Archive for Blue Oyster Cult

Great Albums That Were Lost in the Cassette Player

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

For those who have been following me for awhile, you will know that back in the early 198os, I owned a lot of cassettes due to my very limited living space when I was in the marines. Even after I got out, while I began buying vinyl again, I still bought a good amount of cassettes. My logic at the time was you couldn’t play records in the car and I need my travelling music. While cassettes had the advantage of being very compact, you could fit one in your shirt pocket, they had the disadvantage of being susceptible of destructing. They could easily get mangled in the player and often times brake. I found this extremely frustrating. While the percentage of cassettes lost was small compared to the number I owned, it still upset me when I lost one to the machine. So, as an in between the years post, I will play homage to all the great albums that were mangled by a tape player.

The famous ammo cans . I thought this would be a good excuse to put this picture in the post.

Others that succumbed but I don’t have pictures for

Slayer- South of Heaven

The Dreggs- Unsung Heroes

The Who- recorded from the radio

Copperhead

There could be more but these are the ones I definitely remember. However, other cassettes weren’t mangled in the machine but wore out another way. When played they began to have a hiss sound on them. Eventually, this hiss got louder and present on more of the tape until it was unplayable. There was the odd tape where that started but it stopped and played normal again. Unfortunately, others didn’t so here is a tribute to those cassettes that were lost in this manner.

As you can see, many a great album fell victim to the dreaded tape player one way or the other. Thank God for CDs and more modern means of listening to music as I don’t have that problem anymore.

Next post: 1984

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Great Metal Albums of 1983: Dokken- Breaking the Chains

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 20, 2017 by 80smetalman

dokken_-_breaking_the_chains

Before I get lynched for stating that the 1983, “Breaking the Chains” album was Dokken’s debut album, I will be the first to point out that this album was released in Europe two years earlier. I didn’t discover this fact until 1986 when I went over to the Continent. Therefore, like many Americans, I assumed that the 1983 effort was their debut. However, for parity, I will make it a point to listen to the earlier version and take notes on any differences.

Even when this album did come to my attention, I didn’t go out and buy it straight away. Reason being was that my friend and heavy metal officianado, Frank Formica, had seen them live supporting Aldo Nova and Blue Oyster Cult and fed back that he wasn’t impressed. He stated that it was like watching a puppet show in regards to how they moved on stage and that only about thirty people were getting into them. This meant that I gave “Breaking a Chains” a miss and didn’t actually listen to it until after their third album.

Now I would like to say that the debut album was a blinder of an album and I was a fool for not picking it up in 1983. I’m afraid I am cemented in the belief that their next two albums after were strides better. However, you have to start somewhere and “Breaking the Chains” was a good a springboard as any. There are some decent songs on here, my favourite being the title cut, which would still be a strong track if it had appeared on one of the later albums. Other stand out tracks for me are “Felony,” “Live to Rock, (Rock to Live),” “Nightrider” and “Stick to Your Guns.” In addition, “In the Middle” has been growing on me recently. But one thing I can say about most of the tracks here is that guitarist George Lynch is already showing his magic on the six string and this, like the later albums, would continue to improve with age.

Track Listing:

  1. Breaking the Chains
  2. In the Middle
  3. Felony
  4. I Can’t See You
  5. Live to Rock, (Rock to Live)
  6. Nightrider
  7. Seven Thunders
  8. Young Girls
  9. Stick to Your Guns
  10. Paris is Burning
Dokken

Dokken

I couldn't find a picture of the band with Juan Crocier in it so I've included a solo shot.

I couldn’t find a picture of the band with Juan Crocier in it so I’ve included a solo shot.

Don Dokken- lead vocals, rhythm guitar

George Lynch- lead guitar

Juan Crocier- bass, backing vocals

Wild Mick Brown- drums

As any metal historian worth his salt can tell you, Juan Crocier would leave the band and go to newer pastures. No prizes for guessing which band he would end up with. While I like the album, the lack of commercial success of “Breaking the Chains” had the band Elektra label considering dropping them. While history would go on to prove that the decision to give them another chance was the right one, we nearly lost them after one album and we would have been denied the better ones.

Next post: Heaven- Where Angels Fear to Tread

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Compilation Album for 2016

Posted in 1980s, Death, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 1, 2017 by 80smetalman

Recently on Twitter, I commented that with all the great musical stars who passed on in 2016, that I wouldn’t put it past some morbid record producer to make a compilation album featuring all of them. One of my friends replied that with so many, it would have to be a box set and he’s probably right. Normally, I ‘m not a morbid person but I then thought, “Why don’t I come out with my own ideas for such an album?” Besides, if it was in the hands of some corporate record executive, their idea for the album would be totally different than mine, especially if the metal hating UK newspaper, The Sun, had anything to do with it.

In compiling such an album, I fear that had things been left to record execs, Jimmy Bain and Sandy Pearlman would have been left out totally. Jimmy would have been because he was only a bass player despite the fact that he played on all the greatest Dio albums. Sandy was simply a producer but without him, we would not have had some of the great albums delivered by both Blue Oyster Cult and The Clash. Use of semantics, the fact that Lemmy actually died in 2015, would have been used as an excuse to keep him off the album. I don’t do that because Lemmy’s death was the snowball at the top of the mountain which started the avalanche. Paul Kantner would have definitely been left out if the record producer was British but might have been included if they were American. After all, he did have a minor song writing credit on Jefferson Starship’s best known single, “Jane.”

Of course, I am tempted to exclude some too. I was never a big Prince fan. However, I didn’t hate his music. Whenever his songs came on the radio, I didn’t turn the volume up or down, nor did I change the channel. But credit where due, on the song I really like, he does shred a guitar fairly well and I remember in 1984, I fully endorsed his desire to play the role of Jimi Hendrix in a film about the guitar god.

George Michael is another problem. See, The Sun and other media have already been blubbering over how great an 80s icon he was. I can’t refute that. However, he wasn’t entirely the 1980s and the whole point of writing “Rock and Roll Children” and this blog was to rebut the belief that 80s music was entirely Wham, Michael Jackson and Boy George. We all know it wasn’t but George Michael stands as a symbol of my antagonism towards this warped view of the Golden Decade of Heavy Metal. So, I hope one can understand why I would be tempted to exclude him from my album. However, I am a better person than those at The Sun and not a corporate record executive, so I will allow one GM song onto my album. This song came out after his 1998 arrest in Los Angeles and was the springboard for a rather rude but funny joke.

Tribute Album to Musician’s Who Died in 2016

Lemmy

Lemmy

Motorhead

Motorhead

  1. Ace of Spades
  2. Killed By Death
  3. Iron Fist

175px-David-Bowie_Early

David Bowie

  1. Space Oddity
  2. Ziggy Stardust
  3. Mott the Hoople- All the Young Dudes
The Eagles

The Eagles

Glen Frey- The Eagles

Glen Frey- The Eagles

  1. Take it Easy
  2. Heartache Tonight
  3. New Kid in Town
  4. From Glenn Frey’s solo stuff:
  5. Smuggler’s Blues
  6. Sexy Girl
Jimmy Bain

Jimmy Bain

Dio

Dio

  1. Rainbow in the Dark
  2. The Last in Line
  3. Mystery
  4. Sacred Heart
  5. Sunset Superman

js

Paul Kantner- Jefferson Starship

Paul Kantner- Jefferson Starship

  1. Ride the Tiger
  2. Dance With the Dragon
  3. Stairway to Cleveland
  4. Planet Earth Rock and Roll Orchestra (Paul Kantner solo)
I never saw them but  Emerson Lake and Palmer were said to be amazing live!

I never saw them but Emerson Lake and Palmer were said to be amazing live!

  1. Lucky Man
  2. Fanfare for the Common Man
Sandy Pearlman

Sandy Pearlman

Blue Oyster Cult

Blue Oyster Cult

  1. Don’t Fear the Reaper
  2. Dancing in the Ruins
The Clash

The Clash

English Civil War

Prince

Prince

Let’s Go Crazy

George Michael

George Michael

Outside

Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen

Hallelujah

(I thought Leonard’s song would be the best closer)

True, my list would definitely be more metal oriented. That’s because most metal and rock acts would be passed over by a corporate record producer. Opinions will vary here and I know other songs would be chosen in place of the ones I have here, but if I had my choice. This is what it would be.

Happy New Year to all! Have a great 2017.

Next post: Suicidal Tendencies

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/Metal Albums of 1983: Aldo Nova

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 19, 2016 by 80smetalman

220px-aldonova

When my household finally caught up with the times in 1983 and got MTV, the video for the big single, “Fantasy,” from Canadian rocker Aldo Nova’s debut album received a fair amount of airplay. Okay, it may not have been played as much as Big Country’s “In a Big Country” or the full twenty minute video for Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” but I saw it a good few times. Naturally, I assumed that the song was current. It was only later that I discovered that the song and the album were actually released over a year earlier. Therefore, this was another great album that came out in 1982, which I missed on account of my commitments to the military back then. It is also the reason why I am still posting it for 1983. I guess I should be grateful to MTV or else I might have missed it all together.

Even before I first saw the video for “Fantasy,” Aldo Nova was making a name for himself in metal circles back then. He supported giants Rainbow and Blue Oyster Cult on two different tours and the reports I received from my friend and my sister was that he was pretty good. That, along with the single I heard, was enough grounds to explore the debut album and what a wise decision that turned out to be.

In typical 1982 fashion, the album opens with the big single but like so many other great rock and metal albums from that year, the rest of the album carries on very well. In the case of Aldo, the tracks “Hot Love” and “It’s Too Late” keep me headbanging away. Both are great rocking gems. Then comes the power ballad, “Ball and Chain” and it is this track that has forced me to put Aldo Nova into the category of deeply under appreciated guitarists. He really rips his solo here. “Ball and Chain” also has me pondering something else. This song, along with April Wine’s “Just Between You and Me” and the Killer Dwarfs’ “Fire In Your Eyes,” has me thinking that maybe Canadian bands are the best at power ballads. Something to debate anyway.

It would have been wrong of me to say that the album picks up after the power ballad because it never really slowed down. Still, “Heart to Heart” is a great song and in metal power, I put it between the power ballad and first three tracks. Following it is what sounds for me was a definitely intended AOR single, “Fooling Yourself.” However, the chorus is quite catchy so I don’t blame him for this one. Even more so because the next track, “Under the Gun” is the best rocking track on the album complete with another great guitar solo.

The album seems to slow down a great deal after that. I wouldn’t call “You’re My Love” and “Can’t Stop Lovin’ You” power ballads, just ballads although the latter has a cool guitar solo reminding me of why I added Aldo to my ever growing list of underrated guitarists. I would like to say that the album closes with a blinder but I really can’t say that about “See the Light.” The song reminds me of something you would hear from a nightclub band. It is done very well and sounds good despite being keyboard dominated but with all the harder tracks, I found myself straining in anticipation for a power chord that never comes. It’s only Aldo’s guitar solo that saves it for me and that gets me into the song at the end. While the last three songs may not measure up to the rest of the album in my view, those other seven songs are more than enough to make this album a great one.

Track Listing:

  1. Fantasy
  2. Hot Love
  3. It’s Too Late
  4. Ball and Chain
  5. Heart to Heart
  6. Fooling Yourself
  7. Under the Gun
  8. You’re My Love
  9. Can’t Stop Lovin’ You
  10. See the Light
Aldo Nova

Aldo Nova

Aldo Nova- vocals, guitars, bass, synthesizers, keyboards

Dennis Chartrand- piano

Michel Pelo- bass

Robert Biagioni- bass

Michael La Chapelle- drums, percussion

Terry Martel- drums, percussion

Daniel Barbe- backing vocals

Dwight Druck- backing vocals

Thank God for MTV is all I can say. While their playing of the video for “Fantasy” may have misled me as to when Aldo Nova’s first album came out, it did give me the opportunity to actually discover Aldo and listen to the album. Something I will always be glad about.

Next post: Aldo Nova- Subject Aldo Nova

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/Metal Albums of 1983: Blue Oyster Cult- The Revolution by Night

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 4, 2016 by 80smetalman

220px-Blue_Öyster_Cult_-_The_Revölution_by_Night

After reading about the passing of former Blue Oyster Cult producer, Sandy Pearlman, I thought it would be a fitting tribute to the man if I posted about Blue Oyster Cult’s 1983 album, “The Revolution by Night.” Unfortunately, when I did a little research for the post, I discovered that Sandy did not produce the album. He did produce the band’s previous two albums, “Fire of Unknown Origin” and “Extra- Terrestrial Live” and that could be a reason why it doesn’t quite measure up to those two. That’s not just my opinion, it seems to be the opinion of many now and then. It has been widely felt that “The Revolution by Night” began a decade long era of mediocrity for BOC.

Sandy Pearlman

Sandy Pearlman

I remember seeing the video for the single “Shooting Shark” and not being very impressed. I admit, I expected something more along the lines of “Don’t Fear the Reaper” or “Godzilla” or even “Veteran of 1000 Psychic Wars.” “Shooting Shark” is definitely not anything like those classics. It’s possibly the closest Blue Oyster Cult has ever come to a ballad. In any case, the song was way to commercial for me back then. However, it did get quite a lot of airplay in 1983, something not common for a Blue Oyster Cult song. Having listened to it again, I find that it’s not as bad as I remember. Possibly owing to the fact that I am listening to the full seven minute version that appears on the album and not the shortened MTV version.

Technically, the rest of “The Revolution by Night” is pretty sound. There is nothing bad about the album at all. In fact, the musicianship is as done well and that includes newly acquired drummer Rick Downey who replaced the fired Albert Bouchard. The opener, “Take Me Away” does remind me of the Blue Oyster Cult I grew up loving. It is a good rock song. A better rock song, probably the hardest on the album is “Shadow of California.” It is my favourite track here. It also proves that the band didn’t abandon the formula that made them so great. “Feel the Thunder is a very good track as well.

Track Listing:

  1. Take Me Away
  2. Eyes of Fire
  3. Shooting Shark
  4. Veins
  5. Shadow of California
  6. Feel the Thunder
  7. Let Go
  8. Dragon Lady
  9. Light Years of Love
Blue Oyster Cult

Blue Oyster Cult

Eric Bloom- guitar, vocals

Donald ‘Buck Dharma’ Roeser- lead guitar, vocals, keyboards

Alan Lanier- piano, keyboards

Joe Bouchard- bass, guitars, vocoder, vocals

Rick Downey- drums

Additional Musicians:

Aldo Nova- guitar and synthesizers on “Take Me Away”

Randy Jackson- bass on “Shooting Shark”

Gregg Winter- backing vocal on “Eyes on Fire”

Marc Baum- saxophone on “Shooting Shark”

“The Revolution by Night” might have been a mediocre album for Blue Oyster Cult but there are so many bands out there who couldn’t sound as good as this album, even at their best. Maybe we should lay off BOC for this one because it’s not in any way a bad album.

Next post: Slayer- Show No Mercy

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

 

R.I.P Sandy Pearlman

Posted in 1980s, Death, Heavy Metal, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on July 28, 2016 by 80smetalman
Sandy Pearlman

Sandy Pearlman

This year 2016 continues to suck as another tragic rock and roll passing has come to light. This time it is former punk and metal producer Sandy Pearlman. Pearlman was responsible for producing such punk great as The Clash and rock/metal giants Blue Oyster Cult. His passing will be felt hard across both the punk and metal worlds. For more information about Sandy Pearlman click the link:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/arts/sandy-pearlman-producer-obit-1.3696441

R.I.P Sandy, you will be missed.

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1982: Saxon- The Eagle Has Landed

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 18, 2015 by 80smetalman

220px-Eaglelandedsaxon

One of the things I should have realised, but didn’t, is that there were some killer live albums in 1982. Three of them, Black Sabbath- “Live Evil,” Michael Schenker Group- “One Night at Budokan” and Blue Oyster Cult- “Extra Terrestrial Live,” I bought not long after they had come out. The fourth, Ted Nugent- “Intensity in 10 Cities” would escape my knowledge for a long while. That’s the problem when you are in the military and spend most of the year deployed overseas. It creates a Swiss cheese effect on things like musical releases from bands you might follow. This caused me to completely miss a fifth great live album and one that definitely stands shoulder to shoulder with the ones I’ve already listed. That is Saxon- “The Eagle Has Landed.”

Having seen Saxon live before I got to listen to “The Eagle Has Landed,” I had a very strong inclination that this was going to be an excellent live album. I was right. It has all of the classic Saxon songs at the time with the bonus touch of being played so well live. I thought it was only natural that they used the great song “Wheels of Steel” for the audience participation part of the show. After all, that song is one of their best known songs.

The added bonus for me was that the album was recorded while Saxon were on tour for my favourite album of theirs, “Denim and Leather.” “Princess of the Night” has its much deserved place on the album and is played brilliantly on it. Here is my personal slight disappointment about that. Other than “Princess,” the other two songs, “Never Surrender” and “Fire In the Sky” wouldn’t have been my first choices from “Denim and Leather” to use on the live album. Don’t get me wrong, they are both cool songs but why the hell wasn’t the title track on it? After all, “Denim and Leather” is a metal anthem that rings true throughout the metal generations! I thought it was only right that it be on the live album. Another song I would have used would have been “Play it Loud,” almost for the same reason. Saying that, “And the Band Played On” and “Midnight Rider” appear on the 2005 remaster. But enough of me nit picking, there are so many great songs on “The Eagle Has Landed” that it makes it a guaranteed good listen.

Track Listing:

  1. Motorcycle Man
  2. 747 Strangers in the Night
  3. Princess of the Night
  4. Strong Arm of the Law
  5. Heavy Metal Thunder
  6. 20,000 Feet
  7. Wheels of Steel
  8. Never Surrender
  9. Fire in the Sky
  10. Machine Gun
Saxon

Saxon

Biff Byford- vocals

Graham Oliver- guitar

Paul Quinn- guitar

Steve Dawson- bass

Nigel Glockler- drums

Like I said, there were many great live albums in 1982. Saxon’s contribution “The Eagle Has Landed” definitely belongs along side of the other great ones from that year.

Next post: Twisted Sister- Under the Blade

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