Archive for Don Felder

Great Rock Albums of 1983: Don Felder- Airborne

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, soundtracks, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 26, 2016 by 80smetalman

220px-Felder_airborne

Having acquired MTV in 1983, I found, at the time, a more reliable source than radio to keep me informed of new music. If it hadn’t been for this revolutionary new TV station that showed music videos 24/7 and informed viewers of news in music, then the album “Airborne” by former Eagles guitarist Don Felder would have most likely passed me by.

One very good reason for this was that MTV showed the video to the single from this album, “Bad Girls” while I never recall hearing the song played on radio. I remember the video quite well because not only “Bad Girls” was a decent song, but it also featured a guest appearance by Cheech Marin of Cheech and Chong fame. Then again, Don Felder had already gotten my attention two years earlier with his phenomenal song, “Heavy Metal” from the soundtrack to the film of the same name. If I was to try to rank solo songs by all the members of the Eagles, “Heavy Metal” would definitely be number one.

hevmetmov

“Airborne” has no such powerful heavy metal anthems like the one I have mentioned from the above soundtrack. Saying that, the album tends to chart the waters of melodic hard rock and is very similar to some of the songs he co-wrote with his former band mates when he was in The Eagles. The first half of the album is pure evidence of this but all of the tracks are nicely done. While I cite the Eagles influence, I am not left thinking, “why don’t I just put on “Hotel California” when I listen to “Airborne.”

Track five, “Never Surrender” appeared on the soundtrack of “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.” If you remember when I covered the soundtrack, I thought it was a very good album but shame the movie sucked. But, I digress yet again. With the tracks following “Never Surrender,” he does get more adventurous. “Asphalt Jungle” and “Night Owl” are more in the blues fashion and in my view the two best tracks on the album. While Felder rips out some great guitar solos and bridges with every song, his best efforts are on these two tracks and the closer. He really just lets himself go on these and really shines.

Track Listing:

  1. Bad Girls
  2. Winners
  3. Haywire
  4. Who Tonight
  5. Never Surrender
  6. Asphalt Jungle
  7. Night Owls
  8. Still Alive
Don Felder

Don Felder

Don Felder- guitar, vocals, synthesizer, keyboards

George ‘Chocolate’ Perry,Greg Hawkins, Nathan East – bass

Jeff Lorber, Michael Murphy- keyboards

Joe Vitale- keyboards, flute, drums

Albhy Galuten, Anthony Marianelli- synthesizers

Carlos Vega, Ross Kunkel, Tris Imboden- drums

Paulino da Costa- percussion

James Pankow, Lee Loughnane- horns

Dave Mason, Kenny Loggins, Timothy B Schmidt- backing vocals

“Airborne” by former Eagles guitarist Don Felder is probably the best hidden gem from 1983. When I listen to it, I ask myself why this album didn’t make more of an impression on people. Maybe it was just the way things were back then because this is a very good album. Felder was just a good singer/song writer as the rest of his compatriots from the Eagles and he is one hell of a guitarist as well.

Next post: Brian May and Friends- Starfleet

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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: Stevie Nicks- The Wild Heart

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 5, 2016 by 80smetalman

220px-Wild_heart

When I first heard the first single, “Stand Back,” to Stevie Nicks’s 1983 album, “The Wild Heart,” I have to admit that I was rather blown away. There was an energy behind this song that I can’t explain, especially as it’s not done with hard guitar power chords. Her voice matches this song very well and please, no comments about Stevie sounding like a sheep. Needless to say, “Stand Back” is my all time favourite Stevie Nicks song but I often wonder how it would sound if it guitars dominated the supporting music as opposed to keyboards and of course a cranking guitar solo.

Keyboards is the theme of “The Wild Heart” album since it was the oncoming trend of the decade. However, having the quality musicians who play on the album, the keyboards are  done intelligently. Then again, all of the songs have the same quality musicianship in each of them. The title track opens things very well and sets the tone for the rest of the album. This is quickly followed by the second single from the album, “If Anyone Falls.” Not a bad song, very over done with the keyboards but it doesn’t hold a candle to “Stand Back.” “Gate and Garden” is more of a ballad but there is a guitar solo on it and that saves the song. An interesting note is the track, “Enchanted.” This song is reminiscent of the song “Dreams” from the classic Fleetwood Mac “Rumours” album.

After my favourite song, Stevie once again teams up with Tom Petty like she did on her previous album, “Belladonna.” Written by Petty, “I Will Run to You” opens with a promising guitar riff but for me, it doesn’t quite have the magic they produced on “Stop Dragging My Heart Around” but it does have a few catchy hooks, so it’s not a bad song. The rockiest song here is “Nothing Ever Changes.” The only song where I can hear guitar over the keyboards. Then again, Don Felder does play guitar on the track and is allowed to play a small solo but it is the saxophone that stands out the most for this track. “Nothing Ever Changes” is the climax to the album because the final two songs don’t really do anything for me.

Track Listing:

  1. The Wild Heart
  2. If Anyone Falls
  3. Gate and Garden
  4. Enchanted
  5. Nightbird
  6. Stand Back
  7. I Will Run to You
  8. Nothing Ever Changes
  9. Sable on Blonde
  10. Beauty and the Beast
Stevie Nicks

Stevie Nicks

Stevie Nicks- vocals

Lori Nicks- backing vocals

Sharon Celani- backing vocals

Guest Musicians

Tom Petty- guitar, vocals on track 7

Sandy Stewart- piano, keyboards, backing vocals on tracks 1,3,5,6,8,9

Mike Campbell- guitar on track 7

Benmont Trench- keyboards, organ on tracks 3-5, 7

Howie Epstein- bass on track 7

Stan Lynch- drums on track 7

Mick Fleetwood- drums on track 9

Steve Lukather- drums on track 6

Don Felder- guitar on track 8

Prince- keyboards on track 6

There were many session musicians on the album as well but the list would be extremely long.

In 1983, Stevie Nicks was probably the most successful of the members of Fleetwood Mac on solo projects, probably the most successful of all time. What was best about her voice was that it could stretch to sing a range of music. While she shows this with “The Wild Heart” album, I often wonder what she would sound like with a metal band.

Next post: Heart- Passionworks

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 1983: Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band- The Distance

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 1, 2015 by 80smetalman

Bob_Seger_-_The_Distance

When I returned from my six month tour in the Far East in April, 1983, I had a lot to look forward to upon my arrival in the USA. The main one was the fact that I had less than 100 days left in the service. I was what is commonly called, a two digit midget. Another thing I had to look forward to was many of the music releases that passed me by during my six months away. Adding to that was after reading a rock magazine, I found out to my delight that the unsung hero of 1970’s rock, Bob Seger, had released a new album.

“Even Now” was one of the first songs I heard on the radio upon my return. This delighted me more because I was relieved that Bob had stuck to his normal great formula instead of being railroaded by the creeping doom of synth pop. “Even Now” is reminiscent of the classic “Hollywood Nights” but it is yet unique enough to stand on its own. A great song and a brilliant way to open “The Distance.”

Things go a bit harder with the next track, “Makin’ Thunderbirds,” which has a sort of New Orleans vibe. I could easily see myself sitting in a bar banging my near empty bottle on the table in time to it. Love the sax solo to it as well. Then, if that wasn’t hard enough, “Boomtown Blues” comes at you even harder. In fact, I could see a heavy metal band covering this song.

After the first three songs get your blood pumping, things slow down a little with “Shame on the Moon.” With this song, I get the picture of a cowboy on a horse, singing this song while playing a guitar. Even so, Bob Seger and his band make it sound like a memorable ride. Things go even slower with the first ballad, “Love’s the Last to Know.” Nothing wrong here, Bob Seger is one of the few who could perform a ballad like this and still make it a good listen.

At first, “Roll Me Away” starts like another ballad but thoughts of that are soon discarded as the song propels into one of those classic 70s sounding Bob Seger songs. All of the elements that made Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band so great a decade earlier are present in this song. No wonder why it, and several other songs including the opener, did so well in the singles charts. That leads brilliantly to another hard rocker, “House Behind a House.” This too would probably sound pretty good if covered by a metal band.

Things again slow down with “Comin’ Home” before going out nice with “Little Victories.” Back then, I thought that Bob Seger was back and good as ever. Nowadays, I realise that he never really went away. “The Distance” proves it.

Track Listing:

  1. Even Now
  2. Makin’ Thunderbirds
  3. Boomtown Blues
  4. Shame on the Moon
  5. Love’s the Last to Know
  6. Roll Me Away
  7. House Behind a House
  8. Comin’ Home
  9. Little Victories
Bob Seger

Bob Seger

The Silver Bullet Band

Bob Seger- guitar, vocals

Chris Campbell- bass

Craig Frost- keyboards

Alto Reed- saxophone

Additional Musicians:

Russ Kunkel- drums

Drew Abbot- guitar on “Makin’ Thunderbirds” and “Shame on the Moon

Roy Bittan- piano on “Even Now” and “Roll Me Away”

Don Felder- guitar on “Even Now” and “Boomtown Blues”

Glenn Frey- harmony vocals on “Shame on the Moon”

What a great album to return home to! That’s what I thought when I first came back from overseas in 1983. What’s even better is that “The Distance” is as good now as it was then. If I didn’t already know that Bob Seger is in the Rock Hall of Fame, I would be using this post to ask why not.

Next post: Madness- The Rise and Fall

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 1982: Fast Times at Ridgemont High

Posted in 1980s, films, Humour, Music, Rock, soundtracks, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 11, 2015 by 80smetalman

220px-Fasttimesatridgemonthighsoundtrack

Before I get started, let me be perfectly blunt here. I thought the movie “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” sucked. Not as much as my friend though because while I was willing to endure it to the end, he couldn’t take it and suggested we leave. I didn’t debate it. I know that it has been preserved on account of its apparent tackling of teen issues at the time. That may have been true but they could have made a better film to deliver the message. The only positive I found about the film was the stoner character played by Sean Penn, he was quite amusing.

Sean Penn in the film

Sean Penn in the film

Fortunately, a sucky film doesn’t mean that the soundtrack is going to be as bad. Any soundtrack that has such artists as Billy Squier, Don Felder, Don Henley, Joe Walsh and Sammy Hagar has to be good. My hypothesis is that when deciding what songs to use on the soundtrack, someone suggested just how kick ass the soundtrack to “Heavy Metal” was so they brought in some of the same artists on “Fast Times.” Again, Sammy Hagar does the title cut and it’s good although I wouldn’t put it at the same level as the other film I mentioned here. It’s the same with Felder’s track. It’s good but it doesn’t measure up to “Heavy Metal Takin’ a Ride.” Then again, that is a very tough song to measure up to. On the other hand, I do prefer the offering from Stevie Nicks on this soundtrack and I really liked her song on “Heavy Metal.” Plus there are good contributions from the likes of Joe Walsh, Don Henley and Billy Squier as well.

Billy Squier

Billy Squier  

Sammy Hagar

Sammy Hagar

Stevie Nicks

Stevie Nicks

joewalsh

Another comparison with “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” and “Heavy Metal” is the fact that there are some good songs from unknown artists. The Rayvins “Raised on Radio” is a very pleasing hard rock track and it’s made me curious to hear what else they might have to offer. The same can be said for the songs by Graham Nash and Gerrard McMahon. Both deliver some decent rock here. However, they’re not the only ones. Jimmy Buffet and Poco both known more for their country rock sound go down a definite rockier route with the songs on this soundtrack. But the biggest surprise is from Donna Summer! The proclaimed Queen of Disco from the late 70s sings a blinder of a rock song on the soundtrack and all I can say is, “I’m impressed.”

Track Listing:

1. Jackson Browne- Somebody’s Baby

2. Joe Walsh- Waffle Stomp

3. Don Henley- Love Rules

4. Louise Goffin- Uptown Boys

5. Timothy B Schmit- So Much in Love

6. The Rayvins- Raised on Radio

7. Gerard McMahon- The Look In Your Eyes

8. The Go Go’s- Speeding

9. Don’t be Lonely- Quarterflash

10. Don Felder- Never Surrender

11. Billy Squier- Fast Times (The Best Years of Our Lives)

12. Sammy Hagar- Fast Times at Ridgemont High

13. Jimmy Buffet- I Don’t Know (Spicoli’s Theme)

14. Graham Nash- Love is the Reason

15. Poco- I’ll Leave it Up to You

16. Donna Summer- Highway Runner

17. Steve Nicks- Sleeping Angel

18. Palmer/Joist- She’s My Baby (And She’s Out of Control)

19. Oingo Boingo- Goodbye Goodbye

What can’t be faulted is that there is a great collection of songs here by some of the best artists who were around at the time. Many of whom are still going. What they did was come together to make a really cool soundtrack which leaves me thinking, “Shame about the movie.”

Next post: Joan Jett and the Blackhearts- I Love Rock and Roll

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

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1979: The Eagles- The Long Run

Posted in 1979, Music, Rock, soundtracks, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 6, 2012 by 80smetalman

“The Long Run” was the long awaited follow up to The Eagles’ great 1976 album “Hotel California.” That previous album began to take them away from their easy listening sound to more of a harder rock sound and “The Long Run” continued along in that direction. My first taste of this classic album was when I was on leave after just finishing boot camp and the song “Heartache Tonight” came on my AM car radio. I was very impressed by the harder sound of the guitars and even more impressed by the guitar solos in it. Side tracking for a moment, I will say that Joe Walsh and Don Felder never receieved the respect due them as guitarists, even after their solo tradeoff in the song “Hotel California.” Anyway, tracks like the last one mentioned as well as “In The City” which Joe Walsh brought over from “The Warriors” soundtrack, “Disco Strangler” and “Teenage Jail” are just some of the harder rock songs that help make this album so great.

Saying that, “The Long Run” doesn’t totally take them from their roots of the easy listening countrified sound. There are a couple of tracks that remind us where they came from. Such songs as “The Sad Cafe” and “I Can’t Tell You Why” bear testimony to that fact and to me, the title track of the album serves as the bridge between the soft and the hard. Add all of these things together and you get a fantastic album that has continued to remain so over three decades.

Track Listing:

1. The Long Run

2. I Cant Tell You Why

3. In the City

4. The Disco Strangler

5. King of Hollywood

6. Heartache Tonight

7. Those Shoes

8. Teenage Jail

9. The Greeks Don’t Want No Freaks

10. The Sad Cafe

The Eagles

Glen Frey- electric guitar, keyboards, synthesiser, vocals

Don Henley- drums, percussion, vocals

Don Felder- electric, accoustic and slide guitars, organ, vocals

Joe Walsh- electric and slide guitars, keyboards, vocals

Timothy B Schmit- bass, vocals ]

“The Long Run” was the first album not to feature founding member Randy Meisner on bass who was replaced by Timothy B. Schmit. I have also noticed that when I posted the tracks, I don’t remember them being in that order in my cassette. I guess it’s a trip back up the loft to see for myself or maybe I should just get a CD. Still, this is a brilliant album and the first new album I listened to as a marine.

This would be the last Eagles studio album before their break up in 1980. I have always put that down to so many talented musicians each wanting to go a separate way. The evidence is the solo albums each one of them recorded afterwards that I will be visiting down the line.

Next post: The Knack- Get The Knack

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

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London