Archive for British

Great Metal Albums of 1984: Judas Priest- Defenders of the Faith

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

If I thought I didn’t do Great White justice when I wrote about theirs as the first concert to take place in “Rock and Roll Children,” then I should grovel to Judas Priest begging their forgiveness. The Judas Priest/Great White concert that happens in the first few pages of the book is the one I knew least about. I couldn’t go on account of work and only had patchy accounts of the concert from people I spoke to who went. This meant my account of that night was, as one critic put it, bare bones, if that. So, to Judas Priest and their hardcore fans, I’m sorry. Though I do make up for it when I write about their 1986 concert. One of my biggest critics, my sister, said I nailed that one.

While the first Judas Priest concert might have been lacking in substance, the album they were touring in support of, “Defenders of the Faith” did get a good number of listens from the characters in “Rock and Roll Children.” I have always held this album in great esteem and will put my head in the lion’s mouth and declare that it is Judas Priest’s most underrated album, ever! Sales wise, it did not match the numbers of its mega fantastic predecessor, “Screaming for Vengeance,” and I put it a half a mark below it but “Defenders of the Faith” is one fantastic album.

The first seven songs are the reason why the album is soooo good. One by one each of those songs launch into an all out assault on your ears with such ferocity, you can’t help but to head bang away and jump up and down to it. Even when one song ends, the next one grabs you by the throat and makes you give your undivided attention to it. When I say the first seven songs, I mean all of those songs, not just the ones some might be more familiar with like “Freewheel Burning” and “Love Bites,” who when the premier of the video for it was announced on MTV was called “a family affair.” Of course there’s also my favourite track from this album and my third all time favourite Priest song, “Some Heads are Gonna Roll.” I just love that song. “Jawbreaker,” “Rock Hard, Ride Free” and “The Sentinel” all can cause an unsuspecting listener to lose control of their bodily functions as well. Plus, there’s the amusing “Eat Me Alive” which a year later would be rank on the PMRC’s hit list as the third dirtiest song. All great!

This not to say that the last three songs are in any way not up to scratch, they are good songs but intensity levels do tail off after “Some Heads are Gonna Roll.” Things go slower tempo with the remaining three songs but the pounding doesn’t let up. It just takes on a different form, nor does it detract from this great album in any way.

Track Listing:

  1. Freewheel Burning
  2. Jawbreaker
  3. Rock Hard, Ride Free
  4. The Sentinel
  5. Love Bites
  6. Eat Me Alive
  7. Some Heads Are Gonna Roll
  8. Night Comes Down
  9. Heavy Duty
  10. Defenders of the Faith

Judas Priest

Robert Halford- lead vocals

Glenn Tipton- guitar

KK Downing- guitar

Ian Hill- bass

Dave Holland- drums

I’ve never really ranked Judas Priest albums before, except I knew that “Screaming for Vengeance” was my favourite. I have called “Defenders of the Faith” underrated but I am now declare it number two and not by much. It is a great under appreciated album.

Next post: Quiet Riot- Condition Critical

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Great Rock Albums of 1984: Gary Moore- We Want Moore

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 22, 2017 by 80smetalman

Listening to Gary Moore’s live album, “We Want Moore,” while it is a killer album all the way, it also brings on my regret of never having seen him live. I nearly did in 2000. While passing by what was then Colston Hall in Bristol, (it’s now called the Bristol O2 Academy), I saw that Gary was down to do a show a few weeks later. However, when I phoned the venue, I was informed that tickets had already sold out. What a bummer, I know. Therefore, I have to listen to his live albums like this one and reflect on what could have been.

“We Want Moore” coming right after his latest studio album, “Victims of the Future,” it’s no surprise that four tracks from that album are on this live one. Remembering the track, “Murder in the Skies,” from said studio album, I was a little surprised at first that it would be the opener on the live album. However, it is and it works. Like any good opening song is supposed to do, be it album or concert, “Murder” grabs the listener by the throat and demands that they listen to the album and like it. It does set the tone for the rest of the album.

What is great album a live album is that many artists aren’t as constrained by the songs when they play them live. With the exception of the “End of the World” and “So Far Away,” all of the other songs are in excess of five minutes, three of those are more than eight and “Cold Hearted” is more than ten! The reason for the increase in length is so that Gary can work his magic with the guitar, which he does on every song on here. When I previously posted about the “Victims” album, I raved about his guitar efforts on “Shapes of Things.” Well, he makes the song even better on the live album! It is eight minutes plus of a good song mingled with lots of fancy playing from Gary. He does likewise with the other songs as well and why I think that the live album outshines the studio album by miles.

Historical note: four of the songs were recorded in Detroit and four in Glasgow. One was done at the Hammersmith Odeon in London and the other was recorded at the famous Budokan in Tokyo. The way it’s put together though, the album sounds like it could have been recorded all on the same night. It makes me almost feel I was there, which what a live album should do.

Track Listing:

  1. Murder in the Skies
  2. Shapes of Things
  3. Victims of the Future
  4. Cold Hearted
  5. End of the World
  6. Back on the Streets
  7. So Far Away
  8. Empty Rooms
  9. Don’t Treat Me Like a Loser
  10. Rockin’ and Rollin’

Gary Moore

Gary Moore- lead vocals, lead guitar

Neil Carter- keyboards, rhythm guitar, backing vocals

Craig Gruber- bass, backing vocals

Ian Paice- drums on tracks 4-8 & 10

Bobby Chouinard- drums on track 1-3 & 9

Jimmy Nail- backing vocals track 10

Of course I regret never having seen Gary Moore live and I wished I had passed by Colston Hall a week or two sooner, I might have been able to get a ticket. Fortunately, there is a great live album in “We Want Moore” to soften the pain.

Next post: Lita Ford- Dancing on the Edge

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1511373180&sr=8-3&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1984: Grim Reaper- See You In Hell

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 16, 2017 by 80smetalman

Whenever the new wave of British heavy metal or NWOBHM is mentioned, it is usually Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Def Leppard and Saxon who spring to mind first. These great bands blazed a trail for metal bands from both sides of the Atlantic to follow. Leading the chase out of Great Britain was the heavy metal outfit, Grim Reaper. For me, the name alone made them worth giving them a listen and that turned out to be a very wise choice.

Coming from Droitwich which is in Worcestershire, England and only about 20 miles from Birmingham, there is no surprise in the Judas Priest influence with the band. However, lead singer Steve Grimmett has a vocal style that is somewhat like Iron Maiden although I can at times hear a little of Halford as well. Okay, I’m a wishy-washy bastard. Anyway, with this mighty infusion, it is little wonder that Grim Reaper sounds as good as they do and why I think their debut album, “See You in Hell” is cool.

The title track, which is the band’s best known song leads the charge. Listening to it, it is no wonder why it’s number 38 on VHS Most Awesome Bad Metal Songs Ever. It’s definitely my all time favourite Grim Reaper song. However, the seven other songs on the album aren’t far behind and make sure that it’s not a one song album. All throughout the album are the bashing power chords and way out soloing of guitarist Nick Bowcott and the fore-mentioned vocals of Grimmett. All of which are supported by a more than capable rhythm section of Dave Wanklin and Lee Harris. This makes it difficult for me to pick out a standout song beyond the title track. They are all stomp on your face metal tunes that rock. The only possible exception is the slower, at times ballad like “The Show Must Go On.” While quality wise, its as good but no better  than the other tracks, it does depart from the hammering chords of those songs and shows that Grim Reaper are versatile. Bowcott’s guitar work is quite eerily outstanding on it. However, that only changes things up slightly before the closer blasts your ears to pieces.

Track Listing:

  1. See You in Hell
  2. Dead On Arrival
  3. Liar
  4. Wrath of the Ripper
  5. Now or Never
  6. Run For Your Life
  7. The Show Must Go On
  8. All Hell Let Loose

Grim Reaper

Steve Grimmett- vocals

Nick Bowcott- guitars

Dave Wanklin- bass

Lee Harris- drums

Grim Reaper’s debut “See You in Hell” album led the charge for what many thought would be a second new wave of British heavy metal. Especially with Maiden and Priest coming out with albums the same year. In 1984, that was true and though things would go sour for this band a few years later, this is still an album to be proud of.

Next post: Gary Moore- Victims of the Future

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_8?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1510850234&sr=1-8&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Rock/Metal Albums of 1984: Slade- Keep Your Hands Off My Power Supply

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 9, 2017 by 80smetalman

Throughout the later half of the 1970s, Slade had been trying to break into the American music market but with little success. Back then, I heard the name but nothing more. However, in 1983, Quiet Riot covered their 1973 hit “Cum On Feel the Noise.” Once Americans realized that the song had been originally written and recorded by Slade, a curiosity about the band arose and people began to check them out. Honest, it was on my to do list but I didn’t get around to it. That was until radio played the single, “My Oh My” from the 1984 “Keep Your Hands Off My Power Supply” and then MTV played the video for “Run Run Away” quite a lot. Therefore, I had no other choice than to investigate Slade. It would be this album first. That led me to listen to them more and is why I site them as an ‘honourable mention’ in my series of “Other Great Metal Influences.”

The big question back in 1984 was should Slade be considered heavy metal? Of course, the trendies thought anything with a fuzzy guitar was heavy metal and some of the more self proclaimed hard core metalheads claimed the opposite citing the fact that Jim Lea wrote “Run Run Away” on his fiddle. Well that happens to be my favourite Slade song of all time and yes, there is definitely a folk influence in the song but for me, it still rocks. I love the crunching guitars at the beginning and the folk provides a cool twist. Amusing anecdote: For the first few weeks of hearing “Run Run Away,” I thought the lyrics “See chameleon” were actually “See comedian.” My ears were playing tricks on me.

“My Oh My” is another reason why I’m such a sucker for a good power ballad because that’s exactly what it is. I could never explain why but the lyrics to it really got to me then and when I hear it now, I think about that. Folk influenced tunes and power ballads aside, the album blows apart any argument that Slade aren’t capable of going total rock out. The best examples are the three tracks, “Slam the Hammer Down,” “In the Doghouse,” which has the best guitar solo on the album and the title track. All of these are really cool songs and stamp the argument that Slade can be considered heavy metal. Not that the other songs don’t rock because they surely do. Except for “(And Now the Waltz) C’est La Vie,” which is the other power ballad on the album. It’s good and better what some bands are capable of but I prefer “My Oh My.” Also the closer, “Ready to Explode,” is cool with the car racing commentary and it rocks pretty well too. Unlike the shorter tracks, it’s eight minutes long and you are not bored for one second of it. However, it’s the three mentioned ones that are the big headbangers on this album.

Track Listing:

  1. Run Run Away
  2. My Oh My
  3. High and Dry
  4. Slam the Hammer Down
  5. In the Doghouse
  6. Keep Your Hands Off My Power Supply
  7. Cheap’n Nasty Luv
  8. Can’t Tame a Hurricane
  9. (And Now the Waltz) C’est La Vie
  10. Ready to Explode

Slade

Noddy Holder- rhythm guitar, lead vocals

Dave Hill- lead guitar, backing vocals

Jim Lea- bass, keyboards, backing vocals, accompanying lead vocal on “Ready to Explode”

Don Powell- drums, percussion, gongs

 

Quiet Riot may have helped Slade get the recognition they so dearly deserved in America but it was the “Keep Your Hands Off My Power Supply” album that made everyone take notice that they were for real. They did start a tour in support of Ozzy in this year but Noddy Holder’s marital problems and Jim Lea coming down with hepatitis killed the tour. Shame, because I would have loved to have seen them.

Next post: Black N Blue

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1510257719&sr=8-1&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Knighthood For Bruce Dickinson

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

Bruce Dickinson

After all his accomplishments in music, aviation and business, it is time that Bruce Dickinson is formally recognized for all of his achievements and be granted a knighthood by the United Kingdom. Therefore, I have started a petition which you can sign so this can happen. It’s a travesty that he hasn’t been recognized sooner. I know that if he were a trendy pop singer, he would have gotten a knighthood for doing less. So click the link below and let’s get Bruce what he so richly deserves.

https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson?recruiter=69219669&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=share_twitter_responsive&sharerUserId=69219669&utm_content=nafta_twitter_shortlink%3Areal_control

Iron Maiden

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1984: Rock Goddess- Hell Hath No Fury

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 29, 2017 by 80smetalman

Girlschool wasn’t the only female band to come along on the new wave of British heavy metal, (NWOBHM). In early 1984, I happened to catch another band of ladies who proved they could rock as hard as the men. That band happened to be the trio known as Rock Goddess. I have to admit, when I first saw the video for the big single from this album, “Hell Hath No Fury,” “I Didn’t Know Till I Saw You Rock and Roll,” I was totally smitten. Not only did these three ladies tingle my then 22 year old hormones, they could play metal as well and play it well. Note: this single doesn’t appear on the UK release of the album.

While the mentioned single can still be found on some compilation albums from time to time and is the song Rock Goddess is best known for, I can say with certainty that the entire album kicks ass. It’s just one complete blow your eardrums to pieces rock party from start to finish. In fact, if I had to pick, I would say that the opening title track is probably the least strongest track on here. I can’t use weakest because I don’t think that applies. “Gotta Let Your Hair Down” is a great example of what I mean by blow your eardrums metal. When I hear that song, I regret the fact that I never seen them live.

Because they are an all female band, I feel the need to make the cliched comment that they are just as good as their male counterparts. Take singer/guitarist Jody Turner. Now, I admit that her guitar playing isn’t equal to greats like Blackmore or Van Halen but it’s good enough. Her best guitar effort can be found on “In the Night” and runner up is “Hold Me Down.” Plus she has the added gift of having a good singing voice that can bellow to the high extremes and then soften to a melodic purr. If that’s not all, she was the songwriter for the band and to me, she does write some good songs. I find, “The Visitors Are Here,” a song about an alien visit, quite cool. As for the rhythm section of Julie Turner and Dee O’Malley, they are as tight as any other section I know of.

Track Listing:

  1. Hell Hath No Fury
  2. I Didn’t Know I Loved You Till I Saw You Rock and Roll
  3. Gotta Let Your Hair Down
  4. In the Night
  5. Hold Me Down
  6. The Visitors Are Here
  7. You Got the Fire
  8. It Will Never Change
  9. Don’t Want Your Love
  10. God Be With You

Rock Goddess

Jody Turner- guitars, lead vocals

Julie Turner- drums, backing vocals

Dee O’Malley- bass, keyboards, backing vocals

My question has always been, why didn’t Rock Goddess go further? According to Wikapedia, there were problems from the outset. Julie Turner was still a school age minor and there were legal limitation on how many live shows she could perform. Right before the scheduled US tour, Dee O’Malley announced she was pregnant and left the band. That was typical of the band’s history as bassists and sometimes second guitarists would come and go so they never became fully solid. Damn shame in my opinion because they could have achieved so much more.

Next post: White Wolf- Standing Alone

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1509302805&sr=8-3&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1984: Rodger Hodgson- In the Eye of the Storm

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 8, 2017 by 80smetalman

A friend, in 1984, announced that Supertramp had a new album out. I had to inform him that it wasn’t the case. Instead, thanks to the single, “Had a Dream (Sleeping With the Enemy), getting a fair amount of airplay on radio, I could tell him that former Supertramp guitar/vocalist Roger Hodgson had released his first solo album. One point to me, I think. Besides, my friend was a total Duranie and very anti- heavy metal.

I still feel the same way about Roger’s debut album, “In the Eye of the Storm,” now as I did back then. It could have been another Supertramp album. It became abundantly clear to me that Roger was the driving force behind the band and with his solo album, it was pretty much the same. Not that it’s a bad thing because it’s not. I’ve always liked Supertramp’s version of 1970s progressive rock. Nice keyboard work laced with some guitar done very creatively over rather long songs. I have this memory of Supertramp songs usually being in excess of five minutes, except for a few of the ones released as singles. It is the same on Roger’s album. Four of the seven songs are over seven minutes long and one is just a second below six. In a musical world where synth pop was emerging, I thought it was great to still hear some good progressive rock.

Though unusual for me, I have to say that “Had a Dream (Sleeping With the Enemy) is my favourite track. I liked it enough when radio cut huge chunks out of the song for airplay so the full eight minute plus version was even better. The entire progressive rock arsenal went into making this one. Some great keyboards with bouts of both acoustic and electric guitar with Hodgson’s unmistakable vocals. It all adds up to a great song. Of course, there are other nice songs too. I do like “In Jeopardy” as it is more classic Supertramp. “Hooked on a Problem” is an interesting one. The introduction reminds me of the classic, “The Logical Song” but transforms into sounding like a carnival. I would be repeating myself if I dissected every song, except for “Lovers in the Wind” which does nothing for me personally and credit where due, Roger definitely chose the right song for the closer.

Except for where noted below, I thought it was cool that he got Michael Shrieve of HSAS fame to play drums on the album, Roger plays all of the instruments himself on the album proving what a fine musician he is.

Track Listing:

  1. Had a Dream (Sleeping With the Enemy)
  2. In Jeopardy
  3. Lovers in the Wind
  4. Hooked on a Problem
  5. Give Me Love, Give Me Life
  6. I’m Not Afraid
  7. Only Because of You

Roger Hodgson

Roger Hodgson- vocals, guitar, keyboards, bass, drums on “Hooked on a Problem” and “Lovers in the Wind”

Michael Shrieve- drums, except on tracks 3 and 4

Ken Alldaryce- harmonica, backing vocals

Jimmy Johnson- fretless bass on “Lovers in the Wind” and “Only Because of You”

Claire Diament- female vocals on “Only Because of You”

Scott Page- saxophone on “Hooked on a Problem

Thinking back, I now realize that there was more great progressive rock back in the mid 80s than I allowed myself to believe. This debut album from Roger Hodgson is indisputable evidence of that.

Next Post: Soundtrack to Footloose

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1507494631&sr=8-3&keywords=michael+d+lefevre