Archive for punk

Great Rock Albums of 1983: Billy Idol

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on February 4, 2016 by 80smetalman

bi

I didn’t think I was ever going to post about this album. Twice it was up for next post but other things beyond my control meant that I needed to post about other albums. At least because of the delay, no one either picked up on my mistake or was too diplomatic to bust my chops over it. When I first announced that the 1983 album from “Billy Idol” was going to be visited, I put the album down as “White Wedding.” Ah, duh, I should have known better. The album is actually self titled with “White Wedding” being the song Billy is best known for. My mistake now takes away any right of mine to bust those who call Boston’s classic self titled album, “More Than a Feeling.” Okay, I now will stop feeling dumb.

“White Wedding” was the song that got my attention. When I first heard the song in May of 1983, I thought this song was really cool. There was that catchy riff with the guitar that made the song for me. Unfortunately, I can’t recreate it in print but those who’ve heard the song will know what I am talking about. I also liked this punk image, which was something the Marine Corps really hated and with less than two months to go in my enlistment, it was one way I could stick the finger up at them.

The already mentioned song turned my head to Idol but I have to say that I was and still am rather impressed with the debut album. “Hot in the City” is the other single and its not bad but I much prefer “White Wedding,” although both songs show that he does have a rather unique voice. Oh yes and I apologise for going off track for a moment but the version of this album I am speaking about is the 1983 re-issue and not the 1982 version. The reason why is so I can include the additional track on the album, which was released as a single later that year, “Dancing With Myself.” I do like that song too.

“Billy Idol” is a good hard rock album and it’s no surprise that, with his image, so many people branded it punk. I don’t give a flying fart (I’m going to use that expression a lot now because it impressed mikeledano) if it is punk, it’s a good album. Other tracks that definitely impressed me are “Dead on Arrival” and “Hole in the Wall” and “Nobody’s Business” is pretty good too.

Track Listing

  1. Come On, Come On
  2. White Wedding
  3. Hot in the City
  4. Dead on Arrival
  5. Nobody’s Business
  6. Love Calling
  7. Hole in the Wall
  8. Shooting Stars
  9. It’s So Cruel
  10. Congo Man
  11. Dancing With Myself
Billy Idol

Billy Idol

Billy Idol- vocals, guitar

Steve Stevens- guitar

Phil Feit- bass

Steve Missal- drums

In 1983, Billy Idol gave me the different thing I was looking for because with only a few weeks left in the service, I was looking forward to becoming an individual again. This album helped provide that for me.

Next post: Thomas Dolby- The Golden Age of the Wireless

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 1983: U2- War

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 17, 2016 by 80smetalman

220px-U2_War_album_cover

My original intention was to post U2’s breakthrough album “War” in succession with Todd Rundgren and Bryan Adams. However, with the death of David Bowie, I felt the need to abandon that intention in order to pay proper homage to a true rock icon. The idea for my original intention came about because back in 1983, there was a chance to see Todd Rundgren, U2 and Bryan Adams together. They were playing a concert in Charlotte, North Carolina and the local radio station in Jacksonville, where I was stationed, was running a bus to it. I would have loved to have gone but unfortunately, the Marine Corps stuck me on duty that day so I couldn’t. It’s no wonder why I didn’t re-enlist.

Like I said a second again, u2’s third album, “War” was the album where they finally got the attention they deserved in the US. In 1983 and I’ve probably said this before, commercial radio didn’t totally suck, so when the monster hits, “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and “New Year’s Day,” blew me away when they got played, I naturally had to get a hold of the album. Especially, having heard their first two albums, “Boy” and “October.” U2 was one of those bands where I could tell the johnny come lately’s that I was listening to them before they got famous.

What I have always liked about War is that, at least in my ears, it’s not much different to their first two albums. They didn’t have to change to get accepted, (something they would forget in the years to follow.) U2 brought a different sound to the table which many people liked when they got to hear it. The fascinating thing about “War” is that the album has been enjoyed by both metalheads and Duranies (people who worshiped Duran Duran) alike. In fact, they have often been labelled ‘punk’ mainly because there was no other category in which to put them.

So many great things have been said about the “War” album, I would just be repeating them and even now, I find it difficult to find my own words. I know I just really like this album. The two singles already mentioned are my joint second favourite U2 songs of all time, “I Will Follow” takes the top slot. However, I was more than slightly disappointed when they didn’t play the third single from the album, “Two Hearts Beat as One” when I finally got to see them live in 1985. While all of the songs are good, I would have to pick “Surrender” as my favourite of the lesser known songs on “War.”

Track Listing:

  1. Sunday Bloody Sunday
  2. Seconds
  3. New Year’s Day
  4. Like a Song
  5. Drowning Man
  6. The Refugee
  7. Two Hearts Beat as One
  8. Red Light
  9. Surrender
  10. 40
U2

U2

Bono- lead vocals, additional guitar

The Edge- guitars, piano, backing vocals, lead vocal on “Seconds”

Adam Clayton- bass

Larry Mullen Jr- drums

In 1983, U2 finally broke into the big time with a fantastic album “War.” This album was a milestone for the band and fans like me in so many ways. In fact, often times I think that the band should go back and listen to this album and remember what got them to where they are.

Next post: Supertramp- Famous Last Words

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

 

 

R.I.P. Lemmy

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Death, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 29, 2015 by 80smetalman
Lemmy

Lemmy

My wife broke the sad news to me this morning and it’s already all over Facebook. Last night, heavy metal suffered its most tragic loss since Ronnie James Dio with the passing of Motorhead bassist and singer Lemmy Kilmister, who died of cancer at his home in Los Angeles.

Ace_of_Spades

It would simply be a case of preaching to the choir if I start spouting how valuable Lemmy was to heavy metal. He defined a whole new style of bass playing and had a voice that you will never forget. But Lemmy was more than just some stereotypical metal musician. Many of his songs spoke about history, his disdain for authority and even wasn’t afraid to take on the issue of child abuse, (Daddy Don’t Kiss Me.) Furthermore and this is a given, he was a major architect behind the creation of thrash metal. Motorhead were certainly pioneers in that field.

My main regret is that I don’t paint a good picture of him in “Rock and Roll Children.” See, the night I saw Motorhead live in New York, he spent the entire night complaining about the sound and to some, he came across as a bit of an asshole. My reaction to his complaints was that he sounded fine to me, so he should shut up and play. Fortunately, I would see him again at a later date and he had no complaints about the sound, Motorhead just beat your ears to death like they always do. So, I hope he forgives me for this because right now, Lemmy joins Ronnie and so many of the other great musicians who are no longer with us and are jamming away together in a better place.

R.I.P. Lemmy

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1983: Madness- The Rise and Fall

Posted in 1980s, Humour, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 3, 2015 by 80smetalman

Madnesstheriseandfall

Madness are generally considered to be one hit wonders in the US. The song, “Our House,” from this album, got a good amount of airplay on radio and MTV. I always laughed at the part in the video where they are all outside and the mother comes parachuting down. While the song didn’t get me rocking, I still found it quite amusing and I liked it for its different sound. But I have to admit that Madness got sort of pushed to one side after more music that typified me came out. Though I did hear and like the song, “One Step Beyond,” which is not on the album “The Rise and Fall.” Madness would gain more of my attention a few years later when I came to their home country. It also happens that my first wife was a fan of them so I got to appreciate their material more fully.

Video for Our House

Video for Our House

As I journey back more into 1983, I see that while it was the year that heavy metal burst onto the scene in flamboyant style, it was a good year for more humourous music. Maybe the music industry finally opened up and got a funny bone in this year. As I listen to “The Rise and Fall,” I sense that there is a bit of fun to it. Madness play with of tongue in cheek humour. Even in their more serious songs like “Blue Skinned Beast,” which is a political dig at Margaret Thatcher’s handling of the Falklands Conflict, does it completely go away. However, it is definitely present in the single, as well as tracks like “Sunday Morning” and the closer “Madness (Is All In the Mind.)”

Humour aside, I find that Madness are all very good musicians. Like I said, their sound is definitely unique now as it was back in 1983. I find it hard to label and since I don’t really like to pigeon hole things to much, I’ll just say it’s unique. Other standout tracks on the album for me are “Mr Speaker Gets the Word” and “New Dehli.”

Track Listing:

  1. Rise and Fall
  2. Tomorrow’s (Just Another Day)
  3. Blue Skinned Beast
  4. Primrose Hill
  5. Mr Speaker (Gets the Word
  6. Sunday Morning
  7. Our House
  8. Tiptoes
  9. New Delhi
  10. That Face
  11. Calling Cards
  12. Are You Coming (With Me)
  13. Madness (Is All in the Mind)
Madness

Madness

Suggs- vocals

Mike Barson- keyboards, harmonica

Chris Foreman- guitar

Lee Thompson- saxophone

Daniel Woodgate- drums

Mark Bedford- bass

Chas Smash- trumpet, backing vocals, lead vocal on “Madness (Is All in the Mind)”

They may be considered one hit wonders in the US but I know they were more than that in the UK. Either way, they definitely got the notice from a lot of people, myself included in 1983. Their unique sound helped a lot.

Next post: Frank Zappa- The Man From Utopia

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: The Plasmatics- Coup d’Etat

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 19, 2015 by 80smetalman

220px-CoupdEtat

Here is the last of the great metal albums which came out in 1982 but it didn’t come to my attention until the early months of 1983 due to my being posted in Japan at the time. Like Billy Squier’s “Emotions in Motion” album, “Coup d’Etat” by the Plasmatics was an album that I have neglected for quite a long time. Saying that, I still have fond memories of seeing the video for the single, “The Damned” from this album on the video screens of Sgt Peppers on Okinawa. At this time, music video was still something I was only becoming familiar with, so seeing Wendy O Williams in that outfit while singing away while standing on the school bus as it crashed through walls of television sets was something else. Probably why “The Damned” is my favourite Plasmatics song of all time. It also helps that it’s a great song to begin with.

Wendy driving the school bus in "The Damned."

Wendy driving the school bus in “The Damned.”

For years, I have regarded this band as punk but as I listen to “Coup d’Etat” again after so many years, I firmly believe that the album holds all the classic trademarks of heavy metal. Track after track has some heavy metal hook that grasps my attention and leaves me wondering why I didn’t take notice of it more. First, the album has both a grabbing opener that makes you want to stick around for the rest of it and a closer that seals the belief that this is a great album once it’s over. Of course all the tracks in between keep things running along very nicely. Standout tracks, apart from “The Damned” of course are “No Class,” “Stop” and “Mistress of Taboo.”

Another thing which not only I but probably many others had is the lack of appreciation for the talents of the rest of the band. Yes, Wendy was the main feature of the Plasmatics, both for her looks and her very unique vocals and I have already sung the praises of lead guitarist Ritchie Stotts when I reviewed the “Metal Priestess” album. He’s even better on this album by the way. I submit “Paths of Glory” into evidence. However, nothing should be taken away from the rhythm section of Beech, Romanelli and Tolliver. These guys are definitely tighter on this album and the results prove itself in the music. What this album has done is to look at the entire band in a whole new way and give them the respect they are long overdue.

Track Listing

  1. Put Your Love Into Me
  2. Stop
  3. Rock’ N Roll
  4. Lightning Breaks
  5. No Class
  6. Mistress of Taboo
  7. Country Fairs
  8. Paths of Glory
  9. Just Like on TV
  10. The Damned
  11. Uniformed Guards
The Plasmatics

The Plasmatics

Wendy O Williams- lead vocals

Ritchie Stotts- lead guitar

Wes Beech- rhythm guitar, lead guitar on tracks 2, 9, 5

Junior Romanelli- bass, keyboards

T. C. Tolliver-drums, percussion

I’ve just had a thought, I wonder if the opening track on this album was a response to a song on AC/DC’s “Back in Black” album. Interesting thought, though. What I do know is that this album helped start my 1983 in style and while I may have neglected it for a long time, (fool, me), it gave me a video that has stuck well in my mind for over thirty years.

Next post: Utopia

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Great Metal Albums of 1982: Motorhead- Iron Fist

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 8, 2015 by 80smetalman

220px-Motorhead_Iron_Fist

While Hanoi Rocks may be great to play at a party to kick it up a gear, Motorhead has always gone the more direct attack your eardrums approach. Their 1982 album “Iron Fist” is no different. From the very first song, it is determined to assault your ears and leave you shaking so much that some may think your are having some sort of episode. At least it does that for me. Each time I listened to it over the past few days, I strangely found myself headbanging frantically and looking for a mosh pit.

Unlike “Ace of Spades,” there is no signature track on the album. Each time I thought I found one, the next tracks sounds just as good if not better. Every song is determined to pound you into submission with that typical Motorhead sound. I even tried to put forward the view in my own head that possibly the songs are all too similar. No, there are differences in them, it’s just that fearsome musicianship of Clarke, Lemmy and Taylor that make the songs what they are. If I had to pick the best tracks on “Iron Fist,” I would have to go with “America,” “Shut It Down” and “(Don’t Need) Religion.” The middle of these contains Fast Eddie’s best guitar solo. However, pick any track off this album and I wouldn’t disagree with you that it’s a good one.

Track Listing:

  1. Iron Fist
  2. Heart of Stone
  3. I’m the Doctor
  4. Go to Hell
  5. Loser
  6. Sex Change
  7. America
  8. Shut It Down
  9. Speedfreak
  10. (Don’t Let’em) Grind Ya Down
  11. (Don’t Need) Religion
  12. Bang to Rights
Motorhead

Motorhead

Lemmy Kilmister- bass, lead vocals

Fast Eddie Clarke- guitars

Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor- drums

Lemmy has stated in interviews that “Iron Fist” was bad and inferior to other Motorhead material. Frankly, I don’t see it. To me this just another fine Motorhead album that makes me want to get up and smash a large object through a wall.

Next post: Ted Nugent- Intensity in 10 Cities

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

My Top 15 Albums

Posted in Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 15, 2015 by 80smetalman

Typical me of my school days. I was always forgetting to do assignments which often got me in trouble with teachers. I almost missed the one set by a fellow blogger to list my 15 favourite albums. Looks like I’m just going to make the deadline here so don’t give me a detention. Well here they are:

sod

  1. Stormtroopers of Death- Speak English or Die

stend

2. Suicidal Tendencies

 kdbd

3. Killer Dwarfs- Big Deal

dio

4. Dio- Holy Diver

FreedomAtPointZero

5. Jefferson Starship- Freedom at Point Zero

 OneMoreFromTheRoad_LynyrdSkynyrdalbum

6. Lynyrd Skynyrd- One More From the Road

 imlad

7. Iron Maiden- Live After Death

 paranoidt

8. Black Sabbath- Paranoid

Aerosmith-Toys_in_the_Attic

9. Aerosmith- Toys in the Attic

tsyou

10. Twisted Sister- You Can’t Stop Rock And Roll

dv-ssor

11. Vaughn- Soldiers and Sailors on Riverside

hotdrise

12. Hair of the Dog- Rise

220px-Molly_Hatchet_-_Flirtin'_with_Disaster

13. Molly Hatchet- Flirtin’ With Disaster

nzhotd

14. Nazereth- Hair of the Dog

220px-REO_Speedwagon_-_Nine_Lives

15. REO Speedwagon- Nine Lives

Honourable Mentions

38 Special- Rockin’ Into the Night

Jefferson Starship- Winds of Change

Kreator- Pleasure to Kill

Van Halen- II

Dio- The Last in Line

Twisted Sister- Under the Blade

AC/DC- Back in Black

AC/DC- Highway to Hell

Pink Floyd- Dark Side of the Moon

Blackfoot- Highway Song

Damned Nation- Grand Designs

This is my list respectfully submitted on 15 September, 2015.

Great Rock Albums of 1982: Men At Work- Business as Usual

Posted in 1980s, Humour, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 2, 2015 by 80smetalman

220px-Men_at_Work_-_Business_as_Usual

This is probably the closest I ever came to mainstream commercial rock or pop back in the 1980s. When I first heard the song, “Who Can It Be Now?” I found myself liking it. It was the humourous feel to it, that Men At Work didn’t seem to take themselves too seriously and that’s why I enjoyed the song so much. Furthermore, I remember the radio saying they were from Australia and any country that gives the world the likes of AC/DC, must be a great place for music.

Of course, there is no real comparison between Men At Work and AC/DC. They are two completely different styles of music. Saying that, there are quite a few AC/DC songs that have a great sense of humour, they’re just backed up with some great power chords. Men At Work are more a commercial new wave rock. Many of the songs are just simply catchy tunes and combined with some of the humourous lyrics, makes a rather potent combination.

Like so many albums in 1982, the album “Business As Usual” starts out with the most prominent hit. In this case it’s the already mentioned “Who Can It Be Now?” I can relate better to this song these days as my phone always seems to ring with calls from telemarketers. Fortunately, an answer phone works wonders but I still find myself wanting to sing the title each time it rings. Following next is “I Can See It In Your Eyes,” which has one of those catchy tunes I was talking about. However, that is followed by their second, possibly the first, biggest hit, “Down Under.” This ditty shows off the Australian sense of humour in a big way. There is some very funny lyrics in each verse and like “Who Can It Be Now?,” lead singer Colin Hay has a way to make it sound even funnier. What I find amusing though is this seems to be the only song not recorded by Jethro Tull to make such great use of a flute in a rock song.

The next several tracks continue in the sort of vein with “Helpless Automation” being a slight stand out. Then comes the track, “Be Good Johnny,” which brings back some happy memories. My marine buddies and I tried to harmonize with the chorus, of course after many beers. We tried to sing “Be good, be good” and then come in with the high pitched “Johnny.” Let’s just say I hope no one ever recorded us as that would be a good blackmail tool. “Touching the Untouchables” is also a good song and after “Catch a Star” is the closer, “Down By the Sea.” It’s not a bad song but goes on for too long in my opinion making it the one chink in the album’s armour.

Track Listing;

1. Who Can It Be Now?

2. I Can See It In Your Eyes

3. Down Under

4. Underground

5. Helpless Automation

6. People Just Love to Play With Words

7. Be Good, Johnny

8. Touching the Untouchables

9. Catch a Star

10. Down By the Sea

Men At Work

Men At Work

Greg Ham- flute, keyboards, saxophone, backing vocals, lead vocal on track 5

Colin Hay- lead vocals, guitar

John Rees- bass, backing vocals

Jerry Speiser- drums, backing vocals

Ron Strykert- guitar, backing vocals, lead vocal on track 11

Men At Work proved that Australia weren’t a one band country, even if that one band was AC/DC. “Business As Usual” is a catchy album with a great sense of humour and it easy to see why it went to number one in so many countries.

Next post: Frank Zappa- Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch

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 Shops in London

 

 

Great Punk Albums of 1982: Dead Kennedys- Plastic Surgery Disasters

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 18, 2015 by 80smetalman

220px-Dead_Kennedys_-_Plastic_Surgery_Disasters_cover

Since I have said that in the early 1980s, punk had relocated from Great Britain to the West Coast of the USA, I thought it best to put forward evidence of this fact. I first learned this fact in 1982 when I read an article about it in Playboy Magazine. Hey, I was 20, in the marines and I was on a ship and it had been a couple of weeks since the last port call. With the boredom of ship life, you can start doing anything to keep your mind active like actually reading the articles in such magazines. One particular issue ran an article on how punk had done the above and was alive and well on the West Coast.

If I can point to anyone band that convinced me of that fact, it would have to be the Dead Kennedys. For me, this band was the essence of punk in the 1980s although it would be a couple more years until I heard their 1982 offering, “Plastic Surgery Disasters.” This album simply screams punk and what is even better, it is nearly thirty minutes longer than their EP from 1981, “In God We Trust Inc.” “Plastic Surgery Disasters” is loud, brash and in your face, just what I want from a punk album. While, I didn’t fully appreciate it back then, many of the songs have strong social and political commentary. Even the ones that don’t ring of reality. I think most of us can identify with the lyrics in “Trust Your Mechanic,” especially if you have ever been ripped off by one. The chorus in “Bleed For Me” is still ringing in my ears and I found “Winnebago Warrior” amusing. Political commentary really hits home with a dash of common sense in “Riot,” with the lyrics:

“Tomorrow we’ll be homeless but we’re having fun tonight.”

One thing this album highlights for me is the guitar talents of East Bay Ray. True, he doesn’t do any Van Halen solos, not even close. Buy he has a playing style that does sound unique or at the very least, ahead of its time. The songs where this is most present are “Government Flu,” “Buzzbomb” and “Dead End” but he shines throughout the rest of the album as well. If you never experienced early 80s American punk, then this album or the Dead Kennedys’ debut album, “Fresh Fruit for Rotten Vegetables” is definitely the best place to start.

Track Listing:

1. Government Flu

2. Terminal Preppie

3. Trust Your Mechanic

4. Well Paid Scientist

5. Buzzbomb

6. Forest Fire

7. Halloween

8. Winnebago Warrior

9. Riot

10. Bleed For Me

11. I Am the Owl

12. Dead End

13. Moon Over Marin

Dead Kennedys

Dead Kennedys

Jello Biafra- vocals

East Bay Ray- guitars

Klaus Floride- bass, clarinet, backing vocals

D.H. Peligro- drums

In 1983, there would be some bands who would become more political with their lyrics. Some of those would even try to call themselves punk. However, they wouldn’t come close to doing it the way that the Dead Kennedys did it with albums like “Plastic Surgery Disasters.”

Next post: Cheap Trick- One on One

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 1982: The Clash- Combat Rock

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 15, 2015 by 80smetalman

220px-The_Clash_-_Combat_Rock

Before I launch into the most successful album from The Clash, I must also add my two penneth about AC/DC at the grammys last week. I have enjoyed reading some of the accounts of their performance on the show from some of my fellow bloggers and to all I say, “Well done!” However, I have also read Britain’s leading tabloid newspaper, The Sun’s account of the grammys. They mentioned Kanye West, Madonna and even Lady GaGa with lost of glossy pictures. I had a skim read through it and there was no mention of AC/DC’s performance nor were there any pictures. This adds further proof the my supposition that The Sun newspaper is anti heavy metal.

Here's a piccy of AC/DC at the grammys

Here’s a piccy of AC/DC at the grammys

Now a quick recap on history of the time. By the early 1980s, punk had relocated from Britain to the west coast of the US. Many of the famous punk bands from the late 1970s had either disbanded or as in the case of The Jam, gone for a more mainstream sound. Read my visit of “The Gift” for further insight. Saying that, The Clash failed to pick up the memo on this because the 1982 album “Combat Rock” is not a total abandonment from the punk sound that made The Clash who they were. I’ll be the first to say that they probably weren’t as angry as they were when they put out “London Calling” there is a lot to say that they weren’t ready for the Top 40 either.

“Combat Rock” starts out as brash as any of The Clash’s earlier albums with a great opener, “Know Your Rights” and a great follow on with “Car Jamming.” Then there is my all time favourite Clash song, “Should I Stay or Should I Go,” which carries aggressive guitar chords that would impress most metalheads. Just thinking about it makes me want to seek out the nearest mosh pit. The next single “Rock the Casbah” comes next. What is great about this song is that while it still has that aggressive Clash style, the lyrics are politically satirical that some might not expect. Furthermore, a piano is added and that too doesn’t take away from the hard punk rock sound. After the next track, “Red Angel Dragnet,” “Combat Rock” seems to slide a bit with its hard rock aggression. What there is, however, is some more politics and satire, which makes me think that The Clash weren’t angry anymore, just a bit more skeptical and wanted to take the piss out of everything. “Inoculated City” goes back to the more angrier days but for me, “Combat Rock” lets itself down with an almost ballad like closer, “Death Is a Star.” Sure, that might work on a progressive rock album but to me it was rather unnecessary. Take that track away and you can see why this album was The Clash’s most successful album.

Track Listing:

1. Know Your Rights

2. Car Jamming

3. Should I Stay or Should I Go

4. Rock The Casbah

5. Red Angel Dragnet

6. Straight to Hell

7. Overpowered by Funk

8. Atom Tan

9. Sean Flynn

10. Ghetto Defendant

11. Inoculated City

12. Death is a Star

The Clash

The Clash

Joe Strummer- lead vocals, guitar, harmonica

Mick Jones-  guitar, vocals

Paul Simonon- bass, vocals

Topper Headon- drums, piano

What “Combat Rock” proved to me was that punk hadn’t completely left England in 1982. The Clash were able to put out a top album without totally forgetting where they came from.

Next post: Dead Kennedys- Plastic Surgery Disasters

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