The Song Remains the Same: Led Zeppelin

Rating: 90%

Led_Zeppelin_-_The_Song_Remains_the_SameSo, when I was younger I owned the cassettes to this sound track. Now, I own the DVD movie, the original vinyl, and the 2007 remaster CD set with unreleased songs of this concert. I no longer have the cassettes, they were lost many years ago.

Now, I’ve heard from both sides about the content of this live performance. Many people say it’s not their best because of the fact that many of the songs are drawn out. Or, because of the stardom has taken the band over. On the other end, I heard those in favor of this album say it’s one of Zeppelin’s best performances. Either way, this album has pros and cons. Forget about the movie. The movie was OK, but that’s what bands did back then before MTV. They were entertainers first, and not movie directors. Even “Let There Be Rock” by AD/DC has it’s slow parts during the interviews that makes no sense of the actual concert.

What I like about this album is Jimmy Page’s guitar solos and his performance. Forget about the fact that Robert Plant can’t hold a single note on here or keep up with the music. What Jimmy Page showcases is talent that is undeniable. He plays based upon feeling and not by perfection. John Paul Jones on is a talented bassist. His bass is clearly heard all over this performance. Then, you have John Bonham the master of the skins. His performance too is outstanding. It’s amazing to hear how in tuned he, John P. Jones, and Jimmy Page are playing together. This performance is almost a solo album for each of the musicians in so many ways. The improve of each musician is something that most bands can’t do today.

Track listing:

Side one
1. “Rock and Roll” 4:03
2. “Celebration Day” 3:49
3. “The Song Remains the Same” 6:00
4. “The Rain Song” 8:25
Side two
1. “Dazed and Confused” Page 26:53
Side three
1. “No Quarter” 12:30
2. “Stairway to Heaven” 10:58
Side four
1. “Moby Dick” 12:47
2. “Whole Lotta Love” 14:25

Live At The Whiskey-A-Go-Go: Misfits

Rating: 85%

th.jpgReleased more or less as a bootleg in 1982, this Misfits live album is another look into the last moments of the Glenn Danzig era. To me, it’s important piece of Danzig and Misfits history. The band sounds pretty good, with lots of energy, and the audience itself seems to be having fun.

The sound is very raw and intense, with Glenn’s vocals thrown forward of the music. The music itself is on steroids for as fast as they are playing with lots of feedback. It’s heavy! For me, I am hearing the Misfits for who they really were. Henry Rollins of Black Flag appears on the song Bullet.

Track listing:

  1. Halloween
  2. I Turned Into a Martian
  3. Horror Business
  4. Mommy, Can I go out and Kill Tonight
  5. We bite
  6. London Dungeon
  7. All Hell
  8. Halloween
  9. Skulls
  10. We are 138
  11. Astro Zombies
  12. Brain Eaters
  13. Bullet

At Fillmore East: The Allman Brothers

Rating: 100%

AllmanBrothersBandAtFillmoreEastI was sadden by the passing of Greg Allman which happened on May 27 of this year. I have been a fan ever since the mid 1980’s. Their music style has changed so much over their career, but I have often called them one of the best Blues Rock band out there who mixes their style with country, jazz, and rock.

In fact, “At Fillmore East” was one of those records that I wore out. I had the cassette and CD versions of the album. The Cd has lots more on it that the actual LP version. But, since I am listening to the vinyl version, that is one I am rating. The recording is very good. The sound is clear. It’s rich, it’s full, and it sounds very good.

The musicianship is outstanding.  I love how the band members improvise their instrumentation to take a five minute song and make it into a twenty minute song. That shows talent. Greg Allman’s vocals sound great in his prime. His organ work is just as good. Then you add the duel guitar work of Duane Allman and Dickey Betts. WOW!!!! These guys know their way up and down on the neck of the guitars. Then you have the duel action of drums of Jai Johanny Johanson and Butch Trucks which gives the overall sound that fullness. Add the bass by Berry Oakley and you have an amazingly good line up of musicians.

Track listing:

Side one
1. “Statesboro Blues” 4:17
2. “Done Somebody Wrong” 4:33
3. “Stormy Monday” 8:44
Side two
4. “You Don’t Love Me (“Joy to the World” medley in the ending portions)” 19:15
Side three
5. “Hot ‘Lanta” 5:17
6. “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed” 13:04
Side four
7. “Whipping Post” 23:03

Intensities in 10 Cities: Ted Nugent

Rating: 90%

Intensities_in_10_Cities.jpgSo…1981, saw yet another fantastic live record from the motor city madman Ted Nugent. This record was also ranked No. 9 on the top 10 live records by Guitar World. It’s easy to see why.

Although, this record contain mostly unreleased songs and features a new line up, it’s still a very powerful, high voltage, high energy and raw record. Only Ted can produce a sound like this. It’s beefy, rich, full, and thick. It’s bluesy and it’s hard as hell. Supporting Ted is bassist Dave Kiswiney, drummer Cliff Davies, and guitarist Charlie Huhn.

The intensity of the guitar solos and the hard hitting riffs is what makes this record so good. Ted is creative and is full of talent when he mixes up that Blues, Motown, and Soul into his brand of Hard Rock. His influences are shining through and are strong all over the production of this record.

This album also marks the spiral downward for Ted as he enters the 1980’s when music was changing and Pop was hitting the airwaves. After the release of this record, Ted would have to compete and find new musical directions. This record is another look into the past of Ted Nugent and how great he was and is still slinging that six stringer for more than 50 years. This “Live” record is a must for any guitar player.

Track listing:

Side one
“Put Up or Shut Up” – 3:21
“Spontaneous Combustion” – 3:53
“My Love Is Like a Tire Iron” – 5:48
“Jailbait” – 5:15
“I Am a Predator” – 3:16
Side two
“Heads Will Roll” – 4:07
“The Flying Lip Lock” – 4:07
“Land of a Thousand Dances” – 4:39
“The TNT Overture” – 4:31
“I Take No Prisoners” – 3:30

Mortal Way Of Live: Sodom

Rating: 90%

SodomMortalwayoflive.jpgThis album was my first introduction to the Sodom. Back in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, Roadrunner Records were your source for Heavy Metal. I used to pick up all of these cassette tapes in the $0.99 to $3.99 bin. In 1988, this live album was sticking out and it was only $0.99, so I figured what the hell? When I placed it into my player, I was sold.

The music was so raw and so fast, that my head was spinning trying to keep up with it. It was like a full out assault. This was the type of music I wanted to go to war with. I then took it to school and let my buddies check it out. We always tried to out do one another with extreme music. This album along with D.R.I.’s self titled album, both helped me to win those competitions as far as speed.

The music during this live performance was so fast, raw, and powerful. It’s full of energy. I love how the band sounds. Tom Angelripper’s raspy vocal style is damn evil. His bass has a decent sound to it. It’s distorted and has a fussy sound to it. Almost like Lemmy of Motorhead. Then Frank Blackfire’s guitar is ripping and slicing. He throws out fast riff after riff during the performance. His leads are very explosive. Then you have the hard hitting Chris Witchhunter. His performance is pretty damn good. He sets the fast tempos for the songs and punches that double bass drum like there is no tomorrow. I love hearing these kinds of live performances. You are hearing the band as it really is. This is just another treasure from my past.

Track listing:

1. “Persecution Mania” 4:45
2. “Outbreak of Evil” 3:46
3. “Conqueror” 3:00
4. “Iron Fist” (Motörhead cover) 2:56
5. “Obsessed by Cruelty” 8:54
6. “Nuclear Winter” 5:54
7. “Electrocution” 3:06
8. “Blasphemer” 6:00
9. “Enchanted Land” 4:15
10. “Sodomy & Lust” 5:02
11. “Christ Passion” 6:24
12. “Bombenhagel” 6:40
13. “My Atonement” 5:57
14. “Conjuration” 5:26

Live!: Jerry Reed

Rating: 90%

r-3046137-1318534382-jpegIn 1979, guitar legend and Country music legend Jerry Reed released “Live!” I have always admired Jerry’s sense of humor and his style of guitar picking. I have always said it, Jerry Reed is Country music’s forgotten hero, both for his song writing and playing.

The “Live!” performance sounds great on vinyl. It’s both up beat and entertaining. This set listing has some of the lesser known songs and a few of his most popular songs including “East Bound and Down.” This live performance also has Jerry Reed entertaining the crowd by telling some stories about the songs or just talking to them.

This live performance begins with a hard hitter “It’s Got To Come Out.” This is one of several songs recorded live that showcases Jerry Reed’s talent on the guitar. It’s up beat and has a fast tempo. “I Wanna Go Back Home To Georgia” has a big female choir and some orchestra. But it balanced well with a soothing sound of guitar picking.  The next song “The Line In Gasoline” is a lively tune with a lot of humor. I love how this song deals with the cost of gasoline. It also has some great banjo and guitar work with a quirky chorus. “Hot Stuff” has a funky tempo and a funky chorus, but it again has some fantastic guitar riffs and leads. “Nine Pound Hammer” takes this traditional song and plays it like no other. It’s his guitar and him. This song alone, is classic Jerry Reed guitar picking. Side A ends with the humorous, tongue and cheek “I Crapped Myself Into The Poorhouse.”

Side B begins with the mild and slow tempo “El Paso” which again showcases what a great guitarist he is. “May The Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose” is an up beat high flying tune. “I’m Your Guitar” is a reflection of his guitar and the story of his guitar that is told by Jerry Reed. This is the long drawn out spoken lead up to “Guitar Man.” Great story, but this bogs the live performance down a bit. “Guitar Man” and “East Bound and Down” both are the grand finale and are what makes this live performance both energetic and entertaining.

Side One:

A1 Introduction 0:43
A2 It’s Got To Come Out 2:15
A3 I Wanna Go Back Home To Georgia (AKA Little Things) 3:17
A4 (Who Was The Man Who Put) The Line In Gasoline 2:50
A5 Hot Stuff 2:27
A6 Nine Pound Hammer 1:06
A7 I Crapped Myself Into The Poorhouse 1:40

Side Two:

B1 El Paso 2:13
B2 May The Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose 1:12
B3 I’m Your Guitar 1:13
B4 Guitar Man 2:40
B5 East Bound And Down 3:29

Let There Be Rock, Live In Paris: AC/DC

Rating: 95%

Ac_dc_let_there_be_rock_the_movie.jpg“Let There Be Rock” was a motion picture released in 1980 by AC/DC. It was later released with the “Bonfire” box set as CD discs Two and Three that was first released in 1997 and remastered in 2003. This live performance was part of the tour that supported the 1979 release of “Highway to Hell.” It featured lead vocalist Bon Scott, lead guitarist Angus Young, rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young, bassist Cliff Williams and drummer Phil Rudd.

I have always enjoyed watching this movie when I first picked it up in 1989. I loved watching Angus Young running back and forth on stage, while kicking his feet and headbanging not missing a single note on his Gibson SG guitar. I still laugh during the song “Rocker” when you see Angus Young heading backstage and hitting up some oxygen before being taken out into the crowd. Or during “Bad Boy Boogie” when he performs a strip tease.

Musically, for the video, they flowed nicely. I didn’t care for the interviews, although some of the content was funny to watch. But when the “Bonfire” box set came out, I excited about the chance of getting the actual CDs rather than relying on the video cassette and the VCR to hear the performance. The music sounded much better through my stereo rather than a TV.

Musicianship is very good and tight sounding. The backbone of the band’s sound is the rhythm guitar, bass and the drums. Out in front of the band is the lead guitar and the vocals. A pretty simple concept. Everyone sounds great, but I do notice that Angus’s guitar does drown out parts of his brother’s guitar which is heard faintly in the background. The sound quality for the time is not bad. I do like the raw electric power that the band generates on stage. That to me is what AC/DC is all about.

Performance wise, AC/DC is a hard hitting, high energy, and heavy sounding. The music itself, is gritty, raw, perhaps muddy in spots, but loud. This is a crank it up performance. One thing that the viewer and the listener will come to realize, is the fact that Angus Young steals the show. He is a damn good guitarist. There’s lots of improvising on many songs with regards to the music during the solos.

Bon Scott sounds absolutely great. He is another one that helps to steal the show. He seems very happy and is always smiling on stage and off stage. You can tell he really enjoyed being part of one of the greatest rock n’ roll bands of all time. It’s a shame that he was that brilliant and he died shortly after this performance.

The strength supporting Bon and Angus is the main part of the band. Rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young, bassist Cliff Williams and drummer Phil Rudd. These three band members are the ones who set the pace for the music on stage and in the studio. Malcolm Young’s guitar may not be heard closer to the front, but it is there. His style and sound is very good. Then you have Cliff Williams who keeps time on the bass more along the lines of the DC-_Let_There_Be_Rock_VideoCover.jpgMalcolm’s rhythm. His bass is heard clear as day through every song on the stage. Then you have the talented Phil Rudd keeping the tempos moving. I don’t think this guy gets enough credit and is an overshadowed musician.

Bottom line, this is an important piece of AC/DC history. It’s the only live performance aside from “If You Want Blood, You Got It” that documents the band in concert, that has Bon Scott on vocals. I will take this live performance and it’s flaws over the 1990’s AC/DC live recordings and movies that has Brian Johnson on vocals.

Movie Music Tracks:

“Live Wire” – 5:23
“Shot Down In Flames” – 3:18
“Hell Ain’t a Bad Place to Be” – 3:54
“Sin City” – 3:52
“Walk All Over You” – 2:30
“Bad Boy Boogie” – 11:08
“The Jack” – 5:21
“Highway To Hell” – 3:10
“Girls Got Rhythm” – 3:09
“High Voltage” – 5:27
“Whole Lotta Rosie” – 4:41
“Rocker” – 8:57
“Let There be Rock” – 7:17

Bonfire Let There Be Rock, the Movir Soundtrack:

Bonfire_ACDCboxset.jpgDisc 1
1. “Live Wire”  8:04
2. “Shot Down in Flames” 3:39
3. “Hell Ain’t a Bad Place to Be”  4:31
4. “Sin City” 5:25
5. “Walk All Over You” 5:07
6. “Bad Boy Boogie”  13:21

Disc 2
1. “The Jack”  6:05
2. “Highway to Hell” 3:31
3. “Girls Got Rhythm” 3:20
4. “High Voltage” 6:32
5. “Whole Lotta Rosie”  4:55
6. “Rocker”  10:45
7. “T.N.T.” 4:14
8. “Let There Be Rock” 7:34