Archive for glam rock

Great Metal Albums of 1988: Bonfire- Fireworks

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Illness, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 1, 2022 by 80smetalman

I nearly forgot, blame old age, that I begin any given year with albums which came out the previous year but didn’t come to my attention until the year I’m posting on. One of these was the second album by German metal band, Bonfire and my discovery of them came in a rather amusing way. My friends’ band, Torque Show was playing their first gig at London’s famous club, The Marquee. They were the opening band for, you’ve already guessed it, Bonfire.

Torque Show

The photo above is misleading, only two members of the band were left by the time Torque Show played the Marquee and they were on their second drummer. Anyway, they played well as an opening band and paved the way for Bonfire who impressed me as well. At least to the point that I gave their second album “Fireworks,” a go. It was a good night.

The best way to describe “Fireworks” is a straight forward glam metal album. The album does nothing I would call groundbreaking but it is consistent all the way through. For me, it doesn’t really fully kick into gear until the third track, “Sleeping All Alone.” There’s nothing wrong with the first two tracks, they both provide a good listen but it’s this particular track that turned my head. It could be the cool guitar solos from Hans Ziller which do it. That level is maintained with the following track, “Champion.” It’s a good straight ahead metal tune, one which would be radio friendly and the rhythm section, including the rhythm guitar, lay down a good foundation for the song.

Bonfire gets down and dirty with “Don’t Get Me Wrong” as this is a sleazy sounding, guitar crunching number. This is one to pump your fist in the air and flash the horns to. I can’t remember which songs they played that night so I can say if I did or not. I know I did stage dive. However, things dip a little after as “Sweet Obsession” doesn’t quite measure up to the previous three tracks. It has a good bassline though. The same can be said for “Rock Me Now.” Its intro sounds similar to the Great White classic, “Rock Me,” but then picks up speed but in spite of the increased speed, it lacks a little punch.

Fortunately, my pick for track of the album comes in and the last two tracks become distant memories. “American Nights” comes in with some cool drumming and definitely has some swagger. Lead singer, Claus Lessman, who sings well on all tracks, gives it a bit more oomph with the vocals and the rest of the band respond accordingly. Cool guitar riffs and lead guitar hooks bring in “Fantasy.” The changes in tempo keep it interesting, One minute it sounds like a ballad but then goes total metal the next with some great guitar work.

Penultimate track, “Give It a Try,” is a decent power ballad and you can feel the passion in Claus’s vocals and some good power ballad soloing from Hans. Listening to it and then to the actual closer, “Cold Days,” I think that these two songs should have been switched around. “Cold Days” would have been a better penultimate track and the passion behind “Give It a Try” would be better for a closer.

Track Listing:

  1. Ready 4 Action
  2. Never Mind
  3. Sleeping Alone
  4. Champion
  5. Don’t Get Me Wrong
  6. Sweet Obsession
  7. Rock Me Now
  8. American Nights
  9. Fantasy
  10. Give It a Try
  11. Cold Days
Alternative Cover

Claus Lessman- lead and backing vocals

Hans Ziller- lead and acoustic guitars, backing vocals

Horst Maier- rhythm guitar, backing vocals

Jorg Deisinger- bass, backing vocals

Additional Musicians

Ken Mary- drums

Martin Ernst- keyboards

Maybe I should thank Torque Show, for opening for a great band. Torque Show broke up a couple of years later but Bonfire still burns on. With albums like “Fireworks,” it’s plain to see why.

Next post: Cheap Trick- Lap of Luxury

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

To sign the petition to have Bruce Dickinson knighted, click the link: https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson

Great Metal Albums of 1987: Guns ‘N’ Roses- Appetite For Destruction

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 18, 2022 by 80smetalman

Welcome to the final post of the tour through 1987. Since it is the final post of another great year for metal, I thought I would go out in a blaze of glory, cue Guns ‘N’ Roses and “Appetite for Destruction.” This iconic album became a standard bearer for metal for the remaining years of the 1980s. People the world over love this album and my fear is that when I go into the meat of the album, there is not much I can say about it that hasn’t already been said.

In regards to what I’ve written about the album being a standard bearer for the last few years of the golden decade of metal, it did get off to a slow start in 1987. Some American critics dismissed the album at first, they felt stupid after, and even my sister originally branded them ‘Motley Crue rip offs and sexist pigs.’ British critics were kinder to the album although the more conservative, metal hating British tabloids weren’t. They put forward stories that the band did horrible things to poodles, (I’m not making this up.)

They did come to the UK in the summer of said year and played some gigs at the Marquee Club in London. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see them as I was getting married a week later and my future Mrs and I were flat hunting. Friends of mine did go and not only did they have a great time enjoying the kick ass show, they went for a curry with the band after. God, I’m jealous! My friends described it as a great night, Many years after, one of them, Dave, went on some seminar and was asked about one great thing he did, he responded that he had a curry with Guns ‘N’ Roses. He’s not sure if many people actually believed him.

Like I said, what can I say about “Appetite for Destruction” which hasn’t been already said over the many years? Songs? Not one of the tracks on the album can be considered ‘filler.’ All of them are monster tracks. Sure, there’s the singles. The most notable of those are “Sweet Child o’ Mine,” “Welcome to the Jungle” and “Paradise City.” I love the harmonizing at the beginning of “Paradise City” and the way the guitars just get down and dirty after. “Welcome to the Jungle” is a just an in your face power rocker. Then there’s the most noted of the three, “Sweet Child o’ Mine.” Even thirty-five years on, Slash’s guitar solos on the track just totally blows me away.

For years, I’ve considered “Mr Brownstone” the hidden gem. The problem is that the track isn’t exactly hidden. It was released as a single, at least according to Wikipedia, but it didn’t have the chart success as the other three singles. In any case, it is my favourite track on the album. It’s just total sleaze metal here and what I like best is the fact the drug references totally got under the skin of the Reagan Administration. Another great point on the album for me is the closer, “Rocket Queen.” It actually sounds like two songs in one where the guitar tempo just completely changes and it does so in a fashion which takes the album out superbly. But whichever song on the album you like most, it will be a good choice.

Now let’s talk about musicianship. Sorry Dawn, I can’t agree with the Motley Crue rip offs label because GNR are much better musicians. The guitars of Slash and Izzy Stradlin could have been considered state of the art back then. While I would be the first to admit that Axl Rose has a huge ego, his vocal ability can’t be faulted, at least not by me and of course, Slash, Axl and Izzy are supported by a great rhythm section of Duff and Steven. It’s no wonder this band became a symbol for metal in the closing years of the decade.

Track Listing:

  1. Welcome to the Jungle
  2. It’s So Easy
  3. Nightrain
  4. Out ta Get Me
  5. Mr. Brownstone
  6. Paradise City
  7. My Michelle
  8. Think About You
  9. Sweet Child o’ Mine
  10. You’re Crazy
  11. Anything Goes
  12. Rocket Queen
Guns ‘N’ Roses

W. Axl Rose- lead vocals

Slash- lead, acoustic, slide and talk box guitars, backing vocals

Izzy Stradlin- lead and rhythm guitar, backing vocals

Duff ‘Rose’ McKagan- bass, backing vocals

Steven Adler- drums

There should be no debate that “Appetite for Destruction” marked a major turning point for metal. While I never thought the sleaze went anywhere, I won’t debate those who say that the album brought it back to metal. On a personal note, like this iconic album, 1987 marked a major turning point for me. I started the year an angry young man but thanks to one woman, I found new direction in my life. It turned out to be a good year for Guns ‘N’ Roses and me.

Next post: A Movie You Should Definitely Check Out

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

To sign the petition to give Bruce Dickinson a knighthood, click the link: https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson

Great Metal Albums of 1987: White Lion- Pride

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 8, 2022 by 80smetalman

According to history, hair metal became popular in the closing years of the 1980s. However, some of those hair metal bands had albums out as early as 1985. One of those was White Lion, a band I particularly link to hair metal. How I missed out on their 1985 “Fight to Survive” album is beyond me. After all, the title track is my favourite White Lion song. Therefore, I am making doubly sure that I don’t miss out any more of their discography and they’re not the only band this has happened to. Here in its full glory is White Lion’s 1987 album, “Pride.”

What I love about “Pride” is the tight musicianship from all four members. That is what makes the album stand out for me. The album itself is straight forward heavy metal but it’s played very well. The song subjects are typical of the time, but then, they are the same throughout most genres of music. “Lonely Nights” is about a girl who has been dumped by her man for another girl who just wants to be loved. “Don’t Give Up” can be said as an encouraging call to the working man. This was particularly relevant in 1980s America as the entire country was engulfed in a go-go-go yuppie lifestyle. However, both songs are played extremely well and I’ll avoid the rush and start gushing over what a great guitarist Vitto Bratta is and why isn’t his name more known. He really rips a great solo on “Sweet Little Loving.”

The hidden gem for me is “Lady of the Valley.” This sounds like a no nonsense heavy metal tune and yes of course, Vitto’s guitar work is prominent, especially his acoustic guitar work. There are also parts when it goes more power ballad and now it’s time to point out the bass playing of James LoMenzo and the drumming of Greg D’Angelo as they make a fine rhythm section and it shows here. Maybe I should talk about Mike Tramp as it is his vocals that lead the album and he does sing well throughout.

It’s time to talk about the song which was saturated all over MTV in 1988. Yes, you in the back, I’m talking about the famous single, “Wait.” It even got attention over in England at the time and I have it on a compilation CD. Like with the previous track, it shows how easily White Lion can flow back and forth from power ballad to a more straight forward metal song. Vitto playing his guitar solo in the video amuses me because he’s on one knee. Is he trying to copy Yngwie Malmsteen?

By the middle of the decade, MTV really began to suck and the suckiness can relate to White Lion. The three singles from “Pride” were all ballad like songs and while that’s not a bad thing, it does hinder the fact that White Lion could rock. Okay, “Tell Me” is a decent rocker and it did well as a single but there are better examples. One song on the album which definitely proves my point is “All You Need is Rock ‘n’ Roll.” This is one to play at a party. You can headbang along to it and if you’re drunk enough, you can sing along to the chorus. I would have done so if the album had come out a year earlier.

I never had the fortune to have seen White Lion live but I wonder if they used the format on the album to close the show. The penultimate track, “All Join Hands” would have been a great song to finish on before leaving the stage and coming back for an encore. It’s one of those feel good, all sing together type tunes. If they had, then they could have come back and performed the closer, “When the Children Cry.” This was a well known single and it’s ballad format would have been an excellent way to end the show. If anyone has seen White Lion in the past, could they please enlighten me?

Track Listing:

  1. Hungry
  2. Lonely Nights
  3. Don’t Give Up
  4. Sweet Little Loving
  5. Lady of the Valley
  6. Wait
  7. All You Need is Rock ‘n’ Roll
  8. Tell Me
  9. All Join Hands
  10. When Children Cry

Mike Tramp- vocals, rhythm guitar

Vitto Bratta- guitar

James LoMenzo- bass

Greg D’Angelo- drums

I thought I would include this one since I missed it out and it is my favourite White Lion song.

Things are becoming clearer to me. With albums such as “Pride” by hair metal bands like White Lion, I can now see why it would become such a force in the final years of the 1980s.

Next post: Wrath- Nothing to Fear

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

To sign the petition for a knighthood for Bruce Dickinson, click the link: https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson

Great Metal Albums of 1987: Lizzy Borden- Visual Lies

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 28, 2022 by 80smetalman

This time, there is no debate on whether “Visual Lies,” compliments of Lizzy Borden, is an EP or an LP. Nine songs covering a time of forty-one minutes gives the answer to that. Going back to reality, one of my goals when I started writing this blog was to encourage people to get out their old records and listen to them again. Okay, my main goal is to sell copies of “Rock and Roll Children,” but that’s not the point here. A great side effect of this is that it has got me to do the same. I never bought a Lizzy Borden album back in the 80s because I knew people who had their albums and play them and since they weren’t well known in the UK, I hadn’t listened to any of their music for three decades. So, you can say that I am making up for lost time.

“Visual Lies” can be broken down into three chapters. Chapter one is the first two songs which are the more commercial radio friendly tunes. Both have that radio friendly melodic vibe to it but not anywhere close to making a hard core fan think they’ve sold out. The metal is present in both of the songs. Lizzy’s vocals are straight up and there are cool guitar solos. Saying that, I do think that White Stripes ‘borrowed’ the intro off the opener, “Me Against the World.”

Chapter Two is where the band goes more power metal spanning four tracks. Even the track, “Outcast,” which is close to being a power ballad has more power than ballad. The same holds true with the melodic harmony of the backing vocals on the choruses. Sure, the melody is there but it doesn’t lose any of the power and of course, there are some great guitar solos. While “Outcast” is my pick for favourite track, the guitar solo trade off clinches it for me, no intensity is lost on the other three tracks. “Den of Thieves” brings the most power of the three as it comes close to being speed metal but all four of these tracks just totally rock!

“Visual Lies” goes progressive metal in its third and final chapter. “Lord of the Flies” is probably what Yes would have sounded like if they had gone heavy metal. The song has a great progressive melody but backed up with some great power chords. It’s probably my imagination but Lizzy does sound a little like Jon Anderson here. Even the guitar solo sounds progressive. While not as intense as “Lord of the Flies,” the remaining tracks are in the same vein. Nice progressive sounding melodies with some hard power chords and in the case of “Voyeur, I’m Watching You,” a rather flowery guitar solo.

In the months between “Terror Rising” and this album, Lizzy Borden went through changes in guitarists. It seems that Tony Matuzak only played on the EP and Alex Nelson departed as well. Two guitarists gone but only replaced by one, Joe Holmes. It’s not a catastrophe because Joe seems to fit right in with Gene Allen as they do some amazing trade offs on their solos. On another note, 1,000 80smetalman points to Armand Rosamillia and 500 to Aphoristical for the assist for identifying the accompanying vocalist on “Don’t Touch Me There” from “Terror Rising.” Singing along with Lizzy was Betsy Bitch, real name Betsy Weiss.

And here she is

Track Listing:

  1. Me Against the World
  2. Shock
  3. Outcast
  4. Den of Thieves
  5. Visual Lies
  6. Eyes of a Stranger
  7. Lord of the Flies
  8. Voyeur (I’m Watching You)
  9. Visions
Lizzy Borden

Lizzy Borden- lead vocals

Gene Allen- guitar

Joe Holmes- guitar

Mike Davis- bass

Joey Scott- drums

Well, I’ve made up a little for not listening to Lizzy Borden in thirty years and with these two albums, I sort of regret what I’ve been missing.

Next post: Bitch- The Bitch is Back

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

To sign the petition for a knighthood for Bruce Dickinson, click the link: https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson

Great Metal Albums of 1987: Lizzy Borden- Terror Rising

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 24, 2022 by 80smetalman

Before I even began to listen to “Terror Rising” by American band, Lizzy Borden, I had a question about it thanks to Wikipedia. They call this album an EP owing to the fact that it only has seven songs for a total combined length of twenty-seven minutes. I know of LPs which only have that many songs and aren’t much longer in length. That put the question in my mind, should “Terror Rising” be considered an EP or an LP? After mentally debating this question for about 1.2 seconds, I began listening to the album and after a few notes, I didn’t really care.

The album begins with the melodic metal riffs which Lizzy Borden was known for back in the day. Opening track, “Give Them the Axe,” was the supposed single for the album and I can hear why. It’s hard rocking but melodic rhythm is ideal for commercial radio at the time. Lizzy Borden’s vocals are straight forward without going over the top falsetto and the rhythm is very catchy. Plus it has a short but to the point guitar solo. Single or not, it was a great way to open the album.

Up next is a very very interesting cover of the Jefferson Airplane classic, “White Rabbit.” You could easily say that Lizzy Borden put their own spin on it. Being a big fan of the Airplane back in the day, I am not offended by this cover, in fact, I like it very much. Since, I’ve been singing the praises of bass players lately, I will continue to do so and say that Mike Davis puts down a really groovy bass line on it. There are also a couple of cool guitar solos.

Next is a live recording of “Rod of Iron.” Now I am not sure if it’s the same recording as on the 1986 live album, “The Murderous Metal Road Show” but it sounds good here. In any case, it is played very well and remembering back to when I posted about the live album, I remember why I regret not seeing Lizzy Borden live. The same goes for the next track, “American Metal.” It is also on the previous live album but in this case, you get a studio recording of it. It’s a good straight forward metal tune and Lizzy goes a little more over the top on the falsetto vocals at times but the backing vocals are done well. If played live, this would be a good song to encourage audience participation to.

Then we get to the hidden gem, “Don’t Touch Me There.” Here’s another mystery which my normal online resources haven’t been forth coming to provide the information. I am offering 1,000 80smetalman points to who can tell me the lady who accompanies Lizzy on the vocals. Together, they make a fantastic duet. All of the cliched innuendos are present but backed up with some great heavy guitar. For anyone who says that humour doesn’t belong in heavy metal, then I highly recommend they listen to this one. It’s a great fusion of humour and metal.

“Catch Your Death” is another straight forward faster paced metal song with an intro that leads you into believing it’s going to be a power ballad. It’s the fastest song on the album which keeps the album ticking over very well to the title track closer. It does have a great guitar solo trade off and it might be a good time to point out that Lizzy Borden added a third guitarist, Tony Matuzak, to the line up. It does bring an extra sense of power to things.

Title cut, “Terror Rising” is a horror movie type song where Lizzy is trying to dismiss the demon he made a deal with but the demon refuses to leave. I get the feeling that the demon takes over at the end before the repeated lines, “It’s terror rising, I’m terrorizing.” end the album on an amusing note.

Track Listing:

  1. Give ‘Em the Axe
  2. White Rabbit
  3. Rod of Iron
  4. American Metal
  5. Don’t Touch Me There
  6. Catch Your Death
  7. Terror Rising
Lizzy Borden

Lizzy Borden- Vocals

Gene Allen- guitars

Tony Matuzak- guitar

Alex Nelson- guitar

Mike Davis- bass

Joey Scott- drums

Forget about the EP or LP debate, “Terror Rising” stands on its own as a cool album from an great but amusing metal band. Since the 1980s, I had forgotten about Lizzy Borden but I am enjoying my personal renaissance with the band, which is why….

Next post: Lizzy Borden- Visual Lies

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

To sign the petition for a knighthood for Bruce Dickinson, click the link: https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson

Great Metal Albums of 1987: Great White- Once Bitten

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 20, 2022 by 80smetalman

After being dropped by their label after their commercially disappointing debut album, (I thought it was good), Great White went for a more bluesier sound with their next album, “Shot in the Dark.” That was a great album and I just went back into the archives and reread how much I gushed over it. With that said, that album was simply a warm up for what I consider Great White’s best album, “Once Bitten.” On this album, they took the more metal debut album and their more blues second album and combined them to make this one their greatest album.

One thing I like about “Once Bitten” is that all of the tracks here, bar one, seem to have brilliant guitar intros. Whether it’s the riffing of rhythm guitarist Michael Lardie or solos from lead guitarist Mark Kendall, they bring each song in on a very high note before the rest of the band join in and carry that song to the end. Jack Russell’s vocals are superb but I stick by what I wrote when I visited “Shot in the Dark” what seems ages ago, Lorne Black is a totally underrated bass player! I love his basslines on practically every song and a good reason why none of the songs on this album can be considered filler.

Let me now go straight to not only the best song on the album but my favourite Great White song of all time, “Rock Me.” After the first two tracks deliver a great build up, this third track just blows me away. It describes exactly what I mean with Great White finding the metal and blues combination and creating something phenomenal with it because that’s what they do with “Rock Me.” Everything I said about the band in the above paragraph comes through many fold on this song. Plus, I should be gushing over what a great guitarist Mark Kendall is because he definitely earns that title here.

I know it’s a tired 80smetalman cliche which I’ve said many times but in the case of “Once Bitten,” one song doesn’t make an album. After being blown away by “Rock Me,” “All Over Now” comes in as a straight forward metal jam with that cool intro and some great guitar work and vocals held together by a strong as steel rhythm section. I haven’t mentioned him yet so I will now because Audie Desbrow lets us know what a great drummer he is as he puts in some great fills on this one.

An acoustic blues riff starts “Mistreater” before things just go total metal nuts but if you listen carefully, you can hear the honky tonk piano in the background. This is another effective blues-metal combination which is a great one to bang along to with some great soloing from Mark before the acoustic close out. More acoustic intros follow on “Never Change Heart.” It starts out as a potential ballad before morphing into a mid-tempo metal tune. Once again, Lorne’s bassline is prominent.

While there aren’t any filler tracks on the album, “Fast Road” for me is the least strongest. Maybe it’s me but this one seems, except for Audie’s drumroll intro, to come and go without much notice. It’s simply a good but unspectacular metal song and that’s okay. Probably because it is the fastest song on the album. Penultimate track, “On the Edge,” for some reason keeps confusing me with the Hurricane hit, “Take Me In Your Arms.” Don’t ask me why, it’s probably down to my insane mind but they do sound similar to me.

Finally we get to the closer and I ask myself: “How in the hell didn’t ‘Save Your Love’ make it on my top 30 power ballads list?” Perhaps I do need my head examined because this is a blinder of of a power ballad. Great White do everything they have done on previous tracks but just take it a little more slower. Believe me, it’s one hell of a power ballad! Passionate vocals, acoustic guitar and a great guitar solo, it’s all there. Thinking back to “Shot in the Dark” where they conclude that album with a power ballad, it could be that power ballad closers is the band’s trademark.

Track Listing:

  1. Lady Red Light
  2. Gonna Getcha
  3. Rock Me
  4. All Over Now
  5. Mistreater
  6. Never Change Heart
  7. Fast Road
  8. On the Edge
  9. Save Your Love

Note: The UK version omits four of these tracks and replaces them with four tracks from “Shot in the Dark.”

Great White

Jack Russell- lead and backing vocals

Mark Kendall- lead guitar, backing vocals

Michael Lardie- rhythm guitar, keyboards, harmonica, backing vocals

Lorne Black- bass, backing vocals

Audie Desbrow- drums

For me, “Once Bitten” is the best album from Great White. They do everything well here and it shows!

Next post: Lizzy Borden- Terror Rising

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

To sign the petition for a knighthood for Bruce Dickinson, click the link: https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson

Great Rock Albums of 1987: Glass Tiger- The Thin Red Line

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 10, 2022 by 80smetalman

Glass Tiger was a band I had heard of back in the day but never got around listening to them. When I first heard the name, I thought they were going to be a glam metal band and looking at pictures of the band cemented that belief in my eyes. However, when I finally got to listen to the debut album, “The Thin Red Line,” I quickly discovered that Glass Tiger was indeed not a heavy metal band! If anything, I should have paid more attention to the genre labels on the websites I do my research on. They list the band as pop rock or light AOR and I can agree wholeheartedly with that.

This begs the question: Is the album terrible? Admittedly, if I had heard this album back in 1987, I would have never wanted to listen to it again. This is because I was totally into my metal, (not that I’m not these days), but this album would be too commercial for my liking back then. Fortunately, I am much older and wiser (pause for laughter) and am able to approach “The Thin Red Line” with a much more open mind.

Here’s the real shocker. The album starts with the title cut and the intro sounds like we’re going to be treated to some good Dio like metal. I waited for the crunching guitars to kick in but instead we get heavy synthesizers. Even with my open mind, it’s a bit of a let down. Saying that, one cannot fault the keyboard skills of Sam Reid. He leaves his trademark on every song of the album and fair dues, he doesn’t play in a bubblegum synth pop fashion which was so popular at the time. I really appreciate his skills on “Closer to You.”

Being the metalhead I am, I always have an ear out for the guitar and unlike so many synth pop bands of the era, Al Connelly’s guitar isn’t smothered in the mix. I accept the fact that he’s not crunching the power chords on each and every song but it works here. He lays down his first solo on “Closer to You” and his lead guitar intro combined with the backing keyboards of Sam, creates a haunting effect on “Looking at a Picture.” It took me several listens to realize this but the combination works well on this particular track. In fact, let me say that all five players in the band are very talented. Alan Frew is a good singer and there are some cool bass lines from Wayne Parker and Michael Hanson is a more than capable drummer.

Of course, there has to be one track which I prefer over the rest and in this case, it’s “Ecstasy.” This is the closest Glass Tiger comes to being hard rock and you get to hear more of Al’s guitar on it. Plus, he lays down a rather cool solo. “Ancient Evenings” does come second but not a very close one. The best way to describe “The Thin Red Line” is that they are Marillion, Mr. Mister and Duran Duran all rolled into one. I hear a little of all three throughout the album.

Track Listing:

  1. The Thin Red Line
  2. Don’t Forget Me (When I’m Gone)
  3. Closer to You
  4. Vanishing Tribe
  5. Looking at the Picture
  6. The Secret
  7. Ancient Evenings
  8. Ecstasy
  9. Someday
  10. I Will Be There
  11. You’re What I Look For
Glass Tiger

Alan Frew- vocals

Al Connelly- guitar

Sam Reid- keyboards

Wayne Parker- bass

Michael Hanson- drums

Additional Musicians:

Jim Vallence- additional keyboards, backing vocals

Mark Lafrance, Paul Janz, Dalbello and Sharon Lee Williams- backing vocals

Bryan Adams- backing vocals on “Don’t Forget Me” and “I Will Be There”

Keith Scott- additional guitar

Doug Edwards- additional bass on “Don’t Forget Me”

David Pickell- harmonica

Chase Sanborn, Charles Gray, Russ Little- horns

I have to admit, the album has grown on me. It took a few listens but it has. It could because my musical tastes have gone a little more melodic in my advancing years, though I still enjoy a good thrashing mosh like with Agnostic Front.

Next post: Alice Cooper- Raise Your Fist and Yell

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

To sign the petition to give Bruce Dickinson a knighthood, click the link: https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson

Great Metal Albums of 1987: Twisted Sister- Love is for Suckers

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 3, 2022 by 80smetalman

As a big Twisted Sister fan, it saddens me to write that “Love is for Suckers” was an album which was doomed from the start. Following the disappointing (I didn’t think it was that bad) “Come Out and Play” album, Twisted Sister was seen as a band in decline. In the summer of 1986, all of their albums were selling at half price or less. Therefore, not many people cared when they released this album a year later.

Cracks were already beginning to emerge in the band even before the album was made. Drummer A.J. Pero left and was replaced by Joey Franco. Furthermore, Dee Snider originally intended it to be a solo album, however, the record label insisted that all the band be brought in and record it as a Twisted Sister album. With all this seeming to go against it, it is little wonder why the album is virtually unheard of outside Twisted Sister circles and even the band doesn’t like to talk about it. But, is the album that bad?

Let me get right to the point, “Love is for Suckers” is a notably better album than their previous album. While many critics slammed the album for giving us nothing new, I think that they were just trying to recapture the magic which brought them to superstardom just a few years earlier. The album starts off with a great TS anthem in “Wake Up the Sleeping Giant.” Dee wrote this song as a big ‘FU’ to the likes of Tipper Gore and the PMRC. While it’s a true metal song, it is the only song to appear on the Twisted Sister tribute album, “Twisted Forever,” covered by the rap artist Chuck D and his version is also really good.

“Hot Love,” while lyrically, it is a song about lusting after and wanting someone, it’s backed up be some really heavy power chords and a cool guitar solo. It was the only single from the album and didn’t do too bad, reaching 31 in the Billboard charts. Then we get to the title track, which is speedier track where Joey Franco earns his stripes with the band. True, it’s an anti-love song, but its done with a sense of humour. Franco’s drumming leads in “I’m So Hot for You,” I’m getting a vibe where this album is going lyrically where Dee seems to be focusing on the love theme. But there is the catchy guitar vibe to it which has you banging away to it nevertheless. Closing out the first side is “Tonight,” which is a departure from the love song lyrics of the previous three songs and more of a motivational song, intended to get you up and raise your fist. I sometimes think this song should have come right after the opener but the energy behind it is such that when the song ends, you need that breather to change the record or tape over. It has a great guitar solo and ends with “Did you come to see the bad boys?”

Side two opens with some great riffs on “Me and the Boys.” This track definitely reminds me of the Twisted Sister I came to know and love. It’s a definite wake up call taking you back to the good old days. This brings me to my big question about this album. Why wasn’t “One Bad Habit” released as a single? I remember having this on in my car and my friend who was in the car with me and unknown to things Twisted Sister began singing along to it. The lyrics, “I have one bad habit, I love to rock and roll” may have sounded cliche but would have worked. The guitars would have let metalheads know that it wasn’t a sell out song but the use of the horn section was vey nicely done.

“I Want This Night (To Last Forever)” comes in as if it’s going to be a power ballad but as it progresses, you get more power and less ballad. It’s just gets down and dirty and highlights the fact that Eddie Ojeda and Jay-Jay French haven’t lost their touch with the six strings. The penultimate track, “You’re All That I Need” is the true power ballad and brings back fond memories of their other great power ballad, “The Price” off the “Stay Hungry” album. This one comes pretty close to equalling that classic one. Keeping with the “Stay Hungry” theme, “Yeah, Right” is a short, to the point power track which closes this album the way “SMF” closes their most iconic album.

Track Listing:

  1. Wake Up the Sleeping Giant
  2. Hot Love
  3. Love is for Suckers
  4. I’m So Hot for You
  5. Tonight
  6. Me and the Boys
  7. One Bad Habit
  8. I Want This Night (To Last Forever)
  9. You’re All That I Need
  10. Yeah, Right
Twisted Sister

Dee Snider- lead vocals

Eddie Ojeda- guitars, backing vocals

Jay-Jay French- guitars, backing vocals

Mark ‘The Animal’ Mendoza- bass, backing vocals

Joey ‘Seven’ Franco- drums, percussion

Twisted Sister come out and play, taken at Bloodstock 2016

Due to the lack of recognition “Love is for Suckers” received, Twisted Sister would break up shortly after. Dee rarely speaks of the album and I now know why they didn’t play any songs off it when I saw them at Bloodstock 2010 and 16. He stated that it brings back too many bad memories for the band. It’s a big shame how one seemingly bad album, “Come Out and Play,” can wreck a band because I like the album a lot more than I did their previous one.

Next post: Gay Bikers on Acid- Drill Your Own Hole

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

To sign the petition for Bruce Dickinson to receive a knighthood, click the link: https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson

Great Metal Albums of 1987: KISS- Crazy Nights

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 27, 2022 by 80smetalman

According to most KISS fans and fanatics I know, “Crazy Nights” is not the best KISS album. In fact, many put it near the bottom when rating KISS albums. However, to the world, it was one of the highest charting albums KISS had made in a number of years charting in at least eleven countries and even hitting the number four spot in both the UK and Finland. So it begs the question, why was such a successful album not held in the same esteem by so many metalheads and KISS fans? The truth is out there.

One thought could be the fact that the first single “Crazy, Crazy Nights” went all the way to number four in the UK singles charts. While universally agreed by British metalheads that it’s not KISS’s greatest song, it was always great to see a metal song do well in the charts during a time it was dominated by bubble synth pop from the likes of Stock, Aiken and Waterman. We saw it as sticking it to the trendies. On a personal note, the lyrics of the song has always had meaning for me. In a world that had it in for heavy metal, it reminded us that metalheads were a force to be reckoned with and not to give a crap as to what the rest of the world thinks of us. I even quote the lyrics towards the end of “Rock and Roll Children.”

They try to tell us that we don’t belong

That’s all right, we’re millions strong

This is my music, it makes me proud

These are my people and this is my crowd.

Three singles were released from the album and “Crazy, Crazy Nights” is the only one of those which doesn’t have keyboards. When KISS went to record the album, they were looking for something which would bring them back to their glory days. They brought in producer Ron Nevison to help and he shaped the sound of the album. Another point of KISStory here is that Gene Simmons was off doing other things so his contributions on “Crazy Nights” were minimal. Bruce Kullick stepped in and got four song writing credits and Eric Carr had one. They also had assistance from outside writers such as Desmond Child.

As for the album itself, after the biggest charting single opens it, things continue for the next three tracks. Each of those tracks reminds me of the KISS I had grown up with over the years. “I Fight Hell to Hold You” is the hidden gem on the album as it’s hard and heavy. I can say the same for “Bang Bang You” even if the lyrics would be considered not woke these days. They do make reference to ancient times when Paul sings that he’s going to shoot his love gun.

Let me be blunt here, in my opinion and that’s just what it is, I think that Bruce is the star of this album. His shredding on the majority of the songs is what makes them. If not his shredding some of his opening riffs like “No, No, No” for example. “When Your Walls Come Down” is another great example of Bruce’s brilliance. The two tracks before it are okay but don’t make me want to get up and headbang away to them. “When the Walls Come Down” injects new life into the album and save it from descending into mediocrity. Furthermore, it’s his guitar solo on the single, “Reason to Live” that I would show any interest in it. Otherwise, it would have been just another power ballad.

Bruce Kullick

Talking about Gene, while he only writes on four of the eleven songs on the album, three of them are very good. One of them I already mentioned. He writes with Bruce on “No, No, No” and that’s probably why it’s good. Gene lets Bruce do his thing on that one. “Good Girl Gone Bad,” which reminds me of the single “Tears are Falling” from their previous album and the closer “Thief in the Night” are both strong tracks. The closer is definitely more old school KISS. So I can theorize here that while Paul was looking for commercial viability, Gene, when he was around, kept KISS truer to its more metal roots.

Track Listing:

  1. Crazy, Crazy Nights
  2. I’ll Fight Hell to Hold You
  3. Bang, Bang You
  4. No, No, No
  5. Hell or High Water
  6. My Way
  7. When the Walls Come Down
  8. Reason to Live
  9. Good Girl Gone Bad
  10. Turn On the Night
  11. Thief in the Night
KISS

Paul Stanley- rhythm guitar, lead vocals, keyboards

Gene Simmons- bass, lead vocals

Eric Carr- drums, backing vocals

Bruce Kullick- lead guitar

I’ll be blunt again, there are better KISS albums than “Crazy Nights” but I do like the fact that it and the singles stuck it to the trendies in 1987. My main takeaway from listening to it again after a long time is that Bruce Kullick needs more credit than what he’s actually given.

Next post: Twisted Sister- Love is for Suckers

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

To sign the petition for a knighthood for Bruce Dickinson, click the link: https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson

Great Metal Albums of 1987: Tigertailz- Young and Crazy

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 20, 2022 by 80smetalman

Making their way around the British metal scene in 1987 was Welsh glam metal band Tigertailz. While I never got the chance to see them live, I do know they played great London rock clubs such as The Marquee and the Royal Standard. Looking at this album cover, your initial reaction is probably similar to mine back then, they could rival Poison in the ‘rock dudes who look like chicks’ sweepstakes.

The funny thing is that their debut album, “Young and Crazy,” is similar to the Poison sound. I do hear the similarities between the two bands. However, I also note a KISS influence in some of their songs, the opener, “Star Crazy” and “Shameless.” Paul or Gene would both be comfortable singing either of those songs.

There is no doubt in my mind that Tigertailz were a competent band and there are some really good songs on it. The standout song for me is definitely “Livin’ Without You.” Crunching guitars and a pumping bass dominate the song but without losing any of the catchy melody. It is probably Steevi Jaimz best vocal effort and the crunching rhythm in the middle stamps its authority. Additional, there is a great drumroll from Ace Finchum and Jay Pepper lays down his best guitar solo. Definitely, my choice for best song.

The other thing is that because they look and sound similar to Poison, I want to compare and contrast them with Poison. What would be cool if Brett Michaels came and sang for Tigertailz as he is better than Steevi Jaimz while Jay Pepper is a better guitarist than CC DeVille. Just my opinion and of course, you are all free to offer yours. The teacher in me always welcomes debate.

Oh, another thing about the track, “Shameless,” is that while KISS influenced, in the middle of the song, Steevi does a David Lee Roth style spoken part. Is it as good as Dave? Well, not many singers can talk their way through songs like DLR but I will give Steevi and ‘A’ for effort. Where Tigertailz go original is the track, “City Kidz.” There is a blues like swagger to this song and a real cool rhythm guitar riff before a cool guitar solo. Okay, it gets the number two spot in the best song on the album category.

“Shoot to Kill” isn’t a bad track but it’s more filler with all the cliche heavy metal elements to it. On the other hand, “Turn Me On” is definitely the song for the rhythm section. It begins with Jaimz saying, “Come on Ace” and Ace responds with a cool drum fill. His drums take command but there is a good bass solo from Pepsi Tate in the middle. Less fortunately, it’s sandwiched between the two filler tracks. The former already mentioned track and “She’z Too Hot” has the same heavy metal cliches. Still, it’s not that bad. The title track is a more lively penultimate track where Jay is once again let off the leash on the six string. However, the album ends with a decent power ballad in the form of “Fall in Love Again.” At first it seems out of place but that thought is quickly erased and guitar and bass make it okay.

Track Listing:

  1. Star Attraction
  2. Hollywood Killer
  3. Ballerina (Instrumental)
  4. Livin’ Without You
  5. Shameless
  6. City Kidz
  7. Shoot to Kill
  8. Turn Me On
  9. She’z Too Hot
  10. Young and Crazy
  11. Fall in Love Again
Tigertailz

Steevi Jaimz- vocals

Jay Pepper- guitar

Pepsi Tate- bass

Ace Finchum- drums

In respect to what I said about the Brett vs Steevi aspect. Steevi isn’t a bad singer but he wasn’t that good. It’s probably why Tigertailz got a new singer after this album. There is even a re-recorded version of my favourite track sung by the new singer. Anyway, this is a good effort from a band looking to make it. If the production had been better, then I think it would have been phenomenal.

Next post: Anvil- Strength of Steel

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

To sign the petition for a knighthood for Bruce Dickinson, click the link: https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson