Wow, I forgot how great this is!! This is Shooting Star's 1981 album Hang On For Your Life. Mostly hard rockin' tracks like the FM radio fave "Breakout" but there are few more introspective ballads (I sound like a critic, call me Dave Marshmallow) and songs that swing a bit to the prog side. It's basically an album that almost everyone can be happy with. Check out the drums on "You've Got Love" and you can't help but be impressed. These guys were no slouches on their instruments.
To the person I promised "Oh Well" by these guys, I don't have it, and I apologize for saying I did (I really thought I did!!!) but I do have damn near everything else by this Detroit gang o' ruffians including this one that I ripped a week or so ago. Nothing spectacular here, just good ol no frills classic hard rock with a touch of boogie and r n b thrown in for good measure.
This is the Rockets LP from 1982 Rocket Roll on Elektra records.
These guys are gods in my opinion. Gotta be one of the heaviest LPs from 1977. It's Dirty Tricks with Hit & Run and side one of this album is a masterpiece, with side two not too far behind that status. The best comparison I can give is heavy U.F.O. from the Force It era ( the guitars have that thick Schenker rhythm sound and Johnny Fraser Binnie has Michael's style down pat, but his off beat time signatures make the sound his own) and Kenny Stewart sings a lot like Phil Moog, (with a tiny touch of Percy thrown in), but is much wilder and spontaneous. The rhythm section of Terry Horbury (bass) and Andy Bierne (skins) are tight and hold it all together very solidly. There is one problem I have with the album and that's Tony Visconti's bass heavy production which gets a bit to soupy and spoils a few moments. He was definetly not the guy for this band. But he couldn't spoil the whole show and the band outshines the one downside to this nearly perfect slab of early metal. The title track is a stone classic and by itself worth the time of the download!!!
It's wouldn't be an update without some prog or psych and today is no exception. This is a great live album called Focus Live at the Rainbow but it should have been called the Jan Akkerman show!! Jan is all over this with a stunning display of guitar virtuousity. The highlight in my opinion is the speed metal version of Hocus Pocus which could pass as one of the earliest examples of the genre. Akkerman's fingers must have been smoking after this show!! The band gets introduced in a very novel way during the song too. This one is one file because it wouldn't split properly and it deserves to be played straight through anyway (good excuse huh?). If you like Focus, and great guitar playing, you'll love this.
And this is one I ripped for myself, but figured somebody may dig it. City Boy's 1977 LP Young Men Gone West. Stunningly produced by Mutt Lange, it reminds me of 10CC (especially the wit of the lyrics and titles, and the style shifts thoughout each song). My favorite song is Dear Jean which could be passed off as a Queen outtake (the vocalist pulls a Mercuryesque trick here and there throughout) and is the only really heavy song on here. Bad For Business is pretty amazing and The Man Who Ate His Car (love that title) is also brilliant. Not my usual kind of post but hey, variety is the spice of blog life.
And now for a couple I can't find covers for:
Beck Bogert & Appice - the Unreleased 2nd LP (AKA Working Version). Decent quality for 8 of the 9 tracks, the final being passable, this is the album they were working on when the band disintegrated. Nothing here is exactly up to the quality of the "1st" album, but it is interesting to imagine what could have been. The ideas are there for an album that with some polish could have surpassed that lone self titled LP.
Hard Meat - same (1970 Warner Bros.). Interesting album, it reminds of Pink Floyd's post- psych pre-prog (i.e.:Atom Heart Mother, Obscured By Clouds) period in places. The album starts out a a good note with the rockin' Through A Window and then goes into the lazy Floydian mellowdom for the next three songs. Side two's first song Run Shaker Life is another really good song that clocks in over 10 minutes and flows into Universal Joint which again gives me the deja-Floyd. The final track, a cover is Dylan's Most Likely You'll Go Your Way.....(And I'll Go Out of Mine Not To Hear Another Goddamned Cover Version of This) is predictable but enjoyable, especially toward the middle where they do shake the song up a bit. Not a glowing review, but this is really not a bad album and does have some nice laid back songs with a few more rockier moments intersperced. This was ripped from pretty crappy vinyl and it does have a bit o noise throughout ('specially the quieter moments) but I did what I could do, and this album ain't easy to get these days (I guess there is a CD reissue believe it or not, and it has the bands other LP on it too!).
Okay, I'm drained for a few days. Happy Dad's Day to you dads out there. My kids let me play on the old computer all day as my present (we's po' folks) and it's been a very relaxing, enjoyable trip down memory lane (and tomorrow my neck will hurt from headbangin' to Dirty Tricks) and I hope everybody digs the stuff as much as I do.
Almost forgot, I threw up a few slabs of liveage over at my other blog, another Zappa (with Flo & Eddie from 1970), one from the Nuge, and a Bad Company from '74-'75 with a couple demos that are pretty good. Just in case you wanted to know.