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

1978 – Part 1

Quiet Riot – II

I couldn’t believe my luck when I found this in a second hand record shop in the early 90’s for $10.

It’s part of Randy Rhoads origin story.

And what a strange cover, with the guys in the band, dressed up in glam outfits in a locker room with American Football jocks.

What the !!

“Slick Black Cadillac” kicks it off, a song which QR would redo with Carlos Cavazo and release it on “Metal Health”. But you need to hear the RR version.

The piece d’resistance is the solo sections of “Trouble” and “Face To Face” which reminds me of bits and pieces from “Mr Crowley”, “Over The Mountain” and “Flying High Again”.

And my other favourite is “We’ve Got The Magic”.

Listen to the little melodic leads RR plays in the Chorus.

And who said that RR couldn’t be bluesy. Check out the lead break in this song.

Boston – Don’t Look Back

How good is that melodic lead break during the Chorus of “Don’t Look Back”?

“A Man I’ll Never Be” has a similar lead break like “Don’t Look Back” just before the Chorus.

“Party” sounds like they just turned up, plugged in, had a party and jammed.

And that’s it for me. Boston has always been a two to three song band per album.

Van Halen – Van Halen

So many good songs for a debut.

It’s the same old saying, you have a lifetime to write your first album and a few months for the second.

But Van Halen in their early days were very prolific writers, so even though the first album is full of good moments, a lot of other songs from these days appeared on albums afterwards, all the way up to the reunion with Roth in the two thousands.

“Running With The Devil” kicks it all off with the iconic riff and in the Chorus, Michael Anthony’s backing vocals take centre stage. “Eruption” is now set in stone as one of “the instrumentals” on the Ten Commandments and The Kinks introduced “You Really Got Me” as a Van Halen cover after Van Halen rockified it.

Then the Am to F to G palm muted arpeggiated intro begins for “Aint Talking Bout Love” and another iconic riff is born.

“I’m The One” is the embryo of songs like “House Of Pain” and “Get Up”. “Jamie’s Cryin” was a hit twice, once with Van Halen and once with Tone Loc who sampled the riff and beat for “Wild Thing”.

“Atomic Punk” has that slashing like intro that inspired Slash for the “Mr Brownstone” intro. “Feel Your Love Tonight” could have come from an ELO record and Michael Anthony’s backing vocals are so precise and powerful. “Little Dreamer” has got this rumbling like riff that is cool to play. “Ice Cream Man” didn’t satisfy, but “On Fire” is full of good riffs to enjoy.

Bruce Springsteen – Darkness On The Edge Of Town

I always have time for Bruce Springsteen and this album rates as one of his best.

I love the way “Badlands” starts off. The riff is so rock and roll and pop rock all in one. Bands like “ELO” and “Styx” built careers on riffs like these. Then that bluesy sleazy rhythm kicks off “Adam Raised A Cain”.  “Something In The Night” was written in 78, but the intro riff would become a number 1 chart topper in 84, when it became “I’m On Fire”.

The intro piano riff of “Racing In The Street” must have influenced Jonathan Cain as he would write many songs that went to platinum levels of success with a similar vibe and feel. “Promised Land” is about Springsteen’s beliefs in the life he is living, in the country he is born in.

And “Streets Of Fire” is still relevant today as it was back in the Seventies. “Prove It All Night” or “Because The Night”, as there is no difference between them really, especially in the music around the Chorus.

Rainbow – Long Live Rock N Roll

The drum roll snare, the words “All Right” and off we go, into the mystic lands of Rock and Roll, screaming deep into the night, “Long Live Rock And Roll”.

And Richie Blackmore is all over this album, with guitar riffs gifted to him from the “Lady Of The Lake”. If you don’t believe me, check out the verse riff and then that vocal melody in the Pre-Chorus/Chorus from Ronnie James Dio.

And we caught the “L.A Connection” to the “Gates Of Babylon” just to “Kill The King”, hiding out in “The Shed” because our “Rainbow Eyes” are “Sensitive To Light”.

Queen – Jazz

Some of the best riffs from Brian May are on this album.

The guitar riff in “Fat Bottomed Girls” makes the world go around. “If You Can’t Beat Them” has this pop like riff which reminds me of other acts, but Brian May makes it his own.

Listen to “Dead On Time”, it’s basically got a speed rock riff. “Dreamer’s Ball” kicks off with a harmony solo, before it morphs into an acoustic 12 bar blues. Listen to “Leaving Home Ain’t Easy”, with its acoustic riffs which sound full of power.

The drum beat in “More Of That Jazz” is perfect and once Brian May starts with the syncopated riff, it was time to pick up the guitar and learn it. And the Chorus at first sounds metal before it morphs into something like cabaret.

Dire Straits – Dire Straits

Mark Knofler’s guitar tone is brilliant. “Down To The Waterline” is a perfect example of it as he decorates the track with licks and riffs.

By the time I had heard this album, I had already overdosed on “Sultans Of Swings”. It’s one of those tracks like “The Final Countdown”, “Were Not Gonna Take It” and “Livin On A Prayer”. They have been played so many times, so while they are great tracks, you tend to ignore them. Still the finger picked lead break from Knofler is brilliant.

The Cars – The Cars

As I was writing The Car’s section, news hit Twitter that Ric Ocask was found dead in Manhattan at 75 years of age. I was very late getting into “The Cars” but I am glad I did. And what a debut album.

“Good Times Roll” kicks it off with its iconic riff, lyrics and synth lines. Let the good times roll in deed. And they continue with “My Best Friend’s Girl” and “Just What I Needed”.

So many songs in the 70’s about their best friends partners. Eric Clapton wrote Layla because he was in love with George Harrison’s wife, which he eventually married. Rick Springfield topped the charts with “Jessie’s Girl” and so did The Cars. And neither song took away from the other. These days, everyone will be suing each other for copying their feels.

“Moving In Stereo” has a metal like riff in the vein of Judas Priest. No one will believe me, but they need to check it out. And the synth lead is perfect.

Well that’s it for the first post. More to come in Part 2.

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A to Z of Making It, Music, My Stories

Releasing Frequently

There is a lot of discussions happening in the media about artists needing to release new music constantly and how they need to tour more frequently to make up for smaller royalties as sales of recorded music are replaced by access fees to recorded music.

Eddie Trunk on his Twitter account said;

“I think in many ways we are starting to see effects of every artist touring nonstop to offset decline in royalties. But only so much people can do. Mega acts will always draw and command big $. For many others very hit/miss. Only so much fans can see/pay.”

And then I read an article on The Guardian website about how there is a need for artists to release new music constantly.

And the first thing that came to mind was Ronnie James Dio.

1972 to 1979, Ronnie James Dio via Elf and Rainbow released 7 albums.

1980 to 1987, Ronnie James Dio via Black Sabbath and his Dio band released another 8 albums.

In total from 1972 to 1987, over a 15 year period, Ronnie James Dio built his brand and name into a worldwide rock star by releasing 15 albums. And he did it by playing live, by writing new music, recording studio albums and recording live shows (which would eventually be released as live albums).

There is a comment in The Guardian article about how The Beatles released 13 albums over a 7 year period between 1963 and 1970. The Rolling Stones released 10 albums between 1964 and 1970. And as most of the comments stated, there is nothing wrong with releasing music on a frequent basis as long as the quality is there.

So why is it a problem these days to release music frequently or touring more frequently?

Fans have choice and a lot of it. They can pick and choose. In most cases, they choose a higher profile act, not because the act is fantastic in its current state, but because they were fantastic once upon a time and the dad or mum want to take their kids to experience the same electricity. Or the act is such a big ticket that people go just so they could take a photo and show their Facebook and Instagram crowd they went.

But ticket prices are a problem especially if acts scalp their own tickets.

And albums don’t have a long shelf life anymore, like how they did in the MTV era because there are no geo restrictions anymore.

In the past, for an US act starting off, the album would be released just in the U.S.

A video clip starts doing the rounds on MTV and suddenly, the album is selling. 3 months later, it is released across different European and UK countries. 3 months after that it has its Japanese release and then Australian release. An artist, bankrolled by the label is doing promotional for the album 9 months after it has been released and then the tour has already started and then they are on the road for a little bit longer. Once that ends, they go back in the studio for the follow up.

But today, an album is released worldwide, on the same day. Gone is the 9 months of promotions to make the album hang around. Instead it is replaced with 3 months of promotion before the album is released for at least 4 weeks of sales and a charting position to validate the albums worth, which is meaningless anyway. The true test of an albums worth is if people are still listening to it 12 months from now and 24 months from now.

And they say that history can show us where we are going. Well, the 50’s and 60’s model of releasing singles on a frequent basis to see which one connects is the model on show today. The focus on week one sales, is irrelevant if there isn’t a continuous stream of new content.

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

The Record Vault – Badlands

I haven’t heard these albums in ages and they are not on Spotify.

I saw a video on YouTube about how Eddie Trunk thinks the reason for their absence is due to what Ray Gillen did.

In relation to what Ray Gillen did, there are a lot of forums which state that Ray Gillen was in a relationship with the daughter of one of the CEO’s at Atlantic Records and she contracted AIDS from him because he kept it secret and the father of the daughter vowed to bury anything Ray Gillen did, in any way he could.

Here is a post from the past I did on the self titled debut.

“High Wire” and “ Dreams In The Dark” are a knockout 1 and 2 punch. That bluesy intro from Jake E Lee, is pure guitar heaven. And that metal like riff in “Dreams In The Dark” before the solo and during the solo makes me want to play air guitar.

When you have been fired from a gig, your next gig is so important that you prove to yourself, what a mistake they made. And Jake, proved it.

So what came first, “Jades Song” or “Silent Lucidity” from Queensryche, as the intros of both songs are pretty similar?

“Winter’s Call” is one of the best Led Zep cuts from the 80’s which wasn’t written by Led Zep. It was that good, Lenny Wolf cried, because he wasn’t the one who thought to write it.

“Dancing On The Edge” has got this “Friday On My Mind” vibe in the intro, but once the band comes in, it becomes its own monster.

“Streets Cry Freedom” has the catchcry of “until the day I die, these streets cry freedom” and teenagers are at the forefront of these cries, demonstrating against gun violence, calling for gun control and demonstrating in the name of climate change. And the people in power, laugh, disregard, call the youth names and basically ignore their voices. But history has shown, the voices of many win in the end.

And you don’t see adults demonstrating, who are too comfortable in their lives, their devices, their jobs and houses to care. Even when the GFC hit, it was still relatively quiet on the demonstration front, even though people lost their jobs, their money and their houses. Some people even took their lives and a lot of people lost their relationships.

“Hard Driver” brings back memories of Deep Purple, ala “Speed King” and “Highway Star” while “Rumblin Train” sounds like an old rattler as Jake E Lee foot stomps his way all over the song. “Seasons” is one of those songs that sounds like other songs, but it also has enough of its own uniqueness to stand on its own.

And I can’t find my LP. It is one of many which have been lost in the various house moves.

Nor can I find my “Voodoo Highway” LP.

But I did find the CD.

And there is no big name producer this time around as Jake E Lee took control at the boards and depending on which story you believe, sealed the end of the band.

Regardless, there is no denying the power of “The Last Time” from its clean tone swampy arpeggio intro which morphs into a distorted open string riff as good as any of his riffs. And if you are not hooked by now, the lead break which brings back memories of “Bark At The Moon” would seal the deal.

Lyrically the song is about a broken heart (nothing really earth shattering) however the vocal performance by Ray Gillen is also top-notch.

“Show Me The Way” brings back memories of the Creedance Clearwater songs I used to learn. And “Shine On” seals the triple combo knockout. Listen to the lead break.

And just as I was getting up from the floor, “Whiskey Dust” floored me again. The way the intro builds into the riff, it’s got this 70’s vibe merged with a lot of Van Halen’isms. And the song is basically a 12 bar blues, but it sounds more complex.

Again the lead break hooks me in, with its slide guitar licks, open string riffs and bluesy pentatonic lines. And there is a small section after the lead break when it’s just drums and bass. Then the vocals come in, and Jake starts to play some bluesy licks and slides to decorate the verses, as it slowly builds into the Chorus. This is people in their prime, on form and ready to take on the world.  

“Joe’s Blues” is typical blues fare, even Van Halen did a song with a very similar ascending blues riff called “Ice Cream Man”.

“Soul Stealer” is a rewrite of “High Wire” which is good enough to stand on its own. “3 Day Funk” feels like a 3 day hangover. Crank it and chill.

And what came first, the intro riff in “Are You Gonna Go My Way” or the intro riff in “Silver Horses”?

Of course, Atlantic wanted hits and the album didn’t deliver in that department.

To me it sounded like Badlands was building the beast, so that the band could have a career. But they splintered on stage during the “Voodoo Highway” tour, and of course Ray Gillen passed away. However I believe, the band would have survived the change in the mainstream recording business because of their focus on the blues and the blend between blues, rock and metal.

And an album called “Dusk” was released towards the end of 90’s, marketed as rehearsal demos from a possible third album, however I never really bit into it, because I didn’t feel that the quality control was high.

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Music, My Stories

Critical Review

People get too touchy if someone posts or mentions how they don’t like an artists work. It doesn’t mean they don’t like the artist, it just means that the new album/song/book/movie is not to their liking.

They miss the point that if someone cares enough to dislike an album, they still put in time to listen to it, debate it and to put their view point out there.

I’m not a fan of Dream Theater’s last four albums and I don’t really play em, but that hasn’t stopped me from collecting the super deluxe editions and adding them to my collection. I’m still a fan.

But in our connected world, as soon as someone has an opinion on a band’s latest work which might be critical, well they better arm up and get ready for an internet fight.

In the end, one critical review is just one persons reaction.

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

The Record Vault – Bob Marley

I bought this CD back in the day because my wife wanted to listen to “Is This Love” from Bob Marley and although I was looking for a studio recording, the record shop only had this live album of songs recorded in Europe.

Such a large difference to how music was acquired once upon a time.

And my wife listened to just that song a few times and then moved on, because that is what the casual fan does. They get their fix and move on. They are fans of songs, not artists.

But for me, the album came in my life at a time when I was in a rut musically and sinking my teeth into Marley’s Reggae was the perfect antidote. And the lyrics about life, injustice, racism and society brought back memories of the lyrics I liked from the 80’s artists.

And I knew of Bob Marley from the covers that other artists did of his songs, like Eric Clapton’s take on “I Shot The Sherriff”.

“Exodus” is a great song. Musically it’s a funky like reggae feel, but the lyrics.

Open your eyes and look within:
Are you satisfied (with the life you’re living)?

Truth in such a simple statement.

We have so much control of our lives, but we need to be brave to seize it. And Marley sings about letting equality rule and breaking down oppression. There is hope and belief in his voice that it is possible.

And that section when the drummer just plays a stock beat and the crowd claps along, it’s simple but powerful.

“Stir It Up” is laid back and powerful at the same time.

“Rat Race” has an intro that sounds so bluesy with a distorted tone adapted from The Spinners 1974 track “Since I Been Gone” .

The song is about how the U.S treated Jamaica and the low wages they paid and the lands they took in the name of capitalism.

When you think it’s peace and safety
A sudden destruction
Collective security for surety, yeah!
Don’t forget your history
Know your destiny

Oh, it’s a disgrace
To see the human race
In a rat race, yeah

“Concrete Jungle” is one of my favourites. The groove laid down is perfect for Marley to sing about how suburbia changed from houses on the street to concrete jungles where the sun doesn’t shine and there is no difference between day and night because of the shade and darkness, that concrete jungles create.

“Is This Love” is basically a blues song. If you don’t believe me, play that riff with distortion and you’ll hear the pentatonic notes of the blues scale.

And I don’t have any other Bob Marley tunes, but via streaming, I have heard em. Also, Marley is another artist that has been ripped off by the labels in the name of copyright.

Remember, Copyright was put into law to help the creator have a monopoly on their works for a limited time, so they have an incentive to create more works.

And on death, the creations should have become part of the public domain.

Marley died of cancer in 1981 and by then Copyright Law had been hijacked by the corporations. So it was death plus 70 years.

Universal Music Group (UMG) still owns the rights to his five albums recorded between 1973 and 1977. And UMG is still exploiting his works and getting paid. It looks Copyright was meant for the corporations to rip off artists.

The family tried to seize control of Marley’s works but UMG argued that the albums were created under a works for hire agreement which the judge believed. And it’s this same argument that the labels are using for artists who want to terminate their copyrights after 30 years. The battle continues for these other artists.

And the song “Rat Race” just came to mind.

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A to Z of Making It, Music, My Stories, Stupidity, Treating Fans Like Shit

Greed

Greed threatens everything. The act of wanting more doesn’t work in a business built from emotions. People connect with music because it connects on an emotional level first. And not all connections are transactions. Sometimes it takes years for the music fan to spend money on an act.

So where are we at?

Years ago, in the land that introduced streaming, Swedish musicians sued the major labels Universal Music And Warner Music over streaming royalties. At the same time, major artists around the world also sued their labels over how they paid iTunes sales back to them. Eminem said it should be under the licensing rate (which is higher), while the labels argued that it should be under the sale rate (which is lower).

Then artists started filing “copyright termination” applications (which is legislated, that they are allowed to do so), however the record labels kept rejecting these applications and off to court the two parties went. Some artists won and others like Duran Duran lost. And some are still on going.

Because the labels don’t want to lose control of these rights as the more Copyrights they hold for popular songs, the more power they have at the negotiation table with the techies, so in return they get higher licensing fees, which they really keep to themselves. If the labels really cared about the artists, then they wouldn’t have put the masters of classic albums, plus the back-ups, in a tin shed with no climate control. And when it all went up in flames they employed subterfuge.

But when Napster came and the distribution gatekeeper got abolished, everyone said the major labels would fold. But instead they got more powerful because for any technological service to operate with music, they need to have a licensing agreement. YouTube has one, Apple has one, Spotify has one, Tidal has one, Pandora has one, Shazam has one and so on.

Which is a shame because of all the advances made, the major labels still operate with a business model rooted in the past. The majors still pay about 10% royalties to artists for digital income. The 10% average rate is based on the era’s when the record companies produced a physical product like vinyl or CD, stored it in a warehouse and then transported that product to a brick and mortar store. Of course at that time all of these steps in the process where accounted for.

However in the digital age, there is no need to even produce a physical product like a vinyl or CD, however the labels are still short changing their artists. If the streaming rates paid to the labels were so bad, trust me, the majors and the RIAA would be the first ones screaming theft.

Streaming services pay 70% of their revenues to music rights holders. How much of that money gets passed on to musicians depends on the terms of their contracts with labels.

If you are on a major label roster you should have followed the Def Leppard route. Due to the disagreements they were having on the digital payment terms with their label, they refused to let their label put their catalogue on digital services.

However, in order to cash in on the “Rock Of Ages” movie and the sudden interest in “Pour Some Sugar On Me” and “Rock of Ages”, they re-recorded these songs with the current band and released digital “forgeries” (as Def Lep called em) of these classics. But they did it on their own terms.

And when Def Leppard’s music finally hit streaming services, with the rate that they wanted, well there is no one really complaining about the rate?  

How did it get like this?

Once upon a time, the artists had the power. Read any bio from the 70’s and you’ll see how painful the artists were for the labels to deal with. And the artists never did what the label wanted. The label wanted hits, they wrote noise. The label wanted more like the last album, the artist went in a different direction. Then in the Eighties, the labels stole the power back through economics. With the rise in revenue due to the CD, it made the labels mega rich powerhouses. And MTV was also making artists into platinum starts. And the artists just fell in line. Because they couldn’t handle seeing an executive flying private on the monies earned from artists.

But artists today, can go it alone. Because it is the connection the fan has with the artist which is valuable.

And if more people are paying for a subscription service, then the overall pool of money grows. So if the artist is in control of their rights, then they will be paid forever. If they signed their rights away to the label, then the label will get paid forever and they will pay the artist some.

But there is always the temptation of promised millions right now to sign away your rights forever.

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

The Record Vault – Blue Murder

Once the world got a taste of the little concoctions that Coverdale and Sykes cooked up, Sykes couldn’t shake the Whitesnake tag.

And I feel he struck too late with Blue Murder.

Blame John Kalodner.

Blame Bob Rock.

Blame Geffen Records for catering to David Coverdale’s needs as he was withholding the “Slip Of The Tongue” album because of John Sykes.

The window of opportunity is small in the music business.

And the debut album doesn’t get the mainstream love, despite being solid throughout. Can’t say much about the pirate swash buckling image, however the music is epic and majestic.

Originally Blue Murder was going to have Cozy Powell on drums. Eight months into the project Powell decided he wanted to do session work instead. Vinnie Appice from Dio heard that Sykes was looking for a drummer and he called his brother Carmine.

Through various friends and record industry acquaintances, Sykes also hooked up with former Firm bassist Tony Franklin.

They spent six weeks recording in Vancouver. Then the project came to a halt while Bob Rock went to work on the “New Jersey” album for Bon Jovi and then the “Sonic Temple” album from The Cult.

During this period, Sykes kept on trying out singers as he never intended on doing the lead vocals himself. And the album kept on getting pushed back.

The self-titled Blue Murder debut was seen as the successor to the self-titled 87 Whitesnake album by many peers. This pissed Coverdale off.

And others spoke about how John Sykes was solely responsible for taking a blues rock band that Whitesnake was and turned them into a metal giant. Either way, he was in the conversation because of his Whitesnake output. And this pissed Coverdale off even more.

To me, there is no filler on this album.

And Sykes’s influences are all over this album, like the “Stormbringer” riff from Deep Purple in “Ptolemy”. Funny how it’s from a song that David Coverdale co-write.

Weeks after the release, the album was enjoying a decent run on the charts. Geffen then pulled their promotion of the album and with that went the mainstream career of John Sykes.

Black Hearted Woman

My favourite song on the album and it is a derivative version of “Children of The Night” and “You’re Gonna Break My Heart Again” from his Whitesnake days.

Valley Of The Kings

Co-written with Tony Martin.

You’re workin’, slavin
Into death every day

Depending on how people view a 9 to 5 job, not much has changed since the time of the Pharaoh kings.

Jelly Roll

It’s the ballad like ending that rocks however an ending that good is lost within this song.

Billy

This is Sykes’s first real nod to Phil Lynott’s vocal style and story-telling about a Bonnie and Clyde style character called Billy.

Ptolemy

How heavy is the song?

And what about that groove!

It’s good enough to bring a storm.

Listening to Blue Murder today, it doesn’t sound dated. This is the power of the riff and John Sykes was damn good at creating an awesome riff.

And it’s follow up “Nothin But Trouble” got stiffed by the record label playing grunge politics. While “Nothing But Trouble” didn’t have the same impact as its predecessor, it is still a very satisfying album.

Released in 1993 on Geffen Records and produced by John Sykes.

And if John Kalodner is allowing a project which he’s involved in, to be self-produced, well the theory is that he had lost interest in the artist. Kalodner also allowed John Sykes to record the album in his own home studio, which further supports the theory. It’s all part of the A&R thinking, “If we give in to the artist demands and if they deliver the goods, then we all come out winners, however, if they fail, then they only have themselves to blame.”

Sykes wasn’t even sure if he should be the singer, because Kelly Keeling was hired to sing, only to get his vocals overdubbed later on by Sykes, which is basically another added expense for no reason. Plus the band from the debut, which featured Sykes, Tony Franklin and Carmine Appice is no more, although they do play on some of the songs, while the other songs are done by Sykes, Marco Mendoza and Tommy O’Steen.

But time is important here.

Releasing a follow up album, four years after the debut, and in a landscape that was forming amnesia around guitar heroes and artists associated with the 80’s was always going to be a difficult task without a proper promotional push. But John Kalodner and Geffen had washed their hands with Sykes, so the promotional push was two videos which got no airplay in Australia.

We All Fall Down

“We All Fall Down” a tale about people losing their loved ones to addictions, has to be one of the best tracks Sykes has written.

Musically, it’s a sum of his influences. You can hear Phil Lynott in the vocal melodies and in the riff department, Sykes is borrowing from his “Youre Gonna Break My Heart Again” style riffing.

After the killer opening, “Itchycoo Park” is a miss for me. I don’t know what the plan was here. But there is redemption with “Cry For Love”. It’s another epic like “Valley of The Kings” and “Still Of The Night”. And that outro solo.

Cry For Love

You promise heaven, but hell is all I see
(Mojo rising on the wind)
If there’s a lord above
Come rescue me
(Mojo rising on the wind)

Any song that starts off with the above lyrics has my attention. “Cry For Love” is another derivative version of the “Valley Of The Kings” and “Still Of The Night” style that John Sykes is renowned for, however it doesn’t sound like a forgery.

Runaway

The song has a clichéd lyrical theme that was done to death in the Eighties, with Poison’s “Fallen Angel” and Bon Jovi’s “Runaway” being two notable examples. Still Sykes makes it sound original and heartfelt.

“Dance” is just a foot stomper party track which. “I’m On Fire” is typical of the 80’s and while a good track, a bit dated when it came to 1993. “Save My Love” tried to capture the “Is This Love” vibe. “Love Child” is a derivative version of the “Sex Child” from the debut but the Chorus on “Love Child” is way stronger. “Shouldn’t Have Let You Go” is also a re-write of “Riot” in the music department, especially in the verse riff.

“I Need an Angel” is one of my favourites musically and it reminds me of “Looking For Love” which is also one of my favourite Syke’s cuts. At 7 minutes long, it feels like the song is over in a much shorter time span. The vocal melody is strong and that outro from the 5 minute mark gets all the emotions firing.  

I don’t have “Bye Bye” on any of the releases I have, but I found it on YouTube. It’s a Japanese bonus track and a derivative version of “Sex Child” and “Riot” with brass instruments.

Then Sykes went solo. But he couldn’t get US distribution, so his Japanese only releases ended up being expensive imports in other parts of the world.

But his solo career is for a different Record Vault story.

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