Archive for Rossington/Collins

Great Rock Albums of 1982: Rossington/Collins- This is the Way

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 16, 2015 by 80smetalman

220px-RossingtonCollinsBandThisIsTheWay

One of the best things about being in the Southeastern part of the US in 1982 was that while the rest of the world seemed to be getting into new wave and synth pop was starting to rear its ugly head, Southern rock was still going strong there. Of course heavy metal was growing into a monster out of control but that’s another story. As I have said many times before, Southern Rock had stamped its authority in 1981 but while most of the trendy world may have moved on, Southerners were still true to their music. The result being that there are still quite a few more albums in this vein for me to visit and one of the major ones was the second album from Rossington/Collins, “This is the Way.”

For me, “This is the Way” is as every bit as good as their debut album “Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere.” It has that very pronounced Southern down home boogie vibe that is synonymous with Southern Rock. Plus, having several ex Lynyrd Skynyrd members in the band, you can definitely hear their influence on the album. What is different about Rossington/Collins is the lead singer, Dale Krantz- Rossington. Not enough mention is given to her vocal ability which is very high indeed. She really shines on the acapella “Pine Box.” Her vocals are just as noteworthy in the songs that have music with them but they have the additional bonus of some of that great Skynyrdesque guitar play from Gary Rossington and Allen Collins. Great examples to this are “Gotta Get it Straight,” “Gonna Miss It When Its Gone” and “Means Nothing to You.” “Don’t Stop Me Now” has an added bonus of the piano work of Billy Powell proving that he could still tinkle the ivories. It beats me why he doesn’t get the respect he deserves as a keyboardist. The best example, though, is the more bluesy ballad “Tashauana.” This song puts together all of the things already mentions and makes a really good song. Dale’s vocals are superb, their is some great powerful guitar and you can hear Powell’s well done efforts as well. “Tashauana” demonstrates why “This is the Way” is such a great album.

Track Listing:

1. Gotta Get it Straight

2. Tashauana

3. Gonna Miss It When Its Gone

4. Pine Box

5. Fancy Ideas

6. Don’t Stop Me Now

7. Seems Like Every Day

8. I’m Free Today

9. Next Phone Call

10. Means Nothing to You

Rossington/Collins

Rossington/Collins

Gary Rossington- guitar

Allen Collins- guitar

Dale Krantz- Rossington- vocals

Billy Powell- keyboards

Barry Lee Harwood- guitar, vocals

Leon Wilkeson- bass

Derek Hess- drums

“This is the Way” would be the second and final album from Rossington/Collins. They would disappear after this for reasons I will never fully understand. Maybe it was because I didn’t appreciate them enough back then. If that’s the case, then that’s not good, because if they kept putting out albums like this one, I would have been listening to them for years.

My stepson Teal holding his concert tickets

My stepson Teal holding his concert tickets

On a personal note, this Sunday my stepson and I will be going to see Amon Amarth, Huntress and Savage Messiah at the Thekla Club in Bristol. I will provide full details of the expected mayhem that is gong to happen in my next post.

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: 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 1981: Rossington/Collins- Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on March 8, 2014 by 80smetalman

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I first heard about Rossington/Collins when I was on my leave after returning from overseas after reading about them in a magazine article. The fact that they were made up of many ex Lynyrd Skynyrd members strengthened my desire to listen to their first album, which I did. While I wasn’t disappointed with the album, I can’t say that I was overly impressed with it either. Since I was going to post about it, I naturally gave it another listen the other evening. God, what a huge difference thirty odd years can make!

The question begs, “What did I think I was listening to all those years ago?” because this is a very good album. The opening track “Prime Time” quickly reminded me about all the things I still love about Lynyrd Skynyrd without sounding like a clone of them. Then there’s the next track, the very blues-gospel sounding “Three Times As Bad” where lead singer Dale Krantz truly comes into her own. If the name sounds familiar, it is because she was one of Skynyrd’s back up singers for many years. This lady has definitely not been given the respect she deserves as a vocalist.; not just with the one song but throughout the entire album. Also Gary Rossington and Allen Collins both show that they still know how to work a six string in the expert way we loved in their previous band and there are some magical moments from keyboardist Billy Powell. The tracks “Getaway” and “Misery Loves Company” bear true testimony of these facts and “Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere” goes out on a very big high with the guitars on the final track, “Sometimes You Can Put It Out.” So, I ask myself again, what did I think I was listening too all those years ago?

Track Listing:

1. Prime Time

2. Three Times As Bad

3. Don’t Misunderstand Me

4. One Good Man

5. Opportunity

6. Getaway

7. Winners and Losers

8. Misery Loves Company

9. Sometimes You Can Put It Out

Rossington/Collins

Rossington/Collins

Dale Krantz- vocals

Gary Rossington- guitars

Allen Collins- guitars

Barry Lee Harwood- guitars

Billy Powell- keyboards

Leon Wilkeson- bass

Derek Bess- drums

I heard back in the time, that Rossington/Collins were excellent in concert too. Apparently, they would play the legendary “Freebird” but without vocals, only a spotlight shining down on a deserted microphone: a very fitting tribute to Ronnie Van Zant. Listening with a different set of years has its benefits because I can now fully enjoy this album in its full splendour. I wonder if that would work with a Duran Duran album. No, I don’t think I’ll try it.

Next post: 38 Special- Wild Eyed Southern Boys

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