Archive for NWOBHM

Great Metal Albums of 1982: Judas Priest- Screaming For Vengeance

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 6, 2015 by 80smetalman

220px-Judas_Priest_SforV

For many people, “Screaming for Vengeance” is the defining album from Judas Priest. Even those who don’t declare it as their favourite Priest album always say it’s in their top three. It is no real surprise to why everyone rates this album so highly, it’s just that damn good. I won’t debate this fact because while “British Steel” was the album that got me interested in Judas Priest, it was this album that made me a Priest follower in the true sense.

What was a bonus for “Screaming for Vengeance” was the fact that they had a hit single from it. “You Got Another Thing Comin'” actually got airplay on both UK and US radio and actually got to number four on the Billboard Charts. It is still probably the song they’re best known for and when I saw them live in 2009, it was the concert closer. I can’t say for sure if it’s my number one all time Priest fave, (there are too many great songs to choose from) but it’s up there. It’s impact on me was so great that the lyrics appear in the opening scene of “Rock and Roll Children.”

They may have had a great single but Judas Priest were never going to be a top 40 band. The successful single was a bonus and there are so many great songs on “Screaming for Vengeance” that it doesn’t matter. “Electric Eye” is another well known song and it rocks just as much. “Bloodstone,” “Devil’s Child” and “Pain and Pleasure” are other songs which tickle my fancy but that doesn’t take anything away from the rest of the album. Each song has the true Judas Priest stamp on them and each one must be played at maximum volume with plenty of room to bang your head. It’s the only way to appreciate such fantastic music.

Track Listing:

1. The Hellion

2. Electric Eye

3. Riding on the Wind

4. Bloodstone

5. (Take These) Chains

6. Pain and Pleasure

7. Screaming for Vengeance

8. You Got Another Thing Comin’

9. Fever

10. Devil’s Child

Judas Priest

Judas Priest

Rob Halford- vocals

Glenn Tipton- guitar

KK Downing- guitar

Ian Hill- bass

Dave Holland- drums

I must say, the one thing I resent about being in the military in 1982 was that I practically missed the entire New Wave of British Heavy Metal that landed in America in that year. If I had been there, I would have definitely soaked it up completely. It was only by chance that I heard the big single on the radio and more than a year before I got to listen to the album in its entirely. Fortunately, I managed to enjoy it in retrospect so I didn’t miss any of the great metal albums like this one from Judas Priest.

Next post: April Wine- Power Play

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

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

1982- The Floodgates are Truly Open

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 20, 2014 by 80smetalman

To be honest, I was a little nervous about the year 1982 and expected a bit a turbulence during the ride through it. The reason for this was that I spent eight months out of the year overseas with the marines. From the middle of January to the very end of June, I made my second deployment to the Mediterranean and Indian Ocean. Then in the October, I went to Okinawa for the remainder of the year and the first three months of the following one. In fact, October 9, 1982 never existed for me as I was flying across the International Date Line. Because I was overseas so much, the year was fairly barren for me musically and I worried that I might not have enough albums to visit during the year. But, I will persevere and thanks to Youtube, I can listen to albums from that year that I never got the chance to listen to back then.

Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden

With the benefit of hindsight, I can say that in 1982, the new wave of British heavy metal (NWOBHM) had its claws firmly gripped on the industry. I saw this to be true when I was in Toulon, France in the May. Previously, I had heard of Iron Maiden but it wasn’t until I heard a song, I can’t remember which one, on a juke box in a bar there that I finally got my ears blown away by them. Of course, there were great metal delights served up by the likes of Judas Priest and Motorhead as well as many other rock and metal acts. It seems my journey through what turns out to be an important year that almost passed me by and I am going to put right something I got wrong in the said year. See, I never listened to Van Halen’s “Diver Down” album because a couple of marine buddies bought it while we were in France and said that the album sucked. Again, curse me for simply taking their word. I will listen to this album during the course of my trip through 1982 and give you my own thoughts on it.

Van Halen

Van Halen

As I go down the road of metal history, I realise that while I may have missed out on quite a bit of music history on account of military service, the year itself was a phenomenal one for metal. Thanks to NWOBHM and others, the floodgates opened and metal began to flood the world.

Next post: The Police- Ghost in the Machine

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

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

The Runaways- The First True All Female Metal Band

Posted in Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 17, 2014 by 80smetalman

Janis Joplin and Grace Slick for the first queens of rock in the 60’s and in the 70’s came Ann and Nancy Wilson who were arguably the first modern rock chicks. In the later part of the 70’s and early 80’s we had such great ladies like Pat Benatar, Chrissie Hynde and Debbie Harry. All of these women were rock queens in the true sense and their contribution to music will always be remembered.

Janis Joplin

Janis Joplin

Grace Slick

Grace Slick

Debbie Harry

Debbie Harry

Pat Benatar

Pat Benatar

 

Heart

Heart

The Pretenders

The Pretenders

In 1981, two all female bands made their way into the spotlight, The Go-Gos and Girlschool. While the former had a more commercial rock sound, the latter was straight forward heavy metal and stood alongside of many of the NWOBHM acts that were coming out that year. However, these two weren’t the all female bands who could blow speakers with great power chords. Before them came The Runaways.

The Go Go's

The Go Go’s

Girlschool

Girlschool

I had heard of The Runaways even before the film that came out a few years ago. Even at the tender (small chuckle here) age of sixteen, I was enamoured with these fine ladies who played such aggressive music. I did listen to their debut album and liked it. Likewise, I wanted to listen to their second one “Queens of Noise” but never got the chance. Must rectify that in the future. While, I never heard any of their songs on that cheap AM radio I had back then, they toured extensively and played many sell out concerts in the US and Japan. Furthermore, the likes of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Cheap Trick and Van Halen supported them. Unfortunately, accusations of mismanagement, rows over money and direction plus several personnel changes lead to break up of the band.

Albums:

The Runaways- 1976

Queens of Noise- 1977

Waitin’ for the Night- 1977

Live in Japan- 1977

And Now, The Runaways- 1978

The Runaways

The Runaways

Cherrie Currie- vocals

Joan Jett- guitar, vocals

Lita Ford- guitar

Jackie Fox- bass

Sandy West- drums

*Vicki Blue and Laurie McAllister also played bass during The Runaways reign

While The Runaways may be no longer, the members are still around and making themselves known. One of them would dethrone Pat Benatar as the queen of rock in 1982 and possibly become the first metal queen. That one is up for debate. Another ex Runaway would also make a huge splash in heavy metal circles nor would some of the other former members remain completely silent. Almost silently, these ladies would go onto to be an influence on heavy metal and I think the all female metal bands that would spring up less than a decade later can look to them for inspiration. Don’t take my word for it, watch the film and listen to their music for yourself.

Next post: 1982- The Floodgates Are Open

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

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

Great Metal Albums of 1981: Venom- Welcome to Hell

Posted in 1980s, Death, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 17, 2014 by 80smetalman

220px-Venom_Welcome

Thank God that my local record store back in the mid 1980s had the foresight to have a heavy metal import section otherwise I might not have heard of Venom for at least two more years from when I did. While Venom came out with all the other great NWOBHM acts in 1981, they didn’t quite enjoy the commercial success of the likes of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest or Saxon. This was in spite of the fact that commercial radio didn’t totally suck at that time. There was a genuine danger of them slipping beneath my radar totally but fortunately they didn’t and I got to hear great metal delights like their debut album “Welcome to Hell.”

After my obligatory listen, twice, to “Welcome to Hell,” I have come to the conclusion that Venom were actually ahead of their time. True, some people worried that rock music was the devil’s tool and would lead many an impressionable young mind to sacrifice goats to the dark lord, there wasn’t the all metal is Satanic fervor that would come a few years later and I was even dead smack in the bible belt at the time, thanks to the military. A few grumbled about demonic persuasion in music but Venom was the first band I know to come right out and sing about it. Songs like “Sons of Satan,” the title track, “One Thousand Days in Sodom” and “In League With the Devil” are all songs that would have the bible bashers wanting to throw copies of this album onto the fire pit. The best thing is that I get the firm impression that Venom just didn’t give a shit. I would never have taken the lyrics seriously then or now. In fact, I would have had a good giggle at them while enjoying the powerful metal that they deliver along with all those amusing lyrics. It can also be argued that they. along with Motorhead, were the first pioneers of thrash because there are a lot of thrash overtones on this album. I honestly believe that most of America wasn’t ready for this type of ear bashing back then though I would have been. “Welcome to Hell” is just a totally enjoyable album.

Track Listing:

1. Sons of Satan

2. Welcome to Hell

3. Schizo

4. Mayhem With Mercy

5. Poison

6. Live Like an Angel (Die Like a Devil)

7. Witching Hour

8. One Thousand Days in Sodom

9. Angel Dust

10. In League With Satan

11. Red Light Fever

Venom

Venom

Conrad ‘Cronos’ Lant- bass, vocals

Jefferey ‘Mantas’ Dunn- guitar

Tony ‘Abbadon’ Bray- drums

Reflecting back, I think the real reason why Venom and “Welcome to Hell” escaped my notice in 1981 was the fact I was down South at the time. It has nothing to do with religion, it was more the fact that I was in the South when Southern Rock had also ascended to its zenith. Come to think about it, what a fantastic year 1981 was for music! We had both Southern Rock and New Wave of British Heavy Metal. What more could a 20 year old US Marine, who was really digging music, could ask for?

On a personal note, I would like to thank everyone for their thoughts on the death of my father in law. The funeral went really well and again, thanks for all your support.

Next post: AC/DC- For Those About to Rock, We Salute You

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

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1981: Van Halen- Fair Warning

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 15, 2014 by 80smetalman

220px-Van_Halen_-_Fair_Warning

New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) may have reigned supreme in 1981 but it didn’t mean that American metal was muted in that year and that was largely due to Van Halen’s fourth album, “Fair Warning.” For some people at the time, this album was supposed to be a redemption for Van Halen after their supposedly disappointing “Women and Children First” album. (I wasn’t disappointed with that album.) I will also agree with the critic who said that “Fair Warning” was a little better than the previous album but since neither album was as bad as some of these ‘critics’ made them out to be, I will have to say that they are both great albums. However, I will also state that neither quite makes it to the level of their first two, but come on, Van Halen I and II will always be at a level many albums will never attain so let’s give “Fair Warning” credit where it’s due.

From the opening notes in “Mean Street,” it was crystal clear that Eddie Van Halen shows why he was the ultimate guitar master in the early 80s.  The album takes you down a smooth road of great music, especially during the first five tracks reminding you why Van Halen held the flag for American metal. “Dirty Movies” and “Hear About it Later” stick their heads above the rest here with the former showing there is a sense of humour behind the metal. For years, I thought that song was called “Bitches of the Silver Screen.” I saw a video of the latter song played live and that completely blew me away. The acoustic intro quickly followed by the powerful rhythm of guitar, bass and drum, with some interesting guitar riffs thrown in around the vocals before cascading into a well played EVH guitar solo. There is little wonder why it’s my favourite song on the album. “Unchained” is more of a traditional Van Halen single but it still rocks while the rest of the album, while maybe not quite as mind blowing as the first five songs is still powerful enough to leave the listener contented once it has finished.

Track Listing:

1. Mean Street

2. Dirty Movies

3. Sinner’s Swing

4. Hear About it Later

5. Unchained

6. Push Comes to Shove

7. So This is Love

8. Sunday Afternoon in the Park

9. One Foot Out the Door

Van Halen

Van Halen

David Lee Roth- vocals

Eddie Van Halen- guitar, backing vocals

Michael Anthony- bass, backing vocals

Alex Van Halen- drums

In a year when Britannia ruled the heavy metal waves, it was good to see that the guns of American metal didn’t remain silent. I have always said that both countries have always benefited from exchange of heavy metal. Van Halen showed they were still a major player in the game with “Fair Warning.”

Next post: The Plasmatics- Valley of the 1984

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

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1981: Def Leppard- High ‘n’ Dry

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 10, 2014 by 80smetalman

 

220px-Def_Leppard_-_High_'n'_Dry

Up until very recently, I thought Def Leppard’s second album “High ‘n’ Dry” came out in 1982 and I was going to post about their first album. Even when a fellow blogger stated that this was a 1981, I still thought about waiting until I get to 1982 before I wrote about it. After all, I always begin each year with albums that were in fact released the previous year but didn’t come to my attention until the following one. I already have some in mind for when I get to 1982 but there’s still a way to go before that. Furthermore and for reasons I’ll state when I get to 1982, that year was a very barren year for me musically so waiting could be justified further, at least in my mind. However, it didn’t seem right that I wait and therefore am going to visit this album right now.

Another great thing about 1981, which I have concluded recently, is that what is commonly called New Wave Of British Heavy Metal or NWOBHM, was probably at its zenith that year. The albums I have covered to this point prove that. Def Leppard were another great British metal act to ride this title wave and set the stage to what was to become heavy metal’s golden decade. A few days ago was the first time I listened to “High ‘n’ Dry” in many years. I never bought it because my sister had it and we would listen to one another’s records quite often. Of course, that was after she got over her affinity for disco and the Bee Gees in the very late 70s. It was their next album “Pyromania” that was always number one with me but after hearing “High ‘n’ Dry” again, I’m not so sure.

If there was every a good opener to a Def Leppard album, it has to be “Let It Go” for certain. This song makes you want to listen to the rest of the album and I wish I had paid more attention back then because the title track would have definitely been a cruising song for the car. While it isn’t the power ballad that surpasses April Wine’s “Just Between You and Me” it does come pretty close and it too kicks the ass off “Every Rose Has Its Thorn.” I also found the instrumental “Switch 625” to be very well done. I think the reason why this album is so good is that this was recorded in a time when Def Leppard were hungry and that hunger is shown here in the album. They didn’t have to worry about commercial success, they just let rip and I think producer Mutt Lange understood this at the time. “High ‘n’ Dry” is definitely their most powerful album.

Track Listing:

1. Let It Go

2. Another Hit and Run

3. High ‘n’ Dry (Another Saturday Night)

4. Bringing on the Heartbreak

5. Switch 625

6. You Got Me Runnin’

7. Lady Strange

8. On Through the Night

9. Mirror Mirror, (Look Into My Eyes)

10. No No No

Def Leppard

Def Leppard

Joe Elliot- vocals

Pete Willis- guitar, backing vocals

Steve Clark- guitar, backing vocals

Rick Savage- bass, backing vocals

Rick Allen- drums

This would be the last album to feature guitarist Pete Willis on guitar but that’s a story saved for another time. Now is the time to enjoy a great album, arguably their best from a great band. This was the time when as far as heavy metal is concerned, Britannia ruled the waves and Def Leppard were one of the components of that.

Next album: Van Halen- Fair Warning

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

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London