Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

The Record Vault – Beethoven Symphony Nr. 5 / Wiener Philharmonic, Carlos Kleiber

Beethoven came into my life when I was studying guitar. Yngwie Malmsteen made it clear that violinist Niccolo Paganini and Johan Sebastian Bach are influences. Ritchie Blackmore and Randy Rhoads showed a nod to classical music, but there was no clear artists influence there. Meanwhile, Accept made it clear that they liked to reference Beethoven in their songs, but my main exposure to Beethoven came from Looney Tunes cartoons.

This record was a loose change pick up at a record fair in the 90’s.

Fast forward to 2012 and a New Yorker article names the Carlos Kleiber recording as one of the greatest interpretations of this piece. And when you hear the power of it, you wouldn’t disagree at all. It is a perfect snapshot for the ages.

The various musicians on the recording are nameless, no one will know who they are, but the mastery they exhibit over their instrument, the power and the passion they generate is unbelievable. Even in the quiet sections of the symphony.

And conducting it all was the eccentric Carlos Kleiber, who according to BBC Music, is the greatest conductor of all time.

He was born in Berlin, in the 30’s to an Austrian father (who was also a conductor) and an American mother. They moved to Argentina a few years before war broke out in Europe, and he was lucky to be learning and developing during a period of instability and war.

Like all conductors, there is praise and disdain for them from people. And a lot of what happens in rehearsal rooms remains secret. More so before, than today. Even his death was secret. The world found out he had passed on the day of his burial in 2004. Regardless there are various performances conducted by Carlos Kleiber from various classical masters that are preserved for the rest of the world enjoy.

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1984 – VII – The Crusader Blitz Lays Down The Law To Steal The Light

Here is the playlist for 1984-7.

If you want to read the previous 1984 posts, here are the links.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Keel – Lay Down the Law

Ron Keel did everything at 12. When he delivered a vocal, he was up there at an 12 intensity.

I really thought Keel would go on and do great things. They had Gene Simmons writing and producing the band at one stage. By 1987, they had Jimmy Bain from Dio writing with them, along with Jack Ponti. But each new album started to become the same as the previous album, that even the core audience started to move on. I felt like the same theme carried over four separate albums.

How many times can you re-write, “Metal Generation” into “The Right To Rock” into “Raised On Rock” into “The Final Frontier” into “United Nations”?

Anyway.

“Born Ready” starts off with a “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” style riff for a song about coming of age and being ready to take control.

“Metal Generation” has this Ratt like riff based on “Lack Of Communication”, but hey, the LA scene was awash with similar sounding riffs and bands. And while the song sounded generic, the lead break is worthy of guitar hero status. Listen to it, and if you are not playing air guitar by the end of it, you don’t appreciate shredding.

“You’re The Victim (I Am The Crime)” is just a fast dumb song that’s too good to turn away. The double kick throughout brings back memories of “Overkill” from Motorhead and the riffs are that fast, that they could have been lifted from “Kill Em All”. But the lead break steals the show again. Marc Ferrari and Brian Jay proved to be a dynamic guitar duo.

If you dismissed Keel because of the vocals or the generic themes, you need to revisit them just to hear the lead breaks.

Hagar Schon Aaronson Shrieve – Through The Fires

What a great idea to get a few guys with chops in a room and letting them jam. HSAS is a perfect example of what is beautiful about music. These guys didn’t get together to create songs to sell millions of albums. They got together because they wanted to create. And from those creations, they wanted to gig. And then they ran out of time to record more studio albums because Schon went back to Journey and Hagar joined Van Halen.

“Top Of The Rock” has this foot stomping riff to kick it off and Sammy Hagar during this period is in top form. And his lyrics about life, status and society are brilliant.

It aint easy speaking out, some people take it to heart

And if you’re not standing on top of the rock they will tear you apart

“Missing You” for such a generic, ballad sounding title is nothing as such. If you want to hear where “Ghost” takes his influences, then you need to check out this song. Take out Sammy’s voice and add the voice of the clergy and you will have a Ghost song. The vocal line that Hagar delivers here is out of the park.

And Neal Schon, is referencing his “Don’t Stop Believin” riff with a few tweaks here and there for the Chorus. Plus he really lets loose on the lead break, as Journey Neal Schon started to become a decorator instead of a shredder.

“Valley Of The Kings/Giza” has everything, as HSAS become world musicians and take the exotic Phrygian Dominant scale into their set list. “Whiter Shade Of Pale” is a song I always enjoyed playing and hearing, as it was one of the first songs my guitar teacher showed me back in the day. It’s got such a cool chord progression that soloing over it is awesome and Neal Schon does exactly that. “Hot and Dirty” while dumb lyrically, is great melodically and musically.

“He Will Understand” has a riff which should have been a number 1 pop riff. Sammy again delivers a great vocal, although lyrically the song didn’t connect. But the music. It’s excellent. And check out these lyrics.

“Friendships can fade away”

“There’s not much to talk about because there’s too much to say”

And then Neal Schon starts to deliver a metal like riff from the 2.20 minute mark and then the band morphs into a 70’s progressive style band, in the Chorus. Plus have I mentioned how Neal Schon goes to town in each song and shows the world why he’s one of the great guitarists.

I thought “My Hometown” would have been a ballad when I saw the title, but man, in my mind, it’s a song that is influenced 100% by Van Halen and ZZ Top. And that Chorus riff, is the Seattle sound and groove. Check it out if you don’t believe me.

The Rods – Let Them Eat Metal

When Johnny Rod joined WASP, I thought he came from a band called The Rods (it was actually King Cobra). I was always curious to hear the origins of musicians, but to hear an album meant I had to spend money on it and I had other more higher profile releases earmarked for that. So I didn’t hear these guys until well into the 2010’s decade and it was all because I thought a bass player came from the band but he didn’t.

And this album is a cool listen. You can’t take it seriously but you can enjoy the hell out of it.

There isn’t really a stand out song, but there isn’t a bad song either. But if I was been tortured by some doctors from a dictatorship government and I had to pick a favourite, it would be “Nuclear Skies”, for its enlightening lyric, “from the air we are breathing, we should all be dead” and its vocal harmony chorus.

And I don’t know how they had the balls to release “Bad Blood” because man, that song is “Breaking The Law” from Judas Priest. But hey, music is based on the sum of our influences and you can hear in this song, The Rods had a pretty big Judas Priest influence.

Saxon – Crusader

They’ve had a career in music for a long time and they still write and record albums today. When they came across my radar, my initial impression was that they would be as big as Iron Maiden. And it didn’t happen and I was confused as to why.

The “Crusader” intro was enough to get me ready to break desks. The bass rolls along like “Heaven And Hell” and the guitars decorate.

“Fight the good fight, believe what is right”

The song is about the Crusades, but some of the lyrics can be interloped with the current world situation. We have democratic countries, with democratically elected leaders, spying and carrying out surveillance on their citizens, in the same way that dictatorship governments do/did. And the hypocrisy is that our leaders then stand on their soapbox and condemn these kinds of governments, but it’s okay for our leaders to do it, because they tell us they are the good guys, but we all know they are beholden to the corporations.

“Sailing To America” actually took me by surprise, because the vocals sounded like a cross between Sting and Steve Perry and I really dug that vibe. And this is probably the predicament Saxon had. They dabbled in many different styles, but the record labels like to promote (in other words pigeon hole) an artist in a particular genre/style, which is totally wrong.

“Do It All For You” has one of those intro’s that makes you pay attention, like “The Hellion”. And when I was expecting an “Electric Eye” style riff it goes into a ballad, which was okay, but not worthy of the intro. And I enjoyed “Just Let Me Rock” and “Rock City” but they didn’t connect. I think I was over all the song titles coming out with “Rock” in the title. In saying that, did Dee Snider get influenced by this song for a certain song on “Come Out And Play” called “You Want What We Got”. As “Rock City” states, you want it, we got it.

Krokus – The Blitz

I think they tried really hard to shake their AC/DC tag on this one, bringing in a lot of Judas Priest like elements, a cover songs and some outside writers. But when you have a vocalist who sounds like an AC/DC vocalist, it’s hard to shake that tag.

The production team behind the album is unbelievable. Bruce Fairbairn is producing, Bob Rock is an engineer and Mike Fraser is an assistant engineer. Even Survivor’s Jimi Jamison makes an appearance as a backing vocalist.

I want to talk about “Hot Stuff”. Now this song is what Krokus is all about to me. The intro is like “The Hellion” from Judas Priest, while the verses roll along like AC/DC and the Chorus is very LA sounding. And the lead break combined elements of Schenker, Young and EVH.

On “Boys Nite Out”, Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance are also co-writers, so the label really wanted this album to succeed.

Legs Diamond – Out On Bail

So Legs Diamond (stupid band name by the way) came into my radar because I kept hearing from the one person in the area I grew up in (that seemed to have every single rock and metal album), that if I liked Tom Keifer’s voice, then I would like Legs Diamond. The band could play, and they bordered on NWOBHM and melodic rock.

The electronic drums. You either like em or you don’t. To me, they are a major distraction from the rawk and roll of the music.  

The band was actually broken up, but when they saw that their albums started to sell here and there, they reformed to capitalise on this new found interest.

The way I see it, “One Way Ticket” captures what the band is all about, combining all of their rock, metal and melodic influences into their own style. And at seven minutes long, it wasn’t long enough for me. It made me, press repeat. To compare, the title track “Out On Bail” comes across as rooted in the AC/DC/NWOBHM groove, “Radio” feels like a ZZ Top/Deep Purple medley and then “Fugitive” comes across like Journey synth AOR. Three distinct compositions. “Walkaway” should have been a Top 10 hit, but it wasn’t.

But “One Way Ticket” is the song and its unknown.

And the other song that defines their sound is “One Last Kiss”. Musically, it has so much happening, it has a flute solo and its over pretty quick.

Tony Carey – Some Tough City

I didn’t know what to expect on this album. I saw it on a melodic rock list, so I cued it up as the name Tony Carey appeared on a few Rainbow albums as a keyboardist. And I swear, it feels like “Lost Highway” from Bon Jovi was written after hearing the song “A Fine Fine Day”, then again maybe Mellencamp was an influence here.

Q5 – Steal The Light

I knew about this band, because Floyd Rose played guitar in the band. And for those who don’t know, Floyd Rose invented of course,  the “Floyd Rose” tremolo locking system that stopped guitars from going out of tune whenever the whammy bar was activated. In a Guitar World issue, years ago, this invention was rated as one of the most ground breaking guitar inventions.

So one day in the 90’s, my fingers were walking over the $1 bin LP’s in a second hand record store and it was there I came across Q5’s album. I took it and a lot of other obscure metal and rock bands home, dropped the needle and I just enjoyed every note and every word. There is not a bad song on it.

The opening NWOBHM style riff of “Missing In Action” hooks me. The intro harmony leads in “Lonely Lady” get me playing air guitar. “Steal The Light” has an intro riff that forces me to pick up the guitar and learn it.

“Pull The Trigger” is AC/DC all metalized. “Ain’t No Way To Treat A Lady” could have come from the “Highway To Hell” album. “Rock On” feels like it’s a metal version of “Peter Gunn” in the verses and “Hells Bells” like in the Chorus.

They had one more album on Polygram a few years later, argued when it didn’t do anything commercially and disbanded. Frontiers then resurrected the band around 2014 and a new album came out a few years after that.

Well that’s it for another 1984 post, I am pretty sure I have a few more to go.

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The Record Vault – Tommy Bolin

I first heard “Teaser” when Motley Crue covered it on the “Stairway to Heaven/Highway To Hell” compilation album for the Moscow Peace Festival. 

This was back in 1989, and the writer of the song is T.Bolin.

Pre Internet era, it meant I had to go to the record shop and ask them if they have anything on T.Bolin. And they didn’t, unless I wanted to import it.

Fast forward another 10 years and I had picked up both solo albums via record fairs and second hand record shops.

The first thing that grabbed me is the funky sleazy riff and the wolf whistle slide guitar.

She sips gin from a teacup, wears those fancy clothes
And somebody always knows her no matter where she goes
She’ll talk to you in riddles that have no sense or rhyme
And if you ask her what she means, says she don’t got no time

“Teaser” showed me how influenced a young Nikki Sixx would have been by the lyrics.

Then the solo breakdown section kicks in where it’s just the bass and drums simulating an excited heartbeat at the beginning and it moves into a free form jazz fusion lead break. 

Jeff Porcaro from Steely Dan and Toto fame played drums and Stanley Sheldon from Peter Frampton’s band played bass.

As I listened to the album over and over again, I found other gems in the instrumental “Homeward Strut”, with its James Gang Funk inspired verses and its unbelievable harmony lick that acts as a Chorus.

The piano ballad “Dreamer” with Glen Hughes singing the last verse (even though he is uncredited) and piano played by David Foster, the same David Foster that would go on to produce and compose songs for Whitney Houston, Michael Buble and many others.

You have the blues funk of “Savannah Woman” with Phil Collins providing percussion.

Side 2 doesn’t have the same impact as Side 1 but the closer “Lotus” makes up for it with its fusion of hard rock, blues, jazz, funk  and synth orientated pop.

Similar in structure to “Teaser”, it has that unbelievable breakdown solo section, which closes the album.

And “Private Eyes”.

It didn’t have the star studded guests and it’s more focused on its mixture of groove, funk, jazz rock. Better songwriting.

And then it was over.

In 1975, Tommy Bolin released “Teaser” and “Come Taste the Band” with Deep Purple, and in 1976 he released “Private Eyes” in September. By December he was dead.

His music forever lives.

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Coming Home

The song “Home” from Daughtry came on via Spotify’s Family Mix. Actually, it’s a pretty cool concept/algorithm which organizes a playlist based on tracks the family members listen to.

“Home” is courtesy of my wife. I introduced her to Daughtry’s music and then she became a bigger fan than I. The more he moved away from the rock roots, the more I moved away.

And I thought Daughtry changed his sound because he wrote with too many different writers and producers, but that wasn’t it, because Daughtry had always written with different writers. But he had an ability to still make the songs sound dirty, raw and full of attitude and emotion, with a touch of modern rock and pop.

But “Baptized” released in 2013 sounded too sterile, too polished. It was lacking the grit of earlier albums. And when you have a song called “Long Live Rock and Roll” on the album, it needs to rock. But it didn’t. It was electro pop at best. A greatest hits package came afterwards and then in 2018, “Cage To Rattle” came out.

And again, I wasn’t sure what the intention was. While an improvement over “Baptized” it was still missing the special Daughtry ability to take whatever pop trend was in and make it rock hard.

And this kind of relationship cycle continues. We fall in and out with the artists we like, hoping that eventually they will return home to that rock and roll store and order up another serve.

Or the way Nikki Sixx wrote on Motley Crue’s “New Tattoo” album.

“I promise you this. One day you’ll walk into the tattoo shop of life and say “I’m back”. I’m ready for my new tattoo and her name is rock and roll. Now it’s time to make it permanent.

You will have been thru all the temporary 15 minutes of flash, you’ll have come to realize that you’ve been served fast food music and disposable heroes for so long. You’ve somehow forgotten what is real and what is not. And you know what the man behind the counter will say;

“We knew you’d be back.”

Amen.

I’m going home, back to the place where I belong.

And that home for me is rock and roll.

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The Record Vault – Brides Of Destruction

Getting information about hard rock acts was becoming tougher and tougher at the start of the 2000’s in Australia. Sure Metal Edge kept the flag flying, but for mags to sell they had to still accommodate the popular bands and the internet news reels felt primitive.

Since Motley Crue was dormant, I was really keen to hear what any of the guys would come up with.

Tommy Lee had already dropped a Methods Of Mayhem album, a sex tape which sold more than the whole Motley catalogue and a solo album called “Never A Dull Moment”.

Nikki Sixx at this stage was still a relative unknown outside of the Motley Crue world and Brides Of Destruction would be the start of getting him front and centre into the minds of music consumers. Plus he was starting to write songs for other artists via his partnership with James Michael, which would become very productive when Sixx A.M happened.

So BoD was formed in 2002 by Nikki Sixx and Traci Guns and the only deal they could get was for a Japanese release via Universal.

Nikki Sixx was paying Traci Guns $2000 a month and Sixx’s manager was paying for the rehearsal space. This period was the last few years of the record labels controlling the distribution by placing a person as the culture decider. And this gatekeeper decided that these two major label dudes from the 80s will not get worldwide distribution in 2002.

Finally, Sanctuary Records came on board for a worldwide release but then they just kept on pushing back the release date until March, 2004.

John Corabi was in as a co-guitarist and appears on the album but was out of the band because of a falling out with Guns. And the shit that Sixx has said afterwards about Corabi, then why did he decide to work with him again.

I was hooked as soon as the riff started for “Shut The Fuck Up”, dripping in punk attitude.

“I’m so sick of you, Shut the fuck up”

If you say something like this today, get ready to be ostracized and crucified by the moral police on social media and the internet. And if you say it, well expect to have it said back to you as well.

“Life” has some great lyrics. This one is my favorite;

“Don’t let the negative steal the blue from the sky”

What a great lyric.

Our memories are all that we have. What we remember are the stories we have told, and even then those stories change over the years.

If we don’t tell these stories, then the memory will fade.

Choosing what memory we tell is a way of choosing who we will become. Focus on the negative memories and the downward spiral begins. Focus on the positives and a different path begins. We need a balance.

Don’t forget the hurt but remember and talk about the joy.

“I Don’t Care” is full of attitude. “I Got A Gun” is a favourite. “Only Get So Far” is one of those ballads that has this 70’s vibe which I dig.

“2xDead” and “Brace Yourself” rock out of the gate with their sleazy grooves that remind me of Motley Crue. While “Natural Born Killer” sounds like it came from the 80s and its “Slice Of Your Pie” ending which was influenced by The Beatles, “She’s So Heavy”.

To me, the album sounded like an extension of the songs that Nikki Sixx wrote for the Motley Crue “Greatest Hits” album.

And the second album came out in 2005 and I don’t really remember nothing much about it except that Nikki Sixx wasnt the bassist as he had already left to reboot Motley, but there are songs on the album co-written by him.

That picture above is from the second album that Sixx didn’t play on, but hey, let’s make a band member look like Sixx in the cartoon drawing.

Rumors said the Sixx and Gun’s had a falling out because Guns continued with the band while Sixx wanted it to be on hiatus.

Fast forward to 2017 and Twitter started to fill in some gaps. Read the article over at Metal Sludge.

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A Tool Conversation on Fear Inoculum

Here is a conversation that took place on the 30/8/2019 when Tool released “Fear Inoculum” their first album in 13 years.

Tom: 

So have you been cranking the new TOOL yet?

Pete: 

Yep and you.

Tom: 

Kids had a fathers day thing at the school this morning.

Anyway, I’ve just started cranking it.

Onto “Descending” now. Song 6 of 7 and 66 minutes in. Lol.

Tool don’t really edit their songs to fit a radio playlist or whatever. And their progressive style of rock is very different to say Dream Theaters prog Rock as Tool sits on a groove for a long time before they change.

Pete: 

What did you think of “Invincible”?

Or what did you think of certain sections in “Invincible”?

Tom:

Was gonna say that was tough. Man, they didnt like editing this time ay.

Pete

Not really…(my response to the editing statement)

I listened to two songs coming into work this morning. All up 24 minutes worth.

Tom

So far they have had mad grooves and build ups but there has been an absence of climaxes.

Some cool solos though.

The solos in Tool are like riffs played in the higher register.

Pete

In “Descending”, I like how they end it with the drums doing the off beat that the guitar did earlier.

There is a section in “Invincible” when the guitarist just plays this open string groove and the drummer actually plays a stock beat.

Tom

So far “Descending” has been the one that kicks the most.

Before I heard “Descending”, I would say “Invincible” would have been it.

The songs sit on a groove for a long time.

Pete:

Did you hear the riff in “Invincible” that was from “H”?

Tom

The “H” riff didn’t pop out on this listening. I will keep an ear out for it next time round

“Descending” is dragging on, but its a lot more exciting.

Pete

What?? Its the main riff of “H”.

I felt like rippping the steering wheel off when I heard it.

It’s like a nice little throwback and it was one of the first riffs i learnt from em.

Tom

lol

“H” is still my favourite song, its the first song I remember hearing from them on JJJ.

Pete

“Culling Voices”

Whats your thoughts on it?

Actually just fast forward to the 6 minute mark.

The first six minutes dragged on for a bit too much for me.

Tom

“7empest” seems a little old school like the “Opiate” and “Undertow” era.

I guess this is the one with the 5 minute solo.

Pete

I don’t recall a 5 min guitar solo at all on the album.

Well not a guitar solo like how I call a guitar solo.

Tom

“7empest” is the one with the guitar solo.

Pete: 

Ignoring Tom’s review of the last song, I was back listening to the album from start to finish.

So “Fear Inoclum” is a pretty cool song.

“Pneuma” continues the tone set and the way they jam that bass riff from about the 1.20 minute mark is pretty cool

That riff from about 9.20 in “Pneuma”. As if it doesnt make you want to break the desk. And it just keeps building until the end.

Tom

There isn’t a song with Maynard in the climax, coming in screaming “VICARIOUSLY I, LIVE WHILE THE WHOLE WORLD DIES, MUCH BETTER YOU THAN I.

Pete comment: Tom is right here that Maynard’s absence in the endings is missing.

Pete

Well he is a WARR-I-OR.

STRUGG – I – LING.

The above is a lyric from “Invincible”.

Tom

I have to admit, its definitely a TOOL album.

They didn’t go all weird or anything like that.

Pete

That open string riff from the 8 minute mark in the song “INVINCIBLE”. First its just the riff, then some keys, then Maynard starts with “tears in your eye” then the drums come in mimicking the guitar.

Tom

Yeah man, the only criticism I have is the lack of Maynard power vocals in the climaxes of the songs that are traditionally there.

It’s missing in all the songs otherwise everything else is pretty epic.

Tom is still on about the lack of the vocal climaxes. And if you remember our “Justice For All” conversation, the bass was a big issue for him as well. Lol.

Pete

Then at 9.40 in “Invincible”, the drummer plays a stock beat.

This will be head banging section of the concert and the last 2 minutes.. Those riffs

Actually those last 4 minutes of “Invincible”…. x 13 years wait = ??

Tom

For me its “Descending” from 5:54 to 6:50, the vocals are epic. They just needed to be repeated at around 10:53 over the new riff, I have to find a way to do it.

And Tom over that weekend downloaded some editing software and did it. And it sounded better.

Pete

“Invincible” over “Descending” for me…

I always saw the vocals as an extension of the instruments. Maynard sang like he was a lead guitarist instead of a lead vocalist. His melodies are like guitar melodies. And as a lead vocalist he normally hid behind screens live, so it was more about the sound than the look and words.

So lets talk about “7empest”.

Tom

Like I said it has an early Tool feel for me.

I don’t mind it, more rocky and the solo isn’t bad either

 Pete

What solo?

I always poke fun at the term solo mixed in with Tool. To me they are cool melodic riffs.

Tom

The 5 minute one.

Pete

Lol

Tom

It’s a solo man, the closest we will ever get from Tool

Pete

Petrucci – Live at Budokan for “Hollow Years”.

Now that is a solo.

Tom

If emotion is what you are after then “Lines In The Sand”.

Pete

I’m still listening to the 5 minute guitar solo. I forgot it was a guitar solo.

It feels like a riff played on the higher strings.

Tom

Thats the trick.

Pete

Take a riff and play it on the G, B and E strings and call it a guitar solo, that goes for 5 minutes.

Tom

Your right about the last bit of “Invincible”.

It kicks but still missing Maynard going top gear.

Maynard’s vocals is one of the reasons why I love Tool.

And him not being in the climax’s makes it feel like it is missing something.

Pete

Nah for me it was the grooves. The jams.

And obviously the lack of editing.

I felt like with the first APC album, Maynard’s vocals are brilliant.

I saw some comments online about how the long songs will only pay for one stream when they could have done three 4 minute songs and gotten paid for three streams.

These people don’t get it.

Tool don’t care about the per stream payment.

Why do you think it’s taken em this long to come onto digital services?

They got the upfront payment and the rates they want.

Final Note:

It’s good to have Tool on streaming services and back in the music scene with a new album.

They held off long enough to get a deal with Spotify on their terms and their rate.

They’ve always done things their way and even in this era of social connections, Tool is still the outsider. And outsiders win.

And the album is long which will be ignored by a lot of people, but there will be enough old and new people tuning in.

I enjoyed listening to their jams and how Tool seems to be the only big act who doesn’t care about what’s happening in music, how it’s become a hit game and how streaming monies saved the record labels. They live in their own world.

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The Record Vault – Bonfire

From Germany.

My older brothers had a friend called Greeny. He had funds and he liked metal and rock music. It was from his car stereo I heard bands like Cinderella, Great White, Leatherwolf and Bonfire for the first time. 

I really got into this band. I thought they would be the next big thing. But they didn’t get there. Not for a lack of trying.

And it pisses me off that these two albums are not on Spotify Australia.

Fireworks

Released in 1987.

There isn’t a bad track on this album. Maybe when it came to the charts and the hearts and minds of consumers, its many years too late in sound and style, as the public by 1987 was hooked on Jovi, Van Halen, U2, Motley Crue, Whitesnake, GNR and soon, Metallica.

And then you get the Bonfire sound, which is rooted in melodic heavy metal circa 1982 to 1985.

The album tracks are written by vocalist Claus Lessmann, guitarists Hans Ziller and Horst Maier and bassist Jörg Deisinger.

“Ready 4 Reaction” is the opening track and it blasts out of the speakers. “Never Mind” continues the melodic rock. “Sleeping All Alone” is an attempt to hit the charts as Jack Ponti and Joe Lynn Turner have a co-write. It didn’t chart, however it’s a good song.

“Sweet Obsession” also has Joe Lynn Turner and Jack Ponti as co-writers. I got the single and then I couldn’t find the album for years. So I dubbed it.The current version of the band doing the rounds these days always reference this album in the live arena and they totally ignore the follow up.

Point Blank

Released in 1989.

A big shift in personnel happened on this album with founder Hans Ziller being fired even though the album features his music. And before Ziller was fired, guitarist Horst Maier-Thorn was also let go.

Desmond Child was brought in. Bob Halligan Jnr was brought in and Jack Ponti was brought back. Desmond Child even recovered the song “The Price Of Loving You” for his own solo album, that’s how high he held it.

Even Michael Wagener was hired to produce. It was an all assault to get the music buying public into the band.

And the album did nothing.

There was no promo in Australia for it and a little paragraph in the Metal Edge magazine many months after it was released tipped me off.

Like the debut, the album sound was out of date by a few years. By 1989, the tastes and sounds morphed even more. This album would have done great if it was released in 1987.

Acoustic/Unplugged was becoming a thing and the Blues had come back into the sounds of rock and metal with bands going back to their roots.

Of course, Motley Crue released a thunderous sounding album dripping with groove and GNR was still riding the wave of their punk boogie oriented debut album, furnished with an EP of acoustic songs.

And somewhere in between Bonfire sat, without one of its founding members.

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