Category Archives: Weekend Spin

Summertime Spin- Van Halen: Diver Down (1982)

Well, folk’s this is the end of Summertime Spins for this year! Thanks for reading along and commenting on the albums that basically take me back in time! I thought it was only fitting to start the Summertime Spins with a Van Hagar party album (5150) and now end it with a Van Roth party album (Diver Down).

Thanks for reading along.

1982 was a great year for me to be a fan of Van Halen. 1981 was when I discovered VH and bought my first two ever records by the Los Angeles foursome. “Woman & Children First” and “Fair Warning” were the two albums I bought in 81.

In May 1982 “Diver Down” was released after the single “Oh Pretty Woman”(Roy Orbison) was issued as a single a month or so before(more on that later)

I bought the single of Oh Pretty Woman on 45 right when the single came out and to my surprise, the B side of the single was “Happy Trails”!

Ha, there is VH already messing with my 14-year-old mind back in 82!

Diver Down was a short album. 31 minutes in total. 12 songs. ^

Posted above is one cool back cover shot taken back in 1981 when VH opened up for the Rolling Stones in Los Angeles. Two things are interesting about this pic.

1- If you didn’t know better (at which time I didn’t) you would think this photo was from a VH headlined show.

2-Arena Rock reader Jeff Japp was actually at the Orlando shows(where the back cover pic was taken). Here’s Jeff’s review.

https://thestubcollection.wordpress.com/2015/09/07/the-rolling-stones-10241981/

Better yet Jeff caught VH the second night as well. Click the link below. Better yet give Jeff a follow as he’s a great guy who has seen 100’s of shows and has kept all his ticket stubs! It’s such a great blog.

https://thestubcollection.wordpress.com/2015/09/08/the-rolling-stones-10251981/

When Diver Down hit the streets I remember reading reviews of it and some of them were calling VH lazy. lol

I get it as Diver Down featured 5 cover tunes. As a 14-year-old dork at the time, I kinda bought what the critics were saying. 

Diver Down clocks in at 31 minutes and about 13 minutes of DD are cover tunes! LOL, Basically David Lee Roth, Micheal Anthony, Ed, and Alex Van Halen only had to craft just over 17 minutes of original material. 

But to be fair to VH, sure the album may come across as lazy but after reading Ted Templeman’s book Ted explains the band was basically pressured by Warner Brother Records to put out an album so I can see why people would call them Lazy Halen when that really wasn’t the case.

Side One.

Having said all of this. Diver Down is a ton of fun. Opener “Where Have All The Good Times Gone” is a great track. A song did originally by The Kinks but this song was Halenizied so it could pass as an original tune. 

The second track “Hang Em High” is a bonafide VH classic. Ed tears apart his fretboard while Roth goes into creeper mode vocally. Ed’s solo is I think one of his best while Alex plays the complete crap out of his drums during Ed’s solo.  Killer Tune!

Ed doddles on his guitar on “Cathedral” which leads into “Secrets” which Roth wrote great lyrics and delivers a stellar vocal as well! Micheal Anthony must always be mentioned as a huge catalyst in the backing vocals of VH as well as holding down the fort with his Bass playing.

Another musical interlude is “Intruder” which speaking of creepy sounds creepy with that twisted synth mixed with Ed’s guitar and were off into “Oh Pretty Woman.”^

“Intruder/Oh Pretty Woman” was only intended as a single with Happy Trails being the other track. Dave and Alex wanted to make videos so this was the plan originally. A 45 single and that’s it. But of course, Pretty Woman stormed up the charts and then both Management and Record Company wanted a full album.

Side 1 is done.

Onto Side 2.

“Dancing In The Streets” in 82 I was so so on it. 2020 I appreciate it more as I read the back story on it coming from Templeman’s mouth. Love the sound of Alex’s drums on this tune and of course the guitar!

“Little Guitars (intro”) is Eddie laying down some cool classical licks on acoustic which inturn locks right into” Little Guitars(the song)” and there’s Alex’s drums front and center leading the charge. Whatever sound Ed is making or whatever he is doing is phenomenal. This is another one of those VH tracks that has all the classic trimmings of greatness. 

Catch as catch, catch as catch can…

Here comes the fun family jam along with tune in  “Big Bad Bill Is Sweet William Now”. Basically its Dave, Micheal, Eddie, Alex, and the brother’s father Jan who cranks on the clarinet on this track which is just simply put FUN!

“The Full Bug” is a doozy of a track. VH is like a runaway locomotive on this track. Full out rock with a harmonica solo added as the band is letting everyone know that the party is still going full throttle!

“Happy Trails” ends Diver Down in acapella version proving when you’re all sauced up and the plug is pulled electrically you can dig down deep to let us all know that the party has officially ended!

Considering Diver Down the album was started in March 1982 and was released in May 1982 the boys had some work to do and they pulled it off as this is one of those fun summer albums.

^-Check out that back cover track listing. It does not follow the actual tracklisting on the printed vinyl version. In the Templeman book, Ted explains that the record company would need time beforehand to figure out the back cover printing and artwork. So at one point that was supposed to be the actual tracklisting of Diver Down that see posted up above.

^^-Intruder/Oh Pretty Woman was only intended as a single with Happy Trails being the other track. Dave and Alex wanted to make videos so this was the plan originally. A 45 and that’s it. But of course, Pretty Woman stormed up the charts, and then both Management and Record Company wanted a full album.

 

 

Summertime Spin: Trooper- Hot Shots (1979)

What would a Summer Spin be without having Hot Shots by Canuck Act Trooper discussed right?!

Trooper in the late 70s into the early 80s was big business in Canada. They were selling out arenas all across Canada and there first 4 studio albums (self-titled debut Trooper/Two For The Show/Knock Em Dead Kid/Thick As Thieves) all went platinum and in the case of Knock Em Dead and Thick As Thieves, those two went Double Platinum. 

Yet in the United States Tropper did not make a dent whatsoever. 

Trooper released Hot Shots in early 79 which is a Greatest Hits compilation of tracks covering those first four records.

Hot Shots sold huge in Canada going 6 Times Platinum as of 1990.

This is a great comp. I came across this in the used shops and grabbed it right away.

Crack open some cold one’s on a hot summer day and toss on (or stream) Hot Shots to get a great dose of Canadian Rock late 70’s style.

For the folk’s out there reading this, this is a fun spin. Nothing too serious and nothing too heavy. Just Rock. Trooper even to this day gets played lots on out Local Crap Radio especially Raise A Little Hell and the video I posted below which is Boys In The Bright White Sportscar. 

Trooper up until COVID thing came about still gets out there and plays. Ra Maguire(vocals) and Brian Smith (guitar) are still gigging as Trooper today.

Good on them I say. 

I love Gatefolds.

There they go
The boys in the bright white sports car
Honking at all the girls
It’s jack-of-all-trades Stan
And Jerry’s a garbageman

One more thing I need to add is Trooper following Hot Shots on there next studio album (titled Trooper 1980) wrote a tune called The Real Canadian and well they name-dropped Tbay…

From the Malahat, to Kitimat, to Medicine Hat to Uranium City
From Thunder Bay, to Saint Jervais,
All the way to St. Johns, Newfoundland
The real Canadians …

For that Trooper gets a pass!

 

Summertime Spin: Y&T- In Rock We Trust (1984)

 

Another fun summertime spin (which is another one I had on cassette tape) back in the summer of 1984 was this one from those cool cats hailing from San Francisco that are known as…

Y&T

In Rock We Trust came from the 4 Cali dudes and should have shot them into the stratosphere of success but for some crazy reason, it didn’t as it should have as here in Thunder Bay it sold some copies.

The finicky hard rock market in 1984!

Still, though this was a cool fun listen riding my bike to and from my dishwashing gig at the local hospital back in the summer of 84 when I had to be at work for 6am!

These tunes on those early summer mornings woke me up beginning with Rock N Rolls Gonna Save The World. The fun continues throughout with some more cool tunes like Lipstick and Leather, Masters and Slaves and She’s A Liar.

See that was the neat thing about these guys. This just put out a fun party record yet they could play their instruments as proven on 83’s Meanstreak release.

In Rock We Trust was produced by Tom Allom. It was on a major label(A&M Records) and they had major video airplay for the cool summertime happy go lucky single Don’t’ Stop Runnin.

For some reason, IRWT came up a bit short. 

No lack of effort(outside the goofy cover) IRWT should have been up there with the Big Boys!

Search it out or stream or buy it. You won’t be disappointed if you’re in the market for fun party rock!

Crazy to think that Joey Alves, Leonard Haze, Phil Kennemore have all passed on. Only Dave Meniketti continues on with Y&T and from the clips, I have watched Dave still sounds tremendous vocally and still can play a mean guitar. 

I reviewed  IRWT back when I got a bunch of albums from my pal Deaner at work and in the batch that I got was IRWT on vinyl.

SCORE!

 

Summertime Spin- Def Leppard: Pyromania (1983)

How about a back to back Summertime Spin feature on Def Leppard!

Last week it was my flashback to the summer of 1987 with Hysteria. This week it’s even further back to the summer of 1983!

Pyromania was released in January 83 and my buddy Muk pretty much bought it the day it came out and one of the first things he did for me was tape me a copy of Pyromania on cassette. 

Muk was awesome that way as if he got something I didn’t have he would tape it for me so I always listening to what he was listening to which in back in those days was some excellent music and Pyromania was one of them. ^

I have always loved this cover it basically sets the bar for what you are about to hear which is some Loud Arson like Rock!

Like Hysteria from last week, I really don’t need to review Pyromania as it been reviewed a zillion times but I would just like to tell you what made Pyromania a go-to album back in the summer of 83.

While Ace Frehley back in the summer of 83 was drinking and driving and slipping and sliding in a Delorean automobile I was riding around on my 10-speed bike doing my own slipping and sliding with my trusty Sony Walkman and being a good Rock Soldier! ^^

At that point, as summer came, I still had the cassette of Pyromania that Muk had taped for me.

As it was growing up in Thunder Bay back then my Father would take two weeks of holidays and we would load up our car and tent trailer and head usually out to Western Canada (Winnipeg) or sometimes into the United States (Minnesota).

This trip I remember it was to Minneapolis and we set up shop just outside of Minny at a K.O.A campground.

With any trip, there would always be a day or two where we would hit the city whether it was to a Zoo or a Mall or even a Movie Theater at times to see a movie to get some air conditioning as Minneapolis could get pretty muggy in the summer.

With a trip planned to the mall, it was a no brainer for me to hit whatever record stores were there.  It was either Music Stores or Book Stores for Rock Mags!

One of my purchases was to buy my own copy of Pyromania but of course, it was too on cassette tape. The main reason I bought it on tape was there was really no packaging whatsoever. It was front cover and back cover, Nothing on the inside sleeve.

That is one reason why I always bought Iron Maiden on vinyl back in the 80s as they did packaging (lyrics, pics) the whole nine yards and of course EDDIE!

Another reason was when we were having a campfire at the KOA on the local radio Rock of Ages was played which blew my little mind as local crap radio in Thunder Bay never touched rock!

I was sold. I needed to own it!

Pyromania even though I had already been listening to it for 6 months was still a great listen even still is to this day it’s a great listen. No skipping tracks…

Leppard went all out on the Pyro record.

Opener Rock Rock Til You Drop has the band firing on all cylinders where Joe Elliot sounds like Brian Johnson of AC/DC.

10 Songs! All classics. Sure there are the hits (Photograph, Rock of Ages, Foolin and Too Late For Love) but there are some downright stellar classics that weren’t singles (Billy’s Got A Gun, Die Hard The Hunter and one of the best tracks by Leppard Comin Under Fire!)

All in all, Pyromania is simply put Brilliant. In other words, at certain times it may just be my favorite Leppard album depending on the day of the week.

Once CDs took over my world in the late 80s Pyromania was a for sure purchase on a disc. 

Like last week’s post on getting Hysteria in the VOL 1 Boxset on record, I finally got Pyromania on VINYL!

Pyro Rock N Roll!

^-Muk was I’m sure the first person in Tbay to own a Def Lep tour shirt back in 81 from the  High N Dry Tour. Muk’s older sister’s boyfriend was attending College in Boston and seen Leppard open for Blackfoot. It’s safe to say we wanted to hurt Muk when we saw him stroll into our High School sporting that 3/4 length Tour T! lol

^^-Once I typed the Summer of 83 lines it triggered me to the  Frehley’s Comet song Rock Soldier! I can’t help it!

 

 

Summertime Spin: Def Leppard-Hysteria(1987)

Hard to believe that as of tomorrow (Aug 3) Hysteria will be 33 years young!

Instead of doing a song by song breakdown of Hysteria which there are a million reviews of it( including this site) everywhere, I thought it would be fun to step back in the Time Machine and dial back to that day in August when Def Leppard released there first new studio album in 4 Years! (Pyromania was released back in 1983)

 4 years between albums back then was huge news as bands in the mid to late ’70s would release multiple albums in a year. As the ’70s rolled into the 80s you would have most bands putting out an album every year or at least under every 2 years but 4 years??

What the hell! 

Nowadays we’re lucky if a new album drops every 5-10 years lol

Age, of course, has something to do with it now but…

Back to  August 87.

I think it was Circus Magazine that I had first read about back in early 87 that the Leppard was pretty much done and Hysteria was targeted for a summer release.

Finally, I thought here comes some new music by a band that I had invested in back in the summer of 81 when my pal Muk bought On Through The Night and we were blown away at how good Leppard was and became instant fanboys!

I still remember August 3rd, 1987 like it was yesterday.

I worked my 6am-2pm job at our local hospital kitchen (doing up those dishes, mopping up that floor)^. It was raining out that day so I didn’t ride my bike to work instead I rode the 40 seat limo(transit bus)to my job,

Once 2 pm rolled around I was on the bus and off to the local shopping mall that had A&A Records and another record shop Music City and between the 2 of them whoever had Hysteria cheaper that’s who I would buy it from.

A&A was the winner and in saying that I think I still paid around $13.98 for it on cassette tape! The reason I wanted Hysteria on tape was for the good old trusty Sony Walkman so I could rock out with my bike out!

I was glad to see that Hysteria had all the packaging included in the cassette tape, not just some tape dumped into a blank case with the cover being the only thing to look at.

I basically had read all the credits listed inside the tape  on that 40-minute bus ride back home from the mall.

Def Leppard opened Hysteria with Women which is still a great opener on any Leppard album even though when Women was released as the first single it tanked on the charts. I’m sure there was a mild freak out over that but when all is said and done Hysteria is one of the biggest all-time Hard Rock sellers and why wouldn’t it be.

25 million and change.

Look at the first 6 songs on Side 1. (Women, Rocket, Animal, Love Bites, Pour Some Sugar On Me, Armageddon It) All singles! When you really think about it that was amazing. 

Side 2 though is no slouch with some great tracks like Gods of War, Run Riot and Don’t Shoot Shotgun. 

Basically, lot’s of great rock on this one folk as I don’t need to tell you that.

Joe Elliot, Rick Allen, Phil Collen, Rick Savage, and the late great Steve Clark knew their backs were against the wall in recording Hysteria (accidents, firing Jim Steiman as producer) yet delivered 12 classics on Hysteria. Mutt Lange should also be credited as not only did Mutt dial in the sonics but he also had a co-write with the Leppard boys on all 12 tracks!

 Once I started working full time in 1988 I bought a boom box and one of my first ever CD purchases was indeed Hysteria.

When Hysteria was released as the 20th Anniversary in 2007 I once again bought it on CD as it had an extra CD with material on it.

I think there is a pattern developing here.

Back in 2017, I was in Montreal with my good pal Tbone and I bought the 30th Anniversary of Hysteria on VINYL! Yeh!

Better yet at Christmas Time 2018, my 3 Awesome Daughters bought me the Leppard Box Volume One on vinyl which came with there first 4 studio albums, and Hysteria was included as well!

So now I had two copies of Hysteria on vinyl so what did I do?

Gave Tbone a copy!

^I nicked that line from Van Halen’s Diver Down album! Do you know which song it’s from?

Below is a Gatefold shot inside Hysteria!

 

 

 

Summertime Spin- Whitesnake:1987

 

 

One of the biggest Summer Spin back in  1987 for me and Tbone was cranking Whitesnake 87 on cassette tape (Loud) in Tbone’s car!

A&R Guru of the times John Kalodner made or quite possibly told David Coverdale to get rid of the old looking guys and streamlined Whitesnake into firepower 80’s hard guitar rock band courtesy of John Sykes!

Sykes and Coverdale cooked up a batch of massive songs. Sykes muscled up the sound of Whitesnake so the 87 record slammed onto the music charts throughout the world head-on.

It worked. 

Opener Crying In The Rain steamrolls with huge riffs and huge drums courtesy of Ansley Dunbar. Coverdale howls like a wolf at the start of next track Bad Boys and this is where Sykes gets right down to business as he blitzes his way through a firewall of epic riffing and soloing.

It is so over the top sick that I don’t know how many times me and Tbone drove around in his car in 87 blasting Bad Boys like a couple of knuckleheads not knowing any better^

The sonic barrage continues with Still of the Night. Bit Zep. Bit Whitesnake and a whole lot of muscle behind the music.  This song cooked in 1987 and still cooks in 2020.  What else can you say about a tune that features a wolf sniffing around one’s door!

Here I Go Again is still played today on commercials etc and is the one track to feature Adrian Vandenberg playing the solo while Sykes was told to take a hike. Give the clip I posted below a listen. Mind-blowing good drama coming right from Adrian’s mouth himself!

That clip with Adrian and Eddie Trunk was great as Eddie sounded like he was about to shit himself with excitement. considering this happened 33 years ago!

So there ya have it Adrian lays down the solo and Coverdale already had booted the band out the door.

But we must not forget there is a Side 2.

Gimmie All Your Love Tonight lifts off right out of the gate and is a great straight-ahead rocker. Is This Love is the ballad that got a ton of radio play and perhaps pushed this album in the sales department a little further as all the soccer moms were digging in on what that old Snake Charmer was going on about lyrically on this song.

Sykes cranks his amps to 11 and soars with Children of the Night. Another bonafide winner as  87 proves that the album is still strong throughout meaning there is no drop in productivity on Side 2!

One of my favs on this record Straight From The Heart is a real catchy song with a stellar chorus and Sykes as he does all over this record lays done yet another fabulous solo.

Don’t Turn Away ends the album. A song which I like better than Is This Love as the tempo picks up towards the end and ends 87 on a high.

What can you say about the 87 album other than David and John wrote one of the best hard rock releases in the ’80s It’s unfortunate that the bad blood spilled between these two has never been resolved.

Sykes has become a recluse at putting out records and you can’t blame him as he still maintains his full publishing off of this album which was perhaps the smartest thing he ever did. 

I recently watched a Youtube video done a few weeks ago and Bob Rock was asked about John Sykes. Rock when talking about Sykes said two things that stuck out.

1-When Whitesnake was recording this album in Vancouver, Sykes had a hard time getting the sound he wanted to hear out of his amps as no could figure it out, Bob was asked to give it a shot as he was recording another band in the next studio so he went over and within an hour of moving mics and amps around got the sound that Sykes wanted. Rock says that led to them becoming fast friends and producing the first Blue Murder album.

2- Bob in that same interview said that Sykes is the best guitarist he has ever recorded.

Crank this one!

^-for being a couple of knuckleheads back in the 80s we turned out alright I think!

 

Summertime Spin- Kim Mitchell: Shakin Like A Human Being (1986)

 

Kim or as we sometimes call him Akimbo released in June of 1986 the cool as a summer breeze Shakin Like A Human Being.

Just like Van Halen did that summer Kim’s album (I bought this on cassette tape) set the stage for a lot of plays on the trusty old  Sony Walkman for myself that summer. 

Kim laid off the hard rock a  little more on the Shakin album yet he still retained a lot of rock qualities so to speak of to please my 18 (about to turn 19 years young that year) yr old self-induced Rock N Roll Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu I had caught back in 1978. (still continues to this day)

Kim borrowed the ZZ Synth sound with the super-duper fabulous Get Lucky (Boys and Girls) which is one of my all-time fav Kim openers to lead off any of his solo albums. Nice little quick blasts of guitar rock prove that Kim was ready and able to rock come that summer.

Shakin upon its release sold like hotcakes as the leadoff single Patio Lanterns was on heavy rotation on MuchMusic as it was played all the time. Smart move on Kim’s or his record company to hit the summer hard with a song about summer. Patio Lanterns.

Not only that but three more singles came out with Alana Loves Me, That’s The Hold and  Easy To Tame which was another massive played video at MuchMusic. ( Saw Kim a few years back and he did a brilliant stripped back version of Easy To Tame which was quite good).

Kim and his band showed up to Thunder Bay in August 86 and rocked our socks off as Kim was touring right off the hop and was selling records, singles, and getting video play.

It was a great show. Patio Lanterns were strewn across the stage to give it that outside feel.

Mitchell was on fire…

It worked, after all, was said and done this album went Triple Platinum here in Canada yet even though it came out on Atlantic Records in the States I don’t think it made a dent there which is a total shame.

Do check this one out!

Summer Spin- Powerstation: Powerstation: 33 & 1/3 (1985)

Look at that front cover!! Wowzers!

Powerstation the self-titled debut from the two Taylors, John and Andy along with Robert Palmer and Tony Thompson released a fantastic 8 song album that features a fine mix of funked up rock with some cool crafty production courtesy of Bernard Edwards.

Powerstation I played like crazy in the summer of 1985 as I first purchased it on cassette tape and was a constant fixture on those early morning bikes rides to and from my summertime job at washing dishes at the local hospital that summer.

John and Andy Taylor as we all know all came from Duran Duran who were selling millions in the ’80s. Robert Palmer had been kicking around as a solo artist and was about to become mega huge a year later in 1986! (Riptide was the solo album from Palmer that featured Addicted To Love).  Tony Thompson drummed for Elton John, Mick Jagger, Bowie, and Chic.

Serious players with chops.

When I first saw the debut single Some Like It Hot on MuchMusic I was blown away at the hugeness of the sound coming from the Taylors and Thompson. I realized that I had pigeon hold the Taylors as being pretty boys from Duran Duran yet Andy and John could play. Listen to John slapping that friggin bass on Some Like It Hot. Plus add in the smooth vocal delivery of Palmer and a bonafide classic is born.

Look at that back cover!! Wowzers!

I love the crafty production of the drums. They sound mega as this album produced by Edwards who ditched that mid 80s techie sterile sound as all the instruments mixed sound bombastic! 

Murderess the second song picks up where Some Like It Hot left off. More big crunching drums and some wicked 6 String work from Andy Taylor. 

 The rest of the album is a great spin as well. Communication is a great driving funk n rock tune with the chorus being the money shot on it. 

Look at that inside sleeve!! Wowzers!

Course you had to be living under a rock in 85 if you didn’t see the video for the Tex cover Bang A Gong (Get It On) which sailed right into the Top 10 for singles. More slick work from the Taylors and Thompson. 

It’s a shame that this band with this exact lineup never recorded again(sure there were other versions) as Palmer split as the album was sitting high on both the Canadian and American charts and a tour was booked. (Michael Des Barres replaced Palmer). 

Sadly Palmer, Thompson, and Edwards have all passed on.

As I wrote earlier I bought this on tape back in 85 and it wasn’t until I was in Montreal back in 2017 that I scored this on vinyl for $1.99 which is a steal of a deal. The only thing that sucks is the store I bought it from puts the actual sticker on the cover. 

This album also proved that a couple of pretty boys could lay down some serious riffage on their instruments and make me a believer! Plus extra bonus points for using real horns throughout the album. 

Crank this one!

 

Summer Spin: Van Halen 5150 (1986)

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

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

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

Thanks for reading…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AVH is a beast on the whole 5150 album. 

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

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

 

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

And it worked.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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