Archive for History

Will Trump’s Presidency Usher in a New Wave of Heavy Metal?

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 24, 2017 by 80smetalman
Donald Trump

Donald Trump

I read a post on a blog, which my buddy 1537 reminded me of in his post last night, that the Presidency of the newly elected Donald Trump may usher in a new wave of heavy metal. With his ultra conservative politics, there will be a lot of angry musicians out there who will be inspired to write a lot of songs about Trump and the political/social climate that might generate from it. From that, a resurgence in heavy metal might just come about. Plus history can back it up.

Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan

Let’s begin by going back to the 198os when the US President was another ultra conservative, Ronald Reagan. During the decade, for which he was in office for most of, there was a heavy metal explosion. First there was the new wave of British heavy metal, (NWOBHM), which filled the early part of that decade. Inspired by that, many American metal bands emerged, I don’t feel I have to name them all. Towards the end of Ronnie’s presidency, we had the onslaught of thrash, a custom blend of punk and heavy metal. Even the PMRC, who operated with Reagan’s behind the scenes positive nod, failed to stop the heavy metal onslaught. It could also be why the 80s was the golden age of heavy metal. It also gave me good amount of inspiration when I wrote “Rock and Roll Children.”

Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton

Reagan’s successor, George HW Bush was a liberal Republican and that coincided with a downward trend in heavy metal. That continued well into the presidency of the more liberal Bill Clinton. We had the grunge period and a lot of great 80s metal acts kind of drifted into near obscurity during the 1990s. I say near but not total, I do remember some great metal from old and new acts but metal was definitely stuck in a rut during this decade. In fact, I heard former Dead Kennedys lead singer Jello Biafra once say that many members of hardcore punk bands in the 80s, in the 90s, went back to California, got computer jobs and started driving BMW’s. Maybe, there wasn’t anything to be angry about during Clinton’s presidency.

George W Bush

George W Bush

That all changed with the election of George W Bush in 2000. A new wave of ultra conservative politics brought on a new wave of heavy metal. The fragmented factions of metal, whether it by nu metal, Viking metal, black metal etc, established themselves back on the world music stage. They seemed to put aside their differences and come together for the common metal good. Furthermore, gaining inspiration from their 1980s elders, many of the bands from the golden decade also made a comeback. Again, we see right wing politics ushering in a new surge in heavy metal.

Barrack Obama

Barrack Obama

Obama’s presidency did bring the heavy metal surge to a more calming trickle. Fortunately, the lessons of the 1990s were learned and heavy metal didn’t go underground. While no new ground has been gained during the more liberal years of Obama, none has been lost either. What may have happened is that metal had become insular with metalheads finding sanctuary with each other. Metal now rests upon a springboard, ready to jump into any direction. If the person, I voted for, Green Party candidate Jill Stein, had been elected, metal would have gone in a more artsy direction. Not much chance of that happening.

Now we have Trump, who many believe to be extremely right wing, racist, sexist and a few other ists as well. So the question to be asked is “Will Trump’s presidency lead to a new resurgence in heavy metal? The answer will soon be made known to us. Things are promising to heat up in the heavy metal world and I am very excited to see what will become of it.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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80smetalman’s Choices for National Anthems

Posted in Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 4, 2015 by 80smetalman

National Anthems inspire love for one’s country. Every one I’ve heard definitely does that. Some are hard driving like the US, UK or Canada while others are more somber like Japan or Wales. Even Italy’s which reminded me of a parade or Spain’s which sounds like a sixteenth century dance still can inspire love for the country. However, most national anthems are over a century old and while there’s nothing wrong with that, since they still inspire nationalistic feelings, I wonder if more modern ones could be used. See, I have come to associate certain songs by certain bands with the country they come from and that has me thinking. Maybe these songs should be national anthems for their country.

Lynyrd Skynyrd

Lynyrd Skynyrd

USA: Freebird by Lynyrd Skynyrd (I’m talking the full fifteen minute live version)

Led Zeppelin

Led Zeppelin

UK: Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin

Rush

Rush

Canada: Tom Sawyer by Rush

Bonfire

Bonfire

Germany: Proud of My Country by Bonfire

TNT

TNT

Norway- Seven Seas by TNT

Yngwie Malmsteen

Yngwie Malmsteen

Sweden- As Above, So Below by Yngwie Malmsteen

Hanoi Rocks

Hanoi Rocks

Finland- Tragedy by Hanoi Rocks

Golden Earring

Golden Earring

The Netherlands: Radar Love by Golden Earring

U2

U2

Ireland- Sunday Bloody Sunday by U2

Loudness

Loudness

Japan- Crazy Nights by Loudness

AC/DC

AC/DC

Australia- Highway to Hell by AC/DC

Note: For Brazil, it would definitely be something by Seputura and France would be a suitable song by Gojira.

While this is meant to be a little bit of fun, I’m sure some of you are cracking your knuckles and limbering your typing fingers to contribute some of your own suggestions. Well, I’m waiting.

Next post: The Scorpions- Blackout

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 1982: Twisted Sister- Under the Blade

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

TS_UnderBlade1

From great EP’s often come great albums. Three of the four songs featured on Twisted Sister’s EP, “Rough Cutts” would go on to be recorded on their debut album, “Under the Blade.” Many people have said that the earlier the Twisted Sister material, the better and you can’t get much earlier than this album. Although for me personally, their best album was yet to come but that takes nothing away from just how great “Under the Blade” is.

Having seen Twisted Sister live five times, two of those as headliners, one thing I founnd disappointing both times was that they don’t play enough songs from their first two albums. Obviously, they will play more songs from their most successful album but I would have loved to have heard them play more from this album. The songs that were played were the title cut and “Shoot’em Down.” Both are fantastic songs, but I would have loved to hear “Run For Your Life” as well as my favourite track on the album “Bad Boys of Rock and Roll.” That’s one I like singing to myself whilst moving around the house. Furthermore, the closer “Day of the Rocker” would have been a mindblowing song to close the show. I don’t know if it’s Eddie or Jay Jay who play the guitar solo on this one but it’s a killer. Whenever, someone casts doubts upon the guitar playing of French and Ojeda, I immediately think of “Day of the Rocker” as a counter. Any other song would have been great to hear live and at the moment, both “Run For Your Life” and “Tear It Loose” come to mind especially.

Before 1985, this album was only available in the US as an import. I did see it in a music store once but had no money on me at the time. When I went back a few days later, it was gone. I had to wait until 1985 when it was re released on Atlantic Records to get it. That version has the very amusing single “I’ll Never Grow Up Now” on it. Back in the day, that was something I was feeling quite a bit  but it’s another song I like to keep singing after it has long since ended.

Track Listing:

  1. What You Don’t Know (Sure Can’t Hurt You)
  2. Bad Boys of Rock and Roll
  3. Run For Your Life
  4. Sin After Sin
  5. Shoot’em Down
  6. Destroyer
  7. Under the Blade
  8. Tear It Loose
  9.                                                                   I ll Never Grow Up Now
    10.                                                                    Day of the Rocker
Twisted Sister

Twisted Sister

Dee Snider- vocals

Jay Jay French- guitar, backing vocals

Eddie ‘Fingers’ Ojeda- guitar, backing vocals

Mark ‘the Animal’ Mendoza- bass, backing vocals

AJ Pero- drums

“Under the Blade” is such a great album. It’s raw and shows a band that were lean, mean and hungry. Every track is an absolute winner for me and it just so happens that Twisted Sister have one more chance to show off this album. They will be playing their farewell concert at Bloodstock next summer and I have every intention of making it there to witness this important piece of history. Let’s hope that they will play a few more songs from this iconic album.

On the same day at Bloodstock, two slots before the great Twisted Sister, Venom will be invading the stage. Therefore, in respect to that, their 1982 album will be my next post.

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

1982: Triumphs and Tragedy

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Death, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Humour, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 12, 2015 by 80smetalman

You may remember that when I first entered 1982, I spent eight of the twelve months of that year deployed with the marines. The first six months were especially difficult because I was floating about the Mediterranean Sea and Indian Ocean on a ship. So I didn’t get that much news especially news pertaining to music. However, one piece of tragic news that did reach my ears whilst on the ship was the death of comic actor and Blues Brothers singer John Belushi.

Bluesbrothersmovieposter

Unlike the assassination of JFK, Belushi’s death may not have been a where were you moment when you first learned about it to most people. While I can say for sure that I was on board the ship when I learned about his tragic passing, I can’t say where exactly the ship was at the time. I do know that it was somewhere in the Indian Ocean.

His career may have been short but John Belushi packed a load of things to remember him by during those few years. For us music fans, the biggest contribution to music was most certainly The Blues Brothers. His collaboration with Dan Ackroyd  gave us a brilliant album and in 1980, a hilarious movie with one hell of a great soundtrack. For those new to 80smetalman, I have visited both on here if you want to take a look. Older statesmen like me, however, will always love Belushi for his antics on the old Saturday Night Live show. I will always love his Samurai character. In 1982, a true musical and comical genius was tragically taken from us. R.I.P. John Belushi.

John Belushi as Samurai in my all time favourite one: Samurai Night Fever

John Belushi as Samurai in my all time favourite one: Samurai Night Fever

Now on to the triumph. This year saw the third Monsters of Rock Festival at Donnington Park. Attendance was up from the previous two years and evidence that slowly but surely, heavy metal was taking over the UK. A small piece of festival history was made that year when Saxon became the first band to play at there for the second time. Headlining was another British band who failed to make it very far in the US, Status Quo. I have to admit, that I haven’t listened to them much over the years over the years. Guess I should rectify that. Other players that year included Gillan, Uriah Heep, space rockers Hawkwind and Canadian metal band Anvil. While it would be another year before I would hear about this great festival, I believe that this varied line up would have been a great thing to see and hear.

HW 1982-08-21 Castle Donnington.Monsters of Rock.1.front

Like I said at the beginning, my knowledge of musical events is limited due to the circumstances. So if there is some other event from 1982, triumph or tragedy, let me know and I will post about it because it is part of our history. Call this an urgent appeal.

Next post: Status Quo- 1+9+8+2

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

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

 

Great Rock Albums of 1982: Culture Club- Kissing to Be Clever

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on March 31, 2015 by 80smetalman

220kissingtobeclever

 After a great deal of consideration of whether or not to post about this album, I have decided to go ahead with it. No matter what people may think about Culture Club, it is part of our musical history. This band changed the way a lot of people thought about music. With the appearance of bands like this, it became a case of not only what a band sounded like that was important, it also mattered what they looked like.

Boy George

Boy George

Like it or not, Boy George brought a new look to music in 1982. As a heterosexual male, I was immediately turned off by the concept of a man dressing like a woman, however, I found that many ladies liked him. Furthermore, the belief among some men towards Boy George and the band was that they didn’t like him but they liked Culture Club’s music.

Track Listing:

1. White Boy

2. You Know I’m Not Crazy

3. I’ll Tumble 4 Ya

4. Take Control

5. Love Twist

6. Boy Boy (I’m the Boy)

7. I’m Afraid of Me

8. White Boys Can’t Control It

9. Do You Really Want to Hurt Me

Culture Club

Culture Club

Boy George- vocals

Michael Craig- bass

Roy Hay- guitar, keyboards, sitar

Jon Moss- drums

You have probably noticed that I have not said anything about the album. That’s because I haven’t listened to it and have no intention of doing so. If you thought I was serious about posting a Culture Club album on 80smetalman, then

APRIL FOOL!

Ha! I got you, okay maybe not.

Next post: Billy Joel- The Nylon Curtain

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

 

 

 

1982- The Floodgates are Truly Open

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 20, 2014 by 80smetalman

To be honest, I was a little nervous about the year 1982 and expected a bit a turbulence during the ride through it. The reason for this was that I spent eight months out of the year overseas with the marines. From the middle of January to the very end of June, I made my second deployment to the Mediterranean and Indian Ocean. Then in the October, I went to Okinawa for the remainder of the year and the first three months of the following one. In fact, October 9, 1982 never existed for me as I was flying across the International Date Line. Because I was overseas so much, the year was fairly barren for me musically and I worried that I might not have enough albums to visit during the year. But, I will persevere and thanks to Youtube, I can listen to albums from that year that I never got the chance to listen to back then.

Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden

With the benefit of hindsight, I can say that in 1982, the new wave of British heavy metal (NWOBHM) had its claws firmly gripped on the industry. I saw this to be true when I was in Toulon, France in the May. Previously, I had heard of Iron Maiden but it wasn’t until I heard a song, I can’t remember which one, on a juke box in a bar there that I finally got my ears blown away by them. Of course, there were great metal delights served up by the likes of Judas Priest and Motorhead as well as many other rock and metal acts. It seems my journey through what turns out to be an important year that almost passed me by and I am going to put right something I got wrong in the said year. See, I never listened to Van Halen’s “Diver Down” album because a couple of marine buddies bought it while we were in France and said that the album sucked. Again, curse me for simply taking their word. I will listen to this album during the course of my trip through 1982 and give you my own thoughts on it.

Van Halen

Van Halen

As I go down the road of metal history, I realise that while I may have missed out on quite a bit of music history on account of military service, the year itself was a phenomenal one for metal. Thanks to NWOBHM and others, the floodgates opened and metal began to flood the world.

Next post: The Police- Ghost in the Machine

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: Def Leppard- High ‘n’ Dry

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 10, 2014 by 80smetalman

 

220px-Def_Leppard_-_High_'n'_Dry

Up until very recently, I thought Def Leppard’s second album “High ‘n’ Dry” came out in 1982 and I was going to post about their first album. Even when a fellow blogger stated that this was a 1981, I still thought about waiting until I get to 1982 before I wrote about it. After all, I always begin each year with albums that were in fact released the previous year but didn’t come to my attention until the following one. I already have some in mind for when I get to 1982 but there’s still a way to go before that. Furthermore and for reasons I’ll state when I get to 1982, that year was a very barren year for me musically so waiting could be justified further, at least in my mind. However, it didn’t seem right that I wait and therefore am going to visit this album right now.

Another great thing about 1981, which I have concluded recently, is that what is commonly called New Wave Of British Heavy Metal or NWOBHM, was probably at its zenith that year. The albums I have covered to this point prove that. Def Leppard were another great British metal act to ride this title wave and set the stage to what was to become heavy metal’s golden decade. A few days ago was the first time I listened to “High ‘n’ Dry” in many years. I never bought it because my sister had it and we would listen to one another’s records quite often. Of course, that was after she got over her affinity for disco and the Bee Gees in the very late 70s. It was their next album “Pyromania” that was always number one with me but after hearing “High ‘n’ Dry” again, I’m not so sure.

If there was every a good opener to a Def Leppard album, it has to be “Let It Go” for certain. This song makes you want to listen to the rest of the album and I wish I had paid more attention back then because the title track would have definitely been a cruising song for the car. While it isn’t the power ballad that surpasses April Wine’s “Just Between You and Me” it does come pretty close and it too kicks the ass off “Every Rose Has Its Thorn.” I also found the instrumental “Switch 625” to be very well done. I think the reason why this album is so good is that this was recorded in a time when Def Leppard were hungry and that hunger is shown here in the album. They didn’t have to worry about commercial success, they just let rip and I think producer Mutt Lange understood this at the time. “High ‘n’ Dry” is definitely their most powerful album.

Track Listing:

1. Let It Go

2. Another Hit and Run

3. High ‘n’ Dry (Another Saturday Night)

4. Bringing on the Heartbreak

5. Switch 625

6. You Got Me Runnin’

7. Lady Strange

8. On Through the Night

9. Mirror Mirror, (Look Into My Eyes)

10. No No No

Def Leppard

Def Leppard

Joe Elliot- vocals

Pete Willis- guitar, backing vocals

Steve Clark- guitar, backing vocals

Rick Savage- bass, backing vocals

Rick Allen- drums

This would be the last album to feature guitarist Pete Willis on guitar but that’s a story saved for another time. Now is the time to enjoy a great album, arguably their best from a great band. This was the time when as far as heavy metal is concerned, Britannia ruled the waves and Def Leppard were one of the components of that.

Next album: Van Halen- Fair Warning

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