Remembering Jimi Jamison and his Final Album – “Never Too Late” (2012)

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Everybody’s Got A Broken Heart

Never Too Late

I Can’t Turn Back


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

The Story of SURVIVOR’s Gorgeous Ballad – “Ever Since The World Began”

survivor-1982

I recently talked about Survivor’s long list of breathtaking ballads and even made a publication that specifically outlines 5 Beautiful SURVIVOR Ballads That Keep On Melting Our Hearts… Make sure to check it out if you are a person who truly appreciates gentle, well-written and gorgeously sung rock ballads!

I briefly talked about “Ever Since the World Began” but this time I would like to 100% shift your attention to this track because I recently discovered that many people are simply not aware of this track or have completely forgotten about its existence. Needless to say, this makes me feel more anxious than it should because the track is an absolute melodic masterpiece and believe me, I don’t get to say that for a lot of songs.

– Coming out of as the second single from the highly successful “Eye of the Tiger” (1982) – the ultimate staple of AOR in the 80s, “Ever Since the World Began” was completely overshadowed by the commercial success and the attention the title track got. Critics often point out that none other song from the album is worthy of our admiration or is as powerful as the title one, however here I have to step in and make it clear that the album is so much more than that. This right here is a perfect example of how one track can completely overtake an entire album. People like me, however, we come in and try to find the hidden treasures and reveal it to the mass because sometimes the most gorgeous diamonds are not on the surface. 

“Ever Since the World Begin” is credited to the songwriting partnership of Jim Peterik and Frankie Sullivan.

– The heart and soul of this song is of course, Dave Bickler’s emotional vocal delivery which gives you a whole new perspective on how talented he is. “Ever Since the World Begin” is a perfect marriage of vocals and lyrics, an absolute match made in heaven.

– In 1989, after a brief disbandment, Jimi Jamison, Survivor’s second vocalist, recorded the song for the movie “Lock Up”. I am not going to compare the two vocalists or the two versions because I love and respect both those outstanding musicians way too much to do it. I posted the two videos,  you decide for yourself.

– Lyrics! Lyrics! Lyrics! We have to always think about the importance of the lyrics! A simple word, expression or a story, told within the boundaries of a song, can have such a huge impact on someone’s emotional state and understanding of the world. “Ever Since the World Begin” is a song that gives you hopes that destiny will simply do its magic and even though you might not understand how it all began, it’s all part of the plan. I don’t know about you, guys, but I really believe in the idea that the road you take with someone, it was all written somewhere, when the world begun. Seasons will change and you will rise and fall, but destiny will guide you and if your so-called predetermined soulmate is right there, next to you, love will always keep you together.


Dave Bickler on vocals (“Eye of the Tiger”, 1982)


Jimi Jamison on vocals (Soundtrack from the movie “Lock Up”, 1989)


 

Ever Since The World Began Lyrics


💕🎶 I’ll never know what brought me here,

As if somebody led my hand,
It seems I hardly had to steer,
My course was planned.
And destiny it guides us all,
And by it’s hand we rise and fall,
But only for a moment,
Time enough to catch our breath again.

And we’re just another piece of the puzzle,
Just another part of the plan,
How one live touches the other,
Is so hard to understand.
Still we walk this road together,
We travel through as far as we can,
And we have waited for this moment in time,
Ever since the world began.

Taking in the times gone by,
We wonder how it all began,
We’ll never know and still we
Try to understand.
And even though the seasons change,
The reasons shall remain the same,
It’s love that keeps us holding on
Till we can see the sun again.

And we’re just another piece of the puzzle,
Just another part of the plan,
And we have waited for this moment in time,
Ever since the world began.

And I stand alone, a man of stone,
Against the driving rain,
And the night it’s got your number,
And the wind it cries your name,
If we search for truth, win or lose,
In this we’re all the same,
The hope still burns eternal,
We’re the keeper of the flame.

And we’re just another piece of the puzzle,
Just another part of the plan,
How one live touches the other,
Is so hard to understand.
Still we walk this road together,
We try and go as far as we can,
And we have waited for this moment in time,
Ever since the world began. 💕🎶


 

References:
“Ever Since The World Began” Lyrics, retrieved from http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/survivor/eversincetheworldbegan.html
P.S. I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the rights and credits go to the owners 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~

[Playlist] Sammy Hagar’s Best Vocal Moments

sammy hagar smile

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

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

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

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

 

Playlist:

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


 

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

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

‘Right Now’ (1991) (with Van Halen)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Shaka Doobie’ (2000) (from “Ten 13”)


 

[Appreciation Post] Happy Birthday, Axl Rose

axrosebdaymix
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!