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

The Record Vault – Australian Crawl

There is no way you could have lived in the land of Oz and not known Australian Crawl. They had their own unique merge of Aussie pub rock, The Police, The Eagles, Reggae and Pop. Add to the mix, musicians who could really play their instruments, a guitarist who didn’t mind shredding pentatonic lines and a vocalist who had a unique singing style which at times you couldn’t make out what he was saying, which made it even more fun. 

I didn’t get these albums until the 90’s because I didn’t feel the need to own any Australian Crawl in the 80’s because every radio station played em, every music video TV show played em and when they split up in 1987 and singer James Reyne went solo, the same thing happened with his solo career as his solo songs were everywhere along with his Australian Crawl songs.

And my favourite song is “Reckless” and I don’t even own it. Also, the first ever song I wrote was called “The Final Wave” taken from the title of their last album, which I saw was out via a commercial on TV, but I didn’t buy it. At the time, the album was competing with a lot of big releases from the U.S for my hard earned dollars. But their most famous song, is “Boys Light Up” because everyone associated it with weed smoking. And it is a song you don’t need to own, because it’s still played on radio to this day, plus I used to cover the song in various 90’s cover bands I was in.

“Sirocco” is the first album I dropped the needle on. It came out in 1981 and it got its title from a boat which Error Flynn used to own. If you don’t know who Errol is, then read on below. 

“Things Don’t Seem” kicks the album off, dealing with a relationship where the girl’s mother has a bird’s nest hairdo, her brother gets plenty of action and her father thinks he’s a weirdo and all he wants to do is just get some action with the girl.

“Unpublished Critics” is the song that everyone in Australia reckons Axl Rose and Slash ripped off for “Sweet Child O’Mine”. And Axl Rose did have a like for Aussie music, covering songs from Rose Tattoo in Guns’N’Roses club days. Lyrically, I always thought it dealt with their critics, with the lyrics;

The singer in the band, he sweat on a pose
And he’s really such a jerk
Thinks he can call me stupid
Because he gets a lot of work

“Oh No Not You Again” is probably the best Eagles song not written by “The Eagles”. It’s got that “Take It Easy” feel. Actually “Take It Easy” was written by Jackson Browne, so… And if you think, Tommy and Gina had it hard in “Livin On A Prayer”, these two lovers in this song had it even harder or he had it hard for someone else.

Don’t own no swimming pool, not even a colour TV
He work awful hard some days and she lets him be
Things ain’t looking good for them, no love no more
Some friends are comin’ round tonight
He’s out on the town, knockin’ on the wrong door

“Lakeside” was also all over the radio. The sound and feel of the song puts you at the lakeside and the lyrics sum up the suburbia, with the lyrics;

I got a terrific Torana
A green hand going to wave bye-bye
I got a C.B. shuffle and a dashboard muffle
Pilot’s twitch my eye

My older brothers mates had yellow and black Torana’s, while my brother had a Holden V8 Calais, all done up. The cars looked super cool and they always had pretty woman in the passenger seat.

“Trusting You” is one of their best constructed songs, with so many different stylings when it comes to playing the guitar; like guitar leads, arpeggios, power chords, off beat reggae upstrokes, natural harmonics and some whammy bar action. And the verse riff is similar to “Rockin In A Free World”, albeit in a different key. Which song came first?

Your time will come and go
For a while you’ll have control
Take your pound of flesh
Feed your greed and leave guiltless

Is it about a relationship, a bad business partnership or the record label bosses?  In any two way relationship, regardless if its peer, business or romantic, there will be someone making more decisions than the other party.

“Errol” is about a good ol’ Aussie womaniser called Errol Flynn, an actor who took Hollywood by storm with his legendary 12 inches. Musically, this one reminds of “The Police”.

Convict state
It just don’t rate
He want to get higher
Apple Isle
The inbred smile

Errol didn’t want to stay in Australia, he had bigger dreams and the U.S was the place for him.

He want to pounce
Like an animal
To girls he just can’t say no
He had them all
Screamin’ for more
He play the wild scene
Ah scandalise
No compromise

Errol, the boy from down under is showing Hollywood how it should be done.

They build him up
They took it all
And then they
Just cut him down

And like all entertainment careers, the movie studios who made him, took it all away, because they held the power and I think at that time, they would sign actors to long term contracts and then they wouldn’t give them any movies to do, and they wouldn’t release them either to go work for another studio. These kind of contracts got abolished when they were challenged in court by an actress, who was also in a similar predicament.

“Easy On Your Own” builds on their acoustic Eagles vibe. This one brings back memories of “Sweet Home Alabama” and because of their diversity to cover different styles, it is a big reason why Australian Crawl became so popular. Like for example, the guitar solo is a slide guitar solo. In other songs, it’s a rock solo, a reggae solo, a country solo, a blues solo and so forth.

Shirt tails flapping in the wind
Waiting for my train to come in
Ticket reads like a faithful friend
Run the gamut back again
Rounds completed there’s no more crowds
Towel around my neck-it’s finished now
Stumbles blindly to the door
Impending Monday morn

The end of a weekend, the end of a night, catching the train home as not a lot of people had cars. These days, people still catch the train but with fear. It wasn’t like that once upon a time.

“Love Boys” has this verse riff, which is a lot like “Long Way To The Top”, played in a clean tone with a chorus effect and it sounds heavy.

Kings Cross cruiser
Late night bruiser
The tattooed love boys
The tattooed losers
She’s ready for him
She’s pretty pretty
He’s pretty bent and
He’s bashed her silly

Those big bikie bouncers at Kings Cross in Sydney, always up to no good and in and out of jail. If you’ve ever been to the Cross, you will know what I mean.

“Resort Girls” kicks off with a lead break which sounds very familiar but I can’t put my finger on it. And that’s why I love music, taking your influences and making them your own.

Holiday resorts are really quite amusin
If ya don’t watch out you can really take a bruisin
Lots of pretty girls in very scant bikinis
With rum, boyfriends too busy with their surf skis

“Sons Of Beaches” is up next, released in 1982 and does anyone remember that Jersey kid called Jon Bon Jovi, wanting to call the follow up album to “Slippery When Wet” exactly the same. That son of a ….

Anyway, for us Australians, which is a land surrounded by water and sand, the title is perfect.

“Runaway Girls” starts the album off and it is another fast paced rocker, in the same vein as “Things Don’t Seem” from the previous album and it deals with a girl headed for big bright lights, use on the way but that’s alright, seems like there’s some things you got to sacrifice to get where you want to go.

“Daughters Of The Northern Coast” has a riff which again sounds familiar to something I already know, but I can’t put my finger on it.

Daughters of the northern coast
Sons of beaches, don’t deliver the post

“Shut Down” is my second favourite and we used to cover it in various bands I was in. That lead break that kicks the song off and repeats in the Chorus, is simple, yet so emotive. And the lead break in the middle, hooks me in only to end when I think it’s going to go for a bit longer. The beauty of music, make a statement and leave the listener wanting more.

The outro section, we would play games as to what was sung. I always thought that “Alimony” was always repeated and after a few beers, my listening apparently got better and it sounded like “out of money” and then it morphed to “hey there honey”.

Lyrically, it deals about a girl with a slim waist, who is addicted to the swing jet set lifestyle and likes to go slow and pick up the pace. And then she moves on to another, hence the reason why the outro vocals are singing alimony.

“Downhearted” appeared on the first album, but it got a second wind on radio and appeared on the third album as well. Along with “Shut Down”, this song got played relentlessly on radio. Huge songs, that appealed to both rock heads and pop fans.  Lyrically it deals with a relationship left behind in Bali, and the empty feeling upon the return home to Australia.

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

The Record Vault – Arcade

EMI really wanted this album to work.

Stephen Pearcy’s previous band RATT splintered. Some say it was due to dwindling sales (500K units in the US is not a small amount for their “Detonator” album, but then again the labels reckon it was, especially after moving 3 million units for their previous albums) and others say it was due to Grunge.

Regardless, Pearcy didn’t wait around and he hooked up with Fred Coury from Cinderella on drums, Johnny Angel played guitar originally and wrote songs for the debut, but was dropped and in came Frankie Wilsex and Donny Syracuse, while Michael Andrews is on bass.

EMI even paired up Pearcy to write with Jim Vallance of Bryan Adams and Aerosmith fame, and they also got producer Dave Prater, who at this point in time had some serious chart success with Firehouse and Dream Theater.

But it didn’t work, and nobody really knows why. Good music is good music and it should find an audience. But it didn’t. Well it didn’t like how the label wanted it to.

So what happened to all of those rock and metal fans from 1984 to 1990?

Why didn’t they lap up this album?

Well, the base wasn’t as big as people thought. The bulk of the fans shifted between rock and pop and metal, so when it came to 1993, it was no surprise that some fans had shifted their allegiance to other styles. Maybe they just thought that Stephen Pearcy was done and dusted or he’s a one hit wonder or because fans became hip now, into more mellow music, like how Mark Wahlberg cut his hair in Rock Star, it wasn’t cool to like rock music anymore. I knew a few people like that, and if they existed in my circle, I am sure they existed in other circles as well.

I purchased the CD but I can’t remember from where. But I do remember the “Cry No More” single which I purchased via a second hand store, complete with ONE song. Yep, you read that right, one SONG on a CD which can hold 70 minutes of music.

And the album is not on Spotify, which is a shame. A real shame.

Calm Before The Storm

It has a wicked open string riff as good as any metal like riff at the time. It’s credited to Vallance, Angel, Pearcy and Coury.

But I dream of rising light
A sign it’s time to be reborn

And a Pearcy was reborn but ignored.

Cry No More

It’s written by Johnny Angel, Fred Coury and Stephen Pearcy.

And man, when a guitarist spends time being the main songwriter and then doesn’t get to play on the album or plays on the album and is fired before the tour, I see that as a low act by said band mates and management.

When I was young my daddy always taught me
To speak the truth and never tell lies
Now that I’m old and no one ever told me
The life you live, the truth you can disguise

We are living it everyday, trying to make out what is real and fake.

Down and out, I need a friend
Who’ll be there until the end

You don’t know who will be there at the end. And it scares people.

Messed Up World

A sign of the times we live in.

Greedy little fingers
Dirty little lies
Diggin’ themselves in deeper
Wearing their disguise
Crooked preachers sell religion
Underhanded politicians

Artists have written about corruption from when I can remember and it’s still happening without any end in sight.

And I ask myself why?

Maybe Geoff Tate was right all along, the holy dollar rules everybody’s lives and everyone has got to make a million, it doesn’t matter who dies.

I don’t wanna believe what they tell me
I ain’t gonna buy what they sell me
I ain’t gonna take what they’re givin’
It’s a messed up world that we’re livin’ in

Damn right and it is only going to get worse, because if you have school children who can’t vote, striking from school for climate change, imagine the changes coming when they can vote. The current powers that be will fight tooth and nail to keep the world messed up.

World peace and religion
Well you know that’s what they teach
But their arms hold up their halos
They never practice what they preach

Wearing masks is the name of the game. It’s all messed up, but that’s how we survive.

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

1979 – V – It’s Just A Game

If you are super keen to see the previous 4 posts, here they are;

1979 – The Highway To Hell Begins

1979 – II – Somebody Get Me A Doctor

1979 – III

1979 – IV – Lights Out In America

And here is part five.

Toto – Hydra

Toto got success with their debut, and there were expectations they would repeat the hits. I guess no one told the Toto guys, who went and tried something different.

The band came into my life because of Steve Lukather. He was always in the guitar magazines and he interviewed really well. But I didn’t start buying or getting access to the albums until well into the 90s.

There are a few songs on this album which are progressive and man, they work great in Rock and Metal circles and credit to Dave Paich for bringing the prog.

Hydra

At 7 minutes, this song shows a band following their muse and not conforming to what the label desired.

Like all good songs, the intro hooks me in.

And seriously, you wouldn’t expect lyrics about a Dragon lord, a summer solstice and a young man in love with a lady who descends down into darkness, especially after they hit the charts with “Hold The Line”.

99

It’s a love song about a futuristic movie made by George Lucas before Star Wars. You can hear the embryo of “Africa” in this.

The piano arpeggios with the subtle jazz fusion lead break works good.

All Us Boys

It’s just a feel good technical rock and roll song. And that repeating line from 3.10 up to the end (with a lead break chucked in) is super melodic and addictive.

Molly Hatchet – Flirtin’ with Disaster

The cover didn’t give me the impression that this album or band would be a rock and roll boogie band.

One Mans Pleasure

The intro musically blew me away. It started off with a “Another One Bites The Dust”, before morphing into an Aerosmith groove like “Sweet Emotion” and a Chorus from “Sweet Home Alabama”.

One man’s loss is another man’s gain.
One man’s pleasure is another man’s pain.

It’s about hitting the road with the band and leaving your woman behind. Your loss is another mans gain, because she ain’t waiting around.

Boogie No More

It’s got this Rolling Stones vibe merged with Bowie’s “Suffragette City” in the intro. Then it morphs into a speed blues jam song with a guitar solo that references “Free Bird”.

Flirting With Disaster

The way the song starts off with the drummer playing a 16th high hat beat hooks me in. It’s unconventional from the Southern Rock vibe and very Rush like.

I’m out of money, out of hope, it looks like self-destruction
Well, how much more can we take with all of this corruption

Corruption and money go hand in hand. People will lie, cheat, kill and steal for it and the ones who have it would also lie, cheat, scheme and kill, just to keep it.

And the way we run our lives, it makes no sense to me

Living from pay to pay, building someone else’s dream and believing that if you put in more hours, you might just get your turn to make it.

I’m travelin’ down that lonesome road
Feel like I’m dragging a heavy load
Yeah, I’ve tried to turn my head away
Feel about the same most every day

In the end, the road is lonesome and you might walk it with a lot of regrets or “what if’s”.

Long Time

It’s got this “Don’t Fear The Reaper” vibe in the verses which hooks me in.

Triumph – Just a Game

Ric Emmett, underrated guitarist and songwriter. Like, Toto and Asia and Yes, Triumph came into my life because of interviews in the Guitar mags I purchased with their prospective guitarists.

Moving On

That intro riff is in every 70s song. Free, Bowie and Rolling Stones immediately come to mind.

And that section when the backing vocals are singing “on and on”, the tempo is slowed down, Emmett is in the groove bending and picking those strings and I’m reminded of The Beatles “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” but its just a small reminder.

On and on and on
You’ve got to keep on movin’ on

It’s what life is about, moving on, taking chances, failing and succeeding, embracing changes and doing it all again.

Lay It On The Line

A simple catchy repeating chorus line with chords that would become famous with “I Love Rock N Roll” and you have the gift that keeps giving royalties.

Young Enough To Cry

I once thought that only the Brit guitarists could play this kind of blues rock. Emmett shows that Canadians are more than capable.

And how good are the lines “I’m too old to get hurt baby, Oh but I’m young enough, young enough to cry”.

Just A Game

And that slowed down tempo from “Movin On” which reminds me of The Beatles kicks off the title track. It has enough of a progressive touch to make me listen. And the lyrics are the reason why this song grabs me.

But the corporate strings that make them dance
Lead up to an ivory tower

We sing the song of the corporation daily, so we turn to music as an escape, only to see our heroes suffer the same fate.

And those bosses who we dance for, and pretend to like, live in a world so fake and so out of touch with reality.

Try hard to remember all that glitters is not gold
You can pay the piper, but you cannot buy his soul

Remember the legend of the Pied Piper who abducted all of the children in the village because the people of the town refused to pay him for catching all their rats. Well if you don’t pay your debts, someone will come and collect.

It’s just a game, and all I can do…is play

Play the long game. More so now. Streaming pays over the long run and it pays forever. Be in it and get your fans to stream because no one wins by dominating the news or being the social star or TV star for a month.

Who remembers “The Voice” winners?

And the labels are here to sell the same mainstream pop, hoping that sales and dollars makes them winners. Hell, this derivative method alone killed hard rock, hair metal and whatever kind of metal you want to call it back at the start of the 90s. A market saturated with rubbish is due to be cleaned up.

What you do choose, now, what do you believe, now
Who are you gonna trust?
All you dreams and fancy schemes
Just crumble into dust

To me it’s about free will and free choice. And it’s a touchy subject. People believe because they live in a democracy they are free. But they have a loan, which they need to pay monthly for the next 30 years. It doesn’t sound so free right now when you have a 30 year sentence. And I get it, they had freedom to make the choice to get into debt. But to counter-argue, that choice wasn’t so free because the only way a person could enter the housing market is to get a loan, or a large family donation or an inheritance.

And then in order to pay the loan, they need to ensure they have a job which pays a steady income. Which if they lose the job, all of their dreams and fancy schemes just crumble into dust.

Calm and cool and computerized to calculate and collect
We wait and watch and wonder
Just which puppet they’ll select

Like the movie “Dark City”, their are people we cannot see who manipulate and control what happens.

Science tells us global warming is real and leaders from democratic nations ignore it and call it a lie. Someone with deep pockets controls the narrative, and money rules this game.

Like the moth, too near the flame,
Who learned his truth too late
We’re all too deep into the game
That is the master of our fate

Learn to play the game better than others and maybe we’ll succeed. But remember our time on Earth is limited, and the game ends when we take our last breath.

Blackfoot – Strikes

The melodic rock side of the band is what I liked.

Left Turn On A Red Light

And as I buy myself another ticket, Lord
For somewhere else on down the line
Well I’ll always be a rambler
Well the ones I love always keep tellin’ me

It was a rite of passage once upon a time, to leave home and go your own way. It’s why so many songs with those themes connected. Today, the majority stay at home, because it’s comfortable and risk free.

Wishing Well

How good is this song from Free?

It’s been covered to death, but, what can I say, you can’t keep a good song down. So kick off your shoes and lose yourselves.

Highway Song

The lead breaks from about 4 minutes to the end is the reason why this song is here.

“Solo to the end” was a musical sectional once upon a time. Lost when MTV took power. In saying that, Skid Row brought out the “solo to the end” section in “Quicksand Jesus” and “In A Darkened Room” from “Slave To The Grind”.

Blue Öyster Cult – Mirrors

The album is ordinary except for “Lonely Teardrops”.

That funky riff which reminds me of “Superstitious” and “Play That Funky White Music White Boy” is catchy.

I seem to see a rose
I reach out then it goes
Now in its thorns I roam

Brilliant lines to describe the pain of being away from home.

38 Special – Rockin’ Into the Night

For me, only “Stone Cold Believer” is the highlight.

I speak my mind. I don’t hold it back,
That’s how I am, and I’m hopin’ that’s where you’ at.

Do we really speak our minds?

Research out there reckons that Google and other search engines know more truth about us via our search results than our partners know.

And these days what is truth?

We have battle lines drawn, our view points backed up with our research and away we go, trying to shout louder than the others. It makes great viewing, it might be fun, but it will not change the other persons view.

Viewpoints can change, but not by picking a fight.

Wanna climb that ladder, y’ wanna make it to the top,
Takes only one thing, gotta give it all y’ got.
Knew a man who couldn’t lose, ’cause he never gave in,

You get to the “top” or to your “defined top” by being a lifer. You need to be in it, even when the times are tough and you feel like you should leave.

In saying that if the business venture is costing you money, you’ll need to walk away and cut your losses, but still be in the game and restart again.

Amazon walked away from developments that cost them billions and restarted again. It’s okay to fail and succeed.

Well that’s it for another 1979 section. I think I have a few more to do before 79 is a wrap and I move to 78.

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

The Record Vault – Autograph

It pisses me off how some hard rock albums are not on Spotify. Maybe it’s an RCA label thing, or a Steve Plunkett thing, because the 80s recorded output of Autograph isn’t on the streaming service.

Autograph were either loathed or liked. There was no in between. I liked the first album and loathed the second album. I guess I fit that description.

I didn’t get their records until well into the 90s via the usual second hand record stores and record fairs.

Sign In Please

Before I dropped the needle on this, all I knew was “Turn Up The Radio” and a few interviews with Steve Lynch in the guitar mags I purchased.

Send Her To Me

Its basically a simple keyboard driven song like Night Ranger. It rocks, it’s melodic and it’s fun.

And that outro lead.

Steve Lynch starts off with a super melodic repeating lick and then he puts the pedal to the floor and shreds.

Turn Up The Radio

Again, it’s a simple riff made gold worthy by some keyboard chords over it.

And again, Lynch and his 8 fingers hammer-on technique is the star. Maybe it was a California thing as Jeff Watson also had that technique down.

Deep End

How can you not like this song?

To me, it’s got the riff which I call the “LA riff”.

But it was finally made super popular with “Fight For Your Right (To Party)” by the Beatsie Boys.

And again, Steve Lynch steals the limelight with his lead break.

Thrill Of Love

The melodic riff in the verses could have come from Vinnie Vincent, the Chorus is a let down and the lead break again steals the show.

Friday

Yep, it’s a song about the start of the weekend. It’s got that vibe and the riff reminds me of EVH merged with Loverboy.

Did I mention the lead break is fucking good?

Yeah, it’s good.

In The Night

It reminds of Kiss “Unmasked” era and I like it.

All I’m Gonna Take

The best song on the album and it’s the closer. The melodic lead is AAA and when Steve Lynch decides to burn, he burns.

“That’s The Stuff” came next and it really wasn’t the stuff, while the second track “Take No Prisoners” is a rewrite of “Turn Up The Radio” and basically this is an album that is lacking in ideas and very hard to listen to.

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Evergrey – The Atlantic

The way the music in “A Silent Arc” starts off, it feels like I am in the turmoil of the ocean, getting thrown around with the currents and waves, taking a quick breath before the next wave pushes me under.

And in the lyrics Tom Englund is using the ocean as an analogy for the breakdown of his marriage.

In the first chorus he mentions how their Heaven is dead and how they have been adrift for years.

But in the middle section, he’s seeing all the years of drifting come to an end.

And it’s all backed up by music which echoes the chaos and turmoil and calmness of the ocean, in the same way chaos and turmoil and calmness happen in our lives.

In “Weightless”, Englund looks back and reassesses his past.

I can’t help to think that we got lost because of me
Can’t help to feel that I brought on this travesty
Been lost so long that lost is the only thing I’ve ever known
Can’t help to feel that I’m alone

It’s real and heartfelt and anyone who has been in a relationship knows how easy it is to tear it apart so quickly.

And sometimes it’s nothing big that breaks people up, it’s just the different paths you started a few years ago end up being too far apart to reconnect.

And in the chorus, the ocean analogy is there again.

I’m weightless in the water
Surrounded by the deep

How fucking heavy is the intro to “All I Have”?

It’s all I have
It’s all I have
All I have
All I own that I can give to you

The emotion and agony in Englund’s voice hooks me in.

And that outro solo is excellent.

“A Secret Atlantis” is your typical Evergrey sound.

I stare the skies of abandoned hearts
Dare I break the wave will I be safe?
Our secret Atlantis
We were the only one who knew
what we were hiding
You from me and me from you

They both had in their minds a secret place to hide from each other. Sad and yet so powerful.

And I wanted to let you know
That I’m leaving to let this go
And the sky is painting my sorrow
The sky is painting my sorrow

Sometimes you need to let it go for the sanity of all involved. And it’s hard, it’s sad, especially when children are involved but if it didn’t happen, the relationship would just decay into something worse.

In “End Of Silence” the heaviness introduces the first three lines.

Adrift, the sleep made us liars
It kept us close and
convinced us we’d be fine

How many times after an argument, you go to bed together, sleep so close and yet so far away emotionally.

Our wishes similar but not the same
and with sunrise the reason came

And it’s the crux of every issue. When do you start to take care of you and put you first?

And that harmony lead from 3.15 brings all the emotions to the forefront.

At the Atlantic edge awaits the end of silence

Most people want to disappear when relationships breakdown. Because your partner was also friends with your friends and so forth. And people pick sides. And it sucks.

In “Currents”, Englund sees the water rise but he hopes the threat goes away so everything would stay the same.

Come
Come save me from these waters
These waves too tall for me
They’ll bury me in silence
The currents forcing me to sea

How fucking good is this chorus?

It’s catchy and that keyboard riff under the vocal melody is addictive.

“Departure” is one of my favorite tracks on the album.

We were the reasons for us losing ground
We were the reasons for why the lights went out
We were the reasons for the years we had
And we were the reasons to why it had to end at last

A perfect summation of a relationship.

And the vocal melody when Englund sings, the struggling, the reaching, the searching for feeling, weren’t there no longer” is emotive and sad. Because relationship break downs are fucked.

And how cool is the riff and piano lines after the chorus. I had the guitar out ASAP.

And when those harmonies come in from about 4.28 it’s a fuck yeah moment.

It’s quality. It doesn’t have to be heavy and loud to sound heavy.

In “The Beacon”, Englund is looking for that light to point him into the direction of life again.

Conformed to comfort
Our sanctuary it was worth the unease
It offered shelter and at bay in silence
the spreading disease

It’s why so many stay together who shouldn’t. The comfort. It’s hard to escape what you know and head out into the unknown. But when you do head out, you need that beacon to get you back to civilization. Because it’s easy to get lost.

In “This Ocean”, Englund mentions how he cried this ocean.

I’ve cried this ocean
And the tears that I wept
Shadows the apparent horizon
I’ve cried this ocean

Tears are expected when something for so long breaks up.

And that section from about 2.50 minutes. It’s heavy, melodic and progressive.

Also in the chorus there is this guitar lead in there which is addictive.

And the song ends with a lot of evil intent.

For a band that has remained stable for three albums, Tom Englund, Henrik Danhage, Jonas Ekdahl, Rikard Zander and Johann Niemann have captured an excellent vibe here.

If you also want to read a cool interview with Tom Englund and Jonas Ekdahl, go over to the Man Of Much Metal website.

And here is a review I totally agree with, also from the same website.

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1984 – IV – The Warning

It’s time for another 1984 post. Part 1 can be found here, Part 2 can be found here and Part 3 can be found here.

And here is the Spotify playlist.

Quiet Riot – Condition Critical

This album was always going to be a hard sell. Kevin DuBrow had troubles controlling his ego. He slagged off other LA bands who got signed to major labels post Quiet Riots success.

He said Ozzy sings like a frog, then Nikki Sixx and Rudy Sarzo got in a slanging match, with Rudy winning the day, with his quote of “the only difference between Quiet Riot and Motley Crue is that QR had a hit with somebody else’s song and Crue didn’t. But Nikki Sixx won everything else after that. And Peter Mensch who was managing Def Leppard at the time, said that QR had already peaked. If you don’t believe me, check out the article over at LouderSound.

So how do you follow up a number 1 album that had a cover song which also went to number 1?

You release an album with a different cover song but from the same band the first cover song came from.

All Quiet Riot did was make a shitload of money for the original writers of the songs from the band Slade.

The rewards go to those testing the limits. And Slade got the rewards, while Quiet Riot got their 15 minutes of fame, because apart from Bang You Head, Quiet Riot (the 80s version) really struggled in the songwriting department.

On this album, “Mama, Were All Crazee Know” and “Condition Critical” are worth a mention.

Actually what came first “Condition Critical” or Motley Crue’s “Louder Than Hell” (as it was called “Hotter Than Hell”) for the “Shout At The Devil” demos. Even the drum feel reminds me of “Too Young To Fall In Love”. And I dig the “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” Bridge/Solo section.

In the end, the audience might like where you’ve been, but if you stay where you are, others pass you by. That’s the Quiet Riot story.

And according to Wikipedia, this album is famous for a two word review: “Prognosis: Terminal”.

Strangeways – Strangeways

Not sure when this was released 1984 or 1986. Regardless, I’ll take the earlier date.

Tony Liddell is on vocals on this one and he would be replaced by Terry Brock who would be known as fronting the “classic” line up.

When I heard the debut, the following three tracks rock hard.

“Hold Back Your Love”, “Power Play” and “More Than Promises”.

Helix – Walking The Razors Edge

My cousin Mega likes the whole album, but for me, it’s these four songs; “Young and Restless”, “Animal House”, “When The Hammer Falls” and “My Kind Of Rock”.

Actually I dig the typical head banging riff, in “My Kind Of Rock” as it’s in the vein of Y&T.

Anthrax – Fistful Of Metal

The definitive story is over at loudersound.

Give it a read, but be warned, you just need to survive all the ads.

“Deathrider”, “Metal Thrashing Mad” and “Death From Above” are the standouts for me. And vocalist Neil Turbin is a bit over the shop, but hey, it’s energetic and trashy and that’s exactly what we wanted.

Hanoi Rocks – All Those Wasted Years

I don’t know what to make of this band or album. During my reefer days, “Up Around The Bend” always got me laughing and I thought “I Can’t Get It” was a Rolling Stones song.

Alcatrazz – Live Sentence

I picked this up on vinyl at a record fair in the 90s. I enjoyed listening to it and hearing Malmsteen before he became the fury.

Hiroshima Mon Amour has got the dumbest lyrics about a serious subject matter, but musically Malmsteen brings it.

There are a lot of Rainbow songs like “Since You’ve Been Gone”, “All Night Long” and “Lost In Hollywood” plus a cool cover of Michael Shenker’s “Desert Song”. The last two mentioned songs are not on the vinyl version.

And of course, Malmsteen is the star here, so he gets to introduce “Evil Eye” an instrumental song which would appear on his debut album.

Queensryche – The Warning

It was a game changer. Fates Warning built a career on this style. Mike Portnoy made the decision he wanted a Geoff Tate like vocalist for a band he was about to start up called Majesty after hearing this album.

“The Warning had a prophetic tinge, with an apocalyptic element. I suppose you could say it was a mystical look into the future.” Chris DeGarmo, Raw, November 1988

The Warning

“The song was about this gifted child who could see everything and knew what was coming, and it wasn’t a very good picture. A warning was being issued.” Chris DeGarmo, RIP, October 1991

Now see the hands of the working man
He’s leaning back against the wall
Once busy hands are idle.
Standing ready for the fall

We attach our status to the money we earn, the job we have and the life we portray to others. Unemployment is real and scary. And in the times of today, nothing is certain, not even employment.

En Force

The battered remains of a world gone insane

What’s happening to the world?

Money rules the day while all sides of religion are trying to keep their control. In the end, the ones who control the money will get a win in the short term but in the process there will be long term pain.

Deliverance

It’s the embryo of “Speak” from the “Operation Mindcrime” album.

This one is about a king who will die, to be reborn, so he can deliver them from the wrongs.

No Sanctuary

Oh, can’t you see the lies in front of you

A lot of us try, and the rest surround them selves with people who hold the same point of view as them.

Until the end I’ll fight and die to be free

No you won’t. You’ll do what you need to do to remain comfortable. No one likes to operate without a safety net these days and the ones who do, end up changing the world.

NM 156

It could have been on a Megadeth album about a dystopian Orwellian future.

Now social control requires population termination

When social control is needed, a war is just around the corner. Anyone seen the movie “The Purge”. For a 12 hour period, all murder and crimes are legal, so basically you have the poor and homeless who can’t afford security systems get eradicated.

Is that future closer to becoming a reality?

Microchip logic
Have we no more thought

I see people everyday spend forever on their Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or Snapchat feeds. Just aimlessly scrolling without any thought, squandering their potential and power by clicking and following instead of innovating and leading. It’s exactly like they have no more thought and the microchips are the social tools who make billions from our personal data.

Take Hold Of The Flame

You can hear the embryo of the ‘Operation Mindcrime” album in this song.

“The song is about people who have missed opportunities. The opening line is, “We see the line of those who find the world has passed them by / Too late to save a dream that’s gone cold.” It’s about people who have missed their chance; they didn’t capitalize on their potential for whatever reason. The light just seemed to pass them by. We felt that we had ahold of the light, and when Geoff wrote the chorus, he rewrote it as, “Take hold of the flame.”
Chris DeGarmo, RIP, October 1991

So take hold of the flame
You’ve got nothing to lose but everything to gain

People don’t realize how much power they actually have. Our data made Facebook, Google, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram billions. We watch YouTube videos instead of making them.

But it’s uncomfortable to take hold of the flame and the majority of people don’t like this responsibility.

Child Of Fire

It’s like “Children Of The Damned” from about the 2 minute mark.

Conquering masses in wonton deception
Blood red your black flag waves high

Any leader in a democracy who does the bidding of the Corporations instead of the people.

Road To Madness

Most of this is memory now
I’ve gone too far to turn back now
I’m Not quite what I thought I was but
Then again I’m maybe more

You know those times when people tell ya “trash is all your worth”. But it’s not the case. No one is special but everyone is worth so much more.

Foreigner – Agent Provocateur

Yeah, everyone knows the story about how “I Want To Know What Love Is” sold this album, but man, I was really surprised by the other songs, which are more or less ignored and “Tooth And Nail” became a staple for me.

Tooth And Nail

It sounds over produced on the album but I used to cover this song in one of my bands and that opening riff on my 5150 amp sounded heavy as fuck. People even thought it was an original.

Other tracks outside the mega ballad worthy of a listen are “That Was Yesterday”, “Growing Up The Hardway” and “Reaction To Action”.

That’s it for Part 4, stay tuned for Part 5.

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

2018 – III – The Year We Have Known Is Gone

Here is the final wrap of 2018. Have a safe break and see ya all in the new year.

Click on the playlist here.

I Am The One
We Got Tonite
Outloud

What can I say, I’m a sucker for melodic rock.

You Can’t Take Me Down
Playing With Fire
Dream Child

Craig Goldy’s little project is doing okay. People are interested, let’s see what comes next.

Lover, Leaver
Greta Van Fleet

They finally dropped an album and its selling, their previous EP is selling and people are listening. The only way is up. It’s up to them.

Self-Inflicted Wounds
Joe Bonamassa

From his “Redemption” album. On each album, there is always a track or two that connects with me.

Oblivion
Stratovarius

Can’t say I’m a fan of the band, but this song is good.

The whole Unheavenly Creatures album.
Coheed and Cambria

Read my review of it here.

Royal Beggars
Hereafter
A Wasted Hymn
Architects

Sometimes the vocal screaming gets to me, but in these three songs it’s a good mix of emotions and musically there is a lot to unpack.

The whole Firesign album.
Dynazty

Check out my review here.

The One You Loved Is Gone
Slash, Myles Kennedy And The Conspirators

Read my review here.

Are You Ready
The Best Ones Lie
Disturbed

These two are the best on the album and ignore the rest.

All The Time In The World
Whitesnake

From the surprise “Unzipped” album.

As I Fall
Afterlife
After Midnight
Andy James

Great instrumental guitar playing.

Hold The Line
Bonfire

From their “Legends” album covering a classic song that I used to cover in bands.

Swallow
I Am Fuel
Panoptical
Sons Of War
The End Will Begin Again
Thieves and Legend
Days Of Jupiter

Every era has a band that sounds similar to a famous band and then end up overtaking the band that influenced them in songwriting and risk taking.

In this case Days Of Jupiter runs rings around Disturbed but Disturbed is the one with the popularity.

Threatening War
Far Below
White Mist
Shed A Light
The Pineapple Thief

From their “Dissolution” album which is their twelfth album. Yep, you read that correct. Album number twelve and I’m hearing about the band for the first time.

It’s the way of our world know and it takes time to rise above the static noise. Just be patient and remember, music is a lifers game.

I’m A Ratt
Stephen Pearcy

From his “View To A Thrill” album. This song sounds like the ratt and roll that Robin Crosby used to bring to RATT.

First Time
Aftermath
Freedom
Long Shot
Royal Tusk

I was taken by surprise by “Tusk II”. It’s more rockier, even metal at certain times and the lyrics are more angrier.

Just Tell Me Something (featuring Danny Worsnop)
All That Remains

From their “Victims Of The New World” album. It’s the first song that stood out to me and demanded I press repeat.

What will happen to the band remains to be seen.

The Messenger
Circles

From “The Last One” album.

They are from Australia and ead this review of the album, as I totally agree with it and feel no need to further elaborate. http://www.heavyblogisheavy.com/2018/08/29/circles-the-last-one/

Life On Titan
Vault Of Heaven
Voices From The Fuselage

Ashe from TesseracT is back with his pre-TesseracT band.

Mayday
Digital Summer

A fully independent band who control their own destiny. They have been releasing singles from a forthcoming album in between jobs as paramedics and raising kids.

The Clincher – Version 103
Chevelle

From their “12 Bloody Spies: B Sides and Rarities” album. The vocal feel hooks me in.

Without You I’m Nothing
Rockin With The Boys
Bronx Boy
Mission To Mars
Ace Frehley

From his “Spaceman” album. Read Deke’s review over at Thunder Bay.

And that’s it. 2018 is a wrap. See ya next year.

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