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

October – Part 1

It’s gonna be a busy month catching up on posts and reading other posts. Normally at the end of each month (for this year only), I’ve been posting my “best off” for the month.

These October posts are a bit late, but it’s been fun getting into em and allowing music to lift my mood.

The Night Flight Orchestra

A two song release from one of my favourite bands at the moment. There new take on old sounds has been dominating my headspace since the debut album came out, 8 years ago.

“Impossible” and “Reach Out” are the songs at the moment.

As soon as the rock funk disco feel of “Impossible” kicks in, I’m hooked.

Put it on, lay back and let the sounds wash over you.

For “Reach Out”, it just sounds like a song from the early 80’s and the mind goes away to that time, in my bedroom, taping the songs from radio stations.

Smith And Myers

Brent Smith is one of the best rock singers going around. Shinedown is the main muse for Smith And Myers and in between, they get together and rock out acoustically.

It started off as a covers project based on fan requests for YouTube video releases only and it has morphed into a full fledge original song project. In 2020, we get “Volume 1” and “Volume 2”.

“Not Mad Enough” kicks off “Volume 1” and it could have been on a Shinedown album. That Chorus is arena rock quality. “Rockin’ in the Free World” from Neil Young becomes a soulful piano ballad.

“The Weight of It All” is brilliant and “Panic!” has this modern pop vibe which Smith does a stellar job keeping up with and just rocking out with it. “Never Tear Us Apart” is a great INXS song and Smith/Myers do a great job covering it in acoustic format.

“Coast to Coast” rocks as hard as it can in an acoustic setting. “Valerie” is a Mark Ronson and Amy Winehouse cover song but it’s the George Michael “Faith” guitar riff that gets me interested.

“Since You Were Mine” is a soulful piano ballad. It’s in the same category as “Call Me” from Shinedown. And “Volume 1” closes with “Unchained Melody”, a cover from The Righteous Brothers. It was sort of like a forgotten song, until the movie “Ghost” with Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore brought it back into the public conversation. And its remained there ever since.

“Bad at Love” was one of the first songs written for this project and it kicks off “Volume 2”. It’s got this Tracy Chapman “Fast Cars” musical vibe, and a Smith vocal melody which is catchy. “Bad Guy” is a Billie Eilish cover and I like it when artists cover songs from artists that are not in their genre. This one has this flamenco feel and it works.

“New School Shiver” is basic hard rock, with a bluesy like acoustic riff and an addictive vocal melody. Then its “Sledgehammer” time, a Peter Gabriel cover. I was a bit over this song as it was so overplayed in Australia and the film clip which had state of the art tech at the time in it. But a good song is a good song and a good song will always translate well to the acoustic format, which in this case, it does. Suddenly, I feel like it’s a Bad Company song.

“Rebel Yell” feels weird to hear it as a piano ballad but it works. “Like You Never Left” feels like a Tonic song. “Losing My Religion” would make R.E.M proud. “One More Time” is this bluesy soul rock tune which needs to be heard and the “Volume 2” closes with “Don’t Look Back in Anger” from Oasis.

Deftones

I’m a fan of their earlier albums and because of that early fandom, I keep checking out the other releases. And each album has a few tracks that get me to pick up the guitar and lock into the groove they create.

And it’s “Ohms” on this album that has the riff with the groove that gets me interested.

Trishula

I knew nothing about this band except that their album cover appeared on a website called rockreport.be and I thought I would do something I haven’t done in ages.

Check out an album based on the album cover.

And I liked it.

Its melodic hard rock the way I like it.

The album is called “Time Waits For No Man”.

So I went digging.

From the UK, formed by guitarist Neil Fraser who got Jason Morgan as the vocalist. They both appeared in other hard rock bands before this, but none of em come to mind.

This is their second album.

“Fallen Hero” is like Lou Gramm on vocals with a bit of Survivor thrown in and some tasty melodic rock.

“I Want It All” sounds like it came from a Malmsteen album either “Odyssey” or “Eclipse”. The song “Judas” comes to mind. Actually “Iron Eagle” also comes to mind.

“Hear No Evil” has that Kashmir ascending progression, which David Coverdale used on “Judgement Day” and it’s that song which comes to mind. It’s a save and add to a playlist.

“The Border” reminds me of Magnum and 80’s era Bad Company. If you want your DLR Van Halen fix, then check out “Knocked Down”.

“Every Time We Touch” is a ballad, but it rolls along in a rocking way.

And finally, Neil Fraser was an unknown guitar player to me, but his guitar work on this album is excellent. He decorates the songs with precision, never overplaying and supplementing instead.

Atlas

This band also appeared on the rockreport.be website that Trishula appeared. So I thought, why not.

“Parallel Love” is album number 2.

Atlas is also another band from the UK, formed in 2017.

“Without You”, musically, sounds like it could have come from Dream Theater’s “Falling Into Infinity” album from 1997. It was an instant save and add to a playlist.

“Human Touch” starts off with a “I Love It Loud” drum groove, but then once the music kicks in, it was time to pick up my guitar. Bands like W.E.T, Eclipse and Work Of Art are doing songs like this, a new take on old sounds from bands like Journey and 80’s Genesis.

And there are songs which don’t connect on the album but when they do, they are instant saves like “Falling Out Of Love” and the very Dream Theater sounding “We Are The Fire”

Silverthorne

Brian Tichy on drums and Pete Shoulder on guitars/vocals put this project together. Bassist Daniel Spree came after.

Soul Blues Rock is how I would call it, taking you back to the sounds of the 70’s. The EP is called “Tear The Sky Wide Open”.

“Black River Rising” sounds like a 70’s Whitesnake cut and “Haunted By The Dawn” is a Led Zeppelin cut. Once you hear em, you will know exactly what I’m talking about.

They are on my radar, what comes next.

Bon Jovi

It’s not the Bon Jovi I know nor the band that I grew up with in the 80’s and early 90’s. They lost me a bit in the mid 90’s but they got my attention again between 2000 and 2007, until they slowly lost me.

The best way to sum up the “2020” album is to not compare it with any Bon Jovi albums that came before.

Just think of a brand new solo artist, starting off and this is their debut album.

“Blood In The Water” still gets streams from me. It has that “Dry County” influence which I like and the lyrics are some of Jovi’s best. It’s solely written by Jon Bon Jovi, then again so is 90% of the album, with just a few co-writes with Billy Falcon and John Shanks.

“American Reckoning” has this musical vibe/groove that gets me interested. Lyrically, its JBJ at his best. We all know what happened, when George Floyd said, “help me please, I can’t breathe”.

Chris Stapleton

The album is out as I type this but this blurb is for the song “Cold”.

The song reminds me of a song from Paolo Nutini called “Iron Sky”. “Iron Sky” came up in a Spotify playlist years ago and it was an instant save. I checked it out recently and it has over 60 million streams. The groove and vocal melody just captured a different musical side in me. Well “Cold” sounds like a carbon copy of that same song, and I like it just the same.

Reside

The track is “Fallen” and it connected with me because it sounds like Anberlin with a little bit of My Chemical Romance merged with the pop side of Coheed And Cambria.

And I like it.

I’m interested, let’s see what comes next.

Royal Blood

“Trouble’s Coming” is the release here. Another song which pushes their modern rock Sixx AM vibe a little bit further.

Kari Kimmel

It was in the ending scene when Jonny Lawrence threw his phone in the sand and set fire to his Cobra Kai painted car.

Yep, if you grew up in the 80’s, “The Karate Kid” was everywhere and now in the 2020’s “Cobra Kai”, the YouTube series which was purchased by Netflix is everywhere.

And the song “Cruel Summer” appeared, I pressed Shazam and I was hooked.

Icarus Witch

It’s a Def Leppard cover of “Mirror Mirror” with Joe Lynn Turner assisting. It’s from their 2007 album, “Songs For The Lost”. It came back in my life when I went and revisited their catalogue on Spotify and added it to the playlist.

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

Blood In The Water

I didn’t think that JBJ had it in him to do a song like this at this point in his life. Musically it feels like a rewrite of my favourite Jovi song in “Dry County”, however this one is just 6 minutes long and it doesn’t have that shred like solo. But it’s the link to “Dry County” that got me interested in the first place.

And then I listened to the lyrics.

A storm is coming
Let me be clear
Your days are numbered
The end is near
The walls around you
Are closing in
It’s too late for praying
Sinner meet sin

Is this Jon Bon Jovi?

He’s pissed and I like it.

What happened to “we can make it” and “have a nice day”. I guess the world has really kicked us all in the face these days and our eyes have seen enough injustice to last a lifetime.

You should also check out “American Reckoning” from Jovi. He’s spitting venom on that one.

Once I came across your border
Now they come to take me back
I sleep with one eye open
I don’t make waves, I don’t leave tracks

“I don’t make waves, I don’t leave tracks”, my Dad said something similar to me. He went to work, paid his taxes, paid his bills, made no trouble and he didn’t bother anyone.

Migrants came to the lands of free for a better life and opportunity. And there were problems at the start but it was still beautiful and full of hope.

But things started to change, when we started to get connected. Suddenly, echo chambers became a thing, fake videos and fake news started to become real, science was frowned upon and the leadership changes up top meant that people have to walk around with one eye behind them and one eye in front.

On fake videos, go to YouTube and check out the fake videos people have made of famous people saying things they’ve never said. The technology is that good, no one can spot the fake video.

Blood in the water
Our fates are sealed
The devils greatest trick
Was just to say he wasn’t real
Satan always used to love to say he wasn’t real

There’s no need to look at the world for problems when those same problems are on the streets of our neighbourhoods.

I’m a Russian hack by trade

The Cold War is nothing compared to the Digital War happening right now. These hackers don’t even have to leave the comfort of their bedrooms to do the same things that used to happen during the Cold War espionage days.

State backed hacks are all the rage right now.

The US is going to the polls, so expect increased activity. In Australia, they even arrested a politician accused of being a spy for China.

Bon Jovi is a large part of the soundtrack of my youth. And like all artists who have been in the business for 30 plus years, we fall in and out of love with their music.

It’s just the way things go. “Blood In The Water” has given me hope.

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

1985 – Part 2

With a DeLorean and a Flux Capacitor, the year is set for 1985.

Here we go.

Bon Jovi – 7800 Fahrenheit

JBJ hates this album as none of the songs get played live anymore. But to the fans who were there before “Slippery When Wet”, they either like it, understand it or ignore it.

For me, the band needed to get this album written as it pushed the melodic rock/metal sound from the debut to the limit, so a new clean slate was needed.

Check out the melodic guitar work of Richie Sambora on tracks like “The Price Of Love”, “Only Lonely”, “The Hardest Part Is The Night” and “Always Run To You”. And when it comes to balls to the wall riffing, “Tokyo Road”, “In And Out Of Love” and “King Of The Mountain” showcase that AC/DC vibe. The only track I don’t like is “Silent Night”.

Stryper – Soldiers Under Command

I heard “The Rock That Makes Me Roll” on a “Headbangers Heaven” compilation and I became a fan because of the riffs.

“Soldiers Under Command” (the track) is a metal tour de force. That intro riff, influenced by Judas Priest is excellent. “Makes Me Wanna Sing” is another song influenced by Judas Priest and their song “Running Wild”. Then again, so is Maiden with “The Wicker Man” intro riff.

“First Love” is a cool ballad. Probably one of their best ones, but it doesn’t get the dues it deserves because bigger cheesy ballads came after which got some MTV love.

“Waiting For A Love That’s Real” reminds me of “Faithfully” from Journey and “Purple Rain” from Prince, but in a rocking way. And the lead break in this song is guitar hero worthy.

“Surrender” is one of my favourite tracks. It’s got this progressive metal/power metal vibe in the vocals.

The riffs are excellent.

Y&T – Down For The Count

I played this album a few days ago for my boys. They are 15 and 14. And they started pressing “like” and saving songs to their playlists. Songs like “Summertime Girls”, “Anytime At All”, “Hands Of Time” and “In The Name Of Rock”.

I guess there is something about this album that makes 14/15 year old teens like it.

From a guitar point of view “Hands Of Time” stood out straight away and I still like it.

And the band that we knew as Y&T was on their way to breaking up. Leonard Haze would depart after this album and Joey Alves would depart after their 87 “Contagious” album. The fan base would also move on and there wasn’t enough new fans replacing the ones moving on.

Night Ranger – Seven Wishes

“Midnight Madness” is my favourite Night Ranger album, but “Seven Wishes” really tried to compete with it.

After this album, Night Ranger never captured that attitude and energy they had on the first three albums. And you know the saying, your attitude determines your altitude.

The guitar solos on “Seven Wishes” are wow. “Faces” has an awesome synth inspired chorus. “Four In The Morning” has an addictive vocal melody and the guitar leads, man, if they don’t get you playing air guitar, please check yourself for a pulse.

“If “I Need A Woman” was recorded by Robert Palmer, it would have been number 1.

“Sentimental Street” and the solo from Brad Gillis. Triple A, all the way.

“This Boy Needs To Rock” gets that rocking vibe happening again and another guitar solo that makes me play air guitar.

“Night Machine” has some cool guitar riffage and another Triple A lead break.

And I don’t know why these Night Ranger albums are not on Spotify. It’s the dumbest move ever to withhold em, unless you are in dispute with the label about what you should be paid.

Rush – Power Windows

Even if you don’t like the music, you would like the stories in the lyrics.

“Big Money” goes around the world, spreading greed and consuming all. “Big Money” weaves a mighty web and draws the flies. In “Grand Designs” there is so much poison in power.

The “Manhattan Project” tells us about a weapon that would settle the score and how the big bang shook the world at the Rising Sun.

“Better the pride that resides in a citizen of the world, than the pride that divides when a colourful rag is unfurled” is classic Neil Peart from the song “Territories”.

In “Middletown Dreams”, dreams transport the ones who need to get out of town.

Accept – Metal Heart

Critics panned it, but hey, who listens to critics. The record label told them it’s a dud because it didn’t reach or outsell their previous efforts. But it’s my favourite Accept record.

“Metal Heart” has this open string riff, which defines the song. Lyrically, it’s 1999 and the human race needs to face some mysterious truth, like “judgement day” style, man versus machine.

Even when Metal bands tried to be serious or sound serious they still ended up sounding comedic.

With the Beethoven licks in the solo, you either like it or hate it.

“Midnight Mover” is basically Scorpions. The arpeggio lick/riff in the intro gets me interested. The single note riffs with pinch harmonics in the verse keeps the interest going. And even though the Chorus sounds very AOR, it’s still heavy metal.

Finally the lead break.

Wolf Hoffman doesn’t get the guitar hero crowns he deserves.

“Up To The Limit” is basically AC/DC. The bass from Peter Baltes just rolls along in the verses, while Hoffman and Fischer play staccato like power chords.

“Wrong Is Right” is basically Judas Priest. That verse riff could have come from the “Screaming For Vengeance” album.

“Screaming For A Love Bite” is a terrible title for a song, but I suppose that’s what makes it memorable. I’ve always enjoyed it when metal bands take major key riffs and put them into their mix. In keeping with themes of other bands, this one could have fitted nicely on a Journey album, even a Night Ranger album.

And like that Side 1 ends, with no filler whatsoever.

Side 2 kicks off with the very AC/DC sounding “Too High To Get It Right”. And how can you not like it, especially that gang like vocal in the Chorus.

“Dogs On Leads” is so underrated and also in the vein of AC/DC. The bass just rumbles while Hoffman plays jangly chords before it kicks into overdrive. Again, the gang like vocals are so loud, they remain with me long after the song is finished.

“Teach Us To Survive” sounds like it came from a Pink Panther movie. Jazz fusion metal.

Artist’s used to do this on albums before, like write a song that was a bit out there, but still rooted in metal. Then when albums became a two to three year cycle, it changed. Suddenly artists either played it safe and stayed true to what came before or they went completely different for the whole next album, not just for a track or two.

“Living For Tonite” has this pulsing bass, guitar and drum groove.

How can you not like it?

“Bound To Fail” is basically a power metal tune in the intro, but when the verses roll around, it’s got that blues rock swagger in the Chorus that Guns N Roses would bring to the masses on “Welcome To The Jungle”.

Again, how can you not like it?

And that’s a wrap for 1985, Part 2.

See you in 1977.

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

2000 – V1

I’ve been doing these yearly revision posts on and off for the last four years. Basically when I’ve felt like it.

I started with 1980, as that was a pivotal year when it all began for me. And then I went forward and back at the same time. I did a post for 1981, and then a post for 1979. Then a post for 1982 and a post for 1978.

Currently I am up to 1985 and 1977 for those eras. They are in a various states of drafts and on hold for a little bit because I get excited about other posts and it felt like I was just writing about the same bands (like AC/DC, who had releases on both sides of the 80’s and 70’s).

So I wanted to start up another year and work my way forward on that one.

Plus other bloggers who I follow have also been summarizing various years from their own personal experiences.

So a few days ago, I had a vision and in my madness I decided to also kick off a 2000 series.

So there will be a 2000, 1985 and 1977 series running in parallel.

Then there will be a 2001, 1986 and 1976.

But when I started to write the 2000 post, the world has a funny way to show me, that I’m still writing about the same bands I was writing about in the 80’s with a few additions here and there.

So h is Part 1 of 2000.

Bon Jovi – Crush

“It’s My Life” was everywhere. The single got a lot of traction in Australia. It was on radio, on the music TV stations and the various CD single editions were selling out quickly.

The resurrection of Bon Jovi was complete after a pretty relaxed period between 1996 and 1999. Then again, Sambora and Jovi did release solo albums in between and toured, so maybe it wasn’t so relaxed.

Songsmith Max Martin got a co-write, however it’s hard to know what he actually did because Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora didn’t use him again. Also just ask Steven Tyler, how much song writing some of the outside writers did. Holly Knight got a writing credit for “Rag Doll”, and all she did was come up with the song title. Thanks Deke for that one.

And although I like the derivative sounding “It’s My Life”, my favourites (like most of the Bon Jovi albums) are more of the deeper cuts, like “Just Older”, “Two Story Town”, “Mystery Train”, the six plus minutes of “Next 100 Years”, the laidback feel of “She’s A Mystery” and probably the best live song they have written in “Old Wild Night”, which gets no love these days but it should.

Disturbed – The Sickness

There was a sticker on the CD, which had a quote from “Ozzy” calling Disturbed “the future of Heavy Metal”. I don’t know if Ozzy actually said that, but it was a cool bit of marketing, because I bit and handed over $20.

The thing that got me from the start, is the staccato vocals from David Draiman, which was so different from the 80’s type of singers I was used to plus it helped that the music was pretty cool as well. And I kept listening, became a fan, seen em live on two occasions and today, I hold David Draiman in some unique company of metal voices and Disturbed as one of my favourite acts.

And this album really put em on the map. In the U.S alone (and if you like to use the RIAA sales metric as a gauge for success) then 9 million is the number so far.

For me, the cross between groove metal and heavy metal and that thing people called Nu-Metal is excellent and it got me out of a rut.

“Voices” talks about some freaky shit, and that vocal delivery from Draiman was so unique it captured me. Then “The Game” starts off with the NIN style of electronics, and when the guitar riff comes in, its heavy metal all the way.

“Stupify” has this guitar riff that takes the style of Korn and guitarist Dan Donegan has this ability to make it sound like a metal riff.

And his ability to take influences from what was current like NIN, Korn, Limp Bizkit, Tool and put it into his metal influenced blender, that’s the magic brew of Disturbed. By the way check out the section from about 2.52 for a breakdown.

“Numb” is taking the moodiness of Tool and making it accessible in a 4 minute song. “Shout 2000” gives an old 80’s song a new lease of life and the title track “Down With The Sickness” is that song in the concert when the musician looks at the sea of faces jumping up and down and head banging, like an ocean swell about to hit the stage.

Fates Warning – Disconnected

I was always on the fence with Fates Warning. My cousin Mega loved em and he had all of their albums. But for me, I just taped the songs I liked from those albums and never really got into a whole album.

But this album changed all of that. As soon as the first ringing guitar notes started which to my ears mimicked a warning siren, I was hooked.

For me, it feels like a perfect blend of what was current, like Tool and Porcupine Tree and a nod to what Dream Theater was creating (they even have Kevin Moore guesting on keyboards) and it’s all surrounded by a hard rock progressive feel.

Also while the earlier albums showed guitarist Jim Matheos evolving with each release from raw NWOBHM, to Power Metal, to technical thrash metal, to Queensryche style rock to atmospheric progressive rock and on this one, he is digging deep into his well and bringing out everything he knows into well-structured songs and a cohesive album.

And the album is ignored by the masses.

But not by me.

“Disconnected, Pt 1” kicks it off with its ominous warning siren guitar bends. And the synth keys make it sound even more dystopian. Then again, if you look at the cover of the album, its people in gas masks under an orange sky. For me, it’s like our Australian summer, which had orange and red skies, and our air quality was crap, for a very long time.

“One” blasts out of the gates with its Porcupine Tree/Tool influenced riff.

“So” is groove heavy, with a hint of a Tool influence, but Jim Matheos makes it sound metal. When it quietens down in the verses, it just reminds me of the song “Black Sabbath”. The bridge section from about 4.30 also quietens down and then that Tool like groove from 5.50 hits you like a sledgehammer. “Pieces Of Me” is a derivative version of “One”, with small changes here and there to make it stand on its own.

And the two big bookends.

“Something For Nothing” and “Still Remains”. They are quality, as a melancholic and atmospheric groove leads the way. It’s progressive and it doesn’t have or need a thousand notes per second nor complex time signatures pieced together and added like fractions. On both songs, it’s a feel and a groove which lays the foundation and the songs keep building from there.

The album closes with “Disconnected, Pt 2”, with the guitar warning siren bends and some nice keys.

Iron Maiden – Brave New World

There was “The Ed Hunter Tour” of 1999, which announced the latest and upgraded hardware version of Iron Maiden from 5.0 to 6.0. And it’s been the same line up since.

And no one really knew how this 6.0 upgrade would go with new music. But they delivered.

Each song has a section which makes it connect.

From the opening Em chord of “The Wicker Man”, the song is full of the things that make Maiden great, like the repeating chorus line of “your time will come” and the singalong “woh-oh-oh” in the outro which is then followed by harmony guitars.

And I like the “Fear Of The Dark” section between 5.00 and 5.42 in “Ghost Of The Navigator” and the harmony solos in “Brave New World”.

“Blood Brothers” is a classic Maiden song, driven by an awesome bass riff, synth strings, harmony guitars (especially that harmony section from 3.29 to 3.57 and again from 4.22 to 6.20) and a vocal performance from Bruce Dickinson to rival his 80’s output. It feels like only a few singers could pull off repeating the same chorus line over and over again and make it sound unique. Dio comes to mind, Dee Snider as well and Bruce Dickinson.

“The Mercenary” has a head banging intro to rival the “Two Minutes To Midnight” intro. And that Chorus, when Bruce starts to sing “Nowhere to hide, nowhere to run”. Brilliant. “Dream Of Mirrors” and that “Phantom Of The Opera” intro. But when it quietens down and it’s just the bass rumbling along, with the closed high hats and a clean tone guitar melodic lick. That’s when the hairs on the back of my neck rise up. And by the end of it, I’m also dreaming in black and white because Bruce repeats it so many times, you get hypnotized. Also listen to when Bruce sings woh – oh from the 7.20 minute mark.

“The Fallen Angel” with its “Wrathchild” style intro. Then that open string pull of lick in the Chorus. The intro in “The Nomad” which is also the Chorus riff and then that epic sounding exotic/barbarian/viking like lead from about the 4 minute mark. The intro to “Out Of The Silent Planet”.

Version 6.0 was off to the good start and the “Rock In Rio” DVD put any doubt to rest.

Everclear – Songs From An American Movie, Vol 1: Learning How To Smile

This is another album that got my attention.

The song “Wonderful” was all over the charts in Australia, and I suppose that “Star Wars” poster on the bedroom door lyric got me to bite. And the album is excellent. Again, it came at a perfect time to get me out of a rut, musically. It was different and removed from the 80’s and 70’s music I was so into. Then again, I was still overdosing on Maiden, but that’s another story.

“Here We Go Again” has these jazzy 7th style chords played in a pattern like “I Love Rock N Roll” in the verses, and it got me interested straight away. And there is a horn section which reminded me of “Tangled In The Web” from Lynch Mob. And that bridge section about sitting on a mattress in the corner and eating Chinese food. Its conversationlist and I like it.

“AM Radio” has a lot of great lyrics about the 70’s and listening to that AM Radio or just laying in bed with the radio on and listening to it all night long.

The VCR and the DVD
There wasn’t none of that crap back in 1970
We didn’t know about a World Wide Web
It was a whole different game being played back when I was a kid

Even if you weren’t born then, you already get a picture in your head of some of the technology that wasn’t around.

Flashback, ’72
Another summer in the neighbourhood
Hangin’ out with nothing to do

Even in the 80’s, we had days like these with nothing to do. It changed in the 90’s when parents had an agenda of things their kids had to do or achieve or attend.

Cruisin’ with the windows rolled down
We’d listen to the radio station

Damn right.

I remember 1977
I started going to concerts and I saw the Led Zeppelin
I got a guitar on Christmas day
I dreamed that Jimmy Page would come from Santa Monica
and teach me to play

There is always a defining “aha” moment, which sets of the correct adrenaline kick.

I like pop, I like soul, I like rock, but I never liked disco

Not many who liked pop, soul and rock liked disco. Remember Bob Seger and his old time rock and roll to soothe the soul.

“Learning How To Smile” is my favorite track on the album.

Five miles outside of Vegas when we broke down
Threw my keys inside the window and we never looked back
Got all drunk and sloppy on a Greyhound bus
We passed out, all them losers they were laughing at us

Youthful enthusiasm, leave the past behind (the car) and move forward to something new. The oldsters would have organised a tow truck to retrieve the car and then spend money to fix it, because every possession was precious. Tell that to the throwaway generation, who upgrade their Tech yearly or bi-yearly.

We got lost in Phoenix, seemed like such a long time
Seven months of livin’ swimming on those thin white lines
Did some time for sellin’ acid to the wrong guy
Life just keeps on gettin’ smaller and we never ask why

Taking and selling drugs and doing what they could to get by, with no safety net.

Why there is no perfect place, yes I know this is true
I’m just learning how to smile
That’s not easy to do

Life is not all sunshine and a bed of roses. And the more older we get, the harder it is to smile sometimes, even though you want to smile.

We was broke outside of Philly when the storms came
I was working in New Jersey, hitchin’ rides in the rain
You was happy talkin’ dirty at that phone sex place
Life just keeps on gettin’ weirder for us every day

Tommy and Gina have nothing on Art and his girl.

We can leave it all behind like we do every time
Yes we both live for the day
When we can leave and just go runnin’ away

Escapism. I remember when I first got my car license. I felt a freedom, I’d never felt before.

Five miles outside of Vegas, five years down the line
We got married in the desert and the sunshine

Through all the ups and downs, I guess they learned how to smile.

And to close off the album, “Thrift Store Chair” has this acoustic 70’s feel, which reminds me of Bad Company and “Wonderful” kicks off with a simple drum groove, and then the piano which outlines the chords. And the song just keeps on building.

Well 2000 is officially kicked off. Now I’m going back in time to 1985. And then 1977. And then back to 2000, in ludicrous speed.

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The Record Vault – Bon Jovi DVDs

I have been a bit slack on “The Record Vault” posts because I got stuck on my large catalogue of Bon Jovi releases ranging from cassettes, vinyl LP, 7-inch singles, CD’s, box sets and now finally DVD’s.

“Crossroad” got a special re-release, years later, like a mini box set. We got the normal “Crossroad” CD album, a second CD of “B sides and Rarities” which is always cool and a DVD of the band “Live In London”. The “Live In London” was on the “These Days” tour and the band as usual, is firing on all cylinders.

“The Crush Tour” DVD is a band in prime form. I’ve watched this so many times and the Czech fans are in fine form as well, giving the football stadium a bounce and a sing-a-long.

“The Inside Story” is one of those bootleg style releases to cash in on the Bon Jovi phenomenon. I don’t even remember much of it.

“This Left Feels Right – Live” is a great accompaniment to the CD release. I think Richie Sambora really came to the party on this album and enjoyed doing these acoustic re-interpretations of their songs, plus you get a couple of originals thrown in as well.

“Live At Madison Square Garden” was a massive eye opener for me, because the viewer got the chance to see how a band (which is now structured as a corporation) operates and works. JBJ as the CEO is trying to get a stake in an NFL team and working out logistics about shows and tours.

And a lot of bands have this kind of CEO set up now. Which is about time that the power returns to the artist, because it is the artist who makes the connection with the fan.

Not the record label.

The artist.

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The Record Vault – Bon Jovi From 2000 to 2009

After a very limited release schedule of new music in the 90s, Bon Jovi became a different beast at the start of the 2000’s releasing more frequently. Almost yearly.

Was it the Napster effect?

100% it was.

When fans of music could get their music fix for free or by cherry picking from the iTunes Store, it meant the old business model of living off the royalties of your past successes and releasing music every two to five years was challenged and a new way was needed. Suddenly not a lot of people wanted the album, just the “hits”.

And because of the internet, people moved on to different artists and sounds quicker than ever before. So in order to stay relevant and in the public conversation, artists had to release more frequently. Which Bon Jovi did.

There was no escaping “Crush” released in 2000. “It’s My Life” was everywhere and Bon Jovi had another Super Bowl title win with this song. It’s no surprise that the hitmeister of the day, Max Martin co-wrote the song, in the same way Desmond Child co-wrote a lot of the Jovi hits back in the 80s and early 90s. I even got “Collectors Edition 05686”, whatever that means.

And I got all the singles from this album because they had so many unreleased tracks on them. Check em out.

“One Wild Night Live 1985–2001” came out in 2001 and I purchased it, to hear Jovi, still firing on all cylinders.

“Bounce” released in 2002 is one of my favorite Jovi albums. There is a lot of Dropped D riffing, it’s heavy and it’s angry. It’s written post September 11 and everyone who saw those images of the planes hitting the towers could forget em.

And I purchased the singles because they had a lot of B sides to them. Something that Jovi was doing really well.

“This Left Feels Right” came out in 2003. Sambora went to town here, re-interpreting all the classics in an acoustic folky way.

“100,000,000 Bon Jovi Fans Can’t Be Wrong” is one hell of a box set, released in 2004. This is the jewel in the Jovi crown. There is so much history on this.

“Have a Nice Day” came out in 2005 and it had some cool tunes on it as well. I’ve got the Aus Edition with bonus tracks and a DVD I haven’t played.

“Lost Highway” released in 2007 was interesting, because I liked it. I liked the ballsy change to country rock.

“The Circle” was released in 2009 and after the GFC so it had songs on it about the working man doing it tough. It was interesting how people took offense to Jovi even attempting to write an album like this while he was so far removed from the working man.

Regardless, it still had some cool tunes on it and I was still on board.

Coming up is my Jovi collection from 2010 to 2020.

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The Record Vault – Bon Jovi In The 90s

When I heard that Bon Jovi was back together and recording, I was looking forward to the “Keep The Faith” release.

I enjoyed what JBJ and RS did on their solo albums and of course I enjoyed NJ and SWW and the rest of their 80s output.

The “Keep the Faith” single dropped and although Jon Bon Jovi’s “Jennifer Aniston” hair moment took a lot of the conversation, their was no denying the power of the track. And I purchased the CD single.

The bass riff to kick it off, the piano chords, the U2 Edge Like Guitar in the pre Chorus and of course the massive arena rock Chorus.

Underpinning it all are the melodies and lyrics of trying to keep our heads up even when the world tries to knock you down. For some of the youth of the 80s who had grown up with metal and rock music, we needed a little bit of faith and hope at this time.

Then the album dropped and “Dry County” just got me hooked. The full 10 minutes of it, their opus and a song they never attempted to rewrite again.

Why have multiple 10 minute songs when one is enough?

And it’s also home to their worst song as well in “Bed Of Roses”. Well that was until the next album and “This Ain’t A Love Song” took its place. Jovi does Ballads well, but these ones felt just too orchestrated and lacked authenticity.

Plus it’s the home to some of their grooviest in “Save A Prayer”, a bonus track.

But “Dry County” (along with their earlier albums) is the reason why I still give Bon Jovi a chance, even after their last three current albums.

Then came “Crossroad”, a cash grab “Best Of” because it had a few new songs like the number 1, “Always” and top ten “Someday, Ill Be Saturday Night”.

“These Days” came out and although I wasn’t really enthused with “This Ain’t A Love Song” I was still a first day buyer.

And the first two songs “Hey God” and “Something For The Pain” kick it off nicely, until “This Ain’t A Love Song” ruined the flow.

Hey God, do you ever think about me

“These Days”, “Lie To Me” and “Damned” (which is “Keep The Faith” part 2) follow nicely and “Something To Believe In” and “If That’s What It Takes” are worthy editions but after that, the album becomes repetitive and a bit of a bore. “My Guitar Lies Bleeding In My Arms” has some moments. And I don’t like “Diamond Ring” at all.

For diversity and grown up lyrics, it’s one of Bon Jovi’s best albums. For the singles released, one of the worst A&R choices ever. And it sold more around the world than in the US because the whole world was in those same places that Jovi referenced in the lyrics.

We all needed something for the pain and something to believe in because what we did before wasn’t working anymore like working hard with the view that we will rise to the top.

Then came an expensive solo album in between movies for JBJ, which I enjoyed to listen to, as it captured the British popgeist that Oasis created and album closer “August 7” channeled Neil Young. But it did nothing in the U.S. while it saw success everywhere else.

For the record, the album had five producers, a shitload of engineers, a lot of musicians and Jovi got to write with some different writers this time, like Dave Stewart from the Eurythmics, Eric Bazilian (who wrote “One Of Us” for Joan Osborne) and Mark Hudson who wrote heaps with Aerosmith.

And Jovi realized that his strength and fame is with the Bon Jovi franchise as this became the last solo album he did.

Coming up next is Bon Jovi in the 2000’s.

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The Record Vault – Bon Jovi In The Eighties on CD

I started this Bon Jovi Record Vault post a while back, starting off with Cassettes, then Vinyl and now CD (with the Vinyls added for extra color).

And I’ve basically got Jovi’s 80s output on CD and LP. The first photos are from the first two albums. The 2 CD box set was $9.99 and I got the CDs a lot later than the LP.

This post isn’t a review of the albums as I have covered them in other posts.

Next up is the 20 million plus selling third album. I really thought that this album would get the 4 CDs special anniversary treatment in 2016 with the Pizza Parlour demos getting an official release. But so far it hasn’t.

Maybe Jovi is waiting for the 40 year anniversary in 2026, to capitalize on his most successful album.

The 3 Disc Deluxe Anniversary Edition of “New Jersey” is fantastic, because you get the original double album with it, the “Sons of Beaches” Demos

To wrap it up, Bon Jovi finished the 80s as one of the biggest bands in rock with concert grosses and record sales hitting record highs. Only U2 rivaled their power as a group.

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The Record Vault – Bon Jovi LPs

I more or less have these same albums on CD.

Bon Jovi

The debut album which gave us “Runaway” and “She Don’t Know Me” along with some ball squeezing falsettos from JBJ.

But my favourite songs on the album are “Shot Through The Heart” which I have written about before and “Burning For Love” which I have also written about before.

7800 Degrees Fahrenheit

It’s the temperature to melt a rock and its virtually ignored in the canon of Bon Jovi, sort of like how all of the Star Wars books pre Disney got taken out of the canon timeline.

It’s the album before “Slippery When Wet” and it’s a melodic rock gem to me.

Songs like “The Price Of Love”, “Only Lonely”, “To The Fire” and “Always Run To You” bring the melody and tracks like “In And Out Of Love”, “Tokyo Road”, “King Of The Mountain”, “Secret Dreams” and “The Hardest Part Is The Night” bring the rock. The only weak track is “Silent Night”.

And I did have this album on tape, however the tape got mangled by the cassette deck, which was a risk “tape owners” faced. I didn’t rebuy it on cassette, I just got a blank tape and dubbed it off a friend (without “Silent Night”) along with “Under Lock And Key” from Dokken.

Slippery When Wet

Coming into the album, the band was a million dollars in debt to the label (bizarre, but hey, label creative accounting is bizarre) and Jon Bon Jovi along with Richie Sambora wanted to write songs for other artists, sort of like how Bryan Adams was writing songs for other artists. But the songs Jovi and Sambora wrote with Desmond Child, ended up as keepers.

And if you want the low down, I’ve already written numerous stories about Bon Jovi during this period here.

Live On Tour

A record label “LIMITED EDITION” release (that would cost the label nothing, but they would still charge the band for it) to capitalise on the sales success of “Slippery When Wet”.

And fans purchased it, as we believed we needed it.

This one hit the streets in Australia, just before they hit our shores for their Beatles like reception with thousands of fans outside their hotel, singing their songs and going nuts.

New Jersey

Like “Slippery When Wet” you can get the various posts here.

Bad Medicine – 7 inch single

You take away the synth sound and add a honky tonk piano sound and the song could have come from a Rolling Stones or Bad Company album.

Jon Bon Jovi – Young Guns II Soundtrack

“You hoo, I can make you famous.”

JBJ caught everyone by surprise with this release and the immediate success which followed on the back of “Blaze Of Glory”.  

But my favourite songs on this album is the blues ballad rock of “Santa Fe” and the Pink Floyd style intro of “Justice In The Barrel” before it morphs into a rock song.

Bon Jovi Tour Book for Keep The Faith

The show was excellent, a band in great form and very jam orientated. Each song had an extended outro solo or an extended interlude sing-a-long.

Plus they played “Dry County” in its entirety.

Next up is my CD collection.

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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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