Album Recommendations: Winger – Pull (1993)

(by Velina of “My Rock Mixtapes”)

Let’s talk about irresistible tunes, shall we? Like, probably this one right here… A mesmerizing, early ’90s gem that many have forgotten, though it’s probably one of Winger’s greatest tracks of all time! Play it now for good old time’s sake – that’s the only way to do it justice!

“Down Incognito” is the second track of Winger’s third studio album, titled “Pull”. The ’80s were long gone and with them, part of the band’s signature glam rock vibes. The ’80s Winger sound was substituted by darker, harder and certainly more musically-challenging atmosphere. The little plot twist was appreciated by fans and many claim that this is Winger’s best release so far. The numbers weren’t as generous as the fans of the band and the album couldn’t match the success of the previous two but the times – they were changing so I suppose it was a natural outcome. Of course, the theme of this album was also a little bit different, more mature, focusing on social and political issues, even.

The greatest thing about this album is the signature guitar-driven Winger sound, accompanied by Kip’s one of a kind vocals. I swear I can listen to this guy sing all day long with that angelic rock & roll voice!

In addition to “Down Incognito” which is, hands down, my favorite track from the record, “Spell I’m Under” and “The Lucky One” are two other significant reasons why I am recommending or reminding everyone of this early ’90s hard rock gem of an album. “The Lucky One” has always been one my heart’s favorite ballads.

All in all, “Pull” presents a quite intriguing musical diversity which is one of the reasons why I wanted to feature it on my blog. There’s plenty of sass, heartbreak, high-level vocals, solid guitars and so much more! Winger evolved with this album so if you are a fan of their earlier work (nothing wrong with that I love the first releases with all my heart and soul) and don’t know much about the band after their first two albums, now might be the best time to check out their third release.

Tell me what you think about it and share your favorite song in the comment section below:


References:
Featured image, retrieved from: https://www.musiconvinyl.com/catalog/winger/pull#.W4Qz9sJ9jtQ
I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the rights and credits go to the owners and/publishers.
The publication expresses my personal opinion and in no way is trying to make a generalized statement. Please be kind and considerate when you read and/or comment.
Cheers~

[Album Review] PRIMAL FEAR – “Apocalypse” (2018)

(by Velina of “My Rock Mixtapes”)

Before I get down to business, I think you should play this song so that you fully understand why I am about to unleash all the praises and admiration on this album! I knew the moment I heard the first single that “Apocalypse” will be a mighty bomb that will blow up the entire industry and will quickly establish a solid presence on each fan’s personal top 2018 releases.

Primal Fear has been one of the most respected German bands for a long time and they have 11 brilliant albums behind their back to justify their status as metal icons. The 12th release, titled “Apocalypse” is now finally a fact and with it the band only further convinced every fan and critic out there of their unquestionable influence on the worldwide heavy metal scene. To me, “Apocalypse” defined the summer of 2018 like no other album and raised all kinds of bars in my book of metal. Not to mention that thanks to band like Primal Fear the future of the genre is more than secured and taken good care of. There’s plenty to look forward to, guys so let’s just not give up yet and leave ourselves to the hands of the glorious past only.

Let’s talk a little bit more about the songs and share all about my listening experience.

primal fear band

Firs of all, I want to say that the concept of the album, what to expect from it and the attitude we should adopt before we hit that “play” button are given to you through the titles of the songs, all portraying a beautiful, yet quite fearful and agitated image. It all makes perfect sense once you listen from start to finish – the entire album feels like a scary, yet alluring and very arousing midnight walk through an abandoned forest. I love how it all starts – the opening title track, “Apocalypse” lets you make your first steps into the heavy metal dungeon with the spooky breathing, church bells and haunting choir. The second track, “New Rise” is stabbing you instantly through the heart, without even giving you a chance of fighting back. It’s the moment where you say “yes, I knew it…I knew this album was gonna be astonishing!”; I love the Judas Priest vibe and the remarkable speed metal drumming on this one is certainly something to watch out for (courtesy of Francesco Jovino). My personal favorite is “Hounds of Justice” – the song just hits all the right buttons, at least for me. The track has that modern-day vibe, impresses with profound lyrics and instantly provokes a never-ending headbang! I love the oriental motives and Ralf Scheepers is killing it with those out-of-this-world vocals! “The Ritual” – the song we started our conversation about Primal Fear and “Apocalypse” with, is another extraordinary gem with riff, capable of easily extracting your soul from your body and sending it to another realm. What a stunning example of how musically and lyrically to influence every little heavy metal heart out there. Right after it, we move on to the mighty “King of Madness” – a thematic heavy-metal thunder, which mark my words, will be heard often on the radio in the weeks/months to come! “King of Madness” does the trick for me because it has what I look most in a song – beautiful, memorable melody! “Blood Sweat & Fear” can easily compete and most probably win against any power metal track released this year so far. “Supernova” might as well be one of the most interesting and unique tracks on the album; I’m a sucker for mysterious song intros and dramatic piano add-ons. The lengthy monumental 8-minute track “Eye of the Storm” is the last one I want to focus on because it does truly deserve every second you will spare for it! The well-balanced but quite intense feel of the song, charged with mighty string sections and smooth guitar riffs is what makes it the perfect soundtrack to your epic nightmare.

“Apocalypse” is basically what happens as a result of putting together a group of talented musicians, all looking at the same horizon, following the same path and synchronizing every bits of their skillful minds to reach that perfect end goal.

The release is thrilling, powerful, exciting and  your number one go-to source for the much-needed summer boost. “Apocalypse” is heavy on energy, rhythm, melody, lyrics and most importantly – intriguing themes. All you gotta do is (just like the title suggest), crank it up like it’s the last album you’ll ever play before the apocalypse hits us!

Check out some of the released songs and MVs and let me know what you thought about it!

“King of Madness”

“Hounds of Justice”


TRACKLIST:

Apocalypse
New Rise
The Ritual
King Of Madness
Blood, Sweat, & Fear
Supernova
Hail To The Fear
Hounds Of Justice
The Beast
Eye Of The Storm
Cannonball

Fight Against Evil (Bonus Track – Deluxe Version)
Into The Fire (Bonus Track – Deluxe Version)
My War Is Over (Bonus Track – Deluxe Version)


BAND MEMBERS: 

Ralf Scheepers – Lead Vocals
Tom Naumann – Guitars
Alex Beyrodt – Guitars
Magnus Karlsson – Guitars & Keyboards
Francesco Jovino – Drums
Mat Sinner – Bass & Vocals

Official Links: 

• Official Website: www.primalfear.de 

• Facebook:www.facebook.com/PrimalFearOfficial 


References:
I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the rights and credits go to the owners and/publishers.
The publication expresses my personal opinion and in no way is trying to make a generalized statement. Please be kind and considerate when you read and/or comment.
Cheers~

MY TOP 5 JULY 2018 RELEASES

(by Velina of “My Rock Mixtapes”)

Another month has passed and I feel like we will be saying “Happy New Year” pretty soon yet again! Wow, time flies so fast! It’s good that while we are dealing with the daily struggles of life, there’s always a bunch of great music to put that extra color in our busy lifestyle. Music is always there to remind us that we need to pause, take a deep breath and enjoy the most beautiful thing in life which will never abandon or disappoint us. Yes, of course I’m talking about music and this month did not disappoint when it comes to such beautiful reminders that kept us alive and kicking.

It’s time for my monthly top5 releases (I didn’t do for June because I was too busy so I am apologizing to everyone who was waiting for my monthly list) and I’m here to yet again present 5 great albums that made my month such a great experience.

I started with Daughtry’s new album – “Cage to Rattle” because I’ve been waiting for this album for such a long long time! I’ve been a fan of Chris for probably 10+ years and his soothing music has done so much for me that I don’t even want to imagine a world where I’m not a fan of him. The new album did not disappoint – signature style, beautiful vocals and soul-touching lyrics. I couldn’t have asked for more. Two live albums are on this list as well – Mr.Big’s “Live from Milan” and Vixen’s “Live Fire”. Both those albums are bringing back the significance of live albums and reminding everyone that this is not a dying trend and high-quality rock live albums are still being released. Two more releases from Frontiers Records are also on my list – the fiery Destina with “Metal Souls” and Gioeli Castronovo with “Set The World the Fire”. Both those albums carry a different character and impress with a different set of qualities. It’s important to listen to both though and you have to trust me on that!

Listen to the songs I put in here and go ahead and check out the full albums!

Let me know what was your favorite July 2018 rock release!


1. Daughtry – Cage to Rattle

daughtry cage to rattle


2. Gioeli Castronovo – Set the World on Fire

deen castronovo


3. Destina – Metal Souls

destina


4. Mr. Big – Live From Milan

mr big


5. Vixen – Live Fire

vixen live fire


References:
Featured image, retrieved from:  https://www.mjsbigblog.com/daughtry-cage-to-rattle-album-cover-art-and-track-list.htm
I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the rights and credits go to the owners and/or publishers.
The publication expresses my personal opinion and in no way is trying to make a generalized statement. Please be kind and considerate when you read and/or comment.
Cheers~

#HillsOfRock2018 in Pictures

(by Velina of “My Rock Mixtapes”)

I’m still trying to process every little thing that happened to me during the 2018 Hills of Rock festival because the whole thing was literally one great thing after another. This was the first time I took part in a 3-day festival and as tiring and exhausting (and sometimes quite painful for my body) as it was, I will forever cherish the memory of seeing the great Sabaton, the mighty Judas Priest and the legends Iron Maiden, all in just three days. That’s not all, though – plenty of other Bulgarian, European and American bands took the stages of Hills of Rock (yes, there were three of them) and I’m thankful I got the chance to be introduced to them.

I don’t think I can manage to convey all the emotions and deliver every little feeling I got from the concert. That’s why I will just show you some pictures I managed to take and hopefully, you will understand why it meant so much to me to be there. The festival was three days but honestly, I was mostly excited about the second day because Judas Priest were headlining and they’ve been one of my top favorite bands for such a long time. To see them for the very first time was a dream coming true. Not just that but I was quite near the stage which gave me the opportunity to more closely observe how they create that magic every fan has been talking about for 40 years almost. Before their concert, Dope made one hell of a show as well, reminding me of my high-school years and all the times me and my metal fans used to headbang to “Die MF Die”. Sabaton were extremely memorable as well – everyone was shaken to their grounds by the huge amount of talent and energy they showcased. Maiden did a phenomenal job as well – Bruce is in a great shape and he just knew how to entertain everyone. I also saw them for the very first time in my life and couldn’t have asked for a better show. The decor, the stage – it was all magnificent and it just blew me away. Let’s take a look at some of the photos I took (I am sorry for the quality but as you can imagine being in front of the stage, surrounded by sooo many people doesn’t really give you the best angle possible.)


 

Me, during each one of the days. Each day I was having a different look (the beer was always there of course). The third day I wore an Iron Maiden headband which is now added to my huge collection of headbands I bought from concerts. Got one of Priest too. Funny story – on day one, because I was wearing a Leppard tee, the lady from the food place gave me free fries – she was also a big fan hehe.

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This was the main stage –  where the big things were happening and the other two stages, scattered around the festival area…

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Crematory was one of the first bands (though not the first according to the line-up) that I had the chance to thoroughly catch and enjoy from start to finish. They rocked pretty hard!

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Fish was there too. What a dream coming true was this performance. I love this man. He brought that much needed gentle touch to the festival and balanced the situation for a little while. His live performance reminded me why I became a fan of Marillion in the first place years ago. What an honor was to be sitting right there in front of him…

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Sabaton were out of this world – so much energy!!! That was the moment people knew that this was going to be a phenomenal festival! This was my first time seeing them too and I was stunned by how talented those guys were. No wonder they have such a strong fan base in Bulgaria. I gotta say I am certainly not the most dedicated fan of Sabaton but after this show things are surely about to change.

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Day 2 – kicking things off with the local band Odd Crew – those guys are something, I’m telling you. I highly recommend them to my foreign buddies! I even got one of their albums from the merchandise stores.

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Battle Beast were STUNNING! This lady knows how to make a statement! They have a new fan! Before them a few other female-fronted bands took the stage, including Jinjer and Madame Mayhem but Battle Beast just won me over!

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DOPE were the real deal! Loved what they brought to the table with their performance. On top of it all, it was their first time in Bulgaria and I could sense how much they loved being here. My 8th grade self would’ve been so happy right now for seeing them…Thanks to their great delivery, I got the chance to rediscover them and catch up on all the things I missed throughout those years. I’m becoming a fan all over again…

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…and now finally the mighty Judas Priest…The reason why I was there in the first place…

I can’t express my happiness…I truly can’t. Seeing a legend like Rob Halford right there – in front of you, singing the songs you’ve been loving since you were a child – this my friends is what I’m living for, what truly keeps me going! He was in a great vocal shape and delivered one of the best performances I’ve seen in my entire life. He changed jackets after almost each song; he even came on the stage with his signature motorcycle and biker looks! You gotta love the man!!! I was jumping, screaming, singing along and embracing every second I had with them in front of me. Naturally, I was the happiest when they performed my favorite song “Turbo Lover” and the new songs from that phenomenal 2018 album! The stage setting was something you just can’t see on other concerts; the magnitude of the band was clearly portrayed and for a moment there I felt like I was in another planet, another place, another time…

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Day 3 started with Planet of Zeus, The Raven Age and Tremonti (before the big Iron Maiden show). Out of the three bands, The Raven Age stood out to me the most. I checked their entire discography after the show and yes – I am officially a fan of theirs.

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Finally, after all that anticipation, Iron Maiden came out on the stage. The public went nuts. They have a solid fanbase in Bulgaria so no wonder everyone was there. Around probably 30K people were attending that concert and the amount of energy, smiles and excitement coming from them was just so beautiful to witness. I’ve been to many concerts but what they did was one of a kind. Starting from the settings and the level of effort the team put into building this colossal environment where they performed for 2 hours, was superb! Bruce was brilliant and unbelievably good! The guy jumped and danced and just poured his soul out on that stage. He even waved the Bulgarian flag at one point which made everyone go crazy!! The performance of “The Clansman” was my favorite – way more epic to see it live than just hearing it on your player…

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Huge thanks to everyone who participated in Hills of Rock and made this event possible. It was a phenomenal festival and something I will forever remember. Cheers to this year and for more to come! I really hope Hill of Rock will establish itself as one of the greatest European rock/metal festivals and even more people from all over Europe and the world will come to see legendary bands perform in one of the most beautiful cities in my country and in the continent as a whole too.

Rock on!


Cover photo, retrieved from: https://www.facebook.com/HillsOfRock/
P.S. This publication expresses my personal thoughts and opinions, based on actual experiences. All the photos are taken by me. Please be kind and considerate and make sure you don’t just save and use the written and visual content without my permission! Rock on!

[Album Recommendations] TERAMAZE – HER HALO (2015)

(by Velina of “My Rock Mixtapes”)

Well, to be honest, I’m probably not the best person to talk to if you want to know more about Australian rock/metal bands, however I can sure as hell recommend a thing or two. This album and this band is on the list without doubt.

Recently, thanks to Spotify, Teramaze’s song, “Her Halo” came up on one of my playlists and I was hooked right from the very beginning. That’s why we are here – because I wanted to share my new-found enthusiasm for this 2015 release, caring the same title.

Teramaze have been around since the early ’90s and it’s a shame that I’m discovering them just now. The 2015 album I want to talk about is their last one and the first one for me. Progressive metal is certainly not a genre I’m so familiar or fond of, however this right here is one of the exceptions for sure.

“Her Halo” is easy on the ear and smooth on the soul so don’t get discouraged if still questioning whether to play it or not. It’s fun to get out of your comfort zone (in my case, the AOR/hard rock zone) and explore other genres – especially this one that blossomed quite a lot since the ’90s.

“Her Halo” possesses a great deal of intriguing elements, wrapped up with appealing signature songwriting and conceptual technicality that contributes to the overall accessibility of the album. I love how the band thought of the listeners first and then of the critics and fellow music craftsman out there. There’s a lot of melody on the album and the lyrics are absolutely gorgeous so I was sold very quickly. “Her Halo” is certainly not a typical pompous progressive metal release, at least based on what I can compare it with. I am also very fascinated by the different themes, presented on this album, such as fame, being persona non grata, love triangles, and the thin line between passion and friendship.

All in all, the album is full of spirit and potential to get to the fans of any rock/metal sub-genre out there. I highly recommend it if you are ready to get a little bit of challenge. I have laid the foundations of my growing interest so hopefully, in the future I will get to show you more of them and of other bands of this genre.

Have a listen and let me know what you think…

“Her Halo”

“An Ordinary Dream”

“Broken”

“To love, A Tyrant”


References:

Album details, retrieved from http://teramaze.com.au/about/
I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the rights and credits go to the owners and/publishers.
The publication expresses my personal opinion and in no way is trying to make a generalized statement. Please be kind and considerate when you read and/or comment.
Cheers~

[Album Review] SUNSTORM – “The Road To Hell” (2018)

(by Velina of “My Rock Mixtapes”)

joe lynnThere’s no way you can be a hard rock fan and not like or appreciate one of the most signature and hard-working voices in the genre. Yes, I’m talking about the mighty Joe Lynn Turner who has been around for such a long time, putting a distinctive touch in bands like Rainbow, Deep Purple, Yngwie Malmsteen and so on. Throughout the decades, the New Jersey-born singer has been displaying his vocal talents as a solo artist as well and kept rocking and rolling on the scene till this day. In 2006 the first definitive Joe Lynn Turner AOR album came out, under the project name SUNSTORM. 12 years and a few albums later, we have a new comeback, titled “The Road to Hell” and let me tell you – it’s a must listen for every self-respected fan of the rock icon. I have been a fan of the legend JLT for as long as I can remember and been following his every move so witnessing another glorious AOR release like this one makes me feel like it’s Christmas again!

“The Road to Hell” is yet again graced by the production skills of Hardline’s Alessandro Del Vecchio. Guitars are courtesy by progressive metaller titan DGM’s Simone Mularoni. The direction of the album is following the same well-established hard rock path of “Edge of Tomorrow” – the band’s highly-successful 2016 album. One listen to this new gem and you will further strengthen your beliefs (in case you haven’t done it yet which would be crazy) that JLT is one of the best performers, frontmen and voices of rock music out there!

“The Road to Hell” is the ultimate example of an upfront, straight-to-the-point melodic rock release with tons of flavor and just the right amount of heavier rock vibes. 11 hard rock masterpieces are what make “The Road to Hell” your new favorite musical adventure. The first thing that comes to mind when you play the album from start to finish is that heaviness I just mentioned. It’s a neat, well-completed record with a firm hard grip.

A few highlights I would like to talk about. Let’s start with the opening track – “Only the Good Will Survive”. Everything about this song is uplifting and stimulating – from the lyrics, to the mesmerizing vocals and of course, those solid riffs, courtesy of Simone Mularoni – it’s all one highly-enjoyable musical joyride. “The Road to Hell” is my personal favorite and the most instantly-captivating song from the record, in my opinion. It’s just so easy to fall for those hooks and gripping melody. It’s the perfect title song in my opinion, justifying the AOR strength of the entire album. “On the Edge” and “Blind The Sky” further cement the goal of this album, which is to give live to pure, widely-accessible rock music, with the quality needed to boost the genre’s current significance. “Everywhere” is the ballad I was waiting for. JLT did not disappoint! The song is full of soul and his voice is giving me all the feels I desperately seek in my music. When it comes to powerful openings (since you know I’m into this so much), look for “My Eyes on You” and “Resurrection”!

Final verdict:

Addicted to melodic rock? Looking for that remarkable new record to steal you away from the genre-defining songs you’ve been playing for years? Look no further – “The Road to Hell” is here to take you on a friendly but certainly a bit of a soul-stirring rocky trip to AOR frenzy.

“Only The Good Will Survive”


 

TRACKLIST:

Only The Good Will Survive
The Road To Hell
On The Edge
Blind The Sky
My Eyes On You
Future To Come
Everywhere
Resurrection
Calling
State Of The Heart
Still Fighting


BAND MEMBERS:
Joe Lynn Turner: Lead vocals
Nik Mazzucconi: Bass guitar
Simone Mularoni: Lead Guitar
Alessandro Del Vecchio: Keyboards
Edo Sala: Drums

Check out the Official Social Links of Joe Lynn Turner:
http://joelynnturner.com/
https://www.facebook.com/joelynnturnerofficial
https://twitter.com/joelynnturner


References:
I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the rights and credits go to the owners and/publishers.
The publication expresses my personal opinion and in no way is trying to make a generalized statement. Please be kind and considerate when you read and/or comment.
Cheers~

Me and My Life in 3 Rock Songs

(by Velina of “My Rock Mixtapes”)

I had a very interesting discussion on twitter the other day with all my friends and followers. I asked everyone to describe themselves in three rock songs. I got some pretty interesting answers and got reminded of some great songs too thanks to the conversation that went on. I have to admit, before asking everyone about it I haven’t really thought about the three songs that maybe represent my personality and my life the best. I tried my best to come up with three choices and I think I did quite well. From now on, when I meet someone for the very first time I might as well send them this publication! I promised to write about it on my blog so here we are. Keep in mind that three is a small number and of course, there are plenty more, but for sure, the following playlist pretty much sums it up all!

Here’s the tweet, you can go ahead and check it out and even reply if you feel like it! Make sure you comment below this publication and share your personal choices. I cannot wait to read them.


Foreigner – Woman in Black

Probably the song the lyrics to which represent me in a perfect way! I can’t think of a better track to kick things off. Of course, it’s all about those lyrics which I am absolutely convinced were written about me. Excluding the fact that I love black and my hair is black and my nails are usually pained black, everything else Lou Gramm sings about is basically about me or the type of woman I’m inclined to believe is close to my behavior or overall image. Of course, the song itself is a masterpiece and that contributes to my love for it as well.

I saw a dark silhouette, at the table
I tried to talk, but I was unable
She drew me in right under her spell
I was hypnotized by the sudden temptation…
Of that woman in black, she’s a mystery
She’s everything a woman should be
Woman in black, she’s got a hold on me
She’s in control, she won’t set me free…


Eric Clapton – I’ve Got A Rock N’roll Heart

This is a very important song for me because it kind of sums up how much I love rock music and how much it means to me. It also tells a story of a person who explains to their loved one that before they get truly serious, it’s of extreme importance to understand the role music plays in the life of this person. If this ain’t me, I don’t know who else is… Each time I meet someone for the very first time, somehow right from the second sentence, I somehow always end up talking about music and how essential it is to my existence. I want people, especially the right ones, to know that I cannot live without rock&roll and that my heart will always belong to music first.

P.S. Eric Clapton’s “Spiral” is another song that sends a similar message and might as well be on this list, next to this one as well.

I get off on ’57 Chevys
I get off on screaming guitar
Like the way it hits me every time it hits me
I’ve got a rock and roll, I’ve got a rock and roll heart


Cinderella – Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)

This song is here because not only it sends a message I’ve been trying to follow my entire life but because somehow I always end up in situations in which people don’t quite appreciate me and then feel regretful once I decide to leave. I’m not just talking about relationships but also friendships, work-relations and many other situations I’ve been in my entire life. I think it’s very important to know that life is hard and when you meet someone with good qualities and values, you have to keep it close to you and cherish it while you can…because let’s face it – one day this person might not be here and you will be the one, thinking how stupid you were to treat him/her the way you did. It’s sad that we live in a world where people appreciate you only after you are gone…

I can’t feel the things that cause you pain
I can’t clear my heart of your love
It falls like rain, ain’t the same
I hear you calling far away
Tearing through my soul I just can’t
Take another day, Who’s to blame
If we take some time to think it over baby
Take some time let me know
If you really wanna go

Don’t know what you got till it’s gone
Don’t know what it is I did so wrong
Now I know what I got
It’s just this song
And it ain’t easy to get back
Takes so long


References:
P.S. I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the rights and credits go to the owners and/publishers.
The publication expresses my personal opinion and in no way is trying to make a generalized statement. Please be kind and considerate when you read and/or comment.
Cheers~