R.I.P. Todd Youth

Todd Youth ex guitarist of Danzig and Son of Sam passed away at the age of 47. Photo from Todd Youth Twitter.

full

Advertisements

My Favorite Aspects of All 23 Motorhead Records

Motorhead has been one of my favorite Heavy Metal bands ever since I was 12 years old. Bomber was my first introduction to the band and from there, I quickly gathered up the collection to the self titled album to “Rock n Roll. From that point on, I kept up with Motorhead. I love the influences of Rock n Roll, Blues, and everything else that Lemmy and the gang put into the music. 22 total studio records, 23 if you include “On Parole”.

Motörhead, released in 1977 was the first album to feature the classic line up consisting of Phil Taylor, Eddy Clarke, and Lemmy. This was album was Heavy Metal, and yet it was Rock n Roll. It also made its way over to the new wave of Punk music.

Overkill, released in 1979 is my favorite Motorhead record. I love the opening title track with the two bass drum set up. This album has influenced Heavy Metal with the creation of Speed and Thrash. There isn’t a bad song on here at all.

Bomber, released in 1979 was my first taste of the band. This album has so many good songs on it from the title track to “Sweet Revenge”, “Step Down”, and “Stone Dead Forever”. The whole record is really good and this is my second favorite Motorhead record.

On Parole, recorded in 1976, but released in 1979 shows what Motorhead could’ve been like if Lemmy continued with Hawkwind style of Psychedelic music. But, after the album was shelved, Lemmy with new guitarist rerecorded the album which was released in 1977. This isn’t a bad album, but you’ll notice a huge difference in sound and style from this and the 1977 self titled album.

Ace of Spades, released in 1980 is my third most favorite Motorhead record. Capitalizing on the pervious two records, Motorhead here has gotten a bit heavier. The heaviness of this record is heard clearly on “(We Are) The Road Crew”. Other songs on this album that are among my favorite are “The Chase Is Better Than the Catch”, “Ace of Spades”, and “Jailbait”.

Iron Fist, released in 1982 is the last to feature Fast Eddie Clarke as he left band shortly afterwards. This album is much different than the pervious three and has some of the roots of the first record mixed with some Punk elements. It features much faster tempos and heavier riffs. When listening to the album, you can tell there are tensions. Because of that, I do have mixed feelings about where this album fits among my favorites.

Another Perfect Day, released in 1983 is another favorite Motorhead album of mine. It was the first record without Eddie Clarke and he was replaced by Brian Robertson on guitar. The songs were completely different than anything that Motorhead had done. I really love the song arrangements for this album. It’s a shame that many people didn’t like it back then, but now, it’s among one of the favorite of modern fans.

Orgasmatron, released in 1986 was the album that kind of brought Motorhead back to the style of “Iron Fist” and their debut record. It is also the record that introduces the fans to long time guitarist Phil Campbell. It also features guitarist Michael Burston who also been with the band since Phil joined. Both had worked on the “No Remorse” collection. This album was also the first to not have drummer Phil Taylor as he had left the band in 1984. Pete Gill filled in on drums. Highlights include “Deaf Forever” and the title track itself.

Rock N Roll, released in 1987 was a good album. It also brought back drummer Phil Taylor. I love the opening title track “Rock n’ Roll” as well as the second track “Eat the Rich”.

1916, released in 1991 was such a great album. This was just pure Rock n Roll with very catchy songs. My favorite songs on this album are “No Voices in the Sky”, “Nightmare / The Dreamtime”, “Love Me Forever”, and “1916”.

March or Die, released in 1992 was a bitter sweet pill for me. The album basically had three main drummers on it and the last to feature Phil Taylor. It was also the first to feature Mikkey Dee who performed one song. There just wasn’t any consistency with regards to the musicianship. It did feature Ozzy and Slash.

Bastards, released in 1993 I thought was good. You see Lemmy taking the moral ground with the song “Don’t Let Daddy Kiss Me”. This song deals with child sexual abuse. “I Am the Sword”, “Death or Glory”, “Born to Raise Hell”, and

Sacrifice, released in 1995 was the last to feature guitarist Michael Burston as he quit the band after the recording of this album. This album also marks the classic line up that will be Motorhead until Lemmy’s death in 2015.

Overnight Sensation, released in 1996 was the first to feature a classic three piece line up since 1983. A good album that was a bit heavier than the pervious album. Some of my favorite songs on this album was “Civil War”, “I Don’t Believe a Word”, and “Overnight Sensation”.

Snake Bite Love, released in 1998, was an OK album. Don’t get me wrong, I do like this album, but it’s more or less an average album. To me this is the album where Motorhead will keep releasing the same record until the band’s end in 2015. Not all is lost here. I do like the overall sound of it and how elements of heavy metal, slower progressions and Rock n Roll were bought together.

We Are Motörhead, released in 2000 is another average album. I really do like “One More Fucking Time”. I also enjoyed the fast tempo of “See Me Burning” as well as the eeriness of the aggressive song “Wake the Dead”.

Hammered, released in 2002, I thought was really well. I love the overall darker feeling to it. That could be due to the album’s influence with 9/11. I also hear some of that Punk influence that Motorhead was always great at adding to its music. I love how elements of Thrash and Speed Metal were incorporated on this album too, especially on “Red Raw”. The closing track “Serial Killer” that contains spoken poetry and then aggresses into a bonus track called “The Game”.

Inferno, released in 2004 was a bit more aggressive and faster than the pervious record. I love the song Killers. My favorite song on this album is the Blues song “Whorehouse Blues”. Motorhead went out of their comfort zone and yet, recorded a Blues song that was done in Motorhead style. I also enjoyed the Thrash Metal style “In the Name of Tragedy”.

Kiss of Death, released in 2006, I thought was a great Rock n Roll influenced record. It seems to be balanced with regards to the overall tempo of the album. The songs are on the faster side, but not like Speed or Thrash Metal. It’s a fun album all the way around. I love the tracks “One Night Stand”, “Devil I Know”, and “Sword of Glory”. I also really like the ballad style of “God Was Never on Your Side”.

Motörizer, released in 2008 and is another average record by the band. Nothing major here, just more of that faster tempo Rock n Roll influenced Heavy Metal that you would expect from Motorhead. “When the Eagle Screams” and “English Rose” are my favorite tunes on this record. Again, nothing explosive, but a solid record nonetheless.

The Wörld Is Yours, released in 2010 is another basic album. It pretty much is a continual from the pervious two records. It contains the same faster style tempos of Blues and Rock n’ Roll song arrangements, but I do like the song “Bye Bye Bitch Bye Bye”.

Aftershock, released in 2013 is another record that features that heavy dose of Blues and Rock n’ Roll. The formula has worked pretty well with the band for the last several albums. However, there are a few more notable songs on this record. You have the Blues induced “Lost Woman Blues” and “Dust and Glass”. I love the fast and heavy tempo of “End of Time”.

Bad Magic, released in 2015, and will be the last studio record as Lemmy passed away a few months after its release. It also marks the 40th Anniversary of the band. This album saw a collaboration of mixed sounds and styles. It had that same ol feeling from the pervious several records, but it also had hints of classic Motorhead elements that one would hear from the 1980’s. I’m thinking of the album “Rock n Roll.” I love the song “When the Sky Comes Looking for You”, “Evil Eye”, and “Victory or Die” are all very good songs. I also love the ballad style “Till the End”.

Remembering 9/11 through Songs, My Top 12 Favorites

sept-11-anniversary-1d420614b6ac0c86.jpgWhere were you on 9/11/2001? I like many Americans was at work. I started by shift at 6:00 a.m. At 9:00 a.m. we took break and many people heard news of a massive fire in New York City. At 9:15 a.m. when we returned from break, there were rumors that one of the World Trade Center towers was one fire. Then another rumor came that a plane had crashed into both of them. Everyone was so confused over the rumors. How did a plane crash into both of the towers? Then we learned that two airline planes had crashed into the towers. Then shortly before 10:00 a.m. it was rumored that we were under attack as Washington D.C. was hit with a plane. Three planes hitting targets along the east coast.

Shortly before 10:00 a.m. the managers ordered the machines to be turned down and they informed us that we had been attacked at New York City and the Pentagon.  I remember them saying we could go home, but the safest place was at work. Needless to say, my wife and I left work and grabbed our son from daycare and went home. We turned on the TV just as the first tower collapsed, followed by the second tower. While watching the news we learned of the failed attempted attack on Washington when Flight 93 was taken over by the passengers and crashed in Somerset County Pennsylvania. 

As the days and then years passed by, many musicians wrote songs about that terrible day. These are some of my favorite songs that deal with that horrible day, forever known as 9/11. I will never forget that day and the images I saw on the news. Recent years, we’ve been to the Flight 93 Memorial in Pennsylvania and must say, it’s a totally different feeling there, compared to any of the other National Parks.

1. Neil Young “Let’s Roll”

2. Manowar “Fight for Freedom

3. Iced Earth “When the Eagle Cries”

4. Alan Jackson “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)”

5. Slayer “Jihad”

6. Testament “The Evil Has Landed”

7. The Charlie Daniels Band “The Last Fallen Hero”

8. Jackyl “Open Invitation (I Hate You Bin Laden)”

9. L.A. Guns “OK, Let’s Roll”

10. Living Colour “Flying”

11. W.A.S.P. “Hallowed Ground”

12. Velvet Revolver “Messages”

The End Of An Era, Or Is It? Cassettes Make A Comeback and CDs Are On The Decline

46315944.pngWhen I was growing up, the main standard format for music was vinyl records or cassette tapes. I had hundreds of tapes. Then in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, CDs were taking off replacing the record and tape. So, CD became my music avenue. I have hundreds of CDs. Then computer software came out allowing you to make mix CDs or copy other CDs. Then the digital download and music streaming age came. I read an article recently stating “[M]usic streaming quickly became an industry giant. In 2014, streaming revenue eclipsed CD sales for the first time, and did the same for digital downloads in 2015.”

Because of the evolution in how we are getting music, smaller music stores began to close their doors. Then, your major music chains were closing or downsizing their inventory of what they carried and began adding novelty items. So, CDs are done. Cassette tapes are finished. Vinyl records were no longer cool. Now, more music stores are closing their doors. Other major department stores are no longer selling CDs or they are downsizing their inventory. To me, it looks as if the end of an era is near…or is it?

I was at major music chain store, (one of the last in my area) and saw on the rack with CDs, a simple cassette tape of a new release. It brought back many memories of an age that I thought was dead. I then saw on Banger YouTube channel that they are creating a segment rating music that is on cassette tape due to its recent comeback. So, just like vinyl records, it appears cassettes are making a comeback.

My question was why? Well, as Sarah from Banger stated, with the cost of independent bands trying to get their material out to the masses, it’s cheaper for many of them to record and release their material on cassette. So, that pretty much answered my question. It’s about cost and convenience. I remember buying several demos from local bands in my area on cassette. I would throw it in my tape player and if my buddies liked it, I would make a recording of it and pass it along. The tape was the cheapest route for them even in my day.

Today, many younger people are shying away from CDs or they are not listening to them as much. So, with that, the decline of the CD is here. People may be heavy in the downloading area, but for many, they are listening to vinyl records or streaming their music. But for a young band that’s starting out, can’t afford to have their music recorded on vinyl due to the cost. “Vinyl is very expensive” and if you’re not signed to a major record company, you can forget about it. So, many younger bands are turning the clocks back, releasing their material on tape or digital download. As a result, many fans are now buying the cassette releases because collectors and fans want something tangible. It’s something that fans and collectors can hold in their hands.

173829-zune-80gb

I saw an article on the internet that cassettes are making a “big comeback that manufacturers cannot keep up with demand.” It kind of started with the movie Guardians of the Galaxy with Star Lord’s walkman and his mixed tape. According to a report bands have begun releasing material on tape and the cassette tapes popularity has jumped over 30% in the last ten years. “Last year, National Audio sold about $5 million worth of cassettes, a 31 percent increase in sales from the previous year.” So is this a fad that will pass as quickly as it came? I do not know. All I know is that I have several tapes still for the reason that they are rarer and were never transferred on CD.

What are you’re thoughts about cassette tapes vs. CD vs. vinyl records. I can tell the difference in each and each has their own setbacks. For example, tapes get eaten and the sound is a bit noisy. I buy CDs and burn them to my computer and upload the content to my Zune player. Yes, I know that is outdated as well. Records are crisp and can last over 100 years if taken care of. But, to record them into digital tracks can be a bit time consuming. So, what are your thoughts about all of this and what is it that you do?