I have no recollection how this got into my collection.
I have no recollection how this got into my collection.
There is a post I read on Seth Godin’s blog, called “The Compass And The Map” about a soldier who escaped a Japanese prison in Burma during World War 2.
For five months, he used a map and a compass that he had found to get him to India as he was too suspicious to ask the Burmese for help. He scribbled on the map, his turns and marked down the rivers he crossed.
When he showed the Intelligence Officers in India his map, it was a map of the streets of London. As Seth Godin concludes, “if you’ve got the wrong map, the right compass will get you home, if you know how to use it.
In other words you need to know where you want to go and be flexible with the route.
Do artists have these same ideals?
The days of a record label A&R person signing you and employing people around you to do the work, while you write and record and tour and make lots of money are long gone. For that era, the artists had the map which was controlled by a gatekeeper, as it was a step by step guide on how to get from playing to your bedroom wall to maybe getting an A&R rep to see you play live, to signing a deal and then playing to thousands of people.
But that map will not serve you well in the music world today. You need that compass that takes you in the direction you want to go, as long as you know your destination.
Nearly all the writers about the 90’s like to re-write history to suit their own viewpoint especially after Seattle became the new Sunset Strip.
I recall reading hundreds of articles that said the lyrics of the grunge bands became personal, deeper and showed an angst that resonated more with people than the lyrics of the 80’s hard rock bands who focused so much on the usual SDRR (Sex, Drugs and Rock N Roll) themes.
I think there are millions of peaches that disagree.
And I always disagreed with that view point because I felt that hard rock bands from the 80’s did write personal lyrics and on topics different to the usual SDRR themes.
Dee Snider on the “Stay Hungry” album wrote about censorship, rebellion, about being away from his family, his fan base and about keeping the fire burning when you think that goal is unachievable.
Nikki Sixx wrote “On With The Show” about the night that Frankie became Nikki.
People talk about the lyrics that Layne Staley wrote in the grips of an heroin addiction. What about “Dancin On Glass” from Nikki Sixx, which is referencing Nikki’s overdose in London.
Skid Row broke big with a song about rebellion in “Youth Gone Wild”, cemented their rebellious status with their fight song “Piece Of Me” and nailed the power ballad charts with “I Remember You”. But it was their follow up album that covered so many social issues. “Slave To The Grind”.
Guns N Roses built their career on singing about cities and relationships. “Welcome To The Jungle” is about LA and “Paradise City” is about San Francisco, while “Sweet Child O Mine” is basically a love song.
However, the songs are done in a way that they seem general. Maybe that was the difference between the 80’s and 90’s songwriters.
How can you say something effective without giving too much away?
You can’t find “Better Days” on streaming services in Australia. Which is ridicilous if you ask me, but hey, lets find a way to stop fans from listening to your album legally, however YouTube has songs from the album and it pays less.
Like Adelita’s Way, I got access to the music of ALY via peer to peer services. And i liked it and I purchased.
And then I never heard from em, until I looked em up on Spotify recently and have seen the following content;
A six song EP, called “The Revolution: Pt. 1 The Other Side”, released in 2014. Another six song EP, called “The Revolution: Pt. 2 It’s A Long Way Home”, released in 2016, an album called “Alien Architect”, released in 2016 and a 3 song EP called “Democrazy”, released in 2019. But no “Better Days”.
Anyway”Better Days” came out in 2012.
“I know I will move on to better days”
To have hope is to be human. To think that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, keeps us going. Not all of us make it, but we try our hardest to get there.
“War On The Inside” is heavy and yet accessable at the same time. And the lyric line of “All these voices, calling my name” begins the mental struggle within.
Am I good enough?
What if I make a mistake?
How will people see me?
What if i look like a fool?
I dont want to fail.
If you’ve spoken the above thoughts to yourself, then you are part of the many who has a war within everytime you step out of your comfort zone.
What if you replaced those thoughts, with, how would it be in 12 months if I fail today?
In “All That We Are” there is a lyric in the Chorus which connects.
“If you could just believe in all that we are”.
Trying to convince someone that the relationship (either friends or romantic or band) is worth keeping when they have mentally checked out, is difficult.
“Broken” has a bone crushing riff in the intro and verses.
“What I Deserve” has an intro that reminds me of Bonfire’s “Ready For Reaction” from the Fireworks album. And in the verses, I feel like I’m listening to “Love Song” from The Cure.
“Angels” is a ballad and it’s my favourite song.
“Theres nothing left, theres nowhere to hide”.
I never really sat down and payed super attention to the whole message of “Angels”. I just gravitated to the lines that grabbed me.
Eventually all the riches and good and bad deeds won’t save you when it’s time to meet your end.
“All the worlds you built they all fall down”
We can build walls to keep people out but if history has taught us one thing, all great civilizations fall. And that’s no different to our personal relationships and our private thoughts. It all falls down.
Basically after six tracks, its a six from six for me.
“Runaway” could have come from a Three Days Grace or Shinedown album. “Writing On The Wall” sounds very familiar and that Chorus. Brilliant.
“Come And Gone” is sad and hopeful at the same time and that lyric line, my time has come and gone.
You can’t sell a book if there isn’t thousands of books competing against it for your attention. And LPs back in the day didn’t sell in a place that had just one LP to sell. Hence why the record stores became huge.
To be surrounded by competition is good for business because it’s not about if a person will invest time, it’s about which artist will the person invest time on.
Bands used to play Clubs before. Once upon a time, streets of businesses were lined up with live bands. The people of the time demanded it. And they selected which venue and artists got their attention. People pub-crawled to see different acts and today pub crawls are all about drinking sessions.
Today, you would be lucky to find a live music venue and if you did, the style of music may not be to your liking. And there wouldn’t be another venue to visit if that was the case.
Streaming or digital mp3s follows the same old principle. Put enough music tracks on a platform in which compete against each other and let the person decide on which artist they will invest time on.
Some people can’t handle the noise and just double down on the bands they already like. Some enjoy the search for the next favorite and some are happy for the algorithms to recommend the next song. Some fans refuse digital and still go shopping. There’s no one size fits all fan.
Adobe went from a sales business to a subscription business. In the beginning, income dried up but now it’s at an all time high. The customer is happy and they get updates of new features monthly plus they pay every month, not just once a year or every 2 years.
But artists and the labels just can’t let go of that sales model. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result.
Imagine if an artist did something different.
How would that look a year from now?
As I was reading a Copyright story about a suit being brought against Lady Gaga for the song “Shallow”, I was also listening to “Andy Warhol Was Right” from Warrant.
And I couldn’t find any difference between the chords of these songs. And Warrant or the heirs of Jani Lane could have gone to court with Lady Gaga, but they haven’t.
And then you get a nobody like Steve Rosen who reckons that the song he created is so original and free from influence that someone must have copied him.
And he is claiming that his song “Almost” must have been copied. And he uploaded it to SoundCloud six years before “Shallow” was released, to prove that he was first.
Well, Warrant released “Andy Warhol Was Right” 20 years before Rosen’s “Almost”.
Andy Warhol said that every person will have their fifteen minutes of fame. I guess it’s the perfect song to sum up the range of copyright cases. People searching for their fifteen minutes.
Some people are just bad people. Some people get away with their crap. Some people think they’re getting away with their crap but aren’t. Some are takers and some are givers.
And it all doesn’t balance out, no way.
The Governments still don’t care about global warming or gun violence and Corporations still have their fingerprints all over legislation and trade agreements.
You can complain all day, but it makes no difference, you have to decide who you want to be, grow up and make your own choices.
It’s like Sammy Hagar said in “Mine All Mine”, “you’ve got Allah in the East, you’ve got Jesus in the West, Christ, what’s a man to do?”.
And once upon a time it was about supremacy of race and religion. Now it’s about status supremacy and likes supremacy. And people are fighting over about what side they want to be on. To paraphrase a line from the excellent Netflix show “Ozarks”, would you rather be the one holding the gun or running away from the gun.
And it’s probably a bad phrase to use with all the talk about gun violence and gun control in America but life boils down to control.
As long as we have to answer to somebody, then we have no freedom. And that somebody can be an employer, a partner, a lending company, a credit card company or the taxation department or utilities company.
Regardless of your place in society, be grateful. Because humans are made by nature to survive and produce, so if you are living you have done okay.