Archive for the old school hard rock Category

JIMI HENDRIX – “VALLEYS OF NEPTUNE” LIMITED EDITION CD SINGLE I’LL SHOW YA!

Posted in 1960's classic rock music, 1960's psychedelic rock music, 1960's rock music, 1970'S classic rock guitarists, 1970's classic rock songs, 1970's classic rock vocalists, 1970's classic rock music, 1970's hard rock, 1970's heavy metal, 1970's rock music, album covers, classic hard rock music, classic rock, classic rock bands, classic rock guitarists, classic rock music, classic rock songs, classic rock vocalists, collecting classic rock, collecting rock music, cool album covers, guitar legends, hard rock guitarists, hard rock music, hard rock songs, hard rock vocalists, Heavy Metal, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal history, heavy metal legends, heavy metal music, heavy metal news, heavy metal songs, metal odyssey, Music, old school hard rock, old school heavy metal, rare heavy metal cds, rock & roll, rock & roll hall of fame inductees, rock and roll, rock and roll hall of fame members, rock and roll news, rock guitar legends, rock guitarists, rock music, rock music history with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 7, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

JIMI HENDRIX – By now, hopefully all Rock, Hard Rock and Heavy Metal fans know that a brand new, studio album of 12 previously unreleased songs by this legend of guitar legends are being released on Tuesday, March 9th, 2010. The album is titled – Valleys Of Neptune. A limited edition, CD single has already been released in front of this forthcoming Jimi Hendrix album, it is aptly titled: Valleys Of Neptune as well. This limited edition CD single is just that… each CD single is individually numbered too!! A total pressing of only 15,000 were passed along to the whole planet! My CD single is numbered 13060/15,000. I bought mine at Walmart… sometimes there are those Metal finds at Walmart… sometimes.

As I see it, whenever a CD, vinyl album or DVD is individually numbered, it is adding credibility to it’s limited edition tag. With just 15,000 of these CD singles available upon it’s release, I would have to guess that there are not enough to go around? C’mon, there has to be throngs upon throngs of Jimi Hendrix fans out in the world that would want to own this CD single… I would hope.

As for the two songs heard on this CD single:

Valleys Of Neptune – this song grooves along, (really, it is a groovy song), Jimi Hendrix sounds great, (as he always did), on vocals. Jimi plays the guitar with his distinctive tone coming through with vintage brilliance. In all Metal honesty, I have listened to this song dozens of times since I bought this CD single, obviously I really like it! I only live once and I’m thankful these new Jimi Hendrix songs have landed in 2010. This song was recorded on September 23, 1969/May 15, 1970!

Peace In Mississippi – this is an instrumental… and it’s all about Jimi Hendrix and his guitar licks. The Godfather of riffs and Heavy Metal leads is heard by me ears as if it were a gift from Heavy Metal heaven. This heavy instrumental is 7:02 long and I wish it would carry on for an hour. This instrumental was recorded on October 24, 1968! I was 2 years and 10 months old when Jimi Hendrix recorded this!!

Jimi Hendrix is in the same class as any of Rock and Roll’s largest of legends, any new songs from him is equivalent to hearing a newly released Beatles or Elvis song. This is in essence, Rock History, re-educating me once again where the true roots of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal were sown.

* The recording dates for these two songs are courtesy of the liner notes.

* This CD single was released through Experience Hendrix and Legacy Recordings.

So there you have it, two newly released Jimi Hendrix songs on this limited edition CD single, just a heavy prelude to the full length album of 12 songs.

GOD BLESS JIMI HENDRIX.



RIOT – “RIOT LIVE” EP FROM 1982 IS A HEAVY METAL VINYL FIND!

Posted in 1970's hard rock, 1970's heavy metal, 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's hard rock bands, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, 1982 heavy metal music, 1990's heavy metal bands, Album Review, antique shopping finds, collecting heavy metal albums, collecting rock music, current heavy metal bands, hard rock bands, hard rock music, hard to find records, Heavy Metal, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 1982, heavy metal bands, heavy metal history, heavy metal legends, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 1982, heavy metal on vinyl, heavy metal records, metal odyssey, Music, old school hard rock, old school heavy metal, rare heavy metal albums, rock music, vintage heavy metal albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 2, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

RIOT – RIOT LIVE, was sitting there, on vinyl no less, in a pile of other vintage albums from years long past. In the middle of this antiques mall, there I staked claim to a rare and never seen by my eyes before, RIOT EP… and it was a live EP too! I decided to take a look around this antiques mall this past Sunday, not knowing what I might come across for Metal treasures. For five bucks, (U.S.), I did not hesitate to take this piece of Heavy Metal history home. The funny part of finding this RIOT album is that a Telly Savalas – Who Loves Ya, Baby? album was resting right against it! Whoa, that’s funky stuff… God rest Telly Savalas’s soul. Another funny part of this whole scenario is… someone out there will eventually buy that Telly Savalas album and be just as psyched about their find as I am about mine. Beauty is in the eye of the respective music beholder, in my case it is Old School Heavy Metal vinyl… that is rather… rare. It’s no secret that I own a turntable, uh, a few of them. Buying these Heavy Metal Vinyl Classics are to be enjoyed, by dropping that old needle down on those aging grooves.

These songs are live alright, they are Old School raw too. As I played this album for the first time,  I could here the excitement resonating in the air during these live RIOT songs. I can understand that excitement, RIOT has always been a respected Hard & Heavy band, regardless of lineup changes through the years. RIOT has that early years of Metal vibe happening on this EP, I can hear and feel the roots of Heavy Metal from these songs. Despite the NWOBHM sound that was swarming across the Atlantic back in the very late ’70’s and early ’80’s, RIOT was American made. This was a RIOT band with four studio albums under their belt as of 1982 – Rock City (1977), Narita (1979), Fire Down Under (1981) and Restless Breed (1982).

Swords And Tequila is from the studio album  the 1981 studio album – Fire Down Under. The other five songs on RIOT LIVE are from the 1982 studio album – Restless Breed.

The Track Listing For RIOT LIVE from 1982:

Hard Lovin’ Man

Showdown

Loved By You

Loanshark

Restless Breed

Swords And Tequila

* RIOT LIVE was released on Electra Records.

* You can hear Restless Breed from RIOT LIVE and many more RIOT songs from their catalog of albums, streaming on the RIOT MySpace Music Page by clicking here: RIOT – MySpace Music Page

Here is what the front cover of this album jacket for RIOT LIVE looks like:

* The bottom line of type on the front cover of RIOT LIVE reads: Limited Edition – Manufacturer Suggested List Price $4.98. That’s cool… I paid 2 cents more than it’s original 1982 price. (Granted, the condition of this vintage vinyl that I acquired is no longer mint).

Using an iphone to take this picture of my RIOT LIVE EP, the black background with the bright red type made for difficulty in clarity. The album jacket itself has worn edges and a few worn spots, that’s o.k. by me, it goes to show this RIOT EP was once loved hard by some other fan. Despite these imperfections of the album jacket, I still am Metal pleased to have found a copy of this RIOT LIVE EP. The album jacket’s back cover is a solid black, with the Elektra Records logo on the bottom center. Taking a pic of this back cover would not make much sense for it’s blankness. (In other words, there’s nothing to look at with the back cover).

LONG LIVE RIOT

THE LONDON QUIREBOYS – “A BIT OF WHAT YOU FANCY” FROM 1990 IS A HARD ROCK BLAST!

Posted in 1980's hair metal music, 1980's hard rock, 1980's heavy metal music, 1990's heavy metal bands, 1990's rock bands, 1990's rock music, 1990's hair metal bands, 1990's hard rock albums, 1990's hard rock bands, 1990's heavy metal music, 1990's rock albums, Album Review, cool album covers, hair metal albums, hair metal bands, hair metal music, hard rock album review, hard rock bands, hard rock music, hard rock songs, hard rock vocalists, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 1990, heavy metal bands, heavy metal bands from england, heavy metal history, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 1990, metal odyssey, Music, old school hair metal bands, old school hard rock, old school heavy metal, old school heavy metal bands, rock and roll, rock music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 20, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

The London Quireboys – A Bit Of What You Fancy is a reason why I’m psyched I never unloaded my cassettes from years… um, decades past. I slapped this cassette into my home stereo today and I am just as enthused by the Hard Rock blast from The London Quireboys… as I was back in 1990. The London Quireboys put the Hard Rock pedal to the Metal on A Bit Of What You Fancy, no smoke and mirrors to be heard… just great, heavy, Rock and Roll! When I initially bought this cassette back in 1990, I did so only having heard their biggest hit from this album on the FM dial… 7 o’clock. This is a song that my wife, (girlfriend at that time) and I played over and over… and over again back in ’90! Is 7 o’ clock a party song? You bet your Metal life it is! Take a long drive to this entire album and leave your cares behind? Go for it! A Bit Of What You Fancy is like that hidden Hard Rock gem from 1990… only it is not hidden in my Heavy Music collection, no way! A Bit Of What You Fancy carries into my ears all the good times spirit that Rock and Roll is all about – with The London Quireboys delivering it in unabashed Hard Rock style. I should warn those of you, that have never listened to this album before… it is ADDICTIVE!

With my warning aside, I cannot tell people what to buy or listen to… only this time it is different. The London Quireboys debut album is certainly a MUST for fans of Old School Hair Metal, Hard Rock or just damn good Rock and Roll period. I imagine seeing The London Quireboys at a beer soaked, small club… while they play this album in it’s entirety, amidst a crowd of psyched out and Rockin’ fans going nuts all over the place. That’s right. The song – long time comin’ is as heavy and steady of a Hard Rock song that you will ever give to your ears. Am I going off too much on praising this album? Nope, it’s that great. Anytime an album can make me feel so damn good, is an album that shall be praised up and down, inside and out… for the world to read.

The London Quireboys put together an album that utilizes string arrangements, some brass and a keyboard player. Not quite the straight ahead approach of Hair Metal for 1990, was A Bit Of What You Fancy. A standout is take me home, this is absolutely a great song to end this album… so memorable, so much energy, a Hard Rockin’ exclamation point multiplied by 100. The London Quireboys took Hair Metal from the late ’80’s and added some, (a lot), of their very own Hard Rock character to the basic standards. Their style can be blatantly described as a combination of The Black Crowes and Cinderella, fused together with the admirable energy and enthusiasm of a band that obviously enjoyed creating these songs.

Spike on vocals, lends thick credibility to the hardness that this album radiates. Spike’s ultra raspy and gritty vocals makes the songs sound blue collar, an unintended characteristic that just seems to elevate this album and band. Guy Bailey and Guy Griffin on guitars just play man, there are no “steal the show” solos to drown out the total band feel. Chris Johnstone on keyboards, gives this album of songs the Classic Hard Rock texture and feel that I cannot ignore. Nigel Mogg on bass and Ian Wallace on drums provide all the tight and contagiously rhythmic grooves that hold these outstanding songs together. Thank you again, London England, for sowing yet another fabulous Rock and Roll band like The London Quireboys.

The Track Listing For The London Quireboys – A Bit Of What You Fancy:

7 o’clock

man on the loose

whippin’ boy’

sex party

sweet mary ann

i don’t love you anymore

hey you

misled

long time comin’

roses & rings

there she goes again

take me home

A Bit Of What You Fancy was originally released on Capitol Records.

A 20th Anniversary Edition of A Bit Of What You Fancy was released in 2009 on the Jerkin Crocus record label. There are 8 demo’s as bonus tracks found on this 20th Anniversary Edition. (I aim to get myself a copy of it down the Metal road… that’s for sure).


“SIX – STRING HEROES” – BOOK DOCUMENTS HISTORY OF GUITARISTS THROUGH PHOTOGRAPHS

Posted in 1950's rock guitarists, 1950's rock music, 1960's rock guitarists, 1960's rock music, 1970'S classic rock guitarists, 1970's rock guitarists, 1980's classic rock guitarists, 1980's rock guitarists, 1980's heavy metal guitarists, 1990's heavy metal guitarists, 1990's rock guitarists, classic rock music, collecting classic rock, current rock guitarists, hard rock guitarists, hard rock music, hard rock music books, heavy metal book reviews, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal history, heavy metal music, history of rock guitarists, metal odyssey, Music, old school hard rock, old school heavy metal, rock & roll, rock and roll, rock and roll hall of fame members, rock guitarists, rock music, rock music books, rock music history with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 3, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

As I was out today, enjoying the last weekend of this holiday season with my family, I meandered into Waldenbooks at my local mall. Upon walking closer to this Waldenbooks store, several large posters hanging in this store’s windows grabbed my attention, they read: going out of business sale and up to 50% off. I was semi-shocked, this Waldenbooks store happened to be a favorite stop of mine, my wife and daughters included. Sign of the times? Perhaps. What is important to note, however, is that the Waldenbooks store chain is not going out of business… it is just this store location. (I never like to see any reputable book store go out of business, be it an independent or mass retailer). So, with a lump in my throat and a semi-bewildered look upon my face, I journeyed into this Waldenbooks store to see what deals may be lurking. Oh and what a deal I did find… a large, hardcover book that is chock full of the greatest guitarists of our time! The book I bought today, without a blink of hesitation, is:

Six – String Heroes – Photographs Of Great Guitarists

The cover price for this unreal great book is $35.00/U.S., however, with the 50% taken off at the register, it set me back $17.50… plus tax. Let me just say this, any fan or musician of Rock, Hard Rock and/or Heavy Metal will get a thrill out of the photographs that lie within Six – String Heroes. As a Metal bonus, there are literally dozens of anecdotes and personal comments, directly quoted from dozens of the most famous and influential guitarists of the modern era. These guitarists comment on themselves, their playing styles and influences. Comments and quotes, about what these same guitarists think of their peers are spread throughout this magnificent book as well. The majority of the photographs are in full color, while the vintage black & white photo’s only add to this book’s overall Rock elegance. Quite honestly, just looking at the photographs alone puts an awe struck feeling inside of me… the photography found here is that amazing. Anytime I can find a compilation book of photos, that is directly related to the history of Rock Music, I am going to dig deep into my pockets to purchase it.

In my Metal opinion, Six – String Heroes is a lifetime keeper, a book so rich with it’s historically documented, visual accounts of the most influential guitarists that ever lived. Here is a meaty sampling of the guitarists that are found inside the pages of Six – String Heroes:

Les Paul, Brian May (Queen), Peter Frampton, George Benson, Pat Metheny, Dimebag Darrell (Pantera), Brian Setzer, Waylon Jennings, Neal Schon (Journey), Eric Clapton, C. C. Deville (Poison), Tommy Shaw and James Young (Styx), Rick Derringer, Mick Mars (Motley Crue), Nancy Wilson (Heart), Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits), Yngwie Malmsteen, Glenn Tipton & K. K. Downing (Judas Priest), Steve Stevens (Billy Idol), Steve Howe (Yes), Ritchie Blackmore (Rainbow & Deep Purple), Adrian Smith & Dave Murray (Iron Maiden), Michael Schenker (Scorpions & MSG), Angus Young & Malcolm Young (AC/DC), Jerry Cantrell (Alice In Chains), George Lynch (Dokken & Lynch Mob), Paul Gilbert, Vivian Campbell (DIO & Def Leppard), Slash, Bonnie Raitt, Chet Atkins, Jeff Beck, Gary Moore (Thin Lizzy), Frank Zappa, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Randy Rhoads (Ozzy), Mick Thomson & Jim Root (Slipknot), James Hetfield & Kirk Hammett (Metallica), Eddie Van Halen, Jeff Hanneman & Kerry King (Slayer), Scott Ian (Anthrax), Ace Frehley & Paul Stanley (KISS), Tommy Thayer (KISS), Keith Richards (Rolling Stones), B.B. King, Robin Trower, Pete Townshend (The Who), Bruce Springsteen (The Boss), Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), Ted Nugent, Rick Nielsen (Cheap Trick), Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath)

There are many, many more guitarists in this book that I could mention, yet I think you get the point. When a book can have George Benson and the two leading axe men from Slayer within it’s same pages, you are talking musical diversity here. From Jazz guitarists to Thrash Metal guitarists, this book covers them.  If I have one complaint about this book, it is the sinful lacking of at least one Jimi Hendrix photograph. Then again, there are always legalities involved when publishing a book of photographs too, I do not know what may have taken place, if the author did try to include a Jimi Hendrix photo. Maybe Neil Zlozower never photographed Jimi Hendrix either? There obviously is a valid reason out there for this omission.

There are 256 pages total. This is a coffee table sized book, regardless, I will be carrying it around for quite some time. Six – String Heroes was published in 2009. The legendary Rock photographer for this book is Neil Zlozower, he has spent 40 years of his life photographing the greatest guitarists that have ever lived. I applaud Neil Zlozower’s talent that is bestowed within these pages of Six – String Heroes. The text is written by Steven Rosen with a foreword by legendary guitarist, Steve Vai.

HEAVY METAL FLASHBACK: MONSTERS OF ROCK, U.K. 1980, CONCERT POSTER!

Posted in 1970's classic rock bands, 1970's hard rock bands, 1970's heavy metal bands, 1980's hard rock albums, 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's hard rock bands, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's metal bands, 1990's heavy metal bands, 1990's heavy metal music, classic hard rock, classic heavy metal, classic rock, classic rock music, collecting heavy metal albums, concerts, current heavy metal bands, hard rock music, heavy metal albums, heavy metal bands, heavy metal concert posters, heavy metal history, heavy metal memorabilia, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 1980, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, new wave of british heavy metal, new wave of british heavy metal bands, old school hard rock, old school heavy metal, old school heavy metal bands, rock music, vintage hard rock bands, vintage heavy metal bands with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 2, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

Here is a Heavy Metal blast from the past! Man, I wish I attended this Heavy Metal festival! This vintage poster promoted the inaugural Monsters Of Rock festival at Castle Donington Raceway, Derbyshire, U.K., August 16, 1980. I was a freshman in High School back in 1980, plus I did not live in the U.K. either. Regardless, this is as fine a lineup of Heavy Metal bands that you could possibly ask for… going back to 1980. Rainbow headlining, with Graham Bonnet on lead vocals! Obviously, the Down To Earth Tour for Rainbow. Judas Priest, whoa, they were supporting their now ultra classic – British Steel album. Scorpions… wow… their Animal Magnetism album was already in the hands of fans when this festival took place. April Wine was out there supporting their Harder… Faster album, classic. Just how much praise can be said for Saxon? Tons! Saxon was out there, sandwiched in between supporting their Wheels Of Steel album, (released in May 1980) and their upcoming album – Strong Arm Of The Law, (released in October 1980).

Riot was out there supporting their Narita album, (an October 1979 release), while their Fire Down Under album was on the Metal horizon for a February, 1981 release. Touch was a relative newcomer, a melodic Rock/Hard Rock Band, they have the distinction of being the first band to open for this Castle Donington, U.K., Monsters Of Rock Festival. Touch was supporting their debut album, aptly titled… Touch. Neal Kaye I really do not know much about… maybe someone out there does? Drop a comment if you do, it would be Metal welcomed and appreciated.

This is without a Metal doubt, a vintage Heavy Metal concert poster I would love to own, an original printing would be preferred by me too. Aw, heck, I wouldn’t mind owning a reprint as well. I just really get into researching this stuff… it is Heavy Metal History, Rock History. Reading about and reflecting upon Heavy Metal History makes for a strong and great Metal mind. It is these concerts, festivals and the Heavy Metal Bands from yesteryear that played them… that make up the building blocks of what Heavy Metal is today… in 2010. Heavy Metal as we all know it today, would not be the same, without these legendary bands that played this historic Monsters Of Rock festival, back in 1980.

Judas Priest, Scorpions and Saxon are still Heavy Metal powerhouses… ’nuff said about their incredible legacies to Heavy Metal. Rainbow, despite not having a long standing band lineup or lead singer, is nonetheless as important as any Heavy Metal/Hard Rock band from their generation. Every Rainbow band lineup, will forever hold a special place in my Metal heart. From Ronnie James Dio fronted Rainbow to Doogie White at the mic, Rainbow… Rocks. Riot and April Wine may not have received the commercial acclaim of the other bands I have mentioned, regardless, they both are very important contributors to the historical development of Heavy Metal Music… in my Metal opinion.

LONG LIVE HEAVY METAL!


METAL ODYSSEY’S HEAVY METAL HONORABLE MENTIONS OF 2009!

Posted in 1970's hard rock bands, 1970's classic rock music, 1970's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1990's heavy metal bands, Album Review, best of album lists, best of hard rock albums list, best of heavy metal albums, classic rock albums, classic rock music, cool album covers, current hard rock albums, current hard rock bands, current heavy metal albums, current heavy metal bands, extreme metal music albums, extreme music, hard rock albums 2009, hard rock bands 2009, hard rock music 2009, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 2009, heavy metal bands, heavy metal bands 2009, heavy metal history, heavy metal music 2009, metal odyssey, Music, old school hard rock, old school heavy metal, rock music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 31, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Here are ten albums that did not make it to my Looking Back On 2009/Awards ListTop Ten Hard Rock Albums List or my Top 25 Heavy Metal Albums List. These are albums that I did buy, enjoyed, still listen to and reviewed on Metal Odyssey during 2009. They all deserve some Metal attention as well. There is no specific order of importance here, these are albums that I really want to celebrate – for their overall integrity in musicianship and songs. From the Progressive/Extreme Metal of Daath to the Hard Rock meets Heavy Metal of the ultra legendary Thin Lizzy, these 2009 albums blanket a few genres. It just wouldn’t feel right to me, not revisiting these albums one more time, in an end of year list. I put the header link below each album, so you can read the original review I posted during 2009. Enjoy or scream at this list… Happy Metal New Year too!

CHARM CITY DEVILS – LET’S ROCK AND ROLL

Charm City Devils “Let’s Rock-N-Roll” – A Charming Hard Rock Album

GREAT WHITE – RISING

Great White “Rising” rises to the top with A+ Hard Rock

CHILDREN OF BODOM – SKELETONS IN THE CLOSET

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

U.D.O. – DOMINATOR

U.D.O. – “DOMINATOR” Unleashes Potent Heavy Metal

ANVIL – THIS IS THIRTEEN

ANVIL – “THIS IS THIRTEEN” – THIS IS OLD SCHOOL, REAL HEAVY METAL

LAZARUS A.D. – THE ONSLAUGHT

LAZARUS A.D. “The Onslaught” – a real intense Thrash Metal invasion

RONNY MUNROE – THE FIRE WITHIN

Ronny Munroe “The Fire Within” – Metal Church vocalist roars on solo debut

SAXON – INTO THE LABYRINTH

Saxon continues to Rock with Old School Heavy Metal

DAATH – THE CONCEALERS

DAATH – “The Concealers” is a full blown Metal onslaught!

THIN LIZZY – STILL DANGEROUS

LIVE AT THE TOWER THEATRE PHILADELPHIA 1977

Thin Lizzy “Still Dangerous” reminds me Metal never ages.

Well, this will be the fourth and final list, in the Best Of 2009 Series of posts I’ve done this past week. All of my Metal accolades are out in the open for all to read and dissect. I thank any and everyone for taking the time to stop by Metal Odyssey for a visit(s) in 2009! I anticipate a tremendously Metal 2010! Let the new Hard Rock and Heavy Metal releases come! If you like, you can check out the other Metal Odyssey – Best Of 2009 posts, (there are 3 other posts), just click on the header links below:

METAL ODYSSEY’S TOP TEN HARD ROCK ALBUMS OF 2009

METAL ODYSSEY’S TOP 25 HEAVY METAL ALBUMS OF 2009

METAL ODYSSEY LOOKS BACK ON HEAVY METAL 2009… AND SOME AWARDS!

Be sure to check out the following Hard Rock and/or Heavy Metal blogs for their respective Best Of 2009 Lists as well! There were many more cool albums released in 2009 than I was able to get my hands on! These other great blogs cover a ton of ground with Hard Rock and an array of Heavy Metal genres… it is all good fun to see so many albums that I have missed and where my favorites rank with other bloggers lists.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Metal Excess – http://metalexcess.com/

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

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

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

METAL ODYSSEY’S TOP TEN HARD ROCK ALBUMS OF 2009

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

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

#10 – CHICKENFOOT – CHICKENFOOT

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

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

#9 – MADINA LAKE – ATTICS TO EDEN

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

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

#8 – PAPA ROACH – METAMORPHOSIS

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

Papa Roach “Metamorphosis” – leave your stress behind!

#7 – DOMMIN – EP

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

DOMMIN – “E.P.” Has Me Hooked

#6 – FOREIGNER – CAN’T SLOW DOWN

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

#5- WOLFMOTHER – COSMIC EGG

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

#4 – THE MARS VOLTA – OCTAHEDRON

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

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

#3 – CHEAP TRICK – THE LATEST

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

Cheap Trick “The Latest” is their latest great album

#2 – CKY – CARVER CITY

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

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

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

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

#1 – LYNYRD SKYNYRD – GOD & GUNS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Metal Excess — http://metalexcess.com/

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our memories of yesterday

Will last a lifetime

We’ll take the best, forget the rest

And someday we’ll find

These are the best of times

Track Listing For Paradise Theatre:

Side One:

A.D. 1928

Rockin’ The Paradise

Too Much Time On My Hands

Nothing Ever Goes As Planned

The Best Of Times

Side Two:

Lonely People

She Cares

Snowblind

Half-Penny; Two Penny

A.D. 1958

State Street Sadie

Styx, as they appeared on Paradise Theatre:

Dennis DeYoung – keyboards & vocals

Tommy Shaw – guitars & vocals

Chuck Panozzo – bass guitar

John Panozzo – drums & percussion

James Young – guitars & vocals


RAINBOW “DOWN TO EARTH” – 1979 ALBUM REVISITED

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

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

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

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

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

Ritchie Blackmore – guitar

Graham Bonnet – lead vocalist

Roger Glover – bass guitarist

Cozy Powell – drums

Don Airey – keyboards

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

All Night Long

Eyes of the World

No Time to Lose

Makin’ Love

Since You Been Gone

Love’s No Friend

Danger Zone

Lost in Hollywood

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


HEAVY METAL THUNDER – 1985 BOOK IS VALUABLE HEAVY METAL HISTORY

Posted in 1950's rock music, 1960's classic rock music, 1970's hard rock, 1970's heavy metal bands, 1970's heavy metal music, 1980's hair metal music, 1980's hard rock bands, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, classic hard rock, classic heavy metal, classic rock, classic rock bands, classic rock music, heavy metal bands, heavy metal book reviews, heavy metal chronology, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal history, heavy metal memorabilia, heavy metal music, heavy metal music books, heavy metal music reference, heavy metal timeline, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal odyssey, Music, old school hard rock, old school heavy metal, rock & roll, rock and roll, rock music, rock music books, vintage hard rock bands, vintage heavy metal bands with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 27, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Back in 1985, I was nineteen and working part time in a grocery store, spending most of my spare change on Heavy Metal albums or cassettes. I was still a teenager trying to find my college and career path back then, making minimum wage really left me with extremely limited funds. Being picky about my purchases in 1985 was out of necessity. To buy a brand new book back then, it had to be good… Heavy Metal good. I would frequent regularly, (most of the time just to browse), a mom & pop bookstore called Bookworks. This store unfortunately no longer exists, thanks to the gigantic, corporate bookstore chains that invaded every corner of the globe. Um, back to the Bookworks store… you see, I happened upon a book that caught my eye instantly sometime back in 1985, the title Heavy Metal Thunder appeared too good to be true. The front cover of the book said it all… sub headings read: The Music, It’s History, It’s Heroes. Plus, a fully adorned Heavy Metal guitarist playing a flying V guitar, on this books front cover, was more than I could possibly resist. I bought Heavy Metal Thunder willingly for $12.95. This was the full cover price back in 1985, quite a bit of cash considering my economic situation back then.

I can remember walking home with this book under my arm, the feeling of striking Heavy Metal gold was resonating through me. Knowing this was a book documenting the history of Heavy Metal up to 1985, enticed me to become the Heavy Metal scholar of my block. I read this book from front to back repeatedly, taking in the facts and timelines of the Heavy Metal history found within it’s pages. As I look back now, this book was as informative as any Heavy Metal book available back in 1985. As I leaf through the pages of Heavy Metal Thunder today, it is obvious this book was written from the perspective of being in the year 1985. Don’t let the year 1985 fool you however, this book is accurate, informative and fact filled with enough Heavy Metal history to still satisfy me in 2009. I wish there was a companion edition of Heavy Metal Thunder that was written, a book that dates from 1985 to the present. The author, Philip Bashe, compiled a timeline of Heavy Metal evolution, in commendable fashion, with this book.

There are 32 full color pages of band and individual musician photos in Heavy Metal Thunder, each photo seems to capture the essence and significance of the Old School Heavy Metal genre. Dozens of black and white photos of Heavy Meal bands and musicians adorn the pages of this great book as well. The featured bands in this book, being depicted in color photos as well, are: Ozzy Osbourne, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Scorpions, Rush, AC/DC, Van Halen, Iron Maiden, Def Leppard, Quiet Riot and Motley Crue. Arguably, these were the biggest and most commercially embraced Heavy Metal bands back in 1985. KISS, Jimi Hendrix, Deep Purple, Mountain, Blue Cheer, Randy Rhoads, Twisted Sister, Lita Ford, Ronnie James Dio and Led Zeppelin do get their justified due in black and white photographs and are recognized for their importance in shaping and creating the Heavy Metal genre as we know it today. Even The Kinks, The Who and Grand Funk Railroad get their significance pointed out.

For it’s time, Philip Bashe does a top tier job at acknowledging a majority of the bands and musicians that were instrumental in the evolution of Heavy Metal, up to 1985, even if it is a short anecdote, quick mention or fact. From Elvis Presley to the The Doors to Fastway, the links and roots of Heavy Metal are touched upon in such an intriguing way by Philip Bashe, that I find Heavy Metal Thunder to still be a valuable read in 2009. The single most incredible aspect of Heavy Metal Thunder, is the Chronology, (timeline and progression of Heavy Metal Music), which is written so very well by Philip Bashe. This chronology begins on April 28, 1958, with guitarist Link Wray and his million selling instrumental single Rumble and ends on December 31, 1984, with the auto accident of Def Leppard’s drummer, Rick Allen. Believe me, the bands and their respective achievements, that are touched upon in between this timeline, is nothing short of a fascinating read.

Heavy Metal Thunder is a soft cover with 214 pages. A large size book, it measures 8.5″ x 11″ and is written with enough factual research that only adds to it’s total historical credibility. Metalheads both young and old, should find this book completely absorbing, with both it’s written and visual content. I have seen Heavy Metal Thunder for sale on Amazon.com, there were several used copies for sale, as recent as today. I saw the used copy price was for far less than the cover price I paid back in 1985. For me, it was money well spent 25 years ago… for I still own Heavy Metal Thunder to this very day.

The Rough Guide To Heavy Metal – A Very Resourceful Metal Music Book

Posted in 1970's punk rock, 1970's heavy metal music, 1980's hair metal bands, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's metal bands, 1980's punk rock music, 1980's thrash metal, 1990's heavy metal bands, 1990's heavy metal music, 1990's thrash metal music, black metal roots, book reviews, classic rock music, death metal music, doom metal music, extreme metal music, hair metal music, heavy metal book reviews, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal music books, heavy metal music guides, heavy metal music reference, heavy metal vocalists, horror punk rock bands, Metal, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, old school hard rock, old school metal bands, old school thrash metal music, punk rock bands, rock music, sludge metal bands, southern hard rock, thrash metal bands with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 9, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Ozzy small picI’m always looking for good deals on my Heavy Metal Music purchases, from albums, CD’s to memorabilia and books. Upon one of my recent stops into a local thrift store, I happened upon quite the Heavy Metal find indeed, for the ripe price of fifty cents. Yes, fifty cents. The find you ask? Well, none other than The Rough Guide To Heavy Metal – and it is quite the book for me. (This book is a 1st printing, printed in 2005 by Rough Guides). While perusing the book aisle at this thrift store, the image of none other than Ozzy Osbourne caught my eye. What is this? I could not believe what I had found! Knowing immediately too, that any book in this thrift store is only fifty cents… I was Metal stoked. As a bonus, this book stared right at me in gem mint condition as well. As I picked it up and browsed through it’s Heavy Metal filled pages, it was obvious to me that the previous owner of this book never bothered to read it. As crisp of a new book you will find. Life is a sweet journey sometimes, especially when you can stumble on a 410 page book, when you least expect it, that is dedicated to your favorite music genre… Heavy Metal.

Alright, enough about how I found The Rough Guide To Heavy Metal and onward with it’s review. This richly factual book is written by Essi Berelian, with a foreward by the legendary front man for Iron MaidenBruce Dickinson himself. There are over 300 bands and/or musicians that are covered in this book. (Hey, to make a definitive book of Heavy Metal bands would not only be a task of the ages, the page count would reach a bizarre number as well). Therefore, there are going to be bands that are missing, (I am disappointed that Enslaved did not get aknowledged), plus there is that band here and there where I can’t exactly label as Heavy Metal, (Asia has a write-up in this book). I like Asia, yet I do not see the connection here. I will bend and say Foreigner has a loose connection to the genre of Heavy Metal, they are represented in The Rough Guide To Heavy Metal. Diversity is shown in the representation of bands, The Rough Guide To Heavy Metal even acknowledges Lynyrd Skynyrd and their link to heavy music.

From Ozzy Osbourne and Kiss to King Diamond and Magnum, with the likes of Venom and UFO in between, a fabulous smorgasbord of movers and shakers are touched upon with factual integrity and reverence. I am smitten that Slayer, Motorhead, W.A.S.P., Red Hot Chili Peppers and Kreator are well covered here too. Something that Essi Berelian did here, that impresses me most, is the inclusion of legendary Punk Rock Bands such as the Misfits and Ramones. Still, where are the Sex Pistols? C’mon, if you include Punk Rock into a voluminous book such as this, it is not a bright move to ignore the Sex Pistols! Plus, whenever writers refer to the 1970’s Hard Rock band Sweet as “The Sweet”, it drives me crazy. Anyone familiar with this band knows them as Sweet… period. The only album I am aware of, that has the moniker of “The Sweet” is their very first album, which was titled Funny How Sweet Co-Co Can Be back in 1971. Give me a Metal break.

Essi Berelian deserves much praise and credit, despite the few flaws mentioned, that in reality, I can overlook. Each band or musician represented in The Rough Guide To Heavy Metal has it’s history and discography touched upon in enough detail that suffices for me. Interesting anecdotes and facts are also provided throughout this entire book, making for a very resourceful guide on the history of Heavy Metal. The genres of Heavy Metal are explained very well too, giving the reader an in depth explanation to it’s respective origin and impact on the world of music. From Christian Metal to Black Metal, the genres of Heavy Metal are given their own spotlight. The Rough Guide To Heavy Metal is also loaded with plenty of black and white photographs, (group and individual shots, album covers and concert photos), giving this book that much more appeal.

At the end of the Metal day, The Rough Guide To Heavy Metal makes for an extensive and detailed read into the bands that started, shaped and expanded the world of Heavy Metal Music. Whether you are a life long fan of this incredible genre of music or a brand new fan, this book is rather difficult to put down. I most highly recommend The Rough Guide To Heavy Metal to all, it really isn’t that rough at all. Hey, for the fifty cents it set me back, this book is worth every penny. I cannot shake the Metal grin on my face each time I pick this book up to read.

Ozzy large pic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TONY IOMMI & GLENN HUGHES – 1996 DEP SESSIONS ALBUM- OLD SCHOOL HEAVY METAL

Posted in 1970's classic rock albums, 1970's classic rock bands, 1970's hard rock bands, 1970's classic rock music, 1970's hard rock, 1970's heavy metal, 1970's heavy metal music, 1970's Rock, 1970's rock music, 1980's classic rock bands, 1980's classic rock guitarists, 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's classic rock music, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's metal music, 1986 heavy metal albums, 1986 heavy metal music, 1990's classic rock albums, 1990's classic rock music, 1990's hard rock music, 1990's heavy metal albums, 1990's heavy metal bands, 1990's rock music, 1990's hard rock bands, 1990's heavy metal music, Album Review, Black Sabbath, century media records, classic hard rock, classic hard rock music, classic heavy metal, classic heavy metal albums, classic metal, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock music, classic rock vocalists, collecting classic rock, collecting heavy metal albums, collecting music, cool album covers, essential classic rock albums, essential hard rock albums, essential heavy metal albums, essential rock albums, hard rock music, hard rock songs, hard rock vocalists, hard to find rock albums, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal odyssey, Music, old school hard rock, old school heavy metal, rock & roll, rock and roll, rock and roll hall of fame inductees, rock music, rock vocalists, tony iommi heavy metal guitarist, vintage hard rock bands, vintage heavy metal bands with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 20, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

HUGHES large album picI found IOMMI With Glenn Hughes – the 1996 Dep Sessions on the Century Media Records online store CM Distro.com. This CD set me back 3 bucks plus shipping. (I bought a few CD’s so the total shipping cost of 5 bucks was reasonable to me). This CD was in the clearance section at CM Distro.com, proving to be a cool Metal find for me. Tony Iommi is the lead guitarist for the ultra legendary/Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee – Black Sabbath. Glenn Hughes has had a stellar career of his own, most notably being a vocalist and bass guitarist for Deep Purple on their Burn and Stormbringer studio albums from 1974. Glenn Hughes is also on the Deep Purple studio album – Come Taste the Band from 1975, as well as several Deep Purple live albums, the most notable being Deep Purple – Made In Europe, from 1976. Glenn Hughes was a member of Black Sabbath, (hey, it is an official Black Sabbath album – Black Sabbath Featuring Tony Iommi – Seventh Star). This studio album, Seventh Star, was released back in January of 1986 and Glenn Hughes was the lead vocalist only… Dave Spitz played bass on Seventh Star. This background information on Glenn Hughes is to help anyone who may be unfamiliar with his musicianship and/or career. Trust me, it would be a very long post to acknowledge everything Glenn Hughes has done during his illustrious music career dating back to 1968.

I have always revered the vocals of Glenn Hughes, not to mention his bass guitar exploits. When I listen to Glenn Hughes sing, it is the real deal for me… real Hard Rock vocals, real Heavy Metal vocals and yes, even soulful vocals on some of his solo work as well. Tony Iommi in my Metal opinion, is… if not the founding father of Heavy Metal guitar, then one of the very first. The combination of Glenn Hughes on vocals and Tony Iommi on guitar worked just fine for me on the Black Sabbath album, Seventh Star. Certainly, it was not the most famous music achievement for either Tony Iommi or Glenn Hughes, still it remains a standout album for me due to it’s Old School – Heavy Metal resonance and quality of songs.

This 1996 DEP Sessions album seems to rekindle that Old School Heavy Metal and Old School Hard Rock sound from the late 1970’s into the ’80’s. Do not expect a layered and very heavy album here, you will not be listening to Heaven and Hell or Sabbath Bloody Sabbath. Even the Heavy Metal fog storm of Seventh Star is not revisited here by Iommi and Hughes. What I hear, is an appropriate blend of Rock, Hard Rock and Heavy Metal vocals from Glenn Hughes, to correspond with the diverse guitar brilliance of Tony Iommi. The riffs are plentiful, extremely distinguishable that this is Tony Iommi – the Old School, Heavy Metal riff king himself. Iommi does not shy away from writing and playing tremendously melodic leads as well, in a Metal nutshell… Tony Iommi’s guitar is the dominant musical force on this 1996 DEP Sessions album, (of course). Unlike the Black Sabbath albums with Geezer Butler on bass and Bill Ward on drums, the rhythm section on this album honestly does take a back seat… albeit intentional during production or it just may be my aging Metal ears.

My three favorite songs on this 1996 DEP Sessions album are: Gone – which plays out as the heaviest song, the opening riff is vintage Tony Iommi. I‘m Not The Same Man – has reality check lyrics and is driven with melodic hardness at every nook and cranny. Fine – is a Hard Rock ballad that just grabs my attention on a personal level, plus Tony Iommi and Glenn Hughes really deliver a genuine song here. All eight songs are memorable and good quality, both musically and lyrically. I won’t yell out loud that this album is unreal great and the best stuff these two Heavy Music legends have ever done. I will attest that this album has been a damn cool listening experience for me though. 1996 DEP Sessions is definitely worth picking up if you are a fan of Old School Heavy Metal and/or Hard Rock, Deep Purple and Black Sabbath. Glenn Hughes and Tony Iommi fans have to own this album of course, the value is in the overall musicianship and diversity in songs. I will be playing this album regularly in the future, the combination of Glenn Hughes and Tony Iommi is just too cool to ignore.

Track Listing For: IOMMI with Glenn Hughes the 1996 Dep Sessions:

Gone

From Another World

Don’t You Tell Me

Don’t Drag The River

Fine

Time Is The Healer

I’m Not The Same Man

It Falls Through Me

* the 1996 Dep Sessions IOMMI with Glenn Hughes was released on September 28, 2004, on Sanctuary and Mayan Records.

HUGHES large album pic

Charm City Devils “Let’s Rock-N-Roll” – A Charming Hard Rock Album

Posted in Album Review, baltimore hard rock bands, collecting rock music, cool album covers, current hard rock albums, current hard rock bands, current hard rock music, current hard rock songs, current rock albums 2009, essential hard rock albums, essential rock albums, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock albums 2009, hard rock bands 2009, hard rock drummers, hard rock guitarists, hard rock music, hard rock music 2009, hard rock songs, hard rock vocalists, heavy metal music, independent record labels, melodic rock bands, metal odyssey, Music, new hard rock album, old school hard rock, Rock, rock & roll, rock album review, rock and roll, rock music, rock music reviews, rock vocalists with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 18, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Charm City Devils "Let's Rock N Roll" large album picI picked up my copy of Charm City Devils – Let’s Rock-N-Roll this past Summer, it was towards the end of July. On July 10, my mother passed away, she was as splendid, caring, giving and loving as a mother could possibly be for me. I received the news of her passing from my father… over the cell phone. We, (my wife and I with our twin daughters), were on our way to Connecticut by car with my courageous wife driving when this tragic news was conveyed to me by my father. We live in Pennsylvania, a solid three and a half hours away from our parents and relatives. The shock and sadness we all felt in the car at that moment can not be expressed in words here. Why I am telling this story is due to the Charm City Devils song Almost Home. You see, upon my first listen to Almost Home, I felt instant sadness, goose bumps formed all over my body and my thoughts instantly were directed to that awful moment in time – of receiving my fathers phone call about my own mothers passing away. It was only a couple of weeks after losing my mother that I first listened to this song.

I had not listened to Almost Home again until today, October 17, 2009. (I just could not bring myself to listening to this song again right away, I needed time to heal, so to speak). The emotional feeling of sadness still erupts within me when I listened to this song again, however, Almost Home actually has now helped me deal with my very own personal experience. It feels good to get this off of my chest… this is a perfect example of how Hard Rock Music or any music for that matter, can connect with you on such a deeply personal level. If this song is to be a true story, connected to any member of Charm City Devils, then I express my deepest sympathy to that person who experienced that phone call too. The lyrics of Almost Home are just too deep and emotional to be fiction.

Alright, now for the cool and Hard Rockin’ part of this album. I will start with stating that the first three songs come out of the Hard Rock gates with the sincerest of enthusiasm and energy. Very memorable are these songs, sing-a-longs if you will. Let’s Rock-N-Roll (Endless Road), House Fire and 10,000 Miles have all the sound and flavor of a hungry up and coming Hard Rock Band. The youthful energy I hear is a kick to my butt to stay in shape and think and act young! (Within reason of course). Best Of the Worst is a mid-paced ballad that sounds like the hit to me, a very commercial sounding song that won’t hurt this bands career. I am a ballad frowner my whole life, still this song has an almost uplifting sensory feel about it. Money has a Punk Rock vibe happening, especially with the rhythm section and arguably with the vocals as well… very cool song for me.

By me stating that Let’s Rock-N-Roll is a charming album, I am not trying to sound sappy, cute or funny here. I really mean it, this is a damn decent – Rock and Roll meets Hard Rock album here. A viable nod to Old School Hard Rock has been established, with Charm City Devils first album. Based on what I here from this album, Charm City Devils can use that old cliche and say the Hard Rock sky is the limit. There is heaping pounds of Hard Rock potential for Charm City Devils to get even better… and they already are quite the Hard Rock band on the rise. Heck, if Bon Jovi could become a household name writing and playing this kind of music, then why not Charm City Devils? I also like to compare this band to Airbourne, although I hear more diversity in song from Charm City Devils which is admirable. At the end of my Metal day, I concede that Let’s Rock-N-Roll is an album worth catching onto and Charm City Devils is a Hard Rock Band worth keeping an eye on.

* Let’s Rock-N-Roll was released on May 26, 2009, on Tenth Street Entertainment/Eleven Seven Music. * Eleven Seven Music has as it’s label president, the legendary Nikki Sixx.

* Charm City Devils hail from the Charm City itself – Baltimore, Maryland.

Charm City Devils as they appear on Let’s Rock-N-Roll:

John Allen – lead vocalist

Vic Karrera – guitar

Anthony Arambula – bass

Nick Kay – guitar

Jason Heiser – drums

Charm City Devils "Let's Rock n Roll" x-large album pic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Drivin N Cryin as they appeared on Smoke:

Kevin Kinney – vocals and guitar

Tim Nielsen – bass

Jeff Sullivan – drums

Buren Fowler – lead guitar

DRIVIN N CRYIN "SMOKE" X-LARGE ALBUM PIC

KISS “KLASSICS” – ROCKS HARDER THAN EVER!

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

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

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

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

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

Track Listing For KISS Klassics:

* Deuce

* Detroit Rock City

* Shout It Out Loud

* Hotter Than Hell

* Calling Dr. Love

* Love Gun

* I Was Made For Lovin’ You

* Heaven’s On Fire

* Lick It Up

* I Love It Loud

* Forever

* Christine Sixteen

* Do You Love Me

* Black Diamond

* Rock And Roll All Nite

KISS "Sonic Boom" x-large album pic 2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nazareth "No Mean City" large album pic

MY SUPER WALMART FINALLY PUT OUT KISS “SONIC BOOM” TODAY, OCTOBER 6, 2009

Posted in 1970's classic rock albums, 1970's classic rock bands, 1970's classic rock songs, 1970's hard rock bands, 1970's classic rock music, 1970's heavy metal, 1970's heavy metal albums, 1970's heavy metal music, 1970's rock music, 1980's classic rock bands, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1990's heavy metal bands, classic hard rock, classic heavy metal, classic heavy metal albums, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock music, classic rock songs, collecting classic rock, collecting heavy metal albums, collecting music, collecting rock music, cool album covers, current hard rock albums, current heavy metal albums, essential hard rock albums, essential heavy metal albums, hard rock music, hard rock music 2009, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 2009, heavy metal bands this decade, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 2009, heavy metal vocalists, metal odyssey, Music, old school hard rock, old school heavy metal, rock and roll, rock music, vintage heavy metal albums, vintage heavy metal bands, vintage rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 7, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

MetalOdysseyIt’s always great to vent. Vent I did in my last post – where I needed over 1,100 words to express my disappointment in not being able to purchase the new KISS CD – Sonic Boom at my local Super Walmart on October 6, 2009, (the release date for it). Just as I hoped for and predicted, at 4:00 p.m. EST, I entered the Trexlertown, Pennsylvania, Super Walmart and took hold of my very own copy of Sonic Boom. (Phew). I can now say I bought this new KISS CD on it’s release date… yes, it means something to me. I have my core Heavy Metal and Hard Rock Bands that I have followed for decades, when they release a new album I try my very best to buy it on the release day. Metal case closed. I went to this Super Walmart twice during the morning of October 6, (the release date), my last visit was at 9;30 a.m. EST, as I left empty handed. I will say this much… the packaging for this Sonic Boom CD is INCREDIBLE!  Once I get to crank up Sonic Boom for a couple of listens, I will post my Metal jubilation. Here are some quick tidbits about my Sonic Boom shopping experience at Super Walmart, plus other related notes:

* I give credit where credit is due – Sonic Boom, is being sold (exclusively) at Walmart for a cool $12! The credit is the price of $12 – not the “exclusive” part.

* As a 3 disc set, Sonic Boom is: disc 1 – is 11 new KISS songs! disc 2 – is 15 KISS Klassics! (re-recorded with the current KISS lineup and disc 3 – is a DVD of KISS live in Buenos Aires! Not too shabby for $12!

* The Sonic Boom digipak opens up four times across – 4 panels! With each KISS member having his own image on a panel. Cool.

* The liner notes are a Metal kick! 20 pages of complete lyrics! A center photo spread of the entire KISS Band! Facsimile autographs of each KISS member are on the center spread photo as well. (They aren’t real autographs just to make it very clear). Cool enough for me. These liner notes are like a Sonic Boom mini-book.

* There is a KISS KORNER after all! (It did not exist at my Super Walmart the morning of October 6th). My daughters actually found it… up in front of the store, just in front of one register lane. It is not as big as I anticipated, still it is cool enough for me. You can buy a complete set of KISS cards, (33 card set), that are inside a very cool box. I bought the Gene Simmons box version… it has the classic Gene Simmons “The Demon” face all over it. There are also some crazy looking KISS character dolls, blankets and tee shirts too. The blankets and tee shirts have the Sonic Boom album cover artwork all over them! I was unfortunately pressed for time on my third trip to Super Walmart today, therefore on my next visit there I will inspect the KISS KORNER thoroughly, making certain I know of every little KISS goodie that is available to buy.

* The Sonic Boom CD was in the front rack of the CD aisle – filed under new releases. Sonic Boom also was found in the area of CD’s which housed the re-issued Beatles CD’s for the last couple of weeks. Sorry, Beatles. (And I do revere the Beatles). Again, this was not the case at this Super Walmart on my first two trips there that morning. No Sonic Boom CD’s were in sight between 8:00 and 9:30 a.m. EST.

* Another credit goes to Walmart – you can buy KISS CD’s from their 1970’s catalog for – $5!!! You read that right… five bucks man! I did not see or find any 1980’s KISS CD’s for this price. That is cool, for the CD’s priced at $5 that I did see were: Dressed To Kill, Hotter Than Hell and Rock and Roll Over. These KISS CD’s might have been the first batch or whatever to get into this Super Walmart, the selection hopefully will grow into the whole catalog of KISS CD’s. Again, these were the only KISS CD’s that I for certain identified and were there for $5.

Am I still upset with Super Walmart for not having Sonic Boom stocked at 8:00 and then 9:30 a.m. EST – the morning of it’s release? You bet I am. This is not the first time I have gone to this Super Walmart on a new release Tuesday… several times in the past few years I have had to make a return trip later in the day, (or go to Best Buy, Target or f.y.e. instead), to get a newly released CD that I wanted to initially buy at Super Walmart. This instance where it involved the new KISS Sonic Boom, well, it just was the Metal straw that broke the donkey’s back for me. The service or vendor that Walmart uses to stock their CD’s should be held accountable for failing to get new releases on the shelves before the doors open to the public. I still hope Gene Simmons would somehow get wind of this blunder that has occurred at Super Walmart in Trexlertown, Pennsylvania… it’s the fans that get screwed out of enjoying Sonic Boom for the whole first day of it’s release like I did.  I guess you just can’t get between, (or mess with), a middle aged, (male), Metalhead and his adoration and loyalty to KISS.

KISS "Sonic Boom" x-large album pic 2009

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