Archive for Southern Rock

Great Rock Albums of 1982: Greatest Hits of The Outlaws- High Tides Forever

Posted in 1979, 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 5, 2015 by 80smetalman

ghoutlaws

 Whether it was down to the lack of commercial success of the 1982 studio album, “Los Hombres Malo,” or simply because they thought it was the appropriate time but in 1982, The Outlaws decided to release a greatest hits album. So, they chose eight of their best songs and put out what was to be a must have for any Outlaws fan or someone who considered themselves a purveyor of Southern Rock. I was the latter.

It might have been only eight songs buy by God, what eight great songs they are! There are the three best known songs, at least to me, “Green Grass and High Tides,” “Ghost Riders in the Sky” and “There Goes Another Love Song,” which I had always thought was on the “Los Hombres Malo” album because I remember it being played quite a bit on radio in early 1983. As an added bonus, the version of “Ghost Riders” is a live recording that sounds really good. The album also opened my eyes to some of the lesser known Outlaws jams as well. “Hurry Sundown,” “Holiday” and “Stick Around for Rock and Roll” are all great songs as can only be done by the Outlaws. All three have those long guitar solos in that Southern Blues based fashion. The only track that doesn’t go in this mold is “Take It Anyway You Want It.” It actually has a more harder edge but lasting only three minutes and fifteen seconds, is very short for an Outlaws song. It’s still a decent song goes well in this compilation of Outlaws’ history.

Track Listing:

1. Stick Around for Rock And Roll

2. There Goes Another Love Song

3. Take It Anyway You Want It

4. Green Grass and High Tides

5. Ghost Riders in the Sky

6. Hurry Sundown

7. Holiday

8. You Are the Show

The Outlaws

The Outlaws

Rick Cua- bass, lead and backing vocals

David Dix- drums, percussion

Dave Lane- fiddle, violin

Dave Lyons- keyboards, lead and backing vocals

Freddie Salem- guitar, lead and backing vocals

Hughie Thomasson- guitar, banjo, lead and backing vocals

There are so many greatest hits albums around that it’s no wonder that the Outlaws would put out one of their own. “High Tides Forever” contains the classics that made their name at the time.

Next post: Rush- Signals

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: Johnny Van Zant Band- The Last of the Wild Ones

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 2, 2015 by 80smetalman

jvz-wildones

 Owing to the fact that I spent two thirds of 1982 overseas combined with the expectations of the military, I only managed to attend one concert in 1982. It was at a local club in Jacksonville, North Carolina called the Chateau Madrid. It’s not there any more and unlike the Driftwood, I couldn’t find any pictures of it on line. Anyway, there are no prizes for guessing who it was I saw that night as I am visiting the album from that tour of the Johnny Van Zant band right now. I remember it being a good night and Johnny and Co were on form and I loved when they played Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “I Ain’t the One.” However, what could have ruined that night was the fact it was in a club full of drunk marines, yes I was one of them but I didn’t get involved in any scraps that night. No kidding, while I was enjoying the show, two marines to my right suddenly went to the floor in a heap and started hooking and jabbing. A few minutes after the bouncers broke up that fight and ejected the participants, two more guys on my left engaged in similar festivities. Those weren’t the only two bouts on the card that night but I didn’t let it spoil my enjoyment of the evening.

“The Last of the Wild Ones” is the third album from the Johnny Van Zant Band and it is definitely a power Southern Rock album. Some of the tracks are almost metal such as the opener and “Can’t Live Without Your Love.” Both of these are some very heavy songs where Robbie Gay and Erik Lundgren show what they are capable of with a guitar in their hands. The track “Inside Looking Out” sounds like what I think Boston would have sounded like if they had come from south of the Mason-Dixon Line. The power ballad, “Still Hold On” is the one song of such genre that comes closest to the bar set by April Wine the previous year as to what a power ballad should sound like. “It’s You” is the one song I remember getting air play at the time and it’s not your standard made for radio single. This song rocks and I can’t believe how much I had forgotten of the song, shame on me I know. My question is why this album didn’t break the band out of the Southeast as had it gotten more notice up North, it would have done well.

Track Listing:

1. Good Girls Gone Bad

2. It’s You

3. The Last of the Wild Ones

4. Still Hold On

5. Can’t Live Without Your Love

6. Danger Zone

7. Together Forever

8. Inside Looking Out

9. The One and Only

Johnny Van Zant Band

Johnny Van Zant Band

Johnny Van Zant- vocals

Robbie Gay- lead guitar

Erik- Lundgren- lead guitar

Danny Clausman- bass

Robbie Morris- drums

Maybe it was because the corporate record companies had made their millions out of Southern Rock the previous year the reason for why this album seems virtually unknown outside the Southeast of the USA. This is a shame because they alone got to enjoy what a great album “The Last of the Wild Ones” really is and many got to do it without having drunk marines fighting around them.

Next post: Greatest Hits of the Outlaws- High Tides Forever

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: Charlie Daniels Band- Windows

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 29, 2015 by 80smetalman

220px-Windows_CDB_album

If there was one song whose lyrics really made me think in 1982, it was the single by the Charlie Daniels Band, “Still in Saigon.” For those unfamiliar, it’s a very haunting song about a Vietnam Veteran and his struggles with the war ten years since coming home. Two lines that still stick in my mind and even more so since I listened to the 1982 “Windows” album are:

“All the sounds of long ago will be forever in my head,

Mingled with the wounded’s cries and the silence of the dead.”

Those lyrics make me glad that while I served, I never had to fire a live round at a living target nor had any live rounds fired at me. “Still in Saigon” was the first true song that I know of that showed true sympathy to those who served in Vietnam. At the time, some thought it was a bit contradictory to their previous patriotic 1980 hit “In America.” There is nothing unpatriotic about “Still in Saigon” and if America apologised to the Vietnam Veterans for they way it treated them every day until the last veteran died, it might just be enough. For me, the song would come to mind in unfortunate circumstances a year later when my old unit got blown up in Beirut.

Like I have said many times before, one song does not make a good album but there are plenty of good ones on “Windows.” Charlie Daniels seems to go more rock than country on this album although there is the country ballad type “We Had It All One Time” there’s nothing wrong with that song. “Ragin’ Cajun” is the other known single from the album which features some fiddle playing reminiscent of the old 1979 classic, “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.” It’s a good rock hoe down. The gem in the dark for me on this album is definitely “Partyin’ Gal.” I knew a few ladies who partied like that in those days so it should be a tribute to them. It is probably the most rock of all the songs on the album. If “We Had It All One Time” is the country ballad then “Blowin’ Along With the Wind” is the rock one. It’s not a power ballad, more of a progressive one but it slots in nicely with the rest of the line up. Whether you’re country or rock or both, you can’t go wrong with “Windows.”

Track Listing:

1. Still in Saigon

2. Ain’t No Ramblers Anymore

3. The Lady in Red

4. We Had It All One Time

5. Partyin’ Gal

6. Ragin’ Cajun

7. Makes You Want To Go Home

8. Blowing Along With The Wind

9. Nashville Moon

10. The Universal Hand

Charlie Daniels Band

Charlie Daniels Band

Charlie Daniels- vocals, guitar, fiddle

Tom Crane- guitar, vocals

Joel “Taz” Di Gregorio- keyboards, vocals

Fred Edwards- drums, percussion

James W Marshall- drums, percussion

Charles Hayward- bass

One song made me think in 1982 but an entire album rocked the year away. “Windows” proved to many, especially many up North, that the Charlie Daniels Band were certainly not one hit wonders.

Next post: Johnny Van Zant- The Lat of the Wild Ones

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: The Outlaws- Los Hombres Malo

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 25, 2015 by 80smetalman

220px-The_Outlaws_-_Los_Hombres_Malo

 It often pays to be in the right place at the right time and in the case of the Outlaws “Los Hombres Malo” album, I was fortunate to be in the south when this album was released. Otherwise, it might have passed me by. “Los Hombres Malo” isn’t one of the Outlaws’ better known albums like “Ghost Riders” or “In the Eye of the Storm” or in fact, some of the classic albums they made in the mid to late 1970s. All that aside, it’s still a pretty good album.

The Outlaws have never been as heavy as Southern Rockers such as Blackfoot or Molly Hatchet. Their sound is more bluesier with some great long lead guitar solos like their all time classic jam, “Green Grass and High Tides.” It is more of the same with “Los Hombres Malo.” “Don’t Stop” is a classic Outlaws type song and opens the album quite well and it’s followed up by the similar sounding “Foxtail Lilly.” “Rebel Girl” is the only song I remember getting any airplay, even on southern stations and it is a decent song except that the guitar solo isn’t as long. My assumption: they were asked to shorten the lead for airplay. The rest of the album goes back to the more traditional Outlaws sound and if, while listening to it, you think that every song is in the same vein, the album throws a curve ball with the more slower “Running.” It’s a ballad done the Outlaws’ way. “Easy Does It” and “All Roads” end the album just fine. While this album doesn’t make me want to forget some of the more classic albums, it doesn’t make me want to discard it for them either.

Track Listing:

1. Don’t Stop

2. Foxtail Lilly

3. Rebel Girl

4. Goodbye

5. Back From Eternity

6. Won’t Come Out of the Rain

7. Running

8. Easy Does It

9. All Roads

The Outlaws

The Outlaws

Rick Cua- bass, lead and backing vocals

David Dix- drums, percussion

Dave Lane- fiddle, violin

Dave Lyons- keyboards, lead and backing vocals

Freddie Salem- guitar, lead and backing vocals

Hughie Thomasson- guitar, banjo, lead and backing vocals

One event I regret missing in 1982 was that the Outlaws and Blackfoot toured together. That must have been an amazing show. They would have played some songs from “Los Hombres Malo” and that would have been cool.

Next post: The Top in in Israel, in April 1982.

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: 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

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1982: Blackfoot- Highway Song, Live in London

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 13, 2015 by 80smetalman

blackfootlive

What is the most logical thing to do after your band has put out three very good studio albums? Well, in the case of Blackfoot, the answer is to put out one hell of a live album. That is exactly what they did in 1982 with the album recorded live in London. If it hadn’t been for the fact that I happened to visit London in the summer of 1983, this album would have past me by because I never saw it on sale at any of the record shops in New Jersey and that, to me, would have been a damn shame.

220px-Blackfoot_-_Strikes

220px-Tomcattin'

220px-Blackfootmarauder

Why is this live album so good? The answer is pretty obvious to any Blackfoot fan. At this particular concert, they played some of their finest material off their previous three albums, “Strikes,” “Tomcattin'” and “Marauder.” If I were to have produced the album, I would have done little different except ask the band to play “I Got a Line On You” from the “Strikes” album but that’s a personal thing. The album is fine as it stands. Things open with two songs from “Tomcattin,'” “Gimme, Gimme, Gimme,” which is definitely a great concert opener, especially at the beginning when Rick Medlocke announces “All right London, it’s boogie time!” You get little time to rest after the opener because Medlocke gets the crowd going by saying, “If someone messes with your queenie, you’re gonna mess up their god damn nose!” Then they launch into “Queenie, Every Man Should Know.” If the crowd isn’t fully up by now, then the almost thrash sounding, “Good Morning” definitely gets them there.

“Good Morning” is the first of three songs from the “Marauder” album. The other two songs that follow, “Dry County” and “Fly Away” sound much better live than the versions on the album and there was nothing wrong with those. It’s just the raw energy this concert gives that takes things up several levels. One note, in between “Dry County” and “Fly Away,” Blackfoot play their own version of John Lee Hooker’s “Rolling and Tumbling” and I will say that they put their own unique stamp on that song quite nicely.

The rest of the album/concert is dominated by songs from the “Strikes” album. “Road Fever” for all the Scotland rock and roll maniacs as how Medlocke introduces the song, rolls things along very well. After they play “Trouble in Mind,” Blackfoot take the show up on an enormous high with the two best songs from that album, “Train, Train” and of course “Highway Song” and both are cases of the live version being way above the studio version. This leads me to realise that if Blackfoot can improve on songs from great studio albums when played live, they are definitely a band to be reckoned with.

Track Listing:

1. Gimme, Gimme, Gimme

2. Queenie, Every Man Should Know

3. Good Morning

4. Dry County

5. Rolling and Tumbling

6. Fly Away

7. Road Fever

8. Trouble in Mind

9. Train, Train

10. Highway Song

11. Howay the Lads

Blackfoot

Blackfoot

Rickey Medlocke- guitar, lead vocals

Charlie Hargrett- guitar

Greg T Walker- bass, backing vocals

Jackson Spires- drums

I think back to that time in 1983 and thank God that I was in London and saw this album in a record store. Otherwise, I would have missed it. Then again, each time I listen to the album, I become pig sick at not having ever seen them live. Trust me, “Highway Song” will make you feel that way.

Next post: Rossington/Collins- This is the Way

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: 38 Special- Special Forces

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 8, 2015 by 80smetalman

38_Special_-_Special_Forces

Before 2015 gets too far down the road, I must pause a second to reflect on an honour bestowed on me back in 2014. As a result of my post on Triumph’s “Allied Forces” album, I was given honourary Canadian citizenship by one of my Canadian readers. It may not seem like a big thing to some, but whenever I get any sort of honour bestowed on me, it is a big thing to me because it means that people actually like what I write. So thank you for the giving me this honour.

Whilst still reflecting on the old and new year, I made an interesting observation over the holidays. During the festive period, I consumed several bottles of The Trooper, the beer brewed by Iron Maiden. During my time in the States, I got to do likewise with many bottles and cans of Yuengling. Maybe it’s me but there seems to be a remarkable similarity in the look and taste of the two beers. I wonder if Bruce Dickinson came to America and somehow stole the recipe for Yuengling and is now using it in The Trooper. One can only speculate. I’ll have to research my theory further by drinking more of both.

The Trooper

The Trooper

Yuengling

Yuengling

Southern rock hit its highest point in 1981 but it hadn’t descended down the summit in 1982. There were still Southern Rock bands making some great albums and getting their songs played on the radio, even up North. One of them was 38 Special whose single “Caught Up in You” from the 1982 album “Special Forces” got into the top ten in the pop singles charts. I have said many times before that I normally didn’t pay too much attention to the singles charts but whenever I see that a good rock or metal band I like has a song that gets in there, I find it a cause for celebration.

Hit single aside and “Caught Up In You” follows the trend in 1982 of leading off the album, the rest of the album is the brand of Southern Rock I have always liked about the previous 38 Special albums. There are some great riffs in the likes of “Back on the Track” and “Breakin’ Loose” as well as some great rhythm and harmonies on the tracks “Back Door Stranger” and “Take ‘Em Out.” As usual, Donnie Van Zant and Don Barnes do a magnificent job with the vocals on the album singing the songs that play to their strengths. The track I find most fascinating, though, is “Chain Lightning.” It starts off with an acoustic riff and at first sucks you into thinking of a possible ballad but then the guitars slam in and the song totally rocks out. Jeff Carlisi reminds me on the song why I consider him very underrated among guitarists. And if you think “Chain Lightning” sounds good on record, you should hear it played live. I got that opportunity in 1984 and it was totally kicked ass. They do sneak another single in and I have to admit, I prefer “You Keep Running Away” to “Caught Up In You” even if chart history dictates otherwise. I have never considered “Special Forces” to be a totally mind blowing as “Wild Eyed Southern Boys” or “Rockin’ Into the Night,” it isn’t really that far below them. A good solid album that kept Southern rock in the spotlight in 1982.

Track Listing:

1. Caught Up in You

2. Backdoor Stranger

3. Back On the Track

4. Chain Lightning

5. Rough Housing

6. You Keep Running Away

7. Breakin’ Loose

8. Take ‘Em Out

9. Firestarter

38 Special

38 Special

Don Barnes- guitar, lead and backing vocals

Jeff Carlisi- lead guitar

Larry Junstrom- bass

Steve Brookins- drums

Jack Grondin- drums

Donnie Van Zant- lead and backing vocals

Additional Musicians

Jimmy Barnes- harmonica, harp

Terry Emery- piano

Steve McCray- keyboards

Lu Moss- backing vocals

Carol Bristow- backing vocals

38 Special achieved the double in 1982 by putting out a great album and breaking the top ten in the singles charts. This was a a great time for the band but what nobody saw back in that year was that the one achievement would have a detrimental effect on the other one with their future albums and attitude towards music.

Next post: Blackfoot- Highway Song, Live in London

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 Metal Albums of 1981: Venom- Welcome to Hell

Posted in 1980s, Death, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 17, 2014 by 80smetalman

220px-Venom_Welcome

Thank God that my local record store back in the mid 1980s had the foresight to have a heavy metal import section otherwise I might not have heard of Venom for at least two more years from when I did. While Venom came out with all the other great NWOBHM acts in 1981, they didn’t quite enjoy the commercial success of the likes of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest or Saxon. This was in spite of the fact that commercial radio didn’t totally suck at that time. There was a genuine danger of them slipping beneath my radar totally but fortunately they didn’t and I got to hear great metal delights like their debut album “Welcome to Hell.”

After my obligatory listen, twice, to “Welcome to Hell,” I have come to the conclusion that Venom were actually ahead of their time. True, some people worried that rock music was the devil’s tool and would lead many an impressionable young mind to sacrifice goats to the dark lord, there wasn’t the all metal is Satanic fervor that would come a few years later and I was even dead smack in the bible belt at the time, thanks to the military. A few grumbled about demonic persuasion in music but Venom was the first band I know to come right out and sing about it. Songs like “Sons of Satan,” the title track, “One Thousand Days in Sodom” and “In League With the Devil” are all songs that would have the bible bashers wanting to throw copies of this album onto the fire pit. The best thing is that I get the firm impression that Venom just didn’t give a shit. I would never have taken the lyrics seriously then or now. In fact, I would have had a good giggle at them while enjoying the powerful metal that they deliver along with all those amusing lyrics. It can also be argued that they. along with Motorhead, were the first pioneers of thrash because there are a lot of thrash overtones on this album. I honestly believe that most of America wasn’t ready for this type of ear bashing back then though I would have been. “Welcome to Hell” is just a totally enjoyable album.

Track Listing:

1. Sons of Satan

2. Welcome to Hell

3. Schizo

4. Mayhem With Mercy

5. Poison

6. Live Like an Angel (Die Like a Devil)

7. Witching Hour

8. One Thousand Days in Sodom

9. Angel Dust

10. In League With Satan

11. Red Light Fever

Venom

Venom

Conrad ‘Cronos’ Lant- bass, vocals

Jefferey ‘Mantas’ Dunn- guitar

Tony ‘Abbadon’ Bray- drums

Reflecting back, I think the real reason why Venom and “Welcome to Hell” escaped my notice in 1981 was the fact I was down South at the time. It has nothing to do with religion, it was more the fact that I was in the South when Southern Rock had also ascended to its zenith. Come to think about it, what a fantastic year 1981 was for music! We had both Southern Rock and New Wave of British Heavy Metal. What more could a 20 year old US Marine, who was really digging music, could ask for?

On a personal note, I would like to thank everyone for their thoughts on the death of my father in law. The funeral went really well and again, thanks for all your support.

Next post: AC/DC- For Those About to Rock, We Salute You

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

 

 

 

 

Triumphs and Tragedies in 1981

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Death, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Illness, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 16, 2014 by 80smetalman

As always, I like to start with the bad news first before progressing onto the good news. The biggest tragedy of this particular year for music fans of all kinds with the death of reggae legend Bob Marley who died from cancer in May of 1981.

Bob Marley

Bob Marley

Whether one was a devout reggae fan, Bob Marley worshipper, total stoner or none of the above, there were very few people around my age at the time who couldn’t help but shed a tear at the passing of this great legend. His music brought reggae into the mainstream for many people, me included as did his relaxed, “be mellow” attitude towards life. Something we all probably still need to adhere to these days. While Bob may not be with us and I have to agree with his son Ziggy’s philosophy that money doesn’t buy life, his music still is alive and very well in the world today. R.I.P. Bob Marley

The Round Up

The Round Up

Now onto the first triumph which was at the time a local one for me and the sad thing was that I never got to see it due to being in the service. In June of 1981, Southern Rock converged on Philadelphia’s JFK Stadium as some of the great Southern Rock bands played what I later learned was a brilliant show. Oh, how amazing it would have been to see the likes of The Allman Brothers, Molly Hatchet, 38 Special and the Marshall Tucker Band on the same day. Unfortunately, I didn’t and therefore I implore anyone out there in the cosmos who is reading this and went to this great festival, please share your experiences!

Donington 1981

Donington 1981

The second tragedy came in the form of another great music festival across the Atlantic. In the August, the second Monsters of Rock Festival at Donington Park took place. With AC/DC as the headliner and the likes of Whitesnake, Slade and Blackfoot on the bill, it couldn’t help but to be a great show. Of course, I wasn’t at this one either but I do know someone who was and he said it was a brilliant day. It also explains why Blackfoot didn’t appear at the Round Up.  Furthermore, the promoters did a good job in ironing at some of the things that went wrong at the 1980 festival. So, two great musical shows on both sides of the ocean, the result was two triumphs for rock and metal in 1981.

There was one more triumph in 1981 but that deserves its own billing and will be spoken about later. To give a hint, it was considered a total triumph in 1981 but nowadays, it is more of a tragedy.

Next post: U2 -Boy

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: ZZ Top- El Loco

Posted in 1980s, Humour, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 12, 2014 by 80smetalman

250px-ZZ_Top_-_El_Loco

I first listened to “El Loco” in conjunction with another classic ZZ Top album “Tres Hombres.” For me, it turned out to be a double delight getting to listen to two great albums by the same band one after another and it marked another turning point in my musical life. It wasn’t until 1981 that I listened to any ZZ Top at all. That was because back in 1977, the uncle of my best friend had one of their albums, (I don’t know which), and he said it sucked and I was dumb enough back then to let that influence my music listening tastes. That is why I never listened to them back in the 70s and why I don’t allow things like that to happen anymore.

“Tres Hombres” has my two favourite ZZ Top songs of all time on it. You’ll have to read my 1979 post to discover which ones, but “El Loco” is a very good album too. The album was also the beginning of a turning point for the band musically. It was the first album they would use synthesisers in some of their songs and I must comment that they do a grand job of it on the track, “Groovy Little Hippy Pad.” For the most part, however, they stay true to their more bluesier roots. The first track “Tube Snake Boogie” is a classic and still has me rocking away to it whenever I hear it. Billy Gibbons shows his guitar worth on that and many of the other songs here. The final two tracks, “Heaven, Hell or Houston” and “Party on the Patio” are definite standouts. The band also reinforces another dimension to their music in the fact that they have a sense of humour with their songs. “Ten Foot Pole,” “Pearl Necklace” and the fore mentioned “Groovy Little Hippy Pad” bear witness to this. All in all, I remain thankful to yet another old marine buddy who opened my eyes to more cool music in the shape of ZZ Top and “El Loco.”

Track Listing:

1. Tube Snake Boogie

2. I Wanna Drive You Home

3. Ten Foot Pole

4. Leila

5. Don’t Tease Me

6. It’s So Hard

7. Pearl Necklace

8. Groovy Little Hippy Pad

9. Heaven, Hell or Houston

10. Party on the Patio

ZZ Top

ZZ Top

Billy Gibbons- guitar, vocals

Dusty Hill- bass, keyboards, vocals

Frank Beard- drums

I may have missed some of the classic ZZ Top albums when they came out in the 70s, although I did make up for that in the 80s, it didn’t stop me from appreciating what a great band ZZ Top are. The more I travel back in time, the more I have grateful I am to the USMC. Hard core Republicans might not like this fact but my experiences there opened a great chasm in my musical awareness and played a major role in shaping me in the metal head I was to eventually become. I can say that ZZ Top had an hand in that too.

Next post: 1981 Triumph and Tragedy

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