WARRANT’s “Cherry Pie” Celebrates its 27th Anniversary

You know, it’s pretty unfortunate when an album or a song define the entire career of a band or an artist. It’s even more unfortunate when we talk about a band with true talent and potential.

This is the story of WARRANT and their sophomore album, named “Cherry Pie”. To commemorate its anniversary, I decided to go back to that pivotal year for Warrant and remind everyone of some key facts and songs , surrounding its release and legacy. Before I move on with my rambling, I would like to emphasize that I am not one of those people who unfairly judge Warrant or put unnecessary labels on them. I am one of those fans who can differentiate between doing something with your heart and doing something because of environmental pressures. Yes, I am talking about that infamous title song that turned from a blessing to a curse and haunted their career for a while. If you ask true rock music fans, all of them will tell you that Warrant were and still are mind-blowing and will certainly point out a favorite song that’s not going to be “Cherry Pie”. But for the uncultured mass – you say Warrant, they say “Cherry Pie”. Don’t get me wrong – it’s a fun song, a song that everyone knows and had once danced to. But let’s talk about the rest of the album because in case you forgot, it contains the unbelievable tracks “I Saw Red”, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” and “Blind Faith”.

Warrant’s sophomore album was released in September 11, 1990 and it quickly turned into one of the biggest albums of the year, mostly thanks to its title song. “Cherry Pie” (the track) was written in 15 minutes by Jani Lane, after the president of their label demanded they record an easy-to-sell sexy rock anthem, similar to “Pour Some Sugar on Me” or “Dr. Feelgood”, probably. I’m not going to go into detail about the track but watch any interview with Jani (may he rest in peace) and you will see what his genuine feelings are, in regards with the top10 hit.

The brilliant track “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” was originally supposed to be the first single and the name of the album. To many fans this track remains one of Warrant’s most memorable works and the highlight of the album, undoubtedly.

“I Saw Red” is in my humble opinion the most special and beautifully-delivered track on the album. When the singer and song-writer had actually experienced every word, the connection we, the listeners, establish is much stronger and easier to create. Deep, meaningful and painful songs like this one are the reason why feel alive when listening to music. The singles are not all of it, though! “Love in Stereo”, “Mr. Rainmaker” and “Bed of Roses” are a few of my other favorites and songs that deserve a play or two.

The entire album showcases a solid musical progression and a bunch of dedicated musicians, striving for growth and ready to learn. The guitars are more prominent, the lyrics are more thoughtful (courtesy of Jani Lane) and more room was left open for keyboards, elaborate arrangements and new musical styles and elements. You can label it as a “party album” but that will never really be the case for me…

Feel free to tell me what you think about this album while listening to the great tunes below:

“I Saw Red”

“Uncle Tom’s Cabin”

“Blind Faith”


References:
Album artwork, retrieved from https://www.discogs.com/Warrant-Cherry-Pie/master/94305
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Remembering Jimi Jamison and his Final Album – “Never Too Late” (2012)

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Everybody’s Got A Broken Heart

Never Too Late

I Can’t Turn Back


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

20 Years Ago Ramones Played Their Last Gig

It has been 20 years since the fathers of punk rock – The Ramones played their last show at the Palace in Hollywood, Calif. On August 6th, 1996, after more than 2,000 shows, unfortunately it all had to come to an end. Sometimes, it can be hard to imagine that such magic can no longer be witnessed on stage. The Ramones are long gone, however their legacy still lives and their career is still celebrated by millions of fans all around the world.

The Ramones laid the foundation of punk rock music and became the main influence of numerous rock bands throughout the years. They never made it that big in terms of sales, however when it comes to rock ‘n’ roll, you cannot deny the huge part they played in its development – you can learn everything about rock ‘n’ roll from The Ramones!

“I can tell you that it’s coming to an end. All good things come to an end one day. I got very mixed feelings about the whole thing, because on one hand, there’s nothing better than the Ramones. But on the other hand, there’s a lot of resistance, a lot of crap, a lot of frustration and a lot of politics, ” said singer Joey Ramone to Billboard back in 1995.

What happened after that? Well, the band was simply destroyed from the inside. Joey and Johnny couldn’t patch things up after Johnny marrying Joey’s girlfriend – Linda. Unfortunately, in the years to follow both of them died of cancer. Bassist Dee Dee Ramone died of a heroine overdose in 2002 and the original drummer – Tommy, also died of cancer in 2014.
Nevertheless, let’s witness the magic and celebrate Ramones‘ legacy by watching their last gig! Sometimes it’s very difficult to imagine that we no longer have the chance to see them perform once again…

 
“If this is the last show the Ramones do, then it’s an insult to the intelligence of the world and a shame for rock and roll,” said Lemmy of Motorhead at the night of Ramones’ final show.

 

 


 

References:
“20 Years Ago: The Ramones Play Their Last Show”, retrieved from http://ultimateclassicrock.com/ramones-last-concert/
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~

Remembering PRINCE and His Epic Ballad “Purple Rain”

Prince - Purple Rain

Remembering Prince…

 

2016 truly is the year music died…

Today the world woke up to some horrible news – at the age of 57, one of the most prolific and important music icons Prince, has died. I cannot believe we have lost another legend…

Prince was much more than a talented artist – he was a master of music and a humanist, who without fear supported everything that mattered and meant a lot to him by expressing it through his art. Yes, Prince’s music was not just music – it was a pure art! Prince was a prolific songwriter, gifted multi-instrumentalist and one of the most talented producers and music engineers. Not to mention that he was one of the most dynamic stage personas in the industry. Prince was full of so many great ideas – not only he wrote his own songs, but he wrote so many hit songs for other artists as well! He was also one badass guitar player – his unique use of the guitar as a rhythm instrument is one of the many things that distinguished him. He is also the creator of the so called “Minneapolis Sound” – a very distinctive sound, driven by synthesizers and drum machines on top of rhythmic guitars.

Throughout his career, Prince has sold more than 100 million records and has released 39 studio albums and more than 100 singles! Needless to say, these numbers speak for themselves – he was extraordinary and people loved his music! Prince was a true rock ‘n’ roll pioneer with music that is absolutely timeless. He was also one of the reasons why MTV broke the racial barrier – he was a true symbol and a fighter for the rights of all African-Americans.

Among all of his brilliantly written songs, I have to say his greatest hit remains the 8 minute long epic ballad called “Purple Rain”. The song is the title track from his 1984 album of the same name, which is the soundtrack of his rock musical drama film, again titled “Purple Rain”. The song is considered as one of his most signature works and he even won an Oscar for it! This masterpiece captivated the audience by its unique combination of rock, gospel, pop and orchestral music. It is considered as one of the greatest songs of all time…

I grew up listening to Prince and I truly hold him dear – his influence and musicianship go far beyond any reason. He was much more than a commercially successful artist – he was an inspiration and one of the most important figures that changed the course of music! In memory of Prince, I decided to prepare a little tribute publication and focus a little bit more on his most famous work – “Purple Rain”. I truly admire and love this song and have always been extremely captivated by the beautiful lyrics. I listen to it quite often because – well, because it’s one of a kind song! Let’s remember this fine piece of art and think of him…Good night, sweet prince…

Prince - Purple Rain Cover

 

Lyrics:

“…I never meant to cause you any sorrow
I never meant to cause you any pain
I only wanted one time to see you laughing
I only want to see you laughing in the purple rain

Purple rain Purple rain
Purple rain Purple rain
Purple rain Purple rain

I only want to see you bathing in the purple rain

I never wanted to be your weekend lover
I only wanted to be some kind of friend
Baby I could never steal you from another
It’s such a shame our friendship had to end

Purple rain Purple rain
Purple rain Purple rain
Purple rain Purple rain

I only want to see you underneath the purple rain

Honey I know, I know, I know times are changing
It’s time we all reach out for something new
That means you too
You say you want a leader
But you can’t seem to make up your mind
I think you better close it
And let me guide you to the purple rain

Purple rain Purple rain
Purple rain Purple rain

If you know what I’m singing about up here
C’mon raise your hand

Purple rain Purple rain

I only want to see you, only want to see you
In the purple rain…”


 

GIF PRINCE PURPLE RAIN~ The song is entirely written by Prince, however at first he actually wanted Stevie Nicks to write the lyrics for “Purple Rain”.

~ Originally, the song was 11 minute long, however a verse and a chorus were cut out. Some of the original lyrics that were taken out of the song for being too inappropriate are the following:
“Honey I don’t want your money, no, no.
I don’t even think I want your love.
If I wanted either one I would take your money and,
I want the heavy stuff.”

~ The song was recorded during a benefit concert for the Minnesota Dance Theater at the First Avenue nightclub in Minneapolis on August 3, 1983.

~ Prince was very worried that the song had a very similar sound to that of Journey’s “Faithfully”. He called Jonathan Cain and asked him to hear it after which Jonathan said that it was “OK” since the songs shared just a few common chords.

~ The movie “Purple Rain” grossed more than $80 million at the box office and became one of the most essential movies of the era.

~ “Purple Rain” soundtrack spent 24 weeks at number 1 on the Billboard charts. The song, however hit only number 2, behind “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” by Wham!

~ Many people were quite confused and wondering about the true meaning of the song and its lyrics. “When there’s blood in the sky – red and blue = purple.. .Purple rain pertains to the end of the world and being with the one you love and letting your faith/god” guide you through the purple rain,” he said.

~ However…according to his band mate Lisa Coleman, the song symbolizes “a new beginning. Purple, the sky at dawn; rain, the cleansing factor…”

~ Prince gave one of the most memorable Super Bowl halftime moments at the 2007 game when he performed “Purple Rain”. The stadium turned dark and purple which created an amazing visual experience. Appropriately, the song was played during a downpour at the stadium!!!

 

~ In order to fully understand the lyrics and the meaning of the song, one has to watch the movie. Many people say that this song is dedicated to his traumatic childhood and his father, who used to physically abuse him when he was a child or that it’s about the relationship his mom and dad had. To other people, however this song goes beyond that and carries a more philosophical and deeper meaning or it is simply about loving someone who doesn’t feel the same way because he/she is already in a loving relationship with someone…. He doesn’t want to ruin this girl’s life but he still wants her close to him, maybe as a friend… To me personally, this song can have many interpretations depending on the person listening to it. I feel like this song is about a very deep and strong desire that will most likely never happen – you are so inlove with someone but due to circumstances you cannot be together…

 

PURPLE RAIN 4


 

Credits:
20 Things You Didn’t Know About ‘Purple Rain’, retrieved from http://www.nme.com/blogs/nme-blogs/20-things-you-didnt-know-about-purple-rain#AsoPDoVTRAD2E5q1.99
Purple Rain by Prince, retrieved from http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=2012
Purple Rain (song), retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purple_Rain_%28song%29
Prince Found Dead at His Recording Studio in Minnesota, retrieved from http://www.metalsucks.net/2016/04/21/prince-found-dead-recording-studio-minnesota/
“Purple Rain” Lyrics, retrieved from http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/prince/purplerain.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.

10 Great Statues In Honor of Legendary Rockstars

Recently, I got reminded that in one of the cities of my country (which happens to be the “hard rock capital” of Bulgaria), there’s a statue of one of the biggest rockstars in the world – Ronnie James Dio. I’ve never been there to see it – I guess it’s just too far away from my hometown. Such a shame, right? I should go and take a picture…Anyhow, I found out more about the statue and I saw some pretty nice fan pictures of it and it really made me think about it. As a result, I came up with this idea of finding other statues that honor legendary rock musicians all over the world. I thought it might be interesting for my readers to see some pictures and places where fans gather, leave flowers and show their respect to great rock musicians who are not among us any more, unfortunately. Listening to their music and remembering their contributions and achievements is one of the ways to honor a favorite rockstar. However, sometimes this might not be enough. Therefore, many cities around the world choose to dedicate a special work of art (usually a statue of the person) to a rock legend. This way, his/her spirit will always remain alive among the people and the devoted fans. This is all good – I really think that this is a great way to show respect and appreciation. However, what I don’t get is why in most of the cases we need to wait for the artist to die, so that we can have his/her statue in a city somewhere around the world… I thought about it and I believe many rock musicians should’ve been honored much sooner – like for example, while they were still alive and doing amazing things… I guess it’s true that people don’t really cherish what they have till they lose it.

Anyhow, I did a little digging and I found some nice pictures to show you, guys. I hope you will enjoy the following publication – it’s rather informative and visual, instead of musical but I thought it’s a nice way to show respect and integrity towards those incredible figures… So here we go!

~~~

1. Statue of Ronnie James Dio in Kavarna, Bulgaria

(Credits: Bob R (http://www.pirancafe.com), http://www.radiotopic.com)

 

2. Statue of Bon Scott at Fisherman’s Wharf in Fremantle, Australia

(Photos taken from: www.traveller.com.au, http://www.unforgivenundead.deviantart.com, http://www.toppixgallery.com)

 

3. Elvis Presley Statue in Memphis, Tennessee, USA

(Photos taken from: http://www.flickr.com – by Yummies 4 Tummies, http://www.aes.org, Steven Martin from http://listosaur.com)

 

4. Statue of Freddie Mercury in Montreaux, Switzerland

(Photos taken from: Wikipedia, http://www.worldalldetails.com, http://www.ultimatequeen.co.uk)

 

5. Statue of Jimi Hendrix at Broadway Avenue, Seattle, USA

(Photos taken from http://www.tripadvisor.com, http://www.theclio.com, http://www.roadsideamerica.com)

 

6. Statue of Johnny Ramone at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, USA

(Photos taken by by Scott Beale)

 

7. Statue of John Lennon in Public Park – El Vedado – Havana, Cuba

(Photos taken from Wikipedia, http://www.grantdavey.co.uk)

 

8. Statue of Buddy Holly in Lubbock, Texas, USA

(Photos taken from http://www.forum.blockland.us, http://www.panoramio.com)

 

9. Statue of Rory Gallagher in Ballyshannon, County Donegal

(Photos taken from Wikipedia, http://www.commons.wikimedia.org)

 

10. Statue of Jerry Garcia in Portland, Oregon, USA

(Photos taken from http://www.rockcellarmagazine.com, http://www.flickr.com by eddiecoyote)

P.S. I do not own any photos in this publication. All the credit goes to the photographers and uploaders of the pictures. Unfortunately, I was not able to find the names of the photographers who took some of those pictures, so instead I gave the name to the website on which I was able to find the photos. For any credit missed, please contact me. I apologize in advance.