Archive for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Rest in Peace- Tom Petty

Posted in 1980s, Death, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 2, 2017 by 80smetalman

Tom Petty

It seems that 2017 is determined to suck as much as 2016 with another great rocker going to the great gig in the sky. Tom Petty entertained us with some great music for four decades whether it be with his band, Tom Petty and the Heartbrakers, solo material and a brief stint with the Travelling Willburys who included Bob Dylan, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison and the late George Harrison.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/tom-petty-legendary-rocker-is-dead-at-66/

Not only was Tom a great musician, he was a great song writer and as someone pointed out to me recently, those skills were very underrated. So, I guess the best thing to do is to pull out any or all of his great albums, (my favourite has always been “Damn the Torpedoes”) and give them a listen to commemorate this great rocker.

 

 

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Great Rock Albums of 1983: Stevie Nicks- The Wild Heart

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 5, 2016 by 80smetalman

220px-Wild_heart

When I first heard the first single, “Stand Back,” to Stevie Nicks’s 1983 album, “The Wild Heart,” I have to admit that I was rather blown away. There was an energy behind this song that I can’t explain, especially as it’s not done with hard guitar power chords. Her voice matches this song very well and please, no comments about Stevie sounding like a sheep. Needless to say, “Stand Back” is my all time favourite Stevie Nicks song but I often wonder how it would sound if it guitars dominated the supporting music as opposed to keyboards and of course a cranking guitar solo.

Keyboards is the theme of “The Wild Heart” album since it was the oncoming trend of the decade. However, having the quality musicians who play on the album, the keyboards are  done intelligently. Then again, all of the songs have the same quality musicianship in each of them. The title track opens things very well and sets the tone for the rest of the album. This is quickly followed by the second single from the album, “If Anyone Falls.” Not a bad song, very over done with the keyboards but it doesn’t hold a candle to “Stand Back.” “Gate and Garden” is more of a ballad but there is a guitar solo on it and that saves the song. An interesting note is the track, “Enchanted.” This song is reminiscent of the song “Dreams” from the classic Fleetwood Mac “Rumours” album.

After my favourite song, Stevie once again teams up with Tom Petty like she did on her previous album, “Belladonna.” Written by Petty, “I Will Run to You” opens with a promising guitar riff but for me, it doesn’t quite have the magic they produced on “Stop Dragging My Heart Around” but it does have a few catchy hooks, so it’s not a bad song. The rockiest song here is “Nothing Ever Changes.” The only song where I can hear guitar over the keyboards. Then again, Don Felder does play guitar on the track and is allowed to play a small solo but it is the saxophone that stands out the most for this track. “Nothing Ever Changes” is the climax to the album because the final two songs don’t really do anything for me.

Track Listing:

  1. The Wild Heart
  2. If Anyone Falls
  3. Gate and Garden
  4. Enchanted
  5. Nightbird
  6. Stand Back
  7. I Will Run to You
  8. Nothing Ever Changes
  9. Sable on Blonde
  10. Beauty and the Beast
Stevie Nicks

Stevie Nicks

Stevie Nicks- vocals

Lori Nicks- backing vocals

Sharon Celani- backing vocals

Guest Musicians

Tom Petty- guitar, vocals on track 7

Sandy Stewart- piano, keyboards, backing vocals on tracks 1,3,5,6,8,9

Mike Campbell- guitar on track 7

Benmont Trench- keyboards, organ on tracks 3-5, 7

Howie Epstein- bass on track 7

Stan Lynch- drums on track 7

Mick Fleetwood- drums on track 9

Steve Lukather- drums on track 6

Don Felder- guitar on track 8

Prince- keyboards on track 6

There were many session musicians on the album as well but the list would be extremely long.

In 1983, Stevie Nicks was probably the most successful of the members of Fleetwood Mac on solo projects, probably the most successful of all time. What was best about her voice was that it could stretch to sing a range of music. While she shows this with “The Wild Heart” album, I often wonder what she would sound like with a metal band.

Next post: Heart- Passionworks

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: Weird Al Yankovic

Posted in 1980s, Humour, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 11, 2015 by 80smetalman

220px-Weird_Al_Yankovic_-_Weird_Al_Yankovic

Madness had finally broken through to America and Frank Zappa put out a fantastic album but if there was any more proof needed to forward the belief that 1983 was a good year for humour in music, it would be the debut album of Weird Al Yankovic. In fact, since this year, many people would forever compare Weird Al with Frank on account of their love of humour. So much so, that twenty years after this album, Weird Al would have a track on an album that if you didn’t know any better, you would think it was Zappa himself. As for me though, it would only be the humour and the fact that both are true musical geniuses being the only things they have in common. They have totally different styles.

Hearing the tracks “Ricky” and “Stop Dragging My Car Around” on the radio in the spring of this year would convert me to Weird Al forever and I don’t care if people think I’m sad for it, (some do.) Those songs had me rolling on the floor in laughter and when I heard it, so did the self titled debut album. Nobody, now or then, does parody better than he does. What’s even more impressive is how he is able to adjust to the musical style of the song he’s parodying even if he sometimes does it with an accordion. That’s another amazing thing about him, no one else has been able to employ an accordion in rock songs the way he does.

On the debut album, the parodies come thick and fast. Not only do many of them take the piss out of classic songs, they are also parody other things. Take the two already mentioned. “Ricky” is obviously a parody of one hit wonder Toni Basil’s “Mickey” but it also parodies the old “I Love Lucy” show. Same with “Stop Dragging My Car Around.” Yes, it’s a humourous version of the classic Tom Petty/Stevie Nicks duet “Stop Dragging My Heart Around,” but it also rips on the the culture of towing cars away. Other great ones are “Another One Rides the Bus,” which is a parody of a Queen classic and if you have ever ridden on a crowded bus, then you would appreciate the sentiments on this song. Others great parodies are “My Bologna” which pokes fun at The Knack’s “My Sharona and “I Love Rocky Road,” a dig at the famous Joan Jett and the Blackhearts song. However, not all of Weird Al’s songs parody other songs. Some are just simple digs about other things. “Buckingham Blues” makes fun of the Royal Family. “I’ll Be Mellow When I’m Dead” is a dig at the hippy culture. Then there’s “Gotta Boogie,” let me just say this song has nothing to do with dancing. In any case, unless you have no sense of humour at all, and there are people out there who do, you can’t stop laughing out loud at the songs from this album. Weird Al proves to the world just how weird he is.

Track Listing:

  1. Ricky
  2. Gotta Boogie
  3. I Love Rocky Road
  4. Buckingham Blues
  5. Happy Birthday
  6. Stop Dragging My Car Around
  7. My Bolgna
  8. The Check’s in the Mail
  9. Another One Rides the Bus
  10. I’ll Be Mellow When I’m Dead
  11. Such a Groovy Guy
  12. Mr Frump in the Iron Lung
Weird Al Yankovic

Weird Al Yankovic

Weird Al Yankovic- accordion, vocals

Rick Derringer- guitar

Steve Jay- bass

John ‘Bermuda’ Schwartz- drums, percussion

Rich Bennett- ukulele, banjo, guitar

William K Anderson- saxophone, harmonica

Joel Miller- bongos

Mike Kieffer- percussion

Dorothy Ramsen- harp

Tress MacNeille- voice of Lucy Ricardo on “Ricky”

Dawn Smythey, Zaidee  Cole, Joan Manners- backing vocals

Weird Al Yankovic, along with Frank Zappa of course, proved to the world in 1983 that humour and music could go together. The debut album from Weird Al continues to have me in stitches each time listen to it.

Next post: DNA- Party Tested

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: Stevie Nicks- Bella Donna

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

220px-Bella_Donna_(album)

Stevie Nicks has one thing in common with George Harrison in a sense. I have already mentioned that George’s solo material his my favourite among The Beatles. Likewise, of the solo productions from the members of Fleetwood Mac, it is Stevie Nicks’s material that comes out number one for me. I have heard all of the comments about her having a voice like a sheep. In fact, I enjoyed South Park’s little parody about that. The thing is that I don’t care whether or not she sounds like a sheep, I like her voice and the music that accompanies it. The album “Bella Donna” being one of them.

snonsp

Thinking back to when the songs of this album were played on commercial radio, I am reminded why I don’t like it very much. Back in 1981, the two songs that seemed to get all of the air play were the two duets that appear on the album. One was done with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, okay not really a duet, but “Stop Dragging My Heart Around is a decent song. So is the other duet she performs with former Eagles drummer Don Henley, the mellower “Leather and Lace.” I heard this song played on radio several months back and at its conclusion, the deejay only attributed the song to Stevie Nicks. It made me quite cross the Henley didn’t get a mention in the credits, especially as it was a classic rock station and have played Eagles songs in the past. Okay, rant over.

The point I was wanting to make pre-rant was that while the two mentioned songs are decent and so are the other tracks on the album, one song stands head and shoulders above the rest. It is “Edge of Seventeen” that has me banging my head every time I hear it and that is quite often as it’s on one of my MP3s. For Stevie, this is a great rock tune and shows that she can sing rock with the best of them. It is also a song that I would love to hear covered by a metal band.

Track Listing:

1. Bella Donna

2. Kind of Woman

3. Stop Dragging My Heart Around

4. Think About It

5. After the Glitter Fades

6. Edge of Seventeen

7. How Still My Love

8. Leather and Lace

9. Outside the Rain

10. The Highway Man

Stevie Nicks

Stevie Nicks

Stevie Nicks- lead vocals

Lori Perry- backing vocals

Sharon Celani- backing vocals

Tom Petty- guitar, accompanying vocals (Track 3)

Michael Campbell- guitar

Don Felder- guitar

Benmont Trench- piano, organ, backing vocals

Stan Lynch- drums

Don Henley- drums, accompanying vocals (Track 8)

Fleetwood Mac may have been on a hiatus in 1981 but Stevie Nicks was tearing up the rock world with this great album. She showed that she was perfectly capable of making it on her own. Even if some people think she sounds like a sheep.

Next post: A New TV Station is Born

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Great Rock Albums of 1979: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers- Damn the Torpedoes

Posted in 1978, 1979, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on December 13, 2012 by 80smetalman

damnthetorp

When I first heard the first single from this great album by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, “Don’t Do Me Like That,” I was convinced that whoever called this band “punk” back in 1978 was a complete and utter moron whose idea of hard rock was probably Hall and Oates. “Damn the Torpedoes” proved to me that they were a good tight rocking outfit, not that there’s anything wrong with punk because there isn’t. I just found the album very enjoyable.

It is true that “Don’t Do Me Like That” was the song that first properly turned my head to this band and this album but “Damn the Torpedoes” does contain my all time favourite song by these guys, “Refugee.” As always, the album isn’t just down to the singles although I do like their third single from this album, “Here Comes My Girl.” There some killer tracks on here as well like “Century City” and “What You Doin’ In My Life” to name just two. All of them have that trademark that made Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers famous.

Track Listing:

1. Refugee

2. Here Comes My Girl

3. Even the Losers

4. Shadow of a Doubt

5. Century City

6. Don’t Do Me Like That

7. You Tell Me

8. What You Doin’ In My Life

9. Louisiana

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Tom Petty- guitar, lead vocals, harmonica

Mike Campbell- lead and slide guitars, keyboards, accordion

Benmont Tench- piano, organ, harmonium, vocals

Ron Blair- bass

Stan Lynch- drums, vocals

I have always been of the mind that as a unit, the Heartbreakers have been severely underrated as a band. It is true that Tom Petty is the front man and you can’t take anything away from his talents, but the rest of the band seems to have been largely ignored and that to me is a shame. Have a listen to this classic album and you’ll see what I mean. 

Next post: My favourite Christmas album

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Great Rock Albums of 1978: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers- You’re Gona Get It

Posted in 1980s, Music with tags , , , , , , on January 14, 2012 by 80smetalman

The second album from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers got my attention back then. I must admit, that I never even knew they had put out an album prior to “You’re Gonna Get It” until I did some preliminary research. Some have said that the first album was musically superior to the second. If that’s the case, then it must be a really good album. Still, I curse the sheltered life I lived back then, but that’s another story.

Like any new music back in 1978, many people called Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers a punk band. That’s just the ignorance of some people, because when I listened to some of the tracks, I was convinced they were not. “You’re Gonna Get It” is a good rock album that has some good bits with both guitar and organ used in a combination that works on so many levels. It’s just a well made feel good album.

Track Listing:

1. When the Time Comes

2. You’re Gonna Get It

3. Hurt

4. Magnolia

5. Too Much Ain’t Enough

6. I Need to Know

7. Listen to Her Heart

8. No Second Thought

9. Restless

10. Baby’s a Rock’n Roller

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Tom Petty- lead vocals, guitar, piano

Mike Campbell- lead guitar, accordion

Bermont Tench- piano, organ, vocals

Ron Blair- bass, accoustic guitar

Stan Lynch- drums, vocals

For me this album was the start for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Although, I haven’t always liked everything they’ve done since, I can say that I really like this album.

Next Post: The first movie soundtrack I liked, The Last Waltz

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