[The Greatest Rock Albums of the 80s] CINDERELLA – Night Songs

cinderella-night-songs-2

NIGHT SONGS

Released: August 2, 1986
Genre: Hard Rock/Glam Metal
Duration: 36:05
Label: Mercury
Producer(s): Andy Johns
Certified: 3xPlatinum (RIAA)
Singles: “Shake Me”, “Nobody’s Fool”, “Somebody Save Me”

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OVERVIEW

I’m putting this record under the category of “The Greatest Rock Albums of the 80s”, because as subjective as it may sound, this album has no weak, boring or spiritless song. I don’t think Cinderella could’ve made a better debut album!  “Night Songs” was often criticized for being too generic and quite indistinguishable among the endless sea of hair metal bands, releasing pretty similar music, all cooked by following the well-established recipe for success in the late 80s. I can never agree with this statement because Cinderella were everything BUT your ordinary glam rock band. Unfortunately, their image was what often confused people, though I always say that their talent goes above and beyond the big hair, tight leather pants and leopard shirts. We also have to consider their secret weapon – Tom Keifer. Unfortunately, when we talk about male rock vocalists he is often forgotten, despite possessing one of the most unique high-pitched voices. On top of that, he was/is a brilliant songwriter – each and every song on “Night Songs” is written by him! Such a talent!

“Night Songs” offers an excellent selection of blues-oriented explosive metal riffs of guitarist Jeff LaBar, flavored by the scratchy fierce voice of Tom Keifer, all cloaked under dark, mysterious and quite intriguing character of the record. Their first single “Shake Me”, despite not making it on the charts, rocks pretty hard; sexy, suggestive, catchy and uplifting, the song is one of their ultimate classics. The power-ballad “Nobody’s Fool” is the song that actually got me into their music years ago. One of the most intense and beautifully written power-ballads of the era though I’m not sure I can put it under the same category as the numerous other silly little love ballads of the 80s – it’s too special and so much better! “Nobody’s Fool” is just a different kind of monster, though I definitely hear some AC/DC and Def Leppard influence. “Nothin for Nothin”, “Hell on Wheels” and “In From the Outside” – all infectious rockers, with not so much lyrical depth but still leaving quite the aftertaste! The title track “Night Songs” is a bit darker and gloomier, though quite rhythmic and obsessive. The third single “Somebody Save Me” has quite the memorable MV with their benefactors Bon Jovi appearing at the end. The song itself is one of the finest moments of the record with the most memorable lyrics, telling us about the failed American dream.

To sum up, don’t get turned off by how Cinderella look because believe me, there’s so much more to them than their image!! Cinderella are no Poison or Warrant – their music comes from deeper places. “Night Songs” has a special aura, fuelled with actual music competence in addition to the obvious blues base – all that makes things so much more interesting. After just one listen you will understand what’s the difference between Cinderella and all the other spandex-wearing boys of the era. It’s such a shame that this album and the band never actually got the recognition they deserved. But I’m here to remind you and get to you – listen to this gorgeous explosion of riffs full of live and vocals out of this world!

Tracklist:

“Night Songs” – 4:12
“Shake Me” – 3:44
“Nobody’s Fool” – 4:49
“Nothin’ for Nothin'” – 3:33
“Once Around the Ride” – 3:22
“Hell on Wheels” – 2:49
“Somebody Save Me” – 3:16
“In from the Outside” – 4:07
“Push, Push” – 2:52
“Back Home Again” – 3:30

Shake Me

Nobody’s Fool (#13, 1986)

Somebody Save Me (#66, 1986)

Nothin For Nothin


References:
“Night Songs” Official Wikipedia Webpage: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night_Songs_(Cinderella_album)
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~

’90S ROCK BLAST: SCORPIONS – CRAZY WORLD

scorpions-crazy-world-coverart

CRAZY WORLD

Released: November 6, 1990
Genre: Hard Rock/Heavy Metal
Duration: 52:53
Label: Vertigo (Europe), Mercury (US)
Producer(s): Keith Olsen, Scorpions
Singles: “Tease Me Please Me”, “Don’t Believe Her”, “Wind Of Change”, “Send Me an Angel”
Certified: 2xPlatinum (RIAA)

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OVERVIEW

 “Crazy World” is the phenomenal 1990 comeback record of the German rockers Scorpions which proved that even though the 80s were gone, 100% pure hard solid rock wasn’t! With a new but quite famous producer on board – Keith Olsen (who worked with rock acts such as Whitesnake, Foreigner, Santana, Heart, Journey and many more), heavier sound, outstanding guitar solos and greater, much deeper lyrical work, “Crazy World” is often referred to as Scorpions’ finest work so far.  We cannot deny the impact of the album and its rightful place in the history of rock music. With immortal rockers, such as the gentle but empowering “Send Me an Angel” and arguably their most memorable classic “Wind of Change”, this album sends you on quite the fascinating journey!

Overall, the record is very catchy, soothing, and ear-pleasing – that is if you are into hard rock/heavy metal music, of course. The opening track, “Tease Me Please Me”, is an excellent injection of good old loud rock&roll, perfect for any wild night out. Other hot rockers include “Don’t Believe Her” and “Kicks After Six” – tracks that are not necessarily making a huge statement but are as equally enjoyable as any other tune on the record. The fantastic blend between alleviating harmonies and profound lyrics can be found in the two power-ballads “Send Me an Angel” and “Wind of Change”. Without doubt, those two mark probably the band’s finest point of their career as creative musicians and artists. Eye-opening and overwhelming lyrics, celebrating hope and new beginnings, accompanied by clean guitar work is the formula that turned those two emotional songs into the absolute turning point of Scorpions’ career. If you guys are wondering, “Wind of Change” is dedicated to the end of the Cold War which makes the song even more special.

Good hard rock never gets old! “Crazy World” is a classic and shame on you if you don’t have it in your record collection! Check out the songs and celebrate Scorpions’ outstanding musicianship with me!

Tracklist:

“Tease Me Please Me”
“Don’t Believe Her”
“To Be With You in Heaven”
“Wind of Change”
“Restless Nights”
“Lust or Love”
“Kicks After Six”
“Hit Between the Eyes”
“Money and Fame”
“Crazy World”
“Send Me an Angel”


Tease Me Please Me

Don’t Believe Her

Wind Of Change

Send Me An Angel


References:
“Crazy World” Official Wikipedia Page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crazy_World_(Scorpions_album)
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~

[’80s Rock Album Focus] BAD COMPANY – DANGEROUS AGE

bad-company-no-smoke-without-fire

DANGEROUS AGE

Released: August 23, 1988
Genre: Rock/Hard Rock
Duration: 44:31
Label: Atlantic Records
Producer(s): Terry Thomas

bad company dangerous age.png

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OVERVIEW

I would like to go over Bad Company’s “Dangerous Age” album because I feel like it should be heard or remembered and despite the fact that I’m probably in the minority here, I do believe that their 80s and 90s releases with Brian Howe on vocals are better and definitely among my favorites. He just has that perfect 80s hard/pop rock voice and that’s exactly what does it for me.

“Dangerous Age” is a hard rock solid comeback album which followed the AOR trends of the era – polished, melodic and radio-ready sound, sleek production, catchy and fun style. All that fit quite well with the arena rocking voice of Brian. Nevertheless, the record features some pretty sweet rockers, including the strong opening “One Night”; and the instant stand-out track that got tons of airplay, “No Smoke Without a Fire” – a winter song that immediately creates a path to your brain and just sticks there. I absolutely adore it, it’s too empowering, and definitely one of those tracks that should be listened with the volume up there to the max. The title track is also among one of the fines and most enjoyable moments of the album. “Bad Man” and “Shake it Up” are the hidden treasures which definitely deserve a listen (or preferably a two). “The Way That It Goes” has quite appealing melody to sing along with so check it out as well!

Give it a go, that’s all I can say! Bad Company is a great band and a bit underrated so I’m using this moment to spread the word and remind you guys of them. “Dangerous Age” is a powerful but often forgotten AOR album so if you are into that kind of music, this is the record for you. Beautiful vocals, empowering rock tunes, smokin’ riffs and tons of good mood!

Tracklist:

“One Night”
“Shake it Up”
“No Smoke Without a Fire”
“Bad Man”
“Dangerous Age”
“Dirty Boy”
“Rock of America”
“Something About You”
“The Way That It Goes”
“Love Attack”
“Excited”


“No Smoke Without a Fire”

“One Night”

“Dangerous Age”

“Love Attack”

 


References:
“Dangerous Age” Official Wikipedia webpage: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dangerous_Age
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~

NEW SONG: Metallica – Moth Into Flame

“Moth Into Flame” from Metallica‘s upcoming album Hardwired … to Self-Destruct is here! We got the chance to listen to a little snippet of the song last month, when they released a teaser trailer for the new album but now we finally get to enjoy the whole experience. I must say, this track definitely has high odds of becoming a favorite of mine. As a matter of fact, I was more pleased with this one, than with “Hardwired”. What do you guys think?

The album will be released on Nov. 18.

Listen to the new track here:

Kansas – “The Prelude Implicit” Album Review

kansas-the-prelude-implicit

The Prelude Implicit

Released: September 23, 2016
Genre: Progressive Rock/Hard Rock
Label: Inside Out Music

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 OVERVIEW

It has been 16 years since the American rock band Kansas released their last album – “Somewhere to Elsewhere” (2000). Now, finally, after the longest wait in history, we get to enjoy their latest effort titled “The Prelude Implicit”. There’s a catch, though – Steve Walsh, a founding member, lead vocalist and keyboardist of Kansas is no longer with the band as he retired back in 2014. His absence is compensated by the elevating strong voice of new singer Ronnie Platt who absolutely kills it on this record. David Ragsdale’s heated violin playing was definitely another highly anticipated moment and he delivers quite the performance, I must say. The exciting race between the thrilling guitar riffs, the emotional violin, the distinctive drum sound, the mighty organs and keyboards create the perfect experience. The rebirth of Kansas, one of the most essential progressive rock bands that came out of the United States is definitely a must-listen!

Kansas surely came a long way since the 1970s and dealt with so many line-up changes along the way, however the important thing is that they are here and what they did with this new project is absolutely stunning. “The Prelude Implicit” is everything but monotonous. There’s an obvious variety and a little something for every die-hard Kansas or progressive rock fan (or as a matter of fact every person who understands and appreciates good music). The soft but charming opening rocker “With this Heart” sets the tone quite low but that’s also a good thing – I really appreciate it when bands choose a rather mid-tempo, calming track as an opening one, instead of rocking hard right from the beginning. The absolute finest point of the record is the progressive 8-minute bliss “The Voyage of Eight Eighteen”. “Camouflage” quickly became my personal favorite from the album. The haunting intro, the captivating vocals and the catchy tasteful chorus are what impressed me so much. The lyrics are also beautiful, needless to say. “Camouflage”, along with “Crowded Isolation”, are bringing us back to the classic Kansas years. “Rhythm in the Spirit” is the exciting hard rocker from the album – definitely hit the jackpot with that one. “Unsung Heroes” is a delicate ballad that may not leave such a lasting impression on you but it’s rather pleasing, definitely. The album wraps things up with a spectacular instrumental – “Section 60”.

It took so long for “The Prelude Implicit” to be realized but I must say that it was totally worth the wait. Fantastic production, superb arrangements and excellent choice of songs which really explore every little angle of your little rocker heart! …And of course, there’s that terrific violin which completely conquered me.

Kansas are back so enjoy it, guys!
Cheers

Tracklist

“With This Heart” – 4:13
“Visibility Zero” – 4:27
“The Unsung Heroes” – 5:02
“Rhythm in the Spirit” – 5:58
“Refugee” – 4:23
“The Voyage of Eight Eighteen” – 8:18
“Camouflage” – 6:42
“Summer” – 4:07
“Crowded Isolation” – 6:10
“Section 60” – 3:59

KANSAS Prelude Implicit Album Teaser

With This Heart


References:
“The Prelude Implicit” Official Wikipedia Page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Prelude_Implicit
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~
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.

’90s ROCK BLAST: EUROPE – PRISONERS IN PARADISE

europe-prisoners-in-paradise

PRISONERS OF PARADISE

Released: September 23, 1991
Genre: Glam Metal/ Hard Rock
Duration: 54:57
Label: Epic
Producer(s): Beau Hill
Singles: “Prisoners in Paradise”, “I’ll Cry For You”, “Halfway to Heaven”

 

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OVERVIEW

Swedish rock band Europe has always been one of the most essential and beautiful rock acts that came out of the continent. Naturally, they turned into an absolute sensation in pretty much all European countries, including my own – Bulgaria, and quickly went off to conquer the States, Japan, etc. The ‘80s were good to them as the band kept on releasing smashing hit records, such as “Wings of Tomorrow”, “The Final Countdown” and “Out of This World”. But for me, the album that came in next – “Prisoners of Paradise” has to be their finest effort. I am absolutely crazy about this melodic hard rock treasure and to me the album is definitely one of the best rock albums of the 90s.

“Prisoners of Paradise” is definitely not as hard as the previous two albums, but that’s exactly why it’s so good. The band matured, improved their songwriting skills and found their good place, as can be heard on the record. I have to make it clear – the songs on the record are radio-friendly, safe, pleasant and perfect to sing along with. But that shouldn’t drive you away because they are everything BUT your regular weak radio-friendly pop rock tracks. I’m not even sure I can deliver it through worlds, but each and every song has so much energy, potential and such a special aura. I always talk about “the aura” of an album or a track because you can absolutely feel it when something has a soul, rather than just be an empty shell.  It makes me sad that this album is so under-appreciated and couldn’t reach higher peaks.

Each and every track could’ve become a major 90s rock hit. Where do I even begin? The absolute treasure of the record has to be “I’ll Cry for You” – beautiful bittersweet lyrics and an absolute melodic joy!  This track also happens to be one of my favorite Europe tracks in general. The catchy “All or Nothing” is a solid opening for the record with its ecstatic riffs and hard vocals. The title track – “Prisoners of Paradise” is another killer rock tune, featuring piano accompaniments that make it so heavenly pleasant. “Girl from Lebanon” is the hidden jewel of the album – powerful, emotional and intense – the perfect ending of the record. “Halfway to Heaven”, “Talk to Me”, “Little Bit of Lovin’” – all favorites, shining with such strong light!

What else can I say? “Prisoners in Paradise” rocks hard and though so many people keep on forgetting about it, I’m here to remind you about it! I would recommend this record to anyone who loves classic rock and is ready to enjoy an hour, full of excellent rockers by exceptional musicians.

 

Tracklist:

“All for Nothing”
“Halfway to Heaven”
“I’ll Cry for You”
“Little Bit of Lovin’”
“Talk to Me”
“Seventh Sign”
“Prisoners in Paradise”
“Bad Blood”
“Homeland”
“Got Your Mind in the Gutter”
“Till My Heart Beats Down Your Door”
“Girl from Lebanon”

I’ll Cry For You

Prisoners In Paradise

Halfway To Heaven

All Or Nothing

 


 

References:
“Prisoners in Paradise” Official Wikipedia Page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prisoners_in_Paradise  
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~
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.

[’80s Rock Album Focus] CHEAP TRICK – LAP OF LUXURY

cheap-trick-lap-of-luxury-1988-2

LAP OF LUXURY

Released: April 12, 1988
Genre: Rock/Hard Rock/ Pop Rock
Duration: 41:55
Label: Epic
Producer(s): Richie Zito
Certified: Platinum (Canada)

cheap-trick-lap-of-luxury-cd

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OVERVIEW

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – there’s nothing wrong with commercialism, as long as it’s done in a good and tasteful manner. Somehow, I always end up defending these so called “mainstream” records because a lot of people are too blind to understand that pretty much every little tune that came out, especially in the 80s, can be labelled as “commercial” or “mainstream” or “pop”. So the problem here is not why the artists decided to go into such direction, because it’s pretty obvious – they want to attract more audience and make a living. The question is how was this musical product made – is it good, what’s the quality, is it gonna quickly fade away or will it remain timeless? So many albums from the 80s are given this rather generalized characteristic which I really hate and Cheap Trick’s “Lap of Luxury” is one of those awesome albums which to some people is just another record that became huge because it followed the late-80s-pop/metal recipe for success. Yes it did follow the formula but it all turned out so good! The album is definitely not one of those raw and hard rocking and rolling albums but believe me it’s everything BUT bad!

“Lap of Luxury” gathers together a strong selection of rockers in which everyone can find a part of themselves I think. I have to start with the beautiful timeless power ballad “The Flame” which indeed came into their career at a moment Cheap Trick mostly needed it. The song became a #1 hit and it totally deserved it! Emotional vocals by Robin Zander; the lyrics are touching and as a whole you can’t but fall in love with the track – it’s just too captivating and it hits your hard with an underlying slaying power. I personally blame the guitars! The other ballad – “Ghost Town” doesn’t have that special flavor and it’s a bit too simple and blank for my tastes but I don’t hate it. The well-crafted rock hooks “Wrong Side of Love” (my favorite track from the album), “Never Had a lot to Lose” and “Let Go” are the essence of the album (along with the power ballad “The Flame”, of course). All three tracks are energetic, spirited and have such a strong solid sound. The cover of Elvis“Don’t Be Cruel” is such a solid effort! Definitely worthy of checking it out!

What else can I say? 10 good powerful 80s pop rockers; a satisfying album full of good mood and two top5 tracks. I’m not saying it’s their best work (because it definitely isn’t) but I’m standing behind it with all my heart and soul! Listen to the tracks!

 

Tracklist

“Let Go”
“No Mercy”
“The Flame”
“Space”
“Never Had a lot to Lose”
“Don’t be Cruel”
“Wrong Side of Love”
“All We Need is a Dream”
“Ghost Town”
“All Wound Up”

 


 

The Flame

Wrong Side of Love

Don’t Be Cruel

Let Go

No Mercy


 

References:
“Lap of Luxury” Official Wikipedia Page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lap_of_Luxury
 
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~
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.