[’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.

[’80s Rock Album Focus] PINK FLOYD – A Momentary Lapse Of Reason

Pink Floyd - A momentary lapse of reason front

A Momentary Lapse Of Reason

Released: September 7, 1987
Genre: Progressive Rock
Duration: 51:14
Label: EMI / Columbia
Producer(s): Bob Ezrin, David Gilmour
Certified: 4xPlatinum (RIAA)
Singles: “On The Turning Away”, “Learning to Fly”, “On the Slip”

 

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OVERVIEW

I wanted to sit down and review this album for so long because it’s indeed one of Pink Floyd’s most memorable works and definitely one of the greatest albums of the 80s (at least to me) so you cannot imagine how excited I am to be doing this right now. On top of that, it’s “A Momentary Lapse of Reason”‘s birthday today! Such an amazing coincidence – I had literally no idea that it was today!

After the infamous 1983 “Final Cut” record, which was basically a Roger Waters solo album, people were already speculating on him possibly splitting from the band. In 1984, Roger released his first solo album – “The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking” and one year later, he officially announced his departure from the band. Though Roger chose to take on a different journey, David Gilmour was straightforward and told him that the band will continue, with or without him. Roger probably thought that the band won’t really survive without him; however David Gilmour, along with Nick Mason started recruiting some outstanding musicians and in 1987 released the highly controversial and expected “A Momentary Lapse of Reason” which defined the new Pink Floyd and set the records straight – Pink Floyd were staying! Yes, they did lose a brilliant lyricist, a monstrous talent and a mind-blowing musician, responsible for shaping their progressive sound in the 70s, however life goes on and I truly believe that David Gilmour did an outstanding job. As a matter of fact, “A Momentary Lapse of Reason” and the following 1992 album – “The Division Bell” are probably my two most favourite Pink Floyd albums. I think it’s generational – I was born in the early 90s and I grew up with their later albums and David Gilmour’s Pink Floyd.

“A Momentary Lapse of Reason” is often misunderstood and extremely underrated record, despite magnificent songs such as “Learning to Fly”, “Sorrow” and “On The Turning Away”. I often clash with lack of objectivity when it comes to this album and it’s quite unpleasing to keep on reading how this album “lacks the vision or the brilliant lyrical skills of Roger Waters” so I will try to move away from that and express my love towards this album and those songs. I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but I truly feel one with this record.

“Learning to Fly” is such a calming and peaceful song and so beautifully done. I adore David Gilmour’s vocal delivery on this track – it really makes me feel so hopeful and comfortable. “Sorrow” is the album’s hidden treasure – a track which should’ve been released as a single, definitely. It captivates with its strong guttural guitar sound and haunting layered vocals. “On The Turning Away” makes me quite sad and reminds me a lot of “Comfortably Numb”  from the Wall. The third single – “One Slip” brings me back to the old-school days of Pink Floyd and I’m a huge fan of the scary intro. Turn the volume to the max when you play the thrilling “Yet Another Movie”– I guarantee that it will send you to another universe! Friendlier sounds and approaches do indeed suit Pink Floyd and I could easily feel how confident David and the other musicians were while making and recording this album.

Listen to “A Momentary Lapse of Reason” with an open heart and forget about Roger Waters for a second. It’s a fine album – one of the finest as a matter of fact! It’s intense, calming; heavy and hopeful at the same time. David’s guitar and vocals deliver the whole range of emotions. It would take them a few more years before “The Division Bell” and mastering their own unique new-Pink-Floyd-sound, however with tracks like “Learning to Fly” and “On The Turning Away” this record kicks some serious ass!

Enjoy it!

 

Tracklist:

“Signs of Life”
“Learning to Fly”
“The Dogs of War”
“One Slip”
“On the Turning Away”
“Yet Another Movie”
“A New Machine Part 1”
“Terminal Frost”
“A New Machine Part 2”
“Sorrow”

 

Learning to Fly

On The Turning Away

One Slip

Sorrow

 


 

References:
“A Momentary Lapse of Reason” Official Wikipedia Page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Momentary_Lapse_of_Reason
 
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.

[The Greatest Rock Albums of the 80s] STEVE PERRY – Street Talk

Steve Perry - Street Talk

STREET TALK

Released: April, 1984
Genre: Pop/Rock
Duration: 39:13
Label: Columbia
Producer(s): Steve Perry, Bruce Botnick
Certified: 2xPlatinum (RIAA)
Singles: “Oh Sherrie”, “Foolish Heart”, “She’s Mine”, “Strung Out”

Street Talk CD by Steve Perry

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OVERVIEW

“Street Talk” by Steve Perry definitely falls under the category of “my favorite 80s rock albums”, therefore I am more than excited to be writing this overview. His first solo effort was definitely something quite different and much more pop-oriented than his previous works with Journey, however Steve’s voice is so soulful and magical that at one point you don’t really care about the music. Just like Jimi Jamison from Survivor sings on their album “Vital Signs”“it’s the singer, not the song”.

Steve Perry hits hard right from the beginning – the second you hear those warm synthesizer chords, followed by the violins and him pouring his soul out with “You should’ve been gone, knowing how I made you feel”, you can’t but be hooked! The explosive R&B hurricane, titled “Oh Sherrie” is by far his greatest success – the track reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on Billboard’s Rock chart. It highlights Steve’s vocal power like no other song, it’s catchy, lyrically-pleasing and on top of that there’s a personal story there – as we all know “Oh Sherrie” was written for his then-girlfriend Sherrie Swafford. The strength of the single somehow overshadowed the rest of the album, which in my personal opinion contains a lot of uplifting rockers and beautiful soulful tunes. For instance, the gentle “Foolish Heart” which peaked at #18 on the charts, perfectly represents the vocal and music quality of the album. My personal favorite “She’s Mine” is another romantic, mid-tempo rocker, featuring a lot of screaming soul from Steve and pleasing saxophone solos by Steve Douglas. “Strung Out” and “Running Alone” are too sugary and way too safe; however we do have Steve’s positively infectious vocals to compensate for the sweet pop mediocrity of those tracks. “You Should be Happy” is another personal treasure-track from the record – the lyrics are wonderful and there’s a special vibe coming out of this song, at least to me.

Obviously, Steve had a lot of fun writing, recording and producing this album. I could feel how important it was for him to do and try “his own thing”, separately from Journey. He literally put his heart and soul into the making of this album. We all know he can definitely hit a note or two, however with this album he also proved that The Voice himself can write timeless songs and produce quite respectably. Cheers to that!

“The kind of neuroses than you feel in Journey because of the pressure can tend to sterilize your work,” Perry said during an August 1984 interview with Kerrang!. With this album I just said ‘F— it, I got into this business to hear my own songs as they should be heard, to see the ideas take form, to build a track…that’s all. That’s what I’m gonna do with this record.”

Tracklist

“Oh Sherrie”
“I Believe”
“Go Away”
“Foolish Heart”
“It’s Only Love”
“She’s Mine”
“You Should Be Happy”
“Running Alone”
“Captured by the Moment”
“Strung Out”

Oh Sherrie

She’s Mine

Foolish Heart

Strung Out


References:
“Street Talk” Official Wikipedia Page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Street_Talk
30 Years Ago: Steve Perry Releases ‘Street Talk’, retrieved from http://ultimateclassicrock.com/steve-perry-street-talk/?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~

[The Greatest Rock Albums of the 80s] SURVIVOR – Vital Signs

survivor - vital signs large

VITAL SIGNS

Released: August, 1984
Genre: Rock
Duration: 40:38
Label: Scotti Bros., Volcano
Producer(s): Ron Nevison
Singles: “I Can’t Hold Back”, “High on You”, “The Search is Over”, “First Night”

My “Vital Signs” CD

survivor cd

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OVERVIEW

I am extremely biased when it comes to Survivor and especially this phenomenal 1984 AOR classic. Survivor’s music is like magic to me – it’s capable of instantly putting a smile on my face and lifting my spirits. I don’t think I can objectively review this album, because to me, this pure gold, titled “Vital Signs” has absolutely no weak point and it was definitely 100% matching what I love and seek for in music. So, I will just try to explain why I love this album so much and why is it one of the most essential albums of the 80s.

Dave Bickler, Survivor’s initial vocalist, had to be replaced due to vocal problems. Jimi Jamison joined the band and with his outstanding vocal abilities completely blew the roof off everyone. I often refer to him as the greatest rock vocalist. It’s such a shame that we lost him.

Every song, featuring on “Vital Signs” is an absolute melodic rock hit. It’s definitely not as hard as their previous albums; however that’s not a bad thing. On the contrary, the effective formula that combines peaceful acoustic guitar, gentle and emotional vocals, calming riffs and tender melodies is what make the album so brilliant. Harmony, instruments, rhythms, lyrics – they go together in such an unimaginably good style that for a moment there we forget that this is in fact a very commercially-crafted album. And here, I should say that there’s nothing wrong with being commercial, as long as what you do is tasteful and beautiful. “Vital Signs” (along with other 80s rock albums such as Bon Jovi’s “Slippery When Wet”, Def Leppard’s “Hysteria”, TOTO’s IV and many more) is one of the examples of a commercial but fabulous album!

Let’s talk about the songs.

The slow “The Search is Over” is the song that made me completely fall in love with Jimi’s voice. The lyrics are bringing you nothing but hopes and a strong desire to find your destined love. The lines You followed me through changes and patiently you’d wait…’Till I came to my senses through some miracle of fate” are melting my heart…

“Popular Girl” is my favourite song from the record – it’s catchy, uplifting and so easy to sing along with. Most importantly, it creates a visual story inside your mind when you listen to. You can always recognize a good song if it activates your imagination. “She walks down the street, knocks ’em dead on their feet with a casual nonchalance…When she’s breaking your heart, she’s the state of the art…” – I mean this is just incredible!

“It’s The Singer Not The Song” is a track I truly wish more people would listen to and appreciate as much as I do. I mean, lyrically speaking this song just beats all the others on the record. “It’s the man behind the music…It’s the singer not the song” is an unforgettable line.

“High on You” was one of the first Survivor songs I’ve ever listened to. Needless to say it was love at first listen. I knew I would become a huge fan of the band from the first note… Romantic, harmonious and filled with such beautiful words and lovely keyboards – no wonder this song became one of Survivor’s major hits. “Piercin’ eyes, like a raven, you seemed to share my secret sin. We were high before the night started kickin’ in…” is my favorite line from the track…

Then we have the gentle “I Can’t Hold Back”; the building-up energizing “First Night”; the hard-rocker “Broken Promises”; the sweet ballad “Everlasting” and my second favorite song from the record – “I See You in Everyone” which even after the 1000th listen still gives me the chills…

Many people consider Survivor as a two-hit band (those two hits being “Eye of the Tiger” and “Burning Heart” from Rocky) but think again, fellas! Survivor are so much more than that. Also, after all those years I still cannot understand the constant comparison with Journey. Yes, both of those bands are the absolute “American-favourites”, however Survivor’s style and attitude is completely different and let’s not fight on who’s a better singer – Jimi or Steve, because “Vital Signs” makes it quite obvious, I think…

“Vital Signs” is a must-listen and a must-have record if you are a fan of melodic hard rock from the 80s. God bless Jimi and his one-of-a-kind voice…I truly miss you…

 

Tracklist:

“I Can’t Hold Back”
“High on You”
“First Night”
“The Search is Over”
“Broken Promises”
“Popular Girl”
“Everlasting”
“It’s the Singer Not the Song”
“I See You in Everyone”
“Moment of Truth”

I Can’t Hold Back

Popular Girl

The Search is Over

High on You

I See You in Everyone

It’s the Singer not the Song


 

References:
“Vital Signs” official Wikipedia webpage: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vital_Signs_(Survivor_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.
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.

Steven Tyler – “We’re All Somebody From Somewhere” Album Review

SteveTyler

We’re All Somebody From Somewhere

Released: July 15, 2016
Genre: Country
Duration: 54:29
Label: Dot
Singles: “Love is Your Name”, “Red, White & You”, “We’re All Somebody from Somewhere”

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OVERVIEW:

 

Steven Tyler is here with his first solo album and the project is definitely not sounding like anything you ever thought would come out from Aerosmith’s frontman. We’re All Somebody from Somewhere is a pleasantly surprising country album, recorded with local musicians from Nashville. His usual rock and blues music style is once again at present, but the beautiful country flavours, side guitars, slower paced tunes and the dreamy lyrics are definitely adding a lot of colour! From the first second you hear him sing, you could easily feel how confident and passionate he is about this record. Aerosmith’s legacy aside, this is Steven Tyler making a stand and being a true opportunist. On top of that, his vocal capabilities can absolutely fulfil each and every little desire or project he decides to go for. Such is the case with We’re All Somebody from Somewhere”. If you are looking for some old-school Steven Tyler, rocking and rolling all the way, you cannot find him on this album. However, what you can find is almost one hour of extreme enjoyment, perfect for your afternoon relaxation time.

One of the finest moments of the album is definitely the cheery “I Make My Own Sunshine” – a track capable of instantly bringing a smile on your face. The title song – We’re All Somebody from Somewhere is a beautiful mess, combining elements of country music and typical Aerosmith rockstar vibes. It also reminds us a little bit of Cage the Elephant’s “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked” but with a little something more there. “Red, White & You”, “The Good, The Bad, The Ugly And Me” and “Somebody New” also fall under the same “half country, half rock ’n’ roll” category. It seems like Steven was not 100% sure what he wanted to say with this album or which particular direction to take, but he never actually followed any kinds of rules, so there’s that. A lot of songs on this record don’t really stand out or leave any deep or lasting impression but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a charm.

Overall, the record is cheery, carefree and very “sunny”. Leave your reservations aside and let yourself enjoy the pleasing tunes. Don’t worry, our rock ‘n’ roll hero is still here – he has just turned into a cowboy for the time-being!

Cheers

 

Tracklist:

“My Own Worst Enemy”
“We’re All Somebody from Somewhere”
“Hold On (Won’t Let Go)”
“It Ain’t Easy”
“Love is Your Name”
“I Make My Own Sunshine”
“Gypsy Girl”
“Somebody New”
“Only Heaven”
“The Good, The Bad, The Ugly And Me”
“Red, White & You”
“Sweet Louisiana”
“What am I Doin’ Right?”
“Janie’s Got a Gun”
“Piece of my Heart” (with The Loving Mary Band”)

Red, White & You

Love Is Your Name

 


 

References:
“We’re All Somebody from Somewhere” official Wikipedia webpage: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/We%27re_All_Somebody_from_Somewhere
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~

Pink Floyd – The Division Bell ALBUM REVIEW

Division Bell


THE DIVISION BELL

Released: March 28, 1994
Length: 66:32
Label: EMI, Columbia
Producer(s): Bob Ezrin, David Gilmour
Singles: “Take it Back”, “High Hopes”
Certified: 3xPlatinum (RIAA)
Tracklist:
“Cluster One” (Instrumental)
“What Do You Want from Me”
“Poles Apart”
“Marooned” (Instrumental)
“A Great Day for Freedom”
“Wearing the Inside Out”
“Take it Back”
“Coming Back to Life”
“Keep Talking”
“Lost for Words”
“High Hopes”

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OVERVIEW:

It was up to David Gilmour to keep Pink Floyd alive, after the departure of Roger Waters. In 1994, they released The Division Bell – the second, post-Waters album which proved that Pink Floyd was just as much David Gilmour, as it was Roger Waters. Yes, Pink Floyd were at their finest when the outstanding guitar playing of David Gilmour was perfectly aligned with Roger Waters’ genius lyrical and songwriting skills – that’s how unbeatable classics like “The Dark Side of the Moon” or “Wish You Were Here” were crafted, actually. However, if we put aside our nostalgia and listen with an open mind and heart, we could easily feel the greatness of The Division Bell because it truly is a dramatic record that can stir your emotions, quite violently if I may say. Moreover, David Gilmour and the rest of the band are shining in ways we never saw before. It’s an amazing album and it’s definitely worth listening to!

The Division Bell is a very heroic and successful attempt at bringing back the classical sound and feel of Pink Floyd. Compared to their previous album – A Momentary Lapse Of Reason, the sound of The Division Bell is much smoother, warmer and sincere. David Gilmour’s music is definitely more peaceful and thoughtful than Waters and we can clearly see that in songs such as “A Great Day For Freedom” and “Coming Back to Life”. However, his ultimate strength remains in his composing, playing and singing. Together with keyboard virtuoso Richard Wright, great testimonies of music craftsmanship were made in the face of the bluesy “What Do You Want From Me” and the timeless instrumental “Marooned” which even got them a Grammy Award for best instrumental. The highlight of the album has to be “High Hopes” which easily controls our emotions with its haunting aura, brilliant lyrics, melancholic piano chords and, of course, that memorable bell in the background. “Keep Talking” is probably one of the album’s weakest moments, though it does include a narration by Stephen Hawking. The pop, U2-sounding “Take it Back”, though released as a single, is quite inconsistent and out of place, though its intro and beautiful vocals do earn them some points.

Despite the huge amount of mud that was thrown and David Gilmour’s efforts to revive the band after the departure of Roger Waters, he kept on making outstanding music. Don’t expect classic ‘70s Pink Floyd sound, expect ‘90s Pink Floyd sound. The Division Bell has some weak and incongruent points and Roger Waters’ harsh and scathing lyrics are truly missed. However, the moment you play songs such as “High Hopes” and “What Do You Want From Me”, all is forgiven and forgotten. Fans’ views are conflicting but all I can say is that David Gilmour is one truly inspiring musician and we can’t but admire his band loyalty and his beautiful brainchild – The Division Bell.


High Hopes

What Do You Want From Me

Take It Back

Marooned (Instrumental)


References:
The Division Bell” official Wikipedia webpage: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Division_Bell
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~

[’80s Rock Album Focus] Def Leppard – High ‘n’ Dry

Def - Hih n Dry 500


High ‘n’ Dry

Released: July 11, 1981
Length:
42:15
Label:
Mercury (US), Vertigo (UK and Europe)
Singles: “Let It Go”, “Bringin’ On the Heartbreak”,
Certified:
2xPlatinum (RIAA)
~

Tracklist:

“Let It Go”
“Another Hit and Run”
“High ‘n’ Dry (Saturday Night)”
“Bringin’ On the Heartbreak
“Switch 625
“You Got Me Runnin”
“Lady Strange”
“On Through The Night
“Mirror, Mirror (Look Into My Eyes)
“No No No”
+ 2 Bonus Tracks on the Re-issued version in 1984
“Bringin’ On the Heartbreak” (Remix)
“Me & My Wine” (Remix)

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 OVERVIEW:

It’s the 35th anniversary of Def Leppard’s “High ‘n’ Dry” record and I thought it’s the perfect time to share my thoughts and feelings on their sophomore album. Don’t forget to share your favorite photos or memories of it on social media by using the #HighNDry35 and of course, #DefLeppard.

 

Def Leppard’s “High ‘n’ Dry” has always been somehow ignored or even forgotten due to their ultimate smashing hit records “Pyromania” and “Hysteria” that follow it. Yes, those two albums are the ultimate masterpieces of the ’80s rock scene and definitely two of the greatest and best polished rock records of all time.  However, “High ‘n’ Dry” offers something different and its beauty definitely lies in its raw hard rock energy, rough heavy metal sound and straight-up clean production.

“High ‘n’ Dry” was definitely a step up in song craft in comparison with their debut album – “On through the Night” – the riffs were more tasteful and Joe Elliott definitely improved his vocal performance. Overall, the album cannot classify as “original” or “innovative”, however there’s simply no weak or “filler” song in it. What’s quite impressive about it is that the record was released at the very beginning of the ‘80s – at that time the hard rock/metal/pop recipe hadn’t been fully mastered; however, those guys somehow managed to come up with a very definitive sound. With this album, Def Leppard were setting the tone for the decade. Along with that, the band was also looking for inspiration and establishing their signature sound and identity. To help them with discovering their greatest strengths, none other than the famous world-class producer Mutt Lange came to the rescue.  With his precision and obsession with achieving studio perfection, he managed to create an absolute rock solid album and skilfully captured the young and quite aggressive spirit of the band.

“High ‘n’ Dry” is a simple album with catchy rockers and mild, even innocent lyrics. The instant pop standout and the album’s finest moment has to be “Bringin’ On The Heartbreak”. With this song, Def Leppard set the standard for power ballads. It is probably the band’s least-cheesy sounding power ballad of their career. In addition, the track received heavy rotation on MTV and was one of the greatest examples of a radio-friendly rocker. “On Through the Night” and “Another Hit and Run” are heavier tracks with catchy hard riffs and loud climaxes. “High ‘n’ Dry (Saturday Night)” is the obligatory song about letting loose and having fun. “Switch 625” pleases with its fine melody and vocal intensity. It has to be their greatest instrumental so far.

“High ‘n’ Dry” shows a young, maturing band, hungry for success and ready to take over the world. It is definitely one of those “feeling good” old rock ’n’ roll records that you cannot expect to listen nowadays. Def Leppard were at their rawest, truest and more genuine finest here. Later on, they would become the ultimate rock monsters. Before that, however, it was the distorted heavy metal sound, combined with the pop feels of “High ‘n’ Dry” that took Def Leppard to the peak of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal scene. The record simply foreshadowed DL’s success.

Happy 35th anniversary!


Let It Go

High ‘n’ Dry (Saturday Night)

Bringin’ On the Heartbreak


References:
High ‘n’ Dry” official Wikipedia webpage: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_%27n%27_Dry
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] Judas Priest – Turbo

Judas Priest - Turbo


 

TURBO

Released: April 14, 1986
Length: 40:58
Label: Columbia
Singles: “Turbo Lover”, “Locked In”, “Parental Guidance”
Certified: Platinum (RIAA)

~

Tracklist:

“Turbo Lover”
“Locked In”
“Private Property”
“Parental Guidance”
“Rock You All Around the World”
“Out in the Cold”
“Wild Nights, Hot & Crazy Days”
“Hot for Love”
“Reckless”

 

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OVERVIEW:

“Turbo” has always been one of the most unjustly criticized metal albums of all time. Judas Priest lost a significant number of fans after the release of this record due to the band’s shift to more commercial and synthesizer-driven sound. It was the mid-80s, after all, and the whole rock music industry was undergoing a change – the catchy tunes by all the numerous glam/pop metal and rock bands were ruling the charts and the airwaves, so to some extend it was pretty understandable for any rock band to try and cash in. However, as melodic, radio-friendly and much different as Turbo sounds, compared to Judas Priest’s previous albums, I do believe that there is so much more to this record – “Turbo” never was just about the money and it did rock pretty hard. Yes, it might have been a bit unusual to listen to Judas Priest singing cheesy lyrics about romance or hearing how much they rely so on the sleek synth-production and the electronic drums; however, they did manage to find a balance and in my opinion, released quite the classic.

The synthesizer-driven opening track – “Turbo Lover” can easily be pointed out as one of the most essential Judas Priest tracks and ultimately, the finest moment of the album. By finest, I don’t necessarily mean that it impresses with brilliant music craftsmanship, beautiful lyrics or any other significant value. I simply claim that it’s a song with a different purpose which we cannot just overlook. It has that special aura and uplifting spirit that immediately activates your imagination and empowers you. “Locked In” might be too commercial and the synthesizers are definitely a bit difficult to digest but we cannot deny how catchy and mood-charging it sounds. “Private Property” is a very rhythmic, familiar and yet another money-making track. As we go from one song to another, you could easily feel the loss of confidence and the good impression starts to fade away. The rest of the album is filled with mid-tempo and well-polished merchandized rockers. “Out in the Cold” might be Judas Priest’s most excellent attempt at power- ballads and it’s a definite must-listen.

Overall, as hated as it is, “Turbo” is a very important chapter of Judas Priest’s career, though quite misunderstood. I believe the reason why so many people were disappointed in this album was because the band lost a huge chunk of their identity by diving into the commercialized mid-80s glam metal music scene. Yes, they might have done that and indeed some of the tracks on “Turbo” do sound a bit awkward and with no clear focus. However, it’s Judas Priest we’re talking about – whatever they do they sure know how to rock hard. It took them a few years to get back on the metal radar, but to the average rock fan, “Turbo” can be quite enjoyable.


 

Turbo Lover

Locked In

Parental Guidance

Out in the Cold


 

References:
Turbo” official Wikipedia webpage: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turbo_(Judas_Priest_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.
Cheers~

[The Greatest Rock Albums of the 80s] YES – 90125

YES - 90125


 

90125

Released: November 7, 1983
Length:
44:49
Label: Atco
Singles: “Owner of a Lonely Heart”, “Leave It”, “It Can Happen”, “Hold On”
Certified: 3xPlatinum (RIAA)

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Tracklist:

“Owner of a Lonely Heart”
“Hold On”
“It Can Happen”
“Changes”
“Cinema”
“Leave It”
“Our Song”
“City of Love”
“Hearts”

 

buy-from-amazon


 

OVERVIEW:

 

In 1983, YES pulled off one of the most successful comebacks in rock history. After the disbandment of the band in 1981, bassist Chris Squire , drummer Alan White, singer Trevor Rabin and former Yes keyboardist Tony Kaye formed Cinema. Not long after, former Yes singer Jon Anderson returned as their lead vocal. Former “Drama” (1980) lead singer Trevor Horn reunited with the band as their producer. Just like that, Cinema became the new and reformed YES.

90125 is a rock-solid and positively creative masterpiece that introduced YES to a whole new audience by replacing their rather difficult to absorb pretentiously progressive sound with more mainstream pop/rock elements. The record is a pure triumph of music engineering and a huge smash for the band – it became their best-selling album of all time and one of the songs even won them a Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance. The record is remarkably fresh, yet so familiar. With Anderson back on track and their new slick 80s rock sound, courtesy of producer Trevor Horn, YES simply wrote history with this album. It was time for a new beginning. Yes, they did lose their progressive-rock roots and if you are looking for some old-school 70s epic experimental sounds you most certainly cannot find them on 90125. However, the record is exciting and influential enough to be named as the definite classic album by YES. Even with a new approach and vision, YES certainly know how to rock!

The #1 single, “Owner of a Lonely Heart” is the ultimate crossover hit. The catchy, radio-friendly and groovy tune sets the tone right from the very beginning with the memorable killer riffs of Trevor Rabin. The song is one of the emblems of the 80s and probably YES’ most instantly recognizable songs. “Hold On” is a hard-rocker that impresses with layered choruses and unique sounding. “Cinema” – the song that got him a Grammy Award has to be one of the most inspiring rock instrumentals of all time. The drumming by White can’t but leave you speechless. “City of Love” is somewhat ignored, despite the powerful bass and heavy guitars. Personally, I often refer to this song as the finest moment from the album. “Leave It” has to be the most bizarre tune of the album and ultimately one of the most unusual radio smash hits. The song combines heavy usage of electronic drums and the typical harmony of YES. In addition, the vocals are quite dreamy and mythical. It’s surprising how weird this song is and yet, you cannot stop playing it.

All in all, 90125 is one of the most intriguing albums of the 80s. YES managed to transform their progressive and cold sound into more MTV-friendly, pop hooks without which the ‘80s would’ve been so different. One thing I wish they were more considerate of is the usage of electronic instruments. Other than that, the record is a successful mash-up of progressive and hard-rock influences suitable for all audiences. It’s a must have!

 

Owner of a Lonely Heart

Leave It

Hold On

 


References:
90125” official Wikipedia webpage: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/90125
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~

Def Leppard Release a Brand New Video for “Man Enough”

dl man en3

Def Leppard released a brand new music video for “Man Enough” – the 3rd single from their 2015 self-titled album.

The song impresses with its captivating beats and thrilling lyrics. Now, more than six months after the release of their latest album, the fans are finally rewarded  with a MV for the song. To me personally, “Man Enough” can easily be pointed out as the finest moment of the album. There’s just something so raw and hypnotizing about that bass…I could listen to it for days.

Overall, the band remained faithful to their futuristic and a little bizarre cyber themed style they demonstrated before. I do enjoy the darker scenes where we get to see just a glimpse of a guitar or Joe and the band singing!

Watch the MV below and let me know what you think about it!