Archive for Ride The Lightning

Great Metal Albums of 1984: Metallica- Ride the Lightning

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 22, 2018 by 80smetalman

I have said many times throughout the journey through 1984, it was the golden year of the golden decade for heavy metal. Many metal bands got mainstream exposure on radio and MTV. Not only that, the exposure gave many metalheads a look into bands that were up and coming or just out of the limelight. One of these up and coming bands was Metallica with their second album, “Ride the Lightning.”

Thinking back to that year, I don’t ever recall Metallica getting any airplay on the radio or MTV. As I listen to the album, I have to conclude that while mainstream media gave many metal bands some great exposure, I don’t think they were quite ready for a band like Metallica, even if metalheads were. After spending the year listening to all the great bands, Metallica was something different but interesting. It definitely had my attention. When I heard this album, I was blown away by the sheer power and hunger of this band.

While their debut album, “Kill’Em All,” just wants to pound the crap out of you, “Ride the Lightning” does offer some, I stress some, melodic moments. One gets that impression on the opening notes of the first track, “Fight Fire With Fire,” because it starts out with a full acoustic intro. However, it goes right into some very hard chords which lasts for three songs. In fact, all the times I’ve listened to the album, I seem to miss where “Fight Fire With Fire” ends and the title track begins. The comes the great “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” a loud pounding but at the same time rhythmic tune. I really like this track but I was disappointed when they played it at Donington 1987. It just didn’t grab me the way that it always does on vinyl.

Afterwards comes what I mean about melodic moments, my favourite track on the album, “Fade to Black.” The first half of this song is a near power ballad and while it would be another seven years before we got to hear their most famous ballad, “Nothing Else Matters,” I do hear some resemblances on “Fade to Black.” But it doesn’t stay melodic as the second half of the song goes back to more traditional Metallica soundings. An added bonus is the way that Kirk Hamett rips his guitar solo at the end.

With “Trapped Under Ice” and “Escape,” you get more great Metallica mashing and like the first two songs on the album, you have to listen carefully or you’ll miss where the one ends and the other begins. Then, if you thought your eardrums might get some relief, you’d would be sorely disappointed because “Creeping Death” comes along to kick your ass. This is a power song only slowing down slightly to deliver a more melodic chorus but then goes back to ear bashing. “Creeping Death” is decidedly my second favourite track on “Ride the Lightning.” It may not have the melodic approach of my number one but it lets you know it’s there and says you will like this song. Kirk’s solo on here is very cool too. The album ends with the very interesting instrumental “The Call of Ktulu.” All in all, this is a fantastic album and it reminds me of when Metallica were hard and hungry. The music on “Ride the Lightning” bears witness.

Track Listing:

  1. Fight Fire With Fire
  2. Ride the Lightning
  3. For Whom the Bell Tolls
  4. Fade to Black
  5. Trapped Under Ice
  6. Escape
  7. Creeping Death
  8. The Call of Ktulu

Metallica

James Hetfield- lead vocals, rhythm guitar

Kirk Hammett- lead guitar

Cliff Burton- bass

Lars Ulrich- drums, backing vocals on “Ride the Lightning”

In the opening pages of “Rock and Roll Children,” while the main characters are driving to the first concert in the book, one of them introduces the others to a new band called Metallica. It was the “Kill’Em All” album. Yes, back then, they were still making their way in the world and “Ride the Lightning” provided a springboard that would help launch them to greater things.

On another note, this album has been labelled thrash and speed metal. These were terms which I wouldn’t hear for another year. I just considered Metallica great metal at the time. Furthermore, this trip down memory lane makes me sad that I missed the Metallica, WASP and Armoured Saint show. That must have been fantastic.

Next post: Anthrax- Fistful of Metal

To get Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://book-fm.cf/print/free-download-rock-and-roll-children-by-michael-d-lefevre-pdf.html

 

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Great Metal Albums of 1984: WASP

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 17, 2018 by 80smetalman

At this moment, I’m kicking myself for my lack of foresight in these last few posts. Knowing I would be posting about Black Emerald, I should have waited until after my posts about them to visit the Armoured Saint album. This would have made my links to this debut album from WASP and the “Ride the Lightning” album from Metallica more cohesive. Why am I obsessing about this? You may be asking yourself. Well that’s because back in 1984, Metallica, WASP and Armoured Saint toured the US together. While I didn’t see this package, something I duly regret, I heard some amazing accounts of the shows and that’s why I wanted to post the 1984 releases from these three bands in succession. After all, it is part of our metal history.

The second this album was released, it became the subject of much controversy from the American religious right and eventually groups like the PMRC. The first target was the track “Animal (Fuck Like a Beast).” If you bought this album back in 1984, this track wouldn’t have been on it. Reason being was that it caused such an uproar with the zealots that Capital records decided to pull it from the album. Wimps! Therefore, I’m going to rewrite history a little an include it here because it is my all time favourite WASP song.

On the original copy, the album begins with the single “I Want to Be Somebody.” This was the song that actually got a little airplay on the radio and it is good. I don’t know how he does it but Blackie Lawless manages to write tunes with a catchy vibe to it. Fortunately, Blackie and the band don’t veer too far from that formula on the rest of the album. It is certainly there on the follow up track “L.O.V.E. Machine,” although the following track “The Flame” isn’t quite as catchy as the last two but not a bad song in any way. “B.A.D.” has a a very cool opening riff and possibly the best guitar solo on the album.

If offending the religious fanatics wasn’t enough, WASP had to go and have the America right question their patriotism. The track “School Daze” starts with a class full of children reciting the pledge of allegiance, which some attacked them for. However, if they bothered to listen to the lyrics, they would know that it’s about the drudgery of high school and nothing unpatriotic. The pledge of allegiance was there because that’s how the school day begins in America! Not that that ever bothered me because right after the pledge, the song goes into some hard  riffs and it’s possibly the heaviest song on the album.

WASP’s formula ticks things over very nicely on “Hellion.” It’s a cool track but nothing about it stands out from the other songs on the album. Afterwards though, comes the weakest link on the album. Now most of you know, I love a good power ballad and “Sleeping (In the Fire) is a brave attempt at one. However, Blackie doesn’t have the voice for singing such songs. He sounds to strained as if his voice is going to crack at any second. It is redeemed by a great guitar solo.

Three really good songs close out the album. I especially like how “Tormentor” begins with the guitar solo but keeps its pace throughout. It’s my vote for the hidden gem on the album and “The Torture Never Stops” makes the best closer for the album and gets the runner up vote for hidden gem.

Track Listing:

  1. Animal (Fuck Like a Beast)
  2. I Want to Be Somebody
  3. L.O.V.E. Machine
  4. The Flame
  5. B.A.D.
  6. School Daze
  7. Hellion
  8. Sleeping (In the Fire)
  9. On Your Knees
  10. Tormentor
  11. The Torture Never Stops

WASP

Blackie Lawless- lead vocals, bass

Chris Holmes- guitar

Randy Piper- guitar, backing vocals

Tony Richards- drums, backing vocals

The debut album from WASP would be a tool used by the religious right to wage war on rock music all throughout the 1980s. Like KISS, idiots would say that the band’s name was an acronym for We Are Satan’s People and We Are Sexual Perverts. While I am still lmao about this thirty plus years on, I still enjoy what a great album their debut was.

Next post: Metallica- Ride the Lightning

To get Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://book-fm.cf/print/free-download-rock-and-roll-children-by-michael-d-lefevre-pdf.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clarifications and Corrections

Posted in 1980s, Books, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 9, 2016 by 80smetalman

It has come to my attention via Facebook, that in my previous post “Great Metal Albums of 1983: Slayer- Show No Mercy,” that I may have stated something that wasn’t entirely accurate. In that post, I said that the mentioned debut album from Slayer may have paved the way for bands like Metallica. I have been informed and I have checked and found it to be so that Metallica’s debut album “Kill ‘Em All” actually came out before the Slayer album. Therefore, if anything, Metallica would have paved the way for Slayer.

Slayer

Slayer

Metallica

Metallica

There is absolutely no excuse for not checking my metal facts! I know that this is no explanation nor is it any attempt to be but I remember reading an issue of “Hit Parader” magazine, (I used to call it Motley Crue magazine) in December 1985. That magazine had an article on Metallica and their album “Ride the Lightning” and it being so late in the year, I assumed that this album was released in 1985 and subsequently the debut album “Kill ‘Em All” in 1984. Why I never checked to be sure is beyond me but it is no excuse.

One thing I have always prided myself was unlike Hollywood, I always got my facts right. It was the same way when I wrote “Rock And Roll Children.” The one thing I can take pride in from that book was that it was historically accurate. Therefore, I must humbly apologize to Metallica and Slayer fans for my error and promise to be more diligent in the future.