Monday, September 12, 2016

The year of 1980 Part 2

The 30 greatest albums of 1980 continues with the ones between 11-20.
11.Judas Priest-British steel
Released in the super month of April 1980 where albums like Heaven and Hell by Black Sabbath, the debut from Iron Maiden and Solo in Soho from Lynott also came out.
Judas Priest kinda set the bar with British Steel as pioneers of heavy metal for decades to come.
12.Black Sabbath-Heaven and hell
Is there a life after Ozzy? Well, if you ask Black Sabbath with Ronnie James Dio, there is. Ozzy fans might argue with this being one of Sabbath´s best moments but Sabbath/hard rock fans in general all hail this masterpiece as a monumental cornerstone of heavy metal.
Today we know that Yes without Jon Anderson is possible, but 36 years ago it felt like biblical proportions to replace Anderson. However, Yes survived because of the multi-talented Trevor Horn and Geoff Downes (both from The Buggles).
Drama is not only a superb Yes record, it´s also one of the best progrock releases of this year.
14.UFO-No place to run
Michael Schenker had quit and UFO brought in Paul Chapman to fill his shoes, Paul Chapman-who?
On my 15th birthday, Dec 5th 1979 I saw UFO live in concert with Chapman on lead guitar and they performed songs from No Place To Run live. I can tell you that I didn´t miss Schenker for one bit that night. The band was on fire and songs like Letting Go and Mystery Train had a warm welcome from the audience. A great album indeed.
A shortlived westcoast/AOR band that might be the biggest westcoast supergroup ever featuring David Foster, Jay Graydon and Tommy Funderburk. Plus a list of stars as backing musicians like Jeff Porcaro, Steve Lukather, Bill Champlin, Tom Kelly, David Hungate etc.
This is probably the greatest westcoast album ever released, with some competition from Toto.
16.REO Speedwagon-Hi infidelity
If REO in the 70´s felt like medium size, than they grew into size XL on their blockbuster record Hi infidelity that sold more than 10 million copies and included 6 smash hits.
Some want to make a mixtape out of different artists but this 10 track album is like a mixtape of 10 fantastic AOR anthems.
A milestone for this band.
17.Kansas-Audio visions
By their 7th studio album, Kansas could lean back and enjoy a successful decade of the 70´s where the band had proven they belong in the elite of the progrock genre.
Audio Visions might not be a new Leftoverture and it´s not even one of their strongest releases, but Kansas with Steve Walsh and Kerry Livgren are always to be reckoned with and I will take this album over most modern progrock albums nowadays.
18.City Boy-Heads are rolling
The English lads of City Boy had their peak with the previous albums Book Early and The Day The Earth Caught Fire. they weren´t as popular with the last two LP´s Heads are rolling and It´s Personal that both failed to sell.
But sales aren´t important here, Heads are rolling is artrock deluxe. My god, it´s like a book from A to Z how to write top quality pomp AOR.
They´re gods.
19.Thin Lizzy-Chinatown
A band that doesn´t need any further introduction, their twin guitar sound is just as important to the history of rock and roll as the weight of Tony Iommi´s riffs or Eddie Van Halen´s tapping technique.
Chinatown didn´t feature Gary Moore nor Brian Robertsson but the new talented guy Snowy White rock, who also got the job in Pink Floyd´s The Wall on stage and today he´s with Roger Waters.
Chinatown is a classic hard rock record, pronto.
20.Iron Maiden-Iron Maiden
The bĂ­rth of NWOBHM legends, the original line up wouldn´t last for many albums but the songs will live on forever.
Hats off for Paul Di´Anno but I prefer Bruce Dickinson singing the songs from the first album live.
It feels like yesterday when I bought this LP as a kid, I´ll never forget the reaction when I got home and listened to it. The music was groundbreaking and felt so fresh.

1980 was the year I went to see concerts with John Miles, Thin Lizzy and Rainbow.
I can´t say I was too much of a fan of John Miles before this concert but it was a friend of mine who was a big fan of Miles, that persuaded me to come along.
I knew John Miles´s 1976 hit Music and had listened a bit to the 1978 album Zaragon and thought they were ok, but it was the songs from the 1979 album More Miles Per Hour that was the highlight of this concert.
I bought it straight after and became a fan right away.

Thin Lizzy on the other hand, was a favorite band of mine. I totally loved their albums from Nightlife up to Black Rose when I had a ticket to my first concert with Phil Lynott and Co.
This was in April 1980, six months before the release of the LP Chinatown and the setlist of this night speaks for itself, a night to remember.
1.Are you ready 2.Chinatown 3.Waiting for an alibi 4.Jailbreak 5.Do anything you want to 6.Don´t believe a word 7.Sweetheart 8.Got to give it up 9.Still in love with you 10.Dear miss lonely hearts 11.Cowboy song 12.Boys are back in town 13.Suicide 14.Sha la la 15.Sugar blues 16.Baby drives me crazy

This year was also the first time I saw Rainbow live with Ritchie Blackmore, Don Airey, Graham Bonnet, Roger Glover and Cozy Powell.
It was the only tour to feature Graham Bonnet as the frontman but I thought he did a great job, rumours says that it was because he told the audience "Do you like rock and roll? I Don´t", that he was fired from the band.
The setlist focused on the latest LP Down To Earth which is one of my favorite albums with Rainbow so it couldn´t get any better.
The opening act Reeperbahn had a much rougher night, the hard rock audience booed and threw bottles at the band during their set so they had to leave the stage.
I guess the Rainbow fans wasn´t so interested in listening to a garage rock band, they wanted to see Ritchie.
And here´s what we got.
1.Eyes of the world 2.Love´s no friend 3.Since you been gone 4.All night long 5.Catch the rainbow 6.Lost in Hollywood 7.1812 Overture / Cozy Powell Drum Solo 8.Guitar solo 9.Man on the silver mountain / Blues / Will you still love me tomorrow 10.Long live rocknroll 11.Kill the king

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