Archive for Iron Maiden

Great Albums That Were Lost in the Cassette Player

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 6, 2017 by 80smetalman

For those who have been following me for awhile, you will know that back in the early 198os, I owned a lot of cassettes due to my very limited living space when I was in the marines. Even after I got out, while I began buying vinyl again, I still bought a good amount of cassettes. My logic at the time was you couldn’t play records in the car and I need my travelling music. While cassettes had the advantage of being very compact, you could fit one in your shirt pocket, they had the disadvantage of being susceptible of destructing. They could easily get mangled in the player and often times brake. I found this extremely frustrating. While the percentage of cassettes lost was small compared to the number I owned, it still upset me when I lost one to the machine. So, as an in between the years post, I will play homage to all the great albums that were mangled by a tape player.

The famous ammo cans . I thought this would be a good excuse to put this picture in the post.

Others that succumbed but I don’t have pictures for

Slayer- South of Heaven

The Dreggs- Unsung Heroes

The Who- recorded from the radio

Copperhead

There could be more but these are the ones I definitely remember. However, other cassettes weren’t mangled in the machine but wore out another way. When played they began to have a hiss sound on them. Eventually, this hiss got louder and present on more of the tape until it was unplayable. There was the odd tape where that started but it stopped and played normal again. Unfortunately, others didn’t so here is a tribute to those cassettes that were lost in this manner.

As you can see, many a great album fell victim to the dreaded tape player one way or the other. Thank God for CDs and more modern means of listening to music as I don’t have that problem anymore.

Next post: 1984

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: Raven- All For One

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 2, 2017 by 80smetalman

220px-raven_-_all_for_one

In 1983, not only the likes of NWOBHM bands like, Def Leppard, Iron Maiden and Judas Priest were gaining headway in the US but other bands like Raven were establishing themselves as well. It is true that Raven never came close to the commercial success the bands mentioned would go on to achieve, many metalheads would know of them nonetheless. One reason might be albums like their 1983 “All For One” album, which some people say was the last of their golden age albums.

“All For One” has everything any metalhead needs to like in a metal album. It has a straight ahead power chords augmented by some cool guitar solos from Mark Gallagher. Meanwhile, his brother John proves he is a decent vocalist and like Lemmy can play bass at the same time, thus fulfilling the second half of the rhythm section with drummer, Rob Hunter. I know I have said this many times about many bands but Raven were a good band that didn’t have the breaks of some of their NWOBHM contemporaries.

What I like about this album is that all of the tracks can be seen to be pure metal, if such a thing exists now a days. That starts right away with the first two tracks but it’s the third track, “Sledgehammer Rock” that really grabs my attention. The power of that song takes the album that much higher. In the 80s, many bands would use the technique of an a cappella harmonizing followed by a killer guitar riff but not done so much in 1983. Raven do it very well with the title track. Then they follow it up with some cool opening guitar riffs on “Run Silent, Run Deep.”

Only knowing this album on vinyl gives me the advantage of dividing “All For One” in two because Side 2 definitely outshines Side 1. It helps that the second side starts with my favourite track, “Hung, Drawn and Quartered.” This track is in the Judas Priest vein but Raven put their own mark on it, especially with Mark’s guitar solo on it. The next track, “Breaking the Chains” is the second best track so we get a one-two punch here that knocks you out. Again, we hear more impressive guitar work from Mark at the beginning of “Breaking the Chains.” It has a cool chorus and it’s well sung. The three remaining tracks, while not as dynamic as the two that lead the Side 2 charge, are very good songs in their own right. When they’re finished, you know that you’ve listened to a true metal album.

Track Listing:

  1. Take Control
  2. Mind Over Metal
  3. Sledgehammer Rock
  4. All For One
  5. Run Silent, Run Deep
  6. Hung, Drawn and Quartered
  7. Breaking the Chains
  8. Take it Away
  9. Seek and Destroy
  10. Athletic Rock

raven

John Gallagher- bass, lead and backing vocals

Mark Gallagher- guitars

Rob Hunter- drums, backing vocals

While “All For One” is probably my favourite Raven album, I don’t quite agree with the last of their golden age theory. I thought they put out some fine material after, which I will cover in the appropriate year. Still, if you’re a metalhead, you can’t go wrong with this album.

Next post: ~Girlschool- Play Dirty

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: Tank- This Means War

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 16, 2017 by 80smetalman

220px-tank_this_means_war

Whenever a group of bands are identified with a certain area and style of music, there are those who stamp their names as standard bearers of that music but if you look down the list, there are many other bands in that group who typify that style but don’t get the recognition they probably deserve. For example, when Southern Rock was at its commercial hey day in the very early 1980s, bands like Molly Hatchet, The Outlaws, 38 Special and Blackfoot were the bands people identified with that form of rock. Not many would be able to identify Doc Holliday, Johnny Van Zant Band or Mother’s Finest to name just a few and they were just as good as the ones previously mentioned.

The same applies to the new wave of British Heavy Metal, (NWOBHM), which came out right after. Living in the US at the time, I knew and adored Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Saxon, Motorhead, Def Leppard but bands like Diamond Head, I only knew because I had seen them live. As for Tank, they came to my attention because I just happened to see one of their albums in the import section of my local record store. It wasn’t the one I’m posting about now.

To be honest, I didn’t listen to “This Means War” until I actually came to Britain and that was late 1986. A new friend who we nicknamed ‘Trendy Bastard’ because he dressed a little too much like Bon Jovi, had an extensive collection of music and one night, treated us to the album. It definitely made an impression on me because although I never bought this album, it has stuck in my mind for all these years.

All of the elements of NWOBHM are present on “This Means War.” When I listen to it, I hear influences from Motorhead and Judas Priest. The songs are fast paced but not at a real break neck speed. Still, the power and rhythm combine to make them catchy. Algy Ward’s vocals sound closer to that of Rob Halford and done competently.  Guitars are also done well, prime example being “I Won’t Ever Let You Down,” though I’m not quite ready to add Peter Brabbs and Mick Tucker to my guitar list. The best examples of what I’m talking about are the tracks, “This Means War,” “If We Go, We Go Down Fighting,” “Just Like Something From Hell” and “Echoes of a Distant Battlefield.”

Track Listing:

  1. Just Like Something From Hell
  2. Hot Lead, Cold Steel
  3. This Means War
  4. Laughing in the Face of Death
  5. (If We Go) We Go Down Fighting]
  6. I Won’t Ever Let You Down
  7. Echoes of a Distant Battlefied
Tank

Tank

Algy Ward- bass, vocals

Peter Brabbs- guitar

Mick Tucker- guitar

Mark Brabbs- drums

Was it because so many British metal bands were gaining status in the US the reason why Tank got left out? While they might not have been as spectacular as the greats who did achieve, they were still a cool band and as “This Means War” proved to me, they deserve some recognition.

Next Post: KISS- Lick it Up

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: Def Leppard- Pyromania

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 7, 2016 by 80smetalman

220px-def_leppard_-_pyromania

Here’s the album that was said to have gone multi-platinum in the US while only selling 17 copies in the UK, “Pyromaina” by Def Leppard. At first, I might have been inclined to believe that. When I went to the UK for four weeks in the summer of 1983, many English people I spoke to could only say they had heard of the band and some couldn’t even say that. Furthermore, none of their singles made the Top 40 in the UK charts so wouldn’t have gotten a mention on Top of the Pops. However, thanks to a tiny bit of research, I do know that “Pyromania” did get to 18 in the UK album charts.

Lots of exposure on MTV helped get Def Leppard the notice they deserved from American audiences. The videos to the first two singles “Rock of Ages” and “Photograph” were really cool. In fact, the latter retained the all time MTV Friday Night Video Fight Championship for well over a year. Does anyone remember the Friday Night Video Fights? That’s for another time I guess. Video aside, “Photograph” is my all time second Def Leppard song, (number one hadn’t appeared by this time.) It’s just a great song in so many ways: the power chords, the harmonizing at the chorus and the guitar solo making a great concoction of a killer tune.

While released as singles, “Foolin'” and “Too Late For Love” didn’t achieve the chart status as the other two but they are also brilliant songs. I was gutted when I saw Def Leppard in 1986 and they didn’t play “Foolin.'” Like the Iron Maiden album I reviewed in the last post, the rest of “Pyromania” isn’t filler. “Rock, Rock til You Drop” is as good an opener as any. I also have a very warm spot for “Die Hard the Hunter” and think it could have been released as a fifth single. Love the guitar solo on it. With all this, it is no wonder why many people on both sides of the Atlantic considered “Pyromania” the album of 1983.

In spite of all the success the album has enjoyed, Def Leppard did have some challenges while recording it. During the recording, the rest of the band decided they had enough of guitarist Pete Willis’s alcohol problems and fired him. While Willis recorded all the rhythm guitar tracks on the album, Phil Collen was brought in to replace him and he recorded all the solos on the songs Willis was supposed to. Listening to the efforts on this album, I have to ask if we should include the guitar duo of Clark and Collen along with the greats of Tipton and Downing, Hanneman and King, Watson and Gillis to name a few.

Track Listing:

  1. Rock Rock Til You Drop
  2. Photograph
  3. Stagefright
  4. Too Late for Love
  5. Die Hard the Hunter
  6. Foolin’
  7. Rock of Ages
  8. Comin’ Under Fire
  9. Action! Not Words
  10. Billy’s Got a Gun

defl

Joe Elliot- lead vocals

Steve Clark- guitar

Phil Collen- guitar

Rick Savage- bass

Rick Allen- drums

Pete Willis- rhythm guitar

On amusing story I heard that when Def Leppard supported Billy Squier on tour in the States in 1983, many people left after Def Leppard’s set, leaving Billy Squier to play to a half empty arena. I’m not sure if this is true or not.  My sister saw them both, maybe she can shed some light on it. What I do know that “Pyromania” put Def Leppard on the world music stage in this year and rightly so.

Next post: Rainbow- Bent Out of Shape

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: Iron Maiden- Piece of Mind

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 3, 2016 by 80smetalman

iron_maiden_-_piece_of_mind

One problem with me back in 1983 was procrastination. When I would hear about how good a particular band was or even heard a couple of songs I really liked from said band, I still wouldn’t rush out and buy their album. I put it down to me being too tight with my money back then. In the case of Iron Maiden, I heard a lot of good songs from them in the early years and even saw their kick ass live show in January 1985, which is highlighted in “Rock And Roll Children,” but the first Maiden album I actually bought was “Live After Death.” It was then that I started to delve into their backlog of studio albums and discovered what would be my all time favourite Iron Maiden studio album, “Piece of Mind.”

If I’m completely honest, I think what I liked most about “Piece of Mind” was that fact that it has many of the songs that I loved from “Live After Death” on it. What’s an added bonus is that the studio versions of those songs don’t sound too different from the live ones. Although when I hear “Revelations,” even after all these years, I still half expect Bruce Dickinson to shout “Scream for me Longbeach!” in the middle of the song. Still, you can’t go wrong with such great tracks as the one mentioned as well as two others near the top of my favourite Iron Maiden song list, “The Trooper” and “The Flight of Icarus.” The weird thing about those two songs is that “The Flight of Icarus” sounds shorter in length that what it actually is and “The Trooper” sounds longer. But hey, who cares about things like that? They’re both great songs, one written about a famous Greek fable while the other is about a tragic blunder in British military history, the charge of the light brigade. Both done very well set to music.

“Die With Your Boots On” is another cross over from the live album and I really like that one as well but those don’t lessen the effect the other tracks has on the album. “Where Eagles Dare” is a fantastic opener and “To Tame a Land” is a cool closer. The other three tracks on the album also contribute to “Piece of Mind’s” greatness although I never really get to hear what is said in “Nicko” which is a backwards message at the beginning of “Still Life.” It was included as a dig at the religious nuts who claimed Iron Maiden were Satanic on account of the “The Number of the Beast Album.” On the subject of Nicko, this was the first album to feature drummer Nicko McBrain, who replaced Clive Burr. What I never knew was that Nicko used to play with guitar great, Pat Travers. Man, you learn something new every day.

Track Listing:

  1. Where Eagles Dare
  2. Revelations
  3. The Flight of Icarus
  4. Die With You Boots On
  5. The Trooper
  6. Still Life
  7. Quest for Fire
  8. Sun and Steel
  9. To Tame a Land
Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden

Bruce Dickinson- vocals

Steve Harris- bass

Adrian Smith- guitar

Dave Murray- guitar

Nicko McBrain- drums

History has tried to state that the new wave of British heavy metal, (NWOBH) was fading by 1983. I guess that Iron Maiden forgot to pick up the memo because they put out a stellar album in that year. One can’t fault “Piece of Mind” at all as it cemented their place as heavy metal legends.

Next post: Def Leppard- Pyromania

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: Killer Dwarfs

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on April 17, 2016 by 80smetalman

KILLERDWARFS1

I stated that sometime during the tour of 1983, I would make a revelation. My original plan was to wait a little further down the line before I made this revelation but recent posts on another blog has made it impossible for me to hold it in any longer. So now, I am going to reveal my favourite Canadian band of all time. Yep, you guessed it, it’s the Killer Dwarfs, who released their debut, self titled album in 1983.

It was the name alone that first got my attention. While browsing around my local record shop, I happened to pick up a compilation album, which I will visit in 1984, and the third track in was the single “Heavy Mental Breakdown” by the Killer Dwarfs. Being a Dungeons and Dragons player,  the name gave me a tickle and that, along with some of the other great tracks I did know, was enough for me to buy the album. A couple of listens to the song on the compilation album was enough for me to send a cheque to Attic Records in Canada and buy their debut album. Unlike Chris DeBurgh, it was the best record buying decision I ever made and I’ve been a huge Killer Dwarfs fan ever since. My best experience was seeing them open for Iron Maiden at the Hammersmith Odeon in London in 1988.

Let’s talk about the debut album. I’ll be the first to say that future albums were better and more polished than this one but that doesn’t stop this album from being a killer, yes pun intended. The opener, “Are You Ready,” sucks you in from the first notes and the second track, “Can’t Lose” does a great job in keeping your attention. Both songs are good rockers with catchy rhythms. Things go along very nicely through the next to tracks to the mentioned single to close out side one and leaving you very curious to hear what side two is going to sound like. Well, the second side doesn’t disappoint and I found it better than side one. All five songs stand out very well all the way down to a very good power ballad of a closer. That was why when I read about Russ Dwarf’s recent acoustic recordings of some of the classic Killer Dwarfs songs, I questioned why “Fire in Your Eyes” wasn’t included among them. While the song on this album has some great electric power chords, I still think it would sound great unplugged.

Now let’s talk about my favourite track on this album. If I were ever to write my auto-biography or there were to be a film made about my life, I would call it or insist it be called, “Outlaw of a Modern Man.” Besides the fact that I think that title applies to me at least a little bit, I found the title to be very amusing. At least the band and I have a similar sense of humour. The song itself is just a great power rocker. Only barely more than three minutes long, it packs a lot of dynamite into that short time. In spite of all the accusations of being pop metal, this song shows that the Killer Dwarfs can rock! But I knew that when I bought this album.

Track Listing:

  1. Are You Ready
  2. Can’t Lose
  3. Drifter
  4. Prisoner
  5. Heavy Mental Breakdown
  6. Read Between the Lines
  7. Gotta Lose to Win
  8. Outlaw of a Modern Man
  9. Time to Move On
  10. Fire in Your Eyes

This is the only photo I could get of the first line up.

This is the only photo I could get of the first line up.

Russ ‘Dwarf’ Graham- vocals

Bryce ‘Dwarf’ Trewin- guitar

Ange ‘Dwarf’ Fodero- bass

Darrell ‘Dwarf’ Millar- drums

Unfortunately, after their debut album, the Killer Dwarfs would nearly fade into obscurity. Both members of the string section would leave and the band would part ties with its record label. However, they would be back and better than ever but that story is best left for the appropriate time. The other unfortunate thing is that on account of all this, their debut album would be pretty much forgotten. I would be one of the ones who wouldn’t because it was the first album that made me a die hard Killer Dwarfs fan.

Next post: Huey Lewis and the News- Sports

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

 

Happy New Year 2016!

Posted in Concerts, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, television, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 31, 2015 by 80smetalman

For the first time in seven years with the company, I am working a sleepover on New Year’s Eve. At least I get double time for it. Therefore, I will wish everyone a happy new year now and reflect on 2015 and what there is to look forward to for 2016.

Amon Amarth at their best

Amon Amarth at their best

Huntress

Huntress

Savage Messiah

Savage Messiah

The year started with a great concert in Bristol featuring Amon Amarth with special guests, Huntress and Savage Messiah. I can’t think of a better way to start any year. While it seemed that on some occasions in the year, I was in danger of disappearing up my own rectum, with work, blogging and other commitments, music of past and present kept me sane. Although, I did have a wonderful break in August to go to Bloodstock and see three bands, two of them I missed in the 80s and the third, I was too partied out to fully appreciate them. They were Nuclear Assault, Armoured Saint and Overkill plus I headbanged to the likes of Sabbaton and Trivium that day while discovering a great little known band in Fire Red Empress. I hope the new year brings all of those bands greater success.

Overkill playing to the crowd

Overkill playing to the crowd

Fire Red Empress entertaining the crowd

Fire Red Empress entertaining the crowd

Nuclear Assault  in full assault

Nuclear Assault in full assault

Armoured Saint establishing their dominance

Armoured Saint establishing their dominance

Sabaton wowing with their sound

Sabaton wowing with their sound

Trivium in full swing

Trivium in full swing

As so many of you have pointed out, there was some great music throughout the year with new releases from Iron Maiden, Queensryche and the Scorpions to name a few. Plus there was a new album from The Darkness. Let’s hope their resurgence continues into the new year.

imbos

Of course, we can’t forget out losses with the recent passing of Lemmy and Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor. Two-thirds of a great band gone in the same year is nothing short of a tragedy. However, I am confident that they are jamming away together in another place. On a personal, non musical note, the year also saw the final episode of my favourite television show, “Sons of Anarchy.” Fortunately, my eldest step son got me the entire series on DVD for Christmas, so there will be some happy viewing for me.

Lemmy

Lemmy

20121115-sons-of-anarchy-306x306-1352997102

Like with every year, the new year gives everyone a chance for a new start or things to look forward to. For me, while Sons of Anarchy is gone, I still can watch “The Blacklist” and so far in season 3, I like what I’m seeing. Then there’s the chance to see Twisted Sister’s farewell gig at Bloodstock this year. That is something I intend to move mountains to go to.

blacklist

Twisted Sister

Twisted Sister

So it leads me to say that whatever your hopes and dreams for the new year are, I hope it all works out for you. Just remember one thing, no matter what the year may bring, there will always be some great music to keep you going.

Happy New Year!