Archive for Def Leppard

80sMetalman’s Top 30 Power Ballads: 11-20

Posted in Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 20, 2018 by 80smetalman

It figures that once I embarked on this massive project, there would be power ballads from my past which really liked but forgot about because of time. Since my last post two have come to light in my mind. Now I know how Sam Beckett must have felt like in Quantum Leap with the Swiss cheese brain. One of them, “I Believe In You” by Y&T, was one but would have only made the lower twenties. The other I have put it jointly with another on the upcoming list. Thing about this one is that this band has already had an entry and though the one from the previous list was commercially more popular, I prefer the the ballad on today’s post to that one. Anyway, here’s 11-20!

20. Def Leppard- Bringing On the Heartbreak

19. Pretty Boy Floyd- I Want to Be With You

18. Danger Danger- One Step From Paradise

17. Von Groove- Arianne

16. Warrant- Glimmer

15. Poison- Every Rose Has Its Thorn

I know I take the piss out of this song a lot but I secretly really kind of like it.

(Joint) 14. The Scorpions- Still Loving You

Yep, you guessed it! This was the other one I had forgotten about. Call me weird but I prefer this one to “Winds of Change.”

(Joint) 14. Metallica- Nothing Else Matters

13. Asphalt Ballet- Wasted Time

12. Steelheart- I’ll Never Let You Go

11. Little Angels- I Ain’t Gonna Cry

There are probably other great power ballads I had forgotten about and you can feel free to put them forward but I must tell you, my top ten is set in stone. In the meantime, you got 11 great power ballads to rock out to.

Next post: 1-10

To get Rock and Roll Children for free, go to: https://crreadac.cf/current/ebooks-free-download-rock-and-roll-children-fb2-by-michael-d-lefevre.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1984 Ends in Metal Tragedy

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 12, 2018 by 80smetalman

Hanoi Rocks

Motley Crue

History can never debate that 1984 was the golden year of heavy metal. So many great albums from so many great bands and they even played metal on the radio and MTV. Never again would the genre get so much commercial exposure. However, even with all the great metal, the year would end in a very tragic anti- climax and mean the death of a drummer and his band and another similar tragedy would nearly claim the life of another drummer.

On December 8, members of the bands Hanoi Rocks and Motley Crue had been engaged in a massive drinking binge that had been going on, according to reports, for four days. More booze was being called for so Motley Crue’s Vince Neil, eager to show off his new 1972 Ford Pantera, volunteered to make the run even though he was well over the legal drink drive limit and took Hanoi Rocks drummer, Razzle, with him. At 6:38, Neil lost control of his car, (driving 65 in a 25mph zone might have had something to do with it) while swerving around a stationary fire truck and careered into oncoming traffic hitting two other cars. The driver and a passenger in one of the cars was seriously injured and taken to hospital while the driver of the second was miraculously uninjured. Vince himself only suffered cracked ribs and cuts to his face. Things weren’t so fortunate for Razzle, he was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

The loss of Razzle would spell the end for Hanoi Rocks, the band would break up shortly after. Vince Neil’s troubles were only beginning as he would have to pay $2.6 million in compensation to the victims, do 200 hours of community service and serve time in prison, albeit a mere 30 days! People are still talking about the leniency of that sentence still. Like I said when I posted about Hanoi Rock’s last studio album, I got the chance to see this band about three weeks before the tragedy happened at a small New Jersey night club. That’s why this tragedy continues to weigh heavy on me.

If the loss of Razzle compliments of Vince Neil wasn’t bad enough, further tragedy would happen on the final day of the year. Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen would lose his arm in car accident. While trying to overtake another car at high speed, Rick lost control of his car, hit a dry stone wall and entered a field where he was thrown from his car because he didn’t have his seat belt properly fastened. His left arm was severed and though doctors reattached it, had to re-amputate it on account of infection. Rick’s girlfriend also suffered head and neck injuries as well as a concussion. Although this was a tragedy at the time, Rick would be one of the greatest ‘overcoming of adversity’ stories in all of music.

When 1984 proceeded to 85, a few misguided individuals used these tragedies as some sort of symbol that heavy metal was on its way out. Fools! Yes, heavy metal would never again enjoy the commercial airplay it had in that year, but it would never go away. The lack of radio and MTV play would do nothing to halt record sales and sold out concert attendances.

Next post: My 20 Favourite Power Ballads- 11-20

To get Rock and Roll Children for free, go to: https://crreadac.cf/current/ebooks-free-download-rock-and-roll-children-fb2-by-michael-d-lefevre.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1984: Tank- Honour and Blood

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 19, 2018 by 80smetalman

A term that has been batted around quite a lot here on 80smetalman is ‘hidden gem.’ In most cases, I use it to describe a song I really like on an album that has a well known single or two on it. On occasion, I have also used the term to describe albums from bands who have more well known albums than the one I am posting about at the time. Now, I’m going to use it to describe a band or two. Whenever the new wave of British heavy metal, (NWOBHM), is mentioned, the first bands that come to mind, even mine, are Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Def Leppard and maybe Saxon. All of them great bands who have given us more than three and a half decades of great music. However as I tour through the years, I have discovered two hidden gems from the NWOBHM age. One I posted about a couple of months ago, Grimm Reaper. The other is brought to you now, Tank. I knew of both bands back in the day and loved them and often wonder why neither of them were as big as the others.

Back in those days, I had become quite diligent in scouring the heavy metal import section at my local record store and that’s where I came across what I think is their best album, “Honour & Blood.” The problem is that I didn’t appreciate it enough back then, so I’m making up for it now. What you get with this album is seven songs of pure metal magic. The shortest song is a mere four minutes and thirty-seven seconds long and there is only one other song less than five. Tank go off on crazy long metal jams which are just superb. There is not one song, even the two that are eight minutes long, where I am thinking that the song has gone on for too long. BTW, those eight minuters are the opening and closing tracks on the album and a good way to do it. Especially so on the closer because it features the very amusing lyrics, “Kill, the poor bastard’s dying.” What a fun way to the close the album, of course the cool guitar solo kind of punctuates it too.

As for the songs in between, they are all great! “When All Hell Freezes Over” is a typical but well done pure metal jam and I’m hooked by the way they sing the chorus. Blistering guitars adorn the title track. “W.M.L.A. (Wasting My Life Away)” and “Too Tired to Wait For Love” are also great metal anthems and more than just amusing titles. However, my favourite track is the cover of the Aretha Franklin hit, “Chain of Fools.” I admit, the rhythm reminds me a little of the Rolling Stones classic, “Satisfaction,” but the song just kicks it.

Track Listing:

  1. The War Drags Ever On
  2. When All Hell Freezes Over
  3. Honour and Blood
  4. Chain of Fools
  5. W.M.L.A. (Wasting My Life Away)
  6. Too Tired To Wait For Love
  7. Kill

Tank

Algy Ward- bass, vocals

Cliff Evans- guitar

Mick Tucker- guitar

Graeme Crallan- drums

The more I reflect back to those years, the more convinced I am that Tank were a hidden gem in the new wave of British heavy metal. They may not have hit it as big as the others, constant personnel changes didn’t help them there, but they left behind several albums, including “Honour and Blood” for us to enjoy.

Next Post: TNT- Knights of New Thunder

To get Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://crreadac.cf/current/ebooks-free-download-rock-and-roll-children-fb2-by-michael-d-lefevre.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1984: Grim Reaper- See You In Hell

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 16, 2017 by 80smetalman

Whenever the new wave of British heavy metal or NWOBHM is mentioned, it is usually Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Def Leppard and Saxon who spring to mind first. These great bands blazed a trail for metal bands from both sides of the Atlantic to follow. Leading the chase out of Great Britain was the heavy metal outfit, Grim Reaper. For me, the name alone made them worth giving them a listen and that turned out to be a very wise choice.

Coming from Droitwich which is in Worcestershire, England and only about 20 miles from Birmingham, there is no surprise in the Judas Priest influence with the band. However, lead singer Steve Grimmett has a vocal style that is somewhat like Iron Maiden although I can at times hear a little of Halford as well. Okay, I’m a wishy-washy bastard. Anyway, with this mighty infusion, it is little wonder that Grim Reaper sounds as good as they do and why I think their debut album, “See You in Hell” is cool.

The title track, which is the band’s best known song leads the charge. Listening to it, it is no wonder why it’s number 38 on VHS Most Awesome Bad Metal Songs Ever. It’s definitely my all time favourite Grim Reaper song. However, the seven other songs on the album aren’t far behind and make sure that it’s not a one song album. All throughout the album are the bashing power chords and way out soloing of guitarist Nick Bowcott and the fore-mentioned vocals of Grimmett. All of which are supported by a more than capable rhythm section of Dave Wanklin and Lee Harris. This makes it difficult for me to pick out a standout song beyond the title track. They are all stomp on your face metal tunes that rock. The only possible exception is the slower, at times ballad like “The Show Must Go On.” While quality wise, its as good but no better  than the other tracks, it does depart from the hammering chords of those songs and shows that Grim Reaper are versatile. Bowcott’s guitar work is quite eerily outstanding on it. However, that only changes things up slightly before the closer blasts your ears to pieces.

Track Listing:

  1. See You in Hell
  2. Dead On Arrival
  3. Liar
  4. Wrath of the Ripper
  5. Now or Never
  6. Run For Your Life
  7. The Show Must Go On
  8. All Hell Let Loose

Grim Reaper

Steve Grimmett- vocals

Nick Bowcott- guitars

Dave Wanklin- bass

Lee Harris- drums

Grim Reaper’s debut “See You in Hell” album led the charge for what many thought would be a second new wave of British heavy metal. Especially with Maiden and Priest coming out with albums the same year. In 1984, that was true and though things would go sour for this band a few years later, this is still an album to be proud of.

Next post: Gary Moore- Victims of the Future

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_8?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1510850234&sr=1-8&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1983: Raven- All For One

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 2, 2017 by 80smetalman

220px-raven_-_all_for_one

In 1983, not only the likes of NWOBHM bands like, Def Leppard, Iron Maiden and Judas Priest were gaining headway in the US but other bands like Raven were establishing themselves as well. It is true that Raven never came close to the commercial success the bands mentioned would go on to achieve, many metalheads would know of them nonetheless. One reason might be albums like their 1983 “All For One” album, which some people say was the last of their golden age albums.

“All For One” has everything any metalhead needs to like in a metal album. It has a straight ahead power chords augmented by some cool guitar solos from Mark Gallagher. Meanwhile, his brother John proves he is a decent vocalist and like Lemmy can play bass at the same time, thus fulfilling the second half of the rhythm section with drummer, Rob Hunter. I know I have said this many times about many bands but Raven were a good band that didn’t have the breaks of some of their NWOBHM contemporaries.

What I like about this album is that all of the tracks can be seen to be pure metal, if such a thing exists now a days. That starts right away with the first two tracks but it’s the third track, “Sledgehammer Rock” that really grabs my attention. The power of that song takes the album that much higher. In the 80s, many bands would use the technique of an a cappella harmonizing followed by a killer guitar riff but not done so much in 1983. Raven do it very well with the title track. Then they follow it up with some cool opening guitar riffs on “Run Silent, Run Deep.”

Only knowing this album on vinyl gives me the advantage of dividing “All For One” in two because Side 2 definitely outshines Side 1. It helps that the second side starts with my favourite track, “Hung, Drawn and Quartered.” This track is in the Judas Priest vein but Raven put their own mark on it, especially with Mark’s guitar solo on it. The next track, “Breaking the Chains” is the second best track so we get a one-two punch here that knocks you out. Again, we hear more impressive guitar work from Mark at the beginning of “Breaking the Chains.” It has a cool chorus and it’s well sung. The three remaining tracks, while not as dynamic as the two that lead the Side 2 charge, are very good songs in their own right. When they’re finished, you know that you’ve listened to a true metal album.

Track Listing:

  1. Take Control
  2. Mind Over Metal
  3. Sledgehammer Rock
  4. All For One
  5. Run Silent, Run Deep
  6. Hung, Drawn and Quartered
  7. Breaking the Chains
  8. Take it Away
  9. Seek and Destroy
  10. Athletic Rock

raven

John Gallagher- bass, lead and backing vocals

Mark Gallagher- guitars

Rob Hunter- drums, backing vocals

While “All For One” is probably my favourite Raven album, I don’t quite agree with the last of their golden age theory. I thought they put out some fine material after, which I will cover in the appropriate year. Still, if you’re a metalhead, you can’t go wrong with this album.

Next post: ~Girlschool- Play Dirty

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: Quiet Riot- Mental Health

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 16, 2016 by 80smetalman

220px-metalhealthquietriot

Here’s one reason why I was so excited about music in the Autumn of 1983. In the months leading up to when my household finally acquired MTV, we were still relying on the late night, half hour programme called “Video Rock” for our television musical feed. One video got a lot of play on that show, though I liked it and the song from the very first viewing. Sorry, no 80smetalman points for guessing it because I think you all know that it was “Cum On Feel the Noize” by Quiet Riot. Seeing this video and hearing the song, sometimes on radio, it was no wonder I was so pumped up when I went to see them open for Black Sabbath in the November. Black Sabbath/Quiet Riot is definitely in my top ten of concerts I’ve seen in my life. However, I didn’t have to buy the album, “Mental Health” back then because my sister did. Of course, I borrowed it quite a lot.

Some misguided rock officianadoes, at least they think they are, have marked Quiet Riot as one hit wonders because later albums weren’t as commercially successful as “Mental Health” and the follow up single, “Mental Health,” only reached 31 in the charts. Hey, who gives a stuff about that? Obviously, these so-called experts never sat down and listened to the album because if they had, they would have been completely blown away. I know I was.

While the two singles lead the album, there are so many great metal tunes on it and a couple I wouldn’t call metal but are good nonetheless. Take “Don’t Wanna Let You Go” for example. There is definitely a funk infusion on this song that is definitely not metal but is good anyway. Plus there’s the tribute song to the late Randy Rhoads, “Thunderbird.” It is slow and there is a piano in it but I think Randy would have still approved of it. Another observation is that lead singer Kevin DuBrow’s singing style is the same on those two songs as well as the more metal ones on the album. In fact, I think he would sound the same if he sang country/western.

What raises “Mental Health” to the precipice it stands upon is the great metal tunes on here. Everyone I know agrees that “Slick Black Cadillac” is a great metal tune and the harmonizing is done so well. I can hear a Black Sabbath vibe in “Life’s a Bitch” at the beginning of the song while “Breathless” is a straight forward in your face metal tune as is “Run For Cover.” “Let’s Get Crazy” goes more on the anthem side of things but trust me, when they played it live, it had me ready to jump out of my seat. Guitarist Carlos Carvazo is more than sufficient throughout the album but he does get his time to shine on “Battleaxe.” As far as I can remember, this was the second time I heard a track where the guitarist was just given the chance to show his stuff and Carlos rises to the occasion. “Eruption” was the first.

Track Listing:

  1. Mental Health (Bang Your Head)
  2.    Cum On Feel the Noize
  3. Don’t Wanna Let You Go
  4. Slick Black Cadillac
  5. Life’s a Bitch
  6. Breathless
  7. Run For Cover
  8. Battleaxe
  9. Let’s Get Crazy
  10. Thunderbird
Quiet Riot

Quiet Riot

Kevin Dubrow- lead vocals

Carlos Carvazo- guitar, backing vocals

Rudy Sarzo- bass, synthesizer

Frankie Banali- drums, backing vocals

Not only was did “Mental Health” propel Quiet Riot onto the metal and commercial world stage, it gave a  famous British band from the 1970s its big break in the US. Once people learned that “Cum On Feel the Noize” was originally recorded by Slade, many people like myself investigated said band further. That would mean big things for Slade with their next album, which I’ll get to in time. Besides, Mrs 80smetalman met Slade back in 1979. Like, “Pyromania” by Def Leppard, “Mental Health would be considered on of THE albums of 1983. In fact, here’s a piece of useless information my strange brain managed to retain: “Cum on Feel the Noize” squared off against “Photograph” on the MTV Friday night video fights. From what I remember, “Photograph” won by a landslide.

Next Post: Krokus- Headhunter

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: Def Leppard- Pyromania

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 7, 2016 by 80smetalman

220px-def_leppard_-_pyromania

Here’s the album that was said to have gone multi-platinum in the US while only selling 17 copies in the UK, “Pyromaina” by Def Leppard. At first, I might have been inclined to believe that. When I went to the UK for four weeks in the summer of 1983, many English people I spoke to could only say they had heard of the band and some couldn’t even say that. Furthermore, none of their singles made the Top 40 in the UK charts so wouldn’t have gotten a mention on Top of the Pops. However, thanks to a tiny bit of research, I do know that “Pyromania” did get to 18 in the UK album charts.

Lots of exposure on MTV helped get Def Leppard the notice they deserved from American audiences. The videos to the first two singles “Rock of Ages” and “Photograph” were really cool. In fact, the latter retained the all time MTV Friday Night Video Fight Championship for well over a year. Does anyone remember the Friday Night Video Fights? That’s for another time I guess. Video aside, “Photograph” is my all time second Def Leppard song, (number one hadn’t appeared by this time.) It’s just a great song in so many ways: the power chords, the harmonizing at the chorus and the guitar solo making a great concoction of a killer tune.

While released as singles, “Foolin'” and “Too Late For Love” didn’t achieve the chart status as the other two but they are also brilliant songs. I was gutted when I saw Def Leppard in 1986 and they didn’t play “Foolin.'” Like the Iron Maiden album I reviewed in the last post, the rest of “Pyromania” isn’t filler. “Rock, Rock til You Drop” is as good an opener as any. I also have a very warm spot for “Die Hard the Hunter” and think it could have been released as a fifth single. Love the guitar solo on it. With all this, it is no wonder why many people on both sides of the Atlantic considered “Pyromania” the album of 1983.

In spite of all the success the album has enjoyed, Def Leppard did have some challenges while recording it. During the recording, the rest of the band decided they had enough of guitarist Pete Willis’s alcohol problems and fired him. While Willis recorded all the rhythm guitar tracks on the album, Phil Collen was brought in to replace him and he recorded all the solos on the songs Willis was supposed to. Listening to the efforts on this album, I have to ask if we should include the guitar duo of Clark and Collen along with the greats of Tipton and Downing, Hanneman and King, Watson and Gillis to name a few.

Track Listing:

  1. Rock Rock Til You Drop
  2. Photograph
  3. Stagefright
  4. Too Late for Love
  5. Die Hard the Hunter
  6. Foolin’
  7. Rock of Ages
  8. Comin’ Under Fire
  9. Action! Not Words
  10. Billy’s Got a Gun

defl

Joe Elliot- lead vocals

Steve Clark- guitar

Phil Collen- guitar

Rick Savage- bass

Rick Allen- drums

Pete Willis- rhythm guitar

On amusing story I heard that when Def Leppard supported Billy Squier on tour in the States in 1983, many people left after Def Leppard’s set, leaving Billy Squier to play to a half empty arena. I’m not sure if this is true or not.  My sister saw them both, maybe she can shed some light on it. What I do know that “Pyromania” put Def Leppard on the world music stage in this year and rightly so.

Next post: Rainbow- Bent Out of Shape

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 1982: Venom- Black Metal

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 25, 2015 by 80smetalman

220px-Venomblackmetal

When many people talk about the new wave of British heavy metal, (NWOBHM,) they usually do so with bands like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Saxon and Def Leppard in mind. A good number will also include Motorhead in with the above but most will leave black metal thrashers Venom out. One reason for that, according to some British metalheads I met upon my arrival in the UK, is that they couldn’t take Venom seriously. Who’s trying to take them seriously? I’m sure not in the sense of being some kind of music critic. I simply appreciate their loud, aggressive thrash metal sound supplemented by very amusing lyrics about death and Satan. Granted, they’re not the most talented musicians in metal but what they put together is enjoyable for me. This is evidenced the 1982 album, “Black Metal.”

Listening to “Black Metal” makes me regret the fact that I had never heard of Venom until 1984. I can’t even blame being in the service for that. This album would have satisfied the hard edge I was searching for in music and while I wouldn’t hear of the term ‘thrash’ for three more years, “Black Metal” would still have been the answer.

From the get go with the opening title cut, I immediately found myself soaking up the thunderous beat and thrashing guitars from the album. Even when they try to slow down with the introduction of “Buried Alive,” you know that in a second, you’re going to get your ears blasted. You know, I can never make out what they’re trying to do at the beginning of that song, but hey, who cares? Even though, I have to really concentrate to listen for when “Buried Alive” ends and “Raise the Dead” begins, it’s not a major thing to worry about. The album just goes on rocking your socks off.

I think one problem some people might have had with this album is that they couldn’t pigeon hole it. While the music is thrash, the lyrics are definitely black metal. Take “To Hell and Back” for instance.

“I have been to Hell and back – kissed satanic Queen
Traveling at the speed of light – saw thing never seen
Arm in arm with Lucifer – Belial on my back
I have swam the lake of flames – walked forbidden tracks
To Hell – – and back
To Hell – – and back”

True, part of me wants to roll on the floor laughing my ass off when I hear them but it also makes me want to scream them at any religious nuts who happen by. I think that this is something else that makes this album so cool. If you think that those lyrics are amusing, then check out “Teacher’s Pet” which opens with the line “Teacher caught me masturbating underneath my desk.” Then there’s my favourite track, “Sacrifice” where they constantly spell the title throughout the song. With all of this, no wonder it is said that “Black Metal” influenced a generation of metal.

Track Listing:

  1. Black Metal
  2. To Hell and Back
  3. Buried Alive
  4. Raise the Dead
  5. Teacher’s Pet
  6. Leave Me In Hell
  7. Sacrifice
  8. Heaven’s On Fire
  9. Countess Bathory
  10. Don’t Burn the Witch
  11. At War With Satan (preview)
Venom

Venom

Cronos- bass, lead vocals

Mantas- guitar

Abbadon- drums

History has rewarded “Black Metal” by saying that it influenced both the thrash metal and black metal scene. Hearing this album, I can certainly testify to that. It possesses what I have always loved about both sub-genres of metal. It’s just a shame I didn’t get to listen to it back in the day because I think Venom were ahead of their time.

Next post: Triumph- Never Surrender

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 1981: Def Leppard- High ‘n’ Dry

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 10, 2014 by 80smetalman

 

220px-Def_Leppard_-_High_'n'_Dry

Up until very recently, I thought Def Leppard’s second album “High ‘n’ Dry” came out in 1982 and I was going to post about their first album. Even when a fellow blogger stated that this was a 1981, I still thought about waiting until I get to 1982 before I wrote about it. After all, I always begin each year with albums that were in fact released the previous year but didn’t come to my attention until the following one. I already have some in mind for when I get to 1982 but there’s still a way to go before that. Furthermore and for reasons I’ll state when I get to 1982, that year was a very barren year for me musically so waiting could be justified further, at least in my mind. However, it didn’t seem right that I wait and therefore am going to visit this album right now.

Another great thing about 1981, which I have concluded recently, is that what is commonly called New Wave Of British Heavy Metal or NWOBHM, was probably at its zenith that year. The albums I have covered to this point prove that. Def Leppard were another great British metal act to ride this title wave and set the stage to what was to become heavy metal’s golden decade. A few days ago was the first time I listened to “High ‘n’ Dry” in many years. I never bought it because my sister had it and we would listen to one another’s records quite often. Of course, that was after she got over her affinity for disco and the Bee Gees in the very late 70s. It was their next album “Pyromania” that was always number one with me but after hearing “High ‘n’ Dry” again, I’m not so sure.

If there was every a good opener to a Def Leppard album, it has to be “Let It Go” for certain. This song makes you want to listen to the rest of the album and I wish I had paid more attention back then because the title track would have definitely been a cruising song for the car. While it isn’t the power ballad that surpasses April Wine’s “Just Between You and Me” it does come pretty close and it too kicks the ass off “Every Rose Has Its Thorn.” I also found the instrumental “Switch 625” to be very well done. I think the reason why this album is so good is that this was recorded in a time when Def Leppard were hungry and that hunger is shown here in the album. They didn’t have to worry about commercial success, they just let rip and I think producer Mutt Lange understood this at the time. “High ‘n’ Dry” is definitely their most powerful album.

Track Listing:

1. Let It Go

2. Another Hit and Run

3. High ‘n’ Dry (Another Saturday Night)

4. Bringing on the Heartbreak

5. Switch 625

6. You Got Me Runnin’

7. Lady Strange

8. On Through the Night

9. Mirror Mirror, (Look Into My Eyes)

10. No No No

Def Leppard

Def Leppard

Joe Elliot- vocals

Pete Willis- guitar, backing vocals

Steve Clark- guitar, backing vocals

Rick Savage- bass, backing vocals

Rick Allen- drums

This would be the last album to feature guitarist Pete Willis on guitar but that’s a story saved for another time. Now is the time to enjoy a great album, arguably their best from a great band. This was the time when as far as heavy metal is concerned, Britannia ruled the waves and Def Leppard were one of the components of that.

Next album: Van Halen- Fair Warning

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 1981: Saxon- Denim and Leather

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 17, 2014 by 80smetalman

220px-Denimsaxon2

I know I’ve said this before, but Saxon didn’t fully come to my attention until 1985. I had heard of them before that and even remember liking one of their songs but I can never remember which one. I blame it on the booze. Their master song “Princess of the Night” appears on a compilation album I had bought in the above year but it would be more than another year until I saw this great album “Denim and Leather” on sale at my local record store for $3. I snapped it up without further thought and it is probably the wisest investment I ever made.

“Denim and Leather” is my all time favourite Saxon album and it is easy to understand why. But before I sing it’s praises, let me begin with the one minor flaw with the album, if you want to call it that. It is with the song “Rough and Ready,” which is about being a hard man. Now, in my mind, there is nothing more ridiculous than someone who is clearly not hard trying to sound like they are and sorry Biff, you’re not convincing here. Saying that, the song does redeem itself with some good musicianship equal to the rest of the album.

That leads nicely to the monster classics on this album, there are no fewer than five blockbusting songs on “Denim and Leather.” Of course,  I have to mention the track already mentioned “Princess of the Night.” It has such a killer intro that stays with you long after the song is done. Even now, I listen to it and say “wow!” Not taking anything away from the three songs that follow “Princess of the Night,” especially “Never Surrender,” but “Play It Loud” is definitely the “Wheels of Steel” of the album in the sense that it is the perfect song to play at full volume when driving in your car. I bought the album on cassette so I got to do a lot of that back in the day. Just when you’ve gotten over it, your ear drums are once again assaulted by another great one in the form of “And the Band Played On.” The guitar work in this song is completely amazing, my head just wants to keep banging away to it even when it’s over. “Midnight Rider” follows on and between this song and “Princess of the Night,” I get the impression that Saxon are into trains because that’s two songs about them. That doesn’t stop the former from also being a killer song. Then following “Fire in the Sky,” which like April Wine’s “Caught in the Crossfire” is about nuclear destruction, a relevant fear back in 1981 with Ronald Regan wanting to put cruise missiles everywhere, is one of the finest album closers of all time. The title track “Denim and Leather” is the best way to bring any album to a close. Like the other gems on the album, it has that memorable guitar crunch that aids Biff Byford’s vocals in creating history. For me, Saxon’s “Denim and Leather” is definitely my pick for one of the best albums of 1981.

Track Listing:

1. Princess of the Night

2. Never Surrender

3. Out of Control

4. Rough and Ready

5. Play it Loud

6. And the Band Played On

7. Midnight Rider

8. Fire in the Sky

9. Denim and Leather

Saxon

Saxon

Biff Byford- vocals

Graham Oliver- guitars

Paul Quinn- guitars

Steve Dawson- bass

Pete Gill- drums

When people mention NWOBHM, they are quick to say Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and Def Leppard, but Saxon only gets mentioned as an after thought in many cases. I think the problem was that they put out their three greatest albums in rapid succession, sort of like Blackfoot. Furthermore, Oliver and Quinn often get left out when great guitar duos are mentioned. They are every bit as good a combo as Downing/Tipton and Smith/Murray. It is a shame that they didn’t make it as big as the the others but they’re every bit as good. “Denim and Leather” is proof in the pudding.

Next post: Sammy Hagar- Standing Hampton

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