Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 9/22/16
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)
W.A.S.P. – “The Idol” (1992)
When you think of rock concept albums, one of the best of all-time – W.A.S.P.’s The Crimson Idol – is often times overlooked. Lyrically and musically, the album ranks right up there with classics like Queenryche’s Operation: Mindcrime and Rush’s 2112. In some ways, it’s unfair to cherry-pick one particular track from a concept album because you lose context, but in the case of The Crimson Idol, the songs are strong enough to stand on their own. The challenge then becomes choosing just one to share.
“The Idol” is an outstanding representation of the The Crimson Idol album, and should whet your appetite enough to make you want to experience the full album as it is intended. Originally, this album was slated to be a Blackie Lawless solo record, but was put under the W.A.S.P. moniker due to fan pressure. If the fans were able to have their voices heard in the early ‘90s before the internet and social media, one can only imagine what kind of resistance Lawless would have been met with these days. Regardless of labeling, the fact of the matter is that The Crimson Idol is not only one of the best concept albums of all-time, but one of the best rock albums of all-time. Personally speaking, this one is worthy of being a desert island disc.
“The Idol” is just the tip of the iceberg as to what this album has to offer. After you check this song out, I strongly suggest listening to the album in its entirety.
IRON MAIDEN – “Can I Play With Madness?” (1988)
While W.A.S.P.’s The Crimson Idol concept album is one that is not nearly as well-known as it should be, Iron Maiden’s Seventh Son of a Seventh Son is well-known, but some may not realize that it is a concept album. Maiden lyrics are always intelligent and often times historically-based, so those listening to the songs outside of the confines of the album might not realize that there is an overarching storyline.
Like most of Maiden’s work, Seventh Son of a Seventh Son is the brainchild of bassist Steve Harris. The idea for the album came to Harris after reading Orson Scott Card’s Seventh Son. According to Harris…
“It was our seventh studio album and I didn’t have a title for it or any ideas at all. Then I read the story of the seventh son, this mystical figure that was supposed to have all of these paranormal gifts like second sight and what have you, and it was more, at first, that it was just a good title for the seventh album.”
“Can I Play With Madness?” is the lead single from an album that also includes classics like “The Evil That Men Do” and “The Clairvoyant.” The song is about a young man who wants to learn the future from an old prophet with a crystal ball. The young man thinks that he’s going mad, and looks to the old prophet to help him with visions/nightmares. What’s notable about the song is the fact that it starts with powerful vocal intro before launching into the traditional Maiden galloping pacing.
ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout
ICED EARTH – “I Died For You” (1996)
One of the most under-rated thrash/metal bands is Florida’s Iced Earth. The band has released more than eleven albums, including some with former Judas Priest singer Tim Owens sing for them. “I Died for You” – from the band’s album The Dark Saga – is the song that got me interested in Iced Earth. Probably one of the most metal love songs ever written, the album follows the story line of one of my favorite comic books, Spawn. The cover of the album was even drawn by the comic book creator, Todd McFarlane. This song and the album is classic Iced Earth…heavy, melodic and memorable.
NEVERMORE – “Enemies of Reality” (2003)
In the realm of thrash metal, Jeff Loomis is a pretty well-known name because of his playing style and impressive guitar work. Couple that with the songwriting and vocals of Warrel Dane, and you have a great thrash metal band. “Enemies of Reality” is a great all-around metal tune from their fifth album of the same. The song’s subject matter is dark and nihilistic through and through, the guitars complex and the rhythm section intricate enough (but not overpowering) to allow for the vocals and guitars to stand out. Loomis now plays for Arch Enemy, but fans of Nevermore will notice that his guitar playing in his former band was much more open, free and complex (probably due to his collaboration with Dane). Let’s hope for a reunion one of these days.
ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout
BADLANDS – “High Wire” (1989)
In the late ‘80s, having just finished a successful tour with Ozzy Osbourne in support of The Ultimate Sin, guitarist Jake E. Lee received some shocking news in a telegram from Sharon Osbourne…he was fired. He would then team with former Black Sabbath members Ray Gillen and Eric Singer to form Badlands. “High Wire” opens the band’s self-titled debut album. They would go on to release a second album, Voodoo Highway, shortly after which they would break up. Though they never reunited, and Ray Gillen would die a few years later, in 1998 they put out a third album, Dusk, from previously unreleased material.
KIX – “Cold Blood” (1988)
American hard rock band Kix formed in the late ‘70s and put out their first album in 1981, but it was with 1988’s Blow My Fuse that they achieved their first major commercial success. They put out their latest album just two years ago, and remain active on the concert scene, where they never skip this hit from their breakout album.
CHRIS HERZEGOVITCH – HRD Music Scout
PAUL GILBERT – “Fuzz Universe” (2010)
“Fuzz Universe” is the title track to the 3rd full-length album from guitar virtuoso Paul Gilbert (Mr. Big, Racer X). Gilbert composes music in a wide variety of styles. His amazing hand speed is always on display, along with his clear articulation of complex passages and his notable staccato picking technique. Sit back and enjoy this excellent, epic jam.
CHICKENFOOT – “Dubai Blues” (2011)
“Dubai Blues” is part of the great Chickenfoot III album, which is actually the second release from the band, not the third. Sammy, Satch, Michael Anthony and Chad Smith are at the top of their game here. Musically excellent and immensely cool, this great tune speaks to having all of the riches in the world (except for the girl).
Hard Rock Daddy presents Music Discovery Monday – 10/19/15.
Each week, the HRD team shares songs that fly below radio’s radar, ranging from lesser-known artists to deeper cuts from both up-and-coming and established artists.
In addition to exposing the Hard Rock Daddy audience to new music that isn’t getting the attention that it deserves from radio, Music Discovery Monday also features a segment called “Hard Rock Music Time Machine,” which showcases older songs (from the ’70s to today) that hard rock music fans may have missed at the time of release.
In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlists beneath each section, all songs featured on Music Discovery Monday can be listened to by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles.
This week, Music Discovery Monday features an exclusive interview with legendary vocalist Joe Lynn Turner, who discusses his song on Magnus Karlsson’s upcoming Free Fall album and a song from 2009’s Sunstorm album.
ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)
MAGNUS KARLSSON’S FREE FALL (f. Joe Lynn Turner) – “No Control”
Swedish guitarist/songwriter/producer Magnus Karlsson – whose work includes: Primal Fear, Allen/Lande, Kiske/Somerville, Last Tribe and Starbreaker – is about to drop his second solo album under the Free Fall moniker. Once again, Karlsson has enlisted a who’s who of hard rock singers to help bring his songs to life.
“No Control” is melodic hard rock at its best. If this song had come out during the ‘80s (the decade of music that heavily influenced Karlsson), there is no doubt that this song would have been a huge commercial hit. Featuring the always-stellar vocals of Joe Lynn Turner (Rainbow, Yngwie Malmsteen, Deep Purple), “No Control” takes you on a journey back in time. The melody and harmonies are infectious, and Karlsson makes the guitar sing with shredding that makes you long for days gone by. This song is tailor-made for JLT’s voice and distinct style, featuring a nice blend of Rainbow and Yngwie elements.
In a Hard Rock Daddy exclusive interview with legendary vocalist Joe Lynn Turner, he discussed how he came to work with Magnus Karlsson on “No Control”…
“Magnus Karlsson is an amazing songwriter and guitarist. He asked me to sing on a song that he wrote called ‘No Control.’ I thought that it was a very commercial song, and I’m not opposed to doing that kind of stuff. I thought that he had a really good one here. I went into the studio and nailed it, and was very pleased with the mix. I let him know that he really did a nice job with it after hearing the finished product. The values are all proper; the voice is sitting on top of the track where it should be, and it’s just clean and beautiful. I was happy to do it for him.
The song itself has kind of a pissed-off, bad boy lyric. It’s just like being on the run that night, on the loose. We’ve all been there before. When I wrote ‘On The Run’ on my first solo album, it was basically the same idea; it’s just about having a good time.”
MAGNUSS KARLSSON’S FREE FALL (f. Jorn Lande) – “Kingdom Of Rock”
Whereas “No Control” is a straight-forward, melodic hard rock track, “Kingdom Of Rock” is power metal track that is a little more intense, edgy and bombastic. Once again, shades of Yngwie Malmsteen shine through in Karlsson’s guitar work. This song has a definite theatrical feel, especially the backing vocals, which perfectly complement Jorn Lande’s charismatic lead vocals.
Although Lande is not as well-known to mainstream audiences as Joe Lynn Turner, the Norwegian frontman is at the top of the food chain when it comes to the current generation of European power vocalists. Lande’s work dates back to the mid-‘90s, a time when metal fell out of favor in the United States. If he had arrived on the scene a decade earlier, you have to believe that he would be a household name.
If “Kingdom Of Rock” – the title track off of the forthcoming Free Fall album – and “No Control” are any indication of what’s to come, this album promises to be something special.
JON LOVELESS – HRD Music Scout
AFFINITY – “Wish”
From Toronto comes yet another band fronted by a talented female vocalist. What stands out most to me here is the emotion that Ashley Curtis can pack into a song; she displays an ability to make the listener believe the lyrics. Sounds simple enough… except for the fact that not everyone can do it. It’s a gift that helps make this trio a worthy addition to the scene.
KRASHKARMA – “Save Me”
California-based duo with an above average range of sound thanks to the heavier and harsher voice of Ralf Dietel, and the higher melodic vocals from Nicole Skistimas. This first song – unveiled from their forthcoming album due later this month – goes to the heavier side, and while there’s bits of European/industrial influence here (at least to my ear), it works as a hard rock song quite well, with enough energy and melody to fit Active Rock as well.
ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout
RIOT ON MARS – “Carry On”
Riot On Mars reunites two friends with huge musical resumes: bassist Barry Sparks (Yngwie Malmsteen, Uli Jon Roth, Michael Schenker Group, U.F.O., Dokken) and vocalist Michael Vescera (Yngwie Malmsteen, Loudness, Obsession). The songs on their independently released debut album smoothly blend elements of ‘70s hard rock and ‘80s hair metal.
HOMEWRECKR – “Like You”
Out of Clarkston, Washington, Homewreckr delivers modern hard rock complete with gravelly vocals and intense, addictive guitar riffs. From their debut album, The Wreckning, released earlier this year, comes the single, “Like You.” It blends punchy instruments with brash lyrics into an upbeat appeal that simply drips with groove and attitude.
CHRIS HERZEGOVITCH – HRD Music Scout
WAKEN EYES – “Back To Life”
Brand new all-star band Waken Eyes features the pro talents of Henrik Båth (Darkwater) on vocals, Mike Lepond (Symphony X) on bass, Tom Frelek’s guitar/keyboards/orchestration, and Marco Minnemann (Joe Satriani, The Aristocracts, Steven Wilson) on drums. This powerful song about resilience, with top-notch musicianship, is from the band’s debut album, Exodus (which comes out this month).
BARQUE OF DANTE – “Twinfinity”
It’s unusual to get symphonic power metal from Barque Of Dante’s native China. The title track of their recently released EP, “Twinfinity,” features a good mix of power metal rhythm lines, melodic vocals and guitar work. Vocalist Rob Lundgen is new to the band on this release.
To be considered for Music Discovery Monday, please e-mail a link to the song being submitted on YouTube and an artist bio to – submissions@MusicDiscoveryMo
HARD ROCK MUSIC TIME MACHINE
SUNSTORM (f. Joe Lynn Turner) – “Forever Now” (2009)
Joe Lynn Turner may be known to the masses for his work with Rainbow, Yngwie Malmsteen and Deep Purple, but his vast catalog goes much deeper than that. JLT is about to go into the studio to record his fourth studio album with Sunstorm, a band that also features Pink Cream 69 members Dennis Ward (bass), Uwe Reitenauer (guitar) and Chris Schmidt (drums).
One of the more memorable tracks from the band’s 2009 release, House Of Dreams, is “Forever Now,” a song that JLT co-wrote with Bob Held. Classic melodic hard rock, with huge hooks featuring JLT’s distinct, timeless vocals, and music that is reminiscent of Survivor’s radio hits.
In a Hard Rock Daddy exclusive interview, JLT discussed the writing of “Forever Now”…
“We were holed up in a basement and started writing like crazy. In fact, I still have some unrecorded songs from those days. We had an 8-track recorder, and I’ve still got the demo cassettes of them. I might have to pop out some of those songs and re-work them because they’re very good. It was a very creative period for all of us. I was with a bunch of friends and it was so much fun. You know, you just get in the room with all these great musicians and all this talent, and everybody just contributes.
The song itself is a consummate love song for anyone and everyone. I can’t really say that it was attached to any one girl. I’ve heard about some people using it at their weddings, sort of like ‘Endlessly.’ Lyrics are really just poetry. Sometimes they are about someone specific, like ‘Street Of Dreams,’ for example, but this one wasn’t.”
PINK CREAM 69 – “Wasted Years” (2013)
Pink Cream 69’s history dates back to 1987. This German heavy metal outfit has released 11 studio albums, and yet, still flies largely under the radar (at least in the United States). Off of their 2013 release, Ceremonial, “Wasted Years” is powerful, melodic hard rock track that serves as a reminder to live each day to the fullest as wasted minutes eventually add up to years being wasted. While the message of the song provides a harsh dose of reality, it does so in such an uplifting way that it inspires without judging.
PATTY SMYTH & SCANDAL – “Warrior” (1984)
The first of two songs this week (with a connection that I suspect many won’t realize) features one of the most promising ‘80s female voices in rock. Scandal was unable to fully capitalize on the success of hit singles as the band began going their separate ways almost immediately. Still, a notable song from the era.
KIX – “Body Talk” (1983)
Several years before the success of their third album (Blow My Fuse) helped this Maryland band reach their peak, there was a somewhat lighter release that garnered some attention. While it’s a departure from the sound that they would become known for, it stands out as an example of how “rock” would evolve over the next several years.
NOTE: The connection between these two songs (other than videos with questionable style choices) is the songwriter. Both tracks were penned by Nick Gilder, best known for his late ‘70s smash “Hot Child In the City.”
DARREN SMITH BAND – “It All Comes Back” (2005)
Darren Smith is probably best known as the former drummer and occasional vocalist for Harem Scarem. He took a break from them for the first decade of the new century. In 2005, he put out a fantastic hard rock album with some other veteran musicians as the Darren Smith Band. For that project, he relinquished the drums and took up the vocals. The sound stays true to Harem Scarem, but finds its own modern rock flavor. The album was produced by Harem Scarem frontman, Harry Hess, and the album was recorded in the band’s studio. Smith rejoined Harem Scarem briefly, and remains affiliated with them, but is now the frontman for Jake E. Lee’s Red Dragon Cartel.
DIRE STRAITS – “Hand In Hand” (1980)
Most listeners are familiar with Mark Knopfler’s bigger hits as the frontman and lead guitarist for Dire Straits. “Hand In Hand” is a lesser-known masterpiece from the band’s 1980 signature album, Making Movies. It takes a studied nuance to capture a yearning this wistful in music. This is one song that he surely won’t be playing when I catch him tomorrow night on his solo tour.
TRIDDANA – “The Reaper’s Lullaby” (2012)
Scottish Folk metal… from Argentina. Electronomicom’s Diego Valdez lends his tremendous vocals to this unusual genre of metal. The band name comes from the Irish word “troideanna,” which means “struggle”…the underlying theme of the tracks on Ripe For Rebellion. Hard, driving and rhythmic with a rousing bag-piped refrain that makes you want to take up arms alongside William Wallace and cry “FREEDOM!” Terrific guitar as well from Juan José Fornés.
KOTIPELTO – “Sleep Well” (2007)
Timo Kotipelto’s (Stratovarius) solo work from his 2007 album, Serenity. Melodic power-metal featuring his unique vocals and signature sound, plus excellent guitar work from Tuomas Wäinölä.
When you think of Irish hard rock music, your first thought undoubtedly goes to the great Thin Lizzy. Beyond Thin Lizzy, most hard rock music fans would be hard-pressed to find another Irish band to listen to on St. Patrick’s Day, but that’s only because they have yet to discover Million Dollar Reload, a “balls-out” hard rock band that hails from Belfast, Northern Ireland.
One listen to Million Dollar Reload’s anthemic, melodic “Bullets in the Sky” and hard rock fans will be instantly hooked. It isn’t every band that can write a feel-good song about the senseless act of war, but Million Dollar Reload has done so with flying colors. The song has a familiar sound to it as it captures elements from other bands in the genre, while still sounding original. If you’re a fan of Lynch Mob’s “No Bed of Roses” and “Cold Blood” by Kix, you are going to love “Bullets in the Sky.”
Much like modern-day hard rock acts Buckcherry and The Last Vegas, Million Dollar Reload masterfully bridges the gap between 80’s metal and today’s hard rock sound with “Bullets in the Sky.”
If you want to pay tribute to Irish hard rock music this St. Patrick’s Day, have some “Whisky in a Jar” with Thin Lizzy and then raise a pint of Guinness and crank up “Bullets in the Sky.”