Archive for KISS

Great Metal Albums of 1987: KISS- Crazy Nights

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 27, 2022 by 80smetalman

According to most KISS fans and fanatics I know, “Crazy Nights” is not the best KISS album. In fact, many put it near the bottom when rating KISS albums. However, to the world, it was one of the highest charting albums KISS had made in a number of years charting in at least eleven countries and even hitting the number four spot in both the UK and Finland. So it begs the question, why was such a successful album not held in the same esteem by so many metalheads and KISS fans? The truth is out there.

One thought could be the fact that the first single “Crazy, Crazy Nights” went all the way to number four in the UK singles charts. While universally agreed by British metalheads that it’s not KISS’s greatest song, it was always great to see a metal song do well in the charts during a time it was dominated by bubble synth pop from the likes of Stock, Aiken and Waterman. We saw it as sticking it to the trendies. On a personal note, the lyrics of the song has always had meaning for me. In a world that had it in for heavy metal, it reminded us that metalheads were a force to be reckoned with and not to give a crap as to what the rest of the world thinks of us. I even quote the lyrics towards the end of “Rock and Roll Children.”

They try to tell us that we don’t belong

That’s all right, we’re millions strong

This is my music, it makes me proud

These are my people and this is my crowd.

Three singles were released from the album and “Crazy, Crazy Nights” is the only one of those which doesn’t have keyboards. When KISS went to record the album, they were looking for something which would bring them back to their glory days. They brought in producer Ron Nevison to help and he shaped the sound of the album. Another point of KISStory here is that Gene Simmons was off doing other things so his contributions on “Crazy Nights” were minimal. Bruce Kullick stepped in and got four song writing credits and Eric Carr had one. They also had assistance from outside writers such as Desmond Child.

As for the album itself, after the biggest charting single opens it, things continue for the next three tracks. Each of those tracks reminds me of the KISS I had grown up with over the years. “I Fight Hell to Hold You” is the hidden gem on the album as it’s hard and heavy. I can say the same for “Bang Bang You” even if the lyrics would be considered not woke these days. They do make reference to ancient times when Paul sings that he’s going to shoot his love gun.

Let me be blunt here, in my opinion and that’s just what it is, I think that Bruce is the star of this album. His shredding on the majority of the songs is what makes them. If not his shredding some of his opening riffs like “No, No, No” for example. “When Your Walls Come Down” is another great example of Bruce’s brilliance. The two tracks before it are okay but don’t make me want to get up and headbang away to them. “When the Walls Come Down” injects new life into the album and save it from descending into mediocrity. Furthermore, it’s his guitar solo on the single, “Reason to Live” that I would show any interest in it. Otherwise, it would have been just another power ballad.

Bruce Kullick

Talking about Gene, while he only writes on four of the eleven songs on the album, three of them are very good. One of them I already mentioned. He writes with Bruce on “No, No, No” and that’s probably why it’s good. Gene lets Bruce do his thing on that one. “Good Girl Gone Bad,” which reminds me of the single “Tears are Falling” from their previous album and the closer “Thief in the Night” are both strong tracks. The closer is definitely more old school KISS. So I can theorize here that while Paul was looking for commercial viability, Gene, when he was around, kept KISS truer to its more metal roots.

Track Listing:

  1. Crazy, Crazy Nights
  2. I’ll Fight Hell to Hold You
  3. Bang, Bang You
  4. No, No, No
  5. Hell or High Water
  6. My Way
  7. When the Walls Come Down
  8. Reason to Live
  9. Good Girl Gone Bad
  10. Turn On the Night
  11. Thief in the Night
KISS

Paul Stanley- rhythm guitar, lead vocals, keyboards

Gene Simmons- bass, lead vocals

Eric Carr- drums, backing vocals

Bruce Kullick- lead guitar

I’ll be blunt again, there are better KISS albums than “Crazy Nights” but I do like the fact that it and the singles stuck it to the trendies in 1987. My main takeaway from listening to it again after a long time is that Bruce Kullick needs more credit than what he’s actually given.

Next post: Twisted Sister- Love is for Suckers

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

To sign the petition for a knighthood for Bruce Dickinson, click the link: https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson

Great Metal Albums of 1987: Tigertailz- Young and Crazy

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 20, 2022 by 80smetalman

Making their way around the British metal scene in 1987 was Welsh glam metal band Tigertailz. While I never got the chance to see them live, I do know they played great London rock clubs such as The Marquee and the Royal Standard. Looking at this album cover, your initial reaction is probably similar to mine back then, they could rival Poison in the ‘rock dudes who look like chicks’ sweepstakes.

The funny thing is that their debut album, “Young and Crazy,” is similar to the Poison sound. I do hear the similarities between the two bands. However, I also note a KISS influence in some of their songs, the opener, “Star Crazy” and “Shameless.” Paul or Gene would both be comfortable singing either of those songs.

There is no doubt in my mind that Tigertailz were a competent band and there are some really good songs on it. The standout song for me is definitely “Livin’ Without You.” Crunching guitars and a pumping bass dominate the song but without losing any of the catchy melody. It is probably Steevi Jaimz best vocal effort and the crunching rhythm in the middle stamps its authority. Additional, there is a great drumroll from Ace Finchum and Jay Pepper lays down his best guitar solo. Definitely, my choice for best song.

The other thing is that because they look and sound similar to Poison, I want to compare and contrast them with Poison. What would be cool if Brett Michaels came and sang for Tigertailz as he is better than Steevi Jaimz while Jay Pepper is a better guitarist than CC DeVille. Just my opinion and of course, you are all free to offer yours. The teacher in me always welcomes debate.

Oh, another thing about the track, “Shameless,” is that while KISS influenced, in the middle of the song, Steevi does a David Lee Roth style spoken part. Is it as good as Dave? Well, not many singers can talk their way through songs like DLR but I will give Steevi and ‘A’ for effort. Where Tigertailz go original is the track, “City Kidz.” There is a blues like swagger to this song and a real cool rhythm guitar riff before a cool guitar solo. Okay, it gets the number two spot in the best song on the album category.

“Shoot to Kill” isn’t a bad track but it’s more filler with all the cliche heavy metal elements to it. On the other hand, “Turn Me On” is definitely the song for the rhythm section. It begins with Jaimz saying, “Come on Ace” and Ace responds with a cool drum fill. His drums take command but there is a good bass solo from Pepsi Tate in the middle. Less fortunately, it’s sandwiched between the two filler tracks. The former already mentioned track and “She’z Too Hot” has the same heavy metal cliches. Still, it’s not that bad. The title track is a more lively penultimate track where Jay is once again let off the leash on the six string. However, the album ends with a decent power ballad in the form of “Fall in Love Again.” At first it seems out of place but that thought is quickly erased and guitar and bass make it okay.

Track Listing:

  1. Star Attraction
  2. Hollywood Killer
  3. Ballerina (Instrumental)
  4. Livin’ Without You
  5. Shameless
  6. City Kidz
  7. Shoot to Kill
  8. Turn Me On
  9. She’z Too Hot
  10. Young and Crazy
  11. Fall in Love Again
Tigertailz

Steevi Jaimz- vocals

Jay Pepper- guitar

Pepsi Tate- bass

Ace Finchum- drums

In respect to what I said about the Brett vs Steevi aspect. Steevi isn’t a bad singer but he wasn’t that good. It’s probably why Tigertailz got a new singer after this album. There is even a re-recorded version of my favourite track sung by the new singer. Anyway, this is a good effort from a band looking to make it. If the production had been better, then I think it would have been phenomenal.

Next post: Anvil- Strength of Steel

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

To sign the petition for a knighthood for Bruce Dickinson, click the link: https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson

London’s Aladdin’s Cave of Heavy Metal

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 16, 2021 by 80smetalman

Now that I am back from my weekend of playing Santa Clause to my step-grandchildren in Cleethorpes, I can return to posting about the golden age of heavy metal. However, this post isn’t for an album or event which happened in 1987. Instead it’s about a record store in London called Shade’s. A few years back, fellow blogger Every Record Tells a Story wrote a post about the store and now that it has been several years, I thought I’d put my own spin on it.

The best way I can describe Shade’s is using the words I used in “Rock and Roll Children,” an Aladdin’s cave of heavy metal. Although in the book, I changed the name to “Snakes” so I wouldn’t infringe any laws. It was down an narrow lane, so you had to actually be looking for it in order to find it and once inside the door, the staircase leading down to the main room added to the cave effect. Actually, I think I described it better here than I did when I wrote “Rock and Roll Children.”

Inside Shade’s

Shade’s had everything a metalhead could possibly hope for. Records, tapes, t-shirts and all other types of metal paraphernalia was on sale. I thought it particularly cool when I say a t-shirt of Kreator’s “Pleasure to Kill” album cover. However, I procrastinated and when I tried to buy it a few months later, it was no longer available. The attitude of the sales attendant when I inquired confirmed the belief that Londoners didn’t do customer service very well. They also sold concert tickets as it was there that I bought my ticket to see Possessed, Voi Vod and the English Dogs. Furthermore, while they had the classics, they also seemed to get the albums from the US when they first came out. That’s how I learned of new releases from the likes of KISS, Whitesnake, Billy Squier and the Killer Dwarfs. My one regret is that I wasn’t able to attend when Poison showed up for an autograph signing.

Unfortunately, Shade’s is no more. I heard it had become an internet cafe but I can’t be sure. I also wonder if they had been around in 2010, if they would have sold copies of “Rock And Roll Children.” I hope they would have. Still, I have fond memories of this great store.

Next post: Lee Aaron

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

My Experience of Desmond Child

Posted in 1979, films, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, soundtracks, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 6, 2021 by 80smetalman
Desmond Child, 2019

Reading many of your blogs out there, Mike Ledano and 2Loud’s especially, I have learned a lot about one Desmond Child. I never knew that he wrote songs, many of them hits, or produced albums for the likes of KISS, Aerosmith, Cher, Bon Jovi, Bonnie Tyler and many many more. My association with Desmond came about through a totally different manner. Not through his producing, my introduction to him came via the soundtrack of my all time favourite film, “The Warriors.” FFI- I’ve included my post on said soundtrack should you wish to read it.

Desmond not only writes my favourite track on the soundtrack, the closer, “Last of an Ancient Breed,” he sings it as well and I must say that Desmond is a decent singer and could have made it as one if he had gotten the breaks. Note: There were a couple of other talented singers on the soundtrack who vanished after. So, enough of me prattling on, here’s the song.

Yes, they do use excerpts from the 1983 film, “The Outsiders” in this video as well.

Hope you enjoyed!

Next post: Malice- License to Kill

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

Great Metal Albums of 1987: Frehley’s Comet

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on November 26, 2021 by 80smetalman

When I think back to 1987 and the years following, I have to thank my sister Dawn for introducing me to many of the bands I would enjoy in the late 80s and 90s. Every few months or at the very least, Christmas and birthdays, she would send me a compilation tape of metal bands she was listening to at the time. Montrose from the last post was one of them and if it hadn’t been for Dawn, I might not have known that former KISS guitarist, Ace Frehley, had put his own band together and made the band’s self titled album, “Frehley’s Comet.” So, thank you Dawn and also her metal sister, the late Stacy Kroger as she helped put the tapes together too.

On the not so upside, when Dawn introduced the tracks from the album she recorded on the tape, she said that she wasn’t impressed with the album. However, the songs she recorded were the two best tracks on the album, “Into the Night” and my personal favourite, “We Got Your Rock.” It could be argued that the latter track should have been the opener as it’s a grab you by the balls type rocker that would start most albums in the right frame. Plus the lyrics, “If it’s rock and roll you came for, it’s rock and roll you’re gonna get. We got your rock, right here!” would make me believe that this is going to be a great album.

Now, there is nothing wrong with the actual opener, “Rock and Roll Soldiers.” When I first heard, I thought it was about Ace finally overcoming his alcoholic demons and getting back to serious rock and roll. Apparently, it’s about a car crash he had in 1983. Whichever is right, this biographical account of Ace was a good way to start the album and it is punctuated at the end with the line, “If the devil wants to play his card game now, he’s gonna play it without an Ace in his deck.” That’s a great line!

Ace Frehley

While I wouldn’t call any of these tracks filler, some tracks are definitely stronger than others. Three of the strongest tracks have already been mentioned, although I probably haven’t sung the praises of “Into the Night” enough. This was released as a single and did hit number 27 in the rock charts. What I love about it is that Ace really rips a guitar solo on the song. Then again, he does it on most of the others. One thing I learned about this album is that Ace co-wrote the second track, “Breakout,” with former KISS bandmate, Eric Carr. You can hear the KISS influence in that song so I shouldn’t be totally surprised. However, I hear that when Ace plays it live, he dedicates it to Eric’s memory. Class act, Ace!

Critics, (what do they know), slated the album stating that Ace allowed himself to be swayed into using keyboards on some of his songs instead of the straight up guitar album he did on his 1978 KISS “Solo” album. While I see what they are saying, I don’t think the keyboards ruin the album. Besides, I like the keyboard intro on the very amusing “Dolls.” I can’t help thinking it’s about a certain type of doll used by lonely men. “Calling to You” is a strong track which takes me back to KISS’s stellar 70s days. What really intrigues me is the closer, “Fractured Too.” One might think that an instrumental from a renown guitarist in the 1980s would have him soloing all through the track like a Malmsteen or a MacAlpine but he doesn’t. Actually the song is rather tender and ends the album very well.

Track Listing:

  1. Rock Soldiers
  2. Breakout
  3. Into the Night
  4. Something Moved
  5. We Got Your Rock
  6. Love Me Right
  7. Calling to You
  8. Dolls
  9. Stranger in a Strange Land
  10. Fractured Too
Frehley’s Comet

Ace Frehley- lead and backing vocals, lead guitar

Todd Howarth- rhythm and lead guitar, lead and backing vocals, keyboards

John Regan- bass, backing vocals

Anton Figg- drums, percussion

I usually don’t disagree with my sister but I liked Frehley’s Comet more than she did. This album was just as good, maybe better than what his former band was doing at the time. One last note, while Ace was the key player on the album, it wouldn’t have been nearly as good without the contributions from the rest of the band.

Next post: Loudness- Hurricane Eyes

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

Great Metal Albums of 1987: Black N Blue- Nasty Nasty

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 10, 2021 by 80smetalman

Another example of the reverse effect of being in Britain as opposed to the US. While officially, Black N Blue’s album, “Nasty Nasty,” came out in America in 1986, it didn’t come to my attention in the UK until May 1987. Unlike Helloween, however, Black N Blue were much easier to categorize if you were into things like that. They were total glam metal. Being under the wing of Gene Simmons had a lot to do with that.

Any album which starts with someone hocking a loogey is okay with me. Saying that, it’s not just a gimmick for the title track which opens the album, the song “Nasty Nasty” is good on its own. A real good sleaze rock song before the term was officially coined in the music world. The heavy KISS influence comes with the next track, “I Want It All, I Want It Now.” As the song begins, the beat has me expecting Gene Simmons to start bellowing “Oh Oh Oh Oh Yeah!” like he does on my all time favourite KISS song, “I Love It Loud.” However, the song stands on its own very well and KISS influence or not, it’s a good fist bumping anthem. Only the second song on the album but it gets my vote for hidden gem.

According to metal history, Black N Blue went back to a more harder sound with “Nasty Nasty” after “Without Love” failed to get the commercial success it was hoped for. The first two tracks bear testimony to the harder rock edge although the third track, “Does She or Doesn’t She,” resembles the more melodic metal of the previous album. Still, it’s an okay song. They do go back on heavy metal track on “Kiss of Death.” This is a real rocker and I love Tommy Thayer’s guitar solo on it, though I am not to sure about the bit at the end where the tempo changes and fades out that way.

“Twelve O’ Clock High” goes almost to speed metal sound with it’s fast and furious guitar riffs but the jury is still out on Jamie St James’s vocals on it. He’s a good singer but it sounds like his voice isn’t made for high falsetto parts. It’s much better on the next track, “Do What You Wanna Do” where he keeps his vocals to the normal level and the song is much better for it. It’s just as ferocious as the previous track but Tommy rips a blinder of a guitar solo on it, his best on the album. Repeating myself from when I posted about their last album, it is no wonder KISS eventually scooped him up.

Next we come to the power ballad “I’ll Be There For You,” which was originally intended to be called, “Promise the Moon.” The record company forced the title change as they needed a single from the album. Well, everything about “I’ll Be There For You” has all the components of a great radio-MTV song but it didn’t get anywhere. Damn shame as it’s not a bad song and I do like the keyboard intro. The album closes out with two more straight rockers. “Rules” is a cool song, it would have been the hidden gem if it hadn’t been for “I Want It All, I Want It Now.” “Best in the West” is recorded live, which seems to be the thing back then but it is a cool rocker to end things with.

Track Listing:

  1. Nasty Nasty
  2. I Want It All, I Want It Now
  3. Does She or Doesn’t She
  4. Kiss of Death
  5. Twelve O’ Clock High
  6. Do What You Wanna Do
  7. I’ll Be There For You
  8. Rules
  9. Best in the West
Black’n Blue

Jamie St. James- lead and backing vocals

Tommy Thayer- lead guitar, backing vocals

Jeff Warner- rhythm guitar

Patrick Young- bass

Pete Holmes- drums

Additional Musicians

John Purdell- keyboards

Peter Criss and Ron Keel- backing vocals on “Best of the West”

Mark Ferrari- guitar on “Best of the West”

Black n Blue went harder for their album “Nasty Nasty” and they got a good hard rocking album. It’s still a shame that they didn’t go further.

Next post: Exodus- Pleasure of the Flesh

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

The Original vs. The Cover: I

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on October 21, 2021 by 80smetalman

Before I launch into my own version of the original vs. the cover, I thought I would share my experiences from this past Sunday when I went with my sons to see the Miami Dolphins play the Jacksonville Jaguars at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London. Believe it or not, this was the first NFL game I actually saw live. Some might think differently because I grew up in the US, but it was something I was going to do one day but never got around to it. Sure, I’ve been to other games, NFL Europe, the World League in the 1990s and two USFL games in the 80s but never a NFL game.

To make a long story short, we had a great time, in spite of the fact that my son Jake’s Dolphins lost as a result of a poor coaching decision late in the game. He stated that at least his favourite player, wide receiver Mike Gesicki, had a great game with eight receptions for 152 yards. So now, I will bore you with the pictures I took on the day and one thing I hope my British readers will take away is that Sunday proved that American football is popular in Great Britain.

Left to right: Jake, some strange dude and Will
The coin toss
The Dolphins have the ball deep in their own territory
Action from a few plays later

Before I went off on my little hiatus, I stated that my next post would take a leaf from 2loud2old and write my own post of “The Original vs. The Cover.” The song I have chosen is “I” which appears on KISS’s “Music From the Elder” album and was covered by the band Hair of the Dog in 1999 on their “Rise” album.

KISS from 1981

Remembering back to when I reviewed the “Music From the Elder” album way back in 2014, one mistake I made was not singing the praises of “I” enough. All I said that it should have been the closer and while I stick by that, I should have pointed out that I think it’s the best song on the album. This tune really nails 1970s hard rocking KISS and if more songs had been in this vein, then “Music From the Elder,” would have been a much better album! Another point I didn’t notice back then is that Paul and Gene share the vocals duties on the song and they bounce off each other very well. It makes me think that maybe they should have done more vocal collaborations on albums. When you listen to it here, Youtube has also connected the actual closer, “Finale” with it.

Hair of the Dog
Rise

KISS must have definitely done something right when they recorded “I” because Hair of the Dog do not venture far from the original formula. Their version is just a great hard rocking one which ticks all the boxes for me. Going back to KISS, I mentioned that “I” should have been the closer on “Music From the Elder.” I think the reason for this is that it is the closer on the “Rise” album and what a marvellous closer it is. However, when the song appears to end, there is a twenty second space of nothing and then Hair of the Dog throw in an amusing surprise so don’t miss that.

My Verdict: While it was great to hear KISS go back to their roots on one song from an album which isn’t included when their best albums are mentioned, I think that Hair of the Dog puts more pizazz into their version. I will say that KISS laid the foundation but HotD built it up into a phenomenal song. Have a listen and let me know what you think.

Next post: Kreator- Terrible Uncertainty

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

Great Metal Albums of 1986: Vinnie Vincent Invasion

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on October 19, 2020 by 80smetalman

Alice Cooper was making his big comeback with his “The Nightmare Returns” tour in 1986. Supporting him was a band whose guitarist had a stint with the legends, KISS. No prizes here, the man was Vinnie Vincent and his band was called Vinnie Vincent Invasion who were making their debut with this self titled album.

Vinnie Vincent

Here’s where some might question my sanity but I have always liked this album. I know of some who don’t. Admittedly, it’s not quite up there with some of the more classic album which came out in that year but it’s still a good album in its own right. My introduction to it came when I was in London where a local heavy metal club played the first two tracks quite a bit. The guitar riffs on “Boyz Are Gonna Rock” blew me away at the time, actually, they’re still quite good. Although now, with a more informed ear, I suspect that Vinnie was trying to copy some of the other guitar greats around at the time like Malmsteen.

It’s probably because the first two tracks introduced me to the album is why I consider them the two best tracks on it. “Shoot U Full of Love,” with the innuendo in the title is a straight up metal song and Vinnie does lay down a cool solo on that one. On the other hand, the attempt at a power ballad in “No Substitute” fails to connect with me but that shortfall is compensated by the next track, “Animal.” This is a good power rocker, though I think that Vinnie overdoes it a little with the Yngwie type shredding.

If they had cut out the silly harmonizing at the beginning of “Twisted,” the song would have stood on it’s own. The song drifts towards the territory of speed metal here and I’m impressed with the backing vocals here. Even Vinnie’s guitar solo sounds more like a speed metal solo. Then it’s on to “Do You Wanna Make Love,” which has a strong resemblance to a song from Vinnie’s former band. If you close your eyes and listen to the first few notes of this one, you might think it’s “Lick It Up.” I will go out on a limb and say that Vinnie’s guitar solo is better on this one.

“Invasion” takes an interesting turn on “Back on the Streets.” It goes for a more blues feel and credit where due, I think the band pulls it off. It was the second single from the album but since “Boyz Are Gonna Rock” is the best known track, “Back on the Streets” is my pick for hidden gem. Then, they go back to more traditional metal with “I Wanna Be Your Victim.”

Here’s where I go controversial. I think the album would have been great with nine tracks. Nothing wrong with “Baby-O” but it’s more filler than thriller. As for the closer, “Invasion,” it fulfills it’s role as closer very well as it would sound out of place anywhere else on the album. However, that annoying three minute loop at the end does my head in. I’m glad I heard this album on cassette as it doesn’t end on vinyl until you pick the needle up.

Track Listing:

  1. Boyz Are Gonna Rock
  2. Shoot U Full of Love
  3. No Substitute
  4. Animal
  5. Twisted
  6. Do You Wanna Make Love
  7. Back On the Streets
  8. I Wanna be Your Victim
  9. Baby- O
  10. Invasion
Vinnie Vincent Invasion

Vinnie Vincent- guitar, vocals

Robert Fleishman- vocals

Dana Strum- bass, backing vocals

Bobby Rock- drums

Note: Mark Slaughter appears as singer in the video for “Boyz Are Gonna Rock.”

Vinnie Vincent proved that he could survive without KISS, even if he did look more like a lady. There will be a future post on those lines. Anyway, I think this was a good album for 1986, although some might not agree. In any case, I’m sad that I missed Vinnie with Alice. That must have been a wild show.

Next post: Torme- Back to Babylon

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

Great Rock Albums of 1985: Petra- Beat the System

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 20, 2018 by 80smetalman

In the summer of 1985, a friend of mine, who was a Born Again Christian, invited me to go see the Christian rock band Petra, in attempt to bring me back to the fold. Having nothing better to do, I went and I must say that I really enjoyed it. It didn’t matter that they were singing about religion nor was I in any way annoyed when they stopped halfway through their show to present a brief slide show on the missionary work they were doing in Africa. I thought Petra were good enough for me to give their album “Beat the System” a listen.

While I wasn’t disappointed with the album, I had to say that at the time, it wasn’t the hard rock I had heard them play live. “Beat the System” is more on the lines of progressive rock bands such as Survivor and Marillion and that’s not a bad thing at all. One song that backs up my assertion is the second track, “Computer Brains.” It is done in the 80s style of the time while not going as far as being synth pop. Saying that, I do wish the guitar solo had been a little louder on it because another memory I took from the concert was that Bob Hartman is pretty good on the six string. But you can’t fault the keyboard work on this and some of the other songs.

“Clean” is a more harder track, maybe the hardest one on the album. It would have been a blinder if they had turned up the guitars a bit more but it has a catchy vibe. Next comes the hidden gem, “It is Finished.” The song is about the crucifixion of Jesus but this song has all the tools, except one, to be a great prog-metal jam. It has some cool keyboard notes to intro and a great metal rhythm to bang your head to. Greg Volz’s vocals might be the best on the album here. Everything there almost, what holds it back from being a brilliant prog-metal tune is the absence of any guitar solo. That would have propelled it through the ionosphere. If I was a Sunday School teacher and wanted to teach about the crucifixion, I would have definitely used this song.

“Voice in the Wind” is an all right song but let’s skip to the big feature of “Beat the System.” In 1991, you might have heard a KISS song called “God Gave Rock and Roll To You” compliments of the movie, “Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey.” Well Petra recorded this Russ Ballard written hit twice, the second time on this album. I don’t mean to anger KISS fans but I have to say that I prefer Petra’s version. KISS tried to make theirs sound to ballad-like and commercial. While Petra’s version seems more choppy, it works well. I’ll let everyone have a listen and decide for themselves.

The rest of the album is more of Jesus lyrics sung to some rather good progressive rock. The closer, “Adonai,” is a good an album closer as any. In the end, this is a good album and it proves that belief in a spiritual being has no bearing on how well anyone can sing or play music. “Beat the System” is simply good progressive rock.

Track Listing:

  1. Beat the System
  2. Computer Brain
  3. Clean
  4. It is Finished
  5. Voice in the Wind
  6. God Gave Rock and Roll to You
  7. Witch Hunt
  8. Hollow Eyes
  9. Speak to the Sky
  10. Adonai

Petra

Greg X Volz- lead vocals

Bob Hartman- guitars

Rhett Lawrence- synthesizers

John Lawry- synthesizers

Carl Marsh- keyboards, drums, bass

Did I come back to God as a result of Petra? No, but it wasn’t anything down to this cool band who have a great album and were cool to see live. What ended any desire to go back to the flock was the attitude of my friend and some of his “Christian” friends. Being a week after the great Live Aid, I had to hear these people put it down because the bands were all heathen rockers. One person said the bands should have given ten percent of their earnings to Africa. I wonder if this person gave that much of his. Damn hypocrite! That ended any idea of me burning my records and coming back to Jesus. Though, I feel I never really left him.

Next post: Kim MItchell- Akimbo Alogo

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1537470169&sr=1-1&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1984: Hanoi Rocks- Two Steps From the Move

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 10, 2018 by 80smetalman

Coming to the final month in 1984, just when I thought that the year of metal might be coming to end, I get news of a band shown on MTV coming to a local club. That band just happend to be, yes you guessed it, Hanoi Rocks. Previous to their appearance, I did happen to catch the video to their single, a cover of the CCR classic, “Up Around the Bend.” The video impressed me enough to go to the club and to make a long story short, I was rather impressed. In fact, I sometimes wonder if I should have included that gig in “Rock and Roll Children.” My reason for not doing so was because KISS came to Philadelphia that evening and I concluded that the main characters would have gone to see KISS instead. However, I do mention in the story that Bob’s older brother Mitch goes to see Hanoi Rocks.

Hanoi Rocks’s performance on that memorable evening further motivated me to get their then latest release, “Two Steps From the Move.” Another decision I have never regretted because this album is very good. I would be lying if I didn’t say that “Up Around the Bend” is my favourite track on it. I had always liked the original version and what Hanoi Rocks did was take a great classic and totally metalize it. However, the album is full of great metal jams. The ones which stick out especially are: “I Can’t Get It,” “Underwater World, which has a good guitar solo and “Million Miles Away” is as good a power ballad as any. The hidden gem on the album has to be “Boulevard of Broken Dreams.” The energy on that song is simply phenomenal! Definitely one to blast driving with the window down and “Boiler” is quite amusing. On the other hand and as cliche as this sounds, all the songs really kick ass. If I were to nit pick, it would be that “Don’t You Ever Leave Me” should have been the closer of the album but that’s a tiny technicality.

Track Listing:

  1. Up Around the Bend
  2. High School
  3. I Can’t Get It
  4. Underwater World
  5. Don’t You Ever Leave Me
  6. Million Miles Away
  7. Boulevard of Broken Dreams
  8. Boiler (Me Boiler ‘n’ Me)
  9. Futurama
  10. Cutting Corners

Hanoi Rocks

Michael Monroe- lead vocals and saxophone

Andy McCoy- lead guitar, vocals

Nasty Suicide- guitar, vocals

Sam Yaffa- bass, vocals

Razzle- drums, vocals

In 1984, Hanoi Rocks were on the threshold of international stardom. Unfortunately, just a few short weeks after I saw them obliterate a small club in New Jersey, tragedy would strike the band which would lead to their eventual break up. While it’s no secret what that tragedy was, I thought it would be better to go into more detail next post. Right now, focus on the band’s happier times with this great album.

Next post: 1984 Ends in Metal Tragedy

To get Rock and Roll Children for free, go to: https://crreadac.cf/current/ebooks-free-download-rock-and-roll-children-fb2-by-michael-d-lefevre.html