Archive for Bob Dylan

Rest in Peace- Tom Petty

Posted in 1980s, Death, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 2, 2017 by 80smetalman

Tom Petty

It seems that 2017 is determined to suck as much as 2016 with another great rocker going to the great gig in the sky. Tom Petty entertained us with some great music for four decades whether it be with his band, Tom Petty and the Heartbrakers, solo material and a brief stint with the Travelling Willburys who included Bob Dylan, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison and the late George Harrison.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/tom-petty-legendary-rocker-is-dead-at-66/

Not only was Tom a great musician, he was a great song writer and as someone pointed out to me recently, those skills were very underrated. So, I guess the best thing to do is to pull out any or all of his great albums, (my favourite has always been “Damn the Torpedoes”) and give them a listen to commemorate this great rocker.

 

 

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Great Rock Albums of 1983: Bob Dylan- Infidels

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 3, 2016 by 80smetalman

Bob_Dylan_-_Infidels

“Infidels” was Bob Dylan’s first album after his three albums professing his faith as a Born Again Christian. Now I posted about two of those albums, “Slow Train Coming” and “Saved” and like I said at the time, I have no problems with people who want to use music to express their beliefs on anything, within my personal boundaries on decency, which are quite broad. Those two albums were quite good in their own right and I remain convinced that those albums from Bob helped usher in the emerging tide of Christian rock artists that were gaining notoriety in 1983. Anyway, enough about that because it is said that “Infidels” with Dylan’s first secular album since his conversion and in many ways, it is a good album.

The first time I heard the single, “Neighborhood Bully” on the radio, I was duly impressed. To me, that song had a bit of hard rock swagger to it with a very catchy rhythm. In fact, it has taken it’s place as my fourth favourite Bob Dylan song. What also has fascinated me about the song was trying to figure out who was the neighborhood bully he was singing about. My first, thoughts was on account of the political climate at the time, that the bully might have been the Sandinista regime in Nicaragua and Ronald Regan’s determination to make war on it. It could have been a Middle Eastern country and it turns out that I was right. After reading about it, (they didn’t have Wikopedia in 1983), I found out that he was singing about Israel and the persecution of the Jewish people as well as the contributions they have made to the world. The fact that this has mystery has finally been cleared up for me after more than thirty years doesn’t take away the fact that it’s still a brilliant rock tune.

It appears that Bob Dylan realized he stumbled onto something when he decided to go electric with his live “Hard Rain” album way back in 1976. For most of “Infidels,” he uses the electric guitar and his songs sound more rock. “License to Kill” and “I & I” are good examples here. You definitely can not call him a folk singer who sings through his nose on this album. However, I did read back then that some called him that old singer who sounds like Dire Straits. Well, there’s truth in that. The first time I heard Dire Straits, I thought it was Bob Dylan singing with Eric Clapton backing him up on guitar. Maybe it could be true owing to the fact that Dire Straits guitarist and lead singer Mark Knoepfler produced the album and he does a grand job in doing so. I think that on “Infidels,” Dylan sounds the best he has in years. But before anyone goes off and says that Dylan had some how changed, let me say that he still tackles relevant social and political topics of the time just like the Bob Dylan of old. He just makes the music behind his messages much more enjoyable.

Track Listing:

  1. Jokerman
  2. Sweetheart Like You
  3. Neighborhood Bully
  4. License to Kill
  5. Man of Peace
  6. Union Sundown
  7. I & I
  8. Don’t Fall Apart on Me Tonight

bobdylan

Bob Dylan- lead vocals, guitar, harmonica, keyboards

Mark Knopfler- guitar

Clydie King- vocals on “Sundown”

Robbie Shakespeare- bass

Mick Taylor- guitar

Sly Dunbar- drums, percussion

It would be silly of me to say that Bob Dylan was back in 1983 because he never went anywhere. He simply changed what he was singing about and went back to more traditional topics. This was still a brave thing to do in the ever increasing conservative mood of 80s Regan America. Still, he did and he proved that he could rock a bit as well.

Next post: Yes- 90125

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: 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

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: Rod Stewart- Tonight I’m Yours

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized, video games with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 27, 2014 by 80smetalman

rstonightimyours

Balance has been restored in the world now. Rod Stewart’s “Tonight I’m Yours” is the first piece of new music I heard in 1982. It wasn’t the entire album but the second single from the album “Young Turks” which I heard several times on the AM radio of my beat up Chevy Nova during my journey home on my final weekend pass before going overseas. Like many of the Rod Stewart songs I heard throughout the 1970s, minus the two albums previous to this one because I thought they were too disco. Then again, I did like the song “Ain’t Love a Bitch” off the “Blondes Have More Fun” album but I digress. That single did stick in my mind like many of his other singles although I am glad I didn’t have MTV at that time so I was spared the cheesy video of the song where everyone is dancing on the roofs of cars. That experience would come in the April when I discovered that “Young Turks” was number three in the Israeli charts.

Abandoning the disco feel of the previous albums, Rod went a little more new wave with “Tonight I’m Yours” while at the same time, not venturing too far from his rock roots. The new wave part is obvious on the first two singles from the album: The title track and the already mentioned one with the cheesy video. Both are done well and I like Rod’s personal spin on his cover of “How Long?” which was his third single. He does get down to some more serious rock after that. On “Tora Tora Tora (Out With the Boys)” Rod truly rocks out. The guitar breaks in the song are great and the way it interlinks with the sax is nicely done. I don’t know which of the guitarists on the album played the solo here but he should step forward and receive his accolades. A pleasant surprise comes right on the heels of “Tora Tora Tora” in the form of “Tear It Up,” which begins with a piano intro that could rival that of “Piano Man” of Billy Joel fame. However, as far as piano intros go, it still doesn’t quite measure up to the best of all time: “Joan Crawford” by Blue Oyster Cult. Rod continues his rock tradition with the next few songs pausing in the middle to belt out the ballad, “Just Like a Woman,” originally a Bob Dylan tune. The album returns to new wave, with “Young Turks” before going out very nicely with the suitable closer “Never Give Up On a Dream.” This album certainly proves that Stewart’s voice is far more versatile than what some people give him credit for.

Track Listing:

1. Tonight I’m Yours

2. How Long?

3. Tora Tora Tora (Out With the Boys)

4. Tear It Up

5. Only a Boy

6. Just Like a Woman

7. Jealous

8. Sonny

9. Young Turks

10. Never Give Up On a Dream

Rod Stewart

Rod Stewart

Rod Stewart- vocals

Jim Cregan- guitars, backing vocals

Robin LeMesurier- guitars

Jeff Baxter- guitar on “Tonight I’m Yours,” pedal steel guitar on “Just Like a Woman”

Danny Johnson- guitar on “Jealous”

Byron Berline- fiddle

Jimmy “Z” Zavala- harmonica, saxophone

Kevin Savigar- keyboards

Duane Hutchins- keyboards on “Tonight I’m Yours” and “Young Turks”

Jay Davis- bass

Tony Brock- drums

Carmine Appice- drums on “Tonight I’m Yours” and “Young Turks”

Paulinho De Costa- percussion

Tommy Vig- tubular bells

Penny Jones- soloist on “Never Give Up On a Dream”

Linda Lewis, The Penetcostal Community Choir- backing vocals

I’m going to come out of the closet here, no not that way, but I am going to admit that I actually like a lot of Rod Stewart’s music. Something I would have never admitted to in male heavy metal circles. True, he’s not hard rocker or metal singer but his vocals and the music behind them is usually quite good. The album “Tonight I’m Yours” is proof.

Next post: U2- October

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 1980: Bob Dylan- Saved

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on September 16, 2013 by 80smetalman

220px-Bob_Dylan_-_Saved

“Saved” was Bob Dylan’s second album after his conversion to Born Again Christianity and like his previous album “Slow Train Coming,” he uses his music to express his beliefs. I never had a problem with this but then I used to listen to Stryper and Merciful Fate in conjunction with each other calling it my heaven and hell moments. Unfortunately, a lot of people did as I remember reading letters to rock magazines stating that Dylan should keep his religious beliefs out of his music. Then again, I sometimes wonder how people could say that in the first place because I found that Dylan seemed to mumble a lot through these songs so you couldn’t always tell whether or not he was singing about Jesus.

Many of the songs on here have a perky, uplifting gospel rock feel to it. It didn’t convert me but I did like many of the songs irrespective of the subject sung about. The title track “Saved” is definitely the stand out for me on this album. “Covenant Woman” is also rather a strong track. The rest of the album is more of a relaxed sound and it’s got me thinking about Pink Floyd now because I would use this album to mellow out like I do with Floyd and the content on the album would not stop me from puffing the magic dragon.

Track Listing:

1. A Satisfied Mind

2. Saved

3. Covenant Woman

4. What Can I Do For You

5. Solid Rock

6. Pressing On

7. In The Garden

8. Saving Grace

9. Are You Ready

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan- vocals, guitar, harmonica

Tim Drummond- bass

John Keltner- drums

Spooner Oldham- keyboards

Fred Tackett- guitar

Terry Young- keyboards, backing vocals

Carolyn Dennis- backing vocals

Regina Havis- backing vocals

Clydie King- backing vocals

Monalisa Young- backing vocals

Whether you are religious or not, this is still an album worth listening to, something to mellow out with. Bob Dylan’s future albums would steer away from religion but that’s another story. However, I remain convinced that it was these two Dylan albums that paved the way for Christian rock and that if it wasn’t for Dylan, than we might not have had Stryper.

Next post: George Thorogood and the Destroyers- More George Thorogood and the Destroyers

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Great Rock Albums of 1979: Bob Dylan- Slow Train Coming

Posted in 1979, Music, Rock with tags , , , , , , on December 10, 2012 by 80smetalman

220px-Bob_Dylan_-_Slow_Train_Coming

In the late part of the 70’s, we had Bob Dylan go electric with his “Hard Rain” and “Street Legal” albums. In late 1979, he went gospel with “Slow Train Coming.” This album was born out of his conversion to Christianity in early 1979. All of the tracks have some form of religious or moral message in them. The fact is listening to the album, the music is still pretty good. I know that many people can’t stomach “Jesus lyrics” and let that put them off listening to what could be a good album. Before this album, Christian Rock was more on the fringe and Dylan, with “Slow Train Coming,” made it more accessible to the masses.

The most notable song on the album is “Gotta Serve Somebody,” which got a lot of airplay on radio and I saw it on many a juke box in bars and restaurants at the time. I also like the tracks, “Precious Angel” and “Gonna Change My Way of Thinking.” As I mentioned earlier, this album celebrates his conversion to Christianity but is nonetheless, a pretty good album.

Track Listing:

1. Gotta Serve Somebody

2. Precious Angel

3. I Believe in You

4. Slow Train

5. Gonna Change My Way of Thinking

6. Do Right to Me Baby (Do Unto Others)

7. When You Wake Up

8. Man Gave Names to All the Animals

9. When He Returns

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan- guitar, vocals

Barry Beckett- keyboards, percussion

Mickey Buckins- percussion

Carolyn Dennis- background vocals

Tim Drummond- bass

Regina Havis- background vocals

Mark Knopfler- lead guitar

Muscle Shoals Sound Studio- horns

Helena Springs- backing vocals

Pick Withers- drums

I am going to go out on a limb here and say that bands like Stryper partly owe their success to Bob Dylan and this album especially. ┬áListening to “Slow Train Coming” proved that you could listen to gospel rock and not have an urge to read the bible while still enjoying the music. Bob Dylan brought Christian rock into the mainstream and I think many Christian acts secretly know this.

Next post: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers- Damn the Torpedoes

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 1979: Bob Dylan- At Budokan

Posted in 1978, 1979, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on October 10, 2012 by 80smetalman

Cheap Trick weren’t the only ones who put out a live album from Budokan in 1979, Bob Dylan did too. Like Cheap Trick, this was taken from concerts recorded there in 1978 and released early in the following year. On the album, Dylan plays some of the long time classics as well as some of the tracks from the albums that were more recent around that time. For someone who didn’t have have every Bob Dylan album around then and wanted a good mix of Dylan material, this live recording provides all of this. Classics such as “Mr Tambourine Man” and “Like a Rolling Stone” feature heavily here and others like “Shelter From the Storm” also get a good play, although I still prefer the version of that song from “Hard Rain.”

When “At Budokan” was released, Dylan had some harsh reviews from critics and Dylan purists alike. Critics, like Rolling Stone said the album was slick and sterile while some purists accused him of selling out. This album was not a sell out for me. See, if Dylan wanted to sell out back in 1979, he would have put a disco beat in all of his songs. That would have been a sell out! To me, like I said above, this is a good and sometimes alternative listen to some classic Dylan tunes and there is nothing I dislike about it.

Track Listing:

1. Mr Tambourine Man

2. Shelter From the Storm

3. Love Minus Zero No Limit

4. The Ballad of a Thin Man

5. Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right

6. Maggie’s Farm

7. One More Cup of Coffee

8. Like a Rolling Stone

9. I Shall Be Released

10. Is Your Love In Vain

11. Going Going Gone

12. Blowin’ Like the Wind

13. Just Like a Woman

14. Oh Sister

15. All Along the Watchtower

16. A Simple Twist of Fate

17. I Want You

18. All I Really Wanna Do

19. Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door

20. It’s All Right Ma, I’m Only Bleeding

21. Forever Young

22. The Times They Are a Changin’

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan- rhythm guitar, vocals, harmonica

Billy Cross-  lead guitar

Steve Douglas- saxophone, flute, recorder

Debi Dye- backing vocals

Bobby Hall- percussion

Jo Ann Harris- backing vocals

David Mansfield- pedal steel, violin, mandolin, dobro, guitar

Alan Pasqua- keyboards

Ed Rash- tambourine

Steven Soles- acoustic rhythm guitar, backing vocals

Helena Springs- backing vocals

Rob Stoner- bass, backing vocals

Ian Wallace- drums

This album would be the last before Bob Dylan’s conversion to Christianity but that’s a story for further down the road in 1979. For me, this album is a great way to reminisce over many of the great classics of Bob Dylan.

Next Post: The Police- Regatta De Blanc

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