TPOH/Love Junk(1988)

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TPOH is short for The Pursuit Of Happiness in case any of you’s were wondering but probably not as you already know this as you are all educated RAWKER’S!

Love Junk released in 1988 and produced by Todd Rundgren is simply a masterpiece which I would consider now as back in 1988 when I bought this on the heels of the fantastic single I’m An Adult Know there was so much rock out that it was hard to keep up but I really dug these Quirky Canadians. Hell even across the Big Blue Ocean  Mr 1537 champions their cause as well! All Hail the LegoNater!

Moe Berg had the whole I’m a Geek look down but he could fizzle up a real good batch of hooky cancon hard rock and deliver it with a stellar band behind him.

Moe Berg – guitars, vocals
Kris Abbott – guitars, vocals
Dave Gilby – drums
Johnny Sinclair – bass
Leslie Stanwyck – vocals

The Charm of TPOH lye’s in the Women of the band. Kris Abbott  and Leslie Stanwyck  added ABBA like backing harmonies and Rundgren brings them to the forefront right with Moe and his singing which at time’s is part-time speak as well as sing!

Hard Rock blasted in a different way but a real cool original spin on things. Hell even Axl Rose dug em! Photo evidence…

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Betcha Moe has this pic above his fireplace! Wouldn’t you?! I sure as Hell would!

Love Junk Tracks..

Coolest pile of Junk ..EVER!

All songs written by Moe Berg….

“Hard to Laugh” (2:38)
“Ten Fingers” (2:53)
“I’m an Adult Now” (4:25)
“She’s So Young” (3:34)
“Consciousness Raising as a Social Tool” (2:27)
“Walking in the Woods” (3:51)
“Beautiful White” (3:27)
“When the Sky Comes Falling Down” (3:25)
“Looking for Girls” (2:50)
“Man’s Best Friend” (2:35)
“Tree of Knowledge” (3:50)
“Killed by Love” (4:01)
“Down on Him” (2:30),

Hard To Laugh kicks off this album in fine fashion and a way’s back I reviewed this track all by its lonesome…Need a refresher click the link Friends…..

Cool Lil Numbers….The Pursuit Of Happiness/Hard To Laugh

Hard To Laugh has Old School Cheap Trick sensibilities but the ladies deliver that cool backing vocal vibe….

The second track  is 10 Fingers and it’s another brilliant song as Moe gets down to the nitty-gritty act on this album about sexual frustration which delves into a lot of these songs. Moe though is clever through his lyrics and Man oh Man 10 Fingers Rocks! The Chorus is totally enhanced by the Ladies. Sooooo Good! Check out the video clip below….

I’m An Adult can we all agree right down to the video is an all time Classic song man. Back in 88 I was 21 . Later this year I hit the halfway point to 100! This song is Pure Genius and Moe I have to tell you I really don’t know if I’m a Adult Now! I try too try to be… The drums must be mentioned as they sound good on this album as it does not sound 80’s Whatsoever! Perhaps these Ladies/Gents were well ahead of their time!

She’s So Young has a single written all over it. Pop sensibilities reign supreme here. This tune and video were played a ton in Canada. I dig this kind of rock as the drums by Kilby kick it, move it along. Nice job fella!

Consciousness Raising As A Social Tool What a title wouldn’t ya say?  Nice hard-driving AC/DC like riff a roll and that must be Kris or is it Leslie doing the second vocal as well. Crafty Hard Pop don’t ya just love.

Side 1 is a complete winner! Every track is top notch. Hence where the Singles came from. Side 2 though is no slouch either. Looking For Girls  has Moe inner channeling his best Angus Young on guitar and even goes one better and drops the F-Bomb which would make his pal Axl happy! Killed By Love is another driving like AC/DC number which features a real slick bass line. Gotta love Moe on this album with these lyrics as he’s tormented by Women throughout! Down On Him Again ends the album with a nice like jingle jangle clean guitar sound with a  REM’s Document like vibe except Moe sings “Your Going Down On Him Again” HAHAHA….fantastic!

Come to think of it for a second….let me ramble here…

AC/DC released Back In Black in 1980. I basically said in my review of that album it  told me about he birds and bee’s of life if you catch my drift…

If I would have been 13 when Love Junk came out this album may have had the almost the same kind of impact as Back In Black lyrically as  Berg  captured on one album his vision of the birds and bee’s….!

I’M  AN ADULT KNOW??? NOPE!

Heaven&Hell/Live From Radio City Music Hall(2007)

The Great Ronnie James Dio(RIP) once again hooked up with pals Tony Iommi/Geezer Butler and Vinny Appice to have another go round of Dio fronted Sabbath. 

The only catch is this time they were calling themselves Heaven And Hell not Black Sabbath perhaps due to legal stuff who knows but any hard rock music listener will know the deal!

When I reviewed the  epic Mob Rules(1981) this incarnation of the band was my first introduction to Black Sabbath and I just loved and still do the Mob Rules album as sometimes those first listens to a certain period of a band just resonates with you the listener just a little more!

Special thanks to our family member…Fender The Wonder Dog whom hung out with me on a Sunday afternoon while I scribbled this review!

Of course as soon as dug Dio Sabbath RJD split and released the epic solo album Holy Diver(1983) and from there in the early 90’s Ronnie once again hooked up with these guys for the Dehumanizer (1992) album and of course that went down in flames as well….

But….

2007 and the Sabs….er I mean Heaven And Hell are back in town, well Radio City in NYC that is and they record a Live Album. So following the purchase of a Dio/Sabbath Greatest Hits set to coincide with the Tour here comes once the tour winds down the live album and Deke’s is up for it!!

Disc One
No. Title Length
1. “E5150/After All (The Dead)” (Dio, Iommi, Butler) 8:30
2. “The Mob Rules” (Dio, Iommi, Butler) 4:04
3. “Children of the Sea” 6:52
4. “Lady Evil” 5:20
5. “I” (Dio, Iommi, Butler) 6:27
6. “The Sign of the Southern Cross” (Dio, Iommi, Butler) 9:06
7. “Voodoo” (Dio, Iommi, Butler) 7:42
8. “The Devil Cried” (Dio, Iommi) 11:40

Disc two
No. Title Length
1. “Computer God” (Dio, Iommi, Butler) 6:41
2. “Falling Off the Edge of the World” (Dio, Iommi, Butler) 5:45
3. “Shadow of the Wind” (Dio, Iommi) 6:05
4. “Die Young” 7:44
5. “Heaven and Hell” 15:15
6. “Lonely Is the Word” 6:48
7. “Neon Knights”

This album is chalk full of Huge and I mean Huge Bombastic Iommi Riffs and man I just  dig the Sabbath Sludge crawl of opener After All which upon first listen is kinda of a head scratcher but this is there deal and they’re gonna do what they wanna do! Pay your $6.66 to the bus driver folks as Ronnie and Crew are taking us on a one way trip to Hell! Crazy opener but cool!

The next 6 songs that follow…Mob Rules/Childern Of The Sea/Lady Evil/I/ The Sign Of The Southern Cross and Voodoo are classic Ronnie Sabbath. The songs have a quicker tempo than any of the Ozzy era led Sabbath for the most part and perhaps it was a calculated move back in 1980 when Ronnie joined. Shake  up the Sabbath song structure retool it for the 80’s. New band …New set of rules. Sounds like to me anyways especially the track Mob Rules with Appice driving the beat forward folks and the guy is a monster on the drums on this show as well as he gets the complimentary drum solo on The Devil  Cried.(one of the new tracks that was on the Dio Sabbath Comp)

Disc 2 opens with Computer God from the Dehumanizer album and this is another one of my Dio Sabbath Fav’s. Sure it trucks along at a snail’s pace at times but when the chorus kicks in it’s all bets off with Geezers grumbling Bass. Vinny smashing the cymbals while Tony hooks it altogether musically with his King OF Doom Riffs. Ronnie harness it all in with the vocals!

Cool that these guys don’t play for years together yet when they put there issues aside it’s like a step has never been skipped! This album proves that as they fire away at Die Young along with a 15 minute sing along with Satan on Heaven And Hell  and to finish things up a big round of blast off with Neon Knights! Neon Knights is a huge fireball of speed riff’s  and drums that are rocking off the Highway To Hell!

This is a fantastic live record ….

Guest Review:Van Halen Live 2004 By Tbone!

Ladies and Gent’s! A few weeks back at Tbone’s house I asked him to jot down a few words at some point on one of the very few shows we haven’t seen together and that was …..(Top Secret as that review shall come at a later date) This past Saturday I was cruising around You Tube and came across some Halen 2004 shows. Hagar has publicly stated and even in his book that Ed was a mess both personally and professionally! Well what better way than to get a first hand account of a life long Halen Fan writing a review who was at one of the 2004 shows…. So I zipped Tbone a message this past Saturday  and said…..”Jot a few words down” Bam into my inbox on Sunday was this great read!

Halen called this the Best Of Both Worlds Tour. I’m not so sure that’s the case….

Take it away Tbone!

July 22, 2004 Saint Paul, Minnesota….

So back in the summer of 2004 my brothers, Randy (Rugg) & Darren (Darr) along with Darr’s son Ryan, went on a trip to Minneapolis/St Paul. Rugg and I had bought tickets to the Van Halen show and Darr and Ryan were last minute tag alongers who just came for the chance to get away.

The show was to feature Sammy Hagar back at the mic and the most commercially successful version of Van Halen was now seemingly back together. Although I personally was disappointed that the brief reunion with Roth in ’96 didn’t work out, this was at least a close second favorite version and was a lot better than the alternative which would have benn “No” Van Halen.

The band was supporting their recent “Best of Both Worlds” Best-of album which featured three new Van Hagar songs, “It’s About Time”, “Up for Breakfast” and “Learning to See”. The second of these being my favorite, as to be honest I can’t really remember the other 2 tunes off the top of my head as I’m writing this. I do remember noticing that Michael Anthony was not given credit for any of these new songs. Although I don’t recall it being a big deal at the time, it certainly became clear why in the months and years that followed.
So off to the show Rugg and I go, and since it’s been almost 13 years my recollection is a little shady at best. For instance I had to look up online that Shinedown opened the show and to be honest I don’t really recall anything good/bad or otherwise about them as the opener.

Then after the usual intermission break between opener and headliner, Van Halen finally takes the stage and opens with Jump. They go right for the big number right out of the gate and it was a pretty decent version as I recall. (Full disclosure: I looked up the setlist online, as I’m 11 days shy of my 50th birthday, and there is no way I am going to accurately remember this from so long ago. Thank you, internet!)

Runaround was next followed by Humans Being, which I was pumped to hear live as this was the first tune of the night that I hadn’t heard live before and also in my mind this song had marked the end of the previous Van Hagar.
Up for Breakfast was a pretty cool tune live as I recall and I like the tongue-in-cheek lyrics to this one.
Anthony’s Bass Solo was his usual Jack-Daniels mixed heavily with sound effects coupled with him lurking the stage like a lovable nut-job.

Somebody Get Me a Doctor was up next followed by Poundcake. As I recall it was probably around this point in the show where Rugg (who also plays guitar) and I started noticing something about Eddie’s playing. He was sounding off on occasion and actually seemed to be hitting off notes intermittently. He also was really hitting his strings hard , like really hard, with some pretty severe aggression. So much so that it could have been this aggressive playing that was making some notes go seemingly sharp. He was shirtless and shoeless as I remember and looked every part the madman. Almost a bit scary.

It’s About Time which I don’t really remember was followed by a fairly typical Al Drum Solo which as I recall was fairly uneventful. Not in a bad way, but nothing crazy happened.
Top of the World, Unchained and Why Can’t This Be Love which are all good live tunes in my opinion were next, and other than us being very focused on Ed’s unusual rough playing by this point, they were otherwise pretty decent versions.

Then Sammy had his solo segment, just Sammy and his guitar doing, Eagles Fly and Deeper Kinda Love. I seem to recall him jamming a bit either before or between songs but can’t specifically remember but it was a pretty good segment of the show, although I’ve always found it a bit awkward for there to be a 2 song Sammy solo show in the middle of a Van Halen show.

Seventh Seal was next which I was pumped to hear live as I never caught them on the Balance tour and I’ve always liked this song.
Then came Best of Both Worlds which led into Eddie’s Guitar Solo. Now normally this is any Van Halen fan’s favorite part of the show. The moment we’ve all been waiting for, so to speak. But this was not Ed’s best solo not by a long shot. I’ve seen them a couple other times live and those times he was spot on. Any of the versions I’ve seen on DVD’s or online concert footage it’s usually more of the same… Lesson’s from the Master. But on this night the solo kind of rambled on like a drunk Eddie in a MTV interview. Lots of very aggressive string smashing which kind of made my brother and I cringe a couple times and actually look at each other like “WTF!” Don’t get me wrong, it was not terrible, it just wasn’t up to the extremely high standard that we have grown accustomed to from the greatest rock guitarist of my generation.

The highlight part of the solo was when a young Wolfgang got up on stage and jammed with his Dad on 316, the song that is titled after Wolfies March 16th birthday and as legend is told, is the song Ed would play to a pregnant Valerie’s belly to calm the future Van Halen bassist. This was the happiest Ed seemed to be the whole night. This was the calm in the middle of the storm.


After the guitar solo I have to admit I think I had trouble really focusing on the remainder of the show as it had become apparent that there was something troubling going on with Eddie. Was it his health? Was he fighting with Sammy? … we didn’t know what it was at the time, but something was off.

Dreams, Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love and Right Now rounded out the show before the band re-emerged to play You Really Got Me and Panama as a first encore and then When It’s Love as a second and final one.

Van Halen shows are like pizza to me. Even bad pizza is still good pizza if you know what I mean. It may not be the best pizza you’ve ever had but you’ll still eat the shit out of it because you love pizza. This show was bad pizza. Better than no pizza but certainly not the Stans’ Jumbo Thundercape (local pizza reference) that I was hoping it would be.
My main takeaway from that show being “What’s Eating Edward the Great?”
Only time would give us the answer.

 

 

Sammy Hagar/Live 1980

Friday it was Sam’s 1984 big breakthrough album V.O.A that was reviewed but let’s rewind a few year’s back to 1980 in the recording’s of Sammy…

Yup..

After being blown away by Hagar’s Live show in the fall of 1984 as soon as my feet landed back in Thunder Bay it was off to the record shop and purchase anything live Hagar….

It was Kings Stereo that I purchased Live 1980 a live Sam album from well ….1980! Recorded  at the infamous Hammersmith Odeon in London England.

The Tunes…

“Trans Am (Highway Wonderland)” (Sammy Hagar) – 5:15
“Love or Money” (Hagar) – 3:57
“Plain Jane” (Hagar) – 2:26
“20th Century Man” (Hagar, Gary Pihl) – 3:59
“This Planet’s on Fire (Burn in Hell)” (Hagar) – 5:14
“In the Night (Entering the Danger Zone)” (Hagar) – 1:26
“The Danger Zone” (Hagar) – 5:00
“Space Station #5” (Hagar, Ronnie Montrose) – 4:28

The Dude’s who don’t look like Ladies…

Sammy Hagar – lead vocals, lead guitar
Gary Pihl – rhythm  guitar, keyboards, backing vocals
Bill Church – bass guitar, backing vocals
Chuck Ruff – drums, backing vocals

This album blew me away for one thing you can see pre 1981 Sam was all old school hard guitar rock! No keyboards except for some dabbling In The Night/Danger Zone.

Ok so  when I spun this the very first time the thing struck me right off the hop was the intro to the first song of the show and thats Trans Am.  Great opening number with the intro(you can hear a Motor revving) and some dude on the mic introducing the “Red Rocker Sammy Hagar” and bam the curly-haired dude is singing about his Car?! Hahaha…whatever yanks the crank I suppose! But still a great live number listen below…

So as soon as Sam gets off the Highway Wonderland it’s into another  Gem of a tune called Love Or Money. “I may be crazy but I ain’t no fool!” Sammy hollers and boom were off. Nice shuffle of the drums by Ruff as well as backing vocals.  Sammy 1980 is a serious Hard Rocker!

Plain Jane has a real cool vibe not an all out rocker but Plain Jane still packs a real good oomph! Super cool verse’s with a real cool bass line that follows the lead vocal!

Big rock riff’s lead the way and that song is called 20th Century Man  No radio fodder her on this tune as Sam and Gary weave the guitars in and out while flexing some serious muscle live. Another standout track that no one ever talks about! Even Hagar himself!

Side 2 begins with one of my favourite Hagar tracks and that’s This World Is On Fire. Boogie woggie riff a roo and this was even Sam’s opener when I seen the show in 84. It’s basically a tune about selling your soul to the music business…lyrics  below…

‘Cancelled flights, limousines
Hustle bustles, crazy scenes
First you’re here, then you’re there
Pretty soon man, you been everywhere

Ooh, this planet’s on fire
Oh, Satan’s desire
We’ve seen the rise, we’ll see the fall
He’s here to see us all
Burn in hell…’

Even better I’m going to post a live clip of a young Sam from 1978 blasting this tune live.  People tend to forget what a great Lead/Rhythm Picker Sam is …..watch it man its Rock Gold!

Form there it gets trippy with a short interlude awash with keys called  In The Night which goes right into The Danger Zone which is more spacey and crazy with the album ending with the Montrose classic Space Station Number 5 which is a rip snorting rock attack as the band is on an all out rock attack! More huge guitars and this is Hard Rock done to perfection with a chorus that is gold!

As with the end of every Sam show he introduces the Boys in the band something he still does to this day! Props all around!

This is a quick snap shot audio assault from Sam and he’s a rocking beast as is his band.  The performance on here is top-notch and Sam as he entered the 80’s shifted his musical chops somewhat with a more commercial hard rock sound. Fair enough as you gotta make cash!

Check this one out folk’s!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sammy Hagar/V.O.A(1984)

Circus Magazine was the first time I had seen the name Sammy Hagar and that was back in 1982 for an advertisement for his current album at the time  Three Lock Box.

It wasn’t until the summer of 1984 when I had first seen Sam’s video for I Can’t Drive 55 on MuchMusic and I was sold. The song featured a crunchy guitar not overtaken by the keyboards and the video was fun as well with Sam blasting around in his Ferrari/Eluding the Cops/Being tossed in the Slammer and then busting out and there’s Sam in the cool car while the boys in his band follow him a truck! You know who’s cutting the cheque’s!

I was 16 and Sam was badass in a Hard Rock kind of way as it seems  Sammy wasn’t  taking his shit too serious by making a cool goofy video!

Off to  fetch my first Hagar record and that was Voice Of America or V.O.A for short!

Sammy already had a slew of solo albums under his belt as well as two Montrose albums so he had been in the game for a while!

Sam’s career by 84 was picking up steam and as well just a few  months later in Oct 1984 I caught Hagar headlining in Ladano’s favourite city Duluth Minnesota  with Krokus opening. Sammy delivered an exceptional live show to this day I still recall fondly..

Hagar Tunes…

“I Can’t Drive 55” (Sammy Hagar) – 4:12
“Swept Away” (Hagar) – 5:36
“Rock Is in My Blood” (Hagar) – 4:29
“Two Sides of Love” (Hagar) – 3:41
“Dick in the Dirt” (Hagar) – 4:19
“VOA” (Hagar) – 4:29
“Don’t Make Me Wait” (Hagar, Jesse Harms) – 4:06
“Burnin’ Down the City” (Hagar) – 5:32

There ya have it. 8 Hard Rockers with Don’t Make Me Wait being the bona-fide token Power Ballad but other wise a pretty kick ass album.

Sam nicked Ted Templeman for this album and Ted of course produced the 6 Roth Halen albums and just a short year later Wham Bam Ol Thank You Mam! Sam I Am becomes the new VH singer after Dave Roth gets the boot/quits ..yada yada…

Hagar’s Honcho’s…

Sammy Hagar – lead vocals, lead guitar
Gary Pihl – rhythm guitar, backing vocals
Jesse Harms – keyboards, backing vocals
Bill Church – bass guitar, backing vocals
David Lauser – drums, backing vocals

The great thing   when I started buying Sam’s albums was that these guys  were his backing band for many years.  Sam remained loyal to them and it wasn’t like the Dave Coverdale  Whitesnake switch aroo member changes from album to album tour to tour it seemed which I got so sick and tired of.

V.O.A like I had mentioned blasts of with I Can’t Drive 55 and once Lauser rolls that snare intro it takes you the listener all of 5 seconds to know that the Production is going to be top-notch as well as the performances! Love this tune as 55 is just plain old fun Rawk! No Frills’s as Sam is smart as he buy’s into the don’t bore us get to the chorus philosophy and I’m ok with that as my attention span is short to begin with…

Swept Away is a Gem! Sam nails one out of the park with this track. Love the big power chord that  begin’s  the song and it shifts into a decent balance of keyboards and acoustic before Sam ramps it up on the chorus. Check out the Live 1984 audio clip I posted to hear it for your self….

Rock Is In My Blood lyrically is kinda silly but the music is slow with a bit of  hard rock thrown in to keep the music somewhat raunchy. It’s a decent track musically but after Swept Away Sam can be forgiven for writing some Dumbo Like Lyrics…. Sam must have found some of  Gene Simmons leftover Animalize lyrics lying around!

Sam and the boys deliver a real decent hard rock single written all over it track called Two Sides Of Love. Driven by keyboards and drums along with some ripping guitar Two Sides is a great fun summer time hard rock track. Love the pre chorus  that segues right into the catchy happy chorus. Great tune….Another video posted below…

Dick In The Dirt wins funniest song title in 1984..  Sam sings about a down on his luck dude named Richard  so come chorus time the lyrics go “She Knocked Dick In The Dirt” hahaha,,,that silly ol Red Rocker. The music is good as well and when I caught the VOA show this was the second track played that night….

The title track V.O.A is Sam rolling up with Rock Troops and they will kick anyones ass that is in the way! Sam even name drops the USSR as well and I remember reading back than interviews asking him about being political etc which was kinda funny because these lyrics are kinda just goofy words like Triumph wrote with there Allied Forces lyrics. No harm no foul right? But by Sam name dropping a country I guess he stirred someones coffee the wrong way…than again as with a lot of music back than it was probably a calculated move. I  bought into it!

Don’t Make Me Wait is the big power slobbery tune on this album and it’s not a bad track actually! Everyone was doing this back than and so it falls into that heap of song’s I can’t handle but some I can. Today I can’t though…

Burnin Down The City was a tune I kinda neglected as I would pick up the needle after the tune V.O.A and would move onto something else. Having said that it’s not a knock as this tune is a mid tempo end of the album rocker. Features Sammy yammering on about some-crazed ass dude Burning Down The City…Case in point… Here’s some lyrics ….


Every night he rocks this place
He burns the best, but never shows his face, oh, no.
Burns the walls, burns a truck,
Burns a trian, don’t give a fuck, no, no. 

Aren’t those lyrics classic? HAHAHA….

Still though a great revisit and you have to hand it to solo Sam as he was basically putting out album after album followed by tour after tour and building up the fan base. Plus writing all the tunes and such the dude no matter what you think of Sam he  has a great work ethic even though at times he get’s a little sloppy with the lyrics! But who cares I love Big Dumbo Rock  look at KISS’s 80’s output especially that Asylum album…haha….

My  next post will be the second ever album of Hagar’s I purchased on Monday Folk’s …A Double  Sam Shot….

Mas Tequila!

 

 

 

Metallica/ ….And Justice For All(1988)

 

Wowzers!  Got And Justice For All this past Christmas(2016) from my Vinyl Loving Daughter Lexie! Thanks a bunch Lex!

Story Time…..

Lets step inside and go back in Deke’s Time Machine to August of 1988 when I was a soon to be 21-year-old still scooping everything Metal!

The hype for this record at the time  was Huge as Metallica with And Justice being there 4th album was a term we say nowadays “Trending Upwards”  after 1986’s Masters Of Puppets had sold a bunch as people were expecting huge things and huge things were delivered by the Men Of Metallica!

That summer of 88 Metallica were playing on the North American Monsters Of Rock tour featuring Headliner Van Halen/Scorpions/Dokken and Kingdom Come. 

Dokken on this tour was in shambles and they had to follow Metallica every night. So picture this for a second. Here’s Metallica bringing teenage angst to the masses in these stadium shows playing tracks like Battery/Creeping Death leaving the audience wanting to break things or each other than Don Dokken and Curious George follow that by playing the big Power Ballad Alone Again!  Haha…

Betcha those Dokken guy’s were sulking big time every night when they  walked off the stage realizing they got there asses handed to them by having Metallica lay down the Metal Law night after night before them.

Just Saying…. 

So I purchased  this upon release and quite quickly began spinning it and not before too long my younger brother Todd who was at the old ripe age of 11 at this time(1988) took a total shine to this record and it’s still one of those albums he recalls fondly when we talk Rock or should I say METAAAAAAL!

So James/Lars/Kirk and New Dude Jason. We all know there last names and what instruments they play Blah Blah Blah so let’s skip that silliness and delve into some of the tracks….

POUNDING METAL!

No. Title Music Length
1. “Blackened” Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Jason Newsted 6:40
2. “…And Justice for All” Hetfield, Ulrich, Kirk Hammett 9:44
3. “Eye of the Beholder” Hetfield, Ulrich, Hammett 6:25
4. “One” Hetfield, Ulrich 7:24
5. “The Shortest Straw” Hetfield, Ulrich 6:35
6. “Harvester of Sorrow” Hetfield, Ulrich 5:42
7. “The Frayed Ends of Sanity” Hetfield, Ulrich, Hammett 7:40
8. “To Live Is to Die” Hetfield, Ulrich, Burton 9:48
9. “Dyers Eve” Hetfield, Ulrich, Hammett 5:12
Total length: 65:17

Spread out over Two albums and this album I love front to back not only in the songs(more on that later) but the look as it was kinda like an anti somewhat metal looking like cover with the whole Lady Liberty blindfolded  and it reeks of corruption/filth/dollar bills flying around. It’s just a cool cover love the colours. Dig the graffiti like spray of the album title in the bottom right hand corner. Total eye catcher….

Still recall picking this up the day of its release as the hype as I mentioned earlier was huge.  It was a hot August day when I bought this album and after making a stop at a local convience store to snag the latest copy of Kerrang it was home and a drop of the needle was in order!

The first few bars of album opener Blackened just blew me away as it was a pile driver of a track right out of the gate. Lars drums were huge. James and Kirks guitars were loud. New Dude Jason. Where’s your Bass? Ha ..it’s there but kinda buried under the drums and guitars. Razzing the new guy? Who knows for sure but kinda crazy that the bass is somewhat laid back but perhaps James/Kirk and Lars from what I read in the past were still dealing with the death of Bassist Cliff Burton in 1986 and with drink n drugs floating around I’m sure this didn’t help Jason’s cause! Too be totally honest here I originally thought my vinyl was screwed as the bass was dialed in low..hahaha….silly 20 year old me at the time!

Must mention what the charm for me and this album is not only for the fact that Metallica is at the time writing 5-10 minute songs but the production is dry and think about this for a second as in 1988 it was bands with huge album sounds and 3-4 Radio Friendly Tailor Made Radio Tracks  (I’m not naming names!) so kudos to producer Flemming Rasmussen who was brought back to tidy up and produce this album after original producer Mike Clink got fired.

1988 and a Double Album with the exception of Side 3, Two tracks per side! Also interesting to see in the credits that James is credited with Rhythm Guitars and Kirk with just Lead Guitar. I recall reading at the time that was how they recorded this album. Kinda interesting way of doing things but for this band its Colonel Lars and Captain James!

…And Justice For All the title track is the second and last track on Side 1! Clocking in well at over 9 minutes this song is driven by Lar’s drumming which suffice to say is complex and even the lyrics about social injustice and the environment is crazy as these guys are partying hard at every turn but still taking the craft seriously! That’s saying something!

Eye Of The Beholder with its military like mash-up of drums and guitars take a shot at the mainstream music and censorship at the time the PMRC.  Do you remember all that silliness? Stickering albums as offensive and making Kids wanting music that was offensive  even more….

MuchMusic here in Canada went squirrelly like I’m sure MTV did in the States when Metallica released the video for One.  MuchMusic premiered one night and yup I was home to record it on VHS as this was big news as these guys were the last known holdouts from making a video and when this video was shown everyone went bat shit crazy over it… not your typical video either(no happy joy joy ) as there was no editing involved so it was the full tune. Once again I love when the guitars and drums do that  military like mashup. So  heavy yet pure brilliance as well!

Shortest Straw leads off the second album and it’s a full-out sonic brawl. Straight ahead blistering Metal. The lyrics when you follow them you know James was taking them seriously. Than again I always mention that it blew my mind he was writing lyrics to songs like Fade To Black in 1984!

Huge guitars lead the way with Harvester Of Sorrow. Another stomper of a track that they still play to this day! Great solo in this tune by Kirk.

The Frayed Ends Of Sanity.  What a great title! Lars goes off the rails with his drumming on this one. More guitars/More Drums/More Bass…ummm ok maybe not so much Bass but it’s there……kinda buried under an avalanche of Hetfield rhythm’s!

How about a 9 minute plus musical tribute to Cliff and call it To Live Is To Die a mixture of classical guitar and metallic stomps and it’s a deep long track. Cliff would have been proud ….

The album ends with Dyers Eve which features an all out assault on guitars and drums. If you think Tallica was gonna the end the album on a chill note. Think again….This song is HEAVY!

There ya have it folk’s! 1988 and Metallica step up and do what no bands were doing in 1988 and for one thing that’s a double studio album filled with vocals/riffs/more riffs and drums! How about the length of the tunes! Blitzkrieg!

Too be honest when I first got this back in 1988 like I have said a few other times that there was so much music out that it was hard to devote a full 100 percent to anything as bands were putting out stuff  it seemed like every two weeks.

This album was complete grower on me and here we are like 29 years later and I appreciate this album more now than I did back in 88!

Kudos to James/Jason/Kirk and Lars on this album….

 

 

 

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