Posts Tagged ‘Classic Rock’

blue-oyster-cult_agents_bIf you were to take the time to look on any Halloween playlist that is out there that involves having classic rock on it then I guarantee you will at least find one song by American Hard Rock/Occult Rock band Blue Öyster Cult. The band which was made up of Eric Bloom (Rhythm Guitar/Vocals), Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser (Lead Guitar/Vocals), Allen Lanier (Keyboards/Rhythm Guitar/Vocals), Joe Bouchard (Bass/Vocals), and Albert Bouchard (Drums/Vocals) were known for mixing elements of the occult and horror into their music which is why I decided to cover their fourth studio album Agents Of Fortune as this week’s album of the week. It was a unique album for the band as it was the last album to feature every member having vocal duties on some of the tracks, the only album to not feature writing credits from Eric Bloom, and thanks to one lead single, this album made them a huge concert draw as well. The platinum selling album would peak at number 29 on the Billboard Top 200 charts, 28 in Canada, and 26 in the UK. Kerrang! Magazine voted the album 62 on their The 100 Greatest Heavy Metal Albums of All Time list while Q magazine said it was one of “The Greatest Classic Rock Albums Ever!”

blue-oyster-cult-agent-of-fortune-2-cd1. This Ain’t the Summer of Love– a monster opener that is all about how the promoters were exposed for being frauds with their Summer Of Love campaigns. 4.5/5

2. True Confessions-a piano driven bluesy rock track that is all about love in the 70’s in the eyes of someone who lived it then. 4/5

3. (Don’t Fear) The Reaper-a classic track from the band that put them on the map and established them as a live force. The track is all about we fear death when we shouldn’t and how we should just be living. 5/5

4. E.T.I. (Extra Terrestrial Intelligence)– a bad ass 70’s rock song with swagger that I think is all about The Men In Black and UFO’s. 5/5

5. The Revenge of Vera Gemini– a track that undoubtedly inspired the Marvel character that features vocals by Patti Smith as well as Albert, but rumor has it that it’s about her relationship with Bob Dylan. 4.5/5

3365286259_da7ae4fcc1_z6. Sinful Love– a cool rock track that once again features Albert on vocals and is about drug addiction in my opinion and he is trying to kick it, but he loves it too much. 4/5

7. Tattooed Vampire– an upbeat hard rock track about a tattooed Asian girl at a tattoo parlor? 4/5

8. Morning Final– According to one report that I saw online that the track is about a murder that took place at a famous place in New York City that Joe Bouchard used to like going to. 4/5

9. Tenderloin– Eric Bloom sings this cool as ice rock song about a prostitute (basically) 4/5

10. Debbie Denise– The last track on the album and it’s a track based on a song written by Patti Smith where one line was changed about a girl who patiently waits for her man to come back from tour because she loves him. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– I can definitely understand why this is a band that is so polarizing in a way. I saw that because there are people who live and die by Blue Öyster Cult and some that thought they were cheesy. I liked the album overall, but in reality there were only two songs that I thoroughly enjoyed. I am going to give the album 4.3 stars out of five for a final grade.

71XIx7ewVjL._SL1200_We are continuing our journey of discovery as we inch closer and closer to the greatest holiday in the world which is Halloween. Every year when I do the Halloween/horror themed Album Of The Week post, I try to look for new bands and I may have found one that might not have heard of, but you definitely need to get acquainted with. The group is called Twin Temple and they are a duo from Los Angeles that also happen to be Satanists who love 1950’s/60’s Doo-Wop Classic Rock And Roll and the beauty is that they mix the two. As they claim from Robert Johnson at the crossroads to Norwegian Black Metal, Satan has long been apart of the musical landscape and vocalist Alexandra James claims, “We’ve always loved rock ‘n’ roll, especially from the golden era of American music, but we’re also Satanists and study the Occult. We both practice magick. It was just a crazy idea– ‘Why can’t you love Roy Orbison and hail Satan at the same time?’ Satanism has been relegated to the metal scene for so long, but we are Satanists and listen to The Platters and Buddy Holly, you know? We love metal too, but this is a reflection of who we are as people. This record was something we wanted to create for ourselves… we were happy to see that it resonated with other people out there, too.” Along with partner Zachary James, they are taking the world by storm as we check out their first album Twin Temple (Bring You Their Signature Sound…. Satanic Doo-Wop).

CS720819-01B-BIG.jpg1. The Devil (Didn’t Make Me Do It)– a cool track that is all about debunking the reasoning’s behind some of the legends of rock infamy saying that we all blame Satan for it, but it’s really just us. 5/5

2. Luicfer, My Love– In this ballad, Alexandra James’s amazing vocals professes her love for the lord of darkness while Zachary’s arrangements are perfect. 5/5

3. Sex Magick-This track has that classic drum intro you hear in tracks like My Boyfriend’s Back as Alexandra sings about the night she met the one for her and how the sex was magical. 4.5/5

4. I Know How To Hex You– Zachary James does a great job capturing the sounds of the 50’s/60’s with the horns mixed with the rockabilly guitar that we would’ve heard in a Bond film. This is Alexandra getting revenge on all the men who have wronged her. 4.5/5

5. I’m Wicked-a slow temple leads this cool as ice and spooky track that is all about the power of a black magick woman. 5/5

d917c0472618207ee4a59d40f9dfcc2d97e4c9386. In Lvx-Organs help light the mood in this 60’s psychedelic rock track instrumental. 5/5

7. Santa Muerte-a doo-wop classic with a bit of a Latin/salsa touch to it in this track that is all about just who is the Santa Muerte? 4.5/5

8. Let’s Hang Together-an interesting take on the idea of till death do us part as he claims that if you die then I’ll die gladly. 4.5/5

9. Femme Fatale-a cool track that is all about what makes her a femme fatale, but you know the kind that men can not resist. 4.5/5

10. In Nox-The last track on the album and another instrumental that showcases Zachary’s talent. 5/5

My Final Thoughts– I listen to this album and just for a moment suspend the lyrics and you can definitely feel like you are listening to music that could have been there in the 1950’s/60’s. They do a magnificent job with it like Ghost does with 70’s era rock music and I can dig it. Check this album out if you love a little classic rock and roll. I am giving the album 4.75 stars out of five for a final grade.

covenEvery year, I try to find new and exciting albums to cover while we do Eddie’s 31 Days of Halloween and I think I found one. I was looking on the world wide web when I came across the term Occult Rock and of course I was curious and so I clicked on it. Apparently there was a band that was Satanic before Black Sabbath could ever be considered that and this band was open about it on their music. The band that I am talking about is  Chicago’s Coven, a band that was made up of Jinx Dawson (Vocals), Jim Donlinger (Guitar), Jim Nyeholt, John Hobbs, and Rick Durrett (Organ, Piano, Keys), Alan Estes and Oz Osborne (Bass), and Steve Ross (Drums) would release their debut album Witchcraft Destroys Minds & Reaps Souls in 1969. According to metal and rock historians and fans, they are recognized as the first band to put up the devil horns as was recognized by the album which was produced by Bill Traut. Jim Donlinger whose real name was James Vincent (He was in another band at the time and he was asked to write songs for this by Traut) talked about the album and the process and said, “Bill brought me a large box full of books about witchcraft and related subjects. He told me to read them and start writing some songs … Sometime before the sun came up, I had completely written all the material requested of me for the entire album … Coven also contributed four songs to the project.”

coven back1. Black Sabbath– Not to be confused with the Black Sabbath titular track, this track has more of as psychedelic light rock feel to it as Jinx struts her stuff vocally. a track aboutr witches who sacrifice to the dark prince. 4/5

2. White Witch Of Rosehall– a kind of upbeat tempo track that could be telling the story of a haunting that happened in Jamaica. The story is about the spirit of Annie Palmer who haunts Rose Hall. 4/5

3. Coven in Charing Cross– an interesting track that even features chanting done by the members of the band as they talk about a cult who practices the occult. 4/5

4. For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge– is the what the F word means. The origin of the word f**k in Ireland meant that you were arrested “For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge”. I loved the use of the organs in this track, a fun track overall. 4.5/5

5. Pact with Lucifer– literally a track about a farmer who sold his soul to the devil so that he could get fortune and now the devil has come to collect. 4/5

coven vinyl.jpg6. Choke, Thirst, Die– This must be a track about seances or trying to resurrect the dead otherwise I have no idea. 4/5

7. Wicked Woman– a track about a woman who is devilish and she’ll be the death of you if you’re not careful. 4/5

8. Dignitaries of Hell– an interesting track about all of the demons that accompany Satan in hell as they are all Dignitaries of Hell. 4/5

9. Portrait– an interesting song about a portrait and the power that it has over people who come across it. 4/5

10. Satanic Mass– It is literally what it is, the album ends with a Satanic mass. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– The way the world worked in 1969, this was definitely one of the ballsiest releases of it’s time. You weren’t going to get mainstream fame and success with this albuym, but you definitely did somewhat get infamy with it. I am going to give the album 4 stars out of five for a final grade.

MFSL1-442-2On Sunday September 15, 2019, the rock world and the Boston music scene lost one of it’s greats in Ric Ocasek who was one of the singers and rhythm guitar player of Boston rock band The Cars. The Cars were a very important band to the identity of Classic Rock in the city of Boston and they were a band that I grew up on. For today’s album of the week, I have decided to cover the band’s fifth studio album in Heartbreak City because it was the album that introduced me to the band. The album was released on March 13, 1984 which marks this as the 35TH anniversary of the album’s release and it was produced by famed producer Robert John “Mutt” Lange who was known for producing albums by AC/DC and Def Leppard to name a few. The album once again featured Ocasek (Rhythm Guitar and Vocals), Ben Orr (Bass and Vocals), Elliot Easton (Guitars and Vocals), Greg Hawkes (Keys and Fairlight CMI programming), and David Robinson (Drums). The album was a huge success and it bounced the band back as it peaked at number three on the Billboard Top 200 Charts making it only the second album to reach this high on the charts (Candy-O also peaked at 3). The album would also chart at number 12 in 1984 and 49 in 1985 on the Billboard Top 200 year end charts as it sold over four million records.

the-cars-heartbeat-city-6-cd1. Hello Again– A new wave rocking hit, but it definitely was experimental as well for the band at the time. I always loved the key and synth opening of the track and we’ve seen the vocal intro effect before with Def Leppard. 5/5

2. Looking For Love– Even though this wasn’t a single, I always thought this was an awesome song for a deep cut on the record. It does a nice job treading on the line of ballad and synth pop single very well as she looks for love. 5/5

3, Magic– The second single released off the album and a number one hit on the U.S. Billboard Top Rock Tracks chart. You can hear the Fairlight CMI programming being put to use in the beginning before the keys take over. The track has a great charging rock sound to it complete with awesome bass riff from Orr. The track is all about when you find that true love, everything feels like magic, but it doesn’t last forever. 5/5

4. Drive– This is probably my favorite song on the whole entire album and one of the band’s best ballads. This is a track that is sung by Benjamin Orr and his bass riff dominates this great track. The track is all about how anyone can say they love you, but there is one true person who will “drive” to the ends of the earth for you. 5/5

5. Stranger Eyes– I love the intro to this song because it’s so 1980’s with the synth they are using I love it. I could see this song on a soundtrack to an 80’s horror film. A very bass driven track that is once again sang by Orr. 4.5/5

the-cars-602962-2-cd6. You Might Think– The very first single released off of the album that peaked at number one on the US Billboard Top Rock Tracks. I love the balance of it being a rock track with the keyboard playing and the nuances of the synth playing. 5/5

7. It’s Not the Night-a keyboard and synth heavy track that was written by both Orr and Ocasek and it features vocals from the both of them as well. When it comes time for Orr to sing, it turns into more of a rock song with the keys and synths still there. 4/5

8. Why I Can’t Have You– another Keys and Synth drive track whose tempo is a little slower than the other tracks that has that person in distress kind of mode (described as a lush ballad) especially since the song is about a guy who wants this woman, but he can’t have her. 5/5

9. I Refuse– a more upbeat synthpop track from the band in this track about a guy who refuses to be used by someone. 4.5/5

10. Heartbreak City– The last track on the album that was originally titled Jacki on the US cassette release. It’s a synthpop track that is a little bit on the darker side as it has to do with two lovers who can’t seem to be together because Jacki is obsessed with big lights of Hollywood or Heartbreak City. 4.5/5

My Final Thoughts– I love this album and always have since the first time I heard it and that was thanks to MTV who used to play music videos. There’s really only one song on the album that I never really cared for, but other than it’s a solid release. I am giving the album 4.75 stars out of five for a final grade. R.I.P. Ric Ocasek

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The album cover when you unfold it

joe walshThe inspiration for today’s Album Of The Week is thanks to comedian and Podcaster Marc Maron who hosts the show WTF with Marc Maron. One of the guests that Marc had on the show was legendary guitar player Joe Walsh who is best known for being in the James Gang, solo, and The Eagles. Marc talked about his love for the first time he had heard Rocky Mountain Way and so I figured that I would cover the very album it’s on which is titled The Smoker You Drink The Player You Get which is a play on the expression “The higher you get the better you play!” When Joe left the James Gang, he started a group called the Barnstorm when he moved to Colorado. The band made up of Walsh (Vocals/Guitar), Kenny Passarelli (Bass Guitar), Joe Vitale (Drums), and Rocke Grace (Keyboards) played on Joe’s first two albums and left after the success of this record. The album was a huge success for Joe as it reached number six on the Billboard Pop Charts and it eventually went Gold in the US and silver in the UK all on the back of the single Rocky Mountain Way which was a top 40 hit.

JOE_WALSH_THE+SMOKER+YOU+DRINK,+THE+PLAYER+YOU+GET-130499b1. Rocky Mountain Way– One of the coolest rock songs ever recorded that featured Joe playing the Talk Box. Ultimately the song is about his experience in Colorado, but Joe has said this before, “I’m living in Colorado and I’m mowing the lawn. I look up and there’s the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains and there’s snow on them in the summer. And it knocked me back because it was just beautiful. And I thought, ‘Well I have committed. I’m already in Colorado and it’s too late to regret the James Gang. The Rocky Mountain way is better than the way I had, because the music was better.’ I got the words. Bam!” 5/5

2. Book Ends– This is one of the tracks on the album that Joe Vitale sings on as he is talking about the good ole days. I love the overall vibe of the track as it has a little bit of a Beatles feel to it like a Hey Jude. 4.5/5

3. Wolf– I love the melodic beginning of this track because it sets the tone for the rest of the track in this very dark tale of life and the tribulations that we go through to live while the rich (wolf) get richer. 5/5

4. Midnight Moodies– A very cool instrumental track that features a mixture of instruments as the band flexes their muscle like a flute in the track. He may have gotten the influence from Jethro Tull on that part. 4.5/5

5. Happy Ways– This is the only track on the album that Kenny Passarelli sings lead vocals on. I love the bass intro in the beginning to go along with the War style music with the Caribbean influence. 4.5/5

joe_walsh_the_smoker_you_drink_24ktgdrem09_back.jpg6. Meadows– A little scat singing and screaming from Joe kicks off this cool rock track that has a similar feel to Deep Purple’s Women From Tokyo. 4.5/5

7. Dreams– The beginning of the song starts with some piano playing an effect that sounds like a clock is ticking in a track that talks about being a dreamer, taking care of a woman, and giving knowledge to people. 4/5

8. Days Gone By– This is the other track that Joe Vitale sings on that talks about how you need to live your life before you start wondering where it has all gone. 4.5/5

9. Day Dream (Prayer)– The last track on the album that starts with some piano and lyrically it only has four lines. The track has a very Pink Floyd vibe with the organs and the harmonies that are being sung. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– You could definitely tell that Joe was heavily influenced by what was around him at the time. He says in the interview with Marc Maron that he was influenced by everyone that he had met and learned some tricks from this guy, etc. My favorite tracks on the album are Rocky Mountain Way and Wolf. I didn’t dislike any of the tracks, but if I had to pick a least favorite it would be Dreams. I am giving the album 4.5 stars out of five for a final grade.

 

510h-bQIqELEvery once in a while, we love to cover classic albums from classic bands as we have in the past like when we covered an album from Sweet or even Led Zeppelin. For this week’s album of the week, we are looking an artist that was recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame earlier this year. The band that I am talking about is the legendary English act Electric Light Orchestra which was made up of Jeff Lynne (Lead Vocals/Guitar), Bev Bevan (Drums), Richard Tandy (Piano/Keys/Guitar), Kelly Groucutt (Bass), Mik Kaminski (Violin), Hugh McDowell and Melvyn Gale (Cello). They were a band that was known for mixing a Beatlesque sound mixed with Futuristic/Sci-Fi themes, and even throwing in some classical arrangements. In September of 1975, the band would release their fifth studio album Face The Music which marked the first time that Groucutt and Gale were in the band as they replaced Mike de Albuquerque  and Mike Edwards. The album peaked at number 13 on CashBox, number 8 on the Billboard Top 200 charts, Number 11 on the Billboard Year End Charts for 1976 as well as being certified Gold.

electric-light-orchestra-acb-246-ab1. Fire On High– Is an opening instrumental track for the album that just displays the band’s talent. It also features some backwards masking done on purpose that you can hear Bev Bevan saying, “The music is reversible, but time is not. Turn back, turn back, turn back, turn back.” 5/5

2. Waterfall– a great track that is all about those who don’t understand love if they are not in a relationship. Almost like the concept of love is an illusion. 5/5

3. Evil Woman– One of my favorite tracks from ELO with that cool guitar riff that comes in after they say Evil Woman in a track that is all about how evil women can be. 5/5

4. Nightrider– A very cool track from the band that failed to chart for the band at the time. The string crescendo section of this track was used in previous track Evil Woman, but just put in backwards. The title of the track is a tip of the hat of sorts to Jeff Lynne’s previous band The Nightriders. 4.5/5

Electric_Light_Orchestra-Face_The_Music-Trasera5. Poker– A cool rock track from the band that I hate to believe is about the game of Poker and all the madness that can ensue, but I believe it is. This track kicks off side B of the album. This is also the first track on the album that features Groucutt on lead vocals. 4.5/5

6. Strange Magic-A very cool track that features Tandy providing the weeping guitar lick that is the signature of the track. The track has that Beatles pop sound to it while mixing the classic arrangement side of ELO. 5/5

7. Down Home Town-A cool laid back track from the guys which is also the other track that features vocals from Groucutt. The track also features the chorus of Waterfall played backwards in the beginning of it. 4.5/5

8. One Summer Dream– An orchestral arrangement opens the very last track on the record before Lynne comes in with his guitar track. Another Beatlesque track from the group. Jeff Lynne once said that was an anti-war song in the liner notes to 2006 reissue of the album. It’s a very beautiful track and a cool way to end the album. 5/5

My Final Thoughts– This is a good album to start off with if you want to get to know the genius of Jeff Lynne and ELO. The fact that Jeff Lynne was genius enough to include orchestral arrangements is mind boggling and these guys definitely deserved to be in the R&R Hall Of Fame. I am going to give the album 4.8 stars out of five for a final grade.

frontiersWe here at Moshpits and Movies have covered a wide arrange of rock and metal music and all of it’s subgenres to the point that we feel we are pretty diverse. We want to keep the diversity going by checking out one of the best classic rock bands to come from the 70’s and through the 80’s in San Fransisco rock band Journey. The album that we are reviewing from the band is one of my personal favorites in their eight studio album 1983’s Frontiers. The album featured Steve Perry (Lead Vocals), Neal Schon (Lead Guitar), Jonathan Cain (Keyboards and Rhythm Guitar), Ross Valory (Bass), and Steve Smith (Drums) and it was produced by Mike Stone and Kevin Elson. The album was Ross Valory’s last album with the band at the time until he returned for 1996’s Trial By Fire. Going into recording this album, Journey had quite the daunting task of outdoing their last record Escape which went to number one on the Billboard Top 200 charts. Unfortunately as great as the album was, it peaked at number two on the charts, but it was the highest charted album from the band in the UK at number 6. Since the release of the album, it has been certified platinum six times selling over six million albums.

journey-frontiers-j2919c1.Separate Ways (World’s Apart)– The track features that classic keyboard riff matched with the charging guitar riff that drives the song forward. The song talks about a guy who even though he is heartbroken, he will always be there for the girl he lost. 5/5

2. Send Her My Love– A haunting ballad from the band that talks about the power of love and the effect it can have on a person who is always on the road. 5/5

3. Chain Reaction– A driving rock song that features that chugging playing from Schon in a track that is all about being careful about falling in love because the chain reaction can be hell. 4/5

4. After The Fall– A keyboard/guitar driven song that features bass playing from Randy Jackson (yeah the American Idol judge) in a track that is about when you want to tell someone you love them, but it’s too late. 4/5

5. Faithfully– One of the more famous ballads from the band that feels like it should be played in a stadium. It just has that big time ballad feel to it with the cool piano playing from Cain. The track is about no matter how hard life can be, love will always carry you through. End of side one! 5/5

COL_00019_011476. Edge Of The Blade– A cool guitar riff from Schon kicks off the track that could be about how cutthroat the industry can be. 4/5

7. Troubled Child– A very bluesy riff from Schon and some keys from Cain kick off what is a little bit of a darker track for the band that features the melodies we love from them. 4/5

8. Back Talk– a big drum beat from Smith kicks things off as both Cain and Schon come in with some monster power chords giving it a big rock track feel. The song’s lyrics are pretty self explanatory. 4/5

9. Frontiers– The title track on the album is an OK one that mixes in some carribean beats to it if you listen close in the intro (sounds like the steel drum). 4/5

10. Rubicon– A big rock riff kicks off the final track on the album in a track that is all about realizing your fate and crossing the point of no return. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– These guys are pretty legendary and that is why they are in the rock and roll hall of fame and deservedly so. They have provided the world with so many great tracks and this album has some of those. My only wish is that they’ll tour with Steve Perry again. I am going to give the album 4.3 stars out of five for a final grade.