Archive for October, 2010

Marilyn Manson / Antichrist Superstar

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 3100000010UTC 12 by marky7235

Antichrist Superstar

Antichrist Superstar (sometimes stylized as Antichrist Superstar as an allusion to Latin typography) is Marilyn Manson’s second full-length studio album and was released on October 8, 1996, by Interscope Records.

The record is a concept album, and the first of a trilogy along with Mechanical Animals and Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death). It spawned three singles (The Beautiful People, Tourniquet and Man That You Fear).

It also raised public awareness of the band, turning them into a household name, and led to numerous protests due to the band’s anti-Christian stance. It was produced by the band’s frontman and Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails. As of 2004 the album has sold over 7.5 million copies worldwide.

The Analysis:

Irresponsible Hate Anthem—-Giving the listener little time for anticipation or preparation, the audience noise at the onset of the song is as little warning as you get before the aggressive Metal riffs whip your head around. Manson delivers a vocal that is bot accessible and at times so abrasive you fear you may go mad. This release is Manson’s crowning achievement..the music and vehement lyric/vocal speaks for itself. This is fantastic!

The Beautiful People—-Almost like a television that switches channels all on its own, this song is in complete and utter contrast with the previous. This has a nice drum track..a massive bass guitar line and some vocals that at times are scary while at other times is damn accessible. This is a favorite of mine and Manson still pulls this out during his live performances.

Dried Up, Tied Up & Dead To The World—-Another really stellar track and favorite song of mine from the entire Manson catalog, For me, this has a much more traditional Industrial sound to it than much of the record. This has all of those little magic sounds that runs through it and just gives me this huge energy pump. I love this…Manson delivers a sincere and demonic vocal…the melody is incredible and the words have a way of laying in your brain forever…just waiting to be brought back to life.

Tourniquet—-Another of those stellar songs that really forms most of the release, there is a nice Trilogy of songs that have been the centerpiece of this record for me since its release. This is much more dedicated to the Rock sound, the Industrial sounds almost removed from the song. Manson delivers a classic vocal..the type that really would define his future output. Whether you recognize the fact or not, this has a damn contagious melody and one of the most accessible vocals Manson has ever delivered. This is classic and timeless.

Little Horn—-Beginning rather quiet for Manson, the heavy guitar that runs through the back of this song is superb. the song opens up by the second bar with a much more Industrial sound and a vocal that seems to be delivered from hell. This is driving, authentic and full of an aggression that gets in your bones and makes you want to act a bit crazy. Fantastic!

Cryptorchild—-Layered with sounds that any Manson fan is familiar with, this song begins a bit sedate…but you know that the mayhem is sure soon to follow. The vocal is pretty damn pleasant! The lyrics are though provoking and causes you to listen closely to catch every word. this is another outstanding track that is somehow relevant to this crazy story…I just think it is great music. Of course the chanted chorus is something that is history making and a shining example of the genius that lies underneath the oddity. This is stellar.

Deformography—-Laden heavy with Reznor contributed sounds, the footprint on the music is unmistakable. This is fantastic…Manson delivers a lazy and ghoulish vocal that allows you to easily sink into the depravity. This is classic stuff…the chorus is a huge affair…another of those little dittys that lies dormant until you awake it and then refuses to leave your brain…welcome home!

Wormboy—-Returning to a much clearer sound and a more focused Industrial sound, this is another of those tracks that I believe Trent had his hands all over. Manson delivers perhaps the most accessible vocals of his career…the vision and the delivery is more driven and clear as anything he has ever released. This is fantastic..the mismatched drums and the odd synth sounds create a nice noise that is like a warm blanket.

Mister Superstar—-This is a classic example of 90’s styled Industrial Music…the whispered vocals, the rapid drums and the annoying little synth sounds all combine to create this huge masterpiece of a song that plays very well, even today. The societal distrust and vehemence is everywhere…the driving and escalating sounds are fantastic…this is fantastic…why have I not listened to this in such a long time?

Angel With The Scabbed Wings—-Returning to more full on Metal sounds, the guitars come at you in short blasts that let you know you are in for a raucous time. The drums hit heavy and the bass delivery is the backbone of the song. There are some nice leads on this track…accompanied by the manic and frightening vocal form Manson all come together in a perfect storm of classic Industrial Mayhem. Another of my really favorite tracks from this release.

Kinderfeld—-Manson continues to deliver vocals that are a mix of demonic whispers and manic drug use on this track…set to a ghostly musical soundtrack that still gives me a slight chill when I listen back to it after all of this time. This ties all of the past few songs together…creating a conceptual sound even if you don’t buy into the whole ‘story’. This is a masterful release!

Antichrist Superstar—-Yet another pivotal and shining moment from this release, this cornerstone song seems to pull everything together for me. The music is of course laden with many classic 90’s Industrial style sounds…the backdrop of the song making me think of a huge Nazi gathering. This has so much energy and vehemence, you will have problems sitting still through this entire song…this is stellar shit…classic Manson and one of the most important releases of the 90’s…this is why!!!

1996—-Returning with full throttle Metal and a vocal that is steeped into too much Crowley reading, this is a fantastic example of how great Manson can be…here and there. This is driving…and reminds me a lot of Get Your Gunn….the drums are incredible on this track…as are the the vocals which switch between manipulated and full throttle at the drop of a hat….this is stellar!!!

Minute Of Decay—-What a great bass line that starts off this track…set to the cymbal touches from the drums, you are good to go from the very beginning of the song. The vocal enters at an almost whisper…typical Manson style!!! This is rather sedate at the onset…Manson delivers line after line that allows the listener to really worry about the singers sanity…than you realize this is a normal day for Brian!!! This is perfect!!!

The Reflecting God—-Just classic stuff….Manson enters right at the beginning reminding us that our world is just an ashtray…my sentiment exactly. This is intense stuff, even though the music is rather genial and full of accessibility. Only the vocal and the lyrical content causes you to take pause and question every word that you are hearing…wondering if you fall into the world which he refers to. When Manson really lets loose with his vocal, you are overcome by a huge emotional surge…this is fantastic stuff!!! Yeah, this is Columbine style shit!!!

Man That You Fear—-Ending the proper release in a moody and somber nature, Manson enters sounding even more morose and manic that you though possible. This helps to really tie the entire release together. Giving us a unique insight to the mind of Manson, you are allowed to really understand some of what he is all about…maybe…perhaps it is all a big trick! This is layered and morose music…allowing a perfect pedestal for Manson to preach his own religion to the masses of people who choose to listen. There is a nice Crazy/Genius mix with Manson…you decide which you prefer.

Untitled—-Continuing for a brief time the song which ended the release, this is just a macabre mish-mash of almost undecipherable words that are robotic and sinister…perfect!

****1-2 out of 5

Testament / Practice What You Preach

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 2900000010UTC 12 by marky7235

Practice What You Preach

Practice What You Preach is the third album by thrash metal band Testament, released in 1989 (see 1989 in music). The album’s lyrical themes are more about politics and society than the occult themes of the band’s previous two albums. The title track of this album was a moderate mainstream rock hit, which featured a music video that gained substantial MTV airplay, as did “The Ballad”. Practice What You Preach reached #77 on the American music charts. The album was recorded live[1] at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, CA[1], but is considered a studio album nonetheless.

The Analysis:

Practice What You Preach—-Let me begin by saying that I consider this release to be one of the most important albums released in the whole of the late 1980’s. This release took melodic thrash to a whole new level…this song is a prime example. The bass of the song is overwhelming, but there is a vocal melody that was groundbreaking. Even though it seems like the vocal is pushed way to the back of the mix, it works incredibly well here. This song…for me, at least, is a masterpiece of the late 80’s era.

Perilous Nation—-Beginning with that fantastic, trademark Testament bass line, the intensity just seems to build and build. The drums on this song are stellar…the deep sound of the track as ominous as the lyrics. This is aggressive but probably the most accessible testament ever. Chuck almost mimics an early Vince Neil on this track!!! When you factor in the old, but incredibly prevalent lyrics…you shake your head and ask why this was not a million copy seller!!!

Envy Life—-Much more steeped in a Heavy Metal sound…until that growl rattles across your speakers. The vocal clears into that pure 80’s style…but the lyrics make you sit up and pay attention. The sound and delivery of the song reminds you of anything even remotely fantastic that Metallica did in the early days…this could have very well been an early track of theirs. This is Thrash Metal at it’s very best. Stellar!!!

Time Is Coming—-This has a fantastic instrumental delivery…the sound is so layered yet remarkably fluid. The energy is almost undeniable…when the vocal enters, you are again delivered a classic Testament track. This has a melody and damn catchy chorus that still has me coming back after 21 years later and still smiling…let the music and the words speak for themselves!!!

Blessed In Contempt—-Layered and delivered with an intense bass from the very beginning, the introduction of a much more forward drum track delivers this song at a blistering pace. The leads are much more apparent and the vocal is brilliant. Delivered in a way that is both manic and understandable, this is one of the most accessible Thrash tracks I have ever heard…this is stellar and stands the test of time incredibly well.

Greenhouse Effect—-Thus begins a trilogy of songs that to me where some of the most important from this time period and genre. The music is aggressive as hell, but maintains a melody that will stick in your brain…well, for 20 some years. The vocals are stellar and accessible and the lyrics are a relevant today as they were the moment they were penned. This is stellar, prophetic and damn accessible…listen and learn……! THIS IS BRILLIANT!!!

Sins Of Omission—-For me, one of the most accessible tracks on this release. The music begins rather sedate, but opens up and becomes all encompaasing…delivering line after line of deep bass that will chill you. The vocal is freakin’amazing…the lyrics as important as now as they were then. The band creates a damn melodic Thrash masterpiece that I have listened to 1000’s of time since it’s inception. This is fantastic…not to be missed…and forever to be appreciated!!!

The Ballad—-This proved to be a rather positive and popular song for the band. The band even managed to make a video for this song…which for a Thrash band was pretty phenomena in 1989….see video on my Facebook page [Mark J. Maras]. this is damn pleasant and rather accessible from the onset…carrying all the hallmarks of the late 80’s Metal scene. to many, this would appear to be a sellout…to me, it is just damn good music…say what you will.

Nightmare [Coming Back To You]—-Coming out of the gate at you at about a moderate 100 miles per hour, the intensity that the band delivers this song is incredible. I still wonder why this was not the band that Metallica was…the melody is even better, the practice is perfect and the delivery is 100% dedication….to me, this was a band that was ripped off.

Confusion Fusion [Instrumental]—-This song, although to some may be wasted space, only proves to  me the melodic components of the band that go way beyond the vocal. The Bass section of this band is incredibly stellar. There is no more melody produced in a band than right here…this is accessible, memorable and mindful of how great a band this really is!!!

****1/2 out of 5

Blink 182 / Greatest Hits

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 2700000010UTC 12 by marky7235

Greatest Hits

Blink-182 is an American pop punk band from San Diego, California, formed in 1992.[2] The band formed as “Blink” with vocalist and guitarist Tom DeLonge, vocalist and bassist Mark Hoppus and drummer Scott Raynor. In 1998, midway through a U.S. tour, current drummer Travis Barker replaced Scott Raynor.

After releasing debut album Cheshire Cat (1994), the band achieved moderate success with Dude Ranch (1997), now having sold over a million copies. However, the trio achieved even greater success with the multi-platinum selling Enema of the State (1999). Their following two albums maintained their popularity; Take Off Your Pants and Jacket (2001) and Blink-182 (2003) before DeLonge left the group in early 2005, initiating an indefinite hiatus. DeLonge went on to form Angels & Airwaves, while Hoppus and Barker continued playing music together in +44. After some tragic events involving the band and its entourage, Blink-182 reunited in February 2009 and a new album is in the works.[3]

Blink-182 has sold over 25 million albums worldwide.

The Analysis:

Carousel—-These early singles really captured blink at the most raw and driven of their storied career. This was a band that was newly signed to a major and was looking to really score big with the emerging community. This was California Pop/Punk at it’s best…the energy was remarkable and the snotty nosed vocal was perfect for the time and the sunshine. It took some time for this band to submerge itself in its silly reputation…the music stood well enough on its own…without all of the gross jokes and naked videos.

M+M’s—-Seriously…this is as catchy and fine tuned as anything that The Queers have put out in their time. This second single is much more polished and better produced. The drums are incredible and the pace of the guitars are blistering….but the vocal remains steady and full of emotion…to me this was the remarkable period of Blink!!!

Dammit—-Much more bass driven and with a more venomous vocal, this was noisy and on the level with Social Distortion. Seriously, the drums and the guitar are so sharp and driven…without either of them this would be a underproduced pseudo-punk song. This has energy and a remarkable genuity to it…a favorite…this is real for me!

Josie—-These early days, before the Boys began to become a parody of themselves, produced some really power packed Pop/Punk tracks that still to this day remain my favorites…the early and the late days of the band show the true personalities of the group…before the label pressure and the stupid fart jokes….lets hope the new material is MUCH more mature!

What’s My Age Again?—-This marks the beginning of what I call Blink 182’s Beastie Boys period…most of the music from here on out was pretty silly up until the last release from the band. This particular single, has some really high points. The melody and the band harmonies are pretty incredible…and the sentiment of the song can make you step back and take pause if it catches you on the right day. This is fantastic…I never tire of this.

All The Small Things—-Although this track has some really great musical moments, it is mostly overlooked because of the juvenile nature of the lyrics. If the truth be told, listen to this without the lyrics and you realize how deep-seeded in the scene that the band still was when it released this single. This is as good as anything SD has released in the past 10 years, as good as anything from Bad Religion or NOFX….embrace it….yeah, you Tina!!

Adam’s Song—-Most people who dislike this band really hate it because of vocals like this. to me, this makes the band even more endearing and attractive. The voice seems to match the lyrics for me…there are incredibly highs and emotional lows…this is triumphant. I love this stuff!!! Pop…Punk…Sellout….whatever you want to call me….

Man Overboard—-This is incredible…..am I the only 40 something man who really loves this band? The melody that this band produces is incredible…Travis delivers drums that are 100% all of the time…and when the two voices and two guitars come together it creates this wall of sound that is incredible….jeez!!!

The Rock Show—-Aggressive and melodic, the drums, as always stand out. This is driving and energetic as hell…it will plant in your brain and will live there forever. The lyrics are simple, but so damn relatable. This is as good as anything that The Ramones managed…with enough surf attitude to keep Queers fans happy. This is wonderful!!!!

First Date—-Yes, this is a very juvenile song…but listen to the words…can you not remember the very same feelings that you had in your lifetime? Set to the frantic pace of the music, I bet you $100 that your heart was moving this fast. This is nostalgic, modern and delivered with a Surf sound that would play remarkably well at CBGB’s.

Stay Together For The Kids—-The Boys began to grow up with alarming rapidity. This is an intriguing and desolate track. the chorus is bigger than any emotion you can imagine if you have been through this…this is remarkably insightful and painful. When the voices come together…it is simply amazing…this is the sound of All The Small Things melting away into very large matters….wonderful!!!

Feeling This—-This has never been a huge favorite of mine….until the chorus. This is a spectacular display of the classic punk whine…ever!!!! When the voices change back and forth…with the incredible guitar melodies and the drums that leave your forehead swollen…Jeez…can you not love this band!!!

I Miss You—-Call me a poseur or whatever…this remains my favorite Blink song EVER. I love the gentleness of the song, the adult attitude and the blatant display of musical ability that far exceeds the all out Pop/Punk mentality. To me this is brilliant…the gentle switch between vocalists gives the song a huge emotional feel. This is brilliance that people wont get for another 20 years!

Down—-Beginning with a nice solid bass assault, the song take s a really nice aggressive feel. The track slows a bit to allow for the vocal, but the anger and ire of the music is not allowed to remain dormant for too long. This is a marvelous, melodic track that transfers feelings magically through your headphones…my whole body wants with the song. This is magical!

Always—-This was the point when Tom and his more ambitious plans for the band could really be heard. This is much more layered and full of atmosphere and texture. This was pre-Angels & Airwaves….this single would have fir perfectly on any of the three releases that AVA made. This is intense, bitter, real and emotional. It burns my nerve ending!

Not Now—-Clocking in a 4+ minutes, this track has that predictable pre- AVA sound. This leads me to wonder if this was all at the basis of the band separating for the time that it did. I also wonder if the rest of the band is convinced that Tom has gotten all of this stuff out of his system and that they will return to the juvenile tomfoolery that it was. The anticipation of a new recording is almost excruciating…it will prove interesting.

Another Girl Another Planet—-Right from the onset….Fantastic!!! This is brilliant…the melodic sounds of the instruments are incredible…the vocal has that familiar whine that the punk movement defined. the energy lacks a bit with this song…the beginning of the end? Perhaps…or a break before the beginning of something magnificent and real….the pressure is one guys….make me smile!!!

***** out of 5 [!!!!!]

Metal For The Masses [Vol. 4] / Various [2 Disc Set]

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 2700000010UTC 12 by marky7235

Continuing the highly successful Metal For The Masses series, the Century Family unseals Metal For The Masses Volume Four, once again,exclusive to Hot Topic locations nationwide. The 2-disc compilation contains 40 tracks totaling over 2 hours of music. The artwork for Volume Four incorporates the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse to stunning effect and also depicts the album art for each featured artist within as well as additional artist and album information. Volume Four comes housed in a deluxe double Digipak and is available now at all Hot Topic locations nationwide.

The Analysis: Disc One

The End Of The World [God Forbid]—-Coming out of your speakers at hyper speed, this is fine Metal delivered with blistering intensity. For me, the vocal is a bit generic, although this has never been a very favorite band of mine. What is stellar is the instrumentation and the vocal melody. This has some pretty great drums, an incredible bass line and some clean vocals that provide all of the melody you need.

Weathered Soul [Manntis]—-I like this…I have not listened to this comp in quite sometime…it is almost like everything is brand new to me again! This has a great crunch to the music..the vocal is brutal and at the onset reminds me of early Fear Factory. This has a great melody line…the leads are huge as are the drums. This is a band I need to investigate…if you see this release in a bargain bin, pick it up!

These Days [Diecast]—-This comes roaring out at you from a darkness that literally breathes aggression. I love the double bass sound and the way that the vocal magically switches from growl to clean vocal. the song is laden in emotion and leans very heavy on the Nu-Metal doorstep. This is nice!

Days Are Numbered [Brand New Sin]—-Just freakin brilliant….if you are in the mood for nice stoner rock, this is the band that will satisfy you every time. The sound of the band is recorded in a retro way that allows you to think it is much older than it actually is. The chorus enters this track and makes you think of the big 80’s style verses that used to blast from speakers everywhere. This has a nice taste of the dirty South…nice!

Without A Trace [Agents Of Man]—-Beginning with a soft acoustic sound, the song comes out at you with a nice aggression that is delivered with some almost punk style vocal…they slowly disappear and allow for a clean melodic voice. I have listened to this a number of times…I just can’t wrap my heart around this.

Enlightened By The Cold [Shadows Fall]—-One of my more favorite bands, this proves to me that Heavy Metal is alive and well in this century. This borders on the edge of every musical genre in the Metal Community you could imagine…thus appealing to the teenagers, emos and crusty guys like me. This has a nice brutality, a great lead line, incredible drums and a killer vocal.

Nemesis [Arch Enemy]—-Long a favorite band of mine, I wish they would hurry up with a new release already. Angela can sing like no man ever dreamed of…the brutality and force of the vocal literally shakes you to your bones…the band that is behind the voice is loaded with even more brutality than the double edge tongue that Angela delivers. This is heaven for me…I never get tired of listening to these songs. Just brilliant!!!

No Compromise [The Haunted]—-Taking a bit to really get started, this is another of those bands that have never really found a place in my heart. I love this song, but a release full of material sounding like this was a bit hard for me to find. The brief glimpses of brilliance do not make a stellar band. The standout for me is the very upfront in your face drums!!!

Slaves Shall Serve [Behemoth]—-The mighty Behemoth!!!! One of my personal favorite bands and one that in my book has never made a misstep. This band has always stayed true to its vision and intent…delivering a blistering and aggressive brand of Black Metal that will leave your brain echoing inside of itself. This is masterful…intense and brutal as you know what. The kings…hold on guys…..

Enslaved And Condemned [Old Man’s Child]—-This is another of those brilliant bands that are incapable of making a bad record. Resplendent with that cold European Black Metal sound, slight but magnificent symphonic sounds and a vocal that rattles your bones, this is a band that is very dear to my heart. I love this stuff…I could listen to this all day!!!

Perpetual Horrors [Naglfar]—-Man…..I need to find out some more stuff about this band. I love the vocal…this is very primitive Dimmu…the overt symphonic sound is incredible and the sound, even though a bit primitive, shows huge promise. I love this stuff…the drums..even though pushed to the back of the mix, really shine. This is incrredible….why have I not heard more from this band?

Possessions [Strapping Young Lad]—-Devin Townsend delivers a track that really borders on Industrial Metal. This is not to say that this is bad, but the change between genres on this compilation is a bit abrupt. I like Townsend and his many incarnations…but not enough to really start collecting it. this is acceptale….but far from stellar.

The Psalm Of Lydia [Nevermore]—-Nevermore is one of those long-term outfits that you either love or dismiss. This is a pretty great song…the power chords that the band deliver are pretty impressive. I love the high and accentuated leads from the production. I could do without the overblown Power Metal vocal though…it just does not fit in to well with the music for me. This is not to say that this is bad, it just sounds like this is a band, that after all of these years, is still struggling for an identity.

It All Dies Today [Eyes Of Fire]—-I’m really not to familiar with this band….the sound is a bit underproduced and removed…never really reaching your speakers with the intensity that you think it deserves. There is so much going on in the backdrop of the song, that you lose much of the vocal because of the lack of clarity and production. Too bad…I think this is a pretty great melodic Metal track.

Splintered Visions [Into Eternity]—-Well, right from the onset this reeks of progressive genius. The chords that are released from the lead and the bass alike just captures and hypnotised me. The vocal is stellar…I love this stuff. This is like the perfect mix of 80’s hair metal progression with 00’s brutality and grunts. I love this…you will not hear one single complaint form me…sometimes I’m so slow when it comes to some of this stuff…where the hell have I been living…under a rock?

The Pestilence That Walketh In Darkness [Cryptopsy]—-Right off, this is a surprise for me…not really familiar with this band, i was listening with preconceived notions based on the name alone. The song starts off rather sedate and accessible…but the brutality grows and grows until you are planted deep in a nice mix of Black Metal, Grind and Progressive chords and lyrics. This gives you a nice taste of all of them…magnificent!

Bastard Son [Watch Them Fall]—-This is another of those bands that combine a nice retro sound with more progressive elements of Thrash and Death Metal. I love the voice on this guy…the energy that the band manages to produce is pretty incredible…Tthe drums are freakin magnificent. When the whole band joins in on the vocal, you are whipped into a frenzy from the energy of the music alone. This has nice Maiden style guitar galloping that makes you comfortable…only the vocal reminds you this is not your brother’s favorite band!!!

Silence Is Deafening [Napalm Death]—-Have no doubts, this long-term band is alive and well…and still thrashing the hell out of your brain. This is so layered with instruments, that the distorted delivery seems appropriate and like nothing else you would get from any other band. These guys are some of the kings of the genre, and they still deliver enough brutality and energy to make you say…..OH SHIT!!!

The Sunset Will Never Charm Us [Despised Icon]—-This is very noisy….the vocal is extreme and somewhat comforting, but the music seems to lack a clear direction and ends up all over the place. This is like rudimentary Thrash that still needs time to mature.

Harnessing Ruin [Immolation]—-Another of those bands that really hold a special place in my heart. This is as aggressive as two fists right in the fucking face…and delivered with enough power to send you reeling back for two blocks. This track is delivered at a much deeper recording level than the newer material…the bass and the deep tone of the vocal almost blocks out everything else…this is not the more polished 2009 Immoliation….none the less, the brutality and the venom is well intact. This brings a huge smile to my face!

Disc Two:

Alt Lys Er Sunnet Hen [Dimmu Borgir]—-Anyone who has read my blog entries for any amount of time knows that I have a huge love affair with this band. There is seldom that has ever been a misstep in my book and this song is just another crown jewel in the evolution of the band. shagrath sounds literally possessed…the foreign language delivery makes it even more menacing and the keyboard orchestration allows this track to be HUGE!!!

Nerve [Soilwork]—-Although I have never really been int  this band too much, this song may make me rethink my choice. I like the far away slight orchestration sounds of the band…the vocal smacks you right upside the head and the slower interludes gives the song a huge substance. This is fantastic…I love this.

Like You Better Dead [In Flames]—- Aggressive leads set the song off to a great start. the drums are pretty far up in the front of the mix. The vocal enters and I find my enthusiasm deflate…this really does not impress me.

Shed [Meshuggah]—-Just freakin’ aggression!!!! Right from the onset, your head almost explodes…the scream slows to allow the guitar to settle in a bit and the bass line to capture a permanent place in your soul. The vocal returns…in a deep and menacing tone…leaving me with goosebumps. This is stellar…the density and depth of the song is incredible…the cross over appeal is magnificent. This one is a keeper!

Kill Tank [Bleed The Sky]—-Right out of the gate, this sits in the pit of my stomach and brings a smile to my face. there is just enough melody and substance to this mayhem to really appeal to many Metal and Punk fans as well. This is really a stellar track…when the clean vocal hits, you are wondering if you are listening to a more aggressive Fear Factory….brilliant!

Secondary Effects [Darkane]—-This is brilliant…a nice mic of aggressive Thrash and layered with elements of Death, the vocal comes through and shows the true roots of the band…settled deep in the Exodus style of thrash Metal with a bit of an updated sound. this is aggressive, but incredibly accessible and listenable. I love this stuff!!!

Door 2.12 [Mnemic]—-Wow, I really did not expect to like this, based on past listening experiences. This from the very first notes reminds me of classic Testament. I love this stuff…there is a remarkable melody, a nice aggression…all delivered with a sound that is damn accessible…this is stellar!

Scrutinized [Hypocrisy]—-This is another of those bands that are hard pressed to do anything bad in my book! I love the aggression of this band and I love the dedication to delivery pure and brutal Death Metal that shines above all the rest. This has great crunching guitars…the drums are intense and the vocal will leave you wringing your hands because of the sheer intensity. Just what I needed today…remarkable!!!

Now Thy Death Day Come [Exodus]—-The God-Fathers of modern Day Thrash are still alive and kicking….your ass!!! The sound has seldom deviated from the beginning…the production rarely gets better, but you ALWAYS know what to expect from an Exodus recording. This is predictable and as freakin’ fantastic as ever!!!

Tree Of Life And Death [Cathedral]—-This is intense as fuck from the very onset. the music is delivered in a huge mess, but somehow it magically seems to make sense. The vocal is delivered in that early day Thrash manner that makes me think of the very beginning days of Slayer. This is loaded with intelligent and frightening lyrics…but never loses any of its demented feel despite them. This is a band that had a direction and is still headed in it!!!

Sundown [Fireball Ministry]—-This comes across as hollow to me and incredibly misplaced on this compilation. This is much more Pop/Rock with a vocal that rivals Ozzy. To me, this is a waste of space…there could have been such better material put in its place.

Lightbringer/Demo [Nebula]—-This is raw and rude…just as Metal was meant to be. There is nothing polished or professed about this demo track. The metal quotient is a bit hollow for me, but it would be interesting to hear the fully polished finished track. In this state, it just blends in too well with hundreds of other average bands.

Everything’s On T.V. [The Hellicopters]—-Wow, to me this is just slop! This is a quasi-UFO sound-alike band that is delivering sounds that have been re-hashed and re-re-hashed. This is just a waste…this is not Metal!!!

Goin’ Down [The Illuminati]—-Ugh…..oh lord!!! This is quasi Metal that is so steeped in Blues that I can’t even begin to like this….next…PLEASE!!!

Three Sheets To The Wind [The Black Halos]—-The track begins with a huge intro, the drums enter and seem to take control of the entire direction of the song. the downfall enters when the vocal does. This sounds like a cheap and BAD ACCEPT impression…please…why do bands make music that they think will be successful riding on what has already been done before….I’m so over this!

Love Me Electric [Crash Kelly]—-Well, it would seem obvious to me that the last 1/4 of this compilation is steeped in some Blues bullshit that has nothing to do with Metal. This is crossover Pop/Metal crap that makes me want to throw this against the wall.

Gimme Some Lip [The Thieves]—-Oh For God’s Sakes……….

The Day Of Neverending/Demo [Scott Reeder]—-This is nice, with an alluring Alternative Metal sound that makes me think of bands like Alice In Chains. This has some nice powerful guitar leads and a drum track that although moved to the back still shines through. The production of this ‘demo’ track is pretty damn awesome.

Things Are Looking Up [American Heartbreak]—-Lord….even more blues influenced sad excuses for Metal….this is not Metal people…this is pop/rock that does not belong on this compilation next to bands like Dimmu or Immolation. This is embarrassing!

Brand New Hate [Backyard Babies]—-This is much more Post-Punk metal than Heavy Metal….although it is much better than most of the slop on the last part of this compilation. Still, this deviates from so much of the material on this release that you wonder if you will ever invest in another one of these again!!!

*** out of 5

Now That’s What I Call The 80’s [Various] Part II

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 2500000010UTC 12 by marky7235

Now That's What I Call The Eighties

The Analysis:

She’s A Beauty [The Tubes]—-This has always been a very favorite track of mine…I love the great use of real instrumentation and the subtle inclusion of synth sounds as well. the vocal is just classic 80’s..the song has a great energy and a fantastic video to go along with it.

Too Shy [Kajagoogoo]—-This band literally defines the term one-hit wonder! It did not help that the band fired Limahl as their lead singer after finally gaining world-wide success and recognition. This is classic 80’s synth pop…the band appealed to the masses because of the pretty boy look and syrupy sweet synth sounds that made up the body of this song…too good to last, it didn’t.

Total Eclipse Of The Heart [Bonnie Tyler]—-This Jim Steinman penned and produced smash hit fir the vocal style of Tyler to a tee. I would love to hear Meatloaf sing this song…just one time. this has that huge epic sound of Steinman all over it…the video is bizarre enough to keep your attention and the smoky vocal from Tyler with that classic 80’s hair all were ingredients for a worldwide smash!

A Million Miles Away [The Plimsouls]—-One of those rare 80’s tracks that I’m really not familiar with. this is a nice rocker…the real instrumentation fas exceeds and kind of synth delivery. The vocal is classic 80’s and the chorus is huge fun. When you hear the chorus, you know that you have heard this many times but never really attributed it to any band name. This is nice…a bit generic but lots of fun.

True [Spandau Ballet]—-A timeless classic from one of the most suave and sophisticated bands of the 80’s, this was also later sampled rather successfully by art-rap group PM Dawn. This is so smooth..delivered with huge piano sounds that are lush and endearing…a vocal that is loaded with finesse and style…this was a huge track for this band in the US..although rather huge overseas, the band never really repeated this success again in the States.

One Thing Leads To Another [The Fixx]—-Cy Curnin and Co. had a pretty great career in the US throughout the 80’s and early 90’s delivering nice rock-based tales of politics and alienation. There was a remarkable contagious quality to the band that was evident from the very first release and this carried them through right up to about 92 or so when the disappeared. They now tour the nostalgia circuit and sound as brilliant as ever. This is not a favorite track of mine from the band, but this is probably the highest charting single from them.

Rockit [Herbie Hancock]—-A fantastic blend of Electro and synth laden hyper beats that only served as a warning to what the future might be capable of. Hancock made a BRILLIANT video to go along with this track…the energy is freakin’ amazing…you can dance to it or you can just sit back and enjoy the hyper driven beats…a really great memory.

All Night Long [Lionel Ritchie]—-One of many in the string of hits from this former Commodore, Lionel was unstoppable in the 80’s delivering track after track of brilliant dance inspired R n B. This is fantastic…the video was pretty fun as well. There has rarely been such a silky smooth singer that has crossed over to all genres of music as easily as Ritchie…still recording and touring, Ritchie is best known these days as the father of Nicole Ritchie!

Uptown Girl [Billy Joel]—-Joel continued to deliver chart singles well into the 80’s even after he fell out of popularity with most music listeners…let’s face it, he did not really fit in the New Wave/Synth driven bands of the 80’s. None the less, a stellar voice and great music helped to keep Joel on the charts until the mid-80’s when he seemed to slow down and take a break…by then, the climate of music had changed to much to welcome him back. Still, this golden throat singer forever has a place in popular music history!

Girls Just Want To Have Fun [Cyndi Lauper]—-The emergence on Lauper on video and the charts was almost as shocking as that of Boy George…many people were really not sure what to make of this pip-squeak voiced oddity. None the less, the public adored this release…providing a platform for Lauper and a number of Top Ten singles. This quirky little single began it all and Lauper still records and has a pretty magnificent career…talent somehow manages to shine through!

Rebel Yell [Billy Idol]—-Building a career based on appearance and attitude, Idol continued much in the vein of his former band Generation X. This song was HUGE…as was the album of the same name…spawning 4 top ten hits and a career for the peroxide blond punk rocker. this track has huge doses of attitude and enough rock elements to cross over to all audiences. this is brilliant…still!

Footloose [Kenny Loggins]—-Proving that there was life after the meanderings of Loggins & Messina, this title track to the ever endearing musical has always grated my nerves a bit. None the less, this was a huge song and the Soundtrack itself spawned numerous top 10 hits. Loggins still enjoys a great career, but this is his shining moment.

No More Words [Berlin]—-Terri Nunn and Co. delivered a debut release that was filled with numerous top ten singles..this follow up continued the streak of New Wave inspired music that culminated in the sap from Top Gun and the eventual end of the band. This song, is a nice little track…it shows Nunn’s vocals off masterfully…the slight anger that rides through the voice as well as the passion…combined with the synth/guitar based instrumentation…how could you not love this?

Sister Christian [Night Ranger]—-One of the bands that made a huge splash during the Hair Metal phase of the 80’s, this single managed to cross over to all audiences with mass appeal. The track is just pumped up enough to remind you that this is rock, delivered by a pretty band and full of lyrics that are touching. The chorus is fantastic…and the end of the song just rips me to shreds….I love this piece of nostalgia.

I Can Dream About You [Dan Hartman]—-Hartman had a pretty fair solo career, but he is probably best known for writing huge songs for other people. This track was a favorite on dancefloors every where. The video was great fun…showing off the showmanship of Hartman…he continued to write and produce for others until his death in the early 90’s from AIDS related complications.

What’s Love Got To Do With It [Tina Turner]—-Turner struggled musically after her split from Ike until the release of Private Dancer…I’m not sure even she was ready for the worldwide acclaim that this album would provide. Delivering I believe 2 #1 singles and 4 Top Ten hits, this elevated the career of Ms. Turner to a whole new level…and righly so…this is fantastic R n B with a huge crossover sound that played well on white radio as well.

Sunglasses At Night [Corey Hart]—-This Canadian made a big splash on the charts with this track and a few follow-up singles…mainly based on his remarkable voice and good looks that caused girls to swoon all over the world. This is a great reminder of why he did so well for a bit…the voice has a unique sound..one that has not often been repeated…what ever happened to……

Missing You [John Waite]—-Gosh, this is a fantastic memory. Waite had one of those voices that had emotion all over it…released at a time when cross over hits were happening everywhere, this pleased the pop rock crowd as well as the big shoulder pad groups that flooded the dance floors as well. At the time…I was all about Pink Floyd, but this track managed to filter through and find a place in my permanent memory bank.

Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go [Wham]—-I was never a big Wham fan…truth be told I could not stand them!!! But you can not deny the irresistible pop sensibility of many of their songs. The pretty boy image carried them a long way…to me, they were too much of a Duran copycat…been there done that.

Obsession [Animotion]—-A Human League rip-off band that gets my vote for one of the ugliest 80’s bands ever, I can barely watch this video without cringing. This song never did anything for me…perhaps provided a momentary distraction…but that is all.

Don’t You [Forget About Me] [Simple Minds]—-Simple Minds are one of those bands that flew under the radar of most popular musical genres, although they managed to maintain a hard-core of super fans that have continued to support them to this day. This is typical Euro-80’s pop/rock…ala Big Country. This sounds so fresh as I listen back on this now though…a band to investigate further.

Everybody Wants To Rule The World [Tears For Fears]—-Hailing from Britain and capturing the charts worldwide with this debut release, the band rode high with this album and single for a few years. This was another band that managed to capture the top ten numerous times with the first release. The band roared back and proved they were much more than one-hit wonders. Perhaps one of my most endearing favorites from the decade of excess, this band continues to tour and record and produce songs just as big as this…legendary at this point!

Walking On Sunshine [Katrina And the Waves]—-Ugh….nothing about this song appeals to me…next…PLEASE!!!

What About Love [Heart]—-Heart managed to find a huge following in the mid 80’s by producing somewhat sappy hit singles that toned down the classic rock element, but delivered huge doses of sentiment none the less. This is emotional and shows the talents of bot Wilson sisters in a magnificent way…if this does not conjure up memories, perhaps you have none left.

The Power Of Love [Huey Lewis And The News]—-Currently on a 25th Anniversary tour, this is one of the few Huey songs that i actually liked. something about this guy and the style of music always grated on my nerves…not to dispel the fact that he had a mas appeal…this band managed quite a success in the 80’s…just not for me.

Oh Sheila [Ready for The World]—-I actually think that this was more of a 90’s song, but that is just nit-picking. this is one of those generic R n B bands that seemed to crop all over in the late 80’s/early 90’s. The song is catchy…the singer is a flamer and the beat is fun…but never really stuck with me for more than a moment.

We Built This City [Starship]—-It is amazing to think that the legendary Jefferson Airplane evolved into this pop/rock band that scored hit after hit in the 80’s. This is syrup…with extra sweetener. The vocal is outstanding…I perhaps like that the best about this. Otherwise, there are so many other better tracks they could have put on this comp….just sayin’.

Broken Wings [Mr. Mister]—-another of those generic singles that seemed to ride the charts high for quite sometime. the band managed a few top 10 hits from this release, but seemed to fall off the radar as tastes began to change. This is nice and lush…delivered with emotion and a musical soundtrack that is almost as powerful as the lyric itself. The recipe worked…for awhile.

Conga [Gloria Estafan]—-Ugh….Ugh….Ugh……just sayin’

Addicted To Love [Robert Palmer]—-RIP to one suave ass Mother Fucker. Palmer had a recipe down pat that appealed to mass audiences across the world and the ability to make videos that became even more popular than his recordings. The voice is golden and not likely to be thought of when you think of the 80’s, but he hit his stride at the right time and the right place and the rest in indelible history. Incredible!!!

Something About You [Level 42]—-Laden with classic Euro-Trash beats…I was hooked from the first listen. although this band really struggled to follow-up to this mastery, there are a smattering handful of songs that remind me why I love this band so much. This combines the suave Euro style with synth laden music that played very well on MTV and in US clubs…brilliant!!!

Your Love [The Outfield]—-This has always been a very favorite band of mine…the voice on this guy is freakin’ amazing. The debut and follow-up release did so well for this band…then they managed to disappear into nothingness after that. I would love to hear if this guy can still deliver vocals like this…this is simply amazing!

 Higher Love [Stevie Winwood]—-Rarely has an artist enjoyed so many resurgent career highs as Winwood. This can only be attributed to stellar songwriting and a remarkably accessible voice. I never get tired of listening to Arc Of A Diver….this is a fantastic track…it inspires in me an elation that is almost uncontrollable…fantastic!!!

Word Up [Cameo]—-another band that was a permanent imprint of the 70’s and enjoyed a huge career boost in the 80’s thanks to the video age and a remarkably sexual video. This track is addictive as hell, plays really well even today and is a funk filled blast that will last well into eternity.

Walk Like an Egyptian [The Bangles]—-Another all girl-group from the 80’s, The Bangles never really found the huge success that was graced upon The Go-Go’s. This is a favorite track of mine…only because I change the lyrics to Walk With An Erection…LMAO!!! This band never really did too much for me, but it is nice to have this on this collection.

Everybody Have Fun Tonight [Wang-Chung]—-Another of those songs that seemed to have mass appeal to everyone but me…I guess this had a bit too much of a mainstream sound to it. The video was lots of fun, but I could never take this too seriously. The hooks are grand, but they fall from my memory after the final note.

I Just Died In Your Arms Tonite [Cutting Crew]—-This is one of those songs that seemed to hit just at the right time in my emotional development…I still swoon whenever I hear the tender vocal and the intense lyrics that are delivered. We have all been there and we can all relate…this is masterful synth pop that still sounds as grand today as it did when it was released.

Head To Toe [Lisa Lisa & The Cult Jam]—-Full of deep funk Euro-trash beats and a striking vocal, this has so many remixes available it could keep you dancing at the time into the next millennium. This features those great breaks that were just emerging at the time and a chorus that sucked you in from the very first listen…especially if you were in love!!!

Here I Go Again [Whitesnake]—-allowing Coverdale to deliver another of his trademark Plant impersonations, this was a hair metal hit that managed to cross over into the mainstream thanks to a great sexy video. Whitesnake continued with hits for a time after this but the hair metal curse eventually took them into the depths of darkness as well.

Heaven Is A Place On Earth [Belinda Carlisle]—-Carlisle stepped away from The Go-Go’s to release a solo record that produced this single, that really, was not that much different from the band. Allowing her quivering vocal to be in the spotlight even more, Carlisle still danced the same way, acted the same way…the only thing missing was the leadership from Weidlin!!!

Push It [Salt N’ Pepa]—-What can I possibly say about this single that has not been said already? This was groundbreaking, innovative and responsible for bringing rap to the top 40 charts along with Run DMC. This all girl ensemble pushed things even further…allowing themselves to deliver sexual innuendo to the public while still providing everyone with great beats and scratches. This is historic!

Hands To Heaven [Breathe]—-Taking the suave and sophistication of Spandau Ballet to a whole new level, Breathe produced a number of singles that were so emotion laden that they almost brough tears to your eyes. This was a remarkable band….allowing room for strings and orchestration as well as synth lines and a vocal that ripped your heart open…fantastic!!!

Don’t Worry, Be Happy [Bobby McFerrin]—-Ugh…..this is so played out,,,never much for those annoying, quirky novelty hits!!! NEXT…….

Every Rose Has It’s Thorn [Poison]—-I’ve never been much of a Poison fan….but, this song stands very well on its own. This is one of those requisite Metal ballads that were on every Metal release in the 80’s and still stands up very well today. This is magnificent…proving Michaels and Co. had their genius moments.

Straight Up [Paula Abdul]—-Former Laker girl and choreographer Abdul proved she had great ghost writers and an adequate enough voice to make her impression on the charts for about a year in the Decade Of Excess. The eventual superstar never quite managed to re-create her mastery though. This still plays amazing today…depite it all!

****3/4 out of 5

Now, That’s What I Call The 80’s [Various] Part I

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 2400000010UTC 12 by marky7235

Now That's What I Call The Eighties

In the First World, this decade saw the emergence of pop music, as well as various forms of rock music, such as new wave, soft rock, and glam metal. The 1980’s are commonly associated with the use of synthesizers, and was the introduction of sampling and hip hop/rap. “80’s music” is a broad term, and can refer to 80’s new wave (sometimes referred to as synthpop) popularized by various European groups and artists, 80’s soft rock popularized by bands such as Foreigner and The Police, 80’s hard rock/heavy metal (sometimes referred to as glam metal) popularized by bands such as Guns N’ Roses and AC/DC, or 80’s pop music popularized by artists such as Madonna and Michael Jackson.

The Analysis:

Billy Jean [Micheal Jackson]—-One of the numerous tracks from Thriller that made a statement and produced a decade of popularity for Jackson that perhaps did him more harm than good. This track was an instant hit and was only rivaled by other songs from the Thriller release..this is a defining song and sound of the 80’s decade.

PopMusik [M]—-Not officially an 80’s song, I believe this was really popular in late ’78 or ’79…but helped to spell the trend that was about to occur in the coming new decade…along with numan, M proved that there was more to life than soft ballads and guitars..adding huge synth sounds that at the time seemed futuristic and incredible fun. this is and always will be a true classic…the beginning of the Korg age!!!

Escape [The Pina Colada Song] [Rupert Holmes]—-Another of those songs that is not officially an 80’s track, this is a soft rock supersmash that was all over the newly emerging FM radio in the late 70’s. The sentiment is nice…the tale of two people cheating through personal adds and surprisingly answer each others ads!!! Sounds like the computer age to me…this is nice, has huge memories but also marked the end of the soft ballad era in the US.

Video Killed The Radio Star [The Buggles]—-A fulfilling prophecy, this is the first video ever played on the brand new MTV and spelled the future out far more accurately than anyone could have imagined. This comes from a remarkable release, it’s too bad the US audience never grabbed a hold of this futuristic band that featured future members of Yes and a past member of Genesis!

Call Me [Blondie]—-Coming out of the Post-Punk scene with a New Wave mentality, Debbie Harry & Co. scored a pretty big career in the late 70’s to mid 80’s. Still recording and touring today, and sounding better than ever. This is a classic Blondie track..with just enough guitars to retain its credibility and enough synth sounds to make a lasting impression, this is a classic track!

What I Like About You [The Romantics]—-To be honest with you, I can’t stand this Detroit based band. although they still tour to this day on nostalgia style tours, this still gets on my nerves and is as it always was…crap!

Hit Me With Your Best Shot [Pat Benatar]—-Classical trained vocalist Benatar emerged in the 80’s to give some rock credulity among the heavily synthesizer bands of the decade. Showing her range and attitude, the guitars are aggressive and have that classic 80’s sound all over them. Although this was not the best of her output, this is a great example of why she rode the charts so high in the 80’s decade.

Celebration [Kool & the Gang]—-Blasting forth with this single, Kool & The Gang reminded us that disco was not dead, R n B had a place in the 80’s and that there was lots of room for great fun dance floor tracks. This is a huge track…the fun feeling you get from this track is remarkable…even more remarkable is the fact that this is as popular now as it was upon its release.

Keep On Loving You [REO Speedwagon]—-After kicking around on the club circuit for years, REO hit it huge with the release of Hi-Infidelity. This release still plays really well today, as does this single from that album. Cronin delivers a vocal that is heartfelt and real…the band has some nice blistering moments and the video still looks great….all in all, this is a great piece of musical history!

Bette Davis Eyes [Kim Carnes]—-Featuring a vocal from one of the smokiest singers of the decade, Carnes has always delivered those kind of vocals that allows me to lose myself in. this was a great single and rode high on the charts for months. the video was pretty great as well. The gravelly tone of her voice makes you think of Davis…and the hair was pretty magnificent. I love this..just enough synth to appeal to me…but a bass beat that also allows you to dance as well…magnificent!

Jesse’s Girl [Rick Springfield]—-Never one of those songs that really resonated with me, this sounds nice after not hearing it for so long. Springfield rode the 80’s wave pretty high for quite sometime and then fell out of favor…none the less, the soap opera circuit gave him an alternative career. and the ladies still swoon after him…ummmm…whatever.

You Make My Dream [Hall & Oates]—-Hall & Oates are one of those guilty pleasures of mine…I never get tired of listening to that nice blend of Philly soul mired with synth sounds and good old Rock n’ roll. Hall delivers a classic vocal..it soars when necessary and delivers emotion when it is called for as well. This is a favorite and still pleases me today.

The Stroke [Billy Squier]—-Overtly sexual and containing enough guitars to immerse itself across all lines of the music listening public, this song finds Squier delivering enough innuendo laden lines to score a porn flick…although he rode the wave for a while, most of the further output from Billy can now be found in the bargain bin…none the less, this still plays really well.

Queen Of Hearts [Juice Newton]—-This is another of those tracks that rides the fine line between the late 70’s and very early 80’s. Newton delivers a great vocal on this single…just enough of a country sound to make a huge splash in Nashville and enough of an accessibility to allow herself good airplay on top 40 radio, this was short-lived as she quickly disappeared…where is she now?

Lunatic Fringe [Red Rider]—-Delivering as much atmosphere and as great a sound as 80’s Pink Floyd, I’m still amazed that this band was not HUGE. With a nice keyboard laden sound but enough guitars to maintain credibility, this song is so damn addictive!!! I love this!!!

Centerfold [J. Geils Band]—-This song and video took this obscure bar band with a loyal following and shoved then into the spotlight whether they wanted to be there or not. This is a much more accessible sound than the band normally produced…this is a much more blues based band in its original sound. This track is fun, but was played so much that I almost hate it to this day.

867-5309 [Jenny] [Tommy TuTone]—-A huge hit for TuTone, you can not deny the instant addictive qualities of the song. I just with that the general public would have paid more attention to the rest of this release…this is damn good record. This produced many midnight callers…prompting hundreds of people to have to change their phone numbers. this is a novelty hit…but only if you ignore the record that this release came from.

We Got The Beat [The Go-Go’s]—-Backed with a great pogo New Wave sound, a great video and the novelty of being an all girl band, The Go-Go’s inspired and made possible many bands careers. This was only one of many hits for the quintet. the energy is still damn infectious, the vocal for Carlisle still one of her best and Weidlin delivers a guitar sound that belonged to the band alone.

Don’t You Want Me [The Human League]—-Coming from Sheffield like a tornado, Oakey and company delivered a synth hit that really set the standard for the early to mid 80’s. the vocal was cold and removed…the synth base remarkably accessible and the video helped to propel this to #1 all over the world…this is a classic piece of history that still gets good club play.

Only The Lonely [The Motels]—-Martha Davis has one of the best voices to ever emerge in the 80’s. The band delivered a nice mix of very real instrumentation, a slight soul feel and just a bit of synth sound. This sound insured them chart success for three releases before they feel from sight. This was one of my favorite bands form the 80’s…simply becuase they were really a band…and their sound was genuine as hell.

Abracadabra [Steve Miller Band]—-Who would have expected Steve Miller and Co. to produce such a huge hit smack dab in the middle of the 80’s synth movement…but indeed he did. This is an infectious song…really not sounding like the classic rock that carried and still carries Miller to this day. This really reminds me of Greg Kihn!!

Eye Of The Tiger [Survivor]—-Ugh….another of those 80’s songs that had little substance and a futile sound…I could do with never hearing this song again and be very happy!!!

Words [Missing Persons]—-Dale Bozzio had one of the most recognizable voices of the 80’s…generated naturally but full of squeaks and squeals like none other, this band was much more visual that artistic. I love the video for this track..I love the retro feel that it carries with it today and the energy is remarkable. Bozzio still tours under the Missing Persons moniker, but the hit making days seem far behind her.

I Ran [So Far Away]—-A Flock Of Seagulls—-another of those synth pop hits that seem to define the 80’s decade, Mike score delivers a vocal that is so disembodied and removed that it is more than sterile. This is a great atmospheric song..full of technology that most people were not even aware existed..all the while including real instrumentation…including some great drums. The melody of the song is addictive as hell…and even though I have heard it 1000’s of times…I never tire of it.

Mickey [Toni Basil]—-Long time choreographer Basil delivered a cheerleader video that conjured up lots of fantasies, as well as a synth track that is freakin; irresistible as hell. You will be hard pressed to get this song out of your brain upon hearing it…that is when it becomes annoying. At any rate, this is a defining 80’s song that still has a killer, silly as hell video.

I’m So Excited [The Pointer Sisters]—-Another song that gently reminded us that Disco was not that far gone from our peripheral vision. This is a huge dance floor romp that is still played in clubs everywhere. The melody is infectious and the chorus and energy are huge. Another one for the history books.

Rock This Town [The Stray Cats]—-UGH……..next!

Sexual Healing [Marvin Gaye]—-Is this an 80’s song??? I’m confused on that…none the less, Gaye had one of the warmest, most intriguing and sexy voices of our time. he rolled in a seductive way even when he was not trying. This is a remarkable record…onje can only wonder how Gaye would view the world and the music scene in 2010?

Africa [Toto]—-Another of those bands that is really a secret pleasure of mine, I never tire of that trademark AOR sap that they so often produce. The melody of this song is incredible…the chorus is huge and the synth is minimal….and it still managed to be a world-wide smash.

I Know There’s Something Going On [Freda]—-A top 40 smash from the former ABBA member, this song has such an emotional tone to it…all the while Freda manges to deliver a cold and removed vocal. Even the video has a cool and detached feel to it…too bad the US never heard anything more from her…although she continues to record sporadically.

Do You Really Want To Hurt Me [Culture Club]—-I won’t rehash content from past reviews of this song…I will tell you that there was a remarkable fresh and innovative sound about this band when they first hit the States. The slight Reggae flavor to the music that was produced by real instruments was exciting. The fact that you could actually dance to it made it even better. Oddity aside, the band managed some really great music!

Hungry Like The Wolf [Duran Duran]—-At the time that this single was released, this band was well on its way of becoming a worldwide phenomenon. The synth lines are incredible and delivered with a delicious sound. The vocal is remarkable…one of Simon’s best and the real instrumentation made the sound huge…how could this not be a hit? Duran are set to release a new CD at any moment!

She Blinded Me With Science [Thomas Dolby]—-Another of those songs that defined a Decade, Dolby delivered this manic song backed by a video that contained even more hilarity than the song. The sound bites are classic and the synths are very progressed for the time this was released. Still a favorite…Dolby is also due to release a new CD at any time now.

Let’s Dance [David Bowie]—-If Scary Monsters [& Super Creeps] served to remind us that Bowie was still here and relevant, Let’s Dance gave him a pole vault to leap over our heads and do somersaults. This single and ensuing album was perhaps the pinnacle of this decades ling hit maker. The 80’s were very good to David….and also very bad…

**** out of 5

 

 

Morrissey / My Early Burglary Years

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on 2200000010UTC 12 by marky7235

My Early Burglary Years

My Early Burglary Years is a compilation album by Morrissey that was released in September of 1998 in the United States on Reprise Records. It follows in the tradition of his previous compilation albums Bona Drag and World of Morrissey in that it collects various single a-sides and b-sides, some album tracks, live tracks and previously unreleased material.

The Analysis:

Sunny—-Although this was released as a single, this song NEVER saw airplay or promotion in the US. This is too bad, as this is Morrissey in the most comfortable and predictable way. This has a nice gentle verse and a powerful, typical Morrissey chorus. A fan or a newcomer could not possibly find fault with this track. this is better than 90’s era Morrissey and it is sad that this single was not publicized and played more often. Stellar!!!

At Amber—-This is another of those B-sides that is typical and comfortable Morrissey. The music is surprisingly gentle for this timer period in the Master’s career. The lyrics are brilliant…full of double entendres that are left to the listener to decipher as it pertains to their life…such is the mastery of Moz!!!

Cosmic Dancer—-This live track wonderfully captures the energy and feeling of adoration that is prevalent at a live Morrissey event. This track is somber and features a Morrissey in his best voice….when he croons to the audience, the reaction is pure bliss. the screams only accentuated by every little nuance Morrissey performs. This is a great recording…the crowd, we, love this man!

Nobody Loves Us—-Magnificent…just as you would expect. This is one of the best tracks that Moz produced in this time period and it ends up as a B-Side. The chorus to this song is freakin brilliant!! Full of the morose emotional barren field you would expect, this song screams to be embraced and shared to the whole world. This guy knows far more than he lets on!!! As the end of the song approaches and Morrissey becomes more vocally aggressive….well um, excuse me!!!

A Swallow On My Neck—-a rather sallow track, this has a really nice instrumental track that caught my attention from the onset. Morrissey delivers line after line of self-deprecating limes that distracts from the music for me. When the chorus of the song hits, accompanied with a nice back drop vocal the harmonies slowly win you over.

Sister, I’m A Poet—-I’ve said this many times before when this song has popped up in compilation reviews…this little song is one of my favorite solo Morrissey songs ever. I love the slight rock-a-billy feel to it, the lazy vocal that Morrissey delivers and the sentiments are brilliant. This still remains on my list of 10 Morrissey songs I could never live without.

Black-Eyed Susan—-I really never found a reason to like this track…there was too much other excellent stuff going on at the time. I think I have this on the CD-5 release of Sunny. The whole born-again atheist is something that keeps coming up in his lyrics at this time…like he found his God and his God let him down…interesting!

Michael’s Bones—-Wow…this goes way back. I believe I have this on a 12″ vinyl release that came out before even Viva Hate was released. I gathered this up and kept it close to me…this was the first post Smiths Morrissey that we had heard and it was precious to us. This is nice…revealing and a bit of a homo-erotic release. Done in true Morrissey style!

I’d Love To—-I believe, if my memory serves me [and that is questionable], this is another early Morrissey B-Side. This begins rather atmospheric and only sets up the perfect entrance for Morrissey. This is a soundtrack inspired track that pays homage to the classic Smiths mope and the new Morrissey self-deprecating mope. There is a slight difference. This is a huge and layered track…the emotion that is not conveyed by Morrissey is conveyed in the morose soundtrack. Magnificent!!!

Reader Meet Author—-This is a much more current B-side…I believe this is from the Southpaw Grammar sessions. Morrissey is in the finest vocal form of his career, but no one appreciated it but me. Most fans were offset by the guitar delivery on this release….this is one release that reminded me of the true genius of Moz…to deliver line after line of introspective lyrics set to this pace…remarkable!!!

Paschernate Love—-Really not sure where this came from, this track has a great bass intro and slight rock-a-billy sound that is magnificent and much better than the vocal. The vocal mix on this is really odd…the voice is pushed way to the back of the mis and sounds live to me. Although this is not listed as being live. Morrissey manages some nice vocal peaks, but the voice sounds a bit empty to me.

Girl Least Likely To—-This is another very early B-side and carries a strong Smiths resemblance to the construction. This was the early days…when we were getting bits and pieces from the Moz and we ate up these B-Sides as well as the listed A-Sides. This is fantastic…Morrissey hits some nice effortless notes that are just like the old days….sigh!!!!

Jack The Ripper—-Yes, this is another of those Morrissey songs that are in the top 10 of tracks I could never live without. This is a morbid and morose track that explores Morrissey’s fascination with everything criminal and morbid. He puts himself as the victim in the song…the result is a damn catchy song that few people have really studied the lyrics to. This is fresh and oh so typical Moz!

I’ve Changed My Plea To Guilty—-Another relatively early B-Side, this is introduced with a gentle piano that reminds me of the opening strains to Bridge Over Troubled Water. This is the late future for Morrissey…I can see the day when he follows Rod Stewart and begins to release all of these old tracks in his best crooner voice. I hope not…but there is always a place for Moz at the Golden Nugget in Vegas!!!!

The Boy Racer—-Was this really a B-Side….I question that. This is one of the more aggressive songs that Moz released in the late 90’s. Southpaw  was a pretty aggressive record musically and one that allowed me to appreciate the songwriting of Morrissey even more…how he could make this stuff fit to really rocking sounds. this sounds live to me…whether with an audience or as a demo, the result is stellar. This version has even more energy….I need to listen to this release again…it has been awhile.

Boxers—-This is a damn great song…ignored by many erstwhile fans, they missed out on a track that is true Moz. Always fascinated by the most masculine lifestyle, Morrissey delivers his fey vocal describing the occupations of that which he could never be. I can relate…Moz wants to be what he cannot, and dislikes what he is…story of my life!!!

****1/2 out of 5