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

Saxon – Nightmare

A simple high hat drum groove and arpeggio riff sets up the groove. According to the gospel of Saxon, a broken heart is a nightmare. Nice play on words.

And a film clip was also created with vocalist, Biff Byford laying on a bed, having a nightmare and stuck within his four walls.

As night closes in, l lay in my bed

Our thoughts within four walls. Who would want to know them and we will never share them?

That my nightmare begins where reality ends

“Take the blue pill or the red pill”, Morpheus said to Neo.

Where were you, I was caught in a nightmare

Our tribal instincts to survive is to be part of a group, hence the reason why we seek out relationships. And when relationships turn bad, and friends pick sides, we are left alone, in a nightmare. Starting over is hard for a lot of people.

The guitar solo is brilliant, starting of subdued and picking up as the song picks back up. Actually, the guitar attack of Graham Oliver and Paul Quinn, isn’t as celebrated as the Thin Lizzy Gorham/Robertson duo or the Maiden Murray/Smith duo or the Def Leppard Collen/Clark duo or Clark/Willis duo but man, these dudes could solo and riff and harmonize their way as good as all of em.

In addition Steve Dawson on bass, holds the foundation along with Nigel Glockler on drums.

And how good is the double bass drum at the end?

Where were you in the night?

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

Driven

It was one of the first tracks finished for the “Test For Echo” album, featuring three separate bass tracks; the main part, the harmony part and the sub bass bottom end, which sound as one massive bass track. If you need any more evidence about the abilities of Geddy Lee, look no further.

Neil Peart also plays a little bit behind the beat which gives the riffs a heavier character.

Driven up and down in circles
Skidding down a road of black ice

You know the saying of “going round in circles” well in this case, the feeling is that we are not achieving anything because someone else is controlling the wheel and we keep coming back to the same point or problem.

But it’s my turn to drive

We need to take the wheel and be in control of our choices and decisions. We need to learn from them, grown with them and take ownership of our choices and actions. There is no one to blame when it’s our turn to drive.

And how the change from distortion to acoustic in this section is soothing before the fuzz kicks in again. Plus the simple chord progression of F, G and Am makes it so accessible.

Driven to the margin of error
Driven to the edge of control
Driven to the margin of terror
Driven to the edge of a deep, dark hole

How driven or ambitious can we be, that we find ourselves driven to the edge of control, or a deep dark hole?

Driven on
By the road to somewhere I’ve never been

A simple meaning of what it means to drive. It offers us the freedom to leave our city limits and go to another city and another.

And these days, technology companies scan between 150 million and 200 million photos of license plates captured by cameras in malls, parking lots, and residential neighborhoods every month, to amass huge information on the data point locations of cars, which they then use to sell to the police.

If the police want to know the whereabouts of a number plate and where that plate had been in the past, this company can tell them.

That’s why we drive on to roads we’ve never been and cameras have never been.

The road unwinds before me
And I go riding on

It’s what we always do, we get up and live and go riding on. And we sacrifice or give up control, a little bit of our freedom each time which brings us back to the first verse and the words of being driven up and down in circles.

And the cycle repeats.

And after the “Test For Echo” tour, the band was put on hold as Neil Peart would see tragedy with the passing of his daughter and a year later, his wife.

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

The Pirate Vault #8

Motley Crue – Girls, Girls, Girls Live in Providence 8-8-1987

I’ve got the bootleg on LP and I couldn’t find any YouTube clips from this concert, but there is one titled Motley Crue – Full Concert – 10/10/87 – Oakland Coliseum Stadium (OFFICIAL) which has the same set list, starting off with the Dave Rose “Stripper” song as the backing tape, but some songs are edited out for some reason.

And “Dancin On Glass” is one of my favourite tracks from the “Girls” album, so it’s cool to see it in the set list and to hear it get the live treatment.

Because it’s a god damn great song and it works perfectly for the live show, with its sleazy groove and blues influenced vocal melodies. The other songs are more or less part of Motley canon and still part of the set list, and the Jack Daniels break is the guys drinking Jack Daniels, basically an early version of Tommy’s tittie cam.

Also on Tommy Lee, he is a very underrated drummer. He holds down the fort, consistent in his tempo’s and every cymbal crash and every drum fill and every ad lib drum fill is on beat.

Extreme – self titled debut
David Lee Roth – Eat Em And Smile

There is so much guitar on this tape, from two giants in Nuno Bettencourt and Steve Vai.

Like Steve Vai’s guitar is having a convo with David Lee Roth in “Yankee Rose”. Nuno’s is supporting an harmonica lead in “Little Girls”.

And both guitarists don’t play stock power chords chords as they decorate each riff with single note scalar progressions, triad chords, hammer ons and pull offs and palm muted arpeggios.

Iron Maiden – self titled debut
Metal Ballads

This tape fell into my possession from a girl who dumped her boyfriend. And since this mix tape was created by her now ex-boyfriend, she didn’t want it. Both sides were metal ballads. I didn’t mind side 2 as it had some cool guitar like Whitesnake with “Restless Heart” and “Is This Love”, Bad English, Firehouse, John Waite and Slaughter.

Side 1 from memory had some ballad Bolton songs which was enough for me to overdub. I actually liked Michael Bolton on his first couple of solo albums, because they are good melodic hard rock albums.

I also don’t know what I was thinking when I used the words Metal and Ballads together. It just doesn’t make sense. I should of merged them, Metallica style, to become Metallads.

Actually that’s even worse now, Metal Lads. What is that?

And I added some WASP tracks at the end of the Maiden album, just to fill up the side.

How good is the intro to “Prowler”?

Led Zeppelin – IV
Led Zeppelin – my selection from Remasters
(and I don’t know why I selected some of the same songs I had on side 1 courtesy of “IV”).

When I was burned out on my 80’s music in the 90’s and I wasn’t really biting the new Seattle sounds as essential listening, Led Zeppelin and hundreds of other 70 acts became my go to sounds.

And I loved the world and the sounds they created because rock music was about trying things. No other artist wrote a song like “Bohemian Rhapsody” or “Kashmir” or “Stairway To Heaven”. Ohh, wait, scratch that last part on “Stairway” as a judge and a jury will decide the Stairway case. The insanity of it all.

And I remember reading the making of “The Wall” and how complicated it was because the band members didn’t speak to each other, and Roger Waters wanted total control and the record label wanted it to have more accessible songs which Pink Floyd refused to do and the record label wanted it out at a certain time, which the band refused to do. And that constant struggle between creating art vs money thrown at the artist continued.

Because the labels were scared to drop an artist who had sales, because there was nothing worse than having an artist you dropped, sell a million records on another label. So they kept em on their label, put up with em and gave in to their demands, because the artist had the power. As Ricky Gervais said in his Golden Globe speech, “he doesn’t care”, the artists had the same motto. They didn’t care, it was all about the sex and the drugs and the sex.

But MTV gave the record labels a lot of power because they created it and controlled it and when music entered the lounge rooms, sales of recorded music went through the roof, which meant a lot of dollars on their profit sheets.

Suddenly, the labels had the power to kill an artist’s career straight away. And Seattle didn’t decimate the hair bands. The record labels did, by signing so many “look a likes” and “sound a likes” that the market reached its saturation point.

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

Saxon – The Power And The Glory

It’s the title track, produced by Jeff Glixman and their last album on Carerre before their “supposably” big money move to EMI Records in 1984.

The album was written during the British Invasion of the Falkland Islands and you hear the aggression in it as it focuses on the life of mercenaries and includes tributes to mans first landing on the moon and “E.T.”

Saxon is all about grit. A working class band that had to keep working hard to remain relevant.

I could never understand why the critics didn’t like it, to be honest. It didn’t get really great reviews. But I like it. “Watching the Skies” is one of my favourites. And the actual title track, “Power and the Glory,” is brilliant to play live, absolutely. One of the best things ever.
Steve Dawson from Saxon

“The Power And The Glory” kicks off the album with a riff that would have influenced Iron Maiden’s “Two Minutes To Midnight” and when the drums come in, its “Dirty Deeds” on steroids.

I’ve actually done a post on the one riff to rule them all. It was a general riff used by many metal and rock bands between 1976 to 1986.

And the verse riff reminds so much of Thin Lizzy, it connects straight away. Its probably why this song is one of my favourite Saxon tracks. All of those little connections to previous bands, all blended up and out comes, Saxon.

I’m fighting for freedom
I’m safe, I’ve got God on my side

It’s what the generals told the soldiers, because they are fighting for freedom, god is on their side, so don’t fear, you will prevail. Yep, tell that to the solider with machine guns from the other side, who also believes the same and is fighting for their own freedom.

The General says we’ll will win the war,
Just sacrificed a thousand more

We commemorate Anzac Day in Australia and if you read Anzac history, you will see how the British Generals sent the soldiers of their Commonwealth countries into battle first. While these young men got cut down by machine gun fire, the Generals watched from afar, safe from all the hell. All in the name of power and glory, for whose god is more divine and for who has more lands and resources under control.

To the power and the glory
Raise your glasses high

Raise your glasses indeed.

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

Test For Echo

Here we go in slow mo

To me, it’s the best Rush song from the 90’s.

The guitar riffs from Alex Lifeson are so easy to digest, powerful, heavy and groovy, even when they are down tuned a whole step.

 “There’s a lot of different stuff on there. I tuned the guitar down a whole step to a D standard tuning. I got a new Les Paul Custom with beautiful sustain, a heavy tone and a compact, but not too small, sound. In the choruses I used a Godin Acousti-Caster, which has a really interesting sound that is at the same time almost acoustic but definitely electric.
Alex Lifeson In Guitar World

Lifeson begins the song with interesting arpeggios. He achieves the unique sounds by combining root five power chords and leaving the 1st and 2nd strings open.

The song works in any style and it could have fitted on any of their earlier albums from “Fly By Night” to “Signals” and it would not have been out of place.

Geddy Lee and Neil Peart lay down a solid foundation, especially in the Chorus, when Lifeson just plays those arpeggios and Lee and Lifeson, set the groove.

Also check out how Peart plays a subdued half time beat in the verses and then starts to pick it up double time. A good drummer could make a simple riff sound fresh by doing just that.

 “I feel like we arrived with this record. There’s a particular feel that I don’t think we had before—a nice groove and a lot of really good Rush songs. I feel like we were all really together on this album. Although we strive for that all the time, it’s not always achievable. The mood was so good in the studio, and we were so unified in direction.”
Alex Lifeson In Guitar World

And of course, no Rush song is complete without the lyrics of Peart, a critique of the American justice system which turns criminals into media stars.

“It’s about the numbing process that happens when we are exposed to great tragedies and then were exposed to moments of hilarity. I feel that that’s the condition of contemporary man now – when we read the paper or when we watch TV, were not sure if were supposed to laugh.”
Geddy Lee

Some kind of trouble on the sensory screen
Camera curves over caved-in cop cars

As technology progressed so did the coverage of real time situations. It’s one of the big reasons people watched the news to begin with, to see what was breaking.

Don’t touch that dial,
We’re in denial

We didn’t touch the dial at all, we just kept upgrading our TVs, giving the TV makers billions of dollars in revenue. Because we loved having all of this entertainment in our houses.

Now crime’s in syndication on TV

Crime and sex always got eyeballs. It didn’t matter the medium. And now with the internet, where everything is available, it feels like we are all so desensitized to it.

Here we go, vertigo
Video vertigo
Test for echo

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

Another Perfect Day

Musically, the “Another Perfect Day” album is excellent.

The problem was MTV and Motorhead just didn’t fit the MTV bill of marketable bands that looked good on video. And Lemmy’s sledgehammer vocals didn’t have the polish and harmonies of the bands getting the MTV airplay. So MTV ignored em and more or less the magazines ignored them.

So Motorhead would be that cult band, forever respected but not as commercially successful as they should have been, especially for their influence.

Lemmy (RIP) is a legend of all legends, the Chuck Norris of the metal world and even a metal element called Lemmium was created (there was a petition to add Lemmium to the periodic element table which failed, but his fans are still trying).

And the man had a way with words. It’s one of the reasons why Sharon Osbourne selected him to write lyrics for Ozzy’s “No More Tears” and “Ozzmosis” album. The lyrics to “Hellraiser”, “Mama I’m Coming Home” and “I Don’t Want To Change The World” are from Lemmy.

So here is a quick snapshot of some of the golden words in each track from “Another Perfect Day”.

One of us is crazy and the other one’s insane
From “Back At The Funny Farm”

There is a difference between crazy and insane, because Lemmy said, one is a choice and the other isn’t.

I really like this jacket but the sleeves are much too long
From “Back At The Funny Farm”

Lemmy’s take on a dinner suit.

But you know I’m a real good lover,
Can’t judge a book by its cover,
Bet ya thought I wouldn’t have no style

From “Shine”

Don’t judge Lemmy based on his looks and appearance. He has all the tools necessary to please.

All you had was a bankroll baby and a glint in your eye
But you know you ran out of money
Wound up on your knees

From “Dancing On Your Grave”

A Lemmy tale for a cold winters night, about Lemmy’s favourite topic, a woman out of money and resorting to a career on her knees to make it through.

Let me hear til the end of time
It’s the only way
Rock’n’roll music gonna stop the world

From “Rock It”

The start instantly reminds me of “Under The Blade” from Twisted Sister. I would have used the words, rock and roll music gonna change the world.

And it was huge. The kids who grew up with it know what an impact rock had on culture.  

One way ticket, one horse town
Two faced women, two black eyes
Three time loser, break the law
From “One Track Mind”

The social lynch mobs would tear this line apart for promoting violence.

What you see is what you get no matter what you say
The truth is only black and white
No shade of grey

From “Another Perfect Day”

The legal profession deals with the grey.

Never rise again, we lost a million friends
From “Marching Off To War”

World War 1 and the end of worlds’ innocence. No holds barred account of war.

Here’s the story, there’s only me
From “I Got Mine”

Damn right, it’s only Lemmy and no one else. How dare that woman not show him any interest?

You’ll find that I’m real bad luck
From “Tales Of Glory”

It’s as heartfelt as Lemmy would get. You’ve been forewarned.

Deal with the misfits, wipe ’em out
From “Die You Bastard”

Lemmy’s take on governments trying to wipe out the rockers. But it looks like the rockers are rising to take out the misfit governments and install further misfits as leader, worse than what cane before.

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

Satellite

It’s from “On Through The Night”, Def Leppard’s first album and written by bassist Rick Savage, guitarists Steve Clark and Pete Willis and singer Joe Elliot.

Judas Priest producer Tom Alton is also behind the controls.

And yes folks, there are two albums before “Pyromania”.

Who would have thought, hey?

In art classes, Joe Elliot used to draw album covers from imaginary bands which didn’t exist. One of those covers had the band name Def Leppard.

Ooh yeah, ooh yeah set your sights on the satellite

A statement of intent.

Don’t worry about setting your goals as high as the sky, let’s go further and go for the satellites in outer space.

And space travel (in the early 80s) was still so unknown back then.

We were in awe of the tech.

It’s got the power, it’s got the strength to steal away your soul

Satellite is an artificial object placed into space to provide a service.

The satellite in this song i always saw as being an metaphor for desire/love but coming from England and being seen as one of the leaders of NWOBHM, the “love” word just didn’t fit with the cultural change.

It’s burning up the sky

Those clean tone arpeggios with melodic vocal lines which made “Photograph” and “Rock Of Ages” huge appeared from the outset, on the debut.

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