A to Z of Making It, Music, My Stories

1986 vs 2013

BON JOVI

In 1986, Jon Bon Jovi was all about the music. He was in debt to his record label and still living with his parents. The “band” Bon Jovi released their biggest seller, Slippery When Wet.

Now, Jon Bon Jovi is all about the money. The band Bon Jovi released their biggest dud, in What About Now, Richie Sambora has been booted because of money and Jon Bon Jovi cancelled a New York Fair concert for an intimate Government concert that paid more.

 

BLACK SABBATH/OZZY OSBOURNE

In 1986, Black Sabbath released Seventh Star with Glenn Hughes on vocals and Ozzy Osbourne released The Ultimate Sin.

Seventh Star was originally intended to be the first solo album by Iommi, but due to pressures by Warner Bros. Records and the prompting of band manager Don Arden, the record was billed as Black Sabbath featuring Tony Iommi.

The Ultimate Sin featured songwriting contributions from Bob Daisley and Phil Soussan, however due to Sharon Osbourne (Arden) trying to keep as much money as possible in Ozzy’s corner, Bob Daisley was not credited on the initial release and Phil Soussan had an accounting disagreement with Sharon. Everyone got shafted by an Arden.

In 2013, Black Sabbath released 13, their first album with Ozzy since 1978, that also featured the talents of Rage Against The Machine drummer Brad Wilk. Bill Ward said he would not participate until he was offered a “signable contract.” One B.W is out and another B.W is in. Again, someone was shafted by an Arden.

RECORD LABELS

The major labels wanted their artists to have careers. They spent a lot of money to convince the public that they should pay attention to their new artist or the latest release of an existing artist.

The marketing was from the label down to the streets. The labels had so much power and they set the bar. Either a band was signed to a label or they didn’t matter. Major labels were plentiful and the most powerful person in the music business was the Record Label head. Artists could live off the money from their record deal as people had to buy the expensive record to listen to it. Because it was expensive, we played it over and over and over again and eventually became a fan.

Now the marketing is from the streets and the record labels want the hit singles. They have shareholders to please, a board to please and all the label heads are interested in bonuses and short term profits. There is no long term vision anymore as the Record Labels do not have the same power.

The major labels have been reduced to 3, with Sony, Universal and Warner Bros.

In 1986, record companies were cool. In 2013, HBO, Netflix, Showtime, Facebook, Apple, Samsung, Twitter and Amazon are cool. 

 

LIVE

In 1986, all the acts did the arena and stadium tours because demand was high. If a band opened for a major act, they believed they had made it. The public discovered new acts when those acts opened up for our favourite bands. Look at the list below;

Metallica and Ratt opened up for Ozzy Osbourne.

Anthrax opened up for Metallica.

Marillion opened up for Rush.

 

Loverboy opened up for Van Halen.

King Kobra, White Lion and W.A.S.P opened up for Kiss.

 

W.A.S.P also opened up for Iron Maiden.

Cinderella opened up for Bon Jovi in the U.S and Queensryche opened up for Bon Jovi in Europe.

 

Queensryche also opened up for AC/DC.

Cinderella also opened up for David Lee Roth.

Honeymoon Suite and Glass Tiger opened up for Journey.

Dokken opened up for Accept.

Keel opened up for Dio.

Krokus opened up for Judas Priest.

Now only the classic rock acts of the Seventies and Eighties can sell out the arenas and the few modern superstars. The majority of acts play the club circuit. If bands have a small hard core fan base, they can raise enough money to make an album and own everything about themselves. No one cares who the opening band is.

RANDY JACKSON

In 1986, he played bass with Journey. He appeared on the Raised on Radio album and also toured with them. People judged him on his abilities.

In 2013, he is a judge on American Idol.

CHARTS

Back in 1986, the charts meant everything and albums sold in double digit millions. Slippery When Wet from Bon Jovi went to Number 1 for 1 week in October and then it re-appeared at number 1 for 7 weeks in 1987.

Now the charts are useless and artists are lucky to sell a million units. There are a few, like Adele that go into double digits. Bon Jovi’s What About Now went to Number 1 for 1 week and it didn’t reappear again.

ANTHEMS OF A GENERATION

In 1986, we had Addicted To Love from Robert Palmer, Sledgehammer from Peter Gabriel, Dreams from Van Halen, Livin On A Prayer and Wanted Dead Or Alive from Bon Jovi, Peace Sells from Megadeth, Battery from Metallica, Raining Blood from Slayer and The Final Countdown from Europe.

In 2013, nothing lasts.

THE MUSIC BUSINESS 

In 1986, it was all about the music and if a band was all over traditional media, it meant they had traction and that people would be hearing their music.

Now, our favourite bands are playing to the masses who just don’t care and now it is all about marketing. Look at the marketing campaign for the new Dream Theater album. It looks like the label is trying to monetize every little bit of it. If a band is all over traditional media, it doesn’t mean that they have traction and it doesn’t mean that people have heard their music.

In 1986, everything was expensive and the cost of music was different at every store. Due to the high prices of music, everybody had a little bit of it. We had to buy it to hear it, or we used to tape it of someone who purchased it.

Now, music costs the same everywhere, and it’s cheap and everybody has more than they want. Music is available to hear for free, whether on YouTube or streaming music services like Spotify.

In 1986, albums from our favourite artists would normally come out every two years. Due to this lack of new material, music was scarce, so when we purchased albums we played them to death. We became fans by over playing the music we purchased as it was all about the music.

Now, music is released constantly and it is plentiful. Due to these riches of new material, we don’t spend as much time with the albums we purchased. We become fans by looking for the song that grabs our attention on the first listen.

LADY GAGA

In 1986, Lady Gaga was born. In 2013, Lady Gaga is just Born This Way.

METALLICA

In 1986, Metallica released Master of Puppets and lost bass player Cliff Burton in a bus accident while on tour.

In 2013, Metallica will be released Through The Never a live/concert film and will be losing a lot of money when it doesn’t set the world on fire.

MEGADETH

In 1986, Megadeth released Peace Sells.. But Who’s Buying, which in their case, everyone was buying.

In 2013, Megadeth released Supercollider and no one was buying.

KISS

In 1986, Gene Simmons from Kiss produced and co-wrote songs for the Black N Blue album, Nasty Nasty, that had a certain Tommy Thayer on guitars.

In 2013, Kiss released Monster, that has Tommy Thayer on guitars, as well as lead vocals on one song and a major co-writer of material.

STRYPER

In 1986, Stryper released To Hell With The Devil.

In 2013, Styper will release No More Hell To Pay. It looks they still have hell on their minds.

SLAYER

In 1986, Slayer reigned in blood.

In 2013, Jeff Hanneman’s reign ended. RIP.

QUEENSRYCHE

In 1986, Queensryche was one band that released the a superior album in Rage For Order.

In 2013, Queensryche are two seperate bands that ended up releasing two inferior albums in Frequency Unknown(Geoff Tate version) and Queensryche (Todd LaTorre version).

The fans are screaming for order.

CINDERELLA 

In 1986, Cinderella released Night Songs and proved to the world that they are nobody’s fool.

In 2013, Tom Keifer the singer from Cinderella released The Way Life Goes, an album 9 years in the making with a song called Fools Paradise.

VINNIE VINCENT

In 1986, Vinnie Vincent invaded the charts, with a point to prove.

In 2013, Vinnie Vincent is …..

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

Dave Mustaine – What Do Ya Mean? I Don’t Write Good Lyrics

Megadeth has a new album coming out, called Supercollider due to be released on June 4, 2013.  It will album number 14.  That got me thinking about the lyrics that Dave Mustaine has written for Megadeth, throughout their 30 year existence.

Holy Wars – 1990, from Rust In Peace

Brother will kill brother
Spilling blood across the land
Killing for religion
Something I don’t understand

Fools like me, who cross the sea
And come to foreign lands
Ask the sheep, for their beliefs
Do you kill on God’s command?

How prophetic is this song? It was written in 1990, and at the time it was in reference to the IRA and the Northern Ireland issue.  If you hear the lyrics for the first time today, you would make the connection to something different.  The song is intense.  If anyone asked me to play them three songs that would sum up the Thrash movement,  Holy Wars would be first, Master of Puppets from Metallica would be second and Seasons In The Abyss from Slayer would be third.

Symphony Of Destruction – 1992, from Countdown To Extinction

You take a mortal man,
And put him in control
Watch him become a god
Watch peoples heads a’roll

I have known people who have been put in position’s where they have a certain amount of power and control.  They start out with good intentions.  In time, they begin to change, they develop the god complex and people either start to turn away from them, or for they ones that stay, they end up getting burned.

Kick The Chair – 2004, from The System Has Failed

Justice means nothing today
Now that the courts are for sale
Pick a crime from the menu, pick a sentence and defend you
And pick up the down payment called bail
The system’s for sale!

Mustaine covers the topics of justice, corruption and freedoms a fair bit.  Kick the Chair is from The System Has Failed album.  The album title alone tells the listener what they are in for.  These days, Justice is given to the ones who pay the most.  We have the Entertainment and Publishing Industries using Copyright as a form of censorship.  Just recently a Latvian school teacher was arrested and interrogated, for creating a website that provided access to school children to certain books.  What is more important, Copyright or Education.  Back in my day, the teachers used to photo copy the text books and give them out to the students.

Bite The Hand – 2009, from Endgame

They ball-gagged Lady Justice
And blindfolded her so she can’t see
The erosion of the people’s trust
Of what will come to be an FDIC Assisted Suicide

The depression of a depression
Worldwide suicide for the economy
Caused by the dialectic chaos when the
Mob on Wall Street took “We the People” for a ride

A song written after the Global Financial Crisis (GFC). As each day went by, more information came out as to why the GFC happened.  It all pointed to greed, corruption and conflicts of interest between the revolving door of Government officials and Lobby Groups.

A Secret Place – 1997, from Cryptic Writings

There’s a secret place I like to go
Everyone is there but their face don’t show
If you get inside you can’t get out
There’s no coming back, I hear them shout

Didn’t we all have that secret place growing up.  That secret place in our heads.  Leave it up to Mustaine to make it sound sinister.

Skin Of My Teeth – 1992, from Countdown To Extinction

I won’t feel the hurt
I’m not trash any longer
That that doesn’t kill me
Only makes me stronger
I need a ride to the morgue
That’s what 911 is for
So, tag my toe and don’t forget
Ooh to close the drawer

The opener from the excellent Countdown To Extinction has some of the best Mustaine lyrics ever committed to paper.  The last verse is a classic.  It’s a well-known fact that Mustaine has battled addiction, and as he says what doesn’t kill him can only make him stronger.

Peace Sells – 1986, from Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying

What do you mean, “I don’t believe in God”?
I talk to him every day
What do you mean, “I don’t support your system”?
I go to court when I have to
What do you mean, “I can’t get to work on time”?
I got nothing better to do
And, what do you mean, “I don’t pay my bills”?
Why do you think I’m broke? Huh?

Even though Peace Sells came out in 1986, I heard the album in 1988, just before So Far, So Good, So What came out.  Growing up, listening to metal and rock music, put you into this social class of troublemakers, drug takers and devil worshippers.  So when I heard Peace Sells, the words said what I and many others wanted to say.

“What do you mean” became the war cry.  To me, it summed up, the metal community.  Yeah we could get wild, we could get high and we could get rowdy, however in the end, we still paid our dues to the system.  We still worked, we still paid our bills/taxes and most importantly we still contribute to the system.

Foreclosure Of A Dream – 1992, from Countdown To Extinction

Barren land that once filled a need
Are worthless now, dead without a deed
Slipping away from an iron grip
Nature’s scales are forced to tip
The heartland cries, loss of all pride
To leave ain’t believing, so try and be tried
Insufficient funds, insanity and suicide

This song was released in 1992 and like Holy Wars, how prophetic was it?  It could have been re-released in 2008 or 2009 and it would have fitted in with that time.  That is the power of music when it is done right.  It is timeless.

The Right To Go Insane – 2009, from Endgame

I barely get to the graveyard shift on time
After pulling another grueling nine to five
I live from credit card to check
The paper money’swhirling by
And I hardly just, just barely, only just survive

I could relate to this song.  Working like a slave just to give it all away to the taxman, the banks and the utility providers.  Then doing it again and again and again and again.

We The People – 2011, from Th1rt3en

Violate your rights, no more equality
Surrender freedom, your Social Security
We, the people face unconstitutional lies
In greed we trust, in revolution we die

Our founding fathers are rolling in their graves
The land of liberty needs a regime change
Until you no longer know right from wrong
The constitution isn’t worth the paper it’s written on

Final say.

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