Remembering Jimi Jamison and his Final Album – “Never Too Late” (2012)

I don’t think I will ever get over the fact that Jimi is no longer with us. Yes, I do get the chance to listen to his magnificent voice on a daily basis, thanks to the huge legacy he left us with (with Survivor and his solo years); however, the mere thought that this gorgeous artist who had this out-of-this-world talent is gone, makes me feel so emotional, every single time.

Jimi 4I don’t think I’ve shared this before but me and Jimi go way back – way before I even truly knew what rock&roll was. Just like every ’90s kid out there, I was also part of that “Baywatch” frenzy that spread all over the world, including in my home country of Bulgaria. Surely, I had little idea of what was really going on on that show – I was what, like 4 or something, I don’t remember. What I always remembered though (besides the red swimming suits and the beautiful lifeguards) was of course, the opening song – “I’m Always Here”. I couldn’t speak English back then but I was loving this track so much! I didn’t know who Jimi Jamison or Survivor were but I knew how to sing those lyrics with my broken kiddo English/unknown language haha – you should’ve seen me. Many years later when Survivor became one of my most beloved bands of all time and I found out that the frontman was this exact person who sang one of the songs of my childhood, I was mind-blown. It all just fell into place and I guess destiny played its role. That’s one of the many reasons why I love and miss Jimi so much. Way before Def Leppard, Journey, Pink Floyd and the other favorite bands of mine, it was just him. He was always there and he will always be here – in my heart.


I do listen to Survivor on a daily basis and it’s been like this for many years. I personally don’t believe that there will ever come a time when I will get tired of albums like “Vital Signs”, “When Seconds Count”, “Too Hot to Sleep”, “Reach” or his solo albums, “Empires”, “Crossroads Moment” and of course the album I wanted to talk about today, “Never Too Late”. I really want to convey with words how much he and his music mean to me but I don’t think it’s possible. I just know that every part of my existence will love him and forever be thankful for his songs who were there when I needed them.

In 1984, Jimi Jamison joined Survivor, after Dave Bickler left the band….& the rest is history – a solid line of monumental releases, endless tours, going back and forth with Survivor, many collaborations…he was even asked to be the frontman of Deep Purple! He never truly left Survivor, though; Jimi took some time off to work on his solo stuff but ultimately, he was touring with the band till his dying breath.

jimi jamison never too late“Never Too Late” is the last solo album he released. It came out in November, 2012, via Frontiers Records (of course). No one knew that this was going to be his last release but I don’t think we could’ve gotten a more beautiful farewell than this one. The inspiring title, the touching words and and heart-melting songs are just a few of the reasons why I consider this album to be one of the purest, most angelic pieces of music I have ever heard. “Never Too Late” is an album with a message – you need to follow your dreams and despite the hardships of life, despite your broken heart, despite the endless fear – you need to keep going and don’t turn back! There’s just so much soul, so much character and passion within those notes; from start to finish, this album is one fantastic, life-changing, if I may say, melodic rock adventure you can never get bored of. One more thing – just look at the album artwork – it’s astonishing! The eagle is a symbol of freedom, opportunity, progression, determination – all important qualities needed to succeed in life. I think it perfectly suits the sonic atmosphere of the album.

Another amazing thing about “Never Too Late” is that it sounds like a vintage Survivor album from the ’80s. The title track could easily be mistaken for a “Vital Signs” single (it reminds me so much of “The Moment of Truth”). That’s not all!

I don’t know where to begin talking about the mesmerizing tunes you can find on this album. There’s absolutely no way you wouldn’t fall inlove with the playlist (unless you have a heart of stone). Jimi poured his soul out on each one of those tracks and because of his artistic sincerity, the connection is instantaneous (or at least it was with me).

The album opens up with “Everybody’s Got a Broken Heart” – a mid-tempo, spirit-lifting melodic bliss of a song with a beautiful message. Don’t even get me started on his soaring vocals. The title track starts similarly with a distinctive gentle piano, progressing into a motivational, day-brightening melody and a voice you could listen to for days and days… “I Can’t Turn Back” is my personal favorite; I get goosebumps every time I hear its opening – his voice is capable of playing with emotions like nothing else in this wold, I swear. Besides, the lyrics have been haunting me ever since I played it for the first time – “…I can’t turn back I can’t move on I cannot fight the feeling Though I know it’s wrong With the sweet lips of an angel The devil claims my soul I can’t turn back…”
All the tracks stand out with sensational intros – just pick any and you will see for yourself.  Magnificent songs like “Street Survivor”, “The Air That I Breathe”, “Bullet In The Gun” share this characteristic – a captivating intro that plays with your feelings right from the very first second. I almost forgot!!! “Hot Tonight” is another one of my personal favorites – the rhythms, the lyrics…this song keeps getting better and better with every listen!

I wish there was a possibility for me to deliver the entire spectrum of emotions I experience every single time I play a song from this album. I get sad, of course, because I miss Jimi so much; but I’m grateful, so grateful that I found him and he left me and everyone else out there with these beautiful gifts of art. I wish he was still here, releasing new albums, touring with Survivor…but that’s life and we have to accept it. He will never be forgotten.

Everybody’s Got A Broken Heart

Never Too Late

I Can’t Turn Back


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~

Celebrating ERIC CLAPTON’s Birthday with 10 of His Timeless Classics

ericLegendary bluesman, member of The Yardbirds, Cream, Blind Faith, Derek & The Dominos and many more, Eric Clapton, celebrates his birthday today! One of the most prolific and influential artists of all time, turns 72 so nothing but good wishes are in order! Happy Birthday, Mr. Clapton! Thank you for your devotion, hard work and exceptional music I grew up with and still can’t live without! Thank you for making me fall in love with the blues and learn how to appreciate great guitar work and technicality. Thank you for bringing peace to my life with your music!

Not many musicians can brag with a career, as long, fruitful and impressive as Eric Clapton’s. From his strong debut as a young guitar virtuoso in The Yardbirds, to recording one of the most important blues albums of all time with John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers; from a never-ending struggle with alcoholism to self-rediscovery and a powerful comeback in the ’80s, Eric Clapton’s life is surely one fascinating roller-coaster that keeps getting more and more exciting with each step of the way.

To celebrate Clapton‘s birthday, I have chosen 10 of his most beloved classics, including songs from his time as a member of The Yardbirds, Cream and Derek and the Dominos. There is certainly no better excuse to play Clapton all day long than commemorating his birthday! Let’s listen to the blues and forget about everything else! 


 

The Yardbirds – “For Your Love” (1965)

for your love


Cream – “Sunshine of Your Love” (1967)

sunshine


John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers (with Eric Clapton) – “Ramblin’ on My Mind“ (1966)

The Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton


Derek & The Dominos – “Layla” (1970)

LAYLA

Derek & The Dominos – Bell Bottom Blues (1970)

LAYLA


“Cocaine” (1977)

cocaine


“Wonderful Tonight” (1977)

wonderful tonight


“Bad Love” (1989)

eric bad love


“My Father’s Eyes” (1998)

piligrim cclapton


“Riding With the King” (2000)

riding with the king


+ “Spiral” (2016)

Eric Clapton - I Still Do (2016)


clapton70s

… Or play the entire playlist here:


 

P.S. I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the rights and credits go to the owners and/publishers.
The publication expresses my personal opinion and in no way is trying to make a generalized statement. Please be kind and considerate when you read and/or comment.
Cheers~

’90S ROCK BLAST: DEF LEPPARD – RETRO ACTIVE

def-leppard-retro-active

RETRO ACTIVE

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

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OVERVIEW

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

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

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


Tracklist:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

She’s Too Tough

Miss You In A Heartbeat

I Wanna Be Your Hero

Action

Two Steps Behind

Desert Song


References:
“Retro Active” Official Wikipedia Page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retro_Active
P.S. I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the rights and credits go to the owners and/publishers.
The publication expresses my personal opinion and in no way is trying to make a generalized statement. Please be kind and considerate when you read and/or comment.
Cheers~

Overview of DAVID GILMOUR’s Solo Albums

david-gilmour-solo-albums

Where do I even begin? I always get so excited when I have to talk about the musicians I admire and love with all my heart! Forgive me if I’m being too subjective but David Gilmour and his music mean too much to me and I can’t really hold my adoration by any means! It’s not just the music, though. I don’t know him in person (of course) but he always seemed so sweet, kind and beautiful person; he also loves animals and has this very special aura around him – he’s a goodie, I can tell. On a personal note, I sometimes have trouble sleeping, quite often these days, actually. When I’m troubled and sad and stressed and I cannot fall asleep, it’s David Gilmour’s gentle voice, lyrics, guitar and music that helps me calm down and close my eyes. For that, I will always love him.

Whether we talk about Pink Floyd or his solo projects, the David’s efforts somehow always find a way to my soul. I can talk a lot about the whole Roger Waters vs. David Gilmour debate but I think I’m going to save that for later. Bottom line is, you can consider me as one of the few people who prefer David Gilmour’s lyrical, vocal and guitar approach. Yes, I’m not denying the impeccable talents of Roger Waters and I LOVE the classics but the post-Waters era and albums like “A Momentary Lapse of Reason” and “The Division Bell” are my favorites! Pink Floyd aside, I wanted to talk more about David Gilmour’s solo albums because I think they deserve some recognition and appreciation. He will always be admired and critically-acclaimed for his work with Pink Floyd, no doubt about it…But let’s just forget about Pink Floyd for a while and enjoy the one and only David Gilmour. On top of everything, last year he released “Rattle That Lock” which completely blew my mind! He still has it, guys!!!


 

David Gilmour (1978)

david-gilmour-solo

David Gilmour’s debut self-titled album was released back in 1978. He was also the producer. Filled up with gorgeous instrumentals, blues and guitar-oriented rock songs, he managed to prove that he was not just one of the faceless members of a band. I guess, he really wanted to make his own music and focus on himself for a while, as he was starting to suffocate from Pink Floyd. The album itself is not as grandiose or as polished as Pink Floyd’s releases; however it’s so attractive, pleasing and emotional, at least to me that is. The piano-dominated “So Far Away” is an absolute favorite. The single “There’s no Way Out of Here” is another high point that hooked me with its dreamy harmonica details. “I Can’t Breathe Anymore” has that Pink Floyd vibe and it’s definitely a must-hear (I feel like he’s singing about himself at that moment in his life)! Overall, David seems happy on this album and if you love his work and musical approach, you’d enjoy the record as much as I am!

“So Far Away”

“I Can’t Breathe Anymore”


About Face (1984)

david-gilmour-about-face

David Gilmour’s second solo album, “About Face” hit the market in 1984. The record is definitely more radio-friendly, welcoming and pop-oriented than before. Hey, he even included a disco track – “Blue Light” which is really good, by the way! With the help of his friend – Pete Townshend from The Who, he wrote two beautiful, typical 80s tracks – “Love on the Air” and “All Lovers are Deranged”. The soft acoustic tune “Murder” is an absolute “killer” (ha-ha, see what I did there…). “Until We Sleep” is a synthesizer hypnotic mess but wouldn’t skip it for the world!

“Love on the Air”

“All Lovers are Deranged”


 

On an Island (2006)

COPERTINA.pdf

Of course this would be my favorite David Gilmour solo album! “On an Island” was released 10 years ago but it’s still an inseparable part of my playlist. He took his sweet time (22 years) to record it but the results were brilliant. He wrote some of the tracks with his wife – Polly Samson, which makes it even more special! What can I say? – A gorgeous and delicate combination of instrumentals and soul-soothing tracks, proving that David is the real deal! Such a brilliant guitarist, knowing exactly how to both calm your soul and make it fly at the same time. The opening track, Castellorizon”, is a haunting instrumental demonstrating his superb guitar skills, backed up by beautiful orchestral arrangements. Both of the singles, “On an Island” and “Smile” are dreamy and so easy to fall in love with. “Red Sky at Night” is my absolute favorite and the reason is, of course, the thrilling saxophone arrangements which are perfect for my tastes! If dreams can become music, this is what they would sound like! By the way, it’s David Gilmour himself who plays the saxophone on that one. Yes, he is as good with sax as he is with his guitar!

“On an Island”

“Red Sky at Night”


 

“Rattle That Lock” (2015)

david-gilmour-rattle-that-lock

David is definitely not the most prolific musician – it took him 9 years to release a new album and finally we got it lost year! “Rattle That Lock” has been five years on the making and I can only assume how hard it was to choose just 10 songs from all the possible tunes that David and his wife wrote throughout those years. Nevertheless, the result is extremely pleasing. I don’t like saying it, but the title track is pretty much all you need to hear from this album if you are not a die-hard David Gilmour fan. To me, it’s so much more than that, however. The whole album represents such a beautiful cycle – from the first instrumental, titled “5 A.M.” to the finishing (and my favourite instrumental of the album) one “And Then…”, the whole experience is unmatchable. The catchy title song is definitely one of the most admirable and fresh works, released by a classic rock artist for the past years. “Today” is such an enjoyable surprise – a song that starts like a rich aria and transforms into a strong base-driven rhythmic euphoria.

“Rattle That Lock”

“Today”


 

References:

“Rattle That Lock” official Wikipedia Page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rattle_That_Lock 

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~

Pink Floyd – The Division Bell ALBUM REVIEW

Division Bell


THE DIVISION BELL

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

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OVERVIEW:

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

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

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


High Hopes

What Do You Want From Me

Take It Back

Marooned (Instrumental)


References:
The Division Bell” official Wikipedia webpage: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Division_Bell
P.S. I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the rights and credits go to the owners and/publishers.
Cheers~

[The Greatest Rock Albums of the 80s] Def Leppard – HYSTERIA

Def-Leppard-Hysteria

There are a number of essential classic rock albums from the ‘80s and then there’s Def Leppard’s “Hysteria” – the monstrous record that goes way beyond that! In addition to the brilliant technical and song-writing skills demonstrated on this album, “Hysteria” is significant due to the human stories that surround its production and release. Furthermore, till today it remains their best-selling and most successful album of all time! I don’t think something so extraordinary and out-of-this-world can actually be made nowadays. “Hysteria” is the perfect ‘80s rock album – catchy, fun, sexy and full of passion and timeless hard rock hits.

The creation of “Hysteria” took over three years due to a number of hardships the band had to go through. Rick Allen – their drummer, lost his arm in a car accident. Before this tragic event, Def Leppard were still riding on the train of success thanks to their phenomenal album “Pyromania”, released in 1983 – a record that proved that the band is here to stay and change the world! For a moment, though, their future didn’t seem as bright as they thought…What happened? Well, Def Leppard were the unquestionable kings of hard rock and such events couldn’t stop them from continuing their quest. Rick started using a custom-made electronic drum kit and not only became one of the greatest inspirations for so many people, but he became an even better drummer. Now, we call him the thunder God and he indeed is! Imagine the strength of his will and the degree of his passion. He is such a remarkable human being…

“Hysteria” is the last album to feature the outstanding guitarist Steve Clark, before his death. Some of his songs do appear on the following album – “Adrenalize” (1992), however Hysteria’s promotional tours and concerts were the last times we saw 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!

“Hysteria” is produced by none-other than Mr Mutt Lange – the producer I adore and respect with all my heart and soul. His goal was to create an album that’s going to be the “rock version” of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” – an album in which every track is a potential hit single! Well, he did it – “Hysteria” spawned 7 phenomenal hit singles I don’t even know how to describe. From the breathtaking power ballad “Love Bites” to the sexy and timeless guitar riffs of “Pour Some Sugar on Me”, “Hysteria” can just instantly settle down in your heart and never leave it.

Oh by the way, if you haven’t figured it out yet, YES – “HYSTERIA” it’s my favorite album of all time…

Let’s talk more about it and listen to some tunes!

1987 def leppard


 

HYSTERIA

Def-Leppard-HysteriaReleased: August 3, 1987
Recorded: February 1984 – January 1987; Wisseloord Studios, Hilversum;
Windmill Lane Studio 2, Dublin;
Studio Des Dames, Paris; Mixing: February – May 1987
Genre: Hard Rock, Rock, Glam Rock
Length: 62:32
Label: Mercury (US), Phonogram (Original Release), Mercury (2000 re-release)
Producer(s): Robert John “Mutt” Lange
Singles: “Animal”, “Women”, “Pour Some Sugar on Me”, “Hysteria”, “Armageddon It”, “Love Bites”, “Rocket”
Personnel: Joe Elliott – lead vocals; Phil Collen – guitars; Steve Clark – guitars; Rick Savage – bass guitar;  Rick Allen – drums
Certified: 12xPlatinum (RIAA)

TRACKLIST:

“Women”
“Rocket”
“Animal”
“Love Bites”
“Pour Some Sugar on Me”
“Armageddon It”
“Gods of War”
“Don’t Shoot Shotgun”
“Run Riot”
“Hysteria”
“Excitable”
“Love and Affection”

 ~

2006 Deluxe Edition: Disc one
“Tear It Down”

“Ride into the Sun”
“I Wanna Be Your Hero”
“Ring of Fire”

2006 Deluxe Edition: Disc two
Elected” (Live in Tilburg, Holland)

“Love and Affection” (Live in Tilburg, Hollad)
“Billy’s Got a Gun” (Live in Tilburg, Holland)
“Rock of Ages” Medley: Not Fade Away/My Generation/Radar Love/Come Together/Whole Lotta Love” (Live in Tilburg, Holland)
“Women” (Live in Denver, CO)
“Animal” (Extended version)
“Pour Some Sugar on Me” (Extended version)
“Armageddon It”” (The Nuclear Mix)
“Excitable”” (Orgasmic Mix)
“Rocket”” (The Lunar Mix)
“Release Me” (credited as Stumpus Maximus & The Good Ol’ Boys)

hysteria-4f7fb6aa33545.png

vinyl.jpg

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“We’ve always wanted to be a band for the people,” Phil Collen says. “When we started working on Hysteria we had just sold eight million records with Pyromania so we knew we had a fanbase. We weren’t necessarily trying to top that because you can’t go into something saying, ‘Okay, yeah, this one’s going to sell more than 8million copies.’ That’s a lot of records. We just wanted to make a record with good songs that we really liked and that were maybe a little more polished and more modern sounding. Even when we finished Hysteria we had no idea how it was going to do, but it felt like a triumph for us.”

OVERVIEW

“Pyromania” established a very high standard for what should be called a very well-produced and fine as hell hard rock album. In 1987, however, “Hysteria” raised the stakes even higher. Once again, Robert “Mutt” Lange was on board and 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. Undoubtedly, “Hysteria” was not an easy album to make – it took years, a lot of money and tons of planning.

Throughout the years, many critics have claimed that “Hysteria” is just a very well made pop sell-out product that doesn’t really possess any sort of artistic value or originality. If releasing seven hit singles from one album is not valuable and doesn’t speak for a band’s efforts and hard work then I don’t really know what else we should call “valuable and impressive”.

The brilliant consistency and marriage between pop and hard rock can easily be felt as we go from one song to another. To make the sound of “Hysteria” so unique and essential, Mutt Lange went above and beyond by using a variety of technology, vocal and sound layering and adopting numerous other effects to give the tracks a “stadium rock vibe” and “extra solid sound” that pierce your heart and gives you chills the moment you play them.  

Def Leppard’s sense of craft was successfully portrayed in “Hysteria”. This pop-rock guilty pleasure record is filled with killer riffs, exquisite sonics, brilliant hooks and easy to sing along with lyrics. From the ultimate power ballad “Love Bites”, fueled with Joe Elliott’s gentle but rather extreme vocal delivery techniques to the timeless hard rock anthem “Pour Some Sugar on Me”, the album rocks song after song. Bottom line is, “Hysteria” will forever remain as one of the greatest pop-metal records ever. Not to mention that “Hysteria” completely revolutionized the industry at that time. No other rock record managed to impress with such polished production, album length and number of singles. The album and the band simply did the impossible with this album. They also paved the way and set a new and very high standard for all the rockers out there releasing albums.

My favorite thing about “Hysteria” is that there is just no weak song. Even the tracks that were not released as singles are equally impressive and important. The album is very consistent, easy to listen to, easy to sing along with and so exciting. We can just listen to it forever…

Now let’s listen to some music…


 

The most instantly recognizable rock tune of all times! Do I even need to introduce this song? Sexy, fun, spectacular and essential for every rock party! It hit number 2 on Billboard Hot 100 chart and is an epitome of ‘80s hard rock. The song sent sales of “Hysteria” so high that we can surely say that this song is one of the main factors behind the success of the album. The MV is also iconic and one of MTV’s most favorite and played one of all time!

Pour Some Sugar On Me

Love is like a bomb, baby, c’mon get it on
Livin’ like a lover with a radar phone
Lookin’ like a tramp, like a video vamp
Demolition woman, can I be your man?
Razzle ‘n’ a dazzle ‘n’ a flash a little light
Television lover, baby, go all night
Sometime, anytime, sugar me sweet
Little miss ah innocent sugar me…


 

Power ballads were the thing back in the ‘80s. It was essential for every rock musician to have such a song in their album. However, none other is as beautiful and captivating as “Love Bites”. Joe Elliott’s vocal delivery is what makes it so strong and effective. So far, “Love Bites” is Def Leppard’s only number one single on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Following the huge success of “Pour Some Sugar on Me”, the explosion called “Love Bites” shot Def Leppard right to the stars!

Love Bites

When you make love, do you look in the mirror?
Who do you think of, does he look like me?
Do you tell lies and say that it’s forever?
Do you think twice, or just touch ‘n’ see?
Ooh babe ooh yeah

When you’re alone, do you let go?
Are you wild ‘n’ willin’ or is it just for show?
Ooh c’mon

I don’t wanna touch you too much baby
‘Cos making love to you might drive me crazy…


 

This is my favorite songs from “Hysteria” and as a matter of fact I often point it out as my favorite Def Leppard song of all time. The reception of “Women” was not as good as Def Leppard might have expected and many believe it’s the least interesting song from “Hysteria” but I can never agree with such statements. The intro, heavy bass and lyrics hit so hard that I can’t even explain it. Just listen and tell me how come this awesome track flopped?

Women

In the beginning
God made the land
Then He made the water and creatures, then He made man

He was born with a passion, love and hate
A restless spirit with a need for a mate
But there was somethin’ that was missin’, somethin’ lost
So he came with the answer, here’s what it cost

One part love, one part wild
One part lady, one part child
I give you…


Some other memorable tunes from the album…

Rocket

Animal

Love And Affection

 

~

“Hysteria” is THE album of the ‘80s! It has everything I ever wanted from an album and there’s a reason why it’s my favorite one of all time! Every song is a piece of art, fueled with so many emotions. You can actually feel their immense passion, devotion and determination as u go from one track to another. This album meant a lot to them and they poured out their souls in it. Most importantly, “Hysteria” is the perfect combination of music technology, outstanding craftsmanship and the strength of human will and ambition. The greatest records are not the ones who sound good but the ones that allow you to hear the people inside of them. I can never have a more favorite album than this one…

Cheers!


 

Credits:
Def Leppard lyrics, retrieved from http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/defleppard
Def Leppard Official Wikipedia Page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Def_Leppard
“Hysteria” Album Review, retrieved from http://www.allmusic.com
28 Years Ago: Def Leppard Unleash ‘Hysteria’, retrieved from http://loudwire.com/def-leppard-hysteria-album-anniversary/
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~

Happy Birthday, Eric Clapton!

Happy Birthday, Mr Clapton!

Today we celebrate the 71st birthday of none other than Mr Eric Clapton – one of the most brilliant rock musicians in the world and one of my personal favorite rockstars of all time. He is such an inspirational figure and I don’t know any other musician that possesses so much talent, passion and devotion to music. Despite being 71 years old, he keeps on making music and touching the souls of millions of people around the world. Clapton is very special to me as I grew up listening to songs such as “Wonderful Tonight” and “Let It Rain”. In the spirit of his birthday, I decided to make a little publication, in appreciation of the limitless talent of this guitar God! I hope you guys would enjoy it and remind yourself of some of his most remarkable tunes throughout the years.


 

Eric Clapton was born on the 30th of March 1945 in Ripley, Surrey, England. His early career is associated with the infamous blues-oriented rock band – The Yardbirds. He stayed with them from 1963 till 1965. During that time, Clapton developed his own signature style and quickly became one of the most talked-about guitarists in the British music scene.

YARDBIRDS.jpg
The Yardbirds

The Yardbirds’ manager, Giorgio Gomelsky, was actually the one who gave Eric Clapton his famous nickname “Slowhand” in early 1964.

In Clapton – The Autobiography (2007), Eric said, “On my guitar I used light-gauge guitar strings, with a very thin first string, which made it easier to bend the notes, and it was not uncommon during the most frenetic bits of playing for me to break at least one string. During the pause while I was changing my string, the frenzied audience would often break into a slow handclap, inspiring Giorgio to dream up the nickname of ‘Slowhand’ Clapton.”

 

The following year, Clapton undertook numerous projects with bands, such as John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers and the Glands. By 1966 – the time he formed his new band Cream, Clapton was already a well-established and extremely influential guitar player. Everyone was captivated by his talent and wanted to hear more and more…
The years he spent with Cream helped him reach his full song writing potential, which grabbed the attention of the American audience – something that was not achieved before that. Despite the Cream’s commercial success in both USA and Europe, the band had a relatively short life due to conflicts between the members and alcohol abuse. Nevertheless, they are still considered as one of the most influential rock bands of the era. Songs such as “Sunshine of Your Love” and “Crossroads” keep on living and reminding us of their musical virtuosity.

CREAM
Cream

 

 

CLAPTONISGOD

During the autumn of 1967, an admirer of Clapton spray-painted the famous slogan “Clapton is God” on an Islington Underground station. There a very famous photograph of this wall, capturing a dog that pees on the same wall…

“I never accepted that I was the greatest guitar player in the world. I always wanted to be the greatest guitar player in the world, but that’s an ideal, and I accept it as an ideal, ” he says…

 

ERIC - DEBUT ALBUM.jpg
“Eric Clapton” – album cover

Eric Clapton’s next musical project was the supergroup Blind Faith (1969). In addition to being a member of Blind Faith, he was also participating in various other acts in bands such as Delaney and Bonnie and Friends, the Plastic Ono Band, playing lead guitar in some of Lennon’s songs and many others. He was probably the busiest guitarist at that time. In 1970, he finally released his first self-titled album, including masterpieces such as “Let it Rain”, “After Midnight” and “Blues Power”.

 

 

 

 

 

LAYLA
“Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs” album cover

Originally called “Eric Clapton and Friends”, his next band – “Derek and the Dominos” was the first step towards a decade full of love and turbulence, mixed with rehab and immense commercial success. His deep infatuation for George Harrison’s wife Pattie Boyd inspired the band’s first and only album “Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs” (1970) and gave birth to one of Clapton’s most famous and loved tunes of all time – “Layla”.

 

 

 

ERIC CLAPTON IN THE 70S ~

 

 

ERIC CLAPTON IN THE 80S~

 

 

 

The beginning of the 90s was very emotional for Clapton, as he lost his four-year old son. His sadness was channeled into the song “Tears in Heaven” for which he received six Grammy awards.

Since then, Clapton has released 11 studio albums and we are waiting for his 12th one which is going to be released on May 20th this year. Personally, among all the albums he made throughout the years, an honorable mention should receive “Riding with the King” (2000), “Me and Mr. Johnson” (a tribute to the legendary bluesman Robert Johnson, 2004), “Back Home” (2005), “Clapton” (2010) and “Old Sock” (2013). If you are a fan of Clapton, those albums are a must!

 

 

ERIC - DISCOGRAPhy.jpeg

 

Needless to say, Eric Clapton is a true legend – one of the most respected and appreciated guitarists and music-writers of all time. People love him for what he is – a talented and passionate musicians and a true role model. Throughout his life, he had to fight with alcohol and drug abuse, see the death of his son and go through so many other personal and professional challenges. However, his love for music was always there to bring happiness, joy – a little bit of every feeling possible to the people all over the world. His spirit is unbreakable and his career is unstoppable. Thank you, Eric for all the songs and emotions you brought to this world. I hope you never stop making music! We love you…

xoxoxox


Credits:
“How did Eric Clapton got his nickname “slowhand”? , Retrieved from http://www.whereseric.com/the-vault/biographical-information-eric-clapton/how-did-eric-clapton-get-his-nickname-slowhand
Eric Clapton official Wikipedia Page – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Clapton
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/or publishers.