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

The Record Vault – Blessed By A Broken Heart

I came across a film clip for the song “Forever”. It got me interested enough, so I found the album online, downloaded it via a cyber-locker, enjoyed it enough, that I purchased it from Amazon’s US store.

I wonder if the Amazon US store purchase counts for a sale in the US or because its posted to Australia, it counts for a sale in the Australian market.

Formed in the early 2000’s, Blessed By A Broken Heart (BBaBH) battled hard, became MySpace superstars, lost all of their original members who gave them the MySpace status and with new members in tow, got a deal with Century Media Records in 2007 with a cross between 80’s hard rock/screamo metal and released “Pedal To The Metal”.

This then led to a bigger deal on Tooth and Nail records and the “Feel The Power” album eventually came out (after many delays) in January, 2012 with a sound further evolved to the 80’s hard rock movement.

Vocalist Tony Gambino departed not long after in July 2012 and by September, 2013 the band was finished with repeated record company legal struggles and lack of support from booking agencies given as reasons.

And for some stupid reason, “Feel The Power” is not available on Spotify Australia, so put that down to a lack of record label support as well and for some other stupid reason, the “Blessed By A Broken Heart” YouTube account has a lot of the videos unavailable in Australia. Dumb and dumber.

So the album.

Its melodic rock all the way. The musicianship is top notch, however their Mad Max look was already taken by the Black Veil Brides.

“Forever” has some Dragonforce like “I’m getting finger cramps” sweeps in the lead break, a melodic rock Chorus that soars like a Journey song and music that reminds me of the “Soldiers Under Command” era of Stryper.

“Rockin All Night” could have come from the “Midnight Madness” album from Night Ranger.

“Shut Up And Rock” has this Whitesnake “Slip Of The Tongue” vibe in the intro but overall it has this NWOBHM feel and lead breaks that make Jeff Watson’s eight finger tapping look amateurish. That one screaming verse, never should have been there. If they kept it melodic, the song is a 10 out 10 for me because that Chorus soars, the music soars and the mastery and performance of each note is perfect.

“I’ve Got You” is a ballad with some great lead guitar work which reminds of Vito Bratta’s work with White Lion and an outro solo which burns like a John Petrucci solo.  

“Deathwish” has this Jake E Lee Ozzy style “Bark At The Moon” era like riff which gets me interested and the Chorus, seals the deal with the lyric, “Mama sold her soul to the devil, traded a kiss for a birthday deathwish, mama sold her soul to the devil, traded her pain for the love of cocaine.” And another lead break which is worthy of guitar hero status.

If you like the above songs, then you will like “Scream Like You Mean It” which reminds me of Journey and “Holdin’ Back For Nothin’” with its Dragonforce like power metal.

Lead guitarist Shred Sean Maier effortlessly shreds as his name states and underpinning it all is the orchestrated backing vocals that remind of Mutt Lange and his work with Def Leppard.

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Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

Artworks

In the era of the classical composers, you had to go to a theatre or a public place to hear music. It wasn’t something which was portable or sellable or something transmitted into the homes of people.

With our advancements in technology, we got radio. But apart from playing music inside the studio and having it beemed live, there still wasn’t a way to capture/record music properly. The invention of electricity, the magnetic tape and vinyl phonographs between 1900 and 1950’s made it all possible, and all of this came to fruition in the 60’s and a whole new recording business was formed.

And we got Rock and Roll, which was basically an extension of the Blues and this lead to what would become Heavy Metal.

Heavy Metal, came at a time when society was still disciplined to believe in their religious leaders and their government elected officials. And Metal questioned these beliefs and highlighted the divides between the haves and have nots.

The biggest Christian band ever “Black Sabbath” was labelled as satanic because they sang about mental illness, the sweet leaf, the white stuff that leaves you snow-blind, the nuclear arms race that condemns all of the children to the grave and they used the realms of infinite space as a form of escapism. But their biggest crime was to question authority and when authority is questioned, authorities need to make someone as the bad guy and themselves as the good guy.

And this opposition to heavy metal has continued throughout its history. And on occasions, heavy metal even opposed itself and did itself no favours, like the black metal movement in Norway, the Church burnings, the stabbings amongst certain groups. But despite all of this, metal has kept its fan base, all of those misfits and outcasts, who actually came from blue collared middle class suburban families who gave their kids enough freedom to explore and find themselves.

And metal music brought forth a certain musicianship that other artists and genres didn’t have. But the biggest impact that heavy metal music made on music is the album cover art.

If you don’t believe me, check out the covers of artists before heavy metal and hard rock captured the zeitgeist.

No one can forget the iconic Iron Maiden album covers.

But if you even go back to the 70’s and the first Black Sabbath album, with its scary matte cover of a pale lady standing in a field in front of a house that looks scary and compare that to covers that other artists produced that year, you’ll understand what I mean.

Artists (painters and graphic designers) suddenly had a new way to get paid as rock and metal artists called upon their services. Then other genres started to call up these artists.

As a metalhead, I feel it’s pulse and I live its lifestyle every single day of my life. When I need to talk to someone I do, when I need to say no, I do, when I need to kick back, I do. And when I want to appreciate art I will pull out a cover and enjoy it.

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

The Pirate Vault #4

The Pirate Vault keeps on rolling.

Iron Maiden – Killers and The Jimi Hendrix Story

From memory, the “Jimi Hendrix Story” was a double CD of Hendrix cuts that my mate MoeFartin (nickname of course) had, so I picked my favourites at that point in time.

“Killers” is basically a dub from the album, so I can have it transportable on my Walkman as I felt I hadn’t given it enough attention compared to the other albums.

And I had “Live From Death”, “Somewhere In Time” and “No Prayer For The Dying” on cassette. Plus “Live After Death” touched all of their albums up to that point except “Killers”.

Smashing Pumpkins – Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness

I’m a bit torn on this album. I always thought it should be one album, like “Siamese Dream” which I have on CD. The main songs I listened to are the ones I had to learn for the band I was in, like “Bullet With Butterfly Wings” and “1979” and “Zero”.

And how iconic is the lyric, “the world is a vampire”.

Eric Johnson – Ah Via Musicom and Metallica Mix

“Cliffs Of Dover”.

Just listen to it, and that arpeggio lead riff in the key of D major. Learning the song, the licks, proved to be a beautiful experience and Eric Johnson, opened my eyes to a different side of guitar playing which sounded accessible.

And for the Metallica Mix, well, at that point in time, I really enjoyed listening to these songs and I’ll always state that “Ride The Lightning” trumps “Master Of Puppets”. So it’s no surprise that on this mix I have four songs from the “Justice” album and two songs from the “Ride” album.

Rock Junkies

It’s a weird mix for sure.

 Done in the 90’s.

I remember I was at Mega’s place and he is a collector of all things musical and I had a tape which had music on it, but I said screw it, I am going to overdub it for some off this stuff (hence the made up cover and not the original cover sleeve that comes with a blank cassette).

So he had some Police records and I copied the two big songs from those. He also had a Dokken 12 inch single, which had “Back For The Attack” and “Paris Is Burning” as the B-sides, so I copied that.

He also had U2 – Achtung Baby and I copied my three favourite songs from that.

Moving onto Side 2, I had the film clip of Great White’s “Rock Me” and “Stars” from Hear N Aid, so I copied those songs. Then Body Count and “Cop Killer” song came next, some Billy Idol and his “Rebel Yell” and I finish it off with Dee Snider’s “Calling On You” from Widowmaker which actually took the spot of another Body Count song called “The Winner Loses”.

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A to Z of Making It, Music, My Stories

What Does A Number 1 Album Really Buy You?

Artists who really want a number 1 album play the bundle game, where the artists have to pay money from their concert ticket sales to get to number one.

This process just ends up putting more money in the label’s bank accounts, and these album bundle sales only count if the fan clicks for the digital album, and less than 50% do it because they either already have it or they don’t want it in a digital download, because they are still physical purchasers or have moved to streaming.

If your goal is to impress people in the media who matter less, then a number 1 album works because i see it every day, how the normal music news sites write about it and other websites repeat it.

And how many times an album debuts at number one and then drops off the chart within a month to two months. Goes to show how important those charts really are these days.

And then you have the streaming kerfuffle of artists asking kids to play certain tracks a million plus times so old records from artists who are one hit wonders start to re-enter the chart. Vanilla Ice did this recently.

This system has built careers in the past but a new act can’t even play that game and if you have aspirations to be in Spotify’s Top 50, don’t. It’s irrelevant and a manipulated niche with a young audience listening, who moves on as quickly as you can say the word “what the”.

But if you top the streaming chart, you can make real money.

But (x2), if you get there with the devil (major label) backing you, well that deal at the crossroads means you need to pay.

But (x3), if you go your own way the same way Fleetwood Mac told ya and own everything, well you can make all that money every musician is complaining they haven’t got.

But (x4), the barrier to enter the music market is low and anybody can make a record. There are over 20 million plus songs on Spotify that still haven’t even been heard.

And people will pay attention when they want to. You just need to be in the game to capitalize on it.

P.S. Remember that Black Sabbath never had their 70s albums or Dio led albums go to number 1.

P.S.S. And a lot of other bands fall into that category as well.

P.S.S.S. Like Whitesnake, who never had an album go to Number 1 in the large US market or Twisted Sister or RATT or KISS or RUSH or Iron Maiden.

P.S.S.S.S. But they all had massive careers.

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

The Record Vault – The Black Crowes

Prior to “Three Snakes And One Charm”, my only other Black Crowes purchase that I had in my possession was the “Remedy” single. And I still don’t know what happened to the debut album LP I had. 

Three Snakes And One Charm

Released in 1996, but I picked this one up recently at a music record fair. In saying that, I do have the pre 2000’s Black Crowes albums on mp3, obtained via TPB.

And sometimes depending on moods and feel and how your life is, certain tracks appeal more than others. On this album, it’s the more mellow tracks that connected with me.

“Girl From A Pawnshop” stood out, about a long lost love affair and it’s got some great musical movements and lead breaks which makes me want to pick up the guitar and learn.

“I never lost your number I never lost your address and if we remain friends at best sometime later no, no not yet, we’ll smile and remember it like this”

Let it be and remember it for what it was.

“How Much For Your Wings?” has a Led Zep acoustic feel from their “III” album.

And they put on one of the best jam driven rock and roll shows I have ever seen when they toured Australia in 2008. Rich Robinson was the sheriff in town that night, as he directed the band into extended jams of certain songs with a nod of his head and he directed them out of these jams with another nod of his head and a dropped shoulder. So cool to watch and experience.

And that’s my Black Crowes collection. A single, an album, a concert ticket and an awesome memory of them jamming and commanding the stage.

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Music, Stupidity

The Irishman

This is why organisations fade away.

At first, organisations ignore the new threat, then they try to kill the new threat and eventually they accept the new threat or join it or get overtaken by it.

Martin Scorsese’s new flick, “The Irishman” is a passion project. Rejected by all the big movie studios, Netflix came to the rescue with funding and allowed Scorsese to do the movie however he wanted. And Scorsese wanted a film 3.5 hours long. This is how a filmmaker wants to operate.

But in order to show the movie in the large cinema chains, which could lead to Academy Awards and what not, the corporate bodies who represent the major cinema chains want a 90 day window, while Netflix really didn’t want any window but would have agreed with 45 days.

All of this is old world stuff.

The new world is different.

I would happily avoid a cinema experience, to watch a movie in the comforts of my own home. But the Cinema chains and the movie studios have a cabal set up, which exploits a family for multiple tickets instead of the one month streaming premium.  

And if anyone is facing a challenge to their business model it is the cinema chains.

Once upon a time, when the control of the distribution was in the hands of the movie studios, a film’s commercial potential was judged by its cinema box office receipts. It’s a viewpoint which is still carried to this day and it only pleases the people in the media and the websites that re-report box office takings.

There’s no reason why the cinema experience cannot be an event, but it’s got a long way to go to become a concert like experience.

And “The Irishman” is trending on Twitter highlighting the stupid move from the cinema chains to not screen it. Here are some screenshots from Twitter highlighting the idiocy of the cinema chains and how independent cinemas are winning.

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

The Record Vault – Bush

I was a bit late to the Bush party. It took the single “Comedown” to get me to pay attention and then “Glycerine” came out and I was “yep I like it and I will purchase the album on my next outing”, but that didn’t transpire as I kept pushing the album out of my purchase list in lieu of hard rock and metal bands. Then “Machinehead” came out as a single and I committed financially.

Sixteen Stone

The album came out towards the end of 1994, but it was in 1995 that it started to get people’s attention and for me, it was around May/June 1996 that I committed financially.

The picture you see is not the original. I gave the CD to a friend circa 2001, who then claimed that he lost it, and then gave me back a copy, with the cover printed on an inkjet printer and the CD burned onto a blank disc. I gave him the benefit of the doubt until many years later, other friends told me, he did the same to them, so the prick was scamming us.

As soon as the “Rockin In A Free World” vibe of “Everything Zen” kicked in, I was very interested. And then a bit lost with “Swim” and “Bomb” and “Little Things” brought it back into focus with its “Smell Like Teens Spirit” vibe merged with a Tom Petty “Free Fallin” vibe.

But the piece d resistance is “Comedown” with its bass riff which reminds me of the “You Give Love A Bad Name” verse riff. And Grunge purists are probably gagging at the thought of this, but yes, the riffs are very similar.

And there is no escaping the power of “Machinehead”. The intro riff octaves, along with the power chords crashing all over the place is perfect.

“Breathe in, breathe out” and the way its sung, with a loudspeaker/telephone vibe, captures the frenetic pace of life, and how we don’t have enough time to take a breath.

And I realised that the accessible singles of the album, got me interested, sort of like how the accessible singles of hard rock bands got people interested who would otherwise enjoy other musical styles.

And with this debut, Gavin Rossdale showed he is a force to be reckoned with as a songwriter.

Razorblade Suitcase

The cassette was in a 3 for $10 bin, so it was a no brainer. I didn’t get it when it came out in 1996, but circa 1998.

“Swallowed” is the lead single, and it followed a “Live (band) vibe”. “Greedy Fly” is basically an artist writing a song, without a thought of it being a hit. And somehow it gets released as a single and it’s seen as a hit.

“Cold Contagious” has a cool drum groove, with the guitars decorating the song in a nice way, as Rossdale is singing, “you will get yours” with the volume and intensity increasing. And at six minutes long, it’s the anti-single, but it still got released as a single.

And like “Sixteen Stone”, it was the accessible singles of the album that got me interested again. Then the band lost me with an electronic remix album and I’ve never really checked out anything afterwards, however friends have told me that “The Science Of Things” is worthy.

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