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~

The Story of DEEP PURPLE’s “Stormbringer”

First time I listened to Deep Purple’s “Stormbringer” was a life-changing moment for me. I may have been just a little girl but I knew well how to experience music and let it flow through my body and soul. After the first couple of times I played it, I knew two things: first, that male vocalist will occupy an important part of my life; second, this will be one of the tunes I will be seeking empowerment and strength from.

I don’t know a person who doesn’t love Deep Purple, even though fans’ preferences when it comes to line-ups are sometimes different. I love the classic Purple years, as well as their grandiose 80s comeback with “Perfect Strangers” but the Coverdale years, I believe, are always what I come back to. That’s why I wanted to give the spotlight to a beloved Deep Purple track of mine, performed by the magnificent David Coverdale. On top of all, he introduced the song to a whole new generation a couple of years ago on Whitesnake‘s 2015 “The Purple Album”. With all that in mind, I believe we have to acknowledge the significance of “Stormbringer” and most importantly, never forget to play it as loud as possible!

  • deep-purple-stormbringer“Stormbringer” is the opening track to Deep Purple’s 1974 album of the same name. It’s the second release, after “Burn” to feature David Coverdale as the lead vocalist of Deep Purple. The album failed to match the commercial excellence of the band’s previous releases, such as the iconic “Machine Head”, “Who Do We Think We Are!” and even “Burn”; however it did give birth to some outstanding classics. “Stormbringer”, “Soldier of Fortune” and “High Ball Shooter” are some of the tunes from the album that surely stood the test of time. Moreover, it will always be remembered as the album that brought the (temporal) departure of Ritchie Blackmore and the album with the perfect Coverdale/Hughes vocal collaboration.

  • Written by Ritchie Blackmore and David Coverdale, “Stormbringer” is a powerful heavy metal blast, showcasing the band’s love for hard solid rock&roll, soul and even funk music. The tune grabbed everyone’s attention with its peculiar lyrics and intriguing title, making it one of Deep Purple’s essential live acts during the ‘70s.

  • The title and theme of the song have always been subjected to questions and constant fan interest. The charismatic mysticism that surrounds “Stormbringer” has often been associated with Michael Moorcock who uses the same name to describe a magical sword, appearing on a couple of his fantasy novels. David Coverdale, however, denied any relation with Moorcock’s works or that he had any prior knowledge of his work, before writing the song.

“I wrote the lyrics about a mythical creature called Stormbringer who, in a surrealistic story, creates a lot of trouble. But I never even considered Michael Moorcock‘s work,” David Coveradle explained in a 1974 interview with New Musical Express.

  • At the beginning of “Stormbringer”, David Coverdale speaks some gibberish which always sounded quite spooky and devilish, at least to me. According to Glenn Hughes, this was in fact the “dialogue that Linda Blair’s character utters in the film The Exorcist when she is questioned by the priest.” [?]

  • “Stormbringer”’s hook line – “Ride the rainbow, Crack the sky” is supposedly where Ritchie Blackmore got the idea to name his next band “Rainbow”.
  • whitesnake-the-purple-albumIn 2015, Whitesnake released “The Purple Album”, consisting of interpretations of classic songs from Deep Purple band lineups Mark III and Mark IV – the time when David Coverdale was DP‘s frontman. Among the remakes were tunes such as “Burn”, “Soldier of Fortune”, “Might Just Take Your Life”, “Mistreated” and of course “Stormbringer”. This newer version of the 1974 gem was heavier, more intense and in my personal opinion, better than the original.

Whitesnake‘s version of “Stormbringer” (The Purple Album, 2015)


 

Stormbringer Lyrics

Comin’ out of nowhere
Drivin’ like rain
Stormbringer dance
On the thunder again
Dark cloud gathering
Breaking the day
No point running
‘Cause it’s coming your way

Ride the rainbow
Crack the sky
Stormbringer coming
Time to die
Got to keep running
Stormbringer coming
He’s got nothing you need
He’s gonna make you bleed

Rainbow shaker
On a stallion twister
Bareback rider
On the eye of the sky
Stormbringer coming down
Meaning to stay
Thunder and lightning
Heading your way

Ride the rainbow
Crack the sky
Stormbringer coming
Time to die
Got to keep running
Stormbringer coming
He’s got nothing you need
He’s gonna make you bleed

Coming out of nowhere
Drivin’ like a-rain
Stormbringer dance
On the thunder again
Dark cloud gathering
Breaking the day
No point running
‘Cause it’s coming your way

 


 

References:
Lyrics retrieved from http://www.azlyrics.com

DEEP PURPLE’s Stormbringer Turns 40 – “I’ve Never Embraced The Expression Heavy Metal Because All My Themes Are Emotional”, retrieved from http://bravewords.com/features/deep-purples-stormbringer-turns-40-ive-never-embraced-the-expression-heavy-metal-because-all-my-themes-are-emotional
“Stormbringer” (Album) Official Wikipedia Page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stormbringer_(album)

“Stormbringer” SongFacts, retrieved from http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=14243

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

10 Essential DEF LEPPARD Ballads

What happens when you listen to your favorite band rocking the hell out of a beautiful ballad? Well, you have the time of your life (at least I do). My immense adoration for Def Leppard comes as no surprise, especially to people who have been following my blog and/or twitter page. To me, they are the perfect rock act and I don’t see myself connect with another band’s music on such deep, emotional level as I did with Def Leppard’s. There’s just something so special about these hardworking Sheffield guys and their turbulent, but exceptional career, spawning some of the most brilliant rock classics of all time! I can talk all day and night about Def Leppard’s accomplishments and unquestionably legacy, starting with their raw debut in 1981 with “On Through The Night”, moving on to the biggest blockbuster of the ‘80s, “Hysteria” (1987) and end up with their latest self-titled release in 2015, proving that they can still blow our minds away with solid rock music. However, now I would like to focus on a specific side of their music catalog – Def Leppard’s ballads. The majority of rock fans are well aware of classics like “Love Bites” or “Bringin’ on the Heartbreak”, but there are a couple of more mellow rockers that deserve your attention. Leppard’s ‘90s releases, especially, are filled with beautiful ballads which unfortunately are not as popular as their ‘80s classics. As a die-hard fan of Def Leppard and a rock ballad enthusiast, it’s my duty to remind you of some of those songs or give you at least one new ballad to add to your playlist! Let’s listen to 10 essential Def Leppard ballads!


Long Long Way To Go (from “X”, 2002)

def-leppard-x

“Long Way to Go” is by far one of Def Leppard’s saddest songs, at least to me. The ballad comes from their 2002 release, titled “X” and is their last UK Top 40 hit single, surprisingly. This tune became a major reason why I fell in love with the album, as it was the first “X” song I heard back in the day. The crying guitars, accompanied by Joe Elliott’s heavyhearted but hopeful vocals are drawing the perfect ballad picture for me. The lyrics are what caught my attention in the first place, as I found myself in them…

“…Then every time I turn around
And you’re nowhere to be found
I know I got a long, long way to go
Before I can say goodbye to you…”

Unbelievable (from “X”, 2002)

def-leppard-x

I always wondered why critics were  judging “X” so harshly and condemning it as Leppard’s worst release, when in fact it is filled with so greatly-written and delicate songs like “Long Way to Go” and “Unbelievable”. It wasn’t as commercially successful as their previous releases but who the hell cares? “Unbelievable” is unbelievably astonishing. Not as gloomy as “Long Way to Go”, but sweeter, more uplifting with such a memorable anthem-like ending. Both ballads are the only two songs from “X” not co-credited by a member of Def Leppard.

“…You don’t say that it’s over, over
Never thought this could die
But you speak without words
Making me feel so damn good, ‘bye
It’s unbelievable…”


Goodbye (from “Euphoria”, 1999)

def-leppard-euphoria

“Goodbye” comes from Def Leppard’s 1999 release, titled “Euphoria”. Written by Rick Savage, this has to be one of their most overlooked ballads, despite being one of their best in my book. The song is a beautiful confession; the protagonist is proclaiming his love and is ready to give his everything for that special person. After all, who wouldn’t like to hear words like that:…

 “…I’d be there if the sun refused to shine
As the night gets colder I will be your shoulder
I give you my heart until death us do part
Every day, every moment, forever?”


Blood Runs Cold (from “Slang”, 1996)

def-leppard-slang

Written by Joe Elliot and Phil Collen, this has to be my favorite tune from Def Leppard’s 1996 release, titled “Slang”. “Slang”, along with “X” are the two albums to which critics didn’t do much justice, despite being absolutely phenomenal. I mean, just listen to the elegant guitars and Joe’s perfect vocal harmonies and tell me how it is possible to say something bad about the song or the album? Not to mention that “Blood Runs Cold” is another beautiful tribute to the late Steve Clark, who died of an alcohol poisoning. Def Leppard turned their immense pain over the loss of their friend to a superb ballad. It carries and important message too:…

“I guess what I’m trying to say
Is whose life is it anyway because livin’
Living is the best revenge
You can play…”  


When Love & Hate Collide (from “Vault”, 1995)

def-leppard-vault

In 1995, Def Leppard released their greatest hits album, titled “Vault”. In addition to their timeless classics, fans got the opportunity to enjoy one newly recorded song, the power ballad “When Love and Hate Collide”. The history of that tune dates back to their 1992 album “Adrenalize”; its demo was actually the last recorded guitar solo by Leppard’s original guitarist, Steve Clark before he died in 1991.
When it was released as a single in 1995, the song became an instant success – as a matter of fact it’s one of their most successful singles in the UK. Not surprised at all, the tune is so attractive; you must have a “heart of stone” to not fall in love with it.

“…Without you
One night alone Is like a year without you baby
Do you have a heart of stone
Without you
Can’t stop the hurt inside
When love and hate collide…”


Two Steps Behind (from “Retro Active”, 1993)

Def Leppard - Retroactive tough girl

Track number 4, on Def Leppard’s 1993 album, “Retro Active” is the acoustic bliss, titled “Two Steps Behind”. It’s also featured on the “Last Action Hero” soundtrack. “Two Steps Behind” is another ballad with a long history, going back to 1989, when Joe recorded the original demo. It was also released on the “Make Love like a Man” single in 1992 (from “Adrenalize”). There are two versions of this tune, equally brilliant; however, for the purpose of this playlist, I preferred to take the acoustic one over the electric.
Joe Elliot wrote the song, but it was Phil Collen’s suggestion to record an acoustic version – a pretty good suggestion, don’t you think? The results were magnificent; I love every note and every word! Its simplicity is groundbreaking.

 “…(Whatever you do)
I’ll be two steps behind you
(Wherever you go)
and I’ll be there to remind you
that it only takes a minute of your precious time
to turn around and I’ll be two steps behind…”

Miss You In A Heartbeat (from “Retro Active”, 1993)

Def Leppard - Retroactive tough girl

The second ballad on “Retro Active” (1993) is “Miss You in a Heartbeat”, which I think is one of their most touching and heartbreaking compositions. Once again, there are two versions – acoustic and electric and I am giving you the chance to check both of them out, because I couldn’t pick just one. Written by Phil Collen as a bonus track for “Adrenalize” (1992), it was originally recorded by The Law, led by the great Paul Rodgers (ex-Free, Bad Company and The Firm). I am not going to compare both versions, I will leave it to you, guys.

“Miss You in a Heartbeat” gives you the perfect chance to say “I miss You” to someone you love…The lyrics are breathtaking:…

“…I believe, that there’s something deep inside
That shouldn’t be from time to time.
I sure found out, thought love was such a crime
The more you care, the more you fall
No need to worry, no need to turn away
‘Cause it don’t matter, anyway …”

“Miss You in a Heartbeat” by The Law


Have You Ever Needed Someone so Bad (from “Adrenalize”, 1992)

Def_Leppard_-_Adrenalize

Let’s move on to Def Leppard’s “Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad”, from their multi-platinum 1992 release, “Adrenalize”.  The ballad was a total success – not only did it reach top chart positions but it turned into one of Def Leppard’s most beloved mellow rockers of all time. It was destined for such enormous worldwide appreciation and I blame it on the relatable lyrics. Def Leppard always mange to convey a strong, engaging message in a simple, yet elegant way.

“…Why save your kisses for a rainy day
Baby let the moment take your heart away…
Have you ever needed someone so bad, yeah
Have you ever wanted someone
You just couldn’t have
Did you ever try so hard
That your world just fell apart
Have you ever needed someone so bad…”


Love Bites (from “Hysteria”, 1987)

Def_Leppard_-_Hysteria_(vinyl_version)

One way or another, we were destined to bump into “Love Bites” because let’s face it, we can’t talk about essential Def Leppard ballads and not mention their GREATEST, most successful one of all time – “Love Bites”, released from the 1987 blockbuster “Hysteria”. The influence it had on the audience was colossal – not only it topped the charts but it completely redefined the importance of power ballads in the last couple of years of the ‘80s. Brilliantly produced by Mutt Lange, “Love Bites” will forever remain synonymous with “power ballad”.

“…I don’t wanna touch you too much baby
‘Cos making love to you might drive me crazy
I know you think that love is the way you make it
So I don’t wanna be there when you decide to break it
No!…”


Bringin’ On The Heartbreak (from “High ‘n’ Dry”, 1981)

Def Leppard - High n Dry

I will wrap things up with Def Leppard’s 1981 power ballad “Bringin’ On the Heartbreak”. Released as the second single from their “High ‘n’ Dry” album, the tune marks a very important point as it set an early standard for power ballads. It’s also one of Def Leppard’s catchiest, least-sweet and “cheesy- sounding” ballads of their career. It was written by Steve Clark, Pete Willis, and Joe Elliott. Mariah Carey did a cover version in 2002 – if you are curious about it, go to YouTube, I won’t be posting it on my blog. The lyrics are very engaging, I love the chorus!

“…I’m sorry but it’s true
You’re bringin’ on the heartbreak
Takin’ all the best of me
Oh can’t you see?
You got the best of me
Whoah can’t you see? …”


10 is never enough…

Let Me Be The One (from “X”, 2002)

Breathe a Sigh (from “Slang”, 1996)

Where Does Love Go When It Dies (from “Slang”, 1996)

All I Want is Everything (from “Slang”, 1996)

You Can’t Always Get What You Want (from “Adrenalize”, 1992, original by The Rolling Stones)

Tonight (from “Adrenalize”, 1992)

Hysteria (from “Hysteria”, 1987)

Too Late for Love (from “Pyromania”, 1983)


References:
Lyrics, retrieved from http://www.azlyrics.com/
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~

In 1992, Eric Clapton Made History With an Iconic “Unplugged” Album

eric-clapton-unpluggedA lot of exciting things were happening on the music scene in 1992. Some people, including myself, consider it to be one of the last years of fine rock music. Among the pile of fascinating 1992 releases was an album, which not only became one of the most important live records but went on to sell 26 million copies worldwide. It even won three Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year, Best Rock Male Vocal Performance and Best Rock Song. When such a tremendous success is at present, we can’t but think about the significance of Eric Clapton’s “Unplugged” album.

In January 1992, armed with an acoustic Martin, backed by just a couple of musicians, in front of a small audience, legendary guitar hero Eric Clapton performed acoustic versions of original compositions, along with a few blues classics for the infamous MTV Unplugged TV series. The concert album became one of the first-ever MTV albums and consequently, a turning point in Eric Clapton’s career.After a series of ’80s AOR jewels, including “August” and “Journeyman”, Clapton successfully went on to complete a once in a lifetime project, which critics often consider his best, most sincere release of all time.The classy, yet charming and immensely soul-soothing “Unplugged” record was as important to Clapton as it was to MTV – it enhanced the reputation of the music medium, proving that it’s a place where icons, such as the great Eric Clapton himself, can freely express and re-define the boundaries of their musicianship.

It takes a great deal of courage and inner strength to overcome the endless trials of life and Eric Clapton surely had to face so many of them. On top of being a drug and alcohol recovering addict and burying good friends, Eric had to experience the tragic loss of his 4-year old son, Conor in 1991. Out of his grief and indescribable pain, one of the most tearing and emotional ballads was born. “Tears in Heaven” debuted as a soundtrack to the movie “Rush”; however Eric Clapton recorded a new version of the song for the “Unplugged” album. The tender and absolutely heartbreaking hit single went on to become one of Clapton’s highest career achievements and ultimately the highlight of the concert record.

Tears in Heaven

Eric Clapton’s most famous work during his time with Derek & The Dominos“Layla” is re-invented into a cozy acoustic bliss on “Unplugged”. Comparing it with the original 7-minute epic ballad would be unreasonable, though many fans found more comfort in this slower, less-aggressive and more easily-digested version of the legendary song. The gentle guitars, along with Clapton’s heart melting vocal delivery, turns “Layla” into the perfect lullaby.

Layla (Unplugged)

One of Journeyman’s (1989) most successful singles – “Old Love” was also chosen as one of the 14 performances on “Unplugged”. The equally deserving revised version of the bluesy tune guarantees an experience of a lifetime.

Old Love

“Unplugged” is filled with fine moments, capturing Eric Clapton’s honesty and pure effortless talent. One thing he never forgets to do on his projects is to pay his respects to the legendary bluesmen he grew up listening to, by immortalizing their songs and introducing them to newer generations. Among the blues classics he chose to cover on “Unplugged” are “Bo Diddley’s “Before You Accuse Me”, Leadbelly’s “Alberta” and of course, Robert Johnson‘s “Walkin’ Blues” and “Malted Milk”.

On the deluxe edition of “Unplugged” we also get to listen to early versions of “My Father’s Eyes” and “Circus”, which would eventually be featured in “Pilgrim”, six years later.

Alberta

“Unplugged” was Eric Clapton’s 90s coming out party. The ‘80s were gone and with them his radio-friendly, AOR, highly produced approach to music. Don’t get me wrong, his ‘80s releases are actually among my favorite records of all time; however we have to keep in mind that musically they did reflect the time period. As much as he kept his authenticity as a bluesman, those ‘80s records still fall under the category of contemporary ‘80s soft rock. Then, when the ‘90s came, Clapton took off on a new journey – a journey of self-discovery and absolute frankness. That’s exactly why “Unplugged” became so enormously successful – it was the perfect “what you see is what you get” record. Eric Clapton just rose from the ashes with ease and comfort. You could feel his confidence and sincerity coming out of every note.

No wonder “Unplugged” won three Grammy Awards and sold millions of copies all over the world. The audience already knew and loved Clapton but this stripped down album, featuring new interpretations of his classics gave them a new perspective. This album revitalized his career and I think it helped him move on with his life, after the tragic loss of his son. On top of it all, the biggest musical force – MTV, was backing him up. After the enormous popularity of “Unplugged”, the show turned into a much bigger force, hosting some of the most talented musicians of all time – Roxette, Nirvana, Bruce Springsteen, Eagles and so on.

Familiar, relaxing, cozy…what else can I say? “Unplugged” celebrates a career of an outstanding musician and because of its unique format you can feel like you are a part of the audience and the whole experience. It has been over 20 years since its release, but this concert album will forever remain one of the highest moments of Eric Clapton’s career and as a matter of fact, one of the biggest legacies of MTV.


…You can listen and watch the entire show here:


References:
“Unplugged” Official Wikipedia Page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unplugged_(Eric_Clapton_album)
P.S. I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the rights and credits go to the owners and/publishers.
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~

Remembering Greg Lake (1947-2016)

greg-lake-65I am writing this publication with tears in my eyes but I really felt like saying a little something to the person whose voice and music brought me so much comfort and joy when I really needed them. Greg Lake passed away on the 8th of December 2016 (age 69) after he lost a long battle with cancer. He was the frontman of King Crimson and Emerson, Lake & Palmer – two bands that defined progressive rock and completely changed the course of music history with their extraordinary musicianship, experimentation with hard rock and symphonic elements, profound lyrics and never-seen before technicality. Two unbelievably talented bands, both led by Greg Lake – one of the most emotionally-fueled voices of rock music; a voice that always found a way to touch people’s souls and make them fly. I cannot believe we lost him…

My progressive rock journey started with ELP and in particular the song “Still…You Turn Me On”. I will always remember how immensely captivated I was by the bizarre, but gorgeous instrumentation, stunning lyrics and of course, Greg’s vocals that just sent me to another dimension. I felt so attracted to this song; my body, my mind instantly reacted and by the time I knew it, I was already listening to their entire discography. ELP opened a new chapter of my life and for that I will always love them. “Brain Salad Surgery”, “Trilogy”, “Pictures at an Exhibition” – all albums that showed me the true depth of music. One reason why I connected so much with the band was of course Greg Lake. His tender, calming voice was there to help me fall asleep while I was going through some tough times and couldn’t even close my eyes; his music guided me through the dark roads of despair and stress. They say that music helps the pain fade; for me, it was the music of ELP, fronted by Greg that helped me fight my demons and made me feel alive again.

After ELP, I moved on to the debut album of King Crimson “In the Court of the Crimson King” which many people refer to as “the birth of progressive rock”. In songs such as “Epitaph”, Greg perfectly demonstrates how immensely talented he is. I could listen to that song for ages and never get tired of hearing his mind-altering delicate voice. Just listen to his isolated vocals – that’s the kind of experience you will never get from music, being released nowadays. Greg Lake delivered sadness, comfort, happiness, sorrow…the whole rainbow of emotions trough his singing and believe me, for that he will always be appraised and loved.

Keith Emerson died earlier in 2016 and now we lost Greg Lake in the last month of 2016. Carl Palmer remains the third and final member of ELP to be alive. I am still in shock and refuse to believe that one of my favorite bands is down to its final piece. 2016 took so many lives and in my book it’s simply going to be remembered as “the year music died”.

No one is ever prepared and the loss is huge but I am glad that the world was able to witness his musical creativity, passion and vision. Greg Lake will be remembered as a first-class producer with a heavenly voice and an unforgettable approach to music. I will remember him as the artist who lovingly brought harmony and peace in my life. Thank you so much for your music! Rest in peace, my love….


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~

Bon Jovi – “This House Is Not For Sale” Album Review

bon-jovi-this-house-is-not-for-sale

This House Is Not For Sale

Released: November 4, 2016
Genre: Hard Rock
Producer(s): Jon Bon Jovi & John Shanks
Label: Island
Length: 49:08

this-house-is-not-for-sale-bon-jovi-2-1

buy-from-amazon


OVERVIEW

Bon Jovi are back with their thirteenth studio album titled “This House is Not For Sale”. With guitarist Richie Sambora no longer in the current line-up of the band and a new house label, fans and critics held their breaths in deep anticipation of what will their new music sound like. Many thought that the day Richie left would also mark the end of the band itself. The long and quite exceptional songwriting partnership between Jon and Richie was what held the band together and the main reason behind their rose to stardom. But what’s in the past is in the past. There’s just simply no time to waste when music is so desperately trying to break out of your mind and soul. Jon buckled up and the results are in. He is the type of person who never gives up and is truly dedicated to his music and fans. For that, he deserves all the respect he can get.

Let me start by saying that musicians change, love to experiment and will never stop exploring the endless realms of music. Styles, methods and sounds are evolving and there’s no need to be overdramatic about it. “This House is Not for Sale” is a modern-day rock album that doesn’t really run 100% after the old-school formula. So to make things perfectly clear, if you want to hear some vintage pounding Bon Jovi sound, this might not be the album for you. Previous generations who grew up with blockbuster records like “Slippery When Wet” and “New Jersey”, might get a little bit lost into this new much softer, sweeter and rather mainstream material. The younger fans, however, are more likely to accept and appreciate this record. All in all, “This House is Not for Sale”, is making a clear statement – Bon Jovi still have it in them and are going nowhere!

The opening title track is probably the finest moment of the album. Bon Jovi’s signature formula, combined with some fresh elements, create a perfect new single. It’s safe, well-controlled and unobtrusive but quite appealing and peculiar at the same time. The charming idea behind the lyrics also adds up to the exciting atmosphere of the track. After that, however, things start becoming confusing. The record flows wonderfully and quite consistently, however there’s just so little substance under that chummy, radio-ready facade. Very few songs from “This House is Not for Sale” manage to leave behind a durable spark. Rockers like “Living with the Ghost”, “Knockout” and “Labor of Love” are well-produced and satisfying to a certain extent; however, way too restrained and familiar to generate the “wow” effect. “Roller Coaster” might be a song with a potential, despite the strong “Maroon 5” vibe coming out of it. The tracks that follow lack individuality and don’t leave an impression that lasts longer than their duration. The hidden surprise was found among the bonus tracks of the deluxe version of the record. Just when I lost all hope, the gentle “I Will Drive You Home” became the slap that woke me up. Tender electronic rhythms and Jon’s mellow vocals made the album experience a bit more bearable.

“This House is Not for Sale” is a good pop/rock album with country elements that is definitely well suited and safe enough to be played on the airways during all parts of the day. Unfortunately, innovation and distinctiveness are not among the qualities of this record. The absence of the tougher, hard rock touch of Richie’s guitar is plainly noticeable. Bon Jovi might be back but their new sound is just too unfulfilling. Nevertheless, I will give the record a second chance!

Cheers~

 

Tracklist

“This House is Not For Sale”
“Living With the Ghost”
“Knockout”
“Labor of Love”
“Born Again Tomorrow”
“Roller Coaster”
“New Year’s Day”
“The Devil’s In The Temple”
“Scars on This Guitar”
“God Bless This Mess”
“Reunion”
“Come On Up to Our House”

+ Bonus Tracks (Deluxe Version)

“Real Love”
“All Hail The King”
“We Don’t Run”
“I Will Drive You Home”
“Goodnight New York”

 

This House Is Not For Sale

Knockout

Labor of Love


 

References:
“This House is Not for Sale” Official Wikipedia Page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/This_House_Is_Not_for_Sale
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] THE ALAN PARSONS PROJECT – The Turn Of A Friendly Card

the-alan-parsons-project-the-turn-of-a-friendly-card

THE TURN OF A FRIENDLY CARD

Released: November 1, 1980
Genre: Progressive Rock / Art Rock
Duration: 40:25
Label: Arista
Producer(s): Alan Parsons

buy-from-amazon


OVERVIEW

It’s time for some fine progressive rock, coming directly from one of the pioneers of the genre – the British rockers The Alan Parsons Project. “The Turn of a Friendly Card” opens up a door to the world of gambling by offering a brilliant selection of tunes, dealing with the theme. Often referred to as their most memorable and ear-pleasing work, featuring two of their greatest hits of all time “Games People Play” and “Time”, the record stood the test of time and is still on top of people’s minds when talking about progressive rock. Naturally, it became a commercial success as well, peaking at #13 on the Billboard 200 Chart. “The Turn of a Friendly Card” offers vocal variety and strength as throughout the album we get to hear Eric Woolfson’s delightful debut as a lead vocalist (“Time”), Chris Rainbow, Lenny Zakatek and Elmer Gantry. The record is well-produced, imaginative and highly enjoyable. Definitely one step away from the pretentious, overly-dramatic and world-spinning progressive music of the 70s but it still carrying out its idea in quite the exquisite way.

The sensitive ballad “Time”, the album’s finest work, is a song which can dissolve even the toughest, most resilient soul after just one listen. A song drifting away from the main theme of the album but if I may say their most beautiful work with some of the saddest lyrics in music history…”Goodbye my love, Maybe for forever, Goodbye my love, The tide waits for me, Who knows when we shall meet again, If ever…” If that doesn’t make you feel like you need a hug and a shoulder to cry on, then you truly are made of stone. The essence of the song comes from the superb vocal debut of Eric Woolfson who just makes the whole journey so much more enchanting. The synthesizer-driven “Games People Play” is another classic, captivating with its thrilling intro that transforms into a great mid-tempo rocker. “The Gold Bug” is a spellbinding instrumental that is often referred to as one of the band’s finest instrumentals. “Snake Eyes” is the album’s hidden rhythmic treasure, leaving us with a little sweet reggae aftertaste. The powerful but anxious title track, performed by Chris Rainbow, delivers a strong message with its lyrics, “…And they think it will make their lives easier, For God knows up till now it’s been hard, But the game never ends when your whole world depends, On the turn of a friendly card”.  The song is sending me to another century with its mysterious, quite antique atmosphere.

 “The Turn of a Friendly Card” is an album that can satisfy the desires of both progressive rock and pop fans. That doesn’t mean it lacks imagination or that it doesn’t tempt us with its thoughtful themes and interpretations. On the contrary, it’s one of the most curious and alluring albums from the early years of the 80s. Needless to say, it’s also an absolute favorite of mine.  

Listen and enjoy!

 

Tracklist:

“May Be a Price to Pay”
“Game People Play”
“Time”
“I Don’t Wanna Go Home”
“The Gold Bug”
“The Turn of a Friendly Card” (Part One)
“Snake Eyes”
“The Ace of Swords”
“Nothing Left To Lose”
“The Turn of a Friendly Card” (Part Two)

 

Time

Games People Play

I Don’t Wanna Go Home

 The Turn Of A Friendly Card


References:

“The Turn of a Friendly Card” Official Wikipedia Page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Turn_of_a_Friendly_Card

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~