Archive for rock music history

SWEET “Level Headed” – Looking Back Fondly, On A Rock Classic

Posted in classic rock, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, metal odyssey, Music, rock & roll, rock and roll, rock music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 11, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

SWEET – Yes, some call them The Sweet. I prefer to call this British Rock Band by their name that appeared on 8 out of the 9 studio albums they released between 1971 and 1982, which is Sweet. Only their first album, (Funny How Sweet Co-Co Can Be) has “The Sweet” as their band name on the cover. Whatever, I guess. The plain fact of the Rock ‘N’ Roll matter, is that Sweet was one damn decent Rock Band of their time. Caught in the midst of a post British Invasion and winding down amongst the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal, Sweet still played their unique brand of Rock… and caught my attentive ears.

The first song that caught my attention from Sweet and had me very psyched-out was – Love Is Like Oxygen. This forever memorable song is from Sweet’s sixth studio album – Level Headed, released back in January of 1978, on Polydor Records. As it always seems to go, so many songs from my Rock fan past still psyche me out like never before. This terrific song from Sweet is no exception. I actually listened to it several times, while writing this post… and I just can’t grow weary of it. Metal be thy name.

Love Is Like Oxygen carries it’s Rockin’ delight through a synthesizer intro, with a most memorable guitar riff that follows… then the combination of these and a rhythm section so bold and pronounced, unveils an all encompassing meaty sound to follow. There are those “breakdowns” in Love Is Like Oxygen, (of the keyboard and acoustic kind), that teeter on the super mellow, only this song is so refreshingly far from being an AM gold hit from yesteryear. This song was born for FM, I can’t even consider trying to recount how many times I heard it played on those cool Connecticut radio stations back then.

When I first bought Level Headed, it was on vinyl and it was stocked at my local Caldor department store. I only knew of Love Is Like Oxygen… so I took the plunge and bought the entire album that one day. It was a gatefold album cover, with a black & white band photo taking up both inside covers. I believe, from my (gasp) memory, it was the band photo that appears on the U.K. cover of Level Headed. The Level Headed cover at the top of this post is the U.S. version. Check out what that U.K. version looks like below:

California Nights is a song with a chorus that tantalizes with that “sing-along” spirit. Bass guitarist Steve Priest sings lead on this song. (Guitarist Andy Scott sings lead on Dream On and FountainBrian Connolly sings lead vocals on Love Is Like Oxygen and the remainder of the songs on Level Headed). With a song like California Nights, it came across to me with a wide open vibe of feel-good. This was a song that was tailor made for cruising with the windows down on a hot Summer night… it still is that kind of song to me in 2010.

Dream On, (no it is not a cover of the Aerosmith classic), is a ballad which resonates with an overwhelming “heartfelt” emotion. I can remember the first time this song reached my ears, as this Level Headed album spun on my turntable. Whoa. My Judas Priest and Iron Maiden albums were in full view… I felt as if I got lost and woke up in mellow, mellow land. You want to know something? I loved it. This song may have sappy lyrics and is a ballad, only it was done “right”. As I listen to this song so many years later, I love it still. Honestly, if someone like Chris Daughtry covered this song today… it would be a top ten smash on the charts. I predict it would hit #1. I’m not being a wise-guy and kidding around either. This ballad could be re-released as a single today, in all of it’s original glory and be a hit just as well.

Strong Love is a tad Funky… in a pseudo-Disco sense of the word. This is actually the one song that could be accused of sounding “dated”, the only thing it is a downright catchy listen. This song is not The Village People, so there is no need to worry, all you Classic Rock folks. Anthem, No. 1 (Lady Of The Lake) and Anthem No. II are both strong with their European sounding vibe, these two songs are significant in separating Sweet from the “American” Rock sound of those late ’70’s. The keyboards and string arrangements on both Anthem songs certainly help in providing that European and “royalty” feel.

Level Headed is a Classic Rock album that I shall always look upon very fondly. Sweet seemed to weave their way around in the ’70’s and very early ’80’s with their own style of Rock that won’t be forgotten by me. If anyone out there wants to listen to an album that is diverse with songs, Rocks with efficiency and holds up extremely well with relevance after three decades, this is an album for you.

SWEET as they appeared on Level Headed:

Andy Scott – guitar, synthesizer, lead vocals, background vocals

Brian Connolly – lead vocals, background vocals

Steve Priest – bass, lead vocals, background vocals

Mick Tucker – drums, percussion, background vocals

Track Listing For Level Headed:

California Nights

Silver Bird

Dream On

Fountain

Love Is Like Oxygen

Anthem, No. 1 (Lady Of The Lake)

Strong Love

Lettres D’Amour

Anthem, No. II

Air On ‘A’ Tape Loop

LONG LIVE THE ROCK ‘N’ ROLL OF SWEET.

Rest In Peace, Brian Connolly.

Rest In Peace, Mick Tucker.

Stone.

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MEAT LOAF “Bat Out Of Hell” – A 1977 Rock Classic That’s An Ageless Wonder

Posted in classic rock, Hard Rock, hard rock music, Heavy Metal, metal odyssey, Music, rock 'n' roll, rock and roll, rock music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 8, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

MEAT LOAF – I don’t know why I do this. Do what you ask? Why do I think about when I first heard a particular song or album. What age was I? What year was it? How did this song or album affect me then, compared to now. Then, I begin to realize just how important, on a personal level, a respective song or album has been to me throughout my life. I’ve written about many songs and albums like this. I’m amazed as to how many songs and albums there are, that I hold so tremendously tight to my heart… and soul. Step in please, Meat Loaf… Bat Out Of Hell.

When I first heard that Classic Rock Ballad “of all ballads” – Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad, it was definitely on the radio. As I look back on this tiny portion of my life now, owning the Bat Out Of Hell album then was not important to me. As a young lad… it was all about this song and having it on a 45 rpm, to play it anytime I wanted. Trust me, I eventually owned Bat Out Of Hell on vinyl and later CD. I just could not see my music collection complete without it. Then again, when is my music collection ever complete?

Paradise By The Dashboard Light and You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night) were the next two songs I discovered from this prolific album. Yes, I felt spellbound by these Meat Loaf songs, hearing them on the radio back then made me feel like I was “getting older” and I could maybe get a chick and fall in love. These three songs had me maturing in my Rock Music listening habits, without my never knowing it at the time.

Metal truth be told, You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night) still gives me ostrich bumps up and down my arms and face, to this very day. The louder I play this song, the greater the emotional impact it has on me. (Not every song in the world is like that). Jim Steinman was, is and forever shall be a songwriting genius. The combination of Jim Steinman’s soul grabbing writing and Meat Loaf’s soul stirring vocals were a match made in Rock ‘N’ Roll Heaven… for me anyways… and I’m certain I’m not alone in this Metal thought too.

I’m not going to get into “factual numbers and certification” here, however, Bat Out Of Hell is one of the greatest selling Rock albums of all-time. I can understand why. It seems as if this album never loses it’s relevance for me. The songs on Bat Out Of Hell can be lyrically accepted today as they were in those late ’70’s… there really is nothing corn-dog about these song’s themes. As for the Rock Music as a whole, what other album out there today can drop some teary-eyed ballads in the midst of such Rockin’ cool songs and still come across as not selling out with bubble gum? It’s difficult to do.

All Revved Up With No Place To Go is the oft overlooked “hit” from this Meat Loaf album. It registers definitively with all Rock ‘N’ Roll glory. Only Meat Loaf can give this song it’s roller coaster emotion that it fosters. Meat Loaf surely showcased his theatrical Rock vocals on this song… and many other of his songs without a doubt. The title track, Bat Out Of Hell, can be stamped as epic for both it’s length and layering. This is a song that arguably best exemplifies what 1970’s Rock was all about. Bat Out Of Hell was that song on an album that was never meant to become FM friendly due to it’s length, a song meant for the fan of that generation… the astute Rock enthusiast that wanted more than the Bay City Rollers.

For an album of seven songs, Bat Out Of Hell did something that many studio albums of ten, twelve or more songs doesn’t… providing no filler songs. As for the musicians behind Meat Loaf on Bat Out Of Hell, well, all I can say is quality creates quality. Todd Rundgren on guitar, Edgar Winter on saxophone… not too shabby.

My advice to those who never have listened to this tremendous album of Rock is simple: go out and buy it. Listen to it. Take it in. Then, realize, that this is what Rock Music song writing is all about. Afterwards, you shall know as to why the genre of Classic Rock exists in the first place. Meat Loaf, Jim Steinman and Bat Out Of Hell are just three of the reasons… that gave Classic Rock it’s name. Bat Out Of Hell, a Rock Classic… an ageless wonder.

Original Track Listing For Bat Out Of Hell:

Bat Out Of Hell

You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night)

Heaven Can Wait

All Revved Up With No Place To Go

Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad

Paradise By The Dashboard Light

For Crying Out Loud

* Reissued Bonus Tracks:

Great Boleros Of Fire (Live Intro)

Bat Out Of Hell (Live)

* All songs on Bat Out Of Hell were written by Jim Steinman.

* The late, Hall Of Fame Baseball legend, Phil “Scooter” Rizzuto, from my beloved New York Yankees, is credited with the “spoken word” for the play-by-play during Paradise By The Dashboard Light.

* Bat Out Of Hell was originally released in October of 1977, on Epic Records.

LONG LIVE MEAT LOAF & JIM STEINMAN.

Rest In Peace, Phil Rizzuto.

Stone.

Alice Cooper “Love it to death” = Essential Rock History To Own!

Posted in classic rock, hard rock music, heavy metal music, metal odyssey, Music, rock and roll, rock music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

ALICE COOPERLove it to death is the third studio album from Alice Cooper (the band), released back in January of 1971. Whoa… 1971! I’m not trying to make Alice Cooper himself or me feel old here, it’s just that this album was released 40 years ago… and it still Rocks like there’s no tomorrow! I’ve been listening to this CD for a few days now and for some reason or another, I can’t get enough of it.

Maybe the reason for my always liking Love it to death so tremendously, is due to it being a 100% Rock Classic? Could it be that all 9 songs are memorable… and the tenth song probably would have been filler? Whatever the Metal case may be, I revere this Alice Cooper album. My favorite song on Love it to death is… Black Juju… all 9:09 of it too. Black Juju just has that ultimate creepy vibe happening, the tribal like drumming of Neal Smith, the chilling vocals of Alice Cooper and the haunting organ just does it for me. This song’s dark and macabre style of psychedelia, wraps itself around me and tightens it’s eerie grip harder, each time I listen to it. Black Juju can easily be my favorite Alice Cooper song ever… if I was forced to choose one.

I’m Eighteen is an iconic song in and of itself, only it’s not the only great song on this album. This Alice Cooper album is a prime Metal example of just how the totality of quality songs can elevate an album into the Rock Historic Stratosphere. Really, to say Love it to death is an essential Alice Cooper album to own, is like saying water is essential for human survival. Even after I state this, I feel like telling myself… no shit Stone?

Alice Cooper as they appeared on Love it to death:

Alice Cooper – vocals

Glen Buxton – lead guitar

Michael Bruce – rhythm guitar, keyboards

Dennis Dunaway – bass

Neal Smith – drums

* Bob Ezrin played organ and piano on – Caught In A Dream, Long Way To Go, Hallowed Be My Name, Second Coming and Ballad of Dwight Fry.

Track Listing For Love it to death:

Caught In A Dream

I’m Eighteen

Long Way To Go

Black Juju

Is It My Body

Hallowed Be My Name

Second Coming

Ballad Of Dwight Fry

Sun Arise

* Love it to death was produced by Jack Richardson and Bob Ezrin.

LONG LIVE ALICE COOPER.

Stone.

THE BIG BOPPER “Chantilly Lace” – Reflecting On Rock ‘N’ Roll’s Roots

Posted in 1950's rock music, people, Rock, rock & roll, rock 'n' roll, rock and roll, rock music, rock music news with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 17, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

The Big Bopper, (Jiles Perry “J. P.” Richardson, Jr.), was a pioneer of Rock ‘N’ Roll. Singer, songwriter, musician and an American disc jockey, The Big Bopper’s multi-tasking career was truly cut short tragically in 1959. February 3, 1959 is historically known as “The Day The Music Died”, with the untimely passing of The Big Bopper, Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens, due to their being in a small plane that crashed, from presumably flying into an Iowa blizzard. The pilot, Roger Peterson, also passed away from the crash.

While growing up as a young lad, I remember this story being told to me time and again by my parents. Eventually, the multitudes of television documentaries on 1950’s Rock ‘N’ Roll more than adequately covered this tragically historic event. I can remember playing my mother’s Buddy Holly 45 rpm’s and thinking about that awful day in Rock ‘N’ Roll history. I took to heart, the reality of this event despite my adolescence, I imagine it was due to the way I was raised by my parents.

The one true side story to this unimaginable day in 1959, was the one as told by Country legend, (the late), Waylon Jennings himself in many well documented articles and interviews. Apparently, Waylon Jennings was supposed to fly on this very same small plane, only he gave up his seat to The Big Bopper… due to The Big Bopper having the flu. Whoa. That is one side story I could not believe, even though I have seen documented footage of Waylon Jennings telling it himself. I guess when it is “your time”… that’s it.

Waylon Jennings had a remarkably legendary career, singing and playing his guitar in the Country, Outlaw Country and Country Rock genres. I missed out on two opportunities to see Waylon Jennings live, both times he played very close to my hometown in Connecticut. One such venue was The Warner Theatre, in Torrington, Connecticut. This unreal cool and Art Deco Theatre still plays host to many incredible bands crossing all music genres, along with a diverse mix of entertainers and shows. From the late George Carlin to Foreigner… The Warner Theatre has had them all, it seems. Waylon Jennings passed away at the very young age of 64, back on February 13, 2002.

I guess missing out on seeing Waylon Jennings two times, so close to home, serves as a reminder for me to cherish each Rock ‘N’ Roll performer and Metal Band I do get to see… from Slayer to Pat Benatar. Well, getting long winded on the roots of Rock ‘N’ Roll is something I’m very good at. It’s just the pure history, the factual beginnings of the music that I and so many billions of other people love so much, that I find so difficult to ignore.

Today, I ventured out with my wife and daughters on a Sunday cruise to do some shopping. Thankfully, the weather was 100% pure Autumn and sunny, with no rain or dreary weather to get in the way of our plans. One stop was to a store called Christmas Tree Shops, it is a semi-discounted department store, that focuses on a ton of items that my wife really digs. Plus, there usually is a small display of discounted CD’s for sale there too. Today however, I did not find a CD display… whatever, I’ll live. This store is where The Big Bopper came back to life again in my ears… his song Chantilly Lace was played on the rotation of music that was heard, while we shopped. Once again, my mind wandered right back into some Rock ‘N’ Roll thoughts…

A fabulous, Classic and Rock Historical song is Chantilly Lace. Just the vocals of The Big Bopper are enough for me, while I listen to this song. Flamboyant and loaded with Rock ‘N’ Roll confidence were the vocals of The Big Bopper. Metal as my witness, his vocals alone are enough to put me in a great mood. “Oh baby you know what I like”! Just the way he describes this girl in Chantilly Lace is legendary. “A wiggle in the walk and a giggle in the talk”, “Make the world go ’round”… the lyrical rhyme scheme is Rock ‘N’ Roll perfection at it’s earliest beginnings.

Despite Chantilly Lace being a Rock ‘N’ Roll song from 1958, there is something about it that radiates a relevant cool to me. This song always has been a “1950’s Rock ‘N’ Roll” favorite of mine, since the first time I heard it as a young lad. The incredible aspect about this song, is that there are no “in-your-face” guitars, drums or bass and it still Rocks like there is no tomorrow. The subdued volume of the instruments played on Chantilly Lace does help catapult the vocals of The Big Bopper and his enthusiasm for this song can’t be denied each time I hear it.

The girl is referred to as “honey” and “baby” during Chantilly Lace, making for as true a listen into Rock ‘N’ Roll’s innocence as you could ever ask for. Compare “honey” and “baby” to some of today’s female referenced adjectives you hear in popular music… and yes, Chantilly Lace is innocence. I don’t like to think of “what ifs” when it comes to life, The Big Bopper was here and he left us all with some incredible Rock ‘N’ Roll.

Chantilly Lace is a song that is immeasurable in it’s worth to Rock ‘N’ Roll History. I’ll always be a fan of The Big Bopper and be grateful for what he and his fellow peers accomplished back in those fabulous 1950’s. The Rock ‘N’ Roll seeds they all planted back then, have certainly grown into quite a remarkable existence in both music, culture and personal emotion.

* To learn more about the Warner Theatre, in Torrington, CT, click the link below:

The Warner Theatre

Rest in peace, The Big Bopper, Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, Roger Peterson, Waylon Jennings… and George Carlin too.

Stone.

THE DOORS “13” – Reflecting On My First Album By This Beyond Legendary Band

Posted in Hard Rock, hard rock albums, hard rock bands, hard rock music, metal odyssey, Music, psychedelic rock music, Rock, rock & roll, rock 'n' roll, rock and roll, rock music, rock music history, rock music news with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 6, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

THE DOORS – Today was a gorgeous late Summer day where I live. Eastern Pennsylvania has had it’s fair share of oppressive humidity the last few months, so taking advantage of more mild temperatures with little to no humidity is essential for the mind, body and soul. Outdoor activities are once again in the fold for Stone and his family! So, the family and I set out for some mini golf this afternoon. My wife found what I consider to be the cleanest and most fun mini golf course I’ve ever seen or played. Sittler Golf Center is quite the place… with a driving range, pro-shop, take-out window and of course, mini golf. This cool place is located in Kutztown, Pennsylvania.

There are those many moments in my life, where being somewhere and hearing a song sparks a memory. Today there were two songs I heard being played at Sittler Golf Center, they were Touch Me and Light My Fire by the beyond legendary – The Doors. Listening to these kind of Rock Classics while playing mini golf makes Stone very happy. The memory these two songs sparked in my mind were of the first vinyl album I ever owned by The Doors, which was 13.

It was an immediate vision in my minds eye, the album 13. I could see it as plain as day as I moved about the mini golf course today. 13 is a slab of classic vinyl I wish was still in my collection. All I kept thinking to myself as the vision of this album drifted through my mind was… why did I get rid of so many damn great albums years ago? This question gets brought up by me so frequently and the answers are always the same. CD’s were invented and I traded or sold many of my vinyl albums so I could buy… more vinyl albums and/or CD’s! It was an economic cycle I was in for years, buying and then selling my favorite albums. I guess now I know better, the collector and nostalgic parts of me helps to keep my collection intact.

Yes, I did not own a studio album from The Doors until after this “greatest hits” of 13 ran it’s Rockin’ course through my young Rock ‘N’ Roll hungry veins and consciousness. 13 was as terrific a starting point as I could ever ask for in exploring The Doors. I believe I bought 13 sometime around 1983. I remember choosing this 13 album over The Doors Greatest Hits album, due to my liking the album cover of 13 much better. 13 has all four members of The Doors on the cover, with of course Jim Morrison taking up the majority of the cover… and rightfully so. I can honestly remember, holding both albums, debating which one to buy, while standing in the record aisle at the Caldor department store.

Here is what The Doors – Greatest Hits looks like:

Granted, both album covers have a fantastic photo of Jim Morrison. My thinking back in ’83 was to get the “greatest hits” of The Doors that everyone else was passing over. Thinking back, it seemed most of my friends and cousins had bought the Greatest Hits from 1980. L.A. Woman, Not To Touch The Earth, Break On Through and Riders On The Storm are not on 13 and on the Greatest Hits from ’80. However, 13 did have… 13 songs versus the 10 songs heard on the “original” Greatest Hits album from ’80. So, three more songs plus I liked the album cover better, making 13 my first album of choice in adding The Doors to my record collection and life.

It’s funny, yet as I played 13 over and over again back then, my favorite song on this album was You’re Lost Little Girl. Why it’s funny is that this song was never a huge hit for The Doors. I can recall hearing this song being played on WCCC, WHCN and maybe WPLR up in very expensive Connecticut while growing up, only very rarely. Heck, compare this song to the timeless classics of Light My Fire, L.A. Woman, Riders On The Storm and Hello I Love You and forget about it… these songs were staples in the FM rotation of any reputable station back in the 80’s, today as well for some.

What lured me in first and foremost, upon my initial listening experiences of 13 was the voice of Jim Morrison. Whoa. Jim Morrison sounded like no other dude I was listening to of any band at the time. This wasn’t Rob Halford, Ozzy, Paul/Gene/Ace or Peter of KISS, Dennis DeYoung, Lou Gramm, Tom Petty, Bon Scott, Brian Johnson, Jeff Lynne or Robin Zander. Nope. This was a more mysterious voice I was being exposed to at this time of my young life. The previous names I mentioned were all being digested by my ears and mind around 1983, slightly before my “real” exposure to the Thrash Metal movement that enriched my life to this very moment. All of these vocalists I named off are extremely unique and I admire them all greatly.

The voice of Jim Morrison to this day, makes me wonder as to what exactly was going through his mind as he sang. The only other vocalist that I could consider mysterious, with an unreal alluring X -factor, is the late and so sadly missed by me and countless others… Ronnie James Dio. To me, the voice and persona of Jim Morrison was Rock ‘N’ Roll in it’s most profusely exposed state. Sure, I could rant on about the drugs and misfortune of Jim Morrison here, only that’s not what I take from this legend of Rock ‘N’ Roll. Just knowing at that young age back in ’83, that drug abuse defeated Jim Morrison was enough for me to understand the consequences of living such a lifestyle.

13 motivated me to buy this amazing book:

This fabulous biography, No One Here Gets Out Alive, was written by Jerry Hopkins and Danny Sugerman and was printed back in 1980. I remember being mesmerized by the content that I absorbed from these pages. Whoa… was I becoming schooled on the life and times of a Rock ‘N’ Roll legend. I was so fascinated by this book, that I can admit to reading it several times over before I graduated high school. I can remember that my mom was just happy that I was reading a book at all! So many kids had this book under their arm, in their locker or tucked away in their stash back in those early ’80’s that it was alarming.

My memory of watching this album, 13, spin around on the turntable seems like yesterday to me. Yes, I held that album jacket and stared at The Doors. I even read No One Here Gets Out Alive as this album played. Listening to Ray Manzarek on keyboards, Robby Krieger on guitar and John Densmore on drums was a lesson in how American Rock Music was formulated in the late 1960’s and into the early 1970’s. I remember back in ’83, as I still do now, the feeling of amazement that The Doors released their debut album in 1967… when I was only 22 days from turning 1 years old!

The Doors and their 13 album only enlightened my adoration for Rock ‘N’ Roll, making me all the more better prepared for the onslaught of Metal Music that has been an important part of my life for so long now. This is not nonsense about The Doors actually pushing me head first into exploring so many other cool and historical bands when I was a teenager. I actually took a keen interest in listening to The Animals, The Rolling Stones, The Who and a slew of other Rock Music heavyweights back in those early to mid ’80’s due to this remarkable album called… 13.

* The Doors – 13 was released back in November of 1970, on Elektra Records.

* The Doors – 13 was their first “greatest hits” album release.

* Apparently, 13 has never been released on CD. I’m going to find it on vinyl again someday… hopefully in the same mint condition as I once owned it!

* For more info on The Doors, just click here: THE DOORS – Official Website

* For more info on Sittler Golf Center, just click: Sittler Golf Center – website

Track Listing For The Doors – 13:

Light My Fire

People Are Strange

Back Door Man

Moonlight Drive

The Crystal Ship

Roadhouse Blues

Touch Me

Love Me Two Times

You’re Lost Little Girl

Hello I Love You

Land Ho!

Wild Child

The Unknown Soldier


LONG LIVE THE DOORS ROCK ‘N’ ROLL!

R.I.P. Jim Morrison & Ronnie James Dio

Stone.

KEV MOORE – A METAL ODYSSEY INTERVIEW!

Posted in classic rock music, Hard Rock, hard rock bands, hard rock music, Heavy Metal, heavy metal music, metal odyssey, Music, punk rock music, rock 'n' roll, rock and roll, rock music, rock music interviews, rock music news with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 5, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

(Photo courtesy of Kev Moore archives)

The roots of Rock ‘N’ Roll. That’s what has shaped and molded the Rock, Hard Rock and Heavy Metal we all listen to today, including their respective sub-genres. Here at Metal Odyssey, I always try to acknowledge the bands and musicians who have been a part of Rock ‘N’ Roll’s evolution. Many bands and musicians that have carved out their own place in Rock ‘N’ Roll history may not be cracking the Billboard charts or walking the Hollywood red carpets. Still, these bands and musicians hold the same weight of importance for me, especially when their contributions to the history of Rock ‘N’ Roll are of quality, sincerity and time tested credibility. These are the bands and musicians who don’t create music because they feel they have to, they create based on their genuine love they have for Rock ‘N’ Roll. Step right up… Kev Moore.

From Punk Rock to Pub Rock with Rock, Hard Rock and Heavy Metal in between, Kev Moore has played it and lived it. Kev Moore is currently recording his new album, Blue Odyssey and was very considerate to take the time to answer questions for Metal Odyssey. Kev talks about his upcoming album, where his Rock ‘N’ Roll career started, being a one time member of The Gonads, his biggest Rock influence and of course… being the current vocalist and bass guitarist for the legendary BC Sweet. There is also Kev’s membership with Christie and his past membership with Graham Olivers Saxon and so much more… I’ll just let Kev tell you all about it in his words!

* Definitely check out the links at the end of this interview… so you can learn more about the terrific bands that Kev Moore has been a part of throughout his Rock ‘N’ Roll life.

Stone: Kev, you are currently in the studio recording a new album called “Blue Odyssey”, can you elaborate and give fans a sneak peak at what to expect?

Kev: Well, at the beginning of the year, I took a 2 month tour around the major music cities of the American South, Nashville, Memphis, Helena, Clarksdale, New Orleans, Austin, etc, and the album is basically a ‘road diary’ – that is to say, each song charts my journey and experiences and changes musical style accordingly, so it’s a fairly eclectic mix!  I’ve been lucky enough to have contributions from some American blues musicians, plus a legendary DJ, “Sunshine” Sonny Payne from King Biscuit Time. I don’t claim that it’s bona fide blues, but rather, the result of how my music has been influenced by being immersed in that environment. It’s nearing completion, and should be out in a couple of months. For now, you can hear a small taster by clicking here: Kevin Andrew Moore – myspace music

Stone: Is Tubeless Hearts where it all began for Kev Moore?

Kev: Tubeless Hearts is the band where I began seriously gigging around the UK (having spent two years in a touring band in Scandinavia) – but the two bands from my teens, Midnight Express ( a new wave pub band) and Crosstown Traffic (complicated rock band!)  were where I first started developing my songwriting and stage craft.  In fact, Stef Cybichowski, the drummer from Crosstown Traffic, has put down some drums for my new album, over 30 years after we last worked together! Tubeless Hearts however, became a mainstay for me, the nucleus stayed together many years and we recorded a single (in 1982) and an album (1994) that have become highly collectible. The album, “Three”, featured Graham Oliver from Saxon, and was retro-reviewed in the 100th issue of Powerplay magazine, as it’s begun to command silly money on the internet nowadays! Being in Tubeless Hearts proved to be a springboard to many other areas of my career.

Stone: As noted in your introduction, you have been a part of many bands during, your music career, as well, being a solo artist. What is Kev Moore’s most proud music achievement thus far?

Kev: It’s difficult to pick one. From a live perspective, I would probably have to say playing at Moscow Dynamo stadium with Christie on our tour of Russia. It was an amazing gig, and we were so well looked after, being granted admittance to Lenin’s tomb in Red Square – quite something!
Recording wise, I was always very proud of the Tubeless Hearts album, and whilst it didn’t pull up any trees on release, history seems to have been kind to it. Though I have to say, my first solo album, which I made available as a free download, was a big achievement for me, writing, playing and producing everything on it.

(Photo courtesy of Kev Moore archives)

Stone: Being the lead vocalist and bassist of BC Sweet, are there moments when you stop to reflect on the significant Rock roots of this band?

Kev: Very much so. In fact, the roots and history of this band are so strong, and feekings have run high over the years, mostly before my time with the band. Andy Scott runs his version of The Sweet, as does Steve Priest, who recently came out of retirement in L.A. As you know, this band was started by the late Brian Connolly who I had done some shows with as a part of Christie, and met him several times. After Brian died, the band decided to continue with various line up changes and evolved and continued with the blessing of former members into what you see today. For my part, I feel privileged to be able to play such a great canon of pop rock material, and I like to think we pay homage to the hard rock side of the Sweet. We feature some of the rockier stuff such as “Turn it Down” and one of the great ‘b’ sides “Burn on the Flame”.  From my perspective as a bassist, I’m very lucky indeed to be part of a rhythm section with Pete Phipps (Glitterband, Eurthymics, Mike Rutherford, XTC) I like to think we stay true to the rock roots – even the bubblegum songs are played a little more forcefully, shall we say!

Stone: Do you regularly stay in touch with Graham Oliver and/or Steve Dawson?

Kev: Graham and I have always stayed in touch and often discuss working together again, but it’s always a case of trying to find time that suits us both, which is easier said than done, particularly with me living in Spain! I regard him as one of my closest friends, a great guitarist and a real gentleman. Steve’s also a great bloke, but I haven’t seen him in a while.

Metal Odyssey Note: Graham Oliver and Steve Dawson are founding/former members of Saxon, a pioneering band of the NWOBHM.

(Photo courtesy of Kev Moore archives)

(Pictured above: Graham Oliver/left, Kev Moore/right)

Stone: Which Saxon song was your favorite to perform live?

Kev: There are two that spring to mind. Firstly, “Dallas 1pm”. I’ve actually been to the spot where JFK was assassinated, and I think the song is so theatrical, you don’t need a video, it tells the story beautifully, as all the best songs do. The second is “Strong Arm of the Law” – another story in a song, but what I love about it is the sheer unstoppable boogie of it, it’s real fun to hammer that one out live!

Metal Odyssey Note: Currently known as Oliver/Dawson Saxon, Kev Moore was lead vocalist and played bass on the first tour with Son Of A Bitch… which later was renamed – Oliver/Dawson Saxon, after Steve Dawson joined up with Graham Oliver. Kev Moore was lead vocalist while on tour as a member of the first incarnation of Oliver/Dawson Saxon, while Steve Dawson played bass. Kev Moore never recorded for either Son Of A Bitch or Oliver/Dawson Saxon. However, Kev Moore did sing and play bass on Graham Oliver’s solo album – “End of an Era”.

Stone: What is your current and/or future status as a member of Christie?

Kev: I’m a fully paid up member of Christie – though we took something of a sabbatical from around 2004-2008. In 2009 we took things up a gear to coincide with Jeff releasing a double CD “Floored Masters” and did a Summer European tour, which was a blast, resurrecting a few Christie songs that had never been played live before. This year, we have a couple of shows in Germany, and I’ve invited Jeff to come over to work on some material in my studio.

Stone: How did you get introduced to The Gonads, resulting in your being a past member of their band?

Kev: The Gonads is a long story. I formed a duo back in the 90’s with a guitarist called Dave Sargent for a covers album project that someone had put the money up for. I approached “Gang of Four ” producer Bob Miller (he’d done some work with us on one of the Tubeless Hearts album tracks) and he suggested a guy called Clyde Ward who had a studio down in Southampton. Well, the sessions with Clyde were great, we became great friends, which we still are to this day. Clyde became very succesful working with European dance acts such as U96,  and also as a co-writer and producer for Right Said Fred, but in his heart he’s a rocker, sharing a love of Philo and Thin Lizzy with me!  He’s also a close friend of Garry Bushell, and they had developed a side project resurrecting The Gonads for a one off single. It created such a stir in the U.S. that Dave and I were recruited into a newly-reformed Gonads, and we toured the East and West coasts of America in 1998, eventually releasing three albums, the last of which I filmed a couple of videos for which ended up on Garry’s dvd. Once again commitments have prevented me from doing anything since then, though when I spoke to Garry a few months ago, he said how he’d love to do something with Clyde and I again some day. One of the highlights of my time with The Gonads was playing the legendary (and now sadly gone) CBGB’s in New York.

Stone: Your 2009 single “Derby Pride” is a fine Rockin’ salute to the Derby County Football Club! Will a series of songs for the Derby Football Club materialize to CD?

Kev: Following Derby Pride, I did in fact record an entire album in homage to my team!  It’s done very well, mainly because Derby County have a huge and loyal fanbase. I sell it from my website mooremusic.biz and the club shop at Derby’s stadium, Pride park, also stock it.

Stone: Another single from 2009, “The Co-Op Cow” is a Pub Rocker that tells of a love that seemed to go astray. Is this song based on a real experience?

Kev: The Co-op Cow is also featured on the Derby album, this is because it refers to many landmarks around the Derby area, the Co-op cow of the title being the chief among them. It is a huge red neon cow, which advertises Co-op milk, and has many times been threatened with destruction, but I believe is now the subject of a preservation order. As a child, my abiding memory is of coming back into Derby on a cold night either by train or bus, and seeing the red neon glow in the night sky, and knowing you were nearly home. The story of lost love….not based on actual events, but it’s so generic, it could be any of us, couldn’t it? I was never stood up beneath the cow, but I’ve certainly been stood up!

(Photo courtesy of Kev Moore archives)

(Pictured above: Kev Moore live with Christie, Jeff Christie in center)

Stone: “The Turre Stomp” is a song that fuses together a mix of sounds, from Rock and Funk vibes with Middle Eastern strings, making for quite the fun listen. What influences tapped you on the shoulder for this song?

Kev: The Turre stomp is a song I’ve had kicking around for a while, and infact will be the last track on my Blue Odyssey album, completing the circle of the journey, if you will. Turre is the village in Southern Spain where I live. For those who don’t know, this area is the only classified ‘desert’ in Europe, and although irrigation and climate change over the last 25 years have changed it a lot, when I go up on the roof in midsummer, it really has that feel to it. It’s the area where Clint Eastwood made his famous western trilogy, and at the other end of our village, Indiana Jones was dragged down the ravine underneath the Nazi truck. I wanted to create a song that captured the heat, the dryness, and to some extent, the mystery. I tried a lot of sounds before I settled on the sitar, but once I had, it came together nicely.

Stone: What is the one thing you wish you could change about the Rock Music industry?

Kev: I think a lot of things need changing! But if I were to pick one……There’s been such a seismic shift in the way the industry works now, but I mourn the passing of the days when bands were signed with the understanding that they could be developed over a period of time. Let me take as an example Budgie, a great welsh power trio who were a big influence on me becoming a pro musician, and who I had the pleasure to meet a few years back. They were signed to A&M. They released a string of albums, probably 7 in as many years, touring regularly, never had a hit single!  Can you imagine a label sticking behind a band like that nowadays? It’s no surprise acts like Yes, Jethro Tull, Genesis, Fleetwood Mac etc, continue to sell, they were designed, and encouraged, for longevity.  Now, you’re lucky to even get your album out if a lead-in single flops. I know of artists who have to sit and watch their tapes gather dust on shelves, never to see a release. I’d like to see a return to The Music business instead of The music Business, if you know what I mean!

Stone: Who or what band has been the greatest influence on Kev Moore’s music career?

Kev: I think I’d have to say Trapeze. I’m not sure it necessarily comes out in my music, but from the moment I heard that band I thought “this is absolute perfection – funk and rock beautifully combined, wonderful understated incisive guitar, and that voice!”  I’ve met Glenn Hughes on several occasions and told him he was the single biggest influence on my becoming a professional musician. I kind of “back-dated” to Trapeze via Deep Purple. I was around 15, I’d been playing the drums for about 7 years, and then I bought “Burn”.  I just homed in on Glenn’s vocals and bass playing. I just remember thinking “that is what I want to do”.

Stone: Does Kev Moore make music or does music make Kev Moore?

Kev: It’s a vicious circle, Stone! I think it’s something like an energy exchange. Perhaps, at one time, I’d have been tempted to say the former, but having had a longer than usual period away from the stage, I’d have to say that on balance, it is music that defines me. Simply, I’ve never really known, nor wanted to do, anything else.

(Photo courtesy of Kev Moore archives)

(Pictured above: Graham Oliver/left, Kev Moore/right)

* For more info on Kev Moore, just click here: mooremusic.biz

* Listen to Kev Moor’s music, browse around and purchase the digital downloads of “Derby Pride”, “The Co-op Cow” and “The Turre Stomp” by clicking here: KEV MOORE: THE MUSIC BOX

* For more info on Oliver/Dawson Saxon, just click the link below:

OLIVER/DAWSON SAXON – myspace music

* For more info on The Gonads… click here: THE GONADS

* For more info on Jeff Christie and his band Christie, click on the link below:

JEFF CHRISTIE – Official Website

LONG LIVE KEV MOORE & HIS ROCK ‘N’ ROLL!

Stone.

CHEAP TRICK – “FOUND ALL THE PARTS” VINYL EP FROM 1980… I FOUND!

Posted in classic rock, hard rock bands, hard rock music, metal odyssey, Music, rock 'n' roll, rock and roll, rock music, rock music history with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 26, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

CHEAP TRICK – Earlier this Summer, I took the family on one of our trips to Amish Country in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. As I have stated in past posts… I like to hunt for Rock ‘N’ Roll, Hard Rock and Heavy Metal memorabilia and/or music anywhere I go. Antique stores are around Lancaster County, that is for certain. One particular stop, to a second hand memory shop uncovered the Cheap Trick – Found All The Parts EP from 1980, on vinyl. The asking price was $10… sold!

The total condition of this Cheap Trick EP’s album jacket and vinyl is mint, as if it was just opened from it’s original plastic factory wrap. (Check out my pics below of this EP I found). On the backside of this EP, at the top left corner, there is a gold embossed stamp that reads: “For Promotion Only, Ownership Reserved By CBS, Sale Is Unlawful”. Cool… a promo copy. The only bugaboo about my finding this Cheap Trick EP is that it does not have the bonus promotional 7″ single – Everything Works If You Let It. That is now a Cheap Trick 45 rpm that I will be on the look-out for.

I have seen this Cheap Trick EP for sale on Amazon ranging from $25 to $91 in new/sealed condition with the 7″ single included. I have also seen the used versions of this EP on Amazon ranging from $6 to $58. (Used conditions do vary though). The highest priced used copies don’t specify if the 7″ single comes with it, yet a couple of the lower priced used copies do state the 7″ single comes with the EP. Go figure. Nonetheless, I’m pleased that I found this used promo copy of Cheap Trick – Found All The Parts EP for $10, especially since the condition is so mint and I’ve never owned it before.

Track Listing For Found All The Parts EP:

Day Tripper (live)

Can’t Hold On (live)

Such A Good Girl

Take Me I’m Yours

* These same four songs heard on this EP can also be heard on the studio release: Cheap TrickAll Shook Up – (remastered/reissued version). This EP was originally released on Epic Records.

* For more info on Cheap Trick, just click the link below:

Cheap Trick – Official Website

Album Jacket Front:

ALBUM JACKET BACK:

CHEAP TRICK ARE:

Robin Zander – lead vocals

Rick Nielsen – lead guitar

Tom Petersson – bass guitar

Bun E. Carlos – drums

LONG LIVE CHEAP TRICK!

Stone.

* Note: The word “bugaboo” was used on Metal Odyssey. Yes it was, in paragraph two of this post.

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