The final My Sunday Song for the 10 Song Aldo Nova set is “Fantasy” of his self-titled 1981 debut album. The song #360 in the My Sunday Song series rocketed up the charts and landed at #23 on the Top 40 charts. It was Aldo’s only song to chart in the Top 40 in the U.S. and made him a One Hit Wonder. Which is so far from the truth, but charts are charts. VH1 named “Fantasy” one of the Top 100 One Hit Wonder songs of the 80’s.
The last song we discussed, “Monkey On Your Back” was about drugs and guess what…so is “Fantasy”. Another dark story on drug addiction and prostitution and the shadowy world in the big city. The drugs make you so high that life seems great and you party hard, but it is all a fantasy…all is not well and life pretty much sucks. Drugs mask reality and only help you hide from the truth. When on the drugs, nothing is real.
The song starts off with an ominous feel and a short machine gun burst before the helicopter comes soaring in (all done with keyboards I believe). The music intensifies and the laser blast busting open the door kicks off this powerhouse of a rock song. Aldo comes soaring in with the guitars and then the vocals all accompanied by his amazing keyboard work. The songs use of keyboards, gave the song such a sci-fi feel to it, but it was the guitar playing by Aldo that made this a great rock song. The guitar dual solo is awesome even if it is Aldo going against Aldo. What’s not to love about it. This song feels like a pre-cursor of what was to come with music in the 80’s. Was this the kick-off point to the 80’s glam/hard rock era? Maybe.
For My Sunday Song #359, we are talking about the song “Monkey On Your Back” off Aldo Nova’s 2nd album, 1983’s ‘Subject…Aldo Nova’. The song was the first single off the album and although it didn’t make the Top 100, it did rise to #12 on the Mainstream Rock Chart which helped send the album to Gold status in the U.S. and Platinum in his home country of Canada. Not a bad start, however, the promotion was lacking and the album didn’t hit the level it probably should have as this is my favorite Aldo Nova album.
Before there was Bon Jovi’s Tommy & Gina, we get the sad stories of Timmy and Sally. “Monkey On Your Back” is about the monkey on your back and in their case that monkey is drugs. Tommy got addicted to Heroin and it took all his money and ruined his life. Sally had it worst, she met a guy name Willy and Willy was a pimp. He was kind enough to turn her into a prostitute and got her addicted to heroin. What a swell guy. Both tragic stories with no happy ending. The song is Aldo’s commentary on the drug problem in this world and how easily it is to get addicted and take over you life. It is a dark, disturbing world and something needs to be done.
The song opens with some pounding drums, a killer guitar riff by Aldo accompanied by some solo work by Aldo as well. The keyboards are massive adding to the whole sci-fi vibe of the album giving it more texture and color. Aldo’s vocals are aggressive and at times he even uses the talk box for more dramatic effect and this was before Bon Jovi did it. But the hero of this story is the guitars as Aldo is so underrated in this area. His mixture of the keyboards and the guitar are always great together. The song was probably ahead of its time but does sound a little dated, but when that solo kicks in with the robotic like growl, you don’t care one bit. You just want to rock out.
For My Sunday Song #131 and for the next 10 songs, we are celebrating the songs of Kiss!! Now that Kiss has started their Farewell Tour, I thought I would honor some of my favorite Kiss songs. There will be No “Beth”, No “Detroit Rock City” & NO “ROCK & ROLL ALL NITE”!!! Sorry, not my favorites..,well Detroit is one but too obvious a choice. We will start it off with “Black Diamond” from the debut album ‘Kiss’.
Black Diamond was written by Paul Stanley and it was about New York as were a lot of their songs. This one was on the seedy side of it at least. It is about street hookers and the queen of them all, the Black Diamond. Stanley has been quoted as saying this was partially inspired by the Rolling Stones classic “Brown Sugar”.
Lyrically there is not much there, but musically…Damn!! What a way to close out your debut album. The song kicks off with Paul Stanley on vocals for the first verse while playing an acoustic guitar. He screams “HIT IT!!” and all hell breaks loose. Peter Criss takes over vocals and the song kicks in to full gear with his pounding drums, Gene Simmons’ thumping bass and Ace Frehley’s frenzied guitar.
The guitar solo is top notch and I love how it ends with the heavy ass bass sound with the ominous sounding drums as it gets slower and slower and then fades out. It is amazing how so few lyrics can turn into a song over 5 minutes long and when the play it live it is even longer…live is a whole other story. Don’t get me started on how great this song is live. They used to close their live shows with this one a lot.