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

Nobody’s Fool

I don’t think they wanted to be glammed up, with teased hair and matador clothing with long jackets, but they did it anyway.

Signed to Polygram, the debut album, “Night Songs”, produced by Andy Johns, had everything from AC/DC style riffing and grooves, to Aerosmith style highs and Keifer’s unique raspy snarl.

But Keifer and co didn’t just sound like all of the other bands out there, because their influences weren’t just your standard Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and AC/DC acts. They also went back and found out who influenced their influences, and allowed those artists to also influence them, hence the reason why Cinderella was more bluesier than the rest.

The cymbals ring, while the clean tone Am arpeggio chord progression starts the song.

I count the falling tears, they fall before my eyes
It seems like a thousand years since we broke the ties

It seems like the hate and pain will never end, when relationships go bad, but it’s only been a day or two. Time heals all wounds and hearts. You just need to be patient.

I’m no fool

We can believe what we want, but when it comes to love, David Coverdale had it down pat, when he said he’s a fool for loving, because god damn it, that man lives and breathes love. So yes, when it comes to love we are fools. And we keep going back to it.

And the solo, so emotive, building up to the ending and that final chorus.

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

March 2020 – Part 1

So my March listening started off with tracks from January and February that I liked. I have written about these tracks already.

Here is the March playlist.

Circle The Drain – Machine Head
I like the melodic metal side of Robb Flynn. And he crushes on this song, as it moves between melodicism, nu metal and groove metal.

Feeling Whitney – Royal Bliss
The original Post Malone version is pretty good as well, a cross between “Dust In The Wind” style fingerpicking and modern rock.

Royal Bliss turn it into a modern pop rock song. And that also works.

Naked City – Jorn
Running Up That Hill – Jorn
Lonely Nights – Jorn

What does Kiss, Kate Bush and Bryan Adams have in common?

Bubbles – Framing Hanley
“I hear the nervousness in every word that is said” and in these pandemic times, I hear it and I see it loud and clear as our leaders make panic policies and suspend the sitting of parliament. I guess the bubble has burst and what comes next no one knows.

We are in uncharted waters here.

Come Clean – H.E.A.T
Dangerous Ground – H.E.A.T

Melodic Rock at its best. The Chorus in “Come Clean” is super catchy, with a R nought of 2.

Under The Graveyard – Ozzy Osbourne
At this point in time, it’s on the playlist.

Will it be in 10 years’ time?

Maybe. And on the COVID-19 news front, writer, guitarist and producer of this album, Andrew Watt has been diagnosed as having it.

Let’s hope for a speedy recovery as other musicians have already died, from an ex-Riot member, Fountains Of Wayne bassist and a country songwriter/guitarist.

Catastrophist – Trivium
I have been a Trivium fan for 13 years now.

It’s funny how fast time goes and it’s funny how many haters this band gets as well, because the old school metal fans don’t like the screaming, the old school death metal fans think it’s too fake and they just can’t win. But they can play their instruments, and they can play it well.

Singer Matt Heafy even put in time with former Emperor guitarist and vocalist, Ihsahn, learning the art of Black Metal and progressive songwriting. Not a lot of artists can lay claim to that.

F8/Inside Out – Five Finger Death Punch
These two songs work brilliantly together.

“I stand alone, I guess I knew it all along” and it feels more like that these days than ever before. We look at our leaders and our heroes from music and entertainment to give us some insights, but in the end, the decisions made are ours to make alone. And our heroes are as clueless as us.

Because Of You – Storm Force
This song just refuses to go away from my life. The music, the verse lyrics and that chorus. All so familiar and i like it.

“The world is yours today always something going down”. For me 2020 has seen; devastating bush fires which brought forth air quality issues, then came the rains and the floods. And now, we are at the start of the biggest threat in my lifetime, COVID-19. So we look to our families, our partners, our children and our friends for inspiration and reflection.

Dear Agony – Breaking Benjamin
The mood of this song gets me. This song gives me hope, even though it’s a depressing song itself.

“Dear Agony, just let go of me, suffer slowly, is this the way it’s gotta be”.

No it didn’t have to be this way. Fighting for life is more important than anything else in the world.

Aeromantic (Album) – The Night Flight Orchestra
Let’s just say that this album would most probably appear in all of my monthly reviews, because it is so damn good.

Songs like “Aeromantic” and “Taurus” pick up the energy. My favourites are the closer “Dead of Winter” and “Transmissions” with that violin solo.

Change The World (Album) – Harem Scarem
Have I mentioned that Pete Lesperance is one hell of a guitar player?

Part 2 for March coming up.

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

The Way It Is

This song was great on “The Great Radio Controversy” and it was even greater on “Five Man Acoustical Jam”, the surprise hit album which was the inspiration for MTV “Unplugged”. But then again, so many other artists claim that “Unplugged” title as well.

It was the “Five Man Acoustical Jam” and their cover of “Signs” which got Tesla some mainstream press here in Australia and made us early fans say, “I told you so” to all of the detractors who called them Aerosmith copycats.

For me, “The Great Radio Controversy” is a special album. I learned every riff and every lick on it and one of my favorites to play was “The Way It Is”.

I love the movement of the major chords, the D major chord with the F# note then moves to the F major chord, so it has this cleansing chromatic effect and then it moves to the G major chord before it comes back to D major chord. It’s very Credence Clearwater Revival and Southern Rock”ish”.

The simple solo to kick it all off in the intro which is repeated again in the main solo.

The way it is
The way that it goes
Happening day after day
The way it is
The way that it goes
Working in the strangest ways

Right know we can’t leave home unless it’s for something essential. That’s the way it is.

Taking it day by day in a strange new world.

And the song is full of little lead breaks and the outro has the guitars wailing while Jeff Keith keeps singing, do you believe.

And I did believe.

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

Kashmir

“Physical Graffiti” was released forty five years ago last month.

I really had no idea of the Led Zeppelin album until Nikki Sixx started talking about Motley Crue writing their “Physical Graffiti” in response to a question he was asked after “Decade of Decadence” came out and what would be next for the band. As soon as Sixx mentioned that, the album was on my radar.

Of course, we all know that Vince Neil got booted or left (depending on whose story you believe) and Motley Crue went to work, writing over 20 songs for what would become their “Physical Graffiti”, the self-titled “Motley Crue” album, otherwise known as Motley Corabi. My views of this album are all over this blog as one of the best Motley albums to date.

And I didn’t get “Physical Graffiti” until I picked it up at a record fair, for a very cheap price in the mid 90’s. I even heard Motley’s album before Led Zep’s. I know it’s sacrilege, but to have music at home, meant I needed to use my money for it and money was limited. And no one I knew had the album for me to dub.

The production team on this album is a who’s who of people that we all got to know from various hard rock albums.

Jimmy Page as usual is the producer, and you have Andy Johns engineering, Eddie Kramer engineering and Ron Nevison also engineering. These guys are all paying their dues, learning their craft from a master, which in this case is Page. It also has so many engineers because some of the songs which made the album are leftovers from previous albums.

But the stand out song on the album is KASHMIR.

I remember a time, when the riff was everything and there is no better definition of the riff being everything than this song.

I have already written about “The Kashmir Effect” before and again here. And man, i know it’s not right to say that I heard “Get It On” from Kingdom Come first. I even heard “Judgement Day” from Whitesnake before I even heard “Kashmir”. But that’s how it happened.

I didn’t own not one 70’s record until the 90’s.

And the older people I spoke to, said how “Kashmir” was one of the most popular songs in Australia, behind “Evie” (all three parts), “Stairway To Heaven”, “American Pie”, “Bat Out Of Hell” and “Hotel California”.

Not one of those songs is under 7 minutes.

An era in which artists did what they wanted and wrote what they wanted and FM radio had no choice but to play the whole damn thing.

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

I Remember You

The youth went wild for Skid Row, in the same way they went wild six years ago for Judas Priest, Van Halen, Scorpions, Quiet Riot, Ratt and Motley Crue. And Sebastian Bach went even wilder, trying to give a piece of himself to everyone who pissed him off.

And then they dropped “I Remember You”. A hit, with almost 72 million streams on Spotify, which would evolve to in-fighting and to things falling apart.

Skid Row opened for GNR on the “Use Your Illusion” tour. When they played in Australia, there were so many rules about drinking and glass bottles at concerts.

So Sebastian Bach brings out a case of beer and starts singing, 24 bottles of beer in the box, pass one down, pass it around, 23 bottles of beer in the box.

And im thinking, what the..

This is the dude who jumped into the audience, knocked an innocent girl senseless, started swinging with another audience member, all because a glass bottle was thrown towards the stage and it hit him in the head at a US gig. And now he is handing out glass bottles to the crowd.

It was all in good taste and a bit of fun on a very hot Sydney day. But I also saw a very worried tour manager getting a few of the roadies into the crowd to retrieve these glass bottles. And of course GNR took forever to come on next.

I digress.

It’s a relationship song. Lyrically it didn’t connect, but musically it did.

The simple G to C chord progression is a staple progression of country, pop and rock songs. “Every Rose Has It’s Thorn” has the same chord progression.

And it has a great title. For me, it didn’t have to be about a relationship, it could have been about a friendship, about a band, about a street, about a place, about a summer event. It could even be a love song from an artist to their audience.

And that’s how I see the song.

Remembering a moment in time.

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

Rock Me

Great White began their career in the early 80’s with “Out Of The Night”. Then EMI signed em, released an album and didn’t really know what to do with the band, so they dropped em and then Capitol records got em on the books.

In 1987, “Once Bitten” their third album, got the platinum treatment and they went on tour in the U.S with Whitesnake. Then “Twice Shy” followed in 1989 and this led to more platinum sales and their own successful headline tour.

By 1991, most of the world was heading into recessions, and the hard rock public was getting a bit jaded with the same lyrical themes and sound-a-like chord progressions of hard rock. So “Hooked” didn’t really set the charts alight.

“Psycho City” came out in 1993, and by then band members had left, band members had marriages and divorces and illnesses. And hard rock was not a commercial force anymore, but bands who had success before, wanted the same success. And so did the record labels, but when this didn’t eventuate, it was goodbye to the record deal and hello to arguments within band members.

“Rock Me” came out at the same time as “Appetite For Destruction”, maybe it got lost in the noise, but it still got a lot of airplay in Australia, and I’m thinking its blues tinged hard rock definitely hit a note with the programmers and Australian audiences.

The bass boogie kicks it off.

The drums are simple, high hats for some time, slowly percolating until the right moment to explode in the chorus. And the guitars are just decorating, until it comes time for them to explode as well.

Rock me
Rock me
Roll me through the night

How good is the Chorus?

And when you think the song is about to finish, they pick it up and blast in to an outro solo for the last minute. At 7 minutes long, the blues boogie doesn’t gets boring.

Today, it has 7 million listens on Spotify and the 5 minute music video has 12 million views on YouTube. The song is forgotten compared to the numbers other songs have, but if you were alive during this period, it was a song from our youth.

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

Big Ten Inch Record

Nirvana broke through in the early nineties and so did Mariah Carey.

But there is no one on the TV singing shows who wanted to be like Cobain. Hell no one even wanted to be like Halford, Jovi, Tyler or Coverdale and if they did, they didn’t last long except for James Durbin.

Everybody wanted to be Carey, Sheeran and for the ones who had the guts, to be their own self. And hard rock music never translated well to the TV screen. Everything sounds distant and small. And you don’t feel the energy, the thumping of the bass drum in your heart.

MTV cashed up the labels and the labels finally had the power. They could make or break a career in the same way Harvey Weinstein could. It used to pissed the labels off, how the artists would withhold music or not go in the studio when the label head requested it.

Artists signed deals, got the advance money, blew it on things, and then realised that they had to use that advance money for the recording. So the label gave them a little bit more, controlled the process, told them to keep on writing, racked up the bills and suddenly the artist is a million in debt before the first album is released and when a song became a hit, they also realised how they signed away their rights, when the signed on the dotted line.

All in the name of putting out a TEN INCH RECORD.

And I am thinking of Aerosmith right now.

If you got into the band in the 80’s because of the songs written with outside writers, then you would hate this little 12 bar bluesy and jazzy cut from “Toys In The Attic”. This is a track that diehard fans would know.

And the band kicked off their Grammy MusicCares performance with this song and the industry people thought Tyler was singing “suck on my big 10 inch”. That’s why I love rock and roll. The middle finger attitude.

Off to Spotify and I’m calling up “Toys In The Attic”.

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