The Wild Feathers – “Big Sky” – Single Review

The Wild Feathers are back with a new single, “Big Sky”, and a new album coming on June 29th titled, ‘Greeting From the Neon Frontier’.  If you are not familiar with them, they are a cross between southern rock, country, folk and what ever label you want to lay on them.  For me, their songs are a country rock blend that harkens back to the 70’s and this one is exactly that and more.

The song kicks off with some harmonies that take you immediately to sound of The Eagles and it has guitar playing that would fit perfectly in that era with an Allman Brothers feel.  What you get is the feeling of the great outdoors and that you are driving down some Montana road with the top down and the wind in your hair, the radio blasting and you are in paradise looking at the mountains, the forests and whatever other scenery is around.

It also feels like a campfire song, so pop up a tent, start a campfire, grab the s’mores, pull out that old guitar and sing along.  The Wild Feathers never disappoint and I am hoping this is a good sign of things to come.

Continue reading “The Wild Feathers – “Big Sky” – Single Review”

Journey – “Open Arms” (The 45 Single)

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.

Continue reading “Journey – “Open Arms” (The 45 Single)”

The Original vs The Cover – “You Really Got Me”

For this month’s edition of ‘The Original vs The Cover’, we are going to cover the song “You Really Got Me” by The Kinks vs the cover by Van Halen.  When Van Halen originally released this song back in 1978, I thought it was an original…what did I know, I was only 9.  The Kinks didn’t exist in my world yet.  Apparently, I wasn’t the only one as Ray Davies has mentioned that fans have come up to them after shows and thought it was cool that they played a Van Halen song.

“You Really Got Me” was released on Sept 2, 1964 in the US and the song was off the band’s album ‘Kinks’.  The song went to #7 on the Billboard Hot 100, but it went all the way to #1 in their home country of the UK.  It was their third single at the time, but it was the first to really do anything for the band.  It was so successful, it became their signature song.

The song has been described by Ray Davies as a “love song for street kids”.  It is a rebellious track of sex and lust and all around gritty, dirty love.  It is that energy both versions capture so well.

The Kinks

The Kinks’ version had a very Beatlesque quality to it which makes sense since the Beatles were huge at the time.  The band wanted to capture that sound and they truly did.  The song to me also had a real punk feel to it.  It was aggressive and in your face, but it was the guitar sound that really made the song.

Continue reading “The Original vs The Cover – “You Really Got Me””

Needtobreathe – “Bridges Burn” – Single Review

Needtobreathe recently announced a new tour starting in August and a new project titled ‘Forever On Your Side (Niles City Sound Sessions)’.  The first single from that project is titled “Bridges Burn”.  Before I go into the song, let’s talk about the band.

Needtobreathe is one of my absolutely favorite bands and I am excited they are finally coming back to Charlotte as it has been awhile.  I will do my best to make it to this show even if it will be OUTSIDE…IN AUGUST…IN THE SOUTH!!  What were they thinking???  There is nothing like sitting outside in 100º weather.

Back to the music…here is what the band says about the new project…

“Forever On Your Side (Niles City Sound Sessions)” is a new collection of songs made over the course of a few weeks in Fort Worth, TX with the producer trio Niles City Sound. This music documents the season that we’re in as a band right now.

news_img_f_1521826488

Continue reading “Needtobreathe – “Bridges Burn” – Single Review”

Kiss – “I Was Made For Lovin’ You” (The 45 Single)

Disco era Kiss!  Does it get any better than that??  Well, yes it actually does.  Nonetheless, it was still Kiss and still awesome.  I was out at my favorite little record spot and came across a 7″ single of Kiss and of course I had to have it.  It was the 1979 single off the Dynasty album called “I Was Made For Lovin’ You”.

The single was only the band’s second Gold single and it went on to sell over a 1 million copies so needless to say, it was a hit.  Which proved Gene and Paul correct that during the Disco era, anyone could write a disco song.  Speaking of writing, this was the first time Kiss co-wrote a song with Desmond Child and it wouldn’t be the last.  It was also Desmond’s first hit he ever had.  The song was also written by Paul Stanley and Vini Poncia who played piano on the song and did backing vocals.

The really isn’t much to talk about in regards to the song.  Think disco and you know what the song sounds like.  You can get up and dance to it and sing along to the catchy, pop chorus.  It is simple.  One thing I guess I can talk about is that wikipedia has the 7″ single listed at 4:01, but my version has it at 3:57 which might not seem like a lot, but that is a big difference.  The song is already cut down from the album version which was at 4:30.  Not sure if I have a different version or wikipedia is just wrong.

Continue reading “Kiss – “I Was Made For Lovin’ You” (The 45 Single)”

Shinedown – “Devil” – Single Review

With Shinedown, when they release a song or an album you know what you are going to get.  They have a sound and a style that works and they don’t stray far from that formula.  With the new album coming on May 4th, ‘Attention, Attention’, Shinedown is trying to do just that…get your attention.

The album is basically a concept album  The songs will take you on a journey of a person who is starting in a very dark, ominous place and take you all the way through to the other side where this person is done battling his mind and his issues and coming out a changed person.  I love concept albums so I can’t wait to get ahold of this an take this journey.

The first single is “Devil”, which is the first song on this story through the mind.  According to Brent Smith in an interview with Billboard, he states the following:

“‘DEVIL’ is about being afraid, ‘DEVIL’ is about being terrified of not only yourself, in some respects, but the world around you, and understanding that there are so many things and so many different situations and people and places and atmospheres and exposure that human beings are put in front of on a daily basis, [and] the world can be a really difficult place to navigate. So that’s where the story starts.”

Continue reading “Shinedown – “Devil” – Single Review”

The Original vs. The Cover – “Once Bitten, Twice Shy”

For this version of The Original vs. The Cover, we are covering (pun intended) Ian Hunter’s classic “Once Bitten, Twice Shy”.  The song was written by Ian and included on his self-titled solo album he released in 1975 after his departure from Mott the Hoople.  The song went to #14 on the UK singles chart and was produced by Ian and great Mick Ronson.

The song hasn’t been covered by a whole lot of acts, but one of the most famous was by Great White.  So, let’s sit back, have a listen and compare the two and determine who has the best version of “Once Bitten, Twice Shy”.

The song tells the story of a rock musician who meets a girl why he is out on tour and becomes intimate with her (meaning he has sex with her).  He thinks she is young and innocent until to his dismay he discovers she has been around quite a lot and been with a lot of other musicians.  It is a classic tale of old!!

The title of the song comes from the old expression meaning once you have been hurt once, you become less trusting and cautious going forward.  The phrase dates back to 1484 and is traced back to an English printer (William Caxton), the first to publish a translation in to English of Aesop’s tales.  There is your history lesson for the day.

Continue reading “The Original vs. The Cover – “Once Bitten, Twice Shy””

Kiss – “Tears Are Falling” (The 45 Single)

 

I was out and about at one of my favorite local record stores and came across this old 45 Single from Kiss. It was for the song “Tears Are Falling” off their 1985 album ‘Asylum.  By 1985, Kiss was  fully ensconced into the 80’s Hair Metal scene.  Starting with their previous album, ‘Animalize’, the band’s sound shifted from the heavier albums like ‘Creatures of the Night’ and ‘Lick It Up’, to more of the Glam Rock sound to keep up with the music of the time.  That meant power ballads.  “Tears Are Falling” fit that mold quite nicely.

“Tears Are Falling” was released as a single in 1985 and made it to #20 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks, just not technically not a Top 40 hit since it only reached #51 on the Billboard Hot 100.  The song did have better success on MTV where it was in frequent rotation on the station.

The song was written by Paul Stanley and one of the few times we ever get a true Stanley Only song.  The next we got was not until his solo album in 2006.  That bit of tidbit surprised me, but the internet can’t be wrong…can it??  The song was recorded at the legendary Electric Lady Studios which is Jimi Hendrix’s old studio and produced by Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley.  Interesting enough, Gene didn’t play bass on the song, it was played by Paul.

img_0619.jpg

Continue reading “Kiss – “Tears Are Falling” (The 45 Single)”

Aldo Nova – “Fantasy”: The 45 Single (1981)

Aldo Nova’s debut album came out in 1981 and it gave him his one and only hit.  Yes, he is considered a one-hit wonder.  That song was “Fantasy”.  The reason he is considered a one hit wonder is the song “Fantasy” was the only song that he released that made it in to the US Top 40 Chart.  It reached up to #23.  He did have two other singles make the Billboard charts, but they never broke the Top 40.  I find that one hit wonder label ridiculous because on the US Mainstream Rock chart he had 3 Top 15 songs…”Fantasy”, “Monkey On Your Back” and “Blood on the Bricks”.  The One Hit Wonder status only relates to the US Top 40 chart.

IMG_0605

All that aside, let’s talk about the song “Fantasy”.  The album version of the song opens the album and is 5:05 in length.  The single version that we are discussing from the 45 that I have is a lot shorter at only 3:13,  What is the big difference?  The opening sequence on the album (and the video) has a a slower build up with the synth sounds creating a helicopter that is flying in and after it lands you have a laser blast that then kicks in to the song.  The radio single cuts all that out as well as the last minute of the song which is basically repeating the chorus over and over.  It is now short and compact and full of punch.

Continue reading “Aldo Nova – “Fantasy”: The 45 Single (1981)”

RSO (Richie Sambora & Orianthi) – “I Got You Babe” / “Forever All the Way” – Single Review

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.

Continue reading “RSO (Richie Sambora & Orianthi) – “I Got You Babe” / “Forever All the Way” – Single Review”