Do You Still Buy CDs ?

cd_publication.png

 

I have been collecting CDs, audiocassettes and vinyl for as long as I can remember. I grew up among the records of my parents till eventually I became a collector myself. There was always something so real and thrilling about holding a CD or an audiocassette, opening it, admiring the photobook inside, and playing it on your Panasonic player which was probably older than your parents. Then, it’s your birthday and you get the latest album of your favorite artist as a gift from your parents! I swear, these were the best times! I have never begged for toys or any other stuff – all I wanted were more and more records. It was the ‘90s after all – music was everywhere, MTV was at its finest, new and interesting pop stars were coming out each and every second. Along with that technology was developing and we got the chance to purchase and enjoy music systems, producing a sound with a much higher quality than before. It was essential for every household to have a stereo and a shelf with a long line of CDs or audiocassettes. I guess it was a sign of being cool and trendy. People were obsessed with music, were devoted fans and were still passionately buying the latest albums of their favorite or not-so-favorite but currently popular artist.

The ‘90s are long gone, however. Along with them, numerous practices, trends and values in music disappear. Then, there was this little thing called the Internet, which completely changed the face of the music industry. I cannot just blame the Internet for the fact that the industry changed on a worldwide level or for the fact that people stopped buying CDs. However, we can’t but think about it for a little bit. Yes, technology did reach unthinkable highs and now, in 2016 we even have the whole world in our pockets. What is the direct consequence of such technological advancements on the music industry and record sales? –Well, it’s pretty obvious, I think. Everyone went digital –downloading, online streaming, online everything… I’m not saying it’s a bad thing; I’m just trying to analyze the factors that led to people stop purchasing CDs. In addition to that, people and their attitude to music changed a little bit, I think. I cannot say why but I do believe that people don’t really value music the same way as before. Yes, we do have favorite artists, we do have our favorite songs and we do quote our favorite lyrics but everything is so temporary. Music nowadays is not “timeless” or memorable. Music nowadays is seasonal and people do enjoy and love it but for a limited amount of time. On top of that, there are so many genres, so many artists, so many trends, so many websites and so many ways to be exposed to music. Sometimes I feel like the general public cannot really establish a strong relationship with an artist that may lead to picking up your keys and wallet, going to the nearest record store and buying their CD. But how can you establish a strong relationship with the artists nowadays? Maybe it’s just me but I cannot relate with pop artists nowadays, I just can’t… they are too many and their music sounds the same so NO, I’m not going to buy Beyoncé or Katy Perry’s latest CD.

However, old-school rock’n’rollers like myself somehow still keep on purchasing records and CDs. Numerous classic rockers are also releasing or re-mastering their previous works from the ‘70s and ‘80s and people keep on buying them. Why? It’s generational. We grew up with a different mindset and a different way of thinking when it comes to music and its value. We have outstanding bands and artists such as Eric Clapton, Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Van Halen, Def Leppard, Led Zeppelin, etc. and they still mean a lot to us so we still support them and still try to find that last piece of the puzzle needed to complete our record/CD collection…We still get excited and amazed when they release a new album, simply because they are this dying breed of musicians that still carry something so special in them – something that reminds us of times when music was good and even though it was still all about the money, artists knew how to create timeless classics. Same goes with other artists from other non-rock genres – Pop/RnB/Blues, etc.

Overall, CDs can offer so many things – quality of sound, durability, variety, longevity, a chance to support your favorite artists, etc. However, the reason why I believe that people should buy CDs is to basically feed their “musical soul”. I’m telling you – if you love music and are not just the regular “I listen to what’s trendy nowadays” person, there’s nothing more satisfying than opening a brand new CD, looking though the photobook, reading through the stories till you finally take out the CD and play it. You feel so good – it’s like part of the artist’s soul is there with you and it took a physical form.

What I’m trying to say here is that based on my observations, conversations and interviews with many of my fellow college students and friends, I did conclude that nowadays people don’t buy CDs because they cannot establish a strong relationship with the artists. Is it because the music and the musicians are too many and don’t know how to create meaningful music or it’s because people don’t feel the need to give money for CDs when they can download it for free, I cannot be sure. All I want to say is that CDs is the type of physical media that can bring so much to you and your day. On top of that it’s not just about the CD – it’s about the whole experience and feeling you get from it. You go to the record store, spend some time looking, listening to and observing through the numerous records, till you finally make a choice. A CD is so much more than just a physical object – it’s a way to experience music on a much higher level and with a much stronger emotion. Keep on buying CDs if you are a true music lover!

 

P.S. These are just my views and opinions I quickly wrote down. Don’t take it too hard and don’t think of it as the ultimate truth. Feel free to express your reasons why you buy/don’t buy CDs! I will be more than happy to read them!

Cheers

10 Rock Duets [pt 1]

Throughout the years, many of our favourite rockstars have collaborated and created some of the most memorable tunes of all time. It has always been quite fascinating to observe and listen how two distinctive artists team up and come up with something magical that simply shapes history. It’s even more interesting to see how two musicians from different genres and with different styles or visions somehow find that perfect balance and harmony and achieve the ultimate result.

We all know and love those endless classics. Here are 10 of my favourite collaborations in rock music that I have always pointed out as the perfect examples of great duet songs. I hope you enjoy!

Playlist:

Bryan Adams & Tina Turner – It’s Only Love
Eric Clapton & Tina Turner – Tearing Us Apart
The Jacksons (Feat. Michael Jackson & Mick Jagger) – State of Shock
David Bowie & Queen – Under Pressure
Run-DMC & Aerosmith – Walk This Way
Lita Ford & Ozzy Osbourne – Close My Eyes Forever
Stevie Nicks & Tom Petty – Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around
INXS & Jimmy Barnes – Good Times
B.B. King & Eric Clapton – Rock Me Baby
Bob Dylan & Johnny Cash – Girl From The North Country


Listen here:

Bryan Adams & Tina Turner – It’s Only Love (LIVE)

What makes “It’s Only Love” such a great song is definitely the strong presence of the queen of rock ‘n’ roll – Tina Turner. Bryan Adams definitely made quite the choice as he spiced things up in his “Reckless” album. His 80s comeback wouldn’t have been the same without this passionate and sexy duet!


Eric Clapton & Tina Turner – Tearing Us Apart

For his 1886 album titled “August”, Eric Clapton teamed up with the ultimate rock diva – Tina Turner and made magic. “Tearing Us Apart” is an upbeat and very dynamic rock tune that can’t but lift your spirits up. It’s definitely one of my favorite duets of all time.


The Jacksons (Feat. Michael Jackson & Mick Jagger) – State of Shock

“State of Shock” has to be one of the most legendary duets of the 80s. I mean, how often do we get to witness such a huge collaboration – the king of pop and the greatest entertainer on Earth, Michael Jackson teaming up with over-the-top personality of none-other than the fabulous Mick Jagger? An absolute hit!


David Bowie & Queen – Under Pressure

Before Vanilla Ice decided to make a career out of this song, it was Queen and David Bowie who made history with this song. “Under Pressure” can easily be pointed out as one of the finest duets of all time as it combines two musicians for whose talents the world is simply not big enough. Sadly, both Freddie and David are no longer with us.


Run-DMC & Aerosmith – Walk This Way

“Walk This Way” is often pointed out as the song that saved Aerosmith’s career and brought them back on the music horizon. The unconventional idea of a new version of one of their older songs, including the hip hop stars Run-DMC was the ultimate recipe for success.


Lita Ford & Ozzy Osbourne – Close My Eyes Forever

In 1988, the prince of darkness – Ozzy Osbourne, along with Lita Ford created something truly beautiful. “Close My Eyes Forever” is the brainchild of Sharon, as she was managing both of them at that time. The results were immediate and could still be felt. The song is one of the most memorable power-ballads of the era.


Stevie Nicks & Tom Petty – Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around

Stevie Nicks – one of the queens of rock ‘n’ roll and often referred to as one of the most powerful female rockstars of all time, teamed up with her favorite singer Tom Petty and recorded “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around”. Originally, Tom wrote the song for himself, but it ended up on Stevie’s debut solo album. What a story!


INXS & Jimmy Barnes – Good Times

This right here is one of Australia’s most favorite classics of all time. Originally released by The Easybeats in 1968, “Good Times” once again reemerged in 1987 when INXS and Jimmy Barnes recorded it for the soundtrack of “Lost Boys”. The MV is also quite iconic.


B.B. King & Eric Clapton – Rock Me Baby

“Rock Me Baby” is an absolute classic and one of the most recorded blues songs of all time. B.B. King released the track in 1964 and it quickly became one of his first and greatest hits. Years later, in 1997, he once again re-recorded the song with his long-time friend Eric Clapton for his duet album “Deuces Wild”. Eric was indeed the right person for this song as he brought something quite intriguing to the song. Just listen…


Bob Dylan & Johnny Cash – Girl From The North Country

This is quite the oldie, but you can’t but respect and admire such great collaboration. When two artists of such magnitude meet, you sit back and just listen, as your heart embraces the music. No ego-racing, no heavy-breathing – just two beautiful voices singing a simple but quite pleasant song. It’s Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan, after all…


 

Stay tuned for part 2!

20 Classic Rock Songs for the Perfect Summer

Summer’s here! It’s time to think about those long road-trips and visits to the beach. Make sure that for every summer adventure, experience or party, you have these 20 classic rock songs in your playlist to ensure your perfect mood. Among these songs, I have included absolute classic rockers that can instantly change your mood and give you that amazing summer vibe.

Playlist:

Van Halen – Summer Nights
Bryan Adams – Summer of ’69
The Beatles – Here Comes the Sun
Guns N’ Roses – Paradise City
Alice Cooper – School’s Out
Chicago – Saturday in the Park
The Beach Boys – Surfin’ U.S.A
The Who – Summertime Blues
AC/DC – This House is on Fire
Steve Perry – Summer of Luv

Don Henley – The Boys of Summer
Blondie – In The Sun
Led Zeppelin – Dancing Days
Def Leppard – Ride into the Sun
Ramones – Rockaway Beach
Kiss – Rock N’ Roll All Nite
Billy Idol – Hot in the City
Eric Clapton – I’ve Got a Rock N’ Roll Heart
Sammy Hagar – Mas Tequila
Survivor – High on You


Van Halen – Summer Nights

Bryan Adams – Summer of ’69

The Beatles – Here Comes the Sun

Guns N’ Roses – Paradise City

Alice Cooper – School’s Out

Chicago – Saturday in the Park

The Beach Boys – Surfin’ U.S.A

The Who – Summertime Blues

AC/DC – This House is on Fire

Steve Perry – Summer of Luv


Don Henley – The Boys of Summer

Blondie – In The Sun

Led Zeppelin – Dancing Days

Def Leppard – Ride into the Sun

Ramones – Rockaway Beach

Kiss – Rock N’ Roll All Nite

Billy Idol – Hot in the City

Eric Clapton – I’ve Got a Rock N’ Roll Heart

Sammy Hagar – Mas Tequila

Survivor – High on You


 

[’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)

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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”

 

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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~

[Playlist] Classic Rock Songs for (not) Saying Goodbye

Saying goodbye might be the hardest thing in life. Whether we have to separate from a friend or someone we love, goodbyes can completely change you and leave an everlasting impact. However, the change doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad one. Sometimes people say goodbye to save themselves and start a new life. Regardless of the situation, the theme of saying farewell to a loved one or to a friend has been a popular music theme for generations. Here is a personal selection of 10 songs that deal with the issue of saying goodbye and experiencing pain when the person you love is no longer here with you. I do hope you enjoy the playlist and remind yourself of those classics! ^^

PLAYLIST:

Def Leppard – Goodbye
Bon Jovi – Never Say Goodbye
Eric Clapton – Tears in Heaven
Rolling Stones – Ruby Tuesday
Motley Crue – Time For Change
Simple Minds – Don’t You Forget About Me
Ozzy Osbourne – See You On The Other Side
The Guess Who – No Time

+Blues Bonus

Roy Orbison – Cryin
Bill Withers – Ain’t No Sunshine


Def Leppard – Goodbye

You won’t ever have to say goodbye
You won’t ever have to say “I’ve wasted all my time”
If the dream you dream ain’t what it seems
Just look into my eyes
You won’t ever have to say goodbye…


Bon Jovi – Never Say Goodbye

Remember how we used to talk
About busting out – we’d break their hearts
Together – forever
Never say goodbye, never say goodbye
You and me and my old friends
Hoping it would never end
Say goodbye, never say goodbye
Holdin’ on – we got to try
Holdin’ on to never say goodbye


Eric Clapton – Tears in Heaven

Would you know my name
If I saw you in heaven?
Would it be the same
If I saw you in heaven?
I must be strong
And carry on,
‘Cause I know I don’t belong
Here in heaven…


Rolling Stones – Ruby Tuesday

She would never say where she came from
Yesterday don’t matter if it’s gone
While the sun is bright
Or in the darkest night
No one knows
She comes and goes
Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday
Who could hang a name on you?
When you change with every new day
Still I’m gonna miss you…


Motley Crue – Time For Change

The lines on their faces so deep, yeah
A revolution, or reach out
And touch the day
We’re overdue, child
Change
Now it’s time for change
Nothing stays the same
Now it’s time for change…


Simple Minds – Don’t You Forget About Me

…Love’s strange so real in the dark
Think of the tender things that we were working on
Slow change may pull us apart
When the light gets into your heart, baby
Don’t You Forget About Me
Don’t Don’t Don’t Don’t
Don’t You Forget About Me…


Ozzy Osbourne – See You On The Other Side

Leaving, I Hate To See You Cry
Grieving, I Hate To Say Goodbye
Dust And Ash Forever, Yeah
Though I Know We Must Be Parted
As Sure As Stars Are In The Sky
I’m Gonna See You When It Comes To Glory
And I’ll See You, I’ll See You On The Other Side
Yes, I’ll See You, I’ll See You On The Other Side…


The Guess Who – No Time

No time for a summer friend
No time for the love you send
Seasons change and so did I
You need not wonder why
You need not wonder why
There’s no time left for you
No time left for you…


Roy Orbison – Cryin

Oh, you wished me well
You, you couldn’t tell
That I’d been crying over you
Crying over you
When you said, “So long”
Left me standing all alone
Alone and crying, crying
Crying, crying…


Bill Withers – Ain’t No Sunshine

…Hey, I oughtta leave young thing alone
But ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone
Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone
Only darkness every day.
Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone
And this house just ain’t no home…


References:
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[The Greatest Rock Albums of the 80s] Toto IV

Toto IV Album Cover


 

IV

Released: April 8, 1982
Length: 41:59

Label: Columbia
Singles: “Rosanna”, “Make Believe”, “Africa”, “I Won’t Hold You Back”
Certified: 3xPlatinum (RIAA)

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Tracklist:

“Rosanna”
“Make Believe”
“I Won’t Hold You Back”
“Good For You”
“It’s a Feeling”
“Afraid of Love”
“We Made It”
“Waiting For Your Love”
“Africa”

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OVERVIEW:

With the release of Toto IV on April 8, 1982, the band quickly turned their occasional radio presence into a total domination of the waves. Unfortunately, Toto’s previous efforts couldn’t bring them to the spotlight, despite the amount of hard work and professionalism they invested. Toto IV was truly their last chance of hopping on the train and they couldn’t have done it better. Toto rose to the challenge and with an immense doze of enthusiasm and impeccable songwriting craft, they produced their most successful and visionary album.

After just one listen of the album, you can easily feel the unique aura and distinguishable details of the record. Toto worked harder on refining the melodies and harmonies – the tempo is slowed down, matching the quite bouncy beats of the songs. Guitars, trumpets, saxophones and trombones are having the most ear-pleasing dance. The lyrics are quite simple and innocent, dedicated to the themes of love, heartbreak and hope. The vocals of Bobby Kimball are much improved and strengthened, backed up by having other group members singing. Timothy B. Schmit was also on board as backing vocals on “I Won’t Hold You Back”, “Good For You”, and “Africa”.

Undoubtedly, “Rosanna” and “Africa” are the absolute career-peak compositions of David Paich and the ultimate hit singles of Toto IV. Not to mention that those two songs are also some of the most notable symbols of the 80s pop/rock scene. The golden single “Rosanna” impresses with its dreamy lyrics and playful beats. “Africa” on the other hand, demonstrates a fantastic scope of elements, including refined solo keyboards from Steve Porcaro, graceful yet high-reaching vocals of Bobby Kimball and prominent bass rhythms by David Hungate who is dearly missed on all the following Toto albums. “I Won’t Hold You Back” is yet another beautiful soft rock knockout, full of intense emotions and feelings. I often referred to it as one of the saddest songs ever composed. “Make Believe” is surprisingly uplifting and features excellent saxophone blends.

Toto IV, however, is so much more than “Rosanna” and “Africa”. The record is extremely polished, professional-sounding and full of timeless classics. Furthermore, it’s also both the group’s triumphant recovery and their absolute peak. The industry and the public acknowledged the brilliance of this album with 5 Grammy Awards, including Best Album and Record of the Year (Rosanna). Nothing more to say – a true iconic record you NEED to have!

Cheers.

 

Africa

Rosanna

I Won’t Hold Back

Make Believe

 

 


References:
Toto IV” official Wikipedia webpage: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toto_IV
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~