Archive for 80s Rock

Loudness: Japanese Taste of Glam Metal

Posted in Entertainment, Glam Metal Rock Music, Glam Rock, Loudness, Music with tags , , , , on August 2, 2016 by glamrock4ever

Loudness1Loudness4Alive and kicking today, Loudness–a Japanese heavy metal and glam metal band–has a stellar thirty-five year history having been formed in 1981 by guitarist Akira Takasaki and drummer Munetaka Higuchi.  They are the first Japanese glam metal music band signed to a major U.S. label, and have produced 26 studio albums, along with nine live albums.  Loudness rocked their audiences hard throughout the 80s and 90s, garnered by their breakout hit “Crazy Nights”. According to Wikipedia, the original line-up reunited in 2001, producing seven more albums until drummer M. Higuchi’s untimely death from liver cancer on November 30, 2008.  Higuchi died in an Osaka hospital at age 49 and was mourned throughout Japan. 

 Loudness claimed as their roots other Japanese glam rock and shock rock acts such as Bow Wow, and Anthem. Other acts linked with them are Lazy, Sly, Ezo and X Japan. After forming the essence of the group, Loudness signed with record label Nippon-Columbia in 1980 and released The Birthday Eve.  Most would agree, however, that the absolute metal star in this band is the astounding shred-guitar virtuosity of Akira Takasaki: the trademark sound of Loudness for decades. And the album that all metal fans recognize from this band as a “must-have” is Thunder in the East. It was in 1985 through the Twisted Sister co-manager Joe Gerber that Loudness signed a record deal with Atco, and made history as the first Japanese heavy metal band to have a major recording contract. Thunder in the East was recorded in the USA and was quite notable, receiving heavy rotation on MTV with “Crazy NIghts”. These albums followed:  Lightning Strikes (1986), Hurricane Eyes (1987), Soldier of Fortune (1989), and On the Prowl (1991). More recent strong releases include Metal Mad (2008) and King of Pain (2010).  One more thing: glam metal and heavy metal music fans still debate the meaning of “MZA” in that video! Some say it has a secret meaning; others say it is just filler. What do you say? MZA! What??

Breaking into the largest English-speaking music market meant the native Japanese members had to learn English! Here is how Akira Takasaki described it in an interview with MyGlobalMind.com heavy metal online magazine:

     Shadow Editor:  “How much of a challenge was it to make a complete record in English for the first time?”

Takasaki:  “I think it was difficult for a Japanese speaker to master. It took us over a month to record a song. Even if the song performance was good, the pronunciation wasn’t right or vice versa. It was tough.”

Akira Takasaki also briefed MyGlobalMind about Loudness’ seasoning in the infamous Los Angeles Glam Metal Scene. Here is how Takasaki described it: 

Takasaki: “At that time LA metal was in its prime when we were there. Every night after recording at Sound City we would go to drink at the Rainbow. Drink every night, party dude style like a typical living in that scene.
I also went to the beach and to music stores a lot. When it comes to playing live, wherever we go it’s not that much different even now. The reaction from American fans is easier to read compared to fan from other countries.  “

Despite the loss of drummer Higuchi, Loudness announced in 2009 the release of The Everlasting, which included drum tracks by Higuchi before his death. The new drummer, Masayuki Suzuki, is featured on King of Pain and subsequent albums (See Wikipedia) Loudness is on tour in 2016.  Go to: http://www.loudnessjp.com.

ROCK ON 

Japanese:  生きていると蹴る今日は、ラウドネス – 日本の重金属やグラム・メタルバンドは – 恒星三〇から五年の歴史は、ギタリスト高崎晃、ドラマー樋口宗孝により1981年に形成されたました。彼らは主要な米国のラベルに署名した日本初のグラム・メタルの音楽バンドであり、9ライブ・アルバムと一緒に、26のスタジオ・アルバムを生産しています。ラウドネスは「クレイジー・ナイツ」をヒット彼らのブレイクアウトによって集め、80年代と90年代、全体にハード彼らの観客を揺るがしました。ウィキペディアによると、元のラインアップは11月30日に肝臓癌からのドラマーM.樋口さんの早すぎる死まで7枚のアルバムを生産、2001年に再会し、2008年樋口は49歳で大阪の病院で死亡し、日本全国嘆きました。

More Japanese translation: ラウドネスは、バウワウ、及び国歌としてのルーツ他の日本のグラムロックとショック岩行為として主張しました。彼らと一緒にリンクされているその他の行為は、レイジー、スライ、蝦夷とX日本です。グループの本質を形成した後、ラウドネスは、1980年にレコードレーベル日本コロンビアで署名し、誕生日イブをリリースしました。何十年もラウドネスの商標音:ほとんどは、このバンドにおける絶対的な金属スターは高崎晃の驚異的なシュレッド・ギター妙技であること、しかし、同意するだろう。そして、すべての金属製のファンは「なくてはならない」として、このバンドから認識したアルバムは、東でサンダーです。これは、ラウドネスがAtcoのとレコード契約を締結し、主要なレコーディング契約を持っている日本初のヘビーメタルバンドとしての歴史を作ったことトゥイステッド・シスター共同マネージャージョー・ガーバーを通じて1985年にありました。東サンダーは、米国で記録され、「クレイジー・ナイツ」とMTVでヘビーローテーションを受け、非常に顕著でした。これらのアルバムは続く:落雷(1986)、ハリケーン・アイズ(1987)、フォーチュン(1989)の兵士、およびプロール(1991)で。より最近の強力なリリースでは、メタルマッド(2008)と痛みの王(2010)が挙げられます。もう一つ:グラム・メタルやヘビーメタルの音楽ファンはまだその映像で「MZA」の意味を議論します!いくつかは、それが秘密の意味を持っていると言います。他の人はそれだけで充填剤であると言います。あなたは何を言っていますか? MZA!何??

 

 

 

 

 

British Heavy Metal and Glam Podcast

Posted in Entertainment, Glam Rock, Heavy Metal Music, Music with tags , , , , , , , , on April 9, 2015 by glamrock4ever

Glam Rock102Glam Rock101GlamRock 103Girlschool8“NO WAY! IT’S NEVER GONNA DIE!”

from “Metal Mad” by Japanese Glam Rockers LOUDNESS

 

YEAH. ABSOLUTELY.  Heavy Metal and Glam Metal are never gonna die!

AND HERE IS the LATEST, GREATEST, SUPERSONIC, BREAKNECK, SCREAMIN’ for a BLUE STREAK METAL PODCAST by your local fav DJ Steph.

 

SO HERE WE GO….LIKE A BAT OUTTA HELL, ALL GET OUT….CHOP CHOP

BLOW OUT THE SPEAKERS MUSIC by:

 

DEF LEPPARD                                    “Animal”  “Rock of Ages” “Don’t Shoot Shotgun”

GIRLSCHOOL                                    “C’mon Lets Go” “The Hunter” Don’t Call It Love”

VINNIE VINCENT INVASION    “Ashes to Ashes”  “Love Kills”

GOLDEN EARRING                         “Twilight Zone” “Radar Love”

CLICK THE LINK BELOW to LISTEN ↓↓

Rockin’ It Glam with Dokken

Posted in Entertainment, Glam Metal Rock Music, Glam Rock, Heavy Metal Music, Metal Rock, Rock Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 27, 2014 by glamrock4ever

Dokken1Dokken5Dokken4Dokken are an American glam metal band formed in 1978 in Los Angeles, California. The original members of Dokken are: Don Dokken (vocals), George Lynch (lead guitar), Juan Crocier (bass guitar), Mick Brown (drums). The singles/songs that are best known by Dokken are “Just Got Lucky”, “Into the Fire”, “In My Dreams”, and “Its Not Love.” The best known albums by Dokken are:  Breaking the Chains (1981), Tooth and Nail (1984), Under Lock and Key (1985), and Back for the Attack (1987). According to Blabbermouth.net, Frontiers Records signed a recording contract with Dokken for their most recent studio album, which was recorded in 2012, Breaking Bones.

     In the beginning Don Dokken had a band playing gigs in the L.A. area (around 1976) with the name “Airborn” but name change ensued after it was discovered there was already a band with that name recording. In 1981, Don Dokken flew to Germany to sing background vocals for Scorpions vocalist Klaus Meine who was having vocal issues. [For this and more band history, see Wikipedia.]  While in Germany, Don Dokken secured a recording contract with Carrere Records, releasing an initial version of Breaking the Chains under the name Don Dokken.

     The band Dokken toured with Blue Oyster Cult in 1983 and also Scorpions in 1986. Juan Crocier left Dokken in 1983 to join RATT and was replaced by Jeff Pilson. Dokken also opened for these major headliners: Judas Priest, AC/DC, Aerosmith, and Dio. Dokken finally got several “big breaks” on two occasions:  recording “Dream Warriors” for Nightmare on Elm Street 3, as well as the Monsters of Rock tour in 1988 with Van Halen, Scorpions and Metallica.

     The band has endured years of fighting and criticism over not only George Lynch’s departure in 1989 (to form Lynch Mob) but also due to the fact that Dokken band members refused to allow George Lynch to rejoin the band in 1990 just prior to a major world tour! Lynch sued the band for $1 million but the band prevailed. For more on each side of this story go to either http://www.dokkencentral.com or http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/lynch-my-problem-with-don-dokken-has-always-been-that-he-was-not-an-honest-trustful-person/.*

   *The shortened link for this is http://2020.fm/ov 

Glam Rock Podcast June 2014

Posted in Entertainment, Glam Metal Rock Music, Glam Rock, Metal Rock, Poison, RATT, Scorpions, The Sweet, The Who with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 8, 2014 by glamrock4ever

Poison2Poison1Hey all you Glamour Rock Podcast loyal fans! Here it is! Another absolutely incredible selection of some of the best HIGH VOLTAGE Glam Metal Rock songs that will have you on an unreal journey in the space between your ears! YEAH! TURN IT UP okay? This music sounds best LOUD!

 

CLICK ON LINK BELOW TO BLOW OUT YOUR SPEAKERS NOW↓↓

You will hear in this extravagant podcast:

RATT “Tell the World” “Shame Shame Shame” “Heads I Win Tails You Lose”

SCORPIONS “Rock You Like A Hurricane” “Big City Nights” “Can’t Explain” (Cover of The Who Classic)

POISON Original version of “We’re An American Band” by Grand Funk Railroad and cover of same by Poison. Original version of “Little Willy” by The Sweet and cover of same by Poison.
“Love On the Rocks”

ROCK ON! Thanks for listening, Glam Rock Headbanging Crowd. Yours DJ Steph

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Out of the Glam Rock Cellar with RATT

Posted in Entertainment, Glam Metal Rock Music, Glam Rock, Heavy Metal Music with tags , , , , , , on March 9, 2014 by glamrock4ever

Image Ratt is an American metal band that had commercial success in the 80s and are recognized as being very influential in the Los Angeles glam metal scene. They are best known for their hits “Round and Round”, “Lay It Down”, “Way Cool Junior”, “Lovin’ You’s a Dirty Job”. (See Wikipedia for this and more). The band continues to record and tour today. For the latest news about this, see http://www. therattpack.com.  According to the band’s bio on this site, Ratt was signed to Atlantic records in 1984 and their record sales have gone 3x Platinum, “selling in excess of 15 million albums in the US alone”.  The original band members consisted of: Warren DeMartini, Stephen Pearcy, Bobby Blotzer, Robbin Crosby, and Juan Croucier.

For the complete page of RATT album covers/discography go to:

http://www.therattpack.com/media/discography

 

The inception of this great glam metal band started in 1976 with a band called Mickey Ratt which was formed by founding member and vocalist Stephen Pearcy. There were several changes in their lineup during this time period and throughout the band’s history.

(For complete info on this, see Wikipedia.)  The band named Mickey Ratt moved to Los Angeles in 1980 to increase their chances of landing a recording contract, and Mickey Ratt recorded two singles “Dr.Rock” and “Drivin’ on E” during this phase of the band’s genesis, and records were given out to fans at their early shows in the L.A. club scene.

In 1981, the band’s name was shortened to RATT. Guitarist Warren DeMartini joined in 1982 at the age of 18, having made a life-changing decision as to whether to stay in community college or throw his lot in with what was then an unknown group. More crucial additions during this time were Bobby Blotzer on drums (formerly with Vic Vergeat) and Juan Croucier on bass (formerly with Dokken). In 1983, Ratt signed with independent L.A. label Time Coast records and released the first Ratt EP in the U.S. After the EP (Extended Play) was well-received, the band was signed to Atlantic records. Ratt band members then started working on material for their first album, Out of the Cellar.

RATT signed with Atlantic Records, writing and recording the band’s first full-length album, Out of the Cellar –which generated the crew’s monster hit “Round and Round”. For those fans out there who remember the 80s rock n roll radio, Ratt’s “Round and Round” was constantly on the radio, defining 80s hair and heavy metal,as well as the video in heavy rotation with Milton Berle’s “Uncle Miltie” character in the rock video, and guitarists crashing through the ceiling onto a dinner party, complete with rats under glass. This first album is regarded as Ratt’s paramount work. Out of the Cellar was a mammouth hit, going platinum many times over in the USA and Far East.

What follows is a brief synopsis of the great RATT albums that followed after Out of the CellarInvasion of Your Privacy (1985-1986), Dancing Undercover (1986-1987), Reach for the Sky (1988-1989), Detonator (1990-1991) and Ratt ‘N Roll (1991-1992). The band’s second album Invasion of Your Privacy peaked at #7 in 1985, featuring hits, “You’re In Love” and “Lay It Down.” The band toured extensively that year with Bon Jovi, Ozzy Osbourne, and Iron Maiden.

RATT’s next release Dancing Undercover featured “Body Talk”, “Dance” and “Slip of the Lip”. Throughout 1987 RATT toured with Poison.  Reach for the Sky was released in 1988 and reached #17 on Billboard’s Hot 100, achieving platinum status with “Way Cool Junior” and “I Want a Woman”. RATT toured Tokyo that year with Kingdom Come, Bon Jovi, and Britny Fox.

RATT’s fifth album Detonator was released in 1990 and featured tracks “Shame Shame Shame” and “Lovin You’s a Dirty Job”. Jon Bon Jovi joined as background vocalist on “Heads I Win, Tails You Lose”. During the Japanese leg of Detonator tour guitarist Robbin Crosby’s substance abuse problem led to inconsistent playing onstage, and during one memorable performance, Crosby did not switch out guitars with his guitar technician for songs that required different tuning, and was subsequently out of tune with the band on the next several songs. The culmination of this was that it was Crosby’s last gig with the band, and he checked himself into a rehab facility after the tour ended. At the end of 1991, RATT released the song “Nobody Rides for Free”, signalling a change in the band; 1991 was the last year that the original five members of the band RATT played or recorded together.

RATT to this day is still an influential band in the glam metal scene. The next upcoming gig for RATT is the Monsters of Rock ImageImagecruise departing Miami, Florida March 29th, 2014. According to RATT’s website, http://www. therattpack.com, “The year 2010 saw RATT sign to RoandRunner for the release of Infestation. Their 10th studio album will be released in 2014. Lead singer Stephen Pearcy is quoted as saying “Our music is like it was in the beginning..We’re going to celebrate (30) years in 2014 with a new record and world tour to keep Ratt N Roll alive.” The current band members are: Pearcy, DeMartini, Croucier, Blotzer, and Carlos Cavazo (formerly of Quiet Riot) replacing the late Robbin Crosby. Crosby died on June 6, 2002 of a heroin overdose. He was 42 years old.

 

 

 

Fiery Glam and Sleazy Rock: the Legacy of L.A. Guns

Posted in Entertainment, Glam Rock, Guns N Roses, Heavy Metal Music, L.A.Guns, Metal Rock, Music, Rock Music with tags , , , , , , on July 1, 2013 by glamrock4ever

Glam Rock52L.A.Guns2L.A. Guns is an American hard-rock, glam metal rock (aka “sleaze”) from Los Angeles,California formed in 1983. According to Blabbermouth.net, Tracii Guns started L.A. Guns while still in high school in 1982. The original singer, Michael Jagosz, was replaced by Axl Rose, [who, as most Glamour Rock fans know, went on to become lead singer of Guns ‘N Roses with outstanding guitarist Slash]. Signed to PolyGram in ’87, the band’s self-titled debut, L.A. Guns [with Phil Lewis replacing Rose] sold over a million copies, as did Cocked and Loaded (1989) and Hollywood Vampires (1991). Tracii Guns’ L.A. GUNS is not to be confused with the Phil Lewis-led version of the group, which is continuing to record and perform under the L.A. Guns moniker to this day.

As of 2013, the lineup of LA Guns consists of Phil Lewis (vocals), Michael Grant (guitar), Scott Griffin (bass), and Steve Riley (drums, percussion). Additionally, LA Guns is on tour,

and tour dates can be found at http://www.laguns.net.

The history of LA Guns over the years has been extensive and confusing, because, unbelievably, Wikipedia lists a total of 25 musicians who have at one time or another been a part of LA Guns! (For this band history and the background information, see Wikipedia) Here are the most famous of those musicians, and their current band affiliations: Axl Rose (now lead singer of Guns N Roses), Tracii Guns (who also formed the original Hollywood Rose, as well as Brides of Destruction and Contraband), Paul Black (Faster Pussycat), Nickey Alexander (Faster Pussycat), Mick Cripps (Faster Pussycat), Steve Riley (WASP), Joe Lester (Bang Tango), Jizzy Pearl (Love/Hate), Jeremy Guns (Quiet Riot), Marty Casey (Lovehammers), and the list goes on! Holy Friggin’ Crap! Here is the essential nucleus points to “take away”: In 1985, Tracii Guns and Axl Rose decided to merge their groups LA Guns and Hollywood Rose to form the band Guns ‘N Roses. Rose named the band Guns N’ Roses, combining the two names of the bands with the lineup featuring Axl Rose on vocals, Tracii on lead guitar, Izzy Stradlin on rhythm guitar, Ole Beich on bass and Rob Gardner on drums.[12] Tracii had been trying to recruit Rose and Stradlin into a group before however, Tracii, as well as the other former L.A. Guns members Ole Beich and Rob Gardner, departed the group replaced by Slash, Duff McKagan and Steven Adler.[13](Wikipedia)

The debut album L.A. Guns, released in 1988 via Polygram records, peaked at number 50 on Billboard 2000, and included songs “No Mercy”, “Sex Action”, “Nothing to Lose”, “Bitch is Back” and “One Way Ticket”. The L.A. Guns 1989 album titled Cocked and Loaded, peaked at number 38 on Billboard 200 with the single “Ballad of Jayne” cresting at # 25 on the mainstream rock chart. The album went on to become certified Gold and Platinum. L.A. Guns released their third album Hollywood Vampires in 1991, which culminated at slot # 42 on Billboard 200. Their singles, “Kiss My Love Goodbye” and “Its Over Now” hit # 16 and #75 on the mainstream rock chart. Drummer Riley was fired from the band in 1992 following the band’s tour of Europe with Skid Row. However, drummer Steve Riley is currently with Phil Lewis’ version of LAG. The band released their fourth album Vicious Circle in 1995 with the album failing to chart. Polygram dropped the band after Vicious Circle went up in smoke. The band also recorded the Pantera-influenced album American Hardcore in 1996 via CMC International which also hit the skids –not landing on any chart.

L.A. Guns then went through a “renaissance” period where the original lineup reunited and released several successful albums from the years 1999-2002, according to Wikipedia. This cast of original band members saw the return of: Phil Lewis (vocals), Tracii Guns (guitar), Mick Cripps (guitar), Kelly Nichols (bass guitar), and Steve Riley (drums). A compilation of re-recorded songs and new material titled Greatest Hits and Black Beauties was released in the summer of 1999. A live album was also recorded on October 7, 1999 at the Key Club on the Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, California on the label Cleopatra Records Live: A Night at the Strip. Songs on this live album included “Face Down”, “Sex Action”, Electric Gypsy”, “Rip N Tear”  and “One More Reason”. The band began recording new material with producer Andy Johns in 2002 with the group scheduled to tour with Alice Cooper later in the year. The L.A. Guns album Waking the Dead came out to positive reviews with songs “Don’t Look at Me that Way”, “Waking the Dead”, “Hellraiser’s Ball”, and “City of Angels” on the Spitfire label. This included Phil Lewis on vocals, Tracii Guns on guitar, Adam Hamilton on bass guitar, and Steve Riley on drums. L.A.Guns began touring with Warrant, Ratt, Dokken, and Firehouse that year as part of the Rock Fest Tour. The seminal event in 2002, however, was the departure of Tracii Guns, as well as L.A.Guns involvement in a project with Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx in a band named Cockstar.

What follows is an interview and press release from that time period, via KNAC.com and an interview with contributor Mick Stingley on 3/9/03 following an L.A. Guns show in Brooklyn:

“It is the day after the infamous club fire in my native Rhode Island. The Great White show at “The Station” is the top story on every majornews outlet, and the subject of concern for more than a few peoplein attendance this evening. I mention this because it bears mentioning.This interview was set up only a few days prior for me, as a “representative”of KNAC.COM — but I had been to “The Station” many times… I knewwell the club’s small size, I have seen a few bands there… it is as muchin the back of my head this night as anyone’s…

L’Amour is a famous, well-maintained rock club deep in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn, New York. It is the pre-eminent venue for metal lovers in the Five Boroughs, and upon walking inside I note instantly the presence of red “EXIT” signs and sprinklers on the ceiling. I make my way to the bar, and hear the subject of the fire bandied about the rock crowd as I pass by rockers male and female, young and old. It is a horrible, frightening tragedy: Yet the turnout is strong for LA Guns… After the band takes the stage at 1:30AM, they are only one song in when Phil Lewis addresses the crowd… a quiet, poignant nod to the previousnight’s events. He offers up hopes and prayers for the victims and theirfamilies, and dedicates the evening to the crowd who came out to seethe rock music they love – tonight — and for the people who lost their lives in Rhode Island. After the show, I will be turning on my tape recorder and chattingwith LA Guns. They are on their first tour without founding memberand namesake Tracii Guns, who is working on a project with Nikki Sixx. I had my doubts about what the show would be like,but with the addition of guitar-slinger Kerri Kelli,and Faster Pussycat’s Brent Muscat — I was pleasantly surprised.I have forsaken a show review and attention to set listin favor of just enjoying the music over a beer.However, their set included a few tracks from the great, recent Spitfire release,Waking The Dead, as well as concert staples “Sex Action,”“Ballad Of Jayne,” “Rip N Tear,” plus some long missed favorites –“Long Time Dead,” “Kiss My Love Goodbye,” and the great,under-rated “Beautiful” from Man In The Moon. After the show, the whole band comes out to chat, meet, greet,sign autographs and shake hands with their fans. I make my way backstage tomeet up with Brad Nelson, their tour manager, and get situatedfor what was to be a brief interview with Phil, and maybe Steve.Pretty much, prior to the tragedy in Rhode Island, I had wantedto discuss the departure of Tracii, and the resulting changes.Mr. Nelson kindly assembled the entire group, and I realized theneed to be extemporaneous and include each member’s input –as the five men who make up LA Guns stood around me in a huddle,and I turned on my tape-recorder, the ease and charm of this companyof players made me mindful of the fact that, whatever lineupchanges they have undergone, whatever struggles they faceas a touring group in a descendant genre of rock music, and,  touched as they were by the previous night’s events — once thing remainsclear and unshakeable — LA GUNS IS A BAND.” – See more at: http://knaclive.com/article.asp?ArticleID=1836&StartTime=3%2F10%2F2003+8%3A30%3A45+AM#sthash.8QyXiV3t.dpuf

Here now are three important elements to this article: Condensed Timeline of Key Events, link to the interview where Tracii Guns announced his departure, and upcoming L.A. Guns Concert dates for 2013:

Condensed Timeline of Key Events from 2003-2012

  • 2003  Recruitment of Stacey Blades to the group
  • 2004  Release of cover album Rips the Covers Off
  • 2005  Release of Tales from the Strip and Live from Hollywood
  • 2006  Tracii Guns forms Tracii Guns band as well as Brides of Destruction
  • 2007  Tour dates announced to support Tales from the Strip
  • 2012  Tracii Guns announces he is finished with his version of L.A. Guns

Link to Tracii Guns interview where announcement of departure is made:

http://blabbermouth.net/news.aspx?mode=Article&newsitemID=176904

Upcoming Tour Dates for L.A. Guns, with some dates including Warrant, Ratt, and Dokken:

8-1-13  Toledo,OH

8-2-13Dayton, OH

8-3-13Sterling Heights, MI

8-5-13 Sturgis, SD

8-17-13Des Moines, IA

9-6-13Akron, NY

Van Halen Vaults Back into Glam Metal Stratosphere

Posted in Entertainment, Glam Metal Rock Music, Glam Rock, Heavy Metal Music, Metal Rock, Music, Rock Music, Rock Stars with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 6, 2013 by glamrock4ever

Van Halen2Van Halen1Van Halen3Van Halen is primarily an American hard rock band with roots in the Netherlands (the original birthplace of the Van Halen brothers, Alex and Eddie Van Halen, being Nijmegan, Netherlands), heavy metal guitar rock riffs and hooks, with coincident Glam Rock music status, “spotlight on” the flamboyance and over-the-top hypersexuality of lead singer David Lee Roth. The main focal point of the band’s overwhelming popularity has been the guitar virtuosity of Eddie Van Halen, mixed with the onstage antics and attractiveness of  David Lee Roth. The 1978 debut album of the band, entitled Van Halen, is widely regarded as one of the music albums that changed the course of rock music history, leading the way for the music genre of heavy metal to evolve in upcoming decades. (For this and more band history, see Wikipedia.) The band members at that time, at the group’s inception were: Eddie Van Halen (lead guitarist), David Lee Roth (lead vocals), Alex Van Halen (drums), and Michael Anthony (bassist).

The RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America), has listed Van Halen as the 19th best-selling band/artist in United States history, with sales of over 56 million albums in the U.S. and over 86 million albums worldwide. Also, Van Halen is only one of five rock groups that have had two albums sell more than 10 million albums each.

Eddie Van Halen and Alex Van Halen are the sons of musician Jan Van Halen, who arranged for them to have music lessons. The Van Halen brothers started playing music together in the 1960s, with interestingly, Eddie playing piano and drums and Alex playing guitar! One day when Eddie found out that Alex had been playing his drums, Eddie decided, out of frustration, to start playing Alex’s guitar: youthful beginnings to the foundation of astounding guitar musicianship to come in the form of Eddie Van Halen’s heavy metal style, most definitely an innovator for all time.

In 1972,in California, the Van Halen brothers formed a group named “Genesis” while renting a sound system from David Lee Roth in the process. In order to save money on renting the sound system, the brothers decided to offer Lee Roth lead vocals in a bartering deal, to which then led to David Lee Roth becoming a permanent part of the band. By 1974, the rock group decided to replace then bassist Mark Stone with Michael Anthony, who was then performing in a band called “Snake.” The band later changed their name to “Mammouth” after finding out that there was already another band with the name “Genesis.” The name “Van Halen” for the band was introduced by David Lee Roth, who thought the name suggested power. The band Van Halen started playing at parties and other local gigs around Hollywood and Pasadena, California, while also passing out flyers to their gigs to local high schools in the Hollywood, California area. This garnered the band a huge following and from that, Van Halen started to establish themselves as headliners at  mainstream  L.A. nightclubs of the 1970s, including the famous Whisky a GoGo.

Van Halen recorded their first demo tape at Cherokee Studios (now defunct), also the recording studio for Steely Dan at the time. Van Halen’s career began to intensify when the famous rock music impresario Rodney Bingenheimer checked out the band at the L.A. club Gazzari in the summer of 1976, and being quite impressed took Gene Simmons of KISS to see them. Gene Simmons then produced a demo tape in New York, presented them to his managers, but being told “no chance whatsoever”, he discontinued further involvement with the fledgling group. (See Wikipedia)  Van Halen’s pursuit of the “Rock N Roll dream” began to heat up even more when two Warner Brothers’ record executives (Mo Ostin and Ted Templeman) saw Van Halen perform at the Starwood in Hollywood; the execs were so dazzled that they offered the band an extensive recording contract within a week. Upon its’ release, the debut album Van Halen reached number 19 on the Billboard pop music charts, one of rock’s most commercially successful inaugurations. The album contained these classic songs by Van Halen, “Runnin’ With the Devil” and “Eruption”-showcasing Eddie Van Halen’s guitar mastery.

The band returned to the studio in 1978 to record Van Halen II, which resulted in the band’s first hit single “Dance the Night Away.” Over the next album, Van Halen was prolific with album releases and touring: Their Women and Children (1980), Fair Warning (1981), Diver Down (1982), and then the pinnacle of their career, Van Halen’s 1984 (1984) , which showcased such monster hits as “Panama”, “Jump”, “I’ll Wait”, and “Hot for Teacher.” The album generated three music videos on MTV and debuted at number 2 on the Billboard chart’s, behind Michael Jackson‘s Thriller. The album, although a huge profit-maker, was also a breaking-point for the band! The ginormous egos of the band’s two massive stars, Eddie Van Halen, and David Lee Roth, had had several explosive tangles in the past, but now their differences were at fast forward fury. Lee Roth reportedly was upset about Eddie playing outside the band without the other members’ permission and  Eddie’s drug abuse (alleged) that prevented certain viable practice sessions. Eddie was sick of Roth’s flamboyant stage behavior and at times ridiculous antics, and both differed in their view of the band’s image/direction for the future.

During this time in 1985, Eddie Van Halen, as the group’s leader, began to look around for lead singers to replace David Lee Roth. He invited Patti Smyth of Scandal to replace Lee Roth but she refused. Eddie was then introduced to another singer, Sammy Hagar, who he knew from a mutual auto mechanic. Drumroll please as we are now entering the crucial phase of the endless debate amongst Van Halen fans of which singer is better: David Lee Roth or Sammy Hagar?HA  Visit any Youtube page of Van Halen music videos and fans are still debating this to this day. Sammy Hagar had had a hit with Warner records with “I Can’t Drive 55”, had an album with Montrose, and agreed to join the band, also adding his skills as rhythm guitarist to deepen the sound. The 1986 album 5150 (named after the address for Eddie Van Halen’s studio) was a success, with keyboard-driven singles such as “Why Can’t This Be Love”, “Dreams”, and “Love Walks In.” A new Van Halen logo was added to the album art, symbolizing the band changes. The band had many more triumphant studio albums  during the reign of Sammy Hagar, which lasted until 1996. It was in the Hagar era that Van Halen was nominated for two Grammy awards, winning an award for Best Hard Rock Performance in 1992. Success often breeds discontent amongst stars, and because of disputes between Hagar and Eddie Van Halen, Hagar’s career as lead singer ended in 1996. Hagar claimed he was fired; Van Halen said that he quit. Overall, it was a technicality of sorts, because the Van Halen band members had been secretly recording tracks with David Lee Roth again, which led Hagar to quit/be fired.

There is further detailed and extensive history on this ground-breaking band. (See Wikipedia for more information and citations). On March 12, 2007, Van Halen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and were introduced by Velvet Revolver. Michael Anthony and Sammy Hagar were the only members (both ex-members at that time) in attendance. In 2012, Van Halen released A Different Kind of Truth -their first album in 14 years (since 1998’s Van Halen III). It is the first Van Halen album to feature Eddie Van Halen’s son, Wolfgang on bass ( and still in high school!)  in place of Michael Anthony. It is also the first album to feature David Lee Roth’s vocals in over 15 years. Van Halen announced a tour to support the album, from 2012 to 2013. The Van Halen News Desk reports that Guitar World named A Different Kind of Truth as the #1 album of the year (for 2012) and Rolling Stone named “Stay Frosty” in their “50 best songs” (of 2012). Keep up with the mighty Van Halen at http://www.vhnd.com!