Archive for Charlie Daniels

Great Rock Albums of 1982: Billy Joel- The Nylon Curtain

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 6, 2015 by 80smetalman


April Fool’s Day has past and I am glad that everybody enjoyed my little joke last week but as Rich from Kamertunes pointed out, many of us have our musical guilty pleasures, here’s mine. I freely admit that back in the late 1970s, I liked the music of Billy Joel. I thought that “The Stranger” and “52nd Street” were both good albums and they led me to find an album that I thought was even better than those, “Piano Man.” The title cut and “Captain Jack” from that album are my two favourite Billy Joel tunes. Then in 1980, he put out the “Glass Houses” album, which confirmed my belief that he had it in him to rock. Therefore, I was pretty optimistic when I heard about his 1982 album, “The Nylon Curtain.”

This album takes Billy in a totally different direction. It’s not a rock out like “Glass Houses” but he doesn’t sit behind the piano on every song like the albums before that one. In fact, he plays other keyboard type instruments and has more musicians behind him in making the album. The result for me was quite interesting.

“The Nylon Curtain is yet again another album from 1982 that begins with its best known single. I’ve always liked “Allentown” because of the use of the acoustic guitar and what the song is about. Back in the early 1980s, factories, mines and other types of manual industry were being closed down resulting in unemployment soaring to over 10%. Many Americans felt that the American Dream had ended and this song is a good tribute to those who suffered during those times. I’m tempted to go political here but I won’t and if you listen to the lyrics of the song, you will see what I mean.

While it might not be guitar rock, there are some rocking moments on “The Nylon Curtain.” One of these is certainly “Goodnight Saigon.” That song not only rocks but it is the second song that year which paid tribute to the Vietnam Veterans. “Still in Saigon” by the Charlie Daniels Band was the first. “Pressure” is a good new wave type song where Billy goes wild on the keyboards. He does deliver on that one. The hidden surprise for me on this album has to be “Surprises” (no pun intended.) This starts like it is going to be a traditional Billy Joel tune but he does go in a rock direction on it. I can’t fault any of the other songs on the album even if they don’t stand out as much as the ones mentioned.

Track Listing:

1. Allentown

2. Laura

3. Pressure

4. Goodnight Saigon

5. She’s Right on Time

6. A Room of Our Own

7. Surprises

8. Scandinavian Skies

9. Where’s The Orchestra

Billy Joel

Billy Joel

Billy Joel- vocals, piano, organ synthesizers, Synclavier II

David Brown- lead guitar

Dominic Cortese- accordion

Liberty De Vitto- drums, percussion

Eddie Daniels- saxophone and clarinet

Russell Javors- rhythm guitar

Charles McCracken- cello

Rob Mounsey- synthesizer on “Scandinavian Skies”

Doug Stegmeyer- bass

Bill Zampino- field snare on “Goodnight Saigon”

For me, this would be the last good album from Billy Joel. He would sell out with his next album and I wouldn’t take him seriously after that. All of the Billy Joel albums before this one were good and showed his musical ability. It’s just a shame that he would settle for being popular.

Next post: Bruce Springsteen- Nebraska

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Great Rock Albums of 1982: Charlie Daniels Band- Windows

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 29, 2015 by 80smetalman


If there was one song whose lyrics really made me think in 1982, it was the single by the Charlie Daniels Band, “Still in Saigon.” For those unfamiliar, it’s a very haunting song about a Vietnam Veteran and his struggles with the war ten years since coming home. Two lines that still stick in my mind and even more so since I listened to the 1982 “Windows” album are:

“All the sounds of long ago will be forever in my head,

Mingled with the wounded’s cries and the silence of the dead.”

Those lyrics make me glad that while I served, I never had to fire a live round at a living target nor had any live rounds fired at me. “Still in Saigon” was the first true song that I know of that showed true sympathy to those who served in Vietnam. At the time, some thought it was a bit contradictory to their previous patriotic 1980 hit “In America.” There is nothing unpatriotic about “Still in Saigon” and if America apologised to the Vietnam Veterans for they way it treated them every day until the last veteran died, it might just be enough. For me, the song would come to mind in unfortunate circumstances a year later when my old unit got blown up in Beirut.

Like I have said many times before, one song does not make a good album but there are plenty of good ones on “Windows.” Charlie Daniels seems to go more rock than country on this album although there is the country ballad type “We Had It All One Time” there’s nothing wrong with that song. “Ragin’ Cajun” is the other known single from the album which features some fiddle playing reminiscent of the old 1979 classic, “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.” It’s a good rock hoe down. The gem in the dark for me on this album is definitely “Partyin’ Gal.” I knew a few ladies who partied like that in those days so it should be a tribute to them. It is probably the most rock of all the songs on the album. If “We Had It All One Time” is the country ballad then “Blowin’ Along With the Wind” is the rock one. It’s not a power ballad, more of a progressive one but it slots in nicely with the rest of the line up. Whether you’re country or rock or both, you can’t go wrong with “Windows.”

Track Listing:

1. Still in Saigon

2. Ain’t No Ramblers Anymore

3. The Lady in Red

4. We Had It All One Time

5. Partyin’ Gal

6. Ragin’ Cajun

7. Makes You Want To Go Home

8. Blowing Along With The Wind

9. Nashville Moon

10. The Universal Hand

Charlie Daniels Band

Charlie Daniels Band

Charlie Daniels- vocals, guitar, fiddle

Tom Crane- guitar, vocals

Joel “Taz” Di Gregorio- keyboards, vocals

Fred Edwards- drums, percussion

James W Marshall- drums, percussion

Charles Hayward- bass

One song made me think in 1982 but an entire album rocked the year away. “Windows” proved to many, especially many up North, that the Charlie Daniels Band were certainly not one hit wonders.

Next post: Johnny Van Zant- The Lat of the Wild Ones

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Great Rock Albums of 1980- Southern Fried Rock

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 17, 2013 by 80smetalman


If there was ever any proof needed that Southern Rock had finally come into the spotlight in 1980, it is the fact that some corporate record executive had the bright idea to put out a compilation album of great Southern Rock songs. I first saw this album on record store shelves in the summer of 1980 and almost after it appeared, advertisements for it began playing on radio and television. I had heard most of the songs previous to this album and now there was an album where I could listen to them all together.

“Southern Fried Rock” is full of great songs featuring classics like “Ramblin’ Man” from the Allman Brothers and the Charlie Daniels Band classic “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.” There is also a lot of variation on the album with slower songs like “So Into You” by the Atlanta Rhythm Section and the big country/rock crossover from the Pure Prairie League, “Amie” to rock outs like “Flirtin’ With Disaster” from Molly Hatchet, “Train Train” from Blackfoot and 38 Special’s “Rockin’ Into the Night.” This album has it all in terms of Southern rock with fifteen great songs.

Track Listing:

1. Ozark Mountain Daredevils- If You Want to Go to Heaven

2, Blackfoot- Train Train

3. The Charlie Daniels Band- The Devil Went Down to Georgia

4. The Allman Brothers- Ramblin’ Man

5. 38 Special- Rockin’ Into the Night

6. Black Oak Arkansas- Jim Dandy

7. Molly Hatchet- Flirtin’ With Disaster

8. Pure Prairie League- Amie

9. Bellamy Brothers- Let Your Love Flow

10. Elvin Bishop- Fooled Around and Fell In Love

11. Wet Willie- Keep On Smiling

12. Atlanta Rhythm Section- So Into You

13. Greg Allman- Midnight Rider

14. The Outlaws- There Goes Another Love Song

15. Marshall Tucker Band- Heard It In a Love Song

Allman Brothers

Allman Brothers

Molly Hatchet

Molly Hatchet



Charlie Daniels Band

Charlie Daniels Band

If I had to nit pick at this album, it is the fact that there are no Lynyrd Skynyrd songs on it. They were one of the most influential Southern Rock bands and it is a travesty that none of their songs are on it. Still, this is a fantastic album for anyone who wanted to investigate some of the great gems “Southern Fried Rock” has to offer.

Next post: The J Geils Band- Love Stinks

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Great Rock Albums of 1980: The Charlie Daniels Band- Full Moon

Posted in 1980s, films, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 9, 2013 by 80smetalman

Before I start, I would just like to say that it was my birthday on Friday and my step daughter got me a really nice gift that I have to share here. She bought me two bottles of Iron Maiden Ale. Whoa! 



Yes, I enjoyed the first one and I will enjoy the second. Now here’s the next album, Charlie Daniels, “Full Moon


In 1980, The Charlie Daniels Band was riding high thanks to their 1979 hit, “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.” They even appeared in the 1980 film “Urban Cowboy” starring John Travolta. I won’t go into great details about the film but I will say that the Texas accent put on by Travolta in the film was unconvincing and I’m from New Jersey. 

John Travolta in Urban Cowboy

John Travolta in Urban Cowboy

“Full Moon” first came to my attention in the summer of this year courtesy of the hit single “In America.” As a young marine feeling slightly frustrated that President Jimmy Carter hadn’t sent me to Iran to go and rescue the hostages single handed, the patriotic lyrics struck a definite chord with me. That and the rocky edge to the song and that is what The Charlie Daniels Band was so successful at. They made the country to rock crossover look extremely easy and as a result won many fans in both camps. 

The album begins with another notable song, “The Legend of Wooly Swamp” and along with “Lonesome Boy From Dixie,” has that Southern boogie rock feel to them. They are sandwiched around the more ballad like “Carolina, I Remember You.” The fourth track, “No Potion For The Pain” has a definite blues feel to it and I liked the guitar work on it. The album does go a bit more country with the next few songs although I still like them. “Dance, Gypsy Dance” is the song where Charlie finally cuts loose with his fiddle reminiscent of that great 1979 song. The album returns to that boogie rock edge for the remainder of the songs which leaves the album to finish on a definite high with “In America.” 

Track Listing:

1. The Legend of Wooly Swamp

2. Carolina, I Remember You

3. Lonesome Boy From Dixie

4. No Potion for the Pain

5. El Toreador

6. South Sea Song

7. Dance Gypsy Dance

8. Money

9. In America

Charlie Daniels Band

Charlie Daniels Band

Charlie Daniels- vocals, guitar, fiddle

Tom Crane- guitar, vocals

Joel “Taz” Di Gregorio- keyboards, vocals

Fred Edwards- drums, percussion

James W Marshall- drums, percussion

Charles Hayward- bass

If anyone could unify rednecks and rockers, it was the Charlie Daniels Band. Their blend of country and rock was unique and worked on several levels. Proof in the pudding is in the “Full Moon” album. I might listen to it again while drinking my second bottle of Iron Maiden Ale.

Next post: The Outlaws- Ghost Riders In the Sky

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Great Rock Albums of 1979: Charlie Daniels Band- Million Mile Reflections

Posted in 1979, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on September 27, 2012 by 80smetalman


Of the Southern Rock bands I have featured for the past few posts, there is one who was the most successful in making the country- rock crossover, The Charlie Daniels Band. It definitely helps when you have a top ten hit in both the country and rock singles charts like they did with the famous “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.” When I first heard this classic hit, I was in North Carolina so I thought that it was just a good song that was popular in the South. Then I had my first 96 hour pass where I got to go home to New Jersey and found that the song was just as popular there. Charlie Daniels had definitely brought a bit of country to the rockers in the North and they liked it. However, there is one point I would like to bring up for debate; quite a few people believe that the Devil actually was the better in the fiddle duel.

“Million Mile Reflections” was not a one trick wonder. There are some other great tracks on it that help it complete the crossover. “Reflections” is a slow but fitting tribute to Elvis, Janis Joplin and Ronnie Van Zant. Other tracks for me are a more melodic rock sound with some good displays of keyboards and guitar musicianship. One track, I’m pretty sure it’s “Blind Man” although I must remember to make notes when I’m listening to an album I’m reviewing, has the extended guitar solo that had become a characteristic of Southern Rock.

Track Listing:

1. Passing Lane

2. Blue Star

3. Jitterbug

4. Behind Your Eyes

5. Reflections

6. The Devil Went Down to Georgia

7. Mississippi

8. Blind Man

9. Rainbow Ride

Charlie Daniels Band

Charlie Daniels- guitar, fiddle, vocals

Tom Crain- guitar, vocals

Taz DiGregorio- keyboards, vocals

Fred Edwards- drums,percussion

James W Marshall- drums, percussion

Charles Hayward- bass

“The Devil Went Down to Georgia” is probably the one song that focused people up north’s attention to Southern Rock. It could be said that it paved the way for the likes of Molly Hatchet and others and that it wasn’t just a bunch of hicks playing washboards and jugs. I learned in 1979, that there is true rock down south.

Next post: REO Speedwagon- Nine Lives

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