Archive for the rock keyboard musicians Category

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


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DEEP PURPLE – “Deepest Purple” is a Space Truckin’ ride back to the ’70’s

Posted in 1970's classic rock albums, 1970's classic rock songs, 1970's hard rock bands, 1970's classic rock music, 1970's hard rock, 1970's Rock, 1970's rock music, 1980's hard rock, Album Review, classic hard rock, classic hard rock bands, classic hard rock music, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock music, cool album covers, essential classic rock albums, essential hard rock albums, essential rock albums, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock drummers, hard rock guitarists, hard rock music this decade, hard rock songs, hard rock vocalists, heavy metal music, Music, old school hard rock, Rock, rock album reviews, rock keyboard musicians, rock music, rock vocalists, vintage hard rock albums, vintage rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 16, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150Is it just me thinking this way? Deep Purple “Deepest Purple”, (subtitled “The Very Best of Deep Purple”), is the epitome of what a Rock/Hard Rock Greatest Hits album is supposed to be. These Deep Purple classics are hands down, sensational and historical Rock Music. Gimme a break, how can any generation not want to embrace these songs? These Deep Purple songs are perfect examples of just how amazing the song writing was in Rock and Hard Rock, back in the 1970’s. Could Deep Purple have been ahead of their time? I certainly think so, by at least a decade. The hardness, forget about the heaviness for a second, is what drives these Deep Purple songs to the top tier of  Rock and Hard Rock history, in my Metal opinion. Just stop to think about this, for a Metal second… how many new Rock or Hard Rock bands out there today, could actually put out a Greatest Hits album, down the road, with such impeccable and recognizable songs? “Smoke On The Water” and “Highway Star” are two Hard Rock songs alone, that represent a generation of Rock and Hard Rock music and the decade of the 1970’s. “Fireball” and “Child In Time” are just the icing on the Hard Rock cake here.

Certainly, I am not going to argue the clear fact that we had genre and decade defining Rock and Hard Rock groups during the 1970’s such as The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Queen, ELO, Yes, Boston, Moody Blues, The Doors, Molly Hatchet, Bad Company, Kansas, Aerosmith, ZZ Top, Pink Floyd, AC/DC (Bon Scott era), Lynyrd Skynyrd and Ted Nugent. The list of iconic Rock and Hard Rock bands from the 1970’s is huge. You betcha. Of course I missed mentioning some well deserved bands and solo musicians here… this post would be gigantic if I was to make a master list. My point I am making is this… there was Deep Purple, man, and they rocked liked no tomorrow during the decade of the ’70’s – “Deepest Purple” is sound Rock and Hard Rock proof of that. If a time machine really did exist and I could rent one, (I am certain that I would not be able to afford to buy one), I would get on that Rock and Roll mother ship and take a ride to a vintage Deep Purple concert back in the 1970’s. (I am positive that Connecticut would have one hefty and major time machine tax, Senator Christopher Dodd would be all over that one – if a time machine existed).

Back to Deep Purple… I could not complain about which lead singer would be fronting this legendary band… if I was to go back in time to see them in concert, it is pick ’em at lead singer  –  for all I care! David Coverdale, Ian Gillain, Glenn Hughes or Tommy Bolin as lead singer… it would not matter, I would be cheering on this 1970’s version of Deep Purple like a psyched out, Hard Rockin’, “Space Truckin” fan! Aw heck, throw in the late 1960’s lead singer Rod Evans for good measure too, he counts. I am not by any shape or form, taking away the great Hard Rock achievements of the Deep Purple lineups of the 1980’s through present day, no way. This Deep Purple music dynasty is special, an undisputed Hard Rockin’ franchise. I just have that Rock and Roll fantasy once in awhile, this whole time machine journey to see Deep Purple in the ’70’s is one. So, the next time you hear, “Woman From Tokyo”, “Burn” and “Stormbringer”, not to mention the other great hits of Deep Purple, earlier mentioned, just remember when they were written… these songs epitomize the label of – timeless. “Space Truckin'”… ’nuff said.

I tip my Metal Music hat to all the past and present musicians of Deep Purple, especially Ritchie Blackmore on guitar, Jon Lord on keyboards, Roger Glover on bass guitar, Joe Lynn Turner on lead vocals, Nick Simper on bass guitar, Joe Satriani on lead guitar and Ian Paice on drums. I thank Don Airey on keyboards and Steve Morse on guitar for keeping the Deep Purple – Hard Rock machine turnin’ and churnin’ to this day. If it wasn’t for Deep Purple, Metal Music as we know it today, probably would not sound so cool. That… is my Metal opinion.

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My favorite Ozzy Osbourne album is…

Posted in 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's metal music, Album Review, classic heavy metal albums, classic metal, classic rock, classic rock music, cool album covers, essential heavy metal albums, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal solo albums, heavy metal solo artists, heavy metal solo vocalists, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal music, Metal Reviews, Music, old school heavy metal, ozzy, Ozzy Osbourne, rock and roll hall of fame inductees, rock keyboard musicians, rock vocalists, vintage heavy metal albums, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 18, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

I would like to take this opportunity, to let the entire world know, which Ozzy Osbourne album is my favorite of all time. Oops, it is a tie. “Blizzard Of Ozz”, (1980) and “Diary of a Madman”, (1981). Why, you may query? These first two Ozzy albums to me, represent the real, original, building block, style of Heavy Metal sound, that energized the 1980’s into the powerhouse Metal decade it was. Plus, lest we never forget, the greatness of the late Randy Rhoads on lead guitar, on both of these essential Heavy Metal albums.

It is very important to note that on the reissue version of “Blizzard Of Ozz”, during the re-mastering process, Mike Bordin is now on drums and percussion with Robert Trujillo on bass. The original drummer, on the original album, was Lee Kerslake and on bass was Bob Daisley. They are all fabulous musicians, I am not swayed either way. Don Airey is on keyboards for the original album. The key is that the legendary, late Randy Rhoads is the guitarist! Just to hear Randy play his signature sound on “I Don’t Know”, “Crazy Train” and “Mr. Crowley” still sends chills 28 years after this release. Randy Rhoads and his unique guitar sound and style truly helped shape the evolution of Heavy Metal and it’s many prominent guitarists for decades. This album is not just a turning point for Ozzy, it is a focal point of reference and reverence for so many Heavy Metal musicians and fans alike. A bonus track is added into this reissue, “You Lookin’ At Me Lookin’ At You”. This song is similar in structure to “Rock & Roll Rebel” from Ozzy Osbourne’s “Bark At The Moon”. It is a song that is a welcomed addition to this classic album, any song is – that has Randy Rhoads playing. This album has stood the test of time, it feels strange for me to now say that the lyrics, song structure and arrangements with Randy Rhoads leads and riffs are powerhouse. Yet, with the new generation of Ozzy, Randy Rhoads and Heavy Metal fans, getting the word out after all these years is worth every second if it means passing this Heavy Metal jewel on to new listeners.

I know that I do reflect a couple of decades back, (quite often), in my posts… the reason is simple, this incredible Heavy Metal music was created and released decades ago! That is my point of relevance for me, so much of the Heavy Metal that I was into in the late 70’s onward, I still listen to this very day and is now considered classic and vintage. I can remember having the coolest algebra teacher back in High School, Mr. Z. was his name. Mr. Z. allowed his students to bring into class – albums to play on his stereo. How cool is that? It is not too often, with any generation, to reflect on any Algebra teacher from High School as being cool. Well, one of my buddies back then, brought into our class one day, the “Diary Of A Madman” album. This was really the first time I gave this Ozzy gem a thorough listen. I was ecstatic, thrilled beyond Metal belief upon hearing these tunes on this album. (Mr. Z. seemed to dig this Ozzy album too, I can still remember seeing his face showing the appreciation, while the Metal blared). Needless to say, my grades in Mr. Z.’s Algebra class were very respectable, due in part to the cool nonconventional way of teaching, using Heavy Metal as an inspiring teaching tool. Mr. Z. rocked back then, I hope he is still as cool today, wherever he may be.

With tracks such as “Over The Mountain”, “Believer”, “Little Dolls”, “You Can’t Kill Rock and Roll”, “Flying High Again” and “S.A.T.O.”, the odds of ever hearing such amazing Heavy Metal songs this potent and on one album again, are pretty slim. Back in 1982, after listening to this Ozzy album, I was set Metal straight – for a lifetime.

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STYX – “The Grand Illusion” 1977 album revisited

Posted in 1970's styx music, 1970's hard rock, 1970's Rock, Album Review, classic rock, cool album covers, essential hard rock albums, essential rock albums, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock guitarists, hard rock songs, Rock, rock & roll, rock and roll, rock keyboard musicians, rock music, rock music vocals, vintage hard rock albums, vintage rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 1, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

If there was ever a Hard Rock album that I honestly wore out from excessive playing on a turntable, well, it would be “The Grand Illusion” by STYX. This album, (released on July 7, 1977), along with its fabulous music, also bestows incredible lyrics as well. I would escape the doldrums, trials and tribulations of being a teenager by kicking back and slapping down this Classic Rock gem. The funny thing is, the lyrics of these songs on “The Grand Illusion” are just as relevant for me today as they were twenty nine years ago. In hindsight, this album actually gave me tremendous solace, insight and inspiration, at a time in my life when I probably needed it most. There are certain Hard Rock albums that I have embraced and bonded with, where the music and lyrics just seem to connect to my very own personal experiences. “The Grand Illusion” is without a doubt, one of these Hard Rock albums I have connected with.

Just the lyrics alone from the song “The Grand Illusion” are inspiring me for a lifetime… “Don’t be fooled by the radio, the t.v. or the magazines… they show you photographs, of how your life should be…” – my interpretation of these lyrics are that the mass media constantly tells us how to eat, what to wear, who to vote for, how much you should weigh, what to buy and own and of course, how to look. Sorry, I do not need the plastic news anchors and million dollar television hosts telling me how to live my life! STYX was right on with the song “The Grand Illusion” – it is commons sense lyrics that I live by. My sister, (who is now in Rock N’ Roll Heaven), was the first to introduce me to STYX… “Come Sail Away” was her favorite STYX song ever, I know this for she played the 45 rpm at least 20 times a day one Summer, back in the day. “Miss America” is as cool as it gets with keyboards in Hard Rock, the intro to this tune is a definite high point. “Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)” is a great tune to get psyched up to… “get up, get back on your feet… your the one they can’t beat and you know it”… man, if those cool lyrics are not enough to inspire you, then you are better off listening to vintage Boxcar Willie. 

I am by no means telling anyone what they should listen to on Metal Odyssey, rather, I only try to acknowledge the Hard Rock bands and their albums that in my Metal opinion, are a great listen and buy. “The Grand Illusion” by STYX is for me, so justifiable of a legendary Hard Rock album. If I was to get just one visitor to my post to obtain a copy of this CD/album, well, I did someone a great favor. Veteran STYX fans should understand what I mean! The members of STYX, on “The Grand Illusion” were: Dennis DeYoung on keyboards, synthesizer & vocals, Tommy Shaw on acoustic and electric guitars & vocals, Chuck Panozzo on bass & vocals, John Panozzo on drums, percussion & vocals, and James Young on guitars, keyboards & vocals. What a band… what an album.

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Happy Birthday Craig Frost – keyboardist, Grand Funk Railroad

Posted in 1970's hard rock, 1970's Rock, american rock band, grand funk railroad rock band, Hard Rock, Music, Rock, rock celebrity birthdays, rock keyboard musicians, rock music with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 22, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

16694454I really enjoy paying homage to the greats of Rock & Roll music. Especially when the musician is a member of a band that I can never, ever, tire from. Happy Birthday Craig Frost! Craig is the keyboard extraordinaire for Grand Funk Railroad, a true – blue collar, American Rock Band. Craig turned a super cool 61 on April 20th. 

Man, whoever is into Classic Rock and/or Classic Hard Rock, simply cannot deny that “We’re An American Band” is seriously one heck of a kick tune, that has stood the test of time. For me, this song characterizes Grand Funk Railroad, for me it is their signature song. “The Loco – Motion” is another favorite Grand Funk Railroad tune of mine, the louder I play this bands music – the better it is. I always fall victim to the feel good mode when I crank up Grand Funk Railroad’s Rock & Roll. In my Metal opinion, Craig Frost exemplifies what quality musicianship on the keyboard is supposed to sound like, throughout his successful career. Thank you Craig Frost for the great music over the years!

Happy Birthday Alan Price! – The Animals keyboardist

Posted in 1960's rock music, 1970's Rock, brand new sin, classic rock, Hard Rock, Music, psychedelic rock music, Rock, rock keyboard musicians, rock music, rock music vocals, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 21, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Metal Odyssey sends out a very LOUD Happy Birthday to Alan Price, the original keyboard and organ player for The Animals! Alan turned a real cool 67 on April 19th. I cannot ever grow tired of listening to the keyboard majesty that Alan Price bestowed through the music of The Animals. To me, the keyboards are borderline haunting on “The House of The Rising Sun” – quite honestly, besides Eric Burdon on vocals, the keyboard playing of Alan Price made this song a timeless, early Classic Rock masterpiece. This song always seems to be a favorite for many bands to cover – Brand New Sin does what I consider the coolest cover of this tune, which is found on their album “Tequila”, released in 2006.

14393836“We Gotta Get Out of this Place” is yet another totally incredible song that The Animals gave to Rock music. Again, Alan Price is unmistakably brilliant on this song playing keyboard. I find it so amazing that these tunes were created in the mid 1960’s and still have a contagious Rock groove illuminating from them! The 1960’s and 1970’s Rock-Hard Rock eras were profound with establishing the importance of the keyboard and organ, as solid and true Rock music instruments. The Animals were an authentic British Rock band that stakes a mighty claim in the well established roots of Hard Rock and arguably Heavy Metal as well. Alan Price with his keyboard playing, gave The Animals an important element to their overall signature sound. Thank you Alan Price for the ever lasting music you created!

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