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

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.

Standard
A to Z of Making It, Copyright, Derivative Works, Music, My Stories, Piracy, Stupidity, Treating Fans Like Shit

The Week In Destroyer Of Harmony History – November 7 to November 13

4 Years Ago (2017)

DIARY OF A MADMAN

Back in the 80’s, when songs from the 60’s and early 70’s used to come on the radio, I used to say, “really, play something more current.”

They sounded old.

Fast forward to today and all I play is old tunes. Actually 70 percent of the music I listen to is pre 1995.

More specifically; 1980 to 1992.

It’s hard to believe that “Diary Of A Madman” is 40 years old. 

Like the “Blizzard” album before it, “Diary” is a listening experience from start to end.

And because of my addiction to the “Tribute” album, I was blown away by the depth of material on “Diary” that didn’t appear on the live album, like “Over The Mountain”, “SATO”, “You Can’t Kill Rock N Roll”, “Tonight” and the unbelievable title track.

To top it off, it clocks in at 43 minutes which meant back in the 80’s I could dub it one side of a 45 cassette tape and the other side I could devote to the “Blizzard” album.

Check it out.

RELEASE DAY FRIDAY

Back in 2017, during this week I was listening g to;

Sweet And Lynch – Unified

Babylon A.D – Revelation Highway

Shakra – Snakes & Ladders

These three artists had my attention back then. Tomorrow it would have been someone else. They might come back at another time and get my attention. Maybe they won’t.

But if they are not releasing new product on a regular basis, they become forgotten.

So heading towards the end of 2021;

Sweet And Lynch are reading a new album.

Babylon A.D haven’t released any new music since 2017.

Shakra released “Mad World” in 2020 which I missed and they dropped a new single this year which I also missed.

8 Years Ago (2013)

WHO IS THE STAR (The Band Name Or The Personnel In The Band)?

When Metallica started on the scene, I dont recall anyone walking around saying that they got into Metallica because James Hetfield was such a cool cat or Lars Ulrich was the man.

People get into a band for multiple different reasons.

Like being a fan of genre and looking for similar artists of that genre or the songs connected or the album cover connected or the artist was getting a lot of word of mouth and people wanted to be part of the conversation and so on.

Of course some outliers do exist and some people become a cultural influence that transcends their music. In other words, they become institutions themselves like Ozzy.

Slash also comes to mind but it took him almost 14 years from when he left Gunners to re-establish and re-brand himself as a force to be reckoned with.

But he’s back with Gunners.

Because the band name is the star and it always will be.

That is why Axl Rose went all legal to claim the name.

That is why Tommy Lee returned to Motley Crue.

That is why James Hetfield returned to Metallica after rehab. That is why Lars Ulrich never contemplated anything else except Metallica during this period.

That is why Dave Mustaine resurrected Megadeth after he disbanded the band towards the end of the 90s.

That is why David Coverdale resurrected Whitesnake after he disbanded it.

That is why Dimebag didn’t want Pantera to end. He knew that Pantera was the star.

That is why David Lee Roth worked with Van Halen again. That is why Sammy Hagar wanted to work with Van Halen again.

That is why Alex Skolnick returned to Testament.

That is why there was a fight over who owns the right to the Queensryche name.

That is why Dave Gilmour and Roger Waters went all legal for the Pink Floyd name and the rights to “The Wall”.

That is why Benjamin Burnley went all legal for the right to use the Breaking Benjamin name.

That is why Bruce Dickinson and Adrian Smith returned to Iron Maiden.

That is why Rob Halford returned to Judas Priest.

That is why Black Sabbath reformed with three of the original members and released ’13’.

That is why bands like Ratt, Quiet Riot, Dokken, Poison and Skid Row are still continuing with very different line ups and in some cases no original members.

To finish off with the immortal words of Ronnie James Dio “And on and on and on and on it goes….”

COPYRIGHT

For all artists that sign record deals remember this. The label owns your copyright.

And guess what the labels are pushing for.

Even longer copyright terms. Because their is value in copyrights for the corporate entity holding it.

GREED

Greed from the major record labels could end up killing streaming services.

Back in 2013, musicians from Sweden were threatening to sue major labels Universal Music and Warner Music over streaming royalties.

These artists had identified that the problem lies with the major record labels rather than the streaming service and they took action to get royalty rates that better reflect the costs involved in digital production and distribution.

Even the UK Government did a review of streaming paymnets in 2020 and found that the labels are at fault.

Spotify is just one streaming service and they pay 70% of its revenues to music rights holders. Apple is similar and Tidal as well.

And Spotify, as at 2020 has paid $23 billion to the rights holders. When you add the numbers from the other streaming services, it’s a prettty massive profit the labels are making.

Once upon a time, the artists had the power.

Then in the Eighties, the labels stole it back. With the rise in revenue due to the CD, it made the labels mega rich powerhouses.

Well it’s time for the artists to take back the power. Basically the labels without any artists are worth nothing.

But there’s a new player in town. Hedge Funds and Investment firms. And they have cash and artists are cashing in.

TIME

It’s 1992.

The labels are signing Seattle bands, left, right and centre while at the same time they are dropping hard rock and heavy metal bands left, right and centre. This is the power the label had. Not only could they make an artist famous, they could also destroy an artist.

Because the labels controlled all the points of distribution.

But in 2013, things had changed dramatically.

But the power is still with the major record labels. They gathered enough of it during the Eighties and Nineties to be a force to be reckoned. Then in the Two Thousands the massive mergers and takeovers happened, further enhancing the power of the labels. Then in order to allow digital start-ups, the labels did one of three things; charge high licensing fees or litigate the start-up to bankruptcy or negotiate a large ownership stake in the start-up.

So even though the internet has lowered the barriers of entry, without the money and power of the label behind the artists, there is a pretty good chance, the artist would probably go unnoticed.

One thing is certain in 2013.

We move on fast.

Look at the Top 10 lists of pirated movies that TorrentFreak publish each week. It’s always changing and very rare for the same movie to be at number one spot for two weeks in a row.

Look at the Top 10 of the streaming Charts published by each country. The artists in the list are always changing.

And that’s another wrap for another week.

Standard
A to Z of Making It, Copyright, Music, My Stories, Piracy

The Week In Destroyer Of Harmony History – October 17 to October 23

4 Years Ago (2017)

METAL T-SHIRTS

My then five year old had to draw his family in kindy class. In the drawing he had me drawn with a black T-shirt and black shorts.

When they say “Take the Black” in “Game of Thrones”, a metal/rock head says, “pffft, we’ve already done that”.

All though I’ve morphed to plain black tees as I have gotten older, I still break out the metal and rock t-shirts now and then.

When I first got together with my wife, I had a Posion T-Shirt with the sleeves cut off and she had dance music playing in the car.

I asked her if she had anything else.

The answer was no.

I asked her if she would be okay if I introduced some new music in the car.

She said okay.

The next day, I had the rock and metal mix tapes ready for indoctrination.

At first it was the more commercial sounding rock and metal.

Secretly the dance tapes ended up in a draw in my room. It was many years later that she asked what happened to those tapes.

\::/

ALBUMS

I started this post with “Just put out the damn album”.

When we laid out cash for the 10 to 15 albums we used to buy a year, we had time to digest and live with the music for a long time so we were okay with the lead up.

But.

The 8 week lead up to the release is too much these days especially when the LP run could be over in a month after it’s released.

That’s right.

That’s how fast new albums disappear from the conversation in the current environment.

The first week sales that might look great on paper are irrelevant.

Check the second week streaming numbers. Then the third, then the fourth and so on. Those numbers will show you if the fans care for the music or if only the press (that the marketing team has paid to promote your product) cares.

And people will complain about streaming revenue and how it doesn’t pay enough. Control your rights, have a song that people connect with and you will be paid well and forever.

If investment firms are cashing in, it’s because streaming pays. But it pays the organization who controls the rights.

YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music and all the rest will pay forever.

Isn’t that better than the one off transaction between the record store and the fan?

That fan could have purchased the album, taken it home, played it once and traded it.

Maybe that fan played the album a million times. But the artist wouldn’t know that behaviour. 

Data tells us what’s hot and what’s not. And like it or not, it’s always been about the hits. To me a hit isn’t the song that takes the number 1 slot on a chart.

“Fear Of The Dark” or “Hallowed Be Thy Name” or “Creeping Death” or “Fade To Black” or “Master Of Puppets” didn’t set the charts alight but the fans made those songs hit’s. Convert staples.

We don’t live in 1989, where mediocre stuff on the radio gets some traction because of the marketing/hype dollars invested into the promotion. We live in the era of connectivity and virality and hits and streaming that pays forever.

But artists need to release a continuous stream of product to win.

TRIBUTE

It’s my bible.

I played the cassette tape to death trying to learn every riff and lick. And when I couldn’t pick it all up, I shelled out $50 on Wolf Marshal’s transcription of the “Tribute” album and I spent a lot of hours woodshedding to it.

Even though Ozzy re-cut his vocals for the release there is no denying Randy Rhoads and his love for his instrument. The way he re-imagines his multi-layered guitar riffs from the studio versions and turns it all into one definitive guitar cut is brilliant. For any guitarist, new or old, this is it. It gets no better than this.

“Mr Crowley” was the first song I got stuck into. It has two shred leads and the way Randy combined those guitar lines into one definitive track for the “was he polemically” section is brilliant. And the outro lead is just one of those songs within a song lead breaks.

“Revelation (Mother Earth)” has a finger picked part at the start which is breathtaking, the interlude is subdued and relaxing but that outro is breathless. And the live tempo is much better than the studio tempo. 

“Children Of The Grave” was the next song I tried to learn after “Mr Crowley”. I love the way Randy plays the C#m riff on the 4th fret on the 5th string. That’s how I learned this song. It wasn’t until many years later I heard the Sabbath version and Iommi is down tuned to C#.

I must say, I love the tempo of this live version.

And that outro improv lead is brilliant especially when Randy starts to reference Ace ala “Love Gun”.

When I think of “Children Of The Grave”, I think of this.

“Goodbye To Romance” is the piece d’resistance in guitar playing. The jazz like chords in the verses, the arpeggio chorus riff and that guitar solo.

These day’s guitarists can do unbelievable and very advanced things on the guitar but do they have the song sense of Randy Rhoads.

JACK BLACK

My kids back then had been watching “School Of Rock” and “The Pick Of Destiny” on and off, so i did a \::/ salute to Jack Black for spreading his love of rock and heavy metal to the masses.

Because the movies capture what rock and roll is all about;

  • going against the grain, 
  • breaking rules set by the institutions/parents and having fun along the way. 

Let’s make sure it will never be forgotten. 

MY NINTH POST ON THE YEAR THAT WAS 1983

“Back To Mystery City” by Hanoi Rocks was covered. It’s unfortunate that most people know of Hanoi Rocks because of drummer Nicholas “Razzle” Dingley’s death due to being drunkenly driven by Mötley Crüe’s Vince Neil.

All death is tragic. And I remember reading an interview (I think it was in Faces) that if Razzle’s didn’t join in 1982, the band probably would have broken up. And then his death in 1985 ended the band.

“Speaking in Tongues” by Talking Heads is mentioned. “Burning Down the House” sold the album. It was everywhere. One of my hard rock bands in the 90’s even covered the song in a rock context.

“Streets” was the creative musical outlet for Steve Walsh in between his departure from Kansas.

The debut LP was released in 1983 on Atlantic Records. The deal was negotiatied with one manager and destroyed by their next manager after he argued with the President of Atlantic Records, Doug Morris.

So Atlantic just released the albums with no promo and if they stuck, good. But they didn’t stick. And they never released the albums on CD while they controlled the rights.

Steve Walsh even got a lawyer to get the albums back from Atlantic and Rock Candy re-released the Streets albums recently.

So before people beat up streaming, they need to understand how it was back then and the monopoly the labels had to kill or break a career.

The Eric Martin Band released a great melodic rock album called “Sucker for a Pretty Face”.

And I still don’t understand how “Burning” from Shooting Star wasn’t a big hit.

Maybe because they were on Virgin Records, a label known for new wave and running low on funds, so when a rock album landed in their laps they had no idea how to promote.

But the truth is that the bands first managers were stealing from em, so the band fired em.

And because these managers used to work as record promotion guys, they blacklisted the band to the radio stations.

Meatloaf released “Midnight At The Lost and Found” but it was lost as “Bat Out Of Hell” was still selling like it was a new release.

And Aldo Nova was trying to capture the highs of “Fantasy” with “Subject”.

8 Years Ago (2013)

STREAMING

The public has voted. It prefers streaming.

You would think the war is over. But it’s not.

Spotify pays millions to the copyright holders.

Now unless the artist is a DIY artist who controls their own copyright, or Metallica or Motley Crue who own their masters, most of the copyright holders are the major labels. So the labels are raking it in.

There is also a term doing the round, called “Black Box Revenue.” This is the name given to income that the record labels collect that cannot be directly tracked to the recordings of a specific artist.

To put it all into context, streaming services pay the labels an upfront fee to access their catalogues. In addition, the services then pay the labels royalties for each stream.

Yep the labels get paid twice because they “own” the masters that artists created.

Musicians always had to work hard to get somewhere, that part hasn’t changed and it will never change while others fly private on the backs of the hard work of artists.

THE LIES OF THE LABELS

During the recorded music industries heyday, there was this widespread idea, sort of like an unwritten law, that we (the fans of music) could purchase music and own it, the same way we purchased and owned the toaster and any other commodity.

Of course when it comes to music, its never that simple.

What the music fans actually purchased was a non-transferable license to listen to the music under very specific and strict conditions. If you don’t believe me read the fine print.

We basically had the right to enjoy the music in private, over and over again.

METALLICA

I had been re-reading a lot of the magazines I accumulated during the Eighties and the Nineties and I finished reading a story about Metallica from the Australian magazine “Hot Metal”.

It was the June 1992 issue.

And in the interview James Hetfield was talking about the stage design and how they would have an area in the middle of the stage set aside for taping. The fans would have to buy a special ticket for the tape section area and Hetfield saw it as a cool thing to flood the market with bootlegs.

Metallica in 1992, wanted to flood the market with bootlegs. Metallica in 2013 had the following disclaimer on their Live Metallica website “Terms of Use”; Any violation of copyright laws may result in severe civil and criminal penalties. Violators will be prosecuted to the maximum extent possible.

KIRK HAMMETT

Kirk Hammett said that there hasn’t been any great bands “because of things like iTunes and streaming and social networking, it’s destroyed music. It’s destroyed the motivation to go out there and really make the best record possible. It’s a shame.”

You see, when you detach yourself from the streets and live in your ivory tower, you don’t see what is happening at ground zero.

Five Finger Death Punch is going GOLD and PLATINUM in a tough sales market. They have great numbers in relation to YouTube views and Spotify streams. Their albums have been selling up to the point of when their new one is released. Think about that for a second.

Shinedown are doing super numbers in relation to sales, YouTube views and Spotify streams. They have certifications to prove it as well.

Will we have the superstars of the Eighties and Nineties again?

Of course not, but we don’t live in a monoculture anymore.

We are living in the golden age of music access. The history of recorded music is at our fingertips and that is a good thing.

STREAMING vs OWNERSHIP

If I pay $120 for a Spotify Premium account, it means that i can listen to millions of songs.

If I buy $120 worth of songs from iTunes in Australia, I can only listen to 70 songs.

If I pay $120 for CD’s, I can pick up 5 albums with a potential of 50 to 60 songs.

BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE

I’m a fan.

The music that BFMV creates is very reminiscent to the hard rock / heavy metal music created between 1981 and 1986, before Bon Jovi released “Slippery When Wet” and the majority of bands started chasing the pop metal / pop rock “pot of gold”. It is basically the same music that I grew up on.

Metallica – CHECK
Iron Maiden – CHECK
AC/DC – CHECK
Slayer – CHECK
Megadeth – CHECK
Judas Priest – CHECK

Modern influences like Machine Head, Pantera and Metallica “Black” album period are also found in the songs. It’s probably why I connected with the band.

And that’s another wrap for another week.

Standard
A to Z of Making It, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Piracy, Unsung Heroes

The Week In Destroyer Of Harmony History – September 6 to September 12

4 Years Ago (2017)

Another slow week for the site.

8 Years Ago (2013)

DEE SNIDER

I was reading “Shut Up and Give Me The Mic” and it got me into a Snider mood, so I listened to “Desperado – Bloodied But Unbowed”.

For the uninitiated Desperado also includes Clive Burr (RIP) on drums, Bernie Tormè (RIP) on guitars and Marc Russel on bass.

The project never saw a proper release due to Elektra, pulling the CD from the shelves, two weeks before its release.

Back in the heyday of the record labels, as a musician, your career was in the hands of the record labels. The record company moguls had the power to make or break not only musical careers but the financial lives of individuals.

VITO BRATTA

Vito Bratta is one of the most searched artists on the internet, especially around what he is doing right now. I can’t believe that a talent like Vito, just walked away from it all and stopped writing music.

But he hinted at his departure in past interviews.

In a “Guitar World” interview from July 1991, Vito said that on the “Big Game” record, everyone commented on his playing, but hardly anyone said anything about the songs. And that bothered him.

Brad Tolinski, the person who was conducting the interview mentioned to Vito that it seemed that he made a conscious effort to play differently on “Mane Attraction” and that there are less broken arpeggios and other styling’s that Vito is renowned for.

Vito answered that with the following words;

“I don’t play like myself on this record.”

MOTLEY CRUE

I remember picking up the Metal Edge magazine from 1988 and seeing an update from Motley Crue. In the pre-Internet era, the only way to get information from our favourite bands was via magazines and MTV.

Metal Edge was happy to report that the band was busy at work on their fifth album and that “Monsterous” is one title they werep considering along with “SSRR” which stands for “Sex, Sex, and Rock ‘N Roll”.

JAMES HETFIELD

“Some Kind Of Monster” was doing the rounds on free to air TV at the time. Basically, Kirk and Lars are beholden to James Hetfield. That’s the message I got out of the documentary

During the whole “James in rehab” period, Kirk and Lars did nothing and could do nothing. The band was on hold until James was ready.

PIRACY

The RIAA kept shutting down file-sharing services. The MPAA started to go after the ISP’s as copyright infringement enablers.

But with all the activity going on, file sharing didn’t cease.

The “Iron Maiden” discography was and still is available for downloading and it is free.

In 2011, Iron Maiden played 33 shows and had total gross earnings of $33,085,671.

Did piracy really hurt em?

Because even in the Eighties, piracy was rampant as blank cassettes became massive sellers.

AMAZON SALES

I purchased most of my music via Amazon US Store so do my purchasers rank as U.S sales or Australian sales?

HAIL TO THE KING

All hail.

The King had arrived from Avenged Sevenfold. You can read my review here. And even though the album sounded like other albums, all publicity is good publicity.

CALL ME – SHINEDOWN

This song is a hit, however it was never released as an “official” single. Its one of their most streamed songs on Spotify.

And that’s another wrap for another week.

Standard
Music, Piracy

The Week In Destroyer Of Harmony History – August 30 to September 5

4 Years Ago (2017)

It was a slow start to writing during this period, so nothing was posted on the site during this week.

2014 (Bonus)

Remember “The Raskins” the band who paid $1 million to open for Mötley Crüe on tour, only to have the Motley Crue road crew, come on stage and spray them with urine.

Well they filed a lawsuit against the Crue on 31 August, 2014.

8 Years Ago (2013)

COG

Cog is an Australian band from Bondi, Sydney.

And if you haven’t heard “Sharing Space”, their 2008 album, well you should. Its a post rock progressive tour de force. And read my review while you’re at it.

Fear is the virus they use to divide us
Hoping we’ll all just pretend
That there’s no other way

BON JOVI

By 2013, I was asking what happened to Jon Bon Jovi.

Was he an artist or a CEO or a football team owner or something else entirely?

And sometimes artists forget what brings them their bread and butter?

SONGS FIRST

Brad Paisley was asked, why he thinks his popularity resonates so strongly with audiences around the world, Paisley answered with the following:

“It’s always songs.”

He further adds that the minute an artist starts to think it’s them and not the songs they are singing that resonates, it is the moment that they start to think they are larger than life.

My kids love the song “Cum On Feel The Noize.”

They don’t care which version they hear (Slade or Quiet Riot), they only care about hearing the song. For me, I never went back to hear the original Slade version. I was quite content with the Quiet Riot version.

And that’s another short wrap for another week.

Standard
A to Z of Making It, Music, My Stories, Piracy

The Week In Destroyer Of Harmony History – August 23 to August 29

4 Years Ago (2017)

PEOPLE CREATE VALUE

Do artists create value or does the audience create value?

I believe it’s the audience.

We are the ones who decide what song or album we will give our time and money to.

And it’s a cold hard truth for any creator out there. The art they create has no value at the start. It might later, if people decide it’s valuable.

DEF LEPPARD

Def Leppard was huge from 1983 to 1992. Even their sound was huge with multi-layered vocals and instrumentation.

They had a bit of a back lash in the 90’s and maybe alienated some of their fan base with their 90’s sounding “Slang” album. But like all great bands from the 80’s they had a renaissance.

Because of piracy.

No one could purchases or access Def Leppard’s digital music library legally between 2000 and 2017 (apart from the few forgeries the band did themselves and the live releases), so people obtained the music illegally.

And just like that Def Leppard replenished their fan base with younger fans. 

“In recent years, we’ve been really fortunate that we’ve seen this new surge in our popularity. For the most part, that’s fuelled by younger people coming to the shows. We’ve been seeing it for the last 10, 12 or 15 years, you’d notice younger kids in the audience, but especially in the last couple of years, it’s grown exponentially. I really do believe that this is the upside of music piracy.”

Vivian Campbell

8 Years Ago (2013)

MACHINE HEAD

Machine Head is a favourite. And if you want to read a post on some deep album cuts then here it is.

QUEENSRYCHE

Queensryche appealed to me for a few reasons.

  1. Insightful lyrics
  2. Great messages and themes in the songs
  3. Brilliant arrangements and guitar playing.
  4. Each album that they released with Chris DeGarmo followed my own changing musical tastes.

So I did a post on some semi-obscure Queensryche songs.

RECORD FAIRS

I did a post of my score at a Record Fair.

And I’m thinking what is the point of em when most of the stuff is priced high. But I still go. The collector in me makes me go.

100 MILLION STREAMS

Daft Punk’s track “Get Lucky” by August 2013 had been streamed 104,233,480 times. Spotify generally pays 0.004 a stream to the rights holder. So by doing the math that comes to $416,933.92 in payments from Spotify to the rights holder.

How much of this money is distributed down to Daft Punk from Columbia Records is unknown?

For a song that was released in April 2013, it’s proven to be a pretty good earner.

And i was wondering when Metal and rock bands would cross that 100 million mark. Well by 2021, a lot of em have and in the case of Queen, they’ve even crossed the billion mark.

DREAM THEATER

I was re-reading a Kerrang interview that Derek Oliver conducted with Dream Theater back in 1989. It has the title; “PROG ROCK LIVES… RUN TO THE HILLS.”

It’s the same Derek Oliver that negotiated Dream Theater’s deal with Atco. It’s full of praise.

But it’s not 1989 anymore.

It was 2013.

Dream Theater was about to release their first self-titled album. Music is getting released left, right and centre. Independent DIY bands are competing against label funded bands.

Was Dream Theater still one of the most innovative bands in town?

VITO BRATTA

It’s 1991 and Vito Bratta is doing the rounds for the Mane Attraction album. And he was uncomfortable.

A few years before this is what Vito Bratta said in the June 1989 issue of Kerrang magazine.

“I hate recording. I can’t stand it. I cant stand the pressures of writing and recording a record. If they told me tomorrow that i was going to go out on tour for fives years, i’d say, fine, i love it. Playing every night is what i love.”

When Vito did the Eddie Trunk show in 2007, he had this to say about the expectations placed on them by the Record Label;

“So the record company’s saying we need another “Pride”.

I say, “Ok, so what exactly does that mean?”

The label goes, “we need the hit singles”

I go, “listen the songs we gave you, on “Pride” weren’t hit singles written purposely to be to be hit singles. They were just songs that became hit singles and they were just songs we wrote. Now you’ve got somebody telling you now, you have to purposely write a hit single.

Now how do you do that?

How do you purposely write a hit single, I mean there are people out there that do that…”

In a Guitar World interview from the June 1991, Brad Tolinski asked Vito if Mane Attraction was difficult to make.

“In a way it was. It was the first time I ever felt real pressure. When we recorded our first record, “Fight To Survive”, we were real naive and just happy to have a deal.

Our next record, “Pride”, was also very relaxed. It was written over a period of three years, so we had plenty of time to compose and experiment. “Pride” went double platinum, which was both good and bad.

When we went to record the follow-up, “Big Game”, everyone told us, “Don’t worry, whatever you write will sell a million.”

There wasn’t any real fire or hunger on that record. We were playing arenas, getting big checks in the mail, getting calls that we were going platinum, and so on.

On top of that, we had convinced ourselves that we had to write hit singles in order to maintain our popularity, and in the end “Big Game” was too contrived. It didn’t sell as well as “Pride”.

This is what Vito had to say on the Eddie Trunk show;

“Big Game” was a setback for the Label. It didn’t sell as many. We were doing a headlining tour of Europe by ourselves for the “Big Game” album and they (the Label) said, “wouldn’t it be great if we played at Wembley with Motley Crue and Skid Row?”

Skid Row went on and they were just killing the place. And Motley Crue had a great show and here we are sandwiched in between.

We realized, that night, on stage at Wembley that these songs from the “Big Game” album aren’t translating well in the live show.

So we all looked at each other on stage and said we need to throw in some of our better stuff in here. I was like what better stuff. We need to write more for who we are because these songs are not translating.

Then we went back to the States and we told the record label, no more tours on this album. We are going to do the album that we want to do. And they said well considering how the last album went, they said “go ahead”.

They gave us unlimited funds.

“Mane Attraction” was a half a million dollar record. They just said go and do everything that you want.”

And the album failed to connect with a large audience.

1986 vs 2013

And example of how the post flowed.

In 1986, Jon Bon Jovi was in debt to his record label and still living with his parents. Then the “band” Bon Jovi released their biggest seller, “Slippery When Wet”.

I’m 2013, Jon Bon Jovi was flush with money and the band Bon Jovi released their biggest dud, in “What About Now” and Richie Sambora was booted.

In 1986, Megadeth released “Peace Sells.. But Who’s Buying”, which in their case, everyone was buying.

In 2013, Megadeth released “Supercollider” and no one was buying.

In 1986, Queensryche released a superior album in “Rage For Order”.

In 2013, Queensryche became two seperate bands that ended up releasing two inferior albums in “Frequency Unknown” (Geoff Tate version) and “Queensryche” (Todd LaTorre version).

The fans are screaming for order.

In 1986, Vinnie Vincent invaded the charts, with a point to prove.

In 2013, Vinnie Vincent is.

COG – ARE YOU INTERESTED?

Databases store everything we do online. And one of my favorite acts Cog had a song about it many years ago.

Yes they’re making lists of people interested in this
And they’re scanning all their databases
Hunting terrorists
Yes they’re making lists of people interested in this
And anyone who speaks their mind is labelled anarchist

GOVERNMENTS SPYING

Our Government’s get caught red handed spying on it’s own citizens and artists needed to take a stand on this.

But no one did.

And that’s another wrap for another week.

Standard
A to Z of Making It, Copyright, Music, My Stories, Piracy

The Week In Destroyer Of Harmony History – August 16 to August 22

4 Years Ago (2017)

NEW JERSEY

“New Jersey” from Bon Jovi was doing the rounds.

“Slippery When Wet” was written while Jovi and Sambora still lived at home and had a million dollar debt to the record label. The start of the “New Jersey” song writing process began as soon as the band came off a gigantic 18 month world tour with millions to their name.

A double album was demoed and rejected.

Desmond Child was brought in again and a few more songs got written. Other outside songwriters like Dianne Warren and Holly Knight also contributed. The double album then became a single album and months after the conclusion of the “Slippery” tour, Bon Jovi had a new album ready to release and another 18 month world tour on the cards.

In between the tour, Jon escaped to Vegas and got married.

Once the tour ended, Jon the went on a road trip, released a solo album for a movie and achieved even more success. Richie Sambora was left in limbo, picked up the pieces and also released a solo album.

While “Jersey” didn’t have the same sales success as “Slippery”, it is a solid album and the band earned its keep as one of the best live shows.

THE LABELS

Customers of music showed the recording industry what they wanted via Napster. When other services stepped in, music customers showed the labels what choice brings to the conversation.

Choice for fans to decide and make their own decisions and the power to demonstrate what they believe something should be worth.

But the labels ignored it.

It wasn’t until a hardware company created iTunes and then techies created streaming services that customers started to get what they want, digitally.

So are the the record labels and the publishers doing their best for artists in the long term or are they just focused on the short term profits?

Instead of following a path that leads to better standards/outcomes for artists in the long term they seek a litigious path that only benefits them in the short term.

The labels and artists should understand that there are fans who don’t pay for recorded music because they don’t believe they should, however these same fans have no problem coughing up $200 plus dollars for a concert ticket for a larger act and these same fans have no problems coughing up $20 to $70 for independent acts. It’s their choice how they choose to interact with music.

And then there are the fans who have large LP and CD collections, who don’t pay for music anymore, but still pay for concert tickets and what not.

And then there are fans like me who have large LP and CD collections and decided that streaming is the way forward. So I pay for a family account and I have no problems forking out cash for a concert ticket. And I still add to my physical collection when I feel like it and when I see it as worthwhile for my collection.

And then there are fans who have large LP and CD collections who have decided that purchasing physical is what they want to do.
And these fans also have no problem paying for a concert ticket.

The recording industry has never been more powerful. There’s all this crap about piracy, streaming rates and the techies taking over. But the techies make tools, not stories or music.

Life is a struggle for everyone, not just creators.

THE WAY OF THE WORLD

If you risk, you could lose. There’s no safety net in life. And we don’t hear from those who risked everything and failed and now have nothing. Hell, we don’t even know their names. Only the winners get their story told.

It’s a “winner-take-all” economy and we plod on, trying to make it. But we don’t know where to start, so we take all the roads on offer, only to get back to the start.

Making music is great, but making connections is better. It’s the way of the world today.

MONEY FROM THE OLD

Did you know that Book publishers make more than 90% of their profit from books they published years ago. And yet they put 2% of their effort into promoting and selling those books.

Would it be fair to say that 90% of the income that the record labels get comes from music that came out years ago compared to what is new.

The majority of music consumers don’t normally purchase creative content all the time but when they do, they buy what is popular.

It’s the reason why the “Black” album from Metallica still sells. It’s the reason why “IV” from Led Zeppelin still sells. It’s the reason why “No More Tears” still sells. It’s the reason why “Slippery When Wet” still sells.

However we are living in a different era, one controlled by consumers. And the new stuff released by artists is originally purchased by a smaller hard-core super fan group. Much like the 70’s. Then in time as word spreads, people will check out the release and keep it in the conversation. Much like the 70’s.

Recognition doesn’t come on day one or week one or month one or year one. It percolates year after year after year until it boils to the surface. Will you be around to capitalise and monetise?

HOW THE LABELS ROB CREATORS

YouTube tells the world that the service pays more in the U.S for Ad-Supported Streaming than other services like Spotify and Pandora.
The record labels via their lobby group RIAA disagree with YouTube’s math. 

But the record labels and the publishing/licensing companies are the first to get paid. And nowhere in this debate have these organisations mentioned what they get.

But there are thousands of news articles showing what the artists or the song writers get from YouTube streams in their bank account, but the artists are the last ones to be paid, once the labels and publishing companies take their cuts.

But whose robbing who.

8 Years Ago (2013)

TRIAL OF TEARS

“Trial of Tears” is from the “Falling Into Infinity” album released in 1997.

The album is a controversial subject for Dream Theater fans. Some say it is incredible, others say that it was a sell out and others say it’s crap. Mike Portnoy said he hated it, and that by releasing the Official Bootleg of the album on a Double CD format, he felt that he has corrected that hate and given the album its due justice.

If the other members agree with that statement is an entirely different matter.

“Trial of Tears” is a three movement song. John Myung owns this song. His groovy bass lines are all over it and for any aspiring bass player, this is a song that should be in your bible of bass songs to learn.

This song is not the heaviest Dream Theater song however it is one song that has heaps of melody around it. Words can’t describe the emotions this song stirs, so let your ears do the listening and give it the time of day.

LIFEHOUSE

Lifehouse just seems to hang around in my life. Maybe it is because my wife played the “No Name Face” album to death at home and in the car when it came out in 2000. While the lead-off single “Hanging By A Moment” had the traction, it was cuts like “Cling and Clatter”, “Quasimodo” and “Everything” that hooked me in.

“No Name Face” was the pinnacle. “Stanley Climbfall” and the self titled album didn’t even come close. I was starting to lose interest.

“Who We Are” in 2007 got my attention with the sorrowful “Storm”, the soul searching rock of “Disarray” and the Johnny Cash vibe of “Broken” .

Then in 2010, came “Smoke and Mirrors”. Tracks 1 to 8 are top notch. They should have stopped the album right there. It would have been perfection. “Almeria” has the song “Moveonday”, which reminds me of “When The Levee Breaks” from Led Zeppelin.

The rest however pales compared to “No Name Face” and “Smoke and Mirrors”. Crank em.

ZARA

I wrote a little story about what artists could learn from Rosalia Mera the co-founder of fashion giant Zara.

REALITY

Piracy can never be handled with a one size fits all business model.

Piracy is hard to be stopped however it can be competed against. Piracy is a service issue. Pure and simple.

The internet is just another disruptive service to the entertainment industries; like the time the VCR was going to destroy Hollywood. Instead the VCR opened up a whole new ownership and rental income stream for Hollywood. With all new technologies, the entertainment power brokers try to destroy it at first. When they realize that they are going to fail, it then becomes part of the new market. In 2012, recorded music had its first year of small growth. Since then it’s been growing.

And music-streaming services will reduce piracy.

And that’s another wrap for another week.

Standard
Music, My Stories, Piracy

The Week In Destroyer Of Harmony History – March 29 to April 4

4 Years Ago (2017)

I was writing about the recording industry trying to rebrand/sell itself as the “music” industry.

The Recording Industry is a section of the “music industry.”

But the Recording Industry likes to sell and market itself as the Music Industry.

The Music Industry is everything.

There is the recording industry who are involved in getting artists to recording and releasing music. The release can be via vinyl, CD’s and mp3’s and streaming.

But there is also licensing, touring (and people involved with touring like drivers, road crew), merchandise, publishing, musical instruments (sellers, manufacturers and buyers), music hardware, music software, video production and many more.

And a lot of movement was happening within governments around internet privacy. So I was asking the question, where is the outrage from artists.

There is a lot of press about outraged artists due to streaming and piracy but when it came to their internet privacy being sold to a corporation, there was nothing. Not even a word.

Governments deny that climate change exists and people scream in protest. Governments take away more of our privacy and there is silence.

8 Years Ago (2013)

I wrote about how DRM in games was hindering the real paying customers and how it really doesn’t stop people from copying the game. But the game makers want stronger DRM and enforcement as they believe they are losing money due to pirated copies.

Circa 2011, the MPAA stated that piracy losses amounted to $58 billion.  

How did they quantify the amount?

They didn’t, but they used it over and over again when they spoke to politicians about getting new laws written up.

I remember seeing that Transformers 1 (T1) and (T2) where the most pirated movies over Bit Torrent. T1 made $710M and T2 made $840M. T3 wasn’t on any torrent list and it made $1.3 Billion.

Maybe because the people that downloaded a torrent of T1 and T2 became fans and paid to watch T3. Maybe those little kids that downloaded T1 and T2 became fans and are now old enough to go to the cinema on their own and watch it.

One thing is certain, piracy is designed by the lobby groups so that they can get stupid legislation passed that puts them back in control of the distribution.

Standard
Copyright, Music, My Stories, Piracy

So…. You Want A Record Deal

“Contracts are a bitch, and we’ve signed some raw ones. And we need to start trying to make some money off of our catalog, which is 10 albums deep, plus all the side stuff. We haven’t made any money from record sales, album sales. It’s all gone to the major labels. A lot of people make money off of us; we just don’t make money the way the deals are structured. We just aren’t excited to get back into any kind of contract. So if we find a new home at a new label, wherever it is, it’s gotta be a special deal where you get something for your hard work.

Vocalist/Guitarist Pete Loeffler from Chevelle

Music sells because artists create. As much as the labels would like to believe it’s about them, it isn’t. They are faceless nobodies to the majority of music consumers.

But the A&R reps and CEO’s of these labels fly private, while the artists that make them millions tour via vans. Which in the last 12 months, hasn’t been much, as all touring has ceased.

So the artists do what they normally do when they have downtime. They create more art for release.

CHEVELLE just finished their recording contract with EPIC. A deal signed in 2001, when there was no streaming, no iPhones and no YouTube.

With each label release, the advance they got for the album was bigger than the last advance, which for the label, would have been small change.

“We’ve sold six million albums for Epic Records, and they’ve made 50 million dollars. It’s lopsided.”

Vocalist/Guitarist Pete Loeffler from Chevelle

Their first album, released in 1999, was produced by Steve Albini and released on an independent label. Albini was always warning bands about signing to major labels back in the very early 90’s.

It was their second album, “Wonder What’s Next” that was the catalyst to make me a fan and many others as well. It was released on Epic.

But I got it a few years after it came out.

The first time I heard their music was when I picked up the “Music As A Weapon II” CD, a live collection from the Disturbed run of shows in which the opening bands all got a song or two featured on the CD. And that was when I heard “The Red”. It was like Tool learned how to write concise groove rock songs and I was all in.

“The fact of the matter is when you sign a record deal with a major, they own it for, like, 20-something years. We said, ‘We’d re-sign with you if you just sent some of it through the pipeline to us.’ All the profits, they’re keeping everything. And if they just send a little bit through, maybe we can talk about this, continuing on.”

Vocalist/Guitarist Pete Loeffler from Chevelle

Once upon a time, a major label deal was an opportunity to participate in the music business. 99% of the bands made zero money off the deal.

With the turn of the century, every label claimed that piracy killed the recording business. But acts still moved units.

Chevelle are not the first nor will they be the last who had been ripped off on the pay as Bon Scott would put it. Thirty Seconds To Mars and EMI went to war over a similar unfair contract after “A Beautiful Lie” blew up everywhere.

Maybe we need to look at the labels in the same we see businesses. There are laws which prevent businesses from merging because of the large market monopoly they would hold. There is a great story over at WIRED.COM called “Big Music Needs to Be Broken Up to Save the Industry”.

The article talks about how bad government policy in the U.S over a long period of time left mergers unchecked and this led to the creation of three major labels financing 70% of the music consumed. In other words the release less than other labels but because of their market power dominance it’s consumed more.

And the new recent proposed laws to rein in Apple, Amazon, Google and Facebook will also affect Sony, Universal and Warner. Because as streaming gets bigger so do the labels.

The article mentions research conducted in 2019 on streaming payments and the three major labels get $1 million an hour from streaming payments combined.

Think about that $1 million per hour. And this was 2 years ago. It will be more right now as streaming grew exponentially last year.

Streams are cheap for the labels. They don’t have to ship streams or store streams and there’s no breakage of streams like physical. All of the cost of the infrastructure is on the streaming service.

Labels are making money. And the artists….

Standard
Copyright, Music, My Stories, Piracy

The Week In Destroyer Of Harmony History – February 13 to February 19

4 Years Ago (2017)

It was busy during this period as I got my mojo back for writing.

I started writing a series of “Score Card” posts a few years before this and within three years I rechecked in with some of the artists I wrote about to see what was happening with them.

Because three years in the music business is a long time.

Bands like Vanishing Point, Harem Scarem, Rev Theory, Adrenaline Mob, Lizzard, Thirty Seconds To Mars, Audrey Horne, Stryper, Nonpoint, Breaking Benjamin, Sound Of Contact and Kingdom Come all got mentioned.

I wrote about how fast we move on to other things. The BlackBerry was “the phone” with emails and phone capabilities and then iPhone’s launch with apps in 2007 changed the game.

People wanted to do more with their phones and that more came from apps which put tools into the hands of their users. Developers and companies rose up all around the world, to create apps for the iPhone. But they couldn’t do the same on the Blackberry.

In 2007, Blackberry was number 8 in global smartphones sold. By 2017 it had zero market share. The speed at which people abandon one thing and move on to another is huge. Remember MySpace. Remember Yahoo. Remember dot-matrix printers. Remember film cameras.

The Pirate Bay (TPB) was about to turn 14 years this year. From its inception, it was a facilitator, spreading the disruption caused by Napster years earlier to even larger audiences. It showed the entertainment industries how they needed to change.

But they didn’t change and it took companies like Netflix and Spotify to make this happen. And they did it by using the same technology made famous by The Pirate Bay. While Netflix realised that the money is in producing your own content, Spotify and other streaming providers have not.

Licensing content from someone is not a satisfactory business model. Just ask HBO, formerly known as Home Box Office. Their early business model was all licensed content and they lost money year after year, while the movie studios got richer. It wasn’t until HBO went into original content, that they started making some serious cash.

TPB stood strong against the pressure put on it by the MPAA and the RIAA and their sister organisations throughout the world. It has stood firm against government officials (loaded up in lobbyist dollars) trying to prosecute it. It was taken down, raided and it still survives. And it keeps on innovating even when court orders become the new normal, requesting ISP’s to block the web address or domain registries to deny any applications for TPB domains. Even in it’s home country of Sweden, court appeals and cases are still ongoing. Google was even pressured to alter (in my view censor) its search algorithm, so TPB doesn’t come up.

But TPB is still alive. It has become a vessel for people to access content they normally wouldn’t have access too. In the process, it has made the world a better place.

Metal music in general has grown to all corners of the world. Suddenly, every country has a metal scene and the larger metal bands that have the means to tour are suddenly hitting markets they’ve never hit before.

The high rates of software piracy in Eastern Europe caused an IT skills explosion.

The high rates of music creation software piracy led to the electronic dance explosion coming out of Europe.

The Pirate Bay spread via word of mouth. It didn’t embark on a scorched earth marketing policy. Maybe there’s lessons there for all.

And I went down memory lane for a post called “In The Name Of Metal”, writing about the record shop days and how all the bands I like got labeled as Metal.

If you wanted to find their music, you had to go to the heavy metal section of the record shop. Even Bon Jovi could be found in the metal section.

And I wrote about Metal history and how it was to be a metal fan, in the 80s.

8 Years Ago (2013)

The labels were trying to destroy radio by getting it to pay more. And if listeners went to streaming services, that would be okay for the labels because they get most of the streaming money, pus they have a percentage stake in these organizations.

I was cranking the Journey catalogue and I couldn’t resist not writing about how similar “Seperate Ways” and Measage Of Love” are similar in the Chorus.

I went 2000 plus words on a Mane Attraction review from White Lion that covers some back story, the year 1991, the competition, some hindsight views from artists after 1991 and the album review itself.

And what it means to be the main songwriter in a band and other band members wanting a songwriting credit for doing sweet fa.

And finally I was pissed about CDs.

Lyric booklets became non existent and if they did come with lyrics it would be something like fitting the lyrics of 12 songs on two pages.

We still had those stupid FBI Anti Piracy Warnings.

Did the labels and the FBI seriously believe that these labels work or deter people from piracy?

You couldn’t even skip those ads on DVDs.

Well that’s my DoH history for the week?

Standard