Archive for U2

80smetalman’s Choices for National Anthems

Posted in Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 4, 2015 by 80smetalman

National Anthems inspire love for one’s country. Every one I’ve heard definitely does that. Some are hard driving like the US, UK or Canada while others are more somber like Japan or Wales. Even Italy’s which reminded me of a parade or Spain’s which sounds like a sixteenth century dance still can inspire love for the country. However, most national anthems are over a century old and while there’s nothing wrong with that, since they still inspire nationalistic feelings, I wonder if more modern ones could be used. See, I have come to associate certain songs by certain bands with the country they come from and that has me thinking. Maybe these songs should be national anthems for their country.

Lynyrd Skynyrd

Lynyrd Skynyrd

USA: Freebird by Lynyrd Skynyrd (I’m talking the full fifteen minute live version)

Led Zeppelin

Led Zeppelin

UK: Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin

Rush

Rush

Canada: Tom Sawyer by Rush

Bonfire

Bonfire

Germany: Proud of My Country by Bonfire

TNT

TNT

Norway- Seven Seas by TNT

Yngwie Malmsteen

Yngwie Malmsteen

Sweden- As Above, So Below by Yngwie Malmsteen

Hanoi Rocks

Hanoi Rocks

Finland- Tragedy by Hanoi Rocks

Golden Earring

Golden Earring

The Netherlands: Radar Love by Golden Earring

U2

U2

Ireland- Sunday Bloody Sunday by U2

Loudness

Loudness

Japan- Crazy Nights by Loudness

AC/DC

AC/DC

Australia- Highway to Hell by AC/DC

Note: For Brazil, it would definitely be something by Seputura and France would be a suitable song by Gojira.

While this is meant to be a little bit of fun, I’m sure some of you are cracking your knuckles and limbering your typing fingers to contribute some of your own suggestions. Well, I’m waiting.

Next post: The Scorpions- Blackout

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: Utopia- Swing To The Right

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 9, 2015 by 80smetalman

Swing_To_The_Right

Back in 1982 or there about, I remember reading a review on a Utopia album, not sure if it was this one or their next one, where the reviewer stated that Todd Rundgren was being pulled down by the rest of the band. I never agreed with that statement because I have always thought that Powell, Sulton and Wilcox were all talented musicians and song writers in their own right. For me, this was purely the case with their 1980 album “Adventures in Utopia,” although that is their best album.

Let me say straightaway that “Swing to the Right” is not quite as good as the 1980 classic but it’s not that bad. They do venture away from the more hard/progressive rock sound of the classic and adopt a more new wave approach. For the most part it works and even before U2 made it popular in 1983, the album is full of political lyrics aimed at corporations, religion and war mongers. My impression was that it’s a dig at the Regan administration which embraced all of the things that Utopia were having a go at. It is also the reason why Bearsville Records were reluctant to release the album at first.

The opening title track is the most progressive rock like song on the album and it boasts an excellent guitar solo from Rundgren. “Lysistrata” is also a good track and the swing to the more new wave sound definitely begins here. “Junk Rock” goes even more new wave and is a dig at synth pop which was rapidly gaining a foothold in the early 80s. “Shinola” does go back to a more progressive sound and Rundgren’s vocals remind me of some of his 1970s solo albums. The next few tracks are all what I have already spoken about, lyrics about political issues played to a new wave sound. For the most part, I like it and the standout track from these is “Last Dollar On Earth.” The closer, “One World” goes a little ways back to the more known Utopia sound and that ends the album rather nicely.

Track Listing:

1. Swing to the Right

2. Lysistrata

3. The Up

4. Junk Rock

5. Shinola

6. For the Love of Money

7. Last Dollar On Earth

8. Farenheit 451

9. Only Human

10. One World

Utopia

Utopia

Todd Rundgren- guitar, vocals

Roger Powell- keyboards, synthesizer, vocals

Kasmir Sulton- bass, vocals, keyboards

John ‘Willie’ Wilcox- drums

Todd Rundgren deserves to be in the Rock Hall of Fame both as an artist and a producer. It’s an act a sacrilege that he isn’t. The argument that his playing with Utopia demeans his talents is totally rejected by me and many others. It could be said that he should be there a third time with Utopia because they have made some good albums over the years. “Swing to the Right” is one of them.

Next post: Survivor- Eye of the Tiger

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: U2- October

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on December 2, 2014 by 80smetalman

220px-U2_October

U2’s second album “October actually came to my attention at the tail end of 1981 when I saw it at a record store. However, I was still listening to their debut album “Boy,” so I wasn’t quite ready for their new album. That all changed while I was early into my second deployment to the Mediterranean and Indian Ocean when a fellow marine played the album opener “Gloria” that was on his self made cassette of punk tunes. Fact: believe it or not, back in 1981 and 2, U2 were considered punk by the mainstream. I’ve said this before and I know I’ll say it again, back then, anything new or that mainstream commercial radio just didn’t get was classed as punk.

Whether or not U2 were ever punk was not really an issue for me, all I know was that they were quickly growing on me. One reason why was that if I were to choose another name for “October,” I would call it “Boy II” because to me, the second album sounds very much like the first. That’s not a particularly bad thing by the way. Like “Boy,” “October” begins with the best know single from that particular album. I won’t make comparisons because “I Will Follow” will always be my favourite U2 song. Therefore I will not take anything away from the opener here. “I Fall Down” is a good follow on and I’m not sure what to make of “I Threw a Brick Through a Window” but it does stand out in the sense that I didn’t hear anything like it on “Boy.” For me, the album goes down the same road as its predecessor and you could argue “If it ain’t broke then don’t fix it.” Even the end of the album slows down in the same way the closer on “Boy,” “Shadows in Tall Trees” does. While I won’t go as far as saying the two albums are completely identical, they are quite similar.

Track Listing:

1. Gloria

2. I Fall Down

3. I Threw a Brick Through a Window

4. Rejoice

5. Fire

6. Tomorrow

7. October

8. With a Shout (Jerusalem)

9. Stranger in a Strange Land

10. Scarlet

11. Is That All

U2

U2

Bono- lead vocals

The Edge- guitar, piano, backing vocals

Adam Clayton- bass

Larry Mullen Jr- drums

As I said earlier, if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. What U2 did with “October” is take their first album as a blueprint and made another album along the same vein. However, it is done in a way that doesn’t put the listener off. “October” would prove to be a small stepping stone towards the next album which would lead them to ultimate greatness in the golden decade. One thing I have always said about U2 was the fact that they were one band that metalheads and trendies both liked.

Next post: Loverboy- Get Lucky

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: Diesel- Watts In a Tank?

Posted in 1980s, Humour, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 8, 2014 by 80smetalman

220px-Diesel1

The same friend who first introduced me to The Fools and U2 in 1981, also introduced me to this album by Dutch rockers, Diesel. I instantly identified with the big Top 40 hit “Sausalito Sumernight,” because the rambler they were singing about in the song could as easily have been the beat up 1973 Chevy Nova I was driving at the time. Trust me. However, even if it wasn’t for that, I still would have liked the song for its humorous approach and the guitar solo at the end. What was more fortunate was that this friend played the entire “Watts In a Tank?” album and I could see that the rest of it was pretty good too.

Back then I was also a big Dungeons and Dragons player too. Hey 1537, maybe we should get together for a game sometime. Anyway back to this album, one evening shortly after, while playing said game, all of the characters in the party where at an inn when the Dungeon Master (DM) announced that the evening’s entertainment would be provided by Gimli and the Dwarves. Next thing, we were treated to “Down in the Silvermine” from this very album. Since, I was playing a dwarf character that night, I stated that he immediately got up on the table and started dancing to the music. Note: the character did this, I didn’t do it myself. Ever since then, that song has been my favourite Diesel song.

There are some other great tracks on the album as well and some that have some personal meaning to me. I listen to or think of the track “Good Morning Day” on the morning after there has been some change in my life. “Going Back to China” has a humorous nod to it as does  “Remember the Romans.” Both songs are really well played. “Alibi” is another stand out track. “Watts in a Tank?” falls somewhere between hard rock and power pop and that’s is probably why it had some chart success in 1981 and probably why I like it. Going back to “Good Morning Day,” there are some decent power chords in that one. The same goes for the closer “Bite Back” that takes the album home very nicely.

Track Listing:

1. Sausalito Summernight

2. Going Back to China

3. Alibi

4. My Kind of Woman

5. All Because of You

6. Down in the Silvermine

7. Good Morning Day

8. Ready For Love

9. The Harness

10. Remember the Romans

11. Bite Back

Diesel

Diesel

Rob Vunderink- guitars, lead vocals

Mark Boon- guitars, lead vocals

Frank Papendrecht- bass, backing vocals

Pim Koopman- drums, keyboards, backing vocals

I once heard chart show host Casey Kasem say in 1981 that the Dutch bought more records per capita than anyone else in the Western world. So, it’s easy to imagine a Dutch band making it in the US. (Not sure how they did in the UK that year.) Fortunately instead of giving the world another trendy plastic bubble gum pop boy band, they gave the world Diesel and “Watts In a Tank.” That’s something to thank the Dutch for.

Next post: The J. Geils Band- Freeze Frame

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: U2- Boy

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on April 18, 2014 by 80smetalman

 

220px-U2_Boy

The debut album from the now legendary Northern Ireland band U2 came to my attention who gave me a copy on a cassette on which he recorded from the record. Since I had no clue on anything about the band, I had to go on the music that the tape was pumping out of the speakers on my car stereo. Listening to what some have labelled their post punk, new wave sound a picture of what I believed they looked like began forming in my mind. I saw them as the standard four piece two guitar, bass and drum type of band with hair styles similar to the boy on the album cover and wearing brown tweed jackets and ties. I guess the closest thing would be sort of a combination of The Jam meets The Knack. The image of them would remain with me for another two years until when I would see that that image was completely wrong.

Thankfully, I never cared too much about images but put my faith in the music. When I first listened to “Boy,” I was convinced by its conclusion forty minutes later that this was a good album. Even though there was no track listing, I knew the opener was a fantastic song and “I Will Follow” is still my all time favourite U2 song. I didn’t need a track listing to see how tight this band was as the songs were very good. One advantage of not knowing the track titles is that I was compelled to listen that much closer to get an idea of what a track might be called from the lyrics. So, the track “A Day Without Me” isn’t really called “You started a landslide in my ego” but that doesn’t stop it from being a great song nor did it stop it from sticking in my head for over thirty years. Other tracks that stick in my head turn out to be “An Cat Dubh,” “Out of Control” and “Stories for Boys” and I have to say that “Shadows in Tall Trees” makes for an interesting closer.

Track Listing:

1. I Will Follow

2. Twilight

3. An Cat Dubh

4. Into the Heart

5. Out of Control

6. Stories for Boys

7. The Ocean

8. A Day Without Me

9. Another Time, Another Place

10. The Electric Company

11. Shadows in Tall Trees

U2

U2

Bono- lead vocals

The Edge- guitar, backing vocals

Adam Clayton- bass

Larry Mullen Jr- drums

I said in my last post that I would be visiting something that was a triumph in 1981 but is now a tragedy, but it’s not U2. Yes, in my view, they were great in the 1980s but would go weird in the 90s but it is albums like “Boy” that keep me listening. What I didn’t know when I first listened to this album is how they would go onto greater things.

Next post: Eric Clapton- Another Ticket

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