A to Z of Making It, Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

Wildside

I get that hard rock was getting generic and stupid towards the late 80s and early 90s as the record labels signed hundreds of artists and made those artists sound similar to other artists.

But some bands did sound generic but in a good and unique way.

Wildside was a generic sounding band. It didn’t mean they weren’t good like some of the other generic bands like Roxx Gang, Pretty Boy Floyd, Skin N Bones and Sleez Beez.

I’ll even chuck in Bullet Boys, Steelheart and Danger Danger to that list however each band had some real unique talent, like Mike Matijevic on vocals from Steelheart, Andy Timmons on guitar from Danger Danger and Mick Sweda on guitar from Bullet Boys.

But Wildside was different.

Maybe it was singer Drew Hannah, who sounded like a cross between Mark Slaughter/Tom Keifer and Stephen Pearcy.

Then you had Brent Woods who played lead guitar and was capable of acquiring Lynch like status. Benny Rhynedance played rhythm guitar and held the fort well like Malcolm Young, while Marc Simon on bass and Jimmy Darby on drums set the foundations.

They got a deal with Capitol Records who marketed them as the next Poison and “Under The Influence” came out in 1992.

It was produced by Andy Johns and recorded at EVH 5150 Studio. Steve Thompson and Michael Barbierio mixed the disc. It was basically a 5 star production line up.

And the album, just came back into my life via Spotify.

Okay time for a Spotify rant.

I still can’t believe how Spotify keeps on fucking up the generic band names by linking other bands called Wildside with this Wildside. One band is Spanish and nothing like this band. Then you have Fozzy. A metal band created by a wrestler and then you have a serene pop artist called Fozzy. Same name, so they must be the same artist. Dumb and dumber if you ask me.

Spotify rant over.

So like all bands labeled hair, they lost their record deal and by 1994, Brent Woods had also jumped ship to replace Steve Stevens in Vince Neil’s band. But in 2004, the band reformed without Benny Rhynedance and still continue to perform to a certain extent, with Brent Woods probably being the most busiest.

If you want to read a cool history, check out Metal Sludge, as rhythm guitarist Benny Rhynedance recounts the band’s history in a five part series.

“Under The Influence” is a fun album to sink your teeth into, as the band puts all of their influences, ranging from AC/DC, Crue, Led Zeppelin, Kiss, Judas Priest and Aerosmith into the songwriting blender to create some cool rocking tunes.

Also if you are a Kiss fan, check out “Clock Strikes”, which is also co-written by Paul Stanley.

And I hope that music like this doesn’t get forgotten in the future as history is always written by the winners.

As those Metal Sludge recaps state, the bands roots go back to 1982, Seattle. It’s a long way to a recording contract and an even longer way to make it to the top.

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

1979 – IV – Lights Out In America

I’m really enjoying revisiting this 1979 period.

For Parts 1, 2 and 3 just click on the numbers.

Here is the playlist for Part 4.

UFO – Strangers In The Night

Michael Schenker’s solo career was my first listening experience and UFO came much later in the 1990’s when I went seeking out the 70’s.

I got this album and “Lights Out” at a Record Fair in the late nineties for next to nothing.

Record fairs are very different beasts today, charging way too much and above retail. But once upon a time it was worth going.

Love to Love

How good is it?

The piano lines and how it all just builds and comes together. I do prefer the studio version because the guitar is more abrasive and higher in the mix.

Did you know that Schenker took his riff from this song and used it on “Desert Song”?

Quick, let’s get the lawyers on it.

Doctor Doctor

The first time I heard this song was on this album. And it reminded me of Maiden for some reason.

Lo and behold when I saw Maiden on the “Somewhere Back In Time” tour they had this song on the backing intro tape just before they started the concert.

Lights Out

The energy and attitude on this live version is electric and I dig.

And how good is that F#m riff groove from Schenker.

Damned If I Do – The Alan Parsons Project

It’s from the album “Eve” and I illegally downloaded his discography in the early 2000’s and before YouTube, because I was interested to hear the music of a person who was involved in capturing the sounds on such landmark albums like “Abbey Road” and “Dark Side Of The Moon”.

It was interesting to say the least.

Lyrically the song deals with loving someone else but that person you love doesn’t have the same feelings, hence the conflict of damned if I do and damned if I don’t.

And it’s the vocal melody that hooked me in, sung by Lenny Zakatak and while The Alan Parsons Project used more than one vocalist on each album, Zakatak was known as the real voice of the band.

Cold Cold Change – Midnight Oil

It’s from the “Head Injuries” album and the riff has a fuck you punk attitude that I like.

Is it a forewarning to climate change or a song dealing with the Australian political climate and using the weather as a metaphor or is it dealing with the Cold War (there is a lyric line that states;

We jumped in the air to see over the wall
No master plan, it’s a bad design
Significant time in spite of us all

Don’t Bring Me Down – Electric Light Orchestra

It’s from their “Discovery” album and man, it was huge.

It’s also the only good song on an album which was littered with strings and ballad like songs.

Styx – Cornerstone

Here is a review from Deke over at Thunder Bay Arena Rock that I totally agree with.

Lights

Tommy Shaw is on vocals for a song that sounds like it could have appeared on an ELO album.

Borrowed Time

It’s a prog Rock song with its Pink Floyd inspired intro. Then it’s ELO and Boston in the verses and in the chorus, the dudes must have worn the tightest leather pants as there is some of the highest pitch harmonies ever committed to tape.

Living high on borrowed time indeed.

Eddie

It’s “All Right Now” sped up and its perfectly all right with me about telling Eddie not to run because it’s the end of his fun.

Yep, that’s the lyrical theme, so thank god the music connected.

Love In The Midnight

Its that section after the acoustic intro that hooks me. The groove and feel is perfect.

And then that bass groove while the choir like chants and then that keyboard solo and the guitars come in with a solo straight from the book of pentatonics.

It’s progressive in the vein of Yes and I fucking dig it.

The Knack – Get the Knack

The album that spawned “My Sharona” onto the world has some pretty cool Sixties retro tunes as well. But no one would know em, because “My Sharona” was everywhere.

Oh Tara

It was different and it reminded me of those 60s movies but when I heard it, it actually reminded me of Hanoi Rocks.

My Sharona

You can’t deny it’s catchy. From the drum intro to the bass/guitar riff.

Even the simple lead break is a lesson on effectiveness and simplicity as it builds to the repeated pull off lick towards the end of it.

And for a song that went to Number 1, the lead break goes over a minute long.

Fucking AAA, if you ask me, because in the 80s we started to get singles edit cuts and the first thing cut or shortened was the lead break.

That’s What the Little Girls Do

Again it’s got that 60s vibe which is cool.

Supertramp – Breakfast in America

One of the best albums of 1979.

This is the one that Supertramp built a career on, the one album that allows them the victory lap many years later. And it’s also their sixth album, which goes to show you need to be a lifer. Your greatest work always comes after and very rarely with your first release.

And it’s funny how I gravitated to the songs with vocals by Roger Hodgson.

And for those conspiracy theorists, the cover has been said to have forecasted the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Towers. Sometimes people have two much time on their hands.

The Logical Song

That keyboard riff and the unique vocal melody is what music is about. Plus this song worked well as a hard rock cover.

When I was young,
It seemed that life was so wonderful,
A miracle, oh it was beautiful, magical

The innocence of childhood and every day is an adventure.

But then they sent me away
To teach me how to be sensible,
Logical, oh responsible, practical

The schooling factory is all about dollars and conditioning. Whichever lobby group pays the most, gets the curriculum they want, that would benefit their business models.

And higher education was about expanding your mind and doing things differently until it changed as an essential qualification to get a job.

I said now what would you say
Now we’re calling you a radical,
A liberal, oh fanatical, criminal

And different viewpoints scare people, so we are given labels. If we don’t agree we are radicals, from the left or whatever other stupid term people come up with.

Breakfast In America

Another song that works well in a hard rock setting.

Take a jumbo across the water
Like to see America
See the girls in California
I’m hoping it’s going to come true
But there’s not a lot I can do

I’m pretty sure there was a time when every soul around the world wanted to go to America once upon a time.

Is it still the case today?

I’m a winner, I’m a sinner
Do you want my autograph

All winners have a dark side.

To win in sport, players are required to border on the dark arts, which means playing on the edges of the rules.

To win in music, for every famous musician there is an aggrieved musician, especially when bands start out, most musicians write and play some of their most famous songs with others.

CC Deville lifted the “Talk Dirty To Me” riff from his previous band and gave them no credit.

“Hit The Lights” was written by James and another person in his previous band before Metallica but it’s credited to Hetfield and Ulrich. Even the Dave Mustaine compositions should not have any Ulrich credits but they do.

Take The Long Way Home

When lonely days turn to lonely nights
you take a trip to the city lights
And take the long way home
Take the long way home

Love these lyric lines. I can’t recall how many times I’ve taken the long way home because the drive was relaxing and the music playing on the stereo or my headset was spot on. I was like just one more song and after that I’ll drive towards home.

One time I had to return a video to the video store. Yep, video rentals was a thing once upon a time. The video store was only 3 minutes away from my house at the time, so all up, it would be 6 minutes for a return trip.

Well after I dropped the video off, I proceeded to drive towards Sydney, decided to stop at Coogee for Pizza and eventually I would get home 5 hours later.

Take the long way home indeed.

Tycoon – Tycoon

Sometimes a band releases an album that should have been popular however their label didn’t really know how to market them.

I don’t even remember how this album came into my life. Maybe it was the Freddie Mercury look a-likes on the cover.

Anyway for me, “Such A Woman” is the track that sealed the deal. It’s melodic and better than the songs that made up the Billboard Top 10. But it’s generic lyrically.

And final say goes to Dean Sciarra, who posted the below review on Amazon for this album.

First things first – this album has gotten a bad rap from certain people, one that it doesn’t deserve in my opinion. It may not be the best Classic Rock album in the world but it certainly has its moments.

As does “Turn Out The Lights” – the second album even though Tycoon was forced by the label to make this record under duress to comply with what the label thought would fly with what the market was buying at the time. They were wrong and subsequently the band was bumped from the label.

What they had wanted to do instead is reflected in the album “Opportunity Knocks” which is a rockin’ masterpiece that no label at the time would sign off on because everyone wanted the new Talking Heads kind of bands. Bad idea!

On a personal note, lead singer and main songwriter, Norman Mershon passed away in November of 2007. He was one of my best friends and a more wonderful person you will never meet. His death was tragic and avoidable due to doctors’ error. I managed Tycoon after they left Arista and was a part of the recording of “Opportunity Knocks” which to this day blows away all other Tycoon recordings. This could have been a big band had Arista not gotten in their way. I saw the future back then and it certainly included Tycoon still being around today had it not been for unfortunate bad luck

Little River Band – First Under The Wire

The fifth album by the Australian act.

Lonesome Loser

Have you hear about the lonesome loser?
He’s a loser but he still keeps on trying.

That my friends is life in a nut shell. We fall down and we get back up.

Hard Life

How good is the start?

Man it reminds me of Y&T so much.

It’s a hard life
We’ve just gotta learn to understand
That we’ll be alright
If we help everybody here
It’s a hard life
We just gotta learn to understand
That we’ll be alright
We just got to lend everybody here a helping hand

The problem is we are more divided than other over religion, politics, race and social standing.

Well that’s part four done, stay tuned for part five.

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

All I Want

After “Wicked Sensation”, I wasn’t particularly fond of “River Of Love” and “Sweet Sister Mercy” but when”All I Want” blasted out of the speakers, I was sold.

The 12/8 groove and the G minor key was enough for me to stop what I was doing and pick up the damn guitar and try to figure the fucker out.

George Lynch was a different songwriter and guitar player compared to his Dokken days.

Out the door went the generic power chord structures and in came inversions (like playing a D chord with the F# as the root note instead of the D), diads (two note chords), more open chords with the high B and E strings ringing throughout and arpeggios.

The lyrics about being alone with your baby and showing her some loving that brings Oni to his knees doesn’t do the music justice. Hence the reason why it’s forgotten.

In the solo section, Lynch comes to play.

Working in the key of D minor now, he’s performing several different degrees of bends from half bends to full bends to one and half bends to two full bends. And he’s accurate and precise.

And before the solo transitions to the key of E minor, you hear this bouncing pick technique.

In the key of E minor, Lynch is referencing open strings, octaves and even more bends before reverting back to the original G minor key for some Mixolydian and Pentatonic madness.

And that is the beauty of his playing. While the rhythm section lays down a G minor bed of music, Lynch in his solo switches between a major key scale (Mixolydian) and a minor key scale (Pentatonic Minor).

Overall he keeps it bluesy and although it’s fast, it’s still emotive.

Check it out.

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

1984 – III – Are We Evil Or Divine?

Music television was everywhere which meant music in general was everywhere and since we had so much access than what we had before, it was no surprise that certain styles started to become popular.

At the time I was looking for a sound, a look and a feel that resonated and I wasn’t the only one. But some times great songs came from artists that didn’t have the metal look so in my head there was a war going on.

Should the LPs of Bruce Springsteen, Tina Turner, Bryan Adams and U2 just to name a few artists be standing side by side with Dio, WASP, Motley Crue and so forth.

In the end, a great song is a great song and I’m content I didn’t succumb to peer pressure. Even to this day I still cop shit for having Madonna next to Metallica, Motley Crue, Marillion, Molly Hatchet, MSG and Megadeth.

Anyway here is the playlist and here are the previous 1984 reviews to date.

Part 1

Part 2

Dio – The Last in Line

Did anyone else think that the Dio logo upside down spelled Devil?

I did.

“The Last In Line” was my first Dio purchase and I played this album to death. There isn’t a song I don’t like on it and if you want an introduction to Dio, then this is the album to sink your teeth into. And Vivian’s guitar work at the time became very influential to me.

To this day, I still have the original cassette, plus the LP and the CD which I purchased much later on.

We Rock

The key of A minor gets a good work out on “We Rock”.

And that solo from Vivian Campbell is perfect. It’s fast and melodic and it has a bluesy feel with doublestop bends and pentatonic licks.

The best part is the outro chorus when Vivan is playing the riff and the chords change from Am to F under it and Dio is ad libbing his vocals in the outro.

You can’t get better at that.

The Last In Line

That fingerpicked intro.

Man, that’s what I call music and when Dio holds the “home” vocal note and the band comes crashing in around him with an epic Kashmir like groove.

Well what can I say?

And the stop start music in the verse so the vocal melody is the centerpiece, goes to show how a strong melody can carry a song.

“Well know for the first time if were evil or divine” is one of the best lines Dio has put to paper.

For so many of us we live a life which we think we’ve done good and when it comes to judgement at the pearly gates, the almighty one might might have other views.

Breathless

If the sound of a person being breathless in the intro isn’t enough to get you interested, then that groovy riff that kicks in will do it.

Dio’s strength (apart from his voice and good business sense) was the addition of a young guitarist that resonated with the youth and all the new young shredders who wanted to make their mark in Hard Rock and Metal.

And even though they parted ways bitterly, the three albums Dio did with Vivian set up Dio’s solo career, in the same way the two albums Ozzy did with Randy Rhoads set up Ozzy’s solo career.

One other thing that I always enjoyed with Dio songs is Dio’s ability to ad lib in the Outro.

I Speed At Night

A speed metal song before speed metal became a thing or a genre. If you don’t believe me, then press play on this song.

And that solo again from Vivian. It’s fucking perfect.

One Night In The City

The music is fucking head banging material for a song that introduces a dark child called Johnny, who was promised but seemed to get into trouble and then found some form of love.

Did you get that?

And what about the drum fills from Appice after the solo and into the outro.

Who said drummers are not important?

I can even air play the fills.

Evil Eyes

They promise you treasure if you fly and fly Dio did. It’s a perfect combination of fast blues and metal.

Mystery

It’s in the key of Dm and it moves between major and minor keys throughout. It’s F major in the chorus and D minor in the verses.

And Vivian is on form again in the guitar solo department.

Eat Your Heart Out

In the key of Em and Vivian is all over this one. From a guitar point of view there is a lot to unpack in the riffs department.

And for the guitar solo, what can I say. Vivian kicks it off with a tapping lick before blazing into some arpeggios and finishing it all off with some pentatonic lines.

It might not be Dio’s most famous song but it’s a guitar players delight.

Egypt (The Chains Are On)

The best track on the album for me and the drumming from Vinnie Appice is excellent under the epic and groovy guitar riff.

And then Dio references his singing style on “Heaven And Hell” in the verses.

I love the lyric line, “when the world was milk and honey”. Dio puts it out there that the world was nice and sweet and so far removed from the warmongering and ills that came after.

Did I mention that Appice lays down some serious groove?

Well he does. It’s so effective, so simple and fucking frightening.

And in the outro, Vivian plays the intro riff and the chords under it change, like in “We Rock” and it’s brilliant.

Kiss – Animalize

Mark St. John (RIP) makes his appearance on a Kiss album. It’s a shame that he was just hired to play leads and not even asked to be a co-writer because I believe there was untapped potential there.

But Kiss was in such a state at this point in time, you could say “Animalize” is a combination of songs written for Paul and Gene’s solo albums.

I’ve Had Enough (Into The Fire)

You can see how co-writing with Vinnie Vincent, showed Stanley how easy it is to write a metal riff. Because I guarantee you, his co-writer Desmond Child didn’t come up with it.

And the lead by Mark St. John is a plethora of scales and repeating licks much in the same way Vincent wound attack a lead break. It’s okay to learn as a warm up exercise.

Heavens On Fire

To me, this is how AC/DC would sound if they went all pop rock.

And it’s because of this AC/DC groove, the song has survived to this day in KISS’s live show.

It’s also another Stanley and Child composition.

Under The Gun

It’s dumb, fast and fun and for some reason it reminds me of Y&T. And I dig it.

This is a Stanley, Child and Eric Carr composition.

Thrills In The Night

A Stanley composition in conjunction with Jean Beauvoir, who had a song called “Feel The Heat” which was in the “Cobra” movie, starring Stallone. Beauvoir actually plays bass on this song as well as on “Under The Gun” and another track I can’t remember right now.

And for the “Cobra” movie here is my favorite quote:

Supermarket Baddie: I got a bomb here! I’ll kill her! I’ll blow this whole place up!

Stallone’s character: Go ahead. I don’t shop here.

Only Stallone can pull that line off.

U2 – The Unforgettable Fire

“Pride (In The Name Of Love)” and “The Unforgettable Fire” got played every day on radio and the music video programs. They also got played on rock radio programs because U2 always got lumped in with hard rock bands.

In other words the band was fucking everywhere and these two songs are forever engraved in my mind.

Early morning, April four
Shot rings out in the Memphis sky
Free at last, they took your life
They could not take your pride

Deep Purple – Perfect Strangers

“Knocking at Your Back Door” and “Perfect Strangers” are the two that stand out here because I had those songs on compilation albums like “Headbangers Heaven”.

And to be honest “Knocking On Your Back Door” musically could have come from a Rainbow session. Especially the sing along Intro/Chorus riff.

For “Perfect Strangers”, distorted keyboards kick it off and that groove that comes in, is simple and effective.

Queen – The Works

This album has some cool rock tunes.

Tear It Up

It reminds me of a Billy Squier song with a simple stop/start riff and vocal groove. Rock fans satisfied.

I Want To Break Free

The big hit that was all over radio and TV. Pop fans satisfied.

Is This The World We Created…?

This a song that crosses genres. I think Queen introduced unplugged before it became a thing. Basically it doesn’t matter what kind of music you are into, the message of the lyrics is enough to connect.

Hammer To Fall – Headbangers Mix

As the title states, this mix is loud for Queen’s standards. And it’s a great song that reminds me of all these other songs that came before it, but I can’t put a name to those songs and that’s why I love music.

Tina Turner – Private Dancer

She is a rock goddess.

What’s Love Got To Do With It

There is excellence in simplicity and this song is evidence. This song is from the “Private Dancer” album. I cant claim I’ve heard the whole album but this song was played that many times on radio and music television it’s part of my Eighties days.

We Don’t Need Another Hero

I know it came out in 1985 but I’ve always associated it with the “Private Dancer” release cycle. As mentioned previously there is excellence in simplicity. Simple musical grooves propelled by strong vocal melodies.

It’s Only Love

It’s from Bryan Adams “Reckless” album however I always saw it as a Tina Turner song with Bryan co-singing and man she can rock it as good as the boys.

Part 3 is done and onto part 4.

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

1979 – II – Somebody Get Me A Doctor

I wrote this post about six months ago and just realized I never posted it. And when I saw Part 3 posted i didn’t even think that Part 2 wasn’t out.

So here it is.

I didn’t hear these albums or songs until the 80’s and for some of the more obscure album songs, well into the 90’s. And that my friends is the beauty of music. While the band or artist could be gone or retired, the music lives on forever.

And these days so many people want to make money from it.

Record labels have done their best to change the copyright laws originally designed to protect the creator and give the creator an incentive to create, to a corporation monopoly for the life of the artist plus 70 years after their death. They are even pushing for 90 years after death to be the new standard.

For example, if Van Halen wrote “Dance The Night Away” in the 1930’s, the song would be out of copyright by 1958 and free for artists to use and build upon. If those same copyright rules applied in 1979, the song would have been out of copyright in 2007. However, with copyright laws as they stand now, and provided EVH lives to 80, the song would still be under copyright in 2100. (EVH born 1955 + 80 (life of the artist) + 70 years after death = 2105).

Anyway, here is part 2 of 1979 and here is the playlist.

Part 1 can be found here.

Kansas – Monolith

Kansas came into my life in the 90’s via the good old second hand record shop when a $20 trip would end up with 10 records as a minimum and a huge difference from the 80’s when that same $20 trip would end up with one record and maybe a discount bin cassette tape. Actually I picked up the first six Kansas albums on the same day.

And I dropped the needle on the albums based on the covers. The cover I liked more, got first spins. So “Point Of Know Return” was first, then “Leftoverture”, then “Monolith”, then “Song For America”, then “Kansas” and finally “Masque”.

On The Other Side

The opener written by Kerry Livgren and I dig the emotive intro lead break which I believe was played by Rich Williams.

The empty page before me now, the pen is in my hand
The words don’t come so easy but I’m trying
I’m searching for a melody or some forgotten line
They can slip away from us so quickly

Writers block and running out of creative ideas. It’s real and it can happen.

And from about 3.22, the progressive side of the band kicks in and I’m loving it.

People Of The South Wind

There are some who can still remember
All the things that we used to do
But the days of our youth were numbered
And the ones who survive it are few

History has shown how white people have displaced the native people from the lands. Each continent is littered with the blood of innocents.

People of the south wind, people of the southern wind
It’s the people of the wind, I got to be there again

What a chorus!

With the brass background instruments and what not, the song could have been on any pop album. Hell, they should have given it to Chicago to record.

Angels Have Fallen

Written by Steve Walsh, it has enough pop and enough progressive themes to satisfy both fan bases.

Children are restless they know what can happen when men are vain

The children are restless today, sick and tired of being targets, they have taken to the streets, demonstrating for gun reform.

People are talking maybe you know them, they know you’re near
Masking themselves from fear and asking themselves who their friends are

Even though the words are from 1979, they are as relevant today as they were back then.

Really dig the heavy and progressive riffs from 3.11 to 4.14.

How My Soul Cries Out

What a groove to jam on, very much in the style of Rainbow and it’s another Walsh penned song.

How my soul cries out for you
It cries for love that we once knew

A Glimpse Of Home

Another cool song with good vocal melodies and progressive overtones written by Livgren.

Lyrically, I think it sums up his transition to Christianity with lines such as, “now you are here once again, as I stand in your presence” or “All my life I knew you were waiting, revelation anticipating, all is well, the search is over, let the truth be known, Let it be shown (give me a glimpse of home)”.

Van Halen – Van Halen II

Van Halen’s second album hit the streets in 1979. I didn’t hear it until the late 80’s. I know, unbelievable, right. But music was expensive and access wasn’t like it is these days where you have the history of music at your fingertips.

You’re No Good

I heard Van Halen’s cover before I heard the original. Yes, I know, it’s sacrilegious, but man, I dig the sleazy rock groove the Van Halen brothers and Michael Anthony create.

Dance The Night Away

The cowbell drum intro and then the E major key riff.

How good is the riff?

Every great song in my opinion is underpinned by a great riff and I spent a many days dancing the night away trying to figure it out.

Somebody Get Me A Doctor

What about the intro chords. Do you reckon Dee Snider was listening to this and used them for “You Can’t Stop Rock’N’Roll.

Actually all of the riffs in this song are at another level. Get me a doctor indeed.

Bottoms Up

Before we got “Hot For Teacher”, we got “Bottoms Up” and before “Bottoms Up”, we had ZZ Top’s “La Grange”.

Outta Love Again

Like the other songs before it, it’s the riffs from EVH that makes this song happen.

So many of the 80’s bands used VHII as a template to borrow from. So I guess we should call in the lawyers and start suing.

Light Up From The Sky

I hate Roth’s vocal melodies and lyrics (actually I like the end vocal melody when they repeat “Light Up The Sky” about 4 times), however the music from EVH is excellent and that solo section followed by a drum solo groove works so well.

I used the riffs in this song as a template for a lot of songs I wrote.

D.O.A

EVH has taken “You Really Got Me” and made it his own with D.O.A.

Woman In Love

Those harp harmonics in the intro made me realise that as much as I tried to learn all the guitar hero techniques, they would never be part of my expressive style. From time to time I would bring out finger tapping, harp harmonics, whammy bar dives, sweep picking and in the 90’s, my set up had a DigiTech whammy pedal so I could mimic Tom Morello.

And that outro is excellent.

Beautiful Girls

I love the bluesy groove which a lot of 80’s bands used to platinum success.

She had her drink in her hand , She had her toes in the sand and whoa! Ha, ha, What a beautiful girl, ah yeah

Only Diamond Dave could come up with lines like that.

Rainbow – Down To Earth

Ritchie Blackmore’s influence to metal and rock music is god like. Not only did he inspire guitarists, he even inspired vocalists. The vocalists he worked with are considered legends and influential to the 80’s generation of singers that came through. Ian Gillian, David Coverdale and Ronnie James Dio. Then in the 80’s he worked with Graham Bonnett and Joe Lynn Turner. A lot of respect is given to the Dio led version of the band and less praise to the commercial years of the band with different vocalists, in this case, Graham Bonnet and Joe Lynn Turner.

The band on this album is top notch as well. You have Ritchie Blackmore on guitar, Graham Bonnet on vocals, Cozy Powell on drums, Roger Glover on bass and Don Airey on keyboards.

I wish I heard this album in the mid 80’s because the guitar playing and song writing grooves are just the way I like it. It would have been an awesome album to unpack and learn in my early years of guitar playing.

All Night Long

Another iconic Blackmore riff, but the lyrics about wanting a groupie to love all night long just didn’t connect with me.

Eyes Of The World

Another epic Rainbow song on an album designed to take over the charts. As always underpinned by a brilliant Blackmore riff.

Evil takes, evil kills
With no shame or concern

Money and greed is the real evil.

Since You Been Gone

Inspired by a “Louie Louie” riff and written by Russ Ballard, the song became an arena rock/car staple.

Danger Zone

It’s got Blackmore’s unique riffing all over the song and a wonderful classical solo section.

Lost In Hollywood

It starts off like Led Zep’s “Rock N Roll” and it has a guitar riff heavily influenced by it. It’s also listed as being written by Blackmore, Glover and Powell.

Love that outro.

Ain’t A Lot Of Love In The Heart Of Me

It’s from 2011’s Deluxe Edition extra tracks and it’s basically a re-write of the Coverdale/Blackmore penned “Mistreated” and it’s a pretty cool listen.

Cheap Trick – At Budokan’

The live album was bigger than Cheap Trick’s first three albums.

Big Eyes

I reckon the drum intro inspired “Run To The Hills” from Maiden.

I Want You To Want Me

With its “Baby, Please Don’t Go” vibe/influence.

Surrender

“This next one is the first song on our new album. It just came out this week and the song is called “Surrender””

This is the song that hooked me in.

Bands used to tour before the album even came out. Sometimes they would play songs that would appear on albums many years later. But the MTV era changed all that. Because the record labels controlled MTV, they finally had the power instead of the artist.

Foreigner – Head Games

Foreigner came into my life via “I Want To Know What Love Is”. It wasn’t until the 90’s and the second hand record shops that I picked up their earlier releases.

I wasn’t a fan of the singles “Dirty White Boy” and “Women”.

Love On The Telephone

The embryo heartbeat of melodic rock is right here. The song is written by Mick Jones and Lou Gramm.

I’ll Get Even with You

It’s written by Jones and it’s got a cool intro riff which hooks me in.

Head Games

The opener to Side 2 and another cut written by Gramm and Jones. The way the verse’s build with the bass and keyboards taking lead instead of the guitar. It’s AOR heaven to a tee. And how good are Lou Gramm’s vocal melodies.

Hearing it for the first time in the 90’s, I liked it then, and I still like it today. And the chorus sums up relationships to a tee…

Head games
It’s you and me baby
Head games
And I can’t take it anymore

The Angels – No Exit

From Australia.

Boy didn’t they resonate with the working blue collar steel workers and punks, merging their pub rock AC/DC vibe with the punk rock scene coming out of the UK.

Shadow Boxer

It’s raw, it’s punk and it’s from the streets about a person fighting imaginary enemies after too many brews.

Can’t Shake It

It’s basically “Long Way To The Top” put through “The Angels” blender.

Mr Damage

A punk rock ditty about death.

Mr Damage holds a curse
Mr Damage drives a hearse

ZZ Top – Cheap Sunglasses

It sold the album.

ZZ Top – Esther Be The One

It has a cool harmony outro lead which I dig and because of that lead, it’s staying in the list.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – Refugee

The riff is brilliant and simple.

Then when the Chorus melody kicks in, you know it’s a song which will last forever.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – Even The Losers

Yes, even the losers get lucky sometimes. There’s always a chance.

Robert Palmer – Bad Case Of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor)

For those who lived the 80’s, this song was everywhere. Every cover band played it, every radio station played it and every music video TV show played it.

Musically, it’s a more polished AC/DC sound infused with Robert Palmer’s golden pop voice.

Neil Young & Crazy Horse – My My, Hey Hey (Out Of The Blue)

It’s a brilliant song to play on guitar and the iconic line of “It’s better to burn out than fade away” appears in the song.

John Lennon hated it, Kurt Cobain signed his suicide note with it and all Neil Young was trying to do was capture the rock and roll spirit of living in the now.

Standard
A to Z of Making It, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

Dream Child

“Until Death We Meet Again” is the album.

Since Ronnie James Dio’s death, a few bands have popped up from ex-members that pay homage to his style of songwriting.

For “Dream Child”, Craig Goldy is on guitars, Rudy Sarzo is on bass, Simon Wright is on drums, Wayne Findlay on keys and singer Diego Valdez who is really underrated. You also have other Goldy projects in “Dio Disciples” and “Resurrection Kings”.

And on the other side, you have “Last In Line” which has Vinny Appice on drums, Vivian Campbell on guitar, Andrew Freeman on vocals and Phil Soussan taking over on bass after the passing of Jimmy Bain.

Of course, any retro sounding metal/rock band has Frontiers Music president, Serafino Perugino as the protagonist to get the ball rolling. Only “Dio Disciples”, who have a deal with BMG for an album of original material are not on Frontiers Music.

But the real secret sauce behind all of these Frontiers Music projects is songwriter and producer Alessandro Delvecchio. He is a very underrated songwriter. If you listened to “Revolution Saints”, well Delvecchio is all over those albums. If you listen to “Resurrection Kings”, he’s also involved with that. The same for “Dream Child”.

To be honest I don’t really remember any Goldy projects post Dio and suddenly he has three bands in motion.

It’s a symptom of the times.

Artists might blame file sharing and streaming payments however the truth is the recording business was way overdue for a price reset, the same way the housing market prices are reset when the bubble bursts. Eventually the recording business will return to profit. It takes time. And the artist will make a profit again but it takes songs.

And the biggest issue for any artist is getting their songs heard. There is no MTV or various magazines, pushing the marketing of the band like the Eighties. There is the noise of the internet and man it’s noisy.

If artists think Blabbermouth, Loudwire, Sleaze Roxx, Melodic Rock or any other like minded site will market their album, then they are in for a nasty surprise.

The artists are in control and they should be assessing how are they making a connection with a fan.

I’ve heard the album on Spotify. I’ve actually heard in six times and I have six songs I like.

“Under The Wire”, “You Can’t Take Me Down”, “Games Of Shadows”, “Playing With Fire”, “Light Of The Dark” and “Until Death Do We Meet Again”.

A connection is made.

Will I purchase the CD?

No.

Because I’m waiting. I’m waiting to see what comes next.

If I go back to the 80’s, I didn’t buy “Holy Diver”, however it was the album which made the connection. “The Last In Line” was the album I purchased. I skipped “Sacred Heart” and “Dream Evil” purely because I selected to buy other records with the limited funds I had but I did pick up “Lock Up The Wolves”. Other fans will have their own unique experience.

Eventually I would purchase all of the records but that was well into the Nineties.

Again each fans experience is unique.

So when it comes to Dream Child, I’m interested. What comes next is up to the artist.

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

Wicked Sensation

“Great songs, great chemistry and a great vocalist are much more important than state of the art guitar playing. I hate to say it, but it’s true. The song must always come first, the guitar work is secondary”.

George Lynch said the above in the Hal Leonard guitar transcription book of the “Wicked Sensation” album from Lynch Mob.

George Lynch was huge in my guitar learning days and to be honest, he is still huge even to this day.

I devour each release and man he has made a lot of them since 2005. He is one of the hardest working musicians around on par with Myles Kennedy and Marc Tremonti. Apart from making music, he makes his own hand made guitars, does clinics and produces bands.

One thing that stood out on the “Wicked Sensation” album is Lynch’s rhythm work. It surpasses all of his previous efforts from a guitar point of view.

In between Dokken and Lynch Mob, Lynch was taking lessons at GIT and you can tell, as his use of different chord voicings is on the trigger. Another thing that also stands out is less distortion. Too much distortion can hide sloppy playing and on this album, Lynch has dialed back the distortion knob from a 10 to about 6.

Wicked Sensation

It starts the album in typical Lynch fashion with a riff influenced by his Dokken days. It’s a galloping, sleazy and groovy C#m riff with a descending note pattern on the D string, which is perfect for Oni Logan to lay down his vocal melody.

In the Pre-Chorus, Lynch arpeggiates a Bsus4, then a Asus2 chord, leaving the open B and E strings shimmering in the vein of Alex Lifeson from Rush, before moving to a F#m groove.

And Oni Logan is singing about moving in and out and oh, how it feels so good.

The Chorus riff is an amalgamation of the intro riff for three bars and a F#m octave pattern for the fouth bar. And how sleazy is the foot stomping riff at the end when Oni is singing “gotta give in, gotta put it out”.

In the solo there is this tapping section which goes from 2.51 to 2.55. It’s only four fucking seconds but it’s those four seconds that showed me that Lynch had transcended the 80s and moved into some serious Maestro territory.

I’ll try to explain it the best I can.

On the high E string, Lynch taps the 14th fret, then the 15th fret and pulls off to the 14th fret and then pulls off to the 12th fret and 9th fret. Lynch repeats this legato lick and moves it up a step chromatically a few times before he descends. He hardly uses the pick here and it’s all his left hand doing the work.

It’s fast, but man it’s got melody and feeling. Play that solo section slower and you will understand what I mean. It’s like a classical masterpiece.

To show that he has transcended his Dokken days, after the solo section, there is this Jazzy and funky style breakdown which feels super loose but still played with such precision.

The song then morphs back into the Chorus with a plethora of Lynch fills to round it out.

Up and down and in and out in deed.

Standard