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

The Record Vault: Def Leppard – High ‘N’ Dry

I don’t have the vinyl anymore. It was in a box that went missing in one of my many house moves. I’ve been meaning to replace it, but I just haven’t gotten around to it. And then Def Leppard announced those marvellous box sets that would cover their career a few years ago, and I’ve seen a few of em reviewed on the blogs I follow, so I’m thinking, it’s time to part with some monies and get em.

Spotify also has em to listen and man, listen I did. For those who reckon that once you’ve heard an album, you don’t need to purchase it, well those people have never understood the collectors mentality.

Anyway, let’s get to the album, released in 1981.

The band is the same as the debut with Joe Elliot on vocals, Steve Clark and Pete Willis on lead and rhythm guitars, Rick Savage on bass and Rick Allen on drums.

The album cover by Hipgnosis is smart and done well, but my 80’s mind, made me ignore it for quite some time. It wasn’t as good as the debut cover, and nothing like the covers of the other albums I was purchasing.

Let It Go

It’s written by Pete Willis, Steve Clark and Joe Elliott.

Many would say its AC/DC influenced and I would agree, but then again a lot of British acts like Queen, Sweet, Mott The Hoople and T Rex who influenced Def Leppard had songs with riffs like this. But producer Mutt Lange did work with AC/DC and during this period, “Back In Black” and “Highway To Hell” were selling like crazy.

Most Def Lep fans would know that it was originally titled “When the Rain Falls” with different lyrics and performed live during the “On Through The Night” tour.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Mutt Lange had something to do with the song title change.

Another Hit And Run

Written by Rick Savage and Joe Elliot. It’s one of my favourite tracks from when I dropped the needle on this. I can never get enough of the Chorus riff and the Verse Riff.

High ‘N’ Dry

The song is written by Steve Clark, Rick Savage and Joe Elliot. If you want to hear the embryo of the “Photograph” riff, then press play on this and enjoy.

And it also became famous when it made a list called the “Filthy Fifteen”, which is a list of songs criticised by the Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC), for having explicit lyrics that describe alcohol use and intoxication.

Seriously the subject matter on this song is meek compared to some other song. But then again what would a bunch of politicians wives know about hard rock music.

Bringin’ On The Heartbreak

One of Def Lep’s best slower tempo songs. Written by Steve Clark, Pete Willis and Joe Elliot. If those harmony guitars in the Intro don’t grab your attention, then please check for a pulse.

And that Chorus. Wow. The multi layered vocals that would become synonymous with the “Pyromania”, “Hysteria” and “Adrenalize” albums are all here.

Steve Clark also owns this song in the lead department. He didn’t have the top hat of Slash to give him that certain unique look, but his pentatonic playing is exceptional.

In relation to the videos, the live recording with Pete Willis is my go to version, but the video with the boat on a lake featuring Phil Collen is the more well-known one. And the 1984 remix version with the synths is a misstep. There was nothing wrong with the original at all.

Switch 625

An instrumental and it was the song playing in the end credits of “Cobra Kai” Season 4 finale. Written by Steve Clark and all solos are handled by him as well.

Just press play, close your eyes and let the music take you to the places your mind conjures up.

You Got Me Runnin’

Side 2 kicks off with this, written by Pete Willis, Steve Clark and Joe Elliot. I’ve read some reviews that basically ignore Side 2, but man, some of my favourites are here.

I like the 70’s vibe this song gives and the hooks keep coming with the Chorus vocal melody. And press play for the “you got me running” section just before the Pete Willis pentatonic bluesy solo.

Lady Strange

Written by Pete Willis, Steve Clark, Rick Allen and Joe Elliot.

How good is this song?

If it had a different title, it would still be in the set lists today.

The intro harmonies get me hooked and the Chorus riff with the melodic lead gets me moving and tapping my foot.

The verse riff has some sped up chords that would be slowed down in a few years’ time for a song called “Pour Some Sugar On Me”.

But it’s that metal riff just before the Chorus that seals the deal. Press play to hear that and then to hear Clark wail.

And as they come out of the Chorus, there is this arpeggio riff which is excellent, Elliot starts singing and the music morphs into the verse riff and then we are back to the Chorus and that infectious vocal melody, of “lady strange I need you, lady strange I want you”.

On Through The Night

Written by Steve Clark, Rick Savage and Joe Elliot. The song has the same title as the debut album.

It’s another killer riff (which also becomes the verse riff) to start the song off. It’s very Blackmore like.

But press play to hear those Randy Rhoads style arpeggios in the Bridge just before the Chorus. For a band who wanted to rule the charts, they definitely kept their fingers on what was hot and what wasn’t.

Mirror Mirror (Look Into My Eyes)

Written by Steve Clark and Joe Elliot.

A very underappreciated cut.

Press play to hear how the verses are constructed. The drivers are the bass and drums.

Rick Savage plays a pulsing bass riff with Rick Allen providing a thundering beat and then the guitars start to decorate with chords at low volume and then at a more aggressive volume. Joe Elliot showcases his vocals chops moving between metal god and rock god melodies.

The Chorus has a catchy vocal melody with multi layered vocals.

And those harmonies in the solo. Just so many good sections in the song that words can’t describe.

I also like how in the last 40 seconds, it starts off with the pulsing bass and drums for a few seconds before the Chorus riff thunders in to close out the song.

No No No

Written by Rick Savage, Pete Willis and Joe Elliot.

I feel like its “Ballroom Blitz” merged with “Tie Your Mother Down” and I like it.

Def Leppard will always be known for “Pyromania” and “Hysteria”. Those albums have moved over 40 million in sales combined and they make up Def Lep’s streaming Top 10 lists as well. But I’ve never judged albums on how many units sold. It’s based on songs and riffs, and the quality and influence of this album cannot be ignored.

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Influenced, Music, My Stories

The Week In Destroyer Of Harmony History – January 16 to January 23

I’ve been all over the place with posts this month.

It all started when I got Covid around the 7 January (from my brother in law who had it and decided to keep it secret and infect us all) and although I’m triple vaxed, there are still some minor symptoms like a constant cough, a small temperature increase and just tiredness or laziness.

So these posts are normally released on Sunday’s but I’ve been late.

4 Years Ago (2018)

FORGOTTEN 80’S

“Better Days”, “Taking On The World” and “The Feeling Within”. From Gun, a very underrated and under-appreciated band.

With their debut album, GUN got lumped in with the hard rock/glam rock style of bands because that’s the only way the record labels knew how to promote the music. They would basically compare it to something else which is popular and hopefully they would get 10% of that audience to buy blind. 30 years later, it’s still the only way record labels know how to promote music.

“Now Forever After” and “Stargazer”. From Kingdom Come.

The most well-known version of the band only lasted two albums and one touring cycle. By the late 80’s the record labels didn’t care about artist development. It was all about platinum certifications. If the artist got one, they had another shot. If the artist didn’t get one, they got dropped.

Kingdom Come went platinum with their debut and their follow up didn’t set any sales record alight, even though it was better musically than the debut.

Musically, Kingdom Come had three sides. One side was the 70’s inspired classic rock of Led Zeppelin. The other side was the blues rock of AC/DC, while the third side was the Euro melodic rock inspired by Deep Purple, Scorpions and Rainbow combined with a little bit of Toto and Styx.

Check em out.

“I Believe In You”, “Knock You Out” and “Hands Of Time”. From Y&T.

For many, “Earthshaker” is a landmark album. If you took all of the different rock stylings happening at the time, and put them into the Y&T blender, “Earthshaker” is the result.

For Y&T, they were just happy to have a deal with A&M, after two albums on a different label who had had no clue what to do with the band.

Coming into the album, Y&T had already played the songs live quite a bit, hence the reason why everyone who heard the album said, “wow, these songs would really work live”.

“Abandon” and “Heartbreaker”. From Dare.

Both songs are from the “Out Of The Silence” album released in 1988 on A&M records. Dare was formed in 1985 by former Thin Lizzy keyboard player Darren Wharton after Phil Lynott had dissolved the band.

They had some success and when their second album “Blood From Stone” released in 1991 tanked in the sales department, the band was dropped.

“Lovers”. From Fate.

One of those acts who are classed as B or C level. This is from the “Cruisin’ For A Bruisin’ album released in 1988. A friend of mine had this album and he dubbed it on a blank cassette for me around 1992. I knew nothing of the band back then and I still don’t know anything about the band today, but what can I say, I’m a sucker for a derivative and clichéd melodic rock song and as soon as the Aldo Nova “Fantasy” influence kicked the song off, I was hooked.

“Future World”, “We Came To Rock”, “Yellow Rain”, “Loud’N’Proud” and “Rodeo”. From Pretty Maids.

They should have had more mainstream success. Not sure if the band name helped their chances or hindered them. Check out the “Future World” album.

“Under The Gun” and “Turn It On”. From Danger Danger.

For a band formed in 1987, they had Al Pitrelli on guitar for a brief time, and after they got a recording contract, Pitrelli left and was replaced by Saraya guitarist Tony “Bruno” Rey (who actually played on the debut album) before he returned to Saraya and Andy Timmons replaced him and played on the rest of their debut album, which was released in the same year.

“Long Way From Home” and “Angel In My Heart”. From Britny Fox.

Carbon copy of Cinderella, Britny Fox formed in 1986 in Philadelphia. In fact, the band had former members of Cinderella in its roster and their connections to Cinderella allowed the band to secure a major recording contract. And while they sounded like other bands, I’m still a sucker for derivative rock.

“Misery Loves Company”, “Nobody Knows”, “Hard Luck” and “Letters In The Rain”. From Lillian Axe.

Formed in 1987, they caught the attention of Ratt’s management which led to a record deal with MCA and Ratt’s Robbin Crosby producing the band’s first album, “Lillian Axe”.

As Wikipedia tells me, neither the debut nor the 1989 follow-up, “Love + War”, met commercial expectations and the group was quickly dropped. But check em out.

“The Right To Rock”, “United Nations”, “King Of The Rock” and “Don’t Say You Love Me”. From Keel.

The rock is strong with Keel.

And Ron Keel was always a full throttle with his voice.

Don’t let anyone tell you
How to live your life
But they do tell us how to live our lives. If you have a credit card, you are being told how to live your life with each monthly repayment. If you have a mortgage, you are being told how to live your life with each monthly repayment. God forbid if you are late. If you have are employed, you are told how to live your live every single day, just so you get that fortnight or monthly pay gets deposited into your account.

I’ll make my stand
If you’re with me, raise your hands

We had splintered by 1987.

Metallica went on tour with James Hetfield having a sticker on his guitar that said something like “Kill Bon Jovi”.

Mustaine called Queensryche “Yuppie metal”.

Any artist that introduced keyboards or had keyboard players got labelled as sell-outs. Any artist that brought in outside writers also got labelled sell-outs.

The label marketing machine was in overdrive creating new genres. We had Glam Rock, Pop Metal, and Glam Metal. We had hard rock, progressive rock, psychedelic rock and pop rock. We had thrash metal and speed metal. We had heavy metal and technical metal and progressive metal. Death metal was becoming a thing. Europe was having their own thing happening with power metal, progressive classical metal, folk metal and the embers of a black metal scene were beginning.


In the states, hard core was a thing and when it became heavy, grindcore became a genre. Punk was just punk, once upon a time. Then it became post punk, punk rock, punk metal and punk pop.

It’s like that scene in “The Warriors” with Cyrus trying to unite the gangs. It didn’t end well for Cyrus.

8 Years Ago (2014)

ADAM DUCE

When original founding members are removed from the band they founded, the only winners are the lawyers.

Adam Duce claimed that Machine Head kicked him out of the band just before they signed a new record deal however the Machine Head camp said, Duce left on his own because he was “sick of it”.

So Duce sued the band, its three current members and manager in Federal Court, alleging trademark infringement, breach of partnership agreement and defamation, among other things.

When a member leaves or is fired from a band (depending on what story you believe), this rubbish normally happens.

It will all come down to the band agreement in place. Being in bands previously, the band agreement is a document that is meant to be fair amongst the band members. So if the other members feel like they are putting in more effort, then why should they split things evenly.

Robb Flynn is a lifer when it comes to music. He lives and breathes Machine Head. He is the main songwriter, the one that goes home and thinks about Machine Head. The one that dreams about Machine Head. The one that stays to the late hours recording the albums, mixing them and all of that.

There are no winners in court cases like these except the lawyers/attorneys.

And a few months later, the case was settled with the terms of the deal remaining confidential as both sides were able to reach a satisfactory agreement.

Fast forward to 2019, Adam Duce, Phil Demmel and Dave McClain had a jam session at the opening night of Demmel’s Pub. Which is bizarre as McClain was going to quit Machine Head if Duce remained.

I guess hell had frozen over.

CHAOS

It’s a chaotic and disruptive time in the music business and with chaos comes opportunity.

On one side you have COPYRIGHT. And that can be broken down into a lot of other little chaotic categories like infringement, the length of copyright terms, copyright monopolies, the lack of works entering the public domain and so on.
The public domain is culture. Keith Richards once said, ‘you can’t copyright the blues.’

Culture is built and expanded by sharing stories and building on the works of others. Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and all of the sixties greats like Hendrix, Clapton and Beck used this concept. They built off the blues.

However copyright law and its real purpose got hijacked by corporations and everything changed. Instead of culture being built up in the works that the public creates and shares, the public is now faced with copyright corporations locking away works that should be in the public domain by now.

It is important to respect the public domain.

THE PEOPLE BEHIND THE SCENES

Video games are one of those peculiar cultural items where the games are well-known, however the actual designers are not really known.

Does anyone know the names of Tomohiro Nishikado (“Space Invaders”) or Toru Iwatani (“Pac-Man”) or Yu Suzuki (“Outrun”)?

I didn’t, however I knew the games and I even spoke about the games to my kids.

And it got me thinking about some names behind some of the great music that I love.

Tom Werman is one person that comes to mind immediately. Regardless of the different versions of history out there from some of the artists that he worked with, one thing is clear; Tom Werman was a pop producer who got selected by the A&R people of the labels as the man to get hard rock acts on the radio. And he did that job with a lot of Gold and Platinum certifications along the way

Michael Wagener is another that comes to mind. He was a producer, an engineer and a mixer.

What about Randy Staub?

He engineered “Dr Feelgood” from Motley Crue, the black album from Metallica, “Keep The Faith” from Bon Jovi, Motley Crue’s self titled album, “Subhuman Race” from Skid Row, “Load” and “Reload” from Metallica, “Satellite” from POD and many others like Five Finger Death Punch’s “War Is The Answer.” He never was the Producer but was an in demand engineer. Those sounds are from Staub.

Mike Fraser is another whose name is in the majority of albums that I like as mixer.

Of course there are others like Max Norman, Roy Thomas Baker, Jack Douglas, Bruce Fairbairn, Bob Rock, Duane Baron/John Purdell, Dave Prater and many more that shaped the albums that we have come to known to love. The music has achieved worldwide acclaim, the bands and the song writers have achieved worldwide acclaim however a lot of the people behind the scenes that captured the sounds, mixed them, edited them, spoke out about arrangements and so forth, have not.

ZEBRA

Randy Jackson from the band Zebra does Robert Plant better than Robert Plant!

It was Dream Theater’s cover of their song “Take Your Fingers From My Hair” in 2009 that re-awakened my interest in Zebra.

Isn’t it funny how a cover song brings back the original song and the band into the psyche.

Jackson founded Zebra in 1975.

They had a very large following before their first record ever came out in 1983 on Atlantic Records.

Like most bands in the later part of the Seventies and the early part of their Eighties, most of their fan base had been developed from their live shows.

In addition, the majority of the bands had been slugging it out for a decent time in the clubs before getting their recording contract.

The follow-up album “No Tellin Lies” in 1984 stalled in the U.S and by 1986, their 3.V album wasn’t even noticed and Atlantic dropped them.

Then it was over.

Randy Jackson formed China Rain and they lived in development hell and never got a fair shake.

Randy Jackson finished the China Rain record in 1990 and Atlantic Records decided not to release it. Sound familiar. Gatekeepers controlling the fate of musicians. Dee Snider suffered the same fate with his “Desperado” project.

From 1992 to 1996, Randy was involved in the development of an interactive musical instrument called “The Key”.

“Zebra IV” started recording in 1996. The drums were done in a week in 1996 and the rest of the album was done sporadically after that. The album didn’t see the light of day until 2003.

Throughout the Nineties, Randy also built up his acoustic shows. Nobody wanted to book him in the beginning, even his trusted agents in New Orleans who had booked Zebra for 20 years rejected him. Now he is playing places like Japan and criss crossing the US and he hasn’t even put out a record of the acoustic project. Yep, while labels and artist still believe it is about the album, here is Randy Jackson delivering a show that is spreading via word of mouth.

In between Randy did “The Sign”, a melodic rock supergroup. He also handles the vocals for the wildly successful Symphonic Music shows of Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Eagles performing to packed houses across the country (from 1996).

He is a lifer in the music business. Prepared to do what he needs to do to get. He didn’t get the fame that other bands did, however it didn’t mean he didn’t have success.

LIFERS

If you want to have a career in the music business, “Lifer” is a term that you need to get used to. I’m other words, you need to be in it for life.

CREDITS

Sebastian Bach believes he’s been ripped on the songwriting credits of the songs that Bolan and Sabo wrote. Doc McGhee said that Bach doesn’t understand how Copyright works and that their is a difference between writing a song and performing a song.

Some musicians believe that their performance on the song should give them a songwriter credit, which is a false belief.

There is always a main songwriter in each band. That is why in Motley Crue you see a lot of songs written by Nikki Sixx. Iron Maiden have Steve Harris. Skid Row has Rachel Bolan. Zebra has Randy Jackson. The Police had Sting.

In the majority of the cases, the original song writer will be listed as the song writer. There could be a band agreement in place here that distributes monies earned from the songwriter to the other band members in relation to licensing royalties.

Dee Snider had one with Jay Jay French.

Van Halen had one but in the 90s they started to give the songwriting credits to the people involved in the songwriting and that didn’t include Michael Anthony.

WICKED SENSATION

Dokken didn’t get much traction in Australia so you rarely saw them on the music television shows in Australia.

And just when Dokken had the world in their hands, unresolved internal conflicts made the members part ways. The internal conflicts stem back from the beginning of Dokken.

This is how drummer Mick Brown summed up the conflicts;

“A few years after running into Don Dokken, he took some material that George and I had wrote and took it to Germany and pretty much put his name on it, you know what I am saying (laughing) and he got a recording contract.

So he called me up to play.

I looked over at George and I said George, this guy’s got our music and he’s got a record deal and we were pretty upset about that because he’s got our songs.

But then we also thought, it’s kind of an open door so we went along with it. I think probably when people talk about the turmoil in Dokken, that was pretty much the moment where it all started.

I remember Don asking us to, if he could take some of our songs over there to try and get something going in Europe and we said “No” (laughing) but he did anyway.”

And if there was any doubt to Lynch’s guitar god status, “Wicked Sensation” cemented it.

In 1990, I was in a rut in relation to my guitar playing. “Wicked Sensation” re-awakened my desire and showed me new ways to play chords, create rhythms and structures.

Much in the same way that the “Randy Rhoads Tribute” album and Tesla’s “The Great Radio Controversy” became my bibles, “Wicked Sensation” was next in my list.

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

1986 – Part 4.2: Quiet Riot – QR III

“QR III” or “Quiet Riot III” is actually the fifth studio album from Quiet Riot if you can the “QRI” and “QRII” albums with Randy Rhoads.

It was released in 1986 on Pasha/CBS and it is the last album to feature lead singer Kevin DuBrow until the 1993 album “Terrified” which got a zero skull review in an Australian mag and the word “Terrible” as part of the review.

It’s produced by Spencer Proffer again with John Purdell.

A funny thing was happening in 1986. For some strange reason, artists who had massive sales in 1983 and 1984, struggled to match those sales a few years later.

Twisted Sister had big sales in 1983 and 1984 and they played to half empty venues on the “Come Out And Play” tour in 1985 and by 86, no one really cared about em and by 87 they had broken up.

Judas Priest had declining album sales by 1986, but still proved to be a big drawcard on the live circuit.

Ratt couldn’t match the success of their 1984 debut and by 1986, “Dancing Undercover” was just a blimp on the charts.

And then we have Quiet Riot.

Following the massive success of “Metal Health” and the more modest reception of “Condition Critical”, sales of “QR III” were even lower and it did not achieve any certification.

This Quiet Riot album is also the first album to feature Chuck Wright, formerly of Giuffria, on bass as an official member replacing Rudy Sarzo.

Wright joins Kevin DuBrow, Frankie Banali and Carlos Cavazo.

Before I get into the album, it’s worth mentioning that I never understood the argument put forward about bands rocking less when keyboards are involved. This album has a lot of keys but it still rocks.

Main Attraction

It’s a songwriting committee of Carlos Cavazo, Frankie Banali, Kevin DuBrow, Spencer Proffer, John Purdell and Chuck Wright.

They keys are prominent and the track could be mistaken for a Styx or Toto track.

The Wild and the Young

The song is written by Proffer, Banali, Cavazo, DuBrow and Wright.

Behind “Bang Your Head”, “The Wild and the Young” is the next best original.

The drum groove from Banali starts things off. Then the guitars and the keys play in unison until Cavazo overdubs a memorable little lead.

And the vocals start. While DuBrow is more miss with his lyrics, on this song he’s perfect with his message and delivery.

The music video for the song wasn’t cheap as it shows a dystopian future under control by a totalitarian militarist government and they are trying to round up anyone who is listening to rock music.

Twilight Hotel

Written by Wright, Banali, Cavazo, DuBrow and Proffer. I was drawn to this song immediately because it was different musically.

Down and Dirty

Written by Dubrow, Banali, Cavazo and Wright. It’s written as “Dow And Dirty” on Spotify. It’s typical hard rock and of the times.

Rise or Fall

Written by Dubrow, Banali, Cavazo and Wright.

I dig the opening riff on this. And Cavazo goes to town on the lead break.

Put Up or Shut Up

Written by Dubrow, Banali, Cavazo and Wright.

CC DeVille would have been listening to this as the main riff sounds like something that DeVille tweaked for “Nothin But A Good Time”.

Still of the Night

It’s written by the same songwriting team that wrote “Main Attraction”.

The cut is excellent, a soft rocker but so far removed from the “power ballad” formula.

Bobby Kimball from Toto performs backing vocals on the track, however the “backing” vocals are really cranked up in the Chorus, so it’s safe to say that Kimball was brought in to be the lead vocal there.

Bass Case

It’s an Instrumental written by Wright and all bass. For a minute length, I’m not sure why this is here.

The Pump

Written by Banali, Cavazo, DuBrow and Wright. It’s an attempt to capture “The Stroke” from Billy Squier.

I’m surprised that this song hasn’t been sampled by the rappers as it’s got a lot of good bits in it.

Slave to Love

The mighty Stan Bush is here as a songwriter, along with the committee of Banali, Cavazo, DuBrow, Proffer and Wright.

Musically it’s excellent. It’s almost melodic Metal The melodies are also excellent. Lyrically it’s crap.

Helping Hands

Written by Dubrow, Banali, Cavazo and Wright. It’s an underrated cut with a heavy 70s influence with a killer lead by Cavazo.

While a lot of people were off the QR train by the time this album hit the streets I wasn’t one of em. I was hooked by the music video for “The Wild And The Young” and when I saw the High Syme cover I was happy to part with my money.

Musically it’s a very mature album and an album that’s aged well.

Check out and be wild and young again.

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

The Record Vault: Def Leppard – On Through The Night

“On Through The Night” will turn 42 this year.

It’s the debut album from Joe Elliot, Pete Willis, Steve Clark, Rick Savage and Rick Allen, otherwise known as Def Leppard.

I would love to say I purchased this when it came out, but it was after “Adrenalize” that I went back and got this.

Rock Brigade

It brings the standard hard rock blues vibes to the album but it’s got all the glitter from Sweet added to it.

Pete Willis takes the solo spotlight on this.

Look out for the rock brigade is the catch cry and look out we did.

Hello America

After the “hello America” chants, a “Strutter” style beat and feel kicks in.

I like the Beach Boys vibe, especially after the solo section which Steve Clark nails.

Sorrow Is A Woman

Press play to hear the “Stairway To Heaven” inspired lead break.

And how good is that harmony solo section from the 2.40 mark, which leads to the Outro.

It Could Be You

It shows their love of UFO, Mott The Hoople, Sweet and hard rock Queen.

Hell, the song wouldn’t be out of place on a Judas Priest album.

Satellite

Listen to that tasty palm muted arpeggio riff from Steve Clark in the verses after the first Chorus and how good is that “staring up at the sky” section) which shows the adventurous and melodic spirit of the band.

Press play to hear the solo. It’s Pentatonic heaven and the section straight after the lead.

When The Walls Came Tumbling Down

How good is the clean tone intro?

And then it morphs into those galloping style riffs which was a big part of the NWOBHM and something Iron Maiden would use a lot, “The Trooper” comes to mind immediately.

With a Chorus that reminds me of New Wave acts.

Press play to hear the riff after the Chorus at 2.34.

Wasted

What a headbanging riff to kick off the song.

For anyone who wanted to question the metal credentials of Def Leppard, I always pointed them to this song.

Rocks Off

It’s interchangeable with “It Could Be You” with very similar riffs being the main riffs. Then again the whole blues hard rock movement was based on the same riffs being re-used by each individual artist.

It Don’t Matter

It could have come from the fingertips of Michael Schenker as “Rock Bottom” comes to mind. And how good is that Chorus, just a simple, “It don’t matter” line repeated in a simple AC/DC style backing vocal.

Answer To The Master

How good are those harmony leads in the Chorus?

And the song has a little drum solo before it moves into a section that reminds me of U.F.O.

But press play to hear, the lead break courtesy of Clark, with an open string lick before it morphs into the pentatonic lines.

Overture

It’s 7 plus minutes long and it doesn’t feel laboured and boring. At the 2 minute mark it starts to go into a Thin Lizzy style of song, full of energy and harmonies.

But my favourite part is the stop start harmony section from the 4.20 mark and at 4.40, Joe Elliot starts singing a haunting melody, before a wah solo kicks in.

And from here to the end, it’s that good, that the only thing I could do is press repeat.

For all the multi-platinum and Diamond certifications that came afterwards, there is something simple and organic about the debut.

Check it out.

P.S.

Pete Willis will be forgotten in the future when Def Leppard is mentioned and written about, however his songwriting chops and guitar playing on this album is at a high level.

And let’s not forget Steve Clark. Together they formed a formidable guitar team.

Post Def Leppard, check out the excellent band Roadway in which Willis wrote most of the tracks. The album came out in 1991 and it’s a melodic rock gem, a continuation of the work he started with “Pyromania”.

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

1986 – Part 4.1: Robert Tepper – No Easy Way Out

If you watched “Rocky IV” in the 80’s, you would have heard it’s melodic rock soundtrack.

At its essence, the “Rocky IV” movie is a combination of music videos segments.

The “Apollo vs Drago” pre fight has 4 minutes devoted to “Living In America”. There are two training scenes, with “Hearts On Fire” and “Training Montage” taking up 8 minutes in total. Then there is the final fight scene, which takes up another 4 minutes.

There is also a scene in the movie, which involves Rocky driving his sports car, with the song “No Easy Way Out” playing and various scenes of Rocky’s time with Apollo flashing before his eyes. It happened at a pivotal time in the time, with Apollo dying in the ring, Rocky then organising a fight against Drago (Apollo’s killer) and Adrian telling him, “you can’t win”.

Close to 30 minutes of a 90 minute movie is devoted to musical scenes.

So it was only a matter of time before an album came out from Robert Tepper.

But before that, another Stallone movie came out in 1986 called “Cobra” which had the song “Angel In The City”, another Tepper cut.

So Tepper had momentum with the soundtrack songs, released the album and nothing. Back when sales was the metric of success, the album stiffed and charted low.

But it doesn’t mean the album is crap. It’s actually very good melodic rock album.

First check out the studio band, as it has some experience.

While Tepper does the vocals, Dan Huff and Guy Marshall play the guitars.

Myron Grombacher is on drums.

Tim Landers on bass and a range of keyboardists in Kim Bullard, Alan Pasqua and Richard Gibbs.

You can Google their names and see their body of work as band members and session musos.
 
Let’s get to the album.

“No Easy Way Out” was released in 1986 by Scotti Brothers Records.

And it’s no surprise, that the album starts off with the two soundtrack songs.

No Easy Way Out

The bass riff to start it off is iconic. The feel of it reminds me of the bass riff in “Living On A Prayer”.

The vocal melody from Tepper is emotive and how good is the outro solo.

There’s no easy way out
There’s no short cut home

Truth right there.

Angel Of The City

The bass groove is simple, yet memorable as it drives the song with the synth chords.

The song will always bring back memories of the”Cobra” movie. Brigitte Nielsen is doing a photo shoot while “The Night Slasher” and his entourage get ready to kill another victim.

Whip it cracks just like thunder
Some survive her, most go under

The lyrics deal with the survival of the 9 to 5 grind by looking for some mythical Angel to save us.

Don’t Walk Away

Another classic. Latin like but with a bit of New Wave and a whole slab of melodic rock. It basically could be on a melodic rock, a Duran Duran album or a Ricky Martin album.

Once we had a purpose
Once, once we had a song
Once the feeling disappears
It’s all gone

Can love ever come back if disappears?

Your Love Hurts

It has this “Purple Rain” vibe which I like.

Press play to hear the synth melody.

Restless World

It’s got this Bruce Springsteen spirit which I like.

A restless spirit
Looking for a chance
In this restless world

Aren’t we all.

Hopeless Romantic

It’s like mid 80s Rush and I like it.

Soul Survivor

It’s a favorite. Very pop rock like.

Check out the arpeggios in the Intro which also reappear in the Chorus.

My soul survivor
Without you, what do I have left
My soul survivor
Cannot make it by myself

Press play to hear the vocal melody in the Chorus. It reminds me of the band Gun.

If That’s What You Call Lovin’

The balladeer career of Michael Bolton would be proud of this one.

The song fits on the album however I’m not a huge fan of songs like these.

Domination

Almost soul funk rock. Mid 80s Rush definitely comes to mind.

After the second album “Modern Madness” (1988), Tepper got put on ice by his label. They weren’t interested to release any new music from him, nor did they want to release him from his contract.

He finally got out of this deal in the mid 90s and his third album came out in 1996.

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Influenced, Music, My Stories

The Week In Destroyer Of Harmony History – January 9 to January 15

Damn, I just realized I didn’t post this on my usual Sunday.

4 Years Ago (2018)

PUBLIC DOMAIN 2018

A simple post about the works not entering the public domain but should have been.

COPYRIGHT SUITS

Lana Del Rey and Radiohead went to war, with Radiohead suing her for copyright infringement in her song “Get Free” which has a verse that sounds similar to “Creep” released in 1992.

Boy George had the best quote on his Twitter account. “Radiohead were sued by The Hollies and now Radiohead are suing Lana Del Rey. Utter Madness!”

RANDOM LISTENING – THUNDER BAY VERSION

These artists albums came from Deke’s EOY list for 2017.

Greta Van Fleet – From The Fires

I thought it was Wolfmother.

“Edge Of Darkness” is the song that hooked me. It’s feel and groove, which is a cross between Southern Rock and Led Zep’s style of rock is infectious.

And I heard the album that came after and it was boring but I’m still interested as to see what comes next.

Headstones – Little Army

Check out the lyrics.

  • “We’ll I’m a red meat eater, liar and cheater”… from “Devils On Fire”.
    Take that all you politically correct wannabes.
  • “You won’t lift your finger to get your s!!t out of this” … from “Little Army”.
    Blaming others when something goes wrong and doing nothing to fix the problem.
  • “You’re singing the same old song, it’s called “sucking the life outta me”… from “Dead To Me”.
    You gotta love relationships.

Cheap Trick – We’re All Alright

I was never a Cheap Trick fan. Bands I liked always mentioned them as influences, but when you have limited funds to purchase music, I avoided Cheap Trick.

“Brand New Name On An Old Tattoo” is an excellent song title and the song is pretty cool as well. “Floating Down” rocks hard for a mid-tempo song, and the vocal line is infectious and “If You Still Want My Love” is a bonus track on the deluxe version that probably no one would hear.

And youngsters won’t care about this album and the extra few million who purchased “Lap Of Luxury” because of “The Flame” won’t care either. But there are people who will care!

Europe – Walk The Earth and The Final Countdown 30th Anniversary live

Europe nailed it.

They started off with the whole “War Of Kings” album and then played the whole “The Final Countdown” album.

When Joey Tempest screams, “Are you ready London?” the answer is a unanimous cheer.

Stephen Pearcy – Smash

Does anyone care if Stephen Pearcy is running solo?

The “Unchained” sounding “Ten Miles Wide” is cool while “Rain” is interesting musically and it has some decent lyrics. “Want Too Much” works but the piece d’resistance is “Passion Infinity”. Everything just fits and works brilliantly together.

Finally “Summers End” is another song that surprised me with its epic “Kashmir” feel.

Not bad from the Rattster. I wanted another album after this but it never came.

Collective Soul – Live

They don’t disappoint and they have the catalogue of songs to keep the live show ticking over.

I also dig the change to have “Shine” starting off with the piano and how they jam it out “Lynyrd Skynyrd” style at the end, turning one of their biggest songs into a 7 minute jam epic is worth the price of admission alone.

MEMPHIS THREE

If you want to know what society and politics is like, just look at the documentary “West Of Memphis”.

In it you will see incompetence and political corruption.

Three metal head kids (the Memphis Three) are arrested for the murders of three 8-year olds. They are convicted of murder and did more than 18 years in prison.

But they are out now as the whole case against them in a Bible Belt town was all bullshit.

And what the hell is an Alford Plea?

I looked it up on Wikipedia.

The Prosecutors knew they had to release them, but the only way they would do it is by an Alford Plea, so the Memphis Three claim their innocence but plead guilty. The tragedy is the killer still walks free and law enforcement can’t go after any other suspect because a piece of paper says they have the killers.

And the current prosecutor at the end of the doco is a joke. He’s saying those kids are guilty.  If they are guilty why didn’t he go to a re-trial then?

He knew he was going to lose the re-trial because the weight of new evidence found was in favour of the Memphis Three and he would lose votes and lose his position as City Prosecutor.

GRIT

Never quit. Good things come from frustration. If you are upset about failing, it just means that you haven’t failed enough.

Dream Theater almost called it a day, during the period between 1988 and 1991, when months rolled by and no suitable singer appeared.

Perseverance is a skill. It keeps you estranged from the conventions of society.

Ronnie James Dio spent 18 years paying his dues before finding success with Rainbow in 1976.

How many musicians starting out today will put in 18 years of service to music?

Breakthrough work is usually rejected at first. Success is slow.

There is plenty of money to be made in the long run if you don’t make money your number one priority. Start small and remember you don’t have to start perfect.

Just start.

8 Years Ago (2014)

THE CHALLENGE

The record labels arose as a way to get music out of its city venue limitations and into the greater world.

However in time these record labels formed into mega corporations with the emphasis on lower costs and high profit margins.

Throughout the Eighties and Nineties, the labels employed people that figured out how to engineer processes and machines to drive productivity and profit.

The labels ruled the kingdom unchallenged until another player called social disruption reared its head.

It started with a technology called Napster and society showed the powerful record labels what they really think of their high prices.

In the last 20 years, the record labels have constantly stated that the “biggest threat” they face is continued copyright infringement.

They point to research that shows how it is destroying businesses, employments and other sectors. They get people in the press and they get elected politicians on their side to believe those claims. Because, hey, big copyright monopoly companies said that copyright infringement is a threat so it must be a threat.

Did you know that Vivendi (owner of Universal Music) commissioned 23 reports and only 5 of those reports mentioned copyright infringement as a potential risk?

Guess which reports get released to the public.

Did you know that Sony (Sony Music and Sony Pictures) commissioned 15 reports and only 2 of those reports mentioned copyright infringement as a potential risk?

But in their recent annual report, the company listed copyright infringement as a major risk to their business, however 13 reports out of 15 disagree.

The record labels seem to forget that their business is reliant on humans forming a connection with an artist. Yep, with the artist. Not with the label.

THE KASHMIR EFFECT

Great songs don’t happen overnight or by a committee. They happen by jamming and by creating derivative accidents.

If there was any doubt about the power of “Kashmir”, then look no further than the metal and rock movements during the Eighties.

Kingdom Come’s derivative version “Get it On” helped the self-titled Kingdom Come album released in 1988 move over a million units in the U.S.

Whitesnake employed the same technique in “Judgement Day” from the “Slip Of The Tongue” album, which even though it didn’t reach the sale heights of the self-titled 1987 album, it still moved over a million copies in 1989.

In the Nineties, the main riff was used by Puff Daddy in the song “Come with Me”.

The defining part of the song is the ascending chromatic riff over a pedal point which is made even greater by the drumming from John Bonham, playing slightly behind the beat.

Dave Mustaine is a great employer of this technique.

“In My Darkest Hour” and “The Call Of Ktulu/Hanger 18” both employ this technique,

“Mary Jane” from the “So Far, So Good, So What” album released in 1988 has a riff which comes in at 0.46 and continues throughout the song. If it sounds familiar, it should, it is a very close derivative version of “In My Darkest Hour”.

“This Was My Life” from the “Countdown To Extinction” album released in 1992 has the main verse riff.

“Public Enema Number 1” from the “Th1rte3n” album released in 2011 has the main verse riff.

“The Kingmaker” from the “Super Collider” album released in 2013 has the Chorus riff.

Check em out if you don’t believe me.

THE THING THAT SHOULD NOT BE

“The Thing That Should Not Be” from Metallica is inspired by H.P Lovecraft. It is the story of Cthulu the Apocalyptic Elder God lying in a dream state within his sunken kingdom of R’lyeh.

Today, “The Thing That Should Not Be” is the story of Copyright.

In 1998, the US Congress agreed to grant another 20 years of copyright protection to every film, book and song in the land. And because of this, works that should be in the public domain are not there.

The world needs a sensible copyright policy which makes the public domain bigger and better so people can build upon.

SAMPLES

Everyone knows the song, “Every Breath You Take”. It is from the mega selling “Synchronicity” album from The Police and it is credited as a Sting composition.

Sting did bring in the demo with his bass line, synth chords and vocal melody.

But, it is in the performances and the Andy Summers guitar riff which makes the song memorable.

But Sting is credited as the songwriter, so he gets all of the publishing royalties.

And when Puff Daddy did his version, it was the guitar track which was sampled, not the drums or bass, but Summers guitar track.

THE ULTIMATE SIN

“The Ultimate Sin” is a misunderstood album.

It is loved by many as much as it is hated.

By 1986, the legend of Ozzy Osbourne was growing. After writing the “Bark At The Moon” album with one finger on the piano m, the heavy metal community waited with anticipation as to what Osbourne would do next.

Jake E. Lee got burned on the song writing credits for the “Bark At The Moon” album, so he demanded a contract up front before he even started writing. It’s not an ideal way to commence the album development cycle however this litigious house is the house that Sharon built.

Of course, the Osbourne’s didn’t credit Daisley for his song writing contributions on the initial 1986 pressing of the album, though this was corrected on subsequent pressings. So there are 500,000 albums out there that doesn’t credit Bob Daisley.

And that’s another wrap for another week.

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Music, My Stories

The Record Vault: Deep Purple – Masters From The Vault (DVD)

I got suckered in by the $7 price.

This is Deep Purple performing for the TV stations in Europe during the 70’s.

This DVD sourced the material from;

  • 1970 Live Performance from Granada Television Studios in England
  • Circa 1971/72 Live Performances on German TV
  • 1989 Live Concert Performance of the Ian Gillan Band

Check out the 1970 live performances for Granada Television Studios in England on YouTube. The version of “Child In Time” is killer and the 25 year old, Ian Gillan is nailing everything and Ian Paice is thundering behind the kit. And the song is played in it’s entirety.

All up the live TV performance has 4 songs. “Speed King”, “Child in Time”, “Wring That Neck”, and “Mandrake Root”. Apart from “Child in Time”, the other songs are edited so Deep Purple could fit into the 30 minute TV slot.

The German TV material has 3 songs in “No No No”, “Highway Star” and “Hallelujah”.

Listen to this, just to hear “Highway Star” in its infancy as the classical arpeggios hadn’t been written yet.

And “Hallelujah” is lip-synced.

The Ian Gillan Band material is of Deep Purple songs and it’s pretty good.

You can hear it here.

“When a Blind Man Cries” is done really well.

Back when the DVD was released I believe it was the earliest known recordings of the classic Mark II line up of Blackmore, Lord, Paice, Gillan and Glover.

One final note, it looks like the footage was copied from an old VHS.

And this brings to end my Deep Purple collection. Either Dream Theater or Def Leppard is up next.

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A to Z of Making It, Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Copyright, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Piracy, Unsung Heroes

The Week In Destroyer Of Harmony History – December 26 to January 8

Well it’s been two weeks since the last DoHh post.

Here we go.

4 Years Ago (2017 going into 2018)

2018 STARTED WITH SOME RANDOM LISTENING

Yngwie Malmsteen’s “Trilogy” album is full of great riffs and leads.

When the U.S record labels went anti shred in the 90’s, the Japanese and South American markets kept his career going.

There is no denying his 80’s output and it’s a shame that a rumoured collaboration with Ronnie James Dio never happened.

Then I moved to “Trash” from Alice Cooper. It’s commercial sounding, but it’s still Alice Cooper singing.

How can it not be good?

The real gems are “Spark In The Dark”, “This Maniac Is In Love With You”, “I’m Your Gun”, “Why Trust You” and “Trash”.

Afterwards, “Operation Mindcrime” from Queensryche got a listen.

It’s loaded with excellent guitar playing and the album gave me a tonne of great riff ideas to use as influences in my own song writing.

“Flesh and Blood” from Poison was next.

“Valley Of Lost Souls” is one hell of a good song and the best on the album.

“Let It Play” could have been on a John Cougar Mellencamp or Bryan Adams album while “Life Goes On” is a good power ballad and CC plays a tasty intro lead. “Come Hell or High Water” is another underrated tune in the vein of the Classic Rock of the 70’s that doesn’t get its dues.

“Ride The Wind” is another sleeper, while “Something To Believe In” copies the “Every Rose Has It’s Thorn” country bluesy vibe, however this time, the piano is the main driver instead of the acoustic guitar.

“Blow My Fuse” from Kix was up next. Now this album is a perfect example of the “progress is derivative model”.

It starts off with “Red Lite, Green Lite, TNT” which sounds very familiar like something from “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”. “Get It While It’s Hot” is heavily influenced by “You Shook Me All Night Long” from AC/DC. Actually it’s very heavily, heavily influenced by that song.

“No Ring Around Rosie” is a beefed up “La Grange” from ZZ Top in the verses. “Don’t Close Your Eyes” is taking its cues from “Home Sweet Home” and “Dream On”. “She Dropped Me The Bomb” is again heavily influenced by AC/DC with a touch of The Who.  “Cold Blood” is a very similar to “Long Way To The Top” from AC/DC in the verses.

“Piece Of The Pie” is very heavily influenced by Aerosmith. “Boomerang” is influenced by Led Zeppelin. “Blow My Fuse” is such a good track where the influences are not as obvious as the other tracks. “Dirty Boys” is influenced by “Let There Be Rock” by AC/DC.

Finally, Winger is up.

The groovy “Can’t Get Enough” kicks off the album.

When “Miles Away” came on, I wasn’t sure if it was Bad English or Def Leppard. It’s one of those slow tempo melodic rock songs. “Easy Come Easy Go” has a cool groove and I dig the horn section in the verses.

The next two songs are two of my favourite songs. “Rainbow In The Rose” and “In The Day We’ll Never See”.

RANDY RHOADS AND THE BLIZZARDS

The project could have been called that.

It all started when Ozzy auditioned Randy in LA. Afterwards they jammed for a few days with Dana Strum and Frankie Banali.

Then Ozzy went back to England and he met with Bob Daisley. Ozzy and Daisley jammed with another guitarist and drummer however Daisley mentioned that they needed better players.

Ozzy mentioned Randy Rhoads, however the label wanted a well-known British guitarist, but no one was interested to join because of Ozzy’s reputation. Gary Moore was Ozzy’s first choice and he rejected the offer to audition. Eventually the label relented and Randy was flown over to London. Rhoads and Daisley started writing music and it worked well. Lee Kerslake came towards the end of the writing process.

Here are some summaries of what I wrote about the songs.

Crazy Train

You can call this song Ozzy’s biggest hit but it never registered on the charts back in the day. But on Spotify and YouTube it’s huge. The new paradigm shows us what is being listened too.

Bob Daisley provided the title while Randy Rhoads had the riff and the chord structure. For the lyrics, Bob Daisley used Ozzy’s vocal melodies and referenced what was happening in 1979/80. The Berlin Wall was still up and the Cold War between the USSR and USA was still going on.

Goodbye To Romance

It was Ozzy’s title and it came from an Everly Brothers song called “Bye Bye Love.”

The lyrics were written by Bob Daisley and the subject matter was Ozzy’s “divorce” from Black Sabbath.

On the “Don’t Blame Me” video, Ozzy mentions he was humming the vocal melody, and Randy heard it and developed the chords around the melody. Ozzy’s revisionist take makes it sound that Bob Daisley was not involved at all in the song writing process, which is obviously not true at all.

CRITICAL MASS

There are always different kinds of audiences.

You have the early adopters, the first to hear about an artist. These early adopters are looking and wanting a different experience than the people who identify as the critical mass market.

Early adopters want something fresh, exciting, new and interesting.

The critical mass market don’t. They want something that is familiar.

Metallica when they started had an audience that adopted them early. Some of those fans stood by them all the way, even when they broke through to the critical mass market in the 90’s and some of those early day fans just moved on to something new and different.

And who should the artist please, the early adopters of their music or the mass market?

Profits are fine as they allow the artist to invest back into their art. But if profit becomes the main aim, well, nothing and no one benefits if profits are the only thing the artist seeks.

And yes, there are routes to popularity which are random or accidental or luck or being in the right place at the right time.

BOB ROCK AND METALLICA

Bob Rock knew exactly what every song needed.

The demo of “Sad But True” (I had a drummer in a band who thought it was called “Sad Patrol”) was heaps quicker. Bob heard a “Kashmir” feel and asked James to slow it down and make it crunchy.

Rock kept telling James to re-write lyrics to songs. He told him to use fewer words in the choruses and to use stronger words. He questioned James on what the song was about. He asked him how the verse lyrics referenced the song message. James didn’t like this line of questioning. If James couldn’t explain it back to Rock, it meant he hadn’t nailed the lyric.

Rock told Lars to take drum lessons and he told James to take singing lessons. He told Kirk to rewrite solos.

And as a side note, in “Get Him To The Greek”, Lars gets told by Russel Brand to “Go sue Napster and your fans”, and unfortunately that is the stigma that will forever stick with Metallica. They got so out of touch with reality that they sued their own fans for sharing their music.

Nicko McBrain sums up piracy in “Flight 666”when he said “We sold out in Costa Rica but haven’t sold an album in this country…”

8 Years Ago (2013 going into 2014)

GRAMMY’S

From when Jethro Tull won the first metal award at the Grammy’s, the whole awards has been a joke for metal and hard rock music.

Having Metallica then win the “Best Metal Performance” in 1990 for “One” and then in 1991 for “Stone Cold Crazy” just added to the Grammy metal jokes.

“One’s” fate was tied with the “…And Justice For All” album and that was meant for the 1989 Grammy ceremony.

And seriously, for the 1991 awards, a cover song was the best that was on offer in the metal world for releases released from October 1989 to September 1990. I don’t think so.

Even in 1999, Metallica won again for “Better Than You”.

For which song, I hear you say.

“Better Than You.”

Does anyone know from which album it was on or how the riff goes or the vocal melody?

I bet that most people will answer NO.

HEADED FOR A HEARTBREAK

Billy Squire made one ridiculous video with a pink top. And just like that an amazing voice, with a catalog of songs was gone.

Winger had Kip Winger. A Playgirl pictorial was too outlandish and as glam music was committing suicide by cloning itself over and over again, Beavis and Butthead came along and trashed the band.

Metallica even threw darts at Kip Winger while they recorded the “Black” album.

But.

“Headed For A Heartbreak” is a hell of a good song.

Winger’s debut didn’t come from out of nowhere. Kip Winger did his time as a songwriter and studio session musician working very closely with Beau Hill who would of course go on to produce the first two Winger albums that went platinum.

Guitarist Reb Beach is a graduate from the esteemed Berklee College of Music. He also did his time in backing bands and studio work, until he met up with Kip Winger and started writing demos.

Drummer Rod Morgenstein was the most experienced. Active since joining jazz fusion legends “The Dixie Dregs” in 1974, he was a very accomplished drummer to bring into the fold.

Keyboard player and back up guitarist Paul Taylor was the x factor. He was the touring keyboardist for Aldo Nova during his “Fantasy” success. He did his time with Alice Cooper’s backing band at the same time with Kip Winger and played on the “Constrictor” and “Raise Your Fist and Yell” albums.

Go on Spotify and check them out. Go on YouTube and check them out. Focus on the music and not on the pretty boy images put out there in the video clips.

DONT KNOW WHAT YOU GOT UNTIL ITS GONE

Andy Johns (RIP) was on deck again to deliver another big sounding album.

Drummer, Fred Coury didn’t even play on the album as Johns just kept on finding timing issues.

The end result is an album which is seen as a blues rock classic that can rival all the best output from seventies bands like Bad Company.

Hearing them again today, it sure brought back a lot of memories. Guess you don’t know what you got until it’s gone.

SEMI – OBSCURE BON JOVI SONGS PART 1

Everyone knows the singles and even some of those songs have now slipped into obscurity but if you dig deep enough you’ll hear some cult classics.

Tracks like;

THE HARDEST PART IS THE NIGHT

From the “7800 Degrees Fahrenheit” album released in 1985.

“Stay alive, the hardest part is the night”

SHOT THROUGH THE HEART

From the debut album released in 1984. “Runaway” took most of the glory as it became a radio staple however “Shot Through The Heart” was the reason I got into Bon Jovi.

It was good to see the song get some concert time during “The Circle” tour.

HOMEBOUND TRAIN

It’s written by Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora and it’s got this heavy blues rock swagger that just connects.

The magic is at the three minute mark when it goes into this Elvis Presley meets James Brown meets Rolling Stones vibe.

The guitar drops out and it is the bass and drums that keep the groove going and Jon does a few voice impersonations, while Sambora keeps it funky and they build up the song again while Jon keeps singing “Here I Come”. The interlude is filled with church organ and harmonica lead breaks.

On “The Circle” tour, “Homebound Train” came back into the mix with Richie Sambora on vocals.

STARTING ALL OVER AGAIN

It’s got this “Rock N Roll Aint Noise Pollution” style intro written by the Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora and Desmond Child song writing team.

THE RADIO SAVED MY LIFE TONIGHT

Another tune written for the “Keep The Faith” album that never made it.

To buy all the music that I liked was expensive, so I always purchased blank cassettes and kept my finger ready on the record button to record the latest song from the radio.

SEMI – OBSCURE BON JOVI SONGS PART 2

RIVER OF LOVE

It never made the “New Jersey” album and it is a tragedy that it didn’t get fleshed out and recorded properly. It’s got a basic foot tapping riff that sticks with you from the outset. For those keen fans, you will hear the riff groove re-used in “Save A Prayer”.

“Pretend we’re in some movie instead of faded jeans”

Listen to the “Raise Your Hands” reference in the interlude. You could write a whole song based on that riff. Wait, they already did.

Progress is derivative.

JUDGEMENT DAY and GROWING UP THE HARD WAY

Both songs begin with that whole “Na Na NaNaNa” in the same vein as “Born To Be My Baby”, “Rosie” and “Hide Your Heart” from Kiss. Both songs also share the same riff. Both songs are written by Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora.

As with “River Of Love” these songs were recorded for the “New Jersey” album and they failed to make the cut. When a band is at their peak, they are able to churn out some great songs. The motivation is there to keep the machine rolling to see if the first round of success can be repeated.

In relation to the three demos mentioned above, I really thought that they would have seen the light of day “officially” when Bon Jovi released “100,000,000 Fans Cant Be Wrong” Box Set.

IF I WAS YOUR MOTHER

Man, this song is heavy and it has got some serious groove.

What a great vocal melody.

I saw them play it live on the “Keep The Faith Tour” and it rocked hard. The subject matter is weak and it hampers the song from being a powerhouse.

LETS MAKE IT BABY

It didn’t make the “New Jersey” album, however the bass line was used again in “Diamond Ring” (which was also originally written for the “New Jersey” album however it was officially released on the “These Days” album.

WEDDING DAY

“Wedding Day” was written for the “These Days” album, however it didn’t make the final cut.

The song is like a sleeper demo hit on YouTube.

Some of the lyrics made it into another Jon Bon Jovi song called “Janie Don’t Take Your Love To Town”.

SEMI – OBSCURE BON JOVI SONGS PART 3

DAMNED

It has a soul like funky blues groove very similar to what Lenny Kravitz was putting out.

“These Days” from 1995 is a very misunderstood album, released in a very confusing time.

Hard/Glam rock as we knew it was dead, Grunge was fading and alternative rock was rising, along with a form of industrial rock/metal.

LOVE IS WAR

Of course it sounds like “You Give Love A Bad Name” because Jon tried really hard to recreate the same vibe and the same kind of hit.

Is that a bad thing?

I’D DIE FOR YOU

“Slippery When Wet” was a monster of an album. And it was easy for other songs to get missed.

It’s got that Judas Priest “Breaking The Law” guitar line.

Did anyone pick up on that?

On YouTube, “I’d Die For You” is a cult hit. The fan’s have taken the song and made their own film clips, lyric videos and so on.

MY GUITAR LIES BLEEDING IN MY ARMS

The title is a take on the George Harrison classic, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”.

ONLY LONELY

The bottom line is this; it is a fan favourite.

THE PRICE OF LOVE

“We live, we learn, we lieFor the price of love”

Aint that the truth.

WITHOUT LOVE

Written by the Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora and Desmond Child song writing team for the Slippery When Wet album.

BURNING FOR LOVE

Sambora goes to town during the lead breaks, showcasing his abilities as a melodic shredder. He never went too over the top, always focusing on enhancing the song, instead of enhancing his ego.

RIVER RUNS DRY

It is a Jon Bon Jovi and Desmond Child composition that begins as a derivative version of Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway To Heaven”.

Remember, progress is derivative.

SAVE A PRAYER

No one knows this song even exist, but they should.

THE BALLAD OF BOB DAISLEY

The music business is tough.

However, what happens when an artist in a position of power and mainstream success, does their best to undermine the work of previous people in their career.

This is what the Osbourne’s are doing to Bob Daisley.

They are trying to re-write history to show that Ozzy Osbourne himself was the main reason why his solo career progressed.

They are omitting important facts that when Randy Rhoads and Bob Daisley signed on, it was always spoken of as a band. They are omitting important facts that the band was actually called Blizzard Of Ozz. They are omitting important facts of Ozzy punching Randy, because Randy didn’t want to do a live covers album of Black Sabbath songs.

Most importantly, they are omitting the main fact, that Bob Daisley served as the lyricist for for six albums.

The sad thing is that if anyone reads the credits to the “Bark At The Moon” album, you will see it listed as “All music and lyrics by Ozzy Osbourne.”

Like, yeah right, Ozzy really churned out all of those riffs.

It is sad at to what level the Osbourne’s stooped at that stage. One more thing, read the book from Ozzy and tell me how many times he mentions Jake E. Lee in the book.

But that is a story for another day.

VITO BRATTA

I did a Top 10 of Bratta killer riffs or moments.

All The Fallen Men

Wait

Love Dont Come Easy

Fight To Survive

Hungry

When The Children Cry

Cry For Freedom

Lady Of The Valley

Little Fighter

Warsong

In the end I had a hard time picking 10 songs for this post as each song that Vito has played on all have unbelievable sections.

BATM SONGWRITING CONTROVERSY

Coming into the “Bark At The Moon” sessions, the Blizzard of Ozz band was finished.

Bob Daisley and Lee Kerslake were fired before “Diary of A Madman” came out and the other driving force, Randy Rhoads died tragically when the plane he was on crashed into a mansion and burst into flames on March 19th, 1982.

Ozzy Osbourne as usual was at his drunken best but he still delivered the “Speak/Talk Of The Devil” album, and by doing so he was free from his Jet Records contract, ready to sign a major label deal with CBS.

Jake E Lee joined during the “Speak of the Devil” tour. Once that tour ended, the song writing process began for the next album.

Most of the writing was done by Lee and Bob Daisley.

“Bark At the Moon” was a title that Ozzy came up with. Jake E. Lee came up with the riffs and Bob Daisley wrote the lyrics.

While Bob Daisley got a buy out for “Bark At The Moon”, it looks like Jake E.Lee got screwed over. There are no royalty checks for the songwriting and no publishing monies either.

COPYRIGHT INC

I just finished watching the Rush documentary, “Beyond The Lighted Stage” and in the documentary, Neal Peart is talking about their “Vapor Trail” tour of South America and how they didn’t know what to expect because they never had big sales there and in the end they played to their biggest ever concert attendance at Sao Paulo.

The Brazil tour took place in November 2002. File sharing started in June 1999. Maybe copyright breaches by fans is not a bad thing.

And that’s another wrap for these last two weeks.

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