Archive for John Lee Hooker

Great Rock Albums of 1984: Duke Jupiter- White Knuckle Ride

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 4, 2017 by 80smetalman

Duke Jupiter was probably the best hidden gem of 1984. Some may have considered them one hit wonders on account of the fact that the single from the “White Knuckle Ride” album, “Little Lady,” got some airplay on MTV and radio. It even got to #68 in the singles charts. It has remained in my mind ever since because I have always thought it was a killer song. The video for “Little Lady” is easily accessible on Youtube and I will boldly declare that it’s worth a listen. This song really kicks ass.

Like so many others back then, I thought that Duke Jupiter, (it’s a band not a person), were newcomers to the rock scene when in fact, that had been around since 1975. They had a good number of albums before this one and went on tour in support of the likes of Toto, The Outlaws, B.B. King and John Lee Hooker. With a resume like that, it was never a case of if but when their efforts would finally gain notice.

While I never buy an album on account of one song, there was sufficient talk in certain circles that the “White Knuckle Ride” album was worth an investment. Trust me, it was. While it’s definitely an AOR album, it is done with the pure craftsmanship of the band. Marshall James Styler does most of the vocals and is quite adept at keyboards. Greg Walker is a very good guitarist and plays some really good solos on most of the songs here. Of course, we can’t take anything away from the rhythm section of David Corcoran and Rickey Ellis, they hold the album together with seemingly little effort.

“White Knuckle Ride” seems to move into three areas in regards to the tracks. The opener, “She’s So Hot,” the second single “Rescue Me” and “Don’t Turn Your Back” fall into the 80s AOR sound without question. They are all nicely done with Styler’s keyboards and Walker’s guitar solos. “Backfire,” “Work it Out” and of course “Little Lady” are definitely the more harder tracks on the album. Walker’s guitar really shines on these. ¬†Plus his intro solo on “Me and Michelle” reminds me a lot of the Derek and the
Dominoes classic, “Layla.” The rest tend to be more progressive rock and “A Woman Like You” ventures into all three camps. In spite of the mixture, all of the tracks fit together very well and that’s why the album is so enjoyable.

Track Listing:

  1. She’s So Hot
  2. Rescue Me
  3. Don’t Turn Your Back
  4. Top of the Bay
  5. Backfire
  6. Little Lady
  7. A Woman Like You
  8. Work It Out
  9. Me and Michelle
  10. ¬†(I’ve Got a) Little Black Book

Duke Jupiter

James Marshall Styler- keyboards, vocals

Greg Walker- guitar, vocals

Rickey Ellis- bass

David Corcoran- drums, percussion, vocals

Duke Jupiter came and went and have vanished into musical history. I bet my UK readers have been asking, “Who the hell’s he talking about?” Like many American one hit wonders or lesser known bands, they didn’t impact in Britain and were considered a flash in the pan in the US. In fact, I regret not giving them a mention in “Rock and Roll Children.” In spite of this, I have always remembered them and I will say that if you should listen to the “White Knuckle Ride” album, especially “Little Lady” and you’ll see why.

Next post: AC/DC – 74 Jailbreak

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1983: George Thorogood and the Destroyers- Bad to the Bone

Posted in 1980s, films, Music, Rock, soundtracks, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 30, 2016 by 80smetalman

220px-George_Thorogood_&_The_Destroyers_-_Bad_To_The_Bone

Here’s another album that was released in 1982 but didn’t come to my attention until 1983 on account of my military commitments. Then it was very late in the year and only because of the film, “Christine,” a film about a possessed car based on the book by Stephen King. The title track to this album from George Thorogood and the Destroyers was the main single from the soundtrack. I can’t remember anything else appealing to me from the soundtrack so I didn’t get it but because I only associated “Bad to the Bone” with the film, the album nearly passed me by, nearly.

chirs

I’ve always been a rather big fan of George Thorogood and his unique-ish guitar style. Then again, I’ve always been a fan of blues based guitarists. “Bad to the Bone” is no departure from this. His guitar and vocal style is present throughout the entire album. While he only pens three of the ten songs himself, he definitely leaves his stamp on the other seven.

“Bad to the Bone” opens with one of his own. “Back to Wentzville” is a 1950s style boogie blues jam and it is perfect to open this album. The next two songs are more in line with George’s traditional blues-riff style and I’m sure the Isley Brothers wouldn’t be too upset over the way he jams on their song, “Nobody But Me.” “It’s a Sin” is more of a slower song but the George and his band inject a great deal of power into it. Next comes my second favourite track, “New Boogie Chillun.” This was a classic John Lee Hooker song and again, the performance of it is phenomenal. After that is the title track and possibly my favourite on the album. Wow, that’s two albums in a row where my favourite track is the single, I’m hope I’m not starting a trend here. Anyway, it is the second song he writes on the album and I think the main reason I like it so much is that I have been listening to that one separate from the rest of the album way too much. Still, it’s a great tune.

“Miss Luann” is the third and final song he writes on the album. This along with the other two, shows that he can definitely write songs which has me wondering why he has used so many covers on the album. Then again, he does each and every cover total justice. For instance, the very next song, “As the Years Go Passing By” is the closest thing to a ballad on the album. However, it also highlights the fact that George’s voice has a little bit more range than what he is usually given credit for. Still, he lays down yet another grand guitar solo on it. After a classic Chuck Berry number, the album closes with a Bob Dylan tune, “Wanted Man.” Even though you can clearly hear the Thorogood stamp on it, you can still work out that this is Dylan through the lyrics. Nevertheless, it’s a great one to go out on.

Track Listing:

  1. Back to Wentzville
  2. Blue Highway
  3. Nobody But Me
  4. It’s a Sin
  5. New Boogie Chillun
  6. Bad to the Bone
  7. Miss Luann
  8. As the Years Go Passing By
  9. No Particular Place to Go
  10. Wanted Man
George Thorogood

George Thorogood

George Thorogood- vocals, guitar

Billy Blough- bass

Jeff Simon- drums, percussion

Hank Carter- saxophone

Ian Stewart- piano, keyboards

Besides the fact it was a rubbish film, I think that the soundtrack to “Christine” was the first of a long list of film soundtracks back in the 1980s to try to incorporate different forms of music in an attempt to appeal to everyone. I don’t know for sure as I have no intention of listening to it. Why should I? After all, the best single on it can be found on a far more superior album.

Next post: Planet P Project

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 1982: Blackfoot- Highway Song, Live in London

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 13, 2015 by 80smetalman

blackfootlive

What is the most logical thing to do after your band has put out three very good studio albums? Well, in the case of Blackfoot, the answer is to put out one hell of a live album. That is exactly what they did in 1982 with the album recorded live in London. If it hadn’t been for the fact that I happened to visit London in the summer of 1983, this album would have past me by because I never saw it on sale at any of the record shops in New Jersey and that, to me, would have been a damn shame.

220px-Blackfoot_-_Strikes

220px-Tomcattin'

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Why is this live album so good? The answer is pretty obvious to any Blackfoot fan. At this particular concert, they played some of their finest material off their previous three albums, “Strikes,” “Tomcattin'” and “Marauder.” If I were to have produced the album, I would have done little different except ask the band to play “I Got a Line On You” from the “Strikes” album but that’s a personal thing. The album is fine as it stands. Things open with two songs from “Tomcattin,'” “Gimme, Gimme, Gimme,” which is definitely a great concert opener, especially at the beginning when Rick Medlocke announces “All right London, it’s boogie time!” You get little time to rest after the opener because Medlocke gets the crowd going by saying, “If someone messes with your queenie, you’re gonna mess up their god damn nose!” Then they launch into “Queenie, Every Man Should Know.” If the crowd isn’t fully up by now, then the almost thrash sounding, “Good Morning” definitely gets them there.

“Good Morning” is the first of three songs from the “Marauder” album. The other two songs that follow, “Dry County” and “Fly Away” sound much better live than the versions on the album and there was nothing wrong with those. It’s just the raw energy this concert gives that takes things up several levels. One note, in between “Dry County” and “Fly Away,” Blackfoot play their own version of John Lee Hooker’s “Rolling and Tumbling” and I will say that they put their own unique stamp on that song quite nicely.

The rest of the album/concert is dominated by songs from the “Strikes” album. “Road Fever” for all the Scotland rock and roll maniacs as how Medlocke introduces the song, rolls things along very well. After they play “Trouble in Mind,” Blackfoot take the show up on an enormous high with the two best songs from that album, “Train, Train” and of course “Highway Song” and both are cases of the live version being way above the studio version. This leads me to realise that if Blackfoot can improve on songs from great studio albums when played live, they are definitely a band to be reckoned with.

Track Listing:

1. Gimme, Gimme, Gimme

2. Queenie, Every Man Should Know

3. Good Morning

4. Dry County

5. Rolling and Tumbling

6. Fly Away

7. Road Fever

8. Trouble in Mind

9. Train, Train

10. Highway Song

11. Howay the Lads

Blackfoot

Blackfoot

Rickey Medlocke- guitar, lead vocals

Charlie Hargrett- guitar

Greg T Walker- bass, backing vocals

Jackson Spires- drums

I think back to that time in 1983 and thank God that I was in London and saw this album in a record store. Otherwise, I would have missed it. Then again, each time I listen to the album, I become pig sick at not having ever seen them live. Trust me, “Highway Song” will make you feel that way.

Next post: Rossington/Collins- This is the Way

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