Archive for Jethro Tull

Great Rock Albums of 1984: Billy Satellite

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on July 19, 2017 by 80smetalman

Like Jethro Tull, Billy Satellite is the name of a band. As far as I know, there is no individual with that name. Also, like the Bangles, their debut album came and went in 1984 with little notice except for keen persons like myself who had an ear out for some good straightforward rock. Unlike the Bangles or Jethro Tull, this self titled album would be the band’s only release and they would drift off into obscurity living only in my memory.

Their album is the reason why Billy Satellite has lived in the back corners of my mind for over three decades. It is a really cool down to earth straight ahead rock album. All the elements to make the album great are there. Good vocals, some cool guitars and a sound rhythm section with a keyboard accompaniment that brings out the flavour of the mix really well. So, my question is, why didn’t people take more notice of Billy Satellite? My only suggested answer is that with all of the heavy metal that was flying about at the time, they simply got lost in the hysteria. They definitely aren’t a heavy metal band but they were a hell of a lot better than a lot of the non metal in this year.

If you want something to compare them to, then the closest would be Night Ranger but that might being doing them a disservice. They were unique enough to not need any comparison as far as this album is concerned. The first three tracks come straight at you with some of that good straight ahead rock that I have been talking about. The opener was also the highest charting single (#64). It is a good track but I like the following one, “Last Call.” That is the standout for me with all the elements of a good hard rock song present. Track #3 is a good one too before the two ballads, “Trouble” being the better of the two. Then things go back to heavy rock with the cool, “Rockin’ Down the Highway” and continue to do so for the rest of the album. “Turning Point” has a slight blues feel to it and the tempo change works well on the album. It has a good guitar solo but notes don’t reveal which guitarist is responsible. That leads nicely to “Bye Bye Baby” which borders on a ballad and a rock song. Rock returns for sure with “Standing with the Kings” and that leads to the closer which ends the album very well.

Track Listing:

  1. Satisfy Me
  2. Last Call
  3. Do Ya
  4. I Wanna Go Back
  5. Trouble
  6. Rockin’ Down the Highway
  7. Turning Point
  8. Bye Bye Baby
  9. Standing With the Kings
  10. The Lonely One

Billy Satellite

Monty Byrom- guitars, vocals, keyboards

Danny Chauncey- guitars, keyboards

Ira Walker- bass

Tom ‘Fee’ Faletti- drums

While sitting here typing this, I have come to a conclusion as to why Billy Satellite didn’t go further in 1984. It was that they were about four or five years too soon. Thinking about some of the bands in the late 80s, Danger Danger and Hurricane and Winger, these guys would have fit in well with that group. Unfortunately, they were five years too soon and although they had a cool album, it didn’t do well enough for them to continue. They would split and go their separate ways.

Next post: Bruce Springsteen- Born in the USA

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Great Rock Albums of 1982: Men At Work- Business as Usual

Posted in 1980s, Humour, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 2, 2015 by 80smetalman


This is probably the closest I ever came to mainstream commercial rock or pop back in the 1980s. When I first heard the song, “Who Can It Be Now?” I found myself liking it. It was the humourous feel to it, that Men At Work didn’t seem to take themselves too seriously and that’s why I enjoyed the song so much. Furthermore, I remember the radio saying they were from Australia and any country that gives the world the likes of AC/DC, must be a great place for music.

Of course, there is no real comparison between Men At Work and AC/DC. They are two completely different styles of music. Saying that, there are quite a few AC/DC songs that have a great sense of humour, they’re just backed up with some great power chords. Men At Work are more a commercial new wave rock. Many of the songs are just simply catchy tunes and combined with some of the humourous lyrics, makes a rather potent combination.

Like so many albums in 1982, the album “Business As Usual” starts out with the most prominent hit. In this case it’s the already mentioned “Who Can It Be Now?” I can relate better to this song these days as my phone always seems to ring with calls from telemarketers. Fortunately, an answer phone works wonders but I still find myself wanting to sing the title each time it rings. Following next is “I Can See It In Your Eyes,” which has one of those catchy tunes I was talking about. However, that is followed by their second, possibly the first, biggest hit, “Down Under.” This ditty shows off the Australian sense of humour in a big way. There is some very funny lyrics in each verse and like “Who Can It Be Now?,” lead singer Colin Hay has a way to make it sound even funnier. What I find amusing though is this seems to be the only song not recorded by Jethro Tull to make such great use of a flute in a rock song.

The next several tracks continue in the sort of vein with “Helpless Automation” being a slight stand out. Then comes the track, “Be Good Johnny,” which brings back some happy memories. My marine buddies and I tried to harmonize with the chorus, of course after many beers. We tried to sing “Be good, be good” and then come in with the high pitched “Johnny.” Let’s just say I hope no one ever recorded us as that would be a good blackmail tool. “Touching the Untouchables” is also a good song and after “Catch a Star” is the closer, “Down By the Sea.” It’s not a bad song but goes on for too long in my opinion making it the one chink in the album’s armour.

Track Listing;

1. Who Can It Be Now?

2. I Can See It In Your Eyes

3. Down Under

4. Underground

5. Helpless Automation

6. People Just Love to Play With Words

7. Be Good, Johnny

8. Touching the Untouchables

9. Catch a Star

10. Down By the Sea

Men At Work

Men At Work

Greg Ham- flute, keyboards, saxophone, backing vocals, lead vocal on track 5

Colin Hay- lead vocals, guitar

John Rees- bass, backing vocals

Jerry Speiser- drums, backing vocals

Ron Strykert- guitar, backing vocals, lead vocal on track 11

Men At Work proved that Australia weren’t a one band country, even if that one band was AC/DC. “Business As Usual” is a catchy album with a great sense of humour and it easy to see why it went to number one in so many countries.

Next post: Frank Zappa- Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch

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REVIEW: Jethro Tull – A / Slipstream (CD/DVD)A Great Rock Album from 1980

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on July 27, 2013 by 80smetalman

JETHRO TULL – A / Slipstream (2004 Chrysalis CD/DVD, originally 1980)

Unlike most Jethro Tull remasters, A did not contain any bonus tracks.  Rather, it includes the only official DVD release of Slipstream, an old Tull live/music video VHS release.

Cole’s Notes version of the history:  A began life as an Ian Anderson solo album, featuring new Tull bassist Dave Pegg and ex-Roxy Music multi-instrumentalist Eddie Jobson.  Jobson brought along his drummer friend Mark Craney, and then finally Ian asked his Tull bandmate Martin Barre to come in and play on a couple tracks.  Somehow, this turned into Martin playing on the entire album.

Anderson says that the record label, who were pushing for A to be released under the Jethro Tull banner, suddenly announced that Craney and Jobson were replacing current Tull members Barriemore Barlow, John Evan, and David Palmer.  This and other factors led to that exact…

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Great Rock Albums of 1979: Jethro Tull- Stormwatch

Posted in 1979, 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on October 28, 2012 by 80smetalman

The longer this journey continues down the road of rock/metal history through the eyes of 80smetalman, the more people will hear me refer to the 1980s as the golden age of heavy metal, which they were. However, the journey hasn’t arrived at the 80s yet so while we are still in the 70s, I will refer to that decade as the golden age of progressive rock. There were many, many great artists who defined prog rock and made it the phenomenon it was in the 1970s. It seems that musicians were given more license to be creative and this resulted in some fantastic songs and albums that demonstrated some great musicianship and true artistic genius and Jethro Tull were one of these.

I was about to go out on a limb here and say that “Stormwatch” was the last great progressive rock album of the 1970s, then I realised that I still have to visit Supertramp’s “Breakfast In America” album so there might be a bone of contention here. However, when I listen to “Stormwatch” I am immediately reminded of the ancient days of great progressive rock. The track which defines those days the best is the instrumental “Warm Sporran.” This song shows off the musicianship that brought Jethro Tull into the spotlight of prog rock throughout the 70s. All of the other tracks are just as well defined   and I forgot how much I really liked the song “Something’s on the Move.”

Track Listing:

1. North Sea Oil

2. Orion

3. Home

4. Dark Ages

5. Warm Sporran

6. Something’s on the Move

7. Old Ghosts

8. Dug Ringhill

9. Flying Dutchman

10. Elegy

Jethro Tull

Ian Anderson- vocals, flute, acoustic guitar, bass

Martin Barre- guitars, mandolin

Barriemore Barlow- drums, percussion

John Evan- piano, organ

David Palmer- synthesisers, orchestra arrangements

John Glascock- bass

In the late 1970s, prog rock gave way to punk (although some say disco, but I say no). One of the reasons cited is that many listeners grew tired of twenty minute long songs where every musician gets to showcase their talents. I can slightly agree with that sentiment although I still like the occasional long jam. On “Stormwatch” there are no twenty minuters, the longest songs are nine and seven minutes and the others are between three and four. Maybe this was why this album is so good, it caters for both tastes here in regards to song length but in no way does the quality of the musicianship detract from it and makes it a great progressive album.

Next post: Gillian- Mr Universe

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Great Rock Albums of 1979: Nantucket- Your Face or Mine

Posted in 1979, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 20, 2012 by 80smetalman


Here’s another band from Jacksonville, not Jacksonville, Florida but Jacksonville, North Carolina. Having spent most of my military career there, it was a no brainer that I would be introduced to their finest, Nantucket. Like their kinsmen in Florida, Nantucket had their own Southern sound but the difference is that instead of the hard rock boogie sound of a Molly Hatchet or metal sound like Blackfoot, Nantucket’s was more of a progressive sound with some great use of keyboards and saxophone while still keeping a hard rock feel to it. The result is something I have always liked.

That all brings around to their second album “Your Face or Mine.” The album typifies the sound that made Nantucket so popular in the Southern states at the time. Songs like “Your Place or Mine” and “Just the Devil’s Way” show their hard rock Southern roots while “California” tends to show their more progressive side. And of course the saxophone adds another uniqe touch. I have heard many a sax in rock music and I have to say that as far as saxophonists are concerned, Eddie Blair is one of the best. The title of the final song on the album asks the question, “Is it wrong to rock and roll?” Listening to this album, I have to give an emphatic “NO!”

Track Listing:

1. Gimme Your Love

2. I Live For Your Love

3. Hey Hey Blondie

4. California

5. Wide Awake

6. Don’t Hang Up

7. Your Place or Mine

8. Just the Devil’s Way

9. Is it Wrong to Rock And Roll


Tommy Redd- lead and rhythm guitars, spoon lead and backing vocals

Larry Uzzell- bass, lead and backing vocals

Mike Uzzell- keyboards, lead and backing vocals

Mike Downing- lead, rhythm, slide and 12 string guitars, backing vocals

Eddie Blair- saxophones, organ, piano, clavinet, backing vocals

Kenny Soule- drums, percussion, tympani, backing vocals

Refamiliarising myself with this cool album from Nantucket, I find myself asking the question I asked 30 year ago. Why weren’t they more popular up North? My only conclusion was that a lot of people I knew in my native New Jersey still viewed bands from the South as redneck country singers. One friend admitted he had a bit of a culture shock when I played some Nantucket to him (Not sure if it was this album). For those into a good hard but progressive rock, especially those who like Jethro Tull, will like “Your Face or Mine” by Nantucket.

Next Post: The Outlaws- In the Eye of the Storm

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Great Rock Albums of 1978: Jethro Tull- Heavy Horses

Posted in 1978, Music with tags , , , , , on April 26, 2012 by 80smetalman

I realise and apologise for the fact that I should have included at least one of the classic albums from the great band that is Jethro Tull in the previous category of Great Rock Albums of the 70s. My favourite of these has always been the album “Too Old to Rock and Roll: Too Young to Die.” I used to hear this album advertised all the time when my antique radio was able to tune into the Philadelphia stations and I got to listen to some of the tracks.

Which brings me to this album, “Heavy Horses.” I must admit that I haven’t heard this album in a long time, but praise the Lord for YouTube. Listening to such tracks as “And the Mouse Police Never Sleeps.” “Weathercock” and “Heavy Horses” reminded me of the crisp progressive sound that has endeared so many to Jethro Tull. It also had me thinking about going and puffing the magic dragon as that was another thing I remember this album for. But I couldn’t do that as I was still at work.

Track Listing:

1. And the Mouse Police Never Sleeps

2. Acres Wild

3. No Lullaby

4. Moths

5. Journeyman

6. Rover

7. One Brown Mouse

8. Heavy Horses

9. Weathercock 

Jethro Tull

Ian Anderson- vocals, flute, accoustic guitar, mandolin, whistles

Martin Barrie- electric guitar

Barrimore Barlow- drums, percussion

John Evan- piano, organ

David Palmer- keyboards, pipe organ

John Glascock- bass

Guest Musician: Darryl Way- violin on Acres Wild and Heavy Horses

Heavy Horses reminded me of why I like Jethro Tull in the first place. Few back in the 70s did progressive rock better than they.

Next post: Boston- Don’t Look Back

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