It’s been over a month since I saw the mighty Judas Priest in my hometown during “Hills of Rock 2018” Festival but I can still hear the voice of the Metal God, Rob Halford and still get those goosebumps when I think of how awesome the whole experience was. During the festival I had the chance to finally listen to “Painkiller” live – one of my favorite Judas Priest songs from my second favorite album of theirs. The moment I heard that iconic, instantly-recognizable opening drum solo, my heart jumped right off my chest and just fell on that stage. This was a moment I will forever remember and cherish.
Now, we are celebrating the anniversary of arguably one of Judas Priest’s finest albums in their career and what many fans consider as their greatest comeback. When “Firepower” hit the shelves this year, critics referred to it as Priest’s best album since “Painkiller”. The albums after “Painkiller” also suffered from the constant “Painkiller” comparison curse. Whatever those guys do, it seems like this 1990 release is always in the talks. There’s a reason why and I don’t think you need a long essay to convince you of the magnitude and influence of this album on the heavy metal scene.
Before I continue, here’s one of the songs I love the most from the album:
I know the dedicated fans are quite familiar with the story behind it but let’s just remember a few important details that I believe should be known about this release by every rock/metal fan out there. First of all, “Painkiller” is the last album to feature Rob Halford – that’s of course until he comes back in 2005. It’s also drummer Scott Travis’ debut and by the way – he is one of the best drummers I’ve seen live ever! The sounds itself was way more aggressive and with a reason – the band had to take something back and that was their redemption. The credibility was surely retrieved after the release of “Painkiller”. The band put back the “heavy” in “heavy metal” with that 1990 release and the critics acknowledged it. Fans, too! Tours, millions of copies sold and a newly-found fame was surrounding the band but as you know, Halford wanted to do his own thing for a while. That’s why they parted ways for some time and vocalist Tim “Ripper” Owens stepped as the band’s new frontman in 1996. Still, Rob came back and the band was once again together.
Let’s celebrate the album by playing some of the most iconic songs from it. As I mentioned already, “A Touch of Evil” is my favorite song, though the title track is a close-second.
Let me know what you think of this album and what is your favorite song on the comment section below!
I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the rights and credits go to the owners and/publishers.
The publication expresses my personal opinion and in no way is trying to make a generalized statement. Please be kind and considerate when you read and/or comment.
I’m still trying to process every little thing that happened to me during the 2018 Hills of Rock festival because the whole thing was literally one great thing after another. This was the first time I took part in a 3-day festival and as tiring and exhausting (and sometimes quite painful for my body) as it was, I will forever cherish the memory of seeing the great Sabaton, the mighty Judas Priest and the legends Iron Maiden, all in just three days. That’s not all, though – plenty of other Bulgarian, European and American bands took the stages of Hills of Rock (yes, there were three of them) and I’m thankful I got the chance to be introduced to them.
I don’t think I can manage to convey all the emotions and deliver every little feeling I got from the concert. That’s why I will just show you some pictures I managed to take and hopefully, you will understand why it meant so much to me to be there. The festival was three days but honestly, I was mostly excited about the second day because Judas Priest were headlining and they’ve been one of my top favorite bands for such a long time. To see them for the very first time was a dream coming true. Not just that but I was quite near the stage which gave me the opportunity to more closely observe how they create that magic every fan has been talking about for 40 years almost. Before their concert, Dope made one hell of a show as well, reminding me of my high-school years and all the times me and my metal fans used to headbang to “Die MF Die”. Sabaton were extremely memorable as well – everyone was shaken to their grounds by the huge amount of talent and energy they showcased. Maiden did a phenomenal job as well – Bruce is in a great shape and he just knew how to entertain everyone. I also saw them for the very first time in my life and couldn’t have asked for a better show. The decor, the stage – it was all magnificent and it just blew me away. Let’s take a look at some of the photos I took (I am sorry for the quality but as you can imagine being in front of the stage, surrounded by sooo many people doesn’t really give you the best angle possible.)
Me, during each one of the days. Each day I was having a different look (the beer was always there of course). The third day I wore an Iron Maiden headband which is now added to my huge collection of headbands I bought from concerts. Got one of Priest too. Funny story – on day one, because I was wearing a Leppard tee, the lady from the food place gave me free fries – she was also a big fan hehe.
This was the main stage – where the big things were happening and the other two stages, scattered around the festival area…
Crematory was one of the first bands (though not the first according to the line-up) that I had the chance to thoroughly catch and enjoy from start to finish. They rocked pretty hard!
Fish was there too. What a dream coming true was this performance. I love this man. He brought that much needed gentle touch to the festival and balanced the situation for a little while. His live performance reminded me why I became a fan of Marillion in the first place years ago. What an honor was to be sitting right there in front of him…
Sabaton were out of this world – so much energy!!! That was the moment people knew that this was going to be a phenomenal festival! This was my first time seeing them too and I was stunned by how talented those guys were. No wonder they have such a strong fan base in Bulgaria. I gotta say I am certainly not the most dedicated fan of Sabaton but after this show things are surely about to change.
Day 2 – kicking things off with the local band Odd Crew – those guys are something, I’m telling you. I highly recommend them to my foreign buddies! I even got one of their albums from the merchandise stores.
Battle Beast were STUNNING! This lady knows how to make a statement! They have a new fan! Before them a few other female-fronted bands took the stage, including Jinjer and Madame Mayhem but Battle Beast just won me over!
DOPE were the real deal! Loved what they brought to the table with their performance. On top of it all, it was their first time in Bulgaria and I could sense how much they loved being here. My 8th grade self would’ve been so happy right now for seeing them…Thanks to their great delivery, I got the chance to rediscover them and catch up on all the things I missed throughout those years. I’m becoming a fan all over again…
…and now finally the mighty Judas Priest…The reason why I was there in the first place…
I can’t express my happiness…I truly can’t. Seeing a legend like Rob Halford right there – in front of you, singing the songs you’ve been loving since you were a child – this my friends is what I’m living for, what truly keeps me going! He was in a great vocal shape and delivered one of the best performances I’ve seen in my entire life. He changed jackets after almost each song; he even came on the stage with his signature motorcycle and biker looks! You gotta love the man!!! I was jumping, screaming, singing along and embracing every second I had with them in front of me. Naturally, I was the happiest when they performed my favorite song “Turbo Lover” and the new songs from that phenomenal 2018 album! The stage setting was something you just can’t see on other concerts; the magnitude of the band was clearly portrayed and for a moment there I felt like I was in another planet, another place, another time…
Day 3 started with Planet of Zeus, The Raven Age and Tremonti (before the big Iron Maiden show). Out of the three bands, The Raven Age stood out to me the most. I checked their entire discography after the show and yes – I am officially a fan of theirs.
Finally, after all that anticipation, Iron Maiden came out on the stage. The public went nuts. They have a solid fanbase in Bulgaria so no wonder everyone was there. Around probably 30K people were attending that concert and the amount of energy, smiles and excitement coming from them was just so beautiful to witness. I’ve been to many concerts but what they did was one of a kind. Starting from the settings and the level of effort the team put into building this colossal environment where they performed for 2 hours, was superb! Bruce was brilliant and unbelievably good! The guy jumped and danced and just poured his soul out on that stage. He even waved the Bulgarian flag at one point which made everyone go crazy!! The performance of “The Clansman” was my favorite – way more epic to see it live than just hearing it on your player…
Huge thanks to everyone who participated in Hills of Rock and made this event possible. It was a phenomenal festival and something I will forever remember. Cheers to this year and for more to come! I really hope Hill of Rock will establish itself as one of the greatest European rock/metal festivals and even more people from all over Europe and the world will come to see legendary bands perform in one of the most beautiful cities in my country and in the continent as a whole too.
P.S. This publication expresses my personal thoughts and opinions, based on actual experiences. All the photos are taken by me. Please be kind and considerate and make sure you don’t just save and use the written and visual content without my permission! Rock on!
My choice for “song of the week” is Judas Priest’s “New Beginnings” from their 2008 concept album “Nostradamus”. To be honest, I totally forgot about this record and it is definitely not something I actually listen to on a daily basis. However, my heavy metal playlist was on shuffle and suddenly this rock opera started playing and somehow entranced me…To be honest, it took me a few seconds to comprehend what was going on. I carefully listened to the lyrics which I believe are the essence of the track and even re-played it only to once again experience those words. The atmosphere of “New Beginnings” is definitely a bit melodramatic, overly emotional and Rob doesn’t really sound confident or fully committed, however among those lines, I could find something I was truly in need of – hope and anticipation for new beginnings. Those words are for all the people out there who want to hear it – guys, it is tough out there but someday someone will come to your life and change everything.
For a better experience, listen to the track together with “Hope”~
“New Beginnings” Lyrics
Now at last my dream is real I found peace True love can heal On the journey throughout time A new beginning has arrived At the crossroads of my life This new love keeps me alive
I never knew that this could happen to me So many lonely days and nights I never knew that you were waiting for me Hope was out of dight And suddenly I see the future clearly No longer living in the past As I let go
Living the dream Of my life I was alone no-one in sight This love – make me believe that you’re the one Never give up – our day has come
I never felt that this could happen to me So many lonely days and lonely nights I never knew that you were waiting for me Hope was out of sight And suddenly I see the future clearly Finally I know at last I can let go
P.S. I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the rights and credits go to the owners and/publishers.
The publication expresses my personal opinion and in no way is trying to make a generalized statement. Please be kind and considerate when you read and/or comment.
This is going to be obviously VERY subjective, however I felt like it’s high time I did this. I’ve always been drawn to the “underdogs” when it comes to music, artists, albums and even songs. Somehow, in an album, I always seem to enjoy the less popular tracks, rather than go for the released singles and ultimate hits. Same goes with albums. When it comes to rock music from the 70s and 80s, there are these extraordinary blockbuster albums that we can’t but love – for instance AC/DC’s “Back in Black”, Led Zeppelin’s fourth album, Pink Floyd’s “The Dark Side of the Moon”, Def Leppard’s “Hysteria”, Van Halen’s 1984, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I adore those albums with all my heart and soul but when it comes to the individual bands, I always seem to go for the less popular ones, as I said. I love seeing the beauty in the less appreciated work of musicians and believe me there are SO many underrated and underappreciated albums when it comes to classic rock music. From not so well-received comebacks to the so-called “transitional” albums (albums on which bands haven’t fully developed their distinctive sound), there’s a list of albums which I think should’ve gotten more attention and love from the public, as well as from the critics. Let me know what do you think and which other album would you put there?
Survivor – Too Hot to Sleep
Before “Too Hot to Sleep”, Survivor had major success with “Vital Signs” and “When Seconds Count” with Jimi Jamison as vocalist. And of course, before him coming to the band and before Survivor became the ultimate staple of AOR in the 80s, Dave Bickler was the voice of the smashing hit album”Eye of the Tiger” which made Survivor quite famous! But then, in 1988, after they released “Too Hot to Sleep” things changed drastically. The album was an absolute disappointment in terms of sales and chart positions and I really don’t understand why. On top of it all, after the album, the tension between Frankie and Jim – founding members of Survivor became too big to bear. “Too Hot to Sleep” offers an excellent collection of rockers! Songs such as “Desperate Dreams”, “She’s a Star”, “Burning Bridges”, “Across the Miles”, “Here Comes Desire” ARE SO BEAUTIFUL! I wish people would appreciate the record as much as I do…
Judas Priest – Turbo
If we exclude the title track – “Turbo”, this album always remains in the shadows when we talk about Judas Priest. People were not happy when they went on and filled up their tunes with synthesizers, synthesizer guitars and electric drums. Judas were even called “sellouts” after the release of “Turbo” in 1986. I have always been defending this record because it’s so much more than just the regular “going mainstream” album. Judas Priest did a very decent job here – the songs sound good, well-polished, rhythmic and enjoyable. “Out in the Cold”, “Private Property” – all awesome rockers! “Turbo” sold relatively well, but people still didn’t receive it that well and a huge chunk of their fans were disappointed. I don’t get it but hey – we all have our differences.
Toto – Fahrenheit
The first album of Toto to feature Joseph Williams on lead vocals and somewhat always forgotten, “Fahrenheit” remains one of my favourite 80s albums of all time. It didn’t sell that well initially – it took the album almost 10 years to get to the “gold” stage. Really makes you wonder why, doesn’t it? With awesome tracks such as “Till the End”, “Can’t Stand it Any Longer” and “Without Your Love”, this album should’ve seen higher skies but it didn’t. It’s difficult to swallow up a new vocalist – I get and realize it, however if you give it a chance, you will see what I’m saying…
Van Halen – Fair Warning
“Fair Warning” remains Van Halen’s slowest-selling album from the David Lee Roth era. Commercial disappointment aside – people seem to be happy with it and enjoy the album, however it’s still somehow forgotten when we think about Van Halen. Released in 1981, Rolling Stone Magazine says that the record has “the most significant musical development is the synthesizer introduced at the end of Fair Warning, which would be exploited to greater effect on later albums.” But still, when I talk about Van Halen with other people, we never really mention Fair Warning, which is such a shame because “So This is Love?” and “Unchained” are awesome singles. The album is raw, nasty and I should listen to it more often…
Eric Clapton – August
“August” might be Eric Clapton’s best-selling LPs up to date, however, critics don’t really like it and I just cannot understand why… The album definitely failed to generate a hit single or a track as memorable or essential as “Layla” or “Cocaine”, HOWEVER, to me tunes such as “Miss You”, “It’s In The Way That You Use It”, “Run” and of course the brilliant duet with Tina Turner, “Tearing Us Apart”, will forever remain in my heart.
Whitesnake – Restless Heart
Very unpopular opinion right here, however that’s just me. This record was supposed to be a David Coverdale solo album but it ended up being released under the “David Coverdale & Whitesnake” moniker. Facts aside, it’s an awesome album and I truly enjoy it. Critics say that David failed (just like many 80s glam/pop/hard rock bands) to do the “modern-day makeover” and showcased boring and monotonous tunes with no development whatsoever. I completely disagree and will always defend the beauty of this record. Doesn’t matter if it was the end of the 90s and people were still under that grunge influence – the album was and still is precious! “Don’t Fade Away” is actually my favorite David Coverdale/Whitesnake track and will always be. I also adore “You’re So Fine” and the bluesy “Stay With Me”.
Pink Floyd – Obscured by Clouds
“Obscured by Clouds” has to be the most overlooked album from the classic days of Pink Floyd. A year after its release “The Dark Side of The Moon” kicked in and people just forgot about it, I guess. The album was transitional, signalling the future directions and ambitions of the band. Many fans don’t really consider it as a genuine Pink Floyd album because it actually is a compilation of songs for the French movie La Vallée (The Valley) by Barbet Schroeder. Soundtrack or not, the music on this album is brilliant (or at least to me). No actual standout songs from the album, but the flow is good and “Obscured by Clouds” is one of their strongest instrumentals so far!
Genesis – Duke
I’m putting Genesis’ “Duke” on the list because it was heavily and UNJUSTLY criticized for being too “commercial” and “radio-friendly”. It was the second album of Genesis as a trio and even though it was their first album to reach the number 1 position, many people were disappointed with their “descent”. Personally, I think it’s very melodic, enjoyable and the lyrics (the thing that always gets me) are brilliant. Another “transitional” album that’s worthy of your time!
Aerosmith – Done With Mirrors
This album is such a cool mess! Understandably underrated, if I may say, mostly due to some holes in the production. However, still I believe it has some quite pleasant rockers. Fans have contradicting points of view when it comes to this record – some say it’s too “lame”, others love it – It’s up to you, at the end of the day but still, if you like raw, unpolished sound, this is the album for you. The album couldn’t bring them back to the spotlight, as it took a couple of more years till they released “Permanent Vacation” but remained as an example how a bad production and guidance can cost you a lot.
Asia – Alpha
The self-titled debut album of ASIA was phenomenal – no second opinion about it. So, naturally, people had very high expectations about the follow-up album, “Alpha”. It did sell well, however according to fans and critics, it couldn’t match the influence and force of the previous album. Very familiar story that happened with many bands and artists, actually. Nevertheless, I must say “Alpha” has a lot to offer too. “Don’t Cry” is a beautiful rocker that got them a top10 spot. “The Smile Has Left Your Eyes” is a touching ballad, marking another high point of the album. Check it out!
And many many more….
P.S. I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the rights and credits go to the owners and/publishers. Cheers~ The publication expresses my personal opinion and in no way is trying to make a generalized statement. Please be kind and considerate when you read and/or comment.
Released: April 14, 1986 Length: 40:58 Label: Columbia Singles: “Turbo Lover”, “Locked In”, “Parental Guidance” Certified: Platinum (RIAA)
“Turbo Lover” “Locked In” “Private Property” “Parental Guidance” “Rock You All Around the World” “Out in the Cold” “Wild Nights, Hot & Crazy Days” “Hot for Love” “Reckless”
“Turbo” has always been one of the most unjustly criticized metal albums of all time. Judas Priest lost a significant number of fans after the release of this record due to the band’s shift to more commercial and synthesizer-driven sound. It was the mid-80s, after all, and the whole rock music industry was undergoing a change – the catchy tunes by all the numerous glam/pop metal and rock bands were ruling the charts and the airwaves, so to some extend it was pretty understandable for any rock band to try and cash in. However, as melodic, radio-friendly and much different as Turbo sounds, compared to Judas Priest’s previous albums, I do believe that there is so much more to this record – “Turbo” never was just about the money and it did rock pretty hard. Yes, it might have been a bit unusual to listen to Judas Priest singing cheesy lyrics about romance or hearing how much they rely so on the sleek synth-production and the electronic drums; however, they did manage to find a balance and in my opinion, released quite the classic.
The synthesizer-driven opening track – “Turbo Lover” can easily be pointed out as one of the most essential Judas Priest tracks and ultimately, the finest moment of the album. By finest, I don’t necessarily mean that it impresses with brilliant music craftsmanship, beautiful lyrics or any other significant value. I simply claim that it’s a song with a different purpose which we cannot just overlook. It has that special aura and uplifting spirit that immediately activates your imagination and empowers you. “Locked In” might be too commercial and the synthesizers are definitely a bit difficult to digest but we cannot deny how catchy and mood-charging it sounds. “Private Property” is a very rhythmic, familiar and yet another money-making track. As we go from one song to another, you could easily feel the loss of confidence and the good impression starts to fade away. The rest of the album is filled with mid-tempo and well-polished merchandized rockers. “Out in the Cold” might be Judas Priest’s most excellent attempt at power- ballads and it’s a definite must-listen.
Overall, as hated as it is, “Turbo” is a very important chapter of Judas Priest’s career, though quite misunderstood. I believe the reason why so many people were disappointed in this album was because the band lost a huge chunk of their identity by diving into the commercialized mid-80s glam metal music scene. Yes, they might have done that and indeed some of the tracks on “Turbo” do sound a bit awkward and with no clear focus. However, it’s Judas Priest we’re talking about – whatever they do they sure know how to rock hard. It took them a few years to get back on the metal radar, but to the average rock fan, “Turbo” can be quite enjoyable.
I have very strong opinions towards this “institution” called Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and I have always been one of those people who cannot stop criticizing and being mad at their rather shady and unrealistic nomination process. Let’s face it – Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is an absolute joke and it doesn’t really reflect or represent an objective and fair point of view. Not to mention that they include too many artists from all kinds of genres which confuses people and makes them lose their trust in this “institution”. They lost me as a fan and a supporter a long time ago. However, I cannot ignore their inductions because if I do ignore what’s happening, it will bug me and I won’t be able to find my sleep!!! Bottom line is – if you are a top rock act with a career that lasted for more than 30+ years and you sold millions of records, the chance of you being inducted into this “piss stain” is very SLIM! WHY? No one knows… Money? Politics? Basically, all that crap that ruin everything decent in life… The nomination process sucks and they better hope I never find a way to get down there and give them a little rock ‘n’ roll lesson cause apparently they don’t really know what that is….
Anyhow, these are 10 of the most outstanding and timeless rock legends who guess what… are NOT INDUCTED in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame! Let’s talk a little bit about their accomplishments and careers and try to figure out who in their right mind decided that THEY ARE NOT ELIGIBLE for this “prestigious” recognition! I swear, I’m losing it… Let’s just hope that they will be inducted sometime soon. The influence, success and love for those following artists is SO HUGE that they most definitely DESERVE to be there among the other legends of rock music… Let’s check them out!
Def Leppard have been active since the late 70s and never stopped making awesome music. With their Platinum hit records “Pyromania” and “Hysteria”, they basically ruled the hard rock scene in the 80s and quickly became one of the best-selling bands in the world. They have sold over 100 million records worldwide and released over 50 timeless classic singles we can’t get enough of. I can’t stop asking myself why are they STILL NOT INDUCTED in Rock & Roll Hall of Fame?? Only a few other artists managed to sell over 10 million copies of an original studio album and if this is not a worthy accomplishment I don’t know what is…
Iron Maiden – the absolute pioneers of British Heavy Metal and one of the most influential and successful rock bands ever! They began their journey in the late 70s and so far have released 38 albums which sold more than 90 million copies worldwide!!! Their contributions and achievements are unquestionable and they should be inducted in Rock Hall of Fame RIGHT NOW!
Judas Priest – the fathers of metal and one of the most essential bands for the development and success of rock music back in the day. In the 70s, they helped shape thrash and in the 80s they just blew everyone’s minds away with their heavy metal sound and innovations. Up to date, they have sold more than 45 million records worldwide and influenced the majority of rock artists with their unique style, image and music. Induct them NOW, please!
Journey (2017 Inductees)
Journey! A band that went through a lot of line-up changes but became one of the most commercially successful rock acts of the 80s. They have 18 top 40 singles and a number of unforgettable tunes we love with all our hearts – “Open Arms”, “Don’t Stop Believin’” and many more. Journey sold over 48 million records and became one of America’s most beloved bands! Also, we have to talk about Steve Perry and his immense contributions and vocal abilities which became one of the main reasons why they reached such success back in the day! They deserve to be inducted for sure!
Ronnie James Dio
This right here is the biggest mistake of Rock Hall of Fame – not inducting the MOST influential and talented rockstar – Ronnie James Dio. I can never forgive them for that. I don’t really need someone to tell me that he was a legend and a pioneer of rock, but he deserves to be acknowledged and respected for what he did. His name should be alongside the other big names – Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, etc. He fronted Dio, Black Sabbath, Rainbow, Elf and Heaven & Hell and sold over 47 million albums over the span of his career! It’s time, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame – it’s time!!
Bon Jovi were nominated in 2011 but couldn’t make it – I have absolutely no idea why, though! They have the whole package – a long and productive career, amazing and charismatic frontman, timeless classic rock hits, sold over 100 million records worldwide and keep on releasing awesome music! Come on, Rock Hall of Fame – it’s now or never!
Emerson, Lake & Palmer
ELP – one of the most essential progressive rock supergroup which completely re-defined the music scene. Formed back in the 70s, these phenomenal artists were destined for success. By combining unique elements of classical music, jazz, symphonic rock and excessive use of Hammond organ, they crafted a sound that was never heard of or will ever be heard again! Such influential bands should be inducted in Rock & Roll Hall of Fame – no second opinion about it.
Electric Light Orchestra (2017 Inductees)
Sometimes it really makes me mad when people just forget about the influence and success of this awesome rock band. Formed back in the 1970s, they have also crafted a unique sound, combining elements of Beatlesque pop, classical arrangements, and futuristic iconography. Not to mention that they have 27 top 40 hits and an outstanding leader in the face of Jeffrey “Jeff” Lynne who also by the way co-founded the supergroup Traveling Wilburys and is the only one of them who is not included…Such a SHAME!
Dire Straits – a band everyone loves listening to! They became hugely successful in the 80s with their distinctive sound, drawing influences from jazz, folk and blues music. Their biggest triumph was undoubtedly the ultimate “Brothers in Arms” which became the first album to cell million copies on CDs. Not to mention the tons of music awards they received throughout their career… Bottom line is, Dire Straits are awesome and they should be inducted!
Motörhead are undoubtedly the pioneers of speed and thrash metal. Formed back in 1975, the influence of this band goes above and beyond any other heavy metal band. By mixing elements of punk and metal, the mastermind of the band – Lemmy, crafted a sound that still sounds as awesome as ever! The band has sold more than 30 million records worldwide and becoming the number one influence of bands such as Metallica, Motörhead have earned their rightful place in the Rock Hall of Fame… RIP, Lemmy!
Previously, I have listed 10 of my favorite rock albums from the 80s (you can check the publication by clicking here – [CLICK HERE] My Top 10 ’80s Rock Albums! ). However, since we are talking about the 80s and rock music, naturally, much more than 10 albums are in “my favorite” category. Therefore, I decided to prepare a part 2 and list 10 more incredible records from the golden era of rock, I love and appreciate with all my heart and soul. There will be a part 3, 4, etc. for sure because let’s face it – 80s were the greatest decade for rock music and one can’t but love all the music that was released back then… It is indeed very difficult for me to choose favorites but I will try…
Now – here we go again…
Survivor – Vital Signs ( 1984 )
Anyone who knows me is quite aware of the fact that I ADORE Survivor and Jimi Jamison is one of my favorite male vocalists of all time. “Vital Signs” happens to be the first album with him as their frontman and as a bonus we can find some awesome classics, such as “I Can’t Hold Back”, “High on You” and “First Night”. I think this is my favorite Survivor album in general and I am particularly fond of the song “Popular Girl” which is very catchy and has such captivating lyrics… “When she’s breaking your heart, she’s the state of the art… with license to take what she wants…”
AC/DC – For Those About To Rock We Salute You ( 1981 )
The follow up of AC/DC’s highly successful album “Back in Black” turned out to be equally important for their career and as perfect as one can imagine. I also consider “For Those About to Rock We Salute You” as their greatest album in terms of technicality, vocal delivery and quality of production. The title song is also one of my favorite 80s tunes – the lyrics and the energy of it are out of this world. Songs such as “Let’s Lit It Up” and “Spellbound” are also among my favorite tracks of the era. The album is the third and final collaboration between AC/DC and famous producer Mutt Lange.
Steve Perry – Street Talk ( 1984 )
The first solo album of Steve Perry turned out to be a phenomenal project and of course it’s going to be in my favorite rock albums from the 80s! The title track of “Street Talk” – “Oh Sherrie” is beyond impressive and I can’t have my day going without listening to it at least once. In addition to this massive hit, songs such as “Foolish Heart” and “She’s Mine” are also among my ultimate favorite tracks from the album (and from the 80s as well). Steve Perry is an incredible talent and I am so happy he released this album – it’s the golden egg of my collection!
Eric Clapton – Money and Cigarettes
( 1983 )
I have a whole publication dedicated to the greatness of this album – you can read it here: [CLICK HERE] [The Greatest Rock Albums of the 80s] Eric Clapton – Money and Cigarettes What else can I say? This is my favorite album of Eric Clapton and contrary to the popular belief I think what he did in the 80s was quite impressive! The sound is indeed a little bit more commercial but the songs are very well-written and create such a beautiful mood. Among all, I think “Pretty Girl” and “I’ve Got a Rock ‘n’ Roll Heart” are my ultimate favorite songs from this album.
Genesis – Invisible Touch ( 1986 )
Till today, “Invisible Touch” remains Genesis’ best-selling album and one of the most loved records of the era. I love Phil Collins and I’ve always preferred him as their frontman in comparison with Peter Gabriel. The record has so many beautiful and quite famous tracks – “Invisible Touch”, “Land of Confusion” and of course my personal favorite – “In Too Deep”. The overall sound of the album may be too soft for some people, but to me it sounds perfect. I particularly enjoy the electronic drums.
Dire Straits – Brothers in Arms ( 1985 )
I love Dire Straits and this is absolutely my favorite album of theirs. With awesome tracks such as “Money for Nothing”, “So Far Away” and “Walk of Life”, the album was destined for success. It occupied top chart positions for months! “Money for Nothing” was also one of the most played music videos in the history of MTV. It’s an awesome track – probably one of THE tracks of the 80s and the MV is also quite memorable and era-defining – let’s just watch it…
Def Leppard – High ‘n’ Dry ( 1981 )
Of course you will find yet another album of Def Leppard in here, on this list…you know now much I love all of their work! “High ‘n’ Dry” was the album that signaled that something strong and powerful was coming and it was going to change to course of rock music – that thing was called Def Leppard! “Bringin’ on the Heartbreak”, “Lady Strange” and “On through the Night” are just a few of the songs I love from this album. The 80s belonged to Def Leppard and this album is indeed one of their finest projects. Interesting fact – it’s their final album with guitarist and original member Pete Willis.
Judas Priest – Turbo ( 1986 )
This has to be my favorite Judas Priest album of all time. “Turbo” marked the band’s first use of guitar synthesizers and as a result, a very unique and interesting sound was crafted. Songs such as “Turbo Lover”, “Locked In” and “Rock You All around the World” are ultimate classics and I do really enjoy listening to them on a daily basis. The reason why this album in particular is here, on this list is because it’s somehow different from all of their works – the theme of love and romance is heavily emphasized and I absolutely like it!
Foreigner – Agent Provocateur ( 1984 )
But of course Foreigner’s ultimate hit record “Agent Provocateur” is going to be on my list!! I love Foreigner and this album is so special and important to me. It was a bit criticized for being too commercial and ordinary; however to me this album is everything! It contains the band’s biggest hit single, “I Want to Know What Love Is” and my most favorite Foreigner song of all time – “That Was Yesterday”. Also, I have a very special bond with “Reaction to Action” and I can’t have my day without listening to this song at least a few times…
Rainbow – Bent Out of Shape ( 1983 )
Rainbow with Joe Lynn Turner was the most amazing combination ever! During his time as their frontman, they released some awesome albums and “Bent out of Shape” has to be my favorite one among all. “Can’t Let You Go” and “Street of Dreams” are classics which will always be remembered, played and performed – they will forever remain some of the most appreciated anthems of the 80s!
This is it for now! Tell me your favorite rock albums from the 80s! Stay tuned for part 3!
Time to rise and shine and say hi to Monday! I cannot believe a new week is already starting…not to mention that it’s almost May! Time flies so fast!
Once again it’s time to kick things off with some awesome rock tunes from my personal music library! I hope you will get the much needed rock boost to help you start the new working week… This week, we will travel back to the 80s and stay there – all the songs from the playlist will be from the golden era of hard rock! I hope you can find some of your favorite songs among this week’s playlist or get reminded of some classics! Let’s roll!
Bon Jovi – Wanted Dead or Alive (1986)
Def Leppard – High ‘n’ Dry (Saturday Night) (1981)
Foreigner – Growing Up The Hard Way (1984)
Judas Priest – Hot Rockin’ (1981)
Men At Work – Who Can It Be Now (1982)
Pink Floyd – Learning to Fly (1987)
Prince – Let’s Go Crazy (1984)
Queen – Save Me (1980)
Rainbow – I Surrender (1981)
ZZ Top – Sharped Dressed Man (1983)
Bon Jovi – Wanted Dead or Alive (1986)
Def Leppard – High ‘n’ Dry (Saturday Night) (1981)
Today we are going to talk about one of my favorite classic rock bands – Judas Priest. Actually I haven’t been a die-hard fan of Judas Priest for that long (in comparison with other bands, such as Ramones or Def Leppard, for instance), however, I got instantly captivated by the music of those metal Gods and now I can’t really stop listening to their classics or imagine a day without playing “Turbo Lover” or “Living After Midnight” (those two songs in particular are a instant mood changer for me)…
A couple of days ago, we actually got some great news – Judas Priest are back in the studio, ready to blow our minds away with new and awesome music. In the spirit of this incredible news and because I love and respect the band so much, I’ve decided to prepare a little informative publication for my readers and for myself, actually. I consider Judas Priest as one of the most essential and influential bands in the rock music scene, so regardless of whether you are a crazy JP’s fan or not, there are some things you have to know about the band – some essential band profile characteristics. Also, in case some of you guys have forgotten about their most appreciated albums and loved songs, this publication might refresh your memory! Now – let’s talk details!
~Judas Priest are a heavy metal band, formed in Birmingham, England, back in 1969.
~ The inspiration for the band name was Bob Dylan’s 1967 song “The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest”. Bruno Stapenhill was the one who came up with the name. The band was also regularly rehearsing at Dylan’s house in Stone Cross.
~ Judas Priest revolutionized heavy metal fashion. They were famous for their image of S&M leather, spikes and other rather taboo and provocative clothing which became very influential during the glam metal era of the 80s.
~ During the 70s, Judas Priest struggled by going through numerous lineup changes, unsupportive producers and basically had no major commercial success. However, during the 80s, things completely changed for them, as they adopted simpler and friendlier sound.
~ So far, Judas Priest have 17 studio albums, 6 live albums, 6 compilation albums, 10 video albums and 33 singles. The band have sold more than 40 million albums worldwide, with 12 million copies in the United States.
~ Their 1980 album “British Steel” is the album responsible for their major success and public attention during the era. “Breaking the Law”, “United”, and “Living After Midnight” were the songs, released as singles. The Guardian also named “British Steel” as the record that defined heavy metal.
~ The album “British Steel” takes its name from Judas Priest guitarist Glen Tipton who was once an apprentice at British Steel – a metal manufacturing company.
~ In 1985, two teenagers shot themselves after listening to Judas Priest’s album “Stained Class”. They were unsuccessfully sued by the mother of the kid who survived. He claimed that subliminal messages on the song “Better By You, Better Than Me” had caused those suicide attempts.
(P.S. I don’t know about you guys, but the only thing that this song makes me do is turn the volume to the max…)
~ Judas Priest’s tenth studio album, titled “Turbo”, released in 1986, marked the band’s first use of guitar synthesizers.
~ Before becoming the lead singer of Judas Priest, Halford was a lighting engineer for stage productions. He transferred his love for theatrics and light effects to the band’s concerts, by using various smoke machines, spotlights and numerous other visual effects. A trademark of the band is his stage entrance on a motorcycle.
~ Singer Rob Halford had a temporal departure from the band in the early 1990s. Faced with an ever-growing demand for a reunion, Rob Halford returned triumphantly for the release of the CD box set “Metalogy”, which was followed by a European tour and new album – “Angel of Retribution” (2005).
~ Tim “Ripper” Owens replaced Rob Halford as a lead singer in 1996. Owens turned from a die-hard fan of the band to their frontman in a night. He recorded 2 albums with his heroes. The 2001 movie “Rock Star” – telling a story about a tribute band singer who is asked to join the real band is loosely based on Owens’ life.
~ In 2010, Judas Priest won a Grammy for Best Metal Performance, for their song “Dissident Aggressor”.
~“Redeemer of Souls”, released in 2014, is Judas Priest’s highest charting position album so far – it peaked at number 6 on the Billboard 200 chart. It also marked their first top-10 debut album in the US.
~ On Season 25 of the Simpsons, Judas Priest were called “black metal”. In the following week’s episode, an apology was given – Bart Simpson wrote “Judas Priest is not death metal” on the black board.
Greetings, everyone! Happy weekend – I hope you guys are doing well and having a wonderful “no-work-for-two-days” time!
For this Saturday’s publication I really wanted to prepare something informative and interesting for my readers. Then, I came up with an idea which hopefully will clear things up for some of you or reaffirm the knowledge of others. Nevertheless, it always feels quite amusing to go back to the beginning of the story of our favorite rock bands and understand how they came up with their music, lyrics, style and unique approach that was able to differentiate them among the numerous other artists in the industry. One of those special and extremely essential aspects of any rock band is of course… their name! Needless to say, in any given situation, whether it’s a company, a product, a person, a street, a city, a rock band…we define, refer, recognize and remember through names.
Some bands have indeed rather peculiar and extraordinary names which clearly identify their music, genre, characteristics and expression. With the following publication, I am going to reveal the origin of their names and try to explain why they chose to call themselves like that. I am sure that many devoted rock fans are quite familiar with the stories behind the names; however there might be people out there who are not so sure and would like to know.
We love and listen to the music of bands such as The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Guns N’ Roses, The Ramones and we can’t stop repeating their names. Now, it’s time to find out how they came with them… I chose ten classic, old-school rock bands which I believe have some of the most interesting and memorable names in the history of rock music. Forgive me for the rather peculiar mixture, however those bands do have a lot in common…and it starts with having very cool names!
Let’s start with the fab five! The story begun in 1957, when young John Lennon assembled his skiffle group, first calling it the Black Jacks and eventually changing it into the Quarry Men. Throughout the years, they had a few name changes, such as Johnny and the Moondogs, the Beatals, the Silver Beetles, the Silver Beats, and the Silver Beatles, before they finally settled on the Beatles. John Lennon actually wrote a humorous story about how the name came from. It appeared in an article in a Liverpool magazine. He said, “It came in a vision–a man appeared in a flaming pie and said unto them “From this day on you are Beatles with an A.” “Thank you, Mister Man,” they said, thanking him.” (Paul McCartney even put an album called “Flaming Pie.”)
As far as the serious version is concerned, it’s quite simple – The Crickets (Jerry Allison, Buddy Holly, and Joe B. Mauldin) were cited as a major inspiration for the name. Furthermore, the misspelling of “beetles” is a play on words, basically describing the unique “beat” of the band. In an interview, Lennon stated, “Well, I remembered the other day when somebody mentioned the Crickets at a press conference. I’d forgotten all about that. I was looking for a name like the Crickets that meant two things, and from Crickets I got to Beatles. I changed the B-e-a because it didn’t mean two things on its own — B, double-e-t-l-e-s didn’t mean two things. So, I changed the ‘a,’ added the ‘e’ to the ‘a’, and it meant two things, then….. It was beat and beetles, and when you said it people thought of crawly things, and when you read it, it was beat music.”
The Rolling Stones
Now I can’t talk about the Beatles and not talk about The Rolling Stones now can I? The story of how they decided to call themselves like that is pretty short and simple as well. The band was heavily influences by Chess Records artists, such as Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Howlin’ Wolf and many other blues musicians. In June 1962, the band’s line up consisted of Jagger, Jones, Richards, Stewart, Taylor, and drummer Tony Chapman. According to Keith Richards, Brian Jones saw a Muddy Waters LP lying on the floor, while he was talking toJazz News on the phone. When they asked him what his band was called, he thought of Muddy Waters’ track “Rollin’ Stone”…the rest is history.
Why did choose to call themselves the Doors? It’s very philosophical and poetical but what else did we expect from the most intense and progressive rock bands of the 60s? Jim Morrison came up with the name which was derived from a passage in William Blake’s “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell” – “When the doors of perception are cleansed, things will appear to man as they truly are… infinite.”The same passage also inspired the title of Aldous Huxley’s 1954 essay on his first psychedelic experience – “The Doors of Perception” which Jim Morrison had read.
The details behind the origin of their band name vary, however the story goes like this: At first, the band was playing under multiple names, including “Tea Set”. However, imagine their surprise when they turned up at a gig and found up that another band on the lineup was also called “Tea Set”. Syd Barret, under pressure, had to quickly come up with a new name. The alternative he settled on was The Pink Floyd Sound, after two blues musicians – Pink Anderson and Floyd Council – two of his favorite artists. Barret took the names from his record collection – perhaps he saw the sleeves side by side and had a sudden inspiration – we don’t know for sure. There’s no evidence that those two bluesmen have ever worked or recorder together, despite the fact that some people wishfully believe that Anderson and Council actually made a recording together. The Sound part was dropped quite quickly, but The was kept for a while, until 1970. David Gilmour is also known to have referred to the group as The Pink Floyd as late as 1984.
Queen were originally called “Smile” – quite nice and lovely, right? Singer Freddie Mercury was the one who came up with the new name and this is what he said about it, “Years ago I thought up the name ‘Queen’ … It’s just a name, but it’s very regal obviously, and it sounds splendid … It’s a strong name, very universal and immediate. It had a lot of visual potential and was open to all sorts of interpretations. I was certainly aware of gay connotations, but that was just one face of it.” Many people associate the band name with Freddie’s sexual orientation; however that’s not the case – Queen is a very powerful word and it did open quite a few doors for the band!
When you heard the name “KISS” for the first time you thought about lovely kisses and smooches, right? Well, you may be so close and yet so far… There have been a few speculations about the name of the band. According to a rumor, going around in the 1980s, their name as an acronym for (K)ids (I)n (S)atan’s (S)ervice. Well, KISS did piss a lot of people off with their image and music, so naturally you have no idea how many of them thought of KISS as a “devil band”. Some people even believed that their records included Satanic messages when played backwards. The not so evil version of the story goes like this: Peter Criss, the original drummer of the band was in a car with Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley and Ace Frehley in New York. The members knew that Peter used to be in a band named LIPS. They were brainstorming some ideas about a band name when Paul suddenly said, “How about KISS?”… the rest is history. Ace Frehley was the one who designed the KISS logo in 1973, which is still used today.
It’s time for YES to make their official debut on my blog! I have to say, the band can’t really brag about their name since honestly it’s not so clever or that original. However, that’s the magic of it! The details behind the origin story of the name once again vary. What we know so far is that the band members were having a hard time coming up with a good name but their first gig was coming so they had to think of something quite fast. For their debut gig, they chose the name YES, suggested by Banks as being “short, positive, direct, and memorable”. It was supposed to be a temporary solution but obviously, the name stuck.
Jon Anderson told Yesspeak that while they were brainstorming for band names, Jon Anderson thought of Life, Chris Squire thought of World, and Peter Banks, kept saying yes. They asked him, whether he means “The Yes?” but he said “No, Yes”…
There’s also the “Yellow Submarine” theory, according to which they got the name from the long scene during “It’s Only a Northern Song” where the word “Yes” multiples on the screen in big bold block letters with exclamation points.
Say hello to TheRamones – the Punk Rock Gods I love so much! I’m sure that at one point we were all asking ourselves what does “Ramones” stand for and how did they chose this particular family name? Well, according to sources, they chose the name as a tribute to Paul McCartney who used the alias “Paul Ramone” when he would book or check into hotels, incognito. All band members adopted pseudonyms ending with the surname “Ramone”, even though that was not their given name and were not related in any way – original members named themselves Joey Ramone, Johnny Ramone, Dee Dee Ramone and Tommy Ramone; other members include Marky Ramone, Richie Ramone, Elvis Ramone and C. J. Ramone.
Guns N’ Roses
I decided to include Guns N’ Roses because to my surprise, a lot of people are not so familiar with the origin story of the band name, which by the way is so short and simple.
When I heard the name for the first time, I thought it was a clever symbolic representation of their music: “guns” – something deadly and dangerous, and “roses” – something gentle and romantic. However, the reason why they chose the name is because of the members’ previous bands. Axl Rose and and rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin of Hollywood Rose, joined forces with lead guitarist Tracii Guns, bassist Ole Beich, and drummer Rob Gardner of L.A. Guns. They simply combined the names of both previous group and settled upon Guns N’ Roses.
Coming from Birmingham, England, Judas Priest is probably the heavy metal band that matters the most, judging by the nickname they got – The Metal Gods. The expression “Judas Priest” was once used to cloak the words “Jesus Christ” when these were intended as a curse – something like “Gee” or “Gosh!” However, that’s not the case with Judas Priest. The inspiration for the band name was the song “The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest”, carved into vinyl by Bob Dylan in 1967. Bruno Stapenhill was the one who came up with the name. The band was also regularly rehearsing at his house in Stone Cross.