Archive for ballads

Great Rock Albums of 1985: Foreigner- Agent Provocateur

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 25, 2018 by 80smetalman

While in 1985, most of the world was excited about Foreigner releasing their first studio in nearly four years, I was a little skeptical. My skepticism was based on the logic that my final memories from Foreigner “4” was their famous ballad, “Waiting for a Girl Like You” and when my introduction to the new “Agent Provocateur” album was another ballad, I concluded that Foreigner had gone the way of REO Speedwagon and was simply content to achieve commercial success through ballads. No matter how good everyone thought “I Want to Know What Love Is” and it is a good song, I had prematurely drawn the conclusion that the new album would be mainly ballads and that Foreigner had foregone their hard rock roots which had brought them so much success in the past.

Fortunately, my sister did buy the album and gave me a listen to it and my skepticism was removed. Let me be frank, in my mind, “Agent Provocateur” comes nowhere close to classics like my personal favourite, “Double Vision,” but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad album. True, there are more ballads on here than I would have liked, the previously mentioned single and “That Was Yesterday,” another song which brought Foreigner top 40 success. Plus, “Growing Up the Hard Way,” while not a ballad is over done with the synthesizer and I can’t help thinking how much better that song would have been if there was a stronger power chord from a guitar on it. However, there is evidence a plenty on “Agent Provocateur” to show that the band hadn’t totally forgotten where they came from.

Opening track, “Tooth and Nail” dispels any ideas that “Agent Provocateur” is going to be an album of ballads. It does its job of hooking the listener and is a good steady rock track. Even though the next three tracks after are the ballads and synth pop singles, one doesn’t lose interest as that opening tracks gives hope that there is more like that on the album. “Reaction to Action” does exactly that and it has the best guitar solo on the album. Therefore, it’s awarded the hidden gem for the album. I have a theory about the track “Stranger in My Own House.” I theorize that Lou Gramm and Mick Jones worried that people like me would think this album would be chuck full of ballads, so they recorded this song with that in mind. “Stranger in My Own House” is a good hard rocking track, probably the hardest on the album with another cool guitar solo. But I think they try too hard to be hard rock with Gramm doing more screaming than singing. While it’s a cool track, I want to say to Lou, “Relax man, you don’t have to prove you can still rock.”

“A Love in Vain” may return to the ballads but there is some good keyboards work on the track and a little guitar making a good 70s style progressive rock sounding song. Maybe that one should have been released as a single as it’s better than it successor, “Down on Love” which was. This one, while not bad, has too much of an 80s synth pop sound for me. “Two Different Worlds” is a definite ballad and it sort of combines the previous two tracks without the synth pop which is replaced with a decent guitar solo. That leaves the closer, “She’s Too Tough,” and though it brings the album full circle, the song reminds me too much of the Kenny Loggins single, “Danger Zone.”

Track Listing:

  1. Tooth and Nail
  2. That Was Yesterday
  3. I Want to Know What Love Is
  4. Growing Up the Hard Way
  5. Reaction to Action
  6. Stranger in My Own House
  7. A Love in Vain
  8. Down on Love
  9. Two Different Worlds
  10. She’s Too Tough

Foreigner

Lou Gramm- lead vocals, percussion

Mick Jones- guitar, synthesizer, keyboards, backing vocals

Rick Wills- bass, backing vocals

Dennis Elliot- drums

Like with Heart, the question here is, “Was Agent Provocateur” a sell out album for Foreigner?” Okay, they did have a number one single on it and while I might not think so, many other people out there did and it’s probably why it didn’t sell as big as some of their previous. My belief on the lack of sales was that Foreigner were trying to be all thing to all people and in a 1980s society which like to put things into nice neat categories, that didn’t sit well.

Next post: Marillion- Misplaced Childhood

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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80sMetalman’s Top 30 Power Ballads: 1-10

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 23, 2018 by 80smetalman

The moment of truth has arrived! I am going to real my all time top ten power ballads. Before I do, let me just thank you for all of your comments and for simply enjoying the ride. While sitting down actually figuring out my top 30 was more exhausting than I had anticipated, it was still great fun. Think of all the songs I got to listen to. I know some of you might be a little disappointed that a power ballad you really love didn’t make the list but believe me, there were so many to choose from. Pity poor Ozzy, he has delivered many a great power ballad but not one of them made my list. It’s not that I didn’t want to include him, my favourite Ozzy power ballad, “In Old LA Tonight” from the “Osmosis” album came pretty damn close. Maybe if he preforms it at Download, I may change my mind. Anyway, enough of me rambling on, here’s my top ten.

10. Dokken- Alone Again

9. TNT- Eddie

8. Beggars and Thieves- Your Love is in Vain

7. Steel Panther- Community Property

I can see with lyrics like these why some people don’t take SP seriously but this is a kick ass power ballad!

6. Tyketto- Standing Alone

Another reason why Danny Vaughn doesn’t get the accolades he so truly deserves as a singer.

5. Pretty Maids- With These Eyes

4. Twisted Sister- The Price

For me, this song put the power in the ballad!

3. Savatage- All That I Bleed

I had to do some complicated math to include this one. The first half of it is a piano ballad while the second half completely rocks. So I applied the formula ballad + power rocker = power ballad

2. April Wine- Just Between You and Me

Go back and re-read my post on their 1981 album, “Nature of the Beast” and you’ll see why it’s number two.

  1. Heart- Allies

Heart would put out two more commercially successful power ballads later on in the 1980s. However, in my mind, they would never be as good as this one, not even close.

There you have it, 80sMetalman’s top thirty power ballads. I hope you have enjoyed listening to them as much as I have.

Next post: A Great Unknown Philadelphia Band

To download Rock and Roll Children for free, go to: http://allkindlecloud.com/register/14510967-Rock_and_Roll_Children_pdf_premi.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

80sMetalman’s Top 30 Power Ballads: 11-20

Posted in Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 20, 2018 by 80smetalman

It figures that once I embarked on this massive project, there would be power ballads from my past which really liked but forgot about because of time. Since my last post two have come to light in my mind. Now I know how Sam Beckett must have felt like in Quantum Leap with the Swiss cheese brain. One of them, “I Believe In You” by Y&T, was one but would have only made the lower twenties. The other I have put it jointly with another on the upcoming list. Thing about this one is that this band has already had an entry and though the one from the previous list was commercially more popular, I prefer the the ballad on today’s post to that one. Anyway, here’s 11-20!

20. Def Leppard- Bringing On the Heartbreak

19. Pretty Boy Floyd- I Want to Be With You

18. Danger Danger- One Step From Paradise

17. Von Groove- Arianne

16. Warrant- Glimmer

15. Poison- Every Rose Has Its Thorn

I know I take the piss out of this song a lot but I secretly really kind of like it.

(Joint) 14. The Scorpions- Still Loving You

Yep, you guessed it! This was the other one I had forgotten about. Call me weird but I prefer this one to “Winds of Change.”

(Joint) 14. Metallica- Nothing Else Matters

13. Asphalt Ballet- Wasted Time

12. Steelheart- I’ll Never Let You Go

11. Little Angels- I Ain’t Gonna Cry

There are probably other great power ballads I had forgotten about and you can feel free to put them forward but I must tell you, my top ten is set in stone. In the meantime, you got 11 great power ballads to rock out to.

Next post: 1-10

To get Rock and Roll Children for free, go to: https://crreadac.cf/current/ebooks-free-download-rock-and-roll-children-fb2-by-michael-d-lefevre.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1984: Chicago- 17

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 6, 2017 by 80smetalman

I’d like to thank Rich for this one. If he hadn’t posted about Chicago’s 11th album from 1977, I would not have remember that the band had a really good album in 1984. Thank you Rich for jogging my memory here. Once my memory got into full swing, I remember that there was a song on this album I really liked. That was the opening track, “Stay the Night,” which I remember most because of the very amusing video got played quite a bit on MTV during the summer.

Reflections from my old age, I now realize that Chicago deserves more credit for “17” than what they actually received. There were two camps in 1984. Most bands were either going down the synth pop road or heading in a more harder direction. Chicago didn’t go down either road. Instead, they stuck with the same formula that made them so successful throughout the 1970s. Their fusion of soft rock and jazz influences work just as well on this album as they had on all of their previous ones. That is precisely why Chicago was my ‘not guilty pleasure’ in the mid 1980s.

Proof of what I’m talking about can be traced to the success of “17.” There were four singles, including my favourite track mentioned above, the best known of these was the ballad, “Hard Habit to Break.” Sure, it’s no where near a heavy metal power ballad but it’s a good song anyway. Just as successful was the track “You’re My Inspiration” which did just as well in the singles charts as “Hard Habit to Break.” The fourth single is probably the hardest rock song on the album, “Along Comes a Woman.” Guitarists Bill Champlin and Chris Pinnick deliver on the guitar on the track and the other instruments do well in support. It has a definite catchy vibe and that makes it my second favourite track. Of course, it wouldn’t be me if there weren’t any non single songs on the album to like. “We Can Stop the Hurting” takes the prize here as it is a definite reminder that Chicago were not about to compromise with their sound. “Remember the Feeling” does come closer to being a power ballad as there is some hard guitar in the background and a fairly decent solo on it. With some really great tracks to close, this album was just like anything you found on any Chicago album throughout the band’s history.

Track listing:

  1. Stay the Night
  2. We Can Stop the Hurtin’
  3. Hard Habit to Break
  4. Only You
  5. Remember the Feeling
  6. Along Comes a Woman
  7. You’re My Inspiration
  8. Please Hold On
  9. Prima Donna
  10. Once in a Lifetime

Chicago

Peter Cetera- bass, lead and backing vocals

Bill Champlin- guitars, keyboards, lead and backing vocals

Robert Lamm- keyboards, lead and backing vocals

Lee Loughnane- trumpet

James Pankow- trombone, horn arrangements

Walter Perazaider- woodwinds

Chris Pinick- guitar

Danny Seraphine- drums

The reason why I considered Chicago to be my not guilty pleasure from the 1980s was down to the fact that by then, I was a total metalhead. Chicago are definitely not metal but I’ve always liked their softer version of rock, especially in the 70s. So there was no reason why I shouldn’t have carry it over into the next decade.

Next post: Roger Hodgson- In the Eye of the Storm

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1507309311&sr=8-3&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1984: Steve Perry- Street Talk

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 28, 2017 by 80smetalman

If I were one of those types of persons who bought or didn’t buy an album because of the single, then I wouldn’t have bought the first solo album from Journey’s singer, Steve Perry, “Street Talk.” Now, I’m not saying that “Oh Sherrie” was a rubbish song, it’s not. What it is is a rather catchy AOR pop song and it’s little wonder that it reached number three on Billboard charts. However, that big single is not typical of the rest of the “Street Talk” album.

“Oh Sherrie” is the opener on the album and that’s not a surprise. Like I said, it’s not a bad song. On the other hand, if I had anything to say, I would have put the second track, “I Believe” as the opener. This is a funky jam which stretches Steve’s voice to its full potential. This is the song that wakes you up and says that you’re going to listen to this album and like it. The following track, “Go Away,” combines the first two songs. There is that 80s synth influence of “Oh Sherrie” in the back ground but it goes to the funky vibe of “I Believe.” The song works and has a decent guitar solo. However, the next track, “Foolish Heart,” is a definite ballad, sung in a lounge act style. While, it’s not my cup of tea, you can’t fault Mr Perry’s vocals on it.

There are some rockers on the album as well and that begins with “It’s Only Love.” Steve shows that he’s still the rock singer he was with Journey. There are some good guitars to enjoy on it too. An even better rocker is “You Should Be Happy.” This even has a cool guitar lick at the intro and is for sure, a straight ahead rocker. It’s definitely in the top two for my favourite track on the album. Love the power chords in the middle of the song. Even though, it starts out like it’s going to be another ballad, “She’s Mine” turns out to be a quiet little rocker as well. “Running Alone” is a ballad, no questions asked but okay since it turns into a power ballad later in the song. “Captured By the Moment” is a good rocker with a cool guitar solo. However, the song, I’ve always liked is the closer and third single, “Strung Out.” When I first heard it, I thought “This is more me.” And it takes the album out on a high.

Track Listing:

  1. Oh Sherrie
  2. I Believe
  3. Go Away
  4. Foolish Heart
  5. It’s Only Love
  6. She’s Mine
  7. You Should Be Happy
  8. Running Alone
  9. Captured by the Moment
  10. Strung Out

Steve Perry

Steve Perry- vocals

Craig Krampf, Larrie Londin- drums, percussion

Bob Glaub, Chuck Domanico, Kevin McCormick, Brian Garofalo- bass

Michael Landau, Waddy Watchel, Craig Hull, Billy Steele- guitars

Steve Goldstein, Sterling Smith, Bill Cuomo, Billy Goodrum, Duane Hitchings, Robert Greenridge- keyboards

Journey might have been taking a break in 1984 but Steve Perry wasn’t. “Street Talk” is proof of that. This was a good album for him, whether or not you liked “Oh Sherrie.”

Next Post: Dennis De Young- Desert Moon

Note: The link for Rock and Roll Children no longer works but it is still available on Amazon.com and other books websites and at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1983: Kix- Cool Kids

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 3, 2016 by 80smetalman

220px-kix-coolkids

In some circles, it’s been said that American rockers, Kix, were the first of the glam rock, hair metal movement. While I won’t enter that debate, I do remember that when I first saw their photo in 1983, I wanted to grow my hair like them after having to wear a crew cut during my four years of service to my country. However, I heard their music before I saw what they looked like in the form of the single from the 1983, “Cool Kids” album, “Body Talk.” It got enough radio play to catch my interest although I’m glad I don’t recall seeing the cheesy video for it where the band cavorts with ladies in full workout garb.

“Body Talk” isn’t the best song on the album and apparently, Kix only recorded the song to appease their label. However, the rest of “Cool Kids” is better. Even the first two tracks, which sounds in similar mode to the single are better and the title track is better of those two. “Love Pollution” is the first true metal song on the album in my view but it’s sandwiched between songs that are not. “Body Talk” follows right after and even after thirty-three years, I still don’t know what to make of “Loco-Emotion.”

The second half of “Cool Kids” makes up for the faults of the first half. “Mighty Mouth” is a good rocking tune that starts off with a scream from lead singer, Steve Whiteman, which I don’t know how seriously I should take. Still the song does rock! It also turns the album up a gear and progresses throughout the remainder of the album. “Nice on the Ice” and “Get Your Monkeys Out” are both good tracks. I do smile at the opening line to “Get Your Monkeys Out,” which goes: “I live in the jungle” and the line from the chorus, “You got to let your monkeys out.” Then things go slower with a country sounding ballad, “For Shame.” This song is so country sounding that I found an acoustic version of this song on Youtube. I even want to do a “Yee hah!” during the guitar solo on it. However, I don’t think the band is serious on the song. Fortunately, things return to more metal pastures with the closer, “Restless Blood,” which sounds to me like fore runner to one of Kix’s best know songs, “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah.” Maybe it’s the “hey, hey, hey” that’s sung several times in the song that makes me think that. Still, “Restless Blood” does conclude things on a positive note, even with the slow down part in the middle of the song because that’s rapidly followed by the best guitar solo on the album. A great way to end!

Track Listing:

  1. Burning Love
  2. Cool Kids
  3. Love Pollution
  4. Body Talk
  5. Loco-Emotion
  6. Mighty Mouth
  7. Nice on Ice
  8. Get Your Monkeys Out
  9. For Shame
  10. Restless Blood
Kix

Kix

Steve Whitemann- lead vocals, harmonica, saxophone

Brad Divens- guitar, backing vocals, talk box

Brian ‘Damage’ Forsythe- guitars

Donnie Purnell- bass, backing vocals, keyboards

Jimmy ‘Chocolate’ Chalfant- drums, percussion, backing vocals, co-lead vocal on “Body Talk”

Kix got my attention in 1983 and though I can’t say that I’ve always been a die hard fan, I know that the “Cool Kids” album is cool. Although I did try, I couldn’t quite grow my hair like any of them.

Next post: Hanoi Rocks- Back to Mystery City

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: Journey- Frontiers

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 7, 2016 by 80smetalman

220px-Jfrontiers

Many a person, myself included, after hearing the “Frontiers” album by Journey back in 1983, came to the conclusion that they had gone too commercial with the album. Some of those same people further argued that the descent down that slippery slope actually started with their previous album, “Escape” two years prior and that “Frontiers” was just a natural progression down that slope. While I won’t rack my brain nor strain my typing fingers worrying when Journey went too commercial, I do know that when I heard this album, it didn’t make me forget about all about their earlier harder albums.

With all of the above said, “Frontiers” doesn’t suck. Sure it’s a come down and I wouldn’t debate anyone who said it was a sell out (though I wouldn’t debate anyone who said it wasn’t either) but it’s not a bad album at all. I think what Journey tried to do was to be more modern but trying to keep their more hard rock following. Many of the songs on the album have the potential to be real rockers and Neil Schon hammers out some cool guitar solos on them but where there might be a hard guitar, it is masked by the keyboards. The opener and first single, “Separate Ways” bears testimony to that fact. I mean if they had just let the hard guitar alone and had the keyboards play a more supportive role, I would have head banged away to it big time instead of just shrugging my shoulders and saying, “it’s okay,” when I heard it. The next three tracks follow in this mode. The potential for a good hard rock song is there with them but the keyboards drown them out and while none of those songs are in any way bad, I just don’t feel they live up to their potential. Of those four, “Chain Reaction” is my favourite.

It wouldn’t be a Journey album if there wasn’t at least one power ballad on it and “Faithfully” fits the bill perfectly. As far as Journey material goes, that song is as good or better than any of their other power ballads, save “Open Arms” but that has sentimental meaning for me. It is post ballad that the album begins to get interesting. “Edge of the Blade” is the first true rocker on the album for me. With that song, I finally start head banging away and Schon’s solo is just killer. The next track, “Troubled Child” is more in line with the first four songs but the difference is I think that song was meant to be more of a progressive/hard rock song. It does sound good and it leads to the last three songs taking the album out on a more harder sounding note. In fact, “Back Talk” might sound good metalized and “Rubicon” is a hard enough closer to almost cancel out my feelings about the first four songs.

Track Listing:

  1. Separate Ways
  2. Send Her My Love
  3. Chain Reaction
  4. After the Fall
  5. Faithfully
  6. Edge of the Blade
  7. Troubled Child
  8. Back Talk
  9. Frontiers
  10. Rubicon
Journey

Journey

Steve Perry- vocals

Neil Schon- guitar, vocals

Jonathan Cain- keyboards, vocals

Ross Valory- bass, vocals

Steve Smith- drums, percussion, vocals

Now I sense that some of you are flexing your fingers ready to respond about how commercially successful the “Frontiers” album was. I grant that and I have to give Journey total credit. For all my bitching about them being too commercial, they can still pull off a decent album with it. Nevertheless, I still have this craving to pop on “Wheel in the Sky” and crank it.

Next post: Joan Armatrading- The Key

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