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

1986 – Part 4.2: Quiet Riot – QR III

“QR III” or “Quiet Riot III” is actually the fifth studio album from Quiet Riot if you can the “QRI” and “QRII” albums with Randy Rhoads.

It was released in 1986 on Pasha/CBS and it is the last album to feature lead singer Kevin DuBrow until the 1993 album “Terrified” which got a zero skull review in an Australian mag and the word “Terrible” as part of the review.

It’s produced by Spencer Proffer again with John Purdell.

A funny thing was happening in 1986. For some strange reason, artists who had massive sales in 1983 and 1984, struggled to match those sales a few years later.

Twisted Sister had big sales in 1983 and 1984 and they played to half empty venues on the “Come Out And Play” tour in 1985 and by 86, no one really cared about em and by 87 they had broken up.

Judas Priest had declining album sales by 1986, but still proved to be a big drawcard on the live circuit.

Ratt couldn’t match the success of their 1984 debut and by 1986, “Dancing Undercover” was just a blimp on the charts.

And then we have Quiet Riot.

Following the massive success of “Metal Health” and the more modest reception of “Condition Critical”, sales of “QR III” were even lower and it did not achieve any certification.

This Quiet Riot album is also the first album to feature Chuck Wright, formerly of Giuffria, on bass as an official member replacing Rudy Sarzo.

Wright joins Kevin DuBrow, Frankie Banali and Carlos Cavazo.

Before I get into the album, it’s worth mentioning that I never understood the argument put forward about bands rocking less when keyboards are involved. This album has a lot of keys but it still rocks.

Main Attraction

It’s a songwriting committee of Carlos Cavazo, Frankie Banali, Kevin DuBrow, Spencer Proffer, John Purdell and Chuck Wright.

They keys are prominent and the track could be mistaken for a Styx or Toto track.

The Wild and the Young

The song is written by Proffer, Banali, Cavazo, DuBrow and Wright.

Behind “Bang Your Head”, “The Wild and the Young” is the next best original.

The drum groove from Banali starts things off. Then the guitars and the keys play in unison until Cavazo overdubs a memorable little lead.

And the vocals start. While DuBrow is more miss with his lyrics, on this song he’s perfect with his message and delivery.

The music video for the song wasn’t cheap as it shows a dystopian future under control by a totalitarian militarist government and they are trying to round up anyone who is listening to rock music.

Twilight Hotel

Written by Wright, Banali, Cavazo, DuBrow and Proffer. I was drawn to this song immediately because it was different musically.

Down and Dirty

Written by Dubrow, Banali, Cavazo and Wright. It’s written as “Dow And Dirty” on Spotify. It’s typical hard rock and of the times.

Rise or Fall

Written by Dubrow, Banali, Cavazo and Wright.

I dig the opening riff on this. And Cavazo goes to town on the lead break.

Put Up or Shut Up

Written by Dubrow, Banali, Cavazo and Wright.

CC DeVille would have been listening to this as the main riff sounds like something that DeVille tweaked for “Nothin But A Good Time”.

Still of the Night

It’s written by the same songwriting team that wrote “Main Attraction”.

The cut is excellent, a soft rocker but so far removed from the “power ballad” formula.

Bobby Kimball from Toto performs backing vocals on the track, however the “backing” vocals are really cranked up in the Chorus, so it’s safe to say that Kimball was brought in to be the lead vocal there.

Bass Case

It’s an Instrumental written by Wright and all bass. For a minute length, I’m not sure why this is here.

The Pump

Written by Banali, Cavazo, DuBrow and Wright. It’s an attempt to capture “The Stroke” from Billy Squier.

I’m surprised that this song hasn’t been sampled by the rappers as it’s got a lot of good bits in it.

Slave to Love

The mighty Stan Bush is here as a songwriter, along with the committee of Banali, Cavazo, DuBrow, Proffer and Wright.

Musically it’s excellent. It’s almost melodic Metal The melodies are also excellent. Lyrically it’s crap.

Helping Hands

Written by Dubrow, Banali, Cavazo and Wright. It’s an underrated cut with a heavy 70s influence with a killer lead by Cavazo.

While a lot of people were off the QR train by the time this album hit the streets I wasn’t one of em. I was hooked by the music video for “The Wild And The Young” and when I saw the High Syme cover I was happy to part with my money.

Musically it’s a very mature album and an album that’s aged well.

Check out and be wild and young again.

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The Record Vault: Def Leppard – On Through The Night

“On Through The Night” will turn 42 this year.

It’s the debut album from Joe Elliot, Pete Willis, Steve Clark, Rick Savage and Rick Allen, otherwise known as Def Leppard.

I would love to say I purchased this when it came out, but it was after “Adrenalize” that I went back and got this.

Rock Brigade

It brings the standard hard rock blues vibes to the album but it’s got all the glitter from Sweet added to it.

Pete Willis takes the solo spotlight on this.

Look out for the rock brigade is the catch cry and look out we did.

Hello America

After the “hello America” chants, a “Strutter” style beat and feel kicks in.

I like the Beach Boys vibe, especially after the solo section which Steve Clark nails.

Sorrow Is A Woman

Press play to hear the “Stairway To Heaven” inspired lead break.

And how good is that harmony solo section from the 2.40 mark, which leads to the Outro.

It Could Be You

It shows their love of UFO, Mott The Hoople, Sweet and hard rock Queen.

Hell, the song wouldn’t be out of place on a Judas Priest album.

Satellite

Listen to that tasty palm muted arpeggio riff from Steve Clark in the verses after the first Chorus and how good is that “staring up at the sky” section) which shows the adventurous and melodic spirit of the band.

Press play to hear the solo. It’s Pentatonic heaven and the section straight after the lead.

When The Walls Came Tumbling Down

How good is the clean tone intro?

And then it morphs into those galloping style riffs which was a big part of the NWOBHM and something Iron Maiden would use a lot, “The Trooper” comes to mind immediately.

With a Chorus that reminds me of New Wave acts.

Press play to hear the riff after the Chorus at 2.34.

Wasted

What a headbanging riff to kick off the song.

For anyone who wanted to question the metal credentials of Def Leppard, I always pointed them to this song.

Rocks Off

It’s interchangeable with “It Could Be You” with very similar riffs being the main riffs. Then again the whole blues hard rock movement was based on the same riffs being re-used by each individual artist.

It Don’t Matter

It could have come from the fingertips of Michael Schenker as “Rock Bottom” comes to mind. And how good is that Chorus, just a simple, “It don’t matter” line repeated in a simple AC/DC style backing vocal.

Answer To The Master

How good are those harmony leads in the Chorus?

And the song has a little drum solo before it moves into a section that reminds me of U.F.O.

But press play to hear, the lead break courtesy of Clark, with an open string lick before it morphs into the pentatonic lines.

Overture

It’s 7 plus minutes long and it doesn’t feel laboured and boring. At the 2 minute mark it starts to go into a Thin Lizzy style of song, full of energy and harmonies.

But my favourite part is the stop start harmony section from the 4.20 mark and at 4.40, Joe Elliot starts singing a haunting melody, before a wah solo kicks in.

And from here to the end, it’s that good, that the only thing I could do is press repeat.

For all the multi-platinum and Diamond certifications that came afterwards, there is something simple and organic about the debut.

Check it out.

P.S.

Pete Willis will be forgotten in the future when Def Leppard is mentioned and written about, however his songwriting chops and guitar playing on this album is at a high level.

And let’s not forget Steve Clark. Together they formed a formidable guitar team.

Post Def Leppard, check out the excellent band Roadway in which Willis wrote most of the tracks. The album came out in 1991 and it’s a melodic rock gem, a continuation of the work he started with “Pyromania”.

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1986 – Part 4.1: Robert Tepper – No Easy Way Out

If you watched “Rocky IV” in the 80’s, you would have heard it’s melodic rock soundtrack.

At its essence, the “Rocky IV” movie is a combination of music videos segments.

The “Apollo vs Drago” pre fight has 4 minutes devoted to “Living In America”. There are two training scenes, with “Hearts On Fire” and “Training Montage” taking up 8 minutes in total. Then there is the final fight scene, which takes up another 4 minutes.

There is also a scene in the movie, which involves Rocky driving his sports car, with the song “No Easy Way Out” playing and various scenes of Rocky’s time with Apollo flashing before his eyes. It happened at a pivotal time in the time, with Apollo dying in the ring, Rocky then organising a fight against Drago (Apollo’s killer) and Adrian telling him, “you can’t win”.

Close to 30 minutes of a 90 minute movie is devoted to musical scenes.

So it was only a matter of time before an album came out from Robert Tepper.

But before that, another Stallone movie came out in 1986 called “Cobra” which had the song “Angel In The City”, another Tepper cut.

So Tepper had momentum with the soundtrack songs, released the album and nothing. Back when sales was the metric of success, the album stiffed and charted low.

But it doesn’t mean the album is crap. It’s actually very good melodic rock album.

First check out the studio band, as it has some experience.

While Tepper does the vocals, Dan Huff and Guy Marshall play the guitars.

Myron Grombacher is on drums.

Tim Landers on bass and a range of keyboardists in Kim Bullard, Alan Pasqua and Richard Gibbs.

You can Google their names and see their body of work as band members and session musos.
 
Let’s get to the album.

“No Easy Way Out” was released in 1986 by Scotti Brothers Records.

And it’s no surprise, that the album starts off with the two soundtrack songs.

No Easy Way Out

The bass riff to start it off is iconic. The feel of it reminds me of the bass riff in “Living On A Prayer”.

The vocal melody from Tepper is emotive and how good is the outro solo.

There’s no easy way out
There’s no short cut home

Truth right there.

Angel Of The City

The bass groove is simple, yet memorable as it drives the song with the synth chords.

The song will always bring back memories of the”Cobra” movie. Brigitte Nielsen is doing a photo shoot while “The Night Slasher” and his entourage get ready to kill another victim.

Whip it cracks just like thunder
Some survive her, most go under

The lyrics deal with the survival of the 9 to 5 grind by looking for some mythical Angel to save us.

Don’t Walk Away

Another classic. Latin like but with a bit of New Wave and a whole slab of melodic rock. It basically could be on a melodic rock, a Duran Duran album or a Ricky Martin album.

Once we had a purpose
Once, once we had a song
Once the feeling disappears
It’s all gone

Can love ever come back if disappears?

Your Love Hurts

It has this “Purple Rain” vibe which I like.

Press play to hear the synth melody.

Restless World

It’s got this Bruce Springsteen spirit which I like.

A restless spirit
Looking for a chance
In this restless world

Aren’t we all.

Hopeless Romantic

It’s like mid 80s Rush and I like it.

Soul Survivor

It’s a favorite. Very pop rock like.

Check out the arpeggios in the Intro which also reappear in the Chorus.

My soul survivor
Without you, what do I have left
My soul survivor
Cannot make it by myself

Press play to hear the vocal melody in the Chorus. It reminds me of the band Gun.

If That’s What You Call Lovin’

The balladeer career of Michael Bolton would be proud of this one.

The song fits on the album however I’m not a huge fan of songs like these.

Domination

Almost soul funk rock. Mid 80s Rush definitely comes to mind.

After the second album “Modern Madness” (1988), Tepper got put on ice by his label. They weren’t interested to release any new music from him, nor did they want to release him from his contract.

He finally got out of this deal in the mid 90s and his third album came out in 1996.

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The Week In Destroyer Of Harmony History – December 26 to January 8

Well it’s been two weeks since the last DoHh post.

Here we go.

4 Years Ago (2017 going into 2018)

2018 STARTED WITH SOME RANDOM LISTENING

Yngwie Malmsteen’s “Trilogy” album is full of great riffs and leads.

When the U.S record labels went anti shred in the 90’s, the Japanese and South American markets kept his career going.

There is no denying his 80’s output and it’s a shame that a rumoured collaboration with Ronnie James Dio never happened.

Then I moved to “Trash” from Alice Cooper. It’s commercial sounding, but it’s still Alice Cooper singing.

How can it not be good?

The real gems are “Spark In The Dark”, “This Maniac Is In Love With You”, “I’m Your Gun”, “Why Trust You” and “Trash”.

Afterwards, “Operation Mindcrime” from Queensryche got a listen.

It’s loaded with excellent guitar playing and the album gave me a tonne of great riff ideas to use as influences in my own song writing.

“Flesh and Blood” from Poison was next.

“Valley Of Lost Souls” is one hell of a good song and the best on the album.

“Let It Play” could have been on a John Cougar Mellencamp or Bryan Adams album while “Life Goes On” is a good power ballad and CC plays a tasty intro lead. “Come Hell or High Water” is another underrated tune in the vein of the Classic Rock of the 70’s that doesn’t get its dues.

“Ride The Wind” is another sleeper, while “Something To Believe In” copies the “Every Rose Has It’s Thorn” country bluesy vibe, however this time, the piano is the main driver instead of the acoustic guitar.

“Blow My Fuse” from Kix was up next. Now this album is a perfect example of the “progress is derivative model”.

It starts off with “Red Lite, Green Lite, TNT” which sounds very familiar like something from “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”. “Get It While It’s Hot” is heavily influenced by “You Shook Me All Night Long” from AC/DC. Actually it’s very heavily, heavily influenced by that song.

“No Ring Around Rosie” is a beefed up “La Grange” from ZZ Top in the verses. “Don’t Close Your Eyes” is taking its cues from “Home Sweet Home” and “Dream On”. “She Dropped Me The Bomb” is again heavily influenced by AC/DC with a touch of The Who.  “Cold Blood” is a very similar to “Long Way To The Top” from AC/DC in the verses.

“Piece Of The Pie” is very heavily influenced by Aerosmith. “Boomerang” is influenced by Led Zeppelin. “Blow My Fuse” is such a good track where the influences are not as obvious as the other tracks. “Dirty Boys” is influenced by “Let There Be Rock” by AC/DC.

Finally, Winger is up.

The groovy “Can’t Get Enough” kicks off the album.

When “Miles Away” came on, I wasn’t sure if it was Bad English or Def Leppard. It’s one of those slow tempo melodic rock songs. “Easy Come Easy Go” has a cool groove and I dig the horn section in the verses.

The next two songs are two of my favourite songs. “Rainbow In The Rose” and “In The Day We’ll Never See”.

RANDY RHOADS AND THE BLIZZARDS

The project could have been called that.

It all started when Ozzy auditioned Randy in LA. Afterwards they jammed for a few days with Dana Strum and Frankie Banali.

Then Ozzy went back to England and he met with Bob Daisley. Ozzy and Daisley jammed with another guitarist and drummer however Daisley mentioned that they needed better players.

Ozzy mentioned Randy Rhoads, however the label wanted a well-known British guitarist, but no one was interested to join because of Ozzy’s reputation. Gary Moore was Ozzy’s first choice and he rejected the offer to audition. Eventually the label relented and Randy was flown over to London. Rhoads and Daisley started writing music and it worked well. Lee Kerslake came towards the end of the writing process.

Here are some summaries of what I wrote about the songs.

Crazy Train

You can call this song Ozzy’s biggest hit but it never registered on the charts back in the day. But on Spotify and YouTube it’s huge. The new paradigm shows us what is being listened too.

Bob Daisley provided the title while Randy Rhoads had the riff and the chord structure. For the lyrics, Bob Daisley used Ozzy’s vocal melodies and referenced what was happening in 1979/80. The Berlin Wall was still up and the Cold War between the USSR and USA was still going on.

Goodbye To Romance

It was Ozzy’s title and it came from an Everly Brothers song called “Bye Bye Love.”

The lyrics were written by Bob Daisley and the subject matter was Ozzy’s “divorce” from Black Sabbath.

On the “Don’t Blame Me” video, Ozzy mentions he was humming the vocal melody, and Randy heard it and developed the chords around the melody. Ozzy’s revisionist take makes it sound that Bob Daisley was not involved at all in the song writing process, which is obviously not true at all.

CRITICAL MASS

There are always different kinds of audiences.

You have the early adopters, the first to hear about an artist. These early adopters are looking and wanting a different experience than the people who identify as the critical mass market.

Early adopters want something fresh, exciting, new and interesting.

The critical mass market don’t. They want something that is familiar.

Metallica when they started had an audience that adopted them early. Some of those fans stood by them all the way, even when they broke through to the critical mass market in the 90’s and some of those early day fans just moved on to something new and different.

And who should the artist please, the early adopters of their music or the mass market?

Profits are fine as they allow the artist to invest back into their art. But if profit becomes the main aim, well, nothing and no one benefits if profits are the only thing the artist seeks.

And yes, there are routes to popularity which are random or accidental or luck or being in the right place at the right time.

BOB ROCK AND METALLICA

Bob Rock knew exactly what every song needed.

The demo of “Sad But True” (I had a drummer in a band who thought it was called “Sad Patrol”) was heaps quicker. Bob heard a “Kashmir” feel and asked James to slow it down and make it crunchy.

Rock kept telling James to re-write lyrics to songs. He told him to use fewer words in the choruses and to use stronger words. He questioned James on what the song was about. He asked him how the verse lyrics referenced the song message. James didn’t like this line of questioning. If James couldn’t explain it back to Rock, it meant he hadn’t nailed the lyric.

Rock told Lars to take drum lessons and he told James to take singing lessons. He told Kirk to rewrite solos.

And as a side note, in “Get Him To The Greek”, Lars gets told by Russel Brand to “Go sue Napster and your fans”, and unfortunately that is the stigma that will forever stick with Metallica. They got so out of touch with reality that they sued their own fans for sharing their music.

Nicko McBrain sums up piracy in “Flight 666”when he said “We sold out in Costa Rica but haven’t sold an album in this country…”

8 Years Ago (2013 going into 2014)

GRAMMY’S

From when Jethro Tull won the first metal award at the Grammy’s, the whole awards has been a joke for metal and hard rock music.

Having Metallica then win the “Best Metal Performance” in 1990 for “One” and then in 1991 for “Stone Cold Crazy” just added to the Grammy metal jokes.

“One’s” fate was tied with the “…And Justice For All” album and that was meant for the 1989 Grammy ceremony.

And seriously, for the 1991 awards, a cover song was the best that was on offer in the metal world for releases released from October 1989 to September 1990. I don’t think so.

Even in 1999, Metallica won again for “Better Than You”.

For which song, I hear you say.

“Better Than You.”

Does anyone know from which album it was on or how the riff goes or the vocal melody?

I bet that most people will answer NO.

HEADED FOR A HEARTBREAK

Billy Squire made one ridiculous video with a pink top. And just like that an amazing voice, with a catalog of songs was gone.

Winger had Kip Winger. A Playgirl pictorial was too outlandish and as glam music was committing suicide by cloning itself over and over again, Beavis and Butthead came along and trashed the band.

Metallica even threw darts at Kip Winger while they recorded the “Black” album.

But.

“Headed For A Heartbreak” is a hell of a good song.

Winger’s debut didn’t come from out of nowhere. Kip Winger did his time as a songwriter and studio session musician working very closely with Beau Hill who would of course go on to produce the first two Winger albums that went platinum.

Guitarist Reb Beach is a graduate from the esteemed Berklee College of Music. He also did his time in backing bands and studio work, until he met up with Kip Winger and started writing demos.

Drummer Rod Morgenstein was the most experienced. Active since joining jazz fusion legends “The Dixie Dregs” in 1974, he was a very accomplished drummer to bring into the fold.

Keyboard player and back up guitarist Paul Taylor was the x factor. He was the touring keyboardist for Aldo Nova during his “Fantasy” success. He did his time with Alice Cooper’s backing band at the same time with Kip Winger and played on the “Constrictor” and “Raise Your Fist and Yell” albums.

Go on Spotify and check them out. Go on YouTube and check them out. Focus on the music and not on the pretty boy images put out there in the video clips.

DONT KNOW WHAT YOU GOT UNTIL ITS GONE

Andy Johns (RIP) was on deck again to deliver another big sounding album.

Drummer, Fred Coury didn’t even play on the album as Johns just kept on finding timing issues.

The end result is an album which is seen as a blues rock classic that can rival all the best output from seventies bands like Bad Company.

Hearing them again today, it sure brought back a lot of memories. Guess you don’t know what you got until it’s gone.

SEMI – OBSCURE BON JOVI SONGS PART 1

Everyone knows the singles and even some of those songs have now slipped into obscurity but if you dig deep enough you’ll hear some cult classics.

Tracks like;

THE HARDEST PART IS THE NIGHT

From the “7800 Degrees Fahrenheit” album released in 1985.

“Stay alive, the hardest part is the night”

SHOT THROUGH THE HEART

From the debut album released in 1984. “Runaway” took most of the glory as it became a radio staple however “Shot Through The Heart” was the reason I got into Bon Jovi.

It was good to see the song get some concert time during “The Circle” tour.

HOMEBOUND TRAIN

It’s written by Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora and it’s got this heavy blues rock swagger that just connects.

The magic is at the three minute mark when it goes into this Elvis Presley meets James Brown meets Rolling Stones vibe.

The guitar drops out and it is the bass and drums that keep the groove going and Jon does a few voice impersonations, while Sambora keeps it funky and they build up the song again while Jon keeps singing “Here I Come”. The interlude is filled with church organ and harmonica lead breaks.

On “The Circle” tour, “Homebound Train” came back into the mix with Richie Sambora on vocals.

STARTING ALL OVER AGAIN

It’s got this “Rock N Roll Aint Noise Pollution” style intro written by the Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora and Desmond Child song writing team.

THE RADIO SAVED MY LIFE TONIGHT

Another tune written for the “Keep The Faith” album that never made it.

To buy all the music that I liked was expensive, so I always purchased blank cassettes and kept my finger ready on the record button to record the latest song from the radio.

SEMI – OBSCURE BON JOVI SONGS PART 2

RIVER OF LOVE

It never made the “New Jersey” album and it is a tragedy that it didn’t get fleshed out and recorded properly. It’s got a basic foot tapping riff that sticks with you from the outset. For those keen fans, you will hear the riff groove re-used in “Save A Prayer”.

“Pretend we’re in some movie instead of faded jeans”

Listen to the “Raise Your Hands” reference in the interlude. You could write a whole song based on that riff. Wait, they already did.

Progress is derivative.

JUDGEMENT DAY and GROWING UP THE HARD WAY

Both songs begin with that whole “Na Na NaNaNa” in the same vein as “Born To Be My Baby”, “Rosie” and “Hide Your Heart” from Kiss. Both songs also share the same riff. Both songs are written by Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora.

As with “River Of Love” these songs were recorded for the “New Jersey” album and they failed to make the cut. When a band is at their peak, they are able to churn out some great songs. The motivation is there to keep the machine rolling to see if the first round of success can be repeated.

In relation to the three demos mentioned above, I really thought that they would have seen the light of day “officially” when Bon Jovi released “100,000,000 Fans Cant Be Wrong” Box Set.

IF I WAS YOUR MOTHER

Man, this song is heavy and it has got some serious groove.

What a great vocal melody.

I saw them play it live on the “Keep The Faith Tour” and it rocked hard. The subject matter is weak and it hampers the song from being a powerhouse.

LETS MAKE IT BABY

It didn’t make the “New Jersey” album, however the bass line was used again in “Diamond Ring” (which was also originally written for the “New Jersey” album however it was officially released on the “These Days” album.

WEDDING DAY

“Wedding Day” was written for the “These Days” album, however it didn’t make the final cut.

The song is like a sleeper demo hit on YouTube.

Some of the lyrics made it into another Jon Bon Jovi song called “Janie Don’t Take Your Love To Town”.

SEMI – OBSCURE BON JOVI SONGS PART 3

DAMNED

It has a soul like funky blues groove very similar to what Lenny Kravitz was putting out.

“These Days” from 1995 is a very misunderstood album, released in a very confusing time.

Hard/Glam rock as we knew it was dead, Grunge was fading and alternative rock was rising, along with a form of industrial rock/metal.

LOVE IS WAR

Of course it sounds like “You Give Love A Bad Name” because Jon tried really hard to recreate the same vibe and the same kind of hit.

Is that a bad thing?

I’D DIE FOR YOU

“Slippery When Wet” was a monster of an album. And it was easy for other songs to get missed.

It’s got that Judas Priest “Breaking The Law” guitar line.

Did anyone pick up on that?

On YouTube, “I’d Die For You” is a cult hit. The fan’s have taken the song and made their own film clips, lyric videos and so on.

MY GUITAR LIES BLEEDING IN MY ARMS

The title is a take on the George Harrison classic, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”.

ONLY LONELY

The bottom line is this; it is a fan favourite.

THE PRICE OF LOVE

“We live, we learn, we lieFor the price of love”

Aint that the truth.

WITHOUT LOVE

Written by the Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora and Desmond Child song writing team for the Slippery When Wet album.

BURNING FOR LOVE

Sambora goes to town during the lead breaks, showcasing his abilities as a melodic shredder. He never went too over the top, always focusing on enhancing the song, instead of enhancing his ego.

RIVER RUNS DRY

It is a Jon Bon Jovi and Desmond Child composition that begins as a derivative version of Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway To Heaven”.

Remember, progress is derivative.

SAVE A PRAYER

No one knows this song even exist, but they should.

THE BALLAD OF BOB DAISLEY

The music business is tough.

However, what happens when an artist in a position of power and mainstream success, does their best to undermine the work of previous people in their career.

This is what the Osbourne’s are doing to Bob Daisley.

They are trying to re-write history to show that Ozzy Osbourne himself was the main reason why his solo career progressed.

They are omitting important facts that when Randy Rhoads and Bob Daisley signed on, it was always spoken of as a band. They are omitting important facts that the band was actually called Blizzard Of Ozz. They are omitting important facts of Ozzy punching Randy, because Randy didn’t want to do a live covers album of Black Sabbath songs.

Most importantly, they are omitting the main fact, that Bob Daisley served as the lyricist for for six albums.

The sad thing is that if anyone reads the credits to the “Bark At The Moon” album, you will see it listed as “All music and lyrics by Ozzy Osbourne.”

Like, yeah right, Ozzy really churned out all of those riffs.

It is sad at to what level the Osbourne’s stooped at that stage. One more thing, read the book from Ozzy and tell me how many times he mentions Jake E. Lee in the book.

But that is a story for another day.

VITO BRATTA

I did a Top 10 of Bratta killer riffs or moments.

All The Fallen Men

Wait

Love Dont Come Easy

Fight To Survive

Hungry

When The Children Cry

Cry For Freedom

Lady Of The Valley

Little Fighter

Warsong

In the end I had a hard time picking 10 songs for this post as each song that Vito has played on all have unbelievable sections.

BATM SONGWRITING CONTROVERSY

Coming into the “Bark At The Moon” sessions, the Blizzard of Ozz band was finished.

Bob Daisley and Lee Kerslake were fired before “Diary of A Madman” came out and the other driving force, Randy Rhoads died tragically when the plane he was on crashed into a mansion and burst into flames on March 19th, 1982.

Ozzy Osbourne as usual was at his drunken best but he still delivered the “Speak/Talk Of The Devil” album, and by doing so he was free from his Jet Records contract, ready to sign a major label deal with CBS.

Jake E Lee joined during the “Speak of the Devil” tour. Once that tour ended, the song writing process began for the next album.

Most of the writing was done by Lee and Bob Daisley.

“Bark At the Moon” was a title that Ozzy came up with. Jake E. Lee came up with the riffs and Bob Daisley wrote the lyrics.

While Bob Daisley got a buy out for “Bark At The Moon”, it looks like Jake E.Lee got screwed over. There are no royalty checks for the songwriting and no publishing monies either.

COPYRIGHT INC

I just finished watching the Rush documentary, “Beyond The Lighted Stage” and in the documentary, Neal Peart is talking about their “Vapor Trail” tour of South America and how they didn’t know what to expect because they never had big sales there and in the end they played to their biggest ever concert attendance at Sao Paulo.

The Brazil tour took place in November 2002. File sharing started in June 1999. Maybe copyright breaches by fans is not a bad thing.

And that’s another wrap for these last two weeks.

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

2021 – YouTube Listening

I normally go to YouTube to listen to music which isn’t on Spotify.

And one artist always has me going to YouTube and that artist is John James Sykes otherwise known as John Sykes.

We all know that Sykes puts Boston and the Axl led Guns N Roses “Chinese Democracy” album for to shame for gaps between albums.

The last proper full length album that Sykes released was “Nuclear Cowboy” in 2000. Yep, 21 years down and approaching 22.

The “gap” between albums is now old enough to buy alcohol and drive.

But that doesn’t mean Sykes has been dormant.

In 2004, he released a live album called “Bad Boy Live” which is in my Top 10 of live albums. If you haven’t heard it, check it out, as it’s a perfect capture of his Whitesnake, Blue Murder, Sykes and Thin Lizzy days.

And when he appeared with super hyper release Mike Portnoy on Eddie Trunks show, we all thought that if anyone could get Sykes to release an album, it would be Portnoy.

Well that also didn’t happen.

But Sykes was working and writing and songs started to appear on YouTube.

Dawning Of A New Day

It hit YT on 2 Jan 2021. My review of that song is here.

Gates Of Hell

It came out in 2017. Check it out here.

Out Alive

It came out in August 2021. Check it out here.

And the album “Sy-Ops” is scheduled for March 1, 2022.

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

2021 – Spotify Wrapped Summary

I spent 40,275 minutes on Spotify listening to music.

That equals about 671 hours and close to 2 hours of music on the service alone.

And I have a lot of vinyl which also gets listened to, YouTube also gets some of my attention and various CD’s and DVD’s of artists.

In other words, I’m madly in anger with music.

I listened to 86 different genres. But I’ll take that with a big asterisk as Spotify needs to break down musical styles in many little categories so their algorithms can get down low.

And the top 5 are listed as follows:

It’s a pretty common theme that the music is either Rock or Metal. And who comes up with a genre called “Album Rock”.

What does “Album Rock” even mean?

But in the space of 365 days, I listened to 819 different artists.

And I remember in 1988, I purchased 8 albums and copied about 20 other albums from friends onto cassettes. From those albums, some were from the same artists. For example, I purchased “And Justice For All” and dubbed “Kill Em All” from Metallica.

Even if it was 28 different artists, that number is nothing compared to 819. And any new artist trying to make a dent to get peoples attention is up against the history of music on streaming services plus all the new releases that come out each day.

From a podcast point of view, “No Fucking Regrets” from Robb Flynn was my main one.

It’s cool to see a musician doing different things. Apart from the podcast, Robb also does “Electric Hour Fridays” on YouTube/Facebook in which he drinks beer and plays through songs from Machine Head’s catalog along with cover songs. And he does his “General Journal” posts.

My top five artists vis Spotify are Free Spirits Rising, Coheed And Cambria, Daughtry, Disturbed and Dokken.

And that’s the summary of my Spotify Wrapped.

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

2021 – The 50/50 List I’m Still Investing Time In

Sometimes albums don’t capture me in their entirety but there is something there that keeps me going back.

Tremonti – Marching In Time

The debut album, “All I Was” from 2012 caught me by surprise because of its slant towards Classic Heavy Metal and Speed Metal.

“Dust” and “Cauterize” from 2016 and 2015 are my favorite albums, especially the song “Dust”, it’s a masterpiece.

“A Dying Machine” from 2019 brought a concept story to the mix and now we have “Marching In Time”. In between Mark Tremonti also did Alter Bridge, so no one can question his work ethic.

I listened to this a lot the week it came out and while each song has a section or a riff which floors me, I only press “like” on four songs, “A World Away”, “Now And Forever”, “Under The Sun” and “Marching In Time”.

It doesn’t mean the other songs are crap.

Far from it. I just need to find the connection.

KK’s Priest – Sermons Of The Sinner

I heard it once and I was impressed.

KK Downing is still a beast on the guitar and we all know that Tim Ripper Owens has an awesome set of pipes on him and is technically better than a lot of the vocalists doing the rounds including his idols.

Before all the JP fans tear me apart, this isn’t meant to be a slight on Halford at all, it’s just progression that people surpass their idols in technicality. Halford is still the “Metal God”.

I remember a Bruce Dickinson interview in which he said, he was floored when he heard Ian Gillian signing “Child In Time” and he started practicing like crazy in his bedroom to mimic what Gillian did on the recording, without knowing that Gillian’s vocals were dubbed in and recut a lot of times and heavily delayed. But Bruce was doing it all naturally. Progression.

For a bit of backstory, K. K. Downing got the idea of forming KK’s Priest after doing a one-off show billed as MegaPriest in 2019 with David Ellefson (my, my, how far has he fallen since his sex scandal) on Bass. As a band, KK’s Priest is somewhere between a solo project of Downing and a reunion with his former Judas Priest bandmates Tim “Ripper” Owens and Les Binks. However, Binks left the band just before the making of “Sermons of the Sinner” because of health issues.

So joining K.K Downing and Tim “Ripper” Owens is A.J. Mills on Guitars, Tony Newton on Bass and Sean Elg on Drums.

And I was a fan without even hearing a track.

My favourite track from JP is “The Sentinel” and when I saw that the last track is called “Return Of The Sentinel” I was sold. Even though the songs sound nothing alike, the nod to a classic sealed the deal.

Blacktop Mojo – Blacktop Mojo

They won a competition to open up for Bon Jovi who at the time were picking local acts from each city to open for them. Thats how they came to my attention.

And they do a mean cover of “Dream On” from Aerosmith and a drunken YouTube cover of “In The Air Tonight” from Phil Collins.

From Texas, so they have this blues southern rock vibe happening but there’s also a Soundgarden and Alice In Chains vibe as well.

Actually Black Stone Cherry comes to mind here as well.

This is album number 4 and it’s slowly growing on me.

Check it out.

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

Notable Mentions 2021

All of this were close to being in the Top 10 list.

Architects – For Those That Wish To Exist

I’ve heard the name but never really listened.

And they started to come into my life circa 2018 with the “Holy Hell” album, which I liked some songs on, but when “For Those That Wish To Exist” came out in 2021, I was liking a lot more songs.

I was even half way through a review, before I got side tracked with other posts and never went back to finish.

It’s album number 9 which goes to show that artists will never know which album makes a person a fan. They just need to be in the game, a lifer, producing music.

If charts still matter these days, then this album did great business around the world, hitting the number 1 position in Australia and the UK, while achieving Top 10 positions in Austria, Germany, Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland and the Billboard Hard Rock Charts.

While the band was known as a metalcore act when they started out, this album is not. It’s a stadium rock album with elements of all different kinds of metal thrown in and orchestral electronics.

Lord – Undercovers

An Aussie Metal band.

How can you knock back a covers album that has metal re-imaginings of songs like “To the Moon and Back” from Savage Garden, “Message In A Bottle” from The Police, “Playing to Win” from Little River Band/John Farnham. “(I Just) Died in Your Arms” from Cutting Crew, “The Sun Always Shines on TV” from A-ha, “On a Night Like This” from Kylie Minogue, “Break the Ice” from John Farnham, “Send Me an Angel” from Real Life and “Touch the Fire” from Icehouse.

And to top it off there are sizzling metal and rock covers of “Hard to Love” from Harem Scarem, “Reckless” from Judas Priest, “Wild Child” from W.A.S.P and “Runaway” from Bon Jovi.

Plus faithful renditions of “Judas be my Guide” from Iron Maiden, “Of Sins and Shadows” from Symphony X, “Shattered” by Pantera, “Someone’s Crying” and “I Want Out” from Helloween, “Creeping Death” by Metallica, “Silent Jealousy” from X Japan and “The Whisper” from Queensryche.

You can read my review here.

Chevelle – Niratias

Otherwise known as “Nothing Is Real And This Is A Simulation” and it’s one of their best albums in the last 10 years, a concept album that deals with interstellar travel, mistrust in leadership, loss and looking back at the past.

It’s more accessible then some of their previous works, with bigger Chorus’s.

Plus there is some great artwork from Boris Vallejo.

Iron Maiden – Senjetsu

It’s great to have Iron Maiden in our lives. The album is a bit bloated but then again, Maiden from the 2000’s onwards have done things their own way and catered to their own creative muses. Which I respect and still purchase.

You can read my review here.

The End Machine – Phase II

The End Machine is listed as a supergroup consisting of guitar player George Lynch, bass player Jeff Pilson, drummer Mick Brown and singer Robert Mason.

Frontiers basically wanted a Dokken sounding album and with 75% of the band being from Dokken plus a singer who worked with Lynch in Lynch Mob, the possibilities of a Dokken sounding album were high.

The self-titled debut came out in 2019 and in 2021, “Phase 2” came out. The difference here was that Mick Brown vacated his drumming gig due to his retirement and his younger brother, Steve Brown took the spot.

I also had a review partially written on this however other posts took my interest and I never went back to it.

But it did have comments like, “’this song reminds me of <insert Dokken song here>.

For example, “Dark Divide” is “The Hunter”. “Blood And Money” reminds me of “Tooth And Nail”. “Crack The Sky” has this “Stop Fighting Love” meets “It’s Not Love” vibe.

And to tell you the truth, I wouldn’t have it any other way, because while Dokken is on hiatus for new music, The End Machine definitely fills the void and Mason’s pipes are in fine form, while Mr Don is struggling a bit.

So if you like classic Dokken, then do yourself a favour and press play on this.

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

Top 10 – 2021: Part 3

Times Of Grace – Songs Of Loss and Separation

10 years is a long time between albums.

The debut album “The Hymn Of A Broken Man” came out in 2011.

Have I mentioned that Adam Dutkiewicz is a great riff meister?

All different musical roads lead to here. A combination of country, blues, metal and rock.

For those looking about positive messages, this isn’t the album for you. It’s melancholy lyrics and metal like riffage is music to make you crash your car. You can feel the sadness, a pain at the world, society and the various demons within the mind.

It’s gloom and doom, but inspirational as well.

The album title is indicative of the theme. And having gone through loss recently this album is becoming my companion, riding shotgun with me.

So I press repeat.

Free Spirits Rising

An Australian artist who releases a song every 6 weeks or something like that and plays all the instruments.

Its raw sounding hard rock but the music is melodic and catchy even though the vocals can be hit and miss.

Check out songs like “Outside The Lines”, “It’s OK”, “My Destiny” and “It Starts With Me”.

Soen – Imperial

It’s the kind of metal I like.

Soen is a Swedish progressive metal supergroup consisting of various extreme metal musicians. Their debut album “Cognitive” came out in 2012.

It was like hearing Tool and I was all in.

“Tellurian” came out in 2014 but their rise really started with “Lykaia” in 2017 and “Lotus” in 2019. And in 2021, we have “Imperial”.

And this one is more metal and hard rock with some progressive grooves and textures.

Lumerian

How good is the Intro riff?

And the Chorus, so melodic and haunting.

In the middle, the band introduces its main dynamic, which is heard throughout the album, in which they quieten down the song and rebuild it.

Deceiver

It’s almost Disturbed like from the “Believe” album in the Intro.

Monarch

That Intro riff. So heavy and intricate.

The only thing left to do is to listen to it again.

Durbin – The Beast Awakens

James Durbin’s covers of Judas Priest on American Idol got me interested. The YouTube videos got some traction here in Australia.

His debut album released in 2011, “Memories Of A Beautiful Disaster” rocked hard and I was a fan. “Celebrate” in 2014, lost me as it went way to poppy.

Then he hooked up (surprisingly) with Quiet Riot and he made me a fan again with the very underrated and forgotten “Road Rage” album released in 2018. “Space Cowboys” came out a year later but shit was going down in the Quiet Riot camp, as Durbin left the band before the album was released and drummer Frankie Banali was fighting for his life but we didn’t know it at that point in time.

And here we are with Durbin.

Durbin possesses a great vocal range and his prowess on the guitar is evident on this album. As a songwriter, all songs are written by Durbin.

If this is his first entry into the realms of Metal, then I will eagerly await his next.

Check it out.

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Australian Method Series: Jet – Shine On

My first post on Jet was “Shaka Rock”, their third album. Then it was the debut “Get Born”.

And I wrap up their output with their much anticipated second album, “Shine On” released on 30 September 2006, in Australia and on 2–3 October 2006, internationally.

When you Google the album name and review, the Pitchfork review is the first one that Google brings back.

Pitchfork gave the album an 0.0 review and the page had an embedded YouTube video of a monkey peeing in its own mouth. I’m presuming to state it’s a “piss poor” album.

But Aussie’s don’t care about expectations and artists development. We care about fun and Jet just made another fun album rooted in good old fashioned Blues Rock.

Holiday

There’s no way that people can’t like this song.

It has all the trademarks of what Jet is. A hooky riff, dumb lyrics and a fun attitude. There is this small riff between the main riff that reminds me of QOTSA.

Makes no difference what they say
We’re goin’ on holiday

It sounds too good to be true these days. Going on a holiday.

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

If there’s one thing us Aussies like, is a good punt. We’ll bet on anything. But this song isn’t about betting.

It continues the catchy riffs and themes from “Are You Gonna Be My Girl”.

She goes down
Like a setting sun

It leaves little to the imagination.

You can be the sinner and I’ll be the sin

Best lyric in the song.

Bring It On Back

The Beatles (as a byproduct Oasis as well) and Bad Company come to mind here.

For all that you said
Would you take it all back?

Even if it’s taken back, it’s been said and words sting deeper than actions.

That’s All Lies

It’s more Punk Rolling Stones like, in a 12 bar blues sense.

Kings Horses

It’s a country folk rock cut.

In the morning i swear i will tell you the truth
How you receive it, well, that’s up to you

Everyone has their own version of the truth.

Shine On

A tribute to the Cesters’ father, who passed away from cancer while they toured on the “Get Born” album.

Oasis and “Stop Crying Your Heart Out” comes to mind here.

Everything will be okay
We will meet again one day

It’s impossible but people believe it’s possible.

Come On, Come On

It’s very ELO meets Rolling Stones.

If they ask you to stand, well they just want you to kneel

So if you stand based on someone else’s command, then you will kneel when they tell you to kneel.

Stand Up

It’s a basic blues rock song in a Rolling Stones “Sympathy For The Devil” and “Revolution” from The Beatles vibe with the message from the 80s, like “Stand Up And Shout” and “We’re Not Gonna Take It”.

Stand up, you got to live while you can
Stand up, burn up before you fade out
Stand up, don’t you follow the crowd
Stand up, you got to live in the now

Rip It Up

Might as well call it “Wipeout” as it has that 60s Beach feel.

Rip it up, rip it up if your ever gonna make it!

Skin And Bones

It starts off with that “Shooting Star” and “Werewolf In London” riff.

Shiny Magazine

It’s that whole Beatles/Oasis feel.

Eleanor

Strummed acoustics and a campfire “Rubber Soul” feel.

All You Have To Do

And the album ends.

They recorded a shit load of songs for this album and there are so many versions of the album with a lot of bonus tracks and demos.

It didn’t sell anywhere near the debut but that doesn’t mean it’s a crap album.

Check it out.

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