Metal Essentials II: Leather and Bell Bottoms (1976 - 1979) - Van Halen I vs Lovedrive TIEBREAKER

vote for your FAVORITE album


  • Total voters
    11
  • Poll closed .

Cornfed Hick

Ancient Mariner
voting against Doctor Doctor may be seen as a bannable offense
:D

That would be Kalata, who, as far as I can tell, just voted for Kiss in every single matchup. This is one of the inevitable downsides of democracy, I suppose: Some people aren't fit to vote!! (Just kidding. But that's still insane.) I very well may vote a complete sweep for UFO, just on principle and to counter-balance. And, because UFO is a much much much much much much much much much MUCH (times infinity) better band than Kiss!
 

Cornfed Hick

Ancient Mariner
In all seriousness, I gave the edge to Kiss on the opening and closing tracks, and UFO swept the rest. This matchup really showcases how sophomoric Kiss's songwriting was. Fun at times, but mostly pretty stupid.
 

SixesAlltheway

Ancient Mariner
Detroit Rock City
King of the Night Time World
Let it Roll
Love To Love
Love Gun
Out in the Street
Christeen Sixteen
Shock Me
This Kid's
Doctor Doctor
I Stole Your Love
Lights Out
Rock Bottom
I Want You
Shout it Out Loud
 

srfc

Ancient Mariner
Detroit Rock City
King of the Night Time World
Let it Roll
Love to Love
Natural Thing
Out in the Street
Only you can Rock me
Mother Mary
This Kids
Doctor Doctor
I'm a loser
Lights Out
Rock Bottom
Too Hot to Handle
Shoot Shoot

Never saw this track listing for Strangers in the Night, it's unsettling. Kiss unlucky in a few match ups, I wonder how tracks I like such as Love Gun, Hard Luck Woman, God of Thunder or Shout it out Loud would have done versus the real version of Strangers in the Night. The two Kiss victories were against songs not on the album, although Detroit Rock City would have won either way possibly against anything from Strangers in the Night.
 

Kalata

Out of the Silent Planet
That would be Kalata, who, as far as I can tell, just voted for Kiss in every single matchup. This is one of the inevitable downsides of democracy, I suppose: Some people aren't fit to vote!! (Just kidding. But that's still insane.)
KISS is one of my favorite bands ever and I like them way more than UFO, but I changed my vote and voted for ''Doctor Doctor'', because I somehow missed to do that in first place. :p Although I like the KISS song which is versus ''Doctor Doctor'', but that song is THE classic from UFO - their emblem.
 

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
UFO takes the majority; Some are tied cause frankly I can't stand listening to Kiss' non hit songs so I didn't do the full album. That being said Love gun beats natural thing and detroit rock city wins aswell everything else which I listened to goes to UFO
 

Mosh

The years just pass like trains
Staff member
Hot and Ready is a solid but generic rocker. Detroit Rock City is an iconic opener with a fantastic opener. No contest there.

Cherry is fairly boring. I love the anthemic chorus in King of the Night Time World. It's a great complement to Detroit Rock City to create an awesome 1 - 2 punch.

Let It Roll is the first song on the album that really stands out. It's no wonder that the original LP omitted some of the more generic rockers that were part of the band's live repertoire. This song really showcases the band's musicality, with surprising shifts in dynamics and some really great guitar leads and keyboard duels. Ladies Room, on the other hand, is probably a good example of the sophomoric rock that earns Kiss a lot of criticism. Forgettable and dumb track.

This is where things get difficult. I love both Love To Love and Makin' Love (did I say love enough times?). There isn't really anything musically special about Makin' Love, I just think it's a very solid rock song. Has good energy and one of my favorite pre-choruses in a Kiss song. Just a nice setup and arrangement. But Love To Love, despite the silly lyrics, is really solid. Love the polyrhythms in the intro and chemistry between guitar and keys. A fantastic buildup in the middle of the song. Love the layering of parts and more polyrhythms! It's almost Dream Theaterish. Great vocal performance as well. Can't vote against that.

Natural Thing is another generic rocker. Not bad and it was a nice way to start the original LP, but I would never go out of my way for it. I just think Kiss does this style of straightforward rock better. UFO is better when they are stretching out. To that end, Love Gun is more than your generic rocker anyway. It has some fantastic call and response vocals and one of Ace's most blistering guitar solos. A real highlight on the album.

I love the seamless transition into Out In the Street. It's a much stronger tune as well. Love the dynamics on this one and the chorus. Schenker's solo is short but it gets the job done. Calling Doctor Love was never one of my favorite Kiss songs and it really doesn't hold a candle to Out In the Street.

Only You Can Rock Me is a straightforward rocker but much stronger than similar tracks. The guitar interplay during the chorus, the keyboard bridge, and Schenker's epic guitar solo make for a really memorable and exciting tune. Way better than the dull Christine Sixteen.

Mother Mary is a pounding rocker. Great riffing all over this track. Unfortunately, it's up against one of the best Kiss songs. Ace Frehley's signature Shock Me is a fantastic tune with one of his all time best guitar solos. UFO usually edges Kiss in guitar work, but here Ace comes out on top.

This Kid's brings in the album's first odd time signature (11/8) for some slightly proggy riffing. It's a fun track, but once again it is up against a tune that is just much stronger. Hard Luck Woman is one of my favorite ballads and far superior to the more well known Beth. It's folky and has a really strong vocal performance/melody.

Not only is Doctor Doctor arguably the best song in the game, but it is also going against arguably the worst song in the game. This one isn't even close. I never understood how Tomorrow and Tonight made it on the album anyway.

Not a huge fan of I'm a Loser. It's fine but nothing about it really stands out as excellent to me. Competently written and a nice message, but doesn't have that special extra something. But I Stole Your Love is an excellent track. Awesome intro, awesome chorus, one of the great Kiss songs that for some reason never really earned the all time classic status that so many other songs on Alive II have.

Lights Out vs Beth is another no contest pairing. I really dislike Beth. Lights Out is epic though. Great drive and one of the best choruses in Rock history. Iconic. This song also probably invented the Maiden gallop. You know Steve Harris had this song on repeat for years.

Rock Bottom vs God Of Thunder is close. Both songs are fan favorites but I'm honestly not a fan of either. I really don't like the studio version of God Of Thunder, but it comes off much better live. I found the live version of Rock Bottom to be a bit tedious though. Not a huge fan of the extended jams, especially when it feels like they don't go anywhere.

Too Hot To Handle is a solid track, but I Want You is excellent. Love the soft opening before it explodes into a great driving rock track. One of Paul Stanley's best vocal performances as well. Another example of two straightforward rockers going against each other and Kiss doing it better.

The last pairing is made up of two songs I really don't care for. Shout It Out Loud is extremely annoying, Shoot Shoot is a pretty forgettable closer to an incredible album. I went with the latter because it at least isn't annoying.

8 - 7 for Kiss. I think the two bands are much more evenly matched than it is made out to be and I know a lot of people who are big fans of both. I think both bands also pretty accurately represent the stylistic differences between American rock and European rock (keeping in mind that Kiss, Paul Stanley in particular, were heavily influenced by British glam rock). Kiss is a no frills rock band that relies heavily on hooks while UFO is less afraid to stretch out musically. Tracks like Lights Out, Doctor Doctor, and Love to Love really crush anything Kiss has ever done. But UFO is not nearly as effective as Kiss when it comes to straight forward and anthemic rock.
 

Niall Kielt

Pulled Her At The Bottle Top
10-5 to UFO.

So this is the first time I have listened to so much Kiss. My thoughts are similar to some posted above; their classics are timeless but in general they are not my cup of tea. 'Dumb' seems like the right word. There is only so many times I can hear lyrics along the lines of "yeah baby, you're hot, you want it, I got it, yeah." UFO are a band I like and have seen live twice, they have much more substance even though they have their fair share of standard rockers. Even on the songs I consider dull, Schenker pulls them through. They just have a sound that I dig even on songs I'm not particularly fond of whereas Kiss have a sound I don't really dig but they have some cracker tunes.

Before this game I was sorta familiar with UFO and less so with Kiss. I listened to both of these albums in a casual manner when this line up was announced. My initial response was "Kiss suck balls, UFO are a good band." When it came to voting, I listened to each match up and compared them and I'm surprised at how well Kiss did. I seem to like Kiss when they are a bit more rock that party, more in a minor key kind of stuff. Overall, I would not be bothered if I never heard another Kiss song for the rest of my life.

So UFO won easy. Some points of note to follow;

As far as Kiss songs go, I like Makin Love but Love To Love is a beautiful thing.

Calling Dr Love vs Out In The Streets; two pish songs. Kiss take it despite the shit lyrics. This really surprised me because on first listen I hated Dr Love, it was only on comparison that I found something good in it. Comparatively.

Shock Me is awful, Frehley sounds so bored. Shock me? Fuckin stab me. At this point I was considerin stoppin listenin and givin UFO a clean sweep.

God of Thunder vs Rock Bottom is a tasty match up. One of my preferred Kiss songs but it doesn't stand a chance against Rock Bottom. One of those songs that always gets my head swingin.

This was first time I have listened to Strangers In The Night from start to finish and from these recordings its easy to see that UFO are a much better band. Maybe seeing Kiss were amazing in the flesh back but theres really no comparison in these recordings. Kiss sound ok in their own right but Strangers has so much more balls to it, Kiss sound sad and weak in a head to head.
 

Mosh

The years just pass like trains
Staff member
Kiss is demolished by UFO 14 - 2.

Our next pairing is a more unorthodox one, but it's a showcase for the more experimental side of Metal. The great thing about music in the 70s is that a lot of bands dabbled in many different styles. One style of music that had some history with Metal but didn't have a direct connection to it until the mid 80s was Progressive Rock. Considering they both largely originated in the UK, it makes sense that prog bands like Yes and Genesis ended up influencing British Metal bands. Albums like Sabbath Bloody Sabbath showed that Metal bands were paying attention to the innovations in prog music, while albums like In The Court of the Crimson King showed that the prog bands were capable of producing some really heavy music. Some bands, such as Uriah Heep, really skirted the lines between prog and metal.

I previously discussed the changing of the guard that was taking place in the late 70s for Metal, as well as the challenges the genre was facing. Progressive Rock was going through a similar phase, for many of the same reasons. Punk rock was completely anathema to the ethos of prog, to the point where many Punk bands were openly hostile to prog bands. Where Metal would later find ways to incorporate elements of the punk music into its sound, it really wasn't possible to apply the same ideas to prog (although the more forward thinking prog rockers were able to capitalize on the post punk and new wave movements, but that's for a different game on a different forum). Many of the prog bands were disbanding or undergoing major stylistic/lineup changes. Prog's equivalents to Sabbath and Zeppelin, Yes and Genesis, were no longer the torch carriers. But there were some interesting developments in the style. Where the earlier wave of prog bands were largely influenced by the psychedelic movement of the late 60s, the newer prog bands were taking on more of a hard rock and even Metal form. Bands like Rush and Kansas were clearly rooted in the American album rock scene, but were also clearly influenced by the prog of Europe.

Which brings us to the theme of this round: Metal bands sometimes sounding proggy and Prog bands sometimes sounding Heavy. While I wouldn't exactly describe any of Priest's music as prog, the fact is that they were exploring unknown musical territories in the early days. Most other Metal bands had some amount of grounding in Blues rock or some other style. The only band that was pretty much Metal and nothing else was Sabbath and even they had their bluesier side. While Priest started as a blues-rock sort of band, by 1977 they had completely shed that aspect of their sound and was now full on Metal. Since there was nothing like that before, the early Priest is very experimental and sometimes even progressive. Songs like Sinner and Call For the Priest have many twists and turns and show a pretty advanced level of musicality. The band was assisted by the technical skill of drummer Simon Phillips, who had a diverse range of influence as a session musician. He's gone on to do many proggy and Jazz related projects. Sin After Sin is also significant for the early use of double bass drums. Don't let the experimental comments fool you, this album is pure Metal. It contains some of Priest's heaviest material.

Sin After Sin was Priest's first album for a major label. The band was finally starting to refine their sound. While Sad Wings of Destiny was an important album for them, SIn After Sin is the first really focused Priest project. They no longer sound amateurish or musically uncertain. There is a lot of confidence and competence in these songs. So many entire styles of Metal can be traced back to this album, from speed to thrash to even prog metal. If Black Sabbath was the birth of Metal, Sin After Sin is Metal graduating from college.

For this round's other album, we find ourselves in Toronto Canada. No, not Rush. This is the much more obscure and not nearly as renowned, but nonetheless musically impressive, Saga. Formed in 1977, Saga was far less accessible and not nearly as successful as their Canadian prog counterparts. They have, however, retained a sort of cult status among Prog rock fans. As part of the 2nd generation of prog, they were decidedly heavier and more guitar driven than earlier prog bands. It's really easy to hear the influence of Saga on prog metal bands from the mid 80s including Dream Theater, Fates Warning, and Queensryche. While not exactly a Metal band, they were very important to the fusion of the two genres that would come later.

Images At Twilight is Saga's second album. Released in 1979, when Prog music was almost nonexistent. While not a commercial success, it did fare better than the debut. It charted in Canada and the song It's Time received some airplay. The band earned some international attention but was pretty much ignored by the UK and US, two major markets. It's not a concept album, but Images (Chapter One) and It's Time (Chapter Three) are the first entries in a suite of songs about the life of Albert Einstein. Many of the songs remain favorites among Saga fans, including Mouse In a Maze and You're Not Alone. It probably doesn't stand a chance against Priest, but hopefully some people on here will be turned on to a new band.

I wouldn't ever classify Judas Priest as a prog band and I wouldn't ever classify Saga as a Metal band. So why are they being pitted against each other and why is Saga in this game? I think lineage is important in Music. New sounds usually don't come from nowhere. They are often a reaction of current sounds and are informed by what came before. Prog metal as a genre really didn't emerge until the late 80s and it didn't flourish until the 90s. But the two genres were flirting with each other almost since the beginning.

All songs from both albums appear in the game with no additions.
 

The_7th_one

Ancient Mariner
Kiss is demolished by UFO 14 - 2.

Our next pairing is a more unorthodox one, but it's a showcase for the more experimental side of Metal. The great thing about music in the 70s is that a lot of bands dabbled in many different styles. One style of music that had some history with Metal but didn't have a direct connection to it until the mid 80s was Progressive Rock. Considering they both largely originated in the UK, it makes sense that prog bands like Yes and Genesis ended up influencing British Metal bands. Albums like Sabbath Bloody Sabbath showed that Metal bands were paying attention to the innovations in prog music, while albums like In The Court of the Crimson King showed that the prog bands were capable of producing some really heavy music. Some bands, such as Uriah Heep, really skirted the lines between prog and metal.

I previously discussed the changing of the guard that was taking place in the late 70s for Metal, as well as the challenges the genre was facing. Progressive Rock was going through a similar phase, for many of the same reasons. Punk rock was completely anathema to the ethos of prog, to the point where many Punk bands were openly hostile to prog bands. Where Metal would later find ways to incorporate elements of the punk music into its sound, it really wasn't possible to apply the same ideas to prog (although the more forward thinking prog rockers were able to capitalize on the post punk and new wave movements, but that's for a different game on a different forum). Many of the prog bands were disbanding or undergoing major stylistic/lineup changes. Prog's equivalents to Sabbath and Zeppelin, Yes and Genesis, were no longer the torch carriers. But there were some interesting developments in the style. Where the earlier wave of prog bands were largely influenced by the psychedelic movement of the late 60s, the newer prog bands were taking on more of a hard rock and even Metal form. Bands like Rush and Kansas were clearly rooted in the American album rock scene, but were also clearly influenced by the prog of Europe.

Which brings us to the theme of this round: Metal bands sometimes sounding proggy and Prog bands sometimes sounding Heavy. While I wouldn't exactly describe any of Priest's music as prog, the fact is that they were exploring unknown musical territories in the early days. Most other Metal bands had some amount of grounding in Blues rock or some other style. The only band that was pretty much Metal and nothing else was Sabbath and even they had their bluesier side. While Priest started as a blues-rock sort of band, by 1977 they had completely shed that aspect of their sound and was now full on Metal. Since there was nothing like that before, the early Priest is very experimental and sometimes even progressive. Songs like Sinner and Call For the Priest have many twists and turns and show a pretty advanced level of musicality. The band was assisted by the technical skill of drummer Simon Phillips, who had a diverse range of influence as a session musician. He's gone on to do many proggy and Jazz related projects. Sin After Sin is also significant for the early use of double bass drums. Don't let the experimental comments fool you, this album is pure Metal. It contains some of Priest's heaviest material.

Sin After Sin was Priest's first album for a major label. The band was finally starting to refine their sound. While Sad Wings of Destiny was an important album for them, SIn After Sin is the first really focused Priest project. They no longer sound amateurish or musically uncertain. There is a lot of confidence and competence in these songs. So many entire styles of Metal can be traced back to this album, from speed to thrash to even prog metal. If Black Sabbath was the birth of Metal, Sin After Sin is Metal graduating from college.

For this round's other album, we find ourselves in Toronto Canada. No, not Rush. This is the much more obscure and not nearly as renowned, but nonetheless musically impressive, Saga. Formed in 1977, Saga was far less accessible and not nearly as successful as their Canadian prog counterparts. They have, however, retained a sort of cult status among Prog rock fans. As part of the 2nd generation of prog, they were decidedly heavier and more guitar driven than earlier prog bands. It's really easy to hear the influence of Saga on prog metal bands from the mid 80s including Dream Theater, Fates Warning, and Queensryche. While not exactly a Metal band, they were very important to the fusion of the two genres that would come later.

Images At Twilight is Saga's second album. Released in 1979, when Prog music was almost nonexistent. While not a commercial success, it did fare better than the debut. It charted in Canada and the song It's Time received some airplay. The band earned some international attention but was pretty much ignored by the UK and US, two major markets. It's not a concept album, but Images (Chapter One) and It's Time (Chapter Three) are the first entries in a suite of songs about the life of Albert Einstein. Many of the songs remain favorites among Saga fans, including Mouse In a Maze and You're Not Alone. It probably doesn't stand a chance against Priest, but hopefully some people on here will be turned on to a new band.

I wouldn't ever classify Judas Priest as a prog band and I wouldn't ever classify Saga as a Metal band. So why are they being pitted against each other and why is Saga in this game? I think lineage is important in Music. New sounds usually don't come from nowhere. They are often a reaction of current sounds and are informed by what came before. Prog metal as a genre really didn't emerge until the late 80s and it didn't flourish until the 90s. But the two genres were flirting with each other almost since the beginning.

All songs from both albums appear in the game with no additions.
I just discovered Saga thanks to a youtube podcast and I listened Images at twilight and it has nice songs but required a few relistenings. It's prog sometimes a bit pop but fits very well in prog. I love the scifi-illustrations in albums covers and books and this album has a really great album cover. They're not Rush but it requires my attention. There are many bands that don't fit in pop, rock or metal but they have something that fits in the metal family.
It's a recent band for me and I'm going to listen the rest of their albums.
In terms of comparison with Priest, I can't. They're totally different styles and Sin after Sin is my 3rd favourite Priest album (It has a great album cover too) I choose Sin after Sin, but…I have to say that Images at twilight sounds really very good and very proffesional, when I heard it I thought this album sounds to mid 80's but it's from 1979 and their 2nd album, it's amazing I think they were very big in Germany and Holland in 80's.
Sinner, Diamonds and Rust, Starbreaker or Dissident Agressor are hits on this album but even 'the fillers' like Raw Deal or Last Rose of Summer are really greats. Priest refined the Metal sound then with this album (as Maiden did years after).

Great post and thanks for talk about Saga!
 

Cornfed Hick

Ancient Mariner
I know absolutely nothing about Saga, so this should be interesting. Trying to keep an open mind, given that I have heard Sin After Sin a lot.

EDIT: Wait a minute. I just put on the first Saga track. Is this a joke? Is Mosh trolling us?

EDIT EDIT: I'm convinced this is a prank. I'm also convinced that no one in the history of mankind has ever gotten laid while listening to Saga. That was terrible.
 
Last edited:

MrKnickerbocker

clap hands
EDIT: Wait a minute. I just put on the first Saga track. Is this a joke? Is Mosh trolling us?

EDIT EDIT: I'm convinced this is a prank. I'm also convinced that no one in the history of mankind has ever gotten laid while listening to Saga. That was terrible.
Seriously, I just listened this morning and I just...started laughing. Like, the musicianship is solid, but Holy Dio, this is cheesier than the CheeseVivor and those keyboards are just awful. I really tried to keep an open mind, but I can't stop from laughing.

Sin After Sin gets all of my votes in a complete wash.
 

The_7th_one

Ancient Mariner
When I heard Rush from the very first time I thought the same as you…musicianship is fucking great but that voice? The voice of Geddy Lee always sounded me to a manga tv series song.
The song called images is really good. Take a try a relisten
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
Priest will destroy this album. But I love Mouse as a Maze.

Saga: very nice, intelligent band with a discography worth to explore. Like Rush: technical master musicians with grabbing songwriting.

Europe gave this band a lot of love. Deservedly so.
 
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