A to Z of Making It, Music, My Stories

Interesting Times

Interesting times we are living through. We have gotten so used to everything just happening. Flick on a switch and the light comes on instantly. It doesn’t matter where you go, you are connected to the internet and to all of the good and bad things that comes with it. Book a holiday and it happens.

But now, everything is getting cancelled or postponed.

Machine Head just cancelled their European tour, so did Sons Of Apollo a week earlier. Festivals are cancelled. NBA cancelled its season, football leagues in Europe and the US have either suspended their leagues or cancelled their leagues or are having matches/events go ahead behind closed doors.

Goes to show how much dollars the TV rights are.

In Australia, the Formula 1 Grand Prix was on with an audience, then it was on with no audience and now it is off, when McLaren pulled out because they had members in their team with Coronavirus.

Holidays have been cancelled, my Euro trip in April has been postponed to sometime in September, whatever that means and countries have shut down people movements and from all of this, there is no toilet paper in Australia but plenty of alcohol to buy.

And this will be a hard time for artists who make their coin on the road and the crew that also rely on these tours to make coin.

Brian Slagel posted on Twitter how fans should purchase something from the artist, like buying music or merchandise. It’s a nice suggestion, but then again Slagel is in the business of selling recorded music, while the world has gravitated to streaming, which based on the streams that rock artists get, it doesn’t pay enough to be split between band members, management, legal and labels.

But, the people who buy, have already purchased something. The people who stream, will continue to stream, regardless of the pleas. It’s just the way it is of the interesting times we are living in.

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

February 2020 – Part 3

And with this post, February 2020 is wrapped up. You can find the Spotify playlist here and posts one here, and post two here.

Tension
Afterlife – Alternate Version
Avenged Sevenfold

These old cuts are from their B sides re-release on Spotify.  “Tension” is a favourite of mine.

I sit in traffic every single morning
Just as I arrive, im slaving to the grind
Making the money so I feed my family
But I can’t raise them, cause I aint got the time

God damn, that was my life for 7 years as I commuted 90 minutes (on a good day) to work one way.

And what is the point of making money for your family when you can’t spend time with them.

By the way, the outro solo in “Afterlife” makes me want to break my guitar and never touch it again. The speed, the precision and the melody.

Bubbles
Framing Hanley

It reminds me of Chevelle and I like it.

There’s a revolution coming’
Fuelled by years of giving’ in

These kind of revolutions are always long overdue, but giving in for too many years is not how one should live their life. The song could be about a relationship, but society at large is no different. We give in to the demands of teachers, employers, corrupt politicians and everyone else who tries to exploit someone.

And then the fuel turns to fire.

I’ve sat in silence
burning up my tongue

Man, I have been there so many times. I wanted to say the words, I wanted to step in, but I didn’t. I am thankful I didn’t bite, but man, my tongue was on fire.

All our lives in a bubble
Losing sight of reality
We paint the lie in pretty colors
And blur the lines and what’s between

So many people I know are separating because their bubble burst and reality took over. There is only so much bull shit a relationship can take. Even in society, when the GFC happened, the bubble burst big time and its bursting again now because of COVID-19. And people need to face this shit, it’s real and it’s here.

Your confusion
Has got you twisting’ facts
Your fantasy intact
Tell the story how you want to
But we both know the truth

This could be about any Facebook news site or website, which is filled by the same voices, saying the same thing, in a constant echo chamber.

Eventually, people who are not sure what to believe, come across these viewpoints and stories, and start to believe that it is all true.

If there is one thing I can recommend, read critically. Read points of view that differ to your own, read points of view that you agree with and read points of view that are totally out there. Somewhere in between the lines of what you expose yourself to, there will be your truth.

Under The Graveyard
All My Life
Eat Me
Straight To Hell
Goodbye
Ozzy Osbourne

These are my favourite tracks from the album at this point in time.

For a 70 year old artist, to deliver an album this good, it’s amazing. The people around Ozzy, like his family, the label, management and so forth, they know that Ozzy is marketable. Surround him with creativity and good musicians/producers, it can’t really go that bad, could it.

“Under The Graveyard” has a clean tone intro which could end up on any pop song, that’s how much crossover appeal the riff has. The chorus is heavy, and that “Children Of The Grave” solo section fits.

“All My Life” is similar to songs that have appeared on previous Ozzy albums. The album “Scream” has a few songs with this major key vibe. “Eat Me” came from the depths of Ozzy’s Delta Blues Sabbath past. “Straight To Hell” rocks out of the gate and “Goodbye” starts off like “Iron Man” but it sounds like a track from “Ozzmosis” which is an album I dig.

Get well Ozzy, scrap touring and keep recording and releasing.

Create a final legacy and based on current Copyright laws (which I disagree with anyway) your music and image will be with your family for another 70 plus years after death (there is an RIAA push to extend this to 90 years).  

Dangerous Ground
Come Clean
Victory
We Are Gods
Adrenaline
One By One
Heaven Must Have Won An Angel
Under The Gun
Rise
H.E.A.T

This album surprised me at how good it is. I can’t even explain all the influences on it that I hear.

Songs feel like they come from Harem Scarem, Skid Row, White Lion, Van Halen, Ratt, Bon Jovi, Kiss, Whitesnake, DLR, Dokken, Queensryche, Europe, Scorpions, Nelson, Lynch Mob, Firehouse, Ozzy “Bark At The Moon” and “The Ultimate Sin” era, Malmsteen “Trilogy” and “Odyssey” era, Judas Priest, Poison and Motley Crue albums.

There is just so much good stuff happening, and if you really like the 80’s, then man, this album is for you.  

“Dangerous Ground” kicks off with the sound of an high performance motor vehicle starting. It’s perfect for a Mad Max movie. “Come Clean” has a Chorus which remains with me long after the song is finished. “Victory” kicks off with an instantly memorable guitar lick before morphing into a heavy riff. “We Are Gods” sounds like it came from the movie “Rockstar”. “Adrenaline” has this Journey vibe, but the more rockier Journey than the ballad Journey.

Heartless Madness
Dynazty

I love the Swedes. The music that comes out of the country is something which resonates with me. This one is like a symphonic classical rock song, with some Vito Bratta style soloing. And we get treated to two solos, in the middle and the outro. Check em out and be blown away.

I Will Not Fall
King King

From Scotland, their cover of a song called “Jealousy” by Frankie Miller made me a fan and I have been following them ever since. This one is more funky and I like it.

Catastrophist
Trivium

I love Trivium. The riffage from these guys gets me head banging all the time. This song just came into my life at the end of Feb so it’s in my March list as well.

Wait
Earshot

This is from 2004 and it came back into my life this year. If you like Tool, then you will like Earshot. If you hate Tool because they don’t know how to edit their songs, then Earshot is the band for you, who write nice 4 minute songs with arena rock choruses chucked in but with a Tool like vibe.

Underwater Silence
Audiovent

I checked this band out because of the blog, 2Loud2OldMusic.

This is from 2002, a one off album before they argued over the direction of the second album and broke up. This song is a mixture of all the best things I like about Muse, hence the reason why it stuck with me.

Man Or Ash
Corrosion Of Conformity

This is from 1996.

Mike Ladano started reviewing Corrosion of Conformity albums on his blog, I commented that I got into the band because James Hetfield spoke very highly of em in various interviews and suddenly I am overdosing on this song.

The riffs on this song, a cross between Sabbath, Metallica, Soundgarden and Pantera, gets me moving, gets me frowning and gets my head banging. And once the lead break kicks in, the speed of it comes from out of nowhere before it morphs into a wah drenched bluesy break.

Plus did I mention that James Hetfield provides backing vocals and he sounds as angry as ever.

Day At The Beach
Joe Satriani

This is from 1989 and I was showing my son a song that has tap harp like harmonics. Listen to the intro of this song and get blown away.

The mighty Satriani never disappoints. 30 plus years in the business as a solo artist playing primarily, instrumental music. That’s Legend status for me.

And that’s a wrap for February 2020 releases with a few oldies but goodies chucked in.

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A to Z of Making It, Music, My Stories

Value

When you create something, what value do you attach to that creation?

I like wine and the experience with wine is like music, totally subjective and personal. I even like drinking wine with music. A bitter shiraz for the more heavier and thrashier Metal, a smooth Cabernet Merlot blend for hard rock music, a spicy Cabernet Sauvignon for heavier and progressive rock and a Merlot for my favorite guitar solos.

A winemaker makes a wine and believes it’s worth a $100 a bottle. It doesn’t mean it’s really worth that much to the public, but to the winemaker who put their blood, sweat and tears in making it, it is worth that much.

The artists who put their blood, sweat and tears into their works also believe their works are valuable.

But the winemakers can test the market with prices. Eventually that wine bottle will hit a price and people will buy it, because alcohol is alcohol and we like to consume alcohol (well the majority does) and it’s a billion dollar industry in each country. Basically alcohol sells. Period.

So the winemaker releases the wine at $99 a bottle and nothing. No one is interested.

The winemaker reduces it by 20% and a few sales come, but not enough.

The winemaker reduces it by another 20% to $55 and still the sales are not enough.

Suddenly the winemaker is faced with a dilemma.

Do they go down to 60% off the normal price they wanted per bottle and see how it performs in the market place or do they stick to their guns and keep it at $55?

Well after careful thinking and planning, the winemaker is in the business of selling wines, so they go down to $45 and suddenly people are interested in trying this wine, 60% off its normal retail price. It’s a smart marketing move and people are suckered in by these kinds of deals.

And they sell out of wines, believing they have a customer base and that the next wine they release will sell out like this one. But it doesn’t sell out. Actually no one is really aware of the next releases because people like drinking wine not the brand.

Only a few brands have become household names in wine making around the world and people wait each year for their next release.

But for the rest of the winemakers, they start from scratch with each release, mining their email lists for sales, using online wine distributors for sales and so forth. And people buy wine without trying it based on the label on the bottle, the grapes used and maybe some reviews or awards. Like how we used to buy music without hearing it.

If we lived in the old CD distribution world and we had to purchase CDs to hear music, I would have purchased a lot more CD’s or LP’s than I do right now just based on covers and interviews.

But after hearing the album on streaming services I decided to not purchase the album, like the new Tool album, the recent Revolution Saints and Sons Of Apollo albums or from a few years back, the only album missing from my Dream Theater collection is “Distance Over Time”. Maybe I will get around to adding it to my collection but then again as I get older I don’t have the same need to have a complete collection.

So in all of this, the value an artist attaches to their work is never the same value the public sees in the work or wants to pay for the work.

A fan of your music will stream it and those streaming payments will be the value that part of the public attached to your works. Other fans will buy the physical releases and that’s the value they attach while others will either download it for free or pay for digital downloads or attend a show if you Tour.

Each fan is unique in their connection to you and the monies they are prepared to spend on you.

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Music, My Stories

Music And Life

I couldn’t imagine life before the TV much like my kids today can’t imagine life without the internet and everything being available.

Anyone who was around at the beginning of the MTV revolution, would have purchased a guitar or some other instrument. That’s what I did.

I bugged my Dad to buy me a guitar so he got me a classical guitar with the hope I could learn to play classical songs. He paid $15 for a 30 minute lesson with a man called Niccolini, who instead taught me how to play metal and rock songs because I asked him to.

And Niccolini, man he could play. He had the longest fingernails on his right hand and I was in awe at his classical playing. But I was a metal head.

I used to tell Niccolini which songs I would want to learn, he would then go away and learn those songs and then at the next lesson he would show me. But I also took lessons, to get the techniques right. I’m big on foundations. If the foundations are not right, everything else that comes after is not right either.

And I would fool my Dad by playing metal and hard rock songs in a classical way. Like anything from Randy Rhoads or Yngwie Malmsteen.

And music was my everything, something the generation of today doesn’t get. I talked about artists the same way people talk about tech devices today and their social media status.

And my record collection was a source of pride. I played them through and through. They are part of my DNA.

I used to have the collection under lock and key, in an alarmed room because once upon a time, if someone broke in, they would steal part of the collection. I couldn’t have that happen. Today, they’ll walk straight past it and go for the tech.

Music is part of my life. It will always be.

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

Stand Your Ground

For a long time, we had no idea how we looked. Then mirrors came about and then we knew how we looked.

For a long time, we had no idea how we really sounded. Then recording techniques came out and over the last 80 years, cassettes showed us how we really sounded.

Cameras also came about and people could suddenly see how they looked and sounded at the same time.

And right now, we are surrounded by sounds and mirrors. If you have a social media account, you have a mirror looking back at you. If you filmed yourself doing something, you have a mirror looking back at you along with sound.

Our personal lives are out there for the whole world to see, regardless of your social media security settings. Even if your posts are secure and only for friends, other people who are not your friends could still potentially see them, because if your friends don’t have the same security as you and you tag them, then it’s on their wall as well.

And how dumb are we. We gave away our privacy and our lives for free to social media platforms like Facebook, who then went and made billions of dollars from our lives. And when people post something on Facebook, they either get likes or blowback. And no one wants blow back these days. Everyone wants to be liked. Even musicians.

Musicians fall into many categories via their lyrics. Some address social ills, some address loss and grief, some address relationships, some address mythology or history and some address partying and having a good time. And it takes guts to put yourself into a mix where your opinions and viewpoints can be attacked. But real artists will look to find a place that creates the change they seek and they will push boundaries in order to do it.

Freedom. It’s our fundamental right.

So what do we do when the politicians we voted in work for the corporations instead of the people?

What do we do when the politicians pass laws to benefit the corporations instead of the people?

This is a world-wide problem.

Our governments are using private companies to harvest our data from social media, based on our posts, comments, likes and friends, these private companies can determine which way you vote.

Stand your ground, don’t let the bastards grind you down, be bold, be strange, don’t let their fears make you afraid

Bastards from Machine Head

We need to stand our ground. The message is nothing new, but we have forgotten it. Machine Head is dealing with some flack in the U.S about their “Catharsis” album. But it’s only in the U.S as the rest of the world relates to the message that Robb Flynn is saying.

And Robb is sending out his message because he cares.

From birth we are taught to follow instructions, comply, obey and to avoid taking risks. The parental system likes it this way. The schooling system likes it this way. The corporate system likes it this way. The Police system likes it this way. And overall, the Government prefers it this way. But sometimes, a change happens.

And when change happens, someone feels it’s for the better and others feel it’s for the worst. And the people who feel the change is wrong, speak up.

The youth of the world have decided they will not wait anymore for adults to solve problems, so they have taken to the streets to demonstrate against guns and call for gun control.

Imagine when these kids get a chance to vote and a chance to enter politics. Change is a happening. Be prepared to change or move out of the kids ways.

We’ve got the right to choose it, there’s no way we’ll lose it

We’re Not Gonna Take It from Twisted Sister

It’s a simple assertion from Dee Snider that mobilised a generation. It’s Dee’s take on society and it comes with an action. Critics blasted the song because it doesn’t define who the “it” is. But that’s the beautiful part of the song. The “It” can be anyone who seeks to control you and take away your freedom.

But to take a stand isn’t easy. Artists are too afraid to stand up for something.

But hang on a second, that’s what being an artist is all about. However the pushback is so ferocious, especially in a social media world, artists just don’t go there.

Well popular artists don’t.

Stand your ground.

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A to Z of Making It, Copyright, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories

Fortnite

There are still complaints about the monies streaming services pay to the rights holders of music. There are still complaints about how YouTube and Spotify have a free tier and how it devalues music.

My kids play a game called “Fortnite” on the PS4. It’s “Battle Royale” mode is free to download.  The free mode works by all players starting with no equipment except a pickaxe for resource gathering and they parachute onto the map. Once they land, they can scavenge for weapons and resources.

Over time, a “storm” surrounds the area and the players need to get to a safe area. Those caught outside the safe area take damage and potentially die if they remain outside it too long. Players can use real money to purchase in-game currency, which can be used to purchase cosmetic items. The last one standing is the winner.

I was interested in how a game which is free to download, is making some serious dollars for the development company.

Freemium

Since the game is free to download, it’s already at everyone’s price point. It can’t get any lower so it costs nothing to try it.

But hang on a second, an artist put their blood, sweat and tears into their music and because they did, they should charge for it. Then again, so did the video game developers, and they haven’t charged for it. Actually video game developers spend years on games only to see them disappear on release day, because like music, no one knows which game or song/album will be a hit or a miss.

Fortnite was originally a game for purchase. Within a six months of its release in 2017, it had over a million users, that means user = sale. But then in September 2017, Epic (the game developer behind it) did something different. They released a free-to-play “Battle Royale” mode. Within 2 weeks of its release, it had over 10 million players.

On any given day, it has over 500,000 players playing the game. By January 2018, Epic added a micro transaction system to purchase items for the game. For Epic, the “Battle Royale” mode is a major hit. It’s like Bruce Springsteen, “Born In The USA” or Bon Jovi, “Slippery When Wet” or Europe, “The Final Countdown” style of a hit.

And it’s still going strong. And Epic is hoping the more support they give it, the better the experience will become and players will stick around.

You need to get people’s attention first.

So you have a product, release it for free and nothing happens.

How do you get people’s attention?

In Epic’s case, they had a well known brand and released the free Battle Royale mode for Windows, macOS, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One platforms on the same day. By doing it like this, they beat out other games with similar Battleground concepts tied in to a console. In other words, they were everywhere.

Then they controlled the narrative themselves. No one was waiting for a website or a magazine to interview anyone. The company controlled the story.

In music, we still get staggered releases to digital services. Hell there is a lot of music of bands I like which isn’t even on Spotify Australia, so in this case, I even get geo-blocked, which is ridiculous in our digital age. I can transact with Amazon US, purchase the album, but I cannot get legal access to music available in the US in Australia via a streaming service.

And in music, artists still do interviews with various press outlets, which means the press outlet controls the story.

Your best marketing tool is word of mouth.

Fortnite spread because the people who played it, enjoyed it and then they asked their friends to create an account and play with them online.

And their friends said “why not”, it’s free, let’s give it a try. And the ones who became hooked and enjoyed the online social experience, did the same to their circle of friends. And the process kept on repeating. 10 million users in 2 weeks.

Some people believe that marketing is about advertisements. It’s not.

Be social.

The game works because it connects people socially (albeit in a digital world). And when these people get together, face to face, they talk about it. Good music connects fans socially and crosses borders. There is a pretty good chance you would find an Iron Maiden fan in every country on planet Earth. For music, the social connection comes in two ways. In the digital world, it’s online communities and in reality it’s the live show.

Imagine listening to the song on a streaming service and you have the chance to view the sheet music and play along with it. Imagine listening to the song on a streaming service and you have the chance to remix a 5 second snippet of the song with someone else from another part of the world and make your own song.

Follow up the initial offering with more content.

The game keeps growing in popularity because its upgrades happen on a regular basis. In other words, the fans of the game are not waiting 2 years for a new upgrade. In some cases, it’s monthly and in the worst case it’s quarterly. And the upgrade enhances the original game and it doesn’t take away from it. Remember PokemonGo.

In music, fans are divided into camps of people who want albums or camps who just want content.

I come from the era of the album, but all I want is frequent content. It’s the reason why the bootleg industry was huge in the 80’s and 90’s. Hell, my record collection has hundreds of bootlegs, from live recordings, to demo recordings, to sound check jams and what not. It was the need to fill the gap between albums.

Build On What Came Before

And like all hit’s there is a writ. The developers of another game have threatened Epic over the game due to its similarities. But the other game has similarities to other games and those games had similarities to other games and the process just keeps on repeating.

One thing is certain. What used to work to break bands doesn’t work and artists need to think differently and take control of their story.

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

Forgotten 80s Part 4

I read an article about how a computer system was only shown how the pieces move in a chess game. Then the system was told to learn how to play the game. 24 hours later, the system had all the chess moves worked out and it was beating strong chess programs convincingly.

Then I watched the “Metalhead” episode from Black Mirror and then I read a story about how Nissan wants to create a car that reads your mind and it got me thinking of the original Terminator movie and suddenly I was in the mood for 80’s music.

So here is another list of forgotten songs from the era. Just click on the number for the previous Forgotten lists, one, two and three.

Better Days
Taking On The World
The Feeling Within
Gun

Way underrated and way under-appreciated, it’s almost criminal. With their debut album, GUN got lumped in with the hard rock/glam rock style of bands because that’s the only way the record labels knew how to promote music. Compare it to something else which is popular and hopefully you get 10% of that audience to buy blind. 30 years later, it’s still the only way record labels know how to promote music.

Better Days

The groove captures me instantly and the vocal melody is so far removed from the LA Sunset strip, it’s perfect.

Living in the same scene way too long
Everybody hopes that one of these days
Everything you want is gonna come your way
Everybody knows what they have to do
Everybody dreams like me and you

Dreaming and hoping is easy. Deciding how to make those dreams and hopes come true is hard because making decisions is exhausting. It means you need to investigate, analyse and most importantly take responsibility for making a decision. We all know what we need to do, but so few do it.

Things could be heaven but this feels like hell
So hold your head high cause you know I’d die
For better days

And sometimes, decisions made with good intent could end up going bad. It doesn’t mean it’s the end. It just means a re-calibration is necessary and further analysis is needed, because our dreams and hopes for better days, make us push through the worry and fear.

Taking On The World

The acoustic strumming sets the sombre tone, but it’s the vocal melody which is captivating. It’s unique and catchy.

When you feel that life is dragging you down day by day
You’ve gotta break away
You’re taking on the world

Life is a process. You try things and you fail. You get into a relationship and you separate. In ten years’ time you would be using a technology that hasn’t been developed yet. The world evolves and you need to evolve with it, if you want to take it on.

And the lead break is full of thought out phrases that outline the chord progression under it.

The Feeling Within

The vocal tone of this song sounds like a cross between Jim Kerr (Simple Minds singer) and Michael Hutchence (INXS singer RIP).

You don’t know what silence means (you can pray for me)
You don’t know about shattered dream
You don’t know that I can’t run (you can set me free)
Set me free from the feeling within

Those lyrics in the brackets are sung by vocalist Mark Rankin’s cousin Sharleen Spiteri, of the band Texas.

Now Forever After
Stargazer
Kingdom Come

The most well-known version of the band only lasted two albums and one touring cycle. By the late 80’s the record labels didn’t care about artist development. It was all about platinum certifications. If the band got one, they had another shot. If they didn’t get one, they got dropped. Kingdom Come went platinum with their debut and their follow up didn’t set any sales record alight, even though it was better musically than the debut.

Musically, Kingdom Come had three sides. One side was the 70’s inspired classic rock of Led Zeppelin. The other side was the blues rock of AC/DC, while the third side was the Euro melodic rock inspired by Deep Purple, Scorpions and Rainbow combined with a little bit of Toto and Styx.

Now Forever After

“Now Forever After” is from the debut album released in 1988 and it falls into that melodic rock side of the band.

It’s now, forever after
Now, sharing our laughter
For better or worse
Until we die
Now, forever after
Now, sharing our laughter
Until the end of time

If only it’s true. Actually for some it is, for others it takes a few goes to get it right.

Stargazer

“Stargazer” is from “In Your Face” released in 1989. That keyboard intro which blends into the guitar lead just works brilliantly. This is another that falls into the Euro melodic rock side of the band.

Ooh, just to know what’s the reason for making us
Is what I would like to know

How did we come to be? So many theories out there, rooted in science and religion.

Stargazer
Live it out
Meet the Maker

Our ancestors looked to the stars for answers. Then they changed to religion. As humans got wiser they turned to nature and science for answers. Everything ends, including you and me. We thought we would live forever, but this proved to be untrue. And you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.

I Believe In You
Knock You Out
Hands Of Time
Y&T

For many, “Earthshaker” was a landmark album. In my opinion, it also became a major influence to any hard rock musician around the world who heard it. It you took all of the different rock stylings happening at the time, and put them into the Y&T blender, “Earthshaker” would be the result.

For Y&T, they were just happy to have a deal with A&M, after two albums on a different label who had had no clue what to do with the band. Coming into the album, Y&T had already played the songs live quite a bit, hence the reason why everyone who heard the album said, “wow, these songs would really work live”.

By 1981 bands didn’t really do ballads or power ballads. They did songs with slower tempos that just kept on building up to a huge ending.

I Believe In You

“It’s a song I wrote a long time ago. Well along time before it got put on a record, which is kind of a drag in a way, because our original managers ripped us off for our publishing on the first two Yesterday and Today records. We haven’t received a penny publishing to this day from those two records. I wrote” I Believe in You” about the time they were managing us, so when I put it on the “Earthshaker” record; well after they were gone they still took my publishing and never gave me a cent for “I Believe In You”. Anyway it was written a long time ago about a break up that I had with a long-time relationship so the song inspired itself more or less.”

Dave Meniketti

The music business is full of rip offs. There are so many stories of former managers claiming the rights on songs from artists written while they managed the artist, but released many years later, while the band had new management. So many people who contribute nothing to the Arts make money from the Arts.

Even record labels do it. They sign an artist and they will spend some money for the artist to record a demo. They might give the go ahead for the songs to be recorded for a release or they might not release them at all. If they are not released, the artist is in limbo. Ask Tom Keifer, Dee Snider and Joe Lynn Turner, just to name a few. And if they leave the label they need to buy back their songs at an extortionist fee the label sets themselves.

Your phony friends, they all counsel you
The things they say
Oh, you know aren’t true

Ahh, yes, who doesn’t have friends like these in our lives?

Breaking up with your partner is a lot more than just breaking up with one person. When a relationship ends, people take sides. Suddenly the friends you believed you had are not there anymore.

Knock You Out

How good is the riff that kicks off this song?

Up against the ropes
I’ve been there before
I’ve been hit by the best, but never hit the floor

Proving you’re at the best when you do it your way. Never forget that. You can make your own decision. Awards are irrelevant. It’s the art that remains. Y&T remain more relevant than some of their 80’s peers who achieved platinum sales. Y&T never did.

Hands Of Time

This appears on “Down For The Count” released in 1985. I swear that intro riff was used by Winger in “Headed For A Heartbreak” to platinum glory. Progress is derivative right.

Don’t be a prisoner of your memories
They steal from your future
And fill you with lies

Negative thinking stops us from taking action. And our tendency to attach an emotion to a past event is our biggest downfall.

‘Cause you can’t turn back the Hands Of Time

What is done, is done, so move forward because time keeps marching forward.

Abandon
Heartbreaker
Dare

Both songs are from the “Out Of The Silence” album released in 1988 on A&M records. Wikipedia tells me Dare was formed in 1985 by former Thin Lizzy keyboard player Darren Wharton after Phil Lynott had dissolved the band. They had some success and when their second album “Blood From Stone” released in 1991 tanked in the sales department, the band was dropped.

Abandon

I can’t forget the things that you said to me

We rarely forget. We move on but we don’t forget. Actually, we can’t forget, because if we do forget, then how did we learn from those events.

I wish I could say that the rest of the song had some earth shattering lyrical message but it didn’t. A lot of the problems with the 80’s rock bands are the lyrics. Even Dare, coming from some experienced musicians couldn’t get decent lyrics written. Some people are good with words and others not so much. But the music is still good.

Heartbreaker

It’s got a riff that reminds me of “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” merged with “Fantasy”.

She got no money and she got no pride
Don’t let her tell you she got nothing to hide
So full of passion with a wounded heart
I still remember when our love fell apart yeah
And when everything’s right, how could I be so wrong? so wrong?

While it was right for you, it was all wrong for the other half. They just haven’t had the courage to tell ya yet.

Lovers
Fate

It’s from the “Cruisin’ For A Bruisin’ album released in 1988. A friend of mine had this album and he dubbed it on a blank cassette for me around 1992. I knew nothing of the band back then and I still don’t know anything about the band today, but what can I say, I’m a sucker for a derivative and clichéd melodic rock song and as soon as the Aldo Nova “Fantasy” influence kicked the song off, I was hooked.

Future World
We Came To Rock
Yellow Rain
Loud’N’Proud
Rodeo
Pretty Maids

They should have had more mainstream success. Not sure if the band name helped their chances or hindered them.

Future World

It’s the title song of their 1987 album.

Oh future world
There’s nothing left to save
They blew it all away

We will in troubled times and even more so today where “stable geniuses” are in power.

In troubled times
We saw the writing on the wall
We heard the fools
Who brought the human race to fall?

The human race always suffers because of a few individuals. Released in 87, this would have been referencing the Cold War between the US and USSR. Today, it’s the US vs North Korea. Leaders out of touch with reality and the people they claim to support and serve.

We Came to Rock

It’s from the “Future World” album and it’s one of those clichéd songs about going to the rock and roll show and joining the cavalcade.

If you’re feeling out of nowhere
If you got no place to go
If you’re feeling lost and lonely
When you’re down the open road

The heavy metal community is the most loyal and there is always a place for you and everyone else.

We are the faces
We are the guardians of the night
We’ll rock the ages
It’s all right
We’ve seen the fire
We are defenders of your rights
We’ll take you higher
Gonna take you to the sky

It’s easy to say in words that you are a defender of our rights, but only Dee Snider went to the US Senate hearings and defended the rights of US metal head citizens. It cost him dearly at the time, but today, he’s seen as the defender he set out to be in “We’re Not Gonna Take It”.

Yellow Rain

Also from “Future World” and this one references Vietnam. Musically it starts off acoustically, like Gary Moore’s “Victims Of The Future” before it becomes a speed metal song.

Left home as heroes
Fools when they returned
Blamed for all the damage
And the villages they burned
Betrayed by their leaders
Murderers they were called
Denounced as crazy maniacs
And locked behind the walls

It was the first war that was all over TV and the prime time news. Everyone saw the burning children, the napalm bombs and Agent Orange. And the poor soldiers didn’t come home to a ticker tape parade. They came home in pieces, mentally and physically.

Loud’N’Proud

It’s also from “Future World” and it wouldn’t be out of place on the “Screaming For Vengeance” album.

Gonna hit this town tonight
Let your troubles out of sight
Scream out, spread the word around
Get all up and stand your ground

Again, it’s all about going to the rock and roll show, being part of community and don’t let institutions get in your way of living out your dreams.

Rodeo

Also from “Future World”

I was born and raised on the street
I grew up in a jungle of stone

Like all of us. All social circles have become concrete jungles.

I walked my own directions
For fortune and fame

The ones, who made it, walk their own path and the ones who follow might make it, but they don’t last.

Life is a rodeo
Somebody makes it
Somebody don’t
And even though
You feel like losing
Don’t ever let it go

It’s the unwritten rule of life. Never give up, keep on going. From when we are born, we fight for every breath, for every step, every single day.

And sometimes when I came to a crossroad

Should I stick to the left or the right?

We always try to make the best decision with the information we have at the point in time. It might be right, it might be wrong, but we still make it. Because we need to.

Under The Gun
Turn It On
Danger Danger

For a band formed in 1987, they had Al Pitrelli on guitar for a brief time, then after they got a recording contract, Pitrelli left and was replaced by Saraya guitarist Tony “Bruno” Rey (who actually played on the debut album) before returning to Saraya and Andy Timmons replaced him and played on the rest of their debut album, which was released in the same year.

Under The Gun

From the debut album released in 1989 and its the same lyrical theme as “Runaway” and “Fallen Angel”. But musically and melodically it’s addictive.

Turn It On

Also from the debut and the guitar playing from Andy Timmons is what hooks me. The way he colours each bar with arpeggios, power chords, palm-muted pedal tones and double stop inversions is brilliant.

Long Way From Home
Angel In My Heart
Britny Fox

Carbon copy of Cinderella, Britny Fox formed in 1986 in Philadelphia. In fact, the band had former members of Cinderella in its roster and their connections to Cinderella allowed the band to secure a major recording contract.

Long Way From Home

The debut album is not on Spotify, however the follow-up “Boys in Heat” released in 1989 is.

My love’s with you always, oh yeah.
Long way from home.

On the road is a killer. You are away from friends and family and the band mates are suddenly not as likeable as you thought they were when you saw em only a few hours a day for practice.

Angel In My Heart

Also from “Boys in Heat”, it’s a simple hooky song.

Misery Loves Company
Nobody Knows
Hard Luck
Letters In The Rain
Lillian Axe

Formed in 1987, they caught the attention of Ratt’s management which led to a record deal with MCA and Ratt’s Robbin Crosby producing the band’s first album, Lillian Axe.

As Wikipedia tells me, neither the debut nor the 1989 follow-up, “Love + War”, met commercial expectations and the group was quickly dropped.

Misery Loves Company

The song is from the self-titled debut released in 1988.

The intro riff is a derivative version of “Breaking The Chains” from Dokken.

The poor get nothing while the rich get fat
Start living good, the I.R.S. takes that
I kinda wonder if there’s really any good at all, at all

While the rich pay nothing and hide their billions in offshore tax havens.

Nobody Knows

The song is from the self-titled debut released in 1988.

Nobody knows when there’s clouds in the skies
When there are tears in your eyes
Nobody knows when you’re hurting so bad
So what if they had?

Exactly. So what if people knew how bad your hurting or how low your feeling. What can they do to change it? How people deal with pain and disappointment is very subjective. Each person has their own unique way of overcoming obstacles.

Hard Luck

The song is from the self-titled debut released in 1988. The lyrics are forgettable, but the music and melodies work.

Letters in the Rain

From the follow up, “Love + War”, released in 1989, the lyrics deal with a person reading letters his ex-partner left in the rain, and after being heartbroken for so long, he finally moves on, only to have the ex-partner return asking for a second chance. But the music and melodies are cool.

The Right To Rock
United Nations
King Of The Rock
Don’t Say You Love Me
Keel

The rock is strong with Keel.

The Right To Rock

Released in 1985, it’s the title track.

All my life I’ve been fighting
For the right to make my stand

So what happened? How did we go from fighting and making a stand, to not caring?

Don’t internet users in the U.S care about net neutrality?

Don’t people in Australia care about the power corporations have with the courts and our leaders?

Don’t let anyone tell you
How to live your life

But they do tell us how to live our lives. If you have a credit card, you are being told how to live your life with each monthly repayment. If you have a mortgage, you are being told how to live your life with each monthly repayment. God forbid if you are late. If you have are employed, you are told how to live your live every single day, just so you get that fortnight or monthly pay into your account.

‘Cause it’s our way of life
I’m fighting for freedom
For the golden rule
The right to say what I feel

But we are too scared to say what we feel in case we get ravaged by the social media righteous police.

United Nations

From the self-titled album released in 1987.

We are the new generation
We got the inspiration
We’re feelin’ strong so spread the news
The youth of every nation
Will make this declaration
This is the way of life we choose
Together we will rock
Forever we will roll

We thought hard rock would last forever but it didn’t. All great empires fall, and rock was no different.

And someday we will rise
To take control

1986 was the year metal and rock took control.

We are united nations
Under the flag of rock and roll
We are united nations
United we will stand

If only we remained united, but we didn’t.

King Of The Rock

From the self-titled album released in 1987.

In the arena is the kingdom I call home
This coliseum is my dome, whoa!
I make my own rules, I call the shots
I’m not afraid of you and I’ll fight for what I’ve got

By 1987, we had moved on. The call to arms about the rock and roll show got old.

This concrete battleground is where I’ll make my stand
If you’re with me, raise your hands

We had splintered by now. Metallica went on tour with James Hetfield having a sticker on his guitar that said something like “Kill Bon Jovi”. Mustaine called Queensryche “Yuppie metal”. Any artist that introduced keyboards or had keyboard players got labelled as sell-outs. Any artist that brought in outside writers also got labelled sell-outs. The label marketing machine was in overdrive creating new genres. We had Glam Rock, Pop Metal, and Glam Metal.

We had hard rock, progressive rock, psychedelic rock and pop rock. We had thrash metal and speed metal. We had heavy metal and technical metal and progressive metal. Death metal was becoming a thing. Europe was having their own thing happening with power metal, progressive classical metal, folk metal and the embers of a black metal scene were beginning.

In the states, hard core was a thing and when it became heavy, grindcore became a genre. Punk was just punk, once upon a time. Then it became post punk, punk rock, punk metal and punk pop.

It’s like that scene in “The Warriors” with Cyrus trying to unite the gangs. It didn’t end well.

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