Archive for Black Sabbath

Great Metal Albums of 1983: Virgin Steele- Guardians of the Flame

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 9, 2017 by 80smetalman

220px-virgin_steele_guardians_of_the_flame

Virgin Steele’s 1982 debut album might have passed me by, (I blame being in the service at the time), but their second album, “Guardians of the Flame,” didn’t. I have a friend of my sister’s to thank for that because she was a big Virgin Steele fan. It was this album that she played on cassette in her car one day and the rest was history.

What hooked me straight away is that my all time favourite Virgin Steele song is the opener on “Guardians of the Flame.” “Don’t Say Goodbye Tonight” is one of those with a fast catchy beat that hooks you immediately. One can’t helped to headbang away to this tune. It is helped by the guitar work of Jack Starr, then the entire album is as well, and the rhythm section sounds the tightest on this song. What’s best is that lead singer, David DeFeis doesn’t try so much to be Joe Cool metal singer on it. His vocals are good enough but his attempts at high screams have always been off putting for me. He doesn’t do that on “Don’t Say Goodbye Tonight.”

DeFeis does those things on the next two tracks but fortunately, Starr’s guitar work cancels out the screams and makes those songs enjoyable. Maybe he gets the hint by track four because he doesn’t scream on “The Redeemer” making it a strong, powerful track. I sense a little Black Sabbath influence here and done well. The song is seven minutes long but a lot of that is Jack laying down the jams, so it’s a very enjoyable track.

Following a brief instrumental is the title cut. It begins like any other straight forward Virgin Steele metal tune but then in the middle, it goes totally progressive rock. I mean that when I listen to this part, I could be listening to Emerson, Lake and Palmer. However, it works with the second longest song on the album, just shy of seven minutes. You got to give them credit for having the balls to stretch out a bit here and credit where do for pulling it off. Again, Jack Starr has an influence on it too.

Things go back to more power metal after that with three really strong metal tracks. Then the album closes with the ballad like, “A Cry in the Night.” Using a ballad as a closer is always risky but there is a great guitar solo towards the end that helps to take the song out in very good way and has me making mental notes to listen to it again.

Track Listing:

  1. Don’t Say Goodbye Tonight
  2. Burn the Sun
  3. Life of Crime
  4. The Redeemer
  5. Birth Through Fire
  6. Guardians of the Flame
  7. Metal City
  8. Hell or High Water
  9. Go All the Way
  10. A Cry in the Night
Virgin Steele

Virgin Steele

David DeFies- vocals, keyboards

Jack Starr- guitar

Joe O’Reilly- bass

Joey Avazian- drums

I was impressed by the second album from Virgin Steele, “Guardians of the Flame” and I would seek out their later material. So what I ask myself is why I never got their debut album. If any of you can shed light on whether I’ve committed a travesty or had a lucky escape by not listening to it, I would be very grateful.

Next post: Waysted- Vices

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

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Great Metal Albums of 1983: Quiet Riot- Mental Health

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 16, 2016 by 80smetalman

220px-metalhealthquietriot

Here’s one reason why I was so excited about music in the Autumn of 1983. In the months leading up to when my household finally acquired MTV, we were still relying on the late night, half hour programme called “Video Rock” for our television musical feed. One video got a lot of play on that show, though I liked it and the song from the very first viewing. Sorry, no 80smetalman points for guessing it because I think you all know that it was “Cum On Feel the Noize” by Quiet Riot. Seeing this video and hearing the song, sometimes on radio, it was no wonder I was so pumped up when I went to see them open for Black Sabbath in the November. Black Sabbath/Quiet Riot is definitely in my top ten of concerts I’ve seen in my life. However, I didn’t have to buy the album, “Mental Health” back then because my sister did. Of course, I borrowed it quite a lot.

Some misguided rock officianadoes, at least they think they are, have marked Quiet Riot as one hit wonders because later albums weren’t as commercially successful as “Mental Health” and the follow up single, “Mental Health,” only reached 31 in the charts. Hey, who gives a stuff about that? Obviously, these so-called experts never sat down and listened to the album because if they had, they would have been completely blown away. I know I was.

While the two singles lead the album, there are so many great metal tunes on it and a couple I wouldn’t call metal but are good nonetheless. Take “Don’t Wanna Let You Go” for example. There is definitely a funk infusion on this song that is definitely not metal but is good anyway. Plus there’s the tribute song to the late Randy Rhoads, “Thunderbird.” It is slow and there is a piano in it but I think Randy would have still approved of it. Another observation is that lead singer Kevin DuBrow’s singing style is the same on those two songs as well as the more metal ones on the album. In fact, I think he would sound the same if he sang country/western.

What raises “Mental Health” to the precipice it stands upon is the great metal tunes on here. Everyone I know agrees that “Slick Black Cadillac” is a great metal tune and the harmonizing is done so well. I can hear a Black Sabbath vibe in “Life’s a Bitch” at the beginning of the song while “Breathless” is a straight forward in your face metal tune as is “Run For Cover.” “Let’s Get Crazy” goes more on the anthem side of things but trust me, when they played it live, it had me ready to jump out of my seat. Guitarist Carlos Carvazo is more than sufficient throughout the album but he does get his time to shine on “Battleaxe.” As far as I can remember, this was the second time I heard a track where the guitarist was just given the chance to show his stuff and Carlos rises to the occasion. “Eruption” was the first.

Track Listing:

  1. Mental Health (Bang Your Head)
  2.    Cum On Feel the Noize
  3. Don’t Wanna Let You Go
  4. Slick Black Cadillac
  5. Life’s a Bitch
  6. Breathless
  7. Run For Cover
  8. Battleaxe
  9. Let’s Get Crazy
  10. Thunderbird
Quiet Riot

Quiet Riot

Kevin Dubrow- lead vocals

Carlos Carvazo- guitar, backing vocals

Rudy Sarzo- bass, synthesizer

Frankie Banali- drums, backing vocals

Not only was did “Mental Health” propel Quiet Riot onto the metal and commercial world stage, it gave a  famous British band from the 1970s its big break in the US. Once people learned that “Cum On Feel the Noize” was originally recorded by Slade, many people like myself investigated said band further. That would mean big things for Slade with their next album, which I’ll get to in time. Besides, Mrs 80smetalman met Slade back in 1979. Like, “Pyromania” by Def Leppard, “Mental Health would be considered on of THE albums of 1983. In fact, here’s a piece of useless information my strange brain managed to retain: “Cum on Feel the Noize” squared off against “Photograph” on the MTV Friday night video fights. From what I remember, “Photograph” won by a landslide.

Next Post: Krokus- Headhunter

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: Black Sabbath- Born Again

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

220px-sabbathborn

The first concert I saw at the Philadelphia Spectrum after getting out of the marines was Black Sabbath. Having heard the album they were promoting on the tour, “Born Again,” I already knew that former Deep Purple lead singer, Ian Gillan, would be fronting them. However, I still thought it was a bit strange that when they came out for the second encore, they played “Smoke on the Water.” Actually, that strange feeling lasted only for a few seconds because the song worked as did Gillan singing some of the more classic Sabbath songs. I thought he did a particularly good job on “Heaven and Hell.”

This begs the question, if Ian Gillan sounded so good for Sabbath, then why did so many of the so-called rock critics slate it and why isn’t this album considered one of their best? Let me address the second point. When I hear “Born Again,” I don’t immediately start pining for the more classic Sabbath albums like “Paranoid” or “Heaven and Hell” but I won’t put it on the same level as those more memorable albums either. It’s a great album but not a classic. As for the critics, well, what do they know?

Ian Gillan’s Deep Purple influence comes out immediately on the album. “Trashed” could have been a Purple song. At least until Tony Iommi goes into one of his trademark guitar solos in the middle of the song. Plus, I can say the same thing for “Disturbing the Priest,” although the instrumental track in between those two, “Stonehenge” tries too hard to copy “E5150.” My hypothesis here is that Tony and Geezer let Ian sing according to his style and bent their guitar and bass playing styles around the vocals. Personally, I think they do a damned fine job of it as well. This really shows through on the track “Zero the Hero.” Unlike some critic, I don’t find the song embarrassing, I quite like it, especially how Tony Iommi nails the guitar solo on it.

My favourite track on the album has to be “Digital Bitch.” I love the way, they take Gillan’s shrieks and Tony’s guitar and fuse them together. The title track is a more slower bluesier number. Black Sabbath have been doing these for years except in the past, they did it with a much heavier guitar. They don’t do that so much with this one except for the chorus. At the time, it was believed that this would be the closest Black Sabbath would come to a power ballad. Ian Gillan’s voice suits the song well but then he is definitely if not the best, one of the best vocalists in rock or metal.

Now I haven’t forgotten to mention the interesting album cover. After all, I had it on a t-shirt. I always thought it very amusing even if the American religious community didn’t. Now, I wish I still had that shirt.

Track Listing:

  1. Trashed
  2. Stonehenge
  3. Disturbing the Priest
  4. The Dark
  5. Zero the Hero
  6. Digital Bitch
  7. Born Again
  8. Hot Line
  9. Keep it Warm
Black Sabbath

Black Sabbath

Tony Iommi- guitar

Ian Gillan- vocals

Geezer Butler- bass

Bill Ward- drums

Note: Bill Ward would not tour with the band for this album. Replacing him for the tour was former ELO drummer Bev Bevan

I wonder what would have happened if Ian Gillan had stuck around with Sabbath for a few more albums. Would musical history as we know it been changed? Hard to say. As we know, Ian would leave Sabbath after this and rejoin his mates Ritchie Blackmore and Roger Glover from Rainbow and reform that band they were in together during the early 1970s. Ian Gillan might have only recorded one album with Black Sabbath but it is definitely one to remember.

Next post: Because they supported Black Sabbath when I saw them, I thought it right that it be Quiet Riot- Mental Health

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: Ozzy Osbourne- Speak of the Devil

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 29, 2016 by 80smetalman

220px-ozzyosbournespeakofthedevil

Welcome to another 1982 album that came to my attention while I was still serving with the marines on Okinawa. Even when I first heard then, I, like many others, speculated on why Ozzy would put out an album featuring live performances of his Black Sabbath material. Further investigation turned up that the reason was that this album was a contractual obligation album with Jet Records. That could explain many things like why Ozzy has publicly renounced the album.

Another thing it explains is the shockingly bad production of the album. Yes, this is a live album but it sounds like it was recorded live at a local pub. I can hear why many people found this album off putting. A further reason was that Ozzy’s drinking problem was getting to him big time. The vinyl version has pictures of a road crew member who suffered from dwarfism, bringing Ozzy drinks in between songs. It also explains why his voice wasn’t tip top on “Speak of the Devil.”

In spite of all my negativity here, if you really want all the Black Sabbath classics and are too cheap to go out and buy all their albums, then this is a decent substitute. Yep, all the great songs are there. “Iron Man,” “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath,” “Snowblind,” my all time favourite Sabbath song, “War Pigs” and as always, the live show is ended with “Paranoid.” They’re all there although some songs sound better than others and none of them come up to the standard of when they were first recorded. Personally, I think “The Wizard” sounds the best on it.

One more positive I can add is that Ozzy always gets a good crew of musicians behind him and this is the case on “Speak of the Devil.” Here, we have Brad Gillis, before he joined Night Ranger on guitar, Rudy Sarzo, who would go to Quiet Riot on bass and Tommy Aldridge on drums. When the production allows, the talents of these three men show through and make the album listenable.

Track Listing:

  1. Symptom of the Universe
  2. Snowblind
  3. Black Sabbath
  4. Fairies Wear Boot
  5. War Pigs
  6. The Wizard
  7. N.I.B.
  8. Sweet Leaf
  9. Never Say Die
  10. Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
  11. Iron Man/Children of the Grave
  12. Paranoid
Ozzy Osbourne

Ozzy Osbourne

Ozzy Osbourne- vocals

Brad Gillis- guitar

Rudy Sarzo- bass

Tommy Aldridge- drums

“Speak of the Devil” isn’t one that is mentioned along with the other great Ozzy Osbourne albums. In fact, it has been universally agreed that a better live album would come out four years later. Don’t worry, I’ll post about that one in due time. Still, if you fancy a trip down memory lane and want to hear Ozzy sing some Black Sabbath classics, then this album is okay to do that.

Next post: Iron Maiden- Piece of Mind

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

 

 

 

Another Great Gig, I Just Happened to See

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 2, 2016 by 80smetalman

Last week, I happened to spend a few days in the great Northern English city of Newcastle Upon Tyne. Mrs 80smetalman really loves the place and goes every year but because of other commitments the previous years, this was the first time I went there in four years. First, I did attempt to go to the pub, The Broken Doll, which my good buddy 1537 recommended but it was too far away from my hotel and there were no Metro stations in that area. I did try. Therefore, I had to settle for Newcastle’s premiere rock pub, Trillian’s. I ventured there my first and last nights of my stay and I was definitely glad I went on the final night because I got to see two really cool bands.

This photo was taken four years ago. Trillian's still looks exactly like this. I didn't see the girl in the photo this time around.

This photo was taken four years ago. Trillian’s still looks exactly like this. I didn’t see the girl in the photo this time around.

The first band to hit the stage that night was a band called The Distorted. Now one could think that this band was trying to be like The Disturbed, especially when they played a cover of “Down With the Sickness” halfway through their set. However, I noticed a heavy influence of Black Sabbath in their music as well. The Distorted proved to be a very tightly knit quartet with all the tools necessary to go a lot further; a strong rhythm section, a guitarist who can shred and a good lead singer with some personality. He could connect with the audience, just a shame there weren’t more people there for him to connect to. On one song, he put a skull on his wrist and acted like it was doing the singing, cool, I thought. I really enjoyed this band.

Later that evening, I managed to catch up with the guitarist, a really cool chap, who told me that they nearly got to Bloodstock this year. They made it all the way to the regional semi-finals. Well with what I heard at Trillian’s I hope they go all the way in 2017.

The Distorted on stage.

The Distorted on stage.

Singing with the skull

Singing with the skull

In one of the fastest equipment changeovers I have ever witnessed, headliners, Twister were soon out on stage. While The Distorted wanted to pound your skull a bit, Twister were slightly more melodic but not less heavy. Furthermore, they already have an album out. “Trees” will be available for download on September 5th and from what I saw on stage, it too, will be worth it. Twister also fields four members but have two guitars, both of whom are capable of laying down a good solo. Listening to them, one could easily tell that their influences are more old school. The cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” kind of gave it away but their music can stand well on its own. While they make a good foursome, most of the attention was on the mop haired blonde lead singer. He definitely made himself known while Twister was on the stage. He along with the band, also impressed me this night and I loved how they closed the show with the AC/DC classic, “Whole Lotta Rosie.”

Twister on Stage

Twister on Stage

Twister rocking Trillian's

Twister rocking Trillian’s

Link for Twister: https://www.facebook.com/TwisterUK/

Link for The Distorted: https://www.facebook.com/TheDistorted/

Next post: Back to the great albums of 1983 with Thin Lizzy- Thunder and Lightning

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bloodstock 2016- Thursday

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Death, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 15, 2016 by 80smetalman

It’s Monday, I have returned and sobered up from three and a half kick ass days at Bloodstock. There were highs, there were lows, not many but all in all it was a unforgettable weekend of metal. If I tried to post the entire weekend in one post, I’d be typing til next Friday, so I’ll break it down day by day, starting with the day we arrived, the Thursday.

The trip there was quicker than expected, no traffic hold ups even where I expected them to be. So we got there in great time with music from Axel Rudi Pell, Kill or Be Killed and the Disturbed to serenade us on the journey. After, lugging most of our gear quite a long distance and standing in a long line to get in, we finally found a suitable place and pitched the tent. Thank God we had a trial run with the tent, otherwise it would have been hard going. Once we did that, got the rest of our provisions and fed our faces. We were then ready for the first night’s festivities.

Our tent, it's a wonder it stayed up all weekend.

Our tent, it’s a wonder it stayed up all weekend.

Group photo: Joe, Gemma, Teal and me

Group photo: Joe, Gemma, Teal and me

Our first objective was going to the new Lemmy Bar opened in honour of the legend himself. However, we were briefly sidetracked from some sounds coming out of the Sophie Lancaster tent. Being curious, we investigated and discovered a band called Sumer. We only caught the last song and a half but it sounded good, more hard rock than metal but I liked them. It could have been a good omen on what was to come.

Sumer

Sumer

When Sumer left the stage, there were no further distractions so we immediately proceeded to the Lemmy Bar. It was one of the former Bloodstock bars remodeled and renamed but the change was definitely for the good. Out of tribute to the Heavy Metal God, we all went in and each purchased a ‘Lemmy,’ (Jack Daniels and coke.)

Photo0068[1]

 

Inside was totally dedicated to the God

Inside was totally dedicated to the God

Me enjoying my Lemmy

Me enjoying my Lemmy

I wonder how many Lemmys he had

I wonder how many Lemmys he had

After we drank our Lemmys, music coming from the Sophie Lancaster tent once again beckoned. Going back, we were very fortunate to catch the final couple of songs from Irish thrash metallers, Psykosis. I only might have heard two songs from this band but they left me asking myself why these guys weren’t more known. If you have heard of them, I would love to read your feedback on them. I was impressed!

Pyskosis

Pyskosis

While Sumer and Pyskosis both provided a brief look into things to come that weekend, the main event of the night was still to come. When Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons hit the stage, they did not disappoint. Their musicianship was superb and Phil showed that he can definitely work a guitar but it was the covers performed by the band that got the crowd going. The evening was always going to be about Lemmy and deservedly so but before they got into that, there was a brilliant cover of the Black Sabbath classic, “Sweet Leaf.” The Motorhead covers followed quickly after that and that was when they brought in the big surprise. Dee Snider from Twisted Sister was brought in to sing the Motorhead anthem, “Born to Raise Hell” and it raised the roof. While playing, the band stopped so Dee Snider could say: “This year, we lost a friend, a hero, a heavy metal fucking God!” Obviously, he was talking about Lemmy and also turned out that Pepper Keenan from Corrosion of Conformity accompanied on backing vocals. Other treats included the two Motorhead classics “Ace of Spades” and my all time personal favourite Motorhead song, “Killed By Death.” Campell totally nailed these and his guitar solo on the cover of ZZ Top’s “Sharp Dressed Man” was really cool. Needless to say, a mosh pit formed for “Ace of Spades” and even I went into it. Not long after, the band left the stage and came out with one more surprise. I doubt anyone in the tent was expecting them to play the Hawkwind classic, “Silver Machine.” The tent erupted here and Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons left the stage having wowed the audience.

Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons

Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons

Here's a picture with Phil Campbell actually in it

Here’s a picture with Phil Campbell actually in it

Dee Snider moved around the stage so much, I could only catch him when his back was turned.

Dee Snider moved around the stage so much, I could only catch him when his back was turned.

However, the night wasn’t quite over yet. After Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons departed the stage, a bloke by the name of Simon Hall appeared on it. He explained that someone challenged him that if he did a roly poly (somersault,) the challenger said he would give £100 to the Sophie Lancaster Foundation which was set up to combat intolerance of alternative lifestyles. Well, somebody put news of the challenge online and it went viral. By the time Simon did his roly poly on stage this night, £1300 was raised for the foundation.

Simon Hall with some visitors

Simon Hall with some visitors

He had lots of support

He had lots of support

When we left the Sophie Lancaster tent that night, we were not only blown away by the great metal already experienced, we were also left with great expectations of what was to come the rest of the weekend. Now, I must state that I am writing about my experiences of the weekend and I’m sure there were over 15,000 different ones. If you have been to Bloodstock this past weekend, please share your experiences of this piece of metal history.

Next post; Friday

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: Dio- Holy Diver

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 29, 2016 by 80smetalman

dio
Like with David Bowie’s and Motorhead’s 1983 albums, I was hoping to write about the debut album from Dio, in 1983, under much happier circumstances. With the passing of Dio bassist, Jimmy Bain, I feel that it should be a fitting tribute to him that I post about this iconic album now.

Jimmy Bain

Jimmy Bain

What can I say about “Holy Diver” that hasn’t already said? Probably nothing, therefore, I am going to speak about it straight from the heart and yes the pun is intended. From my first listen, I admit it wasn’t til early 1984 when I got that opportunity, til now, I was and still am completely blown away by it. No wonder it’s my fourth favourite album of all time.

Why is this album so good? Let’s start with the opener, “Stand Up and Shout.” That is one of the best album and concert opening songs of all time. A great opener will grab you by the throat and make you listen to the entire album. It’s no wonder, Dio opened with this song three of the five times I’ve seen them live.

You are the driver
you own the road
you are the fire — go on, explode

Then comes my favourite Dio song of all time, the title track. If I were running a ‘Headbanging for Beginners’ course, “Holy Diver” would be the first song I would use. This unique but catchy riff is just plain phenomenal. I still remember at the local nightspot in London for heavy metal, scores of metalheads all in a huddle headbanging away to it. The song is so easy to do that with. Not only that, there are Ronnie James Dio’s lyrics, (he was top of his game here), and Vivian Campbell just nails the guitar solo. For me, it’s always been truly an amazing song.

Between the velvet lies

There’s a truth as hard as steel

A vision never dies

Life’s a never ending wheel.

Following the title cut are two more excellent songs in the form of “Gypsy” and “Caught in the Middle.” With both songs, we see some heavy chords being struck while in sync with more of Ronnie’s lyrics.

Take a look at yourself, you might see someone you don’t know

If you haven’t already figured it out, the above lyrics were from “Caught in the Middle.” After that is what many claim to be the best non single or song that should have been released as one on the album. Anyone who has any experience of Dio will know “Don’t Talk to Strangers.” Its eerie intro followed by lyrics that can be of sound advice before exploding into pure heavy metal mania with Campbell’s solo probably being the best one on the album. There’s something for everyone to like here. It is most likely the reason why Dio has played this song all five times I’ve seen them live.

Having originally procured “Holy Diver” on cassette, I should go on about side two. However, the age of CD’s and MP3 downloads has made me stop dividing albums into sides. “Straight Through the Heart” is a very powerful rocker and maintains the standard the album sets but after that is my choice for best hidden gem on it, “Invisible.” Don’t ask me to explain why or how but I just love that song. I think it’s the way like “Don’t Talk to Strangers,” it starts melodically before hitting you over the head with more power chords. Those chords may not be quite as in your face as the other song but it does the job.

If your surface stays unbroken, then you’re a lucky man

Cause it never, never, never has for me

In the palace of the virgin lies the chalice of your soul

And it’s likely you will find the answer there.

Again, Ronnie’s lyrics are amazing, especially matched with his truly one of a kind voice. Following “Invisible” is the more known “Rainbow in the Dark,” which maybe was Dio’s most successful single. Hell, I remember in 1984, a Budweiser advert being played to this tune. This is the one song where keyboards play a major role but still, they don’t detract from the power of the song.

Now onto the closer, “Shame on the Night.” If I have to pick a least favourite track, it would have to be this one. Don’t get me wrong, it is no way a bad track, I just don’t rate it quite as high as the other eight but what it does do is close the album very nicely, I guess that’s what Ronnie had in mind with it. That is yet another reason why I think “Holy Diver” is so fantastic.

Track Listing:

  1. Stand Up and Shout
  2. Holy Diver
  3. Gypsy
  4. Caught in the Middle
  5. Don’t Talk To Strangers
  6. Straight Through the Heart
  7. Invisible
  8. Rainbow in the Dark
  9. Shame on the Night
Dio

Dio

Ronnie James Dio- vocals, keyboards

Vivian Campbell- guitar

Jimmy Bain- bass

Vinnie Appice- drums

I don’t give a flying fart as to how cliched this statement sounds but I know in my heart that Jimmy has now joined Ronnie and they are jamming away together in a better place. Probably their former Rainbow band mate, Cozy Powell has joined them and if they had any sense, they would invite Jon Lord to do the honours on the keyboards. However, I can’t think of any guitarist who has played along side of these guys who has departed from our world. Therefore, I would suggest they take Criss Oliva from Savatage as his guitar work would fit Ronnie’s vocals perfectly. Who knows, maybe they would make an album as great as “Holy Diver.”

Next post: Billy Idol

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