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THE CASSETTE CHRONICLES – TED NUGENT’S ‘IF YOU CAN’T LICK ‘EM…LICK ‘EM’

By JAY ROBERTS

The Cassette Chronicles is a continuing series of mini reviews and reflections on albums from the 1980’s and 1990’s. The aim of this series is to highlight both known and underappreciated albums from rock, pop and metal genres from this time period through the cassette editions of their releases. Some of the albums I have known about and loved for years, while others are new to me and were music I’ve always wanted to hear. There will be some review analysis and my own personal stories about my connection with various albums. These opinions are strictly my own and do not reflect the views of anyone else at Limelight Magazine.

Full page magazine advertisement for Ted Nugent’s “If You Can’t Lick ‘Em…Lick ‘Em”

TED NUGENT – IF YOU CAN’T LICK ‘EM…LICK ‘EM (1988)

After talking about the Ted Nugent album Penetrator a little while back in this series as a means of paying tribute to singer Brian Howe, I wasn’t sure if (or when) I might hear another album from “Uncle Ted”. But then I was sent a copy of this album and I knew that sooner or later I’d get around to writing about it. Obviously now is that time.

The album was released in 1988 and would end up being his last solo album for seven years. It was just two years later, in 1990, that the first of the two Damn Yankees albums would come out and Nugent was occupied with that band for a while.

We all know that Nugent’s reputation as a wild man of the guitar probably leads us to assume that his music is all kinds of over-the-top guitar driven histrionics with a host of single and double entendres thrown in as song titles and lyrics.

While the latter half of that statement still rings true with If You Can’t Lick ‘Em…Lick ‘Em, I was kind of surprised that the album was less like his 1970’s output and instead featured a distinctly directed focus on the more melody driven rock you would later hear Nugent be a part of with Damn Yankees. There’s plenty of guitar driven uptempo rockers here but you can hear far more melody than you might expect if you mostly know Nugent by reputation rather than a deep knowledge of his catalog.

The first side of the album is a bit hit and miss for me overall but there are some rather outstanding tracks at the same time. The opening song “Can’t Live With ‘Em” seemed a bit muted to me on first listen but when I listened again, I really found myself getting into the uptempo rocker and that feeling that the song was somehow muted and just waiting to bust loose disappeared.

“She Drives Me Crazy” was another rocking bit of music but I didn’t quite connect with the track all that much. As for the album’s title cut, I loved the long guitar solo that played out over the end of the song but if the song was meant to be some kind of anthem, it missed the mark a bit and came off sounding somewhat half-assed. It didn’t work for me at all, which is a shame since I thought the guitar playing was top notch.

But that slight disappointment was overcome by the last couple of songs on Side One. The more riotous feel you might expect from Nugent is amply evident in “Skintight”. The lyrics are not the least bit subtle and yet the song is simply marvelous.

The sex-drenched aspect of Nugent’s songs and lyrics are on full display with the song “Funlover”. That song has a lyrical line that would seem to sum up his philosophy with a nice little bow on it. I mean, there isn’t a whole lot of hidden meaning in a line like “Explicit sex /It ain’t my cup of tea / unless of course/ it’s happening to me”. And yet, between the totally unapologetic lyrics and the incredible soundtrack the vocals are combined with, I can’t help but absolutely love this song.

As for the second side of the album, the biggest shock for me was the first song “Spread Your Wings”. It’s a straight up ballad from start to finish. I kept waiting for a ballbusting burst of rock and roll to change the song’s tempo but Nugent played it straight. His vocal performance was pretty interesting too. Here again, he played it straight. Now, I don’t know if there was some hidden double entendre to the songs lyrics or title that I missed (which I suspect is entirely possible) but I really enjoyed this track a lot because it seemed to show that Nugent can go a little deeper than I would’ve expected. The fact that the song doesn’t go for the more wimpy side of balladry is another strong point in its favor.

Of course, that potential softer and straighter side of Nugent is just a brief moment when you consider the last four songs on the album are straight up rockers. There’s the breakneck speedy rocker “The Harder They Come (The Harder I Get)”. The guitar playing gets your blood pumping and Ted’s vocal growl enlivens the lyrics like “You’ve got 31 flavors…they’re all good enough to eat”. I almost feel ashamed of myself for just how much I loved this song. Pure lust driven rock and roll to liven up your musical playlist, that’s for sure.

“Separate The Men From The Boys Please” is solid but it is the last two songs that really capped off this listening experience for me. “Bite The Hand” has some fantastic guitar work and really got me jazzed up as I listened to the song. The closing track is “That’s The Story Of Love”. It’s a hard rocking song with a very cool vibe to it and there is a great chorus that really helps sell the song to the listener.

However you may feel about Ted Nugent the person, you can’t help but recognize his talents as a musician. I know that Nugent’s work from the 70’s is his bread and butter and that it seems like this period of his music catalog is pretty much ignored but I can’t help but say that I actually quite enjoyed the If You Can’t Lick ‘Em…Lick ‘Em album. It’s a great rock and roll album with an ample dose of pure melody and despite a couple of tracks that didn’t work for me, it was an eye-opening experience for me. Discovering more about this side of Nugent’s musical personality kind of makes me want to explore more of this part of his career to see what else there might be waiting to jump out at me.

NOTES OF INTEREST: The album closing song “That’s The Story Of Love” was co-written by Ted Nugent with Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora.

The If You Can’t Lick ‘Em…Lick ‘Em album was the first album to feature Ted Nugent as the sole lead vocalist. He also played the bass part on the title track.

Chuck Wright, who is best known as the bassist for Quiet Riot, played bass on eight of the album’s songs. The late Pat Torpey (Mr. Big) played the drums for the album. Rhythm guitarist Dave Amato would go on to play with Jimmy Barnes, REO Speedwagon, Cher, Richie Sambora among others.

FILMING LOCATION SPOTLIGHT – “MAMA’S FAMILY”

On the second and fourth Friday of every month in 2020, Limelight Magazine spotlights the filming location site(s) we visited for some of our favorite (and not so favorite) films and TV shows. Today we spotlight the filming location for the TV show Mama’s Family,  which originally aired on NBC from January 22, 1983, to April 7, 1984. Two years later, it was relaunched in first-run syndication and aired until 1990. The top photo is a screen shot taken from the TV show while the photo underneath is what the location looks like when we visited the location. Pictured below is Thelma’s Harper’s residence during the first-run syndication of Mama’s Family. It is located at 1027 Montrose Avenue, South Pasadena, CA.

Note – The “Mama’s Family” house was also the home of Lynda’s character in John Carpenter’s Halloween. It was only featured briefly in the film where Lynda walks toward the front door.

Note – The Mama’s Family house was also the home of Lynda’s character in John Carpenter’s Halloween. It was only featured briefly in the film where Lynda walks toward the front door.

The Cassette Chronicles – Meliah Rage’s ‘Solitary Solitude’

By JAY ROBERTS

The Cassette Chronicles is a continuing series of mini reviews and reflections on albums from the 1980’s and 1990’s. The aim of this series is to highlight both known and underappreciated albums from rock, pop and metal genres from this time period through the cassette editions of their releases. Some of the albums I have known about and loved for years, while others are new to me and were music I’ve always wanted to hear. There will be some review analysis and my own personal stories about my connection with various albums. These opinions are strictly my own and do not reflect the views of anyone else at Limelight Magazine.

MELIAH RAGE – SOLITARY SOLITUDE (1990)

When I wrote about Meliah Rage’s debut album Kill To Survive a couple weeks ago, I was immediately taken with the album. I got into the music from the first song’s intro and kept being drawn back with each successive track.

In the case of Solitary Solitude, I found that a little more work was required for me to have a really good grasp on what I thought about the album.

This was the band’s second studio album but it was actuallly their third release following the 1989 EP Live Kill. It starts out with the title track and while I was pretty impressed with how the music sounded for the song, I had some trouble getting into the vocal take from singer Mike Munro. I’m not quite able to put my finger on why the vocals initially felt off to me, but it is definitely a failing on my part. I say that because after a few plays of the album, the song does grow on you and the vocals do blend in rather seamlessly with the music.

The album’s second track is “No Mind” and that one was just a killer track. Fast and powerfully thrashing about, there was no holding back on how much I loved the track at all.

While all bands are almost assuredly hoping that their music stands the passage of time, I can’t think they expect individual songs to be so completely relevant three decades later. Since 2020 is the 30th anniversary of Solitary Solitude, I think even Meliah Rage would be surprised that the lyrical content of “Decline Of Rule” would be so powerfully connected by what is going on in the world today. The song is still chock fully of thrash metal goodness but there’s also a notable methodical feel to the music at the same time. A lot of the credit for how good the album sounds has to be credited to the guitar work from both Anthony Nichols and Jim Koury.

The final song on the first side of the album is “Deliver Me” and it is an outlier of sorts given the makeup of the rest of the material on the album. This track is pretty slow moving with a sparse musical soundtrack. The somewhat understated feel to the song made it quite intriguing to me.

The second side of the album starts off with the spectacular song “The Witching”. I found it to be more of a straight forward heavy metal song as opposed to more of thrashing neckbreaking tour-de-force. Replete with lyrics that seem straight out of horror movie, this was the song that the band made a video for in order to promote the album.

I wasn’t crazy about the first part of the album’s closing song “Razor Ribbon”, there’s some spoken word set up in the intro and then the lyrics are kind of whispered until FINALLY, the song breaks out in a more frenetic explosion. The second half of the song is really great but it has to work pretty hard to overcome the first part which made me want to hit the fast forward button on my player.

Still, songs like the anti-drug rant of “Lost Life” and the burning metallic rhythms of “Swallow Your Soul” (which features a pretty strong and enveloping lyrical chorus) help tilt the balance of the album towards the positive side of the ledger.

While I had to work a little harder with this one, overall I think Solitary Solitude is a damn good follow up to the band’s debut album. It had a couple of bumps in the road but I still loved hearing the album for the first time. And while I don’t have any more cassettes from the band to write future articles about, I am going to track down the rest of their albums on CD because I find myself becoming quickly enamored with the music of Boston’s own Meliah Rage!

NOTE OF INTEREST: Solitary Solitude was co-produced by Meliah Rage, Tony Moussali and Tom Soares. Tom Soares worked as either a producer, mixer or engineer with other bands such as Pro-Pain, Scatterbrain, Merauder and Wargasm.

Limelight Music Awards rescheduled to 2021

When we initially postponed this year’s Limelight Magazine Music Awards from April 26th to May 31st and then again to September 27th, we hoped things would have turned around regarding the Coronavirus pandemic. As we have gotten closer to the new date, the Covid-19 safety guidelines in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts have been changing on a regular basis.

To adhere to these changing guidelines, we considered various options to keep this year’s event on September 27th. However, every time we came close to deciding upon a new course of action, the state guidelines changed again. For instance, we discussed moving the event outdoors at another venue in New Bedford, but an updated gatherings order went into effect on August 11th reducing outdoor gatherings from 100 to 50 people. Further complicating matters was Rhode Island being added to the Massachusetts travel order requiring visitors arriving from that state to fill out a form, quarantine for 14-days or produce a negative Covid-19 test. There were other options we also discussed but local ordinances prevented us from carry them out.

As a result, we have decided to postpone this year’s Limelight Magazine Music Awards once again. The new date is Sunday, May 23, 2021, beginning at 2 p.m. at the Vault Music Hall, located at 791 Purchase Street in New Bedford, MA. As was previously announced, Stormstress will be hosting the event. Anyone who has already purchased tickets and holds on to them for the new date will be able to enter the venue up to 30 minutes before doors and be guaranteed seating at a table.

We know this event will now take place over a year after voting took place, but we feel an in-person event is the best way to honor this year’s nominees for their contributions to the local music scene in New England.

Thanks again to the New England Music Awards for being the primary sponsor for this event as well as Music Go Round, Athena’s by Michelle M., Boston Rock Radio, East Coast Alice – The Ultimate Alice Cooper Experience, Kokopelli Realty, Rick’s Music World, Seth’s Rock Report, Shell Shock Acoustic, Soundcheck Studios, Taylespun Studio Contemporary Fine Art, Underground Recording Co., Don Burton Media, Purchase Street Records, and the Vault Music Hall for sponsoring the individual awards.

Here is a recap of this year’s nominees:

Album/EP of the Year (Group)  (Sponsored by Purchase Street Records)

  • Bad Marriage – Bad Marriage
  • The Blue Ribbons – Thoughts and Prayers
  • The DayBreakers – Worn Out Dream
  • First Bourne – Pick Up The Torch
  • Red Reveal – Red Reveal
  • Renegade Cartel – Dear World
  • Special Guests – Alumninaughty
  • The Varsity Club – Cobblestones

Album/EP of the Year(Solo Artist)  (Sponsored by Underground Recording Co.)

  • Katie Dobbins – There is Light
  • Carissa Johnson – A Hundred Restless Thoughts
  • Brandon Manter – Off My Mind
  • Amanda McCarthy – Road Trip
  • Grace Morrison – Reasons
  • Monica Rizzio – Sunshine is Free
  • Brian Sances – All My Might
  • Jennifer Truesdale – Trough the Circle

 Band of the Year (Sponsored by Music Go Round)

  • Bad Marriage
  • Crooked Coast
  • The DayBreakers
  • The Devils Twins
  • First Bourne
  • Lily Black
  • Exit 18
  • Moment of Clarity

Country Artist of the Year  (Sponsored by Vault Music Hall)

  • Back Rhodes
  • Houston Bernard Band
  • Blame the Whiskey
  • Annie Brobst
  • Darren Bissette Band
  • April Cushman
  • Martin and Kelly
  • Carly Tefft

 Female Vocalist of the Year (Sponsored by Athena’s by Michelle M)

  • Giuliana Amaral (of Legacy)
  • Gianna Botticelli (a.k.a. Ghost Grl)
  • Kala Farnham
  • Bethany Lawson (of Plastic Angels)
  • Shonna Lee (of Payback)
  • Sarah Levecque
  • Julie Rhodes
  • Amalia Ververis (of Melic Moon)

Frontperson of the Year  (Sponsored by East Coast Alice – The Ultimate Alice Cooper Experience)

  • Nicole Marie Coogan (The Devil’s Twins)
  • Ben Cote (The Ben Cote Band)
  • Alexa Economou (blindspot)
  • Sean FitzGerald (The NB Rude Boys)
  • Carly Kraft (Coral Moons)
  • Jon Paquin (Bad Marriage)
  • James Rohr (The Blue Ribbons)
  • Jackson Wetherbee (The Elovaters)

 Hard Rock/Metal Act of the Year  (Sponsored by Boston Rock Radio)

  • Afterimage
  • Devil in the Mist
  • Heavy AmericA  
  • One Time Mountain
  • Purging Sin
  • Red Sky Mary
  • SiXteenX20
  • Verscythe

 Live Artist of the Year  (Sponsored by Rick’s Music World)

  • The Ben Cote Band
  • Bird Mancini
  • Ashley Jordan
  • Lady Lupine
  • Sons Lunaris
  • Jay Psaros
  • Soul Box
  • We Own Land

 Male Vocalist of the Year  (Sponsored by Soundcheck Studios)

  • Sam Luke Chase
  • Nate Cozzolino
  • Shaun England
  • Chris Fitz
  • Joe Merrick
  • Sam Robbins
  • Michael Spaulding
  • Sam Vlasich (of Red Sky Mary)

 New Artist of the Year  (Sponsored by Music Go Round)

  • Amplifier Heads
  • Blacktop Strut
  • Coral Moons
  • Left of Love
  • Major Moment
  • Melic Moon
  • Red Reveal
  • Abigail Vail

Singer/Songwriter of the Year (Sponsored by Taylespun Studio Contemporary Fine Art)

  • Cara Brindisi
  • Katie Dobbins
  • Kathleen Healy
  • Mary McAvoy
  • Brian Sances
  • Hayley Sabella
  • Ilene Springer
  • Matt Zajac

 Song of the Year (Sponsored by Shell Shock Acoustic)

  • Beautiful Tuesday – “Manteca”
  • Coral Moons – “Fall In Love”
  • Crooked Coast – “Summer”
  • Mark Erelli – “Her Town Now”
  • Lockette – “In the Dark”
  • Amanda McCarthy – “Tiki Bar”
  • Parts Per Million – “No More Days”
  • Magen Tracy & the Missed Connections – “Dirty Little Secret”

Tribute Band of the Year  (Sponsored by Music Go Round)

  • Abraxas – A Tribute to Santana
  • The American Who – A Tribute to The Who
  • Heartbreaker – A Tribute to Led Zeppelin
  • Judas Rising – A Tribute to Judas Priest
  • Live Bullet – A Tribute to Bob Seger
  • The Sickness – A Tribute to Disturbed
  • We Are Hydrogen – A Tribute to Phish
  • The Young Americans – A Tribute to David Bowie

 Video of the Year (Group)  (Sponsored by Seth’s Rock Report)

  • Bad Marriage – “Gateway Drug”
  • blindspot – “Upside Down”
  • Damnation – “Fighting For”
  • Grenon – “Goodbye”
  • Groundlift – “Outta My Head”
  • Major Moment – “May Leave Scars”
  • Special Guests – “Spring Break”
  • The Wolff Sisters – “Drive”

Video of the Year (Solo Artist)  (Sponsored by Don Burton Media)

  • Lisa Bastoni – “Nearby”
  • Kate Eppers – “The Wishing Well”
  • Will Evans – “Family Tree”
  • Kala Farnham – “David”
  • Jamie Hart – “Get Closer”
  • Josh Knowles – “Same”
  • Daniel Miller (featuring Ward Hayden) – “Your Man”
  • Prateek Poddar – “The Gang’s All Gone”

Young Performer of the Year  (Sponsored by Kokopelli Realty)

  • American Ink
  • Sam Chetkin
  • Color Killer
  • Grenon
  • Off Kilter
  • The Nolan Leite Experience
  • Morrissey Blvd
  • Roll Over White

FILMING LOCATION SPOTLIGHT – “DAWN OF THE DEAD” (1978)

On the second and fourth Friday of every month in 2020, Limelight Magazine spotlights the filming location site(s) we visited for some of our favorite (and not so favorite) films. Today we spotlight some of the filming locations for Dawn of the Dead. The film, which was directed by the late George A. Romero, was released in 1978. The top photo is a screen shot taken from the movie while the photo underneath is what the location looks like when we visited in June 2018.

The filming locations for those featured below were taken at the Monroeville Mall in Monroeville, PA.

The Cassette Chronicles – MELIAH RAGE’S ‘KILL TO SURVIVE’

By JAY ROBERTS

The Cassette Chronicles is a continuing series of mini reviews and reflections on albums from the 1980’s and 1990’s. The aim of this series is to highlight both known and underappreciated albums from rock, pop and metal genres from this time period through the cassette editions of their releases. Some of the albums I have known about and loved for years, while others are new to me and were music I’ve always wanted to hear. There will be some review analysis and my own personal stories about my connection with various albums. These opinions are strictly my own and do not reflect the views of anyone else at Limelight Magazine.

MELIAH RAGE – KILL TO SURVIVE (1988)

While I’m sure there are other bands that fit this category for me, Meliah Rage is the first band that comes to mind where I’ve seen them in concert but had never heard their music on an album before now.

The Boston-based metallers are fittingly described as both power and thrash metal. The Kill To Survive album is their debut release. Though it comes in a bit short with just seven tracks on the album, it is the quality of the material that matters to me here.

Mike Munro’s vocals inhabit the band’s music and gives each track he’s featured on both an ominous and sinister feel. He has the requisite growl in his delivery but thankfully never quite fully descends into what you would call “cookie monster vocals”.

The music is powerful, brutal and at times kind of hypnotic. There’s no lack of metallic crunch but there’s a harsh edge of melody to each song at the same time. The guitar work (from Anthony Nicols and Jim Koury) is outstanding. Shredding the six string, the guitars give the material the fuel to go full bore right from the start.

The album opens with “Beginning of the End” which kicks things off in a gripping manner. The band’s ability to grab your interest right at the start gets the listener immensely fired up.

The band gets even heavier on “Bates Motel”, which should need no explanation for the inspiration behind the track.

The “Meliah Rage” song is an instrumental. I would normally bemoan the lack of vocals but for a song that clocks in at 7 plus minutes long, there isn’t a second where I wasn’t drawn into this track.

The more thrashy side of the band’s playing shows up best in “Deadly Existence” and “Impaling Doom”.

I know the term “slow” is relative when talking about thrash metal, but the album’s slowest track, “Enter The Darkness” is still pretty fast and I felt my blood pumping while it played.

Meliah Rage combines the heavy and thrash sides of their songwriting most effectively on the album closing “The Pack”. It’s brutal, unrelenting and displays a committed passion that sweeps you up into the song and slaps you around for the length of the track.

While I’ve known of the band’s existence for decades, the fact that I let their recorded output slip through the cracks for me is a pretty sorry admission to have to make. I have at least one more Meliah Rage album on cassette and I can lay hands on some CD editions of other albums. If they are anywhere near as brutally brilliant as the Kill To Survive album, I may just have found another new band to be musically passionate about for myself.

NOTES OF INTEREST – Godsmack frontman Sully Erna played drums for Meliah Rage and is featured on their Unfinished Business album.

I saw the band live in concert at the 2007 Locofest in Mansfield, MA. The day long concert was headlined by Heaven & Hell, Alice Cooper and Queensryche.

The title track to the band’s Barely Human album was featured in an episode of the TV series The Shield.

The Cassette Chronicles – Firehouse’s self-titled debut

 

By JAY ROBERTS

The Cassette Chronicles is a continuing series of mini reviews and reflections on albums from the 1980’s and 1990’s. The aim of this series is to highlight both known and underappreciated albums from rock, pop and metal genres from this time period through the cassette editions of their releases. Some of the albums I have known about and loved for years, while others are new to me and were music I’ve always wanted to hear. There will be some review analysis and my own personal stories about my connection with various albums. These opinions are strictly my own and do not reflect the views of anyone else at Limelight Magazine.

Full page magazine advertisement for the self-titled debut by Firehouse.

FIREHOUSE – FIREHOUSE (1990)

I HATE FIREHOUSE!

That was a rallying cry for me for any number of years. That gawdawful “Love of a Lifetime” ballad really killed any chance for me to like the band back in the day.

But a funny thing happened about 18 months or so ago. I finally got off my duff and listened to a full Firehouse album. I wrote about the band’s Hold Your Fire release for The Cassette Chronicles in December 2018 and overall, I really enjoyed it.

So the blind hatred softened a lot. But it’s been a while since I’ve been tempted to try and listen to any of their other releases. First off, they aren’t exactly easy to find on cassette these days and then there was the slight fear that Hold Your Fire would be a one-off exception to the admittedly self-made rule.

But on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the band’s self-titled debut album’s release, I figured it was about time I checked out where it all started for the band.

The Firehouse album ended up featuring four songs that were released as singles. While three of them did make some noise on the charts, it was the one that didn’t chart that I ended up thinking the most of overall. “Shake & Tumble” may not have thrilled the singles chart people but there is a darn good edginess to the song that made it stand out to me.

As for the other three singles, you had what have become some of Firehouse’s best known (and loved) songs like “All She Wrote”, “Don’t Treat Me Bad” and of course, the ballad which I mentioned at the top of this piece.

While “Love of a Lifetime” may have found the most success (it hit #5), you will never convince me that it is anything other than a total crapfest. Now you may chalk that up to the fact that I’m never going to be confused as a great romantic, but my skin crawls and my teeth ache whenever I hear this damn song.

But I will say that the other two songs have kind of grown on me a bit over the years. I didn’t think much of “All She Wrote” originally but I’ve come to appreciate the song a lot more than I ever did before now. With “Don’t Treat Me Bad”, there’s an undeniable hook to the song that gets inside you for some reason. Again, the song has grown on me over the years.

The strange thing about the first side of the cassette is how fast moving each song is. There isn’t much rest for the weary as each song rocks out. I didn’t think a whole lot of the opening track “Rock On The Radio”, which I might put down to the song’s overlong and boring intro. But when I got to the last two songs on Side One, I started thinking to myself that the strength of this album seemed to lay with the album tracks over the singles.

On “Oughta Be A Law”, the way the band used the big backing vocal sound to enhance the chorus really gave the song a lift. Meanwhile, “Lover’s Lane” was a purely killer aggressive sounding rocker. It ended up as one of my preferred tracks on the album.

The second side of the album started off a bit slow with the intro on “Home Is Where The Heart Is” but the song’s tempo picked up soon afterwards and it became a solid rock track.

I liked the more slow burning groove oriented feel to “Don’t Walk Away”. The instrumental “Seasons Of Change” was adeptly written and performed but I can’t help feeling it was a little out of place on this album for some reason. Still, it was a decent track and guitarist Bill Leverty certainly earned any and all kudos that comes his way for this track and throughout the Firehouse album.

As with Side One, the standout songs on Side Two were album cuts. Singer C.J. Snare’s elastic vocal scream at the start of “Overnight Sensation” got that track off to a rousing start that continued right to the finish. The album’s closing track “Helpless” is another ballsy rocker that brings things to a frenzied finish and quickly became another track I just couldn’t help but love.

So remember when I said that I was a card-carrying member of the “I HATE FIREHOUSE” club? I may have been overstating things a bit due to an overabundance of pure musical ignorance. While I am not a fan of the band’s ballads in the least, when they cut loose, they really come up with some fiery rock and roll songs that are full of aggressive hooks and loads of melody.

It may have taken me waiting 30 years to get around to it, but I think I just might actually like the band a hell of a lot than I could ever have imagined. You just need to listen to this album for evidence as to my evolving opinion about the band.

NOTES OF INTEREST: The band got loads of recognition and critical acclaim for the Firehouse album. The release went to #21 on the album chart and was certified double platinum.

The song “Don’t Walk Away” was used in the Mickey Rourke film The Wrestler.

The band has released eight studio albums, though they haven’t put a new release since 2011. There was a 1999 live album and there’s been three greatest hits releases as well.

 

FILMING LOCATION SPOTLIGHT – “THE GOLDEN GIRLS” (1985-1992)

On the second and fourth Friday of every month in 2020, Limelight Magazine spotlights the filming location site(s) we visited for some of our favorite (and not so favorite) films and TV shows. Today we spotlight the filming location for The Golden Girls, which aired on NBC from September 14, 1985, to May 9, 1992. The top photo is a screen shot taken from the TV show while the photo underneath is what the location looks like when we visited the location.

Although the house the “Golden Girls” lived was mentioned in the show as being located at 6151 Richmond Street in Miami, FL, the façade was based on a real house located at 245 N. Saltair Avenue in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA.

[As of this posting, the home is currently on the market for $2,999,000 with Douglas Ellimen Real Estate].

The Cassette Chronicles – Glass Tiger’s ‘The Thin Red Line”

By JAY ROBERTS

The Cassette Chronicles is a continuing series of mini reviews and reflections on albums from the 1980’s and 1990’s. The aim of this series is to highlight both known and underappreciated albums from rock, pop and metal genres from this time period through the cassette editions of their releases. Some of the albums I have known about and loved for years, while others are new to me and were music I’ve always wanted to hear. There will be some review analysis and my own personal stories about my connection with various albums. These opinions are strictly my own and do not reflect the views of anyone else at Limelight Magazine.

GLASS TIGER – THE THIN RED LINE (1986)

It might be tempting to dismiss the Canadian band Glass Tiger as a one hit wonder of a pop group if the only thing you’ve ever heard from them was their big hit single “Don’t Forget Me (When I’m Gone)”.

While that song went to #1 in Canada and #2 in the US, it is pretty much the only song you might hear on any radio station these days.

I know that I’m guilty of enjoying the song and never investigating the band any further. But in getting ready to write this article, I finally got a chance to listen to the album in full and was rather shocked to discover that Glass Tiger’s debut album The Thin Red Line is far more than just one hit single.

In fact, I’d venture to say that while there are two true pop songs (Side Two’s #7 hit single “Someday” being the other hit single), the band has more of a rock and roll feel to the material on the album than a pop sensibility.

Officially  there were five singles released from The Thin Red Line but three of them made no real mark on the charts. However, I think that’s actually a bonus for my purposes.

The title track leads off the album and it immediately struck me that it was a song you couldn’t expect to hear from “just a pop group”. There’s definitely a hook to the song’s music but nothing that would make you think of it a straight forward pop track. There’s a really cool tone to the song that initially threw off my admittedly preconceived notions for the album.

The song “Closer To You” was the only track I felt didn’t quite hit the mark. It starts out intriguingly enough but never fully captured my interest.

But with uptempo tracks like “Vanishing Tribe” and “Looking At A Picture”, I found myself investing a lot of attention to what was going on with the album’s tracks. While “Vanishing Tribe” has a great sound to it, I thought “Looking At A Picture” had a slightly darker tone to the music at the start of the song. That kind of atmospheric feel lights as the song goes on but it did give me the notion that the song was far deeper than just what you hear on the surface of it.

I’m not quite sure what the purpose of the ever so brief introductory piece “The Secret” was but the start of the 2nd side of the album could’ve done without it. Once that is over, the rest of the songs reinforce the feeling I got from Side One. “Ancient Evenings” is pretty damn entertaining and the album closing “You’re What I Look For” ends things in a fast moving manner.

But the songs I really got into the most on this side was “I Will Be There” (a song that featured a huge sound and a solidly driving rhythm to it) and “Ecstasy” which might just be my personal favorite track on the entire album.

It’s true that I had the preconceived idea that listening to this Glass Tiger album would find me thinking of them as a kind of Canadian version of Duran Duran or something. So you can probably imagine how pleasantly surprised I was to discover that the band actually had far more in common with the rock and roll sound I have spent most of my life passionately exploring. The Thin Red Line is definitely an album worth taking a chance on. I think you’ve got a very nice surprise just waiting for you to discover it.

NOTES OF INTEREST: The Thin Red Line was a huge hit for the band. It helped them win three Juno Awards in 1986 including Album of the Year and Song of the Year. It went quadruple platinum in Canada and gold in the US. The album was produced by Jim Vallance and featured Bryan Adams on backing vocals for “Don’t Forget Me (When I’m Gone)” and “I Will Be There”

In 2012, the album was reissued with a second disc that included remixes, live cuts, demos and more.

The band is still active today. Their lineup has remained largely intact, having only changed drummers once and that was in 2003. They’ve released five studio albums, a live disc and three compilation albums since 1986.

Filming Location Spotlight – “Shadow of a Doubt” (1943)

On the second and fourth Friday of every month in 2020, Limelight Magazine spotlights the filming location site(s) we visited for some of our favorite (and not so favorite) films. Today we spotlight one of the filming locations for Shadow of a Doubt. The film, which was directed by Alfred Hitchcock, was released in 1943. The top photo is a screen shot taken from the movie while the photo underneath is what the location looks like when we visited in September 2014.

This filming location used for the Newton home is located at 904 McDonald Avenue in Santa Rosa, CA.