Journey – “Open Arms” (The 45 Single)

One of the most recognizable songs in the Journey catalog was “Open Arms”.  It was from the ‘Escape’ album and the single was released in January of 1982.  The song did pretty damn good and went to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, but for some reason it couldn’t hit that #1 spot.  However, that is still one of the highest chart positions the band ever reached for a single if not the highest.

The song is believed by many to be one of the greatest power ballads ever written and is said to be one of the main catalyst for starting the power ballad movement in the 80’s.  The funny thing is that most members of the band other than Steve & Jonathan did not want the song on the album.  It was too sugary sweet for their tastes.  As tie has shown, those members of the band were wrong.

Or were they.  The band became known for this sound and it changed everything for the band from that point on.  They had to have power ballads on every album as they were now expected from the band.  And they did end up writing many more great ones and went on to superstar status.  It did get them huge successes and paydays, but was it worth it?  Probably so.

The song was brought to the band by Jonathan Cain as he already had the melody written when he tried to use it for his previous band, The Babys.  However, vocalist John Waite, was not real keen on the song and said it was too syrupy.  Wow, both bands originally stated the same thing…both were wrong.

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Tuesday’s Memes – Country Music

After doing one of these meme collections on Johnny Cash I might as well do one on Country.  I didn’t meant his to be an all out hatefest on Modern Country, but I couldn’t resist.  I don’t hate today’s country music, I just don’t think it is country music.  It is pop music with a Southern twang.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy it…

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‘Slash’ by Slash & Anthony Bozza – Book Review

As a Guns ‘N Roses fan, this book was a no-brainer when it went on sale on Amazon.  You will notice a trend on my book reviews in that I always get the books when they are on sale, dirt cheap.  Best way to buy them.  Slash has always been this larger than life Guitar God with his trademark black Top Hat, long curly hair covering his face and a cigarette sticking out of his mouth.  And of course, that is why that picture is the cover of the book.  You instantly know who it is.

The book came out in 2007 and it covers the periods of his childhood, through Guns ‘N Roses rise and fall, Slash’s Snakepit and all the way up to his band at the time Velvet Revolver.  It is a journey filled with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.  You get to see what influenced him in life and what drove him forward to succeed.  I would say you get everything as he lays it all out on the table.  He isn’t afraid to paint himself in a negative light either.

After reading this book, I am amazed that Slash is actually still alive.  He started doing drugs, drinking and having sex at an extremely young age.  His parental supervision was  interesting as his parents were very artsy and lived a very bohemian lifestyle.  At a young age, he was surrounded by famous people, including the late David Bowie.  He started out skateboarding and eventually discovered the Guitar and then his focus changed.  School was never important, but even less so when he started playing guitar.

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My Sunday Song – “Fly to the Angels” by Slaughter

My Sunday Song #91 is “Fly to the Angels” by Slaughter.  The song was off their debut album ‘Stick It To Ya” and was there biggest selling single which charted #1 on the Mainstream Rock chart.  It was the band’s only million selling song and was one of the best power ballads to come out of the 80’s Hair Metal scene. The funny thing is, the band isn’t an 80’s band.  All of their albums were released in the 90’s starting with this one in 1990.  To be fair, the 80’s Hair Metal scene hadn’t fully died off yet, that came a couple years later.

The song features Mark Slaughter’s unique vocals which were a little raw and scratchy which fit perfectly for the sound they were going for and helped them stand out on their own from other bands.  The slow groove of the guitar heavy song hypnotically takes you through the story of the loss of someone that the person of the song truly loved.  You can really feel the loneliness and the pain this person is feeling at his loss.  It is a really touching song when you break it down and explore it.

I am sure everyone has lost someone at one point in time so that is probably why the song connected with so many people at the time.  If you haven’t heard it in awhile, give it a listen.

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Friday New Releases – May 11th

May is kicking in to high gear.  The temperature is heating up and so is the music.  There are only a few I am interested in this week, but there is plenty to get you moving this weekend.  My choices are highlighted in Blue.  Let me know what tickles your fancy and if I missed anything (which I know I did).  Take a look and have a great weekend!!!

  • 51O5XlQtVaL._AC_US436_QL65_  RSO (Richie Sambora & Orianthi) – Radio Free America – (BMG):  The first full length album from Richie Sambora & Orianthi.  Well, it isn’t really completely new as they have had 2 EPs and a couble singles which are all included. The only new songs are only “Blues Won’t Leave Me Alone” and “Hellbound Train”.  I have mixed feelings on the EPs, but let’s see how they play as a full length album.

  • 51Jg2VeHSHL._SX120_SY120_  Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino – (Domino Recording):  Arctic Monkeys are back with their first album in five years.  It has been a while, but I am eager to hear if any of the magic is back.  They haven’t disappointed me yet…or at least very little.  Here is a snippet…

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Turntables & Vinyl #15 – More & More Vinyl

Vinyl, Vinyl, Vinyl…I keep getting more and more and I get more addicted to wanting more and more.  My wife shakes her head and just sighs at this point.  I guess I could be drinking, smoking or doing drugs, but thankfully that is not the case.  If I did those things, I would consume everything and I would just be throwing money away.  With the vinyl purchases, I at least could sell them if I ran out of money, so it is an investment…yeah, let’s go with that!!

There is a friend at work that her husband has 2 big crates of vinyl in their closet and she wants them out of the house.  So before they took them somewhere to sell them, she gave me first crack at going through them and letting me pick out the ones I want first. I gave her a fair price (more than any record store would give her, even more than they would in store credit).

The crates were very heavy and full of vinyl.  My wife said I should take them upstairs in the Loft and sit with the family while I went through them.  I declined as they were too dang heavy and I didn’t want to tackle the stairs with them.  Instead, I stayed downstairs for a couple hours and slowly went through the collection.

The collection consisted of albums from the late 50’s all the way up to the late 80’s.  Each crate was sort of themed.  The one crate was from the 50’s-70’s and it was all her husband’s parents vinyl.  It had stuff I had never heard of and a lot I had.  There was Elvis, Liberace (I passed on those), Oak Ridge Boys, Alabama, the Kingston Trio and I could go on and on.

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Tuesday Meme’s – Billy Joel

It is time now to celebrate all that is Billy Joel.  Or mock him, either way he is getting his turn on the Tuesday’s Memes.  The collection I have gathered will hopefully make you smile, laugh or groan in agony…I don’t care which as we don’t judge here.  I hope you enjoy.

The songs…

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The Fratellis – ‘In Your Own Sweet Time’ – Album Review

The Fratellis released their fifth studio album back in March, titled ‘In Your Own Sweet Time’ and it has been on repeat.  This album shows us a band who is comfortable being who they are and shows a confidence in both the band and the music.

The album is full of infectious pop melodies and a sound that is strictly their own.  The songs are fun and enjoyable enough to play over and over despite the lyrics not always being so happy-go-lucky.  They will make you want to dance or just sit back and enjoy while you are tapping your feet.  It is a total feel good album.

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My Sunday Song – “Burn” by Deep Purple

For My Sunday Song #90, I am going with “Burn” by the band Deep Purple.  The song was the first single off the album of the same name and the first with new lead singer David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes.  The song wasn’t a big chart buster on its release in 1974, but it did chart  at #45 on the UK Charts in 1978, but that was four years after its release.  Not sure why the time difference.

The song at 6:40 in length features a blistering guitar solo by Richie Blackmore and a finger licking good organ solo by Jon Lord. The song has everything.  The vocals are shared between David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes.  A pretty awesome duo to have in your band.  In fact, the whole band for this song & album were pretty amazing.

  • David Coverdale – vocals
  • Glenn Hughes – bass, vocals
  • Richie Blackmore – guitar
  • Jon Lord – Hammond Organ
  • Ian Paice – drums

It doesn’t get much better than that.  After this version of Deep Purple broke up (the Mark III version), Coverdale would go on to form Whitesnake and at one time or another, Ian and Jon both played in the band with David.

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Friday New Releases – May 4th

Happy Friday and May the 4th Be With You!!  Yes, I went there on Star Wars Day!!  There aren’t a ton of releases but a few I am excited about.  I will highlight those in Blue as usual.  Go through and let me know what you like or what I might have missed.  I hope you enjoy and have a great weekend.

  • 51JgZnr7AML._SS500  Shinedown – Attention Attention – (Atlantic Recording):  The main one I want to hear is the new Shinedown album.  The song “Devil” was freaking awesome and I love the whole idea of loose concept album.  It isn’t a full on concept album, but the songs will take you on a journey of a person who is starting in a very dark, ominous place and take you all the way through to the other side where this person is done battling his mind and his issues and coming out a changed person.  Check out “Devil” and then get this album.

  • 71idNtL4rWL._SX522_  Mat Kearney – CRAZYTALK – (Tomorrow Music):  Mat Kearney is one of the finer singer/songwriters out there and he never gets enough credit.  He has some great pop sensibilities, but takes risk and tries new things.  I don’t like to listen to his albums ahead of time, I like to be surprised and I hope this will bring many.

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