Archive for 1980's hard rock music

THE MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP “ASSAULT ATTACK” – 1982 ALBUM REVISITED!

Posted in classic rock, classic rock music, Hard Rock, hard rock bands, hard rock music, Heavy Metal, heavy metal albums, heavy metal bands, heavy metal music, metal odyssey, Music, rock music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 30, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

THE MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP – Crazy good. That’s my “flashback review” for the Michael Schenker Group album from 1982, titled – Assualt Attack. Aw, heck, I guess I’ll carry on about just how crazy good this Assualt Attack album is after all. Michael Schenker has released some melodic albums in his career with The Michael Schenker Group and Assault Attack is no exception. 1982 was a time where Heavy Metal was growing into the gigantic and lovable monster that it did eventually become… and still is to this very day.

While NWOBHM Bands like Judas Priest and Iron Maiden were laying down the thick, speed driven, dark and Heavy albums in 1982, with Screaming For Vengeance and The Number Of The Beast, respectively, The Michael Schenker Group was laying down the melodic side of Hard Rock colliding with Heavy Metal sound. And what an amazingly melodic sound at that. What Michael Schenker does with his guitar is he makes it sing… his guitar truly is a second lead vocalist in his band. On Assualt Attack, as with any Michael Schenker album in truth, showcases a lead guitarist who never tried to out-muscle a song with overpowering riffs, questionable leads or over zealous solos. Michael Schenker always makes the song work with his guitar.

Back in 1982, FM radio was MTV, itunes, satellite radio and the internet combined. The only other place on Earth you would have been informed of The Michael Schenker Group would have been through a local fanzine, Circus or Hit Parader magazine. (I’m talking about 1982 America here, so my magazine examples are what they are). The first time I was introduced to this Assault Attack album, it was hearing the two songs Dancer and Desert Song. FM radio was the medium from which I heard these songs initially, the call letters were either WHCN or WCCC out of Hartford, CT, take your pick. The FM nighttime radio show was appropriately called… Metal Shop.

The first two albums from The Michael Schenker Group along with Assault Attack I probably bought within a one year span around ’82… and I thought I had a ton of “catching up” to do back then! Metal be thy name. The constant Rockin’ theme of Assault Attack, is it’s melodic nature screams relevancy while nurturing my memories of younger days. Fans of the current Hard Rock/Melodic Rock movement should easily catch onto this album from The Michael Schenker Group, it’s an album worthy of 2010 rotation.

Back to the exquisitely melodic and still Heavy song… Dancer. The solo by Michael Schenker on Dancer is a listen in Heavy Metal art. This song can be looked upon by some, as slightly commercial for it’s own good, only it’s still a bona fide Hard Rock song from an era that was still escorting Disco out the back door. Graham Bonnet on lead vocals, just a few years removed from being the lead vocalist on Rainbow’s Classic Hard Rock gem, 1979’s Down To Earth album, is his stunning self, giving Dancer and the remaining 8 songs on Assault Attack their unrestrained emotion.

Desert Song finds it’s strengths in many parts, one part lyrics, one part Graham Bonnet on vocals and of course… Michael Schenker’s mouth watering end cap solo. Furthermore, Desert Song is structured with creative diligence, something that many of today’s Hard Rock and Heavy Metal songs don’t normally exhibit. Ulcer is the instrumental where Michael Schenker lets it all air out and rightfully so. While I listen to Ulcer, I can’t help thinking of Joe Satriani… and how this song just might have been a definitive influence on his guitar playing. If there is to be a Heavy Metal guitarist and instrumental to emulate from 1982, Michael Schenker and Ulcer is a fabulous choice.

Rock You To The Ground has a bluesy sound both with it’s music and lyrics. A standout of a Hard Rock track, with Michael Schenker really letting loose with an energetic solo that finishes off this memorable song. It may sound cliche’, yet all the hooks and licks are abundant throughout Assault Attack and they haven’t lost their Hard Rockin’ luster going on three decades! Classic Rock? Hard Rock? Sure… only add Classic Schenker as well.

Broken Promises is a showcase of Michael Schenker’s guitar prowess, as he still leaves plenty of room for Graham Bonnet to leave his vocal imprint as well. This is a 1982 Heavy Metal song that seamlessly tied the knot with a Hard Rock sense of purpose. Broken Promises Rocks along with it’s hardened melody and thumping rhythm section of Chris Glen on bass and Ted McKenna on drums.

Girl From Uptown is a bonus track found on the 2009 remastered version of Assault Attack and it should have been an original song to this album… in my Metal opinion. Once again, a melodic Hard Rockin’ song that features the combination of Graham Bonnet’s vocal harmony and Michael Schenker’s luxurious guitar tone. Girl From Uptown just puts me in a cool mood, then again, this entire album puts me in great Metal spirits… with no let up in sight.

* I used to own Assault Attack on vinyl once. Yup, got rid of it for some insane reason. Anyhow, I’ve since purchased this vintage album on itunes… for under $5 (U.S.). That sure beats the asking price of the import CD version that is currently out there.

* To catch up on ALL things happening with The Michael Schenker Group, including their 30th Anniversary Tour 2010, just click on the link below!

MICHAEL SCHENKER HIMSELF.COM

The Michael Schenker Group, as they appeared on Assault Attack:

Michael Schenker – guitars

Graham Bonnet – lead vocals

Chris Glen – bass

Ted McKenna – drums

Tommy Eyre – keyboards

Track Listing For The Michael Schenker Group – Assault Attack:

Assault Attack

Rock You To The Ground

Dancer

Samurai

Desert Song

Broken Promises

Searching For A Reason

Ulcer

Girl From Uptown (2009 remastered CD bonus track)

LONG LIVE MICHAEL SCHENKER!

LONG LIVE GRAHAM BONNET!

Stone.

NELSON – A ROCKIN’ CLASS ACT AT THE 2010 M3 ROCK FESTIVAL

Posted in classic rock, classic rock music, concerts, hair metal music, hard rock bands, hard rock music, Heavy Metal, heavy metal bands, heavy metal history, heavy metal music, metal odyssey, Music, rock & roll, rock 'n' roll, rock and roll, rock festivals, rock music, rock music news with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 24, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

NELSONRicky Nelson was a 1950’s Rock ‘N’ Roll – Pop sensation that reached #1 in 1957 with his debut album aptly titled – Ricky, on Imperial Records. Up until his untimely death in 1985, Ricky Nelson was without doubt, a successful Rock ‘N’ Roll singer and songwriter. I can remember spinning the 45 rpm of Ricky Nelson’s 1972 hit – Garden Party, when I was just a little kid. This 45 rpm was my late Mother’s and she let me listen to it unconditionally. For me, listening to Ricky Nelson, Buddy Holly and The Everly Brothers records as a little kid came long before I knew of KISS or Cheap Trick.

I’m old enough, (trust me), to remember watching and enjoying the re-runs of – The Adventures Of Ozzie And Harriet, after school. This was a light-hearted and innocent comedy series that starred Ricky Nelson, alongside his Mother, Harriet and his Father, Ozzie. Ricky Nelson was just a young boy when this show hit television in 1952, coming to a series end in 1966. Ricky’s older brother, David, also starred in this same television series. Black & white television ruled my house when I was a kid. Seeing re-runs in black & white made no difference to me then, nor does it make a difference to me now.

Whenever Ricky Nelson was on a television variety show performing back in the ’70’s, I would know. My mother would let it be known to all he was on. (The same thing would happen whenever Tom Jones or Jim Morrison and The Doors were on t.v. too). Memories… even if they are about television stars and early ’70’s flashbacks, the cool thing about it is these guys I’ve mentioned were/are about music and Rock Music history. Music always seemed to bring me and my family together while growing up as a kid, it excited us and made us feel happy.

Fast forward to the 2010 M3 Rock Festival… Ricky Nelson, Ozzie and Harriet would be proud. Ricky Nelson’s twin sons and Ozzie and Harriet’s grandsons known as Nelson, performed at the M3 Rock Festival, in Columbia, Maryland, with the upmost Rockin’ class. And I’m not foolin’ around when I say that.

Matthew and Gunnar Nelson can play Rock and Hard Rock with the best of them. Why do I state this? Nelson played alongside bands such as KIX, WingerCinderella, Vince Neil and the ultra iconic Scorpions at this M3 Rock Festival. Throw in the Metal fact, that Mark Slaughter, (of Slaughter fame), played guitar onstage, right alongside of Nelson at M3 and I’m not talking smack. Mark Slaughter has joined Nelson on their 20th Anniversary Tour. I have always and forever will be enamored by the vocals and music of Mark Slaughter.

Nelson put on one cool, feel-good, Rock ‘N’ Roll set. Matthew and Gunnar played many of their career’s best songs, making each one as melodically contagious as the other to my ears. Actually, Nelson could have easily played for another two hours and I would have gleefully stood in the thick, sticky and humid air to watch them. (Just as long as their set wouldn’t overlap the Scorpions, of course).

As I stood at M3, watching Nelson perform their set, I realized just how important Rock ‘N’ Roll roots truly are. Nelson is a third generation of musicians from their family. This is quite impressive, when you stop to think of how difficult it is to grasp success and hold onto it in the Rock Music world.

I’ve never claimed to be a wizard at taking live concert photos. Nonetheless, here is a photo I took of Mark Slaughter, while performing onstage (second stage) with Nelson at M3 2010. Mark Slaughter is on the far left with the yellow shirt.

Here is another photo (below) of Mark Slaughter onstage to the far left, alongside NelsonMatthew and Gunnar Nelson are seen in the center of stage.

When Nelson released their debut album, After The Rain, back in 1990 on Geffen Records, they were an MTV gold mine of musical talent, looks and personality. Twenty years later, Nelson is still Rockin’ out their songs, albeit with much shorter hair. If success in music is measured in the number of albums you sell or how often you walk the plastic red carpet in Hollywood, then so be it to the corporate money hounds. My idea of success is still being able to play your songs, better than ever, twenty years after the fact, with a blue collar touring ethic that Nelson bestows. Throw in the fact that I witnessed a patriotic and genuine band, that were conscientious of our U.S. troops abroad, making a point to dedicate their music to them on stage… at M3. Kudos to you, Nelson.

Nelson welcomed the fans to join them at the merchandise booth, upon completion of their set, extending an invitation to their fans, to shake hands and sign autographs at the merch booth. Kudos to you, Nelson, once again. Oh, yes… I did take advantage of the meet & greet invitation from Nelson. Not only were Matthew and Gunnar gracious about shaking hands and having their photo taken with me, (and with many, many other fans as well), they also happily signed the liner notes to their “Greatest Hits & Rarities” CD I purchased at the merch table. The photo Scott Coverdale took of me and Nelson below proves that Nelson is permanently in the  Metal Odyssey camp.

Nelson looks like they could go another couple of sets here. I think I look a tad worn at this point, needless to say, I kept on Rockin’ and downin’ the cold brews. Metal be thy name. Yup.

I connected the dots by tracing the Nelson Rock ‘N’ Roll family tree at the beginning of this post for good reason. To hopefully let visitors to Metal Odyssey know, in abbreviated form, a musical background of where Matthew and Gunnar Nelson came from. It’s all relevant, the Nelson family television and music history. These two Rock ‘N’ Roll twins are musicians, that have honed their craft at delivering some very cool Rock and Hard Rock albums over the last twenty years. With their dedication to the music they play, as well as their thankfulness to their fans, while honoring our U.S. troops abroad on stage, only makes me say once again…

A ROCKIN’ CLASS ACT IS NELSON.

* For more info on Nelson, just click this link below:

NELSON KICKS ASS.COM – OFFICIAL WEBSITE!

Without the “Roots of Rock ‘N’ Roll” the M3 Rock Festival would never exist.

Stone.

THE LONDON QUIREBOYS – “A BIT OF WHAT YOU FANCY” FROM 1990 IS A HARD ROCK BLAST!

Posted in 1980's hair metal music, 1980's hard rock, 1980's heavy metal music, 1990's heavy metal bands, 1990's rock bands, 1990's rock music, 1990's hair metal bands, 1990's hard rock albums, 1990's hard rock bands, 1990's heavy metal music, 1990's rock albums, Album Review, cool album covers, hair metal albums, hair metal bands, hair metal music, hard rock album review, hard rock bands, hard rock music, hard rock songs, hard rock vocalists, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 1990, heavy metal bands, heavy metal bands from england, heavy metal history, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 1990, metal odyssey, Music, old school hair metal bands, old school hard rock, old school heavy metal, old school heavy metal bands, rock and roll, rock music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 20, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

The London Quireboys – A Bit Of What You Fancy is a reason why I’m psyched I never unloaded my cassettes from years… um, decades past. I slapped this cassette into my home stereo today and I am just as enthused by the Hard Rock blast from The London Quireboys… as I was back in 1990. The London Quireboys put the Hard Rock pedal to the Metal on A Bit Of What You Fancy, no smoke and mirrors to be heard… just great, heavy, Rock and Roll! When I initially bought this cassette back in 1990, I did so only having heard their biggest hit from this album on the FM dial… 7 o’clock. This is a song that my wife, (girlfriend at that time) and I played over and over… and over again back in ’90! Is 7 o’ clock a party song? You bet your Metal life it is! Take a long drive to this entire album and leave your cares behind? Go for it! A Bit Of What You Fancy is like that hidden Hard Rock gem from 1990… only it is not hidden in my Heavy Music collection, no way! A Bit Of What You Fancy carries into my ears all the good times spirit that Rock and Roll is all about – with The London Quireboys delivering it in unabashed Hard Rock style. I should warn those of you, that have never listened to this album before… it is ADDICTIVE!

With my warning aside, I cannot tell people what to buy or listen to… only this time it is different. The London Quireboys debut album is certainly a MUST for fans of Old School Hair Metal, Hard Rock or just damn good Rock and Roll period. I imagine seeing The London Quireboys at a beer soaked, small club… while they play this album in it’s entirety, amidst a crowd of psyched out and Rockin’ fans going nuts all over the place. That’s right. The song – long time comin’ is as heavy and steady of a Hard Rock song that you will ever give to your ears. Am I going off too much on praising this album? Nope, it’s that great. Anytime an album can make me feel so damn good, is an album that shall be praised up and down, inside and out… for the world to read.

The London Quireboys put together an album that utilizes string arrangements, some brass and a keyboard player. Not quite the straight ahead approach of Hair Metal for 1990, was A Bit Of What You Fancy. A standout is take me home, this is absolutely a great song to end this album… so memorable, so much energy, a Hard Rockin’ exclamation point multiplied by 100. The London Quireboys took Hair Metal from the late ’80’s and added some, (a lot), of their very own Hard Rock character to the basic standards. Their style can be blatantly described as a combination of The Black Crowes and Cinderella, fused together with the admirable energy and enthusiasm of a band that obviously enjoyed creating these songs.

Spike on vocals, lends thick credibility to the hardness that this album radiates. Spike’s ultra raspy and gritty vocals makes the songs sound blue collar, an unintended characteristic that just seems to elevate this album and band. Guy Bailey and Guy Griffin on guitars just play man, there are no “steal the show” solos to drown out the total band feel. Chris Johnstone on keyboards, gives this album of songs the Classic Hard Rock texture and feel that I cannot ignore. Nigel Mogg on bass and Ian Wallace on drums provide all the tight and contagiously rhythmic grooves that hold these outstanding songs together. Thank you again, London England, for sowing yet another fabulous Rock and Roll band like The London Quireboys.

The Track Listing For The London Quireboys – A Bit Of What You Fancy:

7 o’clock

man on the loose

whippin’ boy’

sex party

sweet mary ann

i don’t love you anymore

hey you

misled

long time comin’

roses & rings

there she goes again

take me home

A Bit Of What You Fancy was originally released on Capitol Records.

A 20th Anniversary Edition of A Bit Of What You Fancy was released in 2009 on the Jerkin Crocus record label. There are 8 demo’s as bonus tracks found on this 20th Anniversary Edition. (I aim to get myself a copy of it down the Metal road… that’s for sure).


HEAVEN – 1983 HEAVY METAL ALBUM “WHERE ANGELS FEAR TO TREAD” REMEMBERED

Posted in 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's heavy metal cover songs, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, classic heavy metal albums, collecting heavy metal albums, cool album covers, hard to find heavy metal albums, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 1983, heavy metal bands, heavy metal bands from australia, heavy metal cover songs, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 1983, heavy metal on vinyl, metal odyssey, Music, old school heavy metal, old school heavy metal bands, rare heavy metal albums, rock music, spooky album covers, vintage heavy metal albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 19, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Back in the early 1980’s, I would buy just about any Heavy Metal album that had a cool or scary cover. I also would buy a Heavy Metal album just based on the bands name alone… if it was interesting enough. Usually, I was lucky with my choices, although there were those duds that I picked over the decades, (I won’t lie about that). Buying duds happens to any fan of any music genre, I would surmise. Not listening to an album before buying it was, (and still is), a risky Metal proposition, especially if you never heard the respective band before. Step in… Heaven. This Heavy Metal Band was not a dud.

Heaven, a Heavy Metal Band from Australia, released three studio albums during their brief career, (1982-1985), on a major label being RCA. I used to own one of the three Heaven albums – Where Angels Fear To Tread. I bought this album at a Caldor department store, back in 1983. Caldor had one really fine album/records department for a large retail store. Caldor went belly up years ago, it was a shame to see, especially when it was responsible for my having such an array of Heavy Metal albums back in the ’80’s. I bought this Heaven album without ever hearing a single song from it… the bands name being Heaven, along with the front cover logo and artwork was too good to pass up. Plus, the backside of this album had a very large photo of the band, looking real tough, (Heavy Metal tough). In this photo, lead singer Alan Fryer is shown holding a leash with a black panther attached to it. (That is to the best of my Metal memory when describing this back cover photo, if I am in error in any way, please feel free to comment with a correction).

Back in 1983, this was all I needed to see to make a blind Heavy Metal album purchase. I believe the only Heaven song I ever heard on mainstream radio was on WCCC or WHCN, (on the FM dial in expensive Connecticut), the song was Rock School. Quite honestly, I remember really liking this album, yet it was not the Heavy Metal thunder of a Def Leppard, Krokus, Accept or even Helix from that time period. Nonetheless, Heaven was heavy and good enough for me to even be looking back upon, in 2009. Where Angels Fear To Tread was a Heavy Metal album that fit right in during 1983, still Heaven obviously never caught on with the Metal masses… for reasons that I may never know. Let’s face it, I never bought their first album – Twilight of Mischief/In The Beginning, nor did I buy their third album – Knockin’ On Heavens Door, so my Metal loyalty to Heaven was not up to task back in the early ’80’s. What was I supposed to do? There were literally tons of Heavy Metal Bands coming from all sides back then, from Vintage and Classic Rock bands to the birth of the Thrash, Black and Death Metal genres. Heaven just fell victim to choice, when it came to my album purchasing decisions.

As I look back, I really wish I kept Where Angels Fear To Tread, however, it does not appear to be in print on CD. From scoping out the world wide web, it seems that this album is unofficially in print and is referred to as a bootleg version, with five live bonus tracks included. I would be Metal smitten to land a copy of this Heaven album, especially on vinyl once again. Getting ahold of this CD seems to be doable, regardless of any low quality from it being described as a bootleg.

This might sound a tad strange when I state that my favorite song from Where Angels Fear To Tread is the cover song Love Child. Yup, that famous Love Child song originally done by The Supremes. Metal truth be told, Heaven made this song heavy and it Rocked for me back in good ol’ 1983. Aw heck, this entire Heaven album would sound good again for my ears, 26 years after it’s release. It would be interesting to see, with the current Heavy Metal revival ongoing, if Heaven was to resurface in some shape or form. As the old Metal saying goes… you can’t hold onto everything in life, this Heaven album on vinyl is a great example of that, for me anyways.

A quick Metal note: There was another band named Heaven… this particular band goes back to the early 1970’s. From everything I have researched, this Heaven band does not have any association to the Heaven Heavy Metal Band of the early ’80’s. I have never listened to this band, they are categorized as a Rock band and have an album titled: Brass Rock 1, released back in 1971 on Esoteric Records. (See pic of album cover on the left of this paragraph). I found this other Heaven band and Brass Rock 1 album on http://www.fye.com, yup, it was out of stock. This same Brass Rock 1 album is in stock on http://www.bestbuy.com, however, Best Buy categorizes this 1971 Heaven band as “Metal”… go figure. This other Heaven band’s Brass Rock 1 CD is priced at $20.99, U.S. dollars, a bit too pricey for me to take a gamble on. Plus neither f.y.e. or Best Buy offer music samples for this other Heaven Band’s CD, Brass Rock 1.

Here is the front cover for Where Angels Fear To Tread, by the early 1980’s Heavy Metal Band – Heaven. This cover does scream early ’80’s Heavy Metal with it’s color and artwork, the Heaven logo I feel was well done. This cover is nothing too fancy, nor is it uncool, in my Metal opinion.


My Mom Supported Heavy Metal Music

Posted in 1970's heavy metal music, 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, classic rock music, family, feel good stories, heavy metal albums, heavy metal music, life stories, Metal, metal odyssey, Music, old school heavy metal, people, personal stories, rock music, scary album covers, shopping for music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 27, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

MetalOdysseyMy unreal great and undeniably loving Mother passed away on July 10, 2009. She just turned seventy years old this past April of 2009. To look at her, you would never know she was seventy, really. My Mom is a true hero and inspiration to me, always will be. She suffered a series of strokes in the Fall of 1990, therefore my Mom was a courageous survivor for nearly twenty years. Not being able to speak and having paralysis on the right side of her body were the two biggest obstacles that my Mom endured for two decades. That did not stop her from enjoying life, seeing her children get married and enjoying four grandchildren. Thanks to my heroic Father who became my Mom’s full time caregiver, many people and family members were given the gift of my Mom’s presence, thoughts and love for much longer than was initially predicted by doctors. Being born from my Mom was a gift and she was a gift to me for forty three years of my life. I now am convinced, that my Mom can speak and walk again up in heaven, where she has been reunited with her parents and without any doubt… my incredible sister too. I am at peace knowing my Mom is healthy again in heaven, no more suffering… my Mom has earned her place with the angels.

KISS Alive ll - small album pictureAlright, as my Mom would probably say right about now… enough with all of the sad stuff, let’s have a good time. I cannot resist reflecting on good times, heck, that is why they are called that in the first place. You see, my Mom was in her own special right… a fan of Heavy Metal. She was without question, one of the biggest advocates for Heavy Metal amongst any other Mom I knew, while growing up as a teenager back in the 1980’s. Her knowledge of the past and current bands back in the late 1970’s and through the 1980’s was admirable. There was a hiccup, however, when I was in sixth grade, in regards to my being allowed to have a KISS album in the house. My Mom took one look at the cover of KISS Alive ll and she said – no way. The blood spewing from the mouth of Gene Simmons was over the top for her. She specifically said that no son of hers would have that in her house. Well, to make a long story short, after she heard the song I was Made For Lovin’ You by KISS, the decision to allow KISS and any of their albums into our house was cleared to go. KISS was in… the world of Heavy Metal had a new fan… my Mom.

The neighborhood in which I grew up in, was a definite attachment to the downtown area of the small city it belonged to. There was a surplus of families living around me for blocks, that struggled to make ends meet. I was the luckiest kid in my neighborhood, having the record and tape collection that I bestowed. This collection of Heavy Metal was earned, I worked many different part time jobs after school and did a bounty of chores around the house and yard. Every penny I made… went to Hard Rock/Heavy Metal albums and tapes. No regrets ever, just a cool life of Heavy Metal enjoyment. My neighborhood buddies and me, well, none of us had a car until our senior year of High School, so making any out of town treks to the “real” record stores was out of the question. Step in my Mom.

Iron Maiden - debut album small picYes, my Mom would go out of her way to drive me and my buddies thirty minutes – out of town, to Strawberries Records and Tapes. These Heavy Metal excursions, (as we called them back then), would happen at the drop of a dime! After school, on the weekends, on days off from school and during the Summer… with my Mom it was no problem. She loved those trips to Strawberries. We sometimes would have four dudes in the back seat, with me up front and my Mom leading the way behind the wheel – those Heavy Metal journeys, (we called them that too), are memories that no money can buy. At least half of my Heavy Metal collection of albums and tapes, were courtesy of what my Mom would pick out on her own back then. We would storm into Strawberries and my Mom would seek out albums like a bobcat seeking out it’s prey. She is responsible for my having every Rainbow album ever made at the time. Iron Maiden too. Honestly, I never would have listened to Scorpions World Wide Live if not for my Mom, she would find and buy some prime albums for me back then.

This last memory I will reveal is one for the Heavy Metal record books. It is true and quite unbelievable. I would have many of my buddies from the neighborhood over to my house, almost on a daily basis. The door was always open to them… per orders from my Mom. Listening to Hard Rock and Heavy Metal albums was our number one priority back then. We played the music loud, as all of us have done and still do… no big deal. One day, while a few of my buddies and me were cranking up the Metal tunes in my bedroom, there was a knock at the door. Crap, I thought. Has my Mom finally had enough of these Heavy Metal hang outs? We all stared at each other not knowing really what to do or say. Again, the knocking at my bedroom door continued. One of us was knowledgeable enough to turn the music down low. I opened the door, hesitantly with a semi-gulp in my throat. Behold it was my Mom standing there with a plate of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies!! She smiled at all of us and said, you can’t go hungry while having so much fun with your music. Needless to say, my buddies were stunned. Unreal memory. A real memory. An unreal Mom that I will love and cherish forever, even if she is far away in heaven.

MetalOdyssey

BADLANDS – 1989 Heavy Metal Debut Album Still Reigns Supreme

Posted in 1980's hard rock albums, 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's heavy metal hits, 1980's hard rock bands, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's heavy metal songs, 1980's metal music, 1990's heavy metal bands, 1990's hard rock bands, Album Review, classic hard rock music, classic heavy metal, classic heavy metal albums, classic rock, collecting heavy metal albums, cool album covers, essential hard rock albums, essential heavy metal albums, essential heavy metal songs, guitar legends, hard rock music, hard rock vocalists, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 1989, heavy metal drummers, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 1989, heavy metal vocalists, metal odyssey, Music, old school hard rock, old school heavy metal, rock guitarists, rock music, rock vocalists, vintage heavy metal albums, vintage heavy metal bands, vintage heavy metal songs with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 26, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

BADLANDS "Badlands" large album picBadlands was a Heavy Metal band that I caught onto the instant they released their debut/self titled album – Badlands, (on Atlantic Records), back in 1989. I purchased this Badlands cassette at Strawberries Records & Tapes, located right around the corner from Central Connecticut State University on New Britain Avenue. I was a student at CCSU back in 1989, very much broke to the Metal wind. Therefore, my Heavy Music purchases were not abundant, I chose quality over quantity. With so little funds to buy music as a college student back then, being choosy was a necessity. Badlands with their classic and ultra talented lineup of musicians became a necessity for me. From the very first listen through of this album, (in my case cassette), to say that Badlands left an earthshaking mark on me is the understatement of the decade. The Heavy Metal onslaught of cool and psyched out vibrations, that this Badlands album gave me back in 1989, has once again reintroduced me to that same experience this past weekend.

My best buddy – a.k.a. – best Metal buddy – a.k.a. – Scott, well, he remembered just how much Badlands and their debut album resonated with me back in the day, therefore Scott landed me a CD copy of Badlands. Scott was my roommate at CCSU, my best man at my wedding and if anyone knows my Metal tastes and background… it is him. Thank you Scott, for this Metal gift of Badlands this past Saturday. Getting Badlands on CD in the mail was like experiencing Christmas Day on this cold, dank and rainy day in October. F’n unbelievable surprise.

It is an unreal great feeling to have this Badlands CD finally in my collection. I have never let go of my Badlands cassette since 1989… and I never will. To the best of my Metal research, this Badlands CD is extremely hard to find at retail. Out of print perhaps? Badlands is definitely one of my favorite Heavy Metal albums that I have ever listened to. I only wish this band was able to stay together forever, yet lead vocalist Ray Gillen was called to heaven a little early, on December 1, 1993 at the age of 34. The unreal great guitarist – Jake E. Lee and Ray Gillan on vocals may be the two main musical focal points of Badlands, yet Eric Singer on drums and Greg Chaisson on bass make for an ear bending and jaw dropping rhythm section – stuff of legend. Anyone that knows and enjoys Old School Heavy Metal can certainly identify with Badlands, this band is from that mold. Jake E. Lee proved with Badlands that there was definitely a Heavy Metal life for him away from Ozzy Osbourne.

The eleven songs on Badlands encompass the melodic driven side of Heavy Metal enormously, with the late Ray Gillen’s unique vocals surpassing many of his peers of that time, when it came to harmony and range. I include the late Ray Gillen in with Tony Martin, Jeff Scott Soto, Gary Barden, Jorn Lande and Joe Lynn Turner when it comes to lead vocals status in Old School Heavy Metal. He belongs with this select group of singers. (I definitely left out some names here, yet I think my point is made). If not for his passing away at age 34, I am convinced Ray Gillen would have been a top tier Heavy Metal and/or Hard Rock vocalist to this very day. With so many new vocalists coming out of the woodwork in all of the Metal genres since the 1990’s, too many of them sound like each other or have little regard for originality. This is why I can never tire from the late Ray Gillen’s vocal talent.

My favorite song on Badlands is Dreams In The Dark, I played it six times over, very loud the other night and it served me right. Yes, I acted very silly jumping around in my basement like a psyched out kid, while this song and the rest of Badlands cranked. As the ultra great Blackie Lawless would say… I don’t need no doctor. All I need is to delve back into the Metal world of Old School Heavy Metal, (on a very consistent basis), turn on some Badlands and let the bull crap of the world around me, wallow in it’s own decrepit stank. I don’t look back upon Badlands as a supergroup, instead I look upon them as a fabulously talented Heavy Metal band that was too short lived. Long live the legacy of Badlands – their Heavy Metal still reigns supreme for me.

Track List For Badlands:

High Wire

Dreams in the Dark

Jade’s Song

Winter’s Call

Dancing on the Edge

Streets Cry Freedom

Hard Driver

Rumblin’ Train

Devil’s Stomp

Seasons

Ball & Chain – (this song is not on the vinyl record version of Badlands)

BADLANDS "Badlands" large album pic

HELIX – “Rock You” is my Heavy Metal Song for this weekend

Posted in 1980's hair metal albums, 1980's hair metal bands, 1980's hard rock albums, 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's heavy metal hits, 1980's classic rock, 1980's classic rock music, 1980's hair metal music, 1980's hard rock, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's heavy metal songs, classic heavy metal, classic rock music, cool album covers, essential heavy metal songs, hair metal music, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 1984, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 1984, heavy metal on vinyl, Music, old school hair metal bands, old school heavy metal, vintage heavy metal albums, vintage heavy metal bands with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 13, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Helix "Walkin' The Razors Edge" small picOn July 7th, 1984, Helix released Walkin’ the Razor’s Edge, (their 4th album/on Capitol Records). I was very much the fan of Helix back then… still am. You see, Helix is one of those Heavy Metal Bands that always liked to put the (gasp) fun into Heavy Metal Music. I used to own this album… on vinyl too. This Helix album is another one I would like to find again on vinyl, (yup, I got rid of this album for some insane reason years ago), only I want an original pressing from 1984 and at a thrift store price too. I will find this album again on one of my Metal hunts… I can feel it. For now, I am Metal psyched to at least own a digital copy of the single Rock You from Walkin’ the Razor’s Edge. This is one cool and fun – Heavy Metal song from 1984. Rock You started playing in my head earlier today, therefore, I cranked up this song on my stereo system and it served me right. This is a tried and true, Classic Heavy Metal Anthem that still works for me. Rock You is my Heavy Metal song for this weekend of September 12/13 of ’09. I have compiled the lyrics below, just to prove my point as to why this song is fun. LONG LIVE HELIX and… ROCK YOU!

ROCK YOU:

(chorus -1)

Give me an R-O-C-K 
Whatcha got (ROCK) 
And whatcha gonna do (ROCK YOU) 
Gimme an R-O-C-K 
Whatcha got (ROCK) 
And whatcha gonna do (ROCK YOU) 
Hot as a pistol 
Loaded like a gun 
Waiting for some action 
Gotta have my fun 
Don’t just sit there 
C’mon get up and move 
If you want to 
Tell ya’ what we’re gonna do 

(chorus-2) 

Rock you (ROCK YOU) 
Rock You (ROCK YOU) 
I’ve been waiting for so long 
For the outcome 
Gotta play it strong 
So just don’t sit there 
C’mon get up and move 
If you want to 
Tell ya’ what we’re gonna do 
(chorus-2) 
(chorus-1) 
(solo) 
Rock you 
Don’t just sit there 
C’mon get up and move 
If you want to 
Tell ya’ what we’re gonna do 
(chorus-2-out)

To the best of my Metal research, here is the current 2009 lineup of Helix:

Jim Lawson on Guitar
Brian Vollmer on Vocals
Paul Fonseca on Bass
Rick VanDyk on Guitar
Brent Niemi on Drums

Helix "Walkin' the Razor's Edge" large pic

BLUE OYSTER CULT – “Fire Of Unknown Origin”, 1981 album is a Rock Classic

Posted in 1980's classic rock bands, 1980's hard rock albums, 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's heavy metal hits, 1980's popular rock bands, 1980's rock albums, 1980's rock music, 1980's classic rock, 1980's classic rock music, 1980's hard rock, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's heavy metal songs, Album Review, classic hard rock, classic hard rock bands, classic hard rock music, classic heavy metal albums, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock music, classic rock songs, cool album covers, essential classic rock albums, essential hard rock albums, essential heavy metal albums, essential rock albums, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock songs, hard rock vocalists, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal music, heavy metal vocalists, metal odyssey, Music, old school hard rock, old school heavy metal, Rock, rock music, rock music vocals, rock vocalists, vintage hard rock albums, vintage heavy metal albums, vintage heavy metal bands, vintage rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 27, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Blue Oyster Cult "Fire of Unknown Origin" small picBlue Oyster Cult released “Fire Of Unknown Origin” in 1981, which was perfect timing for me. I already had Kiss, Foreigner, Cheap Trick, Queen, Ozzy Osbourne, AC/DC and Bad Company in my system back then, being wowed by Blue Oyster Cult was my ears next step in branching out into the Heavy Music world. Back in 1981, there was the choice of buying music on 8 track, I bought “Fire Of Unknown Origin” on this medium – thank you very much. (I no longer have this 8 track from yesteryear, the 8 track player is a memory as well). This album is just another example of what melded my Metal and Hard Rock Music tastes at a young age, (I was fifteen years old in 1981). Another stepping stone album, if you will, towards the lifetime of Metal and Hard Rock Music adoration that I behold. In my Metal opinion, this BOC album is an early 1980’s Heavy Metal meets Hard Rock album, that has consistently lured me back for many a listen over the years.

I always appreciated the lead vocals of Eric Bloom. The mellowness that carpets his vocals is a signature sound of BOC. The biggest hit from “Fire Of Unknown Origin” was “Burnin’ For You”, where the vocals of Eric Bloom and the semi-heaviness of the music really compliment one another. This song was a mainstream FM radio favorite for years, one of my favorite Hard Rock songs ever. “Joan Crawford”, “Heavy Metal: The Black and Silver” and “Fire Of Unknown Origin” are three other songs from this album that I could never get enough of. I have always liked this entire album, “Fire Of Unknown Origin” comes highly recommended from me to younger and new fans of BOC and/or Classic Rock. This is one of those times where I honestly state, this is just a great album of Hard Rock and heavy songs, a true classic.

Blue Oyster Cult "Fire of Unknown Origin" large pic

BOSTON – “Don’t Look Back” sealed album provides a very cool Classic Rock find

Posted in 1970's classic rock albums, 1970's classic rock albums sealed, 1970's classic rock bands, 1970's classic rock songs, 1970's hard rock bands, 1970's classic rock music, 1970's hard rock, 1970's Rock, 1970's rock music, 1980's classic rock bands, 1980's rock music, 1980's classic rock music, 1980's hard rock, Album Review, classic hard rock, classic hard rock bands, classic hard rock music, classic rock, classic rock 1978, classic rock album finds, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock music, classic rock songs, collecting classic rock, collecting music, collecting rock music, cool album covers, essential classic rock albums, essential hard rock albums, essential rock albums, everyday experiences, flea market finds, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock guitarists, hard rock songs, hard rock vocalists, Music, old school hard rock, Rock, rock & roll, rock album reviews, rock and roll, rock and roll memorabilia, rock music, rock music vocals, rock vocalists, thrift store finds, thrift store rock music finds, vintage hard rock albums, vintage rock album finds, vintage rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 25, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150On one of my recent Hard Rock/Heavy Metal hunts via the second hand route, I came across a true Classic Rock album that I grabbed ahold of within milliseconds of spotting it… Boston “Don’t Look Back”. As a Metal bonus, this great album is also – still factory sealed. That is so right, this vintage Boston album which was released on August 2, 1978, has still, it’s original plastic wrapping protecting it for thirty one years. I never owned “Don’t Look Back” on album before, finding a mint copy of it now, in 2009, is so fine. Sure, I have Boston on CD, yet landing one of my favorite Classic Rock bands on sealed vinyl, on a trip to a thrift store unleashes a cool high for me… every time. I realize this price always gets mentioned when I write about my vintage album finds, it is the truth when reveal it only cost fifty cents. Yikes, that is cheaper than most of the plastic prizes my daughters pay for at the (what I still call) bubble gum machines in front of the grocery stores.

I just can’t say enough about the song writing found on “Don’t Look Back”, the music and lyrics are just prime examples of what Classic Rock and Hard Rock is about. This is an album where the two biggest hits are my favorite two hits as well. Going on decades now, the guitar leads on the song “Don’t Look Back” still sends me into a Hard Rock high. If “A Man I’ll Never Be” has gone down in Rock Music history as a ballad, then so be it. Musically, it really cannot be disputed as a ballad… so I just consider this song as my second favorite ballad of all time. (My favorite ballad ever is “Home Sweet Home” by Motley Crue, which I posted on this Metal Odyssey blog in recent weeks). As I stop to ponder, Boston was/is in a Hard Rock class of their own… what other band out there really sounds like them, musically or vocally? Orion The Hunter comes to mind, with their one album, (released on May 9, 1984). Realistically, Orion The Hunter sounded like Boston due to the band members being: Boston guitarist Barry Goudreau, lead singer Fran Cosmo (who became the vocalist for Boston in the 1990’s) and the late Brad Delp who provided background vocals on the “Orion The Hunter” album. Honestly, can a spinoff  band of Boston count when trying to name another band that has that legendary Boston sound?

This is what makes hunting for Hard Rock and Heavy Metal music so interesting… once I land a find, I begin to seek out further the history and Rock Music family tree of the band and album I find. All of this Hard Rock happiness and it only cost fifty cents. I am not too interested in opening the sealed plastic wrap that has protected this album for so long… I am quite content to just stare at it and keep it as a Classic Rock collectible for now. In the end, looking for Hard Rock and Heavy Metal finds can be an educational trip into Rock History. Plus, paying fifty cents for a Boston album that is originally sealed, is extremely more frugal and genuine than paying fifty thousand dollars to rent out twenty eight acres of fun, for one week, on Martha’s Vineyard.

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JOURNEY – “Arrival” is a 2001 album I finally bought in 2009

Posted in 1970's classic rock bands, 1980's classic rock bands, 1980's rock albums, 1980's rock music, 1980's hard rock, 1990's hard rock music, Album Review, classic hard rock, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock music, essential classic rock albums, essential rock albums, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock guitarists, hard rock songs, hard rock vocalists, Music, old school hard rock, Rock, rock album reviews, rock music, rock music vocals, rock vocalists, vintage rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 20, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150When it comes to Rock and Hard Rock Music, I always have put Journey on my listening rotation. I am guilty of not keeping up with the purchases of new CD’s over the years from Journey, “Arrival” is a perfect example of this. After the 1986 album “Raised On Radio”, I never picked up “Trial By Fire”, “Arrival” (until now) or “Generations”. You betcha I did grab a copy of “Revelation”… the Walmart 2 CD/1 DVD version too. It is not as if I totally forgot about Journey, these albums are just victims of the hordes of releases out there I have always wanted to buy… financially it is impossible to buy everything. Man, I am impressed by this Journey album… more than that, I cannot believe it took me this long to land “Arrival” into my music collection. I guess after each listen to “Arrival”, all I can really say to myself is what was I waiting for and thinking?  (I should have just bought this album years ago and stop worrying about how much money I spend on music!). I can’t comprehend how this album has not sold over a million copies? What gives? If “Arrival” was fronted by the legendary Steve Perry and released back in the 1980’s, it surely would have been multi platinum… wouldn’t it? Who knows, we shall never know, it is all make believe speculation on my part. All I do know is that “Arrival” is chock full of Rock and Hard Rock songs that are premium quality, in my Metal opinion. The song writing on “Arrival” is so outrageously good, I shake my head and thank the fact Journey is still around Rocking today.

Neal Schon is tremendous on guitar, (as usual), especially on “Livin’ To Do”… a choice favorite song of mine from this album. “Higher Place” is the opening song, the one and only song I was familiar with before I bought “Arrival”. “Higher Place” is the perfect table setter for this album, it has all things Journey about it happening. “I Got A Reason” is another song that really stands out for me, the lyrics and upbeat melody delivers plenty of highs here.  Steve Augeri on lead vocals does sound extremely close to Steve Perry… yet I will always state – there is only one Steve Perry, only one. With that off my chest, Steve Augeri does a smash up job on lead vocals, this guy can sing. On “With Your Love”, Steve Augeri makes me really like a ballad for a change. Neal Schon again, on guitar, adds the strength to this ballad that makes it rise up with musical emotion. I cannot hesitate to recommend “Arrival” to any fan of Classic Rock and Hard Rock, of any generation. Walmart has this CD in their retail store… that is where I found “Arrival”, plus it was an even five dollars. Five dollars, for a sealed (not used) CD… there are many times the Walmart CD aisles Rock.

Journey, as they appeared on “Arrival”: Neal Schon on guitar & backing vocals, Steve Augeri on lead vocals, Jonathan Cain on keyboards & backing vocals, Ross Valory on bass guitar & backing vocals and Deen Castronovo on drums & backing vocals. “Arrival” was released on April 3, 2001.

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SAVATAGE – “Day After Day” cover song was in my head today

Posted in 1980's hard rock albums, 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's heavy metal ballads, 1980's heavy metal cover songs, 1980's live heavy metal albums, 1980's popular rock bands, 1980's rock music, 1980's hard rock, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's heavy metal songs, 1980's metal music, 1986 heavy metal albums, 1986 heavy metal music, Album Review, classic heavy metal albums, classic metal, essential hard rock albums, essential heavy metal albums, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 1986, heavy metal cover songs, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal on vinyl, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal odyssey, Metal Reviews, Music, old school heavy metal, vintage heavy metal albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 19, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

16375You know those moments or days when  you experience a song that just seems to arrive or enter your mind, without being invited? It is subconscious for certain, something triggers a particular song to begin playing in my brain, be it secondary thoughts, reflections, images and/or events that happen in the course of a day’s routine. Today, I had the Savatage cover song of “Day After Day” playing repeat in my head. I honestly do not know why. I have not listened to this song from Savatage for many years, possibly a couple of decades. “Day After Day” is a song from the Savatage album “Fight For The Rock”, (released back in 1986). It is a cool song, without doubt  a Hard Rock, borderline Heavy Metal cover version, compared to the original 1971 Rock version from Badfinger. I used to have this original “Fight For The Rock” vinyl, heck, I bought it back when it first came out. Over the years, I sold it for some oddball reason or another.

“Fight For The Rock” was not an album representing the Progressive Metal that Savatage is now so well known for. This is a unique album out of the Savatage  Metal catalog. Personally, I cannot look down on this album just because it was a detour from the Metal sound that Savatage was creating, up to the point of it’s release. Savatage certainly powered back mightily with future albums that bestowed their heaviness and Progressive Metal songs. As I see it, I bought this album back in 1986 for a reason… I liked it, I liked Savatage and their brand of Metal, still do. I have always been an admirer of the vocals of Jon Oliva and the guitar play of his brother Criss Oliva. This album must have made an impression on me many years ago for “Day After Day” to suddenly play over inside of my head today.

200px-Fight_for_the_Rock

Cheap Trick “Special One” is just that and more

Posted in 1970's hard rock, 1970's Rock, 1980's hard rock albums, 1980's rock albums, 1980's rock music, 1980's hard rock, 1990's hard rock music, Album Review, classic hard rock, classic hard rock music, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock music, cool album covers, essential hard rock albums, essential rock albums, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock drummers, hard rock guitarists, hard rock music this decade, hard rock songs, hard rock vocalists, Music, Rock, rock & roll, rock and roll, rock music, rock music vocals, rock vocalists, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 19, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

It is quite apparent, from looking at my past posts, that I am a Cheap Trick fan. I get such a listening thrill from their brand of Rock, both past and present. If Cheap Trick were to have floundered, lost a few steps musically, I would have lost interest in following them – of course. Many bands have done just that, floundered after years of success. (I used to think The Police were going to release a new killer album every 2 to 3 years, way back in 1984… who knew?). Well, enough with this as my opener… Cheap Trick really has done what many bands can only wish for… continued musical output that beams with integrity and relevance. The integrity is represented by Cheap Trick creating Rock/Hard Rock music that for me, is as energy filled, catchy and memorable as the “Dream Police” and/or “All Shook Up” albums from 25 years ago. On “Special One”, (released in 2003), this is not a Rock Band that sounds tired or weary – this is a band that sounds as if they are embarking on a Rock mission with their musical tanks fully loaded, with new ideas. Another aspect of integrity that Cheap Trick bestows, is the plain fact, that they are obviously not remotely attempting to cash in on their name or past success.

“Special One” is quite special indeed… it is a fitting prelude to the “Rockford” album, (released in 2006), where Cheap Trick in my Metal opinion, has landed as convincing a one-two Hard Rock punch that any fan could ever imagine or hope for. (See my “Rockford” review listed under album reviews on Metal Odyssey). Once I listened to “Rockford” upon it’s release, I felt and heard the continuation of what Cheap Trick is truly conveying here – that gifted musicians will always create great music. “Special One” is an album that does not tease at what is to come, this Rock album states of what is to come from Cheap Trick this decade. No watered down ballads, no instant radio hits, rather, “Special One” exemplifies what Rock and Hard Rock used to be, carried over with a flare for todays sound. The songs are accessible, not excessive, written with the blend of lyrics and music that glows with the Cheap Trick brand. That is my case stated for relevance.

Not that I am fast forwarding here, the last track on “Special One” titled “Hummer”, is a song that celebrates the ability for anyone to… hum. All kidding aside, this song is highlighted by the humming vocal tones of Robin Zander. (The liner notes do not suggest anyone else doing the humming, however, each band member does get credited with vocal input). After my first listen to “Hummer”, I was enlightened to now realize that humming is cool in a Rock song… Cheap Trick has made it that way. (Trust me, I still get annoyed when total strangers walk past me in the grocery store humming aloud). The first track titled “Scent Of A Woman” is as classic as it gets with Cheap Trick. The brashness of Rick Nielsen on guitar coupled with the up tempo beat, lends itself to being one of those Cheap Trick songs you have to jump around to. Tracks 2 thru 10, found between the two songs I mentioned here, create the Cheap Trick – Hard Rock sandwich that is flavored with a tad of old school and structured with lyrical/musical perfection, with attitude for today. Longevity in Rock Music does not always equate to cool albums – Cheap Trick’s longevity has equated to the coolest consistency of Rock & Hard Rock, that I hope never ends.

Cheap Trick: Robin Zander – vocals & guitars, Rick Nielsen – guitars & vocals, Tom Petersson – 12 string bass & vocals, Bun E. Carlos – drums & vocals.

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MAGNUM – Discography of studio & live albums

Posted in 1970's hard rock, 1970's Rock, 1980's hard rock albums, 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's rock albums, 1980's rock music, 1980's hard rock, 1980's heavy metal music, classic hard rock music, classic rock, classic rock music, current hard rock albums, current hard rock music, Hard Rock, hard rock music this decade, prog metal albums, prog metal music, progressive hard rock albums, progressive hard rock music, progressive metal, progressive metal albums, progressive metal music, progressive metal today, progressive rock, progressive rock discography, progressive rock music, Rock, rock music, vintage hard rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 17, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

magnum

Magnum, the Progressive Rock/Hard Rock band that I really get a thrill out of listening to. At times, they can be heavy, ever so melodic… if you are into true Classic Rock/Hard Rock and/or Progressive music, you should give Magnum a try… this discography you may find useful. Magnum has been making music since their debut album “Kingdom Of Madness” from 1978. Covering four decades, this is a band that gets my attention and respect. Musicianship, Magnum.

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Studio Albums: 

Kingdom Of Madness * Magnum II * Chase The Dragon * The Eleventh Hour * On A Storyteller’s Night * Vigilante * Wings Of Heaven * Goodnight L.A. * Sleepwalking * Keeping The Nite Light Burning * Rock Art * Breath Of Life * Brand New Morning * Princess Alice And The Broken Arrow * Into The Valley Of The Moon King *

Live Albums:

Marauder * Invasion Live * The Spirit * The Last Dance * Stronghold * Days Of Wonder * The River Sessions * Wings Of Heaven Live *

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TESLA – “Forever More” a solid Hard Rock album and band

Posted in 1980's hard rock, 1980's heavy metal music, 1990's hard rock music, Album Review, classic hard rock music, classic rock, classic rock music, cool album covers, current hard rock albums, current hard rock music, current hard rock songs, current heavy metal albums, current heavy metal music, essential hard rock albums, essential rock albums, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock albums 2009, hard rock drummers, hard rock guitarists, hard rock music this decade, hard rock songs, hard rock vocalists, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 2009, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 2009, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal this decade, Music, recent heavy metal albums, Rock, rock music, rock music vocals, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 16, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Tesla_aff_smTesla has released an album of 12 brand new tunes this past year titled “Forever More”, it should not be ignored or overlooked. I feel this new Tesla album is a solid musical statement, (“Forever More” was released on October 7, 2008). All 12 songs are what I consider to be Hard Rock excellence that lyrically relates. The lyrics of these songs are a celebration of life’s ups and downs, delivered in true – blue collar, Hard Rock fashion from Tesla. “So What!” is a heavy, musically driven tune, it essentially tells you to shrug off the complaining in life, plus who cares about other people’s whining as well. “Pvt. Ledbetter” is a feel good track about a soldier who is going to come home from war, (not to give away the storyline), the first listen to this song had me worried that it would be a sad ending. Jeff Keith on vocals sounds like he is having the time of his life, he sings better than ever on “Forever More”, (in my Metal opinion).

Every song is excellent, it is obvious from the quality of “Forever More” that this Tesla effort was well worth the wait! This album is very well written, both lyrically and musically. This is a real Hard Rock album of songs… the way it is supposed to be. If the power of this Hard Rock album  gets you psyched out, then you will be searching out the entire Tesla catalog of albums, guaranteed. Tesla has returned in grand, Hard Rocking form, thank goodness. Tesla has always been a favored Rock/Hard Rock band of mine… ever since the day I heard “Modern Day Cowboy” from the “Mechanical Resonance” album, over twenty years ago. Man, does time really fly! I was fortunate enough to see Tesla live, once, when they opened for Def Leppard. It was the Hysteria Tour for Def Leppard, (late ’80’s), both Tesla and Def Leppard played in the round – at the Hartford Civic Center, in expensive Connecticut. Tesla played an entire acoustic set… I was not expecting an acoustic jam that night, yet I dug it pretty well. 

Tesla is: Jeff Keith on lead vocals, Frank Hannon on electric and acoustic guitars & keyboards, Dave Rude on electric, acoustic and slide guitars, Brian Wheat on bass guitar and Troy Luccketta on drums and percussion. The liner notes within the CD digipak are the coolest, with 16 pages of full color band photos, with 2 pages devoted to each band member, filled with great full color photos and thank you’s for each. Tons of credits and a super cool, 2008 year in review, written by Tesla, makes for a classy touch.

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THE FIRM – what made this Rock Band’s debut album so appealing?

Posted in 1980's hard rock albums, 1980's popular rock bands, 1980's rock albums, 1980's rock music, 1980's hard rock, Album Review, Bad Company, cannibal corpse, classic rock, cool album covers, cover songs, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock drummers, hard rock guitarists, hard rock songs, hard rock vocalists, Music, Rock, rock & roll, rock and roll, rock music, rock vocalists, vintage hard rock albums, vintage rock albums, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 14, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150Back in 1985, The Firm released their self titled, debut album “The Firm”. I remember being very curious about this band… would the album be heavy? Would this album be a dud? Why is Paul Rodgers not with Bad Company? Is Jimmy Page going to scorch on “The Firm” album? So many questions were going on in my mind back then, about The Firm’s first LP. Well, in my Metal opinion, this album was/still is, one of the more commercially accepted, radio friendly, Rock albums that I will still listen to… even in the middle of my Thrash Metal and Death Metal moods. During one of my frequent thrift store visits this past Winter, I came across this actual album, in close to perfect condition too. The album jacket shows no wear at all, plus the vinyl itself plays without a hitch. Upon finding this album, I instantly grabbed it, there was no second thought about it. (At 50 cents, there was no risk involved, only reward). What makes The Firm and their debut album so appealing? 

After all of these years, the reasons for my liking The Firm have never changed. First of course, is the lead singer Paul Rodgers. Bad Company will forever be a Hard Rock icon for me, especially the Paul Rodgers fronted version of this legendary band. Secondly, how can any Hard Rock and/or Heavy Metal enthusiast not want to get into a band that the revered Jimmy Page plays lead guitar for? Thirdly, “The Firm” as a whole, is not a heavy album and not a dud either. This album falls in between… it is a Rock album that has catchy, memorable tunes. When I really think about it, I do not believe that The Firm ever sounded like any Rock Band before them – save for Bad Company, due to the vocals of Paul Rodgers. However, musically, was there ever a song that sounded like “Radioactive”? Maybe there was, I just am not aware of it. That song drives me crazy, for it is so non-heavy, so corny, so different, yet I really like it, to this very day. I guess The Firm was that Rock Band that dared to be different, in 1985. “Satisfaction Guaranteed” is another song that chugs along, it never seems to get kick started, (and I swear you can almost feel this song wanting to get up and scream), yet again – I really like it.

“You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” is once again, a song that makes me feel like I have sold out my Metal soul to Pop Music. I actually sing aloud the lyrics, (when I am alone). Just to justify my singing these lyrics… I will sing them in my own, unique, Death Metal voice. Quite honestly, this song would be huge if a Death Metal band covered it. This is rather nit picking, regardless, if you take a look at the front album cover of “The Firm”, why on Metal Earth is the “i” in the word “FiRM” in lower case? This has not troubled me to any point of needing medication, I only look at it and wonder why? I do realize it was a logo design call, yet I always get the urge to want to fix the lower case “i” and make it an upper case “I”

Hey, all kidding aside, I feel The Firm was a darn decent Rock Band, the coolness of Paul Rodgers vocals and the enhanced and unparalleled guitar play of Jimmy Page make this debut album happen for me. I have no problem in recommending the debut album from The Firm, to anyone who is interested. Also note, in my Metal opinion, Tony Franklin on bass and Chris Slade on drums are no slouches either. Anyone who goes on to be the drummer for AC/DC, well, is legend. As I see it, I will turn to this album now and again and enjoy it. Plus, if Hammerfall can do a cover of “My Sharona” by The Knack, heck, then Cannibal Corpse could most certainly do a cover of “Money Can’t Buy” by The Firm.

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Happy Birthday Bun E. Carlos of Cheap Trick!

Posted in 1970's hard rock, 1970's Rock, 1980's rock music, 1980's hard rock, classic rock, current hard rock albums, Drums, essential hard rock albums, essential rock albums, Hard Rock, hard rock drummers, hard rock guitarists, hard rock songs, live rock albums, Music, new hard rock album, Rock, rock & roll, rock and roll, rock celebrity birthdays, rock music, vintage hard rock albums, vintage rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 13, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150-1Bun E. Carlos, drummer of Hard Rock legends, Cheap Trick, turned 58 Rockin’ years young today, (June 12, 2009). Metal Odyssey extends a huge Happy Birthday to Bun E. Carlos! I am not holding back when I say, I have been a fan of Cheap Trick since I was in 6th grade… (back in the late 1970’s)… when owning 8-track tapes of Cheap Trick was the norm and collecting Kiss trading cards was cool. I still get a cool kick from listening to Bun E. Carlos’s  classic drum intro, to the live track of “Ain’t That A Shame” off of the “at Budokan” album. Listening to Bun. E. Carlos over the years, I have never lost sight of the fact, that this drummer is as capable and talented as any other in Hard Rock history. Just give the album “Dream Police” a listen, especially the title track, you will hear Bun E. Carlos solidifying the song with precision. Bun E. Carlos has proven to me, it is not the glitz and glam that make a real Hard Rock drummer, it is the playing, the integrity in the musicianship that really matters. Many Hard Rock drummers have the look, yet they do not have half the talent with the drumsticks, like Mr. Carlos bestows. Bun E. Carlos is not an overnight sensation, this is a drummer that along with the entire Cheap Trick band… have paid their Hard Rock dues spanning three decades. 

Cheap Trick, as stated on the official Cheap Trick website, have achieved 40 gold and platinum recording awards, have more than 5,000 performances, 29 movie soundtracks and 20 million records sold. If I am not mistaken, this appears to be Hard Rock success and excellence, personified. 

I am Metal smitten that Robin Zander, Rick Nielsen, Tom Petersson and of course, Bun E. Carlos are still Rocking heavy and steady to this very day! Cheap Trick will be releasing yet another new album, adding more credence to an already storied and legendary career. As reported on the official Cheap Trick website, “The Latest” will be the new Cheap Trick album, with it’s release date set for June 23, 2009. Amazon.com will have exclusive rights in selling “The Latest” for one month. The official Cheap Trick website also states that limited editions of this album will be available on LP and 8-track tapes… that is correct… 8 -track tapes!! (Now that is what I call vintage). Thank you Bun E. Carlos and Cheap Trick for your incredible contributions to Rock and Hard Rock history… thank you for being a mainstay in my music listening life.

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Fastway – revisiting one cool, Heavy Metal debut album

Posted in 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's rock music, 1980's hard rock, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's metal music, Album Review, classic metal, classic rock, cool album covers, essential hard rock albums, essential heavy metal albums, essential rock albums, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock guitarists, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal music, Metal Reviews, Motorhead, Music, old school heavy metal, Rock, rock music, vintage hard rock albums, vintage heavy metal albums, vintage rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 26, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150In 1983, Fastway was the apple of my Metal eye. Today, well, Fastway is an old school Heavy Metal favorite of mine still, with their debut album aptly titled “Fastway”, being what I consider their best material. Man, when I heard the news that “Fast” Eddie Clarke was leaving Motorhead, I was floored like any loyal fan, back in the day. Then, the word broke, that “Fast” Eddie Clarke was forming a new Heavy Metal band called Fastway… my Metal anticipation was climbing by the second. Knowing that Pete Way (formerly of UFO) was to play bass alongside “Fast” Eddie Clarke only made this lineup more potent by the second. (I later found out that Pete Way never did get to actually play bass on the Fastway debut album).

Let’s go back in time now, to a wonderful department store named Caldor. You see, where I grew up, back in the 1980’s, Caldor was the biggest Hard Rock and Heavy Metal album supplier in my town. (It was the greatest place for a Metalhead teenager to go to for tunes, living in expensive nowhere Connecticut). I used to fantasize about Caldor while I was serving time in Parochial School and later High School. My thoughts strayed right into that glorious Caldor, envisioning the very long record aisles, lined with Yes, Iron Maiden, Bad Company, Ted Nugent, Black Sabbath… and then one day, in 1983, I remembered that the new Fastway album was to be released. Oh, the surefire Metal joy I would experience if that Fastway album was to be at Caldor! Minutes after I was released from being imprisoned in that High School, I was there… at Caldor. Fastway was also there. You betcha. With my Metal heart beating quickly, I reached for this precious new vinyl pressing, had it in my hands…  what is this? Located on the back of this Fastway debut album was a strange looking little mini record, it was not a 45 rpm, (it was the size of a 45 rpm and had a tiny album hole in the center), nor was it anything that I really saw before. It was supposed to be with this album, for it was the single for the song “Far Far From Home” – this song never made it on the actual album itself, therefore, the record company added it on as a separate single bonus! Man, at this moment, this teenage Metalhead was on Metal cloud nine.

Alright, as for the actual Metal found on this Fastway debut album, it rocked me straight into Heavy Metal bliss for an entire Summer – and Fall and Winter too. The tunes were so catchy, guitar driven and groove laden (courtesy of “Fast” Eddie Clarke), that it was one difficult album for me to put down for a lengthy period of time. “Say What You Will” was the most notoriously recognizable track off of this album. The opening guitar lead by “Fast” Eddie Clarke repeats throughout the entire song, instead of being repetitious, it was (and still is) Metal delicious. The vocals of the underrated Dave King were reminiscent of Robert Plant upon my initial listen to this album. However, back in the ’80’s it seemed to be the trend to point the finger at too many Hard Rock and Metal vocalists – accusing them of ripping off the legendary Robert Plant. “Easy Livin'” is definitely my favorite track on this debut, it is fast, slick and the guitar play of “Fast” Eddie Clarke shines. “You Got Me Runnin'” and “Give It All You Got” are heavy, fast paced – melody makers, providing the maximum Heavy Metal grooves you can possibly get out of three minute songs. 

In a Metal nutshell, the overall enjoyment that this Fastway debut album has provided me, sincerely has lasted a lifetime. This is one of those albums that I bought on CD as quickly as it was available. The efficiency of this album is what makes it a winner, for me. The efficiency of the songs structures, both musically and time wise, coupled with “Fast” Eddie Clarke on guitar, Dave King on vocals, Jerry Shirley on drums and Mickey Feat on bass, makes the debut Fastway album a Heavy Metal treat for me – to reach for to this very day.

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Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band – Rocks forever on “Nine Tonight”

Posted in 1970's hard rock, 1970's Rock, 1980's rock music, 1980's hard rock, Album Review, classic rock, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock songs, live rock albums, Music, rock & roll, rock & roll hall of fame inductees, rock and roll, rock and roll hall of fame inductees, rock music, rock music vocals, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 24, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

In my Metal opinion, Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band are an American Rock N’ Roll treasure. Bob Seger was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, in 2004. “Nine Tonight” is a live album that is also a greatest hits, based on the song selection. This album was recorded live in June 1980 in Detroit and October 1980 in Boston. Some of Bob Seger’s most successful hits are here with “Against The Wind”, “Hollywood Nights” and “We’ve Got Tonight”. The good time Rockers are here too, Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band do not disappoint with “The Fire Down Below”, “Old Time Rock And Roll” and “Her Strut”. Wow, does Bob Seger make these songs really come alive, coupled with Seger’s vocals and the excellent musicianship of The Silver Bullet Band. There is just a real, feel good vibe that is going on when you listen to “Nine Tonight”. I always say, be true to the roots of Hard Rock. For bands of yesteryear, like Bob Seger’s, without question, helped pave the way for the new Hard Rock bands of today.

I will go out on a Metal limb here and say, Metallica could never do a better job with the Bob Seger classic “Turn The Page”, (from the Back In ’72 album by Bob Seger – released in 1973), their cover version of this song is just that, a cover. (Keep in mind, I hold Metallica in the highest Metal regards). This was a classic example of nothing beats the original. It does go to show, that there are Metal bands out there that dig Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band, Metallica is proof of this. I could never resist any of Bob Seger’s brand of Rock through the years, the gravitation towards his voice and blue collar Rock & Roll has always made me a believer in his music. The combination of the songs with their memorable lyrics, plus the live atmosphere definitely provokes a positive Rockin’ good time on this CD/album.

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Happy Birthday to ZZ Top legend Dusty Hill!

Posted in 1970's hard rock, 1970's Rock, 1980's hard rock, classic rock, Hard Rock, Music, Rock, rock & roll, rock & roll hall of fame inductees, rock and roll, rock and roll hall of fame inductees, rock celebrity birthdays, rock music, southern hard rock with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 20, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150Metal Odyssey would like to extend a tremendously LOUD – Happy Birthday! – to legendary bassist and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Dusty Hill of ZZ Top! Dusty Hill turns a real cool 60 today, May 19, 2009. I have been fortunate enough to see the legendary ZZ Top live in concert, (around 1995 – if I am correct), at the Hartford Civic Center. The opening act was none other than… the amazing George Thorogood! That was one incredible night of Rock N’ Roll! Yes, I did buy a souvenir from that concert, it was the infamous ZZ Top keychain. Man, I loved that ZZ Top keychain, it was made out of pure Metal too. I just lost that wonderful souvenir about two years ago… it is a darn shame. Anytime I held that keychain in view, someone (yes even total strangers) would always say: “Hey, isn’t that the ZZ Top keychain”? It was quite a popular conversation piece for me. 

My favorite ZZ Top album ever, is “One Foot In The Blues” – released on November 22, 1994. This album is all heavy Blues, baby! The ZZ Top brand of Rockin’ Blues.This album holds the honor and distinction of being the only CD that I listened to the very morning of my Wedding Day. You betcha. This just so happens to be the CD that I listened to on that entire special day, plus it was a gift from my gorgeous wife to be as well . Dusty Hill, thank you for the fabulous Rock N’ Roll and heavy Blues you have created with ZZ Top all these years! I definitely have cool and special memories associated with the tunes of ZZ Top. I certainly applaud and truly appreciate your musicianship.

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