Archive for Quarterflash

Great Rock Albums of 1983: Quarterflash- Take Another Picture

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 23, 2016 by 80smetalman

Take_Another_Picture_(album)

Been filled with paranoia the past few days, worried that my credibility as a metalhead has been destroyed for posting the Bonnie Tyler album. Let’s just say that in 1983, while I had declared myself to be a total metalhead, there was enough non metal material around that I liked. Most of which, I have already posted about and though I didn’t miss anything from not buying Bonnie’s “Faster Than the Speed of Night” it wasn’t that bad. Besides, there are a ton of metal albums from this year waiting to be posted.

For those who have been following me for a while, you might remember that during my tour of 1981, I stated that the band Quarterflash were one hit wonders in said year for their enormous hit, “Harden My Heart.” Nothing else they ever recorded reached my attention nor do I remember hearing anything played on the radio. Note: Commercial radio didn’t completely suck in 1983. Like the last three albums I have visited, someone suggested I write about Quarterflash’s 1983 album, “Take Another Picture.” So, thanks to Youtube, I have given it a couple of listens and can post about it. Before I write anymore, given a choice, I would have bought this album before the Bonnie Tyler one.

With “Take Another Picture,” Quarterflash don’t seem to veer very far from the formula that made them big with their self titled debut album. Quite a few of the songs remind me of “Harden My Heart” and that’s not a bad thing. Quoting an article I read about the band in 1982, there is a smoky jazz feel to many of the songs on the album and it fits in nicely to the rockier edge they have as well. The combination is nicely done and the best example is the track “Nowhere Left to Hide. “Take Me To Heart,” and the title track and follow the jazz/rock formula much more and I do get the feeling that I have heard those to songs somewhere before. On the other hand, “Shakin’ the Jinx” and “One More Round to Go” are good rock tunes with the latter song having a cool guitar solo. The rest of the tracks fall somewhere in line between those two points with “Make It Shine being the median. It could have easily be a rock single with its anthem feel. So why wasn’t it released as one?

When I posted about Quarterflash on the 1981 tour, I mentioned that back then, many people identified lead singer Rindy Ross as the next Pat Benatar. She looks a little like Pat and her voice sounds similar and she plays the saxophone as well. However, there is only one Pat Benatar so I chose to point out that Rindy was talented musician in her own right.

Track Listing:

  1. Take Me to Heart
  2. Take Another Picture
  3. Shane
  4. Eye to Eye
  5. It Don’t Move Me
  6. Shakin’ the Jinx
  7. Make It Shine
  8. One More Round to Go
  9. Nowhere Left to Hide
  10. It All Becomes Clear
Quarterflash

Quarterflash

Rindy Ross- vocals, saxophone

Marv Ross- guitars

Jack Charles- guitars

Rick DiGionallardo- keyboards

Rich Gooch- bass

Brain David Willis- drums, percussion

I’m surprised “Take Another Picture” by Quarterflash managed to escape my attention. Possibly because they were bigger in the Northwest than in the Northeast. I don’t know. What I do know is that while it is an enjoyable album, it’s not one I would have completely rocked out to. None of the tracks, with the possible exception of number 9, have me singing them long after they are finished. Maybe that was down to me turning into such a metalhead at the time.

Next post: Don Felder- Airborne

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

 

 

 

 

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Great Soundtracks of 1982: Fast Times at Ridgemont High

Posted in 1980s, films, Humour, Music, Rock, soundtracks, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 11, 2015 by 80smetalman

220px-Fasttimesatridgemonthighsoundtrack

Before I get started, let me be perfectly blunt here. I thought the movie “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” sucked. Not as much as my friend though because while I was willing to endure it to the end, he couldn’t take it and suggested we leave. I didn’t debate it. I know that it has been preserved on account of its apparent tackling of teen issues at the time. That may have been true but they could have made a better film to deliver the message. The only positive I found about the film was the stoner character played by Sean Penn, he was quite amusing.

Sean Penn in the film

Sean Penn in the film

Fortunately, a sucky film doesn’t mean that the soundtrack is going to be as bad. Any soundtrack that has such artists as Billy Squier, Don Felder, Don Henley, Joe Walsh and Sammy Hagar has to be good. My hypothesis is that when deciding what songs to use on the soundtrack, someone suggested just how kick ass the soundtrack to “Heavy Metal” was so they brought in some of the same artists on “Fast Times.” Again, Sammy Hagar does the title cut and it’s good although I wouldn’t put it at the same level as the other film I mentioned here. It’s the same with Felder’s track. It’s good but it doesn’t measure up to “Heavy Metal Takin’ a Ride.” Then again, that is a very tough song to measure up to. On the other hand, I do prefer the offering from Stevie Nicks on this soundtrack and I really liked her song on “Heavy Metal.” Plus there are good contributions from the likes of Joe Walsh, Don Henley and Billy Squier as well.

Billy Squier

Billy Squier  

Sammy Hagar

Sammy Hagar

Stevie Nicks

Stevie Nicks

joewalsh

Another comparison with “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” and “Heavy Metal” is the fact that there are some good songs from unknown artists. The Rayvins “Raised on Radio” is a very pleasing hard rock track and it’s made me curious to hear what else they might have to offer. The same can be said for the songs by Graham Nash and Gerrard McMahon. Both deliver some decent rock here. However, they’re not the only ones. Jimmy Buffet and Poco both known more for their country rock sound go down a definite rockier route with the songs on this soundtrack. But the biggest surprise is from Donna Summer! The proclaimed Queen of Disco from the late 70s sings a blinder of a rock song on the soundtrack and all I can say is, “I’m impressed.”

Track Listing:

1. Jackson Browne- Somebody’s Baby

2. Joe Walsh- Waffle Stomp

3. Don Henley- Love Rules

4. Louise Goffin- Uptown Boys

5. Timothy B Schmit- So Much in Love

6. The Rayvins- Raised on Radio

7. Gerard McMahon- The Look In Your Eyes

8. The Go Go’s- Speeding

9. Don’t be Lonely- Quarterflash

10. Don Felder- Never Surrender

11. Billy Squier- Fast Times (The Best Years of Our Lives)

12. Sammy Hagar- Fast Times at Ridgemont High

13. Jimmy Buffet- I Don’t Know (Spicoli’s Theme)

14. Graham Nash- Love is the Reason

15. Poco- I’ll Leave it Up to You

16. Donna Summer- Highway Runner

17. Steve Nicks- Sleeping Angel

18. Palmer/Joist- She’s My Baby (And She’s Out of Control)

19. Oingo Boingo- Goodbye Goodbye

What can’t be faulted is that there is a great collection of songs here by some of the best artists who were around at the time. Many of whom are still going. What they did was come together to make a really cool soundtrack which leaves me thinking, “Shame about the movie.”

Next post: Joan Jett and the Blackhearts- I Love Rock and Roll

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 One Hit Wonders of 1981

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Humour, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 11, 2014 by 80smetalman

Originally, this post was going to be a promotion for an unsigned band whose demo has happened to come into my possession. When I told the band I was going to write about them, they were going to send me a picture of themselves but since that hasn’t happened yet, I’m afraid it will have to wait till next time. So instead I will post about the one hit wonders that graced us in 1981.

Joe Dolce

Joe Dolce

NO this isn’t a wind up! I am including “Shaddap You Face” by Joe Dolce among the one hit wonders. Yes, the song was a total wind up but Mr Dolce was probably laughing all the way to the bank. Besides, I have a more mercenary reason for putting it here. See, my ex wife was a big fan of Ultravox back in the 80s and in 1981, their hit “Vienna” was destined for the number in the UK charts. However, this strange song by Joe came along and usurped the top spot. My ex has never forgiven him for that and although we’re on amicable terms now,  the thought does bring a sinister smile to my face.

pacman

This might seem a wind up too but if you were around in 1981, you will remember Pac Man. This was the game to play at video arcades and it caught on so much that a group named Buckner and Garcia made a song about it. “Pac Man Fever” was very cheesy to say the least, the lyrics prove that. So, why am I including it here? The answer is that, “Pac Man Fever” gets my vote for being the worst song with a cool guitar solo. That’s the only reason why I liked it. After all, I never played Pac Man that much; instead I was getting my initials down on the top ten lists on Bezerk.

Bezerk

Bezerk

Climax Blues Band

Climax Blues Band

My British readers are now jumping up and down in sheer anger for calling the Climax Blues Band one hit wonders. I know they had much more success in the UK and were still going strong ten years after their only US hit “I Love You” was in the charts. Back in 1991-2, I used to work at a factory down the road from the famous Royal Standard pub in Walthamstow, London and I would see the band posted on the board outside for a Saturday night gig on several occasions. But, “I Love You” was the only song I would remember them for, especially as it’s one I can associate with yet another dancer at The Driftwood. I can never remember her name though.

Quarterflash

Quarterflash

Now it’s the turn of American readers to blow a gasket, especially those in the Northwest but I have always considered Quarterflash to be one hit wonders. After a little research, I saw that they had some other hits but that was in early 1982 and I was on my second tour overseas. Other songs didn’t make it across the Atlantic and like the Rolling Stones’ “Waiting on a Friend,” Quarterflash’s greatest hit, “Harden My Heart” was also blasting out of juke boxes in cafes in Toulon, France. This is the best of the songs I have mentioned so far, it is a true rock song. Back then, some were calling lead singer Rindy Ross, the next Pat Benatar. I wouldn’t go that far but Ross did have an excellent voice.

Kim Carnes

Kim Carnes

Always sounding like she had a frog in her throat, Kim Carnes dominated the US and other countries’ singles charts with her most famous hit, “Bette Davis Eyes.” Like Quarterflash and the Climax Blues Band, there is much scope for debate as whether or not she should be a one hit wonder. She has many song writing credits to her name including songs for David Cassidy, Kenny Rogers and Barbra Streisand, I know not real rockers. That’s why I was glad that this song tended to be slightly more rock.

We can sum up that the songs from one hit wonders in 1981 went from the ridiculous to the serious. Two of the ones mentioned here evoke the John McEnroe, “You can’t be serious” approach but the the ones that were are definitely good songs in their own right.

Next post: Hopefully- Another Band That Should be Signed

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

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