• 1981

    18 Feb 2010, 19:31 by Atitlan

    When I think about my love of music and how my taste was shaped it always comes back to one year ... 1981. I was 15 and the chart music of that year turned a passing interest in music into a lifelong obsession.

    To understand why you need to look at the upper reaches of the UK chart and in particular at how varied and sometimes brave the music was. Remember these were big hits and chosen by record companies to be singles.

    I'm going to pull out some of my favourites from the year that all made the top 3.

    We start with In the Air Tonight by Phil Collins - Probably the only decent song he ever did outside of Genesis and still a great song for anyone who can get past the fact that it's Phil Collins. (Number 2)

    Next one of the earliest singles I remember raving about -
    Vienna by Ultravox. Not only do I remember being obsessed with this epic piece of electronic music, but I remember being devastated that a dire novelty record could deny it the number 1 spot it so richly deserved…
  • We must be over the Rainbow!

    11 Oct 2009, 11:20 by pviitane

    Sat 10 Oct – Over The Rainbow

    To be honest, I had severe doubts about this show. My thoughts were along 'old farts', 'rip-off' and other derogatory thoughts.

    Then, however few days before the show I was reading Roy Davies' excellent Rainbow biography ("Rainbow Rising. The Story of Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow" published by Helter Skelter, 2002) and suffered an acute paradigm shift.

    I came to realize that all these people (with the exception of Jürgen, of course) were once handpicked by The Man Himself and who am I to argue his choices. These musicians have showed talent and ability and were thus selected to join one of the worlds premiere hard rock bands. Later on they may have been sacked by Him but that was the reality when working with a genius striving to find a direction and commercial success.

    Overall, I was very happy I went to see 'Over The Rainbow' as I've grown up with these songs and I was privileged to hear them performed live even if not by the respective line-ups.
  • NWOBHM Band of the Week (9th December 2008): Praying Mantis

    9 Dec 2008, 17:35 by GrantRS

    (Next NWoBHM Band of the Week)

    Having freed up a few extra days in the week's journal calendar. I've decided to begin a new project. If I can keep to my plan: Every week I will investigate a band that didn't quite achieve the success of, say, Saxon or Iron Maiden and I will present a summary of my research for reader's ease and (hopefully) pleasure on Tuesdays. Kicking off in no particular order, I've picked Praying Mantis pretty much randomly off a list.

    So, in brief, who are Praying Mantis? On their first documented official release, a 7" single evidently known as both "Soundhouse Tapes" and "Captured City" released in 1980 (and documented here), the band consisted of brothers Tino and Chris Troy on guitar and bass respectively as well as second guitarist Pete Moore and drummer Chris Hudson. Vocals were credited to Tino, Chris and Pete. I've found all three of the album's tracks at youtube.
    -Captured City (youtube)
    -The Ripper (NOT a Judas Priest cover, youtube)