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

Soaked – Evergrey

A vocal line, three heavily distorted palm-muted chords and then the next vocal line.

An intro which gets your attention from the outset.

My chest is open
My heart’s on the ground
My bare feet soaked in my blood
As I leave you without a sound

When you enter the depths of a relationship (friends, family or lover) argument, there is no winner, just a lot of bad blood. And you might smile and pretend that everything will be okay when you make up, the truth is, nothing is the same.

There will always be the words said, and the hurt that came with them. Each make up is a reset and a recalibration.

No one to reach for
Even though I stretched too far

It’s an empty feeling, when you are in the depths of loneliness and your thoughts are getting the better of you.

No one sky to warm me up

There are days like this, when you don’t want to get out of bed and face the different situations the day has in store for you or to see the people you need to see.

As darkness clouds the blue

The darkness of the mind and the thoughts that live there, the thoughts that you are scared to confront or seek help for.

I’m leaving
I couldn’t live with the shame
No more denying
I’ve stopped the search for blame

Leaving and making the choice to leave, is the most difficult decision a person can make. And once it is made, nothing can stop it.

Even at the basic level of leaving a job, a home or a school. Once the decision is made, it’s made. There is nothing that can stop you.

Twenty-seven years of falling
Twenty-seven winters slave
Twenty-seven years of dreaming
And this is all the strength life gave
Twenty-seven summers weaker
And the autumn’s just the same
Twenty-seven years…

When I first heard the song, I associated the 27 years to the years given to a relationship. But then I read an interview and this is what Tom Englund had to say about it;

SOAKED is about a friend of mine who killed himself.
Tom Englund

And suddenly all of my interpretations and meanings took on a different light. And 27 is in that zone which the media reports so frequently when celebrities take their lives. It’s the zone of having lived long enough to decide if their life is worth it.

Because from young, people are conditioned to believe that life is an upward trajectory. And when it doesn’t pan out like that, with more lows and disappointments than highs, well….

And if you’d ask then I’d deny that
I didn’t have the strength to fight that drowning weakness
And I buried all signs to cover what I feel underneath
The hollow remains of me

You basically give up. You portray one side of yourself to people and another side, within the four walls of your room. Even if people asked “are you okay?”, you would smile and say “yes”.

And the outro solo from Henrik is impressive in its melodicism.

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Music, My Stories

The Pirate Vault #6

Electric Nights Mix Tape

Before playlists became an iTunes sensation, people who grew up before the internet called em “Mix Tapes”. One thing I enjoy is listening to different artists when I am cruising, and this is just one of those kind of mix tapes.

And I have no idea why I called it “Electric Nights”. It feels like a pretty lame title.

I also try to sequence my playlists/mix tapes like how I would like an album to be sequenced. My rough guide is;

  • TRACK 1 – The Killer Opening Track with Serious Riffage
  • TRACK 2 – The Fun Track
  • TRACK 3 – The Meant To Be “Big Hit” Track
  • TRACK 4 – The “Ballad Song” or “Experimental Song” or “We Dont Know What to Do With” Song
  • TRACK 5 – The Killer Side 1 Closer
  • TRACK 6 – The Killer Side 2 Opening Track
  • TRACK 7 – The Song That Will Not Be Played Live
  • TRACK 8 – The Cover Song or The We Are Running Out Of Ideas Song or The Melodic Rock Song We Are Not Sure Our Fans Will Like
  • TRACK 9 – The We Ran Out Of Time Song
  • TRACK 10 – The Killer Speed Metal Closer or The Killer Epic Power Ballad Closer
  • TRACK 11 – The Bonus Track

SIDE A

    Black Hearted Woman – Blue Murder

John Sykes brings the riffage to kick off the imaginary album with the killer opening track.

    Jet City Woman – Queensryche

Then Eddie Jackson brings the bass for track number 2 and we have lift off.

  • Fantasy – Project Driver

The supergroup project of Tony MacAlpine, Tommy Aldridge, Rob Rock, Rudi Sarzo bring the melodic rock for the track which was meant to be the big hit on the album.

  • Had Enough – Tesla

And those Sacramento rockers bring the bar room brawls with our experimental song.

  • You’re All I Need – The Scream

John Corabi and his Scream buddies bring the ballad.

    Hold The Line – Toto

I used to cover this song in bands and to this day, I can’t turn it off whenever it comes on. Steve Lukather decorates the songs tastily with power chords and melodic leads.

  • Tell Me Why – The Scream

A blues rock track with Corabi showing his vocal chops.

  • I Can See It In Your Eyes – Project Driver

Another melodic rock gem from this supergroup.

  • Freedom Slaves – Tesla

The intro of the bass and the military style marching beat is enough.

  • Nobody Rides For Free – Ratt

The palm muted guitars with the bass and drums building. A perfect closer for the perfect imaginary album.

SIDE B

  • Bad Boys – Whitesnake

And another John Sykes cut to bring the riffage.

  • Look What The Cat Dragged In – Poison

Shoot me but I dig the main riff from CC DeVille in this song.

  • For A Million Years – Lynch Mob

One of my favourite cuts from “Wicked Sensation” with Lynch riffing and rolling, while Oni Logan delivers a stellar vocal performance.

  • This Time – Y&T

I always enjoyed the ballads.

  • The Morning After – Ratt

The riffage from the real Ratt and Roller, Robin Crosby cements this song.

  • Temptation – Y&T

Harmony guitars, a melodic rock chorus and Meniketti’s brilliant voice.

  • You’re Gonna Break My Heart Again – Whitesnake

At this point, the imaginary album needed to be picked up with some serious riffage, so off to John Sykes I went.

  • Dust In The Wind – Kansas

One of my favourite acoustic pieces.

  • Too Late To Say Goodbye – Richard Marx

Marx is a rocker to me, and when he rocks, he does a good job.

  • Run For Your Life – Twisted Sister

One of my favourites from “Under The Blade”.

  • Lightning Strikes Again – Dokken

And we close off the album with some serious riffage from George Lynch and Don Dokken screaming, Lightningggggggg, Lightning strikes again.

Iron Maiden – Piece Of Mind and Eric Clapton/Metallica/Maiden Mix

Yeah what a tape.

An awesome Maiden album (which I have already written about in my 1984 year posts, plus will revisit when I get to my Record Vault collection of Iron Maiden), along with some Clapton songs from various albums, plus some live Metallica and Maiden stuff which would have appeared on B sides of CD singles.

Magellan – Hour Of Restoration and Impending Ascension

When I look at the song titles, I cannot even remember a lick or a word or a vocal melody. But once upon a time, it felt important to copy this from my cousin.

Aerosmith – Get A Grip

My mate, Mofartin had it, and I copied it and it served its purpose at the time, until I purchased the CD which I have covered in my Aerosmith Record Vault post.

Bad News

One of the best albums from the worst ever Rock and Roll band that ever was. Spinal Tap has nothing on these guys…

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Music, My Stories

The Record Vault – Bon Jovi Cassettes

The Record Vault for Bon Jovi will need to be broken up over a few different posts as I have a lot of Jovi content. I didn’t even realize I’ve amassed so much.

So this one deals with the product I have less of.

Cassettes.  

This Aint A Love Song / Lonely At The Top

I was always on the lookout for singles with a B side which isn’t an album track. And the I reckon “This Aint A Love Song” is a crap song. And like the single track, “Lonely At The Top” is very similar. The next appearance of the song is on the “100,000,000 Fans Can’t Be Wrong” Boxset.

Lay Your Hands On Me (Edit) / Runaway (Live)

I got this one, because the single edit was different to the album version, basically no drum intro and a live version of “Runaway”.

How good is that synth intro in “Runaway”?

And Jovi is in top form here.

7800 Degrees Fahrenheit / Dokken – Under Lock And Key

The tape got mangled by the cassette deck, which is a risk we always took with cassette tapes. So instead of re-buying it again, I got a blank tape and dubbed it off a friend as well as “Under Lock And Key” from Dokken.

Win-win.

And the album is a melodic rock gem to me. Songs like “The Price Of Love”, “Only Lonely” and “Always Run To You” bring the melody and tracks like “In And Out Of Love”, “Tokyo Road”, “King Of The Mountain” and “The Hardest Part Is The Night” bring the rock.

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

The Record Vault – Black Stone Cherry

I heard these guys at the jam place that I used with one of the bands I was in. The guy that owned the premises, is a blues rock drummer and a part time bikie. He had the debut album playing on his stereo in the admin area of the complex. He told me the name of the band and off to TPB I went later that night and downloaded the first two albums.

Black Stone Cherry

The debut, released in 2006.

The opening metal like riff in “Rain Wizard” got me interested and the Chris Cornell like vocals hooked me in. The “Stockholm Syndrome” like riff from Muse in “Backwoods Gold” also made me interested.

And the album keeps rolling with “Lonely Train”, a Mesa Boogie down tuned rattler, about to go off the rails.

“Shooting Star” is a great song but the best song is “Drive”, hidden deep into the album. And the closer “Rollin’ On” closes off the album nicely.

Folklore and Superstition

Released in 2008, this is the album that stands out to me.

“Please Come In” sounds like a Led Zep/Bad Company cut.

“Reverend Winkle” is a cross between “Come Together” and an arena rock Chorus, about a person who knows the only way home. “Things My Father Said” is a song I’ve already written about.

“The Bitter End” is an impressive speed rock song but “Long Sleeves” and “Peace Is Free” are my favourites while “Ghost Of Floyd Collins”, “Stranger” and “Bulldozer” close out a pretty damn fine second album.

Between The Devil and The Deep Blue Sea

Released in 2011, this album is produced by Howard Benson and outside writers are contributing. The label or the band must have felt like they needed a more commercial pop push, but to me, there was nothing wrong with “Folklore and Superstition”. All it needed was an updated part 2.  

The “White Trash Millionaire” aint “got much and they don’t care” as the song sleazily grooves from start to finish and the “Killing Floor” talks about how some people want other people to pay for their own shortcomings while it metallically smoulders along.

“Such A Shame” is a modern metal rock song. The lyrical theme is heavy, about child abuse, which would also turn off a lot of people from the song, as they don’t want to be confronted by heavy subject matter in music.

“Won’t Let Go” is a cool ballad, a love song about life keeping you running but you won’t let go of what you have. And the album changes tact with “Blame It On The Boom Boom”, a track which could have come from a Josey Scott “Saliva” album.

“Like I Roll” rocks along as it rolls along the open road with Rolling Stones on the radio and flying high until you die. “Stay” is one of those modern rock ballads which works for me about telling someone you love em, just to make em stay. And “Die With Me” closes the album nicely, with an arena chorus which makes me press repeat.

Magic Mountain

Released in 2014 and the heavy stoner groove and sound was exactly what I was looking for. If I had to rate the albums, this one and “Folklore and Superstition” would be battling it out in the Superbowl.

And when I think about it, the reason for really liking this album is the 70’s feel.

The 12/8 feel of “Holding On…To Letting Go” grabs me by the head and makes it bang and the Pantera/Dream Theater “Mirror” like breakdown cemented this song’s status as legendary.

“Peace Pipe” is one of the best Bad Company cuts that Bad Company didn’t write. “Bad Luck and Hard Love” and “Me And Mary Jane” all have that bluesy vibe, which I dig. “Runaway” about a rebel on the run and hooking up with a gypsy on the run, is perfect.

And they ask us to take a trip to the “Magic Mountain” after we drink from the fountain.

And Black Stone Cherry (named after a box of Black Stone Cigars with a cherry flavour) is a favourite, because at the core, they are a rock band, which bring in elements of so many different styles and genres into their mix.

Since, these albums, the band has released “Kentucky” in 2016 and “Family Tree” in 2018, along with two EP releases called “Black To Blues, Vol. 1” in 2017 and “Black To Blues, Vol. 2” in 2018. And it all falls in line with the current music model of releasing more frequently.

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Music, My Stories

Regulations And Rules Or Living Life Your Way

Music is an emotive and personal experience, which always gets my imagination going. At different times in my life, certain styles and lyrical content appealed to me.

Originally, it was themes of rebellion. And although “Breakin’ The Rules” from AC/DC doesn’t get as much attention as their other songs, it more or less sums up rebellion, instead of the usual “take these fists and break down the walls” approach.

The street jungle and the tough childhoods, examinations done no good

The street jungle had an unwritten law. The oldest kids normally threatened you but protected you, the kids in the middle tried to get you do the wrong things and the schools tried their best to mould you into a factory worker.

No rebellion, not today, I get my kicks in my own way, right OK

Today, cameras are everywhere. A surveillance police state in democratic lands. Hell, you can’t even jump on a train for free anymore, how we did back in the day. There are cameras and gates everywhere. And once upon a time, kids used to ride for free on buses, well, nobody has gotten a free ride for the last thirty years.

Take off your ties and your regulation shoes, You’re nothing but a bunch of regulation fools, yeah

Do you want to follow, or do you want to do things your way?

We all want more access and more power to do what we want with our monies in retirement pension plans and savings accounts. However we are being told by the government, if you do this, you will be charged this tax, and if you do this, you will pay this tax.

All of these rules and regulations that we need to follow today stop us from achieving our potential, and when the Governments see fit, they will change these rules tomorrow because the Government deemed it so or to benefit the ones in control.

I’m gonna do things my own way, every day, every day, everyday, In every way, I ain’t gonna pay no attention to your rules

As great as it sounds, we all try to live within the rules, so no harm comes to others. Instead of going to school to go to college, go to school to expand your mind, travel and study in different parts of the world. How’s that for a different approach?

Every day, I work so hard

Every day, I’m dealt the cards

Every day, I’m told exactly what to do

From “I Believe In Rock ‘N’ Roll” by Twisted Sister. You know how the story goes, work hard, get a good education and everything will work out.

Well it doesn’t work out like that. Because working hard to get ahead is for fools. All you are doing is building other people’s dreams.

And rebellion made people have dreams of becoming a rock star or a pop star. It was portrayed as fun, flying to different places, partying all day and night doing what you love, which is writing and playing music. Of course, some had other dreams like astronaut aspirations and what not.

But these days, the impact of music is lost to society and culture. Kids either want to be social media stars or professional gamers or professional sports athletes or techies or bankers.

It’s because people swarm to what makes money and when people see a 22 month old make $22 million on YouTube just by playing with toys, well, everyone wants to earn easy money like that. 

But the rock and metal genre makes money. The back catalogues of rock and metal artists who made a name for themselves in the era before Napster, still make millions in revenue, even from streaming. Even artists who built a career from the two thousands and onwards, make decent coin in streaming. Of course, all of this is underpinned by the artist having control over their rights, which in most cases they don’t.

When did metal heads and rock heads become such rule players?

In the 70’s, the label heads couldn’t even get the artists into the recording studio. And today, artists play the game within the regulations set upon them by others instead of breaking the rules.

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Music, My Stories

Paying Attention

For how long do we pay attention?

Nikki Sixx went to a Twitter war against Steel Panther and everyone had a laugh for a day or two. Then nothing.

Motley Crue then blew up their “ceasing touring agreement” and everyone had a laugh again for a day or two. And now nothing.

James Hetfield went into rehab and Metallica cancelled their Australian shows. Everyone said get well James and Metallica said nothing.

Paul Stanley got sick and Kiss cancelled their Australian shows. Everyone said it’s due to lack of sales because they always could have rescheduled.

Ozzy drops two tracks in two weeks and the usual press outlets are all over it for a week, due to marketing placements. Time will tell how far into the public conversation these tracks will go.

In Australia, a third of the country is burning due to bushfires and our politicians are sending prayers, while people die and their homes are destroyed.

Global Warming and Climate Change is still a myth to the democratically elected politicians, who instead of working for the people, work for the corporations who sponsor them.

Banks are not passing on interest rates cuts.

More Surveillance bills in facial recognition, are introduced by governments, in the name of safety, to turn democracies into dictatorships.

And somehow, we are all responsible for making other organisations lose money.

We have water restrictions in place in certain states of Australia, so we are using less water. Well, this is a problem, because the water supplier charges us, based on water used. So if we are using less water, our bills are lower which means less money to the water supplier. This can’t happen, so let’s increase the rate per kilolitre so the bills stay the same.

We all have so much going on, we usually browse and move on, maybe to read a book or to watch/play sport or to do something outdoors or to catch up with friends and family or to go on a holiday or to just play with our devices.  

It’s a different world out there.

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

The Record Vault – Bad English

Supergroups either work or they don’t and this one definitely worked when it came to chart and sales success. Formed in 1987, the band featured Journey guitarist Neal Schon and keyboardist Jonathan Cain who was also re-united with singer John Waite and bassist Ricky Phillips, his former bandmates in The Babys, along with drummer Deen Castronovo.

The first album, released in 1989, had two big hits, which pushed it to platinum. But I hated “When I See You Smile” and “Price Of Love”.

Very different songs hooked me. It started off with “Forget Me Not”. The Van Hagar sounding (but based on a Van Roth riff like “Dance The Night Away”) and “Heaven Is A 4 Letter Word” rocked harder than the hits and the likes continued with songs like “Best Of What I Got”, “Possession” and “Tough Times Don’t Last”.

While “Ghost In Your Heart” doesn’t grab me lyrically, the solo from Schon does. “Ready When You Are” rocks out of the gate, with its “All Right Now”/”Nothin But A Good Time” vibe.

“The Restless Ones” sounds like a cross between a Rocky movie soundtrack and the piano lines that Jonathan Cain wrote for Jimmy Barnes, about a wild heart calling out in the night. And Schon has some decent lead breaks in this one as well.

“Rockin’ Horse” is a blues pop rock ditty, which has Schon sleazily riffing away and when it comes time to solo, Schon again takes centre stage during the middle of the song and for the outro. And Waite is wailing, delivering a vocal line that’s worthy.

The band’s second album, “Backlash” was released in 1991 and it did nothing. The band had already broken up before the album even entered the mixing stage.

But the album does have some good stuff happening. Even though I don’t have it, the opening track “So This Is Eden” has one of Schon’s best riffs. “Straight To Your Heart” also has some cool riffage from Schon. “Dancing Off The Edge Of The World” is another rocker, which deserves more attention for its music, but the lyrics are overused and clichéd. And “Pray For Rain” is one of the best songs that Bad English wrote.

But there was no escaping the fact that every chorus on the follow up album was designed to be catchy. And it always happens that when two ballads bring success, the follow up album moves a bit further into soft rock territory. Songs like “Time Stood Still”, “The Time Alone With You”, “Savage Blue” and “Make Love Lost” proved that.

And since then, Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain reformed Journey with Steve Perry first and then with multiple vocalists after that. Cain then found God and suddenly Journey’s songs became too explicit for him to perform. John Waite has remained as a solo artist, who is also fighting his labels to take back control of his songs. Castronovo joined Ozzy, was fired from Ozzy, joined Journey and then showed the world his great vocal chops with Revolution Saints, while also getting into trouble with the law. Ricky Phillips joined Whitesnake for a brief period and I’m not sure what happened next.

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