Archive for Rockin’ Into the Night

Great Albums That Were Lost in the Cassette Player

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 6, 2017 by 80smetalman

For those who have been following me for awhile, you will know that back in the early 198os, I owned a lot of cassettes due to my very limited living space when I was in the marines. Even after I got out, while I began buying vinyl again, I still bought a good amount of cassettes. My logic at the time was you couldn’t play records in the car and I need my travelling music. While cassettes had the advantage of being very compact, you could fit one in your shirt pocket, they had the disadvantage of being susceptible of destructing. They could easily get mangled in the player and often times brake. I found this extremely frustrating. While the percentage of cassettes lost was small compared to the number I owned, it still upset me when I lost one to the machine. So, as an in between the years post, I will play homage to all the great albums that were mangled by a tape player.

The famous ammo cans . I thought this would be a good excuse to put this picture in the post.

Others that succumbed but I don’t have pictures for

Slayer- South of Heaven

The Dreggs- Unsung Heroes

The Who- recorded from the radio

Copperhead

There could be more but these are the ones I definitely remember. However, other cassettes weren’t mangled in the machine but wore out another way. When played they began to have a hiss sound on them. Eventually, this hiss got louder and present on more of the tape until it was unplayable. There was the odd tape where that started but it stopped and played normal again. Unfortunately, others didn’t so here is a tribute to those cassettes that were lost in this manner.

As you can see, many a great album fell victim to the dreaded tape player one way or the other. Thank God for CDs and more modern means of listening to music as I don’t have that problem anymore.

Next post: 1984

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: 38 Special- Tour de Force

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 10, 2016 by 80smetalman

38_Special_-_Tour_de_Force

“Tour de Force” proves what I probably said about albums by 38 Special in previous posts. Each new album is not as good as the ones before. Going back to the very first 38 Special album I listened to, “Rockin’ Into the Night” was outstanding, their best album ever. The next one, “Wild Eyed Southern Boys” was an excellent album and “Special Forces was somewhere between good and very good. However, the 1983 “Tour de Force” album was just good.

Another thing which I have said in the past was my belief that if the single opens the album, then the album may not be up to much because that has always been a trick of one hit wonders. In the case of this album, the first three tracks are the singles that were released on the album. Of those three, the middle one, “Back Where You Belong,” is the best. That song is more the 38 Special I had come to know and love back then. A good opening hard riff with a cool guitar solo, full marks there. Saying that, “If I’d Been the One” is a decent enough song but I’ve never been impressed with the third track, “One Time for Old Times.”

Here is a case where instead of one song not making an entire album, it’s two. I won’t include “Back Where You Belong” because it is a great song. However, after those three singles, things definitely turn up a few notches for the good. “See Me In Your Eyes” starts to return things to a normality with 38 Special and then “Twentieth Century Fox” is a complete rocker. The exact same thing can be said for the tracks that follow on after that. “Long Distance Affair” and the closer, “Undercover Lover” are fine rocking tracks with the latter song, when it closes out the album, leaves you with an all’s well that ends well feeling towards the album.

I must also add that “I Oughta Let Go” is more of a Southern boogie number which proves that at this time, the band hadn’t completely abandoned their Southern Rock roots. But my brain has me wondering if the decline in each album is down to cause and effect. With “Rockin’ Into the Night,” Donnie Van Zant sings lead on five songs and Don Barnes three and one cracking instrumental. On the ensuing albums, the number of Van Zant leads lessen and Barnes sings lead on more. On “Tour de Force” Donnie Van Zant only sings lead on three songs with Barnes the other six. Now, I’m not knocking Don Barnes, he is a great vocalist and I should have included him in my list of great rhythm guitarists but Donnie Van Zant definitely brings an energy to the songs he sings. So, I wonder that if they kept it as it was on the first album, there wouldn’t have been such a noticeable decline. Oh yes, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again because it remains true on “Tour de Force.” Jeff Carlisi is a very underrated guitarist.

Track Listing:

  1. If I’d Been the One
  2. Back Where You Belong
  3. One Time for Old Times
  4.  See Me in Your Eyes
  5. Twentieth Century Fox
  6. Long Distance Affair
  7. I Oughta Let Go
  8. One of the Lonely Ones
  9. Undercover Lover
38 Special

38 Special

Don Barnes- lead vocals, guitar

Donnie Van Zant- lead vocals

Jeff Carlisi- lead guitar, steel guitar

Larry Junstrom- bass

Steve Brookins- drums

Jack Grondin- drums

Carol Bristow- backing vocals

Lu Moss- backing vocals

Jimmy Markham- harmonica

38 Special were at a cross roads at this point in time. I remember tearing my hair out trying to convince my friend that they were not a top forty band and that they were a cool Southern Rock band like Lynyrd Skynyrd and Molly Hatchet. I’m not sure if he ever believed me but while this album may lead one to think that they had sold out, there is enough on this good album to show that hadn’t.

Next post: Rolling Stones- Undercover

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 1981: 38 Special- Wild Eyed Southern Boys

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 13, 2014 by 80smetalman

 

38_Special_-_Wild-Eyed_Southern_Boys

Now that my problems with wordpress are sorted, I couldn’t get on here for two days for some unknown reason, I can finally post about what I think was probably one of the best albums of 1981. Personally, I think it was a conspiracy from the “The 80s were all about Culture Club and Wham” brigade in a bid to stop me from thwarting their version of music history but I digress once again. For me, “Wild Eyed Southern Boys” was one of those albums that made 1981 for me. I don’t even need to relate a story from my military days here because that album would have had the same impact on me if I hadn’t been serving at the time.

38 Special’s previous album, “Rockin’ Into the Night” had already given me a strong desire to check out their next one. So even after I started hearing their first single “Hold On Loosely” on juke boxes from North Carolina to New Jersey and even cover bands playing it, I was already in the mind to buy “Wild Eyed Southern Boys.” This album takes elements from hard rock, country and blues rock and incorporates it into the band’s own unique blend of Southern Rock. There’s the more bluesier songs like “Hittin’ and Runnin'” and the almost funky “Honky Tonk Night Time Dancer” where Jeff Carlisi shows he can bend a guitar string somewhat to the more hard rock gems like “Fantasy Girl” and “First Time Around.” They also show they can have a little fun with their songs, just listen to “Back Alley Sally” and you will see what I mean. However, one song does tower above all the others, not trying to detract from those songs, but the title track for me takes all of those mentioned elements and puts them into one song. That song epitomises what I have always loved about Southern Rock. The acoustic intro followed by Carlisi’s burning guitar solos and some great power chords alternated with some melodic harmonising. That’s the paradoxical thing I have about 38 Special. I love the way that Don Barnes and Donnie Van Zant trade off vocals here, it definitely works so well on “Wild Eyed Southern Boys.” So, my question is why don’t they do it more on their records?

Track Listing:

1. Hold On Loosely

2. First Time Around

3. Wild Eyed Southern Boys

4. Back Alley Sally

5. Fantasy Girl

6. Hittin’ And Runnin’

7. Honky Tonk Night Time Dancer

8. Throw Out the Ling

9. Bring It On

38 Special

38 Special

Donnie Van Zant- vocals

Don Barnes- vocals, guitar, piano

Jeff Carlisi- lead guitar

Larry Junstrom- bass

Steve Brookins- drums

Jack Grondin- drums

Lu Moss- backing vocals

Carol Bristow- backing vocals

Unlike Rossington/Collins, I did not have to listen to this album thirty years later before I decided I really like it. That’s because I was rocking to “Wild Eyed Southern Boys” all through time. Even after my cassette got destroyed in my car’s stereo. I got rid of that car a few months after that. It didn’t stop it from being one of my favourite album’s of 1981. The album for me is a classic rocker and you know the funny thing, I still think their previous album “Rockin’ Into the Night” was better. Strange huh?

Next post: Blackfoot- Marauder

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

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

Great Rock Albums of 1980: 38 Special- Rockin’ Into The Night

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 24, 2013 by 80smetalman

38_Special_-_Rockin'_Into_the_Night

Halfway through 1980, I was thoroughly converted to the genre known as Southern Rock. I had been listening to bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd and Molly Hatchet and had heard the “Strikes” album by Blackfoot and really liked that. So when a friend of a friend introduced me to this album, I was chomping at the bit to hear more and when I did, in no way was I disappointed.

It was easy to assume that because the lead singer for 38 Special, Donnie Van Zant, was the brother of the famous Ronnie Van Zant of Skynyrd fame, that 38 Special would sound like carbon copies of Lynyrd Skynyrd. It was made more so because Skynyrd’s former pianist, the late Billy Powell, plays on a few of the tracks on this album. However, the sound of 38 Special is their own and their own fingerprint on Southern Rock definitely manifests itself throughout “Rockin’ Into the Night.” They are definitely unique. 

As I said before, I am normally a bit nervous about an album whose hit single is the first track on it. It makes me think, there’s nothing after worth listening to. That isn’t true here and that is despite the fact that the track “Rockin’ Into The Night” is such a fantastic song, probably my favourite 38 Special song of all time. Even the thought of it has me bobbing my head to it at this very moment. After the title track, however, the album continues on with a string of great tracks in the 38 Special style. “Stone Cold Believer,” the hard rocking “Take Me Through The Night,” which eerily goes almost ballad like in some places and “Money Honey” are all great tracks on the first side if you heard it on vinyl or cassette. Side two doesn’t deteriorate in any way either. After a strong side opening “You’re The Captain,” (a very good anti- drugs song) is most likely my favourite instrumental song of all time, “Robin Hood.” The blends of acoustic and electric guitars are riveting. The last two tracks, “You Got The Deal” and “Turn It On” provide the perfect end to this great album.

Track Listing:

1. Rockin’ Into the Night

2. Stone Cold Believer

3. Take Me Through the Night

4. Money Honey

5. The Love That I Lost

6. You’re the Captain

7. Robin Hood

8. You Got the Deal

9. Turn It On

38 Special

38 Special

Donnie Van Zant- vocals

Don Barnes- vocals, acoustic and electric guitars

Jeff Carlisi- lead and slide guitars

Larry Junstrom- bass

Jack Grondin- drums, percussion

Steve Brookins- drums, percussion

Additional musicians

Billy Powell- piano

Terry Emery- piano

Dale Krantz- Rossington- backing vocals

Five years after this magnificent album, I would find myself defending 38 Special to a friend who claimed they were a Top 40 band. What I should have done with hindsight, was to play this album for him. He would have known that back in 1980, 38 Special and “Rockin’ Into the Night” were the real deal. This album continues to be a classic rocker.

Next post: Blackfoot- Tomcattin’ 

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