Archive for the Uncategorized Category

When Metal Ruled in 1986

Posted in Uncategorized on April 5, 2020 by 80smetalman


One aspect of 1986 which I found very amusing was in spite of the fact that heavy metal received very little air play on commercial radio or MTV, metal albums sold by their millions and the top metal bands and even some which were not considered top played to packed arenas. What some radio stations and MTV did to address this was to give heavy metal its own slot sometime in the day or week. MTV ran a half hour slot between two and two-thirty in the afternoon where they would only show metal videos and the MTV music news was devoted to metal news. While this half hour slot only showed six videos, (remember this was American television and one had to account for all the commercials), there was a good mix of old and new metal songs. There would be classics from Dio and Iron Maiden then, I would watch the latest offerings from David Lee Roth, Krokus, Bon Jovi and it was here I learned about some band called Europe. That’s a story for another post.

Radio was already ahead of MTV. In 1985, while driving home from seeing Motley Crue and Loudness in concert on a Saturday night, a Philadelphia radio station, WYSP, had a one hour programme beginning at midnight called “Metal Shop.” When possible, many metalheads would be glued to their radios to listen to it. It was hosted by a deejay called Mean Ed Green who knew his metal. When there was a concert on the Saturday or Sunday, Mean Ed would have members of the opening band as guests on the show. I remember being treated to Loudness, Bon Jovi, Dokken and Metallica. It was a great way to spend an hour.






Bon Jovi



Another way in which metal stuck it to MTV in 1986 was when the station had a six o’clock segment where they would show the ten most requested videos on the day. Every day, at least half of those videos would be from metal bands. Even when MTV tried to change tactics and brought in a rule that the videos had to be recently released songs, it did not stop half of the top ten being comprised of metal videos. Here are two I remember making the top ten quite a bit at the time, the latter often being number one!

It wasn’t only in the US where this phenomenon occurred. When I got over to the UK, I found the same thing happening there. MTV hadn’t made it across the Atlantic in 1986 but commercial radio played very little metal. Only if a song got into the charts, usually Iron Maiden. Then in November of said year, that band called Europe hit number two in the charts with “The Final Countdown” while at number seven was Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer” where they made their first appearance on the TV show, “Top of the Pops.”

One more amusing point from 1986 was that 1970s Canadian rock legends Bachman- Turner- Overdrive (BTO) made an attempted comeback in that year. They toured North America supporting Van Halen. However, they didn’t make their anticipated impact. My friend summed them up when he labelled them, “fat, burnt out 40 year old bikers.”


In spite of efforts from commercial radio and MTV to stifle heavy metal, it not only flourished in 1986 but grew exponentially. I have the albums and concert memories to prove it.

Next post: Metal Tragedies in 1986



































































Great Rock Albums of 1986: Madonna- True Blue

Posted in Uncategorized on April 2, 2020 by 80smetalman


No matter how much I hate to admit it, Madonna had hit the big time by 1986. It seemed that every time you tuned in to MTV, there was a Madonna video. My sister Dawn and I used to joke that the station had changed its name from Music Television to Madonna Television where every hour you get to see a Madonna video, per minute. The video that got played the most was the first single from her 1986 “True Blue” album called “Papa Don’t Preach.” I prefer Kelly Osbourne’s cover of the song but that’s not the point.


Madonna in the 1980s

There is nothing much I can say about “True Blue” because except for hearing a couple of the singles played in public places, I never listened to it. So if you really thought I would seriously post a Madonna album, then scroll down.




A little more







Maybe she should have had Steve Lukather play on the album. Have a listen to Kelly Osbourne instead.

Next post: When Metal Dominated





























Religions War on Rock Music in 1986

Posted in Uncategorized on March 29, 2020 by 80smetalman

It didn’t start in 1986. Ever since rock music came about in the 1950s, the American religious right has been out against it. While it was pretty much ignored by people who think with their brains as opposed to their bibles, it seemed to go a little mainstream in 1986. One of the main leaders of the anti- rock brigade was TV evangelist Jimmy Swaggart. He preached fire and brimstone against rock music from the pulpit and I thought the Jimmy Swaggart Ministry made for great Sunday morning television comedy.  His first major strike was when he told his local Wal-mart and K-Mart stores that he would tell his congregation not to shop at the stores if they didn’t pull rock magazines from their shelves. Not long after, Wal-mart pulled thirty-two different magazines from all of their stores.

Holy man Swaggart wasn’t the only so-called Christian in the fight against rock music in 1986. This was also the year that some of his like minded devotees began going to rock concerts to preach against those who were going to see these ‘Satanic’ bands. My first experience of Jesus freaks at concerts came when I saw Ozzy and Metallica in the April. The experience was pretty much how I described it in “Rock and Roll Children.” The leader of the group did look like Lemmy and sounded as if he had just ingested helium and I did yell what the Nick character did in the story. These religious fanatics would come back again for Judas Priest and Dio.

I wish I had heard this guy’s advice back in 1986.

Here’s my rebuttal to Mr Swaggart and his minions:

Fortunately, the religious fanatics at concerts never made its way to Great Britain and though I haven’t been to a concert in the US in over 34 years, I know that they still go to concerts throughout America and try to stop others from having fun. I have always thought these people were sad and pathetic and I still do. Of course, two years later, the so-called Holy Man would have a great downfall and I will post about that.

Next post: Metal Ruled Parts of 1986

















































































Great Rock One Hit Wonders of 1986 and Other Significant Songs

Posted in Uncategorized on March 25, 2020 by 80smetalman

While there weren’t many one hit wonders in the proper sense worth remembering in 1986, there were quite a few significant songs which were. Take this first offering. While Aerosmith’s 1985 “Done With Mirrors” album put them back on the rock and roll map, it didn’t propel them to the superstardom they had once enjoyed in the 1970s. In 1986, they were given a boost from a rather unexpected hand. Rap group Run DMC collaborated with the band to make a cover of Aerosmith’s classic hit, “Walk This Way” and it was a great success for both. The song even got redneck white boys listening to rap and it put Aerosmith truly on the road back to superstardom.

Already, I can hear Jess and many other of my Australian followers screaming that Jimmy Barnes wasn’t a one hit wonder. Don’t worry, I agree with you. However, his 1986 hit “Working Class Man” is the song is what Jimmy is best known for and it’s a great one. I almost got to see him live in 1986 as he was on tour supporting ZZ Top. Unfortunately, he had left the tour by the time ZZ Top made it to Philadelphia.

Suzanne Vega wasn’t a one hit wonder either but the song that attracted my attention and got a fair amount of radio airplay was “Left of Center.” It stood out because it was far better than most of the crap commercial radio was offering. Besides, the title of the song indicated the political direction I was heading at the time.

Five weeks in the UK, I was sitting in a pub in North London when a very interesting song started playing on the juke box. Upon a quick look, I discovered it was a cover of the song, “Spirit in the Sky” done by Doctor and the Medics. These guys were truly one hit wonders as I know of nothing more they came out with. But hey, it’s a good song.

Naturally, I save the best for last. All throughout 1985, with all the aid for Africa songs coming out, it was suggested that metal artists get together and make a song for Africa. Ronnie James Dio obliged them. Getting together with some of the great metal singers and guitarists, “Stars” was made and released in 1986. Unlike all the other charity songs, not only was there vocals contributions but some of the greatest lead guitarists in metal got to lay down contributions of their own. I’ve always loved this song but some metalheads didn’t. I don’t know why.

If you watch the video, it will tell you who does what on the song

While 1986 didn’t produced one hit wonders which I thought were worthy of being put on an 80smetalman’s post, the year did give us some great one off songs that were.

Next post: The Religious War on Metal

To download Rock and Roll Children, go to:
























Great Rock Albums of 1986: John Fogerty- Eye of a Zombie

Posted in Uncategorized on March 22, 2020 by 80smetalman


John Fogerty’s “Eye of a Zombie” album is the last of the albums I missed in 1986 because it came out in the US after I had gone to the UK. In fact, it would be several more years before I even knew this album existed because it never charted in the UK. At least it did answer my question as to why he didn’t put out a follow up album after the very successful “Centerfield” album. The answer was that he did, the problem was that it wasn’t quite as good as its predecessor.

I think why the album did not achieve the critical or commercial success the 1985 classic did was that many people’s musical tastes were diverging, something I’ve noted in quite a few posts. An album from someone in an iconic 1960s band like CCR was good as a one off for most people but they didn’t want more of the same, which is why I like “Eye of a Zombie.” It does sound a lot like it would have been a great Credence album if it had come out some fifteen years prior.

What I like most about it is that John really lets loose with the guitar here. He does lay down some cool guitar jams. On the opener, “Goin’ Back Home,” it starts with a choir for the first minute and a half and then he finishes the rest of the song jamming away on the guitar. Ditto for the next two songs, John does what he did with CCR on both of those songs but he does play a couple of decent guitar solos on them. “Headlines” definitely sounds quite a bit like his old band.

It’s not just CCR which influences John here. He did say in the past that he was heavily influenced by 60’s Motown and that shines through on two songs, “Knockin’ On Your Door” and “Soda Pop.” Though I must admit when I first heard the latter tune, I did have a brief WTF moment but on further listen, I hear what he was doing on the song. With that said, “Change in the Weather” best combines the influence and the sound of the former band. This song would have been good on any CCR album but that’s not the best song on the album. That award in my mind goes to “Violence is Golden.” Again, he takes everything he’s done in the past and makes it a great song but with some very cool guitar work on it. Also, the topical lyrics about the American weapons industry is what puts it at number one for me. The very intriguing intro to the song has something to do with it as well.

Track Listing:

  1. Goin’ Back Home
  2. Eye of a Zombie
  3. Headlines
  4. Knockin’ On Your Door
  5. Change in the Weather
  6. Violence is Golden
  7. Wasn’t That a Woman
  8. Soda Pop
  9. Sail Away

John Fogerty

John Fogerty- lead vocals, guitar, keyboards

Alan Pasqua- keyboards (track 4)

Neil Stubenhaus- bass

John Robinson- drums, percussion

Bobby King, Willie Green Jr, Terry Evans- backing vocals

I think I might have worn out the Steve Lukather jokes by now but he didn’t play on this album.

Not one to care what the critics or the general record buying public think, I think “Eye of the Zombie” is a pretty good album. It’s a shame John paid attention to the above and let it keep him from putting out another record for several years and not playing any tracks from this album until 2009 because I really enjoy the album.

Next post: One Hit Wonders of 1986
























































Great Rock Albums of 1986: Fiona- Beyond the Pale

Posted in Uncategorized on March 19, 2020 by 80smetalman


Here’s another album I missed in 1986 because it came out in the US after I went to the UK. Only this time, I knew that Fiona was a rather busy girl that year. She appeared in an episode of “Miami Vice,” more on that in a future post, and she did come to Britain with Bob Dylan because the two appeared in a film together. However, I didn’t know that she put out a second album that year as well. Then again, while her debut album wasn’t bad, it didn’t have me licking my lips in anticipation of  the next Fiona release.

Listening to the album, I am pleasantly surprised! Second album, “Beyond the Pale” is better than her self titled debut. The songs are better written, the quality of the musicianship is better and most important of all, Fiona’s vocals are a noticeable improvement on the first album. On that album, she struggled with the ballads but on the ballad, “He’s On My Side,” from this album, she makes a better job of it. In fact, it’s a rather good power ballad. Oh yes, the album has more of a harder rock feel on it.

Now for the downside: while “Beyond the Pale” is more rockier, many of the songs are damaged by the let’s put some heavy synths in here to make it sound more commercial and that keeps some good songs on the album from becoming great. I fear that Fiona was still under the dictate of corporate record producers here. The opener is a stellar example of what I mean. It explodes at the beginning with a good hard rock edge and then somewhere in the middle of the song, the synths come in and take that edge away, though I will stop way short of it making the song congruent to what the title suggests, it’s not a tragedy.

Two songs where it’s done right are “Living in a Boy’s World” and “Thunder and Lightning.” The former starts with a heavy synth intro, which for a brief second, deceives you into thinking it’s going to be a pop song, but then it just rips into a good rock song, my vote for best on the album, especially with the cool guitar solo. The latter is almost as good. While the synths are there, the guitars do win out and make it a respectable rocker with a cool guitar solo. Other songs like “Tender is the Heart,” tend to follow the opener. Their potential to be great hard rock jams is slightly diminished by the over use of synths. Another exception is “You Better Wait,” which is more of a straight forward rocker.

On a personal observation, two things the debut album has over “Beyond the Pale” are first, I still prefer the hit single, “Talk to Me,” from the debut over “Hopelessly Love You” on this one, although “Hopelessly Love You” has a guitar solo which “Talk to Me” didn’t have. Second, while “Keeper of the Flame” is an okay closer on the album, it comes nowhere near “The Na Na Song” from the first album. Then again, that one is in my top ten list of great album closing songs.

Track Listing:

  1. Tragedy
  2. Hopelessly Love You
  3. Living in a Boy’s World
  4. Thunder and Lightning
  5. Tender is the Heart
  6. Running Out of Night
  7. In My Blood
  8. He’s On My Side
  9. You Better Wait
  10. Keeper of the Flame


Fiona- lead vocals

Bobby Messano- guitar (tracks 1, 9, 10)

Mike Salmer- guitar (tracks 2,3, 5-9)

Reb Beach- guitar (tracks 2-4, 7, 10)

Nile Rodgers- guitar (track 2)

Beau Hill- keyboards

Benjy King- keyboards (track 10)

Joe Franco- drums (tracks 1,3,4 6, 8-10)

David Rosenberg- drums (tracks 2,5,7) percussion (tracks 3,8,10)

Donnie Kisslebach- bass

Harlem Katzenjammer Horns- horns

Kip Winger- backing vocals (tracks 1,4,7,9)

Stephen Benben- background vocals (track 1)

Louis Merlino- backing vocals (tracks 4-6)

Sandy Stewart- background vocals (track 7)

I wonder if this album would have been more successful is Steve Lukather played on it.


While “Beyond the Pale” is better than the debut album, it wasn’t enough to save her from obscurity. I blame the corporate record companies. If they had just let her rock out a bit more, she could have been a great metal singer.

Next post: John Fogerty- Eye of the Zombie















































Great Rock Albums of 1986: Phantom, Rocker and Slick- Cover Girl

Posted in Uncategorized on March 15, 2020 by 80smetalman


I’m afraid this post is going to be a bit short and sweet. Usually, if I don’t have an album I wish to post about, Youtube has always been forthcoming which enables me to listen to it several times before posting. Even if I can’t listen to the entire album all at once, I’m at least able to tap in the individual tracks from the album and listen to it that way. Unfortunately, this time, Youtube has only allowed me three songs from the second album from Phantom, Rocker and Slick called “Cover Girl.”

To be honest, I didn’t know that they had actually put out a second album until fairly recently. I had always assumed that due to the lack of commercial success of the debut album, that they never put out another album. Turns out I was wrong. The album was released in the US after I had gone to the UK and because I was one of the few people back in 1985 who really enjoyed the debut, I was excited to listen to the second one.

Judging from the three tracks, it seems evident that Phantom, Rocker and Slick didn’t vary what they did on the first album. Once again, we are treated to some really good and well played straight ahead, no frills rock and roll. Those three tracks are all very good in my opinion and it’s difficult to choose a favourite from the three. One thing I can say is that I think Earl Slick’s best guitar solo comes on “Still Have Time.” Then again, their cover of the Hollies’ classic, “Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress” is done rather impressively. Since, there’s little more I can say, I’ll put all three tracks here and see what all of you think.

Track Listing:

  1. Cover Girl
  2. The Only Way to Fly
  3. Sidewalk Princess
  4. It’s Good to Be Alive
  5. Still Got Time
  6. Can’t Get it Right
  7. Going South
  8. I Found Someone Who Loves Me
  9. Enough is Enough
  10. Dressed in Dirt
  11. Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress


Slim Jim Phantom- drums, backing vocals

Lee Rocker- bass, lead vocals

Earl Slick- guitar

I am going to venture a theory as to why Phantom, Rocker and Slick never went on to greater glories. That theory is that in the mid 1980s, people were either in the top 40 camp or the heavy metal one. Therefore, neither group was really interested in the straight ahead rock that these guys produced. Okay, John Cougar Mellencamp was an exception but I think that it’s not right that Phantom, Rocker and Slick didn’t go further.

Next post: I will stick with albums released in America after I went to England, the next one is Fiona- Beyond the Pale

I hope Youtube will give me more than three tracks.