Tag Archives: 2015 albums

Iron Maiden/ Book Of Souls(2015)

Yes folks today I’m cheating with a repost of this review from April 2016! The reason? Well  I’m off to see Maiden Live in Minneapolis tonight(June 16th) and that’s thanks to my brother Todd who got us tickets on a presale as the show sold out in 2 days back in January! So thanx to Todd I’m outta here but fret not…Full Live Review….ASAP!

It wasn’t for the fact that Maiden after 35 years of albums would release a double studio album too psyche me out! Nope! It also wasn’t for the fact that Maiden as per protocol would have some tunes that clock in at 13 minutes and one at over 17 minutes! Nope…

It was the fact that in the credits as it listed the bands  names  their’s lead singer Bruce Dickinson credited with both vocals and piano!

Scccccreeeeeeech…..HALT! Yep my fine readers at Stick It In My Ear that is the difference between Maiden 2015 and Maiden 1985!

If you’re looking for Maiden speed metal  in Aces High from yesteryear just keep on trucking. They can still hold down the Metal Fort thank you very much but their sound has advanced proggy,epic in spots,a different kind of recording beast in 2015!

Just like how Rush stepped up and delivered a classic in Clockworks Angels back in 2012. Iron Maiden step up and deliver what I would say is there best album since Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son(1988)

Rush and Maiden have nothing left to prove but how they managed to step up and release such majestic epic recordings pushing  the age of 60 years young  is mind-boggling but yet for us Lovers of Hard Rock its a win win…..

Bruce Dickinson(vocals) Dave Murray,Janick Gers,Adrian Smith (all guitars) Steve Harris(bass) and Nicko McBrain (drums) are still alive and kicking into The Final Frontier(Ha!) ….No slouching around at Maiden HQ when Commander Harris is at the controls!

IF ETERNITY SHOULD FAIL- Ahhh so the proceedings begin with Bruce and some Voodoo Hoodoo Mayan like vibes. Yep all is fine with the Air Raid Siren and at age 57 his vocal pipes are as strong as ever  and why wouldn’t they be? Before too long the rest of Maiden shoots out of the gate and I like the production courtesy of Kevin Shirley who keeps things dry in other words he doesn’t overproduce  Maiden he keeps things sonically balanced. First thing is that I notice is Harris bass is mixed  down and not that twangy vibe like some sonic beef was added to the grill. Great chorus and Bruce’s vocals just sail over and Frigg his voice is outstanding. Dig how the song shifts into a Steve/Nicko mashup before the solos are launched by the Three Amigos on guitar. What a powerhouse opener as Maiden always deliver on the first song on each of their albums! Stand up and take notice Fokkers! Must also mention that I dig Bruces old creeper voice at the end of this song where he talks…”Good Day My Name Is Necropolis…….” Love it! Also a round of Hip Hooray for a close to 9 minute opener!

SPEED OF LIGHT- When I preordered this album from iTunes they dropped this tune Into my iPod! Read how at the age of 48 I still go Bonkers over these guys! …https://superdekes.wordpress.com/2015/08/25/iron-maidenspeed-of-light/

FYI- I posted a live clip of this tune from Mexico a few weeks back! Check out the crowd at the beginning as you see now nutty the crowd is with beer flinging through the air people just flat-out Rockin! Well done people of Mexico! Plus you see how a frontman aged 57 named Bruce has not lost a step like the frontman  he was at the age 27!

THE GREAT UNKNOWN- It starts off chill with some nice electric picking along with Bruce’s voice and then builds up into a heavy kick of Maiden Prog as Nicko sets the tempo with his driving Sonor drums and the chorus here is the money shot. Bruce soars vocally (Shocker! Not!!) and lifts the song as only he can do. Nice guitar work and as the song wraps up its back to where it began with some nice electric picking and Bruce’s voice!

THE RED AND THE BLACK- How about a 13 minute plus Maiden Attack as Bruce and Steve lead the charge from the get go and now about that guitar that cruises along with Bruce’s vocals during the verses. The Red And The Black has a bunch of music and it gets heavy proggy at the end and when you think it ends it keeps going and why not? Stop? Naaaa when the riffs are rolling keep em rolling! Nice interplay between all three guitars and I’m sure this song will go down a storm  when played live! As per protocol the song ends as it started!

WHEN THE RIVER RUNS DEEP-Kinda could have been on the Somewhere In Time album from 1986 me thinks! The song super charges ahead and theirs Nicko riding that Paiste Cymbal like no ones business. When the song crashes into the verse Maiden slip gears and crank it up with a slower doomed pace with some slick backing vocals perhaps Bruce doubling up but regardless When The River Runs Deep is a great track! Freight Train Maiden Full Steam Ahead!

THE BOOK OF SOULS- 10 minutes of the title track and if you want tempo change look no further! This track sweeps through all kinds of musical landscapes meshed with the Maiden Synth firmly entrenched in the background but not overstepping the boundaries of the guitars of Dave,Adrian and Janick. One of the things I love about  Maiden is right around the 5 minute mark the song does indeed shift gears and that’s thanks to Nicko as he does his smooth as silk drum n tom rolls and Maiden go into the zone and blast off with solos and its back to the Prog but Maiden Heavy Prog!

DEATH OR GLORY-A nice little ditty that kicks ass! It launches right out of the Maiden Gate with all hands on deck! Nicko is smashing the cymbals while the guitars play off each other and man oh man there’s the Air Raid Siren stretching his tonsils and laying down a great vocal. Believe it or not it’s a Maiden tune under 6 minutes! Video is posted so play it please!

SHADOWS OF THE VALLEY- The beginning riff is straight outta Wasted Years kinda and this tune would have fit nice and snug on side 1 of Somewhere In Time! Tons of Maiden synth fill the backspace along with Maiden ensemble! Great tune and better solos. Nice pace as well!

TEARS OF A CLOWN- A song inspired by Robin Williams (RIP)and its a fabulous piece of musicianship,lyrics and voice! It’s all here. Love the  Crispy Crunch sound of the guitars and the amped up Maiden Synth during the chorus. One great track but I have been saying that all along this review haven’t I!?

MAN OF SORROW-A mid tempo track that is paced once again by Nicko and the features a ton of Maiden triple guitar combo attacks and also features some real slick bass playing by one Mr Harris! Nice Cymbal riding at the end of this tune!

EMPIRE OF THE CLOUDS-And Here It Is …Piano! Ha! But well done and played by Bruce(what can the guy not do!) Cellos sweep across the backing of Bruce’s Piano playing and it’s a great hook! Nicko does his marching snare to Bruce’s vocals! Amazing that Bruce composed this tune about a Military Airship ( to understand the scope of this the Titanic could have fit in this Airship!)pre Hindenburg and can keep the song and more importantly us the listener interested as the song clocks in at 18 minutes! Yep 18 minutes! It’s a journey it’s not Metal but Maiden keep it moving as for the first time ever in Maiden History the piano drives the tune!  Epic comes to mind! I know people were going on about Bruce only writing a couple of tracks for Book Of Souls. This qualifies as about 3 plus tunes! Give the guy a break! Ha! Fantastic song! It ends how it started with Bruce at the piano!

Holy Heck Maiden show up yet again and knock me on my ass! A double bubble epic album release. If you’re a reader at Mikeys site you know this was my Numero Uno #1 of album releases in 2015! No one came close!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Harem Scarem/Live At The Phoenix(2015)

Harem  is a well oiled AOR hard rock act  that performs hard rock gems! Need proof? Look no further than Live At The Phoenix recorded July of 2015 in the bands hometown of Toronto Ontario Canada.

Harry Hess(vocals) Pete Lesperance (guitars and backing vocals) Darren Smith(drums and backing vocals) and Stan Miczek(bass and backing vocals) lay down some serious hard rock law that you the reader’s of Stick In Your Ear should check out!

As per protocol here I preorderd this album on iTunes and as usual they gave me no digital booklet so that’s the way she goes but it’s the music that does the talking and boy does it ever here over 20 songs performed top notch! Congrats to those who did the production as Darren’s drums are mixed perfectly while Pete’s guitar is never overshadowed by the pumped in keyboards on certain tracks. Stan the bass fella plays some real solid 4 string licks while Harry sings for his supper peeps! The guy is a very underated vocalist and along with Pete they write some very well crafted good old hard rock!

CD

Garden Of Eden
Hard To Love
Saviors Never Cry
Dagger
Distant Memory
The Midnight Hours
Mandy
Killing Me
Slowly Slipping Away
Troubled Times
CD

Sentimental Blvd.
Turn Around
Stranger Than Love
All I Need
Saints And Sinners
So Blind
Human Nature
Voice Of Reason
Change Comes Around
No Justice

So since its 20 songs I will pick and choose tracks and toss down some rando thoughts! Ready,Set……

For Shitz N Giggles heres my review earleir of 1993s Classic Harem album Mood Swings.https://superdekes.wordpress.com/2014/11/05/sonic-waves-harem-scaremmood-swings/

Pete,Darrren Harry and Stan deliver the goods sonically…..

So to begin the show Drew Masters (dude who ran M.E.A.T Magazine back in the day) intros Harem to the stage and in a minute and a half he name drops Toronto about 5 times hahaha… The dude is pumped to say the least and wheres Harem Scarem from again?

GARDEN OF EDEN-Being the lead off song and current track from Harems 13 album Garden Of Eden is a straight ahead hard melodic track! This possess all the great things about Hard Rock Harem! Excellent lead vocal! Cracking good drums,solid bass and Pete playing some real slick guitar! Oh and of course the backing vocals! It helps when your drummer (Smith) is a lead vocalist himself and is no slouch behind the mic himself. More on Smith later… I posted the live video from this show for all to see! Watch it….buy it! Simple!

HARD TO LOVE-Cool beans Hary straps on a guitar and doodles some  rhythm while Pete of course steers the guitar ship starboard side. Hard To Love is another cool rocker. Think once again like Foreigner doing steroids. Harem though on the musical side of things can flex some serious muscle when duty calls. Hard To Love has a snappy verse,an even snappier chorus and some real great guitar work.

SAVIOURS NEVER CRY-Now we are talking. Harry ditches the guitar and Pete flexs his guitar muscle with some serious cool power chords. His live guitar mix is sick! Crunchy,heavy and while we’re at toss in some wah and that’s in the first minute of this song. Darren and Stan rumble along on the drums and bass respectively to keep the song in check. Saviours is from Mood Swings and this song kicks friggin ass! The opening verse is sooo good with Darren leading the charge with the drums and the chorus is Gold! Big sweeping harmonies ,heavy guitar,thumping bass and man oh man Saviours Never Cry will boot you into next week! This tune is the deal!

DAGGER-As Saviours ends Pete throws down a huge power chord that segues right into Dagger! The drums on this song are rocking good while Harry sings it heavy here folks,not Slayer heavy but hard rock heavy and man the chorus is frigging the deal elements angst,danger, mean,pissed off and that’s Dagger. No fooling around here! Harem has come to kick your asses and as Harry sings about getting “a Dagger thru the heart!” He sings it like he means it! One other thing it’s one of Harem songs that has no backing vocals. It’s all Harry and Harry alone! Dagger is  a classic track. Different heavy sound!

MANDY-Is a musical only tune where Stan and Darren provide the back beat and Pete shows of his guitar chops in a bluesy respectful way. Pete does not overplay the songs and turn them into a wank fest! That too me is the sign of a great guitar player. Nice interlude ..

SLOWLY SLIPPING AWAY-Geez I remember this tune from 1991 and I just looked the other way! Too me it was just to Foreigner lite. Fast forward 25 years and its a great song! I think the fact that this live version gives it a bit of an edge certainly helps and the fact that the piped in keys are under the guitar helps heaps!

TROUBLED TIMES-Holy Moly this song is awesome! Troubled Times especially the course is very Journey like with the vocals,lead and backing. Let me clarify that! Journey like if they booted out Jonathan Cain and his piano and left him at a truck stop in Des Moines Iowa! Troubled Times is such a great put together song! Love the guitar during the chorus. The vocals as I said earlier are the money shot!

SENTIMENTAL BOULEVARD- Drum Dude Darren handles the Lead vocals here and this fella is a multi talented cat! Not can he only slam the drums but he’s got a great throwback 70’s rock voice to boot and  how many bands out there can you think of that have two guys that are Great Singers? The verse’s during this song are the money shot and come to think of it I seen Darren playing guitar in Helix here in Tbay…see Multi Talented Muso….

HUMAN NATURE-Def Leppard would drool to have written this song. Actually come to think of it add Stranger Than Love to the Lepp want list as well. Human Nature has such a great chorus with a tinge of power chord guitar tossed in. It’s what one would say is a Melodic Hard Rock Track! I would just say it’s Fuckin Brilliant……

CHANGE COMES ROUND & NO JUSTICE round out the album and are both from the Mood Swings album. Both are ramped up Hard Rock Tracks that will get ya pumping with top-notch performances from those all involved. Watch the vid for No Justice…

Check this one out Folk’s….

 

Spin Doctors/Songs From The Road(2015)

If you recall a few weeks back a bunch of us Bloggers did a Where Are They Now? A  feature on artists that may have disappeared from the public eye but in all reality hadn’t really. In the planning stages through email I think it was either Geoff or Bop that mentioned that perhaps  they would do the Spin Doctors! (It didn’t come to pass)….

Spin Doctors?? Great call and that got me thinking as I know I had two of their albums stuffed in a box somewhere in my basement but they haven’t seen the day of light in years. Why is it that?

As quick as that thought came to mind it quickly disappeared! Ha!

So one Saturday night I was lazing around cruising ITunes and “Ping!” A light went off in my noggin type in under search Spin Doctors. Click and boom …..

Wowzers ! These dudes are still making studio records(Good On Them) and in that mix of studio albums was a live album titled Songs From The Road.

I clicked it and sampled the tracks What Time Is it? And Two Princes.(still love that great snare drum intro on the studio album Pocket Full Of Kryptonite)

Wowzers Part Deux! Those two tracks on the minute or so preview that I had on iTunes we’re soooooooo good! I had to punch the purchase button as when it comes to iTunes even though they let you buy individual tracks I cannot do that! I need the full album meal deal….

Done deal. Straight to the iPod and Straight outside to take my 10 month old Puppy named Fender out for a stroll and sample and hope what I bought was a good call other than the two sample tracks I heard!

Cast Of Characters…Chris Barron(vocals) Eric Schenkman(guitar) Aaron Comess(drums) and Mark Whyte(bass)

Songs From The Road with the start of alarm clocks going off and Eric and his six string launch into What Time Is it? These Doctors have their own prescription pad and they play a real funk rock vibe and when they struck Gold back in 1992 with the Kryptonite Album after it had been on the shelves for a full year earlier theres was a sound that was different and i picked up on that quickly! A funky Hook is a Funky Hook! Make no doubt about it folks, these cat’s can play! Dig the swagger of the guitar,the pop of some funk like bass and Comess plays a real decent groove of rock! Plus you have to dig Barron’s Quirky type lead vocal.

Also it’s good to see these Doctors are not lazing around as they were plugging a new release entitled If The River Runs Whiskey.  A total all out blues album by the sounds of it.  Cool album title as well.

Good on them on still releasing new product long after the heyday of selling records is over.

Chris Barron urges the crowd ‘hey we got a new album” out and they feature a smattering of tracks from said release in front of  the German faithful that have gathered for this recording. Songs like Traction Blues,About A Train and of course the title track are just that Blues tunes played with a bit of a punch. Pretty good actually.

Of course the ear candy for me is stuff like Off My Line(which features the lead vocal courtesy of Eric Schnekman) and some cool trippy backing vocals courtesy of Barron. Jimmy Olson’s Blues  is another real good Doctor track with some nice zip on the bass from Whyte.

One of  the two  biggie tracks are Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong which features the great opening line of ‘Been a whole lot better since the Bitch left town. Been a whole lot better without her face around!”

Wowzers…Zap! Kapow! Great track especially when the fellas rock it with some big riffs before they rip back into the final verse about ‘hearing this song and i hope it pissed ya off!’

The second one is of course Two Princes with like i said earlier that real slick opening smack of the snare drum! The guitar playing by Eric is real good as is by the whole band to be perfectly blunt with  you’s. Chris replaces the Father line with a couple of Fokkers thrown in! Hey shaking it up with some cussing!  Two Princes man for being two decades old is a great rock track!

14 tracks make up this Live Album and its good to see these Guys out doing what they’re doing!

 

 

Jim Dead And The Doubters/Pray For Rain(2015)

Since I started this WordPress Blog about 2 years ago it’s been a  real trip to meet all kinds of fellow music lovers from all over the world. All the way from my pals here in Tbay throughout Canada,Europe, Australia everywhere you could think of. One such pal who also happens to dabble in music as well (and writing some real cool music reviews at his site Resurrection Songs) is J from Glasgow who also fronts the band Jim Dead And The Doubters.

How neat is it that J a guy who comments on all of our blogs has a rock album available on iTunes! Haha…Your my hero Mr J!

Seriously though, a lot of us are pumped to get behind J and his fellow Doubters!

J is the ringleader playing the guitar and singing. Stuart Begley also on guitar. Frankie Coia on Bass and Tommy Clark on drums! Together they are Jim Dead And The Doubters.

Pray For Rain was released Dec 15 2015 as I had mentioned earlier on iTunes and physical copy(cd)  as well!  The version that I posted is the title track!

J and Stu team up for some late night guitar swagger while J delivers the lead vocal. Tommy with some nice drum rolls and Frank keeping the  four letter called Bass steady anchor the song. Think along the likes of a Old School Big Sugar Mashup with The Tragically Hip.

Pray For Rain is one of those late night slower groove tracks basically lock the door on the way out. Hey! Clean up after yourself will Ya!

I posted the video for Pray For Rain ! Take a few and check it out!

Support Indie Rock ….Support Jim Dead And The Doubters!

 

Rolling Stones/Sticky Fingers Live(iTunes Exclusive)

Pretty cool surprise to see this album waiting to be redeemed in my inbox courtesy of Aaron from the K.M.A(Mr Books or Wiley O Aaron depending on what day of the week it is) for Christmas!

Thanks Brother! Totally appreciate it and as well its a iTunes only release so as of right now the only way you can get this is via (digital)Apple! (Did I hear a boo from Mr Ladano? Ha!)

Basically the deal here is this was recorded May of 2015 before the Stones headed out on there Zip Code Tour! Boom! 10 songs all of Sticky Fingers played live (in a club)maybe some for the first time since Sticky Fingers original studio release back in 1971!

Mick Jagger,Keef,Ronnie Wood,Charlie Watts and Daryl Jones take the time machine back to 71 and dial up 1 800 Spliff and than let the vibes take over…..

SWAY-What a great opener! Watts counts it in and were off. It’s got that Stones guitar sound mixed with Watts drum sound and Jagger in 2015 has not lost a step vocally. Sway rocks with a swagger love the sound of Keefs and Ronnie’s guitars and Wood also lays down a real slick slide solo at the end! Stones storm out of the gate with a real cool groovey mid tempo ass kicker! Bravo!

DEAD FLOWERS-Jagger sings it almost like a country singer would so i don’t know if he’s taking the piss out of country! Ha! Dead Flowers picks up steam by the chorus! This is a great song and a little known fact is that myself and Tbone used to play this track in the Current River Band. I can honestly say we butchered it musically(no one can do Stones covers good)but Tbone sang a good vocal to it.

WILD HORSES-One of the biggies ever! Tons of chill guitars and Charlies laid back drumming propel this song into another level! You want classic Stones this is one of them. If your a classic rock fan you have heard this tune a million times if not shame on you! When me and Oinks caught the Guns N Roses/Metallica co headline jaunt back in 1992 Gunners played Wild Horses and it went on and on to the point where Axl annoyed me his his nasal drone Wiiiiiiiild Hoooorses! Like c’mon man leave the original to the original dudes. In this case Da Stones! See there’s the comparison Guns couldn’t do the Stones Justice and neither could The Current River Band. Shit we were in good company now that I think of it!

SISTER MORPHINE-Acoustics come up for the slow bluesy drawl of Sister Morphine! Sounds like perhaps pedal steel guitar being played by Wood during the track. Love the title of this tune these guys were badass back than. Load up the syringe and blast a shot of Siser Morphine into your veins! Keef would be proud! Check out the video posted from this live album!

YOU GOTTA MOVE-Stones almost halt to a screeching stop but not quite! Ha! Mick almost does his Dead Flowers like vocal on You Gotta Move and it’s slow blues like real chill vibe. It goes to show Ya that Mick,Keef and the fella’s can still get a slow pokey but it’s The Stones so it’s cool

BITCH-Boom! Out of the gate The Stones are firing on all 4 cylinders and the party is reignited. Bitch oozes cool! Cool everything! Charlie’s drumming pushes the song into different little angles augmented by Keef and Ronnies guitars. Jagger lays down a real good vocal.

CAN’T YOU HEAR ME KNOCKING-With a title like this you would think it was rocking. No it’s not its a different kind of Stones rocking. Bluesy,swampy like with a Jagger like drawl leading  the subdued charge. Stones deliver different textures. Basically this portion of Sticky Fingers is the start of the chill portion of the album.

I GOT THE BLUES-Wowzers Micks got the blues. This song is another slow wobble of a track. Stones are basically shutting down and slowing the bus down and basically doing what they want and why not? You going to tell Keef that?

MOONLIGHT MILE- Lay back in your recliner and enjoy as Stones due a number with the blues resulting in Moonlight Mile! Easy Peasy is the vibe here and leading up to this latest tour some reporter asked Mick if they would play Sticky Fingers front to back. Mick answered probably not as some of these songs are a little to chill to go over in a crowd of 50,000. Right move Mick! So the Stones recorded this in a club with 1000 people where the atmosphere is more adept to these songs.

BROWN SUGAR- After the slower pace of the previous three classics The Stones punch the accelerator. Like Wild Horses,Brown Sugar is a song you do know. This tune incorperates all things cool with the Stones! Cool opening riff,cool shuffle of the drums,slick well written lyrics about  Brown Sugar(ahem!) and a real awesome sax solo that when it hits with the guitars underneath the sax is just Rock Gold! Smooth as a fine sugar is this song!

Final Yammer- When I was spinning this on the iPod it suddenly occurred to me that the Stones were the band that I would have dug the most back if I was a teenager back in 1971. Stones were bad ass I mean look at those song titles. Bitch,Sister Morphine,Dead Flowers and everyone’s fav sax driven tune Brown Sugar! These titles alone would have driven me to the record shop for the purchase. Of course it helps that the Stones back it with solid material!

Thanks for this Aaron!

 

 

Rush/R40(2015) Part 3

So the last 7 songs,6 of which were recorded in Toronto on the first of two nights are the alternate tunes and word on the street is that these songs were the only ones they could use as they had some recording glitch the first night so the second night was the video footage they used. Speaking of Video outside the clips I have shown on the first two parts this would be awesome to watch on video (I bought the audio of R40 off of iTunes)especially since the set changes while they play around them and Rushs stage resembles a high school gym complete with their amps sitting on chairs by the end of the show!

ONE LITTLE VICTORY-Remember when i said Peart hits the drums hard! Well One Little Victory proves that as Neil slams some heavy Tool like drumming and before you know it Geddy nails down some bass God like riffs while Alex delivers some huge power chords and we’re off! This song is heavy! Twists and turns and a hard boot up the listeners ass!

DISTANT EARLY WARNING-D.E.W is from one of my fav sleeper Rush Albums Grace Under Pressure and its a Rush circa 1984 tune complete with snappy happy keyboard ripping during the chorus. I have always liked this tune and will continue to do so my friends of Arena Rock!

RED BARCHETTA- I really dig the beginning of this tune as Geddy riffs on his bass while Peart and Lifeson chill at the Rush bar and just provide a mellow back drop with the drums and guitar. This is another monster Rush track and those old Geezers made me laugh when at the end of Lifesons solo as Peart hits the power rolls they go right chill with almost a little chill out  feel and build it back up to BARCHETTA speed! Just like how the song  starts it ends with Geddy riffing on his bass and Neil and Alex chillaxing!

CLOCKWORK ANGELS-The title track from the fabulous last studio album from 2012. This song cooks and rocks and it’s so crazy good with all the time changes and tempo mood swings and here they are Rush in their glory pushing Into there early 60s banging out heavy musical chops that  just blows me the Frigg Away! Clockwork Angels the song takes you on a musical journey. A Tour De Force if you will…..

THE WRECKERS-Another favourite from Clockwork Angels the beginning of this track reminds me of The Who and during the chorus which is real good-by the way Geddy pulls the song along with his bass line. The Wreckers is just a straight ahead rock track that is another Gem! Love this track!

THE CAMERA EYE-Speaking of loving tracks! Moving Pictures was like many others back in 1981 our introduction to Rush! The Camera Eye for myself was the first time I got progged! What an intro to this track where you can hear the hustle and bustle of city sidewalks and not  before to long Theres Geddy doodling with his keys and Neil doing some real groovy small cymbal smashes and boom a big blast of Drums,Synth,a Guitar and the song shifts into hard rock territory. Camera Eye as a song dips and dives,twists and turns into a wall of Prog Abyss! I’m so glad Rush brought this tune back on their Time Machine Tour and once again on the R40 3 disc Musical Workout!  The Camera Eye = Classic!

LOSING IT-Cool story I read about this track and you’re wondering why is there two versions of Losing It? The story goes that Jonathon Dinklage(whose brother Peter is on Game Of Thrones) is an electric violinist as well and was part of the Clockwork Angels String Ensemble and was talking to the Rush guys back on that tour about how he learned Losing It right after it was released on Signals back in 1982 and would love for Rush to play it…so Rush did and for some of the U.S. shows the boys brought him up on stage and what’s cool is when I watched some YouTube footage of the NYC show Dinklage has his own set of pedal boards for his violin hahaha….now that’s rock! I believe this version was recorded in LA. not sure as in the liner credits (which ITunes included the digital booklet) it doesn’t say….Great version and a cool dream  come true! Watch the  video ……

IN CONCLUSION- I’m thinking after yammering on about a ton of Rush for the last 3 posts(Thanks for reading friends) that this will probably be the last Rush live album as it has come full circle for them. All The Worlds A Stage was recorded live in Toronto back in 1976 and R40 was recorded in Toronto in 2015 almost 40 years later so basically it started in Toronto with the live albums and ends in Toronto with the live album.

Now word on the street is that Neil is hanging up the sticks! If this is the case…

Thanks Rush!

Rush/R4O (2015) Part 2

So now we’re into the second part of R4O….1980 and its time to rewind……

THE SPIRIT OF THE RADIO-Rush kinda somewhat streamlined there sound and Alex blasts off a  mirage of notes as Geddy,Neil and his army of drums take off and it’s been a live staple of all Rush Tours since 1980 and why wouldn’t it? Rush jams with speed and accuracy on this track and how’s about the cool part that when all three Rush cats go all power chord heavy with a milli chops per second and it segues with a reggae feel into The  Concert Hall! (Cue Cheer) the ending is slick as well just like how it starts with Lifeson blasting off a mirage of notes!

JACOB’S LADDER-Geddy tells the crowd here’s one from the same album and all the Prog Rockers look to the heavens and rejoice as it’s the barely live played Jacobs Ladder! Neil plays drum rolls of the snare and drives this track. It progs along and man it’s such a great track!

NATURAL SCIENCE-This is a bona fide Rush Tune! It sweeps through all kinds of twist and turns and talk about music chops! Rush once again flex their mighty rock muscle and take us on a journey of epic perportions! I just love the total groove change when Geddy sings the line “Science Like Nature….” Alex and Neil especially with his cymbals splashing about take charge and drive Natural Science to its end! What a friggin fantastic Prog Juggernaut!

HEMISPHERES PRELUDE-Now this is cool and on the bootleg video I watched in  this 4 minute piece there are about 75 time changes (ha)and the crazy thing is Geddy,Neil and Alex don’t even look at each other it’s friggin unreal how locked In they are. So cool man and it’s basically 4 minutes of crazy off timing high jinx and then Geddy hits the mic with “When are weary world was young” Rush takes off and it’s a total flash throwback to the 70s…

CYNGUS X-1/THE STORY SO FAR-Ok Geddy with some distorted Bass Pops starts off the 9 plus minute CYNGUS and here it comes Neil and his solo which has to be a cool 5 minutes at least. Neil is simply the best live drummer of my era and I’m glad I saw him live back in 2002. What’s  even cooler is he brought back the old school double bass drum kit of the 70s complete with all the bells,chimes and whistles! His drum solos I never skip as he plays with fury man and pounds the crap Outta them! Monster comes to mind! Dudes a hard hitter no wonder millions air band to this guy like how could you not? Basically after his solo the band ramps back up and does it dippsy doodle Prog Rock workout until the song ends….

CLOSER TO THE HEART-Ahhh one from the vaults and for Rush it’s under 4 minutes long. Slackers ,hahaha…Lifeson opens with some neat and tidy acoustic playing and Geddy joins him on doing some laid back bass lines basically jamming like crazy. Still recall the first time I actually heard this was when I received from my parents at Christmas time 1981  Exit Stage Left which is my all time favourite Christmas album! The song of course gets cranking at a decent clip during Alex’s electric solo and Neil does his famous patented drum rolls and boom it’s done! Great track….

XANADU-If You Want  Prog…..You Got It! Xanadu holy shit does it get any zanier or cooler than this! Think about it for a sec! Once again just like Closer To The Heart the first time I heard Xanadu was again on Exit Stage Left and I never heard lyrics or music chops like this before! I mean as a 14-year-old in 1981 it was lyrics like Given The Dog A Bone by AC/DC or Ladies Room by Kiss that I had heard about well ….Chicks and here’s Geddy singing Neil’s lyrics on Xanadu like “To Seek The Sacred River Alph,To Walk The Caves Of Ice,To Break My Fast On Honeydew,And Drink The Milk Of Paradise” Wowzers this is some crazy Prog man but what a tune…I’m not gonna say anymore about it! Kick back and let the masters show you as I posted the Honeydew eeeer I mean Xanadu video! Wanna see double neck guitars? Double neck basses? Double Bass Drums? Birds whistling? Lasers? Smoke? It’s all here……..

2112-Oh yeah! No Rush show would be complete without playing  a snippet of 2112 and a snippet for Rush would be 12 minutes of 2112 played! I like the fact that after they plow thru Temples Of Syrnix they go right into The Presentation and Grand Finale! When Lifeson goes all crazy on his six string with Geddy and Neil just driving the pace at rapid speed it does not get any better than this! All Planets Of The Solar Federation……We Have Assumed Control! Geddy says thanks for 4o years! Toronto and Canada! No Geddy we salute you! Slappa Da Bass!

LAKESIDE PARK/ANTHEM-Rush for the encores delve back into the Fly By Night album and Lakeside Park is a chill tune with Alex strumming a clean electric while Geddy and Neil play the chill game as well! Lakeside Park the willows and the breeze along with memories! This is Rush 1974 and before long Alex is introduced by Geddy and Alex goes all wacky on his guitar and the band pounds out a tuff few minutes of Anthem! Listen to Peart hard hit those drums….totally impressive!

WHAT YOUR DOING/WORKING MAN-For the last two songs of the evening its Whay Your Doing and Working Man. Total Kudos to Botrill on the mix especially Pearts drums  for What Your  Doing it sounds like Bonham playing. Drums are sooooo good sounding of course it helps when the drummer guy is legend! What Your Doing is a young Rush being influenced  by Zeppelin (check out Lee And Lifeson doing those bass/guitar runs)and why not! Working Man another stellar track from the debut! Love the chorus with a big driving bass and Rush closes out and Geddy thanks everyone for 40 years…..

For R40 this is the end of the set! Check back next Tuesday when I yammer on about the third disc which is the alternate songs that Rush played during the R40 tour!