Archive for Jimmy Page

A New Great Metal Album: Greywind- Afterthoughts

Posted in Concerts, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 5, 2017 by 80smetalman

Apologies for all of those who were expecting to be reading my thoughts on the “Fugazi” album from Marillion. Trust me, that will be coming very soon. What has thrown a metal spanner in the works was my getting and listening to the debut album, “Afterthoughts” by Greywind after seeing them dominate the Avalanche Stage on the Saturday and Download. Now, that I’ve had a couple of listens to it, I am even more impressed and now want to spread the word about this band.

Greywind making their mark at Download

At first listen, one might be tempted to compare Greywind to Paramore and there are similarities in the sound beyond the fact that both are fronted by female lead singers. Only similarities though, as I find Greywind to be much more in your face than what Paramore ever was, no disrespect to that band. There is some powerful forces at work on “Afterthoughts” in between some flashes of prog metal. The best example of this is on the tracks “Circle” and “The Lake.” The latter uses a piano in a very seductive way that lures you into a possible mellow out before belting you ear drums with more guitars. However, those aren’t my favourite tracks on the album. The title track is a definite candidate as well as being a great opener for the album. I also like the track “Desolate” for its start like a ballad before ripping your head off power chords and then going back and forth between the two and “Car Spins” is a very interesting track to say indeed.

One thing I learned after purchasing the album was that Greywind are actually a brother and sister act fronted by guitarist Paul O’Sullivan and singer Stephanie O’Sullivan. The rhythm section get a mention in the Special Thanks part on the label as they should. Mark Chapman and Adam Perry make a very good one here. Guitarist Paul is a very good guitarist which is paradoxical for me. I usually like ones who do blistering solos ala Van Halen, Nugent, Blackmore, Iommi, Page etc. I had to stop there before I got carried away naming all the great axemen. He does play some intricate little riffs throughout the songs that don’t escape your attention.

For me though, it’s the dominating voice of Steph that makes this album for me. In comparison to Paramore, Hayley Williams’ vocals don’t even come close! Steph O’Sullivan can do it all. She can sing soft or belt you with her raw power vocal chords. She did that at Download and she does it here on the album.

Track Listing:

  1. Afterthoughts
  2. Forest Ablaze
  3. Circle
  4. Safe Haven
  5. The Lake
  6. Car Spin
  7. Stitch On My Wings
  8. Desolate
  9. In Autumn
  10. Wander

Stephanie O’Sullivan giving it her all.

Stephanie O’Sullivan- vocals

Paul O’Sullivan- guitars

Mark Chapman- bass

Adam Perry- drums

The whole point of my writing “Rock and Roll Children” and starting 80sMetalman was to get everyone to get out their old albums and listen to them again. I know a lot of you never stopped listening to them. In this case, I’m hoping that you will give a new band a chance and listen to their debut album because I think it’s worth it.

To buy Rock And Roll Children go to: https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1499276423&sr=8-8&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Great Rock Albums of 1983: Robert Plant- The Principle of Moments

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 16, 2016 by 80smetalman

220px-Principle_of_moments

Here is another example why I stopped trusting commercial radio or MTV for all of my music liaisons. In 1983, the two singles from Robert Plant’s “The Principle of Moments” album, “In the Mood” and “Big Log” got a lot of airplay on MTV. If I were to judge this album just on those two songs, I would have thought that Robert Plant had completely abandoned his roots and was making mellow out, commercial songs. I know that even then, Robert wasn’t comfortable when people like me said that his former band, Led Zeppelin, were one of the founding fathers of heavy metal but this album shows that he didn’t totally abandon his beginnings.

“The Principle of Moments” is a long way from the heavy metal sounding delights of Led Zeppelin “II” or “IV.” Nonetheless, it is still a good album with some rock delights for all. When I heard the introduction on the opening song, “Other Arms,” I found myself checking the credits on the album because I was sure that Robert had gotten Jimmy Page to play on it. Obviously, I was dreaming but saying that, Robert Blunt does a magnificent job on the six string all throughout the entire album. Does he site Jimmy as an influence? Don’t know but it might be worth checking out.

Maybe it’s me mellowing in my old age, (I’ll be halfway between 50 and 60 in three weeks), but listening to “In The Mood” again after all these years, I’ve decided it’s not as bad as I thought back then. In fact, there’s a pretty tidy guitar solo from Blunt which has me wondering how I missed something like that back in 1983. I’ll blame the weed. Another really good standout track is “Wreckless Love” which is possibly the hardest rock tune on the album. However, other songs like “Messin’ With the Mekon” and “Horizontal Departure” come fairly close. “Thru With the Two Step” is another interesting song on the album. It starts out like it’s going to be a mellow one, more in the style of Led Zeppelin’s later progressive years. Then it goes into a more hard blues sound with a killer guitar solo from Blunt. God, I have to check this guy out more.

The only stone left unturned is the vocals of Plant himself. They are as good as ever here. Sure, he doesn’t scream like he did back in the 1970s but he still shows he has a decent range.

Track Listing:

  1. Other Arms
  2. In the Mood
  3. Messin’ with the Meckon
  4. Wreckless Love
  5. Thru With the Two Step
  6. Horizontal Departure
  7. Stranger Here… Than Over There
  8. Big Log
Robert Plant

Robert Plant

Robert Plant- vocals

Robbie Blunt- guitars

Paul Martinez- bass

Jezz Woodroffe- keyboards

Phil Collins- drums on tracks, 1-3, 5,6, 8

Barriemore Barlow- drums on tracks 4 and 7

John David and Ray Martinez- backing vocals

Unlike “In the Mood,” my thoughts haven’t changed much on “Big Log.” Maybe it’s that image conjured up from the video of Robert Plant swimming in the pool. But don’t let that spoil your enjoyment of “The Principle of Moments” because it is a good album. Classic Robert Plant.

Next post: Jackson Browne- Lawyers in Love

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 1982: Diamond Head- Borrowed Time

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 20, 2015 by 80smetalman

220px-Borrowed_Time_By_Diamond_Head

“Borrowed Time” by Diamond Head another album that passed me by in 1982 but then again, I had never heard of the band until a year later when I came to Britain and happened to see them at Donnington in 1983. While I thought they were okay, I still never got around to buying any of their albums. When I came to Britain to stay in 1986, it was only then I got to experience them because two of my new friends were heavily into them. In fact, one was nicknamed Diamond Head Andy because of his love for the band. Although the character based on him in “Rock and Roll Children” is called Diamond Head Martin. Even then, I can’t say that I really listened to them. That is why, like a good number of the albums of 1982, I am only listening “Borrowed Time” for the first time before making this post.

What is my impression of Diamond Head? Well listening to “Borrowed Time,” my first reaction is Led Zeppelin. It is very obvious that Diamond Head draw a major influence from the great Zep, not that I can blame them for that. Lead singer Sean Harris sounds quite a lot like Robert Plant on most of the tracks and guitarist Brian Tatler has a style very similar to Jimmy Page. The tracks which prove the point the most are “Borrowed Time” and “Don’t You Ever Leave Me.” However, there is a little of the Zeppelin influence in the other tracks too and that includes the closer, “Am I Evil” which any metalhead knows was covered by Metallica. But calling Diamond Head Led Zeppelin clones would be grossly unfair and inaccurate. Sure the Zep influence is definitely there but they aren’t clones. Take “Am I Evil” for an example. There is some good power metal riffs in that song that I can see why one of the most famous thrash bands in the world would cover it. The same can be said for “Lightning to the Nations.” That is another song where Diamond Head put their own stamp on it. Comparisons and contrasts aside, I found “Borrowed Time to be a great album to sit back and bang your head to and I have to give credit to Tatler as a guitarist, he can cook.

Track Listing:

  1. In the Heat of the Night
  2. To Heave from Hell
  3. Call Me
  4. Lightning to the Nations
  5. Borrowed Time
  6. Don’t You Ever Leave Me
  7. Am I Evil
Diamond Head

                         Diamond Head

Sean Harris- vocals

Brian Tatler- guitars

Colin Kimberly- bass

Duncan Scott- drums

My trip through 1982 has been full of pleasant surprises for me. Because so many albums passed me by that year due to my military commitments, (though I can’t use that excuse here), I have had the pleasurable experience of having to catch up on them. So far, every one of them has been a good experience but I have to say that Diamond Head’s “Borrowed Time” has been the best surprise thus far.

Next post: UFO- Mechanix

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishingroup.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 1982: Robert Plant- Pictures At 11

Posted in Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 16, 2015 by 80smetalman

220px-Pictures_at_Eleven

What is probably the biggest misconception in the world about heavy metal founding fathers, Led Zeppelin, is that most people tend to remember them more for their hard rock/heavy metal sound from the early 1970s. Many supposed Led Zeppelin officianados forget that in the middle and latter part of that decade, they were moving away from the heavy sound for a more progressive sound. There were many reasons for this which I have already stated when I visited some Led Zeppelin albums in the past. Unfortunately, some of those same people had this same misconception when Robert Plant released his first solo album in 1982, “Pictures At 11.”

This album is definitely more Led Zeppelin in the late 70s and I think that Robert wanted to continue in this vein and he does a very good job in doing so. The opening track, “Burning Down One Side” is a sure fire reminder of the Zeppelin days from the opening riff. It definitely makes a statement for the rest of the album. However, Plant does seem to venture more into new territories as well. The slower second track “Moonlight in Samosa” bears testimony to this. Things go a bit more up tempo with “Slow Dancer” and it is the first track where I was tempted to begin comparing guitarist Robbie Blunt to Plant’s former band mate. Fortunately, I was able to resist temptation and make judgement on Blunt in his own right. My verdict: he can certainly play guitar as evidenced on not only “Slow Dancer” but “Worse Than Detroit” and “Fat Lip” and no, Sum 41 would not make a cover of that last song twenty years later, not even close. Sorry, forgive my weird sense of humour. However, those last two tracks are further evidence of Plant wanting to go forward into new areas. Then, almost as some anti- climax, the closing song, “Mystery Title” reminds me of two Led Zeppelin classics, “Trample Underfoot” and “When the Levee Breaks,” not that I’m complaining.

Track Listing:

1. Burning Down One Side

2. Midnight in Samosa

3. Pledge Pin

4. Slow Dancer

5. Worse Than Detroit

6. Fat Lip

7. Like I’ve Never Been Gone

8. Mystery Title

Robert Plant

Robert Plant

Robert Plant- vocals

Robbie Blunt- guitar

Jezz Woodroffe- keyboards, synthesizers

Paul Martinez- bass

Phil Collins- drums, except tracks 4 & 7

Cozy Powell- drums on tracks 4 &7

Raphael Ravenscroft- saxophone on track 3

It was always great to see that Robert Plant had moved on after Led Zeppelin, as did Page and Jones. He managed to find some good musicians to help him on the album and got Collins and Powell to play drums which was an added bonus. “Pictures At 11” marked a triumphant return for Plant.

Next post: Steve Winwood- Talking Back to the Night

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

 

 

 

A Tribute to Blues Based Guitarists

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 9, 2013 by 80smetalman

Like I did with the “Who’s the Greatest Rhythm Guitarist?” poll, I have decided to put in an extra thought between the years of my metal history tour. So, since I have finished with 1980 and before heading into 1981, I thought I would take a moment to reflect on some of the great blues based guitarists I have come to know and love over the years. Now, I have always been a sucker for a good long guitar solo played in the mentioned fashion. Even when they were performed by guitarists who may not have been known for such a style. That is probably why my all time favourite Jimi Hendrix song is “Hey Joe,” although the lyrics may have something to do with it as well. Then the other day, I was listening to the Rainbow “Anthology” album and I must say that I was relatively blown away by Ritchie Blackmore on the final song, “Difficult to Cure.” 

 

Jimi Hendrix

      Jimi Hendrix

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One guitarist who many have considered one of the all time greats was old slow hand himself Eric Clapton. I had the pleasure of seeing him live in 1985 and despite the fact that the record company was trying to get him to go new wave, that night he played many of his classic guitar jams. In fact, I thought it was an act of sacrilege when the other guitarist in his band played a solo on “Cocaine.” Still, Eric showed why he is one of the all time greats.

Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton

 

 

Rory Gallagher

Rory Gallagher

 

Pat Travers

Pat Travers

 

Robin Trower

Robin Trower

True most the guitarists I have featured here were from the years I have been visiting here on 80smetalman’s Blog but these were the ones who I have first come to know and appreciate. By the late 1980s, there were some who claimed that the blues guitarist was buried dead in the past. I can see their argument as so many great metal lead guitarists were stepping into the limelight. The blues guitarist may have been pushed to the side but they weren’t totally gone and then in the mid 90s, a new guitarist would take his place in the spotlight. His name was Kenny Wayne Shepherd. His album “Trouble Is” took me back to those days of listening and playing along to long bluesy guitar solos and the world was balanced once again.

Kenny Wayne Shepherd

Kenny Wayne Shepherd

 

I could go on naming more great guitarist from this style, Jimmy Page was known to lay down a killer blues riff or two and right now Mark Knopfler’s efforts on “Sultans of Swing” comes to mind. For me, these were the pioneers of great guitarists. I loved their style and still do. That doesn’t mean I’m not open to a good ripping solo from one of today’s metal giants. It’s just I like to reflect back on some of the blues guitarist that first got me into rock and then metal. I hope you’ve enjoyed the ride too.

 

Next post: 1981- The Dam Continues to Break

 

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 1979: Led Zeppelin- In Through the Outdoor

Posted in 1979, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on January 13, 2013 by 80smetalman

Led_Zeppelin_-_In_Through_the_Out_Door_alt

If a metalhead who had been one since the 1980s or later was to listen to “In Through the Outdoor” by Led Zeppelin, they would have serious doubts about the band being one of the founding fathers of heavy metal. This album is a far cry from their earlier and much heavier material. There are no songs with that heavy rocking sound such as “Whole Lotta Love,” “Communication Breakdown,” “Rock and Roll” and my personal favourite, “Black Dog.” Two reasons are cited for this: i) After the death of Robert Plant’s son in 1977, he no longer was in the mood to sing, “It’s been a long time since I rocked and rolled.” I can’t in any way blame him for that. ii) Led Zeppelin stated that they were looking to achieve some sort of musical integrity. 

Saying all of that, this is still a great album containing the high quality work one would have expected from Led Zeppelin. There is a little bit of humour to the album in my mind with songs like “Fool in the Rain” and “Hot Dog.” The other tracks carry a more defined sound and the ten minute plus long “Carouselambra” is a classic trademark of the talented people that Led Zeppelin were. One minor note, if I was in any way producing the album, I would have put the excellent track, “All of My Love” at the very end. This would have been a great way to end the album and when I listen to it in its full, after hearing the aforementioned track, I don’t really want to listen to the concluding track, “I’m Gonna Crawl” and that’s not fair to it. 

Track Listing:

1. In the Evening

2. South Bend Suarez

3. Fool in the Rain

4. Hot Dog

5. Carouselambra

6. All of My Love

7. I’m Gonna Crawl

Led Zeppelin

Led Zeppelin

Robert Plant- vocals

Jimmy Page- guitars

John Paul Jones- bass, keyboards

John Bonham- drums

This would be the last studio album made before the tragic death of drummer John Bonham in 1980 and for most people would spell the end of the band. Like so many, I associate “In Through the Outdoor” as their last hurrah but it is still a great one to finish off with and to me, they definitely achieve their musical integrity. 

Next post: Soundtrack- The Rose

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.80smetalman.wordpress.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 the 70s: Led Zepplin- Physical Graffiti

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 30, 2011 by 80smetalman

Although released in 1975, this is another album I didn’t get to hear until the early 1980s mainly owing to my self imposed repression back in my teenage years. I first heard this album in late 1980 or early 1981, I can’t pinpoint the exact time. All I know was that at the time, I was in the marines serving on a troop transport, which can get very boring. Therefore, in order to preserve sanity, we opened our musical minds and explored new horizons, something I am now very grateful about.

Enough about that though, before I heard “Physical Graffiti,” my main experience of these legends of the 70s was the fourth album, which really rocks out and a few odd tracks. My mind set of Led Zeppin was the standard four piece singer, guitar, bass and drums laying down some really cool hard rock. Therefore, I was at first surprised by the wide range of music the album had to offer. However, it didn’t stop me from liking the album any less. You could say that “Physical Graffiti” helped to expand my mind.

Track Listing:

1. Custard Pie

2. The Rover

3. In My Time of Dying

4. Houses of the Holy

5. Trampled Under Foot

6. Khashmir

7. In the Light

8. Bron- Yr- Aur

9. Down By the Seaside

10. Ten Years Gone

11. Night Fright

12. The Wanton Song

13. Boogie With Stu

14. Black Country Woman

15. Sick Again

Led Zepplin

Robert Plant- vocals, harmonica, accoustic guitar

Jimmy Page- electric, slide and accoustic guitars, harmonica, mandolin, synthesiser

John Paul Jones- bass, accoustic guitar, electric piano, meltron, mandolin, synthesiser, clavinet, organ

John Bonham- drums, percussion

I always have wondered what today’s put music neatly into categories world would make today if a noted heavy rock band like Led Zepplin put out a diverse album such as “Physical Graffiti.” Would the hardcore rockers accuse them of selling out? Fortunately, back in the 7os, people tended to listen to music with a more opened mind, which is why this album was so successful and is why it is listed among the albums you should listen to before you die.

Next post: Black Sabbath- Sabbath, Bloody Sabbath

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

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle