10 Rock Duets [pt 1]

Throughout the years, many of our favourite rockstars have collaborated and created some of the most memorable tunes of all time. It has always been quite fascinating to observe and listen how two distinctive artists team up and come up with something magical that simply shapes history. It’s even more interesting to see how two musicians from different genres and with different styles or visions somehow find that perfect balance and harmony and achieve the ultimate result.

We all know and love those endless classics. Here are 10 of my favourite collaborations in rock music that I have always pointed out as the perfect examples of great duet songs. I hope you enjoy!

Playlist:

Bryan Adams & Tina Turner – It’s Only Love
Eric Clapton & Tina Turner – Tearing Us Apart
The Jacksons (Feat. Michael Jackson & Mick Jagger) – State of Shock
David Bowie & Queen – Under Pressure
Run-DMC & Aerosmith – Walk This Way
Lita Ford & Ozzy Osbourne – Close My Eyes Forever
Stevie Nicks & Tom Petty – Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around
INXS & Jimmy Barnes – Good Times
B.B. King & Eric Clapton – Rock Me Baby
Bob Dylan & Johnny Cash – Girl From The North Country


Listen here:

Bryan Adams & Tina Turner – It’s Only Love (LIVE)

What makes “It’s Only Love” such a great song is definitely the strong presence of the queen of rock ‘n’ roll – Tina Turner. Bryan Adams definitely made quite the choice as he spiced things up in his “Reckless” album. His 80s comeback wouldn’t have been the same without this passionate and sexy duet!


Eric Clapton & Tina Turner – Tearing Us Apart

For his 1886 album titled “August”, Eric Clapton teamed up with the ultimate rock diva – Tina Turner and made magic. “Tearing Us Apart” is an upbeat and very dynamic rock tune that can’t but lift your spirits up. It’s definitely one of my favorite duets of all time.


The Jacksons (Feat. Michael Jackson & Mick Jagger) – State of Shock

“State of Shock” has to be one of the most legendary duets of the 80s. I mean, how often do we get to witness such a huge collaboration – the king of pop and the greatest entertainer on Earth, Michael Jackson teaming up with over-the-top personality of none-other than the fabulous Mick Jagger? An absolute hit!


David Bowie & Queen – Under Pressure

Before Vanilla Ice decided to make a career out of this song, it was Queen and David Bowie who made history with this song. “Under Pressure” can easily be pointed out as one of the finest duets of all time as it combines two musicians for whose talents the world is simply not big enough. Sadly, both Freddie and David are no longer with us.


Run-DMC & Aerosmith – Walk This Way

“Walk This Way” is often pointed out as the song that saved Aerosmith’s career and brought them back on the music horizon. The unconventional idea of a new version of one of their older songs, including the hip hop stars Run-DMC was the ultimate recipe for success.


Lita Ford & Ozzy Osbourne – Close My Eyes Forever

In 1988, the prince of darkness – Ozzy Osbourne, along with Lita Ford created something truly beautiful. “Close My Eyes Forever” is the brainchild of Sharon, as she was managing both of them at that time. The results were immediate and could still be felt. The song is one of the most memorable power-ballads of the era.


Stevie Nicks & Tom Petty – Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around

Stevie Nicks – one of the queens of rock ‘n’ roll and often referred to as one of the most powerful female rockstars of all time, teamed up with her favorite singer Tom Petty and recorded “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around”. Originally, Tom wrote the song for himself, but it ended up on Stevie’s debut solo album. What a story!


INXS & Jimmy Barnes – Good Times

This right here is one of Australia’s most favorite classics of all time. Originally released by The Easybeats in 1968, “Good Times” once again reemerged in 1987 when INXS and Jimmy Barnes recorded it for the soundtrack of “Lost Boys”. The MV is also quite iconic.


B.B. King & Eric Clapton – Rock Me Baby

“Rock Me Baby” is an absolute classic and one of the most recorded blues songs of all time. B.B. King released the track in 1964 and it quickly became one of his first and greatest hits. Years later, in 1997, he once again re-recorded the song with his long-time friend Eric Clapton for his duet album “Deuces Wild”. Eric was indeed the right person for this song as he brought something quite intriguing to the song. Just listen…


Bob Dylan & Johnny Cash – Girl From The North Country

This is quite the oldie, but you can’t but respect and admire such great collaboration. When two artists of such magnitude meet, you sit back and just listen, as your heart embraces the music. No ego-racing, no heavy-breathing – just two beautiful voices singing a simple but quite pleasant song. It’s Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan, after all…


 

Stay tuned for part 2!

[The Greatest Rock Albums of the 80s] YES – 90125

YES - 90125


 

90125

Released: November 7, 1983
Length:
44:49
Label: Atco
Singles: “Owner of a Lonely Heart”, “Leave It”, “It Can Happen”, “Hold On”
Certified: 3xPlatinum (RIAA)

~

Tracklist:

“Owner of a Lonely Heart”
“Hold On”
“It Can Happen”
“Changes”
“Cinema”
“Leave It”
“Our Song”
“City of Love”
“Hearts”

 

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OVERVIEW:

 

In 1983, YES pulled off one of the most successful comebacks in rock history. After the disbandment of the band in 1981, bassist Chris Squire , drummer Alan White, singer Trevor Rabin and former Yes keyboardist Tony Kaye formed Cinema. Not long after, former Yes singer Jon Anderson returned as their lead vocal. Former “Drama” (1980) lead singer Trevor Horn reunited with the band as their producer. Just like that, Cinema became the new and reformed YES.

90125 is a rock-solid and positively creative masterpiece that introduced YES to a whole new audience by replacing their rather difficult to absorb pretentiously progressive sound with more mainstream pop/rock elements. The record is a pure triumph of music engineering and a huge smash for the band – it became their best-selling album of all time and one of the songs even won them a Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance. The record is remarkably fresh, yet so familiar. With Anderson back on track and their new slick 80s rock sound, courtesy of producer Trevor Horn, YES simply wrote history with this album. It was time for a new beginning. Yes, they did lose their progressive-rock roots and if you are looking for some old-school 70s epic experimental sounds you most certainly cannot find them on 90125. However, the record is exciting and influential enough to be named as the definite classic album by YES. Even with a new approach and vision, YES certainly know how to rock!

The #1 single, “Owner of a Lonely Heart” is the ultimate crossover hit. The catchy, radio-friendly and groovy tune sets the tone right from the very beginning with the memorable killer riffs of Trevor Rabin. The song is one of the emblems of the 80s and probably YES’ most instantly recognizable songs. “Hold On” is a hard-rocker that impresses with layered choruses and unique sounding. “Cinema” – the song that got him a Grammy Award has to be one of the most inspiring rock instrumentals of all time. The drumming by White can’t but leave you speechless. “City of Love” is somewhat ignored, despite the powerful bass and heavy guitars. Personally, I often refer to this song as the finest moment from the album. “Leave It” has to be the most bizarre tune of the album and ultimately one of the most unusual radio smash hits. The song combines heavy usage of electronic drums and the typical harmony of YES. In addition, the vocals are quite dreamy and mythical. It’s surprising how weird this song is and yet, you cannot stop playing it.

All in all, 90125 is one of the most intriguing albums of the 80s. YES managed to transform their progressive and cold sound into more MTV-friendly, pop hooks without which the ‘80s would’ve been so different. One thing I wish they were more considerate of is the usage of electronic instruments. Other than that, the record is a successful mash-up of progressive and hard-rock influences suitable for all audiences. It’s a must have!

 

Owner of a Lonely Heart

Leave It

Hold On

 


References:
90125” official Wikipedia webpage: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/90125
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~

Def Leppard Release a Brand New Video for “Man Enough”

dl man en3

Def Leppard released a brand new music video for “Man Enough” – the 3rd single from their 2015 self-titled album.

The song impresses with its captivating beats and thrilling lyrics. Now, more than six months after the release of their latest album, the fans are finally rewarded  with a MV for the song. To me personally, “Man Enough” can easily be pointed out as the finest moment of the album. There’s just something so raw and hypnotizing about that bass…I could listen to it for days.

Overall, the band remained faithful to their futuristic and a little bizarre cyber themed style they demonstrated before. I do enjoy the darker scenes where we get to see just a glimpse of a guitar or Joe and the band singing!

Watch the MV below and let me know what you think about it!

 

[The Greatest Rock Albums of the 80s] Toto IV

Toto IV Album Cover


 

IV

Released: April 8, 1982
Length: 41:59

Label: Columbia
Singles: “Rosanna”, “Make Believe”, “Africa”, “I Won’t Hold You Back”
Certified: 3xPlatinum (RIAA)

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Tracklist:

“Rosanna”
“Make Believe”
“I Won’t Hold You Back”
“Good For You”
“It’s a Feeling”
“Afraid of Love”
“We Made It”
“Waiting For Your Love”
“Africa”

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OVERVIEW:

With the release of Toto IV on April 8, 1982, the band quickly turned their occasional radio presence into a total domination of the waves. Unfortunately, Toto’s previous efforts couldn’t bring them to the spotlight, despite the amount of hard work and professionalism they invested. Toto IV was truly their last chance of hopping on the train and they couldn’t have done it better. Toto rose to the challenge and with an immense doze of enthusiasm and impeccable songwriting craft, they produced their most successful and visionary album.

After just one listen of the album, you can easily feel the unique aura and distinguishable details of the record. Toto worked harder on refining the melodies and harmonies – the tempo is slowed down, matching the quite bouncy beats of the songs. Guitars, trumpets, saxophones and trombones are having the most ear-pleasing dance. The lyrics are quite simple and innocent, dedicated to the themes of love, heartbreak and hope. The vocals of Bobby Kimball are much improved and strengthened, backed up by having other group members singing. Timothy B. Schmit was also on board as backing vocals on “I Won’t Hold You Back”, “Good For You”, and “Africa”.

Undoubtedly, “Rosanna” and “Africa” are the absolute career-peak compositions of David Paich and the ultimate hit singles of Toto IV. Not to mention that those two songs are also some of the most notable symbols of the 80s pop/rock scene. The golden single “Rosanna” impresses with its dreamy lyrics and playful beats. “Africa” on the other hand, demonstrates a fantastic scope of elements, including refined solo keyboards from Steve Porcaro, graceful yet high-reaching vocals of Bobby Kimball and prominent bass rhythms by David Hungate who is dearly missed on all the following Toto albums. “I Won’t Hold You Back” is yet another beautiful soft rock knockout, full of intense emotions and feelings. I often referred to it as one of the saddest songs ever composed. “Make Believe” is surprisingly uplifting and features excellent saxophone blends.

Toto IV, however, is so much more than “Rosanna” and “Africa”. The record is extremely polished, professional-sounding and full of timeless classics. Furthermore, it’s also both the group’s triumphant recovery and their absolute peak. The industry and the public acknowledged the brilliance of this album with 5 Grammy Awards, including Best Album and Record of the Year (Rosanna). Nothing more to say – a true iconic record you NEED to have!

Cheers.

 

Africa

Rosanna

I Won’t Hold Back

Make Believe

 

 


References:
Toto IV” official Wikipedia webpage: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toto_IV
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~

Steve Miller vs. Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame

 

Steve Miller

It’s been more than two months since Steve Miller was inducted into the Rock&Roll Hall of Fame but he still has a lot to say regarding his experience and the way he was treated. He is now even planning on investigating the charitable efforts and finances of RockHall to make sure that everything is what it should be.

This Tuesday, during an interview with Howard Stern, Miller explained what happened between him and the Hall and even referred to it as “three months of insults and bulls”. He even said that he felt like they were more interested in having him on the telecast, rather than being inducted into the Rock Hall.

Before that interview and even during his acceptance speech, he repeatedly criticized RockHall and revealed that his band members had to pay for their tickets and he didn’t even have a say in who will induct him at the ceremony. Miller was so irritated that he was even thinking of not showing up.

“I’m gonna get these guys,” he told Stern. “They’re gonna be sorry that they treated all these people this way.”….

We cannot wait to see what Steve has planned for the RockHall! Way to go!

Watch the interview below:

 

 

This right here is the reason why now I truly understand why I respect and admire this incredible artist so much! He couldn’t have said it better and I am glad that finally someone is talking about the issues and controversies that are going around Rock&Roll Hall of Fame and its ridiculous inductions throughout the years. I did a lot of publications regarding RockHall and I’m glad that I can finally make one dedicated to a musician that’s not afraid to telling it how it truly is. He’s the real deal – a genuine rockstar and such a respectful human – nothing can hold him back!

 


 

References:
The Howard Stern Show Official Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/thehowardsternshow/videos/372076779582672/

[Rock History] Today in 1967, The Beatles released “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”

beatles s

The 8th studio album of The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was released today in 1967! This is one of those records that don’t really need an introduction, accompanied by a bunch of words expressing how great and impressive it is. What do we need to understand and remember, though, is that this record is one of the most essential and unsurpassed albums ever made and its influence, contributions and success will forever remain unmatched. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is simply the holy grail of rock music; an absolute breakthrough masterpiece that features adventurous elements of rock&roll, classical music, psychedelia and art rock, all racing together on superior studio technology. The Beatles were fearless; boundaries were demolished and the ultimate achievement was reached. It’s been almost 50 years since its release but this record still remains the greatest musical statement of all time!

Let’s look through some facts about Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and listen to some music!

beatles Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is #1 on Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time”
  • Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band spent 27 weeks at the top of the album charts in the UK and 15 weeks at #1 on the USA charts as well. It’s also the third best-selling album in the UK with over 5.1 million copies being sold.
  • Sgt. Pepper band is the name of the alter ego group they chose to present themselves as. This alter ego band gave them freedom and flexibility to experiment and explore new musical directions.
  • The Beatles spent over 129 days and 700 hours on the LP which was 30 times more than they did on their debut album “Please Please Me”.
  • George Martin – the producer of the record explained that Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was an attempt to match Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds. “Without Pet Sounds, Sgt. Pepper never would have happened … Pepper was an attempt to equal Pet Sounds,” Martin stated.
  • The album cover art cost more than £3000 which was quite expensive at that time. It was designed by British pop artists Peter Blake and Jann Haworth. The collage includes 57 photos and 9 waxworks of famous people, such as actors, scientists and writers, including Bob Dylan, Marlon Brando, Marilyn Monroe, Stan Laurel, Oscar Wilde, Lewis Caroll and many more. Lennon wanted to include Jesus and Hitler, however his ideas were rejected.
  • Time magazine described the record as “a historic departure in the progress of music”.
  • The lyrics were printed in full on the back cover of the record. This was done for the first time on a rock LP.

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band back cover

  • Paul sings five lead vocals; John sings three; John and Paul share the lead on two; Ringo sings lead on one song and George, Paul and John share the lead on one song as well.
  • ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’ was thought to be a reference to LSD. However, John stated that it was from a drawing made by his 4-year old son Julian.
  • All the songs were written and composed by Lennon–McCartney except “Within You Without You”, which was written by George Harrison
  • The total length of the album is 39:52 as it includes 13 songs.
  • Paul wrote and sang lead on the title track “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”. Three days after the record came out, the Jimi Hendrix Experience opened a show with their interpretation of the track.
  • Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is a record with songs designed in a way so that they couldn’t be performed live. The Beatles were embracing the studio experience and adopted numerous experimental approaches that simply cannot be adjusted for a live performance.

beatles sgt


References:
“Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” Official Wikipedia Page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sgt._Pepper’s_Lonely_Hearts_Club_Band
“50 Sgt. Pepper Facts”, retrieved from http://www.udiscovermusic.com/the-beatles-sgt-pepper
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 Greatest Rock Albums of the 80s] Rainbow – Bent Out of Shape

rainbow - bent out of shape


 

BENT OUT OF SHAPE

rainbow - bent out of shapeReleased: August 24, 1983
Recorded: Sweet Silence Studios, Copenhagen, Denmark, May – June 1983
Genre: Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Rock
Length: 40:25

Label: Mercury (North America), Polydor
Producer(s): Roger Glover
Singles: “Street of Dreams”, “Anybody There”, “Can’t Let You Go”, “All Night Long”
Personnel: Ritchie Blackmore – guitar, Roger Glover – bass, percussion, producer, Joe Lynn Turner – vocals, David Rosenthal – keyboard, Chuck Burgi – drums

Accomplishments: “Anybody There” was nominated for a Grammy Award as the Best Rock Instrumental Performance in 1984.

TRACKLIST:

“Stranded”
“Can’t Let You Go”
“Fool for the Night”
“Fire Dance”
“Anybody There” (Instrumental)
“Desperate Heart”
“Street of Dreams”
“Drinking with the Devil”
“Snowman” (Instrumental)
“Make Your Move”

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OVERVIEW:

“Bent Out of Shape” is Rainbow’s seventh studio effort and their third one with Joe Lynn Turner as the frontman of the band. This AOR treasure is truly the peak of Ritchie Blackmore and Joe’s collaborative songwriting skills as the majority of the tunes are written and composed by those two outstanding musicians. Unfortunately, this record also marks the end of Rainbow’s glory days of prolific and exceptional music. “Bent out of Shape” was particularly designed for and aimed at U.S audiences and despite its commercial success all over Europe; the record indeed was mostly appreciated in the USA. The legendary Roger Glover produced the album and managed to, quite successfully create a brilliant crossover record with the exact right doze of commercialism, radio-appeal and of course – pure old school hard rock.

There’s something quite mysterious and melancholic about this album – from the menacing organs to Joe’s operatic vocals and Ritchie’s dark instrumental solos, the album is definitely bringing us the “old horror movie” vibe.  In “Bent out of Shape”, Joe Lynn Turner best demonstrates the range of his vocal abilities as each and every note he sings is full of emotion, passion and intensity that can’t but leave you speechless. In addition to that, what we also get from this record is variety – the audience can enjoy a beautiful collection of classic hard-rockers and instrumentals that go so well together. “Bent out of Shape” provides and a nice and smooth flow that keeps us curious till the very end.

The fines moment of the record has to be “Can’t Let You Go” – a song that is simply timeless. It’s been more than 20 years since its release, but people are still haunted by the stunning organ intro, poetic lyrics and acute keyboards. “Desperate Heart” is the perfect example of an 80s pop-metal tune on which the listeners get to witness one of Blackmore’s greatest solo works. The classical instrumental “Anybody There” is quite dark and depressing, however Ritchie’s excellence makes up for the gloomy mood of the track. “Snowman” is the other brilliant instrumental that contributes to the overall eerie vibe of the album. “Sweet of Dreams” became the ultimate commercial success of the record and one of Rainbow’s greatest classics. Full of melody and dominant vocals, though again a bit gloomy, the song truly rocks pretty hard!

Overall, I wouldn’t recommend this album to rock lovers who are searching for something more sophisticated and artsy. “Bent out of Shape” lacks depth and most certainly isn’t an example of a lyrically-outstanding record. It may even sound a bit “casual” as we progress from one song to another. However, it brings other valuable concepts to the table – solid rock music, slaying vocals, brilliant keyboard details and of course – there’s Ritchie Blackmore who effortlessly solidifies the rather soft feel of the record!
Cheers!

Listen to some of the finest moments of “Bent out of Shape” :

Can’t Let You Go

Street of Dreams

Desperate Heart

Anybody There


Credits:
“Bent Out of Shape” official Wikipedia webpage: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bent_Out_of_Shape
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~