Archive for foreigner

FOREIGNER “Alive & Rockin” – Proof Positive That FOREIGNER Still Connects Their Illustrious Past To The Present

Posted in classic rock, Hard Rock, hard rock bands, melodic rock, Music, rock concerts, rock music, rock music news with tags , , , , , , on July 3, 2012 by Metal Odyssey

FOREIGNER – I imagine that the past accomplishments of Foreigner can undoubtedly be looked upon as legendary; while the present-day Foreigner lineup can be upheld as superheroes protecting, celebrating and building upon an enviable Rock ‘N Roll legacy. For a Rock/Hard Rock band that should be enshrined in The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, only to be ignored by the political party that oversees it, Foreigner justifiably has the world-wide popular vote among generations of fans that know ultra quality when they hear and see it.

Alive & Kickin’ is proof positive that Foreigner still connects their illustrious past to the present. A live recording from their 2006 performance at the Bang Your Head!!! Festival in Balingen, Germany; Foreigner is a band continuously touring to this very day and bringing to life a catalog of songs from albums that have sold over 70 million world-wide.

Any “famous” band in the land (switching around vocalists) can learn a valuable lesson from Foreigner: make absolutely certain your new lead singer can relate the true emotion of the song; while capturing the essence of what it means to vocally represent such band’s storied history of music. With Hurricane as his credible launching pad, lead vocalist Kelly Hansen has earned his Rock ‘N Roll doctorate with Foreigner, by excelling at following Lou Gramm so effortlessly well.

As my ears dictate, Foreigner hasn’t succumbed to being a stale semblance of what once was. Still recording and touring to sell-out crowds, spanning five decades, equates that Rock ‘N Roll magic is consistently being captured by this band. Alive & Rockin’ projects the sounds and vibes of a profoundly memorable Classic Rock era, celebrating both Foreigner’s hit songs and their legendary past; bringing me back to those starry-eyed days of my teen-hood, while erasing the momentary stress I encounter on the present day.

If there ever was a power-house quinary of albums in the history of Rock, that can be used as the measuring stick to both Rock and Hard Rock mainstream success, then Foreigner’s 1977 self-titled debut, 1978’s Double Vision, 1979’s Head Games, 1981’s 4 and 1984’s Agent Provocateur are to be celebrated as such.

This is a quality performance that was recorded on Alive  & Rockin’, with my lone gripe of wanting to hear Kelly Hansen chat-it-up more with the thousands of fans in attendance. (I’ve always been a sucker for that lead singer-to-crowd interaction). Alive & Rockin’ was released this past May 29th, via Eagle Rock Entertainment. I couldn’t argue with any better time for this live album release, especially since Summer is here and the urge to play Classic Rock on high volume with the car windows down is epidemic.

Mick Jones should feel very proud of his success at keeping this (his) Rockin’ Foreigner ship sailing. I strongly recommend Alive & Rockin’ to any and all Classic Rock, Rock and Hard Rock fans. Only the strong, talented and wise survive, yet in Rock music you must add adaptable to the mix… and Foreigner bestows these attributes while carrying the torch of relevance high in the air. I won’t stamp this as an all-time great live album in Rock history; still it’s Foreigner at their live Rockin’ best and I couldn’t ask for more than that. Alive & Rockin’ is sound proof of my Rockin’ beliefs I’ve just written. Metal be thy name.

__________________________________

FOREIGNER:

Mick Jones – lead guitar, keyboards and vocals

Kelly Hansen – lead vocals

Jason Bonham – drums

Jeff Jacobs – keyboards and vocals

Tom Gimbel – guitar, saxophone, flute and vocals

Jeff Pilson – bass guitar and vocals

__________________________________

Alive & Rockin’ – Track Listing:

Double Vision

Head Games

Dirty White Boy

Cold As Ice

Starrider

Feels Like The First Time

Urgent

Juke Box Hero / Whole Lotta Love

Hot Blooded

_______________________________________________________

For more info on FOREIGNER, click on the link below!

FOREIGNER

LONG LIVE FOREIGNER.

Stone.

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FOREIGNER – Revisiting Their 1979 Album: Head Games

Posted in classic rock, classic rock albums, Hard Rock, metal odyssey, Music, rock music, rock music news with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 30, 2011 by Metal Odyssey

FOREIGNER – Back in 1979, I was exiting seventh grade in the Spring and entering eighth grade for the coming Fall season. I turned thirteen years of age in January of 1979, kicking off this memorable year as a teen. I used to think the world was mine for the pickings back then… I know much better now. One album that was released back in 1979 was definitely mine for the pickings though, it was Head Games by the forever steady and legendary Foreigner. Head Games was the third studio album from Foreigner, released on Atlantic Records.

When I realized my mother was going to buy me this album, as a reward for doing yard work and other chores, I was ecstatic. You see, Foreigner would be the very first band where I owned every one of their albums! Fortunately for me, Foreigner did not have an extensive catalog of albums back then, so corralling their first three releases was not a difficult task… I just had to earn these albums. Let me tell you this much, I did feel like a big shot and a tad cocky among my school buddies back then, due to my Foreigner loyalty in owning all three of their albums. I chuckle about it now for did it really matter? I guess it did matter at that age.

With albums being such a rare gift or reward for me, (back in 1979 that is), I kept this Head Games album in ultra mint condition. Yes, I did play Head Games like the cows were coming home to fart. I played this album and made certain that my favorite song Dirty White Boy was cranked up the loudest. Being thirteen and turning up the volume to Dirty White Boy, with my bedroom windows open during the warm days, so the neighbors could hear it, was my big idea of rebellion. Yes, I thought I was a rebel by doing that. Metal be thy name.

The big hit was the title track of course and Head Games was played on FM radio all the time back in ’79. I remember like it was yesterday, the ostrich bumps I would get up and down my arms and face whenever I played this song loud… or heard it on the FM dial. Um, I still kinda get ostrich bumps from this song… kinda. Rev on the Red Line is another song on Head Games that never lost it’s Classic Rock cool to my ears… it plays out so smooth and flows so well, while holding it’s hard edge.

Back in ’79, I considered Head Games to be my third favorite Foreigner album, behind their debut/self-titled from 1977 and Double Vision from 1978. I still feel this way. (Double Vision is hands down, my favorite Foreigner album ever). Yes, I do hold fond memories for this Foreigner album. I can remember the album cover giving off the “wow factor” to us kids back then, now I can only shrug and chuckle at it’s classic innocence.

I was into Lou Gramm’s vocals before I ever knew who Joe Lynn Turner was. I was into Foreigner before I can honestly say I was really into Black Sabbath. In reality, thirteen was the age I was during this year of ’79, which was part of the beginning years of my journey, a Rock music journey toward discovering more bands and albums that I could ever dream of. Head Games is an album I will always consider to be a building block of my lifetime infatuation with Hard Rock and yes… Metal.

FOREIGNER as they appeared on Head Games:

Lou Gramm – vocals

Mick Jones – guitar

Rick Wills – bass

Ian McDonald – guitar

Al Greenwood – keyboards

Dennis Elliott – drums

Track Listing For Head Games:

Dirty White Boy

Love on the Telephone

I’ll Get Even With You

Seventeen

Head Games

The Modern Day

Blinded By Science

Do What You Like

Rev on the Red Line

* One nifty fact about Foreigner:  Guitarist (multi-instrumentalist) Ian McDonald was a founding member of the legendary Progressive Rock band: King Crimson.

* For more info on FOREIGNER, click on this link: FOREIGNER

The word “nifty” was used in this Metal Odyssey post. Um, yup.

LONG LIVE FOREIGNER.

Stone.

Some Rockin’ Albums To Get You Through An Ice Storm Warning!

Posted in classic rock, classic rock albums, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, rock music, rock music news, weather news with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 2, 2011 by Metal Odyssey

Well, it’s coming… back for round II. On Tuesday, February 1st, round I came through Pennsylvania and it was enough to cause plenty of headaches and anxiety attacks. As it is, round I was just a teaser compared to the impending “round II”, which is supposed to be bigger, badder and more potent than ever. What is “it”? I can almost see the concerned look on your face, as you begin to mutter: what was round I and what could round II possibly be? What is Stone unravelling about now? An ice storm. Another F’n ice storm. Metal be thy name, ice storms are not fun. Ice storms for all intents and purposes are dangerous to life, liberty and the pursuit of Metal happiness.

I have my snow shovel, yet what can that actually do when it comes to ice? My nearly 4 foot long ice chopper will come in handy though. Rock salt… yup, I have about 15 pounds of it, only it’s not gonna be enough probably. Will we lose our power due to the ice storm’s brutality to tree limbs and power lines? Maybe. Losing power when the temperature outside is below freezing is not something I welcome with open Metal arms.

What can any one of us do when it comes to a raging ice storm? The damn ice storm warning put out by the National Weather Service says it all! With big jack-o-lantern grins on their faces, my late/great uncles (Uncle George and Willard) always used to say to me when I was a young lad: you can’t control or predict Mother Nature. They were not mistaken. All that the Mid-Atlantic and Southern New England States can do now is wait. Wait. Wait for this ice storm to cometh… and…

LISTEN TO SOME ROCK ‘N’ ROLL & F’N METAL!

Below is a list of five albums that are somehow linked to that very cold three letter word… ICE. Be it the band name, song or album title, the reference to ice is there. WARNING: This list just might serve you right. Each album is recommended by Stone for your listening Rockin’ pleasure during – Ice Storm Round II of 2011.

Foreigner – debut/self titled (1977)

Their Classic Rock gem – Cold As Ice is as fitting as any song to listen to during Ice Storm Round II. If these lyrics to Cold As Ice speak to me correctly, this song has some pissed off attitude happening. That’s perfect! For I am pissed off at this ice storm. By the way, this Foreigner debut album is a Classic Rock masterpiece.

Yngwie Malmsteen – Fire & Ice (1992)

Göran Edman is the lead vocalist on Yngwie Malmsteen’s sixth studio album. I’ve always liked this Fire & Ice album and consider it to be one of those best kept secrets from the early 90’s. Can you keep a secret? I still have… Fire & Ice… in mint condition… on cassette. No, it’s not for sale.

AC/DC – BLACK ICE (2008)

If any band in this great land has the ability to cheer me up, especially during Ice Storm Round II of 2011, it’s gonna be AC/DC. This album’s title and it’s title track have those two words no driver wants to hear during these winter months – Black Ice.

Frozen Ghost – The Essentials (2005)

If you dig Night Ranger, Nelson and Survivor, then you just might dig Frozen Ghost. Their melodic and well crafted songs were tailor made for Rock accessibility. This Canadian AOR band released three studio albums from 1987 to 1992. Here’s a Rockin’ fun fact: Frozen Ghost spelled their band name as Frōzen Ghōst on their first and third album covers, (their second album from 1988, Nice Place To Visit, had the spelling Frozen Ghost). Frozen Ghost broke up in 1993 and their mainstream Rock still resonates relevancy to my ears.

ICED EARTH – ALIVE IN ATHENS (1999)

Since their 1990 debut and self-titled album, Iced Earth has been an American Heavy Metal Band that has never buckled down to music trends or watered down their music for any mainstream acceptance… thanks to the legendary Jon Schaffer (founding member/guitarist/songwriter). Matthew Barlow is the lead vocalist on this live gem from Iced Earth.

Alive In Athens bestows some solid production, capturing Iced Earth’s Heavy Metal energy as they play their classics to a fired up mass of fans in Athens, Greece. I can’t ever find myself keeping this CD out of arms reach. Plus, what other band has a name so fitting for an ice storm? On Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011, when I wake up from my Metal slumber… a visible Iced Earth will be awaiting me outside, courtesy of Mother Nature. My great uncles are smiling down on me now.

By now, many of you are asking: hey Stone, what about that album cover at the top of this post? Is that a cool album to listen to during Ice Storm Round II of 2011? My answer is very simple. Yes, The Crucible Of Man: Something Wicked Part 2 is a Metal recommendation for any ice storm. It receives Stone’s Metal stamp of approval the whole year long too.

METAL BE THY NAME.

ICE STORMS SUCK.

ICE STORM WARNINGS ARE SPOOKY.

Stone.

Ten Very Uncool Hard Rock And Heavy Metal Album Covers Part III

Posted in classic rock, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, humor, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, rock and roll, rock music, rock music news with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 12, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

LOOK WHOSE COMING OVER FOR CHRISTMAS.

UNCOOL – Once again, I’m back at it again… for a third installment of “Ten Very Uncool Hard Rock And Heavy Metal Album Covers”. Why do I embark on such a Metal task you query? Due to the fact that I admire and uphold the album covers that have stood the test of time: All Iron Maiden album covers along with Molly Hatchet, MotorheadAsia, BostonLääz Rockit, Overkill, Avenged SevenfoldKing Diamond and of course, DIO, have all had astounding artwork and graphics to represent their prodigious music over the decades.

Why can many bands and solo artists have their image and music dutifully represented by their album covers, while many others are packaged by their artwork and imagery like a stale can of inedible baked beans? We now live in the age of “the mp3”, where album cover artwork is for all intents and purposes, non-essential to the mp3 consumer. That is a Metal shame. All of us “Old Schoolers” know the importance of the beloved album cover and realize the album art more often than not parallels the songs heard within.

Try taking a walk through the CD aisles (or aisle) of Best Buy or browse around the internet music websites… you’ll find it is nearly 50/50 as to the cool/uncool ratio of album covers out there. This remarkable cool versus uncool album cover fiasco has been going on for decades, since the very beginning of Rock ‘N’ Roll itself! I don’t try to advertise myself on being “The Hard Rock and Heavy Metal Album Cover Authority”, still, I hopefully know how to decipher the uncool from cool after all my Metal lovin’ years.

Enjoy this list, become informed, gain knowledge and above all… if you happen to purchase one of these CD’s in the near future, just cover it over with “something” at the checkout, so other customers don’t witness your purchase. In the event you purchase one of these CD’s via mail, you are safe, no one will know you bought a CD with an uncool cover, just the dude who packaged it for shipping will know. If you become annoyed by this “Part III” list, well, you must like uncool Hard Rock and Heavy Metal album covers then.

* An uncool album cover does not necessarily mean that the respective band and the music heard on the album is uncool as well. If the album is a total stinker with it’s product of music, I would warn the world. Without further delay, here is the non-prestigious list of Ten Very Uncool Hard Rock & Heavy Metal Album Covers Part III:

Foreigner – No End In Sight: The Very Best Of Foreigner (2008)

Bon Jovi and Nickelback have made prior uncool album cover lists here at Metal Odyssey for the same stale reason: a boring image of a… highway. What is it about highways and album covers? Why do these desolate paths of macadam/dirty asphalt keep popping up? I don’t care about the album title being “linked” with an image of this highway either. Highways are daunting, lonely and filled with road rage, therefore, highways are stressful. There really is “no end in sight” to the amount of times bands wind up with highways on their album covers. You’d think that after all these decades, Foreigner would want to have a cool album cover representing their legendary songs.

Nickelback – All The Right Reasons (2005)

Hey… look who’s back! It’s Nickelback! For a second time with another “uncool album cover induction” with All The Right Reasons. This marks the second album cover from Nickelback with a highway on it! I can think of a million reasons as to why this album cover is uncool and BORING, here is one: Regardless of the year and make of the automobile shown in the picture, this album cover is nothing more than an auto dealership brochure cover.

30 Seconds To Mars – Self Titled/Debut (2002)

? Doh!

Saving Abel – Self Titled/Debut (2008)

This day and age, I don’t know if I’m looking at a guy or a girl butt here. So, with all the confusion, this album cover is… uncool. For “me” it is anyways. Plus, how many more times do we need the “butt in tight jeans, staring at you in the face” album cover? An exceedingly overdone “theme”.

Bon Jovi – Cross Road (1994)

Just another Bon Jovi “Greatest Hits”. Wow, so compellingly Rockin’… Jon Bon Jovi and his band sitting around in a diner and doing nuthin’. OMG… that is so cool! Yeah, right. In reality, this band would never be caught in a blue collar diner… more like a 10 star, caviar serving, white linen restaurant on Rodeo Drive is more like it. Stone isn’t getting fooled. As an uncool bonus, this photo of the band is washed out and blurry. This photo would receive an “F” grade, back in my photography 101 class in college. This album cover makes Bon Jovi’s “second appearance” on a Metal Odyssey “uncool album cover” list. Congratulations Bon Jovi!

Collective Soul – Afterwords (2007)

Just embarrassing, really. Where is the slight or even remote imagery of “Rock” involved here within this album cover? This is more better suited as a Martha Stewart Living magazine cover. Metal be thy name.

Pearl Jam – Pearl Jam (2006)

I don’t care how many albums were sold of this Pearl Jam release… this is a perfect example of over thinking what your album cover should look like and convey. Trying to go for the “it’s over their heads” mentality doesn’t work for me either, with this album cover. It’s not over Stone’s head, this cover is just 100% uncool. This style of photography and art worked extremely well for Pink Floyd, a legendary band that knew what legendary album covers should look like. Most recently, Pearl Jam is into cartoons on their album cover with Backspacer… go figure.

Judas Priest – Point Of Entry (1981)

Since the day I first bought this Judas Priest album on vinyl, (probably around 1982/83), up until today, this cover just falls flat for me. I absolutely LOVE this album and Judas Priest is a core band for my Metal lovin’ soul. Do I feel guilty then, that I’m choosing a Judas Priest album cover for an “uncool list”? Nope. This “original” album cover for Point Of Entry is so super bland, that it will be forever filed under: What were they thinking? The super scary part about this album cover, is the blue printer paper that stretches on for miles, actually simulates a… highway!!! Even the ultra-legendary Judas Priest dabbled in the highway theme for an album cover! It probably cost $50 in U.S. funds to create this album cover too.

Dokken – Under Lock And Key (1985)

First, Under Lock And Key is a Dokken album that potently Rocks like there is no tomorrow. No, it’s not the hair or fashion that is uncool here. These styles are still utilized by many bands today. This image was an identity to a grand decade of 80’s Hard Rock and Heavy Metal. Instead, what makes this Dokken album cover so uncool is that gigantic, cardboard key. That key ruined it. Minus that key, this album cover never comes up in an uncool album cover conversation. Who was behind this idea? That oversized, concocted, cardboard key would have served better inside a middle school lobby, with the words scrawled upon it: Unlock the key to your child’s education.

Christmas In Your Ear – (Release date unknown and who cares)

Gee Metal whiz, this compilation of Christmas songs, covered by some of the most popular names in Rock history, has not only an uncool album cover, it has an annoyingly uncool album title! Christmas In Your Ear. (!) Metal be thy name. The next uncool thing I’ll uncover will be a cookbook titled: Christmas In Your Stomach. What’s up with the raging serial killer’s face in the Christmas tree ornament? Talk about issues… that dude needs some anger management treatment fast. I could understand the album cover, only if it contained Death Metal bands covering Christmas songs. With the likes of Billy Squire, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Smithereens and Pat Benatar, etc. on this CD, the cover does NOT fit the contents of what you’ll be listening to. Simply put, an embarrassing album cover and title. I think I’ll change the name of this blog now to: Metal Odyssey In Your Eyes.

METAL BE THY NAME.

LONG LIVE HARD ROCK & HEAVY METAL.

Stone.

METAL ODYSSEY’S TOP TEN HARD ROCK ALBUMS OF 2009

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

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

#10 – CHICKENFOOT – CHICKENFOOT

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

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

#9 – MADINA LAKE – ATTICS TO EDEN

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

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

#8 – PAPA ROACH – METAMORPHOSIS

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

Papa Roach “Metamorphosis” – leave your stress behind!

#7 – DOMMIN – EP

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

DOMMIN – “E.P.” Has Me Hooked

#6 – FOREIGNER – CAN’T SLOW DOWN

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

#5- WOLFMOTHER – COSMIC EGG

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

#4 – THE MARS VOLTA – OCTAHEDRON

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

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

#3 – CHEAP TRICK – THE LATEST

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

Cheap Trick “The Latest” is their latest great album

#2 – CKY – CARVER CITY

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

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

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

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

#1 – LYNYRD SKYNYRD – GOD & GUNS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Metal Excess — http://metalexcess.com/

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

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

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



FOREIGNER – DEBUT ALBUM FROM 1977 STILL PULLS ME IN

Posted in 1970's classic rock albums, 1970's classic rock bands, 1970's classic rock songs, 1970's classic rock vocalists, 1970's hard rock bands, 1970's hard rock, 1970's Rock, 1970's rock music, 1980's classic rock bands, 1980's hard rock albums, 1980's rock music, 1980's hard rock, Album Review, classic hard rock music, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock music, classic rock music 1977, classic rock songs, cool album covers, essential classic rock albums, essential classic rock songs, everyday social experiences, family, family pets, hard rock music, life, life stories, metal odyssey, Music, real life experiences, Rock, rock & roll, rock album review, rock and roll, rock music, rock music reviews, rock vocalists, vintage hard rock albums, vintage rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 17, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Foreigner "Foreigner" small album picThe debut album by Foreigner, (self titled, released on March 8, 1977), was one of my first vinyl record albums that I ever owned. I actually bought the first Foreigner album shortly after receiving their Double Vision album as a birthday gift, back in 1979. (The Double Vision album was released on June 20, 1978). So it is safe to say, that the debut Foreigner album was playing on my turntable sometime in the Spring of 1979. Being an eighth grader in 1979, my exposure to Heavy Metal Music was at it’s most infant state, KISS was the only Heavy Metal Band I owned on album at this time. I always bring up my past history, as to the year of purchase of a said album and what bands I was into at the given time, so to make clarity to the evolvement of my becoming a Metalhead. It was a progression of listening to different Rock genres for me, since I was a kid. This Foreigner album is as integral a piece to that progression, as any other Rock album I ever listened to. Just as the Double Vision album, Foreigner’s debut album had me wanting more and that was a good symptom to have. There definitely was some psychological imbedding that happened to me with Foreigner at a young age, whenever I listen to their albums, (especially the first four), I feel like everything is alright.

What prompted me to blog about this Foreigner debut album is hearing the song Feels Like The First Time on the radio this past Sunday. My family and I just had to endure visiting a sad animal shelter that morning, (we are currently looking to adopt a cat), and all four of us were in quite the funk. I decided to bring my wife to a store that has 70% off of all their Christmas decor, what bargains were truly found – no kidding here. This stop to purchase Christmas decor was just the elixir of happy that my wife and daughters needed after a somber morning of seeing so many poor and sickly cats. My elixir of happy was hearing Foreigner on the store’s radio. As I have stated, Foreigner puts me on the – everything is alright trip. I actually felt my face give off a smile and get all flushed while I heard this Foreigner song. On the drive home from this store, I wished there was a Foreigner CD in the car… trust me, there has been many times.

This experience is just a fine example of how a band and their album can pull me right in… and take me back, while making my mood alright again. That is the magic of Rock and Roll, these are the benchmarks of an album and/or song that cannot be critiqued by lazy Rolling Stone Magazine writers who have not a clue. The personal memories and feelings that are stored within oneself, due to the impact from a Rock Band of any genre, their albums, an individual song or a concert experience from such band… money cannot buy, man. Listening to Foreigner’s debut again, reminds me as to why the Classic Rock genre exists. This album is a Rock Classic. Foreigner is in my Metal Odyssey Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Too bad that big, pompous building in Cleveland, Ohio, doesn’t get it.

I grin each time I stare at the front cover image of the band, on the Foreigner debut front cover. The first impression is – these are gentlemen. Hard Rock gentlemen, that is. The maturity that this front cover image evokes, also mirrors the maturity of the music heard from this Foreigner album. It wasn’t about boobs and beer, rebellion or political commentary, it was about quality Rock and Hard Rock songs. From the lyrics to each songs structure, Foreigner presented to the world a sophisticated, yet Hard edged sound, that could be radio friendly and street cool at the same time. Two of my favorite songs from Foreigner are not even considered to be hits at all. Headknocker and Starrider are two songs from this album that are individualistic and represent the two sides of Foreigner’s Rock style. Headknocker being the Hard Rock cranker and Starrider introducing Foreigner’s adoration for a more melodic, Rock ballad. I really like Starrider for it’s almost cosmic musical ambiance, the keyboards and chorus are what sets this song apart, for me. This is just me, yet it would be a kick to hear W.A.S.P. or Judas Priest cover Headknocker.

Long, Long Way From Home is without doubt, Lou Gramm singing at his very finest. Man, his vocals alone, makes this song resonate with powerful emotion. Cold As Ice will always be the hit staple from this Foreigner album… rightfully so. I would not argue that it is as important a Rock single as any from the 1970’s. Regardless of decades passing by, this Foreigner debut album is, yes, timeless. It may sound cliche, still those Rock and Hard Rock albums from days gone by, like this very album, need to be revisited and remembered for their Rock and Roll historical importance and sheer quality.

Foreigner "Foreigner" large album pic

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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