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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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