Archive for MTV

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Great Metal Albums of 1984: The Scorpions- Love At First Sting

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

After posting albums by two bands who came and went virtually unnoticed by the world, except for me, I noticed them, I thought it would be a good idea to go totally the opposite direction and post about a band whose album took the world by storm in 1984. That is exactly what The Scorpions “Love at First Sting” album did, it took the metal world (and in some cases, the non-metal world) by storm. The first single got played a lot on MTV, not that I minded that at all.

Even after more than three decades, when I hear the opening riffs to “Rock You Like a Hurricane,” I jump up and want to start headbanging away to it. Being a little older and slightly more wiser these days, I have come to realize that it was a gutsy move to release it as a single. Those opening riffs are not something you’d expect to hear on commercial radio but one did then. Normally, metal bands would release the more commercial friendly song, not one that blows people away. Then again, 1984 was the golden year of heavy metal so I shouldn’t be surprised that such songs got airplay.

The great thing about “Love At First Sting” is that the above single was just one of the great songs that appear on it. The two songs either side of “Rock You Like a Hurricane” are just as kick you in the head metal. In fact, I have come to believe that those songs could have been arranged in any order and it would have had the same effect on my enjoyment of it. I still would have loved it. After the three opening songs, “Coming Home” starts like a total ballad but after a minute and a half in, the band just goes nuts and the power of the first three songs comes through. Maybe writers Meine and Schenker thought the listener needed a break so, they wrote it that way. But whatever their motives, it worked!

Things go almost to speed metal levels with the next track, “The Same Thrill” but again, it’s done very well. They just let themselves go here and it sounds great. It would be nearly another year before “Big City Nights” was released as a single but I’m glad I didn’t have to wait that long to hear it. It’s a powerful song with a catchy melody and some cool guitar hooks. Some very interesting opening riffs on “As Soon As the Good Times Roll” and “Crossfire” keep things ticking over and leads nicely to what some might consider another gutsy move. The album ends with the second single, the power ballad, “Still Loving You.” As some of you might have guessed, I’m a sucker for a good power ballad and this one is right up there with the best. Note: I’ve already sung the praises of the musicians who comprise this band on previous posts about The Scorpions, so I won’t repeat it.

Track Listing:

  1. Bad Boys Running Wild
  2. Rock You Like a Hurricane
  3. I’m Leaving You
  4. Coming Home
  5. The Same Thrill
  6. Big City Nights
  7. As Soon As the Good Times Roll
  8. Crossfire
  9. Still Loving You

The Scorpions

Klaus Meine- lead vocals

Rudy Schenker- rhythm guitar, backing vocals

Mathias- Jabs- lead guitar

Francis Bucholz- bass

Herman Rarebell- drums

If any one album, established metal as a dominant musical force in early 1984, it was “Love at First Sting” by the Scorpions. Looking back, it’s only right that they be part of the golden year of metal. Especially as they put out such a cool album. My regret is not giving it enough mention in “Rock and Roll Children.”

Next post: Slade- Keep Your Hands Off My Power Supply

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1509995239&sr=8-3&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1984: White Wolf- Standing Alone

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on November 3, 2017 by 80smetalman

Here’s a post about being in the right place at the right time. Sometime in the wee hours of one morning in early 1984, I happened to be up watching MTV when this video by some band named White Wolf came on. I knew nothing about the band but I knew I liked the song they were playing. So, I made a mental note about them and went to my local record shops in the days following to find out more about this band and possibly buy the album. Unfortunately, I drew a blank everywhere I went and I had a good share of confused looks from shop assistants, but that’s Southern New Jersey for you. The sad tale is that I never got this album though the band from that one late night experience has always remained in my memory. However, there is a happy ending thanks to Youtube where I finally got to listen to White Wolf’s 1984 “Standing Alone” album and share it with you. Believe me, the wait was worth it.

Let me start with my one tiny criticism of “Standing Alone.” It’s the title track. Not a bad song, in fact it’s quite good but it shouldn’t be the opener on the album. That duty should have fallen on the second track, “Headlines.” That is the song that leaps out and assaults your ear drums and makes you pay serious attention to the album. As for the title track, it should have been third because the track after “Headlines” continues the ear assault before turning slightly more melodic at the end. The more melodic title track would have followed on nicely from there. That would have very nicely paved the way for my favourite track on the album. “What the War Will Bring.” It cleverly disguises itself as a power ballad, a good one, but there is some very great guitar work here. Eight minutes of enjoyable melodic metal and guitar work combined. Most of the song is comprised of the latter and that is the reason why I like it so much.

Nit picking done, the rest of the album is one big powerful explosion of metal. The three tracks following my favourite bear testimony to that. “Night Rider” kicks it off with a harmonizing of the title before the music kicks in full blast. It’s a rather fast paced song, though I wouldn’t call it thrash, with a cool guitar solo. If you thought “Night Rider” was hard, “Homeward Bound” is even harsher! It’s a good heavy metal tune, if ever there was one. A sort of twist comes next. One would think that a song called “Metal Thunder” would be even harder and louder than its predecessors but it’s much more melodic, a good curve ball there. Still, it’s a cool song with some good harmony vocals and guitar work and it leads very well to the closer, which provides the right conclusion to this fime album.

Track Listing:

  1. Standing Alone
  2. Headlines
  3. Shadows in the Night
  4. What the War Will Bring
  5. Night Rider
  6. Homeward Bound
  7. Metal Thunder
  8. Trust Me

Donn Wolf aka Don Wilk- vocals

Martin Kronlund- guitar

Cam McLeod- guitar, backing vocals

Rikard Quist- bass

Imre Daun- drums

I can’t even remember which of these 8 cool songs the video I saw on MTV back in 1984 was for. I do remember it being a viking theme but that’s all. I do know that I liked the song and there must have been something there for me to remember it all these years after. I’m forever grateful that I got to listen to “Standing Alone” and got to hear it for myself.

Next post: The Scorpions- Love At First Sting

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1509701865&sr=8-3&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1984: Rock Goddess- Hell Hath No Fury

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 29, 2017 by 80smetalman

Girlschool wasn’t the only female band to come along on the new wave of British heavy metal, (NWOBHM). In early 1984, I happened to catch another band of ladies who proved they could rock as hard as the men. That band happened to be the trio known as Rock Goddess. I have to admit, when I first saw the video for the big single from this album, “Hell Hath No Fury,” “I Didn’t Know Till I Saw You Rock and Roll,” I was totally smitten. Not only did these three ladies tingle my then 22 year old hormones, they could play metal as well and play it well. Note: this single doesn’t appear on the UK release of the album.

While the mentioned single can still be found on some compilation albums from time to time and is the song Rock Goddess is best known for, I can say with certainty that the entire album kicks ass. It’s just one complete blow your eardrums to pieces rock party from start to finish. In fact, if I had to pick, I would say that the opening title track is probably the least strongest track on here. I can’t use weakest because I don’t think that applies. “Gotta Let Your Hair Down” is a great example of what I mean by blow your eardrums metal. When I hear that song, I regret the fact that I never seen them live.

Because they are an all female band, I feel the need to make the cliched comment that they are just as good as their male counterparts. Take singer/guitarist Jody Turner. Now, I admit that her guitar playing isn’t equal to greats like Blackmore or Van Halen but it’s good enough. Her best guitar effort can be found on “In the Night” and runner up is “Hold Me Down.” Plus she has the added gift of having a good singing voice that can bellow to the high extremes and then soften to a melodic purr. If that’s not all, she was the songwriter for the band and to me, she does write some good songs. I find, “The Visitors Are Here,” a song about an alien visit, quite cool. As for the rhythm section of Julie Turner and Dee O’Malley, they are as tight as any other section I know of.

Track Listing:

  1. Hell Hath No Fury
  2. I Didn’t Know I Loved You Till I Saw You Rock and Roll
  3. Gotta Let Your Hair Down
  4. In the Night
  5. Hold Me Down
  6. The Visitors Are Here
  7. You Got the Fire
  8. It Will Never Change
  9. Don’t Want Your Love
  10. God Be With You

Rock Goddess

Jody Turner- guitars, lead vocals

Julie Turner- drums, backing vocals

Dee O’Malley- bass, keyboards, backing vocals

My question has always been, why didn’t Rock Goddess go further? According to Wikapedia, there were problems from the outset. Julie Turner was still a school age minor and there were legal limitation on how many live shows she could perform. Right before the scheduled US tour, Dee O’Malley announced she was pregnant and left the band. That was typical of the band’s history as bassists and sometimes second guitarists would come and go so they never became fully solid. Damn shame in my opinion because they could have achieved so much more.

Next post: White Wolf- Standing Alone

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1509302805&sr=8-3&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1984: Accept- Balls to the Wall

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 26, 2017 by 80smetalman

If ever the saying, “never judge a book (or an album) by its cover” was relevant, it was certainly the case with Accept’s album “Balls to the Wall.” Ever since it’s launch, the cover of the album has brought criticisms of homo-erotica and this debate continues even today. For me, while I never or will ever enter into that debate, I must admit that I was rather homophobic in 1984 and used to have the album face down whenever I listened to it. But homo-erotic album cover or not, it never stopped me from enjoying the content the album contains.

The title track is probably the best known Accept song ever. I remember it getting a considerable amount of airplay on the radio, though I don’t recall ever seeing the video for it on MTV. That song totally blew me away at first listen. That catchy chorus just gets you banging your head away and singing along to it with all your heart and soul. It does the same for me even after all these years. Even if the song had homo-erotic overtones, which the band has always denied, I wouldn’t have cared then or now.

As was the case in 80s Reagan America, the fact that the cover of the album was thought to entertain homosexual contents, meant the rest of the album must do so as well. Songs like “London Leatherboys” and “Love Child” also were accused of the same. Let me tell you that it was all a load of nonsense. The great track, “London Leatherboys” was about bikers and even if it wasn’t, it’s such a cool metal jam. “Love Child” is about gays but it’s also about all people who are oppressed, which back in that time, was any non-conformist group or individual. It still doesn’t stop it from being a great song. I have to agree with the words of guitarist Wolf Hoffmann who said, “You Americans are so uptight about this.” He was totally correct.

In addition to the tracks I’ve already mentioned, the rest of the album is of the same greatness. Except for the acoustic closer, which in itself, isn’t a bad song, each one of these tracks totally kicks ass. Then as now, I can’t really pick a favorite apart from the famous title track. Power and melody are fused so well it’s amazing. There is something to like about each and every one here whether it’s hard riffs, catchy choruses or blistering guitar solos. “Balls to the Wall” was my metal introduction to the year 1984 and what a great one it was.

Track Listing:

  1. Balls to the Wall
  2. London Leatherboys
  3. Fight Back
  4. Head Over Heels
  5. Losing More Than You Ever Had
  6. Love Child
  7. Turn Me On
  8. Losers and Winners
  9. Guardians of the Night
  10. Winter Dreams

Accept

Do Dirkscheider- lead vocals

Wolf Hoffmann- guitar

Herman Frank- guitar

Peter Baltes- bass

Stefan Kaufmann- drums

Like I said, “Balls to the Wall” was my metal introduction to 1984 as I first heard it in early February of that year. I don’t think I could have asked for a better one than this.

Next post: Rock Goddess- Hell Hath No Fury

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1509050330&sr=8-3&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great RockMetal Albums of 1984: Bon Jovi

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 23, 2017 by 80smetalman

Before I launch into the debut album by a band considered to be a symbol for 1980s hard rock and heavy metal, I thought I first begin by naming four more films of 1984 I missed. Two of them I can’t believe I did and two of them starred comedian Eddie Murphy.

Beverly Hills Cop was considered to be on a par with Ghostbusters at the time.

Conan the Destroyer with Arnie Schwartzeneger was a big let down in comparison with the first film

Another children’s favourite, Gremlins. Thanks to keepsmealive for bringing it to light for me.

 

Hot Dog- about freestyle skiing had its funny moments.

There was a fifth film called Best Defense with Eddie Murphy and Dudley Moore which was okay but just okay.

Now onto the self-titled debut from Bon Jovi. While I have always liked this album, at the time, I thought it was nothing spectacular. Yes, the single that got them on MTV, “Runaway,” was very good, probably still one of my favourite Bon Jovi jams, even if one friend of mine considered it to sound too much like Rick Springfield. Furthermore, I felt exactly the same way when I saw them open for The Scorpions in this year. I thought they weren’t bad but not anything phenomenal.

Like all Bon Jovi albums, when I listen to it, I ask myself the question why Bon Jovi are considered heavy metal. True, there are some hard rocking songs on the album and there was the potential for more had not the keyboards been too heavy on them. The tracks I’m talking about are “Burning For Love” and the second single, “She Don’t Know Me.” The latter officially became the first song I liked on account of the video for it. Had I heard it on the radio or the album, I wouldn’t have liked it so much. The former does have a great guitar solo on it though.

On the other hand, there are some decent rockers on the album in addition to “Runaway.” “Love Lies” is definitely one of those. Whenever I listen to it, I remember why I have always held the guitar abilities of one Richie Sambora in such high regards. He does shine here. “Breakout” can’t make up its mind as to whether it wants to be a rocker or not. I do like the standard keyboard intro followed by the thunder of the guitar. However, the keyboards come back in and take over a little too much in some places. The song sounds like a power struggle between the hard rock and commercial sounds. The decider is again, another good guitar solo from Richie. I have always said that a good closing song can do wonders for an album and “Get Ready” does that job well on the album. It is a strong rocker which ends things quite well. Plus, it gets some good support from the penultimate track.

Track Listing:

  1. Runaway
  2. Roulette
  3. She Don’t Know Me
  4. “Shot Through the Heart
  5. Love Lies
  6. Breakout
  7. Burning For Love
  8. Come Back
  9. Get Ready

Bon Jovi

Jon Bon Jovi- lead vocals, rhythm guitar

Richie Sambora- lead guitar, backing vocals

Dave Bryan- keyboards, backing vocals

Alec John Such- bass, backing vocals

Tico Torres- drums, percussion

Now here’s the big question I am going to explore on all my Bon Jovi posts in the future. Someone once commented that Bon Jovi represented everything that was wrong with heavy metal in the 1980s. What? I never thought there was anything wrong with metal back then. It’s something I’m going to investigate though. Thinking back to 1984 and this debut album, I certainly wasn’t thinking that. Then, I would never have thought that the band would go onto achieve so much.

Next post: Accept- Balls to the Wall

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1508760900&sr=8-3&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some Great Films of 1984

Posted in 1980s, Death, Heavy Metal, soundtracks with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 19, 2017 by 80smetalman

Not only was I a big music fan back in 1984, as I am today, I was also a great cinema buff, unlike today. Posting about those two soundtracks from said year threw my mind back to some of the other great and not so great films I got to see in 1984. They may not have had soundtracks I wanted to listen to but most of them were good films or at least a good source of amusement. Therefore, in regards to the golden year of heavy metal, I thought I’d list the films I saw that year.

Ghost Busters

This was probably the most popular film in 1984. It’s theme song, sung by Ray Parker Jr, got a lot of play on MTV. Never cared much for the song but I did like this film as I was a fairly big Bill Murray fan at the time.

Karate Kid was probably the second most popular film in 1984

In spite of the above, I never accepted the proposition that all the blonde haired, blue eyed teenage boys in Southern California were all karate experts.

Ghost Busters might have been the most popular film, but The Terminator was my favourite.

“I’ll be back” has been a very popular catchphrase from the film. However, my favourite part was when the hotel landlord asks, “Do you got dead cats in there?” Robot Arnie’s brain flashes possible responses and he chooses, “Fuck you asshole.”

Hyped up to be the final chapter of the Friday the 13th series. No surprise it wasn’t.

These were considered the big films of the year but there were many more out there.

The Keep: Nazi soldiers are killed in a haunted castle

This was the first film I went to in 1984.

DC Cab: Mr T stars in a film about an on the rocks cab firm.

This was the second

Angel: High school honour student by day, Hollywood hooker by night.

There were some really funny quips in this film. Example: When Angel’s transvestite friend opens the door to the killer, he asks, “Who does your hair, dickface?”

Tank: A soldier uses a tank to rescue his wrongly convicted son from a redneck prison.

I had been out of the marines only nine months when I saw this film so I was able to identify all the military inaccuracies.

Patrick Swayze leads a bunch of high schoolers against the invading Communist armies.

This film was definitely made to encourage America to accept Reagan’s Contra war in Nicaragua.

Thief of Hearts: A burglar breaks into a home and discovers the wife’s diaries. He uses them to seduce her.

Starman: An alien world accepts Voyager 2’s invitation to visit Earth.

This was the last film I went to see in 1984.

Naturally, there were many more movies in 1984 but these were the ones I went to the cinema to see. That seems to be what I was doing when I wasn’t headbanging away. What films did you all see and like?

Next post: Bon Jovi

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1508426476&sr=8-3&keywords=michael+d+lefevre