Archive for Chrissie Hynde

Great Rock One Hit Wonders of 1982 and Other Significant Singles

Posted in 1980s, Humour, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 4, 2015 by 80smetalman

My limited exposure to commercial radio during 1982 could be considered either a blessing or a curse depending on how you look at it. While I didn’t think commercial radio totally sucked back then, there were some things played on it that I wasn’t totally impressed with. Sorry but “Tainted Love” only met with a lukewarm response from me and that was only because there was a dancer at the Driftwood who could work the song to her advantage. I suppose the best way to examine this is by looking at the one hit wonders from that year.

tt

As soon as I returned to the US in June after my second and final deployment to the Mediterranean, I was aware that all the bars were playing “Jenny- 8675309” by Tommy Tutone on their jukeboxes. I can’t say that I really rocked out to the song but the melody was very catchy and when the title was sung, it stuck in your mind. The melody is going through my mind right now. I once heard a live version of this song and it did sound a bit harder rock and if Tommy had recorded the song that way, I would have liked it even more.

The Pretenders

The Pretenders

All right already, I know that The Pretenders were not one hit wonders nor did they release an album in 1982. However, they did release one song and it was a killer one. “Back on the Chain Gang” is most definitely my all time favourite Pretenders song. This is the song where lead guitarist James Honeyman Scott really shines. He just riffs through the entire song and of course I won’t take anything away from Chrissie. Her vocals are as good as ever on this one. Maybe with a great song like this one, The Pretenders believed they didn’t need to make an entire album. Who’s to know?

The McKenzie Brothers

The McKenzie Brothers

Okay, it’s not really a rock song, more of a comedy parody. But the single “Take Off” by the Canadian Comedy duo Bob and Doug McKenzie did break the top 40 in the US and I believe it went to number one in Canada! Maybe one of my Canadian followers can verify that for me. That fact alone qualifies them as one hit wonders in my reckoning although their version of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” is fourth favourite Christmas song. Another reason this qualifies as a rock song is the fact that none other than Geddy Lee sings the backing vocals on “Take Off.” That makes the single that much better. Saying that, the McKenzie Brothers do have me on the floor with laughter when I hear it, so take off you hoser!

Hank Williams Jr

Hank Williams Jr

Having spent the better part of four years in North Carolina, I could not help developing a little appreciation for country music. When asked who are my favourite country artists I answer that one is David Allen Coe and the other is Hank Williams Jr. While, I like a lot of Hank’s material the song I like best came out in 1982. “A Country Boy Can Survive” is just brilliant! From the lyrics all the way to the small but noticeable hard rock vibe to it. In fact, Kid Rock puts his own metal spin on it but I still prefer the original.

There you have, four great singles from 1982, two from one hit wonders, one from an established great band and a country song that thrills this metal head. So, maybe commercial radio didn’t suck then.

Next post: The Soundtrack to The Wall

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: Pat Benatar- Get Nervous

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 4, 2015 by 80smetalman

Get_nervous

Pat Benatar entered 1982 as the undisputed queen of rock. Yes, I know some regarded Chrissie Hynde as queen but it was Pat who had my full allegiance from 1980. By the end of 1981, she had released three very kick ass rock albums to firmly cement her on the throne and it is evidenced by her 1982 album, “Get Nervous,” she wasn’t going to give up her throne without a fight.

“Get Nervous” was the first Pat Benatar album to incorporate keyboards. However, this did not make her sound any softer or really any more commercial. There was still plenty of hard rock left in her and her band and while I would agree that “Get Nervous” may not have been quite as good as her previous three albums, (“Crimes of Passion” is my favourite) it was still a good album from her.

Keeping in the 1982 tradition, the album opens with the hit single, “Shadows of the Night.” When I first heard the song and saw the video at a bar on Okinawa, I simply thought that this was another cool song from her, I still do. Still new to music video, I thought the World War 2 theme for the video was pretty cool as well. I could hear the keyboards but thought they complimented the song very well. The rest of the album, with one exception, follows one in this way. There are some great rocking tracks on “Get Nervous.” The ones which stick out for me are “The Victim,” “A Little Too Late,”  “I’ll Do It” and “Tell It To Her.” I must also give a shout to “Fight It Out” which reminds me a lot of “Hell is for Children” but is in no way a carbon copy of the classic.

One criticism aimed at Pat Benatar about this album back in the day was that it sounded too much like her previous three and her sound was getting tiring. I never agreed with this theory and that is where I bring in the one exception into evidence. “Anxiety (Get Nervous)” goes to more of a new wave sound but still Pat makes it work. It does throw something different into the mix and while you may not hear power chords or a blistering solo from Giraldo, the song is still enjoyable. It proves that while Pat was willing to bend, she still was not ready to give up her throne.

Track Listing:

1. Shadows of the Night

2. Looking For a Stranger

3. Anxiety (Get Nervous)

4. Fight It Out

5. The Victim

6. A Little Too Late

7. I’ll Do It

8. I Want Out

9. Tell It to Her

10. Silent Partner

Pat Benatar

Pat Benatar

Pat Benatar- lead vocals

Neil Giraldo- guitars, backing vocals

Charlie Giordano- keyboards

Roger Capps- bass, backing vocals

Myron Grombacher- drums

Unfortunately for Pat, in spite of having a great album, her throne as queen of rock would be usurped in 1982. Another queen, purely through her sheer power to rock would come and steal the throne away. Who that is will be revealed in the not too distant future. However, that in no way shadows what a good album “Get Nervous” was.

Next post: Don Henley- I Can’t Stand Still

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The Runaways- The First True All Female Metal Band

Posted in Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 17, 2014 by 80smetalman

Janis Joplin and Grace Slick for the first queens of rock in the 60’s and in the 70’s came Ann and Nancy Wilson who were arguably the first modern rock chicks. In the later part of the 70’s and early 80’s we had such great ladies like Pat Benatar, Chrissie Hynde and Debbie Harry. All of these women were rock queens in the true sense and their contribution to music will always be remembered.

Janis Joplin

Janis Joplin

Grace Slick

Grace Slick

Debbie Harry

Debbie Harry

Pat Benatar

Pat Benatar

 

Heart

Heart

The Pretenders

The Pretenders

In 1981, two all female bands made their way into the spotlight, The Go-Gos and Girlschool. While the former had a more commercial rock sound, the latter was straight forward heavy metal and stood alongside of many of the NWOBHM acts that were coming out that year. However, these two weren’t the all female bands who could blow speakers with great power chords. Before them came The Runaways.

The Go Go's

The Go Go’s

Girlschool

Girlschool

I had heard of The Runaways even before the film that came out a few years ago. Even at the tender (small chuckle here) age of sixteen, I was enamoured with these fine ladies who played such aggressive music. I did listen to their debut album and liked it. Likewise, I wanted to listen to their second one “Queens of Noise” but never got the chance. Must rectify that in the future. While, I never heard any of their songs on that cheap AM radio I had back then, they toured extensively and played many sell out concerts in the US and Japan. Furthermore, the likes of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Cheap Trick and Van Halen supported them. Unfortunately, accusations of mismanagement, rows over money and direction plus several personnel changes lead to break up of the band.

Albums:

The Runaways- 1976

Queens of Noise- 1977

Waitin’ for the Night- 1977

Live in Japan- 1977

And Now, The Runaways- 1978

The Runaways

The Runaways

Cherrie Currie- vocals

Joan Jett- guitar, vocals

Lita Ford- guitar

Jackie Fox- bass

Sandy West- drums

*Vicki Blue and Laurie McAllister also played bass during The Runaways reign

While The Runaways may be no longer, the members are still around and making themselves known. One of them would dethrone Pat Benatar as the queen of rock in 1982 and possibly become the first metal queen. That one is up for debate. Another ex Runaway would also make a huge splash in heavy metal circles nor would some of the other former members remain completely silent. Almost silently, these ladies would go onto to be an influence on heavy metal and I think the all female metal bands that would spring up less than a decade later can look to them for inspiration. Don’t take my word for it, watch the film and listen to their music for yourself.

Next post: 1982- The Floodgates Are Open

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 Pretenders II

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on May 25, 2014 by 80smetalman

220px-Tppii

Maybe they thought that because it worked for Van Halen, it would work for them. That is having their first album self-titled and then calling their second one “II.” Whatever the motivation, that is exactly what The Pretenders did. Now my weird imagination has me speculating the result of David Lee Roth and Chrissie Hynde having a child together. Strange yes, but he or she would probably have a great singing voice and know how to work an audience. Anyway, let’s put my imagination back in the closet and focus on the album at hand. One thing I can say about this second album from The Pretenders is like Van Halen and even Boston, the second album follows on nicely from the first and like the other two bands, if the first two albums were available as a single pack, I would buy it.

Like I said, Pretenders II follows on very nicely from Pretenders I. That first album breathed a fresh air of new wave music into the scene in 1980 and it seems that since that worked so well for them a year earlier, they would follow suit with this one. I have to say that it works very well. Hynde’s vocals are in fine form on each song on the album and the rest of the band gives their full support. There are a few well timed guitar solos from James Honeyman-Scott although I’m not going to add him with some of the greats. What surprised me when I explored the background to the album was although the song I am most familiar with, “Talk of the Town,” was released as a single, it doesn’t seemed to have charted. The one single that did was “The Adultress,” which made it to number 12. Another reason I never paid too much attention to the Top 40 charts, I suppose, although I wouldn’t take anything away from “The Adultress” because it is a fine song. Other tracks that really stand out for me are “Day After Day” and “Birds of Paradise.” Another amusing point is I, like many other people, thought the final track, “Louie Louie” was going to be a cover of the sixties classic. Now normally when I a song doesn’t sound like I expect it to, I dislike it out of sheer disappointment but that closing track doesn’t disappoint, it’s a decent closer.

Track Listing:

1. The Adultress

2. Bad Boys Get Spanked

3. Message of Love

4. I Go to Sleep

5. Birds of Paradise

6. Talk of the Town

7. Pack It Up

8. Waste Not, Want Not

9. Day After Day

10. Jealous Dogs

11. The English Roses

12. Louie Louie

The Pretenders

The Pretenders

Chrissie Hynde- lead vocals, guitar

James Honeyman-Scott- lead guitar, keyboards, backing vocals

Pete Farndon- bass, backing vocals

Martin Chambers- drums, backing vocals

In 1980, The Pretenders brought a fresh sound to music and in 1981, followed it up with a good second album. It has been argued back then that part of the success of this album was down to disco finally being laid to rest in 1981. There may be some truth in that but it only proves to me that while some genres come and go, rock and roll will never die. The Pretenders spear headed the influx of new wave that would come to light in the early 80s.

Next post: Stevie Nicks- Belladonna

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Great Rock Albums of 1980: The Pretenders

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized, video games with tags , , , , , , on July 14, 2013 by 80smetalman

Pretenders_album

What really grinds my gears is when I think back to this year (and the couple of years before) was that whenever any new artist came on the scene with a new sound, it was immediately branded punk. I think that the corporate record execs couldn’t put certain music into nice neat little categories so the “punk” branding was a generic fit for any new sound they weren’t familiar with. This was also said with the premiere album from The Pretenders. While I agree that they were “new wave,” they definitely weren’t punk. If you want to know my definition of punk, stick around for when I visit the first album from The Dead Kennedys, which also came out in 1980.

When I hear the self-titled first album from The Pretenders, I hear several musical influences. First there is definitely some classic rock and roll there and that is evidenced in the very first track on the album, “Precious.” Furthermore, there is a hint of reggae to their sound in many of their songs as well.  This is evidenced in the single that brought them to the forefront of rock music in 1980, “Brass In Pocket.” I never judge an album for one song but it is the song that people will forever identify The Pretenders with. Still there are many great tracks on the album and reflecting back on ancient history, I love the way they use the sound effects of the video game Space Invaders in the song of the same name. It left me feeling a bit nostalgic as Space Invaders was the number one game that year.

Another factor that tuned my ears to this album was the unmistakable vocals of Chrissie Hynde. While most of the male world was still salivating over Debbie Harry, Hynde brought a new vocals style to the world. Her vocals, backed up by a tight band, also make this album as good as it is.

Track Listing:

1. Precious

2. The Phone Call

3. Up the Neck

4. Tattooed Love Boys

5. Space Invader

6. The Wait

7. Stop Your Sobbing

8. Kid

9. Private Life

10. Brass In Pocket

11. Lovers of Today

12. Mystery Achievement

The Pretenders

L The Pretenders

Chrissie Hynde- lead vocals, rhythm guitar

James Honeyman Scott- lead guitar, keyboards, backing vocals

Pete Farndon- bass, backing vocals

Martin Chambers- drums, backing vocals

Label this album what you may, punk, new wave, etc, no matter, it is still a good album to enjoy. As for me, there are plenty of albums out there more deserving of the term “punk.” I just like this for the feel good factor it provides.

Next post: Paul McCartney II

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

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