Tag: Hard Rock

1980, Music

Empty Glass (1980) by Pete Townshend

The story goes that Townshend was writing songs for both this album and the subsequent Who album and Daltrey at least feels like Townshend kept most of the good material for himself and gave the band the less good stuff. (I should point out I’ve never bothered with Face Dances because one thing I don’t …

1980, Music

Women and Children First (1980) by Van Halen

I listen to this record and I don’t remember it a few hours, maybe even minutes later. The first time I listened to I wasn’t even sure I listened to it a couple of hours later, I had to look at the track listing to confirm. What I’m saying is that this record doesn’t have …

1975, Music

Welcome to My Nightmare (1975) by Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper is one of those performers whose reputation and actual music don’t really mesh, at least in my mind. His music is always tamer than I imagine it, and that’s especially true with this album, in which he goes full Bob Ezrin. (Thanks not only due to Ezrin’s participation, but also due to the …

1970, Music

First Step (1970) by Faces

Full disclosure: I love this band. I have an irrational love of their next two albums, both of which I have listened to way too many times. So even though this record is acknowledged as a bit of a mess I knew I wanted to listen to it anyway and I knew I would like …

1975, Music

High Voltage (1975) by AC/DC

Sometimes debut albums show a fully formed band and listening to them its easy to imagine the band going on to be very successful. (That’s especially easy with the benefit of hindsight, of course.) But sometimes debut albums are more confusing, even or especially with hindsight. And such is the case with AC/DC’s true debut, …

1970, Music

Shazam (1970) by The Move

This is a bonkers record which, had I discovered it when I was in my late teens or early 20s, I might be telling you is one of the great unknown masterpieces of the early ’70s. However, time has dulled my tolerance for the “anything goes” approach of this band, especially given how scattershot the …

1974, Music

Sheer Heart Attack (1974) by Queen

This is, by all accounts, the record where Queen really becomes Queen, taking their bizarre (insane, really) hybrid style and finally pairing it with enough quality songs that it no longer seems gimmicky. I’m not sure I entirely agree, but I get why people feel this way.

1984, Music

Stay Hungry (1984) by Twisted Sister

My image of Twisted Sister was pretty much busted by their debut record. So much of what I thought was true about them seemed to not actually be true about them, at least on that first record. However, listening to this, I feel like the initial impression was maybe a little more correct than I …

1974, Music

Second Helping (1974) by Lynyrd Skynyrd

This record is notable for containing Skynyrd’s most famous song (apologies to “Freebird”), perhaps the definitive Southern Rock song, their biggest hit and such a cultural touchstone that Kid Rock managed to have a hit sampling it decades later. (The less said about that last one, the better.) But the presence of “Sweet Home Alabama” …

1984, Music

Love at First Sting (1984) by Scorpions

I have been avoiding listening to a Scorpions my requisite three times for a long time, every time an anniversary of theirs has come up, because every experience of them I’ve had has told me I do not like them. From their biggest hit (heard here) to any of their records I’ve begun to listen …

1979, Music

Overkill (1979) by Motörhead

I have never listened to Motörhead’s debut in part because I have been warned off it by bad reviews. It came out a year and a half before this record but, in the meantime, the much more polished but still fast and relatively rough (for ’70s metal) Stained Class came out. What I’m trying to …

1974, Music

Queen II (1974)

I think it’s safe to say that there’s no other band that sounds like Queen: hard rock plus operatic vocals plus other weird arty or proggy ideas, in a really accessible package, with occasional diversions into other genres that shouldn’t fit – pick a Queen record and there’s usually at least one of these. I …

1973, Music

Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (1973) by Black Sabbath

Is a band that does one particular thing very well, like Black Sabbath, allowed to evolve? It’s one of those tricky questions. On the one hand, we expect many if not most artists to evolve in some way. (Thank the Beatles for that, if you hate that.) On the other hand, some bands (AC/DC, Ramones, …

1978, Music

Killing Machine (1978) by Judas Priest [aka Hell Bent for Leather]

Judas Priest are not my favourite metal band by a long shot, but I had to admire how significant Stained Class was, with some tracks feeling like they were NWOBHM before such a thing even existed. I can’t decide now whether that was due to my very low expectations or the sound of that record, …

1993, Music

Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell (1993) by Meat Loaf

Full disclosure: I don’t like the original Bat Out of Hell. I know most of the words to the songs and probably even most of the words in the spoken word parts. But I hate what that record represents – nostalgia meets the Broadway musical meets arena rock – and the whole thing is so …

1988, Music

No Rest for the Wicked (1988) by Ozzy Osbourne

I was really tempted to think of Ozzy as an anachronism by 1988, as metal had changed one hell of a lot in the last 20 years. But the opening intensity of the guitar gave me hope that maybe he wasn’t! Then that talk box kicked in, and I wasn’t so sure.

1983, Music

Shout at the Devil (1983) by Mötley Crüe

I have managed to avoid Mötley Crüe for most of my life, beyond their biggest songs, and I can’t say I was looking forward to this. But I find myself…. not pleasantly surprised but at least not horrified. For all their reputation as a “hair metal” band, on this record at least they still sound …

1998, Music

Devil Without a Cause (1998) by Kid Rock

Full disclosure: I don’t like Kid Rock. I don’t like his urban hick persona. I don’t like his public support of The Donald. I don’t like that he owns a craft brewery that makes watery lagers because he didn’t think there were enough watery lagers available in the United States. If I never heard another …

1973, Music

Vagabonds of the Western World (1973) by Thin Lizzy

I’ve been meaning to listen to Thin Lizzy since I listened to classic rock almost exclusively (i.e. for 20 years). For some reason that has never happened. And now I find myself listening to a different album that their reputed best. I worried that was a recipe for disaster. Good thing Thin Lizzy are pretty …

1973, Music

pronounced ‘lĕh-‘nérd ‘skin-‘nérd (1973)

With their debut album, Lynyrd Skynyrd didn’t invent southern rock, as it had already existed for at least 4 years. But you might say they invented the populist form of southern rock, a louder, more blue collar version that relies more on hard rock and country than on soul or jazz. There are eight songs …