Archive for progressive rock music

TWEAK BIRD – Self Titled Album Is Eclectic And Heavy!

Posted in Album Review, alternative rock bands, alternative rock music, avant-garde metal music, Hard Rock, hard rock albums, hard rock bands, hard rock music, Heavy Metal, heavy metal albums, heavy metal bands, heavy metal music, metal odyssey, Music, rock and roll, rock music, rock music news, stoner metal music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 28, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

TWEAK BIRD – Brothers Ashton and Caleb Bird have rode into town from Southern Illinois, with their self-titled, eclectically fused and heavy, full length album. Released on August 31, 2010, on Volcom EntertainmentTweak Bird is the follow-up to this bands 7 song EP, Reservations from 2008. From the looks of the album cover, Ashton and Caleb seem to be pretty psyched out about things… as well they should be, since Tweak Bird were invited as an opening act for the Progressively Alternative legends known as Tool this past Summer of 2010. Your music must be striking a heavy nerve and be interesting plus different enough for Maynard James Keenan to take such a prominent notice.

Well, I’ve taken notice of Tweak Bird too. Yes, I’m no Maynard James Keenan, still I have learned long ago that when you play from the heart and don’t follow the leader with your Heavy Rock sound, a band is going to stand out from the sea of clones. Tweak Bird has seemed to navigate themselves through this sea of clones and gathered up their Rock influences to make a menagerie of sound that is both Heavy and semi-Progressive. With a sprinkle of Alternative ambiance that seems to peer through the cracks of Tweak Birds’s sound, it’s still the Heavy Stoner riffs and chunkiness of Caleb’s baritone guitar that commands their sound.

There are moments, while I listen to Tweak Bird, that I feel I’m hearing The Sword in a slightly tempered down groove. Then, the vocal harmonies of Ashton and Caleb seem to combine for what makes this album stand apart from being just another Heavy assemblage of songs. The comparison likeness, no matter how subtle, to that of the great Geddy Lee, is not an out of the realm statement to make when mentioning the vocals of these two brothers.

One moment where Tweak Bird’s music gets diverse, Alternative if you will, is on the song A Sun/Ahh Ahh, where an extended saxophone solo by John McCowan, (who is referred to as “sometimes third band member” in a Volcom Entertainment press release), comes into play at around the two-minute mark of this song that runs 4:13. The overlapping and intermittent vocal ahh’s over the saxophone lends to an almost eerie feel… and I dig it. “A Sun/Ahh Ahh” comes to a close with the saxophone solo and fittingly makes sense.

Flute anyone? Tweak Bird incorporates the flute into Flyin’ High”. This song simultaneously breathes a slow tempo while Caleb plays the thickest and heaviest Stoner riffs that makes me bang my head in slow motion. It can be done… slow motion headbanging… Tweak Bird taught me how. As with the saxophone, Tweak Bird makes the flute fit right into their Heavy motives, almost in a hallucinating sort of way. Cool.

The last song on Tweak Bird, Distant Airways”, is the longest as well. Six songs clock in under 3 minutes, two songs under 2 minutes and one song barely over 4 minutes long. “Distant Airways” plays out at 6:15 long and doesn’t bore the senses as a useless and redundant epic either. The good ol’ saxophone makes its appearance once again on “Distant Airways”, giving these sax moments I hear a smoky lounge vibe that borders on the ultra cool. Hey… I have stated that Tweak Bird has shunned away the “clone syndrome” of Heavy Music and this song exemplifies this statement with ease. Distant Airways comes to a synthetic close with what sounds like a UFO taking off from some god forsaken crop field. A bona-fide Progressive moment. Cool again.

“Tunneling Through” showcases Ashton Bird hitting the drums hard (as he has been quoted: his hitting the drums hard being the “trick” in making his drums “sound good”). To me, Ashton’s drumming does sound good… and yes, it does sound like he hits the drums damn hard too. “Tunneling Through” gives way to a victorious feeling of “opening your mind” and journeying into the unknown. A tad psychedelic in it’s lyrical content? Sure thing. These lyrics married with the Stoner riffs and Heavy crunch, gives me that early 70’s Blue Cheer slap to my forehead. I point out this song as being my personal favorite from Tweak Bird.

Tweak Bird opens the album with The Future”, a song that has proved to me that Psychedelic Heavy Metal does exist, especially when this type of cool experimentation occurs. “The Future” has a memorable and steady beat that is not short on the Heavy side of Tweak Birds’s bag of cool & Rockin’ tricks. “The Future” ends with lots of fuzzy distortion that might have me borrowing my daughters lava lamp very soon. The shortest song from Tweak Bird is Round Trippin'”, playing at 1:12. The UFO’s have come to land! One listen to “Round Trippin'” and you’ll know what I mean there. This synth laced instrumental, puts an exclamation point on my tagging Tweak Bird as indeed… semi- Progressive.

Beyond is a track that takes the classic vibe of Surf Rock and beams it down into 2010… and is played the Tweak Bird way. Maybe the resurgence of Hawaii Five-O has some credibility after all. This song would make for a fabulous addition to this revamped television series soundtrack. Am I being a wise guy here? Nope. Beyond has all the feel and sound of modern day “Surfin’ USA”, only without the teeny-bop lyrics of actual… surfing. Cool.

The “Pop” or commercial accessibility of Tweak Bird’s songs sound non-contrived and it works well within the parameters of Heaviness that they pound away with. Caleb is an admitted T-Rex fan and loves Marc Bolan’s songwriting technique, thus the underlying reasoning behind a Classic Rock “Pop” characteristic, swirled within Tweak Bird’s overall sound. Clearly, Tweak Bird is a Heavy Band when it’s all said and done. Ashton and Caleb just mix it up by implementing the saxophone and flute within their Heavy Music playbook, showing that taking chances in Rock Music can make a comeback in 2010.

Do I like Tweak Bird? I sure do. I admire their making an album that is not generic. Knowing they are a Heavy Band is just the beginning… one must listen to each song and hear for themselves that the “unexpected” is just as cool as the “expected”. The one constant throughout the songs heard on Tweak Bird, is that you will hear Ashton and Caleb both playing Heavy… regardless if there are those intermittent moments of stylistic changes, the Heavy always returns.

Any multi-faceted, Rock Music nut should have a field day listening to Tweak Bird. Heavy Music fans that want a slice of Alternative cake, with their search for up and coming bands, might get exactly what they have been looking for with Tweak Bird. After listening to Tweak Bird several times, my use of the word “cool” has heightened… and I’m going for another slice of that Alternative cake. Cool.

* Tweak Bird was produced by Deaf Nephews – Dale Crover (Melvins & Altamont) and Toshi Kasai (Big Business & Altamont).

* For more info on TWEAK BIRD, just click on the cool links below:

TWEAK BIRD – myspace music

TWEAK BIRD – Official Website

Pictured above: Ashton on left, Caleb on right.

Track Listing For TWEAK BIRD:

The Future

Lights In Lines

Round Trippin’

A Sun/Ahh Ahh

Beyond

Tunneling Through

Sky Ride

Hazement In The Basement

Flyin’ High

Distant Airways

GO GET ‘EM, TWEAK BIRD!

Stone.

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REDEMPTION “SNOWFALL ON JUDGEMENT DAY” – A PROGRESSIVE METAL ALBUM NOT TO OVERLOOK

Posted in hard rock albums, hard rock music, Heavy Metal, heavy metal albums, heavy metal bands, heavy metal music, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, progressive metal albums, progressive metal bands, progressive metal music, rock music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 16, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

REDEMPTION – Snowfall On Judgement Day is an entertaining listen in quality Progressive Melodic Metal. Released on October 6, 2009, (on InsideOut Music/The Century Family Inc.). Snowfall On Judgement Day marks the fourth studio album release from Redemption. Each song is thoughtfully written lyrically, with very impressive musicianship throughout. The songs on this album are layered with an almost exquisite sheen, with all the ambiance and textures one can expect from a Progressive Metal Band of substance.

The vocals of Ray Alder are pronounced, while never overreaching. Ray Alder is a veteran of the Metal Music world, while also being the lead vocalist for the quite famous – Fates Warning. Redemption plays as a seamless and cohesive unit, making each song the star on Snowfall On Judgement Day. Nick van Dyk and Bernie Versailles are a potent duo on guitars, adding very interesting and downright likable melodic moments from beginning to end on this album. Greg Hosharian on keyboards adds all the atmospheric and melodic elements of mysticism, openness, sense of flight and emotional highs and lows. I guess Greg seems to cover it all, when it comes to sensory interpretation of his keyboard playing.

Chris Quirarte plays drums in the spirit and style of one Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater fame. This comparison may sound complimentary, which is rightfully justified, in my Metal opinion. Chris comes across to me as a drummer not trying to play hard and stand out, he is just simply mastering the beats and adding all the right drum fills within each song heard. What more can one ask for from their drummer? With each musician in Redemption seeming to convey their astuteness for their craft, I still need to mention Sean Andrews on bass, who helps anchor the rhythm section and doesn’t fall short on speed when the song dictates.

James LaBrie, lead vocalist for Dream Theater, is a guest vocalist on the song Another Day Dies. This song captures an almost total Euro Power Metal sound and feel. It’s the guitar leads and solo that seem to keep it from melting over completely into this comparison. James LaBrie’s vocals makes for a perfect match, with this Progressive Metal style that is Redemption. I still like Ray Alder fronting this band though, he is by no means a second tier front man. The harmony and tone of Ray Alder’s vocals are tailor made for Redemption… to my ears anyways.

Hopefully, my descriptive thoughts on Redemption as musicians, can help you understand just how the songs play out on Snowfall On Judgement Day. This band and this particular album should not be relegated to the back of the line. Flying under the Progressive Metal radar can’t be a reality in Redemption’s future. When there are so many bands and their albums to choose from in the vast world of Heavy Music genres, it’s a band like Redemption that just can’t go overlooked. I invite anyone who loves to hear songs and not four minute hits, to step right into the Progressive Metal creation that is Snowfall On Judgement Day.

Fans of Dream Theater, Queensryche, Coheed And Cambria and Mastodon should be very enthused by Redemption and Snowfall On Judgement Day. I’m pleased to have purchased this album and I highly recommend Redemption to any fan of Hard Rock or Heavy Metal that is looking to expand their music listening interests in a more progressive way.

* The song Keep Breathing, is an emotional and tender song written in dedication to Nick van Dyk’s daughter Parker. On the last page of the liner notes, what I read broke my heart. Being a father of twin daughters, the medical battle that Nick’s daughter Parker is going through just really hit home with me. To directly quote Nick van Dyk: “my daughter Parker was diagnosed with a terrible eye condition called Cone Dystrophy. This is a genetic condition, that prevents the retina from forming properly, resulting in the loss of central vision”. Nick writes: “there is currently no cure or treatment for Cone Dystrophy… even with corrective lenses, her vision will be 20/200 or worse. She will be unable to drive a car and do many things that people take for granted”.

Nick van Dyk continues, in the liner notes: If you are looking for a charity to support, please consider the Foundation Fighting Blindness, which can be found at http://www.blindness.org”.

* For more info on Redemption, just click on the links below:

REDEMPTION – Official Website

REDEMPTION – myspace music page

Redemption, as they appeared on Snowfall On Judgement Day:

Ray Alder – vocals

Nick van Dyk – guitar & keyboards

Bernie Versailles – guitar

Sean Andrews – bass guitar

Chris Quirarte – drums

Greg Hosharian – keyboards & keyboard solos

* Snowfall On Judgement Day was produced by Nick Van Dyk and Tommy Hansen.

Track listing for Snowfall On Judgement Day:

Peel

Walls

Leviathan Rising

Black And White World

Unformed

Keep Breathing

Another Day Dies (With guest vocalist James LaBrie)

What Will You Say?

Fistful Of Sand

Love Kills Us All/Life In One Day

Stone.

URIAH HEEP “HEAD FIRST” – 1983 HARD ROCKIN’ ALBUM FLASHBACK

Posted in classic rock, classic rock bands, classic rock music, Hard Rock, hard rock albums, hard rock bands, hard rock music, Heavy Metal, heavy metal albums, heavy metal bands, heavy metal music, metal odyssey, Music, rock & roll, rock 'n' roll, rock guitarists, rock music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 5, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

URIAH HEEP – Back in 1983, Uriah Heep released their 15th studio album – Head First. Granted, this was not the original Classic Rock lineup of Uriah Heep. The sound and style of Uriah Heep had changed considerably as the ’70’s came to a close and the colorful ’80’s came reeling in. With the 1982 Uriah Heep album – Abominog ushering in a new lead vocalist in Peter Goalby, Head First would be the second of three albums that this vocalist would be fronting. (Equator from 1985 would be the third and last Uriah Heep album featuring Peter Goalby as lead vocalist). For comparison purposes, the class of Rock/Hard Rock vocalists that best fits alongside Peter Goalby are: Lou Gramm, (Foreigner), Kelly Hansen, (Foreigner/Hurricane) and Brian Howe, (Bad Company/Ted Nugent), to name just a few.

I consider Head First, to be a Hard Rock swirling with early ’80’s commercial Heavy Metal album. Head First is AOR for certain and is not lacking with melodic Rockin’ songs. This is not a blockbuster of a heavy album by any means. Instead, Head First is an album of songs that gives off some cool vibes… vibes that I still find appealing after all these years. My favorite song on this album is hands-down: The Other Side Of Midnight. When I first heard this song played on FM back in ’83, I was hooked. This song is very much a psyche-you-out listen, with it’s up-tempo and melodic Hard Rock sound.

In 1983, I was a junior trying to survive in High School and working part-time as a grocery store bagger and shopping cart gopher. The supermarket I worked at was named Finest… only there was nothing very fine about it. One cool aspect about working for this dingy and depressing supermarket was it’s next door neighbor store… Bradlees. This department store had a semi-impressive records & tapes department, so I used to spend most of my $20 – $30 paycheck there on music. I bought this Head First album there… only I don’t have it on vinyl anymore. (itunes cured my hankering for this album though).

Stay On Top and Sweet Talk are two other extremely melodic and accessible songs that probably made it to the FM airwaves way back then. I just can’t say for certain. Stay On Top is “kinda like” an anthem represented on Head First. This song has a bit of toughness about it… early ’80’s Heavy Rock toughness that is. Sweet Talk is dominated by the keyboards played by John Sinclair. It’s the keys that really makes Sweet Talk elevate with it’s pumped-up tempo and mood. During his musical career, John Sinclair was also the keyboardist for The Babys and Ozzy Osbourne.

Bob Daisley plays bass on Head First and is most famous for his Rock ‘N’ Roll stints with Rainbow and Ozzy Osbourne. Longtime Uriah Heep drummer Lee Kerslake was on board for Head First. Lee Kerslake was also the drummer for Ozzy Osbourne’s 1980 debut album – Blizzard Of Ozz and  1981’s Diary Of A Madman.

Lonely Nights is the Bryan Adams cover song that Uriah Heep plays a bit heavier than the original. Not by much though. Lonely Nights is from the Bryan Adams 1981 sophomore release titled – You Want It You Got It. Both the Bryan Adams and Uriah Heep version of this song just screams with that early ’80’s Rock sound, feel and… may I add vibe? No, no, no… I HATE the word “dated”. It makes ME feel… um, uh… old. Regardless of my rhetorical nonsense here, Lonely Nights is undisputedly a very emotional and  inspirational song, in my Metal opinion.

If there has ever been that #1 constant with Uriah Heep, since day one, it is lead guitarist Mick Box. A founding/original member of Uriah Heep, Mick Box seems to have quietly become a Rock legend in his own much deserving right. Ever since the 1970 Uriah Heep debut album – Very ‘eavy… Very ‘umble, Mick Box has been on lead guitar. Fast forward to 2008 and Uriah Heep have released their 21st studio album – Wake The Sleeper. Uriah Heep is still Rockin’ the lights out live in 2010 from what I have read and been told… a Rock historic band that I would love to see live sometime soon. Then, I could boast that I have seen Mick Box play guitar… in real time.

Classic Rock, 1980’s mainstream Heavy Metal & Hard Rock, Melodic Rock, Progressive Rock and AOR fans should take a keen liking to Head First from Uriah Heep. This is a band that stretches across quite a few Rock genres, both past and present.

* For more info on Uriah Heep, just click on the link below:

URIAH HEEP – THE OFFICIAL WEBSITE

URIAH HEEP – MySpace Music Page

Uriah Heep, as they appeared on the Head First studio album:

Peter Goalby – lead vocals

Mick Box – guitar

John Sinclair – keyboards & backing vocals

Bob Daisley – bass

Lee Kerslake – drums, percussion

Original Track Listing For Uriah Heep – Head First:

The Other Side Of Midnight

Stay On Top

Lonely Nights

Sweet Talk

Love Is Blind

Roll-Overture

Red Lights

Rollin’ The Rock

Straight Through The Heart

Weekend Warriors

LONG LIVE URIAH HEEP!

40 years of Uriah Heep Rock ‘N’ Roll is something to celebrate.

Stone.

KARNIVOOL – “SOUND AWAKE” IS A KALEIDOSCOPE OF PROGRESSIVE & HEAVY ROCK

Posted in alternative rock music, hard rock albums, hard rock bands, hard rock music, heavy metal albums, heavy metal bands, heavy metal music, metal odyssey, Music, progressive metal music, progressive rock music, rock music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 1, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

KARNIVOOL – Released on February 16, 2010, on Sony Music Entertainment, Sound Awake has already achieved Gold Certification in Australia, (Karnivool’s home country). Following their impressive and progressively hard & heavy album debut Themata from 2005, Karnivool has shown their fans and the music world they are not about to be stamped out by any sophomore jinx. If life is about taking chances, then Karnivool has inadvertently self inflicted themselves as being risk takers in the vast world of Heavy Music. A Progressive and Alternative sound can be a make or break proposition, when a band wants to embark on the Hard Rock and Heavy Metal Universe. Karnivool has not only embarked with their Themata release from 2005, they have now forged their very own identity and placement, among the Progressive and Alternative Heavy Music battalion with Sound Awake.

Sound Awake opens up with Simple Boy, immediately setting the table for what Karnivool is serving one’s ears. Layered with exquisite guitars, the breakdowns are smart and intensely interesting. Throw in the buzzing sound of a bee and Simple Boy is just the beginning of this Heavy Progressive mind buffet. Ian Kenny on lead vocals resonates, hitting some high pitches that are Arena quality. Set Fire To The Hive showcases vocal and sound effects to heighten the modernism that this song permeates. Karnivool never loses sight of their musical heaviness on Set Fire To The Hive, while delivering an upper cut to the chin with their multi-layered progressive attack.

The Medicine Wears Off times out at 1:50, quite contrary to any Old School Progressive standards. Just bear in mind, this is not about sticking to convention with Sound Awake, a strong musical characteristic that Karnivool bestows is diversity and The Medicine Wears Off mellows down the pace with this semi-surreal song. Illumine can and rightfully should be a standout song on this album. The consistent up-tempo combined with it’s overall melodic vibe, makes Illumine a song that’s incredibly memorable. To label Illumine a hit is non-essential, this song is a star amongst many on Sound Awake.

Deadman is one of two songs on Sound Awake that has a running time of over ten minutes. This is what Progressive Rock is about, the song. If one is looking for the mind journey experience with Karnivool, thou shall not be disappointed with Deadman. Lyrically complete as it is musically precise, Deadman leads with it’s formidable and Alternative vocal presence courtesy of Ian Kenny, which fuses so well with the abstract sound and feel of it’s hard edged music. The abrupt climax to Deadman only exemplifies the artistic style that Karnivool has established for themselves as a band. Listening to Deadman makes me truly realize that Karnivool is all about music and all about the song.

To mention Deadman and not acknowledge the other ten minute-plus epic would be a travesty. Change is a song that develops itself into an array of musical doors that keep opening around me, inviting me in and weaving it’s Progressive signatures, in a manner that is embracingly captivating to my senses. It is very easy to wander off into a kaleidoscope of musical thoughts while listening to Change, an all natural affect that I am more than willing to experience again and again. In it’s totality, Sound Awake is a Progressive Kaleidoscope of songs, just waiting to be heard by anyone who loves music… period.

The musicians of Karnivool are obviously incredibly astute, with an awareness for capturing the nuances of their instruments in their most enhanced state, coupled with the almost sense of urgency to articulate the music as if it is fine art. Has Karnivool broken any new ground in this ever changing landscape of Progressive Rock genres? I can confidently say yes, with their uniqueness being highlighted by their musical and vocal diversity. Karnivool is not a band concentrating on making the hit single. Instead, Karnivool obviously has succeeded at making a complete album of richly written songs, which only reflects on their being a highly talented band that shall continue to rise. Please excuse me now… Sound Awake beckons me to listen once again.

KARNIVOOL IS:

Drew Goddard – guitar

Ian Kenny – vocals

Jon Stockman – bass

Mark Hosking – guitar

Steve Judd – drums

Track Listing For Sound Awake:

Simple Boy

Goliath

New Day

Set Fire To The Hive

Umbra

All I Know

The Medicine Wears Off

The Caudal Lure

Illumine

Deadman

Change

* Check out the music video for Set Fire To The Hive:

* For more info on KARNIVOOL, just click on the links below!

KARNIVOOL – MySpace Music Page

KARNIVOOL – Official Website

YouTube

Stone.

HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY AMERICA! PLUS A MEMORIAL DAY ALBUM RECOMMENDATION!

Posted in hard rock albums, hard rock bands, hard rock music, Heavy Metal, heavy metal albums, heavy metal bands, heavy metal history, heavy metal music, holidays, metal odyssey, Music, rock music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 31, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

Metal Odyssey extends a LOUD & PROUD – Happy Memorial Day to The United States of America!! I give unreal thank you’s to all of the Armed Forces of yesterday, to all those brave men and women who fought and/or gave their lives for democracy and protected the great country of America. The current Armed Forces of brave men and women do not go unnoticed here at Metal Odyssey either… thank you for giving up so much of your selves to make certain The United States of America remains a free and protected country. I also thank each and every member of my extended family, who served in the Armed Forces, both past and present. God Bless all of you.

Here is a Metal Odyssey – Metal listening recommendation for your Memorial Day and beyond!

QUEENSRYCHE – AMERICAN SOLDIER

Released on March 31, 2009 on Rhino Records.

This album is an incredibly patriotic listen… Queensryche created a great one here.

You can check out my review I posted for Queensryche – American Soldier, back on April 3, 2009. Just click that really cool and big link below to read all about American Soldier.

Queensryche “American Soldier” is Metal that honors those who serve.

GOD BLESS AMERICA.

Stone.

ELO’S ORIGINAL AND VELVET REVOLVER’S COVER – “CAN’T GET IT OUT OF MY HEAD”

Posted in classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock music, hard rock albums, hard rock bands, hard rock music, hard rock songs, Heavy Metal, heavy metal albums, heavy metal bands, heavy metal music, metal odyssey, Music, progressive rock music, rock & roll, rock 'n' roll, rock and roll, rock music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 19, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

What does the Electric Light Orchestra and Velvet Revolver have in common? The song – Can’t Get It Out Of My Head.

Here is the cover version of Can’t Get It Out Of My Head by Velvet Revolver:

Here is the original album version of Can’t Get It Out Of My Head by the Electric Light Orchestra:

Which version of Can’t Get It Out Of My Head do you like better? For me, it’s ELO’s original. Listening to ELO’s original just takes me back to when I first really became interested in music. The exploration and journey into the vast world of music, of Rock and Roll, was a profoundly exhilarating and personal experience for me as a kid. Just hearing the orchestration and the arrangements, makes me marvel at how this song was put together. There is emotion that seeps from both ELO’s original and Velvet Revolver’s cover version, only the ELO original really packs in the higher emotion, due to the string arrangements, in my Metal opinion.

Velvet Revolver substitutes an electric guitar courtesy of the ultra great Slash, in exchange for the piano and synthesizer that ELO used, making for a more harder and edgier sound. Velvet Revolver makes Can’t Get It Out Of My Head really Rock, for certain… while still not losing sight of the song’s original outpouring of emotion, that it is so well known for. My personal feeling, is that this is one of Scott Weiland’s finest moments as a vocalist in his entire career… Stone Temple Pilots, his solo album and Velvet Revolver combined. I do embrace this cover version from Velvet Revolver, no question about it, making for one of my more favorite Velvet Revolver songs from their two albums.

This is the cover for the ELO single Can’t Get It Out Of My Head, released in 1974.

* Electric Light Orchestra released Eldorado, their fourth studio album, back in 1974.

* Velvet Revolver released Libertad, their second studio album, back in July of 2007.

At the end of my Metal day, I can easily recommend both versions of Can’t Get It Out Of My Head to anyone. Yet ELO’s original can never be topped.

Stone.

ASIA – REFLECTING ON THIER 1982 PROGRESSIVE ROCK ALBUM DEBUT

Posted in classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock music, classic rock songs, hard rock albums, hard rock bands, hard rock music, metal odyssey, Music, progressive rock, progressive rock bands, progressive rock music, rock & roll, rock and roll, rock music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 20, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

ASIA – in March of 1982, the debut and self-titled album of this Progressive Rock supergroup was released unto the world… with a little help from Geffen Records. Being a sophomore in high school in ’82, I had my musical tastes ranging from Judas Priest to The Electric Light Orchestra with Cheap Trick, AC/DC and Foreigner in between. KISS of course, ruled my teenage planet. So when I first heard ASIA being played on my favorite FM radio stations, I instantly took a major liking to their sound. My infatuation with ELO and The Moody Blues made it very easy for me to embrace ASIA as a young teen… I can thank my late sister Christine for getting me “into” the Moody Blues.

Learning very quickly, that YES guitar great Steve Howe was in ASIA, just gave me the hint that this supergroup was to be reckoned with. I knew of some YES songs, thanks of course to FM once again. I did not own a YES album at all, back in ’82… yes, I do look back in disbelief over that one. It seemed as if everyone else I knew, had at least one YES album to boast of back then. With Carl Palmer on drums, I was familiar with his name being equated to the legendary Progressive Rock band – Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Once again though, I did not own a single Emerson, Lake and Palmer album in 1982 either.

When I learned that bass guitarist John Wetton was formerly with the incredibly diverse King Crimson, it was once again, a Rock Music history lesson for me. What took the Rock and Roll cake for me, upon learning quickly about the members of ASIA, was that Geoff Downes was half part of the New Wave sensation called – The Buggles! Just about every kid I knew, back in 1980, had heard the song – Video Killed The Radio Star by The Buggles. Heck, Video Killed The Radio Star was actually the very first music video that MTV aired on August 1, 1981! Now, if that isn’t Rock and Roll history… then I don’t know what is!

Well, with all of the ASIA band history aside, it was actually very fun for this sixteen year old in 1982, in becoming more informed about other great Rock bands, that were an indirect part of the formation of ASIA. For the life of me however, I just could not believe how astoundingly textured, layered and inspirational the songs sounded on this very first ASIA album. The bonus was that this debut ASIA album Rocked my ears off of this sixteen year old too! I singled out the song – Sole Survivor very quickly. I must have dropped the turntable needle onto that Sole Survivor song… more times than I could ever imagine! That section of vinyl that Sole Survivor represented on the album, was for certain, the most worn!

Despite the FM airplay that Sole Survivor, Heat of the Moment and Only Time Will Tell received back in 1982 and into the years ahead, I never wavered away from playing them, in their entirety, on my turntable. As it stands to this very day in 2010, my favorite song from this ASIA album is Wildest Dreams. I like to reminisce about the ultra Classic Rock albums of the past, especially the one’s that made the biggest impact on my music loving life. ASIA is an ultra Classic Rock album for me. I can remember losing my thoughts, amidst the Progressive Rock brilliance of this amazing album. As I look back upon this ASIA album now, it was like music therapy for me as a sixteen year old.

Why I feel this ASIA album has stood the test of Rock Music time, is simply two words: quality musicianship. Once the quality is instilled, the rest seems to always fall into place, regardless of what project is being discussed. The songs on this ASIA album soothed, inspired and yes, as I stated before, Rocked me. I did realize at the time, back in 1982, what a profound Rock Music family tree that ASIA embodied. What I did not realize back in 1982, was that I would carry the same ecstatic feelings and emotions for this ASIA album so many years later into my life… and then be writing about it for the whole world to read in 2010, in an unbelievably vast place called the world wide web.

LONG LIVE ASIA!

Stone.

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