1992 was the year of transition. Once the year was over; hard rock, melodic rock, glam rock and so forth would never be the same. In relation to hard rock releases, what a year it was. So many great albums got released, however according to the record labels barometer of success, those albums failed miserably. These days if an album sells 200,000 copies it is seen as a successful album.
One of the best releases from 1992 was “Blood and Bullets” by Widowmaker. Not only was it a great album, it was also the first “official” album to feature Dee Snider from Twisted Sister. The last album Dee was featured on was the “Love Is For Suckers” album from 1987, so it was a long time between drinks.
When I first heard the song “The Widowmaker”, I thought of the song, “The Beast from the “Stay Hungry” album. However, “The Widowmaker” is far superior. The sound on “Blood and Bullets” was the exact sound I was into in 1992.
Along with the self titled Lynch Mob album, “The Crimson Idol” from W.A.S.P., “Dog Eat Dog” from Warrant, “III Sides to Every Story” from Extreme, “Sin-Decade” from Pretty Maids and “Revenge” from Kiss, it formed my decadent seven wonders of heavy rock.
My metal tastes got serviced by “Countdown to Extinction” from Megadeth, “Fear of the Dark” from Iron Maiden, “The Ritual” from Testament, “Dehumanizer” from Black Sabbath, “A Vulgar Display of Power” from Pantera and a new band from Seattle called Alice In Chains” and their excellent “Dirt”.
Dream Theater blew me away with “Images and Words” while Yngwie Malmsteen delivered the excellent “Fire and Ice” and no one outside of his hardcore fan base heard it. Another neo-classical shredder Tony MacAlpine released “Freedom To Fly” and boy didn’t he fly with it.
“Hold Your Fire” from Firehouse, “Five Wicked Ways” from Candy Harlots, “Don’t Tread” from Damn Yankees, “The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion” from The Black Crowes, “The Wild Life” from Slaughter, “Nothing Sacred” by Babylon A.D., “Hear” from Trixter, “Tangled In Reins” from Steelheart, “Double Eclipse” from Hardline and “Adrenalize” from Def Leppard satisfied by hard rock cravings.
A lot of good music was released and the record labels just abandoned it. It was all about greed. Even though hard rock albums would still sell, it wasn’t enough for the labels.
Granted there was quite a lot of deadwood rock bands on the label rosters that just should not have been signed. However they did, because everyone wanted to cash in. I am sure people like John Kalodner and Tom Werman could have done some creative merging, putting the best with the best, sort of like how Kaldoner got Coverdale to work with Page or getting Blades, Nugent and Shaw to get together as Damn Yankees. Seriously, you had great guitarist like Jake E Lee and Vito Bratta out of jobs and they could have been paired with some great vocalist.
Going back to Widowmaker. What was my attraction. First, it was Dee Snider. Come on, who wouldn’t want to hear what Dee Snider was involved in (though I can’t say that “Dee Does Broadway” was a good move).
Second, it involved Al Pitrelli. I first saw his name on the Y&T album “Contagious”. He was a co-writer for the song “Temptation” which was pure melodic rock. It was my best song on that Y&T album. Then I saw him on the video I purchased of Alice Cooper’s “Trashes The World”. What can I say, the dude rocked and I was interested to hear him on this album.
Bernie Torme was asked to come back again by Dee, however he said no. He was burned out, he had a punctured lung and his wife was expecting their first child. That is how Al Pitrelli came into the mix.
I’m telling you
I ain’t nobody’s fool
Don’t you run?
Can’t you see I got your bullet in my gun?
You know the feeling when people just don’t give you the credit that you deserve or that feeling when a record label boss tells you that the album you worked on for 12 months will not be released a week before it was due to be released. Looks like Bob Seger was right after all, rock n roll does help to soothe the soul.
I’m your judge and jury
I’m a never ending horror come for you
Don’t turn your back on me
It’s a Dee Snider and Al Pitrelli composition. This is the perfect song to listen too when you are pissed off. It just makes everything feel okay. The power of music. The power of artists that have a point to prove. The power of artists who have been ripped off and treated like dirt.