Archive for Steve Perry

Great Rock Albums of 1984: Scandal Featuring Patty Smyth- Warrior

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 2, 2017 by 80smetalman

Honeymoon Suite’s “New Girl Now” wasn’t the only rock song that got my attention during the summer of 1984. The other was a song called “The Warrior” by Patty Smyth and Scandal. For me personally, there wasn’t much in it between the two songs, I really liked both of them. However, the single buying public didn’t agree with me at the time. “New Girl Now” only made to around #53 in the Billboard charts while “The Warrior” got all the way to number seven. But what do the public know?

If it wasn’t for the fact that I luckily caught a concert by Patty Smyth and Scandal on the radio one night in early 1985, I would have had them down as two hit wonders. It was that radio broadcast that convinced me to explore what would be the band’s only full length album, “Warrior.” I thank the fact that I was in the right place at the right time because I would have otherwise missed out on a good album.

The weird thing about “Warrior” is then, like now, each time I listen to it, my enjoyment of the album alternates. One listen has me thinking, “What a great album!” while the next time, I might think, “Eh, it’s okay.” However, I never thought lower than the eh, it’s okay.

“Warrior” stacks its three singles on the first three tracks, leading off with the best known one. Then comes “Beat of a Heart” which got a good bit of airplay and I do like it. As for the next track, “Hands Tied,” I don’t ever remember hearing it outside of the album. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad song but I do think it’s not quite as good as the first two. The rest of the album is still good. One song that really sticks out is “Only the Young” but that song was written by Steve Perry, Neil Schon and Jonathan Cain of Journey who sold the song to Scandal, who do a good job in their recording of the song.

“All I Want” is probably the heaviest song on the album. There are some crunching guitars on it and it does host what I consider to be the best guitar solo on the album. Unfortunately, the credits don’t reveal which guitarist plays the solo so I guess we’ll never know. “Talk to Me” is almost as hard and the guitar solo matches the previous track but it takes a second or two before the song gets into full swing. The rest of the album goes out on a less harder tone beginning with the ballad, “Say What You Will.” Not bad as far as rock ballads go but it doesn’t chart in my personal list of great ballads. “Tonight” does take things back to pre ballad feelings and though the guitar solo is pretty cool, it’s not quite as rocky as tracks six or seven. As for the closer, it follows on from its predecessor fine and is the best track to close the album with.

Patty Smyth proves on “Warrior” that she can deliver the goods vocally. I never understood why she didn’t go farther in the music world. I’d take her over Madonna any day! Then again, I would take any female rock or metal singer over Madonna. As for the rest of the band, I will say that they are competent. Except for the guitar solos, I won’t say they’re spectacular but they know how to play and they get the job done.

Track Listing:

  1. The Warrior
  2. Beat of a Heart
  3. Hands Tied
  4. Less Than Half
  5. Only the Young
  6. All I Want
  7. Talk to Me
  8. Say What You Will
  9. Tonight
  10. Maybe We Went Too Far

Patty Smyth- lead vocals

Zack Smith- guitar, backing vocals

Ivan Elias- bass

Keith Mack- guitar, backing vocals

Thommy Price- drums

Additional Musicians

Peter Wood- synthesizer

Pat Mastelotto- drums on ‘Only the Young’

Andy Newmark- drums on “Hands Tied”

Frank Previte- backing vocals on “Hands Tied”

Norman Mershon- backing vocals on “Hands Tied”

“Warrior” was the only album released by Scandal. Patty Smyth would put out some solo albums a few years later but little, if anything, would be heard from Scandal. Is it a shame? I tend to think so because this is a good to okay album and who knows what they would have come up with if given another shot.

Next post: Marillion- Fugazi

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=1498982167&sr=8-8&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Great Rock Albums of 1984: Dennis DeYoung- Desert Moon

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 31, 2017 by 80smetalman

Journey wasn’t the only band whose members carried out solo projects in 1984. By the way, Steve Perry wasn’t the only member of Journey with his fingers in another pie in this year but that’s a story for another time. Styx had only disbanded less than a year before and by the end of 1984, two former members of the band had released solo albums. The first of these was by former singer and keyboards player, Dennis De Young, who came out with “Desert Moon,” in the middle of the year.

Styx

Like Steve Perry, if I allowed myself to be influenced by singles on radio or MTV, I would have ignored this album. The first single, the title track, while not a bad song, sounds a little too much like the very successful Styx single “Babe.” While a big hit for the band, “Babe” was never in my top ten of favourite Styx songs. Fortunately, it’s not the best song on the album which bears its name.

When I first heard the opener, “Don’t Wait for Heroes,” I was quite upbeat. Maybe Dennis was taking the progressive/hard rock formula that worked so well with his former band and incorporating it in his solo album. For me, this is the best song on the album. The next track, “Please,” tries to carry this on and does so reasonably but doesn’t quite come up to the opener. “Boys Will Be Boys” is a better track and could have been as good as the “Don’t Wait for Heroes” but Dennis goes a bit too new wave with it and I found that a turn off. After the title track, “Suspicious” is a very interesting track. It’s a definite progressive rock track, in fact, it sounds very suspiciously (yep pun intended) like 10CC. Still, it’s a very upbeat and enjoyable song, with some good guitar solos compliments of Tom Dziallo. It gives the opener a very close competition for my top spot.

My biggest criticism of “Desert Moon” is the cover of the Jimi Hendrix classic, “Fire.” I know Dennis was a keyboards player and that song would have worked if done right but it wasn’t. He tries to make it too new wave or something and it just doesn’t work. The album ends with two softer ballad type songs. Dennis’s voice was well suited to such songs, although the former, “Gravity” transforms into a cabaret type of song, which doesn’t rock me until the guitar solo which does save it a little.

Track Listing:

  1. Don’t Wait For Heroes
  2. Please
  3. Boys Will Be Boys
  4. Fire
  5. Desert Moon
  6. Suspicious
  7. Gravity
  8. Dear Darling (I’ll Be There)

Dennis DeYoung

Dennis DeYoung- vocals, keyboards, piano, percussion

Tom Dziallo- all guitars, bass, backing vocals

Dennis Johnson- bass

Tom Radtke- drums, percussion

Steve Eisen- conga, saxophone, conductor

Rosemary Butler- duet vocal on “Please”

Sandy Caulfield- backing vocals

Suzanne DeYoung, Dawn Feusi, Pat Hurley- additional backing vocals

Dennis DeYoung was the first former Styx member out of the starting blocks with a solo album. “Desert Moon” has some good moments and overall is an okay album. However, it doesn’t rock all the way through leaving it unbalanced. Still might be worth a listen, I’ll let you judge from my two favourite tracks.

Next post: HSAS- Through the Fire

Hopefully, there will be a new link for “Rock And Roll Children” soon.

Meanwhile it’s still available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1984: Steve Perry- Street Talk

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 28, 2017 by 80smetalman

If I were one of those types of persons who bought or didn’t buy an album because of the single, then I wouldn’t have bought the first solo album from Journey’s singer, Steve Perry, “Street Talk.” Now, I’m not saying that “Oh Sherrie” was a rubbish song, it’s not. What it is is a rather catchy AOR pop song and it’s little wonder that it reached number three on Billboard charts. However, that big single is not typical of the rest of the “Street Talk” album.

“Oh Sherrie” is the opener on the album and that’s not a surprise. Like I said, it’s not a bad song. On the other hand, if I had anything to say, I would have put the second track, “I Believe” as the opener. This is a funky jam which stretches Steve’s voice to its full potential. This is the song that wakes you up and says that you’re going to listen to this album and like it. The following track, “Go Away,” combines the first two songs. There is that 80s synth influence of “Oh Sherrie” in the back ground but it goes to the funky vibe of “I Believe.” The song works and has a decent guitar solo. However, the next track, “Foolish Heart,” is a definite ballad, sung in a lounge act style. While, it’s not my cup of tea, you can’t fault Mr Perry’s vocals on it.

There are some rockers on the album as well and that begins with “It’s Only Love.” Steve shows that he’s still the rock singer he was with Journey. There are some good guitars to enjoy on it too. An even better rocker is “You Should Be Happy.” This even has a cool guitar lick at the intro and is for sure, a straight ahead rocker. It’s definitely in the top two for my favourite track on the album. Love the power chords in the middle of the song. Even though, it starts out like it’s going to be another ballad, “She’s Mine” turns out to be a quiet little rocker as well. “Running Alone” is a ballad, no questions asked but okay since it turns into a power ballad later in the song. “Captured By the Moment” is a good rocker with a cool guitar solo. However, the song, I’ve always liked is the closer and third single, “Strung Out.” When I first heard it, I thought “This is more me.” And it takes the album out on a high.

Track Listing:

  1. Oh Sherrie
  2. I Believe
  3. Go Away
  4. Foolish Heart
  5. It’s Only Love
  6. She’s Mine
  7. You Should Be Happy
  8. Running Alone
  9. Captured by the Moment
  10. Strung Out

Steve Perry

Steve Perry- vocals

Craig Krampf, Larrie Londin- drums, percussion

Bob Glaub, Chuck Domanico, Kevin McCormick, Brian Garofalo- bass

Michael Landau, Waddy Watchel, Craig Hull, Billy Steele- guitars

Steve Goldstein, Sterling Smith, Bill Cuomo, Billy Goodrum, Duane Hitchings, Robert Greenridge- keyboards

Journey might have been taking a break in 1984 but Steve Perry wasn’t. “Street Talk” is proof of that. This was a good album for him, whether or not you liked “Oh Sherrie.”

Next Post: Dennis De Young- Desert Moon

Note: The link for Rock and Roll Children no longer works but it is still available on Amazon.com and other books websites and at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1983: Journey- Frontiers

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 7, 2016 by 80smetalman

220px-Jfrontiers

Many a person, myself included, after hearing the “Frontiers” album by Journey back in 1983, came to the conclusion that they had gone too commercial with the album. Some of those same people further argued that the descent down that slippery slope actually started with their previous album, “Escape” two years prior and that “Frontiers” was just a natural progression down that slope. While I won’t rack my brain nor strain my typing fingers worrying when Journey went too commercial, I do know that when I heard this album, it didn’t make me forget about all about their earlier harder albums.

With all of the above said, “Frontiers” doesn’t suck. Sure it’s a come down and I wouldn’t debate anyone who said it was a sell out (though I wouldn’t debate anyone who said it wasn’t either) but it’s not a bad album at all. I think what Journey tried to do was to be more modern but trying to keep their more hard rock following. Many of the songs on the album have the potential to be real rockers and Neil Schon hammers out some cool guitar solos on them but where there might be a hard guitar, it is masked by the keyboards. The opener and first single, “Separate Ways” bears testimony to that fact. I mean if they had just let the hard guitar alone and had the keyboards play a more supportive role, I would have head banged away to it big time instead of just shrugging my shoulders and saying, “it’s okay,” when I heard it. The next three tracks follow in this mode. The potential for a good hard rock song is there with them but the keyboards drown them out and while none of those songs are in any way bad, I just don’t feel they live up to their potential. Of those four, “Chain Reaction” is my favourite.

It wouldn’t be a Journey album if there wasn’t at least one power ballad on it and “Faithfully” fits the bill perfectly. As far as Journey material goes, that song is as good or better than any of their other power ballads, save “Open Arms” but that has sentimental meaning for me. It is post ballad that the album begins to get interesting. “Edge of the Blade” is the first true rocker on the album for me. With that song, I finally start head banging away and Schon’s solo is just killer. The next track, “Troubled Child” is more in line with the first four songs but the difference is I think that song was meant to be more of a progressive/hard rock song. It does sound good and it leads to the last three songs taking the album out on a more harder sounding note. In fact, “Back Talk” might sound good metalized and “Rubicon” is a hard enough closer to almost cancel out my feelings about the first four songs.

Track Listing:

  1. Separate Ways
  2. Send Her My Love
  3. Chain Reaction
  4. After the Fall
  5. Faithfully
  6. Edge of the Blade
  7. Troubled Child
  8. Back Talk
  9. Frontiers
  10. Rubicon
Journey

Journey

Steve Perry- vocals

Neil Schon- guitar, vocals

Jonathan Cain- keyboards, vocals

Ross Valory- bass, vocals

Steve Smith- drums, percussion, vocals

Now I sense that some of you are flexing your fingers ready to respond about how commercially successful the “Frontiers” album was. I grant that and I have to give Journey total credit. For all my bitching about them being too commercial, they can still pull off a decent album with it. Nevertheless, I still have this craving to pop on “Wheel in the Sky” and crank it.

Next post: Joan Armatrading- The Key

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 1980: Sammy Hagar- Danger Zone

Posted in 1980s, films, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, soundtracks, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 24, 2013 by 80smetalman

220px-SammyHagarDangerZone

At first, I wasn’t sure if I should put this album into the metal category as many out there don’t classify Sammy Hagar has heavy metal. Then again, I never gave two stuffs about silly arguments over what should be categorised where. Besides, the first song I ever heard from the “Red Rocker” had the same title as the genre of music I love so much. It was on a soundtrack from a film of the very same name which I will be visiting when I get to 1981.

So onto this album “Danger Zone.” Listening to it only confirms to me that it should be called a metal album as there are some serious rocking tunes on it. “Mommy Says, Daddy Says,” “20th Century Man,” “Love or Money” and “Bad Reputation” are all great melodic metal tunes that stand the test of time. Even the bluesy “The Ice Man” where Journey singer Steve Perry provides the backing vocals is a cooker. There is some great crunching guitar sounds on this album and another Journey member in the form of Neil Schon lays down some killer solos on “Love or Money.” I get the impression that Hagar is still hungry on this album and it definitely shows in the music.

Track Listing:

1. Love or Money

2. 20th Century Man

3. Miles For Boredom

4. Mommy Says, Daddy Says

5. In The Night, (Entering the Danger Zone)

6. The Iceman

7. Bad Reputation

8. Heartbeat

9. Run For Your Life

10. Danger Zone

Sammy Hagar

Sammy Hagar

 

Sammy Hagar- vocals, guitar

Bill Church- bass

Gary Pihl- guitar, keyboards

Chuck Ruff- drums

Geoff Workman- keyboards

Guest Musicians

Steve Perry- backing vocals

Neil Schon- guitar solos on “Love or Money”

In 1980, Sammy Hagar was still making his way in the rock world. Kick ass albums like “Danger Zone” paved the way to the greatness he would eventually achieve.

Next post: Motorhead- Ace of Spades

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

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle

Great Rock Albums of 1980: Journey- Departure

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 7, 2013 by 80smetalman

Journey_Departure

No amusing story behind this album but one of slight regret. In August of this year, my battalion was getting ready to ship out to the Mediterranean. My one friend got chosen to go on the advance party to meet the ship at Norfolk, Virginia while the bulk of us got boarded at Moorhead City, North Carolina. When I got on the ship there, my friend told me that he saw Journey in concert in Norfolk and how great it was. Needless to say, I was wishing that I had also been chosen for the advance party.

Journey were near the zenith of their popularity by this time and “Departure” was yet another in a string of great albums they had put out. “Any Way You Want It” is the best song known song from the album and it is a rocker as far as singles go. For me, it was definitely a step up from “Lovin’ Touchin’ Squeezin.” The rest of the album just continues the groove. “Walks Like a Lady” is a good follow on from “Any Way You Want It” There are some other good rockers on here like “I’m Crying” and the closer “Homemade Love.” They also go almost experimental progressive in the sense of “Little Girl” which I heard on an alternative version of this album on You Tube and somewhat in the same direction with “Someday Soon” although Neil Schon hammers out  a brilliant guitar solo towards the end of that one.

I will take a moment to say that thinking retrospectively, Steve Perry was probably the best male vocalist around at the time. He could belt out a rocker and then sing a more ballad like song and still sound convincing. He didn’t and still doesn’t get the recognition he deserves for his vocal talents.

Track Listing:

1. Any Way You Want It

2. Walk Like a Lady

3. Someday Soon

4. People and Places

5. Precious Time

6. Where Were You

7. I’m Crying

8. Line of Fire

9. Departure

10. Little Girl

11. Stay Awhile

12. Homemade Love

Journey

Journey

Steve Perry- lead vocals

Neil Schon- guitars, backing vocals

Greg Rollie- keyboards, harmonica, backing vocals

Ross Valory- bass, backing vocals

Steve Smith- drums, percussion

Stroud Record Fair

Stroud Record Fair

 

Before I end with reinforcing how good the “Departure” album is, I thought I would take a moment to tell you about going to the Stroud Record Fair today. My work with adults with autism was the reason I was there today (my job has its perks) because the gentleman I was looking after likes to collect vinyl albums from artists from the fifties; i.e. Elvis, Buddy Holly, Eddie Cochran, Fats Domino etc. So while he was fishing through those albums, I had a look around myself and saw some cool things like a Thin Lizzy Box Set, loads of Dead Kennedys albums on vinyl and there was a Hanoi Rocks CD that caught my eye too. It was a shame that I only had company money on me. My service user, Jonathan, ended up buying albums by Billy Fury, The Drifters and Little Richard. I didn’t see this Journey album there either and that’s a shame.

Next post: Pat Travers- Crash and Burn

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

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