Archive for Jefferson Starship

Great Rock Albums of 1981: Grace Slick- Welcome To The Wrecking Ball

Posted in Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 26, 2014 by 80smetalman

WelcometotheWreckingBall

In 1981, even after her contribution on the “Modern Times” album by Jefferson Starship, Grace Slick was reported to have said that she was going to blow herself up if she got kept on being asked if she was going back to the Starship. I don’t blame her, there was still quite a bit of discord between her and the band at this time. Additionally, it was a month after the release of “Modern Times” that I saw her album “Welcome to the Wrecking Ball” for sale in the shops. This was one of those albums I wanted to listen to but never got around to it. I really liked her more progressive sounding “Dreams” which she put out the previous year so the precedent for buying was certainly there. But I didn’t, and now thanks to You Tube, I was able to finally listen to the album and now I’m really kicking myself.

Maybe it was because “Dreams” was more progressive and my musical tastes were becoming harder is why I didn’t buy it. Lousy excuse, because “Welcome to the Wrecking Ball” is nothing like “Dreams.” This entire album is (and I can’t put it any other way) is one hell of a rocking album. It starts with the title track and then avalanches into a thrilling pool of bang your head style rock that some people could mistake for heavy metal. The only reason why I won’t call it that is the track “Shooting Star.” This song could have been written by Paul Kantner and used on either of Jefferson Starship’s albums “Red Octopus” or “Spitfire” from the mid 70s. The song is more of a trippy way out there kind of song but it does fit in well with the album. It’s the only song, save for “Lines” that doesn’t begin by a pounding guitar riff. “Lines” starts with a reggae sound before exploding into your face in likewise hard manner. One thing for sure is that given Grace’s powerful vocals on these songs, it is clear that she definitely can sing hard rock. Just listen to “Round and Round” and you’ll see what I mean. Maybe a metal band should give her a guest vocal spot on a song, I know it would sound superb.

The unsung hero on this album is Scott Zito. He wrote all of the songs along with Slick and after hearing what he can do on the guitar on first, “Dreams” and now this album, I’m glad that she kept him on to play guitar because he can play.

Track Listing:

1. Welcome to the Wrecking Ball

2. Mistreater

3. Shot in the Dark

4. Round and Round

5. Shooting Star

6. Just a Little Love

7. Sea of Love

8. Lines

9. Right Kind

10. No More Heroes

Grace Slick

Grace Slick

Grace Slick- lead vocals

Scott Zito- lead guitar, harmonica, backing vocals

Danny Guilino- rhythm guitar

Phil Stone- bass

Bobby Torell0- drums

Paul Harris- keyboards

I’m not finished kicking myself for not buying this album but I will start searching Amazon and like places. The problem is that I don’t get paid till Friday. “Welcome to the Wrecking Ball” by Grace Slick is definitely the most underrated album that I have come across for 1981, if not for all time. I’m glad she just let herself go on this one for this is a fantastic album.

Next post: Joe Walsh- There Goes The Neighbourhood

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

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Great Rock Albums of 1981: Jefferson Starship- Modern Times

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 14, 2014 by 80smetalman

untitled (4)

When Jefferson Starship released their previous album, “Freedom At Point Zero,” Rolling Stone magazine commented that they had become just another heavy metal band. We all know that any one who has heard that album can deduce that the person from Rolling Stone who said it obviously has no understanding what heavy metal is but that’s beside the point. In response to that statement, Paul Kantner, wrote back saying, “Fuck You, We Do What We Want.” Those words became immortalised on the closing track of this album “Modern Times.”

It was a wise thing to let Jefferson Starship do what they wanted for this album follows on nicely from the last one. While not heavy metal, there is a great deal of hard rock on the album to be loved. The first two tracks, “Find Your Way Back” and “The Stranger” were both singles for the band but in no way are either of these songs pop. Probably why the highest they charted was the former of the two, which peaked at 29. “Wild Eyes” is a typical Jefferson Starship rocker and the last track on side one (I only bought cassettes at this time), “Save Your Love,” Craig Chaquico demonstrates why I rant on about his guitar playing so much. Side two gives us three shorter in length powerful rockers. The opening riffs of “Mary” have stuck in my mind for over thirty years now the way that familiar riff of “Smoke On the Water” has. The fourth song, “Alien,” goes a little more on the progressive side and some say that it’s a little way out there. Then comes the closer, “Stairway to Cleveland.” “While not a piss take of the Led Zeppelin classic, the reason why Jefferson Starship gave that title to the song was because they thought that Cleveland was the direct opposite of heaven at the time. I knew a few guys from Cleveland back then and they wouldn’t debate them on that. The song also makes good digs at politics and some of the institutions of the time as well as Rolling Stone.

One of the hypes behind the release of “Modern Times” was it marked the return of Grace Slick to the band. Not particularly true. She does sing backing vocals on most songs and lead on “Alien” and as a duet with Mickey Thomas on “The Stranger.” That’s one reason the song is so good. Of course, you can never fault the musicianship of this band on any album and definitely not here. Chaquico shines with his guitar throughout with Paul Kantner laying down the reliable rhythm for him. Pete Sears does his normal keyboard wizardry and Aynsely Dunbar shows why he was considered a brilliant drummer back then.

Grace Slick

Grace Slick

Track Listing:

1. Find Your Way Back

2. The Stranger

3. Wild Eyes

4. Save Your Love

5. Modern Times

6. Mary

7. Free

8. Alien

9. Stairway to Cleveland

Jefferson Starship

Jefferson Starship

Mickey Thomas- vocals

Craig Chaquico- lead guitar

Paul Kantner- rhythm guitar, vocals

David Freiberg- piano, organ, synthesiser, bass, vocals

Pete Sears- bass, piano, synthesiser, moog

Aynsley Dunbar- drums, percussion

Grace Slick- vocals

There was one time back in 1981 when I didn’t watch Fridays solely to see Melanie Chartof. I watched because Jefferson Starship was appearing on it that night. They were my favourite band back then and the “Modern Times” album reminds me why.

Next post: Jim Steinman- Bad For Good

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

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Tragedies and Triumphs in 1980

Posted in 1980s, Death, Heavy Metal, Illness, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 14, 2013 by 80smetalman

Yes, I know it should be the other way around but I always like to start with the bad and end with the good, I think most people are inclined to do the same. Therefore, I will start with the tragedy. Unless you’ve been living on Pluto, you would have known of the tragic death of AC/DC singer Bon Scott.

Bon Scott

Bon Scott

It was in 1980 when Bon Scott lost his battle with acute alcohol poisoning. To many AC/DC fans, his death couldn’t have come at a worse time as the band was just reaching the zenith of their popularity. Many doomsayers predicted that it would spell the end of the band, thank God they were proved wrong. In fact, that proof would come that very same year and I will be going there in a future post. But even after thirty-three years, the memory of Bon Scott carries on. His contribution to his band and to music as a whole will carry on forever.

Now for the triumph:

Paul Kantner- Jefferson Starship

Paul Kantner- Jefferson Starship

We nearly lost another famous rocker in 1980 as well when Jefferson Starship rhythm guitarist and founding member Paul Kantner suffered a cerebral brain haemorrhage. At first, things weren’t looking too well and doctors thought that he would need an operation as at thirty-nine, most people don’t survive a haemorrhage without one. Triumphantly, for Kantner and for rock, he would later go on to joke that is stay in hospital was more a vacation as he never needed the operation.

Some of you are itching to tell me of one other tragedy that occurred in 1980 and the reason why I am not mentioning it on this post is because that tragedy shook the entire world so much, that I feel it needs its own post. It also happened at the end of the year so I thought it would be a fitting remembrance to finish my tour of 1980 with it.

Next post: Bob Dylan- Saved

R.I.P. Bon Scott

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Great Rock Albums of 1980: Grace Slick- Dreams

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 15, 2013 by 80smetalman

Dreams_Grace_Slick

The release of “Freedom At Point Zero” proved to the world that for Jefferson Starship, there was life after Grace Slick. So, the question asked back then was “Is there life after Jefferson Starship for Grace Slick?” At first, the answer to that question looked negative as she battled with the booze in 1978 and 79. Fortunately, she overcame that battle and in 1980, released the album “Dreams,” which proved to me that Grace Slick could survive without the Starship.

In making “Dreams,” it has been said that Grace wanted to be as far removed from her links with Jefferson Starship as possible. For one, she recorded the album in New York and only used East Coast musicians in order to sever her links with the West Coast, from where she came from. Furthermore, none of the then current or previous members of Jefferson Starship appear on the album. Therefore, it was evident that she wanted a totally clean break and with “Dreams,” I can say that it definitely worked for her, even if the charts didn’t agree.

Recently, I came across a Grace Slick Greatest Hits compilation and was bewildered that there were no songs from “Dreams” on it. This is one hell of a fine album and shows that Grace’s voice is suited to many genres. First, there’s the title track which gives the album a very theatrical introduction and sets a welcome feel to the rest of it. Next, there’s the Spanish influence in the track “El Diablo” that has some rather impressive acoustic guitar on it. “Face to the Wind” is the first song leaning towards harder rock and has an impressive guitar solo and that leads to my favourite track on the album, “Angel of the Night.” This song is a total rock and I particularly love the lead guitar in the intro. I can still envision a heavy metal band covering this song, it would be ace. “Seasons,” while not a brilliant song, amuses me and should I ever return to full time teaching, would not hesitate to use it in a school assembly. The remaining tracks are more of a psychedelic/progressive sound that keep the album going. “Do It the Hard Way” and “Let It Go” definitely stand out. So, my question is: “How come this album has been ignored?”

Track Listing:

1. Dreams

2. El Diablo

3. Face To The Wind

4. Angel Of The Night

5. Seasons

6. Do It The Hard Way

7. Full Moon Man

8. Let It Go

9. Garden Of Man

Grace Slick

Grace Slick

Note: Many musicians were used in different songs on the album, I will only name the main contributors.

Grace Slick- vocals, piano

Scott Zito- lead and acoustic guitars

Sol Ditroia- rhythm guitar

George Wadinius- guitars

Neil Jason- bass

Alan Schwartzberg- drums

Jim Malin- percussion

Frank Owens/Joe D’Elia- piano

Geoff Farr/Edward Walsh- synthesisers

This was the album that brought Grace back into the rock world and proved that she could make it on her own. Even if she did return to Jefferson Starship a year later. If you’re feeling nostalgic for great albums that haven’t been considered classic, then go and have a listen to “Dreams.” I’m sure afterwards, you might feel the same way I do about it.

Next post: Bob Seager- Against the Wind

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A Rock/Metal Poll: Who Is The Best Rhythm Guitarist of All Time?

Posted in Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 24, 2013 by 80smetalman

I have written much about guitarists during the two years I have been blogging, but it has all been about the great lead guitarists who have graced us over the years. So today, I thought it would be a grand gesture to pay homage to those unsung heroes, the rhythm guitarists. These are the ones who, while their much more noted and worshiped lead guitarists are cranking out the solos, are playing power chords in rhythm with the music that allows their compatriot to work their magic. Once in a while, they may be allowed to play the occasional solo, but often times just keep striking their chords without any adulation.

So I will not only honour these unsung heroes, I would also like to know who you, my readers, consider to be the best rhythm guitarist. I have put forward a number of candidates but by no means is this list exclusive.

Blackie Lawless- WASP

Blackie Lawless- WASP

Brad Whitford- Aerosmith

Brad Whitford- Aerosmith

Dave Mustane- Megadeth

Dave Mustane- Megadeth

James Hetfield- Metallica

James Hetfield- Metallica

Malcolm Young- AC/DC

Malcolm Young- AC/DC

Glen Frey- The Eagles

Glen Frey- The Eagles

Paul Kantner- Jefferson Starship

Paul Kantner- Jefferson Starship

Rudy Schenker- The Scorpions

Rudy Schenker- The Scorpions

Scott Ian- Anthrax

Scott Ian- Anthrax

I know there are many more out there so all you have to do is comment who your favourite or favourites are. Meanwhile, when you listen to an album from any of the great bands these guys are from, strain your ears for the efforts they are putting in.

Next post: 1980- A Golden Decade Begins

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Great Rock Albums of 1979: Jefferson Starship- Freedom At Point Zero

Posted in 1979, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on January 24, 2013 by 80smetalman

FreedomAtPointZero

This is one of my favourite albums of all time and definitely my favourite album from Jefferson Starship. Back then they were my favourite band and with this album, Jefferson Starship was progressing in the same way my personal music tastes were progressing. They had abandoned their more mellow progressive sound of the mid to late 70s and took on a much harder, rockier sound and I loved it, still do. Not everyone agreed with the change at the time, Rolling Stone stated that Jefferson Starship had become just another heavy metal band. My reaction to such a claim would have been the same as rhythm guitarist Paul Kantner’s reaction but I won’t tell you what that was til I get to their next album.

Some less informed persons have claimed that the reason why this was their best album was all down to the absence of Grace Slick. I can’t say that I agree with that either. I put the success of “Freedom At Point Zero” down to two other factors: a) Lead guitarist Craig Chaquico is given much more liberty to show what he can do with his guitar on the album and b) Paul Kantner does more of the song writing on it. If you are scratching your head over the last one, listen to the title track and the track “Lightning Rose” and you should see what I mean.

Craig Chaquico

Craig Chaquico

After the departures of lead singers Grace Slick and Marty Balin from the band, Jefferson Starship did leave their mellow out approach behind and took up a more heavier sound. There is their big single “Jane” which starts the album off with a rocky vibe that sticks with you. Other tracks like “Things to Come,” “The Girl With the Hungry Eyes” (that title has always amused me) and “Rock Music” are good rocking sounds that bear the banner for this album. Even the more laid back songs like “Fading Lady Light” don’t totally abandon this and the one thing I can say that despite the harder sound, their creativity from those earlier years still is evident. This is why it’s my favourite Jefferson Starship album.

Track Listing:

1. Jane

2. Lightening Rose

3. Things to Come

4. Awakening

5. Girl With the Hungry Eyes

6. Just the Same

7. Rock Music

8. Fading Lady Light

9. Freedom at Point Zero

js

Pete Sears- bass, keyboards

Ansley Dunbar- drums

David Freiberg- bass, keyboards, vocals

Paul Kantner- rhythm guitar, vocals

Craig Chaquico- lead guitar, vocals

Mickey Thomas- vocals

“Freedom At Point Zero” is considered the best album by Jefferson Starship in the opinion of myself and many others. They made a major transformation to the world of hard rock and did so with some impressive ease, although I always knew they had it in them. I thought there would be no better way of ending the great rock albums of 79 tour than this. I will be going into the great metal albums of that year after a one stop detour. However, I will pass on the advice that Jefferson Starship give in one of their songs: “Rock and roll is good time music, listen to it.”

Next post: Rock One Hit Wonders of 1979

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

 

Great Rock Albums of 1979: Jefferson Starship- Gold

Posted in 1979, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on July 15, 2012 by 80smetalman

As I said a few posts ago, 1979 was a big transitional year for me and I will probably say it a few more times as I continue to visit some of the great rock and metal albums from this year, so I ask your forgiveness in advance if I go on about it too much. It also turned out that 1979 was also a major transitional year for my favourite band from the 70s, Jefferson Starship. When I saw that the “Gold” album had been released in the February of that year, I just thought it was a typical greatest hits release from their albums from 1974-78 and didn’t realise what was going on behind the scenes. It would be a long time later before I learned that Grace Slick had said “I don’t want to play with you guys ever again,” after a bust up in Germany. She would also have to go to rehab for her problems with the bottle. Also, Marty Balin would also leave the band to persue a solo career. Therefore, “Gold” would mark a major change in the flight plan of the Starship.

First, let me be the first one to declare that I should be lined up against a wall and shot for not including the “Red Octopus” album in my “Great Rock Albums of the 70s” chapter in my tour. This was a great album that hit number one in the charts and unprecedented four times! And don’t be fooled by the three singles from the album that appear on here, althought I do really like “Fast Buck Freddie.” There are some other hidden rocking gems on this album so, it’s no wonder this album was so popular.

Anyway, back to “Gold.” Needless to say, it’s a greatest hits album so the songs that appear on here will have had some form of commercial success and be familiar to most people, that’s a given. However, this album had a little surprise for me the first time I listened to it. I had never heard the album “Dragon Fly” so when the song “Ride the Tiger” came blasting out of my speakers, I was totally amazed. This was a true hard rocking song that showcases the talents of Craig Chaquico with the ever competent Paul Kantner backing him up on rhythm guitar. As a result, “Ride the Tiger” went instantly to number one in my favourite Starship song list at that  time and continues to be up there in the top five of all time. In addition, the album featured a new single, “Light the Sky on Fire,” which also went of the grain of the more mellower songs from this time period and left me impressed by the musicianship.

Track Listing

1. Ride the Tiger

2. Caroline

3. Play on Love

4. Miracles

5. Fast Buck Freddie

6. With Your Love

7. St Charles

8. Count On Me

9. Love Too Good

10. Runaway

Bonus tracks

Light The Sky On Fire

Hyperdrive

Jefferson Starship

Grace Slick- vocals, piano

Marty Balin- vocals

Paul Kantner- rhythm guitar, vocals

Craig Chaquico- lead guitar, backing vocals

Pete Sears- bass, keyboards

David Freiberg- bass, keyboards, backing vocals

John Barbata- drums, backing vocals

Papa John Creach- violin

“Gold” marked an end of an era for Jefferson Starship. It put the final nail in the coffin that laid to rest the band’s reputation for mellow out love songs. After “Gold,” their sound would change forever and be the source of much debate that carries on to this day. As for the new sound, well you will have to stick around as I’m not going to tell about that til much further down the line.

Next post: Frank Zappa- Sheik Yourb0uti

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Great Rock Albums of 1978: Jefferson Starship- Earth

Posted in Heavy Metal, Music with tags , , , , , on January 23, 2012 by 80smetalman

It was said that long ago, God created Jefferson Starship and then Jefferson Starship created Earth. At least that was what the television advert said back in 1978. This album was the follow up to their platinum 1976 album, “Spitfire” and it was one of the few Starship albums to feature the same line up on consecutive albums. Throughout, their turbulent history, the band have had so many changes, if all former members of Jefferson Airplane/Starship got together for a charity softball game, they would have enough people to fill both teams.

“Earth” was symbolic for the supposed mellow sound of Jefferson Starship through the mid to late seventies. Most notable were the chart hits “Count On Me” and “Runaway.” These songs, combined with most of the other keyboard dominated tracks do give the album a sort of mellow out feel. However, to me, they also showcase the keyboard skills of Pete Sears, who in my humble opinion, was one of the most underrated all around musicians in rock at the time.

Ok, you’re probably thinking, why is someone who is so heavy metal enriched, speaking about an album that is considered mellow? Well, “Earth” marked the end of Jefferson Starship’s mellow out period and would progress to a more harder sound. However, that will be mentioned in a future post. But in spite of the mellow nature of this album, there are some hints of a rocking sound in it. The track “Skateboard” bears witness to this and “Show Yourself” does have a rocky edge and features the political lyrics of the old Jefferson Airplane. However, the hidden gem is the supposed top 40 ballad “Runaway.” Yes it is what it says, however, “Runaway” contains a killer solo by guitarist Craig Chaquico. The solo makes the song for me. Finally, few albums have that final track that once you finish listening to it, leaves you with a feel good factor about the album. “All Night Long” is one of my favourite album ending songs of all time.

Track Listing:

1. Love Too Good

2. Count On Me

3. Take Your Time

4. Crazy Feeling

5. Skateboard

6. Fire

7. Show Yourself

8. Runaway

9. All Night Long

Jefferson Starship

Grace Slick- vocals, piano

Marty Balin- vocals

Paul Kantner- guitar

Craig Chaquico- lead guitar

Pete Sears- bass, keyboards

David Freiberg- bass, keyboards

John Barbata- drums

If you fancy a good mellow out trip down memory lane, give “Earth” a listen. It shows why Jefferson Starship were such a versatile band.

Next post: Warren Zevon- Excitable Boy

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Great Rock Albums of the 70s: Jefferson Starship- Spitfire

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 28, 2011 by 80smetalman

A common proverb through the years has been “Never judge a book by its cover.” I have always wondered if the same concept applies to music albums. In 1983, I learned the hard way never to buy an entire album on account of one song when I bought “The Getaway” by Chris DeBurgh because I liked the song “Don’t Pay The Ferryman.” On the other hand, if I didn’t buy the Jefferson Starship album on account of the single “With Your Love,” I wouldn’t have bought this album and would have been poorer for it. Fortunately, I did judge the album by its cover. The idea of a pretty lady riding on a dragon that was formed by the smoke of her cigarette was a cool image for me. To me, the “Spitfire” album was the first really cool album cover in my eyes.

Back in the late 1970s, Jefferson Starship were renowned for being a mellow out type of band. They were noted for songs like “Count On Me” from the “Earth” album and their top hit “Miracles” from the “Red Octopus” album and even on the “Spitfire” album, the hit single “With Your Love,” branded this band as one who excelled in mellow out rock.

Tack Listing:

1. Cruisin’

2. Dance With the Dragon

3. Hot Water

4. St. Charles

5. Song to the Sun

i. Part 1 Ozymadias

ii. Part 2, Don’t Let It Rain

6. With Your Love

7. Switchblade

8. Big City

9. Love Lovely  Love

Unlike the hit single, the other tracks are much more rocking and showcase the great musicianship posessed by the band. There are some good rocking tracks like “Dance With the Dragon” and “Don’t Let It Rain” and there is some great progressive rock on the tracks St. Charles and Switchblade and show cases the keyboard wizardry that is Pete Sears. What I like about this album especially is that lead guitarist Craig Chaquico is let loose on most of the tracks and is allowed to show that he can smoke the fingerboard.

 

Jefferson Starship:

Marty Balin- vocals

Grace Slick- vocals, piano of Ozymadias and Switchblade

Paul Kantner- rhythm guitar

Craig Chaquico- lead guitar

Pete Sears- bass and keyboards

David Freiberg- bass and keyboards

John Barbata- drums

Back when the album came out in 76, before people started putting music into categories, this album worked on a lot of levels. There are good hard rocking tracks, some great progressive rock and for the top 40 followers, a solid hit single. This is a great rock album and with the cool front cover design, shows you can judge and album by its cover.

Next post: Bad Company- Straight Shooter

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Great Guitarists of the 70s

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 24, 2011 by 80smetalman

When people think of the great rock guitarists in the 70s, they will almost always mention what I call the big 3, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Eddie Van Halen.  

These three were considered by many to be the top of the heap back then. Eric Clapton thrilled many with his gutsy blues style and Jimmy Page opened a door with a new style for the many metal axemen which would follow him. Eddie Van Halen was the late comer, arriving on the scene in 1978 and carrying on into the 80s, he set the standard which other guitarists could only hope to achieve.

I’m sure many would put forward arguments for many other guitarists and rightly so. The 70s did have its share of those who could smoke the fingerboard. Of that many, the three I wish to put forward here are Ritchie Blackmore, Tony Iommi and Ted Nugent.

As a teenager in the mid and late 70s, I heard many would be guitarists copying the famous riffs on “Smoke On The Water” first played by Ritchie Blackmore when he was in Deep Purple. Blackmore had a style all his own. However, considered by many to be the “master of the riff” was Tony Iommi. You only have to listen to classic Sabbath songs like “Paranoid” and “Iron Man” to see why. Like Van Halen, Ted Nugent was a late comer for me. Sure, he had been around before then but it wasn’t until 1977 when I heard “Cat Scratch Fever” on my little AM only radio, that I would eventually realise that I was listening to one of the guitar greats.

As in the above, I am definitely sure that many would suggest a lot of guitarists for the final category, the “underrated guitarists.” There were many guitarists who are considered great but didn’t fully get the recognition they deserved. However, I am going to list the three who I feel were definitely underrated back then; Brian May, Gary Richrath and Craig Chaquico.

Most of the British readers may be a little shocked that I am including Brian May here. It is true that in Britain, he was already being put in the above category. However, this wasn’t the case in the USA. While Queen were often in the charts, I don’t remember much talk about May’s guitar skills back in the 70s. In fact, one person shot him down saying that the guitar was dubbed in fifteen times when Queen albums were being produced. Boy, I wish I had a time machine. That is why Brian May didn’t get the respect he deserved as a guitarist.

The problem is when people think of REO Speedwagon, they tend to think of their more commercial stuff in the 80s and don’t realise what a hard rocking band they were back in the 70s. I am going to touch on this more in the future. But this is why their guitarist Gary Richrath, still probably doesn’t get the respect he deserves. I challenge anyone to listen to the song “Roll With the Changes” of the album “You Can Tune a Piano, But You Can’t Tuna Fish” album and say differently. When I listen to that song and most of their other 70s stuff, I fully appreciate the guitar work of Richrath.

Back in the 1970s, Jefferson Starship were considered a band that made “mellow out love songs” and just about all of their singles were that. That is why their guitarist, Craig Chaquico, didn’t get the recognition he deserved back then. However, when I hear his solos on the songs “Run Away” and “Ride the Tiger,” I know that I am listening to a man who knows how to work the six string. Chaquico was a great guitarist and fortunately for him, Jefferson Starship changed to a more rocking sound in the 80s and his talents were given more appreciation.

I know there are many more axemen I could name here and everyone is invited to contribute who they think might have been a great guitarist in the 70s.

Next Post: Great Rock Albums of the 7os, Aeromsith- Toys in the Attic

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