Archive for punk

Great Metal Albums of 1987: Agnostic Front- Liberty and Justice For…

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 7, 2022 by 80smetalman

One year after their controversial “Cause for Alarm” album, Agnostic Front were back with “Liberty and Justice For….” Like with the previous album, the band went through various line up changes and by the time the new album was recorded, the only remaining member from that previous album was rhythm guitarist Vinnie Stigma.

With “Liberty and Justice For…” Agnostic Front continued their crossover from hardcore punk into thrash metal. While I can’t say for 100%, it also seems that they also steered themselves away from right wing lyrics. The album kicks off with “Liberty and Justice” and begins with a classroom full of school children reciting the pledge of allegiance. However, the pledge stops right after “One nation under God” and goes into a massive thrash-out. The children say the final line at the end of the song, “With liberty and justice for all.” Lyrically, the song isn’t right wing but laments how the US is destroying itself while politicians don’t seem to care. Doesn’t sound right wing to me, just a fact.

Like the Stormtroopers of Death and Napalm Death, Agnostic Front launch a short but fatal attack on delicate eardrums with eleven songs in just over twenty-five minutes with no quarter asked for or given. Each and every song is just one massive thrash frenzy. The slowest song on the album is “Another Side,” at least it starts at 1990s Metallica speed before jettisoning into normal Agnostic Front speed. It does slow down in the middle before lead guitarist Steve Martin, no not the comedy actor, plays his best solo on the album. There is a similar vibe on the next track, “Happened Yesterday,” though that doesn’t slow down as much. But like with everything about this album, it’s short and to the point. The only possible exception might be the penultimate track, which is slow enough to hear the lyrics. There’s a definite Suicidal Tendencies vibe on this one. In this case, it works perfectly.

Track Listing:

  1. Liberty and Justice
  2. Crucial Moment
  3. Strength
  4. Genesis
  5. Anthem
  6. Another Side
  7. Happened Yesterday
  8. Lost
  9. Hypocrisy
  10. Crucified
  11. Censored
Agnostic Front

Roger Miret- vocals

Steve Martin- lead guitar

Vinnie Stigma- rhythm guitar

Alan Peters- bass

Will Shepler- drums

Thrash bands came and went in the late 1980s but Agnostic Front kept going. I must warn people, “Liberty and Justice For…” is not for the feint hearted. It’s one speed frenzy almost from start to finish but it’s one thrash party I will attend every time.

Next post: Glass Tiger- The Thin Red Line

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

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

Great Metal Albums of 1987: Napalm Death- Scum

Posted in 1980s, Death, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 12, 2022 by 80smetalman

When listening to the debut album, “Scum,” from British metal band, Napalm Death, the first question which arises is: Is Napalm Death the British version of the Stormtroopers of Death? Like the S.0.D., whose album “Speak English or Die” had twenty-one tracks in under thirty minutes, “Scum” has twenty-eight tracks in little over thirty-five minutes. Also like their American predecessor, the album is full of ear-bashing short, sharp, in your face tracks. Many of the tracks on “Scum” are under one minute in length but when you listen to them, the interesting thing is that it feels like a full three minute song crammed into that little amount of time.

What is just as interesting is that the band had a complete lineup change while making the album. The first half of the album has a different singer, guitar and bass than the second half with drummer Mick Harris being the only permanent fixture. However, I don’t hear any real change when I listen to the album. It’s still an all speed ahead assault on your eardrums. Some will even raise the criticism that you can’t understand the lyrics being sung but guess what? I don’t really care. This is just a great album to thrash out and create lots of mayhem to. My only regret resulting from listening to the album is that I have never seen them live. I think that would be an experience.

One challenge I had when listening to “Scum” was identifying stand out tracks. It is a challenge when songs are over just as you are getting into them. Although, there are tracks like “Born On Your Knees” which has a cool intro as well an instrumental portion to mosh along to. Another song which I think stands out is “Polluted Minds.” While only a minute long, it packs a very powerful punch. “Prison Without Walls” is another memorable one, not that any of these songs aren’t. However, what you do get here is twenty-eight tracks to have a great mosh to.

Tracks Listing:

  1. Multinational Corporations
  2. Instinct for Survival
  3. The Kill
  4. Scum
  5. Caught…in a Dream
  6. Polluted Minds
  7. Sacrificed
  8. Siege of Power
  9. Control
  10. Born On Your Knees
  11. Human Garbage
  12. You Suffer
  13. Life?
  14. Prison Without Walls
  15. Point of No Return
  16. Negative Approach
  17. Success
  18. Deceiver
  19. C.S.
  20. Parasites
  21. Pseudo Youth
  22. Devine Death
  23. As the Machine Rolls On
  24. Common Enemy
  25. Moral Crusade
  26. Stigmatized
  27. M.A.D.
  28. Dragnet
Napalm Death

Tracks 1-12

Nik Napalm- vocals, bass

Justin Broaderick- guitar, vocals

Mick Harris- drums

Tracks 13-28

Lee Dorrian- vocals

Jim Whitely- bass

Bill Steer- guitar

Mick Harris- drums, vocals

History has determined that “Scum” marked the official initiation of the sub-genre now known as grindcore and Napalm Death have been attributed as its pioneers. I won’t debate that fact but all I know is that I have come to love having my ears cleaned out by the album.

Next post: Testament- Live at Eindhoven

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

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

Great Punk Albums of 1987: Gaye Bykers on Acid- Drill Your Own Hole

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 6, 2022 by 80smetalman

Everyone’s question when they see the name of this band is: Is it just a clever name? Originally, I thought the answer was ‘yes’ because two people I know saw them live opening for such greats as Motorhead and both said that Gaye Bykers on Acid were rubbish. Therefore, for many years I ignored them. However, since I began blogging, I realized that I shouldn’t just let someone else’s opinion deter me from checking out a band on my own. Whether people like it or not, Gaye Bykers on Acid were a part, albeit a small part, of music history in 1987 and that’s why they are getting their spot here on 80smetalman.

What I like about their debut album, “Drill Your Own Hole” is that it doesn’t fit nicely into any preconceived pigeon holes. Wikipedia attempts to define the album as ‘noise rock’ or ‘neo psychedelic rock’ and I see small arguments in both cases. The opening track, “Motorvate,” gives weight to the argument as is sounds like The Doors going post punk. On the other hand, although there is no mention of it in what I’ve read about the band and this album and it could prove my insanity, I detect a strong Dead Kennedys influence on many of the tracks. Tony Byker’s guitar licks sound very much like East Bay Ray’s from the Dead Kennedy’s “Frankenchrist” album.

One track which is way out there is “Zen Express.” The intro sounds very similar to that of the theme song to “Friends” but goes more like a punked up version of The Monkees after. Another comment from a critic way back then is that the Gaye Bykers on Acid sound is the collision of punk and hippy psychedelic rock. That collision is abundantly clear on this track. The track which follows it, “Git Down,” is more like the Kennedys sound but with some wild soloing from Tony. But the track also has a bit of a swagger to it as well.

“World War 7 Blues” would be a great song for a cover from a heavy metal band. There is a definite metal vibe which you can surely bang along to. Just add some power chords. Saying that, Tony’s riffs are good on this one as well and this brings me to my next point. The glue which holds the album together is the strong bass lines from Robber Byker. You have probably already guessed that the band is all surnamed Byker but anyway, Robber does a fine job on the album.

It’s Jim Morrison meets Madness on the track “After Suck There’s Blow.” That’s the only way I can describe this track except unlike Madness, there’s no horns on the song. The remainder of the album goes out on pretty much the same vein with lead singer Mary Byker sounding like a punk Jim Morrison, interesting guitar riffs from Tommy and Robber and Kev Byker laying down a strong rhythm section. On top of that, they take the piss out of TV evangelists on “Drive-In Salvation.” I always tip my hat to anyone who does that. So, while they might have sucked live, “Drill Your Own Hole” is a decent album in its own right.

Track Listing:

  1. Motorvate
  2. Call Me a Liar
  3. All Hung Up
  4. Zen Express
  5. World War 7 Blues
  6. Git Down (Shake Your Thang)
  7. After Suck There’s Blow
  8. So Far Out
  9. Drive-In Salvation
  10. TV Cabbage

Gaye Bykers on Acid

Mary Byker (Ian Garfield Hoxley)- vocals

Tony Byker/Phlegm Lubricant/Tony Shuttleburger/Sven Eleven (Tony Horsfall)- guitar

Robber Byker (Ian Reynolds)- bass

Kev Byker/Cubehead Buffalo Hyde/Gavina Hyde/Kenny Pride (Kevin Hyde)- drums

Another amusing point in regards to the “Drill Your Own Hole” album is that the first 1,000 pressings came without the hole in the centre. So, in order to listen to the album, you had to do what the album title said. After much thought and several listens to the album, I have come to the conclusion that this is a good album but you need an open mind and a sense of humour to fully appreciate it.

Next post: Motorhead- Rock and Roll

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

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

Great Rock Albums of 1987: The Smiths- Strangeways, Here We Come

Posted in 1980s, films, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 25, 2021 by 80smetalman

A great perk of my job working with adults with Autism is that in the house I predominately work in, when the service user who requires 95% of my attention goes on a home visit, my evenings at work are quite leisurely. Such was the case last week. I was searching the Sky Movie channels looking for a film to watch when I discovered a film called, “Shoplifters of the World.” Reading the info, I gave it a watch and it was pretty good.

From the film: Shoplifters of the World

Set in Colorado in 1987, the film is about fans of British new wave rock band, The Smiths who are lamenting the band’s break up. As a result, one devoted fan breaks into the local radio station and pulls a gun on the deejay, who is a total metalhead, and demands he plays a bunch of songs by his favourite band. As the story develops, the Smiths fan and the metalhead deejay form a bond as the station draws a large crowd of the band’s fans in support. On a side note, I love how the deejay relates his story of how is wife walked out on him while he was listening to “Master of Puppets.” He was so engrossed in the album, he didn’t even notice her leave. Anyway, the film ends with a mutual appreciation between the gunman and deejay, which is what music is supposed to do. I recommend this film.

The movie had me doing more research into The Smiths and it might have been a good thing, as their 1987 album, “Strangeways, Here We Come” had totally passed me by that year. Maybe I was listening to too much metal then. Listening to the album now, it has slowly grown on me but it took a couple of listens for it to be so. The first two tracks are decent enough, a smooth light indie pop sound but then the band tries to stretch out a bit on the track “Death of a Disco Dancer,” for me it falls flat. If I listened to this track too much, the title could be changed to “Death of 80smetalman” because it is a song to slit your wrists to and this is coming from someone who listens to Pink Floyd’s “Animals” album.

Fortunately, that is the low point on the album as things drastically improve with the next two tracks. My favourite track on the album, “Girlfriend in a Coma” coming just after. The following track, “Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before,” carries things on. Then it appears that the album might be venturing back into “Death of a Disco Dancer” territory with “Last Night I Dreamt That Someone Loved Me.” It starts as if it’s going to be a slow, gloomy song but it then picks up. I think this song would have sounded even better with the use of power chords.

Since “Girlfriend in a Coma” was single, then by rules of 80smetalman, “Unhappy Birthday” is the hidden gem on the track. It’s a mid-tempo straight ahead rock tune and there is some good guitar work from Johnny Marr. Although he’s not a (insert great guitarist here), his work on this song is good. “Paint a Vulgar Picture” has a very impressive intro and is good, upbeat song and Johnny actually plays a guitar solo on it. Also, it might drag on a little too long. There is a rockabilly beat to “Death At One’s Elbow,” and is well done. However, the remaining track is unremarkable in my view but does the job of ending the album.

Track Listing:

  1. A Rush and a Push and the Land Is Ours
  2. I Started Something I Couldn’t Finish
  3. Death of a Disco Dancer
  4. Girlfriend in a Coma
  5. Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before
  6. Last Night I Dreamt That Someone Loved Me
  7. Unhappy Birthday
  8. Paint a Vulgar Picture
  9. Death at One’s Elbow
  10. I Won’t Share You
The Smiths

Morrisey- lead vocals, piano, handclaps

Johnny Marr- guitar, keyboards, harmonica, marimba, harmonium, additional vocals, handclaps

Andy Rourke- bass, keyboards, handclaps

Mike Joyce- drums, percussion, handclaps

Thanks to a good film, I got to experience an album that passed me by back in the day. The Smiths would break up after “Strangeways, Here We Come.” While not their best album, it’s still good in places and worth having a listen to. But definitely watch the film.

Next post: Dio- Dream Evil

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bloodstock 2018: The Saturday

Posted in Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 21, 2018 by 80smetalman

Saturday at Bloodstock was going to be an open day for me pretty much as the only band on my ‘must see’ list was the evening’s headliners, Gojira. While I was finishing my early morning tasks at a leisurely pace, a gentleman passed by and suggested that I check out Power Trip. His sales pitch was that if I liked Suicidal Tendencies, I would love this band. That was enough to sell me so I headed over to the arena.

Listening to American thrash/punk crossover band Power Trip, I could see what the gentleman meant by the comparison to Suicidal Tendencies. They even dedicated a song to Cannibal Corpse and even though they said some might thought it too early in the morning, orchestrated a wall of death. While I have to say they’re not quite like the band they have been compared to, Power Trip were a good band to have a great mosh to and quite an appropriate way to start the Saturday.

Power Trip- a great start to any day.

At this point of the weekend, I had seen several bands whom I had never heard of who had impressed the hell out of me and I was in the mind to award several bands the honour of “Band Whom I’d Never Heard of Who Impressed Me the Most.” That all went out the window when the next band after Power Trip ascended the Dio Stage. That band was German prog-metallers Orden Ogan. If you like Hammerfall, then you should like this band. They really impressed me a lot. One thing I noticed when they were on stage was the absence of a bass player. Lead singer Sebastian Levermann explained this was because he had broken his thumb and was unable to play guitar. Thus normal bassist Neils Loffler took up the rhythm guitar. Saying that, he did play a couple of solos along with lead guitarist Tobias Kersting who could really jam. Left to just sing, Levermann was good at engaging the crowd and at one point when he would sing, “All we are,” the audience would yell back, “Cold, fucking dead!” When they left, Orden Ogan were secure in the title of band who I’d never heard of who impressed me the most.

Orden Ogan come on stage. Too bad those horns got in my way.

Levermann and Kersting leading from the front.

Being wowed by Orden Ogan made me hungry so I headed back to the tent for some lunch. Returning afterwards, I happened to catch the last five minutes of Vola on the Sophie Lancaster Stage. They were a four piece band which included a keyboard. The best way to describe them is to say they’re industrial metal but they sounded all right to me and I might listen to them more.

Vola on the Sophie Stage

Heading back to the Ronnie James Dio Stage, I had no idea what to expect from the next band to take the stage, Combichrist. What I heard and saw took me completely by surprise. I thought that with a name like Combichrist, they would be a thrash or death metal band, especially with all the band’s faces painted white. Instead, their brand of industrial metal would be something that metalheads to dance to at parties. The audience jumped up and down in time with many of the songs, though I had to take it a bit easy with my weak knee. Still, the antics of the band were very entertaining. At one point, lead singer Andy LaPlegua had the audience say “Fuck off!” to each member of the band, which was followed by a song called “Fuck That Shit.” After a few more songs and “Fucks” from LePlegua, the band ended on a great high by bringing out three young ladies twirling flaming batons to the song, “I Don’t Give a Fuck About You.” Great way to end the show and I was very impressed.

Combichrist with no bass and two drummers

A good shot of them

In this shot, the drummer was bouncing his sticks off his drum.

The baton twirlers come out.

The band plays “Fuck That Shit.”

The twirlers in their full glory

After being totally amused by Combichrist, I headed over to the New Blood Stage where I caught the last few minutes of a band called Aeonia. The featured two female lead singers who both possessed operatic style voices. I was sorry I couldn’t have seen more of them.

Aeonia on the New Blood Stage.

Heading back to the Dio Stage, I was in for another surprise. On the recommendation of Teal, I decided to check out Alestorm. I had a feeling that this was going to be different when I saw the huge rubber duck at the back of the stage. This would be my first introduction to the genre known as pirate metal. The songs all sounded like heavy metal sea ditties and I liked it. I found the songs, “Drink,” “Captain Morgan’s Revenge” and “Shipwrecked” among others all to be very amusing. Instead of a mosh pit, lead singer, Christopher Bowes organized a rowing pit where everyone sat on the ground rowing in unison to the song, great fun. Bowes also stated that instead of a wall of death, everyone meet in the middle, take off their clothes and have a big orgy. We all saw the humour in that. Alestorm’s set ended with him leading the crowd in singing:

Fuck you, you’re a fucking wanker

We’re gonna punch you right in the balls.

Fuck you with a fucking anchor

You’re all cunts so fuck you all.” 

A great time was had by all during the forty-five minutes Alestorm was on stage.

The big rubber duck awaits Alestorm

Alestorm on stage with a lot of flying inflatable objects.

An even bigger rowing pit

Alestorm leave with an explosion of confetti

With nearly two hours to go before Gojira, we decided to head back to the tent. The heavens had opened up so we stayed in the tent eating and drinking. That might have been a mistake because we all nodded off. I woke up at one point, heard the rain pelting down and thought, “I’m not going out in this.” Maybe I should have because when I awoke after nodding off again, I discovered it had stopped raining but Gojira had been on stage for 20 minutes! Immediately waking Teal and Joe, we raced like mad back to the arena and to the Dio Stage.

If any band in the history of Bloodstock had paid their dues and earned the right to headline, it was definitely Gojira. I had seen them play second from the top spot in 2010 and just below it in 2016 and both times they were better than the band who went on after them. This time, they were simply better than ever! Being the headliner, they had a really cool light show, just as good as Judas Priest’s light show the night before. I definitely remember them playing “Stranded” and Joe Duplantier was very good at engaging the crowd. Plus there was a cool drum solo from Mario. Overall, Gojira put on a great display of heavy metal and proved they can headline along with the best of them.

Managed to get a good shot of Gojira here.

Another attempt at photographing them.

Different lights made this shot possible

Bright lights

More bright lights

Having had that nap, I wasn’t tired so I headed to the Sophie Lancaster Stage to check out that headliner, Orphaned Land. This turned out to be another great decision because Orphaned Land where nothing short of absolutely brilliant! They blend folk and death metal together to make one great but unique sound. Coming from Israel, they also blend Middle Eastern and Western influences and again, it sounds just great. I loved the use of the Bouzouki in place of guitar solos in some of the songs. Plus they do go ultra heavy at times. Before, they got on stage, the announcer told the crowd to listen to the message of this band. Lead singer, Kobi Farhi, explained how fucked up things in the Middle East are with everyone trying to kill each other be it Jews, Arabs or homosexuals. However, he stated that everybody hates heavy metal because it’s considered Satanic. This got me thinking but I won’t talk about that now, I just want to say how great a band Orphaned Land are.

Orphaned Land come out under the lights.

A great shot of them.

A great show!

Still not tired, I went to the metal disco at the Sophie tent after the show. They played a good variety of songs which included some 1970s rock and even a Michael Jackson and a Coolio song. Eventually, I went back to the tent and had one last beer before bedtime. Sometime later, Teal came in and woke me up, I had fallen asleep in the chair with the beer in my hand. At least I didn’t spill any. Still it was a great second day.

Next post: Sunday

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rest in Peace- Tom Petty

Posted in 1980s, Death, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 2, 2017 by 80smetalman

Tom Petty

It seems that 2017 is determined to suck as much as 2016 with another great rocker going to the great gig in the sky. Tom Petty entertained us with some great music for four decades whether it be with his band, Tom Petty and the Heartbrakers, solo material and a brief stint with the Travelling Willburys who included Bob Dylan, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison and the late George Harrison.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/tom-petty-legendary-rocker-is-dead-at-66/

Not only was Tom a great musician, he was a great song writer and as someone pointed out to me recently, those skills were very underrated. So, I guess the best thing to do is to pull out any or all of his great albums, (my favourite has always been “Damn the Torpedoes”) and give them a listen to commemorate this great rocker.

 

 

An Evening of Ska-Punk in Newcastle

Posted in Concerts, Humour, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 11, 2017 by 80smetalman

Well, I’m back from my three days in Newcastle Upon Tyne and before I left, I did promise that if I saw any great bands at Newcastle’s premier rock club, Trillian’s, I would share the experience here. However, the American tourist in me has briefly taken over so before you get to read what great bands Planet Smashers and Faintest Idea were, you’re going to have to view my holiday snaps. Don’t worry, there aren’t many.

The view from my hotel room, It rained a lot on the first day

Great weather on Thursday. Here’s a view from the Gateshead Millennium Bridge

The bridge opens to let a boat go through

At first, it seemed the rain on the first night was too heavy and I wouldn’t make it past the pub across the road from my hotel room. The Blonde Barrel does do great food though. Thankfully, the Gods of Rock smiled on me and the rain slowed do to a fine spray so I was able to go into the city centre and get to Trillians. I discovered that the two named bands would be playing on the Thursday evening so I went down to the bar where I made another amazing discovery. Motorhead has a beer called Road Crew. Naturally, I had to try some and I can say that it’s very nice.

The next day, I made inquiries about Road Crew being available in shops. I was directed to one place that sold eccentric beers but the owner told me that the beer was massed produced and available in major supermarkets, not where I live. I made a further inquiry at the small supermarket but they didn’t sell it. However, one of the staff advised me to try a small shop in the train station grounds. So I went to a place called CentrAle and yes they did sell Road Crew. Then another surprise, right next to it was another beer called Anthrax War Vance and yes, it’s endorsed by Anthrax. Apparently some cases were left behind after their last UK tour and Bruce, the manager of CentrAle, got them. CentrAle is the only place in the UK where you can get Anthrax War Vance. So, I got lucky there.

Bruce with a can of Anthrax

Eventually, the big night came and I went off to Trillians to see Planet Smashers and Faintest Idea, two bands I knew absolutely nothing about. With nothing to expect, I had a very open mind to them when they came on stage. Faintest Idea took the stage first and that would begin my education. Before this particular evening, I had practically zero experience with ska. I offer no reason for this except it was something I never explored. That will change for sure. Getting back to Faintest Idea, listening to them, I have concluded that the Ramones will never have to go in the ska direction because that’s what this band sounded like. The Ramones playing ska. Every song was done in the ‘one, two, three go’ style that the Ramones made so famous during their career. However, Faintest Idea did it with horns. To that point, I’ve never heard such a tight brass section, fair dues to them. Of course, I can’t take anything away from the guitar, bass (also lead singer) and drums either and together they fused ska and punk very well. Songs I remember the most were “Bull in a China Shop” and “Youth” but all of the songs were played well and I was very much impressed.

Faintest Idea on stage

After a brief intermission where the keg of Road Crew ran dry, headliners Planet Smashers from Quebec, Canada took the stage. My first impression was that there was a Madness influence here. Not a surprise because many put forward the argument that Madness were one of the originators of ska. Madness or not, Planet Smashers stood well enough on their own. Plus, this band has a great sense of humour while on stage. Guitarist/lead singer Matt Collyer knew how to engage the crowd with his banter. However, it was definitely the music that was the main attraction. Not often does one get to see bands with two very tight brass sections on the same night but that’s what I saw. Songs that I remember most were “Life of the Party” and my personal favourite, “Super Orgy Porno Party.” You got to believe that anyone who comes out with a song with a title like that has to be very good and they were.

Planet Smashers

And from the other side

I left Trillians with a much better knowledge of ska music then I had two and a half hours earlier and I’m a much better person for it. But the night didn’t end there. Not feeling tired and knowing the Mrs 80sMetalman and our two granddaughters were asleep, I decided to hit another pub I knew was open later. I can’t remember the exact name, I had too many pints by then. While I was inside, both bands turned up and so I ended up drinking with them. That’s something that doesn’t happen to me every day. The members of both bands were great people and that rounded off a fantastic night.

Meeting up after hours

Next post: Toto- Isolation

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1502488199&sr=8-7&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1984: U2- The Unforgettable Fire

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 25, 2017 by 80smetalman

Unlike the Greg Kihn Band, after their successful 1983 album, “War,” followed by a successful live album, U2 didn’t vanish into obscurity. Maybe Greg Kihn should have released a live album. That’s all hindsight anyway. What is history is the fact that U2 followed up their success with the really cool album, “The Unforgettable Fire.”

I don’t think I’ve said this in previous posts about U2 but the one thing their music definitely did was appeal to Metalhead and Duranie alike. For those who don’t know, a Duranie is someone who was into Duran Duran and similar type music. Those people listened to U2 and did not feel that they were going too weird in their music tastes while Metalheads could do the same without any feeling of selling out and going mainstream. “The Unforgettable Fire” album continues this trend for the band as both of those groups bought this album up.

Reading the history behind the making of the album, the band has said that they were trying to steer a different direction with it as they didn’t want to be labeled as another arena rock band. Let me be totally honest here, I have never heard anything different in the sound of “The Unforgettable Fire” than what they had accomplished with their previous three studio albums. What U2 had been able to do very well with all four of their albums to date was make different sounding songs without having to change their overall style. I have always believed it was a case of more of this with the fourth album.

With “The Unforgettable Fire” the hits come out straight away, probably because I heard the first single, “Pride in the Name of Love” on the radio before I bought the album. History states that the single was released first so that’s probably why. Still, it ranks up their among my favourite U2 songs of all time. The second single, “Bad” is the second single released and that stands out as well while at the same time, you know it’s a good U2 song. I could never fathom why the title track never charted in North America as it’s a really cool track as well. If anything, I would rate it above “Bad.” But if you know me by now, albums aren’t about the singles on them and there has to be some hidden gem in the album. For me, that track is “Wire.” If I had my way, that would have been released as a single. I like the little guitar lick The Edge uses at the beginning before it goes into a good rocking song. In fact, The Edge shows his guitar skills all through the song. Actually, “Indian Summer Sky” is a really good song and that’s what you need for a good album.

The other thing which definitely appealed to me back in 1984 was U2’s use of politics in their music. This continues with this album, especially as two songs are dedicated to the late Martin Luther King Jr, one of them being the first single. “Bad” was about heroin addiction and the idea for the title track came when the band was visiting the war museum in Hiroshima, Japan. Put these things in with the music on the album and it’s no wonder why I liked it so much.

Track Listing:

  1. A Sort of Homecoming
  2. Pride in the Name of Love
  3. Wire
  4. The Unforgettable Fire
  5. Promenade
  6. 4th of July
  7. Bad
  8. Indian Summer Sky
  9. Elvis Presley and America
  10. MLK

U2

Bono- lead vocals,

The Edge- guitars, keyboards, backing vocals

Adam Clayton- bass

Larry Mullen Jr- drums

New feature: Seeing what has been done on other blogs and now that I know that I don’t have to pay WordPress ridiculous amounts of money for the privilege, with every album post, I will include a track from said album. Typical me, last on the bandwagon. In this case, since I have sung the praises of the track “Wire,” it will be featured here.

Heavy metal was going strong in 1984, so was U2. This album is clear evidence of that fact.

Next post: Steve Perry- Street Talk

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 Cars- Heartbeat City

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

Way back in the early days, when I posted about The Cars’ 1978 self titled debut album, Stone from Metalodyssey commented that The Cars were ahead of their time. I totally agree with this and will add to it by stating that they continued to be ahead of their time with their albums from the early 1980s. However, by 1984 time had caught up with them and what they were doing wasn’t so advanced. It seemed that many bands were influenced by them and were copying what they were doing. But no matter what other bands were trying to do, there will only be one band called The Cars and to paraphrase a quote at the time by former WWE manager, Lou Albano, they were “often imitated but never duplicated.” Proof in the pudding is their 1984 album, “Heartbeat City.”

‘Captain’ Lou Albano

What is so great about this album is while others may have been trying to copy The Cars, they didn’t do anything different from what they had done before. Yet, “Heartbeat City” still manages to sound fresh. Some will point to the biggest hit from the album, “Drive” and say that they did change. A few misguided individuals, who know not this band, have labelled them one hit wonders, WTF? My rebuttal comes with my favourite track on the album, “You Might Think” which was also a top ten hit for the band. For me to like a song that makes it into the top ten singles chart is saying something.

“Heartbeat City” is another successful marriage of hard rock and more synthesizer oriented sounds of the early 1980s performed by the band. A great example is the hidden gem that is “Stranger Eyes.” That is a song which is a foundation for the union I have just described. Then there are other tracks, some of them were even released as singles like “Magic” and “It’s Not the Night.” I do love Greg Hawkes keyboard work on the latter of the two although the I like the more hard rock on the former. Am I being wishy washy? Most probably but when an album can be so diversified and still catch and hold my attention, then it must be said that The Cars did something very right on this album.

Track Listing:

  1. Hello Again
  2. It’s Not the Night
  3. Magic
  4. Drive
  5. Stranger Eyes
  6. You Might Think
  7. I’s Not the Night
  8. Why Can’t I Have You
  9. I Refuse
  10. Heartbeat City

The Cars

Ric Ocasek- rhythm guitar, lead and backing vocals

Ben Orr- bass, backing vocals, lead vocals on tracks 4, 5 and 7

Elliot Easton- lead guitar, backing vocals

Greg Hawkes- keyboards, backing vocals

David Robinson- drums, percussion

Time might have caught up with The Cars but that didn’t stop them from doing what they did best and putting out a great album in “Heartbeat City.” Some have said that this was their best album, though I’ve always been partial to their first. However, I wouldn’t enter into any debate about it.

Next post: J Geils Band- You’re Gettin’ Even While I’m Gettin’ Odd

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