Archive for Heart

80sMetalman’s Top 30 Power Ballads: 1-10

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 23, 2018 by 80smetalman

The moment of truth has arrived! I am going to real my all time top ten power ballads. Before I do, let me just thank you for all of your comments and for simply enjoying the ride. While sitting down actually figuring out my top 30 was more exhausting than I had anticipated, it was still great fun. Think of all the songs I got to listen to. I know some of you might be a little disappointed that a power ballad you really love didn’t make the list but believe me, there were so many to choose from. Pity poor Ozzy, he has delivered many a great power ballad but not one of them made my list. It’s not that I didn’t want to include him, my favourite Ozzy power ballad, “In Old LA Tonight” from the “Osmosis” album came pretty damn close. Maybe if he preforms it at Download, I may change my mind. Anyway, enough of me rambling on, here’s my top ten.

10. Dokken- Alone Again

9. TNT- Eddie

8. Beggars and Thieves- Your Love is in Vain

7. Steel Panther- Community Property

I can see with lyrics like these why some people don’t take SP seriously but this is a kick ass power ballad!

6. Tyketto- Standing Alone

Another reason why Danny Vaughn doesn’t get the accolades he so truly deserves as a singer.

5. Pretty Maids- With These Eyes

4. Twisted Sister- The Price

For me, this song put the power in the ballad!

3. Savatage- All That I Bleed

I had to do some complicated math to include this one. The first half of it is a piano ballad while the second half completely rocks. So I applied the formula ballad + power rocker = power ballad

2. April Wine- Just Between You and Me

Go back and re-read my post on their 1981 album, “Nature of the Beast” and you’ll see why it’s number two.

  1. Heart- Allies

Heart would put out two more commercially successful power ballads later on in the 1980s. However, in my mind, they would never be as good as this one, not even close.

There you have it, 80sMetalman’s top thirty power ballads. I hope you have enjoyed listening to them as much as I have.

Next post: A Great Unknown Philadelphia Band

To download Rock and Roll Children for free, go to: http://allkindlecloud.com/register/14510967-Rock_and_Roll_Children_pdf_premi.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Great(ish) Soundtracks of 1984: Footloose

Posted in 1980s, films, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, soundtracks, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 11, 2017 by 80smetalman

 

There was a very strange trend in regards to movie soundtracks in the mid 1980s. It seems that in order to appeal to all forms of music lovers, there would be songs representing nearly every genre. There would be some trendy pop songs, some rock, some soul oriented songs and even a heavy metal jam or two. This is exactly the case with the soundtrack for the film, “Footloose” which came out in the very beginning for this year.

Let’s start with the trendy. Kenny Loggins was already known for hit songs from soundtracks. He achieved it with the 1980 film, “Caddyshack.” So, it was no surprise that he sings the title track to the film. It has always been one of those songs I’ve neither loved or hated. The “Footloose” soundtrack also gave one hit wonder Deneice Williams her one hit with “Let’s Hear it For the Boy.” That song seemed to be on every AM radio station during the summer of 1984. I’ve heard worse but I’ve certainly heard far better. On the other hand, the soundtrack was unable to give 1982 one hit wonder Karla Banoff her second hit. It’s a song that’s just there. Then comes the usual practice of using former hits like Bonnie Tyler’s “Holding Out for a Hero.” Finally, there’s the let’s take two singers from established bands and have them do a duet for the soundtrack. Cue, Mike Reno of Loverboy and Ann Wilson from Heart with “Almost Paradise.” It was supposed to be a power ballad that draws rock lovers and top forty fans together but no, it doesn’t. Both singers do a good job on the song and it’s better than most of the other tracks but not good enough to get into my top power ballad list.

Let’s side track for a moment. I have an experience with “Almost Paradise.” Mrs 80smetalman and I chose it for our wedding at our local registry office. Three weeks before our wedding, we get a letter from the registrar stating that we can’t use the song because it has religious connotations, which is not allowed at a civil wedding in the UK. I wonder if they would have said the same if I asked for a Deicide song.

Back to the point, “Dancing in the Sheets” by Shalamar was a definite attempt by the movie makers to appeal to music lovers of African origin. It’s like, let’s put in a song by a black band and black people will buy the soundtrack. That’s my take on it. Now, for true rock lovers like me and you, there’s the classic John Cougar song, “Hurt So Good” and another attempt to bridge the rock/top 40 gap, let’s bring back the Foreigner classic ballad, “Waiting for a Girl Like You.” Now to the metal, we got the great “Metal Health” by the then up and coming Quiet Riot but for me the best song on this soundtrack has to be Sammy Hagar’s “The Girl Gets Around.” Maybe someone heard the “Heavy Metal” soundtrack and said, “Hey, let’s use a Sammy Hagar song.” At least they chose a good one.

A note about the film: “Footloose” is about a teenage boy, played by Kevin Bacon, who moves into a small town, which is run by people who are anti-music. The local reverend is the spearhead of the anti-rock campaign. Of course, Kevin and the music win the day and music is allowed in the town but maybe Hollywood was onto something here. The religious right’s war on music was just in the early stages in 1984 and maybe this film could be a prophecy of things that could come about. It’s something to think about. Oh yes, the track by unknown band Moving Pictures called “Never” isn’t bad but it never (pun intended) made me want to explore their discography.

Track Listing:

  1. Footloose- Kenny Loggins
  2. Let’s Hear it For the Boy- Deneice Williams
  3. Almost Paradise- Mike Reno and Ann Williams
  4. Holding Out For a Hero- Bonnie Tyler
  5. Dancing in the Sheets- Shalamar
  6. I’m Free (Heaven Helps the Man)- Kenny Loggins
  7. Somebody’s Eyes- Karla Bonoff
  8. The Girl Gets Around- Sammy Hagar
  9. Never- Moving Pictures
  10. Metal Health (Bang Your Head)- Quiet Riot
  11. Hurt So Good- John Cougar
  12. Waiting for a Girl Like You- Foreigner
  13. Dancing in the Sheets (12 inch mix)- Shalamar

Quiet Riot

Bonnie Tyler

John Cougar Mellencamp

Foreigner

Sammy Hagar

“Footloose” wouldn’t be the only film whose soundtrack got the ‘corporate’ treatment. While there’s something for everyone, at least it’s thought so, there’s not enough songs here for me to ever go out and buy the album. Besides, I already have the tracks I do like from here on other albums.

Next post: Streets of Fire

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1507754027&sr=8-3&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1983: Heart- Passionworks

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 8, 2016 by 80smetalman

Passionworks

One of the great things I remember musically about 1983 was that Heart was back! For many, including myself, their 1980 album “Bebe Le Strange,” as good as it was, signaled the end of Heart as we knew it. Their 1982 album “Private Audition” failed to make an impact on anyone, me included there as well, which was why it got left out of the albums of that year. In the Autumn of 1983, the first single, “How Can I Refuse,” came to my attention thanks to the late night TV programme, “Video Rock.” When I heard it, I loved it. True, that song hasn’t the rocking power of classics like “Barracuda,” “Crazy On You” and “Magic Man,” but it still rocks for me. In fact, it’s number four on my favourite Heart songs list behind the three giants I have mentioned.

“How Can I Refuse” isn’t the only cool rocker on the “Passionworks” album, there are quite a few other good ones. “Blue Guitar,” “Beat By Jelousy,” “Sleep Alone” and “Heavy Heart are all great rock outs and the standouts for me on the album. “Sleep Alone” is definitely a trip back to Heart’s heavy days of the 1970s and “Beat By Jealousy has some really cool guitar hooks. True, there are more synthesizers used here as was the 80s trend but that doesn’t detract from the quality one iota. Ann Wilson’s voice is as great as it had ever been and would continue to be years after. As for Nancy, I feel a bit sexist for not including her among my list of great rhythm guitarists. She definitely belongs there!

Apart from all the great rocking to there are also three ballads and as any Heart fan can tell you, Ann’s voice can sing anything very well. “Johnny Moon” and “Language of Love” bear tribute to the fact. However, there is one ballad here that stands above everything. I even put it above the great power ballad, “Just Between You and Me” by April Wine. What’s more, there isn’t even a guitar solo in the song, so it must be that good for me to like it. If you haven’t guessed already, I’m talking about “Allies.” Play that song, and I’ll stop whatever I’m doing and I mean whatever and just rock out to it. It is the ballad of ballads in my view. The ballads with the rock, plus the song “Together Now” bridging them together, make “Passionworks” a brilliant album.

Track Listing:

  1. How Can I Refuse
  2. Blue Guitar
  3. Johnny Moon
  4. Sleep Alone
  5. Together Now
  6. Allies
  7. (Beat by) Jealousy
  8. Heavy Heart
  9. Love Mistake
  10. Language of Love
  11. Ambush
Heart

Heart

Ann Wilson- vocals

Nancy Wilson- guitar, vocals (lead vocal on track 9)

Howard Leese- lead guitar, keyboards, backing vocals

Mark Andes- bass, backing vocals

Danny Carmassi- drums

“Passionworks” paved the way for Heart to comeback in 1983. This album put their hard rock sound into a more marketable 1980s style without old fans like me saying they sold out. Often unremembered, this album is far better than what it has been given credit for.

Next post: Pat Benetar- Live From Earth

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

 

 

The Runaways- The First True All Female Metal Band

Posted in Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 17, 2014 by 80smetalman

Janis Joplin and Grace Slick for the first queens of rock in the 60’s and in the 70’s came Ann and Nancy Wilson who were arguably the first modern rock chicks. In the later part of the 70’s and early 80’s we had such great ladies like Pat Benatar, Chrissie Hynde and Debbie Harry. All of these women were rock queens in the true sense and their contribution to music will always be remembered.

Janis Joplin

Janis Joplin

Grace Slick

Grace Slick

Debbie Harry

Debbie Harry

Pat Benatar

Pat Benatar

 

Heart

Heart

The Pretenders

The Pretenders

In 1981, two all female bands made their way into the spotlight, The Go-Gos and Girlschool. While the former had a more commercial rock sound, the latter was straight forward heavy metal and stood alongside of many of the NWOBHM acts that were coming out that year. However, these two weren’t the all female bands who could blow speakers with great power chords. Before them came The Runaways.

The Go Go's

The Go Go’s

Girlschool

Girlschool

I had heard of The Runaways even before the film that came out a few years ago. Even at the tender (small chuckle here) age of sixteen, I was enamoured with these fine ladies who played such aggressive music. I did listen to their debut album and liked it. Likewise, I wanted to listen to their second one “Queens of Noise” but never got the chance. Must rectify that in the future. While, I never heard any of their songs on that cheap AM radio I had back then, they toured extensively and played many sell out concerts in the US and Japan. Furthermore, the likes of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Cheap Trick and Van Halen supported them. Unfortunately, accusations of mismanagement, rows over money and direction plus several personnel changes lead to break up of the band.

Albums:

The Runaways- 1976

Queens of Noise- 1977

Waitin’ for the Night- 1977

Live in Japan- 1977

And Now, The Runaways- 1978

The Runaways

The Runaways

Cherrie Currie- vocals

Joan Jett- guitar, vocals

Lita Ford- guitar

Jackie Fox- bass

Sandy West- drums

*Vicki Blue and Laurie McAllister also played bass during The Runaways reign

While The Runaways may be no longer, the members are still around and making themselves known. One of them would dethrone Pat Benatar as the queen of rock in 1982 and possibly become the first metal queen. That one is up for debate. Another ex Runaway would also make a huge splash in heavy metal circles nor would some of the other former members remain completely silent. Almost silently, these ladies would go onto to be an influence on heavy metal and I think the all female metal bands that would spring up less than a decade later can look to them for inspiration. Don’t take my word for it, watch the film and listen to their music for yourself.

Next post: 1982- The Floodgates Are Open

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

Why Dura Silex Should Be Signed

Posted in Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, television, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 13, 2014 by 80smetalman

Not long ago, I obtained possession of a demo CD from a band named Dura Silex. Before, I go on any further, I’d like to just say that I was hoping for a group photo from the band but since I haven’t received one, I thought I would post about them anyway. The reason is that after my first listen to their demo CD, I was so blown away that I promised myself that I would do a post listing my reasons why they should have a record deal in the same way I felt that Black Emerald should have had one when I saw them at Bloodstock last year.

Black Emerald

Black Emerald

First a little background: Dura Silex, which is Latin for hard rock, come from Southern New Jersey and at the moment comprise just two members, guitarist Mark Pickeral and lead singer Marie Christina. If her name sounds vaguely familiar, that is because she attended Rock and Roll Fantasy camp and got to perform along side the likes of Howard Leese (Heart), Kip Winger (Winger) and Rudy Sarzo (Quiet Riot, Whitesnake). The demo was recorded at Mark Pickeral’s home studio and he programs the bass and drums for it.

Now if you were counting on Dura Silex and Black Emerald together on a joint tour, it probably wouldn’t work. While Black Emerald are more your straight forward metal band and they’re very good at it, Dura Silex has a sound that favours a hard blues rock sort of vibe. First, since I have already mentioned her, let’s start with the vocals of Marie Christina. Her opera background comes through with the very first track and it is beautiful to hear. It is so good and unique that it’s hard to compare her to any other vocalist, though that’s not a bad thing. The closest I would say is Liv Christine of Leave’s Eyes. Christina’s operatic voice really shines through the most on the second track, “Ego Maniac.” However, the opera training does not compromise her power to go total rock and roll. The result is one part that makes Dura Silex, great vocals.

Liv Christine and Leaves Eyes

Liv Christine and Leaves Eyes

Now onto guitarist Mark Pickeral. I have to confess here, I may appear a little biased here because Mark is my brother in law but related or not, he definitely knows how to bend a six string. I have heard previous offerings from him in the past but on this demo he really goes to town. It is his playing that has led me to conclude that Dura Silex play a hard blues rock sound. His efforts remind me of Pat Travers or Rory Gallagher but at the same time, his playing style is unique. The end result is the combined playing style of Mark and the vocals of Marie make a great team. You only have to listen to the demo to be converted.

Rory Gallagher

  Rory Gallagher

Pat Travers

Pat Travers

 Track Listing:

1. Louder Than Lies

2. Ego Maniac

3. Thief of Hearts

4. For the Love

5. Roaming

6. Walk Through Fire

7. Through to You

8. Last Laugh

9. Waiting

10. Dream Walker

11. Down on My Luck

While it has been said that these aren’t the best tracks Dura Silex have laid down, (they’re saving their best for a more professional demo) the ones here would make up an album that would make any artist proud. “Louder Than Lies” is a great opener and “Down on My Luck” is a fantastic closer. In between, there are nine songs that really rock. The ones which really stick out for me are “Thief of Hearts,” “Through to You,” “Last Laugh” and “Waiting.” If these tracks should appear on line and I will let you know if it does, then have a listen to them. You should be in agreement with me that any record label who passes on them is just plain stupid.

Next post: American Pop, Soundtrack

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: Heart- Bebe le Strange

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on September 1, 2013 by 80smetalman

220px-BebelestrangeHeart rocked the world throughout the 1970’s with a string of hard rock albums that brought them great fame. Some of those albums have been visited in earlier posts and I stand by my claim that Ann and Nancy Wilson were the first modern rock chicks. On the flip side, many have said that their 1980 album wasn’t as good as any of their predecessors. True, by this time Heart were engulfed in internal strife and guitarist Roger Fisher left the band some months earlier. However, none of that was reflected on this album in any way in my view.

The title track sets the album in the right direction from the outset incorporating everything one knew and loved about Heart. The bluesy “Down On Me” is definitely a likeable track and as always, Nancy gets to show off her guitar talent on the acoustic instrumental, “Silver Wheels.” “Break” and “Rockin’ Heaven Down” are true rock songs even if the former song does kind of end abruptly. This leads fine to the second single “Even It Up” whose rhythm reminds a little of the classic Heart anthem, “Magic Man.” Then you get some more rocking from the next three tracks before the album ends on the ballad, “Sweet Darlin.” So I ask myself after just having had a 38 minute rock out, “What is there not to like about “Bebe le Strange?” I sure can’t find anything.

Track Listing:

1. Bebe le Strange

2. Down On Me

3. Silver Wheels

4. Break

5. Rockin Heaven Down

6. Even It Up

7. Strange Night

8. Raised On You

9. Pilot

10. Sweet Darlin

Heart

Heart

Ann Wilson- vocals

Nancy Wilson- guitar, vocals, piano, mellotron

Howard Leese- guitar, keyboards synthesisers, backing vocals

Mike DeRosier- drums, percussion

Steve Fossen- bass

It was a great way to wake up on a Sunday morning! Hearing this album again after so many years gave me such a good rock out this morning and I’ve been feeling the groove throughout the whole day. So what if Heart made this album during their infighting. It proves that once you get down to business, you can still achieve great things. “Bebe le Strange” is an underrated album by Heart and it is definitely worth a listen again.

Next post: Dire Straits- Communique

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 1978: Heart- Dog and Butterfly

Posted in 1978, Heavy Metal, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on March 12, 2012 by 80smetalman

“Dog and Butterfly” was the late 1978 follow up to “Magazine” which Heart re-released earlier that year and in my opinion was better than the earlier album. In fact, many people cite this album as their favourite Heart album, although I, personally, am not so sure. It would be a tough choice between “Dog and Butterfly” and “Dreamboat Annie.” Needless to say, it is an album that shows Heart at their best.

This album is classic Heart through and through. Classic rocking tracks like the single “Straight On” form the foundation. Then there’s the soft ballad and title track, “Dog and Butterfly” with its mesmerising accoustic guitar. I was convinced that back in 1978, only Heart could make a ballad sound this good. To final it out, there’s the track “Mistral Wind,” which begins like a ballad with accoustic guitars, only to come in with some very good rock.

Track Listing:

1. Cook With Fire

2. High Time

3. Hijinx

4. Straight On

5. Dog and Butterfly

6. Lighter Touch

7. Nada One

8. Mistral Wind

Heart

Ann Wilson- lead vocals, violin, guitar

Nancy Wilson- guitar, piano, vocals

Michael DeRosier- drums

Howard Leese- guitar, keyboards

Roger Fisher- guitar, steel guitar

Steve Fossen- bass

Rich Keefer- synthesiser, vocals

Heart were one of the most commercially successful hard rock bands back in the late 70s. Albums like “Dog and Butterfly” bear testimony to this.

Next post: Styx- Pieces of Eight

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle