Archive for the Music Category

Rest in Peace Warrel Dane

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Death, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 15, 2017 by 80smetalman

NEVERMORE & SANCTUARY Frontman Warrel Dane Dead At 48”

When you thought 2017 couldn’t suck any more, we lose another great metal man. Warrel Dane, lead singer for both Nevermore and Sanctuary died of a heart attack on the 13th in San Paulo, Brazil. He was 48. Admittedly, I never listened to much Nevermore but I was a big fan of Sanctuary loving both their albums “Refuge Denied” and my personal favourite, “Into the Mirror Black.”

It was always my intention that when 80smetalman reaches the end, my final quote would be lyrics from my favourite song from my favourite album. Warrel’s death makes it more important, I do this. When I read about it, I found myself regretting the fact I couldn’t get to Bloodstock, 2014 and see Sanctuary perform. Rest in Peace, Warrell.

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Great Rock Albums of 1984: Ratt- Out of the Cellar

Posted in 1980s, Books, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 14, 2017 by 80smetalman

Here’s a scene from “Rock and Roll Children.” One night, after unsuccessfully trying to get into bars, the four main characters decide to head to one of the group’s houses. While driving with the radio on, some power chords come blasting through the car’s speakers. Intently listening to whoever the mysterious artist is playing, these words coming ringing true.

“I knew right from the beginning

That you would end up winning,

I knew right from the start,

You’d put an arrow through my heart.”

The big single “Round and Round” brought Ratt into the homes of many Americans in the summer of 1984, with it being constantly played on radio and MTV. I can’t deny the fact that it is most likely my favourite Ratt song of all time although there are a couple of others that might come close. I can’t explain why this song is so good, not just to metalheads but many non-metalheads liked it too. That’s why it got to number 12 on the Billboard charts.

Like the big hit, one thing that many of the songs on Ratt’s debut album, “Out of the Cellar” have catchy intros that make your ears perk up and pay attention. True, some of the songs trail off a bit and end not as exciting as they begin but there isn’t a bad song on the album. Saying that, except for “Round and Round” the second half of the album is better than the first. It’s probably why the said single was put third on the album. A kind of high point on a more level ground. Furthermore and this is me totally nit picking here, I would have swapped “She Wants Money” as the opener and “Wanted Man” would have been fifth. The latter is a good song, I just think the former would have made a better opener.

Having heard “Out of the Cellar” on vinyl, flipping to side two, one is greeted with a great side opener in “Lack of Communication.” This song opens the doorway for the best to come. “Back For More” was the second single on the album and I liked it more than what the charts indicated. I think it only got to 27 but that never bothered me because it is a cool song. The acoustic intro makes a great change up to the album and I can’t fault Warren DeMartini’s guitar playing on it or on any song actually. However, after single number two comes the hidden gem on the album and the one to rival “Round and Round” for my affections. “The Morning After” is just a fantastic song. I love all the tempo changes in the guitars on it and how they kick in big time on the chorus. It’s hard to describe in words but even thirty three years on, I still don’t tire of this song. Shit, maybe I should call it number one.

The last two tracks are strong and solid ones. I sometimes wonder if “I’m Insane” applies to me. After all, I feel that way sometimes. “Scene of the Crime” isn’t the greatest album closer in history but it is probably the best song to close the album, especially with the intro.

Track Listing:

  1. Wanted Man
  2. You’re In Trouble
  3. Round and Round
  4. In Your Direction
  5. She Wants Money
  6. Lack of Communication
  7. Back for More
  8. The Morning After
  9. I’m Insane
  10. Scene of the Crime

Ratt

Stephen Pearcy- vocals

Warren De Martini- guitar, backing vocals

Robbin Crosby- guitar, backing vocals

Juan Crocier- bass, backing vocals

Bobby Blotzer- drums, percussion

When people talk of the metal explosion of 1984, Ratt always gets a mention. Though many would accuse them of being too much the same on later albums, there is no debate that “Out of the Cellar” album was something fresh, at least to me.

Next post: Twisted Sister- Stay Hungry

To get Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://spread-luv.ga/info/kindle-free-e-books-rock-and-roll-children-by-michael-d-lefevre-9781609763558-pdf.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1984: Quiet Riot- Condition Critical

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 10, 2017 by 80smetalman

It is the opinion of many metalheads now and in 1984 that Quiet Riot’s fourth album, “Condition Critical” was not as good as it’s predecessor, “Metal Health.” I am one of those and my opinion is the same now as it was back in said year. But, was the album as bad as some people believe? My answer has always been a resounding “NO!” True, it’s not as good as the last one but I still like “Condition Critical.”

Quiet Riot did try to follow the formula they laid down on the very successful “Metal Health” album and I’m not just talking about the Slade cover. “Mama Weer All Crazee Now” isn’t as good as “Cum On Feel the Noize” but I never decided to head to the fridge whenever it was played on MTV. Unfortunately, some people didn’t agree with me, especially readers of Hit Parader (Motley Crue magazine) because Kevin DuBrow referred to the mag as akin to toilet paper. The magazine and readers hit out in response by giving the album negative reviews. One letter to the magazine asked “If I shoot Slade, would Quiet Riot die too?” I am glad that nobody got shot.

I think that the main difference between “Metal Health” and “Condition Critical” was the fact that the singles released from the latter weren’t the chart toppers the ones from the former were. Even I have to admit that “Cum On Feel the Noize” and “Metal Health” are better than “Mama Weer All Crazee Now” and “Party All Night.” If one was to take the singles away, the rest of the songs on the album are fairly equal. “Stomp Your Hands and Clap Your Feet” is a good song to get you moving to it. It does have a catchy singalong vibe to it. “Winners Take All” is a very good power ballad. It is definitely high up on my list in that category.  Furthermore, “Scream and Shout,” (my favourite track), “Red Alert” and “Bad Boy” are all cool tunes too. When you put it all together, it does make a rather good album.

If there is one item on the album consistent with all of the songs, which hooks me every time, it is the guitar work of Carlos Cavazo. For me, it is his guitar playing that makes the songs good and therefore makes the album. He lays down some great solos on all of the songs here, it’s hard for me to pick which one he does his best on. But if you put a gun to my head, I guess I’d have to say “Red Alert.” Still, I won’t take anything away from the rest of the band.

Track Listing:

  1. Sign of the  times
  2. Mama Weer All Crazee Now
  3. Party All Night
  4. Stomp Your Hands, Clap Your Feet
  5. Winners Take All
  6. Condition Critical
  7. Scream and Shout
  8. Red Alert
  9. Bad Boys
  10. (We Were) Born to Rock

Quiet Riot

Kevin DuBrow- vocals

Carlos Cavazo- guitars

Rudy Sarzo- bass

Frankie Banali- drums

Due to the lack of success, (Is 3 million copies sold a lack of success?) of “Condition Critical,” Quiet Riot went from headlining arenas to headlining theatres. I was going to get tickets to see them at the Tower Theatre in Philadelphia but when I went to buy the tickets, I was informed that the date of the concert had been changed to a day where I was working. I was bummed I couldn’t go. That might be what sums things up for Quiet Riot in 1984 but I still enjoy this album.

Next post: RATT- Out of the Cellar

To get Rock and Roll Children, go to: http://xotepiy.gq/oqozesa.pdf

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1984: Judas Priest- Defenders of the Faith

Posted in 1980s, Books, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 6, 2017 by 80smetalman

If I thought I didn’t do Great White justice when I wrote about theirs as the first concert to take place in “Rock and Roll Children,” then I should grovel to Judas Priest begging their forgiveness. The Judas Priest/Great White concert that happens in the first few pages of the book is the one I knew least about. I couldn’t go on account of work and only had patchy accounts of the concert from people I spoke to who went. This meant my account of that night was, as one critic put it, bare bones, if that. So, to Judas Priest and their hardcore fans, I’m sorry. Though I do make up for it when I write about their 1986 concert. One of my biggest critics, my sister, said I nailed that one.

While the first Judas Priest concert might have been lacking in substance, the album they were touring in support of, “Defenders of the Faith” did get a good number of listens from the characters in “Rock and Roll Children.” I have always held this album in great esteem and will put my head in the lion’s mouth and declare that it is Judas Priest’s most underrated album, ever! Sales wise, it did not match the numbers of its mega fantastic predecessor, “Screaming for Vengeance,” and I put it a half a mark below it but “Defenders of the Faith” is one fantastic album.

The first seven songs are the reason why the album is soooo good. One by one each of those songs launch into an all out assault on your ears with such ferocity, you can’t help but to head bang away and jump up and down to it. Even when one song ends, the next one grabs you by the throat and makes you give your undivided attention to it. When I say the first seven songs, I mean all of those songs, not just the ones some might be more familiar with like “Freewheel Burning” and “Love Bites,” who when the premier of the video for it was announced on MTV was called “a family affair.” Of course there’s also my favourite track from this album and my third all time favourite Priest song, “Some Heads are Gonna Roll.” I just love that song. “Jawbreaker,” “Rock Hard, Ride Free” and “The Sentinel” all can cause an unsuspecting listener to lose control of their bodily functions as well. Plus, there’s the amusing “Eat Me Alive” which a year later would be rank on the PMRC’s hit list as the third dirtiest song. All great!

This not to say that the last three songs are in any way not up to scratch, they are good songs but intensity levels do tail off after “Some Heads are Gonna Roll.” Things go slower tempo with the remaining three songs but the pounding doesn’t let up. It just takes on a different form, nor does it detract from this great album in any way.

Track Listing:

  1. Freewheel Burning
  2. Jawbreaker
  3. Rock Hard, Ride Free
  4. The Sentinel
  5. Love Bites
  6. Eat Me Alive
  7. Some Heads Are Gonna Roll
  8. Night Comes Down
  9. Heavy Duty
  10. Defenders of the Faith

Judas Priest

Robert Halford- lead vocals

Glenn Tipton- guitar

KK Downing- guitar

Ian Hill- bass

Dave Holland- drums

I’ve never really ranked Judas Priest albums before, except I knew that “Screaming for Vengeance” was my favourite. I have called “Defenders of the Faith” underrated but I am now declare it number two and not by much. It is a great under appreciated album.

Next post: Quiet Riot- Condition Critical

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Great Metal Albums of 1984: Great White

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 3, 2017 by 80smetalman

Going back to the debut album by American metal band, Great White, after so many many years, I feel that I owe them a small apology. I did enjoy their debut quite a lot back in 1984, but it quickly got pushed aside when albums from more established bands came my way. Therefore, the album didn’t get the respect from me it deserved. This was the main reason why they didn’t get too much mention in “Rock and Roll Children.” In fact, their main mention in the book was probably my first mistake when I wrote the book. In the story and in real life, Great White supported the mighty Judas Priest on tour. This was the first concert I write about in the book and the one I knew least about. I didn’t go and could only glean bits and pieces from people who did. So it wasn’t the best idea to have the first concert one I knew very little about.

Now onto the album. Like I said, I may have discarded this album too soon in favour of others because I now realize just how good it was. However, in order to fully appreciate it, one should mentally drift back to 1984. Back then, I found the tracks “Out of the Night” and “Bad Boys” to be typical of the time metal tunes. Both songs are done well but they are about being bad and things like sex and music. Listening today, I would not be surprised if anyone thought it was all done before with them. The same could be said for “Down On Your Knees.” I wonder if they were influenced by AC/DC here but Mark Kendall hammers a cool guitar solo on it. It doesn’t matter because I like them anyway and there are better songs between them. “Stick It” has a really cool opening metal riff and just kicks ass throughout, definitely my favourite song on the album.

Many people might not think so but I really like their cover of The Who’s “Substitute.” I think what I like about it the most is how they alter the lyrics to make it more metal.

“I can see your pants are made of leather”

and

“I can see right through your Satan crap.” 

Great stuff and well played too. “Streetkiller” is a good, hard, in your face metal tune. “No Better Than Hell” starts in similar fashion but slows down into a more melodic rocker but the hard chords with the chorus still makes its mark. “Hold On” goes the other way. It’s hard in the meat of the verses but goes more melodic for the chorus. Still, its a nice switch up. “Nightmares” starts with one of those tunes designed to help babies sleep before going into a metal frenzy. That’s also what the song is about. Maybe I should start playing it every Halloween. That takes things to the closing song, “Dead End,” which is definitely the best track to end the album on because everything that has gone on before all comes together perfectly here.

Track Listing:

  1. Out of the Night
  2. Stick It
  3. Substitute
  4. Bad Boys
  5. Down On Your Knees
  6. Streetkiller
  7. No Better Than Hell
  8. Hold On
  9. Nightmares
  10. Dead End

Jack Russell- lead and backing vocals

Mark Kendall- guitar, backing vocals

Lorne Black- bass, backing vocals

Gary Holland- drums, backing vocals

Maybe if I listened to Great White’s debut album more, EMI wouldn’t have dropped the band due to its lack of success and the band wouldn’t have opted for a more bluesy direction in later albums. Because from what is on here, they could play metal well.

Next post: I thought I’d best keep with the flow I started above so it will be, Judas Priest- Defenders of the Faith

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://spread-luv.ga/info/kindle-free-e-books-rock-and-roll-children-by-michael-d-lefevre-9781609763558-pdf.html

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1984: Ted Nugent- Penetrator

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 29, 2017 by 80smetalman

Guess what? For this Ted Nugent post, I’m not going to say anything about his politics. Even I know when to stop beating a dead horse. So instead, I’ll focus on his 1984 album, “Penetrator,” which was universally criticized by the metal world for his use of keyboards on the album. To my shame, even I was one of those critics. Thankfully, there’s a much older and questionably wiser me to listen to the album with a more objective mind. My thoughts: “Penetrator” still doesn’t make me want to put albums like “Cat Scratch Fever,” “Weekend Warriors” and “Scream Dream” nor any of his kick ass live albums on the scrap heap but it’s still a pretty good album.

The use of keyboards come through straight away on the opening song, “Tied Up In Love” but not until after a really cool guitar intro only which Terrible Ted can do. Before, I risk repeating myself over and over, the keyboards do make their presence known on many of the songs but they play a subordinate role on the album. Take the second song for example, “(Where Do You) Draw the Line.” This song was written by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance so one might be forgiven for thinking this was going to be some keyboard dominated soft rock song, it’s not. Ted’s guitar magic comes through very loud and abundantly clear. While still present, the keyboards take even more of a back seat on “Knocking at Your Door.” There are some good guitar riffs to lead the song and Ted nails the guitar solo perfectly. Even more so on the track after “Don’t You Want My Love.” Here the keys are almost non existent. Almost, but there are plenty of Nugent style rocking to be heard on it.

A curious twist comes up with “Go Down Fighting.” This is a song title that you would expect to be a belt it out of the park rocker but the keyboards make their presence known on it, almost making it a Journey type song. The strange thing is that the intro reminds me of Savatage, yeah really. Fortunately, Ted works his guitar magic so you know which side of the fence the song really is. Any doubts of that are dispelled with “Thunder Thighs.” This is a great rocker where Ted just takes control and jams and I hear not one trace of keyboards. It’s just Ted being how he always had been in albums past. However, I sometimes am reluctant to declare it my favourite song on the album because of the sexist connotations behind the title. “No Man’s Land” is just as heavy, if not more than it’s predecessor. Where you think there might be a keyboard at the chorus, there isn’t. After a couple of decent but non descriptive tracks is the closer “Take Me Home.” Again, maybe it’s me but this sounds like a Southern Rock anthem. Not something I’d expect from Ted Nugent but it’s the best song for the closer.

Looking at the credits and remembering recent posts, it turns out that Bobby Chouinard’s drum skills were in great demand in 1984. He played on some of the tracks of both Gary Moore albums I recently posted about and he plays on this entire album. It leads me to conclude that his skills have been forgotten about in later years and this is a travesty because, he’s that good.

Track Listing:

  1. Tied Up In Love
  2. (Where Do You) Draw the Line
  3. Knockin’ At Your Door
  4. Don’t You Want My Love
  5. Go Down Fighting
  6. Thunder Thighs
  7. No Man’s Land
  8. Blame it On the Night
  9. Lean Mean R&R Machine
  10. Take Me Home

Ted Nugent

Ted Nugent_ guitars, lead vocals

Brian Howe- lead vocals

Alan St John- keyboards- vocals

Doug Lubahn-bass

Bobby Chouinard- drums

Two interesting notes regarding Ted Nugent, the first coming from this post. Two years on, I would see Ted Nugent live with Savatage in support. It was a great concert even if it was poorly attended. The other was after my last Ted Nugent post, I put him down on the Bloodstock wishlist. The only comment I got back was someone saying they would love for him to play Bloodstock but he has only come to the UK four times since 1988. Anyway, back to “Penetrator.” This album was far better than I remembered it back in 1984, keyboards or not.

Next post: Great White

To get Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://spread-luv.ga/info/kindle-free-e-books-rock-and-roll-children-by-michael-d-lefevre-9781609763558-pdf.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1984: Lita Ford- Dancing on the Edge

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 26, 2017 by 80smetalman

With heavy metal actually dominating the rock music scene in the summer of 1984, (trust me, it did), metal acts were coming out of the woodwork thick and fast. It was only right that a female metal artist come forward in what is a male dominated world. The metal world had Girlschool and Rock Goddess from England and from the USA came former Runaways guitarist Lita Ford. “Dancing on the Edge” was her second album and I’m kicking myself for never noting her first one but it was this album which made me and the rest of the world take notice.

“Dancing on the Edge” came out amidst controversy in Lita’s personal life. First there was her supposed feud with former Runaways band members Joan Jett and Cherrie Currie. From what I’ve read, the feud with Joan was more or less fabricated by Joan Jett’s management who didn’t want Lita anywhere near their star. She was also engaged to Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi at the time and he appears in the video for “Dressed to Kill” from this album. However, Lita has said that the relationship was marred with physical abuse due to Tony’s drug problems back then. Therefore, it’s an amazing endorsement of Lita Ford herself that she could put out such a killer album in spite of all the things in her personal life.

Cutting right to the chase, let me just say that “Dancing on the Edge” is a fantastic metal album. There a lots of great power chords and Lita has a great voice but the best thing is that she can really shred. She does this very well on every song. So well in fact, that it has always been difficult for me to pick a favourite track on the album. Each time I listen, I discover something small in a song that I hadn’t noticed when I heard it before. Therefore, I am forced to conclude that the album simply has nine fantastic songs of pure metal mania. God, I’m pinching quotes from Dee Snider. While Lita shines on vocals and guitar, she has two very capable musicians providing that all important rhythm section. On bass was Hugh McDonald who is currently with Bon Jovi and Randy Castillo who would later play for Ozzy Osbourne and Motley Crue on the drums. That can only help make “Dancing on the Edge” that much better.

Track Listing:

  1. Gotta Let Go
  2. Dancing on the Edge
  3. Dressed to Kill
  4. Hit’N Run
  5. Lady Killer
  6. Still Waitin’
  7. Fire in My Heart
  8. Don’t Let Me Down Tonight
  9. Run With the $

Lita Ford- vocals, guitar

Hugh McDonald- bass

Randy Castillo- drums

Geoff Leib- synthesizers, backing vocals

Robbie Kondor and Aldo Nova- synthesizers

“Dancing on the Edge” cemented Lita’s permanent foothold as a serious metal artist in 1984. From there, her legacy would continue to this day with loads more great albums.

Next post: Ted Nugent- Penetrator

To get Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://spread-luv.ga/info/kindle-free-e-books-rock-and-roll-children-by-michael-d-lefevre-9781609763558-pdf.html