Archive for Philadelphia

Great Rock Albums of 1985: The Hooters- Nervous Night

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 6, 2018 by 80smetalman

Thanks to everyone who wished me well on my holiday. It was just a long weekend at the Butlin’s Holiday Camp in Skegness and then a couple of days at Cleethorpes but it was nice. Now, I’m back and it’s back to the tour of the 1980s through my eyes.

Skegness Fair and park

Probably no one remembers when I posted about a band called Beru Revue a few months back. So, to refresh everyone’s memory, Beru Revue were a local band out of Philadelphia who were very popular in their native area but never broke out and made it elsewhere. At the end of that post, I mentioned that another band from Philadelphia would break out and rise to national attention in 1985. That band was The Hooters and they did so with their second album, “Nervous Night.”

It might not be well known but before this album came out, The Hooters had some previous commercial success when they co-wrote Cyndi Lauper’s second big hit single, “Time After Time.” Trust me, The Hooters’ version of the song totally blows Lauper’s out of the water. At least I think so. Looking back into history, one shouldn’t have been surprised when they did make the big time. I remember their first single and one of my favourite tracks on the album, “All You Zombies” getting played quite a bit on the radio. Then to my surprise, on a visit to Rhode Island, I saw the video to said song played on a local music channel. That confirmed that The Hooters had actually made it.

My theory behind the the success of “Nervous Night” was it down to the music being a bit different. Some called it new wave or punk because that was the label given to any music that didn’t fit any mold in 1985. I always think it’s great when you can’t pigeonhole music that’s good. The closest track that may fit into the mold others try to impose on it would be the fourth one, “Don’t Take My Car Out Tonight.” There is a synth sound supporting a hard rock sounding guitar along with some of the other unique instruments the band plays like a melodica. Saying that, it’s all done well. “Hanging on a Heartbeat” can also fit this mold and it does have a good guitar solo.

The two more successful singles “And We Danced” and “Day by Day” are also unique but still very commercial radio friendly. It’s probably why both either hovered around or cracked the top 20 in the singles charts. However, there are two possible hidden gems. While, “Where Do the Children Go,” which Patty Smyth makes a guest appearance on, did get some airplay on radio and MTV, it didn’t chart as well as the other two singles and most people have forgotten it. I haven’t. This is a brilliant song, especially the way the mandolin is played on it. The other hidden gem is “Blood From a Stone” which rocks a little more. The song is about working people struggling to keep their heads above water during a time when wages were being cut and people were only given part time jobs to make the unemployment figures look good. Even now, these lyrics ring true:

“I work hard to pay the rent and support my government

The highways and the railroad tracks

I’m not giving it up till they give it all back

You can laugh and but it’s no joke 

You got to fix the thing that’s broke

There’s no meat only bone, but you can’t get blood from a stone.”

“South Ferry Road” is a pretty good rocker as well and “She Comes in Colors” has a sound reminiscent of The Cars.

Track Listing:

  1. And We Danced
  2. Day By Day
  3. All you Zombies
  4. Don’t Take My Car Tonight
  5. Nervous Night
  6. Hanging on a Heartbreak
  7. Where Do the Children Go
  8. South Ferry Road
  9. She Comes in Colors
  10. Blood From a Stone

The Hooters

Eric Bazilian- lead vocals, guitars, mandolin, saxophone

Rob Hyman- lead vocals, keyboards, melodica

Arthur King- bass, vocals

John Liley- guitar

David Uoskkinen- drums

I’ll let you decide if The Hooters version is better than Cyndi Lauper’s

I think most people believe it’s great when a local artist makes the big time and for most people in the Delaware Valley, it was The Hooters in 1985. This would be their year as “Nervous Night” would win several awards and the band would open the Live Aid Concert. Yes great things and two years later, The Hooters would be one hit wonders in the UK but that’s a story for another day.

Next post: Fiona

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1536266503&sr=1-3&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Tribute to Beru Revue- A Great Philadelphia Band

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Humour, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 26, 2018 by 80smetalman

Beru Revue

Living in Southern New Jersey, I was very much influenced by what was happening in Philadelphia which was fifty miles away. I rooted for their sports teams, most of the time, except when the Phillies played the Dodgers, the Eagles played the Steelers or the 76ers played the Celtics. However, I have always been a die hard Flyers fan. Most importantly though, Philadelphia was where I went to see most of my concerts. Which is why most of the concerts in “Rock And Roll Children” take place at the Spectrum. Furthermore, Philadelphia radio stations were far superior to the one in Atlantic City, also I got treated to some of the bands coming out of there. One of these bands was Beru Revue.

The Philadelphia Spectrum, now sadly torn down.

Back in the mid 1980s, Beru Revue made several trips to South Jersey clubs and I was lucky enough to catch them three times. Their brand of rock, considered new wave by most was definitely unique. They combined great musicianship and if you listened to the lyrics, keen political awareness while maintaining a sense of humour. This gave them a pretty large cult following around the clubs of the Delaware Valley, (comprising Eastern Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey and Delaware.) One of their songs, “Hoods A Go Go For the 80s” got airplay on local radio, unfortunately, their fame never spread much beyond that. Although I did take two friends who were visiting from Rhode Island to see them and they were so impressed, they bought Beru’s EP.

Beru Revue:

Bob ‘Beru’ McCafferty- lead vocals

Greg ‘T-Bone’ Davis- guitar

Gerry Healy- guitar

Johnny Sacks- bass

Buzz Barkley- keyboards

Tommy ‘Sir Francis Drake’ Pinto- drums

This is my favourite Beru Revue song:

Hopefully, you’ve had a listen and agree with me that Beru Revue were far too good to be just a locally known band. Even to this day, I have cool memories of them. Maybe one reason they never made it nationally or internationally was the fact that Philadelphia has produced so many great musical acts over the years. One such band would get national attention in 1985, you’ll read about that in the near future and a year later, a Philly metal band would do the same. However, I lament as to what a great contribution to the music world Beru Revue would have been if they had been luckier.

Next post: 1985- The Backlash Begins

To download Rock and Roll Children for free, go to: http://allkindlecloud.com/register/14510967-Rock_and_Roll_Children_pdf_premi.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1984: Hanoi Rocks- Two Steps From the Move

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 10, 2018 by 80smetalman

Coming to the final month in 1984, just when I thought that the year of metal might be coming to end, I get news of a band shown on MTV coming to a local club. That band just happend to be, yes you guessed it, Hanoi Rocks. Previous to their appearance, I did happen to catch the video to their single, a cover of the CCR classic, “Up Around the Bend.” The video impressed me enough to go to the club and to make a long story short, I was rather impressed. In fact, I sometimes wonder if I should have included that gig in “Rock and Roll Children.” My reason for not doing so was because KISS came to Philadelphia that evening and I concluded that the main characters would have gone to see KISS instead. However, I do mention in the story that Bob’s older brother Mitch goes to see Hanoi Rocks.

Hanoi Rocks’s performance on that memorable evening further motivated me to get their then latest release, “Two Steps From the Move.” Another decision I have never regretted because this album is very good. I would be lying if I didn’t say that “Up Around the Bend” is my favourite track on it. I had always liked the original version and what Hanoi Rocks did was take a great classic and totally metalize it. However, the album is full of great metal jams. The ones which stick out especially are: “I Can’t Get It,” “Underwater World, which has a good guitar solo and “Million Miles Away” is as good a power ballad as any. The hidden gem on the album has to be “Boulevard of Broken Dreams.” The energy on that song is simply phenomenal! Definitely one to blast driving with the window down and “Boiler” is quite amusing. On the other hand and as cliche as this sounds, all the songs really kick ass. If I were to nit pick, it would be that “Don’t You Ever Leave Me” should have been the closer of the album but that’s a tiny technicality.

Track Listing:

  1. Up Around the Bend
  2. High School
  3. I Can’t Get It
  4. Underwater World
  5. Don’t You Ever Leave Me
  6. Million Miles Away
  7. Boulevard of Broken Dreams
  8. Boiler (Me Boiler ‘n’ Me)
  9. Futurama
  10. Cutting Corners

Hanoi Rocks

Michael Monroe- lead vocals and saxophone

Andy McCoy- lead guitar, vocals

Nasty Suicide- guitar, vocals

Sam Yaffa- bass, vocals

Razzle- drums, vocals

In 1984, Hanoi Rocks were on the threshold of international stardom. Unfortunately, just a few short weeks after I saw them obliterate a small club in New Jersey, tragedy would strike the band which would lead to their eventual break up. While it’s no secret what that tragedy was, I thought it would be better to go into more detail next post. Right now, focus on the band’s happier times with this great album.

Next post: 1984 Ends in Metal Tragedy

To get Rock and Roll Children for free, go to: https://crreadac.cf/current/ebooks-free-download-rock-and-roll-children-fb2-by-michael-d-lefevre.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Rock/Metal Albums of 1984: Deep Purple- Perfect Strangers

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 26, 2018 by 80smetalman

Destiny brought them back together again. At least that was the big advertising plug for the “Perfect Strangers” album from the newly reformed Deep Purple. Back in the day, this album split opinion among many metalheads. Older ones like me, (I was 23 then), embraced this album immediately. However, there was some dissent from many teen metalheads at the time. Some even said that Deep Purple never should have reformed. To them, “Perfect Strangers” was a disappointment.

Let me add my theory to why teen metalheads might have been disappointed with the album. See, all these youngsters ever heard about in regards to Deep Purple was the classic “Smoke on the Water.” For many, this was their only experience with the legends. Therefore, they expected the entire album to be like that classic and when Deep Purple showed their more progressive rock side, which they do on the album, these youngsters were put off.

My experience with Deep Purple, although late, was full on. Of course, I knew of “Smoke on the Water” but I also enjoyed their more progressive songs like, “Wring That Neck” and there’s my favourite, “Woman From Tokyo” which incorporates both the prog and hard rock they were famous for. While none of the songs on “Perfect Strangers” quite match up to my fave, they do a rather good job of fusing their progressive and hard rock sounds. I think what these young people didn’t understand was that the band couldn’t help but add a little prog rock into their music when they had one of the best keyboard players of all time.

Deep Purple try to explain to their listeners that they had progressed from the days of “Smoke on the Water.” The closing track and my pick for hidden gem, “Hungry Daze,” states this clearly with the lyrics:

“We all came out to Montreax, but that’s another song.” 

The opening track, “Knocking At Your Back Door” pretty much shapes the entire album. You have some killer guitar work from Blackmore, great keyboard wizardry from Lord, Ian Gillan’s vocals were as sharp as they had been ten years earlier and the bombarding rhythm section of Glover and Paice holding all together. It’ s a great song to begin the album with. Things just go on from there with the slightly harder “Under the Gun,” then the more progressive “Nobody’s Home”  which shows off Jon Lord’s best keyboard work and the more bluesy sounding “Mean Streak.

One of my biggest regrets after writing “Rock and Roll Children” comes with the title track. When I saw Deep Purple live in early 1985, there was a phenomenal light show accompanying the song. I loved how the lasers shot across the length of the Philadelphia Spectrum making different patters with the notes. I don’t think I did it justice in the story. It was the first single and an okay song. “A Gypsy’s Kiss” remind me of the old DP classic, “Burn” with Ritchie belting out a blinder of a solo as well as the trade-off with Jon Lord where guitar and keyboards go back and forth. Okay, there are two hidden gems on this album.

In regards to the other gem, I don’t think “Hungry Daze” should have been the closer on the album. It’s a good track but everything about the penultimate track, “Wasted Sunsets” screams closer! Just listen to the opening guitar solo and the way Gillan’s voice just takes over before relinquishing again to another blazing Blackmore solo. The slower blues beat with it bears even more witness that it should be a closer. Hell, even the title suggests it! Other than this track misappropriation, “Perfect Strangers” was a good album for them to come back on.

Track Listing:

  1. Knocking At Your Back Door
  2. Under the Gun
  3. Nobody’s Home
  4. Mean Streak
  5. Perfect Strangers
  6. A Gypsy’s Kiss
  7. Wasted Sunsets
  8. Hungry Daze

Deep Purple

Ian Gillan- lead vocals

Ritchie Blackmore- guitar

Roger Glover- bass

Jon Lord- keyboards

Ian Paice- drums

Was 1984 the right time for Deep Purple to return? I’ve always thought so. I admit, “Perfect Strangers” isn’t exactly “Machine Head” but it’s a good album. The musicianship of the five members is outstanding, proving that there’s more to them than “Smoke on the Water.”

Next post: Venom- At War With Satan

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: 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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Announcements and News

Posted in Concerts, Death, Heavy Metal, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 21, 2017 by 80smetalman

Famous deaths in 2016 weren’t just limited to rock stars, (looks like 2017 is heading in the same direction). I was also saddened to learn last night that my childhood hero who wasn’t a rock star also passed away in 2016. Ice hockey legend, (if you’re a fanatical Philadelphia Flyers fan like myself), Rick MacLeish passed away on May 30 last year from multiple complications, he was 66. Born in Lindsay, Canada in 1950, Rick was the first Flyer to score 50 goals in a season and scored the winning goal in Philadelphia’s first Stanley Cup victory. Even hearing about it ten months on, I am saddened to hear of his passing.

R.I.P Rick MacLeish

On a much happier but surprising note, I have to announce that I won’t be attending the Bloodstock Festival this summer. Other commitments have gotten in the way plus this year, I think the Download Festival in June has a line up more to my liking. I understand that for hardcore metal fans that this is an act of treason but I will definitely share my experiences from the Festival on here.

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1983: Black Sabbath- Born Again

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 12, 2016 by 80smetalman

220px-sabbathborn

The first concert I saw at the Philadelphia Spectrum after getting out of the marines was Black Sabbath. Having heard the album they were promoting on the tour, “Born Again,” I already knew that former Deep Purple lead singer, Ian Gillan, would be fronting them. However, I still thought it was a bit strange that when they came out for the second encore, they played “Smoke on the Water.” Actually, that strange feeling lasted only for a few seconds because the song worked as did Gillan singing some of the more classic Sabbath songs. I thought he did a particularly good job on “Heaven and Hell.”

This begs the question, if Ian Gillan sounded so good for Sabbath, then why did so many of the so-called rock critics slate it and why isn’t this album considered one of their best? Let me address the second point. When I hear “Born Again,” I don’t immediately start pining for the more classic Sabbath albums like “Paranoid” or “Heaven and Hell” but I won’t put it on the same level as those more memorable albums either. It’s a great album but not a classic. As for the critics, well, what do they know?

Ian Gillan’s Deep Purple influence comes out immediately on the album. “Trashed” could have been a Purple song. At least until Tony Iommi goes into one of his trademark guitar solos in the middle of the song. Plus, I can say the same thing for “Disturbing the Priest,” although the instrumental track in between those two, “Stonehenge” tries too hard to copy “E5150.” My hypothesis here is that Tony and Geezer let Ian sing according to his style and bent their guitar and bass playing styles around the vocals. Personally, I think they do a damned fine job of it as well. This really shows through on the track “Zero the Hero.” Unlike some critic, I don’t find the song embarrassing, I quite like it, especially how Tony Iommi nails the guitar solo on it.

My favourite track on the album has to be “Digital Bitch.” I love the way, they take Gillan’s shrieks and Tony’s guitar and fuse them together. The title track is a more slower bluesier number. Black Sabbath have been doing these for years except in the past, they did it with a much heavier guitar. They don’t do that so much with this one except for the chorus. At the time, it was believed that this would be the closest Black Sabbath would come to a power ballad. Ian Gillan’s voice suits the song well but then he is definitely if not the best, one of the best vocalists in rock or metal.

Now I haven’t forgotten to mention the interesting album cover. After all, I had it on a t-shirt. I always thought it very amusing even if the American religious community didn’t. Now, I wish I still had that shirt.

Track Listing:

  1. Trashed
  2. Stonehenge
  3. Disturbing the Priest
  4. The Dark
  5. Zero the Hero
  6. Digital Bitch
  7. Born Again
  8. Hot Line
  9. Keep it Warm
Black Sabbath

Black Sabbath

Tony Iommi- guitar

Ian Gillan- vocals

Geezer Butler- bass

Bill Ward- drums

Note: Bill Ward would not tour with the band for this album. Replacing him for the tour was former ELO drummer Bev Bevan

I wonder what would have happened if Ian Gillan had stuck around with Sabbath for a few more albums. Would musical history as we know it been changed? Hard to say. As we know, Ian would leave Sabbath after this and rejoin his mates Ritchie Blackmore and Roger Glover from Rainbow and reform that band they were in together during the early 1970s. Ian Gillan might have only recorded one album with Black Sabbath but it is definitely one to remember.

Next post: Because they supported Black Sabbath when I saw them, I thought it right that it be Quiet Riot- Mental Health

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