Archive for Highway Song

The Biggest Tragedy of 1983

Posted in 1980s, Death, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 30, 2016 by 80smetalman

 

Pay tribute to these brave souls

Pay tribute to these brave souls

I make no apologies for repeating myself from a post I made three years ago or for the fact that this has little to do with music. Furthermore, I make no apologies for anyone who has read my post about this on my Peaceful Rampage blog. But for all the great music I experienced in 1983 and the joy of getting out of the marines that year and all the good memories of said year, the one tragedy that will always haunt me from 1983 will be the bombing of the marines barracks in Beirut, Lebanon on October 23, 1983.

A total of 241 lives were lost that day, some of them good friends of mine. I spent nearly three of my four years of service in the battalion that was blown up over there and knew a lot of those guys. I lived and partied with them so I guess you could say they were like family to me when I was serving. That’s why this tragedy has lingered with me for so many years. Maybe it’s also the fact that shortly after, America seemed to simply sweep it all under the carpet and forget about it. What was worse, a year later, it re-elected the madman president who had sent them there in the first place. Reagan was so determined to get the military involved in something that he recklessly sent the marines into something he, himself, wasn’t sure what the objectives were. I remember one of my friends who wrote me before he left for Lebanon saying, “We’re going to Beirut to get grenades thrown at us.”

Since I began 80smetalman nearly seven years ago, I have stated that on many occasions that my experiences in the Marines played a part in shaping me into the metalhead I am today. Not just metal, either. If I hadn’t spent the better part of four years in North Carolina, I wouldn’t have been so immersed in Southern Rock. In fact, one memory that has sprung to mind was how every time that friend would and I would get in my car to go out partying, he would want Blackfoot, “Strikes” played on the cassette player. He was a big Blackfoot fan which was why I played that album and the “Highway Song” album so much in the weeks following the tragedy.

When I did post about this tragedy three years ago, I had a lot of condolences and support from many of you my readers, to which I am still truly grateful. I hope you will be just as understanding this time around and possibly as a tribute play some of the following albums many of these comrades in arms introduced me to while I was serving with them.

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R-150-1986236-1280267276

220px-Black_Sabbath_Heaven_and_Hell

Rush_2112

220px-Def_Leppard_-_High_'n'_Dry

There are definitely more albums than this but these are the ones that have always stuck in my mind. Have a listen to one or more and remember those who died in this tragedy.

Next post: Kix- Cool Kids

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

Also available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Great Rock/Metal Albums of 1982: Blue Oyster Cult- Extra-Terrestrial Live

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 22, 2015 by 80smetalman

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Just back from a nice weekend break at Butlin’s Holiday Camp in Minehead and it was nice to get away for a few days. The downside was since places like Butlin’s are family oriented, there is little scope for metal. We took the grandkids to a panto of Aladdin where I witnessed an act of sacrilege. In the panto, Aladdin and Jasmine sang a duet of the classic Guns ‘N Roses song “Sweet Child of Mine.” Of course, they tried to make it sound cute and that’s bad enough. However, they made it worse by fusing it with “Living On a Prayer.” It drew a big WTF? from this person. After the panto there was a group called The Ragdolls who were a tribute Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons act. They were okay but what I found amusing was the guitarist. When allowed, he could really wail and I got the vibe that he would rather be wailing away on some great rock as opposed to playing Four Seasons’ songs. Sorry, I didn’t take any pictures.

1982 featured two magnificent live albums from bands I’ve never seen live and with both, the results are the same: After listening to those albums, I regret not having seen them live even more. I’ve already visited the first album, Blackfoot’s “Highway Song” and the second one is Blue Oyster Cult’s “Extra- Terrestrial Live.” All but two songs were recorded during the “Fire of Unknown Origin” tour, the band’s previous album, so you know that this live album is going to be great straight away. The three songs that appear from that album sound even better live! The piano intro on “Joan Crawford” sounds even more eerie and they don’t leave out the sound effects like the screeching brakes, which some bands tend to do live. Even “Burning for You” has a more upbeat feel that makes you think you’re in the arena pumping your first along to the song. However, both of those songs pale to the live version of “Veteran of 1000 Psychic Wars.” The song is extended to include some great guitar soloing from Buck Dharma. That takes nothing from the rest of the song where the keyboards sound just as fresh as when done in the studio. Fantastic!

Being a live album, Blue Oyster Cult don’t disappoint with some of their classics from the 70s. No gold stars given for stating the obvious, “Don’t Fear The Reaper” being the closer. After all it’s their best known song. At the other end, “Dominance and Submission” is certainly a good song to open the show with and “Cities on Flame” and “Dr Music” are both great songs to follow on from that. Furthermore, Blue Oyster Cult show their versatility by playing an excellent cover of The Doors classic, “Roadhouse Blues,” although I’m not too sure about Eric Bloom’s tale about buying a six pack from the Seven-Eleven. It doesn’t ruin the song though but that’s hard to do. Like with all the songs mentioned, I was also very impressed with the live version of “Black Blade.” They make that song come alive for real.

Saving the best for last, my all time personal BOC favourite, “Godzilla.” It begins with one of the best live introductions to a song ever. Marrying past with then present, Eric Bloom explains to the crowd how the Cold War and nuclear testing caused a monster frozen in ice to come back to life. It is a fine intro before it rips into the great song I know it for. It is here where they fully launch into their famous three guitar attack and the pausing to hear bombs dropping is just superb and makes the song that much better. While any song following “Godzilla” would work here, it just so happens that with “Extra- Terrestrial Live,” that song is “Veteran of 1000 Psychic Wars.” Sheer brilliance if you ask me.

Track Listing:

1. Dominance and Submission

2. Cities on Flame

3. Dr Music

4. The Red and The Black

5. Joan Crawford

6. Burning For You

7. Roadhouse Blues

8. Black Blade

9. Hot Rails to Hell

10. Godzilla

11. Veteran of 1000 Psychic Wars

12. ETI (Extraterrestrial Intelligence)

13. (Don’t Fear) The Reaper

Blue Oyster Cult

Blue Oyster Cult

Eric Bloom- lead vocals, guitar, keyboards

Donald “Buck Dharma” Roesser- lead guitar, vocals

Alan Lanier- keyboards, guitar

Joe Bouchard- bass, vocals

Albert Bouchard- drums on tracks 1 and 8

Rick Downey- drums on all other tracks

 *Albert Bouchard was fired during the “Fire of Unknown Origin” tour and was replaced by roadie, Rick Downey

Wow, another great live album from a band I have never seen live. It’s no wonder I regret not having done so.

Next post: Aerosmith- Rock in a Hard Place

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 1982: Blackfoot- Highway Song, Live in London

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 13, 2015 by 80smetalman

blackfootlive

What is the most logical thing to do after your band has put out three very good studio albums? Well, in the case of Blackfoot, the answer is to put out one hell of a live album. That is exactly what they did in 1982 with the album recorded live in London. If it hadn’t been for the fact that I happened to visit London in the summer of 1983, this album would have past me by because I never saw it on sale at any of the record shops in New Jersey and that, to me, would have been a damn shame.

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Why is this live album so good? The answer is pretty obvious to any Blackfoot fan. At this particular concert, they played some of their finest material off their previous three albums, “Strikes,” “Tomcattin'” and “Marauder.” If I were to have produced the album, I would have done little different except ask the band to play “I Got a Line On You” from the “Strikes” album but that’s a personal thing. The album is fine as it stands. Things open with two songs from “Tomcattin,'” “Gimme, Gimme, Gimme,” which is definitely a great concert opener, especially at the beginning when Rick Medlocke announces “All right London, it’s boogie time!” You get little time to rest after the opener because Medlocke gets the crowd going by saying, “If someone messes with your queenie, you’re gonna mess up their god damn nose!” Then they launch into “Queenie, Every Man Should Know.” If the crowd isn’t fully up by now, then the almost thrash sounding, “Good Morning” definitely gets them there.

“Good Morning” is the first of three songs from the “Marauder” album. The other two songs that follow, “Dry County” and “Fly Away” sound much better live than the versions on the album and there was nothing wrong with those. It’s just the raw energy this concert gives that takes things up several levels. One note, in between “Dry County” and “Fly Away,” Blackfoot play their own version of John Lee Hooker’s “Rolling and Tumbling” and I will say that they put their own unique stamp on that song quite nicely.

The rest of the album/concert is dominated by songs from the “Strikes” album. “Road Fever” for all the Scotland rock and roll maniacs as how Medlocke introduces the song, rolls things along very well. After they play “Trouble in Mind,” Blackfoot take the show up on an enormous high with the two best songs from that album, “Train, Train” and of course “Highway Song” and both are cases of the live version being way above the studio version. This leads me to realise that if Blackfoot can improve on songs from great studio albums when played live, they are definitely a band to be reckoned with.

Track Listing:

1. Gimme, Gimme, Gimme

2. Queenie, Every Man Should Know

3. Good Morning

4. Dry County

5. Rolling and Tumbling

6. Fly Away

7. Road Fever

8. Trouble in Mind

9. Train, Train

10. Highway Song

11. Howay the Lads

Blackfoot

Blackfoot

Rickey Medlocke- guitar, lead vocals

Charlie Hargrett- guitar

Greg T Walker- bass, backing vocals

Jackson Spires- drums

I think back to that time in 1983 and thank God that I was in London and saw this album in a record store. Otherwise, I would have missed it. Then again, each time I listen to the album, I become pig sick at not having ever seen them live. Trust me, “Highway Song” will make you feel that way.

Next post: Rossington/Collins- This is the Way

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