Greetings friends it’s time to once again scroll back through the sands of time and pull out another classic album and celebrate its anniversary. Today we are raising a glass of whatever you like to drink the most and saying “Congratulations” to the band King’s X on the thirtieth anniversary of their debut album “Out Of The Silent Planet”. The album was released on this day thirty years ago on the Megaforce Records label and while it is a solid piece of musical work, there were far too many of us who missed out on it until much later. I say it like this because in 1988, the Hard Rock and Metal scene was getting ready for a dramatic almost seismic shift as the Grunge Movement from the Seattle side of the fence was getting ready to take a full hold of the music buying public. Back then I was listening to the reasonably new sound of Power Metal with bands like Helloween and the like and while I would catch King’s X on video playing networks such as MTV and their “Headbanger’s Ball” the bands sound eluded me. Sure, I liked a few tracks and the clips that accompanied them but was I dedicating myself to the body of work. No I wasn’t and it would take a few more albums for me to consider myself an acolyte of some kind.
That being said, many of my friends who found what I was listening to as “too much mayhem” for their liking, they became devoted followers of what King’s X was bringing to the musical table and would see them whenever they came to town. It would be many years later that I finally would catch them and one of the first things that I remembered about them that impressed me was that it was still the original three members of Dug Pinnick (bass and vocals), Ty Tabor (guitar and vocals) and Jerry Gaskill (drums and vocals). There are not many bands out there anywhere who can claim that the original founding lineup is still 100% in place. The second and probably the most important thing that I would notice when I would catch them was just how good they sounded and how close it was to the recordings that I had heard over the years.
Continue reading Toasting 30 Years Of King’s X “Out Of The Silent Planet” (1988-2018)
Though today is a gloomy and rainy day here in my NYC Metropolis, the power of music shines as radiant as the blazing sun as we raise a glass to the mighty Van Halen and their self-titled debut album which celebrates its fortieth anniversary today. Speaking frankly, “Van Halen I” as many are apt to refer to it is a “Milestone Among Milestones” and since all the hard scoop about it is already documented on its Official Wikipedia entry (linked below), I’ll be sticking to the more personal reflections on how this album hit me as a then very young music fan. Now, as I scroll back through the sands of time to my own first go-round about the album, I must admit that I couldn’t recall hearing it when it was first released in 1978 and think that it was probably closer towards the end of the Summer of 1979. I had already been enjoying the melodies of David Bowie, Pink Floyd, Renaissance and KISS with the four masked men being my own discovery some years earlier. My folks listened to the other stuff I mentioned, and I remain very happy about their musical offerings to me.
I first learned about the existence of Van Halen on the streets of Brooklyn and while that might sound tougher than it is, its just reflecting on the times when teens spent time together outside. There weren’t home video games like there are today and while Atari had its “Pong” and I think another game, no one I knew owned a console, so you did other stuff. One of the girls in my circle of the day pulled out this sleek looking record with the cool cover and awesome logo and asked if we had heard them yet. We hadn’t, and she let us hear the track that was playing on some radio stations which was “You Really Got Me” (the bands take on the classic by The Kinks) and I have to admit that I was hooked straightaway. We also got a good listen to the guitar skills of Edward Van Halen on the “Eruption” track and I remember friends who dabbled with guitar at the time looking dumbfounded. The stuff Eddie was doing during this solo seemed like from another dimension of sound. Let’s look at the full-on album tracks before continuing.
Continue reading Van Halen’s Mighty Debut Is Four Decades Old (1978-2018)
It was twenty years ago today that a brand new band on the Metal horizon released their self-titled debut album and I am talking about the crushing power that is Sevendust from Atlanta, GA. The guys were dishing out a sound that came to be known as Alt-Metal or to some “Nu-Metal” and I have to admit that I wasn’t paying attention at all to this kind of thing at the time. Instead, I was finding myself focusing on the stuff coming out of the European side of the Metal fence since it was something that served my own musical cravings a lot more. I disclose this information not as a slight to Sevendust at all but more as an awareness on how one can miss something exciting without even realizing it. Sevendust would be the bands final name as they began as Snake Nation, Rumblefish and then Crawlspace. I’m glad that they settled on Sevendust.
The band members at the time of the debut consisted of Lajon Witherspoon (lead vocals), Clint Lowery (lead guitar/backing vocals), John Connolly (rhythm guitar/backing vocals), Vinnie Hornsby (bass) and Morgan Rose (drums/backing vocals). Though Lowery would leave the lineup in 2003 and be replaced by Snot’s Sonny Mayo, he has since returned to the group and the full original lineup continues to tour together for their legions of fans. This body of musical work was co-produced by Twisted Sister’s Jay Jay French and it was actually thanks to an episode of MTV’s “Behind The Music” that I even first heard the name Sevendust. According to historical record, French’s time working with the band was short-lived. I’ve placed the albums Wiki entry down below for all of the finer details and since I was not in “their camp”, it works out better for you readers at the end of the day. Down below are the original track listings for the release. Later on we would find an expanded release coming out with some bonus live tracks and other versions but this is only about the debut.
Continue reading Sevendust’s Self-Titled Debut Hits 20 Years (1997-2017)
So back in October I did a quick little “Music Milestone” for the debut single by The Damned with “New Rose”; it’s an amazing tune and one that had held up over the years. You can review that summary on THIS LINK in case you haven’t seen it yet. I decided to do this because I was all amped up about seeing the band in concert for the very first time. Yeah it happens and you cannot always see everyone. I was just glad that I got the chance – AND I went to both shows so was feeling double special about the experience. All of that leads us to today where the bands official debut album “Damned, Damned, Damned” has reached its own 40th Anniversary. In 1977 I was far too young to be listening to this sort of stuff and I would get into some of what the band was doing during my high school years. The interesting thing about my own exposure was that I would first hear a song called “Jet Boy, Jet Girl” which was a cover by another artist and then slowly make my way into “Machine Gun Etiquette” and then onto this particular debut release. So, I cannot really speak about its overall impact on me other than sharing what I liked about it so here goes nothing.
Continue reading “Damned Damned Damned” by The Damned: A Debut @ 4 Decades (1977-2017)
Now since I’ve been doing these “Music Milestones” for several years now, it dawned upon me that every so often the need might arise to do a specific song’s anniversary. This is especially important for those songs that ended up being absolutely iconic and preceded a full body of musical work by several months. The song “New Rose” by The Damned is such a song and it was released forty years ago today on Stiff Records. The band’s full length debut album would be released in the middle of February during the following 1987 year. The song is a fast-paced one with thundering drums by Rat Scabies along with frenetic guitar by Captain Sensible. Singer Dave Vanian leads us into the tune with the words “Is She Really Going Out With Him”. I guess you can consider this a kind of love song but if it’s not that’s fine since the tune kicks some ass and still does forty years later.
Though I didn’t know this until only recently, the song is actually the very first single to be released by a British Punk Rock band and that was a pretty cool fact. It was written by bassist Brian James and produced by Nick Lowe with a B-side of a cover of “Help” originally done by The Beatles. The tune bears very little sonic resemblance to that of the Fab Four.
Continue reading “New Rose”; The Damned’s Debut Single Is 40 (1986-2016)