Tag Archives: 80s Rock

CZAKAN – German rockers return with ‘Unreal’

German hard-rockers CZAKAN return with their first new album in 30 years titled Unreal, due to be released April 14. The band’s 1989 debut State Of Confusion was recently reissued, an album that sold 25 thousand copies in Germany upon it’s original release.

Unreal is straight out of that class of great ’80s hard-rock & aor, think fellow German bands like Scorpions, Frontline and Bonfire, as well as the likes of Dokken and Firehouse. Guitar driven rockers, with keyboards, harmonies, cool solos, 14 tracks. First run through and I like this; like a lost favorite ’80s heavy melodic rock album, with excellent tracks like – “City Nights”, “Under The Gun”, “Living In A Nightmare”, and “Show Me All Your Love”, sounds excellent. Not a duff cut here! If this was an ;80s album, it’d be tough choosing a first single, but lead off rocker “Free Line” will is an excellent choice!

Line Up: Michael Schennach – Vocals, Oliver Güttinger – Guitar, Tom Fein –Keyboard, Randy Arcachon – Drums, Frank Schrafft – Bass




RUSH : Signals 40th anniversary – box set, picture disc…

Rush’s Signals was originally released in September of 1982. Preceded by the single “New World Man”, it marked a change in the band’s sound, with more use of modern keyboards and less heavy guitar. I am sure this was an issue for many Rush fans at the time, but it was a success as the band kept evolving and staying current. The met with mixed reviews, among the most comical being Rolling Stones’ horrible review, calling the band’s latest “duller than ever“, among other things! I wasn’t so into “New World Man”, but the rest of the album (most of) I preferred – particularly “Subdivisions” and “The Analog Kid”, plus favorites like “Countdown” and “Digital Man”.

Not only did the singles get lots of air-play (particularly in Toronto – which is where our closest rock stations were), but the video for “Subdivisions” was a classic, fitting the lyrics of being the outsider trying to fit in – “be cool or be cast out“. The video was filmed in various areas of Toronto (Scarborough), so it’s interesting to see for that aspect as well.

Signals remains one of my Top 3 Rush albums, with the other 2 being Permanent Waves and Moving Pictures – that period where the band sized things down from the lengthy epics to more strong shorter songs, easily accessible for many who might have shied away before. Rush was at their peak with Signals – selling out 3 nights at Maple Leaf Gardens. The album charted at #1 in Canada (their 2nd in a row), #3 in the UK (their 3rd #3), #19 in Sweden, and #10 in the US, while “New World Man” would become the band’s biggest single in the US, and “Subdivisions” would become a mainstay in the band’s live show thereafter (As far as I know…was it ever out of the live set?) Again, another interesting and iconic cover design by Canadian Hugh Syme.

And all of this brings me to the 40th anniversary release of Signals – particularly the box set, coming out in April. ( The re-issue will be available in three versions – Super Deluxe Edition, one-LP Picture Disc Edition, and Dolby Atmos Digital Edition). Upon seeing what’s coming (and what’s been on previous Rush box’s), I am pretty torn about this one, somewhat disappointed. There is the LP, 4 singles, CD (2015 remaster), a blue-ray disc, a hard cover book, poster, new artwork, prints, etc… You can check out the full details here > https://www.rush.com/signals-40th-anniversary-release/

What this Signals box doesn’t have, however – is anything new to listen to, ie – a live recording from the era, And that is a big drawback for me. Retailing at $229 US (!) – and No live show or rare live tracks … !? Hard to believe, but I guess possible, that maybe something of top quality just doesn’t exist!? (Maybe a bigger Rush collector can clarify?) I love the artwork (and keen to see all the new art from Hugh Syme), as well as the 40 page book, and all, but ….for me – I like to get something (new to me) to listen to. Maybe I’ll just eventually end up getting the new picture-disc version of Signals.







BLLY SQUIER returns with new music

Bill Squier, who released such classic ’80s albums as Don’t Say No, Emotions In Motion and Signs Of Life, is returning with a new record after years of being out of the music business. Following 1993’s Tell The Truth, Squier was done with Capitol Records, and would record just one more album – 1998’s Happy Blue, an acoustic album on J-Bird Records, before seemingly disappearing.

But in the past months there’s been signs of a return and finally a confirmation. Longtime friend and bass player Mark Clarke posted on his facebook page (accompanied by a new photo) back in November that he’d been in the studio with Billy, recoding a new song. They’ve also posted brief snippets of new music titled “Give Her A Kiss”. (Now on youtube)

A few days ago, an announcement came from Eddie Trunk – “Psyched to announce I will be world premiering the first new full band / electric Billy Squier song in about 20 years! March 7th 3:30P ET on #TrunkNation SiriusXM 103 Faction Talk or SXM app. And Billy will join me for an exclusive live interview to discuss it! Do not miss it! As a lifelong fan excited for this and honored Billy is breaking it on my show. Billy Squier

So, finally new music from Billy Squier will come out! Now, if someone would reissue a few of the later albums on vinyl!





APRIL WINE – Myles Goodwyn retires from live performances

Canada’s APRIL WINE got together in 1968, moved to Montreal, signed to Aquarius Records, and released their first album in 1970. That album featured the hit single “Fast Train”. And from there, April Wine went on to become one of the biggest band’s in Canada. By the time the band’s 3rd album was released Myles Goodwyn was the lone original member. He sang lead, played guitar, and wrote the majority of the band’s material. Over time, he would go on to write almost all of the band’s material, add keyboards, and produce. Guitarist Brian Greenway joined in 1977, and the band took off with the hit “Roller”, from the album First Glance. April Wine split in the mid ’80s, but reformed in the early ’90s, recording more studio albums, and touring extensively. After a number of personal changes only Goodwyn and Greenway remained from the band’s classic late 70s-early 80s classic era. Now Myles Goodwyn has announced his retirement from touring with the band that he lead for 5 decades. Replacing him will be Montreal musician Marc Parent, from the Ottawa based band Eight Seconds. Goodwyn posted on Facebook on December 19 (with the above photo): “New April Wine group to hit stages everywhere in 2023. (l to r) Brian Greenway, Marc Parent, Richard Lanthier and Roy Nichol. Although I’m still in the band writing, recording the guys and producing, I am now officially retired from touring. My last stage performance after 50+ yrs. on the road, will be in Nova Scotia, March 2, 2023. It all started here and ends here for me. I will miss the shows, the fans and the other bands that have been friends for years, but health reasons have made this decision necessary. Cheers everyone and thanks for all the support over the years.”

Brian Greenway commented (further on) – “The new fellow’s name is Marc Parent from the band 8 Seconds. He plays excellent guitar and sings great! He was hand picked and is a gift as he can play and sing a lot like Myles. The song book will carry on. It’s all about the songs.”

In recent years Myles Goodwyn has recorded and released 3 solo albums – Myles Goodwyn and Friends of the Blues (2018), Friends of the Blues 2 (2019), and his most recent (2021) Long Pants. There has also been talk of a new April Wine album over the last couple of years, hopefully that will still happen. The band’s catalogue has more recently been reissued on colored vinyl via Unidisc.

*For more details on Myles’ decision to retire from touring and his choice of replacement check out this CTV interview – https://atlantic.ctvnews.ca/april-wine-s-myles-goodwyn-announces-tour-departure-1.6201900







CONEY HATCH release track from forthcoming album Postcard From Germany

Canadian rockers Coney Hatch have released a track from their forthcoming live album Postcard From Germany. The album will be out early next year. (See previous post for further details.)

The live cut now available is the classic “Devil’s Deck”, which opened the band’s 1982 debut album. The song is one of the album’s best known tracks, along with “Monkey Bars” and “Hey Operator”, and is always a highlight of the band’s live show. The track is available to stream and the album can be pre-ordered digitally – https://found.ee/ConeyHatchPFG (and see Youtube below)

*As previously noted the band will be playing the entire debut album at the El Mocambo on December 29. May be tix still left, see the press release below…


The El Mocambo in Toronto is undoubtedly one of the most instantly recognizable names when it comes to music venues. After all, such iconic artists as the Rolling Stones, Elvis Costello, the Cars, and Stevie Ray Vaughan have all performed at the legendary hall over the years (and also issued recordings from their performances there). And on Thursday, December 29, 2022, Canadian hard rockers Coney Hatch will headline the venue – to celebrate the 40th anniversary of their gold-certified self-titled debut.

VIP tickets will include entry to the venue early to witness part of the soundcheck, plus a meet & greet with all four members and a photo with the band. The band will also autograph one item per person. Details TBA – limited to 50, so purchase quickly before they sell out! Tickets can be purchased via this link: https://www.ticketweb.ca/event/coney-hatch-40th-anniversary-under-the-neon-palms-at-tickets/12695535

The El Mocambo performance will be a homecoming of sorts for the band (lead vocalist/guitarist Carl Dixon, guitarist Sean Kelly, bass player/vocalist Andy Curran, and drummer Dave Ketchum), as they previously played the venue in 1983, and hail from Toronto. To mark this special occasion, the band will be performing the debut album in its entirety that evening (a recording that spawned such hard rock gems as “Monkey Bars,” “Devil’s Deck,” and “Hey Operator”). This is Hatch’s only Canadian show before they start a UK tour in January 2023 (opening a string of dates for Steve Harris’ British Lion). The show will also include additional songs from their extensive catalog.

“The El Mocambo is a venue that has been near and dear to our hearts,” says Curran. “All of the Coney’s loved performing there and we all saw so many amazing bands and artists perform there, as well. It’s so rich in history and the logical place for us to perform our debut record for the 40th anniversary for our hometown Toronto fans.”

Also, arriving soon from the Hatch will be a live album, ‘Postcard from Germany.’ “We’re very excited and grateful that after all these years, we’re still getting along and releasing new songs. We’re a brotherhood and this new live record totally captures the spirit of Coney Hatch live. In your face double guitar attack! Also two spankin’ new songs to boot! That’s a pretty cool thing for our fans.”

But first, Toronto fans will get the unique opportunity to close 2022 by witnessing Coney Hatch perform a classic album…at a classic venue!




CONEY HATCH – Live in Germany coming soon!

(Photo: H. Dixon, 2018)

Following on from last year’s release Live At The El Mocambo, Canadian rockers Coney Hatch have another live album almost ready to go. Recorded Live at the H.E.A.T. Festival in Germany, in December of 2018, the recordings were put on hold for release at the time when the offer to record at the El Mocambo came up, as the El Mocambo show would give the band the opportunity to also capture live video, as well as include “Hey Operator”, one of the band’s signature songs – which they had oddly forgot to play that night in Germany.

The upcoming live album will also include 2 bonus studio cuts that were completed in 2021 – “About A Girl” and “Heaven’s On The Other Side”.

“We’re excited to bring you a new live album recorded at the HEAT Festival Germany and put together by fine engineers in Canada. Available on CD and vinyl, the album also has two new Coney originals & freaking fine tracks they are.”

Coney Hatch Live In Germany (if that is the title!?) will be released via Explorer1 Records on CD & Vinyl LP, with the band aiming for an early 2023 release date. Artwork and track-listing to follow, as well as pre-order announcement.






TALAS – Return to 1985

Buffalo’s TALAS had gone through many changes over their years of activity from the early 70s to the mid 80s. The 3-man line up of Billy Sheehan, Paul Varga and Dave Cosentino had reunited a number of times, but in 2017 Billy Sheehan reassembled the last incarnation of the band he was in (pre David Lee Roth Band; MK 2) – with singer Phil Naro, drummer Mark Miller, and new guitarist Kire Najdovski (in place of Mitch Perry). The band played several shows over the few years prior to Covid shutting down shows, and then the passing of Phil Naro (RIP). But in there the band signed with Metal Blade and recorded a new album. In fact they recorded the album they really intended to in 1985! Almost all of these songs came from that period of the band, with a couple having been included on the band’s 1984 live release Live Speed On Ice. So, for fans one could say this was long overdue and a most welcome album.

1985 kicks off with “Inner Mounting Flame”, a hard driving fast rocker that sets the tone for what’s to come, you’d be hard pressed to find a better album opener IN 1985! The album was recorded in Mark Miller’s house, and it’s very energetic and has a very live feel to it all. Tracks like “Do You Feel Any Better” (originally on the live ’84 album), “On The Take”, “Come When You Call”, “I’ll Take The Night”, and “Close To The Killer” are all enjoyable Talas rockers. Also included is “Power To Break Away”, which pre-dates the Phil Naro years (see youtube), and debuted on Mk 1’s 1998 live album If We Only Knew Then What We Know Now, and “Crystal Clear” – which also was included on the live ’84 album, as well as covered by Jim Crean (on his Velvet Crush album, feat Naro on backing vocals). The one ‘new’ track is “Black & Blue”, which a bit slower paced, near ballad; Phil’s vocal on the verses reminds me a bit of Kiss’ “I Love It Loud”. A good addition to the mix.

A great return album from Talas, though saddened that Phil Naro is no longer here to see it and see the reaction. The guy did an amazing job leaving fans with 2 excellent albums – Talas 1985 and Lips Turn Blue LTB (released a few months ago). Rockers will dig this album, it sounds awesome, probably a bit heavier than Talas’ 2 early studio albums, with lots of cool intros, riffs, and guitar solos. Love the album cover, very 80s, very fitting!

CROSSON – Ready, Aim… Rock! (new album)

The latest from Australia’s CROSSON, Ready, Aim…Rock! is a fun album full of ’80s influenced hair metal, and anthems. Lots of great rock and riffs here, such as “Fallen From Grace”, “One Way Love Affair”, and the title track. Lots of thought put in to the whole production with big intros, choruses, and solos, and backing vocals, check out tracks like “United”, “Take On The World”, and lighter cuts like “The Way It Is”. Well worth checking out!

*for more info check out the bio below, as well as the clips I’ve included, and links…

If it’s fist- pumping, uplifting, catchy stadium rock anthems that you are looking for, then it’s time to turn it up to eleven as Aussie Theatrical Glam Rockers CROSSON return all-guns blazing, with their sixth studio album Ready, Aim…. Rock !!  
Once again mixed by legendary U.S engineer / producer Duane Baron (Ozzy Osbourne, Motley Crue, Alice Cooper, Poison) and mastered by U.S mastering giant Dave Donnelly (Aerosmith, KISS, Whitesnake), Ready, Aim…. Rock !! punches you in the face from the opening chords and erupts with ten infectiously catchy, highly addictive rock tunes.

Writer, vocalist and producer Jason Crosson stated: ” ‘Ready Aim .. Rock !!’ is definitely the most sophisticated and mature CROSSON album to date. It still includes the catchy, stadium rock anthems that you’d expect, but being careful not to repeat ourselves and also grow musically, my admiration and respect for Jim Steinman ( writer for Meat Loaf / Bonnie Tyler) was channeled during the writing process which can be heard on songs like ‘United’,  ‘The Way It Is & ‘Love Is Endless’ .

The album was tracked in Sydney at 3By3 Studios and introduces guitar virtuoso Marko Rado, whose solos will definitely raise eyebrows.  The band’s long term live drummer Kyle Barr, provides an explosive backbeat, whilst the Queen-esq backing harmonies send chills down the listener’s spine.

Directed and edited by Lord Tim (Lord), the first video from the album, ‘United’, shows CROSSON in all their glory unleashing their electrifying, energetic, choreographed stage moves while showing the band’s history with archival footage.  The second video ‘Fallen From Grace’ depicts a horror movie setting with the CROSSON dancers appearing as fallen angels and casting their demonic spell over the band that transforms them into rock ‘n roll demons.  

CROSSON will commence their Australian National tour in October with Sweden’s Crashdiet and Australia’s Sisters Doll.  

The album will be exclusively available on CD in Europe via http://www.prideandjoy.de/shop

Ready, Aim…. Rock !! comes crashing from the stratosphere on 9 September 2022 via Galaxy Records!






SALLY STEELE – ’80s recordings get released

For fans of ’80s hard rock comes this official release of Sally Steele’s recordings from 1988 and 89. Alone in Love (1988-1989) features six tracks of guitar driven rock that sounds like it could’ve done well had it come out back in the day. Call it ‘hair metal’ or whatever, but there’s some good stuff with rockers like the title track that kicks things off here, as well as “Too Bad (It Had To Be You), and the keyboard infused “Leave My Heart Alone”. There’s also the power ballad “The Only One”. Any of these songs would’ve fit nicely on radio in the ’80s.

Sally Steele would go on to great success starting and publishing Vegas Rocks! Magazine, as well as VegasRocksTV.com

*for more info check out the press release and links below…

Vintage ‘80s Metal Recordings From Video Vixen SALLY STEELE Finally See Worldwide Release!

Los Angeles, CA – With her teased-up blonde hair and supermodel looks, it’s no surprise that Sally Steele found herself cast in music videos by the likes of Loverboy, Eric Carmen, Bruce Willis and others. But her true passion was always in music creation and so, in 1986, she put a band together and started performing shows in the musical mecca of Hollywood’s Sunset Strip.

Soon she crossed paths with mega producer Paul Sabu (Heart, John Waite, Glass Tiger and more) who helped Steele bring two of her songs to life, “Too Bad (It Had To Be You” and “Leave My Heart Alone.” A music video was filmed for the latter and premiered on MTV’s Basement Tapes show in 1988.

After some personnel changes, Steele’s band soldiered on with more songs and recordings. They became regulars at The Coconut Teaser, FM Station, Madame Wong’s and The Whisky. However, as the music scene began to change in the early ‘90s Steele decided it was best to hang up her guitar – but she never lost her true passion. As Steele puts it “It was back when the Seattle grunge scene had replaced the music I loved from the ‘80s and I was told my music was ‘too commercial.’ But here we are today and I am so excited to finally get my material out to the world. I hope you enjoy my songs from the 1980s. And one thing that has never changed is – I still live and breathe rock n’ roll 24 hours a day!”

Stream/download the album: https://orcd.co/8qdbo1a




SERPICO – The Chosen Four, out now!

From Finland, Serpico (great name!) has released their 3rd full album – The Chosen Four (cool album cover by Rauli Mard) . A fun set of somewhat ’80s influenced hard rockers. Cool lead off track “Riverbanks” reminds me of early ’80s Kiss (especially that intro). Lots of ‘rock’ here, via anthems “Rock Your Brain”, “I Am A Rocker”, and “Holy Rocks Outta Body” (the latter featuring a nice Chuck Berry sounding inspired intro). All guitar driven rockers, No keyboards! Best cuts being “Midnight Cowboy” and the heavy power ballad “Dark Energy”.

*For more info check out the press bio below …

Finnish rockers Serpico released their latest album  “The Chosen Four” this July 1st, via Rockshots Records. The album was produced by platinum-selling Finnish record producer Anssi Kippo (Children of Bodom, Hanna Pakarinen, Teräsbetoni).

“Warmth of full analog sound is the key word on this particular record. There are many things you have been missing out on in music and in the listening experience, I think. We hope fans will pay full attention to the album and go along with the music. I must say there is no way back from the world of analog recording once you step into it. This is the way we are going to do it from this moment on.” adds vocalist Vee Dour.

“People will definitely notice its high quality in songs, production, the sound & versatility if comparing to nowadays, dull sound world n’ song arrangements. Also, there’s a big difference when doing it all by full analog session, which we did. So, it’s gonna stand out pretty easily from the masses, I think. Although I hope so.” also adds drummer Jani Serpico.

Album pre-order links:
Vinyl – https://bit.ly/TheChosenFourVINYL
CD – https://bit.ly/TheChosenFourCD

Since Serpico‘s inception in 2005, they have released two full-lengths “Rose Tattoo” (2018), ‘Shallow Mistress” (2014), and an EP “Bad Commercial” (2011) along with touring all over Finland, Sweden, Estonia, Latvia, and England. The band is genuine and unique Rock n’ Roll with big respect for the classic titans.

SERPICO is: Vee Dour – Lead Vocals / Snake – Lead guitars & backing vocals / Andy – Bass & backing vocals / Jani Serpico – Drums & backing vocals.

1. Riverbanks
2. Midnight Cowboy
3. Rock Your Brain
4. I Am A Rocker
5. Dark Energy
6. Silent Love
7. Smokin’ Hot Mama
8. Holy Rocks Outta Body
9. The Last Days Of Monopoly

For more info: