Metal Essentials II: Leather and Bell Bottoms (1976 - 1979) - News Of the World vs At Budokan

vote for your FAVORITE album

  • Hello There

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  • Come On Come On

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  • Lookout

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  • Big Eyes

    Votes: 0 0.0%
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    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Need Your Love

    Votes: 0 0.0%
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    Votes: 0 0.0%
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    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Goodnight Now

    Votes: 0 0.0%
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    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    4
  • This poll will close: .

Mosh

The years just pass like trains
Staff member
And we have our first tie! Initially I was going to pit On Fire against a bonus track to be a tiebreaker, but then I realized it makes more sense to let y'all choose your favorite album instead (which is probably how a lot of you would've voted anyway if it was two songs against each other). I'm only going to leave this open for a few days because it shouldn't take that long. I'll try to update as soon as tomorrow if it's decisive by then.

A few thoughts about the match: This was remarkably tough. Van Halen was definitely a bigger influence on me overall but the debut is only my 3rd or 4th favorite album by them, while Lovedrive is probably Scorpion's peak. Still, Van Halen won 6 - 2 for me.

Little Dreamer remains a criminally underrated VH track, but Holiday is a formidable foe.

And one more thing:
[10] Always Somewhere V Ain't Talkin Bout Love [10]​
I'm usually not one to tell people how to vote but I do want to make a friendly suggestion: part of the fun of this game is making decisions between two close choices. These matches are supposed to be tough, that's what makes it exciting. Instead of abstaining because you gave both songs the same rating, I encourage you to listen to both songs carefully and make an informed choice between the two. The whole point of this is deciding preferences.
 

Niall Kielt

Pulled Her At The Bottle Top
Sorry I missed the closing of this. I've heard both albums a couple of times before and I had a song-Vs-song listen the other day and it was pretty tight. There are a couple of songs that I dislike on the VH album but Lovedrive has a fair bit of meh kind of stuff. I'll have to listen again to pick a winner but I'm leaning towards Lovedrive.
Ain't Talkin Bout Love and Coast To Coast are 2 songs I regularly listen to. Career highlights from both bands, in my opinion.
For what its worth I would have voted Little Dreamer over Holiday.
 

Black Bart

Ancient Mariner
I prefer Scorpions overall as a band, but out of VH's discography, their first album is the best, which is not the case for Lovedrive (in my opinion)...so my vote goes to Van Halen.
 
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Niall Kielt

Pulled Her At The Bottle Top
I think the only VH albums I have heard are the debut and For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge. Without derailing the thread, what do fans think of Carnal Knowledge? I remember liking some quite heavy grooves on there.
@Black Bart
@Mosh
 

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
And we have our first tie! Initially I was going to pit On Fire against a bonus track to be a tiebreaker, but then I realized it makes more sense to let y'all choose your favorite album instead (which is probably how a lot of you would've voted anyway if it was two songs against each other). I'm only going to leave this open for a few days because it shouldn't take that long. I'll try to update as soon as tomorrow if it's decisive by then.

A few thoughts about the match: This was remarkably tough. Van Halen was definitely a bigger influence on me overall but the debut is only my 3rd or 4th favorite album by them, while Lovedrive is probably Scorpion's peak. Still, Van Halen won 6 - 2 for me.

Little Dreamer remains a criminally underrated VH track, but Holiday is a formidable foe.

And one more thing:

I'm usually not one to tell people how to vote but I do want to make a friendly suggestion: part of the fun of this game is making decisions between two close choices. These matches are supposed to be tough, that's what makes it exciting. Instead of abstaining because you gave both songs the same rating, I encourage you to listen to both songs carefully and make an informed choice between the two. The whole point of this is deciding preferences.
If Always somewhere had an actual chance in this community against ain’t talking about love I’d have done the vote.
 

Cornfed Hick

Ancient Mariner
I was on vacation and didn't get around to voting on the song-by-song match-ups before polling closed. But it doesn't matter, as my votes would have been 4-4 anyway. I give Van Halen a slight edge, just for being a game-changer.
 

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
Personally for me, Scorps blow Van Halen out of the water as a band. Lovedrive has no filler imo whilst Van Halen is littered with it, the best tracks are a guitar solo, a cover and an absolutely astounding track in Ain't Talkin About Love. Lovedrive is sited as the best album by Scorps by most members of the band. I 100% will go with the album that broke Scorps into NA
 

Mosh

The years just pass like trains
Staff member
We eagerly await the next match-up! Well, at least I do. :D
Guys, summer classes are not a joke. I'm currently halfway through a 2 week accounting course and it's really kicking my butt. The good news for y'all is that it'll be over by the time the next update for this game is due. But it did cause a delay in the update I'm about to post.

I think the only VH albums I have heard are the debut and For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge. Without derailing the thread, what do fans think of Carnal Knowledge? I remember liking some quite heavy grooves on there.
@Black Bart
@Mosh
For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge is largely seen as a return to form for Van Halen after a long string of poppier albums. The keyboards are almost entirely absent and the guitar returns to prominence. Heavier songs but they didn't forget the songwriting skills they had developed over the years. It's a very good album. If you like that, definitely check the first four VH albums.
 

Mosh

The years just pass like trains
Staff member
Scorpions loses to the mighty Van Halen in the tiebreaker!
Queen vs Cheap Trick
The Beatles’ performance at Shea Stadium in 1965 is widely regarded as the first stadium rock concert. Stadium concerts and tours by rock bands began to grow in popularity soon after. Partially due to the growing popularity of rock music and the advances in amplification technology, the concept of an arena rock tour really exploded in the later 70s. This development also had an effect on a lot of rock bands’ musical styles and created what is commonly referred to as stadium or arena rock. Since bands were now performing to larger audiences, a certain amount of intimacy was lost. New gimmicks needed to be created to keep the crowd engaged. Bands began to write songs with huge choruses that were made for singing along. Some songs would identify the audience directly. Instruments were recorded with more reverb to give the illusion of a live stage. This strand of rock music became particularly important for the glam metal movement in the 80s, so it’s appropriate to cover here.

Few bands personified the concept of arena rock more than Queen. We previously covered them in an early and more raw stage of their career in the last installment of the game. By 1977, Queen had released several huge hit singles and two albums that hit number one in multiple countries. With each album, the band grew even more popular and their crowds were getting bigger. Queen’s music was also evolving. While the first two albums had overtones of prog and metal, they had largely shed this by the time they recorded News Of the World. The eclecticity of the band remained, but it was presented in a much more accessible fashion. The band continued to innovate in the studio, but they were also creating songs that were almost tailor-made for the huge stadiums. Of course the most notable of these songs is We Will Rock You, a song that would go on to become a staple of sporting events everywhere. If you saw the movie, you would probably think that the song was written as an outlet for Brian May’s frustration at Freddie Mercury’s delinquency. However, the “official” story is a bit more interesting. Brian May stated that both this and We Are the Champions were written as a response to the audience reaction at the end of one of the band’s concerts. It’s really hard to think of two songs that are more emblematic of stadium rock than We Will Rock You and We Are The Champions.

The rest of the album is not to be forgotten, however. Get Down Make Love, while not as famous, is almost equally as anthemic and was a live favorite. If I could editorialize for a moment, Spread Your Wings is every bit as anthemic as We Will Rock You/Champions but with much more to offer musically. It may be buried on the back end of side 2, but don’t miss It’s Late. This is a tune that showcased guitar tapping months before the release of Van Halen. Brian May’s tapping technique is slightly different, as he uses a pick rather than his fingers. He got it from Texan guitarist Rocky Athas. Also, the raw intensity and heaviness found in early Queen hasn’t completely disappeared. Sheer Heart Attack, originally meant to be the earlier album’s title track, It’s one of the most aggressive songs the band ever wrote and seems to be inspired by the growing punk rock movement of the 70s, but with the signature Queen twist.

News of the World was yet another massive album for Queen, largely thanks to the opening 1 - 2 punch. The album solidified Queen as really the face of arena rock. It also showed the band continuing on a much more commercial path, which they would develop further into the 80s.

In a previous installment, we discussed the importance of live albums during the 70s. There clearly seems to be a link between the growth of popularity in live albums and the emergence of stadium rock. One of the bands that most effectively bridged the gap in this area was Cheap Trick. One of the all time classic albums, Cheap Trick At Budokan was big for both the band and the venue. Bands had performed at Budokan before (the first was The Beatles) but it was Cheap Trick At Budokan that really made it a prime destination for rock bands and a favorite place for them to record. Cheap Trick had released a few albums up until this point and had experienced some moderate success. However, they were really lacking that big hit single. Surrender was positioned to be that single, but didn’t become the classic rock staple it is now until after Budokan. The band did find early success in Japan, however, which led to the recording of Budokan. It was originally going to be a Japan only release, but they eventually decided to import it to America and Europe after seeing its potential. This was a great move as the album became the hit they were going for and contained I Want You To Want Me, which was a big radio single. The album was characterized by the extremely energetic crowd, which was somewhat unusual for a Japanese audience. The crowd cheers were overwhelming throughout the album and they often interacted with the songs (most notably in I Want You To Want Me).

Musically, Cheap Trick is best characterized as being part of the emerging power pop movement that took influence from 60s bands like The Beach Boys and The Beatles. In fact, Cheap Trick often liked to describe themselves as an American Beatles. They did have a harder edge at times though and were influenced by punk rock as well. Prior to Budokan, the band had recorded three studio albums. They intended for their debut to be a showcase of the band’s heavier side, In Color to be a showcase of their lighter/more accessible side, and Heaven Tonight to be a mix of the two. At Budokan features a pretty healthy mix of the three albums, although it leans more toward the pop. It also includes a cover of Ain’t That a Shame and a song that was unreleased at the time: Need Your Love. Many of the songs on here are extremely anthemic. Hello There and Goodnight both address the audience directly. As mentioned earlier, I Want You To Want Me contains audience participation. Lots of huge hooks and choruses. It’s no surprise that At Budokan was huge for Cheap Trick because these are clearly live ready, stadium rock oriented songs.

Not Metal, but these two albums were big for the arena rock movement which did affect Metal in the next decade. All songs from both albums represented.
 

srfc

Ancient Mariner
I don't have News of the World so sitting this one out, but is that not a bit unfair We Will Rock You and We are the Champions versus Hello There! LOL 2 of Queens best ever against not even a real song.

Have a few Cheap Trick albums most don't really click with me but At Budokan is an absolute essential for any music fan.
 

Cornfed Hick

Ancient Mariner
subconsciously biased towards the songs I know better
I think that bias probably creeps in for everyone, myself included.

Matching up Cheap Trick's "Hello" and "Goodnight" tracks with the Queen monsters -- "Rock You/Champions" and "It's Late" -- does seem to give Queen a two-vote head start, but otherwise it could be close. By the way, "It's Late" is probably my favorite Queen song of all time.

My vote is 6-4 in favor of Queen. Cheap Trick gets the edge on "Surrender," "I Want You To Want Me" and "Ain't That a Shame," three of the greatest live tracks ever, and "Clock Strikes Ten" simply because I don't like "My Melancholy Blues" -- Queen should've just ended the album with "It's Late."
 
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