SUMMERTIME SPIN- THE GEORGIA SATELLITES: OPEN ALL NIGHT(1988)

Summer of ’88  comes and  another one of my favourite spins (on cassette) was “The Georgia Satellites” when they dropped the follow up to the platinum selling self titled debut.

“Open All Night” is a great title for an album and look at that cover as its like the four dudes that make up the band are up all night as well.

Dan Baird as you all know was the driving force on all three of the Satellite major label releases not only singing and playing guitar but was also the main songwriter.

I’m always  surprised as how much pressure it must have been on guys like Baird back in the day to produce hits.

‘Keep Your Hands To Yourself’ was the biggie hit back in ’86 so come ’88 what batch of Georgia Fried Sizzle Rock could Dan come up with?

Out of the albums eleven tracks, Dan wrote eight along with  two cover tune’s, Ringo Starr’s ‘Don’t Pass Me By” and Whole Lotta Shakin Going On.” Lead slide guitarist Rick Richards contributes Hand To Mouth which is a borderline Stones  tune.

Baird though seals the deal on this album with his songs especially as he is a very crafty lyricist.

Open All Night has the band zipping around almost in ZZ Top land whereas second song in  Sheila is the perfect example of Bairds lyrics.

“Living here in this old town
There ain’t a lot to do
And after work I just ride around
Looking out for something new
When I saw you standing in a drugstore
Trying on your diamond ring
Had to run in jump through the front door
Grab your hand and start to sing about”
Plus the fact that Baird has a awesome Southern drawl seals the deal for me.
That’s the thing with these guys is they don’t deviate to much from their sound.
Lot’s of great driving summer rock stuff on here. “Down And Down” is a ball’s out rock track and that’s where the band excels as these guys had musical chops as well. “Mon Cheri” should have been a single. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn’t but it has that “Keep Your Hands To Yourself” vibe about it.
I read somewhere that Baird said this album was difficult to make and left it at that.
As a fan of the band, sure it falls a little short if your were to compare it to the debut and even the third album, ’89s” In The Land of Salvation and Sin” which considering was the swan song of the Satellites, they went out on a high note.
If you want to rewind back to 1988 and get a fix of some barroom boogie rock, look no further than “Open All Night”.

Richard Marx: Stories To Tell (2021)

Social media is a funny thing I tell ya. Twitter I like as the tweets are short (just like my memory) and some people can be brutal especially towards celebrities and well anyone in the spotlight.

About a year ago I was cruising  the Twitter feed when Can-Rock guy “Danko Jones” retweeted a tweet by Richard Marx where a smart ass made an off handed remark about Marx’s music and Marx well see for yourself Richards response.

Marx has always been on my radar as I thought his song “Don’t Mean Nothing” was a great track that the Eagles had wish they had written! (more on that later).

So about a month ago here comes another rock memoir now written by the man himself.  I thought of that tweet from Richard a year earlier and how Danko himself  said that ‘Marx is a savage on Twitter” and I thought perhaps, maybe I will think about picking this book up at some point.

Than I read an on-line excerpt from the book about when Marx and his band played Taiwan back in 1990. Some of Richards band and entourage were taken at gun point by the Chinese Mafia over a cancelled outdoor show (stage was flooded by rain )and to not give away the whole story the band made it out alive but not before one of the engines on the airplane caught fire  out of Taiwan and they had to make an emergency landing in Hawaii!

Holy Hell…I need to read this book ASAP as Axl Rose would have killed for this kind of press back in ’90.

Since I had a couple of weeks off from work what better time to read a bio about a rocker that I have heard by name have not really listened to him musically.

“Stories To Tell” I have to say is one the better rock bios out there to read. Like the fantastic Steve Gorman”Hard To Handle” book from last year, Richard talks bit about growing up but its not chapter after chapter on his personal life growing up.

What I would consider a brilliant move Richard talks a lot about music and you would be amazed at the artists that he has worked with.

Starting back in college when a friend knew a friend who gave a friend Marx’s four song cassette demo tape to Lionel Richie who in turn gave Richard his first shot at studio experience  on singing backing vocals on Lionels solo albums and the big single “All Night Long”.

Form there it was off through Richie’s connection and a writing session with Kenny Rogers who wanted to hear a ballad from Richard who played him “Crazy” which Kenny loved.

Kenny added two words to “Crazy” .When all was said and done,  Rogers got a 50-50 cowriting credit for contributing two words!

Welcome To The Music Biz!

Some other real cool stories about 3 guys from The Eagles showing up to provide backing vocals and Joe Walsh adding his sound on  guitar to the track.

Marx has also issued a Greatest Hits album release titled “Stories To Tell: Greatest Hits And More” as I was reading the book I would cue up Amazon Music and listen to the song as Marx talks a lot about recording songs and the stories behind them in the book.  A real cool tie in with book and the music.

R.E.O Speedwagon was a band that Marx got along with while he opened up for the Speedwagoner’s back in ’87 while he also writes about opening for Nightranger around the same time a band that didn’t go out of there way to make him or his band feel welcome!

Some great stories about how much his family means to him and kudos to the fact that considering he got divorced after 25 years of marriage he’s still friends with his first wife.

I could go on…

This book has a great flow as Richard keeps the stories coming and there are many and if you are looking for dirt there  isn’t as Marx has a great knack at keeping you the reader engaged.

A Must Read!

 

 

Robert Plant: Shaken ‘n’ Stirred (1985)

I have always been a sucker for a cool cover and Robert Plants ’85 release “Shaken n Stirred” is one of those.

After skipping ’83s “Principle of Moments” outright that year come ’85 I actually bought “Shaken n Stirred” on cassette tape as I figured it would be a great wake up tape for the trusty Walkman when I was peddling to work at 6am everyday on my  bike!

Once CDs became the rage I never sought this one out. It wasn’t of course until recently that as you know I ramped up my Rob collection of his solo stuff and decided to do a long overdue deep dive into the mans solo career.

Listening to Shaken n Stirred thirty six years later two things stand out to me.

1- Plant was trying to stay current with that overproduced rock sound of the day that was dominating the rock charts. He was not concerned whatsoever about maintaining any Zep influence on these albums by this point.

2- As a listener I can hear the direction on this albums sound with all the synth like action, crystal clear guitar and drums that he was headed into when he released ’88s brilliant (and I think Plant’s best) “Now And Zen” record.

I had caught the video of “Little By Little” on MuchMusic and being that I dug Roberts vocals (let’s face it, the man could sing the pages out of a history book and make it sound cool) I thought at the time I should take the plunge on tape which was cheaper than the vinyl.  Cost cutting measures I was on back then.

I didn’t mind this album at the time and I like it more now as I can hear where Robert was headed as the ’80s rolled on.

Sure this album is laced with synth driven tunes. The guitars of Robbie Blunt shine throughout as his picking reminds me of Andy Summers of The Police at times.

Plant and band were always experimenting and this album continues that path. “Kallalou Kallalou” is one of those tracks as the synth and drums carry the track same as “Pink And Black”.

It’s so easy to judge in 2021 and for that matter even back in ’85 but Robert was on a mission and really at the end of the day he really didn’t  give a shit what ya thought.

I’m sure the line of thinking was ‘You’re either with me or not” to keep changing with the times.

Now if you think the whole rock thing was ditched it was not.  “Trouble Your Money” and “Pink and Black” are the rock tracks here but don’t think for a minute Zep like rock songs. Different vibe totally.

Some changes not many were made by solo album three. Phil Collins was busy at this time, so all the drums were done by Richie Hayward and Tim Palmer was brought into the production end of things as well.

Also of note this album has nine tracks not eight like the previous two and this would also be the final appearance of this band as Robert by the time 1988 rolled around had a whole new band in place.

Summertime Spin-WHITESNAKE: Live…In The Heart of The City (1980)

Looking back when I first heard the name of Whitesnake forty years ago this summer its only fitting that “Live…In The Heart of the City” would be a summer time spin as it was the summer of 1981 that I ever had my first taste of the ‘Snake.

Also when I think about looking back at a lot of bands, live albums were my entry point into discovering them. “KISS ALIVE 2”, “Cheap Trick at Budokan”, “Judas Priest with Unleashed In The East” and now Whitesnake with this stellar release of “Live…In The Heart of the City.”

No wonder I still love albums even to this day.

Rewind back to the Summer of ’81 shall we?!

I never had a big brother or sister in which I could raid their record collections to discover music. It was pretty much up to me for discovery.

I can recall two times though that this wasn’t the case. Back around 1981 a good close personal friend of my Dad’s, Ken Schmidt (RIP) passed onto me Aerosmith’s “Draw The Line” record which I had only read about in the magazines at the time (Creem, Circus) and that was my entry point into Aerosmith. Needless my mind was blown upon first hearing the title track!

The second time was at my high school pal’s house Darcy. Now Darcy had an older brother named Stacy and one day when I was at there place Stacy called us over to the stereo and he showed the cover of this new (to me) band called Whitesnake!

Before I heard a note I had already judged the cover!

To my 15 year old eyes at the time that cover looked like a mix of a hippy ( Micky Moody on the left side of the cover) and a bunch of old farts. (take your pick!)

Before I could outright dismiss it, Stacy dropped the needle on the last track of Side One that being “Love Hunter”.

I was blown away I never heard this kind of hard rock before. I was basically mesmerized that here I am in Thunder Bay listening to that hippy Mickey Moody slam through some serious slide guitar and how about that hookup with mutton chops on the drums Ian Paice as they go to town together for a little side ways jam before the band comes back in?!

So good..I didn’t need to hear the rest I needed my own copy and shortly after I did.

“Come On” begins the proceeding as lead throat David Coverdale lays down the law vocally. It’s a great opener which slams right into the guitar mashup of both Bernie Marsden and Micky Moody that takes off right into “Sweet Talker”!

What a great track and even better the late Jon Lord pounds the hammond which goes right into Moody’s solo.

David Coverdale being the boss man of Snake put together a great lineup of course by adding his old homeboys from Deep Purple(Paice and Lord) which I’m sure helped sell albums and tickets  in Europe.

“Walking In The Shadows of the Blues” is a great track. Lots of great tempo changes and a really stellar performance by the band. Wow just Wow!

Side Two is three songs only beginning with the bluesy “Ain’t No Love In The Heart of the City “complete with crowd participation followed by what I would consider the best Snake version of “Fool For Your Loving.*

“Take Me With” ends the album on warp speed and its amazing that these geezers could lift off and play at this speed.

What a friggin brilliant live album!

Funny how in North America Whitesnake wouldn’t make a dent til about ’84  when Geffen Records, well basically John Kalodner came in and told Coverdale to  get rid of these hippies so adios Moody but thats another story for another time.

Going back to 81 I still remember going to my good pal Muc’s house in the fall of that year (before the snow came) and there was a copy of the new Whitesnake album ‘Come And Get It!”

So here we are in forty years later in August 2021 and a new mint copy of this album was due! I ordered this ‘Snake album from the Ladano approved Encore Records in Kitchener Ontario and got myself an updated coloured copy of this record!

Fab!

*- Coverdale thought it would be a great idea in ’89 to release another version of “Fool For Your Loving” with Steve Vai. My 2 cents on this matter is even though Vai is good on some of the original songs on Slip of the Tongue. Vai though wacking off  on that wang bar on his  guitar on “Fool For Your Loving” is all wrong!

Coverdale should have brought back that old hippie for that track!

 

POLYCHUCK-SHADOWS EXPOSED (2021)

 

Thomas Polychuck is the name and delivering Linkin Park like nu-metal  vibes mixed with the shred of Yngwie J Malmsteen is the game. Might as well add his love of M.M.A as this dude kicks ass!

Polychuck hails from Montreal and has just released his debut EP  “Shadows Exposed” which  as you can tell by the two references I mentioned above, has a mix bag of rock up his sleeve!

The five songs that make up the EP are catchy tracks as they are great songs as opening track “Beating Myself Down” proves with almost a swinging honky tonk piano vibe mixed with a huge classic rock like verse.  Ladano in his review said the solo at the end will knock you on your ass!

“Exposure” is another great track that features another stellar power rock verse that has a super shred like solo that washes out into a total throwback synth like vibe that is so catchy. Almost prog like as the song ramps down. The video for “Exposure” has pulled in almost 30,000 views on YouTube so people are watching.

“In The Dark” as well begins with a swirl of beats and Polychuck shows us all that the dude has a stellar voice and yet another catchy chorus.  This fella knows the fine art of writing hooks!

Song number four “Driving Me Mad” has a mid tempo like feel but with a  swirl of guitar solos throughout the track. In saying that it works as you can really hear how great of a guitarist Polychuck is.

Wrapping things up is “Lights Out” which is another keys driven tune with some nice guitar riffing layering things nicely over the top. Basically adding icing to the cake.

Polychuck is one talented mofo as these five songs prove. I like the fact that he keeps things short n simple as the longest song checks in at 3:18 seconds!

I ask you all that follow this blog check out Polychucks “Shadows Exposed” on your preferred choice of streaming. Just add it to your library and expand your musical horizons!

Better yet…

Myself and Mikey will chatting with Polychuck tomorrow (Saturday August 1 at 1pm EST on MikeLebrain Youtube channel.)

Click the link below and follow Mike’s Channel…

 

 

Robert Plant: The Principle of Moments (1983)

I still remember seeing the adds for Plant’s second solo album “The Principle of Moments” in Circus Magazine as well as Creem and Hit Parader.

But that summer of ’83 when this album hit the racks in Thunder Bay  I wasn’t feeling it and it was nothing personal but as you may recall from my words on “Pictures At Eleven”, I didn’t really get that hard rock vibe that I was looking for.

Besides in 1983  my listening was to give you an example albums like “Holy Diver”, “Piece of Mind”, “Metal Health”, “Pyromania”, “Flick of The Switch” and I guess we could add “Synchronicity” in this mix as well!

Thats where my head was at sonically.

Even though the  two singles from “Principle of Moments”, “In The Mood” and “Big Log” were on rotation on MuchMusic. I still didn’t take the bait.

That is until now. I’m older not necessarily wiser but let’s get on this stuff as I can appreciate it now in 2021!

Let’s rewind to 1983 when Robert put this one out.

Plant was smart in bringing back the same production crew as well as the same band. If it ain’t broke Robert isn’t fixing it. More on that later.

While Robert still had a shade of Zep in couple of tracks on his debut. This album though sheds that sound pretty much throughout the albums eight tracks.

You can hear the influences of mainstream rock at the time on opening track “Other Arms”. A very crystal clear sound. The drums of Phil Collins and the guitars of Robbie Blunt shine on this album and throughout the record.

A pretty snappy straightforward bass line drives the single “In The Mood” while Blunt shines once again on the other single “Big Log”.

Plant though can sing any style and this album proves that point. “Wreckless Love” and “Other Arms” prove this theory as Plant had adapted himself by ’83 to the modern sounds of rock. (David Bowie did the same thing on his “Let’s Dance” release which ironically came out the same year as this album)

Speaking of Bowie. Robert and David were smart as they both changed with the times and that could be a reason why their solo careers thrived in the ’80s and did not stall.

This was another batch of songs from Robert that would have sailed over my head at the time of its release but I can honestly say its a good album and give the man his due as he was doing what he wanted to do.

You have to respect him for that.

Ok, if you recall earlier I mentioned Plant bringing back on “Principle” the same production team as he used on the “Pictures” album as well as each album had eight songs.

What is really wild and I’m not sure if this has been printed and I’m sure it has but like on the debut Plant solo album, Phil Collins drummed on six out of the album’s eight tracks.

Tracks four and seven from “Pictures… Slow Dancer and Like I’ve Never Been Gone” respectively  were handled by Cozy Powell(RIP) doing the drums on the debut album.

Now here’s the crazy part…

Tracks four and seven from “Principle… Wreckless Love and Stranger Here…Then Over There” respectively were handled by Barriemore Barlow.

Kinda funny that the running order on two different albums had the guest drummer on tracks four and seven on each record…

I think I need to hit up Robert for an explanation on this.

 

 

 

SUMMERTIME SPIN: RATT-INVASION OF YOUR PRIVACY (1985)

Another big release that had just come out in my world in June 1985 was RATT with the followup to there 3 times platinum debut (Out of The Cellar) was “Invasion of Your Privacy”

I originally purchased this one on cassette tape so when I pedalled my bike to my summertime job I could crank up the RATT N ROLL so to say and plus it was a good pick me up when I was working that summer of ’85 with a starting time of 6 am!

The whole RATT team was brought back together again( Beau Hill once again was producing) and just like on the debut a supermodel was featured on the cover of the new album.

Sex Sells….

It worked as myself and Tbone grabbed this tape basically the day it dropped into the shelves of the local record shops. Like many we needed another hit of some sleaze ball L.A Rock and Stephen Pearcy and crew delivered.

Looking back on this album in 2021 I have to say it’s probably my favourite RATT album and I can honestly say I liked all of this bands output in the 80s. (even the patchy Reach For The Sky had some decent moments).

Where “Invasion” works is in the theory of if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

Realistically this record is Side 3 & 4 of “Out of The Cellar” and that’s not a knock but a compliment as the tracks that are on this record are still strong.

Opener “Your In Love” gets the party started (or continuing I guess in regards to the debut) and this tune features Warren DeMartini leading the charge on the 6 string not only on this song but all the songs throughout as Warren is one of the best to come out of LA at this time. (George Lynch would be the other).

From there the party continues as Stephen tells us to “Never Use Love” followed by Pearcy telling us all to “Lay It Down” (first single).

“Give It All” has a great pre chorus where Ratt flex’s some musical muscle which at time can be lost in the how these guys looked at the time.

Is there such a thing as RATT Ballad? “Closer To The Heart” may just be that. A tune I don’t mind and  usually when bands from this genre would do the the quote on quote ‘Power Ballad’ I would puke in my mouth as I knew that was the game to be played..

Side 2 begins with “Between The Eyes” which is a sleazy slow cooker of a track that goes into “What You Give Is What You Get” which is another slow paced cooker of a track.

If your an old fart like me (take a bow Tbone) than you will remember the old answering machines where you would record  a message on a  cassette tape so if somebody called they would hear your voice and at the end leave you a message.  In other words old school voice mail. Well, with “Got Me On The Line” the tune begins with a phone ringing and Pearcy answering “Hello” than the band kicks in..

That back in the early 90s when I was living on my own was my message so if you were on the other line you would get blasted with Pearcy answering and the band firing it up.

Young goofy people do young goofy thing’s!

I always liked “Got Me On The Line” which is a great little ass kicker of a 3 minute RATT track which Steve-O tells us all at the end of the song “Nobody hangs up on me!!” 

BAM!!

Straight into “You Should Know By Know” which is another great  track with DeMartini laying down some snazzy fret work. 

“Dangerous But Worth The Risk” which was the opener on the “Invasion Tour” ends the album with another stellar track. I like Blotz’s drumming on this tune as he drives that RATT rocket ship forward.

RATT comes out with two strong albums and by looking back at things the summer of ’85 if rocking was my business than business was FRIGGING GOOD!

 

 

LEE AARON: RADIO ON! (2021)

Lee Aaron first came onto my radar way back in 1984 when the “Metal Queen” album was released and Lee made a name for herself playing across Canada as well as making inroads into Europe.

Now all these years later Lee and her stellar band consisting  of Sean Kelly – guitars, Dave Reimer – bass  and  John Cody – drums have released what I would consider Lee’s best album to date.

This album sounds huge and we all have Mike Fraser (Blue Murder, AC/DC, Coverdale-Page)  to thank as Mike helped dial in the sonics so you know the songs will sound mega coming through your speakers!

Radio On Tracklist.

Vampin’
Soul Breaker
Cmon
Mama Don’t Remember
Radio On
Soho Crawl
Devil’s Gold
Russian Doll
Great Big Love
Wasted
Had Me At Hello
Twenty One

I have always loved guitar driven hard rock songs and there are a lot to choose from on “Radio On !”.

Sean Kelly proves without a doubt what a fine talent on the six string he is.  Just listen to tracks like “Vampin” where after a short bluesy opening the band ramps right up flexing some serious musical muscle as Dave’s bass and John’s drums just lock in so tight. What a groove and of course Lee belt’s it out with her vocals.

Songs like “Cmon” and “Soul Breaker” have slick groove’s during the verses and Sean delivers great short n catchy solo’s in each of these songs which are total ear candy to my years.

The title track “Radio On!” has great summertime vibe with a real cool addition of keys in it but not enough to bury the other instruments. Another catchy chorus here folks. I think it’s safe to say a pattern is developing here.

“Soho Crawl” is a fun time party tune and I have always been a sucker for that kind of piano that helps pushes the song forward. Just a great tune and I think it’s safe to say that this  is what the world needs right now. (which are these kind of songs.)

I have to say that “Devils Gold” is one of my favourite tracks on “Radio On!”. The band musically spreading its wings and showing off their chops as Sean, Dave and John really lock it down when the tempo picks up.

“Russian Doll” is a great little ass kicker where Lee and the boys rock the house and if this song is played live it will bring the house down. Great boogie tune.

“Great Big Love” has a slow menacing groove where Lee has some great lyrics  which to me about how opposites attract.

Lee’s singing is superb throughout the whole album. Sure we all know  how she can sing the fast rocker tracks but where she shines are the slower tunes like the acoustic based “Wasted” which really goes to another level when the electric guitar kicks in and boy does it ever.  “Wasted” has one of my favourite guitar solo’s on “Radio On!” as Sean trades licks with Lee’s vocals before they take the gas off the pedal and the song plays out acoustically. I think of the Scorpions on this track as they are masters at doing ballads that open slow and slowly build and build up. Lee and the boys have that concept figured out on “Wasted”.

“Had Me At Hello” has that slinky like vibe that busts a move with a slick groove. (which there are many on this record)

“Radio On!” ends with the piano driven “Twenty One” which like a few other tracks on here picks up the pace as the song heads towards the finish line. I think it’s safe to say a few of us wish we were still twenty one.

Lee Aaron and her band should be very proud of this album as its truly a great rock record and I’m sure it will be making many year end lists this year.

Just saying!

Robert Plant: Pictures at Eleven (1982)

 

Over the next few weeks I’ll be reviewing a few Robert Plant solo albums along the way. Hope you all dig it..

The cool thing about Used Record Shops are when you walk into those kinds of places you have no idea or I have no idea what I’m looking for as you don’t know  what you will come across.

Case in point…

I had a week of holidays and since life is somewhat getting back to normal here in Thunder Bay I thought it may be time to hit local shop “Comix Plus” and see whats in the bins..

A few weeks back I reviewed Robert Plant’s “Knebworth” release and in those used bins was the first three Robert Plant solo releases starting with “Pictures at Eleven” .

The lightbulb in my noggin went off…

I already own Plant’s stellar 1988 release “Now And Zen” and before my eyeballs were Roberts previous three solo albums there for the taking the used record bins.

So I took!

Why not finish off my Plant vinyl collection with one stop shopping!

Bought all three (the other two being  ’83’s Principle of Moments and ’85’s Shaken N Stirred) which are in great shape and along with a copy of Cheap Tricks ‘All Shook Up’ I was out the door with said purchases in hand.

I have to admit I originally bought “Pictures At Eleven” back upon its release almost four decades ago.  At the time I was 15 and upon first hearing Led Zeppelin around that time I was expecting a huge bombastic rock sound from Plant as that what Zep was known for right?

Instead what I heard was not too much bombastic rock on the albums eight songs which is  no fault of Roberts as he wanted to distance himself from the sonic fury and musical chops of Zeppelin.

After all he was going solo…

In 1982 I didn’t get it but now a revisit and another go round with “Pictures At Eleven” in 2021 I get it.

First of all Robert put together a studio/live band that pretty much stayed together for the first three solo Plant records.

Robert Plant – Lead Vocals, Harmonica
Robbie Blunt – Guitars
Jezz Woodroffe – Keyboards
Paul Martinez – Bass
Phil Collins – Drums

Yup! That Phil Collins who drums on six of the albums eight tracks and the two that Phil isn’t on the late very great Cozy Powell drummed on the other two. (more on that shortly).

Even though its Roberts band and his deal all the songs are a collaberative effort as Blunt basically is the the co writer on all the tracks. In case you’re wondering Collins is just the drummer on this album and Phil plays some great drums.

With Plant producing (along with Benji LeFerve and Pat Moran) you know the sonics would be great on this album as listen to those drums courtesy of Bonzo(RIP) on the Zep albums. Safe to say Robert picked up a trick or three of studio wizardry along the way.

“Burning Down One Side” opens the album and basically could have fit on Zeppelin’s final album “In Through The Out Door”. From there some songs go into a different territory for Robert like “Pledge Pin” which has a different vibe but some nice drumming by Phil and a sax solo to boot!

Guitarist Robbie Blunt became Plant’s new songwriting partner and together they cook up a pretty cool batch of tunes overall.

“Moonlight In Samosa” is a whole different feel almost ballad like but if Roberts footing the bill for this whole shebang I guess he can do as he pleases.

One thing I notice all theses years later is that Pictures At Eleven is an atmospheric record. No two songs sound alike and if you look at the song lengths many of them are pushing the five minute mark.

One tune that pushes the eight minute mark is the closet to Zep sounding track on here which is “Slow Dancer”. The drums are huge sounding and you have Powell to thank for that as he lays back but provides a huge sound. Just listen to those bass drums. Dude was a monster on the kit.

Not to be outdone Collins and Blunt hook up on the tune “Worse Than Detroit” where Robert even pulls out the harp as the song goes off into a jam at one point.

Cozy returns for “Like I Never Been Gone” which is another ballad like tune but Cozy as you know can lay down some huge drum sounds even on the slower tracks.

In the big picture of things this is a pretty good debut record from Plant.  Such a great listen and to my ol rocked out ears it doesn’t sound dated!

So there ya have it folk’s, 2021 and I have seen the light and it only took 39 years!

Give Robert credit though as his best friend (Bonzo) passed away in September 1980 yet Plant kept his feet moving in by putting together a new band and releasing a pretty decent debut in “Pictures At Eleven.”

SUMMERTIME SPIN: RATT-OUT OF THE CELLAR (1984)

My pal Tbone was first out of the cellar, oops I meant to say gate  picking up the major label debut of RATT’s “Out of The Cellar” back in March ’84.

Growing up in Thunder Bay there is no such thing as a Sunset Strip but at that time in ’84 we would cruise around in Tbone’s parents Ford green machine family van and would blast “Out of The Cellar” for all the city to hear!

Shortly after though  I had to have my own copy of “Out of The Cellar” and what a  decent debut. Some great playing within the band as the songs were good, production was good and singer Stephen Pearcy had that sleazy L.A drawl liked he swallowed a pack of razor blades.

The ace in the hole within the band is of course Warren DeMartini who plays a bunch of solo’s suited to the bands needs. Dude has his own style and wasn’t really the hot dogging type on the six string.

“Wanted Man” leads off the charge basically its about these guys blowing into town, playing the show, hooking up with ladies and blowing out of town(ahem) to the next show! Warren seals the seal the deal with a great guitar solo!

“Round And Round” the debut single went through the roof especially on the video front which at the time was really crafted smart video. The guitars of DeMartini and the late Robbin Crosby are stellar on this song and many others.

Plus the fact that RATT could shake up the musical tempo in there tunes as well. Some quick little shifts in the songs which made me notice as a listener that they cats could play.

Don’t believe me check out the second track “You’re In Trouble” which at the  start with the rumbling bass from Juan Croucier and the offbeat drumming by Bobby Blotzer  sounds like Duran Duran hyped on speed. “She Wants Money” has the RATT X-Press clipping at a fast pace down the track shows that when they wanted to power rock they could.

LOVE THAT OLD ATLANTIC LOGO ON RECORDS!

No dip on Side 2 as “Lack of Communication” has Pearcy and Croucier trading one liners on the song which if anything is an appropriate title in 2021 I would add!

“Back For More” is the second single and has that nice little acoustic opening before launching into an all out frontal rock attack. Once again the boys mix it up in the tempo department! (for an even better version of Back For More check out the RATT EP issued in 1983)

When I talk about end of album GEMS “The Morning After” is one of them. Why on Gods green earth was this not released as a single. It’s all here. Tight musical chops with Pearcy’s sleaze ball vocal delivery. Simply a stellar tune…

“I’m Insane” has the band driving forward with a quick hit between the eyes while end of the album tune “Scene of The Crime” is a real good album closer as Pearcy tells the tale about being duped by some cold hearted bitch. His words not mine folk’s. Once again another cool solo to round things up.

Looking back and listening to this one again takes me back to that summer of ’84 when so many records were coming out that year. RATT held there own in hanging with the big boys and give these guys props for not putting a single ballad on here!

A music fan trying to put it down in words….