4 Years Ago (2018)
It’s a favourite.
Back in 1992, “The Crimson Idol” ended up being a perfect album for me, in a time when the labels started to put all of their marketing monies into Seattle. I played it a lot, learned riff after riff and lick after lick and it didn’t matter how much time passed between listens, I still knew every lick, every drum roll and every word.
Fast forward many years later (circa 2008) and “The Crimson Idol” was released as a Double special edition CD, with two new tracks. “Phantoms In The Mirror” (which I would place after “The Invisible Boy” in the story arc) and “The Eulogy” (which I would place at the end).
Fast forward another decade (2018) and “The Crimson Idol” has been “Re-Idolized” with additional songs added to the storyline however, “Phantoms In The Mirror” and “The Eulogy” have been left off.
Confused. Me too.
But the review might clarify some things for ya.
8 Years Ago (2014)
It renewed my faith in live music.
The previous night to this, I watched Five Finger Death Punch and Avenged Sevenfold. While that was a great concert, the songs got played more or less “note for note” as per the album recordings.
But, Richie Sambora was “communicating musically”. The sheriff was back in town. With three different hand motions he led the band into jams, out of jams and into sing a longs.
Sambora engraved himself into our hearts. He stopped and he talked. Sometimes it felt like for ages. I haven’t seen a lot of people do that kind of a rock show for a while as they are scared in case they lose the audience. Sambora was a true pro. He was endearing himself, creating a bond. And what a show he delivered.
Read the review here.
A lot of people don’t know who Jake E Lee is. Do a survey and you will see?
US sales for week ending February 5, 2014 had Red Dragon Cartel listed with 5,300 sold. The hard-core fans. The niche. And then it didn’t show up on any of the sales charts the following week.
Then again sales of recorded music is not a true measure of success these days. Streaming is.
Are people still listening to the music?
Red Dragon Cartel has a small audience of approx. 2600 who are listening on Spotify.
But there isn’t a song on the Red Dragon Cartel album that can market/sell/push the album.
“Bark At The Moon” marketed the album that carried its title, while “Shot In The Dark” marketed “The Ultimate Sin” album. When Badlands released their self-titled debut, “High Wire” was the song that marketed the album, while “The Last Time” marketed “Voodoo Highway”.
Opening track “Deceived” has a riff, very similar in style and structure. So it is fitting that the vocal melodies are styled from the Ozzy Osbourne vocal phrasing book. I have no issue with artists referencing the past.
“Shout It Out” sounds like it belongs on a Saliva album. Not that it’s a bad thing, it just wasn’t what I was expecting from Jake E Lee.
“War Machine” sounded like a joke as the “War Pigs” intro moves over into “N.I.B”. I guess progress is derivative.
“Fall From The Sky” has a solo that is very reminiscent to the “You’re No Different” outro solo from Jake’s Ozzy’s days and “Redeem Me” captures the Badlands vibe.
Unfortunately, the Robin Zander (Feeder), Maria Brink (Big Mouth) and Paul DiAnno (Wasted) vocal songs just don’t resonate.
If there is a song to comes close to being “the song” to push the debut, that honour goes to “Slave”.
It has the best of Jake E Lee. Metallic riffing, fast single note picking, tritone melodic infusions and it encompasses what Jake E Lee is all about.
The majority of the music that I like will still be under copyright by the time I die. And it’s a tragedy.
Let’s use “Smoke On The Water” as an example.
It was released in 1972.
Copyright on the work is meant to last the lifetime of the songwriters plus 70 years. The male life expectancy is 80 years. The songwriters listed for “Smoke On The Water” are Richie Blackmore, Ian Gillan, Ian Paice, Roger Glover and Jon Lord (RIP).
Let’s start with Jon Lord. Due to his death in 2012, his copyright in the song will expire in 2082. However the song will still remain under copyright due to the later deaths of the other members.
Let’s assume that all of the members live to the life expectancy age of 80 years old. That would mean Richie Blackmore, Ian Gillan and Roger Glover would have an end date of 2025. Add another 70 years to that and the copyright that they hold in the song would expire in 2095.
In other words the copyright monopoly held by the corporations on “Smoke On The Water” will finally expire in 120 plus years after the song was released. It is at this time, the public (provided that no more retroactive extensions are added) are allowed to use the song to build other works on or to create derivative versions or to cover it without any penalty.
But when the artists created this work, the copyright term was 56 years. And the short copyright didn’t stop them from creating.
The days of rocking all night and partying every day are gone, replaced by social media/gaming/surfing all night and going to work every day. Rockers are not drinking heavily anymore, nor are they doing copious amounts of drugs.
The sound of a stereo is now captured in expensive headphones.
The days of becoming the legends of the local scene first and then the world are gone. If a band/act is doing great in a city, the whole world will know about it. But you can have a career within a niche.
And it’s not a rockers world anymore. The new rockers are the technologists. The podcasters. They are the ones that everyone is listening too. Check out the applause they get when they hit the stage.
Once upon a time, guitar heroes mattered. They broke ground in song writing, technique, sound and guitar making, inspiring us by demonstrating simplicity in complexity.
I remember when a record could bring about change. When “Shout At The Devil” broke, every band dressed up in leather and studs. When “Slippery When Wet” broke out, all the bands went to pop metal. When “Appetite For Destruction” broke out, bands moved to a more blues based sound. When Metallica broke out twice, bands moved to a faster dirtier sound and then moved to a big heavy groove orientated sound.
The rock dream was never about the money. It was about a lifestyle.
And that’s a wrap for another week.