When I think of the 1980′s, good times, carelessness, more parties than I can count or remember, no mortgage payments and sleeping real late comes to mind. Hey, why not? It’s all a part of growing up and it all led me down the path to where I am now… and I’m not complaining, I have the best family money or Metal can buy. So when I reach for the albums that remind me of good times, KEEL , (self titled), from 1987 puts a grin on my face and still psyches me out. So Metal be it… KEEL is one of my favorite Hair Metal Bands from the loud, proud and colorful ’80′s. I still have the CD version of KEEL from 1987, liner notes and all. Yes, the liner notes are very important to old school Metalheads like myself. All 10 songs on KEEL are packed with Heavy Metal punch… regardless of KEEL’s Hair Metal tag from that era, it’s all Metal relative. The underlining characteristic of KEEL, is this album has power. Two songs that exemplify this power adjective the best on KEEL are: Somebody’s Waiting and Cherry Lane, plus they are back-to-back… tracks 2 and 3. Does it matter if this was not the hottest selling KEEL album from their catalog? Not in my Metal opinion, at this point in time… does it really even matter?
At the end of the Metal day, it’s all about personal preference and opinion anyways. What once was old is new again… and what albums that did not sell off the shelves, are now being discussed again for those who want to seek out and give a listen to. Going back to Cherry Lane… you won’t find or hear a better tongue-in-cheek Heavy Metal song than this! Cherry Lane is a (gasp) fun song that makes me, (gasp), chuckle a tad almost 25 years later. I’m not embarrassed to admit liking some “fun” in my Hard Rock or Metal. (Hello, David Lee Roth). Calm Before The Storm is a ballad… my finicky side for ballads approved of this song a long time ago. This ballad has a tempo that isn’t so slow you want to scream, it flows very well and lyrically never made me cry and stay in bed for a week… so I have always been down with this song.
The strong vocals of Ron Keel and the chorus from KEEL is what adds to this band’s powerful identity. Marc Ferrari and Bryan Jay on guitars, fuel KEEL with numerous addictive licks on this album to make these songs not just hard & heavy, they also made them memorable going on 3 decades. Toss in a smash ‘em up rhythm section of Dwain Miller on drums and Kenny Chaisson on bass guitar and yes Virginia, KEEL delivered a potent Heavy Metal album here. If you are into ’80′s Hair and Heavy Metal and never bought this album, seek it out and give it more than a test drive… crank it LOUD with the car windows down… going at a reasonable speed of course, please.
* Check out the KEEL NATION here: KEEL NATION – Official KEEL website
* Also worth checking out: KEEL – myspace music page
KEEL was released on June 21, 1987, on MCA Records. This was the fourth album release from KEEL.
KEEL Track Listing:
Calm Before The Storm
King Of The Rock
It’s A Jungle Out There
I Said The Wrong Thing To The Right Girl
Don’t Say You Love Me
If Love Is A Crime (I Wanna Be Convicted)
4th Of July