Archive for Paul Stanley

Great Rock Albums of 1988: Bonnie Tyler- Hide Your Heart

Posted in Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 11, 2022 by 80smetalman

That distracting thing called life has a terrible way of disrupting things, which is why I only posted once last week. What was worse is that I am still not finished my chapter for Mike Ladano’s “Adventures of Tee-Bone Man and Superdekes.” However, my load will be getting lighter over the next few weeks with the service user at work who requires 95% of one’s attention going on a home visit and the UK school year coming to an end next week. So, I hope to be back in full by then. In the meantime, I did get to listen to Bonnie Tyler’s “Hide Your Heart” album a few times and can write about it.

I have been wondering why the album escaped my attention back then. I have to thank Damien for another great save, but I would think that living in England, it would have come to my notice somehow. Thankfully, I have discovered the reason. It seems “Hide Your Heart” fared much better in Europe than it did in the UK or US. Charting at number 2 in Norway, 13 in Switzerland, 24 in Sweden but only making it to 78 in the UK and 91 in Canada. Another reason could be that Bonnie and my ex wife came from the same town, Swansea, and my ex wasn’t too keen on Bonnie.

Anyway, on to the album. Actually, the best way to describe most of it is commercial rock. Good commercial rock but the commercial sticks out. With most of the songs, there is that 1980s pop rock feel to them. You know, a little bit of guitar with a heavy saturation of keyboards. “Don’t Turn Around” is a great example. But the songs aren’t bad, after all, Bonnie had some great people writing songs for her. Desmond Child, Holly Knight, Michael Bolton, and one Paul Stanley, which I will get to in a minute.

Usually, I learn something new whenever I write about an album and this one is no exception. When l discovered that Bonnie sang the Tina Turner classic, “The Best” on the album, I assumed Bonnie was covering Tina when it was actually the other way around. However, in the long run it doesn’t make much difference because I still much prefer the Tina version. I get the impression that everyone else probably believes the same so an “Original vs. Cover” post would not be worth it here. However, there is a cover which could be worthy of such a post. It comes in the form of the album closer where Bonnie sings a cover of the Janis Joplin song, “Turtle Blues.” I haven’t heard Janis’s version in ages but Bonnie does put a lot of pizazz into this song, so such a post could be in the cards somewhere down the line.

Oh yes, Paul Stanley. He, along with Desmond and Holly, wrote the title track of the album. This is the rockingest track on the album, hands down. If Bonnie had more metal leaning songs like this one, I would have taken notice of the album. Which brings me to my next point. Bonnie’s voice is as good as it always is but the title track reinforces the true hero on the album, guitarist John McCurry. He nails some great solos. The title track is a given but he nails another great solo the “To Love Somebody” and has some great hooks along with a cool solo on “Take Another Look at Your Heart.” It’s his guitar work which really holds my interest on the album. Credit where due though, on “To Love Somebody” there is also a really cool sax solo.

Track Listing:

  1. Notes From America
  2. Hide Your Heart
  3. Don’t Turn Around
  4. Save Up All Your Tears
  5. To Love Somebody
  6. Take Another Look at Your Heart
  7. The Best
  8. Shy With You
  9. Streets of Little Italy
  10. Turtle Blues
Bonnie Tyler

Bonnie Tyler- vocals

Louis Cortelezzi, Lawrence Feldman- saxophone

Ronnie Cuber- baritone saxophone

Keith O’Quinn- trombone

Ralph Shuckett- conductor, horns arrangement

Chuck Kentis- organ, synthesizer

Holly Knight- keyboards

Greg Mangiafico, Bette Sussman- piano

Tony Levin, John Regan, John McCurry, Seth Glassman- bass

John McCurry- guitar

Seth Glassman- rhythm guitar

Jerry Marotta- drums, percussion

Elaine Caswell, Desmond Child, Diana Grasselli, Jerry Marotta, Lewis Merlino, Steve Savitt, Joe Lynn Turner, Myriam Naomi Vale- choir, chorus

Patricia Darcy, Patty D’Arcy, Jayne Payson, Al Scotti, Bernie Shanahan, Bernie Williams, Melanie Williams- other vocals

Joe Shepley, Joseph J. Shepley- trumpet

I always thought that Bonnie had the pipes to be a good rock singer and with the great song writers she had on this album, “Hide Your Heart” is a fine album.

Next post: The Proclaimers- Sunshine on Leith

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

To sign the petition for a knighthood for Bruce Dickinson, click the link: https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson

Great Metal Albums of 1987: KISS- Crazy Nights

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 27, 2022 by 80smetalman

According to most KISS fans and fanatics I know, “Crazy Nights” is not the best KISS album. In fact, many put it near the bottom when rating KISS albums. However, to the world, it was one of the highest charting albums KISS had made in a number of years charting in at least eleven countries and even hitting the number four spot in both the UK and Finland. So it begs the question, why was such a successful album not held in the same esteem by so many metalheads and KISS fans? The truth is out there.

One thought could be the fact that the first single “Crazy, Crazy Nights” went all the way to number four in the UK singles charts. While universally agreed by British metalheads that it’s not KISS’s greatest song, it was always great to see a metal song do well in the charts during a time it was dominated by bubble synth pop from the likes of Stock, Aiken and Waterman. We saw it as sticking it to the trendies. On a personal note, the lyrics of the song has always had meaning for me. In a world that had it in for heavy metal, it reminded us that metalheads were a force to be reckoned with and not to give a crap as to what the rest of the world thinks of us. I even quote the lyrics towards the end of “Rock and Roll Children.”

They try to tell us that we don’t belong

That’s all right, we’re millions strong

This is my music, it makes me proud

These are my people and this is my crowd.

Three singles were released from the album and “Crazy, Crazy Nights” is the only one of those which doesn’t have keyboards. When KISS went to record the album, they were looking for something which would bring them back to their glory days. They brought in producer Ron Nevison to help and he shaped the sound of the album. Another point of KISStory here is that Gene Simmons was off doing other things so his contributions on “Crazy Nights” were minimal. Bruce Kullick stepped in and got four song writing credits and Eric Carr had one. They also had assistance from outside writers such as Desmond Child.

As for the album itself, after the biggest charting single opens it, things continue for the next three tracks. Each of those tracks reminds me of the KISS I had grown up with over the years. “I Fight Hell to Hold You” is the hidden gem on the album as it’s hard and heavy. I can say the same for “Bang Bang You” even if the lyrics would be considered not woke these days. They do make reference to ancient times when Paul sings that he’s going to shoot his love gun.

Let me be blunt here, in my opinion and that’s just what it is, I think that Bruce is the star of this album. His shredding on the majority of the songs is what makes them. If not his shredding some of his opening riffs like “No, No, No” for example. “When Your Walls Come Down” is another great example of Bruce’s brilliance. The two tracks before it are okay but don’t make me want to get up and headbang away to them. “When the Walls Come Down” injects new life into the album and save it from descending into mediocrity. Furthermore, it’s his guitar solo on the single, “Reason to Live” that I would show any interest in it. Otherwise, it would have been just another power ballad.

Bruce Kullick

Talking about Gene, while he only writes on four of the eleven songs on the album, three of them are very good. One of them I already mentioned. He writes with Bruce on “No, No, No” and that’s probably why it’s good. Gene lets Bruce do his thing on that one. “Good Girl Gone Bad,” which reminds me of the single “Tears are Falling” from their previous album and the closer “Thief in the Night” are both strong tracks. The closer is definitely more old school KISS. So I can theorize here that while Paul was looking for commercial viability, Gene, when he was around, kept KISS truer to its more metal roots.

Track Listing:

  1. Crazy, Crazy Nights
  2. I’ll Fight Hell to Hold You
  3. Bang, Bang You
  4. No, No, No
  5. Hell or High Water
  6. My Way
  7. When the Walls Come Down
  8. Reason to Live
  9. Good Girl Gone Bad
  10. Turn On the Night
  11. Thief in the Night
KISS

Paul Stanley- rhythm guitar, lead vocals, keyboards

Gene Simmons- bass, lead vocals

Eric Carr- drums, backing vocals

Bruce Kullick- lead guitar

I’ll be blunt again, there are better KISS albums than “Crazy Nights” but I do like the fact that it and the singles stuck it to the trendies in 1987. My main takeaway from listening to it again after a long time is that Bruce Kullick needs more credit than what he’s actually given.

Next post: Twisted Sister- Love is for Suckers

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

To sign the petition for a knighthood for Bruce Dickinson, click the link: https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson