Archive for Southern Rock

Great Rock Albums of 1985: Molly Hatchet- Double Trouble Live

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 15, 2018 by 80smetalman

It was only logical that after six great studio albums, Molly Hatchet would put out a live album and boy what a live album! This album is so brilliant that it almost, I stress almost, removes my regret of never having seen this great band live. There was a couple of near opportunities to do so but the US Marine Corps had other ideas at the time. That means, I have had to settle for the consolation prize, not a bad one in any way, of “Double Trouble Live.”

What is cool about this live album is that the song selection has offerings from each of the studio albums. This includes the “Beatin’ the Odds” and “Take No Prisoners” albums when Jimmy Farrar handled the vocal duties. I have to say that Danny Joe Brown does a good job on both of the songs “Beatin’ the Odds” and “Bloody Reunion.” Speaking of Danny Joe, the band even plays a track, “Edge of Sundown,” from his one album with the Danny Joe Brown Band. Therefore, this album has a great diverse mix but Molly Hatchet shines on each and every song.

Of course, there are all the familiar Molly Hatchet classics we have come to love. “Flirtin’ With Disaster,” “Bounty Hunter,” “Fall of the Peacemakers,” “Stone In Your Heart,” “Satisfied Man” and “Boogie No More” are all played brilliantly live. You’d expect nothing less. On top of that, it was only natural they opened with “Whiskey Man” but the song where they really go above and beyond is “Gator Country.” That has always been a cool song but live, guitarists Duane Roland and Dave Hlubeck go absolutely nuts and turn it into a great jam session, well done lads!

When I first heard the album, I was slightly perplexed as to why they would cover Lynyrd Skynyrd’s legendary “Freebird.” After all, most Southern rock bands have their own answer to the Skynyrd classic. Blackfoot has “Highway Song” and even Molly Hatchet had “Fall of the Peacemakers.” So I asked myself, “Why?” The answer came when I listened to the track. Molly Hatchet definitely do it justice. I mean, I have heard some awful attempts covering this classic and I wanted to take an Uzi to those pretenders but Molly Hatchet would have made Ronnie Van Zant proud. There is also a cover of the Allman Brothers classic, “Dreams I’ll Never See” and again, it’s nicely done. Like I said, “Double Trouble Live” nearly removes my regret of not having seen them live.

Track Listing:

  1. Whiskey Man
  2. Bounty Hunter
  3. Gator Country
  4. Flirtin’ With Disaster
  5. Stone in Your Heart
  6. Satisfied Man
  7. Bloody Reunion
  8. Boogie No More
  9. Freebird
  10. Walk on the Side of Angels
  11. Walk With You
  12. Dreams I’ll Never See
  13. Edge of Sundown
  14. Fall of the Peacemakers
  15. Beatin’ the Odds

Molly Hatchet

Danny Joe Brown- vocals

Dave Hlubeck- guitar

Duane Roland- guitar

John Galvin- keyboards

Riff West- bass

Bruce Crump- drums

It has been said the “Double Trouble Live” is one of the best live albums of all time. It’s definitely one of the best in 1985. The only reason it’s not number one for the year as there is a definite contender as well but I’ll get to that one in due course. In the mean time, have a listen to a fantastic live album from Molly Hatchet. You too might not feel so bad if you haven’t seen them live.

Next post: Joe Walsh- The Confessor

To download Rock And Roll Children, go to: https://c-newfreepdf.cf/olddocs/free-download-online-rock-and-roll-children-pdf-1609763556-by-michael-d-lefevre.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Great Rock Albums of 1985: Van Zant

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 25, 2018 by 80smetalman

If there was ever proof that in 1985, the phrase ‘sold out’ was banded about quite liberally, even by me, it was with this 1985 from Van Zant. The name has always been familiar in Southern Rock terms and in this case, it was a simple re-branding of the Johnny Van Zant band. The band even had all its original members. So, why did I accuse them of selling out? The answer was that with this self titled album, Van Zant, like Molly Hatchet and Blackfoot a year earlier had moved away from the traditional Southern Rock boogie sound to a more keyboards, progressive AOR sound. However, my mis-branding of this band was short lived because after a few listens, I realized that I was wrong to ever accuse them of selling out.

One major proof I was wrong was that this album contains one of my favourite songs of 1985 and it’s definitely up there in the all time list. “I’m a Fighter” was not an abandonment from Van Zant’s more hard rocking Southern sound. In fact, it’s rare that a single released from an album in the mid 1980s sound less AOR than the rest of the album but this song absolutely kicks ass! From its unique acoustic guitar intro, to the hard rocking guitars and the blow away guitar solo, all led by the steady vocals of Johnny Van Zant who does the family name proud on every track of the album.

Once one gets over the fact that keyboards are used on the album, the rest of the album is quite good. In fact, the keyboards are used quite well. Sure, they are more prominent in tracks such as “She’s Out With a Gun” and “You’ve Got to Believe in Love” but they are still good songs and the latter does have a killer guitar solo. In fact, I think that Robbie Gay and Erik Lundgren may be the most underrated guitar duo of all time. Tracks such as the opener “Midnight Sensation,” the single I’ve already mentioned, “Two Strangers in Love” and “2+2” are all good to decent rockers. “Two Strangers in Love” is my vote for the hidden gem on the album, especially the way the guitar solo takes the song out at the end.

Thinking back to that time, maybe the reason why it took me a couple of listens to get into this album maybe be down to the four remaining tracks. While not bad, they don’t reach the mark set by the first six songs. The possible exception being “Does a Fool Ever Learn,” which is about a woman who’s with an abusive man but won’t leave him. Full marks to the band for bringing this issue to light in the song. Also while not as spectacular as the first six, “Heart to the Flame” does have a catchy vibe to it and but it took me a couple of listens to notice. However, all’s well that ends well and now I regard this album as one of my tops for 1985.

Track Listing:

  1. Midnight Sensation
  2. She’s Out With a Gun
  3. I’m a Fighter
  4. You’ve Got to Believe in Love
  5. Two Strangers in Love
  6. 2+2
  7. Heart to the Flame
  8. Does a Fool Ever Learn
  9. Right on Time
  10. Lonely Girls

                         Van Zant 

Johnny Van Zant- vocals

Robbie Morris- drums

Danny Clausman- bass

Robbie Gay- guitar, backing vocals

Erik Lundgren- guitar, backing vocals

Additional musicians:

Richard Head- synclavier

Brian Heathrington- keyboards, synthesizer

Steve McCray- keyboards, synthesizer

Thinking about it, the self titled album from the re-branded Van Zant wasn’t the top of my favourite album of 1985 list but it was definitely on it. I would call this the most underrated album of said year because it is a blinder. The problem was with people’s attitudes in 1985. Anything with heavy guitars was considered heavy metal while many metalheads considered anything with a keyboard too mainstream. This can be the only reason this album didn’t fare so well.

Next post: AC/DC- Fly on the Wall

Those who’ve known me for some time might have already guessed why I’m posting this album next.

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1609763556?pf_rd_p=855cdcfd-05d9-474f-b84d-8286a3530ba1&pf_rd_r=THG6RHH8RZVA8V406BZ7

 

 

 

Rest In Peace Ed King

Posted in Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on August 24, 2018 by 80smetalman

Ed King

It looks as if 2018 is going to suck again as it’s my sad duty to announce the passing of former Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Ed King. Ed passed away from lung cancer at his home in Nashville, Tennessee. He was 68. Ed joined Skynyrd from when his original band, Strawberry Alarm Clock opened for them in 1972. Originally, he joined as a temporary replacement for bassist Leon Wilkeson but was added as a third guitarist later. He co-wrote the famous Lynyrd Skynyrd hit, “Sweet Home Alabama.” Another tragic loss to the music industry during three years of tragic losses. I hope you will all join me in offering my condolences to Ed’s family.

FFI https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/world/ed-king-dead-at-68-lynyrd-skynyrd-guitarist-who-co-wrote-sweet-home-alabama-dies-at-home-in-nashville-after-lung-cancer-battle/ar-BBMlxhK?li=BBoPWjQ&ocid=mailsignout

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1985: Lone Justice

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 3, 2018 by 80smetalman

My first hearing of the band Lone Justice in 1985 came not through MTV or the radio, nor did it come from anyone recommending I buy their debut album. I first heard about them when I was told they were supporting then legends, U2. Then two days before I was going to see them, my local radio station played their first single, “Ways to be Wicked.” I liked it and that gave me a greater expectation of the band when I finally did see them and on that night, I wasn’t disappointed! In 1985, U2 and Lone Justice made a very good combination.

Lone Justice are listed in Wikapedia as country rock and I don’t disagree with that assessment. Thre is definitely a country music influence and the album is too rock to be considered country. Have a listen to “Don’t Toss Us Away.” However, I think a better assessment is Southern Rock meets new wave. When listening to the rock guitars you can hear what was then called modern synths compliments of one Benmont Tench from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Mike Campbell from the same band lends his guitar skills as well and there is even contributions from Little Steven who most of the world knows from Bruce Springsteen’s band. With this accompaniment assisting, it’s no wonder the album is so good. Not that I am taking anything away from the band because those players weren’t with them when I saw Lone Justice live and the band was quite capable of holding their own. Not only did they play material from this album, they also delighted the crowd to covers of CCR’s “The Fortunate Son” and “Sweet Jane.”

“Ways to Be Wicked” has always been my favourite Lone Justice song, probably to the exposure on radio and eventually MTV. Other songs which really stand out for me are “After the Flood” and “Soap, Soup and Salvation” which is about the extreme poverty that was rising in America during the mid 1980s. Again, I take nothing away from the rest of the album and while the musicianship is first rate, the driving force behind each and every song is the vocals of Maria McKee. She may be small in height but her vocal range makes her ten feet tall. Thinking about it, I’m rather disappointed that more wasn’t said about her vocal ability back then because she is phenomenal.

Track Listing:

  1. East of Eden
  2. After the Flood
  3. Ways to be Wicked
  4. Don’t Toss Us Away
  5. Working Late
  6. Sweet, Sweet Baby (I’m Falling)
  7. Pass It On
  8. Wait Til We Get Home
  9. Soap, Soup and Salvation
  10. You Are the Light

Lone Justice

Maria McKee- guitar, harmonica, vocals

Ryan Hedgecock- guitar, vocals

Marvin Etzioni- bass, backing vocals

Don Heffington- drums

Additional Musicians:

Mike Campbell- guitar

Tony Gilkyson- guitar

Bob Glaub- bass

Little Steven- guitar

Benmont Tench- piano, organ, synthesizer, backing vocals

Three years after seeing Lone Justice and hearing their debut album, I mentioned to someone who was heavily into the band that I had seen them support U2. He responded that U2 should have supported Lone Justice. I wouldn’t have gone that far but I can appreciate his feelings. Lone Justice should have achieved much more than they did and this album proves it.

Next post: Warlock- Hellbound

To download Rock and Roll Children for free, go to: … .cf/olddocs/freedownloadonlinerock-and-rollchildren-pdf-1609763556-by-michaeldlefevre.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1985: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers- Southern Accents

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 25, 2018 by 80smetalman

My first thought when the “Southern Accents” album from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers first came to my attention in early 1985 was that they hadn’t gone into obscurity. It turns out that their 1981 and 82 albums had totally passed me by. I blame being in the service at the time. The second thought I had came via the video on MTV for the first single, “Don’t Come Around Here No More” and that was that Tom Petty had sold out and gone commercial, especially since he plays The Mad Hatter in the video which has an “Alice in Wonderland” theme. The further fact that Tom co-wrote the song with Dave Stewart from The Eurythmics only cemented that belief further. Thankfully, I am glad that I was completely wrong on both accounts.

I think my motivation behind me belief was that I was still remembering the band for their excellent “Damn the Torpedoes” album and expected the single to sound somewhat like “Refugee” or “Don’t Do Me Like That.” “Don’t Come Around Here No More” doesn’t sound like either and although I’m more open to it these days, at the time, I was looking for power chords. So listening to it recently with a more open mind, I am able to deliver a more favourable report on “Southern Accents.”

Let’s start with the not so positive: “Southern Accents” doesn’t topple “Damn the Torpedoes” from the top spot in my mind. Does that make it a bad album? Certainly not! There is many a good jam to be had on it. The first two songs, especially the opener, “Rebel,” really cook. Then again, Mike Campbell plays his best guitar solo on the second song. The irony here is that Petty also co-wrote that one with Stewart and likewise another great song, “Make It Better (Forget About Me.)” So, it’s been thirty years in coming but I must apologize and withdraw my accusation that Dave Stewart was trying to turn Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers into an 80s synth pop band. He wasn’t in any way.

Other tracks on “Southern Accents” go further in highlighting the band’s diversity and talent. The title track is a decent ballad and I like the Southern rock leanings of “Spike.” However, my vote for hidden gem has to be “Dogs on the Run” because it’s the song which reminds me of my favourite album the most. That song alone is proof that the band didn’t sell out in 1985. “Mary’ New Car” does come a close second.

Track Listing:

  1. Rebel
  2. It Ain’t Nothin’ to Me
  3. Don’t Come Around Here No More
  4. Southern Accents
  5. Make it Better (Forget About Me)
  6. Spike
  7. Dogs on the Run
  8. Mary’s New Car
  9. The Best of Everything

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Tom Petty- lead vocals, guitar, piano, keyboards, percussion

Mike Campbell- lead guitar, backing vocals, Dobro, keyboards

Benmont Tench- piano, keyboards, vibraphone

Stan Lynch- drums, percussion, backing vocals

Howie Epstein- bass, vocals

If I was so wrong about the “Southern Accents” album by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in 1985, I wonder how many other albums I was wrong about. Don Henley for one. Still, I was a different person back then and the lack of heavy metal played on the radio and MTV back in early 1985 only poured fuel on those feelings. This is a great album!

Next post: Eric Clapton- Behind the Sun

To download Rock and Roll Children for free, go to: … .cf/olddocs/freedownloadonlinerock-and-rollchildren-pdf-1609763556-by-michaeldlefevre.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1984: Blackfoot- Vertical Smiles

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 24, 2017 by 80smetalman

Another great Southern Rock or in my view Southern metal band who went for a more commercial rock sound in 1984 was Blackfoot with their album, “Vertical Smiles.” Keyboards player Ken Hensley from Uriah Heep became a permanent member and guitarist Charlie Hargrett left over disagreements with the band and management. However, I have always believed Charlie’s departure to be fairly amicable because written on the album cover is “Special thanks to Charlie Hargrett for fourteen years of agony and dedication.”

The move to more commercial rock comes out in the very first song, “Morning Dew,” which was released as the album’s only single. I remember it getting limited airplay on radio. While I have always liked this song, it was certainly a departure from traditional Blackfoot. The keyboards lead into the song and it’s present throughout, although this isn’t a bad thing. I also love the military sounding snare drums complements of Mr Spires and Rick Medlocke pelts a good guitar solo on it. So there is a lot to like with “Morning Dew.”

Things go decisively harder for the next few songs after. “Living in the Limelight” is a pure belter and Medlocke’s signature vocals are present. The song rocks! The same can be said for “Get It On.” This too is a good rocker from the more memorable days of Blackfoot. The song in between them, “Ride With You” isn’t bad either. It’s just too much keyboards where some good guitar stuff should be and that lets it down a little. Then, the album slows right down with two power ballad type songs, “Young Girl” and “Summer Days.” It does show a more tender side to the band and both songs are done very well. Happily, things go back to more familiar ground with the blazing “A Legend Never Dies.” I have always thought “this is more like it.”  It proves that Blackfoot can effectively employ guitar and keyboard together in a song. But the most true old style Blackfoot track is the pen ultimate, “Heartbeat and Heels.” This song casts aside any doubt that Blackfoot have completely abandoned their past. It is the hidden gem on the album. I’ve never been too sure about the closer. You would think that any song titled, “In For the Kill” would be a hard rocker and though this song has moments, it doesn’t move me in for any kill. Still, it’s probably the best song to close the album.

Track Listing:

  1. Morning Dew
  2. Living In the Limelight
  3. Ride With You
  4. Get it On
  5. Young Girl
  6. Summer Days
  7. A Legend Never Dies
  8. Heartbeat and Heels
  9. In For the Kill

Blackfoot

Rick Medlocke- guitar, lead vocals

Ken Hensley- keyboards, backing vocals

Greg T Walker- bass, backing vocals

Jackson Spires- drums, backing vocals

Sherri Jarrell- backing vocals

Note: This was a band photo from the last album but I thought I’d use out it of respect for Charlie Hargrett

All in all, “Vertical Smiles” is a pretty decent album. True, they incorporate keyboards where a harder guitar sound should be in places but it’s not bad. The album does have good songs. Still, it’s not near the same level as their three famous albums, “Strikes,” “Tomcattin'” and “Marauder.”

Next post: Survivor- Vital Signs

To buy Rock and Roll Children go to: https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1503603657&sr=8-8&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1984: Molly Hatchet- The Deed is Done

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 20, 2017 by 80smetalman

In the mid and late 1980s, there was a belief that whenever a hard rock or heavy metal band incorporated keyboards into their sound, they had sold out and were trying to sound more commercial friendly. Yes, this was the case for a good number of bands back then and Molly Hatchet were accused of the same when guitarist Steve Holland was replaced with keyboards player John Galvin, who had played with Danny Joe Brown when he had his own band. Sure, the band moved away from their Southern Rock stylings to a more commercial friendly arena rock sound but their 1984 album, “The Deed is Done” is by no means in any shape or form a sell out.

While there are notable differences with this album and their very famous hard smashing album “Flirtin’ With Disaster,” the hard rock sound is there for all to hear. Even with two guitars, Molly Hatchet really rock out on the album, the keyboards only give it a more melodic back ground. The most prominent examples are the two tracks released as singles, “Satisfied Man” and the one I prefer slightly more, “Stone in Your Heart.” These are both rockers with John’s keyboards providing excellent melodic back up. Unlike so many bands who tried using keyboards, Molly Hatchet does it right here and unfortunately, this is why the album didn’t sell as well as the fore mentioned biggie. Some metalheads scoffed at the use of keyboards while mainstream trendies were put off by the hard guitars and labelled them heavy metal. That’s another issue about the 1980s, but I’ll save that for another time.

As for the rest of the tracks, they cook as well and the now guitar duo of Duane Rolands and Dave Hlubeck show that even with two guitars, they can still kick ass. There is many a good hard rock song on “The Deed is Done” to be heard. However, if someone moaned about them using keyboards, then that person might have really been freaked out by the use of a saxophone on the track, “She Does She Does.” What younger metalheads didn’t understand in the 80s was that saxophones were employed very well in many a good rock song throughout the ages and it is done very well on this track. And while Molly Hatchet may have moved a little away from their Southern Boogie Rock sound, it is still there in the tracks, “Heartbreak Radio” and “I Ain’t Got You”. In fact, the second half of the album really rocks. “Good Smoke and Whiskey” wasn’t only a great track, it was my theme song for a while. However, my personal favourite on this album has to be “Man on the Run.” The old style of Molly Hatchet is stamped on it from the very beginning and the keyboards, like on the hits, provide the necessary support. This song is probably the best example of how you can incorporate the old Hatchet with the new. So what you do get with “The Deed is Done” is a more melodic hard rock sound in places but with the traditional southern sound not completely forgotten. It does make an excellent combination to the open minded.

Going on a little more about the keyboards, John Galvin is definitely underrated in this position. Some have compared him to Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Billy Powell, probably because their both from Southern Rock bands. Like Southern Rock bands, the piano is given that honky tonk sound which only works with bands like these two giants. However, John’s work with organs and synthesizers can’t be ignored because he plays them well. Oh yes, with all the talk about keyboards, I forgot to mention that the album also marked the return of Bruce Crump on drums. It was good to hear him return on the album.

Track Listing:

  1. Satisfied Man
  2. Backstabber
  3. She Does She Does
  4. Intro Piece
  5. Stone In Your Heart
  6. Man on the Run
  7. Good Smoke and Whiskey
  8. Heartbreak Radio
  9. I Ain’t Got You
  10. Straight Shooter
  11. Song For the Children

Molly Hatchet

Danny Joe Brown- vocals

Duane Rolands- guitar

Dave Hlubeck- guitar

John Galvin- keyboards

Riff West- bass

Bruce Crump- drums

Additional Musicians

Jim Horn- saxophone

Jimi Jamison, Tom DeLuca, Steve Bassett, Terry Manning- background vocals

I think that I’ve established before the metal court that “The Deed is Done” album was in no way a sell out for Molly Hatchet. While the album marks a departure from their traditional Southern sound, it still rocks and rocks hard. It’s just a shame there were too many musically narrow minded people around in the mid 1980s who didn’t give the album a chance.

Next post: Blackfoot- Vertical Smiles

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1503214910&sr=8-7&keywords=michael+d+lefevre