01 December 2020
This is it , the last review of 1980 , there has been some great releases during the past 12 months , however December wasn’t one of them, here a retro look back for the last month of the year.
All albums reviewed by Skid
Queen – Flash Gordon
One of two film sound tracks released by Queen, and to be honest , i don’t know what is worse, the film Flash Gordon itself or this album . That said it did reach #10 in the UK album charts which is the same spot the title track gained in the singles chart.
Various – Axe attack
One of the first and absolutely still the best rock compilation album ever released . K-Tel (that well known record label) saw the pound signs for the Christmas market and by Jove what a stroke of genius this was . With a strong TV advert campaign with legendary DJ Tommy Vance voiceover this 14 track slab of brilliance tapped into the rampant NWOBHM market (Maiden – Running free) , the then old school (Sabbath – Paranoid) as well as single & LP chart toppers (Rainbow – All night long , Motörhead – Bomber) resulting in sales gauged in the shed fulls . Throw in Girlschool , Scorpions , Ted Nugent , UFO , AC/DC and more and this various artist record was the ground zero for many young rock fans to start their own voyage of discovery . I can say without a shadow of doubt that without this record I would not be writing this article , have a rock radio show and raging tinnitus. No mix tape could match this various album , it was a game changer.
Fleetwood Mac – Live
Recorded between 1977 and 1980 this double live, double gatefold album is primarily taken off the Tusk world tour and part from a few intimate live recordings has the band in flow across stadia spanning the globe. It is a fair record, i however, prefer the full concert feel instead of live tracks interspersed with less rapturous surroundings.
Crosby, Stills and Nash – Replay
The 6th album was in essence a best of covering material from 1969 onwards .
Journey – Dream after dream
The 7th album from the band , but was a soundtrack to the Japanese film Yume, Yume No Ato. Of the 9 tracks, only 3 had vocals and the direction of Journey was towards prog. Escape this is not or an easy listen.
The Clash – Sandinista
London’s The Clash released this their 4th long player to critical acclaim. It was a triple album consisting of 36 tracks and covering a wide range of genres including jazz, reggae , punk and everything in between. It was the album that split the fanbase and the purists dropped the band as the masses lapped them up and they became icons of British culture. I was with the purists and The Clash for me had gone too far with this release.
Warren Zevron – Stand in the fire
Zevron’s first live album covering only two sides , a worthy listen however, if only for Lawyers ,guns and Money and the defining anthem Werewolves of London. A great album .
Steve Winwood – Arc of a diver
Number 2 solo album from Steve Winwood who played all the instruments and contained his first hit While you see a chance which didn’t impact the UK charts but was well received virtually ever where else. A class album from one of this countries most talented musicians. An essential play.
Various – The decline of Western civilization
Another film track album, this one however covers the LA punk scene and is a statement of fact of what was happening at that time . Tracks from Black Flag , Fear and X as well as others provide the excitement. Two further albums supporting sequel to the films followed. This is see as a milestone in American punk.
Jack Bruce – I’ve always wanted to do this
The ex Cream man’s 7th solo album that critically failed to make an impact to the point that he didn’t record another record for nearly a decade.
Thanks to all those who have helped out for the previous 12 months in compiling this retro look back at releases in 1980 and i hope you enjoyed reading some of the comments.