Archive for Loudness

Great Metal Albums of 1986: Loudness- Lightning Strikes

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on November 8, 2020 by 80smetalman

Supporting Saxon on the night of the first ever concert I attended at the Hammersmith Odeon was Japanese metal greats, Loudness. While it was my first time seeing Saxon, unfortunately, I have to admit it was my only time, I had seen Loudness a year earlier with Motley Crue and in my opinion, Loudness blew the Crue away. And while they didn’t blow Saxon away, they were as good as they had been a year earlier.

My anticipation on their next album, “Lightning Strikes,” was just as intense as my anticipation of seeing them live again. After the phenomenal “Thunder in the East,” I couldn’t wait to hear how Loudness would follow it up. Was it as good as its predecessor? To be honest, it was always a difficult task to follow up that album but I must say that “Lightning Strikes” comes pretty close.

They kept the format the same, using the single as the opening track. Finding hard not to compare and contrast, “Crazy Nights” is my all time favourite Loudness song but “Let It Go” is very good. The difference is that Loudness go for more a melodic hard rock sound on the new single, which caught me momentarily off guard but after a good listen, I can say “Let It Go” is definitely a good song.

What the band attempts to do and does it quite well is to create the feeling of the previous album on the new one. “Dark Desire” is a power jam while “1000 Eyes” has an introduction which reminds me a little of the track “Heavy Chains” off “TITE.” It’s still a great track and then comes the hidden gem, “Face to Face.” There is no attempt for melodic hard rock here, it’s almost thrash but Loudness pulls it off. Each member of the band contribute something here. Minoru Nihara shows he can sing at that speed and Akira Takasaki rips a blinder of a solo but it’s the rhythm section which impresses me here. Solid bass chords from Massayoshi Yamashita and frantic drumming from Muneteka Higuchi combine to make it the gem.

After “Who Knows” closes the first side in a way that makes you can’t wait to hear the second side, which opens with a very experimental sounding “Ashes in the Sky.” It is a very interesting track to say the least and I applaud Loudness for not being afraid to explore new territory. Akira does shine on the song with an acoustic intro backed with some power chords and a great guitar solo. It too is a hidden gem but not as big as “Face to Face.”

A second thrash type tune is found on “Black Star Oblivion.” The tempo races but it is here and the following song, “Street Life Dream,” where Akira plays his two best guitar solos. While “Street Life Dream” isn’t thrash, there are good power metal chords to be had. This brings me to the closer, “Complication.” I think it closes the album really well but I have since discovered that “Who Knows” closes the Japanese edition of the album. I can’t see how that would work.

Track Listing:

  1. Let It Go
  2. Dark Desire
  3. 1000 Eyes
  4. Face to Face
  5. Who Knows
  6. Ashes in the Sky
  7. Black Star Oblivion
  8. Street Life Dream
  9. Complication
Loudness

Minoru Nihara- lead vocals

Akira Takasaki- guitar

Massayoshi Yamashita- bass

Maneteka Higuchi- drums

Like I said earlier, Loudness’s 1985 album, “Thunder in the East” was a tough act to follow. However, I think that “Lightning Strikes” does a good job of coming very close.

Next post: Waysted- Save Your Prayers

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

1985: The Backlash Begins

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 1, 2018 by 80smetalman

Ever since the days of Elvis, there has always been a backlash against rock music and the backlash against heavy metal in particular has always been many folds greater. Whether it be religious fanatics, parents or just trendy top forty followers who just didn’t like the genre, there have been people dead set against heavy metal music. This backlash had been slowly building up throughout the early 1980s but the fact that heavy metal had gotten mainstream attention in 1984 was enough to blow the powder keg in 1985.

The first instance that turned my attention to this backlash was reading letters to MTV citing that they were either playing too much heavy metal or not enough. It would appear that in or around March of 1985, the anti heavy metal brigade won out as MTV made a statement that it would be playing less metal on the air. Now, it’s easy to think that there were that many more anti than pro metal people writing to MTV and if anyone says that it was because metalheads are too stupid to write, me and many of my followers here will be over to your house to kick the crap out of you! Once again I digress but my theory was that by the end of the previous year, MTV was already becoming nothing more than a glorified commercial radio station. Some Dead Kennedys lyrics come to mind here and I’ll reveal those when I visit their “Frankenchrist” album which came out in said year. Oops, digressing again but less and less metal was being played on MTV or the radio.

Dead Kennedys

As 1985 progressed, I began to notice it in more ways. There wasn’t just a backlash against heavy metal but persecution of metalheads as well. One thing I was criticized for in “Rock And Roll Children,” though I don’t regret it one bit, was over pounding the point of how metalheads were discriminated against back then. Truth was they were! I simply pointed this out. Example, based on my own experiences: in 1984, I went to a McDonald’s after the Dio/Twisted Sister concert and had no problems, nor did the many other metalheads who hit up the place after the show. One year later, my friends and I hit the same McDonald’s after the Motley Crue/Loudness concert and upon entry, were greeted by all sorts of negative comments. Also, like in the story, there was an off duty cop in the store pontificating how no one did anything like that in his day and how he busts punks like us for drugs all the time. While, there were no arrests that night, one month later, after seeing Dio, we hit the same McDonald’s and this time, it was like a policeman’s convention. This brings me to another point, while I never saw it happen, there were tales in 1985 of police getting warrants and going into pre-concert parties and busting metalheads. However, they didn’t do that at the Wham concert where I heard eyewitness accounts of 12 year old kids getting falling down, sickly drunk. It was definitely war on metalheads in 1985.

Of course, the more astute of you will recall that in the closing months of the year, the backlash against rock music and especially heavy metal became the subject of a congressional hearing and lead to the formation of the Parents Music Resource Center, (PMRC). Even after more than thirty years, I tend to laugh at this if it wasn’t so pathetic and there will be a post dedicated to that.

In spite of all the doom and gloom, the backlash achieved very little. Great albums were still being made and you’ll get to read about a lot of them. There were other great events and concerts including the most famous one, Live Aid. So, sit back and get ready for another roller coaster year in the golden decade of metal.

Next post: Glenn Frey- The Allnighter

To download 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: Loudness- Disillusion

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 3, 2018 by 80smetalman

No further proof is needed to support the fact that heavy metal had the world by the balls in 1984 than the album from Japanese metal greats Loudness, “Disillusion.” As far as I know, this was the first Loudness album to be sung in English. All previous albums had been sung in the band’s native tongue although that did not make them any less kick ass.

Thinking about the above statement, that leads to the one small problem with the album. Minoru Nihara’s vocals are sometimes difficult to hear. This is a shame because it is true he sings better English than what he speaks. I’ve heard interviews with him. What is a further shame is the fact that you can’t hear what a great voice he has. Some of you might remember that when I’ve posted about previous Loudness albums, I compared Minoru Nihara to the likes of Ronnie James Dio, Klaus Meine and Ian Gillan. He certainly belongs in the same league as those just mentioned.

While not being able to fully appreciate Nihara’s vocals on “Disillusion” is a little frustrating at times, it is only a small inconvenience because what does obscure the vocals is the brilliant guitar playing of Akira Takasaki. From the first note of the instrumental opener, he just shreds and riffs all over the album. The solos are superb and even his rhythm guitar parts are done amazingly well. He shines extremely well on the tracks “Butterfly” and his instrumental solo “Exploder.” However, my vote for the favourite track is still “Satisfaction Guaranteed” because Nihara’s vocals come through the clearest on it and he does a good job with them. Of course, Takasaki’s guitar playing guided by a good rhythm section help as well.

Track Listing:

  1. Anthem
  2. Crazy Doctor
  3. Esper
  4. Butterfly
  5. Revelation
  6. Exploder
  7. Dream Fantasy
  8. Milky Way
  9. Satisfaction Guaranteed
  10. Ares’ Lament

Loudness

Minoru Nihara- lead vocals

Akira Takasaki- guitar

Masayoshi Yamashita- bass, taurus pedals

Munetaka Higuchi- drums

“Disillusion” put Loudness on the metal map in the West and set the stage for the following album which would propel them to greatness. It also proved that culture, race, or national borders had nothing to do with enjoying great metal.

BTW, I will be purchasing my tickets for Sunday’s Download tonight.

Next post: Triumph- Thunder 7

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 1982: Whitesnake- Saints and Sinners

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 24, 2015 by 80smetalman

Whitesnake-saints

Funny old world isn’t it? Even though I was in their native country in late 1982, I never heard anything of Loudness. On the other hand, the rock bar I frequented quite a bit on Okinawa introduced me to an English heavy metal band called Whitesnake. For the life of me, I can’t remember which Whitesnake songs got played but I do know that I liked them. Hell, I can’t even say if any of the songs were from the album I’m about to post on here.

As much as I like what I heard from Whitesnake, I never got around to exploring them more, silly me. I even had the chance to see them live in the summer of 83 but that’s another story. It wouldn’t be until another year after that I would finally listen to them in earnest. Furthermore, it was only when I got to England two years after that, that I made any attempt to listen to their earlier stuff, was I a fool? Judging from the album, “Saints and Sinners,” most definitely so.

“Saints and Sinners” is a much harder offering than the more commercial oriented material from later on in the 80s, which many people are more familiar with. What I found amusing about this album was the early recordings of songs that would be stripped down to sound more commercial in the years on. There is an innocence with the version of “Here I Go Again” on the album, that while I won’t go onto say it’s better than the commercialized version, (it’s certainly not worse), it does sound more genuine. Sort of the same can be said of “Crying in the Rain.” The version I have on the “Greatest Hits” album doesn’t sound like this one. I don’t remember hearing such a killer guitar solo on the hits album nor does it make me rock along to it as much.

Many of the other songs are cool rockers as well. “Youngblood,” “Victim of Love,” “Rock and Roll Angels” and the closing title track all fit the bill in my book. Then again, should I have expected anything less with former Deep Purple members Jon Lord and Ian Paice in the band. Furthermore, I have finally come to appreciate the guitar talents of Moody and Marsden. Of course, I won’t take anything away from David Coverdale as I have always rated him an extremely talented vocalist and should have put him in the same club with the other names I suggested Minoru Nihara join.

Track Listing:

  1. Youngblood
  2. Rough and Ready
  3. Bloody Luxury
  4. Victim of Love
  5. Crying in the Rain
  6. Here I Go Again
  7. Love and Affection
  8. Rock and Roll Angels
  9. Dancing Girls
  10. Saints and Sinners

Whitesnake (line up for Saints and Sinners)

Whitesnake (line up for Saints and Sinners)

David Coverdale- vocals

Mick Moody- guitar, vocals

Bernie Marsden- guitar

Jon Lord- keyboards

Neil Murray- bass

Ian Paice- drums

Maybe when I began posting about the year 1982, I should have called it “The Year So Many Albums Passed Me By.” Yes, I can blame it on being overseas in the military but I had no excuse with this one. As a result, I missed what turns out to be a Whitesnake album from the days they really rocked.

Next post: Twisted Sister- Rough Cuts

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: Loudness- Devil Soldier

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 21, 2015 by 80smetalman

LOUDNESS_DS

Funny thing about Loudness, I spent the last three months of 1982 and the first three of 1983 in their home country, Japan, and never heard of them. Thinking back to my time there, I do not remember hearing any home grown music of any kind. The juke boxes in any bar I went to or even in the night clubs, all they seemed to play was Western music. My conclusion is that the Japanese are more receptive to Western music and for an act to make it there, it has to first make it outside of Japan. Loudness would certainly do that three years later but at this time, they would remain beyond my attention.

One thing that Loudness certainly prove with their second album, “Devil Soldier,” is that metal can rule no matter what language it’s sung in. As long as there is a great band behind a brilliant voice, great metal can break down barriers. Some of the songs are sung in the native tongue with some parts sung in English. Take “Rock the Nation,” I tried to follow along with the lyrics written down in English but they didn’t sound like English to me, except for parts of the chorus. Nevertheless, lead singer Minoru Nihara sings it very well and he is yet another singer whose talents haven’t been given the respect it deserves. I’m going to put my hand in the piranha’s tank and put him in the same class as Dio, Meine and Gillan. His vocals just come through on each and every song.

Talking about talent, guitarist Akira Takasaki has gotten some well deserved respect. Some have said that he copies other great guitarists but I don’t hear it. The closest he or the band in general come to copying is on the title track where the beginning of the song reminds me of Heart’s classic “Barracuda.” Thinking about it, I did see that song on at least one juke box when I was in Japan. Back to the subject, Akira lays down some good riffs on many songs, most notably, “Hard Workin'” and “Angel Dust.” When he’s not shredding, he does very well in accompaniment with the rhythm section. So, what do I think? Simply, this album kicks ass.

Track Listing:

  1. Lonely Player
  2. Angel Dust
  3. After Illusion
  4. Girl
  5. Hard Workin’
  6. Loving Maid
  7. Rock the Nation
  8. Devil Soldier

Loudness

Loudness

Minoru Nihara- vocals

Akira Takasaki- guitar

Masayoshi Yamashita- bass

Munetaka Higuchi- drums

In 1985, many in the West would say that thunder would come from the east and it did. However, in 1982, Loudness were still gearing up for their conquest with a great album in “Devil Soldier.” It’s proof to me that heavy metal could unite the world.

Next post: Whitesnake- Saints and Sinners

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

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