Archive for Hell’s Bells

Musical Memories of 2018

Posted in Concerts, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 2, 2019 by 80smetalman

Because of all the sad memories of 2018 in the previous post, I thought it would be a fitting tribute to recap all the great moments in music I experienced in the said year. After all, I managed to get to both Download and Bloodstock this year as well as seeing Slayer’s farewell tour and discovering a few new artists to boot. So, I hope you will have a listen and reflect back on what a great year 2018 was musically.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little trip through the previous year. One thing I found a little disappointing was that I was at all the live concerts shown in the post and I haven’t been able to find me in any of the crowd shots, oh well. As we now progress to 2019, I do have a great idea for this year. Not only would it be amazing on a musical front but it could help strengthen goodwill between Israel and Lebanon. My idea is that Orphaned Land embark on a world tour with Slave to Sirens in support. I would move mountains to see that gig. Again, I wish you all a Happy New Year!

Next post: ZZ Top- Afterburner

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Great Metal Albums of 1985: AC/DC- Fly On the Wall

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2018 by 80smetalman

Most of you have probably guessed that the reason why I am writing about AC/DC’s 1985 “Fly on the Wall” album is because tribute band Hell’s Bells came to town. I know I’m being predictable but who cares? Seeing Hell’s Bells gives me great motivation when writing about AC/DC albums, especially when the band didn’t play any songs off this album. Saying that, they may do so next time they come because this time, they played a song from the “74 Jailbreak” album which I posted about last time. They played “Jailbreak” as well as many other great songs. The great thing is that Hell’s Bells always mix up their selection of songs so you don’t get the same ones all the time. Yes, they played many of the classics, “Back in Black,” “You Shook Me All Night Long,” “Highway to Hell,” “TNT” and “Whole Lotta Rosie” but they played others as well. “Thunderstruck,” “Shoot to Thrill” “Let There Be Rock” and “Hell Ain’t a Bad Place to Be” were played to the crowd in Stroud. The only unfortunate moment was that the band had brought two canons in order to play “For Those About to Rock, We Salute You” but the venue wouldn’t allow it. Anyway, this was probably Hell’s Bells’ best performance and I have to say I was quite impressed with support act, Foo Fighters tribute band, Fighters Foo. If you remember, last time they played under the name Pity the Foo but the lead singer announced that they had to change the name for political reasons. It was a great evening and what I found most amusing was that the venue was packed while the trendy pub nearby having their Halloween party was dead. I guess Hell’s Bells were the bigger draw.

Fighters Foo

A better shot of them. BTW, I have come into modern times with an up to date mobile phone.

Obviously, I got closer to the stage for Hell’s Bells

Hell’s Bells in action

AC/DC will go on forever. I thought it was great that the band brought this boy up on stage.

It has been said in many circles that “Fly On the Wall” was probably AC/DC’s worst album. For many years, I thought it true about “Flick of the Switch” but recently, after listening to both, I have come to the conclusion that someone must have put acid in my drink back in 1983 because I don’t find that the case any more. Still, I don’t know if I would now call “Fly on the Wall” their worst album because I thought it was okay, just okay back then and even today, it has its moments. Sure, there are tracks on the album which I would agree sound a bit of a dirge, a term I’ve heard other bloggers use to describe the album but there are still some good tracks on the album and those are the ones I’ll focus on.

The title track starts things off on the album and the sound of the fly buzzing around in the background during it makes no difference to the song for me. It doesn’t make it sound amusing nor does it detract from it. It’s just a decent song. The next track is the best one on the album. “Shake Your Foundations” takes me back to the glory days of the “Back in Black” era. AC/DC put everything that made them who they are into this song and it shows. “Danger” comes a real close second and although lead singer Brian Johnson has been criticized for mumbling on “Fly on the Wall,” his vocals come through quite clear and well on this track. “Sink the Pink” is also a very good track and I have to include “Stand Up” among the best tracks here. What you get with “Fly on the Wall” is half a great album and half filler tracks but even the filler tracks aren’t that bad so overall, it’s a good album.

When Johnson settles down and enunciates, he sounds really good. However, it is Angus Young who shines the most on the album with some blistering guitar solos. His best one is on “Stand Up.” Back then, all eyes were on new drummer Simon Wright who replaced Phil Rudd. I have always thought that he did a credible job here and when I saw them live on this tour. They were phenomenal that night and I probably didn’t do their concert full justice when I wrote about it in “Rock and Roll Children.”

Track Listing:

  1. Fly On the Wall
  2. Shake Your Foundations
  3. First Blood
  4. Danger
  5. Sink the Pink
  6. Playing With Girls
  7. Stand Up
  8. Hell or High Water
  9. Back in Business
  10. Send for the Man

Brian Johnson- lead vocals

Angus Young- lead guitar

Malcolm Young- rhythm guitar and backing vocals

Cliff Williams- bass, backing vocals

Simon Wright- drums

Not only did “Fly on the Wall” receive mixed reviews at best from the critics and fans, they would also run into difficulties in another way in 1985 when a mass murderer claims he was influenced by their song “Night Prowler” to commit his crimes. This led the religious zealots in America to go after the band and call them Satanic. In spite of that, AC/DC continue to remain in the hearts of many millions of fans to this day.

Next post: Slayer- Hell Awaits

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Great Metal Albums of 1984: AC/DC- 74 Jailbreak

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 7, 2017 by 80smetalman

Being predictable again! If you have been following me for some time, you have probably already guessed that I am posting about an AC/DC album because tribute band Hell’s Bells came to town. They did and unlike my post about the previous two AC/DC albums, I actually went to see them last night. You know, sort of for inspiration but I really don’t need any to see Hell’s Bells or post about AC/DC’s 1984 album, “74 Jailbreak.”

Pity the Foo

First the show, Hell’s Bells were supported by the Foo Fighters tribute band, Pity the Foo. Now, except for the videos I’ve seen on the Kerrang channel, I have no experience of the Foo Fighters. But if they are anything like the tribute band on stage, then maybe I should delve into some of their back catalogs. Pity the Foo honoured the band they were tributing on this evening. They were tight and if they weren’t playing Foo Fighters material, they could have played anything, even their own material and played it very well. The two Foo Fighters songs I know they played were “Monkey Wrench” and “A Long Road to Ruin” were good examples of how good this band was. When they left the stage, they had accomplished their mission of warming things up for the headliner. Pity not many people bothered to turn up and see them.

Hell’s Bells ascend the stage. God, I wish my hand was steadier.

If I went into great details of Hell’s Bells performance, then all I would need to do is copy and paste previous posts about them. What I can say is that last night was their best performance ever in the five times I’ve seen them. Like always, they were note perfect in regards to AC/DC and played an array of AC/DC classics that everyone in the audience will have heard at least their favourites. For me, it was “You Shook Me All Night Long,” “Highway to Hell” and they ended with “Whole Lotta Rosie.” One thing they did different was play “Ace of Spades” in dedication to Lemmy. When they left the stage at the end of an hour and a half, which flew by too quickly, there wasn’t one disappointed person in the room.

Another thing I noted was the huge age range in attendance. I’ll be turning 56 next month and I can happily say that I wasn’t the oldest person in the room, not by a long shot. However, there were second and third generation AC/DC fans there as well. Many bands who last for over four decades aren’t as able to pick up followers from the younger generations. I remember the generation just below me regarding the Rolling Stones as golden oldies. They don’t say that about AC/DC.

Angus’s double does his strip act.

Hell’s Bells taking it home.

Unfortunately, Hell’s Bells didn’t play any songs off the “74 Jailbreak” album. Yes, I know in reality that it’s and EP but talk about five grab you by the throat songs. These were tracks that were only previously released in Australia and made available to the rest of the world as part of this EP. My question here is why they waited so long before treating us to them. With the benefit of hindsight, one might have thought that they might have released this in 1980 after Bon Scott’s tragic death. After all, his vocals are simply fantastic on the album. “Jailbreak” did feature on the “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” album but it’s a good opener. Likewise, “Baby, Please Don’t Go” is a good closer. Many an AC/DC album has those so nothing new in that department. However, it’s the three songs in the middle that make the album for me. All of them feature some pretty nifty guitar work compliments of Angus Young but my favourite of all is the middle track, the very bluesy sounding “Show Business.” Angus just cooks on this one and I now put him on the same shelf as some other great blues guitarists. So my question here is why isn’t this album or EP talked about more in AC/DC circles?

Track Listing:

  1. Jailbreak
  2. You Ain’t Got a Hold on Me
  3. Show Business
  4. Soul Stripper
  5. Baby, Please Don’t Go

AC/DC

Bon Scott- vocals

Angus Young- lead guitar, backing vocals

Malcolm Young- rhythm guitar, backing vocals

George Young- bass, backing vocals, drums

Rob Bailey- bass

Mark Evans- bass on “Jailbreak”

Phil Rudd- drums, percussion on “Jailbreak”

Tony Currenti- drums, percussion on tracks 2-4

Peter Clack- drums, percussion on “Baby Please Don’t Go”

Whenever people talk about AC/DC albums, it seems that “74 Jailbreak” doesn’t get mentioned. My guess is it’s because it’s considered an EP. EP or album, there are five great songs on here and that’s more great songs that many other bands have on one entire album. Maybe Hell’s Bells will play some songs from it next time they come to town.

Next post: Queen- The Works

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 1983: Berlin- Pleasure Victim

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 13, 2016 by 80smetalman

220px-Berlin_pleasure

Everybody forget all about the 1986 single, “Take My Breath Away” for a moment, well actually, you can forget about it all together for all I care. Three years earlier, the artists behind that single didn’t sound very much like that. In 1983, when new wave was mentioned, Berlin was the second name that came to mind after Missing Persons. They too, incorporated everything I associated about the new wave genre back then.

Berlin came to my attention in said year when I heard their first single, “Sex, (I’m A)” on the radio. It was the lyrics to the song that caught my ear. Hearing “I’m a bitch, I’m a slave, I’m a Goddess, I’m a little girl when we make love together” amused me very much. Note: I know the above isn’t in the correct order of the song but all those lyrics appear in it. Still it’s a cool song. The rest of the album, “Pleasure Victim,” follows in what I call the new wave vein. While keyboards and synthesizers dominate the songs, they are used very well and not played in the dumb choppy way that synth pop bands would later use. There is a hint of guitar in them as well, especially in the hardest song, “Masquerade,” which is my number one on the album. “The Metro” is also a good tune, probably because I remember it as their second single from the album. Though, I’m not impressed with the last two songs on “Pleasure Victim,” the other songs are good enough to carry the album. Listening to it again after so many years, I remember why I liked the new wave sound in 1983.

Let’s talk about ladies for a moment. In this case, it’s Berlin’s lead singer Terri Nunn. She has a great voice, as good as any of the female singers around at the time. Both her and Dale Bozzio were every bit as good as the one female singer who got most of the accolades throughout the mid 1980s. Fifty 80smetalman points if you can guess who I’m referring to here. Anyway, Terri Nunn didn’t get the respect she deserved back then both as a singer and as a beautiful woman. I don’t remember seeing any Terri Nunn posters around at the time. Thinking about her and Dale Bozzio, there is little to choose from in physical beauty or vocal ability.

Terri Nunn

Terri Nunn

Track Listing:

  1. Tell My Why
  2. Pleasure Victim
  3. Sex (I’m A)
  4. Masquerade
  5. The Metro
  6. World of Smiles
  7. Torture
Berlin

Berlin

Terri Nunn- vocals

Chris Ruiz-Velasco- guitar

David Diamond- synthesizers, backing vocals, guitar

John Crawford- bass, co-lead vocals on “Sex (I’m A),” synthesizer

Daniel Van Patten- drums, percussion

Reflecting back to 1983, I think the year was a reckoning for the two bands I will forever associate with new wave. A year later, Missing Persons would continue to go in the new wave direction and their album would commercially flop, though I still intend to visit it. For Berlin, they would essentially become a top forty band but that’s further down the road. For now, “Pleasure Victim” was a cool new wave album that was different to all that was around at the time.

Some personal notes here: Another thing that softened the blow of not being able to see Hell’s Bells this weekend is the fact that my Bloodstock tickets came this week. I’ll be going for all three days, so look out come August! The other was that I got a ‘like’ on Twitter from none other than David Gilmour of Pink Floyd fame for my post reporting the passing of Keith Emerson. To me, that’s a huge honour.

Next post: Peter Gabriel

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 Metal Albums of 1983: AC/DC- Flick of the Switch

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, soundtracks, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 10, 2016 by 80smetalman

ACDC_FOTS

Once again, I’m mixed things up here and throwing in a metal album. Usually I don’t visit metal album until the second half of my journey through any given year but there are exceptional circumstances. Those of you who have been following for a while have probably guessed why I’m writing about an AC/DC album. That’s right, AC/DC tribute band Hell’s Bells are coming to town this weekend. Unfortunately, they picked the same weekend as my step-granddaughter’s christening so I won’t be able to see them this time. Therefore, as my consolation prize, I thought I’d visit their 1983 album, “Flick of the Switch.”

Hells Bells at their usual greatness

Hells Bells at their usual greatness

What kind of drugs was I on in 1983? I remember listening to some of this album and not being very impressed with it. In fact, and this is going to confirm I must have been on drugs, I rated this album below their 1985 “Fly On the Wall” album. An album most AC/DC stalwarts say was their worst. Recently, I listened to the entire album after so many years and hell, this album is pretty good. Okay, it’s not near the same level as “Back in Black” or “Highway to Hell” or even “For Those About to Rock, We Salute You,” but this is in no way, shape or form a bad album.

From the very first note, “Flick of the Switch” has everything that has made AC/DC legends for forty odd years. It has all the trademark riffs that they had been known for, the tight rhythm section of Malcolm Young, Cliff Williams and Phil Rudd. Brian Johnson’s voice hadn’t begun to suffer and he still hits some pretty good high notes on the album. The closer, “Brain Shake” is the perfect example of that. Most importantly, Angus Young still blows people away with his solos. When I hear them on the songs on this album, I don’t get that ‘it’s all been done before’ feeling. There may have been a desire to go back to rawness and their might have been in fighting between Rudd and Malcolm but AC/DC come together to put out a fine album.

You know, I can’t  find a song that I don’t like on “Flick of the Switch.” On the other hand, I find it difficult to pick ones that stand out. When I hear one track and think, “That’s pretty good,” the next one comes on and is just as good. If there is one standout track, it would have to be “Guns for Hire” and that’s only because I heard it before on the “Iron Man 2” soundtrack. Then again, “Badlands” is also a really cool song.

Track Listing:

  1. Rising Power
  2. The House is On Fire
  3. Flick of the Switch
  4. Nervous Shakedown
  5. Landslide
  6. Guns for Hire
  7. Deep in the Hole
  8. Bedlam in Belgium
  9. Badlands
  10. Brain Shake
AC/DC

AC/DC

Brian Johnson- lead vocals

Angus Young- lead guitar

Malcolm Young- rhythm guitar

Cliff Williams- bass

Phil Rudd- drums

Now that the drugs have totally cleared my system, I can say that “Flick of the Switch” isn’t the worst album by AC/DC. It’s a good, solid album that may have come too soon after their classics. On the down side, it would be during this tour that Phil Rudd would leave the band and be replaced by Englishman Simon Wright. The result would be that this band from Australia wouldn’t have any members who were actually born there.

Next post: Berlin- Pleasure Victim

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 Metal Albums of 1981: AC/DC- For Those About to Rock, We Salute You

Posted in 1980s, films, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, soundtracks, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 19, 2014 by 80smetalman

220px-ForThoseAboutToRock_ACDCalbum

For some of you, this is going to be a bit of a shock. The fact that I am writing about an AC/DC album without first going to see AC/DC tribute band Hell’s Bells. The ironic part is that they are coming to town next Saturday, unfortunately, I am heading off to the States for two weeks on Thursday. I am a little miffed at not going to see them but this time I have a legitimate excuse. So, you’ll have to settle for a picture of Hell’s Bells from the last time I saw them.

Hells Bells at their usual greatness

Hells Bells at their usual greatness

Most everyone on the planet knows that “For Those About to Rock” was the follow up to the most highly successful “Back in Black” album. Many of the same people say that the follow up isn’t as good but I say “Come on!” It would have been a monumental feat indeed if AC/DC or any band to think of it, was able to put out an album that measured up to “Back in Black.” Credit where due though, “For Those About to Rock” comes fairly close.

I have heard many a person say that the only thing good about the title track is the cannons. True, they are brilliant and it’s even more mind blowing to see it live. Hell’s Bells do try to copy it using a computer but while it’s a commendable effort, it’s just not the same. I do try to describe this wonderful phenomenon in “Rock And Roll Children,” but I probably fail. Even without the cannon, this song would probably have been my favourite on the album. The rest of the album also has the typically great tracks you expect from an AC/DC album. I remember hearing “Let’s Get It Up” blasting out of many a juke box in the cafes of Toulon, France and “Evil Walks” is definitely a worthy choice for the “Iron Man 2” soundtrack. Angus Young works his guitar magic throughout the entire album but the most noteworthy from me is on “Night of the Long Knives.” What “For Those About to Rock” proves is that AC/DC weren’t about to rest on the laurels of just one great album.

Track Listing:

1. For Those About to Rock, We Salute You

2. Put The Finger  On You

3. Let’s Get It Up

4. Inject the Venom

5. Snowballed

6. Evil Walks

7. C.O.D.

8. Breaking the Rules

9. Night of the Long Knives

10. Spellbound

AC/DC

AC/DC

Brian Johnson- vocals

Angus Young- lead guitar

Malcolm Young- rhythm guitar, backing vocals

Cliff Williams- bass, backing vocals

Phil Rudd- drums

The best thing about it not being 1981 anymore is that you can listen to “For Those About to Rock” without the specter of “Back in Black” hanging over it. This follow up is truly a fantastic album on its own and definitely one that reminds you why AC/DC have continued to rule for more than three decades.

I don’t know when I’ll be posting again but when I do, it will be: Black Sabbath- The Mob Rules

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 Metal Albums of 1980: AC/DC- Back In Black

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on November 10, 2013 by 80smetalman

untitled

Someone somewhere must have some sort of sixth sense because every time I come around to visiting an AC/DC album here, tribute band Hells Bells comes to town. Therefore, I think that it’s only fitting that before I talk about any AC/DC album, I should go and see Hells Bells first for inspiration. That’s what I did with my step son last night.

Bombshell

Bombshell

Unlike their last visit, this time Hells Bells brought a support band with them. We were a couple of minutes late and so going up the stairs to the show, I thought it was a bit strange that I was hearing the  Blondie classic “One Way or Another.” Once inside the function room, the Stroud audience was being treated to Bombshell. My first thought to this band was on account of their name and the fact they were fronted by a very attractive lead singer reminiscent of Debbie Harry, that they were a Blondie tribute band. The very next song killed that theory. Bombshell turned out to be a very capable cover band playing their own version of some great rock classics like “Black Velvet,” “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” and Kelly Clarkson’s “Since You Been Gone.” There was one trick up their sleeve. My first thought was “Why are they playing a Lady Ga Ga song when I recognised “Poker Face.” However, their hard rock version totally kicks the pants off the original version. Give me Bombshell’s anytime. So Bombshell provided a good opening to the evening’s festivities.

Hells Bells at their usual greatness

Hells Bells at their usual greatness

I would only be repeating myself from the last time I posted about this great tribute to AC/DC if I go into great details about the show. Of course, they played many of the great classics and as always, they were note perfect in regards to AC/DC. The only thing difference was that the entire band is growing moustaches this month for Movember in order to raise money for research for testicular cancer. This means there isn’t a whole lot to say about the night that I haven’t said before because as always, Hells Bells proved why AC/DC are one of the best loved bands in the world.

I thought I'd take this because I never seem to get the rhythm guitarist and bass in my photos

I thought I’d take this because I never seem to get the rhythm guitarist and bass in my photos

All of this brings me around to my all time favourite AC/DC album and that is my one tiny gripe about the show. Hells Bells only played three songs off “Back In Black.” “Shoot to Thrill,” “Back in Black” and “You Shook Me All Night Long” are all great songs, especially the last one, but any song from this album would have had me banging my head in vigorous exultation. Of course, I also would have been over the moon if they had played “Given the Dog a Bone.” I have always like that song even before I discovered what the song was actually about. Of course, there are several songs with innuendo on the album. “What Do You Do For Money” and “Let Me Put My Love Into You” are perfect examples, especially with the lyrics in the latter, “Let me cut your cake with my knife.”

Stating the obvious here but back in 1980, the big question asked when this album came out was if new lead singer Brian Johnson could fill the shoes vacated by the passing of Bon Scott. For me and many others, there was no question here, Brian proved he’s got the goods. Full credit to the band here, they didn’t try to go out and find a Bon Scott clone because no such person exists. Brian Johnson is his own vocalist and this album highlights the fact behind the usual great musicianship of Young, Young, Williams and Rudd. This album does have some of my favourite guitar solos from Angus.

Track Listing:

1. Hells Bells

2. Shoot to Thrill

3. What Do You Do For Money, Honey

4. Given the Dog a Bone

5. Let Me Put My Love Into You

6. Back in Black

7. You Shook Me All Night Long

8. Have a Drink On Me

9. Shake a Leg

10. Rock and Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution

AC/DC

AC/DC

Brian Johnson- lead vocals

Angus Young- lead guitar

Malcolm Young- rhythm guitar

Cliff Williams- bass

Phil Rudd- drums

Thirty million sales world wide can’t be wrong. Many, including me, will say that this is the best AC/DC album of all time. Listening to the songs in it, I can see why.

Next post: Triumph- Progression of Power

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