Who would have thought that in 1991 while doing backing vocals for Stryper’s album ‘Against the Law’, that would lead to Jeff Scott Soto doing the singing vocals for a movie in 2001 called ‘Rock Star’ starring Mark Wahlberg That is what happened. The producer on the Stryper album was Tom Werman and Tom brought Jeff in for a ton of albums he worked on after Stryper’s album and when ‘Rock Star’ came up, he had Jeff come in and audition.
He originally auditioned for the singing voice of Mark Wahlberg’s character, but the producers of the movie thought his voice was too good actually. They wanted a less seasoned voice, but one that could rip in those 80’s styles so they brought in Miljenko ‘Mike’ Matijevic another Tom vocal favorite. Mike is the lead singer of the band Steelheart and man does he have some pipes as well. Jeff actually did backing vocals on Steelheart’s debut album as well.
The movie ‘Rock Star’ was inspired by what went on with Judas Priest after Rob Halford left the band. They brought in a Judas Priest Tribute band singer by the name of Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens. Mark Wahlberg’s character, Chris Cole, is a massive Steel Dragon fan and was in a tribute band called ‘Blood Pollution’. When the lead singer of Steel Dragon, Bobby Beers, quit (sung by Jeff Scott Soto), Chris Cole was hired (sung by Ike Matijevic) and then the movie chronicles the ups and downs of Chris Cole’s life as a result of this move.
Welcome to the first round of purchases for 2022. Yes, I know, it never seems to end…my wife and wallet keep telling me that, but I don’t listen…obviously. And this week was another stellar month and a few really good deals as well…at least I think so. The first set of purchases were from gift cards left over from Christmas that I hadn’t spent and it was tough to decide. First I went with a vinyl I had been wanting for awhile and finding an original vinyl pressing was going to be expense so I went withe re-issue from Music on Vinyl for Extreme!!
The other items I picked up on those gift cards were the studio albums I was missing for Robbie Williams…I figured no time better than to complete that collection so I did. There were four left and here they are… Now I just need to the rare stuff that I am missing…challenge accepted!!
For My Sunday Song #267, we are going to dive in to the song “Guitar or a Gun” by Will Hoge. The song is off his 2015 album ‘Small Town Dreams’. As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, the album went to #15 on the Country Charts and #162 on the Billboard 200 Album Chart. The song was written by Will Hoge, Dylan Altman and Gary Allan. Will sought out Gary specifically to write with on this track along with another song in hopes Gary would record them. Thankfully for us, Gary passed and Will got to keep this great track all his own.
The song is basically Will thinking about growing up in Franklin, Tennessee. Will would go to the local pawn shop and stare for hours at the guitars on the wall and the guns behind the counter. He would ride his bike over there every weekend. After mowing lawns all Summer, he took his $200 he earned and finally went to that pawn shop to buy one of those two items. He wanted both and the lyrics tell you what his dad said about them but not letting you know really which one his dad was talking about. All Will could think about was being in a gang…a gang of guys that form a band or a gang of guys to do nothing but get in to trouble and ride off in to the sunset like the gang from the movie “Young Guns”. Since we are reviewing a song by Will Hoge, I believe we know he chose the Guitar.
The song is a southern rock sounding track with an acoustic guitar, an electric, a piano and some driving drum beats. It starts off slow with the acoustic guitar and then Will singing the first verse before the band comes in and then they all join in and take it home. The bridge and chorus kick it up a notch and are catchy and colorful. The music and the song feel tell a great story and take you back to your childhood where you might have had the same thoughts. Will is a master at telling great stories and this song is just that.
Formed in 1989 in Connecticut, the band quickly moved to L.A. where they were signed almost immediately and had their debut album out in 1990. The timing was perfect as record companies were over-saturating the market with the next big Glam Band or Hair Band as it has been so horrendously called over the years. Steelheart it that bill nicely as lead singer Miljenko Matijevic had the pipes and the looks. The band exploded on to the scene with their self-titled debut and saw the album go to #40. They quickly released their follow-up, ‘Tangled in the Reins’, in 1992 and it was dead on impact.
Then tragedy struck while on tour for the 2nd record. An unsecured light truss fell on to the stage, crushing Miljenko and breaking his nose, cheekbone, jaw and twisting his spine up severely. It took him years to recover and eventually in 1996 he made a comeback with ‘Wait”. The album didn’t do anything. Years went by and there was nothing from the band. Then in 2006, he re-emerged with a new band, same name, and released their fourth album, ‘Good 2B Alive’ in 2008. Again not much notice then thanks to Frontiers, 2017 saw them return once more with “Through Worlds of Stardust”. And here we are a few years later and finally ranking all five of their albums from Worst to First.
If you haven’t heard them before, they are worth checking out, and yes, even the worst has some great stuff. I hope you enjoy!
Below is one of the first post I ever did for this site and I haven’t updated since. That was 4 years ago. Jeff Scott Soto has released a ton of albums since then so I figured I needed to do an update on this post from 4/17/2016. If I was to complete do this from scratch today, it wouldn’t look this pedestrian, but I will leave it is an just update some albums and song information. I have been on a big JSS kick lately so I want to spread the love….I hope you enjoy.
The artist spotlight is on one of my favorite rock vocalists, Jeff Scott Soto. I came across his music thanks to a great website by Andrew McNiece – Melodicrock.com (go check it out). If you haven’t heard of Jeff, let me tell you a little about him.
Jeff has only been in a few bands – Yngwie Malemsteen’s Rising Force, Talisman, W.E.T., Sons of Apollo, SOTO, Soul Sirkus, Redlist, Eyes, Journey (yes, that Journey), Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Takara, Eyes, Axel Rudi Pell and I believe there are several others so yeah…only a few.
He also has made appearances on so many other albums (too numerous to list). Most recently he was on Joel Hoekstra’s 13 album “Dying to Live” which I thought was a great album. He was even in the fictional band Steel Dragon from the movie “Rock Star” with Mark Wahlberg. And lastly, he has had a great solo career.
I mentioned he was in Journey above. In 2006, Journey let their lead singer go, Steve Augeri, and picked up Jeff to finish the tour. Jeff had worked withNeal Schon in the group Soul Sirkus which I will talk more about later. I was so excited with that announcement as after hearing his version of “Send Her My Love”, I knew he had the chops for it. Sadly, it didn’t last. After the tour they let him go and went with a different singer.