads Up.” This sounds like his days with Styx and there is good harmonizing in the vocals. Plus, there’s the added bonus of him laying down a particularly cool guitar solo, so full marks here.

Pure speculation here but maybe he realized he wasn’t up for singing ballads because while “Kiss Me Hello” is a ballad, there is much more harmonizing on it and therefore a big improvement. Additionally, I have to give full marks to Peter Wood here because he does a marvelous job on the keyboards on this one. Tommy does end the song with a little guitar solo so full marks all around, actually.

“Fading Away” has a very progressive rock intro and then goes to a reggae sound. Now Tommy Shaw is no Bob Marley but his voice sounds okay on it. He does fuse more progressive rock into the song and the mix sounds okay. “Little Girl World” has a catchy feel good factor about it. It’s one of those songs you would play at a celebration or something and has some more good keyboard work from Wood. But there’s some hard guitars that do manifest themselves out of the background. A similar thing can be said for “Outside in the Rain” but the guitars are more noticeable, especially with one of Shaw’s solos on it. He is also accompanied by one Carol Kenyon on the vocals. “Free to Love You” is the love child between 1980s synth and traditional Styx. Elements of both permeate the album without either establishing dominance and with another cool guitar solo, Tommy blends them well. The closer, “The Race is On” is a decent progressive rock song with saxophones on it. Nicely done in a way that closes the album out on a good note.

Track Listing:

  1. Girls With Guns
  2. Come In and Explain
  3. Lonely School
  4. Heads Up
  5. Kiss Me Hello
  6. Fading Away
  7. Little Girl World
  8. Outside in the Rain
  9. Free to Love You
  10. The Race is On

Tommy Shaw, now sporting a mullet in 1984

 

Tommy Shaw- guitars and lead vocals, mandolin

Steve Holley- drums, percussion

Brian Stanley- bass

Peter Wood- piano, electric piano, synthesizers

Carol Kenyon- accompanying vocals on “Outside in the Rain”

Richie Connata- sax solo on “The Race is On”

Molly Duncan- saxophone section on “The Race is On”

Tommy Shaw followed Dennis De Young in releasing a solo album after Styx. While he’s not afraid to stretch out a bit on the album, he does remember that his guitar work is his main weapon as it was for Styx. However, he does have  good keyboards player in Peter Wood and that helps to make “Girls With Guns” the winner here. If I were to compare it to Dennis’s album.

Next post: The Kinks- Word of Mouth

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1501701674&sr=8-7&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1984: John Parr

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, soundtracks, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 29, 2017 by 80smetalman

History has always misrepresented English rocker John Parr. For the masses, he is considered a one hit wonder, that one hit being the title track of the soundtrack for the film “St. Elmo’s Fire.” If you were to judge him on that song alone, you would have thought him to be just another 80s synth pop singer. However, I know that this wasn’t the case and most, possibly all the songs, on his 1984 self titled debut album are better. In fact, the “St Elmo’s Fire” track only appears on the UK release and not the US Atlantic records one, which was what I experienced. My conclusion here is that the album is just fine without it.

Long before there was a “St Elmo’s Fire,” (that film didn’t come out until 1985 and it will take a lot of convincing from you the masses for me to visit the soundtrack), I was already familiar with Mr Parr. The first single from the album, “Naughty Naughty” received a good amount of air play on both radio and MTV. It’s a rocker and for me, that song defines John Parr.

Fortunately, his album follows suit along with the song I just talked about. In fact the only hint of synth pop on the album is the track “Love Grammar” and I stress only a hint. Even that song has its hard rocking moments as well as a cool guitar solo from John himself. That’s another thing about him, he can shred a little too as well as sing. The rest is pretty much straight forward hard rock. (Am I using that phrase too much in my posts?) In this case, it does define the album very well. One great example of this is the track, “Treat Me Like and Animal.” Now that song is hard rock, no debate. There is a ballad right after, “She’s Gonna Love You to Death” but there are some decent guitars in the song. The album then returns to more rock ground after that with a rather cool intro on the track, “Revenge” and some cool hard guitars on it. I’m glad they did it that way and not try to use synths as was the custom of the time. The keyboards on the track are more progressive rock than anything. The rest of the album pretty much follows along the path with the possible exceptions “Heartbreaker” and the closer, “Don’t Leave YOur Mark on Me” which sound like they could have been songs for a 1980s film soundtrack. But even these on has their rocking moments. What you get here is a cool rock album from John Parr.

Track Listing:

  1. Magical
  2. Naughty Naughty
  3. Love Grammar
  4. Treat Me Like an Animal
  5. She’s Gonna Love You to Death
  6. Revenge
  7. Heartbreaker
  8. Somebody Stole My Thunder
  9. Don’t Leave Your Mark on Me

John Parr

John Parr- lead vocals, lead guitar, African sounds

Pete Solley- organ

Christopher Marra- guitar

Brad Lang- bass

Colin Farley- bass on tracks 3 and 7

Jon Cook- keyboards

Richard Cottle- keyboards tracks 3,4 and 6

Jonathon J Jeczalik- synthesizer

The Kick Horns- horns

Graham Broad- drums, percussion, African sounds

Simon Phillips- drums on tracks 3 and 7

Chuck Kirkpatrick and John Sombataro- backing vocals

So forget “St Elmo’s Fire,” I never watched the film anyway. Have a listen to this debut album from John Parr. I guarantee you’ll enjoy it much more.

Next post: Tommy Shaw- Girls With Guns

To buy Rock and Roll Children go to: https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1501322174&sr=8-5&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1984: Planet P- Pink World

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 26, 2017 by 80smetalman

Tony Carey was a very busy man in 1984. In the early part of the year, he hit it big with his solo album, “Some Tough City,” which I visited a few months ago. God, has it been that long? In the later part of the year, he attempted to build on the success of his band, Planet P from 1983 with there successful “Project” album. In the latter months of 1984, Mr Carey treated us to the Planet P album, “Pink World.”

When I posted about the “Project” album, I was enlightened by a comment on the post to the fact that Planet P was only a band in the loosest of terms. The project was completely under Tony’s control with the named musicians brought in to provide necessary assistance. So now enlightened as I strive to get my facts right, I will say that I’m not really bothered by such semantics in this case. Whether Planet P are a proper band or not doesn’t matter because the result has been two really cool albums, “Pink World” being the second of those.

What was cool about MTV in 1984 was that they played videos by artists whose songs were never heard on radio. This case in point, the first single, “What I See,” which was later fused with the track “Behind the Barrier,” both songs fusing to make a rather cool concept video was what got my attention. “Pink World” is a concept album. It tells the story of a young mute boy named Artemis, who can see visions after drinking polluted water, shelters the survivors of a nuclear attack in a place called ‘The Zone.’ Fearful of the boy’s abilities, the government use him to control those living in the zone. As the album goes on, Artemis becomes less sure what to do and in the end vanishes leaving only a pink pool and a basket behind. The residents of “The Zone” realize they no longer need Artemis and leave it. There is a lot of abstract ambiguity here and Tony has always refused to give specifics.

Story or no story, this is a brilliantly crafted progressive rock album. The songs are all very well played and musically thought out and I can say that no two songs are the same. Listening to each of them is an adventure in itself. Plus, while Tony provides all the vocals, he doesn’t try to be Joe Cool Rock Singer. Since it was first presented to me as the single, “What I See” continues to be my favourite track on the album. However, there many a good songs that could rival it. I don’t even care that “A Boy Who Can’t Talk” sounds very much like Pink Floyd to the point that when I first heard the intro, I thought to myself, “Is this ‘Pigs on the Wing’?” Other standout tracks for me are “The Shepherd,” “Pink World,” “What Artie Knows” and the hardest rock sounding songs, “This Perfect Place” and “In the Zone.” But fifteen of the 26 songs could easily be included, (the other eleven are all less than 90 seconds and most of those are damn cool), so that’s pretty good.

Track Listing:

  1. Into the Woods
  2. To Live Forever
  3. Pink World
  4. What I See
  5. To Live Forever Pt. 2
  6. Power
  7. Into the Forest
  8. A Boy Who Can’t Talk
  9. The Stranger
  10. What I See Part 2
  11. The Shepherd
  12. Behind the Barrier
  13. A Pink World Coming Down
  14. Breath
  15. The Perfect Place
  16. What Artie Knows
  17. In the Zone
  18. Behind the Barrier Part 2
  19. March of the Artemites
  20. The Perfect Place Part 2
  21. A Letter From the Shelter
  22. What Artie Knows Part 2
  23. One Star Falling
  24. Baby’s at the Door
  25. Requiem
  26. A Boy Who Can’t Talk Part 2

Planet P

Tony Carey- vocals, all instruments except where noted below

Rheinhard Besser- guitar solo on tracks 4, 17 and 19

Helmut Bibi- guitar solo on tracks 6 and 12

Roderich Gold- Fairlight synthesizer

Fritz Matzka- drums on tracks 2, 17 and 23

Robert Musenbichler- lead guitar on track 23

Eddie Taylor- saxophone on track 23

“Pink World” was praised by the critics but sales of the album were modest at best. The latter is probably why Planet P didn’t make another album until 2005. However, this and the other Planet P album have gained a huge cult status since. Something Tony Carey can be quite proud of.

Next post: John Parr

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1501095764&sr=8-6&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1984: Bruce Springsteen- Born in the USA

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 22, 2017 by 80smetalman

For a good many people, the “Born in the USA” album from Bruce Springsteen was the album of the year in 1984. No one can debate how successful this album was. Any album which sell 11 million copies certainly is that. For the Top 40 brigade, it produced seven singles and like U2, Bruce Springsteen was one of those artists who both metalheads and non metalheads could listen to and not feel they were being unfaithful to their chosen genre. Needless to say, 1984 was Bruce’s year and this album was the reason why.

Now, I’m not one to rain on anyone’s parade but I am going to make my opinion known as it was the same now as it was then. Like the rest of the world, I agree that this is a fine album. It was certainly four steps up from his previous album, the rather depressing, “Nebraska,” but I don’t rate this album as high as classics like “Born to Run” and “Darkness on the Edge of Town” and only slightly higher than “The River.” Still, unlike outgoing governor Chris Christie, Bruce Springsteen has always made me feel proud that I grew up in New Jersey.

Reflecting back, I think my main problem with “Born in the USA” was the fact that all of the singles got played to death on the radio at the time. That usually happens in any artist’s home ground so New Jersey radio stations did that. However, some of the singles got tiresome after hearing them played for the 957th time. “Glory Days” and “I’m On Fire” were examples of this and probably “Dancing in the Dark” as well. They were all good songs but got old after hearing them so many times. Saying that, “Cover Me” is the big exception here. I could hear that song 9050 times and wouldn’t get tired of it.

Fortunately, the great thing about the album was the tracks that weren’t singles. They’re all brilliant! There is some good traditional Springsteen rock to be had on all five of these. I’m talking about “Darlington County,” “Working on the Highway,” “Downbound Train,” “No Surrender” and “Bobby Jean.” For me, it is these tracks that have made “Born in the USA” so enjoyable for me.

While most people have raved about the songs on here, I think what often gets overlooked is the lyrics behind many of these songs. Personally, I can identify a tiny bit with the title track. I didn’t serve in Vietnam but Bruce highlights how badly those who served over there were treated. I had been out of the service about a year and by this time, I was beginning to wonder what had been the point of my serving due to the way I was being treated. Only the Vietnam Vets had it far worse than I ever did. The real eye opener was “My Home Town.” It was about his native town, Asbury Park and what was happening while he was growing up. It does make one stand up and think of how divided the nation really was back in the 1960s. Bruce let his feelings be known when he wrote these songs.

Track Listing:

  1. Born in the USA
  2. Cover Me
  3. Darlington County
  4. Working on the Highway
  5. Downbound Train
  6. I’m On Fire
  7. No Surrender
  8. Bobby Jean
  9. I’m Goin’ Down
  10. Glory Days
  11. Dancing in the Dark
  12. My Home Town

Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen- lead vocals, guitars

Roy Bittan- piano, synthesizer, backing vocals

Clarence Clemmons- saxophone, percussion backing vocals

Danny Federici- organ, glockenspiel, piano

Gary Tallent- bass, backing vocals

Steven Van Zandt- acoustic guitar, mandolin, harmony vocals

Max Weinberg- drums, backing vocals

It is slightly amazing that in a year where heavy metal dominated, a great rock album like “Born in the USA” could do so astronomically well. It was considered by many Bruce Springsteen’s crowning achievement.

Next post: Planet P- Pink World

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1500740514&sr=8-5&keywords=michael+d+lefevre