Archive for classic hard rock music

DEEP PURPLE – “MACHINE HEAD” A Once In A Lifetime Hard Rock Album

Posted in Album Review, classic hard rock, classic rock, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Music, rock albums, rock and roll, rock guitarists, rock music, rock music news with tags , , , , , , , , on November 4, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Deep Purple "Machine Head" small album picDeep Purple is the Hard Rock band, that deserves so much more respect and attention than what is normally given them. How often are the usual cast of characters brought up in Rock and Hard Rock conversations, articles and televised documentaries; you know the ones and these bands deserve their just due, praise and remembrance. Still, in the midst of Led Zeppelin, The Who, Black Sabbath, The Doors and of course, the Beatles… was Deep Purple. Deep Purple made some momentous and historical Rock Music of their own. Can I confidently say that Deep Purple was a band as commercially big as the other’s just mentioned? Of course no. I will state, that in my Metal opinion, Deep Purple was and always will be considered just as important of a contributor, to the history of Rock and Roll. Consistency in the form of personnel at the lead guitar and lead singer positions are two critical elements missing from the biography of Deep Purple. If this is what sets them apart from ever being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, then that is pathetic foolishness on the part of that Cleveland, Ohio country club. With a mid 1980’s reunion, (1984 Perfect Strangers album), Deep Purple has been intact to this very day, with lineup changes being a normal course of their history.

Onward with my saluting Machine Head, the 1972 album from Deep Purple that I consider to be a once in a lifetime Hard Rock achievement. I mean this in the most sincerest of complimentary form. It is not as if Deep Purple never made a great album before or after Machine Head, it is that this album truly dictated a resonating Hard Rock sound that was absent in the mainstream of the early 1970’s. It’s so cliché to point out this Machine Head album as laying down the foundation for Heavy Metal. Instead, I like to insist on this album’s importance in quality Hard Rock songs, all seven to be exact. How can anyone refute the significance of Smoke On The Water? The ultra classic opening riff in this song from Ritchie Blackmore, is a study in non-technical guitar genius. Compared to today’s competitive and dueling nature of Metal guitarists, a slow down and reflection to some old school Machine Head just might cause an epiphany.

Oh, Ritchie Blackmore has his technical guitar skills without a Metal doubt, only his bluesy Rock roots stood out often enough to fuel the Deep Purple sound that set them apart from their peers. On Highway Star, the bluesy Hard Rock guitar is evident in its gleaming repetition. Space Truckin’ is as thunderous of a Hard Rock song mastering the blues as you will ever hear, I have never heard anything else like it in all the years I’ve been alive. Let’s not forget to applaud the vocals of Ian Gillan, probably the single most underrated lead singer in Hard Rock and Rock history combined. The opening yell, if you will, from Ian Gillan on Highway Star introduced to the world what Bruce Dickinson, (of Iron Maiden) and Geoff Tate, (of Queensryche) would be emulating years later… whether they knew it or not.

While Yes was introducing to the world in the early 70’s a progressive and futuristic sound through the hammond organ and keyboards, Deep Purple gave the reigns to Jon Lord to basically pound out chord sequences that dictated the hardness of their songs. Jon Lord was not looking to amaze anybody, he was looking to Rock your head off. Roger Glover on bass and Ian Paice on drums likewise, their rhythm section steered clear of the doom and gloom sound being raised in its infancy by Black Sabbath and to an extent, Iron Butterfly. Providing the undertow of harmony while establishing the trademark beats that this Machine Head album beheld, Roger Glover and Ian Paice were the Hard Rock glue that held Deep Purple together here.

I could not find it in myself, to proclaim Machine Head as the greatest Heavy Metal album of all time. I anoint Machine Head to be my greatest Hard Rock album of all time, to some it may sound like a consolation prize, instead I see this album as bigger than most music scholars may tend to ponder. I have searched high and low, for many, many, years to find another Hard Rock album filled with as much originality and straight forward Rock musicianship that sounds as dynamic as Machine Head. I am still searching… in the meantime, I declare that Machine Head is a once in a lifetime Hard Rock album.

Track Listing For Machine Head, (original 1972 release/not reissue):

Highway Star

Maybe I’m a Leo

Pictures of Home

Never Before

Smoke on the Water

Lazy

Space Truckin’

Deep Purple "Machine Head" large album pic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gone

From Another World

Don’t You Tell Me

Don’t Drag The River

Fine

Time Is The Healer

I’m Not The Same Man

It Falls Through Me

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

HUGHES large album pic

KISS “KLASSICS” – ROCKS HARDER THAN EVER!

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

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

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

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

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

Track Listing For KISS Klassics:

* Deuce

* Detroit Rock City

* Shout It Out Loud

* Hotter Than Hell

* Calling Dr. Love

* Love Gun

* I Was Made For Lovin’ You

* Heaven’s On Fire

* Lick It Up

* I Love It Loud

* Forever

* Christine Sixteen

* Do You Love Me

* Black Diamond

* Rock And Roll All Nite

KISS "Sonic Boom" x-large album pic 2009

JOE SATRIANI “Surfing With The Alien” – My music of choice for today and many days to come

Posted in 1980's classic rock guitarists, 1980's hard rock albums, 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's instrumental rock albums, 1980's rock albums, 1980's rock music, 1980's classic rock, 1980's classic rock music, Album Review, classic hard rock, classic hard rock music, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock music, classic rock songs, cool album covers, essential classic rock albums, essential hard rock albums, essential heavy metal albums, essential rock albums, Guitar, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock guitarists, hard rock songs, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal albums, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal solo albums, heavy metal solo artists, instrumental guitar rock albums, Music, old school hard rock, old school heavy metal, Rock, rock guitarists, rock music, vintage hard rock albums, vintage heavy metal albums, vintage rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 26, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150I listened to Joe Satriani “Surfing With The Alien” all day today… in the car, in the house and back in the car once again. (Released in 1987, I own both the vinyl LP and CD). I have those days, where I choose that one CD and listen to it the entire day. Joe Satriani is without question, one of my favorite guitarists that ever lived. Pinning down who my favorite guitarist is of all time is too impossible of a task – there are just way too many guitarists across the entire Rock and Heavy Music spectrum that I revere. It’s not that I do not want to get controversial about naming an all time favorite guitarist, I named what I feel is the greatest Metal album of all time, in a previous post – (Black Sabbath, “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath”). There are just so many unique styles of playing out there, in the world of guitarists, I tend to draw from a cornucopia of these styles and enjoy what I hear from a vast array of players. Joe Satriani really nails it down, with pin point accuracy, on this album. Combining speed and clarity, while slowing things down at all the right moments, makes for a harmonious and melodic guitar instrumental experience, is the best quick summary for Joe Satriani on “Surfing With The Alien”. The daunting question of: Is Joe Satriani a Rock, Hard Rock or Heavy Metal guitarist? – can only be answered by stating Joe Satriani can play it all and play it with greatness. The catalog of albums that Joe Satriani has created over the years proves just that, the proof is in his music.

When I listened to “Surfing With The Alien” today, I never stopped to think about what these songs would be like if lyrics were to be put into the mix. (I am thinking it now, though). That is what a great guitar instrumental album will do for me, the focal point is the guitar brilliance of Joe Satriani, no vocals are necessary. The guitar play of Joe Satriani is what speaks, in essence, that is what it should do. I have always equated a great guitar player, as a musician who can make me hear and feel the emotion that erupts from the notes and chords they play. At 1:46, “Hill Of The Skull” may be one of the shortest songs on this album, yet this is the one that overflows the most emotional feeling – for me. Surfing With The Alien” is hands down, the most popular and fastest song from this album, a quick fix for getting back on my feet and body slamming any negative thoughts in my brain. If I had to describe this album in just two words, they would be: groove saturated. “Always With Me, Always With You” and “Echo” are not just crossover songs to lure the easy listening crowd into the outskirts of Heavy Music, these are songs that encapsulate the upbeat harmony and instinctive music writing genius of Joe Satriani.

My favorite song on “Surfing With The Alien” is Ice 9″. Oh man, do I really like this song. By process of elimination, there is going to be the one song out of the ten found here, that sends it straight through me.“Satch Boogie” is a song that reels me in as well, it shows just how dynamic Joe Satriani had become as a player, on just his second album release. Listening to just this CD today really did make my day that much better. It is not that often that I will listen to only one CD for an entire day… this has definitely been an exercise in Metal constraint for me. To not slap in some Death Metal, Black Metal or straight up Heavy Metal within today’s routine, only justifies how much I really enjoy this album and Joe Satriani’s guitar. Tomorrow I will go back to my daily mix of Metal listening, still I guarantee that I will crank up “Ice 9” once again.

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FOREIGNER “Double Vision” – a Classic Hard Rock album revisited

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, 1980's classic rock bands, 1980's rock music, 1980's classic 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, essential classic rock albums, essential hard rock albums, essential rock albums, Hard Rock, hard rock songs, hard rock vocalists, Music, old school hard rock, Rock, rock album reviews, rock and roll, rock music, rock vocalists, vintage hard rock albums, vintage rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 24, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150Foreigner, a Hard Rock band that opened the doors to the world of Heavy Music for me. Double Vision”, an album that I consider to be one of the greatest Rock or Hard Rock albums ever created. On June 20, 1978, “Double Vision” was released. On January 26, 1979, I received this revered album as a birthday gift from my late mother. I was able to choose an album, just one album, on a trip to the Caldor department store… Foreigner “Double Vision” was my choice, on that birthday. Each year that passes by, these fond memories only grow stronger. Man, if I was to say I have listened to this album more times than any other album, it would not be a stretch. Back in 1979, I was only listening to a handful of Hard Rock bands that would eventually guide me into evolving into the Metal Music loyalist that I am today. I was thirteen years old and completely blown away by this album and band… I listened to every lyric, every chord, every note, that erupted from these songs. Foreigner was actually teaching me, at this very young age, that Hard Rock music this enormous could and would make my life enjoyable. I continue to reflect, to revisit often, the bands and albums that molded my heavy music tastes. 

From the very first listen to “Double Vision” until this very day, I honestly would choose “Blue Morning, Blue Day” as my favorite song from this album. I completely reject any notion that this song is a ballad. In my Metal opinion, Lou Gramm was at his most impeccable, vocally, on this song. My second favorite song from this classic album is a clear choice… the instrumental “Tramontane”. Whoa, when I first listened to “Tramontane”, it was my introduction to what a Rock instrumental really was and really sounded like. I realized then, at thirteen years old, that Rock and Hard Rock music did not always need lyrics to sound amazing. “Hot Blooded” and “Double Vision” are the two super hit singles from this album that literally sent psyched up – shock waves throughout my entire body. Here I was, only a few years removed from listening to a dozen or so 45 rpm’s that were my mom’s from her teen years… I went from Buddy Holly and The Everly Brothers, straight to the Hard Rock strength of Foreigner. Back in 1979, at age thirteen, this was one thrilling Rock Music leap for me. In 1979, Foreigner joined Kiss and Cheap Trick to round out my big three heavy bands that I was so ecstatic over. Queen and Bad Company were right behind them… trust me when I say that once 1980 rolled around, I was in a Hard Rock and Heavy Metal whirlwind of wonder.

Once “Double Vision” was locked into my system, I needed more Foreigner… so I delved into their debut album by buying it in the Summer of 1979. “Head Games” was released in 1979, with “4” coming out in 1981, both of these Foreigner classics I took to as well. When it was all said and done, my winner was and always will be “Double Vision”. The albums Foreigner released after “4” seemed to take off into a different Rock direction, I never could grasp onto any Foreigner ballads. I was already too spoiled by the first two Foreigner albums to really embrace any Pop Music ballads that they made so hugely popular in the mid to late 1980’s. As I look back now, it is the “Double Vision” album that is really Foreigner, this is one of the albums that took hold of a thirteen year old back in 1979 and set him straight on a life long path of Heavy Music listening bliss. I have absolutely no regrets, just a ton of Metal gratitude to Foreigner.

Foreigner, as they appeared on “Double Vision”: Mick Jones on guitar, Lou Gramm on lead vocals, Ian McDonald on guitar & keyboard, Al Greenwood on synthesizer & keyboard, Ed Gagliardi on bass and Dennis Elliott on drums.

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