Tag: hard rock

Greatest Misses: Van Halen

Greatest Misses: Van Halen

Music
Even the most popular and successful bands have songs that speak only to a (relatively) devoted few. In Greatest Misses, I'll count off the least popular song on band's albums, not including brief interludes, joke songs, or generally any abnormally short song. I'm using the super scientific method of counting streams from a band's Spotify catalog, so you know it'll be accurate. First up: Van Halen. One interesting note about this first entry, that I would like to do some further research on. Of the 12 songs listed, 7 of them are the last song on the album. Do people just get to the end of a record and decide, "Nah I'm good, I'll listen to something else now"? Strange. Anyway, here's the list and then the Spotify playlist: "On Fire" - Van Halen "Outta Love Again" - Van ...
Greatest Misses: Kiss (Spotify Playlist)

Greatest Misses: Kiss (Spotify Playlist)

Music
I'm starting a new music series on this site that I call Greatest Misses, with a debt owed to the Devo collection of the same name. The premise is simple -- I ID the least listened-to song for every (or most) of a band's studio records available on Spotify. A few caveats: Short, interlude-type songs don't count for me, and I also don't count live albums, compilations, or records of the like. Up first is Kiss, for whom every studio albums is currently available as of this posting except for 2009's Sonic Boom. Not surprisingly, this 20-song playlist is composed almost entirely of deep cuts that only the diehards would know (think "Two Timer" from Dressed to Kill or "Murder in High Heels" from Animalize.) But there are a few ones I was shocked to see heard so little. "Escape from ...
Listening Booth — The Who, “Had Enough”

Listening Booth — The Who, “Had Enough”

Listening Booth, Music
One of my resolutions for 2016 is to start publishing more Listening Booth posts, but why not get a head start before 2015 finishes? Here's a gem from the last studio album by The Who to feature the legendary Keith Moon. It's "Had Enough" from 1978's Who Are You LP. https://youtu.be/B9DWS67fMrM Roger Daltrey reportedly hated the string arrangement on this song, but I love it. It lends an extra element of emotion to a very world-weary track from John Entwistle. I especially love the chord progression on the chorus, which is nothing short of brilliant. Don't forget you can hear most of the songs from in my Listening Booth series on Spotify.
Listening Booth — Kiss New York City Loft Rehearsal, 1973

Listening Booth — Kiss New York City Loft Rehearsal, 1973

Listening Booth, Music
Well, today's the big day. After years of waiting, and a whole lot of politics and gossip in the meantime, Kiss is finally being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And so I felt it only appropriate to publish the first edition of the Listening Booth in more than a year. And this one should be a real treat for devoted members of the Kiss Army. Today's offering is a bootleg from the earliest days of the band, before they even had an album out. Hell, when this was recorded no one outside the immediate New York City area even knew who Kiss was. This recording, my friends, was reportedly made by Gene Simmons while the band played for an audience of no one in their New York City rehearsal loft (located at 10 East 23rd Street). What you will hear on this is a band still gelli...
In Concert: Rush at the Prudential Center, 10/20/12

In Concert: Rush at the Prudential Center, 10/20/12

Music
I'll admit that at this point in my life as a Rush fan, I'm rather spoiled. I've been going to Rush concerts since they came to Madison Square Garden in December 1991 on the Roll the Bones tour, and I've seen them on every album tour since (as well as the 30th anniversary tour). And the thing is, even a mediocre Rush show is better than most bands on their best night. So for me, the sheer visceral thrill of seeing Geddy, Alex, and Neil live isn't what it used to be. But after sitting out the last few tours, I decided to see the band for the first time since the Snakes & Arrows tour in July 2007. I did so for two reasons -- I caught a peek at some of their set lists from the tour, and I was impressed with the first several tracks I heard from the Clockwork Angels album. But before I ...
“Headlong Flight” — NEW RUSH SONG!

“Headlong Flight” — NEW RUSH SONG!

Music
Let's just get down to it, people. "Headlong Flight" is the first official track released from the upcoming Rush album Clockwork Angels. And yea, verily, it rocketh quite hard. Behold! "Headlong Flight" via Rolling Stone. Love the fact that Rush brought back Nick Raskulinecz to co-produce, as he did a bang up job on Snakes & Arrows. Geddy, Neil, and Alex all sound as energetic as they have in at least 20 years. Looks like I need to set aside some money to see this tour.
Album cover of the week: Warner Brothers Presents… Montrose!

Album cover of the week: Warner Brothers Presents… Montrose!

Album Cover of the Week, Music
The pantheon of rock greats who have left us has had another join its ranks, as guitarist and bandleader Ronnie Montrose passed away on Saturday after a long battle with cancer. So in his memory, let's look at one of the great album covers in rock. It's from Montrose's 1975 LP, Warner Brothers Presents... Montrose!. It was the band's third full-length release and first without lead singer Sammy Hagar. Artwork on this lovely tribute to 1950s monster movies is credited to Harry Rossit. Related articles Remembering Ronnie Montrose (joebeans2002.wordpress.com) Legendary Guitarist RONNIE MONTROSE Passes (bravewords.com)
Graphicity: What Makes Van Halen Great?

Graphicity: What Makes Van Halen Great?

Funny Stuff, Music
I've been listening to A Different Kind of Truth regularly since it came out. Despite being an excellent album, I still read a lot of griping from Van Halen fans about how it's not really Van Halen because Michael Anthony's not there. I can see where they're coming from, but I think that's stretching things a bit. But really, people have been arguing about Van Halen for years. If it's not Michael Anthony, it's the vocalists. So I decided to go through the Van Halen catalog and perform a scientific analysis of their sound. I wanted to know -- what really makes Van Halen tick? What, more than anything else, really makes a Van Halen record sound like Van Halen? Is it Mikey's signature background vocals? Eddie's guitar pyrotechnics? Alex Van Halen's thunderous drumming? David Lee Roth's ...
Get to Know… David Lee Roth

Get to Know… David Lee Roth

Music
For a brief time following David Lee Roth's acrimonious departure from Van Halen in 1985, it seemed the flamboyant frontman would be able to match his former band mates step for step. But as the 1990s rolled on, Roth's commercial fortunes declined and he became a punchline of sorts. Quicker than you could say "bozedy bozedy bop!" Diamond Dave went from headlining arena shows to rolling out a much-ridiculed Las Vegas lounge act and getting busted for buying pot in New York City. And the less said about the short-lived 1996 Van Halen reunion the better. But defying all expectations, David Lee Roth officially came home to VH in 2007. The band -- with Eddie's son Wolfgang replacing Michael Anthony on bass -- hit the road in September of that year and raked in an astounding $93 million b