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/



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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

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