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The Ballad of Jayne – L.A. Guns

The Ballad of Jayne – L.A. Guns

Time for a history lesson about L.A. Guns and their place in heavy metal lore. Long before the Los Angeles hair-metal scene, there was the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, a movement that launched the careers of the famous (Def Leppard, Iron Maiden) to the cult favorites (Motorhead, Saxon) to the obscure (Tank, Raven). Then there was Diamond Head, whose songs Metallica lovingly covered in their garage-band days and later made famous by remaking them … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1990s, Rock

I’ll See You In My Dreams – Giant

I’ll See You In My Dreams – Giant

Talk about your forgotten one-hit wonders, even I don’t remember “I’ll See You In My Dreams” by Giant. Giant is so far off the beaten path of rock history you’ll need GPS and compass skills used by back-country hikers in remote wilderness areas to even locate this band. Giant was essentially a bunch of Christian Nashville session players that decided one day to get together as a band and make records of their own, like Toto in … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1990s, Rock

House of Pain – Faster Pussycat

House of Pain – Faster Pussycat

Today we honor Faster Pussycat and their one-hit wonder “House of Pain.” With songs such as “Cathouse,” “Madam Ruby’s Love Boutique” and the near-novelty “Bathroom Wall,” a heavy metal cousin to “867-5309 (Jenny)” by Tommy Tutone, Faster Pussycat (named for a 1960s movie) was certainly one of the silliest bands to emerge from the Los Angeles “hair metal” scene of the 1980s. “House of Pain,” however, was a serious song: a power ballad about one of … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1990s, Rock

Don’t Close Your Eyes – Kix

Don’t Close Your Eyes – Kix

Teen suicide is a tragic part of life that unfortunately seems to be on the upswing. “Don’t Close Your Eyes” by Kix is one of many teen-suicide anthems. Back in the days when teachers and principals were concerned about gum instead of guns in schools, teen suicide was virtually unheard of. The notion that kids could take their own lives first reared its ugly head in the 1980s, thanks to two highly-publicized court cases involving parents … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1980s, Rock

Honestly – Stryper

Honestly – Stryper

Stryper was scarcely the only Christian heavy metal band, but they were one of the few such groups to attract the attention of the general public (even some non-Christians), if only for a brief time. Their 1987 album To Hell With the Devil (early pressings of which sported a cool cover) came out with perfect timing: Def Leppard, Whitesnake, Poison, Bon Jovi and a host of other hard-rocking bands were riding high on both the … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1980s, Pop

Turn Up the Radio – Autograph

Turn Up the Radio – Autograph

For much of the the 1970s, Los Angeles was known for softer pop-country-folk-rock hybrids such as the Eagles, The Carpenters, Bread, Rumours-era Fleetwood Mac and others. But in 1978, a new heavy metal band from nearby Pasadena fired the first warning shot across the bow of LA-area mellow rock; Van Halen’s debut album, featuring Eddie Van Halen’s fiery guitar licks and David Lee Roth’s howls punctuated by a blistering mix by Ted Templeman, quickly turned … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1980s, Rock