Archive for Yngwie Malmsteen

Great Metal Albums of 1987: White Lion- Pride

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 8, 2022 by 80smetalman

According to history, hair metal became popular in the closing years of the 1980s. However, some of those hair metal bands had albums out as early as 1985. One of those was White Lion, a band I particularly link to hair metal. How I missed out on their 1985 “Fight to Survive” album is beyond me. After all, the title track is my favourite White Lion song. Therefore, I am making doubly sure that I don’t miss out any more of their discography and they’re not the only band this has happened to. Here in its full glory is White Lion’s 1987 album, “Pride.”

What I love about “Pride” is the tight musicianship from all four members. That is what makes the album stand out for me. The album itself is straight forward heavy metal but it’s played very well. The song subjects are typical of the time, but then, they are the same throughout most genres of music. “Lonely Nights” is about a girl who has been dumped by her man for another girl who just wants to be loved. “Don’t Give Up” can be said as an encouraging call to the working man. This was particularly relevant in 1980s America as the entire country was engulfed in a go-go-go yuppie lifestyle. However, both songs are played extremely well and I’ll avoid the rush and start gushing over what a great guitarist Vitto Bratta is and why isn’t his name more known. He really rips a great solo on “Sweet Little Loving.”

The hidden gem for me is “Lady of the Valley.” This sounds like a no nonsense heavy metal tune and yes of course, Vitto’s guitar work is prominent, especially his acoustic guitar work. There are also parts when it goes more power ballad and now it’s time to point out the bass playing of James LoMenzo and the drumming of Greg D’Angelo as they make a fine rhythm section and it shows here. Maybe I should talk about Mike Tramp as it is his vocals that lead the album and he does sing well throughout.

It’s time to talk about the song which was saturated all over MTV in 1988. Yes, you in the back, I’m talking about the famous single, “Wait.” It even got attention over in England at the time and I have it on a compilation CD. Like with the previous track, it shows how easily White Lion can flow back and forth from power ballad to a more straight forward metal song. Vitto playing his guitar solo in the video amuses me because he’s on one knee. Is he trying to copy Yngwie Malmsteen?

By the middle of the decade, MTV really began to suck and the suckiness can relate to White Lion. The three singles from “Pride” were all ballad like songs and while that’s not a bad thing, it does hinder the fact that White Lion could rock. Okay, “Tell Me” is a decent rocker and it did well as a single but there are better examples. One song on the album which definitely proves my point is “All You Need is Rock ‘n’ Roll.” This is one to play at a party. You can headbang along to it and if you’re drunk enough, you can sing along to the chorus. I would have done so if the album had come out a year earlier.

I never had the fortune to have seen White Lion live but I wonder if they used the format on the album to close the show. The penultimate track, “All Join Hands” would have been a great song to finish on before leaving the stage and coming back for an encore. It’s one of those feel good, all sing together type tunes. If they had, then they could have come back and performed the closer, “When the Children Cry.” This was a well known single and it’s ballad format would have been an excellent way to end the show. If anyone has seen White Lion in the past, could they please enlighten me?

Track Listing:

  1. Hungry
  2. Lonely Nights
  3. Don’t Give Up
  4. Sweet Little Loving
  5. Lady of the Valley
  6. Wait
  7. All You Need is Rock ‘n’ Roll
  8. Tell Me
  9. All Join Hands
  10. When Children Cry

Mike Tramp- vocals, rhythm guitar

Vitto Bratta- guitar

James LoMenzo- bass

Greg D’Angelo- drums

I thought I would include this one since I missed it out and it is my favourite White Lion song.

Things are becoming clearer to me. With albums such as “Pride” by hair metal bands like White Lion, I can now see why it would become such a force in the final years of the 1980s.

Next post: Wrath- Nothing to Fear

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

To sign the petition for a knighthood for Bruce Dickinson, click the link: https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson

Great Metal Albums of 1987: Tony MacAlpine- Maximum Security

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 28, 2022 by 80smetalman

Back in 1987, it was very easy for people to accuse guitarists who made instrumental albums of trying to copy Yngwie Malmsteen. True, there are some similarities to Yngwie when I listen to Tony MacAlpine’s second album, “Maximum Security,” but I must severely stress, SOME. Track 2, “Hundreds of Thousands,” sounds like it came straight from Yngwie. And while there are more moments which may sound similar to the Swede, Tony is definitely not a Yngwie clone.

Starting with the obvious, there’s the fact that there are no vocals on the album, it’s pure instrumental. That’s the next point, Tony adds an extra dimension to his work by playing keyboards on it as well and it comes through straight away on the album’s opening track. Where his keyboard skills really shine is on the track, “Etude #4 Opus #10,” written by Chopin. You get two minutes of some fine keyboard work, thus showing Tony’s versatility.

Of course, Tony doesn’t have Yngwie’s ego, thank God. Tony has two guitarists come along and jam with him on three tracks. George Lynch of Dokken fame trades solos with him on two tracks, “Tears of Sahara” and “The Vision.” The other contributor is none other than Jeff Watson from some band called Night Ranger. You might have heard of them. Jeff plays on “”The King’s Cup” and does a super job too. This paring makes this track the best one on the album. Of course, what sticks in my weird mind the most on that particular track is that it opens with a drum roll similar to the Kreator classic, “Pleasure to Kill.” Both of these guitar wizards add an extra layer of guitar goodness for Tony.

The tracks where Mr. MacAlpine is at his fingerboard smoking best on his own, are “Key to the City” and “The Time and the Test.” It’s difficult for me to put it down in words but he just totally shreds those two tracks. Obviously, he shreds well on the others as well, “Sacred Wonder” especially. To sum it up, you get more than just an album with a guitarist playing all the way through it, you have some fine compositions here.

Track Listing:

  1. Autumn Lords
  2. Hundreds of Thousands
  3. Tears of Sahara
  4. Key to the City
  5. The Time and the Test
  6. The King’s Cup
  7. Sacred Wonder
  8. Etude #4 Opus #10
  9. The Vision
  10. Dreamstate
  11. Porcelain Doll
Tony MacAlpine

Tony MacAlpine- guitar, keyboards, bass

George Lynch- additional guitar solos (tracks 3 and 9)

Jeff Watson- additional guitar solos (track 6)

Deen Castronovo- drums (tracks 1-3, 5 and 6)

Atma Anur- drums (tracks 4, 7 and 9-11)

Not that I care about such things, “Maximum Security” was Tony’s only album to break into the charts. I am not surprised because he shows he is such a talented musician all around. It makes it more of a shame that he seemed to almost vanish after.

Next post: Motley Crue- Girls, Girls, Girls

About four years ago, I wrote a post calling for Bruce Dickinson to receive a knighthood. What I should have been doing is posting the link with every post since. I have seen the error of my ways so with every post from now until Bruce receives his gong, I will post the link to my petition here. I hope all of you, especially my British followers, will sign it.

https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson

Another petition I have started and this is not metal related is that I am petitioning the NFL to have next year’s Philadelphia Eagles v Pittsburgh Steelers game played in London. I hope you will sign that one too.

https://www.change.org/p/nfl-2022-steelers-eagles-game-to-be-played-in-london

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

Great Metal Albums of 1986: Chastain- Ruler of the Wastelands

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 21, 2020 by 80smetalman

Here’s a perfect reason why I should have bought the album. My experience of Chastain, actually it was guitarist David Chastain, was through the two songs which appeared on the compilation tape the Metal Sisters sent me. Those songs were “No Man’s Land” and a cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Communication Breakdown.” Both songs were superbly played and for years I simply assumed they were on Chastain’s 1986 album, “Ruler Wasteland.” Unfortunately, they are not. I have tried to find the album these songs appear on but my search has been fruitless. Therefore, I thought the only thing left to do was to listen the album through Youtube and post about it. This turned out to be a wise decision.

In 1986, guitarists who wanted to emulate one Yngwie J. Malmesteen seemed to be coming out of the woodwork. Reflecting back, I think Vinnie Vincent was trying to be such and so was David Chastain. While he is backed up by a very good band, especially lead singer, Leather Leone, “Ruler of the Wasteland” leaves no doubt that its objective was to showcase the guitar skills of David T. Chastain. Something the album does very well here from beginning to end as David solos his way through.

David T. Chastain

It’s not just David’s guitar skills that should be noted here as there are some very well crafted tracks on the album. “One Day to Live” has Leather’s best vocal performance, although she’s quite good on the other tracks. One song where it all comes together and highlights the album and shows the talents of the individual members is “Fighting to Stay Alive.” This song proves that David is a capable song writer as well as a great guitarist. Yes, he does hammer out a cool guitar solo on the track but the vocals are good as is the rhythm section. While all of those things are present on every track, it’s done the best on this one.

One very pleasant and eye opening surprise is “Angel of Mercy.” I have heard this song before, covered by Axel Rudi Pell, who does a great job on it. However, the original version here on the album is simply mind blowing and now I am in a quandary as to which song is better between “Angels of Mercy” and “Fighting to Stay Alive.” While the former is straight ahead full blown metal, Angels has a more blues feel to it and it too has all the band pulling together to make it great. I guess I’ll call it a tie.

The fastest song on the album is “There Will be Justice.” Imagine Yngwie playing a guitar solo on a speed metal song and you’ll get the picture of what I’m trying to say. Then right after, you get a progressive metal sounding fantasy track with “The Battle of Nevermore.” Every time I hear this track, I like it more. Therefore, maybe I should stop listening to it as I will have great difficulty in choosing which songs to feature. Then again, isn’t that a trait of a very good album?

Track Listing:

  1. Ruler of the Wasteland
  2. One Day to Live
  3. The King Has the Power
  4. Fighting to Stay Alive
  5. Angel of Mercy
  6. There Will be Justice
  7. The Battle of Nevermore
  8. Living in a Dreamworld
  9. Children of Eden
Chastain

David T. Chastain- guitar

Leather Leone- vocals

Mike Skimmerhorn- bass

Ken Mary- drums

Moral of the story: Get the album! I didn’t and for years I have missed out on the fine album which is “Ruler of the Wasteland.” As for the songs I have mentioned, I have plans for them in a future post.

Next post: Merry Christmas

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

Great Metal Albums of 1986: Yngwie Malmsteen- Trilogy

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on August 12, 2020 by 80smetalman

Theoretically, I should have visited Yngwie Malmsteen’s third album, “Trilogy,” back when I visited the Emerson, Lake and Powell album. For a brief time in 1986, Yngwie supported ELP on their tour but eventually, he left the tour stating that he wasn’t happy with the fact that he didn’t have enough space leftover to set up his things after the headliners had set up theirs. I just thought that was one of the drawbacks to being a support band. Another amusing tidbit from Yngwie’s tour was that when he played the Marquee Club in London, a lot of Bruce Springsteen fans turned up because they thought it was ‘The Boss’ playing under another name and to these people, there couldn’t be anyone by the name of Yngwie Malmsteen.

What I like about “Trilogy” is that young Mr Malmsteen goes further into making more songs in the traditional sense, instead of just shredding away on the guitar, which he still does brilliantly on this album. In fact, the only two instrumentals on the album are “Crying” and the closer, “Trilogy Suite Op:5.” However that last one is the best one for the closer. It just takes the album out with lots of great guitar work.

Any thoughts that Yngwie can’t write songs are quickly dispelled with the first three tracks and in my mind, the three best songs on the album! The opener, “You Don’t Remember, I’ll Never Forget,” was released as a single and it’s probably the right one for that. Unfortunately, I don’t remember it getting any play on the radio or MTV, shame on them. The middle song, “Liar,” is my vote for hidden gem. It is just a powerful rock tune, where the vocals of Mark Boals, who replaced former lead singer Jeff Scott Soto, the guitar work of Mr Malmsteen and the keyboards of Jens Johannson come together to make a brilliant song. “Queen in Love” is a good, actually very good, a solid song with more of the above.

After the first instrumental, things go very hard with “Fury.” This could have been better if there was more rhythm guitar. It seemed that Yngwie wanted to show that he could shred a bass as well as a guitar, although he does play a good solo as does Jens on the keyboards. Power chords galore continue on “Fire.” It is one of those catchy type of metal songs. Another positive from “Trilogy” is that he does lend some of the spotlight to the rest of the band. The contributions of Boals and J. Johansson are heard plenty but it’s on “Magic Mirror” where Jens’s brother Anders is let go on the drums and he picks up the baton and runs with it very well.

One criticism which has been aimed at Mr Malmsteen over the years is that his guitar solos all begin to sound pretty much the same. Yes, I would agree that there might be some similarities in them but I just put it down to being his style. Besides, with his talent, he could play the exact same solo on every song and I wouldn’t get bored with it.

Track Listing:

  1. You Don’t Remember, I’ll Never Forget
  2. Liar
  3. Queen in Love
  4. Crying
  5. Fury
  6. Fire
  7. Magic Mirror
  8. Dark Ages
  9. Trilogy Suite Op: 5

Yngwie Malmsteen- guitar, bass, Moog Taurus

Mark Boals- vocals

Jens Johansson- keyboards

Anders Johansson- drums

By 1986, many metalheads were already citing Yngwie Malmsteen as the new guitar god. At the time, I wouldn’t have disagreed with them and even today, he’s definitely in my top 5. Saying that, he had his critics and not just because of his over inflated ego which was by this time, very apparent. So, in respect to this, I conclude the post with a riddle: How many Yngwie Malmsteens does it take to change a light bulb?

Answer in the next post which is: Raven- The Pack is Back

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

Great Metal Albums of 1985: Yngwie Malmsteen- Rising Force

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 26, 2018 by 80smetalman

The last of the 1984 albums that didn’t come to my attention until 1985 and it wasn’t until May of said year that I was treated to this one. I remember it well, fairly well anyway. I was sitting in the cafeteria of my local glorified high school, (community college), when a friend offered me a listen on his walkman saying, “I think you’ll like this.” He was right, I did like it. It was the opening track to the “Rising Force” album by Swedish guitar god, Yngwie J Malmsteen. It was said that the J is there so we won’t confuse him with all the other Yngwie Malmsteens in the world.

“Black Star” the opening track I mentioned changed my entire outlook on guitar instrumentals, which was a hard thing to do because I have always had great admiration for masters of the axe. It was just the way that then 21 year old Yngwie made the guitar scream and bend to his will as he played that had me totally hypnotized. “Black Star” was simply the perfect introduction for me and apparently, he still plays it live.

One criticism aimed at guitar albums is that all of the tracks sound the same. Yes, I know, complete hogwash but if anyone says it to you, then you can point them to this album. All of the tracks are original and unique as Yngwie strains his guitars to fit the sound of each song. Whether it’s the faster paced “Far Beyond the Sun,” it is rumoured he still plays that one live too or the classical sounding “Icarus’s Dream Sweet Opus 4,” Yngwie delivers a unique sound every time.

While the guitarist is the main attraction here, you must give credit to the supporting cast. Jens Johansson premieres his keyboard skills on the album and shows he is very good at what he does. One must also give credit to drummer Barriemore Barlow. He has to keep up with a guitarist who can change direction at any time and often does so. And while there are only two vocal tracks on the album, it was here where I got my first experience of Jeff Scott Soto. Even with very little vocal opportunity, he shows he’s got the pipes. Fortunately, he would be given more opportunity on future albums as “As Above, So Below” is proof that Jeff and Yngwie made a very good combination. See, if it hadn’t been for Danny Vaughn, Jeff would have been my vocalist of choice for the 80sMetalman Band of Underrated Musicians.

Track Listing:

  1. Black Star
  2. Far Beyond the Sun
  3. Now Your Ships Are Burned
  4. Evil Eye
  5. Icarus’s Dream, Sweet Opus 4
  6. As Above, So Below
  7. Little Savage
  8. Farewell

Yngwie Malmsteen

Yngwie Malmsteen- guitars, bass, Moog Taurus

Jens Johansson- keyboards

Jeff Scott Soto- vocals

Barriemore Barlow- drums

In the later years, I would learn all about Yngwie’s over inflated ego and how he doesn’t play nice with others but that’s in the future. What I knew in May 1985 was that he could rip a guitar, which he does extremely well on his debut album.

Next post: David Lee Roth- Crazy From the Heat

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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

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