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

How Has It Aged: Devin Townsend Project – Transcendence

“Transcendence” is the seventeenth studio album by Devin Townsend and it is the seventh and final album in the Devin Townsend Project series. It was released on September 9, 2016, via HevyDevy Records.

Think about that for a second. 17 albums.

It got a lot of awesome write ups and I think Loudwire gave it the Number 1 spot on albums released in 2016. I only listened to two songs from it as they came up on playlists (in “Stormbending” and “Failure”) and never really went back to listen to the full album during that year. I don’t know why I didn’t check it out fully, as “Failure” was and still is a great head banging track.

I don’t know how to describe the album.

I grew up on the sounds of the 80’s. The only thing that resembles the 80’s here is the distortion guitars and some shredding guitar lines. Sometime in the early 2000’s, extreme metal bands started to add atmospheric synths to their sounds, and they slowed their tempos so they have groove. It has some of that.

Then there was a genre called Math Metal which morphed to Djent and its now known as progressive metal. Well it has a bit of that. Operatic themes are present as well.

In the end, Devin Townsend is pushing the bar on creativity and originality, using the various digital audio workstation tools and plug-ins to achieve uniqueness. The future will probably look back at this album and hold it in high regard like the symphonies of Mozart and Beethoven. Maybe he will bring about world peace like the Wyld Stallions did in Bill And Ted.

Truth

A groove metal riff (almost nu-metal like in feel) underpins the song while the synth keys give it a very Euro vibe. At the 1.30 mark it goes into this classical like section.

At 2.15 minutes, it’s like a fire ritual, with a spaced out, very heavily reverb’d “Hallelujah” chant happening over a chaotic wall of noise. It sounds ethereal, dissonant yet melodic and hypnotic. And you can’t really make out the lyrics, (which ain’t much) as they are heavily loaded with effects.

And it ends like mindfulness music.

I also didn’t know it at the time that this was an updated or reimagined version of the same song which appeared on Townsend’s solo record, “Infinity” from 1998. And suddenly the nu-metal feel makes sense.

Stormbending

Devin Townsend can play some serious guitar and the dude can sing and growl with the best of em. In other words, he is one talented mf.

This song was perfect back in 2016 and it still is now.

You need to listen to the section that kicks in 1.46. Did anyone say “guitar hero”? Well you have it with Devin Townsend. The lead break that comes after that reminds me of A Perfect Circle. Actually the whole cinematic like vibe is reminiscent of the debut APC album. Then again, we wear our influences on our sleeves.

At about 3.28, it goes into this major key like vibe. It sounds hopeful and it goes with the lyrical line of “All we’re offering is a change to be loved”. And they continue this vibe before it fades into a cacophony of noises which segue into “Failure”.

Failure

The way this song starts off. It’s so heavy yet it lifts you up.

And they continue that groove (which reminds me of Tool), adding extra guitars, synths, harmonies and what not.

All I could be is press repeat over and over again to hear it.

And while the music is perfection, Devin Townsend reminds everyone what a great rock singer he is. He’s all clean tone, using his natural baritone voice, with high falsettos and when the Chorus kicks in, it’s like a sermon, with some high deity singing to the masses.

At 2.21, a lead break starts. He’s melodic, keeping within key, then he goes all dissonant and chromatic but at 3.11 he goes modal, keeping within the key and I am hooked. Just listen to it.

If you weren’t converted to Devin Townsend by know, this song could be the key.

And at 6.82 million Spotify streams it’s virtually forgotten.

Secret Sciences

It’s got a major key strummed riff to start it off. Its pop music and yet it still sounds heavy.

And when he sings “let it go” in the Chorus, a certain Disney song comes to mind.

Higher

It reminds me of Pink Floyd and “Goodbye Blue Sky” in feel.

Then at 1.20, it goes into a quirky “Higher” chant and then a Tool like groove kicks in, but the vocals are far removed from Maynard.

At 3.25, I like the whole movement and Townsend’s “craft your life” vocal line which then segues into a progressive interlude and an extreme metal passage. Add to that some groove metal over different time changes, operatic vocals and you would think the song is done.

But it’s not.

At the 6 minute mark, it goes into this doom grind riff. It’s so heavy, it will sink ships.

And I am thinking, how did this song which started out so beautiful, descend into chaos and violence musically. That’s the best way to sum up Devin Townsend.

Stars

I have read in reviews that this is a metal ballad. To me it is a metal song. There’s nothing ballad about it. I also love the Chorus hook of “I can see you in the stars tonight, lost in love and light”

And that change at 2.15. Press play to hear it.

Transcendence

It feels like a U2 track with orchestras and a wall of guitars.

Offer Your Light

It’s metal like, with a frantic tempo and a dance like synth pattern. And I like it, especially the angelic voice of Anneke van Giersbergen.

From The Heart

An 8 minute pre-closer. It feels cinematic and grand like when the hero saves the day and the darkness gives way to light.

Transdermal Celebration

The closing track is a cover from Ween, a psychedelic rock band who released this song in 2003. It’s done in Townsend’s unique way and you wouldn’t know it was a cover.

If there is a complaint, there are times when I feel that Townsend’s vocals are buried under the walls of guitar noise and operatic sound experimentations.

Overall, the album still sounds as fresh and as crazy as it did back then. The styles and moods are so schizophrenic that it will never date or be dated to a certain movement or sound like “The Sunset Strip” or “Seattle”.

And I can’t believe I found 1000 plus words to describe it.

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Australian Method Series: The Poor – Who Cares

When Airbourne came out almost a decade later, most Australians would have said, “we have seen this movie before, and it’s called The Poor.”

But let’s go back a little bit. 

Formed in 1986 in Darwin, Northern Territory. The original line up would go through some changes before they end up with the members who would play on the recorded product.

In 1992, there was “The Poor Boys” who released the EP, “Rude, Crude & Tattooed” on Sony/Columbia Records. It was produced by The Angels’ members Rick Brewster and Bob Spencer. It got the band onto Radio and Music Television. It sounded more like “The Angels”, “Kings Of The Sun”, “Rose Tattoo” and “The Screaming Jets” than “AC/DC”. Then again, all of those bands have roots to AC/DC.

It also got them touring. 

In 1993, another EP called “Underfed” came out, which again, got them on the road. This was produced by Brent Eccles (also a member of The Angels). They followed this release by backing United States acts, “Alice in Chains” and “Suicidal Tendencies”, on the Australian leg of their combined tour. It’s always cool to have an act that rocks like AC/DC.

‘The Poor Boys:” then became “The Poor” to avoid confusion with a US group.

And then came “Who Cares” in 1994. A balls to the wall, sleazy rawk and roll album straight from the pubs and clubs of Australia. It was a middle finger salute to Seattle and Grunge and flannel shirts.

Produced by Paul Northfield, the band is made up of Skenie on lead vocals, original founder Julian Grynglas on guitar, Matt Whitby on bass and the nephew of the Young brothers James Young on drums.

They supported AC/DC on the “Ballbreaker” tour and that is when I got a chance to see them live.

Poison

If you like your AC/DC and D.A.D then you will like this and the innuendo in the Chorus hook, “come on baby, take your poison, you want it, I got it”. The only thing missing is “pulling the trigger of their love gun”.

Dirty Money

This could have come from Baby Animals and I like it. It also appeared as the opening track on their “Underfed” EP from a year before.

Man Of War

A Jimmy Page like acoustic fingerpicked intro kicks it off.

A serious attempt telling the “man of war to stop the bleeding”. I guess things haven’t changed. War is a constant in our lives.

At 1.23 the song kicks into overdrive. 

Tell Someone Who Cares

Oh, that riff in the intro, it could sink ships at its heaviness. It then drops out and lets the bass rumble when the verses kick in.

Press play to hear it. 

And the Chorus is basic, a tribute to those AC/DC Choruses. 

More Wine Waiter Please

What a title? 

Full of decadence and debauchery. The riff to introduce it is heavy and rolling. Once the drumming kicks in, it reminds me of “Deuce”.

If you like your hard sleazy rock, then press play on this. It’s a must on playlists.

Ain’t On The Chain

I know Accept liked AC/DC and on this, The Poor channel Accept’s take on AC/DC with a nod to Udo. Then again, you could say that they are channelling the Bon Scott era of AC/DC. But that is for the vocals. Musically, it has a lot of LA Sunset Strip style of rhythm playing.

This song also appeared on the “Underfed” EP from 1993.

Downtown

You can never get enough of acts showing their love for AC/DC. Think “Sin City” here.

Hair Of The Dog

I like the heaviness.

About going into a bar the other night and getting into a fight.

Liar

She’s a liar, a little two faced bitch.

Enough said, just press play.

Ride

It’s a thrash-a-roll. 

Only The Night

“Hit the road jack, ain’t gonna come back no more” comes to mind in the intro and then it goes into “Hot For Teacher”.

If you want to hear the decadent love child of AC/DC and Van Halen then press play on this.

As a bit of trivia this song goes back to the debut 4 song EP, “Rude, Crude and Tattooed” from 1992.

After the release they toured the U.S supporting, Scorpions before hitting Europe and Japan.

When they believed that the touring cycle was done for the album, they got a call in early 1996 to open for AC/DC on their Ballbreaker international tour.

And they weren’t done. They also got the Kiss support slot and in 1998 they also got the Van Halen support slot.

And we finally got some new music from then, a single called “Simple Livin'”, which was to be the first single from the follow-up to “Who Cares”. There was no identity crisis here for The Poor. While other acts tried to fit into the post Grunge, neo-industrial environment, The Poor channelled their love of Thin Lizzy and AC/DC to create “Simple Livin’” and its B-side “Love Isn’t On Again”.

But the new album never came and they disbanded in 2000 into two separate heavy rock projects called “Lump” and “Blackseed”.

Only to reform in April 2008 to play on an Australia tour with W.A.S.P.

Then a new album called “Round 1” came out in 2009 and “Round 2” in 2010 by Australian label “Riot!”.

And finally The Poor are in full swing with the soon to be released fourth album (first in thirteen years), “High Price Deed” on 2 February 2023.

The pre-release singles “Payback’s a Bitch”, “Cry Out”, “Let Me Go” and “Take the World” have impressed so far.

The band at this stage is Daniel Cox on guitar who joined in 2019, Anthony “Skenie” Skene is still on vocals and rhythm guitar, Matt Whitby is still on bass guitar and Gavin Hansen on drums, having replaced James Young in 1997.

Play it loud. 

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How Has It Aged: Van Halen – Balance

28 years ago. January 24, 1995.

The Seventh Seal

The sound of the monks immediately gets my attention.

When the whole band kicks in, the running bass line from Michael Anthony stands out, while EVH is playing power chords with the high E and B strings ringing out, Anthony is changing the root note.

Then the palm muted riff for the verse begins. It’s perfect.

How good is the section with the lyrics “under darkest skies”?

In relation to album openers, it’s one of their best since “Running With The Devil”.

Can’t Stop Loving You

It’s the Sammy Hagar vocal that rocks here over a chord progression influences by the 60’s and songs like “Stand By Me”.

EVH is also playing a-lot for the song, His free spirited approach is still there but focused.

Don’t Tell Me

When I purchased my 5150 Peavey Combo Amp, this was the first riff I played on it.

A simple riff, with some palm muting, the melodies from Hagar are perfect.

I like how EVH tweaks the chord progression for the second verse, bringing in some arpeggios.

The solo break is perfect. Just the three of em, jamming and no rhythm track. Plus we get an outro solo.

And underpinning it all is the Bonham like drumming from AVH.

Amsterdam

That section from the 3 minute mark. Wow. And I wanted that outro solo to continue until the band stopped but they faded it out.

Big Fat Money

A Bluesy tune but from the fingertips of EVH it’s like progressive blues. The energy is “Hot For Teacher” like level.

Hagar’s breathless delivery in the verses are a highlight. And AVH and Michael Anthony are solid in the rhythm foundations.

Strung Out

Yeah this track was a waste back then and still is. EVH is hitting the strings on the piano I think.

Not Enough

This one is a sleeper hit. Their take on songs like “Hey Jude”. B

Check out the solo here from EVH. His phrasing and his Bluesy bends are the highlight.

Aftershock

My favorite track here. Its shredding. I felt that they tried to rewrite it with “Humans Being”.

Regardless, press play and let your ears enjoy the Van Hagar version at their Metal best.

Especially that section from 2.48.

Then again the solo from EVH is a masterclass in different techniques.

Doin Time

Yeah, I would have left this off.

Baluchiterium

And this as well.

Take Me Back

EVH channels his love of Jimmy Page.

Feelin

An awesome deep cut. Eddie goes to town in the solo.

“Balance” is so underrated in the world of VH. It is heavy, yet it has a bit of everything.

The drama that came after the “Ambulance Tour” between Hagar, manager Ray Daniels and the Van Halen brothers shrouds the greatness of the album.

And before I forget, the production from Bruce Fairbairn is stellar.

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How Has It Aged: Megadeth – Dystopia

January 23, 2016.

Seven years ago, Megadeth dropped “Dystopia”. Their 15th studio album and one of their best in the 2000 era of the band.

I reviewed the album on the site when it dropped and again a few years ago.

I keep making mention of the powerhouse drumming from Chris Adler, who at the time was still in Lamb Of God and worked as a “hired gun” on this. I still don’t believe I have done his contributions justice. His command of the kick drum is a must listen for any aspiring drummer. He locks into the riffs when he needs do, he plays simple when he needs to and he can thrash and roll when he needs to.

The cover is striking and memorable.

Being from Sydney, the Harbour Bridge is an iconic land monument which when built connected the Northern and Southern parts of Sydney, so seeing a bridge that looks very similar to it in a state of destruction and disrepair, immediately gets my attention.

Then you have those “1984” aerial devices that either “spy on you” or act as “judge, jury and executioner” for the ruling party.

And then there is “the humanoid”, holding the decapitated head of another humanoid.

The Threat Is Real

A mournful Middle Eastern voice begins the song before a fast open string riff is deployed with military precision.

And I am hooked.

Dystopia

The title track.

It brings back memories of “Hanger 18” which of course had its main riff based on a progression that Mustaine wrote for “The Call Of Ktulu”.

The whole outro section is essential listening. Especially how Chris Adler brings it to a frantic end.

Fatal Illusion

Groove, chromatics and dissonance. They are not meant to work together but they do in the fingertips of Mustaine.

At the 60 second mark, the bass from David Ellefson stands alone as he plays the main riff.

When the whole band crashes in, my ears tune in again to the drumming of Chris Adler.

In composition it reminds me of “Wake Up Dead”, riffs upon riffs and no section which could be a Chorus as every section could be one.

Death From Within

I didn’t gravitate to this song back then but I was a fool. It’s 12/8 “Children Of The Grave” rhythm hooked me in straight away today.

Bullet To The Brain

The acoustic arpeggio intro is brief. Its classical influenced but not really classical.

But the best bit is the melodic lead played over the verse riff between 0.39 and 0.56. This happens again from 1.40 to 1.53.

I also like the section I call “The Disturbed Section” between 1.12 and 1.29. This also happens again from 2.10 to 2.28.

The lead breaks on this song are “Guitar Hero” wow.

Post American World

A throwback to “Symphony To Destruction” and those accessible riffs.

Poisonous Shadows

The acoustic intro, which reminds me of a solo section from “Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son” between the 8.50 and 9.10 mark. Since the song is a co-wrote with Kiko Loureiro, I presume he wrote this riff.

Press play to hear it and then compare the two. The keys are different, the speed is different but the way the notes move is the same.

Listen to the way Adler locks in the kick drum with the riff in the verses.

The Chorus reminds me of a similar song from the album “The World Needs A Hero”. I think it’s “Promises” which is another forgotten track from the vast catalogue that is Megadeth.

Conquer Or Die

It’s an instrumental written by Dave Mustaine and Kiko Loureiro.

A flamenco intro from Kiko starts the song which I like.

Lying In State

My favourite song from the album and it’s up there as one of the finest Megadeth songs.

The drums from Chris Adler on this are powerful. While the riffs serve as the songs foundation and Mustaine vocals are top notch, it is the way Adler performs on the drums that elevates the song.

That whole section from 2.19 is “smash the walls” stuff. When the melodic lead break starts, I’m ready to go through the wall.

The Emperor

There’s no way you can’t like the way it starts off. It’s got this “Dread And The Fugitive Mind” kind of feel.

Foreign Policy

It’s a “Fear” cover.

For those who don’t know. FEAR, is an American punk rock band from Los Angeles, California, formed in 1977. Since its formation, the band has gone through various line-up changes, and at one point featured Flea on bass.

This song appeared on “The Record”, the debut studio album released on May 16, 1982. Dave Grohl holds this album in high regard and he interviewed vocalist/rhythm guitarist Lee Ving for the 2013 documentary film “Sound City”.

Duff McKagan picked the song “We Destroy the Family” for his 2016 list “The 10 Best Punk Songs” and said, “Fear’s debut album “The Record” still gets played backstage before he goes on.

“Let’s Have a War” was included on the “Repo Man” soundtrack album and covered by A Perfect Circle on the album “eMOTIVe”.

Hearing this song, you can hear how thrashy the hard-core punk movement was in L.A. The song could have been written by Mustaine as it has that technicality that Megadeth is known for.

Melt The Ice Away

It’s basically a fast blues NWOBHM track.

For those who don’t know, it’s a Budgie cover. That same Budgie that wrote “Breadfan” which Metallica covered

Budgie remained quite obscure during their career, however a lot of hard rock/metal artists have cited them as an important influence and covered their songs, including Iron Maiden, Metallica, Megadeth, Van Halen, Queens of the Stone Age, Alice in Chains and Soundgarden. It’s an impressive list.

This song appeared on Budgie’s seventh album, released in February 1978 on A&M Records.

Overall, “Dystopia” is a masterpiece.

A lot of bands don’t get to fifteen albums and if they do, it is very rare that the album is any good.

Sort of like “Super Collider” released in 2013 was; where the best song is a cover from Thin Lizzy. Okay “Kingmaker” is one of the best opening tracks Megadeth have written.

But that was it.

Okay the title track “Super Collider” also gets a pass and although it was weird to hear Mustaine sing “Burn, Baby, Burn” and rhyming “fire” with “desire” the song “Burn” is a pretty cool hard rock track which actually reminds me of early Budgie.

But overall, critics hated it and the fans hated it even more. Something had to be done.

So Mustaine corrected the “Super Collider” hard rock experiment with the progressive speed metal album “Dystopia”. He had too and by doing so, he replenished his fan base all around the world and he grew it even more in South America with the addition of Kiko Loureiro.

Plus they won a Grammy for Best Metal Performance for “Dystopia” and when they got up to get their award, “Master Of Puppets” played from Metallica. Nice one Grammy’s. Rookie mistake 101.

And the album has aged really well. It sounds as current as it did back in 2016.

Crank it.

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The Week (Last Few Months Actually) In Destroyer Of Harmony History –November 1 to November 30

I am trying to catch up on these posts, so I can do them weekly. So here is another review of November posts from 2018 and 2014.

2018 (4 Years Ago)

I have a Google Alert set up for Copyright and everyday there are ten or more stories on Copyright issues, ranging from Ed Sheeran settling with artists over a copyright suit, artists trying to reclaim their rights back from the labels, to artists selling their rights in songs to corporations for a fee, to Led Zep asking a judge to throw away the Stairway appeal, to local restaurants playing music and asked to pay for a Copyright licence, to parents breaking the Copyright law when they film their kids dance to music and uploading without paying someone, to ISPs being asked to block or censor websites, to Google being told to remove search links to certain sites, to people being charged with piracy and to whatever else the Copyright Industry wants.

If the above doesn’t tell you who copyright benefits, then reread it again.

And The Copyright Ballad Of John Fogerty highlights all of the above and more. He had to buy back a majority stake of the songs he wrote. Think about that for a second. A CEO in an office just made multi-millions for doing sweet f.a. while the person who made him rich had to make him even richer so he could get a majority stake.

I was doing a simultaneously review of 1979 (two posts for that year) and 1984 (one post for that year in the month)

Man, 1979 had a lot of good releases. For the record, most of these albums I heard in the 80s and some in the 90’s.

Kansas released “Monolith”. It’s a fantastic album, but largely forgotten in the streaming era, as the hits from other albums do the rounds on streaming playlists. Styx released “Cornerstone” and my favourite tracks were not the hits. Instead I gravitated to “Love In The Midnight”, “Eddie”, “Borrowed Time” and “Lights”.

Van Halen followed up the debut album pretty quickly with “II” and they danced the night away to multi-platinum. But my favourite track was always “Somebody Get Me A Doctor”.

Graham Bonnet fronted Rainbow founded a whole new melodic metal movement with “Down To Earth”. Which would continue with Joe Lynn Turner on vocals.

Cheap Trick showed how a studio recorded live album can do better than an actual studio album with “At Budokan”. So did UFO with “Strangers In The Night”.

Foreigner started to play “Head Games” with us. Are they a blues rock band, a hard rock band or a pop band or somewhere in between. Meanwhile Supertramp released their best album in “Breakfast In America” and it was their sixth album.

ELO released “Discovery” but the only track worth paying attention to was “Don’t Bring Me Down”. Same deal with The Knack. While the album had a cool pop rock vibe, “My Sharona” stole the show.

The Angels released “No Exit” an album that fused punk with pub rock and blues. And Australian audiences loved it. Little River Band released “First Under The Wire” and how good is “Lonesome Loser” on it.

For 1984, the post I did was titled 1984 – III – Are We Evil Or Divine?

“The Last In Line” is my favourite Dio album period. Plus it was my first purchase of Dio’s solo career. The guitar work of Vivian Campbell was and still is very influential to me.

Kiss was continuing their evolution without the pain with “Animalize”. The opener “I’ve Had Enough (Into The Fire) doesn’t get enough love and attention. But it should.

U2 released “The Unforgettable Fire” and sent the charts, music television and radio scrambling to add “Pride (In The Name Of Love) to their rotations.

Queen released “The Works” and Tina Turner gave the melodic rock movement a kick in the butt with “Private Dancer” as songs like “What’s Love Got To Do With It”, “We Don’t Need Another Hero” and “Its Only Love” could cross genres.

And the might Deep Purple reformed and made a massive statement with “Perfect Strangers”.

In some alternate universe I went and watched Mike Portnoy’s Shattered Fortress on Friday 24 November 2017 in Sydney. But in reality I didn’t. What kind of magic was used to make me forget that the concert was on I will now. It wasn’t until a year later when I was cleaning out my laptop bag that I saw the ticket. Not one but two tickets.

Does anyone remember Compressorhead?

It is a Robot band made from recycled parts. They do a pretty mean cover of “Ace Of Spades” cover.

It’s been said that this robot “band” plays real electric and acoustic instruments but in the end, this project was just some great code writing and midi sequencing.

I was spinning George Lynch a fair bit during this period. The songs “Wicked Sensation” and “All I Want” got separate posts.

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

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

And then there was “Last In Line” with 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. 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”.

And although I liked the album, I wasn’t a fan yet, but I was interested to hear what could come next. And 5 years later, no new product has arrived.

A System That Rewards Attention

If you create a system that rewards attention, the easiest way to get attention is to be a bad actor. That underlies our media ecosystem, that underlies our political system and it’s degrading society in so many ways.

EV WILLIAMS – Creator Of Blogger, Twitter and Medium

Did anyone read the story about “Threatin”.

They are an LA band, created by Jered Threatin. He then created a record company web page that was bullshit, he created a booking agency web page that was also bullshit, he doctored live footage to make it look like he was popular on YouTube which was bullshit and he created a management company website which was of course bullshit as well. He also paid for Facebook likes and comments and YouTube views and many more wonderful things to do with scorched earth marketing.

And through it all, he convinced stupid greedy venue owners in Europe to book him. And he didn’t even have a fanbase. He even convinced these club owners the shows were sold out. If they just did some due diligence and checked out Threatin’s Spotify account, they would have seen the stream numbers don’t match the spin coming from his “management” and they could have asked some hard questions. But they didn’t, they got had and they got pissed.

If Threatin did pull it off and sell out the gigs based on the made up hype, maybe there would be a different discussion, but hey, people fail more than they succeed.

The Purchase Dilemma

Remember the time when you would go through the LP racks (afterwards it would be CD’s) and pull out the LPs you wanted to buy.

Each week I wanted to buy a lot of music but had enough money to buy two.

You can read the rest here, about how album covers, song titles, record labels and producers played a part in deciding what to buy.

And here is a bit of history on when I used to take guitar lessons.

I bugged my Dad to buy me a guitar so he got me a classical guitar with the hope I could learn to play classical songs. He paid $15 for a 30 minute lesson with a man called Niccolini, who instead taught me how to play metal and rock songs because I asked him to.

I used to tell Niccolini which songs I would want to learn, he would then go away and learn those songs and then at the next lesson he would show me. While learning songs from other artists was cool, I also took the lessons, to get the techniques right. I’m big on foundations. If the foundations are not right, everything else that comes after is not right either.

And I would fool my Dad by playing metal and hard rock songs in a classical way. Like anything from Randy Rhoads or Yngwie Malmsteen.

And my record collection was a source of pride. I played them through and through. They are part of my DNA. I used to have the collection under lock and key, in an alarmed room because once upon a time, if someone broke in, they would steal part of the collection. I couldn’t have that happen.

Today, they’ll walk straight past it and go for the tech.

Music is part of my life. It will always be.

2014 (8 Years Ago)

Back in 2014, my posts really focussed on the music business as a whole, using metal and rock artists to illustrate the points I was trying to make.

It seemed like everyone was complaining about being paid. Except the labels.

And if the money was not filtering down to the artist, whose fault is that?

Then again, no one is guaranteed to be paid. People don’t want to accumulate shiny plastic discs or vinyl records while others do. So the price point for music fans of music is very different and this translates to how artists get paid.

Just because the user streams the music for free, it doesn’t mean that Spotify is not paying the rights holder. Accounting is the bedrock of the techies, however for the labels it is a different story.

And if you wanted to know how “breakage” is pure profit for the label, then read this post.

But artists seemed to be missing the point. They still focused on the old models and were failing to see new ways. IN THE END, regardless of what the artist does, it is the LISTENERS/FANS that decide if the artist makes it or doesn’t. The power is in the listener hands. And those relationships start like all relationships with a simple hello. So connect.

That connection could be with B-sides and rare tracks. In 2014 this was a rare thing, but I can say that by 2020, a lot or artists started to raid their vaults as they realised there was value there.

Then again, Minecraft was free to download and play. With the free version, you couldn’t save your progress but for a one of fee of $6.99, you could download the full version and have all the features. There are lessons here for the music business and artists.

Look at any band that is successful and you will see a band member with an entrepreneurial spirit. Some do it out of necessity.

Jay Jay French went and formed his own independent label to release the early singles from Twisted Sister when they couldn’t get a record deal.

Joan Jett had 23 labels pass on releasing her first solo album. Out of a need to get her music out, she founded Blackheart Records with producer Kenny Laguna. This was 34 years ago. By 2014, her label is now a force to be reckoned with, via its music, clothing and film divisions.

Then again, getting a record deal could be a blessing or a curse.

Because everyone is trying to twist the narrative to their own advantage. The labels for themselves. The techies for themselves. The artists for themselves. The publishers for themselves.

I’m a fan of Black Veil Brides and their Bob Rock produced self-titled album was getting a lot of spins. If you haven’t heard it, press play on it right now. Sonically it is one of the best hard rock and old school metal releases in 2014.

Anyone read “Stephen Pearcy: Ratt and Roll”. If you haven’t, don’t. I don’t recommend it. The disintegration of Ratt and the tough times of the Nineties are glossed over. The way the songs came together, and the influences behind them is not even mentioned.

Anyway it got me thinking about the Eighties so I wrote a post that sort of makes sense about learning a lot from history.

And somewhere along the way, everyone forgot how music thrives. By sharing it with others. Go any social media site and people are sharing their lives. Go to any blog site and you will see people sharing photos, writings, music, opinions, stories, etc. And all the things that we share are all free.

How we communicate has changed significantly and how to succeed as an artist has also changed significantly. Artists need to be agile and be ready to try different ways of promoting and connecting.

If you remember, in the October 2014 review, I reviewed the careers of Adrian Vandenberg and John Sykes up until 2014. This month, Digital Summer, Evergrey and Vivian Campbell got the same treatment.

And I was cranking “Bloodstone And Diamonds” from Machine Head a lot. You can read my review here.

Then again, every act has an arc. Like the Bell Curve. Sometimes they have multiple Bell Curves.

Because the new world is hard. Attention spans are lower and what is hot today is gone tomorrow. That album you spent making for 12 months is dead after 4 weeks.

We are living in a world that is besieged by economic problems. We are living in a world that has democratic governments undertaking surveillance on their citizens like the totalitarian regimes that our grandfathers died fighting against. We are living in a world where the majority of politicians are on the payroll of the corporations. We are living in a world that has a digital divide to go along with a class divide. We are living in a world where privacy is eroded a little bit at a time.

Some of my favourite artists had songs that just spoke to me.

“What do you mean I don’t support your system, why do you think I’m broke”.

Dave Mustaine wrote that back in the mid-Eighties. Fast forward almost thirty years, and we are still broke supporting the system. The rich and the powerful caused a global recession and guess what, they got bailed out by the governments while we lost our jobs and homes. Inequality exists in music as it does in economics. You’re either a winner or a loser and if you cross over, you become a global phenomenon. Think Metallica. There crossover was the “Black” album. That is their victory lap album.

“But now the holy dollar rules everybody’s lives, gotta make a million, doesn’t matter who dies.”

The above line is from “Revolution Calling” from Queensryche. Spotify cares about Spotify and they want to make millions. Taylor Swift cares about Taylor Swift and she wants to make millions.

“Words are the bullets to this revolution”

Robb Flynn spits out the line in “Clenching the Fists of Dissent”.

We live in an information age. Everything is at our fingertips so we should put those tools to use to do our own investigations because our media reporting outlets are all owned by large corporations. They report news items that will push their agenda. They report news items that have been paid for by a marketing PR firm. Impartiality is over. Never have we been so divided but connected we are.

The problems of today existed before. However, it is the people of today that had to bail out the rich. If the POOR or the WORKING CLASS did something fraudulent and corrupt, they would be doing time in a cell. When the RICH do something fraudulent and corrupt they end up screaming to the Government for a bail out and escape without punishment.

“We’re Not Gonna Take It” was the catch cry once upon a time. It is time it becomes a catch cry of a new generation.

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Official Bootleg: DEMO Series: The Majesty Demos 1985-86

The above is the cover from the 2003 release. The only place to buy these official bootleg albums was via the Ytse Jam website or at Dream Theater live shows.

While Official Bootlegs are all the rage these last few years with acts like Kiss, Aerosmith and Cheap Trick jumping on, Dream Theater were one of the first few to do an Official Bootleg series. Mike Portnoy was the brains behind this and was inspired by the work his favourite band Marillion did for the fans via the fan club (which Portnoy was also a member of).

But Portnoy had to get John Petrucci’s approval to proceed and once he got it, Ytse Jam Records was formed.

In 2003, three Bootlegs dropped and they kept on dropping while Portnoy was in the band.

But.

Once Portnoy was out, Ytse Jam records ceased to exist.

However the Petrucci led version of the band signed an agreement a few years ago with current record label InsideOut Music.

The purpose of the “Lost Not Forgotten Archives” is to re-release and reissue the entire Ytsejam Records catalogue and the fan club CDs, alongside some new unreleased material. All of the new re-releases will be sold on CD and vinyl, as well as being made available for digital streaming with all new artwork.

Like the terrible one below they did for “The Majesty Demos” re-release”.

“The Majesty Demos 1985-86” covers the initial formation period of Dream Theater, with the songs recorded on a 4 track tape recorder. It was released in 2003 by Ytse Jam records and re-released in 2022 via the Lost Not Forgotten Archives.

In September of 1985, John Petrucci and John Myung met up with Mike Portnoy at the Berklee College Of Music in Boston.

Within the first month of school, the two John’s saw Mike jamming in the practice room and introduced themselves. Besides having a common home base, they had similar tastes in music. They liked progressive, complex music like Rush, Yes, The Dixie Dregs, Frank Zappa and also loved heavy music like Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Metallica and Queensryche.

It was just three college kids jamming and having fun. And it is captured on these recordings.

As Portnoy wrote in the CD booklet;

“the music on this very 1st Edition is the very first music we ever created together.

It is very raw (and sometimes even very embarrassing). The audio quality is usually fair at best. We had very limited recording resources available to us at the time.

In fact, we had only one resource at all; my trusty old Tascam 244 analog 4 track recorder that I received as a high school graduation present from my grandmother”.

None of these songs have even appeared on a proper studio album.

The CD booklet explains the tracks a little bit more. 

Particle E. Motion

At 1.38, a small instrumental that shows Petrucci playing arpeggios over a Myung bass groove.

The title alludes to the key of the song. The CD booklet mentions how it is the first thing they ever recorded on Portnoy’s 4 track, to break it in and figure out how to use the damn thing.

Another Won

This is the instrumental version of the song, with Portnoy, Petrucci and Myung, as Kevin Moore was not in the band at this point in time.

“This is where it all began” states the CD booklet. The first song the power trio wrote together.

Musically, it you like the first Queensryche album, early Maiden and Fates Warning, then you will like this song. The bass of Myung is boss here, with a dominant Steve Harris like sound.

Press play at 3.29 to hear the riff and how Petrucci builds it into a solo.

At 5 minutes in length, it’s a standard heavy metal cut, heavily influenced by Queensryche.

The Saurus

An 80 second instrumental which has Petrucci playing this jazz like chords. It’s almost lounge rock when the lead kicks in. It’s very Al DiMeola like.

Cry for Freedom

This song has not had an official release on any studio album. Musically this is Petrucci, Myung and Portnoy (let’s call em “PMP”) living in their Queensryche meets Rush world. And I like it. It’s very accessible.

It’s also the second song the Berklee boys wrote. The CD booklet mentions how much of a lead instrument the bass was when it was just the three of them.

The School Song

Song number three for the Berklee boys. A song that got left behind, and it has never been played live.

A major key riff kicks off the song, something which Petrucci likes to do a lot and its similar to some of the riffs he has written on studio songs like “Our New World” from “The Astonishing” album and “The Bigger Picture” from their self-titled album.

At 2.31, it has this minor key section which screams Iron Maiden. The CD booklet states the same.

The last few chords to end the song is how “Ytse Jam” starts.

YYZ

A Rush cover. It’s how all acts start out. Playing the songs from our heroes.

Portnoy even plays the keys on this.

It’s perfect and it shows how precise they are.

The CD booklet does state how they would jam, “La Villa Strangiatio”, “The Spirit Of Radio” and this one.

The Farandole

A Talas cover which is classical in nature. Who would have thought that almost 30 years later, Portnoy would be in a power trio combo with Billy Sheehan.

The CD booklet mentions that Talas was Portnoy’s and Myung’s favourite band during this period especially their “Live Speed On Ice” album.

I love reading stuff like this.

Two Far

Original song number 4. 

This is the instrumental version.

Musically its Dream Theater’s version of RushMaidenRyche.

Anti-Procrastination Song

A S.O.D. cover at 13 seconds long. Pointless, but hey, what else can you are young and have a 4 track recorder.

Your Majesty

They are still living in their Queensryche meets Rush world with a bit of Malmsteen chucked in. This is the instrumental version of the song.

It’s more of a straight forward type of song, maybe even commercial sounding.

This track was resurrected and played live in Paris in 2002 as a tribute to all of the French Fan Club members which goes by the Majesty name. A perfect way to honour their dedication to the band.

Tracks 11 to 17 are all little snippets no longer than 20 seconds as they play around with multi-tracking on the 4 track recorder.

The tracks in question are “Solar System Race Song”, “I’m About to Faint Song”, “Mosquitos in Harmony Song”, “John Thinks He’s Randy Song”, “Mike Thinks He’s Dee Dee Ramone Introducing a Song Song”, “John Thinks He’s Yngwie Song” and “Gnos Sdrawkcab”.

Each song starts off with Portnoy yelling the title and then you hear 4 tracks of Petrucci harmonizing. Portnoy makes mention in the CD booklet, “it’s amazing how incredibly tight John can double track his guitar leads and still is a master of that today”.

Now we get to the good bit. 

The rare “Majesty” demo with Chris Collins on vocals. He might have yelled, “Scream For Me Long Beach” while they played live and his stage presence and delivery might have been strained, but he does a pretty good job here to give the songs a unique Tate/Midnight vocal vibe.

The CD booklet mentions how the DT guys had a tape of Chris singing “Queen Of The Ryche” and they were in AWE of how perfectly he could hit those Tate notes (which Portnoy further elaborated, “unfortunately, it turned out that was about all he could do”.)

A friend from Berklee called James Hull also had a Tascam 246 and when they put the two four tracks together, they had a whopping 8 tracks to do a real demo.

They also wrote 3 new songs, the heavy and progressive “March of The Tyrant” and 2 more ballade-esque songs in Vital Star and the 11 minute epic power ballad “A Vision” which Portnoy mentions, has some really beautiful moments, not to mention an AMAZING guitar solo.

Portnoy, Petrucci and Myung recorded their tracks at Berklee. When school finished in May, they joined up with Kevin Moore and Chris Collins back on Long Island and added them to the tracks. Portnoy’s grandmother again came to the rescue and funded the band money to press 1000 cassettes.

And Portnoy mailed em and gave em to people who mattered.

Another Won

The delivery and recording of this is way superior to the instrumental version. The addition of the keys makes each section different.

But my favourite section (like the instrumental) starts around 3.37, when Petrucci starts the riff and then leads into the solo. The solo is even better than what he put down on the instrumental. His fast alternate picked lines are perfect this time around. 

Your Majesty

Myung’s bass sets the groove for everyone to follow. The addition of vocals is welcomed and Collins does a fantastic job.

The Chorus is very arena rock like and some of the vocal highs are ball squeezing.

The outro solo is perfect from Petrucci. Simple, melodic and a perfect way to end the song.

A Vision

My favourite track. A 11 minute metal tour de force. I would have loved to hear this with a proper studio release.

An Em(add9) arpeggio chord starts it all off. It builds until the whole band crashes in and Collins is doing all ohhs and woohs. Collins moves between a Dickinson meets Tate vibe here vocally. He sounds fresh.

The Petrucci solo which starts around the 6.30 mark is essential listening. The way he builds it with all the different techniques he employs is a wow moment. At the 8 minute mark it gets a bit more frantic and Petrucci is wailing, while the band is building with him.

The solo finally ends at 8.49 and I wasn’t bored not a second while it played.

But he wasn’t done. He produces another guitar hero solo to end the song. The chops at the age of 19/20 goes to show how competitive the 80’s era was for guitarists.

Two Far

A Neal Peart inspired drum groove starts off the song, and then it goes into a Malmsteen like riff.

The verses are very busy musically so it is difficult to put a vocal melody over it and while the guys tried, they didn’t really pull it off.

However the Chorus is catchy.

The solo section and the unison lines between the guitars and keys is a sign of things to come.

Vital Star

My next favourite. 

Collins does a good job in bringing this song to life vocally with his Tate like influences.

Musically, it is living in that Queensryche debut album sound except for the solo section which shows some of the progressiveness to come. And the outro solo from Petrucci is another great listen.

March of the Tyrant

The song is a mix of so many styles from the early 80’s. It has that exotic sounding Middle Eastern riff.

It definitely has that Rush element and how Alex Lifeson plays a power chord with the ringing E and B strings (DT does it more aggressively and distorted here), plus a lot more. There are musical elements of early Fates Warning, Megadeth, Metallica, Yngwie Malmsteen, Marillion, Yes and Iron Maiden. 

The solo section is very Holdsworth/Morse like over an Iron Maiden like rhythm section. And I like it.

I’ll end the post with how Portnoy ended his opening in the CD booklet; “I hope you can look past the occasional audio distraction and enjoy a glimpse of where we were at, what we were doing and where we were going.”

Back in 2003, this snapshot back in time was perfect. And I wanted more. Which I got. But that is for another post.

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1976 – Part 5.4: Slade – Nobody’s Fool

“Nobody’s Fools”. Not the Cinderella song, but the sixth studio album by Slade within a 10 year period. It was released in March 1976 and produced by Chas Chandler who was immortalised by his work with Jimi Hendrix on the first three albums.

Slade didn’t exist for me until Quiet Riot covered “Cum On The Feel The Noize” and “Mama Were All Crazee Now”. At the point in time I knew of them, but never listened to them. This would change as the 90’s rolled around and then peer to peer sharing and finally streaming. 

If you expect to hear a balls to the wall rock album then this album is not for you. There is some loud rock, but overall, there is soul, R&B and other popular styles.

Doing this review retrospectively, it’s always cool to read what people said about it at the time it was released. It’s pretty obvious that British fans didn’t like it when their acts tried to break in to the U.S market. When artists normally attempted this, the fans would accuse them of selling out. This happened with Slade. And it didn’t help matters when they band kept saying that they moved to the U.S to rejuvenate and get new ideas as they felt stale in the U.K.

So it’s no surprise that this album is Slade’s first to not reach the UK Top 10, and to drop out of the chart after a chart run of only four weeks. It would be their last album to make a UK chart appearance until the 1980 compilation “Slade Smashes!”.

Meanwhile, the U.S press praised it, but it didn’t translate to the breakthrough they wanted.

But the album stands up today. Its variation is what makes it entertaining.

The album’s cover was created to coincide with the band’s 10th anniversary, showing the band adopting the same positions as they had on the cover for their 1970 album “Play It Loud”.

Slade is Noddy Holder on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Dave Hill on lead guitar, Jim Lea on bass and Don Powell on drums. All tracks are written by Noddy Holder and Jim Lea and the album is produced by Chas Chandler.

Nobody’s Fool

The piano is dominant and its more soul rock than hard rock/glam rock. Think Rod Stewart and “Maggie May”. And I like it especially the Chorus. It’s arena rock and no one can tell me any different.

Lea wanted “Nobody’s Fool” to be a “twenty-minute epic” but that takes balls to do and the only one who had Balls to do songs like that was Jim Steinman and the only one silly enough to perform them was Meatloaf. But with over a 100 million albums sold worldwide, I guess the fools were the labels who rejected them.

Anyway I digress.

Do the Dirty

“Play That Funky Music White Boy” and any riff from Joe Walsh comes to mind when the intro kicks in. Its funky, its dirty sounding and it rocks.

How could the fans not like this song? 

Let’s Call It Quits

It’s bluesy and sleazy. After it became a UK hit, it was served a writ. Allen Toussaint, felt the song was similar to his “Play Something Sweet (Brickyard Blues)”. The case was settled out of court with the band giving Toussaint 50% in song writing royalties, though Lea maintained that he has never heard Toussaint’s version before or since. But the version that everyone knows is from Three Dog Night. And that version came out in 1974, and it got a lot of airplay, so this could be the version that Lea heard. 

To me this is a standard blues track musically and as Keith Richards said, “you can’t copyright the blues”. But in this instance the Chorus vocal melodies do sound similar.

Also when you hear the vocal delivery on this song, you can hear from which vocalist, Kevin DuBrow modelled his vocals on.

Pack Up Your Troubles

Sit around the campfire acoustic country about leaving all your troubles behind and heading into the hills with your liquor and wine. It’s adventurous and I like it.

In for a Penny

It’s very Beatles like. “Penny Lane” and “Eleanor Rigby” come to mind.

It is also the only Slade track to feature the accordion and the guitar playing from Dave Hill is more decorative than riff heavy.

And don’t let the accordion deter you, the song is a psychedelic pop rock masterpiece.

Get On Up

It’s back to their hard rock roots. 

Hearing this today, all I am hearing is how much Kevin DuBrow borrowed from Noddy Holder in vocal tone, phrasings and lyrical rhymes. Then again, Holder borrowed from a lot of others as well and that is how music evolves my friends. We all take from what has come before to create something new. 

L.A. Jinx

I love the clean guitar strummed pattern. Its funky, groovy, and it rocks.

Lyrically the song deals with bad luck the band seemed to suffer whenever they played in Los Angeles like their gear blowing up or getting electric shocks.

Press play to hear the whole interlude section. 

And the star of the song are the vocal melodies from Noddy Holder. Unique and original and still rooted in hard rock territory.

Did Ya Mama Ever Tell Ya

It’s reggae like but with a lot of soul rock thrown in and lyrics that deal with nursery rhymes and a lot of innuendo.

Scratch My Back

Another rock track in similar form to “Get on Up”. 

I’m a Talker

It sounds like another song that I can’t think off right now, but hey, that’s why I love music. This one is acoustic, fast strummed, very folk-rock, campfire like.

All the World Is a Stage

The drum groove sets up this melodic rock track before melodic rock was a thing. It moves between minor key verses and major key choruses.

Since I am listening to this on Spotify, it is the Expanded Edition with Bonus tracks.

Thanks for the Memory (1975 non-album single)

It was a sign of things to come and the sound to come. 

Raining In My Champagne (B-side of “Thanks for the Memory”)

It’s better than the A side in my opinion. Maybe because it sounds like “Twist And Shout” in the Chorus.

Can You Just Imagine (B-side of “In For a Penny”)

A throwback to the sounds of the 60’s.

When the Chips are Down (B-side of “Let’s Call It Quits”)

In the end, this was the album that Slade hoped would break them into the U.S mainstream, instead, this is the album that put Slade out of the mainstream business worldwide, until their 80’s comeback.

But don’t be a fool and ignore it. The band was adventurous and yet they still made it sound like Slade because the songs were written and recorded in between small tours of the U.S with acts like ZZ Top.

And you can hear their blues boogie translate to the grooves here. And at least they learned how to spell properly.

Press play. 

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The Record Vault: Dream Theater – Train Of Thought

Each Dream Theater album had touched on the sounds that I would class as Thrash Metal and Heavy Metal. But on “Train Of Thought” they decided to live in this metal/thrash world. And I liked it.

It begins with an album cover that has Black as its main colour screaming Metal. Then again, Pink Floyd did have a black cover for an album that sold multi millions and it had nothing to do with metal, more like dreamy acid rock.

“Train of Thought” was released on November 11, 2003 through Elektra Records before its parent company Warner Music Group decided to merge Elektra Records with Atlantic Records to become Atlantic Records Group in 2004, only to give the Elektra name a new lease of life in 2009 as an independent entity up until 2018, when WMG relaunched Elektra Music as a stand-alone, staffed music company, with labels like Roadrunner Records, Low Country Sound, Fuelled By Ramen and Black Cement under it.

As I Am

This song is a balls to the wall metal classic.

It starts off with the Black Sabbath riff to kick it off. Yes, it is that Black Sabbath riff.

Then it goes into an “Enter Sandman” like groove for the verses. It gets the foot tapping, and the head banging.

Dream Theater toured with Queensryche in 2003. At this point in time, Queensryche’s commercial zenith was in the past and Dream Theater’s star was still rising. Mike Stone was the guitarist in Queensryche, carrying out the Chris DeGarmo role. And Stone decided he should give John Petrucci tips on playing guitar.

Every time you hear the lyric line “Don’t tell me what’s in, tell me how to write”, just think of Mike Stone giving Petrucci tips.

I like the lead break. It is old school and it burns. There is no rhythm guitar track, just bass, keys and drums. Exactly what EVH did when he soloed on a lot of VH tracks.

Vocally, LaBrie is at his metal best. His voice might strain in the live arena, but in the studio, LaBrie is a master.

This Dying Soul

The feedback from “As I Am” segues into the fast groove metal of “This Dying Soul”.

Here, Mike Portnoy continues his “Twelve-Step Suite”, which started with “The Glass Prison” on “Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence”.

For those who don’t know, “The Glass Prison” has the following sections; “I. Reflection”, “II. Restoration” and “III. Revelation”. “This Dying Soul” has the following sections; “IV. Reflections of Reality (Revisited)” and “V: Release”. All of the sections are steps in the Alcohol Anonymous Recovery program.

After the thrash-a-thon in the intro, the song gives way to a Tool like groove and vocal melody in the verses. And I like it.

There is this “Blackened is the end” vocal melody in “V:Release”. Once you hear it, you will recognise it. I can’t say I am a huge fan of the loud speaker rap like verses, but I do give full marks for incorporating new elements into their music.

And since these songs are part of the same universe they do share some of the lyrics and melodies.

Endless Sacrifice

The acoustic intro.

It can remind you of Pink Floyd or Pantera depending on your listening history. They touched on these kind of melancholic riffs in “Peruvian Skies” from “Falling Into Infinity”.

But, it is the Chorus that brings the energy.

Then at 4.56, all hell breaks loose as they make their way into the solo section of the song. It’s got this “Creeping Death” meets “Disposable Heroes” palm-muted patterns.

For 8 seconds between 6.28 to 6.36 it sounds like it came from a “Tom and Jerry” cartoon.

Check out the harmony section from 8.58 which gets em out of the solo section and into the final part of the song.

Honor Thy Father

My favourite song for the riffs and melodies. It’s a metal tour-de-force.

The subject matter about Mike Portnoy’s stepfather didn’t resonate with me, but man, the riffs and melodies are fantastic.

After the heavy intro, press play to hear the first verse. And how good is the arena rock Chorus.

When the second verse rolls again, the original riff is played with distortion and man, it works so well. But at 3.51. instead of going into the Chorus again, they go into a verse with the riff tweaked a little bit more to make it sound different and unique.

And like all the songs on the album, from the 5 minute mark they go into a lengthy solo section.

Vacant

It’s the shortest song on the album, at 3 minutes long. It’s a haunting piano riff (which sounds like the bass riff to start of “Stream Of Consciousness”), with a little bit of an orchestra and LaBrie’s vocals.

The lyrics to “Vacant” were inspired by James LaBrie’s daughter, who fell into a short coma after suffering a sudden, unexplained seizure three days before her seventh birthday.

Stream of Consciousness

The DT instrumentals always have memorable sections via a lead or a riff. This song is no different especially the first two minutes. Essential listening.

The title had been around for a while in the DT world. 

Of course, the solo from Petrucci is Guitar Hero stuff. Yes, there is flash and some fast picking, but it’s so melodic as well. If you like the playing of people like Steve Morse, Al DiMeola, Steve Vai, Paul Gilbert and Joe Satriani, then you will like what Petrucci does here. 

And at 7.30 that fantastic intro music comes back in, more ferocious with a few little tweaks.

The whole  is the longest instrumental on a Dream Theater studio album to date and was the intended title for Falling Into Infinity.

And one of the YouTube comments on the song still cracks me, “LaBrie never sounded better”.

In the Name of God

The closer at 14.15 about religion and how it indoctrinates people to kill in its name.

The acoustic intro sets the tone, before the distortion crashes in. It’s a slow groove by Portnoy before they pick it up and play it double time.

The verse riff is head banging and it reminds me of “As I Am”. Petrucci drops out and lets Myung roll with it on the bass, while Petrucci switches to decorating.

LaBrie is a monster on the vocals here. Listen to him between 4.46 and 5.30. Throat ripping stuff.

As is the theme of the album, they then go into a long solo section in the middle of the song.  

Press play to hear Petrucci wail between from the 8.40 mark.

The album did exactly what it needed to do. It put them on tour again, it got them into large metal festivals, something which they couldn’t do before and it renewed their fan base with metal heads. 

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The Week (Last Few Months Actually) In Destroyer Of Harmony History – September 21 to October 31


4 Years Ago

FLYING

Patience. I’ve never confirmed it or looked it up, but i was told once it’s a French word meaning “to suffer”.

And the memories of being patient, flying 14 hours from Sydney to Doha and putting up with screaming little kids. Thankfully they were not mine.

And since the flights are so long, I caught up on movies like “War for The Planet Of The Apes”, “The Quiet Place” and “I, Tonya”. Then we wait 5 hours, board another plane from Doha to Berlin, I watched “American Animals” and “Hotel Artemis” and checked out the audio section. And pressed play on “Walk The Earth” from Europe, along with “Firepower” and “Turbo Lover” from Judas Priest.

During this period, the site became a Travel Blog, as I was doing regular updates of my European adventures in Berlin, More Berlin, Estonia, St Petersburg, More St Petersburg, The Norwegian Breakaway, Macedonia, More Macedonia and The Roma People.

After this holiday I was planning to take in more of the Balkans and the parts of Italy and Austria that surround the Adriatic Sea. This was all planned for 2020. We all know how that panned out.

THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS

It’s messed-up when humans experiment on other humans and mess with their lives.

Like when people of influence placed triplets from a single mother into three different families across different states. And in the name of science, they lied to the adopted families when they turned up to observe how the kids were progressing.

If you haven’t seen this documentary, watch it.

UPBRINGINGS

I grew up in a steel city and the plan was the same for everyone. Finish high school, get an apprenticeship at the local steel mill, become a tradesman and work until retirement with a nice little nest egg and a government funded pension.

Maybe that worked out okay once upon a time, but as Dylan said, “the times started changing”. The steel mill that used to employ 25,000 back in the mid-70s now employs less than 700. My Dad worked his whole life there, I haven’t worked not one day there. Then again. I was a misfit falling in and out of jobs.

STEVE VAI and OZZMOSIS

In 1994, Ozzy started jamming with Steve Vai. After writing for a certain period, Bob Daisley was called in. Once rehearsals started, it was pretty obvious that Vai’s style didn’t fit Ozzy’s style. But the Ozzy Camp didn’t fire Vai. They told him that the label was shelving the album.

With Vai gone, Daisley and Castronovo got a phone call a few days after to reconvene with Zakk Wylde on guitar. Daisley then got replaced by Geezer Butler.

Steve Vai’s involvement on the “Ozzmosis” album became limited to co-writing just one song “My Little Man”.

And while the song is credited to Ozzy and Vai, I always had my doubts if Ozzy wrote the lyrics.

So, if Ozzy didn’t write them, who did?

Well, the lyrics came from the great Lemmy Kilmister.

Yep, Lemmy wrote the lyrics about his son Paul. But Ozzy told everyone he wrote the lyrics about his son Jack.

All of the debates about intellectual property and how it’s valuable and how copyright protects the writer. It’s bullshit. The real writer is not even credited.

Copyright is a mess and the Copyright’s for Ozzy’s songs are even messier. Much like how Jake E. Lee and Bob Daisley got shafted for the “Bark At The Moon” album.

DYNAZTY

Dynazty came onto my radar in 2016. Actually I heard of em a few years before but avoided them because of the band name, thinking they would sound like Kiss, and why did they spell it with a ‘Z’.

They exist completely off the mainstream radar screen, doing their thing and building their catalogue of songs. And eventually, people will notice. But it takes time. I’m a fan and I don’t even know who the members are in the band.

How is that possible?

It’s so far removed from the label gatekeeper 80’s/90’s model. But in the new streaming era streams are more important than sales and people are listening. Music is a lifers game. You’re either in it for life or it’s just a passing hobby.

And Dynazty are in it for life.

LIVE AFTER DEATH

It’s the best live album out there and it was my first exposure to Iron Maiden. It’s also a pretty good reason why I didn’t feel the need to buy the first four albums until later on.

At the time I didn’t know it, but the tempo of the songs are just a bit quicker on the live album compared to the recorded versions and I’ve grown to know the songs at those tempos. If you don’t believe me, compare the two “Hallowed Be Thy Name” versions.

And I heard Bruce Dickinson sing the DiAnno era songs first, and because of this I can’t get into the DiAnno versions. But i do like them.

This album is also the reason why I purchased a ticket for each of the two Sydney shows on the “Somewhere Back In Time” tour of 2008.

Maiden did find gold again with the “Rock In Rio” release. Especially the DVD. And on this release, Bruce brought to life songs from the Blaze fronted era.

I also purchased the DVD for “Flight 666” which I rank as Maiden’s third best live album and a great memento for the two nights I watched em perform the same set.

COHEED AND CAMBRIA

“Vaxis – Act I: The Unheavenly Creatures” was the new album in 2018. Another concept album.

My first concept experience was “Operation Mindcrime” from Queensryche, then “The Crimson Idol” from WASP and then “Streets: A Rock Opera” from Savatage. But Coheed take “concept” to another level, with more or less each album except one being part of a concept story called “The Amory Wars”.

Here is my quick summary. There are far more detailed versions out there.

A scientist called Sirius Amory discovers an energy source called “The Keywork” is made up of souls who haven’t transcended. This happens on “The Afterman” album.

Many years later, a person called Wilhelm Ryan starts using the energy of the Keywork to murder and rule. Coheed and Cambria are humanoid robots created to destroy Ryan. Along with a person called Inferno, who also is a robot, they attack Ryan’s fortress and manage to destroy it. Ryan survives, however Coheed and Cambria think he’s dead. Thinking it’s over, their memory is wiped. This happens on “The Year Of The Black Rainbow”.

In “The Second Stage Turbine Blade” Coheed and Cambria get killed and their last surviving son, Claudio, is left to take up the charge. I’m still not sure how humanoid robots have children. But the recent Bladerunner movie also has this story arc.

Claudio finds out that he’s like the chosen one in “In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth”.

In “Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV, Vol. I: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness” there is a character called “The Writer” that starts to mess up the story because he’s going through a relationship break up. It reminds me of the Matrix characters “The Keymaker” merged with “The Architect”.

In “No World For Tomorrow”, Claudio destroys the Keywork and releases the trapped souls. And the new album “Vaxis – Act I: The Unheavenly Creatures” takes place after this event.

OLI HERBET

“Overcome” made All That Remains (ATR) accessible to me, and I’ve been a fan since.

The first track “Before the Damned” started blasting out of my headphones. Musically it’s excellent. While the death metal vocals happen in the verses, the Chorus is Arena Rock.

At 2.04 we get this head banging metal breakdown and the solo begins at 2.09 over that same head banging breakdown riff. The solo is chromatic and diminished, in the same way Randy Rhoads shreds on “Diary of a Madman”. This concludes at 2.19. It sounds dissonant and atonal.

And the main man behind the guitar is Oli Herbert. A great guitar player, founding member of All That Remains and songwriter who passed away at 44.

Rest In Peace.

I’M READY

It’s a track that Oli Herbert (RIP) co-wrote for Dee Snider’s solo album “For The Love Of Metal”. The other writers are Charlie Bellmore, Nicholas Bellmore and Jamey Jasta.

Crank it.

LEARNING MUSIC IN REVERSE

When I hear a song I like, I seek out more songs from the same artist. And I repeat the cycle with different artists. It’s how I got into music. It happened to me in the 80s.

When I heard Motley Crue, Quiet Riot, Van Halen, Twisted Sister, Iron Maiden, Ozzy, Kiss and Judas Priest, I didn’t think for a second that these bands would have had influences.

I never understood the debates over Kingdom Come in the 80’s until well into the 90’s when I started seeking out bands from the 70s and started to pay real attention to Led Zeppelin. Then I had that “ah ha” moment and I understood why Kingdom Come were labelled copycats.

I remember when I first heard Aerosmith and Whitesnake. It was in 1987 and I had no idea these bands had a long history dating back to the Seventies.

The beauty of music. I listen, I get moved by the listening and I start to explore.

THE ONE YOU LOVED IS GONE

What a solo from Slash! Actually, two solos. But it’s the middle one that hooks me. And yeah, it might sound like an Alter Bridge song, but that solo is 100% pure grade Slash.

UTOPIA RECORDS

It had the motto “The Home Of Heavy Metal”.

I’d never seen pictured vinyl before, well Utopia had them. I’d never seen 12-inch singles of metal bands before, well Utopia had them as well. And those yellow and black plastic bags with the logo and branding proved to be a badge of honor. It’s like we got patched into the club the same way bike gangs’ patch in their members.

The first location was in Martin Place from 1978 to 1980 and the second location in Martin Place was from 1980 to 1990. It was this second location that I first visited. From 1990 to 1995, they moved to Clarence Street, Sydney, not too far from the original shop. I waited in line for a Sepultura meet and greet because my cousin Mega was a fan of the band. He took in his battered snare skin for signing. Even Igor the Sepultura drummer, was impressed at the brutality of the snare skin.

Hours would be spent here, and some big decisions would be made as to what to buy between my cousin and me Then as soon as we got back to my cousins house, I would dub the records he purchased, and he would dub the records I purchased.

From 1995 to 2001, they moved to George Street, Sydney next to Hungry Jacks and then from 2001 to 2006 they moved across the road under the cinemas. The bigger Utopia got, the uniqueness culture it created for metal heads got lost.

The last time I walked into Utopia was at an address on Broadway in Sydney. They occupied this store between 2006 to 2010. But during this time, they did things differently by having live bands in store and battle of the band’s contests. They kept it going. They kept the name in the conversation. From 2010, they have been at their Kent Street address, and I haven’t been. But I have purchased items online. And I will return one day, because that’s what us Metal fans do.

PIRACY

Debates and arguments never cease when it comes to Piracy.

I became a fan of a lot of bands because of pirated material. Bands like Trivium, Coheed and Cambria, Shinedown, In Flames, Evergrey, Killswitch Engage, The Night Flight Orchestra and Corroded just to name a few. And I had no qualms paying ticket prices if these bands came to town.

High profile bands from the Eighties also had a renaissance in the 2000’s because of pirated material. Motley Crue, Metallica, Guns N Roses, Iron Maiden, Twisted Sister, Megadeth, Judas Priest, Europe and Whitesnake come to mind immediately. Provided they still wanted to work together. Bands like Skid Row, Ratt, Warrant and Dokken unfortunately missed out because key members hated each other.

It’s a pretty simple business model. Have your music available worldwide for free and people will access it.

All of those bands mentioned above have played cities they’ve never played before and to crowds larger than before. They played these cities without selling any real recorded product in those cities. I can tell you that in Eastern Europe, I did not come across a legitimate music shop. The few shops I did come across (and I use that term loosely) sell rips of albums.

8 Years Ago

ADRIAN VANDENBERG COMPENDIUM

Adrian Vandenberg came to my attention from his tenure in Whitesnake (when he and Vivan Campbell) replaced John Sykes. However, Vandenberg was David Coverdale’s first choice for the lead guitar slot, however Vandenberg turned the gig down to focus on his own band and John Sykes was given the gig instead.

Click on the link in the tile to read my compendium of Adrian Vandenberg classic songs and riffs which covers his projects from 1983 to 2014.

Since then, he has released three Vandenberg’s MoonKings albums with the self-titled debut (2014), “MK II” (2017) and “Rugged and Unplugged” (2018). And then after he was allowed to use his name again as a band name, he released the excellent ‘2020″.

JOHN SYKES COMPENDIUM

Since I was on a Whitesnake journey, click on the link in the tile to read my John Sykes compendium which covers his career from “Tygers Of Pan Tang” all the way to his solo career in the 90’s. But while Adrian Vandenberg re-entered the recorded music market in 2014, John Sykes has been absent since 2001, with only a few YouTube videos appearing in the last 5 years.

HENDRIX AND THE MADNESS OF COPYRIGHT

The music of Jimi Hendirx should be in the Public Domain. When Hendrix wrote the songs, Copyright Law at the time was for a total of 56 years (which involved a 28-year term initially and provided the artist renewed the registration, they would get another 28 years). But laws passed in the 70’s retroactively placed these recordings under new laws which meant, 75 years after death. Basically, it will not enter the public domain for another 20 plus years.

Remember when a Jimi Hendrix Biopic called “Jimi: All Is By My Side” came out and it didn’t have any original music from Hendrix. Well, the Jimi Hendrix Estate denied all attempts to license the music unless they had control over the story line of the movie. The producers felt that this would not gel well with their vision so what the public got was a movie where the actor who plays Hendrix is performing cover songs of other bands.

HYMNS FOR THE BROKEN

Evergrey is one of my favourite bands and you can read my biased review on “Hymns For The Broken”.

VOLBEAT AND RIAA CERTIFICATIONS

Volbeat in 2014 just kept getting RIAA Certifications.

It showed the music business that “Recognition Comes Much Later” for Heavy Metal bands. Volbeat entered the mainstream American market ten years after they formed. It also showed the Heavy Metal community that “Streaming Is Not The Enemy” as Volbeat’s streaming numbers are in the multi-millions for certain songs.

YNGWIE MALMSTEEN

Yngwie Malmsteen released four good albums in “Rising Force” (1984), “Marching Out” (1985), “Trilogy” (1986), “Odyssey” (1988) and two average albums in “Eclipse” (1990) and the big budget “Fire & Ice” (1992).

And here he was in 2014, shooting his mouth off with statements like “no new guitar players” and “no new good music”.

PAUL STANLEY

And Malmsteen was joined by Paul Stanley.

GUITAR HEROES

So I did a post on the new guitar heroes in response to Malmsteen’s comments.

AUSTRALIAN MUSIC AND THE RISE OF THE INDIES

Australian Music is ALWAYS a rich vibrant scene. And it is a scene that is underpinned by independent artists. Financially it is a miserable livelihood however the emotional experience is rewarding. And there is no escaping that Australian Independent artists are some of the hardest working artists around and also the lowest paid members of the Australian workforce. The sad thing is that the elite levels of Government have no idea about the independent artists. Any Government funding goes to the large Industry bodies who don’t really disperse the monies to the artists doing the rounds on the streets.

Independently minded musicians and label owners are the ones that are pushing boundaries in music because they want control over what’s being released, when it’s released, and how it’s released. And they are not afraid to use the major labels when it suits them, but ultimately they’re calling the shots.

For a musician it is an exciting time to be a part of the music scene. Especially if you are an indie.

JUNE 1993

It’s June 1993 and I am flicking through the new issue of Hot Metal Magazine, which at the time was Australia’s premier metal and rock magazine. On the cover there was the John Bush fronted Anthrax.

“The Sound Of White Noise” got 5 skulls in the magazine review, which equates to ‘KILLER’. A few months after its release the album was certified GOLD.

Then you have the bloodbath from the Eighties scene.

Jani Lane (RIP) and Warrant had split and both acts had their contracts reduced to demo deals. Imagine that. You had three albums that had moved 500,000 plus units each, and they ended up on the scrap-heap. Kik Tracee also split with vocalist Stephen Shareaux (bet he wished he tried harder for that Motley Crue vocalist spot) and both of them had been reduced to a demo deal.

Meanwhile Rowan Robertson from “The Lock Up The Wolves” Dio era inked a deal with Atlantic Records for his new band that had Oni Logan from Lynch Mob on vocals. We all know that this didn’t end up going anywhere.

While, Roberston’s former employer, Dio (RIP) was working with WWIII guitarist Tracy G after his “Dehumanizer” venture with Black Sabbath went sour. These sessions would go on to create the “Strange Highways” album while Jake E.Lee was working with WWIII singer (and I use that term loosely) Mandy Lion.

Reports coming through at that time spoke about the new Bruce Dickinson solo album being an “updated, toughened up Santana vibe with a heavy leaning towards Peter Gabriel type atmospherics and experimentation.” That album would become “Balls To Picasso” and apart from the song “Tears Of The Dragon” which sounds like an Iron Maiden song the rest of the album was a listen best avoided.

On the drug front we had David Lee Roth getting busted in New York after purchasing a $10 bag of weed. Seriously, for someone like his stature surely he could have done it more discreetly or gotten that $10 bag delivered to the studio. However, Roth is Roth and he decided that he should go out into the town and look for a dealer. On the other drug front, there was news that started coming out about Tim Kelly (RIP) from Slaughter who was alleged to have been involved in a major drug smuggling ring that was busted after a five-year investigation by the F.B.I.

Then we had the Motley Crue vs Vince Neil shenanigans.

The Vince Neil “Exposed” album got a good review in the magazine. I suppose it was inevitable that the solo album from Vince Neil would sound a lot like Motley Crue, even though NIkki Sixx insisted that Vince Neil had nothing to do with the creation of the songs in Motley Crue or the Motley sound. I think Nikki Sixx missed the memo that the actual voice plays a big part in the sound. Credit music business vet Phil Soussan for delivering a stellar performance in the song writing department that helped kick-start Vince’s solo career.

SEPTEMBER 1991

So I am flicking through an old issue of Guitar World that goes back to September 1991 and there is a D’Addario ad with the title “Young Guns II”. Read the post to find out what happened to these “Young Guns.”

METAL EVOLUTION – GLAM METAL EPISODE

I watched the Metal Evolution Glam Rock, Thrash and Grunge documentaries a few nights ago. When you play “The Trooper” as your intro riff to the series, how can you not like it.

If it wasn’t for “Sonic Temple” from The Cult and “Dr Feelgood” from Motley Crue there would be no such thing as the “Black” sound and the millions of metal bands that the Metallica album spawned.

Franke Banali the drummer from Quiet Riot cracked me up with his assessment of Edward Van Halen “the name sounds like a painter”.

It’s good to see Spencer Proffer get recognition for his idea of trying to find a band to record “Cum On Feel The Noize” from Slade. It was a game changer for Quiet Riot even though they resisted it.

Then you have the big heavy metal day on the 1983 U.S festival. It was a game changer for the LA scene and for metal in general.

John Kalonder was hilarious. When he spoke, I couldn’t stop laughing. He sounded like that baddy voice over dub in the movie “Kung Pow”.

And it was a time of excess. If Tawny Kitaen is to be believed, then the 1987 Whitesnake album cost over $2 million dollars to record and produce.

Dunn’s reporting of the “Guns N Roses Effect” on glam rock spot on. Glam Rock died because it got over saturated with inferior bands, along with Gunners showing up the movement with their nod to Seventies classic rock. When Grunge came along with its nod to 70’s bands and punk rock, it offered an alternative to the clichéd glam rock styles and lyrics.

“Bang you Head.”

And that’s a wrap for stories posted back in October, 4 Years and 8 Years ago. Next up are stories posted in November during the same period.

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

1976 – Part 5.3: Heart – Dreamboat Annie

The debut album from Heart, released in September 1975 for all Canadian music lovers via Mushroom Records. It then got a U.S and international release in 1976.

The band for the album was made up of Ann Wilson on lead vocals, Nancy Wilson on electric and acoustic guitars, Roger Fisher on electric guitars, Howard Leese is on a lot of different instruments, Steve Fossen on bass and Mike Derosier on drums for two songs, with Dave Wilson, Duris Maxwell and Kat Hendriske providing drums on the other tracks.

Mike Flicker is producing. As Heart got bigger so did Flicker’s career.

But the Heart story doesn’t just start in 1975. It goes back almost a decade.

In 1967, bassist Steve Fossen formed the band as The Army, along with Roger Fisher on guitar, Don Wilhelm on guitar/keyboards and lead vocals, and Ray Schaefer on drums.

In 1969, the band went through some line-up changes and took on a new name, Hocus Pocus. Between this period they took on the name “White Heart”.

By 1973, the band was Ann Wilson on vocals, Steve Fossen on bass, Roger Fisher on guitars, Brian Johnstone on drums, and John Hannah on keyboards and they had taken the name Heart.

Ann’s sister Nancy joined circa 73/74 and the sisters quickly established themselves as the main songwriters.

Magic Man

A simple groove and Ann Wilson’s iconic voice. It’s almost psychedelic and progressive.

Dreamboat Annie (Fantasy Child)

It’s a dreamy acoustic arpeggio riff to begin with, before it morphs into some serious acoustic folk rock playing from Nancy Wilson.

Crazy On You

Press play to hear the riff and the infectious vocal melody. This is what Hook City sounds like.

Soul Of The Sea

Another dreamy washy acoustic guitar riff forms the centrepiece. Almost “Albatross” like. The structure of verse and chorus is not here. It feels like verses and various gateways to progressive like movements, more mood and atmospheric like than a million notes per minute.

Dreamboat Annie

Flamenco like acoustic arpeggios are its foundation.

White Lightning And Wine

Its greasy and sleazy blues.

Love Me Like Music (I’ll Be Your Song)

Country folk rock. Even in the title.

Sing Child

Press play to hear the intro riff.

How Deep It Goes

More dreamy/smoking weed acoustic folk rock.

Dreamboat Annie – Reprise

It continues with the dreamy acoustic guitars. Campfire folk rock.

In the end, the standout track here is “Crazy On You”. It’s melodic rock at its best. Then press play on “Magic Man” for its rock groove and vocal melody. If you are still interested, crank the blues rock of “White Lightning and Wine” and finish it off with the dreamy trilogy suite of “Dreamboat Annie” songs.

In Australia, the album went Gold. In Canada in went 2x Platinum and in the U.S it went Platinum.

The success of the album indirectly led to a break between the band and label.

The band tried to renegotiate their royalty rate to be more in keeping with what they thought a platinum band should be earning. Mushroom wasn’t interested so instead of paying the band more in royalties they used the money earned from the band to take out a full-page ad in Rolling Stone, to mock the band, with a special dig to Ann and Nancy Wilson.

Not long after the ad appeared, a radio promoter asked Ann about her lover; he was referring to Nancy, thus implying that the sisters were incestuous lesbian lovers. The encounter infuriated Ann who went back to her hotel and wrote the words to what became one of Heart’s signature songs, “Barracuda”.

The band then signed with Portrait Records.

But Mushroom wasn’t done yet. It’s a big no-no in label land to let an act leave and make money with another label. So Mushroom said that the band was still bound to the contract, which meant they had to deliver two more albums. The band refused and Mushroom released “Magazine” with incomplete tracks, studio outtakes and live material and a disclaimer on the cover in 1977.

The band got a federal injunction to stop distribution of the 1977 edition of “Magazine”. Most of the initial 50,000 pressings were recalled from stores. The court eventually decided that the band could sign with Portrait, however they did owe Mushroom a second album. The band returned to the studio to re-record, remix, edit, and re-sequence the recordings.

“Magazine” was re-released in 1978 and sold a million copies in less than a month.

P.S. 

Mushroom Records went bankrupt by 1980 although an Australian arm of Mushroom did survive well into the 2000’s.

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