“Leave This Town: The B-Sides” is an EP released on March 15, 2010, to iTunes.
Listening to these six tracks, it’s hard to believe they were left off. The quality is there.
The personnel is Chris Daughtry on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Josh Steely on lead guitar, Brian Craddock on rhythm guitar, Josh Paul on bass guitar and Robin Diaz on drums.
Written by Chris Daughtry and Jason Wade from Lifehouse.
It’s got that Lifehouse vibe, but Daughtry’s voice is so unique.
Having a stable band behind Daughtry’s voice, makes all of the songs sound genuine and not over-produced, regardless of the money and time spent in studios to over produce em.
“One Last Chance”
Written by Daughtry, Mitch Allan and David Hodges.
Its too similar to “Life After You” in the verses and is probably a reason why it wasn’t included. But its still a worthy track, with a Chorus that reminds me of “Learn My Lesson” just a bit more aggressive.
And there is a harmony solo.
“Get Me Through”
Written by Daughtry and rhythm guitarist Brian Craddock and it’s in the alt-rock dropped D arena vibe.
Check out the Bridge vocal melody.
“What Have We Become”
Written by a songwriting committee of Daughtry, rhythm guitarist Craddock, ex-drummer Joey Barnes, bassist Josh Paul, guitiarist Josh Steely and songwriter/bassist Tommy Henriksen.
It’s basically a mid-tempo heavy rocker with a Chorus riff that reminds me of “Pour Some Sugar To Me” and a worthy guitar lead.
“On the Inside”
Another mid-tempo rocker written by Daughtry, Richard Marx and Chad Kroeger.
Flip a coin and let it land in your hand Heads you gonna stay but its tails
Taking a chance is easier said than done. Writing out a plan is easy, actioning the plan is a different story altogether.
Written by Daughtry and rhtynm guitarist Craddock.
This one is a favourite, another mid-tempo rocker which is a cross between “September”, “Tennesse Line” and “Supernatural”.
Man that Chorus.
Wow, so catchy for a B- Side.
This is a great rock track, written by Daughtry and Adam Gontier from Three Days Grace at the time and two of the greatest hard rock voices to come out in the 2000’s.
The Chorus is Arena rock.
But you will be listening and saving this song because of the bridge, when Daughtry starts singing, “we’ve been down this road before”.
It’s that good it comes “back again” for the outro.
These B-sides are A-sides to me.
Their not on Spotify but YouTube has em so check em out.
It could be seen as a gimmick to mimic hard rock and heavy metal songs on cellos.
But it’s no gimmick.
Because what you hear are technical players playing the the vocal melody, the guitar leads, the main riffs and sometimes the drum beat.
“Plays Metallica by Four Cellos” is the debut album by Finnish metal band Apocalyptica, released in 1996. It features instrumental Metallica covers arranged and played on cellos.
The band was invited to record this album by a label employee after a 1995 show in which they performed some of the songs. The members were initially unsure and thought nobody would listen to such a record, but the employee insisted and they recorded it.
And people liked it, especially in Europe. In Finland it was certified Platinum and it was certified Gold in Germany and Poland.
When you hear the vocal melodies of James Hetfield shifted from a voice to a cello, you get to understand how musical Hetfield’s vocal melodies are.
Master Of Puppets
So many good sections in this.
The way they play the Verse and Pre-Chorus with the vocal melody is a must listen.
But you will be pressing play on this to listen to the solo sections as they move from the clean tone arpeggios to the fast sections. And that whole clean tone arpeggios section is very Ennio Morricone sounding, when played on the cellos. But I never thought that hearing it with the electrics.
Harvester Of Sorrow
Great sequencing to have these three tracks one after another. Imagine an album that had this three punch combo.
The slow metal groove on the original version is a favourite and the guys in Apocalyptica do it justice, especially the cello that becomes like the percussive drum.
This song was made to be played via orchestras and cellos however I don’t think that was the intention of Hetifeld and Co. Yes, you can hear some of those Ennio Morricone influences in the original cut that appeared on the “Black” album, but goddamn when you hear the track in this medium, it’s a soundtrack song to a Clint Eastwood Western.
The intro, the chorus and the solo sections are essential listening. You really get to hear the quality and melodicism of Metallica.
And the sequencing of these four tracks is perfect.
Sad But True
When I first heard this song, I heard a bone crushing heavy metal cut with a Kashmir like groove. But when you hear it with the cellos, you immediately pick up on the Ennio Morricone influence.
The Verses and the Chorus played on the cellos along with the vocal melody is essential listening.
Then instead of repeating the Verse and Chorus, the Apocalyptica guys go straight into the excellent Hammett lead break and the Conan The Barbarian “Die” section.
Wherever I May Roam
The middle Eastern style intro suddenly sounds like a Genghis Khan Mongolian soundtrack when played through cellos.
Welcome Home (Sanitarium)
This song was always going to work on cellos.
When the arpeggios start and Hammet’s lead begins in the Intro , its haunting and sad.
Basically if you like Metallica, you will like what Apocalyptica does here
Chris Daughtry said that Daughtry is a band. The first album, has Chris Daughtry on the cover, plus a picture of him in the booklet and on the back cover there is a picture of a band. But all the songs were written by Chris Daughtry and outside writers and the music was played by session musicians.
So after getting some flak about his band, “Leave This Town” has a cover which shows a band, leaving town. And while the songs are written by Chris Daughtry, with outside writers, the music is played by the band members and some songs have the band members as co-writers. Of course contractual issues would come about with this band arrangement ideal, because the label deal with RCA Records is with Chris Daughtry only.
“Leave This Town” was released on July 14, 2009, by RCA Records. I like it better than the debut as it’s a hard rock album done in a style I like.
I’m a big believer that quantity equals quality. 70 songs were written for this album, narrowed down to 19 for recording in the studio and 12 songs made the final cut, with the other tracks made available as bonus tracks for different digital stores.
Daughtry co-wrote the songs on the album with Richard Marx, Chad Kroeger from Nickelback, Ryan Tedder from OneRepublic, Jason Wade from Lifehouse, Adam Gontier from Three Days Grace, Eric Dill from The Click Five, and Mitch Allan from SR-71 and Tommy Henriksen, along with the usual suspects of Brian Howes, Ben Moody and David Hodges. No Max Martin or Dr Luke this time around.
The songs written with Marx, Tedder, Gontier and Wade didn’t even make the standard edition of the album, but were released as bonus tracks in the various markets and then as an EP called “Leave This Town B-Sides”.
The band for the album is Chris Daughtry on lead vocals and rhythm guitars, Josh Steely on lead guitars, Brian Craddock on rhythm guitars, Josh Paul on bass guitars and drums were handled by Joey Barnes on tracks 1 to 6 and Robin Diaz on tracks 7 to 12.
Howard Benson is back producing and Chris Lord-Alge is mixing. Session guru, Phil X also made an appearance to do some additional guitars. Again, RCA spent a lot of money to make this album a success, but only three singles were released from this album compared to the seven singles from the debut. Regardless it still was a success.
Certified platinum in Canada and the U.S and Certified Silver in the U.K.
For the charts (although the Charts were become irrelevant at this point in time), it was a Top 10 album in Canada, New Zealand and the U.S (also going to Number 1). It was a Top 20 album in Australia, Austria, Germany and Switzerland.
“You Don’t Belong”
It’s listed as a Chris Daughtry track and it blasts out of the gate with its heavy metal like intro before it moves into a Nu-Metal like riff.
The verses are more relaxed with clean tone guitars and a vocal melody dominating while the Chorus is loud and angry.
The song writing committees begin, with Daughtry, Chad Kroeger, Eric Dill, Rune Westburg and Joey Moi listed as writers.
This was the lead single for the album. As a single it is certified Platinum for sales in the U.S.
Lyrically, it’s about a break up that both sides saw coming.
An acoustic guitar starts it off with a catchy vocal melody. It reminds me of the songs that Mutt Lange was doing in the 90’s with Bryan Adams and Shania Twain.
The physical single had the Adam Gontier co-write “Back Again” as the B-side. This track is excellent and hard to believe that it was left off the album.
“Every Time You Turn Around”
Written by Daughtry and Andy Waldeck. Loud drums and grungy like guitars kick it off, but the verses remind me of the Classic Rock era.
The bridge vocal melody, although brief is my favourite part of the song. And like all the songs on the album, there isn’t a verse or chorus or bridge, which isn’t catchy.
And yes, finally we get some melodic leads and outro leads in the songs.
“Life After You”
The second single, which also has a certification from the RIAA for sales in the U.S, this time its at Gold and closing in to Platinum.
Chris Daughtry wrote the song with Nickelback vocalist Chad Kroeger, producer Joey Moi and Brett James.
It was actually Kroeger who offered “Life After You” to Chris Daughtry.
Daughtry wasn’t sure if the song would fit with the band, but the melody was that good and once he wrote the bridge, the song could not be denied.
“What I Meant to Say”
Daughtry and Brian Howes proved to be a good song writing team on the first album, so they are back again on this one.
A rocker, reminding me of Jovi and “Have A Nice Day” album. And a guitar lead is heard, although its less than 10 seconds.
“Open Up Your Eyes”
Written by Daughtry, Ben Moody and David Hodges.
It’s got a Chorus built for the arena.
My favourite song on the album, written by Daughtry and guitarist Josh Steely.
It’s got this Coldplay “Fix You” section in the middle of it. Check it out.
It’s also the third single, inspired by Daightry’s childhood memories growing up with his brother in Lasker, North Carolina.
“Ghost of Me”
Daughtry and Howes are back with a track that sounds like “Bounce” from Jovi.
For me, it’s the back half of the album which really connects.
Check out the Chorus.
“Learn My Lesson”
Written by Daughtry, Mitch Allan and Chris Tompkins.
A ballad which is another favourite with a good melodic lead.
A rocker and another favourite, in the vein of Jovi’s “Bounce” album.
This one is written by Daughtry, Josh Paul and David Hodges.
The lead break echoes Richie Sambora.
Written by Daughtry and guitarist Brian Craddock, this country song is also another favourite.
Country superstar (albeit a very reluctant one) Vince Gill guests. And for Gill to perform is a real coup as he doesn’t just appear as a guest at every invite.
I thought that this would be a single, as it would crossover into the Country charts, but it never was released.
“Call Your Name”
The official closer, written by Daughtry and drummer Joey Barnes. It percolates on acoustic guitar until the 2.38 mark, when the whole band kicks in for the guitar solo moment and the Bridge to Chorus to come.
If you search for Alex Lifeson in Spotify, this album would not come up, because even though “Victor” is a solo album by Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson, its released under the name of “Victor” and filed away under V.
Released in January 1996 on Anthem Records and recorded between the Rush albums “Counterparts” and “Test for Echo”, two of my favourite Rush records of the 90’s.
The musicians behind “Victor” are Alex Lifeson on guitars, bass and keyboards, plus spoken vocals on a few songs. Les Claypool makes an appearance on bass for “The Big Dance” while other bass tracks are handled by Peter Cardinali. Bill Bell is a Canadian guitarist who has toured and recorded with Jason Mraz, Tom Cochrane, Alex Lifeson and Danko Jones to name a few, also appears on guitar and Blake Manning is on drums.
For vocalists, Lifeson speaks on a few tracks, and a singer called Edwin (who I found out later is from a Canadian Rock band called “I Mother Earth”) does vocals on “Don’t Care”, “Promise”, “Sending Out a Warning”, “The Big Dance” and “I Am the Spirit”.
Another Canadian singer called Dalbello (otherwise also known as Lisa Dal Bello) appears on “Start Today”
The track is written by Alex Lifeson.
The sound is grungy. But take away the studio sounds of the day and play the riffs through a 5150 amp, you’ll hear how heavy metal they are.
Some of the open string riffs do bring back memories of 70’s Rush.
Lyrically it’s so different from what Peart would write for a RUSH album. Its crude, full of fuck words and it’s basically about sex. The Rush elitists crucified him on the Rush boards back in the day for the lyrics. But Lifeson didn’t care.
Written by Lifeson and Bill Bell, it’s got this REM/Tragically Hip feel in the verses with a bit of “Limelight” in the Chorus.
I like the solo section. It has a riff which keeps repeating, while Lifeson does ambient like guitar noises and various note bends. It’s not technical, but its more abstract and it fits the vibe of the song. Then again it could be Bell on the solo. I don’t know.
Written by Lifeson, check out the intro riff on this. Its huge, simple and yet progressive.
And Dalbello sounds a lot of like Geddy Lee when she hits her highs. A young Geddy Lee.
An Instrumental written by Lifeson. It sounds like a King Crimson cut, very Avant-garde, but the lead breaks are like blues jazz fusion.
“At the End”
Written by Lifeson and his son Adrian Zivojinovich. Adrian actually provides most of the computer programming which gives the songs he’s involved in, that Industrial tone.
Check out the riff at 2.24. I went straight for the guitar.
“Sending Out a Warning”
Another track written by Lifeson and Bell. And the riffs are interesting enough to get me to try and jam along.
The main riff by the way is excellent.
“Shut Up Shuttin’ Up”
Written by Lifeson and Bell, along with Lifeson’s wife Charlene and a person credited as Esther who basically provide the talking voices complaining about their husbands.
Musically, its funky, a bit bluesy and full of soul and every time the female voice overs say “Shut Up And Play The Guitar”, Lifeson begins to wail.
By the end of it, Lifeson is screaming back at em to “SHUUUT UUUP!”
For some reason, “The Audience Is Listening” from Steve Vai comes to mind.
“Strip and Go Naked”
Another Instrumental written by Lifeson and Bell.
The intro riff is one of this “Copperhead Road” riffs. Even Maiden used a similar riff on “Writings On The Wall”. Aerosmith on “Hangman Jury”.
But a Lifeson song moves within different musical pieces and this song is no other.
Check out the bluesy licks from the 2 minute mark over an ascending like bass riff and a strummed acoustic riff. And at 2.48 it goes back to the “Earle/Maiden” like riff.
But from 3.28 to the end, Lifeson takes that simple riff and makes it sound progressive. Listen to it.
“The Big Dance”
Written by Lifeson and Adrian Zivojinovich.
Man, that intro riff, so heavy.
And Les Claypool is on this, so the bass is prominent, syncopated with the kick drum.
Written by Lifeson and W.H Auden as the song is based on a poem written by Auden.
Its more experimental, with programmed drums and synths being prominent throughout while Lifeson recites the poem to us. It does nothing for me.
“I Am the Spirit”
My favourite song on the album and a perfect closer.
Written by Lifeson and Bell, it’s the most Rush sounding song on the album but the heavy rock sounding Rush.
“Tragically Hip” comes to mind here for the Verses with the vocal delivery, but musically, its Rush through and through.
The Chorus shows “The Spirit Of Radio”.
At 2.40, it quietens down and you hear some synth chords being played. Then Lifeson comes in with a clean tone guitar riff and man, what a riff it is. Different variations of it are heard throughout the song, but the way its delivered in this section, really brings it to life. One of his best riffs for the 90’s.
Then he goes into a guitar lead, which is emotive and perfect. But too short.
A great way to close the album.
Overall it’s not a perfect album and the spoken work melodies don’t really do much for me, but it’s that outside the box thinking which also draws me in, plus Lifeson always includes a riff or two in a song which makes me want to pick up the guitar and play along.
Check out this eclectic mix of blues rock, soul, funk, progressive, grunge, hard, industrial and alternative rock.
After three weeks of zero posts it was James Durbin that got me out of the rut.
His first album dropped in 2011 and its a hard rock album. “Higher Than Heaven” is my favorite track. It’s melodic and heavy enough to rock and a co-write with James Michael and Marti Frederiksen.
Then album number 2 dropped in 2014 and it was not what I expected, more in line with the Imagine Dragons style of rock.
So I just moved on.
And then “The Road” came up on the New Release Playlist as I was driving.
I’d like to tell you that I knew it was Durbin on vocals just from hearing him, but I had to google it to find out. Hell I had to Google who was in that version of Quiet Riot.
Frankie Banali has been the drummer for the band since DuBrow reformed it in the 80s after the death of Rhoads. Bassist Chuck Wright replaced Rudy Sarzo and has been in and out of QR since the 80s. Guitarist Alex Grosso has been in a lot of hard rock bands and ended up in QR in 2006.
I wrote back in 2017 to go and listen to “The Road” first, then “Renegades” and “Freak Flag”. They are songs that should remain around for a lot longer. And I still stand by that but looking at Spotify, these songs doesn’t even rate in the Top 10.
Unfortunately this version of QR would record one more album. But, drama surrounded that release. Durbin left before it’s release and Banali went missing, only for the world to find out that he was dying from cancer.
But QR continues.
Johnny Kelly from Type O Negative and Danzig joins on drums. Jizzy Pearl is on vocals again. Alex Grossi remains on guitar and Rudy Sarzo has rejoined.
Young people today do not realise the impact that Twisted Sister had on the music business around 1984 and 1985. Sure, other bands had greater sales and bigger tours, however no one did MTV like Twisted Sister.
The “Because We Can” tour should of been renamed to “Because I Can”.
Richie Sambora didn’t show up to work but the show went on as JBJ had a replacement for Sambora on the same day.
Then Tico Torres undergoes emergency appendectomy surgery and the band POSTPONES their Mexico concert. This would have pissed the Jovi machine.
Then Tico fell ill again, but JBJ had a back up plan this time in New Jersey native and Kings Of Suburbia drummer Rich Scannella, who filled in until Tico was cleared to play.
The show must go on for JBJ as those super large merchandise deals means that the tour cannot stop. Merchandise deals become very expensive to the artist if they are broken or if the sales do not meet targets or if the promised shows are not delivered. Just ask Dee Snider.
It was almost September 24, 2013 and the new self titled Dream Theater album would be “officially” released on Roadrunner.
Going back a few more years, on September 13, 2011, “A Dramatic Turn Of Events” was released and it had 35,750 units sold in the first week.
With Roadrunner putting a lot of money into Dream Theater, they would want the above figures to increase by at least 20% but the market at that point in time was showing a shrinkage in sales compared to two years ago, due to licensed streaming.
But as album sales went down, concert attendances went up as well as ticket prices.
“MOTLEY STILL SINGERLESS” is the headline from a news break item that did the rounds in an issue of Hot Metal from June 1992.
For anyone who wasn’t aware, Motley Crue and Vince Neil parted ways in February 1992. The actual argument took place on February 11, 1992, with Motley Crue issuing the official statement on Neil’s departure on February 14, 1992.
The Crue wanted everyone to believe that they started working with John Corabi immediately, from as earliest as February 17, 1992, however it wasn’t until September 27, 1992, that John Corabi officially signed a contract to be Motley Crue’s new lead vocalist.
Sebastian Bach’s claimed that he did in fact audition during that period which Nikki Sixx denied on Twitter.
The other vocalists that are known to have auditioned are Stevie Rachelle from the band Tuff, Marq Torien from the band Bullet Boys and Stephen Shareaux from the band Kik Tracee.
Download “Illumination Theory”, “Behind The Veil” and “The Looking Glass”. “The Bigger Picture” also has some great musical sections. As for defining what Dream Theater is about right now; technical wizardry comes first and the actual song comes second.
A brilliant hard rock covers album of pop songs. Songs that I originally dismissed as terrible suddenly have a new lease of life thanks to Within Temptation’s reinterpretation and Sharon’s wonderful voice.
Daughtry dropped a new album recently and it’s great to hear the hard rock side kick back in after a couple of albums that lived in a popular rock/beats area. Even the metal sites are reviewing the new album.
A review of the new Daughtry will come soon, but it did get me in the mood to listen to earlier Daughtry and so let’s kick off the next Record Vault series with the debut album.
Daughtry is the debut album, released in 2006 by RCA Records. He came to fame by competing in American Idol, but he didn’t win Idol, however he’s had a bigger career then the actual winner Taylor Hicks. I guess the kiddies voting don’t really purchase records.
It’s Not Over
The Bm to A to G chord progression is familiar (think “Kryptonite” from Three Doors Down) but it’s the tone of Chris Daughtry’s voice which hooks me in.
Chris Daughtry, Gregg Wattenberg, Mark Wilkerson and Brett Young are listed as the songwriters and what a song they wrote, sitting at 90.325 million streams on Spotify. But it’s not the most streamed from Daughtry. That goes to “Over You”.
And if the songwriter names are familiar, well, if you own a Train or John Legend or Goo Goo Dolls album, you will see Gregg Wattenberg listed as a producer and writer. Mark Wilkerson was the lead singer and guitarist for Course Of Nature, a rock band which was also known as COG. The Chorus was written by Brett Young, a singer in the same season of American Idol as Daughtry.
It’s also certified 2x Platinum as a single in the U.S. Back in 2007, it got a Gold certification for CD physical sales of the single in the U.S.
Daughtry, Howard Benson and Zac Maloy are listed as the songwriters.
A simple drum and bass groove start the song, but it’s the repeating guitar arpeggios in the verse which moves the song along.
Another infectious chorus.
We used to have this figured out / We used to breathe without a doubt
So what changes as we get older. As we learn more, do we fear more.
Sitting at 76.8 million streams on Spotify. Certified 3x Platinum in the U.S as a digital single, with its most recent certification happening in September 2019. Back in 2008, it got a Gold certification for CD physical sales of the single in the U.S.
And as an artist, this is exactly what you want. People still consuming your songs, many years after they’ve been released.
It’s written by Chris Daughtry.
My favourite song on the album. It crosses over to so many different styles and genres. If you like Southern Rock, you’ll like this. If you like Country Rock, you’ll like this. If you like Hard Rock, you’ll like this.
And the message of returning home after been away for a while is a message that everyone can understand and relate to.
This is the most streamed Daughtry track, at 116.8 million streams. And it also has a 2x Platinum in September 2019, for digital sales in the U.S.
Written by Daughtry and Brian Howes it could have appeared on a Jovi album at the time.
It’s a mid-tempo rocker and Daughtry’s vocals are excellent.
And Brian Howes is a Canadian songwriter who has written songs with Adelitas Way, Airbourne, Caleb Johnson, Halestorm, Hedley, Hinder, Nickelback, Rev Theory and Skillet to name a few. A lot of chart cred right there. So if the song sounds familiar, I’m sure some of the melodies from Howes would have been reused.
Written by Daughtry, Nina Ossoff, Dana Calitri and Kathy Sommer and the Chorus is catchy.
Feels Like Tonight
Max Martin, Luke Gottwald and Shep Solomon are the writers. These guys wouldn’t come cheap. I would be surprised if Daughtry is listed as re-couped for this album. I am sure the record label creative accountants still have him in debt, even though its 6x Platinum in the U.S.
It starts off like “Chasing Cars”. That’s what writers of hits do. Take what came before and tweak it.
And of course, a Max Martin /Dr Luke song, isn’t a song without a massive Chorus.
What I Want
Written by Daughtry and Howes and features Slash.
Just by featuring Slash, the song already has a hard rock swagger to it more like the “Velvet Revolver” swagger. But it’s short. Just over 2 minutes long.
The songs which are solely written by Chris Daughtry highlight his skills and style as a writer. “Home” showcases his story telling and use of simple chords to deliver an emotive vocal melody.
“Breakdown” is also written by Chris Daughtry.
It’s actually a rewrite and combination of two songs “Conviction” and “Break Down” previously recorded by Daughtry’s former hard rock/alternative metal band, “Absent Element”.
This one percolates, living in the grey area between soft rock and hard rock.
Check out the head banging riff at 2.30.
Written by Chris Daughtry, it starts off slow, ballad like but by the end of it, it becomes a great melodic rock song.
There and Back Again
Written by Daughtry and Brent Smith from Shinedown who also plays guitar on it.
It feels like a track that would appear on “The Sound Of Madness”. It’s heavy and it rocks hard.
All These Lives
Written by Daughtry and Mitch Allan, it’s in the soft rock domain moving between acoustic verses and distorted choruses.
What About Now
Written by Ben Moody, David Hodges and Joshua Hartzler.
Moody and Hodges had a certain style of writing. They both came to fame via the “Fallen” album from Evanescence and when Moody left the band mid tour, he became a songwriter for other artists. Kelly Clarkson recorded a few of their songs, I think, “Because Of You” was written by Moody and Hodges.
Well this one follows in that vein. It has a piano riff which at the start reminds me of “Alone” from Heart.
Written by Daughtry, Alexander Rethwisch, Christopher Langton, Konstantin Rethwisch and Matthias Weber. A lot of writers.
It lives in this acoustic Fuel/Alice In Chains space because it reminds me of Fuel’s “Something Like Human” album and “Sap” from Alice In Chains.
For a debut album from an American Idol contestant who came 5th, every cent was spent by the label on getting the correct songs as evidenced by the different songwriters on each song.
And he had a lot of musicians on the debut album. Phil
X who performs with Bon Jovi now, is on lead and rhythm guitars. The excellent Josh Freese is on drums. Paul Bushnell plays bass except on “What About Now” which is Chris Chaney. Producer Howard Benson also plays keyboards on the album and Chris Lord-Alge is mixing. These guys and production team don’t come cheap.
In an era of low sales, Daughtry also showed that great music can still sell. In Australia and New Zealand it went Gold. In the UK its certified Silver. In Canada its certified 2x Platinum and in the U.S, its certified 6x Platinum.
The album produced 7 singles. Yep, 7, but then again, every song on the album could be a single, hence the different writers.
And Daughtry sings for most of the album so his voice is left, front and right.
Critics did write, what is the point of having Slash appear on a 2 minute track. Or what would have happened if music took the lead in a song instead of Daughtry singing over everything.
But then again, critics don’t normally sell 6 million albums in the U.S.
Opeth is a Swedish progressive metal/rock band from Stockholm, formed in 1989. The group has been through several personnel changes, including the replacement of every single original member. Lead vocalist, guitarist and songwriter Mikael Åkerfeldt has remained Opeth’s primary driving force since the departure of original vocalist David Isberg in 1992.
Opeth has consistently incorporated progressive, folk, blues, classical, and jazz influences into its usually lengthy compositions, as well as strong influences from death metal, especially in their early works.
The band rarely made live appearances supporting their first four albums, but since conducting their first world tour after the 2001 release of Blackwater Park, they have led several major world tours.
So “Morningrise” is part off the “first four” albums.
It’s the second one, released on 24 June 1996.
Opeth for this album is Mikael Åkerfeldt on vocals and guitars, Peter Lindgren on guitars, Johan De Farfalla on bass and Anders Nordin on drums, percussion. All lyrics are by Akerfeldt and music is by Akerfeldt and Lindgren.
Åkerfeldt has mentioned that “The Number of the Beast” by Iron Maiden and “Lick It Up” by Kiss made him a metal head, but he also was heavily influenced by “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” by Black Sabbath and his favorite metal album is “Sad Wings of Destiny” by Judas Priest.
Lindgren had a nice diet of Iron Maiden growing up and was heavily influenced by “Master of Puppets” from Metallica along with ’70s progressive rock band Camel.
So with similar influences as mine I was more than interested to listen.
I didn’t hear this album until 2005/06 as I started listening to em after “Blackwater Park”.
5 songs clocking in at 60 something minutes.
The song is almost 14 minutes long as it moves between sludgy grooves, acoustic guitars and fast double kick metal like passages.
Vocally, Opeth during this period was more death metal like with some clean vocal passages.
At 3.20, this acoustic guitar riff kicks in, arpeggio based and very Rush sounding and I’m like where did that come from.
It becomes abrasive again with death metal vocals which don’t impress but the music does impress.
At the 6 minute mark, a different acoustic arpeggio riff kicks in and this time, the vocals are in clean tone and I’m all in.
At 8 minutes a Thin Lizzy/Iron Maiden/Helloween like galloping riff kicks in which is great to play on the guitar.
But it gets better, there is this metallic riff at 9.20 which has a jazz like bass line behind it with double kick drums. It feels unsettling and jarring.
The Night And The Silent Water
At 11 minutes long, it’s another short song.
Im not a fan of the death metal vocals, but goddamn I really like the music and it’s movement between distortion and acoustic.
Around the 8 minute mark, this “Children Of The Grave” feel/gallop starts. It keeps building until the guitars explode into playing octave melodies.
At 10 minutes long it’s maybe the shortest song on the album.
The music is very Iron Maiden”ish” like. There is this riff that kicks in at the 2 minute mark, which is excellent.
At 7 minutes there is another acoustic like arpeggio passage which comes out of nowhere and yet it fits nicely. And the last 90 seconds has a riff which appeared on a Dream Theater album in a few years’ time.
Black Rose Immortal
Almost 20 minutes long.
The song has a lot of harmony leads that feel like they are influenced by Thin Lizzy as it’s got that major key Celtic like vibe.
Check out the Maiden like instrumental sections from 7.30 and the excellent volume swell section around 9.30 to 9.43 which is way too short. But hypnotic and very violin line.
To Bid You Farwell
Another 11 minute song to close the album. A “Fade To Black” like arpeggio riff starts it off.
And the song percolates in the acoustic domain until it explodes into distortion at the 7 minute mark.
The amount of acoustic progressions in this song, another person could have written 10 different songs.
The vocals are clean tone and make sure you check out the bluesy kicks at the 4 minute mark.
And it returns back to the acoustics for the last 90 seconds to end the album on somber note. Like Empire Strikes Back.
I wasn’t sure I needed a Kiss “Unplugged” album but after pressing play, I became a fan of it instantly. The songs they selected worked so well in an acoustic setting.
For a band that was trying to find a way to fit into the mixed up 90’s, the “Unplugged” setting was perfect for them.
Apart from Stanley, Simmons, Kulick and Singer, they are also joined by Ace Frehley and Peter Criss for a handful of songs. In Australia it went to Number 4 on the charts. Argentina and the U.S certified the album Gold.
I wasn’t a fan of the distorted version that appeared on the album “Hotter Than Hell”, but goddamn I really like this acoustic version. By far the best song on the album and my go to version for this song.
I think this is the weakest one.
Acoustically, it sounds like a progressive rock song from ELP, something which seems to be lost with the studio cut.
Do You Love Me?
A good song works in any format.
This song works so good in acoustic format, as it brings out its sleazy swampy Delta blues influence.
And how good is Bruce Kulick.
Sure Know Something
One of my favourite Kiss songs. Hated by American fans and loved by the Australian disco rockers.
A World Without Heroes
A perfect song for the “Unplugged” format. Paul Stanley is an excellent rhythm guitarist and Bruce Kulick shines here with the leads.
I didn’t think this would translate well, but it did.
See You Tonight
It’s like the Beatles walked into the building.
I Still Love You
This song is a masterpiece in hard rock balladry. The acoustic arpeggio riff which makes up the Intro and Verse is haunting and it sets the tone of the song.
Stanley delivers a killer vocal but the unsung hero is still Bruce Kulick. And check out Eric Singer, as he pounds those drums like the track is electric.
Every Time I Look At You
I’m not a fan of the studio cut, but it really works here and I like the way the guitar lead break sounds. And Stanley is a crooner, he loves doing vocals like this.
Some members of the family are back, in Ace Frehley and Peter Criss. And I’ve always seen this Rolling Stones track as a punk rock song.
The big hit. I prefer it as an acoustic guitar led cut, instead of a piano led cut and this version rocks, even though the song is a ballad.
Nothin’ To Lose
It sounds like a Motown cut in this format.
Rock ‘N’ Roll All Nite
It’s a campfire song and a perfect closer, sing-a-long to end the night.
The “REVENGE” band sounds great and this show along with the “Kiss III” release serves as a great testament to their abilities.
But the magazines I purchased at the time, hated it and didn’t write kindly about it. But good rock and roll was never meant to be the critics’ darling.
Here are some reviews that I agree with.
And if you want to check out the views of 2Loud2OldMusic, who gave it an easy 5.0 out of 5.0, then click here.
Or from Mr Mike Ladano who also gave it 5/5 stars, click here.
“Reckless” was massive and is still massive. The follow up “Into The Fire” was seen as a failure but “Waking Up The Neighbours” re-established Bryan Adam’s as a tour-de-force. Mutt Lange was on board for that album as co-producer and co-writer, with Jim Vallance only appearing on half of the tracks as co-writer.
Released in 1996 and five years after “Waking Up The Neighbours”, “18 Till I Die” hit the streets.
Bryan Adams and Mutt Lange are back at producing and writing most of the tracks but Jim Vallance is missing.
The band for the album is Bryan Adams is on rhythm guitar and vocals, Keith Scott is on lead guitar, Mickey Curry is on drums, Dave Taylor us on bass, Mutt Lange is on guitars, Michael Kamen is on piano and string arrangements.
The Only Thing That Looks Good On Me
It’s like a ZZ Top track. No blues purist would give them the credit but ZZ Top with “Eliminator” and “Afterburner” brought back the blues into the pop mainstream in a big way. And those little lead breaks and fills on this song are loaded with Texan spice.
The title is one of those cheesy pick-up lines, but hey, Adams makes it work as he sings about how they stick like glue and how she’s the only thing that looks good on him.
Do To You
It reminds me of a song called “What I Like About You” from The Romantics merged with a bit of “Love Shack” from the B-52’s and a little bit of punk from The Clash and somehow it still sounds like Bryan Adams.
And I like the harmonica licks that kick in between the vocal melodies.
Let’s Make A Night To Remember
This is a Def Leppard cut through and through about getting together and getting it on. It could easily be interchanged with a song from “Adrenalize” and people wouldn’t notice.
The video clip has various women posing for Bryan Adams as he photographs them, an attempt to change his image to fit into some voyeur playboy kind of image.
I like the lead break although its only four bars and way too short.
18 Till I Die
I like the arpeggios in the intro.
When the power chords come crashing in, I feel like it’s like a Rolling Stones or The Kinks like track musically. Lyrically it’s about maintaining youthful traits, even as you grow older.
It’s different, more ballad like and very similar to another song he co-wrote called “Glitter” with Motley Crue. And melodic rockers from Sweden would start to have ballads like this in the mid 2000’s.
I guess Adams was a bit ahead here.
(I Wanna Be) Your Underwear
Stupid title, but hey, management and the label were trying to alter Adam’s image from working class hero to playboy.
Keith Scott has got some Steve Vai talking guitar happening with the guitar whistles to kick off the song.
Check out the bass work in the verses from Dave Taylor. Excellent.
We’re Gonna Win
It’s a punk song, but a rock song. And I like it.
I Think About You
A ballad, but more in the country rock ballad arena, something which Mutt Lange was using a lot of Shania Twain.
I’ll Always Be Right There
Strings, an acoustic guitar and a Steve Perry like vocal delivery. It feels like a movie song but two ballads in a row, lost me.
It Ain’t A Party, If You Can’t Come Round
The cheesy titles are back which also reminds me of a Vince Neil song title and so is the loud country blues rock.
The country blues rock from the Mississippi Delta continues with this one and a riff inspired by “Peter Gunn”.
The lead break (although brief) from Keith Scott is Grade A Nashville stamped.
You’re Still Beautiful to Me
I like the feel of this song. It’s a simple drum beat, a strummed acoustic guitar, a great Adams vocal deliver and how good are those licks in between the verses and Choruses and under the vocals.
Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?
Written by Adams, Lange and Kamen and featuring the excellent flamenco guitarist Paco DeLucia.
I came across DeLucia via Al DiMeola and the trio they had with John McLaughlin and became a fan with his acoustic guitar playing.
Featured in a movie I can’t remember but these movie placements ended up being huge promotional vehicles for Adams.
It was a Top 10 album in Australian, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Holland, Finland, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the U.K (which also had it go to Number 1).
In Australia and Canada it was certified 3× Platinum. In the U.K it was certified 2x Platinum. Platinum in the U.S, New Zealand, Japan and Switzerland. Gold in Austria, Belgium, Finland, Germany and Spain.