Archive for Heavy Rock

Great Rock Albums of 1985: Loverboy- Lovin’ Every Minute of It

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 13, 2018 by 80smetalman

Possibly one of the best musical surprises for me in 1985 came in the form of Loverboy’s album, “Lovin’ Every Minute of It.” After the more keyboard oriented previous album, “Keep It Up,” I thought that Loverboy were heading down the path of more commercialized rock. That meant that one night when I happened to have had MTV switched on and the video for the bouncy, hard rocking title track came on, I was pleasantly taken by surprise. The fact that they rocked things up a bit made me give this album a chance and I was impressed.

The first five songs of “Lovin’ Every Minute of It” are true rockers. Hell, the third song, “Friday Night” could be a heavy metal song with the way the guitar opens things and how the song progresses after. All I keep thinking was, “Well done, boys!” That track follows on nicely from its predecessors, which include the title track and “Steal the Thunder” holds its own in the hard rock stakes. Even when they go to a power ballad with “This Could Be the Night,” one doesn’t get to thinking that things will go commercial with this one. I have to confess, this is a good power ballad here. The rock party continues further with “Too Much Too Soon,” which is another song which could be taken for a heavy metal song, maybe even more than “Friday Night.” I will point out that Mike Reno does a great vocal performance on that one.

With all of the above said, “Lovin’ Every Minute of It” is an album of two halves. After “Too Much Too Soon,” keyboards enter into things. This is not a bad thing although some of the tracks do sound 1980s new wave. “Lead a Double Life” sounds like it could have been used in a mid 80s comedy film soundtrack. “Dangerous” sounds like it could have been a Night Ranger song. “Destination Heartbreak” is a ballad but not as good as the power ballad mentioned previously. What redeems them in my view is that Paul Dean’s guitar can be heard along with all the keyboards and he does rip some really good guitar solos on the songs. In fact, this album could be called Paul’s album due to the way he solos all the way through it. It is a major contributor as to way the album is so good.

Track Listing:

  1. Lovin’ Every Minute of It
  2. Steal the Thunder
  3. Friday Night
  4. This Could Be the Night
  5. Too Much Too Soon
  6. Lead a Double Life
  7. Dangerous
  8. Destination Heartbreak
  9. Bullet in the Chamber

Loverboy

Mike Reno- vocals

Paul Dean- guitar, backing vocals

Doug Johnson- keyboards

Scott Smith- bass

Mike Frenette- drums

In 1985, I stopped labeling Loverboy as a hard rock band who had sold out and gone commercial. While “Lovin’ Every Minute of It” was still a very successful commercial album, it went double platinum, it also proved that that success could be done without compromising musical integrity. So full marks to the band all around on that.

Next post: John Cougar Mellencamp- Scarecrow

To download Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://c-newfreepdf.cf/olddocs/free-download-online-rock-and-roll-children-pdf-1609763556-by-michael-d-lefevre.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Great Rock Albums of 1985: Eric Clapton- Edge of Darkness

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 9, 2018 by 80smetalman

Blast Wikipedia! A few months ago, when I posted about Eric Clapton’s “Behind the Sun” album, I saw that in Eric’s discography, this 1985 “Edge of Darkness” album mentioned. Thinking, that it might be some little known live album, I decided to include it in my list of great albums of 1985. It turns out that Eric wrote the musical score for the British television series of the same name. At first, I thought, “Boy, do I feel foolish” but after several listens, I think it is still worthy of an 80smetalman post.

Basically, Clapton just went into the studio and did what he did best on the guitar. He just jams away through the six song EP which is only 19 minutes long. That’s no problem for me either because it is 19 minutes of pure guitar heaven. Listening to the opening title track, I am left to conclude that the television show was some horror/mystery/suspense programme. The way the guitar just lays down that sort of vibe, backed up by a piano which makes the entire song sound rather eerie. If that was what Eric was going for, he did a great job.

The rest of the album follows along in this vein. There are no fast hard rocking tracks here, just some mood effecting instrumentals. “Escape From Northmoor” stands out a little because of the use of keyboards building up the suspense. Furthermore, Eric’s guitar intro on “Oxford Circus” makes for a good change of pace and lets everyone know that he’s still a guitar God. I have come to the further conclusion that “Edge of Darkness” is a good album to just sit back, mellow out and get engrossed in the music.

Track Listing:

  1. Edge of Darkness
  2. Shoot Out
  3. Obituary
  4. Escape From Northmoor
  5. Oxford Circus
  6. Northmoor

Eric Clapton

There are no musical credits listed here so I assume that Eric Clapton played all the instruments himself.

One thing I have taken for granted over the years was how many great guitarists or their bands put out albums in 1985. There was Eric Clapton of course and Jeff Beck, plus when I hit the metal portion of 1985, will go on about Yngwie Malmsteen. On top of that, there were offerings from Mark Knopfler and Angus Young. I had also got the added bonus of seeing all of these, except Jeff Beck, live in this year and while Deep Purple’s album came out in 1984, I did see them live in early 1985 so Ritchie Blackmore must be added here too. What a great year it was.

Next post: Loverboy- Lovin’ Every Minute of It

To download Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://c-newfreepdf.cf/olddocs/free-download-online-rock-and-roll-children-pdf-1609763556-by-michael-d-lefevre.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1985: INXS- Listen Like Thieves

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 5, 2018 by 80smetalman

INXS were always one of those hit or miss bands for me, especially by 1985 when I was full throttle into heavy metal. I thought a lot of their 1983 album, “Shabooh Shoobah” album, however, I wasn’t that impressed with what I heard from their follow up album, “The Swing.” Then that’s how my strange mind works. As a result, I wasn’t sure whether or not I should give their 1985 effort, “Listen Like Thieves” a chance. In fact, I must confess that I didn’t actually listen to the album in 1985, it would be a few years later when I was treated to it. I realized then that this was a pretty decent album.

So-called experts claim that the three singles released from the album represented INXS’s move to being a more singles band. However, while “What You Need,” “Listen Like Thieves” and “Kiss the Dirt (Falling Down the Mountain)” all charted in the band’s native Australia, only the first one charted in the US. I’m not sure how they did anywhere else. This adds to my paradox in regards to them. Three singles from an album would have led me to brand them a top 40 band back then but the fact only one song actually reached that plateau in the US convinces me they weren’t and makes me like them more.

Now as most of you already know, I don’t judge an album by its singles and it’s the rest of the album I was most interested in. Fortunately, the rest of the album doesn’t disappoint. “Shine Like It Does” continues the fusion of new wave and hard rock and “Biting Bullets” gets my vote for hidden gem on the album. It has a catchy rhythm with a hard rock edge and the keyboards support the song and add an extra dimension to it. “This Time” has an intro that would sit well with a heavy metal song and though it’s not metal, the band makes good work of things with it. With nearly all of the songs, INXS employ a catchy melody that goes well with the guitars and new wave sound. Sure, there are keyboards but they are in no way synth pop and it makes things that much better. The only song that doesn’t really do it is the instrumental “Three Sisters” but there’s enough there on that one that I still will listen to it. It’s almost the same story with “Same Direction,” except it does have a catchy chorus and a nice little guitar hook. The rockiest song, however, is the closer, “Red Red Sun.” It seems here that INXS were determined to go all out in the end and they do it quite well here. There are no solos but some good guitar hooks on it, so it’s a great way to end the album.

Track Listing:

  1. What you Need
  2. Listen Like Thieves
  3. Kiss the Dirt (Falling Down the Mountain)
  4. Shine Like It Does
  5. Good + Bad Times
  6. Biting Bullets
  7. This Time
  8. Three Sisters
  9. Same Direction
  10.  One x One
  11. Red Red Sun

INXS

Michael Hutchence- lead vocals

Kirk Pengilly- guitar, saxophone, vocals

Garry Gary Beers- bass

Andrew Farriss- keyboards, guitar

John Farriss- drums, percussion

Tim Farriss- guitar

This is a case of appreciating now what I didn’t appreciate back then. Fearful to take the plunge, I had to wait a few years to see what a good album “Listen Like Thieves” actually was. Fortunately, this is also a case of all’s well that ends well.

Next post: Eric Clapton- The Edge of Night

To download Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://c-newfreepdf.cf/olddocs/free-download-online-rock-and-roll-children-pdf-1609763556-by-michael-d-lefevre.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1985: Jeff Beck- Flash

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 2, 2018 by 80smetalman

For many years leading up to 1985, I was always intending to explore the work of Jeff Beck. One guy I knew from high school was heavily into him and when I was in the service, one of my fellow marines remarked, “That white boy can really play a guitar.” However for some reason, I never got around to listening to him. At least until 1985 when I heard about this album.

Jeff Beck’s “Flash” album was one of the very few albums I bought because of MTV. The single, “People Get Ready,” which featured Rod Stewart on the vocals got considerable airplay. What I liked about the song was the fact that Rod’s vocals went very well with Jeff’s guitar work although I knew that from Rod’s album from the previous year. However, in this video, Jeff doesn’t pop up in a hotel room to play his guitar solo.

Most of the album does conform to what was then a more commercial 1980’s sound although I won’t go as far as to call any track here synth pop. The closest tracks to that are the opener, “Ambitious” but I hear a hint of reggae in that song and the instrumental, “Escape.” One reason I wouldn’t call the latter song synth pop is because Jan Hammer assumes the keyboards duties on that track and he and Jeff make some interesting music.  In each of those songs though, he does with a guitar what he does best and flails away with some great licks. The remainder of the album, bar one song, goes more funk. “Stop Look and Listen” and “Get Workin'” are prime examples here and while good, Jeff’s guitar solos make them sound even better.

Now let’s talk about my favourite track on the album. The second track, “Gets Us All in the End” is a true rocker in every sense of the word. When I first heard the song, the vocals sounded so familiar that I thought Jeff used a metal singer for the track. In actuality, the vocals are done by Wet Willie singer, Jimmy Hall, who also sings on three other tracks as well. While this is an excellent album, imagine what it could have been if there were more tracks like this one.

Track Listing:

  1. Ambitious
  2. Gets Us All in the End
  3. Escape
  4. People Get Ready
  5. Stop Look and Listen
  6. Get Workin’
  7. Ecstasy
  8. Night After Night
  9. You Know, We Know

Jeff Beck

Jeff Beck- guitars, lead vocals tracks 6 and 8

Jimmy Hall- lead vocals tracks 1,2,5 and 7

Rod Stewart- lead vocals, track 4

Jan Hammer- keyboards, track 3

Tony Hymas- keyboards, track 9

Dave Hitchings- keyboards

Robert Sabino- keyboards

Carmine Appice- drums

Jay Burnett- drums

Jimmy Bralower- drums

Barry DeSouza- drums

Tony ‘Thunder’ Smith- drums

Doug Wimbish- bass

Tina B- backing vocals

Curtis King- backing vocals

David Simms- backing vocals

Frank Simms- backing vocals

George Simms- backing vocals

David Spinner- backing vocals

Maybe this single will bring back memories:

And of course my favorite track:

I wonder how many people remember that Jeff Beck/Rod Stewart collaboration on “People Get Ready.” It was the song which turned my eye to this album and I’m glad it did. Jeff put out a great album here with “Flash.”

Next post: INXS- Listen Like Thieves

To download Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://c-newfreepdf.cf/olddocs/free-download-online-rock-and-roll-children-pdf-1609763556-by-michael-d-lefevre.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1985: Marillion- Misplaced Childhood

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on November 28, 2018 by 80smetalman

For many Americans, 1985’s “Misplaced Childhood” was the breakthrough album for Marillion. Many of my countrymen and women had not even heard of the band before this. Me, I had heard of them and heard great things about them but it was this album which finally got me to get off my ass and get the album. Not only did I love the album, it also compelled me to go check out their earlier albums, a task very much to my liking.

Let’s start with the obvious. The main component in aiding Marillion’s breakthrough to mainstream was the big single “Kayleigh.” I have to admit, the song hooked me as well. It proved that good progressive rock was still around and that a band didn’t have to be all synth pop to make it. Furthermore, I have praised Steve Rothery’s guitar work on those previous albums, he continues to do good work and his work on the single shows he still could. With that said, “Kayleigh,” is not my favourite song on the album. That award goes to the second single, “Lavender” because Steve’s guitar work is even more entertaining on it. I like the way it just kind of explodes after the mellow intro on the song, great stuff.

The rest of the album is very intriguing indeed. It seems to go back and forth between short two minute tracks and  two longer tracks over seven minutes long in between a couple of more standard four minute ones. But unless you have the tracks in front of you, it can be difficult to note where one track ends and the other begins. This is probably down to me being carried away in the music that I’m not really paying attention to details like that. That was probably the good thing about having the album on cassette or vinyl back then. You at least get a break in order to change sides. When you do change sides, there is a change in focus on the album. Side one ends with the keyboard melodies of “Heart of Lothian” and side two wakes you back up with the more harder, “Waterhole” and continues with “Lords of Backstage” which combine are just over four minutes long. But no worries, the nine minute “Blind Curve” does not lessen any power and has some interesting changes to keep your attention.

Again, like I’ve said on Marillion’s previous albums, Marillion are all talented musicians, I mean very talented. Steve Rothery does what he does best on the guitar and whether it’s that or the keyboard wizardry of Mark Kelly, the vocals of Fish adapt to both and then some. The result of all of this is one great album.

Track Listing:

  1. Pseudo Silk Kimono
  2. Kayleigh
  3. Lavender
  4. Bitter Suite
  5. Heart of Lothian
  6. Waterhole (Expresso Bongo)
  7. Lords of the Backstage
  8. Blind Curve
  9. Childhood’s End
  10. White Feather
  • Tracks 4, 5 and 8 are broken up into parts

Marillion

Fish- lead vocals

Steve Rothery- guitars

Mark Kelly- keyboards

Pete Trewavas- bass

Ian Moseley- drums, percussion

Looking back, it was more of a matter of when Marillion would make the big breakthrough. They were one of those bands that both metalhead and Duranie could like without betraying their respective camps. This album was the pinnacle of that.

Next post: Jeff Beck- Flash

To download Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://c-newfreepdf.cf/olddocs/free-download-online-rock-and-roll-children-pdf-1609763556-by-michael-d-lefevre.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1985: Foreigner- Agent Provocateur

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 25, 2018 by 80smetalman

While in 1985, most of the world was excited about Foreigner releasing their first studio in nearly four years, I was a little skeptical. My skepticism was based on the logic that my final memories from Foreigner “4” was their famous ballad, “Waiting for a Girl Like You” and when my introduction to the new “Agent Provocateur” album was another ballad, I concluded that Foreigner had gone the way of REO Speedwagon and was simply content to achieve commercial success through ballads. No matter how good everyone thought “I Want to Know What Love Is” and it is a good song, I had prematurely drawn the conclusion that the new album would be mainly ballads and that Foreigner had foregone their hard rock roots which had brought them so much success in the past.

Fortunately, my sister did buy the album and gave me a listen to it and my skepticism was removed. Let me be frank, in my mind, “Agent Provocateur” comes nowhere close to classics like my personal favourite, “Double Vision,” but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad album. True, there are more ballads on here than I would have liked, the previously mentioned single and “That Was Yesterday,” another song which brought Foreigner top 40 success. Plus, “Growing Up the Hard Way,” while not a ballad is over done with the synthesizer and I can’t help thinking how much better that song would have been if there was a stronger power chord from a guitar on it. However, there is evidence a plenty on “Agent Provocateur” to show that the band hadn’t totally forgotten where they came from.

Opening track, “Tooth and Nail” dispels any ideas that “Agent Provocateur” is going to be an album of ballads. It does its job of hooking the listener and is a good steady rock track. Even though the next three tracks after are the ballads and synth pop singles, one doesn’t lose interest as that opening tracks gives hope that there is more like that on the album. “Reaction to Action” does exactly that and it has the best guitar solo on the album. Therefore, it’s awarded the hidden gem for the album. I have a theory about the track “Stranger in My Own House.” I theorize that Lou Gramm and Mick Jones worried that people like me would think this album would be chuck full of ballads, so they recorded this song with that in mind. “Stranger in My Own House” is a good hard rocking track, probably the hardest on the album with another cool guitar solo. But I think they try too hard to be hard rock with Gramm doing more screaming than singing. While it’s a cool track, I want to say to Lou, “Relax man, you don’t have to prove you can still rock.”

“A Love in Vain” may return to the ballads but there is some good keyboards work on the track and a little guitar making a good 70s style progressive rock sounding song. Maybe that one should have been released as a single as it’s better than it successor, “Down on Love” which was. This one, while not bad, has too much of an 80s synth pop sound for me. “Two Different Worlds” is a definite ballad and it sort of combines the previous two tracks without the synth pop which is replaced with a decent guitar solo. That leaves the closer, “She’s Too Tough,” and though it brings the album full circle, the song reminds me too much of the Kenny Loggins single, “Danger Zone.”

Track Listing:

  1. Tooth and Nail
  2. That Was Yesterday
  3. I Want to Know What Love Is
  4. Growing Up the Hard Way
  5. Reaction to Action
  6. Stranger in My Own House
  7. A Love in Vain
  8. Down on Love
  9. Two Different Worlds
  10. She’s Too Tough

Foreigner

Lou Gramm- lead vocals, percussion

Mick Jones- guitar, synthesizer, keyboards, backing vocals

Rick Wills- bass, backing vocals

Dennis Elliot- drums

Like with Heart, the question here is, “Was Agent Provocateur” a sell out album for Foreigner?” Okay, they did have a number one single on it and while I might not think so, many other people out there did and it’s probably why it didn’t sell as big as some of their previous. My belief on the lack of sales was that Foreigner were trying to be all thing to all people and in a 1980s society which like to put things into nice neat categories, that didn’t sit well.

Next post: Marillion- Misplaced Childhood

To download Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://c-newfreepdf.cf/olddocs/free-download-online-rock-and-roll-children-pdf-1609763556-by-michael-d-lefevre.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1985: Heart

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 21, 2018 by 80smetalman

Heart’s 1985 self-titled album took the band into a more mainstream direction and gained them commercial success. The album contained five singles, “What About Love,” “These Dreams,” “Never,” “Nothin’ At All” and “If Looks Could Kill,” the first four making it into the top ten. Unlike Starship though, I didn’t immediately say that Heart had sold out and became a top 40 band because there is much on this album to like. On the other hand, this album didn’t make me want to put Heart classics such as “Dreamboat Annie,” “Dog and Butterfly” nor even their previous 1983 album, “Passionworks” to one side and not listen to them anymore.

What is interesting about this album is the song arrangement. If one was a top 40 listener, they would only need to listen to the first four tracks because those were the singles. I have always been a little surprised that “If Looks Could Kill” was released as a single because I like it so much. It is a fantastic album opener. Rocky, fast with some catchy hooks, it makes you want to stick around for the rest of the album. Something a great opener should do. Track two is the successful power ballad, “What About Love.” I think that after having the greatest power ballad of all time with “Allies” from their previous album, they probably thought they were on to something. While, “What About Love” is a decent power ballad, I do like Leese’s guitar solo on it, it doesn’t come close to “Allies” in greatness. “Never” would have been better if the keyboards were toned down a little more but it’s still a good song. Then comes the single, “These Dreams,” which was and always will be known as the song Nancy Wilson sings lead. It’s a soft rock ballad and one can’t fault Nancy’s voice, it’s good nor will I make sibling comparisons here. Ann and Nancy may be sisters but they have totally different vocal styles. The irony here is that “These Dreams” was Heart’s first number one single.

Once the four singles are done and dusted, the album goes back more to Heart’s traditional harder rock roots. “Wolf” and “All Eyes” are great rockers, especially the latter which gets my award for the hidden gem for the album. The keyboards are turned down and the guitars up, something that should have happened a little more with one or two of the songs here. The power ballad “Nobody Home” provides a brief respite between the more rocking songs. I’m surprised that was never released as a single as well. “Nothin’ At All” was the fifth single from the album and second to only the opener for hard rockyness, at least as far as singles go. It even reached the top 40 in the UK. “Shell Shock” is a good closer and it contains what is arguably Howard Leese’s best guitar solo for the entire album.

Track Listing:

  1. If Looks Could Kill
  2. What About Love
  3. Never
  4. These Dreams
  5. Wolf
  6. All Eyes
  7. Nobody Home
  8. Nothin’ At All
  9. What He Don’t Know
  10. Shell Shock

Heart (Mullet City or what?) 

Ann Wilson- lead vocals

Nancy Wilson- guitars, backing vocals, lead vocal on “These Dreams,” mandolin

Howard Lesse- guitar, keyboards, mandolin, backing vocals

Mark Andes- bass

Denny Carmassi- drums

Heart’s self-titled album brought them lots of commercial success in 1985. One can’t argue with five singles, four in the top ten with one going to number one. Some might think they sold out. I never thought that and there is enough of the old Heart here on this album to counter that claim.

Next post: Foreigner- Agent Provacteur

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1542834204&sr=1-1&keywords=michael+d+lefevre