Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

The More Things Change – Cinderella

Turned on my radio to the same old song
Some big mouth talking trying to tell us where the world went wrong

You can replace the radio with Twitter or Facebook or any other platform which gives people a voice. Remember the Fyre Festival. It was the big mouths (social influencers) via social media who spread the word and suddenly people are getting ripped off to the tune of $50K for 4 tickets.

And if it’s not social influencers, it’s other powerful people. Or people who had some popular appeal and want the attention back again.

But all this talk of peace and love
It’s only for the news
Cause every time you trust someone
You end up getting screwed

You live long enough you get to see that the world is not very nice. Nature alone wants to have balance in its ecosystems and unleashes destructive forces to keep it that way. As humans, we are fighting to stay alive from our first breath against nature and then against the evils of the world created by humans.

We get to experience school and all the things that come with it. Friends become enemies and enemies become friends. And we experience sports, holidays with families and when you get older, even our brothers or sisters betray us on some days. But we still hope, we still trust and we move on, to another day, to a better day. But some don’t move on to another day.

The more things change
The more they stay the same
Everyone’s your brother till you turn the other way

People get jealous towards each other. They feel like someone is stealing their thunder or their just dragging them down. Friendships go bad and relationships go sour. People in a romantic relationship couldn’t keep their hands off each other once upon a time and then over the course of time, they can’t stand to be around each other.

What changed?

The more things change
The more they stay the same
All we need’s a miracle to take us all away from the pain

Its why self-help books, improvement books, behavioural science books have become a billion dollar industry. And if those kind of things don’t do it for you, then religion is there to fill in the gap. Or if any of those things don’t do it for you, there is exercise, opioids, narcotics, cigarettes and various other addictions like social media.

Either way, there is some miracle there waiting to take away the pain. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

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Music, My Stories

Invest In I

We are all looking for a life which is not rooted in mediocrity. And we want this life to fall into our laps. Well I did expect that to happen, because hey, why shouldn’t it.

It wasn’t until I got older that I realised that constant learning is the key. And as soon as I started evolving and increasing my skillset, I got distracted by this little thing called social media, which to me is the enemy of learning.

I was a MySpace and Facebook user in the early days. I shut down my Facebook account in November 2010 and haven’t been back since. I felt like I was wasting so much time on these sites that I wasn’t doing anything creative.

And it’s easy to get lost because entertainment is so important in our lives and with streaming and social media so relevant in our lives, it seems like we are putting entertainment in front of our goals and dreams.

If you don’t believe me, ask yourself how much money have you spent on phones/phone bills, TV’s, tablets, computers and streaming accounts?

Then compare that to the money you have spent on your self-education. If you see a massive miss-match, it means you are pretty distracted as well, especially if your time is spent using those tools to watch content instead of creating content.

Because we can get anything we want these days. The history of music is at our fingertips, either by licensed services or unlicensed sites. Same deal with movies and literature. And we double down into what we know. We listen to music we have already listened to. Or we just press shuffle.

We don’t want to waste time on something that won’t satisfy us but we waste a lot of time on our devices. Get a read out on your usage from the phone settings apps.

And we got lost in this world, forgetting that we need to self-improve.

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

The Record Vault – Bonham

“The Disregard Of Timekeeping” was released in 1989. People expected big things from the son of John Bonham.

I remember seeing a few video clips of Bonham and thinking the songs are pretty cool, but with funds being limited, thought nothing more of it at that time, but when i saw the album at a heavily reduced price of $1 in a second hand record shop, i thought why not.

“Wait For You” has this Faith No More intro (like “Epic”) before it morphs into a Led Zep like verse and chorus.

“Guilty” for such a clichéd title, sounds massive. And that Chorus deserved a top 10 placement on the Billboard charts.

The funny thing is that Winger played a similar brand of rock music to Bonham. Both bands had serious musicians who paid their dues in other bands. But Winger had greater commercial success than Bonham.

“Holding On Forever” to me captures the Bonham sound. It doesn’t sound like a Led Zeppelin cut (but it has Led Zep influences), nor does it sound like a song chasing some commercial dream (although it has some elements) and it has a solo section/chorus that reminds me of the LA scene. It’s these kind of songs which didn’t get released as a single by the label that define a band’s sound.

The label marketed “Guilty” and “Wait For You” as the singles.

And by 1989, the music buying public had burned out on Led Zep Clones. So if you didn’t have the album, you wouldn’t be able to get in deep and find songs like these.

Then they released “Madhatter”.

I didn’t buy it, nor did I find a copy of it via the record fairs or second hand record shops many years later.

But I did find a CD single of “Change Of A Season”.

You get one album track and three non-album tracks.

And “Change Of A Season” is a great track. A track good enough to promote the album. And I called it up on Spotify today.

My favorite tracks are “Change Of A Seasons”, “The Storm”, “Ride On A Dream” and “Chimera”. All of em are a bit more experimental than the standard verse and chorus fair.

The band was building their style and it’s a shame they didn’t get a chance at a few more albums.

And for those record label suits today who still reckon a sale equals a fan.

The album I have was purchased by a music consumer, who then heard it and traded it in to a second hand record and book store. I guess this official fan didn’t like it.

And then when I purchased it, I guess I don’t count because my purchase is off the books. But I played it once and put in away for many years until I pulled it out recently to hear.

And the single was never meant to be sold as its stamped promotional copy. But it got sold and purchased unofficially.

So how would the record label suits account for these?

By saying the band is in debt.

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Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

The Record Vault – Blind Guardian

I couldn’t recall how a track sounded from the “Battalions Of Fear” album when I pulled this off the shelf.

I have some of their later albums dubbed on cassette which are a lot better.

My cousin Mega is into them, and I dubbed like a best off from him. So when I saw this album in one of my many ventures to second hand record shops and record fairs, I purchased it.

Calling it up on Spotify, and pressing play on the first track “Majesty”, I remembered my thoughts about the drumming. It’s so frantic and fast and thinking back now, I don’t know if in 1984 there was a drummer on a record who played this fast. And the double kick drum just doesn’t stop.

Overall, the album is fast, raw and unrefined speed metal whereas the later albums would have different dynamics to go with their Tolkien inspired lyrics and are a lot better.

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Copyright, Music, My Stories, Stupidity, Treating Fans Like Shit

YouTube Manual Claims

If it’s not Spotify, it’s YouTube.

If it’s not YouTube, it’s Pandora.

If it’s not Pandora, it’s streaming.

If it’s not streaming, it’s free streaming.

If it’s not free streaming, it’s stream ripping.

If it’s not stream ripping it’s torrents.

There is always something or someone which is in the sights of the record labels and their association, the RIAA.

YouTube was criticized for not doing enough to control unlicensed uploads of movies and music. YouTube then provided the entertainment industries with ContentId, a way to claim videos as theirs that other people have uploaded. And by doing so, they could claim any monies paid on the video.

But with any automated system, it’s open to abuse and the labels did a great job abusing it. Legitimate content that had a few seconds of music (which is fair use) to illustrate their story or point in the video got taken down or claimed.

A birthday party video which parents shared that had music in the background got taken down or claimed.

And the uploader had no real rights to fight back. So the labels kept on abusing this process. They even took down their own legal content on occasions.

But after years of complaints, YouTube is finally doing something about it. Or is it.

The story of YouTube changing its policies has been getting publicity as YouTube being this evil monolith against creators but their changes only relate to the manual claims tool available to Copyright Owners. Most big artists are part of major labels and they use ContentID.

And the problematic and automatic ContentID is still the same and still open to the same abuse.

However YouTube has seen a new greedy trend emerge in manually claiming videos. These people claim a small snippet of a video uploaded to YouTube and by default transfer all monies from the YouTube video creator to the Copyright Claimant.

By changing the rules, YouTube is not stopping people from claiming these videos but they are asking for evidence and timestamps which somehow is pissing off the claimants.

And the claimants can still block the video.

To me, it’s much ado about nothing, it’s still the same old world and nothing much has changed. But it still doesn’t stop artists from Tweeting how YouTube is ripping artists off.

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Copyright, Music, My Stories, Stupidity, Treating Fans Like Shit

Keep Your Eye On The Copyright

I haven’t done a copyright post for a few weeks, but the Google Alerts each day come up with some of the most WTF moments.

First up, is Eminem’s music publisher is suing Spotify because somehow Spotify is playing songs on its service without the proper permissions from one of the biggest artists.

Is Eight Mike serious?

I guess they are. Read the article here.

Eminem is streamed a lot on Spotify and somehow, Eight Mile (which is basically Eminem) reckons Spotify doesn’t have a license to have his songs on the service.

One of his songs” ‘Till I Collapse” has 702 million streams, so I wonder when or at what stage in those hundreds of million streams did the music publisher realise that Spotify didn’t have a license.

And there is so much talk about Eminem’s most popular track “Lose Yourself”, which to me is a rip off from “Kashmir” by Led Zeppelin. The Am to F transition over a droning pedal tone is not original or unique at all.

What seems to have happened here is that Eminem has seen how other artists have made their own special deals with Spotify and he’s thinking, “I want a piece of that pie”, so let’s drum up some BS rubbish to get Spotify to pay me more.

And while I am on the topic of payments, here is a win for the artist. Ennio Morricone, who composed some massive soundtracks back in the 70s won back the right to some of his songs from the label. But he had to go to court and to appeal to get his songs back.

Morricone gave up his Copyrights for a large upfront payment and low royalties in the late seventies, however his music became very popular from the 90’s onwards.

Metallica kept using his music as an intro to all of their concerts and suddenly the movies from the 70’s in which he composed music for, had a new lease of life in the 90’s with DVD releases and what not, but the composer got nothing.

The labels of course argued these are works for hire and that the artist is not entitled to his works.

And that large upfront payment the label would have made in the late 70’s would have been recouped tenfold over the last 30 years, while the artist would have had that just one payment.

And finally, we have the US Government siding with an artist on a copyright suit.

As people are aware, Plant and Page were accused and then cleared of copyright infringement in June 2016 over the opening bars of “Stairway To Heaven” and the song “Taurus” from the band Spirit.

The decision was appealed by the heirs and the judge agreed so it’s going back to court.

So should the Government pick a side here, especially when the whole mess of copyrights is because previous Governments kept on changing and extending the terms of Copyright to suit their back pockets.

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories

The Record Vault – Black Sabbath

I had Iron Man, Paranoid, Sweet Leaf, War Pigs and Children of The Grave on various metal and rock compilations, plus Ozzy had given his Sabbath career a decent outing in his solo career. I still rate the Randy Rhoads version of “Children Of The Grave” as THE definitive version of that song.

The ones I spent money on are “Heaven And Hell”, “Volume 4”, “Sabotage”, “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” and “Reunion”.

Sabotage

This was my first buy, because I came across a guitar transcription of the song “Symptom Of The Universe” and I wanted to hear how the original version sounded. And I wasn’t prepared for how good the album is.

The stoner rock sludge of “Hole In The Sky” kicks it off and Ozzy is at 10 in his vocal intensity.

And after a little acoustic flamenco doodle, “Symptom Of The Universe” kicks off.

And that Em to B flat riff is brutal like a chainsaw going through the head. Vocally, Ozzy again is at an intensity level of 10, just going for the throat.

That change at the 2 minute mark, gives the song a new dynamic, while the acoustic folk outro elevates this song to legendary status for me.

“Megalomania” from a guitar point of view, has got killer riffs all over it. Poison even used one of the riffs for a song called “Looked What The Cat Dragged In”. It’s the riff that kicks in at 3.23 when the cowbell starts.

“Take my hand, my child of love come step inside my tears, swim the magic ocean, I’ve been crying all these years”… From “Symptom Of The Universe”.

Sabbath Bloody Sabbath

As soon as the riff for the title track “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” kicked in, I was in head banging mode. It’s powerful and intense in the way Bill Ward smashes those drum skins and then it morphs into that jazzy like Chorus.

For all the narcotics and alcohol, the song writing is top level.

“A National Acrobat” continues the head banging. And there is a vocal melody in this song which borrows from the verse melody of “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” from about the 2.30 minute mark. That’s how good “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” is. And how cool is that trippy major key riff from the 4.55 mark.

“Fluff” is nothing like fluff. It’s an acoustic piece that just sits nicely between the two opening tracks and the next two big tracks to come in “Sabbra Cadabra” and “Killing Yourself To Live”.  

And I like the flow of “Killing Yourself To Live” with its tremolo effect verse riff. And that reference to “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” in the lead break, is nice and subtle.

“Who Are You” has a synth riff that sounds brutal on guitar.

But my favourite on this album is the closer, “Spiral Architect”. I love playing it on the guitar and when you spend a lot of time learning a song, it becomes a part of your life.

The way it morphs from the open string arpeggios into this major key style riff and then into a re-write of the “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” riff.

And to be honest, I reckon Randy Rhoads was influenced by this song for the “Diary Of A Madman” as well as Bob Daisley for the vocal melody. The Chorus melodies of both songs are pretty similar.

“The people who have crippled you, you want to see them burn”…. From “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath”.

Heaven And Hell

I purchased this album very late. It was actually after “Lock Up The Wolves” from Dio came out in 1990. At that time, I had the cash and my plan was to get stuck into Dio’s past works starting with Rainbow. But, I also came across the Black Sabbath releases.

It’s a massive album and I couldn’t believe I was so late on hearing this. But kids these days have the whole history at their fingertips so they wouldn’t understand the past.

As with all things related to record labels, this project (like the Blizzard Of Ozz) was always meant to be a new band. Instead the world got another Black Sabbath album and an Ozzy solo album.

The first song written by Iommi and Dio for the new band was “Children of the Sea” but the opener “Neon Knights” sets the feel.

Geezer Butler was so set against continuing without Ozzy,  keyboardist Geoff Nicholls was on hand to play bass on those initial sessions. And it was Nicholls who came up with the “Heaven and Hell” bass groove from the jams the band was having, although Butler is credited.

And by the way, “The world is full of kings and queens, who blind your eyes and steal your dreams…..” from HEAVEN AND HELL.

And one more, “the moon is just the sun at night”.  

Volume 4

“Wheels Of Confusion” starts the madness and when that Em riff from the 5.20 mark comes in and plays all the way to the end, yep, it’s time to break desks.

“Tomorrows Dream” is loose and jammy, just the way a dream should be. “Changes” came from left field. The first version I heard was Ozzy’s re-interpretation for the “Live and Loud” album. But the original, has this hi-fi feel that I dig.

“Supernaut” is an intense sped up/down tuned blues romp.

While “Snownblind” showed me what happens when you spend too much time in a snowy place.

That arpeggiated section during the solo break is a nice change of those simple dynamics between distorted and clean tones. And at 3.30 they bring in this bluesy style riff and Bill Ward sounds like he’s about to break his drum kit.

Reunion

When this came out in 1998, Kiss was already doing the “Psycho Circus” victory lap while Rush never left. So there was no bigger concert ticket than a proper Black Sabbath reunion, apart from a Led Zeppelin reunion.

And they delivered a live performance on a double CD, along with two new studio tracks. While the live songs are all good, it’s the two original tracks I want to talk about.

“Psycho Man” has an outro which rocks, when Ozzy is singing “he’s the angel of death” but I couldn’t shake the feeling that it sounded like a “very unlucky” left over track from “Ozzmosis”. “Selling My Soul” on the other hand, feels like a Sabbath song.

So that is my Sabbath collection.

Blame Ozzy for it being so light, because when you see my Ozzy Record Vault collection, you will go “I get it”.

For me, there was no need to buy every Sabbath album as Ozzy more or less recorded the songs live and released them as a Solo artist.

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