Tag: Hard Rock

1981, Music

Don’t say No (1981) by Billy Squier

I’m pretty sure the first time I heard “The Stroke” was in an arena. I had no idea what it was and I couldn’t figure out why half the audience (at least) seemed to know the song. Too recent to be “classic rock” when I was growing up and too “rock” (I guess) for those …

1975, Music

Crack the Sky (1975)

The narrative about American prog in the ’70s that I grew up on is that American musicians heard British prog and got really excited about it but, without the classical education, they really didn’t know how to do it, save to include some jazz. And then some of them figured out that if they just …

1970, Music

Kingdom Come (1970) by Sir Lord Baltimore

I spent some time in a weird corner of the internet where people argued that this record and Warpig’s self-titled debut were just as important as music by Zeppelin, Purple and Black Sabbath. Before I get to the actual music on this record I do want to point out the following:

1980, Music

Blizzard of Ozz (1980) by Ozzy Osbourne

Metal was evolving in 1980, maybe not as much as it would in, say, 1983-1984, but still it was evolving. But, like his former band, Ozzy doesn’t seem to want to evolve in the way the younger performers were. Rather, on his debut, he’s chosen a different kind of evolution, the kind that I would …

1975, Music

Alive! (1975) by KISS

For a long time I refused to even considered this record, due to the admission of overdubbing significant parts of this record after the fact. But, the thing is, everybody did this back then, or nearly everybody. Over time, we’ve learned that many of the great “live” albums featured extensive overdubs. (And some of them …

1990, Music

Facelift (1990) by Alice In Chains

Alice in Chains are, to me, the least immediately appealing of the big Seattle grunge bands. I think that’s because they have the least catchy songs – though Cantrell is a good songwriter he is not necessarily a writer of particularly catchy songs. Though I do wonder how much of my experience of this band …

1985, Music

Theatre of Pain (1985) by Mötley Crüe

They often say familiarity breeds contempt. But with albums and me it’s the opposite: familiarity breeds acceptance. The first time I listened to this album I thought it was awful. Just awful. I’m on listen #3 now and I can no longer muster up my hatred. I don’t think it’s good but what the melodies …

1980, Music

Joan Jett aka Bad Reputation (1980)

Joan Jett was pretty young when she made this record – only 19 or 20 – but it sounds like it was made by someone 10 years her senior. That’s often a compliment but it’s not here: like so many punk-adjacent albums of the late ’70s and early ’80s, this one is obsessed with the …

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 …