Archive for Youtube

Great Rock Albums of 1984: Duke Jupiter- White Knuckle Ride

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 4, 2017 by 80smetalman

Duke Jupiter was probably the best hidden gem of 1984. Some may have considered them one hit wonders on account of the fact that the single from the “White Knuckle Ride” album, “Little Lady,” got some airplay on MTV and radio. It even got to #68 in the singles charts. It has remained in my mind ever since because I have always thought it was a killer song. The video for “Little Lady” is easily accessible on Youtube and I will boldly declare that it’s worth a listen. This song really kicks ass.

Like so many others back then, I thought that Duke Jupiter, (it’s a band not a person), were newcomers to the rock scene when in fact, that had been around since 1975. They had a good number of albums before this one and went on tour in support of the likes of Toto, The Outlaws, B.B. King and John Lee Hooker. With a resume like that, it was never a case of if but when their efforts would finally gain notice.

While I never buy an album on account of one song, there was sufficient talk in certain circles that the “White Knuckle Ride” album was worth an investment. Trust me, it was. While it’s definitely an AOR album, it is done with the pure craftsmanship of the band. Marshall James Styler does most of the vocals and is quite adept at keyboards. Greg Walker is a very good guitarist and plays some really good solos on most of the songs here. Of course, we can’t take anything away from the rhythm section of David Corcoran and Rickey Ellis, they hold the album together with seemingly little effort.

“White Knuckle Ride” seems to move into three areas in regards to the tracks. The opener, “She’s So Hot,” the second single “Rescue Me” and “Don’t Turn Your Back” fall into the 80s AOR sound without question. They are all nicely done with Styler’s keyboards and Walker’s guitar solos. “Backfire,” “Work it Out” and of course “Little Lady” are definitely the more harder tracks on the album. Walker’s guitar really shines on these. ¬†Plus his intro solo on “Me and Michelle” reminds me a lot of the Derek and the
Dominoes classic, “Layla.” The rest tend to be more progressive rock and “A Woman Like You” ventures into all three camps. In spite of the mixture, all of the tracks fit together very well and that’s why the album is so enjoyable.

Track Listing:

  1. She’s So Hot
  2. Rescue Me
  3. Don’t Turn Your Back
  4. Top of the Bay
  5. Backfire
  6. Little Lady
  7. A Woman Like You
  8. Work It Out
  9. Me and Michelle
  10. ¬†(I’ve Got a) Little Black Book

Duke Jupiter

James Marshall Styler- keyboards, vocals

Greg Walker- guitar, vocals

Rickey Ellis- bass

David Corcoran- drums, percussion, vocals

Duke Jupiter came and went and have vanished into musical history. I bet my UK readers have been asking, “Who the hell’s he talking about?” Like many American one hit wonders or lesser known bands, they didn’t impact in Britain and were considered a flash in the pan in the US. In fact, I regret not giving them a mention in “Rock and Roll Children.” In spite of this, I have always remembered them and I will say that if you should listen to the “White Knuckle Ride” album, especially “Little Lady” and you’ll see why.

Next post: AC/DC – 74 Jailbreak

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1984: J Geils Band- You’re Gettin’ Even While I’m Gettin’ Odd

Posted in 1980s, Death, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 17, 2017 by 80smetalman

Back when I posted about the J Geils Band’s “Freeze Frame” album, I mentioned that in the UK, the band have always been considered one hit wonders in the UK, “Centerfold” being that one hit. I still find that hard to fathom. Anyway, the video for said hit featured on a UK music station during a segment called “One Hit Wonders Weekend.” While showing the video, someone thought it would be clever to have an arrow pointing out lead singer, Peter Wolf, with the caption, “This is not J Geils.” A few seconds later, the same arrow pointed to the guitar player with the caption, “This is J Geils.” It’s funny how the death of someone can make you remember things like that about them. What it also did was help me remember that the band put out an album in 1984, otherwise it would have passed me by.

Why I never bought “You’re Gettin’ Even While I’m Gettin’ Odd” is a mystery even to me. Could it be the fact that the album never produced a major hit? The only single, “Concealed Weapons,” only made it to 63 in the charts. No, that never stopped me nor the fact that Peter Wolf had left the band before its release. Now that I remember, I think he had a solo album in this year. Was it because I had become fully absorbed in metal by then? No, because I have always kept an ear out for all music I might like. So, I’m afraid I can’t answer the question.

Thanks to Youtube, I have been able to listen to the album and ask myself again why I didn’t buy it. It’s a pretty good album, different from what the J Geils band had put out in the past and certainly not heavy metal. I did keep my promise to check out some of the band’s pre “Love Stinks” material. “You’re Gettin’ Even While I’m Gettin’ Odd” is a fusion of jazz and new wave. There is a heavy use of horns on the album and while I’m usually wary of horns in rock, it works very well on the album. However, there is some very interesting sounds with the keyboards that make it sound new wave. I call as evidence, the track “Wasted Youth” and the cool intro to “Heavy Petting.” Yet even there, the horns come in making the marriage of the two genres a sweet one. “Heavy Petting” is one of the stand out tracks for me but the one which stands out the most is “Californicatin.'” They should have released that one as the single, it might have done better in the charts. Then again, “Concealed Weapons” does remind me a little of the Dead Kennedys. I like the faster pace with the song with the short sharp horns and background vocals. The only J Geils guitar solo appears on “The Bite From Inside” which saves a lackluster song.

Track Listing:

  1. Concealed Weapons
  2. Heavy Petting
  3. Wasted Youth
  4. Eenie, Meenie, Minie, Moe
  5. Tell’ Em Jonesy
  6. You’re Gettin’ Even While I’m Gettin’ Odd
  7. The Bite From Inside
  8. Californicatin’
  9. I Will Carry You Home

The J Geils Band

Note: I couldn’t find a picture of the band without Peter Wolf in it so I used this one

Seth Justman- keyboards, vocals

J Geils- guitar

Magic Dick- harmonica

Danny Klein- bass

Stephen Bladd- drums

“You’re Gettin’ Even While I’m Gettin’ Odd” was the last album from the J Geils Band. Maybe the departure from their traditional sound was too different for the average listener or that Seth Justman lacked the charisma of Peter Wolf. It’s hard to say but I’ve heard a lot of last albums from bands that weren’t as good as this one.

Next post: Peter Wolf- Lights Out (It seems he did have an album out in 1984)

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another Thought on George Michael

Posted in Concerts, Death, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on January 4, 2017 by 80smetalman

When my last post went to Facebook, a good friend brought up something I had totally forgotten about. I realise now that I should have picked a better song for George Michael. Thing was that I don’t recall seeing his performance of the Queen classic, “Somebody to Love” at the Freddie Mercury Tribute concert in 1992. On advice, I watched it on Youtube and I have to give George full marks here. His performance of that song was superb. It might have had something to do with the fact that the other members of Queen were playing with him. Brian May still does that guitar solo. So, I would have to put that song on the album.

George at Wembley in 1992

George at Wembley in 1992

I would also add Jefferson Starship’s “Girl with the Hungry Eyes, ” David Bowie- “Suffragette City” and possibly “Blue Jean” as well.

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1983: Y&T- Mean Streak

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on November 28, 2016 by 80smetalman

ytmeanstreak

This is one I have to thank MTV for. Y&T came to my attention in 1983 as a result of seeing the video for the title track of “Mean Streak” on it. While I don’t remember much about that video, (maybe I should Youtube it), I do know that I liked the song and continue to do so after all these years. However, it’s only my favourite Y&T song by default, being the first one I heard from the band. As for as the album “Mean Streak” is full of really good songs.

In regards to the rest of the album, it’s easy in my mind to understand why “Mean Streak” was released as a single. It sounds a bit more melodic than many of the other songs but that’s not what I like about it, I like that catchy riff. It’s also probably why it opens the album because once “Mean Streak” is done and dusted, the more powerful “Straight Thru the Heart” kicks in and batters your ears with its more powerful appeal. The rest of the album follows on from this.

One song on the album that challenges the title track for 80sMetalman’s favourite Y&T song is “Midnight in Tokyo.” This song has it all. A very catchy intro, some pounding power chords, some more tender moments and a cool guitar solo. With all of these things contained in one song, what’s not to like about it? So, why isn’t it my new favourite Y&T song? The answer is down to the fact that I don’t have it on my mp3, so I haven’t been listening to it over the years like I have the title track.

Another really good track is “Hang’em High.” This one does the tightrope act of treading between melody and power and it does a nice job of it. Certainly one to headbang away to while driving in the car or engaged in an activity where music aids rather than distracts. I do like that slow down part with the drum roll in the middle of the song, again, nicely done. “Take You To the Limit” is a cool song as well, especially with the guitar solo at the beginning. After, it becomes a cool power bop. “Sentimental Fool” is definitely not sentimental in the way it sounds. I love the guitar solo on it and “Down and Dirty” closes the album as well as any closing song I know.

Track Listing:

  1. Mean Streak
  2. Straight Thru the Heart
  3. Lonely Side of Town
  4. Midnight in Tokyo
  5. Breaking Away
  6. Hang’em High
  7. Take You To the Limit
  8. Sentimental Fool
  9. Down and Dirty
Y&T

Y&T

Dave Meniketti- lead guitar, lead vocals

Joey Alves- rhythm guitar, backing vocals

Phil Kennemore- bass, backing vocals, Moog Taurus pedals

Leonard Haze- drums, percussion, backing vocals

“Mean Streak” successfully turned my head in the direction of Y&T with this strong power album. That led me to listening to their previous album “Black Tiger,” which is also a true metal album. This begs the question which I will investigate further down the years with this band’s discography. What made them put out something like “Summertime Girls?”

Next post: I can’t be sure when that will be as my computer has to go in for servicing. I wrote this post having to contend with numerous pop-ups. When I return it will be Vandenberg- Heading for a Storm

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 on London

 

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1983: Hanoi Rocks- Back to Mystery City

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 6, 2016 by 80smetalman

220px-back_to_mystery_city

It took me a couple of listens before I finally was able to get into Hanoi Rocks’ 1983 release, “Back to Mystery City.” At the time, I hadn’t heard of them and it would be another year before I actually did when they played a small club in New Jersey. On the other hand, it’s been fun delving into their backlog of albums, even this one. It might have taken a couple of listens but I can say now, “I like it.”

The weird thing was that Youtube has this album backwards. The actual first track on the album is the last one on Youtube and vice versa. So, I ask myself, would my listening experience have been different if I had listened to the album in the correct order? My answer: I don’t think so. The order doesn’t matter here. The short instrumental opening, “Strange Boys Play Weird Openings” could have been called “Strange Boys Play Weird Closings.” it’s inter-changeable.

Before I get further obsessed with the order of the songs, let’s look at the songs themselves. There are a number of good ones so I’ll start with the one I’m least impressed with, “Lick Summer Love.” It’s not a terrible song, nor even a bad one but it doesn’t move me either. Hanoi Rocks tries to introduce a calypso feel to the song but it doesn’t quite work. Again, I don’t hate the song but it is at a level below the others on “Back to Mystery City.” Then again, Michael Monroe wrote the song when he was seventeen and has since said that he hated the lyrics.

Now let’s go to the positives and there are many. I can’t say a bad thing about the rest of the album and it has been difficult for me to pick a favourite track. Each one seems as good as the last one. For example, after riding the mid tempo “Until I Get You” which has been said to typify the band’s seventies glam rock style, I get pounded with “Sailing Down the Tears.” Now that I have had a moment to think, if I have to pick a favourite, it’s going to be “Tooting Bec Wreck.” This is more up tempo for me and works on so many levels. Maybe it’s me but I do hear a slight influence of the famous Sweet song, “Ballroom Blitz” on it. Plus it’s the best song for appreciating Sam Yaffa’s bass skills. Then there’s the one single from the album, “Malibu Beach Nightmare,” which Andy McCoy wrote while smoking hashish. Maybe certain drugs can influence creativity, lol. It was originally recorded in calypso fashion as a joke but the band decided to record it as a rock song, good decision in retrospect. “Mental Beat” is quite a cool song too.

Track Listing:

  1. Strange Boys Play Weird Openings
  2. Malibu Beach Nightmare
  3. Mental Beat
  4. Tooting Bec Wreck
  5. Until I Get You
  6. Sailing Down the Tears
  7. Lick Summer Love
  8. Beating Gets Faster
  9. Ice Cream Summer
  10. Back to Mystery City
Hanoi Rocks

Hanoi Rocks

Michael Monroe- lead vocals, saxophone, harmonica

Andy McCoy- lead guitar

Nasty Suicide- rhythm guitar

Sam Yaffa- bass

Razzle- drums

Hanoi Rocks were putting out solid albums in rapid succession and beginning to find more commercial success in 1983. “Back to Mystery City” was a good stepping stone in that direction.

Next post: Riot- Born in America

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: Kix- Cool Kids

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 3, 2016 by 80smetalman

220px-kix-coolkids

In some circles, it’s been said that American rockers, Kix, were the first of the glam rock, hair metal movement. While I won’t enter that debate, I do remember that when I first saw their photo in 1983, I wanted to grow my hair like them after having to wear a crew cut during my four years of service to my country. However, I heard their music before I saw what they looked like in the form of the single from the 1983, “Cool Kids” album, “Body Talk.” It got enough radio play to catch my interest although I’m glad I don’t recall seeing the cheesy video for it where the band cavorts with ladies in full workout garb.

“Body Talk” isn’t the best song on the album and apparently, Kix only recorded the song to appease their label. However, the rest of “Cool Kids” is better. Even the first two tracks, which sounds in similar mode to the single are better and the title track is better of those two. “Love Pollution” is the first true metal song on the album in my view but it’s sandwiched between songs that are not. “Body Talk” follows right after and even after thirty-three years, I still don’t know what to make of “Loco-Emotion.”

The second half of “Cool Kids” makes up for the faults of the first half. “Mighty Mouth” is a good rocking tune that starts off with a scream from lead singer, Steve Whiteman, which I don’t know how seriously I should take. Still the song does rock! It also turns the album up a gear and progresses throughout the remainder of the album. “Nice on the Ice” and “Get Your Monkeys Out” are both good tracks. I do smile at the opening line to “Get Your Monkeys Out,” which goes: “I live in the jungle” and the line from the chorus, “You got to let your monkeys out.” Then things go slower with a country sounding ballad, “For Shame.” This song is so country sounding that I found an acoustic version of this song on Youtube. I even want to do a “Yee hah!” during the guitar solo on it. However, I don’t think the band is serious on the song. Fortunately, things return to more metal pastures with the closer, “Restless Blood,” which sounds to me like fore runner to one of Kix’s best know songs, “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah.” Maybe it’s the “hey, hey, hey” that’s sung several times in the song that makes me think that. Still, “Restless Blood” does conclude things on a positive note, even with the slow down part in the middle of the song because that’s rapidly followed by the best guitar solo on the album. A great way to end!

Track Listing:

  1. Burning Love
  2. Cool Kids
  3. Love Pollution
  4. Body Talk
  5. Loco-Emotion
  6. Mighty Mouth
  7. Nice on Ice
  8. Get Your Monkeys Out
  9. For Shame
  10. Restless Blood
Kix

Kix

Steve Whitemann- lead vocals, harmonica, saxophone

Brad Divens- guitar, backing vocals, talk box

Brian ‘Damage’ Forsythe- guitars

Donnie Purnell- bass, backing vocals, keyboards

Jimmy ‘Chocolate’ Chalfant- drums, percussion, backing vocals, co-lead vocal on “Body Talk”

Kix got my attention in 1983 and though I can’t say that I’ve always been a die hard fan, I know that the “Cool Kids” album is cool. Although I did try, I couldn’t quite grow my hair like any of them.

Next post: Hanoi Rocks- Back to Mystery City

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 1983: Zebra

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 16, 2016 by 80smetalman

zebra_album

Don’t ask me how but for some reason, the debut album from the American hard rock/heavy metal band Zebra passed me by. I don’t remember it getting any airplay on local radio nor do I remember seeing any videos from them on MTV. If it hadn’t been for Rich at Kamertunes, I never would have heard of this band ever let alone get the opportunity to listen to the debut album. But thank God for Youtube as once again, it allows me to listen to another album I never heard before.

Now that I got to listen to this album thrice, I am now able to deliver a verdict on it. I always believe in starting with the negative or at least the less positive. I don’t feel that I missed anything major by not listening to the album way back in 1983. The album has a definite “it’s all been done before” feel to it. I can’t really say that there’s anything original about it. Furthermore, I think Zebra attempts to be all things to all people here. There’s snippets of progressive rock, hard rock and heavy metal dotted all throughout and I’m sorry, the track “Slow Down” sounds too 1950s. I know the song was written in 1958 but there seemed little attempt to bring it up to date. I said it then and I’ll say it now, if I want the 1950s in the 80s or any decade, I’ll listen to the Stray Cats. Likewise, the closer, “The La La Song,” begins like an easy listening tune which spoils most of the song even though it goes a harder not long into it.

Now for the more positive. Overall, the album is pretty good. While I don’t think I missed anything by not buying it, if I had heard it in 1983, I still would have bought it. One can’t fault the efforts of the three men who make up Zebra. There are some really cool intros on tracks one, two and four and they are all decent to very good tracks, all hard rock. The only gripe is that possibly the opener, “Tell Me What You Want,” ends too abruptly. “Who’s Behind the Door,” I have to say impresses the hell out of me. I do detect a bit of Rush influence here and the vocals are ear catching. “Take Your Fingers From My Hair” does sound like classic 1970s progressive rock, sort of in the vein of Yes or Emerson, Lake and Palmer. The musicianship is ace on this one and it is my favourite track on the album. The next track rocks pretty good as well with a good guitar riff. In short, the seven better tracks do cancel out the two unimpressive ones.

Track Listing:

  1. Tell Me What You Want
  2. One More Chance
  3. Slow Down
  4. As I Said Before
  5. Who’s Behind the Door
  6. When You Get There
  7. Take Your Fingers From My Hair
  8. Don’t Walk Away
  9. The La La Song
Zebra

Zebra

Randy Jackson- guitar, lead vocals, piano, Mellotron, synthesizer, percussion

Felix Hanemann- bass, backing vocals, keyboards, strings

Guy Gelso- drums, backing vocals, percussion

Zebra’s debut album came and went in 1983 and escaped my notice for thirty-three years. Now that I finally did, I liked what I heard from the debut album. However and I know I’m repeating myself here, I don’t think I missed anything super special.

Next post: Aldo Nova

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

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