Tag Archives: Heavy Metal

12 Great Heavy Metal Albums From The 80’s That Are Under The Radar (Part 1)

Great Metal Albums from the 1980’s That Have Been Forgotten

Still one of the most exciting things for me is to be introduced to great music that I have never heard before. It doesn’t matter if it was made this year or thirty years ago. If you haven’t heard it before, it’s new to you, isn’t it?

I started thinking about bands casual heavy metal fans may be familiar with by name, but not their work with the exception of possibly a song or two.  That lead to the creation of this list. Rather than focus on great albums from well known bands such as Judas Priest, Slayer, Megadeth, Metallica, Anthrax, Iron Maiden, Dio, Van Halen, Testament, Overkill, Exodus or any of the well known bands, these are bands and albums that may have had a brief moment in the spotlight or are known for the wrong reasons, like an MTV video.

So in chronological order, here is part one of twelve albums that you should check out.

1980 – Angel WitchAngel Witch (Bronze Records)

What a debut album should be: songs with one amazing hook after another. Angel Witch emerged from The New Wave of British Heavy Metal looking like they would rise to the top. This trio lead by Kevin Heybourne lead singer and guitarist should have conquered the world. For whatever reason it never happened.  Almost every song on here is a classic in songwriting 101. Continue reading

The New York Times Obituaries Occasionally Celebrates Low-Lifes, Yet Ignores Deserving Artists and Notables

Who Gets A New York Times Obituary Write-up?

What do legendary blues and heavy metal guitarist, Gary Moore, rock album photographer Jim McCrary and playwright, screenwriter, author and jazz champion Max Wilk all have in common?

When they died, The New York Times did not cover their deaths in the obituary column. We all know space is limited, but these people were significant in their artistic fields, enriching the lives of countless others.  It would be nice had the self-proclaimed “newspaper of record” recorded and noted their amazing lives. But The Times editors felt these people were not deserving.

The official policy about who the The Times decides to write up is :

When we look to see whether someone had made a newsworthy impact in some way — who “made a wrinkle in the social fabric,” — we don’t equate significance with fame. In point of fact, 9 out of 10 people we write about are indeed not household names (the 10th is — a movie star, a secretary of state). But that doesn’t negate their importance. Most made their marks in quiet ways, out of the public limelight, but they still made a mark, possibly on your life and mine.

So who is deserving?

Apparently an unremarkable low-life, graffiti tagger, StayHigh 149, a.k.a.  Wayne Roberts , can get a full write-up.

Yes, Roberts definitely, as The Times puts it, “made a mark on your life and mine.”

More like a blemish.

Especially in New York City in the 1970’s when the city was bombarded with the eyesore of graffiti defacing public and private property.

As is noted in the obituary, this great man (sarcasm) in the 1960’s was working as a messenger on Wall Street and smoking about an ounce of marijuana a week, earning the Stay High nickname.

Inspired by other vandals tagging subway cars, he then began defacing public property.

Chris Pape a fellow graffiti  afficianado says in the Times obituary:

“He (Roberts) rode empty trains all day with markers in his pocket, and he wrote everywhere.” By the early ’80s, Pape said, drugs had begun to take their toll. Roberts left his World Trade Center job, and his wife, because of his drug use. “He was a functional junkie who occasionally did time in prison for stupid things,” Pape said. “He was like that for 20 years. He didn’t want to be found.”

For some reason, I can only think of the millions of wasted dollars that it cost taxpayers to eradicate the vandalism this cretin created.  As I have said before – graffiti is definitely not art.

This is the sort of person The New York Times chooses to cover in their obituaries?

For the record, when one of the most influential singers in heavy metal history, Ronnie James Dio, died on May 16, 2010, the following day The Times devoted 493 words to summing up his life.

Graffiti vandal Wayne Roberts had 838 words written about him.

Motörhead Live In Their Prime – 1980

Concert At Nottingham Theatre Royal Is Well Worth Viewing

motorhead tour booklet photo Brian GoodmanFor those of you who are fans of Motörhead this is definitely worth watching.  If you are not a fan, then this video should help make you one. This show captures the band in full control playing a scorching set with good audio and video. The classic line-up of Lemmy, Fast Eddie Clarke and Phil Taylor perform the following set:

 

Overkill
Too Late Too Late
Shoot You In The Back
Step Down
Jailbait
Leavin’ Here
Metropolis
Train Kept a Rollin’
Bomber
Motörhead

 

Cliff Burton’s Death and Metallica’s Commercial Popularity

Metallica’s Cliff Burton Died 25 Years Ago, September 27, 1986

In 1984, I already owned a 51 minute, soon to be thrash classic called Kill ‘Em All. So when I played a new cassette tape for my father and told him “this is the best heavy metal album I ever heard and one day this band will be acknowledged as great, although they will probably never be popular,” I was sure he would agree with me.

He agreed with one part- that they would never be popular and years later we would both be proven wrong. They did become very popular.  The band was Metallica and the cassette tape was Ride The Lightning.  My father couldn’t understand how I could listen to it.  Too fast, too loud, too much screaming. His hard rock tastes stopped somewhere between Black Sabbath and Alice Cooper.  Getting no radio airplay, Continue reading

Judas Priest Founder K.K. Downing Retires

The Band Will Make Its Final World Tour Without K.K. – What Really Happened?

In late April 2011 when Judas Priest announced that Ken “K.K.” Downing was “retiring” from the band just before kicking off their final world tour, it came as a huge shock to most heavy metal fans. The reasons given for the retirement in the official Judas Priest announcement are somewhat vague.  Downing clarified his position in two statements through his own web site.  Downing said in his first statement on April 21 2011:

“Dear friends,

It is with much regret that I will not be with you this summer. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your concerns about my health. Please rest assured that I am O.K.

There has been an ongoing breakdown in working relationship between myself, elements of the band, and the band’s management for some time.

Therefore I have decided to step down rather than to tour with negative sentiments as I feel that this would be a deception to you, our cherished fans.

However I would urge you to please support the Priest as I have no doubt that it will be a show not to be missed.”

Downing the lead guitarist, who developed the band with the lone remaining founder, bassist Ian Hill, must have Continue reading

The Best Heavy Metal Band That You Never Heard Of

Wargasm –Thrash Legends To A Handful of Fans

Incredible riffs, great songwriting and a blistering live show. Those are the ingredients that usually add up to music immortality and lots of money and success.

They should be up there with the all-time greats of heavy metal. Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth.  But they are not.

They started out being called Overkill and then Maniac. A name change to Wargasm was probably not for the best.  When I told people Continue reading

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall Of Fame Knows Nothing About Hard Rock Or Heavy Metal

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall Of Fame’s 5 Biggest Hard Rock / Heavy Metal Snubs

I am not one for lists. They are subjective and open to arguments.

Having written that, I will still compile a few lists here and there on this site and possibly instigate something Palin-esque (Michael not Sarah.)  So, with that warning, this list concerns one of the most meaningless institutions ever created – the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame.  Who cares about who is in and who is not? I certainly don’t. The idea that you are given an award or recognized by some all knowing group of people has never excited me.  I’m sure most bands really don’t care and it makes no difference in validating their career.

Yet to legions of dedicated fans of various bands, it does matter. They start online petitions, vent in Rolling Stone or on blogs about their band not being included in The RNRHOF. Every year when the inductees Continue reading