1979


Title: All Night Long

Artist: Rainbow

Album: Down To Earth

Year Released: 1979

What It Is: Straight forward hard rock from Rainbow Mk. II (first post-Dio conglomeration). Rainbow had a gazillion personnel changes before this, but I call this Mk. II since the tenor and tone of the band changed after the wee singer with the pipes of Satan left. Anyway, itinerant singer Graham Bonnet yelped for this album, and the songs rather much reflect his world view (though he didn’t write any of the lyrics). Later, he was sacked for being schmozzled at the first show he played as a member of Rainbow, and thus ushered in the Joe Lynn Turner experience where everything got very…bleah.

Riffage / Hookage: Good, no great opening riff from Ritchie Blackmore. As if you expected anything else? I’m surprised that this didn’t get a lot of radio play because the riff is killer.

Cowbell?: Cozy Powell actually doesn’t overplay here.

Words Of Wisdom: All you need to know is encapsulated in these lines:
“I need a girl who can keep her head all night long”
“You mouth is open but I don’t want to hear you say good night”
“Don’t know about your brain but you look alright”

Note: if anyone says THOSE things to MY daughters, that’s a slugging…

Mixology Report: Yeah, it kinda kicks ass in a way.

Top Five Genius Results: Rock Bottom – UFO (another KILLER riff!)
Neon Knights – Black Sabbath (Dio!)
Please Don’t Touch – Motorhead
Prowler – Iron Maiden (Paul D’Anno on vocals – similar to Bonnet)
Hiroshima Mon Amour – Alcatrazz (fitting because that’s the band Bonnet formed after leaving the Michael Schenker Group, which is where he landed after he got booted from Rainbow).

For The Good Of The Order: If you have ever seen one of Pete Frame’s rock family trees (I have two volumes), then you know how convoluted they can become. Well, Deep Purple’s is pretty large, and they had to do a separate one for Rainbow (this was pre-Joe Lynn Turner, so now you can connect Rainbow to MSG, Alcatrazz and from there…who knows?). Besides Ritchie Blackmore, here’s who was in Rainbow from its founding in 1975 until the first Deep Purple reunion (in 1984).

Ronnie James Dio, Mickey Soule, Craig Gruber, Gary Driscoll, Tony Carey, Jimmy Bain, Cozy Powell, Mark Clarke, David Stone, Bob Daisley, Jack Green, Don Airey, Roger Glover, Graham Bonnet, Joe Lynn Turner, Bobby Rondinelli, David Rosenthal, and Chuck Burgi. That’s a lot of people passin’ through. Think Blackmore had some issues with some people?

Here are some vids. The regular video can’t be imbedded (yeesh).

But here’s Rainbow at Donnington. First off, Blackmore pleasures himself on guitar. Then about 1:50 in, the song starts. And you can tell that Bonnet’s not really endearing himself to anyone.

Title: Stay Clean

Artist: Motörhead

Album: Overkill

Year Released: 1979

What It Is: It is Motörhead. QED.

Riffage / Hookage: It is Motörhead. QED.

Cowbell?: Philthy don’t need no cowbell. Fast Eddy needs some wah-wah, though. Oh, and Lemmy’s bass solo also removes the cowbell requirement.

Words Of Wisdom: “So you see, the only proof,
Of what you are is in the way you hear the truth,
Don’t be scared, live to win,
Although they’re always gonna tell you it’s a sin,
In the end, you’re on your own,
And there is no-one that can stop you being alone,
Stay Clean.”

Mixology Report: Only lilly-livered nancys and poofters don’t want this on their mix.

Top Five Genius Results: Saints In Hell – Judas Priest
Ten Dollar Man – ZZ Top
In League With Satan – Venom
Chatterbox – New York Dolls
We Will Be Strong – Thin Lizzy

Not that surprising, except the New York Dolls. WTF? Oh, well.

For The Good Of The Order: You know, when Lemmy was in Hawkwind and they were performing Lemmy’s songs (Lost Johnny, etc.) and not the other Hawkwind songs, Hawkwind sounded a lot like Motörhead. Just my opinion.

Oh, and here’s a 2007 vid of Motorhead live. Really, it could be 1979 or 1989. Same sound. Same clothes. Same mike set-up with the picks. Same voice (oh, maybe a little gruffer, but still…) And that’s just fine by me…

STAY CLEAN!

Title: Transmission

Artist: Joy Division

Album: Originally a non-LP single, it’s on almost every Joy Division compilation.

Year Released: 1979

What It Is: A starting point of post-punk? A climax of the English New Wave as it moved into more danceable motifs? It could be all of these things, but what I know is that there are a bazillion bands right not who are trying to do exactly this sound, and most are mere whimpers to this bang.

Riffage / Hookage: Great riff from Bernard Albrecht (nee Dicken, later Sumner) and a monstrously powerful bass line from Peter Hook. There’s a decent hook in the chorus.

Cowbell?: No, but Stephen Morris adds just the right amount of drumming.

Words Of Wisdom: “Dance! Dance! Dance! Dance! Dance to the radio!

That’s all you need to know.

Mixology Report: Oh, yeah. This will satisfy the curious and not be as trite as “Love Will Tear Us Apart”. This actually gives you more a sense of what the band was all about.

Top Five Genius Results: (White Man)In Hammersmith Palais – The Clash
Ceremony – New Order (der…)
Bela Lugosi’s Dead – Bauhaus
The Cutter – Echo & The Bunnymen
Kinky Afro – The Happy Mondays

For The Good Of The Order: Anyone see the movie about them? I haven’t yet, and I wonder if it’s any good?

Here’s a vid of them live on the teevee in Britain. Ian Curtis’ voice and appearance couldn’t be more discongruous.

Title: Conversation

Artist: Gary Numan

Album: The Pleasure Principle

Year Released: 1979

What It Is: A fantastic piece of electro-synth new wave eerieness from Mr. Numan. This again shows the ice-cold vision of Numan, who must have pictured some sort of futurisitic bleak society when creating his work. Or then again he may just have liked how the synth sounded with the settings on ‘frost’ and kept with it.

Riffage / Hookage: The synth lines are memorable and the bass (yes, it’s a real bass with an envelope filter) is pretty killer funk. Oh, and there’s a violin adding some highlights, too.

Cowbell?: None here, but he’s using real drums (he did quite often, actually, which is an odd accent to the machinery).

Words Of Wisdom: “These are not my tears
Not my reflection
Am I a photo?
I cant remember”

Mixology Report: I’d mix it pretty much everywhere that’s not genre specific, because it’s a good transition song. You know, like transition metals, in chemistry. Oh, wait, probably not like that, since I don’t think this song has an incomplete d sub-shell. And of course, in trying to be funny I just looked up the actual definition of transition metal on Wikipedia. Though I did know they included such diverse elements as Iron, Manganese, Osmium, Cobalt, Platinum, Copper and Yttrium. Ytrrium you ask? Yes. Yttrium. Sprinkle some on your salad! (Note: Sprinking Yttrium on your salad is not recommended…)

For The Good Of The Order: Numan is a one-hit wonder in the US, but had many in the UK, including a #1 with Tubeway Army in “Are Friends Electric”.

Here’s a live video of a 1979 concert, and it shows Numan’s not Kraftwerk in that he does want to put on a show and engage the audience a bit. So there…

Title: The Ledge

Artist: Fleetwood Mac

Album:Tusk

Year Released: 1979

What It Is: Lindsey Buckingham’s Flying Circus! It’s a delightfully oddball tune which was not expected from Mac at all, especially after two super smash albums. Featured as track two of the sprawling double album, and situation behind the mellow “Over and Over”, Christine McVie’s track that led it off, listeners must have wondered if they were entering the Bizzaro Fleetwood Mac world.

Riffage / Hookage:The bass and guitar riff at the beginning propels the song and starts the weirdness.

Cowbell?: No. Mick Fleetwood hits one snare drum and one cymbal in the entire song until the end.

Words Of Wisdom: “Countin’ on my fingers
Countin’ on my toes
Slippin’ thru your fingers
Watchin’ how it grows
You can love me baby but you can’t walk out
Someone oughta tell you what it’s really all about”

I don’t think Lindsey was quite over Stevie Nicks…or at least not over at his anger, or something.

Mixology Report: It’s a great song to break up a mix, plus it’s short so you can shoehorn it in everywhere.

For The Good Of The Order: The first time I heard this, I did wonder if it was some sort of joke, but then you really can’t mistake the voices of Buckingham, Nicks or McVie on it.

They actually did it live, and Buckingham seems even more sinister in his put down on this version. One wonders how Nicks felt about it. Alas, it’s not on the current tour, so perhaps Lindsey FINALLY got over it…

Title: The Eton Rifles

Artist: The Jam

Album: Setting Sons

Year Released: 1979

What It Is: One of the strongest tracks from their somewhat uneven fourth album (which was a half-concept album that Paul Weller couldn’t finish, but kept the tracks), the Jam is still true to the sound of the early Who on this one. At the same time they vary it up (like the subtle organ embellishments and solo during the bridge and  the long outro that bring in a bit of Weller’s Motown fetish) so it’s sounds fresh. This song was a powerful one live.

Riffage / Hookage: The chorus is hooky with the gang “Hooray!” and the interesting cadence on “The Eton Rifles”.

Cowbell?: No. Rick Buckler tended to play it straight and powerful.

Words Of Wisdom: “Sup up your beer and collect your fags,
Theres a row going on down near Slough”

That means – “Drink up. Get your cigs (or friends, either), because there’s gonna be a fight near Slough!

I also loved this part:

“We came out of it naturally the worst,
Beaten and bloody and I was sick down my shirt,
We were no match for their untamed wit,
Though some of the lads said theyll be back next week.”

The phrase “we were no match for their untamed wit” as describing a street fight with Eton students is clever!

Mixology Report:It’s a good rockin’ tune and makes you think!

For The Good Of The Order:This was the only single taken from “Setting Sons”. The Jam usually released singles apart from albums (like the good ol’ days) which was good for fresh content and the band’s coffers.

Here’s a live shot of them pounding out the song on the tee-vee!

Title: Circus of Death

Artist: The Human League

Album: Reproduction

Year Released: 1979

What It Is: This ain’t your father’s Human League. It’s the original vision of the band – dark, eerie and experimental. They were a trio at this point, but two of them left to form Heaven 17 amongst other things, leaving Phil Oakey to reconstruct the Human League into pop-tastic synth goodness.

Riffage / Hookage: Not really – though there is a burbling synth-bass line. This was ART, dammitall!

Cowbell?: No – just electronic noises.

Words Of Wisdom: “The circus of death is approaching
Its pathway is painted in red
Before it the frightened and helpless
Behind it a trail of the dead”

Not exactly “Fascination”, is it? It’s more of a death metal thing, right?


Mixology Report: It’ll fit in some dark, eerie places.

For The Good Of The Order: Steve McGarrett? What in the holy hell is this thing about? And how is Hawaii Five-O going to solve crimes in the UK? Questions, questions…and I don’t have answers.

The video is nice and cheery too…