Archive for Rod Stewart

Great Rock Albums of 1985: Jeff Beck- Flash

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 2, 2018 by 80smetalman

For many years leading up to 1985, I was always intending to explore the work of Jeff Beck. One guy I knew from high school was heavily into him and when I was in the service, one of my fellow marines remarked, “That white boy can really play a guitar.” However for some reason, I never got around to listening to him. At least until 1985 when I heard about this album.

Jeff Beck’s “Flash” album was one of the very few albums I bought because of MTV. The single, “People Get Ready,” which featured Rod Stewart on the vocals got considerable airplay. What I liked about the song was the fact that Rod’s vocals went very well with Jeff’s guitar work although I knew that from Rod’s album from the previous year. However, in this video, Jeff doesn’t pop up in a hotel room to play his guitar solo.

Most of the album does conform to what was then a more commercial 1980’s sound although I won’t go as far as to call any track here synth pop. The closest tracks to that are the opener, “Ambitious” but I hear a hint of reggae in that song and the instrumental, “Escape.” One reason I wouldn’t call the latter song synth pop is because Jan Hammer assumes the keyboards duties on that track and he and Jeff make some interesting music.  In each of those songs though, he does with a guitar what he does best and flails away with some great licks. The remainder of the album, bar one song, goes more funk. “Stop Look and Listen” and “Get Workin'” are prime examples here and while good, Jeff’s guitar solos make them sound even better.

Now let’s talk about my favourite track on the album. The second track, “Gets Us All in the End” is a true rocker in every sense of the word. When I first heard the song, the vocals sounded so familiar that I thought Jeff used a metal singer for the track. In actuality, the vocals are done by Wet Willie singer, Jimmy Hall, who also sings on three other tracks as well. While this is an excellent album, imagine what it could have been if there were more tracks like this one.

Track Listing:

  1. Ambitious
  2. Gets Us All in the End
  3. Escape
  4. People Get Ready
  5. Stop Look and Listen
  6. Get Workin’
  7. Ecstasy
  8. Night After Night
  9. You Know, We Know

Jeff Beck

Jeff Beck- guitars, lead vocals tracks 6 and 8

Jimmy Hall- lead vocals tracks 1,2,5 and 7

Rod Stewart- lead vocals, track 4

Jan Hammer- keyboards, track 3

Tony Hymas- keyboards, track 9

Dave Hitchings- keyboards

Robert Sabino- keyboards

Carmine Appice- drums

Jay Burnett- drums

Jimmy Bralower- drums

Barry DeSouza- drums

Tony ‘Thunder’ Smith- drums

Doug Wimbish- bass

Tina B- backing vocals

Curtis King- backing vocals

David Simms- backing vocals

Frank Simms- backing vocals

George Simms- backing vocals

David Spinner- backing vocals

Maybe this single will bring back memories:

And of course my favorite track:

I wonder how many people remember that Jeff Beck/Rod Stewart collaboration on “People Get Ready.” It was the song which turned my eye to this album and I’m glad it did. Jeff put out a great album here with “Flash.”

Next post: INXS- Listen Like Thieves

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Great(ish) Rock Albums of 1984: Rod Stewart- Camouflage

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 27, 2017 by 80smetalman

Rod Stewart has always been a top forty artist in my book. He’s had a string of hits over the past four decades, some of them I actually liked, especially during the 1970s and 80s. I confessed to this fact when I visited his 1982 “Tonight I’m Yours” album some time ago. One of those singles I like happened to be the single, “Infatuation,” from the 1984 album, “Camouflage.” The song does venture  towards the new wave/hard rock borderland and even more so with the guitar solo by Jeff Beck. That brings me to the video for the song. Rod continues his string of cheesy videos that started with “Young Turks” where everyone is dancing on the hoods of cars and carries on with “Infatuation. In this video, Jeff Beck pops up in the hotel room from out of nowhere to play his solo. I understand that Mike LeBrain has had the same problem. Whenever he stays in a hotel room, Jeff Beck shows up. To quote a title from another song on “Camouflage,” some guys have all the luck.

After the opener, “Infatuation,” things go downhill pretty fast. While, I applaud Rod Stewart for a decent single at first, with the next track, I’m ready to place a bounty on his head for his act of sacrilege. He covers the Free classic “All Right Now” and it is a totally synthed out version. If he had kept to the script set down by Free, his voice would have carried the song but with all the synthesizers, I have to say, “No Rod!” But that’s not the only cover he has destroyed. On track four, he sings a cover of the Todd Rungren classic, “Can We Still Be Friends.” Like “All Right Now” there’s nothing wrong with his voice on the song but again, the synthesizers ruin it for me. While this sacrilege isn’t as bad, it’s still bad enough that even Jeff Beck’s guitar solo can’t save it.

Jeff does improve things with a solo on the track after, “Bad For You.” This one is more in line with the opener and sounds quite good. “Heart is On the Line” is one of those pop sounding songs that isn’t bad but it’s not one I want to listen to over and over. “The title track is much more sharper. Rod’s voice takes control of it and therefore the synths that appear on it are only in the background. Plus there’s a good use of horns adding a bit of diversity. Had Jeff belted out a solo on it, it might have been my favourite track. The closer, “Trouble” typifies how unbalanced “Camouflage” is. The keyboard intro makes you feel it’s going to be a cool prog rock song only to fade away into a ballad. Now, Rod has always been able to sing a good ballad and does so here but the intro leaves me disappointed with the rest of the song.

Track Listing:

  1. Infatuation
  2. All Right Now
  3. Some Guys Have All the Luck
  4. Can We Still Be Friends
  5. Bad For You
  6. Heart is On the Line
  7. Camouflage
  8. Trouble

Rod Stewart

Rod Stewart- vocals

Jeff Beck- guitar

Jim Cregan- guitar

Robin LeMesurier- guitar

Michael Landau- guitar

Jay Davis- bass

Tony Brock- drums

Kevin Savigar- keyboards

Michael Omartian- keyboards, percussion, backing vocals

Jimmy Zavala- harmonica

Gary Herbig- saxophone

Jerry Hey, Chuck Finley, Kim Hutchcroft, Charlie Loper, Gary Grant- horns

Was “Camouflage” great? I tend not to think so, however, it could have been so if there weren’t so many synth versions of classic rock songs. The songs that are good are but others let the album down. It seems here, he was comfortable being a top forty singer.

Next post: Roger Waters- The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Israeli Top Ten- April 1982

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, television, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 27, 2015 by 80smetalman

isreli flag

Because I hadn’t been able to listen to any albums from 1982 over the past few days I decided to take a trip back in personal nostalgia. In a few of my posts, I mentioned that I was in Israel in April of 1982. While getting rather sloshed in a bar in Tel A Viv, my friends and I were entertained by a television showing music videos. At first, we rocked to what I would later discover to be the video to all of Queen’s greatest hits up until 1980 and that was totally cool. Next, however, they showed the videos for the top ten songs in Israel that week or so I have always thought. So, to the best of my knowledge, here it is:

10. An Israeli duet featuring a man who looked like a grown up version of a friend of mine from junior high school and a woman. Don’t have a clue what the song was, they sang in Hebrew but the lady was quite pretty and the man had a powerful voice.

9. A Soul band whose name or song I can’t remember

8. The Human League- Don’t You Want Me

7. A rather hot looking French lady- Upside Down (I assume that was the title)

6. A dark haired woman who had a great voice. She was either Israeli or Italian

The J Geils Band

The J Geils Band

5. J. Geils Band- Centerfold

Foreigner

Foreigner

4. Foreigner- Waiting For a Girl Like You

Rod Stewart

Rod Stewart

3. Rod Stewart- Young Turks

2. An English band featuring a short guy as lead singer- Can’t remember the song

1. Abba- Head Over Heels

I think the reason I remember this top ten so well is that fact that there were a couple of decent rock tunes in the chart. I have also noted that there are a good number of heavy metal bands from the country. My point here is that I think they can rock in Israel! Thank you for coming along on my trip down memory lane.

Next post: Charlie Daniels Band- Windows

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: Rod Stewart- Tonight I’m Yours

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized, video games with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 27, 2014 by 80smetalman

rstonightimyours

Balance has been restored in the world now. Rod Stewart’s “Tonight I’m Yours” is the first piece of new music I heard in 1982. It wasn’t the entire album but the second single from the album “Young Turks” which I heard several times on the AM radio of my beat up Chevy Nova during my journey home on my final weekend pass before going overseas. Like many of the Rod Stewart songs I heard throughout the 1970s, minus the two albums previous to this one because I thought they were too disco. Then again, I did like the song “Ain’t Love a Bitch” off the “Blondes Have More Fun” album but I digress. That single did stick in my mind like many of his other singles although I am glad I didn’t have MTV at that time so I was spared the cheesy video of the song where everyone is dancing on the roofs of cars. That experience would come in the April when I discovered that “Young Turks” was number three in the Israeli charts.

Abandoning the disco feel of the previous albums, Rod went a little more new wave with “Tonight I’m Yours” while at the same time, not venturing too far from his rock roots. The new wave part is obvious on the first two singles from the album: The title track and the already mentioned one with the cheesy video. Both are done well and I like Rod’s personal spin on his cover of “How Long?” which was his third single. He does get down to some more serious rock after that. On “Tora Tora Tora (Out With the Boys)” Rod truly rocks out. The guitar breaks in the song are great and the way it interlinks with the sax is nicely done. I don’t know which of the guitarists on the album played the solo here but he should step forward and receive his accolades. A pleasant surprise comes right on the heels of “Tora Tora Tora” in the form of “Tear It Up,” which begins with a piano intro that could rival that of “Piano Man” of Billy Joel fame. However, as far as piano intros go, it still doesn’t quite measure up to the best of all time: “Joan Crawford” by Blue Oyster Cult. Rod continues his rock tradition with the next few songs pausing in the middle to belt out the ballad, “Just Like a Woman,” originally a Bob Dylan tune. The album returns to new wave, with “Young Turks” before going out very nicely with the suitable closer “Never Give Up On a Dream.” This album certainly proves that Stewart’s voice is far more versatile than what some people give him credit for.

Track Listing:

1. Tonight I’m Yours

2. How Long?

3. Tora Tora Tora (Out With the Boys)

4. Tear It Up

5. Only a Boy

6. Just Like a Woman

7. Jealous

8. Sonny

9. Young Turks

10. Never Give Up On a Dream

Rod Stewart

Rod Stewart

Rod Stewart- vocals

Jim Cregan- guitars, backing vocals

Robin LeMesurier- guitars

Jeff Baxter- guitar on “Tonight I’m Yours,” pedal steel guitar on “Just Like a Woman”

Danny Johnson- guitar on “Jealous”

Byron Berline- fiddle

Jimmy “Z” Zavala- harmonica, saxophone

Kevin Savigar- keyboards

Duane Hutchins- keyboards on “Tonight I’m Yours” and “Young Turks”

Jay Davis- bass

Tony Brock- drums

Carmine Appice- drums on “Tonight I’m Yours” and “Young Turks”

Paulinho De Costa- percussion

Tommy Vig- tubular bells

Penny Jones- soloist on “Never Give Up On a Dream”

Linda Lewis, The Penetcostal Community Choir- backing vocals

I’m going to come out of the closet here, no not that way, but I am going to admit that I actually like a lot of Rod Stewart’s music. Something I would have never admitted to in male heavy metal circles. True, he’s not hard rocker or metal singer but his vocals and the music behind them is usually quite good. The album “Tonight I’m Yours” is proof.

Next post: U2- October

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