Archive for Hit Parader

Great Metal Albums of 1984: Quiet Riot- Condition Critical

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 10, 2017 by 80smetalman

It is the opinion of many metalheads now and in 1984 that Quiet Riot’s fourth album, “Condition Critical” was not as good as it’s predecessor, “Metal Health.” I am one of those and my opinion is the same now as it was back in said year. But, was the album as bad as some people believe? My answer has always been a resounding “NO!” True, it’s not as good as the last one but I still like “Condition Critical.”

Quiet Riot did try to follow the formula they laid down on the very successful “Metal Health” album and I’m not just talking about the Slade cover. “Mama Weer All Crazee Now” isn’t as good as “Cum On Feel the Noize” but I never decided to head to the fridge whenever it was played on MTV. Unfortunately, some people didn’t agree with me, especially readers of Hit Parader (Motley Crue magazine) because Kevin DuBrow referred to the mag as akin to toilet paper. The magazine and readers hit out in response by giving the album negative reviews. One letter to the magazine asked “If I shoot Slade, would Quiet Riot die too?” I am glad that nobody got shot.

I think that the main difference between “Metal Health” and “Condition Critical” was the fact that the singles released from the latter weren’t the chart toppers the ones from the former were. Even I have to admit that “Cum On Feel the Noize” and “Metal Health” are better than “Mama Weer All Crazee Now” and “Party All Night.” If one was to take the singles away, the rest of the songs on the album are fairly equal. “Stomp Your Hands and Clap Your Feet” is a good song to get you moving to it. It does have a catchy singalong vibe to it. “Winners Take All” is a very good power ballad. It is definitely high up on my list in that category.  Furthermore, “Scream and Shout,” (my favourite track), “Red Alert” and “Bad Boy” are all cool tunes too. When you put it all together, it does make a rather good album.

If there is one item on the album consistent with all of the songs, which hooks me every time, it is the guitar work of Carlos Cavazo. For me, it is his guitar playing that makes the songs good and therefore makes the album. He lays down some great solos on all of the songs here, it’s hard for me to pick which one he does his best on. But if you put a gun to my head, I guess I’d have to say “Red Alert.” Still, I won’t take anything away from the rest of the band.

Track Listing:

  1. Sign of the  times
  2. Mama Weer All Crazee Now
  3. Party All Night
  4. Stomp Your Hands, Clap Your Feet
  5. Winners Take All
  6. Condition Critical
  7. Scream and Shout
  8. Red Alert
  9. Bad Boys
  10. (We Were) Born to Rock

Quiet Riot

Kevin DuBrow- vocals

Carlos Cavazo- guitars

Rudy Sarzo- bass

Frankie Banali- drums

Due to the lack of success, (Is 3 million copies sold a lack of success?) of “Condition Critical,” Quiet Riot went from headlining arenas to headlining theatres. I was going to get tickets to see them at the Tower Theatre in Philadelphia but when I went to buy the tickets, I was informed that the date of the concert had been changed to a day where I was working. I was bummed I couldn’t go. That might be what sums things up for Quiet Riot in 1984 but I still enjoy this album.

Next post: RATT- Out of the Cellar

To get Rock and Roll Children, go to: http://xotepiy.gq/oqozesa.pdf

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1983: Metallica- Kill’Em All

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 23, 2017 by 80smetalman

220px-metallica_-_kill_em_all_cover

God, I’m thinking about the near fatal gaff I made back in the summer which would have caused me to write about this fantastic album in the wrong year. Never should have allowed myself to have been misled by Hit Parader. Then again, the article wasn’t about Motley Crue so they were bound to be misleading. Furthermore, I didn’t hear of Metallica until 1984 and experienced their second album before this one. Anyway, now that’s history, I can pontificate on what a great album, “Kill’Em All,” Metallica’s debut album really is.

It certainly is a great album. Back in 1983, Metallica were hungry and not weighted down by what they thought listeners wanted or dictated to by corporate record producers. That fact surely shines through on the entire album. Some have argued that this album came out when Metallica were good. Nah, I say they’re still good, it’s just back then, they just didn’t give a fuck. That attitude was what got this album and their next three into hearts of many a metalhead like me.

“Kill’Em All” might not sound as polished as other albums but that’s a good thing here. It opens with a thrash sounding “Hit the Lights,” which opens things up very nicely. If I had listened to it when I should have, I would have embraced thrash right then and there. Probably my favourite track on the album, “The Four Horsemen,” defines what Metallica both were and would be come. The song may be over seven minutes long but it’s not one that has you looking at your watch waiting for it to end. Especially with all the changes in it. “Motorbreath” has my favourite Kirk Hammet guitar solo from the album on it.

After “Jump in the Fire,” which is a good song, I just can’t explain why, comes the very intriguing bass instrumental compliments of the late, great Cliff Burton. It’s very interesting to say the least and it paves the way for some more really good thrash tunes. There’s a cool intro on “Whiplash” while “Phantom Lord” is straight ahead thrash and my second favourite here. Things only seem to improve on “Kill’Em All” after that. I love the intro to “No Remorse” with the lead guitar wailing away before the crunching rhythm sets in. A trademark that many thrash bands have copied ever since. Hearing it, I am of the mindset that Kirk owes some of his lead guitar greatness to the rhythm support provided by James Hetfield. Things don’t end there! The albums closes out with not one but two great songs, “Seek and Destroy” and “Metal Militia.” Both are great! It can be said that in 1983, Metallica thrust themselves and thrash upon America.

Track Listing:

  1. Hit the Lights
  2. The Four Horsemen
  3. Motorbreath
  4. Jump in the Fire
  5. (Anesthesia) Pulling Teeth
  6. Whiplash
  7. Phantom Lord
  8. No Remorse
  9. Seek and Destroy
  10. Metal Militia
Metallica

Metallica

James Hetfield- lead vocals, rhythm guitar

Kirk Hammet- lead guitar

Lars Ulrich- drums

Cliff Burton- bass

Whether or not the world was ready for it, Metallica brought something new and fresh with “Kill’Em All.” A raw, ferocious sound that would influence many thrash bands for years to come. I do regret not listening to the album in the year it came out but I’m glad I got it now.

Next post: Fastway

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clarifications and Corrections

Posted in 1980s, Books, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 9, 2016 by 80smetalman

It has come to my attention via Facebook, that in my previous post “Great Metal Albums of 1983: Slayer- Show No Mercy,” that I may have stated something that wasn’t entirely accurate. In that post, I said that the mentioned debut album from Slayer may have paved the way for bands like Metallica. I have been informed and I have checked and found it to be so that Metallica’s debut album “Kill ‘Em All” actually came out before the Slayer album. Therefore, if anything, Metallica would have paved the way for Slayer.

Slayer

Slayer

Metallica

Metallica

There is absolutely no excuse for not checking my metal facts! I know that this is no explanation nor is it any attempt to be but I remember reading an issue of “Hit Parader” magazine, (I used to call it Motley Crue magazine) in December 1985. That magazine had an article on Metallica and their album “Ride the Lightning” and it being so late in the year, I assumed that this album was released in 1985 and subsequently the debut album “Kill ‘Em All” in 1984. Why I never checked to be sure is beyond me but it is no excuse.

One thing I have always prided myself was unlike Hollywood, I always got my facts right. It was the same way when I wrote “Rock And Roll Children.” The one thing I can take pride in from that book was that it was historically accurate. Therefore, I must humbly apologize to Metallica and Slayer fans for my error and promise to be more diligent in the future.