Archive for Anvil

Great Metal Albums of 1985: Metal For Breakfast

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 18, 2018 by 80smetalman

Welcome to the first heavy metal compilation album I bought. It was early February 1985 when I saw “Metal For Breakfast” at my local record store. Since I often used to feel like the way the dude on the cover looks, I thought it was worth a look. When I flipped to the back cover of the album and saw who was actually on it and their songs, I knew I had to buy it straight away. Who couldn’t resist an album with Ted Nugent, Saxon, Y&T, Quiet Riot, Ozzy and Judas Priest on it. Furthermore, the songs from these artists with the exception of Judas Priest’s hidden gem, (I had never heard “The Ripper” until this album), was more incentive to get it. But that’s only half the story!

Attic Records, being based in Toronto, seemed very eager to unveil much of its local talent and they chose a good group to do so. I had heard of Anvil but never listened to them. “Forged in Fire” changed all that. Any band called The Killer Dwarfs had to be granted a listen and “Heavy Mental Breakdown” did not disappoint. This was the first step on their way to them becoming my all time favourite Canadian band. I know Mercyful Fate are from Denmark but the fact that “Black Funeral” comes right out and sings “Hail Satan” sticks one in the ear for the American religious zealots. On the second side is the lovely Lee Aaron and “Metal Queen” is mind blowing. Of course, there’s always a hidden gem and on “Metal For Breakfast” it’s the track “Metalhead” by Blotto. It takes a dig at metalheads but it’s done in a really funny way plus, it’s a good song. So what you have is a great combination of well known metal tunes and ones that weren’t so well known coming together to make a fantastic album.

Track Listing:

1. Anvil- Forged in Fire

2. Ted Nugent- Cat Scratch Fever

3. Killer Dwarfs- Heavy Mental Breakdown

4. Accept- Balls to the Wall

5. Mercyful Fate- Black Funeral

6. Blotto- Metalhead

7. Lee Aaron- Metal Queen

8. Saxon- Princess of the Night

9. Judas Priest- The Ripper

10. Quiet Riot- Metal Health

11. Y&T- Mean Streak

12. Ozzy Osbourne- Crazy Train

And I think you should listen to the hidden gem:

Back in 1985, “Metal for Breakfast” was the classic metal combination of what was known and not so known in the heavy metal world. Nowadays, it’s just a classic 80s album but it still kicks ass!

I probably looked more like this back then.

Next post: Dokken- Tooth ‘N’ Nail

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An Anvil Got Dropped on Gloucester

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 26, 2016 by 80smetalman

It’s been less than 24 hours since I went to Gloucester to see the metal delights of Anvil. To make a long story short, Anvil totally kicked ass at the Guildhall in Gloucester, UK. However, it wasn’t only a great night on account of Anvil, the two bands in support played their part in making metal history in Gloucester.

It was close, after fighting loads of traffic in my home town of Stroud and then trying to find a parking place in Gloucester, (Geography lesson: Stroud and Gloucester are about ten miles apart), then walking to the Guildhall, waiting in line only to be told that the tickets I ordered on line were waiting for me at the door, getting there and quickly buying my t-shirt, we got there just in time for the opening band.

Classic French metallers, Mystery Blue, opened things up very nicely. They are a five piece band front by lead singer Nathalie Geyer. While the sound sometimes made it difficult to tell, she does have a very good voice. But she is assisted by lead guitarist Frenzy Phillipon who knows a thing or two on how to smoke a fingerboard. Together with a sound rhythm section, Mystery Blue got the crowd in the mood for metal that night. While I can’t remember all their songs, the two that stood out were “Running With the Pack,” not a cover of the Bad Company classic and the title track from the latest album, “Claws of Steel,” which ended their half hour on stage exceedingly well. I’d definitely recommend this band and I was going to go out on a limb and say that Mystery Blue were the best thing to come out of France since Gojira but after a look on their website, I found they have been around longer than their mentioned countrymen.

Mystery Blue begin their dominance

Mystery Blue begin their dominance

Nathalie proving she has the voice

Nathalie proving she has the voice

Second up was German thrash metal band Rezet. While I can’t say that they were the best thing out of Germany since The Scorpions, Accept, Bonfire, Helloween, Kreator or Doro, they were a brilliant band nevertheless. The first thing I noticed about Rezet was there was a definite early Metallica influence here and I’m not just talking about their sound either. Their look was the same as Metallica from that era. I remember an article in Hit Parader, (Motley Crue Magazine), in 1985 which stated that Metallica looked like they belonged in the high school detention class. Rezet were just as youthful looking and like the band mentioned, they played like they were just as hungry as that band was in 1985.

Rezet compounded the assault on the audience with some really good thrash. The comments about detention hall kids definitely applied to both guitarists who traded off solos on some songs and played individual ones on others. Frontman Ricky Wagner proved to be both a good singer and guitarist but the rest of the band played their part too. The most memorable song was “Gargantua,” which as dig at modern politics and they closed with a tribute to Lemmy by playing the Motorhead classic, “No Class.” This is definitely another band worth checking out.

Ricky Wagner and Rezet get things going

Ricky Wagner and Rezet get things going

Thorben Schultz can also crank out the solos

Thorben Schultz can also crank out the solos

Rezet coming down the the finish

Rezet coming down the the finish

Everything I expected from Anvil went away as soon as they hit the stage. Things started with Lips going into the midst of the crowd to play and he got a very welcoming response as he jammed away for several minutes. When he got back to the stage, I thought, “Okay, now they’re going to play ‘Metal on Metal,’ they didn’t. The first official Anvil song of the night was “Sex” but it got the crowd going. Also my prediction that they would play many of the songs from their latest album proved to be wrong. They only played two, one was “Daggers and Rum,” a ditty about pirates and I can’t remember the other one but Robb Reiner played a really cool drum solo on it. “Winged Assassin” from the last album I posted about did get played and right after another song from the same album, “Free As the Wind” which Lips dedicated to Lemmy. He also mentioned that Lemmy once invited him to join Motorhead but Lips declined because he was in Anvil.

From the outset, Anvil were out to have a good time during the 90 minutes they were on stage. They didn’t care about the small venue because everyone inside was cheering them on. Lips especially was enjoying things and yes, he pulled out the sex toy and used it to play guitar to “Mothra.” Unlike the documentary however, this one was battery operated and that also produced some cool sounds from Lips’ guitar. Even without the toy, Lips surprised me by his ability to play. I knew he was good but I didn’t realize he was that good. He really jammed away. Plus, I got to mention new bassist Chris Robertson. When introduced, Lips stated that it was great to have finally found the right bass player after going through so many. I have to say, Robertson is the real deal.

We were treated to a good cross section of Anvil material. The title track from “This is Thirteen plus a couple of songs from “Juggernaut of Justice,” one of them being “On Fire.” While he didn’t open with “Metal on Metal,” it was the last song they did before leaving the stage. The audience wouldn’t have let them leave without playing that one. Then when they returned, a dude behind me and I both started yelling for “Forged in Fire.” Lips looked in our direction and said, “This guy wants us to play “Forged in Fire” so we will play “Forged in Fire.” That made my night totally complete. After that, they played one more song, a cover of the famous Steppenwolf song, “Born to be Wild.” I thought it was a great way to end the night.

Lips in the crowd

Lips in the crowd

Meanwhile Chris Robertson moves across the stage

Meanwhile Chris Robertson moves across the stage

Lips jamming on the guitar

Lips jamming on the guitar

Lips and Roberson going for it

Lips and Roberson going for it

Chris's bass solo

Chris’s bass solo

Singing to the crowd

Singing to the crowd

Out came the toy

Out came the toy

Here's a better picture of it

Here’s a better picture of it

Robb's drum solo

Robb’s drum solo

The End

The End

In their 39 year history, this was the first time Anvil toured the UK as a headliner. Hopefully after this night, they will be back again to tour even bigger venues because they were brilliant. When coming home from the gig, my step son couldn’t fathom why Anvil weren’t bigger. That is what’s strange.

Next post: A Non Musical Tragedy

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

Great Metal Albums of 1983: Anvil- Forged in Fire

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on October 23, 2016 by 80smetalman

220px-forgedinfire

It’s probably a psychological thing with me but whichever album I hear first from any given band tends to be my favourite one from that band. This is most likely the reason why my favourite Van Halen album is Van Halen II, my favourite Twisted Sister album is “You Can’t Stop Rock and Roll” and my favourite Lynyrd Skynyrd album is “One More From the Road.” The same principle applies to Anvil. “Forged in Fire” was the first Anvil album I listened to and it is my favourite. However, I tend to believe that even if I didn’t hear this album first, it still would have been my favourite Anvil album.

Why is “Forged in Fire” my favourite Anvil album other than it being the first of theirs I listened to? The answer is quite simple, there are just so many great songs on it. The title track alone, which I first heard on a metal compilation album, was enough to capture my interest. I loved the pounding guitars on the song and after over thirty years, I’m not sure whether or not to take the lyrics to “Forged in Fire” seriously. Still, it doesn’t matter because I love the song so much. I mean who couldn’t be amused at these lyrics:

Power blasted streams engage the injection
The mechanism reacts with affection”

If I were to levy one criticism at the album, it would be the placing of the first two songs. I know Anvil albums open with the title track and even though I love the title track on this album so much, I can’t help thinking that the second track, “Shadow Zone” should have been the opener. That is definitely an ear catching speed metal tune that would wake up the dead. However, this is just me thinking too much.

The rest of the album carries on with one great song after another. All tracks are great metal tunes that can stand on their own. Back then, I took the lyrics of “Free as the Wind” to heart as that was how I felt after leaving the marines. Even the change in momentum when Dave Allison sings lead on “Never Deceive Me” only seems to make the album sound that much better. Many of the songs are might be considered speed metal like “Shadow Zone” as they are played very fast and ferociously. I find “Hard Times and Fast Ladies” a very interesting song and while I might mentally debate which song should be the opener, there is no question that Anvil made the right choice for the closer with “Winged Assassins.”

Another reason why I like this album so much is that Steve ‘Lips’ Kudrow really goes to town on the guitar on just about all of the songs on here. His most noted ones are on “Free as the Wind” and “Winged Assassins” but there are noble efforts throughout. Therefore, I will be expecting the same when I go to Gloucester this Tuesday evening as see Anvil in all their glory. That’s right, I’m finally getting to see these guys live and why I posted the album now. I wonder how many songs from “Forged in Fire” they’ll actually play.

Track Listing:

  1. Forged in Fire
  2. Shadow Zone
  3. Free as the Wind
  4. Never Deceive Me
  5. Butter-Bust Jerky
  6. Future Wars
  7. Hard Times, Fast Ladies
  8. Make It Up to You
  9. Motormount
  10. Winged Assassins
Anvil

Anvil

Steve ‘Lips’ Kudrow- vocals, lead guitar

Dave Allison- guitar, lead vocal on “Never Deceive Me”

Ian Dickson- bass, backing vocals

Rob Reiner- drums

Following “Forged in Fire” tragedy would strike for Anvil. For many, this would be considered their last album as they would descend into obscurity and wouldn’t be heard from again until the documentary would be released about them in 2008. As a result, I have made an executive decision and will visit the so-called obscure albums they made in the late 1980s. However, “Forged in Fire” is definitely a great album to go out in style to.

Next post: Anvil Live in Gloucester

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1982: Girlschool- Screaming Blue Murder

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 4, 2015 by 80smetalman

220px-Girlschool_sbm

Everything I said in my last post about Anvil not getting the respect they’ve deserved for all these years can be said for Girlschool. Like their Canadian counterparts, Girlschool blasted onto the scene in the early 1980s only to disappear a few years down the line, although they were bigger in the UK than they were in America. But with all of the other bands from the UK who came on the wave of new wave of British heavy metal (NWOBHM), Girlschool seemed to be the first to fade from view. Should I play the ‘it’s because heavy metal is sexist’ card? After all, Girlschool were an all female outfit. No I won’t do that unless clear evidence can be provided, but whatever the reason, one thing I know for sure was that they could rock just as hard as the men.

The 1982 album “Screaming Blue Murder” is proof alone that Girlschool weren’t just four pretty bimbos who decided to take up instruments. They could at least play them. Each song, except for maybe the closer, is a true metal tune and each contains something of the basic elements to be a true metal song. “Screaming Blue Murder” is a fantastic opening track and sets the pace to the album ever so appropriately. The introductory riffs on “Take it From Me” are the type to grab you by the ears and say, “Here’s a song you should listen to.” Other stand out tracks for me are “Don’t Call It Love,” “Live With Me,” “Turns Your Head Around” and “When Your Blood Runs Cold.” So, I ask myself, why didn’t these girls go onto to the same accolades as the likes of Saxon, Maiden or Priest?

Another issue I noted from listening to the album is the guitar work of one Kelly Johnson. She can shred, plain and simple. Just have a listen to “Don’t Call it Love” and you will be convinced. That’s the song where she shines the most but she certainly makes her presence known on the other tracks on “Screaming Blue Murder.” So, let’s all give Johnson the respect she deserves as a guitarist. P.S. You could probably add Kim McAuliffe to my list of great rhythm guitarists as well.

Track Listing:

1. Screaming Blue Murder

2. Live With Me

3. Take It From Me

4. Wildlife

5. Turns Your Head Around

6. Don’t Call It Love

7. Hellrazor

8. When Your Blood Runs Cold

9. You Got Me

10. Flesh and Blood

Girlschool

Girlschool

Kim McAuliffe- rhythm guitar, vocals

Kelly Johnson- lead guitar, vocals

Gil Weston- bass, vocals

Denise Dufort- drums

1982 was full of great metal bands, probably so many that some possibly slipped through the cracks and faded into obscurity. That might be said for Girlschool but in that year, they made their mark with the album, “Screaming Blue Murder.” For me, it was another metal album made in the way the gods of metal intended and it has played a major role in getting me psyched for Friday.

Next post: Bloodstock, the Friday

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1982: Anvil- Metal on Metal

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, films, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 1, 2015 by 80smetalman

220px-Metal_On_Metal

The other night I was watching Anvil performing the title track to their 1982 album, “Metal on Metal” and it got me thinking about the now famous Anvil Documentary that came out a few years back. Many bands admitted that they were blown away by Anvil back in the day and seeing their performance on You tube, I now know why. They were just so full of energy and the way they played was just mind blowing. I wished I could have seen them back then. Fortunately, their first three studio albums were just as mind blowing, including this one.

While I can easily say that all the songs on “Metal on Metal” are mind blowing metal anthems, it is the title track that I like best. Seeing it performed live only makes it that much sweeter. It’s just metal as metal was intended. However, it is likewise for the rest of the album as well. I get the distinct impression that the band had a good time recording this one. “Mothra,” “Jackhammer” and “Heat Sink” all fall in line with the title track, all great head bangers. The instrumental “March of the Crabs” show that these guys can actually play. One thing I do find surprising is the closer “666.” I’m surprised that it hasn’t appeared on an American fundamentalist Christian hit list, just for the title alone. The other reason I’m surprised the album hasn’t appeared on the same list is that “Metal on Metal” is what metal was meant to be. If someone with no experience of metal, who wanted to hear it in its purest form, this would be one of the albums I would reach for.

Track Listing:

1. Metal on Metal

2. Mothra

3. Stop Me

4. March of the Crabs

5. Jackhammer

6. Heat Sink

7. Tag Team

8. Scenery

9. Tease Me Please Me

10. 666

Anvil

Anvil

Steve ‘Lips’ Kudrow- vocals, guitar

Dave Allison- guitar, vocals on “Stop Me”

Ian Dickson- bass

Rob Reiner- drums

One observation I’ve made about Anvil today and was probably true back in the early 1980s, was that people either loved them or hated them. No prizes for guessing which side I’m on. Even when they played Bloodstock in 2012, these things were said. All I know is that their first three albums were all killer ones and though I didn’t experience them until 1984, I was glad for the opportunity.

Next post: Girlschool- Screaming Blue Murder

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

 

1982: Triumphs and Tragedy

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Death, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Humour, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 12, 2015 by 80smetalman

You may remember that when I first entered 1982, I spent eight of the twelve months of that year deployed with the marines. The first six months were especially difficult because I was floating about the Mediterranean Sea and Indian Ocean on a ship. So I didn’t get that much news especially news pertaining to music. However, one piece of tragic news that did reach my ears whilst on the ship was the death of comic actor and Blues Brothers singer John Belushi.

Bluesbrothersmovieposter

Unlike the assassination of JFK, Belushi’s death may not have been a where were you moment when you first learned about it to most people. While I can say for sure that I was on board the ship when I learned about his tragic passing, I can’t say where exactly the ship was at the time. I do know that it was somewhere in the Indian Ocean.

His career may have been short but John Belushi packed a load of things to remember him by during those few years. For us music fans, the biggest contribution to music was most certainly The Blues Brothers. His collaboration with Dan Ackroyd  gave us a brilliant album and in 1980, a hilarious movie with one hell of a great soundtrack. For those new to 80smetalman, I have visited both on here if you want to take a look. Older statesmen like me, however, will always love Belushi for his antics on the old Saturday Night Live show. I will always love his Samurai character. In 1982, a true musical and comical genius was tragically taken from us. R.I.P. John Belushi.

John Belushi as Samurai in my all time favourite one: Samurai Night Fever

John Belushi as Samurai in my all time favourite one: Samurai Night Fever

Now on to the triumph. This year saw the third Monsters of Rock Festival at Donnington Park. Attendance was up from the previous two years and evidence that slowly but surely, heavy metal was taking over the UK. A small piece of festival history was made that year when Saxon became the first band to play at there for the second time. Headlining was another British band who failed to make it very far in the US, Status Quo. I have to admit, that I haven’t listened to them much over the years over the years. Guess I should rectify that. Other players that year included Gillan, Uriah Heep, space rockers Hawkwind and Canadian metal band Anvil. While it would be another year before I would hear about this great festival, I believe that this varied line up would have been a great thing to see and hear.

HW 1982-08-21 Castle Donnington.Monsters of Rock.1.front

Like I said at the beginning, my knowledge of musical events is limited due to the circumstances. So if there is some other event from 1982, triumph or tragedy, let me know and I will post about it because it is part of our history. Call this an urgent appeal.

Next post: Status Quo- 1+9+8+2

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

Great Metal Albums of 1981: Anvil- Hard ‘N’ Heavy

Posted in 1980s, films, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 27, 2014 by 80smetalman

220px-Hardnheavy

After listening to “Hard ‘N’ Heavy,” the debut album from Canadian metal outfit, Anvil and thinking back to the documentary made about them four years ago, I find myself asking, “Why didn’t they make it into the big time?” This album alone should have catapulted them into the stratosphere of music, it’s that good. My gut reaction is my belief that Canadian metal was largely ignored back then with the exceptions of Rush and Triumph but was that really the case? My mind is still grappling with the question but in any case, whenever any of the great metal albums from 1981 are mentioned, “Hard ‘N’ Heavy” definitely deserves to be among them.

If I still had one of those radio/cassette alarm clocks and had this album on cassette, then I would have would have woken up every morning to the opening track, “School Love” and not just because it starts with a school bell. I love what comes after, the killer sound of guitar, bass and drums that meld together to make the song. Of course, after “School Love” woke me up, I wouldn’t be able to do much else because I would have to head bang away through its entirety. What impresses me with many of the songs is that Steve ‘Lips’ Kudrow is a far better guitarist than what I have given him credit for. There are some killer solos on “Hard ‘N’ Heavy.” “AC/DC” (which is not a tribute to the band of the same name), “At the Apartment,” Oh Jane” and “Bondage” all immediately come to mind here.

There are a good many songs that would sound even better if metalized and there are a couple of Rolling Stones songs that qualify here. But what Anvil have done with “Paint It Black” on the album is something truly phenomenal. They just didn’t metalize the song, they ultra metalized it. Another aspect that the band has always done well in my mind is add a certain sense of humour to a lot of their songs. That humour is apparent in all of the songs here while all the time, taking nothing away from the style that makes Anvil a true metal band.

Track Listing:

1. School Bells

2. AC/DC

3. At the Apartment

4. I Want You Both (With Me)

5. Bedroom Game

6. Oooh Baby

7. Paint It Black

8. Oh Jane

9. Hot Child

10. Bondage

Anvil

Steve ‘Lips’ Kudrow- vocals, guitar

Dave Allison- guitar, vocals

Ian Dickson- bass

Robb Reiner- drums

Whoever first said that Anvil are the greatest band never to have had a break gets total agreement from me. I can only wonder why they didn’t make it to the great heights achieved by so many other bands in the 80s. “Hard ‘N’ Heavy” is a fantastic metal album and deserves its place among so many of the other great metal albums from 1981.

Next post: Girlschool- Hit and Run

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London