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

The Record Vault – Gilby Clarke

Rubber was released in 1998.

I don’t know what I was expecting with this. I just assumed that since he was in Guns N Roses, he could write songs as well. And I didn’t get this album expecting to hear Guns N Roses like tunes, as I knew that Clarke was in a Black Crowes style band before Gunners.

And when I saw that this album clocked in at 36 minutes, especially in the CD age I was like “okay, what’s this”. Nice and fast, wham bam.

I couldn’t remember any of the songs at all.

When I saw “Kilroy Was Here” as a title I remembered Styx, but nothing from the Gilby Clarke version. It always comes back to the argument that one sale equals a fan. It doesn’t. I purchased this album, heard it a few times and never listened to it again until 22 years later.

So I pressed play to reacquaint myself with the album.

The sound reminds me of old time rock and roll mixed with all the sounds that became popular in the 90’s. Like a little bit of Seattle, and a little bit of Manchester. Second track “The Haunting” is a great example of this. It has this great solo section with a lot of fuzzed out guitar over an acoustic guitar riff that reminds me of Bad Company.

“Kilroy Was Here” kicks off the album. It has a dissonant verse but a melodic chorus.

“I’m selling you, what you sold me”

In other words, give me crap and crap will be returned. More so when I was younger. As I got older, it became easy to just delete the persons number and move on. I’m not interested in a spade for a spade anymore. It never solved anything in the first place, because it didn’t matter how many facts or truth i would have on my side, the argument could never be won.

“The Hell’s Angels” sounds sleazy and is classic Gunners, and the most heaviest track on the album. “Saturday Disaster” continues the heavy and sleazy grooves.

And how good is the riff to kick off “Technicolour Stars”?

Vocally, Clarke is okay. More pop punkish in his style and delivery.

Overall, it’s a nice listen but once it goes back onto the shelve, that would be it for the album, plus it’s not on Spotify Australia, so I can’t even add the songs I like to a playlist to have em circulating.

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

Rise To It

31 years old.

Man time goes by.

“Hot In The Shade” now has a full time job, a drinking problem and is paying taxes to keep the economy going. Plus it’s got a woody problem.

Read on.

I purchased it from a store called Brashs. It specialised in sound systems and then it started to bring in musical product.

It had a decent metal and rock section but I felt that everything was way overpriced and hardly any discounts.

Then again, the price was pre-determined by the labels but who knew that kind of stuff back then. But it was the only store that had “Hot In The Shade”. So I purchased it for $20.

$20 back in 1989 is worth about $42 today with inflation added on. Which is about the price of Vinyl these days on average.

Anyway, I’ve been on a Bob Halligan Jr kick lately and he co-wrote two tracks here. “Rise To It” and “Read My Body”.

And this era of Kiss has its critics but it’s Bruce Kulick’s finest moments. His guitar work on “Crazy Nights” and “Hot In The Shade” is very underrated.

And Kulick really rose to it here and delivered a great solo.

“Rise To It” opens up with some slide guitar and a Mississippi Delta blues feel. But once the distorted guitars kick in, it’s melodic rock all the way.

But.

Listen to the riff in the Chorus.

It’s ZZ Top like. Think “Sharp Dressed Man”.

Lyrically, it’s typical Kiss, talking about hard ons or wood. Like when Paul sings “When you’re lying next to me, baby, I can guarantee, I’m gonna rise to it” he’s not talking about waking up in the morning.

And that got me thinking about ZZ Top and there song, “Woke Up With Wood”.

The lyrics, “when I woke up this morning, I was feeling mighty good, my baby understood had to do what she should, laying near a pile of wood”.

“God damn good times” is what I say. I’ve been in those morning wood situations a lot of times.

Suddenly I’m listening to “Sport’n A Woody” from Dangerous Toys. “Sport’n a woody, when you’re titties fly” and how they wish the lady was sedated so they penetrate her.

Then Ace Frehley comes to mind and how his baby is on her knees and she’s begging please for a ride on his rocket.

Ahhh, rock and roll music.

It never took it self seriously and it allowed us all to have a laugh and a good time.

I’m gonna raise my glass to Rock And Roll.

Oh wait, that’s another Kiss song. For a different time.

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

The Record Vault – Colosseum II

I saw this at a record fair in the 90’s and as soon as I saw the name Gary Moore attached to it, well it was a straight up grab.

Released in 1977, when Punk was starting to rule the airwaves around the world.

Gary Moore is on guitars and vocals, Don Airey is on all things Moog and Organ related, John Mole is on drums and John Hiseman on drums. It’s important that this project is not confused with Colosseum which was more of a jazz band whereas Colosseum II is more progressive rock. Same drummer in both bands.

And hearing this album, I was blown away at how many different career paths Gary Moore has had/tried. A true virtuoso.

Hard Rock. Tick. Blues Rock. Tick. Blues. Tick. Jazz. Tick. Progressive Rock. Tick. Acoustic Spanish Flamenco. Tick. Heavy Metal. Tick. Folk Rock. Tick.

It’s the third album of Colosseum II and it’s all instrumental apart from the terrible “Castles” which is a vocal track.

“Wardance” has a 2 minute introduction which sounds like it came from an ELP or Yes album. I was putting my armour on, swording up and ready to go to war. I swear I heard something similar on “Ben Hur”.

Don Airey can really play that Moog/Organ whereas in the hard rock setting he was just adding flavours to the songs. Here, he is a lead instrument.

“Major Keys” is a funk jazz jam, very similar to the stuff that Yes put out on their first three albums.

“Put It This Way” has a lot of interplay between Moore and Airey and a lot of chromatic like riffs, with fast blues grooves.

“Fighting Talk” is like a 12 bar blues shuffle, sped up. And Airey really shines on this with his Moog leads while Moore counters with his growling Gibson.

“Inquisition” is like an Al DiMeola track and I love it. Gary Moore really shreds on this on both the electric and acoustic.

And at 6 minutes long, I wasn’t bored.

At its centerpiece is a mood that evokes the metal, dungeons, dragons, doom and exotic scales that Malmsteen would bring forth on the first four “Rising Force” albums.

The spacey trilogy of “Star Maiden/Mysterioso/Quasar” has this guitar piece in “Mysterioso” that I call the Rush section but it happened before Rush did it.

And the band knew that this was their last album, so they got out with a bang on “Last Exit”. It starts off slowly as it percolates. Credit to bassist Jon Mole for laying down a solid foundation and Airey this time around is more in support.

And then Moore starts soloing.

It is so emotive and heartfelt, the hairs rise up on the back of my neck.

And he’s gone as well.

Taken from us and we will never hear another new note from him.

For fans of Moore’s hard rock career, this song is essential listening.

Essential. Okay.

In other words, Gary Moore really shines here.

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

1985 – Part 7

All of these album I came across much later than 1985. Some even well into the 2000’s and courtesy of torrents.

Armored Saint – Delirious Nomad

I never got into em at the time nor did anyone I hanged with, talk about em. But the 2000’s gave me access to their music and man, there is a lot of good stuff on their albums.

Like “Nervous Man” on this album. The riff would have subconsciously inspired Hetfield for “Cyanide”. “For The Sake Of Heaviness” sounds like a Dokken cut without the melodic vocals. “Aftermath” sounds like a cut that Crimson Glory would write in a year’s time. Then again Evergrey’s first album had cuts like this.

Saxon – Innocence Is No Excuse

Saxon are one of my favourite acts. A lot of fans hated the albums on the EMI label, but it’s those albums that made me a fan. The switch from Carrere was going to happen eventually as the band wasn’t getting their royalty cut.

“Rockin’ Again” feels like a Def Leppard cut. I was hooked as soon as the clean tone arpeggios started. “Call Of The Wild” starts off with a classic fast riff like the old albums, but once the verses kick in, its melodic metal baby.

“Devil Rides Out” has a verse vocal melody that is reminiscent of “Breaking The Chains” from Dokken. “Everybody Up” has a riff that reminds me of the one riff to rule them all.

“Broken Heroes” has been a favourite for a while. “Give It Everything You Got” has that LA Sunset Strip vibe that a band from Pasadena brought to prominence.

And if you want to read a review that puts it nicely, head over to HMO.

Kix – Midnite Dynamite

I love the “Sin City” feel to kick off “Midnite Dynamite”. And the pre-chorus is totally different, more in the vein of Def Leppard with open string arpeggios and a melodic rock hook. Then the Chorus moves into a Judas Priest like riff. And that my friends, is why Kix became a band I like.

Main songwriter Donnie Purnell had a unique way of blending a lot of different influences into a cohesive hard rock track. On this album, he teamed up with Bob Halligan Jr for 7 tracks. The title track being one of em. And if you don’t know who Bob Halligan Jr is, then you’ve never listened to Kiss, Helix, Judas Priest, Bonfire or Icon.

Then there is “Bang Bang (Balls Of Fire) which has Kip Winger contributing a song writing credit with Purnell and Halligan Jr. It’s melodic rock.

“Walkin’ Away” is a synth heavy ballad with a great arena rock chorus. It could appear on a Duran Duran album and not be out of place. “Scarlet Fever” is the embryo to “Blow My Fuse”.

And 3 years later, Kix would really hit the top with the excellent “Blow My Fuse”. But that’s for a different year in review.

Icon – Night Of The Crime

Eddie Kramer produced it. Ron Nevison mixed it. Mike Clink assisted the mix.

Capitol Records spared no expense in making sure this album had everything it could have to make it. Bob Halligan Jr song writing contributions are all over it. Six of the songs are either written or co-written by him.

It’s melodic rock. Like all of the current Frontiers artists. Kerrang readers voted this album number 3 in an AOR list. Only “Journey –Escape” and “Michael Bolton – Everybody’s Crazy” were in front.

Unfortunately Capitol had no idea how to market the band.

Well they had no idea either, as the album brings to mind Judas Priest, Def Leppard, Dokken, Night Ranger, Europe, Coney Hatch and Y & T.

The first two Halligan Jr cuts “Naked Eyes” and “Missing” establish that his album is going to be an AOR behemoth.

A favourite is “Danger Calling” at track three, a cut written by Halligan Jr and Icon guitarist Dan Wexler. This song could have appeared on a Judas Priest album and not be out of place. And the AOR rock continues with the Wexler and Stephen Clifford cut, “(Take Another) Shot At My Heart”.

“Out For Blood” is written by Wexler and co-guitarist John Aquilino. It has a two minute and ten seconds “acoustic guitar/electric guitar solo” moment like those Shrapnel Records. Then the song begins.

But the best song is “Raise The Hammer”. It’s written by Halligan Jr. The intro/verse riff is one of the best Judas Priest riffs that Tipton and Downing didn’t write. Then that Chorus. You’ll be singing it. Bonfire took this melodic metal style and sound and ran with it a few years later.

The keyboard led “Frozen Tears” (another Halligan Jr cut) reminds me of Toto.

“The Whites of Their Eyes” has this Lynch meets Scorpions style riff, which a band like Leatherwolf would take and run with a few years later. “Hungry for Love” is your typical “Fallen Angel” lyrical theme with a catchy chorus and metal verse riff.

“Rock My Radio” closes the album. It’s got some decent guitar work, a driving beat and a derivative but catchy, harmony chorus you will like.

Phenomena – Phenomena

This project was awesome. Formed by record producer Tom Galley and his brother, Mel Galley fresh from a stint with Whitesnake.

It’s another melodic AOR rock classic and it’s a who’s who of artist on the tracks.

The first track, “Kiss Of Fire” is written by Richard Bailey (the keyboardist from Magnum) and Tom Galley. It has Glenn Hughes on vocals, Cozy Powell on drums, Neil Murray on bass, Richard Bailey on keyboards and John Thomas (from Budgie) on guitar. And it’s a great melodic rock song to start the way.

“Still The Night” is from the Thrall/Hughes project (written by Pat Thrall and Paul Delph) from a few years before and again, it has Glenn Hughes on vocals, Ted McKenna (MSG) on drums and John Thomas/Mel Galley on guitars with Robin Smith (songwriter and studio muso on various sessions) on the keys. This song is a favourite.

“Dance With The Devil” is written by Richard Bailey, Mel Galley and Tom Galley. Glenn Hughes wails away on vocals, while the band is rounded out by Cozy Powell on drums, Neil Murray on bass, Richard Bailey on keyboards and John Thomas/Mel Galley on guitar. There is a mean fiddle melodic riff which sounds like Kansas.

“Phoenix Rising” is written by Bailey and the Galley brothers. The band this time around is Hughes on vocals, Powell on drums, Murray on bass, Mel Galley on guitar and Bailey on keyboards.

I love the way this starts off with a clean tone guitar playing arpeggios and keys adding effects. It sounds like a soundtrack to a Christopher Nolan movie.

“Who’s Watching You” is written by Tom Galley and Mel Galley. It has McKenna on drums, Galley on guitar, Don Airey on keyboards, Glenn Hughes on bass and vocals. As soon as the riff kicks in, I’m all in.

“Hell On Wings” is written by the Galley brothers with Bailey. The band is Murray on bass, Powell on drums, Galley on guitar, Bailey on keys and Hughes on vocals. It’s got this harmony lead in the start that screams Thin Lizzy.

“Twilight Zone” is written by Bailey and Tom Galley. The band is Murray on bass, Powell on drums, Thomas and Galley on guitars, Bailey on keys and the mighty Hughes on vocals. The intro lead hooks me, the verses lose me, the Chorus loses me, but the music keeps me interested.

Helix – Long Way To Heaven

Helix are severely under-represented on Spotify. This album is not on it. But YouTube has it.

It’s on Capitol Records, the same Capitol that had Icon and Bob Halligan Jr working together and the same Capitol that had a reputation as a label which didn’t really know how to promote their metal and rock acts.

“The Kids Are All Shakin” could have appeared on an Autograph album. It’s a perfect major key radio rock anthem.

Mr Bob Halligan Jr makes an appearance again in the song writing department, with “Deep Cuts The Knife” a co-write with Paul Hackman and “Ride The Rocket” a co-write with Brian Vollmer. I should have called this post the Bob Halligan Jr post.

As soon as the arpeggios kick off “Deep Cuts The Knife” I was hooked. Then the vocal melody started and I was all in. This song is a perfect piece of melodic rock.

The intro to “House Of Fire” is brilliant. Then the fire bell starts ringing, the riffs kick in and it’s time to rock and roll. Hackman and Vollmer wrote a classic here. “Christine” is typical of 1985. So many songs had the similar major key riff. “Turn On The Radio” comes to mind immediately and I’m all in because of the similarity and familiarity.

How good does “Without You (Jasmine’s Song)” start off?

It’s a perfect AOR track and that Chorus remains me with long after the song is finished.

Well that’s a wrap for another 85 post, so off to 1977 for part 7.

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

Less Talked About EVH Songs – Part 3

The “Best Of, Volume 1” was released in 1996.

It had three new tracks in “Humans Being”, “Can’t Get This Stuff No More” and “Me Wise Magic”.

Well “Humans Being” wasn’t a new track but if you didn’t have the Twister movie soundtrack from the same year, then you didn’t have the song.

“Humans Being” has an interesting conception but there’s no denying that from divisiveness between band members, a decent song can come out of it. Just ask the Dokken guys.

The intro riff grabs me immediately and when it is played distorted you get a sense of the anger.

That solo.

How much bend can EVH get from those strings?

And there’s a crappy 3 minute version doing the rounds which should be deleted because you can’t edit a VH song, even the unrestrained VH3 songs.

A demo called “Backdoor Shuffle” from the “Balance” sessions provided the foundation for “Can’t Get This Stuff No More”. And it’s got a lot of EVH’s unique guitar decorating, over basic chord progressions plus I like the 12/8 timing which gives the song its shuffle feel.

You can hear in the three tracks on this compilation, the embryo of VH3. Each song is over the 5 minute mark. I guess there was no negotiating from EVH on editing here.

“Me Wise Magic” became a US hit for the band. The intro riff has the ringing open E and open B notes over changing power chords. It’s catchy, like Alex Lifeson catchy and enough to get me interested.

“Do you believe?”

Yes I do believe.

Van Halen “III” is the black sheep of the VH family.

But there’s no denying the riffs on the album.

Check out “One I Want”. It’s classic EVH from the Hagar era.

The intro riffage for “From Afar”. Its hooky and addictive. The sexy groove from “Dirty Water Dog” in the intro. And in the verses it’s like “Finish What Ya Started”.

“Once” sounds like a song from a Stan Bush soundtrack. Remember him. “The Touch” from Transformers comes to mind. “Fire In The Hole” is EVH paying homage to his AC/DC influences.

But my favourite is “Year to the Day”.

As soon as the finger picked intro starts I’m hooked. It’s a mixture of classical, jazz and blues. A perfect fusion made to sound so pleasant by the mastery of EVH.

And that Chorus hook!

There’s no way you can listen to it and not be moved.

That solo is one of my favorites because it’s really just EVH and AVH jamming as Michael Anthony was restricted to playing bass on three tracks. And when the outro solo kicks in, I’m not complaining at all.

VH3 is the type of album an artist writes as they get older. It’s almost experimental fusion within a hard rock context.

The “Best of Both Worlds” compilation was released in 2004 and it had three new tracks with Sammy Hagar on vocals.

“It’s About Time”, “Up for Breakfast” and “Learning to See”.

The intro riff to “Its About Time” had me all in. “Up For Breakfast” starts off with that same synth tone that “Why Can’t This Be Love” used. And although Sammys lyrics don’t connect with me, the riffs did.

“Learning To See” has a Chorus riff which makes me pick up the guitar and play it. Plus that heavy ending.

And there was a break. Then DLR returned. The end result was “A Different Kind of Truth”, an album made up of reworked old riffs, some new riffs and melodies with new lyrics chucked in. It’s an album I didn’t really appreciate at the time.

“Tattoo” has that sexy groove that EVH is known for. And DLR has Elvis on his elbow, who talks when his elbow moves.

“She’s the Woman” is WVH turn to shine. That bass is rumbling and grooving.

“Chinatown” is a modern day “Get Up”.

That solo on “Blood And Fire”.

It’s burning and melodic and knowing that EVH is gone, it’s sad to know that I’ll never hear that kind of creative fury again.

“As Is” and that tapped solo which reminds me of “Flying High Again”.

And the “Gates Of Babylon” screams out at me when “Honeysweetiedoll” begins, but EVH is unique in his phrasing and improvisation to make it unique and DLR is just unique.

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

2000 – Part 7

Dokken – Live From The Sun

So George Lynch was out again after the disastrous “Shadowlife” album and whatever stuff Lynch was smoking at the time, fertilized with the terrible hip hop album from Lynch Mob called “Smoke This” in 99, while Dokken regrouped with Reb Beach from Winger on guitar and released the excellent hard rock album, “Erase The Slate”.

“Live From The Sun” is a perfect capture of the Reb Beach era of Dokken and the excellent return to form album “Erase The Slate” from Dokken.

So no surprises here as the concert kicks off with “Erase The Slate”, a fast rocker with a brilliant lead break from Mr Beach himself.

Is it just me hearing “Race The Snake” instead of “Erase The Slate”?

Fake crowd noise then chimes in, as Reb Beach moves effortlessly into “Kiss Of Death” and it’s a one-two knock out combo.

That’s all followed with “The Hunter” and “Into The Fire” before “Madhatter” is played from the “Erase The Slate” album and so far it’s a pretty stellar set list.

But it gets better.

“Too High To Fly” is up next from the underrated “Dysfunctional” album, followed by some Lynch era classics in “Breaking The Chains”, “Alone Again”, “It’s Not Love”, “Tooth And Nail” and “In My Dreams”.

Don Dokken still cared about how he sung live during this period, and he’s pushing himself. On some songs, he’s struggling like “Breaking The Chains” but hey, his jeans needed to be tighter to pull off the highs he did back in 83.

And if he struggled, the backing vocals of Brown and Pilson gave him enough cover. And Reb Beach remained faithful to the Lynch classic solos with some improvisation here and there.

And I wanted to hear the Mark II line-up of Don Dokken on vocals, Reb Beach on guitar, Jeff Pilson on bass and Mick Brown on drums make new music again, but it didn’t happen.

Matchbox Twenty – Mad Season

This band really filled a hard rock void for me with the album “Yourself Or Someone Like You” released in 1996. Then Rob Thomas did “Smooth” with Santana and it was a smash everywhere. And so was Rob Thomas.

Then in 2000, four years after the debut was released, they dropped “Mad Season” and I was like, what happened to the hard rock on it. There’s still distorted guitars and a rock feel, but its more experimental. Which I also like as well.

And it went straight to number 1 in Australia.

Of course it’s got enough songs on it to satiate the fans of the debut with “If You’re Gone”, but “Rest Stop” is a lot better and more or less forgotten.

And “Bent” is grossly underrated.

As well as “Leave”, which is one of those pop style ballads that percolates and you feel like its gonna explode but it doesn’t, but the guitars keep getting layered and Rob Thomas keeps it going with a heartfelt vocal. And that passion continues with the closer, “You Won’t Be Mine”.

But there wasn’t enough on this album to keep me interested and I fell off the Matchbox Twenty train.

Alice Cooper – Brutal Planet

I really liked “The Last Temptation”. But that album came out in 1994 and I was like, when is Alice Cooper going to release his next album.

Well that happened six years later with “Brutal Planet”.

Its Alice being brutally heavy.

I’m a fan when artists incorporate the sounds of what is current into their style and this album suited the menacing voice of Alice Cooper to a tee.

Songs like “Brutal Planet”, “Sanctuary”, “Pick Up The Bones” and “It’s The Little Things” keep the album interesting.

And the band for the recording is excellent. Eric Singer is pounding away on the drums, while Phil X (future Bon Jovi guitarist) and Ryan Roxie (who started working with Alice Cooper in 1996 and is still there assisting) are on guitars. Bob Marlette rounds out the band as rhythm guitarist, keyboardist, bass player and producer.

Listen to the industrial groove metal infused riff of “Brutal Planet” and then go to the punk grunge infused “Sanctuary” with its speed rock style riff. You’ll either be banging your head in glee and the “Poison” loving fans will be spitting in their cups in disgust. “Eat Some More” musically, could have come from a Black Sabbath album in the 70’s with its doom riff.

My favourite is “Pick Up The Bones” and the way it moves between the clean tone arpeggios to the arena rock Chorus all within the sounds and grooves of Industrial Metal, but it’s a hard rock song at its core.

VAST – Music For The People

VAST stands for Visual Audio Sensory Theatre.

The drummer from a band I was in shared the CD with me. The influence of world music instruments and chants from different people and religions reminded me of Led Zeppelin (Kashmir) and The Tea Party, so I was immediately interested.

And “Touched” was the song that really got me. It starts off with a strummed acoustic guitar and a Pink Floyd’ish like vocal. Then these Afghan like voices kick in and I’m all in, as the drums kick in and out and in again adding power and stillness to the song.

“Flames” is an acoustic guitar, a violin and some synth strings with a sombre vocal melody. “Temptation” sounds like it could have come from The Tea Party album.

“Three Doors” has that exotic middle eastern sound and “The Niles Edge” has Gregorian Chants with a percolating tribal hand drum and an melancholic acoustic riff.

“You” is the album closer and it has this TonePad lick that keeps repeating almost metronomically, with choir voices and a guitar riff. Its slow, its atmospheric and it’s a great closer.

I do recall another album afterwards and then nothing, but by looking at Spotify, there seems to have been quite a few albums. I guess it’s time to dig in and see what’s been happening. In between listening to Van Halen of course.

Well, I guess it’s time to go back to 1985 for its part 7.

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

Less Talked About EVH Songs – Part 2

“5150” achieved what “1984” couldn’t.

The Billboard Number 1 spot.

Actually all of the Sammy Hagar albums achieved what the David Lee Roth albums couldn’t.

Then again DLR needed to contend with Michael Jackson and “Thriller” and Adele with “21”. Two genre skipping albums that became cultural must haves.

And songs like “Why Can’t This Be Love”, “Best of Both Worlds”, “Dreams” and “Summer Nights” take up most of the press and listens but it’s tracks like “Good Enough” and “Get Up” which get me really interested.

And they are the least played live while “Inside” has never been performed live.

Check out the head banging riff on “Good Enough” after Sammy screams “Hello Baby” and then go to the speed rock of “Get Up”.

Coming into “OU812”, I wasn’t sold on “When It’s Love” and “Finish What Ya Started” but tracks like “Mine All Mine”, “Source Of Infection” and “A.F.U. (Naturally Wired)” definitely got me.

Especially “A.F.U. (Naturally Wired)”.

A.F.U kicks off with a groove funk beat while EVH does some guitar arpeggios. And then it really kicks in, with EVH playing a chromatic bluesy riff which then has some passing notes chucked in so EVH can transition to those verses.

And how good are those verses?

It’s like two different songs in a song as the Chorus riff and Verse riff are not meant to be together. But EVH makes em work.

Then there’s that metal riff in the section before the solo which makes me pick up the guitar to learn it.

And the solo, no overdubs or backing guitars, just drums, bass and EVH wailing away.

Then came “For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge” and a return to more distortion and an acoustic drum kit for AVH after his previous two albums electronic drum kit experiment.

“Right Now” was a song that EVH felt strongly about to finish on his own as the band members didn’t like it. “Top of the World” is a song that EVH dislikes but finished off because the band members liked it. And these two songs have appeared the most in their concert setlists with Hagar.

“Runaround” and “Poundcake” had radio and TV play as singles.

But it’s tracks like “Judgement Day” that got me head banging.

Just listen to that verse riff?

And that bluesy like solo!!

“The Dream Is Over” is another song with some good EVH riffage (and Sammy Hagar sings a catchy pop chorus) along with the funky “Spanked”.

And there was a break for a few years before “Balance” came out, which Sammy Hagar said was a difficult record to do but to me it has some bone crushing EVH riffs.

“The Seventh Seal” and “Don’t Tell Me (What Love Can Do)” crunch away, while “Amsterdam” and “Big Fat Money” bring the fun and “Can’t Stop Lovin’ You” brings the pop with “Feelin” and “Not Enough” rounding out the ballads.

But it’s “Aftershock” that got me really interested from the first listen. It has so much guitar in it, every section is inspiring to play but my favourite part of the song is the Bridge part.

Just listen to it.

And the Bad Company/Zeppelin III/Beatles influenced “Take Me Back” also got me interested.

For an album that both Hagar and EVH found difficult to do, the songs don’t show it.

The Cherone album, the songs on the Best off albums and the DLR return album are coming up next.

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Less Talked About EVH Songs – Part 1

“Little Dreamer”

The riff is so funky and danceable, even dare I say it “disco”.

While Eddie’s guitar theatrics got the dudes interested to see him play, it was the way he wrote these swinging funky riffs that got the women to dance to David Lee Roth’s swinging hips and karate kicks.

The debut is seen as a classic today (with over 10 million in sales), but back in 78 Warner Bros. weren’t so sure. The album came out in February 78 and it was certified Gold in May, 78 and then Platinum in October 78. The label wanted to capitalise on this momentum and by December the same year, the band was in the studio again for VHII which came out in March 79. Quite a whirlwind 12 months.

And when it comes to the live setting, “Aint Talkin’ Bout Love”, “You Really Got Me”, “Runnin’ With The Devil” and “Feel Your Love Tonight” get played, along with “Eruption” in the solo moment. “Jamie’s Crying” got EVH a song writing credit on Tone Loc’s “Wild Thing”.

But “Little Dreamer” is not talked about.

VHII had so many serious riffage in “Dance The Night Away”, “Somebody Get Me A Doctor”, “Bottoms Up”, “Women In Love”, “Light Up The Sky” and “Beautiful Girls” and its these songs that get added to the set lists. Plus the groovy cover of “You’re No Good” is so unique it sounds like an original.

But “D.O.A” and “Outta Love Again” are also favourites.

“D.O.A” has a cool sped up outro, but it’s that intro riff which reminds me of “Ain’t Talkin about Love” that gets the foot tapping and the head nodding.

“Outta Love Again”

That solo. Just a bass guitar, drums and EVH wailing away. Live and no overdubs.

In other words, live without a net. And again, there is this funky bluesy riff, which is infectious.

Then came “Woman And Children First” and the riffage kept coming with one of my favourite riffs in “And The Cradle Will Rock”, “Everybody Wants Some”, “Romeo’s Delight” and “Take Your Whiskey Home”.

“Fools”

That main riff after all of the monkey wails and doodling, sounds like it inspired Queens Of The Stone Age and their song “No One Knows”.

“Tora Tora”

Not sure what was meant for this but what about the Sabbathy like feel on this one?

It only goes for a minute before the open string E note starts from “Loss Of Control” which sounds like a young James Hetfield was listening.

Then came “Fair Warning” and it’s hard to move past classics like “Unchained” and “Mean Street”.

And no one is talking about “Push Comes To Shove”.

Listen to it.

It’s funky and sleazy with that Michael Anthony bass line, reggae like with the guitar and those arpeggios brings it back to a rock song.

And that solo section. it’s progressive rock.

“Diver Down” was more a covers album than an original album but the original “Hang Em High” is as good as anything from the earlier albums. But according to setlist.fm it’s the least played song from the album when it comes to the live arena.

Also listen to the sexy and funky groove riff of “Little Guitars”. EVH definitely knows how to swing.

And “1984”.

Man that album makes up most of the DLR era set lists.

But “Drop Dead Legs” has only made an appearance on 41 setlists compared to “Panama” which has made 859 setlists.

And it’s got all the good things that make EVH great. A groove oriented riff, major key arpeggios and that solo/outro section inspired by fusion legend Alan Holdsworth.

In a Forbes interview, EVH said that one of his favorite songs is “Drop Dead Legs” regardless if it was a hit or not.

It’s one of my favorites as well.

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

September 2020 – Part 7

Here is the final post for September 2020.

Black Stone Cherry

“Ringin’ In My Head” is one of the lead off singles from their upcoming album “The Human Condition” which will be released on October 30, 2020.

And the riff and the melody go back to 2017.

People, people, your attention, please
I need to tell all y’all about a new disease
It’s crept right up from beneath our nose
And what happens next, we already know

Lockdown, and quarantine and then more lockdowns and then masks and a lot of alcohol on our hands than inside our bodies, and sadly infections and deaths.

Rise Against

It was the Guitar Hero game which got me into this band and I’ve been a fan since. Their form of punk borders on fast metal like riffs, with melodic vocals.

“Broken Dreams, Inc.” is the song.

What a great title?

They contributed the song to the “Dark Nights: Death Metal” Soundtrack, DC’s new Batman comic-book series. The song deals with levelling the playing field for everyone to have a chance at achieving the American dream.

People vote our leaders in so our leaders should work for the people and put power in the people’s hands. Instead our leaders put power into the hand of businesses.

When we owe more than we’re worth
And they’re changing the locks on the doors

In Australia, each household is in so much debt it’s not even funny. The banking industry got wealthy from selling debt.

How’s that for a career?

How does it feel to make billions because you gave mortgages to people who never shouldn’t have got one.

When the factories are automated
Broken dreams incorporated
Gather your things, but there’s nowhere to go

When one business closes, a new one begins. Kids starting school this year, will be working jobs that haven’t even been created.

Tygers Of Pan Tang

I’m an original fan of this band because of John Sykes. And throughout the years, they’ve kept on going with some breaks here and there. But in the last twelve years, I’ve jumped back in with TOPT.

Original guitarist and founder Robb Weir re-started the band back in 2001 and from 2008’s “Animal Instinct”, I’ve been on board. Italian born signer, Jacopo Meille is brilliant and very melodic as he brings a Jeff Scott Soto / Robert Plant / Paul Rodgers like feel, with Craig Ellis on drums and Gavin Gray on bass.

The “Ambush” album is good. Produced by Chris Tsangerides.

“Keeping Me Alive” kicks it all off, with a riff straight from the Sunset Strip.

“These Eyes” is an excellent Dokken/Lynch inspired cut which isn’t written by Dokken/Lynch.

Do you reckon the band would have succeeded if it was called Lynch Dokken instead of Dokken?

“Rock N Roll Dream” is a roller alright, with a rumbling bass riff in the verse and a Freddie Mercury style vocal line.

“Play To Win” sounds like the old TOPT with a nod in the direction of AC/DC.

“Burning Desire” is an excellent Bad Company inspired song, which isn’t written by Paul Rodgers or Mick Ralphs. And the lead break had me playing air guitar.

“Hey Suzie” feels like a Guns N Roses cut from the Appetite era.

“Mr Indispensable” sounds like a song from The Cult and the closer “Cruel Hands Of Time” is my favourite cut.

Basically TOPT are still delivering the goods, 40 years later.

Bad Juju

I checked these guys out based on the album cover.

There is a normal looking human hand reaching out from dark grey water and another human hand trying to pull up that person who is submerged. Then there are two other hands, withered and decaying and white, trying to keep the submerged person in the water and trying to bring the unsubmerged person also into the water. And this takes place in front of a red moon.

And I pressed play and became a fan.

So I did some reading.

They are from Melbourne, Australia. There ya go, from my own back yard. Even though the websites have them listed as emo, to me this album is basically anthemic rock.

“Disappoint” opens the album, with its layered guitar riffs and melodies courtesy of Abe Miller and Armarin Saengsri with aggressive drumming by Drue Herring and solid bass playing by Matt John, which allows Russell Holland to wail.

“Picture Us” feels like a Brit Pop 90’s song, mixing The Cure with My Chemical Romance and Blink 182.

“Dawn” deals with being lonely at night and giving life to those dark thoughts. Again, it’s a on a bed of layered guitars.

“Say It” feels like a track from “Mellon Collie” from The Smashing Pumpkins.

“The truth is I’m not fine and it’s not okay / tell what you want to be hearing I will say it like I mean it” is the hook in the Chorus.

It’s basically a fuck you to “Are You Okay?” day.

“Let’s Talk” is a pop song about giving up on a toxic relationship.

And that’s a wrap for the massive month that was September 2020.

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

September 2020 – 10 Years

From the US and formed in 1999. Signed to a label a few years later.

But I didn’t get into em until 2008.

Basically from 2000 onwards, I was really into the groove progressive rock of Tool.

But Tool songs just kept getting longer and I was looking for something to listen to, which was similar and more accessible.

So bands like Chevelle, Adema, Earshot, Deftones and 10 Years appeared on my radar, who played that form of groove rock and metal and I became a fan.

“Violent Allies” is produced by Howard Benson. Benson also produced the “Feeding The Wolves” album back in 2010.

That album is a favourite of mine, but there is a portion of the fanbase that hates what Benson’s generic pop production did to 10 Years.

If you don’t know what I mean, just check out his albums with Daughtry, Seether, Skillet, Theory Of A Deadman, Scott Stapp, Three Days Grace, 3 Doors Down, Red and many others. But for me, it’s that style of pop production I like.

The band entered the studio with 20 songs written and Benson cut 75% of the songs. The band then to write new material and revisit some of the other material to make the songs stronger.

“The Shift”

I never knew a shift was happening / The scenery just seemed to be stuck on, stuck on, stuck on repeat

And that’s how people pull one over you. Governments give us a tax break here, a stimulus payment there and in secret negotiate trade laws and tax laws that create monopolies and suddenly we are living in a democracy that’s more about supporting big business than its people.

We go from silence to sirens without a space between / we are a violent virus without a remedy

We are scared of an actual virus that infects and kills us, but are we the biggest virus to the planet and each other.

Killing each other, no problem.

To reflect superiority over each other, no problem.

To reap every resource from the Earth, no problem.

All that we’ve managed to make is just a comfortable cage / Oh god, I gotta get out

And once we are in that cage, which is basically our home, we are comfortable, we are safe and we don’t want to change. We don’t want a shift to happen. All we want is a job till retirement so we can pay the bills and mortgage.

“The Unknown”

It’s a bit softer than the opener.

But time moves on and carries us / Into the wild of the great unknown

Kids today will be working jobs that haven’t been created yet. They will be living in places and buildings that haven’t been built. It’s exciting that the future is a great unknown.

“Déjà Vu”

Turn off my brain this all feels the same

The echo chamber of social media can get overwhelming as our finger keeps going on the infinite scroll.

Then we read the news and it feels like we’ve read this before or seen the TV footage before. Police brutality is nothing new. Citizens protesting against injustice is nothing new. Corporations and politicians filling their pockets with profits of the Earth’s resources is nothing new. Another copyright suit against a famous song is nothing new.

So you got heart and soul
Born to break the mold
You’re oh so original like someone I used to know

We are all young for such a brief time and believe that we are born for something different. So we pour our heart and soul into our work, thinking we will be rewarded with untold riches.

But it doesn’t work that way.

“Without You”

I am brand new now without you / Everything I can do now without you

Truth.

You don’t realise how stifling and restrictive a relationship could be until both sides are free of it.

“Cut The Cord”

I lied to myself to stay above the tide and ignore the warning signs

I used to have this viewpoint to “stick with things forever” because I’ve spent time on it already and I don’t want to waste the time I’ve spent to start something new, because it means that all that time spent was for nothing.

Just reading what I typed is doing my head in.

It took me a while to realise that the time spent is all learning and preparation for the next thing to come. This is true for everything, from self-development, to changing jobs and relationships.

“I Wish”

Take it all in and let the flood begin to wash away our sins
Open your mouth, let the fire out and burn me down
All is fair in love and war

It’s a great set of lyrics to sum up arguments, because as soon as the barrage starts it’s like a flood or a fire.

You can fire back, you can ignore it, you can escape it or you can apologise if you are at fault.

Trying to get the other person to see your point of view or your side is pointless because that just doesn’t happen.

“Start Again”

As these hands of time tick on by the song remains the same
Circling the drain, I’m done

It’s the end, there is nothing else that could have been done. Once you start circling the drain, you end up in the wastewater.

And there’s going to be one more final post to wrap up September 2020 releases because 10 Years took over this post.

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