Category Archives: Hard Rock Music Time Machine

A nostalgic look at the moments that helped lay the foundation for the creation of Hard Rock Daddy.

Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 1/12/17

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Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 1/12/17

Each Thursday, Hard Rock Music Time Machine takes a journey back in time to feature a variety of songs that date back as far as the ’70s, the ’80s (the glory days of hard rock), hidden gems of the ’90s and hard rock/metal songs of the new millennium (as recent as a few years ago).

Whenever possible, it will also contain interviews from featured artists discussing the inspiration and meaning behind their songs.   On the last Thursday of each month, we will be doing special themes that feature songs based on specific categories or years.

In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlist below, all songs featured on Hard Rock Music Time Machine can be listened to individually by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles above each review.
 

 

 

 ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)

ROB ZOMBIE – “The Great American Nightmare” (1997)

In some ways, it’s hard to believe that Rob Zombie’s “The Great American Nightmare” came out 20 years ago.  In other ways, the song seems like a current rock song.  Confused?  This song was originally written to be featured on the soundtrack to Private Parts, a biopic about radio legend Howard Stern.  It quickly became much more than that as it was turned into the theme song for his daily radio show.  It’s the song that I’ve heard more than any other over the past two decades, but ironically, I very rarely hear it in its entirety, as it is always talked over before it ends.  Not only does the song/movie turn 20 this year, but it also happens to be Howard’s birthday today, so this seemed like the most fitting song to choose to kick of Hard Rock Music Time Machine 2017.

 

RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS (f. LL COOL J) – “I Make My Own Rules” (1997)

It certainly hasn’t gotten the exposure that Rob Zombie has gotten, but “I Make My Own Rules” was also featured on the Private Parts soundtrack.  If you are familiar with Howard Stern, you know that this song also would have been an excellent choice to be the theme song to his radio show.  LL opens the song with swagger – “You know the rules of the game baby…We can handle this like gentlemen, or we can get into some gangsta shit…This is big time rock and roll baby” – before the Chili Peppers jump in with their signature funk rock sound, which carries throughout.  LL can be as smooth as silk, but he can also lay the hammer down (as he does on this underrated track).  This is one of the more forgotten rap/rock collaborations, but it’s a good one that is worthy of revisiting.
 

 

 

 ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout

AMON AMARTH – “Guardians of Asgaard” (2008)

I admit it; I was watching Vikings when this song was playing in the background, which inspired me to include it on this week’s HRMTM.  This melodic death metal band delivers with a killer track from their seventh studio album, Twilight of the Thunder God.  Their music is heavy, with chugging riffs and a pounding rhythm section that gives you no choice but to bang your head.  Their videos are entertaining as well, taking the Nordic Viking mythos to another level.  Sound the battle horns when you blast Amon Amarth!

 

ARCH ENEMY – “You Will Know My Name” (2014)

In the realm of melodic death metal, props must be given to Sweden’s Arch Enemy.  “You Will Know My Name” – from the band’s 9th studio album, War Eternal – starts off with a classical style guitar riff, some keyboards and an almost flamenco drum beat while exploding into the death metal growls of Alissa White-Gluz.  Arch Enemy is one of few female-fronted melodic death metal bands that is able to produce material that appeals to the fans of this genre.  One cannot think of melodic death metal without including Arch Enemy on that list.
 

 

 

ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout

CIRCUS MAXIMUS – “Game of Life” (2012)

Norwegian progressive metal band Circus Maximus released one of their best albums in 2012 with Nine. This upbeat (but complex) number from that album moves a series of poignant questions through some inspired arrangements.

 

ANDRE MATOS – “Separate Ways” (2007)

In 2007, Brazilian vocalist and pianist Andre Matos (ex-Viper, ex-Angra, ex-Shaman) put out his first solo album, Time To Be Free.  In addition to some amazing original material, he did justice to Steve Perry’s high range vocals while covering this Journey classic.  The guitars are amped up high, together with his voice, as the band brilliantly “metalizes” the song.

 

Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 12/29/16: RIP 2016 – A Tribute to Artists Lost

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Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 12/29/16

Each Thursday, Hard Rock Music Time Machine takes a journey back in time to feature a variety of songs that date back as far as the ’70s, the ’80s (the glory days of hard rock), hidden gems of the ’90s and hard rock/metal songs of the new millennium (as recent as a few years ago).

Whenever possible, it will also contain interviews from featured artists discussing the inspiration and meaning behind their songs.   On the last Thursday of each month, we will be doing special themes that feature songs based on specific categories or years.

The final theme of the year is, unfortunately, very fitting – RIP 2016…A Tribute To Artists Lost This Year.

In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlist below, all songs featured on Hard Rock Music Time Machine can be listened to individually by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles above each review.
 

 

 

 ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)

EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER – “Lucky Man” (1970)

And so it goes.  We end 2016 the same way that it began, and for that matter, carried throughout the year.  Another rock legend gone too soon.  This time, we say goodbye to ELP singer/bassist/producer Greg Lake, who passed away recently at the age of 69.  To fully acknowledge Lake’s brilliance, “Lucky Man” was chosen as the ELP song to feature to honor him.  Not only is it one of the most popular songs from this virtuoso progressive trio, it goes all the way back in time to the band’s debut album (although the song was written many years before the band’s formation).

Lake started playing guitar at the age of 12.  Using the first chords that he learned, he wrote an acoustic version of “Lucky Man” that same year.  Using improvised arrangements by the band, this signature song has more than stood the test of time.

Some of the most well-known/popular songs have been late additions to an album, “Lucky Man” included.  The rest of the band didn’t like the childhood version of the song, and it was only worked on with Carl Palmer when another track was needed for ELP’s debut album.  The lyrics of the song tell a story of a man who had everything, went to war, and then died…pretty deep for a 12-year old.

Having lost Keith Emerson earlier this year, Palmer is the lone living member of this legendary band.  After learning of the passing of Lake, Palmer stated…

“It is with great sadness that I must now say goodbye to my friend and fellow band-mate, Greg Lake.  Greg’s soaring voice and skill as a musician will be remembered by all who knew his music and recordings he made with ELP and King Crimson.  I have fond memories of those great years we had in the 1970s and many memorable shows we performed together.  Having lost Keith this year as well, has made this particularly hard for all of us.”
 

 
KING CRIMSON – “The Court Of The Crimson King” (1969)

A year before forming ELP, Greg Lake was a part of the original incarnation of King Crimson, one of the most influential bands in progressive rock history.  The band’s debut album, In The Court Of The Crimson King, incorporated elements of jazz, classical and symphonic music, a departure from the blues-based influence of most other rock bands at the time.  Although Lake didn’t compose this song, his haunting, charismatic vocals made it incredibly powerful and moving.  The mood of the song was always tinged with sadness.  That feeling is greatly magnified when you listen to it today knowing that Lake is no longer with us.
 

 

 

 ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout

THE BUSINESS “Blind Justice” (1983)

Thrash metal, speed metal and a lot of metal genres would have sounded very different if it weren’t for the influences of punk rock and hardcore.  One of the pioneers of Oi! (a subgenre of the punk movement) was a band formed in 1979 in London.  The Business was fronted by Micky Fitz.  Their songs were loud, political and chaotic.  Throughout the years, the band continued to record and tour until the death of Fitz on December 1, 2016.  The punk, hardcore, and Oi! movement has lost an innovator and a pioneer in the genre.

 

MEGADETH “Hangar 18” (1990)

Another great musician we lost in 2016 was Megadeth’s Nick Menza.  As a member of the band from 1990 to 1997, Menza recorded four albums with Megadeth, and was one of the best drummers in the band’s history.  His unique playing style helped to shape and complement Dave Mustaine’s songwriting.  He hit hard, was technical when he needed to be, and in a way, formed the image of a thrash metal drummer.  I have played along with Menza’s drum tracks for 26 years; he was a big influence in my own drumming.  The world will miss one of the best metal drummers in history.
 

 

 

ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout

Y&T – “Mean Streak” (1985)

Leonard Haze was the original drummer for Y&T, from 1972-86, and again from 2002-2006. He also contributed vocals (both lead and backing) on some songs, and co-wrote some of the band’s biggest hits.  He suffered in his later years from COPD.  Still, he managed to stay active on the live music scene with his band Hazel Experience.  Haze took the stage with his old bandmates in Y&T in both 2015 and 2016 when their tour passed through San Francisco.  Hazel Experience had actually been scheduled to open for Y&T when he died.

This talented man co-wrote and performed on “Black Tiger,” “Hurricane,” “Forever,” “Rescue Me,” “Dirty Girl,” and perhaps the band’s biggest hit, this one – the title track from their fifth studio album.

 

BLUE OYSTER CULT – “Flaming Telepaths” (1974)

Rock producer Sandy Pearlman helped to found the band Blue Oyster Cult, and contributed heavily to many of their albums with both production and lyrics.  He also worked with The Clash and many other bands, garnering 17 platinum and gold records.  He was a poet, and on this song, as well as several others from Blue Oyster Cult’s third studio album, Secret Treaties, verses come to life from his 1967 collection of poems, “The Soft Doctrine of the Immaginos.”

 

Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 12/22/16

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Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 12/22/16

Each Thursday, Hard Rock Music Time Machine takes a journey back in time to feature a variety of songs that date back as far as the ’70s, the ’80s (the glory days of hard rock), hidden gems of the ’90s and hard rock/metal songs of the new millennium (as recent as a few years ago).

Whenever possible, it will also contain interviews from featured artists discussing the inspiration and meaning behind their songs.   On the last Thursday of each month, we will be doing special themes that feature songs based on specific categories or years.

In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlist below, all songs featured on Hard Rock Music Time Machine can be listened to individually by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles above each review.
 

 

 

 ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)

THE KINKS – “Father Christmas” (1978)

Classic Christmas songs help put many people in the holiday spirit, but those songs have never done much for me.  For rock fans, original Christmas songs are few and far between, but one that has been a personal favorite for nearly four decades is “Father Christmas” by The Kinks.  I still remember the label on the 45 single that I bought at the local record store.  I realize that the last statement probably seems like a foreign language to our younger readers, but it will be nostalgic for Gen Xers.  Christmas songs tend to be sugary sweet with sentiment, which makes this classic by The Kinks so memorable.  It’s raw, edgy and a bit angry, but it makes me smile when I hear it, and helps me feel the spirit of the season.

 

GREG LAKE – “I Believe In Father Christmas” (1974)

Another song that has been a mainstay in my life every Christmas season is Greg Lake’s “I Believe In Father Christmas.”  Although the song came out in 1974, I didn’t discover it until I saw the video on MTV in the early ‘80s.  There has always been a touch of bittersweet melancholy when listening to this song, but it is magnified this year as the holiday season comes on the heels of Lake’s passing.  Given the tremendous losses that rock fans have endured this year (including that of Lake’s bandmate, Keith Emerson), it almost seems fitting that this loss came at the time of year when Lake is always top of mind.  “I Believe In Father Christmas” will remain a part of my annual holiday playlist for years to come.

Next week, on the final Hard Rock Music Time Machine of the year, I will pay tribute to Greg Lake, and the other members of the HRD Team will be paying tribute to other musicians who passed away during 2016.
 

 

 

 ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout

TYPE-O NEGATIVE “Red Water (Christmas Mourning) (1996)

Who says there is no Christmas spirit in metal?  Take a listen to the “Drab Four’s” gloomy take on despair and sadness in “Red Water (Christmas Mourning)” from their album October Rust.  Peter Steele sadly moans and laments about his ghosts of Christmas past.  Even his lyrics will make you feel the sadness that he wails about…“My table’s been set for but seven, just last year I dined with eleven.”  One of the best Type-O-Negative songs ever written, this song sums up the band as a whole…dark and dreary.  Even though I’m sure this song wasn’t meant to be a Christmas song, it amplifies the depressed thoughts and feelings of the band as a whole.

 

KING DIAMOND – “No Presents For Christmas” (1985)

One of the main staples of a heavy metal Christmas party is this song.  Cheesy at best, the jingle bells melody transforms to a head-banging, double-bass drumming, speed-riffing good time.  The song was accidentally written when the band was working on a new tune, and decided that it sounded too much like a Christmas song.  So what’s a heavy metal band to do but write a Christmas song?  Mikkey Dee shows his drumming skills on this tune, which has cemented him as one of the best drummers in the genre.  Couple that with Andy LaRocque’s soloing speed and King’s screeching falsettos and you have a classic King Diamond staple.
 

 

 

ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout

TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA – “Christmas Jam” (2004)

It’s just not Christmas without the blazing guitars and soaring symphonies of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.  Over the past twenty years they have become a mainstay of the season, producing melodies that we expect to hear this time of year, with harmonies and orchestrations that sweep us away.  They also put on the greatest light show and theatrics anywhere at their annual concerts.  They get a little funky here on this holiday favorite.

 

STRYPER – “Winter Wonderland” (2007)

In 2007, several metal and rock bands contributed their takes on various holiday classics for a compilation album called Monster Ballads Xmas.  Michael Sweet and Stryper’s rendition of this one was so powerful that here they’re actually closing a show with it.  They sound amazing.  They’re having a ton of fun with it, and the audience is rocking out with them.

Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 12/15/16

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Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 12/15/16

Each Thursday, Hard Rock Music Time Machine takes a journey back in time to feature a variety of songs that date back as far as the ’70s, the ’80s (the glory days of hard rock), hidden gems of the ’90s and hard rock/metal songs of the new millennium (as recent as a few years ago).

Whenever possible, it will also contain interviews from featured artists discussing the inspiration and meaning behind their songs.   On the last Thursday of each month, we will be doing special themes that feature songs based on specific categories or years.

In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlist below, all songs featured on Hard Rock Music Time Machine can be listened to individually by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles above each review.

 

 

 ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)

JUDAS PRIEST – “United”  (1980)

After attending the Epiphone Revolver Music Awards this week (read full story), and being immersed in an environment of like-minded people, it took me back to a time when life was all about music, not politics.  Living in the U.S. these days, the “U” in the abbreviation has felt like something of a misnomer, as we are more divided than ever.  But for one night, all of the troubles of the world disappeared, and I truly felt like I was a part of one big group.  Metal has a way of bringing people together, and no one does it better than Rob Halford and company, with anthems like “United” that feel like much more than a song.  It’s more like a rallying cry to their throngs of fans.  The song is far from the most popular off of 1980’s British Steel, but it’s one of the most powerful.

 

JUDAS PRIEST – “Take On The World” (1978)

Judas Priest fans around the world know their 1978 release as Killing Machine.  In the U.S., the album was released as Hell Bent For Leather.  The title was changed in the U.S. because record company executives didn’t like the “murderous implications” of the title used outside of the country.  Regardless of where you live, or what you call the album, the one thing that is consistent for everyone is that it is a Priest classic.  “Take On The World” is another us-against-the-world anthem from these heavy metal legends that preaches the power of unity.

 

 

 ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout

GOJIRA – “Liquid Fire” (2012)

One of the best metal bands to have come out this past decade is France’s Gojira.  This band is so unique, it’s hard to fit them into a category.  Call them progressive metal or groove metal, but their style stands apart from the masses.  “Liquid Fire” is one of these songs that shoves the emotion of the song into your gut when you listen to it, with nihilistic lyrics that make the listener mourn for the destruction of our world.  From their fifth studio album, L’Enfant Sauvage, “Liquid Fire” is a masterpiece of a song with both technical uniqueness and social commentary.

 

TIAMAT – “Cain” (2003)

One of the best goth metal bands around is Sweden’s Tiamat.  Formed in 1987, the band’s albums have ranged in genre from death metal to gothic rock.  Johan Edlund’s vocals change with the style of the song, from a death metal growl to low whispers building to a crescendo of melodic vocals.  Their music sets the mood for any quiet, moonless night.  It’s dreamy at times, and oftentimes the keyboards give their songs a hypnotic ambiance.  Although I prefer their earlier works (when they were more of a death band), their slowed-down goth rock works for them too.  Fans of bands like Sisters of Mercy would enjoy Tiamat.

 

 

ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout

YNGWIE MALMSTEEN – “Don’t Let It End” (1985)

Guitar virtuoso Yngwie Malmsteen took the metal world by storm in 1984 with his debut album, Rising Force.  He followed it up a year later with another masterful entry into the genre with Marching Out.  This song nicely highlights Yngwie’s blistering riffs and Jeff Scott Solo’s soaring range on vocals as well.

 

IMPELLITTERI – “Stand in Line” (1988)

When forming the band Impellitteri, guitar virtuoso Chris Impelliteri originally recruited Rob Rock for vocals.  They released an EP together, but the band’s first full album was 1988’s Stand In Line, featuring Graham Bonnett (Rainbow, MSG, Alcatrazz) on vocals.  Since then, both singers have appeared on different albums, with Rock as the current singer over the past ten years.  Here on the title track to the band’s first full-length album, Bonnett and Impellitteri work some magic together, playing off each other beautifully.  Also, check out their remake of Rainbow’s “Since You Been Gone.”

Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 12/8/16

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Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 12/8/16

Each Thursday, Hard Rock Music Time Machine takes a journey back in time to feature a variety of songs that date back as far as the ’70s, the ’80s (the glory days of hard rock), hidden gems of the ’90s and hard rock/metal songs of the new millennium (as recent as a few years ago).

Whenever possible, it will also contain interviews from featured artists discussing the inspiration and meaning behind their songs.   On the last Thursday of each month, we will be doing special themes that feature songs based on specific categories or years.

In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlist below, all songs featured on Hard Rock Music Time Machine can be listened to individually by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles above each review.
 

 

 

 ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)

THE WINERY DOGS – “Fooled Around And Fell In Love” (2013)

In 1975, Elvin Bishop had his biggest hit with “Fooled Around And Fell In Love.” Although Bishop has released 19 studio albums (dating back to 1969), it’s likely that many think of him as a one-hit wonder.  The vocals on the original weren’t actually performed by Bishop, rather by Mickey Thomas (who would later go on to front Jefferson Starship).

As great as the original version of this song is, The Winery Dogs cover – from their album Unleashed in Japan 2013 (Live) – is even better.  What makes this version so special is that the band basically stayed true to the original, while still making it unique and memorable because of their incredible chemistry and musicianship.  The only “mistake” in this version is the lighthearted moment at the beginning where Richie Kotzen makes a self-deprecating joke about being old and starting to play the “wrong fuckin’ song.”  But when The Winery Dogs start playing the “right” song, magic ensues.

Virtuosos tend to take themselves quite seriously, but The Winery Dogs bring an element of fun into their virtuosity.  They are the only band that I can think of that blends the goofiness of a court jester with the command of a king.

“Fooled Around And Fell In Love” is a fairly straightforward song, which makes the elements that The Winery Dogs add into it that much more striking.  In the original, you barely even notice that they have a bass player, but in this version, you can tell from the first bass note that Billy Sheehan is playing.  He continues to hold down the song throughout, adding in tasteful (but impressive) fills in a natural way.  Mike Portnoy’s drumming gives the song a sense of power and groove that is lacking in the original without ever going over the top. Kotzen shines with beautifully emotive vocals, giving the song more depth than the original. His rhythm guitar playing stays true to the original, but Kotzen shines when it comes to the lead before a break that showcases the precision of a band that feels like it’s been together for decades.

Elvin Bishop laid the foundation for the song back in the ’70s.  Nearly 40 years later, The Winery Dogs built a castle on top of that foundation.
 

 
JOE COCKER – “With A Little Help From My Friends” (1969)

During a recent visit to The Museum at Bethel Woods (located at the site of the 1969 Woodstock Music Festival), I watched a fascinating film that featured Joe Cocker’s incredible live performance of The Beatles’ classic, “With A Little Help From My Friends.”

With all due respect to The Fab Four, Cocker’s version of the song took it to another level.  Whereas the original has a kind of happy-go-lucky feel, Cocker’s performance at the Woodstock Music Festival was an emotionally-charged, angst-ridden interpretation that connected with the hundreds of thousands of fans in attendance in a visceral way.

As you watch this video, you are transported back in time to an era in American history that was rife with tension brought on by the Vietnam War.  It’s hard to improve upon a classic song by legendary artists, but Cocker did just that with this 1969 performance.
 

 

 

 ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout

GWAR – “Carry on Wayward Son” (2012)

Although this song was never released on any of GWAR’s albums, I have always enjoyed their rendition of Kansas’ “Carry on Wayward Son.”  Despite the fact that GWAR trashes the band and the genre, they actually did a great job covering the song.  From the sped up thrash main verse, to the slowed down evil sounding chorus, GWAR injects a humorous (yet fascinating) take on a classic rock tune.

 

LAMB OF GOD – “Now You’ve Got Something to Die For” (2004)

Maybe it’s the recent release of a new EP by Lamb of God, but taking a look back at their back catalog, I realized again what a great album Ashes of the Wake was, not only for its songwriting and musical composition, but also for its production.  The album is recorded and mixed so cleanly that you can distinctly hear every note from each instrument and the vocals as well.  This song has always been one of my favorites, mainly due to Chris Adler’s unique playing style and the sonic aggression of the music, including Randy Blythe’s screams during the choruses.  “Now You’ve Got Something To Die For” is Lamb of God at their best.
 

 

 

ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout

BOSTON – “Something About You” (1976)

In 1976, a Polaroid engineer out of M.I.T. took the rock world by storm.  Guitarist/keyboardist/producer/songwriter Tom Scholz – with a trademark sound he had painstakingly perfected in his basement – created the classic rock band Boston and released one of the best-selling debut albums of all time.  With Brad Delp on vocals, some other talented musicians, and a homemade sound studio, Boston created some of the most loved mainstays of rock radio.  The biggest commercial hits from their first album were “More Than a Feeling,” “Peace of Mind” and “Long Time,” but this one stands together comfortably with those vaunted tracks.

 

BOSTON – “Surrender To Me” (1994)

By 1994, Tom Scholz was the only remaining original member of Boston.  Regardless, the trademark sound and flawless production were still achieved, with some amazing new material.  Brad Delp co-wrote the title song to the new album, Walk On, but otherwise his involvement had ended, yielding way to new vocalist Fran Cosmo. This song from that album is one that the band still plays in concert today.

Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 12/1/16

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Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 12/1/16

Each Thursday, Hard Rock Music Time Machine takes a journey back in time to feature a variety of songs that date back as far as the ’70s, the ’80s (the glory days of hard rock), hidden gems of the ’90s and hard rock/metal songs of the new millennium (as recent as a few years ago).

Whenever possible, it will also contain interviews from featured artists discussing the inspiration and meaning behind their songs.   On the last Thursday of each month, we will be doing special themes that feature songs based on specific categories or years.

In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlist below, all songs featured on Hard Rock Music Time Machine can be listened to individually by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles above each review.
 

 

 

 ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)

GREEN DAY – “American Idiot” (2004)

Green Day has never shied away from sharing their political views, so it comes as no surprise that they chose to use their performance at the American Music Awards to deliver a message to the masses.  In this punk anthem, the band prophetically addresses the state of America today, and the media’s place in adding to the tension that is the worst in recent memory.

One of my bigger regrets is not going to see the Broadway production of American Idiot before it closed in 2011.  It wasn’t until I saw a documentary about the stage adaption of the band’s rock opera that I became interested in seeing it.  Fortunately, HBO has just given the green light to adapt American Idiot in film.  The timing couldn’t be better for this news.

Regardless of the political messaging, the fact remains that “American Idiot” is a Green Day classic because of the music.
 

 
RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE – “Killing In The Name” (1991)

In 1991, Rage Against The Machine made an immediate impact on the rock world with their self-titled debut album.  To this day, their lead single from the album – “Killing In The Name” – remains the embodiment of the band’s signature sound.

It’s not just the unbridled energy and angst of the song that made it so powerful.  The lyrics (while minimal) deliver a controversial message about some members of U.S. police forces also being members of the KKK.

“Killing In The Name” was released six months after the Los Angeles riots, which came on the heels of four white police officers being acquitted in the beating of Rodney King.

Racial tension has never really gone away in America.  Sometimes, it just doesn’t seem as overt.  Sadly, we are currently in a cycle where the KKK feels emboldened due to recent events.  A quarter century after its release, “Killing In The Name” is much more relevant than most would have probably imagined.
 

 

 

 ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout

DEMOLITION HAMMER – “Infectious Hospital Waste” (1990)

One cannot discuss ‘90s thrash metal without including Bronx, New York’s Demolition Hammer.  Growing up in New York, I’ve always thought these guys were one of the most underrated thrash metal bands (during a time when some of the other thrash bands became a little more mainstream).  “Infectious Hospital Waste,” from the band’s first full-length album, Tortured Existence, is brutal, fast, heavy and dark (all the qualities you look for in a good thrash metal song).  Only having released three albums, Demolition Hammer disbanded in 1994, but have recently reformed and are currently touring.  Needless to say, I will be there when they come to town.

 

GOTHIC SLAM – “Who Died and Made You God” (1989)

Another classic thrash metal band from the late ‘80s is New Jersey’s Gothic Slam.  I remember going to see these guys when I was in high school just for the mosh pits.  Their brand of thrash metal was oftentimes humorous and political (with an obvious influence of punk and hardcore).  Their album, Just a Face in the Crowd, was full of memorable heavy and fast thrash metal greats, including a Thin Lizzy cover of “Thunder & Lightning.”  Here’s to hoping that Gothic Slam gets back together again.
 

 

 

ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout

QUEENSRYCHE – “The Killing Words” (1986)

I’m very excited to be catching Queensryche next week in New York City.  Some fans were deeply disappointed in 2012 by the departure of long-time frontman Geoff Tate, but Todd La Torre has proven to be a worthy successor.  La Torre and company continue to perform this breathtaking classic from the band’s 1986 sophomore album, Rage For Order.

 

ARMORED SAINT – “After Me, The Flood” (2000)

Sharing the bill with Queensryche next week will be Armored Saint.  They’ve disappeared and reappeared more than once over the years, but continue to put out powerful music and thrill live audiences.  They’d been gone from the scene for a few years before releasing 2000’s Revelation, and from it, this hard rocker.  Fortunately, vocalist Jon Bush managed to steal away from Anthrax, and bassist/producer Joey Vera from Fates Warning, to put together another killer album, complete with gravelly vocals and gritty guitar riffs.

Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 11/24/16: The Year – 1996

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Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 11/24/16 – The Year: 1996

Each Thursday, Hard Rock Music Time Machine takes a journey back in time to feature a variety of songs that date back as far as the ’70s, the ’80s (the glory days of hard rock), hidden gems of the ’90s and hard rock/metal songs of the new millennium (as recent as a few years ago).

Whenever possible, it will also contain interviews from featured artists discussing the inspiration and meaning behind their songs.   On the last Thursday of each month, we will be doing special themes that feature songs based on specific categories or years.

This month’s theme is – The Year: 1996.

In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlist below, all songs featured on Hard Rock Music Time Machine can be listened to individually by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles above each review.

 

 

 ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)

SPACEHOG – “In The Meantime” (1996)

Two decades ago (in 1996), as a result of the grunge movement, rock music was still in something of a transitional period.  Although the pickings were slim for fans of melodic rock, a few beacons of light shined through the darkness.  Perhaps the most interesting one was Spacehog, a band comprised of all British members that formed in NYC in 1994.

What separated Spacehog from the rest of a rather mundane rock scene was the similarity to another British rocker who made NYC his home – David Bowie.  Like Bowie, Spacehog frontman Royston Langdon was flamboyant and charismatic.  Bowie had an alter ego (Ziggy Stardust) as did the members of the band.  Langdon’s alter ego was Ray Sprinkles.

Unlike Bowie, Spacehog never really took off.  They only had one hit song, but it was a great one.  “In The Meantime” got a lot of radio play 20 years ago, but what brought them to mind when looking back to 1996 was the incredible live show that I got to experience at Irving Plaza in NYC.  At a time when “rock stars” looked like everyone else in the audience, Spacehog reminded us all of the value of a larger-than-life persona.

GOLDFINGER – “Here In Your Bedroom” (1996)

Another band that delivered an incredible live performance at Irving Plaza two decades ago was punk/ska rockers, Goldfinger.  As I mentioned above, 1996 was kind of a barren year for mainstream rock, but Goldfinger stood out because of their incredible energy.  At a time when much of what rock had to offer was either bland or depressing, Goldfinger infused a shot of adrenaline into the genre.

Like Spacehog, Goldfinger only had one really well-known song.  Although their whole eponymous debut album was rock solid, the song that captured everyone’s attention was “Here In Your Bedroom.”  Fans of Green Day will definitely dig this track (and the rest of the album for that matter).  Although the band put out several albums, their commercial peak happened with their debut in 1996.  Having seen them live, I have more of an appreciation for how good Goldfinger actually was (especially in comparison to the rest of the rock scene at that time).
 

 

 ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout

SEPULTURA – “Roots” (1996)

Sepultura was one of the biggest bands in the thrash/death metal genre in the ‘90s.  When Roots Bloody Roots came out in 1996 (as an homage to the band’s Brazilian culture), it made a big impact on  the metal community, primarily because no other band had written about pride in their culture like Sepultura had.  The music was tribal (yet heavy), and with Max Cavalera’s screaming growls, it pushed the band a little more into the mainstream.

 

TYPE-O-NEGATIVE – “Love You To Death (1996)

Another great album released in 1996 was Type-O-Negative’s October Rust.  This goth metal band’s first single from the album – “Love You To Death” – is the eptiome of the Type-O-Negative sound of despair and romanticism.  Peter Steele’s baritone voice and the heavy, slowed down musical accompaniment made this one of the band’s best songs.  Three years prior to October Rust, Type-O’s album Bloody Kisses put the band in the forefront of the goth metal genre.  The band has ceased to exist since Steele’s untimely death.  October Rust remains one of my favorite albums of the ‘90s to this day.
 

 

ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout

DEEP PURPLE – “Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming” (1996)

In 1993, iconic guitarist Ritchie Blackmore walked off a Helsinki stage, mid-concert, never to play again with Deep Purple. This was the end of an era, but made way for another great guitar talent: Steve Morse (of Dixie Dregs fame).  Morse shines in this personal favorite from the band’s first album without Blackmore, and he succeeds in filling some very big shoes.

 

STRATOVARIUS – “Eternity” (1996)

Finnish power metal mainstays Stratovarius put out a winning album in 1996, switching things up a bit and spanning a broader range of styles.  The first two songs from Stratovarius’ Episode album open with the band’s characteristic speed and power, before slowing down just a bit for this darker, more compelling piece.

Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 11/17/16

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Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 11/17/16

Each Thursday, Hard Rock Music Time Machine takes a journey back in time to feature a variety of songs that date back as far as the ’70s, the ’80s (the glory days of hard rock), hidden gems of the ’90s and hard rock/metal songs of the new millennium (as recent as a few years ago).

Whenever possible, it will also contain interviews from featured artists discussing the inspiration and meaning behind their songs.   On the last Thursday of each month, we will be doing special themes that feature songs based on specific categories or years.

In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlist below, all songs featured on Hard Rock Music Time Machine can be listened to individually by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles above each review.
 

 

 

 ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)

FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH – “The Bleeding” (2007)

Five Finger Death Punch is arguably the biggest rock band of this generation.  They’ve become so popular that you expect every single that they release to be somewhat successful at the very least, and more often than not, battling to reach the top of the Active Rock radio chart.  Once upon a time, the band was just breaking onto the scene with their debut album (The Way Of The Fist) and their first single, “The Bleeding.”

The song, about love and loss, was written about frontman Ivan Moody’s previous band (Motograter) and his ex-fiance.  The two partings came around the same time, on the heels of the loss of a close friend.  According to Moody, “The Bleeding” is probably the most personal song that he’s ever written.

It’s hard to think of another vocalist who taps into the angst the way that Moody does, wearing his emotion on his sleeve in a visceral way that makes you feel his pain.  If you listen to the lyrics, you can almost visualize the struggle going on inside of Moody’s mind.  Like most FFDP songs, “The Bleeding” is raw, powerful and real.
 

 
THE WILDHEARTS “29x The Pain” (1994)

The Wildhearts have had a successful career in their native Britain, but have failed to achieve worldwide commercial success for various reasons, ranging from battles with their record company to drug and depression problems.  With the exception of the band’s founder/singer/guitarist/songwriter, Ginger (David Walls), the band has featured a revolving door of musicians.

Although “29x the Pain” is over 20 years old, I just discovered it recently when a friend (that I worked with in 1994) shared it on social media.  In the song, the band pays homage to a number of Ginger’s musical influences ranging from The Beatles to Kiss to Twisted Sister to Kurt Cobain to Cheap Trick and beyond.  The most notable mention is of Husker Du, whose song “59 Times the Pain” was the inspiration for “29x the Pain.”  The song is about the uplifting effect that music has on a fan.

If you’re a fan of mood-lifting Cheap Trick songs like “Surrender” and “Dream Police,” make sure to check this song (and band) out.
 

 

 

 ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout

ARCH ENEMY – “My Apocalypse” (2005)

One of the most impressive and enduring death metal bands from Sweden has to be Arch Enemy, not just because of their female vocalist (Angela Gossow), but because of how great the musicianship was.  Members of the band all played in various other bands such as Carcass, Carnage, Mercyful Fate and Nevermore (to name a few).  “My Apocalypse” – from Arch Enemy’s sixth album, Doomsday Machine – is a great example of this musicianship.  It’s heavy, melodic and the intro makes the listener bang their heads and growl along.  Gossow left the band a couple years ago to manage Arch Enemy, but her replacement (Alissa White-Gluz) is just as great a frontwoman.

 

LACUNA COIL – “Swamped” (2002)

Continuing with my homage to female-fronted metal acts, Lacuna Coil was always a favorite of mine.  Although their newer albums have been a little more radio-friendly and “poppier,” their first several releases were straight-up heavy goth metal along the same lines as Type-O-Negative.  “Swamped” is from the band’s third album, Comalies.  What drew me to this band was the sheer heaviness of the riffs, coupled with the keyboards and Cristina Scabbia’s haunting voice that gave the band a goth feel that totally worked for them.  They were able to develop moods and feeling to their songs, while playing heavy riffs that any fan of metal/goth metal would appreciate.
 

 

 

ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout

WHITESNAKE – “Love Ain’t No Stranger” (1984)

Whitesnake is the band that vocalist David Coverdale formed after his departure from Deep Purple.  In 1987, the band exploded in popularity with their eponymous seventh album, where they adopted a sleeker, more polished sound.  The songs they wrote for that album were nothing short of brilliant.  The commercial success that they achieved with this record was well earned, but they’d been enjoying a fair measure of success already with their earlier material.  This favorite from the previous album, 1984’s Slide It In, is representative of a grittier, bluesier sound that was still rooted in the ‘70s.

 

LOS ANGELES – “I Will Carry You” (2007)

Michele Luppi made headlines last year when he was recruited by Whitesnake as their new keyboardist and backup vocalist.  But he had a rather impressive resume prior to that recruitment, including three albums with the Italian metal band Vision Divine, and his recent work with Secret Sphere (which I’ve covered previously for Music Discovery Monday).  Here he shines on vocals in a collaboration with the band Los Angeles.

Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 11/10/16

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Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 11/10/16

Each Thursday, Hard Rock Music Time Machine takes a journey back in time to feature a variety of songs that date back as far as the ’70s, the ’80s (the glory days of hard rock), hidden gems of the ’90s and hard rock/metal songs of the new millennium (as recent as a few years ago).

Whenever possible, it will also contain interviews from featured artists discussing the inspiration and meaning behind their songs.   On the last Thursday of each month, we will be doing special themes that feature songs based on specific categories or years.

In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlist below, all songs featured on Hard Rock Music Time Machine can be listened to individually by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles above each review.
 

 

 

 ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)

ICED EARTH – “Melancholy” (1998)

In the late ‘90s, metal had started to really come back with bands like Iced Earth tapping into the dynamic, massive sound of bands like Iron Maiden.  The first time that I listed to the Something Wicked This Comes album, I was completely blown away.  To this day, it is still one of my favorite albums.  The song that stood out above all others at the time was “Melancholy.”

Using the formula that many bands used for power ballads – an acoustic intro with more subdued vocals before launching into a powerful attack – “Melancholy” brilliantly showcases the incredible range of frontman Matt Barlow.  The chugging riffs by Schaffer buoyed by the rhythm section conjures up memories of Maiden’s signature galloping sound.

If Iced Earth had gotten their start a decade earlier, they may very well be mentioned with the all-time great power metal bands.  I was fortunate to be able to see them perform an arena worthy show in a NYC club that held around 200-300 people, and it was epic!

There is something cathartic about listening to “Melancholy.”  It allows you to be immersed in sadness, but then picks you up and helps your spirits soar.  These poignant lyrics capture the mood of many at this moment in time…

“I see the sadness in their eyes, melancholy in their cries, devoid of all the passion, the human spirit cannot die, look at the pain around me, this is what I cry for.”

 

 

METALLICA – “Eye Of The Beholder” (1988)

Although I’ve been a headbanger for most of my life, there is only one instance where headbanging literally ended up a pretty painful case of whiplash.  That moment occurred on Metallica’s And Just For All tour.  Despite the pain, it is still my favorite live Metallica performance.

“Eye Of The Beholder” has always been one of my favorite songs on the album, largely due to the lyrical content.  Ever since the PMRC days, freedom of speech has been an issue that I’m most passionate about.  For reasons beyond my comprehension, freedom of speech these days seems to reflect the exact lyrics of this song, but not necessarily by way of government suppression, rather by peer-to-peer on social media.

Particularly prophetic to me at this moment in time are these lyrics from the song…

“Do you take what I take?  Endurance is the word.  Moving back instead of forward seems to me absurd.”

Whether you listen to “Eye Of The Beholder” for the lyrical relevance, the healing power of metal or just simply to bang your head to the point of whiplash, this song will get your blood rushing and fist pumping.
 

 

 

 ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout

SICK OF IT ALL “Step Down” (1994)

I remember my first hardcore shows when I was a teenager at CBGB’s matinees in NYC.  The first note and first scream sent the crowd erupting into a frenzy of flailing arms and legs.  Stagediving, pile-ons and being accidentally kicked or punched were all a common occurrences, but despite the perceived violence of a hardcore show, we all picked each other up.  Sick Of It All was one of the premier New York hardcore bands that I would venture out to see whenever they were playing.  Their fans and the energy of their music always made seeing them perform live a great time.  The video for this song made me miss those days of moshing, stagediving, and screaming into the mic whenever Lou Koller stuck it into the crowd.  Long live New York hardcore!

 

WARZONE “The Sound of Revolution” (1996)

With this farce of an election coming to an end, I couldn’t help but remember the days of my youth, listening to politically charged hardcore punk bands like Warzone.  As one of the founding groups of the New York City hardcore movement, Warzone defined the street-tough, politically-aware attitudes of the youth growing up during that time.  They sang songs of youth unity, anti-racism and anti-sexism, and encouraged a generation of kids to stand up for themselves and do the right thing.  I can honestly say that this band (and this genre of music) made me the person I am today.  What they lacked in musical proficiency, they made up for with the power and energy of their music, their fans in the crowd, the sing-alongs and the sense of togetherness whenever they took the stage.  Watching the video for “The Sound Of Revolution,” made me realize that the problems of yesterday are just as real today.
 

 

 

ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout

FIREWIND – “Head Up High” (2008)

Firewind originally was something of a side project started by guitar virtuoso Gus G while he was still with Dream Evil.  When he left that band, and was able to devote full attention to this Greek power metal band, things really took off.  This lively rocker from their amazing 2008 album, The Premonition, packs a lot of punch as it builds to a melodic chorus.  There are some great riffs, intense drumming, and a simple, uplifting theme. It remains a concert mainstay.

 

HALFORD – “Thunder and Lightning” (2010)

Vocalist Rob Halford is best known as the frontman of Judas Priest, but his resume would be impressive even without reference to that iconic band.  When he split with Priest during the ‘90s, he started three solo projects: Fight, 2wo, and Halford.  Halford was by far the most successful, and this song comes from that project’s fourth (and so far, final) album, Halford IV: Made of Metal.

Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 11/3/16

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Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 11/3/16

Each Thursday, Hard Rock Music Time Machine takes a journey back in time to feature a variety of songs that date back as far as the ’70s, the ’80s (the glory days of hard rock), hidden gems of the ’90s and hard rock/metal songs of the new millennium (as recent as a few years ago).

Whenever possible, it will also contain interviews from featured artists discussing the inspiration and meaning behind their songs.   On the last Thursday of each month, we will be doing special themes that feature songs based on specific categories or years.

In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlist below, all songs featured on Hard Rock Music Time Machine can be listened to individually by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles above each review.
 

 

 

 ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)

GUNS N’ ROSES – “Civil War” (1991)

There are a handful of songs that I can recall hearing for the first time, and picture the moment as if it happened yesterday.  “Civil War” is the most prominent among them.

By 1991, Guns N’ Roses had already become one of my favorite bands after the release of their incredible debut album, Appetite For Destruction.  You would think that a band with as much momentum as GNR would want to strike while the iron was hot, but instead, they made their fans wait over four years for their next release, an epic double album (Use Your Illusion I and II).

It was a stormy Long Island night, and driving conditions were terrible.  I was en route to meet friends at a comedy club as I drove down Hempstead Turnpike.  As I passed a Dunkin’ Donuts, “Civil War” came on, and I was immediately floored.  The stormy weather blended into the background as I was mesmerized by long-awaited music from (what I believed would be) the next great rock and roll band.

A quarter of a century has passed since that fateful night, and I can still remember the moment as if I was living it right now.  What more can be said about a song that is so epic, that it has held the same luster for 25 years?
 

 
ROGER DALTREY – “After The Fire” (1985)

Three years after The Who’s “farewell tour” in 1982, Roger Daltrey emerged with a solo album entitled Under A Raging Moon.  The title track gained some traction, but “After The Fire” is the song that resonated the most.  Originally written by Pete Townshend, the plan was for The Who to play the song during their performance at Live Aid.  However, because they were a late commitment to the event, and they hadn’t had time to properly rehearse it, “After The Fire” was given to Daltrey for his solo album.

I don’t know the exact meaning behind the song, but the message of a fire still burning after the fire has taken on a whole new meaning for me today than it did back in ’85 (when life was infinitely simpler).  America has spent over a year-and-a-half immersed in a firestorm of sorts.  And though the end of it is now in sight, I can’t help but wonder what happens “After The Fire.”
 

 

 

 ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout

HELMET – “Unsung” (1992)

If I had to sum up my memory of ‘90s hardcore and metal, this song would be one of the top five that comes to mind.  Helmet’s “Unsung” (from their second album – Meantime) exploded onto the charts in the early ‘90s due to its “alternative” sound.  Even though this was probably their only “alternative” sounding song, it still had all of the hardcore elements that the band excels in.  Eventually labeled post-hardcore, Helmet influenced scores of other post-hardcore, alternative and nu-metal bands for the next two decades.  The rest of the album was angry and scathing, with Page Hamilton screaming the lyrics to every song, and the band chugging away with their heavy, tuned-down riffs.  Helmet was a great, heavy band back in the day that always takes me back in time to the ‘90s.

 

MASTODON – “Blood and Thunder” (2004)

If there was ever a song to capture my attention and make me love a band, “Blood and Thunder” off of Mastodon’s second album (Leviathan) was the one.  From the opening simple riff, to Brann Dailor’s drum-fill explosion into the main verse, this song is everything that I love about Mastodon.  Troy Sanders and Brent Hinds scream and growl with wild abandon as they play one of the most recognizable and memorable guitar riffs ever written.  And if that wasn’t enough, this song features additional vocals by Neil Fallon (from one of my favorite bands ever, Clutch).  Add the disturbing video of clowns, circus and carnival performers, and you have one hell of an unforgettable song.  Mastodon has now become one of the most influential bands in metal, and (in my opinion) Leviathan is one of the best metal albums of the 21st century.
 

 

 

ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout

BLIND GUARDIAN – “Age Of False Innocence” (2002)

From their 2002 album A Night at the Opera, German power metal veterans Blind Guardian delivered this bombastic exploration of a man’s struggle between religion and science.  Technical brilliance is layered in thick, with the signature vocals of Hansi Kursch somehow towering over every epic passage.  An amazing song from an amazing album.

 

FAIR WARNING – “Generation Jedi” (2006)

German melodic hard rockers Fair Warning formed in 1991 around vocalist Tommy Heart and bassist Ule W. Ritgen (ex-Zeno).  They had a hit back in 2006 with this cynical rocker that launches from a well-known movie quote.  They have just released a new album, Pimp Your Past, where, fittingly, they rework the most important tracks from their first three albums (all from the ‘90s).  Coming from a later album, this one wasn’t included, but is a great introduction to the band.