Tag Archives: Sonic Waves

Black Sabbath/Never Say Die(1978)

Well folks this brings to an end my Sabbath January Sabbath Posts! I hope you all enjoyed reading it much as I had blogging about these albums! They are fantastic pieces of work. Now there’s been a method to my madness for doing the 6 Ozzy only Sabbath albums. My good friend Metal Todd has very generously bought me a ticket (and a place to stay)to see Black Sabbath/Rival Sons February 3rd/2016  in Vancouver British  Columbia! Holy Frigg,Yeah I’m Going! (full show review will be blogged about) I’m stoked. So myself,Metal Todd,his wife Nicole and another friend of Metal Todd’s named Naisan are going!

It’s gonna be F*^kin Killer!

Thanks a million times over Metal Todd and Nic!

I’ve been real lucky over the years to see some real stellar all time great guitar players live such as  Joe Perry,Brad Whitford, Alex Lifeson,Eddie Van Halen,Ace Frehley,David Gilmour,Keith Richards,Ronnie Wood,Adrian Smith,Dave Murray,Janick Gers,Slash And Izzy,Kirk Hammett,James Hetfield and now Tony Iommi! Man,just to hear the King Of Doom riffs ply his craft live is gonna be a real mindblower for sure!

So what better way than to prep myself sonically for the show than to review these Ozzy albums! The 13 album that Sabbath released a few years back was I thought very good and I will review it at some point but I just wanted to focus on the 1970s version of studio Sabbath output for now.

Up to this point I had never done a full-out one month series of a certain band and it ended up being a good listening experience!

You gotta hand it to guys like Mike Ladano that will post fantastic written blogs exclusively on one band and do about 15 reviews in a row. I got to 6… haha….

Speaking of Mike check out his fantastic site and read his DVD review of the Never Say Die Tour! It’s a sneak attack Friday Special. Click here Folks…..

http://mikeladano.com

I also must mention that Aaron from The KMA listened to all the Motley Crue studio albums (7 or 8 at least maybe more) in a week! After that listening expeirience Aaron said one of the greatest one liners every stated about listening to all that Crue in a 7 day span! The quote was “I Feel Dirty And I Need To Take A Shower!”

Hahaha…

Ok enough babble……

Never Say Die is Ozzy’s swan song from 1970s Sabbath. By 1978 the wheels were coming off big time! There was a ton of issues big time with Ozzy who actually quit before the recording of Never Say Die and was replaced by some fella named Dave Walker but Ozzy returned to rejoin and record with the band. On the Never Say Die tour it was common to hear that openers Van Halen were giving Sabbath more than a  run for they’re  money shortly  after the tour Ozzy quit yet again. So I guess when it rains it pours …..

Technical Ecstasy (1976)was recorded in Miami(party,drugs,cartel and hookers are the first thing that come to my mind) whereas Never Say Die was recorded in Toronto in January of 1978(cold,colder,coldest and the Toronto Maple Laughs(Leafs) are the first things that come to my mind).

Does Sabbath have enough gas in the tank to punch out another album of greats? Mmmmmm let’s see….

NEVER SAY DIE-Sabbath nail Gold right off the bat! Listen to the video of this song that I posted as Bill Ward plays his role of Satan Jazz Drummer playing Heavy Metal! Holy Frigg the drums on this track are so good they shuffle at a clip and Its amazing. That’s just the drums folks! The rest of the lads Tony and Geezer lay it down with a real good mix of bass and guitar! Ozzy and his vocals are mixed perfectly here. Gone is the sterile studio sound of Technical Ecstasy replaced by a good studio sound. I have no idea why people bash this album but let’s continue on shall we?!

JOHNNY BLADE-a creepy Mr Crowley like keyboard opens Johnny Blade and before long Uncle Tony and his guitar ramble out of the gate. This is a pretty cool tune. Ozzy howls down during the chorus “Jooooohnny Blaaaaaade!” Bill and Geezer are locked n loaded and along for the ride!

JUNIOR’S EYES-I may need to be corrected here but I tend to think that this is the only Sabbath song ever just to have Geezer and Bill starting the tune off and keeping the bass and drums going right through the whole song in a mid tempo kind of  fashion as it’s Sabbath jamming and it’s a pretty decent song as well. Tony even cranks out some psychedelic like riffs.

SHOCK WAVE-Wow I just love this tune! It’s Happy Sabbath or would that be High Sabbath! Regardless this song has a real good verse and even a better chorus driven by Geezer’s bass and Ozzy’s lead vocal. Even Tony lays off the doom gas pedal and drives the song with a clean guitar tone.

HARD ROAD-This song a revved up Sabbath rocker. It trucks along  at a decent clip. Pretty cool song actually not sounding like Sabbath. Iommi plays a mean clean guitar while Geezer drives the bass along with Bill on the drums.

AIR DANCE-Freaky Sabby! Ozzy outs in space and this is one of those tracks that as a listener your thinking to yourself “WHUT?”.

OVER TO YOU- Kinda a different tune. Iommi though as like many a Sab tune starts it off and it’s a different kind of Sabbath. Different tempo changes as Bill does his jazz drum fills along with Geezer and Tony joining along for the ride. This tune at first I was like ???? Now I would rank it !!!! It’s a  grower for sure,give it a few spins kids!

BREAK OUT-Now where would we be without a Sabbath musical only song? Right! Ozzy gets the day off in Toronto and Geezer,Bill and Tony play what could almost be considered a Sabbath Stripper like tune! There’s horns and an off beat like stomp. Not a bad tune if you’re heading to a seedy late night hours bar!

SWINGING THE CHAIN-Bill Ward does the lead vocals here. I guess the deal with this  song was that Dave Walker who had replaced Ozzy for a little bit worked on this song with Geezer,Bill and Tony. When Ozzy came back to Sabbath to record he refused to sing this song as another  singer had worked on it! Ha! Goes to show you that Sabbath was just  writing enough material for their  albums and no more! I guess the album tour album tour etc cycle can catch up to Ya and in this case it does as there are no extra songs lying around. This tune is a mash-up of sounds even a distorted harmonica is heard(The Wizard? Ha!) I dunno I think the Sabbath gas tank is pretty much empty by this tune. It’s like “let’s get this over with and hit the pub!”

For the most part I really like Never Say Die.(5 – 6 Tunes I dig) To me in the Ozzy Sabbath catalogue it’s like what Done With Mirrors by Aerosmith is to Aero. Two albums by these two powerhouse acts and they don’t want to know about them!

For myself. I dig em tons and if you have been reading my Yammers (blogs as most people call them) than you know my utter dig fest for Done With Mirrors. I reviewed it and it’s floating around the site …Never Say Die is another one of those albums that if you give it some time will grow on Ya! Trust me!

FINAL YAMMER- For everyone that read,commented and just flat-out took the time to check out my Ozzy Sabbath Series thanks tons! What a real cool part of Metal History and I was glad to go along for the ride with Sabbath!

My first Ozzy related owned Ozzy Sabbath was Ozzy’s Classic Speak Of The Devil which you can click here and read about how it affected me as a young snot nosed kid…https://superdekes.wordpress.com/2014/10/06/sonic-waves-ozzy-osbournespeak-of-the-devil/

It’s amazing how many people love the first 4 albums and as  Mikey Ladano commented perhaps the essential first 6 many people would attest too being the Ultimate Sabbath.

I do have to say that Technical Ecstasy and Never Say Die were the two albums that surprised me the most. Now,I’m not a huge Sabbath expert like many others out there but Never Say Die kinda knocked my socks off especially the first 5 songs as like I said earlier is parallel to Aero’s Done With Mirrors. Kinda funny that to me both those albums songs tail off towards the end and that would be due to the bands being Hammered amongst other devices floating around at the time!

Still though there are points of genius amongst the songs like the tune’s  Never Say Die and Shock Wave and that’s due to the drive of Bill Wards drums. The cat just blew my mind with his drumming,percussion playing and singing the odd tune as well. Too bad currently him and Sabbath are on the outs with each other.

Geezer Butler and that fuzzed out NIB tone as  the dude set the bar for total bass jamming and riffing and let’s not forget that it was most likely Geezer who had a huge hand in the lyric writing as well.

Ozzy is Ozzy man! But you can hear how his voice had developed from album to album and got stronger as Sabbath went on in there recorded history.

Tony Iommi is the Sniper with guitar riffs of doom! The guy is legend and kudos to him as I have no idea how many various incarnations of Sabbath he had kept going through the 80s (Hello David Donato!) Tony plowed through and through and now were At The End as Sabbath are calling it a day and I hope they stick too  it being The End!

 

 

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!

Rush/R40 (2015) Part 1

 

Rush by the sounds of it are calling it a day! Over 40 years of playing as a power trio(countless albums,tours and praises from everyone all over). Let’s face it if this indeed the end I’m ok with it! Reason being these dudes as in Geddy Lee(vocals/bass) Alex Lifeson(all things guitar) and (The Professor ) on drums Neil Peart have set the bar of musical supremacy so high that they would rather pack it in than flog their craft for an easy payday if their chops were to lag….

There is no lagging of musical chops  on R40 as Rush play at an intensity so high that it’s kinda sad they may just not do it anymore! Geddy,Neil and Alex just 3 years ago released Clockwork Angels (my number 2 album of 2012 over at Ladanos year-end best list)which many viewed as there best piece of rock in decades so there was no signs of   a dip in creativity whatsoever.

R40 was recorded over two nights in the boys hometown of Toronto which in turn may ring true that it’s the end of the road as it began for Rush in Toronto and could well be with this live dvd/ audio representation. Hope not! But with these guys pushing into their 60s it could  and can Ya blame them?

So what we got is the full meal Prog deal offered by Rush! 29 Songs over 160 minutes of pure genius in musical gold!

My good pal Metal Todds favourite band Tool whose producer David Bottril did the audio producing of this and does a fantastic job keeping the crunch of Lifesons guitars intact,the smooth almost dry like sound of Pearts drums with an added crystal clear mix of his cymbals and with Lee, Bottril keeps the bass cranked and the keys never overpower Alex’s guitars!

So what we’re doing here is this review is gonna be broken up into 3 reviews a first here at Arena Rock for one album! So basically I’m gonna go track by track about 10 songs or so  that will end each part  as if I were to yammer on about it all in one shot  I would lose my mind! Well what’s left of it!

This as you read along in my blog  is the ultimate set list of Rush tunes and hey Greatest Hits Guru’s (Rockin Roberts and BMellis)buy this and Prog out!

Also one more thing, Rush works their way back through the set  from there latest  studio album(Clockwork Angels/2012)all the way back to their debut (Rush/1974)

Wowzers! Enough  get to it DeKEs….

By Toooooooooor…………..

THE ANARCHIST-Working Them Angels from the Snakes and Arrows studio album ushers Rush in and the Rush party begins with Pearts drums and Lifeson joins in while Geddys bass jives and we’re off! The Anarchist rocks and what a great opener not one you would think would kick things off but it works!

HEADLONG FLIGHT-Bass man tons of Bass leads off track 2 and Headlong Flight sounds like the beginning of Bastille Day played at 78 rpms! Hey folks if you’re gonna borrow music borrow from yourself! The song drives at a rapid clip and of course with all things Rush theres  dips and doodles of musical super chops tossed in and a quick little Peart drum solo tossed in that makes you wanna air drum! Ha!

FAR CRY-Another rocker out of the gate! Rush lift off and man can you not dig those time changes! This is Rush rocking the pre chorus with Geddy shifting all over the bass neck and he sings it real good as well.

THE MAIN MONKEY BUSINESS-Straight up musical to rest Geddys vocals and to show Rush’s jam like musical muscle(like they need one). Cool use of Neil’s percussion throughout the dudes a machine and Alex tosses down one of many lightening bolts of solos as well…

HOW IT IS-Geddy tells the Toronto faithful that it’s time to play a tune that fell through the cracks from Vapor Trials and that’s How It Is. A great song and Geddys right folks this is a forgotten one but Rush makes amends and play this mid tempo song and deliver it with a possible message of hope and don’t stop giving it as that how it is! Nice little solo from Alex and for Neil he just  takes it chill on those drums……

ANIMATE-Neil rocks the drums out of the gates with a solid opening and who better to lead the charge! I do love the keys and Geddys bass locked in along with Alex’s guitars as well on Animate.  This song has some real crunch and well it should as it was the opening number on 1993s Counterparts album! This is Rush hanging with the Seattle Sound at the height of GrungerMania! Rush responded with a heavy guitar rock sound at the time and all of us Rushians loved it! Animate is just a plain all out no holds barred Rock track!

ROLL THE BONES-As per protocol here at Arena Rock I preordered R40 off of iTunes and with the preorder came Roll The Bones! Watch the video as during the rap you can see a few fellows that you may know from TV and the Movies! Hint how about some  Game Of Thrones with a little Rage and Trailer Park thrown in with a little Love Ya Man https://superdekes.wordpress.com/2015/09/26/rushroll-the-boneslive-r40-tour/

BETWEEN THE WHEELS-Holy Hell I love this tune! “You know how that Rabbit feels going under your speeding wheels. Bright images passing by like windshields towards a fly!” Great lyrics by Neil and this song starts with big Lifeson crunch riffs and Geddy adding sharp little jagged edges of keyboard hits until the pre chorus when Rush like so many times breaks down to there little hard rocking 3 piece unit and blast off! This song flat-out cooks!

LOSING IT-Geddy tells the crowd that there going to play a song they have never played live before and hopefully they won’t screw it up(haha??) with a special guest and that would be Ben Mink who played the electric violin on Signals from which Losing It appeared! Rush slow the speed dial right down and no it’s not a ballad its a slow progger but I tell you all it kicks into gear towards the end and Mink razzles and dazzles the violin strings and hey how many cats can say they joined Rush on stage to jam it as a 4 piece? None to my recollection!

SUBDIVISIONS-“Conform Or Be Cast Ooooout Subdivisons!” Preaches Geddy and guess what 33 years later this song resonated with me as i was never the cool kid in high school  just a squirt who dug hard rock played at loud volumes! So even though in 1982 i never picked up on it but actually  Geddy was singing Neil’s lyrics to me and many others! Ha ….only took me 33 years to figure this out! Hahaha! Subdivisons man i will say it’s one of my fav Rush tracks. Love Neil’s robotic like drumming and Geddy synthing like there’s no tomorow until the chorus when the synth is kicked to the curb and Geddys bass grumbles with ferocity and we’re off with Neil and Alex. Also of note what another top-notch guitar solo from Alex. The dude is one of  the best on the six strings! No doubt ….Watch the video posted from R40! Crank it….

TOM SAWYER-Even if you’re not a Rushian fan(shame on you!) Tom Sawyer you know whether you like it or not! Myself, Loooove it! Love the infectious power chords of Prog Rock galore and big sonic booms of Lifeson,Lee and Peart who we all have at various points of our lives have air banded too!  Lifeson is funny as hell, so watch the video when he acts like he’s smoking dope! The solo section for me is one of my personal points of interest of this tune and for what it’s worth every one talks about Neil and Geddys chops individualy but how about together! When they  lock up during Lifesons off the rail solo it is so good with Neil slammimg those drums and Geddys fingers running wild on his bass they are so ahead of everyone musically it’s sick! Of course Neil does his drum rolls which you never get tired of hearing!

YYZ-Rush tosses out another musical only tune from Moving Pictures and once again flex their Musical Muscle complete with over the top bass riffing,swell guitaring, hard drum bashing added with a sprinkle of some keys and boom this song clicks at a rapid pace!

Cruise back here on Friday for R40 Part 2……..more songs …70s Rush straight ahead!

 

 

Van Halen/ VH 2 (1979)

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My purchasing of Halen product was interesting to say the least! Of course we all know the tale of my buying VH’s/Woman And Childern First in early 1981 from there it was Fair Warning later in 1981 and than in 1982 I not only bought Diver Down upon its release but I also purchased the 45 single of VH’s cover of Roy Orbisons Pretty Woman.

In  early 1984 we all scooped 1984 powered by Jump and we were all hooked! Notice anything here? Yeppers! I did not have the first two Halen albums,the debut and VH2! Once i got my first summertime job in the summer of 1984 this problem was rectified immediately when I purchased on cassette tape those two musical masterpieces!

Why on earth it took me so long to get em who the hell knows! Better late than never I suppose! Once I did hear them on my walkman man oh man……Game changers!

Michael Anthony,Eddie and Alex Van Halen along with there best friend David Lee Roth  keep the party moving n grooving 1979 style..whatever that entails!

Whose The Atomic Punk?

YOUR NO GOOD- So instead of Blitzing out of the gates with a smash in your brains and  kick your ass opener. VH open there second album with a cover tune no less. Different pace this track is some noodling at the beginning by Mikey and his bass and were off! More of a straight ahead Rock track. Kinda surprising but looking back it was Halen already doing there own thing. Dave lays down the vocal law while Anthonys background vocals carry the chorus. Ed of course is the law on guitar and brother Alex hammers his snare In a chill kinda way!

DANCE THE NIGHT AWAY-Single anyone?  Served with a kick in the ass! The brothers are in sync with guitar and cowbell. This song is a great track! Dave is hustling the night away and Anthony is the key plug with his always on the mark backing vocals! Eddie instead of telling us he’s Boss on guitar which we know already plays a real decent chill but loud solo and man the guitar picking is slick! The first time I heard Dance The Night Away I was on a camping trip somewhere in the USA and it was the summer of 1983 and I recall fiddling around the family campfire with the radio and moving the antenna’s back and forth trying to locate a rock radio station and through the static and the hiss I scored as I heard Def Leppards Photograph so my fingers froze and I left it alone hahaha….and the song that followed was Dance The Night Away..i was hooked yet it still to me to like the summer of 84 to buy VH 2! WTF!

SOMEBODY GET ME A DOCTOR-All aboard Dave’s tour bus as he’s blasting his ghetto blaster at high volume kinda like a demented Dr Nick that would be Dave as a Doc! Party treats galore! Ed is guitar hero on this! He slays the guitar to bits as Alex and Mike keep the bottom end locked and loaded! This is Cali party rock and if you were a first time ever listener to VH and this album was your first! Those first two tracks would kinda fool you as its a tamer VH whereas by track 3 (this one) Roth pulls out the sledgehammer and knocks your brains into next week albeit with a Doctors note!

BOTTOMS UP-Party keeps rolling as Ed and Alex start off chill and than ramp up the pace! Bottoms Up is just that! A real down n dirty hard rock nugget of a track! Love the breakdown after yet another classic Ed solo with just the fellers doing acapella of Bottttttoms Up! C’mon,C’mon,C’mon Babbbbbeeeeeee..Bottoms Up! Halen than load up and rocket the ship towards the finish line with a proper hard ending! Whoosh! Just plain awesome!

OUTTA LOVE AGAIN-Mike and Ed start off with this song showcasing Alex as he’s flexing his drum muscles! Cool rolls all over his drum kit! I like how these old Halen albums are recorded live off the floor or they seem that way! Ed’s  solo is just his guitar(not a zillion rhythm guitars in the background),Anthony’s bass and Alex groovin along and it sounds so live which a lot of bands don’t do in the studio! Almost like a live studio album! Outta Love Again ends abruptly! Boom…Done….Lock the door behind you!

LIGHT UP THE SKY-Side 2 begins with a charge! Guitar and Bass lead the charge and Alex pounds the song and here’s the Ringmaster or CourtJester depending on the day of the week for Dave and he leads his troops into Light Up The Sky! What a cooker and this I will say is one of the all time great Halen tracks! It’s all here loaded in flashy guitar and effects workout,great lead and backing vocals and toss in a mini drum solo! Light It Up and Crank It Up!

SPANISH FLY-Sooooo, on the Van Halen debut Ed  tells the world who the new boss in town is with the  very electric Eruption! VH 2 Ed fools everyone and goes all classical sounding on Spanish Fly for 2 minutes! Spike another ladies drink Dave as Ed is cooking on his six string!

D.O.A-Ed goes all nutty with a real good diddle dabble of the wang bar and we’re off! Dave is in serious mode here! Something about the Sheriff showing up and finding some dirty faced kid in the garbage can! DOA is dark Halen musically and lyrically not a Groupie in site. Anthonys vocals as they should be are cranked up. Why did Ed this year (2015) say Anthonys vocals were no big deal! Sorry Ed take the two empty Heineken cans shoved down your ears out and listen to the bass players vocals! Anthonys backing vocals are a integral part of the VH sound! VH roll on to the end of this song in a clash of Ed’s guitar and Alex’s drums! Great ending……

WOMEN IN LOVE-Ed does that cool tapping deal at the beginning and Women In Love just breezes along at a cool pace! The vocals carry this tune and Ed muscles up a scolding hot solo! Ed proves that you don’t have to burn a solo at a quick clip all the time it’s ok to ease off the guitar gas pedal but it still sounds tough!

BEAUTIFUL GIRLS-Ed rambles off the opening riff and VH 2 ends with Dave in all his glory! Dave’s on top of the world! Why wouldn’t he be? Beautiful Girls rocks in a boozed up barrom a long time after last call was hollered!! No Tbone it was last call that was hollered  not more alcohol! Ha! Super duper catchy chorus Ed flings off a wicked good riff and solo and the song rambles off into the distance and ends with a swoosh!

IN CONCLUSION- VH 2 is a classic as are the 6 Roth fronted albums! Tons of chops litter this album along with Dave’s macho man ringleader like approach! Why oh why it took me so long to get this back in 1984 will always remain a puzzle in my musical mind. Better late than never applies here!

For all its musical glory VH2 never gets talked about well talk about it amongest yourselves please!

When I caught VH back in 2012 they played 5 tracks from this so it’s  good it got some well deserved attention!(Thanks Wolfie!) Even on there 2015 Tour Light Up The Sky was the opener as well as it should be……

 

 

The Cult/ Choice Of Weapon(2012)

The Cult pull out the stops on this ass kicker  album from 2012! Right away I dug the fact that Ian Astbury(Wolfchild/ Lead Vocalist) and Billy Duffy(The King Of Street Riffs / Guitar) totally stepped up and put out a classic Cult album! Once again the Cult never release the same album twice.

Choice Of Weapon(produced by Chris Goss and Bob Rock) though is a mish mash of all the Cult albums from Love (1985)thru to Born Into This(2007)  basically like if you dumped all the studio records into a blender Choice Of Weapon would be the end result!

The other thing is that this marks  The Cults first album ever where the same lineup recorded back to back albums! Hard to believe that Ian And Billy had that much of a rotating rhythm section album to album but they did but now they have a Continuity which i guess would be a new word for those guys!

WOWZERS….UPDATE….The Cult are releasing new music February 2016 with a album called Hidden City!  They got a new bass player so that ends the streak at 2 in regards to recording with the same lineup in the studio! Bob Rock is producing so this is Rock’s  5 th album with The Cult! New  Cult ..I’m there! Hail Wolfchild and Duffster! As my pal Space Ace would say “YAH YAH!”

In regards Hidden City it ends the trilogy started with a Born Into This and followed through with Choice Of Weapon….hmmmm gonna have to backtrack Into Born Into This….I Assasin from that disc  is a great track…..

Wolfchild,Duffy,Chris Wyse(bass) and John Tempesta(drums ) lay down the Hard Rock Law!

Now let’s trip back 3 years ……

Hell’s Kitchen D.M.C……

HONEY FROM A KNIFE- The Cult start off like they always do and that’s rockin! Duffy as always shows up with the riffs while Tempesta on the drums drives the song forward with some real driving beats! Ian shows up and the way his lyrics line up this song is the start of a kinda concept album here at Cult Central!  Cool use of piano during the verses with tambourine intact! “We Got The Drugs …..We Got The Drugs In Here!” chants the Gang like backing vocals! Once again The Cult show up with a killer album opener!  The middle part is the money shot where Ian and Billy toss the Ol hook in line  “where I’m drowning get me out of this place,” Great solo and  Ian and his Indian wild hearted self tosses down a end of the song classic  line “Kali,Fucked Up Childern!” Boom ..songs done!

ELEMENTAL LIGHT-think U2 if they had rock balls! That’s Elemental Light! Duffy gets some real chill like The Edge guitar  sounds and blasts off into another orbit. Here comes Johnny on the drums rolling those tom toms like some I know roll reefers! Great atmospheric piece and jeepers  its only track 2!

THE WOLF- The Wolf opens with big bombastic Cult Rock and befores you know the song changes tempos and how’s about some cowbell getting the shit smacked out of it by Tempesta and I dig the little Zep like synth sounds in the back during the verses! Do not be deceived by the bible and liars bellows Ian! Yah Yah! There are many in the world that will take advantage of you’s and that my friends is the message! There are a ton of Wolfs out there kids take shelter!

LIFE>DEATH- is a moody piece complete with piano and such and its a great tune. Astbury can dig himself out of the WolfChild persona but when duty calls…. Life>Death is a great tune and Duffy gets a real different sound out of his guitar….

FOR THE ANIMALS- The Cult come ripping out of the gate with the pedal pushed to the floor in regards to the music being produced, real cool use of percussion and as always there’s that catchy piano like Kiss’s  Christine Sixteen except the Cult speed up the piano by about 100 mphs. Duffy tosses down some cool riffage and there’s Astbury and listen to his voice as he once again tells us “For All The Fucked Up Childern….Starin Down The Barrel Of A Gun ” he sells the line ….Bam The Cult than tear it up! Crank the vid posted but you tube has edited the naughty words out! Fuck Censorship!

AMENESIA-This number is like a mashup of the Love album and Cermony! Duffy the genius starts with a super riff and the drums shift the tune into overdrive! Love the verse it’s a brilliant piece of written performed rock! Astbury throws it down vocally especially during the chorus! Kudos to Bob Rock for keeping a real laid back affair in the production dept! I guess Chris Goss should be commended as well!

WILDERNESS NOW-Ian and the boys slow it the hell down! Piano drives this tune! Great after dinner kind of melloishy tune as you know some crack lurks around the corner as his name is…..

LUCIFER- do not for a minute think this is some Motley Sixx “hey we’re gonna yammer on about the Devil” to move some copies of new product. Nope this Lucifer is about Crack and being high for the devil ..The running theme of helplessness continues in Lucifer! Hard to make choices when your messed up says Ian. Cool groove laid down by the fella’s in the band! Big time power chords angling all over the place from Duffy…..

A PALE HORSE-end of the album GEM! Total throwback tune! Love the bass,guitar,drums,Ian and his tambourine are locked n loaded and ready to whip the Pale Rider! This song oooozes cool! The bass from Wyse drives this tune! There’s something romantic on how Astbury phrases lines like when he sings “with a wave of my hand I will crusuuuuuush  your sweet skull!” Yeah that’s cool shit. Kudos to Bob Rock for keeping the production real live like! No bells and whistles just straight ahead good time rock n roll with a swift hard boot up the ass!  Super cool Duffy solo with Tempesta spinning the drums into submission …..great F’n track! Pale Horse according to my pal Space Ace is slang for Heroin! So there Ya go kids too much smack will crush Yer Skull!  Don’t believe me? Ask Ian and ask Space Ace!

THIS NIGHT IN THE CITY FOREVER-Ian is cruising the Subdivisions of your local neighbourhood pondering just what thee fudge is going on! Chill pace and vibe and Ian channels his inner Wolfchild and combines it with the Lizard King vocally. All of Ian’s friends are drunk in a sense of a flame! He said it not me…also of note Ian sings “toss your weapon to the ground!” I’m kinda wondering where all the fucked up Childern are?

EVERY MAN AND WOMAN IS A STAR-A great track! Duffy strums some real slick power chords and Astbury sings about there always being a light at the end of the tunnel and in this case your all stars! That’s right that’s Astbury Testament right there! Great song just a no nonsense Rock song with a positive message! Considering a lot of this album is about addiction Wolfchild kicks it in the ass and moves on! Fuck Yah Sez I!

EMBERS-5 minutes of serious Cult! This song builds musically and lifts off into areas that the Cult aren’t famous for!  Not a straight ahead rocker nor is it a pile of mush rock! Astbury grabs the reigns vocally and Duffy lays down some real good cool guitar.

UNTIL THE LIGHT TAKES US-Drums,guitars,bass and some cool distorted synth drive this track! Astbury during the verses sounds AHEM out there but he whips into neutral gear during the fabulous chorus! Astbury sings the chorus brilliantly while Duffy keeps pace on his guitar! Easily another Cult Classic!

SIBERIA-Gotta love distorted bass openings and Siberia does that ! Wyse plays on this album some real cool bass lines. Duffy adds a real cool atmospheric sound with his guitar. Duffy can play many styles and this album proves that! He is one talented cat! Siberia’s chorus is real goooood as Astbury sings it real good as well! Astbury as well he can sing man he’s got a distinct style. I mean no one can do the Yah Yahs …and Shake Shake Shake quite like Ian but the dude can belt a great tune and Siberia  he shows his vocal abilities! Did I just type that! Hahaha…..

IN CONCLUSION- The Cult storm back with a musical tsunami that takes us on a journey through  the streets of drug addiction and all the things that go with it! You know the deal,drugs,hookers,pimps,more drugs,needles,smack ,dead end streets,f*^ked up childern,loaded barrel of a gun! This is Cult Avenue Folks! Fasten your seat belt and get out of Dodge!

Choice Of Weapon is a fantastic concept  album and I lookie forward to Hidden City in Feb of 2016!

 

Def Leppard/Def Leppard (2015)

Def Leppard 2015 is a different beast than Def Leppard from 1980,1981,1983 and 1987! Those are the years that On Through The Night,High N Dry ,Pyromania and Hysteria were released and for some that’s where it ends.

For myself  when Steve Clark passed away in 1991 the riffs went with him and I only realized after Adrenalize just how much of a impact Clark had in the songs of Leppard!

So there’s a part of me that would understand why people would think that Lep has nose dived  in regards to there studio output.

I agree  X was a pretty mellow record, Euphoria was just a wanna  be 80s record in the late 90s while Slang from 1996 is a  classic! Lep reinvents there sound on Slang and I will review that album someday as for me it’s one of thsese under the radar classics! Kinda surprising to say that about a band that sold millions upon millions in the 80s but that just goes to show you how much the musical tide had changed by 1996.

2015 and I’m still a fan of Leppard. I have no desire whatsoever to see them live as I know they won’t top the In The Round Tour of 1992 but as far as recorded material goes I have bought everything they have put out so time after time I go back to Lep whenever new product hits the street and Kabooooooooom!  October 30th 2015….Here we go…….

Now Lep as many artists/bands do they released a single called Lets Go which was to hype the self titled Def Lep Hype Machine  and I think the Mighty HMO was the first one to talk about it and I think he was iffy with it! Once he said that I didn’t want to hear it just through the iPad i thought I’d wait it out til release day!

Joe Elliot,Rick Savage,Rick Allen,Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell show up in 2015 and will they make the grade?

LETS GO-the intro to Let’s Go is a 80s Hysteria Flashback. Is that the computer voice from Love Bites as well synched  in there? Am I tripping? Yup , Joe and crew want me to think that and at this point in my life I’m a-ok with it! Ha what’s wrong with Flashbacks? If it wasn’t for them we’d have no memory at all! The production of this song is produced well by Lep and the prechorus is pure Gold I wish they woulda went with it a little further! The chorus itself is real good and call me a sucker for Ear Candy and well Let’s Go is just that! Like the middle part where they break out some acoustic action before the sonics of the guitars take over. Special thanks to Phil Collen for not over shredding on the guitar solo! Is HMO cringing? Haha…

DANGEROUS-sure Dangerous could have fit on Adrenalize side 2(would have been a improvement). This is the school of rock that Leppard built! Quicky single like tempo! Big crisp clear backing vocals! Fast neat Collen Pickin! Elliot keeps the party going! Dangerous is a great track. I love me some good Ol hard rock bubble gum!

MAN ENOUGH-Rick Savage(bass) and Rick Allen(drums) lock horns with a snappy bass line mixed with drums and I hear Queens Dragon Attack at the start of this tune and if your gonna swipe,swipe from some of the best! Seriously this has the mix of Dragon Attack and Another One Bites The Dust! Dig the sharp jabs of a piano sting in the middle of the track! It comes out of no where! Such a cool song ! It’s different Leppard but the same Leppard if that makes sense!

WE BELONG-this is your typical mid tempo-ishy Lepp song! Each guy in this tune takes a lead vocal line! Yup the two Ricks,Vivan,Phil and of course Joe all singing there say! Has any band done that before? I’m sure Ladano would know! We Belong is a good track and 4 tracks in its ok to take a little breather! Just a little! Nice guitar work…..

INVINCIBLE-Sav and Allen start off this song while Elliot lays down a real chill lead vocal along with a real good pre chorus! It ramps up the and the guitars are crisp,drums are locked in and it’s one of those songs like all Lepp songs actually that has backing vocals but there not the usual big time Lepp style backing vocals that we all know. Lepp is changing it on the fly!

SEA OF LOVE-This album gets real interesting starting with this track! Love the hard rock strumming of the guitars mixed with some cool drums n such from Allen and this is a new hard Rock n Rolla from the boys in 2015! This is a well put together track,different rocking but just flat out rocks! Love the lyrics “drifting on the Sea Of Love…..open your mind be careful what you find!”

ENERGIZED- almost drum machine like as its that kinda mellowish tune but the chorus with the “Energized …Whoah oh Whoah !” Will leave Ya humming it long after its done! Big time added bell and whistles  added in regards to the percusion to this song and Lepp even fool the ol buzzard in me thinking I’m gonna skip this track ..Nope I didn’t and Nope I won’t! Wowzers did I just say that?

ALL TIME HIGH-I could see this tune being played  live and why not!  Love the start stop with the music and Elliot laying down the vocal in between sharp blasts of guitars and drums. It’s Lepp on overdrive as Savage lays down a straight ahead bass Line to keep the song rocking! The prechorus is rock solid quick with a good dose of don’t bore us get to the chorus!  This is something that could have fit on sneakey at the end of High N Dry! Yeah it really could have….Crank the vid posted! Damn fine song….

BATTLE OF MY OWN-Zeppelin meet Leppard in this mash up of super cool acoustic jams seriously this is a Zep sounding tune especially when the drums kick in at the half way mark of the tune! You can hear the Zep like influence in the backing track of the song! This is a great song kids! Def Zep it is and  while that may be its still Def Lepp! Listen to the vid ….

BROKE N BROKEN-HEARTED-another fantastic driven rocker with a great  bass line while Allen on the drums plays straight ahead rock! The guitars are almost Rolling Stones like during the verse’s yet cranked to 10 on the Marshalls! Even Elliot throws down some great lines in this song ‘don’t be crass or I’ll kick your Ass!” Haha! Fair enough Joe even he tosses in a “gonna huff and puff and blow your playhouse down!” Kinda silly but it fits and why not have fun….if Bandana Michaels were to say that in song in the year 2015. I would scoff! Elliot though I’m ok with! Ha! Yup I’m playing favourites!….another song posted so you all don’t think I’m talking out of my arse!

FOREVER YOUNG- holy crap another great track! 3 minutes of pure brilliance! Yep! It’s all hear driving drums and guitars during the verses and a ass kicker of a catchy chorus! Seriously I already got 4 vids posted from this album! I could post the whole damn album it’s that good! Ear Candy is great Ear Candy and this is one of them!

LAST DANCE-is a folky acoustic vibe! Not a rocker by any stretch of the imagination but a good song never  the less. Lepp dabble with a lot of acoustic on this album almost weaving in and out of various tracks! It helps when you got the songs to back it up…..this song is acoustic driven with a nice electric solo thrown in at the end…..

WINGS OF AN ANGEL- end of the album Gem! Wings Of A Angel is one of the best written Leppard songs I have heard in years! The song builds in the verse and when it hits the pre chorus its shifts back and upon first listen I was like …crap here we go but Lepp nail to a T a fantastic written chorus with great backing vocals and it must be Campbell who plays the solo as he co wrote this tune and what can you say! Leppard have schooled me bigtime in the do not count us out department! Notice taken! Crank ….no, Jack up the volume on the video!

BLIND FAITH-and so the album comes to a end with some acoustics and a chillness vibe all around the Lep Campfire. This song reminds me of a shot of the Beatles mixed with Wings and just as I hear that scenario! Kaboom comes the drums and some heavy devy guitars courtesy of Campbell and Collen and as quickly as they come they go back to the campfire  for a end of song chill out!

IN CONCLUSION-In my humble Rock opinion this self titled Def Leppard 2015 Lep release is there best since Slang and perhaps even since Hysteria! Yeah it’s that good! Amazing that Joe and the boys had enough gas in the creative tank to crank out 14 tracks that are all pretty damn good in each there own way!

Leppard borrows from there past,borrow from some greats yet keeping a eye on the present and rolling it all into one big ball of Rock!

The thing that’s most surprisng is that  the album for me gets real good from about track 6 on starting with Sea Of Love! The first 5 tracks are all good but man Leppard shift gears into a real mode of  great writing, fantastic arrangements,production and performance and tempo changes on the last 8 tracks!

2015 and I never thought I would be saying that about a Leppard album!

Leppard 2015 is easily making my year end list at Ladanos site……

 

Mötley Crüe/ Generation Swine(1997)

 

So 1997 rolls around Motley Corabi is no more after they booted John’s ass into never never land and lookie Vince Neil slides back in at the mic position and all is forgiven and being reunited doesn’t it feel so good??

Umm in this case kinda, mostly….this is a hodge pot of Crue wanting to be current and hello Mr Sixx lets all jump on the what’s current and popular at the time and make a Mötley Crüe record that sounds more in common with the Smashing Pumpkins than Too Fast For Love.

Hey man there are some good things about this record( the cover I love with them wearing Pig masks) so it isn’t all that bad but considering 8 years had lapsed between Dr Feelgood ( Vince’s final album at the time) what would the public think and more importantly what would Robbo ( Arena Rocks Official  Crue Head!) think?!

In goes the  knife,out goes his life….Ummm those Crue Daze are gone!

Tommy Lee,Nikki Sixx,Mick Mars and Vince Neil make a late night Techno Metal Album! You buying?

FIND MYSELF-it’s 1997 and the Crue wanna be bad ass 80s in the late 90s so they drop a ton of  F Bombs on the opening number and it’s a mish mash of vocalists on this track  until the prechorus and there’s Vinny’s vocals and the music once it gets to the chorus reminds me of Cheap Trick! Cheap Trick cranked  thru a ton of heavy synths and what nots. Give Sixx credit,if you came here looking for Dr Feelgood,he coded and is DOA. Gone are the daze of Sticky Sweet and She Goes Down. This is Techno Metal Sixx shoving in our faces a new Crue! Not a bad start,different sounding but not bad!

AFRAID-Holy Heck,Sixx second song in delivers a absolute scorcher of a Gem! Who saw that one coming? This has all the trimmings of a great rock song! Love the opening bass line that drives the tune forward and Lee’s Synthy drums smashing forward along with Mars who does not solo on this record to much but this song with  no solo just hooks galore! “It’s only life..blurts Neil ‘Shes so Afraid to…..” I really dig how the Crue mashes up this song and stays current but doesn’t over do it unfortunately some songs do not measure up to Afraid on this album! Ok I’ll say it ..this is the best track on the album.

FLUSH-I dunno the jury is still out on this one Judge Judy! Kinda ok ..kinda lagging at times..kinda decent …kinda don’t wanna talk about it.  Crue is covering some new ground and this one tries to be a rocker but today as I write this (Oct 11 2015) Meh!

GENERATION SWINE-now were back on track. Great driving track especially with Tommys drums leading the charge! Also of note Count Chocula eeer I mean Mick Mars steps up and plays a pretty mean tune on his 6 string! I like the fact that the Crue reached deep into there bag of tricks and knocked one out of the park! Extra bonus points must be awarded for the studio feedback of the guitars in this tune! Sixx actually has a real deadly bass tone on this album it’s friggin heavy sounding and mixed well….Crank the video posted!

CONFESSIONS-big ploddy kinda dragging and holy shit Mars guitar sounds out of tune at the beginning of this song it limps along at a pace of a liquored up turtle trying to cross the road. Dunno about this track. It’s Crue wanting to be U2! Mission fail Sixxer!

BEAUTY-next to Afraid this is another great track! Beauty is unlike the Crue its features a real heavy bass synth mashed with electronic gadgets during the verses with I believe Sixx handling the lead vocals in which he has a good voice for this track! Vinny takes over in the pre chorus and the song dips into a psychedelic territory before the song hits the cool groove of the chorus with Sixx and Neil doing a techno metal duet! The bass during the chorus is drop dead sick!( Actually Mars’ guitar playing on this album is like if The Edge from U2 got concussed and turned his amp to 10 and got rid of that jingle,jangle friggin guitar tone) Love this tune. For all you early am readers that read this blog(Thank Yooooou!) I included the video for Beauty and for a added bonus it includes the lyrics to the tune! So when your sitting at your breakfast table eating your French toast in the morning reading Arena Rock Thunder Bay and your kids are spilling there Cheerios all over the place and your significant other is telling you not to forget to pay the cable  bill just Crank up Beauty and sing along I mean doesn’t get any better with lyrics like “Shes HIV….VIP…!” Nope it doesn’t…….

GLITTER-hmmm this song Shoulda been on a Bryan Adams album as Adams cowrote it with Sixx! It’s different Crue here it’s a ballad(yuck) I mean I always found Crue were lousy at ballads except for Home Sweet Home I guess. This song is a skipper! I mean that ballad  Your All I Need  from the Girls album was brutal as Neil’s voice was so high like he sucked a huge hit of helium out of his Crue bong. Blah next…….

ANYBODY OUT THERE-Iggy And The Stooges with Special Guest Nikki Sixx! This song kicks out the jam and it rips fast and furious and it’s a ass kicker especially after the let down of Glitter! Sixx punches us in the faces with a straight ahead rocker! Thank you sir for this ….

LET US PRAY-I have to say Tommys drums and his playing on this song are soooooo friggin good! He’s locked and the drums sound and are mixed heavy! Techno Metal Sixx hits paydirt with this track! It rocks even in 2015 I’m cool with it! Keep in mind it’s sound is not happy days Crue it’s pissed off grumpy Crue looking for Hook and Blow on Hollywood and Vine and a chick named Beauty…ha!

ROCKET SHIP- Nikki grabs a acoustic and plays a decent tune that is more in line with  David Bowie than Crue and well since there dabbling with different sonics and gadgets  Sixx as well pulls off a decent lead vocal.

A RAT LIKE ME-not a bad tune actually,dark sounding,gadgets and tweaks setting off and I dig the title. This song is good and it rocks in a post Crue Glam kinda way….solid playing from the Fella’s. I’m sure a bunch of you’s read the Crue official biography The Dirt as i recall this album was a mess to make according to Corabi and the record company hated it….

SHOUT AT THE DEVIL 97-i perfer Shout At The Devil 1983 thank you very much! I never understood this move by the Crue. Fill up more space as some of this album is filler oriented? I Recall the hype in the press about the Crue playing the American Music Awards in 97 before Generation Swines release. Of course I tuned in and watched Vince’s much talked about arrival and the Crue saunters out and plays this version and I think at the time it looked like a lip synch job a roo! 2 thoughts popped up in my noggin right away that night watching the reunion on tv…1- why this? Is there new stuff weak? And 2-Corabi was heaved out the door as there was talk he was gonna stick around as a second guitar player…Nope Sixx punted him….

BRANDON-Tommy loves his kid and I get all that but on a Crue album? I listened to this once so I have no recollection of this song…fell free to chirp in with comments…..

IN CONCLUSION- Hoooo Boy! A few weeks back i was talking about this album with Robbo at work and told him I was totally gonna rip this one apart! At times yeah the material is bizarro(Flush) out of place(Glitter) but there are some moments of brillance (Afraid and Let Us Prey).

Sixx and Lee go all techy metal on our asses while Mars I think is along for the ride and Vince is hanging out with mud wrestling Strippers so out of all of this Swine this appears.

Too be honest I thought this album would be tossed Into the Filler pile but to be honest once I plugged in my iPod and powered down a sunny October afternoon walk with Fender The Wonder Dog i was mildly surprised that this wasn’t all bad….

8/13 tracks are good …Motley Sixx should have cut this album off at 10 tracks …..

 

 

Cheap Trick/ Dream Police(1979)

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As many of you now know late 1979 and heading into 1980 Kiss and Cheap Trick were my super duper fav acts! While we all know (except for me at the time)that Kiss’ career was starting to downward spiral Cheap Trick on the other hand were on top of the world so to speak!

Tricks Live At The Budokan blew the doors off many a stereo speaker in many a household back in 1979 so much so that the record company suits had to sit on Dream Police for a year as it was finished but as Budokan was selling zillions of copies Dream Police was not released until the Budokan album slowed down. It must have been a good feeling for those wacky Tricksters to know they had a completely finished album in the can and didn’t have to worry about anything other than playing I Want You To Want Me to screaming chicks while cashing some big paycheques along the way….

Dream Police when it was released i was onboard and this was my first Trick studio album and second owned Trick(Budokan of course being the first!) album.

I loved Cheap Tricks deal i mean you had the two cool rock guys out front! That being Robin Zander(lead vocals and guitar) and Tom Petersson (bass)…

Than you had the two geeks in the dressed up nerd Rick Nielsen(guitar) and chain Smokin drummer who looks like he’s selling real estate Bun E Carlos(drums)…

Say what Ya want but the 2 geeks and the 2 cool dudes could play and write real catchy hard rock pop ditties…

Dream Police is that album….a well written slab of hard rock tunes crafted and performed well and to this day this album is still a solid ball of rock! Love the gatefold sleeve and lyrics included! These guys knew how to package a rock record!

Ello Kiddies…….

DREAM POLICE-well even if your not a ol school Tricker you know this tune and it’s the title and lead off track and the Tricks lay down the law! Big sweeping driving tune mixed with the synth that propels the song along at a nice clip! Rick Neilsen the dorkie looking guitarist could write great songs and up to this point he was doing just that! Of course having a great vocalist in Robin Zander also helps! Zander for me is the reason I have always liked Trick! Dream Police the song here has that middle part with just Nielsen yapping and playing the creepy part of a creeper while Tom drives the bass and well poor Nielsen he gets persecuted by the judge an jury and before he’s hauled off to the clink he wobbles out a classic guitar solo. The song ends with big bombastic symphony like sounds while Bun E plows the song forward on his drums! Watch the clip I posted of the Tricks playing Dream Police live on there 1980 Tour! The sound is raw,loud and it’s real cool it’s filmed in black n white! Crank it! Bonus points for Bun E sporting a double bass kit and smoking ..hahahaha…

WAY OF THE WORLD-It’s  The Way Of The World! This is a great song with real good  verses and a real good chorus! They even have symphonic like strings weaving in and out to enhance the sound! Driving tempo keeps the album moving on all cylinders!

THE HOUSE IS ROCKIN(Domestic Disturbance)-“He Said…She Said” The House is Rockin indeed! The guitar drives this tune along with the drums while the bass jives  up and down the neck!  It’s a good rocking number! Straight ahead late night rock romper with all the trimmings of a hard rockers delight with a great chorus and vocal by Zander!

GONNA RAISE HELL-9 minutes of Tom Peterssons 4 or is 8 or is it 12 string Hamer Bass that he fuzzes the vinyl grooves out at the beginning of the song when he’s locked in tight with Bun E on the drums! I think when i got this album back in 79 I had never heard a studio song so long  before in my life! Of course later on in life thru the help of my old friend John Young I learnt that Zep,Floyd and Skynryd and others did do over 9 minutes tunes but hey folks at the time I was (age 13)subscribing to the Kiss Army where the direct order was tunes no longer than 3.5 minutes and they could only be done long if they were in a live album entailing a drunk guitar solo(Shock Me/Kiss Alive 2) or  a coked induced drum solo(100,000 Years/Kiss Alive or God Of Thunder/Kiss Alive 2) take Yer pick! Gonna Raise Heeeeeeeell sings Robin and he sings it in different tones and man i dig the bass on this song! Tom Weman produced this album and of course he did those Crue albums in the 80s that sound like crap but man on Dream Police,Tommys cooking the sonics nicely….

I’LL BE WITH YOU TONIGHT-this is a great never talked about track than again these guys have a ton of these songs as everyone always focuses on I Want You To Want Me all the time fair enough but dig deeper into then archives of the Cheap and that’s no Trick!

VOICES-a smattering of Voices start well Voices! Slow strummer of a song and this is where Zander pulls off the double duty of not only singing straight ahead rockers but mid tempoish tunes! Voices has a nice blend of acoustic,electric,pedal steel mixed in the back,strings and the song is not wimpy as Bun E floats the boat with his drums!

WRITING ON THE WALL-Trick ramps it up and this is a ass kicker of a track! Wowzers even Trick name drop Canada in the tune along with the Midwest and well of course Tokyo and lookie lookie they even sample there opening of the Budokan album during the middle of the tune! Snappy tune many a time change and toss in some percussion at the end!

I KNOW WHAT I WANT-Bass guy Tom takes the lead vocal on this track and it ramps up in the chorus when Robin joins in and hey we got some handclaps going on in them sonics! This is a good song. Tom has a different kinda vocal while Rick peels off a nice solo…

NEED YOUR LOVE- this tune made its debut on the Budokan album. This song builds off of Buns drums and the guitars along with Toms fuzzed up 12 string Hamer bass and Zander delivers a real great vocal! Need your love……looooooooooooove! The song as I had mentioned builds up to a huge jam out rock n sock em jam out! Ricks out of control at the end while the rest of the guys hold it down …song ramps up..chills out Ramps up….a classic!

IN CONCLUSION-Dream Police just flat out rocks! Too many people got hooked on the opening tune man get past it as there are many a Gems on here! Trick delivers all the goods here and check back on Friday when I spitball in words out another Trick album that is soooooooo good that many don’t know of it’s existence!

 

Tesla/Psychotic Supper

As a music lover of hard rock I gotta give some long overdue credit to Tesla and after 230 posts here at Arena Rock it’s about time I drop a studio review on these cats!

For a added bonus check out my very good Blog Pal Mike Ladanos spin on Tesla’s very first album Mechanical Resonance! Click here Peeps….

From Sacramento California comes Jeff Keith,Frank Hannon Troy Luccketta,Brian Wheat and the guy with the coolest name in rock which no one can pronounce Mr Tommy Skeoch!

Mechanical Resonance comes out in 1986 and they hit the ground running with Modern Day Cowboy as the leadoff single and holy hell these guys are fuggin ugly but man they take there craft serious and all the cool rock action is stuffed into the 4 minutes of Modern Day Cowboy! Cool groove cool drums,cool production,good lead  and backing vocals,real good dual lead guitar players(take a bow Frank and Tommy)  plus they just dressed like normal dudes,t shirts,jeans and you didn’t have a hard time figuring out there image! Unlike Poison with the cover of Look What The Cat Dragged In from 1986 as well I mean we’re the Poison  guys dude chicks ?? Geezus Murphy!

Anyhoo 1989 and The Great Radio Controversy is released and its stuffed full of a hour of Tesla rock and some day I gotta slam some words down on that great album but today it’s …..back to 1991 and Tesla feeds us Psychotic Supper(yeah that was a pathetic lead in)

Signs…Signs …..

CHANGE IN THE WEATHER-Put this in your pipe and smoke it! Hey man that’s the Tesla boys chirping that through the speakers and Hannon and Skeoch play some funky wah and it jams along with a real cool groove! Tesla man could play there instruments and Change In The Weather is just that! A great friggin opening number and we’ll crank the friggin video! Geez sorry for my tone there folks I think I gotta put something in my pipe and smoke it!

EDISONS MEDICINE- some real crazy wild playing at the beginning and man that has to be Skeoch for me this band has not been the same since he split or booted or whatever the problem was with him. This song has a real good verse and Jeff Keith the fucker can sing I mean to me at times he sounds like a dude version of Janis Joplin he can sing when he wants to and he can screech when he needs to! The chorus is real good and thats the others thing with these guys as they could also sing backing vocals real well not just studio but live! Read about it here when I caught the Psychotic Tour back in 1992 live at Mike Ladanos favourite city Duluth Minnesota….https://superdekes.wordpress.com/2014/10/03/5-man-loud-electrical-jam/

DONT DE-ROCK ME-straight Rock track and at the 2 minute spot Troy The Drummer dude smashes down a 30 sec drum solo where he pummels the crap out of his kit! Of course with Tesla there bread and butter are in the axe chops of Skeoch and Hannon and well they do what they do best they guitar dual Til the end of the track! Don’t De Rock ….Don’t De Rock Me ! Got it!

CALL IT WHAT YOU WANT-cool mid tempo tune and Jeff Keith sings some real cool lines on this song! The prechorus,chorus all jive and the boys play some neat Pickin guitar patterns with some good old power chords tossed in for added musical pleasure.

SONG AND EMOTION-Tesla back in 88 opened for Def Leppard on Leps Hysteria tour and thanks to Joe and the boys Tesla were well on there way! Song And Emotion is dedicated to the late great Lep guitarist Steve Clark who passed away early 1991. Song And Emotion is a 8 and half minutes of a solid slow burner that goes all over the musical rock map! Starts,chills,builds up,power riffing,ends chill it’s all here and a great tribute to a fallen comrade!

TIME -has a real 1975 Aeromithy vibe to it especially the way Troy plays them drums! The song just grooves with and oooozes cool especially during the chorus! Skeoch and Hannon groove the guitars and push the song until Keith screeeeeeeeches Time at the end! Great track!

GOVERNMENT PERSONNEL-I love me Acoustic Tesla and this tune applys in our election year here in Canada (October 19th 2015 goooooo vote readers!) This is a short real catchy just under 90 seconds of classic Tesla! Love the barking dog at the beginning of the track and Yep “Give me a home where the deer and Buffalo roam and the deer and the antelope play bet your ass we’ll blow EM all away!” Great track crank it as I posted the vid!

FREEDOM SLAVES-a mode tempoish Tesla driven number featuring Keith during the verses. The dude has a flair for kinda singing kinda talking through the songs and making them sound cool! Freedom Slaves is a great track!

HAD ENOUGH-man this tune has Skeoch all over it! Frazzle Dazzle Speeding Finger Picking Whammy Bar Workout Extravaganza! Had Enough ramps it back up into Tesla Rock Mode!

WHAT YOU GIVE-boom out just like that comes the acoustics! Big sweeping 7 minutes plus of Tesla acoustic rock! Big builder of epic perportions as that’s how many a Tesla tune is built.

STIR IT UP-mid tempo Tesla rock! Hannon and Skeoch one punch this bad boy out as they do on many a Tesla tune. Keith tosses down the vocal while Troy plays the beats….

CANT STOP-Tesla ramps it up and keeps the party Groovin and Shakin with late night snacks and after all the hits are done out comes ……

TOKE ABOUT IT-the album starts with putting it your pipe and smoking it and ends with Toke About It! Ha it’s High Tide and Tesla Grass! (Get it?) This is just a good time end of the album chill out tune! Grab the Doritos and were off …Skeoch and Hannon can play many styles on there 6 strings and they were a great guitar team. Cop a buzz c’mon on down and join the party…..

IN CONCLUSION- Tesla are a great no frills hard rock act and by that I mean they show up,plug in and friggin let it rip! Psychotic Supper continues Tesla’s string of solid studio records. This was there third there next one Bust A Nut is a kicker as well! Tesla is currently still going strong (opening for Def Leppard)and too be honest I haven’t bought any product of theres since they released the live album (Coming Atcha Live)back in 2000 or so…..don’t know why …..