Continuing on. Back in 86 here is another 11 Pack of records that I was spinning regularly.
The Boss that is Bruce Springsteen released in November 1986 a 3 album or 3 cassette tape box set that had about 3.5 hours of Bruce and the E Street band playing all there hits and some lesser-known tracks. It was all packaged nicely and neatly along with a slick insert that had a bunch of pics and info on where all the songs were recorded between the years 1975-85. I don’t think I have to tell you all what myself and Tbone got that year for Xmas!
Actually, we both got it on cassette tape which is probably a first at the time! Considering the only Bruce album I owned up till that point was Born In The USA this box set got us pretty much caught up with the classics.
Constrictor from Alice Cooper was my first ever purchase of a Coop album. 86 and Alice is back with guitarist Kane Roberts who looked like Rambo and together they put out some cool tracks like Teenage Frankenstein, Life and Death of the Party, The World Needs Guts. Sure the album sounds tinny and the drums sound thin but for some reason, I was ok with it. Considering I was a KISS fanboy it was cool to finally buy an album from the dude that KISS took some ideas from to become millionaires.
3 debuts came out as well that I got into and so did many others.
1- 4 chick dudes from Cali via Pennsylvania released Look What The Cat Dragged In that once the single Talk Dirty To Me took off and raced up the charts along with a ton of video airplay all bets were off. Poison was the name and playing Arena Cock Rock was the Game. This album sold like hotcakes and why not. Poison hit that spot mixing glam metal and 3 chords and we bought into it. Over time though some spots on this album, I can’t really handle anymore but overall it served its purpose at that time.
Cry Tough even to this day is still a great Poison track. Even better was the time when Tbone was inebriated(SHOCKER) and sang the chorus of Cry Tough as if Elvis was the fronting Poison. That’s perhaps the main reason I still dig Cry Tough to this day!
2- First seen the video of Modern Day Cowboy on this old Hard Rock show that we used to get locally on TV from Detroit back in the day. Once I heard the track with the dueling guitars and driving drums along with a singer who sounded like if Janis Joplin had balls I was hooked. Tesla hit Gold with Mechanical Resonance which had a bunch of killer tunes plus the fact that these guys just dressed up in jeans and T-shirts was appealing as well. The exact opposite of Poison in looks and hooks. These cats could play.
3-A band that got themselves all glammed up on the cover but could deliver some stellar tracks was Cinderella. Night Songs was the debut and was a pretty corker of an album. Tom Keifer is one talented mo-fo and this album shows Tom getting his foot in the door delivering one classic after another on his one. The title track reeks of AC/DC. Shake Me is The Sweet on roids while Back Home Again is pure Metal. Nobody’s Fool the kinda ballad tune on the record put these guys through the roof as even their videos were a hoot to watch. Getting the opening spot on Bon Jovi’s 1986 Slippery Tour certainly helped the cause.
On a side note when Keifer rolled into Tbay solo a few years back, he opened his set with Once Around The Ride from the debut. I was in from the word GO!
Shake It Don’t Break It!
Speaking of Jovi here comes Jon and his hired guns (his band) along with Bruce Fairbairn, Bob Rock, and Desmond Child and struck absolute fortune with Slippery When Wet. After the promise of the debut and the dud in the followup comes Slippery When Wet which even to this day is a great rock record. You Give Love A Bad Name, Livin On A Prayer and Wanted Dead or Alive were huge single’s and these videos were played to death. Today I can’t really listen to them just due to the fact of the overplayed factor. Still, Jovi could not be beaten in the sales department that year. The production was stellar, the songs were top-notch as were the performances by all the members (Sorry Alec). I liked the lesser-known tracks like I’d Die For You, Social Disease, Wild In The Streets basically the non-singles lol. In saying that Bon Jovi put out one fine damn piece of music.
Ozzy kept Jake E Lee and dumped everyone else and got himself a new rhythm section and delivered to the faithful The Ultimate SIn which was pretty good (not as great as 83’s Bark At The Moon album). Ron Nevison handled the production duties and it sounds like a mid 80s Heart album which is not a bad thing as we all know how that self-titled Heart album sold with Ron at the controls. Jake being credited in the co-writes with the Ozzman delivered some cool stuff like Secret Loser, Never Know Why Thank God For The Bomb, Killer of Giants and the cool title track. Jake played his ass off on this record and once the tour ended got himself canned.
Thanks for coming out Jake!
Cheap Trick struggled in the mid-’80s to about the late ’90s. It was tough being a Trick Fan yet I still bought their stuff and more often than not was the case I was disappointed. The Doctor was the new one in 86 from Trick and geez this record was drowned in a ton of synthesizers and some questionable at best, material. Rick and Robin tried man to make a different sounding rock album but it just did not connect with me except for two, ok maybe 3 tracks. Opening song It’s Up To You is a great track. Good driving tempo and a real slick chorus. Even better was the very last song on the album It’s Only Love which is one of the best CT songs ever. The video for this was very creative with the sign language going on in the video as well. Such a classic great song that should have been a hit that may have saved this album but it didn’t. You folk’s out there in the streaming world should check out It’s Only Love. Do it.
Cheap Trick still though kept on trying and the next three studio albums I purchased. Did I like em? Find out when posts on 1988-1990-1994 Old Dude Rock roll around.
Ratt released Dancing Undercover and looking back at this album 34 years later it’s apparent its Ratt’s version of Done With Mirrors(Aerosmith). I still recall the conversation me and Tbone had about this release in the hallways of our Highschool (Lakeview High) back in the fall of 86.
dEKE- “Whadda think of Dancing Undercover?”
Tbone- “Sounds rushed!”
I was kinda perplexed by that comment coming from the trap of my best friend. But I get it. Dancing Undercover didn’t have the “Track” so to speak meaning the Single. Dance and Body Talk were the two singles from this album but they did not set the charts on fire. I betcha there was a freak out at Atlantic Records when the suits heard this album! lol.
I have always liked Dancing Undercover. It’s Ratt doing what they wanna do and I like how there are about 2 seconds between the tracks and no ballads. Bam one tune after another. 7th Avenue and Looking For Love are stellar songs. I think the second side is stronger than the first side and the first side is no slouch. Maybe that’s why I like albums like Dancing Undercover and Done With Mirrors. Two albums that sound like a ton of blow was snorted off the recording console. I liked what these bands sometimes could muster up when their heads were up in the clouds so to speak.
Plus both Aero with DWM’s and Ratt with Dancing Undercover had one more thing in common and that the packaging for both records SUCKED!
Now onto the two albums, everyone has been waiting for!
David Lee Roth and Sammy Van Halen.
It’s 5150 Time!
Van Halen came out swinging fast n furious in March 86 with 5150. Sam/Ed/Mike and Alex dove headfirst and made a fun party rock album. Some of 5150 had its moment of chillness (Love Walks In) and of course the power rock tracks (Good Enough) and hard-driving fast tempo (Get Up) tunes. I liked 5150 from the get-go. Ed loved his Casio keyboard and with that came the brilliant Why Can’t This Be Love and Dreams. Hell, half the album is keyboard-driven but when Ed had you thinking that there was a ton of keyboard action just listen to Summers Night,5150, Best of Both Worlds, Good Enough, Get Up. EVH was still the man on the 6 string!
Hagar being the new guy brought the party with him but it was a different kind of party. Sam sings like no one’s business on 5150 and for myself and many others, we were ok with the vocal change.
Sam summed it up best with what sounds like a boozed-up synth thrown together tune written in 5 minutes called Inside.
Now listen here, it’s not what you are, ya see, it’s how ya dress
‘Cause that’s one thing I learned from these guys, I must confess
Now me look, I got this job not just bein’ myself, huh
I went out, I bought some brand new shoes
Now I walk like someone else, hey