Category Archives: SONIC WAVES REVIEW…..

Guns N Roses: Appetite For Destruction-(Super Deluxe Edition/2018)

Ok Folks…Let’s put this one to bed early! I did not pay that ridiculous   $1000 bucks for the whole physical  package of the 31st Anniversary Edition of the mega upon mega selling Appetite For Destruction CD/Viny.l (and whatever the Hell else it was issued on!)

Nope….Do not have that kind of cash at my disposal but….

Putting my  Character Flaw aside(HAHAHA)  iTunes had the Deluxe for $29 bucks that features no less than 51 Tracks and over 3.5 Hours of Music (and was released June 29th 2018!)

Pretty sweet deal and I can tell you as I only have ever owned the original Geffen version of Appetite(which  also  included in this reissue is the EP Lies but no One For A Million Folk’s!) There is a whole bunch of stuff I haven’t heard like the various live tracks from a show at the Marquee Club(England) from 1987. Bunch of songs in initial stages like November Rain/Back off Bitch and snippets like The Plague amongst many others.

It’s the 19 tracks that Guns recorded back in 1986 in which they dubbed the Sound City Sessions which is the clincher!

These are the demos that make up AFD! I will go on record saying I cannot get enough listening to these versions of the songs.  Sure you heard em a zillion times over the last 31 years.

But…keep reading….

9 of the Original albums 12 tracks are featured in demo form.(It’s So Easy/Sweet Child & Mr Brownstone are the three left off) It’s  like the band is playing live. Everything is kept minimal. The sound is mixed brilliantly. I read somewhere that Nazareth Guitarist Manny Charlton actually produced the Sound City Sessions. I’m not sure if this is the case but as I don’t have the credits so if it indeed Charlton who produced these demo’s Mike Clink the fella who produced the Geffen records version of AFD basically kept the sound almost the same. Duff McKagan’s Bass on these demo’s is a lot more upfront for one thing. Izzy Stradlin’s Guitar is on one side of the speaker while Slash’s Guitar is n the other side. The songs here are finished just a little fine tuning when Guns signed their Record Deal.

It’s really interesting as you hear only Axl Rose’s voice and no backing vocals on any of these tracks. You can hear some songs being worked out in their earliest stages. Others lIke Welcome To The Jungle have a bit of a slower pace almost old school Aerosmith at times! Paradise City with a different beginning musically ….

It’s amazing as I bet ya Axl had basically about 98% of the lyrics finished and if you listen to Rocket Queen (posted at the top of the page) you can hear Axl figuring out the ending part of the songs lyrics and musically the band with a different arrangement at the 3 minute 30 second mark. Slash working out the solo’s. It’s all here. Drummer Steven Adler basically counts in every tune..

LIVE LIVE LIVE!

Cool Stuff….

There’s a bunch of extras from Sound City as well. Covers of Jumpin Jack Flash/Mama Kin and Heartbreak Hotel along with original tunes like Reckless Life and Move To The City.

Such a ton of music to cover. But for my dollar its the Sound City material that is the deal breaker. It’s cool when a band can release this stuff  that is  31 years(yikes!) young   that you  can hear the same songs that you heard a million times over originally but  in a different light.

What is fun is that it can  bring  back that initial buzz of hearing  Appetite For Destruction for the first time!

Great Reissue!

 

GHOST: Prequelle(2018)

Funny how in less than a year one can change a opinon on something!

Ghost was a band with a gimmick. I was 49 years young this time last year when my Brother Todd as an early 50th Bday  gift to moi took me to see Iron Maiden last June(2016).

Ghost was the openers and when Todd purchased the tickets back in January of that year he was beyond psyched  that Ghost was opening.  He kept preaching them to me to check em out! I did on YouTube and what not but the whole “We’re Satan” yada yada spiel I  had been down that road before with Nikki Sixx and his bag of musical tricks with Motley Crue’s ‘Shout at the Devil” release back in 83!

Before Motley was Maiden themselves with of course the brilliant “Number of the Beast’ record. Crue and Maiden though it was basically  one track that sold the album and by golly it worked.

Ghost though have used Satan as a concept or should I say Lucifer but in a clever way. They don’t go on and on with it just occasionally perhaps as a shock tactic for today’s youth. A shock tactic which is not a shock to me anymore. Been there! Heard that! Decades ago!

Tobias Forge or whatever alias he is going with which on Prequelle Forge is known as Cardinal Copia delivers an outstanding Hard Rock Album that so far for myself is the album to beat now. Will it stand? Find out when I post later this year at Mikey’s site!

Back to the present though and Prequelle featuring 10 songs clocking in at 41  minutes is perfect! Not to long..not to short! The songs take you on a journey that begins with a little Girls voice singing the children’s nursery rhyme of  Ring around a Poise in a creepy kind of like atmospheric vibe.

Rats begins the surge and once those opening straight forward drums lock in I’m hooked! Rats is a well written dose of straight ahead rock in which Forge knows his bread and butter and this track hits you from all side’s. Real catchy chorus. Sizzling Riffs and Forge knows how to write a catchy hook. Rats sets the bar high…

Faith features huge sounding guitars and the solo on Faith is phenomenal. Second tune in and things are cooking in Ghost’s kitchen. See The Light changes gears and shows a more chill side of what Forge is doing and not pigeon holing himself into one style of Rock.

Miasma is a 5 minute plus instrumental that has snippets of Prog/Rock and a Sax solo that just wails. Expanding musical horizons and this is a great track even though Forge gets 5 minutes off with the mic!

I think Scott in his review called Dance Macabre or maybe the whole Ghost album “MUPPETRY” haha.  Dance Macabre is basically a head on collision of ABBA and Ghost! Basically  this track is fluffy rock mashed up with a solid dose of Satan. This song is pretty slick actually…

Pro Memoria has Ghost going on about Lucifer in a ballad type setting that ramps up as the drums drive forward with some real cool guttering as well. Witch Image picks up the pace and like many of these tracks has a ton of cool percussion.  The second musical only number of Prequelle is Helvetesfönster which has a different direction than Miasma. Surprising that 10 minutes of the 41 minutes of this album is just music only. But for some funky reason it works!

Life Enteral is a fitting end to the album. Nothing to heavy here folks on this track but still a bit of a kick especially in the chorus. Good tune to end the album on!

It’s always a hoot that at this time in my life when I can actually get  into a new band. I am not a hardcore Fan Boy of Ghost as I own this one and the live release before it.

Ghost though have basically taken or should I say Tobias has written an album that features a ton of throwback Rock in it sonically and the production as well is kept simple. Not over done and the guitars are mixed with a bit of edge.

I guess for me this album is what I would call Satanic Ear Candy!

Ozzy Osbourne: The Ultimate Sin (1986)

 

So album Number 2 with Jake E Lee finds Ozzy Osbourne experimenting with some hair dye in his look and a somewhat new sound courtesy of Ron Nevison. Nevison you know produced the mega Heart album in 1985 and would later produce KISS Crazy Nights record so Ronny had the midas touch going back than in the mid 80’s so Ozzy or someone in his camp figured let’s hitch a ride and see where it goes…

The Ultimate Sin is what came of the collaboration between Nevison and Osbourne. Jake E Lee who had zero writing credits on 1983’s Bark At The Moon album which we all know is bullshit!  Ozzy credits himself as the sole writer on BATM. Ummm right! Your telling me Ozzy came up with that iconic opening riff in the song Bark At The Moon?

BAHAHAHAHA…..

Don’t worry Jake we know the deal! So along with Bob Daisley/Jake and Ozzy wrote Eight pretty decent tracks (Shot In The Dark was written between Ozzy and bassist Phil Sousann) for The Ultimate Sin. More of the polish rock sound of the times. Almost in some parts Ozzy-Heart like due to the production. But the songs cut through for the most part. The drums are handled on this album by the late Randy Castillo.

The opening track which is the title track is a great Ozzy opener as the Ultimate Sin starts off with a stomp of the drums and Jake just like he did on the Bark album steps and delivers as well. Tracks like Secret Loser/Shot In The Dark/Never Know Why/ Thank God For The Bomb/Never are your typical Ozz Rock Tracks. Ozzy knows that his bread needs to be buttered so he isn’t going to deviate to far from the Cash Cow!

I will say that Killer of Giants is a great track. Starts off real slow and does a slick buildup by the chorus. I have always been a sucker for this kinda rock move.

Still a decent listen even today! Though the albums production sounds little too mechanical Heart Like in spots but the main thing is the songs are there.

U2/Rattle And Hum(1988)

Rattle And Hum is such a great double album. I like how  the U2 guys basically tossed around a  bunch of tracks (live and studio) slapped it together and Bingo! Here’s  Rattle And Hum.

Rattle And Hum was the soundtrack to the movie by U2 documenting their 1987 Joshua Tree Tour jaunt through the U.S.A.

Speaking of the Rattle And Hum movie. I remember it like yesterday when the movie opened up here in Tbay back in 1988. There was absolutely no way I was going opening night but I told my lady friend at the time I would go the second night so we did. I don’t know how many people went the opening night but I’ll tell Ya there was only 10 people at the second nights 9 pm showing.

The public in Tbay had spoken and a turd was dropped in regards to attendance(Ouch) I actually thought the movie was quite good and even bought the damn thing on VHS when it was released a short time later.

Bono,The Edge,Larry Mullin Jr and Adam Clayton put out a real fine damn piece of Rock!

HELTER SKELTER-Bono leads the charge telling the crowd “Charles Mason stole this from the Beatles. We’re stealing it back!” Well played Bono . The Edge strums his guitar and U2 launches into Helter Skelter! U2 does a great version as Mullin rocks the drums while Adam  on bass plays a straight ahead riff and daydreams about supermodels  U2 hooks me in as a listener! U2 is kicking ass! Did I actually just type that?!

VAN DIEMEN’S LAND-This is just The Edge playing a short little 3 minute 6 second song and this is a classic. The 3 other U2’ers take the day off and The Edge pans real Gold with this tune! I loved it than. I love it now! Why oh why did they not utilize this guy as a lead vocalist on some tracks? His voice is fantastic!

DESIRE-Wowzers Folks! This tune when the video was released (before the album hit street) is soooooo Good. Pure and simple! U2 keep it simple silly with bass/guitar and drums! Bono nails a real good vocal. Edge plays a slick clean guitar and provides a real good backing vocal. Larry and Adam just roll all over the place and drive the song doing what they do! Plus for an added bonus Bono delivers a real good harmonica binge at the end of the song! Classic!

HAWKMOON 69-When I hear this song I hear Robbie Robertson on it just with the songs structure and  the ambience airiness  of the sound of drums just floating around in space with some big bass.

ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER-Whoah! As good as HELTER SKELTER is this one is even better. U2 tosses a gauntlet and declares this song as if it was their own. It’s that good of a cover. It sounds like an U2 original.

I STILL HAVEN’T FOUND WHAT I’M LOOKING FOR-I like this version as U2 change it up and add a choir and man there’s a few vocalists from the choir that take this tune up a notch and kudos to Bono for backing off and relaxing and letting others do there spiel vocally! Nice chill vibe added by Edge/Larry and Adam.

FREEDOM FOR MY PEOPLE-35 second jam with a couple of friends, harmonica, guitar and some cool percussion.

SILVER AND GOLD – One of the best U2 songs ever in my estimation. Love Edges guitar here with this song being live U2 ditches the gloss and once again keeps the sound raw! Hallelujah! Bono grabs the mic and delivers a well executed first line “In The Shit House A Shotgun” Awesome stuff and the chorus is deadly with Edge easing off the gas pedal on his guitar as Bono delivers the knock out punch lyric of “A Prize Fighter In A Corner Is Told,Hit Where It Hurts Silver And Gold!” Loooooove it! Of course Bono derails the tune somewhat when he goes Into some political mumbo jumbo but he gets back on track with the classic line “AM I BUGGING YA? DON’T MEAN TO BUG YA!” Bono tells The Edge ” Play The Blues!” What a great friggin track!

PRIDE-A Good Single. The jingle jangle of The Edges guitar along with Adams straight ahead Bassing drive Pride! Bono sings a good song here. Live,it’s a typical sing a long song for everyone!

ANGEL OF HARLEM-Love the horns in this tune! This is the great thing about this album as there’s a bunch of different vibes and production values. Angel Of Harlem reeks cool with a real cool blues vibe pushed by Mullins drums! The pre chorus builds up is real slick as it sounds like Bono is straining his vocals kinda gives it an authentic feel.

LOVE RESCUE ME-Edge chills on the guitar while Bono blows the harp. Larry and Adam join in and even though this is a slower kind of U2 it’s like they shoved there sound into a slow cooker and decided to let the sound take it’s time cooking.

WHEN LOVE COMES TO TOWN-BB King(RIP) does the honors with U2 on this track and its a great song. It’s a  little rough around the edges(no pun) and its a real good song that flows effort less or sounds like it. Bono along with BB throws down a real good vocal while Larry drives the drums and Adam plays some straight ahead bass and dreams about super models. Love the raw production of this track! Great Great Song!

HEARTLAND-U2 go for the big atmospheric sound with some trippy sonics. Bono and The Edge’s voices carry this tune especially at the end when they really ramp it up at the end.

GOD PART 2-Larry hits the electronic drums and this tune almost sounds like it could have for fit somewhere on side 2 of Zooropa! Kinda trippy U2!

THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER-Jimi Hendrix’s Woodstock solo segues right into the next track which is…

BULLET THE BLUE SKY-What a killer live drum sound on this song! Wow,Larrys kick drum sounds so good live here. Kudos to the dude doing the mixing at the soundboard.

ALL I WANT-Big end of the album tune! It’s a slow builder. Kind of a interesting end of the album song! It’s a big sonic epic delight! Bono’s vocals soar and directs the rest of the U2’ers to site back and relax and lap up the chillness!

FINAL YAMMER-U2 deliver it here folks! I like the fact that it’s a big mumbo jumbo batch of different styles,live and studio songs all rolled into a double album!

Bono,Edge,Larry and Adam show up bash out some new tunes with some that have a snappin edge to them. Fast forward to 1993 and U2 should have kept a rougher edge to their sound!

SONIC WAVES…Cheap Trick / Found All The Parts

image

We got Cheap Tricked!

Now I’m getting a little ahead here. First of all shall we talk about Found All The Parts first?

Ok,so 1980 rolls around and Cheap Trick releases this 4 song sampler that features on Side 1 Day Tripper and Can’t Hold On both live versions or so they say. What I read years ago was that Cheap Trick just slapped a live audience on there Day Tripper track that’s here? Why?  Who the hell knows where as Can’t Hold On which was actually recorded live and was released on the deluxe reissues of The Budokan album.

Now here’s where it gets real wierd and lets talk about A Conspiracy (Crowes anyone?) Trick Theory!

Side 2 features studio versions of two tracks one from 1976 called Such A Good Girl and another track called Take Me I’m Yours recorded in 1977.

EXCEPT…….

What I did read was that these two studio tracks were recorded along with other unreleased Trick songs(that were shelved)in late 1979 -80 not 1976 -77 as advertised so who knows and why? Did the record company suits decline what was Cheap Trick submitted? Who knows man but that’s Whacked!

A Trick Conspiracy?

FYI Check out the live vid for Day Tripper posted. It features 3 Drummers hahahaha and by this point Tom Petersson on bass had left Trick and had been replaced by Pete Comita who kinda looks like Petersson hahaha…more Trick Conspiracy!

 

SONIC WAVES….Andy Taylor/Thunder

This ones a shout out to Mr 1537! This notes for you!

Whoah whoah…Yep this is Andy Taylor he formerly of Duran Duran and guess what peeps? Andy put out a decent  rock record and if your looking for Rio,Girls On Film,Hungry Like A (do a do do a do do do do) Wolf it ain’t here…not close!

So I guess how I read it the Kerrangs  of the world back in the mid 80s Andy and John Taylor from Duran did that real cool album with Robert Palmer and Tony Thompson (Powerstation) and it made me take notice Shit these two Durannies could play and they weren’t mixed way down on the studio Duran albums under Nick Rhodes fucking mountains of keyboards instead they were cranked up on the Powerstation album.

So myself and Tbone bought Powerstation….check!

In 1987 Andy Taylor releases Thunder,myself and Tbone each buy Thunder ….Check! Check!

Andy was smart he got Steve Jones from the Sex Pistols to co produce,co write and play guitar. Also he hired Mickey Curry of Bryan Adams to play drums and Tbones favourite keyboard player Bret  Tuggle from David Lee Roths solo band to slam the keys….

Basically Thunder is more Bryan Adams rock than Duran Duran dribble so sign me up as I love a good slab of AOR Rock now and again.

Get it on …Bang A Gong or 2!

I MIGHT LIE- bunch of guitar feedback begins this song and it’s a shot of  adrenaline fast and easy! Taylor has a good rock voice which I never knew well I kinda did from that tune he did a few years earlier called Take It Easy so the cat had some chops on the guitar and a decent rock vocal! So when this album dropped in 1987 I scooped it pretty quick! So yeah back to I Might Lie which is a good opener! Good on Andy and plus he has sidekick Jonesy on guitar as well! Man there as probably some good parties off of the recording console for this record! Ha!

DONT LET ME DIE YOUNG- kinda some punchy drumming followed along with some echoey guitar starts with what is my favourite tune from Thunder. I love it when the crazed ass piano kicks in and check  out the vid posted! Andys voice suits this tune! Just a simple rocker no flash just a kick in the ass! Don’t Let Me Die Young…I’m Begging You sings Mr Taylor and I think he’s kinda getting autobiographical here!  Bottom line great tune! Crank the video and enjoy the fine selection of music here at Arena Rock!

LIFE GOES ON- this tune is dripping AOR all over the place this tune totally reminds me of a Bryan Adams tune kinda could have fit on Adams Into The Fire side 2 right before Hearts On Fire! Kinda that kind of vibe some nice guitaring on this track but the thing is the chorus of Life Goes On repeated over and over gets a little redundant after a while!

THUNDER- is the title track its just  a straight ahead rocker and it amazes me that Steve Jones from the Sex Pistols is riding shot gun on this album but i guess a pay cheque is a pay cheque! Thunder is nothing fancy but it’s a simple rocker witha great solo by Taylor and Jones. Mickey Curry pushes the drums fast forward while a total 80s sounding keyboard aides the chorus which I really could do without!

NIGHT TRAIN- is another mid tempo rocker. Taylor’s singing carries this tune and its a different kind of rock. Regular piano helps this tune along and I love the clean sound of the geetar on this track! Video number 2 posted just for You!

TREMBLIN- Wowzers this should have been a single! It squeaks 80s delight think Robert Plants Now And  Zen! This song is heavily accented with that 80s Synthy sound! The song is not great not bad just there! Like i said if your looking to order a 80s cheesecake check this one out! BUT Taylor even though he’s 80s thru an thru his solos are short precise and to the point! Look folks he’s Tremblin!

BRINGIN ME DOWN- some pickity pickity guitar and boom some mid tempo rock is ordered and he sings a chill vocal! Pretty good I suppose!

BROKEN WINDOW-hmmm to me sounds like Curry took the day off and Mr Drum Machine showed up but it has that cool groove like this could have been on a episode of Miami Vice! Tubs! Crockett! You guys there? What saves this song is Taylor’s solo once again the dude can play but I wish he would have really let himself loose on this album!

FRENCH GUITAR-is a musical man when I hear it  feel like I’m flying! Flying High Again! Hahaha….no this tune is super chill laid back kinda  like lying on the grass staring up at the sun on a hot warm August afternoo  and and spacing out!

IN CONCLUSION- Andy Taylor drops Thunder on the public and the public mmmm doesnt really go for it! For me at Arena Rock though this is a album that had to be reviewed for all intent and purposes and it doesn’t fall into 3/4’s Filler Area but it doesn’t rage supreme either! I will say  that Don’t Let Me Die Young is a great rock track and Andy was on the right path (in my book ) anyways with that song but he shifts gears and doubles back into Bryan Adams ville even though Taylors material at times falls a little short in some serious rock but Andys guitaring  is standout on Thunder!

In other words if you come across it in your music journeys pick up Thunder and check it out!