Category Archives: music

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!
 

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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.)
 

35 Years Ago Today: SRV drops his second studio album

SRV Couldnt Stand The WeatherThe second studio album from Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, Couldn’t Stand The Weather was released on May 15, 1984. The record peaked at #31 on the Billboard 200 chart and the title track’s video received regular airplay on MTV. The group also shot a video for “Cold Shot,” the first song on side two of the album. Vaughan was a huge fan of Jimi Hendrix and included his own version of the Hendrix classic “Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)” on Couldn’t Stand The Weather.

In the early morning hours on Monday, August 27, 1990, following an all-star jam in Wisconsin, Vaughan was tragically killed in a helicopter crash, along with the pilot Jeff Brown, agent Bobby Brooks, bodyguard Nigel Browne, and tour manager Colin Smythe. SRV was only 35 years old.

25 Years Ago Today: Weezer’s self-titled debut hits stores

Weezer Blue AlbumThe alternative rock scene was in full swing when Rivers Cuomo’s Weezer arrived in 1994. Produced by Ric Ocasek, the “Blue Album” is one of the strongest debut albums ever. The record features alternative rock staples “Undone – The Sweater Song,” “Say It Ain’t So,” and “Buddy Holly.”

The latter’s video, directed by Spike Jonze, was a personal favorite as it referenced Happy Days, one of the greatest TV shows ever made. “Buddy Holly” was honored at the 1995 MTV Video Music Awards as Best Alternative Video, Breakthrough Video, Best Direction, and Best Editing. It was also nominated for Video of the Year, but was robbed by TLC’s “Waterfalls.”

35 Years Ago Today: Twisted Sister releases Stay Hungry

Twisted Sister Stay HungryDee Snider and company were made for MTV, and thanks in large part to the music video channel Stay Hungry became a tremendous success. The multi-platinum album reached #15 on the Billboard 200 charts, featuring the band’s two greatest hits “We’re Not Gonna Take It” and “I Wanna Rock.”

“We’re Not Gonna Take It” entered the Billboard Hot 100 at #80 on July 28, 1984, and peaked at #21 the week of September 22, 1984. The video featured numerous shout-outs to the 1978 John Landis comedy Animal House and starred Mark Metcalf, who played Doug Neidermeyer in the film. Metcalf also starred in the band’s video for “I Wanna Rock,” which included a cameo by Stephen Furst (Kent Dorfman/Flounder).

Twisted Sister re-recorded the entire album in 2004 and released the new production under the title Still Hungry. For my money, the original is better.

Random Awesomeness (part 2019.7)

Random Awesomeness

What I’m Reading Right Now: The Message of Psalms 73-150 by Michael Wilcock.
 


Purchase Living The Dream by Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators!
 

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