I really don’t think I need to write an introduction. It’s rock music and it’s AWESOME. This weeks theme is all songs that feature the word ROCK in their titles. There are so many more, but this is just a start!! Enjoy and ROCK OUT!!!!
Rock! Rock! Till You Drop – Def Leppard (1983)
We begin our journey into ’80s ROCK with a band that probably used the word ROCK in more songs than any other band, Def Leppard. When they started they embodied rock purity but sadly that changed when Joe Elliott’s hair got fluffier around 1987….but that’s another story.
R.O.C.K. In The USA. – John Cougar Mellencamp (1986)
A great song that never got an official video. I remember this song being everywhere when it was released (like a lot of the tracks off of Mellencamp’s Scarecrow Album). Sadly I don’t know much of the Mellencamp catalog but he seemed like a radio mainstay during the ’80s and everything I heard I liked.
Rock the Casbah – The Clash (1982)
Having less to do with rocking and more to do with the ban on Western music in Iran after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Rock the Casbah was one of The Clash’s biggest hits. I remember loving this song when I was little because it had a very fun vibe, and it was played quite a bit on the radio. It wasn’t until years later I realized this song and a host of other Clash tunes were pure art.
Twisted Sister – I Wanna Rock (1984)
It’s amazing how much the music scene has changed over the years. In todays world you need to show the burning remains of dead bodies while the Pope pees on the flames to make your metal band seen edgy, but in 1984 all you needed was some make-up, post apocalyptic women’s clothes, and a cow bone. The image of Dee Snyder on the album cover of Stay Hungary will forever be etched into my brain, as will most of the Top 40 hits off of the album. What makes the video the best is it’s homage to Animal House by having Mark Metcalf play a jerk teacher and Stephen Furst as the school’s principle.
Billy Squire – Rock Me Tonite (1984)
Ok, first things first. This video was directed by Kenny Ortega who would later become a teen musical Svengali with the Disney hit franchises High School Musical and The Descendants. But let me point out that he got his start doing the choreography in Xanadu (which I like…but…) and did the choreography in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (you know, the parade scene that is the worst part of the movie). He may have turned things around by 1987 when he did Dirty Dancing, but in 1984 he made what most say is the worst music video ever made. So bad in fact that it ruined Squire’s career and had his sexuality questioned for decades. Taking a Flashdance approach instead of say…a rock band approach hurt Squire’s creditability with his fan base. My only question is, how can you have a famous guitarist not even pick his guitar up until almost 4 minutes into a 5 minute song.
Rock of Ages – Def Leppard (1983)
To book end our ROCK edition, we will return back to the start with another Def Leppard gem. Also taken from the album Pyromania, Rock of Ages was one of the first biggest hits for this U.K. Band. No matter how you feel about them now, Def Leppard started out of the gate with a real working class style of rock music that was inspired by acts before them like AC/DC and KISS. Pyromania, High and Dry, and On Through the Night are what I reach for when I want to hear some classic Def Leppard.
Speaking of Def Leppard’s first studio album, On Through the Night….
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