Archive for concerts

Donington 1988: Triumph and Tragedy

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 1, 2022 by 80smetalman

As per normal, through each year of the golden decade of heavy metal, (which is closer to the end than the beginning), I reflect on the triumphs and tragedies which occurred during that year. There have been great concert memories and artists whose lives were tragically shortened. In 1988, the triumph and tragedy occurred on the same day, at the Donington Festival.

You only need to look at the poster above as see that with the lineup, the day was going to be a complete triumph. Iron Maiden, KISS, David Lee Roth, Megadeth, Guns N Roses and Helloween made for what history will recall a great day for metal. Personally, I can’t speak for Helloween and Guns N Roses but I will get to that in a moment but the other four bands totally kicked ass!

Tragedy struck on the day during Guns N Roses’ set. A crowd collapse involving fifty people fifteen yards from the stage happened causing Guns N Roses to stop playing while concert security went in to attend to the injured. By the time they were fished out, two people, Alan Dick aged 18 and Landon Siggers, 20 were found laying down in four inches of mud. They were taken to hospital and pronounced dead. It was a tragic event which put a dark shadow on what was a glorious day for metal.

Of course, the metal hating newspaper, The Sun, spent more time focusing on the so called rowdy behaviour of the concert goers, making it out that somehow heavy metal caused the tragedy. Yes, it’s a load of BS.

On personal reflection, the reason I missed Helloween and Guns N Roses and half of Megadeth was because of a three hour plus traffic cue to get into the venue. It caused a lot of tension within the car although I can now see why my then wife would get a bit annoyed at me constantly saying, “I bet if it was a Madonna Festival, the roads wouldn’t have been so backed up.” The thing was the way metalheads were sometimes treated back in the 80s, it wouldn’t have been too far from the truth. Anyway, here are performances and a pre festival interview with Dave for you all to enjoy.

Next post: Scandals of 1988

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

To sign the petition for a knighthood for Bruce Dickinson, click the link: https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson

Great Metal Albums of 1988: Bonfire- Fireworks

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Illness, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 1, 2022 by 80smetalman

I nearly forgot, blame old age, that I begin any given year with albums which came out the previous year but didn’t come to my attention until the year I’m posting on. One of these was the second album by German metal band, Bonfire and my discovery of them came in a rather amusing way. My friends’ band, Torque Show was playing their first gig at London’s famous club, The Marquee. They were the opening band for, you’ve already guessed it, Bonfire.

Torque Show

The photo above is misleading, only two members of the band were left by the time Torque Show played the Marquee and they were on their second drummer. Anyway, they played well as an opening band and paved the way for Bonfire who impressed me as well. At least to the point that I gave their second album “Fireworks,” a go. It was a good night.

The best way to describe “Fireworks” is a straight forward glam metal album. The album does nothing I would call groundbreaking but it is consistent all the way through. For me, it doesn’t really fully kick into gear until the third track, “Sleeping All Alone.” There’s nothing wrong with the first two tracks, they both provide a good listen but it’s this particular track that turned my head. It could be the cool guitar solos from Hans Ziller which do it. That level is maintained with the following track, “Champion.” It’s a good straight ahead metal tune, one which would be radio friendly and the rhythm section, including the rhythm guitar, lay down a good foundation for the song.

Bonfire gets down and dirty with “Don’t Get Me Wrong” as this is a sleazy sounding, guitar crunching number. This is one to pump your fist in the air and flash the horns to. I can’t remember which songs they played that night so I can say if I did or not. I know I did stage dive. However, things dip a little after as “Sweet Obsession” doesn’t quite measure up to the previous three tracks. It has a good bassline though. The same can be said for “Rock Me Now.” Its intro sounds similar to the Great White classic, “Rock Me,” but then picks up speed but in spite of the increased speed, it lacks a little punch.

Fortunately, my pick for track of the album comes in and the last two tracks become distant memories. “American Nights” comes in with some cool drumming and definitely has some swagger. Lead singer, Claus Lessman, who sings well on all tracks, gives it a bit more oomph with the vocals and the rest of the band respond accordingly. Cool guitar riffs and lead guitar hooks bring in “Fantasy.” The changes in tempo keep it interesting, One minute it sounds like a ballad but then goes total metal the next with some great guitar work.

Penultimate track, “Give It a Try,” is a decent power ballad and you can feel the passion in Claus’s vocals and some good power ballad soloing from Hans. Listening to it and then to the actual closer, “Cold Days,” I think that these two songs should have been switched around. “Cold Days” would have been a better penultimate track and the passion behind “Give It a Try” would be better for a closer.

Track Listing:

  1. Ready 4 Action
  2. Never Mind
  3. Sleeping Alone
  4. Champion
  5. Don’t Get Me Wrong
  6. Sweet Obsession
  7. Rock Me Now
  8. American Nights
  9. Fantasy
  10. Give It a Try
  11. Cold Days
Alternative Cover

Claus Lessman- lead and backing vocals

Hans Ziller- lead and acoustic guitars, backing vocals

Horst Maier- rhythm guitar, backing vocals

Jorg Deisinger- bass, backing vocals

Additional Musicians

Ken Mary- drums

Martin Ernst- keyboards

Maybe I should thank Torque Show, for opening for a great band. Torque Show broke up a couple of years later but Bonfire still burns on. With albums like “Fireworks,” it’s plain to see why.

Next post: Cheap Trick- Lap of Luxury

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

To sign the petition to have Bruce Dickinson knighted, click the link: https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson

Great Metal Albums of 1987: WASP- Live in the Raw

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 5, 2022 by 80smetalman

My initial reaction to WASP’s first live album was one of disappointment when I saw the track listing. How could there be a live album by WASP and it not have the classic “Animal (Fuck Like a Beast)” on it? I saw them live in 1986 and 87 and they played the track each time. Therefore, I thought putting it on a live album would be a no brainer but it’s not on it. So, I just had to enjoy the tracks that are on “Live in the Raw.”

Since the album was recorded during the “Inside the Electric Circus” Tour, the recordings were from shows in Long Beach and San Diego California, it is no surprise that four songs from the album are on this live one. While I wouldn’t call the song “Inside the Electric Circus” an attention grabbing opener, I can see why they opened with it. It’s still a good song.

What is good about “Live in the Raw” is that it includes a good balance of their first three albums. “Animal” might not be on it but they do include “I Want to Be Somebody” and “L.O.V.E. Machine,” from the first album, both of which are good songs anyway. Furthermore, I never paid much attention to “Sleeping in the Fire” but this live version has got my attention. As for “The Last Command” album, the two best songs from that album, “Wild Child” and my all time second favourite WASP song, “Blind in Texas” get included. In addition, they add two new songs, “Harder, Faster” and “Manimal,” the former is introduced with Blackie ripping on the PMRC, always fun to hear. Oh yes, they close out the album, with “Scream Until You Like It” which is the theme to the “Ghoulies II” movie, though that song was recorded in the studio. So all around, the tracks for the live album are well chosen.

What I like most is that there isn’t much difference between the live recordings and the studio albums. They do prolong some of the songs but they are being played live so there is always scope for extra guitar solos and repeated vocals and audience participation, so it’s all good. All of the songs are played well and I will now officially eat my words on the guitar playing of Chris Holmes. He does shred well, I only wished he did more of that when I saw them at Donnington that year.

Track Listing:

  1. Inside the Electric Circus
  2. I Don’t Need No Doctor
  3. L.O.V.E. Machine
  4. 95 Nasty
  5. Wild Child
  6. Sleeping in the Fire
  7. The Manimal
  8. I Want to Be Somebody
  9. Harder Faster
  10. Blind in Texas
  11. Scream Until You Like It
WASP

Blackie Lawless- guitar, lead vocals

Chris Holmes- lead guitar

Johnny Rod- bass, backing vocals

Steve Riley- drums, backing vocals

It has been said that “Live in the Raw” marked the division the band would take the band from the ‘old WASP’ to a more mature sound. I never really thought about that as WASP would continue to sound pretty much the same to me. However, this would be the last album to feature drummer Steve Riley. Still, it’s a decent live album.

Next post: White Lion- Pride

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

To sign the petition to give Bruce Dickinson a knighthood, click the link: https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson

Sending the Love to Crawling Through Tartarus

Posted in Concerts, Death, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on April 28, 2022 by 80smetalman

I was very saddened to learn of this:


One Dead, Four Injured In Shooting at Death Metal Show

According to NBC Los Angeles, a shooting at a death metal show in San Bernadino this Saturday left one dead and four injured.

The shooting took place around 9:30pm at the Marquis Lounge at 1036 W. Highland Avenue in San Bernardino. When police arrived at the scene, they found one person already dead, and three other people suffering from gunshot-related injuries. A fourth victim with a gunshot wound drove to the hospital on his own (damn, hardcore), making for a total of five shooting victims overall.

As reported by Blabbermouth, the show at which the senseless act took place was that of Los Angeles death metallers Crawling Through Tartarus, whose vocalist Matt Holzboog was hit by two bullets and eventually had to undergo surgery. Meanwhile, CBS Los Angeles identified the deceased victim as 32-year-old James Vincent Dickson.

It has also been reported that as of Monday, all victims of the shooting are in stable condition.

The investigation of the shooting is underway, with no suspects of possible motives currently available.

Matt Berg, a friend of the band, posted the below images to Facebook, including as picture of Holzboog in the hospital, writing:

“Prayers for my boys in Crawling Through Tartarus after a violent shooting during their set last night in San Bernardino. Zander Dixon was a brother to Jack Berg and me growing up and it’s terrifying to see the video of somebody opening fire. Their vocalist Matt was hit by two rounds and is dealing with surgeries now. Make sure you send lots of love their way. Share their music with your friends, buy some merch, wish them well etc.”

That’s super fucking scary for all involved, and we wish Matt and his bandmates all the best. Check out the band below — while it doesn’t necessarily matter that their shit is cool as hell, it’s certainly nice to find out.

It now seems that you can’t even go to a metal gig in the US without the prospect of being shot. My genuine thoughts go out to the band, their families and those who were at the concert.

Let me add this song by Will Hoge.

Great Metal Albums of 1987: Warlock- Triumph and Agony

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 20, 2022 by 80smetalman

There are two ways I can speak about three or four of the songs from Warlock’s 1987 album, “Triumph and Agony.” The first was when my sister sent me one of the many heavy metal compilation tapes she would send me in the late 80s and early 90s. Four of the songs from the album made it onto her tape and those four songs gave me an indication of how good an album this was. Those tracks were “All We Are,” which is the best known song from the album, “I Rule the Ruins,” “Kiss of Death” and “East Meets West.” The second way came about the two times I saw Doro at Bloodstock. In 2010, she sang “All We Are” and “I Rule the Ruins.” At Bloodstock 2018, Doro sang those two songs again plus “East Meets West.”

“All We Are” not only received limited airplay on US radio but got on the rotation at MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball. It also opens the album well. “I Rule the Ruins” is a classic melodic metal song. I love how smoothly she sings the title at the chorus. While “Kiss of Death” didn’t get played either time at Bloodstock, it is in no way a lesser song. The song opens with a wolf howling followed by light strumming of the guitar before it goes into full metal swing with some crunching guitars and Doro showing her vocal range. It also has an interesting bass line when it goes back to the slower second verse only for the power to return at the chorus and then a blistering guitar solo. However, the song of the album for me and is “East Meets West.” There’s not much to the lyrics but then the line, “When east meets west, there’s gonna be one hell of a mess” kind of sums up what the song is about. The very frightening thing is that with what is going on in the Ukraine, these lyrics could prove prophetic. Lyrics or not, what makes the song for me is that newly added guitarists Niko Arvantis and Tommy Bolan solo their way all through the song, great stuff.

Doro on the Sophie Stage, Bloodstock 2018

Now let’s talk about the other tracks on “Triumph and Agony.” The actual length of “Three Minute Warning” is less than what the title suggests but it is a good bridge between “All We Are” and “I Rule the Ruins.” But the hidden gem for me is the haunting power ballad that is “Make Time for Love.” Shoot me for not remembering this track when I posted my top 30 power ballads a few years back. “Make Time for Love” is a true power ballad in every sense.

It would be a major mistake to assume that the final four songs from the album are filler. “Touch of Evil” opens with some foreboding sounds with drumming by guest drummer Cozy Powell. The song accelerates to being the closest Warlock comes to speed metal on the album, though that doesn’t stop the guitar solo fills from keeping up. After the audience cheers giving it a recorded live effect, Doro’s vocals make “Metal Tango” live up to its name. Again, some good guitar work here and the rhythm section makes themselves known on this one. “Cold, Cold, Cold” is a true power metal track, definitely one to bang along to. That brings us nicely to the closer, “Fur Immer,” which is German for forever and it’s sung in the band’s native tongue at the beginning but sung in English at the chorus. Very interesting and it works. It is more a ballad with the piano and the clever drumming in the background but a cool guitar solo rips in the middle.

Track Listing:

  1. All We Are
  2. Three Minute Warning
  3. I Rule the Ruins
  4. Kiss of Death
  5. Make Time for Love
  6. East Meets West
  7. Touch of Evil
  8. Metal Tango
  9. Cold, Cold, Cold
  10. Fur Immer
Warlock

Doro Pesch- vocals

Niko Arvantis- guitar

Tommy Bolan- guitar

Tommy Henriksen- bass

Michael Eurich- drums

Additional Musicians:

Cozy Powell- guest drummer on “Touch of Evil”

Rudy Richman- guest drummer

Sterling Campbell- guest drummer

Unfortunately, “Triumph and Agony” would be the last album made under the name Warlock. By 1988, Doro was the only original member of the band and the band’s ex-manager would sue for the rights to the name. Thus the name Doro was born but that’s another story. Still, this was a great album for them to go out on.

Next post: Shok Paris- Steel and Starlight

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

To sign the petition for Bruce Dickinson to receive his justly deserved knighthood, click the link: https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson

Great Metal Albums of 1987: Testament- Live at Eindhoven

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 16, 2022 by 80smetalman

Having conquered America with their debut album, “The Legacy,” Testament took their campaign to Europe. While playing the Dynamo Open Air Festival in Eindhoven, Holland, they recorded this live EP. From a historical standpoint, this was a great idea because in World War 2, Eindhoven was the first major Dutch city to be liberated by the combined force of British XXX Corps and the US 101st Airborne. From what I hear on the EP, the audience were ready for some great metal and Testament delivered.

Before the thrash gets underway, the album begins with Chuck Billy asking the audience why they don’t have any beers in their hands. “Let’s see some fuckin’ beers!” he shouts to the crowd and only when they oblige, does the true fireworks begin. Boy do the fireworks begin! They come out firing on all cylinders with “Over the Wall.” If this song doesn’t get the crowd going, then nothing was going to. I get the impression that it did, at least it got me going.

Alex Skolnick begins the second song with a guitar solo bringing in the King Diamond-ish “Burnt Offerings.” Like it does on the studio album, it lures you in as if it’s going to be a slower song before exploding into space at 900 mph. Alex delivers another great guitar solo. Then in the middle of the order comes the best known song, “Do or Die.” Chuck introduces the song by saying “You got to do what you got to do to survive. You got to do or die.” Listening to the song, I regret they didn’t play it when I saw them live in 2009 because they kill it here. It’s just one big thrash party where the crowd is chanting “Testament” at the end .

Following “Do or Die” is my choice for hidden gem, “Apocalyptic City.” It closed out “The Legacy” perfectly but here it does just as well as the penultimate track. While I was prepared for it coming in like a ballad before going full nuts, it still sounds fresh with some great guitars. Alex and rhythm guitarist Eric Peterson just nail it here. It shows what an underrated combo these two are and as far as lead/rhythm guitar combos go, I will put Alex and Eric right up there with Hammet/Hetfield, Jabs/Schenker and the Brothers Young.

“Reign of Terror” is the closer and it comes in with a pounding drum and more guitar work from the above mentioned combo. I love how the speed of the intro just keeps accelerating before Chuck’s vocals come in and take over. I can’t help thinking that there must have been a mosh pit going when this song was being played. Unfortunately, it’s over too soon. Five tracks, no matter how amazing, isn’t enough and when it’s over, I find myself wishing it was a proper LP.

Track Listing:

  1. Over the Wall
  2. Burnt Offering
  3. Do or Die
  4. Apocalyptic City
  5. Reign of Terror
Testament

Chuck Billy- vocals

Alex Skolnick- lead guitar

Eric Petersen- rhythm guitar

Greg Christian- bass

Louie Clemente- drums

What “Live at Eindhoven” demonstrated was that Testament were a kick ass live band and this album helped them make their mark in Europe. It’s also another reason why they should be considered making the Big Four into the Big Five.

Next post: Warlock- Triumph and Agony

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

To sign the petition for a knighthood for Bruce Dickinson, click the link: https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson

Great Metal Albums of 1987: Twisted Sister- Love is for Suckers

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 3, 2022 by 80smetalman

As a big Twisted Sister fan, it saddens me to write that “Love is for Suckers” was an album which was doomed from the start. Following the disappointing (I didn’t think it was that bad) “Come Out and Play” album, Twisted Sister was seen as a band in decline. In the summer of 1986, all of their albums were selling at half price or less. Therefore, not many people cared when they released this album a year later.

Cracks were already beginning to emerge in the band even before the album was made. Drummer A.J. Pero left and was replaced by Joey Franco. Furthermore, Dee Snider originally intended it to be a solo album, however, the record label insisted that all the band be brought in and record it as a Twisted Sister album. With all this seeming to go against it, it is little wonder why the album is virtually unheard of outside Twisted Sister circles and even the band doesn’t like to talk about it. But, is the album that bad?

Let me get right to the point, “Love is for Suckers” is a notably better album than their previous album. While many critics slammed the album for giving us nothing new, I think that they were just trying to recapture the magic which brought them to superstardom just a few years earlier. The album starts off with a great TS anthem in “Wake Up the Sleeping Giant.” Dee wrote this song as a big ‘FU’ to the likes of Tipper Gore and the PMRC. While it’s a true metal song, it is the only song to appear on the Twisted Sister tribute album, “Twisted Forever,” covered by the rap artist Chuck D and his version is also really good.

“Hot Love,” while lyrically, it is a song about lusting after and wanting someone, it’s backed up be some really heavy power chords and a cool guitar solo. It was the only single from the album and didn’t do too bad, reaching 31 in the Billboard charts. Then we get to the title track, which is speedier track where Joey Franco earns his stripes with the band. True, it’s an anti-love song, but its done with a sense of humour. Franco’s drumming leads in “I’m So Hot for You,” I’m getting a vibe where this album is going lyrically where Dee seems to be focusing on the love theme. But there is the catchy guitar vibe to it which has you banging away to it nevertheless. Closing out the first side is “Tonight,” which is a departure from the love song lyrics of the previous three songs and more of a motivational song, intended to get you up and raise your fist. I sometimes think this song should have come right after the opener but the energy behind it is such that when the song ends, you need that breather to change the record or tape over. It has a great guitar solo and ends with “Did you come to see the bad boys?”

Side two opens with some great riffs on “Me and the Boys.” This track definitely reminds me of the Twisted Sister I came to know and love. It’s a definite wake up call taking you back to the good old days. This brings me to my big question about this album. Why wasn’t “One Bad Habit” released as a single? I remember having this on in my car and my friend who was in the car with me and unknown to things Twisted Sister began singing along to it. The lyrics, “I have one bad habit, I love to rock and roll” may have sounded cliche but would have worked. The guitars would have let metalheads know that it wasn’t a sell out song but the use of the horn section was vey nicely done.

“I Want This Night (To Last Forever)” comes in as if it’s going to be a power ballad but as it progresses, you get more power and less ballad. It’s just gets down and dirty and highlights the fact that Eddie Ojeda and Jay-Jay French haven’t lost their touch with the six strings. The penultimate track, “You’re All That I Need” is the true power ballad and brings back fond memories of their other great power ballad, “The Price” off the “Stay Hungry” album. This one comes pretty close to equalling that classic one. Keeping with the “Stay Hungry” theme, “Yeah, Right” is a short, to the point power track which closes this album the way “SMF” closes their most iconic album.

Track Listing:

  1. Wake Up the Sleeping Giant
  2. Hot Love
  3. Love is for Suckers
  4. I’m So Hot for You
  5. Tonight
  6. Me and the Boys
  7. One Bad Habit
  8. I Want This Night (To Last Forever)
  9. You’re All That I Need
  10. Yeah, Right
Twisted Sister

Dee Snider- lead vocals

Eddie Ojeda- guitars, backing vocals

Jay-Jay French- guitars, backing vocals

Mark ‘The Animal’ Mendoza- bass, backing vocals

Joey ‘Seven’ Franco- drums, percussion

Twisted Sister come out and play, taken at Bloodstock 2016

Due to the lack of recognition “Love is for Suckers” received, Twisted Sister would break up shortly after. Dee rarely speaks of the album and I now know why they didn’t play any songs off it when I saw them at Bloodstock 2010 and 16. He stated that it brings back too many bad memories for the band. It’s a big shame how one seemingly bad album, “Come Out and Play,” can wreck a band because I like the album a lot more than I did their previous one.

Next post: Gay Bikers on Acid- Drill Your Own Hole

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

To sign the petition for Bruce Dickinson to receive a knighthood, click the link: https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson

Great Metal Albums of 1987: Overkill- Taking Over

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 15, 2022 by 80smetalman

In recent months, there has been a lot of talk as to which thrash band should join the big four to make the big five. Exodus is the most likely favourite, especially as it got a nod from Anthrax’s Scott Ian. Testament is another strong choice and I will keep plugging Kreator. However, I suspect that there are a good number of metal fans from Northern New Jersey who might speak out for Overkill. I’d be the first to say that they’d be a long shot, even though they were brilliant at Bloodstock 2015. However, after listening to their 1987 album, “Taking Over,” those odds might have got a little shorter.

Overkill establishing their dominance, Bloodstock 2015

The first two songs on “Taking Over” are a one massive thrash party. The sheer ferocity of those songs convince me that Overkill are a genuine thrash band as opposed to some of the pretenders that were coming out at the time. Then we get to the third track, “Fear His Name,” where Overkill prove that they are far more capable of just hammering out power chords at 500 mph. They slow down for the track and Bobby ‘Blitz’ Ellsworth shows he does have some good melody to his vocals and then there’s the shredding of Bobby Gustafson and boy can he shred!

“Use Your Head” doesn’t quite go back to the speed of tracks one and two but it has it’s moments. It’s definitely faster than the preceding track and there is a good power chord mosh part in the middle of the song. While the two Bobbys do what they do best on the song, I have to point out the contribution of the rhythm section on this one, which is very good. Furthermore, I am amused by the lyrics, “You’ve got a lot to learn. You got your head up your ass.”

Is there such a thing as progressive thrash? Because that’s what it seems like Overkill are trying to do on “Fatal If Swallowed.” The intro to this is really way out there before going into some fast thrash chords, which carry on for the remainder of the song only slowing down slightly for the guitar solo. But even though I have sung the praises of the first five songs, the second half of the album is even better. The title of the track “Powersurge” explains it all. Instead of slowing down, the band get their second wind and go even more thrashing mad nuts. All starting with a brilliant bass line from D. D. Verni.

It only gets better after that as the two best tracks on the album come in. Now, if I was thirty-five years younger and “In Union We Stand” was put on an infinite loop on a personal stereo, I could have won gold in the 10k walk at the Olympics. Whenever I hear the song, I just want to get up and move about really fast as the song has that effect. I love how the thrash guitars carry the verse before going full power chords at the chorus. It’s not only my favourite song on the album, but my favourite Overkill song of all time! You can imagine how absolutely nuts I went when the played it at Bloodstock.

A peaceful coexistence is dropping out of sight

So band together, together we will fight

Blasting the resistance, marching to the top

They started this, we say when it stops.

It’s another great song calling metalheads to unite but it doesn’t end there as “Electro-Violence” is also another great thrash track. If they had played this at Bloodstock, I would have been blown out of Earth’s atmosphere. This fast and furious song makes it perfectly understandable as to why the album ends with a more progressive song which is over seven minutes long. Saying that, there’s some great power chords on that one as well. Still, it ends the album on the right note.

Track Listing:

  1. Deny the Cross
  2. Wrecking Crew
  3. Fear His Name
  4. Use Your Head
  5. Fatal If Swallowed
  6. Powersurge
  7. In Union We Stand
  8. Electro-Violence
  9. Overkill II (The Nightmare Continues)
Overkill

Bobby ‘Blitz’ Ellsworth- vocals

Bobby Gustafson- guitars

D. D. Verni- bass

Rat Skates- drums

“Taking Over” presents a good argument as to why Overkill should be considered as a candidate for making the Big Four the Big Five. But the question is whether their other albums measure up. Their previous one, “Feel the Fire,” also makes a good case. However, whether you think Overkill are a contender or not, this album is definitely a great one.

Next post: Whitesnake- 1987

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

To sign the petition to have Bruce Dickinson get a knighthood, click the link: https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson

Great Rock Albums of 1987: Meat Loaf- Live at Wembley

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 25, 2022 by 80smetalman

In memory of Meat Loaf, who sadly passed away last week, I thought it would be a good tribute to the man to post his 1987 “Live at Wembley” album. One thing I have discovered over the past few days is that he seemed to be much more popular in the UK than he was in the US. Even the heavy metal hating newspaper, “The Sun,” laid on a tribute to him, so that is saying something. Therefore, thinking about it, it’s only right that he record a live album in a country where he wasn’t from originally but loved him very much.

The album/concert kicks off with the short but enlivening title cut from the previous album, “Blind Before I Stop.” It gets the crowd and the listener going and it is followed by the single from that album, “Rock and Roll Mercenaries.” I have this song on a compilation CD and it’s good but I much prefer the live performance. It has much more flair to it and already, I am regretting I wasn’t in the crowd when this concert took place.

For those who were expecting songs from the iconic “Bat Out of Hell” album, they don’t have to wait long. At track three is “You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night).” Like on the album, it begins with the spoken words from the album. You know, where he asks the girl, “On a hot summer night, would you offer your throat to the wolf with the red rose?” I can’t say 100% but I get the impression that that part of the song is the actual recording from the album. But who cares? After all, the song kicks in and you are not worrying about the beginning, especially as this is the first song where guitarist Bob Kulick, yes brother of KISS guitarist Bruce, gets to show his stuff.

Here’s where things get dangerous for me writing about this album. I am supposed to be praising Meat Loaf and I must say that his vocals are superb. However, for me, his limelight gets slightly shaded by Bob’s shredding on the album. Take the next track, “Midnight at the Lost and Found.” Meat Loaf really belts the song but Bob lays down a great solo.

There is no discernable Bob solo on “Modern Girl,” at least not until the end and Meat Loaf does what he does best. Plus the backing vocals of Elaine and Amy Goff support him very well and there is some top notch piano from Paul Jacobs. It leads straight on to the final three songs on the album, all of which are from the already named iconic album. First up is my personal favourite recorded song, “Paradise By the Dashboard Light.” Meat Loaf and his band have a bit of fun with the song with some instrumental hooks and it’s extended to over ten minutes long but it doesn’t seem that long. I’m glad they left the baseball commentary in, even if baseball legend Phil Rizzuto said he wouldn’t have done it if he knew what it was implying when the song was recorded. That’s old news though.

“Paradise by the Dashboard Light” will remain my favourite recorded Meat Loaf song but as far as this live album goes, the honour of best song has to go to “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad.” Why? You might ask. The answer is the fact that Bob’s shredding on this song is just simply mind-blowing. He just (children avert your eyes) fucking wails away on the solo and does so for a couple of minutes. I must ask, how come I never hear Bob Kulick mentioned among the great shredders? I’m sure many of you will put me right on this. Oh yes, Meat Loaf sings well on this too.

The album ends with the song which I remember used to open a Meat Loaf concert, “Bat Out of Hell.” There are few songs out there which can serve as both an opener or a closer but this one does and does well, full marks to it. Now there is a bonus EP with two tracks. One is “Masculine” where Bob shreds some more and the second is a rock medley featuring 1950s classics “Johnny B. Goode,” “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Slow Down,” “Jailhouse Rock” and a reprise of “Johnny B Goode.” These are done well but I would have loved them more if I had seen them performed live.

Track Listing:

  1. Blind Before I Stop
  2. Rock and Roll Mercenaries
  3. You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night)
  4. Midnight at the Lost and Found
  5. Modern Girl
  6. Paradise by the Dashboard Light
  7. Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad
  8. Bat Out of Hell

Bonus EP

  1. Masculine
  2. Rock ‘n’ Roll Medley
Bob Kulick and Meat Loaf

Meat Loaf- lead vocals

Paul Jacobs- piano

Bob Kulick- guitar

Alan Merrill- guitar (lead on track 2)

Steve Buslowe- bass, backing vocals

Frank Doyle- keyboards

Chuck Burgi- drums

Amy Goff- backing and lead vocals

Elaine Goff- backing and lead vocals

Shortly after we got together, my ex-wife and two of her friends saw Meat Loaf at Wembley in 1987. I wonder if it was when this album was recorded. If it is, I’m doubly jealous because the man definitely brings the goods on this live album.

Next post: Tony MacAlpine- Maximum Security

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

Great Metal Albums of 1987: Judas Priest- Priest…Live

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 21, 2022 by 80smetalman

Damn my Swiss cheese memory! A few years back, I posted my top 15 live albums and for some reason, “Live…Priest” wasn’t on said list. This is particularly shameful as I have seen the mighty Judas Priest live three times and I know how good they are in concert. This live album totally catches the essence of this legendary band.

“Live…Priest” was recorded live in Atlanta, Georgia the previous year when Judas Priest were touring for their “Turbo” album. However, many songs from their previous albums are represented too and only three songs from “Turbo.” For those who had disliked that album, this wasn’t a bad thing. Of course, they play “Turbo Lover” but they also play the more metalized “Parental Guidance” and they knock that one out of the park. The third track is “Private Property” and again, it sounds a hell of a lot better when played live that it did on the album. It helped that the crowd was singing the chorus along to Rob. Then again, you can count on Priest to nail any song live.

Needless to say, all of the best known Judas Priest songs of the time appear on the live album but they do sound so much better. “Breaking the Law,” one they always play live comes in as the fourth track and it’s well placed after “Metal Gods.” Another boring point in the life of 80smetalman is when I saw them live in 1986, I don’t remember them playing “Love Bites.” They more than make up for it here! And of course, they play my second favourite JP song of all time, “Some Heads are Gonna Roll.” By the time this song comes around, I am wanting to break out the cigarette lighter and hold it high.

Now I could go on with the remainder of the songs on the album but they are all classics which any Judas Priest fan, casual or hardcore, will know anyway. Let’s talk about the band’s performance instead. The album sounds like Judas Priest were on fire that night and they had the Atlanta crowd eating out of their hands. Robert Halford’s vocals sound fresh all through the album and he shows what a great frontman he has always been. Of course, Glenn and KK weald their axes with precision and there are some great guitar solo trade-offs between the pair. So many, I can’t choose a favourite. Dave Holland provides some brilliant drumming as well but in regards to Judas Priest, I don’t think Ian Hill gets the accolades he so richly deserves. When I saw them, he stood at the back and I was glad when I saw them again in 2009, he was allowed to join the others at the front. On this live album, I can hear his bass plugging along, providing that crucial rhythm the band depends on.

Track Listing:

  1. Out in the Cold
  2. Heading Out on the Highway
  3. Metal Gods
  4. Breaking the Law
  5. Love Bites
  6. Some Heads are Gonna Roll
  7. The Sentinel
  8. Private Property
  9. Rock You All Around the World
  10. Electric Eye
  11. Turbo Lover
  12. Freewheel Burning
  13. Parental Guidance
  14. Livin’ After Midnight
  15. You Got Another Thing Comin’
Judas Priest

Rob Halford- vocals

Glenn Tipton- guitar

KK Downing- guitar

Ian Hill- bass

Dave Holland- drums

Honestly, did you expect anything less from a live Judas Priest album? I can’t believe how much I ignored this album for so many years. I’m rectifying that now.

Next post: In memory of Meatloaf’s passing. Meatloaf- Live at Wembley

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com