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

1979 – Part 6 – The Music Community

Finally I have wrapped up the year that was 1979.

The first post came out in February, 2018. The second post came out in November, 2018. The third post came out before the second post in September, 2018 because I forgot to schedule the second post. The fourth post also came out in November, 2018. The fifth post came out in February, 2019 and here we are.

If you are interested in the previous posts, here they are;

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Here is the playlist for 6.

Dire Straits – Communique

“Money For Nothing” and “Walk Of Life” were the songs that took Dire Straits into the stratosphere. MTV loved em, so they kept playing em. And I was interested. Guitarist and singer Mark Knofler didn’t appear in magazines a lot in the 80’s, maybe because his look was seen as old by the magazine editors and feared that the youth would not buy, but when the guitar mags did get a chance to interview him, he came across as really keen to talk about music, his sound, his finger picking guitar style and I was sold.

And suddenly on the radio, I was hearing songs like “Lady Writer” and “Romeo and Juliet” and I was all in. 

Once Upon A Time In The West

The reggae rhythm, the country/western leads and a subdued vocal line, all come together into a perfect song.

Some people get a cheap laugh breaking up the speed limit
Scaring the pedestrians for a minute
Crossing up progress driving on the grass

Owning a car, keeping it clean and mean was a rite of passage once upon a time in the 80’s. Now the kids are quite happy to drive their parents car, as long as they have all the tech they need. Hell, my 12 year old son is already complaining his iPhone 6 is too old and he needs a new one.

Yes it’s no use saying that you don’t know nothing
It’s still gonna get you if you don’t do something
Sitting on a fence that’s a dangerous course

More so today than ever. You need to exercise your vote, use your voice and own it. But the media companies want to bully you into supporting their viewpoint and the social media companies want you to be liked and suddenly you begin your day to accumulate likes, instead of being who you are. Then again, if likes is what you want to be, then all the best to it. China’s social credit system is looking for people like you.

Oh, you could even catch a bullet from the peace-keeping force
Even the hero gets a bullet in the chest
Oh yeah, once upon a time in the west

Everyone thought Ned Stark would save Westeros, instead he lost his head. Heroes are always written after the fact.

Mother Mary your children are slaughtered
Some of you mothers ought to lock up your daughters
Who’s protecting the innocents
Heap big trouble in the land of plenty
Tell me how we’re gonna do what’s best

Most are pushing their own agendas and are doing what is best for their pockets and lives. And who is protecting the innocents when you have corporations running the government and the media pushing their own agendas to the people.

Lady Writer

I dig the clean tone riff in the verses. It’s why I love music, it places a feel or a memory to a time, to a date or to an era.

And that outro solo from Knofler.

Single Handed Sailor

It’s the groove. I was blown away how a band that plays mostly in clean tone can groove and swing like this.

Ted Nugent – State of Shock

So what do you do when you had a hit with a song called “Stranglehold” a few years before. Well if your Ted, you would just re-write it for all the albums which came after. Case in point, “Paralyzed” is a derivative version of “Stranglehold”. But it has a section from about 2.25 minute mark, which hooks me.

Ian Hunter – You’re Never Alone With A Schizophrenic

I didn’t know who Ian Hunter was before I heard this and I immediately gravitated to a few songs.

When The Daylight Comes

The riff is familiar and the vocal line is also familiar. It’s like all the song writers of the time were listening to the same influences. To me it sounds like something John Cougar Mellencamp would write.

And the familiarity is the big reason why this song is in the list.

But when the daylight comes, I’ll be on my way

The Outsider

The song to me feels like it’s about a cowboy life, however i didn’t pick up on that vibe when I first heard it.

Breath is my witness and roads are my life

When you are alone and travelling, the sound of your own breath becomes your best friend.

When the wind grows cold, when the sun grows old, Nothing holds the outsider

Changes happen because of outsiders. The ones who operate on the fringes, honing their craft and building it day by day, person to person.

Just let me be the outsider
They ain’t far behind, they’re always on my mind

Sometimes, the outsiders can’t handle being on the inside. It gets to them and they want out. So many have taken their own lives because of it, or succumbed to an addiction which would eventually claim their life. And I interpret the “they” as the people in power who don’t want to let the outsider in. They want to crush the outsider because of the change they represent.

For example, you know that Netflix is no longer the outsider when Steven Spielberg speaks out against it. Netflix is the new emperor in tow.

Eagles – The Long Run

To some it is sacrilegious, but I got into “The Eagles” in the 90’s a few years before their “When Hell Freezes Over” reunion.

The Long Run

We can handle some resistance
If our love is a strong one (is a strong one)

Most relationships don’t last the long run. And in some cases, neither does the second one or the third one. Because if the person stays as the same person they were when they got together, well that person hasn’t really grown. And when that happens, resentment sets in and when you introduce financial pressures, kids and time away from each other, suddenly you have a bomb ready to go off.

People talkin’ about us
They got nothin’ else to do

There is no escape from people talking. It’s one of the first things humans did. Get together around a fire and talk. But when your friends talk to your ex, you feel pissed, because they should be on your side.

I Can’t Tell You Why

The Eagles could all sing well and they all took turns. To me, it’s a big reason why they didn’t sound so stale. So many different vocalists, different ideas, different songwriters and when you all put it together, you get an Eagles album.

But it’s the guitar solos in the songs, which always hook me.

In The City

I heard this track for the first time at the end of “The Warriors” movie. A connection is made straight away.

King Of Hollywood

I like the intro licks in this. It’s a lead guitar line, which is like a riff.

And the outro. The emotion in the licks.

Mick Taylor – Mick Taylor

I just heard this album recently, and the song “Leather Jacket” stood out straight away. Maybe it was the familiarity to other songs.

Put your leather jacket on when it’s time to be moving on

When you leave, it’s that piece of clothing that comes with you.

All your leather jackets and your faded jeans is all you have left of your rock and roll dreams

And you started your path with the same clothing you leave it.

REO Speedwagon – Nine Lives

REO knew how to rock but it was a power ballad which broke them to the masses, so they got labeled as a power ballad band.

Heavy On Your Love

When this song started off, I thought of “Do You Like It” from Kingdom Come.

Only The Strong Survive

Another rocker that gets the foot tapping and the head nodding.

Back On The Road Again

The outro, from the 4 minute mark.

The drums and the claps start it and then the vocal line of  “I Am On My Way” comes in.

Then the riff kicks in, and my foot is tapping, and when the outro guitar solo kicks in, its hands in the air and time to play some air guitar.

John Mellencamp – John Cougar

His early career is chock full of good songs.

Small Paradise

How good is the intro in this song?

I’ve always said I need to learn it on the guitar and make it metal/Thin Lizzy like. Even the drums how they come in, its very “Eye OF the Tiger” like, and this is before “Eye of the Tiger”.

And in the Chorus, the guitars come in, exactly how I thought they would. In harmony and with distortion. 

I Need A Lover

For almost 2 minutes we get washed and rolled with music. And then the iconic chorus melody kicks in. So different to what happens today, when beats dominate and music is a distant third. But it’s Pat Benater’s version I remember more.

Pray For Me

How good is that intro guitar lead?

And the lyrics about God giving Moses a few rules, and told him to go and have a good time but humans being humans just took it a little too far.

Sammy Hager – Street Machine

To me, this album is a shrewd marketing move from Sammy and his team to tap into the gear heads of the US.

An album with the title “Street Machine” and an opening song called “Trans Am”.

Plus he couldn’t drive 55 either, but we didn’t know that until 1984. However, if this album bombed I honestly believe there would be no “I Can’t Drive 55”.

Trans Am (Highway Wonderland)

 The syncopated staccato riff kicks it off and Sammy’s Golden tones take over.

She’s American made, you know what I mean?
Red on black, she’s a street machine.
Set’s ten inches off the ground with a custom plate
That says I-E-A-T Z28

For those who don’t know, the Z28 refers to the Chevrolet Camaro, which was in competition to the Trans Am.

Trans Am
Come on, catch me if you can

The challenge is set.

Feels Like Love

The sleazy riff must have been heard by a young Nikki Sixx, because he re-wrote it and called it “City Boy Blues”. Then again, the riff from Sammy is influenced by an artist I can’t remember.

Sammy also re-wrote the lyrical them for “When It’s Love”.

Cause it feels like
It feels like love

Plain Jane

I love “Plain Jane” as it has a plain AC/DC style riff in the intro, then a plain acoustic strummed verse which sounds like an Eagles song crossed with John Cougar.

Never Say Die

How good does this song start off?

Just play that intro riff with the distortion cranked to 10 and you will hear how heavy it sounds.

Pat Benatar – In The Heat Of The Night

How good is Pat Benatar?

Heartbreaker

One of the best female rock voices period, a wicked riff and lead break as well.

I Need A Lover

While John Cougar delivered a 5 minute song, Pat Benatar delivered a pop rock song in the 3 minute range which made John Cougar a lot of money.

Don’t Let It Show

It’s a ballad, reminding me of The Beatles and Benatar delivers a soulful emotive vocal lead and I love the lead break. So simple, emotive and stylish.

Santana – Marathon

Carlos Santana either had me hooked with albums or he had me trading them. On “Marathon” he brings the rock.

Stand Up

The music is excellent especially the riff in the verses and the lyrics resonate about standing up for something.

And that wah talkbox solo is perfect.

Love

The start of the song reminds me of something else, the verse riff reminds me of something else and the Chorus reminds of something else. All of these reminders makes me press repeat on the song.

And the lyrical message, of all we need is love, is not new, but god damn, it’s what the world needs right now.

For both “Stand Up” and “Love”, co-guitarist, keyboardist and backing vocalist, Chris Solberg was a co-writer with Carlos Santana. And no one would even know who Solberg is, hell I don’t even know. But these songs deserve more.

And vocalist Alex Ligertwood  who wrote the closer “Hard Times” has one of the best voices which is not even known.

Also, how good is “Hard Times”.

Status Quo – Whatever You Want

They wrote songs in the 110 to 120 beats per minute range which is perfect for running to.

Whatever You Want

It’s a jingle now, appearing on TV commercials for places who sell goods, because it’s perfect for the message they want to say, come and buy from us, because we have whatever you want.

Bad Company

It’s not a cover, but an original song with a cool riff to sink your ears into.

April Wine – Harder Faster

I didn’t hear this until well into the 90s.

I Like To Rock

The intro hooks me.

The whole interlude before the solo is perfect and the pentatonic lead break brings it.

And the outro is basically “Satisfaction” from the Rolling Stones, hell it even has the riff in the song towards the end.

Nice touch. Now i feel like listening to “Satisfaction”.

Before The Dawn

The clean town intro arpeggios hook me in. The lyrics don’t connect but the music gets me rocking.

Babes In Arms

The intro riff connects.

Better Do It Well

The intros on all the songs just connect with me straight out from the gate. It’s like all the bands tried to outdo each other with killer intro riffs.

21st Century Schizoid Man

A King Crimson cover and since I’m a fan of the Crimson, I dig it, plus it got me interested to check this album out.

Jefferson Starship – Freedom At Point Zero

From being interested in music, I always searched far and wide for new music. This band came into my radar because of an interview I saw in Guitar World with guitarist Craig Chaquico.

Jane

My ears can’t tell what the difference is between “Jane” from Jefferson Starship released in 1979 and “Fantasy” by Aldo Nova released in 1981.

Awakening

The way it just builds works for me. It has leads in the first two minutes. The vocals come in much later.

At six plus minutes, I like it when artists don’t follow formulas.

Just The Same

It has a section which is influenced by “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” which gets me.

Well that’s a wrap, moving on to 1978 next.

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The Record Vault – Audrey Horne

Their 2010 self–titled album and the song “Sail Away” hooked me in. So I went from downloading the band illegally, to being a buyer in 2013, when they released “Youngblood”.

And I liked it.

And I’ve liked the albums that have come after in “Pure Heavy”, released in 2014 and “Blackout” released in 2018 especially the songs, “This Is War” and “Audrevolution”.

And the lyrics in the “This Is War” chorus are perfect, “I’m fuel to the fire, Flame rising higher, This is war, We’ll never be silent or divided, This is war.”

And of course, “Audrevolution” has the lines, “Welcome to the Audrevolution, 666 our own constitution.”

I digress.

Back to “Youngblood”.

Every time I see the title “Youngblood”, two things come to mind. The Rob Lowe ice hockey movie and the song from Whitesnake from the “Saints and Sinners” album.

But “Redemption Blues” kicks the album off.

The harmony intro hooks me in right away and I love the 12/8 feel in the verses which reminds me of “Phantom Of The Opera” from Iron Maiden. And that riff after the solo, it’s metal all the way to the steel making factory.

And the way they sing “And I’m going nowhere” is perfect.

These bones of mine are dressed to kill

I’ve seen people in the throes of addiction and man, I couldn’t believe how wraith like they looked. You see when you are on a high, you don’t even think about eating or sleeping, unless you pass out.

I made myself what I am now and I lost myself

And there is no one to blame except yourself. The decisions you made in your past have all led to this destination. I read some research that said trauma is generational and it takes up to six generations for the trauma that their ancestors witnessed to pass. Maybe there is a scientific explanation as to why some people have a more addictive attitude than others.

“Straight Into Your Grave” is up next with its “Highway Star” merged with “Speed King” merged with “Neon Knights” kind of vibe.

Tellin’ lies as I look in their faces
I’ve got it all but I could always use some more

The people in your inner circle trust you. They will give you the benefit of the doubt and they will be there for you. You should think twice before you lie to them. It doesn’t work well and what you would end up doing is ruining a precious relationship. These people will tell you the truth and will challenge you to become a better version of yourself.

“Youngblood” at number three, keeps the knock out punches going and if the riff doesn’t grab you, then the vocal melody in the verses will and if that doesn’t do it, the chorus vocal melody will. And if none of those grab you, then this band isn’t for you.

Lyrically, “Youngblood” comes across as misfit, a rebel and an outcast, who even showed the devil how to steal.

And that lead break, especially the harmonies works so well.

“He learned to read between the lines and he carved the things he’s seen Into his skin” is a brilliant lyric line. The carving bit can be tattoos or self-harm or just picking at the skin.

“There Goes a Lady” starts off with a riff that reminds me of “Perfect Strangers” from Deep Purple and a simple connection like that hooks me in.

“Cards with the Devil” just rumbles in with a riff that is reminiscent of a David Lee Roth era Van Halen song and I love these little connections to the past.

The gravedigger got his eye on me
He carved my name with his bony hand
The footsteps in the hall
Are makin’ me feel uncomfortable
And I am runnin’ out of sand

“Pretty Little Sunshine” at track 7 has one of the most classic of drum beats to kick it off, and you get to hear how they are driven out of their minds by the pretty little sunshine. The lead break in the song reminds me of “Love Gun”.

“The Open Sea” is one of my favourite tracks. The exotic sounding riff in the verses is heavy as lead (and also reminiscent of “Stockholm Syndrome” from Muse) and the chorus is arena rock all the way.

“This Ends Here” is another classic track buried deep towards the end of the album and if you don’t have the patience to listen to a whole album you would have missed out on hearing it.

Musically, Audrey Horne is a cross between Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Thin Lizzy, Rainbow, Iron Maiden, Megadeth, Kiss, AC/DC, Bad Company, Van Halen, Ozzy (solo era), Judas Priest, Whitesnake and Toto and any other influence the guys in the band have been exposed to. So many different styles from so many different bands and eras, its pure eargasm.

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The Record Vault – Alter Bridge

 December 29, 2002 and Creed take to the stage in Chicago. Scott Stapp performs, rolling around on the stage floor, passing out and going missing for long periods between songs. In the aftermath of the show, a class-action lawsuit is filed against the band by fans, due to Stapp’s behaviour.

I watched their Sydney show months earlier and I thought Scott Stapp was acting weird, so it was no surprise to me that by the end of the year, the band was imploding.

I am a Creed fan because of Mark Tremonti. Every time he was interviewed in the Guitar magazines I used to buy, he came across as very knowledgeable about his instrument and his influences which involved Randy Rhoads, Slayer, Metallica and shredders from the 80’s.

When I heard that he started a new project with a release ready for 2004, I was interested, and although the songs on the debut sound like Creed songs, the biggest difference is that “more guitar solos” started creeping in and vocally, Myles Kennedy has a bigger range, however I am also a fan of Scott Stapp’s baritone, Eddie Vedder style voice.

The single “Open Your Eyes” comes out first, and I am a first week buyer of it. Plus I always enjoyed buying singles that had non-album tracks, in this case, the song “Save Me” which appeared on the “Elektra” movie soundtrack.

Then the album “One Day Remains” comes out and I am a first week buyer again. And like the single, it’s advertised as “the guys from Creed with Myles Kennedy on vocals”, but hey, if this link to the past was needed to get them an audience, then so be it. Because the next album, “Blackbird” was just advertised as Alter Bridge.

“Blackbird” the song also has one of the best interludes I’ve ever heard, with two guitar solos, one from Myles Kennedy and another shred like solo from Mark Tremonti. And the way it all builds back up into the song, is excellent.

And “III” is dark, different. “Slip To The Void” kicks it all off with a sad synth riff. “Isolation” brings the speed metal, which they more or less touched on with each previous album.

The “Fortress” album is unpredictable and even Tremonti’s use of the wah, became non-existent, his use of descending legato licks got less and chicken picking came in.

“Cry Of Achilles”, “Addicted To Pain” and “Bleed It Dry” is a triple combo knockout punch and the piece d’resistance is the title track “Fortress”, especially that “Revelation (Mother Earth” influenced section.

And all of their albums are on Spotify to stream and by doing this post I realized I need to add “The Last Hero” and their new one to my collection.

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Coverdale/Page, Cinderella and Winger

The Spotify AI is recommending artists based on Whitesnake.

Yesterday, the first recommendation was “Mechanical Resonance” from Tesla, then “Live At Sweden Rock – 30th Anniversary Show” from Europe, then “Meanstreak” from Y&T, then “Slave To The Grind” from Skid Row and then Coverdale/Page.

After Coverdale/Page it was “Euphoria” from Def Leppard, “Bent Out Of Shape” from Rainbow, “Standing Hampton” from Sammy Hagar, “Eat Em And Smile” from David Lee Roth and finally “Erase The Slate” from Dokken.

What, no Deep Purple?

Surely the AI is programmed to look at previous bands of artists?

I guess not.

Today, the AI recommended “Erase The Slate” from Dokken again, “Winger” self-titled debut as second, “Night Songs” by Cinderella as third. Then “Hysteria” by Def Leppard, “Absolute Hits” by Great White, “Slave To The Grind” by Skid Row, “Coverdale/Page” again (even after I streamed it a few times the day before), “Outlier” by Kingdom Come, “Simplicity” by Tesla and “Prisoners In Paradise” from Europe (which is not even available to stream in Australia).

And what the AI seems to be doing is just replacing the albums of artists. Like “Euphoria” and “Hysteria”.

Anyway, over to Coverdale/Page.

The album came out in 1993 and for me it was a stellar album. I loved the guitar work on it, like the opening string pull off lick for “Shake My Tree”. Simply, yet effective and Coverdale follows the riff with the vocal lead. Then when it gets heavy, it’s a cross between “Still Of The Night” and “Communication Breakdown”.

The lead break on “Waiting On You” is simple and effective and the riffs groove behind it. Plus I dig the lyric line, “till the rivers run dry”, a metaphor for change.

And although the song has nothing to do with climate change, it got me thinking how bizarre the situation is, our oceans are rising, getting ready to swallow coastal lands while the water on our lands via rivers and rainfall is drying.

Take Me For A Little While” is one of Coverdale’s best songs. Jimmy Page breaks out one of his best lead breaks and that little lead lick in the Chorus, makes me press repeat on this song.

Pride and Joy” could have come from Led Zep III, as Jimmy Page brings his open string tunings to David Coverdale. And while it rocks acoustically, it’s the heavy open string verse riff which connects, and when it goes back into the open tuning acoustic bit, it’s just perfect.

Four tracks in and I’m on the floor. When “Over Now” kicks in, I am digging the psychedelic nature of the vocals and the exoticism of the music. And artists tried to recreate their 70’s influences in the late 80s and 90s like Jake E Lee in Badlands, however, it still sounded like stuff they would have done within a modern rock context.

Because the 70’s artists, used their 60’s influences to create their 70’s sounds, hence why the songs from these artists like Page don’t follow the typical verse, chorus, verse, chorus. “Over Now” has  no real structure as it moves between verses and something which resembles a chorus and an outro which feels like a cool jam.

You talked to me of virtue
And sang a song so sweet
But all I know is I could smell
The perfume of deceit
And it’s over now

Coverdale is referencing his break up with the Jaguar dancer Tawny Kitaen. And there are quite a few songs on the album which reference the relationship.

Feeling Hot” is the sped up child of “Johnny Be Goode” crossed with “Hit The Road Jack”.

And the comparison to Led Zep is always going to happen, because Jimmy Page is Led Zep’s main musical writer and it doesn’t matter with who he works with, his riffs will always sound like Page and Page’s career is held within his work with Led Zep.

Like “Easy Does It”. It is one of the best Led Zeppelin tracks that Led Zeppelin didn’t write. And when it morphs into a rocking track from about 2.40 mark, it’s so cool to hear Coverdale steer away from the typical verse and chorus format.

Of course, songs which follow that format will give you success if they cross over into the mainstream, but for me, it’s these kinds of songs that get me to commit. Like for Whitesnake, it was “Still Of The Night” which got me to commit, and it didn’t follow the conventional verse and chorus format.

Absolution Blues” has David Coverdale delivering a near perfect Led Zep vocal line in the verses.

Come the dawn of judgement day
I’ll get down on my knees and pray
The Good Lord don’t send me away
I’ll never ever go

No one wants to leave the land of the living. They realize then how much living they really need to do.

Whisper A Prayer For The Dying” is one of my favourite songs on the album. That dropped D intro riff is excellent. Even System Of A Down used a very similar style riff for their awesome song “Aerials” from the mega selling “Toxicity” album.

Also the idea of the song happened back in 1982-83 as their is an acoustic demo of the song on the “Slide It In” Deluxe reissue. And when you combine various wars for lyrical inspiration and Jimmy Page”s dropped D riff, you get a classic.

The suffocating heat of jungles, burning desert sands
Where everything reminds you, you’re a stranger in a strange land
The soothing words of politicians, those bodyguards of lies
While guardian angels waste their time and every mother cries

There is a whole generation of people who wouldn’t even know about the Vietnam War or the Gulf War. And when leaders from around the world decide to send in their troops to a place, well those troops already have a target on their back, as strangers in a strange land.

Machine gun, battle cry
You pray to God when the bullets fly
The bombs fall like black rain
And all your dreams take you home again
Nothing but bad dreams

At the end of the first Gulf War, the Iraqi forces set an oilfield alight, which burned black toxic smoke for months. And when it rained all those black toxins came back down as black rain.

And the ones who survived, are struck with PTSD.

You can’t read, you can’t write
You’re so scared, you can’t sleep at night
You try to carry the heavy load
Walking down Armageddon road, oh, Armageddon road

In reality what did all of the Wars achieve?

Iraq invaded Saudi Arabia and all the democratic countries rushed to the Saudi aids so their young Prince could grow up and order the dismemberment of a journalist who spoke out against him. And Iraq along with Afghanistan is still a hotspot of violence and extremism.

Would you have gone there for a holiday when these countries were controlled by dictators?

Would you fly there now, that these countries have been liberated by the good democratic countries?

I’m pretty sure the answer would be NO to both questions.

How good is Cinderella?

They are a lot more than just a hair band, a stupid genre they got lumped in. Maybe it’s their fault for allowing their image to look like a hair band but then again when you are trying to make it, you will listen and do what the A&R department tells you to do.

Anyway, “Night Songs” opens the album which carries its name and it’s a hooky slow dirge.

Workin’ this job ain’t payin’ the bills
Sick and tired rat race takin’ my thrills
Kickin’ down the road not a dime in my pocket
Nightime falls and I’m ready to rock it

It’s a game of collusion. Governments and corporations ensure that the wages paid are just enough to live a frugal lifestyle, however as the cost of living goes up, the wages don’t seem to follow the same trajectory. My land rates go up 4% each year for the last 3 years. My wage has gone up 1% each year.

Which then means we need to find a second job, or a higher paying job or we need to borrow money from the banks.

And before payday, I used to have just a dime in my pocket but regardless of what state I was in financially, I always had my music and was always ready to rock it.

Forget the day ’cause we’re gonna scream

And that is exactly what we did.

Night songs
Makes the day right

Even in the comfort of your own home, when you drop the needle and the sound surrounds you and bounces off the walls, it normally happens at night and when you are alone with your thoughts.

When “Shake Me” rolls into town, you know the party is just getting started.

And Tom Keifer’s raspy voice is the difference. He didn’t sound like any other singer out on the market. Maybe a bit like Brian Johnson. Hell, the band Hinder had a career in the music business many years later because their singer had the same raspy voice like Keifer.

Then, those clean tone Am arpeggios start and “Nobody’s Fool” fills the room. For a debut record, Keifer has knocked me out with a triple left hook.

And how good is the vocal melody and riff in “Nothin’ For Nothin’”?

You got nothin’
Nothin’ for nothin’
You’re hurtin’ overtime
Nothin’ for nothin’
And we don’t need your kind
Nothin’ for nothin’
Pushin’, shovin’, got no time
Nothin’ for nothin’

Kids these days have a lot more rights in life and in the workplace than what their parents and grand parents had. But the mindsets are different. They always get something.

Once Around The Ride” is a classic heavy metal track, with an air guitar pedal tone riff, a wicked lead break from Jeff LeBar and a vocal melody from Keifer which sticks around long after the song has finished.

Hell On Wheels” could have come from any NWOBHM act, but with better melodies and vocals from Kiefer.

We’ve had enough of the raw deals
Hit the road and tell ya how it feels

Like hell on wheels

Somebody Save Me” is my favourite. The “Knock Em Dead Kid” riff merged with “Looks That Kill” works a treat and Keifer delivers vocally.

Somebody save me
I lost my job, they kicked me out of my dream

The Australian dream is to own your home. And once upon a time people did just that and then passed it down to their next of kin. And Governments didn’t like that because they didn’t get any tax on it, so they passed laws that to change the name on the deed you still had to pay a stamp duty tax.

But these days people are buying, paying the minimum repayments and then selling it when they need to move because they lost their job and the next job is in a different state or in a city hours away. And if they don’t sell it in time, the bank will sell it for them and kick them out of their dream.

And the house prices are so high it’s hard to even enter the market.

Well, everybody’s got opinions
But nobody’s got the answers
And the shit you ate for breakfast
Well, it’ll only give you cancer

So true. A while back, I was in a meeting at work and I had my opinionated vent in it. Then I was asked how I would do the job that needs to be done and I had no fucking answer. So I made a note to myself that if I’m going to question others I need to also have answers and solutions.

And what about all the research coming out about processed meats giving you cancer, how too much red meat will give you cancer and all those cereals that the corporations said were healthy in the 80s (backed by Government research financed by the cereal makers) proved to be full of sugar and bad for you.

Somebody get the doctor
I think I’m gonna crash
Never paid the bill
Because I ain’t got the cash

You can’t pay a bill when you don’t have the funds. And you don’t have the funds because you either don’t have a job or you have a job but are over committed to a lot of debt. Either way, it’s a pivotal moment in your life when you are in this place. And you understand that life is not fair and the game is rigged.

“In From The Outside” has an excellent outro and it’s the reason why I go through the whole song, just to hear the outro and how they fit in this metal like section to a 12 bar blues. Brilliant.

And “Back Home Again” is a great way to bookend the album. An open string riff kicks it off and the vocal melody from Keifer is brilliant.

I hit the road wide open at seventeen
Mama cried herself to sleep
Lost a dad I’d never seen
Took all my childhood friends
Guitar, and a dream

It doesn’t happen like that anymore or does it. These days it’s let’s hit the internet and build an online social presence and you play live if their is demand. Once upon a time you played to get better and you took what gig you could get in order to build your fan base.

And for the sake of it, I streamed Winger (released in 1988), because of Reb Beach. He is a phenomenal guitarist and he always interviewed well, with a great grasp of techniques when it came to the guitar. And the Winger debut is full of Reb Beach.

Madalaine” kicks off the album and the first time I heard it, I was really surprised at how good the vocals sounded.

Hungry” is one of my favourites on the album and I always compared it to “Hungry” from White Lion’s which is a bit more superior because that riff from Bratta rocks hard and is brilliant to play.

But the way, “Hungry” starts off with the violin like orchestra, then it morphs into a syncopated groove for the pre –chorus and in the chorus, listen to how Reb Beach takes a stock chord progression and decorates it.

Now the piece d resistance in this song, is the prog rock bit after the solo, which goes into an acoustic bit of the 1st verse, then Reb Beach and the drums take over, playing just the chorus riff and then the whole band comes in as they move into the ending of the song. For such a commercial sounding track with a big arena rock chorus, it has a lot of movements which people either didn’t notice because the band made it sound so seamless.

Seventeen” is the best Van Halen track that EVH didn’t write. Just check out the opening riff. But that lead break from Reb Beach. Wow.

Time To Surrender” has a wicked guitar riff and a 12/8 groove feel in the dreams. The vocal melody from Kip is also on the money, but man, the lyrics, about it being time to surrender because his love don’t live there anymore just didn’t do the music any justice.

Hangin On”. Listen to it, to hear Reb Beach decorate again.

Headed For A Heartbreak” is a song that is not forgotten easy. I think it’s that keyboard lick in the Chorus (after they sing “Headed For A Heartbreak”) which remains. Maybe even the solo section. Or that outro guitar solo from Reb Beach or the offbeat drumming. Whatever it is, something always remains with me after hearing this song.

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

The Record Vault – The Almighty

The Hot Metal magazine in Australia did a stellar review of the album which got me interested and the cover art was enough to get me to pick it up and stare it for a while, while the track titles sealed the deal.

Ricky Warwick is now the front man of Black Star Riders, but once upon a time he was the front man for a very underrated band called “The Almighty” who are from Scotland. “Soul Destruction” is the second studio album released by Polydor Records. 

“Crucify” kicks the album off with a double kick drum intro which brings back memories of “Overkill” from Motorhead.  Ricky Warwick vocally brings his Brian Johnson style instead of his Phil Lynott voice.

“Free ‘N’ Easy” is one of their best tracks. It should have been the catch cry of the Napster generation with the lyric line, “Everything is so free and easy, everything is so free and wild”.

“Joy Bang One Time” has a riff that reminds of “Psycho Love” from Skid Row, merged with “Welcome To The Jungle” and “My Michelle” from “Appetite For Destruction” and the song is telling you to lose your mind for that joy bang one time. 

“Love Religion” has this swampy delta blues riff to kick it off, which i dig.

“Friends won’t answer your phone call” kicks off the “Bandaged Knees” chorus and at 6 minutes long, it’s not a radio friendly tune, but it got more heart and soul and rock and roll attitude than anything that was doing the charts.

“Little Lost Sometimes” is like “Hey Jude” merged with “Let It Be” merged with “Every Rose Has Its Thorn”. And at track 8, this seven minute song is buried deep in the album. Press play and allow yourself to get a little lost sometimes.

“Devil’s Toy” is a classic Warwick cut, with “Love, only love, love is the devils toy” being the catch cry.

The song “Soul Destruction” never made it to the album, but there is a demo on YouTube which is raw, full of attitude and the rock and roll spirit. Crank it.

 

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

The Record Vault – Anew Revolution

“Rise”came out in 2008.

I downloaded it via a cyber locker like Rapidshare or MegaUpload.

The way cyber lockers worked was;

  • a normal blog site would put up links to the music.
  • The links would refer you to the cyber locker website.
  • You would wait 90 seconds or less for the ads to play and the download link would be made available to you.
  • Eventually the U.S government via the sponsorships of the RIAA and MPAA went after these cloud storage cyber locker sites.

Remember Kim Dotcom from MegaUpload. His house was raided like he was a terrorist in the morning and all because he provided a service to people to store files in the cloud.

A lot of people used these sites to store their photos or work documents and they lost it all when the US Government went after these sites and took possession of their servers.

Anyway, going back to “Rise”. I liked it, so I purchased it. And the below is from a review a did a while back.

Done

You wanna try me you might be the one who goes down
I’ve had it up to here with your rule
You’re such a two face it’s too late to take back those words

We have all dealt with people like this. One thing life has taught me is nothing is forever, and that means relationships.

Nme

I can’t believe I finally see the enemy in you

Yes, that best friend, might scheme and lie. Yes, that great love, might scheme and lie.

Eventually all the lies come down like a house of cards and those people you trusted suddenly become untrustworthy. And it’s hard to take when it first happens. There is anger, a feeling of being wronged and disbelief that it’s happened for so long.

But, humans are resilient and we rise again, better and stronger than before.

Generation

We are the voice of our lives,
But no one’s listening.

Eventually people will listen. It just takes time, effort and commitment. We give up too easily.

And how long, how long,
Can I fake this?

How long can we really fake our lives?

We have so many tools at our disposal to connect with people and we remain even more isolated.

Rise

Hey you
Stand the fuck up and rise
I’m not afraid

It’s pretty simple. Stand up, don’t be afraid. Easier said than done, because of what could come after. Life is always a struggle. People in power versus the ones who work for them. Some abuse the power they have and others are more utopian.

I can’t fake the way I feel inside
Every one of those eyes judging me
It’s funny how things change
I redefine how messed up this life can really be

There was a time when every action and every word that came from me was so thought out because I didn’t want to be judged or questioned for my actions/words. As I got older, I ceased to care about those kind of social arrangements. Life is too short for me to care and there are too many other things I care more about now.

Let Go

There’s history there and no one wants to let go, even though it’s over. The thought of starting over again is too frightening. So you hold on to each other, playing games, blaming each other even more and eventually you both stop trying to save what can’t be saved anymore. So you let go.

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

Damn Yankees and Tangier

Oh, you young Spotify AI, recommending albums I have heard a hundred times before you were even born, but since, I haven’t listened to em on your service you need to recommend them.

So based on my Sammy Hagar listening a few weeks ago, the AI is telling me I need to check out “Contagious” from Y&T.

However I cannot stream the album in Australia, which is bizarre and why would the AI recommend an album which is unavailable to be played here. And really, would you say that Y&T is similar to Sammy Hagar?

I wouldn’t, but hey, the AI is slowly learning from me, until the time comes when its fully formed killer robotic version takes over the world in “Judgement Day”.

Since there was no “Contagious” to listen to, next up on the AI list of artists similar to Sammy is Damn Yankees. Um, again not similar, however it’s pretty easy to tell that the coders of the AI probably watched “School Of Rock” and that was enough for them to know the family tree of rock music.

When is Spotify going to realise that they need people who know the genre and blog about it, to tell them how it is done and how to make connections?

Anyway, Damn Yankees released one hell of good rock album in 1990. The brainchild of John Kalodner, it worked musically for two rocking albums. You take a piece of Styx, a piece of Night Ranger and a whole lot of Ted Nugent and you get the big bang, because no one really knew how it would end up. Well two plus million in sales is how it ended up.

“Coming Of Age” rocks straight out of the gate, and the Nuge delivers a stellar pentatonic lead break. The lyrics of a little sister, hitting the stage and coming of age didn’t do it for me, but hey rock and roll was never about making sense.

“Bad Reputation” in the first 30 seconds starts off with a power chord groove which gets me hooked, then the single note riff gets the foot tapping, before it goes into a clean tone bass groove for the verse, which reminds of Def Leppard. It’s a keeper.

“High Enough” has a cool minor key verse and a vocal melody which is memorable.

The song “Damn Yankees” could have appeared on a Guns N Roses album.

“Come Again” is one of those songs that stands out, moving between power ballad and rocker, with great vocals and a melody which sticks around long after the song has finished. And that lead break from the Nuge, is one of his best, by far. It’s a pretty big reason why I press repeat on the song. Plus you get a bonus outro lead break as well.

“Rock City” is “Turbo Lover” re-incarnated and I dig it. It’s also a blast to play on the guitar. And those G string tearing bends and whammy dives from the Nuge are huge. After the solo break, he plays a staccato lick that reminds me of John Sykes (Children Of The Night) and Jake E Lee (Waiting For Darkness).

And “Piledriver” could have ended up on a Van Halen album with Sammy singing. Maybe that is the connection. I doubt it.

Next up, the AI is telling me artists similar to Hurricane. And the two that caught my attention are Tangier and their album “Four Winds” and “Up From The Ashes” from Dokken.

Now Tangier was more Lynyrd Skynyrd merged with Bad Company than hair rock or hair metal, but hey, the record label and magazines decided, the band was a hair band and it got promoted as such. Hence the connection to “Hurricane”. And when I got this album on LP, I spun it regularly.

“On The Line” is Tangier’s best song. There is a familiarity to it, the melody is strong and the music rocks and wails when it needs to. The lyrics paint a picture of meeting your end walking the streets at night, and it was never going to break the charts, but, hey, music was never meant to chart.

“Four Winds” is worthy of a title track and the opening lyric of feeling a cold wind blowing and how it tells a tale of a thousand years still connects. If only nature could talk, what stories it would have to spin.

“Fever For Gold” could have come from a Bad Company album and “Southbound Train” continues that Lynyrd Skynyrd merged with Bad Company vibe and I was always wondering the destination of the southbound train. Since South is down, I guess the promised land for Tangier is hell. Nice touch, I must say.

And “Sweet Surrender” feels like it came from a 1972 album, or maybe it’s the similarity to “Tie Your Mother Down” in the riff which gets me, or the harmony leads after the Chorus that sound like they came from a Sweet record.

“Bad Girl” has this repeating lick which grabs you by the throat and drowns you in the swamp it was created in.

Finally, the highly anticipated, expensive and delayed solo album from Don Dokken comes up on my home page as an album I need to play, however it is not available to be played in Australia. The algorithm again doesn’t even know that. Anyway a big missed opportunity by Geffen and Don Dokken to earn some extra cents. Then again since the masters of this recording got burned, who knows what copy of the album is available.

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