Archive for ballads

Great Rock Albums of 1982: Michael Stanley Band- MSB

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 12, 2015 by 80smetalman

220px-This_is_the_cover_of_the_album_MSB_by_the_Michael_Stanley_Band

Here’s yet another band brought to my attention during my time in the marines. Even though the Michael Stanley band had been going since the early 1970s, they had never come to my attention. It’s probably the combination of not gaining attention in the Northeast USA and the fact they didn’t have any songs played on AM radio being the reason why. Thankfully, one of my marine buddies was into them and being 1982, it was the album “MSB” I got to hear first from them.

My first reaction upon hearing this album was to say it was straight ahead rock and roll but that would be so unfair to it. Besides, I don’t want to brandish that label around too much because there are bands out there where the label fits. Instead, “MSB” is a widely versatile album yet at the same time, the Michael Stanley Band remain true to their rock roots. Take for instance the very first song, “In Between the Lines.” The sax in the song in the song provides a jazz element sort of like the old 1979 hit “Cool Change” by the Little River Band but only much rockier. The very next track, “If You Love Me,” has a definite gospel- soul feel to it but at the same time highlights the skilled musicianship behind this band. Then come some straight forward rockers, most notably the song, “When I’m Holding You Tight,” which gets my vote for best guitar solo on the album. Things slow down a bit with the next two tracks but “Spanish Nights” is a superb ballad. The album goes back to and goes out on some very good rock tunes, most notably “Love Hurts” and “Hang Tough.” In the end, I find myself being eternally grateful that I got to hear this album then and appreciate it even more when I listen to it now.

Track Listing:

1. In Between the Lines

2. If You Love Me

3. Night by Night

4. When I Hold You Tight

5. Spanish Nights

6. One of Those Dreams

7. Love Hurts

8. Hang Tough

9. Just a Little Bit Longer

10. Take This Time

Michael Stanley Band

Michael Stanley Band

Michael Stanley- guitar, vocals

Tommy Dobeck- drums

Bob Pelander- keyboards

Greg Markasky- lead guitar

Kevin Raleigh- keyboards, vocals

Michael Gismondi- bass

Rick Bell- saxophone

I am expecting some responses along the lines of “I’ve never heard of these guys” or no response at all due to the fact of not ever having heard of them. So, the teacher in me is going to set you a little homework. The “MSB” album is easily available on Youtube. Have a listen to this album and you will see what you have been missing all of these years.

Next post: The Clash- Combat Rock

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: Charlie Daniels Band- Windows

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 29, 2015 by 80smetalman

220px-Windows_CDB_album

If there was one song whose lyrics really made me think in 1982, it was the single by the Charlie Daniels Band, “Still in Saigon.” For those unfamiliar, it’s a very haunting song about a Vietnam Veteran and his struggles with the war ten years since coming home. Two lines that still stick in my mind and even more so since I listened to the 1982 “Windows” album are:

“All the sounds of long ago will be forever in my head,

Mingled with the wounded’s cries and the silence of the dead.”

Those lyrics make me glad that while I served, I never had to fire a live round at a living target nor had any live rounds fired at me. “Still in Saigon” was the first true song that I know of that showed true sympathy to those who served in Vietnam. At the time, some thought it was a bit contradictory to their previous patriotic 1980 hit “In America.” There is nothing unpatriotic about “Still in Saigon” and if America apologised to the Vietnam Veterans for they way it treated them every day until the last veteran died, it might just be enough. For me, the song would come to mind in unfortunate circumstances a year later when my old unit got blown up in Beirut.

Like I have said many times before, one song does not make a good album but there are plenty of good ones on “Windows.” Charlie Daniels seems to go more rock than country on this album although there is the country ballad type “We Had It All One Time” there’s nothing wrong with that song. “Ragin’ Cajun” is the other known single from the album which features some fiddle playing reminiscent of the old 1979 classic, “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.” It’s a good rock hoe down. The gem in the dark for me on this album is definitely “Partyin’ Gal.” I knew a few ladies who partied like that in those days so it should be a tribute to them. It is probably the most rock of all the songs on the album. If “We Had It All One Time” is the country ballad then “Blowin’ Along With the Wind” is the rock one. It’s not a power ballad, more of a progressive one but it slots in nicely with the rest of the line up. Whether you’re country or rock or both, you can’t go wrong with “Windows.”

Track Listing:

1. Still in Saigon

2. Ain’t No Ramblers Anymore

3. The Lady in Red

4. We Had It All One Time

5. Partyin’ Gal

6. Ragin’ Cajun

7. Makes You Want To Go Home

8. Blowing Along With The Wind

9. Nashville Moon

10. The Universal Hand

Charlie Daniels Band

Charlie Daniels Band

Charlie Daniels- vocals, guitar, fiddle

Tom Crane- guitar, vocals

Joel “Taz” Di Gregorio- keyboards, vocals

Fred Edwards- drums, percussion

James W Marshall- drums, percussion

Charles Hayward- bass

One song made me think in 1982 but an entire album rocked the year away. “Windows” proved to many, especially many up North, that the Charlie Daniels Band were certainly not one hit wonders.

Next post: Johnny Van Zant- The Lat of the Wild Ones

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 1981: Eric Clapton- Another Ticket

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on April 21, 2014 by 80smetalman

220px-EricClaptonAnotherTicket

When I remembered this album by Eric Clapton in 1981, I found myself wondering why I haven’t visited any other albums he might have done in the time I have covered so far. Now, I realise that I missed both his 1978 studio album “Backless” and his tremendous 1980 live album “Just One Night.” The bad thing is that I actually listened to the live album around that time and loved it, so I have no excuse. I knew that while I journeyed through time, I would miss out the odd great album but come on. No use crying over spilled coffee, especially when “Another Ticket” is such a fine album.

The reason why I am beating myself up so much over this is that I have always been a Clapton fan and really loved what he could do with a guitar. With “Another Ticket,” he plays the old fashioned blues based rock that he built his reputation on. He does this so easily on tracks like “Something Special,” “Catch Me If You Can,” the single from the album, “I Can’t Stand It,” “Floating Under the Bridge” and his cover of the Muddy Waters classic “Blow Wind Blow.” Then there is the ballad title track, which he reminds me of the similar type of hit “Wonderful Tonight” but without all the lead guitar in between. However, he also goes slightly country with the songs “Black Rose” and “Hold Me Lord” but he manages to pull it off. I love albums where the closing track goes out with great guitar playing and “Rita Mae” ends the album exactly that way.

Track Listing:

1. Something Special

2. Black Rose

3. Blow Wind Blow

4. Another Ticket

5. I Can’t Stand It

6. Hold Me Lord

7. Floating Bridge

8. Catch Me If You Can

9. Rita Mae

Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton- lead guitar, vocals

Chris Stainton- keyboards

Albert Lee- guitar, vocals

Gary Booker- keyboards, vocals

Henry Spinetti- drums, percussion

Dave Markee- bass

Most sane people in the world will agree that Eric Clapton is one of the greatest guitarists in the history of guitarists. I know we may know one or two that we consider better and that’s cool. But whenever great guitarists get mentioned, Eric Clapton is definitely one that gets mentioned in that group. “Another Ticket” shows why he does.

Next post: Meatloaf- Dead Ringer

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of the 70s: KISS- Destroyer

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 25, 2011 by 80smetalman

If there are any albums which I can site as being an album that converted me to metal, this would definitely be one of them. I wasn’t quite fifteen when this album came out and it would be a few months after its initial release before I actually heard any of it, but when I did, I was hooked. Before, I heard this album, my idea of hard rock was Bachman Turner Overdrive but KISS’s “Destroyer” album completely blew me away. This was in spite of my religious upbringing and some people trying to tell me that KISS were admitted Satan worshippers.

Track Listing:

1. Detroit Rock City

2. King of the Nighttime World

3. God of Thunder

4. Great Expectations

5. Flamming Youth

6. Sweet Pain

7. Shout It Out Loud

8. Beth

9. Do You Love Me

10. Rock and Roll Party

“Detroit Rock City” became a show opener for KISS for nearly the next ten years. I saw them in 85 and have the video of their 1984 tour and they opened both concerts with this song. Upon hearing it, I can definitely see why and is also why I include lyrics from the song in “Rock And Roll Children.” Of course the album includes the ballad Beth which, as I mentioned in previous postings, is the song that young rockers like me played to their girlfriends in the hopes it would lead to paradise.

KISS:

Paul Stanley- rhythm guitar, vocals

Gene Simmons- bass, vocals

Ace Frehley- lead guitar, vocals

Peter Criss- drums, vocals

While KISS would dominate rock throughout the rest of the decade and go on to be a chief influence for many of the 80s metal bands, I’m afraid my religious affiliations would prevent me from getting into more of their music after this. However, although fear of hellfire at the time didn’t allow me to admit it, this album would always stick in my mind and be a big influence on me. But it just wasn’t me, many other great bands have covered songs from this album including Iced Earth, White Zombie and even Nirvana. But my favourite cover is Hammerfall’s cover of “Detroit Rock City.” If anyone wants to know where it all began, this album was one of the doorways.

Next Post: Led Zepplin: Physical Graffiti

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Other Great Metal Ballads

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 20, 2011 by 80smetalman

Like I said in the last post, it is a common belief that every metal band has their “token” ballad. This is true with many of them, although I still wouldn’t say that to any fans of Exodus. This next list is more of those great ballads. These aren’t necessary love songs. I mean I wouldn’t play “Community Property” by Steel Panther if I were going for seduction. Same with Kansas, according to Family Guy, you only listen to this one when you are walking the streets in deep contemplation. Anyway, enough of me, here’s the list and a few piccies.

  • Kansas- Dust In The Wind
  • Lionsheart- Flights of Angels
  • Anthrax- Nice F*cking Ballad
  • Dogs D’Amour- How Come It Never Rains
  • Warrior Soul- We Cry Out
  • Dio- This Is Our Life
  • Black Sabbath- Too Late
  • TNT- Eddie
  • Bonfire- Good Night Amanda
  • Stryper- Together As One
  • Heart- Allies
  • Von Groove- Arian
  • Vaughn- Paradise Ain’t Home
  • Pretty Maids- With These Eyes
  • Rainbow- Rainbow Eyes
  • Westworld- Suicide
  • Megadeth- A Tout Le Monde (not exactly a ballad, but it is the closest they will ever come to one
  • Tesla- Sail Away
  • Night Ranger- Sister Christian
  • Steel Panther- Community Property

I know there are probably hundreds more I can list here, so if you have your own ideas what should be included, let me know. Knowing me, I proabably missed some obvious ones.

Next post: Great Rock Albums of the 70s, Boston

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Great Metal Love Songs

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 14, 2011 by 80smetalman

Much has been said about metal love songs as of late. In fact, the Kerrang Channel recently played what was considered the greatest fifty power ballads. I didn’t watch as much as I would have liked but I could agree with some of the songs, although I personally wouldn’t call “How You Remind Me” by Nickelback a love song or even a ballad, but everyone has different ideas to what a ballad is.

It has been often said that every heavy metal band has its token ballad, although I don’t think anyone would dare say that to Exodus and a few like minded bands. As I’m beginning to mellow with age, well just a liittle, I have been taking more notice of some of these softer songs. Today I’m going to list the ones that I think most metalhead males play to their female counterparts in the hopes it will get them laid.

                                       

  • KISS- Beth
  • Motley Crue- Home Sweet Home
  • Poison- Every Rose Has Its Thorn
  • Def Leppard- When Love And Hate Collide
  • Guns and Roses- November Rain
  • Jouney- Open Arms
  • Rush- Closer To the Heart
  • Twisted Sister- You’re Not Alone (Suzette’s Song)
  • TNT- Lost Without Your Love
  • Twisted Sister- The Price
  • Thunder- A Better Man
  • Extreme- More Than Words
  • Little Angels- I Ain’t Gonna Cry
  • Aerosmith- I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing
  • The Scorpions- Winds of Change (Yes I know its about the collapse of the Berlin Wall, but a lot of ladies still like it)
  • Def Leppard- Love Bites
  • Nazereth- Love Hurts
  • Slade- My Oh My
  • April Wine- Just Between You and Me
  • Tyketto- Standing Alone
  • Pretty Boy Floyd- I Wanna Be With You
  • Mass- Do You Love Me

  • Metallica- Nothing Else Matters
  • LA Guns- Ballad of Jane
  • Danger Danger- One Step From Paradise
  • Nelson- Love and Affection
  • Dokken- Alone Again
  • Crystal Ball- Silence of the Night
  • Alice Cooper- You and Me
  • Alice Cooper- I’ll Never Cry
  • Alice Cooper- Only Women Bleed
  • Heart- Alone
  • The Scorpions- Still Loving You
  • Def Leppard- Bringing On the Heartbreak
  • Heart- These Dreams
  • Whitesnake- Here I Go Again
  • Steelheart- I’ll Never Let You Go
  • Thin Lizzy- I’m Still In Love With You

Obviously, this list is in no means exhaustive and there are probably many more songs you metalheads play to your girlfriends in order to seduce them. Please, let me know your favourites.

Next post: Other metal ballads

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