[The Greatest Rock Albums of the 80s] Journey – Escape

Journey_Escape

When we talk about definitive 80s rock albums, Journey’s “Escape” almost instantly comes to our mind. With smashing hit singles like “Don’t Stop Believin’”, “Who’s Crying Now” “Still They Ride”, “Open Arms” and “Stone in Love” the record was destined for success. Not only it sold over 12 million copies worldwide, but its tracks became the ultimate rock radio staples of the decade. Till today, it remains the band’s most successful studio album and the project that completely changed the game for one of San Francisco’s most talented artists – Journey. “Escape” was the album that introduced the band into the AOR arena and the album responsible for their fame and millions of fans throughout the world.
According to some critics, “Escape” has to be considered as the best AOR album of the all-time! Indeed, we need to recognize the importance and influence of this album on the popular music arena of the ‘80s because the mark this record left was so huge that it still stands! Furthermore, the record peaked at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart and had three hit singles in top 10 positions. People were (and still are) completely crazy about this record and how can they not be? The album represents freedom of youth, love, new hope, dreams and reaching for the stars. Every song mesmerizes us with beautiful instrumentals and outstanding vocal delivery by none other than THE VOICE himself – Steve Perry. “Escape” is truly one of the greatest rock masterpieces of the ‘80s.

Journey 3


 

ESCAPE

Journey_EscapeReleased: July 31, 1981
Recorded: April to June 1981, Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California
Genre: Hard Rock, Rock, Soft Rock
Length: 42:46
Label: Columbia
Producer(s): Mike Stone, Kevin Elson
Singles: “Don’t Stop Believin’”, “Who’s Crying Now”, “Still They Ride”, “Open Arms”, “Stone in Love”
Personnel: Steve Perry – lead vocals; Neal Schon – guitar, backing vocals; Jonathan Cain – rhythm guitar, backing vocals, piano, keyboards;  Ross Valory – bass guitar, backing vocals;  Steve Smith – drums, percussion, backing vocals
Certified: 9xPlatinum (RIAA)

TRACKLIST:

Don’t Stop Believin’
“Stone in Love”
“Who’s Crying Now”
“Keep on Runnin'”
“Still They Ride”
“Escape”
“Lay It Down”  
“Dead or Alive”  
“Mother, Father”
“Open Arms”

Bonus Tracks from the 2006 Remastered Edition:

“La Raza del Sol” (B-side of “Still They Ride”)
“Don’t Stop Believin'” (Live at The Summit, Houston, Texas, November 6, 1981; from Live in Houston 1981: The Escape Tour)
“Who’s Crying Now” (Live at The Summit, Houston, Texas, November 6, 1981; from Live in Houston 1981: The Escape Tour)
“Open Arms” (Live at The Summit, Houston, Texas, November 6, 1981; from Live in Houston 1981: The Escape Tour)

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OVERVIEW:

“Escape” impresses with more catchy and friendly rock-flavoured tunes, with more hooks, live and rhythm than their previous works. The album may fit perfectly into the description of an AOR record but it also goes way beyond that. During the ‘80s it was indeed quite popular to expand into the pop rock arena by sweetening hard rock sounds with keyboards,  vocal harmonies and colorful lyrics, however not many bands achieved what Journey did with this album. Despite being heavily criticized for its sweetness and lack of technical excellence, “Escape” somehow managed to reach the hearts of the fans and conquer them.

The mood of the album is concentrated around themes such as love, romance, hopes, dreams and the belief that we have the strength to reach and ask for something better in this life. The album is dedicated to the youth in need of inspiration and encouragement. The lyrics are brilliant and possess the ability to immediately connect with you on a deeper, more personal level. The words simply transfer you to a new and better world.

The lifeblood of the record has to be Steve Perry. We can’t argue about the passion and emotion Steve Perry puts every time he sings for his fans. However, in this album, he goes beyond his limits and gives us something more brilliant than ever. His vocal delivery, particularly on this record, has made him immortal.

Escape is full of these outstanding singing moments and uplifting rhythms that can’t but make your heart warm up.The songs are simply irresistible. From the title track – “Don’t Stop Believin’”, which can go “on and on and on” and we won’t mind at all, to “Who’s Crying Now” which is the song that best showcases Steve Perry’s wide vocal range, “Escape” is a gift we can’t get enough of.

Journey.jpg

Now, let’s listen…


 

This is one of the songs everyone likes to play when they feel down and are in need of a “cheer-up”! It might indeed be the perfect rock song – outstanding vocals, clever lyrics and a catchy “marathon” between a piano and a guitar. The popularity of this song is completely understandable and even nowadays, numerous TV shows and movies choose to feature it. Why? Because people love it and it’s just that good!

Don’t Stop Believin’

Just a small town girl
Livin’ in a lonely world
She took the midnight train
Goin’ anywhere
Just a city boy
Born and raised in South Detroit
He took the midnight train
Goin’ anywhere

Don’t stop believin’
Hold on to that feelin’!


 

“Open Arms” is probably the band’s greatest commercial success, spending countless weeks on the Billboard charts. It’s one of those songs that can easily make you emotional and you might not even realize when you started crying. Steve is such a beautiful man and his voice is truly made of gold – the depth, the passion the range – no man can ever match Steve Perry’s voice and that’s that! The song captivates us with its unique spirit and moving lyrics. Just listen…

Open Arms

Lying beside you, Here in the dark
Feeling your heartbeat with mine
Softly you whisper, You’re so sincere
How could our love be so blind
We sailed on together, We drifted apart
And here you are, By my side

So now I come to you, With open arms
Nothing to hide, Believe what I say
So here I am With open arms
Hoping you’ll see
What your love means to me
Open arms…


 

Another awesome tune from the album that captures the essence of the band and impress with its upbeat and energizing spirit. The lyrics bring us back to our young and carefree days full of innocent love and romance…   

Stone in Love

Those crazy nights, I do remember in my youth
I do recall, those were the best times, most of all
In the heat with a blue jean girl
Burnin’ love comes once in a lifetime
She found me singing by the rail road track
Took me home, we danced by moonlight

Those summer nights are callin’,
stone in love
Can’t help myself I’m fallin’
stone in love…

~

Finally, I would like to say that “Escape” is an absolute pop-rock sensation and is an absolute must-have in your record collection. The songs are timeless and can’t but make you fall in love with them at first listen. Not to mention Steve Perry whose remarkable voice in my opinion cannot be described with words – you just have to feel it and once you do, you would just realize that some things in life are truly magical and go beyond rationality. The record is groundbreaking and an absolute era and culture defining icon. “Escape” is immortal!

Cheers
xox


 

Credits:
Journey Lyrics, retrieved from www.azlyrics.com
Journey Official Wikipedia Page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Journey_%28band%29
Escape by Journey album review, retrieved by http://www.allmusic.com
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.
Cheers~

Axl Rose’s First Concert With AC/DC: Videos, Setlist

AXL with ACDC

axl with acdc

On May 7th, Axl Rose had his first live performance alongside his new bandmates of AC/DC during their concert at Lisbon, Portugal. The concert marked the beginning of a series of European dates which are scheduled into next month.

Rose replaced Brian Johnson, after the long-time frontman was advised not to perform live events due to his serious hearing issues.

The band began their set with “Rock or Burst” and continued with some of AC/DC’s ultimate hits like “Back in Black”, “Thunderstruck” and many more.

Setlist from Axl Rose’s Debut Concert with AC/DC:

“Rock or Bust”
“Shoot to Thrill”
“Hell Ain’t a Bad Place to Be”
“Back in Black”
“Got Some Rock & Roll Thunder”
“Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap”
“Rock ‘n’ Roll Damnation”
“Thunderstruck”
“High Voltage”
“Rock ‘n’ Roll Train”
“Hells Bells”
“Given the Dog a Bone”
“Sin City”
“You Shook Me All Night Long”
“Shot Down in Flames”
“Have a Drink on Me”
“T.N.T.”
“Whole Lotta Rosie”
“Let There Be Rock”
Encore:
“Highway to Hell”
“Riff Raff”
“For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)”


 

Watch the videos below:

Thunderstruck

Back in Black

Hells Bells

You Shook Me All Night Long

Highway To Hell

Shoot To Thrill


 

AC/DC posted a video on their official Facebook page, featuring Lisbon fans talking about their experience. Watch below:

 

Credits:
See Video, Setlist from Axl Rose’s First AC/DC Concert, retrieved from http://ultimateclassicrock.com/axl-rose-acdc-first-concert/?trackback=tsmclip

[The Greatest Rock Albums of the 80s] AC/DC – For Those About To Rock We Salute You

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When we think of AC/DC’s long music career and their enormous catalogue, probably the first record that comes to our minds is “Back in Black”. This ultimate blockbuster not only changed the game for the band by turning them into international rockstars, but became the second best-selling album of all time with around 50 million copies sold worldwide! Can you imagine the strength of impact this pure hard rock wave had on the world? I wasn’t born at that time but I can still feel it today. How can you top the success of rock anthems such as “Back in Black”, “Hells Bells” and “You Shook Me All Night Long”? It’s indeed quite the task… The bar was set too high and everyone was curious to see how can AC/DC come up with something even better than that…

In 1981, AC/DC went on a new journey as it was time to look ahead and make some new music. “For Those About To Rock We Salute You” is the album that followed up to their highly successful “Back in Black”. The record couldn’t match the numbers of “Back in Black”, however their winning streak most definitely continued.  With phenomenal tracks such as the quintessential rock anthem “For Those About To Rock We Salute You” and the massive hit single “Let’s Get It Up”, AC/DC won the #1 spot on the USA charts. The effect of the album was quite evident, despite always been compared to their previous one. The record has its strong and weak points, however one thing is for sure – it’s indeed one of their greatest albums of all time and I often say that it can easily match “Back in Black”.

The mastermind behind the record is Mutt Lange – a producer with extraordinary abilities, I admire with all my heart and soul. It’s his third and final collaboration with AC/DC, unfortunately.

Brian Johnson was already well accustomed to the new band and things were working out quite naturally for them, as we can hear on the album.

Let’s talk music…


 

For Those About to Rock We Salute You

vinyl ~Released: November 23, 1981
Recorded: May – September 1981 in Paris
Genre: Hard Rock, Rock, Blues Rock
Length: 40:10
Label: Albert / Atlantic Records
Producer(s): Robert John “Mutt” Lange
Singles: “Let’s Get It Up”, “For Those About To Rock We Salute You”
Personnel: Brian Johnson – lead vocals; Angus Young – lead guitar; Malcolm Young – rhythm guitar, backing vocals, co-lead guitar; Cliff Williams – bass guitar, backing vocals; Phil Rudd – drums, percussion


TRACKLIST:

1. For Those About To Rock ( We Salute You )
2. Put The Finger On You
3. Let’s Get It Up
4. Inject The Venom
5. Snowballed
6. Evil Walks
7. C.O.D.
8. Breaking The Rules
9. Night Of The Long Knives
10. Spellbound

56CB59A66.png

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OVERVIEW:

In comparison with “Back in Black”, “For Those About To Rock We Salute You” grabs the ear with its laid back, carefree and a much friendlier vibe which was probably a direct reflection of the state of the band at that time. After the phenomenal success they just had, it was quite obvious that they were not as hungry or pushy as before. For them, this album was a celebration of their triumph.

On “For Those About To Rock We Salute You”, AC/DC effortlessly achieve a perfect balance between their typical fierce sound and a more relaxing, radio-friendly feel. It’s must less commercial and heavier which directly ensured their place on the airwaves. The band moved a little bit further away from their punk infused grounds into a more mid-tempo AOR album. However, they did manage to keep that original, “AC/DC-typical” addictive sound we fans love and are so accustomed to.

AC/DC is not exactly the first band that comes to your mind when you think of thought-provoking lyrics. This album doesn’t quite impress us with stunning words, however one think it does is showing us how hard they can hit hard and how easily they can blow the roof off the place. With “For Those About To Rock We Salute You”, I feel like the band presented a more refined technical skills and Brian Johnson was definitely at his top game.

The finest moments of the record would have to be the title track – “For Those About To Rock We Salute You” and the rhythmical and extremely catchy “Let’s Get It Up”, “Inject the Venom” and “I Put The Finger On You”. Plenty of cool verses, crazy guitar riffs and memorable shouts on all of those tunes, however I feel like except the title track, no other song could stand out from one another. Unfortunately, the finest moments of the album end with those four songs. The following tunes doesn’t really inspire with exceptional musicianship or outstanding delivery. The flaws could be easily spotted as we go from one song to the next one. Surprisingly, however, I believe this album possesses a very important characteristic – the more you play the tracks, the more you enjoy them.  

ac dc 1981


 

AC/DC hit as hard as they can right from the beginning. The title track is the ultimate rock anthem that changed the world. The monstrous “For Those About To Rock We Salute You” is an absolute concert staple and the band’s greatest trademark! The song is simply one of AC/DC’s finest accomplishments and a song that can’t but put you in an instant terrific mood! I’m quite fond of the intro that slowly but steadily builds up your excitement. Not to mention Brian’s high growls and impeccable vocal delivery…Just listen…

Stand up and be counted for what you are about to receive
We are the dealers
We’ll give you everything you need
Hail hail to the good times
Cos rock has got the right of way
We ain’t no legends ain’t no cause
We’re just livin’ for today
For those about to rock, we salute you
For those about to rock, we salute you…


 

The following three tracks didn’t perform quite as well as the title track. They all have similar characteristics and impress with a very lively, catchy and enjoyable formula. I am especially fond of “Inject the Venom” which really gives me quite the chills…

No mercy for the bad if they want it
No mercy for the bad if they plead
No mercy for the bad if they need it
No mercy from me
Tell no truth an’ tell no lies
Cross your heart and hope to die
Never give what you can’t take back
Scratch like a cat
If you inject your venom
It’ll be your last attack…

Loose lips sink ships
So come aboard for a pleasure trip
It’s high tide so let’s ride
The moon is risin’ and so am I
I’m gonna get it up
Never gonna let it up
Cruisin’ on the seven seas
A pirate of my lovin’ needs
I’ll never go down
Never go down

I put the finger on you, yeah
My hands all outta control
I can’t stop it gettin’ down on you
It’s movin’ of its own accord
I got fire in my finger tips
Radiate it all to you
I can’t control it
Can’t even hold it…

~

Overall, “For Those About To Rock We Salute You” is a very fine album which unfortunately is quite underrated and will always be compared to “Back in Black”. I enjoy the friendlier vibe and the more refined and natural sounds, however I do wish they put a little bit more effort and try to not play it so safe. I feel like the album sold so many copies due to the huge title track. What happens after it, however, is just a bit unsettling. Don’t get me wrong, I do appreciate the album, however the songs just progressively become less and less interesting. Regardless, I do love those four tracks and listen to them quite often…
Cheers!


 

Credits:
AC/DC Lyrics, retrieved from www.azlyrics.com
For Those About to Rock We Salute You Album Review, retrieved from http://www.allmusic.com
AC/DC official Wikipedia Page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AC/DC
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.
Cheers~

David Gilmour Honors Prince by Mashing Up “Comfortably Numb” and “Purple Rain”

David G - 2

Pink Floyd frontman David Gilmour honored the late Prince by performing an outstanding mashup of the band’s classic “Comfortably Numb” and Prince’s ultimate hit “Purple Rain”, during a live event at London’s Royal Albert Hall this Sunday night.

As he played, the stage turned purple and as the video shows, the audience was quite thrilled to experience this one-of-a-kind performance.

David has been on the road in support of his latest album “Rattle That Lock”, however this show was a benefit to raise money for a Teenage Cancer Trust.

It is indeed a very beautiful tribute from a very talented musician. Check out the video:


 

Credits:
Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour mashes up ‘Comfortably Numb’ and ‘Purple Rain’, retrieved from http://www.ew.com/article/2016/04/26/david-gilmour-purple-rain?xid=entertainment-weekly_socialflow_twitter
P.S. I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the credits and rights go to the owners and/ publishers.

Remembering PRINCE and His Epic Ballad “Purple Rain”

Prince - Purple Rain

Remembering Prince…

 

2016 truly is the year music died…

Today the world woke up to some horrible news – at the age of 57, one of the most prolific and important music icons Prince, has died. I cannot believe we have lost another legend…

Prince was much more than a talented artist – he was a master of music and a humanist, who without fear supported everything that mattered and meant a lot to him by expressing it through his art. Yes, Prince’s music was not just music – it was a pure art! Prince was a prolific songwriter, gifted multi-instrumentalist and one of the most talented producers and music engineers. Not to mention that he was one of the most dynamic stage personas in the industry. Prince was full of so many great ideas – not only he wrote his own songs, but he wrote so many hit songs for other artists as well! He was also one badass guitar player – his unique use of the guitar as a rhythm instrument is one of the many things that distinguished him. He is also the creator of the so called “Minneapolis Sound” – a very distinctive sound, driven by synthesizers and drum machines on top of rhythmic guitars.

Throughout his career, Prince has sold more than 100 million records and has released 39 studio albums and more than 100 singles! Needless to say, these numbers speak for themselves – he was extraordinary and people loved his music! Prince was a true rock ‘n’ roll pioneer with music that is absolutely timeless. He was also one of the reasons why MTV broke the racial barrier – he was a true symbol and a fighter for the rights of all African-Americans.

Among all of his brilliantly written songs, I have to say his greatest hit remains the 8 minute long epic ballad called “Purple Rain”. The song is the title track from his 1984 album of the same name, which is the soundtrack of his rock musical drama film, again titled “Purple Rain”. The song is considered as one of his most signature works and he even won an Oscar for it! This masterpiece captivated the audience by its unique combination of rock, gospel, pop and orchestral music. It is considered as one of the greatest songs of all time…

I grew up listening to Prince and I truly hold him dear – his influence and musicianship go far beyond any reason. He was much more than a commercially successful artist – he was an inspiration and one of the most important figures that changed the course of music! In memory of Prince, I decided to prepare a little tribute publication and focus a little bit more on his most famous work – “Purple Rain”. I truly admire and love this song and have always been extremely captivated by the beautiful lyrics. I listen to it quite often because – well, because it’s one of a kind song! Let’s remember this fine piece of art and think of him…Good night, sweet prince…

Prince - Purple Rain Cover

 

Lyrics:

“…I never meant to cause you any sorrow
I never meant to cause you any pain
I only wanted one time to see you laughing
I only want to see you laughing in the purple rain

Purple rain Purple rain
Purple rain Purple rain
Purple rain Purple rain

I only want to see you bathing in the purple rain

I never wanted to be your weekend lover
I only wanted to be some kind of friend
Baby I could never steal you from another
It’s such a shame our friendship had to end

Purple rain Purple rain
Purple rain Purple rain
Purple rain Purple rain

I only want to see you underneath the purple rain

Honey I know, I know, I know times are changing
It’s time we all reach out for something new
That means you too
You say you want a leader
But you can’t seem to make up your mind
I think you better close it
And let me guide you to the purple rain

Purple rain Purple rain
Purple rain Purple rain

If you know what I’m singing about up here
C’mon raise your hand

Purple rain Purple rain

I only want to see you, only want to see you
In the purple rain…”


 

GIF PRINCE PURPLE RAIN~ The song is entirely written by Prince, however at first he actually wanted Stevie Nicks to write the lyrics for “Purple Rain”.

~ Originally, the song was 11 minute long, however a verse and a chorus were cut out. Some of the original lyrics that were taken out of the song for being too inappropriate are the following:
“Honey I don’t want your money, no, no.
I don’t even think I want your love.
If I wanted either one I would take your money and,
I want the heavy stuff.”

~ The song was recorded during a benefit concert for the Minnesota Dance Theater at the First Avenue nightclub in Minneapolis on August 3, 1983.

~ Prince was very worried that the song had a very similar sound to that of Journey’s “Faithfully”. He called Jonathan Cain and asked him to hear it after which Jonathan said that it was “OK” since the songs shared just a few common chords.

~ The movie “Purple Rain” grossed more than $80 million at the box office and became one of the most essential movies of the era.

~ “Purple Rain” soundtrack spent 24 weeks at number 1 on the Billboard charts. The song, however hit only number 2, behind “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” by Wham!

~ Many people were quite confused and wondering about the true meaning of the song and its lyrics. “When there’s blood in the sky – red and blue = purple.. .Purple rain pertains to the end of the world and being with the one you love and letting your faith/god” guide you through the purple rain,” he said.

~ However…according to his band mate Lisa Coleman, the song symbolizes “a new beginning. Purple, the sky at dawn; rain, the cleansing factor…”

~ Prince gave one of the most memorable Super Bowl halftime moments at the 2007 game when he performed “Purple Rain”. The stadium turned dark and purple which created an amazing visual experience. Appropriately, the song was played during a downpour at the stadium!!!

 

~ In order to fully understand the lyrics and the meaning of the song, one has to watch the movie. Many people say that this song is dedicated to his traumatic childhood and his father, who used to physically abuse him when he was a child or that it’s about the relationship his mom and dad had. To other people, however this song goes beyond that and carries a more philosophical and deeper meaning or it is simply about loving someone who doesn’t feel the same way because he/she is already in a loving relationship with someone…. He doesn’t want to ruin this girl’s life but he still wants her close to him, maybe as a friend… To me personally, this song can have many interpretations depending on the person listening to it. I feel like this song is about a very deep and strong desire that will most likely never happen – you are so inlove with someone but due to circumstances you cannot be together…

 

PURPLE RAIN 4


 

Credits:
20 Things You Didn’t Know About ‘Purple Rain’, retrieved from http://www.nme.com/blogs/nme-blogs/20-things-you-didnt-know-about-purple-rain#AsoPDoVTRAD2E5q1.99
Purple Rain by Prince, retrieved from http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=2012
Purple Rain (song), retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purple_Rain_%28song%29
Prince Found Dead at His Recording Studio in Minnesota, retrieved from http://www.metalsucks.net/2016/04/21/prince-found-dead-recording-studio-minnesota/
“Purple Rain” Lyrics, retrieved from http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/prince/purplerain.html
P.S. I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the rights and credits go to the owners.

CBGB And The Birth Of Punk Rock And New Wave

LOGO CBGB

The infamous bar CBGB (full name CBGB & OMFUG) is the birthplace of punk rock and new wave! It’s an iconic place and numerous important and influential musicians performed their first gigs there. The club owner – Hilly Kristal, helped bands such as Ramones, Blondie and Talking Heads kick off their careers by giving them a stage where they could rock as hard as they want! CBGB is the rock mecca of New York and naturally due to its enormous impact and importance, the majority of Americans are quite familiar with it. However, to many people outside America, the club and its significant role in the formation and development of the underground rock scene is quite unknown – and I’m saying it based on experience. Many people love and listen to Ramones, Blondie, Talking Heads or the Heartbreakers; however they may not be so familiar with their origin stories and how they relate with CBGB in particular. Therefore, I decided to prepare a little informative publication in which I can talk a little bit more about CBGB and some of the bands that made their first steps as musicians on that infamous stage! I hope those of you who don’t know much would benefit from the publication! Cheers!

CBGB place

CBGB-NYC-Rock-Landmarks
CBGB in the 70s…

~ It was in 1973, when Hilly Kristal opened CBGB in Manhattan’s East Village.

Hilly Kristal 2

~ In the beginning, it was a biker bar, named Hilly’s on the Bowery; however in time, the owner started booking rock acts and by doing so, he changed the course of music history.

~ The bar’s full name – CBGB & OMFUG—stands for “Country, Bluegrass, Blues and Other Music For Uplifting Gormandizers”. Gormandizers in this context means “a voracious eater of … music”

~ The original idea of the club was to promote U.S. root music such as country, bluegrass, and blues music, along with poetry readings.

~ During the 70s, the bar would host shows by local punk rock legends, including Ramones, Blondie, Talking Head, Television, the Patti Smith Group, the Shirts, the Heartbreakers, the Fleshstones and many more. In addition, it also became the place where out-of-towners such as the Police and B-52’s made their first New York debuts.

~ In the 70s, unsigned artists were having a hard time finding clubs that would allow them to perform their own original music. To pay the bills, Hilly decided to allow some local promoters to bring their artists to the club, as long as they follow 2 rules – the bands had to move their own equipment by themselves, and they couldn’t play any cover songs.

~ It took less than a year for the club to become a central figure in New York’s rock scene. Bands and fans were coming from every corner of the city to experience the raw energy and loud authenticity of punk rock music.

~ In the 80s, CBGB became the hardcore punk mecca of New York. Due to the aggressive nature of hardcore music, such concerts would almost always end up in violent “disagreements” and fights. Thus, Hilly Kristal had no choice but to end up those hardcore bookings.

~ The club was closed in 2006 after a heavily disputed rent controversial. Now, the location of the club is occupied by John Varvatos fashions. One year after CBGB was shuttered, Hilly Kristal died. The famous CBGB awning was given to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

~ There’s a live action movie titled “CBGB” which was released in 2013. Alan Rcikman plays Hilly Kristal.

CBGB - after closing
The entrance of CBGB on the day it was closed…

Now, let’s talk music!

Ramones

Ramones in the 70s

When I think of CBGB, naturally, Ramones are the first band that comes to my mind. The reason why is because Ramones wouldn’t have been called the fathers of punk rock without CBGB – and it goes the other way around – CBGB wouldn’t have been called  the birthplace of punk rock and new wave without the Ramones. Four guys with long hair and leather jackets stepped on that stage and did their first gig on August 16, 1974. They played their entire set of songs in less than 12 minutes – yes, that’s one characteristic of punk rock! That night, the guests of the club had no idea they are witnessing something so important and iconic! After the gig, Ramones would become regulars and attract so many fans with their straightforward and bizarre lyrics and raw and distorted riffs!


Blondie

Blondie in the 70s

Time for some girl power! Before Blondie made their official debut at CBGB, singer Deborah Harry and guitarist Chris Stein were already veterans of the CBGB stage, performing in two different bands. Blondie’s first CBGB gig was on January 17, 1975 and they quickly turned into an absolute local sensation. With a charismatic, gorgeous and rebellious bad girl as their leader and music incorporating the sounds of punk, pop, reggae and doo-wop, they were destined for success! Even though, they became too mainstream and adopted friendlier and more pop-oriented sounds, CBGB has never left the hearts of Blondie!


Talking Heads

Talking Heads

Talking Heads made their debut on the CBGB stage on June 8, 1975, as the opening act for…Ramones! Those two bands are most certainly didn’t have much in common – Talking Heads preferred the sounds of the acoustic guitar, accompanied by poetic lyrics. The band would eventually be referred to as the artsy hipsters/geeks of the punk rock scene.


Here are some other quite memorable and essential live performances from the stage of CBGB!

Television – “Blank Generation”, 1974

Patti Smith – “Dancing Barefoot”, 1979

Beastie Boys – “Egg Raid On Mojo”, 1983

Guns N’ Roses – “Patience”, 1987

Social Distortion – “Ball And Chain”, 1992


 

Credits:
CBGB: 10 Classic Moments That Helped Define the Birthplace of Punk, retrieved from http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/rock/6414266/cbgb-10-classic-moments
“10 Influential Bands That Got Their Start at CBGB”, retrieved from http://diffuser.fm/cbgb-bands/?trackback=tsmclip
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~

Highlights from the 31st ROCK & ROLL Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony


532x290-Rock-Roll-2016-b0248dab12

The 31st Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony was held on Friday, April 8 at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, New York. As we all know, this year’s inductees are Cheap Trick, Chicago, Deep Purple, N.W.A. and Steve Miller. In addition, the special guests list was also quite long and it included names such as Rob Thomas, The Black Keys, Kid Rock, Lars Ulrich, Kendrick Lamar and many more. We, the fans, were anticipating the event and looking forward to see what is going to happen on that stage. Once more, the organization was brilliant and there were many surprises, touching speeches and amazing performances. The following publication will present some highlights from the event, including video materials.

Huge thanks to all the people who uploaded videos and pictures from the ceremony! I hope YouTube doesn’t mute or delete the videos!

 

Rock Hall 3

 


 

The 2016 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony opened with a surprise tribute to David Bowie. David Byrne from Talking Heads, pop star Kimbra and hip-hop troupe the Roots teamed up and outstandingly honored David by performing “Fame” – a song from Bowie’s 1975 album “Young Americans”.

David Bowie Tribute 1



Deep Purple gave an emotional speech, as they took on the stage, along with new inductees David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes. Later on, they also performed a few of their classics with the current band lineup, featuring guitarist Steve Morse and keyboardist Don Airey, vocalist Ian Gillan, bassist Roger Glover and drummer Ian Paice. Ritchie Blackmore got an honorable mention too…(*)

Theo Wargo, Getty ImagesDeep Purple 3

Watch Lars Ulrich praising Deep Purple’s legacy and influence in the following induction speech.



The Black Keys
were the ones to include the outstanding Steve Miller into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame during the ceremony this Friday. They referred to him as “one of the most iconic and lasting songwriters of a generation.”

The highlight of their speech was their conclusion – “With over 30 million albums sold, Steve Miller should have his own damn parking spot at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame if he wants it.”

Watch Steve Miller‘s induction speech and performances below ( He is such a brilliant guitarist )… I really enjoyed his speech and I think his conclusion was rather strong: “I wanna thank all the women in my life for pointing me in the right direction,” he said.

Steve Miller - induction
Kevin Kane, Getty Images

 

Glenn Frey was also remembered during the ceremony in another surprise tribute. Sheryl Crow and Grace Potter impressed everyone by performing a stripped-down version of Eagles’ “New Kid In Town”. I think what they did was truly amazing and more importantly, managed quite successfully to capture the spirit of the Eagles.  

Sheryl Tribute.jpg


 

Chicago were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Rob Thomas. After that they took the stage and blew our minds off by performing some of their biggest classics – “Saturday in the Park” and “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?”.

Chicago - Induction 2016
Watch the speeches and performances below:


 

Cheap Trick were inducted by none other than Kid Rock.

“There isn’t a band in this room that doesn’t think it’s really a live band,” Rock said. “You think you do it better than anyone else. Then you go and see Cheap Trick. That’s when you think, ‘Man, we kinda suck. I better step up my game.”

Cheap Trick Induction 2016

 


 

You can also watch the ceremony on HBO:

 

ROCK OF FAME 2016 -2


 

 

Credits:
Rock Hall 2016 related articles, retrieved from http://ultimateclassicrock.com
Photos taken from Rock Hall Official Twitter Account:  https://twitter.com/rock_hall
P.S. I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the credits and rights go to the owners and/or publishers.

 

[NEWS] Guns N’ Roses are BACK!

GUNS N ROSES ARE BACK

 

GUNS N’ ROSES are finally back on stage – the place where they truly belong to! On the 1st of April – this past Friday, just after midnight, Guns N’ Roses officially returned with a live performance at the tiny Troubadour in West Hollywood, California. The capacity of the place is around 400 people. According to www.blabbermouth.ne , the lineup consisted of Axl Rose, together with Slash, Duff McKagan, keyboardist Dizzy Reed, guitarist Richard Fortus, drummer Frank Ferrar and new-coming second keyboardist Melissa Reese rocked together on stage. Whether or not the other two founding members – Izzy Stradlin or Steven Adler appeared has not been reported yet.

The band played a 17-song set, including some of their classic rock tunes, such as “Welcome to the Jungle”, “Rocket Queen”, “Sweet Child O’ Mine” and of course, “Paradise City”. Interestingly, the concert featured Slash, playing songs from 2008 “Chinese Democracy” album for the first time. The band also performed a cover of The Who’s “The Seeker” during their encore – a song known to be often performed by the previous line-up of the band.

Guns N’ Roses Setlist from Troubadour, April 1 Live Event

  1. “It’s So Easy”
    2. “Mr. Brownstone”
    3. “Chinese Democracy” (first time with Slash)
    4. “Welcome to the Jungle”
    5. “Double Talkin’ Jive”
    6. “Live and Let Die” (Wings cover)
    7. “Rocket Queen”
    8. “You Could Be Mine”
    9. “Speak Softly Love (Love Theme from ‘The Godfather’)”
    10. “Sweet Child O’ Mine”
    11. “New Rose” (The Damned cover)
    12. “Better” (first time with Slash)
    13. “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” (Bob Dylan cover)
    14. “My Michelle”
    15. “Nightrain”

Encore:
          16. “The Seeker” (The Who cover)
          17. “Paradise City”

Let’s not forget that Guns N’ Roses has six more concerts scheduled this month. Two would be at the Coachella Music and Arts Festival, two in Las Vegas and two in Mexico City. The most recent one is on April 8 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. We can’t wait!

Here are some audio and visual materials from the event. I’m curious to find out what you guys think about their live performance. Obviously, the fans who were lucky enough to attend this once-in-a-lifetime event, were in their highest spirits. I do agree with the majority of people, saying that Axl’s voice is just not what it used to be and his vocal delivery has drastically changed over the years. However, based on what I saw and heard on those videos, I think that he sounds much better, compared to few years ago, for instance. This is probably the best I’ve heard from him for a very long time. I believe he’s taking the reunion seriously and he sounds ready for it! What else can I say – I wish I was there to experience and feel it because they do seem so energetic and powerful! The crowd was great too! Not to mention that for the first time since the 90s, Axl and Slash are back together on stage! I cannot wait to see their upcoming live events!

Check out the videos!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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@slash @gunsnroses #badass

A post shared by Leigh Koechner (@leighkoechner) on

 

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Axl!!!!!!! #troubadour #gunsnroses #axlrose

A post shared by Ali Shayesteh (@ali_shayesteh_management) on

 

 

 

View this post on Instagram

@slash kicks ass

A post shared by Leigh Koechner (@leighkoechner) on

 


 

Credits:
Guns N’ Roses at the Troubadour: Videos, Lineup, Setlist, Photos, retrieved from http://ultimateclassicrock.com/guns-n-roses-troubadour-videos-setlist/?trackback=tsmclip
GUNS N’ ROSES Performs At The Troubadour: Video Footage And Photos, retrieved from http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/guns-n-roses-performs-at-the-troubadour-first-video-footage-and-photos/#swAZ4Mhu2Oe8iuRW.99
Thanks to all the fans who uploaded photos and videos on their Instagram and YouTube accounts!

 

The Story of PINK FLOYD’s “MONEY”

Dark_Side_of_the_Moon“The Dark Side of the Moon” by Pink Floyd is one of those records that not only changed the face of the industry but became a synonym of brilliance in music-writing by combining together art, progressive sound and abstract lyrics. The two singles from the album – “Money” and “Time” will always be epitomized as two of the greatest masterpieces in rock music, being loved by fans and critics all over the world. It’s difficult to measure the legacy of the album, as its uniqueness and conceptualism influenced so many aspects of modern music and encouraged countless artists. Indeed, the album is an absolute “pivotal point” in rock music history.
Going back to the two singles of the album, I thought that it’s high time I explored the history of a song by Pink Floyd. As I said before, I really enjoy digging up some background information and facts about the songs I love and appreciate so much. Naturally, when I think of Pink Floyd, the first song that comes to my mind is “Money” because it’s probably my favorite PF song. So for today’s “The Story of…” publication, we are going to learn more about “Money” and enjoy its absolute excellence. Here we go…


“Money” was written by Roger Waters and was released in 1973 as a single from Pink Floyd’s album “The Dark Side of the Moon”. ( It’s essential to say that the album was engineered by the mastermind Alan Parsons at Abbey Road Studios. You might know him as the leader of his own band called The Alan Parsons Project. He remains as one of the most notable music engineers and producers in the music industry.)

– The lead vocals are performed by David Gilmour who is also responsible for the acclaimed guitar solo.

– The song became the band’s first USA hit – it peaked at #13 on US Billboard Hot 100 In France, the song was able to climb up to #6 and in Austria, it got to #10. (P.S. – The song was released as a single only in the USA – in the UK, singles were not as common, due to people perceiving them as a sellout.)

“Money” is noted for the tape loop of a cash register which plays throughout the whole song. Roger Waters was the one who put together all the money-related sounds, cutting the tape in a rhythmic pattern so that we can get the “cash register” loop effect.

– Various studio effects were used on this song. At that time – 1973, there weren’t any digital recorders or samplers, or computers – so the layering of sounds was indeed very complicated. Pink Floyd used a new 16-track recorder but still – in the 70s, if you want to copy and paste something, the only way to do it is with a razor blade and splicing tape.


“Money”, along with another song from the album – “Us and Them”, are the only two songs from “The Dark Side of the Moon” to use saxophone, played by Dick Parry. At that time, the band was experimenting with different sound combinations. (The results were pretty awesome, though!)


– The song has very unusual time signatures. It begins with 7/4, then it changes to 4/4, then it returns to 7/4 and it ends in 4/4. In 1993, David Gilmour said, “It’s Roger’s riff. Roger came in with the verses and lyrics for ‘Money’ more or less completed. And we just made up middle sections, guitar solos and all that stuff. We also invented some new riffs – we created a 4/4 progression for the guitar solo and made the poor saxophone player play in 7/4. It was my idea to break down and become dry and empty for the second chorus of the solo.”

– The song had to be re-recorded for the 1981 Pink Floyd release – A Collection of Great Dance Songs, because Capitol Records was refusing to license the track to Columbia Records in the United States.

MONEY PINK FLOYD 2
Cover of the French Single

– Lyrically, the song is about all the bad things money can bring to you. Ironic, isn’t it? – The record made Pink Floyd tons of cash as it sold over 34 million copies.

– People might often misinterpret the song as a tribute to money. The famous line “Money, it’s a gas,” made people believe that they sing about money being a good thing.

– The lyrics were written as a reflection of British economy back in the 70s. However, I believe that the words are applicable nowadays more than ever.

“Share it fairly, but don’t take a slice of my pie,” is also one of the most famous lines of the song. I think it really represents people’s selfishness when it comes to fighting for equality.

“Money, it’s a hit,” – a line referring to money as being like a drug. People can become addicted and can’t really get enough of it. We simply spend our lives trying to get more and more…

“Money, so they say, is a root of all evil today” is a paraphrased line, taken from the New Testament – 1 Timothy 6:10: “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.”

– The lyrics of “Money” are briefly referenced in the film “Pink Floyd – The Wall”, when Pink – the main protagonist is being caught writing poems in his class. The teacher reads some lines from the poem book out loud – those lines are the verse of “Money”.

– Pink Floyd are trying to show how greedy the world has become…A theme that will always be relevant, especially since nowadays we live in a materialistic society, which only cares about possessions and status.

– Personally, I think the song fits perfectly to the album and its concept. Also I really admire how the lyrics bring together insanity, addiction, greed and money. When you feel the smell of money, people instantly change and are willing to do whatever it takes for more money. Throughout the years, Pink Floyd were labelled as hypocrites, because they sing about money being evil, when in fact they earned millions of dollars. I don’t necessarily agree with this statement but I guess everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Let me here what you guys think?

LYRICS:

Money, get away
Get a good job with good pay and you’re okay
Money, it’s a gas
Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash
New car, caviar, four star daydream
Think I’ll buy me a football team

Money, get back
I’m all right Jack keep your hands off of my stack
Money, it’s a hit
Don’t give me that do goody good bullshit
I’m in the high-fidelity first class traveling set
And I think I need a Lear jet

Money, it’s a crime
Share it fairly but don’t take a slice of my pie
Money, so they say
Is the root of all evil today
But if you ask for a raise it’s no surprise
That they’re giving none away
Away, away, way
(Away, away, away, away)

– The Music Video for “Money” features numerous scenes, showing how people make and spend their money. In addition, there are many scenes, including coins spinning, money being count, etc. It just makes you think – what a huge mess can this little thing cause.

– In 2015, Roger Waters was asked by Uncut whether there’s a song that reminds him of Roger Waters. He replied, “Money.’ I’m not talking about the lyric. Just the quirky 7/8 time reminds me of Roger. It’s not a song I would have written. It points itself at Roger.”

“Money” has always been a “must-play” song for any of Pink Floyd’s live concerts. David Gilmour even played it last year, during the first date of Rattle That Lock Tour.

(Notice the difference in the “live experience”…Is it just me or nowadays the audiences are too stiff….)

I would like to finish by saying that it’s been more than 30 years since the song was released, but fans still can’t get the “cash register sound” or the guitar riff out of their heads – the song is just that good. Every time I think of the 70s, this is the first song that comes to my mind. It’s not like I was born in the 70s, but to me, this song represents the era and the direction many musicians started taking at that time – more progressive, art-driven and experimenting by combining various instruments. The lyrics of the song are very essential and I really appreciate it when musicians are so skillfully conveying a message with just so few words… Furthermore, can we talk about the guitar solo of the song? I mean, we all know that Dave is a guitar virtuoso, but this right here gets things to a whole new level…
I do hope you guys love the song as much as I do and you learned a thing or two from this publication. Stay tuned for more “The Story of…” publications to find out more about our most favorite classic rock tunes.
Cheers.


References:
Money by Pink Floyd, retrieved from http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=1689
Money by Pink Floyd, retrieved from http://songmeanings.com/songs/view/2811/
Money by Pink Floyd Lyrics, retrieve from http://songmeanings.com/songs/view/2811/
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~