My Sunday Song – “White Lightning” by Def Leppard

For My Sunday Song #154, we are covering the 7 minute epic, “White Lightning” off the band’s 1992 release ‘Adrenalize’.  The album sold millions, went to #1 and released 7 singles (not all in the States) and this was not one of them.  This is one of those deep cuts that is actually probably better than everything else on the record.

The ‘Adrenalize’ album was the first album without Steve Clark and even prior to Vivian Campbell joining the band.  The song was written about Steve Clark and his addicitions and untimely death.  Steve’s nickname from the band was White Lightning as he normally dressed in all white on stage and ran around the stage like a bolt of lightning.  It is such a heartfelt tribute and you can feel the love and passion the band had for this man.

The song opens with a guitar solo by Phil Collen that was played in the style of Steve and his personal tribute to him.  The solo starts off slow, with an eerie feel to it…a sadness.  In fact, Phil played all the parts and even with the dual guitar parts he played as if it was he and Steve going at it together.  It is very touching.

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My Sunday Song – “Mirror, Mirror (Look Into My Eyes)” by Def Leppard

For My Sunday Song #152, we are discussing the song “Mirror, Mirror (Look Into My Eyes)” by Def Leppard off their 1981 album ‘High N Dry’.  The song was written by the late Steve Clark and Joe Elliott.  It is one of those deep cuts that sticks with you and at times you feel is even better than anything else on the album (at times, not all the time).

The song is up for interpretation.  It could be about two different, but similar things.  The one I like to go with is that the “Mirror” is that mirror on the table with lines of Coke on it.  As he is sniffing up the coke and the lines disappear, the mirror is suddenly staring at him and he has to face his demons.  It is a rather dark viewpoint, but the one I feel is quite plausible.  The lyrics in this verse is what leads me to that conclusion…

Mirror mirror 
Hangin’ there with that crack in your eye 
You make me stumble, make me blind 
Time after time and line by line 

The “line by line” part fits in to the theory nicely.  But the “hangin'” part leads me to the other theory.

The other theory is that he is just standing there looking in the mirror and it is forcing him to take a deeper look into what he has become.  He doesn’t like what he sees, but he feels so lost.  The anger builds up and he smashes the mirror into little pieces.  Those pieces are his life.

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My Sunday Song – “From the Inside” by Def Leppard

For My Sunday Song #151, we are now going to spend the next 10 weeks exploring some of my favorite Def Leppard songs.  These won’t be the hits you have heard on the radio or in concert (okay, some may have been played live, and one might be a single but that is it).  These will be songs that I think are some of their best deep cuts and something I think is worth checking out if you want to get a better understanding of what the band is about.

The first song is off the 1993 album, ‘Retroactive’ and it was the B-Side to the song “Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad” off ‘Adrenalize’ from 1992.  The song is called “From the Inside” and was written by Joe Elliott.

The song is one of the darkest songs they have ever written or performed.  The theme of the song is about drugs and addiction and the point of view of the song is actually from the drugs.  The drugs describe to the user what it will do them and how it will take them up high and drag them to their lowest of lows.  With lyrics such as…

And I’ll laugh while you’re up there 
And I’ll laugh when you’re down 
Though your screams break the silence 
Oh, they won’t make a sound 

…it is quite disturbing and sadly, so true.  Written around the time I think Steve Clark died, my guess is that Joe was inspired by what happened with Steve write this track.

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Scott Stapp – ‘Proof of Life’ (2013) – Album Review

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!!!

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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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