Archive for Blues

Great Rock Albums of 1985: Van Morrison- A Sense of Wonder

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 22, 2018 by 80smetalman

Here’s another example of how I was so focused on heavy metal in early 1985 that I didn’t fully appreciate a good non-metal album. I have to admit, back then I didn’t have much experience of the legend that is Van Morrison. My most memorable experience of him was his performance in the film, “The Last Waltz” where he sang with The Band. Other than that, what I knew of him was virtually zero.

While by 1985, I had become totally fed up with commercial radio, I have to thank it for this one. The single from the 1985 album, “A Sense of Wonder,” “Tore Down a la Rimbaud” got a considerable amount of airplay in the early part of the year. It was only after a few listens that I got past my “it’s not metal” mentality and realized that “Hey, this song is pretty good.” However, for some reason, I never bought the album, which was a bit of a shame because I missed out on a good one.

Wikapedia puts Van’s “A Sense of Wonder” album in the category of Celtic Soul. Well the man is from Northern Ireland and he does put his soul into the album so it’s hard to disagree with that label. Back then, I would have put it into either or both of the categories of soft rock or mellow out rock. It covers both. While the deafening power chords I was so into in 1985 and still am today are absent, one can’t fault the quality of the musicianship on it. Here’s another myth I believed about Van which this album has obliterated. I thought that he only sang because that’s what he did in “The Last Waltz.” But he plays guitar and piano and rather well judging from the instrumentals “Evening Meditation” and “Boffyflow and Spike,” the latter sounding like true Irish folk music.

While the single remains my favourite song on the album, the rest of the album keeps up as well. In my opinion, “Ancient of Days” could have been released as a single too because it’s almost as good. After the first mentioned instrumental, he goes very almost gospel soul softer though I think the title track goes on a bit too long for me. The second instrumental does pick things up a pace after and “If You Only Knew” keeps that pace going with “A New Kind of Man” closing the album out with a good feeling.

Track Listing:

  1. Tore Down a la Rimbaud
  2. Ancient of Days
  3. Evening Meditation
  4. The Master’s Eyes
  5. What Would I Do
  6. A Sense of Wonder
  7. Boffyflow and Spike
  8. If You Only Knew
  9. Let the Slave (Incorporating the Price of Experience)
  10. A New Kind of Man

Van Morrison

Van Morrison- vocals, guitar and piano

John Allair- organ

Bob Doll- trumpet

Tom Donlinger- drums

Pee Wee Ellis- tenor saxophone

David Hayes- bass

Chris Michie- guitar

Pauline Lazano- backing vocals

Bianca Thornton- backing vocals

The group Moving Hearts performs on tracks 6 and 7

I’m now a believer. Again, it could be me mellowing a tiny bit with age but I now appreciate how good the “A Sense of Wonder” album from Van Morrison really is. Perhaps I should delve into his discography a little more.

Next post: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers- Southern Accents

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Great Rock Albums of 1985: Glenn Frey- The Allnighter

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 4, 2018 by 80smetalman

When I begin a new year of my trip through the golden decade of heavy metal, I always start with albums that were made in the previous year but didn’t come to my attention until the said year. Because there were so many great albums in 1984, I didn’t get around to listening to a good number until 1985. One of these was “The Allnighter” from the late former Eagles guitarist/singer, Glenn Frey.

Reflecting back to early 1985, I used to wonder if I was a little unfair to both Glenn and one of his former bandmates who also released a solo album in this year. First, I was very much into all things metal and “The Allnighter” is definitely not metal. Furthermore, I was very much into the last two Eagles albums, “Hotel California” and “The Long Run” which did feature some harder rock than their early 1970s albums.

Glenn goes further away from his Eagles roots with this album as it’s a more mellower and somewhat bluesier sound. There are some ballads on here like “Let’s Go Home” and “Lover’s Moon.” Glenn’s voice has always been suited to these but it is also versatile enough for the faster songs. “Sexy Girl” is kind of in the middle here and he does sing it well. I recently heard a live version of it and it sounds better than the commercial version. However, the best song and one that I’ve come to appreciate far more in my aging years is “Smuggler’s Blues.” This song is proof that Frey can sing harder stuff, not that I had any doubt he couldn’t. What has really impressed me about it is the musicianship. Like his previous album, Glenn uses a ton of musicians on it, so I don’t know who does the guitar solos on the song but they are ace. Full marks to whoever played them. The song did feature on the mid 1980s TV show “Miami Vice.”

Track Listing:

  1. The Allnighter
  2. Sexy Girl
  3. I Got Love
  4. Somebody Else
  5. Lover’s Moon
  6. Smuggler’s Blues
  7. Let’s Go Home
  8. Better in the USA
  9. Living In Darkness
  10. New Love

Glenn Frey

Glenn Frey- lead vocals, guitar, bass, drums, piano, synthesizer

Josh Leo, Duncan Cameron- guitar

John ‘JR’ Robinson, Michael Huey, Larry Londin- drums

David Hood, Bryan Garofalo- bass

Greg Smith, Willie Bergman, Al Garth- saxophone

Vince Melamed, Allen Blazek, Barry Beckett- piano

Barry Beckett, David ‘Hawk’ Wollinski- synthesizer

Nick DeCaro- strings

Steve Foreman- percussion

Victor Feldman, Jack Tempchin, Oren Waters, Jack Galloway, Luke Waters- backing vocals

I might have mellowed a bit with age and while I like some of what’s on “The Allnighter,” it really isn’t my cup of tea. There are some good songs on it and it’s a great album to mellow out to or provide suitable background settings but I won’t put away my metal albums in favour of it.

Next post: I know I said at the beginning of the post that I’ll be starting with albums that came out originally in 1984 but I have to make an exception. Download is this weekend and I need the correct inspiration.

Kreator- Endless Pain

To download “Rock And Roll Children” for free, go to: https://maxreading.cf/olddocs/free-download-online-rock-and-roll-children-pdf-1609763556-by-michael-d-lefevre.html

 

 

 

 

 

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America’s Best Kept Secret: Hannah Wicklund and the Steppin Stones

Posted in Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 21, 2018 by 80smetalman

As most of you already know, I’ve come to America these past two weeks for not the happiest of reasons. However, in between my mother’s memorial service, the scattering of her ashes into the ocean and my getting stuck into cleaning her house, (she was a heavy smoker), there have been other more happier events like the wine tasting day my sister and her husband took me to. I also got to hook up with my old friend and true metal fan, Frank Formica, at a karaoke night. He even sang “Battle Hyms” by Manowar for me. So, it hasn’t been all gloom for me while I’ve been here, something I’ve been really grateful for.

Having some wine

On one of these more happier occasions, while at my sister and her husband’s house, they told me about this new lady blues guitarist whom they happened to see at some fair in New Jersey not long ago. The guitarists’ name was Hannah Wicklund and my brother in law, Mark Pickeral, who is a pretty good guitarist himself, was so blown away by this lady that he bought two of her albums. I believe this self titled one is her fourth album. But before I get into what a great album “Hannah Wicklund and the Steppin Stones” is, I have to say that when they showed me concert footage of Hannah, I was just as blown away. The album is excellent, it’s going to move into my top 15 for sure, but she is even more kick ass live. I hope that one day I have the opportunity of seeing her do so.

Hannah Wicklund has been called a combination of Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. I can see the comparison here because she has the power vocals of Janis and she can play guitar like Jimi. When I listen to her blues based guitar rock, I am reminded of other greats in this genre like Rory Gallagher, Robin Trower, Pat Travers, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and even  Eric Clapton. Her guitar playing can hold its own with any of these mentioned but none of them come close to her in her vocal ability. My God, can she sing! What we have here is a great singer who can shred brilliantly. For me, what’s not there to like?

The hardest thing I find to do when listening to “Hannah Wicklund & the Steppin Stones” is to pick a favourite track. Every time I think I might have chosen, another comes along and vies for the title. This is down to the fact that there are ten great songs on the album. Her vocals come through straight away on the opener, “Bomb Through the Breeze” and her sheer power is stamped on “Ghost.” Then she changes up on “Looking Glass.” My vote, possibly, for best guitar solo comes on “On the Road.” Then just when you think you got her pegged, she surprises you with a near ballad like closer, “Shadow Boxes and Porcelain Faces.” But on every song, Hannah’s vocal and guitar skills shine through.

Track Listing:

  1. Bomb Through the Breeze
  2. Ghost
  3. Looking Glass
  4. Mama Said
  5. On the Road
  6. Crushin
  7. Strawberry Moon
  8. Too Close to You
  9. Meet You Again
  10. Shadow Boxes and Porcelain Faces

Hannah Wicklund

Hannah Wicklund- lead vocals, guitar

I can’t find his name anywhere- bass

Luke Mitchell- drums

Note: Luke is also Hannah’s brother who fronts his own band, The High Divers.

One song wasn’t enough to do Hannah justice here so that’s why you are getting three. Hopefully, you will find as I do that Hannah Wicklund kicks ass and she is destined for great things.

Next post, I’ll decided that when I get back to the UK next week.

To get Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://crreadac.cf/current/ebooks-free-download-rock-and-roll-children-fb2-by-michael-d-lefevre.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1983: Brian May and Friends- Starfleet Project

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 30, 2016 by 80smetalman

220px-Starflet3pq

Here’s another album that would have passed me by hadn’t been for MTV. The single from Queen guitarist Brian May’s album, (yes I know it’s really an EP) “Starfleet Project” was never played on radio, at least not on my local station in New Jersey and this was before it degenerated into a top forty station. I remember the video for “Starfleet.” It looked like something out of “The Thunderbirds” with the puppets and stuff. The science fiction theme to the video added to it. To be honest, I couldn’t have cared less about the video but I loved the song and thus, had to get the EP.

From the video to "Starfleet"

From the video to “Starfleet”

Now you have probably noticed that the album is from Brian May and Friends and boy did Brian choose the right friends to help him record this. He got Eddie Van Halen to accompany him on the guitar and Alan Gratzer from REO Speedwagon fame to do the honours on the drums. Those names right there should tell you that what you are about to hear is totally going to blow you away and they do.

There might only be three songs on the album but they are three memorable ones, plus the fact that the shortest of these three is still over seven minutes made “Starfleet Project” an album in my book back then. Starting with the title track, it is the more commercial of the three. Brian shows that he knows his way around a keyboard a little bit but he still does some great guitar work on the song. I had always suspected from his Queen days that he could sing and he clearly shows it here.

Track two is the more bluesy “Let Me Out.” Here, May and Van Halen really start to go to town with the solos. They are so good that I can never remember what Brian wants to be let out of. However, it’s the third track that takes you to Neptune and beyond. Here we have the two mentioned guitar greats paying tribute to another guitar god, Eric Clapton, with “Blues Breaker.” When that happens you are guaranteed nothing short of guitar heaven. For nearly thirteen minutes, Brian and Eddie go back and forth trading off guitar solos, each one as good as the last. There is a short break in the action for a bit of ivory tinkling from Fred Mandel but things go back to the blistering solos. This song alone makes the entire album a must have.

Track Listing:

  1. Starfleet
  2. Let Me Out
  3. Blues Breaker
Brian May

Brian May

Brian May- guitar, vocals, keyboards

Eddie Van Halen- guitar, backing vocals

Alan Gratzer- drums

Phil Cohen- bass

Freddie Mandel- keyboards

Roger Taylor- backing vocals on “Starfleet”

Queen might have been taking a hiatus in 1983 but Brian May wasn’t. He went well above and beyond and showed his true talents on this album.

Next post: Bob Dylan- Infidels

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

 

 

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1983: George Thorogood and the Destroyers- Bad to the Bone

Posted in 1980s, films, Music, Rock, soundtracks, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 30, 2016 by 80smetalman

220px-George_Thorogood_&_The_Destroyers_-_Bad_To_The_Bone

Here’s another album that was released in 1982 but didn’t come to my attention until 1983 on account of my military commitments. Then it was very late in the year and only because of the film, “Christine,” a film about a possessed car based on the book by Stephen King. The title track to this album from George Thorogood and the Destroyers was the main single from the soundtrack. I can’t remember anything else appealing to me from the soundtrack so I didn’t get it but because I only associated “Bad to the Bone” with the film, the album nearly passed me by, nearly.

chirs

I’ve always been a rather big fan of George Thorogood and his unique-ish guitar style. Then again, I’ve always been a fan of blues based guitarists. “Bad to the Bone” is no departure from this. His guitar and vocal style is present throughout the entire album. While he only pens three of the ten songs himself, he definitely leaves his stamp on the other seven.

“Bad to the Bone” opens with one of his own. “Back to Wentzville” is a 1950s style boogie blues jam and it is perfect to open this album. The next two songs are more in line with George’s traditional blues-riff style and I’m sure the Isley Brothers wouldn’t be too upset over the way he jams on their song, “Nobody But Me.” “It’s a Sin” is more of a slower song but the George and his band inject a great deal of power into it. Next comes my second favourite track, “New Boogie Chillun.” This was a classic John Lee Hooker song and again, the performance of it is phenomenal. After that is the title track and possibly my favourite on the album. Wow, that’s two albums in a row where my favourite track is the single, I’m hope I’m not starting a trend here. Anyway, it is the second song he writes on the album and I think the main reason I like it so much is that I have been listening to that one separate from the rest of the album way too much. Still, it’s a great tune.

“Miss Luann” is the third and final song he writes on the album. This along with the other two, shows that he can definitely write songs which has me wondering why he has used so many covers on the album. Then again, he does each and every cover total justice. For instance, the very next song, “As the Years Go Passing By” is the closest thing to a ballad on the album. However, it also highlights the fact that George’s voice has a little bit more range than what he is usually given credit for. Still, he lays down yet another grand guitar solo on it. After a classic Chuck Berry number, the album closes with a Bob Dylan tune, “Wanted Man.” Even though you can clearly hear the Thorogood stamp on it, you can still work out that this is Dylan through the lyrics. Nevertheless, it’s a great one to go out on.

Track Listing:

  1. Back to Wentzville
  2. Blue Highway
  3. Nobody But Me
  4. It’s a Sin
  5. New Boogie Chillun
  6. Bad to the Bone
  7. Miss Luann
  8. As the Years Go Passing By
  9. No Particular Place to Go
  10. Wanted Man
George Thorogood

George Thorogood

George Thorogood- vocals, guitar

Billy Blough- bass

Jeff Simon- drums, percussion

Hank Carter- saxophone

Ian Stewart- piano, keyboards

Besides the fact it was a rubbish film, I think that the soundtrack to “Christine” was the first of a long list of film soundtracks back in the 1980s to try to incorporate different forms of music in an attempt to appeal to everyone. I don’t know for sure as I have no intention of listening to it. Why should I? After all, the best single on it can be found on a far more superior album.

Next post: Planet P Project

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

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1983: ZZ Top- Eliminator

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 14, 2016 by 80smetalman

220px-ZZ_Top_-_Eliminator

I wasn’t completely accurate when I said that Molly Hatchet’s “No Guts No Glory” album was the first vinyl record I bought after leaving the marines. In fact, I was only telling half the truth because I bought the record through a mail order record club but not only did I buy Molly Hatchet, I had also bought “Eliminator” by ZZ Top and they came in the same package. I won’t lose any sleep over it though, after all I had two great albums from 1983 to listen one right after the other, which I did.

For many people, ZZ Top’s “Eliminator” album epitomized 1983. It was one of those albums that brought people of different musical tastes together. Johnny-come-lately trendies liked it because ZZ Top sounded a little different and back then, anything to mainstream enthusiasts that sounded different was branded new wave. However, for harder rockers like me as well as those who had been listening to them for years, it was the fact that ZZ Top managed to do so well without compromising their musical style, well not too much anyway. They retained their Texas-bad boy-boogie-blues style rock that had endeared them to listeners such as myself. Believe me, unlike some artists about this time, “Eliminator” has never had me pining for their earlier classics like “Tres Hombres” or “El Loco.” It’s great as it stands.

The main reason why I like is that Billy Gibbons just basically rips through the entire album with his guitar solos. Pick any song on this album and guaranteed, I will be rocking away to his solo on it. But while Billy is sensational, you must give credit to the Dusty Hill and Frank Beard who must be one of the tightest rhythm sections in music. Another plus for “Eliminator” is the songs are so upbeat without being mushy. Most of the songs are topics we can all identify with. Yes, every girl is crazy about a sharp dressed man. It’s just too bad I didn’t take those words to heart back then and more than the average man, I am definitely a sucker for a nice pair of legs. We’ve all eaten TV dinners at one time in our lives. Oh, I do like that song because ZZ Top proved that they could add keyboards and still sound great. Then I think everybody gets the innuendo with “I Got the Six.” I could say that the song was about a dice game but I don’t think anyone would believe me somehow. One more thing, I think that “Got Me Under Pressure” is a very underrated song with some amusing lyrics.

“She don’t like other women, she likes whips and chains.
She likes cocaine and filppin’ out with great Danes.
She’s about all I can handle, it’s too much for my brain.”

The famous ZZ Top Eliminator car

The famous ZZ Top Eliminator car

Another first for me with this album was that it was the first one where I was influenced by video. Videos for the songs “Gimme All Your Lovin,'” “Sharp Dressed Man” and “Legs” all featured the famous eliminator car, (see above) and those three lovely ladies. Now, I’ll be the first one to say that ZZ Top didn’t need such things for this album to succeed because the music is that good but on the other hand, who am I to complain?

Remember these ladies from the ZZ Top videos?

Remember these ladies from the ZZ Top videos?

Track Listing:

  1. Gimme All Your Lovin’
  2. Got Me Under Pressure
  3. Sharp Dressed Man
  4. I Need You Tonight
  5. I Got the Six
  6. Legs
  7. Thug
  8. TV Dinners
  9. Dirty Dog
  10. If Only I Could Flag Her Down
  11. Bad Girl
ZZ Top

ZZ Top

Billy Gibbons- guitar, vocals

Dusty Hill- bass, keyboards, vocals

Frank Beard- drums, percussion

“Eliminator” by ZZ Top brings back fond memories of 1983 for me. It was a great album and on a personal note, it was a great one to return to civilian life to. It’s an album in the ZZ Top style that happened to gain loads of commercial success. Well done!

Next post: A Revelation That Might Interest Some Readers!

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 Albums of 1983: Pink Floyd- The Final Cut

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 28, 2015 by 80smetalman

I hope that everyone had a great Christmas and that you got all the music you wanted and you over indulged in good food and drink. I know I did and I drank both my gift bottles of The Trooper and Bohemian Lager. Plus, I introduced the game of beer pong to my step children.

Photo0053[1]

Photo0055[1]

beer pong

beer pong

Now onto the album…

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Like most of the world, I was really excited to hear that Pink Floyd released a new album in 1983. While I was beginning to wean myself off being influenced by what others said about a particular album in my decision to buy it, it wasn’t the case here. “The Final Cut,” at least in my surroundings was slammed mercilessly by deejays, critics and some people I knew who bought it. Therefore, I didn’t. After all, it seemed everybody was saying that the album sucked.

What I and many other people should have realized back then was that any album from Pink Floyd would have a very difficult time following up their mega giant, “The Wall.” That album will always been known as one of the greatest albums of all time, as was their other classic, “Dark Side of the Moon.” Now as I am much older and wiser, (that’s a matter for debate), I am able to listen to “The Final Cut” with a much more open mind.

220px-PinkFloydWallCoverOriginalNoText

pfdom

First and foremost, “The Final Cut” doesn’t suck in the least but I will make the predictable statement that it doesn’t compare to either of the two classic albums shown above. In fact, I hear reminders of both those albums and their 1977 “Animals” album in it. Except unlike that last mentioned album, there are no ten minute long songs on this album. Saying that, on this album, Pink Floyd do make use of sound effects, which was trademark for them throughout the 1970s and early 80s. But what I noticed straight away is that the songs, at least the first few, take shots at Margaret Thatcher.

Pink_Floyd-Animals-Frontal

What Roger Waters was trying to convey in the album was his frustration of seeing all of the liberal achievements made after World War II, where he lost his father, being eroded away by the election of Thatcher. In the very first song, Waters asks “What have we done, Maggie, what have we done? What have we done to England?” I admit that in 1983, lyrics like these would have been lost on me but today I totally understand the meaning.

Maybe it was the fact that many people weren’t quite ready for music to become too political at the time. My eyes were only opening up to such things. However, I think the music to the album is very typical of Pink Floyd and is why I loved listening to them all of these years. Like with any Floyd album, I could easily pop this one on, kick back on the couch and get absorbed into it while puffing the magic dragon. Only now, I would appreciate the lyrics to the songs much more. For me, the standout songs are the title track and “Not Now John,” which I now remember hearing on the radio and watching the video for back then.

Track Listing:

  1. Post War Dream
  2. Your Possible Pasts
  3. One of the Few
  4. The Hero’s Return
  5. The Gunner’s Dream
  6. Paranoid Eyes
  7. Get Your Filthy Hands Off My Desert
  8. The Fletcher Memorial Home
  9. Southampton Dock
  10. The Final Cut
  11. Not Now John
  12. Two Suns in the Sunset

pinkfloyd

Roger Waters- vocals, bass

David Gilmour- guitar, vocals

Nick Mason- drums

Additional Musicians

Michael Kamen- piano, harmonium

Andy Bown- organ

Ray Cooper- percussion

Raphael Ravenscroft- tenor sax

Forget what the critics said, “The Final Cut” is a good album from Pink Floyd. It contains all that I came to love about this band. Unfortunately, it would be the last one that this particular line up would record together.

Next post: Todd Rundgren- The Ever Tortured Artist Effect

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 1982: Hanoi Rocks- Self Destruction Blues

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 14, 2015 by 80smetalman

HANOI1

First of all, no one spotted the mistake in my last post. Boppinsblog came close as he pointed out that “Live At Budokan” was a Cheap Trick album, so one 80smetalman gold star awarded there. But that wasn’t the mistake I was referring to. Boppinsblog was close though because the mistake had to do with the quote from Wayne’s World. See, the quote I used on the last post was from Wayne’s World 1 while the photo below it was from Wayne’s World 2. I’m afraid that no one gets the grand prize this time.

Now onto the second album in 1982 from Finnish glam metallers, Hanoi Rocks. When I visited the predecessor, “Oriental Beat,” I commented on what a great feel good, party album it was and I stick by that. I won’t be so flowery about the second album, “Self Destruction Blues.” The album just simply bloody rocks!

Just about every track on this album is an absolute corker and one thing that it has in common with its predecessor is that each songs seems to improve as the album progresses. Except for maybe “Whispers in the Dark,” that’s not quite as good as the others. However, putting it first wouldn’t be a good idea because “Love’s an Injection” is such a great opener. If you think that “Problem Child” was a cover of the AC/DC classic, it is nothing of the sort. It’s still a cool song.

What I find about most of the songs on this album is that the titles of the songs hardly appear in their song. “Desperado,” my favourite track, is only sung once. If I didn’t have the title in front of me, I would have thought it was called “Ten Thousand Heartaches.” Nevertheless, the song is just brilliant so full marks to the band for that little twist. The same can be said for such other cool tracks like “Beer and a Cigarette” and “Kill City Kills.” Again both are great tracks. The title track is actually done in a blues fashion and it’s good to hear Michael Monroe’s voice stretching out a bit. Full marks to the band again. The closer, “Dead by Xmas,” in my mind is a case of Bon Jovi meets The Clash. I mean the piano sounds very similar to that on the first Bon Jovi single “Runaway.” Then when the song kicks in, it sounds very much like The Clash but it’s well done. In fact, I think the humour that went into the album, along with some fine songs, make “Self Destruction Blues” a fantastic album.

Track Listing:

  1. Love’s an Injection
  2. I Want You
  3. Cafe Avenue
  4. Nothing New
  5. Kill City Kills
  6. Self Destruction Blues
  7. Beer and a Cigarette
  8. Whispers in the Dark
  9. Taxi Driver
  10. Desperado
  11. Problem Child
  12. Dead by Xmas
Hanoi Rocks

Hanoi Rocks

Michael Monroe- lead vocals

Andy McCoy- guitar

Nasty Suicide- guitar

Sam Yaffa- bass

Gyp Casino- drums

After the recording of the album, Gyp Casino would leave the band and be replaced by Razzle

Another fun hard rocking album from Hanoi Rocks in 1982. Had I been more aware of this band in the year, I would have concluded that Finland must be a place to rock because albums like this one certainly give that impression.

Next Post: Saxon- The Eagle Has Landed

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 1982: Sammy Hagar- Three Lock Box

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on August 17, 2015 by 80smetalman

220px-Three_Lock_Box

By 1982, Sammy Hagar was attracting the attention of many people in the rock world, including mine. After several kick ass albums and some great songs on a couple of soundtracks, my curiosity was certainly aroused. It was this 1982 album “Three Lock Box,” that allowed me to listen to the Red Rocker in his fully glory.

The opening title track ever most definitely sets the pace for the album straight away. His opening vocals, “Suckers walk, money talks, but it can’t touch my three lock box,” has been etched in my mind for all eternity. It’s not just the lyrics though, that fuzzy blues rock guitar that kicks in a second later propels it through to the ionosphere. The song not only allows me to appreciate Hagar’s vocal ability but I can also give him respect as a guitarist. Funny thing is that “Three Lock Box” isn’t my all time favourite Hagar song, that’s still to come.

“Three Lock Box,” the album, doesn’t depreciate as it goes further down the line with more songs. “Remote Love” has a good intro and I like it as a rock song but it’s the very next song that wins my award for the album’s best hidden gem. “Remember the Heroes” is a true rocker with a great rocking introduction and some fantastic guitar soloing in the middle. What a great song, maybe they should of released that one as a single but instead, the known single from the album is “Your Love is Driving Me Crazy.” The song is what it is, great single material and I did like it when it came on the radio in the day. After the single, the album goes back to some more good Hagar sounding rock. He stretches out a bit with the next song, “In the Room.” Maybe he was trying to sound more new wave here, I don’t know. Saying that, I won’t take anything away from it, I do like it. Things go more hard rock with the next track, “Rise of the Animal” and I can hear some good guitar tweaking in that one. It does go out with a cool guitar solo. That leads the album to the end with the four remaining tracks although I really dig the straight forward rocker, “Growing Up.” It precedes the closest thing Sammy has to a ballad on the album, “With Never Give Up.” That too was released as a single but it didn’t do as well as “Your Love is Driving Me Crazy.” Still, it’s not a bad song and then there’s the closer, “I Don’t Need Love.” Another cool rock song that at first listen had me asking myself, “Why is this the last song on the album?” Then I answered my own question when I heard how the guitars ended the song. In short, after hearing “Three Lock Box,” I was converted to Sammy Hagar.

Track Listing

  1. Three Lock Box
  2. Remote Love
  3. Remember the Heroes
  4. Your Love is Driving Me Crazy
  5. In the Room
  6. Rise of the Animal
  7. I Wouldn’t Change a Thing
  8. Growing Up
  9. Never Give Up
  10. I Don’t Need Love
  11. Sammy Hagar

    Sammy Hagar

    Sammy Hagar- vocals, guitar

  12. Bill Church- bass

Gary Pihl- guitar

David Lauser- drums

Guest musicians

Jonathan Cain- keyboards on “Remember the Heroes”

Mike Reno- vocals on “Remember the Heroes”

Sammy Hagar not only made a believer out of me in 1982, he made one out of many people. “Three Lock Box” is the reason why. It is my favourite album of Sammy’s and listening to it, reminds me why.

Next post: Diamond Head- Borrowed Time

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 1982: Michael Schenker Group- Assault Attack

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 12, 2015 by 80smetalman

220px-Msgassault

There is a story from back in the day in which this album is involved but not in a good way. In the closing weeks of 1982, I was stationed on Okinawa. On most Saturday nights, my friends and I would hit this rock club about 10 miles from the base. I won’t go into too many details about the club as that is reserved for a future post but I will say that they had video screens which were state of the art back then. One song that received a lot of play on those screens was “Cry for the Nations” by Michael Schenker Group. I liked the song enough to want to check out the album. During my search, I assumed that the song was current, so I looked up their most current album at the time, “Assault Attack.” However, seeing that the desired song wasn’t on this album, I put it down and continued my search. After all these years, and finally listening to the album, I see what a fool I’ve been. The worst part was that I can’t blame being in the service for missing it because I had this album in my hands! Anyway, what I have learned that this album totally kicks ass.

When I posted “Great Guitarists of the 70s,” an old friend of mine stated that he would have added Michael Schenker to the list. While I wasn’t totally naive to the guitar mastery of Mr Schenker, it took this album to agree that he possibly should have been included, at the very least, in the group of underrated guitarists because this guy can play. What amazes me most is his versatile style. He lays down some great blues based riffs on “Rock You to the Ground” but goes more straight ahead metal with the likes of “Assault Attack,” Samurai” and “Desert Song.” Then he shines in the spotlight with the instrumental “Ulcer.” Bad joke alert: I did not get one after hearing that track. Anyway, I humbly beg Michael Schenker’s forgiveness in ignoring his guitar talents and make a vow to rectify that.

Of the lead singers who fronted Rainbow over the years, I must say that Graham Bonnet was always my least favourite. While Ronnie James Dio will always be my favourite, I even put Joe Lynn Turner above Bonnet. After listening to his vocals on “Assault Attack,” I am now in the mind that my feelings about that era of Rainbow were nothing to do with Graham but more to do with the songs they put out at the time; too commercial for me. Listening to him with MSG, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read that he was the lead singer because his vocals are just superb on this album. One prime example is “Dancer” but he hits the notes on every song on the album. I have the feeling that I’m going to be eating a lot of humble pie after making this post because Graham, you rock here!

Track Listing:

1. Assault Attack

2. Rock You to the Ground

3. Dancer

4. Samurai

5. Desert Song

6. Broken Promises

7. Searching for a Reason

8. Ulcer

Michael Schenker Group

Michael Schenker Group

Michael Schenker- guitars

Graham Bonnet- vocals

Chris Glen- bass

Ted McKenna- drums

Tommy Eyre- keyboards

Cliched quotes like “all’s well that ends well” and “better late than never” are entering my mind in regards to this great album by the Michael Schenker Group. Unfortunately, none of them justify the fact that back in 1982, I literally let a fantastic album slip through my fingers. As for “Cry for the Nations,” I did find the song on a live album and that’s coming next.

Next post: Michael Schenker Group- One Night at Bukokan

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