Archive for Beyond the Valley of the 1984

Great Metal Albums of 1981: The Plasmatics- Metal Priestess

Posted in 1980s, Death, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 12, 2014 by 80smetalman

220px-Metalpriestess

Before I launch into this great mini LP or EP or whatever you want to call it from The Plasmatics, I must give forewarning that I might not be posting very much over the next three or four weeks due to family problems. My father in law passed away last week and the funeral is on Wednesday which means we will make the 200 mile trip to Grimsby on the Tuesday. I know for Americans, that distance is just a Sunday drive. The following week, I’m off to the States to visit my mother who I haven’t seen in eight years and hasn’t been well since her accident Christmas time. I know, I’ll get plenty of time to hang with old friends and my brother and sister but I can’t be sure of how much computer time I will get. I have always endeavored to post twice a week here but please bear with me if I can’t post that many times over the next few weeks. Thank you.

The best way to bring us out of the melancholy feeling I’ve just produced is to look at an album that has been left out of the spotlight for so many years. “Metal Priestess” was made because of the success with The Plasmatics’ previous album “Beyond the Valley of the 1984.” The producer, Dan Hartman, (you may have heard of him) thought that the band should have something to build on that success and since a full length album wasn’t on the cards at the time, the six song “Metal Priestess” was made. There may have been only six songs on the album but wow! What great six songs they are proving that quality is sometimes better than quantity. Each song is an explosion of pure metal mania. Things begin with an impressive guitar opening in “Lunacy” and those guitars dominate but it’s the voice of Wendy O. Williams that gives it the extra edge. Her sinister sounding vocals give meaning to the title of the song. That combination works equally as well on the track “Black Leather Monster” and I love the beginning of “Twelve Noon” as well. It too is a brilliant song and the live recording of “Masterplan” as the closer was stroke of genius for this LP. If you want a pure metal album from 1981 and that’s exactly what this album is, pure metal, there are few which are better than “Metal Priestess.”

In the past and even more so in the future, I have paid and will pay tribute to rock goddesses and metal queens. I have already mentioned such important ladies as Pat Benatar, Debbie Harry, Ann and Nancy Wilson, Grace Slick and even the first true queen of rock Janis Joplin. Future posts will include lovely ladies like Lee Aaron, Lita Ford and Doro Pesch. However, when any of these queens are mentioned, the name Wendy O. Williams seems to be missed out and to me that is a travesty. Speaking as red blooded male, Wendy is just as hot as any of the ladies I’ve just mentioned, hell, look at the album cover. And vocally she’s no less talented. So let’s give Wendy to adoration she so richly deserves when we talk about the great females who have contributed so greatly to our beloved genre of music.

Track Listing:

1. Lunacy

2. Doom Song

3. Sex Junkie

4. Black Leather Monster

5. Twelve Noon

6. Master Plan

The Plasmatics

The Plasmatics

Wendy O. Williams- vocals

Richie Stotts- lead guitars

Wes Beach- rhythm guitars

Jean Bouvoir- bass

Neal Smith- drums

Proof that sometimes less if more, the six songs on “Metal Priestess” can all be counted as great metal tunes. I rocked out to each one of them when I listened to it. Another album from a band that didn’t last longer into the 80s and this album as the previous has me asking why. Maybe I’ll get the answer further down the line.

Next post: TBA

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Great Punk Albums of 1981: The Plasmatics- Beyond the Valley of 1984

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 18, 2014 by 80smetalman

Beyond-the-valley-of-1984

During the mid 1980s, I was asked by some non-officianados of metal what was the difference between punk and metal. My response at the time was that metal musicians could play their instruments better. Yes, I know that was a very ignorant statement and I would gladly travel back in time and slap myself across the fact for saying it. The Plasmatics were and still are considered a punk rock band but after listening to their 1981 “Beyond the Valley of  1984,” I concede that I was dead wrong about punk bands having limited playing talent. This band can definitely play.

First of all, I would never expect a band who couldn’t play to begin their album with a complex sounding instrumental but that is exactly what “Incarnation” is. However after that, they launch into a full scale attack with the anti-right wing song “Masterplan,” which definitely gets the heart pumping. You only get a quick breather afterwards, just long enough for lead singer Wendy O. Williams to say “Come on all you head bangers,” before you are once again assaulted by the song of similar name. “Headbanger” does exactly what it says on the tin, it gets your head banging. That song isn’t the only one where Wendy entices you with a cool spoken intro. She does the same with “Fast Food Service” where she says, “If going all the way ain’t right, honey let me out tonight” before the band launches into a Ramones style one, two, three go power surge and though it only lasts less than a minute and a half, you are fulfilled at the end. But Miss Williams is more than just a smooth talker of lines, this album demonstrates that she can sign too.

“Hit Man,” “Living Dead” and “Sex Junkie” are all great tunes and are followed by the piste de resistance. If there was any doubt about the playing ability of the Plasmatics, it is smashed to bits with “Plasma Jam.” This live recording is simply killer and has me asking why isn’t Richie Stotts mentioned along with other great lead guitarists. Fortunately “Plasma Jam” is simply the climax and not the conclusion. That comes with the closing song “Pig is a Pig” which starts out with another Wendy speech ripping on journalists. Fair dues I say.

Track Listing:

1. Incarnation

2. Masterplan

3. Headbanger

4. Summer Nite

5. Nothing

6. Fast Food Service

7. Hit Man

8. Living Dead

9. Sex Junkie

10. Plasma Jam

11. Pig is a Pig

The Plasmatics

The Plasmatics

Wendy O. Williams- lead vocals, chainsaw

Wes Beech- rhythm guitar

Richie Stotts- lead guitar

Jean Beauvoir- bass, piano, synthesizers

Neal Smith- drums, percussion

In the mid 80s, punk and metal would have a love child named thrash but more said on that at the appropriate time. However, The Plasmatics were definitely one of the donors to that union as can be heard from this album “Beyond the Valley of 1984”

Next post: The Dead Kennedys- In God We Trust Inc

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