Feel Like Makin’ Love

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Bad Company

Out of the ashes of Free came Bad Company. Free had done well but in-fighting and the usual substance abuse issues that plagued most bands of this era caused Paul Rogers and Simon Kirke to walk away and from Bad Company in 1973. If ever a band had an excellent pedigree Bad Co was it, two ex members of Free, and ex Mott The Hoople guitarist and a bass guitarist who cut his teeth in King Crimson. This ‘super group’ was them signed to Led Zeppelin’s Swansong label and managed by the legendary Peter Grant. I first heard Bad Co in a dormitory called ”3- Up” at Potchefstroom High School for Boys back in 1979. You can read about Potch in The Story of Rock and Roll but in short for a 12 year old ‘new boy’ who’s job as a skivvy was to clean his matrics shoes, make his bed and tidy his locker these tasks were just an menial backdrop to what was really happening in my head while I did my chores in 3-Up every morning and evening. The 3 matrics who inhabited the dorm had a good collection of what would now be called 70’s Classic Rock and one of these albums was Straight Shooter by Bad Company . I was so impressed with this album that the owner even allowed me to hold the album cover and soak up the magnificent Hipgnosis artwork. The two tumbling dice were imprinted on my mind and until the next big thing came along they would play that album every day. It is one of the best examples of Classic rock you can ever hear.

This video really stands up well over 40 years later. Bad Company had the songs and they had the talent, for a short few years with the original line-up they were unstoppable. Paul Rogers epitomised the 70’s front man look that Robert Plant had perfected for everyone else to follow, tight pants and open shirts, long hair and a macho swagger. He didn’t go for the screaming high notes like Plant & Gillan but to me he had a far richer bluesy voice. Rogers tended to stay in a narrower range, his delivery was perfect and his timing always impecable. Simon Kirke is a roll model for many drummers and Boz Burrell on bass exerted a quiet behind the scenes uber cool influence that you only hear about if you dig deeper into their history and see a few documentaries. Basically he was like a rock Cliff Burton, totally unique and his own man, different but irreplacable. My favourite part of this clip is from around 4:00 where Mick Ralphs does the outro solo and his Flying Vee is really busting up. It’s a perfect example of a 70’s rock band to leave in a time capsule for future civilisations.

James Daubeney

Riff Raff

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ACDC

‘I was thinking that Priest were as heavy as it got and that Kiss were up there right alongside of them.  That is when Schnoz put on If You Want Blood, You Got It.  The opening chords of ‘Riff Raff’ crashed out of the expensive ghetto blaster’s twin speakers and I knew right then and there that AC/DC were the heaviest band in the world.  My fuck, what a sound!”.  The Story of Rock and Roll – James Daubeney

Coming out of Australia in the early 70’s AC/DC set the rock world alight.  In Bon Scott’s biography Highway to Hell by Clinton Walker he tells of how on AC/Dc’s first visit to the UK they were playing in a working mans pub.  The place was pretty empty but after the first set is was completely empty.  The band figured that they hadn’t gone down well at all and that really all they could do was order a couple of pints and comiserate.  Suddenly the place was packed to the rafters.  The few people who had been there at the start of the show had rushed out to call all of their mates.  It was a sign of things to come and as Bon Scott put Angus on his shoulders for the first time it was pretty clear that this band were going to be huge.  Check out http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/90439.Highway_to_Hell

James Daubeney

Hey Joe

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Jimmi Hendrix

I was late into Hendrix as is hilariously detailed in The Story of Rock and Roll.  I didn’t even know who he was in 1979.  Once I found out I never looked back, to this day he is probably the most influential guitarist in the world.  Gone far, far too early, RIP James Marshall Hendrix

Hey Joe was the first single off the Are You Experienced? Album.  As is often the case an American act had to go to the UK to get discovered.  Hendrix caught on like wildfire.  The top UK guitarists were gobsmacked by his sheer brilliance, he literally blew them all away. 

James Daubeney

Open Invitation

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Santana

I discovered Santana after a particularly hair raising uitkak from a matric while I was a new boy at Potch Boys High.  The hilarious detail can be found in Chapter 2 of The Story of Rock and Roll.  This song was one that got played over and over on the school bus to and from various rugby matches we played against schools in Jo’burg.

Carlos Santana is an incredible talent.  He is living proof that, even if you are born in a third world country, if you are that good you will be discovered. Once he got out of Tijuana Mexico and into the USA he never looked back.  By the age of 20 he was well on his way to greatness and world renowned.  Santana were a huge hit at Woodstock but I only got into them in a big way when they released Inner Secrets in 1978.  It was full of Heavy guitar and blinding solo’s and I absolutely loved it. 

James Daubeney

Sometimes

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The Stranglers

The Stranglers were my favourite band for about 3 years and they took me down the Punk Rock path opening doors to the Pistols and the Clash.  All the detail can be found in The Story of Rock and Roll and you will read why they were so special to music in general, and me specifically.  The Stranglers had a reputation for violence and intimidating reporters.  They were not a band to be fucked with.  In contrast to some of the Punk bands that appeared in 1977 the Stranglers were fantastic musicians and once again I realised that arranging is key to good song writing.  The short bursts of bass, then guitar, then keyboards on tracks like ‘London Lady’ add so much to their music.  JJ Burnell still has the best bass sound I have ever heard.

On this clip live at Battersea Park you can feel the menace that comes off them as they come up the ramp to the stage.  The sound quality is terrible but it just gives you that feeling that only The Stranglers could invoke.  Hugh Cornwall doesn’t give a fuck about being a rock star and dancing around like Dave Lee Roth.  He is here to snarl out what the Stranglers have to say.  The attitude just completely puts Punk Rock in perspective for me.  In their day there was no-one like The Stranglers. 

James Daubeney

Bat out of Hell

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Meatloaf

Bat Out of Hell is a rock classic, it was just one of those special unique albums that artists occasionally pull out of themselves.  It was unlike anything else at the time or since.

Check out the DVD on the making of Bat Out of Hell, there is fantastic bit where Jim Steinman explains how Todd Rundgren used a guitar to record the bike accident that Meatloaf didn’t have the budget to put in.  Once you know it is a guitar it is obvious but when I was getting into the album in the late 70’s I had no clue. 

James Daubeney

Rock’ n’ Roll

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Led Zeppelin

Led Zeppelin are one of the most influential bands the world has ever seen.  Jimmy Page and Robert Plant set the standard by which future guitar heroes and frontmen respectively would be measured.  I loved the first 3 Led Zep albums, they are simply brilliant.  I personally am not a big fan of 12 minute guitar or drum solo’s so I found some of the live stuff a bit tedious but nothing takes away from the power and majesty of Led Zep I or II at high volume.

To many Led Zep will always be the benchmark against all metal and hard rock bands will be measured.  They really had it all, phenominal musicianship, rock ‘n’roll attitude and a great look.  Everyone into the music wanted to look like them.  Page and Plant epitomised the guitar hero & frontman relationship that only the true royalty of rock can replicate.  Eddie & Dave, Bowie & Mick Ronson, Freddie & Brian, Mick & Keith, Ozzy & Randy, Slash& Axl, Angus & Brian.  This only happens when there is the perfect symbiosis in the band and Led Zeppelin were in my mind the first to get it right, two larger than life heroes, better together, but still magnificent alone. 

James Daubeney

Mama weer all crazee now

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Slade

Slade are highly underrated in my opinion, in their day they were seriously heavy when compared to most of the stuff on Top of the Pops.  Noddy Holders’ rough vocals were totally out of the normal and got me preferring guys like Bon Scott and James Burns who really belted it out to some of the more melodic vocalists around.

With Slade it really is about song writing, Slade could write a hit but still keep it heavy.  Your folks would call it a noise because Noddy was shouting and the guitars were heavy but it was still catchy enough to get onto Top of the Pops.  Slade got a nice shot in the arm in the mid 80’s when Quiet Riot covered ‘Mama Weer all Crazzee Now’ and it was a huge hit all over again.  This time it caught on in the USA which Slade themselves had struggled to do.

James Daubeney

Stargazer

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Rainbow

The Story of Rock and Roll details how important Rainbow was to me because of my friend Roger’s love for the band.  The fact was that for the first time I had someone who could really explain to me what was actually going on musically.  The first band that I first understood this way was Rainbow.

Long considered the best metal vocalist of all time, Ronnie James Dio in Rainbow moved the band into the upper echelons of rock and metal bands in the late 70’s.  Richie Blackmore was in my view better in Rainbow than at anytime before of after.  In Deep Purple he was brilliant but he shared the spotlight with Ian Gillan and Jon Lord and in many ways took a broody awesomely talented back seat.  In Rainbow there was no doubt about who was the boss and the result was the two all time classic albums in Rainbow Rising & Long Live Rock & Roll.

James Daubeney

Ballroom Blitz

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The Sweet

We used to listen to ‘Ballroom Blitz’, ‘Little Willy’ and ‘Wig Wam Bam’ when we kids on the MFP Sprinbok hits compilation albums.  These albums were made by SA session musicians and our folks used to buy them and play them at parties when we were kids.  Although the songs were well played they were mixed in with all the hits of the day by bands like ABBA *vomit*.  I only heard The Sweet when I got to high school and the real stuff was nothing like the shit served up on Springbok Hits.

The Sweet were a seriously good band, they looked fucking ridiculous but they could really play and albums like Strung Up and Desolation Boulevard were as far away from bubblegum Pop as Michael Jsackson is from Slayer.  Once again the arrangements made these albums, they had it all although many people wouldn’t give them the credit they deserve for some serious rock and roll.  If you got over the Top of the Pops stuff and listened to the albums at high volume they were a revelation. 

James Daubeney

Baby I Love Your Way

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Peter Frampton

Peter Frampton got huge thanks to Frampton Comes Alive.  The album was everywhere and Frampton became famous for making his guitar talk.  I don’t think Frampton will ever be able to disassociate himself from the Talk box, he is almost synonymous with it.  When the album was released we used to listen to it all the time, rewinding the talking guitar bits over and over again, it was just very cool at the time.

Peter Frampton was one of those guys who just got so popular so quickly and then suddenly he was out of favour.  That phenomenon always makes me suspicious of the audience not the artist.  If you dug Frampton in your teens and then five years later you didn’t like him then you never actually understood in the first place.  Frampton in the 70’s was sort of like Bon Jovi in the 80’s, you ended up not liking them because everybody liked them, even though you actually did like them.  Here is a small bit of trivia, Peter’s  dad was Bowie’s art teacher at school. 

James Daubeney

N.I.B

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Black Sabbath

So much has been written and said about Sabbath, sometimes you gotta just shut the fuck up and listen to it again.

Formed in Birmingham in around 1968 Sabbath would probably have won a ‘least likely to succeed’ award, unless you saw them…. Then you would know. 

James Daubeney

Bullfrog Blues

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Rory Gallagher

Hard drinking Irish guitar virtuoso, Rory Gallagher really just wanted to play his guitar.  He didn’t have time for stardom or all the rock star trivialities.  In my opinion his best stuff is on his live albums, he just seems to do the most amazing guitar work in his live sets.

I discuss Rory in The Story of Rock and Roll and the whole ”how does it feel to be the best guitarist in the world” thing.  For the purposes of this post let’s just say that Rory Gallagher was a phenomenon and he deserves far more recognition than he gets.  If you just buy the live album Irish Tour ’74 you will know. 

James Daubeney

All the Way From Memphis

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Mott the Hoople

There are some bands that just never seem to ‘make it’ but then 10 years on all the bands that are really doing well credit that band with being one of their biggest influences.  Bands like Diamond Head, The New York Dolls, The Misfits, MC5, Iggy and the Stooges and this band, Mott the Hoople.  Ian Hunter is one of the most charismatic front men ever.  There is just something about him, his voice and his whole style, Mott should have been bigger than they were at the time.

I found a clip of Mott doing some TV show and they just shine, the audience however should all be taken outside and shot.  I found it painful to watch a band this fantastic playing to a bunch of ingrates and so I found another clip of far worse quality but far more representative of just how great Mott the Hoople were.   

James Daubeney

Aqualung

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Jethro Tull

For many years I considered Jethro Tull’s Bursting Out Live to be the best live album I had ever heard.  Tull took musicianship and witty live banter to new levels of excellence and that album made me buy Aqualung which in its day was considered a heavy metal album.  Aqualung to this day is one of the finest albums ever made.

I used to get so sick an tired of hearing idiots think that Ian Anderson was Jethro Tull.  I got through it by using it as an IQ test.  Tull made some fantastic albums and after a bit of a lull in the early 80’s they came back as a 3 piece with Crest of a Knave in 1987 giving ZZ Top a run for their money when it comes to putting commercial sheen on a band that was anything but.  I saw Tull twice, the first time at Standard Bank arena in about 1994 and then again in 2007.  The first show was one of the best I have ever seen, I will never forget watching Ian Anderson downing a Castle Lager behind the PA system during a drum solo.  The second time was a fuck up, he asked the crowd to stop whistling while he was playing a flute solo.  If you want South Africans to start whistling, then ask them to stop.  Even people who weren’t whistling started after that request.  He walked off the stage and we fucked off home very disappointed. 

James Daubeney

Dreamer Deceiver

LAS VEGAS - MAY 25:  Judas Priest guitarist K.K. Downing (L) and singer Rob Halford perform during the VH1 Rock Honors at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on May 25, 2006 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Judas Priest

Judas Priest are legends, in my view no-one put metal on the map the way Priest did and they kept it alive during the lean years.  With all that disco crap going on in the 70’s you could rely on Judas Priest to keep delivering album after album of blistering metal.  When British Steel was released it changed the way things were done by metal bands.  It was a monstrously good album and quickly scooped up new fans who had never heard of the band.  As with happened Metallica die hard pioneers like myself selfishly felt bitter sweet about a band we loved suddenly being on the radio and having to deal with arseholes talking about this ‘new band’.  The funny thing is they never sold out: the world just caught up and took a giant leap forward in terms of musical taste.  All Hail the Priest \m/

This Priest Classic freed me from religion for life.  I am not sure why but it just hit a chord with me and set my mind free.  This video clip is from the Old Grey Whistle Test and not what would normally be considered as a typical Judas Priest video.  The band were clearly still finding their feet and were not yet considered the metal gods.  I think it is a fascinating glimpse of where Priest came from given what everyone else was doing at the time. 

James Daubeney

This video was from the 1980 classic ‘Metal Gods’ off British Steel released in 1980.  I include it here because this is what Priest became and this is how they will be remembered.  It is a great contrast to the first video where you can clearly see how the band were finding their way out of a sort of hippie Zeppelin look into something that would define the band and the whole Metal genre. 

James Daubeney