Why wait a few years for a new album when the new version of the band became successful with its new singer?
Released in December 1976, the band of Phil Collins, Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford and Steve Hackett remained unchanged, however trouble was brewing on the horizons.
Success leads to the need to create more success. And for Genesis, they had four competent songwriters who thought they all had the songs to create more success. The question was, which songs would get chosen and which songs would be left out.
Eleventh Earl Of Mar
Written by Tony Banks, Steve Hackett and Mike Rutherford. Its progressive, competing with bands like Yes for complex time changes and yet it still sounds like foot tapping rock and roll.
That section that starts with the words “I’m fighting, gravity falling” is my favourite and while brief, the vocal melody from Collins is memorable.
It refers to the historical figure of John Erskine, Earl of Mar, a Scottish Jacobite.
One For The Vine
At 10 minutes, it’s not for everyone. Written solely by Banks, the keys dominate the track.
I like the section from about the 4.40 minute mark. It’s almost soundtrack like something which The Alan Parsons Project would do a lot with his instrumentals. And the quietened down section at 7.21 fits well after the long instrumental passage.
Your Own Special Way
Even though the song is written by Rutherford in open tuning, it’s a typical Phil Collins song. It also reminds me of Coheed and Cambria and a song from the “No World For Tomorrow” album.
An instrumental which Collins brought to the band and one that he said is one of his favourite tracks as it brought in his influences of jazz fusion.
Meanwhile Hackett felt that the song was “good rhythmically, but underdeveloped harmonically” and didn’t want it on the album in place of his song “Please Don’t Touch” which Hackett would later use for his solo album of the same name.
All In A Mouse’s Night
Written by Banks, it’s a silly song lyrically about a 10 foot mouse with big teeth however the music reminds me of a section in Dream Theater’s “Six Degree Of Inner Turbulence” song.
Blood On The Rooftops
Written by Hackett and Collins, I like the classical/flamenco style guitar from Hackett to start off the song. Listen closely and you will hear a bit of “Dee” from Randy Rhoads there. Then again, classical is classical so everyone is borrowing from the same masters.
Banks and Rutherford have said that this was Hackett’s best song as a member of the group.
Unquiet Slumbers for the Sleepers…
Written by Hackett and Rutherford, it’s an instrumental which is in two parts. The guitar playing from Hackett is very flamenco finger picked liked and good enough to rival the masters of the genre.
In That Quiet Earth
Written by the band, this is the second part of the instrumental and Collins is playing a fast jazz fusion beat which allows the rest of the band to dance over.
The heavy metal like section from 2.50 is the reason why I press play.
Written by Banks, this a milestone song for the band, as it proved that they could write short songs that they all liked. And a sign of the direction they would take.
The album was another success and the tour was huge with the gigs in Brazil being attended by over 150,000 people and each member needing armed bodyguards during their stay.
But Hackett was not a happy camper.
The writing process for the album was argumentative and having his songs removed was also contentious. So once the tour ended, Hackett left the bend to pursue a solo career.
“Universes” is the second album from Birds of Tokyo, independently released on 5 July 2008.
The Personnel for the album is Ian Kenny on vocals, Adam Spark on guitars and keyboards, Adam Weston on drums and Anthony Jackson on bass.
If people are unaware, Birds of Tokyo formed in 2005 as another creative outlet for Karnivool vocalist Ian Kenny who wanted to do something softer and accessible.
There was a period between 2005 to 2012 that both bands operated, however Birds Of Tokyo then took over Ian Kenny’s life until late 2018 when Karnivool got together to play some shows and then COVID-19 hit and it looks like both bands started operating again at the same time.
I am a Karnivool fan first, and my interest to hear Birds Of Tokyo was because of that.
Karnivool plays a certain brand of heavy alternative rock/Metal which I like but even they have added more abstract movements into their songs..
Birds Of Tokyo at the start had this lighter alternative rock vibe happening but as they grew more popular, they more or less became a standard verse and chorus pop act. And a very good one at that.
Backward tape noises for about a minute leads into the “opening track”.
Its aggressive in the verses and it could pass as a more pop version of Karnivool, purely because of Ian Kenny’s vocals.
The “I’m on a highway that leads to the end” section and how it builds up is why you should press play on this, because I guess no matter what we do, all of the roads we take lead us to our end.
For humans are born just to die.
Wild Eyed Boy
It’s got a start that reminds me of “The Cure” and “Inxs” but Ian Kenny’s voice and vocals keeps the song rooted in rock territory.
The triple knock out combo continues with this.
It’s fast rock, hard to describe, but the vocal melodies are so catchy, they remain long after the song is finished, especially the lyric “there goes my baby”.
Head in My Hands
It feels almost like an Icehouse track, with Iva Davies singing. A bit slower, more early 80’s Brit Pop like Joy Division and I can’t get the lyric “I hate my melodies there all the same” out of my head.
But press play to hear the Thin Lizzy like harmonies which mimic the vocal melodies.
It reminds me of Jet and “Are You Gonna Be My Girl” in spirit and feel. It also could have come from a Wolfmother album.
An Ode to Death
It’s heavy with a sinister groove and a chord progression that reminds me of “The Way” from Fastball.
Armour for Liars
Its aggressive and super melodic.
“Flowing blood for wealth and oil, the arms race and their toys, Power suits and power ties, corporate armour built for liars” more or less sums up what the song is about.
And I like the repeating line of “hey kid, run on home again, no world news to sell again”.
The Baker’s Son
More like Karnivool than the alternative pop rock on show here and at 6 plus minutes long, the song moves between moods and feels.
It feels like its influenced by INXS as it has that vibe with a bit of Radiohead and Muse mixed in.
A strummed acoustic and metronomic piano chords with Kenny’s vocals makes up the closer.
If your time is short, then press play to hear the first three tracks in “Broken Bones”, “Wild Eyed Boy” and “Silhouettic” along with the 70’s rocker “White Witch”. While I think of it, stick around for “Armours For Liars” as the deep track.
And it was certified Gold in Australia but it’s not the album you see in their Top 5 Spotify list. Those bigger albums were just around the corner.
If you had the albums you didn’t really need this unless you are a serious collector, which the majority of Def Leppard fans are. And if you had no albums from the band, then this is one to purchase as its focus is definitely on the big albums of “Pyromania”, “Hysteria” and “Adrenalize”.
“Vault: Def Leppard Greatest Hits (1980–1995)” was released on 23 October 1995.
Pour Some Sugar on Me (Historia Video Edit)
From the “Hysteria” album, written by Clark, Collen, Elliott, Lange and Savage.
The song was treading water in and out of the Top 10 singles charts and 49 weeks after it was released it hit the Number 1 spot. The path to number 1 happened during the European tour. The Strip Clubs of Florida started playing it, then people started requesting it on radio and the song just blew up.
They were done with the album and working on the last song for the album, “Armageddon It”. During a break in the recording, Elliot picked up the acoustic guitar and played the three chords. Lange heard it and liked it. It’s “We Will Rock You” vibe is evident and the Chorus was done first. So they had the big hook and worked backwards from there.
The verses started to have this “Come Together” vocal feel. But they weren’t done, as both Lange and Elliot took small tape recorders and scatted phonetically into. 10 days later the song was completed. The fastest thing they had done for the album.
“Love is like a bomb” okay.
From the “Pyromania” album and written by Clark, Elliott, Lange, Savage and Willis.
Collen played the lead break on his Ibanez Destroyer. It was a hybrid hard rock version of AC/DC meets Boston. It had that aggressiveness and the melody.
From the “Hysteria” album, written by Clark, Collen, Elliott, Lange and Savage. The bulk of the song was courtesy of Mutt Lange. When he played it to the band on acoustic guitar in sounded like a Don Henley cut, as Lange’s voice is very similar.
But as the band kept working on it with Lange, it just kept getting bigger and bigger. The Chorus is huge and press play to hear the melodic guitars there.
Also when the song broke through, the band had to learn it while on tour to add it to its set list. And it was daunting due to the multi-layered harmonies.
Let’s Get Rocked
One of the earliest songs written for the “Adrenalize” album by Collen, Elliott, Lange and Savage. Like “Pour Some Sugar On Me”, the Chorus hook was written first and the rest followed after.
Its juvenile and fun and so departed from the “shoe starers” as the Grunge movement was known back then.
Two Steps Behind (Acoustic Version)
Written by Elliott and the song appeared as a B side on one of the “Adrenalize” singles, on the “Retro Active” album and on the “Last Action Hero” soundtrack which was a box office bomb for Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The idea for an acoustic song came together after Joe Elliot started jamming with Hothouse Flowers.
Michael Kamen got involved because he wanted to do strings on a Def Leppard cut. So the band sent him all the tracks that they were using on “Retro Active” and nothing really stood out to Kamen.
However one of his assistants heard the song and kept humming the vocal melody. When Kamen asked her what she was humming, she mentioned it’s one of the Def Leppard songs they sent through and Kamen had his “a-ha” moment and his involvement was sealed.
From the “Hysteria” album written by Clark, Collen, Elliott, Lange and Savage.
And it was put together so unusually. Joe Elliot sang his vocals to a different backing track and once the vocals were done, Lange took away the music and left the drums and vocals and told Phil and Steve to come up with a new musical track.
From the “Adrenalize” album and written by Clark, Collen, Elliot, Lange and Savage.
It can be interchanged with a Bryan Adams cut.
Rocket (Visualize video edit)
From the “Hysteria” album written by Clark, Collen, Elliott, Lange and Savage.
It was actually Joe Elliot that came up the African drum loop.
When Love & Hate Collide
Written by Elliot and Savage. It was originally written for “Adrenalize” circa 1989, however it’s seen as the new song for this album. Elliot was going with a “Love Bites” part 2 vibe and they stopped recording the “Slang” album to get this song finished for the “Vault” album at the request of their label.
And the guys had to get re-acquainted with their past recording methods as their mindsets were on the future and the sounds/production of “Slang”.
The vocal melody also reminds of Peter Cetera and “Glory Of Love”.
The love the band has for Sweet is evident on how well they covered this track for a B side, which also appeared on the “Retro Active” album.
It’s full of energy and you can hear the fun dripping from the speakers.
Make Love Like a Man
From “Adrenalize” and written by Clark, Collen, Elliott and Lange. It’s basically “Pour Some Sugar On Me” part 2.
From “Hysteria” and written by Clark, Collen, Elliott, Lange and Savage.
The guitar part was just power chords when the song was first demoed in 84, and then a few years later, Steve Clark started playing a T-Rex inspired riff over the power chord progressions, which inspired Joe Elliot vocally.
And that whole, “gimme all your loving” section was inspired by ZZ Top and the band were always going to change the words, so it didn’t have “gimme all your loving” but it sounded so good that Mutt Lange told em to leave it.
Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad?
From “Adrenalize” and written by Collen, Elliott and Lange. They had this and “When Love And Hate Collide” and decided to go with this for the album. The majority of the song was written by Collen and Lange with Elliot contributing lyrics.
Rock of Ages
From “Pyromania” and written by Clark, Elliott and Lange.
It was a Steve Clark riff and the original demo had a slower tempo.
Mutt Lange had the song musical structure mapped out. The verses came first but they still didn’t have a Chorus.
A hymn book in the Control Room left behind by a Choir group gave the song its title.
The title track and written by Clark, Collen, Elliott, Lange and Savage.
But the main guitar part was from the fingers of Rick Savage. And Joe Elliot didn’t like it, because he thought it sounded too much like “Every Breath You Take” from The Police.
Bringin’ On the Heartbreak
From the “High ‘N’ Dry” album and written by Clark, Elliott and Willis. Still a live staple and one of their signature song. Check it out for the harmony guitars.
Initially it was a demo called “A Certain Heartache”. And when they started working with Mutt Lange, Lange had a tendency to rip songs apart and ask the guys to add new bits. But for this, it didn’t really happen as Lange approved.
5× Platinum in the U.S. Not bad for a Best off compilation. Ka-Ching.
I’m not the biggest Bowie fan, but his music got a second life in the late 90’s and onwards and I kept checking his albums out. I go in with an open mind with the hope to find something that I could use in my song writing.
Now, “Station to Station” is album number 10 for Bowie, released in 1976. It has been regarded as one of his most significant works, so it was on a list of album’s to check out for me.
The band for the album is stellar and on fire. Guitarist Carlos Alomar, bassist George Murray and drummer Dennis Davis all bring it, and guitarist Earl Slick contributes along with pianist Roy Bittan.
Bowie was too drugged out during this time and his memory of the album is vague. And with all the drugs artists do, they always find a way to create and the people around them, always find a way to get them to create. As their livelihoods depend on Bowie.
Station To Station
A 10 plus minute opening track which starts off with train noises created by the guitar. And somehow when it was released as a single, the song was creatively edited down to 3 minutes.
It’s typical of the era, blues rock and with arrangements that didn’t stick to a radio formula, because the artists ruled and the label execs didn’t really have a say, until they became more powerful than the artists in the 80’s because of MTV.
In keeping with the Blues Rock theme, Bowie was loaded up with cocaine and he kept asking Earl Slick to keep repeating a Chuck Berry lead over and over again.
This could have ended up on a Steely Dan album as it has this jazz rock fusion vibe.
Word On A Wing
It’s like a mid-tempo rock ballad, with a vocal delivery that reminds me of Joy Division.
Bowie wrote this while he was filming “The Man Who Fell To Earth”. But it’s a skip for me.
I like the riff, it’s almost Santana like with a bit of Doobie Brothers thrown in and you should definitely press play to hear the bass groove.
But man, Bowie’s vocals are really not connecting with me at all on this album and in this song in particular, because musically, this song is gold.
Wild Is The Wind
Musically, the song is great. It’s like a rock ballad. Like all the previous songs, the vocals and melodies from Bowie just don’t connect with me on any level.
And while this album is held in high regard amongst Bowie’s fans, there isn’t enough there to make me a fan. Although there are a lot of lyrics to digest.
Single #2 from ADRENALIZE – “MAKE LOVE LIKE A MAN” is our tongue in cheek look at a significant facet of human existence.
Meanwhile we’ve got a couple more unreleased tracks for you. “MISS YOU IN A HEARTBEAT” is a Collen song of somewhat recent vintage, first recorded by Paul Rodgers’ group, The Law.
“TWO STEPS BEHIND” is an Elliot composition performed totally acoustically bass, 2 guitars and voice. Our first recorded acoustic performance.
And finally a version of a song by a group Joe really wishes he could’ve been in “ACTION” by Sweet. For those too young to remember, go listen to Sweet’s “Greatest Hits”.
A revelation and for those who remember the original, let me say that our efforts to duplicate every part recorded by Messrs Connolly, Priest, Scott and Tucker, we discovered some very interesting bits.
Don’t worry guys, we won’t let on.
It felt like they were giving us insights into their thinking with these little extra blurbs on the back. I always felt starved of information from my favourite artists.
I’m not a huge fan of “Make Love Like A Man” but I do get it that others like it as “Adrenalize” was their entry point into the band, while “Pyromania” was for me.
Miss You In A Heartbeat
I had to call up the track on Spotify to re-acquaint myself. Def Leppard has an electric version, an acoustic version and a revised version doing the rounds.
The electric version is classic Def Leppard. It could be a leftover from “Hysteria”.
The revised version has the piano as the dominant instrument and I like the gospel feel the piano gives it.
The acoustic version also has the piano as the dominant instrument and the Chorus doesn’t have those ohh, oh oh.. And the acoustic solo is a press play moment for me.
I also pressed play on the version done by The Law. And this one is close to the electric version that Def Leppard did, but Paul Rodgers is a bit more soulful with his vocal delivery.
Def Leppard are on fire with this track. I always liked this track from Sweet, and the Lep’s do it justice.
Two Steps Behind (Acoustic Version)
Written by Joe Elliot, it feels like a camp fire track, very Bryan Adams like.
By the end of it, I pressed play again, because I liked the variation.
It’s a shame that the art of the single is lost within the current world as Def Leppard, Metallica and Bon Jovi really knew how to deliver a killer single release.
In 1983 and 84, it felt like there was “Pyromania” and then there was everything else.
Quiet Riot didn’t have the same success in Australia that they had in the U.S and Motley Crue was a few years away from their “Home Sweet Home” fame in Australia.
The Lep’s wanted to be on top of the pop charts. That was their mission. The rise was slow but gradual.
If you like rock and metal music, you would like this album. If you like pop and other forms of music, you would still like this album.
The “Pyromania” story begins with “High ’N’ Dry”.
The album didn’t sell what the band and the label expected it to sell. And their UK headlining tour had them selling 25% of the tickets. In other words, they were pulling in between 400-500 people in 2000-seat theatres.
Def Leppard was then given a supporting slot on the European Leg of the “Point Of Entry” tour by Judas Priest. But they never had a chance to make an impact, coming on second after Accept, who had massive momentum with “Balls To The Wall”.
The tour finished in December, 1981.
But the band was busy writing riffs on the road and man, they sure had a lot for new songs. They also revisited some older songs and rewrote em lyrically or rearranged em musically.
“Medicine Man” wasnt good enough to make the “High ‘N’ Dry” album but it was beefed up and retitled “Rock Rock (Till You Drop)”. With new lyrics, it became the album opener.
There was another unfinished track which was described as “a dual-guitar pop song” by Joe Elliot in an interview at TeamRock.com. Well that song was also finally completed, and it became known as “Photograph”.
Producer Mutt Lange, was also on board, being listed as a co-writer on all of the album’s 10 tracks which bothered Willis as he believed that wasn’t the case.
When the band was given the green light to record, the budget was tight. Two albums in, the band was in debt to their label to the tune of £700,000, and each band member was on wages of £40 a week.
A cold hard truth on the realities of the recording business and the creative accounting of the labels is that the bands incur debts that could last forever.
The album finally hit the streets in January 1983.
The album was selling slow in the U.K. A showcase gig at the Marquee Club in London on February 9 had a very small attendance.
But in North America, it was a different story.
MTV put the songs “Photograph,” “Foolin’” and “Rock of Ages” on constant rotation.
Suddenly rock and metal bands changed the way they recorded. NWOBHM bands started to sing more melodically and with multi-layered backing vocals.
Joe Elliot once said that he wanted the power of AC/DC mixed with the variety of Queen for Def Leppard. That equals “Pyromania”.
I had the vinyl but it was also in the same box that went missing during a house move however I picked this up on CD.
Rock Rock (Till You Drop)
It’s a sound and groove that Cinderella and Kix and many other U.S acts would put to good use to build careers’ on.
But it was guitarist Pete Willis who wrote the riff to “Rock Rock (Till You Drop)” however he’s not credited.
Willis and Lange didn’t get along at all, constantly clashing with each other in the studio which then also led to tension with the other members.
As a founding member, Willis didn’t believe he could be removed or fired. But removed he was.
There is no denying the riff. It’s as good as any of the classic riffs that guitarists play in guitar shops and so forth. Structurally, the song goes all AC/DC style riffing in the verses and pop rock like in the Chorus.
Rick Savage came up “Stagefright”.
It’s got this Sweet “Action” vibe merged with metal riffage in the verses and a pop chorus.
Too Late For Love
As soon as this song starts off, I swear I’ve heard it somewhere else.
Die Hard The Hunter
You feel the sadness as soon as the Emadd9 clean tone arpeggios kick in and it gets even sadder when Joe starts singing “Let’s toast”. Then it goes into a riff that Queensryche used when they wrote “Revolution Calling”.
That section from 4.05 to 5.05 always gets me to stop what I’m doing and start paying attention.
The opener to Side 2, with that majestic guitar part.
The magic is in the arpeggiated intro and the eventual build up with the layered backing vocals singing “Is anybody out there?”.
This song stands the test of time.
The lead break begins with a call and response. It reminds me of “Over The Mountain” from Randy Rhoads and Ozzy.
Rock Of Ages
The first time I heard em.
Yeah, it’s better to burn out / Yeah, than fade away
A rock and rollers creed.
Rise up, gather ’round / Rock this place to the ground
Burn it up, let’s go for broke / Watch the night go up in smoke
Rock on (rock on) / Drive me crazier / No serenade, no fire brigade / Just the pyromania, come on
This is the embryo of “Pour Some Sugar On Me” and they take inspiration from Queen, by using songs like “We Will Rock You” and “Another One Bites The Dust” as influences for the verse delivery/structure.
When the Chorus comes in after two verses, it’s well worth the wait. “Don’t Stop Believin’” from Journey also used this kind of song structure.
Rock of ages, rock of ages / Still rollin’, keep a-rollin’
Rock of ages, rock of ages / Still rollin’, rock ‘n’ rollin’
You won’t be able to stop yourself from singing along with the chorus.
Comin Under Fire
This song is a must for any guitarist. It merges 70’s classic rock, with the NWOBHM sound with Scorpions Euro Metal.
The intro alone has it all.
Arpeggiated guitar lines hook you in and then the pedal point riff blasts through the speakers.
When the verses come in, we are greeted with volume swells that outline the different chords.
Like the pre-chorus of “Foolin”, the chorus of “Comin Under Fire” has excellent layered backing vocals. Lyrically, it’s not the best, but musically, it rules.
Billy’s Got A Gun
Steve Clark was a Jimmy Page fan, so it was no surprise that he was the one who created this Zeppelin-influenced epic.
Never underestimate the ability of a song to paint a picture.
This is my favourite Def Leppard cut and it has so many good bits.
The verse bass riff reminds me of “Heaven and Hell”. The backing vocals are so layered, melodic and operatic. The overall drum groove reminds of “Kashmir”. And I guarantee you that Chris DeGarmo, Geoff Tate and Michael Wilton all had this album and paid particular attention to this song as the “Operation Mindcrime” album is musically influenced by “Billy’s Got A Gun”.
And you get an unbelievable solo and an ending that makes you press play again, so you hear the album over and over and over again.
As time marches forward, the greatness and power of this song is being forgotten.
And it’s like the band made a crossroads deal to achieve fame. The success of this album put the band members on different paths than the previous ones they were on and that would lead to different outcomes for them.
On New Years Eve, 1984, Rick Allen went to overtake a car and failed to negotiate the bend. He lost part of his left hand in the accident and surgery to reattach it, led to an infection and then eventual surgical amputation.
And no one knew it at the time, but it was going to be long wait for the next album.
On a side note, Trevor Rabin and Mike Slamer are both thanked in the credits.
Those two dudes are very well known session guitarists, so I’m asking the question; did they actually play on this?
Slamer was used by producer Beau Hill on most of the records he produced in the 80s. If you have an Alice Cooper, Kix, Winger, Streets, Warrant, Fiona, Europe, Twisted Sister and Ratt album, then there is a high chance that Slamer played on it.
Eskimo Joe are an Australian alternative rock band that was formed in 1997 by Stuart MacLeod, on lead guitar, Joel Quartermain, on drums and guitar, and Kavyen Temperley, on bass guitar and vocals.
Their road to fame started with a University Battle of The Bands contest. They won their local campus event, won the State event and then won the National event.
Released in 2006, this album is Number three and it’s noted for having the sound of the early 1980s Australian rock movement.
From the bands point of view they wanted to make a record as if they were stadium rock band. In other words if they were like INXS, what kind of record would they make.
The band recorded “Black Fingernails, Red Wine” on the central coast of NSW’s The Grove Studios. The Grove Studios were originally known as Mangrove Studio and were formerly owned by INXS bass player Garry Gary Beers.
In Australia it was certified 4× Platinum. It went to number one and spent 62 weeks on the ARIA Charts.
I never really appreciated this album when it came out. I was heavily into Progressive Metal, Nu-Metal and Metalcore bands at the time and I was devouring bands from those genres. I heard the singles and I liked em, but didn’t invest time.
A decade later, I finally did.
A great pop song with a piano line that reminds me of “Speed Of Sound” from Coldplay.
As soon as the drums and the fuzzed out guitar kick in, I was hooked. It’s almost new wave, but hard rock as well.
Lyrically there’s not much to it with a simple repeating line of “I will come, come to comfort you”.
But that’s all that is needed as the music and the groove is intoxicating.
If you’re not tapping your foot and nodding your head by the end of it, check for a pulse.
This song is excellent.
It’s constructed with all the right atmospherics and ambient noises, plus an emotive piano melody and Temperley’s glimmering voice powers the melody.
Hey, hey, I know it wasn’t New York Where I lost my mind.
The opening lines. A habit will always follow you regardless of which city you wake up in.
Black Fingernails, Red Wine
This song is huge. And the hook.
Black fingernails, red wine I wanna make you, all mine
It reminds me of Icehouse, Eurythmics and INXS.
The Chorus is arena rock.
An acoustic guitar and an addictive vocal melody.
And how descriptive is “A mouthful of glass / That cuts up your words”.
The song was called “Forever Young”.
U2 comes to mind but press play on this track to hear the bass playing.
If your scared about the future, I’m scared about the past
While you’re at it, check out the guitar melody which starts at 2.32.
Coldplay comes to mind. And I like it.
Killers comes to mind with a bit of Rick Springfield.
This Is Pressure
An acoustic strummed passage starts the song.
There is no romance in suffocation
Truth right there.
Beating Like A Drum
If you like INXS, you will like this song. it’s not that it sounds like the band, it just has this spirit and attitude of Michael Hutchence.
I had a lot to drink last night Now I’m feeling old Is there anything that I can buy That I have not sold
I’ve grown up with a father who likes to drink a lot and an older brother who likes to drink more. And all they think about is the next drink. Lucky for me they didn’t sell stuff to feed their habit.
It’s a short instrumental, cinematic like piece.
Press play on it to hear the emotive piano melody.
Oasis and Radiohead comes to mind.
My social suicide girl Poison in the wall Razors in the apple core
These lyrics are hard rock. Nikki Sixx and Rachel Bolan would be proud.
How Does It Feel
A piano riff and a Muse/Coldplay feel.
You’re gonna lose everything / How does it feel
Not the best when it happens but as time goes on, a lot better.
There isn’t a song on this album that I will skip. It’s perfect from start to finish. So if you want to experience Australian Pop Rock, press play on this.
And the band is still active releasing new music and touring. But those reviews will be in other Australian posts.
Chris Daughtry (and as a byproduct Daughtry) had a decision to make after “Break The Spell”.
Should they stay with the same sound?
Should they change their sound completely?
Should they stay with the same sound but experiment with a few songs by bringing in different sounds?
“Baptized” came out in in November 2013 on RCA Records and it was an electro synth pop sounding album, a significant departure from the group’s hard rock sound from their first three albums.
Like the previous albums, RCA farmed Chris Daughtry out to work with different writers and to record with those different writers like the debut album. But while the writers previously had some rock pedigree, the writers on “Baptized” album specialized in other styles.
There is a song called “Long Live Rock N Roll” and it doesn’t even rock, as it’s more in the vein of “I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker”, an acoustic folk story telling song of growing up with a certain type of music.
But lead single “Waiting For Superman” did stick around and is at 83.7 million streams at the moment on Spotify.
Then came a “Greatest Hits” album in 2016 with two new songs called “Torches” and “Go Down.
“Torches” is actually a good bridge between the old sound and the “Baptized” sound,
The song “Go Down” has your typical catchy Daughtry vocal melody but it’s instrument sounds are routed in synth pop and electronica. Think of the band “Garbage”.
Most artists who found success playing a hard modern rock style in the 2000’s started to experiment and bring in sounds from Adele, Maroon 5, The Fray, Train, OneRepublic and Imagine Dragons.
Shinedown was in a similar predicament as Daughtry but I believe they did a better job at bringing in those new sounds, while still staying true to their old sound.
“Cage To Rattle” came out in 2018. 10 songs that total 38 minutes. RCA again was spending a lot of money for Chris Daughtry to write with so many outside writers in the quest to find hits.
But what the record executives failed to understand is that Daughtry’s audience is predominantly made up of rockers.
And there is a saying, when your chasing hits it don’t mean the hits would come.
Then Daughtry and RCA parted ways.
And a new look was in play for a dystopian story called “Dearly Beloved”, released in 2021.
Plus the hard rock distorted guitars are back with a vengeance, something which Daughtry hinted to in 2016 when the “Greatest Hits” album came out but then the label got in the way.
The band for the album is Chris Daughtry, Josh Steely and Brian Craddock on guitars, Josh Paul on bass, Elvio Fernandes on keyboards and Brandon Maclin on drums.
Written by Chris Daughtry.
It simmers in the verses, with Daughtry singing in the lower registers as he blends his voice with the synth and guitars.
It’s a slow rocker before soaring in the Chorus.
And the heaviness of the guitars definitely captures my attention.
It also sets the lead in for the next track “World On Fire”.
World On Fire
Written by Daughtry and producers Scott Stevens and Marti Frederiksen.
The film clip for this and “Heavy Is The Crown” is set in a dystopian future while Chris Daughtry looks like an “Assassin’s Creed” character.
Heavy Is The Crown
Written by Daughtry, John Cummings, Elvis Fernandezs, Scott Stevens and Marti Frederiksen.
It’s a song writing committee. John Cummings is from the band Mogwai, who is accomplished on guitar, as well as keyboards.
The guitars dominate here along with Daughtry’s voice. Check out the Chorus.
Changes Are Coming
Written by Daughtry, Stevens and Frederiksen.
More of the same 120bpm, guitar heavy modern Arena Rock.
Written by Daughtry, Brian Craddock and Mark Holman.
It’s a ballad and Daughtry knows how to deliver em.
The guitars are load and so is the electronica and keyboards.
Cry For Help
Written by Daughtry, Stevens and Frederiksen.
Acoustics and piano give way to loud distorted guitars and another hooky Chorus.
Written by Daughtry, Cummings, Fernandezs, Stevens and Frederiksen.
Its sort of gospel heavy rock cut and why wouldn’t it be, with lyrics like “the lunatics have taken the asylum.”
Written by Daughtry, Stevens and Frederiksen.
Check out the bridge.
Written by Daughtry, Stevens and Frederiksen.
If you like hard rock you will like this.
Chris Daughtry is the songwriter and he delivers vocally on this while the guitars get loud in the Chorus.
Call You Mine
Written by Chris Daughtry in and his wife Deanna.
The Intro with the palm muted chugging acoustic guitar is the best.
Written by Chris Daughtry.
Check out the Outro.
Break Into My Heart
Written by Daughtry, Stevens and Frederiksen.
A piano and a voice to close the album.
“Dearly Beloved” is a return to form which shows the world that Daughtry still knows how to rock!!
“Romeo’s Heart” was released in Australia on 3 June 1996 by John Farnham.
His comeback to mainstream success started with “Whispering Jack” released in 1986. It is certified 24x Platinum in Australia, Platinum in Sweden and Gold in Canada and Germany.
“Age Of Reason” came in 1988 and it is certified 11x Platinum in Australia.
“Chain Reaction” in 1990 is 7x Platinum in Australia.
“Then Again…” in 1993 is 4x Platinum in Australia.
This album is also 4x Platinum in Australia.
The band is top notch as well with Brett Garsed from Nelson fame on guitars along with Stuart Fraser from Noiseworks.
Joe Creighton from The Black Sorrows is on Bass and Angus Burchall also from The Black Sorrows is on drums with Steve Williams on harmonica.
Vocals are provided by John Farnham with Lindsay Field and Lisa Edwards providing excellent backing vocals.
And from when Farnham made his comeback in the mid 80s as a solo artist, the songs he performed on his albums were written by other artists/songwriters.
This album is no different, with every song on it coming from outside writers.
Have a Little Faith (In Us)
Written by Russ DeSalvo (who at the time was writing and working with Celine Dion) and Arnie Roman (who also was working with Celine Dion).
Great song title and a major key chord progression to give its uplifting vibe.
But press play for the gospel like backing vocals in the outro which
Little Piece of My Heart
Written by C. Celli, A. Levin and Jack Ponti.
The same Jack Ponti who co-write “Shot Through The Heart” with Jon Bon Jovi and a heap of songs for Baton Rouge, Alice Cooper and Babylon A.D.
I’m not sure on why they would use this song title for a totally different song. It’s like reusing “Smoke On The Water” for a totally different song and not for a cover.
But in the end a simple funky rock groove is heard throughout the song and it’s cool to jam to.
A Simple Life
Written by Jon Lind and Richard Page. The same Richard Page from Mr Mister and Jon Lind had written or co-written songs like “Crazy For You” for Madonna and songs for Earth, Wind And Fire.
This one is a soft rock song.
Check out the vocal melody for the Chorus.
All Kinds Of People
Written by Eric Pressley, Sheryl Crow and Kevin Gilbert.
Yep the same Sheryl Crow and her songwriting partner Kevin Gilbert from her debut album were in demand and writing songs for other artists as well.
It’s in that soul contemporary pop rock vibe which was prominent in the 90s.
Written by Jennifer Kimball and Randy VanWarmer it appeared on Randy’s solo album “The Third Child” released in 1994.
And here it is a few years later as the title track. It has a soft rock Springsteen vibe.
Don’t Let It End
Written by Aaron Hendra an Australian-born songwriter, singer and guitarist who lives in the U.S.
It reminds of “Time Of My Life” from the “Dirty Dancing” movie.
Hearts On Fire
Written by Tom Kimmel and S. Lynch. I was wondering which S Lynch is a co-writer.
Could it be the Steve Lynch from Autograph?
Nope it’s Stan Lynch, the ex drummer from Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers who became a successful producer and songwriter.
On a side note, “That’s Freedom” was also written by Kimmel which Farnham recorded and it became a Top 10 hit for him in late 1990. So it’s no surprise that Farnham used him again.
The “Rocky IV” track comes to mind but it’s not it. The song is more blues soul rock.
Hard Promises To Keep
Written by Kimmie Rhodes and the song appeared on her “West Texas Heaven” album released in 1994 and it’s in the vein of country ballads musically, but the vocal melodies are more in line with pop melodies.
Over My Head
Written by Ricard Pleasance and A. Tanner.
Richard Pleasance is an Australian rock musician and producer. He was a founding member of Australian band “Boom Crash Opera”.
It’s a ballad and it’s chord progressions is more like country rock ballads, reminding me of current songs like “Home” from Daughtry.
May You Never
Written by John Martyn it’s an up beat acoustic track that is played in the way Nuno Bettencourt plays on “More Than Words”.
John Martyn, is a British singer-songwriter and guitarist who released 23 studio albums over a 40-year career. He’s been described as blurring the boundaries between folk, jazz, rock and blues”.
Written by John Farnham, producer Ross Fraser and Chong Lim.
Finally Farnham gets a co-write in a track that is a cross between “Superstition” and “Play That Funky Music”.
If you want to hear John Farnham in a rock way, then “Whispering Jack” and “Age Of Reason” would suffice. If you want to hear Farnham in a soul and country rock way, then this album would donyje