Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 5/5/16 – HARD ROCK COVER SONGS
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, the ’80s (the glory days of hard rock), hidden gems of the ’90s and hard rock/metal songs of the new millennium (as recent as a few years ago).
Whenever possible, it will also contain interviews from featured artists discussing the inspiration and meaning behind their songs. On the last Thursday of each month, we will be doing special themes that feature songs based on specific categories or years.
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)
SAMMY HAGAR & THE WABORITAS – “Mas Tequila” (1999)
Cinco de Mayo + party rock = Sammy Hagar. If ever there was a holiday that was made for the Red Rocker, there’s no arguing that today is the day. “Mas Tequila” – from 1999’s Red Voodoo album – is one of the great party anthems of Hagar’s career. Hagar even references other party tunes within the framework of the song (most notably, “Funky Cold Medina”).
Hagar has made no secret of his love for tequila, but little did he know that his passion for it would result in making him a fortune when he sold his Cabo Wabo brand tequila company for nearly $100 million. This is a perfect example of how genuine passion, combined with hard work, can be very rewarding. Although Hagar’s musical career has been incredibly successful, his greatest financial gain has been generated by his entrepreneurship (something that will be explored in much greater detail in the future on Hard Rock Daddy).
VAN HALEN – “Cabo Wabo” (1988)
Following in the footsteps of Jimmy Buffet’s “Margaritaville,” Sammy Hagar’s decidedly more rock and roll anthem (based on a favorite destination of his in Mexico) was the launching pad for his entrepreneurial ventures. The song “Cabo Wabo” – which has become a multimillion dollar brand name – was actually born out of an experience that Hagar had that while in Cabo San Lucas.
Rumor has it that he coined the phrase “Cabo Wabo” when he witnessed a man stumbling along a local beach after a heavy night of partying. By combing the town’s nickname (Cabo) with a shortened version of “wobble,” Hagar decided that the man was doing the “Cabo Wabo.” The name, which is as catchy as the song, eventually led to the members of Van Halen to partner in a cantina under the moniker. Hagar ended up buying the members of the band out when it didn’t do well financially early on. Who would have ever thought that such a successful brand could be launched by such a seemingly insignificant experience? Sammy Hagar…that’s who!
Is there is a more rocking way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo than hoisting up tequila shots with Hagar in Mexico, while listening to these two party anthems? I think not!
ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout
DOWN – “Ghost Along The Mississippi” (2002)
Down was a side project comprised of members of Pantera, Corrosion of Conformity, Crowbar and Eyehategod. After witnessing a successful first album, they released 2002’s Down II: A Bustle in Your Hedgerow, which featured “Ghosts Along the Mississippi” as the first single. The drones of Kirk Windstein and Pepper Keenan’s guitars, the slowed tempo of Jimmy Brower’s drumming, Rex Brown’s trudging bass lines, and the wails of Phil Anselmo transport the listener to the sweat-dripping, humid, snake-infested swamps of the Deep South. One of the best southern rock/metal bands of all time, let’s hope this supergroup continues to write songs like this one.
BLACK LABEL SOCIETY – “Stillborn” (2003)
In the realm of heavy metal guitar gods, no list would be complete without Zakk Wylde. On top of his guitar shredding skills, his songwriting skills shine in 2003’s “Stillborn” (from the album The Blessed Hellride). In fact, Wylde played guitars, bass, piano, sang, wrote all lyrics and produced this album. With guest vocals by the “Godfather of Metal” himself – Ozzy Osbourne – this song is accompanied by a pretty entertaining video (directed by Rob Zombie). Listen to his guitar solo on this (or any) Black Label Society song. It will either inspire you to be a better guitar player or make you quit playing altogether.
ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout
BRAINSTORM – “All Those Words” (2005)
These Germans have been active on the power metal scene since 1989, putting out solid album after solid album. In 2005 they released Liquid Monster, which included this powerful composition. The music is driving with some apt symphonic touches, but it’s the intrepid vocals of Andy B. Franck that lifts it up to a whole new level.
ALCATRAZZ – “Starcarr Lane” (1983)
Bring together the signature vocals of Graham Bonnet and the signature guitar of a young Yngwie Malmsteen, and you have some powerful hard rock with a very distinct sound. Artistic differences would spur Yngwie to leave the band the following year and launch a very successful solo career, but Alcatrazz would endure with another soon-to-be-legendary guitarist, Steve Vai.
CHRIS HERZEGOVITCH – HRD Music Scout
EVIDENCE ONE – “The Sky’s The Limit” (2007)
Fans of Jackyl will like Evidence One for their thick, locomotive sound and the vocals of Carsten “Lizard” Schulz. “The Sky’s The Limit” was a great start to their third (and last) album of the same name in 2007. The band has been on hiatus since 2011. It’s top-notch heavy metal from veterans who have played with many metal bands: Domain, Freedom Call and Kiske/Sommerville (to name a few). Hopefully, they will return soon with more great material.
SCORPIONS – “Hey You” (1980)
“Hey You” is a song of great fascination and passion. It is one of my favorite Scorpions songs, and I think one of their best. It has all the elements: terrific refrain, great rhythm line, memorable guitar lead and vocals. Yet, it has been mostly off the radar over the years; I have never heard it on radio. The song was recorded during 1978’s Lovedrive sessions, but it wasn’t released until it was paired as the B-side of the single “The Zoo” (from 1980’s Animal Magnetism). It never made it onto the album, but thankfully, it was included on 1989’s Best of Rockers and Ballads album (which is where I first heard it).