Archive for videos

Great Metal Albums of 1984: Dio- The Last in Line

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 4, 2018 by 80smetalman

No further evidence to support the fact that 1984 was the year of heavy metal is needed beyond the fact that Dio had two songs from their second album, “The Last in Line” played on commercial radio. When I first heard the title track played on my local commercial station, I wasted no time in cranking up the volume and breaking out the air guitar. I was working at a parking lot at the time but it didn’t matter one bit if I was the subject of people’s attention. To hear such a song on the radio was completely mind blowing at the time.

The video to the track, “The Last in Line” was cool in my view but it did come in for a lot of criticism at the time. In the eyes of the religious fanatics, scenes of people getting tortured by Satan’s minions was a major problem. Of course, if they bothered to watch the entire video, they would have seen that the protagonist in it does make his escape with the help of Ronnie himself. My conclusion was that it’s a cool video for a great song.

“Mystery” the second single, didn’t do quite as well but I love this song too and the video for it. The video is a more fantasy setting so no one gets tortured in it. After one showing of it on MTV, the vee-jay said “Mystery” was the closest thing to a ballad from Dio. Maybe so, it would be another twelve years before “Angry Machines” and the closer to it, which is a definite ballad. Still, I continue to love “Mystery.”

Now, let me go to the four tracks which some people consider to be filler. I don’t because I consider “Breathless,” “I Speed at Night,” “Evil Eyes” and “Eat Your Heart Out” to all be good tracks. Maybe the heavy breathing before “Breathless” is a little OTT but that intro and Ronnie’s “No No No No No” more than cancel it out. Coming home from visiting my children the other night, I realise that I do speed at night. In some cases, I discovered that I was doing 80 on the motorway, so that song is very true. “Eat Your Heart Out” has a cool intro as well and I love how “Evil Eyes” ends. So, in my mind, these songs aren’t filler.

As for the three songs I haven’t mentioned, well, they are better than the four I just mentioned. “We Rock” would have been used to open their shows on tour for “The Last in Line” had they not had a better show opener from the “Holy Diver ” album. “Stand Up and Shout” is one of the greatest show opening songs ever. But while it might not have opened the show, Dio still had the sense to play it on their next couple of tours. It is a cool song. “One Night in the City” is my hidden gem on the album. I have always loved Ronnie’s ability to tell stories behind the great music and on this one, it’s near perfect. The same can be said for the closer, “Egypt (The Chains are On.)” This too tells a great story behind what is some great music. I don’t quite rate it as good as “One Night in the City” but it does make an excellent closer for the album.

Most people can attest to the great vocals of Ronnie James Dio and he does a superb job on “The Last in Line.” However, the rest of the band needs their credit where due. Vivian Campbell lays down some brilliant guitar solos on here. Why some people call him overrated I’ll never under stand. Jimmy Bain and Vinnie Appice remain the tight rhythm section on this albums as much as they were on the last one. Then there’s the new addition on the album. It was here, keyboards player Claude Schnell joined the band and his contribution to the band is immense. All together, these five men work together and put out a fantastic album.

Track Listing:

  1. We Rock
  2. The Last in Line
  3. Breathless
  4. I Speed At Night
  5. On Night in the City
  6. Evil Eyes
  7. Mystery
  8. Eat Your Heart Out
  9. Egypt (The Chains are On)

Dio

Ronnie James Dio- vocals

Vivian Campbell- guitar

Jimmy Bain- bass

Claude Schnell- keyboards

Vinnie Appice- drums

 

 

The best concert I ever went to in my life happened on this tour. Dio, supported by Twisted Sister was a night I will take to my grave with me as one of the great highs. One of the main contributors to this ecstasy was the fact that it was “The Last in Line” album. Thinking back to when I wrote about this concert in “Rock and Roll Children,” I didn’t highlight just how magnificent a show it was.

Next Post: Helix- Walkin’ the Razor’s Edge

To get Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://book-fm.cf/print/free-download-rock-and-roll-children-by-michael-d-lefevre-pdf.html

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Great Metal Albums of 1984: Twisted Sister- Stay Hungry

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Humour, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 19, 2017 by 80smetalman

With all the fuss about the upcoming Christmas holidays and reading about various opinions of the “Twisted Christmas” album and why Twisted Sister made such an album, I thought I’d treat everyone to their most defining album, “Stay Hungry.” It was by and far the most successful Twisted Sister album of all time and it made, to quote Dee Snider, 1984 “the year of the Sister.”

Let me take you back to the golden year and where it first started. The massive sales of the album were spring-boarded by the huge hit, “We’re Not Gonna Take It” and the very amusing video for it, that got tons of airplay on MTV. I never minded the fact that during the summer of 1984, it seemed to be on every time I turned the station on. The video for said song featured actor Mark Metcalf, famous for playing Niedermeyer in the greatest party film of all time, “National Lampoon’s Animal House.” Metcalf plays an overbearing dictatorial father who shouts constantly at his rock loving son. The son gets his own back by propelling his father out windows after turning into Dee Snider. It was all very hilarious and only those without any sense of humour wouldn’t enjoy it.

A scene from the video, “We’re Not Gonna Take It.”

“Stay Hungry” spawned two more singles, “I Wanna Rock” which did fairly well in the charts. The video carried on the zaniness of the Niedermeyer debacle. It too was a very funny video. The other single was the power ballad, “The Price,” which didn’t break the top forty, but who cares because it is definitely up in my top ten of power ballads.

Singles aside, the remaining seven songs are just as awesome. The closest track to filler is “Don’t Let Me Down” but it’s better than many songs on other albums which  aren’t considered filler. While “The Beast” never got played the last two times I saw Twister Sister at Bloodstock, it did get played the two times I saw them on tour for this album. “Captain Howdy” is a cool song. The title track is one of the best album openers of all time and the closer “SMF” is also outstanding as a closer and build the foundations as to why this album is so great. To my knowledge, there isn’t a sane soul in the metal world who doesn’t like “Burn In Hell.” Except for the first time because it hadn’t been written yet, it got played all the other times I saw the band live. However, the one small disappointment whenever I saw them live  was that they never played the song I call the hidden gem, “Street Justice.” I like everything about this song from the cool intro to the guitar solo to the serious lyrics. Maybe that’s why I think I’m different to the rest of the world because I seem to be the only person who really likes it. I’ve read that they played the song in 2009 when they played the entire album live. I wish I could have been there.

Track Listing:

  1. Stay Hungry
  2. We’re Not Gonna Take It
  3. Burn In Hell
  4. Horror Teria

a. Captain Howdy

b. Street Justice

5. I Wanna Rock

6. The Price

7. Don’t Let Me Down

8. The Beast

9. SMF

Twisted Sister

Dee Snider- lead vocals

Eddie Ojeda- guitars, backing vocals

Jay Jay French- guitars, backing vocals

Mark ‘The Animal’ Mendoza- bass, backing growls

AJ Pero- drums, percussion

Three videos from this iconic album is my Christmas treat to all of you, enjoy. Whatever else happened in the band’s history before or since, the obvious thing is that “Stay Hungry” made Twisted Sister in 1984. It was definitely the year of the Sister and I wonder sometimes if I didn’t convey that point in Rock and Roll Children.

Next post: The 12 Days of Christmas, several versions

To get Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://book-fm.cf/print/free-download-rock-and-roll-children-by-michael-d-lefevre-pdf.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1984: Chicago- 17

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 6, 2017 by 80smetalman

I’d like to thank Rich for this one. If he hadn’t posted about Chicago’s 11th album from 1977, I would not have remember that the band had a really good album in 1984. Thank you Rich for jogging my memory here. Once my memory got into full swing, I remember that there was a song on this album I really liked. That was the opening track, “Stay the Night,” which I remember most because of the very amusing video got played quite a bit on MTV during the summer.

Reflections from my old age, I now realize that Chicago deserves more credit for “17” than what they actually received. There were two camps in 1984. Most bands were either going down the synth pop road or heading in a more harder direction. Chicago didn’t go down either road. Instead, they stuck with the same formula that made them so successful throughout the 1970s. Their fusion of soft rock and jazz influences work just as well on this album as they had on all of their previous ones. That is precisely why Chicago was my ‘not guilty pleasure’ in the mid 1980s.

Proof of what I’m talking about can be traced to the success of “17.” There were four singles, including my favourite track mentioned above, the best known of these was the ballad, “Hard Habit to Break.” Sure, it’s no where near a heavy metal power ballad but it’s a good song anyway. Just as successful was the track “You’re My Inspiration” which did just as well in the singles charts as “Hard Habit to Break.” The fourth single is probably the hardest rock song on the album, “Along Comes a Woman.” Guitarists Bill Champlin and Chris Pinnick deliver on the guitar on the track and the other instruments do well in support. It has a definite catchy vibe and that makes it my second favourite track. Of course, it wouldn’t be me if there weren’t any non single songs on the album to like. “We Can Stop the Hurting” takes the prize here as it is a definite reminder that Chicago were not about to compromise with their sound. “Remember the Feeling” does come closer to being a power ballad as there is some hard guitar in the background and a fairly decent solo on it. With some really great tracks to close, this album was just like anything you found on any Chicago album throughout the band’s history.

Track listing:

  1. Stay the Night
  2. We Can Stop the Hurtin’
  3. Hard Habit to Break
  4. Only You
  5. Remember the Feeling
  6. Along Comes a Woman
  7. You’re My Inspiration
  8. Please Hold On
  9. Prima Donna
  10. Once in a Lifetime

Chicago

Peter Cetera- bass, lead and backing vocals

Bill Champlin- guitars, keyboards, lead and backing vocals

Robert Lamm- keyboards, lead and backing vocals

Lee Loughnane- trumpet

James Pankow- trombone, horn arrangements

Walter Perazaider- woodwinds

Chris Pinick- guitar

Danny Seraphine- drums

The reason why I considered Chicago to be my not guilty pleasure from the 1980s was down to the fact that by then, I was a total metalhead. Chicago are definitely not metal but I’ve always liked their softer version of rock, especially in the 70s. So there was no reason why I shouldn’t have carry it over into the next decade.

Next post: Roger Hodgson- In the Eye of the Storm

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1507309311&sr=8-3&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Rock Hit Wonders of 1984 and Another Significant Songs

Posted in 1980s, Humour, Music, Rock, television, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 6, 2017 by 80smetalman

Its that time again where I look at some of the one hit wonders of the year I am visiting. There were some interesting ones in 1984 with others who were wrongly considered such by the so called mainstream public. Some great heavy metal acts fell under this misbelief. So without further ado, let’s start with what was the most successful hit, “Missing You” by John Waite.

John Waite

What I couldn’t believe was that after doing a bit of research, that John Waite had a pretty impressive discography. However, the only song I and many others will remember him for would be this great soft rock ballad that went to number one. Although many metalheads wouldn’t admit it back then, they did like it. It can be found on quite a few soft rock compilation albums.

Dwight Twilley

The next one comes from American songwriter Dwight Twilley. He had been around for years as I have learned but he is best known for his 1984 top 20 hit “Girls.” This mid tempo rock tune takes me back to the time when the build up to the metal explosion in 1984 was just about to happen. I haven’t heard this song for years but listening to it for the purposes of research was very pleasant. I wonder if this one is on any compilation albums.

Dog Police

In 1984, MTV had a monthly segment called “Basement Video.” The premise was six videos from unsigned artists would be played and the winner would go onto the grand final. In January, a video from a Memphis Tennessee outfit called Dog Police won with their self titled single. I even phone up and voted for it. What I remember about them was that upon the introduction to the video it was said that Dog Police wanted to become the Frank Zappa of music video. Unfortunately, that never happened and they only finished fourth in the grand final. Still, it’s a great video and song.

Rick Derringer

All I know for sure with this next one was that I first heard the song  “I Play Guitar” by Rick Derringer in 1984 when I saw the video for said song. I loved it straight away! Now, I’m not sure if this song actually came out in this year but because 84 was when I first heard it, I’m including it here just because it’s such a kick ass song. Before this, I had only heard how great a guitarist Rick was but this song proved it. And because I can’t find the official MTV video on Youtube, you get this really cool live version.

Naff song of 1984

Tracey Ulman

In the eyes of most of the world, Tracey Ulman is a brilliant comedy actress. I love her wit. But in 1984, she put an album and MTV treated the world to the single from it, “They Don’t Know.” I had the misfortune of hearing it on the car radio a couple of months ago. The song is totally naff, with a 1960s pop feel and even the guitar solo sounds naff. Don’t worry, I won’t inflict it upon you, my readers, but rest assured, I am glad that she stuck to comedy. The rest of the world is probably glad too. However, I can identify with her sense of humour with the title of her album “You Broke My Heart in 17 Places.” I have this habit of picking out numbers like that.

Next post: Music News of 1984

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1504721323&sr=8-8&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great(ish) Rock Albums of 1984: Rod Stewart- Camouflage

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 27, 2017 by 80smetalman

Rod Stewart has always been a top forty artist in my book. He’s had a string of hits over the past four decades, some of them I actually liked, especially during the 1970s and 80s. I confessed to this fact when I visited his 1982 “Tonight I’m Yours” album some time ago. One of those singles I like happened to be the single, “Infatuation,” from the 1984 album, “Camouflage.” The song does venture  towards the new wave/hard rock borderland and even more so with the guitar solo by Jeff Beck. That brings me to the video for the song. Rod continues his string of cheesy videos that started with “Young Turks” where everyone is dancing on the hoods of cars and carries on with “Infatuation. In this video, Jeff Beck pops up in the hotel room from out of nowhere to play his solo. I understand that Mike LeBrain has had the same problem. Whenever he stays in a hotel room, Jeff Beck shows up. To quote a title from another song on “Camouflage,” some guys have all the luck.

After the opener, “Infatuation,” things go downhill pretty fast. While, I applaud Rod Stewart for a decent single at first, with the next track, I’m ready to place a bounty on his head for his act of sacrilege. He covers the Free classic “All Right Now” and it is a totally synthed out version. If he had kept to the script set down by Free, his voice would have carried the song but with all the synthesizers, I have to say, “No Rod!” But that’s not the only cover he has destroyed. On track four, he sings a cover of the Todd Rungren classic, “Can We Still Be Friends.” Like “All Right Now” there’s nothing wrong with his voice on the song but again, the synthesizers ruin it for me. While this sacrilege isn’t as bad, it’s still bad enough that even Jeff Beck’s guitar solo can’t save it.

Jeff does improve things with a solo on the track after, “Bad For You.” This one is more in line with the opener and sounds quite good. “Heart is On the Line” is one of those pop sounding songs that isn’t bad but it’s not one I want to listen to over and over. “The title track is much more sharper. Rod’s voice takes control of it and therefore the synths that appear on it are only in the background. Plus there’s a good use of horns adding a bit of diversity. Had Jeff belted out a solo on it, it might have been my favourite track. The closer, “Trouble” typifies how unbalanced “Camouflage” is. The keyboard intro makes you feel it’s going to be a cool prog rock song only to fade away into a ballad. Now, Rod has always been able to sing a good ballad and does so here but the intro leaves me disappointed with the rest of the song.

Track Listing:

  1. Infatuation
  2. All Right Now
  3. Some Guys Have All the Luck
  4. Can We Still Be Friends
  5. Bad For You
  6. Heart is On the Line
  7. Camouflage
  8. Trouble

Rod Stewart

Rod Stewart- vocals

Jeff Beck- guitar

Jim Cregan- guitar

Robin LeMesurier- guitar

Michael Landau- guitar

Jay Davis- bass

Tony Brock- drums

Kevin Savigar- keyboards

Michael Omartian- keyboards, percussion, backing vocals

Jimmy Zavala- harmonica

Gary Herbig- saxophone

Jerry Hey, Chuck Finley, Kim Hutchcroft, Charlie Loper, Gary Grant- horns

Was “Camouflage” great? I tend not to think so, however, it could have been so if there weren’t so many synth versions of classic rock songs. The songs that are good are but others let the album down. It seems here, he was comfortable being a top forty singer.

Next post: Roger Waters- The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking

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 1984: Peter Wolf- Lights Out

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 21, 2017 by 80smetalman

It’s funny how sometimes when a singer leaves a band, both that singer and the band, with their new singer, put out an album around the same time. Is it coincidence? Rivalry? Answers on a post card please. I guess we’ll never know. All I know is that in 1984, after singer Peter Wolf left the J Geils band, the band released the album I visited in the last post and Peter Wolf came out with his debut solo album, “Lights Out,” at the same time.

Listening to the opener, title cut and biggest single from the album, I am reminded why I probably stayed away from the album. The video for “Lights Out” got a fair amount of play on MTV at the time but it also got played a lot in dance clubs although that song was better than most of the stuff played in such places. That song never did anything for me and it still doesn’t.

Fortunately, there are far better songs on “Lights Out.” The very next track, “I Need You Tonight” has a more traditional J Geils Band sound and the succeeding track is a little of the same. Then there is the rather spooky sounding ballad, “Gloomy Sunday,” which has a 1940s feel to it. It does show that Peter’s voice has some versatility to it. A better single for me would have been “Baby Please Don’t Let Me Go.” This has a more catchy commercial vibe to it and I bet you could dance to it if you’re into such things.

One big question that arises from the album is: Was Peter Wolf in a competition with Randy Newman as to who could get the most big names to accompany on their album? You only need to see the list of people on this album to discover what I mean. Heck, he even gets Mick Jagger to duet with him on the track “Crazy” and it sounds good. Possibly my favourite track on the album. I don’t know who of the many guitarists on the album does the guitar solo but it’s well done. My guess is that it’s Adrian Belew but don’t quote me on that. It could be The Cars guitarist Elliot Easton but to me, it doesn’t sound like his style, I could be wrong and usually am.

Track Listing:

  1. Lights Out
  2. I Need You Tonight
  3. Oo Ee Diddley Bop
  4. Gloomy Sunday
  5. Baby Please Don’t Let Me Go
  6. Crazy
  7. Poor Girls Heart
  8. Here Comes That Hurt Again
  9. Pretty Lady
  10. Mars Needs Women
  11. Billy Bigtime

Peter Wolf

Peter Wolf- conga, vocals

Robin Beck- vocals

Mick Jagger- vocals

Adrian Belew- guitar

Peter Bliss- guitar, backing vocals

Tony ‘Rocks’ Cowan- guitar

Alan Dawson- percussion

Elliot Easton- guitar

Eddie Gorodetsky- vocals, narration

Yogi Horton- percussion

Michael Jozun- bass, flute, guitar, percussion, horns, keyboards, backing vocals

Will Lee- bass, vocals

Leon Mobley- conga, conductor

P-Funk Horns- horn section

Rick Peppers- guitar

Randy Ross- guitar

G E Smith- guitar

Maurice Starr- bass, guitar, vocals

Ed Stasium- guitar, percussion

Rusty the Toejammer- scratches

Gordon Worthy- bass, conga, keyboards, vocals

I think that the theme of Peter Wolf’s “Lights Out” album is versatility. No two songs are the same yet at the same time, the album seems to flow. Whether its the more commercial sound of “Poor Girls Heart” to the humourous “Mars Needs Women” to the more blues funk closer “Billy Bigtime” there’s something here that everyone will like.

Next post: Rush- Grace Under Pressure

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 Metal Albums of 1983: Heaven- Where Angels Fear to Tread

Posted in 1980s, Books, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 23, 2017 by 80smetalman

heaven_waftt

When my household finally got MTV in the final month of 1983, one video I remember seeing getting a good amount of airplay was the one for the song, “Rock School” by Australian rockers, Heaven. The song itself was okay although at the time, I wasn’t too sure about the horns in it. What I did enjoy was the actual video. It cast the band as your typical high school hoods causing havoc at their school. My favourite part was when they whip the high school football team in a rumble. I think that was the highlight for many metalheads at the time.

Now, I am not anti- American football or school sports. After all, I officiate the game here in the UK and when I went to the states two and a half years ago, had the opportunity to officiate a high school junior varsity game. What I am opposed to is the mentality in schools that a boy isn’t anything unless he plays football and that football prepares a young man for life. It was around this time in the US that schools began pushing sports over learning and treating the jocks as mollycoddled gods. There is an instance in “Rock and Roll Children” about this when two football players try to pick on one of the character’s friends and a fight starts. When the smoke clears, the teachers, the PE teacher especially, seem to be more sympathetic to the football players’ side of the story. The PE teacher simply wants to dismiss the metalheads’ story and only a more fair minded teacher stops him. Trust me, things like this happened in school back then and probably still do so now. So, it would have amused many a metalhead in 83 to see one of their bands duffing up some football players.

Scenes from the video for "Rock School."

Scenes from the video for “Rock School.”

As for the rest of the album, “Where Angels Fear to Tread,” let me say that it is pretty much a good rocking album. The single, “Rock School” blends in well with the rest of the album. The opener and title track is quite good and the second track, “Love Child” pretty much goes hand in hand with the same hard, feel good vibe. Without a doubt though, my favourite track on the album has to be “Hard Life.” This is just a great standard rocker! Heaven just goes all out on it and it has the best guitar solo on it so double bonus points there. The closer, “Sleeping Dogs,” is a powerful rocker too and I don’t think it should be the closer. Maybe one of the two before it would have been better but who’s to say. “Where Angels Fear to Tread” is damn fine album.

Track Listing:

  1. Where Angels Fear to Tread
  2. Love Child
  3. Scream for Me
  4. Don’t Mean Nothing
  5. Rock School
  6. Madness
  7. Hard Life
  8. She Stole My Heart
  9. You
  10. Sleeping Dogs

heaven_b

Allan ‘Eddie’ Fryer- vocals

Kelly- lead guitar

Laurie Marlow- bass

Mick Cocks- rhythm guitar

Joe Turtur- drums

I wonder how many people who were living in 1983 actually remember seeing the “Rock School” video on MTV. Believe me, it was on quite a lot then and some people probably have Heaven down for one hit wonders. The “Where Angels Fear to Tread” album makes them much more than that.

Next post: Ozzy Osbourne- Bark at the Moon

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