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

Driven

It was one of the first tracks finished for the “Test For Echo” album, featuring three separate bass tracks; the main part, the harmony part and the sub bass bottom end, which sound as one massive bass track. If you need any more evidence about the abilities of Geddy Lee, look no further.

Neil Peart also plays a little bit behind the beat which gives the riffs a heavier character.

Driven up and down in circles
Skidding down a road of black ice

You know the saying of “going round in circles” well in this case, the feeling is that we are not achieving anything because someone else is controlling the wheel and we keep coming back to the same point or problem.

But it’s my turn to drive

We need to take the wheel and be in control of our choices and decisions. We need to learn from them, grown with them and take ownership of our choices and actions. There is no one to blame when it’s our turn to drive.

And how the change from distortion to acoustic in this section is soothing before the fuzz kicks in again. Plus the simple chord progression of F, G and Am makes it so accessible.

Driven to the margin of error
Driven to the edge of control
Driven to the margin of terror
Driven to the edge of a deep, dark hole

How driven or ambitious can we be, that we find ourselves driven to the edge of control, or a deep dark hole?

Driven on
By the road to somewhere I’ve never been

A simple meaning of what it means to drive. It offers us the freedom to leave our city limits and go to another city and another.

And these days, technology companies scan between 150 million and 200 million photos of license plates captured by cameras in malls, parking lots, and residential neighborhoods every month, to amass huge information on the data point locations of cars, which they then use to sell to the police.

If the police want to know the whereabouts of a number plate and where that plate had been in the past, this company can tell them.

That’s why we drive on to roads we’ve never been and cameras have never been.

The road unwinds before me
And I go riding on

It’s what we always do, we get up and live and go riding on. And we sacrifice or give up control, a little bit of our freedom each time which brings us back to the first verse and the words of being driven up and down in circles.

And the cycle repeats.

And after the “Test For Echo” tour, the band was put on hold as Neil Peart would see tragedy with the passing of his daughter and a year later, his wife.

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

The Pirate Vault #8

Motley Crue – Girls, Girls, Girls Live in Providence 8-8-1987

I’ve got the bootleg on LP and I couldn’t find any YouTube clips from this concert, but there is one titled Motley Crue – Full Concert – 10/10/87 – Oakland Coliseum Stadium (OFFICIAL) which has the same set list, starting off with the Dave Rose “Stripper” song as the backing tape, but some songs are edited out for some reason.

And “Dancin On Glass” is one of my favourite tracks from the “Girls” album, so it’s cool to see it in the set list and to hear it get the live treatment.

Because it’s a god damn great song and it works perfectly for the live show, with its sleazy groove and blues influenced vocal melodies. The other songs are more or less part of Motley canon and still part of the set list, and the Jack Daniels break is the guys drinking Jack Daniels, basically an early version of Tommy’s tittie cam.

Also on Tommy Lee, he is a very underrated drummer. He holds down the fort, consistent in his tempo’s and every cymbal crash and every drum fill and every ad lib drum fill is on beat.

Extreme – self titled debut
David Lee Roth – Eat Em And Smile

There is so much guitar on this tape, from two giants in Nuno Bettencourt and Steve Vai.

Like Steve Vai’s guitar is having a convo with David Lee Roth in “Yankee Rose”. Nuno’s is supporting an harmonica lead in “Little Girls”.

And both guitarists don’t play stock power chords chords as they decorate each riff with single note scalar progressions, triad chords, hammer ons and pull offs and palm muted arpeggios.

Iron Maiden – self titled debut
Metal Ballads

This tape fell into my possession from a girl who dumped her boyfriend. And since this mix tape was created by her now ex-boyfriend, she didn’t want it. Both sides were metal ballads. I didn’t mind side 2 as it had some cool guitar like Whitesnake with “Restless Heart” and “Is This Love”, Bad English, Firehouse, John Waite and Slaughter.

Side 1 from memory had some ballad Bolton songs which was enough for me to overdub. I actually liked Michael Bolton on his first couple of solo albums, because they are good melodic hard rock albums.

I also don’t know what I was thinking when I used the words Metal and Ballads together. It just doesn’t make sense. I should of merged them, Metallica style, to become Metallads.

Actually that’s even worse now, Metal Lads. What is that?

And I added some WASP tracks at the end of the Maiden album, just to fill up the side.

How good is the intro to “Prowler”?

Led Zeppelin – IV
Led Zeppelin – my selection from Remasters
(and I don’t know why I selected some of the same songs I had on side 1 courtesy of “IV”).

When I was burned out on my 80’s music in the 90’s and I wasn’t really biting the new Seattle sounds as essential listening, Led Zeppelin and hundreds of other 70 acts became my go to sounds.

And I loved the world and the sounds they created because rock music was about trying things. No other artist wrote a song like “Bohemian Rhapsody” or “Kashmir” or “Stairway To Heaven”. Ohh, wait, scratch that last part on “Stairway” as a judge and a jury will decide the Stairway case. The insanity of it all.

And I remember reading the making of “The Wall” and how complicated it was because the band members didn’t speak to each other, and Roger Waters wanted total control and the record label wanted it to have more accessible songs which Pink Floyd refused to do and the record label wanted it out at a certain time, which the band refused to do. And that constant struggle between creating art vs money thrown at the artist continued.

Because the labels were scared to drop an artist who had sales, because there was nothing worse than having an artist you dropped, sell a million records on another label. So they kept em on their label, put up with em and gave in to their demands, because the artist had the power. As Ricky Gervais said in his Golden Globe speech, “he doesn’t care”, the artists had the same motto. They didn’t care, it was all about the sex and the drugs and the sex.

But MTV gave the record labels a lot of power because they created it and controlled it and when music entered the lounge rooms, sales of recorded music went through the roof, which meant a lot of dollars on their profit sheets.

Suddenly, the labels had the power to kill an artist’s career straight away. And Seattle didn’t decimate the hair bands. The record labels did, by signing so many “look a likes” and “sound a likes” that the market reached its saturation point.

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

Saxon – The Power And The Glory

It’s the title track, produced by Jeff Glixman and their last album on Carerre before their “supposably” big money move to EMI Records in 1984.

The album was written during the British Invasion of the Falkland Islands and you hear the aggression in it as it focuses on the life of mercenaries and includes tributes to mans first landing on the moon and “E.T.”

Saxon is all about grit. A working class band that had to keep working hard to remain relevant.

I could never understand why the critics didn’t like it, to be honest. It didn’t get really great reviews. But I like it. “Watching the Skies” is one of my favourites. And the actual title track, “Power and the Glory,” is brilliant to play live, absolutely. One of the best things ever.
Steve Dawson from Saxon

“The Power And The Glory” kicks off the album with a riff that would have influenced Iron Maiden’s “Two Minutes To Midnight” and when the drums come in, its “Dirty Deeds” on steroids.

I’ve actually done a post on the one riff to rule them all. It was a general riff used by many metal and rock bands between 1976 to 1986.

And the verse riff reminds so much of Thin Lizzy, it connects straight away. Its probably why this song is one of my favourite Saxon tracks. All of those little connections to previous bands, all blended up and out comes, Saxon.

I’m fighting for freedom
I’m safe, I’ve got God on my side

It’s what the generals told the soldiers, because they are fighting for freedom, god is on their side, so don’t fear, you will prevail. Yep, tell that to the solider with machine guns from the other side, who also believes the same and is fighting for their own freedom.

The General says we’ll will win the war,
Just sacrificed a thousand more

We commemorate Anzac Day in Australia and if you read Anzac history, you will see how the British Generals sent the soldiers of their Commonwealth countries into battle first. While these young men got cut down by machine gun fire, the Generals watched from afar, safe from all the hell. All in the name of power and glory, for whose god is more divine and for who has more lands and resources under control.

To the power and the glory
Raise your glasses high

Raise your glasses indeed.

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

Satellite

It’s from “On Through The Night”, Def Leppard’s first album and written by bassist Rick Savage, guitarists Steve Clark and Pete Willis and singer Joe Elliot.

Judas Priest producer Tom Alton is also behind the controls.

And yes folks, there are two albums before “Pyromania”.

Who would have thought, hey?

In art classes, Joe Elliot used to draw album covers from imaginary bands which didn’t exist. One of those covers had the band name Def Leppard.

Ooh yeah, ooh yeah set your sights on the satellite

A statement of intent.

Don’t worry about setting your goals as high as the sky, let’s go further and go for the satellites in outer space.

And space travel (in the early 80s) was still so unknown back then.

We were in awe of the tech.

It’s got the power, it’s got the strength to steal away your soul

Satellite is an artificial object placed into space to provide a service.

The satellite in this song i always saw as being an metaphor for desire/love but coming from England and being seen as one of the leaders of NWOBHM, the “love” word just didn’t fit with the cultural change.

It’s burning up the sky

Those clean tone arpeggios with melodic vocal lines which made “Photograph” and “Rock Of Ages” huge appeared from the outset, on the debut.

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

The Call Of Ktulu

Another game changer track, a progressive 7 minute instrumental, with a title taken from the works of HP Lovecraft and his mythical monster.

And death was the unifying theme on “Ride The Lightning” except for “Escape”, a Thin Lizzy like cut which had defiant social lyrics like “Life is my own to live my own way”. The same message could be heard on songs like “Stand Up And Shout” and “We’re Not Gonna Take It”.

“The Call Of Ktulu” has got a bit of everything, written mostly by Dave Mustaine in his Dux of the Year contribution however the publishing will show Hetfield, Ulrich, Burton, Mustaine.

And it’s got the embryonic riff of what will become “Hanger 18” in Megadeth many years later, based around a chromatic ascending riff similar to “Kashmir” from Led Zeppelin.

The songs structure is orchestral like and it’s full of ascending and descending scales, chromatic lines which give the song an air of menace and time changes.

The intro alone moves from a classical inspired Dm arpeggio riff to the Am Tritone arpeggio riff and back to the Dm “Hangar 18” riff.

And the “Ride The Lightning” album was the first time that Cliff was really writing with the band, and this partnership would come to fruition on the follow up album “Master Of Puppets” album.

Rumors existed that Hetfield didn’t write any lyrics because he never actually read any of Lovecraft’s works or that the song that appears on the album was a throwaway jam from the Mustaine era, with Mustaine actually playing, because the album was over budget and needed an extra track.

And the various companies printing the LPs kept spelling it wrong on various pressings. “The Cat Of Ktulu” and “The Call Of The Ktulu”.

Regardless, enjoy a brilliant track which was made even more menacing when Michael Kamen wanted to open the “S&M” show with it many years later, which gave the song a new lease of life and people once again became interested in Metallica’s back catalogue.

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

The Pirate Vault #7

The little box of cassette tapes keeps bringing back some memories.

Guns N Roses mix and 7th Son of A 7th Son

The Gunners mix is a weird one, a combination of live tracks from B sides and “Use Your Illusion” tracks, along with “Patience” from the “Lies” EP.

I chucked in “Breaking The Law” from Judas Priest towards the end because the band I was in was covering it, and in the 90’s when we played the song, people thought it was our own song. Totally clueless to the songs origin or we played it that bad, they couldn’t recognize it.

And “So Tired” from Ozzy’s “Bark At The Moon” album is one of the best songs Ozzy has written with just one finger and a piano.

Side 2 has the excellent “Seventh Son of a Seventh Son” album from the mighty Iron Maiden.

I remember sitting down and learning “Moonchild”, “Infinite Dreams”, “Can I Play With Madness”, “Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son” and my favourite track, “The Evil That Men Do”.

Living on the razors edge alright.

Savatage Mix and Fates Warning Mix

My cousin “Mega” is four years older and at this point in time, he had more money at his disposal and was devouring new music like a sumo having breakfast.

And I had the Savatage albums with Criss Oliva up to “Gutter Ballet” on LP and “Streets: A Rock Opera” on CD, but hadn’t heard “Edge Of Thorns” and then I wasn’t sure what was going to happen after his death with the next album, but upon hearing that Alex Skolnick from Testament was involved, I was interested.

As for Fates Warning, I had the first three albums on LP and Mega was purchasing all the CD’s after that.

So on a visit to his place, I spent some time listening and cherry picking songs to fill up a side over a few albums. I guess Apple was onto something with their iTunes Store.

The Savatage tracks are made up of “Edge Of Thorns” and “Handful Of Rain” tracks, while the Fates Warning tracks are made up of “Perfect Symmetry” and “Parallels” songs.

Guitars From Hell Part I and II

I don’t know why I selected that title for this mix tape.

Side 1

“Take Me For A Little While”

It’s one of my favourite cuts from the “Coverdale/Page” album, because it could have been a massive radio hit if it was shorter, but these two legends just kept going and the song ended up almost 7 minutes long.

“Song For Love”

Nuno Bettencourt has some real good guitar moments in this song and it’s here because of it.

“You Don’t Remember , I’ll Never Forget” and “Queen In Love”

I was having a Yngwie Malmsteen moment and these two songs are accessible and Malmsteen plays for the song, with stellar riffing and picking the right moment to break loose.

“Dr Rockter”, “Love Machine” and “Sleepin In The Fire”

WASP aka Blackie Lawless just knew how to satisfy the core. These 3 songs I can put em on, and never once do I think to press skip.

“Breaking The Chains”

I had overdosed on the Dokken albums from “Tooth N Nail” so I went back to the debut.

“Hiroshima Mon Amour” and “Island In The Sun”

Did I mention I was having a Malmsteen moment?

These are tracks from the excellent and very underrated “Alcatrazz” band before Malmsteen went solo.

Notice the guitar heroes in the list on side 1. Jimmy Page, Nuno Bettencourt, Yngwie Malmsteen, George Lynch and Chris Holmes/Blackie Lawless (bassist who moved to guitar). Maybe the whiskey swilling Holmes didn’t get as much attention, but he could play and he could party. Sort of like the underrated Robin Crosby from Ratt.

Side 2

“You’re Invited But Your Friend Can’t Come” kicks it off, a cut written by Shaw and Blades for Vince Neil, but the guitar you hear is from Steve Stevens. And the solo break is worthy.

“Reason To Kill” has the excellent Al Pitrelli on guitar. It was released on “Blood And Bullets”, the excellent album from Dee Snider’s “Widowmaker” project.

“Outlaw” is from the pre Motley John Corabi fronted “The Scream” band.

“Devils Toy” is from the excellent “The Almighty” and it can be found on their “Soul Destruction” album.

“Stand Up And Fight” is from MARS, the supergroup project featuring Tony MacAlpine on guitars, Tommy Aldridge on drums, Rob Rock on vocals and Rudy Sarzo on bass.

“To Hell With The Devil” is one of my favourite cuts from the album of the same title and all those harmonies courtesy of Michael Sweet.

“Here I Go” is from “The Screaming Jets” a hard rock band from Australia. This song appears on their “Tear Of Thought” album. Guitarists, Grant Walmsley and Richard Lara really worked well together and nailed their parts, however credit needs to go to the main songsmith in bassist, Paul Woseen, who wrote the majority of songs for the band.

“Midnight/Tornado” is from the Skid Row debut. I always liked this song, but other songs got my attention early on, so I put it on a mix tape to overdose on it.

“Don’t Lie To Me” is another obscure Dokken cut that features some tasty work from George Lynch.

And to close, a Cinderella classic in “Don’t Know What You Got (Until It’s Gone)”.

And even on this list, you see a list of guitar heroes. Steve Stevens, Al Pitrelli, Bruce Bouillet, Ricky Warwick, Tony MacAlpine, Michael Sweet/Oz Fox, Grant Walmsley/Richard Lara, Dave Sabo/Scott Hill, George Lynch again and Tom Keifer/Jeff LeBar.

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

Some Heads Are Gonna Roll

Bob Halligan Jnr wrote the song, and he was becoming a go to guy for melodic rock songs. He wrote “(Take These) Chains” from 1982’s “Screaming for Vengeance”.

He wrote the whole “Midnite Dynamite” album for Kix plus he co-wrote their biggest hit “Don’t Close Your Eyes” from the “Blow My Fuse” album.

“Rock You” is a hard rock song written by Bob Halligan, Jr., and the first track from Helix’s 1984 album “Walkin’ the Razor’s Edge”. It is best known for its call and response of “Gimme an R, O, C, K.”

Kiss (aka Paul Stanley) also used him a fair bit as well throughout the 80’s with the songs “Rise To It” and “Read My Body” included on “Hot In The Shade” released in 1989.

Plus he wrote songs for a band called “Icon” and for one of my favorite melodic rock bands “Bonfire”.

But regardless of the writer it sounds like a Judas Priest track.

The way Tipton and Downing interpret the basic chord progression and add their own embellishments to it via single notes and artificial harmonics is the reason why it works. And when Halford sings, his signature voice connects it all together.

If the man with the power cant keep it under control
Some heads are gonna roll

So relevant today as it was back in the 70’s and 80’s. All of our male leaders have dick ego “Lord Farquhar” syndrome.

But the biggest problem that we have allowed to happen is the destruction of our environment. Nature is a balanced ecosystem and when species and trees become extinct in the quest of profit over progress, well its only a matter of time before we start to see evidence.

And we have been seeing signs since the 90s.

The power mad freaks who are ruling the Earth
Will show how little they think you’re worth

And these power mad freaks are not just the leaders in charge, they are also the giants in control of the biggest global corporations we have ever scene. And let’s not kid ourselves here.

The owners of Facebook, Google, Amazon, Netflix or ex-owners like Bill Gates from Microsoft or Apple execs have their influence all over the current world we live in, along with the sheiks and various oil barons and the bankers.

But let’s not forget the current crop of Presidents and Prime Ministers in charge of democratic countries.

In the US, the President tweets information which exposes the Ukraine informer who had enough evidence to get the president in trouble and then threatens a few country’s on Twitter.

In Australia, the East Coast of the country is burning and the Prime Minister is looking for some work life-balance as he holidays in Hawaii in secret and then holds a $6 million fireworks display in Sydney to please the rich. To make it worse, he watches cricket and tells people to get on with it like generations did in the past. But in the past, the fires burned for a week and in some cases up to two weeks. These fires have been burning since September.

Yep from September.

In the UK, well, there is nothing to be said there. The stories all over the net paint a picture of those leaders if you read critically and from different sources.

I guess it’s time for some heads to roll from the political side. We all have a voice, use it wisely when you get to vote.

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