A to Z of Making It, Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Copyright, Influenced, Music, My Stories

Judas Priest – Screaming For Vengeance

It’s there Eighth album. Think about that for a second. How many bands out there had their biggest album on their 8th release. Just to put it into context. Metallica’s 8th album was “St Anger”. Motley Crue’s 8th album was “New Tattoo”. Aerosmith’s 8th album was “Done With Mirrors”. Black Sabbath’s 8th album was “Never Say Die”. Ozzy’s 8th album was “Down To Earth”.

There is a reason why this album is a classic album. The good old right place and right time applies, however there is more to it.

It molds the AC/DC style of rock, with the NWOBHM style of metal that Judas Priest was involved in, with the Euro Metal sounds of Accept and Scorpions, with the sounds of the new Hard Rock scene coming out from the U.S. It has so many styles and genres merged into one concise package. And the audience lapped it up.

It satisfied the audience that they built up with “British Steel” in 1980 and the “Livin After Midnight” fans.

“Screaming For Vengeance” also brought in a whole new audience with the lean and simple, “You Got Another Thing Comin”.

And when a band is faced with a deadline two things happen. They choke or they deliver. In this case, Judas Priest delivered. They found themselves needing one more track. And that last track was “You Got Another Thing Comin”.

And you know, the band felt that the more complex pieces should be sequenced earlier on and as it turned out, that buried eighth track called “Another Thing Comin” was the one. Radio picked up the track and started to play it without the label even thinking of releasing it as a single. It was the final years of when the actual DJ had the power to break a band with the playlists they created.

Tom Allom was in the producers chair again.

Again it is the one/two punch of “The Hellion/Electric Eye” that kicks it off. With the lyrical themes of “someone spying on us” and the melodic pedal point riff, you can easily place this song as a parent to the thrash movement.

The whole Orwellian “1984” theme of spy satellites and the invasion of privacy is so real today, with the NSA and other democratic Government agencies around the world spying on their own citizens. In 30 plus years, the world is exactly the “Electric Eye” and our civil liberties are being eroded a little bit at a time.

You think you’ve private lives
Think nothing of the kind
There is no true escape
I’m watching all the time

Yep, it sure sounds like 2014.

Even in “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin” there is a theme in there that was used to great extent by Dee Snider in “We’re Not Gonna Take It”.

“My life, I’m gonna live it up”

The teenagers of the Eighties were born to parents who were born during World War II or just after. Our upbringing was different. Live, work and die was the unwritten mantra.

So when we heard songs like “You Got Another Thing Comin”, “Cum on Feel The Noize”, “We’re Not Gonna Take It”, “Shout At The Devil” and “Don’t Stop Believin” we connected with them immediately.

“(Take These) Chains” was written by Bob Halligan Jnr. If that name sounds familiar, it should. He co-write “Rise To It” with Paul Stanley from the Kiss album, “Hot In The Shade”. He also co-write “Don’t Close Your Eyes” with the Kix guys for the “Blow My Fuse” album.

“Screaming For Vengeance”

Tie a blindfold all around your head
Spin you round in the torture before the dread
And then you’re pushed and shoved into every corner
Then they lead you out into the final slaughter

This is what the Copyright industries and the powerful record labels have done. In order to protect their business models, they lobbied hard to get Copyright terms extended. They lobbied hard and went to the courts to challenge or kill innovation that challenged their profits. All done with a blindfold over the public.

A to Z of Making It, Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Copyright, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories

One Thing Cannot Be Disputed; Those Artists Who “Steal, Copy, Imitate” Are The Most Successful

So you are one of those artists that has a song or a few songs in the list of 4 million that haven’t been streamed yet on Spotify.

Then you hear a song that sounds very similar to your song.

Do you scream “theft” and lawyer up, preparing for a court case that you don’t have the funds for?
Do you just shrug your shoulders and move on?
Do you send the artist an email and ask him to acknowledge you as a songwriter to their song?
Do you use the fame of the current song to bring attention to your song?

I am sure in 90% of the cases, everyone will do the first part. Everyone will scream theft and then they will start a long and expensive court process. If the publisher controls the copyright, then this will happen 100% of the time.

Since the Copyright industries have grown into Corporate monoliths, it is suddenly uncool for an artist to use previous works as influences for further works. Even the audience of certain bands weigh in on the argument, calling certain bands rip offs and so forth.

However, one thing cannot be disputed, those artists who “steal” are the most successful. Those who “imitate” are the most successful. Those who “copy” are the most successful.

Led Zeppelin built a career on copying blues and folk standards.

Metallica built their career by copying their NWOBM influences and many others.

Oasis built a career on copying from “The Beatles”.

The Beatles built a career on copying from blues and rock standards.

Coldplay has built a career on the “progress is derivative” model.

Bon Jovi has built a career on re-writing their hits. Seriously, if you look at their catalogue, “Living On A Prayer” has been rewritten for every album that came after “Slippery When Wet.” New Jersey had “Born To Be My Baby”. Keep The Faith had the title track. Crush had “It’s My Life”.

In the rock and metal worlds let’s look at the songs burning up the rock charts.

Five Finger Death Punch – “Lift Me Up” has a vocal melody in the verses similar to “The Ultimate Sin” from Ozzy Osbourne. A lot of people call it theft, I call it influence. Imitation is a form of flattery. The song is getting the plays. People are paying attention and that is what artists want.

It is not about sales anymore, it is about listening. Are people listening to your music?

Avenged Sevenfold – the whole “Hail To The King” album copies from other artists who of course copied from other artists for their own music. Again, a lot of people call it theft, I call it influence. Imitation is a form of flattery.

Megadeth paid homage to Black Sabbath’s, “Children of the Grave” in their new song “Kingmaker”.

Alter Bridge also paid homage to Black Sabbath’s “Children Of The Grave” and Ozzy Osbourne’s “Revelation Mother Earth” in the solo section of their song “Fortress”.

Continuing on with Alter Bridge, the song “The Uninvited” has a strong resemblance to Tool’s “Schism”. Do these odes to their influences make them unoriginal? No chance. The “Fortress” album is a great showpiece in technical riffage and great melodies.

Airbourne is making a career referencing AC/DC.

Motley Crue borrowed from Mountain’s “Mississippi Queen” and Stevie Wright’s “Eve” for their song “Sex”.

Black Sabbath copied from their own past to create ’13’. “The End Of The Beginning” is basically the song “Black Sabbath” re-written again in 2012

Call it the Rick Rubin effect. He even convinced Metallica to rewrite their earlier albums for 2008’s “Death Magnetic.”

Dream Theater even borrowed from the Rick Rubin effect. They got some flack on “A Dramatic Turn Of Events”, as the songs followed a similar structure to songs from “Images and Words”. Dream Theater did do a great job at masking it, as the songs do come across as independent “stand on their own” compositions, however the hard core fans will pick up the references to their earlier material.

The next time a person is creating their little masterpiece and it sounds like something that is known before, don’t abandon it. Chances are it will connect with millions.

It is a shame that we have a generation of people that have grown up with a belief that music is created in a vacuum and they decide that legal threats is the best way forward. When Balance Sheets are affected, these industries will do anything to hold on or maintain their profits.