Music

Cry For Freedom

White Lion had the balls to tackle the subject of apartheid when all the other bands in 1989 didn’t. That was a long time ago. 1989. The Hard Rock, Glam Rock, Blues Rock, Heavy Metal and Thrash Metal movements where all riding high, at the peak of their mainstream successes.

It is unfortunate that the Eighties degenerated into a state of generic and clichéd derivative lyrical themes and subjects involving sex, partying and drugs.

When bands branched away from that, it was very hit and miss.

White Lion fell into that crowd of misses as the label “Atlantic” would still push the pop metal or pop rock edge of the band. The tours and marketing had White Lion sandwiched amongst bands like Motley Crue, Skid Row, Kiss, Whitesnake, Alice Cooper, Blue Murder and Badlands.

Of course, Motley Crue, Skid Row, Kiss, Alice Copper all had big wins in 1989. Whitesnake released a great album however it didn’t get traction. Call it karma for David Coverdale killing off the promotion on the John Sykes, Blue Murder album.

Actually, Blue Murder and Badlands released timeless and serious albums that in 2013 are seen as cult albums.

Music culture was built by artists taking a stand on a subject. The history of rock and metal is littered with bands that made big statements.

It’s the guitar sound. The way it swells and hallucinates with each shifting chord change. You cant help but be drawn in.

“The fire is burning
We lay our weapons down to rest
This war ain’t over
‘Till all the people will be free”

Growing up in democracy it was hard to fathom how people could be suppressed and denied rights for such a long time. South Africa was never in the news in Australia. It was like a decision was made from the powers that be that South Africa will not be reported at all costs.

Despite the song having a thread of hope, there is still desperation and the idea that freedom was still far away.

“So stand up and cry for freedom
And keep the dream alive”

“Cry For Freedom” is the kind of track that can be played when any uprising to oppression happens. It could have been played during the Arab Spring, the fall of the Berlin Wall or the Syrian Civil War. It never loses its power.

“Our brothers in prison
But no crime was ever done
I call it racism
Ashamed i face my fellow man”

“The children are taken away
And families destroyed
And millions have died from starvation
We can’t go on this way”

And the way it ends, it just makes you want to play it all over again.

Credit Michael Wagener, who produced it and still captured a sound that was rock enough to satisfy the rock community. In the end it makes the track connected to the rest of the album.

The “Cry For Freedom” video has 730,603 views on the 80s Classic Metal channel.

White Lion really tried hard to depart from the rock clichés however the public at that time didn’t want to be reminded about the world. All we wanted back then was to let our hair down and escape from the working week.

Vito Bratta mentioned in his 2007 Eddie Trunk interview that the songs from “Big Game” didn’t really work in a live setting, especially in a rowdy hard rock setting.

It was a concert at the Wembley Arena on Wednesday 01 November 1989 that decided the fate of the album and the rest of the tour.

Mötley Crüe where the headliners with White Lion and Skid Row supporting.

Sandwiched between a wild and energetic Skid Row and a newly sober but still dangerous Motley Crüe, White Lion didn’t have a chance.

Skid Row sang about belonging (“Youth Gone Wild”), sex (“Big Guns”, “Sweet Little Sister”, “Rattlesnake Shake”), street violence (“Piece Of Me”, “18 & Life”) and relationships (“Can’t Stand The Heartache”, “I Remember You”).

White Lion sang about Greenpeace (“Little Fighter”), broken homes (“Broken Home”), organized religion (“If My Mind Is Evil”) apartheid (“Cry For Freedom”), broken romances (“Wait”), sex (“Dirty Woman”, “Hungry”), life on the road (“Radar Love”, “Goin Home Tonight”), a mystic healer (“Lady Of The Valley) and the state of the world (“When The Children Cry”).

All important subjects however the majority of the rock crowd didn’t want to hear heavy themes in 1989 from a rock band. Those kind of heavy themes were coming from thrash metal bands. With the death of Nelson Mandela, this song is back in my life.

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Music, My Stories, Stupidity

Dream Theater – Three Webisodes In and Still No New Musical Snippets

Okay let me get this out in the open. I am a massive Dream Theater fan and as a guitarist a huge John Petrucci fan. However, after watching three webisodes of the new album process, were are the snippets of new music. Each webisode has music from DT’s past. While that is cool as an introduction, I am sure they can throw in a 5 second instrumental passage or a vocal line from a song.

It’s all talk at the moment and with the new album scheduled to drop in about six weeks, I think it’s time they do some walk. Let’s hear a song. Let’s hear 5 second passages of other songs on the next webisode.

Let’s get a track by track breakdown of each song, talk about the lyrics and the story behind the song, the compositions, show some snippets of the songs being recorded. Let us super fans dig deeper into the back stories. Do some of the riffs come from the past and which ones were written during the tour. We want to know. The people are commenting the same. We want to hear some clips, even if its Mangini drumming to intricate music that we cannot hear.

We get the marketing B.S. It is the best album you have created, Mangini is unleashed, it will make a definitive DT statement, it will showcase the level that the Mangini version of DT is at, its got a 20 minute epic and so forth.

You are preaching to the converted. We are fans. Hard core ones at that. We would not expect anything less than quality from DT.

Sack your marketing team. The fans are your marketing team. Give us what we need and we will spread the word for you. We will get you to number 1 if that is what DT desires. The expensive marketeers that DT has behind the scenes believe in smoke and mirrors.

With each webisode release, DT is missing out on opportunities to connect on a grand scale. Look at the YouTube stats. The first webisode had close to 200,000 views, the second webisode has approx. 91,000 views and the third webisode approx. 84,000 views. If anything, as the release date approaches, the views of each webisode should increase.

Now imagine if the webisodes had clips of musical pieces (hell it could be musical pieces from a song that got cut out for some reason), imagine all the reposts and re-tweets these YouTube webisodes would have had. In the end, DT is trying to get the message out that they have a new album coming. The core fan base know that. Now it is time to give the tools to the core fans, give us the snippets and we will spread it even further.

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Copyright, Music, Piracy, Stupidity

Fans Rushing The Stage – Part 2 – Copyright As Censorship

It looks like the video I was linking too in this post, was taken down from YouTube, due to a copyright complaint filed by SME (Sony Music Entertainment).  This is wrong on so many levels.

For starters, there is no music playing on the footage.  So I am struggling to understand how this infringes on any copyright.

Next, Motley Crue is signed to their own label, Eleven Seven Music, and the distributors are Universal Music Group and RED Distribution, LLC which is a Sony Music Entertainment division that handles distribution for independent record labels.

Again, this is a very far reach from SME to say that they own the copyright to a fan filmed video, that first has no music in it and it is from a band that is on their own label and use a division of SME for distribution ONLY.

I see this as legacy industries using Copyright as Censorship.

What these legacy industries fail to understand is that the internet is a copy system.  Here it is again.

And again.

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