Archive for one hit wonders

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)

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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

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

 

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1983: Krokus- Headhunter

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 20, 2016 by 80smetalman

krokus_h

Like Quiet Riot, Krokus were another heavy metal band in 1983 who will forever be considered one hit wonders by the so called mainstream music world but boy what a song it was. Whenever I hear “Screaming in the Night,” I am blown away by it now as I was back then. The way the lead guitar comes in supported by bass and drums on the intro just sounds ear catchingly eerie. It used to send a chill up me and Marc Storace’s vocals added to that eerie feeling.Then when the guitars kick in, things just explode into metal euphoria. It is definitely in my top five of all time metal songs. I think that the only reason it’s not number one is that the guitar solo lets it down. Only slightly but enough to keep it off number one.

Now, as I said for probably the 710,534th time, one song doesn’t make an album, so the question is: Does the rest of “Headhunter” measure up? Obviously, there are no songs on it that stand up to the big single. Still, the rest of the album is pretty cool. The title track may only be a mediocre opener but “Eat the Rich” more than makes up for it. The two tracks that follow “Screaming in the Night” are more classic metal tunes and of the two, I prefer “Nightwolf.” There’s almost a Judas Priest vibe on it but the weird thing is that Rob Halford does a guest backing vocal on the other track, “Ready to Burn.” However, after those two tracks comes my second favourite song on the album, “Stayed Awake All Night.” This two was released as a single but is not as memorable as the first one. Maybe it’s because the song is more melodic than the others, sounds a bit like The Who, but all I know is that I like it. The final three tracks carry “Headhunter” out very well. “Stand and Be Counted” is a strong track and the instrumental, “White Din” is interesting. Unlike the opener, “Russian Winter” is a very nice closer, if not one of the better tracks on the album.

At the time, what impressed me the most about Krokus at the time was the fact they were Swiss. Back then, I naively thought that all the best metal bands came from the US, UK or Canada, the Scorpions being the exception. I was glad that a band came from another country because fast forwarding to now, we can say that heavy metal is truly world wide and it may have just started here.

Track Listing:

  1. Headhunter
  2. Eat the Rich
  3.  Screaming in the Night
  4. Ready to Burn
  5. Nightwolf
  6. Stayed Awake All Night
  7. Stand and be Counted
  8. White Din
  9. Russian Winter
Krokus

Krokus

Marc Storace- vocals

Fernando Von Arb- lead guitar

Mark Koehler- rhythm guitar

Chris von Rohr- bass, piano, percussion

Steve Pace- drums

Additional Vocals:

Rob Halford- backing vocals on “Ready to Burn”

Jimi Jamison- backing vocals

Unfortunately, in spite of a cool album with a great single, like Quiet Riot, Krokus would fade from mainstream attention for the same reason. Their follow up albums wouldn’t be a great as the ones they made in 1983. That’s all the more reason to enjoy “Headhunter.” For me, it’s Krokus’s best album.

Next post: Anvil- Forged in Fire

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1983: Quiet Riot- Mental Health

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 16, 2016 by 80smetalman

220px-metalhealthquietriot

Here’s one reason why I was so excited about music in the Autumn of 1983. In the months leading up to when my household finally acquired MTV, we were still relying on the late night, half hour programme called “Video Rock” for our television musical feed. One video got a lot of play on that show, though I liked it and the song from the very first viewing. Sorry, no 80smetalman points for guessing it because I think you all know that it was “Cum On Feel the Noize” by Quiet Riot. Seeing this video and hearing the song, sometimes on radio, it was no wonder I was so pumped up when I went to see them open for Black Sabbath in the November. Black Sabbath/Quiet Riot is definitely in my top ten of concerts I’ve seen in my life. However, I didn’t have to buy the album, “Mental Health” back then because my sister did. Of course, I borrowed it quite a lot.

Some misguided rock officianadoes, at least they think they are, have marked Quiet Riot as one hit wonders because later albums weren’t as commercially successful as “Mental Health” and the follow up single, “Mental Health,” only reached 31 in the charts. Hey, who gives a stuff about that? Obviously, these so-called experts never sat down and listened to the album because if they had, they would have been completely blown away. I know I was.

While the two singles lead the album, there are so many great metal tunes on it and a couple I wouldn’t call metal but are good nonetheless. Take “Don’t Wanna Let You Go” for example. There is definitely a funk infusion on this song that is definitely not metal but is good anyway. Plus there’s the tribute song to the late Randy Rhoads, “Thunderbird.” It is slow and there is a piano in it but I think Randy would have still approved of it. Another observation is that lead singer Kevin DuBrow’s singing style is the same on those two songs as well as the more metal ones on the album. In fact, I think he would sound the same if he sang country/western.

What raises “Mental Health” to the precipice it stands upon is the great metal tunes on here. Everyone I know agrees that “Slick Black Cadillac” is a great metal tune and the harmonizing is done so well. I can hear a Black Sabbath vibe in “Life’s a Bitch” at the beginning of the song while “Breathless” is a straight forward in your face metal tune as is “Run For Cover.” “Let’s Get Crazy” goes more on the anthem side of things but trust me, when they played it live, it had me ready to jump out of my seat. Guitarist Carlos Carvazo is more than sufficient throughout the album but he does get his time to shine on “Battleaxe.” As far as I can remember, this was the second time I heard a track where the guitarist was just given the chance to show his stuff and Carlos rises to the occasion. “Eruption” was the first.

Track Listing:

  1. Mental Health (Bang Your Head)
  2.    Cum On Feel the Noize
  3. Don’t Wanna Let You Go
  4. Slick Black Cadillac
  5. Life’s a Bitch
  6. Breathless
  7. Run For Cover
  8. Battleaxe
  9. Let’s Get Crazy
  10. Thunderbird
Quiet Riot

Quiet Riot

Kevin Dubrow- lead vocals

Carlos Carvazo- guitar, backing vocals

Rudy Sarzo- bass, synthesizer

Frankie Banali- drums, backing vocals

Not only was did “Mental Health” propel Quiet Riot onto the metal and commercial world stage, it gave a  famous British band from the 1970s its big break in the US. Once people learned that “Cum On Feel the Noize” was originally recorded by Slade, many people like myself investigated said band further. That would mean big things for Slade with their next album, which I’ll get to in time. Besides, Mrs 80smetalman met Slade back in 1979. Like, “Pyromania” by Def Leppard, “Mental Health would be considered on of THE albums of 1983. In fact, here’s a piece of useless information my strange brain managed to retain: “Cum on Feel the Noize” squared off against “Photograph” on the MTV Friday night video fights. From what I remember, “Photograph” won by a landslide.

Next Post: Krokus- Headhunter

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Great Soundtracks of 1983: Flashdance

Posted in 1980s, films, Music, Rock, soundtracks, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on July 29, 2016 by 80smetalman

flashdance

As if! I never saw the movie and never listened to the soundtrack. The only tracks I heard from it were the title track sung by Irene Cara which made her a one hit wonder as did the other song, “Maniac” by Michael Sambello. Neither song was good enough for me one hit wonders post. The fact that they were played constantly in discos throughout the world makes no difference. If anything, it makes me less likely to want to listen to them. Funny thing was that there were some really cool films in 1983. “Trading Places” with Dan Ackroyd and Eddie Murphy, “War Games” featuring a very young fresh faced Mathew Broderick and “Pyscho II” to name just a few. However, I don’t remember any of these having cool soundtracks. If any of you know of a film from this year that had a cool soundtrack, let me know and I’ll listen to it and post about it.

Next post: Business as usual with Alice Cooper- Da da

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