Next up in the Ratt album review series is their 3rd studio album, the 1986 album ‘Dancing Undercover’. The entire band was still in tact and even producer Beau Hill returned for his third album. The band still consisted of the following:
Stephen Pearcy – vocals
Robin Crosby – lead guitar
Warren DeMartini – lead guitar
Juan Croucier – bass
Bobby Blotzer – drums
Even though it was the same crew, things were different. The band decided that they didn’t need a beautiful woman on the cover and opted for pictures of the band members themselves.
Welcome to the last Friday of May. Work is really busy right now and I need something to take my mind off of it. Thank goodness it is Memorial Day Weekend and we get Monday off. I need it. There are several releases I will be checking out this weekend and they are highlighted in Blue. Let me know what you will be getting or whatever might peak your interest. Have a great weekend!!
Shawn Mendes – Shawn Mendes – (Island Records): Shawn Mendes will be played constantly in my house this weekend and for weeks to come as I have two daughters who love him, one daughter a little too much…I swear a restraining order is in her future. Anyway, I have heard a couple songs and I have to say that “In My Blood” is a rather spectacular song. If there are any more like this one on the album, it will probably be great.
Hoobastank – Push Pull – (Napalm Records): Here is a name I haven’t heard in years. Six years to be exact. It has been that long since their last album and honestly I haven’t followed them in quite a long time. No better time then the present to revisit the band. Haven’t heard anything yet so it will be interesting to see what they still have to offer.
For this month’s version of The Original Vs. The Cover we tackle “American Woman” by The Guess Who vs Lenny Kravitz’s version. The song was originally released in 1969 by Canadian band The Guess Who. The song went to #1 and became such a popular song in the U.S. mainly because of it’s title.
That is strange because the song is not Pro-American, but it isn’t really Anti-American either. It is a small part Anti-War song (one line says “I don’t need your war machine”) and large part bashing of American women. Bashing is harsh, it was more like American women were too much for lyricist Burton Cummings. Here is what he said about the song to the Toronto Star back in 2014…
“It had nothing to do with politics. What was on my mind was that girls in the States seemed to get older quicker than our girls and that made them, well, dangerous. When I said ‘American woman, stay away from me,’ I really meant ‘Canadian woman, I prefer you.’ It was all a happy accident.”
The article goes on to describe how the song developed and it seems like it was by pure chance…
Okay, it is time to finally celebrate Creed with a collection of memes…well…maybe not celebrate so much as attack, poke fun, ridicule or anything else that might be a little negative. Come on, you know you want to. I wanted to pick ones that celebrated Creed, but honestly, there are none…really!! Come on…they weren’t that bad. So sit back and enjoy this collection of memes that are about Scott Stapp and Creed.
I hear he is out of a job again…Art of Anarchy is now suing him…
Are you saying they suck??
They are always lumped with Nickelback as the worst…
Okay, this one is a little true…
Some people just aren’t smart…
Was it really that bad????
And yes, this is definitely the truth!!! Preach it bear!!!
Oh yeah…I forgot he did this…
Before I get lots a crap for bashing them, it is all in fun. Plus, I truly couldn’t find any that celebrated the band.
Back in 2013, Richie Sambora met Orianthi and sparks flew, apparently. The two are an item and now they are putting out music for the masses and it is about time. I love Richie’s vocals and his bluesy, rock style plus he can play the guitar (have you heard of Bon Jovi?). Orianthi is also one helluva a guitar player herself and she can sing with the best of them. She has played for Michael Jackson and for Alice Cooper as well as her own solo work. The two together, I was expecting a bluesy rock album with some amazing guitar work. Did I get that…well…we will see.
After releasing two E.P.’s in 2017 and a couple singles including one double single, we finally get a full album called ‘Radio Free America’ from RSO (it’s there initials, get it!). Now here is the problem with that…the full album is all 13 songs previously released with those E.P.’s and singles and only 2 new songs. That is right, only 2 and one is a cover. So, if you bought the E.P.’s, you aren’t getting much more. And to make it worse, it is an album of 15 songs in length (over an hour and 7 minutes). That is pretty long for an album and you know there will be filler…and trust me there is filler. I heard they recorded 25 songs, I would like to know where those other 10 songs are.
I have reviewed all the E.P.’s and 2 of the singles previously, but we will compile them here again and make it a full length review adding in the singles I haven’t discussed prior. We might as well jump in and away we go…
With the opening and title track “Making History” Richie & Orianthi are doing what we wanted them to do. They are rocking out. The guitars on this one are exceptional with an almost Def Leppardesque sound from around the “Euphoria” era at times (maybe). The guitar solo is freaking sensational and it is all I ask from these two. Of course I have one minor negative on the song. The vocals are missing something whether it is the chemistry or the mix. Bob Rock is the producer and he does great work, but I am not a fan of them singing simultaneously. I prefer them to trade back and forth.
For My Sunday Song #92, I am going with another ballad. This one is from Dokken and is called “Alone Again”. It seems I am on a kick of Power Ballads since last week saw “Fly To The Angels” by Slaughter. The song is off Dokken’s 1984 album ‘Tooth & Nail’ and only reached #64 on the Hot 100, but it was #1 in my heart.
Don wrote the song about 8 years earlier and had put it away not to think about it again. Well, that was until when they were finishing up ‘Tooth & Nail’ and the record company demanded a ballad as all bands had ballads at the time. Don went through a bunch of tracks when he and Jeff found it and thought they could work with the song. And work it they did as it came out beautifully.
The song is about a break-up and dealing with the depression that can result from being lonely. The song captures that sadness in the tone and pacing of the song. Also, Don’s vocals convey a deep sadness as well. It really is a sad, depressing and yet beautiful song. This is not a song to play to cheer you up and unless you really enjoy a good George Lynch guitar solo and some Mick Brown drums. Because there is that to brighten your day.
Happy Friday. Not a ton of releases that have caught my attention this week. There are two that I will be diving in to and they are at opposite ends of the spectrum for sure. There are a couple more I will try out eventually, but the first two will get most of my attention. All the releases I will be checking out are highlighted in Blue. Take a look around and see what else you might like and let me know in the comments. If you want to see all the new releases coming in the universe over the next several weeks (or months), CLICK HERE.
James Bay – Electric Light – (Republic Records): Finally, the super talented James Bay is back with his sophomore release. Is the sophomore jinx in place or not, we will have to hear it first to decide. I have heard three singles so far and the first was completely different than his last album which can be good and bad as you don’t necessarily want to alienate the fans you built off that sound. The next two were a little more in the wheelhouse we expect. He is a great songwriter, singer and guitar player so we will check this out. In the meantime, have a glass of “Pink Lemonade”
Five Finger Death Punch – And Justice for None – (Prospect Park): Now for the other end of the spectrum, there is Five Finger Death Punch. The music is just that, a death punch to the face. Every now and again, I like it hard and I like it loud and this is exactly what I need right now. So prepare your ears to be decimated.
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.
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.
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.