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

The Record Vault: Dream Theater – Live At The Marquee

The whole “Images and Words” album was a surprise success as it was released in a market that was very anti-technical. But “Pull Me Under” was not technical at all. It was actually pretty simple, with riffs that could have come from a Metallica or Maiden album.

So when an act is successful, the label is keen to capitalise on more sales. The best way to do that between studio albums is to release a live album.

Enter “Live At The Marquee”, released in 1993, on the back of the failure of the “Another Day” single. The music video for “Another Day” was totally ignored by MTV and never played on the music network.

There would also be a live video release of this period called “Live In Tokyo” from this tour. But that release would be covered a bit later.

In case people are not aware, The Marquee Club is a small venue in London. It’s a rite of passage for a lot of artists to play at The Marquee.

The band is the same as the “Images and Words” album with James LaBrie – vocals, Kevin Moore – keyboards, John Myung – bass, John Petrucci – guitars and Mike Portnoy – drums.

In relation to how live it is. All the music is live as captured on the night and most of James LaBrie’s vocals were actually re-recorded in a studio. In the book “Lifting Shadows”, Portnoy jokingly said the album should have been called “Dream Theater Live At The Marquee But With James LaBrie Live At Bear Tracks”.

The actual set list as found on Mike Portnoy’s concert database is as follows;

  • Metropolis Part I (released on “Live At The Marquee”)
  • A Fortune in Lies (released on “Live At The Marquee”)
  • Under a Glass Moon (not released)
  • Surrounded (released on “Live At The Marquee”)
  • Ytsejam (w/ Drum Solo) (not released)
  • Bombay Vindaloo (released on “Live At The Marquee”)
  • Another Day (only released in Japan, replacing “Surrounded”)
  • Another Hand (released on “Live At The Marquee”)
  • The Killing Hand (released on “Live At The Marquee”)
  • Pull Me Under (released on “Live At The Marquee”)
  • Take the Time (not released)
  • Wait for Sleep (not released)
  • Learning to Live (not released)

Metropolis—Part I: “The Miracle and the Sleeper”

The show opened with this and the CD release also did. The abilities of Petrucci, Portnoy, Myung and Moore are evident here.

The comments I read on a YouTube video of this song all mention the vocal performance of James LaBrie on this track. And it is a great vocal performance, regardless if it was recut in a studio.

A Fortune in Lies

I heard James LaBrie singing the debut album songs before I heard Charlie Dominici. Sort of like how I heard Bruce Dickinson sing the Paul DiAnno songs first.

The production sound of this song is a lot better live than what was captured in the studio. Especially the machine gun snare section before the solo break and then Petrucci nails his lead which has fast tapping, sweep picking, alternate picked lines and legato playing.

Bombay Vindaloo

Named after a vicious curry that played havoc with the band. It’s an improvised instrumental performed live only six times and never recorded in a studio. They really set the mood of India here with the use of exotic scales to highlight the themes of the song.

I’ve read reviews that mention “La Villa Strangiato” as an influence.

Petrucci again shines with his emotive leads as he builds and builds on em, very Al DiMeola like. It’s rare tracks like these, that make these kind of EP’s special.

Surrounded

The best part of this song is Petrucci’s digital delay lead, however the effect wasn’t as prominent live as it was on the studio cut. And for some reason it sounded very Van Halen’ish this time around.

If you are a fan of Marillion, then you will like this.

Another Hand / The Killing Hand

The newly written major key intro titled “Another Hand” that bridges “Another Day” with “The Killing Hand” is beautiful. Press play just for that.

And LaBrie delivers a great vocal on this. And yes, I don’t care if it was recut in the studio.

Pull Me Under

Could there be a Dream Theater set list without “Pull Me Under”?

Of course not. It’s their title winning MVP.

I have seen Dream Theater perform live on a few occasions in Sydney and they are excellent.

This release captures all of that.

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

1976 – Part 4.7: Lynyrd Skynyrd – One More For The Road

It was my first purchase.

Steve Gaines joined, making it a three guitar team again, with Allen Collins and Gary Rossington. Ronnie Van Zant is on Vocals, Leon Wilkeson on Bass, Artimus Pyle on Drums and Billy Powell on Keyboards. Sam McPherson is on harmonica. JoJo Billingsley, Cassie Gaines and Leslie Hawkins are the backing vocalists.

“One More from The Road” is a live album compiled from a few shows.

It’s also the only live album from the classic era of 1970 to 1977. And an essential album to own.

Workin’ for MCA

Written by Ed King and Ronnie Van Zant which more or less sum up the crap record deal they had with the label.

Slickers steal my money since I was seventeen
If it ain’t no pencil pusher, then there’s got to be a honky tonk queen
Well I signed my contract, baby, now I want you people to know
Every penny that I make, I wanna see where my money goes

The creative accounting from the labels. What they give you, they get back tenfold. Bon Scott comes to mind when he sang, “getting ripped off”.

I want you to sign the contract
Want you to sign the date
Gonna give you lots of money
Workin’ for MCA

I Ain’t the One

Written by Gary Rossington and Ronnie Van Zant about a love affair between a whiskey swilling brawler and Daddy’s rich girl.

Saturday Night Special

Written by Ed King and Ronnie Van Zant.

How can you not like the intro and verse riffs?

Press play and enjoy.

Searching

My favourite song from the “Gimme Back My Bullets” album and written by Allen Collins and Ronnie Van Zant. The tempo is slightly increased and this version is my definitive version.

Travelin’ Man

Written by Ronnie Van Zant and Leon Wilkeson.

The intro bass riff from Leon Wilkeson gets me interested straight away.

Simple Man

A classic written by Gary Rossington and Ronnie Van Zant. Also check out Shinedown’s cover in the 2000’s. Brent Smith delivers a stellar vocal.

Press play on this to hear the harmony lead breaks.

Whiskey Rock-a-Roller

Great song title, written by Ed King, Billy Powell and Ronnie Van Zant.

It was a rite of passage to consume whiskey and listening to rock and roll. The song is about hitting the road to the rock and roll show.

The Needle and the Spoon

Written by Allen Collins and Ronnie Van Zant.

I like the intro on this. And the verse riff that comes in is a cross between “Searching” and “Sweet Home Alabama”.

Gimme Back My Bullets

Written by Gary Rossington and Ronnie Van Zant.

How good is that intro riff?

Its heavy and full of groove.

Tuesday’s Gone

Written by Allen Collins and Ronnie Van Zant and man didn’t Zakk Wylde take a lot of licks from this. As soon as I heard it, I thought of “Road To Nowhere” and a few songs from the Pride and Glory album.

A classic. The leads alone hook me in.

Gimme Three Steps

Written by Allen Collins and Ronnie Van Zant, it’s a 12 bar blues with a bit of country rock thrown in.

Call Me the Breeze

Written by J.J. Cale. Everyone was covering Cale around this period. Simple 12 bar blues rock and roll and they blew another amp in the process.

T for Texas

Written by Jimmie Rodgers and the “new fella” Stevie Gaines was introduced. And it’s more soloing over 12 bar blues chord progressions.

Sweet Home Alabama

The hit, written by Ed King, Gary Rossington and Ronnie Van Zant. Inspired by Neil Young’s song “Southern Man” which was seen as a diss to the south. This didn’t impress Ronnie Van Zant and he meant every word when he sang, “well I hope Mr Young can remember, a Southern Man don’t need him around”.

And during the performance, Van Zant, interjects over the solo, “there are plenty of good people in the South, so make sure you tell Mr Young about it”.

Crossroads

A Robert Johnson cover that Eric Clapton has made his own, but Lynyrd Skynyrd also deliver a pretty mean version full of energy and power.

Free Bird

The big closer written by Allen Collins and Ronnie Van Zant. At almost 12 minutes long, it’s not for the faint hearted. The guitar interplay in the massive outro solo section is worth the price of admission.

For a first purchase I became an instant fan of the band.

And they reformed during this late 80s early 90s period so when I was getting into their old stuff, I had new content to listen to as well.

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

1976 – Part 4.1: Peter Frampton – Frampton Comes Alive!

Its listed as one of the definitive live albums ever.

“Frampton Comes Alive!” was released in 1976. It’s weird how his trajectory is so similar to Kiss. Following four solo albums with little commercial success, “Frampton Comes Alive!” was a breakthrough for Frampton, the same way “Alive” was for Kiss.

The album is mostly live except for the first verse of “Something’s Happening”, the rhythm electric guitar on “Show Me the Way” and the intro piano on “I Wanna Go to the Sun”. These were fixed in the studio.

In a genius marketing move, the double album was released in the US with a reduced list price of $7.98, only $1.00 more than the standard $6.98 of most single-disc albums in 1976.

And the band is on fire.

Peter Frampton is on Vocals, Lead guitar, but Bob Mayo fills up a lot of the space with his Rhythm Guitar work, plus he plays the Piano and Hammond Organ. Stanley Sheldon on Bass Guitar and John Siomos on Drums provide a solid foundation.

There is crowd noise, fake or real, I’m not sure and the GM of Winterland, Jerry Pompili starts off the concert with the words “If there was ever a musician who was an honorary member of San Francisco society, Mr. Peter Frampton”

Somethings Happening

The blues rock groove is clichéd and heard in many different songs, but it’s always cool to hear it.

This track and the next are from the “Something’s Happening” album released in 1974.

Doobie Wah

It follows on from the blues rock groove from the opening song. And with Doobie in the title, it does sound like Doobie Brothers.

Show Me The Way

From the “Frampton” album released in 1975.

When people talk about talk-boxes, this is the song that was listed as the definitive talk-box song, until an Italian American called Richie Sambora changed the game with “Livin On A Prayer”.

Musically, its excellent, a strummed guitar progression, a hooky vocal melody and that talk-box melodic lead.

It’s a Plain Shame

A blues rock dirge from the “Wind of Change” album released in 1972.

At this point in the set, it sounds okay and fresh.

All I Want to Be (Is by Your Side)

The album goes into ballad rock territory for the next three songs. This one is from the album “Wind of Change” released in 1972.

Wind of Change

An acoustic folk rock song.

Baby, I Love Your Way

From the “Frampton” album released in 1975.

It’s a song that I’ve heard on radio and TV commercials and movies and when I heard it here, I was like, ahhh, it’s from Frampton.

The song flopped when it was released in 1975, but it took on a new life when it was released as a single from this live album a year later.

I Wanna Go to the Sun

From the “Somethin’s Happening” album released in 1974, it could have come from any Southern Rock album released at the time. And Frampton is wailing away throughout the song in various solo spotlight moments.

Penny for Your Thoughts

The shortest track here at 1:23 and along with the next track are from the “Frampton” album released in 1975. It’s one of those major key finger picked campfire tunes. It doesn’t sound like “Albatross” from Fleetwood Mac, however it has this feel.

(I’ll Give You) Money

From the album “Frampton”, released in 1975 and its back to the hard blues rock.

I dig the “Stormbringer” and “Mississippi Queen” feel in the song. And 80’s Y&T comes to mind when I listen to this.

Check it out.

Shine On

From the “Rock On” album released in 1971. The blues rock dirge is sounding too much same/same.

Jumpin’ Jack Flash

A Rolling Stones cover which was released on “Wind of Change” from 1972 and given the 7 minute live treatment here. .

Lines on My Face

From the “Frampton’s Camel” album released in 1973. The fingerpicked clean tone intro hooks me. It’s very Eagles like when they played Folk Rock.

Do You Feel Like We Do

From “Frampton’s Camel” album released in 1973. The 14 minute closer of the album.

The intro riff will grab ya straight away. It’s Santana like, its bluesy and its rocking. But that whole section in the middle is unnecessary.

In Australia it charted to the top spot and was certified 3x Platinum. In the U.S, it also went to Number 1 and is certified 8x Platinum.

There is a theory that this album became so big in 1976, because the year was insignificant when it came to rock music and most of the artists who had fame prior to 76 had either stalled their careers with drugs or breakups or if they were still together they were running on fumes.

And Frampton never captured this glory again and the subsequent albums didn’t do anything great either.

It’s because his face and looks got more time than his guitar skills. Suddenly, his audience was more female than male and his musical credibility was questioned. All of those years honing his guitar chops and song writing abilities were ignored by a vicious press who saw him as a disposable teenage idol.

And while this was happening, he was hooked on morphine and his manager was ripping him off, leaving him bankrupt, along with a terrible decision to star in a film version of “Sgt Pepper” and to pose a certain way for the album cover of the follow up, “I’m In You”.

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

A Small Amount of Too Much with Dream Theater, Bon Jovi and Metallica

“A small amount of too much spoils the whole thing.”

Ever had a feeling when you are at a gig, hearing the songs you like, enjoying the moment and then you just don’t want to hear anymore, you are looking at your watch, thinking that you should leave to go home. That is the quirky relationship between the rock n roll show and its fans. Depending on the band, sometimes 90 minutes is enough and 2 hours is too much.

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 just 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. Put that down to the two things, hitting the same market too quickly and the flow of the set list.

The 2009 show took place almost 12 months since the 2008 show. Remember the quote, a small amount of too much spoils the whole thing. I remember them doing Solitary Shell with extended solos. It is not the strongest song in the Dream Theater catalogue, so what happens when you take a song that isn’t your best and make it longer? You get a yawn fest, a toilet break or a beer/smoke break.

Jon Bon Jovi has a big X on his name for treating Bon Jovi fans to a Kings of Suburbia beach party. A 2 hour show, where 1 hour was spent playing cover songs. Nice one. It’s obvious that Jon Bon Jovi didn’t get the memo. The fans want Richie Sambora back and they want him back now. Otherwise, change the name of the concert experience to Jon Bon Jovi and the Kings of Suburbia. Another point to note, a lot of the Bon Jovi memorabilia has the image of Jon Bon Jovi only. Sure, the band is called Bon Jovi, however as far as I am aware it still is a band. So where are the other members of the band on the memorabilia.

Richie Sambora was the person that Jon Bon Jovi could count on, regardless of what Jon says in the media. Richie was the one who was always there when Jon decided he wanted to be a rock star again. Richie always took a step back when Jon wanted to be a sitcom star or a movie star. Richie was the one that delivered a signature riff or a signature song, because the fact is Jon Bon Jovi cant.

FACT: it was Richie Sambora that wrote the majority of the music on Livin On A Prayer, and he was the one that went into bat for the song, when Jon wanted it off the album.

Go on YouTube and give Richie’s new song a listen. It’s called Come Back As Me. Who do you think Richie is referencing, when he sings, “What do you want me to say, I gave you everything I could give, but everything just wasn’t enough, so I just let live and live”. This is the kind of music an artist creates when they are not thinking about how many copies the song will sell. It is honest and heartfelt. Immediately, it makes a connection.

The song is a hundred times better than the songs that came out on What About Now. Since Richie only has five song writing credits on this album, you might as well call What About Now a Jon Bon Jovi solo album. Billy Falcon and John Shanks wrote the majority of the songs with Jon Bon Jovi.

Remember a small amount of too much spoils the whole thing.

Do we need a live album from Metallica of songs? They can call it a soundtrack or whatever they like. It’s still a live album. Remember that they released four DVD packages of Live Concerts during the Death Magnetic tour, as well as the Six Feet Down Under EP’s plus all the stuff they release on Live Metallica.

Do we need a Man Of Steel sequel that is going to include Batman? What a stupid decision. The thought of having Superman and Batman in the same movie is ridiculous to me. What the hell can Batman offer over Superman? Superman is the super man whereas Batman is just a bloke with gadgets.

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