Archive for Fleetwood Mac

Great Rock Albums of 1985: Don Henley- Building the Perfect Beast

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 15, 2018 by 80smetalman

The more I think about it, the more convinced I am that I was not as musically open minded as I thought I was in the early part of 1985. While I make no justification for this, I do think the reason might have been that I was in longing after the wave of heavy metal that was played on commercial radio throughout 1984 became non existent in the early part of the following year. That was probably why I poo-pooed the “Building the Perfect Beast” album from Don Henley. Being honest, I was in Eagles mode (even though they had split up five years earlier) with not just Don but all former members of this iconic band. I expected all of their solo material to resemble the classic “Hotel California” and the singles from this album didn’t do that. So, I ignored it until a friend lent it to me and I had a listen. Then I realized what I fool I had been.

Sure, the big single “The Boys of Summer” doesn’t sound like “Hotel California” but the musicianship on the song is simply fabulous. There is some great guitar work from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell and Don’s voice is clean on this and all of the tracks. I have really come to like this track in my later years.

Upon further reflection back to 1985, I think that I put music into categories of heavy metal and synth pop. “Building the Perfect Beast” not being metal, I put it into the other category. Again I say “Fool!” at least to myself anyway. There is absolutely nothing synth pop about this album. If anything, there are tracks that take me back to The Eagles more country rock sound from the early 1970s. Tracks that bear evidence to this are the fast paced “Man With a Mission” and my vote for hidden gem, “You’re Not Drinking Enough.” For some reason, that track reminds me of the Eagles’ classic, “Take Me to the Limit.” But it does say “Early Eagles” all through the song. Thinking back to early 85, at the time I was dating a woman who had a drinking problem and now I’m linking this song with that. “Not Enough Love in the World” is another example of what I am trying to talk about. In fact this track would have fitted perfectly on the Eagles’ “Long Road From Eden” album.

One reason for why this album sounds as good as it does is that Don got a load of well known singers and musicians to guest on it. While you know it is definitely Don Henley on every track, these guests, have a look below to see who, add to the quality of the album for sure.

Track Listing:

  1. The Boys of Summer
  2. You Can’t Make Love
  3. Man With a Mission
  4. You’re Not Drinking Enough
  5. Not Enough Love in the World
  6. Building the Perfect Beast
  7. All She Wants to Do is Dance
  8. A Month of Sundays
  9. Sunset Grill
  10. Drivin’ With Your Eyes Closed
  11. Land of the Living

Don Henley

Don Henley- lead vocals, percussion (tracks 5,6,9), drums (tracks 2-4,7), keyboards (track 6)

Danny ‘Kootch’ Kortchmar- guitars, organ (4), synthesizers (tracks 1,3,6), percussion (tracks 6,9,10), keyboards (9), synthesizer guitar and horn solos (8), ormichard (4), horns (3)

Additional Musicians

Mike Campbell- guitar, synthesizer track 1

Lyndsey Buckingham- guitar, backing vocals track 2

Charlie Sexton- guitar track 3

Tim Drummond- bass (tracks 4&5)

Pino Pallindino- bass (tracks 2,9,10)

Larry Klein- bass track 1

Jim Keltner- drums track 8

Ian Wallace- drums track 5

Kevin McCormick- African drums track 6

Randy Newman- synthesizer track 8

David Paich- synthesizer (track 7) piano (track 4 & 8)

Steve Porcaro- synthesizer (track 1 &4)

Benmont Tench- synthesizer (track 8), keyboards (track 2&5)

Albhy Galuten- synthesizer, Synclavier track 6

Michael Boddicker- synthesizer track 8

Bill Cuomo- synthesizer, percussion track 10

Backing Vocals:

Belinda Carlisle- track 3

Michael O’Donahue, Waddy Watchel, JD Souther, Carla Olson- track 6

Patty Smyth- track 6, 8-10

Martha Davis- tracks 6&7

Marie Pascale Elfman, Dominique Manicelli- track 9

Sam Moore- track 4

Brian Dear, I owe you a thanks for giving me this classic Don Henley album to listen to. Otherwise, I would have been enslaved to my ignorance that “Building the Perfect Beast” was another 80s synth pop album. It is clearly not and full marks to Don for it.

Next post: The Wrestling Album

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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

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Great Rock Albums of 1982: Fleetwood Mac- Mirage

Posted in 1979, 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 22, 2015 by 80smetalman

220px-Fleetwood_Mac_-_Mirage

Back in 1982, music video was still very new to many artists. MTV had only been up and running for a year and there were many households throughout the USA who did not have the channel. There would have been no way that having it on any of the base televisions would have even remotely considered. Therefore, the only music video I got to see was if I happened to catch “America’s Top Ten” and that wasn’t something I went out of my way to watch, unlike “World Championship Wrestling.” So, it was just luck of the draw that I managed to catch it on one Saturday. That week, REO Speedwagon and John Cougar had the only songs I thought of any worth in the top ten but then Casey Kasem showed the video for the new single from Fleetwood Mac, “Gypsy.” I liked the song, thought the video was okay and was glad to hear that they had put out a new album.

“Mirage” is a pretty good album, the problem for me and I suppose many people, is that after putting out an album like “Rumours” five years earlier, it would always be an extremely difficult feat to measure up to. Back in 1979, I should have seen the “Tusk” album as a sign. The problem with “Mirage”  and “Tusk” for that fact is that it lacks the variety of the all time great. While listening to “Mirage,” I patiently waited for a rocking jam like “Go Your Own Way” or a killer guitar solo from Lindsey Buckingham similar to “Don’t Stop.” Plus, I don’t think it would have been too much to ask if they allowed John McVie to pump out a killer bass line like on “The Chain.” Even an amusing little ditty like “Second Hand News” would have been cool, but none of these things are present on “Mirage.”

Enough of the negative because it is still an enjoyable album. One thing that does come over from the “Rumours” album and I’ve always loved her dearly for it, is the eccentricity of Stevie Nicks. It’s her vocals on “Gypsy” that made me check out the album in the first place. She does a similar job on “Straight Back.” That is the first track where Buckingham stops being introverted with his guitar and plays a decent solo. That combination makes it the best track on the album for me.

If it was up to me, I would have left the first four tracks of this album off and started it with “Gypsy.” From there on is where the album shines with tracks like “Hold Me” and a little bit of “Second Hand News” humour on “Empire State.” The closer, “Wish You Were Here,” is where Lindsey finally gets into full swing with the guitar making it the best song contributed by Christine McVie. That track gives an all well that ends well feel to things.

Track Listing:

1. Love in Store

2. Can’t Go Back

3. That’s Alright

4. Book of Love

5. Gypsy

6. Only Over You

7. Empire State

8. Straight Back

9. Hold Me

10. Oh Diane

11. Eyes of the World

12. Wish You Were Here

Fleetwood Mac

Fleetwood Mac

Lindsey Buckingham- guitar, vocals, keyboards

Christine McVie- keyboards, vocals

Stevie Nicks- vocals

John McVie- bass

Mick Fleetwood- drums, percussion

My advice to anyone who wants to listen to “Mirage” by Fleetwood Mac is to not think about “Rumours.” The albums don’t compare and you may feel disappointed. If you listen to it with an open mind, you will find the album very much enjoyable. It was still one of the better softer rock albums in 1982.

Next post: Night Ranger- Dawn Patrol

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Great Rock Albums of 1981: Stevie Nicks- Bella Donna

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, television, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 29, 2014 by 80smetalman

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Stevie Nicks has one thing in common with George Harrison in a sense. I have already mentioned that George’s solo material his my favourite among The Beatles. Likewise, of the solo productions from the members of Fleetwood Mac, it is Stevie Nicks’s material that comes out number one for me. I have heard all of the comments about her having a voice like a sheep. In fact, I enjoyed South Park’s little parody about that. The thing is that I don’t care whether or not she sounds like a sheep, I like her voice and the music that accompanies it. The album “Bella Donna” being one of them.

snonsp

Thinking back to when the songs of this album were played on commercial radio, I am reminded why I don’t like it very much. Back in 1981, the two songs that seemed to get all of the air play were the two duets that appear on the album. One was done with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, okay not really a duet, but “Stop Dragging My Heart Around is a decent song. So is the other duet she performs with former Eagles drummer Don Henley, the mellower “Leather and Lace.” I heard this song played on radio several months back and at its conclusion, the deejay only attributed the song to Stevie Nicks. It made me quite cross the Henley didn’t get a mention in the credits, especially as it was a classic rock station and have played Eagles songs in the past. Okay, rant over.

The point I was wanting to make pre-rant was that while the two mentioned songs are decent and so are the other tracks on the album, one song stands head and shoulders above the rest. It is “Edge of Seventeen” that has me banging my head every time I hear it and that is quite often as it’s on one of my MP3s. For Stevie, this is a great rock tune and shows that she can sing rock with the best of them. It is also a song that I would love to hear covered by a metal band.

Track Listing:

1. Bella Donna

2. Kind of Woman

3. Stop Dragging My Heart Around

4. Think About It

5. After the Glitter Fades

6. Edge of Seventeen

7. How Still My Love

8. Leather and Lace

9. Outside the Rain

10. The Highway Man

Stevie Nicks

Stevie Nicks

Stevie Nicks- lead vocals

Lori Perry- backing vocals

Sharon Celani- backing vocals

Tom Petty- guitar, accompanying vocals (Track 3)

Michael Campbell- guitar

Don Felder- guitar

Benmont Trench- piano, organ, backing vocals

Stan Lynch- drums

Don Henley- drums, accompanying vocals (Track 8)

Fleetwood Mac may have been on a hiatus in 1981 but Stevie Nicks was tearing up the rock world with this great album. She showed that she was perfectly capable of making it on her own. Even if some people think she sounds like a sheep.

Next post: A New TV Station is Born

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Great Rock Albums of 1981: Fleetwood Mac- Live

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Music, Rock, video games with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 26, 2013 by 80smetalman

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First of all, I hope all of you had a Merry Christmas and got all of the things you wanted and the same goes for any who don’t celebrate it. I did get the Black Sabbath “13” album and am looking for an excuse to go out in the car so I can play it. Also, I might have gotten another CD from my daughter but I won’t see her until Sunday.

Fleetwood Mac has always been one of those intriguing, controversial bands who put out some great albums in the 1970s and 80s. Most everyone knows of their best known “Rumours” album and a good many can say the same for the follow up “Tusk” album. Both are great albums and probably one of the reasons they put out a live album on the wake of the previous two. Much of the material from the mentioned studio albums is to be found on “Live” and for good reason. Those albums gave us so many great classic songs. For me, however, and this will be an ongoing theme for me throughout the tour of 1981, it had some personal meaning in my own life at the time. One of my comrades in arms bought this album at the PX in Rota, Spain just before we sailed back to the USA. It got played a lot on the voyage home and it was this album that made the trip home a lot easier.

Fleetwood Mac “Live” not only had great musical  memories, it also gave me one small regret and hearing again after so many years brought it back. That regret is the fact that I never saw them live. Listening to this album, I can safely say that it would have been totally awesome to see Fleetwood Mac in concert. Not just the great songs on it, but the energy they put behind each of the songs they play.  I have always said the Lindsey Buckingham does not get the respect he deserves as a guitarist, his efforts on the live album are proof of that. I mean, the man can play. Of course, the rest of the band are all very good on the album.

While, the album is heavy laden with songs from “Rumours” and “Tusk,” there are some classic gems from Fleetwood Mac’s past that pop up on the album too. I absolutely love the live version of “Rhiannon” and “Landslide” is nicely done as well. Then there is the live version of my all time favourite Mac song, “Go Your Own Way.” If there is a heavy metal cover of this song anywhere, someone please let me know because I would love to hear it. This song would sound fantastic if it was metallised. Saying that, if I have to pick out one personal disappointment about “Live,” it’s the absence of “The Chain” on it. I would have loved to have heard John McVie play my all time favourite bass line live. By way, I have heard Shark Island’s cover of said song and it is done well.

Track Listing:

1. Monday Morning

2. Say You Love Me

3. Dreams

4. Oh Well

5. Over and Over

6. Not That Funny

7. Sarah

8. Never Going Back Again

9. Landslide

10. Fireflies

11. Over My Head

12. Rhiannon

13. Don’t Let Me Down Again

14. One More Night

15. Go Your Own Way

16. Don’t Stop

17. I’m So Afraid

18. The Farmer’s Daughter

Fleetwood Mac

Fleetwood Mac

Lindsey Buckingham- guitars, vocals

Stevie Nicks- vocals

Christine McVie- keyboards, vocals

John McVie- bass

Mick Fleetwood- drums, percussion

My fellow music blogger Every Record Tells a Story recently posted his view of the top ten double live albums. This album wasn’t mentioned. I’m not saying that it should be in the top ten of any double live album list, especially against the albums ERTaS lists. However, this album is worth a definite mention as a great double live album. For me, it will forever be the closest I ever get to seeing Fleetwood Mac live.

Next post: REO Speedwagon- Hi Infidelity

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Great Albums of 1979: Blondie- Eat to the Beat

Posted in 1978, 1979, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 26, 2012 by 80smetalman

There’s no denying it, it is a fact that 1979 was the year for Blondie. They began the year with their 1978 release “Parallel Lines” which included the number 1 hit single “Heart of Glass.” One of the few songs to successfully make the rock-disco crossover that year. Debbie Harry became a common fixture on the walls of many teenage boys, including mine. Then they ended the year with “Eat to the Beat,” also a good album. Along with “Get the Knack” and “The Long Run” by the Eagles, this was also one of the albums that first greeted me when I came home on leave from that no contact with the outside world three month period I call boot camp.

 

 

 

Debbie Harry

 

 

 

 

 

I won’t go into a compare/contrast with “Parallel Lines” the way I did with Fleetwood Mac’s “Tusk” album. “Eat to the Beat” took Blondie into a more new wave direction. The hard rock sound is still there but it seems more melodic this time around. There are some very good tracks like the singles, “Dreaming” and “Atomic” and I really like “Accidents Never Happen.” It is a good album on its own and kept Blondie at the top of the rock music hill for 1979 and early 1980.

Track Listing:

1. Dreaming

2. The Hardest Part

3. Union City Blues

4. Shayla

5. Eat to the Beat

6. Accidents Never Happen

7. Die Young, Stay Pretty

8. Slow Motion

9. Atomic

10. Sound Asleep

11. Victor

12. Living in the Real World

Blondie

Deborah Harry- vocals

Chris Stein- lead guitar

Jimmy Destri- keyboards, backing vocals

Nigel Harrison- bass

Frank Infante- guitar, backing vocals

Clem Burke- drums

“Eat to the Beat” was the second of two great albums from Blondie and the reason why 1979 was their year. Many boys like me first listened to them because they liked the lead singer, but stayed with them because of the music. It was something great to come home from boot camp to.

Next post: Jethro Tull- Stormwarning

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Great Rock Albums of 1979: Fleetwood Mac- Tusk

Posted in 1979, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on October 21, 2012 by 80smetalman

After more than two years since Fleetwood Mac had made what many called the album of the 70s’ “Rumours,” the follow up album “Tusk” was released. Because “Rumours” was such a big album, many listeners were expecting another blockbuster album. Being one of those people, I was at first rather disappointed when I first heard “Tusk.” The album lacked the  great rock outs such as “Go Your Own Way” and “The Chain,” which is still my favourite bass line of all time, that were on the “Rumours” album. “Tusk” presented itself as a more mellower easy listening album.

It took me a couple of listens, but eventually “Tusk” began to grow on me. There are quite a few good songs on it like “Not That Funny” and “Think About Me” and while it might not be an album I would listen to on the way to a metal concert, it is one that I would listen to coming home late at night from one. The softer rock on this album is still of a good quality.

Track Listing:

1. Over and Over

2. The Ledge

3. Think About Me

4. Save Me a Place

5. Sarah

6. What Makes You Think You’re the One

7. Storms

8. That’s All For Everyone

9. Not That Funny

10. Sisters of the Moon

11. Angel

12. That’s Enough For Me

13. Brown Eyes

14. Never Make Me Cry

15. I Know I’m Not Wrong

16. Honey Hi

17. Beautiful Child

18. Walk a Thin Line

19. Tusk

20. Never Forget

Fleetwood Mac

Stevie Nicks- vocals, keyboards

Lindsey Buckingham- guitars, vocals, piano, harmonica

Christine McVie- piano, keyboards, accordion, vocals

John McVie- bass

Mick Fleetwood- drums, percussion

While its not as magnificent as the highly recognised “Rumours” album, “Tusk” is still a good album nonetheless. You may not bang your head away to any of the songs, but it’s a good listen when you need to wind down or other related activities. This album was one of the most expensive albums to make at the time and it is believed that because Fleetwood Mac were at the height of their popularity, the ego factor got involved in making this album. I don’t know about all that, although I wouldn’t be surprised if it was true.

Next post: Blondie- Eat to the Beat

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