Category Archives: Old Dude School of Rock!


This Four part of Old Dude School of Rock is starting to look like I totally lost my mind buying rock in the 12 months that made up 1988!

When is this insanity going to end? Lol

Let’s keep on keeping on starting with…

‘Ram It Down’. What a cool cover. Judas Priest released this record and I just could not get into it whatsoever. Cover of ‘Johnny B Goode’ was funny more than anything. What happened here happened to many Metal Acts in the 80s when they got bogged down in the album/tour cycle formula for years eventually the creativity dries up. A shame really but nothing can take away the fact that for me Priest out some stellar product from 79-87. My fav Robbo years.

So Chris VonRohr comes back to Krokus and basically, the original band puts out ‘Heart Attack’ which gave me a mild heart attack as it wasn’t very good. One track that stands out pretty good is ‘Let It Go’ and the remake of ‘Winning Man’. I had no idea what happened. Krokus within 5 Years went from the classic Headhunter mode to going glam (Change of Address) and then it was over. Krokus 88 tried to rock but their creative tank was empty.


RUSH put out the double live record ‘A Show of Hands’ which features a lot of there 80’s stuff. A pretty great snapshot of a band still doing it there own way in 88 not giving a rats ass what anyone thinks in a polite way. 15 songs 14 of which are from there 80s output. Great representation and  I along with many others got on board with  Geddy/Neil and Alex back in 81 as this is a great live batch of tunes. The only knock is where is ‘Prime Mover’? Prime Mover was on the VHS version of A Show of Hands but not on the album! Dang. 

Another Double Live album but this was the last hurrah as Dokken broke up around the time ‘Beast From The East’ hit the streets which is a great live album. I reviewed this a few months back so I’m not going to get into the whole deal that broke this band apart but this is a fitting farewell to a band that never ever recovered. In other words, Mick/Jeff George and Don chucked it all away. Asshats all four of them.

How about another Double Live album but this one is from Pink Floyd that they recorded on their 1987 American Tour. All the Floyd biggie hits are on here and what can you say. When you listen to Floyd you just want to get Comfortably Numb! David Gilmour is excellent on this album and that must have driven Roger Waters bonkers sitting at home watching his former band sell out 50,000 seat stadiums!

How about… ok here’s another live one but this is just an EP from that loveable Space Chap Ace Frehley and his posse featuring Tod Howarth, John Regan, and the brilliant Anton Fig! 4 Live tracks and one new studio tune (Words Are Not Enough) which gave me hope about the next Comet studio release which if you recall a post or two back Second Sighting came and went without a real sighting. Live, Ace, and the boys shine on this, and how about that Fig workout on ‘Breakout!’ Top-Notch! Within a year the Comet crashed. 

88 was also the first time I ever bought an Anthrax record and the last time I bought an Anthrax album! State of Euphoria with that pukey yellow cover was kinda cool as who was using yellow in Metal other than Stryper in 88?  lol, Some cool stuff on here like ‘Be All End All’ and of course the cover of ‘AntiSocial’  I could never really understand why I never bought Anthrax before or after this album. Maybe I should have but I never did. Nothing personal fella’s just one of those unexplainable Metal Mysteries!

KISS cashed in once November 88 rolled around by releasing a Greatest Hits set calling itself’ Smashes Thrashes and Hits’. I bought this for those two new studio tracks (bahaha) and man Gene and Paul were goofy to make Eric Carr sing a song that is so associated with Peter Criss! Imagine what was going through Carr’s mind when he was cutting the vocal for ‘Beth’.  For a Greatest Hits set it was a pretty good one actually. It sold really well and I’m sure lined the Demons and Starchild’s pocket with some Christmas cash to spend on themselves.

The buzz on Metallica in the summer of 88 was huge. The fact that they were releasing AJFA which was a double studio record and had no video at the time was impressive, to say the least. I think at certain times this may be my fav Metallica album as there is zero polish on this album along with no Bass which has been beaten to death for 32 years. I like the mix of the drums on AJFA. Lars and crew flipped the middle bird to everyone and did it there way! ‘Blackened’ and the title track just crush. Actually, all of it crushes.

After 3/4’s of Whitesnake got fired by Coverdale. John Sykes takes his guitar and enlists Bob Rock as a producer and together along with Carmine Appice and Tony Franklin releases the pretty stellar Blue Murder debut album. Word on the street is that Mr. Coverdale threatened to hold back the masters of his forthcoming Slip of the Tongue album if Geffen pushed the B.M album too much. As crazy as that sounds the ill will between Sykes and Cov I could totally see those shenanigans playing out. A shame really as B.M never got there due and Coverdale and W.S were in shambles after 1990 anyways. Fuckin egos! #


Green I bought right upon its release by R.E.M and man what a cool rock record. Before Micheal Stipe became one of those Shiny Happy People they blitzed through a track called ‘Orange Crush’ which is so friggin good along with the quirky single ‘Stand’ that followed. Man good times with this album as the buzz was huge as R.E.M hit the jackpot with a huge record deal with Warner Brothers Records. Pop Song 89 indeed!##


Queensryche released a concept album in the form of Operation Mindcrime to which if my memory is correct may be John Snow’s all-time favorite record. Mindcrime is a deep listen as if there is a metal album to hear on headphones this would be the one. Ryche does what they always do and that never makes the same record twice. 

What would be my favorite album from 88 would be the Mighty Maiden releasing the kinda concept piece 7th Son of a 7th Son! ‘Moonchild’ kicks things off in grandiose style followed by ‘Infinite Dreams’ which when Bruce goes into his Air Raid Siren and Dave, Adrian. Steve and Nicko lift no one comes close to there brilliance. Love this album and it’s easily in my all Time Top 5! An added bonus for the cool color scheme that Derek Riggs did in doing up the artwork on 7th Son! 

Well, folks1988 was a huge year for Hard Rock Metal. 37 albums I bought that year surpassing 1984 by about 9 records. Now having said that as we all know I bought what I thought were some dud’s but shit happens as back in 88 there was no try before you buy as I had to do my homework in reading reviews and if I wasn’t too sure about something I would chat up Tbone to see if he would take the plunge and be my guinea pig! Lol

Check back down the road as we head into 1989. 

#- I have to Thank Bloggin Pal Peter from Australia on name dropping the album Blue Murder in Part 3 of this post as I completely forgot about it!  

##- A round of handclaps for Geoff Stephen who kicked the cobwebs out of my old noggin and reminded me about the R.E.M Green dropping in 88!


Old Dude School of Rock- 1988- Part 3

Man, I thought 1984 with 28 releases would be the year I bought the most records but it’s looking like 1988 is going to top that. Having said that some of these purchases that you gathered by now have been so-so. 

Having said that, here are more of the Hard Rock that I bought.

I basically ignored buying any Yngwie before 1988 and the only reason I did buy Yngwie was when he put out the album ‘Odyssey’. Yngwie hired Joe Lynn Turner who sang on the brilliant 80s Rainbow records so Yngwie gets a pass and that’s why I bit. I didn’t mind this album. ‘Heaven Tonight’ was a great single and all the songs that Turner had sung on this record Joe actually wrote the lyrics for. Yngwie and all that jerking off on his guitar instrumentals would bore the piss out of me but when Yngwie wanted to be a “team” guy and not a “me” guy I was onboard. Ok, I was only on board for this record lol

I got taken for a ride on this album. I never bought the debut Vincent Invasion album from 86 but I did buy this one ( All Systems Go)and it was an orgy of guitars which gave me a headache after one listen. I really wanted to give Vinnie a pass as he did some killer stuff with KISS between 82-83. But clearly, the Invasion lost its battle as this album did nothing. 


Dubrow gets the boot from Frankie and hires Paul Shortino (Rough Cutt) and makes a new QR album which sold squat.  ‘Callin The Shots’ was good but I can’t really recall any other ones on this album. I’m not knocking it I just don’t recall anything from it. 

Honeymoon Suite went to L.A and hooked up with Ted Templeman and released what I think is there best record the guitar-driven ‘Racing After Midnight’. Lots of cool stuff on this one. Johnnie Dee and Derry Grehan cooked up a bunch of cool rock like the title track, ‘Fast Company’, ‘Tears on the Page’, ‘Lookin Out For Number 1’, and a song that still gets played on our local crap radio which is ‘Love Changes Everything’. This record sold well in Canada but something funny was going on as when I caught the tour here in the summer of 88 as attendance had dropped off by a lot at our local dump gardens. Just two years earlier in 86, H.S  drew about 5,000  in 88 about 2500. Just like Helix in 87 Honeymoon Suite puts out a good rock record but for some reason, people just don’t care about seeing the live show. Too bad as this album is pretty damn solid.

‘Second Sighting’ the second full release by Frehley’s Comet came and went and while many of us bought it it was apparent something weird was going on in Camp Frehley. Second Sighting is a mellower record than the debut from a year earlier. Tod Howarth took a ton of heat as everyone says his tunes softened this record but to his defense Ace wasn’t writing the good catchy rock tunes.  So what do you do? You put it out and it doesn’t sell and than Frehley’s Comet ran out of cash on tour as the dates dried up and in the end, no one gets paid and the finger-pointing began. Not saying this is a good or bad record just saying that when your leader shows up with not too much in his magic bag for licks it’s not going to end well.

Kip Winger scores a record contract and puts a band together with some talented cats and puts out a debut album that sold well. ‘Seventeen’! lol, What can you say about that tune? Reb Beach dialed up some good solo’s on this album and opener ‘Madaline’ is a pretty good tune that sets the pace for this record. Winger ballads never did anything for me but some of the rock stuff did.  

I read Stephen Pearcy’s book from a few years go and in it, Steve-o says that bassist Juan Croucier’s Bass parts were done by Juan on a computer and not Bass? haha, Lazy ass! For all the Ratt kookiness going on behind the scenes, I like this album as I like RATT’s 80s output. Lot’s of neat stuff on here. Opener ‘City to City’ is a great lead-off track. How about Warren DiMartini’s intro guitar work on’ Way Cool Jr’.  Some cool stuff on this album and for some reason when Tbone and I had tickets to go see RATT/Great White and KIX in the summer of 89 the Duluth gig got scrapped due to lack of tickets! 

Man, when I read the hype on the self-titled Kingdon Come album that was produced by Bob Rock I was onboard. Sure some parts Zeppelin ok most parts Zep but who cares. The songs/production are all killer on this record and I really dug this album and still do that I now even own it on vinyl. Lenny Wolf got blasted by all those around him for cloning Zep but whatever, what artist doesn’t swipe a lick or 10 from someone!

Clap for the Wolfman.

Ok, how about a Part 4? Yep were headed that way. Watch out for some more fun around these parts in a few short days!



Will part two be as good as part one in the Hard Rock that I bought back in 88?

You be the judge and let me know what ya think.

Let’s do this!

AC/DC came out guns a-blazing in January of 88 with Blow Up Your Video. Over time this album has grown on me. For many the 83-88 output of AC/DC is questionable. To me though it’s all ok. Blow Up Your Video has some cool tracks. Nick of Time, Heatseeker, Go Zone, the real cool Two’s Up, and the title track makes BUYV an enjoyable listen.

So there, all you mid-80s AC/DC naysayers! lol

You know I bought this as I missed the boat on Angel(late 70’s) and Giuffria(the mid-80s). Greg Giuffria hooks up with the Demon(Gene Simmons) who in 1988 started his own record company called Simmons Records. House of Lords has to be one of Gene’s first signings and releases on Mean Gene’s label. I bought into this at the time because 11 years earlier Genie discovered Van Halen in L.A so I figured what the hell.  House of Lords did squat for me. It sounded to pomp but maybe it was meant to be that way.

I just couldn’t see myself buying a frilly shirt and pomping my night away to House of Lords. Gene would have wanted my head on his chopping block If I had said this back in 88! But I bought this with my own money.


Seen some Megadeth Videos on MuchMusic but when MegaDave and his posse released So Far So Good So What in 88 I thought let’s take a gamble and get this. This was an ok album once you could wrap your head around Mustaine’s vocal’s or whatever the fuck you would call Dave’s style.  I bought it on cassette tape for the walkman. It got some spins and I quite liked In My Darkest Hour and even there cover of Anarchy In The U.K. No one snarls the word Anarchy like Dave.

How about another Guns band from L.A. A pretty good debut from L.A.Guns and I liked the sleaze that this record oozed in tracks like Sex Action, One More Reason, Electric Gypsy. Yeah, good stuff. I liked the back cover shot as well as they look like they are right from the Road Warrior movie!

Time for a MOVIE REVIEW:

Speaking of The Road Warrior this is my fav part in the whole movie which only had about 3 pages worth of lines…

“Just walk away.

Give me your pump, gasoline, and the whole compound, and I will spare your lives.

Just walk away, and I will end the horror.”

Just walk away to the end the horror is what I did in regards to House of Lords and a few others.

I reviewed this on vinyl a few months back and I love Bobbie Plant who goes overboard with all kinds of technology and way over the top slickness in the production but for some reason instead of me wanting to dislike it instead, it’s a fine piece of brilliant work. Plant got a bunch of young guys and smashed out a bunch of tracks and even sampled himself from his old Zeppelin daze! Too Cool One!

Big Buzz on this album and why not after Blackout (82), Love At First Sting(84), and World Wide Live(85) this was a no brainer purchase but I as I quickly found out I liked the other two studio albums that came out previous. Something was weird on Savage Amusement. The songs were, what’s the word I’m looking for? (you fill in the blank). I was disappointed man, big time except for the track Rythm of Love. Not only the songs were missing so was Matthias Jabs hair which has never been since 1988!

Another album that was coming out that had some buzz about it was   Ozzy with No Rest For The Wicked One reason was the unveiling of the Ozzmans new guitar phenom that being Zakk Wylde who riffs like a lunatic on this album and easily is accepted into the Ozzy fanbase. Miracle Man and my fav off of this album Breaking The Rules amongst a bunch of other tracks are very solid. The only knock is the production I dunno something weird sounding about it. Zakk gets full writing credits off the hop with Ozz which if you recall former guitar slinger Jake E Lee got credited squat on his debut which was Bark at the Moon which we all know is hogwash as the credits in BATM  are listed as Ozzy and Ozzy alone who wrote everything. (Insert howl of laughter here)

Yeah, I think I likey this cover back in 88 Lol. Lita Ford could play the 6 string and she had a bunch of albums to her name, Another album that fell in the ok file. Kiss Me Deadly was a cool track and she even had Ozzy show up to do the duet thing (Close My Eyes Forever). Good on Lita though as she had a good run in the ’80s. So hats off to you my lady making a dent in the hard rock male-dominated charts.

Part 3 will be posted in two days!

Let The Hype Machine Begin!


Guess what Folk’s the year that was 1988 in music may be a four-parter as I bought a bunch of Hard Rock that year. Here’s what I drained my funds back on 32 years ago!

If you read my review of this album a way back my pal Tbone was the first one to get this record. The shocker wasn’t that Poison released a new album but the fact that Tbone scooped it pronto upon its release.

 Open Up And Say Ahh! A glam metal at its finest. Bret Micheals starts the party off with one of the best lines ever to open an album from the 80’s that being the track Love On The Rocks where out of Micheal’s mouth once he opens up and sings ‘She Goes Down Like A Shot of Gin” sets the party off in grand style. I liked this album a lot at the time but when I went and saw Poison live in early 91  they managed only to play just a 75-minute headline set which included a goofy drum solo and a beyond ridiculous guitar solo which ate up 30 minutes. I was done with them. Yet I still bought there following releases so I guess I wasn’t completely done.  Picked this up a few years ago on vinyl which was a great retro relisten!

Nothing But A Good Time…Indeed!

Diamond David released in January of 88 his second full-length solo album that being Skyscraper. It was interesting to listen to at first. This recording was made for CD. It had a ton of gloss and overproduction but buried below all the keyboards and 2,000 dubbed guitars are some fine tracks like the opener Knucklebones, The Bottom Line, the brilliant Hina, Two Fools Born A Minute.

Damn Good has Dave going the opposite way without all the bells and whistles of technology with just him and Steve Vai on acoustic guitar. In other news Rando, the Bass Player got pissy pants and left after this record was done.

I can hear the sound
Of the North Star calling
Put your high beams on (stay on my wing)
I’m falling (falling, falling, falling)

I never owned a KIX album until 1988 when Blow My Fuse came out. What pushed the album was the power ballad but what I dug about KIX was those hard rock tracks like the title track, Get It While It’s Hot, Ring Around Rosie. KIX was good on this album. Vocalist Steve Whitman is basically the American version of Brian Vollmer from Canuck act Helix. Nothing wrong about that.

I don’t think I need to tell anyone that reads this blog about the hype on this album. New Jersey from Jon and his hired guns went back to Vancouver and along with Fairbairn and Rock who dialed in the sonics on the mega-selling Slippery When Wet from 1986 released New Jersey and it went through the roof. JBJ and Richie Sambora knew how to craft great songs back then that would keep us rock guys happy( Homebound Train, Lay Your Hands On Me, Bad Medicine) while making the ladies happy ( take your pick of anything else on this record). A great record that to this day I still think is there best.

Axl Rose went looking for trouble and trouble he got in the form of One In A Million which came on the album Lies which has Geffen Records wanting to cash in some Christmas bonuses action on the name Guns N Roses. Half acoustic/ Half live which it really wasn’t.  Patience was the biggie single which sold this album as before you know it everyone is going unplugged. This was a stop-gap between Apettite in 87 and Use Your Illusions in 91. 

Living Colour was a  4 piece act that featured some serious players. A band where each guy brought their chops and to which upon this release Tbone and myself would crank Glamour Boys real loud on the tape deck in his car while driving around aimlessly trying to look, cool.

Cool, we may have not looked but we had the tunes! Vivid is a hard rock record that was and is so good. Corey Glover has a great voice and how about opening track Cult of Personality. Wicked grooves throughout this debut album.  I’m actually going to spin this sooner than later.


April showers followed by some May power in the form of OU812 from Van Halen. The second full-length Van Hagar offering has VH still retaining the title of cock rock champs in the Arena Circuit. Overall a solid effort that features some cool tracks like the Keysynth driven Mine All Mine. How about that wicked drum intro to A.F.U.?  Sam with handling lyrics throws together the goofy Source of Infection that he probably wrote in 2 minutes. Black N Blue is another one but it’s so cheesy lyrically that it gets stuck in your brain for days or in my case decades! Overall a decent followup to 5150. Ed though does what he does and he plays his ass off on the whole thing especially that solo on Sucker In A Three Piece.

An album that I was looking forward to was the followup to Night Songs and that was Long Cold Winter by Cinderella. Sure they were on glammed up on that debut album cover but by Long Cold Winter, they laid off the mascara and cranked the amps. Tom Kiefer I have to say out of all the new bands that came out in the 80s is still an excellent Songwriter/Singer and  Guitarist. Actually, there is another guy who I would consider that as well. Maybe a bit below Tom but still up there. Who is it? Well, you will all find out at some point in this 88 Trilogy! 

Check back next week for Part 2 of the albums that rocked my mullet in 88!

Old Dude School of Rock- Part 2-1987

Hey, Folks! Thanks for checking out Part 2 of 1987.

Those batch of albums from Part 1 of 1987 totally outsold those that I’m going to talk about here. 

Still some good stuff here and well, some so so stuff.

Giddy Up!

I was on board with what Gary Moore was doing after the brilliant Run For Cover album from 85. Gary dropped Wild Frontier which was a pretty good spin and Moore you have to give credit to him as he didn’t release the same album twice. Gary displayed his Celtic roots played through a Marshall amp. Over The Hills And Far Away, the title track and Thunder Rising are stellar tracks. The only real knock on this is the drums were all programmed.

Kinda weird but Gary went through drummers like my buddy Tbone emptying bottles of Scotch through this pandemic.

Ozzy released the fantastic Tribute double live album for his fallen partner Randy Rhoads who died 5 years prior back in 82. Rhoads playing was crazy at the time.  What a great band Ozzy had back in 82 with Rhoads, Bass licker and picker Rudy Sarzo and drummer fella Tommy Aldridge. All the songs on here are wicked but man Believer I just love. Ozzy is off the rails of course but Rhoads and crew keep the Crazy Train known as Ozzy on the tracks. 

3 years after the stellar comeback album Perfect Strangers comes Deep Purple with House of The Blue Light. I was pumped to buy this album as when I saw the first video/single Bad Attitude I was sold and bought it right away and then was bummed out as it was nowhere near as good as Perfect Strangers. Well, that was that and outside of Bad Attitude this album just did not do it for me. 

Sorry Richie, Ian, Mikey, and HMO!

You would think after not being impressed with an album that came out in 84 why on God’s Green Earth would I tempt fate by buying another album by the same band three years later. Well, that’s what I did as I bought TNT’s Tell No Tales. I. bought this on cassette tape for the walkman as I heard the single 10,000 Lovers (in one) and thought it was a decent track.  The rest is meh. I got hosed out $12  Canadian. End of Story.

John Norum who put out the pretty decent Total Control was another one I purchased on cassette tape. This was a good album. John even covered Vinnie Vincents Back on the Streets tune. Kinda funny I could not handle Europe at the time but Norum I liked as he laid down two brilliant solos in The Final Countdown and Rock The Night. So for that reason, I picked this up and enjoyed it at the time.  Quick question. Anyone else in Canada buy this one back in 87?  Yeah, that’s what I thought! LOL

An album to fulfill a Contractual Obligation came in the form of Sammy Hagar who released at the time his last solo that Sam titled I Never Said Goodbye. Hagar had his sidekick EVH play Bass as well as Sammy did the right thing and featured the solo band that he had with him up to the point where Sam joined Halen. Pretty good record especially opener When The Hammer Falls. Give To Live and Eagles Fly were tracks that Sammy incorporated in his acoustic solo spot on later Halen tours. 

Another solo fella who put out an excellent record that went nowhere sales-wise was x-Duranie Andy Taylor. Andy released Thunder and what a pretty fine slab o rock it was. Don’t Let Me Die Young is the best track on this record and if you recall my little interview with Jonathan Valen from a few years back gave some insight on this album as he was the drummer for Andy on this record and tour. Valen as well drummed in Priest on their Turbo Tour in 86 (but Priest don’t want you to know that!)


Speaking of Priest. J.P released the pretty decent double live album titled Priest Live which was there double live to satisfy all of us Metal Maniacs! Outside the atrocious budget looking, cover Priest nailed the classic’s on this record. This band was on fire live and is Valen on this album along with Holland on the drums? Something’s Fishy!  If you come across this record give it a listen as its a decent representation of those early to mid 80’s Priest albums that Rob Halford and his hombre’s laid down.

Triumph came back with Survillaince which was a try to return to the classic rock years after Triumph destroyed their fan base with Sport of Kings(86). This album tanked. Triumph played like 8 shows and Rik Emmett split and Triumph was listed as D.O.A. For the trashing, this record  I kinda dig as in Never Say Never and the wicked friggin brilliant Headed For Nowhere that if your a guitar player out there reading this check out the battle royal of guitar solos between Steve Morse and Rik Emmett. Holy friggin Wow! 

Wild In The Streets from Helix  tried to recapture the glory years of Helix which in 1987 they were trying to hold onto. Helix gave it there all and this may be my second fav album of there’s after No Rest For The Wicked. Ok maybe third after Walkin The Razors Edge which would be Number 2. Still, though Vollmer and The Doctor put out a solid batch of rock and it was a shame that this album did squat in the U.S. Here in Canada it sold well and Helix was still headlining arenas but the crowds were dwindling which was no fault of Helix and the material they were putting out.

Mikey Schenker got a vocalist with the last name MacAuley and good on Michael not having an ego and calling the band the MacAuley/Schenker Group. (M.S.G). M.S.G released the ok sounding Perfect Timing album which had MSG really going for the American Market. MSG had there shot as they opened for RUSH on there Hold Your Fire Tour. Robin MacAuley has a good rock voice and I’m surprised this album didn’t take off in sales.

Contagious from those fun dudes known as Y&T really tried as well to go for the gravy train on this record. Overall a decent attempt as the title track that came out as a single and video didn’t move mountains. Y&T played the game somewhat getting outside songwriters and for once they didn’t have a goofy cover! I bought this on cassette back in 87 and a year ago (2019) bought it on used vinyl as the price was right. Way fuckin better than that previous Y&T studio attempt in 85. Ask Tbone about that album as I’m sick talking about it now. lol

Space Ace finally returns to solo land after many starts and stops in the early ’80s after he left KISS. Ace wasn’t fooling around as he put together Frehelys Comet with a stellar band in support. John Regan on Bass, Tod Howarth on Vocals and Guitar as well as Anton Fig who is the key on this album. Hell Ace even dug up Eddie Kramer to dial it in just like Ace and Eddie did on the 1978  Frehley KISS solo album. A pretty damn good record that I still enjoy putting on when the mood hits. Rock Soldiers was the single from this record while Breakout (co-write with Eric Carr) Something Moved, Stranger In A Strange Land are great tracks. Dolls though sucks but made me realize that Ace was still on the party train as he must have been high to want Dolls on this album. Still a pretty decent record all in all.

Well, that’s it for what soaked my wallet in 1987.

Coming up sooner than later-1988!


Old Dude School of Rock- Part 1-1987

Well, Well, Well

When you think of Hard Rock back in 87 what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? 

Rock Mags? CDs? Cassette Tapes?  Strippers? Vinyl? 

For myself, it would be the Whitesnake album that everyone calls 1987. Actually, 3 things come to my mind when I think of this album

1-John Sykes laid down some supersonic guitar firepower on this album as well as co-writing most of the tracks and the thanks he gets along with everyone’s involvement with 1987  is they all get their asses canned.

2- The video of Here I Go Again with a cougar known as Tawny slipping n sliding while Davey tries to keep both hands on the wheel. (cue the stripper comment from above) 

3- Coverdale has never come close in sales of the 1987 album even though Dave has put out a bunch of Post Sykes albums. Last year’s Flesh and Blood album I think is the best thing Old Cov has released since the shred infested Slip of the Tongue release(1990) as SOTT took me about 30 years to come around on it. 

Make no mistake folk’s Dave and John hit one out of the ballpark. A few years back in 2017 Coverdale put out a brilliant box set of the 1987 album featuring the demos that are just sonic Gold.  Seek it out.

Great White released a pretty decent album in the form of Once Bitten that featured the cool 7 minute plus version of Rock Me. Other tunes that I played non stop on my cassette tape of Once Bitten were Lady Red Light and All Over Now. Jack Russell has a great bluesy voice and Jack did not try to go down falsetto avenue on this stuff which is an added plus. 

I took the plunge and like many others bought White Lion who released Pride in 87. White Lion was getting a ton of press and why not. They had a Blond Frontman and a dark-haired guitarist. Who does that remind you all of?  Pride featured the big ballad When The Children Cry which pushed Pride up the charts. I bought the next 2 White Lion records after Pride as well so I guess for a time I dug there sound as when they decided to rock it up White Lion was pretty good. 

Donnie and Curious George released the brilliant Back For The Attack which was jammed with an hours worth of music that had us all Rockin With Dokken. This is one killer record that I still put on now and then. Actually, I purchased this originally of cassette than CD and finally picked it up used on vinyl a few months back. Prisoner was a great track. The whole damn album is one fine record. Too bad they couldn’t keep the ego’s n coke in check.

Heart released an album called Crazy Nights. Sorry I meant KISS. Genie and Paulie hired Ron Nevison(Heart, Ozzy) who was coming off the huge self-titled Heart release of 1986 and KISS went about wanting hits. Didn’t really go that way as no big singles really took off except for the tune Crazy Nights which was huge in England so there ya go.  Crazy Nights is an Ok album. Nothing Great. Nothing Bad. It’s just kinda there.


Just like KISS with Crazy Nights Motley Crue pumped out Girls Girls Girls and even though I hoped aboard the Crue express right way with this record just like I did with 85’s Theatre of Pain it fell by the wayside a little quicker. Some cool stuff like Sumthin For Nuthin and the wicked Wild Side are stellar tracks. Your All I Need was the big ballad but Vince was singing way out of his range and a sappy live cover of Jailhouse Rock kinda tanked the album from respectability. Over time though I like Theatre of Pain better than the Girls album. Did I just type that?

RUSH came at us with the crisp n guitar clean sound of  Hold Your Fire which had some really great tracks on it. Opener Force 10 is a great track and Time Stand Still (featuring Aimee Mann) was a great single. I will add that Prime Mover which ends Side 1 is such a brilliant piece of RUSH Music. Peart drives that cymbal like the GOD he is on Prime Mover. RUSH though you have to hand it to them they just kept putting out albums during the 80s and kept doing what they were doing. Meaning doing it their own way and going Platinum in the process.

Aerosmith released on the same day as RUSH, Permanent Vacation which was the comeback of comebacks. Fairbairn and Rock dialed in the sonics while Jim Vallance/Desmond Child pushed the singles up the charts. This was a lean mean clean version of Aerosmith. In other words, the Record Company wanted money. They got it with this album. If you ever meet Tyler don’t ask him about Holly Knight whose contribution to Rag Doll was changing the title originally from Rag Time to Rag Doll and she got a full writing credit to which this day still drives Tyler crazy! I was with Tbone that day at the record shop as we both each left with RUSH and Aero products. That was a good day record shopping and money well spent.

Def Leppard released Hysteria in August 87 and it was a mad dash to the record shop to hear what Lep had been cooking up since there last release was Pyromania from 83.  When I got to our local A&A Records Hysteria was already sold out on vinyl. So cassette tape it was. Leppard to there credit included all the album info inside the tape so all was good as far as keeping me happy! lol. Hysteria I liked and still do. Sure there’s the sweet goop of the Sugar tune but Leppard could still bunker down and write some brilliant slabs of rock.  Isn’t it crazy that all of Side 1 was released as singles? Side 2 though for me has some stellar stuff like Gods of War, Run Riot, Don’t Shoot Shotgun. Yeah man, the under the radar stuff. Great album.

I was big into The Cult when they released the Electric album (more on that one in Part 2). I had seen an add-in Music Express that had a bunch of Cult tour dates going across Canada. Opening for The Cult was this crazy bunch of riff-raff calling themselves Gun N Roses.  I filed that name in the back of my noggin and I think it was early December 87 when I was in King’s Stereo and in the cassette section was Guns N Roses and there debut release Apettite For Destruction. I took the plunge and just like The Electric album this was a street rock but with a lot less polish than everyone else that was putting out records at the time. My first reaction was this Axl guy likes the F-bomb but man what a debut. A band that was definitely broke in recording Appetite For Destruction and went for everyone’s throat and made us all tap out before they choked us out! 

Thanks for sticking around and reading this post about 1987. Amazing that when you look at this list that Leppard/Gunners/Aero and Whitesnake had so much chart action with singles and video play that these 4 albums were still selling huge numbers well into 1988! 

Check back in a few days for Part 2.

Old Dude School of Rock- Part 2-1986

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

Over time I’m thinking 5150 may be the best VH album of the Hagar era. Just a fun record.
Roth came back in the Summer with Eat Em And Smile as Roth employed Steve Vai on guitar and together wrote up a bunch of VH like rock.
Vai took the bull by the horns basically throughout and off we go. Steve humped that wang bar like no one’s business. Together Roth/Vai combined on 6 songs on Eat Em that were right on par with what Van Hagar was doing. Yankee Rose, Elephant Gun, Goin Crazy, Ladies Night In Buffalo and my too fav Dave/Steve tunes Big Trouble and Bump and Grind.
The players on this album are top-notch. Gregg Bisonette drums his ass off while some wanker on the 4 string does his part well.
Roth succeeded and proved he could record a full out rock album without the Halen guys. I was relieved especially after the whole California Girls EP which had me a little concerned as I thought Roth was going Vegas( that came a few decades later)
For a time I could not pick who I liked more as I liked what both acts were doing just fine.
In other words more music for us fans.
Divorce at times in bands can be a plus as this was proved in 86 by Roth and Halen.
Rack a What??
Coming up-1987



1986 was a real wild year in music and that comes down to one band basically that had all the makings of rock drama unfold right before our eyes!

That band is Van Halen and talk about a crazed bunch of events that started when David Lee Roth got fired (Dave says) or Dave quit as (VH says). Who knows for sure what went down but that year when Dave and Halen released there own albums in 86 I bought Rolling Stone religiously as they had every single mud sling between Dave and Eddie as Rolling Stone lapped up that cash cow as that magazine came out every two weeks so they were pretty up to date with stuff, unlike all the other mags I bought that came out monthly.

It was great reading I tell ya. The dislike towards each other was crazy and at times hilarious and in doing so drummed up a ton of publicity for both Roth and Halen. Still, though a lot of pretty cool albums came out that year that once again I emptied my bank account on.

Without further ado.

Kim Mitchell took his foot off the hard rock gas pedal and went a little north on Shakin Like A Human Being.  Sure there was still some cool rock stuff like Get Lucky Girls and Boys and That’s The Hold but Kimmy and his sidekick Peter Fredette had some biggie tracks on MuchMusic( Patio Lanterns and Easy To Tame being two songs which shot this album beyond platinum in Canada). I will add that I picked this up on cassette tape that summer of 86 as it was in heavy rotation on my Walkman while I rode my bike to and from my summer job. Plus add the fact that Kim showed up to Tbay that summer as well and sold out our dump Gardens and put on a stellar show in front of myself, Tbone and John Young!

Those Patio Lanterns…

Another Canadian act that put out a really decent rock record was Honeymoon Suite who delivered a huge sounding album titled The Big Prize(Thanks to Bruce Fairbairn and Bob Rock) and also had the songs to back it up. Bad Attitude, Feel It Again, Wounded were wicked rock tracks.  Another band that showed up to Tbay that year and sold out our dump Gardens and they were even using crazy lasers.

How about another act that rolled into Tbay and that was Gonzo himself the one and only Ted Nugent who was plugging his current release Little Miss Dangerous at the time. LMD was at best a dicey listen as the drums were all programmed.  There were a couple of cool tracks like Take Me Away and the wicked Painkiller that just ripped as Ted’s guitar was jacked up on this album. Speaking of Jacked-up guitar. Ted that night live in Thunder Bay started off with a 5-minute guitar solo and that’s all I heard was GUITAR! IT WAS L-O-U-D! Ted had a killer band backing him that tour. It was safe to say Ted blew not only my ears out by Tbone’s and Jack Loafs as well!

AC/DC for many (but not me) had skidded out of the spotlight somewhat but a Greatest Hits set and some new tracks added so guys like me would buy helped resurrect AC/DC back up the charts in 86. Who Made Who was a soundtrack album to the Stephen King movie titled Maximum Overdrive which was goofy. What was not goofy was the song Who Made Who which has the Dacca boys firing on all cylinders. The rest of the albums had a few instrumentals and some other classics as well as Sink The Pink! (ha) Cool to see Ride On here so Bon Scott is featured as well as he should be,

Metallica came out of the gate fast and went faster with Master of Puppets which is still to this day is one fine album when you want a shot of an adrenalin rush. Opener Battery sets the pace. One of my biggest rock blunders was saying “Na” about going to see Ozzy and opener Metallica in 86 a good 3-4 months before Cliff Burton was killed. Looking back that was a dumbass move on my part. My line of thinking was I’ll catch em both on the next go-round.

Live and Learn.

Turbo came from the Judas Priest camp and was a pretty decent album. A little light and silly in some spots (Parental Guidance) but Locked In Private Property, Turbo and the brilliant never talked about Reckless are top-notch tracks. Turbo had Priest borrowing ZZ Tops‘ synth and driving it headfirst into a Marshall Stack. Turbo kinda freaked out some of the diehards but considering how much I love Point of Entry I’m ok being a Turbo Lover(of this album).

One band that slid backward due to record company pressure was Triumph. After a great run of about 4 studio and one live album, Gil, Mike, and Rik succumbed to the Record Company and put out more of a commercial rock album Sport of Kings. I didn’t get why they caved. They were headlining arenas and kinda tossed that away with this album. One song in particular(Just One Night) just freaked me out as here was this explosive three-piece act drowning there sorrows recording a ballad that had the last name Cain attached to the writing credit.  Gah!

Amid a ton of lawsuits with record companies and who knows who else Boston came out with Third Stage. Tom Scholz as he always did basically plays all the instruments, wrote all the tunes and produced the album. Third Stage at the time confused me as in the heyday of Heavy Metal in the ’80s here is Boston leading off with a ballad titled Amanda! Between Triumph and Boston, I was fully concerned that the rock balls had fallen off both acts.  In Boston’s case, they had the late great Brad Delp singing so Third Stage gets a pass! (watch for a Vinyl Rewrite coming soon)

What was probably the biggest dud in my purchases of 86 was Quiet Riot when they released QR 3.  3 good songs were on this one and even that’s open for debate. Kevin Dubrow lost the plot and was soon giving his walking papers and left QR. Crazy to think that in a matter of 3 years QR went from multi-platinum albums and arena shows to the used bins and bars. I think that these guys hated the number 3 when you really think about it.

Ok, I take that big dud comment about QR. Another dud that hosed both myself and Tbone out of cash was Krokus when they released Change of Address. After a string of 3 decent albums that I had bought in regards to Krokus(One Vice At A Time, Headhunter, The Blitz) the question had to be asked. What happened? I dunno. I can’t even comment about this album except they did a cover of Copper’s Schools Out. Krokus had melted into one big sloppy piece of Swiss Cheese.

Rage For Order came from those funny dressed up dudes known as Queensryche. I bought Rage For Order on cassette tape. It was a tough listen as no two Ryche albums sounded the same. This kind of funny stuff confused me as a listener back then but now I get it. They kept changing so I have to hand it to them and as you all know I really dig The Warning album from these guys now and that only took me 37 years to realize it!!

So I guess you can tell by now that some albums didn’t really set my rock world on fire but one that did was of course Iron Maiden with Somewhere In Time. Love the Derek Riggs front and back cover along with the packaging as Maiden always delivered for there fans. No cheaping out whatsoever and how about the tunes as Adrian Smith steals the show with the brilliant Wasted Years, Sea of Madness and Stranger In a Strange Land. Not to be outdone, Steve Harris returns with the all-time classic Caught Somewhere in Time which is easily in my all-time TOP 5 Maiden tracks! Hell, even Alexander The Great has finally won me over and that only took what, 34 years?  Bruce Dickinson sings like only he can and considering he was told at the time that his songs that he contributed for this record were not what Harris wanted. Bruce to his credit still shows up delivers his stellar vocals and I would have never known otherwise back somewhere in time!

On any given day Somewhere In Time may just be my favorite Maiden album.

Check back in a couple of days for the Roth/Halen albums reviews. You probably were thinking that I was going to yammer on about those two records in this post but  I gotta hype up my shit! Lol

Old Dude School of Rock-1985-Part 2


Time for some more mid 80s action…

Bon Jovi after making some serious noise on their debut album released in 1985  the followup titled 7800 Fahrenheit. I bought it on cassette tape and to be honest something was missing. Oh yeah, the songs. Granted they had a couple of cool ones in Tokyo Road and In And Out of Love. Maybe it was the production sounding sterile as the tape lacked punch or maybe it was the fact that David Bryan sporting a tighter than a poodles perm back in 85 played the role of the tough guy in Only The Lonely video which destroyed any street cred Bon Jovi had built up the year before.

More fashion came from Dokken in the form of Under Lock And Key. Considering the cover looks ridiculous with there clothes and hairdos and what’s the deal with that prop that looks like a cardboard cut out of the Dokken logo between Don and George! See there’s proof of them hating on each other in 85. As goofy as the cover is the songs are brilliant. Unchain The Night, In My Dreams, It’s Not Love and the stellar The Hunter proved that Dokken could deliver the goods musically as the Lead and Backing vocals and the musicianship especially with Lynch on guitar proved that if you liked great hard rock it was Ok to be Rockin with Dokken all night long.

Jonno, Malcolm, and Angus kicked out the jams on Fly On The Wall. Lot’s of people go Blah Blah Blah the song’s aren’t there or it not as good as Back In Black(duh!) Blah Blah Blah but give it a spin as Johnson wails and tries to be heard over the riffs of Angus and Malcolm. I dig what AC/DC did in this period of the mid-80s as they did not give a Fuck. The title track is a kicker as is Shake Your Foundations. But some real as I call em Gems are found elsewhere like Stand Up, First Blood and the brilliant Playing With Girls where you can hear the feedback of the guitars in the studio as this tune smashes you between the eyes!

Just remember fellas…

Playing with girls gonna get
You hot
Playing with guns gonna get
You shot
Playing with fire gonna heat
You up
Playing with me you’re gonna
Get the lot

W.A.S.P came out with there followup and that was The Last Command which was well. I dunno.  I bought it as Wild Child and Blind In Texas were cool tracks for the time. But something was weird with this band. They kinda lost me. Maybe it was because Blackie ditched the Rack LOL. Maybe it was because it sounded like a real weak Quiet Riot album as Spencer Proffer produced it. Who knows man. I just lost interest which was a shame as I thought WASP was going to try and do the KISS 70’s makeup thing which WASP did but the problem was the songs by WASP were just not hitting me below the belt. Speaking of below the belt maybe Blackie should have hired Gene Simmons to write some lyrics you know the kind about putting a log in one’s fireplace!

After UDO and Crew knocked my socks off with 84s Balls To The Wall release. Accept comes storming back with Metal Heart. Metal Heart is a great record. Love that color scheme on the cover and even better are some of the tunes on this slab of German Metal. The title track crushes. Dig those big gang like backing vocals and man could these cats play. Accept hammered out cool songs like Too High To Get It Right and the slick yet effective Midnight Mover. But something funny happened with Accept as when they put there next album Russian Roulette they lost me. I borrowed a friend’s tape and gave it back and that was that. Not to fear I did return back to accepting Accept in 1989! (more on that one down the road)

Accept’s buddies from the homeland Ze Scorpions released the wickedly fantastic double gatefold sleeve World Wide Live which is a great spin. Matthias Jabs sizzles a bunch of well-executed bolts of brilliance on his guitar while singer Klaus tells all about Another Piece of Meat. Such a great double live album that is kinda forgotten and that’s because of Mighty Maidens Live After Death came out the same year. Scorps though shine on this album.

Another live album that came out that year was Triumphs Double Live Stages release which no one ever talks about which is a shame. Rik Emmett/Gil Moore and Mike Levine cranked up some rock and put out a bunch of greatest hits which were recorded live and when Triumph opens Stages with the classic When The Lights Go Down you will stand up and take notice as Rik steals the show with his guitar work on this album as he’s a freak on the 6 string.  Also, love the track Rock N Roll Machine as Gil sings for his supper and Rik goes off on the guitar! Triumph tacked on a couple of studio tracks that were ok but the real meat and potatoes of this album is the live portion.

Coney Hatch put their noses to the grind and came out with the brilliant under the radar Gem of an album titled Friction. The album tanked as the record company did squat for them and Coney never recovered. A shame really as Friction at certain times may be my favorite Coney album. This Ain’t Love and the stellar She’s Gone are two wicked tracks that you need to here asap!

Gene/Bruce/Eric and one of the goofiest dressed dudes ever to be photographed on a back cover Mr. Stanley unleashed what took me about 35 years to realize that Asylum was better than the 4 tracks I had originally thought off. I reviewed this a month or so ago so I don’t want to say much more than Uh All Night!

Rush continued there Platinum-selling ways with the release of Power Windows which sure has keys on it but when Rush powers down to that trio format like Alex Lifeson on his wicked solo on The Big Money all bets are off as Alex along with Geddy and Neil tell us all that they rule the world of Power Trios! On a side note, I miss these guys!

Ratt N Roll in 85 was alive well and Ratt continues crafting cool horny tunes of rock and releases the stellar Invasion of Your Privacy which has Stephen Pearcy on one tune telling us You’re In Love followed by the next track where Steve-o tells use to Never Use Love. This album sounds awesome still in 2020 as I spun it a few weeks back and it still sounds superb! No sophomore slump here folks as this is one fine slab o Rock!

Ok, what happens when you mix a smooth as silk Rock Crooner with two Duranies and cool as Funk Drummer! You get The Powerstation a supergroup that was SUPER. This album blew me away as the two Duran’s John and Andy Taylor could zip n zag on their instruments. John especially slapping that Bass and locking in with Tony Thompson on the drums. Add Andy’s very rock-like guitar not overplaying and Robert Palmer delivering his cool swagger of a voice the Powerstation was a supergroup that I could handle. Such a bummer Palmer exited after the debut worked its way up the charts.

We want to multiply, are you gonna do it
I know you’re qualified, are you gonna do it

Nikki Sixx dug in his bag of trixx and came out with an album that has split the fanbase over the years. Think of Theatre of Pain as Crue’s Elder album. Unlike Kiss, though Motley sold a few million copies of the Theatre of Pain album where The Elder hit the skids quicker than a turd hitting toilet bowl water. Looking back to 85 when this album dropped, Crue was huge.

On the cover of all the magazines, we bought the kool-aid coming from the jug of Nikki Sixx. Funny as how much I got into this record upon release it kinda fell off the radar more quickly which was surprising considering it was a Crue album. The first single Smokin in the Boys Room was ok, not great and I think what saved Theatre of Pain from hitting the used bins was Home Sweet Home.  Big Piano intro followed by tune ramping up during the guitar solo followed by Big Piano as the song ends.  I will add the video for Home Sweet Home was cool with all that live footage which basically was a commercial for the tour which we all lapped up.  To this day Home Sweet Home is a defining momentum swing for an album about to tank in 85. Just like KISS in 76 when Destroyer was sliding down the charts outcomes Beth and guess what? Yup, Beth gave Destroyer a new lease on life.

In the bigger picture though even though Nikki was following trends at the time I give him credit as he did put out some cool tracks like Louder Than Hell, City Boy Blues, Use it or Lose It and what I would consider a Top 5 written Sixx song in Keep Your Eye On The Money which is a well-executed Crue track. Not as bad as an album as I thought. So much so I picked it up used on vinyl and enjoyed it except for the cover tune. ( my opinion of that has not changed in 35 years).

Thanks for reading along. Coming soon 1986!


Old Dude School of Rock-1985-Part 1

1985 brought a whole bunch more rock records that I took notice and spent the dough on.

Here We Go!

On the Can-Con front, both Lee Aaron and Helix released albums. Lee Aaron with Call of the Wild and Helix with Long Way To Heaven.

Lee enlisted Bob Ezrin and this was I thought a step up from the Metal Queen album from 1984. Lee had an ace up her sleeve in the form of guitarist John Albani who co-wrote a ton of tracks with Lee throughout the ’80s and into the ’90s. Paradise and Hot To Be Rocked are stellar tracks.

Helix came back with Long Way To Heaven which was a little dip in creativity but still not a bad album. The record’s production is so-so but the title track and Kids Are All Shakin were bonafide winners. Hell, I’m surprised Poison has never covered Ride The Rocket. Helix headlined arenas on this tour in Canada and even scored a Number 1 album in Sweden!

Hey, whaddya say?

Across the pond, U.F.O was on life support as Phil Mogg and Paul Raymond released Misdemeanor which outside the shitty sounding production had some decent tunes like This Time, Heavens Gate, Night Run and Name of Love which were good rock tunes. Atomic Tommy was the guitarist and was pretty decent but the album sounded like it recorded in a tin can. Too bad.

Vivian Campbell calls the last Dio album that he played guitar on “poop”. Sacred Heart back in 85 was a hard album for me to get into. The previous two albums Holy Diver and Last In Line were stellar so it happens at times and as I have said in the past that there were so many records coming out (29 albums I bought in 1984) that if something didn’t grab you right away it may get filed away for decades. This was my deal with this record back in 85. But come 2018 I picked it up used and had a revisit and it’s not as bad as I remembered. Please don’t tell Vivian I said that!

Gary Moore by his connection with RUSH got me onboard with the fantastic Run For Cover album. Having ex-UFO dude Neil Carter certainly helped the cause as well. Gary had Phil Lynott and Glenn Hughes on this as well. Check out Moore’s solo on the title track. Moore soars on it!

Y&T put out two releases in 85. Open Fire is a pretty decent live album featuring a bunch of tracks from the catalog of Yesterday and Today. The title track just kicks you right in the nut sack and is brilliant as is 25 Hours A Day. The only knock on this album is the studio track Summertime Girls which is a feeble attempt at a hit. Not only was Summertime Girls on Open FIre but it was also added to the Down For Count release that came out in late 1985. Don’t get me started on Down For The Count! Lol

Adrian Vandenberg and his namesake band put out the poppy Alibi which did nothing for me at all. After the stellar debut in 1982 followed by the so -so followup in 83 comes Alibi in 85 and I need an Alibi if anyone was going to question me if I liked this album!

ZZ Top blasted off with Afterburner. This record had a ton of synth/programmed drums, well actually everything was programmed except for Billy Gibbons who is always is brilliant with the singing and guitar playing. Afterburner tore up the charts back in 85 as this album will always hold a special place for me for three reasons!

1- Afterburner was a gift from my parents Christmas 1985

2- Planet of Women which opens Side 2 is easily in my all-time Top 5 ZZ tunes!

3- Being 18 at the time of Afterburners release and a song titled Woke Up With Wood was just pure SONIC GOLD! (plus it’s a great track)

Iron Maiden released one of the best double live album packages in Live After Death. Double Gatefold. Tons of pics/a booklet featuring a ton of tour info and more pics/ brilliant Eddie artwork and Maiden playing at the high level we are all accustomed too over 4 nights at Long Beach Arena in California!

When the Air Raid Siren tells us all to “Scream For Me Long Beach” by God we all did!

Ted Templeman fresh off of producing 6 Van Halen multi-platinum albums hooks up with the freshly reunited Aerosmith and record one of the best doped up boozed-up live studio albums of all time in Done With Mirrors. What a great bunch of cranked up AeroTracks like My Fist Your Face, Reason A Dog, Shame On You, Gypsy Boots,The Hop. The album flopped commercially as some say it doesn’t sound finished which I disagree with as this was Aero’s last drug hurrah before they sobered up. I love this album and so does Tbone!

Joe Perry doesn’t as if you recall the time I wrote about when I met him outside a hotel in Minneapolis (2003) that I told him that I was psyched that they brought back the fantastic Let The Music Do The Talking in the set that night.

Joe Replied with ” You like that one huh?”

I came back with “I love the Done With Mirrors record”

Joe didn’t respond!


That exact moment made me love Done with Mirrors even more!

Check back in few days with Part 2  of albums that I rocked out with back in 85!