Tag: Hard Rock

1973, Music

We’re An American Band (1973) by Grand Funk Railroad

I don’t know much about Grand Funk Railroad. I’ve heard the title track and a few other hits, but most of what I know of them consists of jokes about them from The Simpsons and other places, so I have kind of always dismissed them without giving it a second thought. And, since it’s been …

1973, Music

Never Turn Your Back on a Friend (1973) by Budgie

My memory of Budgie’s self-titled debut album is that it is fast; Budgie play faster than just about any of the original metal bands (with the exception of Deep Purple on occasion). And so, putting everything else aside, that record is important as it points towards the New Wave of British Heavy Metal well over …

1978, Music

Van Halen (1978)

The first time I ever heard “Eruption” my mind was blown. I had never heard anyone play guitar like that (though that was because I hadn’t heard so many guitarists). It was my gold standard in virtuoso (masturbatory?) guitar showmanship until I heard “Spanish Fly,” which seemed so much more impressive for being played on …

1973, Music

Tyranny and Mutation (1973) by Blue Oyster Cult

I didn’t quite grow up with early British metal but when I started listening to music other than oldies in my late teens, Zeppelin, Purple and Sabbath played a pretty big part of my listening. On my second Blue Oyster Cult record I find myself thinking that it was all those years of worshiping those …

1983, Music

Pyromania (1983) by Def Leppard

I struggled with just giving Hysteria my usual three listens and so I was not looking forward to this record. The good news is that it is better than Hysteria. The bad news is that claiming anything is better than Hysteria is damning with faint praise.

1982, Music

Under the Blade (1982) by Twisted Sister

If you grew up in the 80s as I did, you were inundated by certain music videos and two of them were “I Wanna Rock” and “We’re Not Gonna Take it.” And through my entire life this is all I’ve known of this band, aside from Dee Snyder testifying before congress, which definitely upped my …

1972, Music

Vol 4 (1972) by Black Sabbath

Round about the time the piano opens “Changes,” we start wondering what is going on. Prior to this moment (or, perhaps, prior to “The Straightener”), Black Sabbath was the heaviest band in the entire world. There was no band louder or lower than Sabbath. And then we get a piano ballad backed with a fucking …

1987, Music

Hysteria (1987) by Def Leppard

I have had a hard time finding this album online; Google Play doesn’t have a license for the early Def Leppard stuff (just their later, better stuff!!) and YouTube is missing a bunch of songs. So I probably shouldn’t review it. But I can and I will.

1992

Danzig III: How the Gods Kill (1992)

I have never heard Danzig before and, to the best of my knowledge, never heard Glenn Danzig before (except maybe on some Misfits song, but I think the only version of the band I’ve heard is one without him in it). And there’s something I am having a hard time shaking, which will likely infuriate …

1982, Music

Screaming for Vengeance (1982) by Judas Priest

Every time I listen to Priest I get a different feeling than I do with their NWOBHM contemporaries (I am not saying Priest is NWOBHM), and that is that they are a little more concerned with selling records. Maybe that’s because Priest were always interested in doing that (I have never heard any of their …

1992, Music

Generation Terrorists (1992) by Manic Street Preachers

What do we do with a record like this? It’s called Generation Terrorists but sounds like it was produced by Mutt Lange or Bob Rock or someone like that. (Well, the production is maybe not that bad.) We have the bizarre amalgam of 80s hard rock (or “cock rock” as some call it) with extremely …

1971, Music

Fireball (1971) by Deep Purple

I feel like Fireball perfectly illustrates why Purple are known less than Zeppelin and Sabbath: the playing is excellent (it feels like Blackmore and Lord just keep trying to push each other), Gillan is doing his insane over-singing thing and the record is actually more diverse than you might guess, but the songs aren’t great …

1976, Music

The Runaways (1976)

I understand why this is an important record to a lot of people: it’s an all-woman rock band, with a bit of a punky attitude and very much behaving like men (or, at least, not like women were supposed to behave). And I’m sure it’s been hugely influential. But the music isn’t all that great: …

1988, Music

Nothing’s Shocking (1988) by Jane’s Addiction

Unlike the follow up, I really like this one. The production’s better, even if the song’s aren’t. (Everything’s a little more raw and unhinged.) Whether you think of this as hard rock or some kind of metal, there was nothing really like this being made in the late ’80s; funkier and way weirder than the …

1976, Music

Agents of Fortune (1976) by Blue Öyster Cult

This is my first exposure to BOC. They’re a weird band. They try to walk a line between almost an Alice Cooper Light kind of ghoulish arena rock and a more serious hard rock band. They’re impressive musicians (I like the lead guitarist particularly, who sometimes sounds like he should be another band) but honestly …

1976, Music

Rocks (1976) by Aerosmith

The first time through this, I didn’t like it as much as Toys in the Attic. Aside from the opening track, there are fewer hits and the songs sounded weaker on the whole. But this is a dirty, perhaps deliberately poorly sounding record. (Listen to the piano on the last track – that piano sounds …

1975, 1976, Music

High Voltage (1976) by AC/DC

AC/DC’s first international release is actually a compilation of music from their first two records, released only in Australia. (Oh, the days when music was that regionalized…) I haven’t heard either of those records, so I don’t know if they did a good job of compiling this, but my guess is they did. This record …

1976, Music

Destroyer (1976) by KISS

I think you can regard Bob Ezrin as the “Phil Spector of the ’70s”; a man who focused on creating a dense wall of sound. And, though I don’t like this production style, I think it suits certain things. When Ezrin’s style matches the artist’s material, it works wonders (see, for instance, Berlin or The …

1968, Music

Vincebus Eruptum (1968) by Blue Cheer

For years and years I have been telling everyone who would listen that Jeff Beck’s Truth is the first heavy metal album of All Time. If people mentioned Blue Cheer, I dismissed them outright (despite only ever hearing their cover of “Summertime Blues” once or twice) or assumed that The Jeff Beck Group beat them …