Music, My Stories

The Week In Destroyer Of Harmony History – October 10 to October 16

4 Years Ago (2017)

DEMOS

Napster got real traction because of all the unreleased material on the site like live bootlegs, alternate takes and demo’s.

And we’ve lost access to these kinds of takes forever as we embraced streaming. Then again YouTube does have a lot of this stuff.

And some artists are releasing this content in their Anniversary editions. Whitesnake is a great example and so is Metallica with their recent Black album anniversary edition.

These personal tracks are my favorites to hear.

DENTISTS

Dentistry is a cabal, holding us to ransom in a system which is corrupted and broken. It’s my rant at paying out of pocket costs to a dentist for extracting teeth from my son.

8 Years Ago (2013)

POPULARITY

In 1983, Night Ranger went from an opening act to a headlining act with the release of their second album “Midnight Madness”.

It was seen as the band’s pinnacle moment by an overnight sensation.

But when “Midnight Madness” came out, Jack Blades was 29, Brad Gillis was 26, Jeff Watson was 27, Kelly Keagy was 31 and Alan Fitzgerald was 34.

All of the members had paid their dues in other bands since the start of the Seventies. They were seasoned. Music was all they had. There was no fall back position. There was no safety net or a plan B. It was all or nothing.

In a way, you could call Night Ranger a supergroup

PIRACY

People think that piracy ruined the recorded business. Most people didn’t want the album/CD. People wanted that unique track.

Instead of getting 35 to 45 minutes of music every year, we started to get 50 to 70 minutes of music every two to three years with only about 10 minutes of it being worthy.

The recording business saw the large profit margins and kept on marching along with the overpriced CD’s model, using MTV to push and promote the artists.

When people got the option to download, to cherry pick what they wanted to hear, a whole new market place was born.

The bottom line is this – if the artist creates that undeniable song, they will have no problems selling it. The song will sell itself.

I parted with $27 back in 1993 for the song “Believe” on a Lenny Kravitz CD.

Looking at all the certifications circa 2013, the singles dominate.

Even Metallica have Platinum certifications from songs that were released on their first five albums.

The following songs were given a GOLD certification by the RIAA (U.S) on December 13, 2012.

  • For Whom The Bell Tolls
  • Fade To Black
  • The Unforgiven
  • Master Of Puppets
  • Nothing Else Matters
  • One
  • Enter Sandman
  • The Day That Never Comes
  • Until It Sleeps

40 WORD REVIEWS

Here is one Burning Rain featuring Doug Aldrich.

Here is one on Cage 9 which is like the love child of GNR, Shinedown, Def Leppard, Breaking Benjamin and Muse on hard rock steroids.

RPWL

Lost in all the noise that is the music business, is a German neo progressive rock band called RPWL. They started of their career as a Pink Floyd cover band in the mid 90s and are still going today.

And that’s another wrap for another week.

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Music, My Stories

The Week In Destroyer Of Harmony History – October 3 to October 9

4 Years Ago (2017)

Another slow week for the site with writers block.

8 Years Ago (2013)

MUSIC IN TV SHOWS

In the season 2 finale of “Sons Of Anarchy”, a song called “Hands In The Sky” from “Straylight Run” was being played. And the perfect track just makes the scene even better.

Back in 2013, I came across 16 different videos on YouTube with a combined play count of 1,498,818. Spotify streams had the count as 110,507.

The songs was basically ignored, unknown.

In 2021, the Spotify count is at 5.07 million streams. Still nothing compared to the impact it made in the SOA scene.

And the song was released on an EP, called “Prepare To Be Wrong” from 2005. It took 8 years for me to hear it and the SOA episode I was watching was from Season 2 which came out in 2009.

In other words good music and TV shows will always be found.

40 WORDS REVIEWS

Here are reviews from The Poodles, Daybreak Embrace and Sound Of Contact.

THE GRIT TO ROCK N ROLL

In the words of Bon Scott;

Gettin’ had
Gettin’ took
I tell you folks
It’s harder than it looks

SELF DEVELOPMENT

And I was reading a lot of those self development books so I put some of the outcomes to the stories of heavy metal music.

Like how the majority of the best records come after the artists who had experienced a fair bit in life.

Or how Trivium and Protest The Hero released classic Metal albums in “Vengeance Falls” and “Volition”.

Or the 10,000 Hour Rule.

TWISTED SISTER

And finally my kids had fallen in with Twisted Sister

So I got their Top 10 list. Check it out.

And that’s another wrap for another week.

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Influenced, Music, My Stories

The Week In Destroyer Of Harmony History – September 27 to October 2

4 Years Ago (2017)

RESULTS

Someone said to me “Nothing matters except the result”.

Remember a time when a music business executive would say to an artist, nothing matters except the sales.

Shallow thinking.

Because the connection a fan makes with the music and the artist didn’t matter to them. The community built around the artist and their songs doesn’t matter. The community built around a scene doesn’t matter. The time spent away from loved ones doesn’t matter. The support of other artists, songwriters and families doesn’t matter. All the hours the artist spent in the dark to get to the light doesn’t matter.

Rather than treating the artist as an asset that companies should invest in, artists are seen as costs that should be minimised.

FORGOTTEN 80’S

I covered “Out On The Streets” and “King Of The Fools” from the “Come Out And Play” album by Twisted Sister.

“Fight For Your Rights” by Motley Crue got a mention. It made me wonder how a band with so many addictions could get it together to churn out an album. “Theater of Pain” has a reputation as a “filler” album. But the album does have some “unfinished” deep cuts, like this song.

Who wrote the Bible?Who set the laws?

“Waiting For Darkness” from Ozzy Osbourne’s “Bark At The Moon” was mentioned.

“That’s The Way I Wanna Rock ‘ N’ Roll” from AC/DC’s much maligned 1988 album “Blow Up Your Video” got a write up. It was released as a single, however “Heatseeker” was doing a decent job taking the limelight, that this little ditty was ignored.

“Young Lust” from Aerosmith is a favorite from the monster “Pump” album. Some monster songs stole all the glory like “Love In The Elevator”, “Janie’s Got A Gun”, “The Other Side” and “What It Takes”. So it’s easy for songs like “Young Lust” to be lost.

Check out Joey Kramer as he goes to town on the drums, with his double kick underpinning the groove and tempo of the song.

The controversial “One In A Million” from Guns N Roses got a write up.

I covered “Mine All Mine” from Van Halen. I know it was a single, but since the singles from “5150” were still on the airwaves along with “Jump” and “Panama”, it meant “Mine All Mine” just percolated outside the Van Hagar Halen hit factory.

The drumming is frantic, making a clichéd keyboard riff sound heavy as hell and how good is the guitar solo from EVH?

I covered some “forgotten” Whitesnake cuts from the “Slide It In” and “Slip Of The Tongue” album like “Standing In The Shadow”, “Guilty Of Love”, “Kittens Got Claws” and “Wings Of The Storm”.

“Rock Me To The Top” and “Before My Eyes” from Tesla got mentioned.

And Kiss has a lot of forgotten cuts like “Tomorrow”, “Naked City”, “Exciter”, “I’ve Had Enough”, “King Of The Mountain”, “My Way” and “Silver Spoon”.

“Had Enough” by Mr Big, “What’s It Gonna Be” from Ratt,Rock And Roll’s Gonna Save The World” by Y&T are included.

“Gutter Ballet”, “When The Crowds Are Gone”, “Hounds” and “Summer’s Rain” from Savatage are forgotten.

Does anyone remember “Metal Heart” from Accept?

“Downhearted”, “Reckless – Don’t Be So” and “The Boys Light Up” from Australian Crawl round out the list.

8 Years Ago (2013)

40 WORD REVIEWS

I was experimenting with 40 word reviews on bands like Cervello, Lizzard, Jeerk, Love And Death, Nonpoint, Machina, Protest The Hero, The Black Rain, Redline, Rain, Prime Circle and Alter Bridge.

And Roxy Blue. I was late to the party on that one.
And I liked it as the songs are great blends of the best that hard rock had to offer back then.

QUOTES

Some people get into this business for the attention, they want the babes or the money or the Porsche, but when we first got together we didn’t know that this was going to become a business. We were just friends who wanted to jam.” – Chris DeGarmo (Queensryche founder, ex guitarist and main songwriter)

Be in it for the right reasons.

The hell with the rules. If it sounds right, then it is.” – Eddie Van Halen

To this day I don’t have a guitar idol. I have people who are my favorites.”– Randy Rhoads (RIP) Guitarist

Be influenced by many. Progress is derivative.

And that’s another wrap for another week.

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

The Week In Destroyer Of Harmony History – September 20 to September 26

4 Years Ago (2017)

After three weeks of zero posts it was James Durbin that got me out of the rut.

His first album dropped in 2011 and its a hard rock album. “Higher Than Heaven” is my favorite track. It’s melodic and heavy enough to rock and a co-write with James Michael and Marti Frederiksen.

Then album number 2 dropped in 2014 and it was not what I expected, more in line with the Imagine Dragons style of rock.

So I just moved on.

And then “The Road” came up on the New Release Playlist as I was driving.

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. Hell I had to Google who was in that version of Quiet Riot. 

Frankie Banali has been the drummer for the band since DuBrow reformed it in the 80s after the death of Rhoads. Bassist Chuck Wright replaced Rudy Sarzo and has been in and out of QR since the 80s. Guitarist Alex Grosso has been in a lot of hard rock bands and ended up in QR in 2006. 

I wrote back in 2017 to go and listen to “The Road” first, then “Renegades” and “Freak Flag”. They are songs that should remain around for a lot longer. And I still stand by that but looking at Spotify, these songs doesn’t even rate in the Top 10.

Unfortunately this version of QR would record one more album. But, drama surrounded that release. Durbin left before it’s release and Banali went missing, only for the world to find out that he was dying from cancer.

But QR continues.

Johnny Kelly from Type O Negative and Danzig joins on drums. Jizzy Pearl is on vocals again. Alex Grossi remains on guitar and Rudy Sarzo has rejoined.

8 Years Ago (2013)

DID PIRACY ASSIST THE COMEBACK OF TWISTED SISTER?

Young people today do not realise the impact that Twisted Sister had on the music business around 1984 and 1985. Sure, other bands had greater sales and bigger tours, however no one did MTV like Twisted Sister.

But by 1987 it was game over for Twisted Sister.

So how did they come back?

LAST MAN STANDING

The “Because We Can” tour should of been renamed to “Because I Can”.

Richie Sambora didn’t show up to work but the show went on as JBJ had a replacement for Sambora on the same day.

Then Tico Torres undergoes emergency appendectomy surgery and the band POSTPONES their Mexico concert. This would have pissed the Jovi machine.

Then Tico fell ill again, but JBJ had a back up plan this time in New Jersey native and Kings Of Suburbia drummer Rich Scannella, who filled in until Tico was cleared to play.

The show must go on for JBJ as those super large merchandise deals means that the tour cannot stop. Merchandise deals become very expensive to the artist if they are broken or if the sales do not meet targets or if the promised shows are not delivered. Just ask Dee Snider.

DREAM THEATER PREDICTIONS

It was almost September 24, 2013 and the new self titled Dream Theater album would be “officially” released on Roadrunner.

Going back a few more years, on September 13, 2011, “A Dramatic Turn Of Events” was released and it had 35,750 units sold in the first week.

With Roadrunner putting a lot of money into Dream Theater, they would want the above figures to increase by at least 20% but the market at that point in time was showing a shrinkage in sales compared to two years ago, due to licensed streaming.

But as album sales went down, concert attendances went up as well as ticket prices.

MOTLEY CRUE REVISION

“MOTLEY STILL SINGERLESS” is the headline from a news break item that did the rounds in an issue of Hot Metal from June 1992.

For anyone who wasn’t aware, Motley Crue and Vince Neil parted ways in February 1992. The actual argument took place on February 11, 1992, with Motley Crue issuing the official statement on Neil’s departure on February 14, 1992.

The Crue wanted everyone to believe that they started working with John Corabi immediately, from as earliest as February 17, 1992, however it wasn’t until September 27, 1992, that John Corabi officially signed a contract to be Motley Crue’s new lead vocalist.

Sebastian Bach’s claimed that he did in fact audition during that period which Nikki Sixx denied on Twitter.

The other vocalists that are known to have auditioned are Stevie Rachelle from the band Tuff, Marq Torien from the band Bullet Boys and Stephen Shareaux from the band Kik Tracee.

40 WORD REVIEWS – FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH

It is a pretty solid album, sticking to what they know best. I would rank it the same as “American Capitalist”, part two of what came before.

40 WORD REVIEWS – DREAM THEATER

Download “Illumination Theory”, “Behind The Veil” and “The Looking Glass”. “The Bigger Picture” also has some great musical sections.  As for defining what Dream Theater is about right now; technical wizardry comes first and the actual song comes second.

40 WORD REVIEWS – THIRTY SECONDS TO MARS

The women of the world will love this album and the majority of guys will love the track “Conquistador.” A grand experiment in orchestra style theatrics merged with rock and pop sensibilities. 

CERVELLO

I just heard Cervello’s debut album (released in 2011) in 2013 and I liked it. I wanted to find out more information, only to find that they had broken up.

40 WORD REVIEWS – CANDLELIGHT RED

This album is more or less “B” grade Sevendust except for the last track “Sleeping Awake” which sounds like an “A” grade cut that should have been on Red’s “Release The Panic” album.

40 WORD REVIEWS – WITHIN TEMPTATION

A brilliant hard rock covers album of pop songs. Songs that I originally dismissed as terrible suddenly have a new lease of life thanks to Within Temptation’s reinterpretation and Sharon’s wonderful voice. 

BURNING YESTERDAY

I have had some music laying around that I earmarked once upon a time for a re-listen in a proper way.

“Burning Yesterday” was one such band.

Their album from 2009, “We Create Monsters Not Machines” was an amalgamation of bands like Red, Papa Roach, Breaking Benjamin, Skillet and Disciple. And I liked it, so give em a spin.

And that’s another wrap for another week.

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Music, My Stories

The Week In Destroyer Of Harmony History – September 13 to September 19

4 Years Ago (2017)

Another slow week for the site. Three weeks in a row and no posts. And I’m not sure as to why.

8 Years Ago (2013)

DREAM THEATER

Dream Theater broke through in 1992, it seemed that they just appeared overnight. Breaking through for Dream Theater still meant “obscurity from the mainstream” however with a “cult audience” that appreciated them.

And when they signed with Roadrunner in the 2000’s, a pile of money was thrown their way. Each new deal means a larger advance paid up front by the label which needs to be recouped in some way.

And for their self-titled release, Dream Theater partnered up with organizations that have nothing to do with their core audience like US Today and Grammy Awards websites as the first online sites to stream the new songs. Because the money they got needs to be recouped.

CREATIVITY

We are living in the era that is all about creativity. Artists need to be creating and releasing all the time, otherwise they are here today and gone tomorrow.

Metal bands have weathered the storm so far, as fans of these genre’s still tend to purchase albums, however the writing is on the wall. It’s about listens.

YNGWIE MALMSTEEN

The Fury was being clueless and talking about a music industry that didn’t exist because no one was buying his albums.

PIRACY

People
In
Revolt
Against
Copyrights
monopolY

STREAMS

I was constantly listening to the Avenged Sevenfold “Hail To The King” album as it connected with me. I admit that the connection comes from the similarities of the songs on the new album to the bands that I grew up on.

Spotify streams for the song “Hail To The King” at this point in time was 1,884,995. Today, 8 years later, the song has 336,620,443 streams.

Shepherd Of Fire had 495,889 streams in 2013 and now 128,897,165.

NIKKI SIXX

Is Nikki Sixx a revisionist?

THE LP

Going back in time, I remember going to the record store with about $20 to $30 in my back pocket. I always looked forward to those days. It was what I lived for. However as exciting as the experience was, it always had to end with me deciding which albums to buy at that moment and which albums to buy next time around as I could never afford everything that I wanted.

With the rise of the CD, this only got more expensive.

When I used to purchase albums, money was the factor as to what I decided to purchase and listen too. Fast forward to now, time is the factor as to what I decide to listen too.

THE PRODUCERS

What is it with artist’s dishing out hate on a producer that was involved in producing their greatest triumph?

1994 TOP 10

I was flicking through a Guitar World issue from 1995 that was talking about albums that came out in 1994.

I mentioned the magazines Top 10 and then provided my Top 10.

Motley Crue – Motley Crue

What can I say, Bob Rock killed it in the producer’s chair, capturing Motley Crue at their heaviest. It is groove rock, mixed with classic rock, mixed with heavy metal. Listen to the interludes of Droppin Like Flies and Hooligan’s Holiday for supreme Korn like heaviness.

Machine Head – Burn My Eyes

Robb Flynn’s vocal style is his life style. A lot of people have tried to imitate it however you have had to have lived his lifestyle in order to pull it off.

Leviathan – Deepest Secrets Beneath

A progressive metal band that deserves greater accolades. Think Geddy Lee vocals on a bed of technical metal riffs.

Dream Theater – Awake

Worthy follow up to “Images and Words” and the last album to feature the talents of Kevin Moore. Of course Jordan Rudess is a far more accomplished pianist, however to me Kevin Moore is a better band member, due to his lyrical and vocal melody writing.

Pantera – Far Beyond Driven

What else can be said about Pantera that hasn’t been said. They kept the flag flying for groove and thrash metal, while other leaders jumped ship or broke up.

Korn – Korn

Any album that has an ominous shadow of a man in a kids playground on the cover already has a lot to live up to. In this case, Korn delivered a brutal first album. Not bad for a band that got signed solely based on their demo and no live shows.

Savatage – Handful Of Rain

Dark and sorrowful. The best way to pay a tribute to a fallen brother is to keep the music alive. Savatage and especially Jon Oliva, did exactly that.

Megadeth – Youthanasia

Dave Mustaine and Megadeth never achieved the “success” in sales as Metallica however to me, they defined and pushed the boundaries of technical thrash metal. Can you ever imagine James Hetfield singing over the “Holy Wars” riff. With “Youthanasia”, Megadeth delivered a killer rock album, which if i had to pick between “Youthanasia” and “Load” from Metallica, “Youthansia” wins hands down.

Testament – Low

When a band is more or less written off by the press, that is when they deliver. However due to a lack of label support, the album didn’t get out of the gates properly.

Slayer – Divine Intervention

I was going to put Kyuss or Soundgarden here, however my loyalty to Slayer wins out in the end.

And that’s another wrap for another week.

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A to Z of Making It, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Piracy, Unsung Heroes

The Week In Destroyer Of Harmony History – September 6 to September 12

4 Years Ago (2017)

Another slow week for the site.

8 Years Ago (2013)

DEE SNIDER

I was reading “Shut Up and Give Me The Mic” and it got me into a Snider mood, so I listened to “Desperado – Bloodied But Unbowed”.

For the uninitiated Desperado also includes Clive Burr (RIP) on drums, Bernie Tormè (RIP) on guitars and Marc Russel on bass.

The project never saw a proper release due to Elektra, pulling the CD from the shelves, two weeks before its release.

Back in the heyday of the record labels, as a musician, your career was in the hands of the record labels. The record company moguls had the power to make or break not only musical careers but the financial lives of individuals.

VITO BRATTA

Vito Bratta is one of the most searched artists on the internet, especially around what he is doing right now. I can’t believe that a talent like Vito, just walked away from it all and stopped writing music.

But he hinted at his departure in past interviews.

In a “Guitar World” interview from July 1991, Vito said that on the “Big Game” record, everyone commented on his playing, but hardly anyone said anything about the songs. And that bothered him.

Brad Tolinski, the person who was conducting the interview mentioned to Vito that it seemed that he made a conscious effort to play differently on “Mane Attraction” and that there are less broken arpeggios and other styling’s that Vito is renowned for.

Vito answered that with the following words;

“I don’t play like myself on this record.”

MOTLEY CRUE

I remember picking up the Metal Edge magazine from 1988 and seeing an update from Motley Crue. In the pre-Internet era, the only way to get information from our favourite bands was via magazines and MTV.

Metal Edge was happy to report that the band was busy at work on their fifth album and that “Monsterous” is one title they werep considering along with “SSRR” which stands for “Sex, Sex, and Rock ‘N Roll”.

JAMES HETFIELD

“Some Kind Of Monster” was doing the rounds on free to air TV at the time. Basically, Kirk and Lars are beholden to James Hetfield. That’s the message I got out of the documentary

During the whole “James in rehab” period, Kirk and Lars did nothing and could do nothing. The band was on hold until James was ready.

PIRACY

The RIAA kept shutting down file-sharing services. The MPAA started to go after the ISP’s as copyright infringement enablers.

But with all the activity going on, file sharing didn’t cease.

The “Iron Maiden” discography was and still is available for downloading and it is free.

In 2011, Iron Maiden played 33 shows and had total gross earnings of $33,085,671.

Did piracy really hurt em?

Because even in the Eighties, piracy was rampant as blank cassettes became massive sellers.

AMAZON SALES

I purchased most of my music via Amazon US Store so do my purchasers rank as U.S sales or Australian sales?

HAIL TO THE KING

All hail.

The King had arrived from Avenged Sevenfold. You can read my review here. And even though the album sounded like other albums, all publicity is good publicity.

CALL ME – SHINEDOWN

This song is a hit, however it was never released as an “official” single. Its one of their most streamed songs on Spotify.

And that’s another wrap for another week.

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Music, Piracy

The Week In Destroyer Of Harmony History – August 30 to September 5

4 Years Ago (2017)

It was a slow start to writing during this period, so nothing was posted on the site during this week.

2014 (Bonus)

Remember “The Raskins” the band who paid $1 million to open for Mötley Crüe on tour, only to have the Motley Crue road crew, come on stage and spray them with urine.

Well they filed a lawsuit against the Crue on 31 August, 2014.

8 Years Ago (2013)

COG

Cog is an Australian band from Bondi, Sydney.

And if you haven’t heard “Sharing Space”, their 2008 album, well you should. Its a post rock progressive tour de force. And read my review while you’re at it.

Fear is the virus they use to divide us
Hoping we’ll all just pretend
That there’s no other way

BON JOVI

By 2013, I was asking what happened to Jon Bon Jovi.

Was he an artist or a CEO or a football team owner or something else entirely?

And sometimes artists forget what brings them their bread and butter?

SONGS FIRST

Brad Paisley was asked, why he thinks his popularity resonates so strongly with audiences around the world, Paisley answered with the following:

“It’s always songs.”

He further adds that the minute an artist starts to think it’s them and not the songs they are singing that resonates, it is the moment that they start to think they are larger than life.

My kids love the song “Cum On Feel The Noize.”

They don’t care which version they hear (Slade or Quiet Riot), they only care about hearing the song. For me, I never went back to hear the original Slade version. I was quite content with the Quiet Riot version.

And that’s another short wrap for another week.

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A to Z of Making It, Music, My Stories, Piracy

The Week In Destroyer Of Harmony History – August 23 to August 29

4 Years Ago (2017)

PEOPLE CREATE VALUE

Do artists create value or does the audience create value?

I believe it’s the audience.

We are the ones who decide what song or album we will give our time and money to.

And it’s a cold hard truth for any creator out there. The art they create has no value at the start. It might later, if people decide it’s valuable.

DEF LEPPARD

Def Leppard was huge from 1983 to 1992. Even their sound was huge with multi-layered vocals and instrumentation.

They had a bit of a back lash in the 90’s and maybe alienated some of their fan base with their 90’s sounding “Slang” album. But like all great bands from the 80’s they had a renaissance.

Because of piracy.

No one could purchases or access Def Leppard’s digital music library legally between 2000 and 2017 (apart from the few forgeries the band did themselves and the live releases), so people obtained the music illegally.

And just like that Def Leppard replenished their fan base with younger fans. 

“In recent years, we’ve been really fortunate that we’ve seen this new surge in our popularity. For the most part, that’s fuelled by younger people coming to the shows. We’ve been seeing it for the last 10, 12 or 15 years, you’d notice younger kids in the audience, but especially in the last couple of years, it’s grown exponentially. I really do believe that this is the upside of music piracy.”

Vivian Campbell

8 Years Ago (2013)

MACHINE HEAD

Machine Head is a favourite. And if you want to read a post on some deep album cuts then here it is.

QUEENSRYCHE

Queensryche appealed to me for a few reasons.

  1. Insightful lyrics
  2. Great messages and themes in the songs
  3. Brilliant arrangements and guitar playing.
  4. Each album that they released with Chris DeGarmo followed my own changing musical tastes.

So I did a post on some semi-obscure Queensryche songs.

RECORD FAIRS

I did a post of my score at a Record Fair.

And I’m thinking what is the point of em when most of the stuff is priced high. But I still go. The collector in me makes me go.

100 MILLION STREAMS

Daft Punk’s track “Get Lucky” by August 2013 had been streamed 104,233,480 times. Spotify generally pays 0.004 a stream to the rights holder. So by doing the math that comes to $416,933.92 in payments from Spotify to the rights holder.

How much of this money is distributed down to Daft Punk from Columbia Records is unknown?

For a song that was released in April 2013, it’s proven to be a pretty good earner.

And i was wondering when Metal and rock bands would cross that 100 million mark. Well by 2021, a lot of em have and in the case of Queen, they’ve even crossed the billion mark.

DREAM THEATER

I was re-reading a Kerrang interview that Derek Oliver conducted with Dream Theater back in 1989. It has the title; “PROG ROCK LIVES… RUN TO THE HILLS.”

It’s the same Derek Oliver that negotiated Dream Theater’s deal with Atco. It’s full of praise.

But it’s not 1989 anymore.

It was 2013.

Dream Theater was about to release their first self-titled album. Music is getting released left, right and centre. Independent DIY bands are competing against label funded bands.

Was Dream Theater still one of the most innovative bands in town?

VITO BRATTA

It’s 1991 and Vito Bratta is doing the rounds for the Mane Attraction album. And he was uncomfortable.

A few years before this is what Vito Bratta said in the June 1989 issue of Kerrang magazine.

“I hate recording. I can’t stand it. I cant stand the pressures of writing and recording a record. If they told me tomorrow that i was going to go out on tour for fives years, i’d say, fine, i love it. Playing every night is what i love.”

When Vito did the Eddie Trunk show in 2007, he had this to say about the expectations placed on them by the Record Label;

“So the record company’s saying we need another “Pride”.

I say, “Ok, so what exactly does that mean?”

The label goes, “we need the hit singles”

I go, “listen the songs we gave you, on “Pride” weren’t hit singles written purposely to be to be hit singles. They were just songs that became hit singles and they were just songs we wrote. Now you’ve got somebody telling you now, you have to purposely write a hit single.

Now how do you do that?

How do you purposely write a hit single, I mean there are people out there that do that…”

In a Guitar World interview from the June 1991, Brad Tolinski asked Vito if Mane Attraction was difficult to make.

“In a way it was. It was the first time I ever felt real pressure. When we recorded our first record, “Fight To Survive”, we were real naive and just happy to have a deal.

Our next record, “Pride”, was also very relaxed. It was written over a period of three years, so we had plenty of time to compose and experiment. “Pride” went double platinum, which was both good and bad.

When we went to record the follow-up, “Big Game”, everyone told us, “Don’t worry, whatever you write will sell a million.”

There wasn’t any real fire or hunger on that record. We were playing arenas, getting big checks in the mail, getting calls that we were going platinum, and so on.

On top of that, we had convinced ourselves that we had to write hit singles in order to maintain our popularity, and in the end “Big Game” was too contrived. It didn’t sell as well as “Pride”.

This is what Vito had to say on the Eddie Trunk show;

“Big Game” was a setback for the Label. It didn’t sell as many. We were doing a headlining tour of Europe by ourselves for the “Big Game” album and they (the Label) said, “wouldn’t it be great if we played at Wembley with Motley Crue and Skid Row?”

Skid Row went on and they were just killing the place. And Motley Crue had a great show and here we are sandwiched in between.

We realized, that night, on stage at Wembley that these songs from the “Big Game” album aren’t translating well in the live show.

So we all looked at each other on stage and said we need to throw in some of our better stuff in here. I was like what better stuff. We need to write more for who we are because these songs are not translating.

Then we went back to the States and we told the record label, no more tours on this album. We are going to do the album that we want to do. And they said well considering how the last album went, they said “go ahead”.

They gave us unlimited funds.

“Mane Attraction” was a half a million dollar record. They just said go and do everything that you want.”

And the album failed to connect with a large audience.

1986 vs 2013

And example of how the post flowed.

In 1986, Jon Bon Jovi was in debt to his record label and still living with his parents. Then the “band” Bon Jovi released their biggest seller, “Slippery When Wet”.

I’m 2013, Jon Bon Jovi was flush with money and the band Bon Jovi released their biggest dud, in “What About Now” and Richie Sambora was booted.

In 1986, Megadeth released “Peace Sells.. But Who’s Buying”, which in their case, everyone was buying.

In 2013, Megadeth released “Supercollider” and no one was buying.

In 1986, Queensryche released a superior album in “Rage For Order”.

In 2013, Queensryche became two seperate bands that ended up releasing two inferior albums in “Frequency Unknown” (Geoff Tate version) and “Queensryche” (Todd LaTorre version).

The fans are screaming for order.

In 1986, Vinnie Vincent invaded the charts, with a point to prove.

In 2013, Vinnie Vincent is.

COG – ARE YOU INTERESTED?

Databases store everything we do online. And one of my favorite acts Cog had a song about it many years ago.

Yes they’re making lists of people interested in this
And they’re scanning all their databases
Hunting terrorists
Yes they’re making lists of people interested in this
And anyone who speaks their mind is labelled anarchist

GOVERNMENTS SPYING

Our Government’s get caught red handed spying on it’s own citizens and artists needed to take a stand on this.

But no one did.

And that’s another wrap for another week.

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A to Z of Making It, Copyright, Music, My Stories, Piracy

The Week In Destroyer Of Harmony History – August 16 to August 22

4 Years Ago (2017)

NEW JERSEY

“New Jersey” from Bon Jovi was doing the rounds.

“Slippery When Wet” was written while Jovi and Sambora still lived at home and had a million dollar debt to the record label. The start of the “New Jersey” song writing process began as soon as the band came off a gigantic 18 month world tour with millions to their name.

A double album was demoed and rejected.

Desmond Child was brought in again and a few more songs got written. Other outside songwriters like Dianne Warren and Holly Knight also contributed. The double album then became a single album and months after the conclusion of the “Slippery” tour, Bon Jovi had a new album ready to release and another 18 month world tour on the cards.

In between the tour, Jon escaped to Vegas and got married.

Once the tour ended, Jon the went on a road trip, released a solo album for a movie and achieved even more success. Richie Sambora was left in limbo, picked up the pieces and also released a solo album.

While “Jersey” didn’t have the same sales success as “Slippery”, it is a solid album and the band earned its keep as one of the best live shows.

THE LABELS

Customers of music showed the recording industry what they wanted via Napster. When other services stepped in, music customers showed the labels what choice brings to the conversation.

Choice for fans to decide and make their own decisions and the power to demonstrate what they believe something should be worth.

But the labels ignored it.

It wasn’t until a hardware company created iTunes and then techies created streaming services that customers started to get what they want, digitally.

So are the the record labels and the publishers doing their best for artists in the long term or are they just focused on the short term profits?

Instead of following a path that leads to better standards/outcomes for artists in the long term they seek a litigious path that only benefits them in the short term.

The labels and artists should understand that there are fans who don’t pay for recorded music because they don’t believe they should, however these same fans have no problem coughing up $200 plus dollars for a concert ticket for a larger act and these same fans have no problems coughing up $20 to $70 for independent acts. It’s their choice how they choose to interact with music.

And then there are the fans who have large LP and CD collections, who don’t pay for music anymore, but still pay for concert tickets and what not.

And then there are fans like me who have large LP and CD collections and decided that streaming is the way forward. So I pay for a family account and I have no problems forking out cash for a concert ticket. And I still add to my physical collection when I feel like it and when I see it as worthwhile for my collection.

And then there are fans who have large LP and CD collections who have decided that purchasing physical is what they want to do.
And these fans also have no problem paying for a concert ticket.

The recording industry has never been more powerful. There’s all this crap about piracy, streaming rates and the techies taking over. But the techies make tools, not stories or music.

Life is a struggle for everyone, not just creators.

THE WAY OF THE WORLD

If you risk, you could lose. There’s no safety net in life. And we don’t hear from those who risked everything and failed and now have nothing. Hell, we don’t even know their names. Only the winners get their story told.

It’s a “winner-take-all” economy and we plod on, trying to make it. But we don’t know where to start, so we take all the roads on offer, only to get back to the start.

Making music is great, but making connections is better. It’s the way of the world today.

MONEY FROM THE OLD

Did you know that Book publishers make more than 90% of their profit from books they published years ago. And yet they put 2% of their effort into promoting and selling those books.

Would it be fair to say that 90% of the income that the record labels get comes from music that came out years ago compared to what is new.

The majority of music consumers don’t normally purchase creative content all the time but when they do, they buy what is popular.

It’s the reason why the “Black” album from Metallica still sells. It’s the reason why “IV” from Led Zeppelin still sells. It’s the reason why “No More Tears” still sells. It’s the reason why “Slippery When Wet” still sells.

However we are living in a different era, one controlled by consumers. And the new stuff released by artists is originally purchased by a smaller hard-core super fan group. Much like the 70’s. Then in time as word spreads, people will check out the release and keep it in the conversation. Much like the 70’s.

Recognition doesn’t come on day one or week one or month one or year one. It percolates year after year after year until it boils to the surface. Will you be around to capitalise and monetise?

HOW THE LABELS ROB CREATORS

YouTube tells the world that the service pays more in the U.S for Ad-Supported Streaming than other services like Spotify and Pandora.
The record labels via their lobby group RIAA disagree with YouTube’s math. 

But the record labels and the publishing/licensing companies are the first to get paid. And nowhere in this debate have these organisations mentioned what they get.

But there are thousands of news articles showing what the artists or the song writers get from YouTube streams in their bank account, but the artists are the last ones to be paid, once the labels and publishing companies take their cuts.

But whose robbing who.

8 Years Ago (2013)

TRIAL OF TEARS

“Trial of Tears” is from the “Falling Into Infinity” album released in 1997.

The album is a controversial subject for Dream Theater fans. Some say it is incredible, others say that it was a sell out and others say it’s crap. Mike Portnoy said he hated it, and that by releasing the Official Bootleg of the album on a Double CD format, he felt that he has corrected that hate and given the album its due justice.

If the other members agree with that statement is an entirely different matter.

“Trial of Tears” is a three movement song. John Myung owns this song. His groovy bass lines are all over it and for any aspiring bass player, this is a song that should be in your bible of bass songs to learn.

This song is not the heaviest Dream Theater song however it is one song that has heaps of melody around it. Words can’t describe the emotions this song stirs, so let your ears do the listening and give it the time of day.

LIFEHOUSE

Lifehouse just seems to hang around in my life. Maybe it is because my wife played the “No Name Face” album to death at home and in the car when it came out in 2000. While the lead-off single “Hanging By A Moment” had the traction, it was cuts like “Cling and Clatter”, “Quasimodo” and “Everything” that hooked me in.

“No Name Face” was the pinnacle. “Stanley Climbfall” and the self titled album didn’t even come close. I was starting to lose interest.

“Who We Are” in 2007 got my attention with the sorrowful “Storm”, the soul searching rock of “Disarray” and the Johnny Cash vibe of “Broken” .

Then in 2010, came “Smoke and Mirrors”. Tracks 1 to 8 are top notch. They should have stopped the album right there. It would have been perfection. “Almeria” has the song “Moveonday”, which reminds me of “When The Levee Breaks” from Led Zeppelin.

The rest however pales compared to “No Name Face” and “Smoke and Mirrors”. Crank em.

ZARA

I wrote a little story about what artists could learn from Rosalia Mera the co-founder of fashion giant Zara.

REALITY

Piracy can never be handled with a one size fits all business model.

Piracy is hard to be stopped however it can be competed against. Piracy is a service issue. Pure and simple.

The internet is just another disruptive service to the entertainment industries; like the time the VCR was going to destroy Hollywood. Instead the VCR opened up a whole new ownership and rental income stream for Hollywood. With all new technologies, the entertainment power brokers try to destroy it at first. When they realize that they are going to fail, it then becomes part of the new market. In 2012, recorded music had its first year of small growth. Since then it’s been growing.

And music-streaming services will reduce piracy.

And that’s another wrap for another week.

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

The Week In Destroyer Of Harmony History – August 9 to August 15

4 Years Ago (2017)

Thinking short term hurts us. Every leader thinks about the now and never about what’s around the bend. The majority of people in charge of corporations only care about the now.

What is our bottom line looking like?

There is no care about their environmental footprint or employee well-being.

Record labels are the same. They focus so much on first week sales and charts as they believe it brings in an instant payday, without understanding that the payday they are really earning is from music created 30 plus years ago and it just percolated, slowly rising to the top.

Have you heard of the record labels starting to employ artists as employees and offer them retirement plans?

Of course not. That’s long term thinking.

And while everyone kept complaining that Spotify doesn’t pay, they couldn’t explain how Warner accumulated $360 million dollars in streaming fees from em.

All of those artists who sold their rights to the labels and publishers are losing out in the long run but maybe winning in the short term.

I was writing about the 80s and listening to music those bands released in the early 90s.

And I didn’t see much dumbing down of lyrics in the way the writers of the time claimed. And that’s why grunge took over. Instead I saw better lyrics, more mature lyrics, lyrics that showcased highs and lows.

8 Years Ago (2013)

Music and movies just didn’t seem to last anymore.

So why would artists and film makers spend so much time on making one project every two to three years.

George Lucas once said that the $200 million movie is dead. But in 2013, a lot of blockbusters cost over $200 million and man didn’t they flop big time.

Movies like “R.I.P.D “ (a derivative version of Ghostbusters and Men In Black) and “The Lone Ranger” (a derivative version of The Lone Ranger TV show, National Treasure and Pirates of The Caribbean) came to mind.

For some reason, Hollywood still believes that they need a $200 million movie, meanwhile, the movies that did well in 2013 had lower budgets.

“The Conjuring” cost $20 million and when I wrote the article in 2013 it had made made $140 million and when I checked it today, it was at $319.5 million.

“The Heat” cost $43 million to make and in 2013 it had made $190 million and in 2021 it was at $229.9 million.

“Now You See Me” cost $75 million to make and in 2013 it had made $233 million and in 2021, the figures was at $351.7 million.

So is a $200 million budget movie really worth it or should those big budgets be used to make 5 lower budget movies.

So is social media a way to broadcast to people or connect with people?

And while I was critical of Dream Theater having a listening party with no fans, a few weeks later, they invited a select group of fans to experience the new album.

I was reading a lot about “The Pirate Bay” as it turned 10 years in 2013.

From its inception”TPB” is like a number one act, albeit a controversial act, always on top of the charts.

And it all happened via word of mouth in the same way we used to talk about artists and movies back in the day.

Or you can do like Lady Gaga, who would manipulate the mainstream media to write about her and get her loyal “monsters” to spread the word.

Are deluxe editions just overpriced boxes, offering the same thing over and over again for a higher price or offering something of value to a super fan that no one can get anywhere else?

The “Dream Theater” self-titled deluxe edition box set had the same album on a CD, a VINYL LP version and a FLAC version in a box and they charged over a $100 just to format shift the same music.

Meanwhile for half the price (at $55) Coheed and Cambria’s “The Afterman Limited Edition Deluxe Box Set Amory Award Edition” gives you the albums, the demos, a DVD making of, a VIP pass, a book of the story, and notes about the songs, plus a link to download the album and demos on mp3.

Back in the Eighties, the goal was to work in the music business for a record label while you dreamed of being a rock star. Fast forward thirty years and the goal is to work in technology as the new rock stars are the tech heads.

Artists don’t need a middle man to distribute their music, but artists are in love with the story of fame and wealth however they don’t understand that the aim of the game is to outlast the competition.

The “rock star myth” was a deliberate creation of the major labels. Wannabe musicians bought it hook, line and sinker, signing everything away to be the next star. And the Labels licked their lips at all the talent waiting to be exploited.

Stand Or Walk Away” is an underrated cut from “HellYeah”.

It’s got a “Kashmir” like groove I like. The head nods, the foot starts to tap and the fingers start to lay down the beat. There is a sense of classic rock familiarity that intrigues me and it is modern at the same time.

One last thing, when the future generations write the history of metal guitarists, talented players like Greg Tribbet will be forgotten. But he shouldn’t be.

Tribbet is a sum of his influences.

He can be progressive (Mudvayne’s 2nd album is the piece d resistance in progressive riffage), he can be heavy, he can be a guitar hero and he can be soulful, bluesy and even countrish. He is a great talent.

And since we are in the single music era, go and stream the crap out of this song. It will be worth your time.

And that’s another wrap for another week.

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