Archive for Blackout

Great Metal Albums of 1984: The Scorpions- Love At First Sting

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 6, 2017 by 80smetalman

After posting albums by two bands who came and went virtually unnoticed by the world, except for me, I noticed them, I thought it would be a good idea to go totally the opposite direction and post about a band whose album took the world by storm in 1984. That is exactly what The Scorpions “Love at First Sting” album did, it took the metal world (and in some cases, the non-metal world) by storm. The first single got played a lot on MTV, not that I minded that at all.

Even after more than three decades, when I hear the opening riffs to “Rock You Like a Hurricane,” I jump up and want to start headbanging away to it. Being a little older and slightly more wiser these days, I have come to realize that it was a gutsy move to release it as a single. Those opening riffs are not something you’d expect to hear on commercial radio but one did then. Normally, metal bands would release the more commercial friendly song, not one that blows people away. Then again, 1984 was the golden year of heavy metal so I shouldn’t be surprised that such songs got airplay.

The great thing about “Love At First Sting” is that the above single was just one of the great songs that appear on it. The two songs either side of “Rock You Like a Hurricane” are just as kick you in the head metal. In fact, I have come to believe that those songs could have been arranged in any order and it would have had the same effect on my enjoyment of it. I still would have loved it. After the three opening songs, “Coming Home” starts like a total ballad but after a minute and a half in, the band just goes nuts and the power of the first three songs comes through. Maybe writers Meine and Schenker thought the listener needed a break so, they wrote it that way. But whatever their motives, it worked!

Things go almost to speed metal levels with the next track, “The Same Thrill” but again, it’s done very well. They just let themselves go here and it sounds great. It would be nearly another year before “Big City Nights” was released as a single but I’m glad I didn’t have to wait that long to hear it. It’s a powerful song with a catchy melody and some cool guitar hooks. Some very interesting opening riffs on “As Soon As the Good Times Roll” and “Crossfire” keep things ticking over and leads nicely to what some might consider another gutsy move. The album ends with the second single, the power ballad, “Still Loving You.” As some of you might have guessed, I’m a sucker for a good power ballad and this one is right up there with the best. Note: I’ve already sung the praises of the musicians who comprise this band on previous posts about The Scorpions, so I won’t repeat it.

Track Listing:

  1. Bad Boys Running Wild
  2. Rock You Like a Hurricane
  3. I’m Leaving You
  4. Coming Home
  5. The Same Thrill
  6. Big City Nights
  7. As Soon As the Good Times Roll
  8. Crossfire
  9. Still Loving You

The Scorpions

Klaus Meine- lead vocals

Rudy Schenker- rhythm guitar, backing vocals

Mathias- Jabs- lead guitar

Francis Bucholz- bass

Herman Rarebell- drums

If any one album, established metal as a dominant musical force in early 1984, it was “Love at First Sting” by the Scorpions. Looking back, it’s only right that they be part of the golden year of metal. Especially as they put out such a cool album. My regret is not giving it enough mention in “Rock and Roll Children.”

Next post: Slade- Keep Your Hands Off My Power Supply

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=1509995239&sr=8-3&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Great Metal Albums of 1983: The Scorpions- Blackout

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 11, 2015 by 80smetalman

 220px-Scorpions_Backout

First of all, let me say a well done to Deke for picking out all four albums on display in the last post. He gets 50 80smetalman points for that, not that they’re worth anything in the real world. For those who didn’t get all four and many got some, the albums were Van Halen I, Twisted Sister- “Stay Hungry,” Led Zeppelin- “Remastered” and Grace Slick- “Dreams.” Thank you all who participated and I hope everyone is happy that they finally got to see those famous ammo cans. It is really a cool way to store cassettes.

Now onto the album. “Blackout” by the Scorpions might have been released in 1982 but it brought my 1983 in rocking style. I spent the first seven weeks of the year at a small camp near Mt Fuji, Japan so music news was something scarce. It was when I returned to Okinawa that I heard this album though I can’t remember if I first heard it at Sgt Pepper’s or Kin Loo. It’s not important, what was important was the fact that when I heard “Blackout,” I was totally blown away.

It just happens that the album starts out with my favourite Scorpions song of all time. The title track is such an energy producing song that it’s only right that it should open the album. I mean talk about power chords. What is really cool is that after your ears are pummeled by “Blackout,” the album doesn’t stop to catch a breath but immediately goes into another great song, “Can’t Live Without You.” This song praises the fans who buy Scorpions records and see them live. And as the song goes, I do play an imaginary guitar when I hear these songs.

Things continue nicely over the next four songs. The single, “No One Like You,” follows on perfectly from its predecessors and goes very well into the next few after. After those three harder songs, things go slightly melodic with my second favourite Scorpions of all time, “Arizona.” The power chords are very melodically done in such away that I just say ‘wow’ each time I hear the song. Maybe they should have released that one as a single. After “Arizona,” there is what seems to be a concept song in “China White” before closing with the eerie sounding ballad, “When the Smoke is Going Down,” which is the best song to end things with on this great album.

One constant which is heard on every song on “Blackout” is the great lead guitar work from Mathias Jabs and at times Rudy Schenker. Jabs has been called underrated by many metal fans and the way he smokes the finger board here supports that statement. As always, I won’t take anything away from the rest of the band, especially as I have always considered Klaus Meine to be one of the best in the business.

Track Listing:

  1. Blackout
  2. Can’t Live Without You
  3. No One Like You
  4. You Give Me All I Need
  5. Now
  6. Dynamite
  7. Arizona
  8. China White
  9. When the Smoke is Going Down
The Scorpions

The Scorpions

Klaus Meine- lead vocals

Rudy Schenker- rhythm and lead guitar

Matthias Jabs- lead and rhythm guitar

Francis Buchholz- bass

Herman Rarebell- drums

I can’t think of any way better to start of a year than with “Blackout” by the Scorpions. It is such a great metal album and it brought my 1983 in just right. However, even after all these years, I still don’t grow tired of it.

Next post: Billy Squier- Emotions in Motion

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

 

 

Memories of Some Great Rock Clubs

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 1, 2015 by 80smetalman

From October 1982 to April 1983, I was stationed on Okinawa although I did spend some time in South Korea and seven weeks near Mt Fuji in Japan. For an emerging young metalhead such as myself, the challenge was to find a good place to unwind and totally rock out. The enlisted club provided very cheap beer and live bands brought over from the Philippines that usually consisted of four or five musicians with a pretty girl on lead vocals. Some of these bands were quite good, others, not so. However, it didn’t quench my desire to find some real hard rock so I had to look elsewhere. The town outside my base, Henoko, didn’t provide anything of the like but there was a town, just a twenty minute bus ride away that did.

Kin

Kin

The town of Kin had several cool rock bars, the most notable of these was called Sgt Peppers. It had a great sound system with several really cool video screens. The best part was that they always played great rock and metal. It was here that I first learned about bands like Saxon, Whitesnake and the Plasmatics. However, they mixed it with some classic rock as well. I remember the live video of “War Pigs” by Black Sabbath as well as live footage from Nazereth playing “Love Hurts” and “Hair of the Dog.” The great thing about Sgt Peppers is that whenever you went in, you were never disappointed by the music being played.

One disadvantage with Sgt Peppers was the fact that beer was so expensive, $2.25 for a bottle was rather dear in 1982-3. So, if the funds were running low, I would go one street over to another cool rock bar called Kin Loo. The Kin Loo wasn’t as sophisticated as Sgt Peppers but the beers were only $1.50. Yes, I too wish I could pay those prices for a beer these days. It might not have had the video screens like the other place but the music was still good. The best thing was that you could request what you wanted to hear and they would not just play one song but an entire side of an album. That gave me a chance to reminisce about old favourites and get an idea of anything new. This gave me the opportunity to listen to the album that started my 1983 in great style, The Scorpions, “Blackout.”

Both of these bars were great in helping me unwind from the stresses of military life. I did manage to get to the very south of Okinawa where there was an even larger Sgt Peppers and a club called Condition Green with an in house band with the same name. But that was only the one time so I had to rely on those bars in Kin. Fortunately, they were both able to provide me with what I needed. That’s why I still remember them so fondly after so many years. Unfortunately, unlike the Driftwood, the internet didn’t have any photos of them so I can’t say if they’re still there.

Next post: National Anthems

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 1980: The Scorpions- Animal Magnetism

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on December 2, 2013 by 80smetalman

 

220px-ScorpionsAnimalMagnetism

One major advantage to listening to a band’s later material first and then trawling back through their archives is that you get a deep appreciation for where they came from and what they did to get to where they were when you first heard them. This was definitely the case for me in regards to The Scorpions. The first Scorpions album I was treated to was “Blackout” in 1982. While that is my favourite album of theirs, when I listened to the “Animal Magnetism” album, I can say that I was very impressed with that one as well.

“Animal Magnetism” reveals a very hungry group on the album. Each song has the power that I would love so much on the next album. “Make It Real” is a great opener and the third track “Hold Me Tight,” reminds me why I have always held the vocal ability of Klaus Meine in such high regard. Then there is the seemingly ballad “Lady Starlight.” Yes, it sounds like a ballad and for all purposes it is, but I have to say that Mathias Jabs really nails it on the guitar solo. After that brief slow down, it is back to business with three more hard rocking jams before it gets to the final title cut. That track may appear to be a bit way out there but the riffs laid down by the band on it reassure the listener that it is still the Scorpions all the way.

Tack Listing:

1. Make It Real

2. Don’t Make No Promises (Your Body Can’t Keep)

3. Hold Me Tight

4. Twentieth Century Man

5. Lady Starlight

6. Falling In Love

7. Only a Man

8. The Zoo

9. Animal Magnetism

The Scorpions

The Scorpions

Klaus Meine- lead vocals

Mathias Jabs- lead and rhythm guitars, backing vocals

Rudolph Schenker- rhythm guitars, backing vocals

Francis Bucholz- bass, backing vocals

Herman Rarebell- drums, backing vocals

Like so many of the great metal bands back in 1980, The Scorpions would go onto even greater glories. Still, it’s good to go back and appreciate where they came from and with “Animal Magnetism,” they came from a good place.

Next post: 1980 Ends in Tragedy

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