I’m going through a major early 80’s hard-rock phase lately. It’s partly because of my Spotify obsession and the ease of hearing what I want immediately. And it’s partly because this is the music I grew up with. Junior-High school years. The years of transitioning from hard rock to new wave. Punk came later. Sorry. Not that much later, though. I feel bad for the punks who never got to experience a NWOBHM period of their youth. New Wave of British Heavy Metal to you acronymnly challenged. To me it’s the best way to a musical open mind later in life. Going from classic rock to prog to heavy metal to hair metal to new wave to punk to ska to funk to world (latin-african-gypsy mostly) and back to classic rock and heavy metal. Not as subdivided as all that, but sort of an overlapped progression, never a replacement – more of a supplementation.
It could be my recent obsessions with aging, with ever increasing curmudgeon-liness. These fucking kids! They don’t know shit and their stupid clothes and and their ass-crack pants and retarded haircuts! And the fucking bands they listen to! Boring and derivative. Can’t you come up with your own fucking ideas? Don’t get me started!
Which is why I can’t stop listening to Rainbow. Yes, Rainbow. Ronnie James Dio-era Rainbow. Sure. Awesome. Man on the Silver Mountain. Amazing. But that was the 70s and I came of age during the era of Joe Lynn Turner on vocals and he had it going too. I even liked Graham Bonnet’s stuff with Rainbow. Lost in Hollywood is one of my favorite Rainbow songs of all. Sure, you can say the 80’s stuff is dated, and end to end, the ’82 album, Straight Between the Eyes doesn’t hold up, but any album that has Death Alley Driver and Stone Cold starting it off with a 1-2 punch, can’t be expected to keep it up.
Never even mentioned Ritchie Blackmore, who is definitely one of the top guitarists of all time. His solos hold up over the decades and, to me, are unique and inimitable. No one sounded like him and no one has since. And how can you argue with a music video where a motorcycle riding Joe Lynn Turner is being chased down by a Ritchie Blackmore passengered 1920’s (?) black (Lincoln?) that could probably couldn’t keep up with a Vespa. Classic.