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JT’s Ultimate Mixtape: Aerosmith covered edition

Aerosmith covered

One of the greatest American rock bands of all time, Aerosmith raised the bar for hard rockers in the 1970s and shocked the music world with a massive comeback in the late 1980s. More than three years ago, I gave the band the “Ultimate Mixtape” treatment, picking my favorite song from each album released by the group.

Countless artists have offered up their renditions of the Bad Boys of Boston’s greatest hits. In this Ultimate Mixtape, I will attempt to collate some of the greatest and most interesting Aerosmith songs covered by other bands. I’m sticking only to officially released songs, and my personal preference is to avoid live versions. While tribute albums are fair game, only one song per tribute is allowed on this compilation. Further, no artists will be duplicated, and each song will only be represented once. So hit play on the YouTube videos below, click the links to buy some records, and rock out like you’ve never rocked out before!

JT’s Ultimate Mistape: Aerosmith covered edition

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Skid Row Re-Record “18 and Life” and I Don’t Hate It

Listen to it (and download it free and legal) here.

Skid Row Tony Harnell

Skid Row announced last week that former TNT vocalist Tony Harnell had been hired to replace Johnny Solinger behind the mic. Solinger has decided to focus on his solo career, which is geared more toward southern rock and country music than hair metal. With Skid Row since 1999, he recorded two full-length albums (Thickskin and Revolutions Per Minute) and two EPs (United World Rebellion: Chapter One and Rise Of The Damnation Army – United World Rebellion: Chapter Two).

Harnell’s resume with TNT dates back to the mid-1980s, and he has also worked with Starbreaker and Westworld, as well as releasing four solo albums. Now with Skid Row, the first offering is a re-recording of one of the band’s most classic singles, “18 & Life.” I may be in the minority, but I love what the group is doing here. Putting to rest any rumors of a Sebastian Bach reunion by quickly announcing a new singer and releasing a new track—even if it is an old song—shows that the group is moving forward.

Bach has a nice solo career of his own, even if it took forever to start. He left Skid Row in 1996, but it was not until 2007 that a new studio album was released by the singer. That record, Angel Down was all sorts of fantastic. The two albums since then have fallen short, but he continues to tour and draws large crowds (albeit at smaller venues than he used to play).

The new recording of “18 & Life” not only shows that the group is moving on, but that Harnell is up to the task. No, he is not Sebastian Bach. Guess what? Bach ’15 is not Bach ’89 either. This re-recording is faithful to the original and Harnell handles the vocals perfectly. Solinger labored for fifteen years with Skid Row and handled his duites well despite a lack of respect from supposed fans. Hopefully Harnell can be seen as a legitimate replacement and will garner the respect that he deserves.

R.I.P. Mark “Bam Bam” McConnell

(d. May 24, 2012)

Mark “Bam Bam” McConnell was the touring drummer for former Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach from 1997-2005.

Introducing the new lead singer for Velvet Revolver…

Hard Rock Nights tonight!

Twas the Hard Rock Nights before Christmas and all through the mansion…
Everyone was rockin’, even Sebastian.
He was listening to the radio close
To see if JT would play Guns N’ Roses.
But to begin the show, the disc jockey said, “Mister,
I’m gonna play some Twisted Sister!”

Listen to Hard Rock Nights on
classxradio.com from 9-11 pm eastern
every Saturday!

Three huge days

August is looking like it will be a great month for music in Cincinnati. There are several shows coming to Riverbend that I hope to attend. Read the rest of this entry

August will be a great month for music…

August 16, I’ll be seeing Poison (my favorite band), Sebastian Bach (whose new CD was pretty good), and Dokken (who I’ve never cared for much) at Riverbend.

Then, just 3 days later, I’ll see Motley Crue (my second favorite band), Sixx:AM (whose CD was pretty good), Buckcherry (who have many better songs than that one that got played to death), Papa Roach (who have a few songs I like), and Trapt (who I am not familiar with whatsoever).

Hopefully the Crue show won’t be too overpriced, but with a line-up like that I’m sure it will cost a pretty penny.

Top Ten of 2007

“Hair metal” is my favorite musical genre. But it is not the only kind of music I listen to. I enjoy some classic country (Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard), 80s pop (Young MC, Tone Loc), and several other types of music (Buckcherry, Fergie, Violent Femmes). Each has its own qualities and I have to be in the mood to listen to any one of them, but they are all a part of my life.

In 2007, there was quite a revival of hard rock. I am going to limit my top ten list to rock releases (though not necessarily always “hard” rock), so you won’t find Rihanna popping up here (regardless of how much I love the disc). And keep in mind that this is only my opinion, and I’m probably forgetting something somewhere.

Honorable Mention: Sebastian Bach – Angel Down. The solo album from one of rock’s greatest voices misses the top ten because of my own laziness. I just haven’t taken the time to listen to it as much as the other discs, but the few times I did I thought it was really good. Had the former Skid Row singer released it earlier in the year, I probably would have listened more and it may have made the top ten.

10. Scorpions – Humanity Hour 1. These German rockers have had an up-and-down career. There are classics like “Rock You Like A Hurricane” and “Still Loving You,” and then there are not-so-classics like “Winds of Change.” Humanity Hour 1 is a continuation of the return to their hard rock sound that they started with 2004’s Unbreakable. Best track: “321.”

9. Ted Nugent – Love Grenade. The Motor City Madman would have made the top ten if all he released was the single “Love Grenade.” The rest of the album is not as strong as the title track, but it is still a raucous, politically incorrect hard rock fest. Best track: “Love Grenade.”

8. CRASHDÏET – The Unattractive Revolution. Mick Mars from Motley Crue stepped in to help out these Swedish boys on their second release, which is notably heavier than their debut. New singer H. Oliver Twisted stepped in and did well on the vocals, but he definitely has a different style than the late Dave Lepard. Best track: “Falling Rain.”

7. Ozzy Osbourne – Black Rain. I’m not a huge fan of Ozzy’s solo work with Zakk Wylde on guitar, but this CD sounds more like a Black Label Society album with Ozzy on vocals. That is why I like it. It is heavier than any album Ozzy has ever done, and Zakk’s fretwork is amazing. Best track: “I Don’t Wanna Stop.”

6. Sixx:A.M. – The Heroin Diaries Soundtrack. Nikki Sixx’s side project with DJ Ashba (Beautiful Creatures) is a hit-and-miss affair, but still solid despite the misses. Don’t buy this if you are expecting a Motley Crue album. There is more of a modern rock feel to it, and very little outright glam. Best track: “Van Nuys.”

5. Foo Fighters – Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace. I hate Nirvana. Everything that band did is total rubbish to me. On the other hand, I love Foo Fighters. I don’t recall ever hearing a Foo Fighters song and thinking, “I don’t like that.” Dave Grohl is a genious, and is to be commended for his emergence from Kurt Cobain’s shadow. Now, the 2007 CD is not as good as some of their past work, but it’s still great. It is standard Foo, no real surprises. Best track: “The Pretender.”

4. White Stripes – Icky Thump. I was surprised how much I liked this CD, because I’m not a big fan of the White Stripes’ previous work. But Jack’s guitar work here just grabbed me and wouldn’t let go, and his songwriting is amazing. You’ve probably heard some of these songs on the radio by now, so I won’t go into any more detail than to say it is a great alternative rock album with a classic rock feel on many of the tracks. Best tracks: “I’m Slowly Turning Into You” and “You Don’t Know What Love Is (You Just Do As You’re Told).”

3. Airbourne – Runnin’ Wild. The best AC/DC album since The Razor’s Edge is by a band called Airbourne. These Aussies rock it just like their predecessors, and they make no apologies for that fact. Currently it is only available as an import from Australia, but will be released in the rest of the world in January of 2008. If you decide to wait for the worldwide release, you can search for their videos on YouTube and check out some of their tunes that way. Best tracks: “Diamond in the Rough” and “Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast.”

2. ZO2 – Ain’t It Beautiful. Brooklyn-based ZO2 got a spot on the 2004 Kiss/Poison tour based on their independent release of Tuesdays & Thursdays, but Ain’t It Beautiful blows that CD out of the water. There are shades of Audioslave, classic Aerosmith, and Kiss throughout the entire album. Paulie Z’s vocal style is very similar to Paul Stanley’s, and the band’s chemistry is undeniable. Plus they put on a killer live show. Best tracks: “If You See Kay” and “Ain’t It Beautiful.”

1. Endeverafter – Kiss or Kill. Hands-down, the best album of the year. Already in the top five of the decade. Endeverafter opened for the Poison/Cinderella tour in 2006, and finally released their debut album in October of this year. It was well worth the wait. The guys have a classic glam metal sound, and this disc is every bit as good as (if not better than) anything Poison put out. Shredding abounds, and you can’t resist but bang your head to these songs. Best tracks: “Baby, Baby, Baby” and “All Night.”

Biggest Disappointment of 2007: Poison – Poison’d. Poison is my all-time favorite band, but this disc of cover songs is a travesty. “Dead Flowers” was awful, and the overall song selection was poor. They did a decent job with the Romantics’ “What I Like About You” and Alice Cooper’s “I’ll Never Cry,” but for the most part the disc is a throw-away. Add to that the fact that only 8 of the songs were new; the other 5 were previously released remakes. Poison needs to get back into the studio and record some new material, and it better be good.

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