Posts Tagged ‘Mike Clink’

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.

File:Metallica - ...And Justice for All cover.jpgLast month we celebrated the 30TH anniversary of the release of Metallica’s Kill Em All and now we are celebrating a different release by Metallica. On August 25, 2013, …And Justice For All turned 25 years old which means it celebrates its silver anniversary (I believe). By the accounts of a lot of different people, this album signified that a lot of changes were going to come to the beloved Thrash metal genre and it signified the beginning of a new era. For starters, it was the first album to be recorded without Cliff Burton and the first with former Flotsam & Jetsam bassist Jason Newsted. It signified the end of a traditional thrash metal sound for Metallica as they took a more progressive metal approach with this album. Lars commented on the band’s change, “We took the Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets concept as far as we could take it. There was no place else to go with the progressive, nutty, sideways side of Metallica, and I’m so proud of the fact that, in some way, that album is kind of the epitome of that progressive side of us up through the ’80s.” The albums lyrics were also very different and dark while being rooted in politics, inequality, and freedom of speech just being some of the topics. There is also a rumor that if you notice, you’ll barely hear the bass tracks because Metallica supposedly turned the bass down.

andOne of the most badass Metallica songs ever kicks off the album in the form of Blackened, a song that deals with the subject of the environment. I love the slow fade up tactic that Metallica chose for the track which signifies the beginning of the madness. It’s also the best drumming I have heard from Lars in my opinion and I love the breakdown after the 2:30 mark, it’s just punishing. …And Justice For All is the next track on the album and it’s a track that was inspired by the drummer Lars’s aggressive riff and drum patterns. Famed music critic Cosmo Lee once said that the song is, “”a linkage of blocks” rather than “a progressive opus”, because “the song is mid-paced and very playable. None of the riffs are that technical.” Eye Of The Beholder is another track that starts with a slow fade up as the track keeps building up and then it explodes into an all metal assault. The track is played at a conventional 4/4 rhythm while the chorus is famous for being played at a 12/8 time. The tracks lyrics deal with issues of limitations that are constantly placed on freedom of speech and freedom of expression. It makes sense considering the PMRC was hammering down on Heavy Metal at the time.

oneI hate to call the next track a power ballad, but that is exactly what One is. It’s the Grammy award winning track from the album whose lyrics are very anti-war. The song was inspired by a book by Dalton Trumbo that was called Johnny Got His Gun which was released in 1939 and dealt with a soldier who had lost all his limbs in battle.  The song begins in 4/4 time before it gradually switches in 3/4 and even 2/4 time. My favorite part of the song is the machine gun guitar build up with the double bass madness. Here is what James told Guitar World Magazine in 1991 regarding B-G modulation, “I had been fiddling around with that B-G modulation for a long time. The idea for the opening came from a Venom song called “Buried Alive”. The kick drum machine-gun part near the end wasn’t written with the war lyrics in mind, it just came out that way. We started that album with Mike Clink as producer. He didn’t work out so well, so we got Flemming to come over and save our asses.”

harvesterThe Shortest Straw is the next track on the record with it’s stop and smash playing in the beginning, it’s a song that deals with the topic of blacklisting. According to wikipedia, Harvester Of Sorrow is a song about, “a man who descends into madness, taking out his anger on his family. At the end of the song, it is hinted his sanity snaps and he murders them.” The song is a live staple at any Metallica show and deservedly so as the track hits you like a sledgehammer when it kicks off. Frayed Ends Of Sanity is the next track and it deals with the subject of a man who cannot live with the mania inside his head as he tries to become stronger than the demons (at least that’s what I get out of it). To Live Is To Die is the only song on the album where credit is given to Cliff Burton. The song samples a lot of different bass lines that Cliff had done before he passed away, but they were recorded with Jason for the album.

and justiceDyer’s Eve is the last track on the record and it’s a straight forward, cut ‘n dry message to his parents with some awesome and crazy stop and play metal madness in the beginning. Then out of nowhere the madness becomes even more maddening as Metallica embark on all out metal assault. This is definitely one of my favorite albums that started off with Mike Clink as the producer because Flemming Rasmussen wasn’t available when they needed him. After not being happy with what Mike Clink was doing, Flemming was finally brought in as he saved the day. Happy 25TH Anniversary to …And Justice For All you get four stars out of five.