Archive for The Who

Great Albums That Were Lost in the Cassette Player

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

For those who have been following me for awhile, you will know that back in the early 198os, I owned a lot of cassettes due to my very limited living space when I was in the marines. Even after I got out, while I began buying vinyl again, I still bought a good amount of cassettes. My logic at the time was you couldn’t play records in the car and I need my travelling music. While cassettes had the advantage of being very compact, you could fit one in your shirt pocket, they had the disadvantage of being susceptible of destructing. They could easily get mangled in the player and often times brake. I found this extremely frustrating. While the percentage of cassettes lost was small compared to the number I owned, it still upset me when I lost one to the machine. So, as an in between the years post, I will play homage to all the great albums that were mangled by a tape player.

The famous ammo cans . I thought this would be a good excuse to put this picture in the post.

Others that succumbed but I don’t have pictures for

Slayer- South of Heaven

The Dreggs- Unsung Heroes

The Who- recorded from the radio

Copperhead

There could be more but these are the ones I definitely remember. However, other cassettes weren’t mangled in the machine but wore out another way. When played they began to have a hiss sound on them. Eventually, this hiss got louder and present on more of the tape until it was unplayable. There was the odd tape where that started but it stopped and played normal again. Unfortunately, others didn’t so here is a tribute to those cassettes that were lost in this manner.

As you can see, many a great album fell victim to the dreaded tape player one way or the other. Thank God for CDs and more modern means of listening to music as I don’t have that problem anymore.

Next post: 1984

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Great Metal Albums of 1983: Krokus- Headhunter

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 20, 2016 by 80smetalman

krokus_h

Like Quiet Riot, Krokus were another heavy metal band in 1983 who will forever be considered one hit wonders by the so called mainstream music world but boy what a song it was. Whenever I hear “Screaming in the Night,” I am blown away by it now as I was back then. The way the lead guitar comes in supported by bass and drums on the intro just sounds ear catchingly eerie. It used to send a chill up me and Marc Storace’s vocals added to that eerie feeling.Then when the guitars kick in, things just explode into metal euphoria. It is definitely in my top five of all time metal songs. I think that the only reason it’s not number one is that the guitar solo lets it down. Only slightly but enough to keep it off number one.

Now, as I said for probably the 710,534th time, one song doesn’t make an album, so the question is: Does the rest of “Headhunter” measure up? Obviously, there are no songs on it that stand up to the big single. Still, the rest of the album is pretty cool. The title track may only be a mediocre opener but “Eat the Rich” more than makes up for it. The two tracks that follow “Screaming in the Night” are more classic metal tunes and of the two, I prefer “Nightwolf.” There’s almost a Judas Priest vibe on it but the weird thing is that Rob Halford does a guest backing vocal on the other track, “Ready to Burn.” However, after those two tracks comes my second favourite song on the album, “Stayed Awake All Night.” This two was released as a single but is not as memorable as the first one. Maybe it’s because the song is more melodic than the others, sounds a bit like The Who, but all I know is that I like it. The final three tracks carry “Headhunter” out very well. “Stand and Be Counted” is a strong track and the instrumental, “White Din” is interesting. Unlike the opener, “Russian Winter” is a very nice closer, if not one of the better tracks on the album.

At the time, what impressed me the most about Krokus at the time was the fact they were Swiss. Back then, I naively thought that all the best metal bands came from the US, UK or Canada, the Scorpions being the exception. I was glad that a band came from another country because fast forwarding to now, we can say that heavy metal is truly world wide and it may have just started here.

Track Listing:

  1. Headhunter
  2. Eat the Rich
  3.  Screaming in the Night
  4. Ready to Burn
  5. Nightwolf
  6. Stayed Awake All Night
  7. Stand and be Counted
  8. White Din
  9. Russian Winter
Krokus

Krokus

Marc Storace- vocals

Fernando Von Arb- lead guitar

Mark Koehler- rhythm guitar

Chris von Rohr- bass, piano, percussion

Steve Pace- drums

Additional Vocals:

Rob Halford- backing vocals on “Ready to Burn”

Jimi Jamison- backing vocals

Unfortunately, in spite of a cool album with a great single, like Quiet Riot, Krokus would fade from mainstream attention for the same reason. Their follow up albums wouldn’t be a great as the ones they made in 1983. That’s all the more reason to enjoy “Headhunter.” For me, it’s Krokus’s best album.

Next post: Anvil- Forged in Fire

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Great? Rock/Metal Albums of 1981: KISS- Music From The Elder

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 3, 2014 by 80smetalman

220px-The_elder_album_cover

Of the four albums I have visited in this rock/metal segment, this 1981 offering from the legendary KISS totally passed me by in the year. I can’t even blame it on being in the marines. The reason this album not only passed me by but many others as well was due to the fact it disappeared almost as soon as it was released. According to history, it was reviled by many fans and although it did receive some positive feedback from the critics, “Music From The Elder” was voted the 44th worst album of all time by Q Magazine and 6th in the category “When great rock bands lost the plot.” Nevertheless, being a fair minded bloke, I thought I would give the album a listen and decide for myself. Still, I would welcome any comments, especially from fellow metal blogger and self confessed KISS-a-holic, Stone from Metal Odyssey fame.

Let me be totally frank, “Music From the Elder” is nowhere near a patch on great KISS albums like “Destroyer,” “Love Gun,” “Alive” or even some of the albums they made following this one like “Creatures of the Night.” However, the album isn’t as terrible as I feared it was going to be. The opener, “The Oath” was an attempt to create the earlier KISS sound at least as far back as “Dynasty” anyway and it is a notable effort on their part. Then came the instrumental “Fanfare” which had me thinking “WTF?” Fortunately, things return to normal, well sort of. I am sure that with “Just a Boy,” that KISS are trying to sound like The Who here and while not a bad song, it doesn’t leave me thinking, “Okay, cool.” Ace Frehley and Gene Simmons manage to rescue things a bit with the tracks “Dark Light,” “Only You” and “Under the Rose” but then comes the ballad “A World Without Heroes” and I am left saying to myself “No” and that if I was listening this back in 1981, I would say, “Leave the ballads to Peter Criss.” “Dr Blackwell” does go a good long way to redeem things and I do like the guitar solo on this song. Then after another instrumental which isn’t too bad, they try to be creative with “Odyssey.” Not sure if it works though. At the end, barring a very short instrumental which perhaps shouldn’t be on there was a pleasant surprise for me. I have heard the the track “I” before. It wasn’t recorded by KISS but covered in 2000 by the band Hair of the Dog on their album “Rise.” For them, “I” was a great closer for a great metal album and there is little comparison to it and the version done by KISS on this album. I think that the song was good enough for Hair of the Dog to record it just like the way it is done here. That song should have been the closer.

hotdrise

I guess I should mention that “Music From the Elder” was the first KISS album to fully feature new drummer Eric Carr who replaced Peter Criss when he left the band a year earlier. Most of you probably already knew that.

Track Listing:

1. The Oath

2. Fanfare

3. Just a Boy

4. Dark Light

5. Only You

6. Under the Rose

7. A World Without Heroes

8. Dr Blackwell

9. Escape From the Island

10. Odyssey

11. I

12. Finale

KISS

KISS

Paul Stanley- rhythm guitar,vocals

Gene Simmons- bass, vocals

Ace Frehley- lead guitar, vocals

Eric Carr- drums, percussion, backing vocals

My final verdict here is that if KISS had remained more true to their hard rocking roots, I think “Music From the Elder” would have been a much better album. I have no problem with an album telling a story through its songs, King Diamond”s “Abigail” does that beautifully. It doesn’t mean a band has to go all progressive to do so and that’s where this album falls down. The other thing I can see with the album, with the aid of hindsight, that KISS were beginning to move away from Gene Simmons’ 1980 boast that KISS were four guys equally covering for each other towards simply becoming Paul and Gene’s band.

Next post: Ozzy Osbourne- The Blizzard of Oz

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Great Rock Albums of 1981: The Who- Face Dances

Posted in 1980s, films, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 21, 2014 by 80smetalman

220px-The_who_face_dances_album

In 1985, I remember listening to a radio programme about The Who and the concluding bit stated that the death of Keith Moon in 1979 marked the end of The Who as a band. The programme went on to admit that the band would continue to tour and that Roger Daltrey, Pete Townsend and John Entwistle would all have successful solo projects, however, The Who as a band, were gone. My reaction was then as it is now, “What about the 1981 album with Kenney Jones?” For me, “Face Dances” has always been a good album but it’s Kenney Jones I feel sorry for. Because he was the replacement drummer for Moon, he didn’t get the respect he deserves. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Jones has been relegated to a pub trivia question and that’s not fair on him. It is the exact same thing I said about Jimmy Farrar, had been Jones made it with another band, his drumming efforts would have been more appreciated.

That said, the radio programme also stated that after Moon’s death, The Who’s sixties hard rock lyrics and rebelliousness as well as their seventies creativity were gone as well. Not entirely true! When I listen to “Face Dances” I hear a little bit of both of these elements in the album. While there isn’t the crashing hard sound that they made famous in classics like “My Generation,” the elements of hard rock are definitely there in songs like “Don’t Let Go the Coat” and “Another Tricky Day” to name two. Plus, the big single from the album, “You Better, You Bet” definitely has reminds me of that creativity that radio programme praised them for over the likes of the rock opera “Tommy.”  Whichever way you want to view “Face Dances” the one thing I can say about it throughout is that you know that it is definitely The Who on this album. Their trademark truly resonates on it.

Track Listing:

1. You Better, You Bet

2. Don’t Let Go The Coat

3. Cache Cache

4. The Quiet One

5. Did You Steal My Money

6. How Can You Do It Alone

7. Daily Records

8. You

9. Another Tricky Day

The Who

The Who

Roger Daltrey- vocals

Pete Townsend- guitar, vocals

John Entwistle- bass, vocals

Kenney Jones- drums

Hopefully, I have provided sufficient evidence that the radio programme was wrong in regards to The Who being finished in 1979 because in 1981, they put out one very good album in “Face Dances.” It showed the world that they were still a force to be reckoned with in the music world. Thinking of Keith Moon, his passing opened the way for the many drummers who would join him since. John Bonham would follow him a year later. I believe that Moon, Bonham, along with the likes of Cozy Powell, Levon Helm and Razzle are drumming away together in a better place.

Keith Moon

Keith Moon

Next post: Devo- Dev O Live

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Great Rock Albums of 1978: The Who- Who Are You

Posted in 1978, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 1, 2012 by 80smetalman

The Who were considered the comeback story of 1978. They hadn’t put an album out in three years and all the band members were engaged in solo projects. Furthermore, drummer Keith Moon was having battles with drug and alcohol addiction, a battle that he would eventually lose.

I am reminded of the this album every time I see CSI Las Vegas on TV as they use the title track for the title sequences of the show. But for me, it is the lyrics of the song that do it for me. While I’ve never woken up in a Soho doorway, I know of people who have. I have been to parties in London and had to make my way home on the underground with a little bit of a sore head and asking myself that question.

With “Who Are You” the Who seemed to have returned to their more traditional blues/hard rock sound. In the mid 70s, they experimented with different creative thoughts, although I really do love “Tommy” and “Pinball Wizard” is one of my all time Who favourites. But this album reminds me more of the early days when they had a more aggressive harder rock edge.

Track Listing:

1. New Song

2. Had Enough

3. 905

4.  Sister Disco

5. The Music Must Change

6. Trick of the Light

7. Guitar and Pen

8. Love is Coming Down

9. Who Are you

The Who

Roger Daltrey- vocals, percussion

Pete Townshend- guitars, piano, synthesiser, backing vocals

John Entwistle- bass, synthesiser, brass, backing vocals

Keith Moon- drums, percussion

Keith Moon’s tragic death shortly after the release of this album would overshadow the success that “Who Are You” would have. The album would reach number 2 in the US and number 6 in the UK and showed that The Who were definitely back and in great form.

Next post: Deep Purple- When We Rock We Rock and When We Roll We Roll

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

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