Archive for the classic rock cover songs Category

“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

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Blind Guardian covers “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” – Power Metal style

Posted in 1960's acid rock music, 1960's classic rock music, 1960's psychedelic rock music, 1960's vintage rock albums, 1960's rock music, Album Review, Century Media, century media records, classic hard rock, classic hard rock music, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock cover songs, classic rock music, cool album covers, cover songs, heavy metal album review, heavy metal from germany, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal this decade, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal music, Metal Reviews, Music, power metal music, prog metal albums, prog metal music, progressive metal, progressive metal albums, progressive metal music, progressive metal music eps, rock music, vintage rock albums, vintage rock and roll cover songs, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 6, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

7744373Blind Guardian is a Power Metal meets Progressive Metal band, straight out of the fine country of Germany. I enjoy the Power Metal and Progressive Metal genres immensely, Blind Guardian for me, is always a cool listen. As I was browsing around the Century Media Records online site (CM Distro.com) several months ago, I happened to find an EP from Blind Guardian that quickly caught my Metal attention. The name of this EP is “Fly”, (released in 2006), it contains three songs: “Fly”, “Skalds and Shadows” and the cover version of the Iron Butterfly classic – In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida”. I knew instantly I needed to purchase this EP. I have always and forever revered this Psychedelic, Classic Rock, gem of a song that Iron Butterfly created with “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida”, (originally released in 1968). I placed my order for this Blind Guardian EP without ever hearing it first… I had complete confidence in Blind Guardian delivering a decent cover version of this song, plus as I stated earlier, their Power – Prog Metal style never put me in the doldrums whatsoever.

525284Blind Guardian “Fly”, as with any of this bands albums, never fail to peak my curiosity based on the album cover artwork on their releases. Going in, I knew they are a capable, talented and quality Metal band, with intellectual lyrics and story telling to coincide with their songs. I am pleased at purchasing “Fly”, all three songs are diverse, with my favorite being the cover song from Iron Butterfly “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida.” Blind Guardian’s version is very heavy, all power, it rocks tough and hard, while paying great respect to this songs originally intended hardness and dark landscape. The only key aspect here, is to know that this is the shortened cover version of this song, at 3:38 long, (the original Iron Butterfly album version is 17:05 long). Blind Guardian if anything, makes this song sound just as macabre and melancholy, (quite a musical feat), with the vocals and music sounding equally haunting as the original. Some may feel Blind Guardian makes “In-A-Gadda-Da Vida” sound more spooky than the original version… there have been times I have thought just that. Now, as to the age old argument… is the cover version better than the original? Of course, it would be a monstrous feat to blow away the original Iron Butterfly rendition of “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida”… I will always like the original version more. With that said… once you hear Blind Guardian cover this song, you may very well be like me and think – whoa, this is a really cool and heavy way to commemorate a classic… a Metal job well done.

“Fly” is a more open ended Progressive Metal example, with the vocals being more punctual and deliberate. “Skalds and Shadows” is an acoustic version of it’s original, musically you are surrounded by an almost medieval atmosphere of mood and senses, making me feel as if I am about to enter an ancient, abandoned castle. I am impressed by the way lead vocalist Hansi Kursch changes and adapts his vocal approach, according to the individual song, this type of diversity and quality in singing is appreciable. Blind Guardian gives the listener a rather nice mix of Heavy Music on this “Fly” EP, even though there are only three songs. I am obviously pleased with this EP, it is a Metal keeper. The liner notes are 8 pages with full lyrics and credits. The center spread within the liner notes are two pages depicting the Blind Guardian band logo. With the musicianship, vocals and diversity of song found on this one EP, anyone new to Blind Guardian’s music should find this as an invitation to check out their impressive back catalog of albums. I recommend “The Fly” to all Progressive and Power Metal fans. Fans of Metal music in general should appreciate what Blind Guardian has created here as well.

04-Wacken

Shaw Blades – “Influence” pays a solid tribute to Rock Music’s Roots

Posted in 1960's rock & roll, 1960's rock music, 1970's Rock, Album Review, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock cover songs, classic rock music, cover songs, essential rock albums, folk rock music, Music, Rock, rock & roll, rock album reviews, rock and roll, rock cover songs albums, rock music, rock music vocals, rock vocalists, vintage rock and roll cover songs with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 25, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

8244526After just one listening experience with “Influence” (released March 6, 2007) and you hear and feel the unique musical chemistry, that both Tommy Shaw and Jack Blades have together. The overall up beat vibe throughout “Influence” will have you not putting this disc away for a very long time. What an accomplished set of Classic Rock gems that Shaw-Blades covers! Typically, I always approach cover songs with skeptical tendencies. Usually one or two listens to a cover tune, will be enough of a listen for me to either like it or cherish the original version. With “Influence”, I was taken completely by surprise by how Tommy Shaw and Jack Blades brought new Rock life to these classics. While I listen to this album, I cannot help but go through a Rock and Roll reality check, realizing where the roots of Rock music actually come from. The Mama’s and the Papa’s, Simon and Garfunkel and Seals & Crofts may have their legacies emblazoned in the Rock Folk and Easy Listening genres, yet their lyrics, song structures and melodies can so easily be considered the building blocks of true Classic Rock. Tommy Shaw and Jack Blades took hold of these musical building blocks and ran with it… creating a sensational album of Classic Rock, that breaks down any generational barriers that carry the tags of dated and non-relevant.

I used to never care for “The Sound Of Silence”, now I cannot wait to listen to the Shaw-Blades version. These guys have taken “Summer Breeze” to an entirely different Rock level, making it seem that much more alive and vibrant. Tommy Shaw sings lights out on “California Dreamin”, having the void of not having a female vocal anywhere in this tremendous song, seem totally appropriate. (However, there will always be only one Mama Cass Elliot). “Time Of The Season” gives me the chills no matter how many times I listen to it, the vocal harmonies and overall musical arrangement and tempered up-tempo of this Shaw-Blades version hits home. “Lucky Man” is an abbreviated version of the original, Shaw-Blades treat this masterful song with the upmost respect. “I Am A Rock” is covered here with a dose of more energy than the original, making it sound even more inspirational the second this song begins. I obviously have fallen head over heels for “Influence”, this is one disc that will lift your spirits in a good old fashioned, Classic Rock way.

All fans of Tommy Shaw and Styx, Jack Blades and Night Ranger have to positively, absolutely, add “Influence” to their music collection. Shaw-Blades have proven to me that they are a class act and stand alone musically. If their musical talents on “Influence” do not blow you away, their vocals surely will. It is not the easiest of tasks to take on so many revered Rock and Roll classics and cover them for a sound that rings of relevancy. I always stand up for Rock and Roll, no matter how far back the roots may lie. If it was not for these legendary bands of yesteryear, along with their brilliant songs, where would any of todays Rock genres be? I live by the credo – know your roots and know where you came from… this holds true for the music I love as well. Tommy Shaw and Jack Blades have proven to me over the years they are unique and outstanding musicians. On “Influence” they have done it again, while also upholding the respect and reverence for the history of Rock and Roll.

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