Archive for live albums

Great Rock Albums of 1984: U2- Under a Blood Red Sky

Posted in Concerts, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 15, 2017 by 80smetalman

Maybe U2 were trying to follow in the lead of Blackfoot in the sense that after three albums, release a live album. The difference here is that the three Blackfoot albums are all considered classics while the same can’t be said for the three U2 albums. Now don’t get me wrong, I like all three of these albums, “Boy,” “October” and “War.” However, the first two didn’t propel them to stardom the way “War” did. “Boy” turned my head in their direction but when I mentioned U2 to others, I mostly got blank stares. “October,” on the other hand, is U2’s best kept secret. Not a lot of people seem to know too much about the album but I’ve always liked it. “War” goes without saying, it made the band a worldwide name. It is on the back of “War” that the live “Under a Blood Red Sky” album was released.

When most people think of this live album, they automatically assume it’s from the filmed concert “U2 Live at Red Rocks: Under a Blood Red Sky,” it’s not. The songs are live but recorded separately from concerts in Colorado, Boston and Germany. Furthermore, the filmed concert is nearly and hour and a half long while the album consists of just eight songs and is just over thirty-five minutes.

Ironically, the album starts with the best known song from the “October” album, “Gloria.” Probably a good opener as any for U2 at this stage of their career. What’s more, the next two songs are off the “Boy” album but then, “I Will Follow” is my all time favourite U2 song and it’s played very well. The crowd really get into it and if I had been there, I would have too. The fourth song, “Party Girl,” doesn’t appear on any of the albums but it’s still okay. Remember, back in 1983, U2 were still hungry and making their mark on the music world and all of the songs reflect that on the album.

It’s not until song five we get anything from the “War” album and that is the phenomenal “Sunday Bloody Sunday.” My second favourite U2 song and the way it’s played here is pure magic. Next is another good song from the debut album in the form of “The Electric Co.” For me, it’s played just as well live as when I hear it on the “Boy” album. Were there studio fixes here?  I can’t say. The last two songs from “War” take the album out brilliantly. First is the fantastic “New Year’s Day” and there is no better song for them to close a concert with than “40.” When I saw them in 1985, they would close the show with that song and it was mind blowing. I have to say that “Under a Blood Red Sky” takes me back to another time and almost seemingly another U2 because they were actually good but it hadn’t gone to their heads yet.

Track Listing:

  1. Gloria
  2. 11 O’Clock Tick Tock
  3. I Will Follow
  4. Party Girl
  5. Sunday Bloody Sunday
  6. The Electric Co
  7. New Year’s Day
  8. 40

U2

Bono- lead vocals, guitar

The Edge- guitar, keyboards, backing vocals, bass on “40”

Adam Clayton- bass, guitar on “40”

Larry Mullen Jr- drums

“Under a Blood Red Sky” may not go down as one of the greatest live albums in history but it’s still a good album. Especially if you like U2 when they were more hungry and less with the ego.

Next post: Julian Lennon- Valotte

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Great Metal Albums of 1983: Ozzy Osbourne- Speak of the Devil

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 29, 2016 by 80smetalman

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Welcome to another 1982 album that came to my attention while I was still serving with the marines on Okinawa. Even when I first heard then, I, like many others, speculated on why Ozzy would put out an album featuring live performances of his Black Sabbath material. Further investigation turned up that the reason was that this album was a contractual obligation album with Jet Records. That could explain many things like why Ozzy has publicly renounced the album.

Another thing it explains is the shockingly bad production of the album. Yes, this is a live album but it sounds like it was recorded live at a local pub. I can hear why many people found this album off putting. A further reason was that Ozzy’s drinking problem was getting to him big time. The vinyl version has pictures of a road crew member who suffered from dwarfism, bringing Ozzy drinks in between songs. It also explains why his voice wasn’t tip top on “Speak of the Devil.”

In spite of all my negativity here, if you really want all the Black Sabbath classics and are too cheap to go out and buy all their albums, then this is a decent substitute. Yep, all the great songs are there. “Iron Man,” “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath,” “Snowblind,” my all time favourite Sabbath song, “War Pigs” and as always, the live show is ended with “Paranoid.” They’re all there although some songs sound better than others and none of them come up to the standard of when they were first recorded. Personally, I think “The Wizard” sounds the best on it.

One more positive I can add is that Ozzy always gets a good crew of musicians behind him and this is the case on “Speak of the Devil.” Here, we have Brad Gillis, before he joined Night Ranger on guitar, Rudy Sarzo, who would go to Quiet Riot on bass and Tommy Aldridge on drums. When the production allows, the talents of these three men show through and make the album listenable.

Track Listing:

  1. Symptom of the Universe
  2. Snowblind
  3. Black Sabbath
  4. Fairies Wear Boot
  5. War Pigs
  6. The Wizard
  7. N.I.B.
  8. Sweet Leaf
  9. Never Say Die
  10. Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
  11. Iron Man/Children of the Grave
  12. Paranoid
Ozzy Osbourne

Ozzy Osbourne

Ozzy Osbourne- vocals

Brad Gillis- guitar

Rudy Sarzo- bass

Tommy Aldridge- drums

“Speak of the Devil” isn’t one that is mentioned along with the other great Ozzy Osbourne albums. In fact, it has been universally agreed that a better live album would come out four years later. Don’t worry, I’ll post about that one in due time. Still, if you fancy a trip down memory lane and want to hear Ozzy sing some Black Sabbath classics, then this album is okay to do that.

Next post: Iron Maiden- Piece of Mind

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/Metal Albums of 1983: Thin Lizzy- Life

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 7, 2016 by 80smetalman

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“Thunder and Lightning” might have been the final studio album for Thin Lizzy but that didn’t mean they were in any way finished. Further along in the year, 1983, the band released the live album, “Life.” The album was recorded over a series of concerts played in September and October, predominantly taking place at the Hammersmith Odeon in London.

The closest I got to ever seeing Thin Lizzy live was seeing the tribute band, Limehouse Lizzy, in Stroud over ten years ago. It’s a shame they never came back, but I digress. Both the tribute band and this album make me regret the fact that I have never seen the actual band in concert. What I have heard in both camps here give me the impression that they would have been sensational, but no use crying over something I have no control over.

It wouldn’t have taken a computer to deduce the fact that any live album late in Thin Lizzy’s career would have been a glorified greatest hits album. Having owned their greatest hits album, (I have it on cassette), I can attest to this. Still there are some great surprises on here, starting with the fact that “Thunder and Lightning” would be the best track to open the live album or any concert. They play it just as loud and proud live, maybe more. In fact, the songs from “Thunder and Lightning” are all played rather well, “Cold Sweat” definitely gets an honourable mention here. In addition, in my mind, they pick the right songs from that album to play on this one. Saying that, I like the live version of “The Sun Goes Down.” To me it seems more sinister though it does go on even longer than on the studio version.

Of course, all the great Lizzy classics are on here and most of them are played very well live. I only have to wait to the third song to hear my all time favourite Thin Lizzy ditty and they definitely do it justice. Other notable efforts are “Emerald,” “Black Rose,” “Waiting for an Alibi,” “Hollywood (Down On Your Luck)” and if they genuinely closed their shows, with “The Rocker” like they do on the album, then it was a very wise choice indeed. A great song to go out on.

Additionally, Phil Lynott got the former Thin Lizzy guitarists to play on different numbers on the album. Gary Moore, Snowy White, Eric Bell and Brian Robertson all play on the album. I now know why “The Rocker” was such a great closer. That’s because all the guitarists mentioned as well as Sykes and Goram of course play on the final song in what Phil calls ‘The All Star Jam.” That was great to hear, it must have been mind blowing to see.

Track Listing:

  1. Thunder and Lightning
  2. Waiting for an Alibi
  3. Jailbreak
  4. Baby Please Don’t Go
  5. The Holy War
  6. Renegade
  7. Hollywood (Down on Your Luck)
  8. Got to Give it Up
  9. Angel of Death
  10. Are You Ready
  11. The Boys are Back in Town
  12. Cold Sweat
  13. Don’t Believe a Word
  14. Killer on the Loose
  15. The Sun Goes Down
  16. Emerald
  17. The Black Rose
  18. Still in Love With You
  19. The Rocker
Thin Lizzy

Thin Lizzy

Phil Lynott- bass, lead vocals

John Sykes- guitar, backing vocals

Scott Goram- guitar, backing vocals

Darren Wharton- keyboards, backing vocals

Brian Downey- drums, percussion

Guest Musicians

Gary Moore- guitar on Black Rose and The Rocker

Eric Bell- guitar on The Rocker

Brian Robertson- guitar on Emerald and The Rocker

Snowy White- guitar on Renegade, Killer on the Loose, Hollywood and The Rocker

In November of 1983, I met up with a friend who was on leave from the army after spending two years stationed in Germany. Before he left the country, he got to see Thin Lizzy’s last ever gig in Nuremberg. I don’t remember many of the details but it sounded like an amazing event. They played many of their classics more than once and “The Boys are Back in Town” three times! Boy I was jealous, still am. I have to settle for the next best thing, this live album.

Next post: Zebra

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 1983: Pat Benatar- Live From Earth

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on June 13, 2016 by 80smetalman

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For many artists, it is almost natural that after making four great studio albums that they put out a live album. That’s exactly what Pat Benatar did in 1983 with “Live From Earth.” All of the great classics from her previous albums are all on here and all are done with such intensity, it has left me regretting the fact that I have never seen her live. Listening to the album and viewing some of the concert footage on YouTube, I know Pat would have been amazing. If any of you at there have seen Pat Benatar in concert, I would love to read about your experiences.

“Live From Earth” was recorded in California and France during her sold out tour for the “Get Nervous” album and has the two tracks “I Want Out” and “Looking For a Stranger” and both sound fantastic live. The strange phenomena is the fact that the two best known tracks “Shadows of the Night” and “Anxiety” are absent on the record, although they both appear on the VHS version released two years later. Still, those tracks not being there doesn’t spoil the rest of the record. I mean how could it with such great Benatar classics like “Heartbreaker,” “Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” “Fire and Ice,” need I go on?

In spite of “Live From Earth” being a great hard rocking live album, some have pointed to it as the turning point for her move away from the heavy rock albums that made her the queen of rock from 1980-2. I’m talking about the single “Love is a Battlefield.” To be honest, I’ve never hated this song but is completely different from what I had heard from her in the past. It is definitely a typical 1980s synthesizer pop song in some respects but with Pat’s voice, I found it impossible to dislike.

Track Listing:

  1. Fire and Ice
  2. Looking For a Stranger
  3. I Want Out
  4. We Live For Love
  5. Hell is for Children
  6. Hit Me With Your Best Shot
  7. Promises in the Dark
  8. Heartbreaker
  9. Love is a Battlefield
  10. Lipstick Lies
Pat Benatar

Pat Benatar

Pat Benatar- lead vocals

Neil Giraldo- guitar, backing vocals

Charlie Giordano- keyboards

Roger Capps- bass, backing vocals

Myron Grombacher- drums

The question remains: Did “Live From Earth” mark the turning point for Pat Benatar from being a feisty hard rocking rock queen to a trendy top 40 performer? Possibly but after listening to this incredible live album, I don’t really care. I just prefer to sit back and hear all the great Benatar rock classics played so well live and have a small regret of never having been to one of these concerts.

Next post: Loverboy- Keep It Up

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 Metal Albums of 1982: Saxon- The Eagle Has Landed

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 18, 2015 by 80smetalman

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One of the things I should have realised, but didn’t, is that there were some killer live albums in 1982. Three of them, Black Sabbath- “Live Evil,” Michael Schenker Group- “One Night at Budokan” and Blue Oyster Cult- “Extra Terrestrial Live,” I bought not long after they had come out. The fourth, Ted Nugent- “Intensity in 10 Cities” would escape my knowledge for a long while. That’s the problem when you are in the military and spend most of the year deployed overseas. It creates a Swiss cheese effect on things like musical releases from bands you might follow. This caused me to completely miss a fifth great live album and one that definitely stands shoulder to shoulder with the ones I’ve already listed. That is Saxon- “The Eagle Has Landed.”

Having seen Saxon live before I got to listen to “The Eagle Has Landed,” I had a very strong inclination that this was going to be an excellent live album. I was right. It has all of the classic Saxon songs at the time with the bonus touch of being played so well live. I thought it was only natural that they used the great song “Wheels of Steel” for the audience participation part of the show. After all, that song is one of their best known songs.

The added bonus for me was that the album was recorded while Saxon were on tour for my favourite album of theirs, “Denim and Leather.” “Princess of the Night” has its much deserved place on the album and is played brilliantly on it. Here is my personal slight disappointment about that. Other than “Princess,” the other two songs, “Never Surrender” and “Fire In the Sky” wouldn’t have been my first choices from “Denim and Leather” to use on the live album. Don’t get me wrong, they are both cool songs but why the hell wasn’t the title track on it? After all, “Denim and Leather” is a metal anthem that rings true throughout the metal generations! I thought it was only right that it be on the live album. Another song I would have used would have been “Play it Loud,” almost for the same reason. Saying that, “And the Band Played On” and “Midnight Rider” appear on the 2005 remaster. But enough of me nit picking, there are so many great songs on “The Eagle Has Landed” that it makes it a guaranteed good listen.

Track Listing:

  1. Motorcycle Man
  2. 747 Strangers in the Night
  3. Princess of the Night
  4. Strong Arm of the Law
  5. Heavy Metal Thunder
  6. 20,000 Feet
  7. Wheels of Steel
  8. Never Surrender
  9. Fire in the Sky
  10. Machine Gun
Saxon

Saxon

Biff Byford- vocals

Graham Oliver- guitar

Paul Quinn- guitar

Steve Dawson- bass

Nigel Glockler- drums

Like I said, there were many great live albums in 1982. Saxon’s contribution “The Eagle Has Landed” definitely belongs along side of the other great ones from that year.

Next post: Twisted Sister- Under the Blade

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

 

 

Ted Nugent- Intensity in 10 Cities

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 11, 2015 by 80smetalman

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Someone once called me “clueless” because I stated that I would still go to a Ted Nugent concert in spite of his political ramblings. What do they know? What I know is that when you see the Motor City Madman on stage, you don’t care about politics, you are simply amazed by the energy Ted emits while on stage and the magic he creates with that guitar. Having seen him live twice and both accounts are recorded for posterity in “Rock and Roll Children,” I can personally testify to this.

wayensworld

“You’re Double Live Gonzo, Live at Budokan, Intensity in 10 Cities.” Wayne Campbell to Casandra in Wayne’s World 1

I have heard many a live album in my years and I can say that no one else brings the energy from a live show onto a record better than Ted Nugent. This is just as much true with the 1982 live album “Intensity in 10 Cities” as it was with the 1978 “Double Live Gonzo.” The songs recorded on the album were a series of songs that were never recorded previously. Ted believed that since those songs had been well honed over the months of playing them on tour, they would sound better recorded live as opposed to in the studio. I have to say, I think he was right on that one.

If “Intensity in 10 Cities” had been recorded as a live concert instead of over a series of concerts, it still would have been worth the price of admission. These are 10 songs that simply sound fantastic live and the order they appear is near perfect. If it wasn’t for his introduction of the song before he played, “Put Up or Shut Up” would have been a great show opening song. It’s one that would have definitely gotten the crowd on their feet.

While his trademark work with the guitar is well cemented on the album, it is the third track “My Love is Like a Tire Iron” where he really goes to the ionosphere with it. The long lead solo is simply hypnotic and the same can be said for the solos on “Heads Will Roll,” “Land of a Thousand Dances and of course, the instrumental “The TNT Overature.” Furthermore, his between the songs banter is best on “Jailbait” which is shows his more humourous side. However, the stand out track for me is “I Am a Predator” because that song has many of the elements I have already mentioned.

This mighty combination propels things very nicely to the closer “I Take No Prisoners.” It’s not a bad closer, especially when he works his typical guitar magic, but if I were in the audience and heard that song before he left the stage, I would certainly expect him back to play more. Me personally, like the Mitch character in the book, I would be screaming for him to play “The Great White Buffalo.” His failure to play that song either time I saw him is the only thing I can hold against his performances.

Track Listing:

  1. Put Up or Shut Up
  2. Spontaneous Combustion
  3. My Love is Like a Tire Iron
  4. Jailbait
  5. I Am a Predator
  6. Heads Will Roll
  7. The Flying Lip Lock
  8. Land of a Thousand Dances
  9. The TNT Overature
  10. I Take No Prisoners
Ted Nugent

Ted Nugent

Ted Nugent- lead vocals, lead guitar

Charlie Huhn- lead and backing vocals, rhythm guitar

Dave Kiswiney- bass, backing vocals

Cliff Davies- drums, backing vocals

So there you have it, a live album that would have sounded great as a concert on its own. Ted Nugent shows why he is so awesome live and puts that down on vinyl, cassette and CD. “Intensity in 10 Cities” is a tribute to a fine musician. BTW, can any of you spot the mistake in this post?

Next post: Hanoi Rocks- Self Destruction Blues

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

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

Great Metal Albums of 1982: Michael Schenker Group- One Night at Budokan

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 17, 2015 by 80smetalman

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After letting their great studio album “Assault Attack” slip through my fingers, it was the live album from the Michael Schenker Group, “One Night at Budokan,” that I finally bought. This was because I was looking for one song in particular and although my record buying rule has always been never to buy a entire album on account of one song, I was so determined to get something with the song “Cry for the Nations” on it, that I broke my rule. On this occasion, my gamble paid off because not only I got the song I wanted, I got twelve other kick ass tracks as well.

“One Night at Budokan” adds the Michael Schenker Group to the list of bands I regret not having seen live. From what I hear on this album, I’m sure that they would have totally ruled in concert. Like with so many live albums, great guitarists just use their time in the spotlight to just let loose and Michael Schenker does that so well many times here. The most stand out for me is his efforts on “Lost Horizons.” Schenker just goes into a long mad solo and I find myself lapping up every second of it. Needless to say, though I’m going to anyway, his guitar work is just as mad on many of the other tracks and it’s a shame I took so long to recognize his talents.

Graham Bonnet does not appear on this live album but Gary Barden does an excellent job at the mike here. His vocals are enough to make me wonder why I haven’t heard him anywhere else. Another thing I didn’t acknowledge all of these years is that the Michael Schenker Group are part of the Deep Purple family tree. I have already pointed out Graham Bonnet but beating the drums on this album is none other than Cozy Powell. I don’t think I need to say any more about the quality of the drumming, do I? He is recognized on the album as he is introduced to the audience who show their appreciation to having such a great drummer on stage. With all of these elements in place, it is little wonder why “One Night at Budokan” is such a great live album and yes, they also do a great rendition of the song I was looking for in the first place.

Track Listing:

1. Armed and Ready

2. Cry for the Nations

3.  Attack of the Mad Axeman

4. But I Want More

5. Victim of Illusion

6. Into the Arena

7. On and On

8. Never Trust a Stranger

9. Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

10. Courvoisier Concerto

11. Lost Horizons

12. Doctor, Doctor

13. Are You Ready to Rock

Michael Schenker Group (as on One Night at Budokan)

Michael Schenker Group (as on One Night at Budokan)

Michael Schenker- guitar

Gary Barden- vocals

Paul Raymond- rhythm guitar, keyboards

Chris Glen- bass

Cozy Powell- drums

Breaking my record buying rule on this occasion paid off. I got myself a killer live album. However, there will be a tale when I get to 1983 where doing the same would bite me on the bum. So for the moment, let us linger on the success with Michael Schenker Group.

On another note, it was an eleventh hour decision buy my step son and I will be going to this years Bloodstock Festival on the Friday only. For my step son, it will be the headliners Trivium  and Sabbaton that interest him. As for me, I’m dying to see Overkill, Armoured Saint and Nuclear Assault and of course, I will post a full account of the day.

Next post: KISS- Creatures of the Night

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