Archive for the classic hard rock bands Category

METAL ODYSSEY’S TOP TEN HARD ROCK ALBUMS OF 2009

Posted in 1970's hard rock, 1970's Rock, 1970's southern rock bands, 1980's hard rock bands, 1990's hard rock bands, Album Review, best of album lists, best of hard rock albums list, best of rock list, classic hard rock bands, classic hard rock music, classic rock, classic rock bands, classic rock music, classic southern rock, cool album covers, current hard rock albums, current hard rock bands, current hard rock music, current hard rock songs, essential hard rock albums, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock albums 2009, hard rock bands 2009, hard rock music, hard rock music 2009, hard rock songs, hard rock vocalists, heavy metal music, lists, metal odyssey, Music, old school hard rock, rock & roll, rock album reviews, rock and roll, rock music, rock music reviews, top ten album lists, vintage hard rock bands with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 26, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Welcome to Metal Odyssey’s 1st Annual Top Ten Hard Rock Albums list! This list is for Hard Rock albums released in 2009. These albums are my favorites that I listened to most consistently this past year, while hearing the best in overall musicianship and songs. For sure there are Hard Rock albums released in 2009 that I have passed over, (time and money plays a factor). *Please note the links throughout this list, navigating you to a more detailed review, that I have written for past Metal Odyssey posts during 2009, regarding the respective album.

#10 – CHICKENFOOT – CHICKENFOOT

The more I listened to this Supergroup lineup of Sammy Hagar (lead vocals), Joe Satriani, (lead guitar), Michael Anthony, (bass guitar) and Chad Smith, (drums), the more it dawned on me… I was probably more star struck at the initial release of this album, (June 5, 2009), than I am in December, 2009. Don’t get me wrong, I really, really like Chickenfoot. This album takes me back to the late ’80’s Hard Rock vibe of Van Hagar, uh, Van Halen, plus the songs remind me of good time Summer days. For me not to have these guys in my Top Ten of Hard Rock Albums for 2009 – would be an insult to myself. This Chickenfoot album I will without question, listen to time and again… especially during the Summer months. For more stuff I wrote about Chickenfoot on May 1, 2009, click on the heading below:

Watch out Metal & Hard Rock fans – Chickenfoot is coming!

#9 – MADINA LAKE – ATTICS TO EDEN

Yeah, sure, there is some slight Pop in the music of Madina Lake, with an overlying style of Alternative Rock, still… the hard edge heard inside the inner linings of the songs, on Attics To Eden, is what still lures me in. Madina Lake convinced me, that they give a damn about song writing and lyrics, not caving in to being too hard or too soft at the same time. Call me corny, Madina Lake created one heck of an inspiring album, with Attics To Eden. My detailed review I posted on August 13, 2009, can be yours by clicking you know where – below:

MADINA LAKE – “Attics to Eden” is an Alternative Rock detour to take

#8 – PAPA ROACH – METAMORPHOSIS

Jacoby Shaddix makes this album so appreciable for me, with his vocals not overpowering the band, instead they distinguish the individual songs heard on Metamorphosis. Papa Roach is not a band trying to be something they are not… instead Papa Roach mixes Rock styles into a menagerie of hard and at times, heavy songs on this album. Papa Roach may have given a nod to some decades old, retrospective melodic heaviness, yet still kept the relevancy factor at full throttle. O.k., I’m guilty of calling the most accessible song on Metamorphosis my favorite… Lifeline more than rivets me, it lifts my spirits high. I posted just how much this album thrilled me, on April 7, 2009… click below to see what I blabbed.

Papa Roach “Metamorphosis” – leave your stress behind!

#7 – DOMMIN – EP

Sure, this is just an EP from DOMMIN, subsequently titled – EP, nonetheless, it had such an impact on me that it made my Top Ten Hard Rock Album List. Kristofer Dommin has quite the vocals and can write some catchy, moody and dark songs. There are four songs on EP, in my Metal opinion they are dynamite. I am really looking forward to the complete studio album from DOMMIN, Love Is Gone, to be released on February 10, 2009. On October 19, 2009, I let everyone in the world know, just how thrilled I am about EP… check out what I ranted and raved about by clicking below:

DOMMIN – “E.P.” Has Me Hooked

#6 – FOREIGNER – CAN’T SLOW DOWN

The album title for this 2009 version of Foreigner is extremely fitting for founding member Mick Jones. Kudos to Mick for not slowing down at all. The Foreigner brand and band is at the top of their Hard Rock game musically, making an album that should not only catapult this current Foreigner lineup but spotlight the Hard Rock history of this band as well. Foreigner has been a mainstay band for me since the late 1970’s, following my heart is not what I am doing here… this is a very good album. Kelly Hansen fits right in with Foreigner, he even sings the bands classics like they were intended for him. I could never compare him to Lou Gramm, there forever will only be one Lou Gramm. It doesn’t hurt that Jeff Pilson is the bass guitarist with Foreigner either. I definitely recommend this album, Foreigner 2009 is not an anomaly, they are for real… just as they ever were.

#5- WOLFMOTHER – COSMIC EGG

Yes, I am a Wolfmother believer, one who could not wait for them to release their sophomore album. Cosmic Egg is NOT a carbon copy of the debut Wolfmother album, instead the songs take on a more melodic and streamlined sound. There is definitely MORE happening on this second album from Wolfmother, with song structure and production seeming to take on a prominent role. The songs on Cosmic Egg sound beefier than that of it’s predecessor. Wolfmother carries on with their psychedelic whomp on Cosmic Egg, carrying over the Old School riffs and chops that remind me of the early to mid 1970’s Hard Rock world. I may never know for sure, if there are those Old School Hard Rock influences coming into play with Wolfmother, regardless, this album never ceases to send sensory shock waves of heavy glee through me, with each listen. Simply, a super all around Hard Rock album.

#4 – THE MARS VOLTA – OCTAHEDRON

Call it my insatiable appetite for Progressive Music… Progressive Hard Rock 101 = The Mars Volta. There are layers and whirlwinds of musical innuendo to be heard on Octahedron. Could anyone familiar with The Mars Volta have expected anything substandard? Never. It will most likely take me another fifty listens to this album, to finally come close in hearing every piece of music, that radiates from within it’s unreal great core. The Mars Volta could go into a time machine and make relevant Rock and Roll, Rock or Hard Rock in any of the past six decades. Octahedron is not math Rock… it is genius and Progressive Hard Rock. The Mars Volta have done their homework in Progressive Rock history and appreciation, now I am forever appreciating this band and Octahedron. Oh, yeah, I did praise The Mars Volta up and down, on July 7, 2009. Just do a quick click below to read what I mean:

The Mars Volta “Octahedron” – A Progressive Hard Rock mind pill

#3 – CHEAP TRICK – THE LATEST

Cheap Trick. I became a lifelong fan of this band a long time ago, in a very expensive state called Connecticut, far, far, away. The album opener Sleep Forever is what grabbed me emotionally from the onset, a somber intro/prelude to a Cheap Trick bevy of Rock and Roll delight. Cheap Trick has maintained their elite status in the history of Rock Music… for me and I’m convinced many others as well. The Latest is just that – the latest great blend of Rock and Hard Rock Music from a band that DESERVES TO BE IN THE ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME. On July 26, 2009, I was blogging away as to how enormously great this new Cheap Trick album is… lookie below and click away to read it!

Cheap Trick “The Latest” is their latest great album

#2 – CKY – CARVER CITY

During the early half of 2009, I found it easy to slap the Metal label on CKY. Then, upon my listening to Carver City on numerous occasions, I decided this band is in fact, a Hard Rock Band to my ears. I never professed to be a music genre genius… just a music genre blabber. Yes, CKY can and has proven the excellent ability to play very, very, heavy, (Old Carver’s Bones, for example), yet songs such as A #1 Roller Rager and The Era Of An End solidifies my belief as CKY being Hard Rock. Carver City is as muscular with great songs and invitingly macabre as any album I could possibly wish for. I willingly became a CKY fan in 2009, prompted by this unreal great album. I really laid it on thick as to why CKY and Carver City made me so ecstatic… yes I did… on May 21, 2009 and if you want to, check out the details I blabbed by… uh, huh… clicking the heading below.

CKY “Carver City” is diverse, macabre Metal at it’s finest

Here is the front cover to CKY – CARVER CITY… spooky scene there, one of my favorite covers of 2009.

Here is the back cover of CKY – CARVER CITY… again, very spooky, this stuff I can’t get enough of.

#1 – LYNYRD SKYNYRD – GOD & GUNS

Upon my very first listen to Lynyrd SkynyrdGod & Guns, I realized I was listening to something very special. An American Rock Music icon… survivors, Southern Rock legends… Lynyrd Skynyrd. When choosing a #1 album, for me, it is all about total song quality. ALL 12 songs are a journey into a world of Southern Hard Rock musicianship at it’s upmost finest. Yes, this album does dabble in Country Rock with Unwrite That Song and That Ain’t My America… and why shouldn’t Lynyrd Skynyrd go in that direction if they so choose? This great band is deserving of creating any damn song they want, they have earned it. Trust me, this is an album that will be appreciated by skeptics and critics more for it’s total sum than it’s parts… ten, maybe twenty years from now. The Hard Rock parts are all there to be heard, with Southern Rock and Country Rock roots swirled into the mix. God & Guns is patriotic and I am proud to be an American. Long live Lynyrd Skynyrd. Metal Odyssey applauds this band for creating God & Guns.

Don’t hesitate to read my fully detailed review on God & Guns, I bellowed through my blog just how much this album means to me on October 2, 2009:

LYNYRD SKYNYRD – “GOD & GUNS” IS ALREADY A SOUTHERN ROCK CLASSIC

Thank you for visiting Metal Odyssey and checking out my Top Ten Hard Rock Album List for 2009!

*Be sure to also check out these fellow Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Music blogs for their Best Of Lists for 2009, they are fabulous blogs all… believe me, it is worth the time, plus it’s darn good fun:

Heavy Metal Addiction — http://heavymetaladdiction.com/

All Metal Resource — http://allmetalresource.com/

Bring Back Glam — http://bringbackglam.squarespace.com/

Hair Metal Mansion — http://hairbangersradio.ning.com/

Hard Rock Hideout — http://hardrockhideout.com/

Heavy Metal Time Machine — http://metalmark.blogspot.com/

Imagine Echoes — http://www.imagineechoes.com/

Layla’s Classic Rock — http://laylasclassicrock.blogspot.com/

Metal Excess — http://metalexcess.com/

The Metal Minute — http://rayvanhornjr.blogspot.com/

Rock Of Ages — http://rockofages.wordpress.com/

The Ripple Effect — http://www.ripplemusic.blogspot.com/



STYX “PARADISE THEATRE” – 1981 ROCK ALBUM IS A FOREVER FAVORITE OF MINE

Posted in 1970's classic rock bands, 1970's hard rock bands, 1970's rock bands, 1980's classic rock bands, 1980's classic rock guitarists, 1980's classic rock vocalists, 1980's rock albums, 1980's rock music, 1980's classic rock, 1980's classic rock albums, 1980's classic rock music, 1980's classic rock songs, 1980's hard rock bands, 1980's rock bands, Album Review, classic hard rock bands, classic hard rock music, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock music, classic rock music 1981, classic rock songs, classic rock vocalists, cool album covers, feel good stories, guitar legends, hard rock music, metal odyssey, Music, old school hard rock, rock & roll, rock album review, rock and roll, rock guitarists, rock keyboard musicians, rock music, rock music lyrics, rock vocalists, shopping for rock music, vintage rock albums, vintage rock and roll songs with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 18, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Styx, a Rock/Hard Rock band that didn’t just grow on me in my early teens… instead, I fell over backwards upon my very first listen to their song Come Sail Away from The Grand Illusion album, (released in 1977). Jumping across the Pieces Of Eight (1978) and Cornerstone (1979) albums from Styx, (which both are unreal great albums for me as well), there is Paradise Theatre, (A&M Records), from 1981. Call it music imbedding at age fifteen, this Styx album just reminds me of so many good things about my life as an early teen. Memories, especially the good ones, are priceless. When music, Rock Music, can rekindle cool and fun times through memories… man, I’m not going to stop listening to such respective albums or songs – ever. Paradise Theatre doesn’t remind me of winning the lottery, getting an expensive car, falling in love, achieving straight A’s on my report card, (yeah right), nor does it send me back to a Hawaiian vacation. Nope. What Paradise Theatre does remind me of, is easier times, hanging out, the Christmas Holiday, snow days off from school and having no clue of who or what I wanted to be in life. Honestly, this Paradise Theatre album really reminds me of those things, the smaller things in life that matter too.

I’m certain I can sit here and compile a master list of Rock, Hard Rock and Heavy Metal albums, that meet the same memory criteria as this Styx Paradise Theatre album bestows for me. Recently, I finally purchased Paradise Theatre on CD, for the first time in my life! It was priced at $7, brand new. There were several, if not dozens of moments where I had this CD in my hands to buy… only putting it back down, because I get so damned conscientious about spending too much money on non essential items for myself. (I have to learn to relax, $7 is chump change compared to what is spent on Wall Street bailouts).

I cannot pinpoint the reason as to why Paradise Theatre reminds me of the previously mentioned. All I know is, come Christmas, these songs from this album just “pop” into my head. Watch out if it snows, it seems like I can actually envision the album cover in my mind as well, all the while I watch a snowfall. I do remember listening to the songs from Paradise Theatre during the Winter of 1981, it seems like yesterday. Funny, how I purchased this CD during the Winter of 2009, all of the variables were in place… some snow was on the ground, Christmas is approaching and I threw danger to the wind by spending an extra $7 on myself. (I guess you can call me a real thrill seeker, on the spending part of it all).

Every song on Paradise Theatre is a winner, that includes the songs that never made it to FM radio too. Quality, substance and an acute attention to lyrics are what makes these songs on Paradise Theatre so unbelievable for me. This album Rocks. There, I got that out of my system, that phrase needed to be stated and has become rather nerdy and extremely cliche too. Back in 1981, I never would understand what the term Classic Rock meant. In 1981, the only music that was really classic was Classical Music. Styx, through their albums of the 1970’s and 1980’s have given true meaning and understanding to the term/genre… Classic Rock.

I have always been a huge fan of Tommy Shaw, following his solo career along with his stints in Damn Yankees and Shaw/Blades. Dennis DeYoung on vocals gives this Styx band and album their trademark Rock essence, a sound that is so much stand alone. Dennis DeYoung’s voice is a trademark musical instrument of Styx. Of course, the aforementioned are all my opinions and interpretations, which I am steadfast about.

Dennis DeYoung sings it so right, on the song The Best Of Times, with these lines:

Our memories of yesterday

Will last a lifetime

We’ll take the best, forget the rest

And someday we’ll find

These are the best of times

Track Listing For Paradise Theatre:

Side One:

A.D. 1928

Rockin’ The Paradise

Too Much Time On My Hands

Nothing Ever Goes As Planned

The Best Of Times

Side Two:

Lonely People

She Cares

Snowblind

Half-Penny; Two Penny

A.D. 1958

State Street Sadie

Styx, as they appeared on Paradise Theatre:

Dennis DeYoung – keyboards & vocals

Tommy Shaw – guitars & vocals

Chuck Panozzo – bass guitar

John Panozzo – drums & percussion

James Young – guitars & vocals


RAINBOW “DOWN TO EARTH” – 1979 ALBUM REVISITED

Posted in 1970's classic rock albums, 1970's classic rock bands, 1970's classic rock songs, 1970's classic rock vocalists, 1970's hard rock bands, 1970's classic rock music, 1970's hard rock, 1970's heavy metal, 1970's rock music, 1980's hard rock bands, 1980's heavy metal bands, Album Review, classic hard rock bands, classic hard rock music, classic rock bands, classic rock cover songs, classic rock music, classic rock music 1979, classic rock songs, cool album covers, guitar legends, hard rock music, heavy metal bands, heavy metal history, heavy metal music, heavy metal on vinyl, metal odyssey, Music, old school hard rock, old school heavy metal, rock guitarists, rock music, vintage hard rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 8, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Here is a Rainbow album that I can never get enough of. Down To Earth, released on July 28, 1979. This Rainbow lineup is nothing short of legendary, unreal musicians they were together. I actually saved this vinyl copy of Down To Earth since the mid 1980’s, never having the thought of letting it go. Graham Bonnet on vocals is tops… for me. This album just illuminates Hard Rock meets Heavy Metal legitimacy, in my Metal opinion. To this day, I will crank up, (extremely loud), the two songs: All Night Long and Since You Been Gone. I endorse the other six songs on this album as well… songs like these are what makes a complete and memorable album. I often times, find it hard to believe that Down To Earth was released back in 1979, saying these songs are dated will never cross my Metal mind.

I have always embraced each lead singer that fronted Rainbow over the years. Each new lead vocalist lent a different sound and feel, while the hardness of Rainbow never seemed to wane for me. Ronnie James Dio, Graham Bonnet, Joe Lynn Turner and Doogie White made each respective Rainbow lineup unique. Sure, you can say that there have been four different Rainbow bands… the more Rainbow music that was made, the better, in my Metal opinion! I could never embrace the gossip or rumors that surrounded each Rainbow lineup, all I ever cared about were the albums that were created. Down To Earth seems to be an album that gets skipped over, when discussions/articles of great Hard Rock releases of the ’70’s are brought forth. Maybe my blabbing about this Rainbow Down To Earth album will inspire someone to give it a listen again or for the first time, it is extremely well worth it.

Listening to this Rainbow album puts me in a darn good mood. Heck, any Rainbow album puts me in a good mood and sets me straight. I wish that Ritchie Blackmore kept the Rainbow brand moving forward. Regardless, I’ll embrace and enjoy the Rainbow albums that did become reality… especially Down To Earth.

The Rainbow lineup for Down To Earth… and what a lineup:

Ritchie Blackmore – guitar

Graham Bonnet – lead vocalist

Roger Glover – bass guitarist

Cozy Powell – drums

Don Airey – keyboards

The track list for Down To Earth… these are songs, no fillers:

All Night Long

Eyes of the World

No Time to Lose

Makin’ Love

Since You Been Gone

Love’s No Friend

Danger Zone

Lost in Hollywood

* Since You Been Gone was written and recorded by Russ Ballard, originally appearing on his 1976 album Winning. Russ Ballard wrote one pretty cool song, in my Metal opinion.


MEAT LOAF – Appears In Commercial Endorsing A-1 Steak Sauce!

Posted in 1970's classic rock bands, 1970's classic rock vocalists, 1970's hard rock bands, 1970's classic rock music, 1970's hard rock, 1970's rock music, 1980's classic rock bands, 1980's classic rock vocalists, 1980's rock music, 1980's classic rock music, 1980's hard rock bands, 1990's classic rock albums, 1990's classic rock music, 1990's classic rock vocalists, 1990's hard rock music, 1990's rock bands, 1990's rock music, 1990's hard rock albums, 1990's hard rock bands, classic hard rock bands, classic hard rock music, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock music, classic rock songs, classic rock vocalists, cool album covers, essential classic rock songs, food commercials, hard rock music, metal odyssey, Music, old school hard rock, rock & roll, rock and roll, rock and roll commercials, rock and roll news, rock music, rock music in commercials, rock music on television, rock music vocals, rock vocalists with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 30, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

MetalOdysseyMeat Loaf, Rock Music legend. Meat Loaf, lead vocalist on Ted Nugent’s 1976 Free For All album. Meat Loaf, a guest investigator on Ghost Hunters. Meat Loaf playing the role of Eddie in the cult film classic – The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Oh, heck, I could make quite the list of Meat Loaf career achievements here. I have not even touched on awards, records sold or concert receipts. Meat Loaf has been a lifetime favorite Rock/Hard Rock vocalist for me. I get all happy to see Meat Loaf in the limelight, no matter what the platform may be. I have said it before, Meat Loaf just seems like a down to earth guy that has continuously risen above the star status of plasticity.

I have never been a fan of using vintage Rock songs for commercial purposes. Attaching a legendary song of any Rock or Metal Music genre, to a product for the sole purpose of marketing and selling such product, just takes away from the original Rock spirit of the song. That is my Metal opinion. Step in A-1 Steak Sauce, um, please. You see, I witnessed the other night, while watching whatever on television… Meat Loaf in an A-1 Steak Sauce commercial. Yes I did. Meat Loaf… steak sauce. (I think this commercial appeared during the Yankees vs. Angels game 6 playoff game on Fox). All I know is this commercial came on late, therefore my Metal memory has a few cobwebs. Meat Loaf looked fine, just as he looked on a recent episode of Ghost Hunters. In this A-1 Steak Sauce commercial, he actually looked like a dude you would approach at a family or company picnic… asking him where the cold beer is hidden.

The classic Meat Loaf song – I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That), is heard during this A-1 Steak Sauce commercial. Plus, Meat Loaf is shown singing along to this song, apparently showing his affection towards A-1 Steak Sauce. Meat Loaf is also shown wearing a bath robe and bunny slippers too. Yup. Hey, I’m all for a free enterprise, this is America. I also believe in the semi-fabulous words of wisdom… live and let live. Metal be damned though, I will forever now attach this great Meat Loaf song to a stinking bottle of steak sauce. The marriage of commercial products and my favorite Rock songs have an imbedding power within my Metal mind, this has always been the case my entire life. Once the attachment of a Rock song and it’s commercially related product occurs… that’s it. I cannot shake the connection loose once I hear such song(s) again.

There are many positives to be explored with this Meat Loaf meets A-1 Steak Sauce commercial just the same. Three quick positives come to my Metal mind: One – Meat Loaf is in the public eye, where he rightfully should be. Two – Meat Loaf is working and getting paid. Three – I will now and forever link and associate the A-1 Steak Sauce bottle that sits atop many restaurant tables, to a Rock Music icon whose voice has entertained and inspired me for decades. Reaching for that bottle of A-1 Steak Sauce will never be the same for me again. Long live Meat Loaf.

* I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That) appears on the 1993 Meat Loaf album – Bat Out of Hell ll: Back Into Hell. This fantastic song was written by Jim Steinman.

Meat Loaf "Bat Out Of Hell ll" large album pic

DRIVIN N CRYIN – 1993 ALBUM “SMOKE” IS HARD ROCK BLISS

Posted in 1980's rock music, 1980's hard rock bands, 1990's classic rock albums, 1990's classic rock music, 1990's college music, 1990's hard rock music, 1990's rock bands, 1990's rock music, 1990's hard rock albums, 1990's hard rock bands, Album Review, classic hard rock bands, classic rock, classic rock album finds, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock music, classic rock songs, classic rock vocalists, collecting classic rock, collecting rock music, current hard rock bands, essential classic rock albums, essential classic rock songs, essential hard rock albums, essential rock albums, feel good stories, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock bands from georgia, hard rock drummers, hard rock guitarists, hard rock music, hard rock songs, hard rock vocalists, metal odyssey, Music, old school hard rock, rock & roll, rock album review, rock and roll, rock music, rock vocalists with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 16, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Drivin N Cryin "Smoke" small album picThere are those select few bands, select few albums throughout my life that I have listened to, that I can say – resonates with me. Drivin N Cryin is one of those bands and their 1993 album – Smoke, (on Island Records). I confess, I never owned a copy of Smoke until October 14, 2009. Unbelievable, how great Rock Music can slip by you. I have vindicated this slip-up by now taking ownership of this great album… finding it on CD during one of my many thrift store Hard Rock and Metal hunts. Rock diversity is a strong point with Drivin N Cryin, their talent to create credible and memorable songs are sensationally a musical characteristic. Smoke is a Rock meets Hard Rock album that even upon it’s initial 1993 release, can be construed as a throwback – to the days when writing Rock songs wasn’t about a race to the commercial finish line. After three consecutive and thorough listens to Smoke on Wednesday, all I could think about that night was listening to Smoke on Thursday! For me, this album is that good… I mean great.

Drivin N Cryin does bring back a very cool Rock memory for me. I saw Drivin N Cryin open up for the ultra legendary – The Who. This concert was at the Meadows Music Theater in Hartford, Connecticut, I think the year was around 1997. (Heck, I cannot remember the exact year). My wife and best buddy Scott were with me for this unreal great night of Rock and Roll. We did not know upon entering this outdoor amphitheater that Drivin N Cryin were opening for The Who that night… we were beyond thrilled when Drivin N Cryin hit the stage, they were simply put – tremendous. I will always remember that night, for Metal sakes, it was The Who taking center stage after all! However, Drivin N Cryin was the Hard Rock bonus that was so unexpected that evening… an unbelievable bonus it was!

Drivin N Cryin "Smoke" small album picThere is no hiding from the fact that I uphold Metal Music and I am a Metalhead, with that said, I also uphold quality Rock and Hard Rock Music as well. Drivin N Cryin enables me to embrace their songs through their vivid musicianship and clarity of their lyrics. With Smoke, there are no illusions going on, no flamboyant and over the ropes attitudes to be heard, just straight -up Rock Music that hits home for me. The first three songs, Back Against The Wall, She Doesn’t Wanna Go and Smoke on Smoke are a 1-2-3 Hard Rock can of whoop ass. 1000 Swings and 1988 are by far cool Rockers as well. Whiskey Soul Woman is just one incredible Rock song to cruise to, it has a Classic Rock vibe swirling all around. When You Come Back is a laid back, Blues Rockin’ song that shows just how diverse Drivin N Cryin can be with Rock. Patron Lady Beautiful can be justified as an epic Rock song for Drivin N Cryin, at 7:36 it plays out with the Rock mellowness that I need to hear every so often and takes it’s twists and turns with Hard Rock heaviness – in real Classic Rock style. What’s The Difference and Eastern European Carny Man has some Tom Petty influence happening, both vocally and musically, not a bad influence for my ears to hear at all.

My favorite song on Smoke, (if I am forced to choose), has to be Turn It Up Or Turn It Off… this is a Hard Rock Classic for me, man these guys jam on this song. There is a hidden track on Smoke, right after the last song, therefore there are really thirteen songs on this album. This hidden song has Classic Rock oozing from it’s every crevice, with the guitars giving way to 1970’s style licks that are beyond cool for me. When it is all said and done, quality Rock musicianship and vocals will always save the day and stay relevant for decades on end. Drivin N Cryin is just this band, extremely credible song writing and musicianship and Rockin’ to this very day. I really dig the vocals of Kevin Kinney, he is at his unreal best on Smoke. I most highly recommend Drivin N Cryin and all of their music to any fan of Rock, Classic Rock and Hard Rock. Smoke turned out to be a hidden Rock gem for me, sending me off to Hard Rock bliss.

* I have not seen this CD for sale on Best Buy online, I have seen it for sale at Amazon.com, as recent as today.

Drivin N Cryin as they appeared on Smoke:

Kevin Kinney – vocals and guitar

Tim Nielsen – bass

Jeff Sullivan – drums

Buren Fowler – lead guitar

DRIVIN N CRYIN "SMOKE" X-LARGE ALBUM PIC

KISS “KLASSICS” – ROCKS HARDER THAN EVER!

Posted in 1970's classic rock bands, 1970's classic rock songs, 1970's hard rock bands, 1970's hard rock, 1970's heavy metal, 1970's heavy metal music, 1970's Rock, 1970's rock music, 1980's classic rock bands, 1980's heavy metal hits, 1980's rock music, 1980's classic rock, 1980's classic rock music, 1980's classic rock songs, 1980's hard rock, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's heavy metal songs, 1980's rock bands, 1990's classic rock music, 1990's heavy metal bands, 1990's rock music, Album Review, classic hard rock, classic hard rock bands, classic hard rock music, classic heavy metal, classic rock, classic rock bands, classic rock music, classic rock songs, classic rock vocalists, collecting classic rock, collecting heavy metal albums, collecting rock music, cool album covers, current heavy metal albums, current heavy metal music, essential classic rock albums, essential classic rock songs, essential heavy metal albums, essential heavy metal songs, guitar legends, hard rock album review, hard rock music, hard rock music 2009, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 2009, heavy metal drummers, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 2009, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal songs 2009, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, old school hard rock, old school heavy metal, rock & roll, rock and roll, rock music, vintage hard rock bands, vintage heavy metal bands, vintage heavy metal songs with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 10, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

The second studio CD packaged inside the new KISS –  Sonic Boom is KISS Klassics. I am not holding back on this – Whoa. Whoa does KISS rock harder than ever on these re-recorded KISS “greatest hits” – (oops), Klassics that is. I slapped in the Klassics CD, preparing to hear some subtle differences in these re-recorded songs, instead I opened up my mind and ears to a can of KISS whoop ass! Metal be damned, Tommy Thayer can play his Metal heart out – Black Diamond is unreal heavy and good. After just one listen to Lick It Up and I was re-enrolled into KISS Rock and Roll 101 – all over again. Lick It Up has a ton more KISS attitude now, (sounds unreal, understand it is holy crap good). Harder, heavier, with heaping Metal waves of relevance crashing all around is this KISS Klassics. For many KISS fans, Animalize was an album that, well, was very much a commercial Hair Metal phase for this band. Let KISS introduce you to their re-recorded – 2009 version of Heaven’s On Fire… I really, really, really, like this song a Metal ton now.

In my most honest Metal opinion, Paul Stanley sings like he has been reincarnated into his 1977 body. Gene Simmons vocally sounds like a man who has been reborn himself. Metal be my witness, this KISS Klassics has done to me, what it was probably intended to do by KISS in the first place… realize that this band is age defying and generation fusing and yes, damn great at playing these songs that are decades old. The last thing I want to sound here is as a biased, middle aged KISS fan… hell, if KISS was to have dropped the Metal ball on this one, I would be the first one screaming NO! What once was old is new again, for Metal sakes, KISS is new again! There are subtle differences in guitar leads, solo’s, riffs, yet Tommy Thayer plays each and every song like a Metal pro. Ace Frehley is legend, no question, yet Tommy Thayer has taken these songs from the master and has put his very own KISS signature on them. Eric Singer is just an excellent drummer period. His years with KISS alone, has established his icon status for me.

Back to more of these Klassics… I Was Made For Lovin’ You still holds that melodic extremity to it that some misguided folks confused with – disco. I will fight till the end of Metal time and refute any damn comparison of this song to disco. Hotter Than Hell is just that… this 2009 version has given me a brand new, psyche me out song to crank up LOUD. I Love It Loud is cool, yet this re-recorded version does not beat out the original, thank you very Metal much. Don’t get me wrong now, I will still raise my Metal fist in the air to this 2009 version of I Love It Loud – hell yeah. Christine Sixteen has always been a genius of a KISS song, Gene Simmons gives it a robust Metal boost in this 2009 recording, his vocals this time around has re-energized this Klassic. I always get a Metal kick out of the piano intro to Christine Sixteen. What would a KISS Klassics be without Rock And Roll All Nite? It is here on this Klassics CD, more emboldened by KISS than ever before. Forever is the lone KISS ballad to be found on Klassics… since I belong to the KISS Army, I will listen to this ballad. Forever is a good song, Paul Stanley and KISS bring it back for this Klassics curtain call for that same reason. There are throngs of fans who emotionally relate to this KISS song, heck, that is what ballads do.

In closing Metal summary, if you are a KISS fan, (no matter for how long), you NEED to buy Sonic Boom with this KISS Klassics included. The time to re-enlist into the KISS Army is NOW. If you never have been a fan of KISS, do not buy Sonic Boom with KISS Klassics… hell, the KISS Army is looking for Rock and Roll warriors anyway – so critics can stay away.

Track Listing For KISS Klassics:

* Deuce

* Detroit Rock City

* Shout It Out Loud

* Hotter Than Hell

* Calling Dr. Love

* Love Gun

* I Was Made For Lovin’ You

* Heaven’s On Fire

* Lick It Up

* I Love It Loud

* Forever

* Christine Sixteen

* Do You Love Me

* Black Diamond

* Rock And Roll All Nite

KISS "Sonic Boom" x-large album pic 2009

NAZARETH “NO MEAN CITY” – 1979 HARD ROCK ALBUM IS A DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH

Posted in 1970's classic rock albums, 1970's classic rock bands, 1970's classic rock songs, 1970's hard rock bands, 1970's classic rock music, 1970's hard rock, 1970's heavy metal, 1970's heavy metal albums, 1970's Rock, 1970's rock music, Album Review, classic hard rock, classic hard rock bands, classic hard rock music, classic heavy metal, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock cover songs, classic rock music, classic rock music 1979, classic rock songs, classic rock vocalists, collecting classic rock, collecting rock music, cool album covers, creepy album covers, essential classic rock albums, essential classic rock songs, hard rock music, heavy metal music, metal odyssey, Music, old school hard rock, old school heavy metal, rock & roll, rock and roll, rock music, scary album covers, spooky metal album covers, vintage hard rock albums, vintage hard rock bands with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 9, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Nazareth "No Mean City" small album picI have owned the vinyl album of No Mean City by Nazareth since 1983. No, I could never part with this album at all over the years, never. For years I could never find No Mean City on CD, it most likely had been out of print for some time. To this day, No Mean City does not seem to be that readily available anywhere, on CD and especially on vinyl. Who knows, maybe there is an independent record store somewhere that has dozens of copies in their inventory… I just never come across this Nazareth classic myself. With the brilliant, Old School, Classic Hard Rock heard on this album, combined with the album cover artwork, makes for a keeper. I actually bought this album as a cut-out, back when Strawberries Records & Tapes was around. Back in the early 1980’s, cut-out bins found in any record store was Rock and Roll Heaven! You could always find cool albums in these cut-out bins at real discounted prices, many times there were hidden heavy gems in them. My copy of No Mean City has a cut in the top right corner of the album jacket – this never bothered me one bit. The enjoyment this album’s music has given me all these years more than makes up for any cosmetic defect on it’s exterior.

Remembering the actual price I paid for No Mean City back in 1983 is a tad gray now… it probably set me back three or four bucks at the most. This is one of those albums that I would hold and stare at the front cover artwork, while my turntable played the tunes. The artwork for No Mean City screams Heavy Metal, still this is a true Hard Rock album from Nazareth. Getting nostalgic about Rock and Roll is something I cannot shake loose, Nazareth is one of those bands that epitomizes Classic Rock and gets my nostalgia adrenaline going. No Mean City takes me back to when I had nothing to worry about other than graduating High School. Whenever I listen to this album, everything feels cool around me, uh, that is real cool.

All eight songs on this great album are terrific, there are a few standout favorites of mine, beginning with Simple Solution Part 1 & 2. This song is loaded with strong grooves, carrying it’s melodic Hard Rock weight due in part to Dan McCafferty on lead vocals, Pete Agnew on bass and backing vocals and Manny Charlton on guitar. Star is a Hard Rock ballad  that maintains it’s heaviness through Dan McCafferty’s raspy, sandpapered vocals. To this very day, I still cannot believe that Star was not a huge hit from this album. The lyrics and music of Star are just as great as the Nazareth cover song Love Hurts from their Hair Of The Dog album, in my Metal opinion. May The Sunshine is a Folk Rock meets Hard Rock song. This song is just a great sing along, upbeat in it’s lyrics and melody, a song I never expected to hear upon my very first listen to No Mean City. Since my first introduction to this album all those years ago, I could not see my music collection being the same without it. If you are into Classic Rock and/or Hard Rock, especially from the late ’70’s, Nazareth and No Mean City is a must listen – Hard Rock treasure.

* The late Darrell Sweet was the drummer and Zal Cleminson was also a guitarist for Nazareth on No Mean City. Both of these musicians were just as important to making this album sound so great to me.

* No Mean City was released on A&M Records, in January of 1979.

* No Mean City was the tenth studio album from Nazareth.

* Nazareth is still Rocking to this day… with original members Dan McCafferty on lead vocals and Pete Agnew on bass. Pete Agnew’s son, Lee Agnew, plays drums and Jimmy Murrison plays guitar. This Nazareth lineup released a new studio album – The Newz, in 2008… and it is damn cool and good. I will leave The Newz album for another post in the future.

Nazareth "No Mean City" large album pic

MY SUPER WALMART HAS NOT PUT OUT KISS “SONIC BOOM” AS OF 9:30 A.M. EST ON IT’S RELEASE DATE!

Posted in 1970's classic rock bands, 1970's heavy metal, 1970's heavy metal music, 1970's rock music, 1980's classic rock bands, 1980's classic rock, 1980's classic rock music, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, 1990's heavy metal bands, bad shopping experiences, classic hard rock, classic hard rock bands, classic hard rock music, classic heavy metal, classic rock, classic rock bands, classic rock music, collecting classic rock, collecting music, collecting rock music, common complaints, corporate greed, current heavy metal albums, essential heavy metal albums, Heavy Metal, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 2009, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 2009, heavy metal music shopping, metal odyssey, Music, new heavy metal album, old school heavy metal, personal list of complaints, rock and roll, rock music, rural pennsylvania, shopping for music, vintage heavy metal bands with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 6, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

MetalOdysseyWay to go Super Walmart. With all of the hoopla leading up to the new KISS album in well over a decade, throw in an “Only at Walmart” exclusive for this KISS album, then… do NOT HAVE Sonic Boom out on the shelves for sale at 8:00 a.m. EST, on it’s release date of October 6, 2009!! I went to the Super Walmart located in Trexlertown, Pennsylvania, first thing at 8:00 a.m. EST this morning… with my twin daughters who were very excited about getting the new KISS CD with their daddy. The disappointment was even greater for them, for they love KISS and wanted to hear a few new songs before they went to school. To make matters even more somber, Sonic Boom was playing extremely loud in the CD/electronics department at this Super Walmart too… obviously a Super Walmart employee had a copy of it – forget about the customers!! I thought for certain, my daughters as well, that by hearing the new KISS being played, that there would have been the great KISS KORNER awaiting us – no such luck. Why advertise a release date and then not honor it? Why advertise a KISS KORNER and then not have one? Oh, Super Walmart with their trillions of dollars in profits could care in the least.

I returned to this same Super Walmart at 9:00 a.m. EST, would you believe… SONIC BOOM IS STILL NOT OUT FOR SALE!!!! WTF? So, having a very large grocery list in hand, I proceeded to buy $100 worth of groceries and necessities while there. Just before I was to check out my grocery order, I checked one last time for KISS – Sonic Boom. Forget it – not out. Oh, wait a minute, it kinda was… there were several large boxes in two grocery carts, parked at the end of the CD aisles, right next to the over priced HD televisions. On these large and sealed boxes were very large white stickers… with black printing on them… that read: time sensitive material – street dated material. No music rep to be found though. You see, Super Walmart employees are not allowed to put out the new releases… or any CD’s for that matter. That is exactly what a music rep and Super Walmart employee once told me months ago. I was not about to wait around any longer and allow my time sensitive groceries to thaw out in the cart. Nor was I going to hunt down the music rep who was supposed to be doing his/her job… I have been the KISS Gomer Pyle for too long this morning, enough.

Here are some talking points I have, concerning this inexcusable scenario I endured today:

* If Walmart wants to handcuff music fans with their “exclusive” CD’s… (where you can only buy Sonic Boom at Walmart), then get with the program and have the damn new release out for customers to buy – period. Especially on the release date… there are passionate fans out there like myself who have schedules to follow, I can’t sit on my butt in the middle of the Super Walmart CD aisle all day waiting for the KISS KORNER to get going.

* How come the kiosks were loaded and ready, as soon as the doors opened at this Trexlertown, Pennsylvania, Super Walmart for the release dates of AC/DC Black Ice and the re-issues of the Beatles CD’s and not KISS? Hell, the morning of the release date for Black Ice, I was greeted by a huge, very huge, cardboard advertisement of Angus Young and AC/DC right at the front door of this same Super Walmart!! Plus it was 8:00 a.m. in the morning of the Black Ice release date too!! I was psyched out of my Metal mind that morning… grabbing Black Ice that early on it’s release date was cool.

* Who’s fault is this? Who dropped the Metal ball by not having Sonic Boom on the CD shelves on the morning of it’s release date?

* Music Rep – this is the only person who is supposedly allowed to handle and deliver the CD goods. Where was he or she? Why were the boxes of CD’s left in the aisle unopened until 9:30 a.m. EST on it’s day of release?

* Super Walmart Store Manager – yup, you better believe this person is to blame. This is money we are talking about here, money to be spent. No goods available, no money for the registers. With all of the hype about this Sonic Boom exclusiveness to Super Walmart, plus it is KISS, you would think that the store manager would want to get the ball rolling the night before and have everything set up for loyal customers like myself. My advice for the Trexlertown, Pennsylvania, Super Walmart Store Manager – GET TO WORK AND OVERSEE YOUR DAMN STORE.

* Gene Simmons – you better believe he is to blame too. If Gene Simmons is such a shrewd businessman, I wonder what he would think if he knew his Sonic Boom was not even out, in a Super Walmart CD aisle on it’s release date at 9:30 a.m. EST? Who knows when this Super Walmart will get around to putting out Sonic Boom today, on it’s supposed release date. Gene Simmons could probably care less about my ordeal. Gene Simmons obviously signed an “exclusive” contract with Super Walmart, he obviously thought his new album would be available to customers on it’s release date at ALL Walmarts. I would be bewildered if the contract between KISS and Walmart specified that Sonic Boom would be put on the store shelves, on it’s release date, once the music rep gets around to it. A release date to me, means a new CD is available, once a store opens it’s doors to the buying public – period. Gene Simmons agreed to this “exclusiveness”… instead it is a monopoly. Free enterprise yes, fairness to an open and competitive marketplace, uh, are you kidding?

PLUS, WHY WOULD AN EMPLOYEE OF SUPER WALMART HAVE A COPY OF SONIC BOOM TO PLAY – IN THE CD/ELECTRONICS AREA, WHEN THIS SAME SONIC BOOM CD WAS NOT AVAILABLE TO CUSTOMERS? HYPOCRISY AT IT’S MOST EXTREME LEVEL.

I have learned a long time ago… it does not take a NASA Rocket Scientist to figure this out… Super Walmart is greedy, the record industry is DUH? and too many legendary Rock and Heavy Metal Bands become greedy and corporate as they get bigger. I will listen to a blue collar Heavy Metal Band today, a band that hopefully will never catch onto this mean spirited and greedy Super Walmart “exclusiveness”… ANVIL. Gene Simmons knows he has his loyal KISS ARMY behind him, I will still try once again to buy the new KISS Sonic Boom… hopefully it will be on the Super Walmart shelf by 4:00 p.m. EST today, on it’s release date. There is no other outlet to go and buy Sonic Boom… Walmart and Gene Simmons made it that way with their overpaid plastic lawyers. You can count on seeing that greedy “Only AT Walmart” sticker on the Sonic Boom packaging too. Don’t worry Walmart, you won… you have way too many trillions of dollars to give a crap about screwing the customers like myself.

I know there are worse things in life to worry about than this crap, still, it is defeating when you make an extra 15 minute car trip – twice in one day, for a CD of a band you have been following since you were a kid, only to find out no one has bothered to put out such CD. All the while knowing, that this inconvenience I experienced twice in one day, is all due to people not doing their damn job in the first place.

MetalOdyssey

THE KINKS – Two Songs From This Band That Sums Up Most of My Days

Posted in 1960's classic rock music, 1960's rock & roll, 1960's rock & roll british invasion, 1970's classic rock albums, 1970's classic rock bands, 1970's classic rock songs, 1970's hard rock bands, 1970's classic rock music, 1970's hard rock, 1970's Rock, 1970's rock music, 1980's classic rock bands, 1980's classic rock guitarists, 1980's rock albums, 1980's rock music, 1980's rock musicians, 1980's classic rock, 1980's classic rock music, 1980's classic rock songs, 1980's hard rock, classic hard rock, classic hard rock bands, classic hard rock music, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock music, classic rock music 1979, classic rock music 1983, classic rock songs, classic rock vocalists, collecting music, collecting rock music, cool album covers, essential classic rock albums, essential classic rock songs, essential rock albums, hard rock music, hard rock songs, metal odyssey, Music, old school hard rock, rock & roll, rock & roll hall of fame inductees, rock and roll, rock guitarists, rock music, rock vocalists, vintage hard rock albums, vintage hard rock bands, vintage rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 4, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

The Kinks "State of Confusion" small album picThe Kinks – another legendary Rock and Roll Band, (and Hard Rock Band too), that I have never forgotten about… no Metal way. I first caught on to this great band upon their Low Budget album being released – back on September 7, 1979. The Kinks were huge back in the day… I specifically remember the late 1970’s into the 1980’s version of The Kinks. This band had one hell of a work ethic – always touring. There used to be a horde of kids wearing The Kinks concert shirts to High School back in the early ’80’s… as a Metalhead back then, I thought that was cool, due to my fondness for this band. I never was lucky enough to catch The Kinks in concert… back in the early 80’s would have been the choice time too. That is alright, I can always Rock out to The Kinks by listening to their songs whenever I want, like I have been doing since 1979. The Kinks were rightfully inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame back in 1990. I could not endorse a band like The Kinks any louder to the younger generation of Rock/Classic Rock fans… they really put out some incredible music spanning four decades.

Oh yeah, here are the two songs that sum up most of my days, courtesy of The Kinks. I just bought these two songs from itunes recently… I confess that I never upgraded The Kinks from cassette tape to CD after all of these years. Hey, I still plop my (gulp) cassettes into my (yikes) stereo cassette decks. That is correct, I own numerous cassette players still. Label me retro, I am hurting no one… at least I am not an overpaid loud mouth like David Letterman or a dude named Jon that left eight kids stranded.

Here they are:

(Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman – (from the 1979 Low Budget album) – the B side of the 45 rpm of (Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman that I owned back in 1979 was the super cool song Low Budget. There are countless days where I would really like to change the world and save it from the mess it’s in. That line is taken right out of this song… man, if I could be Superman for one day. Then again, I never thought Lois Lane is that cute anyways. That goes for all the portrayals of Lois Lane from Hollywood movies, television series and in the comics too.

State of Confusion – (from the 1983 State of Confusion album) – yeah, between all of the talking heads on television, just hearing their sound bites puts me in this state alone. Throw in bills, junk mail, nosey neighbors, politicians, lousy drivers on the road and people on television calling monkeys their children (!)… well, you get the point.

Really, if you do not own any of The Kinks music, at least go and buy these two songs… it should set you back a measly two bucks. (Any worthless Sunday newspaper costs more than that). You hopefully will find that these two songs Rock the crap out of a ton of the newer Rock music that is being shoved at us in 2009. Ray and Dave Davies are Rock and Roll geniuses, they made some impeccable albums of song with The Kinks. These two songs from The Kinks have served me right for years… they could or should serve you right too.

The Kinks "Low Budget" large album pic

LYNYRD SKYNYRD – “GOD & GUNS” IS ALREADY A SOUTHERN ROCK CLASSIC

Posted in 1970's classic rock bands, 1970's hard rock bands, 1970's southern rock music, 1970's classic rock music, 1970's rock music, 1980's classic rock bands, 1980's southern rock music, 1980's classic rock, 1980's classic rock music, 1980's rock bands, 1980's southern rock, 1990's classic rock music, 1990's southern rock music, Album Review, classic hard rock, classic hard rock bands, classic hard rock music, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock music, classic rock songs, cool album covers, current rock albums 2009, essential rock albums, essential southern rock albums, hard rock albums 2009, hard rock music, Music, old school southern rock music, rock & roll, rock album review, rock album reviews, rock and roll, rock and roll hall of fame inductees, rock music, southern hard rock, southern hard rock albums, southern rock, southern rock albums, southern rock music, southern rock music legends with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 2, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Lynyrd Skynyrd "God & Guns" small album picLynyrd Skynyrd are Southern Rock Legends and Rock and Roll Hall of Famers. What more does Lynyrd Skynyrd have to prove? What keeps the motivation meter running with this band? In my Metal opinion, it is a combination of many things… the Skynyrd Nation and the fact that this band has never lost touch with their roots are two quick examples. Southern Music roots… family roots… old school values, these three attributes come out Southern Rockin’ loud and clear on God & Guns, (released on RoadRunner Records, September 29, 2009). My interpretation of the lyrics found on God & Guns, leads me to believe that Lynyrd Skynyrd are not about to change their beliefs, (both political and social), for no man. Lynyrd Skynyrd has never and is not about to sway or teeter on the fence with their lyrics and music, a quality that I tremendously admire of this legendary band. As the decades have passed and the Lynyrd Skynyrd lineup has unquestionably changed, none of what I have previously touched upon with this band has wavered… and the quality of the musicianship inevitably carries forward this Southern Rock icon to 2009. With God & Guns, a new Southern Rock Classic has instantly been born and I would not have expected any less from Lynyrd Skynyrd. Each of the twelve songs on this new album bestow the trademark Southern Rock shades of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s past, while combining a thrust of relevant Hard Rock vigor, making for an unforgettable listen the first time around. Johnny Van Zant sounds great on vocals and founding member and guitarist Gary Rossington, along with the entire band should be proud of this album.

Still Unbroken opens up God & Guns, it is heavy and hard, a statement that the rest of this album to follow is going to be one hell of a cool ride. Skynyrd Nation is a song overflowing with Southern Rock/Lynyrd Skynyrd pride. I am just waiting for the right moment to crank up this song to the max, with my car window down. Skynyrd Nation is the ultimate Southern Rock anthem for this band, a powerful song. Simple Life is a cry out for the way things used to be as only Lynyrd Skynyrd can convey. Here is where the old school values of life comes into play… eating dinner with your kids, not having to lock up the doors to your house, going fishing and helping out a stranger. This song may sound like preaching to some, however, the lyrics make total sense to me. Unwrite That Song is the ballad on God & Guns that provides a moment to chill, kick back and revel at the change in Southern Rock shift… this song acts as the anchor between the song list, giving me one more reason to call this album a new classic. Floyd is the song that provides the creepy moment on God & Guns. This song tells a story about a man named Floyd who mysteriously disappears after two law dogs got in his way – Southern Rock spookiness in the vein of Molly Hatchet’s classic song The Creeper.

My favorite song on God & Guns is That Ain’t My America. A patriotic song, with strong conservative views, Lynyrd Skynyrd doesn’t just add their two cents here… they reminded me once again, as to how proud I am to be an American. That Ain’t My America makes many points through it’s lyrics, yet it is done with respect and class… the Southern Rock way. Storm and Gifted Hands conclude God & Guns on a high inspirational note and there ain’t nothing wrong with that for me. The lyrics of these last two songs prove that positive lyrics incorporated with the Southern Rock sound of Lynyrd Skynyrd, can easily elevate me to the highest of cool moods. The guitar jamming in Gifted Hands could carry on for hours and I would still listen with gleeful, Southern Rock hungry ears. Aw, damn, I can easily listen to this new Lynyrd Skynyrd classic God & Guns for hours on end… and still want more.

Some extra info on this God & Guns CD:

Within the liner notes of this CD, is a cool concert photo of the late Billy Powell and Ean Evans, shown together. Lynyrd Skynyrd dedicated this new album to both of these gentlemen, along with their respective families. Complete lyrics to every song are in the liner notes. Also found within the liner notes, under the title of Additional Musicians, Rob Zombie and guitarist John 5 are credited. The liner notes do not express which songs they appear on. My Metal ears are astute to so many musicians and their style of play, (this time I am stumped), I cannot pinpoint where Rob Zombie and John 5 do appear… maybe someone out there knows for sure which songs they appear on and can drop the details in a reply.

Lynyrd Skynyrd "God & Guns" large album pic #2

FOGHAT LIVE – 1977 Album is a Hard Rock Classic I Revere

Posted in 1970's classic rock albums, 1970's classic rock bands, 1970's classic rock songs, 1970's hard rock bands, 1970's classic rock music, 1970's Rock, 1970's rock music, Album Review, classic hard rock, classic hard rock bands, classic hard rock music, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock music, classic rock music 1977, classic rock songs, classic rock vocalists, collecting music, cool album covers, essential classic rock albums, essential hard rock albums, essential rock albums, feel good stories, hard rock music, hard rock songs, live classic rock albums, live hard rock music, live rock albums, metal odyssey, Music, old school hard rock, rock & roll, rock album review, rock and roll, rock music, vintage hard rock albums, vintage hard rock bands, vintage live hard rock albums, vintage rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 26, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Foghat Live small album picFoghat Live was released in the Summer of 1977. I did not own this album in 1977, instead I got my ears tuned into this Hard Rock Classic right when I was entering High School, just a few short years ago in 1980. Yeah, yeah, yeah… I bought this Classic Hard Rock gem on 8-track as well in 1980. I played it until all you could eventually hear was – hiiiisssssss. This Foghat Live album introduced to me back then, an unreal good sound of live and powerful Hard Rock Music. Being fourteen years old at the time, I was not yet the concert goer, no adult in my young life was into Rock concerts, plus I obviously was not old enough to drive a set of wheels just yet. Therefore, Foghat Live was the Hard Rock concert that entertained me for hours and nights on end. As a young teen, this album was my Hard Rock concert, it took me right there… I imagined seeing Foghat live, center stage in a middle row, on the floor. I will forever look back upon Foghat Live as an album that enriched my Hard Rock soul… an album that was a stepping stone or prelude, if you will, to the incredible world of Metal Music. This album helped soften me up and navigate me towards even heavier music. Hearing the Hard Rock – live power of Foghat made me hunger for more, to hear more heavier bands that were out there. Fast forward to 2009 and I still reach out for some classic Foghat – Hard Rock boogie… it will never grow old on me.

One of my favorite Hard Rock songs ever, Metal hands down, is – Slow Ride. Man, this song played loud has the affect on me today that it did back in 1980… psyche out city, baby. The studio version of Slow Ride is extremely cool too, yet it does not have that extra Hard Rock charisma the live version bestows, in my Metal opinion. Fool for the City in a Hard Rock nutshell… Rocks. This song glistens everything late 1970’s Hard Rock. Every song on Foghat Live just seems to send me into a Hard Rock time warp… frankly that isn’t too shabby a warp to travel. I can remember singing along to Home in My Hand, being totally enthralled by the lyrics and beat of this song, a teen trying to sort out all the trivial stuff in life… with Foghat by my side. I remember cranking up I Just Want to Make Love to You, sitting in my bedroom back in 1980, wondering how in the world the lyrics went over my parents head at the time. I no longer have that Foghat 8-track, the plastic outer shell probably has not even begun to decay in the landfill where it is buried. (We used to call landfill’s – dumps back where I grew up). Classic Rock like this does not ever dry up or go away, instead it perseveres through the decades, reminding me why I love music in the first place. Not to worry though, the Hard Rock and Rockin’ boogie of Foghat Live can still be enjoyed by me from a digital format, this music will never vanish from my collection – nor will the memories of listening to this great Hard Rock Classic as a young dude.

Foghat Live Track Listing:

1. Fool for the City

2. Home in my Hand

3. I Just Want to Make Love to You

4. Road Fever

5. Honey Hush

6. Slow Ride

Foghat lineup in 1977: Dave Peverett – guitar, vocals, Rod Price – guitar, Craig MacGregor – bass, Roger Earl – drums

Foghat Live large album pic

LEGS DIAMOND “Out On Bail” – revisiting this 1984 Hard & Heavy Rock Song

Posted in 1970's classic rock bands, 1970's hard rock bands, 1970's classic rock music, 1970's hard rock, 1970's heavy metal, 1970's rock music, 1980's classic rock bands, 1980's hard rock albums, 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's rock music, 1980's classic rock, 1980's classic rock music, 1980's classic rock songs, 1980's hard rock, 1980's hard rock songs, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal songs, classic hard rock bands, classic hard rock music, classic heavy metal, classic melodic hard rock music, classic melodic rock music, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock music, classic rock songs, essential classic rock albums, essential hard rock albums, essential heavy metal albums, essential rock albums, Hard Rock, hard rock songs, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 1984, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 1984, melodic hard rock songs, melodic rock bands, melodic rock songs, Metal, Music, old school hard rock, old school heavy metal, rock music, vintage hard rock albums, vintage hard rock bands, vintage heavy metal albums, vintage rock album finds with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 21, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

When I first heard the song Out On Bail, back in 1984, it was on an FM radio show called Metal Shop. Out On Bail is from the Legs Diamond album Out On Bail, released in 1984. After my first listen to this song, I obtained a copy of it and played it to my Metal hearts delight for years. I have always considered Legs Diamond to be a Hard Rock meets Heavy Metal Band… the heaviness of their music seems to go either way, depending on the song. Out On Bail is both hard and heavy, for me it is as legitimate a Heavy Metal song as any. Quite a few years have passed since I have dug out some Legs Diamond to listen to… I recently pulled out Out On Bail and this song sounds as tough and heavy in 2009 as it did in 1984. This is a fabulous example of my dusting off a tremendous Heavy Rock song and spreading the Metal word to all the world about such song – Out On Bail seriously Rocks.

Legs Diamond may not be the household name of a Heavy Band, still their music is worth getting ahold of. To the best of my Metal research, Legs Diamond has released 15 albums, from 1976 to 2005. The Legs Diamond catalog includes a greatest hits, 2 compilations and a live album. Legs Diamond, in my Metal opinion, is an American Hard Rock Band that has always flown under the Metal radar, a band that is more decent than dozens of more popular bands of their time and now. The album Out On Bail is readily available on Best Buy online, itunes and Century Media Records online.

Out On Bail:

I can still remember that Friday night,
When they came to take me away.
Wish I could have missed that fateful night,
Instead I missed the light of day.
Hey Mister Jailer, won’t you give me my one call,
I know who set me up, to take this fall.
You know I wanna find that guy today,
I want you to bring him up my way!
Get me out, get me out.
Get me out on bail.
Get me out, get me out,
Get me out on bail, yeah.
Thank you Mr. Majors, now, for what you did.
Here’s what I’m gonna do for you,
Gonna find the guy who did this to me,
And send his pointy finger to you!
Now I can go and tell all my friends,
He can’t point a finger at any of them!
Yes, I know, he might have somethin’ to say,
I’ll take care of that another day.
Now I’m out, so far out,
Yes, I’m out on bail.
Yes I’m out, well I’m out, yes I’m out on bail.
Out, yes I’m out, out on bail
Well I’m out, Yes I’m out, out on bail.
-solo-
Out, out, out, out, out on bail.
Out, out, out, out, out on bail.
Out, out, out, out, out on bail.
Out, out, out, out, out on bail.
Out, out, out, out, out on bail.
Out, out, out, out, out on bail…

Legs Diamond "Out On Bail" x-large album pic

KISS “Sonic Boom” album cover & track listings!

Posted in 1970's classic rock bands, 1970's classic rock songs, 1970's hard rock bands, 1970's classic rock music, 1970's hard rock, 1970's heavy metal, 1970's heavy metal music, 1970's Rock, 1980's classic rock bands, 1980's heavy metal hits, 1980's popular rock bands, 1980's classic rock, 1980's classic rock music, 1980's hard rock, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's heavy metal songs, 1990's heavy metal bands, 1990's heavy metal music, classic hard rock, classic hard rock bands, classic hard rock music, classic heavy metal, classic heavy metal albums, classic rock, classic rock bands, classic rock music, classic rock songs, collecting music, cool album covers, current hard rock albums, current hard rock music, current hard rock songs, current heavy metal albums, current heavy metal music, current rock albums 2009, essential classic rock albums, essential hard rock albums, essential heavy metal albums, essential heavy metal songs, essential rock albums, Hard Rock, hard rock albums 2009, hard rock music 2009, hard rock songs, hard rock vocalists, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal albums, heavy metal favorites, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 2009, heavy metal songs 2009, heavy metal this decade, Metal, metal odyssey, Music, new hard rock album, new heavy metal album, old school hard rock, old school heavy metal, recent heavy metal albums, rock & roll, rock and roll, rock music, vintage hard rock albums, vintage heavy metal albums, vintage heavy metal bands, vintage heavy metal songs, vintage rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 20, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

KISS Sonic Boom will be released on October 6, 2009, in the U.S., exclusively at Walmart, Walmart.com and Sam’s Club. Sonic Boom is a 3 – disc set: a CD of 11 new KISS songs, a 15 song newly re-recorded KISS Klassics CD and 1 KISS Bonus Live DVD. Cool. I will be buying my copy of Sonic Boom first thing on October 6th, (right after I bring my daughters to school). Admitting that I am stoked about KISS returning with Sonic Boom is a Metal understatement! The wait is coming to an end… a new KISS album is upon us, for me it will be Christmas in October, uh, Kissmas in October that is. Long live KISS Rock and Roll!

The Bonus Live DVD is footage from the KISS 2009 South American Tour in Buenos Aires, Argentina. A 20 page booklet will be included inside Sonic Boom as well. Sonic Boom will come as a DigiPak.

 

KISS "Sonic Boom" x-large album pic 2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Track Listing for KISS Sonic Boom:

  1. Modern Day Delilah

  2. Russian Roulette

  3. Never Enough

  4. Yes I Know (Nobody’s Perfect)

  5. Stand

  6. Hot And Cold

  7. All For The Glory

  8. Danger Us

  9. I’m An Animal

10. When Lightning Strikes

11. Say Yeah

Track Listing for the KISS Klassics CD:

  1. Deuce

  2. Detroit Rock City

  3. Shout It Out Loud

  4. Hotter Than Hell

  5. Calling Dr. Love

  6. Love Gun

  7. I Was Made For Lovin’ You

  8. Heaven’s On Fire

  9. Lick It Up

10. I Love It Loud

11. Forever

12. Christine Sixteen

13. Do You Love Me

14. Black Diamond

15. Rock And Roll All Nite

KISS Bonus Live DVD Track Listing:

  1. Deuce

  2. Hotter Than Hell

  3. C’mon And Love Me

  4. Watchin’ You

  5. 100,000 Years

  6. Rock And Roll All Nite

THE LAW – Paul Rodgers and Kenney Jones 1991 album revisited

Posted in 1990's hard rock music, 1990's rock music, Album Review, classic hard rock, classic hard rock bands, classic hard rock music, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock albums 1991, classic rock bands, classic rock music, classic rock songs, classic rock vocalists, collecting classic rock, collecting rock music, everyday experiences, family, feel good stories, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock drummers, hard rock songs, hard rock vocalists, metal odyssey, Music, old school hard rock, Rock, rock album review, rock album reviews, rock music, rock music vocals, rock vocalists, vintage rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 7, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

The Law - small album photoOn Saturday, of this 2009 Labor Day Weekend, I set out on a trip to buy back to school necessities for my daughters. The local mall, which is only minutes away, provides for a cool stroll… an f.y.e. is located inside. (Yessssss!). As my daughters and wife are perusing the kids sneakers, all I kept thinking was… what is currently hiding in the batch of used CD’s over at f.y.e.? The trip to this particular mall proved to be very worthwhile, no sneakers were found that my daughter liked, however, we had some fine pizza slices for lunch while we were there, plus I found The Law. The debut album The Law was nestled within the many used CD titles for sale at f.y.e.. With my f.y.e. Backstage Pass Platinum store card, the final price I paid for The Law used CD was $2.81… amazing. Not a bad price to pay for one of the most underrated Rock/Hard Rock albums I have ever listened to. I really get a kick sometimes out of what I will find in the selection of used CD’s at f.y.e., I have scored some real cool used CD’s at f.y.e. over the past few years. Upon leaving this mall, my wife did not hesitate for a second, in getting The Law into the car’s CD player… the family and I listened to this CD in it’s entirety as we continued on our quest for back to school sneakers.

I bought The Law on cassette tape back in 1991 and still have it to this day, an upgrade to CD was long overdue. The Law was released on March 19, 1991, I instantly knew I would purchase this album back then, due to my admiration for Paul Rodgers with his Rock-cool and legendary vocals. Plus, I always immensely enjoyed Bad Company, Free and The Firm… whatever band Paul Rodgers fronted, I was listening to. My favorite song from this album is Laying Down The Law, it is a solid Hard Rock song that ripples with a tough vibe and reminiscent of Bad Company… in my Metal opinion. Paul Rodgers wrote and even plays the piano on Laying Down The Law. Overall, this is not the greatest album or band/project that Paul Rodgers was a part of, still I like The Law enough to recommend to anyone into quality Rock, Hard Rock or Classic Rock music. This album had it’s share of song writers and guest musicians, yet the end result are eleven songs that possess the Classic Rock sound that hooks me each time I listen. Paul Rodgers on vocals with The Law is the main reason why I like this album. Kenney Jones on drums, (Small FacesFaces and The Who), is another valid reason why I will always look back at this band and album with the upmost respect.

The way I see it, you have to listen to bands and albums that you like, regardless of how successful the respective album was/is on the charts or mainstream radio. Album sales never have determined for me, the quality of a band or album, I shall never be swayed by mainstream Rock critics or here-say. The Law is a prime example of record sales not being impressive and a band short lived. Do I care? No. It’s what I like that matters most and I would not recommend this album if I thought it to be a stinker.

The Law notable guest musicians and/or song writers:

Phil Collen (lead guitarist for Def Leppard), wrote Miss You In A Heartbeat for The Law and later recorded by Def Leppard for their Retrospective album. The ever legendary David Gilmour plays guitar on the song Stone. Chris Rea also plays guitar on the song StoneBryan Adams cowrote and plays guitar on Nature of the Beast.

The Law - large album photo

MASTERS OF REALITY – “Sunrise On The Sufferbus” album evokes memories of hanging out and chillin’

Posted in 1990's hard rock music, 1990's rock music, 1990's stoner rock music, Album Review, classic hard rock, classic hard rock bands, classic hard rock music, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock music, classic rock songs, collecting music, essential classic rock albums, essential hard rock albums, essential rock albums, feel good stories, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock songs, hard to find rock albums, hard to find rock cd's, Music, old school hard rock, Rock, rock album reviews, rock and roll, rock music, silly album covers, vintage hard rock albums, vintage rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 6, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Masters Of Reality "Sunrise On The Sufferbus" small picMasters Of Reality – Sunrise On The Sufferbus was released back in 1992, on Chrysalis Records. I already owned the 1988 debut album, (self titled), from Masters Of Reality when I jumped on this album back in 1992. The best way I can describe this band is Old School Stoner Rock/Hard Rock, in my Metal opinion. This is a grossly underrated Rock album, the musicianship, songs and total grooviness on Sunrise On The Sufferbus makes this a lifetime keeper, for me. My favorite song on this album is J.B. Witchdance, a non stop bass groove with a semi-haunting overall sound, always seems to put me in a cool mood. My second choice pick from Sunrise On The Sufferbus is She Got Me  (When She Got Her Dress On) – this song as with the entire album, is unbelievably unique, I just never heard a band sound like Masters Of Reality back then, nor do I now. This album is the closest thing to heavy without being so… I know that sounds crazy, I just cannot explain this music any better than that. O.K., maybe I’ll try this… cool under heavy… now that might work. (If you are wincing at the use of words here, just go with Stoner Rock).

My best buddy in the Metal Universe, Scott, well, he and I must have listened to this CD together at least… 250 times, maybe slightly more. I am not exaggerating here with the numbers… we both really locked into Sunrise On The Sufferbus. You see, Scott and I became very fascinated with the Sega Genesis game system back around 1991… so much that we were like anyone else who call themselves gamers, we played Sega Genesis games for very, very, long hours. Of course, during these marathon nights and/or days of  Sega Genesis, we both would listen to Heavy Metal and Hard Rock aplenty. Sunrise On The Sufferbus was just always played, again and again… and again. Speaking for myself here, to this day, I do not know what the hypnotic appeal is to Sunrise On The Sufferbus… all I can say is it stands alone with it’s Rock vibe. Again, I guess that is why I call it Stoner Rock. 

Looking back on those days in 1992 and the few years after, I appreciate the fact my best buddy Scott hung out with me for those endless hours of NHLPA Hockey, John Madden Football and Tony LaRussa Baseball. I really mastered those Sega Genesis games back then… Scott was not too shabby either, however, he never could keep up with my patented swoop move to the goalie, on the NHLPA Hockey game. Hanging out and chillin’ with my best buddy Scott so many years ago, when there were no major bills to pay, no deadlines to meet, just marathon rounds of Sega Genesis game playing and listening to Sunrise On The Sufferbus are memories I will never forget. We really did have a good time talking Metal, and listening to Metal and Hard Rock… hours at a time. (We listened to so much music during these marathon games, heck, Garth Brooks was even put into the CD rotation too). The Sega Genesis game system with all of those cool games, I gave to my nephew some years back. However, Sunrise On The Sufferbus is still in my CD collection and it is a pretty difficult Masters Of Reality CD to track down. The last time I checked, Sunrise On The Sufferbus is out of print. I can’t see myself parting with Sunrise On The Sufferbus for at least another 100 years or so.

Masters Of Reality, as they appeared on Sunrise On The Sufferbus: Chris Goss on lead vocals, guitars and keyboards, Googe on bass guitar and backing vocals and the legendary Ginger Baker on drums and backing vocals.

Masters Of Reality "Sunrise On The Sufferbus" large pic

QUEEN – “News Of The World” 1977 album I behold

Posted in 1970's classic rock albums, 1970's classic rock bands, 1970's classic rock songs, 1970's hard rock bands, 1970's classic rock music, 1970's hard rock, 1970's Rock, 1970's rock music, classic hard rock, classic hard rock bands, classic hard rock music, classic rock, classic rock 1978, classic rock album finds, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock music, classic rock music 1977, classic rock songs, collecting classic rock, collecting rock music, cool album covers, creepy album covers, essential classic rock albums, essential hard rock albums, essential rock albums, hard rock songs, Music, old school hard rock, rock music, scary album covers, shopping for music, spooky album covers, thrift store finds, thrift store rock music finds, vintage rock album finds, vintage rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 4, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Queen "News of the World" small picOn October 28, 1977, Queen – News Of The World was released. I was eleven years old, not interested very much at the time about owning this album. Sometime within the first year of this albums release, I ventured into the local Bradlees department store, took one look at the 45 rpm sleeve of the Queen – We Are The Champions/We Will Rock You, (double A single), the very large head of that somber, yet spooked out robot head had me hooked and intrigued. I was just as enthralled by the artwork of this robot head as I was the two songs on the 45 record. I treated this 45 record and sleeve like it was pure gold… staring into the eyes of this nightmarish robot head, becoming transfixed by this image. Of course, I listened to this 45 record like there was no tomorrow, as an eleven year old in 1978, just owning this stuff was bragging material at the Parochial School I was enrolled at. I no longer have this memorable 45 record with it’s alluring sleeve, I positively do not remember how I let it go. Fast forward to 2009, I now am the proud owner of two album copies of this incredible Hard Rock masterpiece, both copies are vinyl too, not CD. I have spent fifty cents on each album, for one dollar… two copies of the Queen album News Of The World. I will never buy the third copy of this album I find, I’d rather leave it to the next collector or fan of exceptional Hard Rock Music and/or Queen, to be just as thrilled as I am of it’s artistic and musical importance.

It just seems so surreal at times, to think that such a significant and sensational album within the history of Rock Music, can be had for a mere fifty cents at one of my local thrift stores. I obtained both copies of this album through my thrift store jaunts, both being found within the last two years or so. Both album copies are in near mint condition, in other words fabulous shape, based on their being circulated around for maybe thirty years or so. The double gatefold artwork found within is breathtaking to me. I am not about to even come close to reviewing a Hard Rock album of this elite caliber… that would be insanity, even embarrassing. No, what I am expressing are the memories of seeing and buying this 45 record at age eleven, being drawn into the artwork and Hard Rock songs of Queen’s News Of The World at such a young age. Sometimes in life, there are those situations, those moments that never seem to change at all, moments that seem to be repeated through ones lifetime… I still stare into those eyes of that very large robot head, still being mesmerized by the uncanny Hard Rock excellence that is Queen News Of The World.

The album artwork seen on Queen News Of The World was created by American Science Fiction Artist – Frank Kelly Freas.

Queen "News Of The World" large pic


Gene Simmons – My third favorite KISS solo album

Posted in 1970's classic rock albums, 1970's classic rock bands, 1970's classic rock songs, 1970's hard rock bands, 1970's classic rock music, 1970's hard rock, 1970's heavy metal, 1970's heavy metal albums, 1970's heavy metal music, 1970's rock music, 1980's heavy metal bands, Album Review, classic hard rock, classic hard rock bands, classic hard rock music, classic heavy metal albums, classic metal, classic rock, classic rock 1978, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock music, classic rock songs, classic rock vocalists, cool album covers, essential classic rock albums, essential hard rock albums, essential heavy metal albums, essential rock albums, Gene Simmons, Hard Rock, hard rock guitarists, hard rock songs, hard rock vocalists, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal cover songs, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 1978, heavy metal solo albums, heavy metal solo artists, heavy metal solo vocalists, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal music, metal odyssey, Metal Reviews, Music, old school heavy metal, rock music, rock music vocals, rock vocalists, vintage hard rock albums, vintage heavy metal albums, vintage heavy metal bands, vintage rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 1, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Kiss - Gene Simmons solo album small picGene Simmons, The Demon, bass guitarist for KISS, music producer and actor. (The many hats this legend has worn are numerous, quite the achiever is Gene Simmons, in my Metal opinion). Gene Simmons always seems to stay in the public eye, the limelight follows this Heavy Metal icon everywhere he goes… with “Celebrity Apprentice” and his very own family reality series “The Family Jewels” making his presence seen and known while KISS is idle. A short while back, I started writing about my favorite KISS solo albums, in preferential order, no less. Why am I doing this? First, I am celebrating the four original members of KISS, their solo albums being what I consider to be quite a historical achievement in Heavy Metal and Rock history. The quality across the board is apparent in the music that Gene, Paul, Ace and Peter created with their solo albums… my reminding and/or informing anyone who is interested in these great KISS solo albums makes for a fine Metal deed. For me to list in order, my favorite KISS solo albums, (it is not etched in Metal stone here), deciding the sequence of which album ranks 1 thru 4, is based on which album has given me the biggest Metal listening thrill over the decades.

As for the songs on this album, the best interpretation for me, as a whole, is Hard Rock and Rock Music that showcases the diversity in the vocals of Gene Simmons and the talent of his being a highly respectable guitarist. Gene Simmons plays electric and acoustic guitar throughout his solo album, he does not play bass guitar here. While with KISS, there are not many moments where Gene Simmons diversifies with his vocals, (that has always been fine with me), plus Gene Simmons plays bass guitar exclusively while with KISS. Looking back, this album was a great opportunity for Gene Simmons to eradicate the expected, delivering on the unexpected… “When You Wish Upon A Star” is the finest example that I could possibly point out. Now, do I like listening to Gene Simmons sing this song? As a teenager, back in the late 70’s into the ’80’s… no, I could never understand why Gene Simmons would have done this song. I actually would deliberately not listen to it after I heard it the first time. Fast forward to 2009, well, I now like this rendition of “When You Wish Upon A Star”, the softer side of Gene Simmons is rather a relaxing listen… (I guess I am getting softer as I get older). Plus, as a Metal bonus, my nine year old twin daughters really dig this song… and Gene Simmons too.

My favorite song is the album opener “Radioactive”, it just glistens with Old School KISS, courtesy of Gene Simmons, of course. His vocals are exactly what you would expect on this song, the commanding and sinister tone that is part of the Gene Simmons persona. I really like the vibe I get from “See You Tonite”, just a solid Rock song that has swirls of late ’70’s sound. “True Confessions” is another Classic Rock song that standouts with the background vocals of Helen Reddy… yes, Helen Reddy. This Gene Simmons solo album was the strongest seller out of the four KISS solo albums, I can honestly understand why, after owning and listening to these songs for years. This Gene Simmons album may not be my favorite out of the four KISS solo albums, yet it does not mean squat when I look at the big Metal picture… this Gene Simmons album is a Rock Classic.

Some of the guest musicians on this Gene Simmons solo KISS album: Rick Nielsen, guitarist of Cheap Trick appears on “See You In Your Dreams”, (Rick Nielsen’s name is spelled incorrectly, by the way, in this albums liner notes, Neilson), Bob Seger – background vocals on “Living In Sin” and “Radioactive”, Joe Perry of Aerosmith plays guitar on “Radioactive” and “Tunnel Of Love”, Donna Summer – background vocals on “Burning Up With Fever” and Cher – voice on phone call during “Living In Sin”. These guest music celebrities that appeared on this album make for excellent Rock Music trivia… not every Metalhead in the world is going to know that Donna Summer appeared on the Gene Simmons solo KISS album.

KISS Gene Simmons - solo album large pic

“Frankenstein” – The Edgar Winter Group Rock Classic, an Over Kill Thrash Metal cover song

Posted in 1970's classic rock albums, 1970's classic rock bands, 1970's classic rock songs, 1970's hard rock bands, 1970's classic rock music, 1970's hard rock, 1970's Rock, 1970's rock music, 1980's thrash metal music, 1980's metal music, 1990's heavy metal albums, 1990's heavy metal bands, 1990's thrash metal albums, 1990's thrash metal bands, 1990's thrash metal songs, classic hard rock, classic hard rock bands, classic hard rock music, classic heavy metal albums, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock cover songs, classic rock instrumentals, classic rock music, classic rock music 1972, classic rock songs, cool album covers, essential classic rock albums, essential thrash metal albums, hard rock songs, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal albums, heavy metal cover songs, Metal, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, old school hard rock, old school thrash metal music, Over Kill, Rock, rock music, Thrash Metal, thrash metal albums 1991, thrash metal cover songs, thrash metal music, thrash metal music 1991, thrash metal music instrumental songs, thrash metal music reviews, vintage rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 31, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

The Edgar Winter Group "They Only Come Out At Night" small picIf I had to choose one of my favorite Rock instrumental songs of all time, there is no doubt “Frankenstein” comes to mind. The Edgar Winter Group released “They Only Come Out At Night” in November of 1972, this is the album you will find this original song on. Written by Edgar Winter, how ahead of it’s time was this song? Realistically, this now Classic Rock masterpiece of an instrumental song was as diversified as it was heavy. The multi talented musicianship of Edgar Winter is standout on “Frankenstein”, with the keyboards creating enough spookiness to validate the song’s title. The saxophone, in my Metal opinion, has always had a macabre sounding affect on me, only adding to the overall eerie coolness that “Frankenstein” erupts. I fell Metal head over heels for this song decades ago… I still slap this song on very frequently, especially around Halloween. Seriously, this song just goes perfect when Autumn arrives… once October hits, I have plenty of scary and heavy songs to bust out and revel in their dark side glory, “Frankenstein” leads the pack. No Halloween season can ever get by me, without listening to this song on a consistent basis. The Edgar Winter Group released a mammoth of a Rock album with “They Only Come Out At Night”, “Frankenstein” just made this release immensely complete, with it’s inclusion.

Now, step in… Over Kill. “Horrorscope” was released on September 3, 1991 and on this album, Over Kill includes the cover version of “Frankenstein”. The running time of this Over Kill  cover version comes in at 3:29, compared to The Edgar Winter Group’s original version of 4:44. Despite the shortened length of time, Over Kill demonstrated a monstrous Thrash Metal approach to honoring such a legendary Rock instrumental classic. Yes, I bought this Over Kill album within the first week of it’s release back in 1991, (I still have it on cassette too). When I first listened to Over Kill’s Thrash Metal burn on “Frankenstein”, I was stunned, all I felt was the immediate power force of guitar, bass and drums all coming together like a Metal typhoon. The only word that I honestly can remember saying aloud, listening for the first time to Over Kill’s cover version was… whoa. I also dropped plenty of complimentary f-bombs alongside the adjectives of great, incredible and insane. I still do, when talking about this Over Kill cover of “Frankenstein”. I will not lie, I look upon Over Kill, past and present, as if they were and still are the Thrash Metal kings of the entire universe. That type of Metal bias has no persuasion whatsoever, when I tell the entire planet that this cover by Over Kill is one for the Metal record books. As for the “Horrorscope” album itself… Thrash Metal of profound intensity.

I will succumb by stating, I honestly without a Metal doubt, cannot choose one version of “Frankenstein” over the other. This is a wicked example of how an original Rock Classic can be so legendary and inspiring, yet the cover version with all of it’s grand Thrash Metal bite and might, results in my saying it is a Metal tie. September is just around the corner… October shall be upon us very soon… “Frankenstein” will be played very loud by me very many times starting now… my home stereo speakers are going to get a Metal workout like they never experienced before.

Over Kill "Horrorscope" album large pic

TED NUGENT – “Free For All” a 1976 Hard Rock album of greatness

Posted in 1970's classic rock albums, 1970's classic rock bands, 1970's classic rock songs, 1970's hard rock bands, 1970's classic rock music, 1970's hard rock, 1970's Rock, 1970's rock music, Album Review, classic hard rock, classic hard rock bands, classic hard rock music, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock music, classic rock music 1976, classic rock songs, classic rock vocalists, essential classic rock albums, essential hard rock albums, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock guitarists, hard rock songs, hard rock vocalists, Music, old school hard rock, Rock, rock guitarists, rock music, rock music vocals, rock vocalists, vintage hard rock albums, vintage rock albums, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 29, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150Ted Nugent “Free For All”, (released in 1976), is an album of Hard Rock songs that I slap the label of greatness on. There is no one you can compare Ted Nugent to… he was and still is his own Rock and Roll Warrior. Meat Loaf’s vocals and Ted Nugent’s guitar are a double dose of Classic Hard Rock superiority on this album. Meat Loaf is the lead vocalist on the songs: “Writing On The Wall”, “Street Rats”, “Together”, “Hammerdown” and “I Love You So I Told You A Lie”. Meat Loaf is the real deal vocally, on these songs. “Free For All” was an accomplishment of incredible songs that just continue to knock me over to this day. This album just carries me off into the thunderous land of Hard Rock glory. Ted Nugent is truly an originator of 1970’s Hard Rock guitar… listening to the guitar play of this legend makes me want to stand atop a crowd of onlookers and scream hell yeah!! In my Metal opinion, Ted Nugent and “Free For All” is all about 1970’s Hard Rock in it’s most genuine and heaviest state. An uncompromising group of songs that are Hard Rock personified, aimed at stirring up a good time and feeling the Ted Nugent power of guitar cool. I finally had my first introduction to this album and other Ted Nugent albums at that, in the early 1980’s. Ted Nugent quickly made me aware that Hard Rock music should never be watered down, it should be hard driven and fostered with head turning guitar licks aplenty. With “Free For All”, there are so many Hard Rock attributes happening that this album could easily be labeled as The Great Reference Book of Hard Rock, in my Metal opinion.

The album opener “Free For All” plays out as such… a Hard Rock song that sounds heavier than it really is, a Hard Rock song that highlights the fusion and importance of a bass driven flow. “Free For All” the song, when played at the recommended loud volume, makes me feel like the world is a wonderful globe of Rock and Roll beings. “Dog Eat Dog” is just another Ted Nugent classic… it powers forward without making a single pit stop, so be forewarned… this is a Hard Rock song that should never, ever, be turned off until it is rightfully over. “Street Rats” takes a back seat to no other Hard Rock song, in all of Hard Rock history. This song has never failed at it’s goal to Rock me out senseless… never. The word mellow just does not coincide with the persona or music of Ted Nugent. However, “Together” is a song that I consider to be toned down enough for the dreaded mellow adjective to come out and play. Hey, I am going to say that this song is one of my favorites of the entire catalog of Ted Nugent albums. “Together” is a song that is hard enough to not be a bona fide ballad, yet it comes across rather soothing, based on the Ted Nugent heaviness scale.

“Light My Way” is the one song on this album that I feel legitimized why Ted Nugent was/is such a great guitar player, he jams like a Hard Rock guru meets Southern Hard Rock legend. “Hammerdown” does not stray away from the Ted Nugent guitar lead and solo laden blueprint that makes this entire album – a 1970’s Classic Hard Rock album of upmost legitimacy. “I Love You So I Told You A Lie” could very well have been a song on a future Meat Loaf album, in my Metal opinion. Meat Loaf truly bestowed his vocal brilliance on this Ted Nugent album. Add Meat Loaf into the mix of songs on “Free For All” and this album has and always will satisfy any Classic Hard Rock hunger fits, that I may encounter. For the record, I have listened to this album non-stop today, it just has the Hard Rock groove and vibe I was hankering for.

Derek St. Holmes was the lead vocalist on the songs: “Turn It Up”, “Light My Way” and “Dog Eat Dog”, while Ted Nugent is the lead vocalist on the title song “Free For All”.

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Why I feel KISS gave Rock n’ Roll back to America and other KISS points too

Posted in 1970's classic rock albums, 1970's classic rock bands, 1970's classic rock songs, 1970's hard rock bands, 1970's hard rock, 1970's heavy metal, 1970's heavy metal albums, 1970's heavy metal music, 1970's Rock, 1970's rock music, 1980's classic rock bands, 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's classic rock, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, 1990's heavy metal bands, classic hard rock, classic hard rock bands, classic hard rock music, classic heavy metal albums, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock music, classic rock songs, current heavy metal music, essential classic rock albums, essential heavy metal albums, Gene Simmons, glam metal music, Heavy Metal, heavy metal albums, heavy metal bands this decade, heavy metal memorabilia, heavy metal music, heavy metal this decade, Metal, metal music, metal music today, metal odyssey, Music, old school heavy metal, Rock, rock & roll, rock and roll, rock and roll hall of fame complaints, rock music, rock music commentary, vintage hard rock albums, vintage heavy metal albums, vintage heavy metal bands with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 28, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

KISS logoKISS gave Rock n’ Roll back to America. This legendary Heavy Metal band did this in 1974 with the release of their debut album – “Kiss”. Elvis, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, Fats Domino, Roy Orbison, B.B. King, Chubby Checker, The Big Bopper, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Beach Boys, The Doors, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and a throng of other American Rock bands and musicians created a sound that took over the planet… Rock n’ Roll. Let’s not forget the Country, Blues and Soul musicians and bands that played a key role in creating American Rock n’ Roll, expanding it’s identity, look and genres. Rock n’ Roll was born in America. Then, fast forward to the British Invasion… along came The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Moody Blues, The Animals, The Kinks, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and many, many more Rock bands and musicians who crossed over the Atlantic Ocean to introduce an entire new sound, look and attitude to American Rock n’ Roll fans, as well as the world. (I use all of the bands as mentioned, to provide more clarity with my point,). I am an undisputed huge fan of the British Invasion of Rock and Roll, I am only pointing out that Rock and Roll started here in America and Kiss re-established this fact with their emergence and might. After this British Invasion of Rock n’ Roll, Kiss made the impact statement like none other, here was a loud, confident, group of musicians living in America, playing their brand of heavy music – in costumes and makeup no less.

Kiss being introduced to the world in 1974 may have had more of an impact than some Rock historians think… The Grateful Dead, with their extremely loyal and abundant following with unmatched touring was American – I will never disagree with this bands unique impact on Rock Music history. However, Kiss was not about peace and love… this was the loudest band in the land Dressed To killsinging about girls that are Hotter Than Hell, partying, Makin’ Love, God of Thunder, a Love Gun and all things against the norm in ways that were not quite presented before in Rock Music history. What Rock Band from the 1960’s used Pyrotechnics like Kiss? How many Rock musicians could spit up blood and still play the bass and sing? Who used such an elaborate and eye defying stage show before Kiss? Kiss not only made Rock n’ Roll powerful, they (gasp) made it fun and entertaining too. The marketing blitz of items that portrayed the Kiss logo and band were everywhere during the 1970’s… if you look around today, these same items plus new products bearing Kiss are around us. Any Kiss tour during the 1970’s was nothing to ignore, the Kiss Army was never just a fictitious entity… it was and still is real.

After Kiss broke all the Rock n’ Roll rules, more Rock bands than I could ever mention here took their lead and emulated Kiss either musically, with make-up, through stage shows and/or marketing. When I stop to think about it, what other Rock or Heavy Metal Band garnered more media attention during the 1970’s than Kiss? With their all around power of Rock, Kiss let it be known, through their albums, that they were not fooling themselves or the fans all along. Kiss is setting the stage again, ready to unleash their brand new album Sonic Boom onto the masses… October of 2009 should be quite the month in the life of this middle aged Metalhead, for Kiss shall return… giving back their brand of Rock n’ Roll to us all again. That is why, in my Metal opinion, Kiss gave back Rock n’ Roll to America back in 1974, they are now only going to remind us as to why their music lives on.

It is high time for the so called Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, to stop playing nonsensical games and induct an American Rock Band that redefined American Rock n’ Roll history through their music and pop culture impact, Kiss over the decades has become an American institution. Since I am on the topic, I could care less about the voting process or who votes at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, all I know is that the ignorance is growing by leaps and bounds over there in each passing year of it’s existence. I do have one word of advice for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, (if you can consider this an actual word), DUH? I would guarantee this… more fans will go to this Hall of Fame to see Kiss than than anyone could ever imagine. Once again, this is my Metal opinion and I am steadfast about it.

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