TOP 10 Rock Albums of 2016

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2016 was the year of the comebacks – some of them great, some of them not so great, but if we look at the big picture, this year definitely rocked pretty hard. Right from the very beginning, David Bowie’s “Blackstar” signaled the arrival of a strong rock&roll year. We lost David just a couple of days later, but we are beyond grateful for his last gift to us. January awarded us with Megadeth’s “Dystopia” and Dream Theater’s “The Astonishing”. After that, all hell broke loose – Elton John released “Wonderful Crazy Night”, Last In Line debuted with “Heavy Crown” and Iggy Pop came back with a new studio album – “Post Pop Depression”. The spring brought a lot of color and joy with the much anticipated releases of Cheap Trick with “Bang, Zoom, Crazy… Hello”, Sixx:A.M.‘s “Prayers for the Damned: Vol. 1”, Cyndi Lauper’s “Detour”, Eric Clapton’s “I Still Do” and many more. The summer of 2016 was hotter than ever thanks to Paul Simon, Roxette, Neil Young, Jeff Beck, Steve Vai, Heart and Steven Tyler. The last four months of 2016 were, in my opinion, the strongest in terms of rock releases. After 16 years, Kansas came back on the horizon with “The Prelude Implicit”. Along with them, Bruce Springsteen, Van Morrison, Barry Gibb, Leonard Cohen, Glenn Hughes, Bon Jovi, Sting, Simple Minds and of course, Metallica with “Hardwired…To Self-Destruct”, left quite the impression with their new albums. December gave us The Rolling Stone’s “Blue & Lonesome” –they surely know how to wrap things up with style.

Coming up with a “Top 10 Rock Albums of 2016” can be quite the formidable task. So many interesting things happened on the music scene this year and I think all of the above mentioned artists deserve a round of applause and our deep appreciation. Of course, the beauty of music is that it has something for everyone and this year there were plenty of releases with which I managed to establish a deep connection. The following 10 albums stood out to me for one reason or another and I truly believe they are among the greatest rock jewels 2016 spawned. I would like to say that this is a personal selection, driven by my taste in music. In case you haven’t listened to those albums yet, I strongly recommend you to do so! Here we go!


1. Kansas – The Prelude Implicit

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The album that tops my list of favorite 2016 releases is Kansas’ long awaited comeback – “The Prelude Implicit”. Even before the album was officially out in September, I somehow sensed that I will fall in love with it. The elevating, colorful mixture of progressive and hard rock, along with the refreshing vocals of new singer Ronnie Platt created the perfect rock experience for me. David Ragsdale’s heated violin playing was the final element that sealed the deal. “The Prelude Implicit” is absolutely stunning – from the charming opening rocker “With this Heart” to the spectacular instrumental “Section 60”, the whole album just keeps on throwing one strong punch after another. “Camouflage” became my absolute favorite song from “The Prelude Implicit” and I am still waiting for a music video, actually. “Camouflage”, along with “Crowded Isolation” and the exciting hard rocker “Rhythm in the Spirit” are some of the highlights of the album. I can’t recommend this enough.

Read My Full Review Here : Kansas – “The Prelude Implicit” Album Review

My Copy of “The Prelude Implicit”

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2. Glenn Hughes – Resonate

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Number 2 on my list is Glenn Hughes’ powerful hard rock dynamite, titled “Resonate”. No words can describe the dangerous, electrifying and absolutely mind-blowing aura of the record. Glenn is one of a kind legend and this jaw-dropping album only solidifies his position as one of the best rockers out there. “Resonate” is no joke, it’s the ultimate galvanizing rock experience of 2016! Glenn hits hard right from the beginning with the aggressive “Heavy” and moves on to “My Town”, “Let It Shine” and “God of Money” – all explosive, guitar-driven tornadoes. “When I Fall” demonstrates the gentle side of the rock monster. Overall, if you want to get drunk on pure hard rock, this is the album for you. Glenn is still here, still relevant and still releasing incredible material. The youngsters need to take notes – “Resonate” is a great example of how real hard rock should sound like.

Read My Full Review Here : Glenn Hughes – “Resonate” Album Review


3. Eric Clapton – I Still Do

Eric Clapton - I Still Do (2016)

Legendary guitar hero Eric Clapton released his twenty-third solo album in May 2016 and as a long-time fan of him I just couldn’t be happier! For “I Still Do”, the king of blues recorded original songs, as well as cover versions of classics by artists such as Robert Johnson and Bob Dylan. Positively laidback, the album definitely grabs your attention with its bluesy easy-going and breezy aura that creates the perfect mood. The songs are rather homogeneous and once again perfectly aligned with Eric Clapton’s standards and practices of reviving and exploring old ways and meanings of music. The original composition “Spiral” is one of the highlights of the record, on which Clapton demonstrates how well he can improvise with a guitar and how effortlessly he can create something so fanciful and memorable. Robert Johnson’s “Stones in My Passway” and JJ Cale’s Somebody’s Knocking” showcase Clapton’s confidence when it comes to the blues. The genuine “I Still Do” reflects Eric’s current self-assured spirit – he wants to do music his own way and he couldn’t care less what everyone things about it. The album just goes beyond class – it’s everything I dreamed of.

Read My Full Review Here : Eric Clapton – “I Still Do” Album Review

Me With My Copy of “I Still Do”

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4. Last In Line – Heavy Crown

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Former members of DIO – drummer Vinny Appice, bassist Jimmy Bain, guitarist Vivian Campbell, and keyboardist Claude Schnell, along with vocalist Andrew Freeman formed Last In Line in 2012, with their name, of course, coming from DIO’s 1984 album. Kicking off things as a mere tribute band, reminding fans of the glory days of DIO and explicitly focusing on the classic albums “Holy Diver”, “The Last in Line”, and “Sacred Heart”, the guys quickly stirred things up the excitement among the fans. It wasn’t long before they decided that it’s time they pave their own way with original compositions. “Heavy Crown” was released in February 2016 and it instantly captivated the audience, including myself. I am a huge fan of Vivian (because of Def Leppard, of course), so I was impatiently waiting to see how he will lead Last In Line into triumph, which he absolutely did with this unbelievably good old-school hard rock blast, titled “Heavy Crown”. “Starmaker” and “Devil In Me” are the instant attention-grabbers with their fiery tempos and of course, the soaring chants of Andrew, who is absolutely killing it on this record. “Burn This House Down”, “I Am Revolution” and “Blame It On Me” are a couple of others energizing metal explosions, completely overpowering every one of our senses. “Heavy Crown” follows the strong spirit of DIO but at the same time, goes beyond that, quite successfully if I may say. Moreover, this album gives us one more chance to experience the talents of Jimmy Bain, which in itself is a reason enough to put the record in my top 5.


5. The Rolling Stones – Blue & Lonesome

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Since I love the blues so much, including The Rolling Stones’ “Blue & Lonesome” on my list would come as no surprise. The rock&roll Gods came 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. 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. Mick Jagger is absolutely killing it on songs like “Just Your Fool” (Buddy Johnson), “Little Rain” (Ewart G. Abner Jr. and Jimmy Reed), “All of Your Love” (Magic Sam) and the atmospheric title track “Blue & Lonesome” (Memphis Slim) – raw, brave and soulful, his vocal delivery is obviously reflecting his high level of satisfaction with this album. I am mind blown by the terrific guitar work of Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood and the drum beats of Charlie Watts. Also, my idol – Eric Clapton also appears on “Everybody Knows About My Good Thing” and “I Can’t Quit You Baby”. “Blue & Lonesome” offers a galvanizing blues experience and I definitely recommend it.

Read My Full Review Here: The Rolling Stones – “Blue & Lonesome” Album Review


6. Cheap Trick – Bang, Zoom, Crazy… Hello

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In 2016, Cheap Trick were inducted into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame, but that definitely didn’t mean they were done with rocking and rolling – on the contrary, their golden days are far from over. Their “Bang, Zoom, Crazy… Hello” simply proved that those guys have a lot more energy, talent and joy to spread to the world. Uplifting, spirited, charming and highly entertaining – the record was the perfect spring rock sonata. Cheap Trick are still rocking pretty hard and we can clearly see it in songs like “Heart on the Line”, “When I Wake Up Tomorrow”, “Blood Red Lips” and “Do You Believe Me?”. The band’s first release for the country giants Big Machine Records is also the first album without the presence of long-time drummer Bun E. Carlos. Nevertheless, this modern-day rock extravaganza is everything but boring. Guitarist Rick Nielsen is doing a superb job; I am absolutely in love with the catchy riffs on “Bang, Zoom, Crazy… Hello”. A well-deserving comeback by Cheap Trick, I recommend you guys to take a listen or two!


7. David Bowie – Blackstar

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David Bowie’s last album – “Blackstar” was released just a few days before we lost him. I still can’t believe this beautiful human being is not with us anymore, it was such a tragic loss for everyone. I am beyond grateful for “Blackstar” – the last chance to say goodbye and experience his magical voice and one of a kind musicianship. The value of the album lies in its aggressive experimentalism which for many people may be a bit difficult to absorb, but as a long-time fan of progressive/art rock, the anxiety of “Blackstar” perfectly matched my tastes. The twenty-fifth album of Bowie, produced by long-time collaborator and a friend, Tony Visconti, presents seven intriguing, devilish even compositions, each reminiscent of Bowie’s ‘70s glory days but still compiling tons of new and exciting elements. Songs like “Girl Loves Me”, “Lazarus” and “I Can’t Give Everything Away” are fuelled with pure drum’n’bas wickedness. David’s moody groans are the foundation of “Blackstar”. It’s so inspiring to hear him perform so bewitching given what his condition was at that time. Saxophonist Donny McCaslin is also bringing so much to the table. You will never ever hear anything like “Blackstar” again and for that it deserves to be listened and appreciated.


8. Heart – Beautiful Broken

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“I Jump” was my absolute favorite song of summer 2016! I couldn’t have my day going without listening to this glorious tune by the Wilson sisters. As a matter of fact, this song itself is one big part of the reason why this album is even in my top 10.
On “Beautiful Broken”, sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson are simply offering an intriguing selection of seven re-imagined and re-recorded cherry picks from their early career, along with a few new exciting additions to their catalogue. Ann Wilson will always be one of my favorite female vocalists of all time and this record definitely proves that she still got it! Some highly appealing things are happening on this record, including the guest appearance of Metallica’s James Hetfield, whose roaring vocals work quite well with Ann’s soulful and clear singing. The heavy orchestral “I Jump” possesses that Led Zeppelin vibe, which is not surprising at all – the girls are often crediting Led Zeppelin as their biggest musical influence. “Two” and “Heaven” are a couple of other high points from “Beautiful Broken”. Many of the fans out there, including myself, are quite sentimental and prefer the original classics, however “Beautiful Broken” definitely deserves a chance – if not for the old-new songs, than for the three gorgeous new additions to their music library. Also, Ann’s voice is a reason enough to have this record!

Read My Full Review Here: Heart – “Beautiful Broken” Album Review


9. Metallica – Hardwired To Self-Destruct

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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 smashing new heavy metal storm, titled “Hardwired…to Self-Destruct”. The expectations were high but they did deliver something quite satisfying so let’s give a round of applause to singer-guitarist James Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich who co-wrote almost the entire set of throat-grabbing tunes.
“Hardwired…to Self-Destruct” is an epic double monster album, spitting 12 fiery tracks which run for almost 80 minutes! At first I thought that the record could be easy to inhale but once I heard the entire set, I realized that probably they should’ve just stopped after CD1 (which by the way is the reason why this album is in my top 10). “Dream No More” quickly became a personal favorite; I am enjoying this dark and highly-intense tune every time I play it. Some other memorable moments from “Hardwired…to Self-Destruct” include the opening track “Hardwired” and of course the surprisingly splendid tribute to Lemmy Kilmister, “Murder One”Metallica build up quite the excitement among fans, including me, so it’s natural to completely lose your mind over this album.

Read My Full Review Here: Metallica – “Hardwired… to Self-Destruct” Album Review


10. Jeff Beck – Loud Hailer

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This summer, Jeff Beck surprised us with a brilliant 11th album, which completely blew me away. I must say, I was sceptical at first, but the album just grew on me with every listen. “Loud Hailer” is not your typical Jeff Beck record – it’s a completely different kind of monster. Then again, it would be foolish to expect him to do the same thing over and over again, so I am applauding him for this revolutionary work on “Loud Hailer”. Two immensely talented female musicians – vocalist Rosie Bones and guitarist Carmen Vandenberg are the reason why there’s so much color and intrigue on this record. Bones sings about apathy, greed, politics, media and a number of other issues, destroying our society. That’s one of the reason why it appealed to me that much. “Live in The Dark” is the highlight of “Loud Hailer”, at least to me. I am falling in love with the thrilling vocals and time-stopping rhythms over and over again every time I play it. The haunting instrumental “Pull It” is feeding my soul with so much power. “Shrine” wraps things up with a similar folk-blues vibe, which sends you to another dimension. “Loud Hailer” melts me with ever listen. I can’t recommend it enough.


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.

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~

10 Classic Rock Records That Should Be Owned By Everyone

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Innovation, brilliant musicianship and timeless impact are the three criteria based on which I chose the following list of 10 albums I believe should be owned by absolutely every person who values and understands music. There are indeed SO MANY groundbreaking albums that re-defined history but then again, we have those 10 which I think went far beyond re-defining – they simply turned things upside down. The echoes of their strong collision with the music world were so loud we could still hear them every day. Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Eagles and Fleetwood Mac are among the artist the works of which I would like to draw your attention to. I am positively certain that my readers know and are already in possession of those record but in case you don’t own a copy, grab your things and rush to the nearest record store!

(P.S. I made this list based on my personal expertise and opinion. I realize that some of you may not agree, but I still think those 10 albums deserve to be on everyone’s record shelf)


The Beatles – Sgt.Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)

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I just had to kick things off with this groundbreaking masterpiece, because let’s face it – no other record can actually beatSgt.Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” when it comes to influence, cutting-edge music and artistry. Beatles retired as a live band and focused entirely on writing new music and experimenting with latest techniques in the studio. In June 1967, the results were in. Beatles didn’t have to worry about playing this album live, so they could go in any direction they want – they had the absolute freedom to arrange and produce things the way they wanted them to be. On Sgt.Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”, each of the Beatles adopted a new imaginary persona, which made things so much more interesting. The album also marked the beginning of album-oriented rock. “Sgt. Pepper” is a concept album you just have to listen from start to finish in order to truly understand its beauty; the record is simply one 40-minute song, an entity, an exceptional musical monster. Not only that, but it was the psychedelic, highly experimental, ambiguous, quite surreal nature of the record that gave rise to art and progressive rock, as well. Let us not forget that “Sgt. Pepper” has one of the most original artworks which re-evaluated the importance of album covers for future releases. “A Day in the Life”, “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”, “When I’m Sixty Four”, “Penny Lane” – songs that live forever.


Led Zeppelin – IV (1971)

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With masterpieces like “Stairway to Heaven”, “Black Dog” and “Rock and Roll”, Led Zeppelin’s fourth album was destined for success. Surprisingly this album never actually topped the US charts, despite being in top 5 best-selling albums in the States of all time and being owned by pretty much every person who lived during the 70s. The organic and folky but quite atmospheric song “Stairway to Heaven” became the most requested song on a FM radio ever, breaking that 3 minute song barrier. It didn’t matter what the critics said about Zeppelin or this album – what mattered is that they made history.


David Bowie – The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1972)

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The absolute peak of David Bowie’s career has to be the adventurous concept album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars”. For this album, the white duke adopted the persona of a Martian who comes to Earth liberate human kind. The album, along with David Bowie himself became synonymous with art rock, praising individualism, mysticism, theatrical performances and fashion. David was so ahead of his time – he simply offered a glimpse to another world, where you can be whoever you want to be.


Pink Floyd – The Dark Side Of The Moon (1973)

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“The Dark Side of the Moon” shook the grounds of progressive rock the moment it was released to the public. It was this album that forever shattered the notion that progressive rock couldn’t be enjoyed by everyone – Pink Floyd simply brought this style to the mainstream audience. “The Dark Side of the Moon” is not just your ordinary influential rock album of the 70s – it’s an absolute cultural landmark and a celebration of cutting edge techniques, keyboards, synthesizers, sounds effects and coherent musicianship. With its highly intellectual, avant-garde lyrics, the album explores themes such as time, money and the dark-sides of human nature. “The Dark Side of the Moon” spent 471 consecutive weeks on the Billboard album chart – an achievement no other album could ever surpass. Kudos to the brainchild of David Gilmour and Roger Waters!


Eagles – Hotel California (1976)

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Eagles are probably one of the most beloved American bands of all time – Americans wouldn’t trade them even for the Beatles. In 1976, they just blew off the roof with the concept album “Hotel California” which eventually became one of the best-selling albums of all time and one of the most critically acclaimed records of all time. “New Kid in Town”, “Life in the Fast Lane”, “Hotel California” – all brilliant rockers with an everlasting impact! The title tracks contains one of the most memorable guitar solos; lyrics-wise, it deals with topics still relevant nowadays – self-destruction, corruption, drugs and the greed in the music industry.


The Beach Boys – Pet Sounds (1966)

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Whether you like Beach Boys or not, you gotta respect them for their legacy and especially for “Pet Sounds” – one of the most influential albums of all time, loved by critics and fans from all over the world. Brian Wilson’s goal was to create “the greatest rock album ever made” – a powerful rock tornado with absolutely no weak points or filler songs. I am not sure we can refer to “Pet Sounds” as the greatest rock album but it’s definitely in the top 10. Brian Wilson adopted so many interesting, cutting-edge techniques and approaches for this album – from unusual instruments to sounds of dogs barking and bicycle bells; from complex symphonic arrangements to sophisticated vocal harmonies. No wonder “Pet Sounds” changed history – it offered the ultimate musical experience. Not to mention that, just like “Sgt. Pepper”, “Pet Sounds” was equally responsible for the development of art and progressive rock.


Fleetwood Mac – Rumours (1977)

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Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours” is essential for so many reasons. If, for a moment, we put aside the fact that it’s one of the BEST SELLING albums of all time and won a Grammy award for album of the year, “Rumours” was the album that forever blurred the lines between pop and rock. On top of that, “Rumours” was recorded when all members of the band were divorcing or breaking up with each other. There was no way a good album would come out of it. However, against all odds, their brutal frankness somehow stroke a chord with the audience and the album achieved something they never even hoped for – immortality. Candid, open-minded, emotional – I guess it’s true that the greatest masterpieces come out of pain, sorrow and heartbreak. Every song on this album, though it’s about sadness and break-up, is worth listening to.


Derek & The Dominos – Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs (1970)

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I don’t even know where to begin with when it comes to this album. Often considered as Eric Clapton’s greatest career achievement, the double album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs”, can’t stop captivating the audience with its emotional intensity and groundbreaking guitar work. Eric Clapton was simply giving it his all on this record. The inspiration 7-minute epic ballad title-song, “Layla”, has to be one of the highlights of the 70s and the ultimate staple of what a love song should sound like. The album is so much more than that though – “Bell Bottom Blues”, “I Am Yours”, “Anyday” – any song of the record offers comforting blues, solid rock&roll, raw guitars and a great mood.


Black Sabbath – Paranoid (1970)

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After careful consideration, I decided to wrap things up with Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid”. When it comes to the origins of heavy metal, things might be a little bit blurred. The foundations of the genre were laid in time, with the contribution of so many bands, styles, approaches, etc. However, to me personally one of the first records that presented a clear-cut vision of what heavy metal should sound like was “Paranoid”. There’s no surprise that many critics refer to this album as “the birthplace of heavy metal”. The simplistic approach to music, heavy guitar hooks, gloomy lyrics, exploring dark subjects and of course – the loud and quite sharp vocal delivery of Ozzy, defined the sound and image of heavy metal.

How many of these records you guys own?


References:
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~

10 Great Moments from One Of Music’s Biggest Events – LIVE AID

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One of the biggest events of MUSIC was held today, July 13 in 1985. That’s right, I’m talking about the dual-venue charity concert, known as Live Aid. Live Aid was organized by famous artist and social activist Bob Geldof and JamesMidgeUre to raise funds for relief of the Ethiopian famine . What was truly fascinating about this event was the scale of it. Live Aid was held simultaneously in at Wembley Stadium in London, England, United Kingdom (attended by 72,000 people) and John F. Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States (attended by about 100,000 people). In addition, it also inspired numerous other nations around the world to join the initiative – on the same day concerts were held in Japan, Australia and West Germany. According to CNN, It was one of the largest-scale satellite link-ups and television broadcasts of all time: an estimated global audience of 1.9 billion, across 150 nations, watched the live broadcast.” Helping people in need and trying to raise funds to end hunger is a noble cause and there’s no surprise in the number of people who attended the concerts and supported the event.

Bob Geldof will always remain one of the most prominent and socially active artists. Known for his other successful charity initiative – “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”, he couldn’t just stop there. The idea for such a multi-national, grandiose benefit concert was actually thrown by none-other than Boy George from Culture Club. Bob Geldof was extremely enthusiastic about the suggestion and took matters into his own hands. As a result, we have the biggest gathering of talents the world has ever seen! Let’s look at some facts and photos from the concert!


Jack Nicholson hosted the concert in Philadelphia


Phil Collins was the only artist to perform at both concerts. He used Concorde to fly from London to Philadelphia. When he went on stage in Philadelphia, he told everyone, “I was in England this afternoon. Funny old world, innit?”

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Mick Jagger and David Bowie were supposed to perform an international duet with Bowie in London and Jagger in Philadelphia. However, due to technical difficulties the plans were cancelled. Instead, there was a video clip, played at both venues of each musician, covering “Dancing in the Street”.


QUEEN almost didn’t perform! They were a bit difficult to convince, as Freddie was concerned about any political inclinations of the event. However, Bob managed to persuade him and thank God he did! Queen did a spectacular concert! 75,000 people clapped together to “Radio Ga Ga”.


Since the death of legendary drummer John Bonham in 1980, the concert at Live Aid was Led Zeppelin’s first appearance on stage. Their performance was one of the most anticipated ones, though till today, it’s often pointed out as the biggest disappointment of Live Aid.


One of the most memorable moments was Mick Jagger and Tina Turner’s duet. They performed the hit single “State of Shock”. However, during the performance of “It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll”, Mick Jagger ripped away a part of Tina Turner’s dress which left her in just a leotard.


Wham! Were supposed to perform after Elton John’s set, however they couldn’t because of time allocation. When he noticed the problem, Elton John called them on stage and together, they performed “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me”.


The Who performed so passionately that when a red warning light at the front of the stage alerted them that their time was up, Pete Townshend smashed the light and the band played for another five minutes.  


Bob also managed to convince Black Sabbath, who had been defunct for years, to reunite for the charity concert.


A companion event, based in Australia – “Oz For Africa”, was held on the same day as Live Aid and also raised funds for the Ethiopian famine. The headline act were INXS and they had their performance broadcasted at the Live Aid show in London.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LIVE AID!

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References:
“Live Aid 30th anniversary: Seven things you may not know about Bob Geldof’s charity concert”, By Lucinda Kent , retrieved from http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-07-13/live-aid-30th-anniversary-seven-things-need-to-know/6615328
“Live Aid 30th anniversary: 30 things you never knew about the 1985 concert”, retrieved from http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/live-aid-30th-anniversary-30-6058365
Live Aid Official Wikipedia Page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Live_Aid
P.S. I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the rights go to the owners/publishers.
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!

Rock and Sax Might Be The Most Magical Blend In Music!

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Greetings, everyone!

Previously, I have expressed so many times how much I love when rock musicians feature piano in their songs – there is something very touching and captivating when a guitar and a piano play together. However, what I adore even more than that is the combination of rock ‘n’ roll and saxophone. There is just something so magical and fascinating about the saxophone as an instrument…and when you add some brilliant rock tunes, you get the finest thing in the world! To many people, such blends might be rather unusual and difficult to swallow, however I truly believe that sax and rock ‘n’ roll go very well together. I strongly believe that saxophone might be the perfect detail to any rock song and can enhance it like no other instrument or digital effect. To prove that saxophone truly belongs in rock music, I have gathered 10 of my favorite rock songs, featuring an outstanding saxophone solos! I truly hope that there are more people out there who truly cherish and admire this magical collaboration. Let’s listen to…


 

The first two songs come from Pink Floyd and they are probably the finest examples of how well a saxophone can enhance the overall atmosphere of the song and create something outstanding as a result. These two songs were featured in their 1973 album “Dark Side Of The Moon” and are my personal favorites! Just listen to the brilliant saxophone solos…

Pink Floyd – Us And Them ( 1973 )

Pink Floyd – Money ( 1973 )


 

And the song that made me love saxophone and rock together so much is this one! Another perfect example of how well a sax solo fits in a perfect and catchy hard rock melody. Foreigner’s “Urgent” is an absolute classic and the sax might be the reason why…Listen…

Foreigner – Urgent ( 1981 )


 

This has got to be one of the greatest songs in history. No one can deny the energy and power that comes out of that saxophone. The song is more soft and melodic but the presence of the sax solo is what makes it so colorful and unique…

Gerry Rafferty – Baker Street ( 1978 )


 

David Bowie’s “Modern Love” is another example of how a saxophone can bring so much energy and completely change your mood for better. Just look at them having the time of their lives on that stage…..
Miss you, David…

David Bowie – Modern Love ( 1983 )


 

I love everything about this song – the rhythm, the vocals…and of course the outstanding saxophone solo by Sonny Rollins. This is actually one of my favorite Rolling Stones songs – It makes me feel soo goood….

Rolling Stones – Slave ( 1981 )


 

I just had to include this ultimate classic by the legendary Bob Seger… And people still have the guts to tell me sax and rock don’t go together!!!? This right here is probably my favorite example to give…

Bob Seger – Old Time Rock and Roll ( 1978 )


 

The boss loves saxophones and his songs often feature a sax accompaniment. This one is I think my personal favorite because we can listen to the smooth sounds of the sax throughout the entire song..

Bruce Springsteen – Spirit In The Night
( 1973 )


 

This song is a relatively recent discovery of mine and I’m so happy it came into my life…it’s an absolute masterpiece! I wish I could hear more saxophone but still, the sax details make it so beautiful!

Dream Theater – Another Day ( 1992 )


 

Finally, I decided to include something more hardcore to show you guys that a song doesn’t necessarily have to be soft to include a saxophone solo. Steve Mackay is the brilliant sax technician who made this song so perfect…

The Stooges – Fun House ( 1970 )


 

And many many more….

[PLAYLIST] My Good Morning Classic Rock Mixtape

Good Morning, everyone!

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I don’t know which side of the world you live in, but for me it’s time to rise and shine and marry the day! Like many other rock fans out there, I can’t really imagine waking up and start preparing for the day, without listening to some rock ‘n’ roll tunes as a background. However, mornings can be pretty tough – we are still too sleepy, still very tired and it takes time for the coffee to start working…So, to some people, including myself, solid hard rock sounds and crazy guitars might not be the best option for your morning…especially if it’s the beginning of the week. Thus, a few years ago, I made the so called “morning playlist” or “morning mixtape”, featuring classic rock tunes which I think are perfect for the early start of your day. I love collecting songs and making playlists, so I decided to share with you guys, some of the songs you can find on this morning playlist of mine (My personal playlist is too long, so I decided to share just 20 songs from it). They are indeed more soft and melodic than the usual songs I post on the blog, because I just can’t handle the crazy riffs at 6 am in the morning (haha). I hope you guys will enjoy the mixtape I prepared for you and might get some ideas for your own “morning playlist”. It’s a personal selection, combining classic rock songs with no common grounds, except being suitable for your busy and tiring mornings ( of course, based on my opinion only). Let’s play!


 

Eagles – I Can’t Tell You Why ( 1979 )

 

Eric Clapton – Wonderful Tonight ( 1977 )

 

Led Zeppelin – Stairway to Heaven ( 1971 )

 

Whitesnake – Don’t Fade Away ( 1997 )

 

Emerson, Lake & Palmer – Lucky Man

 

The Alan Parsons Project – Some Other Time ( 1977 )

 

Skid Row – I Remember You ( 1989 )

 

Fleetwood Mac – Over My Head ( 1975 )

 

Pink Floyd – Learning to Fly ( 1987 )

 

Eagles – Tequila Sunrise ( 1973 )

 

Def Leppard – Unbelievable ( 2002 )

 

Dire Staits – Lady Writer ( 1979 )

 

Foreigner – Waiting For a Girl Like You
( 1981 )

 

Chicago – You’re the Inspiration ( 1984 )

 

Bad English – Time Stood Still ( 1991 )

 

John Lennon – Woman ( 1981 )

 

Queen – Somebody to Love ( 1976 )

 

Survivor – You Know Who You Are ( 1993 )

 

Queen & David Bowie – Under Pressure
( 1982 )

 

The Police – Every Breath You Take ( 1983 )

 


 

[PLAYLIST] This Week in Classic Rock Songs

 

Hello, everyone! Happy new week! I do hope it’s a good one for all of us!

Once again, it’s Monday, which means it’s time for my weekly “mixtape”. As usual, I’ve collected 10 rock classics to help you kick off the new week with a blast! I’ve picked up rock tunes from various artists and eras (even from back in the 60s) and came up with this lovely rock playlist for your Monday mood! Just wanted to remind you that there’s no particular order or category – It’s a personal selection, based on my favorite classic rock songs from my music library. It’s basically a bunch of cool rock songs, performed by various awesome artists I love with all my heart! I hope you guys enjoy it and get reminded of some cool songs from the past! Rock on!

giphy


 

 

Animals – House of the Rising Sun ( 1964 )

 

Led Zeppelin – Since I’ve Been Loving You  ( 1970 )

 

David Bowie – Rebel Rebel ( 1974 )

 

Eagles – Life In The Fast Lane ( 1976 )

 

Foreigner – Woman in Black ( 1981 )

 

Rainbow – I Surrender ( 1981 )

 

Europe – Carrie ( 1986 )

 

Roxette – Listen To Your Heart ( 1988 )

 

Aerosmith – Love In An Elevator ( 1989 )

 

Van Halen – Can’t Stop Loving You ( 1995 )


 

Highlights from the 31st ROCK & ROLL Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony


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The 31st Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony was held on Friday, April 8 at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, New York. As we all know, this year’s inductees are Cheap Trick, Chicago, Deep Purple, N.W.A. and Steve Miller. In addition, the special guests list was also quite long and it included names such as Rob Thomas, The Black Keys, Kid Rock, Lars Ulrich, Kendrick Lamar and many more. We, the fans, were anticipating the event and looking forward to see what is going to happen on that stage. Once more, the organization was brilliant and there were many surprises, touching speeches and amazing performances. The following publication will present some highlights from the event, including video materials.

Huge thanks to all the people who uploaded videos and pictures from the ceremony! I hope YouTube doesn’t mute or delete the videos!

 

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The 2016 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony opened with a surprise tribute to David Bowie. David Byrne from Talking Heads, pop star Kimbra and hip-hop troupe the Roots teamed up and outstandingly honored David by performing “Fame” – a song from Bowie’s 1975 album “Young Americans”.

David Bowie Tribute 1



Deep Purple gave an emotional speech, as they took on the stage, along with new inductees David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes. Later on, they also performed a few of their classics with the current band lineup, featuring guitarist Steve Morse and keyboardist Don Airey, vocalist Ian Gillan, bassist Roger Glover and drummer Ian Paice. Ritchie Blackmore got an honorable mention too…(*)

Theo Wargo, Getty ImagesDeep Purple 3

Watch Lars Ulrich praising Deep Purple’s legacy and influence in the following induction speech.



The Black Keys
were the ones to include the outstanding Steve Miller into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame during the ceremony this Friday. They referred to him as “one of the most iconic and lasting songwriters of a generation.”

The highlight of their speech was their conclusion – “With over 30 million albums sold, Steve Miller should have his own damn parking spot at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame if he wants it.”

Watch Steve Miller‘s induction speech and performances below ( He is such a brilliant guitarist )… I really enjoyed his speech and I think his conclusion was rather strong: “I wanna thank all the women in my life for pointing me in the right direction,” he said.

Steve Miller - induction
Kevin Kane, Getty Images

 

Glenn Frey was also remembered during the ceremony in another surprise tribute. Sheryl Crow and Grace Potter impressed everyone by performing a stripped-down version of Eagles’ “New Kid In Town”. I think what they did was truly amazing and more importantly, managed quite successfully to capture the spirit of the Eagles.  

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Chicago were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Rob Thomas. After that they took the stage and blew our minds off by performing some of their biggest classics – “Saturday in the Park” and “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?”.

Chicago - Induction 2016
Watch the speeches and performances below:


 

Cheap Trick were inducted by none other than Kid Rock.

“There isn’t a band in this room that doesn’t think it’s really a live band,” Rock said. “You think you do it better than anyone else. Then you go and see Cheap Trick. That’s when you think, ‘Man, we kinda suck. I better step up my game.”

Cheap Trick Induction 2016

 


 

You can also watch the ceremony on HBO:

 

ROCK OF FAME 2016 -2


 

 

Credits:
Rock Hall 2016 related articles, retrieved from http://ultimateclassicrock.com
Photos taken from Rock Hall Official Twitter Account:  https://twitter.com/rock_hall
P.S. I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the credits and rights go to the owners and/or publishers.