Archive for Great White

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

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Great Metal Albums of 1984: Judas Priest- Defenders of the Faith

Posted in 1980s, Books, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 6, 2017 by 80smetalman

If I thought I didn’t do Great White justice when I wrote about theirs as the first concert to take place in “Rock and Roll Children,” then I should grovel to Judas Priest begging their forgiveness. The Judas Priest/Great White concert that happens in the first few pages of the book is the one I knew least about. I couldn’t go on account of work and only had patchy accounts of the concert from people I spoke to who went. This meant my account of that night was, as one critic put it, bare bones, if that. So, to Judas Priest and their hardcore fans, I’m sorry. Though I do make up for it when I write about their 1986 concert. One of my biggest critics, my sister, said I nailed that one.

While the first Judas Priest concert might have been lacking in substance, the album they were touring in support of, “Defenders of the Faith” did get a good number of listens from the characters in “Rock and Roll Children.” I have always held this album in great esteem and will put my head in the lion’s mouth and declare that it is Judas Priest’s most underrated album, ever! Sales wise, it did not match the numbers of its mega fantastic predecessor, “Screaming for Vengeance,” and I put it a half a mark below it but “Defenders of the Faith” is one fantastic album.

The first seven songs are the reason why the album is soooo good. One by one each of those songs launch into an all out assault on your ears with such ferocity, you can’t help but to head bang away and jump up and down to it. Even when one song ends, the next one grabs you by the throat and makes you give your undivided attention to it. When I say the first seven songs, I mean all of those songs, not just the ones some might be more familiar with like “Freewheel Burning” and “Love Bites,” who when the premier of the video for it was announced on MTV was called “a family affair.” Of course there’s also my favourite track from this album and my third all time favourite Priest song, “Some Heads are Gonna Roll.” I just love that song. “Jawbreaker,” “Rock Hard, Ride Free” and “The Sentinel” all can cause an unsuspecting listener to lose control of their bodily functions as well. Plus, there’s the amusing “Eat Me Alive” which a year later would be rank on the PMRC’s hit list as the third dirtiest song. All great!

This not to say that the last three songs are in any way not up to scratch, they are good songs but intensity levels do tail off after “Some Heads are Gonna Roll.” Things go slower tempo with the remaining three songs but the pounding doesn’t let up. It just takes on a different form, nor does it detract from this great album in any way.

Track Listing:

  1. Freewheel Burning
  2. Jawbreaker
  3. Rock Hard, Ride Free
  4. The Sentinel
  5. Love Bites
  6. Eat Me Alive
  7. Some Heads Are Gonna Roll
  8. Night Comes Down
  9. Heavy Duty
  10. Defenders of the Faith

Judas Priest

Robert Halford- lead vocals

Glenn Tipton- guitar

KK Downing- guitar

Ian Hill- bass

Dave Holland- drums

I’ve never really ranked Judas Priest albums before, except I knew that “Screaming for Vengeance” was my favourite. I have called “Defenders of the Faith” underrated but I am now declare it number two and not by much. It is a great under appreciated album.

Next post: Quiet Riot- Condition Critical

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Great Metal Albums of 1984: Great White

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

Going back to the debut album by American metal band, Great White, after so many many years, I feel that I owe them a small apology. I did enjoy their debut quite a lot back in 1984, but it quickly got pushed aside when albums from more established bands came my way. Therefore, the album didn’t get the respect from me it deserved. This was the main reason why they didn’t get too much mention in “Rock and Roll Children.” In fact, their main mention in the book was probably my first mistake when I wrote the book. In the story and in real life, Great White supported the mighty Judas Priest on tour. This was the first concert I write about in the book and the one I knew least about. I didn’t go and could only glean bits and pieces from people who did. So it wasn’t the best idea to have the first concert one I knew very little about.

Now onto the album. Like I said, I may have discarded this album too soon in favour of others because I now realize just how good it was. However, in order to fully appreciate it, one should mentally drift back to 1984. Back then, I found the tracks “Out of the Night” and “Bad Boys” to be typical of the time metal tunes. Both songs are done well but they are about being bad and things like sex and music. Listening today, I would not be surprised if anyone thought it was all done before with them. The same could be said for “Down On Your Knees.” I wonder if they were influenced by AC/DC here but Mark Kendall hammers a cool guitar solo on it. It doesn’t matter because I like them anyway and there are better songs between them. “Stick It” has a really cool opening metal riff and just kicks ass throughout, definitely my favourite song on the album.

Many people might not think so but I really like their cover of The Who’s “Substitute.” I think what I like about it the most is how they alter the lyrics to make it more metal.

“I can see your pants are made of leather”

and

“I can see right through your Satan crap.”¬†

Great stuff and well played too. “Streetkiller” is a good, hard, in your face metal tune. “No Better Than Hell” starts in similar fashion but slows down into a more melodic rocker but the hard chords with the chorus still makes its mark. “Hold On” goes the other way. It’s hard in the meat of the verses but goes more melodic for the chorus. Still, its a nice switch up. “Nightmares” starts with one of those tunes designed to help babies sleep before going into a metal frenzy. That’s also what the song is about. Maybe I should start playing it every Halloween. That takes things to the closing song, “Dead End,” which is definitely the best track to end the album on because everything that has gone on before all comes together perfectly here.

Track Listing:

  1. Out of the Night
  2. Stick It
  3. Substitute
  4. Bad Boys
  5. Down On Your Knees
  6. Streetkiller
  7. No Better Than Hell
  8. Hold On
  9. Nightmares
  10. Dead End

Jack Russell- lead and backing vocals

Mark Kendall- guitar, backing vocals

Lorne Black- bass, backing vocals

Gary Holland- drums, backing vocals

Maybe if I listened to Great White’s debut album more, EMI wouldn’t have dropped the band due to its lack of success and the band wouldn’t have opted for a more bluesy direction in later albums. Because from what is on here, they could play metal well.

Next post: I thought I’d best keep with the flow I started above so it will be, Judas Priest- Defenders of the Faith

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