Archive for Blues

Great Rock Albums of 1982: Gillan- Magic

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 30, 2015 by 80smetalman

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The 1982 “Magic” album would be the last studio album from Gillan and this probably is why they are the best British rock/metal act not to have made it big in the US. The band would disband after this album with Ian Gillan going onto to front Black Sabbath before reforming with Deep Purple. So the million dollar question is, did they go out with a bang?

One advantage for me in answering that question is that I’m still pretty much a new comer to Gillan because they didn’t make a huge impact in America. While, I have heard many of their previous albums and posted about them on here, I haven’t listened to them enough to arrange them in any sort of order to preferences. Furthermore, I try not to pay attention to chart positions and don’t give a crap if “Magic” didn’t chart as high as “Glory Road.” That makes it easier for me to judge this album on its own. I have also heard plenty of final albums from bands who disbanded after and I can say that since this is a last album from Gillan, they definitely go out on a high.

With “Magic,” Gillan try to walk a fine tightrope between hard and more synthesizer rock, which they do quite well. There are some great rockers like the opener, “What’s the Matter” and credit where due, Janick Gers lays down a mean guitar solo on “Bluesy Blue Sea.” I didn’t realise he was so capable of playing in the blues like style. Another great rocker is “Driving Me Wild.” On the synthesizer side is “Caught in a Trap” and “Devil Driver” which goes way out there on a very progressive yet creative streak. That one is definitely one to have playing while contemplating the universe. Of all the tracks, the one that brings both the guitar and synthesizer sides together to make a great song is “Living for the City.” It starts with the keyboard making one think that this is going to be in that vein when the guitar just steps in and takes over. Once again, Gers plays a great guitar solo and the keyboards don’t disappear but continue to add to the flavour. What stops it from being a fantastic song, unfortunately, is the vocals of Ian Gillan. He tries to hard to be a screaming rock singer when he doesn’t have to be. His voice is good enough without having to do that. Still, “Magic” is a great album.

Track Listing:

1. What’s the Matter

2. Bluesy Blue Sea

3. Caught in a Trap

4. Long Gone

5. Driving Me Wild

6. Demon Driver

7. Living a Lie

8. You’re So Right

9. Living For the City

10. Demon Driver (reprise)

Gillan (from this album)

Gillan 

Ian Gillan- vocals, harmonica

Janick Gers- guitar

Colin Towns- keyboards

John McCoy- bass

Mick Underwood- drums

After “Magic,” the members of Gillan would go their separate ways and move onto other things. With the person whom the band is named after, that would be left to history. It’s good that unlike so many other bands whose final album isn’t up to much, Gillan at least goes out with a bang with theirs.

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 1982: Frank Zappa- Ship Arriving Too Late To Save a Drowning Witch

Posted in 1980s, Humour, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 5, 2015 by 80smetalman

Frank_Zappa_-_Ship_Arriving_Too_Late_to_Save_a_Drowning_Witch

It was true that Men At Work brought a fresh sense of humour to music in 1982, however, Frank Zappa had been bringing humour to music for nearly a decade and a half before that. In 1982, Frank gave us the album “Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch.” What’s more, this album gave him his only top forty single with the help of his daughter Moon Unit. “Valley Girl” made it to number 32 in the pop singles charts and to number 12 in the mainstream rock charts. It also had many girls and quite a few guys using the lingo from the song. Terms like “barf me out,” “gag me with a spoon” and “groady to the max” were all used quite liberally in 1982 and for the next few years after.

Moon Zappa

Moon Zappa

“Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch” only has six songs on it but they are all memorable ones, usually the case with Zappa. Except for the track “Envelopes,” which is an instrumental, the songs all have that trademark warped sense of humour that he possessed. They also have, the instrumental track included, the precise musicianship that a Zappa album always had. In the case of this particular album, a then little known guitar named Steve Vai makes an appearance, playing what is credited on the album as ‘credited guitar parts.’ What some people sometimes forget and I will keep shouting from the rooftops, is that Frank was a damn good guitarist himself. He really smokes the fingerboard on the title track of the album and does a similar job on “I Come From Nowhere.” In fact, after refamiliarising myself with this album, I am lead to draw the conclusion that with the possible exception of “Joe’s Garage Act 1,” “Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch” has the perfect balance of humour and musicianship for a Zappa album.

Steve Vai

Steve Vai

Track Listing:

1. No Not Now

2. Valley Girl

3. I Came From Nowhere

4. Drowning Witch

5. Envelopes

6. Teenage Prostitute

Frank Zappa

Frank Zappa

Frank Zappa- vocals, lead guitar

Steve Vai- guitar (impossible guitar parts)

Ray White- rhythm guitar, vocals

Tommy Mars- keyboards

Bobby Martin- keyboards, saxophone

Ed Mann- percussion

Scott Thunes- bass (tracks 2,4,5,6)

Arthur Barrow- bass (tracks 1 and 3)

Patrick O’Hearn- bass on the guitar solo on track 3

Chris Wackerman- drums

Ike Willis- vocals

Roy Estrada- vocals

Bob Harris- vocals

Lisa Popeil- vocals on “Teenage Prostitute”

Moon Unit Zappa- vocals on “Valley Girl”

If you want humour and good musicianship, then a Frank Zappa album is the best way to get it. It just so happens that this album hits the right combination of both.

Next post: Utopia- Swing To the Right

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

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Great Rock Albums of 1982: Greatest Hits of The Outlaws- High Tides Forever

Posted in 1979, 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 5, 2015 by 80smetalman

ghoutlaws

 Whether it was down to the lack of commercial success of the 1982 studio album, “Los Hombres Malo,” or simply because they thought it was the appropriate time but in 1982, The Outlaws decided to release a greatest hits album. So, they chose eight of their best songs and put out what was to be a must have for any Outlaws fan or someone who considered themselves a purveyor of Southern Rock. I was the latter.

It might have been only eight songs buy by God, what eight great songs they are! There are the three best known songs, at least to me, “Green Grass and High Tides,” “Ghost Riders in the Sky” and “There Goes Another Love Song,” which I had always thought was on the “Los Hombres Malo” album because I remember it being played quite a bit on radio in early 1983. As an added bonus, the version of “Ghost Riders” is a live recording that sounds really good. The album also opened my eyes to some of the lesser known Outlaws jams as well. “Hurry Sundown,” “Holiday” and “Stick Around for Rock and Roll” are all great songs as can only be done by the Outlaws. All three have those long guitar solos in that Southern Blues based fashion. The only track that doesn’t go in this mold is “Take It Anyway You Want It.” It actually has a more harder edge but lasting only three minutes and fifteen seconds, is very short for an Outlaws song. It’s still a decent song goes well in this compilation of Outlaws’ history.

Track Listing:

1. Stick Around for Rock And Roll

2. There Goes Another Love Song

3. Take It Anyway You Want It

4. Green Grass and High Tides

5. Ghost Riders in the Sky

6. Hurry Sundown

7. Holiday

8. You Are the Show

The Outlaws

The Outlaws

Rick Cua- bass, lead and backing vocals

David Dix- drums, percussion

Dave Lane- fiddle, violin

Dave Lyons- keyboards, lead and backing vocals

Freddie Salem- guitar, lead and backing vocals

Hughie Thomasson- guitar, banjo, lead and backing vocals

There are so many greatest hits albums around that it’s no wonder that the Outlaws would put out one of their own. “High Tides Forever” contains the classics that made their name at the time.

Next post: Rush- Signals

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 1982: The Outlaws- Los Hombres Malo

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 25, 2015 by 80smetalman

220px-The_Outlaws_-_Los_Hombres_Malo

 It often pays to be in the right place at the right time and in the case of the Outlaws “Los Hombres Malo” album, I was fortunate to be in the south when this album was released. Otherwise, it might have passed me by. “Los Hombres Malo” isn’t one of the Outlaws’ better known albums like “Ghost Riders” or “In the Eye of the Storm” or in fact, some of the classic albums they made in the mid to late 1970s. All that aside, it’s still a pretty good album.

The Outlaws have never been as heavy as Southern Rockers such as Blackfoot or Molly Hatchet. Their sound is more bluesier with some great long lead guitar solos like their all time classic jam, “Green Grass and High Tides.” It is more of the same with “Los Hombres Malo.” “Don’t Stop” is a classic Outlaws type song and opens the album quite well and it’s followed up by the similar sounding “Foxtail Lilly.” “Rebel Girl” is the only song I remember getting any airplay, even on southern stations and it is a decent song except that the guitar solo isn’t as long. My assumption: they were asked to shorten the lead for airplay. The rest of the album goes back to the more traditional Outlaws sound and if, while listening to it, you think that every song is in the same vein, the album throws a curve ball with the more slower “Running.” It’s a ballad done the Outlaws’ way. “Easy Does It” and “All Roads” end the album just fine. While this album doesn’t make me want to forget some of the more classic albums, it doesn’t make me want to discard it for them either.

Track Listing:

1. Don’t Stop

2. Foxtail Lilly

3. Rebel Girl

4. Goodbye

5. Back From Eternity

6. Won’t Come Out of the Rain

7. Running

8. Easy Does It

9. All Roads

The Outlaws

The Outlaws

Rick Cua- bass, lead and backing vocals

David Dix- drums, percussion

Dave Lane- fiddle, violin

Dave Lyons- keyboards, lead and backing vocals

Freddie Salem- guitar, lead and backing vocals

Hughie Thomasson- guitar, banjo, lead and backing vocals

One event I regret missing in 1982 was that the Outlaws and Blackfoot toured together. That must have been an amazing show. They would have played some songs from “Los Hombres Malo” and that would have been cool.

Next post: The Top in in Israel, in April 1982.

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 1982: Dire Straits- Love Over Gold

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 4, 2015 by 80smetalman

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When I visited Dire Straits’ previous album, “Making Movies,” I mentioned that when I saw them live in 1985, how disappointed I was that they did not play my favourite song from that album and my number two Dire Straits song of all time, “Skateaway.” To add to that disappointment and my total perplexity on this, they did not play the biggest single from their 1982 album, “Love Over Gold,” “Industrial Disease” either. What was strange about that was even three years later, that song still got the occasional play on the radio.

“Industrial Disease” isn’t only the best known song on the album but it is the only track less than six minutes in length. The others are nearly seven or more and the opener, “Telegraph Road,” is just over fourteen minutes long. The opener sets the tone for the entire album. Normally, I view songs over ten minutes in length with both optimism and pessimism. Either the song is going to rock out with interludes of great solos and combined musicianship or just be boringly repetitive. Fortunately, “Telegraph Road” follows the former. While, Mark Knopfler’s vocals aren’t too intelligible on the track, he makes up for it with some sound guitar work in different points of the song. It helps that he has assistance from some polished keyboard work, compliments of Alan Clark. If Knopfler’s vocals aren’t intelligible in the opener, they are even less so on the next track, “Private Investigations” but like the first track, it is more than made up for with some fine instrumental work. “Industrial Disease” takes the middle slot of the album and we get more of same quality blend of progressive rock and blues based lead guitar with the title track and a very worthy closer. “Love Over Gold” might only have five tracks stretched out over forty minutes but they are definitely ones to remember.

Track Listing:

1. Telegraph Road

2. Private Investigations

3. Industrial Disease

4. Lover Over Gold

5. It Never Rains

Dire Straits

Dire Straits

Mark Knopfler- lead vocals, lead guitar

Hal Lindes- guitar

Alan Clark- keyboards

John Illsley- bass

Pick Withers- drums

After thirty years, I remain dumbfounded as to why Dire Straits never played “Industrial Disease” on their 1985 tour. I can only speculate that maybe they were advised not to play too much of their early stuff on tour because they were pushing their most commercially successful album then. Still, it would be a shame because there are five really good tracks on the “Love Over Gold” album and the longer tracks tend to sound much better live.

Next post: 38 Special- Special Forces

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 1981: UFO- The Wild, The Willing and The Innocent

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Humour, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 6, 2014 by 80smetalman

220px-The_Wild,_the_Willing_and_the_Innocent

Like Riot, UFO were another band that I should have listened to back in the day but never did. While, Riot were always in my to do tray, UFO almost completely passed me by. I had heard of them but nothing more. It wasn’t until I came to Great Britain in 1986, that I finally listened to them thanks to a friend who had been listening to them for years. More unfortunate was the fact it wasn’t this damn fine 1981 album, “The Wild, The Willing and The Innocent” but due the the year, it was the material they had put out around the time.

Now that I have rectified that mistake, I feel slightly sick that this great album escaped my notice for so so many years. What’s not to like on it? The album starts with a very attention grabbing guitar riff and then blossoms into “Chains Chains,” a song that will be added to my ever growing list of great album opening tracks. “Long Gone” moves the album along very nicely and makes me want to bang my head (against a wall for missing out this album.) While some people may debate whether UFO should be considered “proper metal,” I must bring a little history into the debate. See, back then, even as early as 1981, there were some who were quick to label any music with a hard guitar riff, heavy metal and right or wrongly, UFO were put into the group. True, the next two tracks, I would consider to be more AOR sounding, but not really any less heavy. However, the three tracks after that, do stamp UFO’s heavy sound. I love how “Lonely Heart” where the combined title and intro sucks you in with the belief it’s going to be a ballad before ambushing you with some really heavy sounds and the guitar riffs in “Couldn’t Get it Right” are just sublime. The album finishes with a bit of irony. Any song called “Profession of Violence” would lead me to believe that it would play well to those in a mosh pit. Instead, it’s a very well played bluesy number with some impressive soloing. Well done lads, this album made a believer out of me.

Track Listing:

1. Chains Chains

2. Long Gone

3. The Wild, The Willing and The Innocent

4. It’s Killing Me

5. Making Moves

6. Lonely Heart

7. Couldn’t Get It Right

8. Profession of Violence

UFO

UFO

Phil Mogg- vocals

Paul Chapman- guitars

Neil Carter- keyboards, guitars, saxophone, vocals

Pete Way- bass

Andy Parker- drums

If like me, you let this album slip past you, do like me and listen to it straight away. If you do so on Youtube, you may have to search one track at a time but it’s worth it. “The Wild, The Willing and The Innocent” is a great album.

Next post: Motley Crue- Too Fast For Love

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 1981: Thin Lizzy- Renegade

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 23, 2014 by 80smetalman

Thin_Lizzy_-_Renegade

There were several artists in the 1970’s and early 80’s that were hard rock bands but as the latter decade progressed, some people considered them to be heavy metal acts. The next four posts will be dedicated principal artists who fell into this category and some of them accepted being called metal better than others but they all put out albums in 1981. First of these, only because I listed them first, was Thin Lizzy. It’s hard to say how they would have reacted to being labeled heavy metal since they broke up in 1983. However, I know a lot of metalheads, especially in the UK, who were heavily into them.

One critic called the 1981 “Renegade” album Thin Lizzy’s worst album. Well after listening to it, I have drawn the conclusion that if this is their worst album, I have to hear what he calls their best. I find nothing to dislike about “Renegade.” True, I thought the first two tracks, “Angel of Death” and “Renegade” started off a little proggy but the first of those quickly reverted to the more traditional Thin Lizzy sound. The rest of the album carries on sounding like the Thin Lizzy I have grown to love. “The Pressure Will Blow” and “Hollywood (Down On Your Luck)” both carry the trademark sound and in between them is the slightly more bluesier “Leave This Town.” Another point this critic made was that there were elements of NWOBHM on the album. I can definitely hear that on the song “No One Told Him” but I say there’s nothing wrong with that. With the likes of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Saxon around at the time, it should come as no surprise that that sound should find it’s way into Thin Lizzy’s music. I think it sounds good. One song that is noticeably different to the rest is “Fats” which has a pop/lounge act sound reminiscent of the Little River Band. What is prominent on the song is the keyboard skills of Darren Wharton who had been fully included into the band on this album. Still, “Fats” isn’t enough to make me agree with the critic’s assertion that Thin Lizzy were trying to sound pop. The critic might have said the same thing about “Mexican Blood” although that has a harder sound than “Fats” and that leads to the rocking closer “It’s Getting Dangerous.” Maybe this critic thought so little of the album because of the drug problems the band members were experiencing at the time and there are occurrences in Lynott’s voice that suggest this but at the end of the day, there is nothing I dislike about “Renegade.”

Track Listing:

1. Angel of Death

2. Renegade

3. The Pressure Will Blow

4. Leave This Town

5. Hollywood (Down on Your Luck)

6. No One Told Him

7. Fats

8. Mexican Blood

9. It’s Getting Dangerous

Thin Lizzy

Thin Lizzy

Phil Lynott- bass, lead vocals

Scott Goram- guitar, backing vocals

Snowy White- guitar, backing vocals

Darren Wharton- keyboards, backing vocals

Brian Downey- drums, percussion

Some people considered Thin Lizzy to be on their way out with this album due to the drug problems and I have to admit, I never listened to “Renegade” until recently because I believed the same. But even with all that, I found that I nearly missed a great album by one of the major bands to influence metal.

Next post: Alice Cooper- Special Forces

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Why Dura Silex Should Be Signed

Posted in Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, television, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 13, 2014 by 80smetalman

Not long ago, I obtained possession of a demo CD from a band named Dura Silex. Before, I go on any further, I’d like to just say that I was hoping for a group photo from the band but since I haven’t received one, I thought I would post about them anyway. The reason is that after my first listen to their demo CD, I was so blown away that I promised myself that I would do a post listing my reasons why they should have a record deal in the same way I felt that Black Emerald should have had one when I saw them at Bloodstock last year.

Black Emerald

Black Emerald

First a little background: Dura Silex, which is Latin for hard rock, come from Southern New Jersey and at the moment comprise just two members, guitarist Mark Pickeral and lead singer Marie Christina. If her name sounds vaguely familiar, that is because she attended Rock and Roll Fantasy camp and got to perform along side the likes of Howard Leese (Heart), Kip Winger (Winger) and Rudy Sarzo (Quiet Riot, Whitesnake). The demo was recorded at Mark Pickeral’s home studio and he programs the bass and drums for it.

Now if you were counting on Dura Silex and Black Emerald together on a joint tour, it probably wouldn’t work. While Black Emerald are more your straight forward metal band and they’re very good at it, Dura Silex has a sound that favours a hard blues rock sort of vibe. First, since I have already mentioned her, let’s start with the vocals of Marie Christina. Her opera background comes through with the very first track and it is beautiful to hear. It is so good and unique that it’s hard to compare her to any other vocalist, though that’s not a bad thing. The closest I would say is Liv Christine of Leave’s Eyes. Christina’s operatic voice really shines through the most on the second track, “Ego Maniac.” However, the opera training does not compromise her power to go total rock and roll. The result is one part that makes Dura Silex, great vocals.

Liv Christine and Leaves Eyes

Liv Christine and Leaves Eyes

Now onto guitarist Mark Pickeral. I have to confess here, I may appear a little biased here because Mark is my brother in law but related or not, he definitely knows how to bend a six string. I have heard previous offerings from him in the past but on this demo he really goes to town. It is his playing that has led me to conclude that Dura Silex play a hard blues rock sound. His efforts remind me of Pat Travers or Rory Gallagher but at the same time, his playing style is unique. The end result is the combined playing style of Mark and the vocals of Marie make a great team. You only have to listen to the demo to be converted.

Rory Gallagher

  Rory Gallagher

Pat Travers

Pat Travers

 Track Listing:

1. Louder Than Lies

2. Ego Maniac

3. Thief of Hearts

4. For the Love

5. Roaming

6. Walk Through Fire

7. Through to You

8. Last Laugh

9. Waiting

10. Dream Walker

11. Down on My Luck

While it has been said that these aren’t the best tracks Dura Silex have laid down, (they’re saving their best for a more professional demo) the ones here would make up an album that would make any artist proud. “Louder Than Lies” is a great opener and “Down on My Luck” is a fantastic closer. In between, there are nine songs that really rock. The ones which really stick out for me are “Thief of Hearts,” “Through to You,” “Last Laugh” and “Waiting.” If these tracks should appear on line and I will let you know if it does, then have a listen to them. You should be in agreement with me that any record label who passes on them is just plain stupid.

Next post: American Pop, Soundtrack

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 1981: Rolling Stones- Tattoo You

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 3, 2014 by 80smetalman

220px-TattooYou81

Once again, the more astute among you may or may not have noticed that through my tours of both 1978 and 1980, I didn’t visit the two albums released by the Rolling Stones in those years. To many, this might sound very strange because the Rolling Stones have been one of the stalwarts of rock for over half a century now. Throughout the 1960s and 7os they put out a huge number of songs and albums that will continue to live on throughout rock history. There are even some songs that would sound great metalised. So why didn’t I visit the 1978 “Some Girls” album and the 1980 “Emotional Rescue?” For me, the answer is quite simple. I thought both of those albums were too disco for my liking. The 1981 album “Tattoo You,” in my humble opinion took them back to their roots. The album sounded like the Stones of old and they finally remembered what had made them so great.

“Tattoo You” is a two part album in a sense. The first six songs are all cool rockers, the first of which is the big single “Start Me Up.” When I first heard that song on the radio, I was convinced that the Rolling Stones had come back. Normally, I get concerned when the single opens an album because that’s usually the ploy of one hit wonders but I have to say, it works well for “Tattoo You.” That song is a good one to wake you up on a Wednesday morning. (Note: War Pigs by Black Sabbath is reserved for Monday mornings.) If you think that you can take a breath after “Start Me Up,” you can’t because “Hang Fire,” the second track has the same effect. The next four songs all have the same effect and I love the hard blues rock sound of “Black Limousine.” I don’t know if it’s Ronnie Wood or Keith Richards who play the solo on that song, but it is well done.

The remainder of the album goes into a more bluesier sound although not as hard as “Black Limousine.” “Worried About You,” “Tops” and “Heaven” are all in this vein  as is “No Use In Crying.” These songs wind the album down to the more mellow closer “Waiting on a Friend” which seems to close the album out very well. I remember hearing that song blasting out of cafe juke boxes when I was in Toulon, France in May of 1982. What the album does accomplish for me is the fact that it’s a massive improvement from the previous two.

Track Listing:

1. Start Me Up

2. Hang Fire

3. Slave

4. Little T & A

5. Black Limousine

6. Neighbours

7. Worried About You

8. Tops

9. Heaven

10. No Use in Crying

11. Waiting On a Friend

Rolling Stones

Rolling Stones

Mick Jagger- vocals

Keith Richards- guitar

Ronnie Wood- guitars

Bill Wyman- bass, synthesiser on “Heaven”

Charlie Watts- drums

After doing a little historical research, I was surprised to discover that the bulk of this album was out takes and previously unreleased material. Whatever the case, it worked and re-established the Rolling Stones as a serious force in rock.

Next post: The Go-Go’s- Beauty and the Beat

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

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Great Rock Albums of 1981: Dire Straits- Making Movies

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 22, 2014 by 80smetalman

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In spite of the fact that I loved both of Dire Straits’ previous two albums, “Making Movies” kind of passed me by in 1981. What is even stranger is that I know the first three tracks on the album very well. Track three, “Skateaway” is my second favourite Dire Straits song of all time. I still haven’t forgiven them for not playing it when I saw them live in 1985. They did play the other two songs and my number one favourite, “Sultans of Swing”  but that’s little consolation.

Thinking back to that night I saw them live, “Tunnel of Love” was the concert closer and for some reason, I remember it being played slower than what appears on the album. My theory was that they may have been trying to sound more mid 80s. The version on album has all the trademarks of the great music this band was making at the time. Mark Knopfler plays his classic licks throughout and he does the same with the second track, “Romeo and Juliet.” Those two songs build up perfectly to the song whose praises I can’t sing enough, great song but I know I’m biased here. However, three tracks don’t an album make and the great music that is on “Making Movies” continues to go on long after. In fact, it goes on immediately into the next track “Expresso Love.” The opening riffs to the song are rocking and I can’t take anything away from the final three tracks on the album. The first of those three, “Hand in Hand” might be a little slower than the rest but it doesn’t detract from the quality of this album because the last two songs bring it all home very nicely. So, this is yet another album that makes me want to travel back in time and force the me back then to listen to it.

Track Listing:

1. Tunnel of Love

2. Romeo and Juliet

3. Skateaway

4. Expresso Love

5. Hand in Hand

6. Solid Rock

7. Les Boys

Dire Straits

Dire Straits

Mark Knopfler- guitar, lead vocals

John Illsley- bass, vocals

Pick Withers- drums, vocals

Additional musicians

Roy Bittan- keyboards

Sid McGuiness- guitar

One historical part in “Making Movies” was that David Knopfler left the band during the recording of the album in 1980. I don’t know the reasons behind this but am always open to enlightenment. “Making Movies” is a fantastic album and hearing it makes me slightly sick that I let it go by me for all these years. Still, I’m not yet ready to forgive Dire Straits for not playing “Skateaway.” It could be a reason why I don’t give an account of the concert on “Rock And Roll Children,” just merely a mention.

Next post: The Pretenders II

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