A to Z of Making It, Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Copyright, Music, My Stories, Piracy, Stupidity

Metallica – A Lot Has Changed Since 2008.

Seduced by fame
A moth into the flame

I have been listening to “Moth Into Flame” on Spotify daily. I must say it’s one of the their best songs written since we entered the 2000’s. The structure of the song, the brilliant intro, the lyrics, the barking verses and the melodic chorus all stand out.

Infamy
All for publicity
Destruction going viral

It could be about anyone in the entertainment business. Hell, it could be about Metallica’s Napster lawsuit.

For “Hardwired… To Self Destruct”, I like the lyrical message and the story behind the title more than the song in itself.

“Fifteen years ago, when you put out a record, there was a particular way that you did everything. Now it’s just whatever works for you. We’re in the process of putting a new record out this fall, and we’re just doing whatever we feel is right. There’s no particular way that it should be.”
Lars Ulrich – METALLICA

The last time Metallica released an album was in 2008. First week sales of “Death Magnetic” in the U.S market topped half a million units. But back then, streaming didn’t exist in the U.S market. It also didn’t exist in the major European and Asian markets. Now streaming makes up a large portion of the record label revenue however the price points are still debated. The customer has the option to purchase an album digitally, purchase the album on vinyl or CD, subscribe to a paid streaming service, subscribe to Spotify’s free tier or illegally download the album for free. Depending on the country you are in, the price points range from $0 USD to $10 USD.

As the Forbes article states, there is no alternative price in between even though research has shown that a $4.99 USD monthly subscription fee would convert the 60 million free tier streaming users into paid users.

What is better for the recording industry, 30 million users paying $9.99 USD a month or 90 million users paying $4.99 USD a month?

Do the math.

30 million paying users at $9.99 = $299,700,000

90 million paying users at $4.99 = $449,100,000

Metallica are masters of their own destiny, masters of their own recordings. For them, they do not have the high risk unknown that other labels have. They do not spend close to 20% of their revenue on artist development. They can negotiate their own streaming rate with Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon and Google. But they still do it the old way, taking time out to write and record 10 plus songs for a release. They will still judge this album on amount sold, instead of the amount streamed.

The article at Forbes, states what the record labels of the future would look like in six bullet points and one of the points is an artist-run record label.

Metallica own their masters. With the help of their management team, they have set up their own label. This gives the band negotiating power and it allows them to monetise their masters for the best price possible. Spotify has Metallica on it and it was on Metallica’s terms. You don’t hear Metallica complaining about the lack of money given to them by streaming services. Actually Kirk “I need a wah wah pedal for leads” Hammett might complain.

“Back in the day when Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning approached the music industry with a little baby they had called Napster, and the music industry refused to entertain any kind of deal with them on any level. Instead they open-sourced it to the world, and that changed the face of music. And so the industry’s reluctance to go with technology back in the day is something that we’re all, unfortunately, suffering from to this very day. Thankfully, the industry has seen the error of their ways, and they are embracing digital and technology on an unprecedented level, and we’re going through an adjustment period. It’ll take time.”
Dan Draiman – DISTURBED 

Instead of working with Napster, the recording industry got Lars Ulrich on board and went to war against the consumers of music. But in 2016, the recording industry is at another crossroad. It needs to decide on a price point for streaming that converts the 60 million plus free users into paid users. But the record labels want an increase in the current $9.99 price point. As far as the labels are concerned, it needs to be more.

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Music, My Stories

Thrash Metal Continued

Who wrote the first speed metal song?

Accept’s Wolf Hoffman believes it was Accept with the song “Fast As A Shark”. It came out in 1982, on their “Restless and Wild” album.

But wait a second didn’t Judas Priest release “Exciter” in 1978 on “Stained Class”. Also would the double bass drumming at the start of that song be considered an early precursor to the double bass drumming styles made famous by thrash music. However, in the Metal Evolution Thrash documentary, Lars Ulrich and Dave Lombardo comment that Motorhead’s “Overkill” was the first song that they heard that had that double bass drumming style that they liked. However the “Overkill” album came out in 1979. Maybe “Overkill” was the first song they heard, but it wasn’t the first song to feature double bass drumming.

Maybe the first speed metal song was Judas Priest’s “Let Us Prey” from the “Sin After Sin” album released in 1977. What about “Symptom Of The Universe” from Black Sabbath released in 1975 on the “Sabotage” album. It’s all down-picking and fast for that era. Maybe it came from a band that is not really a metal band. What about Queen’s “Stone Cold Crazy” that came out in 1974 on the “Sheer Heart Attack” album. Metallica did a pretty good job covering that song for the “Black” album b-sides. It sounds heavy, frantic and fast.

You see when people talk about a speed metal song the definition of what is a speed metal song is different between them. For me an uptempo and frantic song is a speed metal song. To others it could be my definition with the addition of operatic vocals. To others it would the previous definitions with the addition of technical playing.

Just say if you take out the metal and insert the rock. Would your answer be any different if the question was who wrote the first speed rock song?

I think Deep Purple and even Led Zeppelin would come into the mix right now. Hell, I would even go as far as to add Yes and Al Di Meola to that list.

The reason why I am stating the above is that I have an issue with the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal romanticism and how the story is told that it single-handedly influenced the musicians who would kick off the thrash movement. It’s a determinism viewpoint. Not for a second do I believe that the NWOBHM movement was the sole influence.

The Metal Evolution doco on thrash has some revisionist history based on which bands/people are on top of the heap at this point in time. In other words, popular. This is what Sam Dunn said in the doco about it;

“When people think of thrash they generally think of the Bay area but that’s not where it started. I’ve come to L.A. to meet with Brian Slagel head of Metal Blade Records to find out how he and Metallica’s Lars Ulrich helped kick-start thrash metal in this city.” 

You see metal was a cultural movement. It was the answer or outlet for lack of a better word to a lot of conservative governments and the rising gap between the middle class and the poor. Brain Slagel and Lars Ulrich were people in the movement like many others.

If you want to get into what kick started Metallica and thrash in the city then look no further than Ron Mc Govney (Metallica’s original bassist). We all know that the Metal Massacre compilation organised by Slagel was pivotal (as it was for Slayer on Metal  Massacre III) however what kick started Metallica was all the investment that came from McGovney.

Without Ron McGovney; Lars Ulrich, James Hetfield and Dave Mustaine would not have had a rehearsal space, nor a vehicle to transport the band to San Francisco nor the funds to make the trip.

If Ron McGovney was not in the band, Metallica would never have secured that opening spot for the Saxon L.A shows. That spot was secured because Ron McGovney had glam contacts due to his photography work with Motley Crue and Ratt. It was those glam contacts that gave him the Whiskey contact.

So while Hetflied and Mustaine wrote the songs and Lars was the business brains, all of that would have counted for nothing if no one was investing in them. While Metallica was based in L.A that investment came from Ron McGovney.

Once Ron McGovney was out, the next investment came from Jon Zazula who heard the “No Life Til Leather” demo. Jon Z and his wife Marsha would mortgage their house to form a record label and get that first Metallica album out the door. But how did that infamous demo ever get recorded by Metallica.

A punk label called High Velocity put up the money for Metallica to record an E.P.

Metallica went into an 8 track studio and recorded “Hit The Lights”, “Mechanix”, “Phantom Lord”, “Jump In The Fire”, “Motorbreath”, “Seek And Destroy” and “Metal Militia”. After hearing the tapes, the label realised that Metallica was not a punk band and they declined. Metallica took the tapes and the “No Life Til Leather” demo was born. It was Ron McGovney then that coughed up the $600 for the BAM ad to promote the demo.

Tape trading also played an important part in kick starting the thrash movement. Remember that whole “Home Taping Is Killing Music” campaign from the early Eighties. Does the below quote sound all to familiar today;

“With the rise in cassette recorder popularity, the BPI feared that the ability of private citizens to record music from the radio onto cassettes would cause a decline in record sales.”

You see the recording industry always went nuclear on any new technology. Then after years of lobbying and whinging they would realise that could make money from that technology and then they would remain silent.

To prove my point does anyone hear the major labels whinging about Spotify or streaming services?

In the end, the Thrash Metal movement was more than just the NWOBHM bands and the influence those bands had on U.S musicians. For any movement to flourish, society in general had to be in a state to accept it. There are reasons why metal took off in certain cities first and not others.

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A to Z of Making It, Copyright, Music, My Stories, Piracy, Stupidity, Treating Fans Like Shit

Seriously… Ray Luzier

Isn’t it time that the argument stops being about what has been lost to what can be gained when it comes to copyright infringement/piracy.

Seriously I am disappointed from artists in the metal and rock genres that talk shit like this. It started with Lars Ulrich and Napster. It continued with Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley talking crap. Scott Ian got in on the act. Yngwie Malmsteen and Joe Lynn Turner also had their views and now we have Ray Luzier.

Lets play a little game.

Who can name a song that Ray Luzier wrote? Does anyone know who Ray Luzier is?

I am pretty sure that no one can name one song that he has written of the top of their heads. So why is he given time to make uninformed comments.

He ripped on a fan of Army Of Anyone because he turned up with a burnt CD of the “Army Of Anyone” album and asked it to be signed. Any artists that equates a fan listening to their music as a lost sale should not be in the music business at all. So Ray starts to have a go at the fan because he didn’t have ten bucks to spend on a CD. He accused him of stealing it.

Does Ray even know the definition of stealing?

It means to take (the property of another) without right or permission.

Music is not property, however the CD that the music is on is property. So Ray is accusing a fan of stealing his CD. But wait a second, the kid turned up with a blank CD, that had music copied on it from a friend. It wasn’t Ray’s actual CD and the music on the burnt CD had not been stolen, because the “Army Of Anyone” catalogue is available for purchase and for streaming everywhere. It still could be available in brick and mortar shops (depending if they have old copies lying around because I can’t see many people clamouring to order it)

So what is it Ray.

Stealing or Copyright infringement. And I am sure that Ray Luzier was an angel who never ever got a copy of another bands music on a cassette tape. He must have had so much disposable income in the Eighties that he purchased the originals all the time.

But this is his best quote. “Someone’s gotta do something — put a chip in there where you can’t duplicate it. You know what I mean?!”

So at first he is having a bitch at people infringing on the music he is involved with and now he also wants is to punish the real fans that purchase the CD by not allowing them to media shift it to their mp3 player.

I think that Ray should read up a bit on the Sony BMG Rootkit scandal first. Sony tried to be that someone who tried to do something. What they did was that when a music disc was inserted into a computer, it installed software illegally (and in the background without the user knowing) that ended up creating vulnerabilities in the computer operating system which was then exploited by malware.

This attempt of DRM by Sony led to public outcry, government investigations and class-action lawsuits. DVD manufacturers also tried this and guess what happened. A kid in a bedroom created a program to circumvent the DRM on DVD’s.

Does Ray even know that Amazon has an AutoRip feature. So when a person buys a CD from Amazon, they get an AutoRip of it from download. Does Ray even know that all Pledge Music campaigns perks come with a digital copy of the album.

Seriously dude, I have the “KXM” CD because I am a George Lynch fan. I haven’t played it again after giving it around 20 plus spins. I have listened to the “Army Of Anyone” CD. I got a ripped copy as well from a friend who is a die-hard Stone Temple Pilots fan. It became a coffee coaster after the initial listen.

But Ray seems to fail to see that people still buy albums that they like, along with streaming albums that they like.

Five Finger Death Punch at the moment have combined sales of over 800,000 copies in the US of their “Wrong Side Of Heaven/Righteous Side Of Hell” releases. At the rate they are going, each album will be certified Gold in the U.S. All of their previous albums have been certified Gold in the U.S and again, they are still selling so expect them to pass Platinum in the years to come.

Shinedown, Avenged Sevenfold and Volbeat are bands that are also selling albums week in/week out.

All of the above bands have double-digit numbers on Spotify plus sold out shows at the box office.

So I think its time that the misinformed musicians stop ripping on their fans and start connecting with them. We are the ones that sustain you and if you choose to not be in music anymore because someone is downloading your music, then be gone because you are in the game for the wrong reasons.

Another will come and take your place that doesn’t think of money, because money was always a by-product of the music. It never was THE PRODUCT.

ONE FINAL NOTE: A local retailer in Australia called JB HI-FI is having a deal going on that is marketed as 3 for $10. I was in there on Friday to buy a Halo game for my kids and I thought I would spend 5 minutes to go through the various boxes to see if there was anything that I liked.

I found “Megadeth – Ruse In Peace Live” on Blu-Ray, “Megadeth – Countdown To Extinction Deluxe 20th Anniversary Boxed CD” ( I already own the 92 release CD along with the 2004 remastered/remixed edition bonus tracks edition, so this is the third time I have purchased this album) and a band that I have heard of in name only called “The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus” just so I could round out the $10 deal.

Today I went to another JB Hi-Fi store about 30 minutes away and they didn’t have those albums as part of their deal. And I was curious as to why. So I found them in the metal section and I took note of the prices.

MEGADETH – Rust In Peace (BluRay) was selling for $27.99

MEGADETH – Countdown To Extinction (20th Anniversary Edition) was selling for $28.99.

THE RED JUMPSUIT APPARATUS – Lonely Road was selling for $18.99

Now for the math. I picked up all three for $10 at one store, however 30 minutes away in another store if I wanted to pick up those three albums I would have had to pay $75.97.

ONE FINAL NOTE II: Today I picked up a “Rush Greatest Hits CD”, “Killers – Battleborn” and Guns N Roses – “Chinese Democracy.” The Gunners purchase was purely to add to the CD collection so that Gunners discography looks complete.

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

The Entrepreneurial Spirit

Look at any band that is successful and you will see a band member with an entrepreneurial spirit. There is always that person in the band that just has that extra drive. They would go ahead and start their own label as a way to get their music out there.

Some do it out of necessity.

Twisted Sister kept on getting rejected by all the labels so Jay Jay French went and formed their own independent label to release their early singles.

Metallica couldn’t get a record deal. Then came Jon Zazula, otherwise known as Jonny Z onto the scene. He ended up hearing the demo tape “No Life ‘Til Leather” which then led to him founding Megaforce Records so that he could release their work. However, Lars Ulrich was always on the lookout for a better deal and eventually that persistence would lead to a deal with Elektra Records. Jonny Z gave them their break however it was the entrepreneurial spirit from Lars Ulrich that took them to the stratosphere.

Motley Crue had a real estate agent called Alan Coffman. He helped finance the “Too Fast For Love” album and assisted them with obtaining gear and going out on the road. Then once Motley Crue got picked up by Elektra, Coffman ran off with their advance money which led to a song called “Bastard” on “Shout At The Devil”. The band  also had Vicki Hamilton on board, who managed to get their self-financed debut album into record stores through her position as music purchaser for a chain of record stores.

Throughout it all, it was Nikki Sixx who had the entrepreneurial spirit and when Allen Kovac came on board in 1994, Sixx was given a tie-breaking vote in collective decisions of the Operations that Kovac’s was setting up. All of these changes led Motley Crue to operate independently and by the late Nineties, they gained ownership of their masters and publishing rights back from Elektra.

Joan Jett had 23 labels pass on releasing her first solo album. Out of a need to get her music out, she founded Blackheart Records with producer Kenny Laguna. This was 34 years ago. By 2014, her label is now a force to be reckoned with, via its music, clothing and film divisions.

In 2014, NO artist can afford to sit back and expect someone else to make them a star. Read any story on successful artists and you will see just how extraordinary that person has to be to overcome the odds stacked against them. If you want a real day example, look no further than Pomplamoose.  Read the article about the financial realities of an independent band. And the take away;

“We, the creative class, are finding ways to make a living making music, drawing webcomics, writing articles, coding games, recording podcasts. Most people don’t know our names or faces. We are not on magazine covers at the grocery store. We are not rich, and we are not famous.

We are the mom and pop corner store version of “the dream.” If Lady Gaga is McDonald’s, we’re Betty’s Diner. And we’re open 24/7.

We have not “made it.” We’re making it.”

Write your own story and defy the dominant culture.

Pomplamoose is the definition of being in a band today. The faces might not be as recognizable as the bands of old, however that doesn’t mean that they are nobodies. They are writing their own story.

Motley Crue didn’t go on VH1 and throw trash at each other. They did that via “THE DIRT” which ended up launching their comeback in 2004.

And never give in to impulses.

Motley Crue could have licensed their music to the “Rock Of Ages” movie and made millions, but they didn’t.

Lars Ulrich rushed in with Napster without looking at events critically and analyse both sides. Metallica is a bigger band today because of piracy. Get the statisticians to explain how Metallica can play sold out shows in China without selling any music.

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

Everyone Is Trying To Twist The Narrative To Their Own Advantage.

So Desmond Child is telling the world that Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora and himself had to split a total of $110 in 2012 for the 6.5 million streams of Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” on Pandora during a three-month span in 2012. Pandora’s published rate is about .0013 cents per stream. So doing the math, that means that “Livin On A Prayer” actually earned $8,450 for that three-month spell on Pandora. If that is true, that means that the songwriters are getting about 1.3% of the monies paid to the record labels.

Daniel Ek claims that Spotify will pay $6 million to Taylor Swift from worldwide streams. Swift’s label, claims that is a lie and that they received less than $500,000 for the streams. However what the label is forgetting to say is that the amount is for US streams only.

And Spotify argues that it is competing with free/piracy, while the artists side argue about Spotify not paying enough. They are two different arguments that have no correlation with each other whatsoever. When are people going to realise that Spotify doesn’t sell music, it provides access to it. And consumers like it, otherwise Spotify wouldn’t be starting to overtake iTunes in some markets.

Rob Zombie once upon a time hated copyright infringement and now he reckons it makes him more creative as he doesn’t have to write songs that fit a sales metric.

Lars Ulrich is now reserved and diplomatic in his responses to music piracy or copyright infringement. Maybe it is because he knows that if it wasn’t for music piracy, Metallica wouldn’t be playing sold out shows in China or the Middle East and some South East Asian countries.

Scott Ian wanted the people who downloaded the “Worship Music” album to be disconnected from the internet, even though they could have been fans who ended up purchasing a concert ticket and an over-priced T-shirt.

Gene Simmons famously said that downloaders/fans should be sued and also have their houses taken from them. He said that rock is dead because of piracy. Yngwie Malmsteen, Paul Stanley, Joe Perry and others agreed with him. Many others didn’t.

Internet Radio station Sirius XM is going to lose its case over pre-1972 sound recordings by the band The Turtles. The shameful part here is that the recording industry fought hard against making pre-1972 recordings fought hard against this. The hypocrisy here is huge. While the recording industry has fought so hard against making pre-1972 sound recordings subject to federal copyright laws, now they suddenly want aspects of federal copyright law (like public performance rights which did not exist under previous laws) to apply to those very same works. If Congress made it so those works were under federal copyright, there wouldn’t be an issue and all these works would be treated identically. But the truth is that the RIAA wants to keep these works out of federal copyright law to use them as a weapon against internet innovation.

Sony is re-evaluating it’s support for free streaming, however as a part owner of Spotify, I find it hard to believe that they will pull their catalogue from the free-tier.

Everyone is trying to twist the narrative to their own advantage.

Everybody has an angle.

And what about the musicians.

The hardest challenge facing musicians is getting people to listen to their new music and then getting them to stick around once the album because those big marketing awareness campaigns are goneski. It’s proven that they don’t work if the music is shit and the narrative is shit.

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Music, My Stories, Stupidity

Metallica

Metallica never fully recovered from the Napster debacle and in the end what their actions did was bring about the “Anakin Skywalker Effect”. In Star Wars, Anakin Skywalker tried to stop Padme from dying and in the process ending up being responsible for her death, the death of many other Jedis, a fall to the dark side and the loss of human limbs.

In Metallica’s case by killing off one outlet (Napster) many more came to replace it, which brought in an era of unchecked piracy, until streaming services started to rein it all in. Seen the stats coming out of the UK recently. When people are given a legitimate and well-priced legal alternative they will always take it up. More people are streaming now in the UK than downloading mp3’s.

And the thing about Metallica is that Lars Ulrich thinks that what U2 did with Apple was a good thing. Is he serious? U2 will never recover from the backlash of their Apple giveaway. Like U2, Lars is more or less showing that he is the poster boy for aging out of touch rock stars.

Watch the documentary called “Global Metal” from Banger Films. There is a section there that focuses on the spread of metal music globally. Based on interviews with musicians and fans of the genre a link is made to piracy and peer-to-peer downloading.

So in a different scene, the interviewer Sam Dunn explains to Lars what he has heard from metal fans around the world that piracy gave them access to music they could never get their hands on. Sam then asks Lars how he feels about it. Lars thinks about his answer for a second and then replies that it is a good thing that fans are getting access to the music. And isn’t it funny how Lar’s said “WE” had some radical views at the point in time in relation to Napster, when the truth is it was Lars (along with some bad advice from management) that had the radical views.

Remember recently that Metallica played some sold out shows in China. I wonder how that came to be especially when Metallica music is not really purchased in the country.

The thing is this; if Metallica gets back to writing some quality and excellent tunes, they will be laughing all the way to retirement. Because back in the day, good used to be good enough. Today good equals awful. We all want what is excellent. Death Magnetic came out in 2008. It was a good comeback album. Now they need a great album to follow-up “Death Magnetic” and they are already late with that release. “Lords Of Summer” as a song is terrible however there are some quality riffs there that need to be developed into great songs.

Because in the end, a great media campaign can bring attention for a little bit however it cannot sustain if the music is terrible. U2 still believe that smoke and mirrors still works. Their team must believe that promotion is everything. Tim Cook believed it, however do you reckon he will work with U2 again in this fashion. Make the mistake once and learn from it. But Lars reckons that what U2 did was an amazing thing. Maybe for their bank accounts it was, but what about their audience.

The very essence of the internet is that only true excellence rises to the top. And that which rises and lasts usually has an innovative twist to it. Volbeat merged rockabilly, country and metal into a commercial pop song. Five Finger Death Punch merged the hard rock movement of the Eighties with Killswitch Engage. Coheed and Cambria introduced a whole new style of storytelling making each album a mass media event that involved novels, comics and music. When Metallica broke out they merged the NWOBHM scene with fast tempos and then with progressive time changes. When Rage Against The Machine broke out they merged rap with classic rock pentatonic riffs aided by Morello’s grasp of effects.

Metallica’s past history will gain them attention, but it won’t make them sustain anymore because it’s all about the product not the revenue. Metallica stayed out on the road for far too long for the sake of revenue. And our time is limited. That is the only thing we cannot buy or download. So everyone is fighting for attention and because there is constantly something new coming out, very little sustains. Can Metallica buck that trend? If they deliver excellence then the answer is yes, however based on Lars views on U2’s corporate deal the pendulum swings to NO. I will have a drink tonight hoping that James Hetfield will veto any stupid marketing plans that Lars has.

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

Tooth And Nail

The “Breaking the Chains” clip was all over MTV but no one was buying the album of the same name.

The band was doing an arena tour with Blue Oyster Cult and the label still wanted to drop them.

“Tooth and Nail” was Dokken’s last shot. The band recorded it and then they went back to their day jobs. Mick Brown and George Lynch went back to driving trucks while Don Dokken went back to buying, fixing and selling cars.

Then the album blew up.

Listening to “Tooth and Nail” today, thirty years since it was released, I can honestly say it holds up well. Everything that I loved about the album back then, I still like today.

Put aside the band politics and the legendary Lynch/Dokken wars. Just pay attention to the songs, especially the backs to the wall attitude that you can hear emanating from the speakers.

“Without Warning” kicks it off the one/two punch, with its ominius minor key build, before it breaks into the frantic “Tooth N Nail”. The song is written by Mick Brown, George Lynch and Jeff Pilson and it is a definitive piece of hard rock and heavy metal. To me , the song is up there in the same throne room as the work that Randy Rhoads did with Ozzy.

Desperate living, driving me mad
Writings on the wall
Crushed all our hopes and the dreams we once had
Just to watch them fall

What a lyric. It’s Dokken’s last chance. The hopes of a musical career was hanging in the balance. The writing was on the wall if they didn’t deliver and in desperation, quality comes. Dokken delivered a speed metal anthem to open up their do or die album.

And with the rise of the “Guitar Hero”, George Lynch really announced his presence, when he delivered a Randy Rhoads inspired lead break that is reminiscent to “Flying High Again”.

Also isn’t it funny how in 1984, the same theme resonated. It was always that “us versus them” attitude. The “We’re Not Gonna Take It” message of Twisted Sister. In this case, “Tooth and Nail” is a protest song against the record label that wanted to drop them.

“When Heaven Comes Down” is another Mick Brown, George Lynch and Jeff Pilson composition. This time they veer into heavy metal territory.

Ashes to ashes, sorrow and shame
Look at the future again
Angels in heaven walking the streets
Searching for someone to blame

Again, when you don’t have the pressure to write to a formula and when you throw everything against the wind, you end up with something great. In this case the subject matter is darker. It is not the usual sex, drugs and rock’n’roll.

“Into the Fire” is a Don Dokken, George Lynch and Jeff Pilson composition and this is more in line with the LA Glam sound hence the reason why it became a single.

“Alone Again” is a Don Dokken and Jeff Pilson composition and for a power ballad it is wicked. How good is that solo section? It is a song within a song lead break.

“Turn On the Action” is another speed metal song by the Mick Brown, George Lynch and Jeff Pilson composition.

“Tooth And Nail” was released at the right time of the hard rock movement and within 12 months it was certified GOLD for sales in the U.S. It paved the way for Dokken to become a household name.

By 1988, Dokken was at that next level of success. They were doing arena’s and selling them out but they imploded. It was selfish. After reading a lot of band biographies, it became clear that keeping bands together is a difficult job.

James Hetfield wanted to bring in a new singer. Then he wanted Lars Ulrich out. But nothing happened and Metallica remained in tact to go on to become the worlds biggest band. That wasn’t the case for Dokken. They splintered and never recovered.

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