Archive for British

Great Rock Albums of 1988: Big Country- Peace In Our Time

Posted in Uncategorized, 1980s, Music, Rock with tags , , , , , , , , on June 30, 2022 by 80smetalman

It’s my Swiss cheese memory again. I had no memory that Big Country had put out an album in 1988, which was bizarre because I was living in London at the time and “Peace in Our Time” went to number nine in the UK charts. Fortunately, a follower named Damien saved my bacon by emailing me asking I include the album in my 1988 posts. So, thank you Damien! Listening to the album, I am glad I followed his suggestion.

What a paradox the opening track, “King of Emotion” is. The song just missed the top ten in both the US and UK charts but that’s not important. What is important is that it begins with a drum beat which reminds me of the Grand Funk Railroad classic, “We’re An American Band.” Some sections of the song sound like Spandau Ballet trying to go hard rock. We know they couldn’t but with Big Country, there is no need as this turns out to be a pretty viable commercial rock tune.

The next four tracks are good solid tracks but as a whole, not mind blowing. The second single, “Broken Heart,” has a background guitar which would have made The Edge jealous. What Big Country accomplish is their blend of Celtic folk rock, hard rock and elements of new wave and it’s all done with great success. All of those songs have a catchy melody backed up by the power chords of a guitar and each one is quite enjoyable in its own right. Saying that, I like the intros of tracks three and four, the progressive sound of “From Here to Eternity” and the acoustic intro on “Everything I Need.” Both are hauntingly catchy.

Starting the swing to more harder rock in the second half of the album is the title track which is also the hidden gem of the album. It was released as a single but barely cracked the top 40 in the UK. So for me, having no memory of the song, it qualifies as a hidden gem. I just love the way the guitar kicks in to start things off and the U2 meets Guns N Roses guitar sound in the background just rocks. Okay, there are no blistering solos but there’s a guitar riff in the middle which is definitely ear catching.

Tracks seven through ten are sort of like those of two to five, only there seems to be a definite harder rock feel to them. Still, the melodies behind the songs are no less catchy and will have you dancing around the kitchen if you aren’t careful. “River of Hope” really rocks with the guitars and drums. Then just to change things up is the ballad, “In This Place.” It starts off as a soft piano ballad but the guitars come in and give it a bit more kick. “I Could Be Happy Here” ends the album in the right frame of mind and I do like the guitar hooks as it fades out.

Track Listing:

  1. King of Emotion
  2. Broken Heart (Thirteen Valleys)
  3. Thousand Yard Stare
  4. From Here to Eternity
  5. Everything I Need
  6. Peace In Our Time
  7. Time for Leaving
  8. River of Hope
  9. In This Place
  10. I Could Be Happy Here
Big Country

Stuart Adamson- guitar, vocals, piano, e-bow

Mark Brzezicki- drums, percussion

Tony Butler- bass, vocals, guitar

Bruce Watson- guitar, harmonica, e-bow, mandolin, sitar, vocals

“Peace in Our Time” was near fatal miss for me back in 1988. Fortunately, thanks to Damien and the Tubes of You, I got to appreciate what a great album it is.

Next post: Tina Turner- Tina Live in Europe

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

To sign the petition to have Bruce Dickinson knighted, click the link: https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson

1988: Another Great Year for Metal

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on May 27, 2022 by 80smetalman

Like all of the other years I’ve visited in my tour of the golden age of heavy metal, 1988 stamped its own unique mark on the music world. To be honest, there isn’t nothing new which I can say about this year that I haven’t said about the all the other years. On the other hand, the albums and events which came out in the year speaks much louder than I ever could.

Apart from the music, 1988 brought forth some major changes in my own life. I was married. settling in with life in my adopted country of the United Kingdom and working one of the jobs most British people wouldn’t take. (I was a cleaner in a factory.) Then in May of this year, I would discover that I was going to become a father for the first time. So, one can imagine the personal upheaval in my life. Still, my love for the music hadn’t waned and you could say, it was a great support for me. So, as you have been so supportive of me for all the other years, buckle up and enjoy the ride through the next one.

Next post: Survivor- Too Hot to Sleep

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

To sign the petition to give Bruce Dickinson a knighthood, click the link: https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson

Great Metal Albums of 1987: Napalm Death- Scum

Posted in 1980s, Death, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 12, 2022 by 80smetalman

When listening to the debut album, “Scum,” from British metal band, Napalm Death, the first question which arises is: Is Napalm Death the British version of the Stormtroopers of Death? Like the S.0.D., whose album “Speak English or Die” had twenty-one tracks in under thirty minutes, “Scum” has twenty-eight tracks in little over thirty-five minutes. Also like their American predecessor, the album is full of ear-bashing short, sharp, in your face tracks. Many of the tracks on “Scum” are under one minute in length but when you listen to them, the interesting thing is that it feels like a full three minute song crammed into that little amount of time.

What is just as interesting is that the band had a complete lineup change while making the album. The first half of the album has a different singer, guitar and bass than the second half with drummer Mick Harris being the only permanent fixture. However, I don’t hear any real change when I listen to the album. It’s still an all speed ahead assault on your eardrums. Some will even raise the criticism that you can’t understand the lyrics being sung but guess what? I don’t really care. This is just a great album to thrash out and create lots of mayhem to. My only regret resulting from listening to the album is that I have never seen them live. I think that would be an experience.

One challenge I had when listening to “Scum” was identifying stand out tracks. It is a challenge when songs are over just as you are getting into them. Although, there are tracks like “Born On Your Knees” which has a cool intro as well an instrumental portion to mosh along to. Another song which I think stands out is “Polluted Minds.” While only a minute long, it packs a very powerful punch. “Prison Without Walls” is another memorable one, not that any of these songs aren’t. However, what you do get here is twenty-eight tracks to have a great mosh to.

Tracks Listing:

  1. Multinational Corporations
  2. Instinct for Survival
  3. The Kill
  4. Scum
  5. Caught…in a Dream
  6. Polluted Minds
  7. Sacrificed
  8. Siege of Power
  9. Control
  10. Born On Your Knees
  11. Human Garbage
  12. You Suffer
  13. Life?
  14. Prison Without Walls
  15. Point of No Return
  16. Negative Approach
  17. Success
  18. Deceiver
  19. C.S.
  20. Parasites
  21. Pseudo Youth
  22. Devine Death
  23. As the Machine Rolls On
  24. Common Enemy
  25. Moral Crusade
  26. Stigmatized
  27. M.A.D.
  28. Dragnet
Napalm Death

Tracks 1-12

Nik Napalm- vocals, bass

Justin Broaderick- guitar, vocals

Mick Harris- drums

Tracks 13-28

Lee Dorrian- vocals

Jim Whitely- bass

Bill Steer- guitar

Mick Harris- drums, vocals

History has determined that “Scum” marked the official initiation of the sub-genre now known as grindcore and Napalm Death have been attributed as its pioneers. I won’t debate that fact but all I know is that I have come to love having my ears cleaned out by the album.

Next post: Testament- Live at Eindhoven

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

To have Bruce Dickinson receive a knighthood, click the link: https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson

Great Metal Albums of 1987: Tigertailz- Young and Crazy

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 20, 2022 by 80smetalman

Making their way around the British metal scene in 1987 was Welsh glam metal band Tigertailz. While I never got the chance to see them live, I do know they played great London rock clubs such as The Marquee and the Royal Standard. Looking at this album cover, your initial reaction is probably similar to mine back then, they could rival Poison in the ‘rock dudes who look like chicks’ sweepstakes.

The funny thing is that their debut album, “Young and Crazy,” is similar to the Poison sound. I do hear the similarities between the two bands. However, I also note a KISS influence in some of their songs, the opener, “Star Crazy” and “Shameless.” Paul or Gene would both be comfortable singing either of those songs.

There is no doubt in my mind that Tigertailz were a competent band and there are some really good songs on it. The standout song for me is definitely “Livin’ Without You.” Crunching guitars and a pumping bass dominate the song but without losing any of the catchy melody. It is probably Steevi Jaimz best vocal effort and the crunching rhythm in the middle stamps its authority. Additional, there is a great drumroll from Ace Finchum and Jay Pepper lays down his best guitar solo. Definitely, my choice for best song.

The other thing is that because they look and sound similar to Poison, I want to compare and contrast them with Poison. What would be cool if Brett Michaels came and sang for Tigertailz as he is better than Steevi Jaimz while Jay Pepper is a better guitarist than CC DeVille. Just my opinion and of course, you are all free to offer yours. The teacher in me always welcomes debate.

Oh, another thing about the track, “Shameless,” is that while KISS influenced, in the middle of the song, Steevi does a David Lee Roth style spoken part. Is it as good as Dave? Well, not many singers can talk their way through songs like DLR but I will give Steevi and ‘A’ for effort. Where Tigertailz go original is the track, “City Kidz.” There is a blues like swagger to this song and a real cool rhythm guitar riff before a cool guitar solo. Okay, it gets the number two spot in the best song on the album category.

“Shoot to Kill” isn’t a bad track but it’s more filler with all the cliche heavy metal elements to it. On the other hand, “Turn Me On” is definitely the song for the rhythm section. It begins with Jaimz saying, “Come on Ace” and Ace responds with a cool drum fill. His drums take command but there is a good bass solo from Pepsi Tate in the middle. Less fortunately, it’s sandwiched between the two filler tracks. The former already mentioned track and “She’z Too Hot” has the same heavy metal cliches. Still, it’s not that bad. The title track is a more lively penultimate track where Jay is once again let off the leash on the six string. However, the album ends with a decent power ballad in the form of “Fall in Love Again.” At first it seems out of place but that thought is quickly erased and guitar and bass make it okay.

Track Listing:

  1. Star Attraction
  2. Hollywood Killer
  3. Ballerina (Instrumental)
  4. Livin’ Without You
  5. Shameless
  6. City Kidz
  7. Shoot to Kill
  8. Turn Me On
  9. She’z Too Hot
  10. Young and Crazy
  11. Fall in Love Again
Tigertailz

Steevi Jaimz- vocals

Jay Pepper- guitar

Pepsi Tate- bass

Ace Finchum- drums

In respect to what I said about the Brett vs Steevi aspect. Steevi isn’t a bad singer but he wasn’t that good. It’s probably why Tigertailz got a new singer after this album. There is even a re-recorded version of my favourite track sung by the new singer. Anyway, this is a good effort from a band looking to make it. If the production had been better, then I think it would have been phenomenal.

Next post: Anvil- Strength of Steel

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

To sign the petition for a knighthood for Bruce Dickinson, click the link: https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson

Great Metal Albums of 1987: Whitesnake- 1987

Posted in Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 18, 2022 by 80smetalman

Out of all the great metal albums which came out in 1987, the most noted of these had to be Whitesnake’s “1987” album. You don’t need me to tell you how this album tore up the charts in the year the album is named after and the following one. In fact, the album which kept it from attaining number one in the US was Michael Jackson’s “Bad” album. So it begs the question, why was this metal album so successful?

First, let’s go over some of the history in the making of this album. While recording it, David Coverdale was struck down with an illness which required hospitalization and later surgery. There was even doubts that he would ever be able to sing again. Thank the metal gods that this wasn’t the case. Now for the soap opera bit. Depending on who’s side you believe, David and guitarist John Sykes would part company while the album was recorded. From what I read on Wikipedia, (not the most reliable of sources), David accused John of trying to replace him and John was growing impatient at David’s seeming lack of motivation to get back in the studio. While this explains why the touring lineup is different from the recording one, it can be said that the album was born out of adversity.

Drawing my own conclusion as to why “1987” was so successful, I put it down that it was the combination of commercially viable songs and hard rockers, which ticked all the boxes. Most people know the hits from the album, “Still of the Night,” “Is This Love,” “Give Me All Your Love” and “Here I Go Again,” the latter re-recorded before released as a single. Note: after years of hearing the single version and then hearing the original version from the album again after many years, I prefer the original. These are good power ballads as was the rerecorded “Crying in the Rain,” which helped Whitesnake finally achieve commercial success in the US.

The other element behind the album’s success is that in spite of the top 40 singles, the other tracks proved that Whitesnake hadn’t forgotten how to rock out. First let me correct a misleading statement in the above paragraph. The first and last singles, “Still of the Night,” and “Give Me All Your Loving” were definitely not power ballads. Both are full steam ahead rockers with some great guitar riffs from Sykes. They lead the charge as the next track is also a serious rocker. In fact, the second track, “Bad Boys,” gets my vote for hidden gem. John shreds even better on “Straight for the Heart.”

John Sykes

What I sometimes find frustrating about albums which are reissued so many times is which version should I write about. In this case, since I had already established myself in the UK at the time, I will go with the European issue. The US issue omits two tracks, “Looking for Love” and “You’re Gonna Break My Heart Again,” which is a shame because America missed out on two good songs. The former, another power ballad which works and the latter, a definite straight up rocker. The strategic placing of both ballads and rockers go along way to cement the reason why this album was such a success.

Track Listing (European Release):

  1. Still of the Night
  2. Bad Boys
  3. Give Me All Your Loving
  4. Looking for Love
  5. Crying in the Rain
  6. Is This Love
  7. Straight From the Heart
  8. Don’t Turn Away
  9. Children of the Night
  10. Here I Go Again
  11. You’re Gonna Break My Heart Again

Recording Line up:

David Coverdale- vocals

John Sykes- guitar

Neil Murray- bass

Aynsley Dunbar- drums

Don Airey- keyboards

Bill Cuomo- keyboards

Note: other musicians, including some from the touring lineup, were brought in on some of the re-recordings.

Whitesnake- 1987 tour lineup

David Coverdale- vocals

Vivian Campbell- guitar

Adrian Vandenberg- guitar

Rudy Sarzo- bass

Tommy Aldridge- drums

Shortly after the album soared up the charts, someone wrote to Kerrang stating that Whitesnake’s next album would be called “1991” as that was when it would come out, (history proved that person wrong), and the recording lineup would have Gene Simmons on bass and Lars Ulrich on drums. I can’t remember who the guitarists were going to be. However, the touring lineup would have Eddie Van Halen and Mick Mars on guitar, Jimmy Bain on bass and Charlie Benante on drums. That was the state of the band in 1987. While there might have been some truth to that, one can’t fault how super colossal of an album “1987” turned out to be.

Next post: Tigertailz- Young and Crazy

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@80smetalman

To get Bruce Dickinson a knighthood, click the link: https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson

Rest in Peace Ian McDonald

Posted in 1980s, Death, Illness, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on February 12, 2022 by 80smetalman
Ian McDonald

It is my sad duty to report the death of former Foreigner guitarist Ian McDonald who sadly passed away, aged 75, after a long battle with cancer. Ian not only played guitar on Foreigner’s more hard rocking first three albums but also contributed on keyboards, drums and vocals. Unfortunately for him, he left the band after the third album, “Head Games,” and therefore, didn’t enjoy the commercial success of “4” and “Agent Provocateur” albums. Tributes have been pouring in for Ian all day from former band mates and musicians who knew him. This is yet another tragic loss to the music world. The only thing I can do in dedication to Ian is to play their first big single, which was a cruising song for my then 16 year old self and the song I consider the hidden gem of all Foreigner songs.

Rest in peace Ian

Great Metal Albums of 1987: Judas Priest- Priest…Live

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 21, 2022 by 80smetalman

Damn my Swiss cheese memory! A few years back, I posted my top 15 live albums and for some reason, “Live…Priest” wasn’t on said list. This is particularly shameful as I have seen the mighty Judas Priest live three times and I know how good they are in concert. This live album totally catches the essence of this legendary band.

“Live…Priest” was recorded live in Atlanta, Georgia the previous year when Judas Priest were touring for their “Turbo” album. However, many songs from their previous albums are represented too and only three songs from “Turbo.” For those who had disliked that album, this wasn’t a bad thing. Of course, they play “Turbo Lover” but they also play the more metalized “Parental Guidance” and they knock that one out of the park. The third track is “Private Property” and again, it sounds a hell of a lot better when played live that it did on the album. It helped that the crowd was singing the chorus along to Rob. Then again, you can count on Priest to nail any song live.

Needless to say, all of the best known Judas Priest songs of the time appear on the live album but they do sound so much better. “Breaking the Law,” one they always play live comes in as the fourth track and it’s well placed after “Metal Gods.” Another boring point in the life of 80smetalman is when I saw them live in 1986, I don’t remember them playing “Love Bites.” They more than make up for it here! And of course, they play my second favourite JP song of all time, “Some Heads are Gonna Roll.” By the time this song comes around, I am wanting to break out the cigarette lighter and hold it high.

Now I could go on with the remainder of the songs on the album but they are all classics which any Judas Priest fan, casual or hardcore, will know anyway. Let’s talk about the band’s performance instead. The album sounds like Judas Priest were on fire that night and they had the Atlanta crowd eating out of their hands. Robert Halford’s vocals sound fresh all through the album and he shows what a great frontman he has always been. Of course, Glenn and KK weald their axes with precision and there are some great guitar solo trade-offs between the pair. So many, I can’t choose a favourite. Dave Holland provides some brilliant drumming as well but in regards to Judas Priest, I don’t think Ian Hill gets the accolades he so richly deserves. When I saw them, he stood at the back and I was glad when I saw them again in 2009, he was allowed to join the others at the front. On this live album, I can hear his bass plugging along, providing that crucial rhythm the band depends on.

Track Listing:

  1. Out in the Cold
  2. Heading Out on the Highway
  3. Metal Gods
  4. Breaking the Law
  5. Love Bites
  6. Some Heads are Gonna Roll
  7. The Sentinel
  8. Private Property
  9. Rock You All Around the World
  10. Electric Eye
  11. Turbo Lover
  12. Freewheel Burning
  13. Parental Guidance
  14. Livin’ After Midnight
  15. You Got Another Thing Comin’
Judas Priest

Rob Halford- vocals

Glenn Tipton- guitar

KK Downing- guitar

Ian Hill- bass

Dave Holland- drums

Honestly, did you expect anything less from a live Judas Priest album? I can’t believe how much I ignored this album for so many years. I’m rectifying that now.

Next post: In memory of Meatloaf’s passing. Meatloaf- Live at Wembley

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

Great Metal Albums of 1987: Def Leppard- Hysteria

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on January 6, 2022 by 80smetalman

The challenge for me writing about Def Leppard’s 1987 “Hysteria” album is what I can I say or write about it which hasn’t been said before? I mean this album spawned seven singles, went platinum in many countries and gold in a few more as well as going to number one in the charts. Furthermore, the album was finally recorded four years after their previous sensational album, “Pyromania,” in which the band had to overcome the tragic accident which cost drummer Rick Allen his arm and Steve Clark’s battle with alcohol. There was also the problem with producers. Mutt Lange started producing but walked out and Jim Steinman didn’t last. The band tried to produce it themselves but Mutt came back and helped the band make history. So, in many ways, this album was a remarkable triumph for the band.

As soon as I heard the opening riffs to “Women,” I knew this album was going to be a good one. True, many heavy metal purists said that it was a slide away from metal to more power pop but the songs are so good, I don’t care. There is a lot of good metal bits on the album for me to enjoy. The entire first side of the album, (I first got it on cassette), was nothing but the hits. Most of you know them already so I don’t feel the need to go through each one individually. Besides, some of you have written a lot about the album that I fear that I would simply be repeating.

On the subject of metal vs power pop, the one track and it’s my favourite on the album and second favourite Def Leppard song of all time, “Pour Some Sugar on Me” is definitely a heavy metal song. Those power chords just blow me away and yes the way they sing the title in the chorus may sound cheesy to some but this song just knocks it out of the park. A grand slam because the previous tracks load the bases. (For my non North American readers, I’m using baseball terms). In addition, it sets up very nicely for the next track, “Armageddon It.” Love those opening riffs.

With all of the singles, you might be asking which track do I put for hidden gem. Okay, you’re probably not asking that but I’m going to answer anyway. The hidden gem is “Gods of War.” True, nowadays some might think the exploding bombs and machine gun noises in the background are a bit silly but at the time I thought they were cool. I thought the same when they used excerpts from Ronald Reagan’s and Margaret Thatcher’s speeches about the 1986 US bombing of Libya and the Falklands War. On top of that, I really love Rick Savage’s bass line and the guitars on it, great song.

With the exception of the title track, the rest of the second side weren’t singles, even the hidden gem. However, it would be wrong to call any of these tracks filler. They are certainly not in my book. “Run Riot” comes pretty close to being another hidden gem.

Track Listing:

  1. Women
  2. Rocket
  3. Animal
  4. Love Bites
  5. Pour Some Sugar on Me
  6. Armageddon It
  7. Gods of War
  8. Don’t Shoot Shotgun
  9. Run Riot
  10. Hysteria
  11. Excitable
  12. Love and Affection

Joe Elliot- lead and backing vocals

Steve Clark- guitar, backing vocals

Phil Collen- guitar, backing vocals

Rick Savage- bass, backing vocals

Rick Allen- drums, backing vocals

While I don’t agree with those who say that Def Leppard sold out with “Hysteria,” they’re laughing all the way to the bank, I wouldn’t debate those who say that it was the start of the slippery slope away from metal and more into commercial rock. But in 1987, I didn’t give two and a half shits about that, I just really liked the album.

Next post: Envy- Ain’t It a Sin

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobchainsaw@hotmail.com

London’s Aladdin’s Cave of Heavy Metal

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 16, 2021 by 80smetalman

Now that I am back from my weekend of playing Santa Clause to my step-grandchildren in Cleethorpes, I can return to posting about the golden age of heavy metal. However, this post isn’t for an album or event which happened in 1987. Instead it’s about a record store in London called Shade’s. A few years back, fellow blogger Every Record Tells a Story wrote a post about the store and now that it has been several years, I thought I’d put my own spin on it.

The best way I can describe Shade’s is using the words I used in “Rock and Roll Children,” an Aladdin’s cave of heavy metal. Although in the book, I changed the name to “Snakes” so I wouldn’t infringe any laws. It was down an narrow lane, so you had to actually be looking for it in order to find it and once inside the door, the staircase leading down to the main room added to the cave effect. Actually, I think I described it better here than I did when I wrote “Rock and Roll Children.”

Inside Shade’s

Shade’s had everything a metalhead could possibly hope for. Records, tapes, t-shirts and all other types of metal paraphernalia was on sale. I thought it particularly cool when I say a t-shirt of Kreator’s “Pleasure to Kill” album cover. However, I procrastinated and when I tried to buy it a few months later, it was no longer available. The attitude of the sales attendant when I inquired confirmed the belief that Londoners didn’t do customer service very well. They also sold concert tickets as it was there that I bought my ticket to see Possessed, Voi Vod and the English Dogs. Furthermore, while they had the classics, they also seemed to get the albums from the US when they first came out. That’s how I learned of new releases from the likes of KISS, Whitesnake, Billy Squier and the Killer Dwarfs. My one regret is that I wasn’t able to attend when Poison showed up for an autograph signing.

Unfortunately, Shade’s is no more. I heard it had become an internet cafe but I can’t be sure. I also wonder if they had been around in 2010, if they would have sold copies of “Rock And Roll Children.” I hope they would have. Still, I have fond memories of this great store.

Next post: Lee Aaron

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

Great Metal Albums of 1987: Shy- Excess All Areas

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 21, 2021 by 80smetalman

Back in the 1980s, Kerrang had section in the magazine called “Wimpwire,” where they would feature a “softer” metal band. It is here that I discovered the band Shy. Upon hearing their album, “Excess All Areas,” I tended to agree with Kerrang placing them in the section. There is a heavy keyboard sound on most of the songs but at the same time, there are power chords to be heard. Unlike some metal bands who tried to incorporate keyboards and synthesizers at the time, Shy does it very well.

Let’s start with the not so positive, it’s not really a negative. “Excess All Areas” is definitely a product of it time. There was the let’s turn up the keyboards a little more in the misguided belief that it would be more commercial successful. However, with the benefit of historical hindsight, we know that the idea didn’t work well with a lot of bands. Metalheads thought such bands were trying to go synth pop while the trendies heard the power chords and thought it was too metal. That is my conclusion as to why Shy didn’t get the recognition it deserved.

What I like about Shy was that they were really good musicians. I know I mentioned the keyboards but keyboardist Paddy McKenna plays them very well. His keyboard intros on the tracks “Emergency,” “Talk to Me” and the power ballad, “Just Love Me” are absolutely phenomenal. Furthermore, his work on the other tracks are no less such. The same can be said for guitarist Steve Harris, (no it’s not the bassist from another band playing guitar here). He plays a blinder of a solo on “Can’t Fight the Nights,” most notably but he too shows what he can do elsewhere on the album. Lead singer Tony Mills has the pipes for sure. He doesn’t have to go falsetto or anything like that but he just gets down to business on the songs. Roy Stephen Davis is more than capable on bass and the same for drummer Alan Kelly. The pair of them do form a formidable rhythm section.

Don’t get me wrong, while I said that the album has that, ‘dated effect” and while most don’t stand out, the songs are all decent. One song which really does is “Break Down the Walls.” Everything I said about the band counts double on the track. You get good, dependable vocals, a steady rhythm section, cool keyboard fills and some power chords and a brilliant guitar solo. That’s definitely the track and the fact Don Dokken co-wrote it with the band might have helped. Other good tracks is their cover of the only Cliff Richard song I like, “Devil Woman,” “Young Heart” and “Under Fire,” which is the hardest rocking track on the album. My conclusion that Shy had it in them to really rock out but bowed to the commercial pressure of the time because there was the potential for this album to have been colossal.

Track Listing:

  1. Emergency
  2. Can’t Fight the Night
  3. Young Heart
  4. Just Love Me
  5. Break Down the Walls
  6. Under Fire
  7. Devil Woman
  8. Talk to Me
  9. When the Love is Over
  10. Telephone
Shy

Tony Mills- vocals

Steve Harris- guitar

Paddy McKenna- keyboards

Roy Stephen Davis- bass

Alan Kelly- drums

Another band that seemed to have vanished into obscurity after the 1980s but there must have been something about Shy for me to remember them after all these years. They definitely had the tools to make it bigger but “Excess All Areas” made them a product of the time.

Next post: Montrose- Mean

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com