Black Sabbath‘s second life started with this album, Heaven And Hell (Vertigo, 1980). Ronnie James Dio‘s powerful vocals combined with Iommi ‘s riffs make it an almost unbeatable hard rock classic (review).
AC/DC also needed a new singer on their 8th album Back In Black (Atlantic, 1980), because the charismatic Bon Scott had died. The album sold 50 million worldwide – the ultimate proof for the universal appeal of this uncomplicated and powerful rock machine (review).
Ursa Major – Ursa Major (RCA, 1972)
The US South is filled with proud, uncomplicated, honest and hard workin’ people with strong ethics. At least that’s the picture you get listening to most Southern Rock songs. Here we present some great bands from this genre.
Lynyrd Skynyrd is from Jacksonville, Florida. Their eponomous debut (1973) is a classic album. It stands at the beginning of the popularity of a new subgenre: Southern Rock. Lynyrd is best known for signature songs like Sweet Home Alabama and Freebird. But the lyrics of Simple Man, that’s on the debut album, sum up the Southern man pretty clearly, or at least describes how the Southern man should ideally be. The lyrics can be found here.
Songwriting certainly isn’t the reason this LP is a classic. It consists entirely of half-speed covers and three short original instrumental compositions. The fact that the covers were played in a new, bombastic version however, makes it special. It’s an album that marks the start of a new era. The flower people were about to make place for Hard Rock. In 1967 the Fudge’s heavy version of You Keep Me Hangin’ On was a top ten hit in the US:
Vanilla Fudge was a big influence for bands like Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin. In 1969 the group broke up. Drummer Carmine Appice and bassist Tim Bogert formed the solid Hard Rock outfit Cactus and then Beck, Bogert And Appice with Jeff Beck. Lead singer and keyboardist Mark Stein turned up with the great Tommy Bolin and Alice Cooper. He wrote his autobiography in 2011.