1981 was a real interesting year in my world of music! Beginning in January 81 I had gone to a local record shop to pick up John Lennons “Double Fantasy” album as the whole world was still shocked after Lennon was assassinated in December 1980!
My intentions were all about getting the Lennon album until I walked into out local Sam The Record Man and seen on the racks these four long-haired guys calling themselves Van Halen that had them posing on the front cover. That album was Woman & Childern First and to this day it for me is perhaps the album that most impacted me. All Nine 9 songs on WACF are stellar. I had never heard guitar sound or played like that! I had never heard a singer think he is Tarzan yodeling away at the beginning of Track 2(Everybody Wants Some!) The Drums and Bass on the album sound like a runaway locomotive about to come off the tracks. The band is on who knows what chemically but whatever keep the party rolling and by golly David Lee Roth/Eddie Van Halen/Alex Van Halen/Micheal Anthony did just that!
Just 3 short months later VH’s Fair Warning came out and was a real score for me as well! Here’s my favourite new band that I just discovered and another new album? Ed Van Halen by this time solidifies his greatness in my world making him to this day still my numero uno fav-o 6 stringer!
Can Con started to make a dent in my listening habits as well as Triumph put out the super cool Allied Forces. Triumph were a Canadian 3 piece that featured two lead singers and a freaky dude on Bass! Triumph meant business back in 81. I mean it was about Allied Forces and Rock Troops. Magic Power/Fight The Good Fight and real classic wallop to the head opening track Fool For Your Love. Man Triumph were a lean mean fighting machine back than…
Judas Priest put out for what myself and Tbone could easily call our favourite Priest album and that would be Point of Entry, Love the sonic’s of this album with just straightforward Rock tracks like Heading Out To The Highway/Desert Plains and the very brilliant very underrated Turning Circles!
Rush made a double dent in my listening habits with both Moving Pictures and Exit Stage Left! My first foray into the term Prog Rock! Seriously these guys are singing about Honey Dew/Hash and Trees? Course Rush played at a level that was seriously sick I mean who the fuck plays drums like that? Neil Peart does Bitches that’s who!
Another huge game changer was Iron Maiden ‘Killers’. Maiden opened Killers with a musical only number Ides of March that segued way into Wrathchild and I had never heard Metal like this! It was brilliant as the guitars of Davey Murray/Adrian Smith just wailed like no one’s business and what the hell the Bass Player writes all the tunes?? Steve Harris was and is still the deal! Paul Di’anno had a great set of pipes back than and I think took it for granted his situation in Maiden that cost him his spot…
Those ol Horndogs AC/DC released For Those About To Rock(We Salute You) and Tbone was the first one to get this album. We stared at that gatefold pic of the live shot for hours while we listened to Brian Johnson once again sing about the birds and bee’s! We all bought into the program folks and so did you!
Whitesnake with the live Ain’t No Love In The Heart of the City was my first time dabbling with a Snake album. Whitesnake circa 1981 featured three ex members of Deep Purple laying down that old school Hammond B3 old blues rock vibe 6 years before that Crazy Bird slid all over the hood of the Cov’s Jaguar in those Snake Vid’s!
Aerosmith Live Bootleg made such a huge impact on my listening habits in that it was the first live album I had ever heard where the band sounded blasted and in another zone yet what was in the grooves was so good/so classic/so stoned!
Last not least as KISS release The Elder which has KISS wanting to write a concept record! Fair enough but when your 14 and you have heavy hitters like Maiden/Priest/VH/Rush/Triumph putting out hard hitting slabs of rock! Why the F**k am I hearing a flute on a KISS album?