Archive for British

Great Metal Albums of 1984: Waysted

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 10, 2018 by 80smetalman

Throughout my music listening career, EP’s have always been a bit of a paradox for me. I’ve visited quite a few of them over the years, Brian May’s “Star Fleet” for example. On the other hand, there has been some that I left out despite owning them myself. I’m surprised that while touring 1983, no one picked up on the fact that I never posted about Ratt’s EP. To many, it’s believed that EP’s aren’t proper albums so they don’t buy them and they’re intended to make money off dedicated followers of a band who will snap up anything they put out. While I see the point of the former, I see nothing wrong with a fan buying anything their heroes might release.

Waysted is a totally different story for me. I didn’t hear the name until 1985 and didn’t get to listen to them until I got over to England a year later and a friend was really into them. That was where I got to experience their “Vices” album and this 1984 self-titled, five song album, or EP. Every since, I have thanked that friend, even though he’s not into metal much these days, for the experience.

My overall opinion of “Waysted” is that it is just five really explosive songs. “Won’t Get Out Alive” is a great way to open any album. It definitely grabs my attention. “The Price You Pay” is just as rocking with a good harmony on the chorus and ends with a really good guitar solo. “Rock Steady” could have been the single on the album, although there is no indication that it was ever released as one. It has a good catchy vibe that might appeal to some who aren’t so keen on metal but this doesn’t make it any less rocking, especially with that guitar solo. Next comes the hidden gem on the album for me. “Hurt So Good,” no it’s not a cover of the John Cougar classic, it is a cowboyesque rock song, even before such songs would be made popular by a certain band from New Jersey. The acoustic intro pulls you in before blasting you with dual six strings. The chorus is very catchy and the vibe makes you want bob your head to it all the way through. Finally, the album closes with the eight minute long “Cinderella Boys.” This is a blues induced number that definitely grabs your curiosity. I sense that the band had a good time recording this and when it’s done, you feel that you’ve had a full album’s enjoyment despite the fact it only being five songs long.

Track Listing:

  1. Won’t Get Out Alive
  2. The Price You Pay
  3. Rock Steady
  4. Hurt So Good
  5. Cinderella Boys


Fin Muir- vocals

Paul Chapman- guitar

Neil Shepard- guitar

Pete Way- bass

Andy Parker- drums

Like I said, “Waysted” by the band with the same name might only be five songs long but you remember all of them. It’s simply a case of quality over quantity.

Next post: I can’t say when that will be. I have had sad news this week. My mother has passed away and I will be flying to the States Monday morning and will be there for two weeks. Since the situation requires my full attention, I might not get to any albums while I’m there. I hope you all understand.

To get Rock and Roll Children, go to:







Great Metal Album of 2018: Black Emerald- Hell Can’t Handle All of Us

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 14, 2018 by 80smetalman

It’s been four days since my weekend in Reading and after listening to their debut album, “Hell Can’t Handle All of Us,” I can still say I’m really into Black Emerald. I’ve now given the album three spins and I am completely impressed. Back in the 1980s, I used to love to listen to up and coming bands because they were hungry and that hunger was reflected in their music. So, it’s great to see that more than thirty years on, that theme is still present.

Things start off with an intro that totally reminds me of Black Sabbath. You know, that slow gloomy bass and guitar sound that gives the eerie feeling of impending doom. Something I have always loved about Sabbath. However, unlike Sabbath, that mood quickly changes to a faster uptempo sound which the earlier hook leads you into banging your head away to. This is a good opener to the album.

Following on is the more speed metal “Life of Anxiety.” Gutlocker vocalist Craig McBrearty lends a hand on the lead vocals and his vocal trade off with Emerald front man Edd Higgs, is just great to listen to. On “Dr Stein,” we have a fusion of Black Sabbath meets Megadeath. An interesting combination to say the least but it works very well on this song. There is the speed of Megadeath to start and even the first chorus reminds me a tiny bit of one of my favourite Megadeath tracks, “A Tout Le Monde.” Later in the song things go to the slower, gloomier Black Sabbath sound. “Dr Stein” ends with a very interesting combination of sounds from the guitar, bass and drums.

Next comes my favourite song on the album, “B.O.D.” I have said many times before that if the music is good in a song, the content of the lyrics won’t matter. The song could be about loving Jesus, eating fruit or doing terrible things to cats with a spoon and I wouldn’t be affected. “B.O.D.” is an anti- drug song and at my age, I shouldn’t be amused by the lyrics but with the song being so good, I don’t care that the opening line is:

“Shoot it up and snort the line

Dropping acid to drinking wine.”

Even later in the track, there’s “Smoking weed to smoking crack,” but I’m still rocking away. It could be down to the fact that guitarist Simon Hall really opens up on this track.

“One For the Road” continues to show how well the band can change it up during a song with elements of speed metal and melody. Afterwards, there’s “Voodoo Princess” which features Remnant guitarist Andy Gunn. The guitars on this track give the song a Jimi Hendrix feel to it. Like I said when I saw Remnant, Andy Gunn can play a guitar and Simon is playing along with him. I get impressions of guitar solo trade offs in the forms of Tipton/Downing, Smith/Murray and even Hanneman/King.

The second song from the demo tape I was given at Bloodstock is “Drown in the River.” It’s is done even better on the album and now that I have the lyrics on hand, I know know that the singer is drowning in the Thames River and not the River Death like I thought he was the past four and a half years. It also has a cool guitar solo and a great fade out at the end.

Black Sabbath rears its influential head again on the intro for “Sculptures to the Sky.” Now before every starts going WTF? let me say that this track is what Black Sabbath would sound like if Tom Arraya was lead vocalist. I don’t know if that would work in real life but Black Emerald makes it definitely plausible here.

The final crossover track from the demo is “Figure on a Barbed Wire Cross.” During the show, Edd explained that the song was about Charles Manson. Reading the lyrics, I can see that but they could be singing about a Hitler, Manson, Satan orgy and I would still like this song. Another weirdo fanatic is featured in the near ten minute track, “Jonestown.” The song is about Reverend Jim Jones who ordered his cult to commit suicide in 1978. What I love about this song is that’s it’s a celebration of what the band is capable of. Great vocals, musicianship and some cool tempo changes just so you don’t get bored. Not that you would. “Jonestown” leads into the closing instrumental that is “Revelations” and that is a brilliant way to end the album.

Track Listing:

  1. Hell Can’t Handle All of Us
  2. Life of Anxiety
  3. Dr Stein
  4. B.O.D.
  5. One For the Road
  6. Voodoo Pricess
  7. Drown in the River
  8. Sculptures in the Sky
  9. Figure on a Barbed Wire Cross
  10. Jonestown
  11. Revelations

Edd Higgs- bass, lead vocals

Simon Hall- guitars, backing vocals

Connor Shortt- drums



You know what? Of the many hundreds of albums I have covered here, I have never broken an album down this extensively. This is because every track has something to offer. Black Emerald are hungry and this debut album is surely evidence of that. So, I hope I’ve converted all of you and you will all go out and buy this album.

Next post: WASP

To get Rock and Roll Children, go to:









Metal Madness in Reading

Posted in Concerts, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 11, 2018 by 80smetalman

Not long returned from my short break in Reading with Mrs 80smetalman. We spent the Saturday afternoon at The Oracle, which is Reading’s big shopping precinct. While there were many eating places along the Thames River, which runs right through the precinct, we wanted to get out of the rain and went straight for the mall. With her ability to sense out these places, my wife found the Lush shop and added to her collection of bath stuff. We can also say that Lush staff are super friendly wherever you go. After that, we hit a few places in the mall, had dinner and then returned to the hotel where I prepared for big night at the Face Bar, where I was invited to attend the launch party for Black Emerald’s debut album, “Hell Can’t Handle All of Us.”

After a couple of detours down some dead end side roads, I found the Face Bar without any real trouble. On the outside, it looks like any other rock club I’ve been to and probably on the inside too. However, the first honour done to me on the evening was when I announced who I was on the guest list, the people at the door seemed to be expecting me. Once inside, I met Sharon, the mother of Black Emerald’s drummer as well as the bassist/lead vocalist’s father, who incidentally, was the one who gave me the Black Emerald demo CD at Bloodstock 2013 and told me to go check them out at the New Blood Stage. A recommendation I will forever be grateful for.

Sharon and me. Sharon worked her socks off to make sure the evening was top notch. Full marks to her!

Four bands were on the card this night and the first one on stage was Remnant. Here’s one band you can’t pigeon hole in any way. Remnant are a mix of thrash, groove and a few more genres of metal. They have dual male/female vocalists who share the duties but unlike say Amy Lee of Evanescence or Live Christine of Leaves Eyes whose vocals are very melodic, Tori Walter’s vocals are just as gritty as her male colleague Lee Gordine. Another gender stereotype broken here resulting in a one-two vocal punch that doesn’t let up. Both do a great job but what impressed me the most about this band was the lead guitar work of Andy Gunn. When you weren’t getting pounded by the two vocalists, he shredded in spectacular fashion. All of the combinations worked well together to make one great sound. It was a great way to begin the night!

Remnant begin the festivities

Tori and Leigh on the vocals

Andy Gunn shredding away

FFI on Remnant, go to:

The next band up was Thirty Giants, however, I never saw 30 giants go onto the stage. What I saw was four men who knew how to play heavy metal. Thirty Giants have a style I’ve become quite fond of in my waning years. They come out with some powerful metal during the verses only to go slightly more melodic while singing the choruses to their songs. Luca Cossu handles most of the vocals and does a great job with it but he has some good support from bassist Sam Yard. Meanwhile, Dave Gilburt does most of the lead guitar duties and solos very well but Luca does lend a hand at times on the guitar. They did do a solo trade-off on one of the songs and I always am impressed when that’s done well, which it was. My biggest impression of Thirty Giants was that I am convinced I heard a little Asphalt Ballet influence in a couple of their songs and that made me like them even more.

You can hear some of their offerings here:

Luca and Sam begin things for Thirty Giants

Guitarists Luca and Dave wailing.

Luca on the vox

Dave plays a solo

Anyone thinking that after the first two bands, they might have a reprieve, they were completely wrong. Up next was Gutlocker, who set out to pound the ears of everyone in the Face Bar with their brand of sludge metal. Lead singer Craig McBrearty has the power and range in his voice as well as the charisma of a good front-man, while the other three members did a great job in supporting his vocal efforts with power chords, thumping bass and drums. They might have only been on stage about thirty minutes by they let you know they were up there that entire time.

To hear more, go to:

Craig with guitarist Peter Tucker

Peter and drummer Dean Walker

Bassist Ben Rollinson

Three bands had come and gone. Three different styles of metal, all of which were completely enjoyable. Now, you might have noticed that I didn’t say anything about the rhythm sections of any of the bands. That’s because I would have been repeating myself three times. I can safely say that the rhythm sections for all three bands were spot on. All three bands also did a great job warming things up for the main event. After all, this was Black Emerald’s evening.

The atmosphere was almost electric by the time Black Emerald took the stage. I could have been back at the old Philadelphia Spectrum in the 1980s seeing such greats as Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Twisted Sister or Dio. It was like that. The first thing I noticed when they took the stage was that while I said how good they were in 2013, they were miles better four and a half years later! Edd Higgs’s shredding had come on leaps and bounds and the vocals of Simon Hall sounded even better. Plus Simon and Connor Shortt had become an even more tighter rhythm section and I was very impressed with Connor’s drumming. They played their entire album, including the song “Dr Stein,” which I uploaded from  Youtube when I announced they were cutting an album. Plus, they played the songs from their demo, all of which I liked. During the set, Craig from Gutlocker came on for a guest vocal slot and it proves the versatility of this band, that they were able to fit their sound to his vocals. Just as good was when Andy Gunn from Remnant came up to play guitar on “Voodoo Princess.” It was a treat hearing Andy and Edd shred together on this song. When they announced their last song, the nearly ten minute long, “Jonestown,” I couldn’t believe that more than an hour had passed. Black Emerald were fab!

Edd shredding

Simon on bass and vocals

Connor on the drums

Craig on stage with Black Emerald

Simon working some more magic

Andy shredding with the band

Another shot of Edd

Simon has the pipes

Don’t forget Connor

Here’s an interesting observation. You hear all the time of parents disapproving of their children’s interest in playing music. Hell, even John Lennon’s mother told him that playing guitar was a nice hobby but it wouldn’t get him anywhere. Boy, was she wrong! Therefore, it was great to see the parents of the members of Black Emerald, truly supporting their sons. Special kudos goes to Sarah, (Connor’s mum), who worked tirelessly throughout the evening, helping to make it so good.

When I left the Face Bar, I began to ask myself: “Is Reading an unknown mecca for metal?” True, the other bands weren’t from Reading but close enough. Thirty Giants were the furthest away coming from Brighton. If it is, I must go there more. There was one more surprise in store for me. I went to purchase “Hell Can’t Handle All of Us” before I left but Sarah told me to hold on. Moments later, she returned with a goody bag which featured the CD, a flier signed by the band, a Black Emerald coaster and a Black Emerald mug! That was a nice surprise and I thank the band for it and all the bands for a great night of heavy metal in Reading.

My goody bag. Note: when I didn’t need to buy the Black Emerald CD, I bought Remnant’s one.


Next post: Black Emerald- Hell Can’t Handle All of Us

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to:




















Great Metal Albums of 1984: Iron Maiden- Powerslave

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 2, 2018 by 80smetalman

Having had a glance back at posts about previous Iron Maiden, I mentioned when I posted about the “Piece of Mind” album, that the first Iron Maiden album I actually bought was “Live After Death,” which wouldn’t come out for another year after, “Powerslave.” But it was buying that great live album that got me to get off my ass and check out their earlier albums, including this great 1984 offering, “Powerslave.”

When you hear a song on a live album and then hear the studio version or vice versa, it’s hard not to compare and contrast the two versions. It is even more of the case when listening to “Powerslave” because four songs from it are played on “Live After Death.” There are some interesting comparisons both ways here. Take the opener. “Aces High” is a great song to open the album with. However, the live version is an even better song to open a concert on. It seems that the live version is played with much more intensity. That’s just my opinion. Thinking about it more, one thing that pisses me off is the fact that whenever there is talk about the Battle of Britain, “Aces High,” which is a great song to commemorate the battle, is never mentioned. This song is not only a great metal tune, it should be used as a teaching tool in schools.

On the other hand, the title track, sounds just average on “Live After Death.” It’s played well and all that but it just sort of blends in along with all the great songs from the other studio albums that are played live. However, it does stand out more on the studio album that bears its name and as a result, I get into it more. In regards to the other two songs from this album that appear on the live album, “Two Minutes to Midnight” and “Rime of the Ancient Mariner sound just as good played either way.

Now before stones start getting hurled at me, when I say that the title track stands out more, I am no way implying that the other songs on the album are sub par. I enjoy listening to all the songs on “Powerslave.” “The Duellists” is a great song where guitarists Smith and Murray trade off solos very well. I also find the instrumental, “Losfer Words” very enjoyable as well. I think that like the previously mentioned song, Adrian and Dave were given more liberty to shine on their six strings and with fantastic results! “Back in the Village” is a more powerful Maiden track that gets more in your face. So you have a little bit of everything Iron Maiden can do at their best here and that makes a fine album.

Track Listing:

  1. Aces High
  2. Two Minutes to Midnight
  3. Losfer Words
  4. Flash of the Blade
  5. The Duellists
  6. Back in the Village
  7. Powerslave
  8. Rime of the Ancient Mariner

Iron Maiden

Bruce Dickinson- vocals

Steve Harris- bass

Dave Murray- guitar

Adrian Smith- guitar

Nicko McBrain- drums

Heavy metal was exploding across the world in 1984. Great bands from all around the world were making their mark but it was still great that all the great NWOBHM bands like Iron Maiden were leading the charge and still proving they were a force to be reckoned with. “Powerslave” stamps that point emphatically.

Next post: Mercyful Fate- Don’t Break the Oath

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to:
















Rest in Peace: Dave Holland

Posted in 1980s, Death, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 24, 2018 by 80smetalman

Dave Holland

Well it seems that it’s going to be another sucky year where all the great musicians we all listened to and loved are departing this world. I’m sad to say that former Judas Priest drummer, Dave Holland, who was with the band from 1979- 89 passed away last week, cause of death is still to be revealed.  During his time with Priest, he played on some of their most classic albums like “British Steel,” “Screaming for Vengeance” and “Defenders of the Faith.” FFI go to:

Rest in Peace Dave!

Great Metal Albums of 1984: Motorhead- No Remorse

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

 Originally, the 1984 compilation album, “No Remorse” from Motorhead was on the list to be visited a little further down the line. However, with the recent passing of Fast Eddie Clarke, it would only be right and a proper tribute to not only Eddie but all three of the original members of Motorhead who are blowing the eardrums of the angels in that better place, to visit it now.

With all of the heavy metal floating around in 1984, I was certainly motivated into listening to as many heavy metal bands as humanly possible. Motorhead was one of them. I had heard a lot about them by then and wanted to listen for myself. Cue, the compilation album, “No Remorse,” which came out in that year. What an album for anyone unfamiliar with to cut their teeth on! If someone who knew absolutely nothing about Motorhead asked which album they should experience first, I would definitely recommend this one.

“No Remorse” is much much more than some greatest hits album. Sure all the great Motorhead songs up til then are on the album. Hell, it wouldn’t have been right if “Ace of Spades” wasn’t the opener on it. In fact, it would be sacrilege! Then, there all the other great ditties like “Iron Fist,” “Motorhead,” “Jailbait,” “Bomber” and “Overkill.” Most would be content with thrilling the fans with all of those great songs and a few more. No, not Motorhead, with “No Remorse,” there’s twenty four songs. Some are great Motorhead songs, others are recorded live and there’s the bonus of four previously unreleased tracks! So what you get here is a Motorhead party!

It was one of these new songs that would become my all time favourite Motorhead song. That song just happens to be “Killed By Death.” Man, I just love that song. Probably because of the way that guitarists Michael Burston and Phil Campbell just solo all over the song and of course Lemmy’s unmistakable vocals. While some may think it’s a bit more melodic than traditional Motorhead songs, there’s enough raw power in the song to let you know that it is indeed Motorhead playing it. Another great new song from the album is “Snaggletooth.” That was is definitely worth a listen as well.

Track Listing:

Disc One

  1. Ace of Spades
  2. Motorhead
  3. Jailbait
  4. Stay Clean
  5. Too Late, Too Late
  6. Killed By Death
  7. Bomber
  8. Iron Fist
  9. Shrine
  10. Dancing On Your Grave
  11. Metropolis
  12. Snaggletooth

Disc Two

  1. Overkill
  2. Please Don’t Touch
  3. Stone Dead Forever
  4. Like a Nightmare
  5. Emergency
  6. Steal Your Face
  7. Louie Louie
  8. No Class
  9. Iron Horse/Born to Lose
  10. (We Are) The Road Crew
  11. Leaving Here
  12. Locomotive

Motorhead (original line up) 

Lemmy- bass, lead vocals except on “Emergency”

Phil ‘Philthy Animal’ Taylor- drums on Disc 1 tracks 1-5 and 7-11; Disc 2 1-5 and 7-11

Fast Eddie Clarke- guitar on Disc 1 tracks 1-5 and 7, 8 and 11; Disc 2 tracks 1-5 and 7-11, lead vocal on “Emergency”

Brian ‘Robbo’ Robertson- guitar on Disc 1 tracks 9 & 10

Michel ‘Wurzel’ Burston- guitar on Disc 1 tracks 6 & 12; Disc 2 tracks 6 & 12

Phil Campbell- guitar on Disc 1 tracks 6 & 12; Disc 2 tracks 6 & 12

Pete Gill- drums on Disc 1 tracks 6 & 12; Disc 2 tracks 6 & 12

Motorhead was going through a lineup overhaul when “No Remorse” was released. Phil Taylor and Brian Robertson had left the band and guitarists Phil Campbell and Michael Burston and drummer Pete Gill would eventually join. Whatever the trouble that was going on in the Motorhead camp at the time, the sheer greatness of “No Remorse” cannot be denied.

Next post: Metal Church

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to:






Great Metal Albums of 1984: Saxon- Crusader

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 14, 2018 by 80smetalman

My trip through all the great albums of 1984 has led me to make many conclusions about the year, the music and certain bands. Here’s another one. It is my belief that Saxon were the best band from the new wave of British heavy metal, (NWOBHM), age not to have made a major impact in America. Sure, I had heard of them and even heard a couple of their songs back when I was in the marines stationed on Okinawa and liked them, but I never got around to listening to them properly until early 1985 when I heard their classic “Princess of the Night” from the outstanding “Denim and Leather” album on a metal compilation album. While I did make up for that mistake afterwards, I still think that Saxon never really got the recognition in America they truly deserved.

Onto Saxon’s 1984 album “Crusader.” The problem is that when any band puts out the album one calls their favourite by that band, all other albums are held in comparison to that one. In my case, all Saxon albums are held up to the light shone from “Denim and Leather” and that’s not particularly fair to “Crusader.” What Saxon did on this album is to take all the great things from the one album and recreate it on this album while at the same time not making it a total clone of the former. I think the objective was achieved on “Crusader.”

I love the way “Crusader” opens. It starts with medieval fanfare with galloping horses and all before going into the big title track. For me, it’s history coming to life through music as the story of crusaders is told in the song. It also helps that that period of history is one of my favourite eras. You know, knights on horses hacking down their enemies with swords, damsels in distress and catapults reducing castles to rubble, I love all that. I do think that if teachers play this song while teaching about it in school, more metalheads would wake up and pay attention and learn about all about the Crusades.

Tired cliche alert: One song doesn’t make or break an entire album. The rest of “Crusader” holds up very well and I do hear all the good things done on “Denim and Leather” on it. It’s just that one track, “Just Let Me Rock” seems to take all of those good things and incorporate them all into one song, although the title track of “Denim and Leather” seems to be the biggest influence here and that’s not a bad thing because Saxon definitely did not simply clone that song. On that thought, “Bad Boys Like to Rock and Roll” sounds like a fusion of the “Denim and Leather” tracks “Rough and Ready” and “Midnight Rider” and again, it’s done very uniquely and played outstandingly. The one song where there is no influence from my favourite Saxon album is the power ballad, “Do It All For You.” Power is the key word in the song and it does belt your eardrums even though it’s a ballad. However, the big clincher on the track is the Biff’s vocals. His best effort definitely shines through here.

I usually view covers of songs with a hint of cynicism and I did so with the cover of The Sweet classic, “Set Me Free.” Another cliche alert: Saxon put their own stamp on it and make the song their own, believe me they do. It’s not often that I like a cover as much, possibly more than the original, but I can’t fault Saxon’s efforts here. The answer, I think to why I like this song and all the other songs so much, is the guitar work of Oliver and Quinn. Both guitarists are simply exemplary on the album.

Track Listing:

  1.  The Crusader Prelude
  2. Crusader
  3. A Little Bit of What You Fancy
  4. Sailing to America
  5. Set Me Free
  6. Just Let Me Rock
  7. (Bad Boys) Like to Rock and Roll
  8. Do It All For You
  9. Rock City
  10. Run For Your Loves


Biff Byford- vocals

Graham Oliver- guitar

Paul Quinn- guitar

Steve Dawson- bass

Nigel Glockler- drums

While I might have only highlighted a few songs on “Crusader,” let me just say that all the songs make this album great.

Next post: Motorhead- No Remorse

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: