Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

1978 – IV – Kiss-A-Ganza

The last post for 1978 will kick off with a Kiss-a- ganza. Not one, not two, but 5 Kiss albums, plus lunch boxes, and what not.

Here is the Spotify playlist.

And the previous posts can be found at 1, 2 or 3.

Paul Stanley
Gene Simmons
Peter Criss
Ace Frehley

You take the best songs from each of these solo albums and it’s a pretty solid Kiss album. My list as follows and I’m sure others will have a different opinion.

Side A

  1. Rip It Out – Ace Frehley
  1. You Matter To Me – Peter Criss
  1. Tonight, You Belong To Me – Paul Stanley
  1. Ozone – Ace Frehley
  1. It’s Alright – Paul Stanley
  1. Love In Chains – Paul Stanley

Side B

  1. New York Groove – Ace Frehley
  1. Snow Blind – Ace Frehley
  1. Wouldn’t You Like To Know Me – Paul Stanley
  1. Take Me Away (Together As One) – Paul Stanley
  1. Mr Make Believe – Gene Simmons
  1. Goodbye – Paul Stanley

It’s top heavy with Space Ace and Star Paul because they had their creative juices flowing at this point in time, while Demon Gene and Cat Peter just didn’t have it.

And Ace struck big with his album because its basically a balls to the wall punk album before punk became such a big thing. “Rip It Out” has a punk vibe, with a drum solo and a rock guitar solo chucked in for good measure. 

For some reason, the R&B/Rod Stewart feel of “You Matter To Me” just works straight after “Rip It Out”.

And “Tonight, You Belong To Me” comes in at number 3, a masterpiece in melodic rockisms. If you ask me, it’s a three punch knockout.

At track 4 is a dirty and sleazy Ace track, with “Ozone” a groovy masterpiece in hard rock song writing which put some of the Led Zep work to shame at this point in time.  Even the lead break was very different to the standard blues licks Ace is renowned for.

Track 5 is “It’s Alright” from the Star Child, a nice little rocker, which flows straight after “Ozone” and the first side of my imaginary album, closes with another Star Child cut, in “Love In Chains”, a very mature song musically, especially when you listen to the guitar work and the lead breaks. 

Side B of the best album that never was, kicks off with “New York Groove”, a perfect sing along and clap along. And the Led Zep influenced “Snow Blind” had to be up next, because there’s no use being back in NY if you are not snow blind and lost in space. And how cool is that “Love Gun” style lick he brings in to the lead break.

Paul Stanley’s feel good and very commercial sounding, “Wouldn’t You Like To Know Me” is perfect at track 3 on Side B and Paul continues his momentum with “Take Me Away (Together As One)” which reminds me of a cross between “House Of The Rising Sun” and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”.

Demon Gene is Kirk Hammett on this album. His riffs were just not good enough. But “Mr Make Believe” ended up good enough to be included with its take on “Mr Blue Sky” and The Beatles catalogue. And the album that never was, closes with “Goodbye” from Paul Stanley. And how good is the last minute of “Goodbye”.

And of course, with all things Kiss, a best off collection came out called “Double Platinum”. If you didn’t have any of their records, you could have purchased this one, and still have a decent collection of songs. Provided you still had any funds left, after purchasing all four of the solo albums.

Cheap Trick – Heaven Tonight

“Surrender” is one of my favourite tracks because of that god damn addictive Chorus. 

“High Roller” hooks me in with its AC/DC vibe.

“Heaven Tonight” has a pretty addictive intro. It reminds me of “Kings And Queens” from Aerosmith.

Bob Seger – Stranger In Town

One of the best voices ever.

“Hollywood Nights” kicks it off and if you have never been to Hollywood, then you would have felt like you had after listening to this song and a story of a romantic Hollywood meeting, which led to marriage and then a violent broken marriage and how nothing that came after captured that Hollywood Night.

“Still The Same” is another one of those acoustic rolling rockers while “Old Time Rock and Roll’ is basically saying that today’s music ain’t got the same soul as the music that came before and you need that old time rock and roll to reminisce about those days of old.

And the song got multiple reboots in the 80’s via movies and TV shows like “Risky Business” and “Alf”.

“Feel Like A Number” has a riff which sounds like something else (like Filter’s “Take A Picture”) and lyrics which sum up life.

I take my card and I stand in line

Who hates waiting in line to take money out of their bank account. Like sheep, we need to wait to take what is ours.

To make a buck I work overtime

We have been conditioned from birth to believe that hard work will get you through life. We even take up jobs with higher salaries, which means we work more unpaid hours than ever before.

Dear sir letters keep comin’ in the mail

When you are behind in any debt, the letters never stop, until you are out on the streets or back at home, if that place still exists.

To IRS I’m another file

The tax man loves the poor and the middle class, as that’s the only way they can get money, because the rich corporations don’t pay any.

The Rolling Stones – Some Girls

It’s the singles which captured my interest like “Beasts Of Burden” and “Miss You”.

Dragon – O Zambesi

Dragon is one of those acts which captured a sound and style perfect for Australians. And while people might associate the band as Australian, they are in fact from New Zealand.

It was during this album cycle tour, that Dragon attempted to break through into the American market, which ended disastrous at a show in Dallas, Texas. Marc Hunter caused a riot, when he said that all Texans are faggots, which resulted in the band getting pelted with beer bottles, chairs, tables and other members of the audience holding guns out, yelling “I’m gonna kill ya”.

And Motley Crue have nothing on these bad boys. Check out the mayhem.

As soon as the band relocated to Sydney in 1975, their drummer died of a heroin overdose. Two members were involved in a serious car crash in 1977, where keyboardist Paul Hewson (their main songwriter in the 70’s) had his neck in a brace as well as having a broken arm and guitarist Robert Taylor needed plastic surgery. Paul Hewson eventually died of a drug overdose in 1985 and vocalist Marc Hunter died of smoking-related throat cancer in 1998.

“Still In Love With You” and “Are You Old Enough” still get constant radio play in Australia.

Grease (Soundtrack)

How can you not escape this movie?

It was everywhere for over a decade.

Frankie Valli kicks it off with the song “Grease”, the Travolta and Newton-John duet, “You’re The One That I Want” rocks out of the gates. “Rock N’ Roll Is Here To Stay” from the Sha Na Na’s tells us that rock and roll will never die.

Graham Bonnet – No Bad Habits

“I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight” has a riff which had George Michael very interested and eventually he used it for “Faith”. Of course, that riff is not in the original Bob Dylan version but made up by the guys in the band for their reinterpretation.

And that’s my wrap of 1978. 1977 here I come.

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

1978 – Part 3 – Power To The Rock N Roll Outlaws

Australian artists had a certain sound which seemed to connect with the world.

Being oceans apart from the many other continents aided this sound as music didn’t travel that fast to get to the land down under, which meant we had to listen to our albums with the same songs a bit more longer, or listen to the same songs on radio a little bit more longer or watch the live pub shows with the same songs a little bit more longer.

And when you went to a pub show and heard a certain sound/style rocking the joint and getting people into it, well it was a no brainer that if you formed a band, your style would have some of those elements.

And here my folks is Rose Tattoo.

Rose Tattoo – Rose Tattoo

The real Bad Boys of Rock N Roll, cut from the cloth of Heavy Metal Thunder and various pub brawls in Australia. And they had a singer called Angry Anderson, who didn’t mind spilling blood on stage either. At their Reading performance, he kept banging his head against the amp head until he spilt blood.

I saw a picture of the band once and I thought they would motor in on their Harley’s and bash everyone they saw.

Rose Tattoo is tied to biker culture the same way “Born To Be Wild” is. Maybe it’s got to do with Angry’s up bringing and how his Uncle was a biker.

Motley Crue and the Gunners have nothing on these guys. And Gunners covered “Nice Boys” on their live EP, which Rose Tattoo introduced as a Gunners song when they opened up for them on the “Use Your Illusion” tour down under in the early 90s.

“Rock N Roll Outlaw” starts off with the opening lyrics of “I don’t need lots of people telling me what to do”. Defiance and rebellion encapsulated in just a few words.

“Nice Boys”  don’t play rock and roll and “Remedy”is “Long Way To The Top” on steroids. 

AC/DC – Powerage

The ascendancy to world domination is almost there.

Who would have thought that in almost 2 years time, Bon Scott would be dead?

“Rock N Roll Damnation” is a great opening track. Musically, its typically AC/DC and Bon Scott lyrically, is growing into a beast of a writer.

Especially in the section when he sings; “Damnation, left a happy home, Damnation, to live on your own”.

And it continues in that vein, with Bon Scott singing “Damnation” and then something else after it, like “you got dollars in your eyes” or “chasin’ that pie in the sky”.

Life is about taking risks. You can stay at home and be comfortable or you can live.

“Down Payment Blues” has some of the best lyrics about life.

“Living on a shoestring, a fifty cent millionaire, open to charity, rock n roller welfare”

Life is not easy trying to make end meets as a rock and roller.

“I’ve got holes in my shoes and im way overdue, down payment blues”

One thing you can’t escape in Australia is repayments. Miss one and you get a letter. Miss two and you are on notice. Miss three and the whole world is coming down.

“Get myself a steady job, some responsibility, cant even feed my cat on social security”

Government welfare payments, which are less than the minimum wage are there, but if you can’t find a job in time, these payments are not really there. It’s spent on day one and then you have to wait 13 days for the next payment.

“Gimme A Bullet” has this awesome guitar groove which just gets your head nodding and foot tapping. And to my ears, it’s the embryo to what would become “You Shook Me All Night Long”.

“Riff Raff” and “Sin City”  make it a perfect five-0.

“Riff Raff’ is basically a re-write of “Let There Be Rock” and it has riff that Motley Crue used in “Rattlesnake Shake”, a decade later. And the lyrics,  man, Bon Scott was onto climate change.

“See it on television every day, hear it on the radio, it aint humid but it sure is hot, down in Mexico, boss man tryin to tell me, beginning of the end.”

Is there a better song that “Sin City” and that verse riff?

“Ladders and snakes, ladders give, ssssnakes take, rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief”.

The sin city always win, its why it has survived and everyone who has ventured there has turned to dust.

“Kicked In The Teeth” is another re-write of “Let There Be Rock” and I love the lyric, “kicked in the teeth again, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.”

Relationships are try and try again.

Songs like “What’s Next To The Moon”, “Gone Shootin’” and “Up To My Neck In You” are good songs, but the ones mentioned above are my go to songs.

UFO – Obsession

If only the band spent the same amount of time creating as they did partying and taking narcotics, who knows how big they would have been.

Because while a lot of the 70’s bands got a second chance in the 80’s on the back of MTV, UFO didn’t and neither did Michael Schenker, although the label tried and ex-partners and managers did their best bankrupting them.

There are no hits on this album, but a band following their muse and creating.

“Only You Can Rock” is rooted within the Free/Bad Company/ELO roots.

“Pack It Up (And Go) is heavily influenced by “Immigrant Song” and a perfect UFO song which gets no attention.

“Arbory Hill” should have been made into a song instead of a short minute instrumental. It sounds like something from a Genesis album with Peter Gabriel singing.

“Cherry” has a bass riff in the verses, that I swear appeared on a “Joy Division” or “New Order” album a few years later. It’s like the seed of the New Wave movement.

“Hot N Ready”, “You Don’t Fool Me” and “One More For The Rodeo” are songs from UFO we know and they would have served the existing fanbase well, but for me, it’s those songs that had a few things just a little bit different that really connected with me.

Doobie Brothers – Minute By Minute

I have to admit, I dig the song “What A Fool Believes” and those ball squeezing falsettos in the Pre-Chorus and Chorus.

The Police – Outlandos d’Amour

As soon as they appropriated the reggae and put it into the mix, it was a different ballgame.

Because while the opening track “Next To You” is rooted in blues rock and roll, the second track “So Lonely” is a cross between reggae and rock and roll.

So when “Roxanne” kicks in as the third track, its mix of reggae guitars over a flamenco bass guitar riff in the verses, and a pop rock Chorus, well, you can hear something special was in the air.

So it’s no surprise that the biggest songs on the album had that reggae feel, like “Can’t Stand Losing You”, “Roxanne” and “So Lonely”.

But “Truth Hits Everybody” is my favourite. It’s a melodic rock song.

Joe Walsh – But Seriously Folks

“Tomorrow” and “Shandi”.

What came first?

And with the Kiss reference to close of Part 3, Part 4 will begin with a Kiss-a-ganza.

Part 1 can be found here.

Part 2 can be found here.

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