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

The Week In Destroyer Of Harmony History – October 17 to October 23

4 Years Ago (2017)

METAL T-SHIRTS

My then five year old had to draw his family in kindy class. In the drawing he had me drawn with a black T-shirt and black shorts.

When they say “Take the Black” in “Game of Thrones”, a metal/rock head says, “pffft, we’ve already done that”.

All though I’ve morphed to plain black tees as I have gotten older, I still break out the metal and rock t-shirts now and then.

When I first got together with my wife, I had a Posion T-Shirt with the sleeves cut off and she had dance music playing in the car.

I asked her if she had anything else.

The answer was no.

I asked her if she would be okay if I introduced some new music in the car.

She said okay.

The next day, I had the rock and metal mix tapes ready for indoctrination.

At first it was the more commercial sounding rock and metal.

Secretly the dance tapes ended up in a draw in my room. It was many years later that she asked what happened to those tapes.

\::/

ALBUMS

I started this post with “Just put out the damn album”.

When we laid out cash for the 10 to 15 albums we used to buy a year, we had time to digest and live with the music for a long time so we were okay with the lead up.

But.

The 8 week lead up to the release is too much these days especially when the LP run could be over in a month after it’s released.

That’s right.

That’s how fast new albums disappear from the conversation in the current environment.

The first week sales that might look great on paper are irrelevant.

Check the second week streaming numbers. Then the third, then the fourth and so on. Those numbers will show you if the fans care for the music or if only the press (that the marketing team has paid to promote your product) cares.

And people will complain about streaming revenue and how it doesn’t pay enough. Control your rights, have a song that people connect with and you will be paid well and forever.

If investment firms are cashing in, it’s because streaming pays. But it pays the organization who controls the rights.

YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music and all the rest will pay forever.

Isn’t that better than the one off transaction between the record store and the fan?

That fan could have purchased the album, taken it home, played it once and traded it.

Maybe that fan played the album a million times. But the artist wouldn’t know that behaviour. 

Data tells us what’s hot and what’s not. And like it or not, it’s always been about the hits. To me a hit isn’t the song that takes the number 1 slot on a chart.

“Fear Of The Dark” or “Hallowed Be Thy Name” or “Creeping Death” or “Fade To Black” or “Master Of Puppets” didn’t set the charts alight but the fans made those songs hit’s. Convert staples.

We don’t live in 1989, where mediocre stuff on the radio gets some traction because of the marketing/hype dollars invested into the promotion. We live in the era of connectivity and virality and hits and streaming that pays forever.

But artists need to release a continuous stream of product to win.

TRIBUTE

It’s my bible.

I played the cassette tape to death trying to learn every riff and lick. And when I couldn’t pick it all up, I shelled out $50 on Wolf Marshal’s transcription of the “Tribute” album and I spent a lot of hours woodshedding to it.

Even though Ozzy re-cut his vocals for the release there is no denying Randy Rhoads and his love for his instrument. The way he re-imagines his multi-layered guitar riffs from the studio versions and turns it all into one definitive guitar cut is brilliant. For any guitarist, new or old, this is it. It gets no better than this.

“Mr Crowley” was the first song I got stuck into. It has two shred leads and the way Randy combined those guitar lines into one definitive track for the “was he polemically” section is brilliant. And the outro lead is just one of those songs within a song lead breaks.

“Revelation (Mother Earth)” has a finger picked part at the start which is breathtaking, the interlude is subdued and relaxing but that outro is breathless. And the live tempo is much better than the studio tempo. 

“Children Of The Grave” was the next song I tried to learn after “Mr Crowley”. I love the way Randy plays the C#m riff on the 4th fret on the 5th string. That’s how I learned this song. It wasn’t until many years later I heard the Sabbath version and Iommi is down tuned to C#.

I must say, I love the tempo of this live version.

And that outro improv lead is brilliant especially when Randy starts to reference Ace ala “Love Gun”.

When I think of “Children Of The Grave”, I think of this.

“Goodbye To Romance” is the piece d’resistance in guitar playing. The jazz like chords in the verses, the arpeggio chorus riff and that guitar solo.

These day’s guitarists can do unbelievable and very advanced things on the guitar but do they have the song sense of Randy Rhoads.

JACK BLACK

My kids back then had been watching “School Of Rock” and “The Pick Of Destiny” on and off, so i did a \::/ salute to Jack Black for spreading his love of rock and heavy metal to the masses.

Because the movies capture what rock and roll is all about;

  • going against the grain, 
  • breaking rules set by the institutions/parents and having fun along the way. 

Let’s make sure it will never be forgotten. 

MY NINTH POST ON THE YEAR THAT WAS 1983

“Back To Mystery City” by Hanoi Rocks was covered. It’s unfortunate that most people know of Hanoi Rocks because of drummer Nicholas “Razzle” Dingley’s death due to being drunkenly driven by Mötley Crüe’s Vince Neil.

All death is tragic. And I remember reading an interview (I think it was in Faces) that if Razzle’s didn’t join in 1982, the band probably would have broken up. And then his death in 1985 ended the band.

“Speaking in Tongues” by Talking Heads is mentioned. “Burning Down the House” sold the album. It was everywhere. One of my hard rock bands in the 90’s even covered the song in a rock context.

“Streets” was the creative musical outlet for Steve Walsh in between his departure from Kansas.

The debut LP was released in 1983 on Atlantic Records. The deal was negotiatied with one manager and destroyed by their next manager after he argued with the President of Atlantic Records, Doug Morris.

So Atlantic just released the albums with no promo and if they stuck, good. But they didn’t stick. And they never released the albums on CD while they controlled the rights.

Steve Walsh even got a lawyer to get the albums back from Atlantic and Rock Candy re-released the Streets albums recently.

So before people beat up streaming, they need to understand how it was back then and the monopoly the labels had to kill or break a career.

The Eric Martin Band released a great melodic rock album called “Sucker for a Pretty Face”.

And I still don’t understand how “Burning” from Shooting Star wasn’t a big hit.

Maybe because they were on Virgin Records, a label known for new wave and running low on funds, so when a rock album landed in their laps they had no idea how to promote.

But the truth is that the bands first managers were stealing from em, so the band fired em.

And because these managers used to work as record promotion guys, they blacklisted the band to the radio stations.

Meatloaf released “Midnight At The Lost and Found” but it was lost as “Bat Out Of Hell” was still selling like it was a new release.

And Aldo Nova was trying to capture the highs of “Fantasy” with “Subject”.

8 Years Ago (2013)

STREAMING

The public has voted. It prefers streaming.

You would think the war is over. But it’s not.

Spotify pays millions to the copyright holders.

Now unless the artist is a DIY artist who controls their own copyright, or Metallica or Motley Crue who own their masters, most of the copyright holders are the major labels. So the labels are raking it in.

There is also a term doing the round, called “Black Box Revenue.” This is the name given to income that the record labels collect that cannot be directly tracked to the recordings of a specific artist.

To put it all into context, streaming services pay the labels an upfront fee to access their catalogues. In addition, the services then pay the labels royalties for each stream.

Yep the labels get paid twice because they “own” the masters that artists created.

Musicians always had to work hard to get somewhere, that part hasn’t changed and it will never change while others fly private on the backs of the hard work of artists.

THE LIES OF THE LABELS

During the recorded music industries heyday, there was this widespread idea, sort of like an unwritten law, that we (the fans of music) could purchase music and own it, the same way we purchased and owned the toaster and any other commodity.

Of course when it comes to music, its never that simple.

What the music fans actually purchased was a non-transferable license to listen to the music under very specific and strict conditions. If you don’t believe me read the fine print.

We basically had the right to enjoy the music in private, over and over again.

METALLICA

I had been re-reading a lot of the magazines I accumulated during the Eighties and the Nineties and I finished reading a story about Metallica from the Australian magazine “Hot Metal”.

It was the June 1992 issue.

And in the interview James Hetfield was talking about the stage design and how they would have an area in the middle of the stage set aside for taping. The fans would have to buy a special ticket for the tape section area and Hetfield saw it as a cool thing to flood the market with bootlegs.

Metallica in 1992, wanted to flood the market with bootlegs. Metallica in 2013 had the following disclaimer on their Live Metallica website “Terms of Use”; Any violation of copyright laws may result in severe civil and criminal penalties. Violators will be prosecuted to the maximum extent possible.

KIRK HAMMETT

Kirk Hammett said that there hasn’t been any great bands “because of things like iTunes and streaming and social networking, it’s destroyed music. It’s destroyed the motivation to go out there and really make the best record possible. It’s a shame.”

You see, when you detach yourself from the streets and live in your ivory tower, you don’t see what is happening at ground zero.

Five Finger Death Punch is going GOLD and PLATINUM in a tough sales market. They have great numbers in relation to YouTube views and Spotify streams. Their albums have been selling up to the point of when their new one is released. Think about that for a second.

Shinedown are doing super numbers in relation to sales, YouTube views and Spotify streams. They have certifications to prove it as well.

Will we have the superstars of the Eighties and Nineties again?

Of course not, but we don’t live in a monoculture anymore.

We are living in the golden age of music access. The history of recorded music is at our fingertips and that is a good thing.

STREAMING vs OWNERSHIP

If I pay $120 for a Spotify Premium account, it means that i can listen to millions of songs.

If I buy $120 worth of songs from iTunes in Australia, I can only listen to 70 songs.

If I pay $120 for CD’s, I can pick up 5 albums with a potential of 50 to 60 songs.

BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE

I’m a fan.

The music that BFMV creates is very reminiscent to the hard rock / heavy metal music created between 1981 and 1986, before Bon Jovi released “Slippery When Wet” and the majority of bands started chasing the pop metal / pop rock “pot of gold”. It is basically the same music that I grew up on.

Metallica – CHECK
Iron Maiden – CHECK
AC/DC – CHECK
Slayer – CHECK
Megadeth – CHECK
Judas Priest – CHECK

Modern influences like Machine Head, Pantera and Metallica “Black” album period are also found in the songs. It’s probably why I connected with the band.

And that’s another wrap for another week.

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

Australian Method Series: Jimmy Barnes – My Criminal Record

“My Criminal Record” is studio album number 18 for a Jimmy Barnes. When you add his output with Cold Chisel, his career is massive.

Released on 31 May 2019.

With this album, he became the artist with the most chart-topping albums in Australia with 12 number 1 albums, overtaking U2 and Madonna.

The band for the album is his live band, made up of Jimmy Barnes on vocals, Daniel Wayne Spencer and Davey Lane on guitars, son in law Ben Rodgers on bass, Clayton Doley on keyboards, and son Jackie Barnes with Warren Trout on drums and percussion.

Lending a hand in the song writing department is his Cold Chisel bandmate Don Walker, who co-wrote six of the songs, country artist Troy Cassar-Daley chimes in with two songs, Chis Cheney from “The Living End” contributes a song, Mark Lizotte (otherwise known as Diesel) contributes a song, as well as others, plus there is a John Lennon and Bruce Springsteen cover.

Writing for the album began in 2015, but once his books came out, “Working Class Boy” and “Working Class Man”, well his career took a different turn and suddenly he was a bestselling author, doing speaking tours with music in between and creating documentaries based on the books.

My Criminal Record

Written by Jimmy Barnes and Don Walker.

It’s a slower bluesy tune with the piano setting the mood.

Well I came from a broken home

Writing his books has given Jimmy a different opportunity to write differently and approach different subject matters. If you’ve read “Working Class Boy” you’ll know how broken that home was.

The fact that he made it to 12 number one albums in Australia is amazing.

I keep it locked away somewhere, I know
In a cellar that I call my youth
It’s my criminal record
It’s the truth

It was a burden he carried for a long time. The ghosts of his youth growing up in Elizabeth.

Shutting Down Our Town

Written by Troy Cassar-Daley, this is a great country rock song. It could appear on a Springsteen or Petty album and not sound out of place.

This used to be a place where a man could find some work / Put together Holdens or a foundry job at worst

The car making facilities in Australia are all gone, transported overseas because it’s cheaper. And a lot of towns have suffered this kind of fate around the world in the corporations quest for profits and progress.

Its also autobiographical as all the men who worked at the factory went missing from their homes on payday.

I’m In A Bad Mood

Written by Barnes and Walker it’s got another blues noir soul like groove.

I got me a car but I lost my keys
Got me a girl that I can’t please

Sometimes things don’t roll as they should.

Stolen Car (The Road’s on Fire, Pt. 1)

Written by Barnes and Walker, it’s a smoldering blues cut in the verses before it rocks out with a lot of soul in the Pre Chorus and Chorus.

My life is like a stolen car, out of control
I’ve got no destination, I lost my soul

Great metaphor to sum up his life.

My Demon (God Help Me)

Written by Barnes, Cassar-Daley and bassist Ben Rodgers.

A Blues stomp groove crashes in after the steel guitar Intro which reminds me of “Copperhead Road” by Steve Earle but different.

And my demon he was patient
He just waits till I had nowhere else to turn
And he knew my situation
He was laughing as I burned

Great lyrics.

It showcases that our predicaments in life are down to our own choices. For Barnesy, his Demon didn’t have to do anything, as Barnesy was pretty good at doing shit to himself.

Working Class Hero

Written by John Lennon.

Keep you doped with religion, sex, and T.V.
And you think you’re so clever and classless and free
But you’re still fucking peasants as far as I see

The song is political, a criticism on the difference between social classes and how the working class individuals are being processed into the middle classes, into the “machine”.

Belvedere and Cigarettes

Written by Harley Webster, Jade MacRae and Rodgers.

Belvedere and cigarettes, I’m bleeding myself dry

Sometimes that glass of alcohol is always a friend when your down and out.

I Won’t Let You Down

Written by Chris Cheney from “The Living End”.

It’s a great ballad in which the verses deal with alcoholism/partying and the Chorus deals with making a promise to a special someone that they will change and not let them down.

Stargazer

Written by Barnes and Walker.

She’s a stargazer
Always looking at the sky
And she don’t even look up to me
When she’s on her back at night

A simple laid back tune in which the woman in his life is not paying attention to him or their relationship (hence the staring at the stars).

Money and Class

Written by Barnes, Walker and Rodgers.

I could fight, I could drink, I could shout, I could sing
I could light up a party but I didn’t fit in
Every door that was closed was a door that I had to kick in

Drink, bash and smash your way to the top in this country blues rock tune.

Stolen Car (The Road’s on Fire, Pt. 2)

Written by Barnes and Walker.

It’s a faster take but the same attitude and spirit is still there.

If Time Is on My Side

Written by Mark Lizotte, otherwise known as Diesel or Johnny Diesel, this song wouldn’t be out of place on a Springsteen or Petty album.

The Chorus is loud and you singalong to it. It also reminds me of “Ride The Night Away”.

People come and go
Just like dust in wind they’re blown
As long as I am standing here
I’ll never let you go

That’s life in a nutshell, people would come and go but in the end, it’s just you and your partner.

Tougher Than the Rest

A Bruce Springsteen cut and a fitting song to sum up Barnes and his resilience to life and love.

And that’s Jimmy Barnes in 2019, a Blues Rocker with a little bit of Soul and a little bit of Country.

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1976 – Part 3.2: Kiss – Rock N Roll Over

“Rock N Roll Over”

Another album in the same year, something which was common during this period all the way up to 1985. Then bands started to take two years between albums and then three years. The bigger bands took even longer.

I purchased “Love Gun” after “Destroyer” because of the covers and then “Rock N Roll Over”.

Which also has a great cover.

Michael Doret is another artist who should be as big as a rock star. Apart from Kiss, he has done various editorials and logos for companies and sporting teams. If you follow the NBA, you will know the Knicks logo. That’s Doret.

Check out these Time covers as well just to show a small sample of his work.

Brilliant.

I don’t feel this album is mentioned a lot like other Kiss albums. Maybe because it was sandwiched between “Destroyer” and “Love Gun” for studio albums and “Alive” and “Alive II” for live albums. All of this Kiss product in a 24 month period meant that some albums get missed. It still did the same business as “Destroyer” in sales but it’s not in the conversation as often as it should be.

But the album does have quality. Eddie Kramer is producing and his mix is wonderful with every instrument and vocal having its own space.

“I Want You” was so ahead of its time. It’s like the embryo of melodic Metal. Don’t let the acoustic arpeggios fool you, because when the distorted guitars kick in, its metal and its melodic.

“Calling Dr Love” is good but it gets way too repetitive towards the end. Something which Gene does a lot of in his songs.

“Hard Luck Woman” is excellent and Rod Stewart would have killed the vocal if the song ended up making its way to him. But Pete Criss sounds great as well. I reckon he would have downed a packet of ciggies before the take, to get his voice like that.

And while artists of hard rock dabbled with country at the time, it either sounded too countrish or it had too much rock with a bit of country, but, Stanley delivered a song ahead of its time, fusing, country with rock and a crossover pop sensibility.

“Mr Speed” and “Makin’ Love” are good album cuts.

Press play to hear the riffs especially the speed rock of “Makin’ Love”, which a lot of the NWOBHM bands would be using to create tunes with. I wasn’t sure if all the riffs came from Paul Stanley on these cuts or from Sean Delaney, but when I checked Delaney’s solo album on Wikipedia, his credited as a vocals and keyboards on his own solo album, so Stanley again delivers the goods in the riff department on these two songs.

Ace Frehley is missing in the song writing department for this album, (you just need to read a few bios to understand why, plus the quick turnaround between albums didn’t really give him much free time to write songs and whatever free time he had, was put to other use), but his leads are there to inspire a generation of guitarists.

Finally, Paul Stanley.

He plays all the riffs on the album and it’s important to mention what an accomplished guitarist he is.

In the 80’s, and if you watched most Kiss video clips, the guitar spent more time hanging behind his back then in his hands, so people might think differently about his guitar abilities, but make no mistake, the dude can play and play well.

Crank it and enjoy.

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1976 – Part 3.1: Kiss – Destroyer

I grew up on 80’s Kiss. Albums like “Lick It Up”, “Crazy Nights”, “Hot In The Shade” and “Creatures Of The Night” got a lot of rotation on my turntable, along with “Unmasked”.

Kiss transitioned to a Hair Metal or Pop Metal sound (by the way label reps came up with these stupid terms) because they needed to. It happened in sync with the rise of MTV and how music television got behind promoting acts of similar sounds.

And the Quiet Riot effect was real at the time.

Every artist thought it but no one said it. If Quiet Riot could get a Number 1 album, they could do it as well. So Kiss tried like many others.

So my journey into 70s Kiss started with “Double Platinum” and “Smashes, Thrashes and Hits”. All up five of the”Destroyer” tracks are spread across those albums

When I started to get more cash at my disposal, “Destroyer” was the first album I had on my list because even during the 80s when each new album came out, the reviews kept saying, “a “Destroyer” album this is not”.

Also when they started to record “Revenge” the guys mentioned it has a “Destroyer” feel to it. It was “Destroyer” all around.

In addition, my older brothers had an A4 Postcard of the “Destroyer” album cover pasted into their stamp collection book which I looked at forever and a day, honing my drawing skills trying to replicate it.

The artist Ken Kelly is a rockstar himself. Kiss, Manowar and Rainbow used his talents and even Coheed And Cambria recently used his talents for their “No World For Tomorrow” album.

And after all that exposure to “Destroyer” album, I still hadn’t heard the full album. In my head I imagined perfection.

So when I got the CD I was ready for perfection.

I pressed play, listened to it and came away with the viewpoint that there is no need to hear the other tracks that didn’t appear on the Compilation albums.

The five best songs on the album are “Detroit Rock City”, “God Of Thunder”, “Shout It Out Loud”, “Do You Love Me?” and “Beth”.

“Flaming Youth” I like, it just felt unfinished.

It wouldn’t be an Ezrin produced album unless half the album was accessible and he made sure of that.

One crucial takeaway from listening to the album and reading the credits is that even in the 70s, Paul Stanley was Kiss.

His songwriting contributions to this album are exceptional. He even penned the anthem for Gene Simmons and his “God Of Thunder” anthem.

I know this isn’t a review like I normally do, however if you want to read some killer reviews, then check out the following blogs I follow:

2Loud2OldMusic

MikeLadano

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The Record Vault: Digital Summer – Cause And Effect

Sometimes a band comes across your ears that you just like.

Digital Summer is one such band. They fuse a combination of other styles, but it’s delivered in a way, which is easily assessable and executed with a high degree of technicality.

It was the “Counting The Hours” release in 2010 that got me interested. And I was on board for the fan funding campaign on the “Breaking Point” album and the reason why I got their CDs and other gear all signed.

They are from Phoenix, Arizona, formed in 2006. Up until this day, they have remained independent and unsigned, while still getting radio airplay and building a fan base. They are a great story to read about.

“Cause And Effect” came out in 2007 and the band for the album is Kyle Winterstein on vocals, Ian Winterstein and Johnmark Cenfield on Guitar, Anthony Hernandez on Bass and Chris Carlson on Drums.

I’ve seen em labeled as Post Grunge, Hard Rock, Alternative Metal, Post Rock, Nu-Metal, Modern Rock and Alternative Rock.

To me it’s all Rock And Metal.

Disconnect

A Nu Metal like intro (think Godsmack) gives way to a heavy and melodic verse (think Staind) and an AOR Chorus (think Fuel). And I love it.

There must be a way to cut the cord.

So much harder to do these days as we live in a society which thrives on connection.

I reject this reality

Social media is a one size fits all approach. You either comply with the regulations the providers have or you get booted from the service or your smart enough to have never joined in the first place.

Crash

This one reminds me so much of Staind and I like it.

Press play on this for the Chorus.

When life crashes down around you

What do we do next?

Pick ourselves up and start again or find someone to blame and go one like nothing happened.

Suffocate

Press play for the mood and feeling in the verse.

The Chorus feels like a Seether Chorus with Fuel added in for spice.

What would you do with the whole world / Rolled in your hands? / I’d like to watch it burn

The best way to sum up the darkness when your feeling down and depressed.

Now Or Never

If you like Three Days Grace and Seether, then you’ll like this.

Vocally in the verses, Kyle Winterstein comes across like Aaron Lewis.

Lyrically it’s got that 80s attitude of don’t look back to the past because if you want to change your life, the door is open but you’ll need to act fast as opportunities don’t last forever.

So don’t hesitate because it’s now or never.

Broken

Arpeggios start the song and then distorted guitars kick in.

Its aggressive and Three Days Grace/Fuel definitely cones to mind.

So break my wings and watch me fall / Cause I’m broken

A true way to describe a feeling post relationship break up.

One More Day

A clean tone strummed riff that reminds me of Incubus starts everything off.

But press play for the Chorus and allow the emotion and the mood take you away.

Just tryin to make it one more day

You can tattoo this as a slogan.

Like how Art Of Dying had the Chorus hook of “if I can get through this, I can get through anything”.

That’s life in a nutshell. Trying to make it one more day.

Chasing Tomorrow

Press play for the Chorus which brings memories of Hoobastank’s debut album which I’m a big fan of.

I cut myself / Made a brand new scar today

The scar is a reminder of a time and a place so you don’t make the same mistakes again.

Sick Inside

It feels like a Heavy Rock cut with a bit of Tool like grooves in the Intro.

And check out the super melodic Chorus which Staind would be proud off.

YOU! / Everything you do / MAKES ME SO SICK INSIDE

A lot of rage as the writer wishes they never met their partner.

This Time

A piano melody plays briefly before the guitars crash in. This song is a favorite as well as it reminds me of Breaking Benjamin.

I don’t care what it takes this time / I’ll do anything to make things right / The hardest day of my whole damn life / Was the day that I said goodbye

From the rage in the previous song to the emotion of loss in this one.

Whatever It Takes

It sounds like a Bush cut and I like it.

And this one is back to theme of doing whatever it takes to get someone out of their life.

Love And Tragedy

The song begins with a feed backing guitar with the use of an eBow to keep the notes sustaining.

Then a digital delay The Edge like progression kicks in and I’m all in.

Press play on this especially for the Chorus.

Violent cries of love and tragedy

There is a target to Kyle’s anger and you hear it.

Sxxxoxxxe

The album closer is like a soundtrack song, with a haunting piano, sampled voices and drums and a vocal line processed through a tremolo effect.

Throughout it, you hear guitars feed backing.

And then a vocal melody kicks in without any effects, repeating “just to suffocate with me”.

If you haven’t heard em, get cranking.

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1986 – Part 3.7: Fastway – Trick Or Treat

“Trick or Treat” is album number 4 but for me it will always be known as the soundtrack for the “Trick or Treat” movie and my first exposure to Fastway.

It was released in November 1986, a month after the movie and it would be the final album to feature Dave King on vocals. While the previous album “Waiting On The Roar” did not have a guitar riff written by Fast Eddie Clarke, this album is credited as all songs written by Fastway and there are riffs to be heard.

Fastway is Dave King on lead vocals, “Fast” Eddie Clarke on rhythm guitar/lead guitar, Shane Carroll on second guitar, Paul Reid on bass guitar and Alan Connor on drums.

These guys appear on tracks 1 to 7. The song “Heft”(track 8) is from the debut album and bass is played by Mick Feat and drums by Jerry Shirley. “If You Could See” (track 9) is from the “All Fired Up” album, with bass being played by Charlie McCraken and drums by Jerry Shirley.

The flick had WC wry controversial story in it that was related to blues, rock and metal and it fed on the Satanic Panic sweep wing across the Bible Belt of the U.S.

Spoilers alert.

There is a rock star by the name of Sammi Curr, who sold his soul to the devil to rock and roll ala Robert Johnson.

Curr dies in a hotel fire, but is resurrected by a fan of his playing the last vinyl recording of Curr’s music backwards. The vinyl record was given to him by a DJ called Nuke, played by Gene Simmons.

The fan has been bullied at school and suddenly he is no longer bullied as the reincarnated Curr has some “Final Destination” punishment in mind for the bullies. But like all things, when it comes to your heroes and power, power corrupts and by the end of the movie, the Curr has turned against his fans and it allowed the script writers to come up with these kind of sentences.

Hysterical Survivor: [crying] Oh, God, it was–it was awful! I mean, this guy was shooting stuff out of his guitar and it was–and people were running and I don’t–and my very best friend she was…

Cop #1: All right, all right. What did the suspect look like?

Hysterical Survivor: I told you. It was Sammi.

Cop #1: Who is Sammi?

Cop #2: Sammi Curr? The rock singer?

Hysterical Survivor: [still crying] Yes. Yes.

Cop #2: Sammi Curr died last week.

Cop #1: [both cops turn away from the still-sobbing girl] Looks like we better check out the party punch.

And of course the punching bag for all of the evangelists at the time, Ozzy Osbourne makes a guest appearance as Reverend Aaron Gilstom. This would have infuriated all of those people taking him to court, for supposably having backward messages of “shoot” in “Suicide Solution” and the script was written for Ozzy to smacks down those evangelists.

Reverend Aaron Gilstom: (in response to Heavy Metal music)

Demonic beasts.

Whatever happened to the good old simple love song?

“I love you.”

There good words to use. Nowadays they have to write some sickness. It’s just absolutely sick and bizarre, and I’m going to do my upmost best to try and stop it now.

Go get em Reverend. And now to the album.

“Trick or Treat”

Three chords and tom hits like a metronome. I was immediately invested. It’s a perfect amalgamation of NWOBHM and Hard Rock.

I really like the section, in the verse, as it moves between Em and D for a few bars, and then moves to a C chord and a D chord which acts as a Pre Chorus.

Those intro chords come back in, just before “Fast” Eddie breaks out some licks.

“After Midnight”

It’s like Angus and Malcolm Young joined the band and wrote a derivative version of “You Shook Me All Night Long”.

And I like it.

“Don’t Stop the Fight”

This was my favourite cut when it came out.

The palm muted intro and build up always got me pumped. It still does today.

It reminds me of “Wild Child” from WASP, which is bizarre as Blackie Lawless did get offered the part to play Sammi Curr, but rejected it when he was told he couldn’t write the soundtrack music as Fastway was already contracted to do so.

“Stand Up”

Another head banging intro with a killer vocal melody.

How can you not like it?

Press play to hear the bass groove and lead break. The sound of the toms before it comes out of the solo, always makes me laugh. Corny, but a product of the times and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Lyrically, it’s an anthem, with the message to stand up and be counted.

“Tear Down the Walls”

After sound effects, it goes into a brief song, with the gang chants to “tear down the walls”. It fitted the movie scene nicely.

“Get Tough”

It kicks off side 2.

After some heavily flanged and distorted guitars, that sounded spooky, for lack of a better word, the song kicks in and the message is all about standing up for yourself, because you’ve had enough of the crap that’s been thrown at you.

“Hold on to the Night”

A “Radar Love” like drum groove starts it off and it continues throughout the whole song, while the riffs and melodies change.

“Heft”

Originally released on the album “Fastway”.

I like the heaviness of the intro/verse riff.

From a modern sound, its something that Tool would do, however it also reminds me of tracks like “Mississippi Queen” and “Evie” and it fits the theme of the album perfectly.

“If You Could See”

Originally released on the album “All Fired Up” and how catchy is that acoustic guitar in the Intro?

The album did okay business in Australian and the movie was popular as well. It was hard to get a rental copy of it from the local video shops. As soon as I rented it, I had my neighbours video over and the dubbing began.

For me, there is no filler on this. It’s all killer. Classic NWOBHM with hard rock polish added to it.

Crank it, play it backwards whatever.

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1986 – Part 3.6: Fastway – Waiting For The Roar

“Waiting for the Roar” is the third album from Fastway and an album in which “Fast” Eddie Clarke didn’t write a song on this album. For a band which carries part of his name, it’s confusing how that can be.

However he did allow the other members to flex their song writing chops or the label flexed their chops at getting the other members to deliver a radio friendly melodic rock album.

The band is Dave King on lead vocals, ‘Fast’ Eddie Clarke on lead/rhythm guitars, Shane Carroll on rhythm guitar, Paul Reid on bass guitar and Alan Connor on drums.

Production is handled by Terry Manning.

The majority of the songs are written by the other band members with producer Terry Manning who also plays the synth.

I read some reviews of this recently, which called it a misstep and pop metal and a commercial failure.

I like melodic rock music regardless of who does it.

If you are a fan of Fast Eddie and his Motorhead output and that’s all you want to hear from him, then this will disappoint you greatly.

For starters, vocalist Dave King has a decent range in his voice, so he will always come across melodically. It’s strange how critics were not kind to him however those same critics did embrace Mark Slaughter which is confusing as they sound very similar.

But if you want to listen to a melodic rock album, slickly produced with production sounds borrowed from Mr Mister, Tears For Fears and Cutting Crew albums, then this album is a good listen.

Waiting For The Roar

Arpeggios and a lot of midi sample triggers.

Check out the main guitar riff, it’s like Bad Company, with elements of the blues and a whole lotta hard rock.

The World Waits For You

It has a Chorus that reminds me of “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” from Tears For Fears.

At 7 minutes long, it has an orchestra added to the last 2 minutes which sounds very much like symphonic Metal.

Little By Little

The verse riff is sleazy and bluesy and Dave King delivers another melodic rock gem with his vocal melodies. At times I thought that Mark Slaughter made an appearance on this as the sound of the vocals can be interchanged.

Change

It’s a ballad. 6 minutes in length. If they were going for radio songs, the length of the songs would require heavy edits.

Synth chords and bluesy melodic lines start the song. The bass sounds like many of the Brit Pop bands at the time. The drums are heavily processed with midi triggers so the sounds could be manipulated.

And I like it. The mood it sets gets me and the idea to include the orchestra in the final minutes of the songs is excellent.

Rock On

It wouldn’t be an 80’s album without a song title that didn’t include the word “Rock”.

That’s probably why the movement known as “Thrash” metal really took off during this period.

Tired Of Your Love

It’s catchy and it sounds like the melodic rock tracks that Slaughter would write in a few years’ time.

Move Over

A Janis Joplin cover. A synth with a flanger like effect just hums along while the vocal melody is delivered. When the Jethro Tull inspired riff kicks in, the foot is tapping and I like it.

Kill Me With Your Heart

It’s Chorus is Jim Steinman worthy like the work he did with Bonnie Tyler and an orchestra again enters for the last minute of the song.

Girl

Very synth heavy, which is no surprise as the song is written just by vocalist Dave King and producer Terry Manning.

At the 50 second mark, the guitars make an appearance but they are buried behind the synths and the Tears For Fears bass sound.

The guitar is basically used the way keyboards are used in some other bands, as an instrument that is heard from time to time and hidden more in the background, instead of being the instrument that carries the song.

The chorus is catchy, with its “Girl” chant, however corny the lyrics sound.

And the lead break is full of blues playing, however it is buried

Back Door Man

Janet Jackson would have a hit called “Black Cat” in 1989, with a guitar riff very similar to this.

Everything is judged on sales, especially in 1986 and this didn’t sell as expected. Then again, Fastway albums were never seen as big sellers and from memory I don’t recall any certifications on em either.

While a section of fans of heavy metal and blues rock embraced Melodic Rock, there were also fans who didn’t, choosing to remain within their blues rock and metal worlds. A lot of bands suffered from this splintering in styles.

But all was not lost as one of my favourite Fastway albums is coming up next, with the soundtrack to the “Trick Or Treat” movie, also released in the same year.

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Music, My Stories

The Week In Destroyer Of Harmony History – October 10 to October 16

4 Years Ago (2017)

DEMOS

Napster got real traction because of all the unreleased material on the site like live bootlegs, alternate takes and demo’s.

And we’ve lost access to these kinds of takes forever as we embraced streaming. Then again YouTube does have a lot of this stuff.

And some artists are releasing this content in their Anniversary editions. Whitesnake is a great example and so is Metallica with their recent Black album anniversary edition.

These personal tracks are my favorites to hear.

DENTISTS

Dentistry is a cabal, holding us to ransom in a system which is corrupted and broken. It’s my rant at paying out of pocket costs to a dentist for extracting teeth from my son.

8 Years Ago (2013)

POPULARITY

In 1983, Night Ranger went from an opening act to a headlining act with the release of their second album “Midnight Madness”.

It was seen as the band’s pinnacle moment by an overnight sensation.

But when “Midnight Madness” came out, Jack Blades was 29, Brad Gillis was 26, Jeff Watson was 27, Kelly Keagy was 31 and Alan Fitzgerald was 34.

All of the members had paid their dues in other bands since the start of the Seventies. They were seasoned. Music was all they had. There was no fall back position. There was no safety net or a plan B. It was all or nothing.

In a way, you could call Night Ranger a supergroup

PIRACY

People think that piracy ruined the recorded business. Most people didn’t want the album/CD. People wanted that unique track.

Instead of getting 35 to 45 minutes of music every year, we started to get 50 to 70 minutes of music every two to three years with only about 10 minutes of it being worthy.

The recording business saw the large profit margins and kept on marching along with the overpriced CD’s model, using MTV to push and promote the artists.

When people got the option to download, to cherry pick what they wanted to hear, a whole new market place was born.

The bottom line is this – if the artist creates that undeniable song, they will have no problems selling it. The song will sell itself.

I parted with $27 back in 1993 for the song “Believe” on a Lenny Kravitz CD.

Looking at all the certifications circa 2013, the singles dominate.

Even Metallica have Platinum certifications from songs that were released on their first five albums.

The following songs were given a GOLD certification by the RIAA (U.S) on December 13, 2012.

  • For Whom The Bell Tolls
  • Fade To Black
  • The Unforgiven
  • Master Of Puppets
  • Nothing Else Matters
  • One
  • Enter Sandman
  • The Day That Never Comes
  • Until It Sleeps

40 WORD REVIEWS

Here is one Burning Rain featuring Doug Aldrich.

Here is one on Cage 9 which is like the love child of GNR, Shinedown, Def Leppard, Breaking Benjamin and Muse on hard rock steroids.

RPWL

Lost in all the noise that is the music business, is a German neo progressive rock band called RPWL. They started of their career as a Pink Floyd cover band in the mid 90s and are still going today.

And that’s another wrap for another week.

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Australian Method Series and 1986 – Part 3.5: AC/DC – Who Made Who

“Who Made Who” is like a Greatest Hits album released as a soundtrack album in 1986, for the Stephen King film “Maximum Overdrive”. A forgettable movie.

The funny thing is that the next Greatest Hits slab would come out with another movie, this one a lot better and having a larger social and cultural impact.

Yep, the multi- billion franchise known as “Iron Man” sent AC/DC into the stratosphere. Not that they needed it.

Both album packages are excellent entry points for people who didn’t own or know about AC/DC.

If this was your first exposure, there would be a high chance that you would go out and buy/access some of the back catalogue.

And the song “Who Made Who” introduced Angus Young the shredder. His guitar work here is at a Shrapnel level.

Who Made Who

Drums and bass from Simon Phillips and Cliff Williams in a stock 4/4 time. I’m already invested.

Malcolm kicks in with some power chords outlining a blues chord progression as Brian Johnson fires in with his throaty vocal melody.

Angus then fired in with some fast palm muted licks which sounds like open string licks, something he’ll use to even greater success with “Thunderstruck”. But it’s all picked.

Check out the lead break. Angus breaks out some EVH like tapping.

Lyrically, it’s based around the themes from the “Maximum Overdrive” movie, where the machines come alive and begin killing people.

Like the “Terminator” movie, the tools that humans create, rise up to obliterate the humans.

You Shook Me All Night Long

From “Back In Black”.

It was re-released as a single after the massive success of “Who Made Who” which gave this song a second coming, not that it needed one.

D.T

It’s an instrumental jam which became soundtrack music.

It moves between distortion and clean tone so it could be used in multiple scenes.

Sink The Pink

From the “Fly On The Wall” album.

This song doesn’t get the love it should but goddamn it’s a great song.

The Intro reminds me of “Rock N Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution” and it has a Chorus chord progression which could be interchanged with almost every AC/DC chorus, and I like it.

At 2.50, the Intro kicks back in, with drums and bass before Angus kicks in with his bluesy lead.

Ride On

From the “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” album and Bon Scott gets a spot with this slow blues dirge.

Hells Bells

From the “Back In Black” album.

As soon as the bells chime and the dirty arpeggio riff in Am kicks in, everything starts tingling. It doesn’t matter that I’ve heard it a lot of times. It still gets me.

Shake Your Foundations

Also from “Fly On The Wall”.

Another underrated song from an album that is seen as a disappointment.

You can’t tell me that the Intro/Verse riff isn’t classic AC/DC and a Chorus that almost mimics “You Shook Me All Night Long”.

Chase the Ace

Another instrumental jam session but a bit more aggressive than “D.T”.

Check out the drum groove in the Intro. Something that Lars Ulrich would use to great effect in “Enter Sandman”, which is also based on the “Dirty Deeds” Intro/Verse drum pattern.

For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)

From the album with the same title which came after the “Back In Black” monster.

I was hooked from the opening riff and the way Malcolm and Phil Rudd build it.

Once the slow groove kicks in, it feels that heavy that it’ll destroy everything in its path. And it did.

In Australia and the U.S, it’s 5× Platinum.

And it kept AC/DC relevant in a friendly MTV world which was starting to promote artists who looked great over the music they created.

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The Record Vault: Passion, Grace And Fire featuring John McLaughlin, Al Di Meola and Paco De Lucia

“Passion, Grace & Fire” is the second album by John McLaughlin, Al Di Meola and Paco de Lucía released in 1983. The names follow the words in the album title.

Unlike their first album “Friday Night in San Francisco” which was recorded live, this album consists entirely of studio recordings with the Di Meola and McLaughlin cuts appearing on studio albums previously.

John McLaughlin plays on the centre channel and a nylon-string guitar. Al Di Meola plays on the left channel and plays a steel-string acoustic guitar. Paco de Lucia plays on the right channel and plays a nylon-string guitar.

Aspan

Written by John McLaughlin and it is also the opening song on his “Music Spoken Here” album released in 1982.

It’s impressive in the virtuoso speed at which they play the acoustic guitars.

Orient Blue Suite

Written by Al Di Meola, it’s in three parts, with each part fading out and the new one begins.

Shimmering lush sounding arpeggios begin this song, bringing an Orient and classical feel to the music.

The pentatonic lead breaks, played with intervals delivers an exotic sounding melody.

Towards the end it goes into a flamenco like section, which sounds at odds with the previous sections.

Chiquito

Written by Paco de Lucia it’s impressive in its technicality, but it’s missing a recognisable melodic motif here.

There is a “Live In Spain” version which de Lucia recorded with his group known as “The Paco De Lucia Sextet” and it’s a lot better than this version. There is a 80 second intro played on a woodwind instrument and when de Lucia comes in at the 1.23 mark, with his band it makes the different movements of the song stand out.

Sichia

Side two begins with another Paco de Lucia and like “Chiquito”, its impressive in its playing, but missing a recognisable melody in this format.

David

Written by John McLaughlin and it is also from his “Music Is Spoken” album. It’s not available on the Spotify listing of the album for some reason. Its listed but greyed out. So I went to YouTube to hear it.

The intro is haunting and beautiful at the same time, as one guitar (which I presume is McLaughlin) plays a melody while the other guitars just down strum the chord progressions.

At 1.38, it becomes aggressive with some fast machine gun acoustic lines, as it transitions into a section I call “The Fire Section”. Towards the end of the song it goes back into the Intro, which sounds contemplative.

Passion, Grace & Fire

Written by Al Di Meola, this song appeared on his “Electric Rendezvous” album, released in 1982.

There is the piece de’resistance on the album as it has the arpeggio intro riff that is recognisable and it keeps repeating throughout the song.

The section from 1.49 to 2.02 is a favourite and the riff repeats again.

Basically the skill of the players to interchange between fast melodic licks and rhythm duties is great to listen to.

The three acoustic guitars sound great and it doesn’t get boring. Stylistically it moves between Spanish/Flamenco to Classical to Gypsy to Jazz easily. If you enjoy virtuoso playing, you will love this. If you want your instrumentals to have memorable melodies, then this might be difficult to digest within the flurry of notes on offer.

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