Tag Archives: Rock

Flat, Naked and Selfish

lthough D-A-D had their commercial peak in 1989 with “No Fuel Left for the Pilgrims”, my personal favorite period is 95-97 with “Helpyourselfish and “Simpatico”, there is a unique punch and aggressiveness in that period, that I just prefer to other albums they have done, even though they have made many other great tracks over the years.

Helpyourselfish – Helpyourselfish

The band was born in Copenhagen, Denmark a in the early 80’s as Disneyland After Dark. Their original sound was something later referred to as Cowpunk, an odd mixture of simple “punkish” hard rock and country music. The name was changed to D-A-D due to a possible conflict with Disney after they got international attention with “No Fuel Left for the Pilgrims” and the single “Sleeping My Day Away”.

Helpyourselfish – Flat

Even though their music can hardly be called mainstream, D-A-D have become a household name in Denmark, after 11 albums and more than 30 years on the road, where they have played Roskilde Festival more than 10 times. They have now reached a status where they are on national television almost every time they make a new album.

Helpyourselfish – Naked

After Helpyourselfish, the next album Simpatico was overall as an album a little less rough in the sound, and to some extent more melodic, but the style was still harder than the earlier material.

Simpatico – Simpatico

Their latest album “DIC·NII·LAN·DAFT·ERD·ARK” was released November 2011

 

紫 or 12 Gracious Melodies

Scott Weiland, the voice behind Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver died on December 3, 2015, he was 48 years old. To me personally the music or album that instantly comes to mind is an album I have always know as “12 Gracious Melodies”.

 

That is not the official title, officially it is called “Purple”, but that title is only written on the cover in Chinese: 紫, so I just did not know better, “12 Gracious Melodies” is written on the back of the CD. All this is before we were checking everything with our Ipad’s on the www.

purple

Stone Temple Pilots is an American rock band from San Diego, California. While originally identified as grunge, the band is actually more diverse that that, it would probably be more fair to just call their music melodic hard rock.

 

It may be too daring to say, that this is the best Rock album of the 90’s, there is so many to choose from, but this is definitely one of my favorites. It is full of brilliant melodic rock songs, varied and catchy without being cheesy, and the vocals are perfect.

 

Rest in Peace.

 

 

Bold, Bald, Beauty – Sinéad O’Connor – The Lion and the Cobra

Hidden 80′s Gems – Part 8 1988

Again one of those vinyl albums I bought, simply because I could not resist the cover.
Sinead_Lion_Cobra_Original

With a look completely unseen at the time, with a voice intense, and full of honest emotion, Sinéad O’Connor evolved what a female singer could do, when she released her debut “The Lion and the Cobra” back in 1988. After disagreements with producer Mick Glossop, O’Connor was allowed to produce the album and writing most of the material herself, it became very much her creation, unusual for a debut at the time.

Rolling Stone wrote: “With The Lion and the Cobra, Sinéad O’Connor joins the ranks of Kate Bush, Laurie Anderson and Jane Siberry — all women who are shattering the boundaries of pop music.”

The album range from very low melancholic songs, to fast speed radio friendly songs, mixed in a straight uncomplicated and rather raw way, especially compared to the hugely commercial successor, “I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got” with the major international hit “Nothing Compares 2 U” , one of the bestselling albums in 1990. While “I do not want…” sold a massiv amount of albums, in retrospective, I thing The Lion and the Tiger, is a lot more interesting today, due to its cleaner more unpolished sound.

In 1989 O’Connor was guest vocalist on The The’s “Mind Bomb”, singing the duet “Kingdom of Rain”, again showing just how brilliant a vocalist she is.

Sinéad O’Connor was and is a hugely talented vocalist, and she have got some very clear opinions, but she is also a very controversial person, admittedly fighting with manic depression, something that could explain why she often have been making comments to the press, that she would later have to take back.

Hidden 80′s Gems – Part 7 1987

Robbie Robertson
Who dosent like dipping into those studio album with an dream casting of artists, and that is what we got with Robbie Robertson’s self titled solo album, from 1987. I had no problems chosing this album as my 1987 gem, it’s a perfect example of late 1980’s new wave sound, its not that well know, but a true masterpiece, co-produced with Robertson by Daniel Lanois, who was also involved with U2 and Gabriel at the time.

Fresh from recording Peter Gabriels “So”, and three King Crimson albums in the early 80’s, Tony Levin drips his master bass sounds on this album, before he takes part in the Yes reunion formed as “Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe” the following year. Levin deliver a solid rhythm section with Manu Katché, who he was also playing with on “So”, not to mention that Peter Gabriel himself, also appears as backup vocalist, and keyboard player on a few tracks. Also Jazz legend Gil Evans, Bassist Larry Klein, and members from The Band, contributed to the album.

All four members of U2, forms the backing band on two tracks, “Sweet Fire of Love” co-written by U2 and Robertson. The tracks have a nice U2 feel about them, but are still very much Robertson’s, and melt perfectly with the other tracks on the album.

At this point I guess some are thinking, that’s all fine but who is this mister Robertson able to get those big names to play on his album ?, Robertson was one of the founding members, the main songwriter, and lead guitarist of Canadian “The Band”, known for their work as Bob Dylan’s backing band, when he turned electric in the late 60’s. The Band had a track on the legendary Easy Rider soundtrack.

The Band is also knows for their legendary farewell concert The Last Waltz, featuring a list of names, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Eric Clapton, Van Morrison, Ringo Starr, Paul Butterfield and more. The Concert was the basis of Martin Scorsese documentary The Last Waltz released in 1978, still ranked as one of the best Rock films ever made.

The Band and Neil Young from The Last Waltz

For Mad Men Only

May Blitz was a short lived Rock trio, created back in 1969. After playing live for a while on pubs and other small venues in UK, and going through some personal changes, they got a record deal with Vertigo. At this point the group was Canadian singer and guitarist Jamie Black, Canadian bassist Reid Hudson and Brittish drummer Tony Newman, know at the time for his work with Jeff Beck, Donovan and later playing with names like David Bowie, Allan Clarke (The Hollies), Joan Armatrading, David Coverdale, ect.

From – May Blitz (1970)

May Blitz deliver a nice stoner rock, rooted in heavy blues, in a tradition not unlike Jimi Hendrix or Cream.
The sound is pretty good for albums from this period, and there is a nice mix of genre elements on the albums. On the negative side some may find their style a bit loose and Jammy, compared to other Rock bands in the early 70’s, who was often moving towards a more “restricted” and “composed” Rock style at this point. Anyway, no matter if You think it was deserved or not, they did not do well commercially, and after their second album with the clever title “The 2nd Of May”, they disbanded. The two Canadians vanished from the annals of Rock history, as mentioned above Tony Newman, continued his career as drummer.

From – The 2nd Of May (1971)

“Church Of Misery” Released a cover of May Blitz “For Mad Men Only”, as a bonus track for their 2004 album, The Second Coming. “Church Of Misery” is a Japanese band from Shinjuku, Tokyo, formed in 1995, playing Doom Metal, with influence from early 70’s Heavy and Psychedelic Rock. They are Known to almost always write songs about serial killers and mass murder.

Church Of Misery – For Mad Men Only

The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion

“dredg”’s The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion, is a 2009 Rock album; it holds a collection of melodic rock songs, delivered with skill, partly powerful, partly smooth and emotional, alternative art rock at its best.

The Album is a patchwork woven from 18 tracks, some of them transitional pieces creating the effect of “concept album”, you can’t get the full effect of the intension, without listening from start to finish.

Conceptually, the album was based on Salman Rushdie: “Imagine no heaven” an open letter to “the six billionth person” born in 1999, Rushdie expectedly warns about religion, and how the world would be a better place without it: “As the song says, It’s easy if you try.”

“dredg” was formed in the late 1990’s in a small Californian town between San Jose and Santa Cruz, the members of dredg grew up together, listening to Metal, Progressive Rock and Jazz. They Released their first EP in 1997, their first full length album in 1999, most of their recordings are concept albums.

Morning Dew: Nazareth, Gratefull Dead, Einstürzende Neubauten, Robert Plant, Bonnie Dobson.

Morning Dew is a folk song, but it has often been included in the repertoire of Rock bands. The song is about the last man and woman left alive after nuclear holocaust.
It first came to my attention in the early 70’s in this great, long version recorded by the Scottish hard rock band Nazareth, from 1971.

At that point the song was already famous and recorded in a number of variations, most notably by The Gratefull Dead, they had included it on their debut album from 1967, and continued to play it as a signature song on their shows.

German Experimental/Industrial band Einstürzende Neubauten, known to use mixed metal percussion and building tools to create their noice rock, recorded another interesting version on their 1987 album “Fünf auf der nach oben offenen Richterskala”

Ex Led Zeppelin vocalist Robert Plant, recorded Morning Dew for his 2002 solo album Dreamland, another beautiful version of the song.

The song was originally written by Canadian folk music singer and guitarist Bonnie Dobson 1961. First recorded for her 1962 live album, “At Folk City”

The Call – Blood Red (America)

The 80’s incarnation of the phenomena mainstream Rock, never had the big impact on me, not a big fan of Springsteen, Bryan Adams, Bon Jovi, and that sort of thing, but some rock bands, did some very good albums, one of my favorite 80’s band was “The Call”, from Santa Cruz, California and particularly their 1986 album “Reconciled”.

Blood Red (America)

Im not sure if I should call them Mainstream, New Wave, or Alternative, it is somewhere in between.
It is plain and simple, basic rock music, very intense and emotional, and kicking my sorry ass to pieces. Can’t believe they never got that big international breakthrough they deserve.

Everywhere I Go

Legendary guitarist Robbie Robertson of The Band appeared on “The Morning””, Jim Kerr and Peter Gabriel backing vocals on “Everywhere I Go” . Michael returned the favor by singing on Gabriels’ LP So, as well as Simple Minds’ album Once Upon A Time.

The Morning

The Call disbanded in 2000, front man Michael Been died in 2010, after a heart attack.

2013 – Highlights – Deceased

Ray Manzarek died May 20 2013, age 74

He co-founded “The Doors” in 1965 after meeting Jim Morrison a fellow student at a theater school in Los Angeles. The band debuted in 1966, and made 6 best selling album, the last one “L. A. Women” in 1971.

To me, Manzarek defines the keyboard sound of the late 60’s Rock, his innovative style and sound, fits wonderfully with Morrison’s vocal. The fact that there is no permanent bass player in “the Doors” is just stunning, because you don’t miss anything, Manzarek played the bass lines on a Fender Rhodes piano bass, while playing his “Vox” or “Gibson” organ with the other hand.

I don’t know how to describe the sound of the doors, they are in a league of their own, beyond any genre or style defitition. But this clip should give an idear.

Morrison died in 1971, 27 years old.