Archive for the rock music vocals Category

JIMI HENDRIX – “VALLEYS OF NEPTUNE” RELEASES MARCH 9th, 2010!!

Posted in 1960's acid rock music, 1960's classic rock music, 1960's psychedelic rock music, 1960's rock guitarists, 1960's rock music, 1970's classic rock bands, 1970'S classic rock guitarists, 1970's hard rock bands, 1970's rock guitarists, 1970's classic rock music, 1970's hard rock, 1970's heavy metal, 1970's heavy metal music, 1970's Rock, 1970's rock music, classic hard rock music, classic heavy metal, classic rock, classic rock bands, classic rock guitarists, classic rock music, classic rock vocalists, guitar legends, hard rock guitarists, hard rock music, hard rock vocalists, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal history, heavy metal legends, heavy metal music, metal odyssey, Music, rock & roll, rock and roll, rock and roll news, rock guitar legends, rock guitarists, rock music, rock music history, rock music vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 4, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

JIMI HENDRIX – what else can I actually say that has never been said about this uniquely elite, guitar legend? One of the originators of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal guitar, the greatest or one of the greatest guitarists in Rock history… still, is that enough praise? Nope. I don’t think I could come up with the correct praise for Jimi Hendrix, really. All I can do is listen to the songs, the albums that Jimi Hendrix has his signature on and be glad I did. In my wildest of Metal dreams, a brand new Jimi Hendrix – 12 song, studio album is actually going to be released on March 9th, 2010 – Valleys Of Neptune. Less than a week away. Wow. Metal miracles do happen. From reading the advertising that is promoting this new Jimi Hendrix album, there is over 60 minutes of unheard music on Valleys Of Neptune!!

As with any true legend, they live on decades after their passing. Jimi Hendrix has always lived on through his guitar brilliance, song writing, vocals and pure Rock and Roll majesty… now Jim Hendrix lives on even louder come March 9th, 2010. It’s inevitable, another generation of Jimi Hendrix fans shall be recruited in 2010.

Rock, Hard Rock and Heavy Metal as I know it in 2010, would not be the same, if Jimi Hendrix did not play guitar so many years ago.

God Bless Jimi Hendrix, his music has and always will live on for me.

JIMI HENDRIX – VALLEYS OF NEPTUNE

* Released through Experience Hendrix and Legacy Recordings

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

DOMMIN – “E.P.” Has Me Hooked

Posted in Album Review, alternative rock bands, alternative rock music, alternative rock music albums, collecting rock music, cool album covers, creepy album covers, current alternative rock music, current hard rock albums, current hard rock bands, current hard rock music, current hard rock songs, current heavy metal music, current rock albums 2009, diverse metal music, essential hard rock albums, essential rock albums, gothic hard rock bands, gothic hard rock music, gothic metal bands, gothic metal music, hard rock music, hard rock music 2009, hard rock songs, hard rock vocalists, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 2009, heavy metal vocalists, horror metal, melodic hard rock songs, melodic rock bands, melodic rock songs, metal odyssey, Music, rock & roll, rock album review, rock and roll, rock music, rock music reviews, rock music vocals, rock vocalists, scary album covers, shopping for music, spooky album covers, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 19, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Dommin - Group Photo banner 2009

I picked up the Dommin E.P. at Hot Topic today and man, this band has me hooked. This Dommin E.P. has been available as a Hot Topic exclusive since July 7, 2009. This band caught my attention over the last few months as I scoured the web looking for new and cool albums to potentially buy. Buying this E.P. was a necessity for me, I have already listened to some of Dommin’s songs already and really liked what I heard. Plus this E.P. will make for a cool prelude to my finally picking up the new album from Dommin – Love Is Gone. The price I paid for E.P. is unreal great – $1.99. Uh, again, that’s $1.99! My copy I bought was the last one, (or only one), left in this specific Hot Topic store… that tells me E.P. sold quite well since July 7th. The price and obvious popularity is not too shabby for a brand new CD with four outstanding songs. E.P. contains a track that is not found on the Love Is Gone album – Awake. I have always been open minded to all Rock, Hard Rock and Metal genres, listening to a bountiful mix of bands over the decades has been my Metal way. With that said, this is how I describe the music of Dommin, in my Metal opinion:

Dommin - "Eyes" Banner - 2009

The vocals of Kristofer Dommin are extremely confident and powerful. His vocals alone are what draws me into the music, I am not ashamed to say that they are riveting… for me. When I listen to Kristofer Dommin sing, my ears detect some Glenn Danzig meets David Bowie – really. This is not to say that his vocals are unoriginal, not in the least. Kristofer Dommin’s vocals are very different from what I have been listening to in recent memory. I will confidently state, it is hard to pigeonhole Dommin into one specific music genre. Gothic, Heavy Alternative, Rock, Hard Rock, Melodic Goth or Modern Heavy Metal genres are all represented quite amazingly well with the music of Dommin. If that causes a stir, so be it… this band has been a tough Metal cookie for me to pinpoint with accuracy as to their specific placement in genre. Yet this is what makes Dommin so damn cool from the start, does it really matter anyways which genre a band adheres to? Take it from me, (if you want to), that Dommin belongs in the Heavy Music world with their dark, hard and artistic style of music. Heavy Music this outrageously melodic and hard gets me listening. Dommin takes Rock simplicity from decades past and elevates it into their very own Heavy and dark stratosphere of interpretation, exposing it for all to hear in 2009.

DOMMIN is:

Kristofer Dommin on vocals & guitar

Billy James on bass

Konstantine on keyboards

Cameron Morris on drums

** Track Listing For E.P. is:

My Heart, Your Hands

Dark Holiday

Without End

Awake – (only available on E.P., not included on Love Is Gone album)

DOMMIN is on a record label that in my Metal opinion, knows something about Rock and Roll… ROADRUNNER Records.

DOMMIN - "E.P." album pic

THE LAW – Paul Rodgers and Kenney Jones 1991 album revisited

Posted in 1990's hard rock music, 1990's rock music, Album Review, classic hard rock, classic hard rock bands, classic hard rock music, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock albums 1991, classic rock bands, classic rock music, classic rock songs, classic rock vocalists, collecting classic rock, collecting rock music, everyday experiences, family, feel good stories, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock drummers, hard rock songs, hard rock vocalists, metal odyssey, Music, old school hard rock, Rock, rock album review, rock album reviews, rock music, rock music vocals, rock vocalists, vintage rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 7, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

The Law - small album photoOn Saturday, of this 2009 Labor Day Weekend, I set out on a trip to buy back to school necessities for my daughters. The local mall, which is only minutes away, provides for a cool stroll… an f.y.e. is located inside. (Yessssss!). As my daughters and wife are perusing the kids sneakers, all I kept thinking was… what is currently hiding in the batch of used CD’s over at f.y.e.? The trip to this particular mall proved to be very worthwhile, no sneakers were found that my daughter liked, however, we had some fine pizza slices for lunch while we were there, plus I found The Law. The debut album The Law was nestled within the many used CD titles for sale at f.y.e.. With my f.y.e. Backstage Pass Platinum store card, the final price I paid for The Law used CD was $2.81… amazing. Not a bad price to pay for one of the most underrated Rock/Hard Rock albums I have ever listened to. I really get a kick sometimes out of what I will find in the selection of used CD’s at f.y.e., I have scored some real cool used CD’s at f.y.e. over the past few years. Upon leaving this mall, my wife did not hesitate for a second, in getting The Law into the car’s CD player… the family and I listened to this CD in it’s entirety as we continued on our quest for back to school sneakers.

I bought The Law on cassette tape back in 1991 and still have it to this day, an upgrade to CD was long overdue. The Law was released on March 19, 1991, I instantly knew I would purchase this album back then, due to my admiration for Paul Rodgers with his Rock-cool and legendary vocals. Plus, I always immensely enjoyed Bad Company, Free and The Firm… whatever band Paul Rodgers fronted, I was listening to. My favorite song from this album is Laying Down The Law, it is a solid Hard Rock song that ripples with a tough vibe and reminiscent of Bad Company… in my Metal opinion. Paul Rodgers wrote and even plays the piano on Laying Down The Law. Overall, this is not the greatest album or band/project that Paul Rodgers was a part of, still I like The Law enough to recommend to anyone into quality Rock, Hard Rock or Classic Rock music. This album had it’s share of song writers and guest musicians, yet the end result are eleven songs that possess the Classic Rock sound that hooks me each time I listen. Paul Rodgers on vocals with The Law is the main reason why I like this album. Kenney Jones on drums, (Small FacesFaces and The Who), is another valid reason why I will always look back at this band and album with the upmost respect.

The way I see it, you have to listen to bands and albums that you like, regardless of how successful the respective album was/is on the charts or mainstream radio. Album sales never have determined for me, the quality of a band or album, I shall never be swayed by mainstream Rock critics or here-say. The Law is a prime example of record sales not being impressive and a band short lived. Do I care? No. It’s what I like that matters most and I would not recommend this album if I thought it to be a stinker.

The Law notable guest musicians and/or song writers:

Phil Collen (lead guitarist for Def Leppard), wrote Miss You In A Heartbeat for The Law and later recorded by Def Leppard for their Retrospective album. The ever legendary David Gilmour plays guitar on the song Stone. Chris Rea also plays guitar on the song StoneBryan Adams cowrote and plays guitar on Nature of the Beast.

The Law - large album photo

Gene Simmons – My third favorite KISS solo album

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 heavy metal music, 1970's rock music, 1980's heavy metal bands, Album Review, classic hard rock, classic hard rock bands, classic hard rock music, classic heavy metal albums, classic metal, classic rock, classic rock 1978, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock music, classic rock songs, classic rock vocalists, cool album covers, essential classic rock albums, essential hard rock albums, essential heavy metal albums, essential rock albums, Gene Simmons, Hard Rock, hard rock guitarists, hard rock songs, hard rock vocalists, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal cover songs, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 1978, heavy metal solo albums, heavy metal solo artists, heavy metal solo vocalists, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal music, metal odyssey, Metal Reviews, Music, old school heavy metal, rock music, rock music vocals, rock vocalists, vintage hard rock albums, vintage heavy metal albums, vintage heavy metal bands, vintage rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 1, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Kiss - Gene Simmons solo album small picGene Simmons, The Demon, bass guitarist for KISS, music producer and actor. (The many hats this legend has worn are numerous, quite the achiever is Gene Simmons, in my Metal opinion). Gene Simmons always seems to stay in the public eye, the limelight follows this Heavy Metal icon everywhere he goes… with “Celebrity Apprentice” and his very own family reality series “The Family Jewels” making his presence seen and known while KISS is idle. A short while back, I started writing about my favorite KISS solo albums, in preferential order, no less. Why am I doing this? First, I am celebrating the four original members of KISS, their solo albums being what I consider to be quite a historical achievement in Heavy Metal and Rock history. The quality across the board is apparent in the music that Gene, Paul, Ace and Peter created with their solo albums… my reminding and/or informing anyone who is interested in these great KISS solo albums makes for a fine Metal deed. For me to list in order, my favorite KISS solo albums, (it is not etched in Metal stone here), deciding the sequence of which album ranks 1 thru 4, is based on which album has given me the biggest Metal listening thrill over the decades.

As for the songs on this album, the best interpretation for me, as a whole, is Hard Rock and Rock Music that showcases the diversity in the vocals of Gene Simmons and the talent of his being a highly respectable guitarist. Gene Simmons plays electric and acoustic guitar throughout his solo album, he does not play bass guitar here. While with KISS, there are not many moments where Gene Simmons diversifies with his vocals, (that has always been fine with me), plus Gene Simmons plays bass guitar exclusively while with KISS. Looking back, this album was a great opportunity for Gene Simmons to eradicate the expected, delivering on the unexpected… “When You Wish Upon A Star” is the finest example that I could possibly point out. Now, do I like listening to Gene Simmons sing this song? As a teenager, back in the late 70’s into the ’80’s… no, I could never understand why Gene Simmons would have done this song. I actually would deliberately not listen to it after I heard it the first time. Fast forward to 2009, well, I now like this rendition of “When You Wish Upon A Star”, the softer side of Gene Simmons is rather a relaxing listen… (I guess I am getting softer as I get older). Plus, as a Metal bonus, my nine year old twin daughters really dig this song… and Gene Simmons too.

My favorite song is the album opener “Radioactive”, it just glistens with Old School KISS, courtesy of Gene Simmons, of course. His vocals are exactly what you would expect on this song, the commanding and sinister tone that is part of the Gene Simmons persona. I really like the vibe I get from “See You Tonite”, just a solid Rock song that has swirls of late ’70’s sound. “True Confessions” is another Classic Rock song that standouts with the background vocals of Helen Reddy… yes, Helen Reddy. This Gene Simmons solo album was the strongest seller out of the four KISS solo albums, I can honestly understand why, after owning and listening to these songs for years. This Gene Simmons album may not be my favorite out of the four KISS solo albums, yet it does not mean squat when I look at the big Metal picture… this Gene Simmons album is a Rock Classic.

Some of the guest musicians on this Gene Simmons solo KISS album: Rick Nielsen, guitarist of Cheap Trick appears on “See You In Your Dreams”, (Rick Nielsen’s name is spelled incorrectly, by the way, in this albums liner notes, Neilson), Bob Seger – background vocals on “Living In Sin” and “Radioactive”, Joe Perry of Aerosmith plays guitar on “Radioactive” and “Tunnel Of Love”, Donna Summer – background vocals on “Burning Up With Fever” and Cher – voice on phone call during “Living In Sin”. These guest music celebrities that appeared on this album make for excellent Rock Music trivia… not every Metalhead in the world is going to know that Donna Summer appeared on the Gene Simmons solo KISS album.

KISS Gene Simmons - solo album large pic

TED NUGENT – “Free For All” a 1976 Hard Rock album of greatness

Posted in 1970's classic rock albums, 1970's classic rock bands, 1970's classic rock songs, 1970's hard rock bands, 1970's classic rock music, 1970's hard rock, 1970's Rock, 1970's rock music, Album Review, classic hard rock, classic hard rock bands, classic hard rock music, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock music, classic rock music 1976, classic rock songs, classic rock vocalists, essential classic rock albums, essential hard rock albums, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock guitarists, hard rock songs, hard rock vocalists, Music, old school hard rock, Rock, rock guitarists, rock music, rock music vocals, rock vocalists, vintage hard rock albums, vintage rock albums, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 29, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150Ted Nugent “Free For All”, (released in 1976), is an album of Hard Rock songs that I slap the label of greatness on. There is no one you can compare Ted Nugent to… he was and still is his own Rock and Roll Warrior. Meat Loaf’s vocals and Ted Nugent’s guitar are a double dose of Classic Hard Rock superiority on this album. Meat Loaf is the lead vocalist on the songs: “Writing On The Wall”, “Street Rats”, “Together”, “Hammerdown” and “I Love You So I Told You A Lie”. Meat Loaf is the real deal vocally, on these songs. “Free For All” was an accomplishment of incredible songs that just continue to knock me over to this day. This album just carries me off into the thunderous land of Hard Rock glory. Ted Nugent is truly an originator of 1970’s Hard Rock guitar… listening to the guitar play of this legend makes me want to stand atop a crowd of onlookers and scream hell yeah!! In my Metal opinion, Ted Nugent and “Free For All” is all about 1970’s Hard Rock in it’s most genuine and heaviest state. An uncompromising group of songs that are Hard Rock personified, aimed at stirring up a good time and feeling the Ted Nugent power of guitar cool. I finally had my first introduction to this album and other Ted Nugent albums at that, in the early 1980’s. Ted Nugent quickly made me aware that Hard Rock music should never be watered down, it should be hard driven and fostered with head turning guitar licks aplenty. With “Free For All”, there are so many Hard Rock attributes happening that this album could easily be labeled as The Great Reference Book of Hard Rock, in my Metal opinion.

The album opener “Free For All” plays out as such… a Hard Rock song that sounds heavier than it really is, a Hard Rock song that highlights the fusion and importance of a bass driven flow. “Free For All” the song, when played at the recommended loud volume, makes me feel like the world is a wonderful globe of Rock and Roll beings. “Dog Eat Dog” is just another Ted Nugent classic… it powers forward without making a single pit stop, so be forewarned… this is a Hard Rock song that should never, ever, be turned off until it is rightfully over. “Street Rats” takes a back seat to no other Hard Rock song, in all of Hard Rock history. This song has never failed at it’s goal to Rock me out senseless… never. The word mellow just does not coincide with the persona or music of Ted Nugent. However, “Together” is a song that I consider to be toned down enough for the dreaded mellow adjective to come out and play. Hey, I am going to say that this song is one of my favorites of the entire catalog of Ted Nugent albums. “Together” is a song that is hard enough to not be a bona fide ballad, yet it comes across rather soothing, based on the Ted Nugent heaviness scale.

“Light My Way” is the one song on this album that I feel legitimized why Ted Nugent was/is such a great guitar player, he jams like a Hard Rock guru meets Southern Hard Rock legend. “Hammerdown” does not stray away from the Ted Nugent guitar lead and solo laden blueprint that makes this entire album – a 1970’s Classic Hard Rock album of upmost legitimacy. “I Love You So I Told You A Lie” could very well have been a song on a future Meat Loaf album, in my Metal opinion. Meat Loaf truly bestowed his vocal brilliance on this Ted Nugent album. Add Meat Loaf into the mix of songs on “Free For All” and this album has and always will satisfy any Classic Hard Rock hunger fits, that I may encounter. For the record, I have listened to this album non-stop today, it just has the Hard Rock groove and vibe I was hankering for.

Derek St. Holmes was the lead vocalist on the songs: “Turn It Up”, “Light My Way” and “Dog Eat Dog”, while Ted Nugent is the lead vocalist on the title song “Free For All”.

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BLUE OYSTER CULT – “Fire Of Unknown Origin”, 1981 album is a Rock Classic

Posted in 1980's classic rock bands, 1980's hard rock albums, 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's heavy metal hits, 1980's popular rock bands, 1980's rock albums, 1980's rock music, 1980's classic rock, 1980's classic rock music, 1980's hard rock, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's heavy metal songs, Album Review, classic hard rock, classic hard rock bands, classic hard rock music, classic heavy metal albums, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock music, classic rock songs, cool album covers, essential classic rock albums, essential hard rock albums, essential heavy metal albums, essential rock albums, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock songs, hard rock vocalists, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal music, heavy metal vocalists, metal odyssey, Music, old school hard rock, old school heavy metal, Rock, rock music, rock music vocals, rock vocalists, vintage hard rock albums, vintage heavy metal albums, vintage heavy metal bands, vintage rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 27, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Blue Oyster Cult "Fire of Unknown Origin" small picBlue Oyster Cult released “Fire Of Unknown Origin” in 1981, which was perfect timing for me. I already had Kiss, Foreigner, Cheap Trick, Queen, Ozzy Osbourne, AC/DC and Bad Company in my system back then, being wowed by Blue Oyster Cult was my ears next step in branching out into the Heavy Music world. Back in 1981, there was the choice of buying music on 8 track, I bought “Fire Of Unknown Origin” on this medium – thank you very much. (I no longer have this 8 track from yesteryear, the 8 track player is a memory as well). This album is just another example of what melded my Metal and Hard Rock Music tastes at a young age, (I was fifteen years old in 1981). Another stepping stone album, if you will, towards the lifetime of Metal and Hard Rock Music adoration that I behold. In my Metal opinion, this BOC album is an early 1980’s Heavy Metal meets Hard Rock album, that has consistently lured me back for many a listen over the years.

I always appreciated the lead vocals of Eric Bloom. The mellowness that carpets his vocals is a signature sound of BOC. The biggest hit from “Fire Of Unknown Origin” was “Burnin’ For You”, where the vocals of Eric Bloom and the semi-heaviness of the music really compliment one another. This song was a mainstream FM radio favorite for years, one of my favorite Hard Rock songs ever. “Joan Crawford”, “Heavy Metal: The Black and Silver” and “Fire Of Unknown Origin” are three other songs from this album that I could never get enough of. I have always liked this entire album, “Fire Of Unknown Origin” comes highly recommended from me to younger and new fans of BOC and/or Classic Rock. This is one of those times where I honestly state, this is just a great album of Hard Rock and heavy songs, a true classic.

Blue Oyster Cult "Fire of Unknown Origin" large pic

BOSTON – “Don’t Look Back” sealed album provides a very cool Classic Rock find

Posted in 1970's classic rock albums, 1970's classic rock albums sealed, 1970's classic rock bands, 1970's classic rock songs, 1970's hard rock bands, 1970's classic rock music, 1970's hard rock, 1970's Rock, 1970's rock music, 1980's classic rock bands, 1980's rock music, 1980's classic rock music, 1980's hard rock, Album Review, classic hard rock, classic hard rock bands, classic hard rock music, classic rock, classic rock 1978, classic rock album finds, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock music, classic rock songs, collecting classic rock, collecting music, collecting rock music, cool album covers, essential classic rock albums, essential hard rock albums, essential rock albums, everyday experiences, flea market finds, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock guitarists, hard rock songs, hard rock vocalists, Music, old school hard rock, Rock, rock & roll, rock album reviews, rock and roll, rock and roll memorabilia, rock music, rock music vocals, rock vocalists, thrift store finds, thrift store rock music finds, vintage hard rock albums, vintage rock album finds, vintage rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 25, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150On one of my recent Hard Rock/Heavy Metal hunts via the second hand route, I came across a true Classic Rock album that I grabbed ahold of within milliseconds of spotting it… Boston “Don’t Look Back”. As a Metal bonus, this great album is also – still factory sealed. That is so right, this vintage Boston album which was released on August 2, 1978, has still, it’s original plastic wrapping protecting it for thirty one years. I never owned “Don’t Look Back” on album before, finding a mint copy of it now, in 2009, is so fine. Sure, I have Boston on CD, yet landing one of my favorite Classic Rock bands on sealed vinyl, on a trip to a thrift store unleashes a cool high for me… every time. I realize this price always gets mentioned when I write about my vintage album finds, it is the truth when reveal it only cost fifty cents. Yikes, that is cheaper than most of the plastic prizes my daughters pay for at the (what I still call) bubble gum machines in front of the grocery stores.

I just can’t say enough about the song writing found on “Don’t Look Back”, the music and lyrics are just prime examples of what Classic Rock and Hard Rock is about. This is an album where the two biggest hits are my favorite two hits as well. Going on decades now, the guitar leads on the song “Don’t Look Back” still sends me into a Hard Rock high. If “A Man I’ll Never Be” has gone down in Rock Music history as a ballad, then so be it. Musically, it really cannot be disputed as a ballad… so I just consider this song as my second favorite ballad of all time. (My favorite ballad ever is “Home Sweet Home” by Motley Crue, which I posted on this Metal Odyssey blog in recent weeks). As I stop to ponder, Boston was/is in a Hard Rock class of their own… what other band out there really sounds like them, musically or vocally? Orion The Hunter comes to mind, with their one album, (released on May 9, 1984). Realistically, Orion The Hunter sounded like Boston due to the band members being: Boston guitarist Barry Goudreau, lead singer Fran Cosmo (who became the vocalist for Boston in the 1990’s) and the late Brad Delp who provided background vocals on the “Orion The Hunter” album. Honestly, can a spinoff  band of Boston count when trying to name another band that has that legendary Boston sound?

This is what makes hunting for Hard Rock and Heavy Metal music so interesting… once I land a find, I begin to seek out further the history and Rock Music family tree of the band and album I find. All of this Hard Rock happiness and it only cost fifty cents. I am not too interested in opening the sealed plastic wrap that has protected this album for so long… I am quite content to just stare at it and keep it as a Classic Rock collectible for now. In the end, looking for Hard Rock and Heavy Metal finds can be an educational trip into Rock History. Plus, paying fifty cents for a Boston album that is originally sealed, is extremely more frugal and genuine than paying fifty thousand dollars to rent out twenty eight acres of fun, for one week, on Martha’s Vineyard.

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JOURNEY – “Arrival” is a 2001 album I finally bought in 2009

Posted in 1970's classic rock bands, 1980's classic rock bands, 1980's rock albums, 1980's rock music, 1980's hard rock, 1990's hard rock music, Album Review, classic hard rock, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock music, essential classic rock albums, essential rock albums, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock guitarists, hard rock songs, hard rock vocalists, Music, old school hard rock, Rock, rock album reviews, rock music, rock music vocals, rock vocalists, vintage rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 20, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150When it comes to Rock and Hard Rock Music, I always have put Journey on my listening rotation. I am guilty of not keeping up with the purchases of new CD’s over the years from Journey, “Arrival” is a perfect example of this. After the 1986 album “Raised On Radio”, I never picked up “Trial By Fire”, “Arrival” (until now) or “Generations”. You betcha I did grab a copy of “Revelation”… the Walmart 2 CD/1 DVD version too. It is not as if I totally forgot about Journey, these albums are just victims of the hordes of releases out there I have always wanted to buy… financially it is impossible to buy everything. Man, I am impressed by this Journey album… more than that, I cannot believe it took me this long to land “Arrival” into my music collection. I guess after each listen to “Arrival”, all I can really say to myself is what was I waiting for and thinking?  (I should have just bought this album years ago and stop worrying about how much money I spend on music!). I can’t comprehend how this album has not sold over a million copies? What gives? If “Arrival” was fronted by the legendary Steve Perry and released back in the 1980’s, it surely would have been multi platinum… wouldn’t it? Who knows, we shall never know, it is all make believe speculation on my part. All I do know is that “Arrival” is chock full of Rock and Hard Rock songs that are premium quality, in my Metal opinion. The song writing on “Arrival” is so outrageously good, I shake my head and thank the fact Journey is still around Rocking today.

Neal Schon is tremendous on guitar, (as usual), especially on “Livin’ To Do”… a choice favorite song of mine from this album. “Higher Place” is the opening song, the one and only song I was familiar with before I bought “Arrival”. “Higher Place” is the perfect table setter for this album, it has all things Journey about it happening. “I Got A Reason” is another song that really stands out for me, the lyrics and upbeat melody delivers plenty of highs here.  Steve Augeri on lead vocals does sound extremely close to Steve Perry… yet I will always state – there is only one Steve Perry, only one. With that off my chest, Steve Augeri does a smash up job on lead vocals, this guy can sing. On “With Your Love”, Steve Augeri makes me really like a ballad for a change. Neal Schon again, on guitar, adds the strength to this ballad that makes it rise up with musical emotion. I cannot hesitate to recommend “Arrival” to any fan of Classic Rock and Hard Rock, of any generation. Walmart has this CD in their retail store… that is where I found “Arrival”, plus it was an even five dollars. Five dollars, for a sealed (not used) CD… there are many times the Walmart CD aisles Rock.

Journey, as they appeared on “Arrival”: Neal Schon on guitar & backing vocals, Steve Augeri on lead vocals, Jonathan Cain on keyboards & backing vocals, Ross Valory on bass guitar & backing vocals and Deen Castronovo on drums & backing vocals. “Arrival” was released on April 3, 2001.

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38 Special “Rockin’ Into The Night” – 1980 album keeps Rockin’

Posted in 1970's southern rock music, 1970's hard rock, 1970's Rock, Album Review, classic hard rock, classic hard rock music, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock music, classic southern rock, cool album covers, essential hard rock albums, essential southern rock albums, hard rock vocalists, Music, old school southern rock music, Rock, rock album reviews, rock music, rock music vocals, rock vocalists, southern hard rock, southern hard rock albums, southern rock, southern rock 1979, southern rock albums, southern rock music, southern rock music legends, vintage rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 19, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150Back in 1980, I was enthralled by 38 Special. That year, I went to the Caldor Department Store and bought the 45 rpm of the hit single – “Rockin’ Into The Night”. I was in eighth grade with not too much cash in my pocket, still I always held onto enough dough to buy my 45’s. My parents were on an extremely fixed budget, therefore, I could not coax too many higher priced albums from them back then. That was fine, I was always grateful for what my parents could afford to give me. Besides, I more often than not, earned my records from doing yard work and cleaning up the house. That 38 Special 45 rpm was played by me continuously. “Rockin’ Into The Night” was my song back in 1980, no one else’s, (or so I thought). The truth of the day is, I did not buy the actual album “Rockin’ Into The Night” until decades later. Man, what was I thinking? The 45 rpm I had from 1980 had been worn down from repeated play, eventually tossed away. Yet, as I write this post, this Classic Southern Hard Rock album, (really it is a CD now), is a permanent fixture in my music collection. 

To call this album a gem is not adequate enough. “Rockin’ Into The Night” is a Southern Hard Rock accomplishment that in my opinion, (excuse the clique’), stood the test of time. This is an album that did not even need to have a hit single, all nine songs are true Southern Rock, played hard, with a determined grit and emotion by 38 Special. The liner notes for this album says it all… “This One’s For You Ronnie!”. Ronnie Van Zant, the founder and lead singer for Lynyrd Skynyrd, had passed away in a plane crash, (on October 20, 1977) and 38 Special had dedicated this album to him. Donnie Van Zant is the younger brother of Ronnie, his vocals have always gone straight through me, especially on this album. I always sensed, no matter how many times I listen to this album, that Donnie sang with extra vigor and emotion in dedication to his brother. (This is my interpretation anyways). After all of these years… decades… I still come to the conclusion that “Rockin’ Into The Night” Rocks just as bad ass as it did in 1980. 

You would probably think that “Rockin’ Into The Night” is my favorite song off of this album. Would it be a shock to admit to all, that it is not? After the years have gone by, well, “Turn It On” is actually my favorite track off of this album, with “Rockin’ Into The Night” being a very close second. “Turn It On” just has that right beat that rivets me, the song is upbeat and true Southern Rock. The Southern Rock piano does have a substantial influence over me, especially when it is heard on “Turn It On”.  “Stone Cold Believer”, “Take Me Through The Night” and “You Got The Deal” are for me, as consistent you will ever hear, when it comes to top tier Southern Hard Rock. “Robin Hood” is the instrumental song on this album, I do consider this song as a centerpiece, if you will, for it plays out as one of the finest examples of Southern Rock music as you could ever ask for. “Money Honey” is a song that I have hit the repeat button for without hesitation. This song is just a good old Southern Rocker that spills over with Southern Rock vibe and goodness.

I always like to write about the albums, songs and the bands that create them. I also write about the bands that have made my life memorable, both past and present. 38 Special is one of those bands that has instilled in me, the appreciation for both the quality of the song and quality of the musicianship. 38 Special introduced to me, in 1980, a song that has been with me now for the majority of my life. “Rockin’ Into The Night” will be enjoyed by me for the rest of my years as well. My nine year old twin daughters have given their thumbs up to this album, this solidifies the importance of passing along great music, from legendary bands of the past, to younger generations to enjoy. It makes me feel darn cool and good, when my young twin daughters say they like 38 Special and their upbeat music.

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

Posted in Album Review, cool album covers, current hard rock albums, current hard rock music, current hard rock songs, essential hard rock albums, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock albums 2009, hard rock music this decade, hard rock songs, hard rock vocalists, Music, new hard rock album, progressive hard rock album reviews, progressive hard rock albums, progressive hard rock albums 2009, progressive hard rock music, progressive hard rock music 2009, progressive rock, progressive rock music, Rock, rock music, rock music vocals, rock vocalists, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 7, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150I have been riding on a rather enjoyable, Progressive Metal & Progressive Hard Rock wave of music as of late. Am I complaining? Not when bands like The Mars Volta release the Progressive elasticity of songs that they have titled – “Octahedron”. It is Hard Rock music like this, that challenges the outer reaches of my very own musical senses. I suppose that is what Progressive Music is meant to do?  I am not going to fib here, it took me well into my third listen of “Octahedron” to have “it” finally hit me. The “it” is the focused energy and streamlined patience and musical precision, that are consistent, musical nuances I hear in these songs from The Mars Volta. Let’s be real, these artistic lined, Hard Rock songs, with all of their progressiveness, were not written over night. Is it considered to be uncool these days, to have a thought process and spacial intellect towards music? Not in my realm of listening to Hard Rock – or Metal for that matter. The Mars Volta has thrown “Octahedron” to the progressive wind, it has blown my way and this is what I have to say.

IMG_1512 copy“Since We’ve Been Wrong” has my inner psyche floating somewhere out there in 1979, the retrospective, ambient rays of melody I hear in this song, has me laying on a freshly mowed lawn, staring up at a clear blue sky. “Teflon” does not stray too far away from this dreamy type of feeling either, it only Rocks a little harder. “Halo Of Nembutals” has me agreeing with the assertion that lead vocalist Cedric Bixler Zavala really does sound like the living legend – Geddy Lee of Rush. (This comparison has been thrown around quite a bit, it should be construed as a compliment, much better than being compared to the vocals of Jim Nabors, aka Gomer Pyle). With this song, carrying it’s way into “With Twilight As My Guide”, I tend to realize that I have fallen victim to a cascade of Progressive Hard Rock sanctity. I refuse to just stand pat and not let my feelings be known, about a band that is able to grasp the flexibility and open mindedness of song writing, both lyrically and musically. The Mars Volta apparently were either born as collaborative musicians or they visited some type of mystical being, in a tropical rain forest, who granted them the ability to eradicate themselves of any staleness and ego – thus anointing them with Progressive Musical powers.

IMG_1495“Cotopaxi”, “Desperate Graves” and “Copernicus” are three songs in a row, that I swear are a path that lead me to believing that the words status quo are not in The Mars Volta vocabulary.  Omar Rodriguez Lopez has given new meaning to the phrase – lead, not follow – for if this musician were to follow, I would probably be listening to a band that wants to fit in and play it safe, like so many bands who don’t follow their hearts and instincts do. The same goes for Cedric Bixler Zavala, as both a vocalist and lyricist. If anything, I am completely guilty of being passionate about the music that moves me. The Mars Volta are just as guilty for being passionate in creating the music that stands up and above, so much so, the “Octahedron” CD cover does not even bear their name. It is the music that really matters, the music that stands alone, it is not a name of a band, the physicality or gender of it’s members, nor the image. “It” is really all about the finished product, the music and what it says. “Octahedron” speaks more if you give “it” the space and respect is so justifiably deserves.

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Seether – “Finding Beauty In Negative Spaces” is awe inspiring Hard Rock

Posted in Album Review, cool album covers, current hard rock albums, current hard rock music, current hard rock songs, essential hard rock albums, essential rock albums, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock albums 2007, hard rock drummers, hard rock guitarists, hard rock music 2007, hard rock music this decade, hard rock songs, hard rock vocalists, Music, Rock, rock album reviews, rock music, rock music vocals, rock vocalists, seether rock band, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 3, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150Seether is a Hard Rock band that does not need any plastic Hollywood music awards to be told they are damn great. The fans know. The music of Seether tells the whole story… of just how sensational Hard Rock songs are written. “Finding Beauty In Negative Spaces” is an album that should be a required musical manual for any up and coming Hard Rock band. Seether has proven to me, that lyrics are very, very, important in Heavy Music. Shaun Morgan, in my Metal opinion, encompasses many musical gifts… his vocals, guitar skills and the song writing that leaves me in awe. Lyrically, this is one of the best albums I have ever listened to in my lifetime. Couple these tremendously inspiring lyrics with Hard Rock music that is maximized by it’s hardness and mesmerizing grooves, well, you have yourself an instant classic. Shaun Morgan for me, is a vocalist that I listen to so intently, that the music at times becomes a backdrop. (This is by no means, an insult, it is just that Shaun Morgan’s vocals are so searing, they take hold of my attention and leave me zoned out on his voice and lyrics). I have to listen to Seether and say to myself, o.k., I am going to pay more attention to the music this time around, when I do it is like a double dose of Hard Rock music and Hard Rock vocal exhilaration. 

“Rise Above This” is a song that has hit me in such a right way. I lost my sister four years ago, man do I miss her. Since this song came into my life, well, It just seems to say exactly how I feel about missing her. My sister left to go to heaven at age 43, there was way too much more that I wanted to do with her and say to her. I never had a chance to say goodbye to her, this is my song that encourages me it is alright. I am ecstatic that there is a band like Seether and a vocalist/lyricist like Shaun Morgan that can combine Hard Rock with real lyrics recognizing true humanity. “No Jesus Christ” is probably the heaviest song on this album, it basically calls a deceitful person out, a song that just about anyone who is not a backstabbing, evil entity, can relate to. “Fake It” is the single greatest song to commemorate all of the scum bag, plastic people of this world, who cannot find their own identity and try their best to be nothing but despicable chameleons. I raise my fist and say hooray to Seether and Shaun Morgan for knowing that crappy people make great subject matter for Hard Rock songs! “Six Gun Quota” is a song about self inflicted destruction – of both body and soul. This song rocks, despite the honest to goodness gray subject matter.

The popularity and record sales of Seether are for a measurable reason. This band connects to me, it is only logical Seether connects to an unknown many others. Fans of Seether already know this, yet I need to tell new, prospective fans, that “Finding Beauty In Negative Spaces” is not your run of the mill Hard Rock album written with the premise to just party hard and pick up chicks. The music found here is of substance and quality Hard Rock, it is also story telling that mixes in a menagerie of human emotions and trials. 

Seether as they appear on “Finding Beauty In Negative Spaces”: Shaun Morgan on guitar & lead vocals, Dale Stewart on bass guitar & backing vocals and John Humphrey on drums.

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My favorite AC/DC song of all time is…

Posted in 1970's classic rock albums, 1970's classic rock songs, 1970's hard rock, 1970's heavy metal, 1970's Rock, classic hard rock, classic hard rock music, classic heavy metal albums, classic metal, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock music, cool album covers, essential hard rock albums, essential heavy metal albums, essential rock albums, Hard Rock, hard rock drummers, hard rock guitarists, hard rock songs, hard rock vocalists, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal albums, heavy metal music, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal music, Music, old school heavy metal, Rock, rock and roll hall of fame inductees, rock music, rock music vocals, rock vocalists, vintage hard rock albums, vintage heavy metal albums, vintage rock albums, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 27, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150AC/DC – they are not just Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, this band is an elite institution of heavy music. I always pondered throughout the years… which song from the extensive catalog of AC/DC albums, is my favorite of all time? Is my favorite song from the Bon Scott era? Man, the late Bon Scott was unique, his vocals were and always will be legendary. The Brian Johnson era is power packed with amazing songs, could I take the easy route and pull my favorite tune off of the “Back In Black” album? That would be way too easy for me, it seems like choosing “Hells Bells”, “Back In Black” or “Have A Drink On Me” as my favorite AC/DC song, would be particularly predictable. I will not argue the fact it is a historical album, “Back In Black” surely paved the way for Heavy Metal commercial acceptance. Besides, I personally am forever grateful for AC/DC appointing Brian Johnson to succeed the late Bon Scott. “Back In Black” will forever be on my all time favorite album list.

Well, after all these years, probably since around 1979, (in which I was first aware that AC/DC existed and heard the classic “Highway To Hell” single on FM radio), my personal choice, for favorite AC/DC song ever is… “Touch Too Much” – from the “Highway To Hell” album, (released in 1979). Whew, do I get the AC/DC fever when I hear this song. I do not care how many times I have listened to this classic, this song rocks. Even after so many years have passed by, I still feel that certain rush go straight through my face each time “Touch Too Much” is cranked up. Yeah, you know, that psyched out feeling that engulfs your whole body, like you just drank a 2 liter bottle of happy sauce. This song does it for me – thank you very much. This song hits me from the opening note… I do not believe there is one nano second that is not cool on this song. Sure, the single “Highway To Hell” received all of the attention from this sacred AC/DC album, yet in my Metal opinion, “Touch Too Much” is a song that embodied a core heaviness that signified of continuous great things to come from this band. 

I am certainly not alone in saying that I revere both the Bon Scott and Brian Johnson eras of AC/DC. Choosing a single favorite song from this band, is like choosing which day of the week is my favorite… I am just happy to be alive and be in the position to enjoy each day of the week, for Metal sakes. Going back to “Touch Too Much”, as the old saying goes… the more things change, the more they stay the same… really listen closely the next time you hear this song, then imagine if it were to be released for the first time in 2009. “Touch Too Much” is a song that blows away at least half of the newly released Hard Rock or Heavy Metal songs that do get commercial FM or satellite radio play. Angus Young on guitar, Malcolm Young on rhythm guitar, Cliff Williams on bass guitar and Phil Rudd on drums and of course, Bon Scott on vocals, made this song happen and groove in a way that has affected me for life. This is my Metal opinion – long live AC/DC and this enormous song.

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Electric Light Orchestra – 12 cool facts to enrich your day

Posted in 1970's Rock, 1980's rock music, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock music, classic rock music facts, cool album covers, electric light orchestra, essential rock albums, Music, progressive rock, progressive rock music, Rock, rock & roll, rock and roll, rock music, rock music facts, rock music vocals, rock vocalists, string music in rock, symphonic rock music, vintage rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 26, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150There is no disguising the fact, I have been an ELO fan my entire life. The Electric Light Orchestra has music that actually fits into any type of mood I am in. From the more mellow “Eldorado” album to the rather upbeat “Discovery” album, ELO has always been there for me. Certainly, Metal Music (including all of it’s incredible sub genres of Extreme Metal Music) is my mainstay, #1 always and forever – still, there are those many moments in my life where I turn to ELO for inspiration and musical enjoyment. ELO is music. ELO is a Progressive Rock giant that in my Metal opinion, has always been cutting edge, if you will, with their musical arrangements and overall sound. Here are 12 cool facts for ELO fans to savor over, new fans of ELO just might find these facts to be of interest too.

I am guilty of loving great music, that is why ELO has saturated my ears with their blend of Rock progressiveness since I was a kid in the ’70’s. The songs of ELO mean more to me than anyone could ever imagine… here’s hoping, that maybe this post could possibly ignite the interest of brand new fans across the world. Fellow fans and music enthusiasts know, a band that hits you the right way, especially at a young age, becomes a part of your musical soul, an invisible appendage I might add. That is why I feel music is such an essential part of living out your life. O.k., so what is my favorite ELO song of all time? It is difficult to narrow down… yet “Four Little Diamonds” from the “Secret Messages” album, (released in 1983), seems to be my pick.

*  In 1976, the single “Evil Woman”, from the “Face The Music” album,  peaked at #10 on the Billboard singles chart.

*  The movie soundtrack album for “Xanadu” was released in August of 1980. Olivia Newton-John shared half of this albums’s music along with ELO, joining together on the track “Xanadu” as well.

* The album “Xanadu” spent 36 weeks on the Billboard top 200 albums chart, in the United States.

*  In 1974, the album “Eldorado” peaked at #16 on the Billboard album chart.

*  In 1975, “Can’t Get It Out Of My Head” from the album “Eldorado” peaked at #9 on the Billboard singles chart.

*  In 1981, the single “Hold On Tight” peaked at #10 on the Billboard singles chart.

*  The debut album from ELO was released in 1972, titled “No Answer”.

*  The legendary Jeff Lynne, (founder and lead singer of ELO),  has produced albums for such fellow Rock legends: George Harrison, Randy Newman, Tom Petty and Roy Orbison.

*  In 1977, the album “A New World Record” peaked at #5 on the Billboard album chart.

*  In 1981, the album “Time” peaked at #16 on the Billboard album chart.

* ELO originated from Birmingham, England. (Thank you very much, Birmingham)

* Ringo Starr was a guest musician on drums, (of course), on the album “Zoom” – released in 2001.

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

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

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

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

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

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Bob Seger “Face The Promise” exhibits Rock Music from the soul

Posted in 1970's hard rock, 1970's Rock, 1980's rock albums, 1980's rock music, 1980's hard rock, Album Review, classic hard rock, classic hard rock music, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock music, cool album covers, essential rock albums, Metal, Rock, rock & roll, rock & roll hall of fame inductees, rock album reviews, rock and roll, rock and roll hall of fame inductees, rock music, rock music vocals, rock vocalists, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 21, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150Bob Seger, Rock and Roll Legend and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer. That should be quite enough of an accomplishment to just call it a day, for just about any aging Rock Star, huh? Not the case with Bob Seger, no way. Just because a living Rock Legend goes on a personal hiatus for a number of years, does this mean this Rock Legend is washed up? Has this Rock Legend lost the ability to write and sing music like it was 1980 all over again? In my Metal opinion, Bob Seger has lost no Rock and Roll groove in his music, nor has he forgotten how to write Rock music songs that hit me straight to the heart. “Face The Promise” is a celebration of Rock Music that not only inspires me with all of it’s lyrical content, the Rock and Roll move and groove songs on this album are wrapped up in sincere blue collar grit.

Bob Seger was born with the gift of having a raspy, smoky and sandpapered singing voice. Unique and synonymous with Rock and Roll, that is my take on his vocals. I still here this voice as I described, on “Face The Promise”, (released September 12, 2006). The 12 songs on this album are not thrown together for some flashy, comeback, Rock Star story. These are 12 songs that are sung from the heart of a man who obviously has lived life on his terms, tackling whatever obstacles may come his way. Yeah, sure, it sounds like a cliche’, however, this is a Rock and Roll icon who decided to itemize his life based on importance. How easy it would have been, for Bob Seger to have released an album every four years or so, with the possibility of perhaps becoming just a music machine, catering only to the needs of the fans. My own personal interpretation is derived from the lyrics of these songs, why else would Bob Seger pen such intimate and human spirit filled songs?

“Wreck This Heart” is the opening track, it comes across with the reminder to me, that Bob Seger still connects to the Hard Rock side of his storied musical past. “Real Mean Bottle” has an “Old Time Rock & Roll” energy and air about it… with some cool Rock vocal assistance from Kid Rock. It is always a tasty, Rock treat, to hear the Jerry Lee Lewis style of piano get into the Rock and Roll mix. This is definitely one of the more fun Rock songs Bob Seger has ever created. “The Answer’s In The Question” is a ballad that delves into the human experience, Patty Loveless contributes some very classy vocals on this superb duet. “Face The Promise”, “Wait For Me” and “No Matter Who You Are” all touch on personal inspiration, with the Rock and musical flavor that takes me back to the “Against The Wind” album. “Between” is as fine an example of Bob Seger today, this song flat out scorches with the aura of current Rock sound and ambience.

In a vast world of diverse Rock and Hard Rock genres, there are those times when it just feels good to go home again, home to the roots of Rock and Roll. Bob Seger for me, has always exemplified what it sounds like to revisit old school Rock and Roll, all the while using the human factor as prominent subject matter within the lyrical content of the songs. The end result always has felt like the beginning for me with all of Bob Seger’s albums… these are songs that connect, Rock and last a lifetime within my musical soul.

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Cheap Trick “Special One” is just that and more

Posted in 1970's hard rock, 1970's Rock, 1980's hard rock albums, 1980's rock albums, 1980's rock music, 1980's hard rock, 1990's hard rock music, Album Review, classic hard rock, classic hard rock music, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock music, cool album covers, 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, Music, Rock, rock & roll, rock and roll, rock music, rock music vocals, rock vocalists, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 19, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

It is quite apparent, from looking at my past posts, that I am a Cheap Trick fan. I get such a listening thrill from their brand of Rock, both past and present. If Cheap Trick were to have floundered, lost a few steps musically, I would have lost interest in following them – of course. Many bands have done just that, floundered after years of success. (I used to think The Police were going to release a new killer album every 2 to 3 years, way back in 1984… who knew?). Well, enough with this as my opener… Cheap Trick really has done what many bands can only wish for… continued musical output that beams with integrity and relevance. The integrity is represented by Cheap Trick creating Rock/Hard Rock music that for me, is as energy filled, catchy and memorable as the “Dream Police” and/or “All Shook Up” albums from 25 years ago. On “Special One”, (released in 2003), this is not a Rock Band that sounds tired or weary – this is a band that sounds as if they are embarking on a Rock mission with their musical tanks fully loaded, with new ideas. Another aspect of integrity that Cheap Trick bestows, is the plain fact, that they are obviously not remotely attempting to cash in on their name or past success.

“Special One” is quite special indeed… it is a fitting prelude to the “Rockford” album, (released in 2006), where Cheap Trick in my Metal opinion, has landed as convincing a one-two Hard Rock punch that any fan could ever imagine or hope for. (See my “Rockford” review listed under album reviews on Metal Odyssey). Once I listened to “Rockford” upon it’s release, I felt and heard the continuation of what Cheap Trick is truly conveying here – that gifted musicians will always create great music. “Special One” is an album that does not tease at what is to come, this Rock album states of what is to come from Cheap Trick this decade. No watered down ballads, no instant radio hits, rather, “Special One” exemplifies what Rock and Hard Rock used to be, carried over with a flare for todays sound. The songs are accessible, not excessive, written with the blend of lyrics and music that glows with the Cheap Trick brand. That is my case stated for relevance.

Not that I am fast forwarding here, the last track on “Special One” titled “Hummer”, is a song that celebrates the ability for anyone to… hum. All kidding aside, this song is highlighted by the humming vocal tones of Robin Zander. (The liner notes do not suggest anyone else doing the humming, however, each band member does get credited with vocal input). After my first listen to “Hummer”, I was enlightened to now realize that humming is cool in a Rock song… Cheap Trick has made it that way. (Trust me, I still get annoyed when total strangers walk past me in the grocery store humming aloud). The first track titled “Scent Of A Woman” is as classic as it gets with Cheap Trick. The brashness of Rick Nielsen on guitar coupled with the up tempo beat, lends itself to being one of those Cheap Trick songs you have to jump around to. Tracks 2 thru 10, found between the two songs I mentioned here, create the Cheap Trick – Hard Rock sandwich that is flavored with a tad of old school and structured with lyrical/musical perfection, with attitude for today. Longevity in Rock Music does not always equate to cool albums – Cheap Trick’s longevity has equated to the coolest consistency of Rock & Hard Rock, that I hope never ends.

Cheap Trick: Robin Zander – vocals & guitars, Rick Nielsen – guitars & vocals, Tom Petersson – 12 string bass & vocals, Bun E. Carlos – drums & vocals.

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TESLA – “Forever More” a solid Hard Rock album and band

Posted in 1980's hard rock, 1980's heavy metal music, 1990's hard rock music, Album Review, classic hard rock music, classic rock, classic rock music, cool album covers, current hard rock albums, current hard rock music, current hard rock songs, current heavy metal albums, current heavy metal music, essential hard rock albums, essential rock albums, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock albums 2009, hard rock drummers, hard rock guitarists, hard rock music this decade, hard rock songs, hard rock vocalists, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 2009, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 2009, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal this decade, Music, recent heavy metal albums, Rock, rock music, rock music vocals, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 16, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Tesla_aff_smTesla has released an album of 12 brand new tunes this past year titled “Forever More”, it should not be ignored or overlooked. I feel this new Tesla album is a solid musical statement, (“Forever More” was released on October 7, 2008). All 12 songs are what I consider to be Hard Rock excellence that lyrically relates. The lyrics of these songs are a celebration of life’s ups and downs, delivered in true – blue collar, Hard Rock fashion from Tesla. “So What!” is a heavy, musically driven tune, it essentially tells you to shrug off the complaining in life, plus who cares about other people’s whining as well. “Pvt. Ledbetter” is a feel good track about a soldier who is going to come home from war, (not to give away the storyline), the first listen to this song had me worried that it would be a sad ending. Jeff Keith on vocals sounds like he is having the time of his life, he sings better than ever on “Forever More”, (in my Metal opinion).

Every song is excellent, it is obvious from the quality of “Forever More” that this Tesla effort was well worth the wait! This album is very well written, both lyrically and musically. This is a real Hard Rock album of songs… the way it is supposed to be. If the power of this Hard Rock album  gets you psyched out, then you will be searching out the entire Tesla catalog of albums, guaranteed. Tesla has returned in grand, Hard Rocking form, thank goodness. Tesla has always been a favored Rock/Hard Rock band of mine… ever since the day I heard “Modern Day Cowboy” from the “Mechanical Resonance” album, over twenty years ago. Man, does time really fly! I was fortunate enough to see Tesla live, once, when they opened for Def Leppard. It was the Hysteria Tour for Def Leppard, (late ’80’s), both Tesla and Def Leppard played in the round – at the Hartford Civic Center, in expensive Connecticut. Tesla played an entire acoustic set… I was not expecting an acoustic jam that night, yet I dug it pretty well. 

Tesla is: Jeff Keith on lead vocals, Frank Hannon on electric and acoustic guitars & keyboards, Dave Rude on electric, acoustic and slide guitars, Brian Wheat on bass guitar and Troy Luccketta on drums and percussion. The liner notes within the CD digipak are the coolest, with 16 pages of full color band photos, with 2 pages devoted to each band member, filled with great full color photos and thank you’s for each. Tons of credits and a super cool, 2008 year in review, written by Tesla, makes for a classy touch.

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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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Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band – Rocks forever on “Nine Tonight”

Posted in 1970's hard rock, 1970's Rock, 1980's rock music, 1980's hard rock, Album Review, classic rock, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock songs, live rock albums, Music, rock & roll, rock & roll hall of fame inductees, rock and roll, rock and roll hall of fame inductees, rock music, rock music vocals, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 24, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

In my Metal opinion, Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band are an American Rock N’ Roll treasure. Bob Seger was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, in 2004. “Nine Tonight” is a live album that is also a greatest hits, based on the song selection. This album was recorded live in June 1980 in Detroit and October 1980 in Boston. Some of Bob Seger’s most successful hits are here with “Against The Wind”, “Hollywood Nights” and “We’ve Got Tonight”. The good time Rockers are here too, Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band do not disappoint with “The Fire Down Below”, “Old Time Rock And Roll” and “Her Strut”. Wow, does Bob Seger make these songs really come alive, coupled with Seger’s vocals and the excellent musicianship of The Silver Bullet Band. There is just a real, feel good vibe that is going on when you listen to “Nine Tonight”. I always say, be true to the roots of Hard Rock. For bands of yesteryear, like Bob Seger’s, without question, helped pave the way for the new Hard Rock bands of today.

I will go out on a Metal limb here and say, Metallica could never do a better job with the Bob Seger classic “Turn The Page”, (from the Back In ’72 album by Bob Seger – released in 1973), their cover version of this song is just that, a cover. (Keep in mind, I hold Metallica in the highest Metal regards). This was a classic example of nothing beats the original. It does go to show, that there are Metal bands out there that dig Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band, Metallica is proof of this. I could never resist any of Bob Seger’s brand of Rock through the years, the gravitation towards his voice and blue collar Rock & Roll has always made me a believer in his music. The combination of the songs with their memorable lyrics, plus the live atmosphere definitely provokes a positive Rockin’ good time on this CD/album.

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