Archive for MTV

Great Metal Albums of 1984: Hellion

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 10, 2018 by 80smetalman

Upon further reflection back to 1984, I have come to the conclusion that I seemed to be in the right place at the right time when a particular metal band’s song got played on MTV or their album just happened to be on display when I walked past the record store. In the case of this six song EP from American metal artists, Hellion, I don’t exactly remember which one of those scenarios apply. For some reason, however, their name has stuck in my mind for over thirty-three years. In fact, I went through a period wondering if I was confusing Hellion with Helix but thankfully, I wasn’t.

The debut album from Hellion is another cool stereotypical 80s metal album, plain and simple. Things open with the high energy “Break the Spell” and does its job in getting the metal juices flowing. There is a cool opening riff to the song which helps grab your attention before the fast paced action begins. Lead singer Ann Boleyn stamps her vocal authority on things and it all points to a good time had by all. Any doubts otherwise are cast quickly aside by my vote for best track, “Don’t Take No.” This is a slightly less faced paced ditty but the power behind the melody is attention grabbing. So is the little drum solo at the beginning. Again, Boleyn’s vocals shine and there’s also of course, the obligatory killer guitar solo and that’s why this song gets my vote.

“Backstabber” takes things up a notch with its speedier riffs. On this song, Ann proves she has a very good voice provided she doesn’t try to scream so much. On this track, her voice fits the music very well and a decent guitar solo is heard. Furthermore, the band do a good job in the backing vocals department on it. Another cool intro gets, “Looking for a Good Time” going in the right direction and that leads to a good steady metal tune with all the fore-mentioned elements present. That, in turn, leads to the next track, “Driving Hard,” where the change of tempo does wonders for the song and if the guitar solo was a little longer, it would have been the best one on the album. “Up From the Depths” closes the party with it’s theatrical intro/cool guitar solo intro before it belts out mayhem. Definitely the best song to close the album, the guitar solo makes that clear. If I’ve discovered anything about this album, the songs are definitely arranged in the correct order.

Track Listing:

  1. Break the Spell
  2. Don’t Take No
  3. Backstabber
  4. Looking for a Good Time
  5. Driving Hard
  6. Up From the Depths

Hellion

Ann Boleyn- throat

Alan Barlem- guitar

Ray Schenk- guitar

Sean Kelly- drums

Bill Sweet- bass

After this debut EP, Hellion would disappear for a few years. Wendy Dio would eventually take the band under her wing but that’s for another time. So is the mistake to fire Ann Boleyn and bring in a male vocalist. So, there won’t be any more Hellion posts until I get to 1987 so have a listen to this debut and enjoy.

Next post: Saxon- Crusader

To get Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://book-fm.cf/print/free-download-rock-and-roll-children-by-michael-d-lefevre-pdf.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Great Metal Albums of 1984: Helix- Walkin’ the Razor’s Edge

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 7, 2018 by 80smetalman

It’s amazing the things that get stored in one’s mind and come out when the mind needs them. Back in the 1980’s, Helix were one of those bands I always wanted to explore more of but never got around to it. They first came to my attention in the summer of 1984 when I saw the video for the single from the “Walkin’ the Razor’s Edge” album, “Rock You.” I made a mental note to buy this album but never did. I did try to look for it but it never made it to my part of South Jersey.

Like with some other metal bands in 1984, while many of them got played on MTV, you had to be in the right place at the right time to catch it. It was the same with White Wolf. Hell, I didn’t even remember which song from this album I had seen the video for until I did a bit of research thanks to Wikipedia and Youtube. Seeing the video for “Rock You” jogged my memory and yes, I remember it now. Looking at it again, it was such a very 80s video but who cares, it’s a good song.

But what about the rest of the album? Some of you might ask. Well, rest assured, let me say once and for all that “Walkin’ the Razor’s Edge” kicks total ass. True, there is a definite 80s vibe to the album and to Helix but no one can ever say that heavy metal is dated. However, I do find it difficult to pick a favourite on here, although I will take the first five songs over the final five, but not by much. “Young and Wreckless,” “Animal House” and “When the Hammer Falls” are definitely the stand out tracks for me. “Feel the Fire” is also a good track that sounds like a Dokken tune. Again, I might prefer the first half of the album, I won’t denounce the second half. “Give Me Good Lovin'” could have been a second single here. So record management, why wasn’t it released as one? The ballad, “(Make Me Do) Anything You Want” was released as a single in Canada and it’s a decent ballad. While the remaining songs don’t totally grab me by the throat, they are good songs and do their job in making the album enjoyable.

What makes the album so good is the band themselves. Brian Vollmer might be trying to act like every other metal singer from the decade in the video but he has a good set of pipes. Brent Doerner and Paul Hackman wield their axes very well all throughout the album, fair dues to them. Doerner is the one who emerges from the water to play his guitar solo in the video but whichever guitarist lays down the solo on “When the Hammer Falls” gets the gong for best solo here. Daryl Gray and Greg Hinz provide a competent rhythm section rock for the rest to build on. As usual, a good band makes a good album.

Track Listing:

  1. Rock You
  2. Young and Restless
  3. Animal House
  4. Feel the Fire
  5. When the Hammer Falls
  6. Give Me Good Lovin’
  7. My Kind of Rock
  8. (Make Me Do) Anything You Want
  9. Six Strings Nine Lives
  10. You Keep Me Rockin’

Helix and their friends

Brian Vollmer- lead vocals

Brent ‘The Doctor’ Doerner- guitars, backing vocals

Paul Hackman- guitars, backing vocals

Daryl Gray- bass, backing vocals

George ‘Fritz’ Hinz- drums

Was Helix Canada’s best kept secret in the 1980s? Possibly but then Canadian bands seemed to get ignored more than their American and British counterparts. Hearing “Walkin’ On the Razor’s Edge” makes me wish I had Youtube back then. I would not have missed this cool album and waited over thirty years to finally get to listen to it.

Next post: Hellion

To get Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://book-fm.cf/print/free-download-rock-and-roll-children-by-michael-d-lefevre-pdf.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1984: Dio- The Last in Line

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 4, 2018 by 80smetalman

No further evidence to support the fact that 1984 was the year of heavy metal is needed beyond the fact that Dio had two songs from their second album, “The Last in Line” played on commercial radio. When I first heard the title track played on my local commercial station, I wasted no time in cranking up the volume and breaking out the air guitar. I was working at a parking lot at the time but it didn’t matter one bit if I was the subject of people’s attention. To hear such a song on the radio was completely mind blowing at the time.

The video to the track, “The Last in Line” was cool in my view but it did come in for a lot of criticism at the time. In the eyes of the religious fanatics, scenes of people getting tortured by Satan’s minions was a major problem. Of course, if they bothered to watch the entire video, they would have seen that the protagonist in it does make his escape with the help of Ronnie himself. My conclusion was that it’s a cool video for a great song.

“Mystery” the second single, didn’t do quite as well but I love this song too and the video for it. The video is a more fantasy setting so no one gets tortured in it. After one showing of it on MTV, the vee-jay said “Mystery” was the closest thing to a ballad from Dio. Maybe so, it would be another twelve years before “Angry Machines” and the closer to it, which is a definite ballad. Still, I continue to love “Mystery.”

Now, let me go to the four tracks which some people consider to be filler. I don’t because I consider “Breathless,” “I Speed at Night,” “Evil Eyes” and “Eat Your Heart Out” to all be good tracks. Maybe the heavy breathing before “Breathless” is a little OTT but that intro and Ronnie’s “No No No No No” more than cancel it out. Coming home from visiting my children the other night, I realise that I do speed at night. In some cases, I discovered that I was doing 80 on the motorway, so that song is very true. “Eat Your Heart Out” has a cool intro as well and I love how “Evil Eyes” ends. So, in my mind, these songs aren’t filler.

As for the three songs I haven’t mentioned, well, they are better than the four I just mentioned. “We Rock” would have been used to open their shows on tour for “The Last in Line” had they not had a better show opener from the “Holy Diver ” album. “Stand Up and Shout” is one of the greatest show opening songs ever. But while it might not have opened the show, Dio still had the sense to play it on their next couple of tours. It is a cool song. “One Night in the City” is my hidden gem on the album. I have always loved Ronnie’s ability to tell stories behind the great music and on this one, it’s near perfect. The same can be said for the closer, “Egypt (The Chains are On.)” This too tells a great story behind what is some great music. I don’t quite rate it as good as “One Night in the City” but it does make an excellent closer for the album.

Most people can attest to the great vocals of Ronnie James Dio and he does a superb job on “The Last in Line.” However, the rest of the band needs their credit where due. Vivian Campbell lays down some brilliant guitar solos on here. Why some people call him overrated I’ll never under stand. Jimmy Bain and Vinnie Appice remain the tight rhythm section on this albums as much as they were on the last one. Then there’s the new addition on the album. It was here, keyboards player Claude Schnell joined the band and his contribution to the band is immense. All together, these five men work together and put out a fantastic album.

Track Listing:

  1. We Rock
  2. The Last in Line
  3. Breathless
  4. I Speed At Night
  5. On Night in the City
  6. Evil Eyes
  7. Mystery
  8. Eat Your Heart Out
  9. Egypt (The Chains are On)

Dio

Ronnie James Dio- vocals

Vivian Campbell- guitar

Jimmy Bain- bass

Claude Schnell- keyboards

Vinnie Appice- drums

 

 

The best concert I ever went to in my life happened on this tour. Dio, supported by Twisted Sister was a night I will take to my grave with me as one of the great highs. One of the main contributors to this ecstasy was the fact that it was “The Last in Line” album. Thinking back to when I wrote about this concert in “Rock and Roll Children,” I didn’t highlight just how magnificent a show it was.

Next Post: Helix- Walkin’ the Razor’s Edge

To get Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://book-fm.cf/print/free-download-rock-and-roll-children-by-michael-d-lefevre-pdf.html

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1984: Twisted Sister- Stay Hungry

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Humour, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 19, 2017 by 80smetalman

With all the fuss about the upcoming Christmas holidays and reading about various opinions of the “Twisted Christmas” album and why Twisted Sister made such an album, I thought I’d treat everyone to their most defining album, “Stay Hungry.” It was by and far the most successful Twisted Sister album of all time and it made, to quote Dee Snider, 1984 “the year of the Sister.”

Let me take you back to the golden year and where it first started. The massive sales of the album were spring-boarded by the huge hit, “We’re Not Gonna Take It” and the very amusing video for it, that got tons of airplay on MTV. I never minded the fact that during the summer of 1984, it seemed to be on every time I turned the station on. The video for said song featured actor Mark Metcalf, famous for playing Niedermeyer in the greatest party film of all time, “National Lampoon’s Animal House.” Metcalf plays an overbearing dictatorial father who shouts constantly at his rock loving son. The son gets his own back by propelling his father out windows after turning into Dee Snider. It was all very hilarious and only those without any sense of humour wouldn’t enjoy it.

A scene from the video, “We’re Not Gonna Take It.”

“Stay Hungry” spawned two more singles, “I Wanna Rock” which did fairly well in the charts. The video carried on the zaniness of the Niedermeyer debacle. It too was a very funny video. The other single was the power ballad, “The Price,” which didn’t break the top forty, but who cares because it is definitely up in my top ten of power ballads.

Singles aside, the remaining seven songs are just as awesome. The closest track to filler is “Don’t Let Me Down” but it’s better than many songs on other albums which  aren’t considered filler. While “The Beast” never got played the last two times I saw Twister Sister at Bloodstock, it did get played the two times I saw them on tour for this album. “Captain Howdy” is a cool song. The title track is one of the best album openers of all time and the closer “SMF” is also outstanding as a closer and build the foundations as to why this album is so great. To my knowledge, there isn’t a sane soul in the metal world who doesn’t like “Burn In Hell.” Except for the first time because it hadn’t been written yet, it got played all the other times I saw the band live. However, the one small disappointment whenever I saw them live  was that they never played the song I call the hidden gem, “Street Justice.” I like everything about this song from the cool intro to the guitar solo to the serious lyrics. Maybe that’s why I think I’m different to the rest of the world because I seem to be the only person who really likes it. I’ve read that they played the song in 2009 when they played the entire album live. I wish I could have been there.

Track Listing:

  1. Stay Hungry
  2. We’re Not Gonna Take It
  3. Burn In Hell
  4. Horror Teria

a. Captain Howdy

b. Street Justice

5. I Wanna Rock

6. The Price

7. Don’t Let Me Down

8. The Beast

9. SMF

Twisted Sister

Dee Snider- lead vocals

Eddie Ojeda- guitars, backing vocals

Jay Jay French- guitars, backing vocals

Mark ‘The Animal’ Mendoza- bass, backing growls

AJ Pero- drums, percussion

Three videos from this iconic album is my Christmas treat to all of you, enjoy. Whatever else happened in the band’s history before or since, the obvious thing is that “Stay Hungry” made Twisted Sister in 1984. It was definitely the year of the Sister and I wonder sometimes if I didn’t convey that point in Rock and Roll Children.

Next post: The 12 Days of Christmas, several versions

To get Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://book-fm.cf/print/free-download-rock-and-roll-children-by-michael-d-lefevre-pdf.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1984: Ratt- Out of the Cellar

Posted in 1980s, Books, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 14, 2017 by 80smetalman

Here’s a scene from “Rock and Roll Children.” One night, after unsuccessfully trying to get into bars, the four main characters decide to head to one of the group’s houses. While driving with the radio on, some power chords come blasting through the car’s speakers. Intently listening to whoever the mysterious artist is playing, these words coming ringing true.

“I knew right from the beginning

That you would end up winning,

I knew right from the start,

You’d put an arrow through my heart.”

The big single “Round and Round” brought Ratt into the homes of many Americans in the summer of 1984, with it being constantly played on radio and MTV. I can’t deny the fact that it is most likely my favourite Ratt song of all time although there are a couple of others that might come close. I can’t explain why this song is so good, not just to metalheads but many non-metalheads liked it too. That’s why it got to number 12 on the Billboard charts.

Like the big hit, one thing that many of the songs on Ratt’s debut album, “Out of the Cellar” have catchy intros that make your ears perk up and pay attention. True, some of the songs trail off a bit and end not as exciting as they begin but there isn’t a bad song on the album. Saying that, except for “Round and Round” the second half of the album is better than the first. It’s probably why the said single was put third on the album. A kind of high point on a more level ground. Furthermore and this is me totally nit picking here, I would have swapped “She Wants Money” as the opener and “Wanted Man” would have been fifth. The latter is a good song, I just think the former would have made a better opener.

Having heard “Out of the Cellar” on vinyl, flipping to side two, one is greeted with a great side opener in “Lack of Communication.” This song opens the doorway for the best to come. “Back For More” was the second single on the album and I liked it more than what the charts indicated. I think it only got to 27 but that never bothered me because it is a cool song. The acoustic intro makes a great change up to the album and I can’t fault Warren DeMartini’s guitar playing on it or on any song actually. However, after single number two comes the hidden gem on the album and the one to rival “Round and Round” for my affections. “The Morning After” is just a fantastic song. I love all the tempo changes in the guitars on it and how they kick in big time on the chorus. It’s hard to describe in words but even thirty three years on, I still don’t tire of this song. Shit, maybe I should call it number one.

The last two tracks are strong and solid ones. I sometimes wonder if “I’m Insane” applies to me. After all, I feel that way sometimes. “Scene of the Crime” isn’t the greatest album closer in history but it is probably the best song to close the album, especially with the intro.

Track Listing:

  1. Wanted Man
  2. You’re In Trouble
  3. Round and Round
  4. In Your Direction
  5. She Wants Money
  6. Lack of Communication
  7. Back for More
  8. The Morning After
  9. I’m Insane
  10. Scene of the Crime

Ratt

Stephen Pearcy- vocals

Warren De Martini- guitar, backing vocals

Robbin Crosby- guitar, backing vocals

Juan Crocier- bass, backing vocals

Bobby Blotzer- drums, percussion

When people talk of the metal explosion of 1984, Ratt always gets a mention. Though many would accuse them of being too much the same on later albums, there is no debate that “Out of the Cellar” album was something fresh, at least to me.

Next post: Twisted Sister- Stay Hungry

To get Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://spread-luv.ga/info/kindle-free-e-books-rock-and-roll-children-by-michael-d-lefevre-9781609763558-pdf.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1984: Judas Priest- Defenders of the Faith

Posted in 1980s, Books, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 6, 2017 by 80smetalman

If I thought I didn’t do Great White justice when I wrote about theirs as the first concert to take place in “Rock and Roll Children,” then I should grovel to Judas Priest begging their forgiveness. The Judas Priest/Great White concert that happens in the first few pages of the book is the one I knew least about. I couldn’t go on account of work and only had patchy accounts of the concert from people I spoke to who went. This meant my account of that night was, as one critic put it, bare bones, if that. So, to Judas Priest and their hardcore fans, I’m sorry. Though I do make up for it when I write about their 1986 concert. One of my biggest critics, my sister, said I nailed that one.

While the first Judas Priest concert might have been lacking in substance, the album they were touring in support of, “Defenders of the Faith” did get a good number of listens from the characters in “Rock and Roll Children.” I have always held this album in great esteem and will put my head in the lion’s mouth and declare that it is Judas Priest’s most underrated album, ever! Sales wise, it did not match the numbers of its mega fantastic predecessor, “Screaming for Vengeance,” and I put it a half a mark below it but “Defenders of the Faith” is one fantastic album.

The first seven songs are the reason why the album is soooo good. One by one each of those songs launch into an all out assault on your ears with such ferocity, you can’t help but to head bang away and jump up and down to it. Even when one song ends, the next one grabs you by the throat and makes you give your undivided attention to it. When I say the first seven songs, I mean all of those songs, not just the ones some might be more familiar with like “Freewheel Burning” and “Love Bites,” who when the premier of the video for it was announced on MTV was called “a family affair.” Of course there’s also my favourite track from this album and my third all time favourite Priest song, “Some Heads are Gonna Roll.” I just love that song. “Jawbreaker,” “Rock Hard, Ride Free” and “The Sentinel” all can cause an unsuspecting listener to lose control of their bodily functions as well. Plus, there’s the amusing “Eat Me Alive” which a year later would be rank on the PMRC’s hit list as the third dirtiest song. All great!

This not to say that the last three songs are in any way not up to scratch, they are good songs but intensity levels do tail off after “Some Heads are Gonna Roll.” Things go slower tempo with the remaining three songs but the pounding doesn’t let up. It just takes on a different form, nor does it detract from this great album in any way.

Track Listing:

  1. Freewheel Burning
  2. Jawbreaker
  3. Rock Hard, Ride Free
  4. The Sentinel
  5. Love Bites
  6. Eat Me Alive
  7. Some Heads Are Gonna Roll
  8. Night Comes Down
  9. Heavy Duty
  10. Defenders of the Faith

Judas Priest

Robert Halford- lead vocals

Glenn Tipton- guitar

KK Downing- guitar

Ian Hill- bass

Dave Holland- drums

I’ve never really ranked Judas Priest albums before, except I knew that “Screaming for Vengeance” was my favourite. I have called “Defenders of the Faith” underrated but I am now declare it number two and not by much. It is a great under appreciated album.

Next post: Quiet Riot- Condition Critical

https://spread-luv.ga/info/kindle-free-e-books-rock-and-roll-children-by-michael-d-lefevre-9781609763558-pdf.html

Great Metal Albums of 1984: Black N Blue

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on November 13, 2017 by 80smetalman

Back in 1984, I was still pretty much relying on commercial media to bring me news of new albums and bands. I have to admit that in the early part of the year, MTV was a reliable source although this would quickly change towards the end of 1984. However, as commercial media was becoming less reliable in heavy metal terms, word of mouth and scouring record stores’ stock proved to be a God send. It was through the former method as to how I discovered the debut album from Black’n Blue.

If you have never heard the album before, you might react with a “This sounds very 80s” comment. True, I can see that, there is a definite 80s metal vibe here but I didn’t care at all back then and I don’t care now. The lyrics are definitely so but again, they make the songs fun. Take the second track, “School of Hard Rocks” where the lyrics go, “We’re gonna rock your socks off.” There are probably thousands of bands who have penned lyrics like this in the past three decades but for me, Black’ n Blue were the first ones to do it in a way that I really liked.

Funny thing, not long after I listened to the album, their best known single of all time, “Hold Onto 18” did get played on MTV. Although that was possibly the only time I saw the video for the song. I might have caught it again another time but my memory is playing tricks on me. This song was a banner for those who were reaching that age in 1984, like my sister. I was 23 and had spent four years serving my country but even I could appreciate the sentiment of the lyrics. Besides, it is a very powerful song to begin with.

The three tracks  before “Hold Onto 18” are all of that 1980s metal sound, if you believe there is such a thing. However, the track after, “Wicked Bitch” kicks things up several gears. This is a great metal tune that could fit well into any decade with fantastic power chords and a blistering guitar solo. Following that is a good cover of The Sweet classic, “Action.” They do metal it up quite well. That metal power continues through the remaining songs. All of them are kick ass power rockers.

Track Listing:

  1. The Strong Will Rock
  2. School of Hard Rocks
  3. Autoblast
  4. Hold Onto 18
  5. Wicked Bitch
  6. Action
  7. Show Me the Night
  8. One for the Money
  9. I’m the King
  10. The Chains Around Heaven

Black’n Blue

Jamie St James- lead and backing vocals

Tommy Thayer- guitar, backing vocals

Jeff ‘Woop’ Warner- guitar, backing vocals

Patrick Young- bass, backing vocals

Pete Holmes- drums

The great thing about 1984 was it helped to put bands I would have never heard of onto my radar. I guess I should be grateful for that. It’s also good that one of those bands was Black’n Blue because their debut album is killer. While it does get a mention in “Rock and Roll Children,” it isn’t for another year in the story and in my life where they get more into the spotlight.

Next post: Grim Reaper- See You In Hell

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1510595469&sr=8-1&keywords=michael+d+lefevre