Archive for Glass Houses

Great Rock Albums of 1982: Billy Joel- The Nylon Curtain

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

Billy_Joel_-_The_Nylon_Curtain

April Fool’s Day has past and I am glad that everybody enjoyed my little joke last week but as Rich from Kamertunes pointed out, many of us have our musical guilty pleasures, here’s mine. I freely admit that back in the late 1970s, I liked the music of Billy Joel. I thought that “The Stranger” and “52nd Street” were both good albums and they led me to find an album that I thought was even better than those, “Piano Man.” The title cut and “Captain Jack” from that album are my two favourite Billy Joel tunes. Then in 1980, he put out the “Glass Houses” album, which confirmed my belief that he had it in him to rock. Therefore, I was pretty optimistic when I heard about his 1982 album, “The Nylon Curtain.”

This album takes Billy in a totally different direction. It’s not a rock out like “Glass Houses” but he doesn’t sit behind the piano on every song like the albums before that one. In fact, he plays other keyboard type instruments and has more musicians behind him in making the album. The result for me was quite interesting.

“The Nylon Curtain is yet again another album from 1982 that begins with its best known single. I’ve always liked “Allentown” because of the use of the acoustic guitar and what the song is about. Back in the early 1980s, factories, mines and other types of manual industry were being closed down resulting in unemployment soaring to over 10%. Many Americans felt that the American Dream had ended and this song is a good tribute to those who suffered during those times. I’m tempted to go political here but I won’t and if you listen to the lyrics of the song, you will see what I mean.

While it might not be guitar rock, there are some rocking moments on “The Nylon Curtain.” One of these is certainly “Goodnight Saigon.” That song not only rocks but it is the second song that year which paid tribute to the Vietnam Veterans. “Still in Saigon” by the Charlie Daniels Band was the first. “Pressure” is a good new wave type song where Billy goes wild on the keyboards. He does deliver on that one. The hidden surprise for me on this album has to be “Surprises” (no pun intended.) This starts like it is going to be a traditional Billy Joel tune but he does go in a rock direction on it. I can’t fault any of the other songs on the album even if they don’t stand out as much as the ones mentioned.

Track Listing:

1. Allentown

2. Laura

3. Pressure

4. Goodnight Saigon

5. She’s Right on Time

6. A Room of Our Own

7. Surprises

8. Scandinavian Skies

9. Where’s The Orchestra

Billy Joel

Billy Joel

Billy Joel- vocals, piano, organ synthesizers, Synclavier II

David Brown- lead guitar

Dominic Cortese- accordion

Liberty De Vitto- drums, percussion

Eddie Daniels- saxophone and clarinet

Russell Javors- rhythm guitar

Charles McCracken- cello

Rob Mounsey- synthesizer on “Scandinavian Skies”

Doug Stegmeyer- bass

Bill Zampino- field snare on “Goodnight Saigon”

For me, this would be the last good album from Billy Joel. He would sell out with his next album and I wouldn’t take him seriously after that. All of the Billy Joel albums before this one were good and showed his musical ability. It’s just a shame that he would settle for being popular.

Next post: Bruce Springsteen- Nebraska

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

 

 

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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┬áname one,┬áreminded 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

Great Rock Albums of 1980: Billy Joel- Glass Houses

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on May 5, 2013 by 80smetalman

Billy_Joel_-_Glass_Houses

Back in the late 1970s, Billy Joel was known as the singer who sat behind a piano and sang such ballads as “Just The Way You Are” or more pop oriented tunes like “Piano Man” or “My Life.” I admit that I liked these very songs back then, after all, they weren’t disco. However, I knew that he had the potential to be a little harder with his sound. Evidence of this can be sighted with songs like “Only the Good Die Young,” (I always thought the song would have been perfect if they used a fuzz box with the guitar) the guitar in “Big Shot” and my all time favourite song of his, “Captain Jack.” In 1980, Billy Joel finally realised this potential with the “Glass Houses” album.

If you asked any hard rocker and many metalheads back in the 80s about Billy Joel, they would probably say they liked “Glass Houses” or at the very least, it was an okay album. It helps a great deal that the album begins with that famous glass breaking sound followed by my all time second favourite Billy Joel song, “You May Be Right.” The rest of the album follows on with catchy rock tunes like, “Sometimes a Fantasy” and the big top forty hit “It’s Still Rock and Roll To Me” which as far as hit singles go, is not that bad. I won’t say that this album ranks with any of the monster metal albums but I have to give Billy Joel and “A” for effort in trying to go harder here.

Track Listing:

1. You May Be Right

2. Sometimes a Fantasy

3. Don’t Ask Me Why

4. It’s Still Rock And Roll To Me

5. All For Leyna

6. I Don’t Want To Be Alone

7. Sleeping With The Television On

8. C’etait Toi (You Are The One)

9. Close To The Borderline

10. Through The Long Night

Billy Joel

Billy Joel

Billy Joel- vocals, piano, synthesisers, harmonica, accordion

Dave Brown- guitars

Richie Cannata- organ, flute, saxophone

Liberty DeVitto- drums, percussion

Russell Javors- guitars

Doug Stegmeyer- bass

“Glass Houses” will go down in history as the one Billy Joel album found acceptable by many metalheads. Unfortunately, his later albums would go down the trail of 1980s commercial rock; although he did play piano on the Twisted Sister song “Be Cruel To Your School.” Even the thought of “Uptown Girl” still makes me want to put on some Venom or Slayer and smash things up. As a rock album, this one is all right with me.

Next post: The Clash- London Calling

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