Posts Tagged ‘Classic Rock’

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.



van-halen-vs-mott-the-hoopleLast week, we corrected our cover segment naming it Cover Battle and we had our very first one officially. Last week, Guns N Roses battled Britny Fox for supremacy over a cover of Nazareth’s Hair Of The Dog. You voted and named Guns N Roses the superior version. This week, we have one of the most interesting cover battles of all time because we take two classic rock bands from the 70’s and we are pinning them against each other. This week LA Rock outfit Van Halen does battle with UK classic rock giants Mott The Hoople in a cover battle of who did The Kinks You Really Got Me better. Let’s take a look at the contenders:

Van Halen– In the late 1970’s, Van Halen was the hottest thing to come out of Los Angeles in a long time and they did so with their self titled debut album. The chart topping amaing album featured tracks like Runnin’ With The Devil, Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love, and the very first single on the record that launched them into super stardom in their cover of The Kinks You Really Got Me. The song did so well for the band just as it had done for The Kinks back in 1964. When you hear this version, Eddie Van Halen adds some serious balls to the track and David Lee Roth is well David Lee Roth.

Mott The Hoople– The UK rock band originally released an instrumental version of You Really Got Me on their 1969 self title debut album. In 1980, they would release the version with Ian Hunter on vocals on the compilation record Two Miles From Heaven. Their version really has that 70’s UK Glam feel to it and the flow of it is definitely a tad slower than Van Halen’s. The thing I like about this version is the fact that they kept the keys in the song which definitely add to the overall composition and Mick Ralph’s solo is is good as well.

Now it is time for all of you to be the judge as to who did the cover better? Was it Van Halen? Or was it Mott The Hoople? You be the judge!

kansas-vs-gwar-vs-stryperWe took a week off from Original vs The Cover, but we are back with a fury this week and a special edition. First I wanted to let you guys know about the results of our last Original Vs The Cover which featured Depeche Mode taking on Lacuna Coil in a battle of what version was better and of course Depeche Mode ended that one on top. As I said, we have a very special one for all of you because not only are there two bands competing, but we added a third band this week because why the hell not? So the song we have for you guys today is the classic rock track Carry On Wayward Son which was originally done by the band Kansas. Well, Kansas’s version of the song is going to take on two bands that happened to cover the track as well in GWAR and Stryper. Two drastically different bands who covered a track from a band you would never expect them to. Let’s check out the versions below:

Kansas– By time the album Leftoverture was released in 1976, the band had already released three albums and were still looking for that big hit. Well, the band’s prayers were answered when the track was released. The track entitled Carry On Wayward Son peaked at number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 becoming the band’s very first top 40 hit of their careers. The track with its classic guitar thunder and amazing vocal harmonies during the chorus took the world by storm with it’s amazing lyrics about a son who goes off and has to discover who he truly is (it’s up for interpretation).

GWAR– In 2012, everybody’s favorite alien Hardcore Metal band GWAR had covered the song as part of a series on Youtube called The AV Club. 25 different bands were asked to cover a song and GWAR’s was this one. The band at first doesn’t seem to take it serious or at least vocalist and fearless leader, the late Oderus Urungus doesn’t. When they finally get into it though, the band churns out a ruckus in your face version of the song which depending on your taste is a good or bad thing.

Stryper– Christian Heavy Metal giants who were one of the most unique bands during their time. After a ten year hiatus the band returned to reclaim their place on the scene and after two albums they decided to release an all covers album entitled The Covering. On the record the band covers everyone from the Scorpions, Ozzy Osbourne, Kiss, and the very track at question here in Carry On Wayward Son. Stryper’s version of the track may be the one closest and more faithful to the original, but just a little heavier and more of the twin guitar sonic attack. Not to mention that Michael Sweet has an amazing voice and the harmonies on the track are just as great as the original.

Now it’s time for you guys to vote on whose version you enjoy better, but you’re also going to vote on which cover was better as well. As always, you have until the next post to vote for whose version you enjoy the most.



For this week’s Soundtrack Saturday track, I wanted to cover a band and soundtrack that I hadn’t done before. I was struggling to find a new one after 66 posts when I stumbled upon this one. I wasn’t going to post Olivia Newton John on the blog, but when I saw Electric Light Orchestra contributed to the Xanadu soundtrack, I immediately knew who I wanted to cover. The band contributed just about half of the soundtrack to the film that starred Olivia Newton John, Michael Beck, and Gene Kelly in the romantic fantasy musical film. The song I chose for today is the track I’m Alive and it’s featured right int he part when the muses emerge from the painting with one of the muses being Olivia Newton John’s character Kira (Terpsichore). You should definitely check out the track because it’s classic ELO and what is cool is in the closing coda when the band’s name is spelled out in Morse code. Check it out below:

100_1698Something about last week’s album of the week (Night Ranger) and a special I watched on VH1 Classic told me that I needed to cover a Styx record for Album Of The Week. I watching a live special that had the band performing the whole Grand Illusion and Pieces Of Eight records in their entirety and so for this week’s album of the week we will start with The Grand Illusion. The album was released on July 7, 1977 and it featured Dennis DeYoung (Keyboards, Synths, Vocals), Chuck Panozzo (Bass, Vocals), John Panozzo (Drums, Vocals), Tommy Shaw (Acoustic and Electric Guitars, Vocals), and James Young (Guitars, Keyboards, Vocals). According to DeYoung, the album was a concept record whose theme was “was the struggle to overcome self-deluding superficiality in order to affirm one’s genuine value.” The album sold over 3 million copies worldwide and peaked at number six on the Billboard Top 200 charts launching the band into super stardom. The album cover was an homage to Le Blanc-Seing which was a painting done by René Magritte and the cover was created by Alton Kelley and Stanley Mouse.

Styx - The Grand Illusion [Arka]1. The Grand Illusion– The title track with it’s keyboard driven cadence like beginning is one of my favorite tracks on the album. Much like the way DeYoung described the album’s theme, the song’s lyrics definitely enforce that idea. The best part of the tracks is the harmonies, I love music like this. 5/5

2. Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)– The song is very folksy sounding with the keys in the intro before the acoustic guitars take over and is a track that was written by Tommy Shaw about Dennis DeYoung. 5/5

3. Superstars– an interesting rock song from the band that is sung by Tommy Shaw about the rise to fame and the cycle that comes. What I mean by cycle is that a band rises to fame and a fan sees them and wants what they have and does the same. 4/5

4. Come Sail Away– This is probably one of the bands most recognizable songs and a top ten hit (number eight on the billboard Hot 100). The song has different tempos with the classical/ballad like first half with the keyboards and then a rocking second half with the boisterous guitars. 5/5

5. Miss America–  A very synth/key driven intro that makes me feel like I am in a majestic place in the medieval times. Then out of nowhere it kicks it up a notch with some rockin guitars in a track that seems to attack the facade of the title of Miss America. James Young is on vocals for this track4/5

1397698564-29741-336. Man in the Wilderness– The tempo for the track is a little different than the ones before it because it’s a little slower and more melancholic than usual. I feel the song is about the pressures of the rise to fame and the loneliness that sometimes comes with it. 4/5

7. Castle Walls- Another keyboard driven track that DeYoung wrote for the record that is about overcoming your fears of failure and running toward your dreams. The instrumental section of the song in the two minute to three minute mark reminds me of the Halloween III score. 4/5

8. The Grand Finale- The last track on the record and it’s less than two minutes long an it repeats the line from the title track. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– The album is a classic that really pushed the boundaries of what could be done with rock music and concept albums. The band definitely flexed their muscles on this album and who knows if Dennis DeYoung was ever really satisfied with the success even after this one. I am giving the album 4.3 stars out of five for a final grade.

What do you get when you combine a Detroit rock legend with a iconic comedian playing a Detroit cop working in Beverly Hills? Well, the answer is that you get one heck of a combination for the film Beverly Hills Cop II. Of course, I am talking about Eddie Murphy who in 1987, once again took the stage as Axel Foley, the Detroit cop working in Beverly Hills on a new case. Now as far as the soundtrack was concerned, it featured songs from the likes of George Michaels, Corey Hart, Pointer Sisters, Jermaine Jackson, and the Detriot rock legend Bob Seger. Bob Seger provided the track Shakedown for the soundtrack and it was a huge success. The song went to number one in Canada, Number one on the US Billboard Mainstream Rock Charts, and the US Billboard Hot 100 charts. It was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song and a Golden Globe for Best Original Song, but it lost both of them to the same song from the Dirty Dancing soundtrack. The song is really good as it adds elements of what Seger was known for with elements of the 80’s like synthesizers and more. Check it out for yourself below: