Archive for Meatloaf

1983- Triumphs and Tragedies

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 27, 2016 by 80smetalman
The Alamo

The Alamo

The only tragedy I remember from 1983 actually happened the year before. Due to my military service, I didn’t find out about it until 83 when I read about all the fallout from it. I’m talking about when Ozzy Osbourne pissed on the Alamo. He claims he was drunk as a skunk, (I’ve never seen a drunk skunk so I have nothing to compare it to.) Ozzy also said he didn’t know it was such a national shrine, well it is in Texas. The result of his action got him banned from the city of San Antonio for ten years, although that was lifted a few years later when he made a large donation to the Alamo charity.

Ozzy Osbourne

Ozzy Osbourne

Ozzy was already getting himself a reputation outside the heavy metal world for the wrong reasons. His infamous biting the head off a bat was making its rounds. Of course, the religious element in America embellished things further. There were rumours he blew up goats on stage and at one show, he supposedly threw a puppy into the crowd and said he wouldn’t sing anymore until the audience killed the puppy. While this was all untrue hype, it didn’t help Ozzy when he actually did something for real. So for Ozzy and somewhat in the metal world, this was a bit of a tragedy because it overshadowed the two albums he released in the year. I’ll be covering those soon enough.

Now for the triumphs. It seems that 1983 was a cool year for festivals. I got to go to two of them. The first one, I mentioned when I posted about the Nantucket and Doc Holliday albums a few months ago. Those two bands topped the bill at the Mayfair Festival at Jacksonville, North Carolina. The other five bands remain pretty much unheard of with the bottom three being cover bands. So, I thought I’d include them in this little piece of history. They were Skeet Kelly, Roxy, Avalanche- who did a great cover of Sammy Hagar’s “Heavy Metal,” Peer Pressure- who did a reasonably decent cover of John Cougar’s “Hurt So Good” and Eraxle- who closed their set with a fantastic cover of Van Halen’s “Ice Cream Man.” I consumed loads of alcohol and there were some interesting events between the bands like a wet t-shirt and a men’s ugly legs competition. A fine day from what I remember.

Nantucket

Nantucket

Military commitments kept me from attending this festival but my sister went. I tried to pick her brains but she didn’t remember much. In the June, Journey headlined in Philadelphia and with them were John Cougar, Sammy Hagar, The Tubes and Bryan Adams. From what she can remember, my sister says that Journey sounded great and had a fantastic light show. John Cougar and Bryan Adams were both very good as was Sammy Hagar despite his red spandex. Unfortunately, The Tubes weren’t up to the rest of those who played that day. If this line up played in more cities than Philly, I would love to hear your account of the day.

Journey Live

Journey Live

It didn’t matter that I was in the military for this one, I couldn’t have gone to the US Festival because it was 3000 miles away in California. The US Festival was a three day festival where the first day consisted of new wave bands, the second day’s line up was heavy metal and the third day’s was a rock line up. From what I heard, all three days were fantastic although I do recall an interview with a local sheriff saying that he was going to try to ban such events following the festival. I didn’t think about it then, but that was the first salvo fired at music in the 1980s. I think the best thing to do is just to let you look at the line up for the three days and I’m sure you will be just as awestruck as I was.

Us Festival Showbill

Us Festival Showbill

I did get to the final festival in 1983. This was my first Donington Festival as I happened to be in England at the time. From my memory, I can recall that Diamond Head were all right and Dio were very good. I didn’t twig on who the lead singer was until they played “Heaven and Hell” but that was okay. They were brilliant. Then came Twisted Sister. I can still remember Dee Snider’s quip: “We’re not Culture Club or any of those gay boys or Duran Duran nor any of those other wimps. We’re Twisted Sister and we play heavy metal rock and roll!” Of course I knew there must of been something about them when they were introduced as Twisted Fuckin’ Sister. Their music was great too.

For me, ZZ Top took the concert. They played a magnificent combination of old and new material during their time on stage. Of course it helped that they played my two favourite ZZ Top tunes, “Jesus Just Left Chicago” and “La Grange.” They also played quite a few songs off their new “Eliminator” album so they basically rocked. The big let down after ZZ Top was Meatloaf. I was not impressed, he just sounded terrible that day. Worse, my friend’s English girlfriend didn’t realize that they ran a special train after the concert so out of fear of getting stuck, we left early and missed headliners, Whitesnake. I remain gutted but overall, Donington 1983 was a kick ass day and proved that Great Britain could rock.

donfest83

 

That was 1983 in a nutshell. The only real tragedy was Ozzy pissing on a national shrine but all the great concert festivals more than compensated for it. Just posting about it has me psyched for Bloodstock in two weeks. It was no wonder I was super excited when I got out of the marines that year.

Next post: Great Soundtracks

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 Albums of 1981: Meat Loaf- Dead Ringer

Posted in 1980s, films, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on April 24, 2014 by 80smetalman

220px-MeatLoafDeadRinger

By 1981, many people, myself included, were beginning to write Meat Loaf off as a one album wonder. While many of us were still enjoying the delights served up on his famous 1978 “Bat Out of Hell” album, its regularlarity of play was beginning to rapidly wane as newer albums were coming to the forefront. It could have been down to the fact that he had appeared in a couple of films in 1980, “Roadie” and “Scavenger Hunt” and was thinking of an acting career but it was certain that his music career looked to be going downhill fast. Then what seemed from out of nowhere, “Dead Ringer” was released.

It is very difficult to follow up a colossal album. Though some bands have managed to do this, there are many others who haven’t. I have to put this album in with the latter. I would have thought that after a more than three year layoff, Meat Loaf was meticulously planning a great album to follow on from “Bat Out of Hell.”  Unfortunately, “Dead Ringer” does not live up to the expectations that were set upon it. Saying that, the album doesn’t suck either. There are some really good tracks on it including one of my favourite Meat Loaf songs, “Dead Ringer For Love,” which he performs a duet with Cher. I have also forgotten some of other decent tracks that make up the album like “I’m Gonna Love Her For Both of Us” and “Read ‘Em and Weep.” “I’ll Kill You If You Don’t Come Back” is rather good and funny and I forgot how much I liked “Peel Out” back in the day. So, while the album didn’t live up to the hype, it wasn’t one for the scrap heap either.

Meat Loaf and Cher singing "Dead Ringer for Love"

Meat Loaf and Cher singing “Dead Ringer for Love”

 Track Listing

1. Peel Out

2. I’m Gonna Love Her For Both of Us

3. More Than You Deserve

4. I’ll Kill You If You Don’t Come Back

5. Read ‘Em and Weep

6. Nocturnal Pleasure

7. Dead Ringer for Love

8. Everything is Permitted

Meat Loaf

Meat Loaf

Meat Loaf- lead vocals

Davey Johnstone- guitars

Mick Ronson- guitars

Joe DeAngelis- acoustic guitars

Steve Buslowe- bass

Roy Bittan- piano

Nicky Hopkins- piano

Larry Fast- synthesiser

Lou Del Gatto- horns

Lou Marini- horns

Tom Malone- horns

Alan Rubin- horns

Max Weinberg- drums

Liberty DeVitto- drums

Jimmy Maelen- percussion

Jim Steinman- spoken word on “Nocturnal Pleasure”

Cher- guest vocals on “Dead Ringer for Love”

It has always been my slightly biased belief as to why “Dead Ringer” wasn’t as good as “Bat Out of Hell” was the fact that Todd Rundgren didn’t produce it. However Jim Steinman doesn’t do a bad job making the album a worthwhile listen.

Next post: Gillan- Future Shock

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

Great Rock Albums of 1981: Jim Steinman- Bad For Good

Posted in films, Music, Rock, soundtracks, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on January 23, 2014 by 80smetalman

220px-JSteinman_Bad

They say that you should never judge a book by a cover and I think that also applies to record albums too; fortunately, not to this one by Jim Steinman. For those who aren’t so familiar with the name, Jim Steinman has worked as a record producer for many years and is responsible for producing some of the greats, including Meatloaf as well as the soundtrack to “Shrek 2.” In 1981, he tried his hand at cutting his own album, “Bad For Good” and it was pretty much a success for him. At first, I was attracted to the album by this rather cool looking at the time album cover. However, the music inside isn’t too bad except for one rather important detail: When I first listened to the album and even now, my first impression in my mind is, “This could have been Meatloaf.”

There is a definite resemblance to “Bat Out of Hell” throughout this album. Each and every song has that feel to it, especially the duet with Karla DeVito on “Dance In My Pants.” The style of the song bears strong connections to the famous “Paradise By The Dashboard Light.” However, what this song has that the Meatloaf classic doesn’t is a killer guitar solo. That’s part of what makes the album as good as it is in the first place. Steinman’s vocal range is limited but he does have some powerful musicians behind him playing on the songs. Most notably, there is Todd Rundgren along with his band mates from Utopia who pop in and out on several songs. What results is a good rock sound that somehow straddles the line between FM commercialability and hard rock. Therefore, all can listen to it and not worry about going across the imaginary line. Still, only three tracks really stand out for me, the first of which I’ve already mentioned. The second is the single, “Rock And Roll Dreams Come Through,” which I have on a compilation CD. The third is “Life and Death of an American Guitar,” which gets covered by the already mentioned Meatloaf on his “Bat Out of Hell 2” album. Speaking of that song, I don’t hear any difference between the two versions.

Track Listing:

1. Bad For Good

2. Lost Boys and Golden Girls

3.  The Life and Death of An American Guitar

4. Stark Raving Love

5. Out of the Frying Pan (And Into the Fire)

6. Surf’s Up

7. Dance in My Pants

8. Left in the Dark

Extra EP

1. The Storm

2. Rock And Roll Dreams Come Through

Jim Steinman

Jim Steinman

Jim Steinman- lead vocals, keyboards, spoken word

Rory Dodd- lead vocals on “Surf’s Up,” “Rock And Roll Dreams Come Through” and “Lost Boys and Golden Girls”

Karla DeVito- lead vocals on “Dance In My Pants”

Todd Rundgren- guitars

Davey Johnstone- guitars

Kasim Sultan- bass

Steve Buslowe- bass

Neal Jason- bass

Roy Bittan- piano

Steven Margoshes- piano

Roger Powell- synthesiser

Larry ‘Synergy’ Fast- synthesiser

Max Weinberg- drums

Alan Schwartzberg- drums

Joe Stefko- drums

Jimmy Maelen- percussion

Alan Rubin- trumpet

Tom Malone- horn arrangements and trombone

Lou Marini- tenor sax

Lew Del Gatto- baritone sax

Ellen Foley- backing vocals

Eric Troyer- backing vocals

What surprised me after doing a bit of homework on “Bad For Good” was how well it actually did commercially. In spite of many criticisms from the rock magazines at the time, it went to 62 in the US, 14 in Sweden and even broke into the top ten in the UK. With that success and an album that I actually liked, I remain surprised as to why Mr Steinman never has cut another album.

Next post: Grace Slick- Welcome to the Wrecking Ball

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 1978: Meatloaf- Bat Out of Hell

Posted in 1978, Heavy Metal, Music with tags , , , , , , on February 27, 2012 by 80smetalman

This is probably the most commercially successful rock album of 1978, if not one of the most of all time. It is the album that will always be looked upon as Meatloaf’s greatest musical achievement. It has been argued that the album was successful on account of it’s timing, that it filled a gap in the rock market while disco was still in its hey day. I don’t know about that nor would I agree with it if I did. I put the success of “Bat Out of Hell” down to the masterful production and great musicianship that appears on it. The result is seven good songs that withstood the test of time.

I know that I am probably being biased when I say this, but I put the success of this album down to the fact that it was produced by Todd Rundgren. Rundgren saw something in the album which some record companies didn’t and insisted in producing it. The result was in the listening and it is most likely why in a 1989 interview, Jim Steinman referred to Todd Rundgren as “the only genius he ever workded with.” One thing that he did which was a major contributor was to line up good musicians, which included members of his part time band Utopia.

Singing the praised of the producer and the musicians in no way means that I am in any way taking anything from the artist who appears on the album. Meatloaf has a very versatile voice, one of the most versatile in rock. I can picture him barking away to a thrash metal song and then slowing down to a love ballad the very next. Possibly an argument that they should have put “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad” right after the title track to demonstrate my point. Of course, I have to add my all time favourite part on the album, the baseball commentary on the song “Paradise By the Dashboard Light.”

Track Listing:

1. Bat Out of Hell

2. You Took The Words Out of My Mouth

3. Heaven Can Wait

4. All Revved Up With No Place To Go

5. Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad

6. Paradise By the Dashboard Light

7. For Crying Out Loud

Many years ago, I happened to catch a glimpse of “Pop Idol” (I don’t watch that rubbish, honest) and Simon Cowell denied a good singer a shot at the next round becuase he was overweight. Cowell justified this by saying it might work for Pavarotti, but not in the pop world. The comment set my mind racing straight away. If it had been 1978, Simon Cowell would have rejected Meatloaf on the same grounds and we would have been denied this great rock album.

Next post: Rush- Hemispheres

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