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

Notable Mentions 2021

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

Architects – For Those That Wish To Exist

I’ve heard the name but never really listened.

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

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

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

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

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

Lord – Undercovers

An Aussie Metal band.

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

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

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

You can read my review here.

Chevelle – Niratias

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

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

Plus there is some great artwork from Boris Vallejo.

Iron Maiden – Senjetsu

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

You can read my review here.

The End Machine – Phase II

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Top 10 – 2021: Part 3

Times Of Grace – Songs Of Loss and Separation

10 years is a long time between albums.

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

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

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

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

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

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

So I press repeat.

Free Spirits Rising

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

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

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

Soen – Imperial

It’s the kind of metal I like.

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

It was like hearing Tool and I was all in.

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

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

Lumerian

How good is the Intro riff?

And the Chorus, so melodic and haunting.

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

Deceiver

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

Monarch

That Intro riff. So heavy and intricate.

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

Durbin – The Beast Awakens

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

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

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

And here we are with Durbin.

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

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

Check it out.

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Australian Method Series: Jet – Shine On

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

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

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

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

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

Holiday

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

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

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

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

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

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

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

She goes down
Like a setting sun

It leaves little to the imagination.

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

Best lyric in the song.

Bring It On Back

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

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

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

That’s All Lies

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

Kings Horses

It’s a country folk rock cut.

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

Everyone has their own version of the truth.

Shine On

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

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

Everything will be okay
We will meet again one day

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

Come On, Come On

It’s very ELO meets Rolling Stones.

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

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

Stand Up

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

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

Rip It Up

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

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

Skin And Bones

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

Shiny Magazine

It’s that whole Beatles/Oasis feel.

Eleanor

Strummed acoustics and a campfire “Rubber Soul” feel.

All You Have To Do

And the album ends.

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

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

Check it out.

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Top 10 – 2021: Part 2

And we continue the journey of 2021 releases.

Daughtry – Dearly Beloved

In 2012 Chris Daughtry had a decision to make after “Break The Spell”.

Should he stay with the same sound?

Should he change the sound completely?

Should he stay with the same sound but experiment with a few songs by bringing in different sounds?

“Baptized” came out in in November 2013 on RCA Records and it was an electro synth pop sounding album, a significant departure from the hard rock sound on their first three albums.

Like the previous albums, RCA farmed Chris Daughtry out to work with different writers. But while the writers previously had some rock pedigree, the writers on “Baptized” album specialized in other styles.

There is a song called “Long Live Rock N Roll” and it doesn’t even rock, as it’s more in the vein of “I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker”, an acoustic folk song which tells a story of growing up with a certain type of music.

Then came a “Greatest Hits” album in 2016 with two new songs called “Torches” and “Go Down.

“Torches” is actually a good bridge between the old sound and the “Baptized” sound,

The song “Go Down” has your typical catchy Daughtry vocal melody but it’s instrument sounds are routed in synth pop and electronica. Think of the band “Garbage”.

“Cage To Rattle” came out in 2018. 10 songs that total 38 minutes. RCA again was spending a lot of money for Chris Daughtry to write with so many outside writers in the quest to find hits.

But the record executives failed to understand is that Daughtry’s audience is predominantly made up of rockers. And there is a saying, when you’re chasing hits it don’t mean the hits would come.

Then Daughtry and RCA parted ways.

And Daughtry was back, louder and meaner.

“Dearly Beloved” is a return to form which shows the world that Daughtry still knows how to rock!!

Machine Head – Arrows In Words From The Sky

In October, Machine “Fucking” Head made 30 years! It’s a long time in the business. Music is a lifers game.

In the early 90s, Robb Flynn decided to quit the band he was in, to start Machine “Fucking” Head, so he could call the shots and not have to answer to anyone.

Throughout the years he’s had different versions of the band with “The Blackening” line up being the most favored and then the “Burn My Eyes” line up.

Over the last three years, Robb’s motto is simple. If he has a song, or two, he’s going to get it recorded and released.

In 2019, “Do Or Die” was released.

In February 2020, “Circle The Drain” came out.

In June 2020, the “Civil Unrest” single, featuring the tracks “Bulletproof” and the Jesse Leach collaboration “Stop The Bleeding” came out.

In November 2020, the stand alone “My Hands Are Empty” was released.

And on 11 June 2021, the 3-Song digital single, “Arrows In Words From The Sky” dropped.

In total 8 songs have been released. They could represent an album that came out today, but we all got to spend time with these songs when they came out and make em special at that particular point in time.

Centuries of pain, under a paper sword
Arrows in words from the sky

Check it out.

Joel Hoekstras 13 – Running Games

I am a Russell Allen fan. I knew of Allen long before I heard of Joel Hoekstra. Allen has a voice which can suit power symphonic bands, metal bands, melodic rock bands, hard rock bands, nu-metal bands and blues rock bands.

And I’m also a Jeff Watson fan, so I wasn’t too thrilled with any Night Ranger version without Watson. Then again Watson hasn’t done much being away from the band and I still want to hear new Night Ranger music.

So I still listened to Night Ranger and Hoekstra impressed but I felt he was restrained within that band as Blades and Keagy are the alphas.

And with Whitesnake, Coverdale has two great guitarists to write tunes with but they need to comply with what Coverdale desires.

Which means that Hoekstra 13 is the true Joel Hoekstra.

“Running Games” is album number 2 for his Frontiers label contract.

The band for the album is a supergroup are Russell Allen on vocals, Tony Franklin on bass, Vinny Appice on drums and Derek Sherinian on keyboards with Jeff Scott Soto doing backing vocals. Yep, you read that right, the great JSS is doing backing vocals.

Overall Hoekstra’s songwriting is top level and the performances from the guys are excellent.

Check it out.

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

Top 10 – 2021: Part 1

2021 Top Ten

I suppose it’s that time to start providing some EOY lists.

I’ll start with what I see as my favourite ten albums, EP’s or Singles released for the year. And then there will be another posts on my Spotify listening habits for the year.

So here it goes.

Here is Part 1, which features my go to artists with 2021 releases and it’s not an numerical order.

The Night Flight Orchestra – Aeromantic II

“80’s Miami Vice Pop”.

Two of my favourite Kiss albums are “Dynasty” and “Unmasked” because they brought in other styles of music into the Kiss rock sound and somehow Kiss still made it sound like hard rock.

So I wasn’t surprised to hear that “Dynasty” and “Unmasked” are also the favourite albums for the guys in TNFO and how they see the song “Easy As It Seems” as the blueprint for a TNFO song.

And how can you knock back a song called “How Long” which has been described as “90s Deep Purple on cocaine”.

So if you grew up in the 80’s listening to hard rock and melodic rock, then you need to listen to this.

Evergrey – Escape Of The Phoenix

Tom Englund is the mainstay, the founder, the main writer, the vocalist and also one of the guitarists.

Opener and first pre-release single, “Forever Outsider” showcases the power of the band at its metal best, while the second pre-release single “Eternal Nocturnal” showcases the power of the band at its hard rock best with sing-along Choruses and Henrik Danhage stealing the spotlight with his unbelievable, shredalicious and memorable solo spotlight.

“In Absence Of Sun” is heartfelt, melancholic, mournful and emotive while “You From You” has this Michael Schenker ballad like vibe in the intro.

Check it out.

Dee Snider – Leave A Scar

Dee Snider has a voice for heavy metal.

A simple dare from Jamey Jasta, brought forth “For The Love Of Metal” and it caught a lot of people by surprise.

“Leave A Scar” carries forth the metal torch.

With tracks like “I Gotta Rock (Again)” the intro riff from Bellmore is excellent and the drum groove smashes you awake.

Be a lifer til I’m done

But “Silent Battles” is my favorite track on the album.

The guitar riff to kick off the song reminds me of all the good things I like about the 80’s. I’m hearing George Lynch, EVH, a bit of Vito Bratta and Nuno Bettencourt.

Don’t leave your mark, leave a scar

There aren’t a lot of artists in their mid-60’s producing quality music like this. Dee Snider is doing it and he’s making it look very easy.

The Bellmore brothers are underrated talents as songwriters and instrumetalists, on the guitar and drums.

Check em out.

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1996 – Part 4.7: Semisonic – Great Divide

Those 70’s Classic Rock vibes came back in full force in the mid 90’s, rebranded as Alternative Rock.

“Closing Time” in 1998 made them Superstars so I was curious to hear more.

Semisonic is an American rock band formed in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1995.

The band has three members: Dan Wilson (lead vocals, guitar, keyboards), John Munson (bass guitar, keyboards, backing vocals, guitar), and Jacob Slichter (drums, percussion, keyboards, backing vocals).

“Great Divide” is the debut album released on April 9, 1996 by MCA Records. The band had signed a record contract with Elektra Records to record the album. During recording, Bob Krasnow, the president of Elektra Records had quit, and in the changeover to a new president, the Neglektra dropped Semisonic. The band then signed with MCA Records, and finished recording the album.

F.N.T

The main riff is catchy.

If I Run

I like the groove on this and the way the vocal melody sounds.

Delicious

It reminds me of Everclear and that whole power pop and post-grunge scene.

Down In Flames

Very Pearl Jam like and bleak.

Temptation

Press play on this just for the bass groove and the way the guitars and keyboard play the riff.

The sort of falsetto like vocal melody is also different and catchy.

The Prize

Before Creed wrote “Higher” there was “The Prize”.

Brand New Baby

The best song on the album. Press play to hear the Chorus.

Hearing this album so many years after it’s release is a fun trip. A lot of people see this album as better than the second album. Then again, they are labeled as a “one hit wonder”.

Ignore all that and just press play.

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1996 – Part 4.6: Steve Vai – Fire Garden

I sort of lost track of Steve Vai in the mid 90’s along with all the other instrumental guitarists I was into.

“Fire Garden” is his fourth studio album, released on September 17, 1996 through Epic Records.

As described by Vai in the liner notes, Fire Garden is a concept album divided into two “phases”.

“Phase 1” comprises tracks 1–9 and is entirely instrumental while “Phase 2”, features Vai on vocals on every song except the instrumental “Warm Regards”.

There’s a Fire in the House

The start of Phase 1.

This feels like it could have come from a Whitesnake album. David Coverdale would have had a nice time coming up with lyrics to the riffs here as it’s got that heavy rock feel from the “Slip Of The Tongue” album which although Steve Vai didn’t co-write, he recorded all the guitars for.

The Crying Machine

I like the funky rock on this and Vai’s lead for what I call the “verses” is excellent.

Then it moves into a Blues and Funk Rock fusion solo section.

Dyin’ Day

This song is listed as a co-write with Ozzy Osbourne as it was written during the writing sessions for Osbourne’s 1995 album “Ozzmosis”.

Another song from those sessions, “My Little Man”, made its way onto the “Ozzmosis” record and is credited on that album as being co-written by Vai.

I don’t know what Osbourne could have written on an instrumental song, however I am pretty sure contractually Vai had to add him as a co-writer.

How good is the acoustic guitar riff to start it off?

Whookam

Useless track of backward vocals.

Blowfish

Great track, with a groovey riff which wouldn’t be out of place on a Joe Satriani album.

The Mysterious Murder of Christian Tiera’s Lover

A minute of Steve Vai doodling and it’s somehow a track. More like a solo section spot light.

Hand on Heart

It’s a romantic power ballad instrumental. Press play on it.

Bangkok

Written by Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus and Tim Rice. Yep it’s those Abba dudes. The sound of flies starts it all off and the flies get louder and louder and louder and then the music comes in, more soundtrack like with a classical exotic feel.

It’s a great track which segues into the best track on the album.

Fire Garden Suite

It clocks in at 9.56 and it has four parts in “Bull Whip”, “Pusa Road”, “Angel Food” and “Taurus Bulba”.

It reminds me of the progressive rock fusion of Al DiMeola and Dream Theater. It’s some of his best music.

Definitely press play on this.

This song also has Mike Mangini playing drums on it.

And Phase 1 ends here.

Deepness

Phase 2 begins here.

A 47 second song that features some vocals from Devin Townsend, actually more yeahs and ahhs then vocals.

Little Alligator

Vai’s take on the Blues is very Mixolydian and Lydian like instead of Pentatonic.

All About Eve

Vocally, Vai sounds very Alternative Rock like. But musically, it feels like I am listening to a Dream Theater album.

Aching Hunger

It sounds like a Prince song, like “When Doves Cry”.

Brother

Emotional song, with Vai’s attempt on Southern Country Rock sounding modern and great.

Damn You

I like the riff that starts it, and before bands like Stone Temple Pilots blew us away, I guess Steve Vai was already doing it.

When I Was a Little Boy

It’s a skip for me.

Genocide

It’s a weird title for a song which sounds like a stadium rock song.

Warm Regards

A relaxed ballad instrumental jam to end the album.

And the personnel for the album is extensive. Steve Vai plays a lot of instruments plus he produced it and engineered it and wrote it. He had five drummers come in. The bulk of the drums are done by Deen Castronovo, with Mike Mangini playing a couple of tracks and Chris Frazier, Greg Bissonette and Robin DiMaggio providing drums on a track each. Steve Vai plays most of the bass, but that funky bass on “The Crying Machine” is played by John Avila and Stuart Hamm appears on “Dyin’ Day”.

Phase 1 is exceptional.

Phase 2 is Vai trying to do things a bit different and add vocals to his solo career which didn’t connect.

In the end, the album is a fusion of so many different styles that it almost can be labelled a prog rock record.

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The Week In Destroyer Of Harmony History – December 5 to December 11

4 Years Ago (2017)

1983

The final blog post of my devotion to the year known as 1983 involved an eclectic bunch of artists.

Like “Modern Love” from David Bowie,
“One Of The Few” from Pink Floyd, “Sirens” from Savatage and “Cuts Like a Knife” from Bryan Adams.

“Alpha” from Asia which sold a lot but it was still seen as a failure by the record label because it didn’t match the sales of the debut album a year before.

“Head First” from Uriah Heep, another 70’s act that had to re-establish itself in the 80’s MTV world. So it was no surprise the band delivered a very pop sounding 15th album.

“Nemesis” from Axe was also on the list. Remember “Rock ‘N’ Roll Party In The Streets”. It’s from Axe’s 1982 album “Offering”. The name “Axe” didn’t really market the band to its full potential.

Axe was touring with Mötley Crüe in 1984 when their guitarist was killed in a vehicle accident. Another member was badly injured and the band broke up after the accident.

Michael Bolton was a rocker first and a balladeer later. He was in a hard rock band called Blackjack with Bruce Kulick between 79/80, so it was no surprise to see Bruce Kulick on lead guitar when Bolton went solo on his self-titled debut. Even Bruce’s bro, Bob Kulick makes an appearance. Another favourite guitarist of mine, Al Pitrelli replaced Kulick for the tour which was cancelled after four shows.

U2 and the “War” album was on the list along with Divinyls and the “Desperate” album. The song “Boys In Town” was all over the TV and the radio in Australia.

Eurythmics had me hooked with “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)”, “Here Comes The Rain Again” and “Who’s That Girl”.

Being the long haired lout I was, I hated the way Spandau Ballet looked, but man they could write a good pop tune that worked well in a rock context. “Pleasure”, “Gold” and “True” are such songs. Great to re-interpret on guitar for a rock setting and it was interesting learning sax solos for lead guitar.

Elton John along with Bernie Taupin wrote pop songs that worked well as rock songs. “Kiss The Bride” and “I’m Still Standing” are two such songs I covered in various bands I was in.

Jim Steinman moved from Meatloaf to Bonnie Tyler. Big production, big songs and a lot of piano lines ripped off from classical music. But the best song on the album is “Have You Ever Seen The Rain” a cover of a Creedence Clearwater Revival song.

“90125” from Yes was album number 11 and the band was a very different beast from its Seventies incarnation.

SAYING ONE THING AT A TIME

If an artist is creating songs and making those songs difficult to get, the audience would surely move on to something else.

If a person talks for 70 minutes we will hear nothing. If an artist releases 70 minutes of music, we will remember some of it and forget the rest.

Most of my favorite albums lasted between 30 to 40 minutes in total.

All new music is competing with the history of music, plus TV shows with movie budgets, plus blockbuster movies, plus technologies and social media, plus AI created news stories and the history of print.

Maybe music is better when it is released frequently and when an artist tries to say one thing at a time, instead of 10 different things at once.

8 Years Ago (2013)

SALES

Spotify came into the market with the idea that they need to compete with free. And compete they did. The service even started to break artists to the masses, something that the record labels couldn’t do or were clueless to do.

But the mass media still focuses on the sales in the first week and the chart position. This is so old school and not a great measuring tool of reach or success, especially for new acts starting out.

But we get headlines like this.

Loudwire: Dream Theater’s new DVD ‘Live At Luna Park’ recently entered at No 1 on the Soundscan music DVD chart.

Loudwire: Volume 2 of Five Finger Death Punch’s ‘Wrong Side Of Heaven; lands at No. 2 on Billboard 200.

Blabbermouth: “Wretched and Divine: The Story of the Wild Ones” sold 42,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 7 on The Billboard 200 chart.

DOES A BAND HAVE CUSTOMERS OR FANS?

“Our audience are fans first and customers second. We really try not to annoy them.”
The above quote is from Stefan Mennerich, Bayern Munich Director of New Media, Media Rights & IT.

So how can a band turn fans into satisfied customers that keep on coming back, again and again?

DREAM THEATER

My favorite tracks from the DT album are still…
“The Bigger Picture” and “Illumination Theory”.

MEGADETH

Megadeth was in the news sections of the metal and rock websites a fair bit back then.

Regardless of what people think about Dave Mustaine or Megadeth, they can never take away the historical fact that Megadeth were early web pioneers.

Does anyone remember their old “Megadeth, Arizona” site that was launched in 1994 and then re-designed and re-launched for the “Cryptic Writings” release two years later?

Apart from the normal pieces of information, it was also a place for fans to check in, hang out and interact with the band along with other fans. Something that social media has built on and improved.

2013

Well the year was almost over and it was time to look back at the albums that connected and hit the mark for 2013 for me.

  1. Protest The Hero – Volition
  2. Avenged Sevenfold – Hail To The King
  3. Five Finger Death Punch – The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell Vol 1
  4. Killswitch Engage – Disarm The Descent
  5. TesserAcT – Altered State
  6. Trivium – Vengeance Falls
  7. Coheed and Cambria – The Afterman – Descension
  8. Five Finger Death Punch – The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell Vol 2
  9. Volbeat – Outlaw Gentlemen and Shady Ladies
  10. Alter Bridge – Fortress

Notable Mentions

Audrey Horne – Youngblood
Mutiny Within – Synchronicity
Hearts And Hands – My Own Machine
Love and Death – Between Here and The Lost
Sound Of Contact – Dimensionaut
Faith Circus – Turn Up The Band

Final Notable Mentions

Due to my kids overdosing on the music I placed on their iPods certain classic rock albums have come back into my life.

Twisted Sister – You Cant Stop Rock N Roll
Twisted Sister – Stay Hungry
Kiss – Lick It Up
Kiss – Asylum
Kiss – Destroyer
Deep Purple – Machine Head
Bon Jovi – Slippery When Wet
Survivor – Eye Of The Tiger
Europe – The Final Countdown

CRY FOR FREEDOM

White Lion had the balls to tackle the subject of apartheid.

The Eighties mainstream Metal and rock had degenerated into a state of generic and clichéd derivative lyrical themes and subjects involving sex, partying and drugs.

When bands branched away from that, it was very hit and miss.

White Lion fell into that crowd of misses as the label “Atlantic” would still push them as pop metal or pop rock.

The tours and marketing had White Lion sandwiched amongst bands like Motley Crue, Skid Row, Kiss, Whitesnake, Alice Cooper, Blue Murder and Badlands.

RANDY RHOADS

Randy Rhoads is a huge influence.

My first introduction to Randy Rhoads was the “Tribute” album and the tablature book that came with it formed my bible for a long time.

He was just unique.

Rhoads formed Quiet Riot when he was 16 years old however as good as Randy Rhoads was, the band couldn’t get a record deal in the U.S and they ended up releasing two albums (QR I and QR II) in Japan. Of course this incarnation of Quiet Riot was a totally different line up that sang “Cum On Feel The Noize” which in turn brought metal to the mainstream.

Most people know his musical legacy from the two landmark albums he made with Ozzy Osbourne.

The post covers my Top 10 songs from Randy Rhoads.

And that’s another wrap for another week.

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

Australian Method Series and 1996 – Part 4.5: Powderfinger – Double Allergic

“Double Allergic” is their second album released in 1996.

It peaked at No. 4 on the ARIA Albums Chart and was certified triple platinum by ARIA for shipment of 210,000 units by 2007.

Like all second albums it contained material that had been written for the debut album.

You know the saying. Artists have their whole lifetime to write their first and second album and only a few months to write their third.

They worked with an expensive producer on their first album but worked with a less well known producer for this.

From 1992 until their break-up in 2010, the line-up consisted of vocalist Bernard Fanning on vocals, guitarists Darren Middleton and Ian Haug, bass guitarist John Collins and drummer Jon Coghill.

“Pick You Up” was the first single and is by far the best pop song on the album.

“D.A.F.” is the the second single, and it’s title is the chord progression.

“Living Type” was the third single written about the Manson Family cult, and came with an X-Files style music video.

But if you want to press play on a song, then press play on “Oipic” and let the Led Zep exotic Sounds take you away.

By the way, this isn’t the album that got me interested. It was the next one “Internationalist” and the song “Passenger”. But that’s for another post.

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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: Deep Purple – Come Taste The Band

It took Deep Purple seven years to make it to the top and two years to break up. The air is thin at the mountain top.

Deep Purple had lost their lead singer Ian Gillan and bassist Roger Glover in 1973 and replaced them with David Coverdale and Glen Hughes. This MK3 version recorded two albums and then guitarist Richie Blackmore left at the start of 1975. This was weird as Deep Purple was seen as “his” band. And from looking at it, it’s like the owner of the house vacating their premises for the guests to take over running the house.

But Deep Purple would soldier on, replacing Blackmore with a young guitar hero from the U.S. known as Tommy Bolin. Rounding out the band is the rest of MK3, David Coverdale, Glenn Hughes, Jon Lord and Ian Paice.

And MK4 was created.

“Come Taste The Band” came out in 1975. It’s the usual production team of the band and Martin Birch.

The name Tommy Bolin came into my life because of Motley Crue. The Crue covered the song “Teaser” for a Compilation album and they also released it on a Raw Tracks CD made for the Japanese market, which I got my hands on. The song is so good and sleazy it sounded like a Crue original and I was curious to hear more from Bolin.

So as I was going back into the career of David Coverdale because of Whitesnake’s attention grabbing 87 LP, I was doing the same for Tommy Bolin.

So I got my hands on the “Teaser” and “Private Eyes” album first and imagine my surprise when I came across an album that had both Coverdale and Bolin on it.

Comin’ Home

Written by Tommy Bolin, David Coverdale and Ian Paice with vocals provided by Coverdale.

This song rocks out of the gate paying homage to the fast rock sounds of Deep Purple MK1, MK2 and MK3. But it was more Grand Funk, like “We’re An American Band”.

Lady Luck

Written by Jeffrey Cook who co-wrote songs with Bolin for the “Teaser” record with lyrical contributions from Coverdale.

Vocals are provided by Coverdale. In didn’t really do much for me.

Gettin’ Tighter

Written by Bolin and Hughes with vocals provided by Hughes.

This song is funky out of the gate, and sleazy once the whole band comes in.

Dealer

Written by Bolin and Coverdale with vocals provided by Coverdale and Bolin.

It’s very Hendrix “Purple Haze” like in the riff departments with a Beatles like Folk Rock interlude which Bolin sung.

I Need Love

Written by Bolin and Coverdale with vocals provided by Coverdale.

I like the groove on this, and the way the verse riffs are played out with the heavy synth from Lord.

Drifter

Side 2 begins with this song written by Bolin and Coverdale with vocals provided by Coverdale.

It’s got a great Intro which reminds of “You Really Got Me” or “American Woman” and check out the groove that comes in once the drums and bass kick in.

Coverdale’s bluesy voice is a highlight.

At 2.36 there is just a bass and keys section over a drum groove. It reminds me of things that Rush would do.

Then Bolin comes in, with volume swells and a solo begins. The drums and bass become busy as they build it up, and the vocals come back in. Its brilliant, it gives me goose bumps all the time, so press play just to hear that.

Love Child

“Heartbreaker” anyone. Press play and listen to the intro.

Written by Bolin and Coverdale with vocals provided by Coverdale.

The verse groove and riff are my favourites even though the whole “love child driving me wild” lyric didn’t set the world on fire.

At 1.50, they go into a progressive rock style groove and Lord solos over it.

This Time Around / Owed to ‘G’

Written by Hughes, Lord and Bolin with vocals provided by Hughes.

It’s very progressive sounding, like ELO and it moves into a great instrumental jam over a 12/8 groove with excellent lead guitar from Mr Bolin himself.

You Keep On Moving

Written by Coverdale and Hughes with vocals provided by Coverdale and Hughes.

This is the standout track. Its haunting and melancholic and it was written during the “Burn” sessions but not used.

Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Czechoslovakia and West Germany all got behind this version of the band. The Japanese still loved em and New Zealand loved em even more.

But.

The classical progressions and jams had been replaced with groove, soul and funk. It could be seen as an early Whitesnake album, as a few tracks have “Love” in the title, which is similar to every Whitesnake album.

Also in 1975, Tommy Bolin had two records competing against each other, which probably wasn’t the best scenario for Deep Purple however I have seen “Teaser” album pictures with a sticker on em that said “Guitarist Of Deep Purple”. Since most of the songs were written by Coverdale and Bolin, the project could have been billed as Coverdale/Bolin.

After the tour for this album finished in March, 1976, Deep Purple MK4 was no more. Glen Hughes was already having issues and was in and out of rehab. David Coverdale would form Whitesnake and get Jon Lord and Ian Paice into the project. And Tommy Bolin by December 1976, was dead from drug intoxication as morphine, cocaine, lidocaine and alcohol were all found in his system.

But the music lives on.

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