Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 9/7/17
Each Thursday, Hard Rock Music Time Machine takes a journey back in time to feature a variety of songs that date back as far as the ’70s.
In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlist below, all songs featured on Hard Rock Music Time Machine can be listened to individually by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles above each review.
ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)
BON JOVI – “Keep The Faith” (1992)
Being labeled with the tag of “hair band” was the death knell for many of the bands who rose to fame in the ‘80s. For the most part, those that managed to survive and have a lengthy career still don’t draw the crowds of their glory days.
The greatest exception to the “hair band” rule is Bon Jovi. No other band has made a transition from the glam sound to more groove-oriented rock and roll than Jon Bon Jovi and company.
“Keep The Faith” is the title track off of the band’s fifth studio album, which was also the release that marked the transition to a different sound for Bon Jovi. What was probably never fully appreciated during their earlier days (when they were lumped in with other “hair bands”) is the songwriting prowess of Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora.
While the band was one of the most popular of the “hair band” era, it was only the beginning of a career that would transcend any musical trend. They are arguably as big today as they have ever been (even without Sambora).
Not only is Jon Bon Jovi a unique musical talent, he is also one of the most business savvy. By the time that Keep The Faith was released, he had taken over the management duties of the band from famed manager Doc McGhee. There is no arguing with the end results.
Beyond the music business, JBJ has had success as an actor, as an arena football team owner, and perhaps most notably, as a philanthropist with his restaurant, Soul Kitchen.
October will mark 25 years since “Keep The Faith” was released as a single. It remains a fan favorite, and is a staple of the band’s live shows.
Personally speaking, this is one of my all-time favorite songs by Bon Jovi. Every time that I listen to it, I can feel my spirits lift as positivity courses through my veins.
If anyone is proof positive that there is a benefit to keeping the faith, it’s Jon Bon Jovi.
SURVIVOR – “Eye Of The Tiger” (1982)
While Jon Bon Jovi’s impact is enormous, it’s hard to think of any song in his vast catalog that touched an entire generation the way that Survivor’s “Eye Of The Tiger” did as the theme song to Rocky III. If there’s a more perfect song to capture the spirit of a film, I can’t think of it off hand.
If you’re a member of Generation X, just hearing the first note of “Eye Of The Tiger” probably has you envisioning yourself running up the iconic Philadelphia stairs wearing a gray sweatshirt and matching sweatpants.
This song touched the lives of an entire generation, regardless of background or musical taste. It is arguably the greatest feel good song ever written. Listening to “Eye Of The Tiger” 35 years later (for what seems like the millionth time) has not taken away any of its luster. Quite the opposite! It actually makes me feel like I can conquer the world when I listen to it.
Maybe it’s just me, but if you can’t get motivated after blasting “Eye Of The Tiger,” someone needs to put a mirror under your nose to see if you’re still breathing.
ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout
TESTAMENT – “Electric Crown” (1992)
In honor Testament’s 1992 release of their album The Ritual on vinyl, I bring you the video for their song “Electric Crown.” Any old school thrash metal fan surely knows the influence that Testament has on the metal world. The growls of Chuck Billy, the guitar virtuoso that is Alex Skolnick, the impeccable riffs of Eric Peterson, and the rhythm section comprised of Greg Christian and Louie Clemente, all made this album one of their classics. Unfortunately, this was the last album that featured Skolnick and Clemente. Skolnick eventually rejoined the band in 2006. Venturing into more melodic territory while maintaining their thrash roots, “Electric Crown” grooves and headbangs as well in 2017 as it did in 1992.
TESTAMENT – “Low” (1994)
In addition to their 1992 release of The Ritual, Testament’s sixth studio album, Low, was also recently released on vinyl for the first time in the United States. This album was the first album with only Chuck Billy, Eric Peterson and Greg Christian as the original members. It introduced John Tempesta (ex-White Zombie, ex-Exodus) and James Murphy (ex-Obituary, ex-Death). After the record company urged them to change their sound to sound more “alternative,” Testament wrote one of their heaviest albums to date as a giant “F you” to their record company. The album bordered death metal all the way, Billy’s growls to Murphy’s riffs and solos. No surprise that the record company dropped them after this album’s release. Low will always be one of my favorite Testament albums of all time because of this.
ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout
BILLY SQUIER – “Learn How To Live” (1982)
Guitarist/keyboardist/vocalist William Haislip Squier made it big in the early eighties with a string of arena rock hits. This personal favorite comes from his third album, 1982’s Emotions in Motion. With backup vocals by Queen’s Freddie Mercury and Roger Taylor on the album’s title track, and cover art by none other than Andy Warhol, Squier had to be feeling quite successful.
THE MONROES – “What Do All The People Know” (1982)
They were a one-hit wonder out of San Diego, but what a hit it was for The Monroes! This incredibly infectious new wave rocker had a local band that nobody knew suddenly touring with acts like Toto, Greg Kihn, and Rick Springfield. It was also good enough to get them on the Merv Griffin show. Check out the video of the live clip of their performance that night by clicking on the song title.