25 Facts You May (not) Know About the Mighty Def Leppard

Def Leppard x
Def Leppard – Photosession for their 2002 album “X”

Greetings everyone!

After the nice feedback and overall audience response for the previous informative publication I made about Bon Jovi –10 Facts You Probably (don’t) Know about Bon Jovi ” , I decided that I should make similar posts about other classic rock bands as well. Then, I thought that it’s been a while since I last wrote something about my most favourite classic rock band – Def Leppard, so here we are… The following publication will present some interesting facts and details about the band, accompanied by some of their most famous and loved songs. I know that there are many Def Leppard fans like me out there, so for some of you these stories and facts might be well-known. However, there are people who might also not be so familiar with the band. This publication is for everyone who wants to know more or re-fresh their fan memory. I do hope you enjoy it!

Before I continue, I would like to say a few words about the band and their legacy. Def Leppard debuted in 1980 with their excellent album “On through the Night”. That album launched the professional career of one of the most appreciated and respected rock bands in the world. With a bit of uncertainty and yet unrefined and not very well-polished sound, Def Leppard jumped on the rock music scene of the 80s with hopes and dreams of becoming the next “Led Zeppelin”. As years, projects and numerous hardships went by, the band members, as well as their sound significantly grew and evolved and as a result, they created some of the most well-written and highly-processed album of the era. Of course, we should mention the help of top producer Mutt Lange who was by their side. “Pyromania” (1983) and “Hysteria” (1987) are the albums that basically ruled the 80s and turned Def Leppard into absolute rock Gods. Catchy, radio-friendly and energetic songs, combined with a mixture of shiny new pop hooks and classic hard rock was their recipe for success. And what a success story that was…and still is…


 

1.Def Leppard is an ENGLISH band from the steel-producing town of Sheffield. In 1977, Rick Savage, Tony Kenning and Pete Willis were already the members a rock band, called Atomic Mass. Originally, Willis was on guitar, Savage on the bass and Kenning on the drums. At that time, Joe Elliot was only 18 years old. He auditioned for the band as a guitarist. However, during the try out it was decided that Joe is a better singer than a guitarist. He was hired immediately as a lead-vocalist.

 

Def Leppard - end of the 70s
Def Leppard in the late 70s.


2. Joe Elliot proposed the band adopt a new name. He suggested they call themselves “Deaf Leopard” – a name he came up with while writing reviews for imaginary rock bands in his English class. Elliot was always dreaming about forming a band in school. He was creating song lists, band logos and band names while his classmates were studying. Kenning, however, suggested that they should alter the spelling of the name to “Def Leppard” in order to seem less punk rock. (P.S. The name was also a reference to the band Led Zeppelin.)

3. In January, 1978, guitarist Steve Clark successfully auditioned and eventually was accepted into the band. According to Joe Elliot, Steve Clark did a phenomenal job playing Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Free Bird” in its entirety, without accompaniment. Later on, Steve Clark would be know as the “riff master” for his ability to come up with tons of catchy tunes for the band.

4. Tony Kenning – their original drummer unexpectedly left the band in the beginning of 1978. The mother of Rick Allen, who was 14 back then was the one to actually respond to the ad placed by the band, looking for a new drummer (“Leppard loses skins” was the ad’s headline). On his fifteenth birthday – November 1st, 1978, Rick Allen joined the band and eventually dropped out of school. Today, he is known as the “thunder God”.

5. Their first concert was in 1978 in a high school gymnasium in their home town of Sheffield, England. It’s said that only about six people went to it. It is said that the band smuggled beer into the event by hiding it in the drum kit. 

 

6. Phil Collen – a former guitarist of the glam rock band called Girl was hired by the band in 1982 as a replacement of former guitarist Pete Willis. Pete Willis had to be released from the band because of his excessive alcohol and drug abuse.

7. Phil Collen and Steve Clark became very close friends and were eventually given the nickname “The Terror Twins” (a reference to Aerosmith’s Toxic Twins).

Steve and Phil
“The Terror Twins”

 


8. The famous producer Mutt Lange is the mastermind behind Def Leppard’s High ‘N’ Dry (1981), Pyromania (1983) and Hysteria (1987). He was also the executive producer of Adrenalize (1992) and co-wrote “Ring of Fire” and “I Wanna Be Your Hero” from Retro Active, (1993) and “Promises”, “All Night” and “It’s Only Love” from Euphoria (1999).

9. Def Leppard’s ultimate hit single “Bringin’ on the Heartbreak” from their second album “High ‘n’ Dry” became one of the first rock videos to be played on MTV in 1982. The song’s working title was actually “A Certain Heartache” but they had it changed. 

 

10. Def Leppard is one of the few rock bands that have had two studio albums which sold more than 10 million copies in the USA alone. As many might guess, those two albums are Pyromania (1983) and Hysteria (1987).

 

11. Pyromania’s (1983) lead single “Photograph” is probably their most essential song, as it completely established the name and image of the band among the mainstream audience. The video for “Photograph” succeeded Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” as the most requested video on MTV. The song became a daily “must play” for every rock station and a standard for any hard rock song in the 80s.

 

12. Drummer Rick Allen lost his left arm in a car crash on 31st of December 1984, when he was racing in his Corvette outside the band’s home city of Sheffield. Rick flew through the windshield and his arm was ripped off by the seat belt. Despite the horrible disaster, Rick Allen was determined and fully committed to continuing his duties as Def Leppard’s drummer. Eventually, he realized that he could use his legs to play the drums. He worked with Simmons to design a special custom-made electronic drum kit. The other members were very supportive and never thought of replacing him with another drummer. In just a few months, the strength of Rick’s will and his enormous desire to make music resulted in his very powerful comeback. Allen gathered the other band members and played the intro to the Led Zeppelin’s version of “When the Levee Breaks” to show them his progress. According to Joe Elliot this was a very emotionally-intense moment for all of them.

 

Rick Allen 2
Rick Allen

 

13. Def Leppard’s Hysteria (1987) is one of the few albums which spawned not one, not two, not three, but SEVEN hit singles – “Animal”, “Rocket”, “Pour Some Sugar on Me”, “Women”, “Hysteria”, “Armageddon’ It” and “Love Bites”. Furthermore, up to date, Hysteria is Def Leppard’s best-selling album of all time – it sold more than 25 million copies worldwide. It also remained in the album charts for about three years. (wow!!!)

14. “Pour Some Sugar on Me” is one of Def Leppard’s most famous and instantly-recognizable tunes. It is said that Joe Elliot came up with the title for the song while he was sitting in his apartment in London. He asked producer Mutt Lange for some sugar for his tea. Lange replied by asking whether Joe wanted one lump or two. Joe said, “I don’t care, just pour some sugar on me”…and the rest is history. (I should say that this story varies according to different sources.)
P.S. Upon asked about the title, Joe said, “It’s not for me to say, It’s for you to interpret”… so who knows?
Joe also said that “Pour Some Sugar On Me” is “The metaphor for whatever sexual preference you enjoy”…

 

15. “Love Bites” (from Hysteria, 1987) is one of the most famous power ballads of the 80s. Up to date, it’s Def Leppard’s only number one hit single on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

 

16. The “Riff-Master” – guitarist Steve Clark died of a drug and alcohol overdose on January 8th, 1991.

17. Between 1991 and 1992 the band held numerous auditions to replace Steve Clark. In February 1992, the band chose Vivian Campbell. Before joining Def Leppard, Vivian played in Dio and Whitesnake.

 

18. Def Leppard’s album “Adrenalize” was dedicated to Steve Clark and was released a year after his death – 1992. The album debuted at number 1 on the USA Billboard 200 and peaked number 1 position on the UK Album Chart as well. Adrenalize is Def Leppard’s final glam metal album. After it, the band started exploring different music directions and styles.

Def_Leppard_-_Adrenalize
Def Leppard – “Adrenalize” Album Cover


19.
One of the most unique accomplishments of the band was achieved on October 23th, 1995 – Def Leppard entered the Guinness Book of World Records by playing three 45-minute shows on three different continents. The performances were in Tangier, Morocco, London and Vancouver, Canada. The band decided to carry out this rather stressful and extraordinary situation in support of Vault (Greatest Hits 1980-1995).

20. On the September 5th, 2000, Def Leppard were inducted into the Rock Walk of Fame on Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood by their good friend Brian May of Queen.

 

Def Leppard walk of fame

21. In 2001, VH1 produced and aired a biopic, titled Hysteria – The Def Leppard Story. The docudrama was portraying the band’s history between 1977 through 1986. The first broadcast of the movie produced some of VH1’s highest ever TV ratings. The movie is also available on DVD.
(P.S. I thought it was a very decent movie and I recommend it, especially for people who are very interested in knowing more about this awesome band.)

Hysteria MOVIE


22.
Def Leppard won an award for “Favorite Heavy Metal/Hard Rock Artist” and “Favorite Heavy Metal/Hard Rock Album” for Hysteria during 1989’s American Music Awards. They also got numerous nominations in music video and best stage performance categories.

23. Def Leppard have an album which includes only cover songs from their childhood years. The album is titled “Yeah!” and it pays tribute to artists such as Blondie, The Kinks, ELO and others.

 

YEAH!
Def Leppard – “YEAH!” Album Cover

 

24. Up to date, Def Leppard has 11 Studio Albums, 2 live albums, 4 compilation albums, 8 video albums, 33 music videos, 50 singles and 18 concert tours. The band’s latest album called “Def Leppard” was released on the 30th of October last year and it debuted at number 10 on the Billboard charts. It became the band’s seventh album to peak at a top ten position on the chart. The first single from the album is called “Let’s Go”.

 

25. This past January, Def Leppard released their latest music video for the song “Dangerous” from their 2015 self-titled album.

 


Credits:
Def Leppard Artist Facts, retrieved from http://www.songfacts.com/facts-def_leppard.php
Def Leppard Biography, retrieved from http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Def_Leppard.aspx
“10 Things You Might Not Know about Def Leppard”, retrieved from http://www.kshe95.com/blogs/ten-things/10-things-you-might-not-know-about-def-leppard
“You Think You Know Def Leppard”, retrieved from http://ultimateclassicrock.com/you-think-you-know-def-leppard/
Def Leppard – Official Wikipedia Page, retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Def_Leppard
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/or various other right holders.

[Appreciation Post] Happy Birthday, George Harrison!

 

Today marks a very special occasion – on this day, in 1943, one of the greatest musicians was born – our beloved George Harrison. He was one of those brilliant artists without whom the world would’ve been a very different place, now. Throughout his career, he achieved unbelievable success, touched the hearts and souls of millions of people and left a legacy that can never be matched. In honour of George, I decided to prepare a little publication, dedicated to some of his major achievements in music. He was an outstanding artist – every word and note he wrote was revealing a part of him – his music was special, personal and unforgettable. That’s why many people say that he was the heart of the Beatles… I don’t know about that, but what I’m sure of is the fact that his artistic persona and exceptional music is truly missed…

George Harrison and the Beatles…

George became a member of the Beatles, back when they were still a skiffle band with only John Lennon and Paul McCartney being the other two members. At the beginning, his position was still uncertain – he was too young to be in their band. However, after some auditions and filling in on guitar when needed, he eventually became a full member of the band.

The band spent the following years in Hamburg, Germany. There Harrison kept on working hard and giving his all into polishing his talents on the guitar by taking lessons and learning as much as he could. He was too young, so unfortunately he had to be deported along with the Beatles who followed him back home to UK. In 1961, Brian Epstein – one of the most brilliant managers, took matters into his own hands and helped the guys establish their grounds, looks and image. A recording contract with EMI was also placed on the table. From that moment on, the career of the Beatles, with Harrison as their lead guitarist, turn into the biggest success story ever! Beatles changed the music industry, people’s perception of rock ‘n’ roll and conquered the world…

“Norwegian Wood” – a song from Harrison’s favorite Beatles’ album – “Rubber Soul”. At that time, he was beginning to take immense interest in Indian music culture and introduced the sitar to the Beatles.

Harrison was responsible for composing some of Beatles’ major hits during the first half of the 60s – “Taxman”, “Love You To”, “I Want to Tell You”, “Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)” and many more. However, by 1966, his focus of interest has shifted dramatically. In addition to his desire to write more songs, featuring Indian instruments and express himself through a different kind of music, George also took a long path of self-realization. At that time, all the creative decisions in the band were made, of course, by Lennon and McCartney – basically, there was no equality in terms of what kind of music the Beatles should make. Eventually, tensions escalated and in 1969, Harrison left the band.

Their last LP – “Abbey Road”, included George Harrison’s most famous works – “Here Comes the Sun” and “Something”.

The following years were quite productive for George – he released new albums, organized charity events in Bangladesh, toured over North America and basically didn’t stop writing, producing and performing the way he wanted it. One of his biggest successes was the album “Dark Horse”, released in 1974 – a record about “change and loss”.

Harrison’s song “All Those Years Ago” was written as a tribute to Lennon whose death really affected George’s life.

In 1987, Harrison released the platinum album “Cloud Nine” which spawned one of George’s most famous and loved hit songs – “Got My Mind Set on You”. (it was a rendition of James Ray’s “Got My Mind Set on You”)

The following step of his career was a project called “the Traveling Wilburys” with Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan and Tom Petty.

Harrison died of cancer on November 29th, 2001 in Los Angeles at the age of 58. His final album – “Brainwashed” was completed by his son. 

 

Once again, Happy Birthday to George Harrison – one of the greatest musicians and rockstars of all time. His talent was limitless, his heart was made of gold and his music changed the lives of everyone.

Thank you, George.

“There never was a time when you or I did not exist. Nor will there be any future when we shall cease to be.”

P.S. I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the credits and rights go to the owners and publishers.

 

[The Greatest Rock Albums of the 80s] Eric Clapton – Money and Cigarettes

Today I woke up to some incredible news – one of my favourite male rockstars and in my opinion the greatest guitar hero ever – Eric Clapton will be releasing his 23rd solo album this spring! I am beyond happy and cannot wait to hear what this outstanding man has prepared for us this time.

In the spirit of the news, I decided to prepare a publication dedicated to my favourite Eric Clapton album – “Money and Cigarettes”, which also happens to be one of the greatest rock albums of the 80s (at least to me). This album is quite special and significant because it marks a new turning point in Clapton’s life – it’s the first album he releases after his rehabilitation from alcoholism. To many people who are not familiar with his story, the title of the album – “Money and Cigarettes” suggests that the songs you can find in it are all about the “rock ‘n’ roll wild life” – money, smoking, parties, etc. I thought about it myself when I first heard about it many years ago – Oh, another album about money and girls, etc…On the contrary, after his struggles with alcoholism, he felt very empty and devastated. He chooses this particular title “because that’s all I saw myself having left”, he said. Quite sad, isn’t it? Misfortunes aside, this album proved that he still had it – he was and still is a true rock ‘n’ roll God who always rises from the ashes and takes back his throne.

Before going any further with the songs and the themes, I would like to focus on some other important information and details. “Money and Cigarettes” was released back in 1983 as the eight studio album by Clapton. It consists of ten songs and it spawned three hit singles – “I’ve Got a Rock ‘n’ Roll Heart”, “The Shape You’re In” and “Slow Down Linda”. In terms of chart performance, it was not his greatest accomplishment indeed; however it got a few nice spots in Germany, Sweden and Norway’s album charts. In addition, his first single “I’ve Got a Rock ‘n’ Roll Heart” peaked at number 18 in the Billboard hot 100 chart, number 17 in Canadian top singles chart and unfortunately, barely got to UK top singles chart at number 83. I don’t understand why his native country didn’t respond that well to the album and its singles. In my opinion, the album didn’t quite match the new trends of the era – 80s and was still a little bit “old-school” and “70s”. Don’t get me wrong, personally I do love the way he blended his rock and blues with his one-of-a-kind low key, casual and gentle vocal delivery. I guess the people were just looking for something different, though.

The overall atmosphere of the album is very relaxing, calming and creates a very good mood – at least to me. The songs are easy to sing along with, not as complex as his previous works, however still possessing his special and distinctive touch. In addition, somehow all the songs from “Money and Cigarettes” can simply make you feel good while listening. For instance, songs like “Everybody Oughta Make a Change” (which is a cover by Sleepy John Estes by the way) or “Crosscut Saw” are very uplifting, spirited and perfect for having a drink with your best friend on a nice spring evening. On the other hand, love songs such as “Pretty Girl”, “Man in Love” and “Man Overboard” may be very pleasant, cheerful and gentle, however to some they might not be so memorable or in any-way original. To me, however, the sweet lyrics, in combination with a tender and unobtrusive guitar playing seem very soul-revealing and most certainly create a very warm feeling inside my heart, especially “Pretty Girl”.

 

 

Pretty girl you are the light of my life,
I mean my everything.
You are the one I chose to make my wife,
That’s why you wear my ring.

 

 

Feels like we’re falling into the arms of the night,
So if you’re not ready, don’t be holdin’ me so tight.
I guess there’s nothing left for me to explain;
Here’s what you’re gettin’ and I don’t want to change,
I don’t want to change.

 

 

I’ve seen you speeding down the highway when you ought to dig the scenery.
And you can wolf down your dinner in the time it takes to drink my tea.
You’re always rushing ’round everywhere you go,
You leave me eating dirt on the side of the road.
I can’t keep running much longer you always go too fast for me.

 

It ain’t no big deal, we’re all lucky to be alive,
I myself don’t believe in luck, or taking chances, I will survive.
Every move I make, every twist and every turn,
You scandalize and humble me, I may be slow but I will learn.

 

Many critics are not as thrilled as me when it comes to this album. For instance, some music reviews say that the album is an “average” effort from Clapton and it doesn’t actually possess any characteristic that can distinguish it from the enormous wave of rock albums, released at that time. I agree that some of his previous works are much more relevant, widely-recognized and produced with a unique “flavour” that is somehow missing in “Money and Cigarettes”. I mean – some of his preceding albums such as “Slowhand” and “No Reason to Cry” triggered such an explosive reaction from the fans and critics and if you hear some of the songs from those two albums you will get what I’m saying. However, what makes “Money and Cigarettes” so special (at least to me) is what it stands for – the strength of human will and the desire to change for better. Clapton quit drinking and became this positive person who took his life back and wanted to do something great with it. That’s one of the reasons why I respect him so much. This album marked a very new beginning in his life career-wise as well. He let go some of his previous band members and formed a new line-up. Furthermore, this album once again proves that his abilities to play and sing the blues are beyond extraordinary. It may not be as intriguing as his previous projects and most certainly not as commercial and mainstream as his next albums, however it does represent a very impressive point of his career. The songs from this album – songs such as “I’ve Got a Rock ‘n’ Roll Heart” or “Pretty Girl” are a symbol of his desire to move forward and create music for each and every mood or situation you can find yourself in. Also, this album tells us that he doesn’t necessarily have to be this outstanding, fiery and blistering guitar-God in order to create good music. Regardless, one thing he has always been to us – inspiring.

Check out the rest of the songs from the album! I’m sure you will immediately feel much more spirited and feel in a better mood!

Cheers!

Credits:
How Eric Clapton Got Out of Rehab and Released ‘Money and Cigarettes’, by By Nick DeRiso, retrieved from http://ultimateclassicrock.com
 I do not own any visual or audio material in this publication. All the credits and rights go to the owners and/or the publishers.

 

 

 

 

 

[Appreciation Post] Happy Birthday, Axl Rose

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Axl Rose (William Bruce Rose back in the 80s)

 

Today we celebrate the 54th birthday of non-other than Axl Rose! There’s no self-respecting rock music fan who doesn’t know who Axl Rose is! However, for the record I still need to say that he is the charismatic and eccentric frontman of Guns N’ Roses and one of the most controversial rockstars of all time! Since today is his birthday, I decided to prepare a little appreciation publication that will acknowledge and present a few of my favorite photos of him, as well look through some of his best works as a musician throughout the years. Furthermore, since Guns N’ Roses recently announced a long-awaited comeback with tour dates this year, it seems like to me this is the perfect time to talk about Mr. Rose.

Before forming the infamous rock band Guns N’ Roses, Axl Rose was a member of other rock bands such as L.A. Guns and Rapidfire and was making a name for himself in the rock music scene. However, his major recognition and success came with GNR, of course. The band quickly gained an enormous fan base and grabbed the attention of so many people all around the world. Their commercial peak was reached with “Appetite for Destruction” which later on becomes the best-selling debut album of all time! That surely speaks volumes! Undoubtedly, one of the reasons why this album became such a major accomplishment is Axl Rose’s vocal delivery – it was most certainly not the conventional male rock star voice – it was something that people back then never really had the chance to hear before. His raw and high vocals were also accompanied by his bizarre, erratic and even crazy personality. This combination made all the girls crazy about him. He was indeed a quite handsome fellow…
Let’s watch some of the videos from the album…I mean just look at him, do I even need to say more?

After becoming this huge rock sensation, the band started recording a new album and embarked on a long tour, which became a huge success, of course. The tour itself may have been a financial win, but Axl Rose had his numerous moments of irrationality and being all late-arriving, canceling-at-the-last-minute, super-famous ego-driven rockstar and all. He had his moments in many of the band’s live concerts. I’m not going to go into details about the things he did because I believe he was quite young and people do make mistakes… I think fans forgave him a long time ago – after all he is Axl Rose and we still love him!

The following two albums – Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II also reached high positions in the charts and made Axl and the band even more famous.

The problems within the members of the band were too large and too many to overcome which was very unfortunate for all the fans hoping to see them work together on more projects. Nevertheless, Axl Rose committed himself to a new album – “Chinese Democracy” which was released in 2008 as the band’s sixth studio album after “The Spaghetti Incident?” (1993). The album was long-awaited and it did have a major success and positive critical reviews, however it was nothing compared to what things used to be. Working alone without the original members of the band, Axl Rose crafted a very different, electric driven album which was most certainly not the same as the well-known previous hard rock sound we were used to.

Finally, I would like to finish by saying that Axl Rose is a true rockstar and indeed a voice of a generation that continues to spark and trigger our interest and admiration with pretty much everything he does on and off stage. I respect him for his success and greatness back in the 80s and 90s and wish to go back in time and see the band performing live – his stage persona is very intriguing to me and I’m sure I would’ve had so much fun. For what he did, the way he performed and his musical talents as a whole, he did receive numerous awards and recognitions, such as Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, Ronnie James Dio lifetime achievement award and you know…selling more than 30 million copies of a single album worldwide…

Happy Birthday, Mr. Axl Rose – the rockstar that changed the game and put a new meaning into the word “controversial”!
P.S We, the fans, cannot wait for the comeback of the band this year! I’m sure it’s going to be something amazing! Please, don’t come late or forget to show up, otherwise… fans might start rioting again…and we don’t want history to repeat itself now, do we…?

oh I love this so much….

cheers!

p.s I do not own any photo or video material that was used for this publication. All the credit goes to the photographers and the uploaders!

[The Greatest Rock Albums of the 80s] DEF LEPPARD – PYROMANIA (1983)

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Def Leppard – Pyromania Album Cover (by Andie Airfix)

Greetings!

On the 20th of January, we celebrated the 33th anniversary of Def Leppard’s groundbreaking and era-defining album “Pyromania”. Released back in 1983, this album not only changed the face of the 80s, but it also became one of the biggest reasons behind Def Leppard’s major success and fan recognition back in the days. To me personally, “Pyromania”, along with their following album “Hysteria” are the two albums that mostly characterize and represent Def Leppard…not to mention that those two albums are some of my all-time favorites.
To mark the anniversary of this incredible masterpiece, I decided to dedicate a publication which can hopefully give some insight and also show my appreciation and love for it. Also, I would like to provide some basic information about it so that the readers can have a better idea of the impact and the greatness that lies within this album. Needless to say, I adore and appreciate each and every song from this album which makes this publication a very special one.
Finally, this album focus marks the beginning of a new category of posts on this blog – The Greatest Albums of the 80s…what better way to start than with Def Leppard’s “Pyromania”?

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Def Leppard 1983 ; (credits to the owner of the photo)

Since this is going to be an album focus publication, I would like to begin with some of the major details regarding the album. “Pyromania”, as already mentioned, was released on the 20th of January back in 1983 and it’s Def Leppard’s third studio album. Along with the album, the band also organized a concert tour that lasted for one whole year, in order to support and present their new project to the world. It was an European tour, however it did have a huge impact…after all, in the 80s it was all about the “live concert experience”. Going back to the album itself, it was indeed a huge success as it reached number 2 on the Billboard 200, number 4 in Canada,  and number 18 on the UK album charts – those are some major achievements and prove that the album was and still is worthy of admiration and listening. In its original release, the album sold more than 6 million copies in the USA alone and since than it sold more than 10 million copies – thus It was certified 10x “platinum” by the RIAA in 2004. The artwork of the album is also pretty amazing, don’t you think? It includes a skyscraper caught on fire and a bullseye which is directly pointed at the flaming building. The artist behind this memorable and classic hard rock cover is Andie Airfix – the guy who also a few years later does the cover of “Hysteria”. Some say it predicted 9/11 and consider it rather controversy; however I try to stay away from such interpretations. To me it’s fresh, futuristic and rocknroll!

The reasons behind the album’s positive response from the public are numerous but to me personally, the success of the album comes from the brilliant hard rock mastermind of the producer Robert John “Mutt” Lange. He not only set new standards and characteristics of mainstream hard rock of the 80s with this album, but he was also responsible for the memorable, radio-friendly and easy to remember and sing with lyrics. Sometimes, people don’t really understand the role and the importance of the music producer – he/she is not only another full-time member of the band but also the figure that glues together ideas, concepts and intentions for the songs, lyrics, performances, etc. In this case, Mutt Lange’s ingenious vision is what lies behind the success of “Pyromania”. In order to get the right sound and create this “hard rock stronghold”, the producer recorded each member of the band individually – a rather unique approach causing many bumps along the way. Despite all, the results were beyond impressive. To me and probably to many other rock music fans and critics, this albums serves as a transition – a turning point and progression from their previous rather raw, wild and heavy metal albums to more radio-friendly, modern, catchy, sophisticated and easier to fall in love with sound. As David Fricke of Rolling Stone magazine said, they put “some much-needed fire back on the radio” with this album!

Furthermore, “Pyromania” is the first album to feature guitarist Phil Collen. I absolutely adore him and his talent – his guitar riffs are like thunder!! He comes in the band after the previous lead guitarist – Pete Willis was fired due to alcohol problems. The album was already half-recorder when he steps in and I guess that things were not that easy at the beginning. I’m not going to get into details about Phil right now but what we need to know is that he still remains the band’s lead guitarist – quite impressive, don’t you think? I am so proud of them, being together for so many years and overcoming so many obstacles. Except firing their previous lead guitarist and the death of Steve Clark (co-lead guitarist and songwriter), the band’s members have always been together and that’s one of the many reasons why I respect them so much.

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Phil Collen – guitarist of Def Leppard Pyromania – Tour ’83 (credits to the owner of the photo)

Let’s talk a little bit more about the songs of the album. The tracklist includes 10 songs, all of which possessing that special spirit, aura and groundbreaking new sound of the band. “Photograph”, “Rock of Ages” and “Foolin” found their place in top 40 USA charts and in people’s hearts as well. Those three songs received major recognition and constant airplay on MTV due to their melodic hooks, refined guitar riffs and captivating passionate lyrics. This exposure gave Def Leppard the chance to prove that they are not just another radio-time-filler-band, but rather an important and powerful name, ready to make history. Just listen…
(The music videos are just so typical for the 80s era…hilarious!)

I hope many of you got reminded of these all-time classics! Along with the three songs, the album includes “Rock! Rock (Till You Drop)”, “Stagefright”, “Too Late For Love”, “Die Hard the Hunter”, “Comin’ Under Fire”, “Action! Not Words” and “Billy’s Got A Gun”. All these songs are beyond remarkable, however I am entitled to have a favorite one and that has to be “Too Late For Love”. This song, to me is one of the greatest power ballads of the 80s and it perfectly illustrates the vocal abilities of Joe Elliot like no other song… not to mention the powerful lyrics and compelling guitar riffs that just make you lose yourself…This song is one of the reasons why 1980s melodic hard rock movement gained popularity. It is the perfect ballad and I recommend each and every one of you guys to listen to it again…

 

Of course, the other songs are worth listening to as much as the ones I put here, however, I’m gonna let you guys go grab the album from your CD shelf and play it or if you became curious and interested – to go and buy it at your local CD store.
Overall, it is a brilliant album – no second opinion about it. It can appeal to any audience of any age – it’s just that good! It is also a MUST HAVE album in your CD/Vinyl collection. If someone asks me to name some of the most distinctive rock albums of the 80s, I will most certainly start with this one. It is that influential and that era-representing. It becomes obvious how hard the producer and the members worked to create it. The details, the musicianship and the lyrics of the songs made it a major catalyst and stimulant for numerous follow-up bands and the overall rock sound of the 1980s. Def Leppard just simply changed the rules of the game…

Oh and of course – I just had to…

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Me, wearing DEF LEPPARD’s PYROMANIA album T-shirt

This is it for now, stay tuned for more rock music!

—-

Credits:
  1. Rolling Stone Magazine – “Best Albums of the Eighties” (Def Leppard – Pyromania no. 62), retrieved from http://www.rollingstone.com
  2. The Story of Def Leppard’s Breakthrough Album, ‘Pyromania’ by Michael Gallucci, retrieved from http://ultimateclassicrock.com
p.s I do not own the videos and the photographs from this publication (except the last one). The credit goes to the owners and uploaders of the media materials.

[Saturday Night Song Focus] Peter Gabriel – Sledgehammer

Greetings!

It’s Saturday and it’s time for my weekly scheduled publication dedicated to a particular song. Once again, I would like to say that the choice is primarily based on my personal preferences and decisions. I was wondering which song to talk about today and suddenly the playlist on my phone decided to play this one so I thought it would be nice to tell you something about this iconic song by Peter Gabriel. Actually, it also happens to me one of my favorite songs of the 80, even though I’m not such a huge fan of Peter Gabriel. Don’t get me wrong, he is indeed one of the greatest “blue-eyed” soul singers, along with others such as Phil Collins, Steve Winwood and Robert Palmer. However, to me Peter Gabriel was always too eccentric and a little bit weird, wild and careless. I mean, we all remember those grotesque Genesis live performances in which he was dressed as a frog and a flower… He is though one of the most iconic figures of the 80s and I give him all the credit for that. He is not only famous for his distinctive vocal delivery, but he was also an activist and also made a protest song for Steve Biko – a noted black South African anti-apartheid activist who died in a prison.

Now let’s talk a little bit more about the song (somehow I always get carried away for which I’m sorry…). “Sledgehammer” was written, produced, composed, performed and pretty much all done by Peter Gabriel himself. The song was released back in 1986 from one of his most famous albums – “So”. It quickly became a huge hit – it topped Billboard Hot 100 in the USA, became #1 in Canada, #4 in UK, etc. Everyone simply fell in love with this catchy upbeat song with such distinctive and unique lyrics. Peter Gabriel’s music has always been influenced by 1960s soul musicians and we can also clearly see it in “Sledgehammer”. In particular, in this song, we can see the influence of Memphis label – Stax Records. Furthermore, the song has numerous distinctive elements, including a horn section and a synthesizer flute with which the song begins. I have to say the flute at the beginning is probably the most memorable part of the song! The reason why I love this song so much is because it has very interesting lyrics – I’m not saying they have special quality, I’m saying to me they are funny and catchy. Also, I love the drums, bass and sax in the song – the whole composition is just perfect! In term of genre, I would say most certainly a mixture between classical “blue-eyed” soul and commercial rock. However I think it has a lot of elements of funk music – The incredibly well-crafted mixture of genres is what made this song so legendary…

The music video is also one of the greatest music videos of all time – that’s just my personal opinion. Maybe now to many of you guys it may seem like nothing, however back in the days the MV was revolutionary! Say whatever you wish to say but facts are facts – up to date, the music video of “Sledgehammer” is the MOST PLAYED music video in the history of MTV!!! This speaks volumes! In addition, Peter Gabriel won the impressive nine MTV awards at the 1987 MTV Music Video Awards – the most awards a music video has ever won. He also got best British video award during 1987 Brit Awards. He also got nominated for Grammys – record of the year, song of the year and best vocal performance. Unbelievable, right…? The song and its music video were just making history and everyone loved it! The music video includes “claymation, pixilation, and stop motion animation that gave life to images in the song” done by Aardman Animations and Brothers Quay. The whole thing looks extremely unique and I can’t believe back in the 80s people could make things like that…revolutionary! There’s of course an irony in all this… Peter Gabriel absolutely hated the idea of music videos. To him, the emergence of MTV and the trend to produce music videos for every song was meaningless and was declining the value of the artist. I guess he also thought that “video killed the radio star”. Finally after so many years of pulling away and resisting the new trend and demand, he decided to produce a music video – and what a video that was. I guess he just said to himself – if I have to do it, I may as well just make something people have never seen before…and he did!

With no further due – enjoy the song and the memorable music video!

Velina

xoxox

Single / Album Cover


 

Music Video


 

Lyrics

You could have a steam train
If you’d just lay down your tracks
You could have an aeroplane flying
If you bring your blue sky back

All you do is call me
I’ll be anything you need

You could have a big dipper
Going up and down, all around the bends
You could have a bumper car, bumping
This amusement never ends

I want to be your sledgehammer
Why don’t you call my name
Oh let me be your sledgehammer
This will be my testimony
Show me round your fruit cakes
‘Cause I will be your honey bee
Open up your fruit cakes
Where the fruit is as sweet as can be

I want to be your sledgehammer
Why don’t you call my name
You’d better call the sledgehammer
Put your mind at rest
I’m going to be-the sledgehammer
This can be my testimony
I’m your sledgehammer
Let there be no doubt about it

Sledge sledge sledgehammer

I kicked the habit (I kicked the habit)
Shed my skin (Shed my skin)
This is the new stuff (This is the new stuff)
I go dancing in, (We could go dancing in)
Oh won’t you show for me (Show for me)
I will show for you (Show for you)
Show for me (Show for me), I will show for you

Yea, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, I do mean you
Only you, you’ve been coming through
Going to build that power
Build, build up that power, hey
I’ve been feeding the rhythm
I’ve been feeding the rhythm
Going to feel that power, build in you

Come on, come on, help me do
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, you
I’ve been feeding the rhythm
I’ve been feeding the rhythm
It’s what we’re doing, doing
All day and night, come on and help me do, come on and help me do


Credits:

[Saturday Night Song Focus] Daryl Hall & John Oates – Out Of Touch

Greetings!

Due to busy schedule unfortunately the blog had to be left without a daily publication for a few days. For that I am sorry and I would definitely try my best to post things regularly from now on! The first few posts were a bit here and there – I am still experimenting and establishing the blog’s identity and what types of publications I would like to have on here. I was thinking about it and decided to make something like a weekly program – a consistent publication that will appear every week and will deal with a similar issue. I was wondering what it could be and then I decided that I’m gonna turn Saturday night into a song analysis/focus night! Every Saturday from now on, there will be a publication dedicated to a song. Of course, needless to say, the song would be chosen based on my personal preferences and views. I would also like to emphasize on variety – I will try to include different genres, eras, styles, etc. Those weekly song focus publications will also present additional song related media materials such as music video, artwork, lyrics and others. Most importantly, however, the aim of this publication would be to give some background, historical overview and significance of the song. I hope by doing so, my readers can learn something interesting about a song while listening to it!

*drumroll* ….
The first song I am going to talk about is Daryl Hall & John Oates’s “Out of Touch”. I know it is supposed to be a song review; however I cannot just say nothing about those two! Their story began from Philadelphia – the place where soul music bloomed. The duo was heavily influenced by 60s Motown soul artists and we could most certainly hear it in their work. In terms of production and signwriting they were considered simply as white people copying Motown sound. However, in the 1980s they finally established their own style. Believe it or not, they soon invented a very distinctive fusion between rock ’n’ roll and soul music. They called this genre “ROCK AND SOUL” – sounds cool, right? Their sound was carefully crafted by heavy use of electronic elements and they even experimented with funky and futuristic styles. “At their best, Hall & Oates’ songs were filled with strong hooks and melodies that adhered to soul traditions without being a slave to them by incorporating elements of new wave,” – said critics Stephen Thomas Erlewine and J. Scott McClintock. One of their first big successes was the song “I can’t go for that” which topped the Billboard chart in 1981. The song was covered by numerous artists. Personally, my favorite cover of this song is Simply Red’s “Sunrise”. Their success continued with songs such as “Maneater” which also topped the chart in 1982. If I have to be honest, “Maneater” is probably one of my most favorite pop songs from the 80s – it’s just so good! Their sound however was becoming way too soft, so they called Mr. Neil Kernon – a notable heavy metal producer who worked with bands such as Scorpions and Judas Priest. He helped them enhance their sound and make it a little bit heavier. The result was the song I want to present today – “Out of Touch”. Furthermore, I wanted to say a few more things about Hall & Oates before focusing on the song. When we think about the most successful duos of all time, many of you would probably say Righteous Brothers or Simon & Garfunkel or Tina & Ike or Everly Brothers or even Daft Punk. Surprise! According to the Record Industry Association of America (RIAA) Hall & Oates is the most successful duo in popular music! They have seven RIAA platinum albums and six RIAA golden albums. They have sold more than 40 million records which makes them the second best-selling duo of all time (the Carpenters hold the record with more than 150 million records sold). Those two were unstoppable! Great innovators and probably the most definitive blue eyed soul artist of the era!

About the song itself, “Out of Touch” was released in 1984 and was the lead single from their 1984 album Big Bam Boom. It topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart for two weeks in December 1984. Just a quick reminder that back in the 80s it was very difficult for a song to top the charts –since there were so many ground-breaking and prolific artists, a song rarely stuck on top of the charts for a long period of time. As writers and producers of the song, both guys are being credited. Also, if I have to place a specific genre next to the song I would say pop rock, definitely.
The video is just hilarious! Every little element of it just perfectly illustrates what a wild, crazy and irrational decade the 80s was! The MV begins with the “Dance on Your Knees” intro, which is the opening song of the album. Daryl Hall manages to quite well embrace the spirit of the song and as we can see he is totally feeling it – the funny leopard costumes, jumps, awkward dances, overly dramatic gestures and of course – the definitive hairstyle of the era! I just love his style of delivery in the MV. John Oates is also bringing it – he and his extremely odd and bizarre dancing moves are so entertaining to watch. It was obvious that they don’t really know what’s going on but they don’t even care – the musicians of the 80s were all about having fun, feeling good, free and dance crazily. My favourite element of the MV has to be the huge drums and the huge drumsticks! Watching Oates sitting behind those enormous drums and trying to play with the huge drumsticks is absolutely hilarious! The Music Video was also heavily featured on MTV back in the day when MTV actually played music!
I will wrap things up by saying that this is one of my most favorite songs from the 80s! The lyrics are extremely catchy and you can’t but sing with them! The value of the song, at least in my opinion, lies with the distinctive drum and bass elements and in the funky, new wave sound. In terms of vocal delivery, Hall is just perfect!
Nothing more to say! Just enjoy the song!

(Oh and by the way, I am not going to talk about the dreadful cover that was made a few years ago by United Nations. To me it was just one huge mess and the only thing it managed to achieve is to insult the work of Hall and Oates. Not to mention the tasteless and horrible music video.)

Single Cover

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MUSIC VIDEO

 

LYRICS

Shake it up is all that we know
Using the bodies up as we go
Waking up to fantasy
The shades all around aren’t the colors we used to see
Broken ice still melts in the sun
And times that are broken can often be one again
We’re soul alone
And soul really matters to me
Take a look around

You’re out of touch
I’m out of time
But I’m out of my head when you’re not around
x2

Reaching out for something to hold
Looking for a love where the climate is cold
Manic moves and drowsy dreams
Or living in the middle between the two extremes
Smoking guns hot to the touch
Would cool down if we didn’t use them so much
We’re soul alone
And soul really matters to me
Too much

You’re out of touch
I’m out of time
But I’m out of my head when you’re not around
x2

Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
(Out of touch)
(Out of touch)

You’re out of touch
I’m out of time
But I’m out of my head when you’re not around
You’re out of touch
I’m out of time
But I’m out of my head when you’re not around
You’re out of touch
I’m out of time
But I’m out of my head when you’re not around
You’re out of touch
I’m out of time
But I’m out of my head when you’re not around
You’re out of touch
I’m out of time
But I’m out of my head when you’re not around
You’re out of touch
I’m out of time
But I’m out of my head when you’re not around
You’re out of touch
I’m out of time
But I’m out of my head when you’re not around
You’re out of touch
I’m out of time
But I’m out of my head when you’re not around

Songwriters: HALL, DARYL / OATES, JOHN
Out Of Touch lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

5 Unforgettable Michael Jackson Duets & Collaborations

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Greetings, everyone!

Today’s publication is very special to me, since I am going to talk about the greatest entertainer that ever lived. The idea behind the publication came to me this morning when I was simply listening to the playlist I have on my phone and suddenly it played “Beat It” by Michael Jackson. As we all know, the song features Eddie Van Halen’s instantly recognizable and brilliant guitar riffs. This made me think about other famous and everlasting collaborations and duets he did throughout the years. I don’t think right now I will have the time to actually list all of them – they are that many. However, I wanted to present and cover at least five of my ultimate favorites and of course provide some background information about the projects.

It was very difficult to decide what to begin with actually, since we are talking about the King of the Kings – the person who did so much for the music industry – not only he broke the racial barrier on TV but he was also one of the greatest philanthropists. He gave the world something much more than music. Personally, I don’t think anyone can match his success or stage persona – he was that good. I was so lucky to be probably the last generation to be influenced by his music on such high levels. It is such a shame that we lost him…
Back to the publication, I don’t really think there were, are, or will be, any entertainers greater than him. However, he was a humble and gentle soul, everybody admired him and he had numerous friends in the industry. Throughout his career he made some unforgettable collaborations and duets with other artists. We grew up listening to those songs and we are still doing it – who can forget “USA for Africa” or “Beat It”? – No one.
I chose to talk about 5 songs in particular – my personal five I would say. In the future, I would most certainly plan on publishing a “part 2” so stay tuned for more. The following list of songs are not numbered chronologically or based on commercial success, popularity or any other recognition. The list simply reflects my preferences.

***********

“Beat It” (featuring Eddie Van Halen)
ROCK meets POP

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I won’t lie – the reason why I love this song so much is because of Eddie’s distinctive and powerful guitar riffs. Everyone who knows me is well aware of how much I love Van Halen, so it was only natural to begin with this song. Another reason why I chose to start with “Beat It” was because of its background story. The song itself was the third single from the singer’s sixth solo album, Thriller and it was released on February 3, 1983. It ultimately topped all the charts, including US R&B singles chart, US Billboard Top Tracks chart and Billboard Hot 100. Many music critics claim that this song was the best song of the album. I would agree for sure. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore Thriller and Billie Jean and pretty much every song from the album. However, “Beat it” did it perfectly to me. It is a perfect fusion of rock and pop and what a fusion that was!! “I wanted to write a song, the type of song that I would buy if I were to buy a rock song… That is how I approached it and I wanted the children to really enjoy it—the school children as well as the college students,” – He said. The story of how Eddie Van Halen ended up in the song is also pretty interesting. When he was first contacted by Quincy Jones, Eddie thought it was a prank call – really? However, once he realized that Michael really wanted to collaborate with him for a rock song, Eddie quickly agreed. What I love about this story is the fact that Eddie didn’t even ask for money – he simply did it for free. “I did it as a favour…I was a complete fool, according to the rest of the band, our manager and everyone else. I was not used. I knew what I was doing – I don’t do something unless I want to do it,” – Eddie said. His guitar riffs were a bit too much though, so the producers had to reduce the distorted guitar a little. Another interesting fact is that when they were recording his solo, a monitor speaker in the control room actually caught on fire – imagine the power coming out of the guitar! Unfortunately, Eddie was not allowed to be in the music video of the song (Shame!) however he did appear on stage with Michael during Jackson brothers “Victory Tour”. Bottom line is – they were both phenomenal! Eddie was ripping through those notes with the speed of light! He wrote his own guitar solo, of course. However I should mention that the song itself was composed, arranged and written by Michael – and what a song that is!
“You have to show them that you’re really not scared
You’re playin’ with your life, this ain’t no truth or dare
They’ll kick you, then they beat you,
Then they’ll tell you it’s fair…”

***********

“Say, Say, Say” (featuring Paul McCartney)
Legend vs Legend

Paul-McCartney-and-Michael-Jackson

Two music geniuses coming together and creating such an amazing, catchy and everlasting song with probably one of the most memorable music videos ever! The song doesn’t need introduction. In my opinion it is Michael’s most successful collaboration with another artist ever! In terms of commercial success and popularity it is indeed one of the greatest duet songs ever. However, in my opinion the vocal delivery of both Paul and Michael is not as impressive as I would like it to be.
“Say, Say, Say” was released in 1983 and was produced by George Martin for Paul McCartney’s album, Pipes of Peace. It quickly hit number one in charts all over the USA and Europe. It was also certified as gold by the RIAA for sales of more than one million copies in 1983.
During the recording sessions, Michael actually stayed and lived with Linda and Paul with whom eventually he became good friends. The majority of the song lyrics were written by Michael and the song itself was produced by George Martin who worked with The Beatles before. I am sure most of you guys know the story behind the feud between those two but I really think it is hilarious – so I would like to share it once more. During Michael’s stay in Paul and Linda’s house, Paul shared with him how much money he makes from all the publishing rights he bought to hit songs. That is indeed through because if you own the publishing rights, every time someone covers the song or plays it on the radio – you get money. Michael got inspired and eventually bought the company that owned most of the Fab Four’s music catalog – such an irony, right! “…to be someone’s friend and then buy the rug they’re standing on…,” – Paul said.
“What can I do
Girl to get through to you?
Cause I love you, baby
Standing here, baptisted in all my tears
Baby through the years
You know I’m crying…”

***********

“Scream” (featuring Janet Jackson)
Brother vs. Sister

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Phenomenal! Exceptional! Brilliant! I don’t even know what to say about this collaboration and this song! Not to mention the video which is indeed one of the craziest videos of the 90s – but that is Michael, after all – the king of the music videos! The song is very rough, wild and quite angry I think – it about how media misinterpret and misinform the society. (Quite sensitive and popular topic, especially after the 90s)… In the first half of the 90s, Michael Jackson was often the center figure of media backlash – so he decided that the best way to respond is through his music! Specifically, the song addresses the sexual child abasement claims that were made against Michael in 1993.
In my opinion, however, when we talk about this specific Janet and Michael collaboration, what made it so famous is the music video, rather than the song itself. Don’t get me wrong – it is a song to die for. However, the MV was why it stood out and made such a buzz – both of them took on a much darker and wild persona and took off to space to get away from all the media hustle and bustle. One other thing I wanted to point out is that they both sounded very different from their usual selves, especially Michael. With this song and his vocal delivery, you could tell how frustrated and angry he was – and most certainly was not hiding it.
The single was released on May 31, 1995.
“Tired of injustice
Tired of the schemes
The lies are disgusting
So what does it mean
Kicking me down
I got to get up
As jacked as it sounds
The whole system sucks”

***********

“State Of Shock” (featuring Mick Jagger)
Fun, Crazy, Pure Rock’n’Roll….

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I love this song! This song and “Beat It” are probably my top favorite Michael Jackson collaborations of all time! Mick Jagger – do I need to say more? Mick brought so much energy, so much passion and so much fun to the song! It was written by Jackson and guitarist Randy Hansen and it reached number 3 on the US Billboard Hot 100 (huh? It deserved number 1)… It was originally supposed to be a song featuring only Jackson’s guitarist Randy, but then they came up with the idea of inviting a rockstar.
Interesting fact, the song was originally supposed to be a duet between Michael Jackson and Freddie Mercury, however their schedules were so different, that Michael eventually recorded it with Jagger. Personally, I think they made the right decision. I don’t wish to compare Mick and Freddie since I adore them both on so many levels; however for this song in particular, Mick’s energetic vocal delivery did it for me!
“State Of Shock” was released in June 1984 “by The Jacksons and it was their last platinum effort.
“The lead singer of the Rolling Stones eyed the phenomenal success of Thriller with envy,”
– said Christopher P. Andersen.
“Mick became obsessed with Michael Jackson” and explained it saying, “He wanted to know every detail about Jackson’s life, his contract with Columbia, how the Thriller singles were selling,…,” said Arthur Collins, then president of Rolling Stones Records.
“You gotta be mine
‘Cause you’re so fine
I like your style
It makes me wild
You take it to me good
Know you should
You get me on my knees
Well, please, baby, please…”

+ bonus – a live performance I absolutely adore – featuring my favorite female rockstar Tina Turner during LIVE AID in 1985

***********

“Give Into Me” (featuring Slash)
Power, Power, Raw Power…

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After the phenomenal success of “Beat It”, I think it was only natural for Michael to start making more and more projects with famous guitarists. This time, he chose Slash from Guns n Roses and what a perfect match!!! The song is often considered as a hard rock ballad and it was released on February 1993 as the tenth track on Michael Jackson’s 1991 studio album Dangerous.
Many people are sometimes confused when it comes to Slash and Michael Jackson’s collaborations because the guitarist is often associated with the song “Black or White”. However to set the records straight, the song’s main riff is not played by Slash.
“Give Into Me” on the other hand turned into this sensual, wild and rather aggressive heavy metal ballad tanks to Slash’s genius guitar skills. It was also written, composed, and produced by Michael Jackson and Bill Bottrell. Slash also appeared on the music video, as well as other musicians such as Muzz Skillings (Living Color) and Gilby Clarke (Guns n Roses).
“You Always Knew Just How To Make Me Cry
And Never Did I Ask You Questions Why
It Seems You Get Your Kicks From Hurting Me
Don’t Try To Understand Me
Because Your Words Just Aren’t Enough”

This is it for now!
Those are my five most favorite Michael Jackson collaborations of all time!
He was indeed the greatest and whatever he was doing – he was doing it with class, love and a lot of hard work! That is why so many people loved him and wanted to work with him.
I hope I brought back some memories to you guys ~
Stay tuned for more!

 

Velina

xoxoxo

 

~~~

Credits:
“31 Years Ago: Mick Jagger Releases ‘State of Shock’ with Michael Jackson” by Tony Rettman; Retrieved from http://ultimateclassicrock.com
“How ‘Scream’ became the craziest video of the 90s” by Michael Cragg; Retrieved from http://www.dazeddigital.com/music
“Paul McCartney vs. Michael Jackson” by Matthew Wilkening; Retrieved from http://ultimateclassicrock.com/paul-mccartney-vs-michael-jackson-nastiest-rock-feuds/
“10 unforgettable Michael Jackson collaborations” by Andy Huang; Retrieved from https://thebestten.wordpress.com

Happy Birthday, Jim Morrison!

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forever 27 and forever in our hearts!

James Douglas “Jim” Morrison was born on December 8th, 1943 and died on July the 3rd, 1971! He was one of the most legendary and notable American singers, songwriters, showmen and poets and most certainly one of the biggest rockstars on the world! He is of course mostly famous for being the frontman of The Doors – one of the bands that defined rock music in the late 60s and that popularized psychedelic rock. Not only was he influencing people with his music, but he was also one of the most beloved cultural icons who stood for young people and counterculture!
He died at the age of 27 and became one of the members of the infamous “27 club”, along with artists such as Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin.
What I mostly admire about him was the ability to improvise and include poetry in his music, especially during life performances. I am not going to talk about the way he lived because for sure – he was out of control and was a heavy drug user. What I want to focus on is his legacy. He is undoubtedly one of the greatest male singers of all time -with that distinctive sensual, delicate and rather sexual vocal delivery you can’t but admire him and lose yourself in his music. Also, the music he and his band played set grounds for progressive rock and eventually punk rock music. He had a wild stage persona and that is what made him so unique. He was most certainly not one of those humble musicians – he was feeling the music with all his body and soul and was showing it rather freely and explicitly. Through his lyrics, he wanted to open the minds and the hearts of people. Also, the disaffected young generation of the 60s was able to find themselves in his songs! For that and for many other reasons, today I decided to write a little post about this great rockstar! Sadly, we lost him at a very young age and who knows what could’ve happened if he was still alive…
Happy Birthday, Jim!

Velina

xoxox