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

Australian Method Series and 1986 – Part 3.5: AC/DC – Who Made Who

“Who Made Who” is like a Greatest Hits album released as a soundtrack album in 1986, for the Stephen King film “Maximum Overdrive”. A forgettable movie.

The funny thing is that the next Greatest Hits slab would come out with another movie, this one a lot better and having a larger social and cultural impact.

Yep, the multi- billion franchise known as “Iron Man” sent AC/DC into the stratosphere. Not that they needed it.

Both album packages are excellent entry points for people who didn’t own or know about AC/DC.

If this was your first exposure, there would be a high chance that you would go out and buy/access some of the back catalogue.

And the song “Who Made Who” introduced Angus Young the shredder. His guitar work here is at a Shrapnel level.

Who Made Who

Drums and bass from Simon Phillips and Cliff Williams in a stock 4/4 time. I’m already invested.

Malcolm kicks in with some power chords outlining a blues chord progression as Brian Johnson fires in with his throaty vocal melody.

Angus then fired in with some fast palm muted licks which sounds like open string licks, something he’ll use to even greater success with “Thunderstruck”. But it’s all picked.

Check out the lead break. Angus breaks out some EVH like tapping.

Lyrically, it’s based around the themes from the “Maximum Overdrive” movie, where the machines come alive and begin killing people.

Like the “Terminator” movie, the tools that humans create, rise up to obliterate the humans.

You Shook Me All Night Long

From “Back In Black”.

It was re-released as a single after the massive success of “Who Made Who” which gave this song a second coming, not that it needed one.

D.T

It’s an instrumental jam which became soundtrack music.

It moves between distortion and clean tone so it could be used in multiple scenes.

Sink The Pink

From the “Fly On The Wall” album.

This song doesn’t get the love it should but goddamn it’s a great song.

The Intro reminds me of “Rock N Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution” and it has a Chorus chord progression which could be interchanged with almost every AC/DC chorus, and I like it.

At 2.50, the Intro kicks back in, with drums and bass before Angus kicks in with his bluesy lead.

Ride On

From the “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” album and Bon Scott gets a spot with this slow blues dirge.

Hells Bells

From the “Back In Black” album.

As soon as the bells chime and the dirty arpeggio riff in Am kicks in, everything starts tingling. It doesn’t matter that I’ve heard it a lot of times. It still gets me.

Shake Your Foundations

Also from “Fly On The Wall”.

Another underrated song from an album that is seen as a disappointment.

You can’t tell me that the Intro/Verse riff isn’t classic AC/DC and a Chorus that almost mimics “You Shook Me All Night Long”.

Chase the Ace

Another instrumental jam session but a bit more aggressive than “D.T”.

Check out the drum groove in the Intro. Something that Lars Ulrich would use to great effect in “Enter Sandman”, which is also based on the “Dirty Deeds” Intro/Verse drum pattern.

For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)

From the album with the same title which came after the “Back In Black” monster.

I was hooked from the opening riff and the way Malcolm and Phil Rudd build it.

Once the slow groove kicks in, it feels that heavy that it’ll destroy everything in its path. And it did.

In Australia and the U.S, it’s 5× Platinum.

And it kept AC/DC relevant in a friendly MTV world which was starting to promote artists who looked great over the music they created.

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

The Record Vault: Al Di Meola – Electric Rendezvous

In 1980, Di Meola released the double album “Spendido Hotel”. Keeping with the Miami Vice covers theme.

And then the subsequent tour was captured live and released at the start of 1982 as “Tour De Force – Live”.

Towards the end of 1982, “Electric Rendezvous” was released.

The band for the album is Al Di Meola on electric and acoustic guitars, Anthony Jackson on bass guitar, Jan Hammer on keyboards, Steve Gadd on drums and Mingo Lewis on percussion.

God Bird Change

Percussionist god Mingo Lewis is still writing a track per album. This is his contribution.

The bass and drum groove throughout the song is a favorite as there is so much energy.

And of course there is a percussion interlude.

Electric Rendezvous

The title track at almost 8 minutes long.

The Intro is essential listening, with a clean tone guitar playing fast arpeggios while a nice relaxing guitar melody plays over it.

From 1.12 it changes. More Jazz fusion and alot of chromatics over time signatures changes.

From 2.11, a bass riff begins which the distorted guitars then copy. This creates a foundation for Di Meola to solo over, but it’s brief as they groove on the riff.

At the 4 minute mark, a metal sounding riff is played which allows Di Meola and Hammer to solo one after each other.

Passion, Grace & Fire

Paco de Lucia appears and the title of this song would be used to promote the run of acoustic shows that Di Meola, de Lucia and John MacLaughlin would do.

So there’s a lot of acoustic playing, fast fingers and lush arpeggios.

Cruisin’

Written by Jan Hammer it’s got a keyboard hook that is addictive and catchy.

It rocks and perfect for doing exactly what the title says.

Black Cat Shuffle

Written by Philippe Saisse, who also plays keyboards on this, it’s a blues groove with Di Meola’s Lydian and Mixolydian soloing.

The last 60 seconds has some great hard rock soloing from Di Meola.

Ritmo de la Noche

Lounge Waltz music with a Flamenco flavor.

Then some fast shred and make to the Waltz music.

Somalia

A short 90 second instrumental. Arpeggios and an exotic guitar melody as it’s centerpiece.

Jewel Inside a Dream

A riff that reminds me of ELP and their song “From The Beginning” dominates the song.

And you have Hammer and Di Meola trading licks on the keyboard and guitar.

I’m the end it’s a different album from its predecessors but still worthy.

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

Australian Method Series and 1996 Part 3.7: John Farnham – Romeos Heart

“Romeo’s Heart” was released in Australia on 3 June 1996 by John Farnham.

His comeback to mainstream success started with “Whispering Jack” released in 1986. It is certified 24x Platinum in Australia, Platinum in Sweden and Gold in Canada and Germany.

“Age Of Reason” came in 1988 and it is certified 11x Platinum in Australia.

“Chain Reaction” in 1990 is 7x Platinum in Australia.

“Then Again…” in 1993 is 4x Platinum in Australia.

This album is also 4x Platinum in Australia.

The band is top notch as well with Brett Garsed from Nelson fame on guitars along with Stuart Fraser from Noiseworks.

Joe Creighton from The Black Sorrows is on Bass and Angus Burchall also from The Black Sorrows is on drums with Steve Williams on harmonica.

Vocals are provided by John Farnham with Lindsay Field and Lisa Edwards providing excellent backing vocals.

And from when Farnham made his comeback in the mid 80s as a solo artist, the songs he performed on his albums were written by other artists/songwriters.

This album is no different, with every song on it coming from outside writers.

Have a Little Faith (In Us)

Written by Russ DeSalvo (who at the time was writing and working with Celine Dion) and Arnie Roman (who also was working with Celine Dion).

Great song title and a major key chord progression to give its uplifting vibe.

But press play for the gospel like backing vocals in the outro which

Little Piece of My Heart

Written by C. Celli, A. Levin and Jack Ponti.

The same Jack Ponti who co-write “Shot Through The Heart” with Jon Bon Jovi and a heap of songs for Baton Rouge, Alice Cooper and Babylon A.D.

I’m not sure on why they would use this song title for a totally different song. It’s like reusing “Smoke On The Water” for a totally different song and not for a cover.

But in the end a simple funky rock groove is heard throughout the song and it’s cool to jam to.

A Simple Life

Written by Jon Lind and Richard Page. The same Richard Page from Mr Mister and Jon Lind had written or co-written songs like “Crazy For You” for Madonna and songs for Earth, Wind And Fire.

This one is a soft rock song.

Check out the vocal melody for the Chorus.

All Kinds Of People

Written by Eric Pressley, Sheryl Crow and Kevin Gilbert.

Yep the same Sheryl Crow and her songwriting partner Kevin Gilbert from her debut album were in demand and writing songs for other artists as well.

It’s in that soul contemporary pop rock vibe which was prominent in the 90s.

Romeo’s Heart

Written by Jennifer Kimball and Randy VanWarmer it appeared on Randy’s solo album “The Third Child” released in 1994.

And here it is a few years later as the title track. It has a soft rock Springsteen vibe.


Don’t Let It End

Written by Aaron Hendra an Australian-born songwriter, singer and guitarist who lives in the U.S.

It reminds of “Time Of My Life” from the “Dirty Dancing” movie.

Hearts On Fire

Written by Tom Kimmel and S. Lynch. I was wondering which S Lynch is a co-writer.

Could it be the Steve Lynch from Autograph?

Nope it’s Stan Lynch, the ex drummer from Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers who became a successful producer and songwriter.

On a side note, “That’s Freedom” was also written by Kimmel which Farnham recorded and it became a Top 10 hit for him in late 1990. So it’s no surprise that Farnham used him again.

The “Rocky IV” track comes to mind but it’s not it. The song is more blues soul rock.

Hard Promises To Keep

Written by Kimmie Rhodes ‎and the song appeared on her “West Texas Heaven” album released in 1994 and it’s in the vein of country ballads musically, but the vocal melodies are more in line with pop melodies.

Over My Head

Written by Ricard Pleasance and A. Tanner.

Richard Pleasance is an Australian rock musician and producer. He was a founding member of Australian band “Boom Crash Opera”.

It’s a ballad and it’s chord progressions is more like country rock ballads, reminding me of current songs like “Home” from Daughtry.

May You Never

Written by John Martyn it’s an up beat acoustic track that is played in the way Nuno Bettencourt plays on “More Than Words”.

John Martyn, is a British singer-songwriter and guitarist who released 23 studio albums over a 40-year career. He’s been described as blurring the boundaries between folk, jazz, rock and blues”.

Second Skin

Written by John Farnham, producer Ross Fraser and Chong Lim.

Finally Farnham gets a co-write in a track that is a cross between “Superstition” and “Play That Funky Music”.

If you want to hear John Farnham in a rock way, then “Whispering Jack” and “Age Of Reason” would suffice. If you want to hear Farnham in a soul and country rock way, then this album would donyje

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

Australian Method Series: AC/DC – Ballbreaker

I caught em live on the “Ballbreaker” tour and little did I know that would be the last time I would watch em live.

“Ballbreaker” is a favourite, the same way “Flick Of The Switch” is a favourite. It feels rawer and bluesier. Both albums came after massive periods of success in “Highway To Hell/Back In Black/For Those About To Rock” and “The Razors Edge”.

“The Razors Edge” was that popular that it gave the band a 16 year victory lap. In other words it was still selling when this album and others came out, along with the monster known as “Back In Black”.

Released in 1995, it’s album number thirteen based on the Australian releases. Otherwise its number 12 based on the international releases.

The only change to the band line up was the return of Phil Rudd on drums, replacing Chris Slade.

But the producer this time is Rick Rubin although most of the work is credited to Mike Fraser as Co-Producer, engineer and mixer. And many years later, Malcolm Young said it was a mistake to work with Rubin who was absent for a lot of the sessions.

Hard As A Rock

It’s a favourite. I like the clean tone, droning open string riff to start the song and then it explodes into distortion with the Young brothers jamming on a B5 chord.

Cover You In Oil

The walking guitar riff reminds me of “Ice Cream Man” from Van Halen. And while Brian Johnson was hard as a rock in the first song, now he’s asking if he’s allowed to cover someone in oil.

The Furor

I like the single note riff that Malcom plays in the Verse while Angus strums away in the higher register.

And when the Chorus kicks in, I like what Angus plays on the higher register. And the lyrics are simple, “I’m your furor baby”.

Boogie Man

The riff is derivative and the title is derivative of “Night Stalker”. But hey, AC/DC built a career on being derivative.

The Honey Roll

The riffs in this song are virtually unknown but they are as good as anything that came from the “Back In Black” album.

Burnin’ Alive

A simple riff on a lightly distorted electric kicks off the song. And I like how Rudd builds the intro.

Check out the groove on the verse riff.

Hail Caeser

How good does this start off?

It reminds me of all the things I like about AC/DC like “Dirty Deeds”, “Whole Lotta Rosie” and “TNT”.

I said “Hail”.

Love Bomb

I don’t know what kind of a bomb a love bomb is, but its Wikipedia definition has love bombing as an attempt to influence a person by demonstrations of attention and affection.

The Chorus is catchy, but the lead break is my favourite.

Caught With Your Pants Down

I like the Intro. Sleazy.

In the verses, “Whole Lotta Rosie” went around in the 90’s.

And how good are the chromatics in the Chorus.

Whiskey On The Rocks

This song subliminally makes me drinks whiskey.

Ballbreaker

The riff is excellent, iconic, but when the bass of Williams and Rudd kick in, that’s when you know it’s gonna be a great AC/DC song. A perfect song.

In the end, there are no bad songs here or a skippable track. And seeing em play most of this album on the tour, it’s definitely a favorite.

In Australia it went straight to number 1 (as most albums of AC/DC do here), along with Sweden and Finland.

It was a Top 10 album in Austria, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Norway, New Zealand, Switzerland, UK and US.

Certified 3x Platinum in Australia. 2x Platinum in the U.S. Platinum in France and New Zealand. Gold in Austria, Finland, Germany, Switzerland and the U.K.

In other words, the return of AC/DC was cemented.

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

2001 – Part 3.6 and Australian Method Series: The Living End – Roll On

“Roll On” is the second album by The Living End. It was released in Australia and New Zealand in November 2000, and internationally in March 2001, so I’ll go with the 2001 date.

The band for the album is Chris Cheney on vocals and guitar as well as writing the songs, Scott Owen on double bass and backing vocals and Travis Demsey on drums.

The album is the last work to feature drummer Travis Demsey. In the downtime following the album’s release and subsequent tour, he would leave the band, to be replaced by Andy Strachan.

The album was certified 2x platinum in Australia by November 2007.

Roll On

1,2,3,4 and the band crashes in.

“We roll on with our heads held high” is the catch cry. It remains with you long after the song is finished about a wharfies strike in Melbourne in 1998 and how after a month of striking, if the wharfies didn’t go back to work they would be replaced.

The riffs are classic Aussie Pub Rock riffs, rooted in the blues. You can smell the sweat of the working class in the notes.

Check out the guitar lead.

It’s their big single from the album and a live favorite.

Pictures In The Mirror

It’s a cross between the Foo Fighters, The Beatles and The Clash.

But that solo/interlude section reminds me of Van Halen and Kansas.

“The sun goes down, the moon appears on the horizon, the streets are bare, she walks alone”

The scene is set as the character in the song disappears from the limelight.

Alone.

Because all of those people around you when you’re famous, abandon you when they can’t make money from you.

Riot On Broadway

Similar to “Prisoner Of Society” merging their punk and rockabilly hooks and riffs.

Staring At The Light

One of my favorites.

It’s like a new wave rock track circa “The Police” merged with “The Clash” and made to sound like a modern rock song.

Carry Me Home

That Intro riff would melt the pavement on the Sunset Strip.

Listen to it.

And the NWOBHM influences makes this a metal cut.

And Cheney, is a guitar hero.

Don’t Shut The Gate

A heavy blues rock groove starts it all off before it moves into a Midnight Oil style of cut.

Dirty Man

The Intro lead lick reminds me of something else.

The interlude riff is like a Nu-Metal riff as it’s intertwined with a rockabilly riff.

“I was born on Saturday and I was buried on Sunday” is repeated throughout the song.

Blood On Your Hands

Is there a thing like funk/reggae/punk and jazz?

Well listen to this.

If anything The Police amalgamated these different styles and made it sound rock.

Revolution Regained

It’s a metal cut which has a galloping riff like “The Trooper”, some rockabilly sections and an excellent melodic guitar solo.

Silent Victory

It’s their AC/DC cut.

The Intro is “Dirty Deeds”.

The Chorus is melodic.

And how good is the interlude section between 2.10 and 2.30?

Read About It

Cheney is a master of incorporating so many different styles and techniques into a 4 bar riff.

This song has reggae, melodic rock, punk and metal in it, with a progressive mindset.

The Chorus riff is essential listening.

Killing The Right

Similar to “Read About It”.

Check out the guitar work from 2.30 to 2.50.

Astoria Paranoia

A fast drum riff like “Black Betty” starts the song.

Uncle Harry

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

Australian Method Series: Jet – Get Born

Released in 2005.

Riding the wave of “old is new” to a whole new audience who was too young to know the old or to have heard it.

Listening to this album got me to call up a 60’s Rock Anthems playlist on Spotify and it’s surprising how many songs released in the 80s moving forward have riffs from 60’s songs. There are the artists that we all know like Hendrix, Cream, The Who, Steppenwolf, The Doors and Zeppelin but artists like The Kinks, The Kingsmen, CCR, The Animals and even Marvin Gaye have been influential in developing the hard rock and heavy metal riffs.

Jet are from Melbourne.

Nic Cester is on vocals and guitar, Chris Cester is on drums and vocals, Cameron Muncey is on guitars and vocals and Mark Wilson is on bass, piano and harmonica.

Last Chance

“Can you give me one more try at that?”

And LOUD RAWK AND ROLL kicks in.

Are You Gonna Be My Girl

It’s sitting at 347.811 million streams on Spotify.

On the Jet YouTube account the video is at 122 million views.

Yeah, it sounds like other songs (Iggy Pop’s “Lust For Life” is mentioned a fair bit), but who cares. Imitation is a form of flattery. And all hit songs are derivative versions of songs which came before.

Rollover D.J.

It’s a Rolling Stones track in the verses and a 12 bar blues track in the Chorus.

Look What You’ve Done

58.066 million streams on Spotify.

A piano riff starts the song, with a Beatle-esque “Sexy Sadie” like vocal. Even the lyrics have a similarity.

The Beatles have “Sexy Sadie, what have you done! / You’ve made a fool of everyone”.

Jet has “Oh, look what you’ve done / You’ve made a fool of everyone”.

Progress is derivative. Take something that came before and tweak it.

Get What You Need

The drum groove gets me, but it’s the reminders of other songs that makes me a fan.

If you’ve heard “All Day And All Of The Night” from The Kinks, you’ll hear some similarities.

If you’ve heard “If It Feels Good, Do It” from Sloan you’ll hear similarities.

And if you played NHL 2004, you would have heard the song and become a fan.

Move On

It feels like a Free/Bad Company/Rolling Stones acoustic cut which Guns N Roses also used as an influence for “Patience”.

Radio Song

Say hello to “Hey Jude” or a slower version of “Baby Blue” from Badfinger.

Get Me Outta Here

I went down to the bank just to get me my pay / I’m gonna get me, outta here / I got me some cash, I’m headed back to LA / I’m gonna get me, outta here

Keeping with the theme of “old is new” again, even the lyrics were based on pre 2000 pay days.

Cold Hard Bitch

It’s at 52.995 million streams on Spotify.

They bring so many vibes to this track.

Listen to it and you’ll spot “Woman From Tokyo” by Deep Purple, “Best I Can” by Rush, “Shoot To Thrill“ by AC/DC, “Won’t Get Fooled Again” by The Who and a little bit of Stones mixed in.

Come Around Again

A country rock ballad with a Bad Company feel.

“I don’t know when I’m right that I only know when I’m wrong”

Sometimes our minds become our worst enemies.

Take It Or Leave It

The Kinks “unhinged”.

Lazy Gun

The “High Voltage” riff to a funky bass riff. Brilliant.

A Beatles influenced Chorus which also reminds me of “Purple Rain” from Prince and “Faithfully” from Journey. Brilliant.

Timothy

All death is tragic.

Sgt Major

The bonus track.

Check out the main riff. It reminds me of “Kings And Queens” from Aerosmith.

They had some serious momentum in promoting this album in Australia with national station Triple J having em in constant rotation that all the other stations followed pretty quickly.

In Australia, it’s 8x Platinum.

In Japan and New Zealand, it’s Gold.

In Argentina, Canada, UK and US, it’s Platinum.

In other words it was everywhere.

Crank it.

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

Australian Method Series: Wolfmother – Wolfmother

The Wolfmother debut.
 
Sometime in 2000, founding members Andrew Stockdale on guitar and vocals, Chris Ross on bass/keyboards and Myles Heskett on drums got together to jam.

But it was in 2004, when Wolfmother was born.

And suddenly things started to happen. After playing a gig in April 2004 in Sydney, they got a record deal with Aussie independent label Modular Recordings with whom they released their (EP) “Wolfmother” in September.

While touring on the EP, Universal Music came in and signed em to an international recording deal.

The self-titled debut produced by Dave Sardy was originally released in Australia via their independent deal on 31 October 2005.

The album was later released internationally by Universal in early 2006.

Like other Aussie artists who got a later international release, the album had an additional track and a rearranged track listing. Spotify carries the international release listing and release date.

As an owner of a book of Frank Frazetta paintings, seeing “The Sea Witch” on the album cover grabbed my attention immediately.

Prior to the release, the band had some serious momentum in Australia. They had the EP out on the charts, they toured and nationwide radio station Triple J, had the band in constant rotation.

Dimension

The bass and drum groove reminds me of an amalgamation of Sweet and Cream in the verses before a Chorus kicks in that sounds like a Sabbath cut.

And a new game is created here in which the listener has to guess which band or song influenced the next song.

And I like games like these.

White Unicorn

You know that section half way through in “Stairway To Heaven” when Jimmy Page starts to play major sounding triads over a droning D note.

Well that’s how “The White Unicorn” starts off. And I like it. Take something that came before and create something new from it.

Woman

Its basically a Sabbath cut with that driving galloping groove from “Children Of The Grave”.

Then again “Roadhouse Blues” comes to mind as well.

The addition of the keyboards makes it sound like a demented Doors cut.

And like other Aussie bands, (Airbourne comes to mind) they capitalized on the video game phenomenon that was happening. “Woman” was licensed to appear in over 12 video games which came out between 2006 and 2008.

Where Eagles Have Been

The beginning reminds of “Goin To California” from Led Zep or “Mother Nature’s Son” from The Beatles or “Brain Damage” from Pink Floyd.

This is the beauty of music. Familiarity is in every song which is created.

Check out the sound effect which increases in intensity at 3.42 and then the guitar solo. This is the best part of the song.

At 4.24 to 4.46 reminds of me of “Dazed and Confused” from Led Zep.

Apple Tree

It has a punk style “My Generation” feel from The Who in the Intro and first verse.

Joker & the Thief

This song has crossed over onto a higher astral plane. It’s everywhere. If you sit down to watch a movie or a TV show, there is a chance you’ll hear it. If you buy a video game, there is a chance you’ll hear it.

When I hear “Detroit Rock City” by Kiss, it reminds me of this song.

“The Hangover” and “Shrek” movies have scenes in the movie, which has this song playing.

Colossal

It feels like a Sabbath cut that hadn’t seen the light of day.

How good is the riff that comes in at the 3.30 mark?

It reminds me of “Ace Of Spades” from Motörhead.

Mind’s Eye

My favorite track.

The arpeggios to start it off are hypnotic. Metallica used a similar progression for “The Day That Never Comes”.

When the verses come in, simplicity at its best. It’s just a single strummed chord and a haunting vocal melody.

I like the simple ascending chord progression just before the Chorus. And it comes back again after the Chorus.

How good is the organ riff?

And they jam on it till the end.

Pyramid

Another song that became a favorite amongst people that didn’t even like this kind of music because it appeared in the “FlatOut 2” car racing game.

Witchcraft

A flute solo. Jethro Tull anyone.

Tales

It’s not a favorite.

Love Train

Listen to “Moby Dick” from Led Zep. Imitation is a form of flattery.

Vagabond

A simple drum metronome style click and an acoustic guitar playing a sort of Country Blues Delta riff start off the song.

Swampy it is and the album is done.

I’ve read reviews that they are copyists and unoriginal. But music is judged on the fun and enjoyment you get out of it. And this album is a whole lotta fun.

Going back to the originality question, the bands that influenced em where also copyists. Led Zeppelin’s first album is a great cover album rebranded as a Zep album.

After all was said and done, the album was certified 5× Platinum in Australia, Gold in Canada, Gold in Germany, Gold in the U.K and Gold in the U.S.

By the time the band started to record album number 2, it was just Andrew Stockdale who remained. But the sound and the songs still remained.

You can read my review on “Cosmic Egg” here.

And spend your weekend cranking Wolfmother.

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

1976 – Part 2.7: Black Sabbath – Technical Ecstasy

The sound was a bit different but it still did well.

The Grunge movement brought Black Sabbath back into the mainstream. Alice In Chains spoke of their love of Sabbath, so did Soundgarden and even Nirvana.

Kyuss/Queens Of The Stone Age also spoke of their Sabbath love.

So it was no surprise that Sabbath started selling records in the 90s.

Eventually in 1997, “Technical Ecstasy” received a Gold certification in the U.S.

It’s the seventh studio album.

Released in 1976 and produced by Tony Iommi. But he struggled with it to the point of anger against his band members who spent most of the time on the beach and on booze and drugs.

Ozzy mentioned in his book “I Am Ozzy” that recording the album in Miami was very expensive and he was confused as to why they had to sound like current popular bands. Maybe that was due to their label head Don Arden throwing his interest behind ELO during this time.

The writing was on the wall, as punk had broken through in the U.K and the Sabbath brand of doom was on its way out.

They are also in the midst of releasing a box set of this album, with all the extras that come with box sets.

Back Street Kids

The Intro/main verse riff has a similar feel to “Immigrant Song” and their own “Children Of The Grave” and I like it.

At 1.50 it goes into an excellent major key riff which reminds me of Styx/Free/ELO and acts like that.

The solo from Iommi utilizes the Major Pentatonic. It’s weird to hear happy leads.

You Won’t Change Me

The most doomiest riff starts the song off and their most melodic progression becomes the verse.

Check out the melancholic swirling organ riff from 4.11 and Iommi decorates nicely.

It’s Alright

It’s a Beatles cut and it came out of left field but then again this album is all about expanding the sound.

Bill Ward wrote it and sings it.

Gypsy

Such an overused title in the 70s and 80s. I don’t recall the word being used much in the 90s and beyond.

Bill Ward opens up the song with a drum groove that reminds me of “Sympathy Of The Devil” from The Rolling Stones.

Iommi busts in with chords which further reinforces the Stones influence.

The Pre-Chrous riff is excellent and Ozzy brings out a vocal line that he used in “SATO”.

Then there is a section which I call the ELO section, with piano and distorted guitars.

The last minute is essential listening as Iommi wails away with his pentatonic leads. A perfect closer for Side 1.

All Moving Parts (Stand Still)

The Side 2 opener and what a great blues rock riff to kick it off. And Butler on the bass is massive.

At 1.40 it changes into something different and this is why I like Sabbath. The songwriting can be progressive with the arrangement and at other times the arrangements can be more mainstream like. You get the best of both worlds.

The vocal melody from Ozzy in the verses was used again within his solo career.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Doctor

The Intro reminds of Uli John Roth and his Scorpions work.

But after that a “No Bones Movie” cut blasts out of the speaker.

She’s Gone

I don’t know how much Randy Rhoads listened to this album, but goddamn the acoustic arpeggios on this song sound eerily familiar like the songs “You Can’t Kill Rock N Roll”, “Diary Of A Madman” and “Revelation Mother Earth”.

Dirty Women

This is classic Sabbath. So many good riffs and Iommi’s solo is excellent.

The riff at 2.30. Check it out.

Straight after that it goes into this “2112” style riff and progression.

Overall, the album is really under appreciated. Most of the 70s music had variety on the albums because artists weren’t afraid to experiment. This one is no different.

A few stray observations if I may.

Ozzy mentioned in his book that he doesn’t like the album but this is the sound that made his solo career. Plus having Randy Rhoads, Bob Daisley and Lee Kerslake helped with the songs and Sharon Osbourne ran the party with an iron fist.

Bill Ward can carry a tune vocally which was a surprise. It was almost Queen like.

The synth work complements the songs. So I don’t know why so many reviews focused on the synths.

And what’s the go with two robots making out on the cover.

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

Australian Method Series: Orianthi – O

Orianthi’s breakthrough was “Believe”, her second album, which came out in 2009 and the hit single “According To You” which she didn’t write as the album had a star studded line up of songwriters and producers either writing songs for Orianthi or working with Orianthi to write songs.

“O” was released in 2020, after her collaboration with Richie Sambora known as RSO finished up or put on hold.

It’s on Frontiers, produced by Marti Fredericksen and it’s great to see Orianthi back out on her own.

And from reading interviews it looks likes the drumming is created/programmed by Evan Frederiksen.

“Contagious”

It’s got a riff that reminds me of Sixx A.M and DJ Ashba like “Lies Of The Beautiful People”.

The song is written by Orianthi and Marti Fredericksen, who has worked with a lot of artists and since I was listening to Motley Crue a few weeks ago, he co write all the tracks on the “Saints Of Los Angeles” album.

And “Contagious” has that sound. It gets me rocking, as it amalgamates blues rock with a bit of Muse chucked in and a modern rock mix.

Lyrically it’s about hatred, and how easily we could all be infected with it.

“They shall not break us ‘cause hate is contagious”

Check out the guitar lead. It’s short but good.

“Sinners Hymn”

It’s is a nice amalgamation of the devils blues music with modern rock to create a sinners anthem.

Check out the section after the solo. It gets all quite with a riff that reminds me of “The Bleeding” and “Prayers Of The Damned” as it builds up again.

“Rescue Me”

This track could appear on a Rag’N’Bone album. It’s got that “Human” feel.

Orianthi is all soul in her vocal melodies on this and delivers an emotive lead break.

“Blow”

It’s a sleazy, sexy and sultry groove that percolates until it explodes in the Chorus.

“Sorry”

It’s a contemporary pop song with a funky hip hop beat. There are synths and a killer vocal delivery from Orianthi.

And I like the mix between merging hip hop beats with a melodic rock vocal melodies and in the Chorus it’s pop rock.

The solo is very Santana inspired and I like it.

“Crawling Out Of The Dark”

It’s on acoustic cut, quite, subdued and melancholic. It wouldn’t be out of place on a country rock record.

Lyrically it’s about a relationship break down and how she’s crawling out of the dark. And when she got out, she didn’t know she had fallen that far.

And check out the blues influenced solo.

“Impulsive”

It’s got this Rolling Stones/Free inspired riff that I like.
 
The lead break is very SRV influenced.

“Streams Of Consciousness”

It starts off with a music box.

It’s a co-write with Nikki Sixx and Marti Frederiksen. Modern rock at its best with some good rock riffs.

Nikki Sixx delivered lyrics about the glamorous but filthy side of Los Angeles.

The solo starts off with a Nu-Metal riff before she breaks out the wah-wah and it sounds very Slash like.

“Company”

It has blues guitar but the background foundation is very synth dance driven.

And a chorus that would not be out of place on an album from “The Cure”.

The best way to sum it up is an amalgamation of different music genres. And because the melodies sound melodic and soulful, it all works together.

“Moonwalker”

It’s got this Latin vibe with a bit of an Enya feel. And the song and overall album gets me thinking about Queen, who also incorporated so many different styles into their albums.

In other words there is a lot of variation here and a little bit for everyone.

Press play and enjoy.

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

Times Of Grace – Songs Of Loss And Seperation

10 years is a long time between albums.

“The Hymn Of A Broken Man” came out in 2011 and in 2021, we get “Songs Of Loss And Seperation”.

The band for the album is Adam Dutkiewicz on vocals, guitar and bass, Jesse Leach on vocals and Dan Gluszak on drums.

The Burden Of Belief

It’s got a blues country groove, more like southern country rock.

Fall down to your knees / Wash me clean of all my grief

Mend You

Taking its cues from alternative metal.

I lost a lot of sleep with my restless mind

There is no rest, when you’re left alone with your thoughts especially when your relationship is breaking down or if a loved one is doing it tough with addictions or mental illness.

The riffs in the last 50 seconds. It’s wall breaking time.

Rescue

Its classic Killswitch Engage.

After the screaming verses, the anthemic Chorus smacks you in the face.

Dutkiewicz is a great riff meister, who showcases his talents with each album release.

The last 50 seconds, with the swelling sounds and backwards effects, is haunting and soothing at the same time. A paradox but it works.

Far From Heavenless

A simple arpeggio guitar riff starts the song off, with Leach singing about feeling far from heaven. And there is an ascending guitar line underneath it all, which makes it feel like we are rising.

The power in the next section, when Leach is singing “I’m not heavenless”. And the power house drumming from Gluszak hammers the message home.

Then the dynamic shifts again to subtle and serene arpeggios.

At 3.30 there is just a clean tone guitar riff that reminds me of “Living On The Edge” riff from Aerosmith.

Then listen to how the distorted guitars, bass and drums build it up, over the spoken sermon from Leach.

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

Bleed Me

Atmospheric cut about looking for the medicine to bleed you and satisfy the demons.

Medusa

How good is the riff to kick off Medusa?

It’s so Iommi and Zakk Wylde like.

And this nod to classic metal gives way to syncopated verses, more in the vein of Meshuggah and TesseracT.

Currents

The intro riff is familiar. The vocal melody very Maynard like in the verses, as the rage explodes in the Chorus.

Lost in a Dream / Dark waves crash over me

This tension between dark and light, carries the song.

To Carry The Weight

The intro arpeggios and vocal melody could have come from Aaron Lewis and Staind. Maybe even Brent Smith and Shinedown. And I like it.

The song percolates in that sombre mood until it explodes and Jesse Leach delivers a worthy vocal performance.

The riff from 2.25. So melodic, yet heavy.

Cold

It starts off like a country tune. A simple acoustic guitar riff and vocal melody. It’s campfire material.

And from the 3 minute mark, it explodes. The melodies are hypnotic and the music inspirational.

Have I mentioned that Dutkiewicz is a great riff meister?

Forever

The closer. 6.30 minutes long.

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.

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.

Standard