Category Archives: music
(December 8, 1947 – May 27, 2017)
Founding member of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame group, the Allman Brothers Band, Gregg Allman passed away today from liver cancer.
I’m still processing the news from last Thursday. Chris Cornell, lead singer of one of the greatest bands ever from Seattle (sit down, Nirvana, you’re not even in this conversation), allegedly took his own life after a concert in Detroit Wednesday night. Soundgarden was scheduled to play several shows through the end of this month, and was reportedly halfway through writing songs for a new album.
You never know what is going through someone’s mind, even when they are seemingly sitting on top of the world. Please, friends, take care of yourselves emotionally. If you are struggling, seek assistance. Every prescription does not affect every person the same way, and the side effects are more pronounced in some. Work closely with your doctor to get things straightened out, get on the medication (if that’s necessary) that works best for you, and don’t ignore the warnings.
(July 20, 1964 – May 17, 2017)
One of the most talented hard rock singers of the past few decades, Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell has passed. Police are investigating his death as an apparent suicide.
B.B. King’s Lucille. Eric Clapton’s Blackie. Eddie Van Halen’s Frankenstrat. Keith Richards’ Micawber. Over time, guitar legends become so connected with their instruments, that it is difficult to think of one without the other. It seems strange to imagine Slash playing anything but a Les Paul, or Yngwie Malmsteen with something other than a Stratocaster (and a vintage white one, at that). In Ultimate Star Guitars: Expanded Edition, Dave Hunter explains how these musicians became so connected to their instruments of choice, often revealing how such instruments were acquired and why the artists chose them.
This book covers a variety of genres, from classic rock (Duane Allman, Clapton, Richards) to blues (King, Stevie Ray Vaughan), alternative (J Mascis, Thurston Moore, Lee Ranaldo) to punk (Joe Strummer, Steve Jones) to country (Waylon Jennings, Brad Paisley). You will read about Reverend Horton Heat, Ike Turner, Nels Cline, and even see a picture of Billy Gibbons sans beard. One of the best entries describes Randy Bachman’s work on a 1959 Fender Stratocaster he named “The Legend.” The leader of The Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive changed nearly everything he could change on “The Legend,” which was stolen years ago. Bachman said, “It would be the thrill of a lifetime to get he guitar back, but it was just a wreck, so unless someone knows what it is…But what a sound and monster it was.”
A fantastic collection of stories and photographs, Ultimate Star Guitars: Expanded Edition shows that music history is not made with pristine instruments designed to be on display in glass cases, but with beat-up, modified, and often underappreciated models.
Another 2017 Rock Hall inductee gets the “fun card” treatment today…one of my more recent obsessions, Electric Light Orchestra.
The group’s debut album was released in 1971 in the UK, 1972 in the USA, featuring former members of The Move. Jeff Lynne and Bev Bevan were with the group until 1986, when Lynne disbanded ELO and Bevan formed ELO Part II. Roy Wood recorded only the first album, leaving in 1972 to form Wizzard.
Richard Tandy joined the group in 1972, making his recording debut on the 1973 album, ELO 2 (not to be confused with Bevan’s offshoot, ELO Part II). He continues to tour with Lynne today. Wilfred Gibson lasted two albums, while Mike de Albuquerque appeared on ELO 2, On the Third Day, and Eldorado.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame recognized only Lynne, Wood, Bevan, and Tandy, though many others contributed to their success over the years. Lynne, Wood, and Tandy were present at the induction ceremony last month; Bevan, who has reportedly not spoken to Lynne in decades, was playing a gig elsewhere. Personally, I think I would have rescheduled that gig.
“Mr. Blue Sky,” originally on 1977’s Out of the Blue, is featured on this year’s soundtrack of the year, Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2: Awesome Mix Vol. 2.
It is very possible you have never heard anything from the first three Journey albums. It was not until Steve Perry joined the group in 1978 that Journey really took off, combining pop sensibilities with well-crafted rock songs. The first three albums had a more progressive slant to them, and are not as commercially accessible as the later radio friendly albums.
The debut self-titled album featured Neal Schon and Gregg Rolie, who worked together on Carlos Santana‘s Santana III and Caravanserai. They were joined by bassist Ross Valory as well as drummer Aynsley Dunbar, who worked with Frank Zappa, David Bowie, and Lou Reed. Also with the group for the first album was guitarist George Tickner. It was not until 1978’s Infinity that Steve Perry came on board, and songs like “Lights,” “Feeling That Way,” and “Wheel In The Sky,” caught the attention of radio programmers.
Journey’s 1981 album, Escape, was the first to feature keyboardist/rhythm guitarist Jonathan Cain. Some of the group’s biggest songs came from this album, including the all-time classics, “Don’t Stop Believin'” and “Open Arms.”
The 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony took place last month, and aired on HBO over the weekend. This year’s class was a very impressive lineup, including Electric Light Orchestra, Joan Baez, Yes, Tupac Shakur, Pearl Jam, and one of the greatest arena rock bands of all-time, Journey. It has been over a year since I last put together an “Ultimate Mixtape,” so I thought the time was right to resurrect this project. I enjoyed going through Journey’s discography, and the related artists. Such a great band, such diverse styles.
If you are not familiar with the “Ultimate Mixtape” concept, here is a quick run-down of the rules:
- Every album must be represented by one and only one song. This is an especially difficult rule when looking at 1978’s Infinity album.
- The selected song does not have to be a single used to promote the album.
- Live albums are fine if you want to use them, but you are not required to include them if you are satisfied with your “Ultimate Mixtape” without them. Sometimes they are a great tool to sneak in a classic song when the studio version didn’t make the cut. In Journey’s case, Captured just happens to have a new studio track on it, so that was my de facto choice.
- “Greatest Hits”/ “Best of” albums are eligible only if they contain new songs, or new versions of old songs. With the exception of Time^3, Journey’s compilations do not meet this requirement, so are omitted from the Ultimate Mixtape project.
Everyone’s “Ultimate Mixtape” will be different, and I would love to know how yours differs from mine. Are you ready to rock? Let’s check out “JT’s Ultimate Mixtape: Journey edition”…
- “To Play Some Music” (Journey, 1975)
- “She Makes me (Feel Alright)” (Look Into the Future, 1976)
- “Karma” (Next, 1977)
- “Wheel in the Sky” (Infinity, 1978)
- “Just the Same Way” (Evolution, 1979)
- “Any Way You Want It” (Departure, 1980)
- “Little Girl” (Dream, After Dream, 1980)
- “The Party’s Over (Hopelessly In Love)” (Captured, 1981)
- “Don’t Stop Believing” (Escape, 1981)
- “Separate Ways” (Frontiers, 1983)
- “Positive Touch” (Raised on Radio, 1986)
- “Velvet Curtain/Feelling That Way” (Time^3, 1992)
- “Forever In Blue” (Trial By Fire, 1996)
- “I Got a Reason” (Arrival, 2001)
- “I Can Breathe” (Red 13 EP, 2002)
- “Faith in the Heartlands” (Generations, 2005)
- “Wildest Dream” (Revelation, 2008)
- “Resonate” (Eclipse, 2011)
- “No One To Depend On” (Santana, Santana III, 1971)
- “Love or Money” (Sammy Hagar, Danger Zone, 1980)
- “La Raza del Sol” (b-side of “Still They Ride,” 1981)
- “Wasting Time” (Neal Schon & Jan Hammer, Untold Passion, 1981)
- “Only Solutions” (Tron soundtrack, 1982)
- “Ask the Lonely” (Two of a Kind soundtrack, 1983)
- “Oh Sherrie” (Steve Perry, Street Talk, 1984)
- “Top of the Rock” (HSAS, Through the Fire, 1984)
- “Let Me Out” (Gregg Rolie, Gregg Rolie, 1985)
- “Only the Young” (Vision Quest soundtrack, 1985)
- “When I See You Smile” (Bad English, Bad English, 1989)
- “Remember Me” (Armageddon soundtrack, 1998)
- “Highest Ground” (Soul SirkUS, World Play, 2005)
- “Stone In Love” (Journey, Revelation [bonus disc], 2008)
What do you think? Did I miss your favorite Journey song or solo project on the bonus disc?