Archive for Grand Funk Railroad

Great Soundtracks of 1981: Heavy Metal

Posted in 1980s, films, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, soundtracks, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 20, 2014 by 80smetalman

hevmetmov

If I have to think back in time and pick out one major turning point in what made me the metalhead I am today, it would have to be this film and its superb soundtrack. Back then, I only thought of heavy metal music as a concept and it wouldn’t be until I left the marines two years later that I would actually call myself a metalhead but after seeing the film and listening to all the great music on the soundtrack, it was safe to say that I was well on the road to becoming one.

Even though as a film, “Heavy Metal” was dismissed by some critics, even science fiction ones, I thoroughly enjoyed it. When you’re twenty years old and your mind is under the influence of certain substances, seeing a space ship open its cargo door and then an astronaut comes out of it in a 1953 chevy corvette parachuting to Earth is mind blowing. For those who haven’t seen the film, the mentioned scene happens to be at the beginning. The astronaut drives home and is met by his daughter. He then gives her this gift which is a large green globe. The globe melts the father and then tells the daughter its going to kill her after it shows her six stories about how it is the sum of all evil. It is these individual stories that make the film. My personal favourite is story two, “Den” about a nerdy teen who gets transported to a fantasy world where is is this muscular hero who gets all the girls. For months, I went around repeating Den’s ┬álines from where he first discovers he’s in a new body. “No hair, mmm big.” Then the nerdy voice (done by the late John Candy) says, “There is no way I’m walking around this place with my dork hanging out.” And then later in that story, after he sleeps with the evil queen, “Eighteen years of nothing and then twice in one day.” Sorry, small things amuse small minds. While those lines amused me, the one that became the standard for me and my buddies was from story five when the two stoned aliens badly dock their space ship. Voiced by the late Harold Ramis: “One thing I know how to do man is drive when I’m stoned.”

Chevy Corvette parachutes to Earth

Chevy Corvette parachutes to Earth

You find out at the end that the entire film is tied to the very last story, “Taarna.” Taarna is the last descendant of a warrior race known as the Taarakians, who after extracting vengeance on the barbarians who destroyed a peaceful city, sacrifices herself so the green globe can’t take over the world. Her blood is in the young girl who becomes the new Taarakian defender. Yes, I thought the ending was a little naff but after watching the other six stories, I didn’t really care. Besides, it was this last story that has instilled my fondness for ladies wielding swords. That might be too much information.

Taarna with her sword

Taarna with her sword

Enough about the film, lets move to this fantastic soundtrack. I don’t use the term “fantastic” loosely here because I really believe it about this soundtrack. It’s a who’s who of great rock and metal artists from the period. Two bands, Grand Funk Railroad and Blue Oyster Cult were listed in my honourable mentions category in great heavy metal influences. Then there’s a song by Nazereth, whose album “Hair of the Dog” could have been used as a blue print for the creation of metal. Note: the Nazereth song on this soundtrack wasn’t from that album but it’s a good one nonetheless. Up an coming Sammy Hagar demonstrates why he would rise to glory in his own right with the song he plays here. There are also two great songs from Cheap Trick and my favourite Devo song and the soundtrack’s more tender moments give us “Open Arms” by Journey and ones from Stevie Nicks and Donald Fagen. And of course we can’t forget the contribution from one of the metal’s founding fathers, Black Sabbath. What better song for this soundtrack than “The Mob Rules.” However, the one song that gained the most notoriety was the second title track, (there are two on this one) by former Eagles guitarist Don Felder. If the soundtrack and film set me on the road to being a metalhead, it was this particular song that was the engine driving it.

Black Sabbath

Black Sabbath

Blue Oyster Cult

Blue Oyster Cult

Track Listing:

1. Sammy Hagar- Heavy Metal

2. Riggs- Heartbeat

3. Devo- Working in a Coal Mine

4. Blue Oyster Cult- Veteran of 1000 Psychic Wars

5. Cheap Trick- Reach Out

6. Don Felder- Heavy Metal

7. Donald Fagan- True Companion

8. Nazereth- Crazy (A Suitable Case for Treatment)

9. Riggs- Radar Rider

10 Journey- Open Arms

11. Grand Funk Railroad- Queen Bee

12. Cheap Trick- I Must Be Dreamin’

13. Black Sabbath- The Mob Rules

14. Don Felder- All of You

15. Trust- Prefabricated

16. Stevie Nicks- Blue Lamp

Journey

Journey

Cheap Trick

Cheap Trick

One useless piece of information: When I visited Journey’ “Escape” album, I mentioned that “Open Arms” was Mrs 80sMetalman’s and mine first dance song at our wedding. Actually it was the CD from this very soundtrack that was used for it. See, that’s how good this soundtrack was. Not much more I can say about it as the songs speak for themselves.

Next post: Thin Lizzy- Renegade

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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Other Great Metal Influences, Part 10; Honourable Mentions

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 21, 2011 by 80smetalman

As this is the last in the great metal influences series, I thought it best to end it with some of the great unsung heroes of the 1970s who influenced the metal of the 80s. The list here is in no means exhaustive and there are probably a lot more acts that can be included in the list. These are the ones for me.

The first of these has to be without question, Slade. You only have to look as far as Quiet Riot to know that these guys were a big influence on 80s metal. It’s a shame that they never really made it in America until the 80s, but throughout the 70s, they were a major player on the rock scene in Britain. Any doubts, you can ask my wife, she’s met them.

Many will say that I should have given Blue Oyster Cult a solo spot in the series and there is great argument for this. They began to make huge strides into the rock scene in the late 70s, especially with their hit, “Don’t Fear the Reaper.” They were also the first band I heard of the be labelled “Satanic.” The band’s name gives that impression. I will be speaking a lot more of them when I begin my albums series.

Smashey and Nicey will love me for including Bachman Turner Overdrive in this list and with good reason. These rockers tore up the charts in the mid 70s with hits like “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” and “Taking Care of Business.” Unfortunately, when I saw them in the 80s, they had declined and became what my friend described as a bunch of fat, burned out, 40 year old bikers.

Another great rock act from the early and mid 70s was Grand Funk Railroad. Back then, many rock fans put them on a par with Black Sabbath. However, they seemed to disappear into obscurity after that.

My final honourable mention has to go to Foghat. In the late 70s, they sold a good number of albums and were considered a great live act. I was jealous of two friends who saw them open for Blue Oyster Cult in 1981. The report was that the concert was fantastic.

Last but not least and I should be shot for almost forgetting them and I thank the Metal Excess blog for reminding me, is Heart. Throughout the 70s, they had a string of great rocking albums and songs that was so heavy, many acts from the 80s would have been jealous. Great hits like “Heartless,” “Barracuda,” “Magic Man” and Crazy on You” will forever linger in my memory as classic rock hits. Ann And Nancy Wilson proved to be great role models for the future ladies who would go on to carry the rock chick banner. Heart will be another band I could have included on their own in the series.

I hope you have enjoyed the entire series of great rock influences and will continue reading this blog in the future.

Next post: The Great Guitarists of the 70s.

To buy Rock And Roll Children: visit www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available to buy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle