Archive for KISS

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1984: KISS- Animalize

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 8, 2018 by 80smetalman

Since Queensryche supported KISS in late 1984, I thought it only appropriate for the next post to be KISS’s “Animalize” album. Unlike Queensryche, I was able to put more details of their performance on this tour in “Rock and Roll Children.” Although I didn’t actually see the concert, I did get the video of KISS concert for “Animalize,” so that helped me a lot. This was in spite of the fact that the concert on the video didn’t take place in Philadelphia, which was where I went to see all the concerts at the time.

“Animalize” was the second album by KISS without their make up, following on from their previous album, “Lick It Up.” Now, I know KISS themselves along with many others like to downplay this era of Kisstory. True, they were looking more and more like a glam band but then again, so were many bands. However, I don’t think this album was particularly bad, it has its good moments.

The opener, “I’ve Had Enough (Into the Fire)” opens with some metal sounding riffs, which I’ve always liked. The riffs alone make this song the best choice to open the album. Next comes the big single, “Heaven’s On Fire.” No arguments from me that this song was made for commercial radio and MTV. It is too similar to “Lick It Up” but then again, I don’t dislike it either. I just find myself amused at the similarities between the two singles.

“Burn Bitch Burn” is nothing more than a catchy title and a cool guitar solo. It does give weight to the belief that Gene was too sidetracked with other projects and not putting his full attention to KISS. Paul does succeed in making up for it with “Get All That You Can Take.” With all the “ooohs,” one could probably say it was Paul’s best vocal effort. It too has a cool guitar solo and throughout the years, I’ve wondered if Mark St John hasn’t been given the respect he deserves. Saying that, then future band member Bruce Kullick nails the guitar solo on the next track, “Lonely Is the Hunter” and makes me wonder if KISS should have had him play on the whole album. God, thinking about it can give a person a headache, almost. I will say that the track in question is a better effort from Gene, possibly his best on this album.

It seems that KISS tried to be more speed metal with “Under the Gun.” It is definitely the fastest song on the album and the best part is that Paul’s vocals fit the song. Maybe I’ve underestimated his vocal ability these many years. The song does open side two, if you have vinyl or cassette, very nicely and leads to my choice for hidden gem. I know that “Thrills in the Night” was released as the second single on the album but from what I’ve read, it failed to chart. That makes it a hidden gem in my opinion. It’s hard enough to please metalheads but with some good melody and Gene and Eric give great backing to Paul on the vocals and it has a cool guitar solo. Personally, I think the idea for the big single on their next album was taken from it. While I won’t call the remaining two songs, penned by Gene, filler, I won’t say they’re standout tracks. Just two good songs to end the album in the best way.

Track Listing:

  1. I’ve Had Enough (Into the Fire)
  2. Heaven’s On Fire
  3. Burn Bitch Burn
  4. Get All you Can Take
  5. Lonely is the Hunter
  6. Under the Gun
  7. Thrills in the Night
  8. While the City Sleeps
  9. Murder in High Heels

Paul Stanley- rhythm guitar, lead and backing vocals

Gene Simmons- bass, lead and backing vocals

Eric Carr- drums, backing vocals

Mark St John- lead guitar

Additional musicians

Bruce Kullick- lead guitar on “Lonely is the Night” and “Murder in High Heels”

Jean Beauvour (ex Plasmatics): bass on “Get All You Can Take,” “Thrills in the Night” and “Under the Gun”

Say what you want about KISS during their unmasked 1980s period, but I think that “Animalize” isn’t all that bad. It does have it’s good and amusing points but on the other hand, it never made me want to stop listening to “Destroyer.”

Next post: Whitesnake- Slide It In

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1984: Queensryche- The Warning

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 6, 2018 by 80smetalman

One problem with going back in history is that it isn’t always easy to put yourself back in that time. In many instances, I’ve listened to albums with a different attitude than I did when I first listened to them when said album first came out. That is the unfortunate case with Queensryche. When I first heard their debut album, “The Warning,” I thought that it was pretty good. However, I wasn’t chalking up the days for when their second album would come out. Then there’s another dilemma. Sometimes having historical knowledge isn’t always good and in Queensryche’s case, it isn’t. See, what I know now that I didn’t know in 1984 was that this band would go onto to achieve some great things. Without breaking sweat, I can think of three Queensryche albums that are far superior to “The Warning” and that isn’t fair to this album because it’s still pretty cool.

My first experience of Queensryche came when my friend introduced me to them after he had seen them supporting KISS. I couldn’t go to that concert because I had to work and that is why my account in “Rock and Roll Children” of their performance that night is what one critic called ‘bare bones.’ I not only had to take myself 25 years back in time but I had to glean knowledge from another person’s memory. Still, I’m sure they kicked ass that evening.

I’ve decided not to review “The Warning” as if I was in 1984 because subsequent recent re-listens have led me to conclude that the debut album was simply a marker for the better things Queensryche would aspire too. The band might have not liked how the album was mixed but I can hear all the trademark elements that make a good Queensryche album. There are the anthems like tracks of “En Force” and “No Sanctuary.” Both of these songs represent what I’ve always liked about this band, as do the opening riffs of “Deliverance.” “Take Hold of the Flame” incorporates a little bit of everything. It has an acoustic intro before Geoff Tate’s vocals take things up a couple of notches. Additionally, the guitar solo of one Chris De Garmo has me agreeing with my sister’s assertion that the band hasn’t been the same since he left.

For me, the second half of the album is the better half. All four tracks are what I can call classic Queensryche metal. There is some interesting harmonizing on “Behold the Storm” and though “Child of Fire” and “Road to Madness” are cool tracks,  my vote for favourite track is “Warning.” It definitely has the catchiest licks of all the songs. It sounds like a true metal anthem and Tate puts his vocal stamp on it perfectly. In reference to the guitars, while I still stand by my remark about Chris, Michael Wilton shows he’s just as good on the axe. Great song!

Track Listing:

  1. N M 156
  2. En Force
  3. No Sanctuary
  4. Deliverance
  5. Take Hold the Flame
  6. Behold the Storm
  7. Child of Fire
  8. Warning
  9. Road to Madness

Queensryche

Geoff Tate- lead vocals

Chris De Garmo- guitar, backing vocals

Michael Wilton- guitar, backing vocals

Eddie Jackson- bass, backing vocals

Scott Rockenfield- drums

Who says a little knowledge is a dangerous thing? If I knew back in 1984 what I know now about Queensryche, I would have called this album, “a promising start.” Because that is exactly what “The Warning” was.

Next post: KISS- Animalyze

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

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1984: WASP

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 17, 2018 by 80smetalman

At this moment, I’m kicking myself for my lack of foresight in these last few posts. Knowing I would be posting about Black Emerald, I should have waited until after my posts about them to visit the Armoured Saint album. This would have made my links to this debut album from WASP and the “Ride the Lightning” album from Metallica more cohesive. Why am I obsessing about this? You may be asking yourself. Well that’s because back in 1984, Metallica, WASP and Armoured Saint toured the US together. While I didn’t see this package, something I duly regret, I heard some amazing accounts of the shows and that’s why I wanted to post the 1984 releases from these three bands in succession. After all, it is part of our metal history.

The second this album was released, it became the subject of much controversy from the American religious right and eventually groups like the PMRC. The first target was the track “Animal (Fuck Like a Beast).” If you bought this album back in 1984, this track wouldn’t have been on it. Reason being was that it caused such an uproar with the zealots that Capital records decided to pull it from the album. Wimps! Therefore, I’m going to rewrite history a little an include it here because it is my all time favourite WASP song.

On the original copy, the album begins with the single “I Want to Be Somebody.” This was the song that actually got a little airplay on the radio and it is good. I don’t know how he does it but Blackie Lawless manages to write tunes with a catchy vibe to it. Fortunately, Blackie and the band don’t veer too far from that formula on the rest of the album. It is certainly there on the follow up track “L.O.V.E. Machine,” although the following track “The Flame” isn’t quite as catchy as the last two but not a bad song in any way. “B.A.D.” has a a very cool opening riff and possibly the best guitar solo on the album.

If offending the religious fanatics wasn’t enough, WASP had to go and have the America right question their patriotism. The track “School Daze” starts with a class full of children reciting the pledge of allegiance, which some attacked them for. However, if they bothered to listen to the lyrics, they would know that it’s about the drudgery of high school and nothing unpatriotic. The pledge of allegiance was there because that’s how the school day begins in America! Not that that ever bothered me because right after the pledge, the song goes into some hard  riffs and it’s possibly the heaviest song on the album.

WASP’s formula ticks things over very nicely on “Hellion.” It’s a cool track but nothing about it stands out from the other songs on the album. Afterwards though, comes the weakest link on the album. Now most of you know, I love a good power ballad and “Sleeping (In the Fire) is a brave attempt at one. However, Blackie doesn’t have the voice for singing such songs. He sounds to strained as if his voice is going to crack at any second. It is redeemed by a great guitar solo.

Three really good songs close out the album. I especially like how “Tormentor” begins with the guitar solo but keeps its pace throughout. It’s my vote for the hidden gem on the album and “The Torture Never Stops” makes the best closer for the album and gets the runner up vote for hidden gem.

Track Listing:

  1. Animal (Fuck Like a Beast)
  2. I Want to Be Somebody
  3. L.O.V.E. Machine
  4. The Flame
  5. B.A.D.
  6. School Daze
  7. Hellion
  8. Sleeping (In the Fire)
  9. On Your Knees
  10. Tormentor
  11. The Torture Never Stops

WASP

Blackie Lawless- lead vocals, bass

Chris Holmes- guitar

Randy Piper- guitar, backing vocals

Tony Richards- drums, backing vocals

The debut album from WASP would be a tool used by the religious right to wage war on rock music all throughout the 1980s. Like KISS, idiots would say that the band’s name was an acronym for We Are Satan’s People and We Are Sexual Perverts. While I am still lmao about this thirty plus years on, I still enjoy what a great album their debut was.

Next post: Metallica- Ride the Lightning

To get Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://book-fm.cf/print/free-download-rock-and-roll-children-by-michael-d-lefevre-pdf.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1984: Daniel Band- Run From the Darkness

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 22, 2017 by 80smetalman

Satan had come upon me during the summer of 1984 because the Daniel Band had lots of airplay on the Sunday morning radio show, TCN Hot Rock. I remember liking what they played but for some reason, I never explored them further. That’s why I say Satan had corrupted me because if I had explored the Daniel Band more, I would have discovered a long time ago what a great album “Run From the Darkness” is.

A little background on them, they were formed in 1979 in Toronto Canada. Their first album, “On Rock,” offered a more progressive sound. However, with this, their second album, they went full blown heavy metal. They even wore dog collars and spandex when they went on tour for this album. Plain and simple, upon listening to “Run From the Darkness,” I will second the motion that this was a heavy metal album. The first three tracks are definitely metal in your face, although I think the title track was the intended single. The third track, “Walk on the Water” is my favourite track on the album. The power chords are like Judas Priest and the harmonies in the chorus remind me of KISS in their heyday. Not a bad combination me thinks. They have also been compared to AC/DC, Boston and their fellow countrymen, April Wine. What’s not to like?

The metal doesn’t end with the first three tracks. Tracks four and five keep things ticking over very nicely. The latter is given the fan treatment at the beginning giving it that recorded live feel but “Sixteen” cooks regardless. In fact, the album doesn’t slow down to the latter end of the album. “Live Connection” is almost thrash. Even the keyboard on “Wall” just complements the hard rocking sound of the song. After “Wall” is the ballad, “It’s Over” and that’s a very tidy power ballad. As is the track after, “My Children.” This starts like a piano ballad and then the guitars come in and could flatten the walls of Jericho. The closing track, “In the Sky” takes things out in a typical metal way.

Let me once and for all dispel the myth about Christian Rock. I have listened to “Run From the Darkness” five times in the last week and not once did I find myself wanting to put my beer down and start reading my bible. Anyone who does that is just as liable to sacrifice a chicken to Satan after listening to Deicide. There are no in your face Jesus lyrics on here and even if there were, this album is good enough to where they could be singing about doing terrible things to dogs with a fork and I’d still enjoy the music from it. Added bonus is that lead guitarist Tony Rossi can hold his own with many of his non- Christian counterparts. Hey, the main can wail!

Track Listing:

  1. Don’t Give Up
  2. Run From the Darkness
  3. Walk on the Water
  4. Never Gonna Die
  5. Sixteen
  6. Live Connection
  7. Let’s Get Ready
  8. Wall
  9. It’s Over
  10. My Children
  11. In the Sky

Tony Rossi- lead guitar, vocals

Don McCabe- bass, lead vocals

Bill Findlay- guitar, keyboards, vocals

Matt Del Duca- drums

Have I converted? In regards to the Daniel Band, the answer is yes. If anyone out there still thinks that Christian Rock musicians are second rate, then have a listen to “Run From the Darkness.” This album, Christian or not, simply kicks ass.

Next post: Kerry Livgren AD- Time Line

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1506111961&sr=8-3&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1983: KISS- Lick It Up

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 20, 2017 by 80smetalman

Kiss_band

Coming out of the marines in 1983, I was a much different person than when I went in four years earlier. Not only had I changed but a lot of things in the world around had changed too. Around the four month mark after becoming a civilian, while watching the TV show, “Video Rock,” a song with a vaguely sounding voice began singing a song that to me sounded rather promising. Then the programme flashed up the artist and song title and it was at this point, I learned that KISS had come out of make up and that would forever be what I would most remember 1983 for in the musical sense.

I had already warmed to KISS after hearing their previous album, “Creatures of the Night” so the song played on the video, “Lick It Up” was no surprise and I quite liked it. Therefore, KISS continued their journey back into my acknowledgement. Before that and though I never really mentioned here but have done so in other blogs, I ignored KISS during the late 1970s. Some could argue that they didn’t put out anything worthy during that time but that wasn’t it for me. I ignored them because I was going through deep religious phase back then. One of my fellow Christians stated that KISS was an anagram for Knights In Satan’s Service and I believed it. So, I avoided them on the misguided belief they were Satan worshipers. I won’t go into details here but if you want to read more about it then here it is:  https://peacefulrampage.wordpress.com/2017/01/18/my-confusion-of-religion-and-music/

I’ve heard all the talk about the unmasked 80s KISS not being the best period in their history. I won’t enter into that debate. I would be the first to admit that “Lick It Up” doesn’t quite reach the heights of classics like “Destroyer” or even “Creatures of the Night” but for me, “Lick It Up” was the right album at the right time. Plus, say what you like, but it’s better than their attempts at sounding more commercial in the early 198os.

Something I have always loved about any album is when the ‘hit’ single is not the best track on it. Although there are plenty of albums I like that are exception to this. “Lick It Up” is not the best song on the album that bears its name. There are several tracks which are better. Let’s start with my personal favourite, “Young and Wasted.” Of course the song title brought me much amusement, especially that they applied to me quite a bit during that time. However, I like the more aggressive intro this and several other songs on the album I rate higher than the title track. For “Young and Wasted,” it just seems to be done the best. On “Not for the Innocent” and “Gimme More,” I can hear the Vinnie Vincent influence on the guitar. “Dance All Over Your Face” is a really cool tune and “And on the Eighth Day” closes the album out rather well. A great majority of the songs on “Lick It Up” just seem to be in your face cool rockers. Say what you will about this album, but I quite like it.

Track Listing:

  1. Exciter
  2. Not for the Innocent
  3. Lick It Up
  4. Young and Wasted
  5. Gimme More
  6. All Hell’s Breakin’ Loose
  7. A Million to One
  8. Fist Like a Glove
  9. Dance All Over Your Face
  10. And On the Eight Day
KISS

KISS

Paul Stanley- rhythm guitar, lead vocals

Gene Simmons- bass, lead vocals

Eric Carr- drums, backing vocals

Vinnie Vincent- lead guitar, backing vocals

Vinnie Vincent would leave KISS after this album. According to which camp you belong to, he was either fired or left on his own accord. He would go onto put out a solo record which I will definitely visit when I hit 1986. As for KISS, for me, “Lick It Up” was their way completely back into my attention and they would continue to be there for a long time.

Next post: Metallica- Kill’Em All

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