The Metal Files

My Life. My Music. Your Voyeurism.

Archive for the ‘virginia’ Category

You’re bloggen with Dokken!

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Look! No ellipses!

Straight to the toooooooooooop! Tooth and Nail!

Hell yeah, that’s some quality headbanging when that song is on.

Wow, has it really been 24 years since this came out? That’s insane. This CD came on when I was driving home from work today. As you’ll notice from a lot of my reviews, I have a tendency to flashback. I wish I could blame it on drugs but I can’t. I remember buying the cassette of this at Roses department store in Suffolk, VA when I was 14. I think I heard the song Just Got Lucky on the radio and thought it was rokken. The title track comes in and just gets you all pumped up for some spandex jammin!

Now, if you’re a metal fan, and old school metal fan, you already know this album. I don’t need to break down its awesomeness. This was another of the great albums from 1984. What a year!

There are some funny stories to share about this one. I was over at Kelz’ house and we were jamming to this tape down in his den and his mom came in. Now, let me preface all this by saying both of us grew up in homes where our parents (or probably just our moms) thought that heavy metal was of the devil. They were probably right, but whatever. So anyway, she hears the chorus to “Bullets To Spare” and asks to see the tape cover so that she could read the lyrics. If I am not mistaken, the cover was this one, aka the alternate cover (weak):

Photobucket

I think his mom said they were devil hands or something. She was probably right. So…Bullets to Spare…she’s reading the lyrics and just saying a few of them out loud. She looks at me and asks if I know what the song is about. Of course I did. I was 14. I was no Casanova but I knew enough about sexual euphemisms. But, I told her it was about a guy and his gun that ran out of bullets but had some extra ones in his pocket. Ha! I am sure she knew I was full of shit but she let it slide. I think it was a few weeks after that when she called my mom and told her that Chris and I shouldn’t hang out any more ‘cuz I was a bad influence on him. Actually, I think she made that call a few years later. “Not my kid” was that woman’s mantra. If she only knew, eh Chris?

“My barrel’s ready
My hand is steady
Tonight I’m ready for fun
I got my finger
It’s on the trigger
Another night on the run”

Hell yeah! Tell ’em, Don! The bad thing is that Dokken got tagged with the “hair band” label. yeah, they used a lot of hairspray and spandex, but they were a few cuts above the rest of the bands like Poison, Britny Fox and all that other bullshit. Dokken (band) had talent. George Lynch was a badass and not too many guys in the metal scene could touch him on guitar.

Good times. Fun album. I met Don on his solo tour back in 90 or 91. I was on the tour bus before the show and he came on, shook hands, signed a few things then sat down in front of everyone and shot up. Classy.

Free shipping! $9! Buy it.

Written by The Metal Files

August 15, 2008 at 10:01 pm

They say that the night life, they say it ain’t no good life, but it’s my life…

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I listen to Thin Lizzy a lot…A LOT! I have an mp3 CD in my truck that has all of their albums on it. usually when that disc is playing I just keep it on shuffle mode, but when I want to hear an album in its entirety I put it on the Nightlife album.

Now, I’ve only been a Thin Lizzy fan for about 10 years or so; yes, I know it’s a tragic shame. I was just never exposed to much by them until about 1997. Besides their 2 US radio hits, Renegade was the only thing I had ever owned and I loved it, but still never had the urge to delve in deeper to their back catalogue.

Anyhoo, I come back to this album a lot. It’s very dark, sultry, bluesy (and I HATE the blues btw). When I hear this album I really feel like I am sitting in a smoke filled dive bar where no one in there is under the age of 45, no one speaks to each other, the bartender is reading the paper and everyone is just seeped into their own lonliness. Depressing, eh? It’s like a scene from the movie Barfly.

There’s a few upbeat tunes on here like It’s Only Money (Concrete Blonde did a great version of this), Sha-La-La and She Knows. But even those have an air of dank depression. Still In Love With You is the biggest “hit” on this one and became a staple of Lizzy’s live set.

This album is such a weird thing for me. It makes me sad and picks me up all at once. I think the combination of Phil’s soulful and sad lyrics mixed with the great production and guitar work just put my mind in a spin. It’s tough to explain.

Back in 1991/92 I dated this wonderful girl named Alicia. She was the coolest of the cool and in hindsight I probably should have married her; instead I broke her heart. She was very much into “my” music and she really loved this record. She used to call it “a great album to tap to.” She wasn’t talking about tap dancing! haha. So, I think it’s another reason why this album sort of brings me down; it reminds me of her and how great she was and how much of a shitbag I was to break up with her. For the record, I made amends with her (for my own good) a few years ago but dropped all contact, much to her dismay. Girls are funny. Why do they want to stay in touch with their exes?

Oh wait, this is about Thin Lizzy, yes? Right. Phil’s ballads have a way of striking deep emotions with me. It’s weird. I feel like I can relate to much of it. That’s generally the mark of a great songwriter, yeah? The ability to “hit close to home.”

here’s a lyric from “Dear Heart” that I love:

“He’d give his life, give his everything
To reach that goal and take that last and final fling.
But I guess it’s just another story in the greatest story
ever told
Dear heart, I wish that you could see that
Dear heart, you mean the world to me”

Here’s a vid for Still In Love With You:

Just go buy it already.

Written by The Metal Files

August 15, 2008 at 1:21 pm

Tell me why I have to be a Powerslave…

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Before I get too deep into reviewing old badass metal albums, I am going to start with THE most badass metal album of all time.Powerslave

Yes, by Iron Maiden…like that needed to be said. I guess there are some folks out there who don’t know. Well you do now.

I’ll never forget when I first bought this. It was 1984 and my mom and I were flying into Pittsburgh to visit family for a week. The airport there had a little music store so with some of the spending money I had I bought Powerslave and Bark at the Moon. I had heard some of the Ozzy album on the radio and at that time, Ozzy was still making quality records. Prior to buying Powerslave, Run To the Hills was the only Iron Maiden that I had ever heard. I always loved their album covers but never checked ‘em out. I even remember having the old Hit Parader special edition “Iron Maiden vs. Quiet Riot.” Of course I covered my walls with the QR posters that came with it. Duh. Children!

OK, back to Pittsburgh. For whatever reason, NO ONE in my large family up there had a working cassette player and I didn’t bring my Sony Walkman. Of course their record players and 8-track players worked fine. D’oh. So I ended up having to wait a whole week before I actually heard the damned thing. But once I got back to Virginia, oh man, it was on.

I remember calling Kelz and saying, “Dude, I just got the new Iron Maiden…it’s so fast!” It was also one of the inspirations for me to want to play drums which I started later that year. Now realize that I already considered myself a metalhead and was already into KISS, Crue, Metallica, Sabbath, DIO, Judas Priest, Alice Cooper, RUSH, Triumph and a slew of other heavy bands, but Maiden was my missing link.

I wore out at least 6 copies on cassette. A few vinyl copies and have owned 3 versions on CD. The OCD in my head turns on sometimes and says, “Doofus, you must go and find every version of this on CD and have one whole rack dedicated to Powerslave.” You know, it really doesn’t sound that silly, does it? Hmmm…

The album is just brilliant, beginning to end. Every time I play it, I still get goose bumps when I hear the opening riff to Aces High. The transition in to 2 Minutes to Midnight is perfect. I’m not even bothered by the instrumental…and I rarely like Maiden’s instrumentals. I always found it odd that there were 2 songs on there about swords. Sure, Bruce Bruce was a fencer and all, but whatever. Both songs are great. I guess when Dickinson wrote Flash of the Blade, Harris had to get his say and write The Duellists. OK, side 2. I can remember flipping it over in my old tiny boombox that had one 4” speaker. Good times. So now, Back In the Village. Great tune…duh. I’m not sure why I am even mentioning each of these songs since we all know that the album is perfect. But since I am near the end, Powerslave is one of my faves on this record. Just a great groove. Nicko is god. Finally we get to the epic Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Simply brilliant and very well done.

I’ll never forget Mr. Gordon’s 11th grade English class. We were studying Rime in its entirety and of course I was already very familiar with it. When we were starting to break the long ass poem down, I mentioned that I had a shorter version that still captured the essence of the story and asked me to read it to the class. Read it? Shit, g, I had that junk memorized. So I stood up and recited the entire song to the class. I’d pause now and then and Mr. Gordon would ask if I was done. “No sir, just getting through a guitar solo.” So after I completed it, Mr. G thought it was pretty cool. he said something to the effect of “Wow Sean. Good job. But how is it that you can memorize that entire song but you can’t seem to remember to do your homework?” My reply was simple…”That’s easy, Mr. Gordon. I have my priorities.” He just shook his head and the class laughed. Ha! I ruled the wasteland that day.

1984 was a good year. A damned good year.

I filmed this video in San Antonio, May 2008.