Archive for Killer Dwarfs

Great Metal Albums of 1985: Metal For Breakfast

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 18, 2018 by 80smetalman

Welcome to the first heavy metal compilation album I bought. It was early February 1985 when I saw “Metal For Breakfast” at my local record store. Since I often used to feel like the way the dude on the cover looks, I thought it was worth a look. When I flipped to the back cover of the album and saw who was actually on it and their songs, I knew I had to buy it straight away. Who couldn’t resist an album with Ted Nugent, Saxon, Y&T, Quiet Riot, Ozzy and Judas Priest on it. Furthermore, the songs from these artists with the exception of Judas Priest’s hidden gem, (I had never heard “The Ripper” until this album), was more incentive to get it. But that’s only half the story!

Attic Records, being based in Toronto, seemed very eager to unveil much of its local talent and they chose a good group to do so. I had heard of Anvil but never listened to them. “Forged in Fire” changed all that. Any band called The Killer Dwarfs had to be granted a listen and “Heavy Mental Breakdown” did not disappoint. This was the first step on their way to them becoming my all time favourite Canadian band. I know Mercyful Fate are from Denmark but the fact that “Black Funeral” comes right out and sings “Hail Satan” sticks one in the ear for the American religious zealots. On the second side is the lovely Lee Aaron and “Metal Queen” is mind blowing. Of course, there’s always a hidden gem and on “Metal For Breakfast” it’s the track “Metalhead” by Blotto. It takes a dig at metalheads but it’s done in a really funny way plus, it’s a good song. So what you have is a great combination of well known metal tunes and ones that weren’t so well known coming together to make a fantastic album.

Track Listing:

1. Anvil- Forged in Fire

2. Ted Nugent- Cat Scratch Fever

3. Killer Dwarfs- Heavy Mental Breakdown

4. Accept- Balls to the Wall

5. Mercyful Fate- Black Funeral

6. Blotto- Metalhead

7. Lee Aaron- Metal Queen

8. Saxon- Princess of the Night

9. Judas Priest- The Ripper

10. Quiet Riot- Metal Health

11. Y&T- Mean Streak

12. Ozzy Osbourne- Crazy Train

And I think you should listen to the hidden gem:

Back in 1985, “Metal for Breakfast” was the classic metal combination of what was known and not so known in the heavy metal world. Nowadays, it’s just a classic 80s album but it still kicks ass!

I probably looked more like this back then.

Next post: Dokken- Tooth ‘N’ Nail

To download Rock and Roll Children for free, go to: http://allkindlecloud.com/register/14510967-Rock-and-Roll-Children_pdf_free.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Great Metal Albums of 1983: Killer Dwarfs

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on April 17, 2016 by 80smetalman

KILLERDWARFS1

I stated that sometime during the tour of 1983, I would make a revelation. My original plan was to wait a little further down the line before I made this revelation but recent posts on another blog has made it impossible for me to hold it in any longer. So now, I am going to reveal my favourite Canadian band of all time. Yep, you guessed it, it’s the Killer Dwarfs, who released their debut, self titled album in 1983.

It was the name alone that first got my attention. While browsing around my local record shop, I happened to pick up a compilation album, which I will visit in 1984, and the third track in was the single “Heavy Mental Breakdown” by the Killer Dwarfs. Being a Dungeons and Dragons player,  the name gave me a tickle and that, along with some of the other great tracks I did know, was enough for me to buy the album. A couple of listens to the song on the compilation album was enough for me to send a cheque to Attic Records in Canada and buy their debut album. Unlike Chris DeBurgh, it was the best record buying decision I ever made and I’ve been a huge Killer Dwarfs fan ever since. My best experience was seeing them open for Iron Maiden at the Hammersmith Odeon in London in 1988.

Let’s talk about the debut album. I’ll be the first to say that future albums were better and more polished than this one but that doesn’t stop this album from being a killer, yes pun intended. The opener, “Are You Ready,” sucks you in from the first notes and the second track, “Can’t Lose” does a great job in keeping your attention. Both songs are good rockers with catchy rhythms. Things go along very nicely through the next to tracks to the mentioned single to close out side one and leaving you very curious to hear what side two is going to sound like. Well, the second side doesn’t disappoint and I found it better than side one. All five songs stand out very well all the way down to a very good power ballad of a closer. That was why when I read about Russ Dwarf’s recent acoustic recordings of some of the classic Killer Dwarfs songs, I questioned why “Fire in Your Eyes” wasn’t included among them. While the song on this album has some great electric power chords, I still think it would sound great unplugged.

Now let’s talk about my favourite track on this album. If I were ever to write my auto-biography or there were to be a film made about my life, I would call it or insist it be called, “Outlaw of a Modern Man.” Besides the fact that I think that title applies to me at least a little bit, I found the title to be very amusing. At least the band and I have a similar sense of humour. The song itself is just a great power rocker. Only barely more than three minutes long, it packs a lot of dynamite into that short time. In spite of all the accusations of being pop metal, this song shows that the Killer Dwarfs can rock! But I knew that when I bought this album.

Track Listing:

  1. Are You Ready
  2. Can’t Lose
  3. Drifter
  4. Prisoner
  5. Heavy Mental Breakdown
  6. Read Between the Lines
  7. Gotta Lose to Win
  8. Outlaw of a Modern Man
  9. Time to Move On
  10. Fire in Your Eyes

This is the only photo I could get of the first line up.

This is the only photo I could get of the first line up.

Russ ‘Dwarf’ Graham- vocals

Bryce ‘Dwarf’ Trewin- guitar

Ange ‘Dwarf’ Fodero- bass

Darrell ‘Dwarf’ Millar- drums

Unfortunately, after their debut album, the Killer Dwarfs would nearly fade into obscurity. Both members of the string section would leave and the band would part ties with its record label. However, they would be back and better than ever but that story is best left for the appropriate time. The other unfortunate thing is that on account of all this, their debut album would be pretty much forgotten. I would be one of the ones who wouldn’t because it was the first album that made me a die hard Killer Dwarfs fan.

Next post: Huey Lewis and the News- Sports

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

 

My Top 15 Albums

Posted in Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 15, 2015 by 80smetalman

Typical me of my school days. I was always forgetting to do assignments which often got me in trouble with teachers. I almost missed the one set by a fellow blogger to list my 15 favourite albums. Looks like I’m just going to make the deadline here so don’t give me a detention. Well here they are:

sod

  1. Stormtroopers of Death- Speak English or Die

stend

2. Suicidal Tendencies

 kdbd

3. Killer Dwarfs- Big Deal

dio

4. Dio- Holy Diver

FreedomAtPointZero

5. Jefferson Starship- Freedom at Point Zero

 OneMoreFromTheRoad_LynyrdSkynyrdalbum

6. Lynyrd Skynyrd- One More From the Road

 imlad

7. Iron Maiden- Live After Death

 paranoidt

8. Black Sabbath- Paranoid

Aerosmith-Toys_in_the_Attic

9. Aerosmith- Toys in the Attic

tsyou

10. Twisted Sister- You Can’t Stop Rock And Roll

dv-ssor

11. Vaughn- Soldiers and Sailors on Riverside

hotdrise

12. Hair of the Dog- Rise

220px-Molly_Hatchet_-_Flirtin'_with_Disaster

13. Molly Hatchet- Flirtin’ With Disaster

nzhotd

14. Nazereth- Hair of the Dog

220px-REO_Speedwagon_-_Nine_Lives

15. REO Speedwagon- Nine Lives

Honourable Mentions

38 Special- Rockin’ Into the Night

Jefferson Starship- Winds of Change

Kreator- Pleasure to Kill

Van Halen- II

Dio- The Last in Line

Twisted Sister- Under the Blade

AC/DC- Back in Black

AC/DC- Highway to Hell

Pink Floyd- Dark Side of the Moon

Blackfoot- Highway Song

Damned Nation- Grand Designs

This is my list respectfully submitted on 15 September, 2015.

Tribute to Frank Formica- A True Metal Fan

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 2, 2014 by 80smetalman

Hi everyone, it’s been awhile and let me just say that I am having a great time here in New Jersey. In the past ten days, I’ve eaten Cap’n Crunch for breakfast nearly every day and I think I’ve consumed enough Yuengling to make up for the eight years I’ve gone without it. Of course there’s the local cusine, I couldn’t go without at least eating one Philly cheese steak. When I return to the UK on Friday, I will be introducing the country, well Gloucestershire anyway, to the game of beer pong. But the best thing about my time in NJ is the chance to meet up with long time no see good friends.

Frank and Me

Frank and Me

The great thing about friends, as far as music goes, is that they are always introducing one another to new music and the latest offerings from artists they have in common. Back in the golden days of heavy metal, the 1980s, my metal friend Frank Formica was always discovering new metal and playing it for the rest of us. Frank  almost singlehandedly introduced me the thrash and enlightened me to the musical offerings of Metallica and Anthrax. On the flip side I introduced him to Kreator and The Killer Dwarfs and together we experienced the Stormtroopers of Death when we saw them live in New York. That concert will live in both our memories as the insaneist one we’ve ever been to and there were many others. Frank was clearly an inspriation behind my love for heavy metal back then.

Frank as Alice Cooper

Frank as Alice Cooper

Nowadays Frank runs a karaoke show called Veteran Cosmic Rocker named after a song from a Moody Blues album I visited earlier this year. In order to get gigs, it’s not total heavy metal although, I’m sure he wouldn’t mind if it was. I went to his show last night at a bar called The Riverside, near Mays Landing, NJ. First, I never knew he could sing that well as he belted out a few classic Alice Cooper ditties in line with the Halloween theme. He also sang several Rolling Stones classics like “Sympathy for the Devil” and his girl friend helped get the party started by singing a few more mainstream tunes like the song by Pink which creates a pun here. The biggest surprise, however, was when Frank introduced his friend who had come all the way from England and that he was going to sing some heavy metal. He proceded to sing some Judas Priest, although I can’t for the life of me remember which one, “Detroit Rock City ” by KISS and to end the night on a good note, he sang “For Whom the Bell Tolls” by Metallica. I felt very honoured that he sang those songs for me.

Frank in action

Frank in action

After a slow start, the night took off and overall things went pretty well. Since half of the clientelle was made up with members of the Tough Guys MC, there wasn’t going to be a mad rush to the microphone but several ladies made more than one trip up and entertained the crowd. Did I go up to the mike? You must be kidding, I can’t carry a tune in a bucket which is why I have always been more of an appreciator of music rather than a purvyeor.

The Riverside or for non- Americans, a typical American bar

The Riverside or for non- Americans, a typical American bar

Many factors have contributed to making me the metalhead I am today. One of the more major ones was my friend Frank Formica who opened my eyes to all sorts of heavy metal. If it hadn’t been for Frank, I would not have been able to write “Rock and Roll Children” and I suspect those who have read it have already figured out that I based the Frankie character in the story on Frank. I’m sure we all have friends who influenced us musically and for me, there was no one better than Frank.

Next post: Black Sabbath- The Mob Rules

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

 

 

Is Canadian Metal Ignored? Part 2

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

                                                               

I realised after I posted last week that I left out another great Canadian band, Triumph. In the early to mid 1980s, this Canadian trio had a string of cool albums and some great singles as well. I reminded myself of this the other day when on one of my walks while listening to my MP3, I had the fortune of hearing the songs “Spellbound” and “A World of Fantasy.” Both of these are killer songs and made Triumph the great metal band they were back in the 80s. Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to see them live, but I know people who have and all of them have said wonderful things about Triumph’s live shows. Made me jealous. Although some magazine rated Triumph second in the category of “Bands who think they’re tough, but they’re not,” Triumph were a brilliant band. (However, I wouldn’t debate Night Ranger being voted number one in that category.)

This brings me to my personal favourite Canadian metal band of all time, The Killer Dwarfs. I first heard them on a heavy metal compilation album called “Metal For Breakfast” on the former label Attic Records. The song on that album, “Heavy Mental Breakdown” was good enough for me to buy the album, although the name of the band was enough for me to check them out more. I’m very glad I did because their first four albums, “Killer Dwarfs,” “Stand Tall,” “Big Deal” and “Dirty Weapons” improved with each new album.Then in 1988, I had the pleasure of seeing them open for Iron Maiden in London. It still perplexes me to this day why they never achieved more success.

Other Canadian bands who deserve a mention are The Jitters who I saw open for Heart in 1988 at Wembley Arena and I was very impressedand I have just recently heard a band called Derailed and can recommend them too. Finally, I had another listen to the Anvil album “This is Thirteen” and I must say that it is even better than I first thought. So please, let’s not boycott Canada.