04 March 2019

1978- 50 Years Of Metal

In 1978 Black Sabbath released their last album with their original line up. It was the end of an era, but a group of Americans were about to revolutionise the use of guitar and scrappy bunch of Australians were getting ready to cement their legendary status.

Van Halen- Van Halen

Words by Simon “Skid” Kid

The word classic is often over used; there are many great albums, a lot less classics  but even fewer “game changers”. What makes an album a game changer? It is a selection of songs that alters the landscape, creates its own genre or sub-genre. Black sabbaths eponymous release is one such album, it arguably created heavy metal, in which we all now participate. Van Halen’s debut is another game changer, well actually the guitarist after whom the band was named. This album made seasoned rock guitarists look at their six string in a different light and it brought millions of young people to pick up the electric guitar. The stars aligned in 1974 when the line up of the Van Halen brothers on guitar and drums, David Lee Roth and Micheal Anthony came together. The album contained 11 explosive tracks, 2 of which were covers and another was the instrumental guitar masterclass Eruption. With a genius guitarist, a frontman who had an ego to match his talent and a rhythm section as solid as a wall, the future was sealed. Van Halen’s debut is arguably not only the greatest debut rock record of all time , but one of the greatest guitar records ever made.

AC/DC- Powerage

Words by Simon “Skid” Kid

Sandwiched between Let there be rock (1977) and Highway to hell (1979), AC/DC were making brilliant basic rock and roll albums every year. Powerage is often overlooked by casual rock listeners and those not familiar with the band’s work. It was the bands 5th release , and the first to feature bassist Cliff Williams, joining the Young brothers , Bon Scott and Phil Rudd. The album runs shy of 40 minutes , containing 9 tracks of solid classic rock, honed by a band who were no strangers to constant touring. There is not a single filler and side 2 (in old money) contains 5 of the best tracks the band ever made. Powerage is without question the best album AC/DC made with Bon Scott, it is arguably also the best album the band ever made and in my mind the greatest rock album released in the whole of the 1970’s. It is that good, actually it is better than that , it is a masterclass of classic rock.

Read out coverage of 1979 here.