TOP 10 Classic Rock Debut Albums

favorite-debut-albums

Debut albums – they can make or break your career. First impressions are always important and that is valid in pretty much every sphere of life, including in the tough and highly competitive music industry sector. During the “golden age of rock”, as I like to call the ‘70s and ‘80s, tons of outstanding bands made their first statement with strong and memorable albums, some of which are still relevant and widely-appreciated on a worldwide level.  Of course, it takes time to properly assemble a band, create a distinctive sound and style, and choose the perfect way to point your efforts and influences at the right direction, resulting in a powerful, slamming rock wave!

Just like any other classic rock fan out there, I also have my top 10 favorite rock debuts. For one reason or another, these ten albums left quite the impression on me and were the reason why I got into those bands in the first place. These “eye-opening” debuts are as a matter of fact among some of my most beloved albums of all time. From punk rock to progressive rock; from AOR treasures, to supergroup debuts, I am presenting you, [My Rock Mixtape]’s Top 10 Classic Rock Debuts!


1. Def Leppard – On Through the Night (1980)

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Hello Def Leppard! It’s absolutely impossible not to fall in love with the rawness, energy and straightforward hard rock spirit that surrounds “On Through the Night”. With that organic rock&roll sound and influences, drawn by bands like The Rolling Stones and Thin Lizzy, it was no surprise that this album became a leading force in the new wave of British heavy metal movement. Def Leppard were a couple of British guys with a big dream – to conquer the States and eventually the world. They did manage to fulfill their dream, despite receiving a lot of criticism from local fans and press, for “selling-out” to the American audience. Nevertheless, the dark, unprocessed and rather fresh approach to hard rock, Def Leppard presented in 1980, was exactly what the music scene needed.“Hello America”, “Rock Brigade”, “Wasted”, “Sorrow is a Woman” – all splendid heavy metal rockers that defined the early ’80s. Def Leppard drifted a little from their initial “hard solid” sound and musical direction; however, it was the right thing to do, believe me.


2. Boston – Boston (1976)

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The tremendous strength with which Boston’s self-titled debut album smashed into the music world in the mid-70s could easily be justified with the 25 million copies sold worldwide. Not only that, but “Boston” was actually the best-selling debut album of all time before Guns N’ Roses released “Appetite for Destruction” in 1987. There should be a reason for such enormous recognition, right? Well, the album is just that good! The record found the perfect balance between pop and rock by crafting a splendid mixture of gorgeous vocal harmonies, gentle, yet rough guitar riffs, spellbinding melodic hooks and dreamy lyrics, all wrapped up under the influence of the classical music, Tom Scholz – the man behind Boston, grew up listening to. “More Than a Feeling”, “Piece of Mind” and “Rock & Roll Band” are some of the classics appearing on the album, which I don’t see disappearing from the radio stations anytime soon.

Why is BOSTON’s Debut Album One Of The Greatest Albums Of All Time


3. ASIA – ASIA (1982)

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This monstrous debut record by the supergroup Asia was released back in 1982 and proved that there was indeed a reason why those immensely talented and versatile musicians from YES, ELP, King Crimson and The Buggles got together in the first place. “Asia” spawned one of the most distinctive rock tunes of the 80s – “Heat of the Moment” which became their ultimate signature song. That was not the end of it, though – the record is full of catchy hooks and fine melodies, perfectly designed to fit the demands of the commercial radio stations.“Sole Survivor”, “Time Again”, “Only Time Will Tell” – some of the finest moments on “ASIA”, showcasing a marvelous fusion between progressive rock, pop and hard rock.

[The Greatest Rock Albums of the 80s] ASIA – ASIA


4. Bad Company  – Bad Company (1974)

bad-company-debutBad Company’s glorious 1974 debut achieved much more than critical and commercial success; the self-titled album of the supergroup brought good old-fashioned rock&roll back into the music scene. Filled with catchy straightforward classics, “Bad Company” is the perfect example of album oriented blues rock, showcasing the band’s biggest selling point – their moody but quite soulful signature sound. Loaded with classic rock staples like “Can’t Get Enough”, “Rock Steady” and “Ready for Love”, the record was destined for success.  I have always found an immense attachment to “Ready for Love” (original by Mott the Hoople) – Paul Rodgersvocals absolutely did it for me. If you want to get into Bad Company, this is the record you should start with. Play it as loud as possible if you want to experience the ageless magic of pure hard solid rock&roll.

The Triumphant Debut of BAD COMPANY (1974)


5. Cinderella – Night Songs (1986)

cinderella-night-songs-2I don’t think Cinderella could’ve made a better debut album! Cinderella were everything BUT your ordinary glam rock band. Unfortunately, their image was what often confused people, though 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 who is one of the most unique voices of rock music and one of my favorite vocalists of all time. “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. “Shake Me”, “Nobody’s Fool”, “Night Songs”, “Somebody Save Me” – there’s just no weak song on this debut album; all are among the greatest glam rock tunes ever released!

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


6. Van Halen – Van Halen (1978)

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One of the most essential rock acts of all time, Van Halen, debuted in 1978 with an enormous self-titled album that is often regarded as the greatest rock&roll debut albums of all time by fans. Despite being heavily criticized by critics back in the day, it didn’t take that long for the album to become an absolute worldwide sensation and set new standards for rock&roll. Eddie Van Halen’s God-like guitar skills erupted on this album and we are more than thankful for that. Revolutionary rockers like “Runnin’ With the Devil”, “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘bout Love” and the splendid cover of The Kink’s “You Really Got Me” (which with all due respect is better than the original, in my opinion) defined the rock scene in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s like no other tunes. Not to mention the electrifying solo “Eruption” which put all the guitarists to shame. There’s no surprise this brilliant rock debut found its way to my heart and became one of my favorite debuts of all time.


7. King Crimson – In the Court of the Crimson King (1969)

king-crimson-in-the-court-of-the-crimson-king-1969

I still remember the first time I heard King Crimson’s “Epitaph” it was one of the most sensual experiences of my life. I just knew a special relationship between me and the band is about to develop and wasn’t wrong. The fathers of progressive rock – King Crimson, debuted with “In the Court of the Crimson King” in 1969, which many fans and critics consider as the birthplace of progressive rock. Not only that, but the highly experimental, out-of-this-world sound of the album inspired generations of progressive rock acts. Greg Lake’s soul-touching vocals, accompanied by surreal music, mixing all genres, styles and forms you can imagine, conquered me right from the very beginning. In addition to “Epitaph”, “Moonchild” andThe Court of the Crimson King” are among my favorite progressive rock pieces. This, in my book, is probably the most influential debut albums of all time!


8. Ramones – Ramones (1976)

ramones-debut

Hey ho, let’s go! The fathers of punk rock, The Ramones debuted in 1976 with one of the most uplifting, enjoyable and spirited rock albums of all time. I always had a soft spot for punk rock and this album was the reason why; there’s just something so charming about The Ramones and their carefree, breezy and laid-back style and approach to music. Coming out of the CBGB stage, The Ramones were the main catalysts for the punk rock, underground movement of the late ‘70s in the USA. Moreover, Ramones went on to become the most important punk rock act, inspiring generations of musicians, such as the Sex Pistols and The Clash.
Classics like “Blitzkrieg Bop”, “Judy is a Punk” and “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend” are synonymous with punk rock! “Ramones” is also one good example of how an album which couldn’t achieve big commercial success, achieved something that goes way beyond that.


9. Giant – Last of the Runaways (1989)

giant-last-of-the-runawaysGiant’s outstanding debut album, “Last of the Runaways” deserved so much more than it actually got. Unfortunately, the time wasn’t right for it – by 1989, the heydays of album-oriented rock were long gone. Despite its high production value, melodic quality and outstanding vocals and riffs by Dann Huff, “Last of the Runaways” somehow got lost in the transition period from the ‘80s to the ‘90s.“I’m a Believer”“Innocent Days”, “Can’t Get Close Enough” and “No Way Out” are just a few of the dangerously obsessive rock tornadoes that could be heard on this album. “Last of the Runaways” gives us three of the greatest power ballads ever written – “Love Welcome Home”, “It Takes Two” and of course their most commercially successful song, “I’ll See You in My Dreams”. How Dann and the rest of the guys wrote such powerful and emotionally-charged pieces of art is beyond my understanding. This is a gorgeous rock piece and I can’t recommend it enough!

[’80s Rock Album Focus] GIANT – Last Of The Runaways


10. Firehouse – Firehouse (1990)

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FireHouse was an absolute glam rock revolution, in the sense that they brought so much more than glitter and gold to the table. The critical and audience appreciation was on point – those four guys weren’t joking around – armed with great talent, for FireHouse the sky was the limit. Their 1989 debut album, “FireHouse” offers a selection of twelve, well-polished pop/metal jewels, which respectfully clogged he radio stations and mesmerized (and still do) the fans with gorgeous riffs and superb vocals. “All She Wrote” “Shake & Tumble”, Rock on the Radio“ and Don’t Treat Me Bad” are just a few of the catchy rockers that turned this debut album into one of my favorite albums of all time! Don’t even get me started on “Love of a Lifetime”, which in my book is one of the greatest power ballads ever written!

In 1990, FIREHOUSE Released a Debut Album of a Lifetime


+ Honorable Mentions

Emerson, Lake & Palmer – Emerson, Lake & Palmer

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The Beatles – Please Please Me (1963)

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Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin (1969)

Led Zeppelin - Babe I'm gonna Leave You

Rainbow – Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow (1975)

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Winger – Winger (1988)

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Foreigner – Foreigner (1977)

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Thunder – Backstreet Symphony

thunder-backstreet-symphony

Bad English – Bad English

bad-english-bad-english

DIO – Holy Diver

Dio - Holy Diver


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~

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.

[MIXTAPE] 10 Classic Rock Songs With A Girls’ Name In The Title

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Crafting playlists is my favorite thing to do – I am sure you already know that if you follow my blog or follow me on Twitter. I try to collect classic rock songs that share similarities in terms of themes, lyrics, titles, instrumentation and many other characteristics.

The idea of coming up with a playlist, featuring classic rock songs with a girl’s name in the title came to me the other day as I was listening to the playlist I have on my phone (it’s on shuffle, of course). First it played Toto’s “Rosanna” and then it jumped to Boston’s “Amanda” – such an interesting coincidence. Then it hit me – there are so many beautiful rock tunes who share that exact same peculiarity! Most of all, it was one of the biggest trends of the ‘70s and the ‘80s. Nowadays we don’t really observe such fashion; however as you will see in the following mixtape, every major rock act had at least one or two songs that were titled after a girl’s name. From AC/DC to Ramones; from Derek and the Dominos to Boston – all major artists loved to sing about that special girl with the gorgeous name. One more thing, pay attention to the names – all vocally strong, ending in –a or –e, aimed at creating a lasting memorable impact.

There are plenty more to add, however I had to draw the line somewhere! Feel free to add your choices on the comment section or on Twitter! Cheers!


Boston – Amanda (1986)

Derek & The Dominos – Layla (1970)

Toto – Rosanna (1982)

Europe – Carrie (1986)

Steve Perry – Oh! Sherrie (1984)

The Police – Roxanne (1978)

Rod Stewart – Maggie May (1971)

Ike & Tina Turner – Proud Mary (1970)

The Rolling Stones – Angie (1973)

The Kinks – Lola (1970)

+ Bonus Tracks

AC/DC – Whole Lotta Rosie (1977)

 Ramones – Sheena Is a Punk Rocker (1977)


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~

[PLAYLIST] 10 Classic Rock Songs About SCHOOL

RockNrollHigh School - RamonesSince my semester starts tomorrow – 1st of September, I decided that it’s only right to prepare this playlist of 10 classic rock songs about school. I’m not sure how I feel about this new beginning, cause on top of everything it’s my final semester before graduation, but why not kick it off with a huge rock blast? To everyone who will start school or university tomorrow or any time soon (cause of course, it depends on the country), I wish a lovely new beginning and many new open doors and opportunities! Don’t forget to study hard, be responsible and dream big! Also, try to make new friends and explore new adventures! University/school times are the best ones, believe me! Cheers to the new semester and getting all the As!


 

Alice Cooper – School’s Out (1972)

Summer is definitely over and I wish it’s vacation time already! Till then, enjoy the killer riffs and energetic vibe, coming out of this 70s classic by Alice Cooper.


Van Halen – Hot for Teacher (1984)

This one comes from Van Halen’s infamous 1984 album and it tells us a story of a young man’s hots for his female teacher. Not so sure about the appropriateness of the music video, however the song rocks quite hard!


The Ramones – Rock ‘n’ Roll High School (1979)

This one has to be my favorite, not only because I adore The Ramones, but because it’s so energetic and uplifting. The lyrics are, naturally, representing the punk perspective of school – they just want to have their kicks and chicks and not taught “how to be a fool”. The movie is very cute as well, in case you haven’t watched it, you totally should.


Pink Floyd – Another Brick in the Wall (1979)

A lot of skepticism and negative representation of teachers and school institutions come from Roger Waters in this track. Teachers, leave them kids alone and let them fly! The whole desperate atmosphere is highlighted by the voices of the children themselves, who sing “We Don’t need no Education!”


Motley Crue – Smokin’ in the Boys Room (1985)

The original version of this track comes from Brownsville Station, released in 1973 but I do prefer this one. Getting caught “smokin’ in the boys room” at school would “surely be the death of us all.”


Nirvana – School (1989)

Another one of my personal favorites on this list. Quite the rocker, actually! School may not be the most pleasant place for some people who are always troubled…


The Police – Don’t Stand So Close To Me (1980)

Very suggestive song – another one of those, telling the story of a student having a crush on the teacher. You know, Sting was actually a teacher once…Maybe he’s singing from experience.


The Kinks – The Hard Way (1975)

Their entire “Schoolboys in Disgrace”, 1975 album is basically a plotline on real school experiences of Dave Davies. This song is actually written from the perspective of a teacher who says, “Boys like you were born to waste. You never listen to a word I say… No matter what I do or say, You’re much too dumb to educate…”


Sam Cooke – Wonderful World (1960)

School and romance go hand in hand…Just like Sam Cooke sings, some students may not be so good in history or geometry, but they can be pretty good boyfriends 🙂


Chuck Berry – School Days (1957)

This late 50s classic by Chuck Berry simply tells us about a school day – with all of its expectations, adventures, agonies and horrors. “Ring ring goes the bell, The cook in the lunchroom’s ready to sell, You’re lucky if you can find a seat, You’re fortunate if you have time to eat, Back in the classroom open your books, Gee but the teacher don’t know how mean she looks.”


[+] Bonus Tracks

The Replacements – F**K School (1982)

The Beach Boys – Be True to Your School (1963)

 


 

References:
Gimme An F: 20 Classic Songs About Hating School, retrieved from http://www.vh1.com/news/201135/classic-songs-about-hating-school/
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.

Artists Who Refused to Be Inducted Into Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame

Artists who refused to be inducted into Rock n Roll hall of fame

Not many artists have refused to be inducted into the Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Fame. This “prestigious” institution has been acknowledging the careers of influential rockstars since the 80s and to many musicians, getting a nomination is the ultimate sign of success. I have previously expressed my strong opinions towards Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Fame and their “rock experts” who apparently know so much about rock ‘n’ roll that they inducted N.W.A and Green Day, but left Ronnie James Dio, Judas Priest and Def Leppard and many more out of the picture. That’s a whole other story, though.

 Musicians, such as Axl Rose and Ozzy Osbourne have publicly declined their induction into the Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Fame. The most famous public Rock hall of fame blast, however, comes from Sex Pistols. In 2006, they not only didn’t attend the ceremony, but frontman Johnny Rotten posted a very scathing note on their official website, saying that “Next to the Sex Pistols, rock and roll and that hall of fame is a piss stain”.

I completely support and understand why these rockstars chose to distance themselves from such unnecessary media exposure and “experts” whose votes mean absolutely nothing to anyone. I actually wish more rockstars would realize the incompetence of the people who run the show down there and would refuse to be part of the sham. Actually, a lot of famous bands such as Def Leppard and Motley Crue have already expressed their views on Rock Hall of Fame by saying that if they get invited for an induction, they would just decline.

These are the letters of the above-mentioned musicians who I think made the right choice and gave the Rock Hall of Fame what they truly deserve – a “Hell No!”


 

Sex Pistols’s Letter

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Sex Pistols Rock Hall of Fame Letter


Ozzy Osbourne’s Letter:

 

“Just take our name off the list. Save the ink. Forget about us. The nomination is meaningless, because it’s not voted on by the fans. It’s voted on by the supposed elite for the industry and the media, who’ve never bought an album or concert ticket in their lives, so their vote is irrelevant to me. Let’s face it, Black Sabbath has never been media darlings. We’re a people’s band and that suits us just fine.”

 

Despite what he wrote, Ozzy ended up joining the hall of fame, in respect to his band mates Tony Iommi, Bill Ward and Geezer Butler, at the 2006 ceremony.

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Axl Rose’s Letter:

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To: The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, Guns N’ Roses Fans and Whom It May Concern,

When the nominations for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame were first announced I had mixed emotions but, in an effort to be positive, wanting to make the most of things for the fans and with their enthusiasm, I was honored, excited and hoped that somehow this would be a good thing. Of course I realized as things stood, if Guns N’ Roses were to be inducted it’d be somewhat of a complicated or awkward situation.

Since then we’ve listened to fans, talked with members of the board of the Hall Of Fame, communicated with and read various public comments and jabs from former members of Guns N’ Roses, had discussions with the president of the Hall Of Fame, read various press (some legit, some contrived) and read other artists’ comments weighing in publicly on Guns and the Hall with their thoughts.

Under the circumstances I feel we’ve been polite, courteous, and open to an amicable solution in our efforts to work something out. Taking into consideration the history of Guns N’ Roses, those who plan to attend along with those the Hall for reasons of their own, have chosen to include in “our” induction (that for the record are decisions I don’t agree with, support or feel the Hall has any right to make), and how (albeit no easy task) those involved with the Hall have handled things… no offense meant to anyone but the Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony doesn’t appear to be somewhere I’m actually wanted or respected.

For the record, I would not begrudge anyone from Guns their accomplishments or recognition for such. Neither I or anyone in my camp has made any requests or demands of the Hall Of Fame. It’s their show not mine.

That said, I won’t be attending The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction 2012 Ceremony and I respectfully decline my induction as a member of Guns N’ Roses to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

I strongly request that I not be inducted in absentia and please know that no one is authorized nor may anyone be permitted to accept any induction for me or speak on my behalf. Neither former members, label representatives nor the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame should imply whether directly, indirectly or by omission that I am included in any purported induction of “Guns N’ Roses”.

This decision is personal. This letter is to help clarify things from my and my camp’s perspective. Neither is meant to offend, attack or condemn. Though unfortunately I’m sure there will be those who take offense (God knows how long I’ll have to contend with the fallout), I certainly don’t intend to disappoint anyone, especially the fans, with this decision. Since the announcement of the nomination we’ve actively sought out a solution to what, with all things considered, appears to be a no win, at least for me, “damned if I do, damned if I don’t” scenario all the way around.

In regard to a reunion of any kind of either the ‘Appetite’ or ‘Illusion’ lineups, I’ve publicly made myself more than clear. Nothing’s changed.

The only reason, at this point, under the circumstances, in my opinion whether under the guise of “for the fans” or whatever justification of the moment, for anyone to continue to ask, suggest or demand a reunion are misguided attempts to distract from our efforts with our current lineup of myself, Dizzy Reed, Tommy Stinson, Frank Ferrer, Richard Fortus, Chris Pitman, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal and DJ Ashba.
Izzy came out with us a few times back in ’06 and I invited him to join us at our LA Forum show last year. Steven was at our show at the Hard Rock, later in ’06 in Las Vegas, where I invited him to our after-party and was rewarded with his subsequent interviews filled with reunion lies. Lesson learned. Duff joined us in 2010 and again in ’11 along with his band, Loaded, opening in Seattle and Vancouver. For me, with the exception of Izzy or Duff joining us on stage if they were so inclined somewhere in the future for a song or two, that’s enough.

There’s a seemingly endless amount of revisionism and fantasies out there for the sake of self-promotion and business opportunities masking the actual realities. Until every single one of those generating from or originating with the earlier lineups has been brought out in the light, there isn’t room to consider a conversation let alone a reunion.

Maybe if it were you it’d be different. Maybe you’d do it for this reason or that. Peace, whatever. I love our band now. We’re there for each other when the going gets rough. We love our fans and work to give them every ounce of energy and heart we can.

So let sleeping dogs lie or lying dogs sleep or whatever. Time to move on. People get divorced. Life doesn’t owe you your own personal happy ending especially at another’s, or in this case several others’, expense.
But hey if ya gotta then maybe we can get the “no show, grandstanding, publicity stunt, disrespectful, he doesn’t care about the fans” crap out of the way as quickly as we can and let’s move on. No one’s taking the ball and going home. Don’t get it twisted. For more than a decade and a half we’ve endured the double standards, the greed of this industry and the ever present seemingly limitless supply of wannabes and unscrupulous, irresponsible media types. Not to imply anything in this particular circumstance, but from my perspective in regard to both the Hall and a reunion, the ball’s never been in our court.
In closing, regardless of this decision and as hard to believe or as ironic as it may seem, I’d like to sincerely thank the board for their nomination and their votes for Guns’ induction. More importantly I’d like to thank the fans for being there over the years, making any success we’ve had possible and for enjoying and supporting Guns N’ Roses music.

I wish the Hall a great show, congratulations to all the other artists being inducted and to our fans we look forward to seeing you on tour!!

Sincerely,
Axl Rose

P.S. RIP Armand, Long Live ABC III


 

References:
Meet the Artists Who Refused Their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductions, retrieved from http://ultimateclassicrock.com/axl-rose-joins-sex-pistols-ozzy-osbourne-in-hall-of-fame-open-letter-club/?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.
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.

20 Years Ago Ramones Played Their Last Gig

It has been 20 years since the fathers of punk rock – The Ramones played their last show at the Palace in Hollywood, Calif. On August 6th, 1996, after more than 2,000 shows, unfortunately it all had to come to an end. Sometimes, it can be hard to imagine that such magic can no longer be witnessed on stage. The Ramones are long gone, however their legacy still lives and their career is still celebrated by millions of fans all around the world.

The Ramones laid the foundation of punk rock music and became the main influence of numerous rock bands throughout the years. They never made it that big in terms of sales, however when it comes to rock ‘n’ roll, you cannot deny the huge part they played in its development – you can learn everything about rock ‘n’ roll from The Ramones!

“I can tell you that it’s coming to an end. All good things come to an end one day. I got very mixed feelings about the whole thing, because on one hand, there’s nothing better than the Ramones. But on the other hand, there’s a lot of resistance, a lot of crap, a lot of frustration and a lot of politics, ” said singer Joey Ramone to Billboard back in 1995.

What happened after that? Well, the band was simply destroyed from the inside. Joey and Johnny couldn’t patch things up after Johnny marrying Joey’s girlfriend – Linda. Unfortunately, in the years to follow both of them died of cancer. Bassist Dee Dee Ramone died of a heroine overdose in 2002 and the original drummer – Tommy, also died of cancer in 2014.
Nevertheless, let’s witness the magic and celebrate Ramones‘ legacy by watching their last gig! Sometimes it’s very difficult to imagine that we no longer have the chance to see them perform once again…

 
“If this is the last show the Ramones do, then it’s an insult to the intelligence of the world and a shame for rock and roll,” said Lemmy of Motorhead at the night of Ramones’ final show.

 

 


 

References:
“20 Years Ago: The Ramones Play Their Last Show”, retrieved from http://ultimateclassicrock.com/ramones-last-concert/
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 Greatest Rock Albums of the 80s] The Clash – Combat Rock

Clash - Combat rock


Combat Rock

Clash - Combat rockReleased: May 14, 1982
Recorded: 1980-1981
Genre: Punk, Punk Rock, Post Punk
Length: 46:21
Label: CBS, Epic
Producer(s): The Clash, Glyn Johns
Singles: “Know Your Rights”, “Should I Stay or Should I Go”, “Rock The Casbah”, “Straight to Hell”
Personnel: Joe Strummer – lead and backing vocals, guitar, harmonica, piano; Mick Jones – guitar, backing and lead vocals, keyboards, sound effects; Paul Simonon – bass guitar, backing vocals, lead vocals on “Red Angel Dragnet”; Topper Headon – drums, piano and bass guitar on “Rock the Casbah”
Certified: 2xPlatinum (RIAA)

TRACKLIST:

“Know Your Rights”
“Car Jamming”
“Should I Stay or Should I Go”
“Rock the Casbah”
“Red Angel Deagnet”
“Straight to Hell”
“Overpowered by Funk”
“Atom Tan”
“Sean Flynn”
“Ghetto Defendant”
“Inoculated City”
“Death Is A Star”

buy-from-amazon


OVERVIEW

Let’s talk about the Clash and their best-selling album of all time – “Combat Rock”. A sell-out or not, “Combat Rock” could easily find its place among some of the most exciting punk rock albums of all time. Not only in happens to be the final record by the Clash’s original line-up but it also best illustrates the band’s versatile talents and eagerness to experiment and take chances. The truly intriguing aspects of “Combat Rock” are The Clash’s provoking efforts to incorporate reggae, funk and rap into their heavy punk sound.

With “Combat Rock”, the Clash seemingly takes a step back from their previous expressive efforts we can witness in “London Calling” and “Sandinista!”. However, we still get to experience a quite delightful inconsistency and interesting mess that this pure avant-garde selection of punk rock tunes offers us.

Without doubt, the finest moments of the record have to be “Should I Stay or Should I Go” and “Rock the Casbah”. I say finest because those simple and hooking ultimate punk rock anthems became the absolute winning hand for the Clash and this record. With the foolish but fantastic rhythm of “Should I Stay or Should I Go” the Clash dominated the radio waves and is still probably their most instantly-recognizable tune. “Rock the Casbah”, on the other hand, brings us some solid new wave, dance vibes. “Know Your Rights” and “Death Is A Star” are songs that impress with strong, fighting words, though “Death Is A Star” is one of those songs which makes us question ourselves whether we are listening to the Clash or it’s a completely different band – it just sounds too bizarre. “Car Jamming” and “Ghetto Defendant” are more dynamic and bass-oriented tunes that give us this good old nice chilling out effect. “Straight To Hell” has to be the most unforgettable song of the album due to its haunting and strange, even a bit uncomfortable atmosphere it creates. “Overpowered by Funk” sounds very out of place but then again, the album’s aim is the opposite of providing us with a consistent feeling. On the contrary, if you want to get rid of your boredom and have fun, this is the album for you.

Overall, inconsistency might be a good thing when it’s done in the right way and with the right proportion of experimentation and variety. “Combat Rock” is too strange, too wild and too distressing. However, after all, we are talking about the Clash and they can never be anything else than that. Many critics slammed this record and even pointed it as the band’s biggest selling out effort. Regardless, with this album, the band managed to reach a much larger audience and leave a much greater impression which, if you ask me, speaks volumes.

Cheers!


Should I Stay or Should I Go

Rock the Casbah

Overpowered by Funk



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~

 

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~