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

The Week In Destroyer Of Harmony History – December 26 to January 8

Well it’s been two weeks since the last DoHh post.

Here we go.

4 Years Ago (2017 going into 2018)

2018 STARTED WITH SOME RANDOM LISTENING

Yngwie Malmsteen’s “Trilogy” album is full of great riffs and leads.

When the U.S record labels went anti shred in the 90’s, the Japanese and South American markets kept his career going.

There is no denying his 80’s output and it’s a shame that a rumoured collaboration with Ronnie James Dio never happened.

Then I moved to “Trash” from Alice Cooper. It’s commercial sounding, but it’s still Alice Cooper singing.

How can it not be good?

The real gems are “Spark In The Dark”, “This Maniac Is In Love With You”, “I’m Your Gun”, “Why Trust You” and “Trash”.

Afterwards, “Operation Mindcrime” from Queensryche got a listen.

It’s loaded with excellent guitar playing and the album gave me a tonne of great riff ideas to use as influences in my own song writing.

“Flesh and Blood” from Poison was next.

“Valley Of Lost Souls” is one hell of a good song and the best on the album.

“Let It Play” could have been on a John Cougar Mellencamp or Bryan Adams album while “Life Goes On” is a good power ballad and CC plays a tasty intro lead. “Come Hell or High Water” is another underrated tune in the vein of the Classic Rock of the 70’s that doesn’t get its dues.

“Ride The Wind” is another sleeper, while “Something To Believe In” copies the “Every Rose Has It’s Thorn” country bluesy vibe, however this time, the piano is the main driver instead of the acoustic guitar.

“Blow My Fuse” from Kix was up next. Now this album is a perfect example of the “progress is derivative model”.

It starts off with “Red Lite, Green Lite, TNT” which sounds very familiar like something from “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”. “Get It While It’s Hot” is heavily influenced by “You Shook Me All Night Long” from AC/DC. Actually it’s very heavily, heavily influenced by that song.

“No Ring Around Rosie” is a beefed up “La Grange” from ZZ Top in the verses. “Don’t Close Your Eyes” is taking its cues from “Home Sweet Home” and “Dream On”. “She Dropped Me The Bomb” is again heavily influenced by AC/DC with a touch of The Who.  “Cold Blood” is a very similar to “Long Way To The Top” from AC/DC in the verses.

“Piece Of The Pie” is very heavily influenced by Aerosmith. “Boomerang” is influenced by Led Zeppelin. “Blow My Fuse” is such a good track where the influences are not as obvious as the other tracks. “Dirty Boys” is influenced by “Let There Be Rock” by AC/DC.

Finally, Winger is up.

The groovy “Can’t Get Enough” kicks off the album.

When “Miles Away” came on, I wasn’t sure if it was Bad English or Def Leppard. It’s one of those slow tempo melodic rock songs. “Easy Come Easy Go” has a cool groove and I dig the horn section in the verses.

The next two songs are two of my favourite songs. “Rainbow In The Rose” and “In The Day We’ll Never See”.

RANDY RHOADS AND THE BLIZZARDS

The project could have been called that.

It all started when Ozzy auditioned Randy in LA. Afterwards they jammed for a few days with Dana Strum and Frankie Banali.

Then Ozzy went back to England and he met with Bob Daisley. Ozzy and Daisley jammed with another guitarist and drummer however Daisley mentioned that they needed better players.

Ozzy mentioned Randy Rhoads, however the label wanted a well-known British guitarist, but no one was interested to join because of Ozzy’s reputation. Gary Moore was Ozzy’s first choice and he rejected the offer to audition. Eventually the label relented and Randy was flown over to London. Rhoads and Daisley started writing music and it worked well. Lee Kerslake came towards the end of the writing process.

Here are some summaries of what I wrote about the songs.

Crazy Train

You can call this song Ozzy’s biggest hit but it never registered on the charts back in the day. But on Spotify and YouTube it’s huge. The new paradigm shows us what is being listened too.

Bob Daisley provided the title while Randy Rhoads had the riff and the chord structure. For the lyrics, Bob Daisley used Ozzy’s vocal melodies and referenced what was happening in 1979/80. The Berlin Wall was still up and the Cold War between the USSR and USA was still going on.

Goodbye To Romance

It was Ozzy’s title and it came from an Everly Brothers song called “Bye Bye Love.”

The lyrics were written by Bob Daisley and the subject matter was Ozzy’s “divorce” from Black Sabbath.

On the “Don’t Blame Me” video, Ozzy mentions he was humming the vocal melody, and Randy heard it and developed the chords around the melody. Ozzy’s revisionist take makes it sound that Bob Daisley was not involved at all in the song writing process, which is obviously not true at all.

CRITICAL MASS

There are always different kinds of audiences.

You have the early adopters, the first to hear about an artist. These early adopters are looking and wanting a different experience than the people who identify as the critical mass market.

Early adopters want something fresh, exciting, new and interesting.

The critical mass market don’t. They want something that is familiar.

Metallica when they started had an audience that adopted them early. Some of those fans stood by them all the way, even when they broke through to the critical mass market in the 90’s and some of those early day fans just moved on to something new and different.

And who should the artist please, the early adopters of their music or the mass market?

Profits are fine as they allow the artist to invest back into their art. But if profit becomes the main aim, well, nothing and no one benefits if profits are the only thing the artist seeks.

And yes, there are routes to popularity which are random or accidental or luck or being in the right place at the right time.

BOB ROCK AND METALLICA

Bob Rock knew exactly what every song needed.

The demo of “Sad But True” (I had a drummer in a band who thought it was called “Sad Patrol”) was heaps quicker. Bob heard a “Kashmir” feel and asked James to slow it down and make it crunchy.

Rock kept telling James to re-write lyrics to songs. He told him to use fewer words in the choruses and to use stronger words. He questioned James on what the song was about. He asked him how the verse lyrics referenced the song message. James didn’t like this line of questioning. If James couldn’t explain it back to Rock, it meant he hadn’t nailed the lyric.

Rock told Lars to take drum lessons and he told James to take singing lessons. He told Kirk to rewrite solos.

And as a side note, in “Get Him To The Greek”, Lars gets told by Russel Brand to “Go sue Napster and your fans”, and unfortunately that is the stigma that will forever stick with Metallica. They got so out of touch with reality that they sued their own fans for sharing their music.

Nicko McBrain sums up piracy in “Flight 666”when he said “We sold out in Costa Rica but haven’t sold an album in this country…”

8 Years Ago (2013 going into 2014)

GRAMMY’S

From when Jethro Tull won the first metal award at the Grammy’s, the whole awards has been a joke for metal and hard rock music.

Having Metallica then win the “Best Metal Performance” in 1990 for “One” and then in 1991 for “Stone Cold Crazy” just added to the Grammy metal jokes.

“One’s” fate was tied with the “…And Justice For All” album and that was meant for the 1989 Grammy ceremony.

And seriously, for the 1991 awards, a cover song was the best that was on offer in the metal world for releases released from October 1989 to September 1990. I don’t think so.

Even in 1999, Metallica won again for “Better Than You”.

For which song, I hear you say.

“Better Than You.”

Does anyone know from which album it was on or how the riff goes or the vocal melody?

I bet that most people will answer NO.

HEADED FOR A HEARTBREAK

Billy Squire made one ridiculous video with a pink top. And just like that an amazing voice, with a catalog of songs was gone.

Winger had Kip Winger. A Playgirl pictorial was too outlandish and as glam music was committing suicide by cloning itself over and over again, Beavis and Butthead came along and trashed the band.

Metallica even threw darts at Kip Winger while they recorded the “Black” album.

But.

“Headed For A Heartbreak” is a hell of a good song.

Winger’s debut didn’t come from out of nowhere. Kip Winger did his time as a songwriter and studio session musician working very closely with Beau Hill who would of course go on to produce the first two Winger albums that went platinum.

Guitarist Reb Beach is a graduate from the esteemed Berklee College of Music. He also did his time in backing bands and studio work, until he met up with Kip Winger and started writing demos.

Drummer Rod Morgenstein was the most experienced. Active since joining jazz fusion legends “The Dixie Dregs” in 1974, he was a very accomplished drummer to bring into the fold.

Keyboard player and back up guitarist Paul Taylor was the x factor. He was the touring keyboardist for Aldo Nova during his “Fantasy” success. He did his time with Alice Cooper’s backing band at the same time with Kip Winger and played on the “Constrictor” and “Raise Your Fist and Yell” albums.

Go on Spotify and check them out. Go on YouTube and check them out. Focus on the music and not on the pretty boy images put out there in the video clips.

DONT KNOW WHAT YOU GOT UNTIL ITS GONE

Andy Johns (RIP) was on deck again to deliver another big sounding album.

Drummer, Fred Coury didn’t even play on the album as Johns just kept on finding timing issues.

The end result is an album which is seen as a blues rock classic that can rival all the best output from seventies bands like Bad Company.

Hearing them again today, it sure brought back a lot of memories. Guess you don’t know what you got until it’s gone.

SEMI – OBSCURE BON JOVI SONGS PART 1

Everyone knows the singles and even some of those songs have now slipped into obscurity but if you dig deep enough you’ll hear some cult classics.

Tracks like;

THE HARDEST PART IS THE NIGHT

From the “7800 Degrees Fahrenheit” album released in 1985.

“Stay alive, the hardest part is the night”

SHOT THROUGH THE HEART

From the debut album released in 1984. “Runaway” took most of the glory as it became a radio staple however “Shot Through The Heart” was the reason I got into Bon Jovi.

It was good to see the song get some concert time during “The Circle” tour.

HOMEBOUND TRAIN

It’s written by Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora and it’s got this heavy blues rock swagger that just connects.

The magic is at the three minute mark when it goes into this Elvis Presley meets James Brown meets Rolling Stones vibe.

The guitar drops out and it is the bass and drums that keep the groove going and Jon does a few voice impersonations, while Sambora keeps it funky and they build up the song again while Jon keeps singing “Here I Come”. The interlude is filled with church organ and harmonica lead breaks.

On “The Circle” tour, “Homebound Train” came back into the mix with Richie Sambora on vocals.

STARTING ALL OVER AGAIN

It’s got this “Rock N Roll Aint Noise Pollution” style intro written by the Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora and Desmond Child song writing team.

THE RADIO SAVED MY LIFE TONIGHT

Another tune written for the “Keep The Faith” album that never made it.

To buy all the music that I liked was expensive, so I always purchased blank cassettes and kept my finger ready on the record button to record the latest song from the radio.

SEMI – OBSCURE BON JOVI SONGS PART 2

RIVER OF LOVE

It never made the “New Jersey” album and it is a tragedy that it didn’t get fleshed out and recorded properly. It’s got a basic foot tapping riff that sticks with you from the outset. For those keen fans, you will hear the riff groove re-used in “Save A Prayer”.

“Pretend we’re in some movie instead of faded jeans”

Listen to the “Raise Your Hands” reference in the interlude. You could write a whole song based on that riff. Wait, they already did.

Progress is derivative.

JUDGEMENT DAY and GROWING UP THE HARD WAY

Both songs begin with that whole “Na Na NaNaNa” in the same vein as “Born To Be My Baby”, “Rosie” and “Hide Your Heart” from Kiss. Both songs also share the same riff. Both songs are written by Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora.

As with “River Of Love” these songs were recorded for the “New Jersey” album and they failed to make the cut. When a band is at their peak, they are able to churn out some great songs. The motivation is there to keep the machine rolling to see if the first round of success can be repeated.

In relation to the three demos mentioned above, I really thought that they would have seen the light of day “officially” when Bon Jovi released “100,000,000 Fans Cant Be Wrong” Box Set.

IF I WAS YOUR MOTHER

Man, this song is heavy and it has got some serious groove.

What a great vocal melody.

I saw them play it live on the “Keep The Faith Tour” and it rocked hard. The subject matter is weak and it hampers the song from being a powerhouse.

LETS MAKE IT BABY

It didn’t make the “New Jersey” album, however the bass line was used again in “Diamond Ring” (which was also originally written for the “New Jersey” album however it was officially released on the “These Days” album.

WEDDING DAY

“Wedding Day” was written for the “These Days” album, however it didn’t make the final cut.

The song is like a sleeper demo hit on YouTube.

Some of the lyrics made it into another Jon Bon Jovi song called “Janie Don’t Take Your Love To Town”.

SEMI – OBSCURE BON JOVI SONGS PART 3

DAMNED

It has a soul like funky blues groove very similar to what Lenny Kravitz was putting out.

“These Days” from 1995 is a very misunderstood album, released in a very confusing time.

Hard/Glam rock as we knew it was dead, Grunge was fading and alternative rock was rising, along with a form of industrial rock/metal.

LOVE IS WAR

Of course it sounds like “You Give Love A Bad Name” because Jon tried really hard to recreate the same vibe and the same kind of hit.

Is that a bad thing?

I’D DIE FOR YOU

“Slippery When Wet” was a monster of an album. And it was easy for other songs to get missed.

It’s got that Judas Priest “Breaking The Law” guitar line.

Did anyone pick up on that?

On YouTube, “I’d Die For You” is a cult hit. The fan’s have taken the song and made their own film clips, lyric videos and so on.

MY GUITAR LIES BLEEDING IN MY ARMS

The title is a take on the George Harrison classic, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”.

ONLY LONELY

The bottom line is this; it is a fan favourite.

THE PRICE OF LOVE

“We live, we learn, we lieFor the price of love”

Aint that the truth.

WITHOUT LOVE

Written by the Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora and Desmond Child song writing team for the Slippery When Wet album.

BURNING FOR LOVE

Sambora goes to town during the lead breaks, showcasing his abilities as a melodic shredder. He never went too over the top, always focusing on enhancing the song, instead of enhancing his ego.

RIVER RUNS DRY

It is a Jon Bon Jovi and Desmond Child composition that begins as a derivative version of Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway To Heaven”.

Remember, progress is derivative.

SAVE A PRAYER

No one knows this song even exist, but they should.

THE BALLAD OF BOB DAISLEY

The music business is tough.

However, what happens when an artist in a position of power and mainstream success, does their best to undermine the work of previous people in their career.

This is what the Osbourne’s are doing to Bob Daisley.

They are trying to re-write history to show that Ozzy Osbourne himself was the main reason why his solo career progressed.

They are omitting important facts that when Randy Rhoads and Bob Daisley signed on, it was always spoken of as a band. They are omitting important facts that the band was actually called Blizzard Of Ozz. They are omitting important facts of Ozzy punching Randy, because Randy didn’t want to do a live covers album of Black Sabbath songs.

Most importantly, they are omitting the main fact, that Bob Daisley served as the lyricist for for six albums.

The sad thing is that if anyone reads the credits to the “Bark At The Moon” album, you will see it listed as “All music and lyrics by Ozzy Osbourne.”

Like, yeah right, Ozzy really churned out all of those riffs.

It is sad at to what level the Osbourne’s stooped at that stage. One more thing, read the book from Ozzy and tell me how many times he mentions Jake E. Lee in the book.

But that is a story for another day.

VITO BRATTA

I did a Top 10 of Bratta killer riffs or moments.

All The Fallen Men

Wait

Love Dont Come Easy

Fight To Survive

Hungry

When The Children Cry

Cry For Freedom

Lady Of The Valley

Little Fighter

Warsong

In the end I had a hard time picking 10 songs for this post as each song that Vito has played on all have unbelievable sections.

BATM SONGWRITING CONTROVERSY

Coming into the “Bark At The Moon” sessions, the Blizzard of Ozz band was finished.

Bob Daisley and Lee Kerslake were fired before “Diary of A Madman” came out and the other driving force, Randy Rhoads died tragically when the plane he was on crashed into a mansion and burst into flames on March 19th, 1982.

Ozzy Osbourne as usual was at his drunken best but he still delivered the “Speak/Talk Of The Devil” album, and by doing so he was free from his Jet Records contract, ready to sign a major label deal with CBS.

Jake E Lee joined during the “Speak of the Devil” tour. Once that tour ended, the song writing process began for the next album.

Most of the writing was done by Lee and Bob Daisley.

“Bark At the Moon” was a title that Ozzy came up with. Jake E. Lee came up with the riffs and Bob Daisley wrote the lyrics.

While Bob Daisley got a buy out for “Bark At The Moon”, it looks like Jake E.Lee got screwed over. There are no royalty checks for the songwriting and no publishing monies either.

COPYRIGHT INC

I just finished watching the Rush documentary, “Beyond The Lighted Stage” and in the documentary, Neal Peart is talking about their “Vapor Trail” tour of South America and how they didn’t know what to expect because they never had big sales there and in the end they played to their biggest ever concert attendance at Sao Paulo.

The Brazil tour took place in November 2002. File sharing started in June 1999. Maybe copyright breaches by fans is not a bad thing.

And that’s another wrap for these last two weeks.

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Music, My Stories

The Record Vault: Deep Purple – In Concert With The London Symphony Orchestra

It was recorded at Royal Albert Hall, London on 25th and 26th September 1999 and the audio album was released on 8th February 2000 by Eagle Vision while the DVD was released on 25th July, 2000.

Pictured Within

It’s the title track from Jon Lord’s solo album released in 1998.

Very soundtrack like.

And it’s so far removed from the hard blues rock of Deep Purple. Only Jon Lord appears from the Deep Purple band along with the orchestra.

Wait a While

It’s also from Jon Lord’s solo album and Jon Lord is the only one who appears from the band here.

The opening two songs are skips for me.

Sitting in a Dream

This track and “Love Is All” are from Roger Glover’s solo album, “The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper’s Feast”, a concept album released in 1974.

On these two tracks, Ronnie James Dio (RIP) sings the studio versions and he also appears here to sing the live tracks.

And it looks like the DP band is here with the Orchestra.

Love Is All

It’s like an ELO Beatles Cabaret tune and the great Dio is on hand to perform vocals.

As a side note that 1974 Glover album also had Glen Hughes and David Coverdale contributing vocals plus Les Binks on drums.

Wring That Neck

On the audio version of this concert release there are two Ian Gillan tracks and a Steve Morse track and then “Wring That Neck”.

But on the DVD those tracks don’t appear.

It’s written by Richie Blackmore, Nick Simper, Jon Lord, Ian Paice and it’s from “The Book of Taliesyn” released in 1968.

And it’s like a jazz fusion rock number with the brass instruments. Ian Paice again showcases his brilliant drumming techniques.

I could go on about each track and try to find some postives but when when the Concertos started I was more or less pressing stop. While they are great pieces for some they aren’t that for me.

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Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

The Record Vault: Deep Purple – Bombay Calling

It’s a 2004 DVD release of a concert recorded in 1995.

It’s Deep Purple post Blackmore and Steve Morse is the guitarist and has been the guitarist since.

Morse play’s Blackmore’s recorded parts more accurate than Blackmore ever did as Blackmore really liked to improvise.

Fireball

It opens the show and I’m struck by how very un-Metal they look.

Gillan is wearing a vest, with baggy tracksuit like pants and black slip on shoes that people involved in karate wear. It’s definitely not a Metal look but it’s a relaxed look.

And there is no stage show with pyro and backdrops. It’s just the band and their music and a few lights.

Maybe I’m A Leo

The blues groove shines through.

There’s no doubting their musical technique and prowess. Morse really shines through when he hits those fast Lydian lines in the improv solo.

And you can’t escape his Peavey 5150 amp set up. RIP EVH.

Black Night

Glover’s bass sound is monstrous so far and he really drives this song.

And Ian Paice doesn’t get the credit he should as one of the most dependable and skilled drummers in rock music. He’s thunderous on here.

The Battle Rages On

It really fits the spot it occupies in the concert.

And Jon Lord is the star here with his synth riff.

How good is it?

The song is not an easy one to perform. It’s epic Metal with a lot of exotic minor key riffs and melodies.

Check out Morse in the solo. A true guitar hero.

And have I mentioned how good Ian Paice is?

Woman From Tokyo

A classic.

That Intro riff is huge. Instantly recognizable.

And did anyone notice the drum pattern and how a certain song called “Run To The Hills” has a similar pattern.

Have I mentioned how good Paicey is behind the kit?

Purpendicular Waltz

They played an unreleased song that they were still writing. The blues rock groove definitely grabs ya and never lets go.

When A Blind Man Cries

One of my favorite ballads.

Lush keys from Jon Lord starts it all off.

And Steve Morse comes in with volume swells, delay and slides. Throughout the song, Morse is decorating with licks.

And Ian Gillan has a voice for these kind of songs.

Stick around for when Morse takes the shred solo. It’s “hairs on the back of your neck” type of soloing.

Perfect Strangers

Glover and Paice lay down the foundations which allows Lord and Morse to decorate musically.

And Gillan is in fine form here.

Pictures Of Home

Morse is in cruise control here. He’s having a blast and as the new guy, it’s like he’s always been there.

And Paice on the drums, so precise and yet so jammy.

Child In Time

When I think of this song, I think of the vocal ohhhs and ahs.

And I like how it builds and it gets louder and more intense as it goes on.

And Morse is helping Gillan here as he plays the higher pitch vocals melody on the guitar and it sounds fantastic.

Gillan then moves to percussion while the rest of the band jams out the next section. Morse is burning the fretboard here.

The music stops and Jon Lord brings back the Intro riff and groove.

Anya

From “The Battle Rages On” album. And while Morse didn’t write it, he made it sound like it was written by him in the instrumental intro.

But when the song kicks in, it’s a Rainbow tune from the Bonnet and Turner era. Maybe because Turner was involved at some stage on this album.

Space Truckin’

I enjoy this song as the way it was recorded. I wasn’t a fan of the 15 plus minutes live versions they did while Blackmore was in the band.

On this they keep it simple and just rock out.

The chromatic lines in the Chorus reminds me of stuff that Metallica would do. Just check out the Intro to “Master Of Puppets” and you’ll hear what I’m saying.

Guitar Solo

As good as the guitarists are I’m just not a fan of these kind of things.

Lazy (Including Ian Paice Drum Solo)

And they move into the Bluesy “Lazy”.

Speed King

And after the drum solo, another uptempo blues rock number begins. If you haven’t gotten the idea so far, the band has a great jam element to their live show.

Highway Star

The story behind this song and it’s creation is legendary.

Smoke On The Water

And the closer itself has a story to tell in the lyrics along with one of the most iconic riffs ever.

The 1995 Bombay show is a good historical capture of DP MK7. The show was filmed for Indian TV, and the crew did a great job. It was also the bands first visit to India.

YouTube has the whole 2 hour show, so crank it.

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

2021 – YouTube Listening

I normally go to YouTube to listen to music which isn’t on Spotify.

And one artist always has me going to YouTube and that artist is John James Sykes otherwise known as John Sykes.

We all know that Sykes puts Boston and the Axl led Guns N Roses “Chinese Democracy” album for to shame for gaps between albums.

The last proper full length album that Sykes released was “Nuclear Cowboy” in 2000. Yep, 21 years down and approaching 22.

The “gap” between albums is now old enough to buy alcohol and drive.

But that doesn’t mean Sykes has been dormant.

In 2004, he released a live album called “Bad Boy Live” which is in my Top 10 of live albums. If you haven’t heard it, check it out, as it’s a perfect capture of his Whitesnake, Blue Murder, Sykes and Thin Lizzy days.

And when he appeared with super hyper release Mike Portnoy on Eddie Trunks show, we all thought that if anyone could get Sykes to release an album, it would be Portnoy.

Well that also didn’t happen.

But Sykes was working and writing and songs started to appear on YouTube.

Dawning Of A New Day

It hit YT on 2 Jan 2021. My review of that song is here.

Gates Of Hell

It came out in 2017. Check it out here.

Out Alive

It came out in August 2021. Check it out here.

And the album “Sy-Ops” is scheduled for March 1, 2022.

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

2021 – Spotify Wrapped Summary

I spent 40,275 minutes on Spotify listening to music.

That equals about 671 hours and close to 2 hours of music on the service alone.

And I have a lot of vinyl which also gets listened to, YouTube also gets some of my attention and various CD’s and DVD’s of artists.

In other words, I’m madly in anger with music.

I listened to 86 different genres. But I’ll take that with a big asterisk as Spotify needs to break down musical styles in many little categories so their algorithms can get down low.

And the top 5 are listed as follows:

It’s a pretty common theme that the music is either Rock or Metal. And who comes up with a genre called “Album Rock”.

What does “Album Rock” even mean?

But in the space of 365 days, I listened to 819 different artists.

And I remember in 1988, I purchased 8 albums and copied about 20 other albums from friends onto cassettes. From those albums, some were from the same artists. For example, I purchased “And Justice For All” and dubbed “Kill Em All” from Metallica.

Even if it was 28 different artists, that number is nothing compared to 819. And any new artist trying to make a dent to get peoples attention is up against the history of music on streaming services plus all the new releases that come out each day.

From a podcast point of view, “No Fucking Regrets” from Robb Flynn was my main one.

It’s cool to see a musician doing different things. Apart from the podcast, Robb also does “Electric Hour Fridays” on YouTube/Facebook in which he drinks beer and plays through songs from Machine Head’s catalog along with cover songs. And he does his “General Journal” posts.

My top five artists vis Spotify are Free Spirits Rising, Coheed And Cambria, Daughtry, Disturbed and Dokken.

And that’s the summary of my Spotify Wrapped.

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Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

The Week In Destroyer Of Harmony History – December 19 to December 25

4 Years Ago (2017)

2017

The 2017 list was in.

And it had a lot of songs.

And here are a few selections.

Life Ain’t Easy (For A Boy With Long Hair) – The New Roses

Who would have thought that a German act would sound better than the American acts that influenced them?

So what can I say
Things got that bad
I stood before the mirror
To shave my head
But then I looked into my eyes
And I knew right then
You’ll let your hair grow
And start a band

Freedom – Revolution Saints

It’s the best song on the album.

Musically it sounds like a Deep Purple song from the Coverdale era and there’s nothing wrong with that influence whatsoever.

Freedom
Sweet freedom
Coming my way

Gemini – The Night Flight Orchestra

On each album, TNFO have a disco pop metal rock track. “West Ruth Ave” took the spot on the first album, “Living For The Night-time” took the spot on the second album and “Gemini” takes the spot on the third album.

Blind Leading The Blind – Adrenaline Mob

Man the “Mob” has suffered on the road.

AJ Pero didn’t survive the previous tour he was involved in and bassist David Z lost his life when a truck slammed into their van parked on the side of the road.

Goodbye Forever – Volbeat

We are the birth
We are the end
We are the souls
We have a name
We are the rising and fallen ones
We are the spirit forever more

It’s my favourite part of the song. I dig how the military style drumming works with the syncopated guitar lines and the gospel backing vocals.

Just brilliant.

Black Rain – Eclipse

This song is here because of the lead break. The riff under it reminds me of “Hangar 18” by Megadeth, while the actual lead break itself is reminiscent of the “Mr Crowley” outro lead and the “Tornado of Souls” lead by Marty Friedman.

No Surrender – Art Of Anarchy
Changed Man – Art Of Anarchy
The Madness – Art Of Anarchy

I was really surprised by this release. Actually I was blown away by it.

Carry Me My Bones – Corroded
A Note To Me – Corroded

It’s the acoustic versions from “The Nevo Sessions” and they sound swampy, bluesy and groovy and raw and better.

Carry me my tired bones

Light Me Up – Doom Unit

It’s got this swampy bluesy feel which I really dig. Plus the vocal melodies are addictive. And they are from Finland.

Human (Jim Eno Sessions) – Ran’n’Bone Man

If you haven’t heard “Human” then you should. It’s a hit.

I’m only human
I make mistakes

The Road – Quiet Riot

As soon as I heard the voice, it was familiar. I’d like to tell you that I knew it was Durbin on vocals just from hearing him, but I had to Google it to find out.

American Rock ‘n Roll – Kid Rock
Greatest Show On Earth – Kid Rock
Stand The Pain – Kid Rock

I can’t say I’m a huge Kid Rock fan, but I do check out his stuff from time to time. I also caught him live on the Bon Jovi “Because We Can” tour.

He’s a showman and a very good one at that. These three songs are hard southern rock all the way and man, they are a joy to listen too. It’s like one big party jam committed to tape.

Angel Of Mercy – Black Label Society

I don’t know what it is, but man this song gets the hairs rising on the back of my neck.

For those that don’t know, the song appears on the album “Catacombs Of the Black Vatican” from Black Label Society. It’s not a 2017 release but it’s been in my playlist since it came out in 2014.

The lead break is pure magic. It just explodes out of the speakers and builds and builds to the point where you cannot help but be in awe at the feel, the melodic phrasing and the disciplined technique on display. The song will never be a hit on the Billboard Charts and due to its mellow nature it might never get a live appearance, but god damn it, the song is a classic.

Rags to Riches – Babylon A.D

“Rags To Riches” is one of the singles released in the lead up and it hooked me in with its “Atomic Playboys” style riff.

Wanderlust – Black Country Communion

I dig this “super” group. First, I am a fan of Joe Bonamassa on guitar. Glenn Hughes on bass and vocals is a no brainer. Then when you add the rest of the personal, you can see it’s got some serious cred.

I don’t know what the song is about lyrically. I don’t really care, because the sounds, the groove and the feel hook me in.

God of the Sun – Sons of Apollo
Alive – Sons Of Apollo
Labyrinth – Sons Of Apollo

When I read that Portnoy/Sherinian started a project together I wasn’t interested. However as a fan of Ron Bumblefoot Thal, I was suddenly very interested. And when I read that Portnoy/Sherinian tapped Jeff Scott Soto to do vocals, I was very intrigued.

Any fan of progressive rock/metal will love this album. It has everything that all the great albums have. Even the musical interludes are memorable and hummable, which has become a forgotten art form over the last 15 years as bands play more technical and physically exhausting intricate passages in their songs.

The Sin And The Sentence – Trivium
Other Worlds – Trivium
Beyond Oblivion – Trivium
The Revanchist – Trivium
Endless Night – Trivium

Trivium is still at it and still kicking some butt.

Check out the T1000 Cybernetic drummer in The Sin And The Sentence.

The speed and precision. Human capabilities never cease to amaze me.

Find Your Way Home – King King
Broken – King King

There is a lot of good music out there and artists like “King King” are virtually unknown in the major music markets. They are a band that has this 70s Brit Hard Blues Rock sound and I like it.

This Is War – Audrey Horne

My favourite supergroup of extreme metallers (along with “The Night Flight Orchestra”) was back with a new album that brings back memories of the Seventies and Eighties. Once the harmony guitars that sound like “Fear Of The Dark” from Maiden kick in, I’m ready to throw my computer screen at the window.

It’s brilliant.

We will never be silence or divided
This is war

My 2017 call to arms.

And that my friends brings 2017 to close.

LIVIN ON THE CHAIN GANG

You get a power chord and then a vocal melody.

Did Skid Row try and recreate “Still Of The Night”?

It follows the same structure and in truth Coverdale and Sykes tried to recreate “Jailhouse Rock” with “Still of the Night”.

Turn on the TV, Cause I got nowhere to go
Seems that there’s a little trouble down in Mexico
A 13-year-old boy robs a store so he can eat
And they got him doing time while killers walk the streets

Once Bach sings “streets” he holds the note forever while the single note riff kicks in. Like “Still Of The Night”.

A hungry politician is the wolf that’s at the door
Hell-bent on submission and feeding’ on the poor
We could stare into the sun if we would open up our eyes
But we paint ourselves into a corner coloured in white lies

So true. Politicians want applause, want to be liked and want to please their donors. So while they seek submission from the poor, they then submit themselves to their donor and the corporations who are paying them millions to introduce laws to benefit their business model.

8 Years Ago (2013)

CRYING IN THE RAIN and JOHN SYKES FIRING

Two official studio versions exist. A very bluesy and sorrowful version from the 1982 album, “Saints and Sinners” and a very polished guitar heavy gem from the 1987 self-titled “Whitesnake” album.

And then there is the version that appears on the “Bad Boy Live!” album by John Sykes, released in 2005. It is an exact replica of the 1987 version that brought “Crying In The Rain” to the masses.

John Kalodner in an interview on the Melodic Rock website, said that he always tells David Coverdale that he should work with John Sykes again.

JOHN SYKES

How do you follow-up “Still Of The Night”, “Bad Boys”, “Give Me All Your Love” and “Is This Love”?

You don’t.

You change tact and form a super group with musicians that have some real rock credentials.

Forming a new band or going solo (depending on how people see the Blue Murder project), John Sykes believed the world was his oyster.

Surrounded by the expertise of John Kalodner and a big money offer from Geffen Records, he believed he would have instant success now that he could play by his own rules.

However that was not to be.

The Blue Murder self-titled debut got stiffed from the outset, due to the Geffen label bosses doing everything to please David Coverdale.

And it’s follow up “Nothin But Trouble” got stiffed by the record label playing grunge politics. While “Nothing But Trouble” didn’t have the same impact has its predecessors, it is still a very satisfying album and it’s a John Sykes album I still listen to today.

So it is 1994 and John Sykes is without a record deal.

What does he do next?

He goes solo.

In a gatekeeper controlled market, interest in John Sykes was still high in Japan and Europe.

In 1995, “Out Of My Tree” drops. I didn’t hear this album until Napster hit in 1999. I couldn’t justify paying the $80 for it in Australia, just because it was a Japanese import.

And that’s another wrap for another week.

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Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

2021 – Released Too Late In The Year To Listen To Properly

These albums came out at a time which is too close to the end of the year to be properly assessed for any EOY list.

Especially when they are up against albums which came out in the first four months of the year and those albums have became part of my fabric.

Volbeat – Servant Of The Mind

The pre releases single “Shotgun Blues” is a great classic Metal song.

It’s on my “On Repeat” playlist from Spotify which is basically designed to help the user keep track of what they’ve been playing most over the past 30 days.

And the “Shotgun Blues” single dropped in September and it’s still on the playlist.

The album dropped on December 3 and on purposely I’ve not listened to it as I’m waiting for my break to happen so I can sink my ears into it.

Black Label Society – Doom Crew Inc.

It dropped in November 26.

But I’ve been heaps busy to devote the time I want to this album.

And Zakk Wylde has earned the respect for people to devote proper time to his music and if they play guitar, to put in some woodshedding to learn some of his riffs.

Crazy Lixx – Street Lethal

The album dropped on November 5.

The pre-release singles all connected with me but I haven’t had the time to fully digest the album. It’s going to happen soon.

They are a Swedish Metal band formed in 2002, who bring back the 80’s Sunset Strip with the aggression of the San Francisco Bay Area Thrash scene and the defiance of Twisted Sister.

And once you add the Brit bands to the mix, it’s a whirlpool of creativity.

Their first album came out in 2007 and since 2010, they’ve been on the Frontiers label, releasing albums on a two year cycle.

If you’ve heard these albums drop your thoughts in the comments.

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Music, My Stories

2021 – Not As Good As I Expected

It’s always unpopular to have an opinion on an album that isn’t favorable.

Liquid Tension Experiment – III

John Petrucci delivered a great solo album in 2020, but when LTE reformed with Petrucci, Portnoy, Ruddess and Levin, the “III” album didn’t have the same impact as the first two LTE albums which I saw as ground breaking instrumental albums.

The first two albums were released in the late 90s and they came out at a time when most instrumental artists brought in an industrial sound to their albums because that sound is what was popular however LTE didn’t conform to what was popular.

Songs like “Acid Rain”, “Paradigm Shift” and my favourite “Universal Mind” which Petrucci borrowed from for “Happy Song” are instrumental masterpieces.

And the deeper you dig into the first two albums you’ll hear other awesome tracks like “Kindred Spirits”, “Freedom Of Speech” and “When The Water Breaks”.

But if you do want to press play on a track from this album, then “Blink Of An Eye” is the one. It’s got this groove that it’s intoxicating and it sets the foundation.

Trivium – In The Court of The Dragon

I’m a big fan of Trivium and in April 2020 just when lockdowns started around the world, they dropped the excellent “What The Dead Men Say”.

And they couldn’t tour behind it. Matt Heafy did a side project and the band got together and wrote another album.

Which didn’t have the same impact as “What The Dead Men Say”.

Dream Theater – A View From The Top Of The World

I will buy it as a Dream Theater fan so I can have it in my collection but it didn’t connect with me.

But like previous releases there are some nice instrumental sections.

I’m also not a fan of riffs created on the super heavy gauge of an 8 string guitar. It’s too low and muddled for my ears.

Black Veil Brides – The Phantom Tomorrow

It’s their third rock opera.

I really want to like it, but I couldn’t wait for each song to finish.

Bullet For My Valentine – Bullet For My Valentine

We fall in and out with our favorite artists.

At the moment I’m out with BFMV who I think are suffering an identity crisis.

George Lynch – Seamless

I purchased it as I have all of his recordings and while it was okay, I was expecting something else.

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

2021 – The 50/50 List I’m Still Investing Time In

Sometimes albums don’t capture me in their entirety but there is something there that keeps me going back.

Tremonti – Marching In Time

The debut album, “All I Was” from 2012 caught me by surprise because of its slant towards Classic Heavy Metal and Speed Metal.

“Dust” and “Cauterize” from 2016 and 2015 are my favorite albums, especially the song “Dust”, it’s a masterpiece.

“A Dying Machine” from 2019 brought a concept story to the mix and now we have “Marching In Time”. In between Mark Tremonti also did Alter Bridge, so no one can question his work ethic.

I listened to this a lot the week it came out and while each song has a section or a riff which floors me, I only press “like” on four songs, “A World Away”, “Now And Forever”, “Under The Sun” and “Marching In Time”.

It doesn’t mean the other songs are crap.

Far from it. I just need to find the connection.

KK’s Priest – Sermons Of The Sinner

I heard it once and I was impressed.

KK Downing is still a beast on the guitar and we all know that Tim Ripper Owens has an awesome set of pipes on him and is technically better than a lot of the vocalists doing the rounds including his idols.

Before all the JP fans tear me apart, this isn’t meant to be a slight on Halford at all, it’s just progression that people surpass their idols in technicality. Halford is still the “Metal God”.

I remember a Bruce Dickinson interview in which he said, he was floored when he heard Ian Gillian signing “Child In Time” and he started practicing like crazy in his bedroom to mimic what Gillian did on the recording, without knowing that Gillian’s vocals were dubbed in and recut a lot of times and heavily delayed. But Bruce was doing it all naturally. Progression.

For a bit of backstory, K. K. Downing got the idea of forming KK’s Priest after doing a one-off show billed as MegaPriest in 2019 with David Ellefson (my, my, how far has he fallen since his sex scandal) on Bass. As a band, KK’s Priest is somewhere between a solo project of Downing and a reunion with his former Judas Priest bandmates Tim “Ripper” Owens and Les Binks. However, Binks left the band just before the making of “Sermons of the Sinner” because of health issues.

So joining K.K Downing and Tim “Ripper” Owens is A.J. Mills on Guitars, Tony Newton on Bass and Sean Elg on Drums.

And I was a fan without even hearing a track.

My favourite track from JP is “The Sentinel” and when I saw that the last track is called “Return Of The Sentinel” I was sold. Even though the songs sound nothing alike, the nod to a classic sealed the deal.

Blacktop Mojo – Blacktop Mojo

They won a competition to open up for Bon Jovi who at the time were picking local acts from each city to open for them. Thats how they came to my attention.

And they do a mean cover of “Dream On” from Aerosmith and a drunken YouTube cover of “In The Air Tonight” from Phil Collins.

From Texas, so they have this blues southern rock vibe happening but there’s also a Soundgarden and Alice In Chains vibe as well.

Actually Black Stone Cherry comes to mind here as well.

This is album number 4 and it’s slowly growing on me.

Check it out.

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

Notable Mentions 2021

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

Architects – For Those That Wish To Exist

I’ve heard the name but never really listened.

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

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

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

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

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

Lord – Undercovers

An Aussie Metal band.

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

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

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

You can read my review here.

Chevelle – Niratias

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

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

Plus there is some great artwork from Boris Vallejo.

Iron Maiden – Senjetsu

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

You can read my review here.

The End Machine – Phase II

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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