Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s ‘too lewd to be shown’ music video for ‘Relax’
07:53 am


Frankie Goes To Hollywood

In 1983, a band of five young lads from Liverpool appeared on hip British music show The Tube. The band was called Frankie Goes To Hollywood, who apparently took their name from a tabloid headline about Frank Sinatra, and consisted of Holly Johnson (lead singer), Paul Rutherford (vocals, keyboards), Peter Gill (drums), Mark O’Toole (bass), Brian Nash (guitar). They had a fine selection of songs including “Relax,” and “Two Tribes,” and rather original fashion sense, incorporating boxing and bondage gear. Even so, they were making little headway as were still unsigned to any record label.

They did, however, have management, who financed a demo video to hawk around record companies in hope of a deal, as Holly Johnson later recalled in his autobiography, A Bone in My Flute:

Bob and Sharon Johnson, who had recently become our London-based managers, arranged for us to make a video demo of two songs. Bob had a friend at Arista Records (Simon Potts) who invested six hundred pounds. We recorded ‘Two Tribes’ and ‘Relax’ in a sixteen-track studio in Clapham [London]. A while later Bob hired a video camera, which was operated by a photographer friend of his. We used the basement of the Hope and Anchor to record our performance. During the recording, the manager of the venue drew Bob aside and accused him of using the premises to make a porn video.

We had really gone to town on the bondage look. I wore a pair of leather knickers and an old Seditioneries cropped T-shirt, with unzipped nipple holes and bike tyre pieces on the shoulders. that I had inherited from [Dead or Alive singer] Pete Burns. Paul purloined a pair of leather thigh guards that strapped at the back, which left his arse completely bare. He also waved around a fake Luger. We dressed the boys in denim shorts with the odd bit of leather. Mark wore a black ‘Lone Ranger’ mask and denim shorts. The Leather Pets [backing dancers] were there in studed leather mini dresses and suspenders holding up laddered stockings; we chained them to the scaffolding.

The video was, by Johnson’s own admission, “very seedy and tacky” and included a sequence of “simulated sodomy” that Holly performed on Paul.

For any era this video was outrageous. Unfortunately it didn’t have the desired effect. Bob Johnson hawked the video around several record companies, to no avail. The younger A and R men seemed keen but didn’t think they could persuade their older bosses. Island’s Chris Blackwell supposedly sent a telex saying something like ‘Not on my lifetime’. Simon Draper at Virgin allegedly said ‘We’ve already got one old Queen we can’t sell, why do I need another one.’

However, the performance promo did attract interest from Channel 4’s music show The Tube. The show’s proudcers thought the video was “too lewd to be shown” at teatime on a Friday, but were keen to have Frankie Goes To Hollywood interviewed and perform “Relax.” As it turned out, this was the toned-down performance (though still in bondage gear) that won Frankie and record contract and launched their careers, as Holly explains: they came to Liverpool and filmed us at the newly opened State Ballroom, Liverpool’s glitziest disco. We had the use of the laser lighting, which was the latest thing, and the camera men loved doing soft focus crutch [sic] shots of The Leather Pets.

It was a resounding success when it was shown later in the year. The camera somehow liked me.

A member of Yes, who was recording ‘Owner Of A Lonely Heart’ with Trevor Horn, brought the clip to Trevor’s attention. Trevor claimed he could make a number one hit out of that song [“Relax”], then promptly forgot all about us.

Horn didn’t quite forget about Frankie Goes To Hollywood, as he did go on to produce their single “Relax” (which did go to number one) and their excellent debut album Welcome to the Pleasuredome, which all helped FGTH dominate the charts across most of the world in 1984.

This is Frankie’s debut appearance on The Tube, where they performed an early version of “Relax” and were interviewed by Jools Holland.

More Frankie Goes to Hollywood after the jump, including bits from the “lewd” video deemed too extreme for early 80s British telly…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
‘We Are Family’: Nina Hagen’s German reality TV show—yes, really
06:01 am


Nina Hagen

Nina Hagen
This show is SO fucking good, I really wish more of our readership could understand what they’re saying. In 2007 Nina Hagen did this reality TV show called We are Family! So lebt Deutschland (The second part translates as “This is how Germany lives”). It seems it was on the ProSieben cable network. I don’t know “how Germany lives” when the focus is on other subjects, but in Nina’s case it meant sending a camera crew out to LA and following her around for a while. They were able to generate three solid hours of programming, and it’s all up there on YouTube for all to see.

When this was filmed, Nina was 52 and her son Otis, then 16, was living with her. The announcer explains that Otis was raised in France and a few other places, and didn’t live with his mom until a few years ago. They’ve been in LA for four years. In the show, Nina takes Otis to take his driver’s exam, they go shopping, and they visit a nice house for sale with a realtor (Nina doesn’t think much of the house, apparently). The entire thing’s in German, and well, obviously Nina is a force of nature who transcends any attempt to boil her personality down to the weird confines of ANY reality show. She says whatever she wants, whenever she wants, often cackling with mischievous glee. She clearly so does not give a shit, it’s extremely refreshing. Obviously she is wearing the most garishly colorful outfit she can put together without making it seem like she gave it any thought whatsoever. In America the trend is to show “normal folks” or somewhat marginalized (i.e. desperate) C-list celebrities—it’s so awesome to see a reality show with someone who’s pretty intelligent, worldly, discerning, and so forth.

There’s a seven-minute “teaser” that just corresponds to the first seven minutes of the entire thing, which runs three hours. If you speak German or just can’t get enough of Nina no matter how little you understand—believe me, I get it—then you can enjoy both of those. Note that the long-form version has a small but irritating watermark in the middle of the frame, but you can still see everything just fine.
Nina Hagen
Nina inhaling deeply the alluring scent of cabbage
Otis seems like just about the most normal 16-year-old guy ever, which isn’t a dis; you just wouldn’t automatically assume that he was the son of the extravagantly extroverted genius who conceived and recorded Nunsexmonkrock. Otis is trilingual, it seems—his German is perfectly OK, but he does speak with an accent, it’s clearly not his go-to language. Most of what he says in the teaser is pretty innocuous, like Nina’s a great mom and they get along great, stuff like that. He doesn’t like those environmentally friendly detergents because they make his clothes smell weird.

For the shorter video, well, I’m far too lazy to translate the stupid announcer’s patter or Otis’ utterances (even if he seems very nice), so I reckon what people really want to see is what Nina says. So here is that, everything she says, in chronological order. I missed a couple things here and there, but that’s okay, and it’s loosely translated, like I gave a pretty close idea if not perfect. If you read this while watching the video it should sync up pretty sensibly. (Hint: the part where she talks about how amazing the cabbages smell, she says that when she’s smelling the cabbages.)

When you’re 18 years old you can destroy the environment as much as you want!

We’re like an old married couple, aren’t we? Ha!

How can you POSSIBLY live without an auto?!?

Why are they showing us this? I’ve lived in several heavenly places, I know what that looks like, more or less.

Right, left, straight ahead. Where are you, my little boy?

I love LA, here is where I feel the best, in California I can recharge my batteries, here I can make my ideas a reality the best, so I can bring them back to my home country. I belong here. I wouldn’t come here if I didn’t belong here. Hey, my colleagues at the German embassy are also here in Los Angeles. Ask them why they’re here and not in Paris. Because our karma, our destiny, positioned itself here.

Goodness, cabbage! Look Otis, have you ever seen anything like this? It makes my mouth water. You have to get me away from this container (slurps) because it smells so delicious! Cabbage! My god. (smells) [something about how sour it is] It’s delicious, what do you put it in?

Careful, careful, a sauerkraut-bomb.

God, the poor kid must be ashamed of his mom—because she’s so loud.

My son Otis is an absolutely honest guy, he’s up for anything. He knows what friendship means. And he’s still living with his mom—thank God.

My daughter somehow got away from her mother and brother very early, but we still have a very friendly and familial relationship, we talk on the phone every day, we’re always happy when she returns to LA, it’s always a great pleasure when she turns up in LA, and the two of them have a totally wonderful and special relationship, the two siblings. In spirit she is always here with us.

Why did you get Clorox? That isn’t one of the “green” ones.

He doesn’t give a shit! He wants to buy this detergent, I say it’s totally poisonous for the environment, the other supermarket has totally healthy ones.

So for a 16-year-old French-German-American young man, he’s not so interested…..



Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
Famous album covers overlaid onto Google Street View
05:38 am


album covers

Bob Dylan
The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, Jones Street, West Village, New York City
This idea may have been done before this, but I can’t remember seeing it before now. Lots of notable album covers were taken in city streets, so why not overlay some popular album covers onto Google Street View? I once had to take a picture of the building on the cover of Physical Graffiti for a scavenger hunt, so I know exactly where that one is. (You’d never notice it just walking around. For one thing, the big red letters are missing.) I’ve been to London a dozen times and I’ve never done the Abbey Road saunter. I think I’ve been to Ludlow and Rivington and thought about Paul’s Boutique once, not sure.
Moving Pictures, Rush. Ontario Legislature, Toronto
Led Zeppelin
Physical Graffiti, Led Zeppelin. St. Mark’s Place, East Village, New York City

Pink Floyd
Animals, Pink Floyd. Battersea Power Station, Wandsworth, London
Jackson Browne
Late for the Sky, Jackson Browne. Hancock Park, Los Angeles
More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
New Gary Numan video: ‘I Am Dust’
03:57 pm


Gary Numan

Gary Numan‘s star has been on the rise again in recent years as the pioneering electro pop musician’s back catalog has come to the attention of younger fans via the enthusiasms of Trent Reznor, Prince (who calls him a “genius”) and even Kanye West, whose minimalist 808s & Heartbreak album was profoundly influenced by Numan’s cold, sleek sound. In 2008 West said “I was listening to Gary Numan and I ended becoming more polished as a designer. I started to design my tracks.”

Now that is what you might call a sincere compliment from one musician to another.

An even better compliment is when you have your first top 20 album chart entry in thirty years and can mount a world tour after decades in the record store “has bins.”

Numan’s latest, Splinter (Songs From A Broken Mind) is an inspired, dark and heavy piece of work and the new single “I Am Dust” has a uniquely low tech new music video made with an old Hi-8 video camera. Utilizing modified vintage video gear by Tachyons+, a video glitch synth designing team, it was directed by Logan Owlbeemoth with effects by Omebi Velouria.

Like Numan himself, it’s oddly timeless. And… analog.

More Gary Numan after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
‘Bitches Brew’: Miles runs the voodoo down
10:52 am


Miles Davis
Teo Macero

Scroll down for a chance to win a Bitches Brew: 40th Anniversary Collector’s Edition or The Beatles in Mono box set from our sponsor, POPMarket

Back in the heyday of Demonoid, some magnificent person, or persons, unleashed an ISO file that had been made from a quadraphonic reel to reel tape of Bitches Brew, the groundbreaking Miles Davis jazz-rock fusion album of 1970.

Quad was a four channel surround sound format the record labels tried out in the 1970s that was ultimately abandoned. For several years you could buy quadraphonic albums, 8-track tapes and reel to reel tapes (the ultimate “Rolls-Royce” audiophile format of the era) that decoded to four speakers. It was similar enough to today’s 5.1 home theatre systems except that today’s 5.1 music is mixed with an assumption of a front facing listener, whereas with quad it was four speakers and you were more or less in the middle of it. No front or back orientation. It was as if you were standing in the room when it was recorded. Not in the booth, with the band. Popular quad titles included Black Sabbath’s Paranoid (Imagine the sound effects of “Iron Man” swirling around you) and The Best of The Doors which included a live version of “Who Do You Love?” not released in another format and a mix of “Hello I Love You” a 360 degree flanging sound effect. Gimmicky, but very cool. Quad was marketed as “music for people with four ears.”

But back to Bitches Brew. Every serious music fan would have to have at least some familiarity with this album. It’s justifiably included in every single “top 500” of all time lists and most “top 100” lists as well. It is in the top ten best-selling jazz album of all time, too. I’m not going to “review” an album that’s been a well-established cornerstone of 20th century music, but I will say that hearing the performances on Bitches Brew in surround sound is an incredible revelation, almost like hearing it for the first time.

Here’s why: There is a hell of a lot going on at the same time in Bitches Brew. There were two electric keyboard players. Joe Zawinul was placed in the left channel of the stereo mix and Chick Corea in the right. (They’re joined b the great Larry Young on a third electric piano in “Pharoah’s Dance”!) There were two drummers, 19-year-old Lenny White’s kit is heard in the left channel and Jack DeJohnette is on the right. You had both Don Alias and Juma Santos (credited as “Jim Riley”) on congas and other percussion. Dave Holland played floor bass while Harvey Brooks played electric bass.

And then you still had Miles’ trumpet, Wayne Shorter’s sax, Bennie Maupin’s bass clarinet and John McLaughlin on guitar! This is a very “crowded” thing for two speakers to accurately reproduce, but the quad mix opens all of this up into a considerably wider sonic vista and gives the listener a very, very good spatial sense of who was standing where when the recordings were made and even how big the studio was. It’s probably as close as you can get to being in a room with Miles Davis playing his trumpet, like an audio hologram.

The album was recorded live on eight tracks over the course of three sessions (August 19-21, 1969) in New York and then extensively, even radically, manipulated in post production by producer and longtime Davis collaborator Teo Macero. Ray Moore (mixing and editing engineer) quoted by Paul Tingen, author of the fascinating book Miles Beyond: Electric Explorations of Miles Davis, 1967-1991 gives some insight into the recording:

Like In A Silent Way, Bitches Brew was recorded live on 8-track tape, which meant you had a lot of spill. Engineer Stan Tonkel complained to me that Miles wanted John McLaughlin right next to him, which meant there was a lot of trumpet on the guitar track. You had the good and the bad together on all the tracks, and a lot of information that you didn’t really want, which meant that we had to work hard on the mixing. Teo decided where the edits would be, and I executed them for him. Some of the edits were done on the original 8-track, others on the 2-track mix. The edits could be for musical, or for technical reasons, for example to correct levels. We also added effects to the mix, such as the repeat echo on Miles’s trumpet [which can be heard at the beginning of “Bitches Brew” and at 8:41 in “Pharaoh’s Dance”]. When I was working with Teo in the early 1990s on a recording of a performance by Miles in Newport in July 1969, I was surprised to hear that Miles was actually playing an effect like that. So he and Teo must have been talking about this effect before the recording of Bitches Brew.

The sessions included Davis compositions that had been developed live by the band, “Pharaoh’s Dance,” composed by Joe Zawinul and the Wayne Shorter ballad “Sanctuary.” Macero then worked his magic utilizing tape loops, delay, reverb chambers and echo effects. Macero’s contributions to Bitches Brew are well-documented. He would lift a few inspired bars from one thing and graft it on to another section, or repeat something in order to give the improvisations a structure that listeners would recognize as “songs.” It was an unprecedented way to work in a studio at that time.

Why Sony has never put the quad Bitches Brew out on a legitimate release baffles me, it’s not like they don’t do a new Bitches Brew release every few years. Maybe they don’t even realize it’s in their vaults? Who knows? Sony did do jazz fans and historians a favor when they put out a fascinating box set of the sessions that followed the August 1969 Bitches Brew recording with the somewhat confusingly titled The Complete Bitches Brew Sessions. It’s not the raw material recorded before Macero worked his magic on the tapes, as you might expect but rather the best of the material recorded with (basically) these same musicians in the months afterwards. Come the following year Miles would dump the multiple keyboard line-up and go with a more guitar-heavy jazz rock sound. There’s also the Bitches Brew: 40th Anniversary Collector’s Edition that came out in 2010 that features the 1988 remastered version of the album (which was always considered notoriously “murky” sounding), a vinyl replica of the original 2-record set gatefold sleeve by Mati Klarwein and a DVD of a stellar live set of the Miles Davis Quintet filmed in Copenhagen, in November 1969, just weeks after Bitches Brew was laid down.

In the video below, Teo Macero reveals his trade secrets of working on Bitches Brew, how he supported Miles Davis creatively and does the single best Miles impression you’ll ever hear:


Smoking hot live version of “Spanish Key” performed at the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970

This post was sponsored by POPMarket.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
‘Ralf And Florian’: The Kraftwerk sitcom
09:48 am



When I think of Kraftwerk’s Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider my mind immediately goes to comedy, right? The techy Teutonic twosome are a barrel of laughs. Like the early-80s American TV sitcom Bosom Buddies crossed with “Sprockets.” 

Just discovered in a Dusseldorf car boot sale is this rare pilot for the uncommissioned Kraftwerk sitcom, “Ralf and Florian.”

Shame it never made it, as Ralf Hutter has great comic timing and could have been the next Alf Garnet.

This is perhaps the funniest unfunniest thing you’ll see today.

Video by YouTuber Braces Tower.


Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
Frank Zappa as record label honcho in ‘From Straight to Bizarre’

By far the majority of artist-run record labels exist as mere vanity imprints, releasing an album or two by the musician/would-be entrepreneur him/herself, and that’s that. Noteworthy exceptions are certainly around—Trent Reznor’s Nothing Records and Null Corporation, Ani DiFranco’s Righteous Babe, and Jack White’s Third Man are a few artist-run labels that have achieved significant successes.

An early example of such an artist using his own label to bypass the strictures of major label deals is, unsurprisingly, the iconoclastically independent-minded Frank Zappa. In the late ‘60s, when Verve Records inexplicably missed their deadline to re-up Zappa’s contract, he and his manager Herb Cohen used that leverage to establish their own production company and label, to retain creative control, and to release artists they favored. The labels they established were Straight Records and Bizarre Records. Between them, in a mere five years of existence, the labels released albums by Lenny Bruce and Wild Man Fischer, and now-immortal recordings like Alice Cooper’s Love It to Death, Tim Buckley’s Starsailor, and Captain Beefheart essentials like Trout Mask Replica and Lick My Decals Off, Baby.

Tom O’Dell’s 2011 documentary From Straight to Bizarre tells the labels’ story in detail, through interviews with Pamela Des Barres, John “Drumbo” French, Sandy “Essra Mohawk” Hurvitz, Kim Fowley, Alice Cooper’s Dennis Dunaway and the Mothers of Invention’s Jeff Simmons, among many others. YouTube user Treble Clef has broken the feature-length doc into short chunks for your piecemeal viewing convenience. There’s a lot of illuminating stuff herein, so please, enjoy.

More after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
The night Mott the Hoople’s Ian Hunter sneaked into Elvis Presley’s home
04:50 am

Pop Culture

Mott the Hoople
Ian Hunter

Mottt the Hoople’s Ian Hunter wrote one of the best ever books written about life on the road. It was called Diary of a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star, and in it Hunter told the story of Mott’s American tour in November and December, 1972.

Mott the Hoople was one of the greatest (and sadly under-rated) bands of the 1970s, who were saved from disbanding in 1971 by David Bowie (a fan) gifting them “All the Young Dudes” to record.

During thier five week American tour, Hunter kept a diary detailing the adventures, the tedium, the groupies, the second-hand guitar shops, the performances and meetings with David Bowie, Frank Zappa and Keith Moon. It’s an enjoyable read, more so because of Hunter’s enthusiasm, and child-like wonder at the novelty of life in the States.

One night, towards the end of the tour, after the band had played Memphis, Hunter (a little worse for wear) decided he wanted to visit Elvis Presley (as you do), and begged his driver Ike to take him to “the legendary Gracelands, home of the king himself”.

“We get out at the gate (the one with the notes) and survey total unreality in the cool Memphis night air. One of his many cousins comes out and we ask boldly if we can drive up the little road to his place, but the guy’s not having any. Elvis is in. He’s been here two or three days, and he’s just got back from the pictures an hour and a half ago so they won’t let anybody near the place. The best he can do is open the gate so we can get a clear view and he gives us a picture postcard. In my drunken state I decide this ain’t enough.”

The driver distracted the guard’s attention, and Hunter was pushed up onto a small sidewalk, where he casually made his way to Elvis’s front door.

“...I’m expecting any minute to be pulled back. Miraculously, the guards didn’t notice, and I was wearing an afghan, so they must have been bloody blind and I just went on.”

It was just before Christmas and Prelsey’s lawn had an illuminated nativity scene.

Blue bulbs outlined the driveway, and outside the front of the house were red, yellow, blue, green Christmas trees either side of the main door. It’s not really a huge house, in fact quite modest for the size of the grounds. There seem to be columns by the front door and two huge flashy chrome cars stood outside.

Hunter moved towards the back of the house, where there were more cars, and he heard dogs barking, “but you know what it’s like when you’re pissed.”

I walk across under the patio and there’s the back door. I turn the knob and it opens. Fuckin’ hell! Am I dreaming? I’m in the dude’s house; he’s somewhere within 50 feet of me now, but I daren’t go further. Inside the door there’s two more doors - one on the right looks like a sports room, but I’m a bit too far gone to tell properly, and the one on the left looks more like where he’d be - plush carpeting, a short hall and what looks like a staircase. I’ll never know if these doors opened or not because I didn’t try them. Instead, I knocked loudly. No answer. I knocked again and a black lady, very nicely dressed, peered at me through the window. I’ve since found out that it was probably Alberta, Presley’s maid.

‘I’ve come four-and-a-half thousand miles to see Elvis Presley - is it possible to see him?’
‘I’m sorry, Mr. Presley’s tired and he ain’t seeing anybody.’
‘Are you sure I can’t see him?’
‘Yes, I’m definitely sure.’
‘Well I’m sorry for the inconvenience, and I’ll go back to the gate. Don’t worry, I’m knocked out to have gotten this far. Thanks anyway.’
‘You’re welcome. Good night.’

I felt elated. I didn’t really want to meet the guy - he’d have only gotten angry at me staggering in in the middle of the night and invading his privacy. I felt like a 14-year-old groupie - but I’d done it for the buzz, and it had been great! To tell the truth, I’d get a bigger buzz out of Jerry Lee Lewis, but there I’d been, in the king’s house, and fooled the entire army. Actually I hadn’t fooled them that well because as I wandered round the front a wagon was waiting.”


Mott the Hoople reformed in 2009 and 2013 for a series of concerts, and the brilliant Ian Hunter continues to perform and produce records of the highest quality (most recently the superb When I’m President), and has a series of tours with the Rant Band in the US and Europe organized for later this year, and if you have the opportunity, I recommend you catch him, details here.

The BBC’s Ballad of Mott doc.

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
Lost track from glammy 70s power pop cult legends, Milk ‘n’ Cookies
09:54 am


Milk 'n' Cookies

For a while, I think Milk ‘n’ Cookies’ eponymous album was one of those records that rock snobs used to test the depths of one anothers’ esoteric knowledge. Though the band members definitely played for more famous outfits (bass player Sal Maida was in Roxy Music and Sparks, and even played on The Runaways “Waiting for the Night”), Milk ‘n’ Cookies’ fantastic combo of pop hooks and glam nastiness always takes a little digging to undercover. The band released one LP in 1975, and their seemingly counterintuitive “cutesy dirtbag” image apparently appealed to both teenyboppers and the crowds of CBGB and Max’s Kansas City.

Despite a loyal New York following, their career was short-lived—when a single didn’t chart their second album was shelved. Members went different directions and Milk ‘n’ Cookies was no more, but the band has experienced a revival in recent years, even playing a reunion show in 2005 to awestruck power pop fans. You can hear a full-length live performance, recorded at CBGB in either 1975 or 1976, at WFMU, and this new (old) track is classic Milk ‘n’ Cookies—girly vocals, dirty guitars, and pumping beat. If you’re not down with Milk ‘n’ Cookies, get on it!

Brooklyn indie Captured Tracks will be releasing a three LP set of the 1975 Milk ‘n’ Cookies album with unreleased tracks, like the one below, “Nots,” later this year.

Via Noisey

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
Barbarian metal is for the children: Manowar on Nickelodeon
06:18 am



Last week, DM brought you grindcore pioneers Napalm Death on children’s TV in the UK. Today, we bring you the kid-vid appearance of the utterly ridiculous Manowar, the single most over-the-top expression of every tacky masculinity-mythologizing hard rock cliché, kitchen-sinked into one band that does its best to always appear as though they’d just stepped out of a Frank Frazetta painting. They gave a performance and interview on Nickelodeon’s often admirably daring Livewire in 1983. (Nickelodeon really needs to offer a home-video compilation of all the musical guests on that show. I would buy that in a second.)

So here’s the thing: yes, Manowar are massively boneheaded. The whole berserker/Conan/I-kill-what-I-eat-and-I-eat-it-raw sartorial vibe stinks of trying too hard, and their musical output is merely B-minus power metal when they’re at their absolute best—if this is the sort of music you’re feeling, Dio’s Holy Diver does the job way, WAY better, so why settle? But dammit, I have a huuuuuge soft spot for wishfully grandiose heavy metal lyrics about how magnificent heavy metal is and how being a heavy metal fan is a man’s noblest calling. Seriously, what other genre outside of metal and hip-hop ever indulges in that level of self-glorification? Try to imagine an elderly Mississippi tenant farmer in 1931 signing about how it was super awesome to have the blues and live in soul-crushing poverty, and how anyone who didn’t was just a puny little half-man. That never happened. Here are some of the lyrics to “Gloves of Metal” from Manowar’s second album Into Glory Ride.

Hear the pounding army of the night
The call of metal summons us tonight.
And gather we on this site
To behold the power and the might.
We wear leather, we wear spikes, we rule the night.

Off with the lights, hear the screams
See the banging heads awaken to their dreams.
The sound of metal so loud it cracks the beams
Played by warriors called the Metal Kings.

A hero’s welcome for those who heed the call.
We are together, we are all.
With hands high fists fill the air
Against the world we stand.
Hands high forever we’ll be there.
Gloves of Metal rule tonight.

© Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.


Livewire previously on Dangerous Minds:
Ramones drop some truth on a little know-it-all (a young Marilyn Manson?) on Nickelodeon, 1981

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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