Is October already over!! Wow! The time is flying by now. Luckily for me, it was another stellar month for picking up so new stuff (most is old stuff new to me though). And I didn’t waste any time as right at the end of September after I wrote the September Purchases post, a few things came in the mail from Amazon within minutes and days of each other. First up was Ace Frehley’s Origins. Vol 2…and yes I have Vol 1…duh!!
Then Queen & Adam Lambert’s Live Around the World. I chose CD on this only because when I ordered it the vinyl wasn’t listed. It did come with a DVD of the shows as well. Since my daughter saw this tour a couple years ago, no brainer…
Welcome to October and this month starts off with a BANG!! There are so many releases this week and a ton I am interested in at the very least, hearing. October has a lot coming so this is only the beginning. Everyone that has been holding off due to Covid is finally being released. This week, I am sure there is something you will find that you like. I am going to highlight my choices in Blue. I want you to let me know what you want to hear and what I may have missed that is coming out. Thank you so much for stopping by and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!
Queen & Adam Lambert – Live Around the World – (Hollywood Records): This one is on order and I hope it will arrive sometime today as I am dying to hear this one. I took my daughter to see them on their most recent tour and since Adam sounded amazing, it will be nice to have an album with him on vocals.
Bon Jovi – 2020 – (Captain Kidd / Island Records): Am I excited about this one or what?? Actually, it is or what! I am not excited at all and do not have this on order. I am only interested in hearing it to confirm to myself that Bon Jovi is still not worth a damn anymore. Now, if I find the vinyl in the used section of my local store and less than $10…I might pick it up as the completist in me feels the need to do. I haven’t liked what I’ve heard so far so my hopes aren’t very high.
You, my reader, are going to pick an album for me to review each month. It is really simple…first, I will give you 5 albums to choose from and second, you will tell me which one of those you would like to see reviewed on the site. See…simple!
There are a few simple rules I have put in to place in my selections. They are…
One has to be a new release (within the last month)
One has to be one I have never heard before (new releases don’t count for this one)
One has to be from a genre I don’t normally listen to at all or very often
And the last two are choices from my collection that I haven’t reviewed before
What are the 5 albums you ask? Funny you should ask because I have those right here…note: I tried to throw in a couple non-obvious choices to make things a little more interesting. I have to admit, there are some heavy hitters on here for this selection.
New Release – Dokken – ‘The Lost Songs: 1978-1981′
Never Heard Before – The 13th Floor Elevators – ‘The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators‘
Not My Normal Genre – Miles Davis – ‘Kind of Blue’
From My Collection – Led Zeppelin – ‘Led Zeppelin IV’
From My Collection – Queen – ‘Innuendo’
Let me know which one you would like to see and sometime in October, I will post a review of the album that gets the most votes. You have one week to decide and from there I will start listening to the album and do a review.
If you are new to the site, I started this series with the year 1987 and then noticed that 1991 and 1983 were also a couple of the greatest years in music. I got to thinking, was there a pattern that every 4 years we have another great year in music. Well theory didn’t last long as I don’t think the next two years I researched were “great” years in music. Those years were 1979 and 1995. If you want to explore all the years I have examined so far, click on the link below…
Now that my theory is busted, I am now on the hunt for the “Greatest” year in music. I reviewed 1971 first and it was pretty fantastic and I am now on 1980. I know, I know. I am not going in any kind of order. I am going with what I am in the mood to explore and this time 1980 has me jazzed as so many great albums are now 40 years old!!
Will 1980 be another great year or will it be the greatest year. Let us explore and see and then decide at the end. But first we have to ask What were the top albums of the year?, What were the debut albums from some of the great rock bands? and What was going on in the world of music that year?
The Sony Walkman: I wrote about the advent of the Sony Walkman in the 1979 post as that was when it went on sale in Japan. In the U.S., it went on sale on June 25, 1980 almost a year later. The way you listen to music was changed forever!! (at least until the CD and then the MP3 and now streaming). Who didn’t have one of these if you were a kid in the 80’s. I definitely did. It helped spur my love for music as it now was more portable and more personal. It was better than just the radio, I could listen to what I wanted to wherever and whenever I wanted. I used mine while I mowed the lawn (and every now and again I would snag the cord on the mower and pull my headphones off). I had a boombox, but that wasn’t the same as the Walkman. There was nothing better (until my iPod). Continue reading “1980 – The Greatest Year in Music?”→
A few weeks back I stumbled across this documentary on Netflix. It was called ‘The Show Must Go On: The Queen + Adam Lambert Story’. It was about how the band carried on after the death of Freddie Mercury and how the band came upon finding Adam Lambert. The nice thing about the documentary is it is quick at around 85 minutes, but that is really too short as this is Queen. They have so much history, to cram in, but they don’t need to as the focus is really Queen with Adam Lambert.
They do go in to a little backstory about Freddie and they go in to his death and how things felt over at that point, then they started a come back with the Freddie Mercury Tribute show that saw so many great singers perform. They go in to Paul Rodgers and his stint with the band and then finally they spend their time on Adam Lambert and how he came to be known, hello…American Idol!! and his time with the band.
Now, I saw Queen last year about this time with Adam Lambert and it was one of the best shows I have seen in a long time. Adam is flamboyant and he has one helluva a vocal range and is probably one of the only ones that could pull off the Queen catalog with any validity. And he did just that. Go check out my Queen Concert Review if you have time.
I am starting to feel old. Why you might ask? Well, I will tell you and it is not that I turned 50 last year. It is not that my kids are growing up too fast. Okay, that is part of it. The main reason is that all the musicians I grew up listening to are now starting to die. Not by drug addiction or overdosing. Nope, those are generally younger rockers and although sad, it doesn’t make me feel old. The musicians are now dying of natural causes due in part to old age. They are getting cancer or having heart attacks…you know…normal things that tend to happen when you are older.
Recently, we have seen the deaths of Eddie Money and Ric Ocasek who were both in their 70’s when they passed. Let that sink in. They were in their 70’s. When I listened to them growing up, their music was mainstream. Not today. They fall under the Classic Rock category. I loved both Eddie Money’s and The Cars’ music. I remember sitting in my basement watching MTV and seeing Eddie scream out “Take Me Home Tonight” and The Cars “You Might Think” video which is one of the most innovative music videos ever done (at least at the time).
Their deaths brought to light a real issue that the world is facing. The heroes of the classic rock era of the late 60’s, the 70’s & the 80’s are getting a lot older and won’t be around much longer. Soon, we won’t be catching these acts on tour or won’t even have any new material be released. The iconic music makers will be dying and the music of generations will start to fade away. When that happens, how many radio stations will play Classic Rock anymore? Think about it…there are no stations specific to the 40’s, the 50’s or even the 60’s music (ok, maybe unless you have Satellite Radio). Some of the 60’s will fall under Classic Rock, but not the early 60’s music. Gone. Classic Rock’s days are numbered.
On a dark stormy night in August, Queen + Adam Lambert came riding in to town for the very last show of their Rhapsody Tour. Yes, Charlotte, NC was able to bid farewell to this legend of a band who has seen a massive resurgence thanks in large part to the movie ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and in small part due to the current singer Adam Lambert.
There is no exciting story to tell leading up to the show except the Rain Gods were nice to my daughter and I by not raining on us. We got in to the Spectrum Center and about 5 minutes later the skies opened up. People were coming in dripping wet, but no one cared because everyone was there to have a good time and listening to everyone’s favorite band, Queen.
When we finally arrive to our seats after a long line at the merch table and a long line at the bathroom and a short line at the refreshment stand to grab a couple of $5 waters (each), we were greeted to this…
A giant crown wrapping the stage. It looked so real and like it was made out of metal. Impressive. Even more impressive was the fact it was a giant TV screen. The graphics, detail, clarity, hell everything about it was impressive. It looked 3D without the glasses…amazing.
I have been a Queen fan since I was a young teen back in the 80’s and when this movie came out, I wanted to go see it. I was worried about the cheesiness of a biopic and if they could represent Queen and Freddie Mercury respectable enough or would it look like a LIfetime biopic? Could the actors make it believable enough that I could imagine that this was really the guys from the band I know so well? Could I get lost in the movie and enjoy it?
All valid questions and let me tell you, the answer is yes to all three questions. The movie was respectable, believable and I enjoyed it. It opens with the band about to take the stage for their Live Aid show and then cuts to 1970 where it all began and Freddie would meet Brian and Roger while the latter two were playing with their band Smile. And the rest you can say is history.
The movie takes you through the start of the band, the struggles with the label, the struggles with each other and the struggles of Freddie’s life. And the movie ends with that Live Aid concert which was quite possibly the greatest 20 minute set of any band in history. How they recreated the Live Aid scene was magical and the Blu-Ray comes with an exclusive behind-the-scenes look on how they did it. Probably worth the price of admission alone.
I am a little behind on reviews, so excuse the lateness of this one. I almost passed it over due to the lateness, but I felt this one needed to be done. Nita Strauss’ ‘Controlled Chaos’ is nothing short of spectacular so I had to talk about it.
Instrumental albums are hard for me to write-up as I am not a guitarist (although learning) or a musician. I mean how many times and how many ways can I say the guitar work is sensational. Well, I will say it at least a few times. Nita’s guitar work is sensational…she is a beast…she is one of the most exciting guitarists out there today. Plus, you know she is one of the best if Alice Cooper has her in his band. I saw them tour last year and she was quite phenomenal!
And another way I can tell you it is great is the fact I actually bought a physical CD. I normally stream new music and buy used vinyl and special edition box sets. New releases only get bought, if they are beyond exceptional and well, this is just that. So, I showed my support by actually spending my hard in dollars on her album. People should do way more of that.
American Authors is one of those bands I had heard about due to their hit “Best Day of My Life” from 2013, but I had never wanted to take a deeper dive. It is not because they weren’t any good band, it is just not my type of music. It is too pop and generic and nothing really interested me. Well, with the release of their third album, ‘Seasons’, that has now changed.
The reason for that change is simple, they have two songs on the album by a couple of my favorite singers right now, Billy Raffoul and Bear Rinehart (Needtobreathe). You see, those two put out a song…I will listen and American Authors only reap the benefits…or do they…we will have to see.
I don’t know much about the band, so I will get straight into the music. American Authors are really good at writing, happy type, uplifting songs and the opening track, “Stay Around”, is just that. It is an uptempo and fun song that sounds exactly like an Imagine Dragon song with that drum beat and the lyrical phrasing. Good song, but come on if you are going to copy any one why the hell would you copy Imagine Dragons?
The next song is one of the best on the album called “Say Amen”. It features new singer Billy Raffoul and is probably why I am biased about loving this song. It is a darker song for American Authors and I like this darker edge to the band. Bill’s Jeff Buckley style vocals work well with singer Zac Barnett who I think changes his vocals to be a little more in Billy’s style which is great because Billy’s vocals have a lot of texture and character.