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. ...
Ask a dozen people to define the term "power pop" and you'll likely get a dozen variations of the same concept. For my part, any music with killer melodies, crisp songwriting and arranging, and (usually) big guitars probably qualifies. Or to get more specific, here's what the All Music Guide says: Power Pop is a cross between the crunching hard rock of the Who and the sweet melodicism of the Beatles and Beach Boys, with the ringing guitars of the Byrds thrown in for good measure. Yeah, that's about it. So anyway, power pop probably offers more value for your listening dollar than any other style I can think of. Here is but a handful of some of the most choice power pop ever committed to tape. 1. Nick Lowe, "So It Goes" (from Jesus of Cool, 1978) — Power pop aficionados will recogn
Inspired by a very informative interview over on Popdose, this ACotW entry features Randy Newman's 1979 release Born Again. It's a typical bit of Newman satire that shouldn't be too hard to miss. The most obvious target here seems to be Kiss, based on the makeup. And don't think Gene Simmons wouldn't have used this design if he had to do it all over again. Graphic designer Michael Salisbury explained that they wanted to limit the satire to just the makeup, so as not to lose the subtlety. As it turns out, Kiss makeup and cheap suits was not a new concept.
Music is - or at least used to be - at once a very shared and a very personal thing. And truth be told the only thing I've spent more time doing in my life than listening to music is sleeping. Music has informed my life since I was a kid and continues to do so, although to a lesser degree now that I'm a family man. So it's time for me to give credit where credit is due, and list the 20 albums that had a bigger impact on me than any others. Some of these records opened my eyes to a new style of music. Some of them resonated on a deep, emotional level. Some were just too good to be ignored. Some are wrapped in nostalgia now and nothing more. But they are all critical to my development as a music lover in one way or another. #20 - Queen, The Game Memory is a tricky thing, espe
I swear that each year I have less and less time to spend listening to new music. It seems like a losing battle anymore to keep up with all the new albums coming out, but I have to keep trying. So rather than pontificate on the albums of the past year - as I've been known to do - I'm going for brevity in an attempt to get more done. And I'm adding one new feature to this year's year-end music wrapup (and future releases as well), by introducing a grading system. Here's the rundown: Dig It - You can safely part with your hard-earned money for this and not feel like a sucker. Download It - Still worth a listen, but you'll probably want to just download it and cherry-pick the best tracks. Ditch It - If you can find something of lasting value, you're a better person than I. Got
Before I unleash my awe-inspiring year-end album wrapup, I thought I'd share with you a mixtape featuring ten of my favorite songs from 2009. The only restriction I'm placing on myself here is that I won't be double-dipping from any artists, although some could have easily taken up half this list. And away we go! (more…)
Man, I take a short break from updating the site and, just like that, I'm buried under a pile of new music releases. Not to mention, of course, the Beatles remasters. So with no big preamble, let's get right into it... Ace Frehley - Anomaly (Brooklyn Born Records) Peter Criss couldn't do it, Paul Stanley almost did it, and who the hell knows what Gene Simmons was trying to do. I'm speaking, of course, about original Kiss members putting out a solo album this decade that even approached their best work from previous decades. So how does the Spaceman fare on his first release since George Bush Sr. was president? Pretty decently, by and large. Sure the album art is...well, it sucks. It's just bad. But who even notices such things anymore? The music's the thing, and Ace acqu
As sure as I'm sitting here, I never thought I'd see the day that I would write about a new Kiss album that isn't a total rehash of old songs. But it's real and it's coming - the unfortunately titled Sonic Boom is only a month and a half away. Not only that, the band has released its first new single - "Modern Day Delilah" - since 1999. There's nothing official on YouTube yet (and I won't bother linking to an unofficial version since it'd probably be gone in minutes), but interested parties can hear the song in its entirety on Kissonline.com (a word of warning - the stream is very loud and there is no volume control). I have to say, while this is not groundbreaking music by any stretch, it's a lot better than I expected from a group that for the most part hasn't been musically releva