After the success of their self-titled E.P., Ratt signed a record deal with Atlantic Records and that deal brought us the incredible debut album ‘Out of the Cellar’. On March 27th, 1984, the album was released and thanks to MTV, the band became a huge sensation.
The band’s line-up was unchanged from the E.P, consisting of the following members:
- Stephen Pearcy – vocals
- Robin Crosby – lead guitar
- Warren DeMartini – lead guitar
- Juan Croucier – bass
- Bobby Blotzer – drums
With the incredible dual guitar combo of Crosby & DeMartini and the bluesy, raspiness of Pearcy’s vocals, the band had an arsenal of great songs that took them to the pinnacle of rock and selling millions and millions of records. It also didn’t hurt that they looked the part which was crucial for the MTV world that was exploding on the scene at the time.
Take that and add a beautiful woman on the cover your album and there was denying this band. Tawny Kitaen graced the cover of the debut album as she was the then girlfriend of Robin Crosby. She also graced the cover of their E.P. but that was just her beautiful legs. This time, you got the whole package. For those that didn’t know, Tawny is the video vixen that was dancing on the pair of Jaguars in the Whitesnake videos in the late 80’s when she was dating David Coverdale.
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I am going to go ahead and say I had no idea who this band was before listening. I saw their album reviews on other sites I visit and the ratings were really good so I decided to check out the album. And let me tell you, those reviews were no where close to how I good this album really is. I will put it out there…this is my FAVORITE album so far this year. It is unbelievable!!
Now, who is Reach? Reach is a band out of Sweden and ‘The Great Divine’ is actually their second album. I completely missed the first. The band is now a power trio and consists of the following members:
- Ludvig Turner (Guitars & Vocals)
- Marcus Johansson (Drums)
- Soufian Ma’Aoui (Bass)
The album was was recorded at Rocksta Sound Studio, produced by Jona Tee (H.E.A.T) and mixed by Tobias Lindell (Europe, Avatar). That is the basic summary I have found on the band. They are labeled as a melodic rock band as it seems most bands from Sweden seemed to be labeled. Well, that and Glam. But I feel that label limits them. They have that sound – the strong hooks and melodies, but their sound is also so modern and varied that I think they are so much more. Ludvig’s vocal abilities are definitely showcased throughout the album.
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Rick Springfield has been releasing music since the early 70’s. You have the teeny bopper music from the 70’s to the pop hits he had in the 80’s including “Jessie’s Girl” which made him very famous. And now at 68, he brings his 20th studio album called “The Snake King”.
He has done many styles over the years and this time he ventures into the Blues genre. The album is a mixture of Blues Rock and straight up Blues. Now, this isn’t Blues like you would think with Curtis Mayfield or Robert Johnson, heck it isn’t even Blues like Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Jonny Lang. This is Rick Springfield Blues. He can try different genres, but he will always have that Rick Springfield sound and feel to his albums. You can’t be around for 5 decades in music and not have your own style or vibe.
The Blues can be very depressing and sad at times and you might think, how is Rick going to honestly convey those emotions. Well, let me tell you he hits the nail on the head with the blues. Rick has suffered immensely with depression and he has had many issues in his life. He digs deep and captures the stories and feelings from those dark times.
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Scott Stapp. Where do you begin? The Creed frontman has been ridiculed and the talk of much gossip with his numerous personal issues. He seems to be one of those artists that people love to hate. I don’t get it. I will go ahead and say this upfront. I think he is an awesome singer and a great frontman. I like Creed!! I like Scott Stapp!! I like Art of Anarchy!! I like everything he has done…okay, maybe not everything…but heckuva lot of it.
Scott’s personal demons are well documented…his drinking problems, many addictions and his battle with bipolar disorder. He has attempted suicide, been in and out of rehab and so many other things that nobody wants to have happen to them. At the time of this album, he seemed to be doing really well. But shortly after, he came crashing down again.
‘Proof of Life’ is Scott’s 2nd solo album and is probably his most personal and honest record he has ever done. It takes you on a stroll through all his struggles and how he somehow is able to get back up and fight back. There are many Christian overtones in the music, but it is not a Christian album. It is a mainstream, hard rock album…no doubt. It is probably the best thing he has ever done. Yes, I said it…The BEST thing he has ever done!!!
Continue reading “Scott Stapp – ‘Proof of Life’ (2013) – Album Review”
I would venture to say that I am not in the same demographic this album is geared towards. I am a 49 year old male who does not frequent dance clubs or listen to much pop radio, but you what? I don’t care. I am really digging this album and the fact I say I am digging this album proves I am not the audience for this music.
The album ‘Blue Madonna’ is BØRNS second full length studio release and a follow-up to his 2015 stellar release ‘Dopamine’. With a name like BØRNS, the sound of his music and his whole style, I thought he was some European act that was breaking in America. Boy, I was wrong. He is actually from Michigan and a full on American.
He has his own style for sure as you can see by that amazing outfit on the cover. I am no where cool enough to pull off that look. BØRNS has a whole androgynous vibe about him as well with his hair, his clothes and his very high vocal range which adds to his mystique. His falsetto will leave Adam Levine very jealous. Now I guess I should talk about the music.
The sound and sonic vibe of the album is a mixture of pop, psychedelic pop and electro-pop. The album is a little moody and dark at times. This is definitely not something I am normally drawn to, but there is something about his songs that attracts me to it. Ever since I heard his first hit “Electric Love” back in 2016, I have been a fan. And with his first single off the album, “Faded Heart”, I was anticipating another great album and I wasn’t disappointed.
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Richie Sambora & Orianthi (or RSO for short) have put out two E.P.’s and now give us two new singles just in time for Valentine’s Day (now this is a little past Valentine’s Day, but that was when I first heard it). They give is the incredible Sonny & Cher cover of “I Got You Babe” and a new single called “Forever All The Way”.
First off, we will focus on “I Got You Babe”. Now, I have to admit, I have been waiting for a great cover of the Sonny & Cher classic song. Sadly, this isn’t it. In fact, no one is waiting for a cover of “I Got You Babe”. I am sorry to admit this is dreadful. Is that harsh? I am sorry, but it is. I give them credit for trying a few things different with it. They definitely bring into the modern era for sound and they try to rock it out. It doesn’t work. It was a cheesy song before and it is still a cheesy song now.
I know they are happy together and it is supposed to be a fun song, but there is nothing redeeming about it that will make me ever want to listen to this drivel ever again. I liked their last E.P., “Making History”. This goes in completely the wrong direction from what they accomplished with that one.
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John 5 & the Creatures bring us a new album to start the year off and this time we get their first live album. ‘It’s Alive’ was recorded live off the Season of the Witch Tour in 2017 at the Sellersville Theater in Sellersville, Pennsylvania in April 2017. The band consists of John 5 on lead guitar, Ian Ross on bass and Logan Miles Nix on drums. The amount of music that comes out of these there guys for this album is incredible.
In listening to an interview with John 5 on Talking Metal with Emily Strigl, I learned that album was recorded rather spontaneously. They arrived at the theater the day of the show and someone from the theater asked them if they wanted to record the show as they had a recording booth upstairs. The band joyfully said yes. And a little less than a year later, we have a live album released.
John 5 also stated in the interview that there are no overdubs or any re-recordings. What you hear is what you get. And what you hear is a live album that is near perfection which is also a little of the drawback. The album at times doesn’t sound live as the musicianship is absolutely incredible. There are probably errors, but they are not noticeable (at least to my untrained ears).
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Not a huge cover albums fan, I was very apprehensive on this release. I do like cover songs, you know, maybe throwing one on an album, but not a whole album. Cover albums can be very hit or miss. The band either interrupts the songs in to their own sound or they copy it exactly adding nothing special and that is always my fear.
The Poodles decided to do a covers album for their 7th studio album and all though I am a huge fan of the band, this worried me greatly. But being a fan, a did give it a spin. The good news is the band took an approach of picking songs from artist that are not in their specific genre of glam metal and they definitely achieved that goal. The album title ‘Prisma’, I can only assume was picked to signify the songs would be looked at from different angles or viewpoints and they would add their own color to them. And was that achieved? Well, let’s discuss that and find out.
The opening track of the album sounds like pure, classic Poodle. The song is “Crazy Horses” by the Osmond Brothers from 1972. Yes, I said that right…the Osmond Brothers. Now that is definitely going outside your genre. The song is cranked up much heavier and would fit perfectly on any Poodles’ album. What helps is that I am not real familiar with this song so I have no preconceived notions of what this song should sound like. Their first choice is making me think this might be a great covers album.
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Anderson East’s ‘Encore’ is the follow-up to his label debut album ‘Delilah’. With ‘Encore’, Anderson is finding himself and bringing us such a powerful vocal performance. His voice was so soulful with that grittiness and emotion that it reminded me of Joe Cocker. For that reason alone, I really dug this album.
He had some help with this album with songs written by Chris Stapleton (“King for a Day”) and Ed Sheeran (“All On My Mind”) both personal favorites. He also reworked songs by Ted Hawkins (“Sorry Your Sick”) and Willie Nelson (“Somebody Pick Up My Pieces”).
One of my favorites from the album is the upbeat song “Girlfriend” which feels like he is in church testifying his love to the congregation using horns and synthesizer (organ sounds) to give it that churchy feel.
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Back in 1976, there lived a band fronted by Stephen Pearcy called Mickey Ratt. With limited success and numerous line-up changes over the years, including the great Jake E. Lee on guitar, the band eventually found the line-up that would work. By 1982, that line-up be complete.
In 1981, one of the most crucial pieces was another songwriter to work with Stephen. That role was filled by the late Robin Crosby on guitar. Also in 1981, a young guitar great, by the name of Warren DeMartini, joined the band courtesy of Jake E. Lee’s recommendation. He would leave as he was in college and was afraid to quit school for a band with only moderate success. He returned in 1982. Finally, the band would add Bobby Blotzer on drums (ex Vic Vergeat) and Juan Crucier (formerly with Dokken) on bass and the band was complete.
Everything was in place and the band finally got a record deal in July 1983 with an independent label called Time Coast Music. The band released their first E.P. as Ratt and it was simply called Ratt. The E.P. included 6 tracks; however, the European release would give you 7 tracks which was an early version of “You’re In Trouble” that was later released on ‘Out of the Cellar’. My version on vinyl is the U.S. release. My version is also a re-release that was done in 1984 after the success of ‘Out of the Cellar’ which included a picture of the band with their more current look and was released by Atlantic Records.
Continue reading “Ratt – Ratt E.P. – Album Review”