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HRD Radio Report – Week Ending 1/7/17



The HRD Radio Report showcases the weekly Active Rock Mediabase Charts (compiled by, and appears every Tuesday on  The HRD Radio Report digs deeper into the weekly Active Rock charts, providing commentary, reviews, recommendations and predictions.  It also features opinion pieces on chart action and the music business in general.

Many of the artists featured on the Active Rock charts have already been reviewed on




TOP 50 ACTIVE ROCK SONGS OF 2016 (by spins)

 2016 Active Rock Radio / Octane Quarterly Report: Q4

The following is the Active Rock Mediabase Chart for the week ending 1/7/17.  All exclusive HRD content is featured below the chart:

1 1 HIGHLY SUSPECT “My Name Is Human” 2052
2 2 GHOST “Square Hammer” 1976
3 3 VOLBEAT “Seal The Deal” 1803
4 4 METALLICA “Atlas, Rise!” 1760
5 5 GREEN DAY “Still Breathing” 1701
6 6 AVENGED SEVENFOLD “The Stage” 1655
7 7 SHINEDOWN “How Did You Love” 1388
8 8 RED SUN RISING “Amnesia” 1240
9 9 DISTURBED “Open Your Eyes” 926
10 11 BREAKING BENJAMIN “Never Again” 912
11 14 BEARTOOTH “Hated” 805
12 13 CHEVELLE “Door To Door Cannibals” 795
13 12 A DAY TO REMEMBER “Naivety” 767
14 15 KORN “Take Me” 751
15 17 SIXX:A.M. “We Will Not Go Quietly” 645
16 18 IN FLAMES “The Truth” 630
17 19 STARSET “Monster” 582
18 21 POP EVIL “If Only For Now” 570
19 20 KINGS OF LEON “Waste A Moment” 554
20 22 RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS “Go Robot” 502
21 23 METALLICA “Moth Into Flame” 481
22 24 GEMINI SYNDROME “Remember We Die” 431
23 28 PRETTY RECKLESS “Oh My God” 379
24 26 DEVOUR THE DAY “The Bottom” 334
25 27 SICK PUPPIES “Where Do I Begin” 330
26 29 THROUGH FIRE “Breathe” 310
27 30 ADELITA’S WAY “Ready For War (Pray For Peace)” 302
28 31 AVATAR “Night Never Ending” 263
29 38 BLEEKER “Highway” 252
30 32 BLINK-182 “She’s Out Of Her Mind” 252
31 33 FROM ASHES TO NEW “Breaking Now” 239
32 37 ART OF ANARCHY “The Madness” 225
33 35 GOODBYE JUNE “Oh No” 217
34 36 AMITY AFFLICTION “All Messed Up” 215
35 41 BADFLOWER “Animal” 195
36 40 METALLICA “Hardwired” 178
37 39 ONE LESS REASON “Break Me” 163
38 42 3 DOORS DOWN “The Broken” 141
39 43 NONPOINT “Divided…Conquer Them” 118
40 44 LAMB OF GOD “The Duke” 114
41 47 CROWN THE EMPIRE “Weight Of The World” 108
42 46 DOROTHY “Dark Nights” 106
43 48 THREE DAYS GRACE “You Don’t Get Me High Anymore” 101
44 49 TWENTY ONE PILOTS “Heavydirtysoul” 98
45 45 SYLAR “Dark Daze” 96
46 52 TWENTY ONE PILOTS “Stressed Out” 93
47 54 K.FLAY “Blood In The Cut” 92
48 50 AFI “White Offerings” 86
49 53 OTEP “Royals” 84
50 57 LIKE A STORM “Pure Evil” 82




HALESTORM – “Still Of The Night”

Halestorm takes some recent trends (hard rock cover songs and a classic rock revival) and knocks it out of the park with their balls-to-the-wall interpretation of Whitesnake’s “Still Of The Night.”  There are a lot of powerful female vocalists out these days, but Lzzy Hale is on another level.  With a sexiness that rivals Hollywood actresses, a vocal delivery that stands toe-to-toe with the legendary voices of classic rock and an ability to appeal to rock fans across the generations, Hale is a unique talent.  Like many bands these days, Halestorm releases EPs so that they always have fresh material and can stay out on the road.  However, Halestorm is the only band that has created a recurring series of cover EPs (ReAniMate).  “Still Of The Night” is off of the latest installment (3.0).  Back in the ’80s, girls wanted to be with David Coverdale and guys wanted to be him.  Fast forward three decades, and Hale has reversed that trend (although you have to imagine that she has her fair share of female suitors).  As usual, Hale and company have delivered a kickass cover that pays homage to the original while making it their own.




2017 begins as 2016 ended – with Highly Suspect’s “My Names Is Human” sitting on top once again (despite a moderate decline in spins).  Ghost closed the gap with a moderate gain in spins, but even a replication of this week will not be enough to reach the top.  At this point, the only prediction that can be made is that radio should get back to work, because it still looks like things are on autopilot.  Here’s another prediction far from the top…Twenty One Pilots will see the return of “Stressed Out” fall off the chart once again (where it belongs).  There is absolutely no rationale for the song coming back onto the chart again long after it made its run.  If you read this column regularly, you know our feelings about the band even being on the chart in the first place.


HRD SPIN CONTROL (by Adam Waldman and Jon Loveless)

Each week, we will share the songs that we think should be added to rotations, alongside the songs that we feel should be dropped from rotations, either because they are a bad fit for the format, or because they have run their course and it’s time for a new single from the artist.


HALESTORM “Still Of The Night”






CHRYSALIS – “My Eternity”




Twenty One Pilots“Stressed Out”

Twenty One Pilots“Heavydirtysoul”

K-Flay“Blood In The Cut”

Head & The Heart“All We Ever Knew”

Kings Of Leon“Waste A Moment”

Blink 182“She’s Out Of Her Mind”


Green Day – “Bang Bang”



THE BREAKDOWN by Jon Loveless


The beat goes on (and on and on) for Highly Suspect on top of the Mediabase Active Rock Airplay chart for an eighth consecutive week. Ghost and Volbeat remain second and third for their sixth straight week in those spots.



Breaking Benjamin slips into the Top 10…

The only new entry in the Top 20 is from Pop Evil

Bleeker makes a big jump into the Top 30, Avatar rises into that tier as well…

Returning to the Top 40 this week is Badflower.  Three other songs reach that strata despite having fewer spins than the week before….

There are four songs arriving in the Top 50 this week but the most interesting (and puzzling) case might be the Twenty One Pilots track that returns after nearly a year’s absence, having spent 13 weeks on the chart previously starting as far back as November 2014.




Green Day“Still Breathing”

Pretty Reckless“Oh My God”




A Day To Remember“Naivety”

One Less Reason“Break Me”

Sylar“Dark Daze”



Yes, Active Rock radio has resorted to recycling songs that ran their course over a year ago. It’s reaching the point that I can’t really even try to explain some of the things that happen without the use of very strong language.   Since I’m trying to avoid that, I’m uncharacteristically at a loss for words.



That’s all for this week.  Tune in to every Tuesday for the HRD Radio Report. \m/

Why the 80’s was the Greatest Decade in the History of Hard Rock Music

The 80's Ruled

Every generation is partial to the music that defined their youth, so it stands to reason that 80’s hard rock will always be the decade of choice for those who grew up during that time period.  As a member of Generation X, I fall squarely in the middle of those who grew up on 80’s hard rock and heavy metal.  However, that is not the reason that I believe that the 80’s are the greatest decade in the history of hard rock music.  The main reason for this opinion has more to do with the culture than the actual music.  Truth be told, I spend much more time these days listening to the modern-day hard rock bands played on stations like Octane than I do listening to the music of the 80’s played on Hair Nation (see Hard Rock Daddy’s Top 52 Hard Rock Songs of 2013).

So, if it isn’t the music that made the 80’s the greatest decade in the history of hard rock music, what is the determining factor?

While the music was definitely a large part of it, the unity that was felt between fans of the genre created an “us against the world” mentality that made the decade the most memorable one in hard rock music history.  There was a magic that will never be captured again because of the splintering of one powerful genre into numerous subgenres.

People the world over are proud to call themselves “metalheads,” but nowadays, the word is open to interpretation by fans of the various subgenres.  The division of the once-united fanbase has caused infighting amongst the genres at both the fan and band levels.

Because of technological advances in the way that we consume music today and the ubiquity of social media, there will never again be a united front when it comes to the hard rock and metal genres.  If anything, there will be more splintering into niche subgenres that will continue to divide the fanbase in the future.

Because of the subgenre mentality of today’s metal fan, it has become increasingly difficult for bands to push the envelope of musical creativity without feeling the backlash from a portion of their fanbase on social media.

In the season 13 premiere of That Metal Show, Avenged Sevenfold frontman, M. Shadows, discussed the intense scrutiny that the band is under with each new record because of their constant change of direction.  Shadows said that the fan reaction to the band’s transition from metalcore to traditional heavy metal was so vitriolic that you would have thought that the band had murdered someone’s newborn child.  He also said that he stays offline to avoid the immense amount of negativity that exists on social media.

Avenged Sevenfold is one of the most successful hard rock bands of this era, but Shadows admitted that it was difficult being one of the first major acts to contend with the pitfalls of social media while trying to build a career.

While there was an eventual backlash against hair bands in the 80’s after Nirvana came onto the scene in the early 90’s, most metal bands were revered by fans of the genre.  They were, in many cases, larger than life and put up on a pedestal.  Even if they were criticized at times for their musical direction, they didn’t experience constant negativity and impossible scrutiny of their every move.

In the 80’s, most hard rock bands had at least one power ballad, and the fans embraced them whole-heartedly.  Fans filled arenas, and would sing along in unison when the power ballad was played live in concert.  The entire audience swayed together and held up their lighters as a show of support.

Today, bands are mocked for selling out and becoming soft if they deviate from their normal hard rock sound.  The arena show is something of a dinosaur in America, although it still exists in other parts of the world.  And the pain of a burning finger from a lighter has been replaced by a much less intense show of support from illuminated smartphones.

In the 80’s, the cost of attending a concert was so reasonable, that hard rock fans attended virtually every show that came to town.  To this day, I still remember the exact area of the parking lot where the metalheads from high school would tailgate before each arena show.  We didn’t necessarily travel in the same groups within the confines of the school, but we were bonded just the same by a shared passion for all things hard rock and heavy metal.

The world was a very different place in the 80’s, and the music and lyrics reflected the joy of simpler times.  We never gave a moment’s thought to terrorism in America, and with the exception of learning about current events for homework assignments, by and large, we were blissfully ignorant of the pain and sadness in the world.

We were the “youth gone wild.” We desired “nothin’ but a good time,” and found it in hard rock and heavy metal.  We simply wanted to “rock and roll all night, and party every day.”  Our music made us feel happy to be alive, and bonded us in a most powerful way.

We worked menial jobs and spent our hard-earned money buying records, concert tickets and other band paraphernalia.  And if, by some good fortune, we were given the opportunity to meet one of our rock and roll heroes, we treated them with reverence for the gifts that they had given to us, not disdain for a song or two that might not have been to our liking.

Hard rock bands today must work harder than ever to earn a living playing music.  All the while, they must deal with constant negativity from the squeaky wheels who would rather spend their time bemoaning the things that they don’t like instead of praising the things that they do.

Admittedly, time has a way of turning nostalgic moments into glorified memories.  A generation from now, today’s youth may very well long for the way things were when they were growing up.

While hard rock music of today is arguably as good as it has ever been, for my money, the 80’s will always be the greatest decade in the history of the genre because of its profound impact on an entire generation.

That Metal Show: Season 12 Finale


That Metal Show (Season 12 Finale)

The following is a recap of this week’s show…




Buck Dharma (Blue Oyster Cult)

Blue Oyster Cult still does 70-80 shows each year.  The band has a new box set called The Complete Columbia Albums Collection, which features 16 CDs and a DVD.  It includes a CD of rarities, a live album and codes to download a number of concerts.  The band, originally called Soft White Underbelly, was influenced by the psychedelic scene in California.  When they became Blue Oyster Cult, they adopted a heavier sound.  Dharma discussed the famous 1981 Black & Blue Tour (a co-headlining tour with Blue Oyster Cult and Black Sabbath featuring Ronnie James Dio). Dharma revealed that the decision of which band would headline on any given night was determined by the band that had the bigger following in the city in which the concert took place.  Blue Oyster Cult is going to be doing an acoustic album of their songs, and possibly touring to support it.


Steve Whiteman, Brian Forsythe (KIX)

The Kix reunion started as a handful of regional shows, but eventually became something big.  The band never thought that they broke big enough to warrant a reunion, but the audience loved them at Rocklahoma.  Whiteman discussed the band’s early videos and said that they were “God-awful” and “sucked.”  He also said that the label sucked also for encouraging them to do it.  The band members are all involved in various projects, so there is no set timetable for recording a new album, but it is something that is being discussed.  The band’s latest album/DVD is called Live in Baltimore, which Whiteman said was shot by his mom.  They are enjoying playing more nowadays than they did back in the 80’s because the pressure is gone.




If you could play in any other band…

BD – Grateful Dead

SW – The Archies

BF – Rolling Stones


Song you wish you wrote…

BD“Boys Of Summer” – Don Henley

SW“Bohemian Rhapsody” – Queen

BF“Tumblin’ Dice” – Rolling Stones


Your one vice…

BD – Single Malt Scotch

SW – Farting

BF – Cookies


Best concert ever attended

BD – Jimi Hendrix & The Experience at Stony Brook University in 1968.

SW – A band called “fun” with his kids at the 930 club in DC.

BF – Steve Miller Band in 1974.


First album ever purchased with your own money…

BD“Walk, Don’t Run” – The Ventures

SW“Meet The Beatles” – The Beatles

BF“Eat A Peach” – The Allman Brothers


First rock or metal song you learned to play…

BD“Pipeline” – The Chantays

SW“Rock and Roll All Night” – KISS

BF“Smoke On The Water” – Deep Purple


Weirdest rumor about you…

KIX – That we’re gay lovers

BD – That we’re satanists


Favorite new band…

BD – Foster The People

SW – Halestorm (Lzzy Hale was a student of his)

BF – The Black Keys



METAL MODEM:  Joe Satriani

His new album “Unstoppable Momentum” has a lot of energy and crazy arrangements.  He’s using a new band this time around.  Neil Schon playing with Chickenfoot while Satriani is unavailable.  Schon was the original member of Planet Us, which eventually became Chickenfoot (who will be recording and do a full tour next year).



TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT:  The viability of CD’s in current times.

Eddie Trunk – Take it.  “I love it.  It’s still my favorite format of music.”

Jim Florentine – Take it.  He thinks they’ll be around for a while, but admits that they are becoming increasingly difficult to find.

Don Jamieson – Take it.  “There’s enough old bastards like us that like the physical product.”



THE RANT:  Eddie Trunk on 80’s Hard Rock being called “Hair Bands”

Hardly any band from the MTV era wants to be called a hair band because of its derogatory implication, though the people who are using it today mean it as a compliment.  Hair band is a term that thrash bands, grunge bands and journalists came up with to disparage this type of music as style over substance when Nirvana burst onto the scene.  It is the only genre ever described for its fashion rather than its sound.

“Let’s not use the term that was coined by detractors to diminish what these talented bands had to offer.  How about celebrating these bands by simply calling them – 80’s hard rock?”



ORIGINS:  Eddie Trunk

Born in Summit, NJ in 1964.  First song he loved on the radio was “Go All The Way” by The Raspberries.  He was about 12 years old when he got KISS “Destroyer.”  From that point on, his whole life was about KISS.  His entire room was covered in KISS posters.  Trunk eventually started getting into other bands.  Three favorite bands of all-time are:  KISS, Aerosmith and Black Sabbath.  He got a job working for Megaforce Records as a result of being the only one on radio giving support to Metallica and Anthrax when they first came on the scene.




Eddie – Black Star Riders “All Hell Breaks Loose” (Former members of Thin Lizzy with a new singer)

Jim –  Uncle Acid and The Deadbeats “Mind Control” (From England…if early 70’s Black Sabbath was a garage band)

Don – A Pale Horse Named Death “Lay My Soul To Waste” (a cross between Type-O Negative and Alice In Chains).