Def Leppard‘s “Hysteria” is turning 30 years old and we can’t but think about the monumental importance of this release. Not only did this album set new production and song-writing standards but it also demonstrated how important it is to not lose the human aspect when you’re aiming for the sky.
It took Def Leppard about three years to make this album – three long years full of endless hardships and one obstacle after another. The final goal, however, remained unchanged. Def Leppard were ready to go one step further than their previous hit album, “Pyromania”. Well, they did do it, didn’t they….? I can only guess how incredibly tough it was for them to assemble their acts together after every punch. First it was Rick Allen, their drummer, who lost his arm in a car accident (and almost lost his second arm, actually); on top of that they were constantly struggling with finding the right producer, after Mutt Lange took a little break. Nevertheless, it all resulted in a beautiful piece of music we now call “Hysteria” or simply put….the album that defined the ’80s! “Hysteria” saw the light on August 3rd, 1987 and even though it took the album some time to warm up the hearts of audiences, especially in North America, we got to a point where it was certified 12 times Platinum – a recognition that speaks for itself.
In honor of my favorite album of all time, I decided to prepare a little list of facts which I believe should and probably are know by most of the fans out there. Also, I think it’s always great to remind ourselves of some little intriguing music facts that make up an album or a song we love. This written piece might be good for newer fans of Def Leppard who just want to know more about the band. Here we go…
*) “Hysteria” is the last album to feature the outstanding guitarist Steve Clark, before his death. Some of his songs do appear on their following album – “Adrenalize” (1992) and “Retro Active” (1993), however Hysteria World Tour was the last chance fans got to see him on the stage with his bandmates, unfortunately. Losing their guitarist once again shook the band’s grounds but they rose from the ashes and kept on making great rock music!
*) Def Leppard formed in the late ’70s and can certainly brag about their lengthy and productive career. They have released more than 50 timeless singles. However, up to date, their only #1 hit single remains the beautiful power ballad “Love Bites”, released as their sixth single from “Hysteria”.
*) Def Leppard released “Animal” as their first single in UK, Europe and the rest of the world. In the USA, they went with “Women” which according to some music critics became the reason why the initial response of American audiences wasn’t that good.
*) The last-minute composition – “Pour Some Sugar on Me”, a song that wasn’t even supposed to be on this album, turned out to be one of Def Leppard‘s most instantly-recognizable songs. It was released as their fourth single and it ultimately became the reason why “Hysteria” topped the Billboard Chart.
*) Originally, “Hysteria” was supposed to be called “Animal Instinct”. However, they eventually changed the name as suggested by Rick Allen who thought it suitably described the worldwide coverage and interest in his accident and recovery.
*) The album artwork was designed by legendary graphic designer Andie Airfix who also did the album covers of “Pyromania” and “Adrenalize”. The front image of “Hysteria” represents a terrifying man, transforming into an animal – or it can be the other way around. His presence on the artwork is directly related with and represents the lead single of the album – “Animal” as well as the lyrics of the song. The song itself is about humans’ wild, primitive and rather intense and crazy animalistic nature.
*) “Hysteria” was produced by Robert “Mutt” Lange who reconcile with the band after initially leaving them. His obsessive desire to create the perfect and most commercially successful hard rock album of all time, resulted in a painful squeezing of every tiny bit of talent and effort from the music engineers and technicians to the band members themselves. The realization of Mutt Lange‘s visions of this album took longer than expected which caused delays in the release of the album. He wanted to create a rock version of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”.
*) “Hysteria” was one of the most expensive and lengthy albums at the time of its release. The album stretches for around 63 minutes which was going over the CD limit. The cost of making “Hysteria” was over 5 million USD which for the late ’80s was an insane amount of money.
*) After “Hysteria” was released, Def Leppard published a book, titled “Animal Instinct: The Def Leppard Story”, written by Rolling Stone magazine Senior Editor David Fricke. The book talks about the three-year recording process and struggles Def Leppard had to face before they made “Hysteria” a fact.
*) The follow-up album to “Hysteria” – “Adrenalize” was released 5 years later, in 1992. During that time, Def Leppard lost Steve Clark and eventually took legendary guitarist Vivian Campbell to replace him. So many tragic events happened to Def Leppard that many thought they had a curse on them, referring to it as “the Def Leppard Curse”.
THIS BLOG claims no credit for any images posted on this site unless otherwise noted. Images on this blog are copyright to its respectful owners. If there is an image appearing on this blog that belongs to you and do not wish for it appear on this site, please E-mail with a link to said image and it will be promptly removed.
Before we go to YES, do you know what is art rock or progressive rock?
Progressive rock emerged as a musical trend and evolved in the late 1960s and early 1970s, falling under the umbrella of the so called “art rock”. Art rock can be quite difficult to explain due to its complexity and numerous forms it can take, however simply put, it’s rock music that goes above and beyond. What I mean by that is that the style itself surpasses the norms of the ordinary hard rock as we all know it, by experimenting with instruments and various other elements, taken from other genres and forms of art, such as literature and theater. When we think of “art rock”, the first name that should come to our minds is definitely David Bowie – he revolutionized and popularized the concept of “art rock” with its music, looks and stage performances.
Now, let me get back to progressive rock. I couldn’t just jump in without saying a few words about art rock because progressive rock is often thought to be a subcategory of art rock. Briefly put, progressive rock is a sophisticated mixture of classical music elements; complex instrumentation; supreme musical technicality; conceptualism; abstract and imaginative lyrics; heavy experimentation with sound and new technologies, such as keyboards and synthesizers; lengthy songs; visually stunning stage theatrics; and all that wrapped under beautifully drawn fancy cover album artworks that can make your imagination go wild. The roots of progressive rock are questionable but many people say that it all begun in the States with psychedelic bands, such as The Doors, before it moved to the UK, where it was mastered and transformed into a fully developed style and genre. Yes, it was once again the British who formulated and perfected it. It was only natural, giving in mind their rich traditions, refined literature and classical European music influence. One of the very first British bands to fully adopt the qualities of progressive rock were King Crimson in the late 1960s.
Progressive rock, however, fully developed and reached its commercial peaks in the 1970s. When we talk about progressive rock and the 70s, there are a few bands that should immediately appear in front of your eyes. Those bands are also often referred to as “The Big Four in Progressive Rock in the 1970s”. I’m talking about YES, Genesis, Pink Floyd and Emerson Lake & Palmer, of course!
Today I will specifically draw your attention to YES, because I think there are a few things that should be said and reminded about this outstanding band of classically trained musicians, creating structured rock music that simply sends us to another realm. Just like many other progressive rock bands, they moved on to more commercial, radio-friendly sound in the 80s which divides their career into two distinguishable periods. Maybe some of you know more about YES than me and it won’t be interesting to read those facts I’ve gathered for you but for those of you who want to know more about YES, here we go!
YES is a British progressive rock band, founded in 1968 in London by singer Jon Anderson who previously played with other bands such as The Warriors and Gun. He briefly went solo before the fateful meeting with bassist/vocalist Chris Squire from the band the Syn. Both of them quickly bonded over similar interests and pursues in music and assembled a line-up, featuring Tony Kaye on keyboards, Peter Banks on guitar and Bill Bruford on drums.
The name of the band “YES” came from their guitarist Peter Banks and was chosen due to being short, striking, straightforward and even a little sweet.
YES’ debut, self-titled album was released in July 1969. The record included cover versions of rock, folk and jazz acts, including The Byrds and The Beatles. The majority of original compositions on the record were written by Jon Anderson. “YES” received positive reviews and signaled the arrival of a strong progressive force, despite both released singles failing on the charts. The album displayed brilliant harmonies and a classical approach to music, all wrapped up in a rather futuristic, even space aura; it clearly established the grounds of the band which would later on develop into the YES as we know them.
YES had numerous line-up changes throughout the years, mainly due to disagreements in the musical directions of the band. For instance, Tony Kaye (keyboards) was fired because he refused to play on newly emerged and electronically-heavy keyboards. Founder Jon Anderson left the band in 1980, only to join a couple of years later for their highly successful album “90125”. Co-founder Chris Squire also left the band in the early 80s but came back for “90125” as well. Frequent line-up changes and ups and downs within the band members often affected their consistency and focus of production.
“Fragile” is often considered to be YES’ finest record. Released in 1971, the album became synonymous with YES and quickly turned into a commercial and critical success. “Fragile” was popularized by its album cover, crafted by Roger Dean and the single “Roundabout”, which became their most famous and well-known songs.
Artist Roger Dean is the man behind the infamous album artworks of YES. Their long collaboration started with “Fragile” and is still going on. His futuristic and highly imaginative, colorful pieces of art became a trademark for the band and an inseparable part of their progressive style. His mesmerizing landscapes, environments and creatures perfectly fit the band’s concept and contribute to the overall experience and even visualization of their music.
YES’ “90125” is their best-selling album up to date. Often referred to as one of the most successful comebacks in history, “90125” presented a new, more contemporary and radio-friendly YES sound that appealed to the majority of audiences. Many fans criticize them for shifting from the complex, classical music-inspired rock to simpler, rather mainstream pop/rock music. However, many others were celebrating the new YES, rising from the ashes of Cinema – a band formed after the disbandment of YES in 1981 and consisting of bassist Chris Squire, drummer Alan White, singer Trevor Rabin and former YES keyboardist Tony Kaye. On top of that Jon Anderson was also on board, resuming his duties as a vocalist. The album showcased a fresh, innovative mash-up of progressive, electronic and typical ‘80s hard rock sounds.
“Owner of a Lonely Heart” from “90125” is YES’ one and only song to ever top the charts. In addition to being their most instantly recognizable tune, the track turned into the ultimate cross-over hit and a staple of ‘80s AOR. The opening killer riffs of Trevor Rabin made the intro of “Owner of a Lonely Heart” one of the most memorable song intros of all time.
Keyboardist Geoff Downes, who previously formed The Buggles (“Video Killed The Radio Star”) joined YES for the “Drama” (1980) album. After that, along with Carl Palmer from ELP, John Wetton from King Crimson and fellow YES guitarist Steve Howe, he became a member of the supergroup ASIA. The band’s debut self-titled album turned into one of the best-selling and most popular records of the ‘80s. Geoff Downes would later on return to YES once again in their Fly from Here (2011) and Heaven & Earth (2014) albums.
YES is one of the longest running progressive rock bands in the history of music. The band released 21 studio albums and 32 compilation albums during their career that begun in 1969 and is still continuing. YES’s latest record, titled “Heaven & Earth” was released in 2014 and is the final album to feature original member and co-founder of the band Chris Squire before he died in 2015.
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.
Huge fan of Boston right here! Where do I even begin? Boston are definitely one of the greatest American rock bands and the absolute staple of arena rock in the mid-70s. Surprisingly, so many people are actually not familiar with their career or legacy, which is quite disturbing because their music is just so beautiful and they are one of the best-selling American bands ever, so go figure… This year (2016), they are celebrating their 40th anniversary and I’m so happy they commemorated this career achievement with a tour. Unfortunately, I couldn’t attend but hey, maybe next time…
Speaking of their beautiful music, I have a lot of favorite songs by Boston – “More Than a Feeling”, “A Man I’ll Never Be”, “Don’t Look Back”, “Livin’For You”, “Peace of Mind” and of course…the exceptional power-ballad “Amanda” (you know, I’m always going for the power-ballads). “Amanda” is such a gentle and heartwarming song, that can’t but make you feel too emotional and sentimental. It’s one of those songs that you wish you’d dance to with someone you love one day. I thought that it’s a good day to remind you guys of this 80s masterpiece and share little facts about “Amanda” which happens to be part of a great comeback album – “Third Stage”. I hope you guys like the song as much as I do! If not, enjoy it!
– “Amanda” is a power-ballad and the first single from Boston’s 1986 comeback album “Third Stage”. On top of that, it’s the only song by Boston that actually topped the US charts! The track didn’t actually get a music video BUT still, became one of the most requested songs on AOR stations! That should tell you something!
– “Amanda” was written and produced by Tom Scholz – the founder and mastermind of Boston! We should emphasize that it’s not a track written for a specific girl, named Amanda – the name was chosen because it fits so perfectly with the lyrics. Also, we should take into consideration the fact that at that time, it was not uncommon for rock bands to use women’s names as title songs! Just remember the success of “Layla” (by Eric Clapton), “Rosanna” (by Toto) and Lola (The Kinks), for instance. (All of these names, ending with an “a” and bringing great success to the songs and the band, of course.)
– Talking about the touching lyrics of “Amanda”, simply put, Brad Delp is singing about telling “I Love You” to his love for the first time. It’s a song about realizing that you’re truly in love with someone and you want to share your life with this person and you cannot hide it anymore. Everyone can find themselves in those lyrics… It just doesn’t matter if it’s too soon or if you can take the other person by surprise…if you feel it with your heart and soul, you should do it! Tomorrow might be too late! Never be afraid of telling someone you love them!
Listen to “Amanda” below:
Babe, tomorrow’s so far away There’s something I just have to say I don’t think I can hide what I’m feelin’ inside Another day, knowin’ I love you And I, I’m getting too close again I don’t want to see it end If I tell you tonight will you turn out the light And walk away knowin’ I love you?
I’m gonna take you by surprise and make you realize, Amanda I’m gonna tell you right away, I can’t wait another day, Amanda I’m gonna say it like a man and make you understand Amanda I love you
And I feel like today’s the day I’m lookin’ for the words to say Do you wanna be free, are you ready for me To feel this way I don’t wanna lose you So, it may be too soon, I know The feeling takes so long to grow If I tell you today will you turn me away And let me go? I don’t wanna lose you
I’m gonna take you by surprise and make you realize, Amanda I’m gonna tell you right away, I can’t wait another day, Amanda I’m gonna say it like a man and make you understand Amanda
You and I I know that we can’t wait And I swear, I swear it’s not a lie girl Tomorrow may be too late You, you and I girl We can share a life together It’s now or never And tomorrow may be too late
And, feelin’ the way I do I don’t wanna wait my whole life through To say I’m in love with you…
Unfortunately, Brad Delp died in 2004 but here’s a live video from Boston’s 2016 tour with their new lead singer Tommy DeCarlo, performing “Amanda”.
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.
Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours” is one of the best-selling albums of all time and an absolute staple of late 70s music scene. The record spawned so many timeless classics – “Dreams”, “You Make Loving Fun” and of course my personal favourite “Go Your Own Way”. The background of the record is pretty messy, as we all know it – The McVies were divorcing, Buckingham and Nicks were in a chaotic on/off relationship, Mick Fleetwood’s wife was cheating on him – I mean come on!! Imagine the tension and the heated emotions going around the band! But still, despite all that personal drama and “emotional sacrifices” the group members recorded this outstanding record! I have no idea how they did that…
Anyhow, I really love this track but not because it’s an open window to the personal lives of two people who loved each other (though in different ways). I love it because Lindsey was a singer-songwriter genius and because I truly admire how those two managed to create something so pleasing amidst the romantic tension…
– “Go Your Own Way” was written by Lindsey Buckingham as a message to Stevie Nicks. It simply describes their complicated relationship. Stevie was quite angry with the line “Packing up, shacking up is all you want to do” and insisted Lindsey remove it. He didn’t…
“I very much resented him telling the world that ‘packing up, shacking up’ with different men was all I wanted to do. He knew it wasn’t true. It was just an angry thing that he said. Every time those words would come onstage, I wanted to go over and kill him. He knew it, so he really pushed my buttons through that. It was like, ‘I’ll make you suffer for leaving me.’ And I did,” she said for SOS in 2015.
(What a way to end a relationship with someone. We don’t know the truth, but I still don’t quite agree with putting such line in a song for your ex. It’s a bit pathetic – at least give the person you loved some dignity.)
– “Go Your Own Way” has to be one of the most bitter break-up songs ever. It’s quite catchy, rhythmic and melodic, actually and sticks with you for some time after you play it. The vocal delivery and guitar are superb! However, there’s this specific harsh, quite sour atmosphere that floats around the track. I mean, it’s quite natural. Lindsey was head over heels for Stevie but she wanted something else out of life. So, he chose to express his feelings by writing this haunting, but beautiful song. The lyrics are quite simple and straightforward – “I would give you my world if you want it, but if you won’t take it from me, you can just go your own way…”
Go Your Own Way Lyrics
Loving you Isn’t the right thing to do How can I ever change things that I feel?
If I could Baby I’d give you my world How can I When you won’t take it from me?
You can go your own way Go your own way You can call it another lonely day You can go your own way Go your own way
Tell me why Everything turned around Packing up Shacking up’s all you wanna do
If I could Baby I’d give you my world Open up Everything’s waiting for you
You can go your own way Go your own way You can call it another lonely day You can go your own way Go your own way
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.
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 James “Midge” Ure 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?”
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.
The 8th studio album of The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was released today in 1967! This is one of those records that don’t really need an introduction, accompanied by a bunch of words expressing how great and impressive it is. What do we need to understand and remember, though, is that this record is one of the most essential and unsurpassed albums ever made and its influence, contributions and success will forever remain unmatched. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is simply the holy grail of rock music; an absolute breakthrough masterpiece that features adventurous elements of rock&roll, classical music, psychedelia and art rock, all racing together on superior studio technology. The Beatles were fearless; boundaries were demolished and the ultimate achievement was reached. It’s been almost 50 years since its release but this record still remains the greatest musical statement of all time!
Let’s look through some facts about Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and listen to some music!
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is #1 on Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time”
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band spent 27 weeks at the top of the album charts in the UK and 15 weeks at #1 on the USA charts as well. It’s also the third best-selling album in the UK with over 5.1 million copies being sold.
Sgt. Pepper band is the name of the alter ego group they chose to present themselves as. This alter ego band gave them freedom and flexibility to experiment and explore new musical directions.
The Beatles spent over 129 days and 700 hours on the LP which was 30 times more than they did on their debut album “Please Please Me”.
George Martin – the producer of the record explained that Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was an attempt to match Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds. “Without Pet Sounds, Sgt. Pepper never would have happened … Pepper was an attempt to equal Pet Sounds,” Martin stated.
The album cover art cost more than £3000 which was quite expensive at that time. It was designed by British pop artists Peter Blake and Jann Haworth. The collage includes 57 photos and 9 waxworks of famous people, such as actors, scientists and writers, including Bob Dylan, Marlon Brando, Marilyn Monroe, Stan Laurel, Oscar Wilde, Lewis Caroll and many more. Lennon wanted to include Jesus and Hitler, however his ideas were rejected.
Time magazine described the record as “a historic departure in the progress of music”.
The lyrics were printed in full on the back cover of the record. This was done for the first time on a rock LP.
Paul sings five lead vocals; John sings three; John and Paul share the lead on two; Ringo sings lead on one song and George, Paul and John share the lead on one song as well.
‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’ was thought to be a reference to LSD. However, John stated that it was from a drawing made by his 4-year old son Julian.
All the songs were written and composed by Lennon–McCartney except “Within You Without You”, which was written by George Harrison.
The total length of the album is 39:52 as it includes 13 songs.
Paul wrote and sang lead on the title track “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”. Three days after the record came out, the Jimi Hendrix Experience opened a show with their interpretation of the track.
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is a record with songs designed in a way so that they couldn’t be performed live. The Beatles were embracing the studio experience and adopted numerous experimental approaches that simply cannot be adjusted for a live performance.
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~
Today the world woke up to some horrible news – at the age of 57, one of the most prolific and important music icons Prince, has died. I cannot believe we have lost another legend…
Prince was much more than a talented artist – he was a master of music and a humanist, who without fear supported everything that mattered and meant a lot to him by expressing it through his art. Yes, Prince’s music was not just music – it was a pure art! Prince was a prolific songwriter, gifted multi-instrumentalist and one of the most talented producers and music engineers. Not to mention that he was one of the most dynamic stage personas in the industry. Prince was full of so many great ideas – not only he wrote his own songs, but he wrote so many hit songs for other artists as well! He was also one badass guitar player – his unique use of the guitar as a rhythm instrument is one of the many things that distinguished him. He is also the creator of the so called “Minneapolis Sound” – a very distinctive sound, driven by synthesizers and drum machines on top of rhythmic guitars.
Throughout his career, Prince has sold more than 100 million records and has released 39 studio albums and more than 100 singles! Needless to say, these numbers speak for themselves – he was extraordinary and people loved his music! Prince was a true rock ‘n’ roll pioneer with music that is absolutely timeless. He was also one of the reasons why MTV broke the racial barrier – he was a true symbol and a fighter for the rights of all African-Americans.
Among all of his brilliantly written songs, I have to say his greatest hit remains the 8 minute long epic ballad called “Purple Rain”. The song is the title track from his 1984 album of the same name, which is the soundtrack of his rock musical drama film, again titled “Purple Rain”. The song is considered as one of his most signature works and he even won an Oscar for it! This masterpiece captivated the audience by its unique combination of rock, gospel, pop and orchestral music. It is considered as one of the greatest songs of all time…
I grew up listening to Prince and I truly hold him dear – his influence and musicianship go far beyond any reason. He was much more than a commercially successful artist – he was an inspiration and one of the most important figures that changed the course of music! In memory of Prince, I decided to prepare a little tribute publication and focus a little bit more on his most famous work – “Purple Rain”. I truly admire and love this song and have always been extremely captivated by the beautiful lyrics. I listen to it quite often because – well, because it’s one of a kind song! Let’s remember this fine piece of art and think of him…Good night, sweet prince…
“…I never meant to cause you any sorrow I never meant to cause you any pain I only wanted one time to see you laughing I only want to see you laughing in the purple rain
Honey I know, I know, I know times are changing It’s time we all reach out for something new That means you too You say you want a leader But you can’t seem to make up your mind I think you better close it And let me guide you to the purple rain
Purple rain Purple rain Purple rain Purple rain
If you know what I’m singing about up here C’mon raise your hand
Purple rain Purple rain
I only want to see you, only want to see you In the purple rain…”
~ The song is entirely written by Prince, however at first he actually wanted Stevie Nicks to write the lyrics for “Purple Rain”.
~ Originally, the song was 11 minute long, however a verse and a chorus were cut out. Some of the original lyrics that were taken out of the song for being too inappropriate are the following: “Honey I don’t want your money, no, no. I don’t even think I want your love. If I wanted either one I would take your money and, I want the heavy stuff.”
~ The song was recorded during a benefit concert for the Minnesota Dance Theater at the First Avenue nightclub in Minneapolis on August 3, 1983.
~ Prince was very worried that the song had a very similar sound to that of Journey’s “Faithfully”. He called Jonathan Cain and asked him to hear it after which Jonathan said that it was “OK” since the songs shared just a few common chords.
~ The movie “Purple Rain” grossed more than $80 million at the box office and became one of the most essential movies of the era.
~ “Purple Rain” soundtrack spent 24 weeks at number 1 on the Billboard charts. The song, however hit only number 2, behind “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” by Wham!
~ Many people were quite confused and wondering about the true meaning of the song and its lyrics. “When there’s blood in the sky – red and blue = purple.. .Purple rain pertains to the end of the world and being with the one you love and letting your faith/god” guide you through the purple rain,” he said.
~ However…according to his band mate Lisa Coleman, the song symbolizes “a new beginning. Purple, the sky at dawn; rain, the cleansing factor…”
~ Prince gave one of the most memorable Super Bowl halftime moments at the 2007 game when he performed “Purple Rain”. The stadium turned dark and purple which created an amazing visual experience. Appropriately, the song was played during a downpour at the stadium!!!
~ In order to fully understand the lyrics and the meaning of the song, one has to watch the movie. Many people say that this song is dedicated to his traumatic childhood and his father, who used to physically abuse him when he was a child or that it’s about the relationship his mom and dad had. To other people, however this song goes beyond that and carries a more philosophical and deeper meaning or it is simply about loving someone who doesn’t feel the same way because he/she is already in a loving relationship with someone…. He doesn’t want to ruin this girl’s life but he still wants her close to him, maybe as a friend… To me personally, this song can have many interpretations depending on the person listening to it. I feel like this song is about a very deep and strong desire that will most likely never happen – you are so inlove with someone but due to circumstances you cannot be together…
Today we are going to talk about one of my favorite classic rock bands – Judas Priest. Actually I haven’t been a die-hard fan of Judas Priest for that long (in comparison with other bands, such as Ramones or Def Leppard, for instance), however, I got instantly captivated by the music of those metal Gods and now I can’t really stop listening to their classics or imagine a day without playing “Turbo Lover” or “Living After Midnight” (those two songs in particular are a instant mood changer for me)…
A couple of days ago, we actually got some great news – Judas Priest are back in the studio, ready to blow our minds away with new and awesome music. In the spirit of this incredible news and because I love and respect the band so much, I’ve decided to prepare a little informative publication for my readers and for myself, actually. I consider Judas Priest as one of the most essential and influential bands in the rock music scene, so regardless of whether you are a crazy JP’s fan or not, there are some things you have to know about the band – some essential band profile characteristics. Also, in case some of you guys have forgotten about their most appreciated albums and loved songs, this publication might refresh your memory! Now – let’s talk details!
~Judas Priest are a heavy metal band, formed in Birmingham, England, back in 1969.
~ The inspiration for the band name was Bob Dylan’s 1967 song “The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest”. Bruno Stapenhill was the one who came up with the name. The band was also regularly rehearsing at Dylan’s house in Stone Cross.
~ Judas Priest revolutionized heavy metal fashion. They were famous for their image of S&M leather, spikes and other rather taboo and provocative clothing which became very influential during the glam metal era of the 80s.
~ During the 70s, Judas Priest struggled by going through numerous lineup changes, unsupportive producers and basically had no major commercial success. However, during the 80s, things completely changed for them, as they adopted simpler and friendlier sound.
~ So far, Judas Priest have 17 studio albums, 6 live albums, 6 compilation albums, 10 video albums and 33 singles. The band have sold more than 40 million albums worldwide, with 12 million copies in the United States.
~ Their 1980 album “British Steel” is the album responsible for their major success and public attention during the era. “Breaking the Law”, “United”, and “Living After Midnight” were the songs, released as singles. The Guardian also named “British Steel” as the record that defined heavy metal.
~ The album “British Steel” takes its name from Judas Priest guitarist Glen Tipton who was once an apprentice at British Steel – a metal manufacturing company.
~ In 1985, two teenagers shot themselves after listening to Judas Priest’s album “Stained Class”. They were unsuccessfully sued by the mother of the kid who survived. He claimed that subliminal messages on the song “Better By You, Better Than Me” had caused those suicide attempts.
(P.S. I don’t know about you guys, but the only thing that this song makes me do is turn the volume to the max…)
~ Judas Priest’s tenth studio album, titled “Turbo”, released in 1986, marked the band’s first use of guitar synthesizers.
~ Before becoming the lead singer of Judas Priest, Halford was a lighting engineer for stage productions. He transferred his love for theatrics and light effects to the band’s concerts, by using various smoke machines, spotlights and numerous other visual effects. A trademark of the band is his stage entrance on a motorcycle.
~ Singer Rob Halford had a temporal departure from the band in the early 1990s. Faced with an ever-growing demand for a reunion, Rob Halford returned triumphantly for the release of the CD box set “Metalogy”, which was followed by a European tour and new album – “Angel of Retribution” (2005).
~ Tim “Ripper” Owens replaced Rob Halford as a lead singer in 1996. Owens turned from a die-hard fan of the band to their frontman in a night. He recorded 2 albums with his heroes. The 2001 movie “Rock Star” – telling a story about a tribute band singer who is asked to join the real band is loosely based on Owens’ life.
~ In 2010, Judas Priest won a Grammy for Best Metal Performance, for their song “Dissident Aggressor”.
~“Redeemer of Souls”, released in 2014, is Judas Priest’s highest charting position album so far – it peaked at number 6 on the Billboard 200 chart. It also marked their first top-10 debut album in the US.
~ On Season 25 of the Simpsons, Judas Priest were called “black metal”. In the following week’s episode, an apology was given – Bart Simpson wrote “Judas Priest is not death metal” on the black board.
After the nice feedback and overall audience response for the previous informative publication I made about Bon Jovi –“10 Facts You Probably (don’t) Know about Bon Jovi ” , I decided that I should make similar posts about other classic rock bands as well. Then, I thought that it’s been a while since I last wrote something about my most favourite classic rock band – Def Leppard, so here we are… The following publication will present some interesting facts and details about the band, accompanied by some of their most famous and loved songs. I know that there are many Def Leppard fans like me out there, so for some of you these stories and facts might be well-known. However, there are people who might also not be so familiar with the band. This publication is for everyone who wants to know more or re-fresh their fan memory. I do hope you enjoy it!
Before I continue, I would like to say a few words about the band and their legacy. Def Leppard debuted in 1980 with their excellent album “On through the Night”. That album launched the professional career of one of the most appreciated and respected rock bands in the world. With a bit of uncertainty and yet unrefined and not very well-polished sound, Def Leppard jumped on the rock music scene of the 80s with hopes and dreams of becoming the next “Led Zeppelin”. As years, projects and numerous hardships went by, the band members, as well as their sound significantly grew and evolved and as a result, they created some of the most well-written and highly-processed album of the era. Of course, we should mention the help of top producer Mutt Lange who was by their side. “Pyromania” (1983) and “Hysteria” (1987) are the albums that basically ruled the 80s and turned Def Leppard into absolute rock Gods. Catchy, radio-friendly and energetic songs, combined with a mixture of shiny new pop hooks and classic hard rock was their recipe for success. And what a success story that was…and still is…
1.Def Leppard is an ENGLISH band from the steel-producing town of Sheffield. In 1977, Rick Savage, Tony Kenning and Pete Willis were already the members a rock band, called Atomic Mass. Originally, Willis was on guitar, Savage on the bass and Kenning on the drums. At that time, Joe Elliot was only 18 years old. He auditioned for the band as a guitarist. However, during the try out it was decided that Joe is a better singer than a guitarist. He was hired immediately as a lead-vocalist.
2. Joe Elliot proposed the band adopt a new name. He suggested they call themselves “Deaf Leopard” – a name he came up with while writing reviews for imaginary rock bands in his English class. Elliot was always dreaming about forming a band in school. He was creating song lists, band logos and band names while his classmates were studying. Kenning, however, suggested that they should alter the spelling of the name to “Def Leppard” in order to seem less punk rock. (P.S. The name was also a reference to the band Led Zeppelin.)
3. In January, 1978, guitarist Steve Clark successfully auditioned and eventually was accepted into the band. According to Joe Elliot, Steve Clark did a phenomenal job playing Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Free Bird” in its entirety, without accompaniment. Later on, Steve Clark would be know as the “riff master” for his ability to come up with tons of catchy tunes for the band.
4. Tony Kenning – their original drummer unexpectedly left the band in the beginning of 1978. The mother of Rick Allen, who was 14 back then was the one to actually respond to the ad placed by the band, looking for a new drummer (“Leppard loses skins” was the ad’s headline). On his fifteenth birthday – November 1st, 1978, Rick Allen joined the band and eventually dropped out of school. Today, he is known as the “thunder God”.
5. Their first concert was in 1978 in a high school gymnasium in their home town of Sheffield, England. It’s said that only about six people went to it. It is said that the band smuggled beer into the event by hiding it in the drum kit.
6.Phil Collen – a former guitarist of the glam rock band called Girl was hired by the band in 1982 as a replacement of former guitarist Pete Willis. Pete Willis had to be released from the band because of his excessive alcohol and drug abuse.
7.Phil Collen and Steve Clark became very close friends and were eventually given the nickname “The Terror Twins” (a reference to Aerosmith’s Toxic Twins).
8. The famous producer Mutt Lange is the mastermind behind Def Leppard’s High ‘N’ Dry (1981), Pyromania (1983) and Hysteria (1987). He was also the executive producer of Adrenalize (1992) and co-wrote “Ring of Fire” and “I Wanna Be Your Hero” from Retro Active, (1993) and “Promises”, “All Night” and “It’s Only Love” from Euphoria (1999).
9. Def Leppard’s ultimate hit single “Bringin’ on the Heartbreak” from their second album “High ‘n’ Dry” became one of the first rock videos to be played on MTV in 1982. The song’s working title was actually “A Certain Heartache” but they had it changed.
10. Def Leppard is one of the few rock bands that have had two studio albums which sold more than 10 million copies in the USA alone. As many might guess, those two albums are Pyromania (1983) and Hysteria (1987).
11. Pyromania’s (1983) lead single “Photograph” is probably their most essential song, as it completely established the name and image of the band among the mainstream audience. The video for “Photograph” succeeded Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” as the most requested video on MTV. The song became a daily “must play” for every rock station and a standard for any hard rock song in the 80s.
12. Drummer Rick Allen lost his left arm in a car crash on 31st of December 1984, when he was racing in his Corvette outside the band’s home city of Sheffield. Rick flew through the windshield and his arm was ripped off by the seat belt. Despite the horrible disaster, Rick Allen was determined and fully committed to continuing his duties as Def Leppard’s drummer. Eventually, he realized that he could use his legs to play the drums. He worked with Simmons to design a special custom-made electronic drum kit. The other members were very supportive and never thought of replacing him with another drummer. In just a few months, the strength of Rick’s will and his enormous desire to make music resulted in his very powerful comeback. Allen gathered the other band members and played the intro to the Led Zeppelin’s version of “When the Levee Breaks” to show them his progress. According to Joe Elliot this was a very emotionally-intense moment for all of them.
13. Def Leppard’s Hysteria (1987) is one of the few albums which spawned not one, not two, not three, but SEVEN hit singles – “Animal”, “Rocket”, “Pour Some Sugar on Me”, “Women”, “Hysteria”, “Armageddon’ It” and “Love Bites”. Furthermore, up to date, Hysteria is Def Leppard’s best-selling album of all time – it sold more than 25 million copies worldwide. It also remained in the album charts for about three years. (wow!!!)
14. “Pour Some Sugar on Me” is one of Def Leppard’s most famous and instantly-recognizable tunes. It is said that Joe Elliot came up with the title for the song while he was sitting in his apartment in London. He asked producer Mutt Lange for some sugar for his tea. Lange replied by asking whether Joe wanted one lump or two. Joe said, “I don’t care, just pour some sugar on me”…and the rest is history. (I should say that this story varies according to different sources.)
P.S. Upon asked about the title, Joe said, “It’s not for me to say, It’s for you to interpret”… so who knows?Joe also said that “Pour Some Sugar On Me” is “The metaphor for whatever sexual preference you enjoy”…
15. “Love Bites” (from Hysteria, 1987) is one of the most famous power ballads of the 80s. Up to date, it’s Def Leppard’s only number one hit single on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
16. The “Riff-Master” – guitarist Steve Clark died of a drug and alcohol overdose on January 8th, 1991.
17. Between 1991 and 1992 the band held numerous auditions to replace Steve Clark. In February 1992, the band chose Vivian Campbell. Before joining Def Leppard, Vivian played in Dio and Whitesnake.
18. Def Leppard’s album “Adrenalize” was dedicated to Steve Clark and was released a year after his death – 1992. The album debuted at number 1 on the USA Billboard 200 and peaked number 1 position on the UK Album Chart as well. Adrenalize is Def Leppard’s final glam metal album. After it, the band started exploring different music directions and styles.
19.One of the most unique accomplishments of the band was achieved on October 23th, 1995 – Def Leppard entered the Guinness Book of World Records by playing three 45-minute shows on three different continents. The performances were in Tangier, Morocco, London and Vancouver, Canada. The band decided to carry out this rather stressful and extraordinary situation in support of Vault (Greatest Hits 1980-1995).
20. On the September 5th, 2000, Def Leppard were inducted into the Rock Walk of Fame on Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood by their good friend Brian May of Queen.
21. In 2001, VH1 produced and aired a biopic, titled Hysteria – The Def Leppard Story. The docudrama was portraying the band’s history between 1977 through 1986. The first broadcast of the movie produced some of VH1’s highest ever TV ratings. The movie is also available on DVD. (P.S. I thought it was a very decent movie and I recommend it, especially for people who are very interested in knowing more about this awesome band.)
22.Def Leppard won an award for “Favorite Heavy Metal/Hard Rock Artist” and “Favorite Heavy Metal/Hard Rock Album” for Hysteria during 1989’s American Music Awards. They also got numerous nominations in music video and best stage performance categories.
23. Def Leppard have an album which includes only cover songs from their childhood years. The album is titled “Yeah!” and it pays tribute to artists such as Blondie, The Kinks, ELO and others.
24. Up to date, Def Leppard has 11 Studio Albums, 2 live albums, 4 compilation albums, 8 video albums, 33 music videos, 50 singles and 18 concert tours. The band’s latest album called “Def Leppard” was released on the 30th of October last year and it debuted at number 10 on the Billboard charts. It became the band’s seventh album to peak at a top ten position on the chart. The first single from the album is called “Let’s Go”.
25. This past January, Def Leppard released their latest music video for the song “Dangerous” from their 2015 self-titled album.
I am positively sure that the majority of classic rock music fans adore or have at least once in their life headbanged to songs such as “You Give Love a Bad Name”, “Bad Medicine” or “Runaway” by Bon Jovi. But how much do we really know about one of the world’s best-selling bands of all time?
Bon Jovi have been one of rock ‘n’ roll’s biggest success stories, even after the departure of Jon Bon Jovi’s longtime songwriting partner and lead guitarist Richie Sambora. The band launched their career in the glam and pop-metal scene back in the early 80s and ever since then they haven’t stopped selling out shows and providing first class acts. Many glam rock bands lost their spark and eventually faded away. However, Bon Jovi somehow managed to jump from one decade to another with more strength and diversity than any other rock band. Of course, the fact that they had one of the most charismatic and talented rockstars in the world as their frontman also helped a little (a lot)…
Throughout the years, Bon Jovi released hundreds of hits and crossed-over various styles and genres – an achievement which we can’t but admire. With powerful songwriting skills, catchy tunes and sensational albums, the band won over millions of fans. I am sure that many devoted fans are quite familiar with the band’s story and the interesting background events and details that surround their career. However, for those of you who love Bon Jovi’s songs but don’t know much about them, I prepared a little appreciation publication that will list a few pieces of additional information about the band. I hope you guys enjoy it!
1.So far, the band has released 14 studio albums, 5 compilation albums and two live albums. Furthermore, the band has 58 music videos, 14 video albums and 57 singles in total.
2. Bon Jovi’s third studio album – “Slippery When Wet” was released in 1986 and up to date is their best-selling album. It was certified 12 times Platinum by the RIAA and spent 94 weeks on the Billboard album chart. The album spawned four singles, three of which – “You Give Love a Bad Name”, “Livin’ on a Prayer” and “Wanted Dead or Alive” are considered to be their most instantly-recognizable, career-defining and commercially successful songs.
3. Bon Jovi’s lineup has remained solid throughout their 30+ year career. The only exception was the dismissal of bass player Alec John Such in 1994 (unofficially replaced by Hugh McDonald) and the departure of longtime songwriter and guitarist Richie Sambora in 2013. Not many bands can brag about such static lineup.
4. In terms of awards and achievements, among the numerous nominations, the band has won one Grammy award in 2007 (Best Country Collaboration with Vocals for the song “Who Says You Can’t Go Home” featuring Jennifer Nettles), two World Music awards in 1995 and 2005 for bestselling rock artist and a global icon award in 2010 during MTV Europe Music Awards. In addition, both Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora were inducted into Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2009.
5. Despite having 27 hit singles in the USA, Bon Jovi, never topped the charts in the UK. The closest they got was in 1994 with their hit single “Always” which reached #2 on the UK chart.
6. The band’s second album – “7800° Fahrenheit”, released in 1985 was titled as such because that’s the temperature at which rock melts.
7. So far, Bon Jovi have performed more than 2,700 concerts in over 50 countries around the world. They have organized 17 concert tours in total (from 1984 to 2015).Their last one – “Bon Jovi Live!” marked the first tour without guitarist Richie Sambora and was staged in support of their 2015 album “Burning Bridges”.
8. The original guitarist of Jon Bon Jovi lasted for just a few weeks in the band. Dave “The Snake” Sabo was almost immediately replaced by Richie Sambora. What happened with Dave? Well, he went on to form another very successful and loved rock band – Skid Row.
9. Bon Jovi’s first number one hit single – “You Give Love a Bad Name” was almost given to another band – Canadian rockers called “Loverboy”. However, before doing so, Jon and Richie decided to keep it for themselves. (…and thank God they did!!)
10. Bon Jovi were originally supposed to be called “Johnny Electric”. However, a friend of them suggested that they should follow Van Halen’s example and take the leader’s last name as the band’s name.
[+ 1 ] Jon Bon Jovi actually owns the band. This means that the other members are his employees. The management worked quite well, as Jon is the only one who makes any management or business decisions. Quite unique business relationship, don’t you think? He is also the only one signed to the record label.