Archive for Casey Kasem

Great Rock Albums of 1982: Fleetwood Mac- Mirage

Posted in 1979, 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 22, 2015 by 80smetalman

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Back in 1982, music video was still very new to many artists. MTV had only been up and running for a year and there were many households throughout the USA who did not have the channel. There would have been no way that having it on any of the base televisions would have even remotely considered. Therefore, the only music video I got to see was if I happened to catch “America’s Top Ten” and that wasn’t something I went out of my way to watch, unlike “World Championship Wrestling.” So, it was just luck of the draw that I managed to catch it on one Saturday. That week, REO Speedwagon and John Cougar had the only songs I thought of any worth in the top ten but then Casey Kasem showed the video for the new single from Fleetwood Mac, “Gypsy.” I liked the song, thought the video was okay and was glad to hear that they had put out a new album.

“Mirage” is a pretty good album, the problem for me and I suppose many people, is that after putting out an album like “Rumours” five years earlier, it would always be an extremely difficult feat to measure up to. Back in 1979, I should have seen the “Tusk” album as a sign. The problem with “Mirage”  and “Tusk” for that fact is that it lacks the variety of the all time great. While listening to “Mirage,” I patiently waited for a rocking jam like “Go Your Own Way” or a killer guitar solo from Lindsey Buckingham similar to “Don’t Stop.” Plus, I don’t think it would have been too much to ask if they allowed John McVie to pump out a killer bass line like on “The Chain.” Even an amusing little ditty like “Second Hand News” would have been cool, but none of these things are present on “Mirage.”

Enough of the negative because it is still an enjoyable album. One thing that does come over from the “Rumours” album and I’ve always loved her dearly for it, is the eccentricity of Stevie Nicks. It’s her vocals on “Gypsy” that made me check out the album in the first place. She does a similar job on “Straight Back.” That is the first track where Buckingham stops being introverted with his guitar and plays a decent solo. That combination makes it the best track on the album for me.

If it was up to me, I would have left the first four tracks of this album off and started it with “Gypsy.” From there on is where the album shines with tracks like “Hold Me” and a little bit of “Second Hand News” humour on “Empire State.” The closer, “Wish You Were Here,” is where Lindsey finally gets into full swing with the guitar making it the best song contributed by Christine McVie. That track gives an all well that ends well feel to things.

Track Listing:

1. Love in Store

2. Can’t Go Back

3. That’s Alright

4. Book of Love

5. Gypsy

6. Only Over You

7. Empire State

8. Straight Back

9. Hold Me

10. Oh Diane

11. Eyes of the World

12. Wish You Were Here

Fleetwood Mac

Fleetwood Mac

Lindsey Buckingham- guitar, vocals, keyboards

Christine McVie- keyboards, vocals

Stevie Nicks- vocals

John McVie- bass

Mick Fleetwood- drums, percussion

My advice to anyone who wants to listen to “Mirage” by Fleetwood Mac is to not think about “Rumours.” The albums don’t compare and you may feel disappointed. If you listen to it with an open mind, you will find the album very much enjoyable. It was still one of the better softer rock albums in 1982.

Next post: Night Ranger- Dawn Patrol

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

 

 

 

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Great Rock Albums of 1982: Loverboy- Get Lucky

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 4, 2014 by 80smetalman

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Sometime halfway through my second deployment to the Mediterranean and Indian Ocean, while watching a backdated episode of America’s Top 40 with Casey Kasem, I was treated to the Loverboy hit “Working for the Weekend.” Admittedly, it didn’t quite have the knock out punch I liked about “Turn Me Loose” but it was good enough to have me make a mental note on buying it when I either got to the PX in Rota, Spain or back to the States. It also brought back memories of the previous summer and the Driftwood, even though Twinkles had left a few months before the end of 1981.

True to my word, “Get Lucky” was the first new album I listened to when I returned that summer and I wasn’t disappointed. It has just the right blend of progressive and hard rock to make it work. “When It’s Over” is more proggy but the hard rock of “Jump” takes over nicely. Other good hard rock tracks come and go after leaving their own stamp on the album. “Emotional” reminds me of classic REO Speedwagon back when they were good in the 70s. “Lucky Ones” brings back fond memories of the first album and there’s always has been something about “It’s Your Life” that I liked. The album goes out on more a progressive note with “Take Me to the Top” but it’s definitely the right closer for this album. Of all the songs on “Get Lucky,” the one that stands well above the rest for me is “Gangs in the Street.” I don’t know if it’s because it reminds me of my all time favourite film, “The Warriors” or because the video tries to make Loverboy look bad ass in an unconvincing way or probably just because I like the guitar solo. Whatever it is, the song works and is why this album is so good.

Track Listing:

1. Working for the Weekend

2. When It’s Over

3. Jump

4. Gangs in the Street

5. Emotional

6. Lucky Ones

7. It’s Your Life

8. Better Watch Out

9. Take Me To the Top

Loverboy

Loverboy

Mike Reno- vocals

Paul Dean- guitar, vocals

Doug Johnson- keyboards

Scott Smith- bass

Mike Frenette- drums

Loverboy seem to have been forgotten by many people now, not me, but back in the very early 80s, they staked their claim on the rock world with two very good albums. They were another reason why Canadian artists have never gotten the respect they deserved.

Next post: Asia

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 1981: Diesel- Watts In a Tank?

Posted in 1980s, Humour, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 8, 2014 by 80smetalman

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The same friend who first introduced me to The Fools and U2 in 1981, also introduced me to this album by Dutch rockers, Diesel. I instantly identified with the big Top 40 hit “Sausalito Sumernight,” because the rambler they were singing about in the song could as easily have been the beat up 1973 Chevy Nova I was driving at the time. Trust me. However, even if it wasn’t for that, I still would have liked the song for its humorous approach and the guitar solo at the end. What was more fortunate was that this friend played the entire “Watts In a Tank?” album and I could see that the rest of it was pretty good too.

Back then I was also a big Dungeons and Dragons player too. Hey 1537, maybe we should get together for a game sometime. Anyway back to this album, one evening shortly after, while playing said game, all of the characters in the party where at an inn when the Dungeon Master (DM) announced that the evening’s entertainment would be provided by Gimli and the Dwarves. Next thing, we were treated to “Down in the Silvermine” from this very album. Since, I was playing a dwarf character that night, I stated that he immediately got up on the table and started dancing to the music. Note: the character did this, I didn’t do it myself. Ever since then, that song has been my favourite Diesel song.

There are some other great tracks on the album as well and some that have some personal meaning to me. I listen to or think of the track “Good Morning Day” on the morning after there has been some change in my life. “Going Back to China” has a humorous nod to it as does  “Remember the Romans.” Both songs are really well played. “Alibi” is another stand out track. “Watts in a Tank?” falls somewhere between hard rock and power pop and that’s is probably why it had some chart success in 1981 and probably why I like it. Going back to “Good Morning Day,” there are some decent power chords in that one. The same goes for the closer “Bite Back” that takes the album home very nicely.

Track Listing:

1. Sausalito Summernight

2. Going Back to China

3. Alibi

4. My Kind of Woman

5. All Because of You

6. Down in the Silvermine

7. Good Morning Day

8. Ready For Love

9. The Harness

10. Remember the Romans

11. Bite Back

Diesel

Diesel

Rob Vunderink- guitars, lead vocals

Mark Boon- guitars, lead vocals

Frank Papendrecht- bass, backing vocals

Pim Koopman- drums, keyboards, backing vocals

I once heard chart show host Casey Kasem say in 1981 that the Dutch bought more records per capita than anyone else in the Western world. So, it’s easy to imagine a Dutch band making it in the US. (Not sure how they did in the UK that year.) Fortunately instead of giving the world another trendy plastic bubble gum pop boy band, they gave the world Diesel and “Watts In a Tank.” That’s something to thank the Dutch for.

Next post: The J. Geils Band- Freeze Frame

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 1981: The Police- Zenyatta Mondatta

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on December 22, 2013 by 80smetalman

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This classic album from The Police first came to my attention when my ship had pulled into Rota, Spain for the final stop before sailing across the ocean and home. I didn’t clock it at first when I went in the PX although it was there, I heard about it when the ship got a two month out of date tape of old Casey Kasem who presented the US chart show back then. On that episode, he showed the video to the album’s first single “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” and I must say that I liked it. Although I have to say that a friend of mine liked it more because he used to sing it a lot, even one night when after a bit too much to drink, tried to dance while singing and ended up on his bum. God, the things that trigger memories.

Casey Kasem, anyone remember him?

Casey Kasem, anyone remember him?

With “Zenyatta Mondatta,” The Police once again prove that the rock/reggae fusion works well. The fusion is very plentiful throughout the entire album, the only possible exception being the penultimate song “Shadows in the Rain” which sounds rather spacey to me. Still even that’s not a bad song. What I find more interesting and I didn’t really notice it when I first heard the album all those years ago is that Andy Summers does bend the six string a little bit on a couple of songs. The most noticeable is the third track “When the World is Running Down, You Make the Best of What’s Still Around” and it leaves me to wonder what Andy would have actually sounded like if he had been given more autonomy on the guitar. Still, he does play well as does Stewart Copeland on the drums. Back on the subject of the album, I found the track “Canary in a Coal Mine rather good too and of course there is the other big single, the one I used to call “The baby talk song:” “De Do Do Do De Da Da Da.” There are also a couple of good instrumentals on it which, shoots down the myth believed by younger Police fans who never heard them until their last album that they were all about Sting. What rubbish!

Track Listing:

1. Don’t Stand So Close to Me

2. Driven to Tears

3. When the World is Running Down, You Make the Best of What’s Still Around

4. Canary in a Coal Mine

5. Voices Inside My Head

6. Bombs Away

7. De Do Do Do De Da Da Da

8. Behind My Camel

9. Man in a Suitcase

10. Shadows in the Rain

11. The Other Way of Stopping

The Police

The Police Sting- lead vocals, bass, synthesiser Andy Summers- guitar, guitar synthesiser Stewart Copeland- drums, percussion, synthesiser “Zenyatta Mondatta” is a good steady rock album with songs that are consistent throughout. Like other musical trios whose albums I’ve visited here, it shows plainly that three can sometimes be enough. I won’t get on here again till after Christmas Day so I’ll wish everyone a Merry Metal Christmas now! If you’re stuck for something Christmasy to listen to, you could try the Christmas album I visited this time last year, tee hee.220px-Bob_Rivers_-_I_Am_Santa_Claus_cover

Next post: Fleetwood Mac- Live 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