Archive for metalodyssey

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: Lynyrd Skynyrd- One More From the Road

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 6, 2011 by 80smetalman

Throughout the years, there have been many great, good and not so good live albums. I’ve already mentioned one on here, Bob Dylan, “Hard Rain” and you can be sure that I will post many more in the future. However, one live album that really does it for me is this one, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “One More From the Road.” This is probably my favourite live album of all time, although it gets pretty stiff competition fom Black Sabbath’s “Live Evil” album, which I will be featuring further on in the future.

Lynyrd Skynyrd were the second (the Allman Brothers were the first) of a string of great bands which came out of the Jacksonville Florida area in the 1970s and early 80s. In their heyday between 1973 and 1977, the year of their tragic plane crash, they defined the genre that we now know today as Southern Rock. During this time, Skynyrd put out a string of classic studio albums which brought Southern rock to appreciative Northern ears like mine and established them as one of the great bands of the time. In fact, as I write this, I am asking myself why they weren’t included as one of the great metal influences, because some Southern metal bands can site Skynyrd as a big influence.

It’s not just because “One More From the Road” is live being the reason I am posting it. The fact that on the album, they take many of the great songs they had put out and improve them to an even higher plane. A classic example is the legendary song “Freebird.” The studio version from the first album was good, but on the live album there is great additions such as the piano intro by Billy Powell and the three guitars coming together for the grand finale at the very end. This is why the live version of “Freebird” is more loved than the original.

Track listing:

1. Working for the MCA

2. I Ain’t the One

3. Searching

4. Tuesday’s Gone

5. Saturday Night Special

6. Travelling Man

7. Whiskey Rock And Roller

8. Sweet Home Alabama

9. Give Me Three Steps

10. Call Me the Breeze

11. T for Texas

12. The Needle and the Spoon

13. Crossroads

14. Freebird

 Lynyrd Skynyrd

Ronnie Van Zant- vocals

Gary Rossington- guitar

Allen Collins- guitar

Steve Gaines- guitar

Leon Wilkeson- bass

Billy Powell- piano, keyboards

Artimus Pyle- drums

For me, this is a great, classic live album and it was what put me on the road to the music I would later come to know and love as heavy metal. This album alone helped put the music scene of Jacksonville Florida on the map.

Next Post: Fleetwood Mac- Rumours

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Great Rock Albums of the 70s: Black Sabbath: Sabbath Bloody Sabbath

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 2, 2011 by 80smetalman

There are many great Black Sabbath albums post “Paranoid” from the 1970s which I could talk about (ie. We Sold Our Soul For Rock and Roll), but I chose “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” because it is the only Sabbath album I own on CD. This is not to say that this isn’t a great album in its own right because it definitely is. When I put this album into the car CD player, it always makes the car journey that much more pleasant.

“Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” was the first Black Sabbath album to receive favourable reviews from the mainstream press and the subsequent tour in 1974 helped expose the band to a wider audience in the U.S. On the album, the band makes greater use of additional instruments such as synthesisers, which in no way detracts from the over all heavy sound which Sabbath are known and loved for. Additionally, keyboard legend Rick Wakeman also plays on the album. While the album has the traditional dark mood sounding lyrics, the track “Killing Yourself to Live,” written by Geezer Butler, is about his battle with binge drinking.

Track Listing:

1. Sabbath Bloody Sabbath

2. A National Acrobat

3. Fluff

4. Sabbra Cadabra

5. Killing Yourself to Live

6. Who Are You?

7. Looking for Today

8. Spiral Architect

Black Sabbath

Bill Ward- drums, percussian, timbani

Ozzy Osbourne- vocals, synthesiser

Geezer Butler- bass, synthesiser, meletron

Tony Iommi- guitar, piano, organ, synthesiser, flute

“Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” is just one of the great Sabbath albums that they put out during the 1970s and while they would go on to put out more great albums after the departure of Ozzy, it is this era in the chronicles of Black Sabbath and albums such as this one that they will forever be known for.

Next post: Lynyrd Skynyrd- One More From the Road

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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

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

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Great Rock Albums of the 70s: KISS- Destroyer

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 25, 2011 by 80smetalman

If there are any albums which I can site as being an album that converted me to metal, this would definitely be one of them. I wasn’t quite fifteen when this album came out and it would be a few months after its initial release before I actually heard any of it, but when I did, I was hooked. Before, I heard this album, my idea of hard rock was Bachman Turner Overdrive but KISS’s “Destroyer” album completely blew me away. This was in spite of my religious upbringing and some people trying to tell me that KISS were admitted Satan worshippers.

Track Listing:

1. Detroit Rock City

2. King of the Nighttime World

3. God of Thunder

4. Great Expectations

5. Flamming Youth

6. Sweet Pain

7. Shout It Out Loud

8. Beth

9. Do You Love Me

10. Rock and Roll Party

“Detroit Rock City” became a show opener for KISS for nearly the next ten years. I saw them in 85 and have the video of their 1984 tour and they opened both concerts with this song. Upon hearing it, I can definitely see why and is also why I include lyrics from the song in “Rock And Roll Children.” Of course the album includes the ballad Beth which, as I mentioned in previous postings, is the song that young rockers like me played to their girlfriends in the hopes it would lead to paradise.

KISS:

Paul Stanley- rhythm guitar, vocals

Gene Simmons- bass, vocals

Ace Frehley- lead guitar, vocals

Peter Criss- drums, vocals

While KISS would dominate rock throughout the rest of the decade and go on to be a chief influence for many of the 80s metal bands, I’m afraid my religious affiliations would prevent me from getting into more of their music after this. However, although fear of hellfire at the time didn’t allow me to admit it, this album would always stick in my mind and be a big influence on me. But it just wasn’t me, many other great bands have covered songs from this album including Iced Earth, White Zombie and even Nirvana. But my favourite cover is Hammerfall’s cover of “Detroit Rock City.” If anyone wants to know where it all began, this album was one of the doorways.

Next Post: Led Zepplin: Physical Graffiti

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

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Great Rock Albums of the 70s: The Eagles- Hotel California

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 19, 2011 by 80smetalman

The Eagles are normally thought of as an easy listening band, mainly due to their countryfied sound. Throughout the seventies, they were able to cross over to both the country and pop charts with songs like “Lying Eyes,” “Tequila Sunrise” and “Take Me to the Limit.” The same can be said for this album because the single “New Kid in Town” hit number 43 in the country charts and number 2 in the pop charts. Therefore, it is no surprise that they have been labelled easy listening or country rock.

So if this band is considered easy listening, why did so many hard rockers like me go out and buy this album. The answer to this is simple, The Eagles can rock and tracks like “Life in the Fast Lane” and “Victim of Love” are testimony to this. But it’s not just these tracks, the title track itself was able to offer something that listeners of different musical genres could identify with. It also helped that back in the 70s, people weren’t as quick to categorise music like they do now. For me, it was that unique opening guitar riffs to the just hard enough rock melody throughout the middle to the cranking guitar solos at its finale. As a impressionable teenager back then, I watched a video of Hotel California and was totally blown away at the way lead guitarists Joe Walsh and Don Felder went back and forth trading guitar solos. I wonder if the metal bands who had dual lead guitarists who traded off solos got the idea here.

Track Listing:

1. Hotel California

2. New Kid in Town

3. Life in the Fast Lane

4. Wasted Time

5. Wasted Time Reprise

6. Victim of Love

7. Pretty Maids All in a Row

8. Try and Love Again

9. The Last Resort

 

The Eagles:

Don Felder: guitar, vocals, keyboards

Glen Frey- guitar, vocals, keyboards, piano

Don Henley- drums, vocals, keyboards

Randy Meisner- bass, vocals

Joe Walsh- guitar, slide guitar, vocals, keyboards

Another thing this album has in common with heavy metal of the 80s is that it has been accused of being satanic. Someone somewhere associated some of the lyrics of “Hotel California” with death and drew the conclusion that that was what the song was about. For me, I don’t waste my brain cells thinking about that. I just like listening to the great music it has to offer.

I am going on holiday for a week and when I return, the next post will be KISS- Destroyer

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

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Norweigan Tragedy, A Metalhead’s Take

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 14, 2011 by 80smetalman

Several weeks have passed since the tragedy that happened in Norway and I am still trying to get my head around as to why it happened. We now know that Anders Behring Breivik who carried out the atrocity was on the far right of the political spectrum and felt that he was saving his country from a takeover by Islam. Since the 1980s, there has been a more of a polarisation of political thought in Europe with more people going to the extreme right or left. However, for me this doesn’t wholly explain why it happened in the first place.

The main reason I am still struggling with this is because I went to Norway in 1980, not as a tourist, but as a member of the US Marine Corps, where I took part in a large NATO operation. I spent eight days walking the Norweigan countryside and getting rained on. September is the rainy season in Norway and it rained six days out of the eight I was there. But that’s not important, what is important is how extremely friendly the Norweigan people were. On the first night, we captured some Norweigan home guard as part of the war games and they in turn offered us all cigarettes and whisky. I don’t smoke, but did enjoy the latter. This was the case, the rest of the time. We would be in a position and the locals would come out and give us sweets, coffee and even beer. On the last day, as we marched back to the ship, we went past an all girls school and they came out and cheered us as we passed. This is my problem, I can’t understand how such a thing happened in a country where the people are so friendly.

Now you are probably asking yourself, what has this got to do with heavy metal? The answer is quite simple, there is a lot of metal in Norway. The first band that comes to mind is TNT who have been going since the 1980s and it was listening to their album “Realised Fantasies” that gave me the inspiration for this post. TNT have put out 12 studio and two live albums, but it was their first two “Kights of New Thunder” and “Tell No Tales” that are the most memorable for me. That is why I mention them quite a bit in Rock And Roll Children and give an account of the concert I saw at the Marquee in London.

Last year at the Bloodstock Festival, I had the opportunity to see another impressive band from Norway, Leaves Eyes. Of all the acts that were unknown to me before that weekend, Leaves Eyes is the one that impressed me the most. It was the way the operatic, melodic voice of lead singer, Liv Kristine and the more raw vocals of Alex Krull came together with the rest of the band. I suggest you check them out, you won’t be disappointed.

Of course, there are other metal bands in Norway like Angel, Bankok Babes, Wild Side and Hush to name a few. So, if you are trying to make sense of the tragedy, which befell Norway, then listen to a Norweigan metal band, I’m sure it will help you see things in a new light.

Next post: Back to Great Rock Albums of the 70s: The Eagles- Hotel California

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