Archive for The Wall

Great Rock Albums of 1984: Roger Waters- The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 30, 2017 by 80smetalman

Proof how sometimes initial impressions can be misguided. While Pink Floyd have continued on strong since Roger Waters departed the band and it’s been said that Roger’s career hasn’t exactly flourished, (that’s a matter for debate), things seemed a lot different in 1984. There was little or no mention of Pink Floyd in this year but Roger Waters delivered a killer solo album in the form of “The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking.” Roger hadn’t left the band yet and it turns out that way back in the late 1970s, he brought the concept for this album to the band along with that for “The Wall.” He told them the band would make the one and the other concept he would do as a solo album. History can tell you which concept was chosen by the band leaving “The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking” for Roger to do as a solo album.

The similarities between the two albums come through immediately. Like “The Wall” and even “Dark Side of the Moon” the songs sometimes blend together where you have to listen very carefully or at least have the album cover with you so you can pinpoint where one track ends and the next one begins. Then again, like many a Pink Floyd album, this album can be best appreciated whilst mellowed out in a room and smoking things. It joins a great line of albums to space out to. Also like Pink Floyd’s famous album, it tells a story. The concept is about the thoughts of a man who is driving through California and how he would like to commit adultery with the female hitchhiker he picks up. It’s an interesting theme set to the music.

One thing that I noticed the very first time I ever listened to the album was that the guitarist can really wail. Teach me to read the credits before putting an album on because that was an absolute no brainer. The guitarist was Eric Clapton and he does what he always does with the guitar. There are some really cool solos throughout the album, I really like the one he lays down on “Sexual Revolution” but his presence his felt very strongly all through the album. Roger definitely achieved a major coup by having Eric play on the album but he orchestrates other instruments very effectively too. The horns and the backing vocals are prime examples.

Since it was hearing the title track on the radio that alerted me to the album, that has always been my favourite track on it. Clapton plays a killer solo on it as well and all the other elements I’ve previously discussed are there too. Saying that, the way the album is laid out, it is easy for such a song to stand out although I do like the near seven minute “Go Fishing.” After listening to the “Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking” after so many years, I’m as excited about it now as I was then.

Track Listing:

  1. Apparently They Were Travelling Abroad
  2. Running Shoes
  3. Arabs With Knives and West German Skies
  4. For the First Time Today Part 2
  5. Sexual Revolution
  6. The Remains of Our Love
  7. Go Fishing
  8. For the First Time Today Part 1
  9. Dunroamin, Duncarin, Dunlivin
  10. The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking
  11. Every Stranger’s Eyes
  12. The Moment of Clarity

Roger Waters

Roger Waters- bass, lead vocals, rhythm guitar

Eric Clapton- lead guitar

Ray Cooper- percussion

Andy Newmark- drums, percussion

David Sanbourn- saxophone

Michael Kamen- piano

Andy Brown- organ, 12 string guitar

Madeline Bell, Katie Kissoon, Doreen Chanter- backing vocals

Raphael Ravenscroft, Kevin Flanagan, Vic Sullivan- horns

When Roger Waters did leave Pink Floyd in 1985, I wasn’t worried that we had seen the last of him. After all, he had put out a great solo album a year earlier. While not different from the material he did with the band, it’s still a great one to enjoy.

Next post: Duke Jupiter- White Knuckle Ride

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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: Pink Floyd- The Final Cut

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 28, 2015 by 80smetalman

I hope that everyone had a great Christmas and that you got all the music you wanted and you over indulged in good food and drink. I know I did and I drank both my gift bottles of The Trooper and Bohemian Lager. Plus, I introduced the game of beer pong to my step children.

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beer pong

beer pong

Now onto the album…

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Like most of the world, I was really excited to hear that Pink Floyd released a new album in 1983. While I was beginning to wean myself off being influenced by what others said about a particular album in my decision to buy it, it wasn’t the case here. “The Final Cut,” at least in my surroundings was slammed mercilessly by deejays, critics and some people I knew who bought it. Therefore, I didn’t. After all, it seemed everybody was saying that the album sucked.

What I and many other people should have realized back then was that any album from Pink Floyd would have a very difficult time following up their mega giant, “The Wall.” That album will always been known as one of the greatest albums of all time, as was their other classic, “Dark Side of the Moon.” Now as I am much older and wiser, (that’s a matter for debate), I am able to listen to “The Final Cut” with a much more open mind.

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pfdom

First and foremost, “The Final Cut” doesn’t suck in the least but I will make the predictable statement that it doesn’t compare to either of the two classic albums shown above. In fact, I hear reminders of both those albums and their 1977 “Animals” album in it. Except unlike that last mentioned album, there are no ten minute long songs on this album. Saying that, on this album, Pink Floyd do make use of sound effects, which was trademark for them throughout the 1970s and early 80s. But what I noticed straight away is that the songs, at least the first few, take shots at Margaret Thatcher.

Pink_Floyd-Animals-Frontal

What Roger Waters was trying to convey in the album was his frustration of seeing all of the liberal achievements made after World War II, where he lost his father, being eroded away by the election of Thatcher. In the very first song, Waters asks “What have we done, Maggie, what have we done? What have we done to England?” I admit that in 1983, lyrics like these would have been lost on me but today I totally understand the meaning.

Maybe it was the fact that many people weren’t quite ready for music to become too political at the time. My eyes were only opening up to such things. However, I think the music to the album is very typical of Pink Floyd and is why I loved listening to them all of these years. Like with any Floyd album, I could easily pop this one on, kick back on the couch and get absorbed into it while puffing the magic dragon. Only now, I would appreciate the lyrics to the songs much more. For me, the standout songs are the title track and “Not Now John,” which I now remember hearing on the radio and watching the video for back then.

Track Listing:

  1. Post War Dream
  2. Your Possible Pasts
  3. One of the Few
  4. The Hero’s Return
  5. The Gunner’s Dream
  6. Paranoid Eyes
  7. Get Your Filthy Hands Off My Desert
  8. The Fletcher Memorial Home
  9. Southampton Dock
  10. The Final Cut
  11. Not Now John
  12. Two Suns in the Sunset

pinkfloyd

Roger Waters- vocals, bass

David Gilmour- guitar, vocals

Nick Mason- drums

Additional Musicians

Michael Kamen- piano, harmonium

Andy Bown- organ

Ray Cooper- percussion

Raphael Ravenscroft- tenor sax

Forget what the critics said, “The Final Cut” is a good album from Pink Floyd. It contains all that I came to love about this band. Unfortunately, it would be the last one that this particular line up would record together.

Next post: Todd Rundgren- The Ever Tortured Artist Effect

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 Soundtracks of 1982: The Wall

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

Pink_Floyd_The_Wall

For the life of me, I can’t remember much about this film. I did see it once many years ago but I had to read the synopsis on Wikapedia to remind myself what it was about. The reason for my lapsed memory on this occasion is the fact that like so many who watched the film at the time, I became like one of the songs suggests, “Comfortably Numb.” I can’t even remember if I liked it or not but nevertheless, the one thing no one can fault is that the soundtrack to it kicks ass.

What is really cool about the soundtrack is that Roger Waters doesn’t take the easy road here and just chuck in tracks from the album of the same name. It must have been very tempting to do that. There are some new songs introduced and many of the songs from the album had changes made to them with varying results in my view. A negative one and it is very minor is from the track “Goodbye Blue Sky.” They omit the child at the very beginning saying, “Look mummy, there’s an airplane in the sky.” While it’s a good song, that bit was always my favourite part of the song. “Mother” was remixed almost completely and I couldn’t hear the acoustic guitar along with the lyrics although I’ll admit that I have always loved the lyrics to the song and at least they left the guitar solo alone and that makes the song. However, the most noticeable change for  me is with “Another Brick in the Wall Part 2.” The teacher saying those amusing lines: “If you don’t eat your meat how can you have any pudding?” comes in during the children’s singing and is broken up. The following line of “How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat your meat?” follows on a few lines later. Strangely, I find that this doesn’t effect my appreciation for the song at all. Other changes include vocal contributions from Bob Geldolf who played the lead role in the film and the inclusion of a brass band in the final song. None of these change the song for me as I can appreciate that Pink Floyd are talented enough to pull anything like this off. The two new songs, “When the Tigers Broke Free 1” and “When the Tigers Broke Free 2” are decent enough to be included in the soundtrack. Actually they make little impact on the quality of this great soundtrack.

A scene from The Wall

A scene from The Wall

Track Listing:

1. When The Tigers Broke Free 1

2. In the Flesh

3. The Thin Ice

4. Another Brick in the Wall Part 1

5. When the Tigers Broke Free 2

6. Goodbye Blue Sky

7. The Happiest Days of Our Lives

8. Another Brick in the Wall Part 2

9. Mother

10. What Shall We Do Now

11. Young Lust

12. One of My Turns

13. Don’t Leave Me Now

14. Another Brick in the Wall Part 3

15. Goodbye Cruel World

16. Is There Anybody Out There

17. Nobody Home

18. Vera

19. Bring the Boys Back Home

20. Comfortably Numb

21. In the Flesh

22. Run Like Hell

23. Waiting for the Worms

24. 5:11 AM (The Moment of Clarity)

25. Stop

26. The Trial

27. Outside the Wall

I have heard this film rubbished by some people although I can’t see what they were expecting to find when they went to view it. Maybe they weren’t comfortably numb. Whether or not you like the film, you can’t fault the soundtrack, it is simply classic Pink Floyd doing what they did best.

Next post: Fast Times at Ridgemont High

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 1980: Bob Seger- Against The Wind

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on May 19, 2013 by 80smetalman

Bob_Seger_-_Against_the_Wind

For those who read my posting for Bob Seger’s 1978 album “Stranger In Town,” I apologise in advance for repeating myself but the fact remains, Bob Seger is the forgotten hero of 70’s rock. With The Silver Bullet Band, he had a string of hits and great albums throughout the decade that live on today. Classics like “Night Moves,” “Rock and Roll Never Forgets,” “Hollywood Nights,” “Old Time Rock And Roll” and my personal favourite, “Main Street” continue to give old men like me classic musical memories. Therefore, when his 1980 album “Against The Wind” was released, everyone was certain that he would continue his musical domination into the next decade.

Back in 1980, this was the album that knocked the iconic Pink Floyd album “The Wall” off the number one spot. I can see why this album is considered one of his best. It doesn’t just rest on the laurels of Bob Seger’s previous achievements but is an improvement on it, especially with the quality of the musicianship on the album. I can safely say that I think The Silver Bullet Band was at their very best when recording the album. The title track, which was a top ten hit, is a prime example. I love the musical interlude in the middle of the song where the piano and the guitar trade off each other. Then there is the ballad “No Man’s Land,” where my best memory of the song was when it was played at the heavy metal club I used to frequent in London in dedication to a fellow metalhead who had tragically passed away. From the more AOR “You’ll Accompany Me” to the more vociferous “Her Strut,” this album demonstrates why it knocked Floyd off the top spot and stayed there for six weeks.

Track Listing:

1. The Horizontal Bop

2. You’ll Accompany Me

3. Her Strut

4. No Man’s Land

5. Long Twin Silver Line

6. Against The Wind

7. Good For Me

8. Betty Lou’s Getting Out Tonight

9. Fire Lake

10. Shinin’ Brightly

Bob Seager

Bob Seger

The Silver Bullet Band- tracks 1-3, 6 & 8

Bob Seger- vocals, guitar

Drew Abbot- guitar

Alto Reed- horn, saxophone

Chris Campbell- bass

David Teegarden- drums, percussion

The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section- tracks 4,5,7, 9 & 10

Barry Beckett- piano, keyboards

Randy McCormick- organ, keyboards

Pete Carr- guitar

Jimmy Johnson- guitar, horn

David Wood- bass

Roger Hawkins- drum, percussion

I once saw a band called The Queer Boys in London who I thought sounded like a combination of The Rolling Stones, Aerosmith and Bob Seger. Now this would lead me to conclude that the music of Bob Seger had an indirect impact on heavy metal. Maybe it did, but what I do know is that he put out some great music and the album “Against The Wind” is arguably his best.

Next post: 38 Special- Rocking Into the Night

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Great Rock Albums of 1980: Pink Floyd- The Wall

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on April 11, 2013 by 80smetalman

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For many people, this was the album of 1980. It was one of those albums I got to listen to extensively without ever having to buy it because everyone I knew had it. Of course, in the realms of top 40 singles, the album is best known for the number one single, “Another Brick In the Wall Part 2.” That single crossed a huge section of listeners as I remember both country music lovers and soul music lovers all listening to the song. Even my then disco loving little sister liked it and an ex girl friend said this was their school’s rallying song when her school walked out of class in protest. I can’t remember what they were protesting about.

As anyone who wasn’t blinkered by the singles charts could tell you, that song didn’t define the album. There were some other great songs on it and for me these included, “Mother,” “Goodbye Blue Sky” and “Comfortably Numb.” “The Wall” continued Pink Floyd’s tendency to want to listen to them when you needed to lay back and mellow out, especially after you have been puffing the magic dragon. That is what defines this album the most. For me and many others I knew, it was THE party album of 1980. This album was listened to over and over again to while consuming many beers and other substances and in that year, there was no other album where I could enjoy so much while catching a buzz.

It wasn’t just the fact that “The Wall” carried on the Pink Floyd tradition of making music conducive to the party atmosphere. Like some of their earlier albums, I was very much amused by the some of the talking parts between and during the songs. I still smile when I hear “Look mummy, there’s any airplane in the sky” before “Goodbye Blue Sky” and of course the teacher at the end of “Another Brick in the Wall Part 2” who bellows, “If you don’t eat your meat, you can have any pudding. How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat your meat?” Back then, there was an X- rated version to that as well.

Track Listing:

1. In the Flesh?

2. The Thin Ice

3. Another Brick in the Wall Part 1

4. The Happiest Days of Our Lives

5. Another Brick in the Wall Part 2

6. Mother

7. Goodbye Blue Sky

8. Empty Spaces

9. Young Lust

10. One of My Turns

11. Don’t Leave Me Now

12. Another Brick in the Wall Part 3

13. Goodbye Cruel World

14. Hey You

15. Is Anybody Out There

16. Nobody Home

17. Vera

18. Bring the Boys Back Home

19. Comfortably Numb

20. The Show Must Go On

21. In the Flesh

22. Run Like Hell

23. Waiting for the Worms

24. Stop

25. The Trial

26. Outside the Wall

Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd

Dave Gilmour- guitars, vocals, clavinet, sound effects

Roger Waters- vocals, bass, synthesisers, sound effects

Nick Mason- drums, percussion

Richard Wright- organ, piano, electric piano, bass pedals

If you want to either mellow out at the weekend or take a trip back in history, you can kill two birds with one stone with this iconic album from Pink Floyd. This is an ultimate party album, not just for 1980 but for all time.

Next Post: Rush- Permanent Waves

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