Europe/The Final Countdown 30th Anniversary Show.(2017)

30 years ago already? Whut? EUROPE unleashed the mega selling The Final Countdown back in 1986 and it’s kinda funny as if we were to talk about my listening curve with Europe back in 1986.

The Final Countdown had some great rock tracks like Cherokee/Danger On The Track and Rock The Night.

Course the song The Final Countdown song and video was played to death (will say that Europe Guitarist John Norum plays a great solo on the track)  as was the ballad Carrie(no comment) but things kinda went south for me when Lead Singer Joey Tempest sang into a Heinz Ketchup bottle on the Rock The Night video( I posted a story about Joesph and The Ketchup Bottle)…

So Europe basically that year 1986-87 flatlined for me. Even when Europe released in 1988 Out of This World it didn’t do it for me(my brother Todd bought Out of This World on cassette tape) even after hearing it. Superstitious was a great track still though….

Than EUROPE closed up shop and then in the year 2000 EUROPE reforms with the same 5 guys and they still continue on to this day which is remarkable as they look  and sound in decent shape. Case in point check the vid below with a recent tune from 2015’s excellent War of Kings album called Nothing To YouKiller track with Norum soloing like a lunatic on  guitar! Norum is an underrated guitarist the guy is a genius on the 6 string….

The first part of this show is the full War of Kings album played in its entirety. A great slick move as Joey and the boys are like keeping it fresh and current and just not relying on some huge nostalgia only rock act….

So here comes in 2017  the actual  release of the Final Countdown show recorded last year and it features a ton of tunes. On the first disc as i mentioned EUROPE plays a bunch of new stuff from the War of Kings release. These new tunes stand up well.

Remember earlier on I was talking about my listening curve with EUROPE?!

Let’s put it this way Joey and the boys have blended on there last few releases  the sonics of Deep Purple and UFO into their music and have become a great straight ahead hard rock act that know the role of the keyboards just as UFO did in their heyday.

Funny how time changes one’s mind in this case whereas I have no problem listening to EUROPE now especially with the recorded output they have recently put out in the last few years.

I cannot say the same about Bon Jovi currently and even UFO for that matter. Now don’t get me wrong folk’s what I mean is when I do listen to UFO or Jovi it’s a certain era. UFO its everything from the brilliant Strangers In The Night to Making Contact. For Bon Jovi it would be Slippery thru to Keep The Faith. Basically anything these bands have put out since than I really couldn’t care less about…

EUROPE on the other hand its a role reversal with Jovi and UFO…

Europe has ramped up there sound/mixed things up sonically(hiring Rival Sons producer Dave Cobb was a brilliant move) and have made it interesting to say the least! Speaking of which EUROPE has a new album coming out this October titled Walk On The Earth. Friggin rights I’m getting it….

I can listen to Europe in 2017  whereas  in 1987 I had issues with them! Haha..

Better late than never!

 

Rainbow/Rising(1976)

 

Man what an awesome Cover! If that doesn’t make a musical statement nothing will!

My Rainbow listening habits started around the time of Rainbow’s 1982 release Straight Between The Eyes. I basically skipped the whole Ronnie James Dio (RIP)period(my bad) until just recently as this album was on iTunes for $3.98 so it was an easy peasey purchase!

Tarot Woman is a whopper of an opening. Tony Carey opens the album with a 1 minute 40 second keyboard intro. Hows that for laying down some Moog Law? The late great Cozy Powell slams the drums into gear while the rest of the chaps Jimmy Bain(RIP) and Mr Happy Rainbow Himself Ritchie Blackmore provide the sonic sizzle while Dio sings the tale of the Tarot Woman.  Blackmore does his deal with the devil during the solo while Powell is lurking int he background slamming the skins!

Run With The Wolf begins with all hands on deck. The band shifts a slower gear but make no mistake this song is still heavy in a Deep Purple like stomp of yesteryear. Not surprising considering Ritchie had a huge hand in those Purple songs. Dig the almost like slide guitar action during the solo. Great tune.

Speaking of Purple Starstruck  begins like a Purple track(You can hear how much Ritchie had a hand in those old Purple tunes). A real cool groove that chugs down Blackmore avenue and say what you want but the real deal on these tunes is Cozy Powell who is all over the place rhythmically and basically lets Richie loose in his rock caboose to do the stuff that the man in black can do on guitar!

Ritchie takes over and opens the song Do You Close Your Eyes and this is an all out Rainbow jam played at a loud volume! Dio drops down a ton of cool lyrics on this album. I guess you could say that this would be as close to a rock radio track you could get from these guys back in 76….

Powell drops down one of the coolest opening drum fills ever at the beginning of Stargazer. 12 seconds of a drum brilliance and Rainbow  will take you through the stratosphere of time changes  and what nots as only they can for oh lets say 8 minutes and 20 seconds! This song is a bonafide classic. It grabs you by the back of the neck and doesn’t let you go through sweeping musical climates yet never dulling out it just goes and goes and before you know it Stargazer is done! Hard to believe its 8 minutes plus…. On the way out of the door say hello to the Wizard will ya!

How about another 8 minute opus! A Light In The Black fits the bill perfectly and it rockets right out of the gate. Dio and crew play this song at a ferocious clip! I betcha once Powell/Bain/Cary hook up and  start rolling Blackmore goes all batty on his guitar for a good 5 minutes of this track! No ending in site for this song as the band is firing on all four’s.

It’s safe to say that if I was a little older back in 76 i would have been all over this album. It’s all here for the taking! You got Dio scripting all the lyrics to Blackmore’s pedal to the metal riffs. Powell slams the drum kit into smithereens  while Bain and Cary (with his keyboards adding not subtracting from Ritchie) add colours to the Rainbow! (ha that was sappy) Ok how about a boot in the ass! Crazy how it took me 41 years to own this!

Blackmore for a while leaves Deep Purple in the rearview mirror and forges a new identity known as Rainbow!

Great album!

Rock Candy Magazine(2017)

Rock Candy Magazine is a new hard rock magazine that has only three  issues out and what a bunch of action packed pages these three magazines are filled with.

Rock Candy comes from England and features all of those classic Kerrang writers from the early to late 80’s.

Derek Oliver/Malcolm Dome/Paul Suter/Howard Johnson just to name a few are all here in their writing glory. These Kerrang dude’s knew how to write articles back in the day as they would report the facts but also add a great sense of humour as well which was missing in all the American Mags I bought decades ago perhaps except for Creem. 

To be perfectly honest over the years the purchase of Magazines kinda of ceased in my world until (out of England featuring some other Kerrang writers) Classic Rock Magazine showed up I would say back in 2007 or 2008 at our local Bookstore.

I was hooked back than but it was pricey every month and for the first 7-8 years I wouldn’t skip an issue and at one point I even subscribed to receive the mag via a paid mail subscription through some distributor in the States and that was real pricey, Once I was done with reading an issue I would pass it on to Tbone.

Than when iPods came out and offered magazines and once my subscription for the printed version finished I paid for the digital subscription via Apple and it was way cheaper and I admit I was buzzed on the fact that I could just read it all on my iPad for a fraction of the printed copy.

Funny thing though just over 2 years ago I got bored with Classic Rock Magazine. For some reason I lost interest. Got tired for instance in that I would buy and read the Joe Perry book and the next issue of Classic Rock  would  have an a 8 page excerpt from  Perry’s book. Also seemed like every month it was the same ol same ol…

The last digital version of Classic Rock I paid for was back in Sept 2015 when Iron Maiden were on the cover plugging Book of Souls. 

Since than…..

Nothing until…

This past spring when out on Facebook was Rock Candy (Who also remaster and reissue a ton of 70’s/80’s cd’s. Acts like Dokken/Hanoi Rocks/Alannah Myles/Warrant/ Tbone endorsed Bad English and my fav-o Nuck Homeboys Coney Hatch) advertising that they were doing their own magazine. 6 issue’s a year…

I was intrigued as Yup it was the Kerrang Dudes but most importantly what Magazine has ever on their debut issue have printed right on the cover “Eight Yes Eight Pages of Krokus”

I was hooked! But like a ding-dong I waited and once Issue 2 came out with the whole 1984 throwback Bruce Dickinson cover (of course seeing Maiden recently helps the cause) with the Egyptian Powerslave on the cover which by the way was done brilliantly and very creatively I might add. It was time than to take the plunge.

Issue 2 is wickedly good as well. Maiden is written and documented here on their World Slavery Tour from 1984 when they hit Poland for the first time. Excellent writeups on UFO and  Foreigner and an updated brilliant New interview with John Sykes who gives us the details on how and who know’s why the whole Whitesnake 87 band was fired. It’s truly a fascinating read/interview!

Issue 3 was just released and features Ze Scorpions on the cover with articles on Accept/Humble Pie/Dennis DeYoung/Manowar and most importantly 12 pages of Canadian Rock called Maple Mayhem. Writer Paul Suter did his homework on the Canadian Metal Scene…

The cool thing is the articles are written with the 80’s in mind but with current interviews added to aid the story.

Rock Candy’s deal is simple! When you purchase an issue or subscribe online and once payment has been made  you receive an automatic digital download of the magazine right away.

This magazine is not available in the stores. 100 pages(printed on real paper) of great articles with a lot of snippets of old Kerrang articles attached to new articles as well.

As well the mailed printed copy is sent. I can attest to the fact that my two magazines to reach Thunder Bay from England only took 6 Business Days to get here. That was fast…. (by the way I’m subscribing!)

If you’re looking for a great look back of Hard Rock from Yesteryear check out Rock Candy! Printed editions are indeed the way to go!

Totally Worth The Dough…..

RUNN D.T.J( 1986/87)

Christmas Time 1986 and the Aerosmith/Run DMC Walk This Way  song (mashup) was everywhere and was a huge hit. Like a couple of highschool knuckleheads myself and Tbone thought for the Highschool Christmas Assembly that year  wouldn’t it be a hoot to take the  stage at our Highschool and play this tune live as a rap/rock act!

Along with our pal Jack Loaf we went about hatching our fun scheme of actually putting this together. Why not we were all graduating Seniors that year and who gives a rat ass. Let’s do this!

So we basically became RUNN D.T.J (Deke/Tbone/Jack)

We were lucky that we knew fella’s that could actually play instruments so we knew the live music portion would be taken care of. It was just up to the three of us (Myself/Tbone and Jack Loaf) to pull our shit together.

So we approached the  rocker guys at school who could actually play  (Foles/Hoggie/John Young) if they would be willing to do it. They agreed so we hooked up at Hoggie’s basement which was a jam shack and after we studied the lyrics to Walk This Way it was go time…Rehearsal that is…

Once Fole’s kicked off that opening drum beat of Walk This Way followed by John on guitar and Hoggie on Bass it was our time and as soon as Tbone and Jack launched into the opening verse it was about 20 seconds later that song came to an abrupt halt!

Due to…Laughter,lot’s of it! Foles/Hoogie and John roared with laughter whereas we stood dumbfounded as we never heard our voices coming through a live mic….

I think it was Hoggie who in his laid back style said something to the effect of “Fuckin Hilarious!” so off we continued every couple of days practicing our one tune for the Assembly!

We were allowed 10 minutes at the assembly so it was only fair that since we actually had a live band laying down the sonic assault of Walk This Way as a favour to us that we would let the other guys play the remaining 5 minutes to there liking a song of their choice. This way it gave us a chance to get out of dodge asap in case….

Chapter 1: Christmas Assembly….

So now its time ..we get introduced and were off and  running  and the boys musically are on cue and here we go….

It was superb it went splendid. Everyone loved it People were hooting and hollering at us. Just like that it was over for the 3 of us whereas the real musicians in our band could play out the remaining 5 or so  minutes of the song of their choice..

What would that be…How about one of the best Christmas Songs ever!!!???

Cocaine by Eric Clapton was performed musically by the three fella’s. Cocaine is white meaning snow. It’s December in Thunder Bay…hahahaha…..one of the funniest things I  remember still to this day.  Man I howled as Cocaine was echoing through the halls of Lakeview at a Christmas Assembly!

Chapter 2: Flirting With Disaster….(perhaps not a good idea!)

So come spring time 1987 some one on Students Council approached me about us doing it again. I was totally for it and so was everyone else. The only thing is they wanted us to do about an hours worth of music?

Whut?

So we hunkered down and decided to do Walk This Way/Fight For Your Right To Party/Smokin In The Boys Room. We also did our spin of No Sleep Til Brooklyn and Tbone changed all the lyrics and titled it No Sleep To Lakeview. We howled! We were on top of the world.

We jammed a few times and we had it together or so we thought. Tbone drew up the poster that you see posted and we littered Thunder Bay with our ads of the upcoming show! ( Heard through the Grapevine that our ad ended up in the ladies washrooms at a few of the high schools!)

Come show time we told the organizers that we would do our thing for about 15 minutes and the other dudes in the band could fill the other 45 minutes.

 

Tbone and Jack to get right into the DTJ vibe went all out. They got black shoe polish( applied the shoe polish onto their faces) and decked themselves out as basically DMC. Jean Jackets/TurtleNecks/Hats and sneakers with no laces as well. They went hardcore! They looked brilliant!

My Mom stitched me some cool pants with stripes on one side and denim on the other. Tbone even if you look closely on the drawing drew our wardrobe right down to the very detail.

The school dance was pretty full. The boys in the band opened with Wipe Out than it was our turn and  we launched into Walk This Way. Things felt off on stage. The mic’s were cutting out. Jack Loaf was missing his vocal lines and all you could hear was him muffling jabber into his mic.  Musically it was solid. Our vocal performance was sub par. We limped and got through our tunes. It was a struggle.

After the raucous celebration just 4 months earlier here we are 4 months later and basically onboard  the Hindenburg about to go up in smoke. Andy Warhol once said something about “15 minutes of fame” We took our 15 minutes and disintegrated it into one big train wreck before the dance  beach crowd!

DTJ was finished. The Hide Your Sheep Tour after one date was cancelled. Debacle comes to mind!

We should have went out as Champs. Instead we went out as Chumps! Ha!

Life Lesson Learned! Still a ton of fun looking back at it now. Speaking of which….

Chapter 3: Time Stand Still

So just the other day Jack found the ad from 30 years ago and we both howled and I told Jack I could hardly wait to post this Tbone drawn pic on FaceCrack as I still love to rattle Tbone’s chain now and then…

Chapter 4: Tbone has the final say…

Tbone quipped on FaceCrack that hopefully “No audio evidence exists!”

 

 

 

Styx/The Mission(2017)

 

Yeah I have dabbled with Styx and their music in the past. First album I ever bought of there’s was Cornerstone(1979) after hearing how good 1978’s Piece’s of Eight was.

Paradise Theatre when it came out in 1981 I skipped as I was absorbed that year musically with Van Halen discovering Iron Maiden/Def Leppard. 

I found Styx to be on the safe side of rock. I wanted Loud Guitar Rock and Styx kinda wasn’t doing it for me. Nothing personal Styx just not my deal…

1983 rolls around and Mr Roboto from the Kilroy Was Here concept album was released and left a lot of people scratching their noggin’s. I just laughed at Mr Roboto?? Whut? I was more interested in Judas Priest singing tunes about Hot Rockin than some Roboto dude!

Once again I  passed on Styx….

Forward 16 years later to 1999 and CanCon Legend Lawrence Gowan joins Styx and now I’m intrigued to say the least. Gowan we all know replaced original Keys/Singer Dennis DeYoung over some dude drama with Tommy Shaw and James Young. In other words Dennis got DeBoot!

With Gowan onboard I picked up a few of their live releases StyxWorld being one( check out the scorching live  Half Penny Two Penny from StyxWorld!) and Styx was a different beast with Larry on the keys. They kinda rocked it back up again….

So here we are in 2017 and back in May Styx dropped a new single titled Gone Gone Gone and Styx is ramped up on this track and I watched the video as Gowan does the honour of the lead vocal and Styx have released a solid debut single.  Gone Gone Gone features some wicked ass prog drumming courtesy of Todd Sucherman who plays and slays at a double bass drum clip! Nice loud jam out between JY and Tommy guitars as well.

Hey great to see Tbone’s Homeboy from Bad English bassist Ricky Phillips laying down some serious bass riffing on this track as well!

Top Notch….

So did I buy The Mission?

Nope …not yet until…..

Mikey Ladano reviewed it a week ago and for those of you that don’t follow Mikey’s blog what are you waiting for?

Anyhoo Mike rates all his albums out of 5. Styx The Mission got 5 stars…Mike does not toss around 5/5’s without merit!

I commented on Mike’s review with a “Damn you Mikey now I gotta go to iTunes and buy it!”

I did and man oh man…What a Brilliant album these cats have put out. Lemme tells ya all why!

The Mission is a concept album! All 42 minutes of it(smart move by keeping it a neat and tidy like Concept album it’s  short to hold my attention span !) telling the story of a mission to mars in the year 2033. The concept was Tommy Shaw’s idea along with producer Will Evankovich.

This album reeks of a late 70’s early 80’s vibe as the album was recorded on analog  and man when you listen to the sonics this album is produced brilliantly. Total old school sound but with an updated Styx sound if that makes any sense!

If you’re keeping score there are no Babe like tracks!

Time to Slingshot To Outerspace!

Overture begins and it’s a musical little snippet a quick little opener of just over a minute before the Styxians launch a sonic attack on the track Gone Gone Gone! Posted a live clip shot by someone to show you that Styx in 2017 is meaning some serious musical muscle!

From there Styx delves right into one of the best tracks on this album Hundred Million Miles From Home.  Great 70’s like guitar vibe to open the song. Tommy sings the lead vocal on this track and its so good! Awesome good use of percussion on this track with a great cool bass riff from original Styx Bass Man Chuck Pananzo making an appearance. This song is just so good! Great all catchy syrup like chorus that is oh so good! Basically one that will get stuck in your head all day! That my dear readers is not a bad thing! Crank the tune below!

JY Young sings lead on the third track and Yup thats three songs in a row with a different lead singer! Trouble At The Big Show which has a nice slick jam riff to open the track as well. You have to love the chorus’ on these tunes as they are so damn catchy! Seriously only three songs in and this album is a sure-fire winner!

Locomotive has a different like rock vibe to it as Tommy sings this tune and features a ton of real cool snap tight acoustic mixed with electric guitars mashed up with Todd’s splendid drumming.

Radio Silence is Styx heading into the unknown  with no Radio Silence around for miles. No communication whatsoever  and this mid tempo rocker has a real slick power riff at the halfway point and Gowan nails that Hammond organ sound to a Friggin T!!!

Gowan takes the lead vocal  along with Tommy on The Greater Good which is balladish like driven with Larry’s piano and thanks to Todd drums yet again that steer this tune clear of mushville!

Time May Bend is another Gowan rocker especially when the chorus hits. ‘Shine Shine Shine On Me” nails Gowan into the mic and features some real slick 70’s synth like psychosness. Now we all know I’m not a huge piano guy but I’m always up for a good dose of Keyboard hooliganism now and then!

Red Storm more slick pic work along with some mandolin mashed up with the usual characters of drums/keys and bass. Great track that us all wondering when the Red Storm is coming in.

All Systems Stable …..quick little intro static like to launch into

Khedive which has Gowan plucking those keys with a Group like vocal and Wowzer’s did someone in the Styx camp inner channel there Brian May guitar  riff a roo synched with the piano. This tune reminds me of Queen,

The Outpost. Big time Styx driven song which picks up the pace with Gowan driving the tune with this vocal and this is another one that when you listen to on the headphones has 70’s written and played all over it! Great chorus! But that should not surprise you by now!

Here’s the conclusion with the song called simply enough Mission To Mars.  A late night prog night delight featuring some slick like drumming and big time lead vocals. Great sendoff …

Well what can I say?! STYX have totally blown me away with this album. Here we are in August 2017 and both Styx and Cheap Trick have released super-duper albums that have exceeded my own expectations! The crazy thing is that both these bands released their current albums (Styx with The Mission and Cheap Trick with We’re All Allright) on the same day this past June 16th!

Styx dig out and pull all the stops on this album. It’s unbelievable how good this concept piece is. Styx as I had mentioned keep it short and simple and wrap up this concept album without the fear of running it into the ground! The song structure with the interludes at times add to the whole trip Styx deal to Mars! (almost sounds like these used actual NASA radio communications a couple of times)

The Songs are all solid and Styx with their lavish harmonies totally step up on all the choruses on all the songs on this album!

I know a lot of people want Dennis back. Fair enough if you’re the hardcore fan but really for myself I’m fine with Gowan doing the Styx thing and I think Tommy and JY would agree with me…

It’s ok to revisit the past sonically with an updated sound but don’t go down DeYoung drive as you fella’s have a good thing going here…

Straight Forward No Looking Back….

Your mission that you should  choose to accept is….. Buy this!

 

The Black Crowes/The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion(1992)

Folk’s here’s Part Deux of mine and Mikey’s Double Crowes Header! Click the link below for Mikey’s slamming spin on this Classic!

REVIEW: The Black Crowes – The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion (remastered)

Don’t you just love the cover of this album? I sure as hell do! It’s basically the Crowes hanging out in a dump like setting so for all the wham bam Poison like happy 80’s bands trying to scrape by with any smudge of success in the early 90s The Black Crowes are basically about to stomp you out!

Nothing happy around these parts folks..move on but before you do. Dig into the grooves of this album! An absolute scorcher and in my mind (anyways) a 360 degree turn from the Hard Blues Stones like Rock of the debut (Shake Your Money Maker) from two years before!

Southern Harmony is an album of “We don’t give a F**K” we will do what we wanna do!” This album registers on all levels of that previous statement! No real radio tailor-made singles. No sir! Just plug-in and let it rip and through all its 10 songs 50 minutes of music. The co writes between vocalist Chris Robinson and his brother, guitarist  Rich Robinson are brilliant put together pieces of music without worrying about what would make it to the radio.

One big change was in the 6 string dept as Jeff Cease got his marching papers and in comes Marc Ford.  The rest of the Crowes still remained intact and that would be Johnny Colt(Bass),Steve Gorman(Drummer) & Eddie Harsch(Keyboards)

You could sense these guys were already graduates from the we don’t give a shit what anyone think’s thought of school. Fair enough…

Sting Me opens the proceedings and the Crowes are a flying as this is a straight ahead rocker. “If you feel a riot that don’t deny it” sings Chris and were off. Nice tidy like drumming by Gorman who as always does keeps the Crowes beat moving forward. This tune has a live like feel and even the Keyboards are mixed right. Great opener!

Ok. Remedy dropped as a single before the album landed in the shops and all I will say is “This is such a Friggin great Rock Track!” Whether from 1992 or 2017 it is amped and loaded. When i first heard this song I was blown away at the power of it. Just no fooling around B.S and Remedy was holding its own as the Seattle Grungeaholics were trying to wipe all kinds of rock from the map. Kinda like a hostile takeover but the Crowes were having none of that. Heads down in the trenches boys and Chris and Rich cook us all up a Remedy! With Gorman smashing about his symbols the guitars just lift this track right off! Still one of my all time fav-o rock tracks.

Thorn In My Pride is 6 minutes of a jam o ram workout. It’s all here. Chill vibe that ramps up with a snazzy driven keyboard line after the fuzzy distorted guitar solo. Chris battles “Devils/Angels” Hmmm is this about his brother Rich? hahaha….

Bad Luck Blue Eyes Goodbye starts off with Gorman clicking his sticks with the count in as someone chirps about “Weed” beforehand. Bad Ass Rock Hippies! This song has a different vibe. Real chill verses. The chorus wakes up a bit which features the ladies on the background vocals.  See that’s the thing I love about this album is that Crowes just jam out tunes that are pushing the envelope of doing what they wanted. Great chorus!

Sometimes Salvation. Marc Ford has the distinction of being in my all time Top 10 for the fuzzed out supersonic slip n slide distorted solo that is an absolute beast on this track. The first time I heard this tune on my first listen I went back to the solo it’s so freaking good! Sometimes Salvation has that great drum/lead vocal kick that to me along with the solo is like me scrapping around looking for a fix! A fix of Rock! I have always liked this video as  Chris just gives er in the lead vocal department especially when he’s bellowing “Sister do you wanna find me?” Deep man…

Hotel Illness has a Stones like opening featuring some cool percussion and harp to lead off the proceedings. Nice smooth vocal and I like how the Crowes mix it up between vocal/harp on the first verse and shift to vocal/guitar leads on the second verse. 

More harmonica on Black Moon Creeping. BMC is another great track as the Crowes do all the trimmings on this song. A sleazy like groove during the verse and Boom comes the chorus where it goes up one notch and thats due to Gorman and his drums!

The tour opener for the 92/93 tour that touched down in Tbay. No Speak No Slave has a real cool groove love the riffage of the guitars during the chorus. The song just ploughs forward with Colt playing his bass and just being locked and loaded with Gorman while Rich and Marc just jam all out over the map. Chris just bellows and howls and asks ‘Do you wanna be heard?’ Yes I Do! A rip snorting track that goes all bonkers at the end!

My Morning Song is another jam like workout. Tons of slide action from the guitars. No fooling around with a straight ahead rock track Crowesfried just how we likey! Chris man sounds like he’s about to go hoarse on this song and kudos to these guys for just leaving as is alone!

Time Will Tell is a Bob Marley cover that closes up shop on this album. The Black Crowes become Bob Crowes and basically keep the reggae like beat but with keeping an edge on it.

What can you say about this album?

Well…

Considering the Betty Crocker Baked Oven was on full throttle for this album these guys knew what they were doing.

To my listening ears this is a complete left turn from the debut. This album reeks of nastiness(the seedier side of life)but in a complimentary way. No radio like hits. A killer live off the floor recording  that no one back in 92 was doing or for that matter is doing now.

The vocals/musicianship the crafting of the songs by the Robinson Brothers was at an all time creative peak here.  I bought into the Crowes but after this album it was hit or miss with their stuff for my liking…

All time great here!

 

 

The Black Crowes/Shake Your Money Maker(1990)

 

HEY FOLK’S… This week it’s a couple of Black Crowes reviews that are on tap and Mikey Ladano is onboard as well with a couple of reviews of the same album over at his site. In other words it’s “DOUBLEHEADER TIME”.. Click the link below/pour yourself a beverage of your choice and enjoy some fine reading…

REVIEW: The Black Crowes – Shake Your Money Maker (remastered)

You know Rolling Stones keyboardist Chuck Leavell  who played the   Ivories on Shake Your Money Maker must have told his bosses Mick & Keef about the Black Crowes. Wonder if the Glimmer Twins heard this album before it hit the streets for mass consumption back in January 1990?

If so I betcha Keef lost his shit when he heard that opening riff of Stare It Cold as Crowes guitarists Rich Robinson and Jeff Cease sound like a jacked up version of Richards/Wood? That opening riff has so much muscle…Ok I’m getting way ahead here ….

So It was the release of this album I came across in one of my weekly jaunts to the record store(Jan/90) and came across SYMM on CD in the new release bin.

It easily caught my attention as these 5 dudes on the cover looked rock and well it was a no brainer and I got money in my pocket burnin a hole so there ya go! (wish I could say that now!) I think I may have seen a bit of promotion in the magazines about this disc but it was little…Boy would that change in a few months!

My first impression on listening to Money Maker was how Stonesy like it was. I read later in reviews as well that it had an element of The Faces but I can’t really comment as I’m not a Faces fan…so we go with the Stones vibe but with a more amped up sound!

George Drakoulias captures the sound of the Crowes brilliantly on the debut and funny thing was when this album took off Rick Rubins name was added as co producer as Rubin owned the label but had really nothing to do with the production of this album which irked singer Chris Robinson.  Actually you have to hand it to Chris as once this album started moving units The Crowes were invited to open for ZZ Top but once Chris started saying that it sucked that some bands needed corporate sponsorship  to promote a tour( ZZ was sponsored by Miller Beer for their 1990-91 Tour. I can back Chris up as when I caught this tour the ZZ shirt underneath the Tour dates on the back had Miller as a sponsor. Kinda irked me but hey I’m the ding-dong who bought the T in the first place!) The Crowes were punted off the ZZ tour. ZZ canned em in Atlanta (Crowes turf)

Twice As Hard opens the album and from the outset you know this badboy is gonna be jammed with bunch of Riffs and a ton of Rolls! Cease and Rich drive forward with there playing and drummer Steve Gorman keeps the Crowes movin along. Chris has a bit of a southern rasp in his voice which is quite frankly Awesome. Real good put together straight ahead opening tune!

Wow man did this song take off eh? Jealous Again is track 2 and once again it’s a riff that starts the track. This is the tune I betcha Keef would say he wish he had written! The guitars play almost in a chill like vibe and ramp up with that Stonesy vibe during the chorus!

Sister Luck. Plain and simple another real slick like track. Jeff and Rich inner channel once again Keef/Ronnie and this song just drifts along and Chris sings it perfectly. Awesome Chorus!

Could I Have Been So Blind kicks the doors off its hinges with a super-duper coolness and its the Crowes taking the party and moving on.

Seeing Things is a great track! Seeing things for the first time! It may take a while as Chris lyrics say but it will be more evident as time passes on! Gorman keeps the train a moving so this track doesn’t dip into Sapville! JellyFish!

Gorman lays down the groove and were off with Hard To Handle (Otis Redding Cover) and this song was everywhere in the Summer of 91. Great beat played but the fella’s and I like that little snippet of when the tempo picks up right before the verse! Pretty cool Crowes on the road video that was shot of the Crowes to plug this tune!

Got a chainsaw buzzin’/Who’s that cussin’? and this is the opening line to the fantastic Thick N Thin! Clocking in at 2 minutes 44 seconds and it’s the Crowes rolling  up with plenty of riffs n spiffs and along with Colts bass line and Steve driving the drums this track is a scorcher. Cease and Rich’s guitars are fired  up on this album.

She Talks To Angels features the acoustic guitars that are in the forefront and its the Crowes spreading there wings and the track must be about a long-lost friend who succumbed to addictions. This track was a big single as well.

Struttin Blues another straight ahead rocker that features a nice Hammond Organ rocking along with the boys. 4 on the Floor stomper of a track!

Remember about what I had written in the first paragraph of this review about being jacked up with a cool riff that Keef and Ronnie would and wish they could devour? This is indeed time for Stare It Cold. Big and I mean Big riffs along with Gorman snare drum that sounds like a shot being fired along with the big Bass drum propel this tune into utter coolness! This is one of the Crowes finest tracks I have ever heard! Love the Verses/Chorus/Solo’s and cue end of song crazy jam out mashup of everyone including Chris whose about to unravel at the speed of the song. Whooooosh! So good, that opening riff is pure gold! My CD has some creep out eery what the hell it is tied to the end of this track…hahaha…Silly Crowes …

When you talk about killer debut albums in the rock spectre SYMM has to be included as there are no dud’s on this album. I’m sure these songs were built from the rehearsal space into the bar stages and into the recording studio where the sonics captured the rest!

The playing on this record is infectious. Must make note of the guitars of Robinson and Cease. They intertwine each other so well and of course when this tour wrapped up Cease got the heave-ho to be replaced by Marc Ford. Shame really for Cease as everyone loses their shit over Ford and his playing on the follow-up to Moneymaker(myself included) but give it up for him. Hell I would think this is the best-selling album in the Crowes catalogue so that’s gotta stand for something correct?

Check back round these parts this upcoming Friday when myself and Mikey drop down another review….

Rock Album, Concert Reviews And The Odd Book Review