The History of Rock in 15 Minutes

 

Recently, Ithaca Audio – a company that specializes in audio visual remixing presented their awesome new project to the public. The 15 minute video montage features more than 300 rockstars and walks us through the history of rock music from its early beginnings. In addition to this idea being absolutely innovative and if I may say very essential, I found it quite interesting to hear never-done-before audio remixes. I have to say, I never thought that some rock songs would sound so cool when mixed together with others… (for instance Zeppelin with Fleetwood Mac??)
Furthermore, what is the most fascinating aspect and probably the reason why the video triggered such great response is the fact that it tells the story of rock music as if Facebook existed back in the 60s and 70s – you can see the artists uploading videos, liking posts and commenting – how cool is that?

I encourage you to watch it and have fun! Cheers to those guys at Ithaca Audio!

The clip features 348 rock stars, 84 guitarists, 64 songs and 44 drummers, and includes songs from Elvis Presley, The Yardbirds, The Rolling Stones, Cream, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Fleetwood Mac, The Kinks, The Doors, Queen, The Beatles, The Who, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, The Eagles, Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, The Clash, The Police, Journey, Dire Straits, Duran Duran, Pink Floyd, Iron Maiden, Def Leppard, Guns N’ Roses, AC/DC, Rage Against the Machine, Metallica, Nirvana, Oasis, Blur, The Verve, Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Killers, Foo Fighters, U2, Linkin Park, The White Stripes, The Strokes, Gorillaz and Kings of Leon. 
(Extract and Information taken from http://classicrock.teamrock.com)

By the way – I find it hard to believe that they decided to exclude Van Halen – you know being one of the most important rock bands in terms of musicianship, influence and achievements but…

 

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Happy Birthday, David Gilmour!

Today we celebrate the 70th birthday of Mr. David Gilmour – one of the most talented and fascinating rock music icons. With his outstanding vocal abilities, musicianship, guitar and song-writing skills, he became one of the most essential elements of the development of progressive rock music and also one of the main reasons behind Pink Floyd’s distinctive sound and success throughout the years.

David Gilmour is one of the few rockstars who can brag about having a career that lasted for more than 50 years. Not to mention that he’s still making music and even last year, he released a phenomenal album called “Rattle That Lock”. Naturally, I assume that the majority of people know him for being the charismatic and mysterious co-lead vocalist and guitarist of Pink Floyd. However, in addition to his work with PF, over the years he has collaborated with numerous musicians and participated in countless projects with Eric Clapton, Tom Jones, The Who, Paul McCartney, David Crosby and many others. Also, he’s famous for producing the English folk rock band called The Dream Academy. Furthermore, the list of his accomplishments doesn’t end here. In 2008, he was awarded with the Outstanding Contribution award at the 2008 Q Awards and Rolling Stones magazine ranked him #14 in their list of the greatest guitarists of all time. It goes on and on…this man is not only a versatile music genius but a much respected visionary who knows how to make a statement.

David Gilmour has a very characteristic musical style. His memorable solos in some of Pink Floyd’s most famous songs such as “Money”, “Time” or “Comfortably Numb” perfectly illustrate what I’m saying – he is very expressive, “colourful” and passionate in his music. He is carefully mixing progressive thought with blues-influenced phrasing and then adds a note of melancholy. Maybe it’s just me – but the music of Pink Floyd always had a very perplexed impact on me – it’s like I’m both despondent and elevated at the same time…

 

Dark Side of the Moon (1973)

 

Wish You Were Here (1975)

 

Animals (1977)

 

The Wall (1979)

 

So far, David has released four solo studio albums, all of which welcomed with adoration and respect from his devoted fans. I have to say, among those four albums, his latest one “Rattle That Lock” is my favorite. I believe the reason behind it lies in the fact that this album gives us a personal and autobiographical glimpse of his life, filled with the usual presence of love, happiness and pain. It’s most certainly very far away from his golden days as a member of Pink Floyd. However, creating something so beautiful, real and majestic at this age – I cannot but be impressed and bow down to his talent…

 

David Gilmour (1978)

 

About Face (1984)

 

On an Island (2006)

 

Rattle that Lock (2015)

 

Once again, Happy Birthday to one of the most glorious and outstanding musicians of all time – David Gilmour. We can’t but thank him from the bottom of our hearts for his long and productive career that spawned so many songs we love, cherish and can’t stop listening to.
Hope he has a good one today!

——-

 

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

 

Who took a Grammy for “Best Rock Song” in the 90s

The 2016 Grammy Awards ceremony is happening as we speak! Probably many of you guys are super excited to find out who will win big time this year…not to mention the awesome live performances we are just dying to see.
As we all know, there are plenty of categories, however to me personally (for rather obvious reasons), the nominations and winners for “best rock performance”, “best metal performance”, “best rock album” and in particular “best rock song” have always triggered tremendous emotions in me, which include both happiness and appreciation, as well as criticism and dissatisfaction.

Anyhow, since the Grammy Awards Ceremony is happening today – 15th of February, I thought it’s only natural to prepare a little publication dedicated to some of the past winners of this prestigious award. In particular, I would like to remind my readers of the best rock songs that won a Grammy. I decided to include winners only from the 90s because – well, after that (at least to me), things just changed drastically. Besides, I think the 90s were a very good decade for rock music and throughout this period of 1992 to 1999, some of my favorite rock tunes have emerged as winners. I was born in the 90s and I grew up listening to those songs – this makes this publication even more special to me.

The first time a Grammy for a best rock song was given in 1992 (which also happens to be the year I was born in) and the first one to grab the gramophone trophy was Sting, with the song “The Soul Cages”. I should mention that the award is given not to performers (singers) but the writers of a song, even though I’m sure most of you guys already know that. In some cases, the songwriter and the performer are two different people; however they may also be the same person – such as the case with Sting and Eric Clapton, for instance. This time, as I said, I will be focusing on the quality of the song itself (lyrics, technicality, complexity, excellence, impact, etc.), rather than the vocal or live performance of it (despite those elements being probably the most important reasons for its success, I believe). This award is also given regardless of a rock song’s chart position or previous awards (yeah, right…). Interesting fact, our favorite Mr. Bruce Springsteen actually holds the record for most wins and nominations in this category ever, not just in the 90s – he has nine nominations and won four times – he deserves it and we all love his music! (He said goodbye to the 80s and entered the 90s with such a tremendously successful jump!)
The following is a list of songs that, as I already said won a Grammy award for “best rock song”. I won’t be focusing on each song individually; however I am going to include the names of the songwriters, performers and the year it won the award. I hope by doing so, some of you guys may get reminded of those long-lost tunes from when we were a little bit younger. Also, while you are checking those songs out, try to detect the difference between the way rock songs were made 20 years ago and the way we do it nowadays. I am sure many of you would easily spot the contrast – in pretty much every aspect of the rock song. Here we go!

Sting – The Soul Cages (1992)
Songwriter(s): Sting
Performer(s): Sting

Eric Clapton – Layla (Unplugged Version) (1993)
Songwriter(s): Eric Clapton, Jim Gordon
Performer(s): Eric Clapton

Soul Asylum – “Runaway Train” (1994)
Songwriter(s): Dave Pirner
Performer(s): Soul Asylum

Bruce Springsteen – “Streets of Philadelphia” (1995)
Songwriter(s): Bruce Springsteen
Performer(s): Bruce Springsteen

Alanis Morissette – “You Oughta Know” (1996)
Songwriter(s): Alanis Morissette, Glen Ballard
Performer(s): Alanis Morissette

Tracy Chapman – “Give Me One Reason” (1997)
Songwriter(s): Tracy Chapman
Performer(s): Tracy Chapman

The Wallflowers – “One Headlight” (1998)
Songwriter(s): Jakob Dylan
Performer(s): The Wallflowers

Alanis Morissette – “Uninvited” (1999)
Songwriter(s): Alanis Morissette
Performer(s): Alanis Morissette

All of the above listed songs have one thing in common – they were all exceptionally well-written, composed and possess a special aura – a distinctive character, if I may say. Obviously, they were awarded for a reason. I don’t necessarily agree with the winners (especially from the last few years of the decade), however it is what it is. I hope you guys got reminded of some of those classics! Let’s wait and see what happens this year! Cheers!

[Playlist] 60 Classic Rock Songs for Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s day to all!

In the spirit of this special occasion, I came up with this idea of gathering 60 classic rock songs that are perfectly suitable for this day – a day that celebrates love, adoration, romance, true feelings and two people being happy together. The YouTube playlist I made includes songs from the 60s, 70s, 80s and even 90s. It’s a personal selection based on songs I truly love and appreciate. In addition, I think that this playlist would also fit quite well as a musical background during a romantic dinner or any other activity you’d like to engage in throughout Valentine’s Day (-.-‘). I chose 60 songs, all of which celebrating and commemorating love in all its forms and phases. I truly believe that I was able to capture the spirit of the day quite well – each and every song is able to create a romantic atmosphere, mostly through the lyrics and the tenderness that comes out of them. I tried to include as much songs as I could – from many different artists, eras, genres, etc., but at the end of the day, I decided to just make them 60 – it’s a nice and round number and the playlist may last you for 2-3 hours. I hope you will enjoy it, as much as I do and even play some of the songs on this special day. I wish all of you, guys a wonderful day… and for those of you who haven’t found their partner yet, I’d say go out and have fun regardless… Spread the love!

 

[CLICK HERE] – Classic Rock Songs for Valentine’s Day

 

Tracklist:

  1. Aerosmith – Angel
  2. Aerosmith – Crazy
  3. Alice Cooper – You and Me
  4. Bad English – Heaven is a 4 Letter Word
  5. Bad English – Straight to Your Heart
  6. Bad English – When I see You Smile
  7. Bon Jovi – Always
  8. Bon Jovi –Bed of Roses
  9. Boston – More than a Feeling
  10. Boston – Something about You
  11. Bruce Springsteen – I’m on Fire
  12. Bryan Adams – (Everything I do) I Do it For You
  13. Bryan Adams – Heaven
  14. David Bowie – Modern Love
  15. Def Leppard – I Wanna be Your Hero
  16. Def Leppard – Love and Affection
  17. Dire Straits – Think I love You Too Much
  18. Eagles – I can’t Tell You Why
  19. Eagles – Love Will Keep Us Alive
  20. Eagles – The Best of my Love
  21. ELP – From the Beginning
  22. Elton John – Your Song
  23. Elvis Presley – Burning Love
  24. Elvis Presley – Fever
  25. Eric Clapton – Forever Man
  26. Eric Clapton – Pretty Girl
  27. Eric Clapton – See What Love Can Do
  28. Eric Clapton – Wonderful Tonight
  29. Fleetwood Mac – You Make Loving Fun
  30. Foreigner – I don’t Want to Live without You
  31. Foreigner – Prisoner of Love
  32. Foreigner – Soul Doctor
  33. Foreigner – Waiting for a Girl Like You
  34. Heart – Crazy on You
  35. John Lennon – Woman
  36. Journey – Faithfully
  37. Kiss – Beth
  38. Led Zeppelin – All My Love
  39. Neil Young – Heart of Gold
  40. Peter Frampton – Baby I love Your Way
  41. Queen – Crazy Little Thing Called Love
  42. Queen – Love of My Life
  43. Roxette – A Thing About You
  44. Roxette – Neverending Love
  45. Simple Minds – Let There Be Love
  46. Starship – Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now
  47. Styx – Lady
  48. Survivor – First Night
  49. Survivor – High on You
  50. Survivor – Is This Love
  51. Survivor – The Search is Over
  52. The Beatles – Something
  53. The Rolling Stones – Let’s Spend the Night Together
  54. The Rolling Stones – Wild Horses
  55. Tina Turner ft. Bryan Adams – It’s Only Love
  56. Van Halen – Beautiful Girls
  57. Van Halen – Love Walks In
  58. Whitesnake – Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City
  59. Whitesnake – All I Want is You
  60. Whitesnake – Is This Love

 

 

P.S Honestly, I am not such a huge fan of this day and I don’t really get what the huge crazy is all about – if you love and cherish someone, you should make sure they feel loved each and every day of the year…You don’t wait for this day to come, so that you can prove how much someone means to you…And what’s with all the merchandise and the hearts and the teddy bears!? Of course, another way to stuff more money into the bank accounts of huge corporations that don’t really care about people…

 

 

5 Great Rock Records Produced by Mutt Lange

The fact is – not many people are familiar with the roles and responsibilities of a music producer. People enjoy listening to produced albums, get involved with the artists, buy the CDs, etc. However, how many of those people actually and truly understand the crucial role of the producer who stood behind the album? –I don’t think they are that many… Recently, I’ve been having these conversations and discussions about the significant part a producer plays in a music project, as well as his/her numerous duties and obligations as one. Every producer does different things and participates or specializes in different areas of production. Most importantly, however, a producer is the one, who gathers ideas, help artists establish find their sound and looks for creative ways to present this sound to the general public. In addition, a producer is the one who decides which song would go on a record and would fit perfectly into the concept of the project. Once the selection has been made, he/she starts working with the artist/s to build up the sound together and bring to life the vision of a perfect album. Not only that, but the producer is “the coach of the studio” – in combination with managing the mixing board, a producer also supervises, gives advices and suggestions on how to better record a song…He/she may even encourage or help the artists with their confidence in order for them to give the best performance – a true studio “persuasive diplomat”. In some cases, a producer may also help an artist with the lyrics of the song or may add some new ideas about the ways to sing it or play it. A producer also brings all the audio elements together, deals with all the technical aspects, and adds effects, quality…a spirit to a song. The producer simply puts all the ideas and visions together with the primary goal to achieve the best results possible.

Back to what I was saying….as expected, during those discussions the name of Mr. Mutt Lange kept on coming out. No reason to wonder – Mutt Lange is a huge name in the industry. He is the mastermind behind albums such as AC/DC’s “Back in Black”, Def Leppard’s “Pyromania” and “Hysteria”, The Cars’ “Heartbeat City”, Nickelback’s “Dark Horse”, etc. Except (classic) rock records, he worked with artists such as Lady Gaga, Maroon 5, The Corrs, Muse, Michael Bolton, Shania Twain and many more. One might find it quite difficult to image that a rock ‘n’ roll and metal producer like him worked with country and pop musicians, however his talents are versatile and it’s quite obvious…He was and still is one of the most in-demand producers in the world. I’ve listened to pretty much each and every album he produced, regardless of the genre, and all I can say is that this person is a music genius. As cliché as it may sound, he truly is one – his creativity is beyond words; his vision and ideas are beyond excellent… He started his career as a music producer in the ‘70s and within just a few years he became responsible for one of the greatest records of all time… In the following publication, I decided to gather up 5 of his most important and influential records so that we can truly understand the brilliance of his mind…Those 5 albums made such a big difference and were so successful that we still cannot stop listening or talking about them! It’s a rather informative publication, through which I hope we can better understand what a huge difference a great producer can have on a record! Here we go…

AC/DC – “Back in Black” (1980)

61sJIfuUSiL._SL1500_

The second-best selling album of all time with more than 25 million copies sold, this album will forever remain as one of the greatest records of all time and a standard measure for any hard-rock band out there. Following up the tragic death of frontman Bon Scott, AC/DC were facing numerous difficulties and even thought about quitting. Brian Johnson was also dealing with many obstacles as the new vocalist. However, Lange’s influence once again stepped in and with brand new approaches he managed to give birth to “Back in Black” – an album that perfectly captured the electrifying energy, astonishing technical and lyrical arrangements and a new and reborn AC/DC, ready to take over the world. The album was released in 1980 and it quickly became their most critically respected album. It spawned 4 huge singles – “You Shook Me All Night Long”, “Hells Bells”, “Back in Black” and “Rock and Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution”, all of which redefined hard rock music and left a mark that can never be erased! Bravo, Mr. Lange!

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Def Leppard – Pyromania (1983)

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Where do I even begin with Pyromania? I already made an appreciation post about this masterpiece which you guys can check here – [The Greatest Rock Albums of the 80s] DEF LEPPARD – PYROMANIA (1983)
We owe this album to Lange – the genius who took Def Leppard under his wing and encouraged them to dig deeper till they find their real talents and true meaning of their music. In addition, he also co-wrote all the songs of “Pyromania”. It seems like his lyrical approaches and touches were exactly what the band needed. With this album, Lange managed to create the perfect balance between hard rock and mainstream rock. Not to mention that after its release, the career of Def Leppard reached its peak! Pyromania is also an extremely important landmark album because it revealed the possibilities of an album – it produced 4 hit singles (“Photograph”, “Foolin”, “Rock of Ages”, “Too Late For Love”) – something no other rock record did before. I will be forever thankful to Lange for producing one of my most beloved albums.

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Def Leppard – Hysteria (1987)

Def-Leppard-Hysteria

“Hysteria” – the album that took three-years to record; the album that perfectly showcased the strength of human will and ability to overcome any difficulty; the album that became the most distinctive hard rock record of the era…and of course, probably my favourite album of all time! Mutt Lange once again took matters into his hands and helped Def Leppard make history. “Hysteria” produced 7 hit singles – an accomplishment so rare that we cannot but respect him for making it possible. Lange co-wrote all the songs of the album, including the smashing hit “Pour Some Sugar on me”. The album ended up selling more than 15 million copies worldwide and once again proved how important the vision of the producer is. What can I say, each and every song from this album is impeccably written and it combines catchy and captivating lyrics with flawless technical arrangement. Thank you, Mr Lange!

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Foreigner – “4” (1981)

9992.-Foreigner-4-1981

Before releasing this album, Foreigner were already a well-known and established name in the rock music scene. However, their 2nd and 3rd albums were not as successful as their debut album, so they turned to Mutt Lange for help to find a new approach…a “raw edge” – great strategy and perfect timing. The result was immediate – “4” hold the number one position on Billboard for 10 weeks, sold over 7 million copies and it spawned 4 outstanding hit singles that blew away people’s minds back then (and still are, at least to me). I mean, who doesn’t know or haven’t listened to “Urgent” or “Juke Box Hero” at least once in their lives? This album made the band famous internationally and broke all the records. In terms of style, “4” marked the beginning of Foreigner’s shift to more radio-friendly, hard rock sound, especially with songs such as “Head Games” and “Urgent”…and we love all of them. Interesting fact, Mutt Lange actually contributed with the background vocals as well! That’s what I was telling you about – the producer is responsible for and can engage in so many activities!

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Bryan Adams – “Waking Up the Neighbors” (1991)

61nbThGr9wL._SL1200_

After helping so many artists and producing so many albums in the 80s, Mutt Lange triumphantly stepped into the new decade (90s) by producing Bryan Adam’s glorious hit album “Waking up the Neighbors”. The album sold more than 16 million copies worldwide and was number one on the British charts for 16 weeks. Those numbers should tell you that this album was indeed one of the best accomplishments of Mutt Lange as a producer. With few nice commercial touches and beautifully crafted melodic rock ballads, Lange did it once again. “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You” is probably the first song that comes to our minds when we talk about Bryan Adams (well, maybe it’s just me). The song we all remember him by features in non-other than this album – it was also included on the soundtrack of the film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves in 1991 (yes, the movie with Kevin Costner). In addition to such unforgettable ballads, the album produced a number of nice and catchy rock tunes. Overall, brilliant work, Mr Lange!

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Well, this is it for now. Those were 5 great albums, produced by Mr Mutt Lange – one of the most notable, versatile and respected producers of all time.I gave you five, however we should know that throughout his career he has produced more than 40 albums and worked with artists from all possible genres.
I hope this publication gave you some insight about the important role a producer plays in a musical project. He/She can either be responsible for turning an artist/s into a global phenomenon or the other way around. In the cases I’ve shown you, Mutt Lange did the first thing – he helped those artists and bands establish a distinctive sound and name in the industry. For that, we will be forever thankful!


References:
Robert John “Mutt” Lange Facebook Fan Page – https://www.facebook.com/Robert-John-Mutt-Lange-
Top 10 Mutt Lange Records by Eduardo Rivadavia, retrieved from http://ultimateclassicrock.com
P.S. I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the rights and credits go to the owners and/publishers.
The publication expresses my personal opinion and in no way is trying to make a generalized statement. Please be kind and considerate when you read and/or comment.
Cheers~

[News] Joe Elliott and Phil Collen of Def Leppard drop by Pawn Stars History!

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Def Leppard’s Joe Elliot and Phil Collen on Pawn Stars (Photo taken from Def Leppard’s Official Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/defleppard

This week, Joe Elliot and Phil Collin of Def Leppard dropped by Pawn Stars History to take a look at a very beautiful Jackson guitar. I was so excited about their appearance because well, they are my favorite rock band of all time, after all… In the episode, a woman brings this gorgeous Jackson guitar, supposedly painted and played by Phil Collen himself. Long story short, Joe and Phil suddenly appear out of nowhere and it was just so fun watching how everyone was left with their jaws open… My favorite part was when Phil took the guitar and started playing in the middle of the shop – pretty much all the customers and employees just stopped doing whatever they were doing and listened to this virtuoso – his riffs were insane! There is a reason why he is one of the most respected guitar players and once again, we were able to bow down to his outstanding technical abilities.
Check out their appearance on the following video – I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as much as I did! Awesome episode and unforgettable appearance by Def Leppard… (I wish Deff Leppard would just come out of nowhere while I just shop but well…)

[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

daryl-hall-and-john-oates-out-of-touch-rca

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.

Album Focus – Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow (1975)

Some people say that the era of the CDs is long gone. However believe it or not, there are people like me out there who still purchase and collect CDs. I have this little CD shop near the place I live (I have to take a picture next time) and I just love spending hours and hours there. They have these huge wooden shelves with tons and tons of CDs and even vinyl records. The whole atmosphere just screams my name!
Anyhow, a few days ago I went there to look for some albums and spend some quality “me” time. After hours of literally checking every single album on the shelves and a huge struggle not to buy all the albums I saw, I ended up buying the debut album of one of my most favorite rock bands – Rainbow. The title of the album is “Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow” and it was released on the 4th of August, 1975. Can you believe this? It has been 40 years since this album hit the shelves. It turned out I bought it on its 40th year anniversary – such a pleasant coincidence. Originally I was hoping to come across and buy their “The Very Best of Rainbow” album that came out in 1997, however I couldn’t find it (still not giving up, though). Then, the lady from the CD shop was kind enough to find me the debut album from the storage. The album itself was imported from the USA and of course, it’s a remaster. I just had to buy it – it is such a rare precious and a must for every Rainbow or Ritchie Blackmore or Ronnie James Dio fan. In the following post I would briefly present the album and its songs. This is not a band profile publication, so I would like to focus on the album itself, rather than the members. I decided to dedicate my first publication to this debut album because it is the most recent CD I purchased and because it is the debut of my blog

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Rainbow_-_Ritchie_Blackmore's_Rainbow_(1975)_front_cover

Album Title : Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow
Released: 1975 (Vinyl Record) ; 1999 (CD in remastered form)
Genre: Hard Rock, Progressive Rock, Heavy Metal
Record Label: Oyster (UK) ; Polydor (Worldwide)
Members: Ronnie James Dio – lead vocals; Ritchie Blackmore – guitar; Micky Lee Soule – piano, mellotron, clavinet, organ; Craig Gruber – bass; Gary Driscoll – drums
Singles: “Man On The Silver Mountain” ; “Snake Charmer” (October 1975)
Produced by: Ritchie Blackmore, Martin Birch and Ronnie James Dio
Interesting fact: The album was recorded in Germany. It is the first ever project of Ritchie Blackmore after his departure from Deep Purple. Vocalist Ronnie James Dio, consider this album as the best Rainbow album.

Tracklist:
1.Man on the Silver Mountain
2.Self Portrait
3.Black Sheep of the Family
4.Catch the Rainbow
5.Snake Charmer
6.Temple of the King
7.If You Don’t Like Rock n’ Roll
8.Sixteenth Century Greensleeves
9.Still I’m Sad (The Yardbirds cover)

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Firstly, I would like to start with the album cover. It was made by American fine artist David Willardson. Honestly speaking, I am not such a huge fan of cartoon-style album covers. Realistic album covers (photographs) or simplistic designs have always been more striking to me. On the cover we see a castle which also happens to be a guitar and there’s a rainbow behind it. It is very colorful and too Disney-like I would say. It’s only natural since the artist worked for Disney at that time, but still…The trend of putting unique and rather strange, surrealistic art on an album cover was very strong at that time – especially the second part of the 70s. For instance artists such as Roger Dean and Storm Thorgerson were extremely popular with bands like Pink Floyd, YES and Asia. Back to Rainbow’s cover, I do really like it – why? – because it is very distinctive and easy to remember. Also, there’s something very magical and mysterious in the painting itself – I just want to enter into the rock castle and never go out…
Real-life picture of the album cover ~ That’s how it looks; Very distinctive, right?

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Secondly, I would like to talk more about the songs from the album. I am not going to comment on each and every song; rather than that I will focus on the overall picture, as well as on two songs in particular – my favorite songs from the album.
Bottom line is, if you like the combination of hard rock and poetic, fantasy-oriented lyrics – this is the album for you. Most of the songs are a bit gloomy in terms of lyrics, except “If You Don’t Like Rock ‘N’ Roll” which is very upbeat and in my opinion is the perfect 60s rock’n’roll nostalgia song! In terms of vocal and guitar delivery I would say that the album is rather simplistic, not as progressive and innovative as some people would like it to be. However, to me that is exactly why the album is so good! Ritchie’s riffs are not as complicated and aggressive as they used to be back when he was with DP and that is the beauty of it! Ronnie, on the other hand is just perfect – in my book of the greatest male rock vocals of all time, he is definitely in top 10. I don’t think anyone can sing those highs the way he does – just play “Black Sheep Of The Family” or “Sixteenth Century Greensleeves” and you will see what am I talking about!

The two songs I wanted to talk about are “Man On The Silver Mountain” and “Catch The Rainbow”, which in my opinion are the best songs of the album.

One of the most memorable song intros ever (at least to me)! Ronnie said that it’s “a semi-religious song, the man on the silver mountain is a kind of God figure everyone is crying out to.” – rather interesting right? It was co-written by Dio and Blackmore. When Ronnie died in 2010, the words “The man on the silver mountain Ronnie James Dio” were put on his grave. The song is a classic and it defines an era – I don’t have to say more. It’s memorable, catchy and very powerful – the greatest thing is that it delivers that power to the listeners. Ronnie’s vocals are beyond perfect! Personally, my favorite part of the song, as well as lyrics is when Ronnie sings :
“Come down with fire
Lift my spirit higher
Someone’s screaming my name
Come and make me holy again” ….and then we hear the memorable guitar riff! ❤

“Catch The Rainbow” is probably the gloomiest song from the album. However, I don’t think it is that type of song that brings out sad emotions and feelings (at least to me). The song itself was not released as a single, however it remains one of their most famous works. The song is loved that much probably because it is often connected with  “Little Wing” by “The Jimmy Hendrix Experience”. To me personally, its strongest point is the simplistic yet powerful guitar riff and the background choirs that create a very mysterious and a bit psychedelic vibe. Lyrically speaking, the song is very poetic and beautiful. I especially love the chorus:
“We believed we’d catch the rainbow
Ride the wind to the sun
Sail away on ships of wonder”

A real life picture of the CD with the tracklist and the covers of each and every song on the right part of the case. Very well-packaged, indeed!

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Finally, I just want to say that to me, this is one of the most expected and successful debut albums of all time. Ritchie and Ronnie are an amazing team and I wish Ronnie was still with us to continue working together… I am very glad I bought the album and I would recommend it to everyone who enjoy rock music from the 70s. The album possesses an essence…a special and unique atmosphere which is no longer present in today’s music; not to mention quality songwriting and brilliant musicianship… Catch the rainbow!

Me, enjoying the newest addition to my CD collection!

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