Archive for MTV

Great Rock Albums of 1984: David Bowie- Tonight

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 14, 2018 by 80smetalman

Every year through the journey through the golden age of heavy metal, there is no doubt in my mind that I missed an album or two that was considered a great album in that year. One I nearly missed was the “Tonight” album from the legendary David Bowie. My (poor) excuse for this was the fact that I was so caught up in posting about all the great metal albums that this one nearly past me by.

Thinking back to said year, I remember when the single, “Blue Jean,” from the album first appeared on MTV, my reaction to the song was, “Hey, David has gone back to his more traditional roots that brought him fame, no pun intended, in the 1970s.” “Blue Jean” is considered a light rocker in my eyes and it is the best song on the album. Back then, it persuaded me that “Tonight” would be better than his previous album, “Let’s Dance,” so I went out an procured it. After a listen, I came to the conclusion that “Tonight” was better than “Let’s Dance,” but not that much better.

For the first few songs, “Tonight” sounds like it was it was preformed by a late 1970s lounge act. Everything that comprises such a thing is present in these songs. It’s definitely music to mellow out to, however, I can not fault the first rate musicianship on the songs. It is why I can say that while theses songs aren’t exactly my cup of tea, they still provide good listening to if you are in the right mood. Two prime examples are the seven minute long opener, “Loving the Alien” and his mellowed cover of the Beach Boys classic, “God Only Knows.”

For those who have “Tonight” on vinyl or cassette, side two goes in a more harder rock direction starting with “Neighbourhood Threat.” This is a decent rocker and even more harder than the single “Blue Jean” and precisely the reason why it’s the hidden gem on the album. The single comes next and things pretty much carry on from there, although the remainder of the songs aren’t quite as hard rock as these two. Saying that, I do like the horns sound in “I Keep Forgettin.'” The second side is definitely the better side for me.

Track Listing:

  1. Loving the Alien
  2. Don’t Look Down
  3. God Only Knows
  4. Tonight
  5. Neighbourhood Threat
  6. Blue Jean
  7. Tumble and Twirl
  8. I Keep Forgettin’
  9. Dancing With the Big Boys

David Bowie

David Bowie- lead vocals

Derek Bramble- guitar, synthesizers, bass, backing vocals

Carlos Alomar- guitar

Omar Hakim- drums

Carmine Rojas- bass

Mark King- bass on “Tumble and Twirl”

Rob Yale- CMI on “Loving the Alien,” “Tonight” and “God Only Knows”

Guy St Ange-marimba

Sammy Figueroa- percussion

Tina Turner- vocals on “Tonight”

Iggy Pop- backing vocals on “Dancing With the Big Boys”

Robin Clark, George Simms, Curtis King- backing vocals

The Borneo Horns:

Stanley Harrison- alto and tenor saxophones

Lenny Pickett- tenor sax, clarinet

Steve Elson- baritone saxophone

Arif Mardison- string arrangements, synthesizers

Okay, David Bowie’s 1984 album “Tonight” doesn’t make me stop wanting to listen to “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and Spiders From Mars” but it is, at least in my opinion, better than his more commercial album, “Let’s Dance.” While it’s not something I would want to listen to in conjunction with any metal album, it is still a good album to lay back, mellow out and appreciate the fine playing on it.

Next post: Tank- Honour & Blood

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Great Metal Albums of 1984: KISS- Animalize

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 8, 2018 by 80smetalman

Since Queensryche supported KISS in late 1984, I thought it only appropriate for the next post to be KISS’s “Animalize” album. Unlike Queensryche, I was able to put more details of their performance on this tour in “Rock and Roll Children.” Although I didn’t actually see the concert, I did get the video of KISS concert for “Animalize,” so that helped me a lot. This was in spite of the fact that the concert on the video didn’t take place in Philadelphia, which was where I went to see all the concerts at the time.

“Animalize” was the second album by KISS without their make up, following on from their previous album, “Lick It Up.” Now, I know KISS themselves along with many others like to downplay this era of Kisstory. True, they were looking more and more like a glam band but then again, so were many bands. However, I don’t think this album was particularly bad, it has its good moments.

The opener, “I’ve Had Enough (Into the Fire)” opens with some metal sounding riffs, which I’ve always liked. The riffs alone make this song the best choice to open the album. Next comes the big single, “Heaven’s On Fire.” No arguments from me that this song was made for commercial radio and MTV. It is too similar to “Lick It Up” but then again, I don’t dislike it either. I just find myself amused at the similarities between the two singles.

“Burn Bitch Burn” is nothing more than a catchy title and a cool guitar solo. It does give weight to the belief that Gene was too sidetracked with other projects and not putting his full attention to KISS. Paul does succeed in making up for it with “Get All That You Can Take.” With all the “ooohs,” one could probably say it was Paul’s best vocal effort. It too has a cool guitar solo and throughout the years, I’ve wondered if Mark St John hasn’t been given the respect he deserves. Saying that, then future band member Bruce Kullick nails the guitar solo on the next track, “Lonely Is the Hunter” and makes me wonder if KISS should have had him play on the whole album. God, thinking about it can give a person a headache, almost. I will say that the track in question is a better effort from Gene, possibly his best on this album.

It seems that KISS tried to be more speed metal with “Under the Gun.” It is definitely the fastest song on the album and the best part is that Paul’s vocals fit the song. Maybe I’ve underestimated his vocal ability these many years. The song does open side two, if you have vinyl or cassette, very nicely and leads to my choice for hidden gem. I know that “Thrills in the Night” was released as the second single on the album but from what I’ve read, it failed to chart. That makes it a hidden gem in my opinion. It’s hard enough to please metalheads but with some good melody and Gene and Eric give great backing to Paul on the vocals and it has a cool guitar solo. Personally, I think the idea for the big single on their next album was taken from it. While I won’t call the remaining two songs, penned by Gene, filler, I won’t say they’re standout tracks. Just two good songs to end the album in the best way.

Track Listing:

  1. I’ve Had Enough (Into the Fire)
  2. Heaven’s On Fire
  3. Burn Bitch Burn
  4. Get All you Can Take
  5. Lonely is the Hunter
  6. Under the Gun
  7. Thrills in the Night
  8. While the City Sleeps
  9. Murder in High Heels

Paul Stanley- rhythm guitar, lead and backing vocals

Gene Simmons- bass, lead and backing vocals

Eric Carr- drums, backing vocals

Mark St John- lead guitar

Additional musicians

Bruce Kullick- lead guitar on “Lonely is the Night” and “Murder in High Heels”

Jean Beauvour (ex Plasmatics): bass on “Get All You Can Take,” “Thrills in the Night” and “Under the Gun”

Say what you want about KISS during their unmasked 1980s period, but I think that “Animalize” isn’t all that bad. It does have it’s good and amusing points but on the other hand, it never made me want to stop listening to “Destroyer.”

Next post: Whitesnake- Slide It In

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 1984: Sammy Hagar- VOA

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

Sammy Hagar was most definitely a busy boy in 1984. In the early part of the year, he made the one album with HSAS along with Neil Schon from Journey. When I reviewed that album, I wrote a follow up post of what music life would have been like if HSAS had stayed together and released more albums. On the plus side, there would have been a couple more great albums from that quartet and we would have have been spared from Van Hagar, whether that’s a good or bad thing is up to the individual conscience to determine. Furthermore, Neil Schon’s career would have been still going strong because Journey was fading from view by then. On the minus side, had that band remained in tact, we might have not been able to feast upon Sammy’s solo album from later on in 1984, “VOA.”

As a result of the big single from the album, Sammy would be described as the “red haired rocker who couldn’t drive fifty-five.” “I Can’t Drive 55” received constant airplay on radio and MTV, not that I ever complained about that. It is my favourite Sammy song of all time, a great tune about driving really fast. Funny thing was that I have no recollection of anyone calling for the song to be banned because it encouraged people to break speed limits. All I know is that I love that song.

Seven other songs also adorn the “VOA” album and all of them are really good. “Rock is In My Blood” is a good power song where Sammy declares that rock is in his blood and his soul. It also demonstrates that Sammy can play a guitar a little bit as well. Two songs come closest to being a power ballad here. One of them is “Two Sides of Love.” It’s not slow enough in my opinion to be a ballad but it is a song about a failing relationship. The guitars are good and the keyboards punctuate the song very effectively. Sammy’s solo is pretty good too.

Now let’s talk about the hidden gem on the album and man, do I love this song. I’m talking about “Dick in the Dirt.” The song is about a man named Richard to is a bit of a ladies’ man. The innuendo behind the lyrics is comical and remains so throughout the song. I always laugh my ass off whenever I listen to the song, even after more than thirty years! Apart from that, it is a good power song and comes with another cool guitar solo. So, I guess you could say that the song hits you from both sides.

For me, the least strongest song, (I call it such as none of the songs are weak), is the title track. Maybe it because it was used so much for patriotic purposes in the days of 80s Reagan America. Actually, it’s because the keyboards take over too much of the song. It’s good but not as much as the other seven songs. Fortunately, the last two songs are much stronger and end the album on a high. “Don’t Make Me Wait” is another song that comes near to being a power ballad but not near enough. It starts as if it’s going to be one but it just rocks. There is some great  guitar work from Sammy and the closer, “Burning Down the City,” all I can say is “Wow! What a great song to end the album with.”

Track Listing:

  1. I Can’t Drive 55
  2. Swept Away
  3. Rock is in My Blood
  4. Two Sides of Love
  5. Dick in the Dirt
  6. VOA
  7. Don’t Make Me Wait
  8. Burning Down the City

Sammy Hagar

Sammy Hagar- lead vocals, lead guitar

Gary Pihl- rhythm guitar, backing vocals

Jesse Harms- keyboards, backing vocals

Bill Church- bass, backing vocals

David Lauser- drums, backing vocals

Whatever your thoughts might be on the path Sammy Hagar took in 1984 and after, you can’t fault that “VOA” is a great solo album. Things have moved on in the past three decades and in most American states, the speed limit is above 55. Maybe the big single influenced government to raise the speed limits.

Next post: Waysted

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: Metallica- Ride the Lightning

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 22, 2018 by 80smetalman

I have said many times throughout the journey through 1984, it was the golden year of the golden decade for heavy metal. Many metal bands got mainstream exposure on radio and MTV. Not only that, the exposure gave many metalheads a look into bands that were up and coming or just out of the limelight. One of these up and coming bands was Metallica with their second album, “Ride the Lightning.”

Thinking back to that year, I don’t ever recall Metallica getting any airplay on the radio or MTV. As I listen to the album, I have to conclude that while mainstream media gave many metal bands some great exposure, I don’t think they were quite ready for a band like Metallica, even if metalheads were. After spending the year listening to all the great bands, Metallica was something different but interesting. It definitely had my attention. When I heard this album, I was blown away by the sheer power and hunger of this band.

While their debut album, “Kill’Em All,” just wants to pound the crap out of you, “Ride the Lightning” does offer some, I stress some, melodic moments. One gets that impression on the opening notes of the first track, “Fight Fire With Fire,” because it starts out with a full acoustic intro. However, it goes right into some very hard chords which lasts for three songs. In fact, all the times I’ve listened to the album, I seem to miss where “Fight Fire With Fire” ends and the title track begins. The comes the great “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” a loud pounding but at the same time rhythmic tune. I really like this track but I was disappointed when they played it at Donington 1987. It just didn’t grab me the way that it always does on vinyl.

Afterwards comes what I mean about melodic moments, my favourite track on the album, “Fade to Black.” The first half of this song is a near power ballad and while it would be another seven years before we got to hear their most famous ballad, “Nothing Else Matters,” I do hear some resemblances on “Fade to Black.” But it doesn’t stay melodic as the second half of the song goes back to more traditional Metallica soundings. An added bonus is the way that Kirk Hamett rips his guitar solo at the end.

With “Trapped Under Ice” and “Escape,” you get more great Metallica mashing and like the first two songs on the album, you have to listen carefully or you’ll miss where the one ends and the other begins. Then, if you thought your eardrums might get some relief, you’d would be sorely disappointed because “Creeping Death” comes along to kick your ass. This is a power song only slowing down slightly to deliver a more melodic chorus but then goes back to ear bashing. “Creeping Death” is decidedly my second favourite track on “Ride the Lightning.” It may not have the melodic approach of my number one but it lets you know it’s there and says you will like this song. Kirk’s solo on here is very cool too. The album ends with the very interesting instrumental “The Call of Ktulu.” All in all, this is a fantastic album and it reminds me of when Metallica were hard and hungry. The music on “Ride the Lightning” bears witness.

Track Listing:

  1. Fight Fire With Fire
  2. Ride the Lightning
  3. For Whom the Bell Tolls
  4. Fade to Black
  5. Trapped Under Ice
  6. Escape
  7. Creeping Death
  8. The Call of Ktulu

Metallica

James Hetfield- lead vocals, rhythm guitar

Kirk Hammett- lead guitar

Cliff Burton- bass

Lars Ulrich- drums, backing vocals on “Ride the Lightning”

In the opening pages of “Rock and Roll Children,” while the main characters are driving to the first concert in the book, one of them introduces the others to a new band called Metallica. It was the “Kill’Em All” album. Yes, back then, they were still making their way in the world and “Ride the Lightning” provided a springboard that would help launch them to greater things.

On another note, this album has been labelled thrash and speed metal. These were terms which I wouldn’t hear for another year. I just considered Metallica great metal at the time. Furthermore, this trip down memory lane makes me sad that I missed the Metallica, WASP and Armoured Saint show. That must have been fantastic.

Next post: Anthrax- Fistful of Metal

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: Metal Church

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 27, 2018 by 80smetalman

Constant vigilance in perusing the heavy metal and imports sections at the local record shops as well as word of mouth from like minded friends played a major role in severing my reliance on commercial radio and MTV for all of my musical needs. Besides, by my calculations, it was in the Autumn of 1984 that both started down that slippery slope into totally sucking. If I had totally relied on that, I might not have ever discovered the debut album from Metal Church. Fortunately, I had a friend, the late ‘Wild Swinging’ Stacy Kroger, (may she rest in peace), who introduced me to the album.

For a young metalhead in the 1980s, Metal Church is a brilliant album to listen to. This is a pure metal album to say the least. In fact, I think there are some features that would influence other metal artists, some of whom would be more successful than Metal Church. King Diamond, you’re one of the ones I’m looking at here. Take the opening track, “Beyond the Black.” It starts with a soft intro where a hoarse whispering introduces things. You know, after all these times, I still can’t fully grasp what the voice is saying. However, you can’t contemplate it more because before you know it, some great guitar work comes in and the song then proceeds to pulverize the crap out of you. Just when you think, you’ve got it under control, there comes a tempo change or two. The fact that the song is over six minutes long has one wondering if it’s the same song, but it is.

Things evolve nicely into the title track which is another metalhead’s dream song. Then comes an instrumental where guitarist Kurdt Vanderhoof gets to show off what he can do with a guitar and it’s quite good. However, he’s even more impressive on “Gods of Wrath,” which is in similar style to the opener. A slow start before going into a mad frenzy.  Only this time, he shares the spotlight with the versatile vocals of David Wayne. On this album, Wayne can do it all. Sing almost ballad like and then screams the house down without straining his voice.

The second half of the album carries things over very well while at the same time, surprising you a little. All of the next four songs are why some future fans would call Metal Church thrash or speed metal. They are all very fast songs but the band shows they’re truly up to the task. Then, keeping with unpredictability, the albums ends with a cover of the Deep Purple classic, “Highway Star,” which is done very well at a blistering speed metal pace, or so I thought back in 1984.

Track Listing:

  1. Beyond the Black
  2. Metal Church
  3. Merciless Onslaught
  4. Gods of Wrath
  5. Hitman
  6. In the Blood
  7. (My Favourite) Nightmare
  8. Battalions
  9. Highway Star

Metal Church

David Wayne- vocals

Kurdt Vanderhoof- guitar

Craig Wells- guitar

Duke Erickson- bass

Kirk Arrington- drums

With the success of this debut album from Metal Church, they would be signed by the larger Electra Records and the rest would be history. Still, if you want to hear a band when they were at there lean, mean and hungriest, then I recommend this one.

Next post: Billy Squier- Signs of Life

To buy 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: 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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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