I was reading Guitar Legends and there was a feature on each decade from the 60s to the first 2000’s decade.
So in the 70s decades they covered some important and influential albums.
“Paranoid” by Black Sabbath, “IV” and “Physical Graffiti “ from Led Zeppelin, “Machine Head” by Deep Purple, “A Night At The Opera” by Queen, “Destroyer” by Kiss, Boston’s self-titled debut and “Never Mind The Bollocks” by The Sex Pistols are mentioned.
Thin Lizzy didn’t even get a mention. Written out of history. If there is a band that brought harmony guitars to the masses, it’s Thin Lizzy.
But they didn’t have a guitar hero in the band and a front man who wasn’t a pretty boy.
The band is Phil Lynott on vocals and bass, Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson on guitars and Brian Downey on drums.
“Jailbreak” is the only Thin Lizzy album which has a certification in the U.S, a Gold one for 500,000 copies sold. But they never really toured behind the album as Lynott was fighting hepatitis.
It was also their last chance as “Nightlife” and “Fighting” didn’t meet the commercial expectations their label had.
And while Robertson felt the production was too restricted which led to less improvisation, it was exactly the tight ship that was needed to push them into the arenas.
Press play and have fun.
How good is the main riff?
When the sirens start, listen to the riffs under it, it’s like the rumble/fight riffs in stage play soundtracks. Alice Cooper did something similar with “Gutter Cats vs The Jets”.
It’s a 41.5 million streams on Spotify.
Angel From The Coast
Downey on the drums is a star. Listen to how he swings, not a beat out of place.
Great lyrics about the boys playin poker and the joker being their favorite card and the middle section reminds of Hendrix and the Lizzy boys are swinging with the best of em.
It’s a blues melodic rock cut inspired by Van Morrison and the first single from the album.
And it’s the little things, like the keyboard, saxophone, and overdubbed guitar lines from Scott Gorham that all add up.
Romeo And The Lonely Girl
What a great guitar solo in a song dedicated to those right girls that come at the wrong times.
And the solo keeps going when Lynott starts singing again.
Lynott’s way of defining heavy drug takers was by describing them as warriors.
The Intro riff shuffles along.
Great soloing from Brain Robertson with a lot of wah wah.
But the piece d’resistance starts from the drum improv section at 2.53 and continues to the end. It’s progressive rock and a wow moment.
The Boys Are Back In Town
The big hit single, at 247.2 million streams, which still gets played on radio and licensed to movies, TV shows and advertisements in 2021 generating millions in royalties.
But no certification in the U.S market, however you would be hard pressed to find a person who doesn’t know the song.
So do you really need a sale or a plaque on the wall to show off your success or the success of a song?
And it did something massive for songwriters, making twin guitar harmonies an actual thing in popular songs.
Fight Or Fall
It’s got this Rod Stewart “Maggie May” feel, a strummed soul blues number.
The slow acoustic intro doesn’t foretell the rocker to come. 14.7 million streams on Spotify.
The embryo and foundations of what Iron Maiden would be is in this song.
The Irish influences are here as well, something that Gary Moore would use a lot of on the “Wild Frontier” album.
It’s one of my favorite Lizzy albums of the Robertson and Gorham era on guitars. Lynott is unique but it’s Downey who owns this album. His drumming is superb and very underrated.
“Diamonds – The Best of Dio” was marketed as a “greatest hits” collection. I remember the ads. But the title says, “best off”. I guess marketing people don’t know the difference between “greatest hits” and “best of”.
And Ronnie James Dio is one of those artists who didn’t sit don’t to write hits. He just wrote songs that he liked.
It was released internationally in 1992, and never released in the U.S. And there was no effort with the CD. Just check out the no frills booklet.
I got this compilation because of the track “Hide In The Rainbow”, which was never released on a Dio studio album before. A rare EP called “The Dio E.P” (original title) was released in 1986 with the song, but like all things physical, it wasn’t readily available.
Back then no one was really sure who played on the track.
Was “Hide In The Rainbow” Vivian Campbell’s last studio recording with the band or did Craig Goldy play on the track?
The booklet states Craig Goldy.
But, history and the benefit of hindsight has shown that the CD booklets notes and credits are not a good source of truth sometimes.
In relation to the album, it covers the well-known songs in chronological order based on year of release.
“Holy Diver”, “Rainbow in the Dark” and “Don’t Talk to Strangers” are from the “Holy Diver” album, released in 1983.
“We Rock”, “The Last in Line” and “Evil Eyes” are from “The Last In Line” album, released in 1984.
“Rock ‘n’ Roll Children”, “Sacred Heart” and “Hungry for Heaven” are from the “Sacred Heart” album, released in 1985.
“Hide in the Rainbow” is from “The Dio E.P” released in 1986.
Listen to the intro. I wish they continued it a bit longer.
And is it just me, or does the Chorus riff remind you of “No More Tears” from Ozzy. Then again this is 5 years before “No More Tears”, so maybe young Zakk was listening. Anyway, all music is derivative. Take what came before and make it a bit different.
“Dream Evil” is the title track, released in 1987.
“Wild One” and “Lock Up the Wolves” are from the “Lock Up The Wolves” album, released in 1990.
You could argue that “Stand Up And Shout”, “Egypt (The Chains Are On)”, “All the Fools Sailed Away” and “Born On The Sun” are better songs and should be included.
If you have the albums mentioned above, there is no need for this compilation. But if you didn’t have any of those albums, this collection is an excellent addition.
At the time I was still buying Dio product to keep my collection up to date, however this ended up being the last purchase for my CD/Vinyl/Tape collection.
The studio albums which came in the 90’s and 2000’s were not available easily in Australia and had to be imported in at a higher price. So I ignored em, but my mate “Nick The Stick” is a massive fan, so he had em and he burned em on a CD for me.
I did buy a couple of DVD’s in the 2000’s called “Holy Diver Live” and “We Rock”. Those reviews will be coming soon.
“The Hymn Of A Broken Man” came out in 2011 and in 2021, we get “Songs Of Loss And Seperation”.
The band for the album is Adam Dutkiewicz on vocals, guitar and bass, Jesse Leach on vocals and Dan Gluszak on drums.
The Burden Of Belief
It’s got a blues country groove, more like southern country rock.
Fall down to your knees / Wash me clean of all my grief
Taking its cues from alternative metal.
I lost a lot of sleep with my restless mind
There is no rest, when you’re left alone with your thoughts especially when your relationship is breaking down or if a loved one is doing it tough with addictions or mental illness.
The riffs in the last 50 seconds. It’s wall breaking time.
Its classic Killswitch Engage.
After the screaming verses, the anthemic Chorus smacks you in the face.
Dutkiewicz is a great riff meister, who showcases his talents with each album release.
The last 50 seconds, with the swelling sounds and backwards effects, is haunting and soothing at the same time. A paradox but it works.
Far From Heavenless
A simple arpeggio guitar riff starts the song off, with Leach singing about feeling far from heaven. And there is an ascending guitar line underneath it all, which makes it feel like we are rising.
The power in the next section, when Leach is singing “I’m not heavenless”. And the power house drumming from Gluszak hammers the message home.
Then the dynamic shifts again to subtle and serene arpeggios.
At 3.30 there is just a clean tone guitar riff that reminds me of “Living On The Edge” riff from Aerosmith.
Then listen to how the distorted guitars, bass and drums build it up, over the spoken sermon from Leach.
It’s gloom and doom, but inspirational as well.
Atmospheric cut about looking for the medicine to bleed you and satisfy the demons.
How good is the riff to kick off Medusa?
It’s so Iommi and Zakk Wylde like.
And this nod to classic metal gives way to syncopated verses, more in the vein of Meshuggah and TesseracT.
The intro riff is familiar. The vocal melody very Maynard like in the verses, as the rage explodes in the Chorus.
Lost in a Dream / Dark waves crash over me
This tension between dark and light, carries the song.
To Carry The Weight
The intro arpeggios and vocal melody could have come from Aaron Lewis and Staind. Maybe even Brent Smith and Shinedown. And I like it.
The song percolates in that sombre mood until it explodes and Jesse Leach delivers a worthy vocal performance.
The riff from 2.25. So melodic, yet heavy.
It starts off like a country tune. A simple acoustic guitar riff and vocal melody. It’s campfire material.
And from the 3 minute mark, it explodes. The melodies are hypnotic and the music inspirational.
Have I mentioned that Dutkiewicz is a great riff meister?
The closer. 6.30 minutes long.
All different musical roads lead to here. A combination of country, blues, metal and rock.
For those looking about positive messages, this isn’t the album for you. It’s melancholy lyrics and metal like riffage is music to make you crash your car. You can feel the sadness, a pain at the world, society and the various demons within the mind.
The album title is indicative of the theme. And having gone through loss recently this album is becoming my companion, riding shotgun with me.
I was listening to “Promised Land”, which at that time was the new single from the Sweet & Lynch project.
For those that don’t know, Michael Sweet from Stryper joined forces with George Lynch to create Sweet & Lynch. They are supported by one of the best rhythm sections in the business in James Lomenzo on bass and Brian Tichy on drums. Underpinning or financing it all is melodic rock label Frontiers.
Their first album, “Only To Rise” was released in 2014. It’s a great throwback to the 80s style I remember well, but with modern touches and production.
3 years later, they are about to drop the “Unified” album.
The first thing that hooks me from “Promised Land” is the tempo. It’s basically a speed metal song.
A cross between Dokken’s “Lightning Strikes Again” and “Tooth And Nail” in some sections and Stryper’s “The Way” in other sections.
The lead break is one of Lynch’s finest metal moments in 2017. It’s got melody, hammer ons, pull offs, sweep picking and string skipping. All at 140 plus clicks a minute.
Unfortunately “Promised Land” is just another song lost in the 30 million plus songs on streaming services, along with other Sweet & Lynch gems like “Love Stays”, “Me Without You” and “Recover”.
Ed Sheeran writes songs which become popular. Then he gets hit with a lawsuit because his songs are making money and the family members of a departed artist, or the business entity that owns the copyright of an artist who is departed or has not creating anything worthwhile anymore wants a cut.
If Copyright terms remained how they were originally, this would not be a problem. First, the creator had a 14 year monopoly, with a chance to renew for another 14 years for a total of 28 years. However, once the creator died, all of their works became public property, free to be used by any other artist/creator to create derivative versions. So if the creator passed away during a term, the works ceased to be under copyright and went straight into the public domain.
The British 60’s Rock invasion happened because of these rules.
So who is copyright benefiting once the person who is meant to have the monopoly (the creator) to create works has passed on?
The corporations and estates who control the copyrights of long-dead artists. That’s who.
Frequency is a bad word for rock and metal artists.
Release music frequently is another bad phrase for artists.
It’s a concept artists are struggling with. It’s even more troublesome for bands. The singer/songwriter can make it happen, but for bands it’s a different story.
Netflix wouldn’t be able to grow their subscriber base if they released one TV show every two years?
It’s a streaming world. The youngsters, the ones who replenish the music base are signed up to streaming. And artists who don’t want to be part of the streaming group are still debating the payouts.
The money will come. But you need to control your copyrights so you get maximum royalties.
The paradigm is different. Your musical output lives online and the money is in what lasts. Success is based upon cumulative streams, not sales of albums, and the streams go on forever.
8 Years Ago (2013)
I watched Dream Theater in Australia on the “Systematic Chaos” Tour and they played for three hours (with an intermission of about 10 minutes in between). For some reason that was perfect, however when I saw them again on the “Black Clouds and Silver Linings” Tour, they played just over 2 hours and it was too much.
When Metallica created the “Black” album, the main members were 27 years of age and the producer was 36. Life experiences were on their side.
The main classic rock bands were all about individuality. The Eagles, Boston, Styx, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Kiss, Rush, Bad Company, Foreigner, Aerosmith and Cheap Trick all had a unique sound.
The Eighties gave us Metallica, Motley Crue, Guns N Roses, Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, U2, Duran Duran, AC/DC, Journey, Whitesnake, Van Halen (and yes i know that some of these bands formed in the seventies), Aerosmith again and Foreigner.
Metallica played fast speed metal that was labelled thrash, Motley Crue played a hybrid version of pop, punk, rock and metal. Van Halen wrote the book on the nuclear band, Guns N Roses rewrote the seventies classic rock period with a dash of punk and Def Leppard merged Queen, with Bowie with Mott The Hoople with their NWOBM leanings into a pop rock format. Each band spawned thousands of imitators.
Rush could have recorded a mainstream radio friendly album in 1976 just to please the record label. Instead they recorded “2112”, an album that set up a very lucrative future for Rush and an album that made the record label very nervous when they heard it. As guitarist Alex Lifeson has stated in numerous interviews, “2112” set up a career for Rush.
What happened to the uniqueness?
“Kill Em All” Metallica’s first album was celebrating 30 years in July 2013. At the time of its release it didn’t really set the world on fire, however if you look at the reviews and praises the album is getting now, it is like the album came out and created a movement called thrash metal right off the bat. In other words a lot of revisionist history was taking place.
Let’s put into context the lifespan of “Kill Em All”.
It came out on July 25, 1983. By February 1984, seven months after “Kill Em All” was released, Metallica was in the studio, writing and recording the “Ride The Lightning” album.
The victory lap of “Kill Em All” was seven months. That’s it. If the band wanted to have a career, they needed to get back into the studio and record a new album.
Motley Crue, Twisted Sister and Def Leppard had break through albums with “Shout At The Devil”, “You Can’t Stop Rock N Roll” and “Pyromania”. Quiet Riot’s “Metal Health” was the first American heavy metal debut album to ever reach No. 1 in the United States on the Billboard album charts.
But RNR history is written by the winners. Since Metallica is now inducted into the Hall of Fame, everyone that can put fingers to letters on a keyboard is rewriting their back story.
Bands like Quiet Riot will be written out. Artists like Vinnie Vincent and Jake E.Lee will be forgotten. The impact of other bands will be diminished because Metallica won.
History is written by the winners.
And does anyone know what the Metallica movie, “Through The Never” is about.
Dream Theater were promoting their new album with webisodes which didn’t feature any musical snippets from their new album.
The band changed. There was no one left except for Ronnie James Dio. 18 year old guitar wiz, Rowan Robertson was on guitars, Jens Johansson on keys, Teddy Cook on bass and Simon Wright on drums who left his AC/DC gig that he held from 1983 to 1989 to join.
Actually Robertson was only 17 when Dio announced to the world that he was the new guitarist in July 1989 after more than 5,000 guitarist submitted audition tapes.
“I saw an item in Kerrang! about Craig Goldie leaving Dio, so I knew they needed a guitarist. I sent in a tape just for the hell of it, you know, not expecting much, but figuring I had nothing to lose.
I was 16, learnt to play guitar in my bedroom by banging around to Bad Company records and the only stage experience I had was with a couple of pub bands that were going nowhere. I thought if I was lucky, maybe I’d get an audition”. Rowan Robertson
I was surprised to see that Jimmy Bain was out. But he was fired (along with Claude Schnell) in mid-1989 and Vinny Appice was let go two weeks before work began on the album.
The production team also changed a little bit, with Tony Platt in the producers and engineer’s chair along with Ronnie. Suddenly the sound became better thanks to Tony Platt’s engineering experience.
According to guitarist Rowan Robertson and mentioned on Wikipedia, two more songs were written and demoed for the album but left off at the decision of Wendy Dio: “Hell Wouldn’t Take Her” and “The River Between Us”. Maybe she felt the songs were too personal.
In 1990, MTV still ruled.
It was simple. You get a music video in mass rotation and watch the album go Platinum. And the Dio camp tried. They really tried.
The photos of the band had them with a bit of a tease and hairspray in their hair. They spent some decent money on a clip for “Wild One”.
And MTV still avoided Dio, who at 48 years of age was seen as a relic of the past with nothing new to offer. My Dad turned 46 that year and I saw him as old.
Also Dio’s lyrics of jesters, clowns, gypsies and rainbows had run its course for the TV station but not for the fans.
While I ignored the “Dream Evil” album when it came out in 1987, I purchased this one.
It was a tab of “Wild One” in the “Guitar School” magazine which got me interested. I was playing along to the song before I even heard it and the guitar solo was a highlight. And I was like, “man, this dude is of a similar age and he’s smoking on the guitar, I need to get practicing”.
Written by Dio and Robertson, it’s a great fast song to kick off the album and announce the new guy in town.
That Pre-Chorus, reminds me so much of Savatage.
And the lead break starts off as a blues-a-metal-thon, almost jazz fusion like. Then it goes into the super-fast tapping section. Another great way to announce the new gun slinger .
Check out the head banging outro. How can you not like it?
Lyrically, it was another “stand your ground and be who you want to be” message, although done in a very Dio way full of riddles.
Born On The Sun
A mixture of “Egypt (The Chains Are On)” and “Holy Diver” but with Rowan Robertson providing a more EVH approach to decorating simple grooves.
Check out the drumming on this.
The song is credited to Dio, Robertson, Bain and Appice. It sounds like Appice wrote the drum parts but its Wright who plays em.
You can hide in a circle It’s a way to survive Be another number At least you’d be alive
Great lyrics. So much truth in the words.
Scared to be different or speak our minds because of the resistance and the blowback. Especially these days, with social media and how a point of view can blow up and suddenly we have trolls and haters all spamming our inboxes.
Written by Dio and Robertson.
The majority of stories I read when Grunge came, was how the lyrics from the Seattle bands were more deeper and darker, focusing on depression and anxiety and rooted in real life. It’s like the Seattle artists were the only artists doing stuff like that. Sort of like how the heirs to Marvin Gaye believe he was so original that they sue everyone to oblivion.
Well, heavy metal and hard rock artists did have songs dealing with isolation, loneliness, depression, conformity and being in dark places after a relationship breakdown.
How do you feel right now? How does it feel to be alone?
My parents never asked me how I feel. These kind of emotions and questions are frowned upon when your ancestry comes from Eastern Europe.
I also grew up in life being told that angels are these all powerful beings that shine a bright light and can’t be hurt.
I suppose if you feel, you can get hurt. If you bleed, you can die. Or in the words of Schwarzenegger in “Predator”, “if it bleeds, we can kill it”.
The solo is excellent on this.
From just one album, Robertson was given a chance to do an instructional tape. His “Speed Picking” VHS tape is out there on the Net.
Between Two Hearts
Another song written by Dio and Robertson. It starts off with an acoustic arpeggio riff that reminds me of “Children Of The Sea”.
Then the slow groove kicks in, it’s almost like a blues dirge.
Check out the way Robertson plays the riffs in the second verse, combine palm muted arpeggios, diads and pedal tones.
Put on your party faces and come along Join in the big parade Here comes the camera Do you look as good as your sister Smile at the animals They should be the ones in the cages Turn the pages
A photo for Instagram before it was even invented.
Or a song about the paparazzi and the price of fame when we lived in a monoculture. These days, we live with many different sources informing us, and a person could be making millions from music and be walking the streets and shopping aisles with us and we wouldn’t even know.
This one is written by Dio, Robertson and Bain.
So open up your arms Let the night time in Say the word and it begins
I love the night. I feel the most inspired then and there was nothing better than listening to music at night, reading the lyrics and singing out aloud, like the lyrics to this song, “Night music, you’re singer and I’m the song”.
Lock Up The Wolves
Another song written by Dio, Robertson and Bain.
The sound of a clock ticking. Its normal paced. Then it picks up in speed, almost frantic like. The music is ominous, giving the listener a feeling that time is running out. By the time the distorted guitars kick in, the ticking is relentlessly fast.
And the doom feel of the song reminds me of “Sign Of The Southern Cross”.
In the houses of the holy To the middle of the mystic sea At the cradle of the world
Its back to his fantasy places, about wolves, screaming for sanctuary and how there is no back door to heaven, just a front door to hell. I guess we’ll meet again.
Evil On Queen Street
Written by Dio, Robertson and Cook. It’s like a 12 bar blues dirge with another killer solo by Robertson.
Walk On Water
Written by Dio, Robertson and Johansson, it reminds me of “Stand Up And Shout” but while “Stand Up And Shout” screams rebellion, “Walk On Water” tells ya to not even try because you can’t “Walk On Water”.
The lead break is guitar hero worthy.
A Dio, Robertson, Bain and Appice cut.
And when I told the truth They were sure it was a lie
What would you do if no one believes you?
When your truth is seen as a lie.
Why Are They Watching Me
A Dio and Robertson cut.
It’s confusing lyrically, about being ready to rock and someone watching.
A Dio, Robertson and Johansson cut.
I’ve seen it from heaven and hell I’ve seen it from the eyes of a stargazer
Great song titles to drop into a song.
Rock and roll eyes Tell rock and roll lies And rock and roll lies Never end
I guess what happens in rock and roll stays in rock and roll.
“I think obviously, my defining moment is the “Lock Up the Wolves” album, and I feel very fortunate for it. It was a good album…it captured excitement and I played really well on it.” Rowan Robertson
From memory it’s Robertson’s only album.
As soon as the album was released it was met with mixed reviews. Early sales were positive in the U.S and then the album spiralled down the charts as it disappeared altogether.
But it had longevity in the European markets as Dio’s brand was still big business there. So it was no surprise that the first leg of the tour was in Europe.
And Black Sabbath was a just a phone call away, and when that call came, the “Lock Up The Wolves” band was put on ice and never re-awakened after the Sabbath gig fell apart.
That was the predicament affecting Dio. And no one was talking about the elephant in the room, his shrinking fan base.
The audience he had in 1984 was diminishing. “Sacred Heart” in 1985 was seen as a commercial disappointment and the live EP “Intermission” in 1986, didn’t help matters, seen as a pure cash grab.
But the biggest problem for Dio’s brand of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal was MTV. The TV service went all in and embraced the “hard rock” sounds of bands like Bon Jovi, Motley Crue, Def Leppard and Poison. Whitesnake and Guns N Roses would be added to that list, along with Skid Row and Warrant a few years later.
So on July 21st 1987, Dio released “Dream Evil”.
His last album to feature some “Rainbow” elements in it as from this point forward he started to move more towards his Black Sabbath days.
And the band had a member change. Vivian Campbell was gone. It was a bad split. Craig Goldy was in, joining Ronnie, Bain, Appice and Schnell.
The album is produced by Ronnie and engineered by Angelo Arcuri. The same team from the previous albums.
“Neon Knights” part two and I like it.
“Man On The Silver Mountain” part two and I also like it.
How good is the riff to kick it off?
The verses remind me of “We Rock” and Appice thunders all over this track, especially during the solo.
“All The Fools Sailed Away”
An Intro like “The Last In Line”. But when the music comes in, it’s more moody, almost doom like.
But with a melodic rock anthemic Chorus and an instant classic is created.
“Naked In The Rain”
The riff in the verse is like “Eye Of The Tiger” just a bit slower but it’s the vocal melodies from Dio which rock. If anything it’s overall vibe is doom rock.
A ZZ Top like blues Intro gives way to the same riff being played in high octane distortion sort of like the verses and main riff in”Hot For Teacher”.
“I Could Have Been A Dreamer”
I came across the lyrics in Hit Parader and I quickly copied em into my lyric book. I hadn’t even heard the song but in my head I already had.
And when I did hear it, an instant classic it became.
In the vein of songs like “King Of Rock N Roll” and “Hungry For Heaven”.
“Faces In The Window”
It’s a melodic rock cut. Just listen to the melodies that came from Dio.
“We are evil and we are all divine”
A familiar lyric is back, just a bit different.
“When A Woman Cries”
Goldy came up with a riff rooted in the late 80s sounds. It’s good to play but as a song it’s one of the weaker moments.
Overall, it did good business in Europe and it was well received in Australia.
Fun fact, Dio along with Scorpions and Black Sabbath were just some artists from metal and rock allowed to be played in Eastern Europe (behind the Iron Curtain) legally.
But in the U.S, it didn’t receive a certification.
The album exited the charts pretty fast as it didn’t really stand a chance once the “Whitesnake” album blew up. That album was released in March, the same year, but the “Here I Go Again” single came out in June. And from then on the album went through the roof. By July it was Platinum, by August 2x Platinum and by December that same year it was 4x Platinum.
Def Leppard’s “Hysteria” came out in August that same year. By November 1987, it was 2x Platinum. But it’s big movement would happen from April 1988 when “Love Bites” hit the airwaves. By the end of 88, “Hysteria” had gone 8x Platinum.
The album was also competing against his previous albums. “The Last In Line” went platinum in Feb 1987 (the same year “Dream Evil” came out) and “Holy Diver” went platinum in March 1989. People were still buying Dio, but with limited funds, we had to be selective.
Because of my limited funds and my friends jumping off Dio’s ship, (I guess we are all fools who sailed away), I didn’t hear “Dream Evil” until many years later. In a confusing time called the mid 90’s.
P.S. I don’t own this album anymore (lost in those many house moves) hence why the post isn’t called “The Record Vault”.
I thought I’ll go with a Dio title for this post since I’m on a Dio kick at the moment.
Ahh, Copyright. A right created for creators to have a monopoly on their creations for a limited time, which was hijacked by corporations (Record Labels, Movie Studios and Publishers) and recently Investment funds.
I’m not a fan of “The Jesus and Mary Chain” but like so many artists before them, they are going to court because their label Warner Music doesn’t want to give them back the rights to their debut album, “Psycho Candy” released in 1985, even though the law states that they should.
This got me thinking about John Waite, who also went to court, because UMG wouldn’t give him back his rights.
And he didn’t win, because on the contract he signed, it was his “loan out company” on the paperwork and not him. Loan out companies are set up by the creator to employ themselves. This gives the artists a lot of tax benefits and when organisations make agreements with the artists, it is via their “loan out company”.
So UMG took the position that Waite didn’t grant them the copyrights, his company did and a company is not eligible to terminate a copyright.
Now for the triple smack down.
Are you ready?
The termination clauses in the Copyright Act, only allow natural persons and the heirs to terminate a copyright, so individuals benefit and not corporations. Yet, it is a corporation like Warner Music and UMG who benefit if the copyrights don’t revert back to the creators.
What a mess?
Waite’s tax-planning vehicle has crashed his termination rights and he had no idea that would be the case when he formed his loan out company.
And while creators are fighting to get back their songs, other creators are fighting to get back control of their brand. The estate of Chris Cornell, which is run by Vicky Cornell, has been controlling Soundgarden’s website and social media accounts. The surviving members of Soundgarden have asked previously for access, but they have been denied and they have not been happy about it.
Vicky Cornell sued the remaining members in 2019, accusing them of withholding royalties to force her to hand over recordings that Chris Cornell worked on before his death. And at the start of 2021, she sued them again over money and then offered to buy out the other members so she could control the Soundgarden brand.
But the change of ownership is a step in the right direction.
Meanwhile, Gene Simmons from KISS has become a lobbyist, making his prophetic lyrics in “Cadillac Dreams” come true. Instead of recording new material, he is meeting with members of Congress to get laws passed so streaming services pay them more.
From the lips of Gene Simmons, “most people don’t realize every time you download a song, the songwriter is making minuscule amounts of one penny”. Umm is he talking about downloads or streams. Two totally different things there. And he goes onto a rant that there will be never be another Lennon, etc., but when you live in an ivory tower, you’re so out of touch, you have no idea what is happening and how much money new artists are making.
New Organisations which come from the labels or the publishers are still rooted in the same crappy innovation ideals of those organisations. So when Congress passed a law to create a new arm to match the unpaid royalties to artists, the first thing the new organisation did, called MLC, is nothing.
Their claim portal for artists to log in and search through unmatched songs and claim the ones they own is still not up and running.
Someone should tell Gene, to lobby this corporation to get the Claim Portal up and running.
So potentially, the unpaid royalties will now sit with MLC for at least 5 years and maybe more, before they even get a chance to be distributed.
But in all honesty, this will be a disaster, because there are a lot of conflicts of interest present when it comes to songs. Ex band members will claim songs out of spite, not because they wrote them.
And the Federal Court of Australia made Clive Palmer pay even more money back to Universal Publishing, for his recreation of “We’re Not Gonna Take It” into the song “Aussies Not Gonna Cop It”, which he then used in all of his campaign videos across the nation. So instead of paying $150K for a 12 month licence to use the proper song, he has ended up paying $1.5 million in damages plus lawyer fees and what not.
There hell bent nuclear strategy to go after internet service providers (ISPs) for the actions of a few users, these organisations have found a way to cut people off from the internet based on a mere accusation of copyright infringement.
A recent court decision in the U.S, has given these organisations unprecedented power and the Electronic Frontiers Foundation (EFF) is doing their best to get this bad decision overturned due to the incorrect instructions the judge had given the jury.
Basically these organisations claim for damages when people use the songs they have the rights for and then they get the courts and the law and the politicians to fight their battles.
Meanwhile, in Germany, the labels, publishers and independent copyright holders have teamed up with the ISP’s to block sites without the need of a court approval.
Each Copyright complaint by a label or TV producer is reviewed by a committee made up of retired judges. Streaming services make up 55% of revenue in Germany and piracy has reduced significantly. However people still seek out P2P services hence the reason why they want this kind of power.
But web-freedom activists are not happy as they believe this kind of power restricts internet freedom. The method here is to attack the services that offer illegal content rather than the users.
As the article in Billboard stated: “In Germany, the legislative environment is heavily weighted against censorship and attacks on internet freedom. Having lived under the Nazi Third Reich and communist East Germany, Germany considers privacy a hard-won freedom.”
The power granted to corporations for Copyright Infringements is a form of censorship and for the German people, censorship will never happen again.
Meanwhile Twitch is getting hit with thousands of copyright infringement claims on a daily basis. So the entertainment corporations close down or take down or shake down people and services from trading in pirated works, and then when they use music in their live streamed videos, these same bodies issue infringement claims to take it all down.
Maybe a conversation between Twitch and the entertainment corporations would have resulted in a better outcome.
But that’s too difficult.
Talking, that is.
And remember when Steven Spielberg was trying to destroy streaming services and Netflix in general and he didn’t want Netflix movies nominated for Oscars because the movies that Netflix makes are shown on TV screens. Well Netflix won seven Oscars at the recent Academy Awards and that was more than any other studio.
Soen is a Swedish progressive metal supergroup consisting of various extreme metal musicians. Their debut album “Cognitive” came out in 2012.
It was like hearing Tool and I was all in.
“Tellurian” came out in 2014 but their rise really started with “Lykaia” in 2017 and “Lotus” in 2019. And in 2021, we have “Imperial”.
And while the debut sounded a lot like Tool, this one is more metal and hard rock with some progressive grooves and textures.
And the band has been stable in the line-up. Founding members Joel Ekelöf (vocals) and Martin Lopez (drums) are still there along with Lars Enok Åhlund (keyboards and guitar), Cody Ford (lead guitar) and new bassist Oleksii “Zlatoyar” Kobel.
How good is the Intro riff?
And the Chorus, so melodic and haunting.
In the middle, the band introduces its main dynamic, which is heard throughout the album, in which they quieten down the song and rebuild it.
It’s almost Disturbed like from the “Believe” album in the Intro.
That Intro riff. So heavy and intricate.
Listen to it.
A Pink Floyd Pre-Chorus gives way to an anthemic Chorus.
A Pink Floyd like cut. Think “Sorrow”.
And the solos. Wow.
Another head banging killer metal riff kicks it off.
The Chorus. Wow.
From the 3.50 mark it goes into a mellow interlude with an emotive solo. Then the vocals come in and I get emotional.
And it becomes quiet. And once you hear the words “fire up your guns”, the music crashes back in.
The Chorus is so haunting.
From 2.10 a Maiden like harmony riff plays while a shred-a-licious and emotive lead is played over it.
The last 40 seconds are excellent.
The Tool like track on the album but with a heavy dose of metal and hard rock.
Listen to the Chorus riff when they sing “we are one”.
At 2.50 it quietness down. A piano plays and the vocals come in. Then the drums and everything else comes in as they build it up slowly.
By 4.36 it’s back to a being a metal tour de force.
Dio and the Sabbath “Heaven And Hell” version would be proud. The groove and feel is as doomy as the influences.
That Chorus is haunting, with the violins and emotive vocal melody.
I like the lead break. Almost bluesy and the phrasing is excellent.
At the 3.20 mark, a sing-a-long ohhh and ahs happen. This section happens again for the outro but this time the guitars are in harmony.
The only thing left to do is to listen to it again.
David Z, Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington passed away. Ivan Moody was in a dark place at the time.
So many people make money from artists, and some make way more than the artists. The vicious cycles that artists are on from labels and management is borderline negligence.
The show must go on but there is no show when there is no artist.
The Jungle Giants is a band that plays a form of pop rock with dance/techno elements. I’m not a huge fan but in 2017 they were an unsigned artists that racked up over 50 million streams on Spotify. Those stats are impressive and a lot more than artists who actually have label deals.
It’s hard work controlling your own destiny. But you have the freedom to decide what path to take.
And Album number 4 just came out.
When is inspiration/influence just that and when is inspiration/influence copying?
It is possible to borrow without “stealing”. When ideas appear in ones mind, quite often they are unconsciously inspired by a piece of music the artist has heard.
And it’s perfectly okay and very common to take an existing idea and turn it into something new.
According to manager Barry McKay, Steve Harris stole an idea. I don’t know how you can steal an idea, but hey it happens.
Corporations and Unions run this country. The Courts have been compromised by money. The mainstream media is all about half-truths and likes. No one reports with any substance or an opinion anymore as they had served whoever paid them the most.
Game Of Thrones was the most pirated show in the world, with Australia leading the way.
Unless we pay $300 plus for a PAY TV subscription, we couldn’t watch it.
Nine years later nothing much has changed. We’re still a mess. We can’t get our population vaccinated and we have a leader who just looks for the photo opportunity and has best friends who run QANON sites.
I’m an Amazon Prime Video subscriber and due to a deal they have with another PAY TV provider in this country, I couldn’t watch Bosch S7 on Amazon.
So I downloaded it.
Imagine that. I’m a paying legal subscriber and I couldn’t watch a show that the service created on their platform.
Why did guitarists like Yngwie Malmsteen, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Eric Johnson, Alex Skolnick, John Petrucci and Paul Gilbert rise above all the other shredders of the era that came on the scene between 1984 and 1994?
Guitarists like Tony MacAlpine, Greg Howe and Vinnie Moore are all great guitarists, however they are still relatively unknowns outside of their guitar instrumental niche market.
Someone like Vinnie Moore played with Alice Cooper and is holding down the fort with UFO. He’s been there since 2003, 18 years. Michael Schenker only did 11, his first stint between 1973 and 78 was only 5 years.
Perseverance is a massive skill. Especially when it comes to life as a musician in an internet era with information overload each day.
And success happens when you contemplate giving up.
Dream Theater almost called it a day, between 1988 and 1991, when months rolled by and no suitable singer appeared.
Quiet Riot during the Randy Rhoads years, couldn’t get a U.S deal. After Randy left to join Ozzy, Kevin Dubrow persevered under his own surname, only to resurrect the Quiet Riot brand after the death of Randy Rhoads and turn it into a Number 1 act.
George Lynch auditioned for Ozzy’s band on two occasions, losing out to Randy Rhoads once and then to Jake E. Lee. One of his earlier bands “The Boyz” had a showcase gig organised for Gene Simmons to attend. Van Halen opened the show and the rest is history. Gene even said to Lynch, to consider changing his name as he will never make it.
Ronnie James Dio spent 18 years paying his dues before finding success with Rainbow in 1976.
How many musicians starting out today, would put in 18 years of service to music?
Don’t chase trends because what is here today will be gone tomorrow.
Of course it’s more difficult going your own way, however that is the future. If you are successful you will get label interest and a deal that suits you, because without an artist, there is no profit from music for the labels.
The major labels want radio hits so they find artists that are easy to sell and easily expendable.
“The Heat” with Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy was one of the funniest movies I had seen that year.
I provided my thoughts on the Metallica “Death Magnetic” DVD which included footage on the making of the album. It came with the Coffin Edition of the album.
James Hetfield still rules. As much as the documentary tried to paint Lars as this hands on kind of guy, if James didn’t agree or say yes, the musical idea wouldn’t be part of the song. Bob Rock once said that the problem with “St Anger” was that the main songwriter wasn’t there mentally. You can see that he is back for “Death Magnetic”.
And they went on a two year victory lap touring behind the album. They released DVD’s from shows, for the French and Latin America markets. They released live EP’s for certain markets. In Australia we got the “Six Feet Down Under” EP’s part 1 and 2.
When that died down, they orchestrated the “Big 4” shows and the “Orion” festival. They played the summer festivals around the world.
Then they celebrated their 30 years anniversary with a week of shows in San Francisco. When that died down they released the “Beyond Magnetic” EP, which had 4 songs that didn’t make the final cut. Then they released “Quebec Magnetic” and at that point in time they were doing the “Through The Never”movie.
So did anyone remember the debacle of “Lulu”?
It was old news, history. It’s like it never existed.
What a difference two years make?
“The House of Gold and Bones” by Stone Sour was becoming a favorite so I posted my review here and a review of a song “The Uncanny Valley” here.
At the time I was reading about how artists deserve to be paid for their creations because they put their blood, sweat and tears into those works.
By know Vivian Campbell was an unhappy camper. From his point of view he was promised a larger piece of the pie and that wasn’t forthcoming. Plus he had an issue with the publishing. So it’s no surprise that this is the last album to include Vivian Campbell, who Dio fired midway through the tour, replacing him with Craig Goldy.
Released on August 13, 1985, almost a year after “The Last In Line”, it wasn’t just competing against all the other new releases from other artists, it was competing against the previous two Dio albums. It wasn’t a smart decision from Warner Bros.
The band for the album is the classic line up, known as Ronnie James Dio on lead vocals, Vivian Campbell on guitars, Jimmy Bain on bass, Claude Schnell on keyboards and Vinny Appice on drums.
The King Of Rock And Roll
How can you not like this song, fake crowd noise or not?
Campbell’s riffs are excellent to play, Dio’s melodies rock, Bain rumbles and Vinny Appice powers all over this.
Bad boy always on the cover gettin’ the story told
It could have been about anyone in the rock business. By 1985, a lot of bad boys graced the cover of magazines.
He’s got the midnight madness / he’s got a soul ’cause he’s the king of rock and roll / king of rock and roll
I used to keep my own book of rhymes before I realised that a rhyming dictionary existed. Well, Dio albums and most hard rock and metal albums provided plenty of source material.
The riff sounds epic on this and the keys from Schnell enhance it. But its Vinny Appice on the drums that turns this song into a powerhouse. The mix is perfect and I’m drawn to the groove of the drums.
Plus the lead break from Campbell is different from his earlier albums, better phrasing.
Oh running into nowhere turning like a wheel and a year becomes a day
Truth right there. Without a plan, the days just slip away.
Whenever you dream you’re holding the key it opens the door to let you be free yeah
Infinite possibilities when you let your imagination run wild. Why do you think mindfulness and meditation is so massive?
Its more blues rock but Campbell decorates a simple blues groove with pedal points and diads and suddenly it sounds like heavy metal.
Rock ‘N’ Roll Children
Does anything else think that “Shot In The Dark” from Ozzy sounds like this?
Anyway, it’s a melodic rock anthem with a killer Campbell lead break.
Rock ‘N’ Roll children alone again Rock ‘N’ Roll children without a friend but they got rock’n’roll
As much as rock and roll lyrics are about parties, most fans of the music spent a lot of time alone with it, and the music was a form of escapism.
Hungry For Heaven
The solo break from Campbell on this is excellent.
So just hold on You can make it happen for you Reach for the stars and you will fly
It’s the same message as in other songs. You are responsible for your success, so what are you waiting for.
Like The Beat Of A Heart
It’s an inferior re-write of “One Night In The City” but still a good listen, especially the outro riff and groove.
There’s a beast that lives inside you and it’s screaming to get out
Just Another Day
Its “King Of Rock And Roll” part 2, and I like it. The riffs are excellent, while Bain and Appice hammer out an energetic foundation.
The guitar arpeggios after the solo.
The blues rock riffs on this just don’t get the credit they deserve.
Remember that the evil will rule / it’s waiting outside / bringing’ pain / for you fallen angels
An AC/DC style cut.
Yes you know the feeling all alone your back to the wall And all the doorways are starting to close in front of you
It’s more of the same that we are responsible for our own journey and that it all starts with us.
The high points on the album are definitely “Sacred Heart”, “King Of Rock And Roll”, “Rock N Roll Children” and “Hungry For Heaven”.
But like all Dio albums there is a little bit of everything in the other songs.