Archive for one hit wonders

Great Rock Albums of 1984: John Parr

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, soundtracks, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 29, 2017 by 80smetalman

History has always misrepresented English rocker John Parr. For the masses, he is considered a one hit wonder, that one hit being the title track of the soundtrack for the film “St. Elmo’s Fire.” If you were to judge him on that song alone, you would have thought him to be just another 80s synth pop singer. However, I know that this wasn’t the case and most, possibly all the songs, on his 1984 self titled debut album are better. In fact, the “St Elmo’s Fire” track only appears on the UK release and not the US Atlantic records one, which was what I experienced. My conclusion here is that the album is just fine without it.

Long before there was a “St Elmo’s Fire,” (that film didn’t come out until 1985 and it will take a lot of convincing from you the masses for me to visit the soundtrack), I was already familiar with Mr Parr. The first single from the album, “Naughty Naughty” received a good amount of air play on both radio and MTV. It’s a rocker and for me, that song defines John Parr.

Fortunately, his album follows suit along with the song I just talked about. In fact the only hint of synth pop on the album is the track “Love Grammar” and I stress only a hint. Even that song has its hard rocking moments as well as a cool guitar solo from John himself. That’s another thing about him, he can shred a little too as well as sing. The rest is pretty much straight forward hard rock. (Am I using that phrase too much in my posts?) In this case, it does define the album very well. One great example of this is the track, “Treat Me Like and Animal.” Now that song is hard rock, no debate. There is a ballad right after, “She’s Gonna Love You to Death” but there are some decent guitars in the song. The album then returns to more rock ground after that with a rather cool intro on the track, “Revenge” and some cool hard guitars on it. I’m glad they did it that way and not try to use synths as was the custom of the time. The keyboards on the track are more progressive rock than anything. The rest of the album pretty much follows along the path with the possible exceptions “Heartbreaker” and the closer, “Don’t Leave YOur Mark on Me” which sound like they could have been songs for a 1980s film soundtrack. But even these on has their rocking moments. What you get here is a cool rock album from John Parr.

Track Listing:

  1. Magical
  2. Naughty Naughty
  3. Love Grammar
  4. Treat Me Like an Animal
  5. She’s Gonna Love You to Death
  6. Revenge
  7. Heartbreaker
  8. Somebody Stole My Thunder
  9. Don’t Leave Your Mark on Me

John Parr

John Parr- lead vocals, lead guitar, African sounds

Pete Solley- organ

Christopher Marra- guitar

Brad Lang- bass

Colin Farley- bass on tracks 3 and 7

Jon Cook- keyboards

Richard Cottle- keyboards tracks 3,4 and 6

Jonathon J Jeczalik- synthesizer

The Kick Horns- horns

Graham Broad- drums, percussion, African sounds

Simon Phillips- drums on tracks 3 and 7

Chuck Kirkpatrick and John Sombataro- backing vocals

So forget “St Elmo’s Fire,” I never watched the film anyway. Have a listen to this debut album from John Parr. I guarantee you’ll enjoy it much more.

Next post: Tommy Shaw- Girls With Guns

To buy Rock and Roll Children go to: https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1501322174&sr=8-5&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1984: Tony Carey- Some Tough City

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 14, 2017 by 80smetalman

Tony Carey was another great artist considered a one hit wonder by the MTV generation of the mid 1980s. In the spring and early summer of 1984, his biggest single, “A Fine Fine Day,” tore up the charts and eventually made it to number six or seven. It got tons of airplay on both radio and MTV. However, what these robots failed to understand that Tony had been rocking our world for many years before this. They didn’t know about his stint with the great Rainbow or even known that the year before, he had success with his band Planet P. Fortunately, I did and that information led me to procure his 1984 album, “Some Tough City.”

If I had been among the ignorant, the second single released from the album might have put me off buying the album. “The First Day of Summer” wasn’t bad, although there are much better tracks on “Some Tough City,” it’s just in the video for the song, he tries too hard to act like Joe Cool Rock Singer and that was a bit off putting. Now don’t get me wrong, Tony Carey has a good voice but he’s an even better musician as demonstrated on the album where he plays all the instruments. I know I have beaten the word ‘underrated’ to death on 80sMetalman but the term definitely applies to Tony.

“A Fine Fine Day” is not typical of the album. It’s a great song and it won my 1984 award for best non metal song of the year but it’s more progressive rock and Tony definitely demonstrates his keyboard skills on it. Most of the rest of the album has more of a hard rock edge to it, even “The First Day of Summer.” However, some of the more rockier songs like, “Eddie Goes Underground” and “A Lonely Life” really cook on here. A real paradox on the album is “Reach Out,” where it starts out like it’s going to be some 80s synth pop song and then really explodes into a rocker. The big surprise on it is the fact that Tony hammers out a decent guitar solo on it. He does the same, actually his guitar work is even better on the more progressive rock sounding “Tinseltown.” Let’s face it, Tony Carey is a brilliant all round musician and his talent has been ignored for far too long.

Track Listing:

  1. A Fine Fine Day
  2. A Lonely Life
  3. Eddie Goes Underground
  4. The First Day of Summer
  5. Reach Out
  6. Tinseltown
  7. Hungry
  8. I Can’t Stop the World
  9. Some Tough City
  10. She Can Bring Me Love

Tony Carey- vocals, keyboards, guitars, bass

Now my mind is going off to strange worlds from posting about “Some Tough City” by Tony Carey. I wonder if he and Ronnie James Dio ever hooked up again after Rainbow. That would have been mind blowing. It wouldn’t have been possible in 1984 because Tony was riding a huge wave of success as a result of the album and its top ten single. As for Ronnie, that will be all explained in a future post.

Jefferson Starship- Nuclear Furniture

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 Rock Albums of 1984: Duke Jupiter- White Knuckle Ride

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 4, 2017 by 80smetalman

Duke Jupiter was probably the best hidden gem of 1984. Some may have considered them one hit wonders on account of the fact that the single from the “White Knuckle Ride” album, “Little Lady,” got some airplay on MTV and radio. It even got to #68 in the singles charts. It has remained in my mind ever since because I have always thought it was a killer song. The video for “Little Lady” is easily accessible on Youtube and I will boldly declare that it’s worth a listen. This song really kicks ass.

Like so many others back then, I thought that Duke Jupiter, (it’s a band not a person), were newcomers to the rock scene when in fact, that had been around since 1975. They had a good number of albums before this one and went on tour in support of the likes of Toto, The Outlaws, B.B. King and John Lee Hooker. With a resume like that, it was never a case of if but when their efforts would finally gain notice.

While I never buy an album on account of one song, there was sufficient talk in certain circles that the “White Knuckle Ride” album was worth an investment. Trust me, it was. While it’s definitely an AOR album, it is done with the pure craftsmanship of the band. Marshall James Styler does most of the vocals and is quite adept at keyboards. Greg Walker is a very good guitarist and plays some really good solos on most of the songs here. Of course, we can’t take anything away from the rhythm section of David Corcoran and Rickey Ellis, they hold the album together with seemingly little effort.

“White Knuckle Ride” seems to move into three areas in regards to the tracks. The opener, “She’s So Hot,” the second single “Rescue Me” and “Don’t Turn Your Back” fall into the 80s AOR sound without question. They are all nicely done with Styler’s keyboards and Walker’s guitar solos. “Backfire,” “Work it Out” and of course “Little Lady” are definitely the more harder tracks on the album. Walker’s guitar really shines on these.  Plus his intro solo on “Me and Michelle” reminds me a lot of the Derek and the
Dominoes classic, “Layla.” The rest tend to be more progressive rock and “A Woman Like You” ventures into all three camps. In spite of the mixture, all of the tracks fit together very well and that’s why the album is so enjoyable.

Track Listing:

  1. She’s So Hot
  2. Rescue Me
  3. Don’t Turn Your Back
  4. Top of the Bay
  5. Backfire
  6. Little Lady
  7. A Woman Like You
  8. Work It Out
  9. Me and Michelle
  10.  (I’ve Got a) Little Black Book

Duke Jupiter

James Marshall Styler- keyboards, vocals

Greg Walker- guitar, vocals

Rickey Ellis- bass

David Corcoran- drums, percussion, vocals

Duke Jupiter came and went and have vanished into musical history. I bet my UK readers have been asking, “Who the hell’s he talking about?” Like many American one hit wonders or lesser known bands, they didn’t impact in Britain and were considered a flash in the pan in the US. In fact, I regret not giving them a mention in “Rock and Roll Children.” In spite of this, I have always remembered them and I will say that if you should listen to the “White Knuckle Ride” album, especially “Little Lady” and you’ll see why.

Next post: AC/DC – 74 Jailbreak

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1984: J Geils Band- You’re Gettin’ Even While I’m Gettin’ Odd

Posted in 1980s, Death, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 17, 2017 by 80smetalman

Back when I posted about the J Geils Band’s “Freeze Frame” album, I mentioned that in the UK, the band have always been considered one hit wonders in the UK, “Centerfold” being that one hit. I still find that hard to fathom. Anyway, the video for said hit featured on a UK music station during a segment called “One Hit Wonders Weekend.” While showing the video, someone thought it would be clever to have an arrow pointing out lead singer, Peter Wolf, with the caption, “This is not J Geils.” A few seconds later, the same arrow pointed to the guitar player with the caption, “This is J Geils.” It’s funny how the death of someone can make you remember things like that about them. What it also did was help me remember that the band put out an album in 1984, otherwise it would have passed me by.

Why I never bought “You’re Gettin’ Even While I’m Gettin’ Odd” is a mystery even to me. Could it be the fact that the album never produced a major hit? The only single, “Concealed Weapons,” only made it to 63 in the charts. No, that never stopped me nor the fact that Peter Wolf had left the band before its release. Now that I remember, I think he had a solo album in this year. Was it because I had become fully absorbed in metal by then? No, because I have always kept an ear out for all music I might like. So, I’m afraid I can’t answer the question.

Thanks to Youtube, I have been able to listen to the album and ask myself again why I didn’t buy it. It’s a pretty good album, different from what the J Geils band had put out in the past and certainly not heavy metal. I did keep my promise to check out some of the band’s pre “Love Stinks” material. “You’re Gettin’ Even While I’m Gettin’ Odd” is a fusion of jazz and new wave. There is a heavy use of horns on the album and while I’m usually wary of horns in rock, it works very well on the album. However, there is some very interesting sounds with the keyboards that make it sound new wave. I call as evidence, the track “Wasted Youth” and the cool intro to “Heavy Petting.” Yet even there, the horns come in making the marriage of the two genres a sweet one. “Heavy Petting” is one of the stand out tracks for me but the one which stands out the most is “Californicatin.'” They should have released that one as the single, it might have done better in the charts. Then again, “Concealed Weapons” does remind me a little of the Dead Kennedys. I like the faster pace with the song with the short sharp horns and background vocals. The only J Geils guitar solo appears on “The Bite From Inside” which saves a lackluster song.

Track Listing:

  1. Concealed Weapons
  2. Heavy Petting
  3. Wasted Youth
  4. Eenie, Meenie, Minie, Moe
  5. Tell’ Em Jonesy
  6. You’re Gettin’ Even While I’m Gettin’ Odd
  7. The Bite From Inside
  8. Californicatin’
  9. I Will Carry You Home

The J Geils Band

Note: I couldn’t find a picture of the band without Peter Wolf in it so I used this one

Seth Justman- keyboards, vocals

J Geils- guitar

Magic Dick- harmonica

Danny Klein- bass

Stephen Bladd- drums

“You’re Gettin’ Even While I’m Gettin’ Odd” was the last album from the J Geils Band. Maybe the departure from their traditional sound was too different for the average listener or that Seth Justman lacked the charisma of Peter Wolf. It’s hard to say but I’ve heard a lot of last albums from bands that weren’t as good as this one.

Next post: Peter Wolf- Lights Out (It seems he did have an album out in 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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An 80smetalman Poll: Which Metal Artist Would Best Cover the Song Yummy, Yummy, Yummy?

Posted in Heavy Metal, Humour, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 2, 2017 by 80smetalman

In a post featured by Danica who writes the blog, “Living a Beautiful Life,” I have been inspired and encouraged by her to make up a poll. Danica featured the only hit from 1960s band, Ohio Express, “Yummy, Yummy, Yummy.” That song took me way back as I remember listening to it on the radio when I was seven and would sing along with the words. After all, they weren’t that difficult. What I picked up on when I listened to it a couple of days ago after oh so many years was there was a bit of a crunching beat to it. This led me to conclude that the song would sound pretty good if metalized. When I brought the subject up to Danica, she put forward two acts she thought would do a good job with it and I countered with three.

Danica’s Choices:

Rammstein

Now For My Choices:

Krokus

Anthrax

Ozzy Osbourne

Obviously, the choices aren’t limited to these. I’m sure there are many of you out there who have their own opinion as to who could best give “Yummy, Yummy, Yummy” a metal spin. If so, Danica and I would love to hear your thoughts.

Next post: Weird Al Yankovic- In 3D

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 Rock Albums of 1984: The Alarm- Declaration

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 22, 2017 by 80smetalman

In very early months of 1984, when MTV was still playing lots of good music, one song definitely caught my attention. It wasn’t metal, not even hard rock. If I were to categorize it, something I don’t like doing, I would say it was post punk or new wave. Categories and labels a side, what I knew for sure was that I really liked the song “Sixty Eight Guns” by the Alarm. This song was a true anthem for me at the time and I still find myself singing it after all these years. The guitars were hard enough for my tastes but the way the chorus was belted out totally blew me away.

“Sixty Eight guns will never die

Sixty Eight guns our battle cry.”

As I’ve said many times, I will not buy an album on account of one song so you have to know that the rest of the album kicks just as much ass as the feature song. Most of the first half of “The Declaration” are straight ahead new wave rockers and really cook. I do detect a little Irish folk influence in the track “Where Were You Hiding When the Storm Broke.” Then again, when doing further research on the band, I discovered they were Welsh, so I’m not surprised at this. “We Are the Light” is an acoustic track but even that doesn’t limit the powerful vocals of lead singer Mike Peters. For years, I have underestimated his vocal ability, I’ll never do that again.

“Shout to the Devil” is not a Motley Crue cover but very intelligently combines the acoustic flavour of the previous track and the more powerful sounds of the previous songs. Again, it’s very catchy. “Blaze of Glory” is also a good anthem like “Sixty Eight Guns” and like that song, I found myself wanting to sing along to the chorus. Only the lyrics aren’t quite as straight forward as “68 Guns.” I can at least sing the first part over and over, “Going out in a blaze of glory.” I do like how they use the horns on it. “The Deceiver” has an eerie introduction before going into a fast acoustic track with some good harmonica played on it. In fact the second side, isn’t quite as hard rock as the first but that doesn’t diminish the quality of “The Declaration” in the slightest.

Track Listing:

  1. Declaration
  2. Marching On
  3. Where Were You Hiding When the Storm Broke
  4. Third Light
  5. Sixty Eight Guns
  6. We Are the Light
  7. Shout to the Devil
  8. Blaze of Glory
  9. Tell Me
  10. The Deceiver
  11. The Stand
  12. Howling Wind

The Alarm

Mike Peters- vocals, acoustic guitar, harmonica

Dave Sharp- acoustic and electric guitars, backing vocals

Eddie MacDonald- bass, guitar, backing vocals

Twist- drums, percussion, backing vocals

When I listen to “The Declaration” I wonder why The Alarm didn’t get more commercial success. Some misguided people did say that they were too much like U2 but I never thought so. They were unique enough to avoid that. So, I wonder if it’s down to the discovery I made about them in the early summer of 1984, they were born again Christians. True, Christian rock was getting more attention at this time, something I’ll talk about in a future post, but I don’t hear any obvious Jesus lyrics in any of the songs that would frighten off listeners. For me, The Alarm’s “The Declaration” defined the direction I was heading in 1984 and it’s still a great album.

Next post: The Pretenders- Learning to Crawl

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 1983: Heaven- Where Angels Fear to Tread

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

heaven_waftt

When my household finally got MTV in the final month of 1983, one video I remember seeing getting a good amount of airplay was the one for the song, “Rock School” by Australian rockers, Heaven. The song itself was okay although at the time, I wasn’t too sure about the horns in it. What I did enjoy was the actual video. It cast the band as your typical high school hoods causing havoc at their school. My favourite part was when they whip the high school football team in a rumble. I think that was the highlight for many metalheads at the time.

Now, I am not anti- American football or school sports. After all, I officiate the game here in the UK and when I went to the states two and a half years ago, had the opportunity to officiate a high school junior varsity game. What I am opposed to is the mentality in schools that a boy isn’t anything unless he plays football and that football prepares a young man for life. It was around this time in the US that schools began pushing sports over learning and treating the jocks as mollycoddled gods. There is an instance in “Rock and Roll Children” about this when two football players try to pick on one of the character’s friends and a fight starts. When the smoke clears, the teachers, the PE teacher especially, seem to be more sympathetic to the football players’ side of the story. The PE teacher simply wants to dismiss the metalheads’ story and only a more fair minded teacher stops him. Trust me, things like this happened in school back then and probably still do so now. So, it would have amused many a metalhead in 83 to see one of their bands duffing up some football players.

Scenes from the video for "Rock School."

Scenes from the video for “Rock School.”

As for the rest of the album, “Where Angels Fear to Tread,” let me say that it is pretty much a good rocking album. The single, “Rock School” blends in well with the rest of the album. The opener and title track is quite good and the second track, “Love Child” pretty much goes hand in hand with the same hard, feel good vibe. Without a doubt though, my favourite track on the album has to be “Hard Life.” This is just a great standard rocker! Heaven just goes all out on it and it has the best guitar solo on it so double bonus points there. The closer, “Sleeping Dogs,” is a powerful rocker too and I don’t think it should be the closer. Maybe one of the two before it would have been better but who’s to say. “Where Angels Fear to Tread” is damn fine album.

Track Listing:

  1. Where Angels Fear to Tread
  2. Love Child
  3. Scream for Me
  4. Don’t Mean Nothing
  5. Rock School
  6. Madness
  7. Hard Life
  8. She Stole My Heart
  9. You
  10. Sleeping Dogs

heaven_b

Allan ‘Eddie’ Fryer- vocals

Kelly- lead guitar

Laurie Marlow- bass

Mick Cocks- rhythm guitar

Joe Turtur- drums

I wonder how many people who were living in 1983 actually remember seeing the “Rock School” video on MTV. Believe me, it was on quite a lot then and some people probably have Heaven down for one hit wonders. The “Where Angels Fear to Tread” album makes them much more than that.

Next post: Ozzy Osbourne- Bark at the Moon

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