Archive for Led Zepplin

1980: Tragedies and Triumphs- Part 2

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Death, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 7, 2013 by 80smetalman

First of all, I owe a debt of gratitude to KramerTunes for saving me from committing a very fatal error in my first post of Tragedies and Triumphs. How stupid would I have looked if I had gone through 1980 and not mentioned the death of Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham. His death from asphyxiation caused by too much alcohol intake would shock the rock world to its foundations and resulted in the band calling it a day on the grounds they couldn’t continue without him.

John Bonham

John Bonham

Bonham would serve to be a major influence on not only drummers who were around at the time like Joey Krammer, Roger Taylor and Peter Criss, he continues to influence many a rock drummer to this very day. Drummers like Tommy Lee, Dave Lombardo and Dave Grohl all site John Bonham as their biggest influence as well. He created a legacy for rock drummers that will never die and I feel slightly sick that I won’t be going to see Led Zeppelin tribute band Whole Lotta Led when they come to Stroud this Friday night.

don-1980-Cover

 

Now the triumph. In 1980, the first of what was to be a line of great metal festivals took place at Donington Park near Derby in England on August 16 of said year. Rainbow would be the headliners for this mammoth event and supporting were the likes of Judas Priest, The Scorpions,  April Wine, Saxon and Riot. From what I’ve read and heard from people who were at the event, there were a lot of near mishaps including a pyrotechnics explosion the night before. Plus the rainfall on the previous days cause a quagmire on the actual day. Still, as can be expected, metal won the day and it turned out to be the start of a legacy that would go on for over a decade. (Although it can be argued that it still goes on under the name of Download.)

 

Shot of the first Donington

Shot of the first Donington

If you want to read more about this historic event, click this link:

http://www.ukrockfestivals.com/donington-1980.html

Many years have their own triumphs and tragedies and in 1980, the rock/metal world had more than its share. Especially as one more was yet to happen. Still, we can reflect back to the good times and raise a glass to those who left us.

R.IP. John Bonham

Next Post: Thin Lizzy- Chinatown

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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

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Great Rock Albums of the 70s: Nazereth- Hair of the Dog

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 12, 2011 by 80smetalman

Some may be asking themselves what some of the albums I have written about here have to do with 80s metal and my answer is that each one I have written about so far have shaped me into the metalhead I became in the 80s and I still am today. However, with this post, I am going back to my true metal roots with Nazereth’s sixth album “Hair of the Dog.” It’s true that Black Sabbath, Led Zepplin, KISS and all of the bands I have listed, along with their albums, laid the foundations of what we know and love as heavy metal, but if there is any one album I can point to and say, “This is how it was meant to be done,” it is this one.

Although, I didn’t own a copy until 1981 and that was because an old service buddy left the tape in my car and was transferred out of the unit a few days later and never reclaimed it, I remember everyone talking about this album and even wearing “Hair of the Dog” t-shirts. This was before rock t-shirts became a thing of mass production. When I did hear the album, I immediately found myself headbanging away to the first track and carrying on through the rest of the album. If it wasn’t for the ballad “Love Hurts,” my head might have come off from all of the great hard rocking tracks that comprise this album.

Track Listing:

1. Hair of the Dog

2. Miss Misery

3. Guilty

4. Changin’ Times

5. a) Beggar’s Day b) The Rose and the Heather

6. Whisky Drinking Woman

7. Love Hurts

8. Please Don’t Judas Me

Nazereth:

Dan MacCafferty- vocals, talk box on “Hair of the Dog

Manny Charlton- guitars, synthesiser

Peter Agnew- bass

Darrell Sweet- drums

I am willing to bet that if I were to play this album to any metal head from the 1980s to the present, not one of them would call it “dated.” This album set the standard for what heavy metal should sound like.

Next post: Bue Oyster Cult, Agents of Fortune

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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

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Great Rock Albums of the 70s: Deep Purple- Machine Head

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 8, 2011 by 80smetalman

The period of 1970-71 was obviously a great year for rock as two out of the three albums mentioned so far were made then. This post makes it three out of four as I present the “Machine Head” album by Deep Purple. Again, this is another one I didn’t listen to until later in life, probably because I was only nine or ten when this album was released. However, I can say that I have definitely made up for it since and I can include it among the greats of the decade.

Needless to say, the best known track on the album is the famous “Smoke on the Water,” a song known by metalheads young and old. Even after 40 years, young guitar apprentices play those famous opening riffs when they first learn to play an electric guitar. The song did for Deep Purple and “Machine Head” what “Stairway to Heaven” did for Led Zepplin on their forth album. But like Led Zepplin IV, “Machine Head” has many other great tracks on it such as “Highway Star” and “Space Truckin” which can stand on their own and make this album great.

Track Listing:

1. Highway Star

2. Maybe I’m a Leo

3. Pictures of Home

4. Never Before

5. Smoke on the Water

6. Lazy

7. Space Tuckin

Deep Purple is:

Ritchie Blackmore- guitar

Ian Gillian- vocals

 Roger Glover- bass

Jon Lord- keyboards

Ian Paice- drums

In the eyes and ears of many metalheads and ageing rockers like me, “Machine Head” will go down as Deep Purple’s greatest album. When I finally got to see them live in 1985, I thought it was only fitting that the first and last songs of that concert were from this album, which I sing the praises of in “Rock And Roll Children.”

Next post: Peter Frampton- Frampton Comes Alive

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Great Rock Albums of the 70s: Led Zepplin IV

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 4, 2011 by 80smetalman

Of all the people in my age group I have met over the years, I have only ever met one person who had never heard the famous song “Stairway to Heaven.” For forty years, that song has been a classic anthem with rockers both young and old. I mean who hasn’t been to at least one music shop where there’s a sign on the wall banning people from playing it on the guitar in the shop. “Stairway to Heaven” is definitely among the top classics. However, if Led Zepplin had been around in the 80s, it would have been classed as their token ballad or they might have been accused of selling out by some metalheads.

While “Stairway to Heaven” is one of the reasons why Led Zepplin IV is such a great album, it isn’t the only good song on it. There is an argument for all eight songs on the album to given the spotlight. I’ve seen both “Rock And Roll” and “Misty Mountain Hop” on juke boxes and my favourite has always been “Black Dog.” Five out of the eight songs appear on the “Mothership” album. Each and every song makes this album such a classic.

Track Listing:

1. Black Dog

2. Rock and Roll

3. The Battle of Evermore

4. Stairway to Heaven

5. Misty Mountain Hop

6. Four Sticks

7. Going to California

8. When the Levee Breaks

Robert Plant- vocals

Jimmy Page- guitar

John Paul Jones- bass

John Bonham- drums

I will not debate anyone who mentions the many other great albums which Led Zepplin put out in the 70s. “Physical Graffiti” and “Led Zepplin II” already come to mind. However, it is “Led Zepplin IV” that shows the true rock talents of Led Zepplin and why it is one of the greatest rock albums ever.

Next Post: Deep Purple, Machine Head

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Great Guitarists of the 70s

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 24, 2011 by 80smetalman

When people think of the great rock guitarists in the 70s, they will almost always mention what I call the big 3, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Eddie Van Halen.  

These three were considered by many to be the top of the heap back then. Eric Clapton thrilled many with his gutsy blues style and Jimmy Page opened a door with a new style for the many metal axemen which would follow him. Eddie Van Halen was the late comer, arriving on the scene in 1978 and carrying on into the 80s, he set the standard which other guitarists could only hope to achieve.

I’m sure many would put forward arguments for many other guitarists and rightly so. The 70s did have its share of those who could smoke the fingerboard. Of that many, the three I wish to put forward here are Ritchie Blackmore, Tony Iommi and Ted Nugent.

As a teenager in the mid and late 70s, I heard many would be guitarists copying the famous riffs on “Smoke On The Water” first played by Ritchie Blackmore when he was in Deep Purple. Blackmore had a style all his own. However, considered by many to be the “master of the riff” was Tony Iommi. You only have to listen to classic Sabbath songs like “Paranoid” and “Iron Man” to see why. Like Van Halen, Ted Nugent was a late comer for me. Sure, he had been around before then but it wasn’t until 1977 when I heard “Cat Scratch Fever” on my little AM only radio, that I would eventually realise that I was listening to one of the guitar greats.

As in the above, I am definitely sure that many would suggest a lot of guitarists for the final category, the “underrated guitarists.” There were many guitarists who are considered great but didn’t fully get the recognition they deserved. However, I am going to list the three who I feel were definitely underrated back then; Brian May, Gary Richrath and Craig Chaquico.

Most of the British readers may be a little shocked that I am including Brian May here. It is true that in Britain, he was already being put in the above category. However, this wasn’t the case in the USA. While Queen were often in the charts, I don’t remember much talk about May’s guitar skills back in the 70s. In fact, one person shot him down saying that the guitar was dubbed in fifteen times when Queen albums were being produced. Boy, I wish I had a time machine. That is why Brian May didn’t get the respect he deserved as a guitarist.

The problem is when people think of REO Speedwagon, they tend to think of their more commercial stuff in the 80s and don’t realise what a hard rocking band they were back in the 70s. I am going to touch on this more in the future. But this is why their guitarist Gary Richrath, still probably doesn’t get the respect he deserves. I challenge anyone to listen to the song “Roll With the Changes” of the album “You Can Tune a Piano, But You Can’t Tuna Fish” album and say differently. When I listen to that song and most of their other 70s stuff, I fully appreciate the guitar work of Richrath.

Back in the 1970s, Jefferson Starship were considered a band that made “mellow out love songs” and just about all of their singles were that. That is why their guitarist, Craig Chaquico, didn’t get the recognition he deserved back then. However, when I hear his solos on the songs “Run Away” and “Ride the Tiger,” I know that I am listening to a man who knows how to work the six string. Chaquico was a great guitarist and fortunately for him, Jefferson Starship changed to a more rocking sound in the 80s and his talents were given more appreciation.

I know there are many more axemen I could name here and everyone is invited to contribute who they think might have been a great guitarist in the 70s.

Next Post: Great Rock Albums of the 7os, Aeromsith- Toys in the Attic

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