Sunday, June 29, 2014

Three Amazing 80's Albums You May Not Know About

No matter what time period it is, there is always astounding music that for whatever sets of reasons seems to get tragically overlooked by the general public. Some times they are from well known bands, some times from not so well known. Either way, today we will be taking a brief look at three albums from the 1980's that completely rock from start to finish but have been unfortunately passed over by the masses.

1. Seventh Star, by Black Sabbath featuring Tony Iommi

In 1986, Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi was making what was supposed to be his first solo record due to the recent departure of the band's third vocalist ex-Deep Purple vocalist Ian Gillan and original Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler. However, due to pressures from management Iommi was forced to have the album that would be Seventh Star billed as a Black Sabbath featuring Tony Iommi album. This is mostly due to the fact that the record company at the time was desperate to make some money and wanted to sell lots of something with an already famous name.For vocals Iommi recruited ex-Deep Purple and Trapeze vocalist Glenn Hughes. Seventh Star featured a more glossy pop and blues rock feel to it than previous Black Sabbath records.

That being said however, even though it sounds far different from other albums by the band, its songs are still surprisingly good in their own right. The opening track In For the Kill wastes no time telling you what the album is about. It grabs the listener and is just as good of a headbanging tune as anything else that was more popular during that era. The album also gets creative featuring instrumental tracks like the synth filled and ghostly feeling song Sphinx (The Guardian). For an 80's pop rock album it of course has a love ballad, titled No Stranger to Love, which the record company used as a single to sell the album. Be that as it may, Seventh Star is a unique adventure from an interesting time in Black Sabbath's history.

2. Slide It In, by Whitesnake

In 1984 Whitesnake vocalist and band leader David Coverdale was looking to make a change in his band's sound. For the longest time it had been mostly straight up blues oriented rock n' roll, but he wanted something more energetic and passion filled. The album Slide It In would act as a transition between the old sound and the heavy metal sound the band would later become famous for. Many line-up changes happened during this period. In fact, the British release and the U.S. release of the albums would both feature a different lead guitarist from one another. The British featured original lead guitarist Mickey Moody and the US one featured a new one: John Sykes. Both versions of the album did end up sounding quite distinctly different from one another.

The mission Coverdale set out on seemed to have been accomplished because the songs on Slide It In are in general heavier, louder, and on occasion quite faster than how the old songs had sounded. The title track Slide It In is fairly simplistic (and quite innuendo filled), but one can't help but pump their fist and dance around when it plays. Naturally there are songs that are more love ballad oriented (I know, big surprise), such as Love Ain't No Stranger and Standing in the Shadow. One song that REALLY gets the energy going though is the upbeat and uptempo song Guilty of Love. It features dual guitar harmonies and drums that are just blasting. Any 80's rock fan NEEDS this album.

3. Too Fast For Love, by Motley Crue

In the early 80's the new glam sensation was sweeping Los Angeles. Since Van Halen had taken off in the late 70's all anyone could think about in terms of music was trying to emulate Eddie Van Halen's guitar shredding and David Lee Roth's image and persona. One band that really set the precedence of the glam movement however was none other than Motley Crue. Fueled by punk and 70's glam rock, drugs and alcohol, and the desire to rise to the top they quickly gained popularity and set many of the fashion trends the 1980's would become notorious for. They put out their first record Too Fast For Love independently, but it was reprinted and remixed once they got picked up by Elektra Records.

Too Fast For Love is a unique record. Its sound is a blend of punk rock, heavy metal, and glam rock from the previous decade. It doesn't stick to one thing for very long. The album starts off with a bang with the rocket propelled tune Live Wire. Anyone who has had the good fortune to hear it cannot help but mosh and/or headbang when it is playing at top volume. Of course the album also has its more melodic sides with tunes like Public Enemy #1. Though bassist Nikki Sixx wrote all the songs on Too Fast For Love, guitarist Mick Mars definitely added his own style to them and gave everything a more melodic touch. Another unique aspect of this album is that even though love is a theme in it, it focuses more on the problems that many teens/young adults go through when they live such broken lives; which honestly for the time was a radical departure from the constant stream of commercial love songs. Though Too Fast For Love does not contain the radio hits Motley Crue is known for, it is still worth the money to buy it. It is definitely an adventure.

1 comment:

  1. I think the problem Seventh Star had was people compared it to Sabbath with Ozzy and Dio, but it's completely different. Iommi should have just called it his solo album, or given the group he assembled a different name.

    Not a Crue fan (or a fan of 80s hair metal in general), but Whitesnake isn't bad, because Coverdale is a good musician and vocalist.