Archive for Bernie Torme

Great Metal Albums of 1983: Bernie Torme- Electric Gypsies

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 12, 2016 by 80smetalman

bernietorme_eg

For most musicians, being kicked out of a band usually spells the end for their music careers. One would have been forgiven for thinking that would have happened to guitarist Bernie Torme when he was fired by Ian Gillan from his band. It seems somebody forgot to tell that to Bernie because in 1983, he was back with a new band, sometimes referred to as the name of this album, “Electric Gypsies.”

Back in the 1980s, not many Americans heard of Bernie Torme. I only learned of him when I saw this album on a catalog, though I never bought it, silly me. It wasn’t until I got to England in 1986 when a new found friend introduced me to Bernie Torme and eventually this album. I have been grateful to this friend ever since.

“Electric Gypsies” is one hell of an album, plain and simple. With a good rhythm section behind him and bassist Everton Williams also providing vocals, Bernie Torme just shows what he can do with the guitar and so many rocking ways. “20th Century” is a pure metal tune that just belts your eardrums from the very first note. However, the next track is my all time favourite, “Lightning Strikes.” It starts out with a soft progressive metal before it gets down to business with some heavy chords. This is the first song where Bernie truly goes to town with the guitar. Hell, he doesn’t go to town, he goes to the city and countryside and a few other places with it. He just lays down the jams on this one.

I like the funky vibe on the two songs after, “Too Young” and “Call of the Wild.” Both songs have a real catchy hook on them with the added bonus of Bernie’s soloing, especially on the latter of the two. “D.I.S.E.” is nearly a speed metal track but it’s pulled off rather well. Then comes “Presence.” It starts out like it’s going to be a hippy more progressive song with a very eerie but nice sounding melody to the acoustic guitar. I still find myself wanting to lay back and absorb myself into the song wishing I had something to smoke. This is the first half of the song but even then things don’t get that much harder. Bernie’s solo is captivating with Frank Noon doing some excellent drumming in support, a very interesting song to say the least.

The last two songs bring “Electric Gypsies” out on a real high. “I Can’t Control Myself” is a party song and livens things up following its more somber predecessor and that leads to “Go Go” closing the album out. This was truly an overlooked album.

Track Listing:

  1. Wild West
  2. 20 Century
  3. Lightning Strikes
  4. Too Young
  5. Call of the Wild
  6. D.I.S.E.
  7. Presence
  8. I Can’t Control Myself
  9. Go Go
    Bernie Torme and his band

    Bernie Torme and his band

    Bernie Torme- guitar, vocals

  10. Everton Williams- bass, vocals
  11. Frank Noon- drums

Do you think that Ian Gillan ever regretted firing Bernie Torme? Probably not but for Bernie, it gave him the opportunity to put out a kick ass album in 1983. Have a listen.

Next post: Manowar- Into Glory Ride

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

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

 

 

 

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Great Rock Albums of 1981: Gillan- Future Shock

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 28, 2014 by 80smetalman

220px-Future_Shock_-_Gillan

After listening to the 1981 “Future Shock” album by Gillan, I even more regret that I never listened to them back in the day. Furthermore, this album cements my belief that Gillan were the best British act not to make it big in America. Once again, I have to thank YouTube for providing with an opportunity to listen to a great album I would have otherwise missed.

Maybe it’s me but “Future Shock” seems noticeably heavier that its predecessor, “Glory Road.” I mean the first four tracks on this album really rock. While the keyboards are definitely there, they play a more subordinate role in those songs but still make them sound great along with the guitar playing of Bernie Torme. But it’s the track “Sacre Bleu” where Torme’s talents really shine through. Then there’s the cover of “New Orleans,” which is very nicely done. After “Bite the Bullet,” which again has a cool guitar solo compliments of Torme, the album slows down with the cool power ballad, “If I Sing Softly.” I’ve only heard this song twice but I’m already ranking up there with some of the other great power ballads.

At first listen, I thought the album went more progressive with the last two songs but after the second listen, I am now of the opinion that I thought wrong the first time around. While the piano work Colin Towns is brilliant on the closer “For Your Dreams,” it’s still a rocker. Of course with all the great musicianship from the members of this band, it doesn’t make anyone forget whose name is on the marquee. Through his magnificent vocals, Ian Gillan lets you know that he is the singer and further proves why he gets my vote as the greatest voice in rock and metal.

Track Listing:

1. Future Shock

2. Night Ride Out of Phoenix

3. (The Ballad Of) The Lucitania Express

4. No Laughing in Heaven

5. Sacre Bleu

6. New Orleans

7. Bite the Bullet

8. If I Sing Softly

9. Don’t Want the Truth

10. For Your Dreams

Gillan

Gillan

Ian Gillan- vocals

Bernie Torme- guitars

Colin Town- keyboards

John McCoy- bass

Mick Underwood- drums

So, we have another great album fronted by a great vocalist and a fine band behind him. It makes me wonder why I never heard any Gillan back in 1981. I can’t really blame it being in the service either. But as they say, better late than never. Just to whet your appetites a bit, further along in the tour of 1981, I will be revealing who I consider to be the best American artist not to have cracked Great Britain.

Next post: An Unexpected Surprise

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