Society today is all about multi-tasking. We take on so much stuff it’s not funny. We have nine to five jobs, some have night jobs, some are studying as well, raising families, trying to kick-start a music career or blogging. In all of that commotion, we still try to find time to listen to music.
Lately I have been over dosing on a few recent albums. My drive home from work normally consists of the following songs;
“Shepherd Of Fire” – Avenged Sevenfold
“Lift Me Up” – Five Finger Death Punch
“Mist” – Protest The Hero
“Live In Love” – Times of Grace
“Fallen” – Volbeat
“Bulletproof” – Evans Blue
“Be Still and Know” – Machine Head
It is a perfect set list, timed to finish as soon as I drive into my driveway. It got me thinking about the progress is derivative effect.
So by looking at the above playlist, all of the above songs can be traced back to other songs. Here are some examples;
“Shepherd Of Fire” – the influence of Megadeth’s “Trust” and Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” are unmistakable. Of course “Enter Sandman” had its main riff come from a band called Excel and a 1989 song called “Tapping Into The Emotional Void.” Megadeth’s “Trust” intro was also inspired by the Pittsburgh Penguins’ entrance theme “The Boys of Winter.”
“Lift Me Up” – the vocal melody influence from “The Ultimate Sin” is very similar.
“Be Still and Know” – has the Iron Maiden “Wasted Years” vibe at the start
“Fallen” – has a Chorus very similar to Lifehouse’s “Out Of Breath.”
However the post is not about the songs I listen too on my way home. It is about the songs I listened to at work today. That is where Bad Company enters the equation.
I always talk about progress being derivative and that is what the Seventies became to be. I think it is safe to say that decade was the “Derivative” decade. So many similarities in songs, yet still unique enough to be different. Bad Company was one such band.
“Ready For Love” is probably the best known “cover” song from Bad Company. What a lot of people don’t know is that Mick Ralphs was in a certain band called Mott The Hoople, and his composition was released in 1972 on the “All The Young Dudes” album. Of course, all the kudos went to the David Bowie composition. However a great song is a great song and Mick Ralphs resurrected it with Bad Company in 1974 and the song finally got the attention it deserved.
This was a common theme for the Sixties and the Seventies with a lot of artists resurrecting great songs from just a few years before that went unnoticed.
Even in the Eighties, Whitesnake became famous in the U.S on the back of the “Here I Go Again” 1987 version. The original song was released in 1982 on the “Saints and Sinners” album.
The song “Bad Company” is sleazy and swampy. Five Finger Death Punch did a good take on it, however the original has that X factor. Maybe because in most cases the bands of the seventies played it live in the studio, before multi tracking became the norm. Talk to any Joni Mitchell fans and they will tell you that “Bad Company” released in 1974 is a derivative version of Joni’s “Woodstock” released in 1970,
“Seagull” is a band that is writing what they want to write and not what people or record labels expect them to write. That is a big difference with artists these days especially once they attain some success. They are showing their folk roots in this song, something that the Eighties will turn into a power ballad. “Seagull” is one of those songs that deserved hit status, however it was never promoted as a hit.
“Feel Like Makin Love” is one of those classics. It was a product of its time. It was released in 1975 on the “Straight Shooter” album. Talk to any fans of The Who and they will tell you that the song’s main riff is a derivative version from the song “Sparks” that was released on the “Tommy” album in 1969.
“Shooting Star” was released in 1975, however Van Morrison fans could swear that it was a cover of a song called “And It Stoned Me” from 1970.
What about “Run With The Pack” and the symphony strings towards the end. What happened to just jamming a song to the end in todays’ market? You have songs that need to end at 3.30 minutes, otherwise that old institution called Radio won’t play it. Funny thing is, does anyone listen to the radio. In relation to hard rock music what is the point. It’s non-existent unless it’s the song is short enough to fit the format or edited to death.
The last time I heard the radio was over 10 years ago and I still remember that they played “Sweet Child O Mine” from Guns N Roses, by shortening the intro and all the lead breaks. Basically they turned a 5 minute plus song into a 3 minute song. Then they played “November Rain” as part of a back to back promotion and the editing was disgusting.
The thing with Bad Company is that by the time the Eighties rolled around, they had fallen into the same circle as all of the other bands, chasing the big pot of gold by delivering music in the style that was selling at the time. Just because it worked for one band it didn’t mean that it would work for every band.
One last thing, for the thousandth time, “A Day In My Life” from the new Five Finger Death Punch album is a great song.