2018: Tragedies and Triumphs

Posted in Concerts, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 30, 2018 by 80smetalman

We are all reflecting on 2018 as the year comes to a close. For me, the year has been a roller coaster of triumphs and tragedies. The tragedies being losses in my own personal life as well as some in the music and entertainment world. Although it happened in 2017, the effects of the passing of my mother in law were felt for several weeks into the new year. Then, when I thought Mrs 80smetalman and I had gotten over it, my mother died in early March. Losing both mothers barely two months apart is something I would not wish on any couple. After putting that behind us, my wife’s aunt suddenly died. No one was really expecting it but it was not the way anyone wanted to see the year end.

Like 2016 and 17, 2018 has had its share of people we love from the music world departing this world, including two I only just found out about. Those were Matt ‘Guitar’ Murphy from The Blues Brothers and former Jefferson Airplane/Starship lead singer Marty Balin. Saying that, the list I found them on did not include Huntress lead singer, Jill Janus, which I’m a little peeved about. Here’s a list of some of the others who passed on.

Vinnie Paul

Bruno Sammartino

Blues Brothers with Aretha Franklin

It’s rather ironic that Aretha Franklin and Matt Murphy, they played husband and wife in the Blues Brothers film, both died in 2018.

Marty Balin

The only decent shot I got of Jill Janus and she has her back to me

Ed King

Fortunately, there were many triumphs in 2018 as well. The best of those was becoming a grandfather, thus ensuring a third generation of metalheads in the LeFevre family. In addition, two weeks ago, I got to see my daughter receive her master’s degree, a proud moment.

Grandfather and grandson

Needless to say, there were a lot of musical highs in 2018 as well. In February, I was invited to the album launch party for the band Black Emerald. A band I had seen at Bloodstock in 2013 and impressed me so much, I wrote a post as to why they should be signed. Someone must have read it because this year saw the release of Black Emerald’s debut album, “Hell Can’t Handle All of Us. I have listened to the album several times now and it’s brilliant. I hope this is the dawning of great things to come for this band.

Although my trip to the US, was due to tragic circumstances in March, I still got to experience what I called “America’s best kept secret” in the form of blues guitarist and singer Hannah Wicklund and her band the Steppin’ Stones. This was another album from this year that I enjoy more with each listen.

Hannah Wicklund

Hannah wasn’t the only lady in rock to turn my head in 2018. Not long after, I got to experience Lebanese metal maidens Slave to Sirens. Last report I heard, they are working on a full length album and I will definitely be picking it up when it comes out.

Slave to Sirens

No year would be complete without going to a music festival or two. In June, I went to the Sunday at Download where I was awed by the likes of Iglorious, Shinedown, Black Veil Brides, Marilyn Manson and Ozzy himself. I was also introduced to up and coming new band, Puppy but the best part for me was after a more than thirty year wait, I got to see German thrashers, Kreator. It was definitely a day to remember.

Mille leads Kreator onto the stage

Ozzy’s kick ass show

One festival wasn’t enough so in August, I went to Bloodstock for the full three days. Each day brought both the expected and unexpected. On the Friday, Suicidal Tendencies, Judas Priest and Doro all performed as well as I thought but I was further impressed by Kamelot and Feed the Rhino. Likewise on Saturday, Gojira proved they earned the headlining slot but I was also wowed by Orden Organ, the pirate metal of Alestorm and Sophie Lancaster Stage headliners Orphaned Land. I am currently listening to Orphaned Land’s new album, “Unsung Prophets and Dead Messiahs” and so far, I’m very much liking what I am hearing. However, you can’t forget Sunday, which could have been called Scandinavian Day as most of the bands were from Sweden or Finland. Still, Fozzy was brilliant as always and Mr Big showed they could play Bloodstock and Devil Driver was one big mosh pit. On the other hand, I was very grateful for my introductions to Amaranthe and Nepalese metalers Underside. This was a great way to end my festival career.

Feed The Rhino welcome everybody to Bloodstock

ST comes on stage

Doro on the Sophie Stage

Levermann and Kersting leading from the front.

Alestorm on stage with a lot of flying inflatable objects.

Orphaned Land

A shot of the entire band

Amaranthe won me over

Underside show that you can rock in Nepal.

Late in the year, AC/DC tribute band Hell’s Bells made their annual trip to Stroud and were as good as always but the year ended with seeing Slayer, Anthrax and Lamb of God in Cardiff. This is supposed to be Slayer’s farewell tour and it was a great night for them to go out on.

Obviously, I got closer to the stage for Hell’s Bells

Anthrax in Cardiff

Lamb of God

Slayer appear!

Yes, 2018 was a year of triumphs and tragedies for me. The important thing is that I got through it with many great memories. Likewise, 2019 is also looking very promising. On the personal side, both of my sons are getting married this year. My younger one in February and my eldest is getting married in December. While I have retired from going to three day festivals, I think I will go to Bloodstock on the Sunday with the Scorpions headlining that day and Dee Snider playing as well. However, the band I want to see most that day is Queensryche. I’m already looking forward.

So, I wish all of you a very happy 2019! I look forward to continuing my tour through the golden decade of heavy metal as well as talking about relevant events and I look forward to reading what you all have to say in 2019.

Next post: I think I’ll put on some of the music from the bands I mentioned here.

To download Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://c-newfreepdf.cf/olddocs/free-download-online-rock-and-roll-children-pdf-1609763556-by-michael-d-lefevre.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Merry Christmas to All!

Posted in Humour, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 24, 2018 by 80smetalman

A few years ago, I posted my top ten favourite Christmas songs. Now that I can paste them on here from Youtube, I thought I’d share them again while giving you a chance to listen to them and get in the festive mood. Besides, since that post, my top ten has shuffled a little. Listen and enjoy.

10. Slade- Merry Christmas Everybody

9. Joe Diffie- Leroy the Redneck Reindeer

8. The Darkness- Christmas Time

7. ACDC- Jingle Hell’s Bells

6. Bob Rivers and Twisted Radio- Walking Around In Women’s Underwear

5. Bob Rivers and Twisted Radio- Frosty the Pervert

(Author’s Advisory) This song is not for the young or those who are easily offended

4. The McKenzie Brothers- 12 Days of Christmas

3. Stryper- Winter Wonderland

2. Weird Al Yankovic- The Night Santa Went Crazy

  1. In the original post, I put the entire Twisted Christmas album but for time’s sake, I chose what is my favourite song from said album

Twisted Sister- Let It Snow

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and get lots of good music in your stockings and party away the festive season. Here’s some of my provisions, yes, it’s the same as last year.

My provisions for Christmas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1985: John Cougar Mellencamp- Scarecrow

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 20, 2018 by 80smetalman

With both heavy metal and synth pop polarizing a lot of musical tastes in 1985, many people claimed that they just wanted to hear some straight forward, old time rock and roll. For a lot of these people, the “Scarecrow” album from John Cougar Mellencamp gave them just that. I can’t really disagree with that thought. While I was firmly seated in the heavy metal camp back then, I still appreciated the no frills rock the album provided. It’s probably why the album made it to number two on the album charts.

For the singles enthusiasts, “Scarecrow” netted five of them, all of which got inside the top thirty. This provides further evidence that many Americans wanted this type of straight forward rock. Because that is basically what the album is full of, eleven good no frills rock tunes. Okay, maybe the second track doesn’t qualify as such but the other ten for sure. The singles “Small Town,” “Lonely Ol’ Night” and “R.O.CK. in the USA” are still remembered and enjoyed today. All three are good steady rock tunes. Less remembered however, is my personal favourite, “Rain on the Scarecrow.” This dark song highlights the tragedy of American farmers at the time as many of them were going bankrupt and having their farms repossessed by the banks. I’m tempted to go into a political rant here but I’ll desist. What “Rain on the Scarecrow” did do for me was make me take John seriously as a song writer.

Not being one to judge an album by its singles, I can safely say that the rest of the album holds up well. Even though “Justice and Independence 85” and “Minutes to Memories” were never released as singles, they still made it onto the Hot Tracks Chart and I can see why. Furthermore, John’s more topical songwriting features in the former of the two and continues with “Face of a Nation” where he sings about the poverty and homelessness that was happening in the mid 1980s at the time. What I conclude here is that John Cougar Mellencamp’s more developed songwriting combined with straight forward rock, which a lot of Americans were craving for at the time, combined to make “Scarecrow” probably his best album at the time.

Track Listing:

  1. Rain on the Scarecrow
  2. Grandma’s Theme (In the Baggage Coach Ahead)
  3. Small Town
  4. Minutes to Memories
  5. Lonely Ol’  Night
  6. The Face of the Nation
  7. Justice and Independence ’85
  8. Between and Laugh and a Tear
  9. Rumbleseat
  10. You Gotta Stand for Somethin’
  11. R.O.C.K. in the USA

John Cougar Mellencamp

John Mellencamp- guitar, lead vocals, harmonica on Small Town

Larry Crane- guitars, backing vocals

Kenny Aranoff- drums, percussion, tambourine, backing vocals

Mike Wanchic- electric guitar, backing vocals

Toby Myers- bass, backing vocals

John Cascella- keyboards

Rickie Lee Jones- vocals on “Between a Laugh and a Tear”

Sarah Flint- backing vocals on “R.O.CK. in the USA”

Laura Mellemcamp (John’s Grandmother)- lead vocal on “Grandma’s Theme”

Mimi Mapes- backing vocals on “Minutes to Midnight”

A. Jack Wilkins- saxophone on “Justice and Independence 85”

Richard Fanning- trumpet on “Justice and Independence 85”

In a 1985 that seemed to be polarizing musically, it was a relief to many that there could be straight forward rock around at the time. Not only would John Cougar Mellencamp release a top album, he would go on to arrange a benefit concert to help America’s bankrupt farmers but that’s a story for another time.

Next post: My Christmas Top Ten Revisited

To download Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://c-newfreepdf.cf/olddocs/free-download-online-rock-and-roll-children-pdf-1609763556-by-michael-d-lefevre.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1985: Loverboy- Lovin’ Every Minute of It

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 13, 2018 by 80smetalman

Possibly one of the best musical surprises for me in 1985 came in the form of Loverboy’s album, “Lovin’ Every Minute of It.” After the more keyboard oriented previous album, “Keep It Up,” I thought that Loverboy were heading down the path of more commercialized rock. That meant that one night when I happened to have had MTV switched on and the video for the bouncy, hard rocking title track came on, I was pleasantly taken by surprise. The fact that they rocked things up a bit made me give this album a chance and I was impressed.

The first five songs of “Lovin’ Every Minute of It” are true rockers. Hell, the third song, “Friday Night” could be a heavy metal song with the way the guitar opens things and how the song progresses after. All I keep thinking was, “Well done, boys!” That track follows on nicely from its predecessors, which include the title track and “Steal the Thunder” holds its own in the hard rock stakes. Even when they go to a power ballad with “This Could Be the Night,” one doesn’t get to thinking that things will go commercial with this one. I have to confess, this is a good power ballad here. The rock party continues further with “Too Much Too Soon,” which is another song which could be taken for a heavy metal song, maybe even more than “Friday Night.” I will point out that Mike Reno does a great vocal performance on that one.

With all of the above said, “Lovin’ Every Minute of It” is an album of two halves. After “Too Much Too Soon,” keyboards enter into things. This is not a bad thing although some of the tracks do sound 1980s new wave. “Lead a Double Life” sounds like it could have been used in a mid 80s comedy film soundtrack. “Dangerous” sounds like it could have been a Night Ranger song. “Destination Heartbreak” is a ballad but not as good as the power ballad mentioned previously. What redeems them in my view is that Paul Dean’s guitar can be heard along with all the keyboards and he does rip some really good guitar solos on the songs. In fact, this album could be called Paul’s album due to the way he solos all the way through it. It is a major contributor as to way the album is so good.

Track Listing:

  1. Lovin’ Every Minute of It
  2. Steal the Thunder
  3. Friday Night
  4. This Could Be the Night
  5. Too Much Too Soon
  6. Lead a Double Life
  7. Dangerous
  8. Destination Heartbreak
  9. Bullet in the Chamber

Loverboy

Mike Reno- vocals

Paul Dean- guitar, backing vocals

Doug Johnson- keyboards

Scott Smith- bass

Mike Frenette- drums

In 1985, I stopped labeling Loverboy as a hard rock band who had sold out and gone commercial. While “Lovin’ Every Minute of It” was still a very successful commercial album, it went double platinum, it also proved that that success could be done without compromising musical integrity. So full marks to the band all around on that.

Next post: John Cougar Mellencamp- Scarecrow

To download Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://c-newfreepdf.cf/olddocs/free-download-online-rock-and-roll-children-pdf-1609763556-by-michael-d-lefevre.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1985: Eric Clapton- Edge of Darkness

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 9, 2018 by 80smetalman

Blast Wikipedia! A few months ago, when I posted about Eric Clapton’s “Behind the Sun” album, I saw that in Eric’s discography, this 1985 “Edge of Darkness” album mentioned. Thinking, that it might be some little known live album, I decided to include it in my list of great albums of 1985. It turns out that Eric wrote the musical score for the British television series of the same name. At first, I thought, “Boy, do I feel foolish” but after several listens, I think it is still worthy of an 80smetalman post.

Basically, Clapton just went into the studio and did what he did best on the guitar. He just jams away through the six song EP which is only 19 minutes long. That’s no problem for me either because it is 19 minutes of pure guitar heaven. Listening to the opening title track, I am left to conclude that the television show was some horror/mystery/suspense programme. The way the guitar just lays down that sort of vibe, backed up by a piano which makes the entire song sound rather eerie. If that was what Eric was going for, he did a great job.

The rest of the album follows along in this vein. There are no fast hard rocking tracks here, just some mood effecting instrumentals. “Escape From Northmoor” stands out a little because of the use of keyboards building up the suspense. Furthermore, Eric’s guitar intro on “Oxford Circus” makes for a good change of pace and lets everyone know that he’s still a guitar God. I have come to the further conclusion that “Edge of Darkness” is a good album to just sit back, mellow out and get engrossed in the music.

Track Listing:

  1. Edge of Darkness
  2. Shoot Out
  3. Obituary
  4. Escape From Northmoor
  5. Oxford Circus
  6. Northmoor

Eric Clapton

There are no musical credits listed here so I assume that Eric Clapton played all the instruments himself.

One thing I have taken for granted over the years was how many great guitarists or their bands put out albums in 1985. There was Eric Clapton of course and Jeff Beck, plus when I hit the metal portion of 1985, will go on about Yngwie Malmsteen. On top of that, there were offerings from Mark Knopfler and Angus Young. I had also got the added bonus of seeing all of these, except Jeff Beck, live in this year and while Deep Purple’s album came out in 1984, I did see them live in early 1985 so Ritchie Blackmore must be added here too. What a great year it was.

Next post: Loverboy- Lovin’ Every Minute of It

To download Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://c-newfreepdf.cf/olddocs/free-download-online-rock-and-roll-children-pdf-1609763556-by-michael-d-lefevre.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1985: INXS- Listen Like Thieves

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 5, 2018 by 80smetalman

INXS were always one of those hit or miss bands for me, especially by 1985 when I was full throttle into heavy metal. I thought a lot of their 1983 album, “Shabooh Shoobah” album, however, I wasn’t that impressed with what I heard from their follow up album, “The Swing.” Then that’s how my strange mind works. As a result, I wasn’t sure whether or not I should give their 1985 effort, “Listen Like Thieves” a chance. In fact, I must confess that I didn’t actually listen to the album in 1985, it would be a few years later when I was treated to it. I realized then that this was a pretty decent album.

So-called experts claim that the three singles released from the album represented INXS’s move to being a more singles band. However, while “What You Need,” “Listen Like Thieves” and “Kiss the Dirt (Falling Down the Mountain)” all charted in the band’s native Australia, only the first one charted in the US. I’m not sure how they did anywhere else. This adds to my paradox in regards to them. Three singles from an album would have led me to brand them a top 40 band back then but the fact only one song actually reached that plateau in the US convinces me they weren’t and makes me like them more.

Now as most of you already know, I don’t judge an album by its singles and it’s the rest of the album I was most interested in. Fortunately, the rest of the album doesn’t disappoint. “Shine Like It Does” continues the fusion of new wave and hard rock and “Biting Bullets” gets my vote for hidden gem on the album. It has a catchy rhythm with a hard rock edge and the keyboards support the song and add an extra dimension to it. “This Time” has an intro that would sit well with a heavy metal song and though it’s not metal, the band makes good work of things with it. With nearly all of the songs, INXS employ a catchy melody that goes well with the guitars and new wave sound. Sure, there are keyboards but they are in no way synth pop and it makes things that much better. The only song that doesn’t really do it is the instrumental “Three Sisters” but there’s enough there on that one that I still will listen to it. It’s almost the same story with “Same Direction,” except it does have a catchy chorus and a nice little guitar hook. The rockiest song, however, is the closer, “Red Red Sun.” It seems here that INXS were determined to go all out in the end and they do it quite well here. There are no solos but some good guitar hooks on it, so it’s a great way to end the album.

Track Listing:

  1. What you Need
  2. Listen Like Thieves
  3. Kiss the Dirt (Falling Down the Mountain)
  4. Shine Like It Does
  5. Good + Bad Times
  6. Biting Bullets
  7. This Time
  8. Three Sisters
  9. Same Direction
  10.  One x One
  11. Red Red Sun

INXS

Michael Hutchence- lead vocals

Kirk Pengilly- guitar, saxophone, vocals

Garry Gary Beers- bass

Andrew Farriss- keyboards, guitar

John Farriss- drums, percussion

Tim Farriss- guitar

This is a case of appreciating now what I didn’t appreciate back then. Fearful to take the plunge, I had to wait a few years to see what a good album “Listen Like Thieves” actually was. Fortunately, this is also a case of all’s well that ends well.

Next post: Eric Clapton- The Edge of Night

To download Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://c-newfreepdf.cf/olddocs/free-download-online-rock-and-roll-children-pdf-1609763556-by-michael-d-lefevre.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1985: Jeff Beck- Flash

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 2, 2018 by 80smetalman

For many years leading up to 1985, I was always intending to explore the work of Jeff Beck. One guy I knew from high school was heavily into him and when I was in the service, one of my fellow marines remarked, “That white boy can really play a guitar.” However for some reason, I never got around to listening to him. At least until 1985 when I heard about this album.

Jeff Beck’s “Flash” album was one of the very few albums I bought because of MTV. The single, “People Get Ready,” which featured Rod Stewart on the vocals got considerable airplay. What I liked about the song was the fact that Rod’s vocals went very well with Jeff’s guitar work although I knew that from Rod’s album from the previous year. However, in this video, Jeff doesn’t pop up in a hotel room to play his guitar solo.

Most of the album does conform to what was then a more commercial 1980’s sound although I won’t go as far as to call any track here synth pop. The closest tracks to that are the opener, “Ambitious” but I hear a hint of reggae in that song and the instrumental, “Escape.” One reason I wouldn’t call the latter song synth pop is because Jan Hammer assumes the keyboards duties on that track and he and Jeff make some interesting music.  In each of those songs though, he does with a guitar what he does best and flails away with some great licks. The remainder of the album, bar one song, goes more funk. “Stop Look and Listen” and “Get Workin'” are prime examples here and while good, Jeff’s guitar solos make them sound even better.

Now let’s talk about my favourite track on the album. The second track, “Gets Us All in the End” is a true rocker in every sense of the word. When I first heard the song, the vocals sounded so familiar that I thought Jeff used a metal singer for the track. In actuality, the vocals are done by Wet Willie singer, Jimmy Hall, who also sings on three other tracks as well. While this is an excellent album, imagine what it could have been if there were more tracks like this one.

Track Listing:

  1. Ambitious
  2. Gets Us All in the End
  3. Escape
  4. People Get Ready
  5. Stop Look and Listen
  6. Get Workin’
  7. Ecstasy
  8. Night After Night
  9. You Know, We Know

Jeff Beck

Jeff Beck- guitars, lead vocals tracks 6 and 8

Jimmy Hall- lead vocals tracks 1,2,5 and 7

Rod Stewart- lead vocals, track 4

Jan Hammer- keyboards, track 3

Tony Hymas- keyboards, track 9

Dave Hitchings- keyboards

Robert Sabino- keyboards

Carmine Appice- drums

Jay Burnett- drums

Jimmy Bralower- drums

Barry DeSouza- drums

Tony ‘Thunder’ Smith- drums

Doug Wimbish- bass

Tina B- backing vocals

Curtis King- backing vocals

David Simms- backing vocals

Frank Simms- backing vocals

George Simms- backing vocals

David Spinner- backing vocals

Maybe this single will bring back memories:

And of course my favorite track:

I wonder how many people remember that Jeff Beck/Rod Stewart collaboration on “People Get Ready.” It was the song which turned my eye to this album and I’m glad it did. Jeff put out a great album here with “Flash.”

Next post: INXS- Listen Like Thieves

To download Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://c-newfreepdf.cf/olddocs/free-download-online-rock-and-roll-children-pdf-1609763556-by-michael-d-lefevre.html