Archive for films

R.I.P. Glenn Frey

Posted in 1980s, Death, films, Music, Rock, television, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 19, 2016 by 80smetalman
Glenn Frey

Glenn Frey

Another week in January 2016 and another rock legend has departed this world. This time it was The Eagles legendary singer, song writer and guitarist, Glenn Frey, who yesterday, succumbed after complications arising from rheumatoid arthritis. (The fact that it wasn’t cancer this time is of no consolation to me here.)

Glenn’s music career last for more than four decades. Throughout the 1970s, he made many a great record with The Eagles and wrote or co-wrote some of their classic hits, such as “Take It Easy,” Tequila Sunrise,” “New Kid in Town” and “Heartache Tonight.” In the 1980s, after the break up of the band, he went on to have a successful solo career with several more hits, which for me, the biggest one has to be “Smuggler’s Blues.” Frey even did some acting appearing in the 80s crime drama “Miami Vice” and in the 1990s, had a small role in the Tom Cruise film, “Jerry McGuire.” Still, it was his contribution to music that he will be remembered best for.

The Eagles

The Eagles

I have already been asked on Facebook if I will be visiting a Glenn Frey or an Eagles album in tribute to Glenn. I would love to but I don’t want to go out of sequence with things here on 80smetalman. The problem is that by 1983, The Eagles had been broken up for three years and Glenn Frey did not release a solo album in that year. So, this is what I’m going to do. I will be posting links to the Frey/Eagles albums I’ve visited over the years below. Read them all and remember just what a great influence to music both Glenn Frey and The Eagles were.

nofunaloud

https://80smetalman.wordpress.com/2015/05/10/great-rock-albums-of-1982-glenn-frey-no-fun-aloud/

220px-The_Eagles_-_Eagles_Live

https://80smetalman.wordpress.com/2013/07/10/great-rock-albums-of-1980-the-eagles-live/

The_Eagles_The_Long_Run

https://80smetalman.wordpress.com/2012/09/06/great-rock-albums-of-1979-the-eagles-the-long-run/

eagleshotelcal

https://80smetalman.wordpress.com/2011/08/19/great-rock-albums-of-the-70s-the-eagles-hotel-california/

Read, enjoy, listen to some Eagles records and some Glenn Frey solo material and pause a moment to reflect on what another tragic loss to rock his passing has been.

 

 

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1983: Frank Zappa- The Man From Utopia

Posted in 1980s, films, Humour, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 6, 2015 by 80smetalman

220px-The_Man_From_Utopia

If there was any more evidence to further my belief that 1983 was the year for humour in music, then it would have to be the album “The Man From Utopia” by Frank Zappa. For over a decade and a half before the release of this album, Frank had been successfully carrying out a two pronged assault of making some fantastic music while at the same time, making us laugh our asses off with his humourous lyrics. In the late 1970s, listening to Zappa was practically a requirement at my high school. 1983 would be the year that one of his songs would actually get airplay on commercial radio. Before that, his only access to radio play was via the Dr Demento Show. Yes, I know that “Valley Girl” broke into the top forty charts in 1982 but that song will always be associated with his daughter Moon.

Doctor Demento

Doctor Demento

That all changed when one day, while listening to the one decent rock station in Jacksonville, North Carolina, I heard the track “Cocaine Decisions.” Okay, the song never broke the top forty singles chart, but who really cares about that? I just thought it was great to hear Frank on the radio. True, “Cocaine Decisions” is an anti drug song. However, it is not aimed at the common man. Instead it pokes fun at all the high class executives who used to snort. There was a saying back in the 80s that went, “Cocaine was God’s way of telling you that you make too much money.” Frank’s song parodies that.

The rest of the album consists of everything that Frank Zappa has been doing to entertain us for all those years. There are a load of great parody songs on the album. At first, I thought “The Radio is Broken” was going to be about a broken radio. Instead, Frank is being a kind of prophet here. It would only be less than two years later when, in my view, commercial radio started to suck. This song is about that.

Then there’s “The Dangerous Kitchen.” This one takes the piss out of the rising health and safety culture and look where it is now these days. The track “The Jazz Discharge Party Hats” rips on musicians trying to get laid after every gig. However, my favourite track on “The Man From Utopia” is “The Man From Utopia Meets Mary Lou.” While the song is done with the usual Zappa sense of humour, there is a serious side to it. It’s about a down trodden housewife who gets away but then gets revenge by fleecing men. It is on this track that Ray White’s underrated vocals come out. Oh yes, “Sex” is a pretty funny track too.

If I were to nit pick anything about the album, it would be the absence of Frank Zappa’s guitar playing ability. He doesn’t go into any great solos and it could be said that there is a lack of guitar great Steve Vai’s skills. Honestly, I’m not really bothered. There are three instrumentals, “Tink Walks Amok,” “We’re Not Alone” and “Moggio,” on the album and they all boast the great musicianship from the people Frank gets to play on his albums. I think that “The Man From Utopia” might be his best album since “Joe’s Garage Act 1.”

Track Listing (CD)

  1. Cocaine Decisions
  2. Sex
  3. Tink Walks Amok
  4. The Radio is Broken
  5. We’re Not Alone
  6. The Dangerous Kitchen
  7. The Man From Utopia Meets Mary Lou
  8. Stick Together
  9. The Jazz Discharge Party Hats
  10. Luigi and the Wise Guys
  11. Moggio
Frank Zappa

Frank Zappa

Frank Zappa- vocals, guitar, drum machine

Steve Vai- guitars

Ray White- guitar, vocals

Roy Estrada- vocals

Bob Harris- boy soprano

Ike Willis- vocals

Bobby Martin- keyboards, saxophone, vocals

Tommy Mars- keyboards

Arthur Barrow- bass, rhythm guitar, keyboards

Ed Mann- percussion

Scott Thunes- bass

Chris Wackerman- drums

Vinnie Colaiuta- drums

Craig Twister Stewart- harmonica

Dick Fegy- mandolin

Marty Krystall- saxophone

Frank Zappa was still going strong in 1983 as “The Man From Utopia” shows. After all, if 1983 was a year for humour in music to step forward, it wouldn’t have been able to do so without Frank.

I have also made a rather disappointing discovery. As a teen forty years ago, I thought that by now, 2015, wars would no longer exist but there would be ROLLERBALL!

Rollerball

Rollerball

Next post: Weird Al Yankovick

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