Archive for Emerson Lake and Palmer

Great Rock Albums of 1984: Marillion- Fugazi

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on July 8, 2017 by 80smetalman

If there hadn’t been so much heavy metal available in 1984, I wouldn’t have missed the second album from the band I call the progressive rock kings of the 1980s, Marillion. While the “Fugazy” album was wowing people in the UK, I was too busy headbanging away for it to catch my notice.Was it a shame that I didn’t listen to any Marillion until 1985 and this album until 87? It sure is but I’ve made up for it since.

At the opening notes of the album’s first song, “Assassing,”I can hear a definite influence from 1970s prog icons Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Maybe it’s that horn sound that reminds me of “Fanfare for the Common Man” that does it. Still, “Assassing” is a brilliant song, very underrated, even in the scope of Marillion songs. “Punch and Judy” follows next and there are elements of hard rock in the song that I truly like.

The next three songs have always melded together for me with the standout part being the middle song, Emerald Lies.” “Emerald Lies” is a great versatile song that makes use of keyboards and guitars in all the right parts. This is another great progressive rock tune that requires one to sit down and listen in order to appreciate its beauty to its full potential. The song after, “She Chameleon” has always sounded weird to me but not in a bad way. There are keyboard parts that sound like a horror or sci fi film and Steve Rothery does play a mean guitar solo on it. The album closes with two of the strongest tracks on the album, “Incubus” and “Fugazi.” Both are very catchy prog rock tunes that have you bouncing along until the end. There might only be seven songs on the “Fugazi” but when the album is done, you definitely feel you had more than your money’s worth.

In an age where many bands were dumbing down their sound, it was great to hear that Marillion was one of those bands who continued to sound intelligent. They were musicians who actually cared about how well they played and that is evidenced on this album and other ones. One thing “Fugazi” surprises you with is with all the changes in all of the songs. One minute you’re drifting off to some great keyboard wizardry from Kelly and then bang! Rothery powers up the guitar. Then there’s the unmistakable vocals of Fish. He makes poetry come alive to music.

Track Listing:

  1. Assassing
  2. Punch and Judy
  3. Jigsaw
  4. Emerald Lies
  5. She Chameleon
  6. Incubus
  7. Fugazi

Marillion

Fish- vocals

Steve Rothery- guitars

Mark Kelly- keyboards

Pete Trawavas- bass

Ian Mosley- drums

Marillion would make the major breakthrough to my listening ears a year later and I would embrace them. Eventually, I would go back through their catalogue and savour the music thanks to my first wife who was a big Marillion fan. That would be the first concert we went to as husband and wife. With all of that said, “Fugazi” was too good of an album for me to miss out on in 1984.

Next post: David Gilmour- About Face

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1499533067&sr=8-8&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

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Great Metal Albums of 1983: Virgin Steele- Guardians of the Flame

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 9, 2017 by 80smetalman

220px-virgin_steele_guardians_of_the_flame

Virgin Steele’s 1982 debut album might have passed me by, (I blame being in the service at the time), but their second album, “Guardians of the Flame,” didn’t. I have a friend of my sister’s to thank for that because she was a big Virgin Steele fan. It was this album that she played on cassette in her car one day and the rest was history.

What hooked me straight away is that my all time favourite Virgin Steele song is the opener on “Guardians of the Flame.” “Don’t Say Goodbye Tonight” is one of those with a fast catchy beat that hooks you immediately. One can’t helped to headbang away to this tune. It is helped by the guitar work of Jack Starr, then the entire album is as well, and the rhythm section sounds the tightest on this song. What’s best is that lead singer, David DeFeis doesn’t try so much to be Joe Cool metal singer on it. His vocals are good enough but his attempts at high screams have always been off putting for me. He doesn’t do that on “Don’t Say Goodbye Tonight.”

DeFeis does those things on the next two tracks but fortunately, Starr’s guitar work cancels out the screams and makes those songs enjoyable. Maybe he gets the hint by track four because he doesn’t scream on “The Redeemer” making it a strong, powerful track. I sense a little Black Sabbath influence here and done well. The song is seven minutes long but a lot of that is Jack laying down the jams, so it’s a very enjoyable track.

Following a brief instrumental is the title cut. It begins like any other straight forward Virgin Steele metal tune but then in the middle, it goes totally progressive rock. I mean that when I listen to this part, I could be listening to Emerson, Lake and Palmer. However, it works with the second longest song on the album, just shy of seven minutes. You got to give them credit for having the balls to stretch out a bit here and credit where do for pulling it off. Again, Jack Starr has an influence on it too.

Things go back to more power metal after that with three really strong metal tracks. Then the album closes with the ballad like, “A Cry in the Night.” Using a ballad as a closer is always risky but there is a great guitar solo towards the end that helps to take the song out in very good way and has me making mental notes to listen to it again.

Track Listing:

  1. Don’t Say Goodbye Tonight
  2. Burn the Sun
  3. Life of Crime
  4. The Redeemer
  5. Birth Through Fire
  6. Guardians of the Flame
  7. Metal City
  8. Hell or High Water
  9. Go All the Way
  10. A Cry in the Night
Virgin Steele

Virgin Steele

David DeFies- vocals, keyboards

Jack Starr- guitar

Joe O’Reilly- bass

Joey Avazian- drums

I was impressed by the second album from Virgin Steele, “Guardians of the Flame” and I would seek out their later material. So what I ask myself is why I never got their debut album. If any of you can shed light on whether I’ve committed a travesty or had a lucky escape by not listening to it, I would be very grateful.

Next post: Waysted- Vices

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

 

 

 

 

 

Compilation Album for 2016

Posted in 1980s, Death, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 1, 2017 by 80smetalman

Recently on Twitter, I commented that with all the great musical stars who passed on in 2016, that I wouldn’t put it past some morbid record producer to make a compilation album featuring all of them. One of my friends replied that with so many, it would have to be a box set and he’s probably right. Normally, I ‘m not a morbid person but I then thought, “Why don’t I come out with my own ideas for such an album?” Besides, if it was in the hands of some corporate record executive, their idea for the album would be totally different than mine, especially if the metal hating UK newspaper, The Sun, had anything to do with it.

In compiling such an album, I fear that had things been left to record execs, Jimmy Bain and Sandy Pearlman would have been left out totally. Jimmy would have been because he was only a bass player despite the fact that he played on all the greatest Dio albums. Sandy was simply a producer but without him, we would not have had some of the great albums delivered by both Blue Oyster Cult and The Clash. Use of semantics, the fact that Lemmy actually died in 2015, would have been used as an excuse to keep him off the album. I don’t do that because Lemmy’s death was the snowball at the top of the mountain which started the avalanche. Paul Kantner would have definitely been left out if the record producer was British but might have been included if they were American. After all, he did have a minor song writing credit on Jefferson Starship’s best known single, “Jane.”

Of course, I am tempted to exclude some too. I was never a big Prince fan. However, I didn’t hate his music. Whenever his songs came on the radio, I didn’t turn the volume up or down, nor did I change the channel. But credit where due, on the song I really like, he does shred a guitar fairly well and I remember in 1984, I fully endorsed his desire to play the role of Jimi Hendrix in a film about the guitar god.

George Michael is another problem. See, The Sun and other media have already been blubbering over how great an 80s icon he was. I can’t refute that. However, he wasn’t entirely the 1980s and the whole point of writing “Rock and Roll Children” and this blog was to rebut the belief that 80s music was entirely Wham, Michael Jackson and Boy George. We all know it wasn’t but George Michael stands as a symbol of my antagonism towards this warped view of the Golden Decade of Heavy Metal. So, I hope one can understand why I would be tempted to exclude him from my album. However, I am a better person than those at The Sun and not a corporate record executive, so I will allow one GM song onto my album. This song came out after his 1998 arrest in Los Angeles and was the springboard for a rather rude but funny joke.

Tribute Album to Musician’s Who Died in 2016

Lemmy

Lemmy

Motorhead

Motorhead

  1. Ace of Spades
  2. Killed By Death
  3. Iron Fist

175px-David-Bowie_Early

David Bowie

  1. Space Oddity
  2. Ziggy Stardust
  3. Mott the Hoople- All the Young Dudes
The Eagles

The Eagles

Glen Frey- The Eagles

Glen Frey- The Eagles

  1. Take it Easy
  2. Heartache Tonight
  3. New Kid in Town
  4. From Glenn Frey’s solo stuff:
  5. Smuggler’s Blues
  6. Sexy Girl
Jimmy Bain

Jimmy Bain

Dio

Dio

  1. Rainbow in the Dark
  2. The Last in Line
  3. Mystery
  4. Sacred Heart
  5. Sunset Superman

js

Paul Kantner- Jefferson Starship

Paul Kantner- Jefferson Starship

  1. Ride the Tiger
  2. Dance With the Dragon
  3. Stairway to Cleveland
  4. Planet Earth Rock and Roll Orchestra (Paul Kantner solo)
I never saw them but  Emerson Lake and Palmer were said to be amazing live!

I never saw them but Emerson Lake and Palmer were said to be amazing live!

  1. Lucky Man
  2. Fanfare for the Common Man
Sandy Pearlman

Sandy Pearlman

Blue Oyster Cult

Blue Oyster Cult

  1. Don’t Fear the Reaper
  2. Dancing in the Ruins
The Clash

The Clash

English Civil War

Prince

Prince

Let’s Go Crazy

George Michael

George Michael

Outside

Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen

Hallelujah

(I thought Leonard’s song would be the best closer)

True, my list would definitely be more metal oriented. That’s because most metal and rock acts would be passed over by a corporate record producer. Opinions will vary here and I know other songs would be chosen in place of the ones I have here, but if I had my choice. This is what it would be.

Happy New Year to all! Have a great 2017.

Next post: Suicidal Tendencies

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: Yes- 90125

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 8, 2016 by 80smetalman

90125album

When people mention great 1970s progressive rock, the first two names that come to mind are Emerson, Lake and Palmer and Yes. To me, they were the building block on which the genre was built on during that decade. Yes classics like “Roundabout” and “Yours is No Disgrace” continue to move me whenever I hear them. That meant that when the new Yes album, “90125,” came out in 1983, my ears were definitely tuned towards them.

By late 1983, MTV had pretty much taken over as my new resource for discovering new albums and bands. Note: in 1983, MTV still actually played decent music. Yes’s new release came to my attention via the first single “Owner of a Lonely Heart.” This song was okay in my view, I loved the guitar riff introduction to the song but to me it sounded too choppy in the 1980s style and definitely not what I was used to from Yes. Fortunately, as I know from experiences good and bad, one song does not make an album.

The rest of “90125” is more of the traditional Yes we kids new and loved back in the 1970s. “Hold On” is nearly a hard rock track dominated by the guitar but “It Can Happen” is for sure Yes at their golden best. There is some superb progressive rock sound here with a little bit of everything. Some magnificent keyboard work from Tony Kaye and a little impressive guitar work compliments of Trevor Rabin. Holding all of it together is the vocals of Jon Anderson with some help from the harmonizing with the other members of the band. “It Can Happen” is the key to the album and links everything in very nicely. The remainder of the album follows on in this mold rarely venturing outside the box but still keeping the band’s creativity in tact.

“Changes” is the prime example as it follows on perfectly from “It Can Happen” and I have to say that I have always found the guitar work on the instrumental “The Cinema” very well performed. Furthermore, I prefer the second single from the album, “Leave It” as it is done in the traditional Yes fashion. That sets the tone for the remainder of the album, just some good old fashioned progressive rock from the remaining tracks.

Track Listing:

  1. Owner of a Lonely Heart
  2. Hold On
  3. It Can Happen
  4. Changes
  5. The Cinema
  6. Leave It
  7. Our Song
  8. City of Love
  9. Hearts
Yes

Yes

Jon Anderson- vocals

Trevor Rabin- guitar, keyboards, vocals

Chris Squire- bass, vocals

Tony Kaye- keyboards, vocals

Alan White- drums, percussion, vocals

After a break up in 1981, Yes came back two years later and it was still good to hear that they hadn’t lost their touch with “90125.” This could be one of the best progressive rock albums of the 1980s but that will be left for others to debate.

Next Post: 38 Special- Tour de Force

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: Marillion- Script For a Jester’s Tear

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 9, 2016 by 80smetalman

Marillion_-_Script_for_a_Jester's_Tear

I had heard of Marillion in 1983 but didn’t actually hear them until their 1985, “Misplaced Childhood” album made a major breakthrough in the US. Even then, it would be another two years before I listened to their back catalog, which included this, their debut album, “Script for a Jester’s Tear.” I have to thank my first wife for giving me this opportunity as it was her albums that help me appreciate their early work. Actually, Marillion was the first concert we saw together as husband and wife but that story is better for another day.

One of my on going rants here on 80smetalman is that the progressive rock of the 1970s descended into the synth pop of the 1980s. I still believe this but somebody forgot to tell Marillion this was the case. “Script for a Jester’s Tear” proved that there was still some good progressive rock to be found in the 1980s. In fact, I will go as far as to say that legends from the decade before such as Emerson, Lake and Palmer and Yes, (I’ll be visiting an album of theirs in the near future) would be glad that Marillion carried on the torch of progressive rock far into a decade where it wasn’t as widely appreciated.

In the true spirit of progressive rock, the shortest track on the album is just a mere five minutes and twenty nine seconds, that track is “He Knows You Know.” It’s also why that song was released as a single. The next shortest track is over seven minutes long and the remaining ones are all more than eight. In each of those tracks, there is the great keyboard work of Mark Kelly in tandem with some impressive guitar playing from Steve Rothery. Those two elements are strongly supported by the rhythm section and the unmistakable voice of lead singer, Fish. They make all of those tracks ones where you just want to kick back and listen and just appreciate the musical efforts of the band. All good tracks but my personal favourite has to be “Garden Party,” most likely for the acoustic guitar followed by hard rock intro. One other point is that at the time, the track “Chelsea Monday” was criticised for having nonsense lyrics. If they do, who cares? The music, especially Rothery’s guitar solo more than compensates.

Track Listing:

  1. Script for a Jester’s Tear
  2. He Knows You Know
  3. The Web
  4. Garden Party
  5. Chelsea Monday
  6. Forgotten Sons
Marillion

Marillion

Fish- vocals

Steve Rothery- guitar

Mark Kelly- keyboards

Pete Trewavas- bass

Mick Pointer- drums

I think what Marillion achieved in 1983 was to provide a common ground for trendies who were able to look beyond what synth pop was offering and metalheads like me who still appreciate a bit of melody. For those, Marillion’s debut album has it all. The paradox is that while “Script for a Jester’s Tear” was a huge success in the UK, it hardly made a dent in the US. Then again, I’ll be visiting another UK band who in the same year, had an album that went multi- platinum in the US but only sold about 17 copies in the UK.

Next post: Big Country- The Crossing

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

 

 

 

Rest in Peace- Keith Emerson

Posted in Death, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on March 12, 2016 by 80smetalman
Keith Emerson

Keith Emerson

Apologies for opening my big mouth or actually typing fingers. When mikeledano posted about the death of Beatles producer George Martin, I commented that I hoped that March wasn’t going to be a repeat of January when we had so many rock legends taken from us. Well, it looks like March is going to follow January because just days after Martin’s passing, I was very saddened to read about the passing of 1970s progressive rock legend, Keith Emerson. According to internet reports, Keith died, aged 71, from a self inflicted gunshot wound at his home in California.

Keith Emerson was one third of the great progressive rock band, Emerson, Lake and Palmer. For many of us who lived in the 70s, they were the chosen gods of progressive rock. Great hits like, “Fanfare for the Common Man” and “Lucky Man” are still fondly remembered. Keith played keyboards and many would agree with me that he was a true wizard at his chosen instrument. Just listen to “Fanfare for the Common Man” and you’ll see what I mean. In the 80s, he reunited with Greg Lake and with drummer Cozy Powell, formed ELP. I’ll definitely be visiting those albums.

I never saw them but  Emerson Lake and Palmer were said to be amazing live!

I never saw them but Emerson Lake and Palmer were said to be amazing live!

Tributes are already pouring in for Keith, including those by both former band mates. Thus, it only leaves me to say Rest in Peace, Keith and thank you for your great skills and contribution to music over the years.