Tuesday, June 21, 2005

In the beginning (well, more like 1985)

I never thought I would get up the nerve to do a blog, but I have so here I am. I am not a real open minded person when it comes to music, but I have been making efforts towards at least giving different kinds of music a chance. My idea for this blog stems from my love of music and my desire give a chance to give albums (yes, this term does date me as over 30) a fair chance. I am a big fan of heavy metal and hard rock and have been so since 1984. With bands from the prime days of metal popping up once again, I began to think about back in the day and all these bands and albums that I liked and didn't like. One thing that came to me right away was that there are a lot of albums that I have not heard in a long time yet I was still telling myself how sure I was that a certain album was very good or very bad. Now I have changed over 20 years and so have my opinions on other topics like politics and sports so maybe my views on some of these albums from way back when have changed well. So my main idea was I will first pick a metal or hard rock album that was released 20 years ago and it will be one that I first heard around that time. Before listening to it I will write down a short introduction telling briefly any background information about when I first this album and then maybe two or three sentences about how I feel about the album now before I free my mind and give it a listen. Then I listen to it from start to finish, no skipping or fast forwarding like I oftentimes do in my car. During this time I will try to listen to it as if I have never heard this album before and never heard anything by this band before. I will listen to find out simply "is this album good?" and then determine is it better, as good as or worse then I remember and of course I will justify why it falls into one of those categories. During the review, I will not compare this album to other albums by this band or get off into what this band did before or after. I want the review to reflect my gut reaction to one fair listening and I don't want it swayed by any other album. My hope is to be honest for myself and if an album I have been championing for years suddenly looks as dated as a pair of parachute pants then so be it. The reverse is true as well because if I should realize an album I have been bad mouthing for years suddenly isn't so bad then I will admit that as well. My review may have to come in two or three parts if I get too windy or my fingers get tired form typing.
Now to the albums and how I do choose them. My hope is to start in July and do one of these per month and hopefully it will be at the first week of the month. If I start in July then I can do six albums from 1985 to finish out this year. My idea for choosing the albums is this, I make a list of albums from 1985 that I really think I like and then I make a list of albums from 1985 that I didn't like or found disappointing. Then I will choose three from each list and when next year rolls around I will be choosing six from each 1986 list to do for 2006. It would be easy for me to just listen to bands I love, but it would be dull and no challenge for me to do that. I will listen to albums that I may have to dragged kicking and screaming to the stereo before I listen to them, but I vow to give them a chance. I will also try to mix up styles of metal so there will hard rock, glam metal, solid metal, power and speed metal. There will be big major label bands, major independent bands and maybe even a band or two you never heard of.
So let's get ready for the journey and set up some background for our destination year. Metal was generally on the rise after just finishing 1984 which had to be the golden year of metal. The year of 1985 was a little slim for releases from major bands mainly due to the fact that so many of them released albums in 1984, but 85 was still a year that saw more bands getting signed and a number of independent labels like Metal Blade and Combat were releasing a lot more albums. The New Wave of British Heavy Metal scene was dying down fast and the LA scene was heating up. In 1985, we would see David Lee Roth gone from Van Halen, Vince Neil served a very brief jail term, the original members of Black Sabbath reunited on stage for the first time in six years at an event called Live Aid and debut albums from such bands as Exodus, Metal Church, Overkill, Megadeth and Kreator were released. It was a year where Motley Crue went from big to huge, speed metal was on the rise and videos both on MTV and on vhs where becoming mediums for bands to promote themselves. So put on a tight black concert t-shirt, comb your hair down (if you are bald like me then just pretend) and get ready to go back to 1985. I have not written my first review or listened to the album yet, but I vow to listen to it soon and have my first review up some time during the first week of July. In between these reviews I do hope to make other posts mainly talking about metal bands past and present, albums and other related topics.


Blogger Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

This is a hell of a good premise. I hope you get what you want out of it and I'm looking forward to reading!

7:16 PM  

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