Category Archives: music

30 Years Ago Today: Terrible music was released

Nirvana Bleach is one of the worst so called rock records in the history of the universeNirvana’s debut album, Bleach, was released on the Sub Pop label on June 15, 1989.

I have never liked Nirvana. The simplistic songs and nonsensical lyrics make a mockery of actual talent. The band was awful from the start, and Bleach serves as Exhibit A.

Nirvana was not the greatest “grunge” band. Nirvana was not a good band period.

I will not apologize for this opinion. I question the sanity of those who gave the release positive reviews, both at the time and in the years since.

“About A Girl” is perhaps the most tolerable song on the album. If you want to torture your eardrums, click play:

25 Years Ago Today: STP releases a #1 album

Stone Temple PilotsAfter the success of Core in 1992, grunge rockers Stone Temple Pilots upped their game in 1994 with Purple, released on June 7, hitting #1 just 18 days later. The English word of the title is nowhere found on the US version of the album; only the Chinese character 紫 appears on the cover with a picture of a child riding a qilin.

Several singles received airplay on alternative and modern rock radio stations and fared well on corresponding Billboard charts. “Vasoline” and “Interstate Love Song” both hit #1 on the Album Rock Tracks chart and #2 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart; “Big Empty” hit #3 and #7 on those same charts, while “Unglued” went to #8 and #16.

The album was released just a few days after I graduated high school and I remember listening to it with a friend who had received it as a graduation present. It didn’t have quite the impact on me that Core had, but I still enjoyed Dean DeLeo’s guitar playing and Scott Weiland’s voice.

The band is preparing an “Expanded Deluxe” double-disc release to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Purple. It will be released in September; you can pre-order it here. Of course, if you can’t wait, pick up the standard release here. One of the new tracks will be a previously unreleased acoustic rendition of “Big Empty” and the group uploaded the audio yesterday to YouTube. Listen to it below:

30 Years Ago Today: SRV gets “In Step”

SRV In StepStevie Ray Vaughan’s status as a legendary blues rocker was already established when In Step hit stores in 1989. Sadly, it would be his last album with Double Trouble before his untimely death in August, 1990.

The record produced four singles: “Crossfire,” which hit #1 on the US Rock chart, “The House is Rockin’,” “Wall of Denial,” and “Tightrope.” The album itself peaked at #33 on the Billboard 200 and Vaughan won the 1990 Grammy for Best Contemporary Blues Album.

The influence of Stevie Ray Vaughan lives on in the music of blues rock artists such as Jonny Lang, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, and Joe Bonamassa. SRV keyboardist Reese Wynans released an album called Sweet Release in March of this year, featuring two covers from In Step: “Crossfire” with Shepherd on guitar, and “Riviera Paradise” with Shepherd and Bonamassa.

35 Years Ago Today: The Boss releases “Born in the USA”

Bruce Springsteen Born in the USABruce Springsteen is a force to be reckoned with.

I have to be honest, I didn’t realize how many great (and popular) albums the Boss had released until looking back at his career for this blog entry. Born in the USA, released on this date in 1984, was his fifth of eight straight albums to reach the top ten on the Billboard 200 chart. It was his second of nine #1 albums. It remains one of the best-selling albums in history, certified 15x Platinum in the US. The title track is a sing-along pop anthem that will never go away.

Of the twelve songs on the album, seven made it to the top 10 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. At the time, only Michael Jackson’s Thriller record could make the same claim; since then, Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814 and Drake’s Scorpion have joined that list.

Bruce Springsteen singles

The first single, “Dancing in the Dark,” is also notable for featuring a pre-Friends, not-yet-famous Courteney Cox in the video.

Random Awesomeness (part 2019.10)

Random Awesomeness

What I’m Reading Right Now: Supermarket by Bobby Hall.
 


Pre-order Down To The River by the Allman Betts Band!
 

40 Years Ago Today: KISS goes disco!

KISS DynastyDisco was all the craze in the late ’70s, and it even affected shock rockers KISS when they wrote and recorded Dynasty in 1979. The influence can be heard most clearly on the most popular single from the record, “I Was Made For Lovin’ You,” co-written by songwriting extraordinaire Desmond Child.

Nine songs appear on the album, including a cover of the Rolling Stones’ “2,000 Man,” sung by Ace Frehley. Though pictured on the cover, Peter Criss only performed one song—“Dirty Livin’”—on this entire album; Anton Fig, who had drummed for Frehley’s 1978 solo effort, was brought in to play in Criss’ place.

The album spent 25 weeks on the Billboard Pop Albums chart and peaked at #9, but the subsequent tour was a flop. KISS struggled on at least the next couple albums to rediscover their hard rock foundation.

Random Awesomeness (part 2019.9)

Random Awesomeness

What I’m Reading Right Now: Almost Yankees: The Summer of ’81 and the Greatest Baseball Team You’ve Never Heard Of by J. David Herman.
 


Purchase “Bullet Holes” (from John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum) by Bush!
 

30 Years Ago Today: Queen releases The Miracle

Queen The MiracleThe original lineup for Queen was nearing the end due to Freddie Mercury’s failing health, but that didn’t stop the band from recording one of their most iconic songs on The Miracle in 1989. When I first started discovering Queen’s music beyond “We Will Rock You,” I would have guessed that “I Want It All” was from the ’70s. It turned out to be the group’s biggest hit from this album, reaching #3 on Billboard’s US Mainstream Rock chart. More recently it has been used in a commercial by Grubhub.

As for the rest of the album, let’s just say I’m not a huge fan. Mercury’s voice sounds great and Brian May’s guitar solos are spectacular, but the songs are poorly arranged, uneven, and inconsistent. There were four other singles released besides “I Want It All,” and each was more forgettable than the last.

The band had stopped touring by this point, so fans never got to witness Mercury singing “I Want It All” in concert. Queen’s first live performance of the song was with The Who‘s Roger Daltrey and Black Sabbath‘s Tony Iommi during the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert in 1992.

25 Years Ago Today: Maverick arrives in theaters

MAVERICK MOVIEMel Gibson, Jodie Foster, and James Garner star in Maverick, the western comedy based on the 1950s television series of the same name. The supporting cast was quite good, including James Coburn, Denver Pyle, and Corey Feldman. There were quite a few uncredited guests as well, including director Richard Donner, John Fogerty, Danny Glover, Margot Kidder, and Reba McEntire.

The movie has its moments, but the real treat is the soundtrack, a virtual rundown of the biggest country music names in the ‘90s. Clint Black, John Michael Montgomery, Tracy Lawrence, Confederate Railroad…a ton of talent packed into about 40 minutes of music. Many of the artists featured on the soundtrack also appeared in minor roles in the movie.

Clint Black’s “A Good Run of Bad Luck” is easily my favorite song on the record. It also appears on Black’s own No Time To Kill album. The Maverick soundtrack hit #4 on the Country charts, and #35 on the Billboard 200.

Random Awesomeness (part 2019.8)

Random Awesomeness

What I’m Reading Right Now: Almost Yankees: The Summer of ’81 and the Greatest Baseball Team You’ve Never Heard Of by J. David Herman.
 


Purchase Reckless & Me by Kiefer Sutherland!
(Yes, that Kiefer Sutherland, a.k.a. Jack Bauer,
a.k.a. President Tom Kirkman, a.k.a. David Powers.)
 

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