Archive for The 1980s

Great Rock Albums of 1984: Billy Satellite

Posted in Uncategorized, 1980s, Music, Rock with tags , , , , , , , , on July 19, 2017 by 80smetalman

Like Jethro Tull, Billy Satellite is the name of a band. As far as I know, there is no individual with that name. Also, like the Bangles, their debut album came and went in 1984 with little notice except for keen persons like myself who had an ear out for some good straightforward rock. Unlike the Bangles or Jethro Tull, this self titled album would be the band’s only release and they would drift off into obscurity living only in my memory.

Their album is the reason why Billy Satellite has lived in the back corners of my mind for over three decades. It is a really cool down to earth straight ahead rock album. All the elements to make the album great are there. Good vocals, some cool guitars and a sound rhythm section with a keyboard accompaniment that brings out the flavour of the mix really well. So, my question is, why didn’t people take more notice of Billy Satellite? My only suggested answer is that with all of the heavy metal that was flying about at the time, they simply got lost in the hysteria. They definitely aren’t a heavy metal band but they were a hell of a lot better than a lot of the non metal in this year.

If you want something to compare them to, then the closest would be Night Ranger but that might being doing them a disservice. They were unique enough to not need any comparison as far as this album is concerned. The first three tracks come straight at you with some of that good straight ahead rock that I have been talking about. The opener was also the highest charting single (#64). It is a good track but I like the following one, “Last Call.” That is the standout for me with all the elements of a good hard rock song present. Track #3 is a good one too before the two ballads, “Trouble” being the better of the two. Then things go back to heavy rock with the cool, “Rockin’ Down the Highway” and continue to do so for the rest of the album. “Turning Point” has a slight blues feel to it and the tempo change works well on the album. It has a good guitar solo but notes don’t reveal which guitarist is responsible. That leads nicely to “Bye Bye Baby” which borders on a ballad and a rock song. Rock returns for sure with “Standing with the Kings” and that leads to the closer which ends the album very well.

Track Listing:

  1. Satisfy Me
  2. Last Call
  3. Do Ya
  4. I Wanna Go Back
  5. Trouble
  6. Rockin’ Down the Highway
  7. Turning Point
  8. Bye Bye Baby
  9. Standing With the Kings
  10. The Lonely One

Billy Satellite

Monty Byrom- guitars, vocals, keyboards

Danny Chauncey- guitars, keyboards

Ira Walker- bass

Tom ‘Fee’ Faletti- drums

While sitting here typing this, I have come to a conclusion as to why Billy Satellite didn’t go further in 1984. It was that they were about four or five years too soon. Thinking about some of the bands in the late 80s, Danger Danger and Hurricane and Winger, these guys would have fit in well with that group. Unfortunately, they were five years too soon and although they had a cool album, it didn’t do well enough for them to continue. They would split and go their separate ways.

Next post: Bruce Springsteen- Born in the USA

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1500479463&sr=1-6&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1984: The Bangles- All Over the Place

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 16, 2017 by 80smetalman

Before Prince and other more commercial types got their claws into them, The Bangles debut album, “All Over the Place” was a solid new wave sounding album. When the video for the single, “The Hero Takes a Fall” appeared on MTV one day, I thought to myself, I like this song. It wasn’t heavy but there was just enough guitar in there for me.

“The Hero Takes a Fall” never broke the top forty charts in 1984, most likely because I liked it. What it did do was to further my intrigue into this band and I liked what I discovered. Like, I said above, “All Over the Place” is a decent album. There is a strong new wave sound but it stops a just short of being a hard rocker and in no way did it knock Girlschool off top spot as my favourite all female band.

The funny thing is that the album could have been a cool metal album if they had let loose with the guitars a bit more. One song that typifies this is “All About You.” There is a guitar bit that sounds okay but it would have sounded amazing if they had put a fuzz box in there. The same thing could have been said about “Restless” and “Tell Me.” However, there is another song that stands above even those. “Dover Beach” is where lead guitarist Vicki Peterson really gets to shred a little. I’m not going to say she’s a hidden guitar great because of one solo but it would have been nice to hear her shred a little more. She does shred a little bit on “Going Down to Liverpool” but because the song is in the early Beatles form, her guitar solo sounds like something from “A Hard Day’s Night.” Not a bad thing and the song is okay, it just doesn’t make it any real rocker.

“He’s Got a Secret” is another decent song. It’s about a man whose cheating on his partner and there is some good guitar work in it. However, it is the vocals of Susanna Hoffs which punctuate the song for me. Actually, the hardest rock song is, “Silent Treatment” and it’s good to hear the band really let loose. I think that song should have been the closer as I was never very impressed with the one that actually is.

Track Listing:

  1. The Hero Takes a Fall
  2. Live
  3. James
  4. All About You
  5. Dover Beach
  6. Tell Me
  7. Restless
  8. Going Down to Liverpool
  9. He’s Got a Secret
  10. Silent Treatment
  11. More Than Meets the Eye

The Bangles

Susannah Hoffs- rhythm guitar, vocals

Vicki Peterson- lead guitar, vocals

Michael Steele- bass

Debbi Peterson- drums, vocals

While I wasn’t the only one who took notice of the Bangles in 1984, they pretty much came and went through the year unnoticed. Unfortunately, the wrong people, as far as this metalhead is concerned, did take notice of them and would turn them into a top forty band. That is why “All Over the Place” would be the only Bangles album I would ever listen to.

Next Post: Billy Satellite

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=1500195556&sr=8-8&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

Making Up For a Crap Memory

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 15, 2017 by 80smetalman

Before I went off to Download, I began the practice of posting a song from the album I was posting about. However, it seems since I returned, I have forgotten to do that. Maybe it was down to too much partying at Download. So, in order to make up for that, I’m posting songs from Honeymoon Suite, Scandal, Marillion and David Gilmour. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1984: David Gilmour- About Face

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 13, 2017 by 80smetalman

Like Lennon and McCartney after the Beatles split and Henley and Frey after the split of the Eagles, I wonder if Roger Waters and David Gilmour were entwined in some music one-upsmanship after the imagined Pink Floyd split following the last album with Waters, “The Final Cut.” Early in the year, we were treated to Roger’s album, “The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking,” which I’ve already posted about. In the months that followed, Pink Floyd guitarist, David Gilmour, released his solo album, “About Face.”

One thing I will never do is allow myself to be dragged into any debate as to which was the better album between Waters and Gilmour. Don’t even ask because even after thirty-three years, I couldn’t give an answer. I like both of them very much.

Some critic back then stated that “About Face” had a commercial feel that Pink Floyd were never bothered with. I would never call this album commercial, even if in a 2006 interview, Gilmour stated that he thought that it was too 80s. Well, maybe it was for him. In my not so humble opinion, I think that the album doesn’t go too far from the Pink Floyd formula. While I wouldn’t call the opening track typically Floyd, I do think “Until We Sleep” a cool space rock tune. I can easily listen to it while puffing the magic dragon and might have done so. However, the next two tracks are definitely Pink Floyd style tracks. The first of these, “Murder” was written in angry reaction to the senseless murder of John Lennon. On the track, Gilmour really vents that anger with a hair raising guitar solo. “Blue Light” has a funky jazz beat with the horns and this song is probably the farthest song from the traditional Pink Floyd trademark. I like it regardless.

“Out of the Blue” goes back to more familiar territory, nothing wrong with that either, but the track after, “All Lovers are Deranged” is a bit of a rocker. The lyrics were written by Who guitarist Peter Townsend and you can hear a bit of early Who in the song. It had to have been put on the album to give the listener a shock after being absorbed by the mellower track before it. “Don’t Turn You Back” starts out like a Floyd-esque song but there’s some interesting stuff going on in the middle of it with horns. If there was any track on the album that sounded commercial 80s, then it would be “Cruise.” I have always wondered why it never was released as a single. With its more easy listening style, the trendy top forty types might have liked it even if they didn’t know anything about David Gilmour or Pink Floyd. Some good organ work behind a reggae tint makes this song. Another interesting song is the instrumental that is “Let’s Get Metaphysical.” This goes from being spacey type Floyd to jazzy horns to some very good progressive sounds. The thing is that with all of this mixed together, David pulls it off. That must be a tribute to his genius. Then he ends things in what I call typical Pink Floyd fashion with “Near the End.” A long sounded space out track with some great Gilmour guitar licks. It is the best song to end with.

One thing consistent on every song is the guitar work of David Gilmour. He does let himself go more and while I always liked his guitar work with Pink Floyd, he outshines himself on “About Face.” It also helps that he put a great band together as well as some cool guest musicians to play with him.

Track Listing:

  1. Until We Sleep
  2. Murder
  3. Love On the Air
  4. Blue Light
  5. Out of the Blue
  6. All Lovers are Deranged
  7. Don’t Turn Your Back
  8. Cruise
  9. Let’s Get Metaphysical
  10. Near the End

David Gilmour

David Glimour- guitars, lead vocals, bass

Jeff Procraro- drums, percussion

Pino Palladino- bass

Ian Kewley- organ

Additional Musicians

Steve Winwood- organ on “Blue Light” and piano on “Love on the Air”

Jon Lord- synthesizer

Anne Dudley- synthesizer

Bob Ezrin- keyboards, orchestral arrangement

The Kick Horns- brass

Luis Jardim, Ray Cooper- percussion

Roy Harper, Sam Brown, Vicki Brown, Mickey Feat- vocals

The National Philharmonic Orchestra

David Gilmour popped out onto the music world of 1984 with a great solo album. Okay, it didn’t have the chart success even if Dave thought it was too 1980s. Many Pink Floyd fans do like it and so do some who weren’t. A great effort from a fine musician.

Next post: The Bangles- All Over the Place

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=1499972446&sr=8-8&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1984: Marillion- Fugazi

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on July 8, 2017 by 80smetalman

If there hadn’t been so much heavy metal available in 1984, I wouldn’t have missed the second album from the band I call the progressive rock kings of the 1980s, Marillion. While the “Fugazy” album was wowing people in the UK, I was too busy headbanging away for it to catch my notice.Was it a shame that I didn’t listen to any Marillion until 1985 and this album until 87? It sure is but I’ve made up for it since.

At the opening notes of the album’s first song, “Assassing,”I can hear a definite influence from 1970s prog icons Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Maybe it’s that horn sound that reminds me of “Fanfare for the Common Man” that does it. Still, “Assassing” is a brilliant song, very underrated, even in the scope of Marillion songs. “Punch and Judy” follows next and there are elements of hard rock in the song that I truly like.

The next three songs have always melded together for me with the standout part being the middle song, Emerald Lies.” “Emerald Lies” is a great versatile song that makes use of keyboards and guitars in all the right parts. This is another great progressive rock tune that requires one to sit down and listen in order to appreciate its beauty to its full potential. The song after, “She Chameleon” has always sounded weird to me but not in a bad way. There are keyboard parts that sound like a horror or sci fi film and Steve Rothery does play a mean guitar solo on it. The album closes with two of the strongest tracks on the album, “Incubus” and “Fugazi.” Both are very catchy prog rock tunes that have you bouncing along until the end. There might only be seven songs on the “Fugazi” but when the album is done, you definitely feel you had more than your money’s worth.

In an age where many bands were dumbing down their sound, it was great to hear that Marillion was one of those bands who continued to sound intelligent. They were musicians who actually cared about how well they played and that is evidenced on this album and other ones. One thing “Fugazi” surprises you with is with all the changes in all of the songs. One minute you’re drifting off to some great keyboard wizardry from Kelly and then bang! Rothery powers up the guitar. Then there’s the unmistakable vocals of Fish. He makes poetry come alive to music.

Track Listing:

  1. Assassing
  2. Punch and Judy
  3. Jigsaw
  4. Emerald Lies
  5. She Chameleon
  6. Incubus
  7. Fugazi

Marillion

Fish- vocals

Steve Rothery- guitars

Mark Kelly- keyboards

Pete Trawavas- bass

Ian Mosley- drums

Marillion would make the major breakthrough to my listening ears a year later and I would embrace them. Eventually, I would go back through their catalogue and savour the music thanks to my first wife who was a big Marillion fan. That would be the first concert we went to as husband and wife. With all of that said, “Fugazi” was too good of an album for me to miss out on in 1984.

Next post: David Gilmour- About Face

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=1499533067&sr=8-8&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1984: Honeymoon Suite

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 26, 2017 by 80smetalman

Now that Download is done and dusted, not that I didn’t enjoy posting about it because I totally did, I will go back to the great albums of 1984. One note, Teal, my stepson, was going to give Mastodon another chance after their lackluster performance last year at Bloodstock. He never saw them. I didn’t either because they were on at the same time as Suicidal Tendencies, so for me, there was no hard decision to make.

In 1984, I was totally impressed by a song I heard on MTV from a Canadian band called Honeymoon Suite. That song was “New Girl Now” and although it only reached 57 in the US charts, probably why I liked it so much, it did go gold in Canada. I just like that hard rock intro with the keyboards giving it the right amount of support to compliment the sound. While, I never have had any personal experience from the lyrics, I do like them. Besides, all those ingredients make the song very catchy and the guitar solo is well done. So there, I’ve broken down my all time favourite Honeymoon Suite song.

I have come to the conclusion that Honeymoon Suite did things ass backwards on their 1984 debut album. Listening to some of the other songs, you would have thought they would have been more successful as a single than “New Girl Now.” All of the first four tracks were released as singles and my fave was the only one to chart in the US. However, the other three songs have more of that 80s soft rock single feel to them. Especially, the fourth track, “Stay in the Light.” As for the second track, “Burning in Love,” I ask myself, “Are these guys trying to imitate Rush here?” The middle of the song goes very keyboards progressive rock, that’s all. Saying that, it is very well played.

After those four songs, the album goes more hard rock. “Now That You Got Me” doesn’t send me headbanging away but I do like it. The guitar talents of Derry Grehan show themselves more here and do so more on the remaining tracks. “Funny Business” is a real rocker. That one does get me headbanging away to it. However, it does sound that lead singer, Johnie Dee’s voice sometimes struggles to keep up with the song. But that criticism is swept away by another Grehan guitar solo. Each solo does seem to get better with each song from track five on. Dee’s voice is more suited for the track after, “Heart on Fire,” which is just as rocky as the predecessor, only there’s more of a keyboard accompaniment on it. “Turn My Head” is a bit of a paradox. It starts out as a rocker but goes 80s soft rock in the middle only to finish off hard again. “It’s Your Heart” is a total rocker but the album ends with a ballad, “Face to Face.” It’s nothing spectacular except that Grehan plays his best guitar solo on it and that’s a great way to end the album.

In short, Derry Grehan is a fantastic guitarist and I have to give credit where due to keyboards player, Ray Coburn. Furthermore, the rhythm section of Brian Brackstone and Dave Betts is sound. I don’t want to criticize lead singer Johnnie Dee, he does have a good voice but he wouldn’t have the range for a metal band. It seems that the rest of the band has to slow down for him on the harder songs. On the other hand, he does nail “New Girl Now” very well.

Track Listing:

  1. New Girl Now
  2. Burning in Love
  3. Wave Babies
  4. Stay in the Ligtht
  5. Now That You Got Me
  6. Funny Business
  7. Heart on Fire
  8. Turn My Head
  9. It’s Your Heart
  10. Face to Face

Honeymoon Suite

Derry Grehan- lead guitar, vocals

Johnnie Dee- lead vocals

Brian Bracksotne- bass

Ray Cobourn- keyboards, vocals

Dave Betts- drums

I have to admit, in 1984 I liked the song “New Girl Now” as much as I did many of the metal songs going around at the time. It is a great song and fortunately, the rest of the album is pretty cool too.

Next post: Scandal Featuring Patty Smyth- The Warrior

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=1498510735&sr=8-8&keywords=michael+d+lefevre