I wrote this post about six months ago and just realized I never posted it. And when I saw Part 3 posted i didn’t even think that Part 2 wasn’t out.
So here it is.
I didn’t hear these albums or songs until the 80’s and for some of the more obscure album songs, well into the 90’s. And that my friends is the beauty of music. While the band or artist could be gone or retired, the music lives on forever.
And these days so many people want to make money from it.
Record labels have done their best to change the copyright laws originally designed to protect the creator and give the creator an incentive to create, to a corporation monopoly for the life of the artist plus 70 years after their death. They are even pushing for 90 years after death to be the new standard.
For example, if Van Halen wrote “Dance The Night Away” in the 1930’s, the song would be out of copyright by 1958 and free for artists to use and build upon. If those same copyright rules applied in 1979, the song would have been out of copyright in 2007. However, with copyright laws as they stand now, and provided EVH lives to 80, the song would still be under copyright in 2100. (EVH born 1955 + 80 (life of the artist) + 70 years after death = 2105).
Anyway, here is part 2 of 1979 and here is the playlist.
Part 1 can be found here.
Kansas – Monolith
Kansas came into my life in the 90’s via the good old second hand record shop when a $20 trip would end up with 10 records as a minimum and a huge difference from the 80’s when that same $20 trip would end up with one record and maybe a discount bin cassette tape. Actually I picked up the first six Kansas albums on the same day.
And I dropped the needle on the albums based on the covers. The cover I liked more, got first spins. So “Point Of Know Return” was first, then “Leftoverture”, then “Monolith”, then “Song For America”, then “Kansas” and finally “Masque”.
On The Other Side
The opener written by Kerry Livgren and I dig the emotive intro lead break which I believe was played by Rich Williams.
The empty page before me now, the pen is in my hand
The words don’t come so easy but I’m trying
I’m searching for a melody or some forgotten line
They can slip away from us so quickly
Writers block and running out of creative ideas. It’s real and it can happen.
And from about 3.22, the progressive side of the band kicks in and I’m loving it.
People Of The South Wind
There are some who can still remember
All the things that we used to do
But the days of our youth were numbered
And the ones who survive it are few
History has shown how white people have displaced the native people from the lands. Each continent is littered with the blood of innocents.
People of the south wind, people of the southern wind
It’s the people of the wind, I got to be there again
What a chorus!
With the brass background instruments and what not, the song could have been on any pop album. Hell, they should have given it to Chicago to record.
Angels Have Fallen
Written by Steve Walsh, it has enough pop and enough progressive themes to satisfy both fan bases.
Children are restless they know what can happen when men are vain
The children are restless today, sick and tired of being targets, they have taken to the streets, demonstrating for gun reform.
People are talking maybe you know them, they know you’re near
Masking themselves from fear and asking themselves who their friends are
Even though the words are from 1979, they are as relevant today as they were back then.
Really dig the heavy and progressive riffs from 3.11 to 4.14.
How My Soul Cries Out
What a groove to jam on, very much in the style of Rainbow and it’s another Walsh penned song.
How my soul cries out for you
It cries for love that we once knew
A Glimpse Of Home
Another cool song with good vocal melodies and progressive overtones written by Livgren.
Lyrically, I think it sums up his transition to Christianity with lines such as, “now you are here once again, as I stand in your presence” or “All my life I knew you were waiting, revelation anticipating, all is well, the search is over, let the truth be known, Let it be shown (give me a glimpse of home)”.
Van Halen – Van Halen II
Van Halen’s second album hit the streets in 1979. I didn’t hear it until the late 80’s. I know, unbelievable, right. But music was expensive and access wasn’t like it is these days where you have the history of music at your fingertips.
You’re No Good
I heard Van Halen’s cover before I heard the original. Yes, I know, it’s sacrilegious, but man, I dig the sleazy rock groove the Van Halen brothers and Michael Anthony create.
Dance The Night Away
The cowbell drum intro and then the E major key riff.
How good is the riff?
Every great song in my opinion is underpinned by a great riff and I spent a many days dancing the night away trying to figure it out.
Somebody Get Me A Doctor
What about the intro chords. Do you reckon Dee Snider was listening to this and used them for “You Can’t Stop Rock’N’Roll.
Actually all of the riffs in this song are at another level. Get me a doctor indeed.
Before we got “Hot For Teacher”, we got “Bottoms Up” and before “Bottoms Up”, we had ZZ Top’s “La Grange”.
Outta Love Again
Like the other songs before it, it’s the riffs from EVH that makes this song happen.
So many of the 80’s bands used VHII as a template to borrow from. So I guess we should call in the lawyers and start suing.
Light Up From The Sky
I hate Roth’s vocal melodies and lyrics (actually I like the end vocal melody when they repeat “Light Up The Sky” about 4 times), however the music from EVH is excellent and that solo section followed by a drum solo groove works so well.
I used the riffs in this song as a template for a lot of songs I wrote.
EVH has taken “You Really Got Me” and made it his own with D.O.A.
Woman In Love
Those harp harmonics in the intro made me realise that as much as I tried to learn all the guitar hero techniques, they would never be part of my expressive style. From time to time I would bring out finger tapping, harp harmonics, whammy bar dives, sweep picking and in the 90’s, my set up had a DigiTech whammy pedal so I could mimic Tom Morello.
And that outro is excellent.
I love the bluesy groove which a lot of 80’s bands used to platinum success.
She had her drink in her hand , She had her toes in the sand and whoa! Ha, ha, What a beautiful girl, ah yeah
Only Diamond Dave could come up with lines like that.
Rainbow – Down To Earth
Ritchie Blackmore’s influence to metal and rock music is god like. Not only did he inspire guitarists, he even inspired vocalists. The vocalists he worked with are considered legends and influential to the 80’s generation of singers that came through. Ian Gillian, David Coverdale and Ronnie James Dio. Then in the 80’s he worked with Graham Bonnett and Joe Lynn Turner. A lot of respect is given to the Dio led version of the band and less praise to the commercial years of the band with different vocalists, in this case, Graham Bonnet and Joe Lynn Turner.
The band on this album is top notch as well. You have Ritchie Blackmore on guitar, Graham Bonnet on vocals, Cozy Powell on drums, Roger Glover on bass and Don Airey on keyboards.
I wish I heard this album in the mid 80’s because the guitar playing and song writing grooves are just the way I like it. It would have been an awesome album to unpack and learn in my early years of guitar playing.
All Night Long
Another iconic Blackmore riff, but the lyrics about wanting a groupie to love all night long just didn’t connect with me.
Eyes Of The World
Another epic Rainbow song on an album designed to take over the charts. As always underpinned by a brilliant Blackmore riff.
Evil takes, evil kills
With no shame or concern
Money and greed is the real evil.
Since You Been Gone
Inspired by a “Louie Louie” riff and written by Russ Ballard, the song became an arena rock/car staple.
It’s got Blackmore’s unique riffing all over the song and a wonderful classical solo section.
Lost In Hollywood
It starts off like Led Zep’s “Rock N Roll” and it has a guitar riff heavily influenced by it. It’s also listed as being written by Blackmore, Glover and Powell.
Love that outro.
Ain’t A Lot Of Love In The Heart Of Me
It’s from 2011’s Deluxe Edition extra tracks and it’s basically a re-write of the Coverdale/Blackmore penned “Mistreated” and it’s a pretty cool listen.
Cheap Trick – At Budokan’
The live album was bigger than Cheap Trick’s first three albums.
I reckon the drum intro inspired “Run To The Hills” from Maiden.
I Want You To Want Me
With its “Baby, Please Don’t Go” vibe/influence.
“This next one is the first song on our new album. It just came out this week and the song is called “Surrender””
This is the song that hooked me in.
Bands used to tour before the album even came out. Sometimes they would play songs that would appear on albums many years later. But the MTV era changed all that. Because the record labels controlled MTV, they finally had the power instead of the artist.
Foreigner – Head Games
Foreigner came into my life via “I Want To Know What Love Is”. It wasn’t until the 90’s and the second hand record shops that I picked up their earlier releases.
I wasn’t a fan of the singles “Dirty White Boy” and “Women”.
Love On The Telephone
The embryo heartbeat of melodic rock is right here. The song is written by Mick Jones and Lou Gramm.
I’ll Get Even with You
It’s written by Jones and it’s got a cool intro riff which hooks me in.
The opener to Side 2 and another cut written by Gramm and Jones. The way the verse’s build with the bass and keyboards taking lead instead of the guitar. It’s AOR heaven to a tee. And how good are Lou Gramm’s vocal melodies.
Hearing it for the first time in the 90’s, I liked it then, and I still like it today. And the chorus sums up relationships to a tee…
It’s you and me baby
And I can’t take it anymore
The Angels – No Exit
Boy didn’t they resonate with the working blue collar steel workers and punks, merging their pub rock AC/DC vibe with the punk rock scene coming out of the UK.
It’s raw, it’s punk and it’s from the streets about a person fighting imaginary enemies after too many brews.
Can’t Shake It
It’s basically “Long Way To The Top” put through “The Angels” blender.
A punk rock ditty about death.
Mr Damage holds a curse
Mr Damage drives a hearse
ZZ Top – Cheap Sunglasses
It sold the album.
ZZ Top – Esther Be The One
It has a cool harmony outro lead which I dig and because of that lead, it’s staying in the list.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – Refugee
The riff is brilliant and simple.
Then when the Chorus melody kicks in, you know it’s a song which will last forever.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – Even The Losers
Yes, even the losers get lucky sometimes. There’s always a chance.
Robert Palmer – Bad Case Of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor)
For those who lived the 80’s, this song was everywhere. Every cover band played it, every radio station played it and every music video TV show played it.
Musically, it’s a more polished AC/DC sound infused with Robert Palmer’s golden pop voice.
Neil Young & Crazy Horse – My My, Hey Hey (Out Of The Blue)
It’s a brilliant song to play on guitar and the iconic line of “It’s better to burn out than fade away” appears in the song.
John Lennon hated it, Kurt Cobain signed his suicide note with it and all Neil Young was trying to do was capture the rock and roll spirit of living in the now.