SONIC WAVES……Bryan Adams/Reckless

30 years ago huh?? Ok let’s see 1984 the top releases for me would have been of course Van Halens 1984(actually released on the last day of 1983 to fulfil record company contractual obligations for a new VH release in 1983!) Iron Maidens Poweslave,Sammy Hagars V.O.A,Ratts Out Of The Cellar,Judas Priests Defenders Of The Faith,Whitesnakes Slide It In,Rushs Grace Under Pressure and I’m sure there are others but let’s move on shall we?

So Bryan Adams I knew of course but did not own any of his material as the local radio played the shit out of Straight From The Heart to the point where the song was played to death and ugh! BUT I did cut him  some real cool rock slack as he and his co writer Jim Vallance did cowrite those two ass kickin Kiss tunes on there Creatures Of the Night release(War Machine and Rock N Roll Hell) so I had a little street cred for him but than he stepped up and came out with Reckless!

So Adams delivers the first single Run To You and basically all of us were running to the record store! Holy crap guitar rock with a slick commercial big time sounding record and viola! Me,Tbone and millions of others lapped up Reckless!

Ok,so here it goes …here’s what Bryan and Jimbo (Vallance) dropped on our laps!

ONE NIGHT LOVE AFFAIR- Adams comes rocking out with upon first listen a slick commercial sounding hard rock this piece of the Reckless pie is gonna be. Pretty damn good says I and its ok for young Deker to come out of his Iron Maiden bunker to listen to some good ol Canadiana Rock! What’s also apparent is the top notch band that Adams has with him especially Keith Scott to this day who  still slings the six string in his band!

SHES ONLY HAPPY WHEN SHES DANCING- you know my deal with album sleeper tracks. Songs that are just as good if not better than the hit singles that propelled albums to mass sales and this ladies and gents is one! I love the driving guitar on this track especially at the chorus where it sounds to me like Ronnie and Keef from the Stones man how can ya not go wrong?!  Also of note is Adams voice is tailor made for these kind of tunes unlike that Robin Hood soundtrack drivel that was to come!

RUN TO YOU- Ok kids here’s a little ol wee rock trivia for ya all! Run To You was originally submitted to Blue Oyster Cult and they turned it down!! So Adams cooked it up on his own and mega fame happened whereas BOC picked up the Reaper and went back to playing the bars! Bad career move and you know what at the beginning of Run To You I can hear Don’t Fear The Reaper in Scott’s guitar! So I guess Vallance/ Adams wrote it with that in mind. Big time catchy hook and man throw down some percussion and Adams raspy singing and that equals hits and there was more to come !

HEAVEN- I knew getting into this Reckless deal that yep we gonna be going down Adams Avenue and hang a left onto PowerBallad drive! Boom Heaven sold tons put Reckless over the top in sales and people well girls especially went ape shit for this song! Now these tunes were never really my deal but for some reason this one did and I think it was the eeerie creepy keyboard during the chorus which give it some street cred like Adams is saying hey honey were in heaven but were also three short steps to hell! Darr,Tbone and Rugg!  You knew I had to go there !

SOMEBODY-wow how many singles already? And here’s another one Adams just drives the bus on this one and we all hoped on board! Big backing vocals carry the tune with once again Scotts guitar and he lays down cool lick after cool lick. I love this guys playing as Keith knows what his deal is in the Adams band. Play cool riffs,keep it simple and make cash and to this day he still doing it! Atta boy Mr Scott!

SUMMER OF 69- do I really have to talk about this one? I will leave this one blank and you can all debate whether it’s actually about the summer of 69 or sumthin else???

KIDS WANNA ROCK- Scott and Adams lay down some mean riffing in the commercial rock spectrum  and it works. This is Adams driving his delivery truck down a one way street and telling everyone in sight that everywhere he goes the Kids Wanna Rock. It’s a cool song and it gets ya pumped in a pumpy kind of way! More like I said great guitar action!

ITS ONLY LOVE- cue guitar riff to start off this tune and the  ol cougar Tina Turner is on the prowl for young Bryan and it’s all good from where i stand as well Keith Scott just nails down another memorable solo I mean how many times have you mummed this riff? Fuck man this guy is underrated on guitar!  Solo gem after solo gem!

LONG GONE-is a cool rocker a different kinda pace and tune and it’s good to see that Adams is ok with not writing every song to get on the radio I mean he relased 6 singles off of Reckless like Holy shit that’s crazy nowadays your lucky to crack 3 singles. If your lucky as no one buys records after the second week of release as all the diehards  snap it all up on week 1!

AINT GONNA CRY OVER YOU- Keith Scott says Allrighty lets rip this one out of the gate and kick it into next week and this is another one of my faves and it’s good to see Adams ending Reckless on a hard rocking note! Bryan Ain’t Gonna Cry Over You?! Why would he! Reckless  sold millions and shot him to the top! Cool use of the keys in this tune! Thanks to everyone who made this album for not sapping out the sound and burying the guitars under the keys!

IN CONCLUSION- Reckless was and is a great rock record! Straight ahead. No frills and just a  super cool well structured little pop ditties that still hold and sound great today! Adams is releasing a 30 year deluxe package this month (November) and sometimes when bands do this they drop the ball but Adams has stepped up! His version includes of course all of Reckless plus about 6 or 7 studio tracks and some  like Teacher Teacher who he wrote for 38 Special and Boys Nite Out which Krokus covered so ya can hear his originals of those songs and man that’s cool plus throw down a 15 track live show from the Reckless tour and guess what ?? 30 years later I’m rebuying this due to the fact that’s how you do a deluxe edition and plus it’s a good frigging record!

SONIC WAVES……Queen/The Game

I have a buddy named Chico whose sister had a copy of Queens News Of The World on LP around say give or take 1979 so this was my first introduction to the Queen machine but at that time it was all KISS,AC/DC ,New England and Cheap Trick nuthin else really mattered back than but  in 1980 Queen unleashed The Game and lil Deker expanded his listening bands to 5!

What grabbed my attention other than the fact Another One Bites The Dust was everywhere was the cool looking cover. Full props to the person who decided to go with the silver look as colour of choice with a cool looking black and white  pic of the band on the cover! Queen looked badass and it’s kinda funny how two short years later when Queen put out Hot Space(???)  they didn’t look so bad ass anymore! But nevertheless lets play a game and talk about The Game!

PLAY THE GAME-Starts with what sounds like a UFO landing and the song begins with Freddie Mercury at the keys and for me at the time (13) my musically horizons are expanding! Every album I owned up to that point had ripping opening numbers(KISS had songs like Detroit Rock City,AC-DC had Hells Bells,you get the picture?!) to get em out of the gate but here’s Queen schooling me that you don’t have to come blasting out of the gate at a million hundred miles per hour but Queen was showing their diversity in the grooves and man this is sumthin new to my ears and guess what I’m ok with it! Also big in this song next to Freddie is Brian Mays guitar action the dude pulls off a real good solo.

DRAGON ATTACK – Could easily be one of my favourite Queen songs  ever( the other is Need Your Loving)John Deacon funks out some bass with Good ol Roger Taylor into the Dragons Den and man this is Queen grooving off in a jam with Fred chirping telling me that the “Reds all red baby that’s what I said “and Brian May carries the super cool tune along with some cool percussion from Taylor and snappy bass from Deacon. This is Queen at their best for me anyways!

ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST-Give  a shout out to the bass player John Deacon for writing this tune and it’s his bass that carries this tune. I mean flashback to the early 80s this song was everywhere and I still remember years later it being used in a chocolate bar commercial that sent people freaking! Relax people it’s just John Deacon cashing his chips in man! He wrote the fuckin thing ! I still hear Mercury in my head saying “Another One Bites The Dust Hey Hey” this song as well if you were old enough in the early 80s to go to bars the bass in this song would just be jacked probably to the point of deafness! I guess that’s where the blow and booze would come in!

NEED YOUR LOVING TONIGHT-So Johnny Deacon sez if you think I’m just a one hit wonder in the songwriting department check out Need Your Loving Tonight! He writes pop ditties and man the rest of the guys with the drums,vocals,bass acoustic and electric guitars just add to this song and it’s my fav on The Game and I’m not just saying that because of the other two megabits on here! This song should have been huge and well for me it’s Queen once again  at their best! Like Freddie says ‘Hit Me’ Bravo John Deacon!

CRAZY LITTLE THING CALLED LOVE-Freddie plays guitar, acoustic guitar that is on this track and man this song was huge ,huge just like Another One Bites The Dust! Maybe bigger?? Deacon drives the bass and May yanks a cool 1950ish sounding solo and yep it does sound like Elvis could have done it! And hey we all know the saying ‘Ready Freddy’….great first side now flip your vinyl and let’s dive nose first into….

ROCK IT (PRIME JIVE)- Roger Taylor says well everyone is writing tracks so I better contribute to get some royalties!! Rock It starts off slow with May and Freddie talking about our love for rock n roll as it’s all in our souls and once the drums kick in Taylor takes over the lead vocals and I remember as a kid thinking wow all 4 members contribute tracks just like KISS except Queen is a little more complex. What I mean is that you weren’t gonna find any ” please to meet ya in the Ladies Room” that’s ok there’s a place for that but not at the Queens Palace!

DONT TRY SUICIDE-Fred says don’t do it cuz nobody gives a damn! Cool handclaps and neat rhythm and Queen has rhythm man. Check out the middle part of the tune when Fred pounds the keys the  Queen is a Rocket Ship headed into frontiers for  others to follow and I will explain it at the conclusion of this review. Plus as a 13-year-old was the first time I heard the word “Tits” used on a record!! I’m not quoting the line Freddie says,you go listen to it!

SAIL AWAY SWEET SISTER- May does the honour on this song as he sings it as well! It’s a big time ballad in the Queen sense. Queen must have puked when all those flipping hair metal bands in the 80s were doing ballads. I mean you know my deal on ballads but Queen had class doing them. Warrant did Heaven think about this will ya!

COMING SOON- Ol Rog throws down song number by himself on side 2 and Queen picks up the pace with this mid tempo little rocker! May carries this tune as well. This song is one  that nobody ever speaks of,buts it’s good,no shit Sherlock!

SAVE ME- The album ends huge as a huge epic Queen tune. The piano and Fred carry this tune. Man could Mercury lay it down vocally! Shit man this guy is one of the best as when you hear him you know it’s him! Fantastic finish to a classic rock record!

IN CONCLUSION- For this being really the 4th band I ever got into Queen showed me how you could travel down another musical landscape and still come out it with the feeling of Rawk without pussing out! Deacon,Mercury,Taylor and May also proved that you do a record all with single cowrites and still exist creatively and man you never hear the Queen guys Bitchin about royalties and if they did they kept in-house!

The sonics on this album even today are superb! Queen was ahead of their time by a mountain slide of other acts putting out records during the 1980s. Kudos to producer Mack and to Queen for pushing the sonic envelope! Don’t believe me? Grab a pair of headphones man….

Also some artists of the 80s borrowed heavy from this record and 2 come to mind quickly.

1- Billy Squiers Emotions In Motion album is heavily influenced by The Game as well as Queens producer Mack fiddled with the dials as producer on Emotions in Motion!

2- The Cars,don’t laugh listen to The Game especially Taylor’s Rock It has Ric Ocasek all over it. Than again maybe the Cars had some influence on Queen…I doubt it I can’t see anyone influencing Queen other than Queen themselves!

I must also mention I’m not a huge  Queen fan and would never pretend to be but for me The Game and there Queen Rocks Montreal are must haves…..check em out!

Tell the cash register that Deke sent ya!

Aeroforce 1 Ready For Takeoff!

What a great shot of Steve-o!

This is by request from Rugg and Darr…..

Aerosmith/Skid Row/March 24 1990/Winnipeg Arena

I was fortunate enough to catch Aero at the Skydome in Toronto three months earlier so when me and Tbone went to check out the Tragically Hip at our local University in early Feb 1990 there was add posted to the wall announcing a party bus tour to the Peg for the Aerosmith Pump tour!  After babbling like a idiot to TBone over the last couple of months in regards to the T.O show, once we seen the add it was a no brainer. So myself,TBone and T’s younger brothers Darr & Rugg were also on board the AeroExpress to the Peg!

So come show time and well here’s Skid Row again! This is my third time Seeing Skid Row in the span of under two years all on there debut album. They definitely had a good booking agent back than! Basically the crowd of 14,000 lapped em up! I mean they came out jacked and didn’t ease off the gas for there 40 minute set! They played basically the debut and from what  I remember basically stuck to it.

Now for the headliners…..

Aerosmith came out on there stage which for the Pump tour was them playing on a rooftop with each city there playing marked with the letters at the back of the stage. So at the back Winnipeg was spelt.

The boys came out to jacked up audio of a helicopter landing and before you know it Aero launches into Hearts Done Time and I still remember on top of the stage they had this little clubhouse right above Joey Kramers drums and boom the door kicks open and here comes Steve Tyler and the place went crazy.  1990 And Aero is on fire! From there it was into Same Old Song And Dance (already dipping into the back catalogue ) and a triple punch of Pump tracks F.I.N.E,Don’t Get Mad,Get Even and What it Takes.

Aerosmith in the early part of the show is playing for the late kids who come to the party in other words the ones who got on board during the MTV years. You know what I don’t mind cause Pump is a solid rock record one of there best so who am I to argue.

Brad Whitford plays a little blues and Permanent Vacation is played.( great song should be played more) and now the current single Janie’s Got A Gun is knocked out with some cool guitaring courtesy of Joe Perry during the solo as he rocks the acoustic!

Mama Kin is rocked and Tyler even sings it like I how I heard it on the Debut from 1973. The dude can sing man..still can…but back to the show and here comes Angel the big ballad from Permanent Vacation. Never really dug it for a Aero ballad as there are better Aero ballads out there. But like I said Aero is playing for the MTV generation.

So after Angel,Steve and Joe are out siting In front of the stage and they begin which I think is one very underrated Aero tracks Hangman Jury. This song reeks delta blues and man it goes over well so cool. Love the beginning of Voodoo Medicine Man and man Tyler is laying down some kinda Voodoo in the Peg!

So the spotlight turns to Joe Perry as the demon of screamin(Tyler) takes a breather  and Joe plays Hendrix’s Red House and man what a great version. Perry is cool…I’m not and well I’m ok with that!

Before you take a breath here comes Rag Doll and the place goes bonkers and man here it is one of my all time favs Draw The Line with a wee bit of jam with Jailhouse Rock in the middle before Tyler goes off the rails vocally.

Now a Aeroballad is played  which is a golden gem and that’s Dream On! What a great track! Love In A Elevator is rocked and the place is rocked by all the Aero guys! It’s evident that Aero knows what the crowd wants and that’s Aero MTV style. Dude Looks Like A Lady keeps the Aerohits going and the crowd just loves it and so do me and the brothers Erickson!

Sweet Emotion is cranked especially with the Perry feedback and Aero splits. What a band man. What a show. What a production! But wait here comes the one two punch of..

Train Kept A Rollin and Walk This Way….and Aero ends the night and our night is ended by  one of the biggest bands that had a second crack at success and made the most of it.


Sonic Waves…Def Leppard/High N Dry

1981 like I said in a earlier post was the year I discovered Iron Maiden and Def Leppard. The day I went to buy one record it came down to a  new band choice. One record I had to decide on and well I went with Maiden that day and purchased Killers. Shortly after  I left home and came back with Def Leppards High N Dry release!

I’m gonna focus on Leppard and man what a cooker of a album High N Dry was and still is! I remember reading Kerrang and Creem Metal magazine back than and they were into this New Wave Of Heavy Metal scene that was happening over in England so I guess I was somewhat part of that new metal scene over here in Canada. Leppard by album number two had enlisted Mutt Lange the one for twiddling the dials on the last three ACDC albums (Highway To Hell,Back In Black,For Those About To Rock) so here he is as producer only  working with the young upstarts in Leppard. 33 years later and this record sounds like it could have came out last week. The sonics, songwriting and overall delivery of HIGH N DRY is a must have in any hard rock collection…..

Let me tell ya what all the fuss was about…..

LET IT GO- no punches pulled, here’s Leppard in 1981 ready to do battle and the guitars courtesy of Pete Willis and Steve Clark (RIP) set the tone. Joe Elliot’s vocals are almost like a clean version of Brian Johnson from ACDC. Actually this song could have been ACDC it’s a slick piece of well put together hard rock and man it’s only track one!

ANOTHER HIT AND RUN-just continues the pace set by Let It Go this song just flat out rocks and man Leppard is a band to contend with. Leppard  will hit ya and they will run right over you! The two solos in this song are wickedly good and the Clark/Willis combo are right up there with Smith/Murray from Maiden at this point !

HIGH N DRY-the title track and Joes stumbling around being wasted all day! Dude pulls the vocals off convincingly on this whole album. This is hard rock 101 at its finest! Love the drum sound courtesy of Rick Allen.

BRINGING ON THE HEARTBREAK-I don’t think Leppard knew at the time they were composing the first big heavy rock power ballad in 1981 but they were. This is no sap from the tap! The drums move it along during the pre Chrous into the Chrous and the guitars take over! For me after all these years i can hear the Infleunce of Mutt Lange that would come after on there recorded works. But back than all that mattered to me was that this song wasn’t Journey like!

SWITCH 625-ends side one with Willis and Clark soloing and jamming out and Joe takes a breather during this musical diversion! Whew side one ends with a loud boot up the rear!

YOU GOT ME RUNNIN- this is my fav tune off High N Dry. I have no idea if they ever played it live but man what a great tune. Well written the guitar work just shines on this tune! If You Got Me Runnin does make you wanna rock out Nuthin will!

LADY STRANGE- just keeps the party going. I just really glad they never made a video for this back than cause it would have been beyond cheeseball! Why? I have no idea but I’m just glad they didn’t! This song is number 7 and it’s full out balls to the walls so far!

ON THROUGH THE NIGHT- wow the debut album was called this and now the followup has the title track to the debut! Cool all out rocker. The solo by Clark is deadly and you know what after his passing(1991) this band was never the same again. Even Willis leaving you could make a case for! Look at the cowrites on this album and Pyromania and Willis is a pretty big damn contributer that always gets left out of Leppard talk! Shame really!

MIRROR MIRROR(LOOK INTO MY EYES)- cool they brought this tune back last year to play live. It was a good rock track with some excellent musicianship in it as well!

NO NO NO – stomps the album to a close and makes you wanting more and more and well the answer for right now is No No No. This song just boot s the door wide open once more before slamming shut! Holy hell I love High N Dry! Of course the song ends and Elliot says No I think 48 times is it? Who knows I probably got confused and lost count ! Math and counting was never my forte in high school but ROCK was!

IN CONCLUSION- This is a all time classic which for me I would have to say next to Pyromania is there best work! They hit one out of the ball park here and made us believers until Pyromania kicked it universally everywhere for them! They were never the same after High N Dry and of course they gave Pete Willis the boot and out  went a big clog of talent.  Of course Mutt Lange really took the reins over after High N Dry but I kinda wish he would just chilled back a bit kinda like the role he had on this one and the ACDC albums. BUT I think Leppard 2014 would not agree with me.

Coffee And A Side Order Of Poundcake Please!

This pic of EVH was on the front page of the Winnipeg Sun the following day!
This pic of EVH was on the front page of the Winnipeg Sun the following day!
Gotta love some reviewers like this dipstick who reviewed this show as he says in his review they played Spanked and You Really Got Me and since i was present and accounted for at this show they did not play either track as he mentioned. Some people are so out of touch with reality! Or share those drugs with me Mr Reviewer!
Gotta love some reviewers like this dipstick who reviewed this show as he says in his review they played Spanked  and since i was present and accounted for at this show they did not play Spanked as he mentioned. Some people are so out of touch with reality!

Van Halen/Alice In Chains  Nov 7 1991 Winnipeg Arena

So the big Halen show was hitting the Peg and I was in attendance to watch Seattle upstarts Alice In Chains  sludge there sounds across the arena. Kudos to Halen they could have gotten another party rock band to open but na  they went with the exact opposite of what there doing. AIC were plugging the Facelift album and although I wasn’t a huge fan per say of them I will say that even today Man In The Box still holds up real well.  Also crazy is the half that band has passed on (layne Staley rip and Mike Starr rip) but that night in the Peg they played there album and I just remember the crowd was ok with them. If my memory serves me correct I think the only thing Staley said to the crowd was ‘hey we don’t bite’ as the front rows were somewhat subdued!

So after a quick changeover  here comes Van Hagar amped and loaded and there’s EVH   Noodling with his drill and were cranking into Poundcake and man Halen are jacked and they look like there enjoying themselves well I sure as hell am as thru a few friends they got me and my lady friend at the time 6 th row on the floor. Holy crap there’s Halen right infront and man it’s loud down here but I wouldn’t want it any other way!!

Second song and were blasting full throttle into Judgement Day and EVH lays down some neat tapping and Michael Anthony and Sammy Hagar nail down the vocals and AVH drives the song into the next realm! Two songs down….make that Diver Down in my case!

Runaround follows as the third track played and the third song from the current release and man this is a good song and it comes across great live. Sammy works the stage and someone throws up a tshirt and Sam check is it out and holds out the homemade shirt that says written in marker on the back ‘Juiced For Halen’ and Sammy than puts it on much to the slight of the fans down front from what I could see a bunch of em all had homemade Juiced For Halen shirts! Ahhhh memories!

When it’s love is up next and you know what this is a great Halen song as well and man Sam can sing live he just gives Er and I recall this one having some decent lights twirling around or was that my head?! Ha

No sooner does the song end and boom where into solo Hagar territory with There’s Only One Way To Rock…yes man I love this song and Halen is firing on all four cylinders! This song can get you jacked up and man I was fired up! Great energy this tune especially with the guitar duel with EVH.

And now a blast from the past here comes Sunday Afternoon in the Park from Fair Warning and were into a Michael Anthony bass solo. This solo was so loud that the bass was vibrating my pant leg haha…..Anthony ran around flinging out bass riffs that made no sense to me but man the dude was having a good time and you know what ? So was I M.A so thank u!

Anthony  and AVH with Ed head into the Pleasure Dome and were into Alex’s drum solo and man what a drummer one of the greats for sure! Huge drum riser and pyro shooting off and  wow man Alex loads up and launches into the drum fill of ..

A.F.U..yeah man there jacked I’m jacked were all fired up what a great song!

Including solos and songs were now into the ninth song and the first DLR tune is unleashed and it’s Panama and the crowd goes crazy. Sammy delivers it and hey I think he may just may dig this tune and if he doesn’t well he ain’t showing it!

After one Diamond Dave track were back to 5150 and Why Can’t This Be Love. This is a good solid rock track and well the new recruits into Camp Halen like this track and me as well. It was the Van Hagar debut single and it showed us there was life after Panama!

Well now so out come some goofy cowboy hats and the Halen boys go acoustic(Sammy) and electric(Ed)with Finish What You Started and Ed shows us the cool finger picking solo that just makes this song come alive.

Now it’s time for SAMs solo spot and that’s Eagles Fly from his 87 solo release I Never Said Goodbye. Good song and man say what ya want but Sammy can play guitar.

We go from nice little acoustic piece into 316 and EVH’s monster solo…Eruption! What is there to say during EVH solo? Nuthin new I can add so why bother but I will say that he is the best of the best from my generation! Ya can’t compete with this guy when he’s soloing. No one comes close!

You Really Got Me is up next and it’s more blistering guitar work from Eddie like I had to tell ya right??

Sammy punches the gas and drives Halen right into I Can’t a Drive 55. This one is a hard rocker now that it’s a keyboard less tune.

Some more from 5150 is coming up and that’s Best Of Both Worlds. I like the interplay between band members on this one like from the Live Without A Net Release!  So by now it’s a pretty well known fact that Halen is rocking and pushing the Hagar catalogue  to extremes!

The regular Set ends with The Dream Is Over and it’s a great song man and people tend to forget about as it’s buried on side two of the F.U.C.K album.  The band rips it apart at the end and bids adieu ! But I ain’t leaving yet!

Here it comes folks..might as well……JUMP!…Sam obliges everyone and plays the biggest selling single of VH’s career by that point well ya have to give the people what they want right.?!?!

And to close off the nights festivities…..Top Of The World! Complete with VH logo torched and on fire with pyro going off left,right and center! The band says cya and Sam shouts a don’t drive drunk  message to the faithful and they depart!

This was a great rock show. I mean Halen by this point is a different animal with Hagar  fronting as you can tell by the lack of DLR material played and for my money I was ok with it all! Some points of interest were that this was VH’s first performance in the Peg since 1984 and that only 8,000 of a 12,000 seats were sold. But being a professional rock act Halen played to the 8,000 fans not the ,4000 empty seats!

Sonic Waves….Harem Scarem/Mood Swings

Music tastes can sometimes be brutal and when a band puts out a stellar well written performed Maximus Rock Opus and it gets ignored due to that genres taste that’s a shame friend and this would be the case for Harem Scarems Mood Swings released in 1993 and only got as high as 85 on the Canadian Charts?!! Like seriously? If this slab of good ol school hard rock had been unleashed say 1991 I think a different outcome would have happened for the Scarem easily a seller cause well it’s Stellar!!

Now this is my fav Harem Scarem that I own  and when there debut was released in 91 and I seen the vids on Much Music I passed it was just like they were trying to my ears anyways a Canadian Foreigner! Hey I’m not knocking Foreigner and I’m not knocking Harem Scarems debut it just passed me by I mean Skid Row releases Slave To The Grind in 1991 and the thing just rocks like gang busters so I wasn’t into say that melodic side who knows though maybe there are rockers on it? I’ll have to re read Ladanos review of it again and figure it out…..

So For one record for me by the Scarem this just blitzes….thanks Harry,Pete,Darren and Mike….

SAVIOURS NEVER CRY-Pete Lesperance starts off with some cool little cranked up picking and then bam the songs kicks in and we’re off to the races! Harem uses keys on this record to enhance not bury the guitar mix on this album well done fellas! It’s pretty evident early on that the chorus’ on this album are gonna be big and damn catchy case in point this songs. Pete is one good guitar player man and Harry Hess nails the vocal delivery and whats more impressive is that the lead singers name is Harry! F#*kin cool!

NO JUSTICE-big badass backing vocals open the second track and were rocking with the debut single! The verse is really cool some cool Pete effects on his guitar blast this song and man the dude lays down a solo epic of one EVH….bravo!   Cool chorus cool everything on this track. I work with a pal named Rockin Roberts and man he don’t talk music much(he likes doing home renos and yachting) but when he does we have total common ground on  this track and  we were talking about it a few months back at work and he told me he plays No Justice around his kids!

STRANGER THAN LOVE- were into AOR land here and it’s ok Harem delivers it with a ooooomph in other words a kick in the ass. Perhaps this could have been a left over from the debut that’s ok man I can’t blame em for trying to score chicks with the slower material.

CHANGES COME AROUND-Harem bids adieu to the girls on the bus or kicks em off and launches into full rock out mode with Changes and man this song just gets ya fired up. That’s the thing with these guys that over time they have carved out their own niche,in not too many Canadian bands can boast some big ass vocals and power rock riffs and pull it off!

JEALOUSY- you wanna talk about sleeper tracks. Well friends this is one of em and now this is one of my faves off of Mood Swings. Pete plays some real bluesy riffs and under his guitar is some cool sounds like to me a Hammond driving the tune. Harry slams the door shut with the vocal delivery and man just a great rock track!

SENTIMENTAL BOULEVARD- Darren Smith the drummer (who now sings with Jake E Lees Red Dragon Cartel) nails the vocal here kids and the song is a friggin catchy number and once again Harem uses the keys but they know how not to alienate the rock guys(moi) into thinking it’s not some kinda Nightranger cast off. Come to think of it, doesn’t Nightranger have some kind of tune called oh wait a minute it might be Sentimental Street! I’d have to ask Tbone as he’s the Nightranger specialist!(hahaha)

MANDY- is Pete playing a little wee electric guitar nice little piece of music….

EMPTY PROMISES-bam bam the drums kick off this tune and this song is another one of those hidden rock gems buried at the back of the record. Cool,snappy chorus and some cool tempo changes and oh yeah cool vocals !

IF THERE WAS A TIME- yep another big kindish slow mo rock track and its Harem not trying to Scarem girls outta here! It’s ok man to have feelings but just don’t sap out! This coulda been a hit but like i said earlier it was a finicky musical climate back in 93.

JUST LIKE I PLANNED-Harry and Pete pull out the acoustics for a 2 minute little ditty before they plug back in the Marshalls and crank into….

HAD ENOUGH- like all records with guitar action some songs just start out of the gate with some super cool riffage! Had Enough settles the deal once and for all! This song just blazes forth with a cool double bass drum chorus and Pete rips into a solo that just sends the album off the charts and yep Harry said he’s Had Enough! Well if we’re keeping score I would say Had Enough and Jealously are my two top notchers!

IN CONCLUSION-Harem Scarem stuck to their guns back in 93 and I’m glad they did as soon as I heard No Justice on Muchmusic I was a buyer not only for myself but my bro Todd who need to hear some good guitar rock as he was dabbling in rap rock or whatever the f*^k the kids called it back than! Seriously though Harem delivered a big sounding well produced rock piece that still holds it own today. By that I mean back in 2013 Harem wanted to release a 20th anniversary edition of Mood Swings but there old record company said Nope. So Harry and Pete said Fuck you and re recorded Mood Swings with 3 extra new songs and their good tracks as well(World Gone To Pieces,Anarchy and Brighter Day)  so basically Mood Swings the 2013 version is as good as the 93 version! Just a little upgrade in the sonics and now I’ve read that Harem Scarem is gonna put out a new album this year called 13! Good on em…..

3/4’s Filler….Bad English/ Bad English

So 1989 and out of the ashes of Journey comes Bad English with John Waite singing the vocals. For me personally I could not stand this act as for me they were a calculated super group. It’s like some record company honchos sat around dreaming up a fantasy super group of unemployed musicians hence Bad English was born and shit they sold a ton of records so hey more power to em and most importantly TBone was a buyer and well once again he’s going under the bus!

Sorry pal,well no not really….ha….

I must also confess I have purchased duds thru the years as well but it’s more fun outing TBone!

TBone bought all his music on cassette back in the day and so one day I was rummaging thru his wall mounted Cassette holder that held about 200 tapes and tucked away under the B section(TBone liked to keep his cassettes in alphabetical order) and whoa what’s this says I?? Tbone would try and sometimes slide tapes under my radar (another one was Autographs That’s The Stuff) I couldn’t say much at the time so I said hey dude flip this in and bam here comes Best Of What I Got and if this is  your best Bad English I ain’t buying! Seriously this album is not my cup if tea it was so slickly overproduced too polished yeah it’s late 80s gloss for sure.

Also when song after song was released as singles it just seemed like power ballad (When I See You Smile)after power ballad(Price Of Love) was being pumped out and man I get so tired of hearing Neil Schon ( great guitarist) go on  about hey this is some heavy guitar action ,seriously ? Its like his guitar is always mixed below the keyboards I mean blah blah and more blah.

If you wanna hear Neil play some serious rock guitar check out the HSAS record he did with Sammy Hagar from 1985. Schon is cranked and man he lets it fly but here at Bad English and Journey HQ’s he’s buried!

So poor TBone, I put the bug In his two brothers ears about the Bad English dud and so it began to even this day Bad English Ridicule for the poor guy. Still remember me ,TBone and his bros Rugg and Darr going to see Tango and Cash the Stallone/Russell cheese movie and as we were leaving the theatre here comes Best Of What You Got piping thru the speakers as we were leaving! Me and the bros  were howling and chirping him profusely. Poor guy just hung his head and felt shamed! But he took it like a trooper!

I think these guys did another record and it fizzled and Neil took his guitar over too the Hardline camp and made a very good record with them. Shit his guitar is cranked pretty good on that one ….

I’m sure there are a ton of people that still think that this is classic AOR rock and if that’s your deal more power to ya! Who knows,but man the musical humouring that we still give TBone about it 25 years later is gold! So yeah in my eyes Bad English are gold!

SONIC WAVES….Coney Hatch/Outta Hand

I was pumped when Toronto’s own Coney Hatch back in 1983 released Outta Hand! I had become and still am a huge fan boy of these guys and after all these years later I have not caught em live yet! What the hell,one of life’s mysterys I suppose but hey I can yap about em and yap is what I’m gonna do!

Like  I said 83 and here’s some new Coney……

Once again Carl,Dave,Andy and Steve drop down some good ol fashioned hard rock!

DONT SAY MAKE ME-Coney rips out of the gates and man the first thing you notice is how slick this albums is gonna sound. Gone is the raw sounding  of the debut and here comes some hard polish from Max Norman he of the two iconic Rhoads Album with Ozzy that Norman had produced! Carl Dixon nails it vocally and the rest of the Coneys are telling me the listener Don’t Say Make Me and there will be no pushing in Carl’s backyard! Snappy vocals,snappy guitar… as a 16 year old in 1983 this song slayed me and well in 014 it still does! Check out the vid below this year filmed in England! The boys still got it…..

SHAKE IT- Andy Curran drives the lead vocal on this one …Shake The Stick umm ok. The song has a cool vibe to it with some added percussion by Dave Ketchum. Steve Shelski rips on guitar but it’s a chill ripping and the one thing I can say about Shelski is that for a guitar guy thats making records in the 80s this dude did not over play his parts to the part of making the listener (moi) puke! I thank you sir for that!

FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING- the big debut single from Outta Hand and if you read Sean Kelly’s excellent book Metal On Ice you can read Carl’s own words on how this single was booted or dropped by there record company once Def Leppard released Pyromania. In other words Coney got dissed by record company politics and I think they may have never recovered from this! Record Company in the 80s= F*%kers!

SOME LIKE IT HOT-Andy once again at the mic and this has some cool cowbell and well Some Like It Hot. Andy I think may have spent some time in Arizona I myself back in 83 spent a lot of time reading Circus,Creem,Music Express and Kerrang in my bedroom wishing I was a cool rock bassist hanging in Arizona with some chicks while it’s hot! Cool song and like I said before it was cool that Coney had two co vocalists with Carl doing about 60% of the lead vocals with Andy doing the other 40% in other words Carl sings with cool laid back flair and he at times reminds me of if Lou Gramm had a full set of 24 hr rock balls whereas Andy comes from the Monkey Bars and snarls with his own cool set of pipes ….man I love these guys!

TOO FEEL THE FEELING AGAIN- wowzers Coney slams the breaks on and offer up a somewhat melodic piece of hard rock. Carl delivers a great vocal and you know what? If Mercury hadn’t screwed these guys around who knows this album was at least 3 tracks deep in singles whereas bands at the same time like Autograph got the company push and only had 1 single to push over 3 studio records! Like c’mon man!

TOO FAR GONE- I had said earlier that Carl can pull off a hard rock Lou Gramm and this track  he delivers this track and man the guitars just rock this song and Curran and Ketchum lay it down on the bottom end!  You don’t have to be a raging metal maniac playing  at hyper speed to be and sound super cool. This track proves it!

LOVE GAMES- Andy deals his high cards last it’s a game of chance high prized romance! And no this is not a ballad quite the opposite the chorus is kinda of a metal funky rhythm and wow the Coney boys can play any style. Metal Jazz I call it!

FALLEN ANGEL-drums and bass start this tune off in almost like a Radar Love kinda vibe but by the time Andy pipes the vocals that’s when the comparison ends to my ears anyways! Cool solo and the band just keeps chugging along.

MUSIC OF THE NIGHT- Carl ends the album with a mid tempoish rocker and the boys tell me that its ok to rock out at a little slower of a pace to end a album.

IN CONCLUSION- Outta Hand should have broke Coney wide open but like i said earlier read Sean Kelly’s excellent book Metal On Ice for Carl’s recall of it all. It’s too bad but i still supported  them and still do. It’s good to see them still rocking in 2014! Outta Hand was for me a shift in production as  this was a little more slick sounding with little more polish but hey there still rocking and for me that’s all that mattered! A solid follow up !



SONIC WAVES…The Cult/Sonic Temple

1989 is rolling along and bam here comes the Cult with there super duper produced Bob Rock opus Sonic Temple. The build up to this release was huge,I mean we were buzzing with anticipation of the Sonics coming from the Temple!

The Cult knew how to build a buzz and man they delivered a huge some would say C*%k Rock release but for me a plain out ol masterpiece that could go toe to toe with Electric but they were different beasts. Electric is street rock thats gonna take you out in the backyard and kick your ass in whereas Sonic Temple will be a little more refined in the backyard perhaps a BBQ and some cold ones are on tap than a ass kickin!

This is the Cult streamlined gone is Les Warner and his sideburns on drums  and session guy Mickey Curry is recruited for the studio and along with regulars Astbury/Duffy and Stewart the Cult bangs out some serious Rockage!

Ian ditches the wolf hat and tambourine  and begins a new journey as the,

SUN KING- some slow drums and bass throbbing start track one and before you know it the Cult shift gears and are locked and loaded and into the Sun King and the first thing you notice as a listener is this is big time Arena Rock, gone is the back alley ass kicking sound of Electric in its place is The Cult going for the 20,000 seat arena pay days! By golly it worked for a time! Super catchy Chrous and man what a start…

FIRE WOMAN- the big debut single Astbury throws in some shake shake shakes which is his style and it’s pretty damn apparent that Billy Duffy has a ton of huge rock riffs up his sleeve. Yee ha! Classic Cult and Astbury has stepped up lyrically. Love the line about the hot tin shack!

AMERICAN HORSE-Stick it in your ear cause it ain’t exactly clear what you people hear! Ha your right Ian. This song shifts almost into a Aerosmithy zone at the end by the fade out but I tell ya the Cult are serious with the craft here. Kinda funny how Astbury hated this period of the Cult well from what I read,like why man?,playing arenas?selling zillions of records?your face plastered everywhere,?women throwing themselves at ya???party treats everywhere?geez dude at the time of this release I was washing dishes in a kitchen hospital and the only thing being thrown my way were burnt pots from the cooks! I should have hated this time myself but you know what ..I loved it man, it fed my addiction and that’s RAWK!

EDIE- ahh Ian And Billy find a moments silence and Billy turns the Marshall down and for a ballad at the time(89) this is a good one not like that Bad English rubbish that was trying to assault my senses..pretty atmospheric this track is with the use of strings…good job Cult good job!

SWEET SOUL SISTER-some solo keys start this tune off and than Billy and the boys join in and man this is a great rock track! Super duper catchy Chrous! Some duper cool solo! Super Duper vocal delivery just plain old Super F*%kin Duper Tune. Plus for good measure Astbury chucks in some cool Hustle and Struts along with some ya ya’s thrown in and it’s all good!

SOUL ASYLUM-7 minutes plus Cult. On the Electric album that would have been two Cult songs so the boys here are stretching there wings so to speak and were right into a Zep/Cult mash up! What a great tune …epic comes to mind…slow slow builder. This boys and girls is not a song ! It’s a masterpiece !

NEW YORK CITY- The Cult bid adieu to Zep and smash and grab and make the pilgrimage  into NYC and it’s a quick energized track and basically it’s Ian telling ya to stay out of Hells Kitchen! Iggy Pop makes  a guest appearance and all bets are off as Billy lays down a great solo and this song rocks. If you need a boot in the ass on a Monday morning. Crank this little sucka up!

AUTOMATIC BLUES-is another kinda mid tempo song. Big Chrous and big riffs having said that at least the Cult don’t pansy out when they do decide to take it a little commercial! Ian ain’t no sucker he ain’t no fool just talking about the Automatic Blues. Plus back than when Ian was headed for a bit of commercialism he would still toss out a lot of ohh,ohh ,baby,baby,baby………

SOLDIER BLUE- Mickey Curry drives this tune on the drums. It’s a snappy happy Duffy shuffle on guitar as well. Lyrically for the Cult this is as deep as it gets! To me it sound like Ian is asking about the perils of war and what good is it for.( insert serious comment here)

WAKE UP TIME FOR FREEDOM- you know me and TBone talked about how it’s great when you get into 7 or 8 tracks into a album and there are songs as good as tracks 1-5. This for me is one of em! Cool laid back song and  some cool cowbell and percussion jive up this track and Astbury delivers the goods vocally. Love how outside of NYC on side two that these tracks are pushing 5 minutes in length.

MEDICINE TRAIN-man over time this is my fav song off of Sonic Temple! Love the harp at the beginning of the tune followed by a big Duffy riff with Astbury torching out a shout of Shotgun!! And now were riding  on the Medicine Train…never coming down again! Sounds good Ian and of course Ian and Billy rip out in hyper speed with Ian bellowing ..oh Gimmie a lot of that Medicine,whoa oh Train! Whoosh…..what a great ending now get the frigg of the Cult Xpress !

IN CONCLUSION- so once again the Cult delivered in huge spades! I mean what a way to go out in the late 80s a TKO that’s for sure! Ian and Billy delivered a solid batch of tunes and they were twisted at the controls by Bob Rock and the this album made em arena headliners back in 89!  An all time great rock masterpiece!



Cheap Trick came along with there 10,000 shrieking  Japanese girls back to Tbay in 1980 and basically took over my stereo with the Budokan release. Kiss for me was the be all end all but there 1980 release(Unmasked) was a bizarre effort from Kiss including the cover it’s like what they say nowadays they phoned it in. Kiss was sounding like a band that’s tank was starting to run empty  and I’m sure all the dissension In the Kiss ranks did not help but hey Cheap Trick comes along with this live album just like Kiss did with there two live releases (Alive & Alive 2) and kicks down the walls with the ‘ hey if u think our albums sound soft well crank this up little fanboys” and by golly I did and I was converted with Kiss lacking any gumption Cheap Trick came along with the Budokan and fulfilled my listening need at the time. Cool songs,loud guitars loud drums, a singer who could sing and 10,000 screaming Japanese girls ! Whoo Hooo !

Cheap Trick had a cool gimmick as well. You had the two cool rockers(Tom Petersson & Robin Zander) and the two nerds ( Rick Nielsen & Bun E Carlos) and man it worked! Check out the classic In Color album cover

Let me  tell ya what all the fuss was about!

HELLO THERE-some dude announces ” would you please welcome Epic recording artists CHEAP TRICK …and now the shrieking begins and Rick cranks in with his guitar and Robin tells us all Hello There Ladies and Gentlemen! And were off. Girls screaming and guitars blasting And wait to top it off a few seconds of Bun E Carlos pounding out a smidge of a drum solo. Shit the guy that looks like a used car salesman lays down the beat! Needless to say I’m converted!

COME ON ,COME ON- Trick rips into what could have been a great single,super catchy verse, catchy Chrous, sloppy solo back to catchy verse and man it’s a keeper folks! No Tricks here! Just good hard rock!

LOOKOUT – is easily one of my favs from this album it has Rick and Robin nailing out some cool guitar action along with Robins voice who still has one of the best set of pipes in the biz as far as i am concerned! Three songs down and I’m on board ! Three songs in and each song is getting bigger!

BIG EYES- I always love when I hear this album how slow they are talking to,the crowd cuz well the girls are screaming and Robin says Biiiiiiiig Eyes! Screaming enthuses yet again and this song is a solid rocker bit of different time changes thrown in just to throw me off as listener! Good job fellas messing with a young mind!

NEED YOUR LOVE- holy crap a 9 minute song to end side one! That’s the equivalent to three Kiss three minute numbers! Carlos lays down a slow drum and Tom and his 12 string bass join and than the guitars  this is a slow builder of a tune people and than Zander nails down a super slow vocal, man this guys voice drips cool on this……and to cap it off they end it with a rock out jam at the end!

AIN’T THAT A SHAME- Carlos starts off this cover of the Fats Domino tune and he is joined by the three other guys and Zander takes over! Trick prove that you can take a song from the 50s and rock it up and that some  teenage boy in Tbay (moi) will dig it!

I WANT YOU TO WANT ME- ummmm I think you would have to be on island or lost at sea for 30 years not to know this track! Budokan sold millions because of this track and skyrocketed Cheap Trick to fame and the Budokan became the iconic album for the Trick!

SURRENDER- well next to I Want You To Want Me this is the next biggest song on Budokan. It has always been one of my faves …..heck they even name drop Kiss in it ! So I guess were all alright than now are we?! Pretty straight a head rock n roll tune no fooling around and hey this is Trick at there finest!

GOODNIGHT- cool Trick take the exact same music and change the lyrics from the opening song on Budokan, Hello There to Goodnight! Genius man and it works!…..

CLOCK STRIKES TEN- Cheap Trick ends this Japanese sushi fest with a great rocker and man it leaves you wanting more! Gotta get on down gotta get on down sings Zander and yeah man we all gotta get on down ! Whatever the hell he means by that but if that is Hanging out with the Trick guys backstage at the Budokan …..Man i’m in!

IN CONCLUSION-when I got this album in 1980 Cheap Trick easily became my second favourite band real fast! Budokan was a loud live album and even all these years later it’s hard for me to say they ever topped this album!  Dream Police and there spelf titled release from 1997 come close but i always go back to the Budokan ! Kudos to Zander/Nielsen/Carlos/Petersson


A music fan trying to put it down in words….