Archive for the guitar legends Category

KISS – 1974 ALBUM “HOTTER THAN HELL” IS STILL JUST THAT IN 2010

Posted in 1970's classic rock albums, 1970's classic rock bands, 1970's classic rock songs, 1970's hard rock bands, 1970's rock guitarists, 1970's classic rock music, 1970's hard rock, 1970's heavy metal, 1970's heavy metal albums, 1970's heavy metal bands, 1970's heavy metal music, 1970's Rock, 1970's rock bands, 1970's rock music, 1980's classic rock bands, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1990's heavy metal bands, Album Review, classic heavy metal albums, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock music, collecting classic rock, collecting heavy metal albums, cool album covers, current heavy metal bands, guitar legends, hard rock music, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal albums, heavy metal bands, heavy metal bands 2010, heavy metal history, heavy metal music, metal odyssey, Music, old school heavy metal, rock & roll, rock and roll, rock music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 8, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

In 1974 I was only eight years old. In 1974 KISS released their Hotter Than Hell album on Casablanca Records. I had not a clue as to who or what KISS was back in ’74. The heaviest bands I was listening to that year, was my mother’s Everly Brothers album and Josie And The Pussycats, (a Hanna-Barbera cartoon of a female Rock Band). It wasn’t until 1978 that I owned my very first KISS album, KISS Double Platinum, so I was only four years away from becoming a member of the KISS Army. I eventually traded for the vinyl/album copy of Hotter Than Hell, I was in High School at the time, now I can’t even recall the dude’s name who traded it to me. In later years, (sometime in the early to mid 1990’s), I sold this same Hotter Than Hell album to a crusty and shady record dealer. I regret that move… for a good number of years I went without replacing Hotter Than Hell in my Heavy Metal Music collection. Now, it is Metal safe to say, that I do own Hotter Than Hell on CD… and I am not parting with it – not a Metal chance. This is arguably, one of the greatest KISS albums ever created, a 1970’s Vintage Heavy Metal gem. Am I going too far or thick with the accolades here? Not a Metal chance again… just compare this album to a wide array of Hard Rock or Heavy Metal releases, just in the past decade alone, I am then convinced Hotter Than Hell is still just that in 2010 – Hotter Than Hell.

I will not lie to the fact, that this album does sound like it was recorded back in the early 1970’s. Dated? Alright, sure, only how much of a negative impact does that have on Hotter Than Hell as a whole? Not every song on Hotter Than Hell can be construed as dated either. I really can’t stomach the word dated when it comes to Rock, Hard Rock or Heavy Metal Music, it is a word that only should be used by archaeologists, who dig up ancient relics and/or artifacts underneath some pyramids or rain forest. Besides, the word dated has been politely replaced with two words that are more Metal politically correct… they are… Classic Rock. Whoever the dude or dudette is out there, that came up with the idea of creating the music genre – Classic Rock, is in my Metal mind… a very cool genius.

Excuse my going off on sort of a Metal tangent in the last paragraph, it has been awhile since my last one, plus it felt really, really good. It did.

When you listen to Strange Ways, the very last song on Hotter Than Hell, I cannot ignore the fact that Ace Frehley plays some unreal licks, all the while the repeated riff is decades worth of relevance. Comin’ Home is a KISS song that easily could have been on any KISS album up to and including their Unmasked album from 1980. Mainline is as authentic of a Hard Rock song from the 1970’s as I can ever point out. This is, (probably), my favorite Peter Criss sung KISS tune ever. Yes, that means I like Peter Criss singing Mainline a whole lot more than the ultra classic ballad… Beth. Hotter Than Hell and Let Me Go, Rock ‘n’ Roll are the two most famous songs from this album, they honestly are the top two tracks, only there are the other eight songs that truly shouldn’t take a back seat to them.

This vintage KISS album flows along like a Hard Rock meets Heavy Metal dream gone wild… 1974 style. Goin’ Blind is Gene Simmons at his extreme best vocally, (in my Metal opinion), just an amazing KISS song that in Metal hindsight, is a pioneering power ballad. I can listen to Goin’ Blind 20 times in a row and still feel the need to hear it again… and again. No, I am not kidding about that. Regardless if you are a KISS fan or not, Hotter Than Hell belongs in any Hard Rock or Heavy Metal album collection… it’s that genuine.

Hotter Than Hell is an album to uphold, play loud and enjoy for a lifetime. Long Live KISS.

KISS On Hotter Than Hell:

Gene Simmons – bass guitar, vocals

Paul Stanley – rhythm guitar, vocals

Ace Frehley – lead guitar

Peter Criss – drums, percussion & vocals

Hey, cut me some Metal slack… I was only 8 years old when I was into Josie And The Pussycats.

I was a toddler… Gee Metal whiz.

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


IRON MAIDEN – “KILLERS” STILL REIGNS AS A KILLER OF A METAL ALBUM

Posted in 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's heavy metal songs, 1980's metal bands, 1980's metal music, 1981 heavy metal music, 1990's heavy metal bands, Album Review, classic heavy metal albums, cool album covers, creepy album covers, current heavy metal bands, essential heavy metal albums, guitar legends, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 1981, heavy metal bands, heavy metal bands from england, heavy metal drummers, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal history, heavy metal music, heavy metal vocalists, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, old school heavy metal, progressive metal, rock music, scary album covers, vintage heavy metal albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 12, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

As decades pass and thousands of Heavy Metal albums are released, there will always be those select titles that are still left standing tall. Iron Maiden Killers is one of those select albums that reigns as a killer for me… 28 years after it’s June 1981, U.S. release. Killers epitomizes Old School Heavy Metal, plus Iron Maiden legitimizes the single word – Metal, as it’s very own sub genre. Whenever I think of “Metal” the first band that comes to my mind is Iron Maiden. I sometimes debate myself senseless, asking why isn’t Iron Maiden my favorite Heavy Metal band of all time? Then, I ease my confusion by just knowing that Iron Maiden is and forever will be a “core” band of mine. Killers essentially was faster and harder than many traditional Heavy Metal albums of it’s time… the great part is that Iron Maiden was just beginning to “touch upon” the progressive side of Metal Music, an attribute they became so legendary for.

Back in 1981, the Thrash Metal movement was the welcomed storm on the horizon… Iron Maiden was the baddest and heaviest outside of just a select group of their peers. Motorhead, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Scorpions and Accept come to mind, when deciphering which Metal bands were as hard and heavy as Iron Maiden, back in 1981. Still, outside of Motorhead, Iron Maiden was about speed, the songs on Killers are overall – fast. Exceptions do exist, Prodigal Son is a slower paced Iron Maiden song without a doubt. The tempo being dictated by the acoustic guitars only magnifies the slender tempered sound of Prodigal Son. (Going back to the debut Iron Maiden album, Remember Tomorrow signified the flirtation with somberness that this legendary band would revisit in future albums, Prodigal Son carry’s over this assertion).

Backtracking to the intro of Killers, The Ides Of March, I insist that this was the sign of all Metal things to come on this prolific album. The Ides Of March is heavy, it is melancholy, dark and foreboding… in essence, a Metal prelude or warning if you will, that Iron Maiden was not fabricating or pretending. Twilight Zone is the song from Killers, where I feel Paul Di’Anno is at his giant best, vocally. Certainly, it is my personal opinion, as is the case with this entire article. Genghis Khan is the Metal instrumental that catapulted the musical identity of Iron Maiden, the trademark sound of this soon to be – historic Metal band. My eyeballs still pop open wide, to this very day, each time I listen to Genghis Khan.

When it comes down to musicianship, what honestly can be nit picked here? Iron Maiden as a unit on Killers made layering famous and vogue – basically instigating Progressive Metal from it’s dormancy. I cannot and never will find a fault with this legendary Iron Maiden lineup, Paul Di’Anno was the lead singer for this band in 1981 and a damned great one too… Metal case closed. Even back in the mid 1980’s, I never gave a damn about comparing Paul Di’Anno to Bruce Dickinson… what’s the point? Any seasoned Metalhead knew then and should know now, that these two lead singers are worlds apart with technique and range. In my Metal opinion, one is not better than the other, they are both unique and stylistically genuine. Paul Di’Anno gave the songs on Killers a mysterious tone, his vocals created a fog invading sound scape that bordered on macabre.

Murders In The Rue Morgue is my favorite song on Killers. Again, it’s speed, hard and heavy that this song illuminates. Paul Di’Anno never needed to hit the highest note on the planet to make Murders In The Rue Morgue an Iron Maiden classic, instead his fiery swagger is not just heard vocally, it is felt. Dave Murray and Adrian Smith unleashing their duo guitar leads proved that there was another one-two Metal guitar punch out there… alongside Metal guitar legends Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing of Judas Priest. Clive Burr on drums was not an enigma, he was THE drummer for Iron Maiden during the most important years of their maturation. And then, there is THE bass guitarist for Iron Maiden. To better accentuate my Metal point here, what Babe Ruth will forever be to the history of baseball, what the Mona Lisa will forever be to the history of fine art portraits, Steve Harris will forever be of equal importance to the history of Heavy Metal and Metal Music. Go ahead, listen or re-listen to Iron Maiden Killers… then listen really closely to the bass guitar playing of Steve Harris, hopefully you might just understand what I mean.

SLAYER – “REIGN IN BLOOD” 1987 TOUR PROGRAM IS SLATANIC HISTORY

Posted in 1980's thrash metal albums, 1980's thrash metal bands, 1980's thrash metal music, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's metal bands, 1980's metal music, 1980's thrash metal, 1987 thrash metal music, 1990's thrash metal bands, collecting metal music, current thrash metal bands, extreme metal music, guitar legends, heavy metal music, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, old school thrash metal music, rock music, thrash metal albums, thrash metal bands, thrash metal guitarists, thrash metal legends, thrash metal memorabilia, thrash metal music, thrash metal tour programs with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 10, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

It is always thrilling for me, as I continue rummaging around my Metal Music collection, especially when I find an item that isn’t an album or CD and it grabs hold of my Metal attention and brings back memories. F’n Slayer rules. I reintroduced myself to the Slayer Reign In Blood tour program from 1987. I did not buy this Slayer tour program when I saw them on the Reign In Blood tour, rather I bought it from an independent record shop that same year. I am withholding the name of the record shop for the owner was, simply put, a backstabbing, cheapskate creep. (I never bought tour programs at concerts as a rule, they would either get destroyed or lost from a night of Metal debauchery). If my Metal memory serves me correct, I paid $10 U.S. for this Slayer gem. The condition of my Slayer Reign In Blood tour program is essentially… mint. I tend to keep my Metal memorabilia protected with archival supplies when necessary, this Slayer tour program is inside a plastic sleeve while being stored away. Hey, I give a crap about the stuff I own, especially Metal Music stuff. It’s not like I can just replace items like this at the drop of a Metal dime.

The memories of seeing and listening to my favorite bands over the decades will never diminish. Having a Slayer tour program to look through from 1987, only enhances those Metal memories. Seeing Slayer live back in 1987 was an unreal Metal experience. This Slayer tour program measures 9″ x 12″ and has 20 pages, all in full color. The Reign In Blood album flyer/mini poster is stapled into the center spread of the program. This flyer/mini poster is in red and black ink only, showing the famous Slayer group photo that is on the Reign In Blood album backside cover. The headline on this flyer/mini poster reads: This Album Speeds Through Your Brain. Man, that headline isn’t farting around about that… Reign In Blood is the damnedest, most heaviest Metal album I have ever listened to in my Metal life. F’n Slayer history to be enjoyed here, with this tour program.

There are one and a half pages of written material, briefly covering the first four years of Slayer history. The albums Show No Mercy, Hell Awaits and the EP Haunting The Chapel are mentioned, along with the historic signing of Slayer to Def Jam Recordings by Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons. This signing to Def Jam Recordings, through Geffen Records, took place in 1987 with Reign In Blood… the rest is Slatanic history. Each member of Slayer has two pages of photos, while the remaining pages are chock full of Slayer concert photos, (with the exception of the inside front cover page which is dedicated to text. The back cover photo is a full color concert photo of Slayer, Jeff Hanneman and Tom Araya are fully shown, with a glimpse of Kerry King and only a portion of Dave Lombardo’s drum kit. A sensational Slayer back cover photo, nonetheless.

I was foolish, many years ago, to have let go of some incredible tour programs of great and legendary bands. This Slayer tour program I am keeping… to look at and hold any damn time I feel like it. I feel fortunate that this Slayer tour program stayed in my collection for the last 22 years.

What a blast from the Slayer Thrash Metal past, is this front cover photo of the band on this Reign In Blood tour program, (see below). Check it out… Kerry King really did have hair back then. From left to right: Tom Araya (lead vocals & bass), Jeff Hanneman (guitar), Dave Lombardo (drums) and Kerry King (guitar). F’n Slayer Rules.

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.


SLAYER “WORLD PAINTED BLOOD” – AN UNREAL GREAT, OLD SCHOOL THRASH METAL ALBUM

Posted in 1980's thrash metal bands, 1980's thrash metal music, 1990's thrash metal bands, cool album covers, current thrash metal albums, current thrash metal music, essential thrash metal albums, extreme metal music, guitar legends, heavy metal bands, heavy metal music, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, old school thrash metal music, thrash metal 2009, thrash metal albums, thrash metal bands, thrash metal guitarists, thrash metal legends, thrash metal music, thrash metal today with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 7, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

When I bought the new release from Slayer, World Painted Blood, on it’s release date of November 3, 2009, I had it in the back of my Metal mind that I was going to eventually do a review on it. Now, after owning World Painted Blood and listening to it for a month, I am thinking… why should I review this? Who am I to give a review on the greatest Thrash Metal Band on the planet? Review, in depth, the greatest Thrash Metal Band that ever existed? Man, that would be embarrassing for me, to actually try to “review” an elite Thrash Metal album of songs like World Painted Blood. For Metal sakes, World Painted Blood is just down right, unreal great. Old school and (thankfully) toned down in the polished production department, that is about it from me. Every song is insanely great. Even Playing With Dolls is a darned great track… which I have read dork reviews on this song already. (Once again, it is professionally paid Rock critics who never bother to listen to an album in it’s entirety, they are the ones who give out the lame butt reviews on sensational Metal Music). All eleven songs are enormously great on World Painted Blood, end of my Metal review.

In the past, maybe I reviewed a vintage Slayer album or two… I’m done with that. Reviewing a Slayer album is like reviewing a Beatles or Elvis Presley album… anyone should know what they are getting from Slayer by now. Gee Metal whiz. Old school Thrash Metal and Slayer fans know that this World Painted Blood album is worth owning. For me to even consider breaking down the songs on this amazing album, the guitar leads and riffs of Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman, the vocals/bass play of Tom Araya and the drumming of Dave Lombardo… c’mon, are you kidding? What is there to breakdown? Not often do I feel this way, that an album should just be accepted for it’s unreal great Metal worthiness and not dilly dally around the archaic “review” bush. Metal fans worldwide… take it from me, this is a Slayer album to buy and enjoy for a lifetime. World Painted Blood – nuff’ said. You can call this an Old School Metal review if you like… F’n Slayer RULES.

Here is the track listing for World Painted Blood:

1. World Painted Blood

2. Unit 731

3. Snuff

4. Beauty Through Order

5. Hate Worldwide

6. Public Display Of Dismemberment

7. Human Strain

8. Americon

9. Psychopathy Red

10. Playing With Dolls

11. Not Of This God



ZZ TOP “ANTENNA” WAS MY RAINY DAY CD TODAY

Posted in 1970's classic rock bands, 1970's hard rock, 1970's rock music, 1980's classic rock bands, 1980's rock music, 1980's hard rock bands, 1980's rock bands, 1990's rock bands, 1990's rock music, 1990's rock albums, blues rock music, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock music, cool album covers, essential classic rock albums, essential rock albums, feel good stories, guitar legends, hard rock music, metal odyssey, Music, rock & roll, rock & roll hall of fame inductees, rock and roll, rock and roll hall of fame members, rock music, vintage rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 1, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

ZZ Top Antenna cured my rainy day blues today. You bet it did rain, all day long too in Pennsylvania. I turn to music any time it rains, just to get my adrenaline and momentum perked up. This ZZ Top album may not get the notoriety of their Eliminator, (1983) or Degüello, (1979) albums, still this is one dandy of an album. A dynamite Rock album is Antenna. Cutting to the chase here, Cherry Red is one of my favorite ZZ Top songs ever… it has all the vintage Blues Rock and patented Rock Boogie that this Hall of Fame band is super known for. Cherry Red, in my Metal opinion, sounds like a ZZ Top song that would have fit perfectly on their El Loco album from 1981. Lizard Life is one groove saturated, bluesy Rock song that showcases ZZ Top’s flare for all out, old school, jamming. Fuzzbox Voodoo is another knockout song on Antenna. The foot stomping and (kick your worries aside) beat and swagger of Fuzzbox Voodoo is so good. Pincushion was the big hit from this album, a meat and potatoes song from ZZ Top without a doubt, it is a substantive opening track for Antenna.

I re-discovered this Antenna album over this past Summer of 2009, finding it at an antique store in Bird-In-Hand Pennsylvania… believe it or not. When I saw this CD for sale amidst a small bounty of others, my mind was made up as to taking this ZZ Top title home. It really amazes me, that over the years, I just never bought this ZZ Top album. Regardless, I have redeemed myself by buying this used copy. Quite honestly, there are those bands I listen to that are like comfort food… ZZ Top has always been a comfort band for me. Does that sound ridiculous? Maybe, only that is how I feel and see it.

I did get to see ZZ Top on this Antenna Tour too, back in 1994 at the Hartford Civic Center. George Thorogood opened up for ZZ Top and he simply put… rocked. My girlfriend (and now wife), bought the tickets to this concert, we both had a great time. Bringing back cool memories is only one of many great qualities of music. I realize that I have mentioned going to this concert in a past ZZ Top related post, please excuse the redundancy. As I listened to Antenna today, I couldn’t hold back the memory of that ZZ Top concert… good times. My daughters had the day off from school, (Thanksgiving Holiday), so we listened to this CD as we played UNO… good times again. I also played this ZZ Top CD in the car as we embarked on our errands, driving around in the cold rain. Long live ZZ Top.

The caricatures of Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill and Frank Beard on the cover of Antenna are just plain fun. As I look at the front cover of Antenna, I conclude that sometimes artistic creativity is grand in it’s most simplistic design. I have to give a Rock and Roll salute to designer/illustrator Michael Ray Nott for the front cover artwork of Antenna.

HEAVY METAL 101: GREATEST HITS CD’S WORTH OWNING

Posted in 1970's heavy metal albums, 1970's heavy metal music, 1980's heavy metal albums, 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, Album Review, cool album covers, essential heavy metal albums, guitar legends, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal bands, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal vocalists, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, old school heavy metal, old school heavy metal bands, progressive metal music, rock music, vintage heavy metal albums, vintage heavy metal bands with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 22, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

In striving to make the world a better place, by spreading the blissful two words of Heavy Metal (and any and all Extreme Music), here is a cool list of Greatest Hits CD’s from some very worthy bands and musicians. This list may quite possibly trigger a mad dash to itunes or your nearest record/CD store upon your review. Greatest Hits or Best Of CD’s are sometimes the perfect fix if you do not have any of the respective band’s albums/CD’s already. If you are like me, (a collector and sometimes over excited fan), you may like some or many bands so much, you just need to own everything that is available by such bands, including Greatest Hits. If this list of incredible Greatest Hits CD’s recruits even one new fan to the Heavy/Extreme Music genres, then I have done a fine Metal deed. Please note, I own each Greatest Hits or so named CD on this list… I could never recommend an album/CD without listening to it’s entirety and/or having ownership of. Integrity in Heavy Metal Music recommendations is an ethical must.

The Best Of Ted NugentGreat Gonzos! – Absolutely a Hard Rock meets Heavy Metal fusion with The Motor City Madman. Cat Scratch Fever, Stranglehold, Wango Tango, Free For All and Dog Eat Dog are late 1970’s into early 1980’s FM radio Classics. Old School and not a lick here that isn’t memorable for Metal life. Plus, the reissue has 3 bonus tracks too.

IRON MAIDEN – Somewhere Back In Time/The Best Of 1980 – 1989 – An undeniably great assortment of Iron Maiden classics, spanning the unreal Metal ’80’s. 2 Minutes To Midnight and The Trooper are enough to get me psyched out of my Metal mind for at least an hour. In my Metal opinion, Iron Maiden could have/should have released a 2 – disc greatest hits, they have that many incredible songs in their Metal catalog. Yes they do.

Jimi Hendrix Experience Hendrix: The Best of Jimi Hendrix – A Hard Rock evolving into Heavy Metal history lesson is heard here on this album. This album of Jimi Hendrix songs are beyond great… their damn sacred. Purple Haze, The Wind Cries Mary, Hey Joe, Foxy Lady, All Along The Watchtower and the Rock historical – Star Spangled Banner… c’mon, these songs are the Metal building blocks of every Heavy Metal and/or Hard Rock genre out there today. 20 songs total on this masterful collection, not a must have… a no brainer must own.

DIO – The Very Beast Of DIORonnie James Dio is a living Metal legend. His vocals for me, are the epitome of what Heavy Metal singing is all about. Dio’s solo career takes center stage on this amazing collection of greatest hits. Holy Diver, Rainbow In The Dark, Rock and Roll Children, Mystery and The Last In Line are DIO songs that pack the same potent Metal punch to my ears and senses… as they did back in the 1980’s. 16 songs total on this DIO disc. Metal masterpieces only sound better with age.

Black Sabbath – The Dio Years – I find this collection of Black Sabbath songs to be uncannily irresistible. These are the Black Sabbath songs from the Ronnie James Dio era, with the Heaven and Hell, Mob Rules, Live Evil and Dehumanizer albums all represented. This same Black Sabbath lineup may be called Heaven and Hell in 2009, yet does it really matter? Their still Black Sabbath to me.

Twisted Sister – Big Hits and Nasty Cuts – Dee Snider made Heavy Metal all the more visible on MTV with the Twisted Sister video We’re Not Gonna Take It, back in 1984. This Twisted Sister greatest hits album is loaded with 6 live bonus tracks as well. This is another band that could easily fill up more than one disc of great songs from their Heavy Metal catalog. Under The Blade and The Kids Are Back are my two favorites on this one.

KISS – Double Platinum – I have proudly owned this album since it’s release back in 1978. I was in seventh grade back then and this was my very first KISS album. My Double Platinum album is still in beautiful condition too. A 2 record set, opening up as a gatefold, this album also included a platinum record certificate to the fan who purchased it. (I wish I kept this piece of KISS memorabilia, it was just made of paper and it hung on my bedroom wall for several years, when I was a kid of course). The important thing is I still have Double Platinum on vinyl… plus I upgraded Double Platinum by buying the CD many years ago too. (It is not a double CD, all the songs are on just one… I don’t know if this ever changed over to a double CD over the years). Just about every important and cool KISS song from the 1970’s is on Double Platinum, with Hard Luck Woman and Calling Dr. Love being my two vintage KISS favorites.

Queensryche – Sign of the Times, The Best Of QueensrycheBuying this CD suited me well since many of my Queensryche “albums” were purchased on cassette years ago. Queensryche has always been a favorite of mine, a high powered – progressive Metal Band that crossed over into Rock and Hard Rock too. Musical diversity is no stranger to Queensryche. My two favorites are Queen of the Reich and Jet City Woman. Yes, those two songs are tops on my list.

Alice Cooper – Alice Coopers Greatest Hits – This album was released back in 1974, it is the Greatest Hits of Alice Cooper (The Band). Man, this is Old School Heavy Metal. Sure, some may argue it is comprised of Old School Hard Rock as well… that is fine by me. The Metal bottom line is this: Alice Cooper (The Band), was just as much as important to the creation of Heavy Metal as any other band of their time or before them. That is my Metal opinion and I have to tell it to the world. Oh, yeah, my favorite songs from this Greatest Hits are – No More Mr. Nice Guy, Under My Wheels and well, just every song on this Greatest Hits is great.

Motorhead – The Best Of Motorhead – This is one great and comprehensive double disc, greatest hits of Motorhead. I bought this Motorhead disc due to my needing any and all of their releases, regardless if I already have the songs. This Best Of was released in 2000, with two live bonus tracks included. There are 40 songs total on this double disc Motorhead bounty! Also found on The Best Of Motorhead are: Hawkwind playing Motorhead, Girlschool covers Bomber and Headgirl covering Please Don’t Touch. The history of Motorhead is covered up to the year 2000, from Ace of Spades to the Motorhead cover version of God Save The Queen. Plus, my favorite Motorhead song of all time is on here too – Killed By Death, from the No Remorse (Greatest Hits album). Long live Lemmy and Motorhead.

I could go on and on with this list of Heavy Metal Greatest Hits CD’s worth owning. Showing and quipping about some of the Greatest Hits CD’s I own, can maybe help out someone who is on the fence about one of these bands or musicians. These CD’s above are all consistently listened to by me, they are perfect for when I’m in the mood to hear the choice songs from these bands/musicians. As Dee Snider has sung, with Heavy Metal pride: You can’t stop Rock and Roll!

EXODUS “LET THERE BE BLOOD” – A TRIBUTE TO THEIR VERY OWN THRASH METAL LEGACY

Posted in 1980's thrash metal albums, 1980's thrash metal bands, 1980's thrash metal music, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's metal bands, 1980's metal music, 1985 thrash metal music, Album Review, cover songs, current thrash metal music, essential thrash metal albums, extreme metal music, guitar legends, heavy metal albums, heavy metal music, metal music, metal music albums, metal odyssey, Music, old school thrash metal music, spooky album covers, thrash metal album review, thrash metal albums, thrash metal bands, thrash metal legends, thrash metal music, thrash metal music 2008, thrash metal today, vintage thrash metal bands with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 21, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

The Exodus album Let There Be Blood, (released on October 28, 2008), is a complete cover album of their very own debut release from 1985 – Bonded By Blood. Exodus is from a select group of Thrash Metal Bands, considered by me to be one of the originals who were instrumental in shaping and defining the Thrash Metal genre. I have been listening to Exodus since their debut, this band has had their share of ups and downs, just knowing they are still around making music is a great feeling for me. Let There Be Blood is dedicated to Paul Baloff, the original lead singer for Exodus, who passed away from a stroke in 2002. Gary Holt, the life long guitarist and leader for Exodus, states very clearly in the liner notes of this CD as to why Bonded By Blood was covered in it’s entirety with Let There Be Blood. To paraphrase Gary Holt, he states these songs are his lifetime connection to Paul Baloff. He also states “no way can you replace Bonded By Blood.” As Gary Holt sees it, people can discover the original Exodus lineup from 1985 and their Classic Thrash Metal debut album, by listening to Let There Be Blood.

I never needed to be convinced that covering Bonded By Blood was a great idea by the current Exodus lineup, many bands have recently been doing the same thing lately as well. Foreigner and Journey are perfect examples, both of these Hard Rock titans have issued a full greatest hits CD recently, that spotlights their current lead singer and lineup. Exodus has paid a tribute to not just an album of songs, Bonded By Blood was and still is an important Thrash Metal album, one that represents a time period of the birth and creation of the prolific Thrash Metal genre. Paul Baloff was not the run of the pack Thrash Metal vocalist either, he was unique in keeping his voice from overpowering the song… I have never heard another singer like him since, truly irreplaceable.

Rob Dukes, the vocalist for Exodus on Let There Be Blood also is quoted in the liner notes, “this (Let There Be Blood) was recorded for fun, not to replace the original. The origninal (Bonded By Blood) will always be there and will always stand the test of time.” Plus, Rob Dukes refers to Paul Baloff in the most sincerest and reverent way. True class acts are Gary Holt and Rob Dukes, for the way they expressed themselves through these statements, found in the liner notes of Let There Be Blood. With Tom Hunting on drums, Exodus has two original members playing on Let There Be Blood.

I have read some pretty despicable and mean spirited album reviews over the years… from guess who? Answer: professional overpaid music critics who do not listen to the albums they review! Instead, their idea of “listening” to an album is “sampling” and/or they are jealous they are not famous Rock musicians themselves. Exodus, in my Metal opinion, DID NOT ATTEMPT TO CASH-IN ON THE LEGACY OF BONDED BY BLOOD. The Old School Thrash Metal Bands have their core following, while enlisting younger and new fans along the way. This album was never going to hit #1 on any damned and useless music chart to begin with. Old School Thrash Metal is about pride… something that the lame mainstream Rock music critics no nothing about. Grubby politicians cash-in everyday on tax payers… Exodus is too busy kicking ass with their Thrash Metal legacy and credibility, rather than cashing in on any of their fans.

In my Metal opinion, sure this is a heavier version than the original. Yes, Rob Dukes sings with a much more aggressive and angered tone than the late and legendary Paul Baloff. Rob Dukes is a powerhouse Thrash Metal vocalist – period. He is his own persona, just as Paul Baloff once was. The end result is, for me, a quality driven, Thrash Metal celebration of one of the greatest albums of it’s genre. Gary Holt made a great point in the liner notes, that these same songs are performed live by Exodus to this day. As I see it, this is Exodus, regardless if this is a 2008 version of this band or a listen to the 1985 original Bonded By Blood. I cannot deny or condemn any Thrash Metal Music that Gary Holt and Tom Hunting want to recapture or create with their band. All I can do is be thankful that they are still alive and capable of keeping the Exodus Thrash Metal machine forging ahead. I appreciate my favorite bands and never have or ever will… take them for granted.

Exodus, as they appear on the 2008 album Let There Be Blood:

Gary Holt – guitars

Tom Hunting – drums

Jack Gibson – bass

Rob Dukes – vocals

Lee Altus – guitars

Here is the original cover artwork for the 1985 Bonded By Blood album:

A New Addition Is Coming To Our Family… A Cat

Posted in 1970's heavy metal music, 1980's heavy metal music, 1990's heavy metal music, animal adoptions, animal stories, cat adoptions, cat stories, classic rock, classic rock music, cool album covers, current heavy metal albums, essential heavy metal albums, essential rock albums, family, family pets, feel good stories, guitar legends, hard rock music, heavy metal albums, heavy metal bands, heavy metal music, hollywood stars, humor, life, life stories, living, metal odyssey, Music, people, personal stories, real life experiences, rock & roll, rock and roll, rock music, tattoo artists, true personal stories with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 15, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

MetalOdysseyToday, my wife, myself and twin daughters all decided on adopting a homeless cat. He already comes with a name… Del. Del has only one eye, the other is shut closed. He is currently living in a shelter and is in great health. The shelter he is in now rescued him from a “kill” shelter. The poor guy has also been de-clawed, yet that is alright, Del will be our house cat. Yup, Del will be able to have full reign of the house,  (within reason of course). Being a four year old cat, he probably has some stories to tell… if he could only talk. We pick up Del on Sunday, November 15th. Del is a silver tiger, with white and gray stripes. (No, he is not a real tiger). I and my family cannot wait to get this dude, he will fit right in for sure.

Over my lifetime, I have owned five different cats, they were all unique. So, I do know what to expect from having a cat around the house… the only adjustment is to identify and know Del’s personality, his likes and dislikes. Sure, it will take a short time to have Del really blend in with our home and we are really looking forward to having him. We all went out this afternoon to purchase the necessities of making Del’s life with us comfortable. Del needed a break in his life… he is going to experience it on Sunday. Now, with a cat arriving into a household that loves Heavy Metal Music, I could not help myself from compiling a list of Heavy Metal and Hard Rock bands, songs and album titles that reference cat or any association to a cat. Yeah, it’s a list… but trust me, it’s a kick:

KITTIE – This all female Heavy Metal Band just happens to be… my favorite all female Heavy Metal Band. (Girlschool is my second favorite all female Heavy Metal band, in case you were wondering). Morgan Lander, (guitar & lead vocals) and her sister Mercedes Lander, (drums), can do no wrong by me. Kittie’s new studio album, In The Black, was released on September 15, 2009.

Kittie "In The Black" large album pic

The Motor City Madman, aka, Ted Nugent, (who belongs in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by the way), has the coolest catalog of albums that are for me, timeless. Cat Scratch Fever from 1977, is definitely one of my favorites.

Ted Nugent "Cat Scratch Fever" large album pic

I like Aerosmith. Especially 1970’s Aerosmith. Still, at the end of the Metal day, I cannot turn away from any Aerosmith album that has been created. I can’t help it, that is just the way it is. Yeah, I will listen to Aerosmith ballads too and I am no fan of ballads. Aerosmith’s album from 1997, Nine Lives, makes this list. Hey, say what you want… but this album went double platinum.

Aerosmith "Nine Lives" large album pic

Alright, alright already… I know that the Stray Cats are not Heavy Metal or even close to being a Hard Rock Band. However, I have always been receptive to their Rock and Roll since day one. Back in the ’80’s, well, I had a very large poster of the Stray Cats on my bedroom wall… right between AC/DC and Judas Priest… honestly. Brian Setzer is just a brilliant guitarist, in my Metal opinion. The Stray Cats… Rock.

Stray Cats "Rant N' Rave" large album pic

What would this cat list be without – Look What The Cat Dragged In by Poison?

Poison "Look What The Cat Dragged In" small album pic #2

Nashville Pussy. Now, that is one heavy hitting, no holes barred band if there ever was one. Hey, they are referring to a cat with this bands name, aren’t they?

Nashville Pussy "Say Something Nasty" large album pic

Tygers of Pan Tang. O.k., so they spell tiger differently, who gives a crap. It actually looks better spelt that way. Now, this is a Heavy Metal blast from the past, plus these guys are still around. Animal Instinct was released on May 19, 2008. Tygers of Pan Tang have had their lineup changes over the decades… how many Heavy Metal Bands haven’t? I admire this bands perseverance and their pretty good at what they do too.

Tygers Of Pan Tang "Animal Instinct" large album pic

Kat Von D. I know, she is not a musician… still, she has created some damn great Heavy Metal tattoos, on a truck load of Heavy Metal players. Kat Von D knows her Heavy Metal too, she lives it. Plus… watching L.A. Ink is light years more better, fun and informative than watching Larry King Live. I am steadfast about that… it is the truth. As a bonus, Kat Von D is better to look at than Larry King any night.

Kat Von D - large photo #1

Well, that is about it for this cat list. I could go on and on here… what would be the point? Enough is enough I say. This list has been long enough, heck, it takes time to compile such a list. I certainly hope all who visited and put up with the list portion had a good time. I will update on Metal Odyssey just how our new family cat – Del, adjusts to his new life with us. I make that Metal promise.

W.A.S.P. COVERS CHUCK BERRY CLASSIC – “PROMISED LAND” ON “BABYLON” ALBUM

Posted in 1960's rock and roll albums, 1960's vintage rock albums, 1960's rock & roll, 1960's rock music, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1990's heavy metal bands, collecting rock music, cool album covers, current heavy metal albums, current heavy metal bands, current heavy metal music, current heavy metal songs, essential heavy metal albums, essential heavy metal songs, essential rock and roll albums, guitar legends, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal albums, heavy metal bands, heavy metal cover songs, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 2009, heavy metal songs 2009, heavy metal vocalists, independent metal music record labels, metal music, Metal Reviews, Music, new heavy metal album, old school heavy metal, rock & roll, rock & roll hall of fame inductees, rock and roll, rock music, scary album covers, vintage rock and roll songs with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 14, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Chuck Berry "St. Louis to Liverpool" small album picW.A.S.P. has brought the Chuck Berry 1964 Rock and Roll Classic Promised Land to the Heavy Metal forefront. Promised Land is from the Chuck Berry album from 1964, St. Louis To Liverpool. Appearing on their new studio album Babylon, Promised Land is the last song, closing out a tremendously catchy and hook laden, Old School Heavy Metal album. W.A.S.P.’s Heavy Metal lays down the riffs, leads and solos that resonates power and electrifies this song. The rhythm section of W.A.S.P. sets and maintains the Metal pulse of Promised Land, balancing out a groovy ride. When an early 1960’s Rock and Roll Classic like Promised Land can be covered with the passion and intensity that W.A.S.P. brings, it is the Old School Heavy Metal balance and basics that makes this song come to life. W.A.S.P. makes this song crush with heaviness without sacrificing any early 1960’s Rock guitar sound and energy.

Nothing is overdone with W.A.S.P. covering Promised Land. This is not a cover song that is a filler for this Babylon album. I always feel, that if you are going to cover a Rock and Roll Classic, there better be plenty of emotional integrity with the music and vocals combined. A cover song has to really convey the original song’s essence and fire. Blackie Lawless does live up to my expectations with covering Promised Land vocally, he really sings the lyrics as if he penned them himself. Blackie Lawless sings the lyrics of Promised Land as if he truly was the poor boy, (in this song), traveling across the country to California. To camouflage oneself within a song’s lyrics, to make the song sound so believable as Blackie Lawless does with his vocals, is worth taking a bow. In my Metal opinion, listening to Blackie Lawless sing Promised Land makes me believe that he would have owned an enormous crowd of frenzied Rock and Roll fans back in 1964. This same sentiment goes to the entire W.A.S.P. band here, based on how authentic Promised Land plays out on Babylon. W.A.S.P. would have torn the roof down, (literally), at any given theater that catered to Rock and Roll concerts – back in the early 1960’s.

Anytime a band of any Rock or Heavy Metal genre pays tribute to such an icon such as Chuck Berry, it makes for quite the Rock and Roll history lesson. Younger bands should take notice, saluting a Rock and Roll originator such as Chuck Berry, through a high quality cover song such as W.A.S.P. has done, is of the highest compliment to this Rock and Roll legend. This cover version of Promised Land had me hooked from the opening note, it is the Heavy Metal of W.A.S.P. taking over a soda hop from 1964 and bringing it into 2009.

W.A.S.P. is not the first band in Rock and Roll history to cover Promised Land. This song is too great for it not to have been previously covered. The late and unreal legendary Elvis Presley covered this song, found on his 1975 album Promised Land. Rock icon The Grateful Dead have covered this song, (it was a staple in their live sets), plus other Rock luminaries such as Meat Loaf, James Taylor and Dave Edmunds have covered Promised Land on album too.

W.A.S.P. "Babylon" large album pic #2

BLACK SABBATH – 1983 “BORN AGAIN” ALBUM IS METAL OF PROFOUND IMPORTANCE

Posted in 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's metal bands, 1980's metal music, Album Review, black metal roots, classic heavy metal, classic metal, collecting metal music, cool album covers, creepy album covers, doom metal music, essential heavy metal albums, essential metal music albums, guitar legends, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 1983, heavy metal music, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal album review, metal music, metal music albums, metal odyssey, Music, old school heavy metal, old school metal bands, rock music, scary album covers, spooky album covers, vintage heavy metal albums, vintage heavy metal bands with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 7, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Black Sabbath "Born Again"Back on October 4, 1983, Black Sabbath released their eleventh studio album – Born Again. I was serving time in high school as a senior in 1983, I also became a born again Metalhead that same year, thanks to this most underrated Black Sabbath album. I am not kidding or trying to sound like a yahoo by stating that. Born Again was a match made in Metal heaven for me… the prolific vocals of Ian Gillan uniting with the ultra legendary Black Sabbath. I have to admit, with Ozzy Osbourne and Ronnie James Dio not fronting Black Sabbath, it was common place for professionally paid Rock Music critics to easily overlook the other lead singers this Rock And Roll Hall of Fame band has bestowed over the decades. I never overlooked a damned thing Black Sabbath had done, especially when they joined forces with Ian Gillan. From the front album cover artwork of the demon baby, to the down right eerie and chilling Metal Music heard on Born Again, this album is a must listen and own in Metal Music 101.

When I first listened to Born Again, back in good ol’ 1983, the synthetic instrumentals of Stonehenge and The Dark left a Metal imprint on my subconscious like none other… all I could think back then and now is this is the soundtrack of doom… all hail Black Sabbath. The guitar riffs, leads and solo on Zero The Hero sound as if I am listening to a descent to the darkest depths of inner Earth… I love that descent. Trashed is not just an amazing song lyrically, this is an early introduction of Heavy Metal making the transition to pure… Metal. Comparing Born Again to other Heavy Metal albums of that time is what separates the Heavy Metal label from Black Sabbath, thus anointing this iconic band to true masters of Metal Music.

The Metal of Born Again is not Thrash, yet it is not Accept, Quiet Riot or Saxon of that time period either. With Born Again, a black album was unintentionally or intentionally created, (both with album artwork and the Metal Music within), while Black Metal itself was simultaneously being born into a genre, courtesy of Venom, Bathory and Hellhammer . I can’t compare this Black Sabbath album to their earlier albums with Ozzy. Nor can I make a comparison of Born Again to the Dio led Black Sabbath either. The song Born Again alone is a study in just how far Tony Iommi would go in making a unique Black Sabbath album, one that would stand apart from the entire Black Sabbath catalog… forever. Listening to Ian Gillan’s vocals on this song honestly takes my Metal breathe away. Ian Gillan is beyond unreal great on Born Again – all one needs to do is open their Metal mind to the song Hot Line and thou shall understand and realize why. Seriously, the vocals of Ian Gillan on Hot Line makes me imagine what life would have been like for this Metalhead, if more Black Sabbath albums were created with his legendary voice. I guess it is obvious by now, that I revere Ian Gillan.

Digital Bitch may have been the most popular song from Born Again, the song that advertised their Born Again Tour on FM Radio back in 1983-84. Despite the fondness that commercial FM radio had for this song, it blazed with Metal fury like no other song back then. Disturbing The Priest, this song title alone made for my own personal battle cry for serving eight long years of time – in a parochial school. Trust me on that one. In Metal hindsight, maybe the professionally paid Rock Music critics of the world were never ready for the dark Metal Music that Born Again was about. This was not the Deep Purple version of Ian Gillan, nor was this the Children of the Sea version of Black Sabbath. Keep It Warm actually grounded this Born Again album, keeping it from being a non-stop onslaught of apocalyptic, melancholy and dark sided themes.

In a Metal nutshell, this Born Again album was forged by the union of Ian Gillan joining the legends of Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill ward. This version of Black Sabbath has suffered through too many years of comparisons to the Ozzy and Dio fronted bands of the same name. All too often, the ignorance of professionally paid Rock Music critics can water down the integrity of a great album from an elite band. Such is the case here with this incredible Born Again album from Black Sabbath. I never saw this Black Sabbath lineup as anything other than Black Sabbath, only with a different lead singer in Ian Gillan who rose to the Metal occasion with unparalleled pipes.

Over the years it has been amusing to me, to even read that Ian Gillan himself was never satisfied, actually displeased, with the music and demon baby artwork of Born Again. (The liner notes of this Born Again CD detail this, as written by writer Hugh Gilmour). If only Ian Gillan knew, just how much this Born Again album has meant to me, as a lifetime fan of his prominent vocals. Black Sabbath fans who appreciate the music created by Tony Iommi, (guitar), Geezer Butler, (bass) and Bill Ward, (drums), know that the Ozzy, Dio and Ian Gillan versions of this band carry their own Metal identity that captivates with it’s own powerful mystique. Born Again by Black Sabbath is more than a vintage Metal album that I recommend, it is a vintage Metal necessity, that should be embraced and heralded as an important contribution and moment – to the history of Metal Music.

To my best Metal buddy Scott… thank you for buying me this hard to find CD. Having owned a copy of Born Again on cassette, spanning three decades, deserved a righteous Metal upgrade. I truly wish I kept the vinyl album of Born Again that once was in my collection.

Black Sabbath "Born Again"

Children Of Bodom – “Skeletons In The Closet” Album Of Cover Songs Is Metal Thrashing Good

Posted in Album Review, cool album covers, cover songs, creepy album covers, current extreme metal albums, current extreme metal music, current thrash metal albums, current thrash metal music, extreme metal bands, extreme metal music, guitar legends, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 2009, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 2009, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal music, metal music albums, metal odyssey, Music, new thrash metal albums, scary album covers, spooky album covers, Thrash Metal, thrash metal 2009, thrash metal album review, thrash metal albums, thrash metal albums 2009, thrash metal bands, thrash metal cover songs, thrash metal from finland, thrash metal guitarists, thrash metal music, thrash metal music reviews, thrash metal songs, thrash metal today with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 5, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Children Of Bodom "Skeletons in the Closet" small album pic!I really get a kick out of Alexi Laiho, his lead vocals and lead guitar play are extreme to the Metal maximum. I know that sounds rather yahoo, only there is no other way to really explain it. I like this guys style, he is hell bent on playing some of the fastest Thrash Metal Music out there. On the new Children Of Bodom album, Skeletons in the Closet, (released on September 22, 2009), there are seventeen cover songs. Of the bands and musicians that are covered here, there is one song that I simply cannot get into or simply stomach. Hey, one lousy song out of seventeen isn’t too shabby. Consider the fact, that I really like the other sixteen songs on Skeletons in the Closet and I declare this album a Metal winner. Let’s cut to the Metal chase here and I’ll just state that the cover of the Britney Spears song, Oops… I Did It Again is equally lame as it is annoying. I have never been intrigued by Britney Spears, nor do I give her even one millionth of an ounce of respect for any music she has done in her life.

I don’t hold anything against Alexi Laiho and Children of Bodom for doing this crappy cover song, the liner notes spell out clearly as to why this song was covered in the first place. I will paraphrase the explanation found in the liner notes  – apparently, Children Of Bodom, during a night of heavy drinking, were listening to a party CD they made and this crap song was looping over and over. The members of Children Of Bodom made a pact that someday they would cover this crap song, obviously they did, on Skeletons in the Closet. The explanation, (in the liner notes) for this crap cover song goes on to finish: “… and pissed a lot of people off! That’s just what we do”. In the Metal end, sure, after listening to this crap cover of Britney Spears, I felt pissed off – now I think it is damn funny, a song intended to be a joke, not to be taken seriously like it’s original artist Britney Spears.

As I stated, the remaining sixteen cover songs I like a great deal. The Thrash Metal representation of these songs explode with the power and aggression that I have always admired with Children Of Bodom. Many of my favorite Metal bands are covered extremely hard and heavy on this album: Silent Scream from SlayerAces High from Iron Maiden, Hellion from W.A.S.P., Don’t Stop At The Top from Scorpions, Mass Hypnosis from Sepultura and Waiting from King Diamond. Children Of Bodom give these songs their stylistic Thrash Metal stamp on them, I find myself appreciating their versions a whole lot. Whenever it comes to covering Slayer, man, that is a tough Metal task to take on.

Other cover songs on Skeletons in the Closet that are powerful Thrash Metal listens are: Rebel Yell from Billy Idol, Hell Is For Children from Pat Benatar and Talk Dirty To Me from Poison. These three songs standout for I like them a great deal more than the original versions. Ghost Riders In The Sky appears on this album too, (it appears on the Children Of Bodom album Blooddrunk as an unlisted ghost song, excuse the pun). Somebody Put Something In My Drink from the Ramones is excellent! Alexi Laiho sounds like he is really enjoying this song as I listen to him sing it. Still, nothing can ever top the original version of this song by the unreal great and legendary Ramones. Trust me, you will NEVER know that the song Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In) is from Kenny Rogers. NO WAY, am I ever interested in hearing the original version either… especially since this cover version Thrashes like there is no tomorrow.

Overall, the Metal verdict is Skeletons in the Closet is loaded with fiery Thrash Metal passion from Children Of Bodom, with their trademark keyboards only enhancing the experience. I will listen to this covers album for years, hopefully decades to come. I am soon going to use the “F” word… watch out… here it comes… Children Of Bodom made a darn fun album here. Thankfully the crap song is the very last on the track list, making it easier to just end the album at song #16. I recommend Skeletons in the Closet and always highly recommend Children Of Bodom to all.

Children Of Bodom "Skeletons in the Closet" large pic #2


Michael Schenker Group – “Never Trust A Stranger” A Rock Ballad From 1981 I Revere

Posted in 1980's classic rock bands, 1980's classic rock guitarists, 1980's classic rock vocalists, 1980's hard rock albums, 1980's rock albums, 1980's rock music, 1980's rock musicians, 1980's hard rock bands, 1980's hard rock songs, 1980's heavy metal bands, Album Review, classic hard rock ballads, classic hard rock music, classic heavy metal, classic rock albums, classic rock music, classic rock songs, cool album covers, essential classic rock albums, essential hard rock albums, feel good stories, guitar legends, hard rock music, hard rock vocalists, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal on vinyl, melodic hard rock songs, metal odyssey, Music, old school hard rock, old school heavy metal, rock & roll, rock album review, rock and roll, rock guitarists, rock music, rock vocalists, vintage hard rock albums, vintage hard rock bands, vintage rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 2, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

MetalOdysseyI can remember the moment like it was yesterday. The moment in time of buying my first Michael Schenker Group album, at Caldor department store, back in 1982. It was the second studio album from Michael Schenker Group, it is often referred to as MSG ll, yet no where on my original album that I bought does it have the marking of “ll” on it. I guess the mystery of “ll” shall stay in my Metal mystery files for now. You can see, as proof, on the image below this post, that the front cover does not have “ll” on it. This image depicts the original album cover, the copy that I still own to this day. I have kept this Michael Schenker Group album in pristine condition for 28 years, this is an album that I extremely admire and highly recommend. The eight songs on this album are best described as Hard Rock, I find it difficult to label this album as straight forward Heavy Metal. There is one exception, Attack of the Mad Axeman is the one song from this album that I would label as an early 1980’s Heavy Metal song, in my Metal opinion.

Over the years, I acquired a cassette tape version of this album too, never upgrading to CD. Don’t ask why, I just never came up with the necessary loot to upgrade everything I ever owned on album and/or cassette, on a consistent basis. Factor in that I have to stay current and buy new CD’s of my favorite bands and deep pockets I do not have! Over this past Halloween weekend I was perusing the archive of songs that can be purchased on itunes and one Michael Schenker Group song caught my eye… Never Trust A Stranger. I bought this amazing Rock ballad from this second Michael Schenker Group album, without a micro second of hesitation. Goodbye 99 cents… hello MSG Rock Ballad I have revered for the better part of my entire Metal life.

You may ask: dude, why didn’t you just throw danger to the Metal wind and buy the entire Michael Schenker Group album from itunes if you don’t have it on CD? The answer is simple… I am holding out to buy this CD at retail or used, (eventually), due to my being old school and wanting the darn liner notes. (I can be a stubborn old Metalhead). Owning a digital copy of Never Trust A Stranger was a necessity that I needed to make good on for myself – finally. I always blab that I am not the biggest ballad fan the world has ever known, this will always hold true. However, there are those ballads, that just carry me off into those la la land moments of self gratifying, mental journeys of glee. On Never Trust A Stranger, the vocal harmony of Gary Barden is incredible stuff for me, with Michael Schenker playing some of the most emotionally inspired guitar licks you could ever imagine. The lyrics of this song are semi-sappy, still in 2009 they do that resonating thing to my mind and I have been a sucker for this song, since being a sophomore in high school in 1982. Gee Metal whiz.

Steven Stills lends his backing vocals on Never Trust A Stranger. Yes, that Steven Stills… from Crosby, Stills and Nash, (and sometimes Young). Once again, don’t ask: dude, how did Michael Schenker get Steven Stills to do backing vocals on Never Trust A Stranger? Hey, I simply do not have the answer. (I think years ago I did know the answer… yet it got erased from all the Thrash and Death Metal stuff I have listened to for decades). If anyone does have any info in regards to Steven Stills being on this song, feel free to comment about it please. So, in a Metal nutshell, Never Trust A Stranger is my second most favorite (Rock) ballad ever. I posted in the past that Home Sweet Home by Motley Crue is my favorite Heavy Metal ballad ever, I can’t go back on my word on that one.

Well, here is the original album cover of Michael Schenker Group, (notice there is NO “ll” anywhere on the cover). I was so enthralled by the guitar play of Michael Schenker and everything else about this album back in high school in 1982, that I made a silk screen copy of the album cover. Metalheads galore had mini posters and t-shirts with MSG and his flying V guitar on it, courtesy of me and my graphic arts class. I recruited lots of MSG fans back then, hopefully this blabbing will recruit more today.

Michael Schenker Group 2nd album - large pic

I BOUGHT MISFITS “LAND OF THE DEAD” AND IT SERVES ME RIGHT!

Posted in 1970's punk rock, 1980's punk rock bands, 1980's punk rock music, 1990's punk rock bands, 1990's punk rock music, Album Review, classic punk rock, collecting rock music, cool album covers, creepy album covers, current punk rock music, current punk rock songs, essential punk rock albums, essential punk rock songs, extreme music, guitar legends, halloween, halloween rock music songs, halloween songs, horror punk, horror punk album covers, horror punk album review, horror punk albums, horror punk rock bands, horror punk rock music, horror punk songs, independent record labels, Metal, metal odyssey, misfits album covers, Music, new punk rock album, new punk rock music, old school punk rock, Punk rock, punk rock album covers, punk rock album review, punk rock albums, punk rock bands, punk rock bands today, punk rock music, punk rock music 2009, punk rock music today, punk rock musicians, punk rock songs, rock & roll, rock and roll, rock music, scary album covers, scary halloween songs, spooky album covers, vintage punk rock bands with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 1, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

MISFITS. Jerry Only, Dez Cadena and Robo. Punk Rock royalty. Horror Punk Royalty. Yup, I am a fan, excuse me if you please. I bought the brand spanking new… Land Of The Dead maxi single off of itunes on Halloween. I deliberately waited to buy these two new songs on Halloween too… it is only fitting and it has served me right. The two new Misfits songs are: Land Of The Dead and Twilight Of The Dead, both songs paying tribute to the Geoege A. RomeroLiving Dead movie series. Land Of The Dead clocks in at 2:13 and Twilight Of The Dead clocks in at 2:45. I will take this five minutes of new Misifts Horror Punk and thank my damn lucky dark skies, that this legendary band still Rocks in 2009. Jerry Only has taken his Misfits and Horror Punk into a fourth decade, recruiting new generations of fiends along the way.

Yes, the lyrics are Horror themed… blood runs cold… ’nuff said. Yes, Jerry Only sounds outrageously great on lead vocals and bass. Yes, Dez Cadena delivers the licks as profusely solid as ever. Yes, Robo is on drums and hits the skins with vintage Punk beats. In comparison to past Misfits sound, both new songs follow in the Misfits Punk footsteps of their Project 1950 album. The Horror Punk and Roll of Misfits is alive and well in 2009. I am so gloriously thrilled to have these two new Misfits songs in my personal collection. You too can serve yourself right this Halloween weekend by snagging these two new Misfits songs off of itunes – they are only 99 cents each!!!! Hell, that is way less expensive than a damn large fry, burger and milk shake from a plastic fast food chain! Plus these Misfits songs are not a detriment to your health either! Make your life that much better and GET THESE NEW MISFITS SONGS TODAY! I’m not bashful about any of my recommendations, obviously. Happy Halloween Weekend – fellow Fiends.

For those who are new to Misfits and need to know more about their spooky background, check out their MySpace Music page http://www.myspace.com/themisfits

Misfits "Land of the Dead" large album artwork

SLAYER – Revolver Magazine Salutes Thrash Metal Legends With The Book Of Slayer

Posted in 1980's thrash metal albums, 1980's thrash metal bands, 1980's thrash metal music, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's metal music, 1990's heavy metal bands, 1990's metal bands, 1990's thrash metal bands, collecting metal music, current thrash metal music, extreme metal music, guitar legends, heavy metal magazines, heavy metal music, Metal, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, old school thrash metal music, shopping for music, Thrash Metal, thrash metal 2009, thrash metal bands, thrash metal guitarists, thrash metal legends, thrash metal magazines, thrash metal music, thrash metal music books, thrash metal today, vintage thrash metal bands with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 30, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Slayer small logoSlayer. Thrash Metal Legends without any doubt in my Metal mind. I caught onto Slayer from the very beginning. I ordered Slayer’s first album, Show No Mercy, through mail order – direct from Metal Blade Records, back in 1984. Since then, Slayer has been a band that I uphold as one of the greatest Thrash Metal Bands ever, (if not the greatest).I have seen Slayer live in a small club setting back in the late 1980’s, a fortunate Metal experience that I will never forget. Yes, Slayer is a core favorite of mine and that will never change.

Revolver Magazine has recently devoted a special issue to just Slayer. This special issue aptly called The Book Of Slayer, should be quite easy to locate at newsstands or large book stores. I actually found my Revolver Book Of Slayer at a Weis Grocery Store, this week of October 25th. I have been a subscriber to Revolver for several years now, this is a magazine that delves into all of the Metal Music genres. Revolver, in my Metal opinion, is the best mainstream Metal Music magazine out there today – based on it’s writing, reviews, content and interviews.

Slayer small logoThe Book Of Slayer covers the band from it’s infancy in 1981 to present day. Anecdotes, interviews, tons of photos and details abound and it is 100% Slayer. Plus there are four feature articles included about Slayer, from past issues of Revolver. Revolver documents Slayer throughout their entire career in excellent Metal fashion. Kerry King, Tom Araya, Jeff Hanneman, Dave Lombardo and Paul Bostaph are all included in the story telling and interviews. This is one Slayer collectible worth picking up – the content within it’s pages and Slayer knowledge you will gain is well worth the $5.99 cover price. New fans can catch up on some great Slayer history and veteran fans should find it hard to put down. I know I will be taking it with me just about everywhere.

You can also purchase The Book Of Slayer by going to http://www.revolvermag.com

The Book of Slayer - Revolver Magazine - large pic 2009

LITA FORD – “Wicked Wonderland” Is Naughty And Bad Combined

Posted in 1980's hair metal bands, 1980's heavy metal ballads, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, 1989 heavy metal music, Album Review, creepy album covers, current heavy metal albums, current heavy metal bands, current heavy metal music, guitar legends, hair metal music, hard rock music, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 2009, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 2009, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal solo albums, heavy metal solo artists, heavy metal solo vocalists, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal odyssey, Music, new heavy metal album, old school heavy metal, rock music, scary album covers with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 29, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Lita Ford "Wicked Wonderland" small album picAh, Lita Ford. Reflecting on the 1980’s would not be quite the same without her being in the Heavy Metal world. Lita Ford proved back in those glorious ’80’s that she was more than just eye candy, she really did shred on the guitar for her albums. Plus, Lita Ford’s vocals always had the harmonic, Heavy Metal diva flare happening. Lita Ford even did a very sappy duet with Ozzy Osbourne, Close My Eyes Forever, that I honestly could never stomach back in 1989 and my opinion has not wavered since. Well, it is 2009 and Lita Ford is back, uh, yeah. Wicked Wonderland is her new album, the title really sums it all up quite well. The lyrics throughout this entire album are wicked indeed… with nuances, imagery and flat out references to sex and lust galore. I want to taste your goddess flesh and I penetrate you are two lines taken from the song Indulge… pretty hot stuff if you are a young dude that can’t buy a date for Saturday night. Lita Ford should have known that the majority of her audience buying Wicked Wonderland are the Old School Heavy Metal crowd and we are no longer eighteen and pissed off at our parents anymore.

In the very recent issue of Revolver Magazine, (December 2009), Lita Ford states that “There’s no law that says just because you grow up, you have to stop being naughty”. Oh, it gets better… “The album is pretty much based on our home life”. Lita, Lita, oh, Lita Ford. I will interject here by saying – and this is my quote here – there is a Metal law that says just because you grow up, YOU HAVE TO STOP making annoying music. Plus, it is NOT a turn on for me, to know what goes on in your bedroom. Ew. Now, this is coming from a middle aged Metalhead who is extremely open minded to all Metal Music that has ever existed, plus I kinda like to keep the intimacy that occurs in my home, with my wife, a secret. That is the REAL turn on for me. Sure, there will be a crowd out there that wants to know what Lita Ford does in her, um, spare time, I am not one of them.

To actually listen to all fifteen songs on Wicked Wonderland was like listening to a once glorified Heavy Metal star just pushing out tunes because she’s famous and she can. It appears that Lita Ford’s husband Jim Gillette lends his background vocals throughout Wicked Wonderland. Man, this guy sounds not just creepy, he is a major league part of the ANNOYING FACTOR that this album illuminates. Ugh. I guess Jim Gillette used to be the lead vocalist for some band called… Nitro. Nitro? Does not ring a Metal bell for me. Let me put this in perspective here… Bed is the worst song I have ever listened to in my life. Wicked Wonderland is without question, the worst “Heavy Metal” album that I have bought since, well, since ever. “Tie me to the bed”… these lyrics alongside some of the most bothersome guitar you will ever listen to, throw in the constant ANNOYING keyboards and you have the epitome of BAD.

Is there at least one song on Wicked Wonderland that is at least… tolerable? Uh, let’s see… maybe Scream 4 Me is a bit groovy. Metal truth be told, if Lita Ford created more songs like Scream 4 Me on this album, it would have been a more credible project in the end. It is extremely rare for me to put any album or band through the Metal wringer on Metal Odyssey. Really, it has to be a monumental bad listening experience in Heavy Metal for me to bark this fierce. After listening to Wicked Wonderland twice, I felt an obligation to the Metal world to give my fair warning regarding this Lita Ford album, uh, disaster. In the end, Wicked Wonderland makes for a decent comedy album, the ending song is Push. Uh, yeah, there is sexual innuendo stacked up to the ceiling on Push. Weeeeeeeeeee! I’m selling my Wicked Sensation CD first thing Thursday morning to the used CD dealer, (I hope he buys it). Sometimes immaturity is best expressed through song, yet to combine it with lack of integrity as Lita Ford did with Wicked Wonderland is simply astonishing.

To my best Metal buddy Scott… I should have heeded your warning about this album, Metal lesson learned.

Lita Ford "Wicked Wonderland" large album pic

BADLANDS – 1989 Heavy Metal Debut Album Still Reigns Supreme

Posted in 1980's hard rock albums, 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's heavy metal hits, 1980's hard rock bands, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's heavy metal songs, 1980's metal music, 1990's heavy metal bands, 1990's hard rock bands, Album Review, classic hard rock music, classic heavy metal, classic heavy metal albums, classic rock, collecting heavy metal albums, cool album covers, essential hard rock albums, essential heavy metal albums, essential heavy metal songs, guitar legends, hard rock music, hard rock vocalists, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 1989, heavy metal drummers, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 1989, heavy metal vocalists, metal odyssey, Music, old school hard rock, old school heavy metal, rock guitarists, rock music, rock vocalists, vintage heavy metal albums, vintage heavy metal bands, vintage heavy metal songs with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 26, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

BADLANDS "Badlands" large album picBadlands was a Heavy Metal band that I caught onto the instant they released their debut/self titled album – Badlands, (on Atlantic Records), back in 1989. I purchased this Badlands cassette at Strawberries Records & Tapes, located right around the corner from Central Connecticut State University on New Britain Avenue. I was a student at CCSU back in 1989, very much broke to the Metal wind. Therefore, my Heavy Music purchases were not abundant, I chose quality over quantity. With so little funds to buy music as a college student back then, being choosy was a necessity. Badlands with their classic and ultra talented lineup of musicians became a necessity for me. From the very first listen through of this album, (in my case cassette), to say that Badlands left an earthshaking mark on me is the understatement of the decade. The Heavy Metal onslaught of cool and psyched out vibrations, that this Badlands album gave me back in 1989, has once again reintroduced me to that same experience this past weekend.

My best buddy – a.k.a. – best Metal buddy – a.k.a. – Scott, well, he remembered just how much Badlands and their debut album resonated with me back in the day, therefore Scott landed me a CD copy of Badlands. Scott was my roommate at CCSU, my best man at my wedding and if anyone knows my Metal tastes and background… it is him. Thank you Scott, for this Metal gift of Badlands this past Saturday. Getting Badlands on CD in the mail was like experiencing Christmas Day on this cold, dank and rainy day in October. F’n unbelievable surprise.

It is an unreal great feeling to have this Badlands CD finally in my collection. I have never let go of my Badlands cassette since 1989… and I never will. To the best of my Metal research, this Badlands CD is extremely hard to find at retail. Out of print perhaps? Badlands is definitely one of my favorite Heavy Metal albums that I have ever listened to. I only wish this band was able to stay together forever, yet lead vocalist Ray Gillen was called to heaven a little early, on December 1, 1993 at the age of 34. The unreal great guitarist – Jake E. Lee and Ray Gillan on vocals may be the two main musical focal points of Badlands, yet Eric Singer on drums and Greg Chaisson on bass make for an ear bending and jaw dropping rhythm section – stuff of legend. Anyone that knows and enjoys Old School Heavy Metal can certainly identify with Badlands, this band is from that mold. Jake E. Lee proved with Badlands that there was definitely a Heavy Metal life for him away from Ozzy Osbourne.

The eleven songs on Badlands encompass the melodic driven side of Heavy Metal enormously, with the late Ray Gillen’s unique vocals surpassing many of his peers of that time, when it came to harmony and range. I include the late Ray Gillen in with Tony Martin, Jeff Scott Soto, Gary Barden, Jorn Lande and Joe Lynn Turner when it comes to lead vocals status in Old School Heavy Metal. He belongs with this select group of singers. (I definitely left out some names here, yet I think my point is made). If not for his passing away at age 34, I am convinced Ray Gillen would have been a top tier Heavy Metal and/or Hard Rock vocalist to this very day. With so many new vocalists coming out of the woodwork in all of the Metal genres since the 1990’s, too many of them sound like each other or have little regard for originality. This is why I can never tire from the late Ray Gillen’s vocal talent.

My favorite song on Badlands is Dreams In The Dark, I played it six times over, very loud the other night and it served me right. Yes, I acted very silly jumping around in my basement like a psyched out kid, while this song and the rest of Badlands cranked. As the ultra great Blackie Lawless would say… I don’t need no doctor. All I need is to delve back into the Metal world of Old School Heavy Metal, (on a very consistent basis), turn on some Badlands and let the bull crap of the world around me, wallow in it’s own decrepit stank. I don’t look back upon Badlands as a supergroup, instead I look upon them as a fabulously talented Heavy Metal band that was too short lived. Long live the legacy of Badlands – their Heavy Metal still reigns supreme for me.

Track List For Badlands:

High Wire

Dreams in the Dark

Jade’s Song

Winter’s Call

Dancing on the Edge

Streets Cry Freedom

Hard Driver

Rumblin’ Train

Devil’s Stomp

Seasons

Ball & Chain – (this song is not on the vinyl record version of Badlands)

BADLANDS "Badlands" large album pic

My Least Favorite Ozzy Osbourne Song Ever Is…

Posted in 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's heavy metal ballads, 1980's heavy metal hits, 1980's classic rock music, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's heavy metal songs, classic heavy metal, classic heavy metal albums, classic rock music, cool album covers, creepy album covers, guitar legends, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 1983, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 1983, heavy metal solo vocalists, heavy metal songs 1983, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal music, metal odyssey, Metal Reviews, Music, old school heavy metal, rock music, scary album covers, spooky metal album covers, vintage heavy metal albums, vintage heavy metal songs with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 25, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

MetalOdysseyOzzy Osbourne, the Heavy Metal Prince of Darkness. Ozzy Osbourne – Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee with Black Sabbath. Honestly, I revere the living hell out of this Heavy Metal legend. I did get to see Ozzy Osbourne live in concert twice during my lifetime. For me, those two concerts were unbelievable, with Metallica opening up for Ozzy in New Haven Connecticut, (at the spooky New Haven Coliseum) – it was The Ultimate Sin Tour for Ozzy and Metallica was promoting their legendary Master of Puppets album. The other Ozzy concert I saw had Queensryche open for Ozzy in Springfield, Massachusetts, (at the Springfield Civic Center), on this same Ultimate Sin Tour. Alright, so it is obvious I think the Metal world of Ozzy Osbourne… fine. However, by process of elimination, there has to be my least favorite Ozzy Osbourne song out there and there is one. I do not think much of the song, uh, ballad So Tired from Ozzy’s Bark At The Moon album. This song, ugh, ballad is responsible for my distaste of most Heavy Metal ballads ever released since, by any band. This album was released on December 10, 1983. Don’t get me wrong here, the Bark At The Moon album as a whole, is unreal good. Three songs on this album are incredible for me… Rock ‘n’ Roll Rebel, You’re No Different and of course – Bark At The Moon. These three Ozzy songs I can hold up on a Metal pedestal forever. Plus, Jake E. Lee on guitar is a Metal bonus to listen to.

So Tired is a song that in my Metal opinion, is overwhelmingly dull and depressing and does absolutely nothing but annoy me beyond belief. Who exactly is supposed to be so tired in this song? Is it Ozzy himself? Someone that Ozzy knows? I really do not care in the darn least who is tired. I get tired too, yet I never whine about it like Ozzy did in this song. Sure, maybe the tired theme was about waiting around for a love lost… who cares. So Tired is a perfect example of what happens when a Heavy Metal icon decides to go the Pop and Bubble Gum Music route with a song. Sappy city is open for tourists with So Tired. Get out the kleenex, So Tired is now playing… sniffle, sniffle, I am so moved. The orchestration in this song only annoys me more.

To me, So Tired just never seemed to fit in with the Bark At The Moon album. So Tired is a downer in the midst of some riveting Heavy Metal songs, a huge let down, like the depressed dude at a party trying to bring everyone else down with him. The video for So Tired, (which was on MTV too often back in the day), was so ridiculous that even I felt embarrassed for Ozzy. When the Bark At The Moon album was reissued, So Tired should have been omitted from the track list… it is that lousy – for me. In my Metal opinion, So Tired is the lowest moment of Ozzy Osbournes unparalleled and ultra legendary Heavy Metal career.

Ozzy Osbourne "Bark At The Moon" Large album picture

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

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