Thursday, May 01, 2008

Bob Welch 'French Kiss'

It gives me great pleasure to tell you dedicated readers that I have decided to join the 21st Century… This old dog learned a new trick today… I downloaded a complete album instead of purchasing the standard CD!

Yep! Feel free to consider me an “honorary kid” for the day. The type of kid that frequently downloads music. And dare I say it… The kind of kid that would be considered cool just by doing “cool” and “hip” things… Like downloading a complete album.

I needed to replace my copy of the self-titled debut from Kix because I have no idea what happened to my CD. I checked out the CD on a website and since it didn’t contain any bonus tracks, I decided to just go the “digital route” and download it. After all, I can always burn it to an actual compact disc to play elsewhere… I desperately needed it to make Bradford “Hinzy” Hines a Kix compilation.

Kix are undoubtedly one of the greatest and most underrated bands from the 80’s… As proven by this.

I don’t agree with everything on this guy’s list… And I definitely don’t agree with everything on his other list either… So I decided to make my own “Best Hard Rock Bands of The 80’s”. I’m limiting it to 10 and I would love for you to check them out if any form of hard rock floats your boat.

Kick Axe - Yeah, the name is kind of stupid… But these guys could write some well structured songs with intricate harmonies. And they’re Canadian! ‘Vices’ is one of the most ambitious attempts towards creating a hard rock ‘Pet Sounds’.

Raven - The bad, bad boys of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (I hate the term “heavy metal”). These guys were like The Who of harder rock. The drummer broke his arm once during a concert while trying to break their own equipment. Rob “Whacko” Hunter (drummer) even had a helmet that shot off fireworks! Crazy? Yes. They were also a great musical trio that should be rediscovered. Feel free to call them the “crazier” Iron Maiden… A thinking man’s party hard rock band. ‘Live At The Inferno’ gives you a taste of their genius and intense live shows.

Y&T - For some reason… That idiot decided to put Y&T in the “worst” category and used the atrocious ‘Ten’ album as his reason. I’ll admit it. That was a HORRIBLE album. After they made great ones like ‘Black Tiger’, ‘Open Fire’, ‘Mean Streak’, and the highly underrated ‘In Rock We Trust’. Dave Meniketti’s lead guitar style was innovative considering the type of guitar that he chose as his main axe… A Gibson Les Paul.

Ratt - I’ve talked and talked about these guys, but no one seems to listen. I love their punkish self-titled EP, but since it’s not readily available… I tip my hat towards ‘Invasion Of Your Privacy’. An album they toured the world with.

Kix - A band that my friends and I would drive to see within a 150 mile radius before they had a hit. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen these guys in the clubs before seeing them blow AC/DC off the stage as an opening act. Hell… Kim Thore and I are ready to hop a plane to see those boys reunite in their hometown of Baltimore. So ready that I have a bag packed and sitting by the door. ‘Midnight Dynamite’ is not only their favorite, but mine as well.

Zodiac Mindwarp & The Love Reaction - ‘Tattooed Beat Messiah’ is one of the greatest hard rock albums of all-time. Enough said. Find out for yourself what loud guitars and T. Rex-ish type of lyrics can achieve. The album was so good, The Cult decided to rip them off and make a damn fine album themselves… ‘Electric’.

Enuff Z’ Nuff - Cheap Trick walked that power pop / hard rock line during the 70’s only to give it up to synthesizers and keyboards in the 80’s. Luckily, Enuff Z’ Nuff came along to remind us that the same power pop / hard rock that Cheap Trick made, continued lived through them. ‘Strength’ has not only the shades of CT, but there’s a healthy does of Elvis Costello in there too! Without a doubt their best effort that went unnoticed because bands like Poison were getting all the attention.

The Knack - “My Sharona” is still a great song. But they were SO much more! Every album rocked… And their “reunion” album ‘Serious Fun’ was a treat for me in the early 90’s. The Knack were kind of like The Beatles meet Punk. The self-titled debut remains my top pick.

Accept - When you mention Germany when talking hard rock… You think of the Scorpions. I think Accept. They were a thinking man’s hard rock band with songs that dealt with non-hard rock issues… Homosexuality was prevalent in their lyrics with songs like “London Leatherboys” and “Midnight Mover”. They had songs filled with all kinds of social commentary… With an out-of-the-closet singer, you didn’t get songs about bangin’ chicks. They were very musical and treated songwriting as an art. I consider ‘Restless And Wild’ to be their best album.

Queensryche - Pretty much the same as Accept, but these guys are from Seattle. You cannot go wrong with 'Operation: Mindcrime'... A concept album that can be hard to follow if you haven't seen it performed by the band complete with all the stage theatrics. You can see it on DVD.

By all means, check these bands out. As a matter of fact, I dare you.


  1. Anonymous9:01 AM

    Ok Eugene,

    Please edit your list and move Iron Maiden into your top 10.

    Bruce did and can still top anyone of the genre with his vocal range. Geoff Tate has lost his edge but not Bruce. The band was tight live. And within the three albums I remember, Number of the Beast, Piece of Mind, and Powerslave, only one of the songs was about sex. The others were based upon literature and history. I even found one of the greatest sci-fi series ever written because of them.

    Give credit where it is due.


  2. You know you're right! Iron Maiden were awesome! And they put on one hell of a show complete with dueling guitarists Adrian Smith and Dave Murray. Murray is a greatly underappreciated guitarist.

    You also named one of their best LP's... 'Number Of The Beast'. But I still have to say that the 'Killers' LP is the cream of their crop.

  3. Anonymous1:54 PM

    "Electric" came out a year before Zodiac Mindwarp's classic.

    "Electric" was released in spring 1987.

    Tattooed Beat Messiah cam out in Spring 1988.

    sorry- big cult fan- I bought Zodiac Mindwarp because it sounded so much like Electric.


  4. Anonymous2:10 PM

    after more digging- it looks like they came out at the same time- apologies-

    still great albums both.


  5. Zodiac Mindwarp's album was released in England long before it was released in the states.