Ahh, 1982, Slash was only 17 years old, Blackie Lawless (still an unknown outside of LA), started to experiment with hurling raw meat at the audience, Nikki Sixx decided to chase a heckler called Lars Ulrich down Santa Monica Blvd and the main house bands at Gazzarri’s were RATT and ROXX REGIME. Roxx Regime would of course go on to become Stryper. 1982 was also the year that metal and rock music started to become a force to be reckoned with. MTV’s launch on August 1, 1981, would change the industry in a big way.
KISS – Creatures Of The Night
It’s a who’s who of outside songwriters.
Paul Stanley hooked up with Adam Mitchell to write “Creatures Of The Night” and “Danger”. The winner of that hook up is by far “Creatures Of The Night”. The metal heaviness, the pedal point riff and that major key riff change before the lead break is just brilliant.
Victims of the moment
Future deep in doubt
Living in a whisper
Till we start to shout
We’re creatures of the night
The rock n roll children, the heavy metal followers, could all relate to being creatures of the night. We would be up to the small hours of the night, listening to our favourite cuts. Rock and Roll Children listening to the “devils” music”.
Vinnie Vincent is all over this album.
“I Love It Loud” is a Gene Simmons, Vincent composition. The drum groove, the chants.
In 1982, it was exactly what the youth wanted to hear. “Killers” is another Simmons, Vincent composition, however the stupid lyrics on the song take away from the power of the music. Regardless, we still have “I Love It Loud”.
Guilty, till I’m proven innocent
Whiplash, heavy metal accident
Rock on, I wanna be president
‘Cause I love it
It’s a brilliant play on words and a mission statement for all rockers.
People born in the Nineties would not understand how the religious groups and certain politicians reacted to hard rock and heavy metal in the Eighties. As far as these organisations were concerned, heavy metal music promoted anti-social behaviour, drug taking and basically nothing good was expected from the youth that listened to it. So as the lyrics state, we are all guilty until we are proven innocent.
Loud, I wanna hear it loud
Right between the eyes
Anthems about cranking it up started to become the norm in the Eighties. Slade wrote “Cum On Feel The Noize” in the Seventies, however a lot of people will associate the song with Quiet Riot and their 1983 take on it. Twisted Sister took it up a notch with “I Wanna Rock”. Motley Crue wanted it “Louder Than Hell”. Bon Jovi wanted to “Let It Rock”. Metallica formed a “Metal Militia” and so on.
Turn it up, hungry for the medicine
Two fisted till the very end
No more treated like aliens
We’re not gonna take it
That’s right. The war cry from the youth of the Eighties.
We’re not gonna take it.
With our devil horns and our black t-shirts patched in with our favourite bands, we were not aliens anymore. We belonged. And the unifying force was our love of heavy metal and hard rock.
“I Still Love You” is a Paul Stanley and Vinnie Vincent composition and to this day it is one of my favourite power ballads. The Emadd9 to Cadd9 chord progression is mournful and perfect for the song.
People tell me
I should win at any cost
But now I see as the smoke clears away
The battle has been lost
Great lyrics. Even though the song is a love song, the four lines above can be used for any situation. If you are a rocker and the audience deserts you, what do you have left? Sort of like the song “When The Crowds Are Gone” from Savatage. If you haven’t heard, call it up on Spotify or YouTube and let it fill your head space.
There was another interesting song writing committee on hand. Gene Simmons, worked with Bryan Adams and his songwriting partner Jim Vallance. The result is the excellent “War Machine” and the not so excellent “Rock N Roll Hell”.
How heavy is “War Machine”?
Better watch out
‘Cause I’m a war machine
Another common theme from the Eighties was that rock heads and metal heads were meant to be mean muthas, typified by songs that promoted macho like behaviour. Sort of like how the rappers preached “don’t mess with us, we got guns and we use them”, the metal heads preached the same message with their fists and bravado.
“Watch out, we are here to seek and destroy.”
Next to “Unholy” and “God Of Thunder”, “War Machine” rounds off a trilogy of groove metal anthems from The Demon.
And to put it into context, the legend of The Demon owes a lot to Vinnie Vincent who was on hand to write the super-charged demonic riff for “Unholy”, Bryan Adams/Jim Vallance wrote “War Machine” and “God Of Thunder” was penned by Stanley and given to Gene to sing, who would then go on to become the “God Of Thunder”.
With Vinnie Vincent in the band, Kiss was ready for the Eighties. “Lick It Up” that followed the following year would give the band enough life and momentum to move forward until “Revenge” gave them another victory lap.
Whitesnake – Saints And Sinners
This album is gold. As with everything Whitesnake, the recording process began in 1981, just after the end of the “Come an’ Get It” tour. Since Whitesnake was formed, it had been album and tour, so it was expected that tensions would start to appear, especially when the debt was piling up. The band couldn’t understand why, as they played to sold out places and had album certifications on the walls.
We all know that this album gave birth to “Here I Go Again” and “Crying In The Rain” and to be honest, I really enjoy the Adrian Vanbenberg and John Sykes guitar playing on those songs many years later as well as the original versions.
But going back to the some of the other songs, there is no way you can’t tell me when you listen to “Young Blood”, you don’t get the urge to tap your foot and nod your head at the groove. It’s infectious.
Then you have the major key Led Zep inspired “Victim Of Love” plus the funky groove from “Saints and Sinners” and the great lead break.
I mentioned previously that in 1980, “Ready An’ Willing” was the album that started the rise of Whitesnake. Think about the quality of songs released on the trilogy of albums. You can sequence songs from “Ready An’ Willing”, “Come And Get It” and “Saints An’ Sinners” into a perfect album.
1. Young Blood
2. Don’t Break My Heart Again
3. Fool For Your Loving
5. Crying In The Rain
6. Here I Go Again
7. Aint Gonna Cry No More
8. Victim Of Love
9. Lonely Days, Lonely Nights
10. Ready And Willing
11. Saints And Sinners
I didn’t get the full album until the late Nineties. As with all things commercial, once Whitesnake’s 1987 album started selling by the truckloads, Geffen Records re-issued the earlier stuff in 1988. So David Coverdale in a roundabout way should thank John Sykes for assisting him in getting richer from back catalogue sales.
Like a lamb to the slaughter,
For giving love to woman
With a heart stone cold as ice….. from “Victim Of Love”
Brilliant lyrics from David Coverdale. Instead of the rocker being the one with a heart of stone and a “love em and leave em attitude”, the woman he is sleeping with is the one doing the loving and the leaving.
A woman goes crazy with the thoughts of retribution
Then a man starts weeping when he’s sick and tired of life ….. from “Crying In The Rain”
Hell has no fury like a woman scorned. In a break up, thoughts of retribution are high on the cards.
Like a drifter I was born to walk alone ….. from “Here I Go Again”
A lot of people forget that Bernie Marsden is a co-writer on this track.
It’s a brilliant line.
In the end, all of us musical fans are loners. We listen to music in our own time, with our headphones on, in our bedrooms or on the train to work. And we drift from job to job, house to house, relationship to relationship and year to year.
This lyric connected “Here I Go Again” to every man, woman and child. It is a universal line. And the result is Whitesnake’s biggest single. It took 5 years later for it to happen, which goes to show how way ahead “Here I Go Again” was for it’s time.
Saints an’ sinners, priests an’ thieves ….. from “Saints An’ Sinners”
A brilliant play on words.
I stand guilty of a thousand crimes,
An’ I suffer temptation still,
Show me a man who won’t give it to his woman
An’ I’ll show you somebody who will ….. from “Saints An’ Sinners”
Trust David Coverdale to deliver a brilliant tongue and cheek line. To all of those guys in relationships that cant stop looking at other woman. Well, guess what, there are thousands of men looking at your woman. Brilliant.