Archive for The 1980s

Malcolm Young: R.I.P

Posted in Death, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 18, 2017 by 80smetalman

Another great legend goes to the great gig in the sky.

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My favourite member of the best rock band there has ever been has died today.  Rock in Peace.

Back in Black.

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Great Metal Albums of 1984: Grim Reaper- See You In Hell

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 16, 2017 by 80smetalman

Whenever the new wave of British heavy metal or NWOBHM is mentioned, it is usually Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Def Leppard and Saxon who spring to mind first. These great bands blazed a trail for metal bands from both sides of the Atlantic to follow. Leading the chase out of Great Britain was the heavy metal outfit, Grim Reaper. For me, the name alone made them worth giving them a listen and that turned out to be a very wise choice.

Coming from Droitwich which is in Worcestershire, England and only about 20 miles from Birmingham, there is no surprise in the Judas Priest influence with the band. However, lead singer Steve Grimmett has a vocal style that is somewhat like Iron Maiden although I can at times hear a little of Halford as well. Okay, I’m a wishy-washy bastard. Anyway, with this mighty infusion, it is little wonder that Grim Reaper sounds as good as they do and why I think their debut album, “See You in Hell” is cool.

The title track, which is the band’s best known song leads the charge. Listening to it, it is no wonder why it’s number 38 on VHS Most Awesome Bad Metal Songs Ever. It’s definitely my all time favourite Grim Reaper song. However, the seven other songs on the album aren’t far behind and make sure that it’s not a one song album. All throughout the album are the bashing power chords and way out soloing of guitarist Nick Bowcott and the fore-mentioned vocals of Grimmett. All of which are supported by a more than capable rhythm section of Dave Wanklin and Lee Harris. This makes it difficult for me to pick out a standout song beyond the title track. They are all stomp on your face metal tunes that rock. The only possible exception is the slower, at times ballad like “The Show Must Go On.” While quality wise, its as good but no better  than the other tracks, it does depart from the hammering chords of those songs and shows that Grim Reaper are versatile. Bowcott’s guitar work is quite eerily outstanding on it. However, that only changes things up slightly before the closer blasts your ears to pieces.

Track Listing:

  1. See You in Hell
  2. Dead On Arrival
  3. Liar
  4. Wrath of the Ripper
  5. Now or Never
  6. Run For Your Life
  7. The Show Must Go On
  8. All Hell Let Loose

Grim Reaper

Steve Grimmett- vocals

Nick Bowcott- guitars

Dave Wanklin- bass

Lee Harris- drums

Grim Reaper’s debut “See You in Hell” album led the charge for what many thought would be a second new wave of British heavy metal. Especially with Maiden and Priest coming out with albums the same year. In 1984, that was true and though things would go sour for this band a few years later, this is still an album to be proud of.

Next post: Gary Moore- Victims of the Future

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_8?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1510850234&sr=1-8&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1984: Black N Blue

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on November 13, 2017 by 80smetalman

Back in 1984, I was still pretty much relying on commercial media to bring me news of new albums and bands. I have to admit that in the early part of the year, MTV was a reliable source although this would quickly change towards the end of 1984. However, as commercial media was becoming less reliable in heavy metal terms, word of mouth and scouring record stores’ stock proved to be a God send. It was through the former method as to how I discovered the debut album from Black’n Blue.

If you have never heard the album before, you might react with a “This sounds very 80s” comment. True, I can see that, there is a definite 80s metal vibe here but I didn’t care at all back then and I don’t care now. The lyrics are definitely so but again, they make the songs fun. Take the second track, “School of Hard Rocks” where the lyrics go, “We’re gonna rock your socks off.” There are probably thousands of bands who have penned lyrics like this in the past three decades but for me, Black’ n Blue were the first ones to do it in a way that I really liked.

Funny thing, not long after I listened to the album, their best known single of all time, “Hold Onto 18” did get played on MTV. Although that was possibly the only time I saw the video for the song. I might have caught it again another time but my memory is playing tricks on me. This song was a banner for those who were reaching that age in 1984, like my sister. I was 23 and had spent four years serving my country but even I could appreciate the sentiment of the lyrics. Besides, it is a very powerful song to begin with.

The three tracks  before “Hold Onto 18” are all of that 1980s metal sound, if you believe there is such a thing. However, the track after, “Wicked Bitch” kicks things up several gears. This is a great metal tune that could fit well into any decade with fantastic power chords and a blistering guitar solo. Following that is a good cover of The Sweet classic, “Action.” They do metal it up quite well. That metal power continues through the remaining songs. All of them are kick ass power rockers.

Track Listing:

  1. The Strong Will Rock
  2. School of Hard Rocks
  3. Autoblast
  4. Hold Onto 18
  5. Wicked Bitch
  6. Action
  7. Show Me the Night
  8. One for the Money
  9. I’m the King
  10. The Chains Around Heaven

Black’n Blue

Jamie St James- lead and backing vocals

Tommy Thayer- guitar, backing vocals

Jeff ‘Woop’ Warner- guitar, backing vocals

Patrick Young- bass, backing vocals

Pete Holmes- drums

The great thing about 1984 was it helped to put bands I would have never heard of onto my radar. I guess I should be grateful for that. It’s also good that one of those bands was Black’n Blue because their debut album is killer. While it does get a mention in “Rock and Roll Children,” it isn’t for another year in the story and in my life where they get more into the spotlight.

Next post: Grim Reaper- See You In Hell

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1510595469&sr=8-1&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Rock/Metal Albums of 1984: Slade- Keep Your Hands Off My Power Supply

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 9, 2017 by 80smetalman

Throughout the later half of the 1970s, Slade had been trying to break into the American music market but with little success. Back then, I heard the name but nothing more. However, in 1983, Quiet Riot covered their 1973 hit “Cum On Feel the Noise.” Once Americans realized that the song had been originally written and recorded by Slade, a curiosity about the band arose and people began to check them out. Honest, it was on my to do list but I didn’t get around to it. That was until radio played the single, “My Oh My” from the 1984 “Keep Your Hands Off My Power Supply” and then MTV played the video for “Run Run Away” quite a lot. Therefore, I had no other choice than to investigate Slade. It would be this album first. That led me to listen to them more and is why I site them as an ‘honourable mention’ in my series of “Other Great Metal Influences.”

The big question back in 1984 was should Slade be considered heavy metal? Of course, the trendies thought anything with a fuzzy guitar was heavy metal and some of the more self proclaimed hard core metalheads claimed the opposite citing the fact that Jim Lea wrote “Run Run Away” on his fiddle. Well that happens to be my favourite Slade song of all time and yes, there is definitely a folk influence in the song but for me, it still rocks. I love the crunching guitars at the beginning and the folk provides a cool twist. Amusing anecdote: For the first few weeks of hearing “Run Run Away,” I thought the lyrics “See chameleon” were actually “See comedian.” My ears were playing tricks on me.

“My Oh My” is another reason why I’m such a sucker for a good power ballad because that’s exactly what it is. I could never explain why but the lyrics to it really got to me then and when I hear it now, I think about that. Folk influenced tunes and power ballads aside, the album blows apart any argument that Slade aren’t capable of going total rock out. The best examples are the three tracks, “Slam the Hammer Down,” “In the Doghouse,” which has the best guitar solo on the album and the title track. All of these are really cool songs and stamp the argument that Slade can be considered heavy metal. Not that the other songs don’t rock because they surely do. Except for “(And Now the Waltz) C’est La Vie,” which is the other power ballad on the album. It’s good and better what some bands are capable of but I prefer “My Oh My.” Also the closer, “Ready to Explode,” is cool with the car racing commentary and it rocks pretty well too. Unlike the shorter tracks, it’s eight minutes long and you are not bored for one second of it. However, it’s the three mentioned ones that are the big headbangers on this album.

Track Listing:

  1. Run Run Away
  2. My Oh My
  3. High and Dry
  4. Slam the Hammer Down
  5. In the Doghouse
  6. Keep Your Hands Off My Power Supply
  7. Cheap’n Nasty Luv
  8. Can’t Tame a Hurricane
  9. (And Now the Waltz) C’est La Vie
  10. Ready to Explode

Slade

Noddy Holder- rhythm guitar, lead vocals

Dave Hill- lead guitar, backing vocals

Jim Lea- bass, keyboards, backing vocals, accompanying lead vocal on “Ready to Explode”

Don Powell- drums, percussion, gongs

 

Quiet Riot may have helped Slade get the recognition they so dearly deserved in America but it was the “Keep Your Hands Off My Power Supply” album that made everyone take notice that they were for real. They did start a tour in support of Ozzy in this year but Noddy Holder’s marital problems and Jim Lea coming down with hepatitis killed the tour. Shame, because I would have loved to have seen them.

Next post: Black N Blue

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1510257719&sr=8-1&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1984: The Scorpions- Love At First Sting

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 6, 2017 by 80smetalman

After posting albums by two bands who came and went virtually unnoticed by the world, except for me, I noticed them, I thought it would be a good idea to go totally the opposite direction and post about a band whose album took the world by storm in 1984. That is exactly what The Scorpions “Love at First Sting” album did, it took the metal world (and in some cases, the non-metal world) by storm. The first single got played a lot on MTV, not that I minded that at all.

Even after more than three decades, when I hear the opening riffs to “Rock You Like a Hurricane,” I jump up and want to start headbanging away to it. Being a little older and slightly more wiser these days, I have come to realize that it was a gutsy move to release it as a single. Those opening riffs are not something you’d expect to hear on commercial radio but one did then. Normally, metal bands would release the more commercial friendly song, not one that blows people away. Then again, 1984 was the golden year of heavy metal so I shouldn’t be surprised that such songs got airplay.

The great thing about “Love At First Sting” is that the above single was just one of the great songs that appear on it. The two songs either side of “Rock You Like a Hurricane” are just as kick you in the head metal. In fact, I have come to believe that those songs could have been arranged in any order and it would have had the same effect on my enjoyment of it. I still would have loved it. After the three opening songs, “Coming Home” starts like a total ballad but after a minute and a half in, the band just goes nuts and the power of the first three songs comes through. Maybe writers Meine and Schenker thought the listener needed a break so, they wrote it that way. But whatever their motives, it worked!

Things go almost to speed metal levels with the next track, “The Same Thrill” but again, it’s done very well. They just let themselves go here and it sounds great. It would be nearly another year before “Big City Nights” was released as a single but I’m glad I didn’t have to wait that long to hear it. It’s a powerful song with a catchy melody and some cool guitar hooks. Some very interesting opening riffs on “As Soon As the Good Times Roll” and “Crossfire” keep things ticking over and leads nicely to what some might consider another gutsy move. The album ends with the second single, the power ballad, “Still Loving You.” As some of you might have guessed, I’m a sucker for a good power ballad and this one is right up there with the best. Note: I’ve already sung the praises of the musicians who comprise this band on previous posts about The Scorpions, so I won’t repeat it.

Track Listing:

  1. Bad Boys Running Wild
  2. Rock You Like a Hurricane
  3. I’m Leaving You
  4. Coming Home
  5. The Same Thrill
  6. Big City Nights
  7. As Soon As the Good Times Roll
  8. Crossfire
  9. Still Loving You

The Scorpions

Klaus Meine- lead vocals

Rudy Schenker- rhythm guitar, backing vocals

Mathias- Jabs- lead guitar

Francis Bucholz- bass

Herman Rarebell- drums

If any one album, established metal as a dominant musical force in early 1984, it was “Love at First Sting” by the Scorpions. Looking back, it’s only right that they be part of the golden year of metal. Especially as they put out such a cool album. My regret is not giving it enough mention in “Rock and Roll Children.”

Next post: Slade- Keep Your Hands Off My Power Supply

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1509995239&sr=8-3&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1984: White Wolf- Standing Alone

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on November 3, 2017 by 80smetalman

Here’s a post about being in the right place at the right time. Sometime in the wee hours of one morning in early 1984, I happened to be up watching MTV when this video by some band named White Wolf came on. I knew nothing about the band but I knew I liked the song they were playing. So, I made a mental note about them and went to my local record shops in the days following to find out more about this band and possibly buy the album. Unfortunately, I drew a blank everywhere I went and I had a good share of confused looks from shop assistants, but that’s Southern New Jersey for you. The sad tale is that I never got this album though the band from that one late night experience has always remained in my memory. However, there is a happy ending thanks to Youtube where I finally got to listen to White Wolf’s 1984 “Standing Alone” album and share it with you. Believe me, the wait was worth it.

Let me start with my one tiny criticism of “Standing Alone.” It’s the title track. Not a bad song, in fact it’s quite good but it shouldn’t be the opener on the album. That duty should have fallen on the second track, “Headlines.” That is the song that leaps out and assaults your ear drums and makes you pay serious attention to the album. As for the title track, it should have been third because the track after “Headlines” continues the ear assault before turning slightly more melodic at the end. The more melodic title track would have followed on nicely from there. That would have very nicely paved the way for my favourite track on the album. “What the War Will Bring.” It cleverly disguises itself as a power ballad, a good one, but there is some very great guitar work here. Eight minutes of enjoyable melodic metal and guitar work combined. Most of the song is comprised of the latter and that is the reason why I like it so much.

Nit picking done, the rest of the album is one big powerful explosion of metal. The three tracks following my favourite bear testimony to that. “Night Rider” kicks it off with a harmonizing of the title before the music kicks in full blast. It’s a rather fast paced song, though I wouldn’t call it thrash, with a cool guitar solo. If you thought “Night Rider” was hard, “Homeward Bound” is even harsher! It’s a good heavy metal tune, if ever there was one. A sort of twist comes next. One would think that a song called “Metal Thunder” would be even harder and louder than its predecessors but it’s much more melodic, a good curve ball there. Still, it’s a cool song with some good harmony vocals and guitar work and it leads very well to the closer, which provides the right conclusion to this fime album.

Track Listing:

  1. Standing Alone
  2. Headlines
  3. Shadows in the Night
  4. What the War Will Bring
  5. Night Rider
  6. Homeward Bound
  7. Metal Thunder
  8. Trust Me

Donn Wolf aka Don Wilk- vocals

Martin Kronlund- guitar

Cam McLeod- guitar, backing vocals

Rikard Quist- bass

Imre Daun- drums

I can’t even remember which of these 8 cool songs the video I saw on MTV back in 1984 was for. I do remember it being a viking theme but that’s all. I do know that I liked the song and there must have been something there for me to remember it all these years after. I’m forever grateful that I got to listen to “Standing Alone” and got to hear it for myself.

Next post: The Scorpions- Love At First Sting

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1509701865&sr=8-3&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Knighthood For Bruce Dickinson

Posted in Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on November 1, 2017 by 80smetalman

Bruce Dickinson

After all his accomplishments in music, aviation and business, it is time that Bruce Dickinson is formally recognized for all of his achievements and be granted a knighthood by the United Kingdom. Therefore, I have started a petition which you can sign so this can happen. It’s a travesty that he hasn’t been recognized sooner. I know that if he were a trendy pop singer, he would have gotten a knighthood for doing less. So click the link below and let’s get Bruce what he so richly deserves.

https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson?recruiter=69219669&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=share_twitter_responsive&sharerUserId=69219669&utm_content=nafta_twitter_shortlink%3Areal_control

Iron Maiden