Archive for Australia

Great Metal Albums of 1984: AC/DC- 74 Jailbreak

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 7, 2017 by 80smetalman

Being predictable again! If you have been following me for some time, you have probably already guessed that I am posting about an AC/DC album because tribute band Hell’s Bells came to town. They did and unlike my post about the previous two AC/DC albums, I actually went to see them last night. You know, sort of for inspiration but I really don’t need any to see Hell’s Bells or post about AC/DC’s 1984 album, “74 Jailbreak.”

Pity the Foo

First the show, Hell’s Bells were supported by the Foo Fighters tribute band, Pity the Foo. Now, except for the videos I’ve seen on the Kerrang channel, I have no experience of the Foo Fighters. But if they are anything like the tribute band on stage, then maybe I should delve into some of their back catalogs. Pity the Foo honoured the band they were tributing on this evening. They were tight and if they weren’t playing Foo Fighters material, they could have played anything, even their own material and played it very well. The two Foo Fighters songs I know they played were “Monkey Wrench” and “A Long Road to Ruin” were good examples of how good this band was. When they left the stage, they had accomplished their mission of warming things up for the headliner. Pity not many people bothered to turn up and see them.

Hell’s Bells ascend the stage. God, I wish my hand was steadier.

If I went into great details of Hell’s Bells performance, then all I would need to do is copy and paste previous posts about them. What I can say is that last night was their best performance ever in the five times I’ve seen them. Like always, they were note perfect in regards to AC/DC and played an array of AC/DC classics that everyone in the audience will have heard at least their favourites. For me, it was “You Shook Me All Night Long,” “Highway to Hell” and they ended with “Whole Lotta Rosie.” One thing they did different was play “Ace of Spades” in dedication to Lemmy. When they left the stage at the end of an hour and a half, which flew by too quickly, there wasn’t one disappointed person in the room.

Another thing I noted was the huge age range in attendance. I’ll be turning 56 next month and I can happily say that I wasn’t the oldest person in the room, not by a long shot. However, there were second and third generation AC/DC fans there as well. Many bands who last for over four decades aren’t as able to pick up followers from the younger generations. I remember the generation just below me regarding the Rolling Stones as golden oldies. They don’t say that about AC/DC.

Angus’s double does his strip act.

Hell’s Bells taking it home.

Unfortunately, Hell’s Bells didn’t play any songs off the “74 Jailbreak” album. Yes, I know in reality that it’s and EP but talk about five grab you by the throat songs. These were tracks that were only previously released in Australia and made available to the rest of the world as part of this EP. My question here is why they waited so long before treating us to them. With the benefit of hindsight, one might have thought that they might have released this in 1980 after Bon Scott’s tragic death. After all, his vocals are simply fantastic on the album. “Jailbreak” did feature on the “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” album but it’s a good opener. Likewise, “Baby, Please Don’t Go” is a good closer. Many an AC/DC album has those so nothing new in that department. However, it’s the three songs in the middle that make the album for me. All of them feature some pretty nifty guitar work compliments of Angus Young but my favourite of all is the middle track, the very bluesy sounding “Show Business.” Angus just cooks on this one and I now put him on the same shelf as some other great blues guitarists. So my question here is why isn’t this album or EP talked about more in AC/DC circles?

Track Listing:

  1. Jailbreak
  2. You Ain’t Got a Hold on Me
  3. Show Business
  4. Soul Stripper
  5. Baby, Please Don’t Go

AC/DC

Bon Scott- vocals

Angus Young- lead guitar, backing vocals

Malcolm Young- rhythm guitar, backing vocals

George Young- bass, backing vocals, drums

Rob Bailey- bass

Mark Evans- bass on “Jailbreak”

Phil Rudd- drums, percussion on “Jailbreak”

Tony Currenti- drums, percussion on tracks 2-4

Peter Clack- drums, percussion on “Baby Please Don’t Go”

Whenever people talk about AC/DC albums, it seems that “74 Jailbreak” doesn’t get mentioned. My guess is it’s because it’s considered an EP. EP or album, there are five great songs on here and that’s more great songs that many other bands have on one entire album. Maybe Hell’s Bells will play some songs from it next time they come to town.

Next post: Queen- The Works

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: Heaven- Where Angels Fear to Tread

Posted in 1980s, Books, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 23, 2017 by 80smetalman

heaven_waftt

When my household finally got MTV in the final month of 1983, one video I remember seeing getting a good amount of airplay was the one for the song, “Rock School” by Australian rockers, Heaven. The song itself was okay although at the time, I wasn’t too sure about the horns in it. What I did enjoy was the actual video. It cast the band as your typical high school hoods causing havoc at their school. My favourite part was when they whip the high school football team in a rumble. I think that was the highlight for many metalheads at the time.

Now, I am not anti- American football or school sports. After all, I officiate the game here in the UK and when I went to the states two and a half years ago, had the opportunity to officiate a high school junior varsity game. What I am opposed to is the mentality in schools that a boy isn’t anything unless he plays football and that football prepares a young man for life. It was around this time in the US that schools began pushing sports over learning and treating the jocks as mollycoddled gods. There is an instance in “Rock and Roll Children” about this when two football players try to pick on one of the character’s friends and a fight starts. When the smoke clears, the teachers, the PE teacher especially, seem to be more sympathetic to the football players’ side of the story. The PE teacher simply wants to dismiss the metalheads’ story and only a more fair minded teacher stops him. Trust me, things like this happened in school back then and probably still do so now. So, it would have amused many a metalhead in 83 to see one of their bands duffing up some football players.

Scenes from the video for "Rock School."

Scenes from the video for “Rock School.”

As for the rest of the album, “Where Angels Fear to Tread,” let me say that it is pretty much a good rocking album. The single, “Rock School” blends in well with the rest of the album. The opener and title track is quite good and the second track, “Love Child” pretty much goes hand in hand with the same hard, feel good vibe. Without a doubt though, my favourite track on the album has to be “Hard Life.” This is just a great standard rocker! Heaven just goes all out on it and it has the best guitar solo on it so double bonus points there. The closer, “Sleeping Dogs,” is a powerful rocker too and I don’t think it should be the closer. Maybe one of the two before it would have been better but who’s to say. “Where Angels Fear to Tread” is damn fine album.

Track Listing:

  1. Where Angels Fear to Tread
  2. Love Child
  3. Scream for Me
  4. Don’t Mean Nothing
  5. Rock School
  6. Madness
  7. Hard Life
  8. She Stole My Heart
  9. You
  10. Sleeping Dogs

heaven_b

Allan ‘Eddie’ Fryer- vocals

Kelly- lead guitar

Laurie Marlow- bass

Mick Cocks- rhythm guitar

Joe Turtur- drums

I wonder how many people who were living in 1983 actually remember seeing the “Rock School” video on MTV. Believe me, it was on quite a lot then and some people probably have Heaven down for one hit wonders. The “Where Angels Fear to Tread” album makes them much more than that.

Next post: Ozzy Osbourne- Bark at the Moon

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 Rock Albums of 1983: Men At Work- Cargo

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 30, 2016 by 80smetalman

220px-Men_at_Work_-_Cargo

Let me clarify something I wrote when I posted about Men At Work’s debut album, “Business As Usual.” I stated that Men At Work was the closest I got to mainstream music back in the 1980s. That was definitely the case in 1982 however, after refamiliarising myself with their second album, which I find superior to the debut album by the way, and thinking about music in 1983, I have to agree to the premise that this band wasn’t really mainstream. Still, they were the closest I got to it.

One reason why the “Cargo” album might be considered mainstream was that it had three successful singles on it. “Dr Heckyll and Mr Jive” was a very fun catchy tune and I love the paranoid feeling that “Overkill” provides. I’ve had days when I feel exactly like that. However, my favourite all time Men At Work song is the single “It’s a Mistake.” Its release couldn’t have come at a better time for me. Call it kharma or deja vu but hearing a good anti war song right after coming out of the marines was unbelievable. The video of the song provided the proper punchline. Even without all that, I still would have found it a good song.

From the Men At Work video: It's A Mistake

From the Men At Work video: It’s A Mistake

Call “Cargo” what you will, post punk, new wave or even mainstream, none of it stops this album from being a good, fun album. There also elements of reggae in it as well, I site “Settle Down My Boy” and “Blue For You” as evidence,  so in my mind, all of those combinations make it anything but mainstream. I sort of like it when people aren’t able pigeon hole certain bands. With “Cargo” there is something for everyone to like. Hell, I even noticed a bit of a hard rock-ish sound on “High Wire.” What’s more, Men At Work incorporate a brilliant sense of humour on their songs, something I always like. That’s expecially the case with “I Like To.” Therefore, my conclusion is while “Cargo” by Men At Work may not be the hard pounding metal album I was liking more and more in those days, it was still a very enjoyable album.

Track Listing:

  1. Dr Heckyll and Mr Jive
  2. Overkill
  3. Settle Down My Boy
  4. Upstairs in My Room
  5. No Sign of Yesterday
  6. It’s a Mistake
  7. High Wire
  8. Blue For You
  9. I Like To
  10. No Restrictions
Men At Work

Men At Work

Greg Ham- flute, keyboards, saxophone, vocals

Colin Hay- guitar, vocals

John Rees- bass, backing vocals

Jerry Speiser- drums, backing vocals

Ron Strykert- guitar, vocals

Men At Work might have been the closest I ever got to mainstream music back in the 1980s but they certainly weren’t mainstream. Good musicianship, fun and catchy music and lyrics and a sense of humour was why I liked the “Cargo” album.

Next post: Night Ranger- Midnight Madness

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 Rock Albums of 1983: INXS- Shabooh Shoobah

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 25, 2016 by 80smetalman

220px-Shaboohshoobah

Before I proceed into the post about my first experience of Australian new wave band INXS, I thought I would be like some of my fellow bloggers and mention a good bargain I picked up on an album. Last Saturday, I was in my local Morrison’s supermarket when I happened past the CD section. Normally, I might only take a sweeping glance at their CD display as most of it is chart stuff. However, something interesting caught my eye. There on the shelf was the classic Bruce Springsteen, “Born to Run” album for just £3 ($4.50). Since my previous cassette copy of this album fell victim to my car stereo in 1990, I naturally had to pick it up. Now, let’s go into the post.

bsbtr

My first experience of INXS came a couple of months after I left the marines in 1983 and came by the way of the single “Don’t Change.” It wasn’t metal, it wasn’t Southern Rock nor could I put it into any sort of category but new wave, all I know that I liked the song. I liked the hard guitar sound in the background and though I thought they could have been a bit more dominant, it still worked. The keyboards were played smartly and complimented the song very well. However, having been burnt not long before this, I hesitated in buying the album “Shabooh Shoobah” right away. It was via a working companion that I was finally treated to it.

“Shabooh SHoobah” illustrates exactly where I was musically at this time in 1983. While my full conversion to heavy metal had already taken place, I wasn’t completely repulsed by what was being played on the radio at the time. When I listened to the album, I found it quite to my liking. While I wouldn’t exactly call it hard rock and there are no blistering guitar solos, there is sufficient guitar on it. Furthermore, I like Michael Hutchence’s vocals. He has that sinister sounding voice that gives a dark sounding tone to many of the songs. Track two, “Look at You” is prime evidence of this. Even with some of the more upbeat sounding songs like “Don’t Change” his voice doesn’t make the song some kind of happy pop song. Some more good examples are “Spy of Love,” “Here Comes” and “Golden Playpen.” I must also point out the saxophone playing of Kirk Pengilly on the album. I am always a bit skeptical when a band employs horns in rock but I have to say, Pengilly’s abilities are more than sufficient to pull it off here.

Track Listing:

  1. The One Thing
  2. To Look At You
  3. Spy of Love
  4. Soul Mistake
  5. Here Comes
  6. Black and White
  7. Golden Playpen
  8. Jan’s Song
  9. Old World New World
  10. Don’t Change
INXS

INXS

Garry Gary Beers- bass

Andrew Farriss- guitar, keyboards

John Farriss- drums, percussion

Tim Farriss- guitar

Michael Hutchence- vocals

Kirk Pengilly- guitar, saxophone, vocals

It has been questioned why a song by INXS, (not from this album), appears on the soundtrack to “Rock Star,” a film about a heavy metal band. Being in possession of said soundtrack, I don’t think that song is out of place on it. As the album “Shabooh Shoobah” shows, they had the potential to go in any direction. There is just enough of a rock vibe on this album to satisfy me along with some new wave creativity. On the downside, I can’t help thinking with their next album, they kind of went in the wrong direction.

Next post: The Night Before I Got Out of the Marines

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: AC/DC- Flick of the Switch

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, soundtracks, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 10, 2016 by 80smetalman

ACDC_FOTS

Once again, I’m mixed things up here and throwing in a metal album. Usually I don’t visit metal album until the second half of my journey through any given year but there are exceptional circumstances. Those of you who have been following for a while have probably guessed why I’m writing about an AC/DC album. That’s right, AC/DC tribute band Hell’s Bells are coming to town this weekend. Unfortunately, they picked the same weekend as my step-granddaughter’s christening so I won’t be able to see them this time. Therefore, as my consolation prize, I thought I’d visit their 1983 album, “Flick of the Switch.”

Hells Bells at their usual greatness

Hells Bells at their usual greatness

What kind of drugs was I on in 1983? I remember listening to some of this album and not being very impressed with it. In fact, and this is going to confirm I must have been on drugs, I rated this album below their 1985 “Fly On the Wall” album. An album most AC/DC stalwarts say was their worst. Recently, I listened to the entire album after so many years and hell, this album is pretty good. Okay, it’s not near the same level as “Back in Black” or “Highway to Hell” or even “For Those About to Rock, We Salute You,” but this is in no way, shape or form a bad album.

From the very first note, “Flick of the Switch” has everything that has made AC/DC legends for forty odd years. It has all the trademark riffs that they had been known for, the tight rhythm section of Malcolm Young, Cliff Williams and Phil Rudd. Brian Johnson’s voice hadn’t begun to suffer and he still hits some pretty good high notes on the album. The closer, “Brain Shake” is the perfect example of that. Most importantly, Angus Young still blows people away with his solos. When I hear them on the songs on this album, I don’t get that ‘it’s all been done before’ feeling. There may have been a desire to go back to rawness and their might have been in fighting between Rudd and Malcolm but AC/DC come together to put out a fine album.

You know, I can’t  find a song that I don’t like on “Flick of the Switch.” On the other hand, I find it difficult to pick ones that stand out. When I hear one track and think, “That’s pretty good,” the next one comes on and is just as good. If there is one standout track, it would have to be “Guns for Hire” and that’s only because I heard it before on the “Iron Man 2” soundtrack. Then again, “Badlands” is also a really cool song.

Track Listing:

  1. Rising Power
  2. The House is On Fire
  3. Flick of the Switch
  4. Nervous Shakedown
  5. Landslide
  6. Guns for Hire
  7. Deep in the Hole
  8. Bedlam in Belgium
  9. Badlands
  10. Brain Shake
AC/DC

AC/DC

Brian Johnson- lead vocals

Angus Young- lead guitar

Malcolm Young- rhythm guitar

Cliff Williams- bass

Phil Rudd- drums

Now that the drugs have totally cleared my system, I can say that “Flick of the Switch” isn’t the worst album by AC/DC. It’s a good, solid album that may have come too soon after their classics. On the down side, it would be during this tour that Phil Rudd would leave the band and be replaced by Englishman Simon Wright. The result would be that this band from Australia wouldn’t have any members who were actually born there.

Next post: Berlin- Pleasure Victim

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

 

 

80smetalman’s Choices for National Anthems

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

National Anthems inspire love for one’s country. Every one I’ve heard definitely does that. Some are hard driving like the US, UK or Canada while others are more somber like Japan or Wales. Even Italy’s which reminded me of a parade or Spain’s which sounds like a sixteenth century dance still can inspire love for the country. However, most national anthems are over a century old and while there’s nothing wrong with that, since they still inspire nationalistic feelings, I wonder if more modern ones could be used. See, I have come to associate certain songs by certain bands with the country they come from and that has me thinking. Maybe these songs should be national anthems for their country.

Lynyrd Skynyrd

Lynyrd Skynyrd

USA: Freebird by Lynyrd Skynyrd (I’m talking the full fifteen minute live version)

Led Zeppelin

Led Zeppelin

UK: Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin

Rush

Rush

Canada: Tom Sawyer by Rush

Bonfire

Bonfire

Germany: Proud of My Country by Bonfire

TNT

TNT

Norway- Seven Seas by TNT

Yngwie Malmsteen

Yngwie Malmsteen

Sweden- As Above, So Below by Yngwie Malmsteen

Hanoi Rocks

Hanoi Rocks

Finland- Tragedy by Hanoi Rocks

Golden Earring

Golden Earring

The Netherlands: Radar Love by Golden Earring

U2

U2

Ireland- Sunday Bloody Sunday by U2

Loudness

Loudness

Japan- Crazy Nights by Loudness

AC/DC

AC/DC

Australia- Highway to Hell by AC/DC

Note: For Brazil, it would definitely be something by Seputura and France would be a suitable song by Gojira.

While this is meant to be a little bit of fun, I’m sure some of you are cracking your knuckles and limbering your typing fingers to contribute some of your own suggestions. Well, I’m waiting.

Next post: The Scorpions- Blackout

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 Rock Albums of 1982: Men At Work- Business as Usual

Posted in 1980s, Humour, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 2, 2015 by 80smetalman

220px-Men_at_Work_-_Business_as_Usual

This is probably the closest I ever came to mainstream commercial rock or pop back in the 1980s. When I first heard the song, “Who Can It Be Now?” I found myself liking it. It was the humourous feel to it, that Men At Work didn’t seem to take themselves too seriously and that’s why I enjoyed the song so much. Furthermore, I remember the radio saying they were from Australia and any country that gives the world the likes of AC/DC, must be a great place for music.

Of course, there is no real comparison between Men At Work and AC/DC. They are two completely different styles of music. Saying that, there are quite a few AC/DC songs that have a great sense of humour, they’re just backed up with some great power chords. Men At Work are more a commercial new wave rock. Many of the songs are just simply catchy tunes and combined with some of the humourous lyrics, makes a rather potent combination.

Like so many albums in 1982, the album “Business As Usual” starts out with the most prominent hit. In this case it’s the already mentioned “Who Can It Be Now?” I can relate better to this song these days as my phone always seems to ring with calls from telemarketers. Fortunately, an answer phone works wonders but I still find myself wanting to sing the title each time it rings. Following next is “I Can See It In Your Eyes,” which has one of those catchy tunes I was talking about. However, that is followed by their second, possibly the first, biggest hit, “Down Under.” This ditty shows off the Australian sense of humour in a big way. There is some very funny lyrics in each verse and like “Who Can It Be Now?,” lead singer Colin Hay has a way to make it sound even funnier. What I find amusing though is this seems to be the only song not recorded by Jethro Tull to make such great use of a flute in a rock song.

The next several tracks continue in the sort of vein with “Helpless Automation” being a slight stand out. Then comes the track, “Be Good Johnny,” which brings back some happy memories. My marine buddies and I tried to harmonize with the chorus, of course after many beers. We tried to sing “Be good, be good” and then come in with the high pitched “Johnny.” Let’s just say I hope no one ever recorded us as that would be a good blackmail tool. “Touching the Untouchables” is also a good song and after “Catch a Star” is the closer, “Down By the Sea.” It’s not a bad song but goes on for too long in my opinion making it the one chink in the album’s armour.

Track Listing;

1. Who Can It Be Now?

2. I Can See It In Your Eyes

3. Down Under

4. Underground

5. Helpless Automation

6. People Just Love to Play With Words

7. Be Good, Johnny

8. Touching the Untouchables

9. Catch a Star

10. Down By the Sea

Men At Work

Men At Work

Greg Ham- flute, keyboards, saxophone, backing vocals, lead vocal on track 5

Colin Hay- lead vocals, guitar

John Rees- bass, backing vocals

Jerry Speiser- drums, backing vocals

Ron Strykert- guitar, backing vocals, lead vocal on track 11

Men At Work proved that Australia weren’t a one band country, even if that one band was AC/DC. “Business As Usual” is a catchy album with a great sense of humour and it easy to see why it went to number one in so many countries.

Next post: Frank Zappa- Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch

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 Shops in London