Posts Tagged ‘Dizzy Reed’

896b858eI have decided to cover an album for the album of the week that was a but controversial when it came out. The album that I chose for you guys is the last Guns N Roses record to be released to date in their sixth studio album Chinese Democracy. The very album that fans waited 13 years for Guns N Roses to release when it finally came out in November of 2008. The reason I chose the album is because of the fact that I bought the Axl Rose Funko Pop and I went on my Spotify that day and decided to listen to the album once again. The album besides Axl Rose (Vocals) features an army of musicians that worked on it like Robin Finck (Guitars), Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (Guitars), Buckethead (Guitars), Paul Tobias (Guitars), Richard Fortus (Guitars), Tommy Stinson (Bass), Bryan “Brain” Mantia (Drums), Frank Ferrer (Drums), Dizzy Reed (Keyboards), Chris Pitman (Keyboards), and Josh Freese (arrangements). The album was successful around the world as it went number one in eight different countries and it went number one in the European Top 100 charts as well as peaking at number three on the Billboard Top 200 charts. The album also went platinum and sold over a million worldwide.

bknation_Chinese_Democracy1. Chinese Democracy– The opening track on the album that was inspired by the film Kundun which was about the Dalai Lama. This track and the words contained in it is the reason the album is banned in China as we speak. 5/5

2. Shackler’s Revenge– A track dipped heavily into Industrial metal which is about all of the school shootings in America and how the media tried to pin one on Guns N Roses and their song Mr. Brownstone. 4.5/5

3. Better-An amazing electronic rock track that sees Axl singing in a falsetto style. There’s this one part in the song at the 2:30 mark that is absolutely killer and heavy. The song also contains a killer solo in it too.  5/5

4. Street Of Dreams– the track was originally titled The Blues before the name change and it’s a straight up pop piano rock song that definitely has some Elton John influence in it. 5/5

5. If The World– This is a very sexy song that features Buckethead playing the Flamenco guitar in the beginning with the funk and neo soul influences in it combined with some Nu Metal. 5/5

6. There Was A Time– An epic track on the album that is personally one of my favorties with the heavy orchestral sound with the mellotron, violins, etc. I feel the song is about how we change because we may grow distant with someone. 5/5

7. Catcher In The Rye– A song that Axl Rose wrote in tribute to John Lennon after watching a documentary on Mark David Chapman where Rose criticizes the book in the song. 4.5/5

2FF8. Scraped– The track takes us to that Industrial Rock sound that a lot of people were talking about when it came to this record. With lyrics like, “Don’t you try to stop us now” and “All things are possible, I am unstoppable.” Rose is telling you, he is here to stay. 4/5

9. Riad N’The Bedouins– Axl talked about the track saying, “Riad is the name my one time momentary brother-in-law of Erin Everly went by when I knew him. Of part Lebanese descent and a former student of Pepperdine University, he claims to be an international arms dealer.” 4/5

10. Sorry– Sebastian Bach described the song saying, “There’s this one song called ‘Sorry’ that’s almost like doom metal with Axl singing really clean over this grinding, slow beat that is fucking mean, I cannot get it out of my head.” Rose said the track is about, “anyone talking nonsense at mine and the public’s expense.” 4.5/5

11. I.R.S.– The song starts off a little bluesy before some cool heavy guitars come in during the chorus. 4/5

12. Madagascar– Another track on the album that is one of my favorites. It kind of has the same kind of message as Civil War as it features quotes from films like Mississippi Burning, Casualties of War, Cool Hand Luke, Braveheart, and Seven as well as some excerpts from speeches by Martin Luther King Jr. over some Trip Hop styled sound.  5/5

13. This I Love– Supposedly the song dates all the way back to 1992 as it was a piano ballad written by Rose to one of his former loves. 4.5/5

14. Prostitute– A power ballad with that is actually a cool track that is not about actual prostitutes, but rather him telling you that he wouldn’t pimp the band out just for money to have in his pocket. 4.5/5

My Final Thoughts– In my opinion, this was an excellent release from Axl even though it took forever to come out. The question that was on everyone’s mind then was whether the wait for the new record was worth it. You have to listen to it yourself and just be the judge for yourself, but I love the album. I am going to give the record 4.6 star out of five for a final grade.

use your illusion 2For this week’s album of the week, I decided to choose an album from Guns N Roses considering all of the buzz that is going around as far as the reunion is concerned. I have already covered Use Your Illusion 1 from the band and now it’s time to finish that off today. Just like the first one, the album Use Your Illusion II was also released on September 17, 1991 and despite both albums released on the same day, this one did a lot better. The album once again featured Axl Rose (Vocals), Slash (Guitars), Izzy Stradlin (Guitars), Duff McKagan (Bass), Dizzy Reed (Keys), and Matt Sorum (Drums) along with one track featuring original drummer Steven Adler on drums. Just in it’s first week alone, the album sold 770,000 copies to Use Your Illusion 1’s 685,000 landing this album at number one on it’s debut. The album alone has sold over seven million copies making it go seven times platinum. The album also went number one on the Billboard End Of Decade Charts (1990-1999) which is pretty amazing given the albums released in the 90’s.

use your illusion 2 back1. Civil War– In an interview with Rockline, Duff McKagan explained how the protest track came about, “Basically it was a riff that we would do at sound-checks. Axl came up with a couple of lines at the beginning. And… I went in a peace march, when I was a little kid, with my mom. I was like four years old. For Martin Luther King. And that’s when: “Did you wear the black arm band when they shot the man who said: ‘Peace could last forever’?” It’s just true-life experiences, really.” This seven plus minute epic described that all war was civil and what a powerful statement this song was. This is also the only track on the album that features former drummer Steven Adler. 5/5

2. 14 Years– One of the only songs on the album sung entirely by Izzy Stradlin with Axl singing the chorus. The song is supposedly about Stradlin and Rose’s friendship which was about 14 years by the time the song was written, but it more than likely has to do with a guy and his relationship dealing with a girl for so long. 4.5/5

3. Yesterdays– My favorite song on the whole album that is a power ballad, but it’s lyrical content is so powerful in my opinion. The song’s lyrics deal with forgetting about all the things that have happened in the past or things that you didn’t get to do because yesterday’s got nothing for me. 5/5

4. Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door– Both albums had a cover song and this Bob Dylan cover was the one for this album. 5/5

5. Get In The Ring– Is a very controversial song that sees Axl firing back at all of his critics for the bad reviews they gave him. Critics like Andy Secher (Hit Parader), Circus, Mick Wall (Kerrang!),  and Bob Guccione, Jr. (Spin). 4/5

Use Your Illusion 2 CD6. Shotgun Blues– an in your face rock track from the band that has some punk attitude to it and some very aggressive lyrics. 4/5

7. Breakdown– a track that features Slash playing Banjo on the song. According to Slash, this was the most difficult song on the album to record. It’s not all banjos and pianos as this track turns into a bad ass rock song. 4/5

8. Pretty Tied Up– Izzy Stradlin once descibed the lyrics of the song and it’s content saying, “My Mexican friend Tony took me to meet this woman named Margot at her house. She gave us some tequila or something and she goes in the bedroom and we walk in and there’s this big fat naked guy with an onion in his mouth. He’s wearing women’s underwear and high heels and he’s tied up with duct tape against the wall. Me and Tony were like, What the fuck is going on here? Cracking up laughing. She was this dominatrix chick.” I love the Sitar in the beginning of this bad ass rock song that just shreds. 5/5

9. Locomotive (Complicity)– This is the band’s adventure into Funk Metal probably influenced by Faith No More. The track features a cool piano part towards the end of it 4.5/5

10. So Fine– A track that was written in memory of Johnny Thunders by Duff McKagan who also sang lead vocals on the track. 4.5/5

GNR311. Estranged– This nine minute guitar/piano epic is one of the best songs on the album and it’s also the second longest GNR track ever recorded. 5/5

12. You Could Be Mine– This was the lead single off the album and it’s one of the coolest rock songs the band has ever written in my opinion because it has balls. The song is supposedly about Izzy’s failed relationship with his ex-girlfriend Angela Nicoletti. 5/5

13. Don’t Cry (Alternate Lyrics)– This is the alternate lyrics version of the ballad that appeared on this album. 5/5

14. My World– it’s only 1:24 long, but the industrial tinged  track was written while the band was high on shrooms according to Axl. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– These two albums showcased the writing talent that was behind Guns N Roses. It was the band evolving into what they could have been later on had they all continued together. You can guarantee that a lot of the tracks on this album will be played live on their 21 city reunion tour and I cannot wait. I am going to give the album 4.7 stars out of five for a final grade.

use yourWe want to continue the theme of Axl Rose and Slash (Saul Hudson) burying the hatchet after o many years by covering one of Guns N Roses albums that featured the two of them. So for this week’s album of the week, we are covering Use Your Illusion 1 which was the first of two albums released on the same day on September 17, 1991 with Use Your Illusion 2 being the other album. If you think about it, this was business wise the smartest move GNR did when they released the two albums cause they could have released it as a double album, but get people to pay twice instead of once. The album was drastically different then their first album where there was more production involved and Steven Adler was replaced by Matt Sorum as far as drums were concerned. The rest of the lineup consisted of Axl Rose (Vocals), Slash (Lead Guitar), Izzy Stradlin (R. Guitar), Duff McKagan (Bass), with Dizzy Reed making his debut on the keys. One of the other interesting facts about this album is that a couple of weeks or so after it was released, Izzy Stradlin left the band and was replaced by Gilby Clarke. As far as sales are concerned, the album was a complete success for the band and considered the best of the two Illusion records thanks to Izzy Stradlin. The album peaked at number 2 on the Billboard Top 200 charts, number 2 on the UK charts, number one in Canada, and number 71 on the end of the decade (1990-1999) Billboard Charts as well as going seven times platinum (7,000,000 sold).

GNR_Illusion1Back1. Right Next Door To Hell– Truly one of my favorite introductions to a record ever with it’s amazing bass line and high octane energy about a woman who was Axl’s neighbor that was suing him claiming that he hit her with a wine bottle. 5/5

2. Dust N’ Bones– This is one of my favorite blues rock tracks on the record that Izzy Stradlin sings main vocals on with Axl doing back up on the chorus. 5/5

3. Live And Let Die– This is the bands amazing cover of the classic James Bond Wings track that features Shannon Hoon of Blind Melon doing backing vocals. 5/5

4. Don’t Cry- This is one of my all time favorite power ballads from GNR that also features Shannon Hoon again on backing vocals. Its version one of two with the other having alternate lyrics and featured on Use Your Illusion 2. 5/5

5. Perfect Crime– A high octane, in your face track that never lets up for a second. A Perfect Crime is a term used for crimes that go undetected and I think the track is about an entity that goes undetected 4/5

Guns_N_Roses-Use_Your_Illusion_I-7-CD-6. You Ain’t The First– A very bluesy acoustic track that features Izzy doing lead vocals about being able to get over a girl because she ain’t the first. 4.5/5

7. Bad Obsession– This is another favorite dirty rock and roll/bluesy track that features Michael Monroe of Hanoi Rocks playing the harmonica and saxophone on the track about drug and alcohol abuse. 5/5

8. Back Off Bitch– This was a track that was written before Appetite For Destruction about Axl’s ex who moved to Los Angeles with him. It never made it to any album before this one. 4/5

9. Double Talkin’ Jive– Another fierce in your face track like Perfect Crime or Right Next Door To Hell that features Izzy Stradlin on vocals about a man who could be a bookie. 4/5

10. November Rain– What can I say about this track that hasn’t already been said before, it is the greatest ballad or rock track since Stairway To Heaven and the greatest song in my opinion of the 90’s. 5/5

11. The Garden– a very cool and dark track that features vocals from Alice Cooper. 5/5

gnr_circa_uyi12. Garden of Eden– Not one of my favorites on the record, but same style as Double Talkinn Joe, Right Next…, and even Perfect Crime. It has that punk feel to the track. 4/5

13. Don’t Damn Me– a geat track that features an amazing guitar riff and some powerful vocals from Axl who is telling you not to judge him for his beliefs. 4.5/5

14. Bad Apples– A very unique track with some great bass riffs and a bluesy guitar riff that make it magical in a track that talks about fame, fortune, and all the headaches that follow. 4.5/5

15. Dead Horse– So, the acoustic section in the beginning features a guitar riff written by Axl which I thought was cool. The electric guitars will dominate most of the able, but some cool effects follow. 4/5

16. Coma– This is the last track on the record that Axl has gone on record saying, “I tried to write that song for a year, and couldn’t. I went to write it at the studio and passed out. I woke up two hours later and sat down and wrote the whole end of the song, like, just off the top of my head. It was like, don’t even know what’s coming out, man, but it’s coming. I think one of the best things that I’ve ever written was maybe the end segment of the song “Coma”. It just poured out.” It’s 10 minutes long in length. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– Someone once said that there was a lot of filler on this record, but they didn’ realize what kind of a classic this really was. It took five years for this record to see the light of day and while it was different than Appetite, it was still a masterpiece that stands the test of time like an Aerosmith or Led Zeppelin record. I am giving the record 4.7 stars out of five for a final grade.