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!