A to Z of Making It, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

The B-Sides For Engaging With Fans

Remember how cool it was to discover new bands or songs from the B-sides of singles.

Like when I purchased the “Creeping Death” single and I first heard “Am I Evil” from Diamond Head and “Blitzkrieg” from Blitzkrieg. Or picking up the Whitesnake singles to “Here I Go Again” (and hearing “Guilty Of Love), “Give Me All Your Love” (and hearing “Fool For Your Loving and Don’t Break My Heart Again”), “Is This Love” (and hearing “Bad Boys” and “Standing in the Shadow”) and “Still Of The Night” (and hearing “You’re Gonna Break My Heart Again”).

Europe also promoted their back catalog with the release of “The Final Countdown” single. On the B-side there was the excellent “On Broken Wings”. Def Leppard also went into the archives when they put non album tracks “Ride Into The Sun” and “I Wanna Be Your Hero” as the b-sides to “Hysteria” and “Pour Some Sugar On Me” respectively.

Throughout music history, the b-side has often thrown up an extra, unexpected treat. And with technology advancing, the vinyl b-side is a thing of the past, and when CD singles started coming out, the B-side was relegated to a four song EP while the MP3 introduced the era of cherry-picking and the b-side was dead forever.

One of my favourite rock acts from Australia “Candy Harlots” had real good single releases. I still have the original 7 inch single of the Leeno Dee penned “Danger” that was with Ron Barrett (RIP), Mark Easton, Leeno Dee, Tony Cardinal and Marc DeHagar. On the B-side was the Ron Barrett penned “Wrap 2 Arms”.

Then a few years later came the “Danger” CD Single. However this time the B-side was another Ron Barrett penned song called “Hot Love Child”.

The intention of the single was for artists to double up with releasing two great songs at a time.

“The Beatles” single releases came to be known as the “Double A-sides”. In the Seventies, the second cut was even seen to overtake its a-side: “Beth” from Kiss comes to mind. It was their biggest hit and it was a b-side to “Detroit Rock City”. By the Eighties, the B-side started to become a method for releasing versions of songs that were not officially released. Some bands used demos of unreleased songs, while others used live recordings of released songs or demos of released songs. Other bands used the B-side as a way to record cover songs.

Bon Jovi took the “unreleased demos of songs plus liver versions of released songs” route initially with each single, while Metallica took the “demos of released songs plus cover songs route”. Both formats worked and fostered a connection with fans that ended up with both bands releasing  albums that celebrated their own paradigm.

Bon Jovi came out with the boxed set” 100,000,000 Fans Cant Be Wrong” which focused on the unreleased songs. They did it again with the 2014 re-issue of “New Jersey”.

Metallica brought out “Garage Inc” which further built of the culture that both bands created.

Motley Crue tried to get in on the act with their “Supersonic And Demonic Relics” release.

Just recently Machine Head did a similar concept with “Killers and Kings” and their cover of Ignite’s “Our Darkest Days”/Bleeding”. It was a creative release that had four different covers based on Tarot Cards. As a fan, I purchased all four of the covers and they are still wrapped in plastic.

Coheed and Cambria released all the demos plus a few unreleased songs as part of the Super Deluxe release for “The Afterman” releases.  We, (the fans) lapped it all up.

Those albums that I purchased, I played them over and over (especially the demo/unreleased songs). However, all that time and devotion from all the fans was not counted by any metric so the artist had no idea the engagement the fans had with those releases.

All that mattered was the flawed business model of the initial purchase.

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

Any Publicity Is Good Publicity

I love the latest Journal Entry by Robb Flynn. It’s a crack up around the new A7X album.

“Avenged Sevenfold – Now with more Metallica”

“After hearing Heretic, Dave Mustaine flips out, blames Obama, Metallica and UFO’s for A7X stealing Symphony Of Destruction.”

Any publicity is good publicity. I posted previously that it was a ballsy move releasing some of the songs with so many similarities. I am not against it, as I have always said progress is derivative. “Hail To The King” has people talking, and that is what you want from an album, especially in this day and age, where albums come out and by six weeks they have disappeared. You want the album to stick around for at least 12 months in people’s minds.

I can’t believe that some people are losing their minds in the comments section on Facebook. No one can take a joke these days. There are a whole heap of people sticking up for A7X, while others are completely writing them off. Poor old Robb Flynn is copping it as well. I couldn’t stop laughing though with all these A7X fans making comments like, “I don’t hear any similarities to the songs mentioned”, I was like WTF, what rock have you been hiding under?

For the record I am cranking this album again today. And you know what, if a kid is hearing this kind of music for the first time and Avenged Sevenfold is their first introduction to Heavy Metal music, then what an introduction it would be for them. I played it to my boys (ages 8 and 7) and they really dig it. They haven’t really heard much Metallica and Megadeth so they don’t know the songs written by Megadeth and Metallica. This is much in the same way, when the Eighties bands came out, I didn’t know about the Sixties and Seventies bands that the Eighties bands were “influenced” by. So for an introduction to a new generation, “Hail To The King” is a great sounding album.

Tracks 1 (Shepherd Of Fire), 2 (Hail To The King), 3 (Doing Time), 5 (Requiem), 7 (Heretic), 8 (Coming Home) and 9 (Planets) are standing out at the moment. I was never a fan of “Sad But True”, so I am not really a fan of “This Means War”, however it does have some cool melodic lead breaks. I think the vocal melody is too much like “Sad But True” and that makes me dislike it as I didn’t like the original vocal melody anyway. On the other hand, I am a fan of “Symphony Of Destruction” and I really like what A7X did with “Heretic”. I still prefer the original. The ballads are boring as.

I remember when I started purchasing LP’s from Seventies era bands like Mott The Hoople and Slade in the Nineties via the second hand record shops. I swear I heard the first three Motley Crue albums on those albums as well as Def Leppard up to “Pyromania”. The same deal with Aerosmith’s Seventies output. I heard Guns N Roses (GNR) and Motley Crue straight away.

Recently I have been listening to NWOBHM, especially the more obscure bands and Metallica has ripped all of them off. Diamond Head is the most obvious. Then you have the unknown band like “Bleak House” that got really ripped off for “Sanitarium (Welcome Home)”. If Bleak House was still together in 1986, when “Master of Puppets” came out, they could have used that to their advantage. “Thanks to Metallica for bringing attention to our song “Rainbow Warrior” with “Welcome Home (Sanitarium).”

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