Archive for Holland

Great Metal Albums of 1983: Vandenberg- Heading For a Storm

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 28, 2016 by 80smetalman

220px-vandenberg_heading_for_a_storm

I hope everyone out there had a great holiday break and that Santa brought them everything they wanted. I did even though I had to work the Christmas Night/Boxing Day shift. Boxing Day isn’t celebrated in the US, they have Wrestling Day instead. Sorry, it’s a tradition I make that joke at least once during the festive season. However, on the advice of keepsmealive, I did get to sample some of The Trooper- Red and Black, very nice I tell you.

Thinking back in the annals of history, one might be inclined to believe that 1983 might have been a pivotal year for Dutch bands. First Golden Earring proved they weren’t one hit wonders with their “Cut” album which featured the hit, “Twilight Zone.” Then later on that year, I stumbled into my local bar just in time to see this band called Vandenberg on MTV. I can’t say that I was totally blown away by them but I did very much like what I saw and heard and it compelled me to investigate more. A friend of my sister ranted about their album “Heading For a Storm” and I would later learn that Vandenberg supported Ozzy Osbourne on tour. What further incentive was needed?

“Heading For a Storm” is yet further proof that in 1983, the dam had truly burst and heavy metal was flooding the world whether it liked it or not. The album starts out with three straight ahead rockers. “Friday Night” might sound cliche these days but it’s still a good opener and the next two tracks get progressively better. “Different Worlds” is a typical power ballad but you can’t fault it one bit. Besides after that comes my pick for the album, This is War.” On this song, lead singer Bert Heerink is at his best on the vocals backed up with some great harmonizing from his band mates. But what makes this song and the album as a whole is the guitar work from Adrian Vandenberg. If anyone has any questions as to why he was picked to join Whitesnake four years after this, then have a listen to the album and the track, “This is War,” in particular.

AV’s guitar work doesn’t end with that song. Afterwards, the album holds that level my favourite track takes it to. I really love the opening metal riffs on the title track and after some more good harmonizing, Adrian nails another great guitar solo. “Rock On” sounds a bit new wave with its opening chords but it goes more metal with AV putting in some cool guitar breaks during the verses and the song has a cool chorus. All of that takes the album out fine with the closing track.

Track Listing:

  1. Friday Night
  2. Welcome to the Club
  3. Time Will Tell
  4. Different Worlds
  5. This is War
  6. I’m on Fire
  7. Heading For a Storm
  8. Rock On
  9. Waiting For the Night
Vandenberg

Vandenberg

Adrian Vandenberg- guitar, backing vocals, also designed the album cover

Bert Heernik- lead vocals

Dick Kemper- bass, pedals, backing vocals

Jos Zoomer- drums, backing vocals

 Let me say one thing here! While I might gush over the guitar greatness of Adrian Vandenberg, the unsung hero of the album is Bert Heernik. I have always had tons of respect for any singer who sings in English when it’s not their first language. On “Heading For a Storm,” he does a grand job and credit should be given where due. After all, “Heading For a Storm” is an album that definitely deserves accolades.

Next post: My 2016 Compilation Album

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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Great Rock Albums of 1983: Golden Earring- Cut

Posted in 1980s, films, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 26, 2016 by 80smetalman

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Here goes my memory haunting me again. The major attribute about the band Golden Earring I have constantly forgotten over the years is the fact that they are Dutch. I won’t bore you by preaching to the choir that this is further proof that good music isn’t limited to any one nation, but you know. What my forgetfulness is forcing me to do is to change the post I wrote several months ago about my choices for National Anthems. For those familiar with the post, I chose the song “Down in the Silver Mine” by Diesel for The Netherlands. That is still a great song but there is a far better and more deserving song to represent Holland. That song is none other than “Radar Love” by Golden Earring. So, if nobody has any objections, I will go back to that post and amend this.

Unfortunately, many people, including a good number in the rock and metal world have Golden Earring down for being one hit wonders. They only know “Radar Love.” While I never had them down for that, I didn’t realize that they have an extremely rich discography which I am salivating over having a listen to. Some will argue that they are two hit wonders because of the single from this album in 1983, “Twilight Zone.” Believe me, the “Cut” album alone is too good to dismiss Golden Earring as such.

Without any of the flowery wording, let’s just say that “Cut” is a very good hard rock album. One could go as far as to say that they are melodic hard rock in respect to the album. The horns in the opener, “The Devil Made Me Do It” remind me slightly of their all time classic but there is some good rock to be had. The next three tracks are all melodic hard rock tracks with “Baby Dynamite” being the best of them. “Lost and Found” is more of a straight forward rock tune with some decent harmonizing by the band. I think “Chargin’ Up My Batteries” influenced later new wave artists but I can’t quite put my finger on who would sound like the song and “Secrets” is just simply a good closer.

Normally, I get a little nervous when the hit single is the best track on the album. If you heard “Twilight Zone” back in the day, please forget the shortened down radio/MTV version. The proper version is nearly eight minutes long and with some really cool long guitar solos. It makes a catchy radio oriented song that much better. Hey, there’s even a bass solo in it. A great song but while it is the best track on “Cut,” it doesn’t stand so far above the other tracks that it diminishes them. What this combo does is make the album that much better.

Track Listing:

  1. The Devil Made Me Do It
  2. Future
  3. Baby Dynamite
  4. Last of the Mohicans
  5. Lost and Found
  6. Twilight Zone
  7. Chargin’ Up My Batteries
  8. Secrets
Golden Earring

Golden Earring

Rinus Gerritsen- bass, keyboards

Barry Hay- guitar, vocals

George Koomans- guitar, vocals

Robert Jan Stips- synthesizer

Ceasar Zuiderwijk- drums

Not long ago, I commented on another blog that Golden Earring’s famous hit, “Radar Love,” appeared as a driving song in “Wayne’s World 2.” That is a great cruising song apart from being a classic rock tune. However, Golden Earring were never one hit wonders as the “Cut” album proves.

Next post: George Thorogood and the Destroyers- Bad to the Bone

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

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

 

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 Rock Albums of 1981: Diesel- Watts In a Tank?

Posted in 1980s, Humour, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 8, 2014 by 80smetalman

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The same friend who first introduced me to The Fools and U2 in 1981, also introduced me to this album by Dutch rockers, Diesel. I instantly identified with the big Top 40 hit “Sausalito Sumernight,” because the rambler they were singing about in the song could as easily have been the beat up 1973 Chevy Nova I was driving at the time. Trust me. However, even if it wasn’t for that, I still would have liked the song for its humorous approach and the guitar solo at the end. What was more fortunate was that this friend played the entire “Watts In a Tank?” album and I could see that the rest of it was pretty good too.

Back then I was also a big Dungeons and Dragons player too. Hey 1537, maybe we should get together for a game sometime. Anyway back to this album, one evening shortly after, while playing said game, all of the characters in the party where at an inn when the Dungeon Master (DM) announced that the evening’s entertainment would be provided by Gimli and the Dwarves. Next thing, we were treated to “Down in the Silvermine” from this very album. Since, I was playing a dwarf character that night, I stated that he immediately got up on the table and started dancing to the music. Note: the character did this, I didn’t do it myself. Ever since then, that song has been my favourite Diesel song.

There are some other great tracks on the album as well and some that have some personal meaning to me. I listen to or think of the track “Good Morning Day” on the morning after there has been some change in my life. “Going Back to China” has a humorous nod to it as does  “Remember the Romans.” Both songs are really well played. “Alibi” is another stand out track. “Watts in a Tank?” falls somewhere between hard rock and power pop and that’s is probably why it had some chart success in 1981 and probably why I like it. Going back to “Good Morning Day,” there are some decent power chords in that one. The same goes for the closer “Bite Back” that takes the album home very nicely.

Track Listing:

1. Sausalito Summernight

2. Going Back to China

3. Alibi

4. My Kind of Woman

5. All Because of You

6. Down in the Silvermine

7. Good Morning Day

8. Ready For Love

9. The Harness

10. Remember the Romans

11. Bite Back

Diesel

Diesel

Rob Vunderink- guitars, lead vocals

Mark Boon- guitars, lead vocals

Frank Papendrecht- bass, backing vocals

Pim Koopman- drums, keyboards, backing vocals

I once heard chart show host Casey Kasem say in 1981 that the Dutch bought more records per capita than anyone else in the Western world. So, it’s easy to imagine a Dutch band making it in the US. (Not sure how they did in the UK that year.) Fortunately instead of giving the world another trendy plastic bubble gum pop boy band, they gave the world Diesel and “Watts In a Tank.” That’s something to thank the Dutch for.

Next post: The J. Geils Band- Freeze Frame

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: Van Halen- Women and Children First

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 17, 2013 by 80smetalman

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Another offering from the American side of heavy metal came in the form of the third album from Van Halen. (Although you could say that this was a Dutch-American collaboration since the Van Halen brothers were originally from the Netherlands.) Still what we got in 1980 was “Women and Children First.” Now, my alternate mindset is hearing some collective scoffs and sighs from some of you and I know why. In comparison to Van Halen’s first two albums, this one doesn’t compare. However, if you can divorce yourself from those iconic first two albums and look at “Women and Children First” on its own, you may find that it’s really not that bad of an album.

For me, the two best tracks are the first two songs on the album: “And the Cradle Will Rock” and “Everybody Wants Some,” the latter being a concert favourite for several albums after. The former song was the one stuck in my mind for most of my first tour of sea duty and it helped get me through it. The spoken David Lee Roth part of the latter: “I like the way the line runs up the back of your stocking” amuses me to this day. While they may be the two strongest tracks, the album doesn’t end there. The next song, “Fools” begins with the traditional guitar work that made Eddie Van Halen the principal guitarist back then. The next track “Romeo’s Delight” reminds of some of the classic rockers that we got from the first two albums and continues through the next two tracks. While “Take Your Whiskey Home” seems to be an attempt to re-create my all time favourite Van Halen song, “Ice Cream Man,” it’s still a good jam. However, and this is where things fall down, in my view. The acoustic track “Could This Be Magic?” where the only female singer ever let on a Van Halen album, Nicolette Larson, provides backing vocals. I love a good acoustic jam but this song had me asking myself: “Are they taking the p*ss here?” Still one questionable track does not make a bad album and it redeems itself with the closing song.

In short, except for that one possible track, there is nothing for me to dislike on “Women and Children First.” David Lee Roth sings to his capabilities, Eddie shows the world that he still has a trick or two up his sleeve on the guitar, and Alex Van Halen and Michael Anthony still prove why many people back then considered them to be the best rhythm section around at the time.

Track Listing:

1. And The Cradle Will Rock

2. Everybody Wants Some

3. Fools

4. Romeo’s Delight

5. Tora Tora!

6. Loss of Control

7. Take Your Whiskey Home

8. Could This Be Magic?

9. In a Simple Rhyme

10. Growth (Hidden track)

Van Halen

Van Halen

   David Lee Roth- lead vocals

Eddie Van Halen- guitars, backing vocals

Michael Anthony- bass, backing vocals

Alex Van Halen- drums

It is tough for any act to follow up on a great album so imagine how difficult it is two follow up on two. With “Women and Children First,” Van Halen make a valiant effort and while it may night reach the dizzy heights of the first two, it is still a good album and should be seen as such.

Next post: Saxon- Wheels of Steel

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

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