Archive for hard rock

Great Rock Albums of 1988: Tina Turner- Tina Live in Europe

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 4, 2022 by 80smetalman

I apologize in advance for my poor planning. It is clear to me that I shouldn’t have posted a 28 song, two hour long double live album at a time when I had so many other things going on. Full time work and supply teaching has eaten up a lot of time, plus some of the other side projects I’ve been working on. I’ve been writing my chapter for Mikeladano’s continuing adventures of Tee-Bone Man and Superdekes. In fact, I may miss a post so I can complete it. Besides that, if any of you follow me on Facebook or read my Peaceful Rampage blog, then you will know that I have been writing scripts for women’s wrestling matches. The one I wrote fully and one I part wrote should be available on their website soon. When it is, I will post a link if any of you want to purchase and view.

As a result of all of this, Tina Turner’s “Tina Live in Europe” album didn’t get the full attention it truly deserves but rest assured, I have listened to it. After listening to it the one time, Tina Turner is yet another artists I regret not seeing live. Even listening to it sitting at the computer, the energy just bounces off and I can surely feel it. One must consider that Tina was 47 at the time she performed the album and she produces an energy that persons half that age couldn’t replicate.

Being 1988, many of the songs come from her two albums “Private Dancer” and “Break Every Rule.” On her performance of “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” she gets the ladies and gentlemen in the audience to sing different parts. She also includes her big hit from the “Mad Max 3” soundtrack, “We Don’t Need Another Hero” and it sounds cool too as the other songs from those albums she performs live on this record.

What makes this album for me is the covers and guest collaborations. I have always loved Tina’s version of the CCR classic “Proud Mary” and she just knocks this one out of the park. However, the most intriguing cover is that of the Beatles classic, “Help.” It starts out as a ballad and then it rocks a little in the middle before coming to an gospel choir like end. Yes, it all sounds very contradictory but it really works! There is also her big song with Ike, “Nutbush City Limits” and the energy she puts into that song is similar to when she first sang it in 1973.

Guest collaborations are with such as Eric Clapton, David Bowie and Bryan Adams. Yes, the Bryan one is the duet they had a big hit form, “It’s Only Love” but they still rock. Eric cranks a cool solo, especially as the song begins like it’s going to be “Cocaine.” With David, she sings “Tonight” and “Let’s Dance” and again, I wish I was there.

Track Listing:

Disc One:

  1. What You Get is What You See
  2. Break Every Rule
  3. I Can’t Stand the Rain
  4. Two People
  5. Girls
  6. Typical Male
  7. Back Where You Started
  8. Better Be Good to Me
  9. Addicted to Love
  10. Private Dancer
  11. We Don’t Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)
  12. What’s Love Got to Do With It?
  13. Let’s Stay Together
  14. Show Some Respect

Disc Two:

  1. Land of 1000 Dances
  2. In the Midnight Hour
  3. 634-5789- with Robert Cray
  4. A Change is Gonna Come
  5. River Deep
  6. Tearing Us Apart- with Eric Clapton
  7. Proud Mary
  8. Help
  9. Tonight- with David Bowie
  10. Let’s Dance- with David Bowie
  11. Overnight Sensation
  12. It’s Only Love- with Bryan Adams
  13. Nutbush City Limits
  14. Paradise Is Here
Tina Turner

Tina Turner- vocals

Jamie Ralston- guitar, vocals

Laurie Wisefield- guitar

Bob Feit- bass, vocals

Jack Bruno- drums

Stevie Scales- percussion

John Miles- keyboards, vocals

Ollie Marland- keyboards, vocals

Deric Dyer- saxophone, keyboards

Additional Musicians:

Jamie West-Oram- guitar, backing vocals

Don Snow- keyboards, vocals

Tim Cappello- keyboards, saxophone

Alan Clarke- keyboards

Kenny Moore- keyboards

Gary Barnacle- saxophone

I’m a little surprised Steve Lukather didn’t play on the album.

The disadvantage of being so heavy metal focused back in the 1980s was that great live albums like “Tina Live in Europe” didn’t get the full appreciation from me it should have. I’m making up for it now. She could have been a great metal singer the way she rocks on this album.

Next post: Bonnie Tyler- Hide Your Heart

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 1988: Big Country- Peace In Our Time

Posted in Uncategorized, 1980s, Music, Rock with tags , , , , , , , , on June 30, 2022 by 80smetalman

It’s my Swiss cheese memory again. I had no memory that Big Country had put out an album in 1988, which was bizarre because I was living in London at the time and “Peace in Our Time” went to number nine in the UK charts. Fortunately, a follower named Damien saved my bacon by emailing me asking I include the album in my 1988 posts. So, thank you Damien! Listening to the album, I am glad I followed his suggestion.

What a paradox the opening track, “King of Emotion” is. The song just missed the top ten in both the US and UK charts but that’s not important. What is important is that it begins with a drum beat which reminds me of the Grand Funk Railroad classic, “We’re An American Band.” Some sections of the song sound like Spandau Ballet trying to go hard rock. We know they couldn’t but with Big Country, there is no need as this turns out to be a pretty viable commercial rock tune.

The next four tracks are good solid tracks but as a whole, not mind blowing. The second single, “Broken Heart,” has a background guitar which would have made The Edge jealous. What Big Country accomplish is their blend of Celtic folk rock, hard rock and elements of new wave and it’s all done with great success. All of those songs have a catchy melody backed up by the power chords of a guitar and each one is quite enjoyable in its own right. Saying that, I like the intros of tracks three and four, the progressive sound of “From Here to Eternity” and the acoustic intro on “Everything I Need.” Both are hauntingly catchy.

Starting the swing to more harder rock in the second half of the album is the title track which is also the hidden gem of the album. It was released as a single but barely cracked the top 40 in the UK. So for me, having no memory of the song, it qualifies as a hidden gem. I just love the way the guitar kicks in to start things off and the U2 meets Guns N Roses guitar sound in the background just rocks. Okay, there are no blistering solos but there’s a guitar riff in the middle which is definitely ear catching.

Tracks seven through ten are sort of like those of two to five, only there seems to be a definite harder rock feel to them. Still, the melodies behind the songs are no less catchy and will have you dancing around the kitchen if you aren’t careful. “River of Hope” really rocks with the guitars and drums. Then just to change things up is the ballad, “In This Place.” It starts off as a soft piano ballad but the guitars come in and give it a bit more kick. “I Could Be Happy Here” ends the album in the right frame of mind and I do like the guitar hooks as it fades out.

Track Listing:

  1. King of Emotion
  2. Broken Heart (Thirteen Valleys)
  3. Thousand Yard Stare
  4. From Here to Eternity
  5. Everything I Need
  6. Peace In Our Time
  7. Time for Leaving
  8. River of Hope
  9. In This Place
  10. I Could Be Happy Here
Big Country

Stuart Adamson- guitar, vocals, piano, e-bow

Mark Brzezicki- drums, percussion

Tony Butler- bass, vocals, guitar

Bruce Watson- guitar, harmonica, e-bow, mandolin, sitar, vocals

“Peace in Our Time” was near fatal miss for me back in 1988. Fortunately, thanks to Damien and the Tubes of You, I got to appreciate what a great album it is.

Next post: Tina Turner- Tina Live in Europe

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 Rock Albums of 1988: Robert Palmer- Heavy Nova

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on June 26, 2022 by 80smetalman

Coming off the huge success of his previous album, “Riptide,” Robert Palmer was back and in fine form with “Heavy Nova.” Getting right to the point here, I think that the reason why Robert was so successful in the late 1980s was the versatility of both albums. There is something in many of the songs which had mass appeal. Take the first single from the album, “Simply Irresistible.” It starts with with an acoustic intro which wouldn’t be out of place on a metal album. Furthermore, while there are synths on the song, they don’t dominate. The same with the guitar. It’s definitely there but not dominating as it would in a metal song, although the guitar solo in the middle is killer. What I like about it is that you can’t pigeon hole it and the combination works really well.

Three of the next four songs follow the path set down by “Simply Irresistible.” They walk the fine line between hard rock and synth pop with out fully stepping into the either territory. Saying that, I do like the bassline on “More Than Ever” and there is some African influence in “Change His Ways.” The odd song out in this string is “Disturbing Behaviour.” This is more of a rocker and I can envision a metal band playing it. All they needed to do was turn the guitar up a few more octaves and it would be killer. Still, it gets my vote for hidden gem.

In the second half of the album, Robert goes more rat pack or so it seems. He sounds like he could be either Andy Williams or Nat King Cole on the track “It Could Happen to You.” Then again, the song was originally written in 1943 and fair credit to him, it shows that he can sing outside his comfort zone and make it sound good. Okay, we don’t know for sure if he could sing thrash metal but who cares? Then there is the more popular single, (at least to me), on the album, “She Makes My Day.” I remember this one better than “Simply Irresistible” even though it’s a ballad but again, we get further proof of Rob’s versatile singing voice. It also helps he has some great musicians behind him.

Track Listing:

  1. Simply Irresistible
  2. More Than Ever
  3. Change His Ways
  4. Disturbing Behaviour
  5. Early in the Morning
  6. It Could Happen to You
  7. She Makes My Day
  8. Between Us
  9. Casting a Spell
  10. Tell Me I’m Not Dreaming
Robert Palmer

Robert Palmer- lead and backing vocals

William Bryant- keyboards

Mishna Schneider- keyboards

Jeff Bova- additional keyboards

Richard Gibbs- additional keyboards

Garth Hudson- accordion, additional keyboards

Tom T-Bone Wolk- accordion

Eddie Martinez- guitar

Dennis Budimir- additional guitar

John Grey- additional guitar, additional percussion

Frank Blair- bass

Barry ‘Sun John’ Johnson- additional bass

Dony Wynn- drums

Rikki Fataar- additional drums

Dom Um Romao- percussion, additional backing vocals

Robyn Lobe- additional percussion

Chuck Findley- trumpet

Luka Belak- violin

Clare Fischer- stings

Rick Danko- additional backing vocals

B.J. Nelson- additional backing vocals

I bought “Heavy Nova” for my then wife as a birthday present in 1989 and for some reason, she didn’t play it much around me. Maybe she thought it wasn’t my cup of tea and she could have been partially right at the time. However, I do appreciate this album much more these days.

Next post: Big Country- Peace in Our Time

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 Rock Albums of 1988: Pat Benatar- Wide Awake in Dreamland

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on June 23, 2022 by 80smetalman

You know you’re becoming domesticated when you hear about a new album from a television chart show. My introduction to the legendary Pat Benatar’s 1988 album, “Wide Awake in Dreamland,” came as a result of the single, “All Fired Up,” being played on the British show, “Top of the Pops.” At the time, it was a breath of fresh air after all the Stock, Aiken and Waterman bubble gum pop that seemed to be on the programme every week. What was more is that when I heard “All Fired Up,” I was glad that Pat seemed to be returning to her harder rock roots after some of the more keyboard oriented albums of the mid 1980s.

First of all, this album isn’t a complete rocker in comparison to her first three albums but as I said, it was a step in that direction. “All Fired Up” is a good example, it didn’t displace any of my older favourites but it was a good rock song. What I have come to appreciate more in my advancing years is that the album changes things up quite a bit. Second track, “One Love” is a great example of this. It is more of a ballad and her vocals are superb as always but there are some interesting guitar hooks and some overall good musicianship on it.

Rock returns on “Let’s Stay Together” and I will say here what I’ve said on practically every Pat Benatar album I’ve posted about. Neil Giraldo is an awesome guitarist who deserves more respect for his talent. However, it’s the middle of the album which really gets going. Actually, the rocking starts in the second half of “Don’t Walk Away” as the first half is more of a ballad. “Too Long a Soldier,” “Cool Zero” and “Cerebral Man” are all powerful rockers. Let me backtrack one second, “Too Long a Soldier” isn’t a rocker in the traditional sense but the haunting guitar with Pat’s voice go well in delivering a powerful message and Neil does hammer out a cool guitar solo, therefore, it gets my vote for hidden gem. The other two mentioned tracks are definite rockers and take me back to Pat’s early days with her rocking vocals and Neil laying down some cool solos. For me, this is the best part of the album.

While not as hard rocking, the final three songs are indeed interesting. A very prominent bassline carries “Lift ’em All Up” and some cool guitar and keyboard hooks provide great support. Pat delivers a strong message in the anti- child abuse song, “Suffer the Little Children.” This is more a ballad but her message is clear. The closing title track takes the album out in rocking fashion.

Track Listing:

  1. All Fired Up
  2. One Love
  3. Let’s Stay Together
  4. Don’t Walk Away
  5. Too Long a Soldier
  6. Cool Zero
  7. Cerebral Man
  8. Lift’em On Up
  9. Suffer the Little Children
  10. Wide Awake in Dreamland
Pat Benatar

Pat Benatar- vocals

Neil Giraldo- guitar

Myron Grombacher- drums

Fernando Saunders- bass

Frank Linx- bass, backing vocals

Charles Giordano- keyboards

Kevin Savigar- keyboards

Bob Castro- percussion

Nick Gilder- backing vocals on “Don’t Walk Away” and “Cool Zero”

Carmen Twillie, Phyllis St. James, Maxine Water- backing vocals on “Lift ’em On Up”

While Pat Benatar never actually went anywhere, I thought it was great that she returned to her roots more with “Wide Awake in Dreamland.” This is a more developed and mature Pat Benatar in the musical sense but the album still rocks.

Next post: Robert Palmer- Heavy Nova

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

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

Rest in Peace Alec John Such

Posted in 1980s, Death, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on June 5, 2022 by 80smetalman
Alec John Such

I have just learned of the passing of former Bon Jovi bassist, Alec John Such. He was one of the founding members of the band but left in 1994 siting burn out. The band is said to be heartbroken at the news of his passing. FFI, click the link: https://www.msn.com/en-gb/entertainment/music/bon-jovi-founding-member-alec-john-such-dies-as-band-left-heartbroken/ar-AAY709Z?ocid=mailsignout&li=BBoPWjQ

I feature my all time favourite Bon Jovi song in dedication to Alec.

Rest in peace Alec John Such.

Great Rock Albums of 1988: Cheap Trick- Lap of Luxury

Posted in 1980s, Rock, soundtracks, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 5, 2022 by 80smetalman

Today’s post comes compliments of 2Loud. The reason for this is because by 1988, I thought Cheap Trick had disappeared into obscurity and I was left to simply enjoy memories of classic albums such as “Dream Police” and “Cheap Trick At Budokan,” Fortunately, 2Loud’s recent series on Cheap Trick alerted me to the many albums I had missed after the 1982 “One on One” album. After reading, 2Loud’s post on the 1988 “Lap of Luxury” album and how successful it was in the US, I had to put it on my list.

Memories of Cheap Trick came flooding back with opening riffs of “Let Go.” Hearing that gave me reassurance that they hadn’t gone anywhere and had not lost their touch. While I try not to let other reviews on albums effect my own, I can’t help agreeing with 2Loud’s point that they were (probably under the record label’s direction) trying to adapt to the pop of the 1980s. That comes through on the second track, “No Mercy.” It’s obvious to me that it’s still Cheap Trick playing the song, Robin’s vocals are too unique, the drums seem to be turned up to synth pop level and while this is no intent against what a great drummer Bun E. Carlos is, it does detract from the song a bit.

Another reason why the album passed me by is that I was already established in England by this time and the album made no headway there. Case in point, the band’s only number one single, “The Flame.” It only reached number 77 in the UK charts and therefore went pretty much unnoticed. That was a damn shame because even though it’s a ballad, Rick Neilsen shows he still can bend the six string to his will with a cool acoustic guitar intro followed by a his best guitar solo on the album. For me, this is the best song on the album.

“Space” sounds very 80s to me with the keyboards but there is the drone of the guitar in the back to make it hard rocking enough. There is another good guitar solo from Rick and I like the backing vocals on it. However, the singles seem to be the best songs on the album because “Never Had a Lot to Lose” is a traditional Cheap Trick rocker. It has the harder guitar with the new wave melody. Robin’s diverse vocal style definitely makes the song but it might have been better if Rick had more of a guitar solo on it but that’s up to debate.

On the other hand, while I can understand why they might have wanted to release the cover of the Elvis classic, “Don’t Be Cruel.” as a single, I wonder if it should be on the album, let alone released as a single. Don’t get me wrong, I like Cheap Trick’s spin on it but in comparison to the rest of the album, it feels a little out of place. Saying that, it’s growing on me a little. Things do go back to normal with “Wrong Side of Love” where I love Tom Petersson’s bass work on it and I’m glad that he rejoined the band when I hear him. Rick’s guitar work is great as well and together, they make “Wrong Side of Love” the hidden gem.

Here’s my one thought of a flaw on the album. It’s simply a case of song order. I think that tracks eight and ten should have been swapped around. To my ears, “All We Need is a Dream,” would have been a better closer. It’s a ballad but the intro stomps it’s authority in a way that tells me that this is the end of the album. Robin’s vocals assist on this point and the way the band all seems to come together on the song just screams “Closer!” All Wound Up” is a good song too but it would have been better placed anywhere from tracks 2-8. Penultimate track “Ghost Town” is best left where it is as it does serve as a great set up to whichever song is going to be the closer. It’s a ballad and Robin nails it with vocals and there’s nothing wrong with an album finishing with two ballads had they swapped those tracks around.

Track Listing:

  1. Let Go
  2. No Mercy
  3. The Flame
  4. Space
  5. Never Had a Lot to Lose
  6. Don’t Be Cruel
  7. Wrong Side of Love
  8. All We Need is a Dream
  9. Ghost Town
  10. All Wound Up
Cheap Trick

Robin Zander- lead vocals, rhythm guitar, synthesizer

Rick Neilsen- lead guitar, backing vocals

Tom Petersson- bass, backing vocals

Bun E. Carlos- drums, percussion

“Lap of Luxury” was the first album where outside songwriters were used. In the case of this album, it worked, at least in the US. I can say that while “Lap of Luxury” will not make me put away all those classic albums from the late 1970s, it’s still a good album and it was great to see that the band was still chugging away.

Next post: Tracy Chapman

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

Note: I have been told that “Rock and Roll Children” is available as an e-book but this hasn’t been made known to me.

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 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 Rock Albums of 1988: Survivor- Too Hot to Sleep

Posted in 1980s, films, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 30, 2022 by 80smetalman

Sometimes I wonder if there is some sort of mathematical link between my liking an album and its chart success because I really like this album “Too Hot to Sleep” by Survivor. However, the album was not a successful album chart-wise. Survivor proved to me in 1984, with the “Vital Signs” album that they didn’t need the “Rocky” films to achieve success. It was further cemented with their previous album, “When Seconds Count.” So, I can’t figure for the life of me why this album did so poorly because I really like it or maybe that’s the reason.

“Too Hot to Sleep” borders on being heavy metal on some tracks. That was made clear on the opening track, “She’s a Star.” When I heard those power chords, I thought, “Wow, this is good!” Another point is the fact that Frankie Sullivan nails some really cool guitar solos on many songs, including the one already mentioned. Hell, looking at the video, he looks like he could be a metal guitarist. Actually all three members look pretty metal in that video. On the other hand, Survivor didn’t completely abandon the melodic rock formula which brought them fame. “Desperate Dreams” is living proof of that fact.

Like with their previous album, the title track is one that does it for me. It has that hauntingly cool acoustic guitar intro followed by the dependable vocals of Jimi Jamison and supported by keyboard work from Jim Peterik and of course a killer solo from Frank. He really goes mad at the end. The only thing needed was to turn up the guitars an octave or so higher.

“Didn’t Know It Was Love” stays in traditional Survivor territory. It reminds me of “High On You” from the “Vital Signs” album and I’m more than a little surprised that it didn’t make a dent in the singles charts. It’s a song meant for such things. Meanwhile, “Rhythm of the City” is a straightforward rocker with a great rhythm guitar riff. This song is definitely close to metal and out of all my blubbering about the guitar playing of Frankie, he’s at his best on this one. One way to describe this track is to think of “Burning Heart” from “Rocky IV” as a metal tune. No doubt, this one gets my vote for hidden gem. Talking about “Burning Heart,” “Here Comes Desire” is a song which is closer to that. It has a definite swagger to it, especially with Jim tinkling the ivories on it and a great guitar solo from Frankie.

The track that did have some chart success is the ballad “Across the Miles.” Jimi’s vocals are the key to this one although he is backed up well by the other two. “Tell Me I Am the One” is more in the 80s pop vein but the backing vocals are good and Frankie keeps it from becoming a total pop song. Things go more rock on “Can’t Give It Up.” The band is spot on with this one with some nice little guitar hooks and you get double the prizes, a good guitar solo and the song is taken out with some keyboard wizardry from Jim. The album goes out with authority with the almost power ballad like “Burning Bridges.” Was the title a metaphor of things to come? Who knows? But it does end the album well.

Historical facts I understand these days which I couldn’t fathom back then was Survivor replaced bassist Stephen Ellis and drummer Marc Droubay with studio musicians. On the tour for “When Seconds Count,” Stephen developed a stomach ulcer and was unable to play on many of the tour dates. Marc was becoming more disillusioned with the band’s shift to more pop and was eventually dismissed from the band. That’s the strange thing, I wouldn’t call “Too Hot to Sleep” a pop album, more melodic rock inching towards melodic hard rock.

Track Listing:

  1. She’s a Star
  2. Desperate Dreams
  3. Too Hot to Sleep
  4. Didn’t Know It Was Love
  5. Rhythm of the City
  6. Here Comes Desire
  7. Across the Miles
  8. Tell Me I’m the One
  9. Can’t Give It Up
  10. Burning Bridges
Survivor

Jimi Jamison- lead and backing vocals

Frankie Sullivan- guitar, backing vocals

Jim Peterik- keyboards

Additional Musicians:

Peter-John Vettesse- keyboards

Bill Syniar- bass

Mickey Curry- drums

Ian Lloyd- backing vocals

Tommy Shaw- backing vocals

Rory Dodd- additional lead vocals on “Across the Miles”

Survivor would take a hiatus after “Too Hot to Sleep” although Jimi Jamison would tour under the band’s name resulting in legal disputes. It’s a damn shame this album didn’t take off because this whole album has been a hidden gem for me.

Next post: Bonfire- Fireworks

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

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

1988: Another Great Year for Metal

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

Like all of the other years I’ve visited in my tour of the golden age of heavy metal, 1988 stamped its own unique mark on the music world. To be honest, there isn’t nothing new which I can say about this year that I haven’t said about the all the other years. On the other hand, the albums and events which came out in the year speaks much louder than I ever could.

Apart from the music, 1988 brought forth some major changes in my own life. I was married. settling in with life in my adopted country of the United Kingdom and working one of the jobs most British people wouldn’t take. (I was a cleaner in a factory.) Then in May of this year, I would discover that I was going to become a father for the first time. So, one can imagine the personal upheaval in my life. Still, my love for the music hadn’t waned and you could say, it was a great support for me. So, as you have been so supportive of me for all the other years, buckle up and enjoy the ride through the next one.

Next post: Survivor- Too Hot to Sleep

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

Original Vs. Cover- Ohio

Posted in Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 24, 2022 by 80smetalman

Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young

As my normal break in the action between the years and influenced by 2Loud, I thought I would do another “Original Vs. Cover” post. Today, I picked the song “Ohio” originally written by the band Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. The song was written in 1971 in protest to the shooting which took place at Kent State University in Ohio in 1970, which left four students dead.

When CSNY released the song, it was a clear reflection of the anger which was dividing America at the time. The Vietnam War was still going and Americans were dying in what is still considered a very questionable war. This anger is vehemently expressed through the lyrics and the passion of the vocals. The guitar licks augment this making the song’s message even more powerful. Even more than half a century later, those lyrics and the power behind the music give off strong emotions no matter how you feel politically. It’s one song which, for me, has definitely stood the test of time.

Hannah Wicklund in Bristol, England (October 2019)

The cover comes via Hannah Wicklund and the Steppin’ Stones, another 80smetalman discovery I have been plugging on here. Her version of “Ohio” didn’t appear on her album which I gushed over four years ago but when I saw her live in October, 2019, she played it and it was completely mind-blowing. I have always said that Hannah is a great guitarist and she shows it here. To steal a tired phrase from “X Factor,” she totally makes the song her own by simply totally rocking it out.

My Verdict: I’m going to take the easy way out and call it a tie. Which version of “Ohio” I like to listen to depends on my motivation for listening. If I want to chill and be absorbed in the lyrics or be politically motivated, then I will listen to the CSNY original. The lyrics are meant to be thought provoking and they do that to me. However, if I fancy a good rock out with some fantastic blues style guitar work, then I will pull out Hannah’s cover. Not a criticism but I don’t feel the message behind the lyrics in her version but that’s down to the great guitar work. Plus, if what I hear is true and history isn’t being properly taught in America, then she probably wouldn’t have appreciated the message CSNY were sending fifty years earlier.

Next post: TBA

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@80smetalman

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