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

Best Of April 2020

April had four posts on the new releases.

Part 1 is here.

Part 2 is here.

Part 3 is here.

Part 4 is here.

The albums from Harem Scarem, Storm Force and The Night Flight Orchestra kept getting spins, along with some of the Jorn and H.E.A.T songs.

The single song releases from Machine Head – Circle The Drain, Royal Bliss – Feeling Whitney and Free Spirits Rising – I Would Love To Rock The World kept getting some of my time.

“Moon Of Forever” from Free Spirits Rising was released and I was hooked by the opening lyrics of the song, which are “Castles are burning as mother earth cries, her message of love is etched forever in blue”.

Another single song release which was doing the rounds was “Awaken Me” from Spoken.

Vandenberg released “Freight Train” as its next pre-release single and its full of quality riffs and a killer lead break by Vandenberg, which is a lot longer than some of his 4 second teaser lead breaks he did with the “Moonkings”.

Did I mention the chorus vocal line is pretty cool as well?

Like a freight train
Burning down the tracks
Nothing can get in my way
Like a freight train
No looking back
Make no mistakes, I’m here to stay

Adrian Vandenberg is a freight train.

When he sets his mind to come back, he comes back. When he set his mind to pull back and go underground and focus on his art and painting, he did just that. As a fan of his 80’s stuff, I am happy to see that he’s here to stay.

Christian rock band “Red” released the album “Declaration”. Stand out songs are “The War We Made”, “Sever” and “From The Ashes”.

There is something about the voice tones and the vocal melodies of Michael Barnes which always hook me in. But the majority of the songs are written by guitarist Anthony Armstrong along with producer Rob Graves so it’s the interpretation that Barnes put on the vocal melody that makes it stand out.

I have been a fan of this band since 2008. Their first three albums are my favourites and the albums that came afterwards had some cool songs, but they also lost me a little bit with their direction.

“Ishtar’s Gate” and “False Prophet” stood out from Testament’s recent release “Titans Of Creation”.

“Souls Of Black” was my first introduction to Testament in a post “Metallica Black Album” landscape. So I got the earlier stuff taped, which was technical thrash with Alex Skolnick creating jazz fusion solos over the chromatic riffs from Eric Peterson. Then Skolnick left and I was like “why would he leave?”

And throughout the years I have been following Testament and their releases. I don’t own a lot of the bands stuff, but I did have a pretty cool mix tape from the era and I recently purchased their first five albums in a CD box set for $23AUD.

And Peterson just kept writing excellent riffs that covered power metal, thrash, groove metal, nu-metal and black/death metal. Chuck Billy would sing, growl and spit those vocal lines out. Then Skolnick returned and so did my interest in the band.

And the album that reigned supreme for me in April is “Catastrophist” from Trivium. I don’t think there is a better metal act than Trivium right now.

Robb Flynn on Twitter called it a masterpiece.

And I agree.

The Kerrang review said, “you can hear just how much they love heavy metal, injecting elements of thrash, melodic death metal and black metal throughout the 10 songs.”

And I agree.

The Metal Hammer review over at loudersound.com states “ The Sin And The Sentence got Trivium back on the horse. “What The Dead Men Say” has them winning again. One of metal’s most beloved bands are on the form of their lives right now. It doesn’t get much better than that.”

And I agree.

The excellent Sonic Perspectives website, said this; “There is something in this album for everyone, but one might not know what it is until the song has already hit them straight in the chest with its might. Wherever Trivium steps from here, be it down this same path or diverging elsewhere, it will be in the shadow of “What the Dead Men Say.”

And I agree.

Check it out.

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

Thunder Bay Down Under Summertime Spin Series – Rose Tattoo

Here is the usual prologue.

My blogger pal Deke over at Thunder Bay had a cool Northern Hemisphere Summertime Series between July and August. Each week, he wrote about albums he spun during the summer.

Well, the real Earth summer is between December, January and February in the Southern Hemisphere. So the good act that Thunder Bay is, boarded a Qantas plane, landed in Sydney, survived 14 days quarantine in a Sydney hotel and is finally here to present the “Thunder Bay Down Under Summertime Series”.

How good is Rose Tattoo as a band name?

The debut album dropped in November 1978, produced by Harry Vanda and George Young from The Easybeats, who also did double time for AC/DC up until they got their U.S deal.

And if anyone is not aware, George Young is the older brother of Malcolm and Angus Young.

Rose Tattoo was formed in 1976 by Peter Wells, bassist for Australian heavy metal band “Buffalo”, who wanted to create a tougher blues rock/slide-guitar band.

The band for the album is Angry Anderson on vocals. Peter Wells is on slide guitar and Mick Cocks is on lead guitar/rhythm guitar. Drums are by Dallas “Digger” Royall and bass guitar duties are by Geordie Leach on the majority of the tracks and Ian Rilen is on three of em.

“Rock ‘N’ Roll Outlaw” kicks it off, with its “Whole Lotta Love” influenced riff and some tasty slide guitar. Lyrically, it’s all about trying to make it in a rock and roll band. Bon Scott wrote about it in “Rock ‘N’ Roll Singer” and “Long Way To The Top” just to name a few.

Keel covered the song in 1987 for a movie soundtrack. LA Guns did it for a covers album. And this song went to number 1 in Switzerland and number 6 in Germany with the title as “Rock And Roll Gypsy” by U.S singer Helen Schneider.

The punky “Nice Boys” is up next, a track that Guns ‘N’ Roses used to cover in their early club days. It appeared on their “Live ?!*@ Like a Suicide” EP and it was later re-released on their 1988 EP “GN’R Lies”. According to Wikipedia, Axl Rose and Izzy Stradlin have both claimed that Rose Tattoo changed their lives and the band confirmed to them that their own future would be in rock ‘n’ roll.

“The Butcher And Fast Eddy” has the groove of “The Jack” about a showdown between gangs. “One Of The Boys” is one of those 12 bar blues boogie songs common in the 70’s. “Remedy” has that “Long Way To The Top” pattern, sped up and whiskey’d up.

How good is the “Bad Boy For Love” guitar riff, a boogie woogie head banging blues riff?

If you like ZZ Top in all of their blues glory, then there is no way you can’t like this song.

“Tramp”, “T.V” and “Astral Wally” continue the 12 bar blues on punk steroids, while “Stuck On You” is as a subtle as the fish named Sam in the lyrics, who lived in a bowl, so Angry heated up the water so he wouldn’t get cold.

Underpinning it all is Angry Anderson’s voice, which can be rough like Lemmy and street ready barroom brawling like Bon Scott. A perfect combo.

Crank it up and let the sounds of Australia fill your room.

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

Best Of March 2020

Change was happening and by the middle of March, lockdown had happened in Australia because of COVID-19 and a lot of things changed, especially for the artists.

March had three posts on the new releases.

Part 1 is here.

Part 2 is here.

Part 3 is here.

The albums from Storm Force and The Night Flight Orchestra kept getting spins, along with Jorn and H.E.A.T.

The single song releases from Machine Head – Circle The Drain, Royal Bliss – Feeling Whitney and Free Spirits Rising – I Would Love To Rock The World kept getting some of my time.

A pre album release single from Vandenberg called “Shadows of The Night” really got my attention.

Adrian Vandenberg knows how to write some killer songs and the dude can play, referencing some classic heavy metal riffs on this one. Plus he’s finally allowed to use his surname again, so gone is the Moonkings and its just Vandenberg again.

Verdict: I like.

Trivium also released two pre album release singles in “Catastrophist” and “What The Dead Men Say” and they also got my attention.

But the album that reigned supreme for me in March is “Change The World” from Harem Scarem.

Have I mentioned before that Pete Lesperance is one hell of a guitar player?

As soon as the opening guitar lick to “Change The World” started, I was all in.

And then the lead break section started and he’s mastery of major and minor keys is evident.

You and I are gonna change the world…

Damn right we are.

Songs like “Aftershock”, “The Death Of Me” and “Swallowed By The Machine” have some of the best riffs that Lesperance has written.

“Riot In My Head” is a speed rock song and “In The Unknown” has an excellent melodic intro.

Check it out.

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

Best Of February 2020

February had three parts on the new releases.

Part 1 is here.

Part 2 is here.

Part 3 is here.

A single song release from Machine Head called “Circle The Drain” got my attention.

That intro with the chorus vocal melody, gets me pumped every single time, especially when that riff kicks in after Robb Flynn sings, “bring that hammer down”. Its bone crunching mosh pit time.

Another single release that got me interested was “Feeling Whitney” from Royal Bliss, a cover of an acoustic song from Post Malone, which he released in 2016.

The chord progression reminds me of “Dust In The Wind”.

Jorn released “Heavy Rock Radio”.

Jorn Lande is one of the best singers to have come out in the last 30 years. His style is rooted within the classic signers of Coverdale, Dio, Dickinson and Gillan.

“Heavy Rock Radio” is a project which has Jorn Lande covering classic songs which inspired him. It’s another project funded by Frontiers, who are trying their hardest to get so many recordings under the label’s control.

One of my favourite Kiss songs is “Naked City” and it gets an updated rendition here. Which I certify as 100% excellent.

“Ride Like The Wind” from Saxon and “Lonely Nights” from Bryan Adams got taken out of the early 80’s and brought into the 2020’s as modern rock songs.

And there is no cover album from Jorn without a tribute to Ronnie James Dio material, in this case, “Die Young” and “Mystery”.

“The Final Frontier” actually sounds better than Maiden’s version and Jorn delivers on the vocal front.

“New York Minute” is a Don Henley cover and the intro highlights were “18 And Life” might have come from.

“Needles and Pins” is from the 60’s by The Searchers and the band Smokie made it a rock like ballad in the 70’s which sounds like the version that Jorn took and modernized even more into a melodic rock anthem.

“Love” is from Santana’s 1979 album, “Marathon” and this version is so good.  

I’ve include “Running Up That Hill”, a cover from Kate Bush, which appeared on Heavy Rock Radio Volume 1 from a few years before because Jorn has taken a really unique pop song and turned it into a beautiful rock track.

And a few albums got me interested like “Ordinary Man” from Ozzy Osbourne.

The people around Ozzy, like his family, the label, management and so forth, they know that Ozzy is marketable. If they surround him with creativity and good musicians/producers, it can’t really go that bad, could it.

“Under The Graveyard” has a clean tone intro which could end up on any pop song, that’s how much crossover appeal the riff has. The chorus is heavy, and that “Children Of The Grave” solo section fits.

“All My Life” is similar to songs that have appeared on previous Ozzy albums. The album “Scream” has a few songs with this major key vibe.

“Eat Me” came from the depths of Ozzy’s Delta Blues Sabbath past. “Straight To Hell” rocks out of the gate and “Goodbye” starts off like “Iron Man” but it sounds like a track from “Ozzmosis” which is an album I dig.

Ozzy should scrap touring and keep recording and releasing.

Another album that got me interested was
H.E.A.T II “ by H.E.A.T. It surprised me how good it is. I can’t even explain all the influences on the album that I hear.

Songs feel like they come from Harem Scarem, Skid Row, White Lion, Van Halen, Ratt, Bon Jovi, Kiss, Whitesnake, DLR, Dokken, Queensryche, Europe, Scorpions, Nelson, Lynch Mob, Firehouse, Ozzy “Bark At The Moon” and “The Ultimate Sin” era, Malmsteen “Trilogy” and “Odyssey” era, Judas Priest, Poison and Motley Crue albums.

If you really like the 80’s, then this album is for you.  

“Dangerous Ground” kicks off with the sound of an high performance motor vehicle starting. It’s perfect for a Mad Max movie. “Come Clean” has a Chorus which remains with me long after the song is finished.

“Victory” kicks off with an instantly memorable guitar lick before morphing into a heavy riff. “We Are Gods” sounds like it came from the movie “Rockstar”. “Adrenaline” has this Journey vibe, but the more rockier Journey than the ballad Journey.

But the album that reigned supreme for me in February is Aeromantic from The Night Flight Orchestra.

The whole album is excellent.

Each song has enough of an influence from a previous song to connect with me and TNFO are excellent players, so the musicianship and song writing is excellent.

If you like your classic Deep Purple, then opening track “Servants Of The Air” will serve you well, kicking off the street opera about shattered dreams, broken illusions and glimmers of hope.

“Divinyls” is full of hooks, nice synths and pulsing bass riffs.

“If Tonight Is Our Only Chance” brings the disco rock melodies, handled masterly by the TNFO guys, with a dose of rock thrown in. And the lyric line of taking that last chance is inspiring and hopeful.

“This Boy’s Last Summer” has a pop punk feel merged with a melodic hard rock. “Curves” is a funk masterpiece in the vein of Steely Dan.

ABBA is all over “Transmissions” in the Chorus and the synth is just driving the song along, which makes me think of driving. The violin solo at the end is brilliant.

“Aeromantic” has a riff which came from their first album (the song “California Morning” comes to mind) which is basically a riff inspired by their love of Kiss, Free and Sweet.

The ballad ‘Golden Swansdown’ has two brilliant guitar solos. “Taurus” sounds like “Gemini” from their previous albums as it rolls along with its addictive chorus and melody. “Carmencita Seven”, “Sister Mercurial” and “Dead Of Winter” close the album, a triple punch combo knock out.  

Check out The Night Flight Orchestra.

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

Best Of January 2020 Review

January releases got broken up into two blog articles.

Part 1 is here.

Part 2 is here.

Single song releases from Free Spirits Rising, The Night Flight Orchestra, The Hu, CrashCarBurn, Archon Angel, Shakra, Apocalyptica and Mustach got my attention.

Those Damn Crows a band from Wales, with a singer who sounds like Brent Smith, dropped a song called “Never Win” from their “Point Of No Return” album.

A solemn piano riff kicks off the song and I was interested and when the vocal melody started, I pressed like.

If I worked to the bone, pay for all we own, would you let me in?

Sometimes the expectations of others is a chain around the neck. How can we measure up when the rules are made up every day and are constantly changing?

There’s no more I can do, I have proved to you, I will never win…

How much people are prepared to compromise determines how the relationship goes?

I know we were far from perfect but I fought so hard for you

I’ve had friends who told me they never argued, until they did and separated.

And a few albums got my attention.

Saint Asonia – Flawed Design

The personnel in this band have platinum awards on their walls as previous members of “Staind” and “Three Days Grace”.

In case you are not aware, Adam Gontier from Three Days Grace is on vocals and Mike Mushok from Staind is on guitars. And this time around, they have some heavy duty guest vocalists.

“Sirens” features Sharon Den Adel from Within Temptation. “The Hunted” which features Sully Erna from Godsmack on vocals.

Rodrigo Y Gabriela – Mettal EP

I love this EP and the work these two do.

They cover “Holy Wars…The Punishment Due” from Megadeth, “Battery” from Metallica and “Season In The Abyss” from Slayer in their unique hybrid style of flamenco and classical and pop acoustic guitar playing.

How can you not like it?

Especially the way Gabriela percussively lays down a rhythmic foundation and flamenco’s her way through it all. The true star of this duo.

The Ragged Saints – Sonic Playground Revisited

I’ve been a fan of this band from Melbourne, Australia, since their 2013 album called “The Sound Of Breaking Free” entered my life via a cyberlocker site that specialised in melodic rock titles.

Yes I obtained it illegally and became a fan via illegal means.

“Absence Of Light” really stood out, with it’s Rainbow/Malmsteen (Odyssey) era feel along with “Turning Cold” which has this Aussie pop rock sound crossed with Euro melodic rock.

Mark Morton – Ether

Mark Morton is really showcasing his diversity. He is so much more than just the guitarist in Lamb Of God.

“All I Had To Lose” and “Black” (Pearl Jam cover) feature Mark Morales on vocals, “Love My Enemy” features Howard Jones, “The Fight” features John Carbone on vocals and “She Talks To Angels” features Lzzy Hale.

Dirty Shirley

How many more projects can George Lynch be involved in?

“I Disappear” is heavy foot stomper, “The Dying” sounds like it came from George Lynch’s “Sacred Groove” album and “Siren Song” sounds like a “Tooth N Nail” cut with just a mild distorted sound.

And its cool how the Frontiers label is getting people from different countries but with similar tastes, to write and create.

Dino Jelusick is one hell of a vocalist and from Croatia. There are YouTube videos of him doing “The Last Time”, a Badlands cover and his band “Animal Drive” released a covers EP of some hard rock gems along with a full length album.

And the jury is out if these little projects from Frontiers are actually working or just a copyright grab from Frontiers to secure as many copyrights as it can, so they have a better negotiating position when it comes to streaming deals.

But like Revolution Saints, I would like to see Dirty Shirley get a few more chances to record albums on Frontiers.

British Lion – Last Chance

Do we listen to British Lion to hear Steve Harris recreate Iron Maiden or do we listen to this to hear Steve Harris do something different?

“Last Chance” is a good track. It starts off with an apreggiated riff which reminds me of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”. At 55 seconds the song kicks in and Steve’s bass is rolling along.

How good is that lick from the 1.15 mark?

The verse riff is brilliant.

And the vocals are an acquired taste. If you listen to this and expect Dickinson style vocals, then don’t bother.

The album that reigned supreme for January is

Storm Force – “Age of Fear”

This album surprised me and made me press like on a lot of songs and thanks to the Thunder Bay blog for sharing their music with us.

Opening track “Because Of You” has the symphonic keys for about 50 seconds before it goes into a “Won’t Get Fooled Again” style riff from The Who and once the verses kick in, I felt like I was listening to a seventies act.

“I heard on the news today, it’s all about to change, but I think well be okay”

The human spirit sees hope in all situations, because our DNA coding is to survive and we find that strength in ourselves and because of others.

“Age Of Fear” is a foot stomper of a title track with Scorpions like harmonies in the intro.

“It’s the age of fear, where you spread your made up stories”

It’s a sign of the times when everyone surrounds themselves in their own echo chambers and the people in power are trying to influence others by spreading fake stories.

“Breathe – Words” starts off ominous and the opening lyric sets the tone of depression.

“You’ve got nothing to live for, nothing to wish for, nothing to hold on”

There is always something to live for, something to wish for and something to hold on to. Resilience and survival go hand in hand.

“Breathe with me, just let it all go”

That’s all we want in life, someone to talk to and breathe with.

“Breathe with me, just take control”

Take control, let the past die and embrace the day, for you have everything to live for.

“Ride Like Hell” makes me want to jump in the car and speed 55.

And all of the other tracks are worthy, so invest some time and check it out.

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

The Record Vault – Cold

On Geffen Records.

“13 Ways To Bleed On Stage” is the album in which their spider logo made its first appearance.

It was a bargain bin purchase in Australia even though it was a Gold selling album in the U.S.

I really liked the Staind/Bush vibe of the album.

Scooter Ward on vocals sounded a lot like em but I didn’t care.

“No One”, “End Of The World” and “Confession” stood out right away. Modern rock songs.

“It’s All Good” has a vocal melody in the verses which is catchy.

“Bleed” has an acoustic arpeggio riff that reminds me of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”. As the album closer it is my favourite.

So I went down a rabbit hole listening to their catalogue on Spotify.

On a side note, guitarist Terry Balsamo would depart after the 2003 follow up “Year Of The Spider” to fill the vacant guitarist spot left by Ben Moody in Evanescence.

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

The Record Vault – Crowded House

Neil Finn joined his brother’s Tim band Spilt Enz in the late 70s and they had success up until 84 when Split Enz broke up and Crowded House began, formed by Neil Finn and Paul Hester who at that point in time was the most recent appointed drummer in Split Enz.

This box set is unique because all the albums are released on CD but packaged as miniature LP’s.

Crowded House

The debut album.

It broke through in the US and UK markets and of course went to number 1 in Australia.

In relation to sales, it went 6x Platinum in Australia, 5x Platinum in New Zealand and Canada and Platinum in the U.S.

Not bad for an album that didn’t have any promotion from Capitol.

And the monster smash single of “Don’t Dream Its Over”. It’s getting close to 237 million streams on Spotify.

Temple Of Low Men

Capitol Records wanted to capitalize on the success of the debut and they put the band in the studio to record a new album, which again they failed to promote but then jumped on board once “Better Be Home Soon” started selling and connecting with audiences.

On Spotify “Better Be Home Soon” it’s also the star of the album, with streams of 35.8 million. “Into Temptation” is another great song.

Woodface

Neil Finn started writing with his brother Tim for a different project. And they put these songs on hold when Neil started writing with his Crowded House band members for a new album.

But, Capitol rejected these Neil Finn penned songs as the label wanted Crowded House to use the songs that the Finn brothers wrote.

It’s a great album but commercially it didn’t translate to sales like the previous albums but it’s something that streams and streaming services have been correcting.

“Weather with You” at 82+ million streams is the star, “Fall At Your Feet” has 31.7 million streams and “It’s Only Natural” is at 16.1 million streams.

And the reason why this album was ignored in the U.S but loved around the world is “Chocolate Cake”.

“Chocolate Cake” was the first single off the album, even though the label and their management objected to it being released. It’s also the opening track on the album.

The song is a tongue and cheek attack on U.S culture and American radio program directors got upset over it and never put it into rotation.

Check out why.

I saw Elvis Presley walk out of a Seven Eleven
And a woman gave birth to a baby and then bowled .257
The excess of fat on your American bones
Will cushion the impact as you sink like a stone

Can I have another piece of chocolate cake
Tammy Baker’s got a lot on her plate
Can I buy another cheap Picasso fake
Andy Warhol must be laughing in his grave

Pretty tame compared to today’s standards.

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A to Z of Making It, Copyright, Music, My Stories

Selling Your Songs And Creative Copyright To Get Around Laws

Richie Sambora sold his 200 song catalog to an investment fund called Hipgnosis Songs for a large undisclosed sum. Hipgnosis was founded by a former manager called Merck Mercuriadis, who has spent over $1 billion on catalogs over the past 4 years.

So did Bob Dylan for $300 million and Stevie Nicks sold 80% of her stake for $100 million. Desmond Child sold his share in his songs a long time ago and regrets it.

All of this activity is because of streaming.

Spotify is the great paradigm shift.

Streaming scales and it pays for the big songs. The publishing companies and investment funds are not stupid. The return on their purchases of catalogues can now be quantified because of the data available. It’s not hidden and shrouded in record label secrecy anymore.

Desmond Child mentioned in the linked article how in 2017, the publishing company that purchased his songs in the mid 90s made up that huge purchase price x 20.

And since Copyright terms last forever, these purchases are guaranteed to keep bringing monies into the companies for the life of the creator plus 70 years after death.

And Copyright law is designed for songs to fall into the public domain but artists and labels are finding different ways to circumvent these laws.

Like Bob Dylan.

His label released a collection of songs/jams with George Harrison in Europe. This release was in response to a European law which states that recordings will enter the public domain if they aren’t officially released by the copyright holder 50 years after their creation.

Since 2012, the Dylan team have been avoiding copyright laws by releasing albums in limited runs to avoid these songs from the entering the public domain.

I guess it’s not a bad time to be a musician with a huge catalogue of songs and a popular one at that.

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Thunder Bay Down Under Summertime Spin Series – Kings Of The Sun

Here is the usual prologue.

My blogger pal Deke over at Thunder Bay had a cool Northern Hemisphere Summertime Series between July and August. Each week, he wrote about albums he spun during the summer.

Well, the real Earth summer is between December, January and February in the Southern Hemisphere. So the good act that Thunder Bay is, boarded a Qantas plane, landed in Sydney, survived 14 days quarantine in a Sydney hotel and is finally here to present the “Thunder Bay Down Under Summertime Series”.

And all the acts will be Australian acts.

What do ya get when you cross AC/DC, first three albums Def Leppard, The Rolling Stones, The Angels, Rose Tattoo, John Cougar Mellencamp, The Cult and Georgia Satellites.

Well you get “Kings Of the Sun”, an Australian hard rock band formed by brothers Jeffrey Hoad and Clifford Hoad in Sydney in 1986.

The band got a deal with RCA Records.

In 1988 the band released their self-titled debut album “Kings of the Sun”, which was produced by Eddie Kramer and mixed by Dave Thoener.

The album kicks off with “Serpentine” which has that slide guitar blues riff that Cinderella used to kick off “The More Things Change” on their “Heartbreak Station” album a few years later. “Get On Up” sounds like a John Cougar Mellencamp cut. “Black Leather” has a bridge part which is catchy.

“Tom Boy” is a cross between AC/DC and Def Leppard.

“Hot To Trot” has an open string pull off riff that reminds me of Van Halen’s and Angus Young’s love child.

“Jealous” has a foot stomping riff.

“Bottom Of My Heart” feels like a Hanoi Rocks cut as it has that cross between 70’s pop and hard rock that Hanoi Rocks brought to the table. “Cry 4 Love” is a blues stomp ballad. “Medicine Man” has a more aggressive “When The Levee Breaks” riff and a memorable vocal melody.

The album closes with “Bad Love” (which has this funky blues riff in the verses that makes me pick up the guitar) and “Wildcat”

They opened for Guns N’ Roses in 1988 and got themselves kicked off the tour.

How bad can you be to get kicked off a Gunners tour?

Singer Jeffrey Hoad dropped his pants in front of the audience and bad-mouthed Guns N’ Roses in the process.

But context is an important thing, so according to the good ole Hoad brothers, what they meant was “for the Australian press at the time, to stop making a fuss over the newest act in GNR and remember that bands like Rose Tattoo who actually influenced them, still exist”. Well that didn’t fly either and by then the Australian audiences had been taken under the GNR spell and started to turn away from the band.

I don’t let artists views affect my listening experience. For me to drop an artist, they would have to do something criminal and against my moral code.

Kings Of The Sun did rule for a few years, because they’re very good at delivering their brand of hard rock.

Open a beer and crank it.

And if you want to go down the rabbit hole with these guys, then check out the excellent follow up in “Full Frontal Attack”, released in 1990, and the powerhouse drumming from Clifford Hoad.

It’s on YouTube, not on Spotify, with stand-out tracks like “Lock Me Up”, “Drop The Gun”, “There Is Danger”, “Vampire” and “Full Frontal Attack”.

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Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

2020 On Spotify

It’s no surprise that the decade I listened to most on Spotify was the 80s. And “Stormwind” from Europe is my most listened to track from that decade.

I also didn’t mind Podcasts this time around.

Bob Lefsetz had some great guests on his show that had some involvement in my favourite decade like Bob Rock, Bob Ezrin, Derek Schulman, Joe Bonamassa, Lawrence Lessig and Desmond Child.

There is a Tom Werman interview that just came a few days ago which I will be checking out because a lot of artists like Nikki Sixx and Dee Snider had their say on their time with Werman but Werman has remained quiet.

My top song for the year was “Moon Of Forever” from an Australian act called Free Spirits Rising. I didn’t know it but I played it 835 times.

Actually my top 5 listened songs on Spotify came from Free Spirits Rising.

I discovered 278 new genres this year

But the main ones are;

And I discovered 289 new artists.

These new 289 artists found their way into a list of 943 artists, I listened to throughout the year.

This is the problem that every artist right now is up against. Too much supply and the history of music at our fingertips.

When I was purchasing music heavily and listening to music at home, I would probably have less than 10 new artists come into my life and no more than 50 artists throughout the year that I would listen too.

The top 5 of these artists are made up of;

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