Archive for 1980’s classic rock albums

ASIA – REFLECTING ON THIER 1982 PROGRESSIVE ROCK ALBUM DEBUT

Posted in classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock music, classic rock songs, hard rock albums, hard rock bands, hard rock music, metal odyssey, Music, progressive rock, progressive rock bands, progressive rock music, rock & roll, rock and roll, rock music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 20, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

ASIA – in March of 1982, the debut and self-titled album of this Progressive Rock supergroup was released unto the world… with a little help from Geffen Records. Being a sophomore in high school in ’82, I had my musical tastes ranging from Judas Priest to The Electric Light Orchestra with Cheap Trick, AC/DC and Foreigner in between. KISS of course, ruled my teenage planet. So when I first heard ASIA being played on my favorite FM radio stations, I instantly took a major liking to their sound. My infatuation with ELO and The Moody Blues made it very easy for me to embrace ASIA as a young teen… I can thank my late sister Christine for getting me “into” the Moody Blues.

Learning very quickly, that YES guitar great Steve Howe was in ASIA, just gave me the hint that this supergroup was to be reckoned with. I knew of some YES songs, thanks of course to FM once again. I did not own a YES album at all, back in ’82… yes, I do look back in disbelief over that one. It seemed as if everyone else I knew, had at least one YES album to boast of back then. With Carl Palmer on drums, I was familiar with his name being equated to the legendary Progressive Rock band – Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Once again though, I did not own a single Emerson, Lake and Palmer album in 1982 either.

When I learned that bass guitarist John Wetton was formerly with the incredibly diverse King Crimson, it was once again, a Rock Music history lesson for me. What took the Rock and Roll cake for me, upon learning quickly about the members of ASIA, was that Geoff Downes was half part of the New Wave sensation called – The Buggles! Just about every kid I knew, back in 1980, had heard the song – Video Killed The Radio Star by The Buggles. Heck, Video Killed The Radio Star was actually the very first music video that MTV aired on August 1, 1981! Now, if that isn’t Rock and Roll history… then I don’t know what is!

Well, with all of the ASIA band history aside, it was actually very fun for this sixteen year old in 1982, in becoming more informed about other great Rock bands, that were an indirect part of the formation of ASIA. For the life of me however, I just could not believe how astoundingly textured, layered and inspirational the songs sounded on this very first ASIA album. The bonus was that this debut ASIA album Rocked my ears off of this sixteen year old too! I singled out the song – Sole Survivor very quickly. I must have dropped the turntable needle onto that Sole Survivor song… more times than I could ever imagine! That section of vinyl that Sole Survivor represented on the album, was for certain, the most worn!

Despite the FM airplay that Sole Survivor, Heat of the Moment and Only Time Will Tell received back in 1982 and into the years ahead, I never wavered away from playing them, in their entirety, on my turntable. As it stands to this very day in 2010, my favorite song from this ASIA album is Wildest Dreams. I like to reminisce about the ultra Classic Rock albums of the past, especially the one’s that made the biggest impact on my music loving life. ASIA is an ultra Classic Rock album for me. I can remember losing my thoughts, amidst the Progressive Rock brilliance of this amazing album. As I look back upon this ASIA album now, it was like music therapy for me as a sixteen year old.

Why I feel this ASIA album has stood the test of Rock Music time, is simply two words: quality musicianship. Once the quality is instilled, the rest seems to always fall into place, regardless of what project is being discussed. The songs on this ASIA album soothed, inspired and yes, as I stated before, Rocked me. I did realize at the time, back in 1982, what a profound Rock Music family tree that ASIA embodied. What I did not realize back in 1982, was that I would carry the same ecstatic feelings and emotions for this ASIA album so many years later into my life… and then be writing about it for the whole world to read in 2010, in an unbelievably vast place called the world wide web.

LONG LIVE ASIA!

Stone.

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STYX “PARADISE THEATRE” – 1981 ROCK ALBUM IS A FOREVER FAVORITE OF MINE

Posted in 1970's classic rock bands, 1970's hard rock bands, 1970's rock bands, 1980's classic rock bands, 1980's classic rock guitarists, 1980's classic rock vocalists, 1980's rock albums, 1980's rock music, 1980's classic rock, 1980's classic rock albums, 1980's classic rock music, 1980's classic rock songs, 1980's hard rock bands, 1980's rock bands, Album Review, classic hard rock bands, classic hard rock music, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock music, classic rock music 1981, classic rock songs, classic rock vocalists, cool album covers, feel good stories, guitar legends, hard rock music, metal odyssey, Music, old school hard rock, rock & roll, rock album review, rock and roll, rock guitarists, rock keyboard musicians, rock music, rock music lyrics, rock vocalists, shopping for rock music, vintage rock albums, vintage rock and roll songs with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 18, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Styx, a Rock/Hard Rock band that didn’t just grow on me in my early teens… instead, I fell over backwards upon my very first listen to their song Come Sail Away from The Grand Illusion album, (released in 1977). Jumping across the Pieces Of Eight (1978) and Cornerstone (1979) albums from Styx, (which both are unreal great albums for me as well), there is Paradise Theatre, (A&M Records), from 1981. Call it music imbedding at age fifteen, this Styx album just reminds me of so many good things about my life as an early teen. Memories, especially the good ones, are priceless. When music, Rock Music, can rekindle cool and fun times through memories… man, I’m not going to stop listening to such respective albums or songs – ever. Paradise Theatre doesn’t remind me of winning the lottery, getting an expensive car, falling in love, achieving straight A’s on my report card, (yeah right), nor does it send me back to a Hawaiian vacation. Nope. What Paradise Theatre does remind me of, is easier times, hanging out, the Christmas Holiday, snow days off from school and having no clue of who or what I wanted to be in life. Honestly, this Paradise Theatre album really reminds me of those things, the smaller things in life that matter too.

I’m certain I can sit here and compile a master list of Rock, Hard Rock and Heavy Metal albums, that meet the same memory criteria as this Styx Paradise Theatre album bestows for me. Recently, I finally purchased Paradise Theatre on CD, for the first time in my life! It was priced at $7, brand new. There were several, if not dozens of moments where I had this CD in my hands to buy… only putting it back down, because I get so damned conscientious about spending too much money on non essential items for myself. (I have to learn to relax, $7 is chump change compared to what is spent on Wall Street bailouts).

I cannot pinpoint the reason as to why Paradise Theatre reminds me of the previously mentioned. All I know is, come Christmas, these songs from this album just “pop” into my head. Watch out if it snows, it seems like I can actually envision the album cover in my mind as well, all the while I watch a snowfall. I do remember listening to the songs from Paradise Theatre during the Winter of 1981, it seems like yesterday. Funny, how I purchased this CD during the Winter of 2009, all of the variables were in place… some snow was on the ground, Christmas is approaching and I threw danger to the wind by spending an extra $7 on myself. (I guess you can call me a real thrill seeker, on the spending part of it all).

Every song on Paradise Theatre is a winner, that includes the songs that never made it to FM radio too. Quality, substance and an acute attention to lyrics are what makes these songs on Paradise Theatre so unbelievable for me. This album Rocks. There, I got that out of my system, that phrase needed to be stated and has become rather nerdy and extremely cliche too. Back in 1981, I never would understand what the term Classic Rock meant. In 1981, the only music that was really classic was Classical Music. Styx, through their albums of the 1970’s and 1980’s have given true meaning and understanding to the term/genre… Classic Rock.

I have always been a huge fan of Tommy Shaw, following his solo career along with his stints in Damn Yankees and Shaw/Blades. Dennis DeYoung on vocals gives this Styx band and album their trademark Rock essence, a sound that is so much stand alone. Dennis DeYoung’s voice is a trademark musical instrument of Styx. Of course, the aforementioned are all my opinions and interpretations, which I am steadfast about.

Dennis DeYoung sings it so right, on the song The Best Of Times, with these lines:

Our memories of yesterday

Will last a lifetime

We’ll take the best, forget the rest

And someday we’ll find

These are the best of times

Track Listing For Paradise Theatre:

Side One:

A.D. 1928

Rockin’ The Paradise

Too Much Time On My Hands

Nothing Ever Goes As Planned

The Best Of Times

Side Two:

Lonely People

She Cares

Snowblind

Half-Penny; Two Penny

A.D. 1958

State Street Sadie

Styx, as they appeared on Paradise Theatre:

Dennis DeYoung – keyboards & vocals

Tommy Shaw – guitars & vocals

Chuck Panozzo – bass guitar

John Panozzo – drums & percussion

James Young – guitars & vocals


John Fogerty – “Eye of the Zombie” a 1986 Creepy & Rockin’ Halloween Song

Posted in 1970's classic rock bands, 1980's classic rock bands, 1980's classic rock guitarists, 1980's rock albums, 1980's rock music, 1980's rock musicians, 1980's classic rock, 1980's classic rock music, 1980's classic rock songs, 1980's rock bands, classic rock, classic rock bands, classic rock music, classic rock songs, classic rock vocalists, collecting rock music, cool album covers, creepy album covers, essential classic rock albums, essential classic rock songs, halloween songs, metal odyssey, Music, Rock, rock & roll, rock and roll, rock guitarists, rock music, rock music lyrics, rock vocalists, scary album covers, song lyrics, spooky album covers, vintage rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 11, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

John Fogerty "Eye of the Zombie" small album picHere I go again… pulling out another great and scary Rock song that is just eerily perfect for the Halloween season. In 1986, the ever legendary John Fogerty released his solo album – Eye of the Zombie, (on Warner Bros. Records). The cool release date of October 1st made this song all the more fitting for Halloween too. I was introduced to this song and album by my late sister, back in ’86, she knew this particular song was right up my Metal alley. With all of my time being occupied by Metal Music back in the ’80’s, I knew I could always count on my sister, to hook me up to some very cool mainstream Rock albums and songs from time to time. If my Metal memory serves me correct, the video for Eye of the Zombie, (which MTV played frequently then), was damn spooky and cool too. Just the way in which John Fogerty sings this song gets the creep out meter moving. Musically, this song Rocks in a very unique and spooky way.

As for the entire album of Eye of the Zombie, I don’t find it difficult to recommend to any Classic Rock or Rock Music fan at all. This song and album may not have been the blockbuster of John Fogerty’s career, still, Eye of the Zombie is a song and album that I reflect upon for it’s originality and cool Rock vibe. Too many times, it is the Rock album and/or song that does not find chart success or critic praise that turns out to be the true Rock and Roll wild card of a musicians career. Change in the Weather was the song talked about most from this album, with it’s Creedence Clearwater Revival roots, yet it is the allure of the song Eye of the Zombie that had me listening to the entire album itself. The front cover album artwork for this album is a visual nightmare image of a horrible looking creature… a zombie perhaps, only to me it appears to be more of a half man, half lion monstrosity. Very cool image nonetheless, something you would expect on a Metal Band’s album cover. In the end, if it has always been construed that John Fogerty took a Rock Music risk with this album, then I will be Metal bound to say it was a fabulous risk to take. The song Eye of the Zombie is one not to miss listening to this Halloween season… nor is it not a risky bet to get into the rest of this album any time of the year.

Here are the lyrics to this great song, if this doesn’t spook you out then you are too cool:

Eye of the Zombie

Hoo! Oooooh!

Shadows on the mountain,
And the night begins to fall;
Gather up the children,
‘Fore the darkness takes us all.
Tribe has come together,
Standin’ naked against the night;
Twenty feet from the fire,
The evil waits with zombie eyes.

Chorus:
Eye-eye-eye eye of the Zombie!
Eye-eye-eye eye of the Zombie!

Oh! Sneakin’ through the long grass
On leopard feet silently,
A beast already dead comes
To join the dance on the zombie.
Ooh! Time has come again
Again the moment of truth;
The terror is at hand,
And there’s nothin’ you can do.

[Chorus]

Oh! Hoo! Aaa-aah! Hoo! Aaa-aaa-aaaah!

From out of nowhere he’s there,
Flashing hideous teeth,
Panic in the crowd,
Helter-skelter,
We’re brought to our knees.
Back to the darkness,
Back on the mountain he stands,
You can’t fight a shadow,
You can’t kill a dead man.

[Chorus x4]

John Fogerty "Eye of the Zombie" large album pic

JOE SATRIANI “Surfing With The Alien” – My music of choice for today and many days to come

Posted in 1980's classic rock guitarists, 1980's hard rock albums, 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's instrumental rock albums, 1980's rock albums, 1980's rock music, 1980's classic rock, 1980's classic rock music, Album Review, classic hard rock, classic hard rock music, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock music, classic rock songs, cool album covers, essential classic rock albums, essential hard rock albums, essential heavy metal albums, essential rock albums, Guitar, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock guitarists, hard rock songs, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal albums, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal solo albums, heavy metal solo artists, instrumental guitar rock albums, Music, old school hard rock, old school heavy metal, Rock, rock guitarists, rock music, vintage hard rock albums, vintage heavy metal albums, vintage rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 26, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150I listened to Joe Satriani “Surfing With The Alien” all day today… in the car, in the house and back in the car once again. (Released in 1987, I own both the vinyl LP and CD). I have those days, where I choose that one CD and listen to it the entire day. Joe Satriani is without question, one of my favorite guitarists that ever lived. Pinning down who my favorite guitarist is of all time is too impossible of a task – there are just way too many guitarists across the entire Rock and Heavy Music spectrum that I revere. It’s not that I do not want to get controversial about naming an all time favorite guitarist, I named what I feel is the greatest Metal album of all time, in a previous post – (Black Sabbath, “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath”). There are just so many unique styles of playing out there, in the world of guitarists, I tend to draw from a cornucopia of these styles and enjoy what I hear from a vast array of players. Joe Satriani really nails it down, with pin point accuracy, on this album. Combining speed and clarity, while slowing things down at all the right moments, makes for a harmonious and melodic guitar instrumental experience, is the best quick summary for Joe Satriani on “Surfing With The Alien”. The daunting question of: Is Joe Satriani a Rock, Hard Rock or Heavy Metal guitarist? – can only be answered by stating Joe Satriani can play it all and play it with greatness. The catalog of albums that Joe Satriani has created over the years proves just that, the proof is in his music.

When I listened to “Surfing With The Alien” today, I never stopped to think about what these songs would be like if lyrics were to be put into the mix. (I am thinking it now, though). That is what a great guitar instrumental album will do for me, the focal point is the guitar brilliance of Joe Satriani, no vocals are necessary. The guitar play of Joe Satriani is what speaks, in essence, that is what it should do. I have always equated a great guitar player, as a musician who can make me hear and feel the emotion that erupts from the notes and chords they play. At 1:46, “Hill Of The Skull” may be one of the shortest songs on this album, yet this is the one that overflows the most emotional feeling – for me. Surfing With The Alien” is hands down, the most popular and fastest song from this album, a quick fix for getting back on my feet and body slamming any negative thoughts in my brain. If I had to describe this album in just two words, they would be: groove saturated. “Always With Me, Always With You” and “Echo” are not just crossover songs to lure the easy listening crowd into the outskirts of Heavy Music, these are songs that encapsulate the upbeat harmony and instinctive music writing genius of Joe Satriani.

My favorite song on “Surfing With The Alien” is Ice 9″. Oh man, do I really like this song. By process of elimination, there is going to be the one song out of the ten found here, that sends it straight through me.“Satch Boogie” is a song that reels me in as well, it shows just how dynamic Joe Satriani had become as a player, on just his second album release. Listening to just this CD today really did make my day that much better. It is not that often that I will listen to only one CD for an entire day… this has definitely been an exercise in Metal constraint for me. To not slap in some Death Metal, Black Metal or straight up Heavy Metal within today’s routine, only justifies how much I really enjoy this album and Joe Satriani’s guitar. Tomorrow I will go back to my daily mix of Metal listening, still I guarantee that I will crank up “Ice 9” once again.

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