[The Greatest Rock Albums of the 80s] SURVIVOR – Vital Signs

survivor - vital signs large

VITAL SIGNS

Released: August, 1984
Genre: Rock
Duration: 40:38
Label: Scotti Bros., Volcano
Producer(s): Ron Nevison
Singles: “I Can’t Hold Back”, “High on You”, “The Search is Over”, “First Night”

My “Vital Signs” CD

survivor cd

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OVERVIEW

I am extremely biased when it comes to Survivor and especially this phenomenal 1984 AOR classic. Survivor’s music is like magic to me – it’s capable of instantly putting a smile on my face and lifting my spirits. I don’t think I can objectively review this album, because to me, this pure gold, titled “Vital Signs” has absolutely no weak point and it was definitely 100% matching what I love and seek for in music. So, I will just try to explain why I love this album so much and why is it one of the most essential albums of the 80s.

Dave Bickler, Survivor’s initial vocalist, had to be replaced due to vocal problems. Jimi Jamison joined the band and with his outstanding vocal abilities completely blew the roof off everyone. I often refer to him as the greatest rock vocalist. It’s such a shame that we lost him.

Every song, featuring on “Vital Signs” is an absolute melodic rock hit. It’s definitely not as hard as their previous albums; however that’s not a bad thing. On the contrary, the effective formula that combines peaceful acoustic guitar, gentle and emotional vocals, calming riffs and tender melodies is what make the album so brilliant. Harmony, instruments, rhythms, lyrics – they go together in such an unimaginably good style that for a moment there we forget that this is in fact a very commercially-crafted album. And here, I should say that there’s nothing wrong with being commercial, as long as what you do is tasteful and beautiful. “Vital Signs” (along with other 80s rock albums such as Bon Jovi’s “Slippery When Wet”, Def Leppard’s “Hysteria”, TOTO’s IV and many more) is one of the examples of a commercial but fabulous album!

Let’s talk about the songs.

The slow “The Search is Over” is the song that made me completely fall in love with Jimi’s voice. The lyrics are bringing you nothing but hopes and a strong desire to find your destined love. The lines You followed me through changes and patiently you’d wait…’Till I came to my senses through some miracle of fate” are melting my heart…

“Popular Girl” is my favourite song from the record – it’s catchy, uplifting and so easy to sing along with. Most importantly, it creates a visual story inside your mind when you listen to. You can always recognize a good song if it activates your imagination. “She walks down the street, knocks ’em dead on their feet with a casual nonchalance…When she’s breaking your heart, she’s the state of the art…” – I mean this is just incredible!

“It’s The Singer Not The Song” is a track I truly wish more people would listen to and appreciate as much as I do. I mean, lyrically speaking this song just beats all the others on the record. “It’s the man behind the music…It’s the singer not the song” is an unforgettable line.

“High on You” was one of the first Survivor songs I’ve ever listened to. Needless to say it was love at first listen. I knew I would become a huge fan of the band from the first note… Romantic, harmonious and filled with such beautiful words and lovely keyboards – no wonder this song became one of Survivor’s major hits. “Piercin’ eyes, like a raven, you seemed to share my secret sin. We were high before the night started kickin’ in…” is my favorite line from the track…

Then we have the gentle “I Can’t Hold Back”; the building-up energizing “First Night”; the hard-rocker “Broken Promises”; the sweet ballad “Everlasting” and my second favorite song from the record – “I See You in Everyone” which even after the 1000th listen still gives me the chills…

Many people consider Survivor as a two-hit band (those two hits being “Eye of the Tiger” and “Burning Heart” from Rocky) but think again, fellas! Survivor are so much more than that. Also, after all those years I still cannot understand the constant comparison with Journey. Yes, both of those bands are the absolute “American-favourites”, however Survivor’s style and attitude is completely different and let’s not fight on who’s a better singer – Jimi or Steve, because “Vital Signs” makes it quite obvious, I think…

“Vital Signs” is a must-listen and a must-have record if you are a fan of melodic hard rock from the 80s. God bless Jimi and his one-of-a-kind voice…I truly miss you…

 

Tracklist:

“I Can’t Hold Back”
“High on You”
“First Night”
“The Search is Over”
“Broken Promises”
“Popular Girl”
“Everlasting”
“It’s the Singer Not the Song”
“I See You in Everyone”
“Moment of Truth”

I Can’t Hold Back

Popular Girl

The Search is Over

High on You

I See You in Everyone

It’s the Singer not the Song


 

References:
“Vital Signs” official Wikipedia webpage: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vital_Signs_(Survivor_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.
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.

Bon Jovi are BACK With a Brand New Music Video

BonJovi new video

 

Bon Jovi released a brand new music video for “This House is not for Sale” – the title track of their upcoming album. The cheery song is accompanied by beautiful sceneries, Jon casually riding his car around the town and the band rocking inside an old and quite elegant house.

The album will be released via Island/Universal Music Group after the band split from Mercury after more than 30 years.

“I have a lot to write about. Believe me, the new record is good. It’s pointed – it’s something we’re going to be very proud of when we put it out,” said Jon Bon Jovi about the new material coming up.

Stay tuned for more updates regarding their new album!

 

 Watch the music video below:

 


 

References:
“Bon Jovi release This House Is Not For Sale video”, retrieved from http://teamrock.com/news/2016-08-12/bon-jovi-release-this-house-is-not-for-sale-video

Heart – “Beautiful Broken” Album Review

heart - beautifulbroken

Beautiful Broken

Released: July 8, 2016
Genre: Hard Rock, Folk Rock
Duration: 40:18

Label: Concord Bicycle Music
Producer(s): Dan Rothchild and Nancy Wilson

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OVERVIEW:

 

After a four year break, sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson are back with “Beautiful Broken” – their sixteenth album and their first on Concord Records. What they did on this record is definitely not something we have never seen or something other similar old-school rockers haven’t done yet – Heart are simply offering an intriguing selection of seven re-imagined and re-recorded cherry picks from their early career. Fortunately, the band left out the classics. In addition, we get the chance to hear three new exciting additions to their catalogue. Co-produced by Nancy Wilson and long-time bassist Dan Rothchild, “Beautiful Broken” is a thrilling record that deserves to be played from start to finish.  

Ann definitely falls into the category of rock vocalists who still got it! Her strong and expressive vocals are definitely the best thing in “Beautiful Broken”. The record kicks off with a heavy blast – the dynamic title track features the roaring vocals of none-other than Metallica’s James Hetfield. There’s absolutely no tension or any sort of disconnection between the voices of those two – on the contrary, their voices are working together quite well.  Exquisite string sweeps and powerful vocals – both Metallica and Heart fans will definitely be pleased with the result. “Two” is actually a cover of a new song by Ne-Yo, performed by Nancy Wilson. The piano-driven dreamy ballad leaves you with an open heart and a strong thirst for romance. Led Zeppelin’s huge influence on Heart could easily be felt, especially in the new and heavy orchestral “I Jump”. It sets a soft and rather creamy mood at the beginning till the surprising Led Zeppelin-inspired riffs captivate your ear in the refrain. “Heaven” is psychedelic masterpiece that sends us on a trip to East-India with its magical opening. Quickly, though, we are attacked by the thunderous drums, electric guitars and Ann’s deafening vocals. Unfortunately, the new versions of songs such as “Johnny Moon”, “Language of Love” and “City’s Burning”, couldn’t match or beat their old arrangements and compositions. Some tracks should definitely be left untouched otherwise they might get completely messed up. “Language of Love” (from “Passionworks”, 1983) is a clear example of unfocused and confused new format that just doesn’t work. Also, wrapping things up with this song might not have been the best idea ever.

If you are used to rocking hard with Heart and love Ann Wilson’s clear and soulful voice, this might be the record for you. Many of the fans out there, including myself, are quite sentimental and prefer the original classics, however “Beautiful Broken” definitely deserves a chance – if not for the old-new songs, than for the three gorgeous new additions to their music library. With this glorious musical journey, the sisters prove that they still have a lot more to offer. Listen, jump and rock all day and night with “Beautiful Broken”.

 

Tracklist:

  1. “Beautiful Broken” (original version on Fanatic deluxe edition)
  2. “Two”
  3. “Sweet Darlin'” (original version on Bébé le Strange)
  4. “I Jump”
  5. “Johnny Moon” (original version on Passionworks)
  6. “Heaven” (original version on Alive in Seattle)
  7. “City’s Burning” (original version on Private Audition)
  8. “Down on Me” (original version on Bébé le Strange)
  9. “One Word” (original version on Private Audition)
  10. “Language of Love” (original version on Passionworks)

 

 


 

Beautiful Broken

Two (Teaser)

I Jump (Teaser + LIVE)


 

References:
“Beautiful Broken” official Wikipedia webpage: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beautiful_Broken
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~

10 Classic Rock Songs about Missing Someone [PART 2]

Based on the success of the previous publication, I decided to prepare a part 2 of “10 Classic Rock Songs about Missing Someone” playlist. Apparently, the theme of missing someone special in your life and experiencing those emotions through songs is one of the most popular and preferred themes among listeners. I do hope the second set of songs I’ve gathered give you what you are looking for. Listen, enjoy and don’t be sad – life is full of hope and the time for holding someone you love once again or meeting a new love, might come sooner than you think…

Listen to PART 1 –
10 Classic Rock Songs about Missing Someone [PART 1]


Guns N’ Roses – Patience

Shed a tear ’cause I’m missin’ you
I’m still alright to smile
Girl, I think about you every day now
Was a time when I wasn’t sure
But you set my mind at ease
There is no doubt
You’re in my heart now


Eric Clapton – Tears in Heaven

I must be strong
And carry on
‘Cause I know I don’t belong
Here in heaven
Would you hold my hand
If I saw you in heaven?
Would you help me stand
If I saw you in heaven?


Scorpions – Lonely Nights

Since you’re gone
There is an empty space
Since you’re gone
The world is not the same
I go back to the places we’ve been
It feels like you’re still there
I live all those moments again
Wishing you were here


Cyndi Lauper – Time After Time

Lying in my bed I hear the clock tick,
And think of you
Caught up in circles confusion –
Is nothing new
Flashback – warm nights –
Almost left behind
Suitcases of memories,
Time after…


Bon Jovi – Always

It’s been raining since you left me
Now I’m drowning in the flood
You see I’ve always been a fighter
But without you I give up

Now I can’t sing a love song
Like the way it’s meant to be
Well, I guess I’m not that good anymore
But, baby, that’s just me…


Bryan Adams – When You’re Gone

I’ve been wandering around the house all night
wondering what the hell to do
I’m trying to concentrate but all i can think of is you
well the phone don’t ring cuz my friends ain’t home
I’m tired of being all alone
got the TV on cuz the radio’s playing songs that remind me
of you…


Carole King – So Far Away

So far away
Doesn’t anybody stay in one place anymore
It would be so fine to see your face at my door
Doesn’t help to know you’re just time away
Long ago I reached for you and there you stood
Holding you again could only do me good
Oh, how I wish I could
But you’re so far away…

Journey – Wheel in the Sky

Wheel in the sky keeps on turnin’
I don’t know where I’ll be tomorrow
Wheel in the sky keeps on turnin’
I’ve been trying to make it home
Got to make it before too long
I can’t take this very much longer
I’m stranded in the sleet and rain
Don’t think I’m ever gonna make it home again
The mornin’ sun is risin’
It’s kissing the day


The Byrds – Here Without You

Daytime just makes me feel lonely
At night I can only dream about you
Girl you’re on my mind nearly all of the time
It’s so hard being here without you
Words in my head keep repeating things that you said
Wen I was with you
And I wonder is it true do you feel the same way too
It’s so hard being here without you, being here without you…


+Bonus Track:
Tenacious D  – Dude, I Totally Miss You

Dude, i totally miss you
The things we did together
Where have you gone?
Totally miss the honesty
And special times, and honestly
I totally miss the fu**ed up thing ya do…


Do You Still Buy CDs ?

cd_publication.png

 

I have been collecting CDs, audiocassettes and vinyl for as long as I can remember. I grew up among the records of my parents till eventually I became a collector myself. There was always something so real and thrilling about holding a CD or an audiocassette, opening it, admiring the photobook inside, and playing it on your Panasonic player which was probably older than your parents. Then, it’s your birthday and you get the latest album of your favorite artist as a gift from your parents! I swear, these were the best times! I have never begged for toys or any other stuff – all I wanted were more and more records. It was the ‘90s after all – music was everywhere, MTV was at its finest, new and interesting pop stars were coming out each and every second. Along with that technology was developing and we got the chance to purchase and enjoy music systems, producing a sound with a much higher quality than before. It was essential for every household to have a stereo and a shelf with a long line of CDs or audiocassettes. I guess it was a sign of being cool and trendy. People were obsessed with music, were devoted fans and were still passionately buying the latest albums of their favorite or not-so-favorite but currently popular artist.

The ‘90s are long gone, however. Along with them, numerous practices, trends and values in music disappear. Then, there was this little thing called the Internet, which completely changed the face of the music industry. I cannot just blame the Internet for the fact that the industry changed on a worldwide level or for the fact that people stopped buying CDs. However, we can’t but think about it for a little bit. Yes, technology did reach unthinkable highs and now, in 2016 we even have the whole world in our pockets. What is the direct consequence of such technological advancements on the music industry and record sales? –Well, it’s pretty obvious, I think. Everyone went digital –downloading, online streaming, online everything… I’m not saying it’s a bad thing; I’m just trying to analyze the factors that led to people stop purchasing CDs. In addition to that, people and their attitude to music changed a little bit, I think. I cannot say why but I do believe that people don’t really value music the same way as before. Yes, we do have favorite artists, we do have our favorite songs and we do quote our favorite lyrics but everything is so temporary. Music nowadays is not “timeless” or memorable. Music nowadays is seasonal and people do enjoy and love it but for a limited amount of time. On top of that, there are so many genres, so many artists, so many trends, so many websites and so many ways to be exposed to music. Sometimes I feel like the general public cannot really establish a strong relationship with an artist that may lead to picking up your keys and wallet, going to the nearest record store and buying their CD. But how can you establish a strong relationship with the artists nowadays? Maybe it’s just me but I cannot relate with pop artists nowadays, I just can’t… they are too many and their music sounds the same so NO, I’m not going to buy Beyoncé or Katy Perry’s latest CD.

However, old-school rock’n’rollers like myself somehow still keep on purchasing records and CDs. Numerous classic rockers are also releasing or re-mastering their previous works from the ‘70s and ‘80s and people keep on buying them. Why? It’s generational. We grew up with a different mindset and a different way of thinking when it comes to music and its value. We have outstanding bands and artists such as Eric Clapton, Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Van Halen, Def Leppard, Led Zeppelin, etc. and they still mean a lot to us so we still support them and still try to find that last piece of the puzzle needed to complete our record/CD collection…We still get excited and amazed when they release a new album, simply because they are this dying breed of musicians that still carry something so special in them – something that reminds us of times when music was good and even though it was still all about the money, artists knew how to create timeless classics. Same goes with other artists from other non-rock genres – Pop/RnB/Blues, etc.

Overall, CDs can offer so many things – quality of sound, durability, variety, longevity, a chance to support your favorite artists, etc. However, the reason why I believe that people should buy CDs is to basically feed their “musical soul”. I’m telling you – if you love music and are not just the regular “I listen to what’s trendy nowadays” person, there’s nothing more satisfying than opening a brand new CD, looking though the photobook, reading through the stories till you finally take out the CD and play it. You feel so good – it’s like part of the artist’s soul is there with you and it took a physical form.

What I’m trying to say here is that based on my observations, conversations and interviews with many of my fellow college students and friends, I did conclude that nowadays people don’t buy CDs because they cannot establish a strong relationship with the artists. Is it because the music and the musicians are too many and don’t know how to create meaningful music or it’s because people don’t feel the need to give money for CDs when they can download it for free, I cannot be sure. All I want to say is that CDs is the type of physical media that can bring so much to you and your day. On top of that it’s not just about the CD – it’s about the whole experience and feeling you get from it. You go to the record store, spend some time looking, listening to and observing through the numerous records, till you finally make a choice. A CD is so much more than just a physical object – it’s a way to experience music on a much higher level and with a much stronger emotion. Keep on buying CDs if you are a true music lover!

 

P.S. These are just my views and opinions I quickly wrote down. Don’t take it too hard and don’t think of it as the ultimate truth. Feel free to express your reasons why you buy/don’t buy CDs! I will be more than happy to read them!

Cheers

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!

20 Classic Rock Songs for the Perfect Summer

Summer’s here! It’s time to think about those long road-trips and visits to the beach. Make sure that for every summer adventure, experience or party, you have these 20 classic rock songs in your playlist to ensure your perfect mood. Among these songs, I have included absolute classic rockers that can instantly change your mood and give you that amazing summer vibe.

Playlist:

Van Halen – Summer Nights
Bryan Adams – Summer of ’69
The Beatles – Here Comes the Sun
Guns N’ Roses – Paradise City
Alice Cooper – School’s Out
Chicago – Saturday in the Park
The Beach Boys – Surfin’ U.S.A
The Who – Summertime Blues
AC/DC – This House is on Fire
Steve Perry – Summer of Luv

Don Henley – The Boys of Summer
Blondie – In The Sun
Led Zeppelin – Dancing Days
Def Leppard – Ride into the Sun
Ramones – Rockaway Beach
Kiss – Rock N’ Roll All Nite
Billy Idol – Hot in the City
Eric Clapton – I’ve Got a Rock N’ Roll Heart
Sammy Hagar – Mas Tequila
Survivor – High on You


Van Halen – Summer Nights

Bryan Adams – Summer of ’69

The Beatles – Here Comes the Sun

Guns N’ Roses – Paradise City

Alice Cooper – School’s Out

Chicago – Saturday in the Park

The Beach Boys – Surfin’ U.S.A

The Who – Summertime Blues

AC/DC – This House is on Fire

Steve Perry – Summer of Luv


Don Henley – The Boys of Summer

Blondie – In The Sun

Led Zeppelin – Dancing Days

Def Leppard – Ride into the Sun

Ramones – Rockaway Beach

Kiss – Rock N’ Roll All Nite

Billy Idol – Hot in the City

Eric Clapton – I’ve Got a Rock N’ Roll Heart

Sammy Hagar – Mas Tequila

Survivor – High on You