Music, My Stories, Piracy, Stupidity, Treating Fans Like Shit

Blabbermouth reports on another Blabbermouth – The Yngwie Malmsteen Streisand Effect

Wow. Where should I start with this. First of all, Blabbermouth does a poor job of conveying the tone of the whole interview that took place on the Classic Rock Revisited Website. By pulling out the questions that relate to piracy, Blabbermouth knew that they would get a reaction. All Blabbermouth cares about is the page views. As long as the page views are ticking over in the thousands, they can keep selling advertisements.

By 1992, Yngwie Malmsteen was riding high after five well received albums on the smaller Polydor label. He was ready to release his sixth studio album called “Fire and Ice”, which was his first release on a new major label deal with Elektra Records. The 1988 “Odyssey” album with Joe Lynn Turner on vocals is the album that got Elektra interested. However by 1989, Joe Lynn Turner was not the vocalist. Still Elektra took a punt on him after the album “Eclipse” did reasonably well in 1990, with a new band and a new singer.

The “Odyssey” album was a success because all the lyrics were written by Joe Lynn Turner, while all the music was written by Yngwie Malmsteen. Turner knew how to write in a pop format and that made Yngwie crossover. “Odyssey” was also produced by Yngwie Malmsteen, Jeff Glixman and Jim Lewis. On “Fire and Ice”, all the music and lyrics are written by Yngwie Malmsteen. The album is also produced by Yngwie Malmsteen. So when the album failed to make any impact, guess what happened to Yngwie?

By 1994, Malmsteen was releasing his seventh album “The Seventh Sign” on a British Independent label called Music For Nations. Music for Nations started signing all the Eighties bands that the major labels discarded. He had no distribution in the U.S., while Music for Nations distributed the album in Europe and Pony Canyon distributed the album in Japan. If any other Malmsteen fans wanted to buy the album in Australia or the US/Canada, they had to purchase it as an import, which meant double the price of what it would normally retail for. Nice way to treat the fans.

Fast forward to 2013. There are 12 questions asked before the piracy question that Blabbermouth leads off with. To sum up, the 12 questions relate to the release of Malmsteen’s autobiography, why Malmsteen wrote it himself instead of using a ghost writer and his love for his family, Paganini and guitar playing in general. So we come up to the question that Blabbermouth leads off with.

Classic Rock Revisited: Do you ever get caught up in thinking about commercial appeal of what you’re writing or composing?
Yngwie: I did at one point, when that actually existed. The radio format doesn’t exist, the singles don’t exist. The record label doesn’t exist. The record stores don’t exist. That whole entire thing is gone.

Everyone is entitled to an opinion. Malmsteen has put his out there. Malmsteen knew exactly that what he would say in relation to piracy would get a reaction. As an artist, he has products to promote that no one really cares about in 2013 except for his core audience. He is hoping that the “Streisand Effect” will work for him as well.

Look at what it has done for Lady Gaga. Seriously, if people reckon she got hacked and a snippet of her new song was the only thing that was taken, then those people need to get checked out for some sort of denial illness. It was all orchestrated to bring attention to the single. It was all orchestrated to engage her fan base in finding the offending snippets and to report the websites. It was all orchestrated so that all the media outlets can pick up the story and report on it. The same thing is happening with Yngwie Malmsteen’s comments. Blabbermouth has run with it, I am pretty sure, Noisecreep, Ultimate Guitar, Ultimate Classic Rock, Loudwire and a thousand other blogs like me will run with it.

In relation to Yngwie’s comments, the terrestrial radio format that Yngwie alludes to, ceased to be relevant for metal music when Yngwie was still at his peak in the Eighties. No radio station played Yngwie after the “Odyssey” album with Joe Lynn Turner on vocals. As soon as Radio stations became beholden to the advertisers and needed to make profits for shareholders, metal music was taken out of the playlist.

The single format comments are totally wrong. It is the “single” that is killing the album format. Fans are now able to pick and choose what songs they want to listen to. Even Nikki Sixx has asked fans to stop buying single songs and to invest in the whole album experience. In relation to the record label comments, the record label does exist, albeit in a much different way. The record labels have no one to blame except themselves for the state they are in.

The record stores don’t exist on a large scale because the days of selling plastic for almost thirty dollars are long gone. The public got burnt on this rip off. Fans of bands didn’t wake up in the morning thinking “I need to go to a record store to buy a record”. We woke up thinking, I want to hear this song. The only way to hear the song that we were thinking about was to buy a piece of plastic that had the song on it. So when the history of music is at your fingertips, why would you make the trip to a record store.

I stopped buying Malmsteen CD’s around 1994, when they started to become import CD’s. I wasn’t that keen on spending $50 plus. In 2003, all of his Nineties output came out on SPV in a remastered format, and the pricing was $30. Within 4 weeks, the prices dropped to $3 for $10 and I purchased the music then.

http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/yngwie-malmsteen-the-music-industry-died-because-of-the-piracy/

http://classicrockrevisited.com/show_interview.php?id=995

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Music

Saraya – Love Has Taken It’s Toll and Runnin Out Of Time

The band was formed in New Jersey, by Sandi Saraya and keyboard player Gregg Munier.  One of the first names they had was Alsace Lorraine.  They then travelled to LA to make it.  They didn’t make it and returned home broke, ready to start over again.  In interviews from 1989, Saraya has stated that the other members didn’t have the same commitment.  This always leads to tensions.   So the band dissolves and the nucleus of Saraya and Munier start again.  They keep on writing new songs.  Then songwriting great Sandy Linzer came into the picture.

Linzer assisted the band in obtaining management with David Sonenberg.  Sonenberg then organised an audition for Saraya and Munier, with Polygram Records.  The rest is history.  Saraya and Munier secured a record deal.

Throughout all of this Linzer was still in the picture, assisting Saraya and Munier in fine tuning the songs they had been writing.

Guitarist Tony Bruno Rey joined during this period, bringing along with him his other Swift Kick band mates, bassist Gary Taylor and drummer Chuck Bonfante.

Songwriting for the album took over a year.  Before Saraya signed with Polygram, she turned down another major label deal, because the label said to her, that all she needs to do is wear a skirt and they will find the songs for her.

The first album was released in 1989.  It was produced by Jeff Glixman.

I actually made the decision to purchase the album because I saw Glixman as the producer.  He had produced albums that I liked a lot, like Leftoverture and Point of Know Return from Kansas, Corridors of Power and Victims Of the Future by Gary Moore, The Eternal Idol by Black Sabbath and the classic Odyssey from Yngwie Malmsteen featuring the talented Joe Lynn Turner on vocals.  So to me it was a no brainer, Jeff was the man.  I wasn’t disappointed.  Production was world-class.

Love Has Taken It’s Toll was the lead single, and it is the opposite of what Timeless Love is.  It’s a classic rocker.  The song is written by Sandi Saraya, Tony Bruno Rey and Sandy Linzer.  The vocal track you hear from Sandi, is the dummy vocal that she recorded as a guide for the rest of the band.  She did it so good, it was decided that it should be used as the final cut.

I remember reading in an interview, that one of her influences was Glenn Hughes and that he never got the attention he deserved.  Fast forward 24 years, and it is the same for Sandi Saraya, she never got the attention she deserved.  She had impeccable timing, a bluesy swagger and sex appeal to match the vocals.

Runnin Out Of Time has that Ritchie Blackmore feel, sort of like Speed King, Highway Star and Death Alley Driver from Deep Purple and Rainbow all merged into one.  It’s written by Sandy Linzer, Gregg Munier and Sandi Saraya.  The lead break by Rey is a song within a song composition.  The guitar work is unbelievable and the Saraya is pushing her voice to the limit.  It feels like it’s she’s going to blow her voice at any minute.  This is my favourite track on the album.  It was exactly what I was into at that time.   Sandi said that one of her favourite instruments is a Charvel Jackson RR Flying V.  I am assuming that she wrote quite a few riffs for the album.  

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