[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”

 

buy-from-amazon


 

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)

~

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”

buy-from-amazon


 

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~

[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”

buy-from-amazon


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~

Rock Legends Who Deserve to be Inducted in the Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Fame Right Now!!!

I have very strong opinions towards this “institution” called Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and I have always been one of those people who cannot stop criticizing and being mad at their rather shady and unrealistic nomination process. Let’s face it – Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is an absolute joke and it doesn’t really reflect or represent an objective and fair point of view. Not to mention that they include too many artists from all kinds of genres which confuses people and makes them lose their trust in this “institution”. They lost me as a fan and a supporter a long time ago. However, I cannot ignore their inductions because if I do ignore what’s happening, it will bug me and I won’t be able to find my sleep!!! Bottom line is – if you are a top rock act with a career that lasted for more than 30+ years and you sold millions of records, the chance of you being inducted into this “piss stain” is very SLIM! WHY? No one knows… Money? Politics? Basically, all that crap that ruin everything decent in life… The nomination process sucks and they better hope I never find a way to get down there and give them a little rock ‘n’ roll lesson cause apparently they don’t really know what that is….

Anyhow, these are 10 of the most outstanding and timeless rock legends who guess what… are NOT INDUCTED in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame! Let’s talk a little bit about their accomplishments and careers and try to figure out who in their right mind decided that THEY ARE NOT ELIGIBLE for this “prestigious” recognition! I swear, I’m losing it… Let’s just hope that they will be inducted sometime soon. The influence, success and love for those following artists is SO HUGE that they most definitely DESERVE to be there among the other legends of rock music… Let’s check them out!


 

Def Leppard

Def Leppard have been active since the late 70s and never stopped making awesome music. With their Platinum hit records “Pyromania” and “Hysteria”, they basically ruled the hard rock scene in the 80s and quickly became one of the best-selling bands in the world. They have sold over 100 million records worldwide and released over 50 timeless classic singles we can’t get enough of. I can’t stop asking myself why are they STILL NOT INDUCTED in Rock & Roll Hall of Fame?? Only a few other artists managed to sell over 10 million copies of an original studio album and if this is not a worthy accomplishment I don’t know what is…

def leppard

Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden – the absolute pioneers of British Heavy Metal and one of the most influential and successful rock bands ever! They began their journey in the late 70s and so far have released 38 albums which sold more than 90 million copies worldwide!!! Their contributions and achievements are unquestionable and they should be inducted in Rock Hall of Fame RIGHT NOW!

iron-maiden

Judas Priest

Judas Priest – the fathers of metal and one of the most essential bands for the development and success of rock music back in the day. In the 70s, they helped shape thrash and in the 80s they just blew everyone’s minds away with their heavy metal sound and innovations. Up to date, they have sold more than 45 million records worldwide and influenced the majority of rock artists with their unique style, image and music. Induct them NOW, please!

judas priest 2

Journey (2017 Inductees)

Journey! A band that went through a lot of line-up changes but became one of the most commercially successful rock acts of the 80s. They have 18 top 40 singles and a number of unforgettable tunes we love with all our hearts – “Open Arms”, “Don’t Stop Believin’” and many more. Journey sold over 48 million records and became one of America’s most beloved bands! Also, we have to talk about Steve Perry and his immense contributions and vocal abilities which became one of the main reasons why they reached such success back in the day! They deserve to be inducted for sure!

journey

Ronnie James Dio

This right here is the biggest mistake of Rock Hall of Fame – not inducting the MOST influential and talented rockstar – Ronnie James Dio. I can never forgive them for that. I don’t really need someone to tell me that he was a legend and a pioneer of rock, but he deserves to be acknowledged and respected for what he did. His name should be alongside the other big names – Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, etc. He fronted Dio, Black Sabbath, Rainbow, Elf and Heaven & Hell and sold over 47 million albums over the span of his career! It’s time, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame – it’s time!!

ronnie james dio

Bon Jovi

Bon Jovi were nominated in 2011 but couldn’t make it – I have absolutely no idea why, though! They have the whole package – a long and productive career, amazing and charismatic frontman, timeless classic rock hits, sold over 100 million records worldwide and keep on releasing awesome music! Come on, Rock Hall of Fame – it’s now or never!

20130204_Bon_Jovi_0369.jpg

Emerson, Lake & Palmer

ELP – one of the most essential progressive rock supergroup which completely re-defined the music scene. Formed back in the 70s, these phenomenal artists were destined for success. By combining unique elements of classical music, jazz, symphonic rock and excessive use of Hammond organ, they crafted a sound that was never heard of or will ever be heard again! Such influential bands should be inducted in Rock & Roll Hall of Fame – no second opinion about it.

emerson lake and palmer

Electric Light Orchestra (2017 Inductees)

Sometimes it really makes me mad when people just forget about the influence and success of this awesome rock band. Formed back in the 1970s, they have also crafted a unique sound, combining elements of Beatlesque pop, classical arrangements, and futuristic iconography. Not to mention that they have 27 top 40 hits and an outstanding leader in the face of Jeffrey “Jeff” Lynne who also by the way co-founded the supergroup Traveling Wilburys and is the only one of them who is not included…Such a SHAME!

Photo of ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA

Dire Straits

Dire Straits – a band everyone loves listening to! They became hugely successful in the 80s with their distinctive sound, drawing influences from jazz, folk and blues music. Their biggest triumph was undoubtedly the ultimate “Brothers in Arms” which became the first album to cell million copies on CDs. Not to mention the tons of music awards they received throughout their career… Bottom line is, Dire Straits are awesome and they should be inducted!

dire straits 3

Motorhead

Motörhead are undoubtedly the pioneers of speed and thrash metal. Formed back in 1975, the influence of this band goes above and beyond any other heavy metal band. By mixing elements of punk and metal, the mastermind of the band – Lemmy, crafted a sound that still sounds as awesome as ever! The band has sold more than 30 million records worldwide and becoming the number one influence of bands such as Metallica, Motörhead have earned their rightful place in the Rock Hall of Fame… RIP, Lemmy!

motorhead


 

There are plenty more….

[Playlist] Sammy Hagar’s Best Vocal Moments

sammy hagar smile

When we talk about rock male vocalists, Sammy Hagar’s name immediately comes to our minds. He is one of those notable and unquestionable talents who can do wonders with his voice. People who know me are quite well aware of the fact he is indeed one of my most favorite voices of rock and every time I hear him sing, I immediately feel much better and in a better mood. I feel like his personality is very much transferred into his vocal delivery and it’s only natural to feel so good when you listen to him singing – he is such a charismatic, passionate, loving and fun person.

Throughout his long career that started in the ‘70s, Hagar has been involved with numerous musical projects; wrote countless songs; has been in several bands, such as Montrose and more recently Chickenfoot; fronted one of the greatest rock bands in the world – Van Halen and successfully launched a solo career. He surely wasn’t wasting his time or talents and thank God, he didn’t!

Of course, the majority of people, including myself are mostly familiar with his prolific time in Van Halen. Actually, that is also how I was first introduced to this amazing man. The moment I heard him sing, I realized that there’s something very special there! In addition to his Van Halen days, however Sammy Hagar has actually released a lot of solo projects, including the hit record “Three Lock Box” (1982) and “I Never Say Goodbye” (1987).

I’m sure that there are countless of great songs we can think of when we talk about Sammy Hagar and his career. Whether we are talking about his solo projects or Van Halen days, one thing is sure – Sammy Hagar knows how to sing and deliver a very passionate performance that can’t but impress you. There are some song which I perceive as his best one in terms of vocal delivery and effect they have on me. I have collected them and came up with this playlist! I hope you would enjoy it as much as I do…

 

Playlist:

‘When It’s Love’ (1988) (with Van Halen)
‘Right Now’ (1991) (with Van Halen)
‘Judgment Day” (1991) (with Van Halen)
‘Heavy Metal’ (1981) (from “Standing Hampton”)
‘I’ve Done Everything for You’ (1978) (from “All Night Long”)
‘I Can’t Drive 55′ (1984) (from ‘VOA’)
‘Little White Lie’ (1977) (from “Marching to Mars”)
‘Things Have Changed’ (2002) (from “Not 4 Sale”)
 ‘Sexy Little Thing’(2009)(with Chickenfoot)
‘Shaka Doobie’ (2000) (from “Ten 13”)


 

Sammy Hagar as the frontman of Van Halen – best in thing there ever was in rock music! I surely miss those glory days. Of course, during that time, the number of hit singles, phenomenal songs and outstanding tours that were held is too much to even try and count. However, when we talk about vocal delivery, I believe that those three songs best represent the ability of Sammy to just kill it with those great growls and depth of voice.  

‘When It’s Love’ (1988) (with Van Halen)

‘Right Now’ (1991) (with Van Halen)

‘Judgment Day” (1991) (with Van Halen)

‘Heavy Metal’ (1981) (from “Standing Hampton”)

‘I’ve Done Everything for You’ (1978) (from “All Night Long”)

‘I Can’t Drive 55′ (1984) (from ‘VOA’)

‘Little White Lie’ (1977) (from “Marching to Mars”)

‘Things Have Changed’ (2002) (from “Not 4 Sale”)

 ‘Sexy Little Thing’(2009)(with Chickenfoot)

‘Shaka Doobie’ (2000) (from “Ten 13”)


 

Record Madness! Check Out The New Music Releases For June 2016

June is almost here and let me tell you – it’s going to be a great month for people who still purchase and collect CDs/Vinyl and love classic rockstars! In June, we will get the chance to hear some new music from familiar names, as well as once again experience timeless classics, collected to celebrate anniversaries and long careers. Among the highlights would be Paul Simon’s first studio album since 2011, Rolling Stones’ live album and Beach Boys’ project, marking the 50th anniversary of “Pet Sounds”.

Let’s have a look at some of the essential releases for June! I cannot wait!


 

JUNE 3

  • The Cars, The Elektra Years 1978-1987 (vinyl set)

  • The Kinks, Everybody’s in Show-Biz: Legacy Edition

  • Paul Simon, Stranger to Stranger

  • Pink Floyd, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn,
    A Saucerful of Secrets,
    More
    and
    Ummagumma (vinyl reissues)

  • Rolling Stones, Totally Stripped


 

JUNE 10

  • Beach Boys, Pet Sounds: 50th Anniversary Collectors Edition

  • Electric Light Orchestra, The Studio Albums 1973-1977

  • John Mellencamp, American Fool, Uh-Huh, Scarecrow, The Lonesome Jubilee (vinyl reissues); The Vinyl Collection 1982-1989

  • Paul McCartney, Pure McCartney

  • Phil Collins, … But Seriously: Deluxe Edition, The Essential Going Back: Deluxe Edition (reissues)

  • Motörhead, Clean Your Clock: Live in Munich 2015 (DVD/Blu-ray)

  • The Monkees, Good Times

  • Van Morrison, It’s Too Late to Stop Now … Volumes II, III, IV & DVD


 

JUNE 17

  • Chicago, Chicago Quadio Box

  • Neil Young, Earth

  • Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Getaway

  • The Who, Volume 4: The Polydor Singles 1975-2015


 

Coming out in JULY

survivor the definite collection

  • Survivor, The Definitive Collection (2CD Set)

  • Jeff Beck, (New Untitled Album)

  • Fleetwood Mac, Mirage (reissue)


 

Credits:
June 2016 New Music Releases By Nick DeRiso, retrieved from http://ultimateclassicrock.com/june-2016-new-music-releases/?trackback=tsmclip
List of 2016 album, retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_2016_albums#June