Archive for WASP

Great Metal Albums of 1984: Metallica- Ride the Lightning

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 22, 2018 by 80smetalman

I have said many times throughout the journey through 1984, it was the golden year of the golden decade for heavy metal. Many metal bands got mainstream exposure on radio and MTV. Not only that, the exposure gave many metalheads a look into bands that were up and coming or just out of the limelight. One of these up and coming bands was Metallica with their second album, “Ride the Lightning.”

Thinking back to that year, I don’t ever recall Metallica getting any airplay on the radio or MTV. As I listen to the album, I have to conclude that while mainstream media gave many metal bands some great exposure, I don’t think they were quite ready for a band like Metallica, even if metalheads were. After spending the year listening to all the great bands, Metallica was something different but interesting. It definitely had my attention. When I heard this album, I was blown away by the sheer power and hunger of this band.

While their debut album, “Kill’Em All,” just wants to pound the crap out of you, “Ride the Lightning” does offer some, I stress some, melodic moments. One gets that impression on the opening notes of the first track, “Fight Fire With Fire,” because it starts out with a full acoustic intro. However, it goes right into some very hard chords which lasts for three songs. In fact, all the times I’ve listened to the album, I seem to miss where “Fight Fire With Fire” ends and the title track begins. The comes the great “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” a loud pounding but at the same time rhythmic tune. I really like this track but I was disappointed when they played it at Donington 1987. It just didn’t grab me the way that it always does on vinyl.

Afterwards comes what I mean about melodic moments, my favourite track on the album, “Fade to Black.” The first half of this song is a near power ballad and while it would be another seven years before we got to hear their most famous ballad, “Nothing Else Matters,” I do hear some resemblances on “Fade to Black.” But it doesn’t stay melodic as the second half of the song goes back to more traditional Metallica soundings. An added bonus is the way that Kirk Hamett rips his guitar solo at the end.

With “Trapped Under Ice” and “Escape,” you get more great Metallica mashing and like the first two songs on the album, you have to listen carefully or you’ll miss where the one ends and the other begins. Then, if you thought your eardrums might get some relief, you’d would be sorely disappointed because “Creeping Death” comes along to kick your ass. This is a power song only slowing down slightly to deliver a more melodic chorus but then goes back to ear bashing. “Creeping Death” is decidedly my second favourite track on “Ride the Lightning.” It may not have the melodic approach of my number one but it lets you know it’s there and says you will like this song. Kirk’s solo on here is very cool too. The album ends with the very interesting instrumental “The Call of Ktulu.” All in all, this is a fantastic album and it reminds me of when Metallica were hard and hungry. The music on “Ride the Lightning” bears witness.

Track Listing:

  1. Fight Fire With Fire
  2. Ride the Lightning
  3. For Whom the Bell Tolls
  4. Fade to Black
  5. Trapped Under Ice
  6. Escape
  7. Creeping Death
  8. The Call of Ktulu

Metallica

James Hetfield- lead vocals, rhythm guitar

Kirk Hammett- lead guitar

Cliff Burton- bass

Lars Ulrich- drums, backing vocals on “Ride the Lightning”

In the opening pages of “Rock and Roll Children,” while the main characters are driving to the first concert in the book, one of them introduces the others to a new band called Metallica. It was the “Kill’Em All” album. Yes, back then, they were still making their way in the world and “Ride the Lightning” provided a springboard that would help launch them to greater things.

On another note, this album has been labelled thrash and speed metal. These were terms which I wouldn’t hear for another year. I just considered Metallica great metal at the time. Furthermore, this trip down memory lane makes me sad that I missed the Metallica, WASP and Armoured Saint show. That must have been fantastic.

Next post: Anthrax- Fistful of Metal

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

 

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Great Metal Albums of 1984: WASP

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 17, 2018 by 80smetalman

At this moment, I’m kicking myself for my lack of foresight in these last few posts. Knowing I would be posting about Black Emerald, I should have waited until after my posts about them to visit the Armoured Saint album. This would have made my links to this debut album from WASP and the “Ride the Lightning” album from Metallica more cohesive. Why am I obsessing about this? You may be asking yourself. Well that’s because back in 1984, Metallica, WASP and Armoured Saint toured the US together. While I didn’t see this package, something I duly regret, I heard some amazing accounts of the shows and that’s why I wanted to post the 1984 releases from these three bands in succession. After all, it is part of our metal history.

The second this album was released, it became the subject of much controversy from the American religious right and eventually groups like the PMRC. The first target was the track “Animal (Fuck Like a Beast).” If you bought this album back in 1984, this track wouldn’t have been on it. Reason being was that it caused such an uproar with the zealots that Capital records decided to pull it from the album. Wimps! Therefore, I’m going to rewrite history a little an include it here because it is my all time favourite WASP song.

On the original copy, the album begins with the single “I Want to Be Somebody.” This was the song that actually got a little airplay on the radio and it is good. I don’t know how he does it but Blackie Lawless manages to write tunes with a catchy vibe to it. Fortunately, Blackie and the band don’t veer too far from that formula on the rest of the album. It is certainly there on the follow up track “L.O.V.E. Machine,” although the following track “The Flame” isn’t quite as catchy as the last two but not a bad song in any way. “B.A.D.” has a a very cool opening riff and possibly the best guitar solo on the album.

If offending the religious fanatics wasn’t enough, WASP had to go and have the America right question their patriotism. The track “School Daze” starts with a class full of children reciting the pledge of allegiance, which some attacked them for. However, if they bothered to listen to the lyrics, they would know that it’s about the drudgery of high school and nothing unpatriotic. The pledge of allegiance was there because that’s how the school day begins in America! Not that that ever bothered me because right after the pledge, the song goes into some hard  riffs and it’s possibly the heaviest song on the album.

WASP’s formula ticks things over very nicely on “Hellion.” It’s a cool track but nothing about it stands out from the other songs on the album. Afterwards though, comes the weakest link on the album. Now most of you know, I love a good power ballad and “Sleeping (In the Fire) is a brave attempt at one. However, Blackie doesn’t have the voice for singing such songs. He sounds to strained as if his voice is going to crack at any second. It is redeemed by a great guitar solo.

Three really good songs close out the album. I especially like how “Tormentor” begins with the guitar solo but keeps its pace throughout. It’s my vote for the hidden gem on the album and “The Torture Never Stops” makes the best closer for the album and gets the runner up vote for hidden gem.

Track Listing:

  1. Animal (Fuck Like a Beast)
  2. I Want to Be Somebody
  3. L.O.V.E. Machine
  4. The Flame
  5. B.A.D.
  6. School Daze
  7. Hellion
  8. Sleeping (In the Fire)
  9. On Your Knees
  10. Tormentor
  11. The Torture Never Stops

WASP

Blackie Lawless- lead vocals, bass

Chris Holmes- guitar

Randy Piper- guitar, backing vocals

Tony Richards- drums, backing vocals

The debut album from WASP would be a tool used by the religious right to wage war on rock music all throughout the 1980s. Like KISS, idiots would say that the band’s name was an acronym for We Are Satan’s People and We Are Sexual Perverts. While I am still lmao about this thirty plus years on, I still enjoy what a great album their debut was.

Next post: Metallica- Ride the Lightning

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1982: Riot- Restless Breed

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 30, 2015 by 80smetalman

RIOT_RB

Having reread my post for the previous Riot album, “Fire Down Under,” I realise that I did post a picture of RATT when I meant to post a picture of the band Riot. Therefore, I have come to the executive decision that I will no longer use google images when I post pictures of albums or bands. Instead, I will use the heavyharmonies.com site which actually takes getting its facts right seriously. Enough of that now, let’s get to another great album from Riot that I should not have waited til the late 80s to listen to.

Again, after listening to the 1982 offering from Riot, “Restless Breed,” I am again asking why this band didn’t have more commercial success. As I listened to the album, I could hear songs that, in my mind, influenced some of the bands that came after and had more success. For instance, the track “C.I.A.” sounds like something that WASP would have done and “When I Was Young” reminds me a little of Y & T. However, Riot was around long before either of these bands were so they drew influence from Riot. Saying that, I could hear a little Judas Priest influence in “When I was Young” as well. However, the rest of the album is straight ahead no frills heavy metal, the way heavy metal was supposed to be played.

“Hard Lovin’ Man” may not be the greatest song in the world to open an album but it does the job in preparing the way for the rest of the album. It may have influenced WASP but “C.I.A.” is still a brilliant song and the next one “Restless Breed” is even better. The middle of the order on the album is for me, the strongest. The songs “When I Was Young,” “Loanshark” and “Loved by You” are the stand outs for me. The latter has one of those catchy choruses where you are still singing it long after the album has finished and you are three miles down the road in the car. They are just loveable rockers. And the best guitar solo goes to the next track, “Over to You.” “Slow Down” is the token ballad on the album but it’s not bad with some good guitar work on it. Things return to normal with the last two songs. “Dream Away” sounds like it might be another ballad but don’t let the title fool you. It has that Southern rock boogie vibe to it and the closer, “Violent Crimes” ends things very nicely. All in all, “Restless Breed” by Riot is one I should have had on cassette blasting out of the car as I cruised down the road.

Track Listing:

  1. Hard Lovin’ Man
  2. C.I.A.
  3. Restless Breed
  4. When I was Young
  5. Loanshark
  6. Loved By You
  7. Over to You
  8. Slow Down
  9. Dream Away
  10. Violent Crimes
Riot (and this time it actually is them)

Riot (and this time it actually is them)

Rhett Forester- vocals, harmonica

Mark Reale- guitar

Rick Ventura- guitar

Kip Leming- bass

Sandy Slavin- drums

Let me venture a theory on why Riot didn’t get the notoriety they so richly deserved back in the day. I think that people were so caught up in the new wave of British heavy metal (NWOBHM) that possibly American metal bands got pushed to one side. Whatever, the case, Riot was a band who rocked and those who were fortunate to listen to them can vouch for it.

Next post: Y & T- Black 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

 

A Rock/Metal Poll: Who Is The Best Rhythm Guitarist of All Time?

Posted in Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 24, 2013 by 80smetalman

I have written much about guitarists during the two years I have been blogging, but it has all been about the great lead guitarists who have graced us over the years. So today, I thought it would be a grand gesture to pay homage to those unsung heroes, the rhythm guitarists. These are the ones who, while their much more noted and worshiped lead guitarists are cranking out the solos, are playing power chords in rhythm with the music that allows their compatriot to work their magic. Once in a while, they may be allowed to play the occasional solo, but often times just keep striking their chords without any adulation.

So I will not only honour these unsung heroes, I would also like to know who you, my readers, consider to be the best rhythm guitarist. I have put forward a number of candidates but by no means is this list exclusive.

Blackie Lawless- WASP

Blackie Lawless- WASP

Brad Whitford- Aerosmith

Brad Whitford- Aerosmith

Dave Mustane- Megadeth

Dave Mustane- Megadeth

James Hetfield- Metallica

James Hetfield- Metallica

Malcolm Young- AC/DC

Malcolm Young- AC/DC

Glen Frey- The Eagles

Glen Frey- The Eagles

Paul Kantner- Jefferson Starship

Paul Kantner- Jefferson Starship

Rudy Schenker- The Scorpions

Rudy Schenker- The Scorpions

Scott Ian- Anthrax

Scott Ian- Anthrax

I know there are many more out there so all you have to do is comment who your favourite or favourites are. Meanwhile, when you listen to an album from any of the great bands these guys are from, strain your ears for the efforts they are putting in.

Next post: 1980- A Golden Decade Begins

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

 

 

Take a Trip Through Heavy Metal History

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 26, 2011 by 80smetalman

I have come to the conclusion that over the past few months I have been writing this blog, that I have been nothing more than a glorified newspaper columnist. While I will continue to comment on things relating to heavy metal,  I have nearly forgotten that the main point of the blog is to promote my book Rock And Roll Children and have finally figured out a way on how to do this properly.

There are many great heavy metal blogs on the net, including some right here on WordPress. They cover metal both old and new alerting readers to great heavy metal releases and news as well as the occasional trip back in history. My blog will now take you through the history of heavy metal in the 1980s, thus keeping in line with the name of the blog. I will mention great albums of the decade and the artists who made them. I will also revisit many of the events from the 80s which helped to shape the music and I will do all I can to post twice a week.

Let us start by paying tribute to a great concert venue from the era. The Spectrum in Philadelphia was the sight of many a great event from when it was built in 1967 to it’s demolition in 2009.  During its 42 years, it hosted many great happenings in sports and music. It was the place where the Philadelphia Flyers lifted their first Stanley Cup in 1974 and where the 76ers won at least one of teir NBA Crowns. However, for me, it was the scene of some fantasitc metal concerts from 1983 -86. I rocked and partied to great shows by Twisted Sister, Dio, Aerosmith, Black Sabbath and many more to name a few. There were many other great shows both before and after as well.

I am sure many an old metalhead like myself shed a silent tear when this great monument to heavy metal was demolished. I look back in time and still immagine metalheads all partying under the Rocky statue swapping stories, having pre concert parties and even being accosted by Jesus freaks. So when you travel down metal memory lane with me, take a second to pay homage to the venue that gave thousands some great metal memories.

The 80s were the golden age of heavy metal!

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 10, 2011 by 80smetalman

Over the past few months, since I started this blog, I have maintained that the 1980s was a golden age in heavy metal.  After much debate, I’ve come to the conclusion that it defintely was the golden age. My first piece of evidence is the Bloodstock Festival. In 2010, Twisted Sister, a famous band from the 80s, headlined on the final day of the festival. They drew the largest crowd and won accolades from both young and old on the day. Furthermore, the band Heaven and Hell were also due to play Bloodstock but they had to pull out due to the death of Ronnie James Dio. Many bands during the 3 days paid tribute to the great Dio and how much of an influence he was on the metal scene.

It seems that in 2011, the promoters of Bloodstock have chosen other great bands from the 80s to play the festival. Headlining on two of the three nights are two memorable bands from that greast decade, Motorhead and WASP. I realise that Motorhead began in the 70s, but they continued to awe millions with their brand of music throughout the 8os as well. As for WASP, in 1986 I bought their album “The Last Command” because it was the first album to have a PMRC sticker on it. Other bands form the 80s who will be playing Bloodstock are Exodus, Napalm Death and Kreator.

It’s not just Bloodstock that has these great shows. There are others like Download which include bands from the 80s. Last year, I believe Iron Maiden and Motley Crue played there. Likewise, there is another festival with the likes of Def Leppard and of course there is the Judas Priest farewell tour with Queensryche and a new release from Whitesnake. Kiss, Megadeth, Metallica and many other famous bands from the 80s are still going strong. True, their records sales may not be as astronomical as they were in the 80s, but over the years, they have amassed a huge following who still buy their albums and go to their concerts. Therefore, this leads me to conclude that the 80s truly was “The Golden Age of Heavy Metal.”

p.s. You can read an account of 80s metal in my book Rock And Roll Children.