"Fly by Night"-1975
Started out as Led Zep wannabes`,but with the addition of Drum GOD Neil Peart in`74,Bassist/Vocalist Geddy Lee and Guitarist Alex Lifeson began the long walk from Canadian bar band to Hard Rock Legends! Just listen to "Finding My Way","Need Some Love",and the KILLER,"Working Man" from the first album,and compare them to "By-Tor and the Snow-Dog"[MY personal favorite!] or anything else from "Fly by Night"to hear the progression.All this came to fruition with the release of "2112" in `76.Rush not only re-invented the term "Power Trio",they also created one of THE classic Hard Rock albums of all time! The title track/epic remains a staple of their live shows to this day;a yardstick by which all similar bands [including Rush themselves] were measured by!
More Canadians! These guys were sort of a street level version of Rush,combining explosive,effects laden stage shows w/ real Hard Rock anthems,songs filled with positive messages and lyrics that emphasized believing in yourself ["Magic Power"],not giving up ["Fight the Good Fight","Never Surrender"], and the fact that life doesn`t ALWAYS suck. A welcome respite from the self-pitying drivel coming from the likes of Trent Reznor and the rest of todays Generation X cry-babies! These two are Triumphs` best [and Heaviest] albums.After these,they went off in a different direction,more musician-oriented [to me,anyway].
One of the HEAVIEST bands in North America,or anywhere else for that matter! This was Anvils`3rd [and probably BEST] release,and a classic Metal album;but then again,if it weren`t a classic,it wouldn`t be HERE,would it? The title cut [later covered by Benediction] says it all,and could well be considered autobiographical [I love using those big words! Makes me sound like I know what I`m talkin` about!],along with my favorite Anvil tune,"Free as the Wind".Later releases were scatter-shot at best,but the recent albums have been a return to their roots,and that`s a PLUS!
Hailing from Finland,this is the only album that I`ve actually heard from Oz,although they put out a 1/2 dozen or so before calling it quits in the early `90s`.Well executed Power Metal with a NWOBHM feel to it;they had some odd-ball stage names like Speedy Fox,Jay C.Blade,[but back then who didn`t?] `though this doesn`t detract from the music at all. Good stuff!
Like Oz,this is the only album I`ve listened to by these guys;unlike Oz,Baron Rojo are still together,recording and touring in their native Spain.This was a really unique sounding NWOBHM influenced band with a style all their own [all vocals are in Spanish],at least on "Metalmorfosis". I`ve never heard anything else by them,as their albums are hard to find outside their homeland.Guess I`ve got some catching up to do!
This Phoenix,Arizona based 5-piece were one of the most promsing acts to come out of the early`80s` Metal explosion,at least on THIS album!Overlookng the Glam trappings,Icons`debut fell somewhere between Judas Priest and the heavier aspects of Motley Crue;first rate musicianship and song-writing completed the picture,as exemplified in songs like "World War `94".But like so many others before them,the band decided to go the the commercial route and well,you KNOW what happened after that....
"Fly to the Rainbow"-1974
"Taken by Force"-1977
Here are 5 of the GREATEST Hard Rock albums ever released! "Lonesome Crow"[what the hell does THAT mean?] features the stellar guitar talents of then-FIFTEEN year old[!] Michael Schenker,and the music,though Heavy,has kind of a Hippy-type feel to it;an "after-the Buzz-has-worn-off" vibe,basically,although Classical overtones [a Schenker trademark] are stil evident.The teen-age axeman left later on to join UFO,and reccomended a friend as his replacement,one Ulrich Jon Roth.With Roths`guitar wizardry and superior song-writing skills,the Scorps went on to put out their BEST material [in my book].The combination of Roth,Vocalist Klaus Meine,and Michaels`brother Rudolph [guitar] as TOO good to last!With the exception of Roths` piss-poor vocal attempts,there ain`t a bum note to be found here;Ulis`Hendrix-meets-Classical guitar stylings paved the way for the whole "Bach `n` Roll" Neo-classical movement that came later on [Yngwie Malmsteen owes a HUGE debt to this guy!]Nowhere is this more more apparent than on `76s`"Virgin Killer",the bands collective best album w/ Roth,& their overall best,if ya ask me!The cream of his work in Scorpions,this LP also marked the begginning of the end,as evidenced in the following years` "Taken by Force".By this time,Uli and the group were going in two different directions,and although still a great album,that push-pull is obvious here.[When he first joined,Roth had made it clear to his bandmates that he only intended to stay with them 5 years.]He left in 1978,right after the group toured Japan that yielded the AWESOME live album"Tokyo Tapes"[see my "Live,Loud,Alive" page for more info.].Ironically,the Scorpions got a better US record deal in `79,and went on to huge
commercial success afterwards,but for me,the above albums are still their best!