Monday, January 13, 2014

"Heavy Metal (Takin' a Ride)" by Don Felder

Song#:  0681
Date:  07/25/1981
Debut:  85
Peak:  43
Weeks:  17
Genre:  Rock, Soundtrack

Heavy Metal (Takin' A Ride) by Don Felder on Grooveshark

Pop Bits:  Felder was a member of the Eagles beginning in 1974 and remained with them through to their breakup in 1980. After the split, Felder focused on session work and music for films. One such movie he contributed works to was the 1981 animated film "Heavy Metal." The movie was based on stories featured in the magazine of the same name and its soundtrack featured songs by well-known artists. The album peaked at #12 on the charts and this single almost got into the Top 40. It would be Felder's only single to reach the chart. He would go on to release two albums in his post-Eagles career and also rejoin the group in 1994. He remained with them until he was fired from the group in 2001, which resulted in a nasty lawsuit with Eagles' Don Henley and Glenn Frey. Both sides eventually settled out of court.

ReduxReview:  Although a little rockier than an Eagles tune, you can hear the influence here - especially since bandmates Don Henley and Timothy B. Schmit provided the backing vocals. I certainly wouldn't call this tune heavy metal in any way (yes, I know the song is not about the music genre), but it's a nice rock groove and it served as a good opening theme for the flick. Had the film been a bigger success, it might have pushed this song a bit further up the chart.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) With graphic violence and even nudity, "Heavy Metal" was not an animated film for kids and critics were not really loving it. When first released, the film did okay box office, but over time it eventually became a midnight movie staple and joined the list of favorite cult movies. In addition to the regular soundtrack of songs from the film, a separate album of the score composed by Elmer Bernstein was issued. The dual release was unusual for the time but has since become more common for big blockbuster films.  2) Felder only sang lead vocals on one Eagles recording. "Visions" from the LP "One of These Nights" was co-written and sung by him.


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