Def Leppard – ‘Hysteria’ 30th Anniversary (Deluxe Edition) – Album Review

Thirty years ago on August 3rd, 1987, Def Leppard released their fourth studio album, ‘Hysteria’.  Little did they know this ground breaking album would go on to sell over 25 million records, produce 7 hit singles and go to #1 on the Billboard Charts.  The album was a labor of love for the band as it took several years to record and they struggled so much during this time.

There were so many setbacks during the recording of the album.  First, Robert John “Mutt” Lange turned down the producing job for the record after he had recorded “High & Dry” (my personal favorite) and “Pyromania” although he did help in the initial song writing for the record.  The band went through several producers during the recording including working with Jim Steinman of ‘Bat Out of Hell’ fame.  Their relationship did not go smoothly and he was later fired (they paid him a lot of money to get out of the contract so it must have gone badly). Later in the process, “Mutt” did come back and produce the final product and then history was made.

The second big obstacle was Rick Allen’s car accident that severed his arm.  Yes, the drummer of the band lost an arm.  With all respect to the band, they did not abandon Rick.  They stood by him and supported him until he was capable of playing the drums with one arm using an electronic drum set and a set of foot pedals to compensate for the lost arm.  It definitely was a trying time.  I won’t go into much more as you can watch the documentary included to learn more.

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My Sunday Song – “Vasoline” by Stone Temple Pilots

For My Sunday Song #53, I have gone with “Vasoline” by Stone Temple Pilots.  This is one of my favorite STP songs…one of many.  The song was the second single off their second album ‘Purple’.  It is also the second most successful song they had.  It reached #1 on the U.S. Billboard Rock Album Tracks chart for two weeks.  The most successful song was “Interstate Love Song”.

What do I like about this song?  That opening bass part is flat out amazing.  The best part of the song.  I also dig the uptempo, fast driving feel to the song.  The guitar solo is also fast, but impactful.  And of course, Scott Weiland’s vocals.  The song is short at under 3 minutes, but what an impression it leaves.

In researching the song, I found out how they came up with that sound effect on the bass.  Robert DeLeo ran his bass through a wah wah pedal.  As I am a fan and not a musician, I had to look up “wah wah pedal”.  Here is what wikipedia says…

wah-wah pedal (or simply wah pedal) is a type of electric guitar effects pedal that alters the tone and frequencies of the guitar signal to create a distinctive sound, mimicking the human voice saying the onomatopoeic name “wah-wah”. The pedal sweeps the peak response of a frequency filter up and down in frequency to create the sound, a spectral glide, also known as “the wah effect”.

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Friday New Releases – August 18th

Welcome to another Friday of new releases.  There is not a whole lot I am interested in and might give one or two a listen (highlighted in Blue) but still undecided.  Next week will have more to offer.  Hopefully there is something here for you.  Since there isn’t many, I will leave some videos for a number of the artist so you can try them out.

  • 51IGBakil2L._AC_US218_  Nathan Angelo – A Matter of Time – (Nathan Angelo Music):  Nathan Angelo is a singer/songwriter and more on the pop side. I have liked some of his older offerings, so if I am in the mood, I will throw this on and give it a spin.

  • 51jN2sjEiQL._AC_US218_  Steven Wilson – To The Bone – (SW Records):  I am not familiar with Steven Wilson, but this song was good and has peaked my interest a little.  Maybe I will play this one as well.

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Quiet Riot – ‘Road Rage’ – Album Review

Quiet Riot isn’t really Quiet Riot as there are absolutely ZERO original members in the band.  The closest thing they have is Frankie Banali who was in the band during their 80’s heyday. For starters, this is not a good thing.  Next, the album was supposed to be released back on April 21st with then lead singer Seann Nichols, however, Seann left the band (or fired) in March prior to its release.

So Quiet Riot needed a new lead singer.  They quickly added former American Idol alum, Jason Durbin to be the new singer.  They smartly decided to delay the album release and re-record it with their new lead singer.  All that is fine as James has released a couple good solo albums; however, his last one was a little subpar.  Despite that, I had a little bit of hope as I do like James Durbin.

Now here is something weird.  They went back in an actually re-wrote all the songs, but kept the same song titles probably because the artwork and design of the album was already done and Frontier Records didn’t want to spend anymore money.  My first question is how bad were the original songs that you had to completely re-write them. That definitely doesn’t bode well.

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Tuesday’s Memes – U2

U2 has been touring the U.S. lately and a lot of people I know are traveling to other cities to see them.  Me…not so much.  If they won’t come to Charlotte, I ain’t going to them.  So instead, I am going to poke fun at them a little with this week’s Tuesday’s Memes.  I hope you enjoy…

First off…sorry for the really bad joke for the featured article picture…I couldn’t resist.

Let’s start off with that time when U2 & Itunes gave us their album for free and we didn’t ask for it…apparently that caused a big stink.

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The Debut: Wolfmother – ‘Wolfmother’

Welcome back to the second episode of “The Debut”.  For this round, we talk about another retro rock band out of Australia called Wolfmother.  The name alone would have made me listen to this album, but it is certainly the music that has kept me coming back again and again.

Like Jet, Wolfmother is not the most original band out there.  The band has been accused of ripping off some of the great metal bands of the 60’s & 70’s, most especially Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and even a little Jimi Hendrix.  If you were into those bands, than this album is something for you.  If you need a comparison to some more recent bands, I can hear a little White Stripes as well, but mostly for me it is Sabbath with Plant vocal stylings.

They also stick to themes you would have expected from that era as well.  You get mystical unicorns, vagabonds, pyramids, witches and so much more.  To hear this heavy, distorted and screaming guitars and listen to the Zeppelinesque song stylings at the time were like nothing else on the radio.  It took me back to a good place and I have never stopped loving this album.  I enjoy it just as much today as a did upon its release in the States back in 2006.

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My Sunday Song – “Do You Love Me” by Guster

For My Sunday Song #52, I have gone with the peppy little jaunt called “Do You Love Me” by the band Guster.  The song is from the 2010 album called ‘Easy Wonderful’ which was their sixth studio album.  The song is their biggest hit which reached #9 on the Adult Album Alternative chart.  They have not had a Hot 100 hit.

For those out there that don’t know Guster, they are an American alternative rock band.  They are also labeled as a Jangle Pop band.  Jangle pop is defined as follows (per wikipedia)…

Jangle pop is a subgenre of pop rock that emphasizes trebly, ringing guitars (usually twelve-string electrics) and pop melodies reminiscent of those from the 1960s.

That definition would describe this song.  What I love about the song is twofold.  First, the music and melodies of the song are so catchy, poppy and just plain fun.  You can’t help but feel good when you hear the song.  It is very infectious.

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