Archive for Canada

Great Metal Albums of 1983: Lee Aaron’s First LP

Posted in 1980s, Death, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 8, 2017 by 80smetalman

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Before I launch into the debut album from one of Canada’s best heavy metal exports in the 1980s, I have to confess that my brain hasn’t been in gear this past week. I can’t believe that when I compiled my compilation album of music stars who died in 2016, that I left out Rick Parfitt from Status Quo. Therefore, to rectify this major screw up, I would add two Status Quo songs on it. One from the “1+9+8+2” album I posted about, the song being “Want the Whole World to Know.” The other, the one I consider the better of the two songs a corporate record producer would use: “Rocking All Over the World.” Rest in Peace, Rick Parfitt.

Rick Parfitt

Rick Parfitt

Status Quo

Status Quo

 

Onto the debut album from Canada’s own Lee Aaron. Now, something else that the music websites say I got wrong. It seems that this album didn’t come out in 1983. Originally it was released in 1982 and re-issued in 1984. However, I got this on cassette as part of a double album set with Lee’s next album, “Metal Queen.” Anyway, I thought for sure that it said on the cassette that the “Lee Aaron’s First LP” was copyrighted in 1983 and have had it in my noggin for over thirty years that it came out in said year. Since it’s too much trouble to go up into my attic and dig out the cassette to check, I must ask for clemency on any misrepresentation of this album.

Now that’s over, let’s move on. I remember reading an interview of Lee Aaron in 1987 where she said she laughs when she hears this, her first album. I can see where she is coming from. Back then she was brand new to the industry and rather naive and listening to the album, one can probably say that if she had more say on the album, it might have sounded different. She only wrote on four of the songs. Lee, I hope it wouldn’t have sounded too much different because this first LP really rocks!

While she might slightly blush over the lyrics of the tracks, “I Like My Rock My Hard” and “Should Have Known,” hell, I blush for her but they are still good sounding metal songs. In fact, I have to take my hat off to Rik Emmett of Triumph who produced the album. I always thought he did a good job of taking Lee under his wing because I can’t fault any of the tracks on here. Her vocals are just phenomenal and there are some good musician work to accompany those vocals. Though I can’t ascertain why Rik only played on one song, the opener, “Under Your Spell.” Stand out tracks for me are “Night Riders” and “Took My Heart Away” to begin with. Her cover of the famous Willie Dixon blues classic, “I Just Want to Make Love to You,” which has been covered by so many bands is one of the best. Before, I heard her version, it was Foghat’s version I liked but now there’s a power struggle in my brain. However, my favourite tracks on the album are definitely “Texas Outlaw,” where she doubles with Buzz Sherman and the closing track and even though it’s only on the 1984 re-issue, I’m going to include it here, “Under the Stars.” This track is recorded live and makes me regret never seeing Lee Aaron live. So, while she might laugh at this album, I really like it.

Track Listing:

  1. Under Your Spell
  2. Lonely For Your Love
  3. Night Riders
  4. Texas Outlaw
  5. I Like My Rock Hard
  6. I Just Want to Make Love to You
  7. Runnin’ From His Love
  8. Should Have Known
  9. Took My Heart Away
  10. Under the Stars

Lee Aaron

Lee Aaron- lead vocals

Rik Emmett- guitar, track 1

Dave Alpin- guitar, tracks 1 and 7

Rick Santers- guitar, tracks 2-4, 6, 8, 9

Earl Johnson- guitar, tracks 4,6,8

Frank Soda- track 5

John Albani- guitar, track 10

George Bernhardt- guitar, track 10

Buzz Sherman- co-lead vocals tracks 4 and 8, backing vocals track 8

Bill Wade- drums- tracks 1 and 7

Mark Santers- drums, tracks 2-4, 6, 8, 9

Gen Gratto- drums, track 5

Randy Infuso- drums, track 10

Gene Stout- bass, track 1 and 7

Rick Lazaroff- bass, tracks 2-4, 6, 8, 9

Peter Crolly- bass, track 5

Jack Meli- bass, track 10

Like I said, Lee Aaron might have been embarrassed about her first album but I’m sure not. It is a good rocking album even if the lyrics of some of the songs on it do sound a bit childish. Still, you can’t fault her fabulous vocals and the musicians Rik Emmett put together to make this fine album. One of these guitarists will stay with Lee but you’ll have to wait to her future albums before I sing his praises. In the meantime, enjoy this one.

Next post: Mercyful Fate- Melissa

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

Also available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

 

 

 

Rest in Peace Leonard Cohen

Posted in Books, Death, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on November 11, 2016 by 80smetalman
Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen

With already so many great musicians, actors and producers going to the great gig in the sky this year, I was hoping that we could get through the rest of 2016 without any more sadness. I was wrong. It has come to my attention via my son of the passing of Canadian born novelist, poet and singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen. The exact details of his death are not known but a statement from his son states that Leonard died peacefully in his sleep at his home in Los Angeles.

Personally, I never owned any of his records though I often heard his name mentioned in many musical circles. Anyone who has heard the song “Hallelujah” will have heard him, even if they didn’t realize it was him singing. His work both musically and literary explored many topics including sexuality, politics, religion and relationships to name a few. Therefore it saddens me to read of his passing. May he Rest in Peace.

 

 

 

An Anvil Got Dropped on Gloucester

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 26, 2016 by 80smetalman

It’s been less than 24 hours since I went to Gloucester to see the metal delights of Anvil. To make a long story short, Anvil totally kicked ass at the Guildhall in Gloucester, UK. However, it wasn’t only a great night on account of Anvil, the two bands in support played their part in making metal history in Gloucester.

It was close, after fighting loads of traffic in my home town of Stroud and then trying to find a parking place in Gloucester, (Geography lesson: Stroud and Gloucester are about ten miles apart), then walking to the Guildhall, waiting in line only to be told that the tickets I ordered on line were waiting for me at the door, getting there and quickly buying my t-shirt, we got there just in time for the opening band.

Classic French metallers, Mystery Blue, opened things up very nicely. They are a five piece band front by lead singer Nathalie Geyer. While the sound sometimes made it difficult to tell, she does have a very good voice. But she is assisted by lead guitarist Frenzy Phillipon who knows a thing or two on how to smoke a fingerboard. Together with a sound rhythm section, Mystery Blue got the crowd in the mood for metal that night. While I can’t remember all their songs, the two that stood out were “Running With the Pack,” not a cover of the Bad Company classic and the title track from the latest album, “Claws of Steel,” which ended their half hour on stage exceedingly well. I’d definitely recommend this band and I was going to go out on a limb and say that Mystery Blue were the best thing to come out of France since Gojira but after a look on their website, I found they have been around longer than their mentioned countrymen.

Mystery Blue begin their dominance

Mystery Blue begin their dominance

Nathalie proving she has the voice

Nathalie proving she has the voice

Second up was German thrash metal band Rezet. While I can’t say that they were the best thing out of Germany since The Scorpions, Accept, Bonfire, Helloween, Kreator or Doro, they were a brilliant band nevertheless. The first thing I noticed about Rezet was there was a definite early Metallica influence here and I’m not just talking about their sound either. Their look was the same as Metallica from that era. I remember an article in Hit Parader, (Motley Crue Magazine), in 1985 which stated that Metallica looked like they belonged in the high school detention class. Rezet were just as youthful looking and like the band mentioned, they played like they were just as hungry as that band was in 1985.

Rezet compounded the assault on the audience with some really good thrash. The comments about detention hall kids definitely applied to both guitarists who traded off solos on some songs and played individual ones on others. Frontman Ricky Wagner proved to be both a good singer and guitarist but the rest of the band played their part too. The most memorable song was “Gargantua,” which as dig at modern politics and they closed with a tribute to Lemmy by playing the Motorhead classic, “No Class.” This is definitely another band worth checking out.

Ricky Wagner and Rezet get things going

Ricky Wagner and Rezet get things going

Thorben Schultz can also crank out the solos

Thorben Schultz can also crank out the solos

Rezet coming down the the finish

Rezet coming down the the finish

Everything I expected from Anvil went away as soon as they hit the stage. Things started with Lips going into the midst of the crowd to play and he got a very welcoming response as he jammed away for several minutes. When he got back to the stage, I thought, “Okay, now they’re going to play ‘Metal on Metal,’ they didn’t. The first official Anvil song of the night was “Sex” but it got the crowd going. Also my prediction that they would play many of the songs from their latest album proved to be wrong. They only played two, one was “Daggers and Rum,” a ditty about pirates and I can’t remember the other one but Robb Reiner played a really cool drum solo on it. “Winged Assassin” from the last album I posted about did get played and right after another song from the same album, “Free As the Wind” which Lips dedicated to Lemmy. He also mentioned that Lemmy once invited him to join Motorhead but Lips declined because he was in Anvil.

From the outset, Anvil were out to have a good time during the 90 minutes they were on stage. They didn’t care about the small venue because everyone inside was cheering them on. Lips especially was enjoying things and yes, he pulled out the sex toy and used it to play guitar to “Mothra.” Unlike the documentary however, this one was battery operated and that also produced some cool sounds from Lips’ guitar. Even without the toy, Lips surprised me by his ability to play. I knew he was good but I didn’t realize he was that good. He really jammed away. Plus, I got to mention new bassist Chris Robertson. When introduced, Lips stated that it was great to have finally found the right bass player after going through so many. I have to say, Robertson is the real deal.

We were treated to a good cross section of Anvil material. The title track from “This is Thirteen plus a couple of songs from “Juggernaut of Justice,” one of them being “On Fire.” While he didn’t open with “Metal on Metal,” it was the last song they did before leaving the stage. The audience wouldn’t have let them leave without playing that one. Then when they returned, a dude behind me and I both started yelling for “Forged in Fire.” Lips looked in our direction and said, “This guy wants us to play “Forged in Fire” so we will play “Forged in Fire.” That made my night totally complete. After that, they played one more song, a cover of the famous Steppenwolf song, “Born to be Wild.” I thought it was a great way to end the night.

Lips in the crowd

Lips in the crowd

Meanwhile Chris Robertson moves across the stage

Meanwhile Chris Robertson moves across the stage

Lips jamming on the guitar

Lips jamming on the guitar

Lips and Roberson going for it

Lips and Roberson going for it

Chris's bass solo

Chris’s bass solo

Singing to the crowd

Singing to the crowd

Out came the toy

Out came the toy

Here's a better picture of it

Here’s a better picture of it

Robb's drum solo

Robb’s drum solo

The End

The End

In their 39 year history, this was the first time Anvil toured the UK as a headliner. Hopefully after this night, they will be back again to tour even bigger venues because they were brilliant. When coming home from the gig, my step son couldn’t fathom why Anvil weren’t bigger. That is what’s strange.

Next post: A Non Musical Tragedy

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

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

Great Metal Albums of 1983: Anvil- Forged in Fire

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on October 23, 2016 by 80smetalman

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It’s probably a psychological thing with me but whichever album I hear first from any given band tends to be my favourite one from that band. This is most likely the reason why my favourite Van Halen album is Van Halen II, my favourite Twisted Sister album is “You Can’t Stop Rock and Roll” and my favourite Lynyrd Skynyrd album is “One More From the Road.” The same principle applies to Anvil. “Forged in Fire” was the first Anvil album I listened to and it is my favourite. However, I tend to believe that even if I didn’t hear this album first, it still would have been my favourite Anvil album.

Why is “Forged in Fire” my favourite Anvil album other than it being the first of theirs I listened to? The answer is quite simple, there are just so many great songs on it. The title track alone, which I first heard on a metal compilation album, was enough to capture my interest. I loved the pounding guitars on the song and after over thirty years, I’m not sure whether or not to take the lyrics to “Forged in Fire” seriously. Still, it doesn’t matter because I love the song so much. I mean who couldn’t be amused at these lyrics:

Power blasted streams engage the injection
The mechanism reacts with affection”

If I were to levy one criticism at the album, it would be the placing of the first two songs. I know Anvil albums open with the title track and even though I love the title track on this album so much, I can’t help thinking that the second track, “Shadow Zone” should have been the opener. That is definitely an ear catching speed metal tune that would wake up the dead. However, this is just me thinking too much.

The rest of the album carries on with one great song after another. All tracks are great metal tunes that can stand on their own. Back then, I took the lyrics of “Free as the Wind” to heart as that was how I felt after leaving the marines. Even the change in momentum when Dave Allison sings lead on “Never Deceive Me” only seems to make the album sound that much better. Many of the songs are might be considered speed metal like “Shadow Zone” as they are played very fast and ferociously. I find “Hard Times and Fast Ladies” a very interesting song and while I might mentally debate which song should be the opener, there is no question that Anvil made the right choice for the closer with “Winged Assassins.”

Another reason why I like this album so much is that Steve ‘Lips’ Kudrow really goes to town on the guitar on just about all of the songs on here. His most noted ones are on “Free as the Wind” and “Winged Assassins” but there are noble efforts throughout. Therefore, I will be expecting the same when I go to Gloucester this Tuesday evening as see Anvil in all their glory. That’s right, I’m finally getting to see these guys live and why I posted the album now. I wonder how many songs from “Forged in Fire” they’ll actually play.

Track Listing:

  1. Forged in Fire
  2. Shadow Zone
  3. Free as the Wind
  4. Never Deceive Me
  5. Butter-Bust Jerky
  6. Future Wars
  7. Hard Times, Fast Ladies
  8. Make It Up to You
  9. Motormount
  10. Winged Assassins
Anvil

Anvil

Steve ‘Lips’ Kudrow- vocals, lead guitar

Dave Allison- guitar, lead vocal on “Never Deceive Me”

Ian Dickson- bass, backing vocals

Rob Reiner- drums

Following “Forged in Fire” tragedy would strike for Anvil. For many, this would be considered their last album as they would descend into obscurity and wouldn’t be heard from again until the documentary would be released about them in 2008. As a result, I have made an executive decision and will visit the so-called obscure albums they made in the late 1980s. However, “Forged in Fire” is definitely a great album to go out in style to.

Next post: Anvil Live in Gloucester

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

Also available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

Great Rock/Metal Albums of 1983: Aldo Nova- Subject…Aldo Nova

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 22, 2016 by 80smetalman

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“Subject…Aldo Nova” was the follow up to Aldo’s much adored debut album. The big question will always be: Was it as good as the first? At first, I was tempted to answer no but after a few more listens, I’m not so sure. On “Subject,” Aldo does go for a more commercial 1980s sound and therefore it’s not as hard rock as the debut. However, the hard stuff definitely does not totally disappear on the album. Maybe he was under pressure from the record company to go for a more commercially viable sound but I can’t say. It’s still a very good album nonetheless.

The first three tracks are all space rock sounding instrumentals which can easily be blended into a single track. These tracks tell you from the outset that “Subject” is going to be a little different. “Monkey On Your Back” does bring things back to what I liked about the first album. In fact, it reminds me quite a bit of “Fantasy” so you know it’s a cool song. From there, things go even harder with the next two songs and he definitely nails the guitar solo on “Cry Baby Cry.”

Further evidence that Aldo is not trying to veer too far away from the first album’s format comes with the first power ballad, “Victim of a Broken Heart.” Unfortunately, this song is more ballad and less power but he still manages to land another great guitar solo which saves the song for me. Then comes the thirty-nine second “Africa (Primal Love)” which has me wondering: Was this necessary? Personally, I don’t see the point of it being included here but hey ho, things return to normal with “Hold Back the Night.” The big difference here was that there is a bit of barely audible talking in the middle which made me stop what I was doing and listen intently to hear what he was saying. I still couldn’t make it out. But there’s another cool guitar solo after so who cares?

“Always Be Mine” ventures back into the realm of more commercial rock so I’m assuming that it was an intended single. The chorus is rather catchy so that’s a feather in its cap. After “All Night Long,” which is more synth sounding but starts with a good solo, the album kind of goes out the same way it came in, with two short instrumentals only the final track, “Paradise” is a full length song and a bit of a power ballad but the guitar solo does take the album out on an absolute high. All in all, “Subject” doesn’t quite climb to the heights reached by its predecessor but still gets pretty high up the mountain.

Track Listing:

  1. Subject’s Theme
  2. Armageddon (Race Cars)
  3. Armageddon
  4. Monkey On Your Back
  5. Hey Operator
  6. Cry Baby Cry
  7. Victim of a Broken Heart
  8. Africa (Primal Love)
  9. Hold Back the Night
  10. Always Be Mine
  11. All Night Long
  12. War Song
  13. Prelude to Paradise
  14. Paradise
Aldo Nova

Aldo Nova

Aldo Nova- guitars, vocals

Billy Carmassi- drums

David Sikes- bass on track 5

Neal Jason- bass on tracks 8,9,10 and 12

Steve Buslowe- bass on track 11

Dennis Chartrand- piano

Chuck Burgi- drums on track 10

Kevin Carlson- 2nd guitar solo on tracks 3 and 12

Aldo Nova had hit the ground running with his debut album and still going strong on “Subject.” It seemed as far as American commercial rock was concerned, he would disappear but I can’t help thinking that his other albums are as good as his first two.

Next post: Joan Jett and the Blackhearts- Album

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

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

 

Great Rock/Metal Albums of 1983: Aldo Nova

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 19, 2016 by 80smetalman

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When my household finally caught up with the times in 1983 and got MTV, the video for the big single, “Fantasy,” from Canadian rocker Aldo Nova’s debut album received a fair amount of airplay. Okay, it may not have been played as much as Big Country’s “In a Big Country” or the full twenty minute video for Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” but I saw it a good few times. Naturally, I assumed that the song was current. It was only later that I discovered that the song and the album were actually released over a year earlier. Therefore, this was another great album that came out in 1982, which I missed on account of my commitments to the military back then. It is also the reason why I am still posting it for 1983. I guess I should be grateful to MTV or else I might have missed it all together.

Even before I first saw the video for “Fantasy,” Aldo Nova was making a name for himself in metal circles back then. He supported giants Rainbow and Blue Oyster Cult on two different tours and the reports I received from my friend and my sister was that he was pretty good. That, along with the single I heard, was enough grounds to explore the debut album and what a wise decision that turned out to be.

In typical 1982 fashion, the album opens with the big single but like so many other great rock and metal albums from that year, the rest of the album carries on very well. In the case of Aldo, the tracks “Hot Love” and “It’s Too Late” keep me headbanging away. Both are great rocking gems. Then comes the power ballad, “Ball and Chain” and it is this track that has forced me to put Aldo Nova into the category of deeply under appreciated guitarists. He really rips his solo here. “Ball and Chain” also has me pondering something else. This song, along with April Wine’s “Just Between You and Me” and the Killer Dwarfs’ “Fire In Your Eyes,” has me thinking that maybe Canadian bands are the best at power ballads. Something to debate anyway.

It would have been wrong of me to say that the album picks up after the power ballad because it never really slowed down. Still, “Heart to Heart” is a great song and in metal power, I put it between the power ballad and first three tracks. Following it is what sounds for me was a definitely intended AOR single, “Fooling Yourself.” However, the chorus is quite catchy so I don’t blame him for this one. Even more so because the next track, “Under the Gun” is the best rocking track on the album complete with another great guitar solo.

The album seems to slow down a great deal after that. I wouldn’t call “You’re My Love” and “Can’t Stop Lovin’ You” power ballads, just ballads although the latter has a cool guitar solo reminding me of why I added Aldo to my ever growing list of underrated guitarists. I would like to say that the album closes with a blinder but I really can’t say that about “See the Light.” The song reminds me of something you would hear from a nightclub band. It is done very well and sounds good despite being keyboard dominated but with all the harder tracks, I found myself straining in anticipation for a power chord that never comes. It’s only Aldo’s guitar solo that saves it for me and that gets me into the song at the end. While the last three songs may not measure up to the rest of the album in my view, those other seven songs are more than enough to make this album a great one.

Track Listing:

  1. Fantasy
  2. Hot Love
  3. It’s Too Late
  4. Ball and Chain
  5. Heart to Heart
  6. Fooling Yourself
  7. Under the Gun
  8. You’re My Love
  9. Can’t Stop Lovin’ You
  10. See the Light
Aldo Nova

Aldo Nova

Aldo Nova- vocals, guitars, bass, synthesizers, keyboards

Dennis Chartrand- piano

Michel Pelo- bass

Robert Biagioni- bass

Michael La Chapelle- drums, percussion

Terry Martel- drums, percussion

Daniel Barbe- backing vocals

Dwight Druck- backing vocals

Thank God for MTV is all I can say. While their playing of the video for “Fantasy” may have misled me as to when Aldo Nova’s first album came out, it did give me the opportunity to actually discover Aldo and listen to the album. Something I will always be glad about.

Next post: Aldo Nova- Subject Aldo Nova

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: Loverboy- Keep It Up

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 16, 2016 by 80smetalman

KeepitupLB

Before I begin, let me thank a gentleman named Damien for coming in with the big save. While my memory of the 1980s is pretty good or at least I like to think so, there have been some big albums I have probably missed out. If it hadn’t been for Damien, I would have missed out on the live Pat Benatar album and the “Keep It Up” album from Loverboy.

The first two tracks from the album brought all of the memories flooding back to me. I remember “Hot Girls in Love” back in the day and thought it was a really cool song, it still is and I curse my memory for letting it slip. The same with “Strike Zone.” This is one of the harder songs on the album and takes me back to their first album. I do like the guitar work on this song, praise be to Paul Dean on it. Probably why it’s my favourite track on the album.

Many of the other songs on “Keep It Up” in my mind, attempt to straddle the line between 1970s progressive rock and 1980s synth pop. Take track three for instance. “It’s Never Easy” has a really cool progressive style keyboard intro and has me thinking, well done. Then the song goes into that pop sort of feel and this seems to be accented by the vocals. I don’t know if Mike Reno is trying to sing a ballad or a rock song here. Still the song is redeemed with another great Dean guitar solo and it ends with the progressive keyboards that match the beginning.

“Queen of the Broken Hearts” is another example. A good song but for me it’s a case of Meatloaf’s “I’ll Do Anything for Love” meets Loverboy’s own “Working for the Weekend” from the “Get Lucky” album.  It might sound like a strange combination here but somehow it works and works well. I think that’s the theme of “Keep It Up.” It is more keyboarded and not as hard rock as Loverboy’s previous two albums but it’s still enjoyable.

Track Listing:

  1. Hot Girls in Love
  2. Strike Zone
  3. It’s Never Easy
  4. Chance of a Lifetime
  5. Queen of the Broken Hearts
  6. Prime of Your Life
  7. Passion Pit
  8. One Sided Love Affair
  9. Meltdown
Loverboy

Loverboy

Mike Reno- vocals

Paul Dean- guitar, vocals

Doug Johnson- keyboards

Scott Smith- bass, vocals

Matt Frenette- drums

Loverboy’s third album is not quite as good as the first two but it’s still a good album nonetheless. While the attempt to straddle the line isn’t completely successful, it’s not a failure. If it wasn’t for the over saturation of keyboards, this would be a good hard rocking album. Still, at least I got to rekindle the memory of “Hot Girls in Love.”

Next post: Bonnie Tyler- Faster Than The Speed of Night

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

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

Great Metal Albums of 1983: Killer Dwarfs

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on April 17, 2016 by 80smetalman

KILLERDWARFS1

I stated that sometime during the tour of 1983, I would make a revelation. My original plan was to wait a little further down the line before I made this revelation but recent posts on another blog has made it impossible for me to hold it in any longer. So now, I am going to reveal my favourite Canadian band of all time. Yep, you guessed it, it’s the Killer Dwarfs, who released their debut, self titled album in 1983.

It was the name alone that first got my attention. While browsing around my local record shop, I happened to pick up a compilation album, which I will visit in 1984, and the third track in was the single “Heavy Mental Breakdown” by the Killer Dwarfs. Being a Dungeons and Dragons player,  the name gave me a tickle and that, along with some of the other great tracks I did know, was enough for me to buy the album. A couple of listens to the song on the compilation album was enough for me to send a cheque to Attic Records in Canada and buy their debut album. Unlike Chris DeBurgh, it was the best record buying decision I ever made and I’ve been a huge Killer Dwarfs fan ever since. My best experience was seeing them open for Iron Maiden at the Hammersmith Odeon in London in 1988.

Let’s talk about the debut album. I’ll be the first to say that future albums were better and more polished than this one but that doesn’t stop this album from being a killer, yes pun intended. The opener, “Are You Ready,” sucks you in from the first notes and the second track, “Can’t Lose” does a great job in keeping your attention. Both songs are good rockers with catchy rhythms. Things go along very nicely through the next to tracks to the mentioned single to close out side one and leaving you very curious to hear what side two is going to sound like. Well, the second side doesn’t disappoint and I found it better than side one. All five songs stand out very well all the way down to a very good power ballad of a closer. That was why when I read about Russ Dwarf’s recent acoustic recordings of some of the classic Killer Dwarfs songs, I questioned why “Fire in Your Eyes” wasn’t included among them. While the song on this album has some great electric power chords, I still think it would sound great unplugged.

Now let’s talk about my favourite track on this album. If I were ever to write my auto-biography or there were to be a film made about my life, I would call it or insist it be called, “Outlaw of a Modern Man.” Besides the fact that I think that title applies to me at least a little bit, I found the title to be very amusing. At least the band and I have a similar sense of humour. The song itself is just a great power rocker. Only barely more than three minutes long, it packs a lot of dynamite into that short time. In spite of all the accusations of being pop metal, this song shows that the Killer Dwarfs can rock! But I knew that when I bought this album.

Track Listing:

  1. Are You Ready
  2. Can’t Lose
  3. Drifter
  4. Prisoner
  5. Heavy Mental Breakdown
  6. Read Between the Lines
  7. Gotta Lose to Win
  8. Outlaw of a Modern Man
  9. Time to Move On
  10. Fire in Your Eyes

This is the only photo I could get of the first line up.

This is the only photo I could get of the first line up.

Russ ‘Dwarf’ Graham- vocals

Bryce ‘Dwarf’ Trewin- guitar

Ange ‘Dwarf’ Fodero- bass

Darrell ‘Dwarf’ Millar- drums

Unfortunately, after their debut album, the Killer Dwarfs would nearly fade into obscurity. Both members of the string section would leave and the band would part ties with its record label. However, they would be back and better than ever but that story is best left for the appropriate time. The other unfortunate thing is that on account of all this, their debut album would be pretty much forgotten. I would be one of the ones who wouldn’t because it was the first album that made me a die hard Killer Dwarfs fan.

Next post: Huey Lewis and the News- Sports

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: Bryan Adams- Cuts Like a Knife

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 10, 2016 by 80smetalman

Bryan_Adams_Cuts_la_Knife

For this one, anyone under the age of 30 has to forget anything they heard from or about Bryan Adams in the 1990s. Yes, I’m in the camp that believes the song “Everything I Do, I Do It For You” is an embarrassment to hard rock and metal, even if it did stay number one in the UK charts for sixteen weeks. Now my ex wife may point out that I liked the song at the time. Well that was because at the time, I thought it was a great poke in the eye at what was in the UK charts at the time. All that massed produced Stock, Aikman and Waterman crap and techno which always seemed to be around at the time. It was great that a rock song could take the number one slot and stay as long as it did. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

Let’s forget about the 90s as it’s the 80s I’m here to talk about. Back in 1983, Bryan Adams was a fresh faced kid who put out a decent album with some good songs on it. I think the best way to describe the album “Cuts Like a Knife” is to use the term ‘innocent.’ There is no attempt to go in any commercial or non-commercial direction with it. I like the think that Bryan was just out to make a record here and what happens, well it happens.

There are several ballads/power ballads on “Cuts Like a Knife.” In fact, it was the title cut I first heard on radio from him. It’s not a bad song but it doesn’t quite measure up to the bar for power ballads set by Bryan’s countrymen two years earlier. However, I do like the guitar solo in it. “Straight From the Heart” is another one as is “I’m Ready” but he’s honest about them. Some rock/metal artists put out ballads but downplay them. There are some decent rockers on here too. “This Time” reeks of commercial, single material but it’s okay. “Take Me Back,” “What’s It Gonna Be” and “Don’t Leave Me Lonely” are better ones and my pick for favourite tracks. Well, Eric Carr from KISS fame did co write “Don’t Leave Me Lonely.”

Track Listing:

  1. The Only One
  2. Take Me Back
  3. This Time
  4. Straight From the Heart
  5. Cuts Like a Knife
  6. I’m Ready
  7. What’s It Gonna Be
  8. Don’t Leave Me Lonely
  9. Let Him Know
  10. The Best Was Yet To Come
Bryan Adams

Bryan Adams

Bryan Adams- lead vocals, guitar, piano on “Straight From the Heart”

Mickey Curry- drums

Tommy Mandel- organ, synthesizer, piano

Keith Scott- guitar, backing vocals

Dave Taylor- bass, backing vocals

In the South Park Movie, there is a line about the Canadian government apologising for Bryan Adams. Whoever came up with that must not have heard this album. There is nothing to apologise for with “Cuts Like a Knife.”

Next post: U2- War

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

 

 

 

 

80smetalman’s Choices for National Anthems

Posted in Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 4, 2015 by 80smetalman

National Anthems inspire love for one’s country. Every one I’ve heard definitely does that. Some are hard driving like the US, UK or Canada while others are more somber like Japan or Wales. Even Italy’s which reminded me of a parade or Spain’s which sounds like a sixteenth century dance still can inspire love for the country. However, most national anthems are over a century old and while there’s nothing wrong with that, since they still inspire nationalistic feelings, I wonder if more modern ones could be used. See, I have come to associate certain songs by certain bands with the country they come from and that has me thinking. Maybe these songs should be national anthems for their country.

Lynyrd Skynyrd

Lynyrd Skynyrd

USA: Freebird by Lynyrd Skynyrd (I’m talking the full fifteen minute live version)

Led Zeppelin

Led Zeppelin

UK: Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin

Rush

Rush

Canada: Tom Sawyer by Rush

Bonfire

Bonfire

Germany: Proud of My Country by Bonfire

TNT

TNT

Norway- Seven Seas by TNT

Yngwie Malmsteen

Yngwie Malmsteen

Sweden- As Above, So Below by Yngwie Malmsteen

Hanoi Rocks

Hanoi Rocks

Finland- Tragedy by Hanoi Rocks

Golden Earring

Golden Earring

The Netherlands: Radar Love by Golden Earring

U2

U2

Ireland- Sunday Bloody Sunday by U2

Loudness

Loudness

Japan- Crazy Nights by Loudness

AC/DC

AC/DC

Australia- Highway to Hell by AC/DC

Note: For Brazil, it would definitely be something by Seputura and France would be a suitable song by Gojira.

While this is meant to be a little bit of fun, I’m sure some of you are cracking your knuckles and limbering your typing fingers to contribute some of your own suggestions. Well, I’m waiting.

Next post: The Scorpions- Blackout

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