Congratulations to Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 2017 Inductees

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It’s official! Pearl Jam, Tupac Shakur, Journey, YES, Electric Light Orchestra and Joan Baez are joining Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017. Nile Rodgers from Chic will receive the Award for Musical Excellence.

The full list of nominees included Bad Brains, Chaka Khan, Chic, Depeche Mode, ELO, the J. Geils Band, Jane’s Addiction, Janet Jackson, Joan Baez, Joe Tex, Journey, Kraftwerk, MC5, Pearl Jam, Steppenwolf, the Cars, Zombies, Tupac Shakur and Yes.

Fans were once again involved in the decision by voting on Rock Hall’s official website. Their votes, along with the opinions of hundreds of notable critics, journalists, musicians, industry insiders and every living Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, finalized the class of 2017.
The induction ceremony will be held at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on April 7th, 2017. The event will also be aired on HBO in later months.
Last year, the inductees included Cheap Trick, Deep Purple, Steve Miller, Chicago and N.W.A.

My thoughts:

I am immensely satisfied with this year’s list of Rock Hall inductees. Journey’s induction was long overdue and the thought of seeing Steve Perry back on that stage with Neal Schon and the rest of the guys will definitely keep me warm for the upcoming winter. I was sure that either ELO or YES will be inducted, however to my surprise the Rock Hall decided to induct both of those progressive rock giants. If this is not a cause for celebration, I don’t know what is! I am very happy that one of the most important voices of folk music – Joan Baez, will also be given the recognition she deserves. Pearl Jam became eligible this year and immediately got in. I was expecting it, to be honest. The “controversial” inductee this year would be the deceased d Tupac Shakur. I have been following comments on social media since the release of the results and I have to say, fans are not satisfied. I can understand why Rock Hall decided to induct him, but that doesn’t mean it’s the right direction. With respect to him and his unquestionable legacy, I have to say that I am not entirely agreeing with this decision, nor am I mad about it. He deserves a special place in history of modern music, but Rock Hall is probably not where he belongs.

Meet the inductees:

JOURNEY

journey-1

One of the most beloved American bands – Journey are going to be inducted into the Rock Hall of Fame in 2017. With more than 90 million records sold worldwide, 14 studio albums and 59 timeless hit singles, their induction is more than justified. Originally a progressive rock band, Journey rose to stardom in the late 70s and enjoyed commercial success throughout the ‘80s. With a change in musical direction and “the voice” himself – Steve Perry, fronting the band, Journey spawned some of the most groundbreaking staples of arena rock in the ‘80s, including “Don’t Stop Believin’”, “Separate Ways”, “Open Arms”, “Send Her My Love”, ”Faithfully” and many more.
Fans are waiting with anticipation to find out whether Steve Perry will join the band for the induction ceremony. If he does, that would be the highlight of the evening, I am sure.


YES

YES band 2

The progressive rock monsters, YES, are also among the members of “class of 2017 Rock Hall inductees”. Founded by Jon Anderson in the late 60s, this outstanding band, composed of classically trained musicians, created structured rock music that challenged the concept of progressive rock. From their debut album, released in 1969, fueled with brilliant harmonies and symphonic elements, to their pop-oriented musical style in the ‘80s with the album “90125”, YES sold more than 13 million copies in the USA alone, making them one of the best-selling progressive rock acts of all time. “Fragile” is often considered to be YES’ finest record. Released in 1971, the album became synonymous with YES and quickly turned into a commercial and critical success.

I am excited to see “Roundabout” materialize on the stage of Rock Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Fingers crossed that they will play it!


ELO

elo

One of my favorite bands of all time – Electric Light Orchestra, led by the musical genius Jeff Lynne himself, will also be joining the Rock Hall in 2017. Immensely uplifting, spirited, incorporating elements of modern rock, classical music, friendlier pop-sounds, piano, string instruments and keyboards, the music of ELO influenced generations of music lovers. Selling over 50 million records worldwide and releasing 50 hit singles, ELO truly deserved the recognition they are getting from the Rock Hall. “Eldorado” (1974) and “Time” (1981) are among the band’s most signature and influential concept releases. Timeless classics like “Evil Woman”, “Don’t Bring Me Down”, “Mr Blue Sky”, “Ticket to the Moon” and “Rock n’ Roll is King” will forever remain a staple of art/progressive rock.

They say that if The Beatles hadn’t broken up in the late 60s, this is what they would’ve sound in the 70s.


PEARL JAM

pearl-jam

Pearl Jam has to be one of the most representative grunge bands of all time, following Nirvana, of course. Armed with radio appeal and possessing that pure rock spirit, their commercial success was inevitable in the 90s. Their infamous 1991 album “Ten” sold over 13 million copies in the USA alone, making it a key player of the grunge movement. No wonder critics refer to them as one of the most popular American bands of the 1990s. Pearl Jam brought alternative music into the mainstream with commitment and a much desired freshness. Their stripped down, heavy approach to music laid the foundations of modern rock music.


JOAN BAEZ

joan-baez

A songwriter, musician and most importantly, a social activist, Joan Baez is known for being one of the most essential key players of the counterculture in the ‘60s. Despite her folk roots, she has also been notable for playing country, pop and gospel music. Throughout her career, she has participated in many Civil Rights Movement demonstrations, performed and wrote songs about war, human rights, LGBT rights and many other social issues. Joan and her music have been an inspiration for many people all over the world who have been treated unjustly.

Her first three albums, Joan Baez, Joan Baez, Vol. 2, and Joan Baez in Concert are all critically acclaimed releases and widely beloved.


NILE RODGERS

nile-rodgers

Chic’s Nile Rodgers is 2017 Rock Hall Musical Excellence award Inductee. One quick scan through his long and prolific career will give you an idea of why is he given this award. Challenging the boundaries of music by leading an original disco band whose members didn’t rely on synthesizers and machines, but rather on their own skills, Nile Rodgers quickly gained recognition for his artistic vision and creative approach to music.

He has worked as a producer, songwriter, composer, musician and guitarist with almost every artist in the industry – Madonna, Daft Punk, Duran Duran, David Bowie, INXS and countless more. His innovative musicianship and fearless production skills are finally getting the recognition they deserve.


TUPAC SHAKUR

tupac

Tupac Shakur is famous for his hip hop music, fuelled with themes, dealing with racism, social injustice, violence and the hardships of life on the streets. His brave approach to lyricism got recognized by fans and critics all over the world, making him one of the best-selling artists of all time. 2Pac’s double disc albums All Eyez on Me and his Greatest Hits are among the best-selling albums in the United States alone. On his first year of eligibility, he will be inducted into the Rock Hall of Fame in April, 2017.


References:
Photos, taken from Rock Hall of Fame official website: http://rockhall.com/ and Google images.
Information, facts and sales numbers retrieved from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org
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~

Want to Get Drunk on Progressive Rock? Listen to These 5 Albums:

One of my greatest musical passions is progressive rock. There is just something so magical and immensely captivating in mixing rock with elements of classical music, all wrapped up under layers of complex instrumentation, life-changing lyrics, intense experimentation and supreme technicality. Not to mention the groundbreaking album artworks those beautiful compositions come with. The origins of progressive rock are quite debatable – many people, including myself, believe that it all started in the late 60s as a logical advancement of psychedelic rock. It’s important to mention the significance of albums like “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” by The Beatles which is credited by many critics as the album where the idea of progressive rock began. It wasn’t until the ‘70s when prog rock found its way to the hearts of the general audience. Albums like “The Dark Side of the Moon” (1973) by Pink Floyd completely transformed the notion that this type of music is very difficult to enjoy. For the rest of the decade, prog rock was a predominant force on the worldwide music scene, especially among British audiences. Rock acts like YES, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Genesis, Jethro Tull, The Moody Blues, Frank Zappa and many more are notable names in the genre.

My gigantic adoration for progressive rock grew out of a couple of albums which till today remain my ultimate soul-feeding musical pieces. The following albums are definitely part of the list. Not only that, but each of them has its own unique place in the history of progressive rock and music in general. If you are not so familiar with the genre and are looking for the start, look no further – these five records are surely going to provide you with the ultimate progressive rock experience. Noticeably, I haven’t included the earth-shattering prog rock titles like “The Dark Side of the Moon” by Pink Floyd because I wanted to demonstrate a little bit of variety and give the green light to other equally essential records. Also, Pink Floyd are a completely different monster.
Please enjoy my selection and I hope those albums can bring you at least a little bit of the comfort they bring me.


King Crimson – In The Court of the Crimson King (1969)

king-crimson-in-the-court-of-the-crimson-king-1969This might be a bit heavy for some listeners who are not accustomed to the sound of progressive rock but bottom line is – every conversation about progressive rock should begin and end with this album! Historically relevant, highly experimental, critically acclaimed and seen by many as the birthplace of progressive rock – meet King Crimson’s 1969 debut album “In The Court of Crimson King”. Personally, I see is as one of the most impactful forces in the history of rock in general. Where do we even begin with this album? Jazz, blues, classical influences, psychedelic rock elements, mind-blowing lyrics, questioning your entire existence. “In The Court of Crimson King” is THE progressive rock album! The monumental artwork is another reason behind the album’s significance – just look at it! That is how you will react when you listen to King Crimson for the first time!


Yes – Fragile (1971)

Yes - Fragile - Roger DeanIf you want to experience progressive rock at its fines, YES’ “Fragile” (1971) is another album you should devote your time to. “Roundabout” is YES’ ultimate classic and one of the reasons behind the commercialization of progressive rock. People were, and still are, simply in love with the elegant guitars of Steve Howe, accompanied by mindblowing organs, stunning keyboards, mind-altering drums and of course Jon Anderson’s a-list vocals. This whole record is a fantasy coming alive. It became a rock staple and influenced generations of musicians.


Emerson, Lake & Palmer – Brain Salad Surgery (1973)

emerson-lake-palmer-brain-salad-surgery-1973And ladies and gentleman the album that changed my life – Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s “Brain Salad Surgery” (1973). This record is like a door to a new colorful world, a world in which there are no limitations to what your body and soul can experience. I can’t even begin describing why this album is such a huge masterpiece. “Still. . . You Turn Me On”,“Toccata”,“Karn Evil 9” – all sending you on a mind-altering journey after which you feel like a different person. The trio is simply phenomenal – Keith is running through the keyboard with unimaginable precision; Carl is the king of the drums and Greg’s impactful but gentle vocal delivery is releasing you from every little trace of stress and negativity. That’s just how it affects me…


Jethro Tull – Thick as a Brick (1972)

jethro-tull-thick-as-a-brick-1972Jethro Tull’s “Thick as a Brick” is just one 44-minute song which really does it for me. Concept, parodies and tricks aside, I do really enjoy diving into the atmosphere of this musical treasure from time to time. You click on “play” and for the next 40 minutes you have the perfect background to your work. I feel like this type of music synchronizes quite well with your work tempo and gives you that extra push! (Or maybe It’s just me). It’s a beautiful piece of progressive rock and musically speaking it is the whole package, not to mention the dozens of instruments we get to enjoy throughout this tune – trumpet, saxophone, timpani, violin and so much more.


Rush – Moving Pictures (1981)

rush-moving-pictures-1981Another album you have to listen to if you are into “progressive rock mood” would be Rush’s “Moving Pictures” (1981). Both critically and commercially acclaimed this is one of the albums that truly deserve a spot on your shelf and in your heart. I included it as a part of my selection because despite coming out relatively late, compared to other progressive rock jewels, it did manage to leave a lasting trail of classic prog rockers and radio staplers. It’s a perfect combination between hard rock, adopting a lot of experimental techniques and state of the art technologies to craft the perfect sound. It’s accessible progressive rock at its finest; a natural evolution of a genre!


 

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~

10 Things You (Should) Know About YES

yes-band-2


Before we go to YES, do you know what is art rock or progressive rock?

Progressive rock emerged as a musical trend and evolved in the late 1960s and early 1970s, falling under the umbrella of the so called “art rock”. Art rock can be quite difficult to explain due to its complexity and numerous forms it can take, however simply put, it’s rock music that goes above and beyond. What I mean by that is that the style itself surpasses the norms of the ordinary hard rock as we all know it, by experimenting with instruments and various other elements, taken from other genres and forms of art, such as literature and theater. When we think of “art rock”, the first name that should come to our minds is definitely David Bowie – he revolutionized and popularized the concept of “art rock” with its music, looks and stage performances.

Now, let me get back to progressive rock. I couldn’t just jump in without saying a few words about art rock because progressive rock is often thought to be a subcategory of art rock. Briefly put, progressive rock is a sophisticated mixture of classical music elements; complex instrumentation;  supreme musical technicality; conceptualism; abstract and imaginative lyrics; heavy experimentation with sound and new technologies, such as keyboards and synthesizers; lengthy songs; visually stunning stage theatrics; and all that wrapped under beautifully drawn fancy cover album artworks that can make your imagination go wild. The roots of progressive rock are questionable but many people say that it all begun in the States with psychedelic bands, such as The Doors, before it moved to the UK, where it was mastered and transformed into a fully developed style and genre. Yes, it was once again the British who formulated and perfected it. It was only natural, giving in mind their rich traditions, refined literature and classical European music influence. One of the very first British bands to fully adopt the qualities of progressive rock were King Crimson in the late 1960s.

Progressive rock, however, fully developed and reached its commercial peaks in the 1970s. When we talk about progressive rock and the 70s, there are a few bands that should immediately appear in front of your eyes. Those bands are also often referred to as “The Big Four in Progressive Rock in the 1970s”. I’m talking about YES, Genesis, Pink Floyd and Emerson Lake & Palmer, of course!

Today I will specifically draw your attention to YES, because I think there are a few things that should be said and reminded about this outstanding band of classically trained musicians, creating structured rock music that simply sends us to another realm. Just like many other progressive rock bands, they moved on to more commercial, radio-friendly sound in the 80s which divides their career into two distinguishable periods. Maybe some of you know more about YES than me and it won’t be interesting to read those facts I’ve gathered for you but for those of you who want to know more about YES, here we go!


yes-logo-png3

  • YES is a British progressive rock band, founded in 1968 in London by singer Jon Anderson who previously played with other bands such as The Warriors and Gun. He briefly went solo before the fateful meeting with bassist/vocalist Chris Squire from the band the Syn. Both of them quickly bonded over similar interests and pursues in music and assembled a line-up, featuring Tony Kaye on keyboards, Peter Banks on guitar and Bill Bruford on drums.

yes-band


  • The name of the band “YES” came from their guitarist Peter Banks and was chosen due to being short, striking, straightforward and even a little sweet.
yes-logo
The band’s logotype was designed by artist Roger Dean and used since 1972.

 

  • YES’ debut, self-titled album was released in July 1969. The record included cover versions of rock, folk and jazz acts, including The Byrds and The Beatles. The majority of original compositions on the record were written by Jon Anderson. “YES” received positive reviews and signaled the arrival of a strong progressive force, despite both released singles failing on the charts. The album displayed brilliant harmonies and a classical approach to music, all wrapped up in a rather futuristic, even space aura; it clearly established the grounds of the band which would later on develop into the YES as we know them.

  •  YES had numerous line-up changes throughout the years, mainly due to disagreements in the musical directions of the band. For instance, Tony Kaye (keyboards) was fired because he refused to play on newly emerged and electronically-heavy keyboards. Founder Jon Anderson left the band in 1980, only to join a couple of years later for their highly successful album “90125”. Co-founder Chris Squire also left the band in the early 80s but came back for “90125” as well. Frequent line-up changes and ups and downs within the band members often affected their consistency and focus of production.

  • Yes - Fragile - Roger Dean“Fragile” is often considered to be YES’ finest record. Released in 1971, the album became synonymous with YES and quickly turned into a commercial and critical success. “Fragile” was popularized by its album cover, crafted by Roger Dean and the single “Roundabout”, which became their most famous and well-known songs.

  • Artist Roger Dean is the man behind the infamous album artworks of YES. Their long collaboration started with “Fragile” and is still going on. His futuristic and highly imaginative, colorful pieces of art became a trademark for the band and an inseparable part of their progressive style. His mesmerizing landscapes, environments and creatures perfectly fit the band’s concept and contribute to the overall experience and even visualization of their music.

  • YES - 90125YES’ “90125” is their best-selling album up to date. Often referred to as one of the most successful comebacks in history, “90125” presented a new, more contemporary and radio-friendly YES sound that appealed to the majority of audiences. Many fans criticize them for shifting from the complex, classical music-inspired rock to simpler, rather mainstream pop/rock music. However, many others were celebrating the new YES, rising from the ashes of Cinema – a band formed after the disbandment of YES in 1981 and consisting of bassist Chris Squire, drummer Alan White, singer Trevor Rabin and former YES keyboardist Tony Kaye. On top of that Jon Anderson was also on board, resuming his duties as a vocalist. The album showcased a fresh, innovative mash-up of progressive, electronic and typical ‘80s hard rock sounds.

  • “Owner of a Lonely Heart” from “90125” is YES’ one and only song to ever top the charts. In addition to being their most instantly recognizable tune, the track turned into the ultimate cross-over hit and a staple of ‘80s AOR. The opening killer riffs of Trevor Rabin made the intro of “Owner of a Lonely Heart” one of the most memorable song intros of all time.

  • Keyboardist Geoff Downes, who previously formed The Buggles (“Video Killed The Radio Star”) joined YES for the “Drama” (1980) album. After that, along with Carl Palmer from ELP, John Wetton from King Crimson and fellow YES guitarist Steve Howe, he became a member of the supergroup ASIA. The band’s debut self-titled album turned into one of the best-selling and most popular records of the ‘80s. Geoff Downes would later on return to YES once again in their Fly from Here (2011) and Heaven & Earth (2014) albums.

asia-band


  • heaven-and-earth-yes-album-coverYES is one of the longest running progressive rock bands in the history of music. The band released 21 studio albums and 32 compilation albums during their career that begun in 1969 and is still continuing. YES’s latest record, titled “Heaven & Earth” was released in 2014 and is the final album to feature original member and co-founder of the band Chris Squire before he died in 2015.

References:
YES official Wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yes_(band)
YES Biography: http://www.allmusic.com/artist/yes-mn0000685647/biography
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: 10 Of the Longest Classic Rock Songs

 

I was just listening to Pink Floyd’s “Shine on You Crazy Diamond” when suddenly I felt like I should browse through my music library and try to find some classic rock songs that go a little (sometimes a lot) over the average song duration. Those epic tunes have always been my favorites – there’s something so special and engaging…I mean sharing 10-20 minutes of your life with a song is indeed an engagement and this means that the song has to be more than extraordinary. I have always been fascinated by how those true rock artists manage to maintain a song for over 10 minutes – it’s quite the challenge, isn’t it?

When it comes to lengthy musical pieces, I think we can mostly find them in jazz or nowadays in electronic music. However, I argue that the rock music scene from the 60s, 70s, 80s and even 90s has a lot to offer when it comes to epic long tunes. In no particular order, here are 10 examples, chosen by me, of classic rock songs that go over the average song length. I do hope you have about 2 and half hours of your life to spend with them.

Cheers


 

Rush – “2112”

The title track from Rush’s fourth studio album was an absolute ground-breaking moment for the Canadian rockers. The story is set in the future – in the year of 2112 when there’s no music. A man, however, discovers the magic of music and everything changes.


Deep Purple – “Child in Time”

“Child in Time” comes from Deep Purple’s 1970 album – “Deep Purple in Rock”. It’s a very straightforward protest against the Vietnam War. Interesting fact, the song is actually based on It’s a Beautiful Day‘s psychedelic song “Bombay Calling”. Ian Gillan once said in an interview, “There are two sides to that song – the musical side and the lyrical side. On the musical side, there used to be this song ‘Bombay Calling’ by a band called It’s A Beautiful Day. It was fresh and original, when Jon was one day playing it on his keyboard. It sounded good, and we thought we’d play around with it, change it a bit and do something new keeping that as a base. But then, I had never heard the original ‘Bombay Calling’. So we created this song using the Cold War as the theme, and wrote the lines ‘Sweet child in time, you’ll see the line.’ That’s how the lyrical side came in. Then, Jon had the keyboard parts ready and Ritchie had the guitar parts ready. The song basically reflected the mood of the moment, and that’s why it became so popular.”


The Velvet Underground – “Sister Ray”

Some late ‘60s vibes with Velvet Underground! Nothing special to say about this song – it’s typical Lou Reed from the beginning till the end of it. It may be all about drugs, violence and all of these bad things in life; however the song has definitely something else to offer as well.


Pink Floyd – “Shine on You Crazy Diamond”

In my book, the kings of maintaining both lengthy and breathtaking rock tunes have to be Pink Floyd. Throughout their career, they have a great number of tracks that go over the average song duration. However, I chose those two songs specifically because I feel like they both perfectly illustrate how powerful a lengthy song can be and how well it can play with your emotions and moods. On top of that we get brilliant instrumentals, skillful improvisations and numerous important parts and details that go one after another like waves.

Pink Floyd – “Echoes”


The Doors – “The End”

Jim Morrison wrote this song about his girlfriend, however in time, it turned into something much deeper and meaningful. “The End” is one of their most emblematic tracks, coming from their self-titled debut album. He once said, Everytime I hear that song, it means something else to me. It started out as a simple good-bye song… Probably just to a girl, but I see how it could be a goodbye to a kind of childhood. I really don’t know. I think it’s sufficiently complex and universal in its imagery that it could be almost anything you want it to be.”


Guns N’ Roses – “November Rain”

And it all comes back to this song – one of Guns N’ Roses’ greatest accomplishments of their career. “November Rain” is a beautiful power-ballad that ruled the first half of the 90s. Read more about it here: The Story of Guns N’ Roses’ “November Rain”


King Crimson – “Starless”

“Starless” has pretty much everything I love about progressive rock  – smooth intro, saxophone accompaniments, jam sessions, long improvisations and memorable drums. The tune comes from King Crimson’s seventh studio album – “Red”, released in 1974.


Led Zeppelin – “Achilles Last Stand”

Achilles Last Stand” is a very essential song for the future development of British heavy metal music. Written by Jimmy Page and Robert Plant in Page’s home in California, the tune simply changed the course of rock history. On top of that, it impresses with John Bonham’s powerful drumming and John Paul Jones‘s bass line.

Jimmy Page has often referred to “Achilles Last Stand” as his favorite Led Zeppelin song.


Yes – “The Gates of Delirium”

YES are the other absolute masters of lengthy and epic rock tunes. “The Gates of Delirium” is a 22 minute progressive saga based on Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace. It starts with a vocal section and it evolves into a mythical and rather long instrumental section. By the end of the song, you finally realize that for the past 20 minutes you have experienced the whole range of feelings – from tenseness and anxiety to calmness and hope.


 

 

Celebrating the Progressive Rock Album Art of Roger Dean

Album artworks are such an important part of a record. I have previously expressed my opinions on the issue and if you are curious to find out the stories behind some of the most iconic classic rock album artworks, you can read my previous publication here:

[Click Here] Behind some of the Most Iconic Classic Rock Album Artworks

Now, I would like to specifically focus on the famous artist Roger Dean whose imagination and talent covered the albums of so many amazing bands and musicians, such as ASIA, YES, Uriah Heep and many more. Roger Dean went far and beyond in his futuristic artworks. From fantastical creatures, to mysterious galaxies, his inventiveness stood the test of time and till today, he is often credited as one of the most inspirational and important progressive graphic designers. Not to mention his contributions to the popularization and vision of progressive rock. His works are absolute classics and how can they not be? He is responsible for creating the visual identities of so many bands and artists. That’s why I decided to dedicate this publication to (some of) his incredible art and hopefully remind you guys of these timeless records who became so famous not only because of the music, but because of their visual appeal, courtesy of Roger Dean!


 

ASIA

ASIA (1982)

Asia - Asia Cover

ALPHA (1983)

Asia - Alpha Album Cover

ARIA (1994)

Asia Aria Album Art

AURA (2001)

Asia Aura albm art

PHOENIX (2008)

asia phoenix album art

OMEGA (2010)

asia omega album art

XXX (2012)

Asia xxx album art.jpg

GRAVITAS (2014)

asia gravitas album art


 

YES

FRAGILE (1971)

Yes - Fragile - Roger Dean

CLOSE TO THE EDGE (1972)

CLOSE TO THE EDGE (1972) YES

YESTERDAYS (1975)

YESTERDAYS (1975) YES

DRAMA (1980)

DRAMA (1980) YES

CLASSIC YES (1981)

CLASSIC YES (1981) YES

UNION (1991)

UNION (1991) YES

Symphonic Music of Yes (1993)

Symphonic Music of Yes (1993)

OPEN YOUR EYES (1997)

OPEN YOUR EYES (1997) YES

THE LADDER (1999)

THE LADDER (1999) YES

House of Yes: Live from House of Blues (2000)

House of Yes Live from House of Blues (2000)

In a Word: Yes (1969–) (2002)

In a Word Yes (1969–)

HEAVEN & EARTH (2014)

HEAVEN & EARTH (2014)

Like It Is: Yes at the Bristol Hippodrome (2014)

Like It Is Yes at the Bristol Hippodrome (2014)

Like It Is: Yes at the Mesa Arts Center (2015)

Like It Is Yes at the Mesa Arts Center (2015)


 

URIAH HEEP

DEMONS AND WIZARDS (1972)

URIAH HEEP DEMONS AND WIZARDS (1972)


 

OSIBISA

OSIBISA (1971)

Osibisa_Osibisa


 

SYEVE HOWE

BEGINNINGS (1975)

STEVE HOWE BEGINNINGS

TURBULENCE (1991)

STEVE HOWE TURBULENCE


 

 BABE RUTH

FIRST BASE (1972)

BABE RUTH FIRST BASE


 

BUDGIE

SQUAWK (1972)

Squawk-cover

 


Us and Them: Symphonic Pink Floyd (1995)

Symphonic_Pink_Floyd

 


 

Credits and References:
By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1599553
By Official Yes website., Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1502119
Category:Albums with cover art by Roger Dean (artist), retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Albums_with_cover_art_by_Roger_Dean_(artist)
The far-out prog-rock album art of Roger Dean”, retrieved from http://www.nme.com/photos/the-far-out-prog-rock-album-art-of-roger-dean/211255#/photo/2#IVkoPr8rRmouYhww.99
P.S. I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the credits and rights go to the owners/publishers. The publications is merely a collection of visual artworks made by Roger Dean.
Cheers!
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[The Greatest Rock Albums of the 80s] YES – 90125

YES - 90125


 

90125

Released: November 7, 1983
Length:
44:49
Label: Atco
Singles: “Owner of a Lonely Heart”, “Leave It”, “It Can Happen”, “Hold On”
Certified: 3xPlatinum (RIAA)

~

Tracklist:

“Owner of a Lonely Heart”
“Hold On”
“It Can Happen”
“Changes”
“Cinema”
“Leave It”
“Our Song”
“City of Love”
“Hearts”

 

buy-from-amazon


 

OVERVIEW:

 

In 1983, YES pulled off one of the most successful comebacks in rock history. After the disbandment of the band in 1981, bassist Chris Squire , drummer Alan White, singer Trevor Rabin and former Yes keyboardist Tony Kaye formed Cinema. Not long after, former Yes singer Jon Anderson returned as their lead vocal. Former “Drama” (1980) lead singer Trevor Horn reunited with the band as their producer. Just like that, Cinema became the new and reformed YES.

90125 is a rock-solid and positively creative masterpiece that introduced YES to a whole new audience by replacing their rather difficult to absorb pretentiously progressive sound with more mainstream pop/rock elements. The record is a pure triumph of music engineering and a huge smash for the band – it became their best-selling album of all time and one of the songs even won them a Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance. The record is remarkably fresh, yet so familiar. With Anderson back on track and their new slick 80s rock sound, courtesy of producer Trevor Horn, YES simply wrote history with this album. It was time for a new beginning. Yes, they did lose their progressive-rock roots and if you are looking for some old-school 70s epic experimental sounds you most certainly cannot find them on 90125. However, the record is exciting and influential enough to be named as the definite classic album by YES. Even with a new approach and vision, YES certainly know how to rock!

The #1 single, “Owner of a Lonely Heart” is the ultimate crossover hit. The catchy, radio-friendly and groovy tune sets the tone right from the very beginning with the memorable killer riffs of Trevor Rabin. The song is one of the emblems of the 80s and probably YES’ most instantly recognizable songs. “Hold On” is a hard-rocker that impresses with layered choruses and unique sounding. “Cinema” – the song that got him a Grammy Award has to be one of the most inspiring rock instrumentals of all time. The drumming by White can’t but leave you speechless. “City of Love” is somewhat ignored, despite the powerful bass and heavy guitars. Personally, I often refer to this song as the finest moment from the album. “Leave It” has to be the most bizarre tune of the album and ultimately one of the most unusual radio smash hits. The song combines heavy usage of electronic drums and the typical harmony of YES. In addition, the vocals are quite dreamy and mythical. It’s surprising how weird this song is and yet, you cannot stop playing it.

All in all, 90125 is one of the most intriguing albums of the 80s. YES managed to transform their progressive and cold sound into more MTV-friendly, pop hooks without which the ‘80s would’ve been so different. One thing I wish they were more considerate of is the usage of electronic instruments. Other than that, the record is a successful mash-up of progressive and hard-rock influences suitable for all audiences. It’s a must have!

 

Owner of a Lonely Heart

Leave It

Hold On

 


References:
90125” official Wikipedia webpage: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/90125
P.S. I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the rights and credits go to the owners and/publishers.
Cheers~

[Mixtape] This Week in Classic Rock Songs

 

Hello, everyone! Happy new week!

Time to kick things off with some of my favorite rock tunes, chosen directly from my music library and delivered to you through the magic of YouTube and blogging! I hope you would enjoy this week’s selection and will get reminded of some great classics! This week, we will travel back to the 60s with Bob Dylan’s most important song and Steppenwolf’s ultimate hit, which also happens to be one of the first metal songs!; then we shall enter the 70s with Ramones, YES and Electric Light Orchestra; we will then move on to the 80s with AC/DC, Guns N’ Roses and Mötley Crüe – some of the most celebrated bands during the 80s; finally, we will wrap the mixtape with some 90s sound – Van Halen and Def Leppard will do the trick!

Happy Listening!

 

Playlist:

AC/DC – Hells Bells ( 1980 )
Bob Dylan – Like a Rolling Stone ( 1965 )
Def Leppard – Make Love Like A Man ( 1992 )
Electric Light Orchestra – Don’t Bring Me Down ( 1979 )
Guns N’ Roses – Welcome To The Jungle ( 1987 )
Mötley Crüe – Wild Side ( 1987 )
Ramones – I Just Want To Have Something To Do ( 1978 )
Steppenwolf – Born To Be Wild ( 1968 )
Van Halen – Judgment Day ( 1991 )
Yes – Roundabout ( 1971 )


 

Bob Dylan – Like a Rolling Stone ( 1965 )


Steppenwolf – Born To Be Wild ( 1968 )


Yes – Roundabout ( 1971 )


Ramones – I Just Want To Have Something To Do ( 1978 )


Electric Light Orchestra – Don’t Bring Me Down ( 1979 )


AC/DC – Hells Bells ( 1980 )


Mötley Crüe – Wild Side ( 1987 )


Guns N’ Roses – Welcome To The Jungle
( 1987 )


Van Halen – Judgment Day ( 1991 )


Def Leppard – Make Love Like A Man
( 1992 )


How These 10 Classic Rock Bands Came Up With Their Names?

Greetings, everyone! Happy weekend – I hope you guys are doing well and having a wonderful “no-work-for-two-days” time!

For this Saturday’s publication I really wanted to prepare something informative and interesting for my readers. Then, I came up with an idea which hopefully will clear things up for some of you or reaffirm the knowledge of others. Nevertheless, it always feels quite amusing to go back to the beginning of the story of our favorite rock bands and understand how they came up with their music, lyrics, style and unique approach that was able to differentiate them among the numerous other artists in the industry. One of those special and extremely essential aspects of any rock band is of course… their name! Needless to say, in any given situation, whether it’s a company, a product, a person, a street, a city, a rock band…we define, refer, recognize and remember through names.

Some bands have indeed rather peculiar and extraordinary names which clearly identify their music, genre, characteristics and expression. With the following publication, I am going to reveal the origin of their names and try to explain why they chose to call themselves like that. I am sure that many devoted rock fans are quite familiar with the stories behind the names; however there might be people out there who are not so sure and would like to know.

We love and listen to the music of bands such as The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Guns N’ Roses, The Ramones and we can’t stop repeating their names. Now, it’s time to find out how they came with them… I chose ten classic, old-school rock bands which I believe have some of the most interesting and memorable names in the history of rock music. Forgive me for the rather peculiar mixture, however those bands do have a lot in common…and it starts with having very cool names!


 

 

The Beatles

THEBEATLES 203Let’s start with the fab five! The story begun in 1957, when young John Lennon assembled his skiffle group, first calling it the Black Jacks and eventually changing it into the Quarry Men. Throughout the years, they had a few name changes, such as Johnny and the Moondogs, the Beatals, the Silver Beetles, the Silver Beats, and the Silver Beatles, before they finally settled on the Beatles.  
John Lennon actually wrote a humorous story about how the name came from. It appeared in an article in a Liverpool magazine. He said, It came in a vision–a man appeared in a flaming pie and said unto them “From this day on you are Beatles with an A.” “Thank you, Mister Man,” they said, thanking him. (Paul McCartney even put an album called “Flaming Pie.”)

As far as the serious version is concerned, it’s quite simple – The Crickets (Jerry Allison, Buddy Holly, and Joe B. Mauldin) were cited as a major inspiration for the name. Furthermore, the misspelling of “beetles” is a play on words, basically describing the unique “beat” of the band. In an interview, Lennon stated, “Well, I remembered the other day when somebody mentioned the Crickets at a press conference. I’d forgotten all about that. I was looking for a name like the Crickets that meant two things, and from Crickets I got to Beatles. I changed the B-e-a because it didn’t mean two things on its own — B, double-e-t-l-e-s didn’t mean two things. So, I changed the ‘a,’ added the ‘e’ to the ‘a’, and it meant two things, then….. It was beat and beetles, and when you said it people thought of crawly things, and when you read it, it was beat music.”


 

The Rolling Stones

Rolling Stones - nameNow I can’t talk about the Beatles and not talk about The Rolling Stones now can I? The story of how they decided to call themselves like that is pretty short and simple as well. The band was heavily influences by Chess Records artists, such as Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Howlin’ Wolf and many other blues musicians. In June 1962, the band’s line up consisted of Jagger, Jones, Richards, Stewart, Taylor, and drummer Tony Chapman. According to Keith Richards, Brian Jones saw a Muddy Waters LP lying on the floor, while he was talking to Jazz News on the phone. When they asked him what his band was called, he thought of Muddy Waters’ track “Rollin’ Stone”…the rest is history.


 

The Doors

The Doors 2Why did choose to call themselves the Doors? It’s very philosophical and poetical but what else did we expect from the most intense and progressive rock bands of the 60s? Jim Morrison came up with the name which was derived from a passage in William Blake’s “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell”“When the doors of perception are cleansed, things will appear to man as they truly are… infinite.” The same passage also inspired the title of Aldous Huxley’s 1954 essay on his first psychedelic experience – “The Doors of Perception” which Jim Morrison had read.


 

Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd - DrawingThe details behind the origin of their band name vary, however the story goes like this: At first, the band was playing under multiple names, including “Tea Set”. However, imagine their surprise when they turned up at a gig and found up that another band on the lineup was also called “Tea Set”. Syd Barret, under pressure, had to quickly come up with a new name. The alternative he settled on was The Pink Floyd Sound, after two blues musicians – Pink Anderson and Floyd Council – two of his favorite artists. Barret took the names from his record collection – perhaps he saw the sleeves side by side and had a sudden inspiration – we don’t know for sure. There’s no evidence that those two bluesmen have ever worked or recorder together, despite the fact that some people wishfully believe that Anderson and Council actually made a recording together.
The Sound part was dropped quite quickly, but The was kept for a while, until 1970. David Gilmour is also known to have referred to the group as The Pink Floyd as late as 1984.


 

QUEEN

QUEENQueen were originally called “Smile” – quite nice and lovely, right? Singer Freddie Mercury was the one who came up with the new name and this is what he said about it, Years ago I thought up the name ‘Queen’ … It’s just a name, but it’s very regal obviously, and it sounds splendid … It’s a strong name, very universal and immediate. It had a lot of visual potential and was open to all sorts of interpretations. I was certainly aware of gay connotations, but that was just one face of it.” Many people associate the band name with Freddie’s sexual orientation; however that’s not the case – Queen is a very powerful word and it did open quite a few doors for the band!


 

KISS

KISS - nameWhen you heard the name “KISS” for the first time you thought about lovely kisses and smooches, right? Well, you may be so close and yet so far… There have been a few speculations about the name of the band. According to a rumor, going around in the 1980s, their name as an acronym for (K)ids (I)n (S)atan’s (S)ervice. Well, KISS did piss a lot of people off with their image and music, so naturally you have no idea how many of them thought of KISS as a “devil band”. Some people even believed that their records included Satanic messages when played backwards.
The not so evil version of the story goes like this: Peter Criss, the original drummer of the band was in a car with Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley and Ace Frehley in New York. The members knew that Peter used to be in a band named LIPS. They were brainstorming some ideas about a band name when Paul suddenly said, “How about KISS?”… the rest is history. Ace Frehley was the one who designed the KISS logo in 1973, which is still used today.


 

YES

YES band 2It’s time for YES to make their official debut on my blog! I have to say, the band can’t really brag about their name since honestly it’s not so clever or that original. However, that’s the magic of it! The details behind the origin story of the name once again vary. What we know so far is that the band members were having a hard time coming up with a good name but their first gig was coming so they had to think of something quite fast. For their debut gig, they chose the name YES, suggested by Banks as being “short, positive, direct, and memorable”. It was supposed to be a temporary solution but obviously, the name stuck.

Jon Anderson told Yesspeak that while they were brainstorming for band names, Jon Anderson thought of Life, Chris Squire thought of World, and Peter Banks, kept saying yes. They asked him, whether he means “The Yes?” but he said “No, Yes”…

There’s also the “Yellow Submarine” theory, according to which they got the name from the long scene during “It’s Only a Northern Song” where the word “Yes” multiples on the screen in big bold block letters with exclamation points.


 

The Ramones

Ramones - nameSay hello to The Ramones – the Punk Rock Gods I love so much! I’m sure that at one point we were all asking ourselves what does “Ramones” stand for and how did they chose this particular family name? Well, according to sources, they chose the name as a tribute to Paul McCartney who used the alias “Paul Ramone” when he would book or check into hotels, incognito. All band members adopted pseudonyms ending with the surname “Ramone”, even though that was not their given name and were not related in any way – original members named themselves Joey Ramone, Johnny Ramone, Dee Dee Ramone and Tommy Ramone; other members include Marky Ramone, Richie Ramone, Elvis Ramone and C. J. Ramone.


 

Guns N’ Roses

guns n roses - nameI decided to include Guns N’ Roses because to my surprise, a lot of people are not so familiar with the origin story of the band name, which by the way is so short and simple.

When I heard the name for the first time, I thought it was a clever symbolic representation of their music: “guns” – something deadly and dangerous, and “roses” – something gentle and romantic. However, the reason why they chose the name is because of the members’ previous bands. Axl Rose and and rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin of Hollywood Rose, joined forces with lead guitarist Tracii Guns, bassist Ole Beich, and drummer Rob Gardner of L.A. Guns. They simply combined the names of both previous group and settled upon Guns N’ Roses.


 

Judas Priest

Judas Priest - 80sComing from Birmingham, England, Judas Priest is probably the heavy metal band that matters the most, judging by the nickname they got – The Metal Gods.
The expression “Judas Priest” was once used to cloak the words “Jesus Christ” when these were intended as a curse – something like “Gee” or “Gosh!” However, that’s not the case with Judas Priest. The inspiration for the band name was the song The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest, carved into vinyl by Bob Dylan in 1967. Bruno Stapenhill was the one who came up with the name. The band was also regularly rehearsing at his house in Stone Cross.


 

Credits:
“Where did the Beatles come up with the band’s name?”, retrieved from https://www.quora.com/Where-did-the-Beatles-come-up-with-the-bands-name
The Doors Biography, retrieved from https://rockhall.com/inductees/the-doors/bio/
What is the meaning of Pink Floyd that inspired the band’s name?, retrieved from https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-meaning-of-Pink-Floyd-that-inspired-the-bands-name
Stories Behind Band Names, retrieved from http://www.noiseaddicts.com/2011/02/band-names-poison-queen-kiss-bon-jovi-motley-crue/
YES – band name origin, retrieved from http://www.progarchives.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=8362
Guns N’ Roses – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guns_N’_Roses
Judas Priest Band name meaning, retrieved from http://bandnaming.blogspot.kr/2013/04/judas-priest-band-name-meaning.html
Why did they choose the name Ramones?, retrieved from http://dyingscene.com/news/why-did-they-choose-the-name-ramones/
List of band name etymologies, retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_band_name_etymologies
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/or publishers.