Tag: heavy metal

Album cover of the week: Diary of a Madman

Album cover of the week: Diary of a Madman

Album Cover of the Week, Music
It's been a long time coming, but a huge wrong has finally been righted with the recent release of Ozzy Osbourne's first two metal classics, Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman. I'm talking of course about the restoration of the original bass and drum parts as recorded by Bob Daisley and Lee Kerslake, respectively. So in honor of these most excellent re-releases, let's enjoy the vintage '80s metal cheese of the Diary of a Madman cover. I guess I can kind of see why some people got up in arms over the imagery on Ozzy's albums, but to me this is nothing but pure escapist fun. The whole thing is obviously an homage of sorts to vintage horror movies, right down to the B-movie title font. The set for this cover was designed by Ernie Spruces and Denise Richardson (no, not that one...
My favorite music: 1972

My favorite music: 1972

Music
If there's one thing the internet lacks, it's pointless music lists. So to fill that void, here's a sampling of my favorite albums from some random year. Let's say, 1972. Fleetwood Mac, Bare Trees -- Oh sure, I love Rumours as much as the next person. But there's something about this particular, pre-Buckingham/Nicks incarnation of the band that speaks to me. Bare Trees is a bit uneven in spots but I keep coming back to it just the same. That said, the original version of Bob Welch's "Sentimental Lady" found on this record is far superior to the 1977 hit single version. Steely Dan, Can't Buy a Thrill -- I don't care if Donald Fagen and Walter Becker want to disown this record, I love it and I know a ton of Dan fans love it. Like all classic Steely Dan records, the hits are only part o...
Album cover of the week: Mob Rules

Album cover of the week: Mob Rules

Album Cover of the Week, Music
It's hard to believe, but we lost Ronnie James Dio one year ago today. It seems only right to pay small tribute to his musical legacy, and so here we have 1981's Mob Rules. It was the second and last studio album Black Sabbath released with Dio as frontman until the one-off reunion disc Dehumanizer in 1992. It's every bit as sinister and metal as the cover indicates. The cover painting is by fantasy/science fiction artist Greg Hildebrandt. It's essentially a recreation of his 1971 work, Dream 1: Crucifiers. Here's the original: I'm guessing the addition of the band and album names didn't escape your notice, but did you catch the fact that the hook on the left side of the original was changed to a crucifix for the album cover? Also, the blood stain in the fabric (skin?) was ma...
Deep Cuts: Judas Priest

Deep Cuts: Judas Priest

Music
You don't even have to be a heavy metal fan to know who Judas Priest is. Over the past several decades, they've cemented their status as metal legends time and time again. This year marks the kickoff of the band's Epitaph World Tour, stated to be the last Judas Priest world tour ever. Who knows if that's really true (KISS, anyone?), but now seems as good a time as any to examine the band's lengthy discography and pick out a few hidden treasures. 1. "Burnin' Up" (Killing Machine/Hell Bent for Leather, 1978) -- By the late '70s the Priest had largely moved on from more complex song structures and the occasional foray into metal balladry. Few songs from this period typify the band's more streamlined approach than "Burnin' Up," a musically muscular and lyrically charged slice of metal. ...
Listening booth — Judas Priest, “Sinner”

Listening booth — Judas Priest, “Sinner”

Listening Booth, Music
It is a sad day in the metal world, as K.K. Downing of Judas Priest has retired from the band. I was totally psyched to see them on their Epitaph World Tour, as it's supposed to be the last one. He will be replaced on the tour by Richie Faulkner. No offense to Richie, but now I'm less excited. Anyway, K.K. leaves behind a legacy as one-half of an all-time great guitar duo (with Glenn Tipton). There are so many great Downing moments to choose from, but I have to go with one of my favorite Priest songs ever. This is the lead track from 1977's Sin After Sin, "Sinner." That lead break and solo are Kenneth Downing at his best my friends. Raise your devil horns and bang your heads in tribute to one of the best ever.
Platters that matter: 20 albums that changed my life (#10—#1)

Platters that matter: 20 albums that changed my life (#10—#1)

Listcruft, Music
At long last, I present the conclusion of my list of 20 albums that have had the most impact on me and my love of music. For a brief refresher, you can check the back half of the top 20 here. But for your convenience, here's the list: #20 — Queen, The Game #19 — Seals & Crofts, Summer Breeze #18 — Kiss, Creatures of the Night #17 — Iron Maiden, The Number of the Beast #16 — Run-D.M.C., Raising Hell #15 — Kiss, Alive! #14 — Rush, A Farewell to Kings #13 — Miles Davis, Kind of Blue #12 — Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Pictures at an Exhibition #11 — various artists, Jazz Master Files OK, now that we're all caught up, let's finish this thing already. As a reminder, this is no particular order but I know people love countdowns so there you go. #10 — Genesis, Duke If Rus
Here’s some stuff I enjoyed this week

Here’s some stuff I enjoyed this week

Internet, Links
Here’s a fresh batch of some quality interweb finds I’ve come across over the last 7 days: Fantastic batch of color photos from the early 1900s taken by French banker and philanthropist Albert Kahn. (Citynoise) An fancy interactive map of heavy metal, with sub-genres I've never even heard of. (Map of Metal) Sports columnist Michael Rosenberg puts the epic fail of the 2010-11 Cleveland Cavaliers into perspective with a look at the worst single-season drop-offs ever. And look, my Oakland Raiders made the list! (CNNSI) Cool bootleg of the week; a reunion show featuring jazz greats Slim Gaillard and Slam Stewart (Slim & Slam to fans) at the 1970 Monterey Jazz Festival. (T.U.B.E.) An excellent column by Jennifer Floyd Engel on the recent dustup between Peter King and Jason W
Album cover of the week: Paranoid

Album cover of the week: Paranoid

Album Cover of the Week, Music
Is there anything left to say about the music on Black Sabbath's Paranoid?  It, even more than their debut album from earlier in 1970, pretty much became the template for heavy metal.  "Iron Man," "War Pigs," and "Electric Funeral" are some of the most essential songs of all-time.  But man, what's up with that cover? So the background on this weird dude is this - Sabbath originally wanted to call the album War Pigs, and that's what the guy in the Day-Glo outfit, sword, and shield is supposed to be.  Vertigo, the band's label, was uncomfortable with that title since the Vietnam War was going on and they didn't want to offend people.  I guess they figured a lot of pro-war types were Sabbath fans too? So anyway, they switched the title to match the second song on the record, "Parano
2010 – The year in recorded musical performances

2010 – The year in recorded musical performances

Music
I really need to find a way to turn music listening into a paying, full-time gig.  Because that's the only way I could ever hope to have time to take in all the good (and not-so-good) music that comes out every year.  Life really was much simpler when I didn't even want to make time for anything that wasn't by Kiss, Rush, or Iron Maiden.  So instead of approaching this as a "Best Albums of 2010" or "Best Music of 2010" list, it's more of a "My Favorite Albums/Music of 2010 That I Had Time to Listen To" list.  These are the albums that moved me one way or another this year, although obviously this is not (and cannot be) an exhaustive list.  I'm sure lots of really swell records got left off, but that's why there are other year-end lists on the internet, right? #10. Kanye West, My Beautiful