Judas Priest: Priest Live (1987)

 

One of the forgotten double live albums that not to many people talk about much but should is Priest Live from those Masters of Metal, Judas Priest.

First of all, I have to thank my daughter Kylee for Priest Live as gift from her to me for Father’s Day!

Priest Live was recorded in Dallas and Atlanta back in June of 1986 when Priest was still big business in the arenas of North America.

The guys were touring in support of the classic Turbo album that marked a shift in musical direction which on Turbo somewhat divided the fan base.  I admit I was one of em as at the time I thought Turbo was ok. When I found it used on vinyl back in 2018 I liked it more for some reason maybe as back in 86 there was so much hard rock coming out it was tough to give everything a fair listen if it didn’t grab you by the throat right off the bat.

Turbo was one of those albums.

So when Priest Live hit the streets in May 1987 I scooped it up quick and why wouldn’t I? 

Double live album along with a gatefold! Win-Win. The song selection is decent enough as well featuring 5 selections from the current Turbo album from that tour.

Rob Halford brings his A-game on this album and is stellar throughout. Glenn Tipton and KK Downing prove without a doubt that in 1987 they are only second to  Adrian Smith and Dave Murray in the best co-lead guitarists in my book.

Ian Hill thumps the bass along while drummers Dave Holland and Jonathan Valen keep the Priest ship steady behind the drums

Out In The Cold as an opener was in 86 a ballsy move as it fringes more the ballad side of Priest but the sound that emulates from the 6 dudes is a huge wall of sound. 

SATURDAY NIGHT AND THE PRIEST IS BACK!!!! bellows Halford as JP tears into Heading Out To The Highway.

Priest Live is basically a Greatest Hits live album focusing squarely on the 1980 to 1986 era of the band which undoubtedly is where Rob and the boys sold the most records in North America that is.

Lots of highlights on this album for me. The already mentioned Heading Out To The Highway, The Sentinel, Electric Eye, and Freewheel Burning are solid winners in my book.

Turbo (the album) is featured predominantly and of course, it would be as they were plugging this album from town to town back in the summer of 86. Five songs are featured on Priest Live. The tempos are quicker(than the studio versions) as Priest gets on with the new stuff.

Private Property is a great track. Nice use of the guitar synth on that one as is of course the immortal Turbo Lover. Rock You Around The World sizzles with some lead guitar work from Tipton. Even, when things get almost poppy-like with Parental Guidance there, is more of punch to it live than studio which suits me fine!

This is a great spin as the hits are played(well Priest hits that is) and that was what Rob/KK and Glenn were trying to do in the 80s. Write catchy hooky riffs of Metal to try and get something to stick on MTV while keeping the diehards happy. 

The only real knock I have on this album is the packaging is well…dull. No tour info, no pics just the gatefold picture. I will admit the copper use of color is kind of neat but this could have been so much better.

Iron Maiden set the bar way too high in how they packaged Live After Death back in 1985. No one has come close since then or after that.

But…

Packaging issues aside Priest delivers with the music and in the end, that’s all that matters.

Summer Spin: Van Halen 5150 (1986)

Hey, Folks. Now that we are into the summer (at last) I thought I would change  Weekend Spin to Summer Spin.

For the next 8 weeks(every Sunday), I’m going to feature 8 albums that defined a Summer Spin as these are the albums that I had on rotation back in the day, and even now when I play these they remind of a simpler time when I was younger and had more hair! 

Course I will give you the story behind the record to go along with why I chose it!

Thanks for reading…

5150 in the summer of 1986 was still on huge rotation.  Van Halen mustered up a bunch of happy go lucky rock that struck a nerve making it a great summer spin even though it had come out in March of that year.

VH became a new band since Mikey/Ed and Alex added Sammy to the vocal slot giving the band a rejuvenation internally between especially singer and guitar player that had apparently been lacking for many years when David Lee was fronting VH. 

When one listens to 5150 now in 2020 it’s still a great fun record. Happy Party Rock from the opener Good Enough (rack a what?) to end of the album party shenanigan tune Inside and all points in-between 5150 oozes out a ton of fun!

The singles Love Walks In, Dreams and Why Can’t This Be Love sure are keyboard-driven but that was Ed’s deal as he was the music man. Fret not kids, come solo time on these tracks Ed always ripped out his tasty licks on his Kramer for all of us to devour.

Speaking of which. Below posted is a pro-shot video of Why Can’t This Be Love from 1986 but isn’t the version from the Live Without A Net version.

Make no mistake though there was still a ton of guitar rock around on tracks like Best of Both Worlds,5150, Good Enough, and the ultimate why this one was never released as a single that is Summer Nights! (A missed opportunity to release a summer titled tune in the summer)

VH was firing on all 4 cylinders. Everyone always, of course, talks about Sammy and Eddie and even Anthony and his backing vocals but the dude that wins the MVP for me on this album is Alex who plays at times like a wild man (Get Up) but can chill right off the double bass drum pedal on other tracks(pick any of the singles).

AVH is a beast on the whole 5150 album. 

One damn fine album when Sam and Halen loved each other!

What are your Summer Spins? Drop me a line in the comments and share some thoughts. Check back next Sunday for another Summer Spin!

 

 

Weekend Spin- Billy Squier: Don’t Say No (1981)

 

Billy Squier stormed the charts with both album and single sales in 1981 with Don’t Say No.

Speaking of singles how about that three-pack of songs that lead off Side 1. In The Dark, The Stroke, and My Kinda Lover. Of the three The Stroke I still hear on local crap radio and good on Billy as we all know he owns all the publishing on his music so whatever amount of dough is being paid out goes into his pocket directly! (which should be the case).

My buddy Muk bought Don’t Say No on vinyl basically upon its release and I quickly followed suit buying it on cassette tape for the good old Sony Walkman for those bike rides or walks to and from high school.  

Billy crafted a real solid 10 pack of songs on what is his second major-label album (Tale of the Tape from 1980 didn’t go anywhere) which Squier know’s the fine art of writing songs to get played on the radio but keeping enough of a rock edge to satisfy young headbangers like me.

Some credit has to go to Reinhold Mack who co-produced  Don’t Say No with Billy. Mack, as you may recall also co-produced the magnificent The Game album by Queen and worked with a bunch of acts ranging from Black Sabbath, ELO, Rainbow, and John T Snow’s homeboy David Coverdale amongst many others.

Mack dialed in the sonics so brilliantly that songs like The Stroke still sound good on radio! You can hear Mack’s production influence on this record and Billy’s next album Emotions In Motion. Mack had a big hand as Billy’s stuff sonically has that Queen style of production.

And it worked.

Such a great hard pop-rock album. The thing I also liked about Squier is that even though he was tagged as the solo artist Squier basically had the same backing band with him throughout the 80’s even into the early 90s. Nice to see continuity as we know of bands that had a rotating band member carousel back than ( take a bow Whitesnake).

Check out the video below of Billy and his posse from 1981 blasting a live version of the super cool track Whadda You Want From Me. Squier plays some slick slide guitar on it.

Come to think of it Squier was the first single-artist I had in my ever-growing tape/vinyl collection at the time(1981) as up to that point it was just bands.

Perhaps that’s why I have always dug what Billy has done. Oh yeah, plus his music is stellar!  

For further listening check out the criminally underrated Hear And Now album from 1989!

Billy has a big bank account thanks to that Eminem fellow!

  • The Stroke
    • “Stroke Me” by Mickey Avalon
    • “Berzerk” by Eminem from the album Marshall Mathers LP 2
  • “My Kinda Lover”
    • “Shady XV” by Eminem from the album Shady XV

For Those About to Stream, Deke & LeBrain Salute You – Friday Live Show — mikeladano.com

Hey Folk’s it was another Friday Night Rocker with Mikey Ladano where we chatted up our Top 11 AC/DC studio albums. A bunch of other folk’s contributed lists and off we went!

Thanks to Mikey for letting me join him as  I got to spout off a ton of B.S! 

Click the link below to watch the video stream…

Enjoy!

The Technical Issue gods were merciful last night, and they connected Deke in Thunder Bay with LeBrain Summer HQ in Southern Ontario with only minor issues! In the episode we call “Seek the Deke”, we counted down the Nigel Tufnel Top Ten AC/DC albums of all time. Featured lists were submitted by: Myself Deke Buried […]

via For Those About to Stream, Deke & LeBrain Salute You – Friday Live Show — mikeladano.com

OFF THE RAILS- Rudy Sarzo (2012)

Rudy Sarzo as we all know was the Bass Player in Quiet Riot and Whitesnake but has also bounced around in other various acts throughout his 40 years of Slappin da Bass when the Cuban born Rudy ended up in Los Angeles and hooked up with a six-stringer named Randy Rhoads.

Off The Rails was written by Rudy himself and is basically the story of him meeting Randy, joining him in Quiet Riot in 1978. When Q.R could not get arrested with a North American Record Deal things fell apart.

Randy than left Q.R and joined the Blizzard of Oz in England where Rhoads recorded the debut album with Ozzy.

When Ozzy made band changes in 1981 Rhoads was the one who put out the call to get Sarzo in the band. Rudy auditioned and got the Ozzy gig and this is where the story takes off.

The book is written like a Diary. Day by Day, Month by Month as Rudy tells the tales of the Osbourne band on tour in the early days.

What is pretty interesting is everyone knows how iconic the Blizzard of Oz and Diary of a Madmen records are now. But back in 1981 when the North American Tour started some shows were packed where many also were sparsely attended. 

People were focused of course on Ozzy who already had the rap of biting off a doves head at a Jet Records meeting so that tag line followed the band throughout the first part of touring the States. 

Throughout the book, during this time Ozzy is lost in an abyss of booze and drugs in which his manager and soon to be wife Sharon tried to keep him from. It only got worse in 1982 but more on that shortly.

Rudy throughout the book posts actual reviews of those earlier Blizzard shows. There are more than a few Music Critics who thought that Bob Daisley (Bass) and Lee Kerslake(Drums) were still in the band playing the North American shows whereas it was Rudy and Tommy Aldridge(drums) who were in the band at that point as Kerslake and Daisley were fired a few months earlier.

That is called not doing your homework!

Off The Rails is a fitting title as Ozzy was indeed off the rails personally at the time in the early 80s as his marriage was crumbling apart and he just couldn’t kick booze and drugs. 

Aldridge/Sarzo and especially Rhoads were super chill as Ozzy was whacked off his rocker most of the time. Yet the band kept on touring and then on March 19, 1982, it really took a turn for the worse when Rhoads and two others perished in a plane crash which Sarzo writes in the book that Rhoads asked him to go with him and Rudy said he was too tired to get on that airplane.

In the book are all the affidavits of the witnesses of the plane crash. 

Ozzy, of course, went right downhill after yet as all the band and crew wanted to pack it in it was Sharon who kept the Crazy Train on the tracks. Bernie Torme as we all know filled in right away but couldn’t deal with it as he was trying to get a solo album finished at the time. So he was there and gone quickly. 

John Sykes was almost brought in but Sykes manager wanted too much money.

As everyone knows Brad Gillis stepped in and took over on guitar and Brad can be heard on Ozzy’s Speak of the Devil album. Upon its release, Rudy called Sharon and told him he was quitting.

Speaking of the Speak of the Devil record. It was supposed to be recorded with Randy. What I didn’t know was it was supposed to be all Sabbath stuff with Randy on guitar and the original plan was for the record to be recorded at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens! Randy was opposed to recording a double album of Sabbath tunes as Ozzy was in a pissing match with his ex Sabbath mates at the time. Speaking of pissing this was right around the time Ozzy urinated on the Alamo. 

Randy grew tired of the shenanigans and told Ozzy he would do two more records(one live and one studio) and one last tour and that would be it. 

Needless to say, Ozzy wasn’t happy and it led to more friction.

One guy that was really wild to read about was Marq Torien. Who is Marq Torien you ask? In the late ’80s Torien was the lead singer of the Bullet Boys but back in 82 Marq played at an audition with Ozzy and impressed Oz so he sent Torien to Sarzo and Aldridge who jammed with him and in no time told Ozzy there was no way Torien could play or handle the Rhoads stuff.

Clearer minds prevailed.

The Torien stuff is what makes these books interesting. Those little known facts that you have no idea that even took place.

As Sarzo puts it. He joined Ozzy with a phonecall and quit Ozzy in a phonecall from Sharon.

I remember reading in Circus Magazine back in the mid-80s that Ozzy sucker-punched Sarzo backstage at an outdoor show when the two met face to face.  This indeed happened as Ozzy was still pissed that Sarzo had quit.

Time Heals All Wounds.

But by the mid-90s Oz, Sharon, and Sarzo all mended their differences and put the past behind. Sarzo does write about it more than once that if it wasn’t for Sharon and Ozzy, Rudy would have never got a career going. 

Off The Rails is a great read as you get a glimpse of what it was like touring in a new band with an out of control lunatic at the mic (lol).

It’s like if I wrote this book myself. By that, I mean the paragraphs at times look off-center as well as spelling mistakes throughout which I even picked up on. Just the simple things really. Where was the Editor in all of this? Rando, another Bass Player should read this book, and let’s see if he has the balls to point out these writing flaws to his fellow 4 stringer Sarzo! 

I think not!

Little Sloppy but than again it’s like reading my Blog! Ha!

 

 

Tour Shirt Tuesday- Metallica

Hey, folk’s with some nice weather and summer rolling in this is going to be the last Tour Shirt Tuesday for a bit. I’m going to still be posting my Weekend Spins throughout July and August (with a twist stay tuned) and maybe the odd review here and there.  Tour Shirt Tuesday will resume in September!

Cheers To Ya!

I have my good pal Metal Todd who lives out West to thank for this cool looking Metallica 3/4 Sleeve Tour shirt that he graciously picked up for me back in 2018 when Metallica rolled into Vancouver.

I love the front of this shirt as it looks like a throwback drawing from the 80s. The writing under the skull ‘Now That We’re Dead’ is a track featured from the very good Hardwired album that was released back in 2016.

When I received in the mail this shirt from Todd that was the first thing that caught my eye was the song title on the front T which is perhaps my favorite song off of Hardwired.

 Killer T-shirt! 

Thanks, Metal Todd!

TROY! We’re out of Helix!

 

 

Happy Fathers Day to all the Dads that are out there reading blogs today!

Looking back over what is now decades (yikes) both of my parents left me alone on my musical path. In the past, I wrote about how growing up in the 70s how music became a huge part of my life (and still is for that matter) and KISS was the first band that I dug my heels in as I joined the KISS ARMY. 

When I mention above about my parents leaving me alone on my musical path what I mean by that is that even though my parents were dragging me to church every Sunday they could still appreciate my taste in liking KISS. So much so that for my 12th Birthday in October of 79 they took me to Duluth to see KISS Live. 

Even with all the bullshit of the protestors saying KISS stood for Knights In Satans Service. Mom and Dad could look past that.

Another Dad like figure in my life growing up was Tbone’s Dad who we referred to as Big Al. Tbone’s real name is Troy but growing up where I grew up you got a nickname and it stuck and it sounds bizarre to me when Tbone at times calls me Derek which is once in a blue moon.

Anyways,

Big Al and Myra (Tbone’s mom) played a huge part in my life as it was almost at times a 50/50 split between being at my house or over at Tbone’s as both of our houses were basically right behind each other.

Tbone’s younger brothers were a few years younger than us but Darren(Darr) and Randy(Rugg) I have known since 1975. The same damn year as KISS ALIVE! Erickson’s are family to me.

Our Grandfathers even back in the ’40s and ’50s hunted together so there is a ton of history between our families which still goes on to this day! 

Case in point my brother Todd currently lives across the street from Tbone’s brother Rugg. 

So…

Once the early 80s rolled around Tbone got onboard with the hard rock. He would pick up the odd album here and there (Rush’s Moving Pictures and AC/DC’s For Those About To Rock to name but two) but as 1982 went into 1983 Tbone started ramping up on cassette tapes at the time which was his preferred choice of buying. 

I was buying everything Hard Rock and thought I had all the bases covered until Tbone pulled a fast one and bought the major-label debut of Canada’s own Helix.

No Rest For The WIcked was the name of the tape and within seconds of seeing it at Tbone’s place, we headed down to my house so I could dub it as I wanted to hear it for myself as Tbone said it was pretty good.

He was right Helix came slamming out of the gates firing on all cylinders with Does A Fool Ever Learn which was written by Eddie Schwartz who wrote Hit Me With Your Best Shot by Pat Benetar.

Some real good rock gems on this album like Check Out The Love,  Ain’t No High Like Rock N Roll, White Lace, And Black Leather.

Helix when I catch em live when they still come to town play No Rest  For The Record (the song), the biggie single which was Heavy Metal Love and the all-time great Dirty Dog.

Tbone hit one out of the park by purchasing No Rest back in 83 and actually up to last year I never owned an official copy of No Rest For The Wicked in any form until I scored it for a decent price on vinyl.

As the 80s progressed Tbone began snapping up CDs more and more as we all did. Tapes took a back seat in his world as vinyl did in my world.

Fast Forward into the early 2000’s…

Tbone by then had moved out of the family home a ways back but left behind his tapes. So what Big Al decided to do was to have a huge yard sale. Not just with Tbone’s stuff but all kinds of household products basically what no one was using in the house anymore. 

Tbone’s cassette collection which I bet was well past 300 was out on display. All the heavy hitters were up for sale. AC/DC, Whitesnake. Van Halen, RUSH, KISS, Triumph, Bryan Adams,  the sacred Bad Engish debut,  even Down For The Count by Y&T were also up for the taking.

The whole and mean whole tape collection was out for sale. For how much I have no idea as Big Al was the money man wheeling and dealing that hot sunny summer afternoon which was his specialty as he was a Real Estate Broker back in the day.

Big Al knows the gift of gab and is a great storyteller. (Trust me on that folk’s I may at some time have to tell a few stories about our Grandfathers)

So The Boss (my wife Sue) and I were visiting my parents that day of the Erickson Yard Sale so at one point I said to Sue we should head up to Tbone’s place to see what’s going on as I hadn’t seen him in a while.

Tbone was at the yard sale as were his brothers. The whole length of the driveway had all kinds of household items for sale. I was catching up with Tbone when all of a sudden the back screen door to the Erickson house flung wide(how that door did not come off the hinges is amazing) open and Big Al leaned right around the door and hollered for all to hear…

TROY! WERE OUT OF HELIX!

Time stood still at that exact moment when that one line came out for all to hear. Me and Tbone looked at each other for a few seconds then…

BAHAHAHAHA! BAHAHAHAHA! BAHAHAHAHA!

We cackled with laughter like two boozed-up hyenas. The laughs at what Big Al had said must have resonated throughout the neighborhood I’m sure. 

You would have thought that Sue must have been off our rockers but she was used to this kind of goofiness between me and the brothers and wasn’t fazed by it anymore.

Think about it for a second what Big AL had said.

Helix!! Out of quite possibly 75 to 80 different bands sitting there on the table with multiple tapes to pick from Big Al hollers HELIX!** 

I can honestly say that is the only time I have ever heard the words Helix comes out of Big Al’s mouth. If I was a betting man Tbone and his Bros would agree with me on this!

If Al had hollered RUSH, AC/DC even Aerosmith it would have been funny.

The fact that he went with HELIX took it another level of epicness that will never be topped!

Even to this day when it comes up, it’s still a great laugh.

Thanks, Big Al for one of the best one-liners I have ever heard in my life!

Let’s all give Big Al an ‘R’.

Happy Fathers Day to my dad Don and to Big Al and all the Dads out there!

Enjoy your day!

I have to thank Mikey Ladano for pushing me to get this story out. Why I had never mentioned this in some of my Helix reviews is beyond me but Mikey told me that back in the day his Dad thought the name Van Halen was a disease which if Roth had heard that he would have loved it!.

**- Helix was the first show that I believe that Darr and Rugg had seen with us back in 1985 on the  Long Way To Heaven Tour which only adds more classiness to the story. It all comes full circle!

 

 

 

Hard Rock Album and Concert Reviews! (Odd Book Review as well!)