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

1996 – Part 3.2: Bryan Adams – 18 Till I Die

“Reckless” was massive and is still massive. The follow up “Into The Fire” was seen as a failure but “Waking Up The Neighbours” re-established Bryan Adam’s as a tour-de-force. Mutt Lange was on board for that album as co-producer and co-writer, with Jim Vallance only appearing on half of the tracks as co-writer.

Released in 1996 and five years after “Waking Up The Neighbours”, “18 Till I Die” hit the streets.

Bryan Adams and Mutt Lange are back at producing and writing most of the tracks but Jim Vallance is missing.

The band for the album is Bryan Adams is on rhythm guitar and vocals, Keith Scott is on lead guitar, Mickey Curry is on drums, Dave Taylor us on bass, Mutt Lange is on guitars, Michael Kamen is on piano and string arrangements.

The Only Thing That Looks Good On Me

It’s like a ZZ Top track. No blues purist would give them the credit but ZZ Top with “Eliminator” and “Afterburner” brought back the blues into the pop mainstream in a big way. And those little lead breaks and fills on this song are loaded with Texan spice.

The title is one of those cheesy pick-up lines, but hey, Adams makes it work as he sings about how they stick like glue and how she’s the only thing that looks good on him.

Do To You

It reminds me of a song called “What I Like About You” from The Romantics merged with a bit of “Love Shack” from the B-52’s and a little bit of punk from The Clash and somehow it still sounds like Bryan Adams.

And I like the harmonica licks that kick in between the vocal melodies.

Let’s Make A Night To Remember

This is a Def Leppard cut through and through about getting together and getting it on. It could easily be interchanged with a song from “Adrenalize” and people wouldn’t notice.

The video clip has various women posing for Bryan Adams as he photographs them, an attempt to change his image to fit into some voyeur playboy kind of image.

I like the lead break although its only four bars and way too short.

18 Till I Die

I like the arpeggios in the intro.

When the power chords come crashing in, I feel like it’s like a Rolling Stones or The Kinks like track musically. Lyrically it’s about maintaining youthful traits, even as you grow older.

Star

It’s different, more ballad like and very similar to another song he co-wrote called “Glitter” with Motley Crue. And melodic rockers from Sweden would start to have ballads like this in the mid 2000’s.

I guess Adams was a bit ahead here.

(I Wanna Be) Your Underwear

Stupid title, but hey, management and the label were trying to alter Adam’s image from working class hero to playboy.

Keith Scott has got some Steve Vai talking guitar happening with the guitar whistles to kick off the song.

Check out the bass work in the verses from Dave Taylor. Excellent.

We’re Gonna Win

It’s a punk song, but a rock song. And I like it.

I Think About You

A ballad, but more in the country rock ballad arena, something which Mutt Lange was using a lot of Shania Twain.

I’ll Always Be Right There

Strings, an acoustic guitar and a Steve Perry like vocal delivery. It feels like a movie song but two ballads in a row, lost me.

It Ain’t A Party, If You Can’t Come Round

The cheesy titles are back which also reminds me of a Vince Neil song title and so is the loud country blues rock.

Black Pearl

The country blues rock from the Mississippi Delta continues with this one and a riff inspired by “Peter Gunn”.

The lead break (although brief) from Keith Scott is Grade A Nashville stamped.

You’re Still Beautiful to Me

I like the feel of this song. It’s a simple drum beat, a strummed acoustic guitar, a great Adams vocal deliver and how good are those licks in between the verses and Choruses and under the vocals.

Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?

Written by Adams, Lange and Kamen and featuring the excellent flamenco guitarist Paco DeLucia.

I came across DeLucia via Al DiMeola and the trio they had with John McLaughlin and became a fan with his acoustic guitar playing.

Featured in a movie I can’t remember but these movie placements ended up being huge promotional vehicles for Adams.

It was a Top 10 album in Australian, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Holland, Finland, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the U.K (which also had it go to Number 1).

In Australia and Canada it was certified 3× Platinum. In the U.K it was certified 2x Platinum. Platinum in the U.S, New Zealand, Japan and Switzerland. Gold in Austria, Belgium, Finland, Germany and Spain.

And the label still saw it as a disappointment.

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A to Z of Making It, Influenced, Music, My Stories

2001 – Part 3.3: Avenged Sevenfold – Sounding The Seventh Trumpet

“Sounding the Seventh Trumpet” is the debut album by Avenged Sevenfold, released in 2001.

I started my journey with “City Of Evil” in 2005 and went forward with em. Sometime after the “Nightmare” album, I went back to listen to this one and “Waking The Fallen” as a tribute to The Rev. Even though he was the “drummer”, he was a lot more to the band. Just listen to the self titled album released in 2007 as proof.

This album was recorded on a $2,000 budget. The guys in the band had to have their individual parts down so they didn’t waste time. The Rev did his drum parts in one take. All the guitars are played by Zacky Vengeance as Synyster Gates was not in the band at that point in time. M. Shadows is the vocalist and bass is played by Justin Sane.

“To End the Rapture”

A short 90 second track to introduce the album and musical style. The first 50 seconds has some serious guitar virtuoso work.

“Turn the Other Way”

A lot of technical playing and progressive song writing as a Pantera style groove kicks off the song, while The Rev is channelling Vinnie Paul.

Musically it’s a thrash metal cut. Vocally, the screamo vocals don’t do it for me, however at 2.45, clean tone vocals kick in.

The section from 4.21 to the end is Maiden-esque musically and vocally. The last 30 seconds has a synth playing the chords as the harmony guitars fade away.

“Darkness Surrounding”

Musically its punk thrash. The Rev is a fucking machine on this and somehow he worked out how to put a drum solo into the song.

Check out the metal reggae section between the 3.00 and 3.25.

I dislike the scream vocals but enjoy the clean tone ones.

“The Art of Subconscious Illusion”

Another punk thrash song.

The intro is great to play on the guitar.

“We Come Out at Night”

I like the section from 1.20 to 1.40 musically, but dislike the screamo.

From 1.41 to 2.05, Shadows sings in clean tone and this same section comes back in at 3.18. The last 40 seconds is a piano playing the riff and Shadows singing in clean tone.

“Lips of Deceit”

Great riff to start the song. Actually the first 70 seconds are excellent.

But the screamo vocals don’t do anything for me and they detract from the excellent riffs.

“Warmness on the Soul”

My favourite song.

Excellent piano playing and emotive vocal melody leads the song. At 1.57, a country/southern rock solo kicks in. A highlight of the song.

“An Epic of Time Wasted”

It’s hard to listen to because of the screaming.

But the head banging riff from 2.50 to 3.09. Listen to it. And from then on, there are clean tone vocals and the song feels redeemed.

“Breaking Their Hold”

A fast pop punk drum beat starts the song. At 50 seconds it’s the shortest song. And it’s all screaming.

“Forgotten Faces”

Nice intro riff, but the screaming.

“Thick and Thin”

A skip.

“Streets”

The drum/bass groove to start the song gets me interested. After 33 seconds, it becomes a fast punk song. The good thing about this song is that Shadows is singing in clean tone and by now I wish most of the albums tracks were in clean tone.

“Shattered by Broken Dreams”

The closer.

An arpeggio acoustic guitar that reminds me of hard rock songs kicks starts the song. And for the first part of the song, Shadows is in clean tome. The guitar work is brilliant and The Rev plays those drums like they are part of him.

It reminds me of the 70’s closer tracks which experiment with different styles. Almost progressive like.

This one moves from slow rock to hard rock at 2.10. This time around, I didn’t mind the screaming vocals. And then it moves to speed metal, then groove metal and at 4.24 its back to slow rock and clean tone vocals.

I heard this album once circa 2010 in its entirety and today was my second time. I don’t like it. But I do have “To End The Rapture”, “Warmness On The Soul” and “Shattered By Broken Dreams” in my Avenged Sevenfold playlist. And the stuff they did after this album is so much better. But all bands need to start from somewhere.

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2001 – Part 3.2: The Rasmus – Into

“In The Shadows” from their 2003 album “Dead Letters” made me a fan. And I followed em with each subsequent release after that.

Around 2013, I decided it was time to go back and listen to their earlier albums, before “Dead Letters”.

“Into” is their fourth studio album, released in 2001. When they broke through to the international markets and mainstream attention it was with “Dead Letters”, which was their fifth album. Imagine that. Five albums deep into your career and you are finally breaking through the borders of your homeland, which in this case is Finland.

With this album, The Rasmus continued to move away from their earlier sound and into a more hard popular rock sound with the mood of the album being more contemplative and melancholic. Also the songs are concise, trimmed to ensure that the majority are lean and under 4 minutes.

The Rasmus band is Lauri Ylönen on vocals, Pauli Rantasalmi on Guitar, Eero Heinonen on Bass and Aki Hakala on drums. Names that are hard to remember in the English language but that shouldn’t detract from the great musicians and songwriters they are.

“Madness”

A pop punk distorted riff kicks off the song.

I like the Pre-Chorus with its acoustic guitars and electric guitars dynamic and its auto-tuned vocal melody, which also acts as a fuzzed out guitar lead the second time the Pre-Chorus comes around.

At 2.27, a violin solo kicks in, which mimics the vocal melody and it keeps going until the song finishes with the vocal melody over it.

“Bullet”

A heavily processed guitar riff starts it oft and it’s sitting in the background when the normal music kicks in.

The verses remind me of Whitesnake, Muse, Scorpions and there is a pop song there as influence that I can’t think of.

The Chorus is typical of the Chorus’s that would appear on the subsequent albums.

I gotta leave to make you see I’m over you
‘Cos if I stay I’m number two anyway

What do you do when you still like the person but they don’t like you the same way anymore?

“Chill”

The clean guitar melody in the intro is catchy and it was that good, it would appear on other songs on later releases.

I gotta make a phone call to my best friends.
I gotta let them know that I’m leaving.
Everything behind me and politely I don’t wanna hurt their feelings, oh no.

The first three lines. It’s sung fast but so melodically.

You want to leave but you’re not sure. You are going out on your own with no safety net. And you don’t want to burn any bridges because if you do return, you would want to have those friendships kick-starting again.

Reading Tommy Bolin’s story, he hitchhiked, by himself at the age of 15, from his hometown to a bigger city to play with better musicians.

And every time when I painted my room
like a fool I hid my feelings.
And every time when I painted my room
I thought about leaving.

The Chorus hook. For all the talk these days about mental health, the issues of mental health are nothing new. They seeped into lyrics of songs since music was invented.

“F-F-F-Falling”

It was number 1 in Finland for three weeks.

At 3.52, it’s my favourite song. It’s what “Dead Letters” was built on. The staccato like intro riff is arena rock.

The verses then roll along with its strummed acoustic guitar being the main riff and a tasty distorted guitar playing some single note licks in between. It reminds me of songs from Collective Soul, The Wallflowers and Eagle-Eye Cherry (think “Save Tonight”).

F-F-F-Falling down with the sun
I can’t give it up
The night is calling me like a drum
I keep on F-F-F-Falling

The Chorus hook. Its anthemic.

At 2.01, the Bridge kicks in, and the way the vocals are layered is excellent.

At 2.35, it all quietens down, as it builds back up into the Chorus and the excellent Bridge. There is also a nice guitar lead buried in the mix which mimics the vocal melody.

“Heartbreaker”

Another masterpiece in pop rock song writing.

The intro I believe is played on a synth, and it sounds like an 80’s retro riff. Then the acoustic guitar kicks in with its strummed chords and the vocal melody.

Oh yeah, oh yeah. She wanted to be a heartbreaker
Oh yeah. She was so greedy but a lousy love maker

The Chorus is anthemic. The music is in a pop punk fashion, but the vocal melodies are hard rock.

She used to be the queen of the scene
She had a key but she lost it
Nothing’s gonna last and the time goes fast – she knows

Descriptive story telling. Maybe Warhol was right. We all will get some form of 15 minutes of fame. All the Kings and Queens of the past, don’t seem to hold their title for long.

“Smash”

The way it started off, with processed drums and phased/tremolo’d guitars, didn’t prepare me for the arpeggios to come in the verses and the melodic rock hooks vocally.

Understand that you’re holding a bomb in your hand
Take control, hand in hand with yourself from now on
Take this advice, aim to the skies

Is the bomb the person’s dreams and wishes?

“Someone Else”

It’s a great power ballad, about drinking blood off dinosaurs and other strange things. There has to be some peculiar metaphorical meaning behind it.

Check out the Chorus. It’s huge.

“Small Town”

The intro reminds me of Bon Jovi but then it goes into a “Teenage Dirt Bag” kind of verse with the Chorus going back to a Jovi feel.

“One & Only”

The intro reminds me of “Save Tonight” from Eagle-Eye Cherry.

Overall, the track is in the vein of the tracks to come on subsequent albums.

“Last Waltz”

A music box intro starts off this bolero waltz groove.

P.S. The album went 2x Platinum in Finland.

P.S.S. All ten tracks are listenable. There is no filler.

P.S.S.S. “Into” is their great leap album, bridging their past with something new to come and international success.

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

The Record Vault: Coheed and Cambria – The Last Supper: Live at Hammerstein Ballroom (2006) DVD

This my second copy.

The first copy I gave to the drummer from a band I was in, along with “The Dirt” hardcover book and the “Rush In Rio” DVD. But when we had an argument, he wouldn’t return the items. So I repurchased “The Dirt” but this time in paperback, and this DVD. The Rush DVD price was extravagant when I was looking for it and I haven’t relooked since.

Now, live albums have been known to have a lot of studio overdubs or in some cases, total re-recording of some of the tracks in the studio. From what I can hear, nothing feels fixed or redone in a studio on this. So what you get, is a band that can deliver live, the chaos they create in the studio. If anything, I believe the guitars are tuned down ½ a step as Claudio’s voice was strained during this period. But man, he still delivers.

Coming into this release, Coheed and Cambria had released three studio albums, in “The Second Stage Turbine Blade”, “In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth” and “Good Apollo”. For the hardcore Coheed fans, yes, I’ve abbreviated the names of the album titles.

It’s the only live release with the original line up of Claudio Sanchez on vocals/guitars, Travis Stever on guitar and backing vocals, Michael Todd on bass and backing vocals and Josh Eppard on drums and backing vocals. Michael Petrak does additional percussion and Dave “Wavis” Parker is performing keyboards, backing vocals, some extra guitar and samples.

In a perfect world, the audio of this concert would be available on Spotify, but it isn’t. YouTube has the live concert footage and some of the YouTube users have created just the audio.

“In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3”

A perfect opener. It’s just a bit faster than the studio recording, but hey, that’s why I love the live show. And the crowd gets involved with the who-oh-oh chant towards the end.

“Ten Speed (Of God’s Blood and Burial)”

This version is electrifying. Again, a bit sped up than the studio, but I feel the energy smack me in the face.

“Blood Red Summer”

It follows the poppy rock vibes of “Ten Speed” perfectly.

“The Crowing”

This version is a metal beast and this live version is my go to track for it. As mentioned previously, its downtuned a little bit more from the studio cut and it sounds menacing.

After the two pop rock songs in “Ten Speed” and “Blood Red Summer” the placement of this is perfect to get the live concert back into progressive and metal like territory.

“Wake Up”

One of the best ballads from Coheed and Cambria, and live, you just hear the clean tone electric guitar, Claudio’s voice and the crowd singling along with him. It’s chilling, emotive and perfect.

“Delirium Trigger”

From the debut album, the intensity of the song grabs my attention quickly. Hearing it played alongside songs from two of my favourite albums, works perfectly. The middle subdued section offers a calm before the song picks up again. With so much musical movements, nothing is lost and missed.

“A Favor House Atlantic”

It’s faster. When I watched the band live, this song is sing-a-long. You can’t make out the audiences here and you sort of lose the power of when Claudio drops out and the crowd sings. But the energy is still there. “Bye, bye, beautiful” alright.

“The Suffering”

The pop punk energy comes through. I wanted a bigger impact for the “wishing well, will you marry me” part but not all songs can be winners.

“Everything Evil”

I don’t think this song worked well live.

“Welcome Home”

The best cut and I like the sped up vibe of the song. And even though its quicker, the intensity of the vocals is still there. I would have loved to be able to hear the crowd cheering the who-oh-oh at the end.

“The Willing Well IV: The Final Cut”

At 14 minutes long, its eight minutes longer than the CD version and the jam aspect vibe they bring to this track is brilliant.

When there jamming the middle section lead break, they play this lead break that I swear comes from “Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son” lead break.

And when they come out of the jam back into the normal song, its powerful and beautiful. The crash cymbals are smashing, the guitars are screaming and all hell is breaking loose as they finish off the concert.

In the end, “The Last Supper” leaves you wanting more of the Coheed and Cambria supper.

Rock out.

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