In a year by year continuing series where I dust the cobwebs off my Noggin and share with you all what I had actually bought with my hard-earned allowance! Plus I can ramble on and on….(I purchased more than what is posted here but these are the one’s that I dig talking about!) and maybe you the reader may check out some of this stuff and think “Hey Deke’s isn’t completely off his Rocker!”
A New Decade and with it comes some new music to my ears and some of the regulars that made an impact in 1980…
1980 was the first time I heard Styx and on a whim wanted 1979’s Cornerstone. I don’t want to say too much about this one as I want to review it sometime soon with a few other Styx albums so..
KISS in 1980 releases Unmasked and even as a 13-year-old at the time I even knew this album was KISS in trouble . Recall the hype I read in Circus (before the album came out)where KISS was going to call their album Unmasked! I thought “Wow I’m going to get to see how ugly Simmons actually is!” Nope did not happen got the album and the cover was a drawn cover that Tbone who was 13 also at the time could have drawn a far superior cover and the songs were average at best! I will say Ace Frehley wrote the classic Torpedo Girl. KISS had up to this point had done better and were yet to really lose their brains once 1981 rolled around(Next time folks!)
The brilliant New England returned with their followup to their excellent self titled debut in 1980 and released Explorer Suite which continued their path of excellent written tracks by John Fannon as in the brilliant prog poppy title track and others like Hey You On The Run and Seal It With A Kiss. I got this album as a gift from my cool parents for Christmas that year!
It’s no secret how much I love still to this day Queen’s The Game album which I purchased as soon as I heard Another One Bites The Dust. Mercury/May/Taylor/Deacon were the first band I had heard that had a different sound but they could all still bring the Rock! Fred had a real slick knack at making the piano sound cool! Every track is a winner and I could go on and on but you all know this already so let’s carry on shall we?!
July 1980 and AC/DC school us in what the birds and bee’s in life are about. So in honour of each track I won’t ramble about the 10 songs on the album but instead one word that to me describes each song as how the AC/DC sound pounded my senses to smithereens …
Here it goes.. 1-Hells’s Bells-=Satan/ 2- Shoot To Thrill-=Pills/ 3-What Do You Do For Money Honey=Hookers/ 4-Given The Dog A Bone= Sex/5-Let Me Put My Love Into You=Boner/ 6-Back In Black=Death/7- You Shook Me All Night Long=Girls/ 8- Have A Drink On Me=Booze/9-Shake A Leg=Mess/10-Rock n Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution= Coolness.
Like Queen up to that point I never heard a band like AC/DC as KISS/Cheap Trick albums sonically sounded clean but here comes DC kicking my young ass hard and teaching me that there is more to Rock Songwriting than Shandi!
Coming up….Maiden/VH/Triumph/Rush/Priest/Whitesnake and more KISS as Metal really takes a stranglehold in my life back in 1981!
Last night my daughter Lexie ended up at Sunrise Records and scored this album for her Dad(moi)!
If you recall Queen were one of the first bands along with KISS/Cheap Trick/New England/AC-DC that I had discovered when The Game was released back in June of 1980.
Queen had their own sound and did not sound at all like the four bands mentioned above and the fact that they could lead off an album with a track called Play The Game and keep this 13-year-old at the time amused is impressive to say the least!
Always loved the silver shiny cover which was opposite of all the dark colours used on most albums. The band decked out in leather and Freddie Mercury is mustache less as well! Ha!
This album inside is pure brilliance and I’m stoked to get this again!
Lex was pumped to buy this for me as an early Bday gift and she didn’t want to wait to give it to me as she has heard me for months now babble on and on at how classic this record is and how much of a music game changer it was for me.
My babble only intensified as Lex and her twin sister Lauren were in their High School production of We Will Rock You. Lex said she couldn’t believe it that Sunrise had it and she said it was no brainer purchase as only copy of The Game was stocked!
Thanks a bunch Lex!
By the way friends. Read Sarca’s great post about music that she just put up on her site which led me to post this little Queen snippet.
posted on his FaceBook Page his Top 20 which Jon also said you could have easily done a Top 40 Fav Album List! True That!
Jon had some real cool albums such as Whitesnake(Slide It In) Y&T (Meanstreak) Motley Crue(Shout At The Devil) and KISS Alive amongst others!
It got me thinking about my Top 20 (a few months ago we did a Top 15 list with fellow WordPress Bloggers which was a ton of fun to see people’s tastes in music and books etc). So via Jon’s page I clicked the link and voila right to the page to enter my Top 20!
It was easy to do and entered in my Top 20. So I linked it right to Facebook went my list and first order of business was issuing a bit of a fun challenge to others as what your favourite 20 albums would be! Only could be studio releases(no live albums) and one album per artist as I would have loaded up on VH, old Aero,old Kiss,Maiden,AC /DC and that would have been it….hahaha…No Cheatin!
Tbone(whom I have known for 4 Decades!) right away came through in the clutch as he posted right away his list ( T’s list is at the top of the page) and it was great to compare! A buddy of mind Tony also posted his Top 20 but he broke the rules with as Tbone typed “19 Anvil compilations and High N Dry don’t count!” Hahaha….Seriously though thanks for participating Tony and how about a shout out to Blackie Lawless!
My Top 20 you can see posted just below……
It’s cool to see and compare lists with Tbone….I thought a post about Tbones Top 20 along with my usual smart ass comments would be a fun thing to talk about ….Shall we…?!
We are on the same page with The Cults Electric and Guns N Destruction albums and it’s kinda cool to see that back in the year that both of these albums were released (1987) myself and Tbone turned 20 years young and that Guns had opened up for The Cult on the Electric Tour! Yup groundbreaking info here! Hahaha…..
Of course Rush would be there as Tbone tossed in Moving Pictures which was basically our introduction to Rush that year of 1981 when we started at Lakeview High School and quickly learned that Rush had played at our very own School back in 1973!
I was very surprised and glad to see Maidens Number Of The Beast (1982)on there! Ha….Tbones parents at the time probably thought he was gonna burn down a church after they could hear the Air Raid Sirens wails of “6-6-6 The One For You And Me!” resonating from his bedroom. I’m sure his parents were relieved when they heard Bryan Adams Reckless(1984) which itself is a solid pick T! It is indeed an all time slab of great CanRock that even to this day does not sound dated! Another great call is Tom Pettys solo album Full Moon Fever and its 40 minutes of an Ass Kicker Album!
Speaking of Maiden a few sentences back I went with Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son! Moonchild is one of the best opening tracks on any Maiden album….EVER!
I take full Blame and responsibility on Tbone hoping aboard the HALEN Tour Bus Sonically that is and it didn’t surprise me in the least to see Fair Warning (1981) on his list! I mean any of those first 6 Dave Roth Albums could easily be in The Top 20 no problem! Speaking of Roth. Bam! Here comes Eat Em And Smile (1986 ) and with that kick ass musical combo Dave had behind him(Vai,Sheehan,Bisonette and Tuggle) we spent many an hour chatting up songs like Bump And Grind,Big Trouble and Elephant Gun and wishing we were Dave(1980s Dave that is)….Another great pick T!
U2 with Achtung Baby we both could have had on our list easily and perhaps I should have as well but man Bono annoys me …..Achtung though what a brilliant album and along with the production angle of Lanois/Eno is so groundbreaking and to this day to my ears is still one of the best sounding studio albums! Not as good as Rick Rubin’s produced Cult Electric Album mind you but Achtung holds it own..
Great call on ZZ Tops Eliminator Tbone! Man how could I miss that one? I could have easily bumped out Cheap Tricks Dream Police for that It goes without saying that Tbone dug deep into this list and pulled out some Gems! After which Tbone drank deep into his Scotch! Haha…
Safe to say Standing Hampton(1981) by Sammy Hagar is the Ultimate Shock A Roo! What a fantastic add! I just about spilled or was it spit out my coffee at that pick… Like I said earlier T did his homework and stepped up! Course this album features Heavy Metal and One Way To Rock but how about I’ll Fall In Love Again and Baby’s On Fire….easy peasy pickins! It’s a great album as it has a good sound as Sam I Am hadn’t fallen Into those 80s trappings of whiney synths!
Nice to see Tbone select Stone Temple Pilots (1994) as well here with the Purple album and this was when we saw STP open for The Stones in Toronto on the Stones Voodoo Lounge Tour! Not to be outdone I selected Superunknown(1994) by Soundgarden! Man I love Cornell’s voice! Limo Wreck is a classic ! The Stones both made our lists with Tbone selecting Sticky Fingers and me going with Some Girls! Another band match was Zep with Tbone tossing down Zep 4 and Ol DeKEs dialing up Physical Graffiti!
Tbone rolling with Aerosmiths Toys In The Attic and myself choosing Rocks are actually no brainers as it proves without a doubt that me and Tbone like our Aero slopped up when Steve n Joe were loaded up on party treats (special mention must be given to Done With Mirrors) and wrote real cool songs before they became that AeroSap Band doing soundtracks and wanting to become something they weren’t ….
Another Shock A Roo pick from T would be Mr Books favourite band Sloan with Navy Blues! How can you go wrong with She Says What She Means,Izzy and Angus and the classic DC stolen riff of Money City Maniacs! Exactly you can’t! Did not see this one coming as well but a real good pick!
I went with another Canadian Band and that’s The Tragically Hip with Road Apples (1991) actually any of their first four albums I could have picked! I love Road Apples as it reeks Canadiana,smells of Weed and Cold Canadian Beer! ” You Just Hit Me Where It Hurts,I Guess It Felt Quite Primitive!” Bellows lead singer Gord Downie during Twist My Arm! Great track!
Bon Jovi with New Jersey(1988) made Tbones cut and fair enough as it was a strong album (the tour for it was a real good show)and still holds up well by today’s standard! Too bad Jon has currently disintegrated a once great act into a big pile of Music Poop!
Tbone sneaks In Collective Soul’s (1985) self titled second album which is a great rock record. Ross Childress plays some real supped up leads while Ed Roland is a talented singer songwriter! My only knock are the drums sound programmed but still great songs especially the opener “Simple!”
Before I let you all get back to reality(thanks for reading) how could we not talk about AC/DC pre Axl Rose era! T says Highway To Hell(1979). DeKEs says Flick Of The Switch(1983)Can’t go wrong with either! Tons of salty lyrics (Rising Power and Beating Around The Bush) Lotsa Angus! What more do you need?
Def Leppard with its mega zillion selling album Hysteria (1987) made TBones Grade while I prefer the hard rock stylings of High N Dry(1981). Both are classics and like I have said in every Lep review I have done that once Steve Clark died lots of creativity in the riff department went to heaven with him…..
Holeeeee Shatz! This kinda went on but it was fun to go down memory lane sonically with my pal of 40+ years! (WHUT?) Thanks for reading and well….
I have a buddy named Chico whose sister had a copy of Queens News Of The World on LP around say give or take 1979 so this was my first introduction to the Queen machine but at that time it was all KISS,AC/DC ,New England and Cheap Trick nuthin else really mattered back than but in 1980 Queen unleashed The Game and lil Deker expanded his listening bands to 5!
What grabbed my attention other than the fact Another One Bites The Dust was everywhere was the cool looking cover. Full props to the person who decided to go with the silver look as colour of choice with a cool looking black and white pic of the band on the cover! Queen looked badass and it’s kinda funny how two short years later when Queen put out Hot Space(???) they didn’t look so bad ass anymore! But nevertheless lets play a game and talk about The Game!
PLAY THE GAME-Starts with what sounds like a UFO landing and the song begins with Freddie Mercury at the keys and for me at the time (13) my musically horizons are expanding! Every album I owned up to that point had ripping opening numbers(KISS had songs like Detroit Rock City,AC-DC had Hells Bells,you get the picture?!) to get em out of the gate but here’s Queen schooling me that you don’t have to come blasting out of the gate at a million hundred miles per hour but Queen was showing their diversity in the grooves and man this is sumthin new to my ears and guess what I’m ok with it! Also big in this song next to Freddie is Brian Mays guitar action the dude pulls off a real good solo.
DRAGON ATTACK – Could easily be one of my favourite Queen songs ever( the other is Need Your Loving)John Deacon funks out some bass with Good ol Roger Taylor into the Dragons Den and man this is Queen grooving off in a jam with Fred chirping telling me that the “Reds all red baby that’s what I said “and Brian May carries the super cool tune along with some cool percussion from Taylor and snappy bass from Deacon. This is Queen at their best for me anyways!
ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST-Give a shout out to the bass player John Deacon for writing this tune and it’s his bass that carries this tune. I mean flashback to the early 80s this song was everywhere and I still remember years later it being used in a chocolate bar commercial that sent people freaking! Relax people it’s just John Deacon cashing his chips in man! He wrote the fuckin thing ! I still hear Mercury in my head saying “Another One Bites The Dust Hey Hey” this song as well if you were old enough in the early 80s to go to bars the bass in this song would just be jacked probably to the point of deafness! I guess that’s where the blow and booze would come in!
NEED YOUR LOVING TONIGHT-So Johnny Deacon sez if you think I’m just a one hit wonder in the songwriting department check out Need Your Loving Tonight! He writes pop ditties and man the rest of the guys with the drums,vocals,bass acoustic and electric guitars just add to this song and it’s my fav on The Game and I’m not just saying that because of the other two megabits on here! This song should have been huge and well for me it’s Queen once again at their best! Like Freddie says ‘Hit Me’ Bravo John Deacon!
CRAZY LITTLE THING CALLED LOVE-Freddie plays guitar, acoustic guitar that is on this track and man this song was huge ,huge just like Another One Bites The Dust! Maybe bigger?? Deacon drives the bass and May yanks a cool 1950ish sounding solo and yep it does sound like Elvis could have done it! And hey we all know the saying ‘Ready Freddy’….great first side now flip your vinyl and let’s dive nose first into….
ROCK IT (PRIME JIVE)- Roger Taylor says well everyone is writing tracks so I better contribute to get some royalties!! Rock It starts off slow with May and Freddie talking about our love for rock n roll as it’s all in our souls and once the drums kick in Taylor takes over the lead vocals and I remember as a kid thinking wow all 4 members contribute tracks just like KISS except Queen is a little more complex. What I mean is that you weren’t gonna find any ” please to meet ya in the Ladies Room” that’s ok there’s a place for that but not at the Queens Palace!
DONT TRY SUICIDE-Fred says don’t do it cuz nobody gives a damn! Cool handclaps and neat rhythm and Queen has rhythm man. Check out the middle part of the tune when Fred pounds the keys the Queen is a Rocket Ship headed into frontiers for others to follow and I will explain it at the conclusion of this review. Plus as a 13-year-old was the first time I heard the word “Tits” used on a record!! I’m not quoting the line Freddie says,you go listen to it!
SAIL AWAY SWEET SISTER- May does the honour on this song as he sings it as well! It’s a big time ballad in the Queen sense. Queen must have puked when all those flipping hair metal bands in the 80s were doing ballads. I mean you know my deal on ballads but Queen had class doing them. Warrant did Heaven think about this will ya!
COMING SOON- Ol Rog throws down song number by himself on side 2 and Queen picks up the pace with this mid tempo little rocker! May carries this tune as well. This song is one that nobody ever speaks of,buts it’s good,no shit Sherlock!
SAVE ME- The album ends huge as a huge epic Queen tune. The piano and Fred carry this tune. Man could Mercury lay it down vocally! Shit man this guy is one of the best as when you hear him you know it’s him! Fantastic finish to a classic rock record!
IN CONCLUSION- For this being really the 4th band I ever got into Queen showed me how you could travel down another musical landscape and still come out it with the feeling of Rawk without pussing out! Deacon,Mercury,Taylor and May also proved that you do a record all with single cowrites and still exist creatively and man you never hear the Queen guys Bitchin about royalties and if they did they kept in-house!
The sonics on this album even today are superb! Queen was ahead of their time by a mountain slide of other acts putting out records during the 1980s. Kudos to producer Mack and to Queen for pushing the sonic envelope! Don’t believe me? Grab a pair of headphones man….
Also some artists of the 80s borrowed heavy from this record and 2 come to mind quickly.
1- Billy Squiers Emotions In Motion album is heavily influenced by The Game as well as Queens producer Mack fiddled with the dials as producer on Emotions in Motion!
2- The Cars,don’t laugh listen to The Game especially Taylor’s Rock It has Ric Ocasek all over it. Than again maybe the Cars had some influence on Queen…I doubt it I can’t see anyone influencing Queen other than Queen themselves!
I must also mention I’m not a huge Queen fan and would never pretend to be but for me The Game and there Queen Rocks Montreal are must haves…..check em out!