Great Rock/Metal Albums of 1985: The Cult- Love

Posted in Uncategorized on March 7, 2019 by 80smetalman


Funny true story, back in early 1980s, The Cult was a popular abbreviation for Blue Oyster Cult used by many people, me included. Therefore, when the deejay of my local radio station announced he was playing a brand new song from The Cult, I naturally assumed it was Blue Oyster. When I heard the first single, “She Sells Sanctuary” on the radio, my first reaction was that Blue Oyster Cult was sounding like very early U2. However, after a second and possibly a third listen to the song, I realized that it could in no way been the band I’ve followed since the late 1970s and finally got it through my noggin that there was a new band called The Cult.

In mid November of 1985, “She Sells Sanctuary” vied with Phantom, Rocker and Slick’s “Men Without Shame” for top spot in 80smetalman’s World. Thinking back, I ask why no one ever thought about putting these two songs together on a compilation album, I would have bought it. Then again, why didn’t I make a tape of my own? Silly me. Preaching to the choir here but “She Sells Sanctuary” has always been a great classic. I just love how the guitars work on the song and Billy Duffy deserves more respect as a guitarist.

Once upon a time, I heard some blind follower of the Top 40 charts state that all songs by The Cult sound the same. Maybe he was comparing “She Sells Sanctuary” to their later hit “Fire Woman.” We can debate everything wrong with that last statement another time but my point is that this person must not have every heard their second album, “Love,” in its entirety. True, there is some similarity with the opener, “Nirvana” and the big single but that’s why “Nirvana” is best placed as the opener. It’s an attention grabber to say the least. After that, The Cult do different things with the other tracks on “Love.” “Big Neon Glitter” is a unique track and could have been single itself. The real surprise is “Brother Wolf, Sister Moon.” This song sounds very bluesy but Duffy’s guitar riffs on it send it to another dimension. Definitely the hidden gem on the album.

“Rain” was the second single on the album and it’s a good steady rock tune that is suitable for radio. “Phoenix” has a really cool heavy metal sounding intro with the way out guitar riff then going into a more traditional guitar solo. This song was probably why some people classed The Cult as a heavy metal band. Whatever you want to call it, the song kicks absolute ass! “Hollow Man” has a cool intro whose riffs continue to mesmerize even after it transforms into a more straight ahead rock song. “Revolution” is the closest The Cult come to a ballad but there are more Duffy riffs to enjoy before the big single and then onto a good closer in “Black Angel.”

Track Listing:

  1. Nirvana
  2. Big Neon Glitter
  3. Love
  4. Brother Wolf, Sister Moon
  5. Rain
  6. Phoenix
  7. Hollow Man
  8. Revolution
  9. She Sells Sanctuary
  10. Black Angel


Ian Astbury- vocals

Billy Duffy- guitars, backing vocals

Jamie Stewart- bass, keyboards, backing vocals

Mark Brzezicki- drums on all tracks except track 9

Nigel Preston- drums on “She Sells Sanctuary”

The Cult made a small breakthrough to the US in 1985 but made a major breakthrough in my mind. For me, the “Love” album was something totally unique for me and I’ve been a fan ever since.

Next post: Aerosmith- Done With Mirrors

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Great Soundtracks of 1985: Rocky IV

Posted in Uncategorized on March 4, 2019 by 80smetalman


1985 saw two films where Sylvester Stallone, as his two most famous characters, John Rambo and Rocky Balboa, beat the evil Russians. In “Rambo- First Blood Part 2,” Stallone kills about 38 Russian soldiers and rescues American prisoners still held from the Vietnam war. The second, “Rocky IV,” he beats up one Russian boxer, Ivan Drago, played by Dolph Lundgren. While the theme is the same with both movies, “Rocky IV” has a much better soundtrack.

Unlike the “Vision Quest” soundtrack, the soundtrack for “Rocky IV” doesn’t go all out to include a wide range of musical tastes. There are no heavy metal songs on here but on the flip side, there aren’t any Madonna ones either. What Sylvester does is rekindle his fondness for Survivor. Once again, the song from “Rocky III,” which shot Survivor to fame, “Eye of the Tiger,” is on the soundtrack to “IV.” However, there is a second Survivor track and it’s the best track on the entire album. In fact, I’ll go out and boldly declare that “Burning Heart” is my favourite Survivor song of all time.

The other tracks on the soundtrack range from quite good to interesting. The only real 80s synth pop offering comes from Go West in the form of “One Way Street.” I call it synth pop but it’s not terrible. A very interesting song comes via “Double or Nothing” which is a duet of Kenny Loggins and Gladys Knight. That was a combination I never would have thought would work but it does. Besides, there is a cool guitar solo on the song. Of course, no Rocky film or soundtrack would be complete without a training montage song. Vince DiCola does the honours here and I admit, it does make want to go out for a run, though my 57 year old body vetoes any thought of that. The “Rocky” films made training montages cool and eventually would lead to what I consider the best training montage of all time. See below:

Then again, another song from this soundtrack used in a training montage. Family Guy makes effective use of the song from John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band, “Hearts on Fire,” a pretty decent song by the way.

Saving some of the best for last, in addition to “Burning Heart,” there are two really good tracks on the “Rocky IV” soundtrack. One of these is fairly obvious, I mean you can never go wrong with a little James Brown.”Living in America” is a great song no matter what genre of music you like to call your own. James just really delivers and his actual performance of it in the film is just great! Finally, there’s “No Easy Way Out” from one hit wonder Robert Tepper. The fact that he appears on the soundtrack is why I didn’t include him in my One Hit Wonders of 1985 post. Anyway, the song rocks, it’s the hardest song on the soundtrack. It’s definitely the hidden gem, hands down.

Track Listing



  1. Survivor- Burning Heart

John Cafferty and The Beaver Brown Band

2. John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band- Hearts of Fire

3. Kenny Loggins and Gladys Knight- Double or Nothing



4. Survivor- Eye of the Tiger

5. Vinnie DiCola- War

6. James Brown- Living in America


7. Robert Tepper- No Easy Way Out

8. Go West- One Way Street

9. Touch- The Sweetest Victory

10. Vinnie DiCola- Montage

History states that “Rocky IV” was no way near the best Rocky film of all time. It’s success came on a wave of America gets even films that were coming out in 1985. Whatever the film, one can’t fault the soundtrack much.

Next post: The Cult- Love

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Will and Ela’s Wedding

Posted in Uncategorized on March 3, 2019 by 80smetalman

First, I’d like to thank those of you who wished my son Will and his new bride Ela a happy wedding day, it truly was. As a result, I thought I’d take a moment to play the doting father, father in law and grandfather and bore you all with pictures from the day.


Ela- the beautiful bride


Toast the happy couple


The happy couple cutting the cake. I forgot to get a slice.


I also got to be the happy granddad with my grandson Alex


With both of my sons, Jake and Will

Hope I didn’t bore you too much. I’ll be back to posting kick ass albums from 1985 hopefully tomorrow.








Great Soundtracks of 1985: Vision Quest

Posted in Uncategorized on March 1, 2019 by 80smetalman


Hollywood continued to use the same formula in it’s film soundtracks in the mid 1980s which I first detected in the soundtrack to “Footloose” the previous year. The formula was to put in songs from a wide spectrum of rock music in order to appeal to a variety of musical tastes. I mean, why else would Madonna being on the same record as the likes of Dio and Sammy Hagar? You could throw in Journey or Foreigner but that would be less surprising. But that’s exactly what they did on the soundtrack to the film “Vision Quest.”

I never saw the film. A film about a high school wrestler and his love life didn’t appeal to me then or now. Hell, I didn’t even know Mathew Modine was in it. I always thought his first film was “Full Metal Jacket,” so that was a little surprising. BTW, that’s his best film in my not so humble opinion.

Back to the soundtrack. The Madonna songs aren’t terrible. If a gun was put to my head and I was forced to choose my favourite Madonna song, it would be the closer from this soundtrack, “Crazy For You.” I almost nearly kind of sort of like that one. Credit where due though, it does make a decent closer for the soundtrack. On the other hand, her other song on her, “Gambler,” doesn’t do anything for me.

Madonna isn’t the only pop song on the “Vision Quest” soundtrack. Paul Weller’s band, The Style Council gives us “Shout to the Top.” Even the name of the band screams 80s synth pop and the track is exactly that. While I never called Don Henley a pop artist, I remain unimpressed with “She’s On the Zoom.” I expected better from the ex- Eagle. The soundtrack also features John Parr who was still riding high from his album the previous year. Actually, “Change” has some good moments with the heavy guitars appearing. Well done John.

Now let’s move towards the good bits. The opening track from Journey, “Only the Young” is more associated with their more 1980s commercial sound than their late 70s progressive rock one. Still, it’s a decent song. Then we get to the two classics, the great “Hot Blooded” from Foreigner and Sammy Hagar’s “I’ll Fall in Love Again.” These two songs together would make any soundtrack or compilation album worth a listen. “Hot Blooded” is my all time favourite Foreigner song to begin with and while Sammy’s isn’t my absolute favourite from him, it’s still a great song.

Finally we come to the two hidden gems. Ronnie Dio’s best decision was to include Dio’s track on here, “Hungry For Heaven” on the album which would come out later on in 1985. It’s a great track, definitely in my top ten of Dio classics. However, there is a true hidden gem on the soundtrack. “Lunatic Fringe” from Canadian rockers Red Rider is truly amazing and hearing this song makes me mad at the fact they never made it south of the border or across the Atlantic. Damn shame if you ask me.

Track Listing:



  1. Journey- Only the Young
  2. japrr

    John Parr

John Parr- Change

3. The Style Council- Shout to the Top

4. Madonna- Gambler


5. Don Henley- She’s On the Zoom



6. Dio- Hungry for Heaven

7. Red Rider- Lunatic Fringe

untitled (4)

Sammy Hagar

8. Sammy Hagar- I’ll Fall in Love Again



9. Foreigner- Hot Blooded

10. Madonna- Crazy For You

Overall, the great tracks on the soundtrack to “Vision Quest” totally outweigh the non great ones. I can put up with a bit of Madonna and a lackluster song from Don Henley if I can get to hear the greats like Dio, Sammy Hagar, Foreigner and the surprisingly good Red Rider. Still, I don’t think I’ll ever watch the movie.

Next post: Rocky IV Soundtrack

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Great Metal Albums of 1985: W.A.S.P.- The Last Command

Posted in Uncategorized on February 25, 2019 by 80smetalman


Following on from my last post on the PMRC, I thought it was only right that I visit the album, “The Last Command” from W.A.S.P. My reason for buying this album was straight forward, I bought it because it was the first album I knew of to have a PMRC warning label on it. I remember from an article in the same edition of the People magazine where I first learned of the PMRC reading a quote from lead singer Blackie Lawless stating that putting labels on records would only help record sales. That’s probably why they happily allowed it to be put on the album. It worked as far as I’m concerned.


It seemed that many people didn’t rate “The Last Command” as high as their self titled debut album. In fact, a few years later, I found myself justifying buying the album on the grounds that I had bought it for the warning label. It wasn’t on my regular listening rotation back then. However, after listening to it again, after so many years, it’s growing on me.

“The Last Command” starts off very well with “Wild Child.” Hearing this song, one thinks that the album is going to kick total ass all over. I love that intro to it. The next song, “Ballcrusher,” which gets my vote for hidden gem keeps that thought alive. I mean, at the time, I was amused by lyrics about a lesbo-nymphomaniac woman drinking all my JD and stealing my brand new car. Actually, those lyrics still bring a smile to my face. Unfortunately, the next three songs give that ‘heard this all before’ feeling and it dampens things a little. Like the stock report at the beginning of “Fistful of Diamonds” and while I like the riff on “Jack Action,” the lyrics seemed re-hashed. “Widowmaker” ends the first side okay but not enough to support the previous two songs.

Side two starts out very promising with my second favourite all time W.A.S.P. song, “Blind in Texas.” The lead guitars make the song shine and even though I’ve heard tons of songs about getting drunk, the fact that Blackie is doing it in Texas is still somewhat unique. Like the first side, the remainder of the songs don’t hold a candle to the one that began the second side. It might have been better if “Cries in the Night” had been the closer because “Sex Drive” doesn’t do it for me. Those two should have been swapped around. “Running Wild in the Streets” is a decent song. One thing that seems to be overlooked on this album is the guitar work from Randy Piper and Chris Holmes. There are some good solos on some of these songs which redeems what could have been a lackluster album. “Widowmaker” is a prime choice.

Track Listing:

  1. Wild Child
  2. Ballcrusher
  3. Fistful of Diamonds
  4. Jack Action
  5. Widowmaker
  6. Blind in Texas
  7. Cries in the Night
  8. The Last Command
  9. Running Wild in the Streets
  10. Sex Drive


Blackie Lawless- lead vocals, bass

Chris Holmes- guitar

Randy Piper- guitar, backing vocals

Steve Riley- drums, backing vocals

Thinking about “The Last Command,” it’s would have been an average album if it wasn’t for three very kick ass songs, “Wild Child,” “Ballcrusher” and “Blind in Texas.” These three songs propel the rest of the album and I will no longer say that I only bought it because of the warning label.

Remember, don’t drive blind in Texas or anywhere else!

Next post: Soundtrack to Visionquest

I would also ask you all to raise a glass to my son Will and his lovely fiancee Ela who will be getting married this Wednesday.

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The Rise of the PMRC

Posted in Uncategorized on February 22, 2019 by 80smetalman


Tipper Gore

In November 1985, I happened to see a copy of People Magazine on the dining room table. On the front cover was a picture of Madonna and the title was “Has Rock Gone Too Far?” Naturally, I had to read the article therein and that was how I first learned about the Parents Music Resource Center. Founded by Tipper Gore, wife of then senator Al Gore and Susan Baker, wife of then Treasury Secretary James Baker, the PMRC  to combat the concerns of the effect rock music was having on young minds, heavy metal was particularly a prime target for the “Washington Wives.” Their concern was that explicit lyrics and ‘shocking’ music videos were having a potentially bad influence on children. What the PMRC wanted was records being rated in regards to sex, violence, drugs and the occult. They also wanted stations like MTV not to play songs which fell into the above ratings and ask record companies to reassess their contracts with performers who might act too sexual or violent on stage. They went on to produce the “Filthy Fifteen’ songs as an example.

Filthy Fifteen

  1. Prince- Darling Nikki- References to sex and masturbation
  2. Sheena Easton- Sugar Walls- sex
  3. Judas Priest- Eat Me Alive- sex and violence
  4. Vanity- Strap On Robbie Baby- sex
  5. Motley Crue- Bastard- Violence, language
  6. AC/DC- Let Me Put My Love Into You- sex
  7. Twisted Sister- We’re Not Gonna Take It- violence
  8. Madonna- Dress You Up- sex
  9. W.A.S.P.- Fuck Like a Beast- sex, violence, language
  10. Def Leppard- High ‘N’ Dry- drugs and alcohol use
  11. Mercyful Fate- Into the Coven- occult
  12. Black Sabbath- Trashed- drug and alcohol use
  13. Mary Jane Girls- In My House- sex
  14. Venom- Possessed- Occult
  15. Cyndi Lauper- She Bop- sex and masturbation

For further amusement please watch this video:

What resulted from the PMRC’s actions was a Senate hearing. Coming to defend rock music was John Denver, Frank Zappa and Dee Snider, all of which testified before the Senate committee putting forward their views as what they and I saw as an attempt by the PMRC at censorship. So for your further entertainment, I have included parts of the testimonies of all three of these great men.

In the end, the record industry agreed to voluntarily police itself and put advisory labels on records whose lyrics some might have found offensive. Rumours abounded at the time that the record industry was trying to get lawmakers to put a tax or surcharge on blank tapes because they feared everyone was taping their albums and they were losing money from it. Therefore, they agreed to the labels in the hopes that Congress would look into the taping ‘situation.’ Personally, I believe this to be true and there has been evidence to support it. The record companies sold the musicians up the river in an attempt to garnish more profit.

Did the PMRC change anything? Is their depravity and insurrection in the streets because of rock music? I don’t think so to either question. I do think that the one thing to come out of the PMRC’s actions was that it would cost Al Gore the presidency fifteen years later. The fear of having someone like Tipper Gore as First Lady scared the shit out of me and her extreme actions on music made me damn sure I wasn’t going to vote for her husband. I voted for Ralph Nader in 2000 by the way.

Next post: I was going to save this more towards the end of 1985 but this post has motivated me to post it next. WASP- The Last Command

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1985- The First Farm Aid

Posted in Uncategorized on February 18, 2019 by 80smetalman


Farm Aid grew out of comments made by Bob Dylan at Live Aid when he stated that he hoped that some of the money raised by the benefit concert would go to help American family farmers who were losing their farms. Spurred on by Dylan’s words, Country legend Willie Nelson, John Cougar Mellencamp and Neil Young organized a benefit concert to help farmers. Thus, the first Farm Aid concert was held on September 22, 1985 at the University of Illinois Memorial Stadium.


To be honest, I never watched Farm Aid, I was either working, studying or partying so I missed it. I have heard some great happenings and looking at the line up which played on the day, I regret not seeing a lot of them. What Farm Aid accomplished was a great coming together of rock and country music stars for the big event. One of my favourite country artists, David Allen Coe, played on the day as did Johnny Cash, George Jones and Merle Haggard to name a few. On the rock side, I would have loved to see Foreigner, Bon Jovi, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and John Cougar Mellencamp plus many more.

One defining moment from the day I did get to see not long after. Farm Aid would feature Eddie Van Halen and Sammy Hagar playing together live for the very first time. Even if I had seen the entire show, that still would have been my highlight for the day.

The first Farm Aid raised $9 million for family farmers. While not as prolific or as hyped as Live Aid was, the concert was a success leading to further concerts in the years after and while I can complain about Bon Jovi and Eddie and Sammy being the only metal acts that day, I won’t because it was still a great day of music.

Next post: The Rise of the PMRC

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