Archive for Rolling Stone

Great Metal Albums of 1981: Black Sabbath- The Mob Rules

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, soundtracks, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 9, 2014 by 80smetalman

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Vacation is over I’m afraid and now I am back in the UK. The remains of Yuengling and spicy buffalo wings are passing through my system. I had a great time on holiday although that wasn’t the real reason why I went over, that was to look after my mother whose not in the best of health but I did get some time to enjoy myself too as you saw in my last post. Now that I’m back, I will go back to posting twice a week and what better way to celebrate my return than with Black Sabbath’s 1981 album, “The Mob Rules.”

This was the second album with Ronnie James Dio at the vocals and it was simply a continuation of their fabulous “Heaven and Hell” album a year earlier. Rolling Stone might have slated the album when it came out but what do they know? “The Mob Rules” is a fantastic album. It’s yet another album that I really can’t go on about individual tracks because they are all that good. One thing I must point out is the title track. It has been said that the mix on the album is different to the version that appears on the soundtrack of “Heavy Metal.” This might be true but I don’t hear any big difference. Both versions are fine with me. Another observation I have made is that Geezer, Iommi and Appice have to do very little to alter their style to match Dio’s vocals nor does Ronnie alter his vocal style. The final three tracks definitely highlight this fact and what you get is some classic Black Sabbath at their best all over this album.

Track Listing:

1. Turn Up the Night

2. Voodoo

3. Sign of the Southern Cross

4. E5150

5. The Mob Rules

6. Country Girl

7. Slipping Away

8. Falling Off the Edge of the World

9. Over and Over

Black Sabbath

Black Sabbath

Ronnie James Dio- vocals

Tony Iommi- guitar

Geezer Butler- bass

Vinnie Appice- drums

Were Black Sabbath and Ozzy Osbourne in competition with one another back in 1981? Whose to say? If it was the case, that competition spurred all of them on to make a couple of magnificent albums in 1981. Half of that was “The Mob Rules.”

Next post: Billy Squier- Don’t Say No

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 Rock Albums of 1981: Jefferson Starship- Modern Times

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 14, 2014 by 80smetalman

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When Jefferson Starship released their previous album, “Freedom At Point Zero,” Rolling Stone magazine commented that they had become just another heavy metal band. We all know that any one who has heard that album can deduce that the person from Rolling Stone who said it obviously has no understanding what heavy metal is but that’s beside the point. In response to that statement, Paul Kantner, wrote back saying, “Fuck You, We Do What We Want.” Those words became immortalised on the closing track of this album “Modern Times.”

It was a wise thing to let Jefferson Starship do what they wanted for this album follows on nicely from the last one. While not heavy metal, there is a great deal of hard rock on the album to be loved. The first two tracks, “Find Your Way Back” and “The Stranger” were both singles for the band but in no way are either of these songs pop. Probably why the highest they charted was the former of the two, which peaked at 29. “Wild Eyes” is a typical Jefferson Starship rocker and the last track on side one (I only bought cassettes at this time), “Save Your Love,” Craig Chaquico demonstrates why I rant on about his guitar playing so much. Side two gives us three shorter in length powerful rockers. The opening riffs of “Mary” have stuck in my mind for over thirty years now the way that familiar riff of “Smoke On the Water” has. The fourth song, “Alien,” goes a little more on the progressive side and some say that it’s a little way out there. Then comes the closer, “Stairway to Cleveland.” “While not a piss take of the Led Zeppelin classic, the reason why Jefferson Starship gave that title to the song was because they thought that Cleveland was the direct opposite of heaven at the time. I knew a few guys from Cleveland back then and they wouldn’t debate them on that. The song also makes good digs at politics and some of the institutions of the time as well as Rolling Stone.

One of the hypes behind the release of “Modern Times” was it marked the return of Grace Slick to the band. Not particularly true. She does sing backing vocals on most songs and lead on “Alien” and as a duet with Mickey Thomas on “The Stranger.” That’s one reason the song is so good. Of course, you can never fault the musicianship of this band on any album and definitely not here. Chaquico shines with his guitar throughout with Paul Kantner laying down the reliable rhythm for him. Pete Sears does his normal keyboard wizardry and Aynsely Dunbar shows why he was considered a brilliant drummer back then.

Grace Slick

Grace Slick

Track Listing:

1. Find Your Way Back

2. The Stranger

3. Wild Eyes

4. Save Your Love

5. Modern Times

6. Mary

7. Free

8. Alien

9. Stairway to Cleveland

Jefferson Starship

Jefferson Starship

Mickey Thomas- vocals

Craig Chaquico- lead guitar

Paul Kantner- rhythm guitar, vocals

David Freiberg- piano, organ, synthesiser, bass, vocals

Pete Sears- bass, piano, synthesiser, moog

Aynsley Dunbar- drums, percussion

Grace Slick- vocals

There was one time back in 1981 when I didn’t watch Fridays solely to see Melanie Chartof. I watched because Jefferson Starship was appearing on it that night. They were my favourite band back then and the “Modern Times” album reminds me why.

Next post: Jim Steinman- Bad For Good

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