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Great Rock Albums of 1983: Quarterflash- Take Another Picture

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 23, 2016 by 80smetalman

Take_Another_Picture_(album)

Been filled with paranoia the past few days, worried that my credibility as a metalhead has been destroyed for posting the Bonnie Tyler album. Let’s just say that in 1983, while I had declared myself to be a total metalhead, there was enough non metal material around that I liked. Most of which, I have already posted about and though I didn’t miss anything from not buying Bonnie’s “Faster Than the Speed of Night” it wasn’t that bad. Besides, there are a ton of metal albums from this year waiting to be posted.

For those who have been following me for a while, you might remember that during my tour of 1981, I stated that the band Quarterflash were one hit wonders in said year for their enormous hit, “Harden My Heart.” Nothing else they ever recorded reached my attention nor do I remember hearing anything played on the radio. Note: Commercial radio didn’t completely suck in 1983. Like the last three albums I have visited, someone suggested I write about Quarterflash’s 1983 album, “Take Another Picture.” So, thanks to Youtube, I have given it a couple of listens and can post about it. Before I write anymore, given a choice, I would have bought this album before the Bonnie Tyler one.

With “Take Another Picture,” Quarterflash don’t seem to veer very far from the formula that made them big with their self titled debut album. Quite a few of the songs remind me of “Harden My Heart” and that’s not a bad thing. Quoting an article I read about the band in 1982, there is a smoky jazz feel to many of the songs on the album and it fits in nicely to the rockier edge they have as well. The combination is nicely done and the best example is the track “Nowhere Left to Hide. “Take Me To Heart,” and the title track and follow the jazz/rock formula much more and I do get the feeling that I have heard those to songs somewhere before. On the other hand, “Shakin’ the Jinx” and “One More Round to Go” are good rock tunes with the latter song having a cool guitar solo. The rest of the tracks fall somewhere in line between those two points with “Make It Shine being the median. It could have easily be a rock single with its anthem feel. So why wasn’t it released as one?

When I posted about Quarterflash on the 1981 tour, I mentioned that back then, many people identified lead singer Rindy Ross as the next Pat Benatar. She looks a little like Pat and her voice sounds similar and she plays the saxophone as well. However, there is only one Pat Benatar so I chose to point out that Rindy was talented musician in her own right.

Track Listing:

  1. Take Me to Heart
  2. Take Another Picture
  3. Shane
  4. Eye to Eye
  5. It Don’t Move Me
  6. Shakin’ the Jinx
  7. Make It Shine
  8. One More Round to Go
  9. Nowhere Left to Hide
  10. It All Becomes Clear
Quarterflash

Quarterflash

Rindy Ross- vocals, saxophone

Marv Ross- guitars

Jack Charles- guitars

Rick DiGionallardo- keyboards

Rich Gooch- bass

Brain David Willis- drums, percussion

I’m surprised “Take Another Picture” by Quarterflash managed to escape my attention. Possibly because they were bigger in the Northwest than in the Northeast. I don’t know. What I do know is that while it is an enjoyable album, it’s not one I would have completely rocked out to. None of the tracks, with the possible exception of number 9, have me singing them long after they are finished. Maybe that was down to me turning into such a metalhead at the time.

Next post: Don Felder- Airborne

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

 

 

 

 

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Great Metal Albums of 1982: Anvil- Metal on Metal

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, films, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 1, 2015 by 80smetalman

220px-Metal_On_Metal

The other night I was watching Anvil performing the title track to their 1982 album, “Metal on Metal” and it got me thinking about the now famous Anvil Documentary that came out a few years back. Many bands admitted that they were blown away by Anvil back in the day and seeing their performance on You tube, I now know why. They were just so full of energy and the way they played was just mind blowing. I wished I could have seen them back then. Fortunately, their first three studio albums were just as mind blowing, including this one.

While I can easily say that all the songs on “Metal on Metal” are mind blowing metal anthems, it is the title track that I like best. Seeing it performed live only makes it that much sweeter. It’s just metal as metal was intended. However, it is likewise for the rest of the album as well. I get the distinct impression that the band had a good time recording this one. “Mothra,” “Jackhammer” and “Heat Sink” all fall in line with the title track, all great head bangers. The instrumental “March of the Crabs” show that these guys can actually play. One thing I do find surprising is the closer “666.” I’m surprised that it hasn’t appeared on an American fundamentalist Christian hit list, just for the title alone. The other reason I’m surprised the album hasn’t appeared on the same list is that “Metal on Metal” is what metal was meant to be. If someone with no experience of metal, who wanted to hear it in its purest form, this would be one of the albums I would reach for.

Track Listing:

1. Metal on Metal

2. Mothra

3. Stop Me

4. March of the Crabs

5. Jackhammer

6. Heat Sink

7. Tag Team

8. Scenery

9. Tease Me Please Me

10. 666

Anvil

Anvil

Steve ‘Lips’ Kudrow- vocals, guitar

Dave Allison- guitar, vocals on “Stop Me”

Ian Dickson- bass

Rob Reiner- drums

One observation I’ve made about Anvil today and was probably true back in the early 1980s, was that people either loved them or hated them. No prizes for guessing which side I’m on. Even when they played Bloodstock in 2012, these things were said. All I know is that their first three albums were all killer ones and though I didn’t experience them until 1984, I was glad for the opportunity.

Next post: Girlschool- Screaming Blue Murder

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

 

Great Metal Albums of 1981: Billy Squier- Don’t Say No

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 13, 2014 by 80smetalman

Billy_Squier_-_Don't_Say_NoYou’ve all been waiting with baited breath for this, okay, maybe not but here it is. After all my ramblings about great British artists who never really made it in America, it’s time for the best American artist not to have made it in Britain. That’s right, the award goes to Billy Squier. I know from feedback from British readers of “Rock and Roll Children” that this is the case. Since one of his concerts appears early in the story, several British readers have said, that they never knew him or even heard of him. This is true, I never heard his name mentioned in UK metal circles, heard any of his songs on the radio or seen his videos on the Kerrang or Scuzz channels. His only real association with the UK is the fact that he played the 1982 Reading Rock Festival but other than that, very little. This is a shame because Squier is an excellent musician with several fine albums including this 1981 release: “Don’t Say No.”

For all my goings on about my paranoia about the singles being the opening song on the album, I must say that Billy Squier goes even further on “Don’t Say No” by having all three released singles as the first three tracks on the album. This is not a bad thing in this case. I continue to listen to “In the Dark” and his biggest hit, “The Stroke” which even got played on AM radio back in 1981 but the third single, “My Kinda Lover” got the memories flowing. Furthermore, it doesn’t matter about where you put the singles on the track list because the rest of the album is definitely not filler. “Lonely Is the Night” could also have been released as a single, especially as I like the intro in that one. “Too Daze Gone” and “Whadda You Want From Me” are also very strong tracks and his tribute to John Lennon, “Nobody Knows.” I do think his vocals are a bit too high on that song but that is offset by a cool guitar solo. The songs on here don’t disappoint so once again I find myself asking, Why wasn’t this album better received in the UK?

Track Listing:

1. In the Dark

2. The Stroke

3. My Kinda Lover

4. You Know What I Like

5. Too Daze Gone

6. Lonely Is the Night

7. Whadda You Want From Me

8. Nobody Knows

9. Need You

10. Don’t Say No

Billy Squier

Billy Squier

Billy Squier- vocals, guitar, piano, percussion

Cary Sharaf- guitars

Alan St John- keyboards

Mark Clark- bass

Bobby Chouinard- drums

What I am hoping is that everyone in the UK reading this will rush out and buy this album or at least listen to it on YouTube. That will go a long way in making up for an opportunity that was missed over thirty years ago. By all means, Americans take it out, dust it off and listen to it once more. Then remember what a great album “Don’t Say No” really was. I thought it was a great way to end the journey through 1981.

Next post: A Tribute to Some True Heroines

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/Metal Albums of 1981: Alice Cooper- Special Forces

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 27, 2014 by 80smetalman

220px-Acforces

Like the Thin Lizzy album in my previous post, this was another album by an established superstar of 70’s rock that passed me by back in 1981. I vaguely remember that Alice Cooper had an album out at the time and I even more vaguely remember that it was called “Special Forces” but that’s all I can remember. I never listened to it until now and if wasn’t for my fellow blogger mikledano, I wouldn’t have even done that. So, thank you Mike for enlightening me about this album.

Perhaps I can use a similar excuse to Alice for not experiencing this album back in 1981. He doesn’t remember writing or recording “Special Forces” or his next two albums due to being drunk all the time. Okay, I wasn’t drunk all the time even though the military bullshit was taking its toll on me at the time and I briefly became what is known in the military as a shitbird. But now that I have listened to it, (I got to thank youtube for that) I realise that I missed a rather good album. If Alice Cooper was drunk at the time, it might have been a good thing because “Special Forces” has some amusing songs played in well established hard rock fashion. “Vicious Rumours,” “The Prettiest Cop on the Block” and “Don’t Talk Old to Me” are all catchy, enjoyable songs. “You’re a Movie” and “Skeletons in the Closet” are just as amusing but more new wave in their sound. Still, they’re both decent songs and the one that stands out for me is “Seven and Seven Is.” For me, that song reminds me of the Alice Cooper that I came to love in the 70’s.

Track Listing:

1. Who Do You Think We Are

2. Seven and Seven Is

3. Prettiest Cop on the Block

4. Don’t Talk Old to Me

5. Generation Landslide 81(Live)

6. Skeletons in the Closet

7. You Want It, You Got It

8. You Look Good in Rags

9. You’re a Movie

10. Vicious Rumours

Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper- lead vocals

Duane Hitchings- guitar, keyboards

Mike Pinera- guitar

Erik Scott- bass

Danny Johnson- guitar

Craig Krampf- drums

“Special Forces” proves that you can put out a decent album while you’re drunk and have no recollection that you did. Now, I  could write the cliched “Imagine what he could have done if he was sober” line but I don’t think it really applies here. “Special Forces” was one of those surprise albums that make me ask myself, “Why didn’t I listen to this sooner?”

Next post: Blue Oyster Cult- Fire of Unknown Origin

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1981: Joe Walsh- There Goes The Neighborhood

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 30, 2014 by 80smetalman

Joe_Walsh_-_There_Goes_the_Neighborhood

After the break up of The Eagles in 1980, Joe Walsh was the first ex-band member out of the blocks with a solo album. Of course, he was already experienced in that department having had a number of solo albums before joining and whilst with the band. Most notable of those was the 1978 album, “But Seriously Folks,” which I visited on here a long time ago. It’s sometimes hard to believe that I’ve been at this for three years now. “There Goes The Neighborhood” was his first solo release since “But Seriously Folks” and on account of rockers like the famous “Life’s Been Good” on that album, it took me a rather long time before I was able to warm to this 1981 effort.

I realise now that I was guilty of pigeon holing Joe Walsh back then because there are no rockers like his very famous 1978 single on this album and that is something I don’t do for many other artists and don’t like it when the media and so called music fans do it. Now with my wrist slapped and a refamiliarisation of the album thanks to YouTube, I can talk about this album through a fresh pair of ears. What put me off the album in 1981 was the first single, “Life Of Illusion,” which each time I heard it, gave me the impression that I was dining in an Italian restaurant. Don’t ask where I got that from. I didn’t have that impression this time around but it’s still not the best song on the album. The tracks “Down On the Farm,” “Bones” and “Rivers (Of the Hidden Funk) all top it for their more bluesy guitar sound. The last of those featured former band mate Don Felder, who co-wrote the song, on guitar and although it’s not stated, I can’t help wondering whether or not the two did their guitar solo trade off like they did on a very famous Eagles classic. The rest of the album varies between that blues sound and a more progressive rock sound.

Track Listing:

1. Things

2. Made Your Mind Up

3. Down On The Farm

4. Rivers (Of Hidden Funk)

5. Life Of Illusion

6. Bones

7. Rockets

8. You Never Know

Joe Walsh

Joe Walsh

Joe Walsh- guitar, vocals, synthesiser

Don Felder- guitar, backing vocals

Jody Boyer- vocals

Victor Feldman- percussion

Ross Kunkel- percussion

David Lindley- percussion, violin, vocals

Bob Mayo- guitar

Kenny Passarelli- bass, backing vocals

George Perry- bass, backing vocals

Timothy B Schmidt- backing vocals

Tom Stephenson- keyboards

Joe Vitale- drums, flute, keyboards

Now I know why I try not to pigeon hole artist if I can help it. So, “There Goes The Neighborhood” wasn’t the hard rocker that Joe Walsh’s previous album was. It’s still not a bad album and there are a few tracks where he still works some magic with the guitar.

Next post: Rush- Moving Pictures

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: Grace Slick- Welcome To The Wrecking Ball

Posted in Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 26, 2014 by 80smetalman

WelcometotheWreckingBall

In 1981, even after her contribution on the “Modern Times” album by Jefferson Starship, Grace Slick was reported to have said that she was going to blow herself up if she got kept on being asked if she was going back to the Starship. I don’t blame her, there was still quite a bit of discord between her and the band at this time. Additionally, it was a month after the release of “Modern Times” that I saw her album “Welcome to the Wrecking Ball” for sale in the shops. This was one of those albums I wanted to listen to but never got around to it. I really liked her more progressive sounding “Dreams” which she put out the previous year so the precedent for buying was certainly there. But I didn’t, and now thanks to You Tube, I was able to finally listen to the album and now I’m really kicking myself.

Maybe it was because “Dreams” was more progressive and my musical tastes were becoming harder is why I didn’t buy it. Lousy excuse, because “Welcome to the Wrecking Ball” is nothing like “Dreams.” This entire album is (and I can’t put it any other way) is one hell of a rocking album. It starts with the title track and then avalanches into a thrilling pool of bang your head style rock that some people could mistake for heavy metal. The only reason why I won’t call it that is the track “Shooting Star.” This song could have been written by Paul Kantner and used on either of Jefferson Starship’s albums “Red Octopus” or “Spitfire” from the mid 70s. The song is more of a trippy way out there kind of song but it does fit in well with the album. It’s the only song, save for “Lines” that doesn’t begin by a pounding guitar riff. “Lines” starts with a reggae sound before exploding into your face in likewise hard manner. One thing for sure is that given Grace’s powerful vocals on these songs, it is clear that she definitely can sing hard rock. Just listen to “Round and Round” and you’ll see what I mean. Maybe a metal band should give her a guest vocal spot on a song, I know it would sound superb.

The unsung hero on this album is Scott Zito. He wrote all of the songs along with Slick and after hearing what he can do on the guitar on first, “Dreams” and now this album, I’m glad that she kept him on to play guitar because he can play.

Track Listing:

1. Welcome to the Wrecking Ball

2. Mistreater

3. Shot in the Dark

4. Round and Round

5. Shooting Star

6. Just a Little Love

7. Sea of Love

8. Lines

9. Right Kind

10. No More Heroes

Grace Slick

Grace Slick

Grace Slick- lead vocals

Scott Zito- lead guitar, harmonica, backing vocals

Danny Guilino- rhythm guitar

Phil Stone- bass

Bobby Torell0- drums

Paul Harris- keyboards

I’m not finished kicking myself for not buying this album but I will start searching Amazon and like places. The problem is that I don’t get paid till Friday. “Welcome to the Wrecking Ball” by Grace Slick is definitely the most underrated album that I have come across for 1981, if not for all time. I’m glad she just let herself go on this one for this is a fantastic album.

Next post: Joe Walsh- There Goes The Neighbourhood

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London