[’80s Rock Album Focus] GIANT – Last Of The Runaways

giant-last-of-the-runaways

Last Of The Runaways

Released: August 29, 1989
Genre: Rock/Hard Rock/AOR
Duration: 55:16
Label: A&M
Producer(s): Terry Thomas

buy-from-amazon


OVERVIEW

 

Giant’s “Last of the Runaways” deserved so much more than it actually got. Unfortunately, the time wasn’t right for it – by 1989, the heydays of album-oriented rock were long gone. Despite its high production value, melodic quality and outstanding vocals and riffs by Dann Huff, “Last of the Runaways” somehow got lost in the transition period from the ‘80s to the ‘90s. Nevertheless, there will always be rock fans like me and you, who can truly appreciate a piece of art when they see it, regardless of any other factors. The debut album of Giant has a lot to offer – from solid rockers, fueled with mind-blowing riffs, to emotional power-ballads, the whole album is a pure melodic paradise.

“Last of the Runaways” makes a clear statement right from the first tune – “I’m a Believer” is a solid rocker with one of the most chilling, hair-raising guitar intros. What follows next is a beautiful, well-balanced selection of arena rock tunes, perfectly demonstrating the artistic skills and qualities of Giant. “Innocent Days”, “Can’t Get Close Enough” and “No Way Out” are just a few of the dangerously obsessive rock tornadoes that could be heard on this album. I’m saving the best for last – “Last of the Runaways” gives us three of the greatest power ballads ever written – “Love Welcome Home”, “It Takes Two” and of course their most commercially successful song, “I’ll See You in My Dreams”. How Dann and the rest of the guys wrote such powerful and emotionally-charged pieces of art is beyond my understanding, but believe me when I say this – If you are searching for a heart-stirring musical experience, look no further than those three tunes, especially “I’ll See You In My Dreams”. (I mean just listen to those lyrics “…Time, time will never be a friend of mine again, It tries to make your memory fade, but I won’t let it end…”)

Last of the Runaways” wrapped up the ‘80s in an outstanding way, with excellent music craftsmanship and gorgeous selection of rockers. I can’t recommend it enough! Giant’s next step – the sophomore album “Time to Burn” yet again proved that they weren’t your ordinary hard rock/hair metal band. Listen to the songs and I hope you will understand what I’m saying…

Tracklist:

I’M A BELIEVER
INNOCENT DAYS
I CAN’T GET CLOSE ENOUGH
I’LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS
NO WAY OUT
SHAKE ME UP
IT TAKES TWO
STRANGER TO ME
HOLD BACK THE NIGHT
LOVE WELCOME HOME
THE BIG PITCH

I’m a Believer

I’ll See You In My Dreams

It Takes Two

No Way Out


 

References:
“Last of The Runaways” Official Wikipedia webpage: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Last_of_the_Runaways
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: THUNDER – BACKSTREET SYMPHONY

thunder-backstreet-symphony

BACKSTREET SYMPHONY

Released: April 4, 1990
Genre: Hard Rock
Duration: 56:26
Label: EMI, Geffen Records
Producer(s): Andy Taylor
Certified: Gold (BPI)

backstreet-symphony-casette

backstreet-symphony-vinyl

buy-from-amazon


OVERVIEW

I would like to draw your attention to this wonderfully done rock album by Thunder – an often forgotten British band which unfortunately couldn’t become as big as they should have, for one reason or another. It’s an absolute pity because there was and still is a huge chunk of talent over there – Danny Bowes is a brilliant vocalist and he absolutely kills it on this record.

“Backstreet Symphony” was their coming-out party; a debut album, full of enjoyable, spirited and full of enthusiasm rockers. The record doesn’t really offer any groundbreaking surprises in terms of lyrical approach or musicianship, but that doesn’t make it a bad one. From start to finish, “Backstreet Symphony” displays a great deal of skill and class, all wrapped up in a satisfying selection of hard-rockers, power-ballads and even blues-inspired tunes. “Love Walked In” is a terrific power-ballad and the finest moment of the record (and I’m not just saying it because I’m a power-ballad person). “Dirty Love”, “She’s so Fine”, “Backstreet Symphony”, “Distant Thunder” – all sensational tracks you can rock all day and all night with. “Until My Dying Day” is an interesting tune, transforming from acoustic to a quite intense, guitar-driven composition. The straight-up hard rock cover of the Spencer Davis Group’s “Gimme Some Lovin’” adds another star to the record.

The unpretentious, spirited sound of “Backstreet Symphony” is what makes it so good. Any track has the potential of giving you some sweet time. Don’t pick just one, grab and listen to the entire album!

Tracklist:

(1990 Original release)

“She’s So Fine”
“Dirty Love”
“Don’t Wait for Me”
“Higher Ground”
“Until My Dying Day”
“Backstreet Symphony”
“Love Walked In”
“An Englishman on Holiday”
“Girl’s Going Out of Her Head”
“Gimme Some Lovin'”
“Distant Thunder” (CD only)

Love Walked In

Backstreet Symphony

Dirty Love

Gimme Some Lovin’

Until My Dying Day (LIVE)

An Englishman on Holiday


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

The Story of SURVIVOR’s Gorgeous Ballad – “Ever Since The World Began”

survivor-1982

I recently talked about Survivor’s long list of breathtaking ballads and even made a publication that specifically outlines 5 Beautiful SURVIVOR Ballads That Keep On Melting Our Hearts… Make sure to check it out if you are a person who truly appreciates gentle, well-written and gorgeously sung rock ballads!

I briefly talked about “Ever Since the World Began” but this time I would like to 100% shift your attention to this track because I recently discovered that many people are simply not aware of this track or have completely forgotten about its existence. Needless to say, this makes me feel more anxious than it should because the track is an absolute melodic masterpiece and believe me, I don’t get to say that for a lot of songs.

– Coming out of as the second single from the highly successful “Eye of the Tiger” (1982) – the ultimate staple of AOR in the 80s, “Ever Since the World Began” was completely overshadowed by the commercial success and the attention the title track got. Critics often point out that none other song from the album is worthy of our admiration or is as powerful as the title one, however here I have to step in and make it clear that the album is so much more than that. This right here is a perfect example of how one track can completely overtake an entire album. People like me, however, we come in and try to find the hidden treasures and reveal it to the mass because sometimes the most gorgeous diamonds are not on the surface. 

“Ever Since the World Begin” is credited to the songwriting partnership of Jim Peterik and Frankie Sullivan.

– The heart and soul of this song is of course, Dave Bickler’s emotional vocal delivery which gives you a whole new perspective on how talented he is. “Ever Since the World Begin” is a perfect marriage of vocals and lyrics, an absolute match made in heaven.

– In 1989, after a brief disbandment, Jimi Jamison, Survivor’s second vocalist, recorded the song for the movie “Lock Up”. I am not going to compare the two vocalists or the two versions because I love and respect both those outstanding musicians way too much to do it. I posted the two videos,  you decide for yourself.

– Lyrics! Lyrics! Lyrics! We have to always think about the importance of the lyrics! A simple word, expression or a story, told within the boundaries of a song, can have such a huge impact on someone’s emotional state and understanding of the world. “Ever Since the World Begin” is a song that gives you hopes that destiny will simply do its magic and even though you might not understand how it all began, it’s all part of the plan. I don’t know about you, guys, but I really believe in the idea that the road you take with someone, it was all written somewhere, when the world begun. Seasons will change and you will rise and fall, but destiny will guide you and if your so-called predetermined soulmate is right there, next to you, love will always keep you together.


Dave Bickler on vocals (“Eye of the Tiger”, 1982)


Jimi Jamison on vocals (Soundtrack from the movie “Lock Up”, 1989)


 

Ever Since The World Began Lyrics


💕🎶 I’ll never know what brought me here,

As if somebody led my hand,
It seems I hardly had to steer,
My course was planned.
And destiny it guides us all,
And by it’s hand we rise and fall,
But only for a moment,
Time enough to catch our breath again.

And we’re just another piece of the puzzle,
Just another part of the plan,
How one live touches the other,
Is so hard to understand.
Still we walk this road together,
We travel through as far as we can,
And we have waited for this moment in time,
Ever since the world began.

Taking in the times gone by,
We wonder how it all began,
We’ll never know and still we
Try to understand.
And even though the seasons change,
The reasons shall remain the same,
It’s love that keeps us holding on
Till we can see the sun again.

And we’re just another piece of the puzzle,
Just another part of the plan,
And we have waited for this moment in time,
Ever since the world began.

And I stand alone, a man of stone,
Against the driving rain,
And the night it’s got your number,
And the wind it cries your name,
If we search for truth, win or lose,
In this we’re all the same,
The hope still burns eternal,
We’re the keeper of the flame.

And we’re just another piece of the puzzle,
Just another part of the plan,
How one live touches the other,
Is so hard to understand.
Still we walk this road together,
We try and go as far as we can,
And we have waited for this moment in time,
Ever since the world began. 💕🎶


 

References:
“Ever Since The World Began” Lyrics, retrieved from http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/survivor/eversincetheworldbegan.html
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)

buy-from-amazon


OVERVIEW

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

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

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


Tracklist:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

She’s Too Tough

Miss You In A Heartbeat

I Wanna Be Your Hero

Action

Two Steps Behind

Desert Song


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

[’80s Rock Album Focus] BAD COMPANY – DANGEROUS AGE

bad-company-no-smoke-without-fire

DANGEROUS AGE

Released: August 23, 1988
Genre: Rock/Hard Rock
Duration: 44:31
Label: Atlantic Records
Producer(s): Terry Thomas

bad company dangerous age.png

buy-from-amazon


 

OVERVIEW

I would like to go over Bad Company’s “Dangerous Age” album because I feel like it should be heard or remembered and despite the fact that I’m probably in the minority here, I do believe that their 80s and 90s releases with Brian Howe on vocals are better and definitely among my favorites. He just has that perfect 80s hard/pop rock voice and that’s exactly what does it for me.

“Dangerous Age” is a hard rock solid comeback album which followed the AOR trends of the era – polished, melodic and radio-ready sound, sleek production, catchy and fun style. All that fit quite well with the arena rocking voice of Brian. Nevertheless, the record features some pretty sweet rockers, including the strong opening “One Night”; and the instant stand-out track that got tons of airplay, “No Smoke Without a Fire” – a winter song that immediately creates a path to your brain and just sticks there. I absolutely adore it, it’s too empowering, and definitely one of those tracks that should be listened with the volume up there to the max. The title track is also among one of the fines and most enjoyable moments of the album. “Bad Man” and “Shake it Up” are the hidden treasures which definitely deserve a listen (or preferably a two). “The Way That It Goes” has quite appealing melody to sing along with so check it out as well!

Give it a go, that’s all I can say! Bad Company is a great band and a bit underrated so I’m using this moment to spread the word and remind you guys of them. “Dangerous Age” is a powerful but often forgotten AOR album so if you are into that kind of music, this is the record for you. Beautiful vocals, empowering rock tunes, smokin’ riffs and tons of good mood!

Tracklist:

“One Night”
“Shake it Up”
“No Smoke Without a Fire”
“Bad Man”
“Dangerous Age”
“Dirty Boy”
“Rock of America”
“Something About You”
“The Way That It Goes”
“Love Attack”
“Excited”


“No Smoke Without a Fire”

“One Night”

“Dangerous Age”

“Love Attack”

 


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

The Story of BOSTON’s “Amanda”

boston-third-stage-1

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!

boston-amanda-3

– “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:

“Amanda” Lyrics

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”.

 


 

References:
“Amanda” Lyrics, retrieved from http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/boston/amanda.html
“Amanda” Official Wikipedia Page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amanda_(Boston_song)
P.S. I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the rights and credits go to the owners and/publishers.
The publication expresses my personal opinion and in no way is trying to make a generalized statement. Please be kind and considerate when you read and/or comment.
Cheers~

[’80s Rock Album Focus] CHEAP TRICK – LAP OF LUXURY

cheap-trick-lap-of-luxury-1988-2

LAP OF LUXURY

Released: April 12, 1988
Genre: Rock/Hard Rock/ Pop Rock
Duration: 41:55
Label: Epic
Producer(s): Richie Zito
Certified: Platinum (Canada)

cheap-trick-lap-of-luxury-cd

buy-from-amazon


 

OVERVIEW

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – there’s nothing wrong with commercialism, as long as it’s done in a good and tasteful manner. Somehow, I always end up defending these so called “mainstream” records because a lot of people are too blind to understand that pretty much every little tune that came out, especially in the 80s, can be labelled as “commercial” or “mainstream” or “pop”. So the problem here is not why the artists decided to go into such direction, because it’s pretty obvious – they want to attract more audience and make a living. The question is how was this musical product made – is it good, what’s the quality, is it gonna quickly fade away or will it remain timeless? So many albums from the 80s are given this rather generalized characteristic which I really hate and Cheap Trick’s “Lap of Luxury” is one of those awesome albums which to some people is just another record that became huge because it followed the late-80s-pop/metal recipe for success. Yes it did follow the formula but it all turned out so good! The album is definitely not one of those raw and hard rocking and rolling albums but believe me it’s everything BUT bad!

“Lap of Luxury” gathers together a strong selection of rockers in which everyone can find a part of themselves I think. I have to start with the beautiful timeless power ballad “The Flame” which indeed came into their career at a moment Cheap Trick mostly needed it. The song became a #1 hit and it totally deserved it! Emotional vocals by Robin Zander; the lyrics are touching and as a whole you can’t but fall in love with the track – it’s just too captivating and it hits your hard with an underlying slaying power. I personally blame the guitars! The other ballad – “Ghost Town” doesn’t have that special flavor and it’s a bit too simple and blank for my tastes but I don’t hate it. The well-crafted rock hooks “Wrong Side of Love” (my favorite track from the album), “Never Had a lot to Lose” and “Let Go” are the essence of the album (along with the power ballad “The Flame”, of course). All three tracks are energetic, spirited and have such a strong solid sound. The cover of Elvis“Don’t Be Cruel” is such a solid effort! Definitely worthy of checking it out!

What else can I say? 10 good powerful 80s pop rockers; a satisfying album full of good mood and two top5 tracks. I’m not saying it’s their best work (because it definitely isn’t) but I’m standing behind it with all my heart and soul! Listen to the tracks!

 

Tracklist

“Let Go”
“No Mercy”
“The Flame”
“Space”
“Never Had a lot to Lose”
“Don’t be Cruel”
“Wrong Side of Love”
“All We Need is a Dream”
“Ghost Town”
“All Wound Up”

 


 

The Flame

Wrong Side of Love

Don’t Be Cruel

Let Go

No Mercy


 

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

[The Greatest Rock Albums of the 80s] AC/DC – For Those About To Rock We Salute You

1000x1000

When we think of AC/DC’s long music career and their enormous catalogue, probably the first record that comes to our minds is “Back in Black”. This ultimate blockbuster not only changed the game for the band by turning them into international rockstars, but became the second best-selling album of all time with around 50 million copies sold worldwide! Can you imagine the strength of impact this pure hard rock wave had on the world? I wasn’t born at that time but I can still feel it today. How can you top the success of rock anthems such as “Back in Black”, “Hells Bells” and “You Shook Me All Night Long”? It’s indeed quite the task… The bar was set too high and everyone was curious to see how can AC/DC come up with something even better than that…

In 1981, AC/DC went on a new journey as it was time to look ahead and make some new music. “For Those About To Rock We Salute You” is the album that followed up to their highly successful “Back in Black”. The record couldn’t match the numbers of “Back in Black”, however their winning streak most definitely continued.  With phenomenal tracks such as the quintessential rock anthem “For Those About To Rock We Salute You” and the massive hit single “Let’s Get It Up”, AC/DC won the #1 spot on the USA charts. The effect of the album was quite evident, despite always been compared to their previous one. The record has its strong and weak points, however one thing is for sure – it’s indeed one of their greatest albums of all time and I often say that it can easily match “Back in Black”.

The mastermind behind the record is Mutt Lange – a producer with extraordinary abilities, I admire with all my heart and soul. It’s his third and final collaboration with AC/DC, unfortunately.

Brian Johnson was already well accustomed to the new band and things were working out quite naturally for them, as we can hear on the album.

Let’s talk music…


 

For Those About to Rock We Salute You

vinyl ~Released: November 23, 1981
Recorded: May – September 1981 in Paris
Genre: Hard Rock, Rock, Blues Rock
Length: 40:10
Label: Albert / Atlantic Records
Producer(s): Robert John “Mutt” Lange
Singles: “Let’s Get It Up”, “For Those About To Rock We Salute You”
Personnel: Brian Johnson – lead vocals; Angus Young – lead guitar; Malcolm Young – rhythm guitar, backing vocals, co-lead guitar; Cliff Williams – bass guitar, backing vocals; Phil Rudd – drums, percussion


TRACKLIST:

1. For Those About To Rock ( We Salute You )
2. Put The Finger On You
3. Let’s Get It Up
4. Inject The Venom
5. Snowballed
6. Evil Walks
7. C.O.D.
8. Breaking The Rules
9. Night Of The Long Knives
10. Spellbound

56CB59A66.png

buy-from-amazon


OVERVIEW:

In comparison with “Back in Black”, “For Those About To Rock We Salute You” grabs the ear with its laid back, carefree and a much friendlier vibe which was probably a direct reflection of the state of the band at that time. After the phenomenal success they just had, it was quite obvious that they were not as hungry or pushy as before. For them, this album was a celebration of their triumph.

On “For Those About To Rock We Salute You”, AC/DC effortlessly achieve a perfect balance between their typical fierce sound and a more relaxing, radio-friendly feel. It’s must less commercial and heavier which directly ensured their place on the airwaves. The band moved a little bit further away from their punk infused grounds into a more mid-tempo AOR album. However, they did manage to keep that original, “AC/DC-typical” addictive sound we fans love and are so accustomed to.

AC/DC is not exactly the first band that comes to your mind when you think of thought-provoking lyrics. This album doesn’t quite impress us with stunning words, however one think it does is showing us how hard they can hit hard and how easily they can blow the roof off the place. With “For Those About To Rock We Salute You”, I feel like the band presented a more refined technical skills and Brian Johnson was definitely at his top game.

The finest moments of the record would have to be the title track – “For Those About To Rock We Salute You” and the rhythmical and extremely catchy “Let’s Get It Up”, “Inject the Venom” and “I Put The Finger On You”. Plenty of cool verses, crazy guitar riffs and memorable shouts on all of those tunes, however I feel like except the title track, no other song could stand out from one another. Unfortunately, the finest moments of the album end with those four songs. The following tunes doesn’t really inspire with exceptional musicianship or outstanding delivery. The flaws could be easily spotted as we go from one song to the next one. Surprisingly, however, I believe this album possesses a very important characteristic – the more you play the tracks, the more you enjoy them.  

ac dc 1981


 

AC/DC hit as hard as they can right from the beginning. The title track is the ultimate rock anthem that changed the world. The monstrous “For Those About To Rock We Salute You” is an absolute concert staple and the band’s greatest trademark! The song is simply one of AC/DC’s finest accomplishments and a song that can’t but put you in an instant terrific mood! I’m quite fond of the intro that slowly but steadily builds up your excitement. Not to mention Brian’s high growls and impeccable vocal delivery…Just listen…

Stand up and be counted for what you are about to receive
We are the dealers
We’ll give you everything you need
Hail hail to the good times
Cos rock has got the right of way
We ain’t no legends ain’t no cause
We’re just livin’ for today
For those about to rock, we salute you
For those about to rock, we salute you…


 

The following three tracks didn’t perform quite as well as the title track. They all have similar characteristics and impress with a very lively, catchy and enjoyable formula. I am especially fond of “Inject the Venom” which really gives me quite the chills…

No mercy for the bad if they want it
No mercy for the bad if they plead
No mercy for the bad if they need it
No mercy from me
Tell no truth an’ tell no lies
Cross your heart and hope to die
Never give what you can’t take back
Scratch like a cat
If you inject your venom
It’ll be your last attack…

Loose lips sink ships
So come aboard for a pleasure trip
It’s high tide so let’s ride
The moon is risin’ and so am I
I’m gonna get it up
Never gonna let it up
Cruisin’ on the seven seas
A pirate of my lovin’ needs
I’ll never go down
Never go down

I put the finger on you, yeah
My hands all outta control
I can’t stop it gettin’ down on you
It’s movin’ of its own accord
I got fire in my finger tips
Radiate it all to you
I can’t control it
Can’t even hold it…

~

Overall, “For Those About To Rock We Salute You” is a very fine album which unfortunately is quite underrated and will always be compared to “Back in Black”. I enjoy the friendlier vibe and the more refined and natural sounds, however I do wish they put a little bit more effort and try to not play it so safe. I feel like the album sold so many copies due to the huge title track. What happens after it, however, is just a bit unsettling. Don’t get me wrong, I do appreciate the album, however the songs just progressively become less and less interesting. Regardless, I do love those four tracks and listen to them quite often…
Cheers!


 

Credits:
AC/DC Lyrics, retrieved from www.azlyrics.com
For Those About to Rock We Salute You Album Review, retrieved from http://www.allmusic.com
AC/DC official Wikipedia Page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AC/DC
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~

[Saturday Night Song Focus] Daryl Hall & John Oates – Out Of Touch

Greetings!

Due to busy schedule unfortunately the blog had to be left without a daily publication for a few days. For that I am sorry and I would definitely try my best to post things regularly from now on! The first few posts were a bit here and there – I am still experimenting and establishing the blog’s identity and what types of publications I would like to have on here. I was thinking about it and decided to make something like a weekly program – a consistent publication that will appear every week and will deal with a similar issue. I was wondering what it could be and then I decided that I’m gonna turn Saturday night into a song analysis/focus night! Every Saturday from now on, there will be a publication dedicated to a song. Of course, needless to say, the song would be chosen based on my personal preferences and views. I would also like to emphasize on variety – I will try to include different genres, eras, styles, etc. Those weekly song focus publications will also present additional song related media materials such as music video, artwork, lyrics and others. Most importantly, however, the aim of this publication would be to give some background, historical overview and significance of the song. I hope by doing so, my readers can learn something interesting about a song while listening to it!

*drumroll* ….
The first song I am going to talk about is Daryl Hall & John Oates’s “Out of Touch”. I know it is supposed to be a song review; however I cannot just say nothing about those two! Their story began from Philadelphia – the place where soul music bloomed. The duo was heavily influenced by 60s Motown soul artists and we could most certainly hear it in their work. In terms of production and signwriting they were considered simply as white people copying Motown sound. However, in the 1980s they finally established their own style. Believe it or not, they soon invented a very distinctive fusion between rock ’n’ roll and soul music. They called this genre “ROCK AND SOUL” – sounds cool, right? Their sound was carefully crafted by heavy use of electronic elements and they even experimented with funky and futuristic styles. “At their best, Hall & Oates’ songs were filled with strong hooks and melodies that adhered to soul traditions without being a slave to them by incorporating elements of new wave,” – said critics Stephen Thomas Erlewine and J. Scott McClintock. One of their first big successes was the song “I can’t go for that” which topped the Billboard chart in 1981. The song was covered by numerous artists. Personally, my favorite cover of this song is Simply Red’s “Sunrise”. Their success continued with songs such as “Maneater” which also topped the chart in 1982. If I have to be honest, “Maneater” is probably one of my most favorite pop songs from the 80s – it’s just so good! Their sound however was becoming way too soft, so they called Mr. Neil Kernon – a notable heavy metal producer who worked with bands such as Scorpions and Judas Priest. He helped them enhance their sound and make it a little bit heavier. The result was the song I want to present today – “Out of Touch”. Furthermore, I wanted to say a few more things about Hall & Oates before focusing on the song. When we think about the most successful duos of all time, many of you would probably say Righteous Brothers or Simon & Garfunkel or Tina & Ike or Everly Brothers or even Daft Punk. Surprise! According to the Record Industry Association of America (RIAA) Hall & Oates is the most successful duo in popular music! They have seven RIAA platinum albums and six RIAA golden albums. They have sold more than 40 million records which makes them the second best-selling duo of all time (the Carpenters hold the record with more than 150 million records sold). Those two were unstoppable! Great innovators and probably the most definitive blue eyed soul artist of the era!

About the song itself, “Out of Touch” was released in 1984 and was the lead single from their 1984 album Big Bam Boom. It topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart for two weeks in December 1984. Just a quick reminder that back in the 80s it was very difficult for a song to top the charts –since there were so many ground-breaking and prolific artists, a song rarely stuck on top of the charts for a long period of time. As writers and producers of the song, both guys are being credited. Also, if I have to place a specific genre next to the song I would say pop rock, definitely.
The video is just hilarious! Every little element of it just perfectly illustrates what a wild, crazy and irrational decade the 80s was! The MV begins with the “Dance on Your Knees” intro, which is the opening song of the album. Daryl Hall manages to quite well embrace the spirit of the song and as we can see he is totally feeling it – the funny leopard costumes, jumps, awkward dances, overly dramatic gestures and of course – the definitive hairstyle of the era! I just love his style of delivery in the MV. John Oates is also bringing it – he and his extremely odd and bizarre dancing moves are so entertaining to watch. It was obvious that they don’t really know what’s going on but they don’t even care – the musicians of the 80s were all about having fun, feeling good, free and dance crazily. My favourite element of the MV has to be the huge drums and the huge drumsticks! Watching Oates sitting behind those enormous drums and trying to play with the huge drumsticks is absolutely hilarious! The Music Video was also heavily featured on MTV back in the day when MTV actually played music!
I will wrap things up by saying that this is one of my most favorite songs from the 80s! The lyrics are extremely catchy and you can’t but sing with them! The value of the song, at least in my opinion, lies with the distinctive drum and bass elements and in the funky, new wave sound. In terms of vocal delivery, Hall is just perfect!
Nothing more to say! Just enjoy the song!

(Oh and by the way, I am not going to talk about the dreadful cover that was made a few years ago by United Nations. To me it was just one huge mess and the only thing it managed to achieve is to insult the work of Hall and Oates. Not to mention the tasteless and horrible music video.)

Single Cover

daryl-hall-and-john-oates-out-of-touch-rca

MUSIC VIDEO

 

LYRICS

Shake it up is all that we know
Using the bodies up as we go
Waking up to fantasy
The shades all around aren’t the colors we used to see
Broken ice still melts in the sun
And times that are broken can often be one again
We’re soul alone
And soul really matters to me
Take a look around

You’re out of touch
I’m out of time
But I’m out of my head when you’re not around
x2

Reaching out for something to hold
Looking for a love where the climate is cold
Manic moves and drowsy dreams
Or living in the middle between the two extremes
Smoking guns hot to the touch
Would cool down if we didn’t use them so much
We’re soul alone
And soul really matters to me
Too much

You’re out of touch
I’m out of time
But I’m out of my head when you’re not around
x2

Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
(Out of touch)
(Out of touch)

You’re out of touch
I’m out of time
But I’m out of my head when you’re not around
You’re out of touch
I’m out of time
But I’m out of my head when you’re not around
You’re out of touch
I’m out of time
But I’m out of my head when you’re not around
You’re out of touch
I’m out of time
But I’m out of my head when you’re not around
You’re out of touch
I’m out of time
But I’m out of my head when you’re not around
You’re out of touch
I’m out of time
But I’m out of my head when you’re not around
You’re out of touch
I’m out of time
But I’m out of my head when you’re not around
You’re out of touch
I’m out of time
But I’m out of my head when you’re not around

Songwriters: HALL, DARYL / OATES, JOHN
Out Of Touch lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.