Archive for classic rock music

Alice Cooper “Love it to death” = Essential Rock History To Own!

Posted in classic rock, hard rock music, heavy metal music, metal odyssey, Music, rock and roll, rock music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

ALICE COOPERLove it to death is the third studio album from Alice Cooper (the band), released back in January of 1971. Whoa… 1971! I’m not trying to make Alice Cooper himself or me feel old here, it’s just that this album was released 40 years ago… and it still Rocks like there’s no tomorrow! I’ve been listening to this CD for a few days now and for some reason or another, I can’t get enough of it.

Maybe the reason for my always liking Love it to death so tremendously, is due to it being a 100% Rock Classic? Could it be that all 9 songs are memorable… and the tenth song probably would have been filler? Whatever the Metal case may be, I revere this Alice Cooper album. My favorite song on Love it to death is… Black Juju… all 9:09 of it too. Black Juju just has that ultimate creepy vibe happening, the tribal like drumming of Neal Smith, the chilling vocals of Alice Cooper and the haunting organ just does it for me. This song’s dark and macabre style of psychedelia, wraps itself around me and tightens it’s eerie grip harder, each time I listen to it. Black Juju can easily be my favorite Alice Cooper song ever… if I was forced to choose one.

I’m Eighteen is an iconic song in and of itself, only it’s not the only great song on this album. This Alice Cooper album is a prime Metal example of just how the totality of quality songs can elevate an album into the Rock Historic Stratosphere. Really, to say Love it to death is an essential Alice Cooper album to own, is like saying water is essential for human survival. Even after I state this, I feel like telling myself… no shit Stone?

Alice Cooper as they appeared on Love it to death:

Alice Cooper - vocals

Glen Buxton – lead guitar

Michael Bruce – rhythm guitar, keyboards

Dennis Dunaway – bass

Neal Smith – drums

* Bob Ezrin played organ and piano on – Caught In A Dream, Long Way To Go, Hallowed Be My Name, Second Coming and Ballad of Dwight Fry.

Track Listing For Love it to death:

Caught In A Dream

I’m Eighteen

Long Way To Go

Black Juju

Is It My Body

Hallowed Be My Name

Second Coming

Ballad Of Dwight Fry

Sun Arise

* Love it to death was produced by Jack Richardson and Bob Ezrin.

LONG LIVE ALICE COOPER.

Stone.

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THE CARS – DEBUT ALBUM FROM 1978 REVISITED

Posted in Album Review, classic rock, classic rock bands, classic rock music, Hard Rock, hard rock albums, hard rock bands, hard rock music, metal odyssey, Music, new wave music, rock and roll news, rock music, rock music news with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 20, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

The Cars have always been summed up and best described as a New Wave Band. Alright, I’ll let that jive with me, only on their first album, The Cars had some serious Rock in their Wave. Missing Persons were a New Wave Band too, so was Men Without Hats and neither of those two bands come even remotely close in sounding like The Cars. So, were The Cars really a New Wave Band after all? A Flock Of Seagulls… now that’s what I consider a New Wave Band from the 80’s to sound like.

Due to the timing of The Cars being released, I gather it is probably “convenient” to lump this band into the New Wave crowd too. The debut and self titled album from The Cars was perhaps, just a few hundred slivers heavier, than your standard New Wave Band of the late ’70’s and early ’80’s. Sure, Missing Persons had a few “heavier” songs for their New Wave sound and style, with very decent drumming from Terry Bozzio, his playing and songwriting really was standout with that band. (Plus, Terry Bozzio was and still is an excellent drummer and all around musician too… in my Metal opinion).

I can recall hearing the “first” single off of this album, it was Just What I Needed. Can I recall the actual year I first heard this song? Ugh. Maybe it was 1979. No, I think it was 1980. Who really gives a flying elephant crap about when I first heard Just What I Needed. The simple fact is that I loved this song from the opening note. Seriously, this song’s significance lies in it’s originality for no other song really sounded like it, back in 1978.

I’m trying to “think back” and remember if there was another band out there that sounded like The Cars did, at the time of their 1978 debut album. This was 1978, not 1988, when a decade later you could swoop up a hundred New Wave Bands or so and compare them all against each other. Growing up in the late 70’s and early 80’s, I just accepted The Cars and their sound without giving any thought as to what music genre they belonged to. (Now that I’m a cranky old man, I scrutinize music genres like there’s no tomorrow). As each new song from their debut album trickled onto FM radio, I became more of a fan of them and this album.

Out of the nine songs heard on The Cars, seven of them made it to FM airplay. Seven! That is nothing to sneeze at either… how many Rock or Hard Rock bands can any of us name in 2010, that can boast seven songs from one album, being accepted into FM airplay and becoming hits? A “debut” album no less! It’s not as if these songs on The Cars were “Poppy” either, they were mainstream certainly, still a far cry from sounding “bubble gum”. These seven songs were played so often on the Connecticut FM radio stations, (WHCN, WCCC and WPLR), that I am guilty of never having bought this album, many years after it’s release.

Elliot Easton played guitar on The Cars with an obvious hard edge, his solo on Just What I Needed is an example of what I mean. It’s guitarists like Elliot that really exemplify playing for the song unselfishly and skillfully, versus the household name guitarists out there, who have accentuated their fame through piles of average solo albums throughout the decades.

Ric Ocasek’s vocals were meant for The Cars. I know that sounds rather cliche, only it’s so true. Ric Ocasek gave The Cars a booming personality with his vocals. The “modern” vibe that The Cars pulsated with through their songs seemed to stick to Ric’s voice like glue. The late/great Benjamin Orr not only played bass for The Cars, he was the lead vocalist on All Mixed Up as well. Benjamin Orr’s vocals were perfect for this song, giving it that added emotion and personal element befitting of the lyrics. (His vocals on The Cars 1984 hit Drive, from their Heartbeat City album is another memorably gigantic performance from him as well).

The Cars presented an edgy futuristic listen into Rock’s eventual “wide-open” Pop feel of the 80’s, courtesy of Greg Hawkes on keyboards and an open mindedness of this band to create songs that were fabulously accessible. Regardless of the Rock/Pop direction The Cars did take into the 80’s, this debut album is by far, their best full-throttle, Rock teetering on Hard Rock effort… with a New Wave approach, let’s not forget.

Moving In Stereo can be the cornerstone New Wave song for The Cars. There was and still is something almost fantastically mystical about my never wanting to turn this song off, when I hear it on the radio. Could it be that The Cars really are moving me, through stereo? I feel semi-scared now. Good Times Roll has all the ingredients of bursting out of it’s seams with a loud guitar solo and a psyched out tempo that doesn’t relent. It does not happen that way though. It’s the keyboards that administer the melancholy antidote of calm, making this song still feel like the good times are rolling, nonetheless… in a Logan’s Run sort of cosmic way.

The Cars as I look back upon them now, were a mighty decent Rock, I mean, New Wave Band. After all these years, however, it is more beneficial for me personally, to call The Cars debut album a Classic Rock gem. If I was to recommend that “one” album from The Cars to a civilization outside of our Milky Way, it would no doubt be their debut album. For those on this planet, that are just being introduced to The Cars, I would recommend their debut album as well. These excellent musicians that decided to call themselves The Cars, as I look back now, are a symbolic example of their era, showing just how dynamic and memorable a band could become, by solidifying a unique sound from a Rock meets New Wave fusion.

THE CARS was released in June of 1978, on Elektra Records.

Track Listing For The Cars:

Good Times Roll

My Best Friend’s Girl

Just What I Needed

I’m In Touch With Your World

Don’t Cha Stop

You’re All I’ve Got Tonight

Bye Bye Love

Moving In Stereo

All Mixed Up


Rest In Peace, Benjamin Orr.

Stone.

ALICE COOPER – Is Finally “Nominated” To The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame… Now What?

Posted in Hard Rock, hard rock bands, hard rock music, Heavy Metal, heavy metal bands, heavy metal history, heavy metal music, heavy metal news, metal odyssey, Music, rock & roll, rock 'n' roll, rock and roll, rock music, rock music news with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 29, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

ALICE COOPER - Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you, Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame for “acknowledging” that Alice Cooper exists! Wow… that must really had been a strenuous and heated debate for all of you “corporate” board of directors over there to make. So, what are all of us Alice Cooper fans supposed to do now? Are we supposed to be excited? Are we all supposed to fall for your phony “corporate” game over there at The Rock And Roll Hall Of Shame? This is the same “institution” that nominated the uncannily iconic KISS last year and then decided not to induct them. DOLTS! Now… KISS isn’t even nominated this year!? WTF? Alas, the whole KISS debacle is for another post… another day.

Rock ‘N’ Roll History 101 to the “corporate” Rock Music scholars over at The Rock And Roll Hall Of Shame: Alice Cooper was known as a “band”. That’s right, Alice Cooper (The Band). From 1969 to 1973, Alice Cooper (The Band) released 7 studio albums. Alice Cooper then went solo, with the release of Welcome To My Nightmare in 1975. Alice Cooper (solo) has released a total of 18 studio albums from 1975 to 2008.

SO… WHICH IS IT… ALICE COOPER (THE BAND) OR ALICE COOPER (SOLO) THAT IS NOMINATED? GET IT STRAIGHT ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF SHAME. GET WITH IT. IT SHOULD BE BOTH THAT ARE NOMINATED, YOU POP-MAINSTREAM DUNCES. DOLTS!

I have been a lifelong fan of Alice Cooper (The Band) and Alice Cooper (Solo). No, I am not seventeen years old either, there are those days I wish I was though. I am old enough to know that the selection process for the nominees and inductees into this Rock And Roll Hall Of Shame is politically motivated by a clique of decision makers who thinks ABBA carries more “musical excellence” than the likes of: RUSH, Cheap Trick, KISST. Rex and The Moody Blues. (LOL). There are many more to add to this legendary list, however, my Metal point has been made clear.

At the end of the day, true fans of Alice Cooper (The Band & Solo), will never tire of their loyalty. A true fan cherishes the music their favorite bands and musicians create, regardless of what some millionaire CEO and his “out of touch” board of directors may say, in some overpriced building in Cleveland, Ohio.

A Rock ‘N’ Roll icon such as Alice Cooper does not need to be reassured of his status and acceptance by induction into any damn hall of fame. Sure, it is an honor to be inducted… only it should be a bigger honor to know your fans revere your music and accept you for who you are, regardless. Alice Cooper is BIGGER than The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame… and that “establishment” knows it.

I say this time and again… that I revere many of the bands and musicians that have been inducted into this building. The slimy political posturing, that affects the nomination and induction process is what ruins what would have been a very grand idea from the very beginning… to have a credible Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame for fans to gravitate to. Sadly, that “type” of Hall Of Fame just doesn’t exist for this Rock ‘N’ Roll fan.

* Here is the “original” band lineup for Alice Cooper (The Band)… maybe someone can pass this information along to the Rock Music “scholars” that oversee who gets inducted into that building in Cleveland.

Alice Cooper – vocalist

Glen Buxton – guitarist

Michael Bruce – guitarist, keyboardist

Dennis Dunaway - bass guitarist

Neal Smith – drummer

LONG LIVE ALICE COOPER!

Stone.

JIMI HENDRIX – HIS MUSIC FOREVER LIVES ON

Posted in guitar legends, Hard Rock, hard rock albums, hard rock bands, Heavy Metal, heavy metal albums, heavy metal bands, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal history, heavy metal music, heavy metal news, metal odyssey, Music, rock guitarists, rock music, rock music history, rock music news with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 18, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

JIMI HENDRIX – Back on September 18, 1970, Jimi Hendrix passed away in London, England, at age 27. Forty years ago, the loss of Jimi Hendrix was just getting underway. Getting into the exact details of where Jimi Hendrix died and how he died is not my purpose here. I am solely reflecting on my introduction to his music as a young teen and how his music continues to entertain me to this very day. Check that… the music of Jimi Henrix continues to bring me joy to this very day.

Back when I was in high school in the early 1980’s, (1980-85), Jimi Hendrix was a huge favorite amongst the crowd of kids I hung with who listened to Heavy Metal. (Yes, I did “extra time” in high school… big deal). Even the kids who listened to straight up Rock and Hard Rock listened to Jimi Hendrix too. It seemed as if no one dared to say they didn’t dig Hendrix back then… he was too cool and bigger than life, regardless if he had passed away a decade earlier. There was this mystique, an almost reverent aura about the songs that Jimi Hendrix sang and played guitar on back in those days. I still get that sense of mystique, a brilliant vibe of reverence when I listen to Jimi Hendrix now… in 2010.

Why the reverence? The mystique? Well, in my Metal opinion, who else can be looked upon as the leading pioneer of electric Heavy Metal guitar? The riffs. Oh, those riffs. Seriously, who else back in 1967 was playing that style of “heavy guitar”? On a consistent level? Yes, you can go back through Rock ‘N’ Roll history with a magnifying glass and find those guitarists who “flirted” with some “heavy” riffs before and during the Jimi Hendrix era. I’m only being real about the impact that Jimi Hendrix had on Rock Music history. His guitar and vocals were so unique to the time that it’s a mesmerizing thought to behold.

It is difficult to pinpoint which was the first Jimi Hendrix song I ever heard, although I will venture to guess it was Foxy Lady. The three FM radio stations I listened to, while in high school, were WCCC and WHCN out of Hartford, the third being WPLR out of New Haven, Connecticut. Those three FM stations played Jimi Hendrix like it was going out of style the Beatles, The WhoRUSH and Led Zeppelin were also played so continuously, that I found no reason to buy all of their albums right away. It’s quite possible to admit, that I listened to Jimi Hendrix each day of my high school life due to those FM radio stations. Truthfully.

Of course, I borrowed and listened to Are You Experienced, Axis: Bold As Love and Electric Ladyland from my friends before I owned them. Swapping albums was the norm back then… not too many of us had the cash to run out and buy every album we wanted. Those are and always will be the “big 3″ Jimi Hendrix albums for me. Sure, there have been many other studio albums released after his death, only these are the three albums that defined Jimi Hendrix and made me one of his countless fans.

To stop and reflect for a second, on just how many times I have listened to Jimi Hendrix over the years is mind numbing. Then, to realize that I have never grown tired of the music that Jimi Hendrix created is a double shot of mind numb. Yes, this is all my personal opinion and the way I truly feel. Jimi Hendrix was a pioneering guitar player who paved the way for Heavy Metal to be where it is today. I sometimes wonder what Jimi Hendrix would think of Metal Music in 2010? What would Jimi Hendrix have to say, during those “building block” years of Heavy Metal during the 1970’s and 1980’s? Man, it would be very cool to know.

There could never be another set of album releases such as the first 3 from the Jimi Hendrix Experience. To have three albums in a row, with such amazingly memorable songs is unparalleled. Purple Haze, Crosstown Traffic and All Along The Watchtower… really, what more can be said for the originality and pure heaviness of their time? Timeless is a powerful word… Jimi Hendrix epitomizes this word each and every time I listen to his music.

Rest In Peace, Jimi Hendrix.

Thank you for your timeless music.

Stone.

JOE ELLIOTT’S DOWN ‘N’ OUTZ – “MY REGENERATION” GENERATES A ROCKIN’ GREAT ALBUM!

Posted in classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock music, Hard Rock, hard rock albums, hard rock bands, hard rock music, Heavy Metal, heavy metal music, metal odyssey, Music, rock & roll, rock 'n' roll, rock and roll, rock music, rock music news with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 16, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

JOE ELLIOTT’S DOWN ‘N’ OUTZ – The news is out… the very famous lead singer for the very legendary Def Leppard has revealed his favorite Rock Band and he has done so through My ReGeneration. The band? None other than… Mott the Hoople. Not too shabby of a favorite I might add. Apparently, Joe Elliott was invited by Mott the Hoople to “participate in some capacity” in their reforming for a week’s worth of shows at the ol’ legendary… Hammersmith Odeon, (now named Hammersmith Apollo), last October of 2009. This experience proved to be the incubus for Joe Elliott forming Down ‘n’ Outz and making an album of cover songs from “spin offs” of Mott the Hoople.

My ReGeneration contains cover songs from Mott, Ian Hunter and British Lions. The last song on this album, The Flipside Of The Shameless Whelk, was written by Joe Elliott and Ronan McHugh. Quite honestly, it is refreshing to hear songs, good Rock ‘N’ Roll songs, that I would probably never have listened to if it wasn’t for this Rockin’ grand idea by Joe Elliott. Um… thanks Joe… and Down ‘n’ Outz too! To absorb what Joe Elliott and his band has assembled here play, is a lesson in British “Old School” Rock ‘N’ Roll.

Mott the Hoople obviously spawned some inventive and historical Rock Music during their too brief, six year tenure of existence – 1969 to 1974. The creative Rock Music minds that did “spin off” from Mott the Hoople are impressive to say the least. Guitarist and founding member of Mott the Hoople, Mick Ralphs will always be my sentimental favorite… for Mick being a founding and current member of Bad Company is all that to this Rockaholic.

While listening to My ReGeneration, I found that yes… this is Joe Elliott singing, only this is not the lungs of power, ultra charismatic, throat scorching vocalist that has fronted Def Leppard either. What I do hear is Joe Elliott – Rock ‘N’ Roll vocalist extraordinaire. Man, do I dig the vocals of Joe Elliott on My ReGeneration. Now, don’t get too down, all you Def Leppard fanatics out there. Joe Elliott has taken his vocals to a magnificent level here, he has in essence, proven to be as well rounded a Heavy Metal meets Rock vocalist as any other, in my most humble and Metal opinion.

Overnight Angels more than stands out as an incredibly memorable song to my Metal brain, this song just unequivocally makes me feel really good. As a bonus, Joe Elliott more than flirts with delivering some Def Leppard vocals on Overnight Angels, he flat-out sings this song as if it could have been on 1999’s Euphoria album as well. A Hard Rockin’ good time listen that doesn’t subside with it’s up-tempo. Alright, you got me, this song is my favorite on ReGeneration. Hey Joe Elliott… this one cover song alone is worth the purchase of ReGeneration! There, I said it, just like the corn dog I sometimes am.

After a couple of listens to England Rocks and I honestly have to agree… ENGLAND ROCKS! ENGLAND ROCKS! ENGLAND ROCKS! Please excuse me… this song really does ROCK. Shouting And Pointing has an overwhelmingly great Classic Rock vibe from beginning to end. The guitar solo by Paul Guerin is very cool, to be quite simplistically honest. Paul Guerin lays the Heavy down on Shouting And Pointing and Heavy is always welcomed in Stone’s ears. Joe Elliott has some fabulous vocal moments on this song, playing around with his pitch and melody only adds more psyche-out flavoring to the overall dish.

Hey Joe… this Down ‘n’ Outz band does… ROCK. Uh… YEAH! Obviously this band behind Joe Elliott is seasoned, knows their Rock ‘n’ Roll and how to play it.

O.k., here comes the sad and short ballad. Apologies is this song. Clocking in at 1:02 long. Stone don’t likey. Now, that is not to say it is a lousy song, I just don’t do very short and sad ballads. Metal be thy name. Down ‘n’ Outz still does ROCK, um, Joe. Who Do You Love is a bar hoppin’, foot stompin’, beer mug clangin’, it’s Friday night even if it’s Sunday, damn good Rock ‘N’ Rollin’ song. Turn it up!

By Tonight kicks in with a familiar guitar segue that is startling close to that from High ‘n’ Dry (Saturday Night) from Def Leppard’s sophomore album from 1981… High ‘n’ Dry. Stone does likey very much though. This is a Hard Rock song personified and Down ‘n’ Outz jams on it, pushing this song to it’s maximum Rock-Out potential.

I do enjoy the cover songs that Joe Elliott and Down ‘n’ Outz have compiled on ReGeneration. This album is a fun trip down Mott the Hoople’s “spin off” memory lane. Thanks to Joe Elliott though, now I’m gonna have to spend more $$$ and buy all those really cool albums from Ian Hunter, Mott and British Lions. Gee Metal whiz, Joe. I’ll Let It Go though, Joe. Joe Elliott’s Rockaholism only fuels mine and what am I supposed to do? Cranking up the volume on ReGeneration is really the only option here… (make sure to turn it down for Apologies though).

Good Times is a fitting song to be included on this album, this is a good times listen after all. This song is what Rock ‘N’ Roll is all about… “gonna have a good time tonight, Rock ‘N’ Roll Music’s gonna play all night”. This Good Times song is one big blast of feel good vibe. The Flipside Of The Shameless Whelk plays out as a 1:38 long take from a jam session and it Rocks along with cool ease, putting a close to this ReGeneration album.

As noted earlier, it appears that Joe Elliott and Ronan McHugh wrote The Flipside Of The Shameless Whelk, I am coming to the conclusion that Down ‘n’ Outz jammed on it. There are no details other than (Elliott/McHugh) within the liner notes regarding this last song, so if anyone out there knows more about it, please feel free to comment. Up to this point of writing this review, I have no further information on the song – Apologies, other than (Major) as a writing credit. Anyone with further knowledge on Apologies as well can comment, it’s very welcomed.

Fans of Joe Elliott, Def Leppard, Classic Rock, Mott the Hoople and every spin off band from them should give a thorough listen into what Joe Elliott’s Down ‘n’ Outz have done with My ReGeneration. These cover songs are dripping with relevancy, giving these true Classic Rock songs a spotlight and new Rockin’ life. It has been fun for me, to branch off into the direction of the spin off bands of Mott the Hoople and listening to these great songs. Now I have more bands from Rock Music History to delve deeper into and that doesn’t bother me at all!

* My ReGeneration was released on July 13, 2010, on Mailboat Records.

Down ‘n’ Outz:

Joe Elliott - lead vocals, backing vocals, rhythm guitar, acoustic guitar, some piano, various percussion

Paul Guerin – lead & rhythm guitar, backing vocals

Guy Griffin – rhythm guitar, backing vocals

Keith Weir – keyboards, backing vocals

Ronnie Garrity – bass guitar

Phil Martini – drums, backing vocals

* Ron Garrity is the bass guitarist for the Rock/Hard Rock Band – Raw Glory. Paul Guerin, Guy Griffin, Keith Weir and Phil Martini are all members of the Hard Rock Band – The Quireboys.

Track Listing For ReGeneration, Listed With Original Artist:

Golden Opportunity (Ian Hunter)

Storm (Mott)

Overnight Angels (Ian Hunter)

Career (No Such Thing As Rock ‘n’ Roll) (Mott)

England Rocks (Ian Hunter)

Shouting And Pointing (Mott)

By Tonight (Mott)

Apologies (credited to “Major”)

Who Do You Love (Ian Hunter)

One More Chance To Run (British Lions)

3000 Miles From Here (Ian Hunter)

Good Times (Mott, originally recorded by The Easybeats)

The Flipside Of The Shameless Whelk (Elliott/McHugh)

Stone.


HEART “RED VELVET CAR” – IS 100% PURE CLASSIC HEART!

Posted in classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock music, Hard Rock, hard rock music, metal odyssey, Music, rock & roll, rock and roll, rock music, rock music news, rock music reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 13, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

HEARTAnn and Nancy Wilson have revived their very own Classic Rock roots, to such an extent that Red Velvet Car is unmistakably 100% pure Heart Classic Rock. I don’t think I can hear a single note on this new Heart album to tell me otherwise. Released on August 31, 2010, on Sony Legacy, Red Velvet Car is the thirteenth studio release from Heart. This new album of Heart songs won’t reveal an Even It Up from 1980’s Bebe le Strange, nor will you hear anything remotely close to What About Love, from their 1985 self titled album Heart. What I hear is Ann and Nancy Wilson making a triumphant return to the sound that captured my very own heart, some thirty plus years ago.

Throughout the decades, I’ve listened to so many bands try to reinvent themselves, through sound, style and/or persona. Sure, Heart may have dabbled in some of their very own “change” in the mid 1980’s, only it was never drastic enough for these two incredibly talented sisters to cease making memorable Rock Music. I went along for that stylistic ride back in 1985… seeing Heart in the arena setting of The Hartford Civic Center, with the ever charismatic Autograph as the opening act. There was always a place for Heart… in my Metal heart, ever since my first album of theirs was spinning on my turntable, that album being Bebe le Strange.

While there are those bands that changed and never recovered, there are still other’s that seem to have forgotten their Rock ‘N’ Roll roots with an almost defiant glee in their eyes. Not Ann and Nancy… not Heart. These two gals have taken not just a piece of their Rock ‘N’ Roll past for Red Velvet Car, they have taken it all and this album essentially salutes it with a double high five… throughout all ten songs. As I took a ride inside the Rock Music of Red Velvet Car, I not only took a ride into the Classic Rock past, I am also taking a ride into the Classic Rock present of Heart for as the legendary Bob Seger has sung… “Rock ‘N’ Roll never forgets”.

Ann Wilson’s vocals on each and every song she sings comes through with the same spirit and resonance as the earliest of Heart albums. To listen to Heart’s 1976 debut album, Dreamboat Annie, immediately following Red Velvet Car is quite the Rockin’ treat, realizing that both albums are nearly 35 years apart is astonishing. The same can be said for Nancy Wilson’s guitar, being over three decades removed from Dreamboat Annie doesn’t seem real when the similarities in sound, style and fresh energy are so comparable.

There is even a slight demo-esque feel and quality about Red Velvet Car that makes it all the more alluring to me, whether this is intentional or not, the end result separates this album from having that overly polished and deliberate commercial gloss. From the onset, There You Go sets the tone as to the exact direction Red Velvet Car steers towards. There You Go is acoustically brash with an attitude usually reserved for a hungry up and coming Rock band, only this is Heart in 2010 and thus they are rejuvenated with their song writing. It only get better…

WTF has Nancy’s guitar tone emanating the feeling and desire of 1977’s Barracuda, making me wish I owned a vintage Chevy Nova jacked up and ready to go for that Summertime road trip to the beach. If WTF doesn’t grab you, then you have never listened to Heart before. Ann sounds as invigorated and Rockalicious as ever on the song Red Velvet Car… velvet vocals and all. If I am to drift off into Heart never, never land… then this is the song to bring me there.

Alright, this is the “stand up” and get your groove on portion of Red Velvet CarQueen City is now playing. When Ann cry’s out – “yo-ho, yo-ho gotta keep afloat” it’s enough to make me feel like Heart has taken back what once was old and made it new again. Let’s not forget that Nancy Wilson can sing with a sparkle like a dew covered peach in the morning Summer sun. Hey You is an acoustic, up-tempo, semi-sweet ballad that carries it’s Rock fragrance of Heart with it’s infectious melody and Nancy’s sweet harmony.

Wheels and Safronia’s Mark both have the atmospheric sound and sensory feel of all things glorious about Classic Heart. Ann and Nancy please, take a bow now for you both have put me on a Classic Rock cloud that is drifting me further away from the lame-o and negative laced Rock Music that devoured everyone in the ’90’s. Hallelujah and Metal be thy name.

I’m going to make it a point to listen to Death Valley and Sunflower, while laying on the grass of my backyard on one of these last hot Summer days… and stare up at the blue sky and puffy white clouds with a retro grin on my middle-aged face that stretches from ear to ear. Is it wrong for my classifying Red Velvet Car as a Classic Rock gem? Calling out Heart’s return to Classic Rock prowess? I don’t think so. Exemplary Rock Music will always rise to the top, despite what is being played on radio or (gasp) MTV. Classic Rock exists for it will never go away, as it rears it’s triumphant head whenever a legendary band such as Heart brings it to life through their albums… both past and present with Red Velvet Car.

Classic Rock has rescued me once again, thank you Ann and Nancy. Red Velvet Car has the Classic Rock ‘N’ Roll fuel and I’m telling anyone whose listening to hitch a ride. Heart has pulled up in their Red Velvet Car and taken me for ride that I’m looking forward to taking again on a consistent basis… for a very, very, long time.

* I have not yet obtained any bonus tracks from the European release of Red Velvet Car, nor was I aware of the two bonus tracks found on the Target version of this CD, until it was too late. (I bought Red Velvet Car at f.y.e. before knowing of the “Only At Target” release).

* For more info on HEART, just click here: HEART-MUSIC.com

Track Listing For Red Velvet Car:

There You Go

WTF

Red Velvet Car

Queen City

Hey You

Wheels

Safronia’s Mark

Death Valley

Sunflower

Sand


LONG LIVE HEART!

Stone.

BLACKMORE’S NIGHT “SECRET VOYAGE” – I’M ON BOARD FOR THIS MUSICAL JOURNEY!

Posted in classic rock, classic rock music, folk rock music, metal odyssey, Music, renaissance music, rock and roll, rock guitarists, rock music, rock music news with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 4, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

BLACKMORE’S NIGHTRitchie Blackmore has never abandoned his love affair for creating incredible classical sounds with his guitar. The lure and attraction for Renaissance music has made Ritchie Blackmore and Candice Night become an impeccable duo of musical minds and talent since their 1997 Blackmore’s Night album debut – Shadow Of The Moon. With 1970’s era Rainbow, Ritchie Blackmore intertwined the Renaissance sound with bluesy Rock and Hard Rock like no other. It only makes sense to me, that Ritchie has taken his immeasurable musical talents to this extraordinary level of existence with Blackmore’s Night, so many years ago.

No one will find the supercharged Hard Rock sound of Straight Between The Eyes or Bent Out Of Shape with Blackmore’s Night. This is another world of music prowess for Ritchie Blackmore and I’m admittedly hooked on this Secret Voyage… it’s an impossible thought for me not to embrace this music. If it’s not the guitar virtuosity of Ritchie, then it’s the beautiful and mesmerizing voice of Candice Night that thrills my ears and mind into a state of… joy.

Rainbow Eyes is such a wonderful song to hear and Candice Night’s vocals just might have me growing wings and flying through the sky… in my Secret Voyage dreams that is. Taking a Rainbow classic, such as Rainbow Eyes from the 1978 album Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll and covering it this way is certainly a musically credible move by Ritchie Blackmore, in my Metal opinion.

The liner notes to Secret Voyage characterize the music created by Blackmore’s Night as Renaissance/Folk/Rock and I won’t disagree. What should be conveyed here to all, is this style of music should not be judged until it is heard. Anytime the words “Folk” or “Renaissance” come into view of a Rock/Hard Rock or Heavy Metal platform such as Metal Odyssey, it can become quite deceptive. Music genres unfortunately can fall victim to stereotyping, sad but true.

In listening to Blackmore’s Night, I have become all the more rich in my quest for hearing all the great works of Ritchie Blackmore. The elements and styles of music heard from Blackmore’s Night are not worlds apart compared to that of early Rainbow and many of the works of Yngwie J. Malmsteen. I can even go further by adding in The Electric Light Orchestra or The Moody Blues as well, when it comes to stylistic comparisons.

Can’t Help Falling In Love is easily guilty of being the “heaviest” song on Secret Voyage, with both it’s tempo and overall energy of sound. Trust me, this is not the molasses sweet and teary eyed original version of Can’t Help Falling In Love made famous and sung by the unreal legendary Elvis Presley in the 1961 film – Blue Hawaii. Forget the UB40 cover version of this song as well… for Candice Night and Ritchie Blackmore make Can’t Help Falling In Love an upbeat, Rockin’ and inspirational listen, like it has never been done before.

The Renaissance fair kicks into high gear with the song – Peasant’s Promise. Once again, the music shares center stage with Candice Night’s vocals. As I listen to this song, I surely wish I owned and could play a shawm, so I could bounce around my surroundings while I gleefully take part in this Renaissance Folk euphoria that I’m experiencing. I’m not kidding or being a wise-guy here. The more I listen to Secret Voyage, the more I wonder as to why this album did not win one of those coveted Grammy’s? Politics I reason.

Far Far Away has a tinge of Enya “style” background chorus/vocals, which only enhances the sensory backdrop of this earthy fortified song. Very mellow, very soft are the vocals of Candice Night on Empty Words… coupled with the acoustic magic that resonates from Ritchie’s guitar are enough to make my Metal heart melt, like a slab of butter on an open fire. Hey Celine Dion… I have two words for you… Candice Night. Metal be thy name.

Guitar enthusiasts, Rainbow and Ritchie Blackmore fans should already be in the know with Blackmore’s Night. Fans of Folk, Renaissance Folk/Rock may very well become enriched with the sounds of Secret Voyage. Any Old School Metalhead like myself, that has a spot in their Metal heart for the guitar greats of our generation, might just take a dive into Blackmore’s Night and fall victim to this living legend’s guitar once again. Ritchie Blackmore and Candice Night come across to my ears as two musicians who were born to be together, not only as husband and wife, as Blackmore’s Night as well.

* Blackmore’s Night – Secret Voyage was released on July 15, 2008, on Steamhammer/SPV. Secret Voyage is the seventh studio album from Blackmore’s Night.

* For more info on Ritchie Blackmore, Candice Night and Blackmore’s Night, just click on the link below:

THE RITCHIE BLACKMORE & BLACKMORE’S NIGHT – Official Website

* A special thanks to Metal Mark at Heavy Metal Time Machine for pushing this album my way.

Track Listing For Secret Voyage:

God Save The Keg

Locked Within The Crystal Ball

Gilded Cage

Toast To Tomorrow

Prince Waldeck’s Galliard

Rainbow Eyes

The Circle

Sister Gypsy

Can’t Help Falling In Love

Peasant’s Promise

Far Far Away

Empty Words

LONG LIVE BLACKMORE’S NIGHT!

Stone.

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