Archive for Devo

Great Rock Albums of 1985: Weird Al Yankovic- Dare To Be Stupid

Posted in 1980s, Humour, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 16, 2018 by 80smetalman

After the big success of his 1984 album, “In 3D,” it was only expected that the King of Parody, Weird Al Yankovic, release an album in 1985. Therefore, many people like me eagerly awaited and grabbed “Dare to be Stupid” as soon as it came out. Even though some critics said that the new album wasn’t as good as its predecessor, (what do they know?), I still really like this album.

First let us start with the parodies. Opening the album is what has been said one of his best songs, “Like a Surgeon,” which is a parody of the then Madonna classic, “Like a Virgin.” For all the things I might say about Madonna, I have to give her credit here. Not  only did she give Weird Al her blessing to make a take off on her song, she collaborated on “Like a Surgeon.” Reportedly, this was the only time that he used ideas from outside artists on any of his songs. Whatever the case,  the song is a hoot and so is the video for it.

Other artists who gets the parody treatment are Huey Lewis and the News, the Kinks and Cyndi Lauper. The Huey Lewis song which gets it is “I Want a New Drug” in the form of “I Want a New Duck” and the song is actually about a duck. Listen to the lyrics and you’ll be rolling around in laughter but that’s what Weird Al does best. Back in 1985, some Star Wars fans took offense at his parody of the Kinks classic, “Lola” with “Yoda.” The song shows that at least he saw the film. No 80smetalman points for guessing which Cyndi Lauper song he would parody. Thinking about it, “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” was probably to golden of an opportunity for him and “Girls Just Wanna Have Lunch” is a great send off. It sounds like he’s singing off key on the song but I think that’s just the weird in Weird Al.

Something which always gets overlooked in regards to Weird Al is the fact that he does have musical talent. All of his parodies sound like the original. “I Want a New Duck” and “Yoda” sound almost exactly as they could have been done by the original artists. It’s his seemingly non parodies where his talent can be seen more. I shouldn’t call some of these non-parodies because they are parodies in a different way. The style in which the title track is that of Devo and the very funny “One More Minute” sounds like an Elvis Presley ballad. However, the lyrics in that song will crack you up. Staying with that one, it sounds like a lamentation of a guy who has been dumped by his girl but in typical Weird Al style, he goes above and beyond. Sure, I’ve been dumped but I never considered burning down the malt shop we went to because it reminded me of her.

If his songs aren’t spoofing an artist’s song or musical style, they’re doing it to aspects of life. “This Is the Life” is a send off on rich people’s life style and “Slime Creatures From Outer Space” pays hilarious tribute to 1950s Sci-Fi films. However, my favourite in this category is “Cable TV” which by 1985 was becoming a nationwide household phenomenon. Nowadays, most Americans have hundreds of channels but often times still nothing to watch. There’s also a cover of the theme song to the cartoon “George of the Jungle,” I like it and like “In 3D” he puts popular contemporary at the time songs to polka music. ZZ Top and Twisted Sister along with many others get the polka treatment. Only this time, it closes the album and probably the most appropriate song to do so.

Track Listing:

  1. Like a Surgeon
  2. Dare to be Stupid
  3. I Want a New Duck
  4. One More Minute
  5. Yoda
  6. George of the Jungle
  7. Slime Creatures From Outer Space
  8. Girls Just Wanna Have Lunch
  9. This is the Life
  10. Cable TV
  11. Hooked on Polkas

Weird Al Yankovic

Weird Al Yankovic- lead vocals, accordion, keyboards

Rick Derringer- guitar, production

Steve Jay- bass, banjo, backing vocals

Jim West- guitar, backing vocals

John ‘Bermuda’ Schwartz- drums percussion

Ignore the critics, to me “Dare To Be Stupid” is just as zany and well done as any of Weird Al’s other albums. While songs will have you in stitches, try to appreciate just how musically talented he really is.

Next post: Petra- Beat the System

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1537086656&sr=1-1&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Great Soundtracks of 1981: Heavy Metal

Posted in 1980s, films, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, soundtracks, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 20, 2014 by 80smetalman

hevmetmov

If I have to think back in time and pick out one major turning point in what made me the metalhead I am today, it would have to be this film and its superb soundtrack. Back then, I only thought of heavy metal music as a concept and it wouldn’t be until I left the marines two years later that I would actually call myself a metalhead but after seeing the film and listening to all the great music on the soundtrack, it was safe to say that I was well on the road to becoming one.

Even though as a film, “Heavy Metal” was dismissed by some critics, even science fiction ones, I thoroughly enjoyed it. When you’re twenty years old and your mind is under the influence of certain substances, seeing a space ship open its cargo door and then an astronaut comes out of it in a 1953 chevy corvette parachuting to Earth is mind blowing. For those who haven’t seen the film, the mentioned scene happens to be at the beginning. The astronaut drives home and is met by his daughter. He then gives her this gift which is a large green globe. The globe melts the father and then tells the daughter its going to kill her after it shows her six stories about how it is the sum of all evil. It is these individual stories that make the film. My personal favourite is story two, “Den” about a nerdy teen who gets transported to a fantasy world where is is this muscular hero who gets all the girls. For months, I went around repeating Den’s  lines from where he first discovers he’s in a new body. “No hair, mmm big.” Then the nerdy voice (done by the late John Candy) says, “There is no way I’m walking around this place with my dork hanging out.” And then later in that story, after he sleeps with the evil queen, “Eighteen years of nothing and then twice in one day.” Sorry, small things amuse small minds. While those lines amused me, the one that became the standard for me and my buddies was from story five when the two stoned aliens badly dock their space ship. Voiced by the late Harold Ramis: “One thing I know how to do man is drive when I’m stoned.”

Chevy Corvette parachutes to Earth

Chevy Corvette parachutes to Earth

You find out at the end that the entire film is tied to the very last story, “Taarna.” Taarna is the last descendant of a warrior race known as the Taarakians, who after extracting vengeance on the barbarians who destroyed a peaceful city, sacrifices herself so the green globe can’t take over the world. Her blood is in the young girl who becomes the new Taarakian defender. Yes, I thought the ending was a little naff but after watching the other six stories, I didn’t really care. Besides, it was this last story that has instilled my fondness for ladies wielding swords. That might be too much information.

Taarna with her sword

Taarna with her sword

Enough about the film, lets move to this fantastic soundtrack. I don’t use the term “fantastic” loosely here because I really believe it about this soundtrack. It’s a who’s who of great rock and metal artists from the period. Two bands, Grand Funk Railroad and Blue Oyster Cult were listed in my honourable mentions category in great heavy metal influences. Then there’s a song by Nazereth, whose album “Hair of the Dog” could have been used as a blue print for the creation of metal. Note: the Nazereth song on this soundtrack wasn’t from that album but it’s a good one nonetheless. Up an coming Sammy Hagar demonstrates why he would rise to glory in his own right with the song he plays here. There are also two great songs from Cheap Trick and my favourite Devo song and the soundtrack’s more tender moments give us “Open Arms” by Journey and ones from Stevie Nicks and Donald Fagen. And of course we can’t forget the contribution from one of the metal’s founding fathers, Black Sabbath. What better song for this soundtrack than “The Mob Rules.” However, the one song that gained the most notoriety was the second title track, (there are two on this one) by former Eagles guitarist Don Felder. If the soundtrack and film set me on the road to being a metalhead, it was this particular song that was the engine driving it.

Black Sabbath

Black Sabbath

Blue Oyster Cult

Blue Oyster Cult

Track Listing:

1. Sammy Hagar- Heavy Metal

2. Riggs- Heartbeat

3. Devo- Working in a Coal Mine

4. Blue Oyster Cult- Veteran of 1000 Psychic Wars

5. Cheap Trick- Reach Out

6. Don Felder- Heavy Metal

7. Donald Fagan- True Companion

8. Nazereth- Crazy (A Suitable Case for Treatment)

9. Riggs- Radar Rider

10 Journey- Open Arms

11. Grand Funk Railroad- Queen Bee

12. Cheap Trick- I Must Be Dreamin’

13. Black Sabbath- The Mob Rules

14. Don Felder- All of You

15. Trust- Prefabricated

16. Stevie Nicks- Blue Lamp

Journey

Journey

Cheap Trick

Cheap Trick

One useless piece of information: When I visited Journey’ “Escape” album, I mentioned that “Open Arms” was Mrs 80sMetalman’s and mine first dance song at our wedding. Actually it was the CD from this very soundtrack that was used for it. See, that’s how good this soundtrack was. Not much more I can say about it as the songs speak for themselves.

Next post: Thin Lizzy- Renegade

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: Devo- Dev O Live

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

 

220px-Devolive

I must admit, I was never much of a Devo fan. I saw them on “Saturday Night Live” in the late 70’s and I can’t really say they impressed me. Therefore, it would be easy for me to pass them by on that account, however, I can’t deny that they are part of our history and the fact I wasn’t impressed with them back then can’t hide that fact. I remember this album because my then girl friend used to play the hell out of the single “Whip It.” Not a bad song, although my favourite all time Devo song appears on a soundtrack that I will be visiting later on in our tour of 1981.

Thanks to YouTube, I was able to give the album a fresh listen. Maybe it’s me mellowing with age or the fact that my musical horizons are much more broader than they were back then, but I somewhat enjoyed listening to “Dev O Live” this time around. The intro song “Freedom of Choice” was a good way to open the concert this live recording was taken from. I also liked “Girl U Want.” Listening to the six song EP that was released in 1981 encouraged me to listen to some of the full album they released in 1999 on the back of this one. My ears are more in tune with their new wave sound. It’s not hard rock or metal but it is far better than much of the synth stuff that would come out later in the decade. “Planet Earth” was a pretty cool song too.

Track Listing:

1. Freedom of Choice

2. Whip It

3. Girl U Want

4. Gates of Steel

5. Be Stiff

6. Planet Earth

Devo

Devo

Mark Mothersbaugh- guitar, keyboards, vocals

Gerald V Casale- bass, keyboards, vocals

Bob Casale- guitar, keyboards, vocals

Bob Mothersbaugh- guitar, vocals

Alan Myers- drums

In the end, I was pleasantly surprised by this album. Plus, from the footage I saw on YouTube, I think they would have been fun to see live.  My conclusion is that Devo does deserve a place in the annals of rock and metal history for 1981 and not just because of “Whip It.”

Next post: Cheap Trick- All Shook Up

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