Like a lot of musicians during the pandemic, Billy Idol kept himself busy recording his first new music in 7 years with ‘The Roadside’ E.P. Sadly, it is only four songs, but as a fan I will take what I can get. One of my favorite albums of Billy’s was his last album ‘Kings & Queens of the Underground’ so I have been waiting to see where he goes next and now we know. And I am excited as I can add a new post to the fantastic Billy Idol Series we did here on the site. I don’t know if this series will ever come to an end and I sure hope it doesn’t as I love having new Billy Idol music to hear.
The album was produced by producer Butch Walker (He’s worked with Matt Nathanson who I love) and Billy had his partner-in-crime, Steve Stevens, at his side to help him co-write and create new music. The three together were able to craft a great little nugget of music that will hopefully be the first of many from Billy in the future. The most recent thing we’ve had prior to this was a song Billy did with Miley Cyrus called “Night Crawling” which was fantastic. You know, that makes me think I need to review that song for the series as well. I will get on that.
I have a copy of the E.P. that should be arriving today, but I couldn’t wait to review it so I went ahead and did that thanks to streaming. My version that is in the mail is the standard black edition with one big difference. Mine will be autographed by the man himself! Yep, Billy Idol autographed my copy just for me…plus anyone else’s copy that ordered one.
For My Sunday Song #265, we are going to go back to the controversy with the song “Thoughts & Prayers” by Will Hoge. The song is off his protest E.P. called ‘My American Dream’ from 2018. When Will does the E.P.’s, he has a lot to say and he will not hold back and I think that is the magic of his protest music. It is honest, truthful and he rips the band-aid right off and exposes things for what they are.
This song was inspired by yet another mass shooting and this time it was one on November 5, 2017 in Southerland Springs, Texas at a church where 26 people were murdered when someone walked in to their church and opened fire. Will heard the news while he was on tour in Denver and before his show that night, he sat down and started writing a song based around three words he found useless and pointless that was coming from the mouths of politicians. Those words were “Thoughts & Prayers”. He felt those words held no wait. We need action and not words. He rips the politicians and tears a new whole to the NRA as he speaks to fact we need better gun control in this country. He isn’t saying we don’t need guns, but more that it should be harder to get and more scrutiny who can get them.
Musically, the song is very simple. It is an acoustic guitar and Will truthfully speaking out his lyrics and you can feel the truth oozing from his mouth. You can feel the anger, feel the sadness and the hurt and you can feel the exhaustion from all the non-sense that comes from Washington D.C. Politicians that are snuggled in the warm blankets of the NRA afraid to do something and lose that NRA money for their elections. 3 years later, still zero action and it feels like we have a mass shooting almost every single day. It is really crazy. I know it isn’t guns that kill people, but something needs to be done to make it harder for those people that kill people to get them. Whatever we have right now, isn’t working.
You, my reader, are going to pick an album for me to review each month. It is really simple…first, I will give you 5 albums to choose from and second, you will tell me which one of those you would like to see reviewed on the site. See…simple!
There are a few simple rules I have put in to place in my selections. They are…
One has to be a new release (within the last month)
One has to be one I have never heard before (new releases don’t count for this one)
One has to be from a genre I don’t normally listen to at all or very often
And the last two are choices from my collection that I haven’t reviewed before
What are the 5 albums you ask? Funny you should ask because I have those right here…
New Release – Candlebox – ‘Wolves’
Never Heard Before – MC5 – ‘Kick Out the Jams’
Not My Normal Genre – Issac Hayes – ‘Hot Buttered Soul’
From My Collection – Guns ‘N Roses – ‘Chinese Democracy’
From My Collection – Mother’s Finest – ‘Another Mother Further’
Let me know which one you would like to see and sometime in October, I will post a review of the album that gets the most votes. You have one week to decide and from there I will start listening to the album and do a review.
Happy Friday!! You made it through another week so congratulations are in order! And as an award you have an abundance of new releases to pick through and hopefully something will catch you eye. We have the 2nd week in a row with over 50 albums to choose form. I also want to give a shout out to my beautiful wife and wish her a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Today she is ??? I ain’t going to tell you her age, that would be rude!! Now back to the show, I am really excited about one and somewhat about others and I have highlighted all my choices in Blue. Let me know what you want to hear and what albums I may have missed as it does happen. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.
Billy Idol – The Roadside E.P. – (BFI Records / Dark Horse Records / BMG): I am so excited about this release as I have been a fan for a long time and I did a whole series of over 20 posts on his career. It was a blast. His new song “Bitter Taste” is actually amazing and I can’t wait to hear the rest. The only disappointing thing is it is an E.P. and only 4 songs, but I will take what I can get at this point. My autographed copy should be here soon.
Daughtry – Dearly Beloved – (Dogtree Records): It has been 3 years since his last release but feels like longer. I like his style of rock as it is pretty damn catchy and he has some great choruses and I like that. I did get oversaturated with him, but I am ready for some more as I feel it has been longer than it has actually been. Here’s to hoping for a good album!!
After the disappointing sales of their debut, the band quickly jumped back in to the studio to work on their second album, ‘In Color’. By September of 1977, the album was done and released. The album was far more polished than the rawness of the debut. I am sure they were hoping for a more radio-friendly sound and hoping for a big single. Which sadly, they did not get in the U.S. However, the band became superstars with this album in Japan. Yep, Japan. When they went and toured that country the next year, they were welcomed with a whole Beatlemania type vibe and the country just loved them. But we will get to that later.
The album cover as interesting. On the front, you have Robin Zander and Tom Petersson on the front riding motorcycles and in vivid color. But when you turn the cover over, you get an upside picture of Rick Nielsen and Bun E. Carlos riding bicycles and in black & white. I loved the contrast between the two pictures as it shows a playful band that doesn’t take itself too seriously and is having a little fun. Although the album is a single LP, you get a gatefold album jacket and in the inside picture is of the whole band in bright, bright color and again split between the same two members on each side, but at least Bun and Rick are not upside down this time.
When I was on vacation during this past Summer, I found a ton of 45 Singles with the Picture Sleeves at a place called House of Vinyl and I ended buying 7 Van Halen 45’s. For the next 7 weeks, we will go through those singles in release order. And first up is “Dance the Night Away” from 1979.
For the band’s second album, “Dance the Night Away” was the first single released for the album. The copy I have is actually a promotional copy so the song “Dance the Night Away” is on both sides. Why is that you may ask. That is because as a promotional copy this was sent to radio stations. The first side has the song in Mono and B-Side is the same song but in Stereo. That way the radio station could use the side that fit their format if they were either an AM Radio station or an FM, I presume. The song is I believe the album track and not a edited version so nothing special about it other than it is cool.
The song was originally titled “Dance, Lolita, Dance” according to David Lee Roth, but Edward Van Halen thankfully talked him out of it. The song was one of the few off Van Halen II that were actually conceived in the studio and done so when the band was standing in a circle humming to each other. And according to Wiki, the song was inspired by Fleetwood Mac’s song “Go Your Own Way” which I can see. The song is a little more upbeat and less hard rock and maybe even more pop rock.
After the sour reaction to the previous album, ‘Jugulator’, Priest tried to determine what went wrong. It was a myriad of things, but most importantly was due to the departure of the much loved Rob Halford and then completely changing your sound and abandoning everything that Judas Priest was known for in its sound. It is pretty simple actually. They tried to rectify one of those things as Rob was still not in the band. The lead singer for his second album with the band was Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens. The end result was the album ‘Demolition’ which was released on July 16, 2001 and did even worse then the previous album. It only charted at #165 on the US Billboard charts.
However, the album is way better than the reception it received. The band still consisted of K.K. Downing, Glenn Tipton, Ian Hill and Scott Travis along with Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens and this time around they went back to a more Priest sound which was a little less heavy and a lot more melodic. They did modernize the sound by adding some nu-metal / industrial elements while still maintaining a lot of what Priest fans loved. This was a much more accessible album and one I find to be way better than the previous one. Dare I say, I really like this album, but it still doesn’t completely feel like a Priest album. It is a step in the right direction.
The opening track “Machine Man” sadly doesn’t really stray too far from the previous album. It is pretty brutal and heavy. It is one of the songs on the album that actually garnered Priest with their first Parental Advisory Sticker on an album due to the language. The guitar playing on this is pretty lethal and the combo of Tipton and Downing again shows how great this band is with those two. And not to be outdone, Travis’ drumming is totally maddening and still can’t figure out how he can drum that fast…it is crazy nuts. But I don’t completely hate it despite it’s resemblance to the prior album. Tim’s singing is better and more melodic at times and at least it had a decent chorus.
Alright…You Picked It! And this one was really, really close. Who am I kidding, this one wasn’t even fair. The winner blew away the competition. The album that one was Captain Beefheart’s ‘Trout Mask Replica which is one I’d never heard before and honestly, don’t think I ever want to hear again, but more on that later. The votes were as follows:
Thanks to all for participating. The October choices will be up on Saturday!
CAPTAIN BEEFHEART & HIS MAGIC BAND – ‘TROUT MASK REPLICA’
I’m really not sure where to begin with this album. To say I’ve never heard anything like Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band’s ‘Trout Mask Replica’ wouldn’t be a lie…but it also wouldn’t be a good thing. The album came out back on June 16, 1969 only about 6 months after I was born. It combines elements of Experimental Rock, Avant Garde, Blues, Free Jazz, but did anyone ask if those things should be joined in to one. I think that would’ve been a great question to actually ask and be answered by someone that wasn’t doing a massive amount of psychedelic, mind-altering drugs. Frank Zappa produced it so I am sure he wouldn’t have been the right person to ask.
For My Sunday Song #264, we are talking about “Middle of America” by Will Hoge. The song is off his 2015 album “Small Town Dreams” and the song went to #53 on the Country charts while the album went to #15 on the Country Charts and #162 on the Billboard 200 which isn’t the highest chart position, but it made the chart nonetheless. The song was written by Will Hoge with Jessi Alexander and Tommy Lee James who are both highly sought after writers in the Country scene.
“Middle of America” is about just that thing. Those states you tend to flyover when travelling across the country. Those small towns that keep the country moving. Will, Jessi and Tommy were having a writing session and they were talking about growing up in these small towns and what life was like. You have that town drunk, that veteran, that hometown band and everything else you would expect in a small town.
The music for the song is pure country on this one with a southern rock vibe as well. I think of it as a cross between John Mellencamp’s “Small Town” and “Pink Houses” and he knew how to tell those small town songs and I feel this one is right up there with some of the best. It is so good in fact that Will couldn’t decide whether to give to a Country artist to sing and make tons of money or keep it for himself. Thankfully, he kept it for himself. Will’s vocals fit the song perfectly. He has a little grit and also a smoothness that swallows you up in the song and makes you move to the beat and invested in the song. The guitars on it have some fine picking and the drums lay down a great beat that keeps the song a little on the happy side of nostalgia.
Welcome to another week of new release and do we have a bunch to choose from. We have an astounding 56 releases today!! That is INSANE!!! With that many albums, there has to be a little in here for everyone. I have a handful that I want to hear today and you will as well I am sure. My choices are in Blue. Let me know which ones you want to hear this week and also tell me if I missed any which I am sure will happen. Thanks so much for stopping by and I hope you all have a great weekend.
Metallica – Metallica (Deluxe Editions/Box Set) – (Blackened Recordings): The biggest selling Metallica gets the Deluxe treatment with a newly remastered album and previously unreleased, demos, rough mixes, & live tracks. Includes a 28-page booklet. This will be fun going through and will keep you busy for quite some time.
Metallica – The Metallica Blacklist – (Blackened Recordings): This Metallica set if 4 CDs of artists of all sorts of genres playing songs of the album. You get 50+ artists and a pretty cool tribute album basically.