Album Review: Go Louder, Harder and Faster with WARRANT’s New Album

It has been six years since one of our favorite ’80s/’90s hard rock bands, Warrant, released an album. “Rockaholc”, featuring vocalist Robert Mason (Lynch Mob, Cry of Love) for the very first time, hit the market in the spring of 2011 – just a few months before the tragic death of Warrant’s original frontman, Jani Lane. No one can take away the precious memories the immensely talented Jani brought to us with his music, but it’s also okay to make new memories with new music, styles and voices. With that being said, I encourage you to listen to “Louder Harder Faster” with an open mind, expect something both familiar and new and most importantly, enjoy music the same way you did 20 or so years ago.

I may as well write a three-word review about Warrant’s new album and call it a day. Guess which words I will use… That’s right – Loud, Hard and Fast! The title says it all – you are in for a real wild, fiery and pleasantly devastating rock&roll experience right from the very first second! Frontiers Records keep on releasing one smashing album after another and I can barely keep it up with all that awesomeness. Have some mercy, please…

jeff pilsonBefore I dig a little deeper into individual album songs, I want to applaud the superb production of “Louder Harder Faster”, courtesy of the legendary Jeff Pilson (Dokken, Dio, Foreigner) who I believe did an outstanding job, capturing the mood of the album. I’ve been a fan of Jeff, his music and production work for so many years now and he still keeps on impressing me with every new project! Remember how well he did with Last in Line’s debut album, “Heavy Crown”? Expect something in similar, if not in higher production level – he truly did great!

Warrant - Louder Harder Faster (2017)Back to “Louder Harder and Faster” which is a reason enough why 2017 could be considered a strong hard rock year! Original Warrant members, Erik Turner, Jerry Dixon, Joey Allen, and Steven Sweet, together with the returning for the second time vocalist Robert Mason have cooked a real knock-out album, stirred with the band’s trademark melodic rock hooks and tons of modern-day surprises! This killer direction is what makes “Louder Harder and Faster” suitable for any rock fan out there. You don’t need to know songs like “Heaven” or “I Saw Red” (tactically avoiding that one song we all know by Warrant) to be able to enjoy and rock on to Warrant’s 2017 release! I think what they did with this album is truly universal and “generationless” and they will most certainly grab the attention of the younger audiences.

“‘Louder Harder Faster’ is truly one of our best records to date. It has all the classic Warrant ingredients that people have come to know, plus a lot of extras that keep it in the modern realm of todays music. It’s a perfect mix between Balls and Ballads. When we started this project over two years ago, we wanted to bring the listener back to the days of sitting in the living room and cranking up a record from start to finish. Making full records seems to be a lost art, we hope in some small way that this album helps people find that art again,” said bass player Jerry Dixon.
(quote retrieved from http://www.antimusic.com)

The 12-song rock&roll gem, featuring a cover of the classic Merle Haggard song, “I Think I’ll Just Stay Here and Drink”, is your ultimate party album! With blazing melodic rock anthems, including the title track, “Louder Harder Faster”, “Devil Dancer” and “Only Broken Heart”, you will definitely be juiced up for days to come. The opening track is your perfect modern-day rock&roll tune, which grabs you by the throat from the first second! Vocalist Robert Mason is truly impressive on this one; not that he has to prove anything to anyone but if he had to, this song right here will shut everyone up! “Devil Dancer” is a personal favorite – those riffs just penetrated my skin and there’s no way I’ll recover. The sing-along tune “Perfect” is another highly memorable point! Pay attention to those harmonies sweet sweet lyrics; that song just won me over after one listen! There’s another side to the Warrant and this album, though. The piano-driven “U in My Life” is a beautifully-done ballad I can listen for days. I wish it had a bit stronger punch into it, though. “Music Man” is a very intriguing track; it starts slowly with just a simple acoustic guitar accompaniment but it nicely progresses into a cowboy blues tune, telling a story worth hearing. “Big Sandy” is another jumpy rocker, meant to lift your spirits. The rest of “Louder Harder Faster” is just as good. Gladly, the physical copy of the album includes the stimulating cover of “I Think I’ll Sit Here and Drink” which triggered a physical reaction in me upon listening. You know a song is good and the vocalist plays with you once your body starts moving and you feel the groove. I think it might be one of my favorite moments from the album.

Final verdict: I will be brief: Play it LOUD, party with it HARD and buy it FAST. (haha)

[For more rock reviews and publications, please subscribe to my blog or follow me on Twitter.]


Louder, Harder & Faster

“I Think I’ll Sit Here and Drink”

Perfect

Devil Dancer

Only Broken Heart


References:
“Warrant Announces New Album”: http://www.antimusic.com/news/17/March/10Warrant_Announce_New_Album_Louder_Harder_Faster.shtml
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~

NIGHT RANGER – “Don’t Let Up” Album Review

One of the most anticipated releases of 2017 is finally here. The house of old-school rock, a.k.a Frontiers Music, is once again behind the comeback of yet another household name with a long and prolific 35-year-old career, spawning some of rock’s biggest classics, including “Sister Christian”, “Goodbye”, “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me” and “When You Close Your Eyes”. Yes, I’m talking about Night Ranger, of course – the renowned San Franciscan arena rockers, who sold over 17 million albums worldwide and held over 3,000 concerts! Needless to say, those numbers speak for themselves!

Night Ranger reached for the stars in the ‘80s and the results were both solid and lasting. The guys called it quits in 1989, however American and especially Japanese audiences wanted their rangers back! Here we are now, 12 albums later, still going as strong as ever, introducing the genre to whole new generations and adding more and more fans to the ever-growing worldwide fanbase! Night Ranger are back with a refreshing 12th album, featuring original members Jack Blades, Kelly Keagy and Brad Gillis, together with keyboardist Eric Levy and guitarist Keri Kelli. “Don’t Let Up” is exciting, positive and all in all, the perfect album to welcome the new spring season of 2017! Night Ranger are way beyond that “nostalgia act” label they are often given. To me, “Don’t Let Up” is an unquestionable proof that the guys are still relevant and they have yet many songs to write and many musical mountains to conquer before the world decides to forget them.

dont let up night ranger 1

The best thing about “Don’t Let Up” is the natural flow of the tracklist – songs seem to be pleasantly connected and each is building up the mood and adding more to that stimulating, thirst-quenching melodic rock aura of the album. At first listen it might be difficult to point out a stand-out song because they all seem quite similar. Still, the opening tune, “Somehow Someway”, along with “Truth” and the title track, “Don’t Let Up” clearly seem to be getting all the thumbs up. The responses on YouTube are clear – fans (me as well) love these encouraging rockers and are ready to hear the rest of it! “Nothing Left of Yesterday” is Night Ranger’s fine attempt at a modern-style power-ballad. “Running Out of Time” is a personal favorite – those catchy, captivating riffs and thunderous drums are making all the difference. Cheers to Jack Blades whose cheerful but powerful vocals made me want to sing and dance in the middle of my living room!

The rest of the album is as good as the songs I chose to mention and definitely worth your time and money! The artwork of “Don’t Let Up” sums it up quite well – every song, featured on the playlist is an exciting race between each musician’s distinctive talents! I was thrilled and had a great time while listening to “Don’t Let Up”. I guarantee you will have a similar experience! Enjoy!

Released: March 24, 2017
Genre: Hard Rock
Label: Frontiers Music

Duration: 50:25

Tracklist:

Somehow Someday
Running Out of Time
Truth
Day and Night
Don’t Let Up
(Won’t Be Your) Fool Again
Say What You Want
We Can Work it Out
Comfort Me
Jamie
Nothing Left of Yesterday
We Can Work It Out (Acoustic Version)

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“Truth”

“Comfort Me”

“Somehow Someday”

“Don’t Let Up”

“Day and Night”


References:
“Night Ranger’s Don’t Let Up”: http://www.frontiers.it/album/5359
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 Rolling Stones – “Blue & Lonesome” Album Review

rolling-stones-blue-and-lonesome

Blue & Lonesome

Released: December 2, 2016
Genre: Blues, Rhythm and Blues, Blues Rock
Producer(s): Don Was, The Glimmer Twins (Mick Jagger & Keith Richards)
Label: Polydor
Length: 42:36

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“Blue & Lonesome” In the Studio


OVERVIEW

Rolling Stones are surely wrapping 2016 up with a style! The rock&roll Gods are back with a phenomenal collection of spirited covers, bringing us back to the golden days of blues. “Blue & Lonesome” is Rolling Stones’ first album to feature exclusively cover songs. Among the twelve blues jewels, we get to listen to interpretations of forgotten but classic tracks by Howlin’ Wolf, Willie Dixon, Buddy Johnson, Memphis Slim and other legendary bluesmen. Long-time friend and a fellow blues musician Eric Clapton is another intriguing highlight of “Blue & Lonesome”. Clapton’s God-like guitar skills can be heard on “Everybody Knows About My Good Thing” and “I Can’t Quit You Baby”.

Recorded within just a few days, with no preparation whatsoever, “Blue & Lonesome” is the perfect example of how The Rolling Stones can effortlessly craft some serious magic out of nowhere and still sound as confident as ever. It took them a decade (their previous album -“A Bigger Bang” was released in 2005) but the Stones are back! Don’t get fooled – the all-covers track selection is certainly not a cheesy sentimental yearning for the past. It’s goes way beyond that! “Blue & Lonesome” is Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood and Charlie Watts having fun, sounding unbelievably fresh, and skilfully introducing blues to the younger generations. A fearless journey back to the roots, resulting in a rediscovery of self, this new album might be their best work since the classic years of the Stones.

The Glimmer Twins, along with producer Don Was are intentionally preserving the rawness and authenticity of the recording sessions, in perfect alignment with the spirit of the 50s and the 60s. Similarly to the attitude of Eric Clapton on his 2016 album “I Still Do”, the Rolling Stones are doing music their own way without a single care in the world. Not that the Stones were ever much bothered with things like keeping up the with trends or working days and nights on perfect multi-platinum singles BUT if their ultimate freedom had a name, it would be “Blue & Lonesome”.  (I am mentioning Eric Clapton because those two albums are the highlights of 2016 blues releases.)

“Just Your Fool” (Buddy Johnson) opens the door to the world of “Blue & Lonesome”. Mick Jagger is absolutely killing it on this tune – raw, brave and soulful, his vocal delivery is obviously reflecting his high level of satisfaction with this album. The slow-paced blues symphonies – “Little Rain” (Ewart G. Abner Jr. and Jimmy Reed), “All of Your Love” (Magic Sam) and the atmospheric title track “Blue & Lonesome” (Memphis Slim) are among the most memorable tunes of the album. Jagger’s harmonica is making a statement throughout the entire album, bringing us back to the early days of the Stones. Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood’s guitars are excitably racing on the blues highway, each showcasing easeful determination and laid-back energy. The terrific drum beats of Charlie Watts are breathing new life into the old blues. “Hate to See You Go” (Little Walter) – the first song to get a MV makeover is one charming and immensely uplifting trip to the 50s. “Everybody Knows About My Good Thing” is a personal favorite, mostly due to Mick Jagger’s rough, genuine vocals.

“Blue & Lonesome” offers a galvanizing experience to the roots of the Stones, yet capturing their personalities and strengths in a modern, refreshing way. It’s been a while since we’ve seen the rock&roll legends’ confidence shine so brightly on a record. They came back home!

Tracklist:

“Just Your Fool”
“Commit a Crime”
“Blue and Lonesome”
“All of Your Love”
“I Gotta Go”
“Everybody Knows About My Good Thing”
“Ride ‘Em On Down”
“Hate To See You Go”
“Hoo Doo Blues”
“Little Rain”
“Just Like I Treat You”
“I Can’t Quit You Baby”

 Hate To See You Go

Ride ‘Em On Down

Just Your Fool

Ride ‘Em On Down – Blue & Lonesome (60” clip)


References:
“Blue and Lonesome” Official Wikipedia Page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_%26_Lonesome_(The_Rolling_Stones_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~

Metallica – “Hardwired… to Self-Destruct” Album Review

metallica-hardwired-to-self-destruct

Hardwired… to Self-Destruct

Released: November 18, 2016
Genre: Heavy Metal, Thrash Metal
Producer(s): Greg Fidelman, James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich
Label: Blackened Recordings
Length: 77:26

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OVERVIEW

 

Metallica put an end to the long 8 years of waiting with their smashing new heavy metal storm, titled “Hardwired…to Self-Destruct”. The mighty metal Gods survived through the long gap, after which the majority of rock acts would’ve been totally obliterated by the constantly changing music scene, and rose from the ashes with a comeback album worthy of being called a moment of unification of all metalheads around the world. The expectations were high – Metallica had to preserve their relevance with something that goes beyond any ordinary record; they had to dig deeper. The results are finally here and believe me, they are more than satisfying.

“Hardwired…to Self-Destruct” is an epic double monster album, spitting 12 fiery tracks which run for almost 80 minutes! Let’s give a round of applause (or a scream of excitement) to singer-guitarist James Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich who co-wrote almost the entire set of throat-grabbing, killer shocks on the record. With such explosive musicianship and furious songwriting dedication, Metallica can absolutely afford to go for an average song length of six-to-seven minutes. They are making their own rules without a single care in the world.

Disc one is more striking, up to the point, offering one heavy rocker after another. The finest moments of “Hardwired…to Self-Destruct” could be found among those first six tracks – from the merciless riffs of the opening track “Hardwired”, to the rigorous pulse of “Now That We are Dead”, every track carries that trademark Metallica kick-ass sound formula, mixed with a couple of surprisingly good new tricks. “Halo on Fire” wraps things up in a similar dark, intensity-fueled manner, leaving us with high hopes for what’s coming on the next CD. Disc two is a less damaging, somewhat unfocused mixture of lengthy rockers. The momentum is slowly declining as we progress from one song to another but that’s not necessarily such a bad thing for the listeners who need to take a breath. “Murder One” is a surprisingly splendid tribute to Lemmy Kilmister, that definitely deserves a listen (or two).

“Hardwired…to Self-Destruct” is a strong comeback album, despite its length and unnecessary fillers (especially on Disc Two). One thing that truly makes a quite obvious stand is James Hetfield’s explicit, much improved vocal delivery, which is the final touch to the electrifying concept of the album. Metallica build up quite the excitement among fans so it’s natural to completely lose your mind over this album. “Hardwired…to Self-Destruct”, however, is far from being their best effort. It’s somewhat familiar but still innovative, proving that Metallica are still standing on the heavy metal pedestal! For that it deserves to be praised!

 

Tracklist:

Disc One:

“Hardwired”
“Atlas, Rise!”
“Now That We’re Dead”
“Moth Into Flame”
“Dream No More”
“Halo on Fire”

Disc Two:

“Confusion”
“ManUNkind”
“Here Comes Revenge”
“Am I Savage”
“Murder One”
“Spit Out the Bone”

Hardwired

Moth Into Flame

Atlas, Rise!

Murder One

Lords of Summer (from the Deluxe Edition of “Hardwired… to Self-Destruct”)

Spit Out the Bone

Dream No More


References:
“Hardwired… to Self-Destruct” Official Wikipedia Page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hardwired…_to_Self-Destruct
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] BAD ENGLISH – Bad English

bad-english-bad-english

BAD ENGLISH

Released: June 26, 1989
Genre: Glam Rock / Hard Rock
Duration: 62:10
Label: Epic
Producer(s): Richie Zito
Certified: Platinum (RIAA)

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OVERVIEW

The supergroup Bad English rose from the ashes of Journey and The Babys. Despite their short-lived career which spawned only two studio albums, keyboardist Jonathan Cain, guitarist Neal Schon, vocalist John Waite, bassist Ricky Phillips and drummer Deen Castronovo deserve a praise for crafting a debut album that not only wrapped up the 80s in quite the fashionable way but also left behind a series of great tunes that still lift our rock spirits!

The debut, self-titled album of Bad English offers a refreshing and quite fantastic, if I may say, mixture of ballads and rockers. The band adopted a simpler, more accessible pop sound, rather than going for the loud hard rock approach. However the quality, flexibly and diversity of this melodic rock bliss resulted in a substantial airplay and a considerable commotion in the last year of the 80s. The ballads of “Bad English” are shining much brighter than the other tracks, though. “When I See You Smile” is a power-ballad staple and a number 1 hit. It’s also the song that made them famous and established them as pioneers of such type of songs. Fans see nothing wrong with that as “When I See You Smile” is nothing but a sweet and quite catchy romantic song with pretty memorable keyboard intro. Kudos to Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee Diane Warren for writing it! The other thrilling ballads from the record, “Ghost in Your Heart”, “Possession” and “Price of Love” further cemented their position as a band that just knows how to deliver touching but fairly heated slower tunes. The striking rocker “Best of What I Got” is an absolute personal favorite due to my immense love for the movie “Tango & Cash” (1989). The tune was featured in the soundtrack and became the reason why I got to meet Bad English for the first time when I was a kid (I still have the video cassette). Very underrated rock song despite possessing such an electrifying aura; it’s one of those tracks that can immediately fix my rainy days. “Heaven is a 4 Letter Word” is another catchy, rather hot AOR hit, leaving a lasting aftertaste.  

I honestly cannot say a bad (English) word about this album (see what I did, there hehe). This pop/rock assembly has so much energy in it that there’s no way you wouldn’t enjoy it. The guys are incredible songwriters and John’s vocals fit perfectly into the whole picture. If you love melodic hard-rock, this is the album for you.

 

Tracklist:

“Best of What I Got”
“Heaven is a 4 Letter Word”
“Possession”
“Forget Me Not”
“When I See You Smile”
“Tough Times Don’t Last”
“Ghost In Your Heart”
“Piece of Love”
“Ready When You Are”
“Lay Down”
“The Restless Ones”
“Rockin’ Horse”
“Don’t Walk Away”

Best of What I Got

(From “Tango & Cash”, 1989)

Heaven is a 4 Letter Word

Forget Me Not

When I See You Smile

Ghost In Your Heart


References:
“Bad English (album)” Official Wikipedia Page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bad_English_(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: DEF LEPPARD – RETRO ACTIVE

def-leppard-retro-active

RETRO ACTIVE

Released: October 5, 1993
Genre: Hard Rock/Glam Rock
Duration: 56:04
Label: Mercury
Producer(s): Def Leppard
Singles: “Two Steps Behind”, “Desert Song”, “Miss You In A Heartbeat”, “Action”, ““Two Steps Behind (re-issue)”
Certified: Platinum (RIAA)

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OVERVIEW

Def Leppard released four albums during the 90s but this time I will specifically focus on “Retro Active”, despite “Adrenalize” being their most commercially and critically successful 90s record. I wanted to talk a little bit more about “Retro Active” because of its unique format that combines groomed up versions of unreleased/B-sides tracks and a couple of covers from previous albums. The album carries with it Def Leppard’s genuine and classic ‘80s sound, making it their most deserving work that came out in the ‘90s. Don’t get me wrong, “Adrenalize” and “Euphoria”, for instance are groundbreaking albums, but they cannot match the variety and character of “Retro Active”. Fuelled up with first-class production quality and of course, the dynamic and charismatic spirit of Def Leppard, the record is the ultimate cause for celebration, especially for die-hard fans of the band, like me. On top of it all, the band gives us one more chance to honor the late Steve Clark (RIP) by revisiting his legacy and experiencing his enormous talents and contributions all over again. We get to hear the first recordings with the new guitarist Vivian Campbell, as well.

In terms of songs, “Retro Active” is an absolute rock festival from start to finish. We get to enjoy a couple of gorgeous ballads -“Miss You in a Heartbeat” and “Two Steps behind You”, both presented in acoustic and electric versions.  Listening to those excellent pieces of art makes me such a proud fan of Def Leppard. “Miss You in a Heartbeat”, especially, is one in a lifetime kind of song – memorable and easy to sing with chorus, heartbreaking lyrics and an unmatchable classy aura. I have always been entranced by Joe’s vocals on this track. “She’s too Tough”, originally released on the “Heaven Is” single (1993) is such a delightful surprise and definitely my favorite moment of “Retro Active”. Energizing and empowering, the track is definitely something to anticipate as you go from start to finish. Playful, even sexy lyrics that generate an immediate visual in your mind, which is one of the reasons why I love Def Leppard so much – they tell a story with their music and make things so much more interesting. Kicking things off gently and then quickly teleporting us to a pure solid hard rock realm, “I Wanna Be Your Hero” is another groundbreaking point. On “Retro Active”, you get to find tons of other deserving rockers, such as the covers “Action” (Sweet) and “Only After Dark” (Mick Ronson). The mind-blowing first two opening tracks “Desert Song” and “Fractured Love”, both from Hysteria sessions, are bringing us back to Def Leppard’s early raw roots. The epic “Ride into the Sun” is another personal favorite of mine, probably due to the long history it carries with it – the track was actually featured on Def Leppard’s first ever self-produced EP, released back in 1979 before it was rerecorded in 1987 as a B-side to the “Hysteria” single. “Retro Active” wraps things up with a hidden track – a tender piano version of “Miss You in a Heartbeat”. Leaving us absolutely speechless, you can’t but go on the “Retro Active” journey once again, after the final song is over; the feeling is just that strong!

This album is for everyone, though I do believe that die-hard fans of Def Leppard would enjoy it much more than everyone else. The collection of songs offers a little something for all the rock souls out there – from attractive hard rockers to sentimental ballads, “Retro Active” provides you with the ultimate Def Leppard experience. The album is important also because it’s a final farewell to Steve Clark, the irreplaceable force, without which the band wouldn’t have reached such heights. Grab a copy and enjoy the superb production and quality of this record. Definitely in my top 5 Def Leppard albums! That should tell you something!


Tracklist:

“Desert Song” (Steve Clark, Joe Elliott, Rick Savage)
Outtake from the Hysteria album sessions (1984–87)

“Fractured Love” (Clark, Elliott, Savage) – 5:08
Outtake from the Hysteria album sessions

“Action” (Andy Scott, Brian Connolly, Steve Priest, Mick Tucker)
Original version released on the “Make Love Like a Man” single (1992)

“Two Steps Behind” (Acoustic version) (Elliott)
Original version released on the “Make Love Like a Man” single
Originally released on the Last Action Hero soundtrack (1993)

“She’s Too Tough” (Elliott)
Original version released on the “Heaven Is” single (1993) and is the bonus track for the Japanese pressing of Adrenalize (1992)

“Miss You in a Heartbeat” (Phil Collen)
Original version released on the “Make Love Like a Man” single

“Only After Dark” (Mick Ronson, Scott Richardson)
Original version released on the “Let’s Get Rocked” single (1992)

“Ride into the Sun” (Clark, Collen, Elliott, Savage)
Original version released on the “Hysteria” single (1987)
First recording of the song released on The Def Leppard E.P. (1979)

“From the Inside” (Elliott)
Originally released on the “Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad” single

“Ring of Fire” (Clark, Collen, Elliott, Robert John “Mutt” Lange, Savage)
Original version released on the “Armageddon It” single (1988)

“I Wanna Be Your Hero” (Clark, Collen, Elliott, Lange, Savage)
Original version released on the “Hysteria” single

“Miss You in a Heartbeat” (Electric version) (Collen)
This was the Japanese bonus track for Adrenalize

“Two Steps Behind” (Electric version) (Elliott)

“Miss You in a Heartbeat” (Piano version) (Hidden track)) (Collen)

She’s Too Tough

Miss You In A Heartbeat

I Wanna Be Your Hero

Action

Two Steps Behind

Desert Song


References:
“Retro Active” Official Wikipedia Page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retro_Active
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~

[The Greatest Rock Albums of the 80s] Rainbow – Bent Out of Shape

rainbow - bent out of shape


 

BENT OUT OF SHAPE

rainbow - bent out of shapeReleased: August 24, 1983
Recorded: Sweet Silence Studios, Copenhagen, Denmark, May – June 1983
Genre: Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Rock
Length: 40:25

Label: Mercury (North America), Polydor
Producer(s): Roger Glover
Singles: “Street of Dreams”, “Anybody There”, “Can’t Let You Go”, “All Night Long”
Personnel: Ritchie Blackmore – guitar, Roger Glover – bass, percussion, producer, Joe Lynn Turner – vocals, David Rosenthal – keyboard, Chuck Burgi – drums

Accomplishments: “Anybody There” was nominated for a Grammy Award as the Best Rock Instrumental Performance in 1984.

TRACKLIST:

“Stranded”
“Can’t Let You Go”
“Fool for the Night”
“Fire Dance”
“Anybody There” (Instrumental)
“Desperate Heart”
“Street of Dreams”
“Drinking with the Devil”
“Snowman” (Instrumental)
“Make Your Move”

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OVERVIEW:

“Bent Out of Shape” is Rainbow’s seventh studio effort and their third one with Joe Lynn Turner as the frontman of the band. This AOR treasure is truly the peak of Ritchie Blackmore and Joe’s collaborative songwriting skills as the majority of the tunes are written and composed by those two outstanding musicians. Unfortunately, this record also marks the end of Rainbow’s glory days of prolific and exceptional music. “Bent out of Shape” was particularly designed for and aimed at U.S audiences and despite its commercial success all over Europe; the record indeed was mostly appreciated in the USA. The legendary Roger Glover produced the album and managed to, quite successfully create a brilliant crossover record with the exact right doze of commercialism, radio-appeal and of course – pure old school hard rock.

There’s something quite mysterious and melancholic about this album – from the menacing organs to Joe’s operatic vocals and Ritchie’s dark instrumental solos, the album is definitely bringing us the “old horror movie” vibe.  In “Bent out of Shape”, Joe Lynn Turner best demonstrates the range of his vocal abilities as each and every note he sings is full of emotion, passion and intensity that can’t but leave you speechless. In addition to that, what we also get from this record is variety – the audience can enjoy a beautiful collection of classic hard-rockers and instrumentals that go so well together. “Bent out of Shape” provides and a nice and smooth flow that keeps us curious till the very end.

The fines moment of the record has to be “Can’t Let You Go” – a song that is simply timeless. It’s been more than 20 years since its release, but people are still haunted by the stunning organ intro, poetic lyrics and acute keyboards. “Desperate Heart” is the perfect example of an 80s pop-metal tune on which the listeners get to witness one of Blackmore’s greatest solo works. The classical instrumental “Anybody There” is quite dark and depressing, however Ritchie’s excellence makes up for the gloomy mood of the track. “Snowman” is the other brilliant instrumental that contributes to the overall eerie vibe of the album. “Sweet of Dreams” became the ultimate commercial success of the record and one of Rainbow’s greatest classics. Full of melody and dominant vocals, though again a bit gloomy, the song truly rocks pretty hard!

Overall, I wouldn’t recommend this album to rock lovers who are searching for something more sophisticated and artsy. “Bent out of Shape” lacks depth and most certainly isn’t an example of a lyrically-outstanding record. It may even sound a bit “casual” as we progress from one song to another. However, it brings other valuable concepts to the table – solid rock music, slaying vocals, brilliant keyboard details and of course – there’s Ritchie Blackmore who effortlessly solidifies the rather soft feel of the record!
Cheers!

Listen to some of the finest moments of “Bent out of Shape” :

Can’t Let You Go

Street of Dreams

Desperate Heart

Anybody There


Credits:
“Bent Out of Shape” official Wikipedia webpage: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bent_Out_of_Shape
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~