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

The Record Vault – Blessed By A Broken Heart

I came across a film clip for the song “Forever”. It got me interested enough, so I found the album online, downloaded it via a cyber-locker, enjoyed it enough, that I purchased it from Amazon’s US store.

I wonder if the Amazon US store purchase counts for a sale in the US or because its posted to Australia, it counts for a sale in the Australian market.

Formed in the early 2000’s, Blessed By A Broken Heart (BBaBH) battled hard, became MySpace superstars, lost all of their original members who gave them the MySpace status and with new members in tow, got a deal with Century Media Records in 2007 with a cross between 80’s hard rock/screamo metal and released “Pedal To The Metal”.

This then led to a bigger deal on Tooth and Nail records and the “Feel The Power” album eventually came out (after many delays) in January, 2012 with a sound further evolved to the 80’s hard rock movement.

Vocalist Tony Gambino departed not long after in July 2012 and by September, 2013 the band was finished with repeated record company legal struggles and lack of support from booking agencies given as reasons.

And for some stupid reason, “Feel The Power” is not available on Spotify Australia, so put that down to a lack of record label support as well and for some other stupid reason, the “Blessed By A Broken Heart” YouTube account has a lot of the videos unavailable in Australia. Dumb and dumber.

So the album.

Its melodic rock all the way. The musicianship is top notch, however their Mad Max look was already taken by the Black Veil Brides.

“Forever” has some Dragonforce like “I’m getting finger cramps” sweeps in the lead break, a melodic rock Chorus that soars like a Journey song and music that reminds me of the “Soldiers Under Command” era of Stryper.

“Rockin All Night” could have come from the “Midnight Madness” album from Night Ranger.

“Shut Up And Rock” has this Whitesnake “Slip Of The Tongue” vibe in the intro but overall it has this NWOBHM feel and lead breaks that make Jeff Watson’s eight finger tapping look amateurish. That one screaming verse, never should have been there. If they kept it melodic, the song is a 10 out 10 for me because that Chorus soars, the music soars and the mastery and performance of each note is perfect.

“I’ve Got You” is a ballad with some great lead guitar work which reminds of Vito Bratta’s work with White Lion and an outro solo which burns like a John Petrucci solo.  

“Deathwish” has this Jake E Lee Ozzy style “Bark At The Moon” era like riff which gets me interested and the Chorus, seals the deal with the lyric, “Mama sold her soul to the devil, traded a kiss for a birthday deathwish, mama sold her soul to the devil, traded her pain for the love of cocaine.” And another lead break which is worthy of guitar hero status.

If you like the above songs, then you will like “Scream Like You Mean It” which reminds me of Journey and “Holdin’ Back For Nothin’” with its Dragonforce like power metal.

Lead guitarist Shred Sean Maier effortlessly shreds as his name states and underpinning it all is the orchestrated backing vocals that remind of Mutt Lange and his work with Def Leppard.

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Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

Artworks

In the era of the classical composers, you had to go to a theatre or a public place to hear music. It wasn’t something which was portable or sellable or something transmitted into the homes of people.

With our advancements in technology, we got radio. But apart from playing music inside the studio and having it beemed live, there still wasn’t a way to capture/record music properly. The invention of electricity, the magnetic tape and vinyl phonographs between 1900 and 1950’s made it all possible, and all of this came to fruition in the 60’s and a whole new recording business was formed.

And we got Rock and Roll, which was basically an extension of the Blues and this lead to what would become Heavy Metal.

Heavy Metal, came at a time when society was still disciplined to believe in their religious leaders and their government elected officials. And Metal questioned these beliefs and highlighted the divides between the haves and have nots.

The biggest Christian band ever “Black Sabbath” was labelled as satanic because they sang about mental illness, the sweet leaf, the white stuff that leaves you snow-blind, the nuclear arms race that condemns all of the children to the grave and they used the realms of infinite space as a form of escapism. But their biggest crime was to question authority and when authority is questioned, authorities need to make someone as the bad guy and themselves as the good guy.

And this opposition to heavy metal has continued throughout its history. And on occasions, heavy metal even opposed itself and did itself no favours, like the black metal movement in Norway, the Church burnings, the stabbings amongst certain groups. But despite all of this, metal has kept its fan base, all of those misfits and outcasts, who actually came from blue collared middle class suburban families who gave their kids enough freedom to explore and find themselves.

And metal music brought forth a certain musicianship that other artists and genres didn’t have. But the biggest impact that heavy metal music made on music is the album cover art.

If you don’t believe me, check out the covers of artists before heavy metal and hard rock captured the zeitgeist.

No one can forget the iconic Iron Maiden album covers.

But if you even go back to the 70’s and the first Black Sabbath album, with its scary matte cover of a pale lady standing in a field in front of a house that looks scary and compare that to covers that other artists produced that year, you’ll understand what I mean.

Artists (painters and graphic designers) suddenly had a new way to get paid as rock and metal artists called upon their services. Then other genres started to call up these artists.

As a metalhead, I feel it’s pulse and I live its lifestyle every single day of my life. When I need to talk to someone I do, when I need to say no, I do, when I need to kick back, I do. And when I want to appreciate art I will pull out a cover and enjoy it.

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A to Z of Making It, Music, My Stories

What Does A Number 1 Album Really Buy You?

Artists who really want a number 1 album play the bundle game, where the artists have to pay money from their concert ticket sales to get to number one.

This process just ends up putting more money in the label’s bank accounts, and these album bundle sales only count if the fan clicks for the digital album, and less than 50% do it because they either already have it or they don’t want it in a digital download, because they are still physical purchasers or have moved to streaming.

If your goal is to impress people in the media who matter less, then a number 1 album works because i see it every day, how the normal music news sites write about it and other websites repeat it.

And how many times an album debuts at number one and then drops off the chart within a month to two months. Goes to show how important those charts really are these days.

And then you have the streaming kerfuffle of artists asking kids to play certain tracks a million plus times so old records from artists who are one hit wonders start to re-enter the chart. Vanilla Ice did this recently.

This system has built careers in the past but a new act can’t even play that game and if you have aspirations to be in Spotify’s Top 50, don’t. It’s irrelevant and a manipulated niche with a young audience listening, who moves on as quickly as you can say the word “what the”.

But if you top the streaming chart, you can make real money.

But (x2), if you get there with the devil (major label) backing you, well that deal at the crossroads means you need to pay.

But (x3), if you go your own way the same way Fleetwood Mac told ya and own everything, well you can make all that money every musician is complaining they haven’t got.

But (x4), the barrier to enter the music market is low and anybody can make a record. There are over 20 million plus songs on Spotify that still haven’t even been heard.

And people will pay attention when they want to. You just need to be in the game to capitalize on it.

P.S. Remember that Black Sabbath never had their 70s albums or Dio led albums go to number 1.

P.S.S. And a lot of other bands fall into that category as well.

P.S.S.S. Like Whitesnake, who never had an album go to Number 1 in the large US market or Twisted Sister or RATT or KISS or RUSH or Iron Maiden.

P.S.S.S.S. But they all had massive careers.

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

The Record Vault – The Black Crowes

Prior to “Three Snakes And One Charm”, my only other Black Crowes purchase that I had in my possession was the “Remedy” single. And I still don’t know what happened to the debut album LP I had. 

Three Snakes And One Charm

Released in 1996, but I picked this one up recently at a music record fair. In saying that, I do have the pre 2000’s Black Crowes albums on mp3, obtained via TPB.

And sometimes depending on moods and feel and how your life is, certain tracks appeal more than others. On this album, it’s the more mellow tracks that connected with me.

“Girl From A Pawnshop” stood out, about a long lost love affair and it’s got some great musical movements and lead breaks which makes me want to pick up the guitar and learn.

“I never lost your number I never lost your address and if we remain friends at best sometime later no, no not yet, we’ll smile and remember it like this”

Let it be and remember it for what it was.

“How Much For Your Wings?” has a Led Zep acoustic feel from their “III” album.

And they put on one of the best jam driven rock and roll shows I have ever seen when they toured Australia in 2008. Rich Robinson was the sheriff in town that night, as he directed the band into extended jams of certain songs with a nod of his head and he directed them out of these jams with another nod of his head and a dropped shoulder. So cool to watch and experience.

And that’s my Black Crowes collection. A single, an album, a concert ticket and an awesome memory of them jamming and commanding the stage.

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

The Record Vault – Bush

I was a bit late to the Bush party. It took the single “Comedown” to get me to pay attention and then “Glycerine” came out and I was “yep I like it and I will purchase the album on my next outing”, but that didn’t transpire as I kept pushing the album out of my purchase list in lieu of hard rock and metal bands. Then “Machinehead” came out as a single and I committed financially.

Sixteen Stone

The album came out towards the end of 1994, but it was in 1995 that it started to get people’s attention and for me, it was around May/June 1996 that I committed financially.

The picture you see is not the original. I gave the CD to a friend circa 2001, who then claimed that he lost it, and then gave me back a copy, with the cover printed on an inkjet printer and the CD burned onto a blank disc. I gave him the benefit of the doubt until many years later, other friends told me, he did the same to them, so the prick was scamming us.

As soon as the “Rockin In A Free World” vibe of “Everything Zen” kicked in, I was very interested. And then a bit lost with “Swim” and “Bomb” and “Little Things” brought it back into focus with its “Smell Like Teens Spirit” vibe merged with a Tom Petty “Free Fallin” vibe.

But the piece d resistance is “Comedown” with its bass riff which reminds me of the “You Give Love A Bad Name” verse riff. And Grunge purists are probably gagging at the thought of this, but yes, the riffs are very similar.

And there is no escaping the power of “Machinehead”. The intro riff octaves, along with the power chords crashing all over the place is perfect.

“Breathe in, breathe out” and the way its sung, with a loudspeaker/telephone vibe, captures the frenetic pace of life, and how we don’t have enough time to take a breath.

And I realised that the accessible singles of the album, got me interested, sort of like how the accessible singles of hard rock bands got people interested who would otherwise enjoy other musical styles.

And with this debut, Gavin Rossdale showed he is a force to be reckoned with as a songwriter.

Razorblade Suitcase

The cassette was in a 3 for $10 bin, so it was a no brainer. I didn’t get it when it came out in 1996, but circa 1998.

“Swallowed” is the lead single, and it followed a “Live (band) vibe”. “Greedy Fly” is basically an artist writing a song, without a thought of it being a hit. And somehow it gets released as a single and it’s seen as a hit.

“Cold Contagious” has a cool drum groove, with the guitars decorating the song in a nice way, as Rossdale is singing, “you will get yours” with the volume and intensity increasing. And at six minutes long, it’s the anti-single, but it still got released as a single.

And like “Sixteen Stone”, it was the accessible singles of the album that got me interested again. Then the band lost me with an electronic remix album and I’ve never really checked out anything afterwards, however friends have told me that “The Science Of Things” is worthy.

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A to Z of Making It, Music, My Stories, Stupidity

Personality Era

Its the era of the personality, those who’ve been in the game for decades seem to have the perfect forum to broadcast.

To spread their viewpoints or criticisms.

So many play it safe and try hard to be liked by all. Others have handlers or social media teams to run their accounts.

But the ones who have control of their accounts, the ones who are true to themselves and their beliefs, and stand by what they say, will be the ones we talk about.

Because these personalities can enact change. Only if they are willing to be uncomfortable and put themselves out there.

“We are all just actors trying to control and manage our public image, we act based on how others might see us.”

Erving Goffman, a Canadian sociologist came up with the above quote from one of his studies, and he’s been dead since 1982. So the social conditioning of being liked in the pre-Internet era existed and got amplified with social media.

It’s not about likes, it’s about having a voice.

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Copyright, Music, My Stories

How Valuable Are Things?

I just helped my in laws move a lot of stuff out of a storage facility and into their new house. They’ve had their stuff in storage since Feb, 2013. Over 6 years.

And guess what happened when we started to move their stuff out of storage.

Most of it went to the rubbish tip. I threw a tonne out for $390 in tipping fees

So I was curious as to how much my in-laws would have paid for storage over these six years and I almost drowned on the water I was drinking when they told me $33K.

$33K to store things which they thought as valuable years ago and it ended up in the tip.

I said to em, “you know how nice you could have fitted out your house with new furniture for $33K.”

Would you pay $33K to store stuff?

I wouldn’t.

I’m either a seller or a giver to the local charity or a tipper. The only thing I’ve moved from each house move has been my record collection.

And it got me thinking about my record collection (Vinyl, CD and Cassettes). I saw them once as valuable. I had all of it under lock and key in an alarmed room, once upon a time.

These days, I don’t have them secure at all. While I still love listening to the music, having the record in hand doesn’t have the same feeling as it once did. Maybe because my eyes can’t see the lyrics anymore, especially when they are tiny. I still collect them because I am a collector, but in the end what’s the point, I’m thinking.

My Dad has a pretty massive record collection and after he got his stroke and faced death in the face, his priorities became very different.

In the end, value is in the eye of the beholder. What I see as valuable, another person won’t. And I remember reading an article about how Elvis memorabilia has gone down in value because people who normally buy it, are dead or they have enough of it, which they are also trying to sell.

So how valuable will our collections and the artists works be in 40 years time?

That’s why the Copyright Corporations like the record labels are trying to lock up the rights of creators works for their whole life plus 70 years after death (and they are trying to get laws passed to make it 90 years after death).

Because there will be value to some.

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