Archive for Little River Band

Great Rock Albums of 1982: Michael Stanley Band- MSB

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 12, 2015 by 80smetalman

220px-This_is_the_cover_of_the_album_MSB_by_the_Michael_Stanley_Band

Here’s yet another band brought to my attention during my time in the marines. Even though the Michael Stanley band had been going since the early 1970s, they had never come to my attention. It’s probably the combination of not gaining attention in the Northeast USA and the fact they didn’t have any songs played on AM radio being the reason why. Thankfully, one of my marine buddies was into them and being 1982, it was the album “MSB” I got to hear first from them.

My first reaction upon hearing this album was to say it was straight ahead rock and roll but that would be so unfair to it. Besides, I don’t want to brandish that label around too much because there are bands out there where the label fits. Instead, “MSB” is a widely versatile album yet at the same time, the Michael Stanley Band remain true to their rock roots. Take for instance the very first song, “In Between the Lines.” The sax in the song in the song provides a jazz element sort of like the old 1979 hit “Cool Change” by the Little River Band but only much rockier. The very next track, “If You Love Me,” has a definite gospel- soul feel to it but at the same time highlights the skilled musicianship behind this band. Then come some straight forward rockers, most notably the song, “When I’m Holding You Tight,” which gets my vote for best guitar solo on the album. Things slow down a bit with the next two tracks but “Spanish Nights” is a superb ballad. The album goes back to and goes out on some very good rock tunes, most notably “Love Hurts” and “Hang Tough.” In the end, I find myself being eternally grateful that I got to hear this album then and appreciate it even more when I listen to it now.

Track Listing:

1. In Between the Lines

2. If You Love Me

3. Night by Night

4. When I Hold You Tight

5. Spanish Nights

6. One of Those Dreams

7. Love Hurts

8. Hang Tough

9. Just a Little Bit Longer

10. Take This Time

Michael Stanley Band

Michael Stanley Band

Michael Stanley- guitar, vocals

Tommy Dobeck- drums

Bob Pelander- keyboards

Greg Markasky- lead guitar

Kevin Raleigh- keyboards, vocals

Michael Gismondi- bass

Rick Bell- saxophone

I am expecting some responses along the lines of “I’ve never heard of these guys” or no response at all due to the fact of not ever having heard of them. So, the teacher in me is going to set you a little homework. The “MSB” album is easily available on Youtube. Have a listen to this album and you will see what you have been missing all of these years.

Next post: The Clash- Combat Rock

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

 

 

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Great Rock/Metal Albums of 1981: Thin Lizzy- Renegade

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 23, 2014 by 80smetalman

Thin_Lizzy_-_Renegade

There were several artists in the 1970’s and early 80’s that were hard rock bands but as the latter decade progressed, some people considered them to be heavy metal acts. The next four posts will be dedicated principal artists who fell into this category and some of them accepted being called metal better than others but they all put out albums in 1981. First of these, only because I listed them first, was Thin Lizzy. It’s hard to say how they would have reacted to being labeled heavy metal since they broke up in 1983. However, I know a lot of metalheads, especially in the UK, who were heavily into them.

One critic called the 1981 “Renegade” album Thin Lizzy’s worst album. Well after listening to it, I have drawn the conclusion that if this is their worst album, I have to hear what he calls their best. I find nothing to dislike about “Renegade.” True, I thought the first two tracks, “Angel of Death” and “Renegade” started off a little proggy but the first of those quickly reverted to the more traditional Thin Lizzy sound. The rest of the album carries on sounding like the Thin Lizzy I have grown to love. “The Pressure Will Blow” and “Hollywood (Down On Your Luck)” both carry the trademark sound and in between them is the slightly more bluesier “Leave This Town.” Another point this critic made was that there were elements of NWOBHM on the album. I can definitely hear that on the song “No One Told Him” but I say there’s nothing wrong with that. With the likes of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Saxon around at the time, it should come as no surprise that that sound should find it’s way into Thin Lizzy’s music. I think it sounds good. One song that is noticeably different to the rest is “Fats” which has a pop/lounge act sound reminiscent of the Little River Band. What is prominent on the song is the keyboard skills of Darren Wharton who had been fully included into the band on this album. Still, “Fats” isn’t enough to make me agree with the critic’s assertion that Thin Lizzy were trying to sound pop. The critic might have said the same thing about “Mexican Blood” although that has a harder sound than “Fats” and that leads to the rocking closer “It’s Getting Dangerous.” Maybe this critic thought so little of the album because of the drug problems the band members were experiencing at the time and there are occurrences in Lynott’s voice that suggest this but at the end of the day, there is nothing I dislike about “Renegade.”

Track Listing:

1. Angel of Death

2. Renegade

3. The Pressure Will Blow

4. Leave This Town

5. Hollywood (Down on Your Luck)

6. No One Told Him

7. Fats

8. Mexican Blood

9. It’s Getting Dangerous

Thin Lizzy

Thin Lizzy

Phil Lynott- bass, lead vocals

Scott Goram- guitar, backing vocals

Snowy White- guitar, backing vocals

Darren Wharton- keyboards, backing vocals

Brian Downey- drums, percussion

Some people considered Thin Lizzy to be on their way out with this album due to the drug problems and I have to admit, I never listened to “Renegade” until recently because I believed the same. But even with all that, I found that I nearly missed a great album by one of the major bands to influence metal.

Next post: Alice Cooper- Special Forces

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

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1979: Little River Band- First Under the Wire

Posted in 1979, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on January 10, 2013 by 80smetalman

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This has always been my impression of the Little River Band and this album. It was the album you play on your car cassette deck, (remember they didn’t have CD’s back in 1979) on you way home from a good night out. You have a lady in the car with you, could be your girlfriend or maybe you got lucky with that girl at the end of the bar, no matter. Anyway, you put this album on because it’s a good mood enhancer. The soft rock tones won’t scare the lady off but it has enough of a hard edge to let you know that you’re not selling out and going to buy an Air Supply album next time you’re at the stores.

One of the ironic things about “First Under the Wire” is that one of the hardest tracks on the album, “Lonesome Loser” is probably one of their most successful singles. I won’t go as far as to say that it’s a headbanger, but there are some pretty impressive guitar licks in the song. This is the other thing about the Little River Band, although they are classed as soft rock, there are some impressive guitar solos in a good number of songs. This is true with the other hard(ish) song, “Hard Life.” The rest of the album has that late night mellow out feel with a little bit of a jazzy rock vibe. The other single, “Cool Change” is an example and is a good song if you ever find yourself out to sea in a small boat.

Track Listing:

1. Lonesome Loser

2. The Rumour

3. By My Side

4. Cool Change

5. It’s Not a Wonder

6. Hard Life (prelude)

7. Hard Life

8. Middle Man

9. Man on the Run

10. Mistress of Mine

Little River Band

Little River Band

Glenn Shorrock- vocals

David Briggs- lead guitar

Greaham Goble- guitar

Beeb Birtles- guitar

Barry Sullivan- bass

Derek Pellici- drums

Mal Logan- keyboards

So if you want something to either mellow out to or to get your partner in the mood, then album might just do the trick. It is a soft rock album but there are moments of hardness to it. An enjoyable album.

Next post: Led Zepplin- In Through the Out Door

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