For My Sunday Song #233, we are discussing the song “Painkiller” by the band Halestorm. The song is off their 2018 album ‘Vicious’ which went to #8 on the Billboard 200 Album chart. The album produced 5 singles, however, this was not one of them. This is a deep cut that is one of my favorite songs on the album. The song was written by Lzzy Hale, Joe Hottinger and Scott Stevens who helped write the song “Mz. Hyde”.
The song doesn’t really have any deep meaning. It focuses on how you get so in to a person that you become addicted to them. They take all the pain away and make you feel so good. You end up craving them, wanting them ever second. You can never get enough of them. The become the drug to feed your addiction. Simple enough.
Musically, the song is so freaking heavy. Josh Smith’s bass is a beast as it lays down this nasty bass line. Arejay Hale’s drum sound is immense and sounds like an explosive cloud of thunder and is only missing the lightning. But I guess the guitar work by Joe would be the lightning as it flashes in with some nasty riffs. Lzzy’s vocals are strong, powerful and one of the best vocalist in the rock scene today. She sings on this with that addict intensity and is what the song needs to take it over the top. It is brilliant.
We are already to the end of January which is hard to believe one month is already over. To end the month we have a long, long list of new music releases so I am hoping there is something in there for you. I am not really excited about much at all. I might give a couple things a listen just because so I will highlight those in Blue. Let me know what you are excited to hear, surprised to hear about it or maybe even what releases I may have missed. We want to know all the releases worth mentioning. Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!!
The Michael Schenker Group – Immortal – (Nuclear Blast): Michael is celebrating 50 years in the business and this releases brings us some very cool guests including Joe Lynn Turner, Ronnie Romero and keyboardist Derek Sherinian to just name a few. Some pretty cool guest so I will give it a try especially since I dig Joe’s and Ronnie’s vocals.
Accept – Too Mean To Die – (Nuclear Blast): Okay, I am not a huge fan of these guys, but I know some people that are and are probably excited about this release. The only thing I really know by them is “Balls to the Wall” so as you know that is a song from the 80’s so not up on the band. However, I will see what the fuss is about at least.
The lack of success for the band’s last album, ‘Hot in the Shade’, had them at a crossroads again as to what to do. They were asked to record a song for Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey in February of 1991, so they brought Bob Ezrin back to record it although Gene was a little hesitant about it after the debacle of ‘Music from the Elder’. But they recorded that song, which was “God Gave Rock And Roll To You II”, and then nothing for awhile. Paul was writing songs with various people, Gene was writing with Bob Dylan (sort of – you can read about that in The Vault series), and then the tragedy of Eric Carr happened. As we discussed in the last post, Eric had heart cancer and died on November 24, 1991 and he had been sick for some time. It was a dark day in Kisstory.
Eric Singer was brought in as the drummer full time now and Kiss went back in the studio in December 1991 with Bob Ezrin back at the helm as the producer probably in part that the Bill & Ted song did so well. The band sought help from an old friend at this time to help with the songwriting. That old friend was Vinnie Vincent. Actually, I think Vinnie reached out to them, but it doesn’t matter. Vinnie had turned over a new leaf and wrote some great songs with both Gene and Paul. And then Vinnie turned back in to Vinnie and tried to renegotiate a contract with them, sued the band and then lost. And Vinnie was again on bad terms with the band. Oh well, at least they tried. There was another Kiss connection on this album as the boys from the band Black ‘N Blue were brought in to help with backing vocals. They would be Jaime St. James and Tommy Thayer. Tommy is now the current Kiss guitarist for the band. This brings the count to 7 Kiss members that worked on the album…Gene, Paul, Eric S., Eric C., Bruce, Tommy and Vinnie. Pretty cool!
Welcome to the first Purchases post of 2021. After the crapload of items in December, I am so not going to be able to top that right out of the gate. This time, the focus is more on the CDs as I finally got back out to Manifest Discs which has a great used CD selection. I was able to get out by myself and take my time going through the racks. They have a deal where if you buy 2 you get 1 for a $1, so of course, I have to buy way more than 2. I ended up buying 11 and it worked out to <$5 per disc when it was all said and done.
The first batch is a band that doesn’t have much on vinyl as they are from the early 2000’s up to a few years ago so it is easier to go the CD route than the vinyl. That band is Lifehouse. I picked up 6 CDs. Now, I used to have all these before, but due to dumping the collection stupidly about 7-8 years ago, I didn’t have them anymore. Now I am going back and getting my favorite stuff again. Only need 1 more Lifehouse album.
The next couple of CDs are for a band, I never thought I’d like, but man, I really do. It is a rap rock band called Hollywood Undead. I picked up two CDs…again the vinyl is a mish-mash of do they or don’t they, but they do have CDs. These are their first two studio albums. I still have 6 more to go.
For some strange reason, I am on a kick reading all about the band Kiss. I don’t know what it is, but maybe it has to do with the Kiss Review Series that I am currently in the middle of doing. The book I decided to read next was a book about the album ‘Music From the Elder’ and sadly, the timing didn’t work out for me to review this book at the same time as the album as that would’ve been great. But better late than never.
The book I read was “Odyssey – The Definitive Examination of Music From the Elder” by Tim McPhate and Julian Gill. And let me tell you , it is definitive. It is over 500 pages of every little detail, little nugget and little story about the album. You would think that one of the bands worst album (arguably) would not warrant a book, but you’d be wrong It does warrant a book for that very reason. We want to know what was going through their minds with this album? Where did the concept come from, what made them go down that road (or who)? All those questions and more were answered.
The authors of this book interview everyone under the sun that was in some way, shape or form associated with this album from engineers, to management, to gophers, to album art designers, to set directors, to actors, to even bits of interviews of the producer himself, Bob Ezrin. I mean there are interviews ad nauseam. And I mean ad nauseam. There were over 30 interviews done for the book. A great portion of this book are just interviews and it reads in that format. Questions become very repetitive because the burning question on everyone’s mind seems to be what happened to the recordings of the dialogue with the actors to help tell the story? The only dialogue on the album was around the last song, but apparently there was a lot more recorded, never released and no one knows where those recordings are or who has them. And after reading this, I don’t give a rat’s ass where it is. I hope I never hear that question again. No one knows the answer!!!
This whole interview process was my biggest complaint for this book. Too many interviews, too many repetitive questions and too many repetitive questions. See that, I am repeating myself now as a result of too many repetitive questions. I would have preferred the writers to take these interviews and actually tell a story chronologically of the whole process using these interviews as the facts for the stories and quoting the person being interviewed. It would have made this a much more enjoyable book rather than being so monotonous and became utterly boring at times.
It took me months to get through this book as the amount of minutiae was incredible. The only thing I don’t think we learned about was the toilet paper they used to wipe their ass when they went to the bathroom and thank God for that (It’s Charmin by the way – kidding). We learn where they recorded the album, all 9 studios. We learn how the door on the cover was made and the table on the gatefold. We learn that Ace stayed at his home studio mostly and rarely, if ever, joined the band other than when they recorded at his house. We learn who the actors were that read the dialogue. One was Chris Makepeace, the star from the 1980 movie ‘My Bodyguard’ which I loved. We learn that Bob Ezrin was fucked up most of the time and rarely showed up for recording. We learn Bob was ultimately responsible for the concept all though Gene was about equally involved. We learn the label changed the order of the songs on the original release which messed everything up. We learn the band really hates the album now and we learn more than we ever really wanted to know.
Was the book all bad, of course not. There really is some interesting nuggets buried in the pages of a million interviews, it takes forever to find them and enjoy them. Whenever the book broke in to commentary and became less like interviews is when I enjoyed it more. I do think one of the more interesting pieces was around the end when they interview the guy that bought the one and only script for the Elder Movie and he talked about what the movie would’ve been like if it was actually ever made. He has a one-of-a-kind collector’s item in that script and his stories were great on the movie concept.
I did like reading about the different album releases and track listings and lot about the collector’s items for The Elder. It was interesting to read more about the background of the characters in The Elder and I must say I enjoyed Robert V. Conte’s stories on what is in The Elder vault and all the conversations on the remastering projects he has been on for the band. That is some cool stuff and let me tell you Kiss fans, there is a ton of stuff in the archives, we haven’t even heard yet.
Okay, I think I have rambled on too long. This book is for the diehard fan. If you want to know every little detail about the album, and read about it more than once, then this book is for you. If you are hoping for more of a story and biography type book, then steer clear of this as it will drive you insane, and to note, that is a short drive for me. I can only muster a 2.0 out of 5.0 Stars for this as it was too much. It gets 2.0 stars as I did learn a few things and there were some great behind the scenes stories, but they were just buried in all the muck. Buyer beware on this one.
Back before Christmas, Noble Records here in Charlotte came across an amazing Record Collection that was being sold and it was filled with so many rare and amazing rock and metal albums. He naturally bought it and offered it up in his store in a huge release on December 12, 2020. He called it Metalocalypse or something like that. It was full of great stuff and worth getting up and being in line almost an hour before opening and I was’t alone. I was sadly, about 20th in line and as a result I didn’t get everything I wanted. But there was one thing I saw on his instagram posts and videos that caught my eye and I was able to grab it.
That was a Promotional Copy of Bon Jovi’s single “You Give Love a Bad Name”. Doesn’t sound like a big deal does it? You’d be wrong because this is special for two reasons. First, It has the original banned album cover as the single cover art work. The woman in the wet T-Shirt. Yeah, I’ll take that shot any day. But that wasn’t the only thing cool about it. It was also autographed by Jon Bon Jovi himself. Of course, it is made out to Paul who was the gentlemen that originally had these albums. He owned a record shop back in the 70’s, 80’s and early 90’s as that was the time frame of most of his albums. I am glad that I have one of his pieces and he can be happy it is with a fellow music lover. Paul has since passed away which is the reason the collection was up for sell.
For My Sunday Song #232, we are going to discuss the ballad “Dear Daughter” by Halestorm off their 2015 album ‘Into the Wild Life’. The song wasn’t a single, but actually became very popular with fans, so much in fact a video was made for the song. The album went to #5 on the Billboard Charts and did really well for the band with songs like this one.
“Dear Daughter” is a tribute to Lzzy Hale’s and Arejay’s parents as they are brother and sister. Lzzy’s parents were so supportive for what her and her brother wanted to do with their life although they were terrified for their kids on the tough path ahead of them. After a conversation she had with her mom, Lzzy went to social media actually asked her fans…what do you wish your parents had said to you? Those responses inspired her to write this song using the answers she received from her fans. It is a really cool idea. With the song, Lzzy has said she is “passing the torch” to each little girl in the audience so they can see you can do whatever you want to do in your life.
The song is a ballad and for a heavy guitar band, it is great to see their softer side with a piano based song for which Lzzy wrote the music on. Lzzy wrote it with fellow bandmate Joe Hottinger and composer Dave Bassett. It is a beautiful song and so different that anything else the band had done it was really refreshing to see the softer side of the band. Apparently the version we here is only the 2nd take of the song. I guess she really was inspired.
Finally!! A week where there is a ton of music I want to hear. There are over 20 releases that I felt were worth mentioning, but I am sure there are a bunch more that I don’t have so let me know in the comments what I may have missed that you think the people should know. Frontiers Records has a big release day with at least 6 releases which honestly I think is way too many for a record company to release on the same day. I don’t feel it is fair to your artist to spread the support so thin and definitely not to the fans who can’t afford to buy all those albums at one time. I personally think you should re-think that strategy. Enough of that talk, my choices are highlighted in Blue. Tell me what you want to hear this week. Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!!
W.E.T. – Retransmission – (Frontiers Records): Now here is a band I think everyone should listen to this week. It has the great Robert Sall (Work of Art), Erik Martensson (Eclipse) and Jeff Scott Soto (Talisman) bringing you the name W.E.T. This is the band’s fourth and I think they keep getting better. What I thought would be only 1 album, now has a pretty decent catalog. I am a huge fan of Soto’s voice and even Martensson has a great voice. This is melodic rock at its finest.
The Dead Daisies – Holy Ground – (Universal): I really enjoyed this band with John Corabi as lead singer, but he is no longer there. Now they have a new singer who is none other than the Voice of Rock, Glenn Hughes, who I love. I am eager to listen to this to see what they got with Glenn at the helm. This album was supposed to come out right around when Covid hit if I’m not mistaken so I am glad to finally dive in.
Prior to the release of their next studio album, Kiss was asked to due a song for a movie. That movie was Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey. Yes, one of cinema’s finest movies, I know. The song was a cover of “God Gave Rock And Roll To You” by the band Argent, but the lyrics were changed up so much, they added the “II” at the end to signify it was a little different than the original. So that meant, not only was Russ Ballard’s name on the credits, it now had Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley and producer Bob Ezrin who the band was working with at the time for the new album. The single was released on August 22, 1991.
What was special about this song and release is that is the last Kiss single to feature Eric Carr. Eric wasn’t healthy enough to do the drums at the time, but he is featured in the background vocals. And luckily he was healthy enough to be in the video. Eric was extremely ill as he had been diagnosed with heart cancer. He had become so ill, he was no longer able to play, so the drum work on the song was handled by Eric Singer, who also did the drum work on the band’s next album, ‘Revenge’. Eric Carr made his last public appearance with the band shortly after the video at the MTV Musis Awards in September 1991. Shortly thereafter, Carr suffered an aneurysm then a brain hemorrhage and never regained consciousness. He later died on November 24, 1991 which was sadly, the same day Freddie Mercury of Queen had died and that overshadowed his death.
It is time for another album ranking and this time around we are exploring Diamond Dave himself, David Lee Roth. We will not be doing any Van Halen albums that will come later, we are focusing strictly on the David Lee Roth solo catalog. I am not even going to cover his debut E.P. ‘Crazy From the Heat’ as that is only 4 songs and only covers…boo hiss!
David had a very successful career after leaving Van Halen and then that career faded away. But he came out of the gate a little limp with ‘Crazy From the Heat’ although the album sold well and the video was played a lot for ‘California Girls’, but it was so campy and awful. Then his debut came out and thanks to Steve Vai, David Lee Roth did a better Van Halen album than Van Halen did with Sammy on 5150. That didn’t last forever and Dave kind of fell to the wayside, but so did Van Halen when Sammy left. But that is a story for another time.
Nowadays, He is still as crazy as ever and his mouth still runs amok which is just classic Dave. He has recently toured with Kiss on their Farewell Tour so he has never really fallen far from the spotlight. He’s always there on the cusp waiting for another 15 minutes. So I will give him that as we celebrate the man, the myth, the mouth..David Lee Roth
As usual, we will start with the worst and work are way to the best and save the best for last. I hope you enjoy.