Archive for FM radio

Great Metal Albums of 1984: Accept- Balls to the Wall

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 26, 2017 by 80smetalman

If ever the saying, “never judge a book (or an album) by its cover” was relevant, it was certainly the case with Accept’s album “Balls to the Wall.” Ever since it’s launch, the cover of the album has brought criticisms of homo-erotica and this debate continues even today. For me, while I never or will ever enter into that debate, I must admit that I was rather homophobic in 1984 and used to have the album face down whenever I listened to it. But homo-erotic album cover or not, it never stopped me from enjoying the content the album contains.

The title track is probably the best known Accept song ever. I remember it getting a considerable amount of airplay on the radio, though I don’t recall ever seeing the video for it on MTV. That song totally blew me away at first listen. That catchy chorus just gets you banging your head away and singing along to it with all your heart and soul. It does the same for me even after all these years. Even if the song had homo-erotic overtones, which the band has always denied, I wouldn’t have cared then or now.

As was the case in 80s Reagan America, the fact that the cover of the album was thought to entertain homosexual contents, meant the rest of the album must do so as well. Songs like “London Leatherboys” and “Love Child” also were accused of the same. Let me tell you that it was all a load of nonsense. The great track, “London Leatherboys” was about bikers and even if it wasn’t, it’s such a cool metal jam. “Love Child” is about gays but it’s also about all people who are oppressed, which back in that time, was any non-conformist group or individual. It still doesn’t stop it from being a great song. I have to agree with the words of guitarist Wolf Hoffmann who said, “You Americans are so uptight about this.” He was totally correct.

In addition to the tracks I’ve already mentioned, the rest of the album is of the same greatness. Except for the acoustic closer, which in itself, isn’t a bad song, each one of these tracks totally kicks ass. Then as now, I can’t really pick a favorite apart from the famous title track. Power and melody are fused so well it’s amazing. There is something to like about each and every one here whether it’s hard riffs, catchy choruses or blistering guitar solos. “Balls to the Wall” was my metal introduction to the year 1984 and what a great one it was.

Track Listing:

  1. Balls to the Wall
  2. London Leatherboys
  3. Fight Back
  4. Head Over Heels
  5. Losing More Than You Ever Had
  6. Love Child
  7. Turn Me On
  8. Losers and Winners
  9. Guardians of the Night
  10. Winter Dreams

Accept

Do Dirkscheider- lead vocals

Wolf Hoffmann- guitar

Herman Frank- guitar

Peter Baltes- bass

Stefan Kaufmann- drums

Like I said, “Balls to the Wall” was my metal introduction to 1984 as I first heard it in early February of that year. I don’t think I could have asked for a better one than this.

Next post: Rock Goddess- Hell Hath No Fury

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1509050330&sr=8-3&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Great Metal Albums of 1984: Styrper- The Yellow and Black Attack

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 3, 2017 by 80smetalman

On one occasion in 1984, I resisted the temptation of the devil. Sometime in late August, TCN Hot Rock premiered a Christian heavy metal band on its radio programme. The deejay stated that the band they were playing called themselves ‘headbangers for the Lord’ and that very much intrigued me. So, on that particular Sunday morning, personal history was made as this was my introduction to the now very famous Christian heavy metal band Stryper.

I can’t remember which one of the six songs from their debut EP, “The Yellow and Black Attack” was played on that morning but what I do remember was that I very much liked what I heard. To me, Stryper could hold their own with their secular counter parts in every way. This album has everything a metalhead could ask for. Some crunching power riffs that come through straight away on the opening track and continue all the way to the end. All the vocals on the album were truly amazing and I had a lot of praise for the singer, I didn’t know his name at the time. Of course there was a tight rhythm section but in most cases for me, especially back then was how good the lead guitar was. Well, I don’t think anyone could debate me if I say that Oz Fox belongs up there among his great guitar peers. The best thing about “The Yellow and Black Attack” is that you get all of those ingredients on each one of the six songs on it.

One thing I have stated over the past three decades was that with many heavy metal bands, they start out hungry for success and that raw hunger is expressed on their initial demo or even the debut album, some beyond that. That hunger is definitely there on this album. They might have been singing and playing their hearts out here and the result was that the music could be capable of turning stones into bread.

The problem Stryper had with both Christian and secular audiences was that no one knew how to take Christian heavy metal. Christians had always branded metal Satanic and some thought that the fusion of Christianity and heavy metal to be sacrilege. As for the heathen, many were put off by the threat of Jesus lyrics. One critic referred to them as “Quiet Riot singing Jesus music.” That’s more of an insult for Stryper than to Quiet Riot. Stryper doesn’t sound like them at all to me. True, Stryper proudly sing about their love for their Saviour but having listened to this band so many times in three decades, I have never found myself wanting to go back to the fold.

Personal note: I was a Born Again Christian during my teenage years of the 1970s but all it did for me was mess my head up more than any drugs or music ever could. However, I don’t begrudge anyone who has spiritual beliefs and if they want, I would happily listen to Stryper with them.

Track Listing:

  1. Loud ‘N’ Clear
  2. From Wrong to Right
  3. You Know What to Do
  4. Co’mon Rock
  5. You Won’t Be Lonely
  6. Loving You

Stryper

Michael Sweet- lead vocals, guitar

Oz Fox- lead guitar, backing vocals

Tim Gaines- bass, backing vocals, keyboards

Robert Sweet- drums

They didn’t know it back then but Stryper laid down the foundations that built the bridge between the gulf of Christianity and heavy metal with this, their debut EP, “The Yellow and Black Attack.” From here, Stryper would go onto bigger and better things and whether or not you were a Christian or heathen, their music would touch the metal souls of many metalheads.

Next post: Chicago 17

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1507042433&sr=8-3&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1981: Danny Joe Brown and the Danny Joe Brown Band

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 23, 2014 by 80smetalman

 

220px-Danny_Joe_Brown_Band

Every Saturday night, the local FM radio station in Jacksonville, North Carolina had a feature starting at midnight called the Saturday Night Six Pack. They would play six albums, both classic and new in their entirety. One Saturday night in July of 1981, while I was doing the midnight to 4AM barracks security watch and before my company gunnery sergeant banned the listening of music whilst on duty, they played a brand new album from The Danny Joe Brown Band. I remember it well because it was played straight after Billy Joel’s “Glass Houses” album. I also remember that it was a very good album and listening to it again, only confirmed the earlier belief. You are probably wondering why I never bought the album, it was due to being strapped for cash. Crap military pay and car troubles are not a good combination.

What strikes me about this album is that while you can definitely feel that Southern boogie rock vibe throughout the entire album, it is not a clone of any Molly Hatchet album. On the album, Brown certainly does diversify somewhat from the sound of his then former band. The piano intro on “The Edge of Sundown” reminds me a little of Billy Powell from Lynyrd Skynyrd before it breaks off into some great pounding guitars. In fact, some of the guitar work on the album, “The Alamo” to name one, reminded me of The Dreggs and I half expected to see Steve Morse on the personnel list for the album. Like with Molly Hatchet, the three guitarists who Brown recruited for the album definitely know how to play. The entire album bears witness to that fact as there is some impressive playing on every song. Speaking of the piano, the fact that he uses keyboards on this album does not make it all go synth but compliments it perfectly and shows that Danny Joe Brown can be a bit versatile in his song writing. As for Brown’s vocals, I can’t say any different than what you would expect from him, whether it be a Molly Hatchet album or this one.

Track Listing:

1. Sundance

2. Nobody Walks On Me

3. The Alamo

4. Two Days Home

5. Edge of Sundown

6. Beggar Man

7. Run For Your Life

8. Hear My Song

9. Gambler’s Dream

10. Hit the Road

Danny Joe Brown Band

Danny Joe Brown Band

Danny Joe Brown- vocals

Bobby Ingram- lead and slide guitars, backing vocals

Steve Wheeler- lead and slide guitars

Kenny McVay- guitar

John Galvin- keyboards, keyboards

Buzzy Meekin- bass, backing vocals

Johnny Glenn- drums

This would be the only solo album from Danny Joe Brown. He would re-join Molly Hatchet after this one. Maybe the members of Hatchet realised what they lost when they let Brown go in the first place. When Brown did return, he would bring keyboardist John Galvin with him and that would influence their sound. But that’s all in the later years. If like many, you missed this album first time around, it’s not too late to have a listen to it now, definitely worth it.

Next post: Mother’s Finest- Iron Age

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