Thursday, January 22, 2015

Reinvention 2 (electric bugaloo)

I will start this review off by writing something bordering on heresy. I am not a big Guns N Roses fan. Let me expand on that I can't stand Axl Rose. Now Slash, well that is something different.
Slash is still playing and still Awesome!  I loved Velvet Revolver but we ran into the same problems that Guns had, the jackass lead singer. So Slash went solo and had a great album with many guest lead singers one them being Myles Kennedy. Finally Slash found the right lead singer.
The partnership has spawned two albums the one I downloaded was World On Fire. The thing I love about Slash is that he can solo and also lay down some tastey rhythm riffs and this album is filled with them.  The title track starts off the album with a driving force that doesn't let up. The other track that has been recently released is Bent To Fly is solid.  What I love about this album is that there is no Filler tracks each one could be released.

28 years after G N R and he still kicks ass! That is why Slash will be in rock n roll hall of fame on his own. The album is a must listen for people who love good hard rock. 

Til the next time listen to the best your ears have earned it.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

7 Wishes

Night Ranger does not get the respect they should get.  One of the funniest jokes at their expense is from American Dad.  Stan realizes he is high because he is enjoying Sister Christian.  Kind of harsh but funny.  I put Night Ranger in with Styx. It's funny how Shaw and Blades got together to form Damn Yankees. They are a great American rock band that doesn't get their dues.

7 Wishes is the band's third album.  It came out in 1985 after the band was riding high from the smash album Midnight Madness.  I remember the music videos from the album on MTV and they were great.  Being 15 at the time, the songs just rocked and I had the album first on cassette then Vinyl so I could play it in my college years on the college radio station.  The large, at the time, Vinyl selection was for the radio and that cassettes although better than 8 tracks sucked in sound quality.

Back to 7 Wishes it was the third album and the last really good one.  It starts out with the title track which just rocks.  In fact, since adding this to the cloud I have been working out to it every morning. Even the power ballad isn't to slow or sappy.  The stand out songs are Four In The Morning, This Boy Needs To Rock and Interstate Love Affair.  The last track, Goodbye, is a great way to end the album, and to end their really great albums. 

After this album, Night Ranger didn't peak again musically or on the charts again.  I own most of the albums after this and they are okay.  A few stand out tracks but nothing really to get excited over.  I think the change in the times, their original keyboard player leaving and having David Foster as a producer brought them down.  Funny, David Foster worked on another great American rock band and watered them down too.  David Foster was on Chicago 17 and they weren't the same again either.

All I can say is that I will still listen to this album while I work out and I don't have to be high to enjoy it.

Til next time; treat your ears to some good music, they have earned it.

Sunday, January 11, 2015


Now for something new, sort of.  I listen to Octane on XM.  Octane is modern hard rock, 21st  Century bands.  I heard a great track on the station back in 2011.  It was "Lies of the Beautiful People" by Sixx AM.  Now as a child of the 80's I know of Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue, but this sounded nothing like a Crue song.  I put it aside and felt it was a tribute from a new band or something.  Later the same year I heard the track "This is going to Hurt", it was great I started to look into the band.  From the DJ's on Octane and some Wiki searches it is a new band from Nikki Sixx. 

Now most performers from the bands of that era are on tours replaying songs they did (save Slash, blog on  that coming) 30 years ago.  Now I don't know if they are trying new songs or not.  This has been a debate in my group of friends on if they are still artists or just performers rehashing their old glory.  I know that sounds harsh but I wonder about it.  If you have any real feedback or ideas on that let me know, no hating FAN nonsense about how great they still are, real honest feedback and insights.

On to the album "This Is Going To Hurt" it is a great new hard rock album.  The first two tracks I talked about do stand out.  The rest of the album is on point for new hard rock and fresh.  Other than the fact I know what Sixx sounded like from the Crue I don't hear any of it on this album.  Reinvention for a songwriter that had amazing success in the 80's and 90's and still able to bring it all over again in the 21 Century. It is worth a listen and I have enjoyed the releases from the newest album they have released. 

I will be back to the truly old stuff next week, my albums were very well loved and need some help to get back to recording shape.  Till the next review, listen well; your ears deserve it.

Monday, January 5, 2015

A Big Regret

The next album added to the library from vinyl is Queen Live Killers.  Unlike the last group, Queen is absolutely Rock and Roll Hall of Fame worthy.  This is another Mark "Blender" Benson influenced choice.  We loved Queen, I still do.  Freddie Mercury is the greatest lead singer of all time.  I titled this a big regret due to the fact for many years this was the closest I had to hearing them live.  Released in 1979, being ten at the time, I was not able to see any tours.  Mark and I  said we would even drive up to Atlanta for a tour/ Alas it never happened.

As for the album itself, it rocks.  The first side is straight rock, Brian is awesome on the guitar.  Great version of We Will Rock You and even little known but crowd favorite I'm in Love With my Car.  A  double album each side is just a testament to a wonderful live band.  The nice thing is this isn't a greatest hits live album, minor hits like Get Down Make Love, 39, Spread Your Wings and Tie Your Mother Down are on this. Yes, Bohemian Rhapsody is on the album but the middle is taped due to the fact with a four piece there is simply no way to do this live.  The live madness ends with the traditional version of We Will Rock You/We are the Champions and finally God Save the Queen. 

The first time I really got to see Queen live was on Live Aid with the rest of the world.  Knowing what they were like live I was one of the few who were not surprised that Freddie and the boys took over the show and made the stage their own.  Once again their live act gave the next band a new lease on popularity but a major American tour was not to be.  AIDS took a great artist too early from this world and Freddie was lost to us.

I have been discussing with the wife about the Adam Lambert version of Queen.  I would see them live with Adam and I feel he would do Freddie proud.

A longer review than normal, but Queen wasn't any normal band.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Old Friends

This Christmas my mother got me a new record player that can transfer albums into MP3 files.  I took the opportunity to visit some old Albums that had been in my parents home for the past 15 years.  I first downloaded Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon, but lets get real that Album has been bloged and written about more times than I can count so we will skip that one.

My next Album was Giuffira's self titled first offering.  This album takes me back to my teenage years in Miami and Ft. Lauderdale.  Mark "Blender" Benson of a crew I ran around with in my teenager years loved music and has influenced a lot of what I listen to.  Mark not only listened to the music  but he learned the different artist and their background.  Giuffria is not a very well known group. Greg Giuffira was the keyboard player who led the band.  He had some minor hits with a band named Angel but with Giuffira he made almost a breakthrough.

The self titled first album is very 80's not quite hairband rock.  The one track that made a hit was Call To The Heart.  Keyboard driven, go figure, sounds like an early version of the band Europe.  The rest of the tracks are fun but not earth shattering just 80's rock.  I enjoy the album and I am very happy I got a chance to add it to my ITunes cloud.

Let's be honest this album is more memory lane for me and brings back great times. Isn't that a great thing that music can do.

I will be digging out more albums and I will be reviewing them.  Will they be albums that should go in the Rock and Roll hall of fame?  Some of them but others will be like Giuffira.

James Woolverton