Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 10/12/17
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)
THE WHO – “It’s Hard” (1982)
The Who is one of the most influential bands in rock and roll history. In fact, they were way ahead of their time with a current trend…announcing retirement and then making a comeback.
These days, I have trouble believing in “farewell” tours because, so often, a change of heart occurs somewhere down the road. But back in 1982, I bought The Who’s “Farewell Tour” hook, line and sinker.
35 years ago tonight, I attended The Who’s “Farewell Tour” at Shea Stadium in New York. The band was supporting their 1982 release, It’s Hard. I was only a month shy of my 14th birthday, but I wore my parents down with my sob story about never getting to see one of my favorite bands. I was telling (what I believed to be) the truth. (Click here to read the full story). As it turns out, I would have numerous opportunities through the years to see the band that said their farewell, but never seemed to go away.
The title track off of the band’s tenth studio album was one of my favorites at the time (along with “Athena” and “Eminence Front”). It features the charismatic vocals of Roger Daltrey, and the instantly recognizable backing vocals of Pete Townshend. It’s far from a classic, but it holds special meaning to me because of what it represents.
THE CLASH – “Rock The Casbah” (1982)
Opening for The Who on that fateful night 35 years ago was The Clash. Actually, they were the middle act between The Who and David Johansen, who went from cool to lame in my eyes very quickly when he adopted the alter ego of Buster Poindexter. But I digress.
Although The Who was the headliner, the band with the more popular current songs at the time was definitely The Clash. Even more than their hit “Should I Stay Or Should I Go,” “Rock The Casbah” was the song that I was all over MTV. If you’re a member of the MTV Generation, you can probably picture the video without even watching it.
Combat Rock was the album that introduced me to The Clash, so I was thrilled to get the chance to see them in concert in 1982. By the time that I got to the show, I had also discovered some of their earlier work. I can’t say that I remember much about their performance that night (except for it being fun and energetic), but I do know that “Rock The Casbah” was the highlight of their set, as the massive crowd sang it in unison.
It’s interesting how perspective changes as you grow older. I always thought that my parents were too strict with me, and couldn’t believe that I had to beg and plead to go to a concert at a stadium with my friend at the age of 13. As I parent, I can’t imagine a scenario where I would have given my permission to do the same. A sign of the times, I suppose.
ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout
GOJIRA – “L’Enfant Sauvage” (2012)
These environmental metallers from France struck it big with their 2012 release, L’Enfant Sauvage. Their sound is not just heavy, but their songwriting and subject matter is also unlike any other metal artist. The band injects their brand of sorrow and lamentation for the planet and our environment with skillfully written riffs and incredible passion in the vocals and arrangements. This was one of their best albums ever written, and possibly one of the best metal releases ever.
HIGH ON FIRE – “Rumors Of War” (2007)
Matt Pike is one busy musician. He founded the band Sleep back in the day (which was the start of stoner/sludge metal). Over the years, he perfected the sound and songwriting to include this band, High On Fire. It’s everything expected from a band fronted by the sludge pioneer…loud, heavy, and dirty. Oftentimes drawing parallels to Motorhead, the band continues on with their obnoxious sound to this day. “Rumors of War” is off their fourth studio album, Death Is This Communion.
ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout
BLACK SABBATH – “Children Of The Sea” (1980)
In 1979, Ronnie James Dio replaced Ozzy Osbourne as the frontman for Black Sabbath. “Children Of The Sea” was the first song that Dio and guitarist Tony Iommi wrote together. It appears on the band’s ninth studio album, Heaven and Hell.
MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP – “On And On” (1981)
“A kiss of the wind, then the spirits let fly….”
Former Scorpions and UFO guitarist Michael Schenker formed the Michael Schenker Group in 1979. This classic (and concert mainstay) comes from the band’s second album, MSG. The band went well over budget on the production of the album, resulting in some of their finest work that, ironically, created a financial burden that continued to plague them in years to come.