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Top Live Performances of 2016

Joe Lynn Turner - Revolution - Amityville, NY - 2-27-16 - Hard Rock Daddy

By Adam Waldman

The calendar has finally flipped to 2017, but the scars of 2016 remain.  2016 may be remembered for the deaths of several musical icons, but there were some truly memorable live performances that proved that rock and roll is very much alive and well, most notably, Joe Lynn Turner’s stellar solo show.

As rumors swirled that Ritchie Blackmore was ready to step back into the rock arena for a “Rainbow reunion,” JLT seemed like a slam dunk to take center stage once again.  Not only was he the frontman featured on some of the band’s biggest hits, but he also is the only singer to have also fronted Deep Purple.  If Blackmore was ready to rock again, the first call should have gone to JLT.  Inexplicably, it didn’t.

JLT didn’t let Blackmore’s misguided decision stop him from giving the people what they wanted.  His show at Revolution on Long Island is everything that you could have asked for in a Rainbow show (even without the enigmatic guitarist present).  Not only did JLT deliver brilliant performances of the songs that he made famous with Rainbow, he also did so with the songs that pre-dated him joining the band (while throwing in Deep Purple and Yngwie Malmsteen classics for good measure).

JLT didn’t get nearly the hype that Blackmore got for his Rainbow/Deep Purple live performances, but he deserved it.  Amazingly, JLT’s vocals are as strong today as they were over three decades ago when he rose to fame.

CLICK HERE to read the full concert review.

 

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

SOTO

Jeff Scott Soto has a tremendous resume, but he still manages to fly under the radar.  In an intimate show on a cold winter night, JSS and his band SOTO delivered an inspired performance, showcasing chemistry that you usually find in bands that have been together for decades.

CLICK HERE to read the full concert review.

 

SONS OF TEXAS

The first time that I heard “Baptized In The Rio Grande” on SiriusXM’s Octane, I was instantly hooked.  With a seasoned sound that goes well beyond their years, the boys from a small Texas town near the Mexican border live up to the saying…“everything’s bigger in Texas.”  One of the best newcomers onto the hard rock music scene, Sons Of Texas showed that they are going to be a force to be reckoned with for many years to come.

CLICK HERE to read the full concert review.

 

ANTHRAX*

Anthrax’s inclusion on this list comes with an asterisk because it wasn’t actually a concert, rather a four-song, show-stealing performance at the recent Epiphone Revolver Music Awards.  It’s a testament to the band’s greatness that the crowd was as enthusiastic about the two new songs (“Breathing Lightning” and “Monster At The End”) as they were about the classics (“Caught In The Mosh” and “Indians”).

CLICK HERE to read a full recap of the event.

 

RELATED ARTICLES:

Top Live Performances of 2015

Top Live Performances of 2014

Music Discovery Monday – 11/7/16

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Music Discovery Monday shines a light on artists that are not getting the radio attention that they deserve, while also showcasing new singles by established bands that are likely to get airplay in the future.

This week, in a Hard Rock Daddy exclusive, legendary frontman Graham Bonnet shares the story behind two songs from his recently-released double album, The Book. 

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

 

 

 ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)

GRAHAM BONNET BAND – “Into The Night”

Graham Bonnet’s most well-known songs date all the way back to 1979.  Two songs from his lone album with Rainbow – “Since You’ve Been Gone” and “All Night Long” – have stood the test of time, and still get played on classic rock stations to this day.

In 1983, Bonnet joined forces with (a then unknown) Yngwie Malmsteen to form Alcatrazz.  Like the relationship with Ritchie Blackmore, his stint with Yngwie only lasted for one album, but there were some moments of pure magic created together.

Bonnet has remained active (albeit under-the-radar) with stints fronting MSG and Impellitteri. The voice that captivated fans back in the day has remained incredibly powerful.  In fact, if you didn’t know any better, you’d swear that “Into The Night” was a lost track from the late-‘70s or early-‘80s.  It’s that good!

The legendary frontman has plenty of solo experience under his belt, sprinkled in between his work with other bands.  Though his latest project bears his name, Bonnet has put together an outstanding lineup for Graham Bonnet Band (Beth-Ami Heavenstone on bass and backing vocals, Conrado Pesinato on guitar and Chase Manhattan on drums).  There is an undeniable chemistry between this impressive foursome that comes shining through on “Into The Night,” a song that blends the best of Rainbow, Yngwie and symphonic power metal, and gets better with each listen.

 

In a Hard Rock Daddy exclusive interview, Graham Bonnet discussed the true story that inspired the lyrics for “Into The Night”

“This is kind of like a true story.  In fact, in the song, I’m singing as though it’s about someone else, but it’s actually about me.  It’s about a guy who goes away on a long tour to Australia, and comes back home to find that he can’t get in the door, and starts to wonder why.  The key doesn’t seem to fit, but it must, because it’s the key that he brought with him on tour.  The story goes on to say that the girl that he was married to (my ex), comes to the door without a smile on her face.

In the song, the guy had just come back from a long trip to Australia (after a month’s tour), and when he walked into the house, found that all of his bags were packed to move out that day.

It’s kind of about divorce and being sent away from the ones you love.  That’s what happened to me.  So, in the song, I’m singing about somebody else, but the main protagonist is actually me.  It’s a real story that goes on to tell how the guy ends up alone.  This happened about seven or eight years ago, but it’s stuck with me.

I’m a little happier now than I was back then.  I have a new life now, but having no life (so to speak) back then, I thought that it was kind of important to write about it.  It got the damn monkey off my back.  It seems like when you write things down or talk about them, it gets a lot easier after a while.”

 

 

GRAHAM BONNET BAND – “California Air (Better Here Than There)”

Like “Into The Night,” “California Air (Better Here Than There)” comes from Graham Bonnet Band’s latest release, The Book (an epic double album that features remakes of some of Bonnet’s most well-known work).

Bonnet’s amazing vocals are complemented by his gregarious personality and sense of humor, both of which take center stage on this feel-good rock anthem.

You can take the boy out of the arena, but you can’t take the arena out of the boy.  Ok, I realize that is not really a saying, but just the same, there’s something extremely nostalgic about hearing songs that feel like they were meant to be played in front of thousands.

In a perfect world, Bonnet fans would get the opportunity to see him perform his latest songs and classics alike in an arena setting.  Unfortunately, the state of rock music (especially in the U.S.) makes that an unlikely scenario.  However, “California Air (Better Here Than There)” will electrify a crowd of any size.  This song is a timeless, instant classic that deserves much more attention than it is likely to get in the current climate.

 

During the exclusive interview with Hard Rock Daddy, Bonnet also shared the story behind “California Air (Better Here Than There)” and a shocking revelation as well…

“It’s a bit of a tongue-in-cheek song, because we all know what the California air is like.  It’s awful; it’s terrible; it’s really, really bad (especially in Los Angeles).  But at the same time, we also try to be healthy here.  Everybody’s out there jogging in this awful air, and thinking that they’re becoming healthier.  The shape of their bodies may be ok, but when the air that you’re breathing isn’t that good, what’s in the body?  And, me being asthmatic as I am, I can tell if the smog is really heavy.  It’s very hard for me to breathe.

The song is meant to be sarcastic and tongue-in-cheek, not literal.  One of the lines in the song is ‘it’s better here than there.’  I’m talking about being in the cold by the North Sea in England.  I would trade England any day to be here in California.  I go back to England quite a bit, and it’s always nice to come back to here.  It’s a little bit of a joke and a little bit of a dig.  Is this an angel’s town or is it a lipsticked pig?”
 

 

 

 ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout

DESTRAGE – “Don’t Stare at the Edge”

Italian progressive metalcore act Destrage is back with their fourth album, A Means to No End Fans of the genre will not be disappointed with the opening riff and the weird syncopated drum intro.  The melody in the catchy chorus begs the listener to scream along with singer Paolo, as the rest of the band chugs along in odd time.  This band is so good, that calling them progressive metalcore doesn’t do them justice.

 

KHEMMIS “Three Gates”

Doom metal is difficult to do right.  There has to be the right amount of sludge, melody and heaviness.  Khemmis (from Denver, Colorado) did it right with their new album, Hunted.  Their single, “Three Gates,” has great melodies with doom-laden growling verses, the guitars are heavy and slow with interludes of clean undistorted guitars adding to the eeriness of the song.  Couple that with the rhythm section’s sludgy feel, and you have a great doom metal tune.
 

 

 

ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout

THE ANSWER – “Beautiful World”

From the intense groove to vocals often reminiscent of Robert Plant, there is an undeniable Led Zeppelin influence coursing through this Northern Irish hard rock band’s sixth album.  It combines poignantly with the Gaelic and Celtic influences of the band’s roots. This haunting selection stands out as an early personal favorite.

 

WILD SOULS – “Dirty Mind”

Wild Souls is a melodic rock band out of Greece, founded in 2010 by guitarist Kostis Tsiligiris.  This is the first single from their recently released album, Game of Love.  It nicely captures that classic late-‘80s sound, with some modern touches.

 

SUBMISSIONS

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@MusicDiscoveryMonday.com

Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 9/29/16: The Year – 1976

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Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 9/29/16 – The Year – 1976

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.

Today’s theme is The Year – 1976.

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)

STYX “Crystal Ball” (1976)

It’s hard to say what the evolution of Styx would have looked like if not for the key addition of Tommy Shaw in 1976.  While the band had enjoyed success before Shaw joined the band, its pinnacle inarguably came in the years following his arrival.  Shaw replaced original guitarist John Curulewski, who decided to leave the band to spend more time with his family, rather than embark upon a major tour.  (In 1988, Curulewski tragically died of a brain aneurysm at the age of 37).

I was in grade school in 1976, just starting to form my rock roots.  Styx would eventually become a big part of my life, but not until 1977 when I was mesmerized by the band’s classic album, The Grand Illusion.  It wasn’t until several years later that I discovered the title track from the band’s 1976 release, Crystal Ball.

Although Crystal Ball was Shaw’s first album with Styx, you can tell that he instantly put his stamp on the band with this title track.  The song is a perfect blend of Shaw’s melodic signature style and Styx’s arena rock sound, complete with huge hooks and vocal harmonies.  It was an outstanding introduction to a duo (with Dennis DeYoung) that would reach incredible heights.

Knowing now that DeYoung was steadfast in his desire to be the leader of the band, it’s somewhat surprising (in retrospect) to see that he allowed a newcomer to write and sing the title track.  “Crystal Ball” still stands the test of time (nearly 40 years to the day of its release).
 

 
RAINBOW“Tarot Woman” (1976)

Rainbow instantly became my favorite band when I was introduced to them by a friend in the summer of 1981.  However, by the time that I discovered them, they were already on their third singer (Joe Lynn Turner), something that I found out when I purchased the entire back catalog on vinyl.  Only then did I discover the brilliance of Ronnie James Dio, who would instantly become one of my favorite singers (and is to this day).

Unlike the more mainstream hard rock sound that is featured on 1981’s Difficult To Cure, 1976’s Rising is much more mystical.  Aside from the album cover (which remains my all-time favorite), there is something about Rising that is different than any other album that I’ve ever heard.  With only six songs, it’s surprising that it wasn’t classified as an EP.  I guess the fact that two of the songs were over eight minutes long pushed it over the top.

Setting the stage for the experience that is Rainbow Rising, is “Tarot Woman.”  The song opens with a haunting (almost psychedelic) keyboard intro, the kind that instantly identifies a song as ‘70s rock.  Bolstered by the powerful rhythm section of Cozy Powell (drums) and Jimmy Bain (bass), the nuanced keyboards of Toney Carey and Ritchie Blackmore’s unique guitar sound, RJD takes you on a journey of mystique and intrigue.
 

 

 

 ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout

JUDAS PRIEST – “Victim of Changes” (1976)

I discovered the album Sad Wings of Destiny one fateful afternoon at the back of a school bus in 5th grade.  An older kid was blasting “Victim of Changes” through his boombox as I sat there mesmerized by the screams of Rob Halford, and the guitar work of KK Downing and Glenn Tipton chugging their heavy riffs.  I Immediately went home, smashed my piggy bank and begged my father to drive me to the record store to buy this cassette tape.  Sad Wings of Destiny is easily one of my favorite Judas Priest albums of all-time.  Although I was only four-years old in 1976, and didn’t discover this album until 10 years later, this song and album made me a Judas Priest fan for life!

 

BLACK SABBATH – “Rock and Roll Doctor” (1976)

One of the most underrated Black Sabbath albums is 1976’s Technical Ecstasy.  It was not the typical gloom and doom written in previous albums.  It sounded a lot more like hard rock in the vein of Deep Purple and AC/DC, but this album provided many great songs like “Rock and Roll Doctor.”  In fact, there are songs on this album that clearly showed the band’s influence by the Beatles and other hard rock bands around at the time.  It wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, but a lot of fans didn’t care for this “newer” Sabbath sound.  It wasn’t until years later that fans appreciated the musical direction the band took with Technical Ecstasy.  It is now a part of the Black Sabbath history.  If you were lucky enough to see them live on their last tour, you got to see them play “Dirty Women” (another great song from the album).
 

 

 

ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout

BLUE OYSTER CULT – “Don’t Fear The Reaper” (1976)

Singer Buck Dharma wrote this classic tune for the Long Island rock band Blue Oyster Cult while imagining the possibility of an early death for himself.  It generated a good deal of controversy when early listeners misinterpreted the lyrics as a sort of murder/suicide pact, instead of a love song that doesn’t long for, but rather accepts, the inevitability of death.  From the opening, recurring guitar riff to the now infamous (thanks to a 2000 SNL sketch) overdubbed cowbell, the song captures a brilliant and unique sound.

 

URIAH HEEP – “Weep In Silence” (1976)

From Uriah Heep’s ninth studio album, High And Mighty, comes this compelling song of failure and lament.  This would be the final album with singer David Byron and bassist John Wetton (Asia), but the band, with just a few lapses, would continue to release great music and continue touring right up to present day.
 

 

 

   CHRIS HERZEGOVITCH – HRD Music Scout

LED ZEPPELIN – “Achilles Last Stand” (1976)

Epic as an ancient ode chronicling battles from days of yore, “Achilles Last Stand” is a masterpiece from Led Zeppelin (off their 7th studio album, Presence – released in ’76).  Jimmy Page described the album as their most important work.  It came at a tumultuous time for the band following Robert Plant’s serious injuries from a car accident in Greece the year before.  It has been suggested that the title of this song is a direct reference to Plant’s recuperation from a broken ankle that he feared would never allow him to walk again.  “Achilles Last Stand” is fantastic in every aspect, and one of Zeppelin’s best songs ever.

 

SCORPIONS – “Pictured Life” (1976) 

“Pictured Life” is the lead track from the Scorpion’s 1976 release, Virgin Killer.  Much maligned for it’s controversial nude cover art, it forced a re-issue in with an alternate cover in some countries.  Interviews with the band assign the responsibility to their record company, RCA.  Perhaps due to this, it was the first album that garnered attention for the band outside of Europe.  Uli Jon Roth handled the lead guitar work back then.  It is one of the highlights of this retrospective tune, along with Klaus Meine’s excellent vocals.

 

My Rock and Roll Journey: Tony LaSelva – Ugly Melon – Chapter 1

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Written by Tony LaSelva (Ugly Melon)

“My Rock and Roll Journey” started off like most artists, with an inspiration.  As a young child in the ‘70s, I discovered (and quickly became obsessed with) Elvis Presley.  He was in the twilight of his short life and career, but none of that meant anything to me.  I remember running home after school to watch his movies during ‘Elvis week.’  I’m not sure which network decided that would be a good idea, but I loved every minute of it.

Blue Hawaii and Fun in Acapulco were masterpieces in my mind.  There was something about Elvis that just captivated me…his charisma, his looks, and of course, his voice.  He truly was the king of rock and roll to me.  I remember singing “Hound Dog” on a table in front of my grade 1 classmates.  Elvis was my idol. I would wear out his records while singing along to the lyrics I had memorized.  I still have a real fondness for him.  Although the reality of his life has made my image of him less idealistic, in my eyes, he is (and always will be) “The King.”

From ‘50s and ‘60s Elvis tunes, I moved my obsession into classic rock and heavy metal.  The first hard rock song that really moved me was “Carry On Wayward Son” by Kansas.  Imagine my shock when my 18-year old son recently said to me…“Hey Dad, have you ever heard of this progressive rock band, Kansas?”  I didn’t even know what prog rock was until he introduced me to the moniker.  Rush, Yes, and even King Crimson were just great rock bands to me.

From there, I discovered Van Halen (my first concert was the Diver Down tour) Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Black Sabbath.  My friends and I were so enthralled with Dio-era Sabbath, Rainbow, and the Deep Purple family of musicians, that we would quiz each other on the history of every detail of that group of amazing players.  We would ask questions like…

“Who sang backup on ‘Stormbringer’?”

“Name the lineup on Rainbow’s Rising record.”

“What was the first song Ronnie James Dio ever wrote with Sabbath?”

We were obsessed!  And with good reason.  Those were some truly historic recordings.  I still have those tracks on my playlists.  Timeless.

I joined my first real band while in junior high.  A three-piece group performed Led Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll” in our cafeteria.  I was in awe!  Months later, I was the lead singer of the band. The guitar player, Lu Cacioppo, is now my other half in Ugly Melon.

The band was originally called Reign, and then eventually changed to Frost.  We played a bunch of gigs in the Toronto area.  Our parents had to sign waivers in order for us to play some of the clubs in town.  We had a blast!  We were close friends that spent so much time together, and rehearsed every day.

An interesting side note…

The video for Ugly Melon’s “Leave it all behind” brings the original members of Reign back together. Franklyn Wyles is on drums and John Liberatore is on bass.  We hope to perform with this lineup in the near future.

Back to the story…

Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Rainbow, Aerosmith, and all the great bands of that era were in our repertoire.  We also played some original tunes.  None of them were really fine-tuned or mature sounding, but Lu keeps threatening to revive one of those early songs.

During those formative years, I spent nearly all my waking hours on my two passions, music and martial arts.  I consider myself so lucky to have found my lane(s) in life so early on.  As the saying goes…“Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.”  So true!

Stay tuned for Chapter 2 of “My Rock and Roll Journey” where I share the path that I took in the metaphorical fork in the road, and the story of how Ugly Melon was formed.

RELATED ARTICLES

My Rock and Roll Journey:  Tony Housh – Seasons After – Chapter 1

My Rock and Roll Journey:  Sal Costa – Smashing Satellites – Chapter 1

My Rock and Roll Journey:  Joey “Chicago” Walser – Devour The Day – Chapter 1

My Rock and Roll Journey:  Adam Troy – Sonic X – Chapter 1

My Rock and Roll Journey:  Shaun Soho – Crash Midnight – Chapter 1

 

Music Discovery Monday – 7/18/16

Music Discovery Monday - Joe Lynn Turner - Sunstorm

Music Discovery Monday – 7/18/16

Music Discovery Monday shines a light on artists that are not getting the radio attention that they deserve, while also showcasing new singles by established bands that are likely to get airplay in the future.

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

 

 

 ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)

JOE LYNN TURNER – “Stargazer” (Live from Wacken 2015)

Ritchie Blackmore’s version of “Rainbow” has been in the news as of late, but the reality is that it isn’t Rainbow at all.  When rumors started swirling that Blackmore wanted to play rock music again (Rainbow and Deep Purple), there was only one vocalist that came to mind…JOE LYNN TURNER!  He is the only singer to have fronted both bands, and his voice is as strong today as it ever was. Not many singers who have been around for decades can make the same claim.

Technology can make many singers sound good in the studio these days, but truly great singers are just as impressive in a live setting.  Recorded at the Wacken Open Air Festival in 2015, JLT absolutely nails “Stargazer” (a song that was made famous by his predecessor, Ronnie James Dio).  RJD would have turned 74 last week if cancer hadn’t taken him from us so soon. More often than not, replacement singers are competitive to some degree, but JLT and RJD were friends, something that comes through loud and clear as JLT pays tribute to his departed friend before launching into the song.

As you listen to JLT perform “Stargazer” to an enthusiastic stadium crowd, you can’t help but think how incredible a true Rainbow reunion would have been, rather than the current incarnation, which is more like a Blackmore solo project.
 

 
SUNSTORM (f. JOE LYNN TURNER) – “Edge Of Tomorrow”

Joe Lynn Turner may not have gotten the respect that he deserves from Ritchie Blackmore when it came to the “Rainbow reunion,” but he is still making outstanding music.  JLT’s most recent release is Sunstorm’s Edge Of Tomorrow, the fourth studio album that he has done with a band that also features members of Pink Cream 69. The title track off of the band’s latest release is the epitome of feel-good AOR rock, highlighted by JLT’s brilliant, melodic vocals and guitar work of Simone Mularoni.  If you long for the days of passionate, message-driven melodic rock, make sure to check out “Edge Of Tomorrow” (the song and the entire album).
 

 

 

 ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout

VOIVOD “Post Society”

Voivod, the founders of futuristic progressive metal, are back with a new EP, Post Society, and I could not be any more impressed.  Being a Voivod fan since back in the ‘80s – way before even Jason Newsted played bass for them and the death of Piggy – I have always loved their heavy, progressive sound.  “Post Society” is a reflection of how the band has stayed true to their roots all these years…progressive, thrashy and heavy, with clean vocals reminiscent of Testament.

 

TOOTHGRINDER “Blue”

A relatively new band from New Jersey, Toothgrinder’s first single, “Blue,” from their first full-length album, Nocturnal Masquerade, is a thrash metal fan’s dream.  Both the song and album as are well written.  The vocals are typically screams, with melodic intervals reminiscent of metalcore, but there are so many vocal styles on this album, it is difficult to categorize them overall.  The guitars and rhythm section are typical progressive thrash, with elements of hard rock (and even jazz), but their talent allows them to play beyond the boundaries of the genre.  As far as new bands go, this is one band to watch out for.
 

 

 

ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout

EDEN’S CURSE – “Sell Your Soul”

Eden’s Curse returns with this upbeat melodic metal release, a first and very promising glimpse into their upcoming fifth album, Cardinal.  The band is multi-national, but based out of the UK (where they will kick off their next tour in November).

 

THROUGH FIRE – “Breathe”

This Omaha band came together only last year (at least under this moniker.  The band was formerly known as Emphatic).  They just released their debut album, Breathe.  The title track nicely showcases the new direction and great sound of the band.
 

 

 

   CHRIS HERZEGOVITCH – HRD Music Scout

NAUFRAGANT – “The Black Corsair”

“The Black Corsair” is a recent release from Naugragant – an Argentinian power metal band who engages in “Metal Swashbuckling Storytelling.”  This epic track is based on a classic pirate novel by Emilio Salgari.  The music and vocals (led by Franco Tempesta) are both top-notch and well produced.  A forceful intro gives way to a terrific rhythm and main theme, accentuated by Alan Puyol’s orchestrations – which creates the dramatic backdrop for the song.  Excellent guitar work from Tomás Vega and thunderous, precise percussion from Fërin on the drums. Some may snicker at the niche, but this is really well done.

 

INNERWISH – “Modern Babylon”

Innerwish hails from Athens, Greece.  “Modern Babylon” is from their recent, self-titled album (which is their 5th full-length release).  This track is powered by great locomotion, which takes the lead along with George Eikosipentakis’ vocals.  Manolis Tsigos and Thimios Krikos display their talents on guitars with licks throughout and a dueling solo.  A hard and heavy beat keeps time by Antonis Mazarakis on drums.

 

SUBMISSIONS

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@MusicDiscoveryMonday.com

Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 7/7/16

Hard Rock Music Time Machine - Lita Ford - Vixen

Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 7/7/16

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)

LITA FORD – “Only Women Bleed” (1990)

Lita Ford’s “Only Women Bleed” is probably thought by many to be the original version, but it is actually a cover of song written by a man named Alice…Cooper that is.  Because it was thought by many to be a song about menstruation, Cooper’s version received limited radio play.  Protests by feminist groups caused Atlantic Records to release the single as “Only Women” back in 1975.  If these feminist groups had actually listened to the lyrics, they would have realized that it’s actually a sad story of domestic abuse, not menstruation.  One of the best female rock vocalists of all-time, Ford makes you feel like she wrote the lyrics from personal experience with her passionate delivery.  It’s hard to say whether her interpretation has gotten more radio exposure because she is a female, or because it makes you feel the lyrics in a more meaningful way.  Probably a combination of both, I suppose.

 

VIXEN – “Rev It Up” (1990)

Released the same year as Lita Ford’s “Only Women Bleed,” Vixen is another great example of kickass female rockers.  The title track to the band’s sophomore release, “Rev It Up” is a high-energy, melodic rock anthem.  Although the band was formed in high school (1973) by guitarist Jan Kuehnemund (who passed away in 2013), and released their first album in the late ‘80s, their catalog only includes four studio albums.  Through the years, Vixen has gone through a number of lineup changes, breakups and reunions.  Just before they were about to announce a reunion of the classic lineup in 2012, Keuhnemund was diagnosed with cancer, which delayed the announcement indefinitely.  When she passed away in October of 2013, the rest of the classic lineup decided to carry on as Vixen to honor their founder.
 

 

 

 ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout

EXODUS “The Toxic Waltz” (1989)

One of the best Exodus songs (that has always made me move) is “The Toxic Waltz” off of Fabulous Disaster.  If there ever was a song that made me reminisce about the old days of being in the pit, this song is it.  It’s heavy and thrashy, but at the same time, lighthearted and funny.  Gary Holt’s guitar playing is blazingly fast and accurate, which is no surprise given that he now pulls double duty playing in Slayer as well.  Watch the video, crank it up and move!

 

NUCLEAR ASSAULT “Critical Mass” (1989)

1989 was a great year for thrash metal.  Nuclear Assault was one of the bands that had a huge impact on the thrash scene back in the late-‘80s.   Case in point, “Critical Mass,” off their third album, Handle With Care.  Formed by Dan Lilker (who played bass for Anthrax) and John Connelly (on vocals and guitars), Nuclear Assault was chock full of intelligent lyrics, memorable riffs and head-banging tempos.  This song and (more importantly) this album features thrash metal at its finest, and is a classic that stands the test of time.
 

 

 

ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout

RAINBOW – “Can’t Let You Go” (1983)

Opening with church organs and then quickly shifting to more traditional hard rock instruments, this ballad highlights the yearnful vocals of Joe Lynn Turner against the signature riffing of Ritchie Blackmore.  The band’s 1983 album, Difficult To Cure, was panned by some critics as too commercial, but all the best elements of Rainbow are there, from the musicianship to the melodies to the intense songwriting.  Despite various lineup changes over the years, this was a worthy band in every incarnation.

 

BLACK SABBATH – “Born To Lose” (1987)

When most fans think of Black Sabbath vocalists, they think of Ozzy or Ronnie James Dio, but sandwiched between the two runs each singer made with the band, are three late-‘80s albums with the amazing Tony Martin.  This hard rocker comes from his 1987 debut with the band, The Eternal Idol.
 

 

 

   CHRIS HERZEGOVITCH – HRD Music Scout

OZZY OSBOURNE – “Hero” (1988)

“Hero” was a hidden track off of the original release of 1988’s No Rest For the Wicked, which featured Zakk Wylde in his debut (following the departure of Jake E. Lee).  The guitar sound darkened quite a bit from Lee to Wylde, and we get to hear plenty of it in an excellent, lengthy solo on this track.  Ozzy’s voice was well produced and still strong.  The great band behind him featured bassist Bob Daisley and Randy Castillo on the drums.

 

HAMMERFALL – “Never Ever” (2005)

“Never Ever” is a great power ballad from Sweden’s Hammerfall, from their 2005 album, Chapter V: Unbent, Unbowed, Unbroken.  A departure from their aggressive fantasy and glory-themed tracks, this is a profoundly sad song.  The mood is set with regretful lyrics sung with tremendous emotion by Joacim Cans, crying guitar work from Stefan Elmgren and Oscar Dronjak with a dramatic, heavy rhythm (Magnus Rosén on bass and Anders Johansson on drums).

Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 5/19/16

Hard Rock Music Time Machine - Rainbow - DIO

Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 5/19/16

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)

RAINBOW – “Starstruck” (1976)

For the better part of my youth, Rainbow was my favorite band.  Ironically, I didn’t truly discover them until they were on their third singer (Joe Lynn Turner).  From the moment that I heard Difficult To Cure, I was hooked.  I immediately went out and bought the entire back catalog on vinyl, and fell in love with all of the Ronnie James Dio albums, which included Rising (still my favorite album cover of all-time).

This past week marked two momentous occasions, one happy and nostalgic, the other bittersweet and mournful.

May 17th was the 40th anniversary of the release of Rising.  Listening back to this timeless  classic, I found myself thinking back to a fateful day in 1996, when I had the chance to hang out with RJD (one of my childhood heroes) at his record release party for the Dio album, Angry Machines (read full story).  It is, to this day, one of the greatest rock and roll experiences that I’ve ever had.

If ever there was an appropriate song title for meeting one of your idols, “Starstruck” is it.  I admit that I was a bit “starstruck” when we first said hello, but after a few drinks at the bar and a lengthy music discussion, I felt like I was reminiscing with an old friend.  It was my only chance to meet RJD, but it left a lasting impression on me.

Needless to say, RJD’s passing (which occurred on 5/16/10) was incredibly devastating for me (as it was for millions of other heavy metal fans).  He was a star in every sense of the word, but his true magic was his gratitude, humility and ability to make you feel like a friend.

“Starstruck” is one of the more well-known songs on Rising, but it seemed like an excellent choice to honor someone whose contributions to heavy metal are immeasurable.
 

 
RAINBOW – “A Light In The Black” (1976)

If Rising was released today, it would likely fall under the category of “EP.”  The album only featured six songs, but two of them were over eight minutes long, including the album closer, “A Light In The Black.”  Songs this long typically don’t get much (if any) radio play, so this track is something of a hidden gem for those who are not die-hard Rainbow fans.  The vocal parts are very straight-forward, and yet, incredibly haunting and powerful.  Ritchie Blackmore’s riffing over a locomotive rhythm section takes up the majority of the song, but it’s RJD’s vocals that bring the song to life.  Not surprisingly, the lyrics are a bit cryptic and mystical, but it can be interpreted as someone going to meet their maker…an eerie foreshadowing of his ultimate demise, which occurred decades later.

R.I.P. RJD! \m/\m/
 

 

 

 ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout

KING DIAMOND “Welcome Home” (1988)

King Diamond used to scare the crap out of me when I was younger, with his satanic face paint, upside down crosses, and evil, macabre lyrical content.  As I got older, I learned to look past all of the theatrics, and appreciate his songwriting, imagery and overall great musicianship of everyone in his band.  “Welcome Home” – from King Diamond’s third album, Them – was one of the songs that exhibited all that and more.  Whether it’s King Diamond’s screeching falsetto, Andy LaRocque’s guitar virtuosity, or Mikkey Dee’s drumming, Them will live on as one of King Diamond’s classic albums of all time. 

 

OPETH  “The Grand Conjuration” (2005)

Ghost Reveries (Opeth’s eighth studio album) has always been one of my favorite albums by the band.  “The Grand Conjuration” sums up pretty much every reason that I feel that way. Maybe it was the mood setting during the verses exploding into the heaviness of the main second verse; maybe it was the imagery; maybe it was the odd time signature of Gene Hoglan’s drumming during the heavy parts of the song.  It’s just a damn good song overall.  The rest of the album doesn’t disappoint either.  I took my son to see these guys play this album in its entirety, and he was blown away as much as I was.
 

 

 

ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout

BURNING RAIN – “Our Time Is Gonna Come” (2013)

Burning Rain features founding members Doug Aldrich (Whitesnake, Dio, Dead Daisies) on guitar and Keith St. John (Montrose, X-Drive, Gunzo) on vocals.  They put out two amazing albums in 1999 and 2000, before taking a long break while pursuing other projects.  Their 2013 return was well worth the wait.  Epic Obsession lives up to its name, with a hard-driving and addictive lineup of songs filled with groove and melody, and a couple of amazing ballads as well. They wrapped up the album with a killer version of “Kashmir, but that Led Zeppelin vibe was already front and center on some earlier songs, like this haunting selection.

 

SAHARA RAIN  “Black Gold” (2009)

Sahara Rain is a melodic rock band out of Switzerland who debuted in 2009 with the album Sand In Your Hands. There is a warmth to the vocals, a yearning in the guitar work, and some subtle keyboards as melodies are built up in layers to satisfying choruses.
 

 

 

   CHRIS HERZEGOVITCH – HRD Music Scout

SIGNUM REGIS – “Field Of Stars” (2007)

“Fields of Stars” is the first track from the eponymous debut album of Slovakia’s Signum Regis.  Standouts are the guitar licks, intricate fret-work and solos, along with terrific vocals.

 

PRETTY MAIDS – “Tortured Spirit” (2000)

Here’s a great track from Denmark’s Pretty Maids from the mid-point of the band’s career.   Their tried and true heavy metal sound is anchored by lead singer Ronnie Atkins.  “Tortured Spirit” is a great all-around track, with a thick rhythm and a tremendous, memorable refrain.

 

Joe Lynn Turner Live – A Rainbow “Revolution”

Joe Lynn Turner - Revolution - Amityville, NY - 2-27-16 - Hard Rock Daddy

By Adam Waldman

Life is filled with missed opportunities that end up in regret.  I’ve missed out on a number of concert opportunities through the years, but the one that has haunted me most was not seeing Rainbow on June 19, 1982 at Madison Square Garden.  As a parent, I can understand why my parents didn’t let me travel into New York City from Long Island to attend the concert.  However, it ended up being one of the greatest disappointments of my teenage years.  Although I got the chance to see Joe Lynn Turner fronting Deep Purple, it wasn’t the same as seeing Rainbow.

When Ritchie Blackmore started dropping hints that he was thinking about playing rock music again, I had no doubt that he would do so with Turner (the only singer to front both Rainbow and Deep Purple).  Like the rest of the rock world, I was shocked when Blackmore announced the members of the band that he put together as a “Rainbow reunion.”

All hope that I had of finally seeing one of my favorite all-time bands seemed to have been lost.  But on February 27, 2016, at Revolution (a Long Island rock club), I finally got the opportunity to see the show that I had missed out on nearly 34 years ago.

Although this was not a Rainbow reunion per se, seeing JLT perform a number of classic Rainbow songs in an intimate setting might have been even better (in some respects) than seeing a full-blown reunion in a large venue.

Steve Brown (Trixter) didn’t try to copy Blackmore’s signature guitar sound, but he nailed every song, and showcased an entertaining stage presence.  “Nailed” would also be an accurate description of Charlie Zeleny’s thunderous drumming, which helped to set the tone for a high octane version of Rainbow.  Rob Demartino’s bass playing provided a heavy bottom, and Paul Morris’ keyboards added another layer of depth to the overall sound.

Of course, the star of the show was JLT himself, who is every bit as good today as he was back in 1982 (when I missed out on seeing Rainbow), and in 1991 (when I saw him fronting Deep Purple).  From the stellar vocals to the engaging showmanship to the deep connection with the fans in attendance, JLT proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that age is nothing more than a number.  He is a true rock star in every sense of the word.  For his sake, I wish that Blackmore’s decision-making wasn’t so misguided, but selfishly speaking, I couldn’t have asked for a better Rainbow concert experience.

Even though the performance took place in a modest sized rock club, this truly was the type of show that made you feel like you were watching an arena concert from the glory days of hard rock.  Had this been an actual arena show, the experience would have been much different.  I certainly wouldn’t have been close enough to get hit with any droplets of spit as JLT belted out a setlist comprised of numerous personal favorites.  But there I stood, dead-center, bellied-up against the stage, singing along with the rest of the frenzied crowd to the collective soundtrack of our youth with JLT only inches away from me.

To my right, was a girl who was noticeably swooning in the presence of one of her rock heroes.  In between songs, we shared our enthusiasm for the show, and she told me that “it was like having an outer body experience.”  Words can’t accurately portray the glow on her face when JLT handed her a copy of the setlist as a souvenir.  I would come to find out later that her husband and 13-year old daughter were standing right behind her.  It’s hard to think of a better family night out than seeing JLT up-close-and-personal.  She too was forbidden by her parents to attend the Rainbow concert in June of 1982.  Imagine, two strangers sharing an incredible bond over the music that we love, and the disappointment of missing out on seeing the same Rainbow concert at Madison Square Garden.

It would be impossible to highlight the best moments of the show because there was never a dull moment.  However, a few moments stood out for me on a personal level.  The first was when JLT talked about all of the recent rock star deaths, and then paid a heartfelt tribute to his friend (and fellow Rainbow alum) Ronnie James Dio, before launching into an energetic version of “Man On The Silver Mountain.”  Having had the opportunity to have lengthy conversations with both RJD and JLT, I found this tribute to be particularly poignant.  After JLT bowed his head and then looked up to salute RJD, he gave me a fist bump.  It was as if he felt the meaning that the song had to me.

One of the things that you have to love about JLT is his willingness to be outspoken about the problems of the world.  Now, more than ever, his introduction to “Can’t Happen Here” really hit home, as our country is in a state of turmoil.  It also happens to be the song that started me on my Rainbow journey, so it had special meaning for me that goes beyond the troubled world of politics.  It was serendipitous that he was introducing this song in a club called Revolution (a point that he made to the crowd).

The show, affectionately dubbed “Boys Night Out” by JLT (to describe playing with the band), not only featured a collection of Rainbow hits, but also some classic Deep Purple songs and a powerful version of “Rising Force” (Yngwie Malmsteen).

Although I had hoped that I would get to see a true Rainbow reunion, it wasn’t in the cards because of Blackmore’s decision to form an entirely new band.  The disappointment of that decision, and the missed opportunity to see Rainbow in 1982, have both been alleviated by seeing JLT deliver a performance that will be remembered for many years to come.  If you’re a true Rainbow fan, do whatever it takes to see this show.

Music Discovery Monday – 2/1/16

Music Discovery Monday - Jimmy Bain

Hard Rock Daddy presents Music Discovery Monday – 2/1/16.

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 pays tribute to yet another fallen rock star – Jimmy Bain, bassist (Rainbow, DIO, Last In Line, and more).

 

 

 ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)

The hard rock world suffered another tremendous lost recently with the passing of bassist Jimmy Bain.  Along with Ronnie James Dio, Bain was the only other musician featured on three of my all-time favorite albums (as seen in the Hard Rock Music Time Machine segment of Music Discovery Monday). 

Bain’s most recent work was with a band named after one of those albums, Last In Line.  It was with this band that Bain died at sea while on the Def Leppard Cruise.  Since his passing, the band has released two videos from their forthcoming album to honor their fallen bandmate. 

In addition to his most notable work, Bain also played with Thin Lizzy, Phil Lynott, Gary Moore and others.  Today, we celebrate his most recent work and the legendary albums where he played an integral role…

 

 

LAST IN LINE – “Starmaker”

When Ronnie James Dio left Black Sabbath, he took drummer Vinny Appice with him, and recruited former Rainbow bandmate Jimmy Bain to join him in DIO.  It was Bain who suggested Vivian Campbell to RJD.  In September of 1982, these four played together for the first time.  The magic was evident; the classic DIO lineup was born.  Together, this lineup created not only the three best DIO albums, but three of the best hard rock/heavy metal albums of all-time:  Holy Diver, The Last In Line and Sacred Heart.

Three decades later, with RJD having passed away in 2010, the original members of DIO reunited to play the songs that they recorded together, under the moniker Last In Line.  You can’t replace a legend like RJD, but you can find a singer that can not only do the songs of a golden era justice, but also take the band to new heights with original material.  Enter Andrew Freeman, a passionate, talented singer with a nice resume, but far from a household name.

Jimmy Bain’s recent unexpected passing on the Def Leppard Cruise thrust this band into the headlines.  Sadly, it was not because of the band’s vast talent or chemistry, but that doesn’t diminish the sound that they have created with their upcoming debut release.

This was the last video that Bain made before his passing.  It was scheduled to be released ahead of the release of Heavy Crown.  No one expected it to be done as part of a tribute to Bain, turning a celebratory moment into a bittersweet one.  Bain was incredibly proud of the music that Last In Line created.

“Starmaker” features the heavy bottom that Bain was famous for in his work with the likes of DIO and Rainbow.  It blends elements of each legendary band into something different and timeless.  It’s fitting that this song was Bain’s final video.  He is a “starmaker” who helped bring attention to Campbell, and now to Freeman.  This song is everything that you love about classic DIO and more.

 

 

LAST IN LINE – “Blame It On Me”

“Blame It On Me” was also slated to be released as a single ahead of Last In Line’s debut album street date.  The release of the lyric video went on as scheduled as a tribute to Jimmy Bain.  The song has a more ominous, angst-ridden feel than “Starmaker.”  Lyrics like “but I remember when I was the cancer” and “it’s a God damn shame” end up being prophetically painful in light of the loss of Bain.

It was revealed today that the cause of Bain’s death was lung cancer.   This dreaded disease has hit this band hard.  RJD died of stomach cancer in 2010, and Vivian Campbell has been battling Hodgkin’s Lymphoma on and off in recent times.

Amazingly, Bain played a rehearsal on the day of his passing; sang backing vocals and had a heavy bass strapped to his neck.  He was being treated for pneumonia, and never complained about any illness that he was dealing with.  Bain embodied the spirit of rock and roll.

 

The tribute to Jimmy Bain continues in the Hard Rock Music Time Machine segment, as his work with Rainbow and DIO is highlighted, as well as parting thoughts from his Last In Line bandmates, still in shock over his sudden passing.

 

 

 

 JON LOVELESS – HRD Music Scout

MEGADETH – “Dystopia”

While I was not among those particularly disappointed by Supercollider, it does not feel like a stretch to describe Dystopia as a “return to form” for this legendary “Big Four” band.  The addition of two new members somehow resulted in a more traditional Megadeth sound and, when you’re Megadeth, tradition is business…and business is good.

 

THE TREATMENT – “Let It Begin”

Despite the presence of a new singer and a new guitarist, the first track from the forthcoming album, Generation Me, is in some respects, the same ol’ Treatment.  I mean that in a good way.  After all, their (most recent) previous release landed at #10 in my 2014 albums of the year list.  The same AC/DC vibe present on the previous record remains in evidence instrumentally this time around, while new lead vocals from Mitchell Emms (as seen on the U.K. version of The Voice) adds a different spin to the sound.

 

 

 

ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout

INNERWISH – “Rain Of A Thousand Years”

Greek power metallers Innerwish return this March with an eponymous new album.  The musical landscape of this first release from that album switches between light plucking acoustics and full blown electric riffs with soaring vocals and hammering bass and drums, for a promising taste of what’s to come.

 

ELEVENTH HOUR – “Long Road Home”

Plaintive strings punctuated by resonant brass yield quickly to layered symphonic metal in this Italian melodic metal band’s first single from their debut album.  Guitarist/composer Aldo Turini has joined forces with producer/vocalist Alessandro del Vecchio and a host of other talent on Memory Of A Lifetime Journey.

 

 

 

   CHRIS HERZEGOVITCH – HRD Music Scout

REDEMPTION (f. MARTY FRIEDMAN) – “Damage”

2016 brings a brand new album (The Art Of Loss) from one of my favorites bands…Redemption.  I wasn’t sure how this great band could get any better, until I saw Marty Friedman (Megadeth, Cacophony) featured on this track.  “Damage” is yet another musically brilliant, captivating track that features Redemption’s signature progressive metal sound and the distinctive vocals of Ray Alder (Fates Warning).  The additional firepower and expertise from Friedman puts this one way over the top.

 

SUNRISE – “Tower Of Fear”

Sunrise is a melodic power metal band from Kiev, Russia that has been around since 2003. “Tower of Fear” is the lead song from their new album, Absolute Clarity.  Lots of good things here: the powerful intro, lead and chorus vocals, intricate guitar work and the adept tempo changes of the tight rhythm section.
 

 

SUBMISSIONS

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@MusicDiscoveryMonday.com

 

 

HARD ROCK MUSIC TIME MACHINE

 ADAM WALDMAN

RAINBOW – “Stargazer” (1976)

When you’re teamed up with one of the greatest singers and guitarists in hard rock/metal music history, in Ronnie James Dio and Ritchie Blackmore,  it’s easy to get overlooked.  Factor in the intense drumming of Cozy Powell, and getting noticed as the bass player becomes increasingly more challenging.  But, if you listen to this epic song more carefully, you can easily lock into the importance of Jimmy Bain’s bass playing within the confines of the music.  Bain not only locks in perfectly with Powell, he lays down a rock solid foundation that allows Blackmore the freedom to fly.  This was my first exposure to Jimmy Bain.  And though his time with Rainbow was short-lived, his impact cannot be understated.  Sadly, Bain joins Dio and Powell as departed members of an incarnation of Rainbow that produced an album for the ages in Rising.  The album cover is the band’s most iconic, and the music is still holds up as one of the greatest albums of all-time (Rainbow or otherwise).

 

 

DIO – “Straight Through The Heart” (1983)

 As mentioned above, Jimmy Bain’s time with Rainbow was limited to one iconic studio album (Rising) and one live album (On Stage).  His limited tenure was more than enough time to make an impression on Ronnie James Dio, who recruited his former bandmate to be the bass player in DIO.  Once again, paired up with a dynamic guitar player in Vivian Campbell and a punishing drummer in Vinny Appice, Bain’s playing is not the first thing that you notice when listening to this balls-to-the-wall track, but when you listen for it, you’ll see exactly why RJD reunited with Bain when he went out on his own.  But it was more than just Bain’s bass playing that made him such a valuable asset to Dio.  In addition to a number of other songs on Holy Diver, the duo collaborated to write transcendant, timeless music that sounds as fresh today as it did in 1983.

 

 

DIO – “Mystery” (1984)

Normally, I only feature two songs in the Hard Rock Music Time Machine segment, but the shocking loss of Jimmy Bain has caused me to deviate from the rules a bit.  As the song says…“when there’s thunder, there should be rain, but it don’t always follow the rules, no.”  Like the Holy Diver album, Bain’s writing stamp is all over The Last In Line as well.  Any number of songs could have been chosen – most of which are much less popular than “Mystery” – but this was chosen because it seemed a fitting tribute to use the one song on the album that was a pure collaboration between the duo.

The music that Bain and Dio created together goes well beyond the handful of songs that were featured in this forum.  If you’re a fan of hard rock and heavy metal, it’s likely that none of these songs were actual discoveries, but they were chosen to show the hand that a vastly underrated musician had in creating them.  It seems that too many rock stars these days have become “Hungry For Heaven” way before their time.  Jimmy Bain’s passing didn’t send shockwaves through the rock and roll world like some of the more high profile names of late, but his loss is equally as great to those who were fans of his music.  RIP Jimmy!  Thank you for writing so many of the songs that made up the soundtrack of my youth.

 

Last In Line parting words…

 “Jimmy Bain – friend, brother and band mate passed away on Saturday January 23, 2016. 

The Medical Examiner report states the official cause of death was lung cancer.

Jimmy didn’t know he had lung cancer, but he did know he had pneumonia and was receiving treatment for it. This didn’t stop him or slow him down, we had four rehearsals 4 hours a day, then a flight to Miami for The Def Leppard Rock Cruise.  A pre-sail gig and sound check was scheduled for the following day.  At the gig Jimmy played great and even sang that night while holding a heavy bass guitar on his back, never complaining or asking for help.

Next day we preceded [sic] to board the cruise ship for a 5 day voyage of which we were scheduled to play Sunday the 4th day. That gig never happened as Jimmy passed away in his cabin the night before, we were devastated.

Jimmy was a trooper, he gave his all to the band he loved, the music he loved and the fans.  He didn’t want to let anyone down. I don’t know anyone that would have attempted this schedule while being this sick and not feeling well, a trooper.

He was so happy and proud of the new album we recorded, it so unfortunate and sad he didn’t live to see it released. We were all looking forward to being on the road and playing together again, there was such a magic between us.

Our prayers go out to his family and so many friends and fans who will miss the amazing person that was Jimmy Bain.”-  VINNY APPICE

 

 

 

JON LOVELESS

TANK – “War Nation” (2012)

Title track from the last album to feature Doogie White on vocals, “War Nation” is just a great example of how the classic sound of the NWOBHM era can still sound strong three decades later.

 

MOTLEY CRUE“Keep Your Eye On Your Money” (1985)

Unlike the albums that immediately preceded or followed, Theater Of Pain only featured two official singles.  While “Smokin’ In The Boys Room” and “Home Sweet Home” helped the album to reach quadruple platinum sales (and certainly served their purpose), this track could have easily served to further highlight the more glam style of the record.

 

 

 

  ROB DELL’AQUILA

IRON SAVIOR – “Titans Of Our Time” (2002)

These German power metallers have been pairing heavy riffs to science fiction and mythical themes since 1996.  Here is the soaring anthem that launched their 2002 album, Condition Red.

 

FROZEN RAIN – “The Last Dance Ain’t Over” (2012)

Belgium’s Kurt Vereecke put together this AOR project in 2008 with various musicians and five different lead singers.  For their 2012 follow-up, he settled on Carsten “Lizard” Schulz for all of the vocals.  This rocker highlights those great vocals and the energy of the band.

 

 

 

 CHRIS HERZEGOVITCH

SUPREME MAJESTY – “Fallen Star” (2003)

Melodic, fantasy-themed power metal outfit Supreme Majesty has an odd genealogy; they were born from two death-metal bands (Mortum and Non Serviam).  Bright and driving in both lyrics and music, “Fallen Star” has an instant appeal, and is a perfect lead track for the Danger album.   Joakim Olsson does a terrific job leading a talented bunch with his powerful, ranging vocals.

 

FATES WARNING – “One” (2000)

“One” is a great track from one of the flagship bands of progressive metal, Fates Warning.  Expert time changes and skilled musicianship (as expected), with a highly polished, refined production sound.  Mark Zonder’s work on the drums is fantastic.  This track, (from the Disconnected album) also features frequent guests of the band: Joey Vera (Armored Saint, Anthrax) on bass and Kevin Moore (Dream Theater) on keyboards.
 

 

25 Years Later – Joe Lynn Turner Conquers All

Joe Lynn Turner - Love Conquers All - Acoustic Performance - Glasgow

For nearly four decades, Joe Lynn Turner has been delivering inspiring vocal performances.  Although he is most widely known for his time with Rainbow, he also enjoyed a successful run with Yngwie Malmsteen and an abbreviated stint with Deep Purple where he recorded one studio album (Slaves And Masters).  The album (released in 1990) features one of the best power ballads of that era, “Love Conquers All.”

A quarter of a century has passed since the release of the “Love Conquers All,” but it is still as powerful today as it was in 1990, as evidenced by the acoustic version of the song recorded recently in Glasgow, Scotland.  These days, the legendary frontman spends much of his time performing overseas, no longer grabbing the spotlight that he once did in the United States.

Aside from being moved by this inspiring performance, the other emotions that come to mind when listening to this version of “Love Conquers All” (several times over) are jealousy of overseas audiences and sadness that America has dropped the ball when it comes to supporting transcendent talents like JLT.

We have become a country that celebrates mediocre singers who rely upon technology like Auto-Tune just to stay in key in the studio, and then lip sync their “performances” of songs that are average at best.  Even more disheartening is our reliance upon reality television to discover new “talent.”  Meanwhile, overseas audiences embrace true talents like JLT.

The vocal performance on the acoustic rendition of “Love Conquers All” is nothing short of brilliant.  There is no need to rely upon technology to enhance the vocals because, even as he approaches his mid-60s, Turner is still as great as he ever was in his heyday.

We can only hope that Ritchie Blackmore’s recent overtures about playing rock music again will come to fruition in the form of a Rainbow reunion with Turner at the helm.  Maybe then, JLT will get the attention that he so richly deserves here in America.  Until then, enjoy the incredible moment that was captured in Glasgow, Scotland recently…