Archive for Dio

1983- Triumphs and Tragedies

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 27, 2016 by 80smetalman
The Alamo

The Alamo

The only tragedy I remember from 1983 actually happened the year before. Due to my military service, I didn’t find out about it until 83 when I read about all the fallout from it. I’m talking about when Ozzy Osbourne pissed on the Alamo. He claims he was drunk as a skunk, (I’ve never seen a drunk skunk so I have nothing to compare it to.) Ozzy also said he didn’t know it was such a national shrine, well it is in Texas. The result of his action got him banned from the city of San Antonio for ten years, although that was lifted a few years later when he made a large donation to the Alamo charity.

Ozzy Osbourne

Ozzy Osbourne

Ozzy was already getting himself a reputation outside the heavy metal world for the wrong reasons. His infamous biting the head off a bat was making its rounds. Of course, the religious element in America embellished things further. There were rumours he blew up goats on stage and at one show, he supposedly threw a puppy into the crowd and said he wouldn’t sing anymore until the audience killed the puppy. While this was all untrue hype, it didn’t help Ozzy when he actually did something for real. So for Ozzy and somewhat in the metal world, this was a bit of a tragedy because it overshadowed the two albums he released in the year. I’ll be covering those soon enough.

Now for the triumphs. It seems that 1983 was a cool year for festivals. I got to go to two of them. The first one, I mentioned when I posted about the Nantucket and Doc Holliday albums a few months ago. Those two bands topped the bill at the Mayfair Festival at Jacksonville, North Carolina. The other five bands remain pretty much unheard of with the bottom three being cover bands. So, I thought I’d include them in this little piece of history. They were Skeet Kelly, Roxy, Avalanche- who did a great cover of Sammy Hagar’s “Heavy Metal,” Peer Pressure- who did a reasonably decent cover of John Cougar’s “Hurt So Good” and Eraxle- who closed their set with a fantastic cover of Van Halen’s “Ice Cream Man.” I consumed loads of alcohol and there were some interesting events between the bands like a wet t-shirt and a men’s ugly legs competition. A fine day from what I remember.

Nantucket

Nantucket

Military commitments kept me from attending this festival but my sister went. I tried to pick her brains but she didn’t remember much. In the June, Journey headlined in Philadelphia and with them were John Cougar, Sammy Hagar, The Tubes and Bryan Adams. From what she can remember, my sister says that Journey sounded great and had a fantastic light show. John Cougar and Bryan Adams were both very good as was Sammy Hagar despite his red spandex. Unfortunately, The Tubes weren’t up to the rest of those who played that day. If this line up played in more cities than Philly, I would love to hear your account of the day.

Journey Live

Journey Live

It didn’t matter that I was in the military for this one, I couldn’t have gone to the US Festival because it was 3000 miles away in California. The US Festival was a three day festival where the first day consisted of new wave bands, the second day’s line up was heavy metal and the third day’s was a rock line up. From what I heard, all three days were fantastic although I do recall an interview with a local sheriff saying that he was going to try to ban such events following the festival. I didn’t think about it then, but that was the first salvo fired at music in the 1980s. I think the best thing to do is just to let you look at the line up for the three days and I’m sure you will be just as awestruck as I was.

Us Festival Showbill

Us Festival Showbill

I did get to the final festival in 1983. This was my first Donington Festival as I happened to be in England at the time. From my memory, I can recall that Diamond Head were all right and Dio were very good. I didn’t twig on who the lead singer was until they played “Heaven and Hell” but that was okay. They were brilliant. Then came Twisted Sister. I can still remember Dee Snider’s quip: “We’re not Culture Club or any of those gay boys or Duran Duran nor any of those other wimps. We’re Twisted Sister and we play heavy metal rock and roll!” Of course I knew there must of been something about them when they were introduced as Twisted Fuckin’ Sister. Their music was great too.

For me, ZZ Top took the concert. They played a magnificent combination of old and new material during their time on stage. Of course it helped that they played my two favourite ZZ Top tunes, “Jesus Just Left Chicago” and “La Grange.” They also played quite a few songs off their new “Eliminator” album so they basically rocked. The big let down after ZZ Top was Meatloaf. I was not impressed, he just sounded terrible that day. Worse, my friend’s English girlfriend didn’t realize that they ran a special train after the concert so out of fear of getting stuck, we left early and missed headliners, Whitesnake. I remain gutted but overall, Donington 1983 was a kick ass day and proved that Great Britain could rock.

donfest83

 

That was 1983 in a nutshell. The only real tragedy was Ozzy pissing on a national shrine but all the great concert festivals more than compensated for it. Just posting about it has me psyched for Bloodstock in two weeks. It was no wonder I was super excited when I got out of the marines that year.

Next post: Great Soundtracks

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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 1983: Blackfoot- Siogo

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 19, 2016 by 80smetalman

220px-Blackfoot_siogo

Further evidence to support the fact that Southern Rock was becoming a non entity north of the Mason-Dixon Line is to be found with Blackfoot’s 1983 album, “Siogo.” It’s also yet another reason why I was glad I got to spend three months in the South. In the years running up to 83, Blackfoot had been slowly but surely gaining attention in the North thanks to their three best known albums, “Strikes,” “Tomcattin'” and “Marauder.” However, when I did return North in the middle of the year, it seemed that no one had known they put out a new album and it was fortunate I had bought it in North Carolina because it would have been tougher to find it in New Jersey.

“Siogo” marked a slight change of direction for Blackfoot in the sense that they acquired keyboards player Ken Hensley. Many metalheads and hard rockers normally panic when a band known for hard power chords from the guitar adds keyboards. There is the belief that said band is selling out, going commercial or whatever and Van Halen in 1986 proves that point but that story is for another time. Well, you can all rest easy because when I first heard the single from the album, “Send Me and Angel,” I thought the keyboards went well with the hard crunching guitar that Blackfoot was known for. Everything else associated with Blackfoot was in place, the great guitar solos, Rick Medlocke’s unmistakable vocals and the rhythm section provided by Walker and Spires.

Let me get right to the point, “Siogo” is a great album and it’s unfortunate it has been overlooked so long. It also proves that the addition of a keyboard does not destroy the sound of a hard and heavy band if employed properly. Dio is the ultimate example but again, that’s for another time. Proof of this with this album lies in the track “Goin’ in Circles.” You can hear the keyboards in support at the beginning when the guitars pound in on the intro to the song. They add flavour to it and then go on a support role as the song gets into full gear and there’s a killer guitar solo on it. If you want to hear Hensley at his keyboard best, then the track “We’re Going Down” is the one. His keyboard solo is the highlight of a song that is no less rocky. The rest of the album is more old school Blackfoot if there is such a thing. Full of trademark intros, see “Teenage Idol” and “Crossfire” here and straight forward, blow your eardrums hard rock music. I said it before but it still applies with “Siogo,” Blackfoot could be called “Southern Metal.”

When I first looked at the track listing and saw a track called “Sail Away,” I thought that this was going to be some sort of ballad. After all, there are plenty of songs with similar titles that are. However, the song that bears the title on this album is nothing of the sort. Okay, maybe the first two notes of the intro may give that impression but the rest of the song just rocks! And don’t be fooled by the lyrics of “White Man’s Land.” It’s nothing racist, the song, at least to me, is a dig at the rat race and I can definitely see where they’re coming from here. Besides, the song reminds me a little of the classic “Train, Train.”

Track Listing:

  1. Send Me an Angel
  2. Crossfire
  3. Heart’s Grown Cold
  4. We’re Goin’ Down
  5. Teenage Idol
  6. Goin’ in Circles
  7. Run For Cover
  8. White Man’s Land
  9. Sail Away
  10. Drivin’ Fool
Blackfoot

Blackfoot

Rick Medlocke- lead vocals, guitar

Charlie Hargrett- guitar

Ken Hensley- keyboards, backing vocals

Greg T. Walker- bass, backing vocals

Jackson Spires- drums, backing vocals

I’m afraid that I’m going to have to say, “Damn Yankees” for the fact that this album has been overlooked up North. Fortunately, I was in the South so I didn’t miss out on it, to which I’m glad. “Siogo” is definitely a Blackfoot album that deserves a mention when you say the band’s name.

Next post: Molly Hatchet- No Guts, No Glory

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: Dio- Holy Diver

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 29, 2016 by 80smetalman

dio
Like with David Bowie’s and Motorhead’s 1983 albums, I was hoping to write about the debut album from Dio, in 1983, under much happier circumstances. With the passing of Dio bassist, Jimmy Bain, I feel that it should be a fitting tribute to him that I post about this iconic album now.

Jimmy Bain

Jimmy Bain

What can I say about “Holy Diver” that hasn’t already said? Probably nothing, therefore, I am going to speak about it straight from the heart and yes the pun is intended. From my first listen, I admit it wasn’t til early 1984 when I got that opportunity, til now, I was and still am completely blown away by it. No wonder it’s my fourth favourite album of all time.

Why is this album so good? Let’s start with the opener, “Stand Up and Shout.” That is one of the best album and concert opening songs of all time. A great opener will grab you by the throat and make you listen to the entire album. It’s no wonder, Dio opened with this song three of the five times I’ve seen them live.

You are the driver
you own the road
you are the fire — go on, explode

Then comes my favourite Dio song of all time, the title track. If I were running a ‘Headbanging for Beginners’ course, “Holy Diver” would be the first song I would use. This unique but catchy riff is just plain phenomenal. I still remember at the local nightspot in London for heavy metal, scores of metalheads all in a huddle headbanging away to it. The song is so easy to do that with. Not only that, there are Ronnie James Dio’s lyrics, (he was top of his game here), and Vivian Campbell just nails the guitar solo. For me, it’s always been truly an amazing song.

Between the velvet lies

There’s a truth as hard as steel

A vision never dies

Life’s a never ending wheel.

Following the title cut are two more excellent songs in the form of “Gypsy” and “Caught in the Middle.” With both songs, we see some heavy chords being struck while in sync with more of Ronnie’s lyrics.

Take a look at yourself, you might see someone you don’t know

If you haven’t already figured it out, the above lyrics were from “Caught in the Middle.” After that is what many claim to be the best non single or song that should have been released as one on the album. Anyone who has any experience of Dio will know “Don’t Talk to Strangers.” Its eerie intro followed by lyrics that can be of sound advice before exploding into pure heavy metal mania with Campbell’s solo probably being the best one on the album. There’s something for everyone to like here. It is most likely the reason why Dio has played this song all five times I’ve seen them live.

Having originally procured “Holy Diver” on cassette, I should go on about side two. However, the age of CD’s and MP3 downloads has made me stop dividing albums into sides. “Straight Through the Heart” is a very powerful rocker and maintains the standard the album sets but after that is my choice for best hidden gem on it, “Invisible.” Don’t ask me to explain why or how but I just love that song. I think it’s the way like “Don’t Talk to Strangers,” it starts melodically before hitting you over the head with more power chords. Those chords may not be quite as in your face as the other song but it does the job.

If your surface stays unbroken, then you’re a lucky man

Cause it never, never, never has for me

In the palace of the virgin lies the chalice of your soul

And it’s likely you will find the answer there.

Again, Ronnie’s lyrics are amazing, especially matched with his truly one of a kind voice. Following “Invisible” is the more known “Rainbow in the Dark,” which maybe was Dio’s most successful single. Hell, I remember in 1984, a Budweiser advert being played to this tune. This is the one song where keyboards play a major role but still, they don’t detract from the power of the song.

Now onto the closer, “Shame on the Night.” If I have to pick a least favourite track, it would have to be this one. Don’t get me wrong, it is no way a bad track, I just don’t rate it quite as high as the other eight but what it does do is close the album very nicely, I guess that’s what Ronnie had in mind with it. That is yet another reason why I think “Holy Diver” is so fantastic.

Track Listing:

  1. Stand Up and Shout
  2. Holy Diver
  3. Gypsy
  4. Caught in the Middle
  5. Don’t Talk To Strangers
  6. Straight Through the Heart
  7. Invisible
  8. Rainbow in the Dark
  9. Shame on the Night
Dio

Dio

Ronnie James Dio- vocals, keyboards

Vivian Campbell- guitar

Jimmy Bain- bass

Vinnie Appice- drums

I don’t give a flying fart as to how cliched this statement sounds but I know in my heart that Jimmy has now joined Ronnie and they are jamming away together in a better place. Probably their former Rainbow band mate, Cozy Powell has joined them and if they had any sense, they would invite Jon Lord to do the honours on the keyboards. However, I can’t think of any guitarist who has played along side of these guys who has departed from our world. Therefore, I would suggest they take Criss Oliva from Savatage as his guitar work would fit Ronnie’s vocals perfectly. Who knows, maybe they would make an album as great as “Holy Diver.”

Next post: Billy Idol

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

R.I.P. Jimmy Bain

Posted in Death, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 24, 2016 by 80smetalman
Jimmy Bain

Jimmy Bain

What is going on with 2016? January isn’t over and another great rocker is taken from us. This time it is Rainbow/Dio bassist Jimmy Bain. Details of his death haven’t been released but he was 68. Jimmy played with Rainbow from 1975-77 but he was best known for his time with Dio, especially on their first five albums. Less known is that he co-wrote with Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy on some of his solo albums.

Dio

Dio

Okay, some may say that Jimmy Bain wasn’t the legend that some of the others who have recently passed but for me, he was a part of the band that made my 1980s. Therefore, I too will be listening to some Dio and early Rainbow over the next few days and it’s probably a given which album I’ll be posting about next.

R.I.P. Jimmy Bain

 

 

 

 

My Top 15 Albums

Posted in Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 15, 2015 by 80smetalman

Typical me of my school days. I was always forgetting to do assignments which often got me in trouble with teachers. I almost missed the one set by a fellow blogger to list my 15 favourite albums. Looks like I’m just going to make the deadline here so don’t give me a detention. Well here they are:

sod

  1. Stormtroopers of Death- Speak English or Die

stend

2. Suicidal Tendencies

 kdbd

3. Killer Dwarfs- Big Deal

dio

4. Dio- Holy Diver

FreedomAtPointZero

5. Jefferson Starship- Freedom at Point Zero

 OneMoreFromTheRoad_LynyrdSkynyrdalbum

6. Lynyrd Skynyrd- One More From the Road

 imlad

7. Iron Maiden- Live After Death

 paranoidt

8. Black Sabbath- Paranoid

Aerosmith-Toys_in_the_Attic

9. Aerosmith- Toys in the Attic

tsyou

10. Twisted Sister- You Can’t Stop Rock And Roll

dv-ssor

11. Vaughn- Soldiers and Sailors on Riverside

hotdrise

12. Hair of the Dog- Rise

220px-Molly_Hatchet_-_Flirtin'_with_Disaster

13. Molly Hatchet- Flirtin’ With Disaster

nzhotd

14. Nazereth- Hair of the Dog

220px-REO_Speedwagon_-_Nine_Lives

15. REO Speedwagon- Nine Lives

Honourable Mentions

38 Special- Rockin’ Into the Night

Jefferson Starship- Winds of Change

Kreator- Pleasure to Kill

Van Halen- II

Dio- The Last in Line

Twisted Sister- Under the Blade

AC/DC- Back in Black

AC/DC- Highway to Hell

Pink Floyd- Dark Side of the Moon

Blackfoot- Highway Song

Damned Nation- Grand Designs

This is my list respectfully submitted on 15 September, 2015.

Great Rock/Metal Albums of 1982: Uriah Heep- Abominog

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 26, 2015 by 80smetalman

Abominog(album)

It’s another shame on me moment here on 80’smetalman. Uriah Heep were a band that I always wanted to check out but never got around to. I can’t even blame it on them being unknown in the US because they weren’t. Back in the late 1970s, when I belonged to one of those RCA record clubs, their albums were always listed for sale. Therefore, the fault totally lies with me.

I knew they were a hard rock band but that’s all I knew about them. The one song of theirs I have on a compilation, “The Wizard” is a brilliant song but I wouldn’t call it heavy metal. It took the 1982 album “Abominog” for me to discover that Uriah Heep should have been listed as one of my “Other Great Metal Influences.” At the very least, they should have gone into the “Honourable Mention” post because this album totally resonates heavy metal. In fact, I will go out on a limb and state that Uriah Heep belongs with Rush and Deep Purple as key players in the creation of progressive metal.

“Abominog” is a totally kick ass progressive metal album. It reminds me of everything I have always loved about heavy metal. There are some fantastic guitar riffs, complimentary keyboards, strong vocals and I can’t take anything away from their rhythm section either. Furthermore, I hear traces of bands like Dio, Autograph, Whitesnake, for sure in the track “Prisoner” and Hammerfall and I think there have been many a lesser known metal band who learned a trick or two from Uriah Heep who have been doing it since the early 1970s. So, I think I can say that many a band can trace their influences back to this band.

Track Listing:

1. Too Scared to Run

2. Chasing Shadows

3. On the Rebound

4. Hot Night in a Cold Town

5. Running All Night (With the Lion)

6. That’s the Way It Is

7. Prisoner

8. Persuasion

9. Sell Your Soul

10. Think It Over

Uriah Heep

Uriah Heep

Peter Goalby- lead vocals

Mick Box- guitar, vocals

John Sinclair- keyboards, vocals

Bob Daisley- bass, vocals

Lee Kerslake- drums

It has already come to my attention that Uriah Heep’s 70s material is even better than what’s on this album. I don’t doubt this but I am looking forward to my journey of discovery of a great band which almost passed me by.

Next post: Hawkwind- Church of Hawkwind

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 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