Archive for Tinseltown Rebellion

Great Rock Albums of 1983: Missing Persons- Spring Session M

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 7, 2016 by 80smetalman

Missing_Persons_-_Spring_Session_M

Whenever someone says new wave in the 1980s, the first artist to enter my brain is Missing Persons. For me, they were everything I thought new wave was back then. They weren’t hard or heavy like metal but they didn’t sound like a trendy top forty band or even synth pop. They were completely different in a good way. Furthermore, Missing Persons was a band who could actually play well. Then again, any band that features the likes of Terry Bozzio, Warren Cuccurullo and Patrick O’Hearn has to be good. If those names sound familiar it is because these three played with Frank Zappa throughout the late 1970s and early 1980s and as we know, Zappa always had the best musicians playing for him. So it was quite clear that Missing Persons weren’t going to be a Tinseltown Rebellion band that Frank recorded a good parody about.

Before I launch into the fullness of Missing Persons’ 1983 album, “Spring Session M,” I would start with the singles from the album. The first one I heard on the radio upon my return from serving in the Far East was “Words.” My first impression of it was that the lead singer was trying to sound like a fourteen year old girl. At first, I thought it was amusing but listening behind the vocals, I heard the music and it sounded okay. The guitar wasn’t heavy on a bang your head along to it scale but enough to catch my interest. The synthesizers were used very intelligently without taking over. My conclusion was that it was a good song after all. However, the third single, “Walking in LA” has a guitar hook that definitely works and Dale Bozzio’s voice sounds much better on it. The other single, “Destination Unknown” is a more way out there song with some good keyboard hooks. Those were enough to get me to listen to the rest of the album and I wasn’t disappointed.

Dale Bozzio

Dale Bozzio

The rest of the album is as solid as the three singles. The songs are just hard enough to catch the ear of this metalhead and think, “This is okay” and the keyboards and synthesizers are done just as intelligently. Dale Bozio does not sound like a fourteen year old on the other songs, in fact her vocals are quite decent. Her best effort is on the track, “Tears.” However, the rest of the band plays consistently well throughout the entire album. The two opening tracks seem to stand out the most although “Bad Streets” is probably the closest they come to a rocker. It is the heaviest song on the album and done very well and Cuccurullo does hammer out a pretty cool guitar solo.

Track Listing:

  1. Noticeable One
  2. Windows
  3. It Ain’t None of Your Business
  4. Destination Unknown
  5. Walking in LA
  6. U.S. Drag
  7. Tears
  8. Here and Now
  9. Words
  10. Bad Streets
  11. Rock and Roll Expression
  12. No Way Out
Missing Persons

Missing Persons

Dale Bozzio- vocals

Terry Bozzio- drums, backing vocals, percussion, synthesizer

Warren Cuccurullo- guitar, backing vocals

Chuck Wild- keyboards, synthesizers

Patrick O’Hearn- bass, keyboards, synthesizers

If new wave had continued in this direction, I would have been more into it. Missing Persons were talented musicians all as shown in the album “Spring Session M.” Unfortunately, things went down hill fast after this and my musical tastes went in a harder direction.

Next post: AC/DC- Flick of the Switch

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 1981: Frank Zappa- You Are What You Is

Posted in 1980s, Humour, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 29, 2014 by 80smetalman

220px-Zappa_You_Are_What_You_Is

It was little secret that Frank Zappa was capable of putting out several albums in a year. Earlier in 1981, he had put out “Tinseltown Rebellion” and then a series of albums called “Shut Up and Play Yer Guitar.” Then later in the year he put out this album “You Are What You Is,” which is probably his best known album for this year. Like with many of Zappa’s albums, the songs are all bound together but not in the way like “Joe’s Garage” as there is no visible story line in the songs.

As expected with any great Zappa album, there is that perfect blend of humour and fantastic musicianship. The album begins with “Teenage Wind” which is a parody about teenage hang ups and right on the heels of that is “Harder Than Your Husband.” This song, with it’s country music sound is definitely a good hoot. The first song that real portrays the quality musicianship of Frank and his band is “Doreen.” While stalwart Ray White proves his underrated vocal ability Zappa backs him up with some great guitar work. I’ve always thought that his guitar talents have gone unnoticed. But it’s not just Frank smoking the fingerboard on this album. Accompanying him is some guitar player known as Steve Vai. You might have heard of him.

The title track was also the first video he ever made and like sometimes with his music, it landed him in some trouble. I guess the portrayal of then president Ronald Regan as the president from hell might have had something to do with it. I just wonder why some people are so devoid of a sense of humour. Following the track “Mudd Club” are two tracks that I really like. “The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing” and “Dumb All Over” are both mega swipes at religion and both songs are done with that tongue in cheek Zappa sense of humour. The remainder of the album continues with funny songs until the closer “Drafted Again” which is remake of a song from the early days “I Don’t Want to Get Drafted.”

Track Listing:

1. Teenage Wind

2. Harder Than Your Husband

3. Doreen

4. Goblin Girl

5. Theme From the 3rd Movement of Sinister Footwear

6. Society Pages

7. I’m a Beautiful Guy

8. Beauty Knows No Pair

9. Charlie’s Enormous Mouth

10. Any Downers

11. Conehead

12. You Are What You Is

13. Mudd Club

14. The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing

15. Dumb All Over

16. Heavenly Bank Account

17. Suicide Chump

18. Jumbo Go Away

19. If Only She Woulda

20. Drafted Again

Frank Zappa

Frank Zappa

Frank Zappa- vocals, guitar, composer

Arthur Barrow- bass

Jimmy Carl Black- vocals

Bobby Harris- trumpet

David Longeman- drums

Ed Mann- -percussion

Tommy Mars- keyboards, vocals

David Ocker- clarinet

Mark Pinske- vocals

Motorhead Sherwood- tenor sax, vocals

Craig Twister Stewart- harmonica

Steve Vai- guitars

Ray White- rhythm guitar, vocals

Ike Willis- rhythm guitar, vocals

Ahmet Zappa- vocals

Dweezil Zappa- vocals

Moon Zappa- vocals

With so many albums under his belt, it was very hard to keep track of everything Frank Zappa produced. Fortunately, for me, “You Are What You Is” wasn’t one of them. This is a very good Zappa album in the tradition of Frank Zappa. Definitely his best in 1981.

Next post: Rolling Stones- Tattoo You

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 1981: Frank Zappa- Tinseltown Rebellion

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Humour, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on March 5, 2014 by 80smetalman

 

220px-Zappa_Tinseltown_Rebellion

At this point in time, while we were being treated to all sorts of rock music and the emergence of heavy metal, Frank Zappa was quietly churning out several albums a year. In 1981, he put out three albums and I intend to visit at least one of the other ones as well. However, for me in this year, “Tinseltown Rebellion was the standout album.

Like with the vast majority of his albums, Frank always brings that unique blend of humorous lyrics along with master craftsmen like musicianship. There is plenty of it in this album and the best example is the title track. The song takes the proverbial out of the music scene at the time, (though I still think it’s the case today.) How record companies look more for image rather than substance of music. While the message has a hint of seriousness to it, Frank does it in his usual f*ck you style, which has the listener laughing their asses off throughout the entire song. Many other songs have the same effect, “Love Of My Life” springs to mind as it rips on 50s style teenage love songs. He also reworks some of his older songs like “Brown Shoes Don’t Make It” from his time with the Mothers of Invention. As usual, he gets some of the best well known and little known musicians to play with him and he always seems to bring out the best in them. On “Tinseltown Rebellion, guitar legend Steve Vai plays along with some of his regulars like Ray White, Peter Wolf and Ike Willis. So there’s little wonder why the music quality on the album is so high.

Track Listing:

1. Fine Girl

2. Easy Meat

3. For the Young Sophisticate

4. Love of My Life

5. I Ain’t Got No Heart

6. Panty Rap

7. Tell Me You Love Me

8. Now You See It Now You Don’t

9. Dance Contest

10. The Blue Light

11. Tinseltown Rebellion

12. Pick Me I’m Clean

13. Bamboozled By Love

14. Brown Shoes Don’t Make It

15. Peaches III

Frank Zappa

Frank Zappa

Frank Zappa- lead guitar, vocals

Arthur Barrow- bass, vocals

Vinny Coliauto- drums

Warren Cuccurullo- rhythm guitar, vocals

Bob Harris- trumpet, keyboards, high vocals

Ed Mann- percussion

Tommy Mars- keyboards, vocals

Steve Vai- rhythm guitar, vocals

Denny Whalley- slide guitar, vocals

Ike Willis- rhythm guitar, vocals

Ray White- rhythm guitar, vocals

Peter Wolf- keyboards

I have always been a Zappa fan, in fact, I drove some of my marine buddies a little crazy over my passion for his music, although I converted quite a few as well. Frank Zappa has many great albums to his credit; “Tinseltown Rebellion just happens to be among them.

Next post: Rossington/Collins- Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere

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