My Sunday Song – “Fractured Mirror” by Ace Frehley

For My Sunday Song #121, we are going to explore the instrumental classic by Ace Frehley called “Fractured Mirror”.  For the next 10 posts, I am going to go through 10 of my favorite instrumental songs.  I figured I would start with the first instrumental song I ever got into.  The song is from Ace Frehley’s 1978 Kiss Solo album and it was the last track on an album that made me wish I could be Ace Frehley and a guitar god.

“Fractured Mirror” was actually the first instrumental that Ace would release would end up being a total of 5 pieces released in total on most of his solo records. You have “Fractured Too”, “Fractured III”, “Fractured Quantum” and finally “Quantum Flux” on his latest release.  For me, they are usually the highlight of the albums.

On Ace’s 1978 solo album, Ace showed he could be the frontman, he could survive on his own and do songs just as good or better than Kiss.  It was the start of things to come.  With “Fractured Mirror”, Ace showed that he was a technical guitarist and that he had the chops to hang with the best.

From the opening bells of the song, the opening guitar riff and throughout the beautiful melodies he created to the ending of that same opening guitar riff, Ace delivered a masterpiece that all his other instrumentals would be compared against.  Sadly, all were good, but none were this good.

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My Sunday Song – “I’m Not A Saint” by Billy Raffoul

For My Sunday Song #120, I am discussing one of my favorite songs of 2018 called “I’m Not A Saint” by newcomer Billy Raffoul.  The song is from his 2018 E.P. called ‘1975’ which I did a review on a couple months back (go check it out – click here).  The song was released as a single, but sadly, I don’t think I have heard it on the radio which I find to be sad as the world is missing out on a real talent.

When I saw Billy Raffoul open for Needtobreathe over the Summer, I was really impressed with his Jeff Buckley sounding vocals and so I picked up the E.P on vinyl at the show (which he gladly signed for me) and it turned out to be one of my favorite albums I have heard this year.  This song in particular jumped out at me and I really connected to it.

The song is about the fact we all have things we do that we know we shouldn’t.  Some sort of vice that is keeping us from being what he calls a “saint” such as smoking, drinking and cursing (which is my biggest problem).  He states he could be a saint if he tried, but honestly, I don’t think he is going to try which is fine as there is nothing wrong with having a vice (well as long as it doesn’t kill you I guess it is okay.

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My Sunday Song – “Not Ready To Make Nice” by the Dixie Chicks

For My Sunday Song #119, I am going with “Not Ready to Make Nice” by the Dixie Chicks. The song was off their 2006 album ‘Taking the Long Way’.  The single was a Platinum selling song and reached number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 which is pretty great for a country song.

Back in 2003, Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks made some comments during a show in London about then President George W. Bush and about the impending invasion of Iraq.  When word got back to the States, people were not happy with her or the band.  The band’s music was banned from Country radio and the band received death threats and all sorts of abuse.  So much for Free Speech!!

And I think things are worse with Free Speech now then they have ever been. You can’t say anything that someone else might disagree with or find offensive without being racked over the coals.  It is a scary time.  But that is for another conversation.

This single was released and the band let it be known their thoughts on the whole situation.  And let me tell you this was quite a Statement!!  What a great song.  It lays bare their thoughts and the troubles they faced during that time.  Natalie sings with such conviction and people loved it.  I guess time heals all wounds.  I was never a Dixie Chick fan until this song.  It made me respect them and their music.

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My Sunday Song – “Sunset Station” by Jorn Lande

For My Sunday Song #118, I am going to highlight “Sunset Station” by Jorn Lande. I know most people in the U.S. probably aren’t familiar with Jorn and that is a shame.  Jorn Lande is a Rock/Metal singer from Norway and has been in bands such as Ark, Millenium and Vagabond.  However, I came to know him thanks to Melodicrock.com and his solo work as well as with Power Metal band Masterplan.  I even highlighted him in a post way back in my early days on this blog (check it out – Jorn Lande).

One of my favorite songs by Mr. Lande is “Sunset Station” off his 2nd solo album called ‘Worldchanger’.  The album was released back in 2001 and really stood out for me (not in that year – I came across it a few years later).  This song in particular jumped out of the speakers and grabbed hold of me.

Jorn’s vocals are solid and a cross between David Coverdale of Whitesnake and Ronnie James Dio (both obvious influences on Jorn).  That alone was enough to catch my attention.  He sings with such power and lays it all out every time. Musically, it is loud, heavy and very melodic but more metal than melodic rock.   The guitar work is another attention grabber for me as it just screams and comes at you with blistering veracity.

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My Sunday Song – “Bellyache” by Billie Eilish

For My Sunday Song #117, I am going with a song my kids love that has grown on me immensely called “Bellyache” by Billie Eilish.  The song is from her 2017 album ‘Don’t Smile at Me’.  The song has done really well and has gone Gold in the States.  My kids are always listening to her, so naturally I end up hearing it quite often especially when we are all in the car together.

The song is very dark both lyrically and mood.  The singer has killed her lover and is a sure fire psychopath.  She has some regret that causes her stomach to hurt, but in the end she really doesn’t give a shit.  Should I worry that my kids like this song???

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Just look at these disturbing lyrics…

“Sitting all alone
Mouth full of gum
In the driveway
My friends aren’t far
In the back of my car
Lay their bodies

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My Sunday Song – “Everybody Out of the Water” by The Wallflowers

For My Sunday Song #116, I am tackling “Everybody Out of the Water” by The Wallflowers.  The song is off their 2002 album, ‘Red Letter Days’.  It was never released as a single, but was used for an episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigator.  However, I know the song from the album.  It was one of the standout tracks from that album for me.

The song is very aggressive and much heavier than anything before it.  I big change for the band.  It has this cool little guitar riff that is played throughout.  It is just a couple of notes repeated over and over, but it works and is really cool. The overall guitar work on this was really exceptional and made it a really guitar-heavy song.

The aggressive nature of the song also leaked into the lyrics.  The song appears to be about some catastrophic event, but is it a natural disaster, an apocalyptic event, or is it a metaphor for a relationship is all unclear.  That is the great thing about the song, you can make it mean whatever you want it to mean.

Being this is in 2002 and after 9/11, this could be a bleak view of the “New Frontier” after such a horrific event.  He states that “Got to learn how to pray / Love won’t be enough” is really a dark view point and a sign of that whatever we are doing isn’t enough to save us.  To me, this kinda fits the song that maybe it is a shout-out to those events.

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My Sunday Song – “Bawitdaba” by Kid Rock

For My Sunday Song #115, we are tackling “Bawitdaba” by Detroit’s own Kid Rock.  The song comes off his mutli-platinum selling album ‘Devil Without a Cause’.  The song came out in 1999 and the song had moderate success on the radio, but massive success on MTV.  He seemed to be everywhere in 1999/2000.

The song is a mixture of hop-hop and a little nu-metal and that combination threw Kid Rock into the mainstream, pop culture and made him a star.  Love him or hate him, he was a major part of pop culture at the time.

The lyrics weren’t poetic genius, the song made absolutely no sense, and it is hip hop which I have never been a fan.  However!!  I couldn’t help but love this song.  There was something about driving down the road, with the windows down (I didn’t have a convertible), music cranked up as high as it would go and sing the ridiculous line of “bawitdaba da bang a dang diggy diggy diggy said the boogy said up jump the boogy”.  It was awesome!!

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My Sunday Song – “Who Can It Be Now?” by Men At Work

For My Sunday Song #114, we will discuss the song “Who Can’t It Be Now” by Men at Work.  The song was off the Australian band’s debut album ‘Business as Usual’ and went all the way to #1 in the US Billboard chart thanks in large part to MTV.  MTV didn’t have a ton of videos around 1982 and this would was in constant rotation as a result.

The song is so recognizable when the first note of the Greg Ham’s saxophone kicks in.  The sax is the better than a guitar riff in this case.  Originally the saxophones was only played in the middle of the song, but the record producer felt it was such a great hook that it should be the main musical focus of the song.  And I would say he was correct.

The song was written by singer Colin Hay and was about a place he lived in St. Kilda, Victoria.  The apartment complex at the time was in a shady part of town and all these scary figures would be around.  Someone was selling drugs on his floor and would mistakenly knock on his door and that might have frightened him a little based on the lyrics in this song.

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My Sunday Song – “The Joker” by Steve Miller Band

My Sunday Song #113 is “The Joker” by the Steve Miller Band.  The song was released in 1973 and appeared on the album ‘The Joker’.  The song did really well for Steve and the band as it went to #1 on the Billboard Hot 110 chart.  It is probably the highest pot smoking song ever charted.

The song has this slow, laid back groove that is so cool and relaxing thanks to his stellar rhythm section of Gerald Johnson on Bass and John King on drums.  The slide guitar by Steve brings this really interesting feel to the song and when he does the wolf whistle on it, damn, it is just fantastic.  It really does feel like a stoner song and I don’t even smoke it, but if I did this song would be playing for sure.

However, the lyrics are king here. The song is famous for it’s pot reference for the chorus that goes…

“I’m a joker
I’m a smoker
I’m a midnight toker”

How could you not sing along to that.

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My Sunday Song – “Fast Car” by Tracy Chapman

For My Sunday Song #112, I am going to talk about “Fast Car” by Tracy Chapman.  Released on April 6th, 1988, and on her self-titled album, “Fast Car” was a massive hit reaching all the way to #6 on the Billboard Hot 100.  I remember seeing the video on MTV and thinking what an amazing and beautiful song.  It was not like anything else on the radio at the time.

The song is an acoustical track with just Tracy, an acoustic guitar and some percussion.  Tracy is a folk pop or folk rock singer and her haunting vocals are so impactful and heartfelt that you believe the hardships this person is facing.  It was her vocals performance that made me fall in love with this song (and this album).  It was the most honest performance from I song I had heard on the radio at that time.  It made me think, if she could write such a powerful song, what else can she write about.  And the album doesn’t disappoint.

The song is about a young woman who has grown up with a very rough life.  Her dad is an alcoholic and her mom left them.  She had to quit school to take care of her dad and they were very poor.  She has a boyfriend and she dreams about taking a fast car and driving to the city and starting over and having a better life in the city.  Sadly, her boyfriend is a drunk just like her dad and she can’t break free from the hold poverty has on her world.  Such a sad song and story, yet it is so beautiful.

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