David Bowie / Hunky Dory

 

Hunky Dory (180 Gram Vinyl)

Hunky Dory is the fourth studio album by the English musician David Bowie, released on 17 December 1971 by RCA RecordsIt was his first release through RCA, which would be his label for the next decade. Hunky Dory has been described by AllMusic‘s Stephen Thomas Erlewine as having “a kaleidoscopic array of pop styles, tied together only by Bowie’s sense of vision: a sweeping, cinematic mélange of high and low art, ambiguous sexuality, kitsch, and class”.

The album has received critical acclaim since its release, and is regarded as one of Bowie’s best works. Time chose it as part of their “100 best albums of all time” list in January 2010, with journalist Josh Tyrangiel praising Bowie’s “earthbound ambition to be a bohopoet with prodigal style”. The style of the album cover, designed by George Underwood, was influenced by a Marlene Dietrich photo book that Bowie took with him to the photo shoot.

The Analysis—-

Changes—-One of the most loved and well received tracks in the massive Bowie catalog, this track still plays so incredibly well today. The smooth and eccentric style of Bowie’s style at the time are all over this record. This was an artist becoming into his own…all the while surprising us at every turn. I loved this man….like he was a member of my family…I miss him…and this is just a small reason why. A magnificent track.

Oh! You Pretty Things—-Bowie…in his best quirky vocal style, delivers a song that is one for the history books. This is a remarkable vocal delivery….Bowie causing us to study every single line and asking ‘What Does This All Mean’? I fell so in love with this record. When the chorus opens up with that double track vocal…you can allow yourself to be taken somewhere else…somewhere you have never been. The song makes me incredibly happy for some reason…the lyrics and music…a huge joyous affair.

 

Eight-Line Poem—-Wonderfully delivered piano and blues based guitar intro that lulls you into a magical comfortable zone where you find it very easy to lose yourself. And that is before you hear a single word. Bowie enters with a croon that is so remarkable…it wraps right around the music….and amazingly…it all becomes one huge entity that lives in your brain forever. This is beautiful…experimental…erratic…and masterfully constructed. Damn, I loved this guy!

Life On Mars—-So wonderfully constructed and delivered. Bowie delivers a vocal and music that drives me to a euphoria that is hard to describe. The chorus is a fantastic joyous affair…Bowie sings his heart out….driving me to study every word…..the quaint lyrics, combined with the euphoric chorus is a moment in time I will never forget.

Kooks—-Tinny guitars and a folksy delivery introduce the track…a tribute to his new born son Zowie. The love that he feels is portrayed in the music…everything plays like a wonderful lullaby to his son. This is a wonderful and warm moment…it reeks of love and affection.

Quicksand—-Still reeking of the 70’s rock-folk movement at the time, I love how even back in those days, they managed to move the clear and wonderful vocal to the very front of the song. This is remarkably emotional and delivered in a masterful acoustic style that sounds so fresh and real to me today. This was masterful.

Fill Your Heart—-Jaunty and sounding like a show tune from long ago, this was the ability of the man. This is so light…pleasant and filled with moods and quirky musical sty lings. Perhaps my favorite Bowie release ever, this album always reminds me of why I fell in love with the persona of Bowie. This is a magic moment.

Andy Warhol—-You can’t be a Bowie fan without finding obsessions with Warhol and Lou Reed. This song produced in me, a life long obsession with every word I could ever find out about Warhol…then I found out how it all tied together. The song is fantastic…tongue in cheek and a bit hilarious. I love this moment in time. Bowie understood the genius…..as did Warhol!

Song For Bob Dylan—-Twangy and with a slight Country twinge to the whole damn affair, Bowie manages to portray the feelings about Dylan at the time. This is constructed so well…sliding back and forth between the Alt-Country feel to the more modern guitar based Bowie, this was brilliant.

The Bewlay Brothers—-Nice and rock based. this is a perfect closer to such an eclectic release. Bowie almost talk his way through this track…but with perfect pitch changes and enunciation. This is just perfect.

*****out of 5

 

 

Loudwire.com 1979 Metal Album Of The Year—-Motorhead / Overkill [Bonus Tracks

Overkill

Motörhead (/ˈmtərhɛd/) were an English rock band formed in June 1975 by bassist, singer, and songwriter Ian Fraser “Lemmy” Kilmister, who was the sole constant member. The band is often considered a precursor to, or one of the earliest members of, the new wave of British heavy metal, which re-energised heavy metal in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Though several guitarists and drummers played in Motörhead, most of their best-selling albums and singles feature the work of “Fast” Eddie Clarke on lead guitar and Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor on drums.

Motörhead released 23 studio albums, 10 live recordings, 12 compilation albums, and five EPs over a career spanning 40 years. Usually a power trio, they had particular success in the early 1980s with several successful singles in the UK Top 40 chart. The albums Overkill, Bomber, Ace of Spades, and particularly No Sleep ’til Hammersmith cemented Motörhead’s reputation as a top-tier rock band. The band are ranked number 26 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock. As of 2016, they have sold more than 15 million albums worldwide.

Motörhead are typically classified as heavy metal, and their fusion of punk rock into the genre helped to pioneer speed metal and thrash metal. Their lyrics typically covered such topics as war, good versus evil, abuse of power, promiscuous sex, substance abuse, and, most famously, gambling.

Although Lemmy has been credited with being part of various musical scenes, thrash metal or speed metal in the main, from the mid 1970s onward, he stated very clearly, when asked the question, that he plays Rock n Roll. He (Lemmy) has said that they had more of an affiliation with Punk Rockers than with the so-called Heavy Metal scene; Motörhead having evolved out of the London mid-1970s Punk era.

Lemmy died on 28 December 2015 after being initially diagnosed with an undisclosed aggressive form of cancer, which was later revealed as prostate cancer, and heart failure, after which drummer Mikkey Dee and guitarist Phil Campbell both confirmed that Motörhead would not continue as a band.

Overkill is the second studio album by the band Motörhead, released 24 March 1979, on Bronze Records, their first with the label, and it peaked at #24 on the UK charts. Kerrang! magazine listed the album at #46 among the “100 Greatest Heavy Metal Albums of All Time”.

The Analysis—-

Overkill—-Huge drums introduce the barrage of sound that defined Motorhead. one thing the listener will discern immediately….this is not the pretty, huge Heavy Metal becoming popular at the time. Instead, the pace is faster and trashier…..sounding more punk than metal. A classic album none the less…..I determined Metal could be loud and nasty with these guys. No pretty vocals here….no soaring vocals….this is dirty in your face Metal.

Stay Clean—-Again with the heavy drums, but a deep melody resonates on this track as well. Lemmy actually comes close to singing during this track…rather than shouting his way through the track. The message is clear….and the music is sooty and dirty. I love the underground feel of the whole damn thing. this was the beginning of a really epic career. The music is tight…the drums are incredible…and the bass is smack in your face.

[I Won’tPay Your Price—-Down and dirty and filled with a Birmingham style blues vibe, this is a step away from the faster paced tracks thus far. Lemmy sounds so clear with his vocal…you catch every word. The guitars are epic…with old school style squeals and a definite boogie feel. I rather like this….constructed well and catchy as hell.

I’ll Be Your Sister—-The trademark Motorhead bass kicks off the track and the barrage of noise seems incredible. Lemmy delivers a vocal that is not as forward in the mix as usual….it seems like the guitars are right in your face while the drums pummel you. This also has a slower pace to the music…not quite bluesy….but very accessible.

Capricorn—-Again with the drums……and a spirit of sonic noise opens the track. The guitars are fantastic….Lemmy enters with his vocal….talk singing his way through the track. I don’t hate this song…but it is weak to me….I love the soaring sonic feel of the guitars at times….but I usually skip over this.

No Class—-Returning to fine form, this opens with the trademark fast guitar delivery and the yelps from Lemmy. This is fast and dirty…exactly what you need after the space filled track before. This is almost classic punk in sound. I love the noise the band manages to make. This is fantastic! I love this song….the guitars are so clear and loud at times……venturing off in a full tilt boogie that fits into the middle of the song perfectly.

Damage Case—-Huge right from the first note, this sounds like an extension of the previous track. The contrast between styles on this record was only a promise of the things to come. Sometimes, Motorhead could be a classic punk band….other times they deliver the blues….and then the Thrash…..This is a nice mix of everything.

Tear Ya Down—-Fast and filthy musical delivery….makes you want to jump up and down with exhilaration. The drums are just incredible on this record….never overpowered by the voice or the fantastic guitars. This is bass deep….but the clarity of the lead guitars in the center of the song are always present. Just a huge, fun romp through the underbelly of emerging Metal!

Metropolis—-At the onset, this sounds different…..and as the track progresses you realize it is. This sounds muted and less inspired than most anything on the record. The production is muddled and the sound is too deep. The voice is pushed way back in the mix….this just sounds odd…period. It grows on you as you listen though….

Limb From Limb—-Ending the proper release in full bombastic flavor, the track has that down-tempo bass sound that resonates the blues. Even the leads seem tuned down a bit to get that dirtier and grittier feel. I like this…there is so much going on in the song. The ever present bass….the fantastic drums….the deep leads and the proclamations from Lemmy all create a perfect storm.When the track hits the mid-point and the band lets loose….classic Motorhead!

Bonus Tracks:

Too Late Too Late [B-side Of Overkill]—-A bit of a hollow sound in the production, this is still a really strong track for a B-side. The melody line is fantastic and remains through the entire track. Lemmy sounds excellent…..with a bit of an echo on his vocal making it even larger. A really great song.

Like A Nightmare [B-side Of No Class]—-Beginning deep and with a touch of feedback, this is excellent. Lemmy enters sounding clear and concise with his vocal….not like the later days. The chord changes from the leads give the song a full body sound. This is great for a B-side as well……would have fit perfectly on the proper release.

Louie, Louie—-I can take or leave this….really never cared for the original and this offers nothing new for me. I don’t like this……sorry.

**** out of 5

 

 

 

Loudwire.com 1978 Metal Album Of The Year—-Judas Priest / Stained Class

 

Stained Class

Stained Class is the fourth album by British heavy metal group Judas Priest, released in February 1978. It is the first of two albums to feature drummer Les Binks. It gained notoriety for its dark lyrics and themes, as well as 1990 civil action trial where the band were accused of backmasking that led to the suicide attempts of two teenagers. Stained Class was ranked as the greatest Judas Priest album on Stereogum.com, and was described by Steve Huey on Allmusic.com as “Judas Priest’s greatest achievement.”

The Analysis—-

Exciter—-This, right from the onset, is freak in’ classic Priest. For me, this defines Heavy Metal. The twin guitars….the incredible drum attack…and that damn voice. This is the dawn of a movement that would come to embody my very soul. There is no sound like the early days of the Priest machine. This is just fuckin incredible….that melody line that runs through everything….but still allowing the guitars to shine….this is as close to perfect as it gets. The guitars….literally create a song all of their own……incredible.

White Heat, Red Hot—Such an incredible slow, blues intro to the song…..it gives way to the classic Birmingham sound. Dirty and full of fuel for fire, the band it is just in incredible form on this release. Halford delivers note after note that just seem inhuman….even today. The combination of the band and the voice….takes even a mundane song and turns it into a masterpiece…such as this. Fuckin’ incredible!

Better By You, Better Than Me—-When the intro to this song kicks in, it just does things to my soul. I have goose bumps everywhere. The band……like none no other delivers a blistering sound that seems only driven to higher heights by the vocal from Halford. Even back then….the band was a well oiled machine that was at a creative height like no other. Combining the great elements of Sabbath but adding the bright guitars and the vocal took Metal to new heights.

Stained Class—-Man……when the opening chords to this song hit your ears…the galloping heavy bass line…the huge drums and then the voice!!! This track will take you places you could never imagine. This is creative forces all coming together to make a perfect storm. When Halford hits those notes and the guitars soar above his head….the bass line and the drums continue in the backdrop and paint a huge picture of what Metal is supposed to look like. This is perhaps as perfect as I can imagine Metal music to be!!!!

Invader—-All of these songs combined together, created one of the most perfect and cohesive records ever made in the history of music. This track opens up with off turbo style guitars…but the clouds disappear and allow for the double tracked vocal from Halford that never ceases to amaze me….the clear and concise words…the soaring guitars….the understated but huge drums. The melody line….the ability to catch every word….the amazement at the huge sound….I still stand in awe. The Masters!!!!

Saints In Hell—-Recorded with a really deep sound, even the soaring vocal from Halford has trouble breaking the upfront huge rhythm section. And then the chorus enters and the darkness disappears for a moment….but it enters back and you realize it is all a part of the mood and the content of the song….this is just brilliant production. God how i wish I could have seen this release being made…this is a historic recording.

Savage—-Driving and powerful from the very first notes, you still marvel….no matter how many times you have heard it, at the power of the vocal from Halford. His voice is just something that is beyond human. This is a brilliant track…under-appreciated, it stands the test of time so well. Modern day singers could only dream of the gift this man has been given….not to mention the power and utter finesse’ of the band that drives the entire Priest machine. This is perfect!

Beyond The Realms Of Death—-One of the most important and poignant Metal ballads ever produced, this track still manages to give me goose-bumps with every listen. Halford has a broad ability to provoke emotion with his notes and phrasing…..no matter how powerful or loud the music gets….you never lose the message of the song. This is still incredible….moving…intense…..sad and exhilarating all at once.

Heroes End—-Ending the release with a nod back to the Birmingham blues that started the entire thing, there is a power in the song that just shaped the band for the next step in their career. The combination of the guitars……the huge rhythm section….the understated but important drums….really set the bar for Metal bands that were emerging. For me….this was one of the most important and best albums ever made!

***** out of 5 !!!!!

 

Loudwire.com 1977 Metal Album Of The Year—-Scorpions /Taken By Force

Taken By Force

Scorpions are a German rock band formed in 1965 in Hanover by Rudolf Schenker. Since the band’s inception, its musical style has ranged from hard rock[3][4] to heavy metal.The lineup from 1978–92 was the most successful incarnation of the group, and included singer Klaus Meine (vocals), Rudolf Schenker (rhythm guitar), Matthias Jabs (lead guitar), Francis Buchholz (bass guitar), and Herman Rarebell (drums). The band’s only constant member has been Schenker, although Meine has been the lead singer for all of the band’s studio albums, and Jabs has been a consistent member since 1979.

During the mid-1970s, with guitarist Uli Jon Roth part of the line-up, the music of Scorpions was defined as hard rock.After the departure of Roth in 1978, Matthias Jabs joined and, following the guidance of producer Dieter Dierks, Scorpions changed their sound towards melodic heavy metal, mixed with rock power ballads. Throughout the 1980s the group received positive reviews and critical acclaim from music critics, and experienced commercial success with the albums Animal Magnetism (1980), Blackout (1982), Love at First Sting (1984), World Wide Live (1985) and Savage Amusement (1988).

Their best-selling album Crazy World (1990) includes the song “Wind of Change“, a symbolic anthem of the political changes in Eastern Europe in the late 1980s and early 1990s and the fall of the Berlin Wall. It is one of the best-selling singles in the world with over fourteen million copies sold. Scorpions have sold over 100 million records in total.[11] They have released 18 studio albums, 27 compilation albums and 74 singles. Six of their singles have reached number one on the charts in different countries. Their albums, singles, compilations and video releases have reached 200 times gold, platinum and multi-platinum status in different countries.

Rolling Stone Magazine described the Scorpions as “the heroes of heavy metal”, and MTV called them “Ambassadors of Rock”. The band was ranked number 46 on VH1‘s Greatest Artists of Hard Rock programme, with “Rock You Like a Hurricane” at number 18 on VH1’s list of the 100 Greatest Hard Rock Songs. “Still Loving You” ranked 22nd place among the greatest ballads. Scorpions have received prestigious awards such as three World Music Awards, a star on the Hollywood Rock wall, and a presence in the permanent exhibition of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2015 the group celebrated its 50th anniversary.

Taken By Force is the fifth studio album by German hard rock band Scorpions, released by RCA Records in 1977. This was the first Scorpions album to feature drummer Herman Rarebell and the final studio album to feature guitarist Uli Jon Roth. Roth left the band in 1978 following the end of the album’s tour, and was eventually replaced by Matthias Jabs.

The lyrics to “We’ll Burn the Sky” were initially a poem written by Monika Dannemann, the last girlfriend of Jimi Hendrix, as a tribute to him after he died. Later, she became involved with Scorpions’ guitarist Uli Jon Roth (himself an admirer of Jimi Hendrix) and they worked together on some songs. The music for We’ll Burn the Sky was written by the Scorpions founder and rhythm guitarist Rudolf Schenker.

The Analysis—-

Steamrock Fever—-Coming out the speakers right at the start, the familiar strains of Meine’s vocals are welcome and strong. It is amazing how well the man’s voice has held up all this time. The musical landscape is a bit different than modern-age Scorpions…a bit more chaotic and a little less metal…although the guitars are strong. I like the song…but it is different than I expected. You do notice….one constant….the chorus….built for arena rock even back then.

We’ll Burn The Sky—-The one constant with the Scorpions is even apparent here…the ability to write and preform a hell of a power ballad. Although the track starts off with that feel, it comes more to life by the second or third bar…..delivering a punch you didn’t expect. Klaus sounds fantastic…the sharp guitar blasts are classic. The mood swings of the song are nice…and Rarebill really does well on the drums. This is nice.

I’ve Got To Be Free—-With really nice power chords at the beginning of the song, you also get a nice taste of the range that Klaus has with his vocal. This has a bit of a blues lean to it…but much of Metal did at this time. The double track vocal gives the song a fuller sound. I like the sharp bursts of guitars….they are always there…but never, ever over power the voice. this is a great song.

The Riot Of Your Time—-Nice and acoustic at the onset, the guitars in the backdrop keep the track really interesting. I sit here waiting for a huge explosion of rock….and indeed….it gets there. Klaus yells and sings…..the overlays on the vocal are classic. This is really a great track! The emotional acoustic guitars in sharp contrast with the backdrop of pure electric guitars. It sounds funny to hear him singing about if we are still alive in 1995 or 1999……indeed we all still are.

The Sails Of Charon—-Kind of an odd subject for this band to contemplate, the intro is really odd and experimental in sound. The odd sounds take a bit to introduce the music…and once it begins I’m rather perplexed. This has a huge blues lean at the onset….the static of the guitars are so well produced though….really at the front of the mix and sounding powerful as all get out. The drums are really present as well….this is a romp…..that’s for sure. Klaus enters with a Dio inspired vocal that does not really fit my image of the band I know……but this was 1977. Not a bad track….just not expected….Klaus does hit some impressive notes though…..not terrible.

Your Light—-Really powerful right t the onset, the music just suddenly falls away and introduces a bass line that is almost funk inspired. The band does not sound genuine on this track…really not something I can relate to.

He’s A Woman-She’s A Man—-Power chords abound on this track…this is stellar! The driving bass line is exquisite…..and the blues lean is really pleasant. Meine delivers another vocal that is just a hint of the things to come. This is a nice tongue in cheek track that has an undeniable catch to the melody and the chorus. It manages to stick in your brain…..just for the melody line from the rhythm section. I love this song….still plays really well today…..a new theme song for Ru-Paul’s Drag Race……lol.

Born To Touch Your Feelings—-This is just classic! Beginning with acoustic guitars….strings and what I think are Oboe’s in the backdrop….the huge ballad feel is incredible. This is intricate….drawn out and filled with emotion. The moods of the song switch back and forth…but you never lose the melancholy feel the track began with. This just shows….the band had that power ballad shit down pat even back then!!! This is fantastic!

***1/2 out of 5

 

 

 

 

 

Loudwire.com 1976 Metal Album Of The Year—-Judas Priest / Sad Wings Of Destiny

Sad Wings Of Destiny

Judas Priest are a British heavy metal band formed in Birmingham, England, in 1969. The band has sold close to 50 million albums to date.[1] MTV ranked them the second greatest metal band of all time. Despite an innovative and pioneering body of work in the latter half of the 1970s, the band struggled with indifferently produced records, repeated changes of drummer and a lack of major commercial success or attention until 1980, when they adopted a more simplified sound on the album British Steel, which helped shoot them to rock superstar status. In 1989, they were named as defendants in an unsuccessful lawsuit alleging that subliminal messages on the song “Better By You, Better Than Me” had caused the suicide attempts of two young men.

The band’s membership has seen much turnover, including a revolving cast of drummers in the 1970s, and the temporary departure of singer Rob Halford in the early 1990s. The current line-up consists of Halford, guitarists Glenn Tipton and Richie Faulkner, bassist Ian Hill, and drummer Scott Travis. The band’s best-selling album is 1982’s Screaming for Vengeance with their most commercially successful line-up, featuring Halford, Tipton, Hill, guitarist K. K. Downing, and drummer Dave Holland.

Their influence, while mainly Halford’s operatic vocal style and the twin guitar sound of Downing and Tipton, has been adopted by many bands. Their image of leather, spikes, and other taboo articles of clothing were widely influential during the glam metal era of the 1980s. The Guardian referred to British Steel as the record that defines heavy metal. Despite a decline in exposure during the mid 1990s, the band has once again seen a resurgence, including worldwide tours, being inaugural inductees into the VH1 Rock Honors in 2006, receiving a Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance in 2010, and their songs featured in video games such as Guitar Hero and the Rock Band series.

Sad Wings of Destiny is the second album by the English heavy metal group Judas Priest, released in 1976. It is considered the album on which Judas Priest consolidated their sound and image, and songs from it such as “Victim of Changes” and “The Ripper” have since become live standards. It is the only album to feature drummer Alan Moore.

The Analysis—-

Prelude—-Perhaps, in the realm of Heavy Metal [proper] Priest is my favorite band of all time. although Maiden is right up there. Always consistent and always delivering the power and defining sound of Heavy Metal, this album….when introduced to America…..helped start a revolution. This prelude, per se. is a bit drawn out….but it enters right into…..

Tyrant—-Introducing a crisp and clear Metal sound driven to a frenzied pace by the super-human vocals from Halford, this track still sounds a bit empty at times despite remastering. the double tracks on the vocal are awesome….Halford seems to sing so fast. When Halford really shows that vocal mastery, it began a revolution of soaring vocals that could only be matched by a soaring guitar. This is a landmark recording. My God…..that note at the end!!!!

Genocide—-This track…right from the onset helps define the sound, musically, of Priest. Excluding the vocal….this is musically a move to a new sound for us in America when it was introduced. Then Halford sings and the band becomes almost superhuman. This is a bit bluesy…still leans on Sabbath a bit….but shines with clear and concise lead guitars that let the bass player step to the back a bit. This is fantastic. So much musical power…..the sound is huge!!!!

Epitaph—-Surprising everyone with a keyboard intro, Halford enters with an odd vocal that makes you shake your head and question if you are listening to the same band. For me, this was a very weak song…and should have never been put on this release…if there is a disappointment on this release…this is a blaring example.

Island Of Domination—-Building from the previous track but delivering power that far exceeds it, this is a classic example of what Priest had in store for those becoming fans. Leaning a bit on the Birmingham blues, Halford still managed to showcase his range while allowing the band to develop and deliver it’s blistering soaring guitar leads. The entire song…even listening to it all these years later…is so fantastic in construction, mood and flexibility. Halford screams….growls and meows throughout the song…the drums are incredible and the ‘stripper’ quality of the song still sounds fresh today. This is classic….no one had or ever has had a voice like Halford.

Victim Of Changes—-For me, this is one of the best songs ever recorded in the history of music. Never have I heard so many emotional musical changes, vocal histrionics, or career defining sounds like I hear on this song. I can never find, ever, anything that excites me like this track does. This was a solid promise of the things to come…the band has never let me down. For me….this is one of the best songs in the history of recorded music….that’s all I can say……

The Ripper—-Funny how the future would produce a ‘replacement’ vocalist know as Ripper…….but that withstanding…..this track right from the onset sounds so modern and incredibly Priest….this sounds like it could have been released yesterday…the band never seems to lose it’s power…Halford still sounds as magical as he did in the 70’s. This is an incredible track….moving through sounds…a bit of blues…a bit of soaring guitars…a bit rhythm heavy sections…..we get everything….and it remains in a nice wrapped up package. Remarkable.

Dreamer Deciever—-Again changing the tone of the record with a shocking sound, one never knew what to expect! Halford sounds ready for Broadway on this track…..melding with the acoustic guitar and delivering a baritone warbling vocal that still surprises me today. This is an interesting track….but till plays well today….showing such diversity and allowing other bands that were emerging permission to experiment…that it was not all about how loud or raucous….that you could be quiet and introspective as well….so Priest helped establish the required ballad on each record…lol. when Halford soars with his voice on this track…it is truly superhuman…..I can’t believe the notes….it is hard to believe……such incredible power in one voice.

Deciever—-Ending the release with full throttle Metal, Priest still delivers this track today with the same power that it has on this recording, Halford sounds driven and manic….delivering his words as fast as the guitar chords spit at him. His voice soars and the the contest between voice and guitar notes ensues…I still wonder who wins!!!! This is another landmark recording…..Halford gave us a voice that we had never heard before…..I still shake my head at the power and the range….the man had a gift…and he has used it well.

***** out of 5

 

 

 

 

 

Loudwire.com 1975 Metal Album Of The Year—-Black Sabbath / Sabotage

Sabotage (Remastered Edition)

Sabotage is the sixth studio album by English rock band Black Sabbath, released in July 1975. It was recorded in the midst of litigation with their former manager Patrick Meehan and the stress that resulted from the band’s ongoing legal woes infiltrated the recording process, inspiring the album’s title. It was co-produced by guitarist Tony Iommi and Mike Butcher.

The Analysis—-

Hole In The Sky—-Coming back after a year off of recording, and the band sounds as strong and driven as ever. The sound…you notice right off..is less sludge and delivered in a much more clear rock fashion. The riffs in the track are huge…the melody seems to wrap itself right around Ozzy’s voice. This is clearer and meant to inspire. This is burgeoning Heavy Metal. Just fantastic.

Don’t Start [Too Late]—-Intricate and almost classical guitar strums begin the track. The Spanish inspired chords are fantastic and nimble. This brief interlude leads right into…..

Symptom Of The Universe—-Falling back on a deeper rhythm section like previous releases, there is still a remarkable clarity to the song. The chug chug sound of the bass line and the drums in the front of the song is one of urgency and importance. Ozzy delivers a vocal that is almost maniacal and pissed. I love the clear and concise delivery of the lyrics…this is a nice progression of the band…moving up it;s sound and really putting a framework to the Birmingham sound. I love this. I like how the song….at almost 7 minutes long, reverts back to the sound of the Don’t Start interlude before kicking things back again…..this is epic.

Megalomania—-Dark and eerie right at the onset, this has a vibe to it that takes me right back to the earliest releases from the band. Ozzy seems pushed to the back of the song…the entire thing has a dark sound. But the chorus has a melody that sticks right in the center of your forehead and makes you yearn to dismiss it…but the magical melody becomes part of your permanent memory. This is an odd track…but one of the best on the release. I love this stuff!

The Thrill Of It All—-Still delivering a classic sound, the band does seem lighter at times on this release…moving away from the sludge sound of the past and delivering a clearer and crisp sound. This track….the heaviest on the release thus far is really what metal was at the time. Big riffs…interludes of guitars and vocals and then a return to the guitar base of the sound. This is magnificent. Ozzy sounds clear and crisp…but there is an underlying anger to the voice. I love the progression of the band…how the sound has changed but remained true to the original sound. This is fantastic. Ozzy really hits some great notes!!!

Supertzar—-There is that nice Sabbath sludge to kick things off! This track has a dark and ominous feel to it….taking you to Church of the Dark Kind right from the onset. The choir of voices adds to the eerie feel  of the song….interspersed with melodic guitar lines. At times…the confusion of the song is rather obvious…the schizophrenic sound takes some getting used to. Not a favorite track….but put on the release for a reason I assume.

Am I Going Insane—-What a great melody to start off this track with. Ozzy delivers a vocal and lyric that is not foreign to me. I love this track…the galloping feel of the track is remarkable. Still dark and layered with heaviness…the double track of the vocal adds a brightness to the sound. This is a favorite from this release for me. I love the feel of the song.

The Writ—-Maniacal laughs and the sound of madness kick off the track…a deep and ominous bass line ushers i a vocal delivery from Osbourne that is crazy in sound and driven to the brink of insanity. This song has an urgent sound….propelling you into a feeling of impending dread and somewhat sadness. The sound of the band is great…but this was really the beginning of the end of the classic Sabbath line-up. I love the track…it leaves you with an odd feeling though…really questioning the future. Ozzy sounds so damn good though!!!! This entire track was a message….to those who were leading the band into legal difficulties….subtle….but not. The Rat chant is clear.There are so many movements to the song…..a melody that won’t leave you alone…an almost pleading vocal at times…Ozzy seems to beg….but returns to anger and a reminder that things MIGHT work out fine. This is BRILLIANT!!!!!

***** out of 5

 

 

 

 

Loudwire.com 1974 Metal Album Of The Year—-Budgie / In For The Kill

In for the Kill

Budgie are a Welsh hard rock band from Cardiff. They are described by author Garry Sharpe-Young as one of the earliest heavy metal bands and a seminal influence to many acts of that scene, with fast, heavy rock (an influence on the new wave of British heavy metal (NWOBHM) and acts such as Metallica) being played as early as 1971. The band has been noted as “among the heaviest metal of its day”.

In for the Kill! is the fourth studio album by Welsh hard rock band Budgie. It was released through MCA Records in May 1974. The album includes a re-recording of the song “Crash Course in Brain Surgery”, originally released in 1971 as a single. The song was covered by Metallica for their 1987 EP The $5.98 EP: Garage Days Re-Revisited, while the album’s title track was covered by Van Halen during the group’s club days.

The Analysis—-

In For The Kill—-I will admit…..surprisingly enough, I have never heard of this band. I thought Budgie was Siouxsie Sioux’s husband…lol. So….I am expanding my horizon’s a bit. The sound of this recording has not aged well….the under production is obvious. The leanings toward Sabbath are remarkable. The deep sound and almost plodding bass line The vocal is great though. I love the rhythm section of the band…although the drums are understated, they are apparent and important to the sound of the band. Classic Rock indeed.

Crash Course In Brain Surgery—-A deep and melodic bass line kicks off the song and I find it very easy to get into the ‘groove’ of the song. This is not blistering in your face Metal…there is a nice structure to the song…and the vocal is fantastic. I rather like the feel of the song….the vocals are clear and concise…and very in front of the mix. This is very nice.The vocal really has a early Robert Plant lean to it.

Wondering What Everyone Knows—-A HUGE surprise, this track is acoustic and rather reminds me of The Beatles. This is definitely a band that needs further exploration. This track is so damn pleasant…I think I even hear a Tull inspired flute in the background. The double tracked vocal allows for a full sound. This is fantastic.

Zoom Club—-Nice right from the intro, this has a bit of an experimental lean to the musical sound. The song takes quite sometime to get going…the band adding sounds as it progresses. The guitars are tuned low…no squeals or sharps. The drums are very present and the bass line when it kicks in leads the song. This is a stoner song….lol. The track last a very long time….the vocal entering very late and again reminding me of early Led Zeppelin. This is really nice.

Hammer And Tongs—- Slow to start and atmospheric in sound, I am almost bored by the very long intro to the song…but this is typical of the time period. The bass line finally kicks in and leads the song into a Sabbath like crawl….but the lead guitars cut in with a sharp clarity that makes everything almost magical. The song is really full bodied and leaning towards the Zeppelin like Blues of the time. This is long….drawn out and a bit tedious…but the constant changing tempo keeps my interest.

Running From My Soul—-Returning to a fuller tilt boogie sound, this track still has that what i consider trademark long intro before any vocal surfaces. Again….typical of the time period. This has such a Zeppelin lean….sometimes I think I hear Plant singing. This is fantastic….not unique and fresh….but definitely true to the times and the groove of the music.

Living On Your Own—-Ending the release with a very typical intro and very long bodied song, the experimental flair to the music is magical. The guitars produce a melody that is fantastic and catchy as hell. I think this may be my favorite track on this release…the voice sounds great…the leaning into the microphone and grooving ala Plant in a clear and vivid picture in my brain. I rather enjoyed this release….a new band to investigate. I love this.

****3/4 out of 5