Archive for Jazz

Great Rock Albums of 1984: J Geils Band- You’re Gettin’ Even While I’m Gettin’ Odd

Posted in 1980s, Death, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 17, 2017 by 80smetalman

Back when I posted about the J Geils Band’s “Freeze Frame” album, I mentioned that in the UK, the band have always been considered one hit wonders in the UK, “Centerfold” being that one hit. I still find that hard to fathom. Anyway, the video for said hit featured on a UK music station during a segment called “One Hit Wonders Weekend.” While showing the video, someone thought it would be clever to have an arrow pointing out lead singer, Peter Wolf, with the caption, “This is not J Geils.” A few seconds later, the same arrow pointed to the guitar player with the caption, “This is J Geils.” It’s funny how the death of someone can make you remember things like that about them. What it also did was help me remember that the band put out an album in 1984, otherwise it would have passed me by.

Why I never bought “You’re Gettin’ Even While I’m Gettin’ Odd” is a mystery even to me. Could it be the fact that the album never produced a major hit? The only single, “Concealed Weapons,” only made it to 63 in the charts. No, that never stopped me nor the fact that Peter Wolf had left the band before its release. Now that I remember, I think he had a solo album in this year. Was it because I had become fully absorbed in metal by then? No, because I have always kept an ear out for all music I might like. So, I’m afraid I can’t answer the question.

Thanks to Youtube, I have been able to listen to the album and ask myself again why I didn’t buy it. It’s a pretty good album, different from what the J Geils band had put out in the past and certainly not heavy metal. I did keep my promise to check out some of the band’s pre “Love Stinks” material. “You’re Gettin’ Even While I’m Gettin’ Odd” is a fusion of jazz and new wave. There is a heavy use of horns on the album and while I’m usually wary of horns in rock, it works very well on the album. However, there is some very interesting sounds with the keyboards that make it sound new wave. I call as evidence, the track “Wasted Youth” and the cool intro to “Heavy Petting.” Yet even there, the horns come in making the marriage of the two genres a sweet one. “Heavy Petting” is one of the stand out tracks for me but the one which stands out the most is “Californicatin.'” They should have released that one as the single, it might have done better in the charts. Then again, “Concealed Weapons” does remind me a little of the Dead Kennedys. I like the faster pace with the song with the short sharp horns and background vocals. The only J Geils guitar solo appears on “The Bite From Inside” which saves a lackluster song.

Track Listing:

  1. Concealed Weapons
  2. Heavy Petting
  3. Wasted Youth
  4. Eenie, Meenie, Minie, Moe
  5. Tell’ Em Jonesy
  6. You’re Gettin’ Even While I’m Gettin’ Odd
  7. The Bite From Inside
  8. Californicatin’
  9. I Will Carry You Home

The J Geils Band

Note: I couldn’t find a picture of the band without Peter Wolf in it so I used this one

Seth Justman- keyboards, vocals

J Geils- guitar

Magic Dick- harmonica

Danny Klein- bass

Stephen Bladd- drums

“You’re Gettin’ Even While I’m Gettin’ Odd” was the last album from the J Geils Band. Maybe the departure from their traditional sound was too different for the average listener or that Seth Justman lacked the charisma of Peter Wolf. It’s hard to say but I’ve heard a lot of last albums from bands that weren’t as good as this one.

Next post: Peter Wolf- Lights Out (It seems he did have an album out in 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 Rock One Hit Wonders of 1983

Posted in 1980s, Humour, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 24, 2016 by 80smetalman

It’s that time of the year, at least as far as the trip through 1983 is concerned, where I look back on those who had one song that got my attention and nothing more. In short, it’s time to look at the great rock one hit wonders of 1983.

rufftrade

Now you would think that with a name like Rough Trade, this would be a power chord happy heavy metal band. Unfortunately, there is too much piano in their hit “High School Confidential” to make that even possible. However, the song is memorable enough that it has never escaped my memory after all these years.  Maybe it was because when I heard it in ’83, I was amused by the lyrics: “She makes me want to cream my jeans.” Wow, the things that amused my young mind then. Thinking about it though, the song might sound really cool if metalized.

Doctor Demento

Doctor Demento

Here’s a classic example of how attitudes have changed in the past thirty-three years. Today, if anyone put out a song about a clown who is a peadophile, that person or persons would be hung, drawn and quartered. Things were a bit different in 1983 where a song called “Kinko the Clown” got loads of airplay on the Doctor Demento show. Even then, it was too tasteless for mainstream radio. Back then it got lots of laughs from people who heard it, me included. Today, I see the not funny side about it.

3stooges

No the Three Stooges didn’t put out any songs in 1983. If they did, I would have bought it because I was a big fan of theirs since I was 12, coitenly, nyuk nyuk! Like most fans of this classic comedy group, my favourite Stooge was Curly. So you can imagine how excited I was when I heard the song, “Curly Shuffle” by the Jump in the Saddle Band. The song is definitely of the swing jazz genre but it is played so well that it rocks! Throwing the phrases and sounds made by Curly into the song take it up even higher. Once again, proof that humour belongs in music. So don’t be a victim of coicumstance!

Martin Briley

Martin Briley

Naturally, I save the best for last. “Salt in My Tears” by Martin Briley is simply a great rocker, nuff said! Thirty three years on, I still head bang along to it. A great rocking hook and though the guitar solo is mind blowing, it is sufficient here. From a personal historical aspect, this song came out just before I got out of the marines and it immediately had me thinking of an ex girlfriend while I was in and how I wanted to sing the song to her. While I don’t think about her anymore, those lyrics continue to amuse me.

Well those are my choices for the great rock one hit wonders of 1983 and hopefully they’ll bring back some memories for you.

Next post: Triumphs and Tragedies

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Great Rock Albums of 1983: Quarterflash- Take Another Picture

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 23, 2016 by 80smetalman

Take_Another_Picture_(album)

Been filled with paranoia the past few days, worried that my credibility as a metalhead has been destroyed for posting the Bonnie Tyler album. Let’s just say that in 1983, while I had declared myself to be a total metalhead, there was enough non metal material around that I liked. Most of which, I have already posted about and though I didn’t miss anything from not buying Bonnie’s “Faster Than the Speed of Night” it wasn’t that bad. Besides, there are a ton of metal albums from this year waiting to be posted.

For those who have been following me for a while, you might remember that during my tour of 1981, I stated that the band Quarterflash were one hit wonders in said year for their enormous hit, “Harden My Heart.” Nothing else they ever recorded reached my attention nor do I remember hearing anything played on the radio. Note: Commercial radio didn’t completely suck in 1983. Like the last three albums I have visited, someone suggested I write about Quarterflash’s 1983 album, “Take Another Picture.” So, thanks to Youtube, I have given it a couple of listens and can post about it. Before I write anymore, given a choice, I would have bought this album before the Bonnie Tyler one.

With “Take Another Picture,” Quarterflash don’t seem to veer very far from the formula that made them big with their self titled debut album. Quite a few of the songs remind me of “Harden My Heart” and that’s not a bad thing. Quoting an article I read about the band in 1982, there is a smoky jazz feel to many of the songs on the album and it fits in nicely to the rockier edge they have as well. The combination is nicely done and the best example is the track “Nowhere Left to Hide. “Take Me To Heart,” and the title track and follow the jazz/rock formula much more and I do get the feeling that I have heard those to songs somewhere before. On the other hand, “Shakin’ the Jinx” and “One More Round to Go” are good rock tunes with the latter song having a cool guitar solo. The rest of the tracks fall somewhere in line between those two points with “Make It Shine being the median. It could have easily be a rock single with its anthem feel. So why wasn’t it released as one?

When I posted about Quarterflash on the 1981 tour, I mentioned that back then, many people identified lead singer Rindy Ross as the next Pat Benatar. She looks a little like Pat and her voice sounds similar and she plays the saxophone as well. However, there is only one Pat Benatar so I chose to point out that Rindy was talented musician in her own right.

Track Listing:

  1. Take Me to Heart
  2. Take Another Picture
  3. Shane
  4. Eye to Eye
  5. It Don’t Move Me
  6. Shakin’ the Jinx
  7. Make It Shine
  8. One More Round to Go
  9. Nowhere Left to Hide
  10. It All Becomes Clear
Quarterflash

Quarterflash

Rindy Ross- vocals, saxophone

Marv Ross- guitars

Jack Charles- guitars

Rick DiGionallardo- keyboards

Rich Gooch- bass

Brain David Willis- drums, percussion

I’m surprised “Take Another Picture” by Quarterflash managed to escape my attention. Possibly because they were bigger in the Northwest than in the Northeast. I don’t know. What I do know is that while it is an enjoyable album, it’s not one I would have completely rocked out to. None of the tracks, with the possible exception of number 9, have me singing them long after they are finished. Maybe that was down to me turning into such a metalhead at the time.

Next post: Don Felder- Airborne

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 1983: Joe Jackson- Night and Day

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, television, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 23, 2016 by 80smetalman

220px-Night_and_day_JJ

What I liked about the “Night and Day” album by Joe Jackson in 1983 was the fact that it was different. While rock was busy dividing and sub-dividing itself into categories and sub categories, including my beloved heavy metal, Joe went out and made an album that you really can’t put anywhere. Of course, as was the style of the time, so called music officianadoes simply called it new wave. That is very lazy in my humble opinion. I just appreciate it the album because it was so unique although the fine musicianship of Joe and his band had something to do with it as well.

My first experience with Joe Jackson came a year earlier with the song many know him best for, “Is She Really Going Out With Him.” Why I never visited any of his previous albums, I’ll never know but it was the “Night and Day” album that made an impression on me. Funny thing is that this album is a contrast to the mentioned song as that song is more of a hard rock tune and this album has definite hints of jazz and combined with some of the sarcasm with some of the lyrics, reminds me a little of the great Frank Zappa.

Let’s start with what many people know, the two singles “Steppin’ Out” and “Breaking Us in Two.” In 1983, a lot of people played the former song before going on nights out and I don’t blame them. It is a great song to get you in the mood. The latter song is more of a ballad type and I get the impression that it’s about a relationship on the rocks. While slower than the other songs on the album, it’s definitely not soppy and is a decent song.

Singles aside, the rest of the album holds up very well. All songs are definitely played very well here. Many of them are piano dominated with his best efforts heard on the track “Cancer,” one of my favourites on the album. He just goes to town on the ivories for the final two or three minutes of the song. Furthermore, I love the assertion the song makes that every thing will be found to cause cancer. The way scientists are going on these days, that song is a bit of a prophecy fulfilled. He also sarcastically sings about television in with “T.V. Age” and “Real Men” was written in response to the emerging gay community in New York. As you have probably guessed by now, I do take a specific interest in albums’ opening and closing songs. For me, they can make or break an album. Both of the positioned tracks on “Night and Day” pass my mark. “Another World” grabs your attention from the start and “A Slow Song” takes the album out on a sublime note. Overall, this album is proof that music didn’t need to be categorized to be good.

Track Listing:

  1. Another World
  2. Chinatown
  3. TV Age
  4. Target
  5. Steppin’ Out
  6. Breaking Us in Two
  7. Cancer
  8. Real Men
  9. A Slow Song
Joe Jackson

Joe Jackson

Joe Jackson- vocals, pianos, organ, alto saxophone, harmonica, synthesizer, vibraphone

Sue Hadjopoulos- flute, percussion, congas, xylophone, timbale, bells, bongos, backing vocals

Graham Maby- bass, percussion, backing vocals

Grace Milan- vocals

Ed Roynesdal- keyboards, violin

Larry Tolfree- timbale, percussion, drums

Richard Torre- percussion, clave, bongos, cowbell

Al Weisman- vocals

There’s a very interesting thing about the “Night and Day” album. As you go through the list of musicians on it, there’s not one guitar mentioned. Normally, the metalhead in me would scream, “Wot, no guitars!” That leads to another question: How can an album not have any guitars on it and sound this good? The answer is down to the musical genius that is Joe Jackson.

Next post: Golden Earring- Cut

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Great Rock Albums of 1979: Queen- Jazz

Posted in 1978, 1979, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 27, 2012 by 80smetalman

 

Coming off the success of the 1978 smash, “News of the World,” Queen proved with the follow up album, “Jazz,” why they were a force to be reckoned with back in the late 70s. For me, “Jazz” was every bit as good as their last albums and some of the predecessors as well. Track after track on this album is consistently good and has me bobbing my head along each time I listen to it.

I remember when I heard the very first track, “Mustapha,” I wondered whether or not they were taking the proverbial. Maybe Freddie Mercury was doing a Frank Zappa bit and I had the paranoid worry that they were going disco. However, down the line of the song, the guitars kicked in and all was well after that. Then came my favourite track on the album, “Fat Bottomed Girls” and the hit “Bicycle Races” as well as some other fine songs climaxing with “Don’t Stop Me Now.” A very good album indeed and I’m glad I’m paying tribute to it here.

Track Listing:

1. Mustapha

2. Fat Bottomed Girls

3. Jealousy

4. Bicycle Races

5. If You Can’t Beat Them

6. Let Me Entertain You

7. Dead On Time

8. In Only Seven Days

9. Dreamer’s Ball

10. Fun It

11. Leaving Home Ain’t Easy

12. Don’t Stop Me Now

13. More of That Jazz

Queen

Freddie Mercury- lead and backing vocals, piano

Brian May- guitars, lead and backing vocals

Roger Taylor- drums, percussion, lead and backing vocals, electric guitar, bass

John Deacon- bass, electric and acoustic guitar

I have to confess, back in 1979, I tried very hard to dislike Queen, due to my homophobic views back then. Something I regret now. However, when I heard the singles from this album, I couldn’t help liking them. The music of Queen has the aura that is very hard not to like and today, I am a full fledged fan.

Next post: Dire Straits

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