Archive for Yes

Great Rock Albums of 1984: Kerry Livgren AD- Timeline

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 30, 2017 by 80smetalman

Once again, I was deceived by Satan in 1984. The Christian Rock radio programme, TCN Hot Rock played the song “Mask of the Great Deceiver” by Kerry Livgren. What blew me away about the song was who was on the lead vocals. That alone was grounds for me to go out and buy a Kerry Livgren album. However, when I read the tracks on the 1984 album, “Timeline,” that track wasn’t on it. Therefore I didn’t buy it. As think back to that time, I see the irony in it all, in regards to the vocalist on the song. See, it was about this time that the singer was getting attacked by Christian groups for being Satanic. They obviously never listened to Livgren’s song for even the deejay had to admit the great job done by the vocalist. I’m not going to tell you who that vocalist was, you have to listen to the song and guess. Though, it is pretty obvious. Actually, the picture gives it away but have a listen anyway.

Most of you will know that Kerry Livgren came over from the great 70s prog rock band Kansas. After leaving Kansas in 1983, he met some musicians who were like minded in his spiritual beliefs so they formed the band Kerry Livgren AD and “Timeline” was their first album although it’s considered by some to be Kerry’s second solo album. He had one in 1980 which features the track I pontificated about above.

One critic back then called the “Timeline”album stale. While I won’t agree with that, I can see where he might say that because the first tracks are very 80s synth pop. However, he does nail a good guitar solo on the opening title track and some interesting keyboards work at the end of the second one. While probably the weakest tracks on the album, the first two do set the stage for the better tracks that follow. In fact, the very next track, “Make or Break It” is reminiscent of Kansas and the track after even more so. Kerry nails down some killer guitar solos on tracks, “Take Us to the Water” and “New Age Blues,” (my favourite track), as well as some interesting keyboards work. “Slow Motion Suicide” is a great example. Another very interesting and very notable aspect on “Timeline” are the Yes inspired harmony vocals on the album. They appear throughout. There always being an exception, the track “Beyond the Pale,” sounds very contemporary for the time Joe Jackson.

Track Listing:

  1. Timeline
  2. Tonight
  3. Make or Break It
  4. Take Us to the Water
  5. Beyond the Pale
  6. New Age Blues
  7. Slow Motion Suicide
  8. High On the Hill
  9. Life Undercover
  10. Welcome to the War

Kerry Livgren AD

Kerry Livgren- guitars, keyboards

Michael Gleason- lead and backing vocals

Warren Ham- lead and backing vocals

Dennis Holt- drums, percussion

David Hope- bass

Kerry Livgren AD might have been pushed into the area of Christian Rock by some critics and followers of Christ but there are no in your face Jesus lyrics. To me, it’s just some good old progressive rock similar to what Kerry did with his former band.

Next post: Stryper- Yellow and Black Attack

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1506774683&sr=8-4&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Great Rock Albums of 1983: Yes- 90125

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 8, 2016 by 80smetalman

90125album

When people mention great 1970s progressive rock, the first two names that come to mind are Emerson, Lake and Palmer and Yes. To me, they were the building block on which the genre was built on during that decade. Yes classics like “Roundabout” and “Yours is No Disgrace” continue to move me whenever I hear them. That meant that when the new Yes album, “90125,” came out in 1983, my ears were definitely tuned towards them.

By late 1983, MTV had pretty much taken over as my new resource for discovering new albums and bands. Note: in 1983, MTV still actually played decent music. Yes’s new release came to my attention via the first single “Owner of a Lonely Heart.” This song was okay in my view, I loved the guitar riff introduction to the song but to me it sounded too choppy in the 1980s style and definitely not what I was used to from Yes. Fortunately, as I know from experiences good and bad, one song does not make an album.

The rest of “90125” is more of the traditional Yes we kids new and loved back in the 1970s. “Hold On” is nearly a hard rock track dominated by the guitar but “It Can Happen” is for sure Yes at their golden best. There is some superb progressive rock sound here with a little bit of everything. Some magnificent keyboard work from Tony Kaye and a little impressive guitar work compliments of Trevor Rabin. Holding all of it together is the vocals of Jon Anderson with some help from the harmonizing with the other members of the band. “It Can Happen” is the key to the album and links everything in very nicely. The remainder of the album follows on in this mold rarely venturing outside the box but still keeping the band’s creativity in tact.

“Changes” is the prime example as it follows on perfectly from “It Can Happen” and I have to say that I have always found the guitar work on the instrumental “The Cinema” very well performed. Furthermore, I prefer the second single from the album, “Leave It” as it is done in the traditional Yes fashion. That sets the tone for the remainder of the album, just some good old fashioned progressive rock from the remaining tracks.

Track Listing:

  1. Owner of a Lonely Heart
  2. Hold On
  3. It Can Happen
  4. Changes
  5. The Cinema
  6. Leave It
  7. Our Song
  8. City of Love
  9. Hearts
Yes

Yes

Jon Anderson- vocals

Trevor Rabin- guitar, keyboards, vocals

Chris Squire- bass, vocals

Tony Kaye- keyboards, vocals

Alan White- drums, percussion, vocals

After a break up in 1981, Yes came back two years later and it was still good to hear that they hadn’t lost their touch with “90125.” This could be one of the best progressive rock albums of the 1980s but that will be left for others to debate.

Next Post: 38 Special- Tour de Force

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: Marillion- Script For a Jester’s Tear

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 9, 2016 by 80smetalman

Marillion_-_Script_for_a_Jester's_Tear

I had heard of Marillion in 1983 but didn’t actually hear them until their 1985, “Misplaced Childhood” album made a major breakthrough in the US. Even then, it would be another two years before I listened to their back catalog, which included this, their debut album, “Script for a Jester’s Tear.” I have to thank my first wife for giving me this opportunity as it was her albums that help me appreciate their early work. Actually, Marillion was the first concert we saw together as husband and wife but that story is better for another day.

One of my on going rants here on 80smetalman is that the progressive rock of the 1970s descended into the synth pop of the 1980s. I still believe this but somebody forgot to tell Marillion this was the case. “Script for a Jester’s Tear” proved that there was still some good progressive rock to be found in the 1980s. In fact, I will go as far as to say that legends from the decade before such as Emerson, Lake and Palmer and Yes, (I’ll be visiting an album of theirs in the near future) would be glad that Marillion carried on the torch of progressive rock far into a decade where it wasn’t as widely appreciated.

In the true spirit of progressive rock, the shortest track on the album is just a mere five minutes and twenty nine seconds, that track is “He Knows You Know.” It’s also why that song was released as a single. The next shortest track is over seven minutes long and the remaining ones are all more than eight. In each of those tracks, there is the great keyboard work of Mark Kelly in tandem with some impressive guitar playing from Steve Rothery. Those two elements are strongly supported by the rhythm section and the unmistakable voice of lead singer, Fish. They make all of those tracks ones where you just want to kick back and listen and just appreciate the musical efforts of the band. All good tracks but my personal favourite has to be “Garden Party,” most likely for the acoustic guitar followed by hard rock intro. One other point is that at the time, the track “Chelsea Monday” was criticised for having nonsense lyrics. If they do, who cares? The music, especially Rothery’s guitar solo more than compensates.

Track Listing:

  1. Script for a Jester’s Tear
  2. He Knows You Know
  3. The Web
  4. Garden Party
  5. Chelsea Monday
  6. Forgotten Sons
Marillion

Marillion

Fish- vocals

Steve Rothery- guitar

Mark Kelly- keyboards

Pete Trewavas- bass

Mick Pointer- drums

I think what Marillion achieved in 1983 was to provide a common ground for trendies who were able to look beyond what synth pop was offering and metalheads like me who still appreciate a bit of melody. For those, Marillion’s debut album has it all. The paradox is that while “Script for a Jester’s Tear” was a huge success in the UK, it hardly made a dent in the US. Then again, I’ll be visiting another UK band who in the same year, had an album that went multi- platinum in the US but only sold about 17 copies in the UK.

Next post: Big Country- The Crossing

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: Asia

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

Asia_-_Asia_(1982)_front_cover

When I returned from my second deployment in June of 1982, this debut album from Asia was there to greet me. It would be the first new album I would hear on my return. I did get a preview of what was to come when someone played the first single “Heat of the Moment” on the juke of a local bar (not the Driftwood) and that persuaded me to check out the rest of the album to which I was delighted to have done for this was a good album. On a totally unrelated note, this is the only album I know of that my sister and my ex wife both own, but don’t tell either of them.

For me, Asia gave the sign that the progressive rock which defined the 1970s, would carry on strong into the following decade. The opening song and previously mentioned big single signifies that Asia were a good tight band who joined together to make great music. It starts with a cool attention grabbing guitar riff before being overpowered by some sublime keyboard work. The guitars don’t totally go away but come back to begin each verse. The next couple of songs are keyboard lead but done very well and a guitar solo emerges on the track “One Step Closer” and goes on to take the song to its conclusion. A similar guitar riff starts “Time Again” but like some of the great progressive bands that went before such as Emerson, Lake and Palmer or Yes, there is some exciting intricate keyboard work laced throughout the song. However, the one song that certainly highlights the quality musicianship of the members of Asia is “Without You.” I got to hear a little of everything here with the keyboards, electric guitar and even an acoustic guitar bit, all very well done. My verdict: Asia’s self titled album reminds me of the day when musicians actually cared about the quality of the music they played.

Track Listing:

1. Heat of the Moment

2. Only Time Will Tell

3. Sole Survivor

4. One Step Closer

5. Time Again

6. Wildest Dreams

7. Without You

8. Cutting it Fine

9. Here Comes That Feeling

asia

Geoff Downes- keyboards, vocals

Steve Howe- guitars, vocals

Carl Palmer- drums, percussion

John Wetton- bass, lead vocals

Very shortly after this album, what we know as progressive rock would disintegrate into what would become synth pop. For us who grew up with progressive rock, it would become sad times and I could remember seeing many a person from my era force feeding quarter into a juke box when they spotted a song from the olden times. Asia reminds me that in 1982, those sad times weren’t upon us yet and there were still some out there who wanted to play some serious rock.

Next post: REO Speedwagon- Good Trouble

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