Archive for The Sun

Compilation Album for 2016

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

Recently on Twitter, I commented that with all the great musical stars who passed on in 2016, that I wouldn’t put it past some morbid record producer to make a compilation album featuring all of them. One of my friends replied that with so many, it would have to be a box set and he’s probably right. Normally, I ‘m not a morbid person but I then thought, “Why don’t I come out with my own ideas for such an album?” Besides, if it was in the hands of some corporate record executive, their idea for the album would be totally different than mine, especially if the metal hating UK newspaper, The Sun, had anything to do with it.

In compiling such an album, I fear that had things been left to record execs, Jimmy Bain and Sandy Pearlman would have been left out totally. Jimmy would have been because he was only a bass player despite the fact that he played on all the greatest Dio albums. Sandy was simply a producer but without him, we would not have had some of the great albums delivered by both Blue Oyster Cult and The Clash. Use of semantics, the fact that Lemmy actually died in 2015, would have been used as an excuse to keep him off the album. I don’t do that because Lemmy’s death was the snowball at the top of the mountain which started the avalanche. Paul Kantner would have definitely been left out if the record producer was British but might have been included if they were American. After all, he did have a minor song writing credit on Jefferson Starship’s best known single, “Jane.”

Of course, I am tempted to exclude some too. I was never a big Prince fan. However, I didn’t hate his music. Whenever his songs came on the radio, I didn’t turn the volume up or down, nor did I change the channel. But credit where due, on the song I really like, he does shred a guitar fairly well and I remember in 1984, I fully endorsed his desire to play the role of Jimi Hendrix in a film about the guitar god.

George Michael is another problem. See, The Sun and other media have already been blubbering over how great an 80s icon he was. I can’t refute that. However, he wasn’t entirely the 1980s and the whole point of writing “Rock and Roll Children” and this blog was to rebut the belief that 80s music was entirely Wham, Michael Jackson and Boy George. We all know it wasn’t but George Michael stands as a symbol of my antagonism towards this warped view of the Golden Decade of Heavy Metal. So, I hope one can understand why I would be tempted to exclude him from my album. However, I am a better person than those at The Sun and not a corporate record executive, so I will allow one GM song onto my album. This song came out after his 1998 arrest in Los Angeles and was the springboard for a rather rude but funny joke.

Tribute Album to Musician’s Who Died in 2016

Lemmy

Lemmy

Motorhead

Motorhead

  1. Ace of Spades
  2. Killed By Death
  3. Iron Fist

175px-David-Bowie_Early

David Bowie

  1. Space Oddity
  2. Ziggy Stardust
  3. Mott the Hoople- All the Young Dudes
The Eagles

The Eagles

Glen Frey- The Eagles

Glen Frey- The Eagles

  1. Take it Easy
  2. Heartache Tonight
  3. New Kid in Town
  4. From Glenn Frey’s solo stuff:
  5. Smuggler’s Blues
  6. Sexy Girl
Jimmy Bain

Jimmy Bain

Dio

Dio

  1. Rainbow in the Dark
  2. The Last in Line
  3. Mystery
  4. Sacred Heart
  5. Sunset Superman

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Paul Kantner- Jefferson Starship

Paul Kantner- Jefferson Starship

  1. Ride the Tiger
  2. Dance With the Dragon
  3. Stairway to Cleveland
  4. Planet Earth Rock and Roll Orchestra (Paul Kantner solo)
I never saw them but  Emerson Lake and Palmer were said to be amazing live!

I never saw them but Emerson Lake and Palmer were said to be amazing live!

  1. Lucky Man
  2. Fanfare for the Common Man
Sandy Pearlman

Sandy Pearlman

Blue Oyster Cult

Blue Oyster Cult

  1. Don’t Fear the Reaper
  2. Dancing in the Ruins
The Clash

The Clash

English Civil War

Prince

Prince

Let’s Go Crazy

George Michael

George Michael

Outside

Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen

Hallelujah

(I thought Leonard’s song would be the best closer)

True, my list would definitely be more metal oriented. That’s because most metal and rock acts would be passed over by a corporate record producer. Opinions will vary here and I know other songs would be chosen in place of the ones I have here, but if I had my choice. This is what it would be.

Happy New Year to all! Have a great 2017.

Next post: Suicidal Tendencies

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

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Great Rock Albums of 1983: Planet P- Project

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 2, 2016 by 80smetalman

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Who says American bands aren’t capable of making good progressive rock? Jeremy Clarkson to name one but don’t worry, he does write a column in The Sun, as does some other berk whose name I can’t remember, who insinuated a similar claim. If either of these two gentlemen were to make such a claim in my presence, I would politely guide them to the likes of Kansas, Styx and Planet P. True, the first two bands incorporated lots of hard rock and in the case of Styx, almost bordering on heavy metal but both bands also produced some great progressive rock tunes in their material. As for Planet P, this band was as progressive as anyone and this is proven with their debut album “Project.”

Planet P was the brain child of former Rainbow keyboard player, Tony Carey. I was first alerted to their existence when I heard several tracks from the album played on a rate an album radio programme. It wasn’t the hard rock/metal that I was now a devoted disciple of but I liked it.

The album opens with a bit of space rock, in the form of “Static.” It sounds enough like Pink Floyd that some people made comparisons to that band. It is a little trippy but it does haul your ears in for the rest of the album. Track two, “King For a Day” could have been released as a single. It is one of those songs capable of uniting both progressive purists and metalheads with its catchy melody and lyrics. The next few tracks are good progressive rock tracks and “I Won’t Wake Up” is very good. Then comes the song they did release as a single, “Why Me.” That is a very good song and the fact that it got to number four on the mainstream hot tracks bears testimony of this. However, the album doesn’t rest on the single. The very next track, “Power Tools” is my favourite track on this album. It is the closest they come to hard rock but it’s a catchy upbeat song.

“Send It In a Letter” is more experimental progressive rock. Great use of synthesizers are made here. It’s another space rock sounding song. “Adam and Eve” combines the best of progressive, space and hard rock and does it very well. It doesn’t settle down in one of those said genres for very long before one of the others hits you like a ton of bricks.

Before Planet P, I always knew Tony Carey to be a good keyboards player from his Rainbow days but had little experience of him as a singer. His vocals are more than sufficient on “Project.” He even harmonizes well on the song he doesn’t sing lead. Furthermore, he managed to put together a great band to back him up. Well done to Tony and Planet P!

Track Listing:

  1. Static
  2. King For a Day
  3. I Won’t Wake Up
  4. Top of the World
  5. Armageddon
  6. Tranquility Base (Only available on CD and cassette)
  7. Why Me
  8. Power Tools
  9. Send It In a Letter
  10. Only You and Me
  11. Ruby (Only available on CD and cassette)
Planet P

Planet P

Tony Carey- lead and backing vocals, keyboards, bass, acoustic guitar

David Thomas- lead vocals on “Only You and Me”

Johan Daansen- guitar

Robert Musenpichler- guitar

Helmut Bibl- guitar

Hartmut Pfannmeuller- drums, percussion

Fritz Matzka- drums, percussion

Peter Hauke- drums, percussion

Planet P not only proved that Americans (and Germans) could make some great progressive rock, the “Project” album gained them a lot of respect from metalheads and prog purists alike.

Next post: Stevie Nicks- The Wild Heart

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 1983: Todd Rundgren- The Ever Popular Tortured Artist Effect

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 6, 2016 by 80smetalman

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The first time I heard the song “Bang On the Drum All Day” by Todd Rundgren on the radio, I thought, “This is great! Todd is back.” I have been a big Todd Rundgren fan since 1978 when a friend enlightened me to the “Something/Anything” album. Adding to the euphoria brought on by listening to that album, he then released the “Hermit of Mink Hollow” album in said year. If I wasn’t a Rundgren convert before, I certainly was after hearing both of those great albums. Therefore, it was a no-brainer that I would be obtaining his newest offering in 1983.

toddsa

trhomh

In a fairy tale world, I would be telling you how great “The Ever Popular Tortured Artist Effect” is. Unfortunately, it’s not. It lacks the versatility that I have always liked Todd for. On the two previously mentioned albums, there is lots of progressive rock, hard rock, ballads and even a little heavy metal. “Metal?” you ask. Just listen to the track “Out of Control” off the “Hermit of Mink Hollow” album and you’ll see what I mean. Another thing great about Todd’s previous albums is that he brings a bit of humour to some of the songs on both. However, on this album, the only evidence of that is on the track “Emperor of the Highway,” which is the second best track behind “Bang On the Drum All Day.”

The funny thing is that the first four tracks all start off with a very catchy introduction but each of those tracks quickly turn bland after and one loses interest. They are all very keyboard dominated and pretty much sound the same. “Tin Soldier” picks things up a little and it’s the third best track. Then comes to the two best tracks and they redeem the album from the previous blandness. Sadly though, the last two tracks are a big let down following the big single. Maybe Todd should have made “Bang On the Drum All Day” the closer, it would have worked in my humble opinion.

In defense of Todd, now, unlike the Motorhead album, reading a little of the background history to this album was a good thing as far as Mr Rundgren is concerned. It turns out that “The Ever Tortured Artist Effect” was a contractual obligation album. Therefore, he didn’t put the time and effort into it as he did with his better albums. This would be his last album with Bearsville Records. So, with this new evidence taken into consideration, I can let him slide for this album not measuring up to the previous ones.

Track Listing:

  1. Hideaway
  2. Influenza
  3. Don’t Hurt Yourself
  4. There Goes Your Baybay
  5. Tin Soldier
  6. Emperor of the Highway
  7. Bang on the Drum All Day
  8. Drive
  9. Chant

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Todd Rundgren- All instruments, vocals and production

All in all, “The Ever Tortured Artist Effect” isn’t horrible. It’s just not nearly as great as his best albums. Then again, when you record an album simply because you have to, it probably won’t be as good and you won’t put your best effort into it. Let it be known that my feelings for the posted album in no way detract from my assertion that Todd Rundgren should be in the Rock Hall of Fame.

On a separate note, when I learned about Lemmy’s passing last week, I thought that the metal hating UK newspaper, The Sun, would say little if anything at all about it. To my surprise, there was two pages dedicated to the great man and his contribution to music over the past forty years. Before we get to excited, one of the contributors did write about Lemmy’s limited vocal capability. He misses the point, Lemmy’s voice was perfect for the songs he sang. Let’s hear Olly Muirs try to sing “Ace of Spades.” Then again, the skeptic in me thinks that the main reason the paper ran so much about Lemmy is because he is seen as a British icon.

thesun

Next post: Bryan Adams- Cuts Like A Knife

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 Clash- Combat Rock

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 15, 2015 by 80smetalman

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Before I launch into the most successful album from The Clash, I must also add my two penneth about AC/DC at the grammys last week. I have enjoyed reading some of the accounts of their performance on the show from some of my fellow bloggers and to all I say, “Well done!” However, I have also read Britain’s leading tabloid newspaper, The Sun’s account of the grammys. They mentioned Kanye West, Madonna and even Lady GaGa with lost of glossy pictures. I had a skim read through it and there was no mention of AC/DC’s performance nor were there any pictures. This adds further proof the my supposition that The Sun newspaper is anti heavy metal.

Here's a piccy of AC/DC at the grammys

Here’s a piccy of AC/DC at the grammys

Now a quick recap on history of the time. By the early 1980s, punk had relocated from Britain to the west coast of the US. Many of the famous punk bands from the late 1970s had either disbanded or as in the case of The Jam, gone for a more mainstream sound. Read my visit of “The Gift” for further insight. Saying that, The Clash failed to pick up the memo on this because the 1982 album “Combat Rock” is not a total abandonment from the punk sound that made The Clash who they were. I’ll be the first to say that they probably weren’t as angry as they were when they put out “London Calling” there is a lot to say that they weren’t ready for the Top 40 either.

“Combat Rock” starts out as brash as any of The Clash’s earlier albums with a great opener, “Know Your Rights” and a great follow on with “Car Jamming.” Then there is my all time favourite Clash song, “Should I Stay or Should I Go,” which carries aggressive guitar chords that would impress most metalheads. Just thinking about it makes me want to seek out the nearest mosh pit. The next single “Rock the Casbah” comes next. What is great about this song is that while it still has that aggressive Clash style, the lyrics are politically satirical that some might not expect. Furthermore, a piano is added and that too doesn’t take away from the hard punk rock sound. After the next track, “Red Angel Dragnet,” “Combat Rock” seems to slide a bit with its hard rock aggression. What there is, however, is some more politics and satire, which makes me think that The Clash weren’t angry anymore, just a bit more skeptical and wanted to take the piss out of everything. “Inoculated City” goes back to the more angrier days but for me, “Combat Rock” lets itself down with an almost ballad like closer, “Death Is a Star.” Sure, that might work on a progressive rock album but to me it was rather unnecessary. Take that track away and you can see why this album was The Clash’s most successful album.

Track Listing:

1. Know Your Rights

2. Car Jamming

3. Should I Stay or Should I Go

4. Rock The Casbah

5. Red Angel Dragnet

6. Straight to Hell

7. Overpowered by Funk

8. Atom Tan

9. Sean Flynn

10. Ghetto Defendant

11. Inoculated City

12. Death is a Star

The Clash

The Clash

Joe Strummer- lead vocals, guitar, harmonica

Mick Jones-  guitar, vocals

Paul Simonon- bass, vocals

Topper Headon- drums, piano

What “Combat Rock” proved to me was that punk hadn’t completely left England in 1982. The Clash were able to put out a top album without totally forgetting where they came from.

Next post: Dead Kennedys- Plastic Surgery Disasters

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: Toto IV

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 1, 2015 by 80smetalman

220px-Toto_Toto_IV

Before I launch into my first album visit of 2015, I would like to first wish all a happy new year and thank all my friends both old and new for visiting and sticking with me. It’s hard to believe that 80smetalman has been going for nearly four years now and I intend to be around for time to come. After all, I’m only in 1982 and the golden age of heavy metal didn’t end until 1989. So, I have a lot of ground to still cover.

Ozzy Osbourne

Ozzy Osbourne

One mega disappointment for the end of the year was that in spite of the many efforts, Ozzy Osbourne did not receive a knighthood. While I shouldn’t be surprised that he was ignored by the British establishment and I can’t even blame it on the metal hating Sun newspaper, it’s still a shame that his near half century of contributions to music still go ignored. Therefore, I say we redouble our efforts in 2015 so he can get his well deserved gong next year.

When I listen to the fourth album by Toto, I find myself pining for what could have been. Three years prior, they came rocking into the world with the heavy rock sound of “Hold the Line.” Those riffs are still catchy within my own mind and back in 1979, that song was an island that refused to be flooded in the sea of disco that was around at the time. “Toto IV” is a total departure from the sound in the song I have already mentioned. It follows subsequent albums in going into a more progressive, pop oriented sound. None of the songs on this fourth album come close to sounding like “Hold the Line.”

This doesn’t mean the album is bad, it’s not. The members of Toto are all talented musicians and it shows on the album. Take the opening song and like many albums of 1982 thus far, the biggest single on the album. If “Rosanna” had been done by some fly by night, 80s synth pop group put together by the likes of Stock, Aiken and Waterman, then it would have totally sucked. Sure, it might have been a top ten single but quickly buried and forgotten. The reason why “Rosanna” appears on a number of rock compilation albums is the good musicianship behind it. Hearing the lyrics does make me want to say “Oh God” but then comes a cool keyboard solo and later a decent guitar solo. They make the song and probably why it has stood the test of time. Other songs on the album are in the same vein. Eight out of the next nine songs are mellow out progressive jazzy blues sounding songs which are great to sit down and listen to but I won’t be listening to them on my way to Amon Amarth in a couple of weeks. The only song that goes anywhere near hard rock is “Afraid of Love” but that song is let down by a keyboard interlude where a cranking guitar solo should be. Still, the musicianship of Toto carry the songs through.

The closer, “Africa,” is more of the same but probably my favourite song on the album. Like the previous nine songs, the closer is definitely a strong progressive song. Unlike “Rosanna,” the lyrics for me are more listenable and the quality musicianship remains but I think they could have used a better instrumental break than the one in the song, perhaps a guitar solo. Still, it is the best song on the album for me.

Track Listing:

1. Rosanna

2. Make Me Believe

3. I Won’t Hold You Back

4. Good For You

5. It’s a Feeling

6. Afraid of Love

7. Lovers in the Night

8. We Made It

9. Waiting for Your Love

10. Africa

Toto

Toto

David Paich- keyboards, lead and backing vocals, all horn and orchestral arrangements

Steve Lukather- guitars, lead and backing vocals

Bobby Kimball- lead and backing vocals

Jeff Procraro- drums, percussion ,tympani

Steve Procraro- keyboards, lead vocals

David Hungate- bass

“Toto IV” is probably the reason why Wayne Campbell of Wayne’s World fame put “anything by Toto” as the number two party killing song. I have to disagree somewhat here. While I wouldn’t listen to the album on my way to a metal concert, I would still listen to it at more appropriate times. This is a good easy listening album, with some decent songs and quality musicianship.

Next post: Dire Straits- Lover Over Gold

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

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

 

 

 

Proof That The Sun is Anti- Heavy Metal

Posted in Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Humour, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on May 31, 2014 by 80smetalman

thesun

This is a supplemental post. Way back in the very early days of 80smetalman’s Blog, I wrote an article asking if the Sun Newspaper, the best selling in the UK is anti- heavy metal. I put forward arguments both ways although most of the evidence pointed to “Anti.” The only response I had thought they were anti- heavy metal as well, thanks Stone. Last Thursday, the paper reported a member of One-Direction caught smoking a joint in the back of the car and the editorial page had this to say about it. I quote verbatim:

“One Direction aren’t KISS or Motley Crue.

They’re role models to a generation of very young, impressionable kids. Smoking a joint in the back of a car isn’t the world’s most serious crime. But if you think that it doesn’t matter at all, read what disillusioned fans and their parents say. Zayn and Louis have a responsibility to their following, it’s the price for immense wealth and fame in a squeaky clean pop group. 

If you want to behave like rock stars lad, then join a heavy metal band.”

True, many a good heavy metal band loves the sex, drugs and rock and roll life style. They’ve earned it. But heavy metal artists aren’t the only ones who engage in such play. George Michael has been caught smoking weed and fresh faced pop acts have done far worse. Still, The Sun chooses to ignore that and single out heavy metal bands. In my view, this paper has always been against heavy metal. I would have expected this if the newspaper was printed in a bible belt state in the US but I have always thought better of Great Britain where there is much more tolerance to the music by the non metal world.

Things like this get me mad but now I have put my feelings here, I am now more relaxed. Furthermore, I am confident that no matter what the metal hating Sun might say, heavy metal will not die. I think I’ll go listen to some Motorhead.

 

 

 

The Sun- Is it anti- heavy metal

Posted in Heavy Metal with tags , , , , , on March 1, 2011 by 80smetalman

Since I came to Britain in 1986, I have always known that the newspaper “The Sun” was a great national newspaper. As a sexually repressed young American, I first thought the idea of a topless woman wearing just her panties on page 3 was something of great amusement. However, my left wing leaning soon took over and I found myself sympathising with the printers who were put out of work by Mr. Murdoch and slightly agreeing with some ladies who claimed that Page 3 treated women like cattle. Nowadays, I’m more of a realist and see the grey in a lot of things.

However, through all of this, there is one thing I have always suspected of this great national newspaper and I am finally going to put it here. As a long time metal head who has been listening to heavy metal music forever, I believe that The Sun is anti heavy metal. My reason is some of the statements that The Sun has made in the past about heavy metal, the artists and the people who listen to it.

First of these was back in 1988 after two people were crushed to death at the Donnington Festival. While The Sun did report on the tradegy, I remember it doing so in a way that metal heads were not shown in a positive light. The paper seemed to focus on the concert past time of throwing plastic bottles around the audience and gave the impression that this may have caused the tragedy. After all, the concert was attended by a bunch of greasy rockers. I can’t help myself in believing that had it been Wham! or Madonna or one hit wonder Glen Madeiros, The Sun would have made it more of a case for mourning.

My other two facts are based on more recent events. The first was a few years ago when the great Wembley Stadium was rebuilt. At the intended finish of the new stadium, the first event was going to be a concert by Bon Jovi.  When it wasn’t going to be finished in time, The Sun commented that, “At least we’re spared the disgrace of Wembley being opened by Bon Jovi.” Now there are two reasons The Sun may have said this. First, the fact that it would have been an American act opening a British stadium. However, The Sun seems to love it when British artists like The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney and The Who played at the most American of all events, the Super Bowl. Therefore, I feel more inclined to sumise that The Sun’s main problem was that Bon Jovi are considered a heavy rock/metal act and we wouldn’t want a bunch of metal heads spoiling a great place like Wembley, would we? I suppose The Sun would have preferred drug driving George Michael or the late Michael Jackson to open Wembley.

My next example occurred back in 2009 with the Christmas charts countdown. Everyone was predicting the winner of the X Factor to be the Christmas  number one, but it was beaten out by Rage Against the Machine. The Sun did not seemed pleased about this at all. In attempt to prevent Rage Against the Machine becoming number one, The Sun printed some of the more morbid lyrics from the song stating that it was not appropriate for a Christmas song. Maybe true, but I ask myself, had it been more of a mainstream act, would The Sun have been so blatantly opposed to it beating out the X Factor winner to number one.

Another less obvious example is at the end of 2010 when The Sun mentioned all the celebrities who passed away last year. Absent from that list was the great Ronnie James Dio who many in the heavy metal world revere as a hero or even a God. Other British newspapers reported his death and blogs and facebook pages were full of people showing genuine outpourings of grief for RJD. So, why didn’t The Sun even mention his passing? Obvious answer, because he is a heavy metal artist.

Being an open minded person, I will give The Sun credit where it’s due. They did run an article on Iron Maiden lead singer Bruce Dickinson when he, a qualified pilot, flew a plane to pick up passengers who were left stranded abroad. My memory is foggy here, but I believe they were stranded due to the sudden collapse of the airline, but Bruce Dickinson was one of the pilots who volunteered to go and get them and The Sun ran a full page article on him for it. Well done!

I have submitted my evidence for all to read and make up their own minds as to whether or not The Sun is anti- heavy metal. I hope that somehow, this blog reaches the attention of the newspaper itself and will answer ramblings here. Let’s just see.