Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 6/16/16
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)
THE WHO – “Had Enough” (1978)
Songs have a powerful way of marking a moment in time. Sometimes music can become the soundtrack to nostalgic memories. Other times, song lyrics inevitably come to mind when dealing with the trials and tribulations of life. Such is the case this week after all of the tragedy that plagued Orlando, FL, and the United States as a whole.
The Who’s “Had Enough” is open to lyrical interpretation. Clearly, the love aspects of the song don’t apply to my feelings about what happened this week, but many of the lyrics could be isolated to become a journal entry of sorts.
The song – from the band’s 1978 album Who Are You – has an upbeat feel that contrasts with the lyrics, especially because it is more keyboard than guitar-driven. This was the last album that featured Keith Moon on drums (he died a month after its release). Moon’s playing had been deteriorating at this point, and the recording sessions were rife with tension and obstacles, particularly on “Had Enough.” Displeased with the rough mix of the song, and the added string arrangement, Roger Daltrey ended up punching producer Glyn Johns and rendered him unconscious.
The vibe of the song may not capture the essence of the lyrics, but the back story most certainly does.
HELLOWEEN – “I Want Out” (1988)
Keeping with the theme of songs that have been running through my head this week, Helloween’s “I Want Out” is high up on the list. Unlike The Who’s “Had Enough,” the intensity of this song perfectly captures the essence of the lyrics.
The beauty of lyrics is that they can resonate with different people in different ways. This classic Helloween track, which was written by guitarist Kai Hansen, is about his desire to leave the band. Frontman extraordinaire Michael Kiske delivers the lyrics with such visceral emotion, that it’s hard to believe that they weren’t coming from a personal place (even though he didn’t write them).
ANDY CHEUNG – HRD Music Scout
SUICIDAL TENDENCIES – “You Can’t Bring Me Down” (1990)
One of the most underrated bands to have come out of the ‘80s was Venice Beach, California’s Suicidal Tendencies. Back in the day, we would skateboard in parking lots while blasting Suicidal on our boomboxes, so this band has always brought me back to those times. Headed by Mike Muir, a young Robert Trujillo on bass and Rocky George on lead guitar, Suicidal Tendencies started out as a punk/hardcore band and slowly crossed over into the thrash metal genre (while keeping the punk hardcore vibe). Listen to the musicianship of these guys. Their ability to hang with other metal musicians in the same genre is clear. George’s solos are blazing fast and precise. Trujillo’s bass lines are poppy and funky. Muir’s unique vocal style, and his intelligent yet humorous lyrics, brings the whole emotional Suicidal sound together. Off of one of Suicidal Tendencies’ best albums, Lights…Camera…Revolution!, “You Can’t Bring Me Down” is the epitome of maniacal metal slam dancing…full of emotion and musical chops.
LIFE OF AGONY – “Through And Through” (1993)
Back in the early ‘90s, punk and hardcore started incorporating elements of thrash metal (and vice versa) breeding a new wave of crossover metal. Although the two never got along until these crossover bands started gaining notoriety, the seed that was planted resulted in a new hybrid sub-genre. Life of Agony was one of those bands that blended the street-tough punk/hardcore lyrical content and mosh pit breakdowns with the heavy crunchy guitar and speed metal aspects of thrash. “Through and Through,” from their album River Runs Red, is a great example of this mixture. Notably, the emotional wailings of Keith Caputo (now Mina Caputo), the heavy riffs of Joey Z, the drumming of Sal Abruscato (who also drummed for Type-O-Negative) and Josh Silver’s production made this album one of the classics in metal/hardcore. Silver also happened to have been the keyboard player in Type-O Negative.
ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout
BLAZE BAYLEY – “While You Were Gone” (2008)
After hundreds of auditions, Blaze Bayley was the man whom Iron Maiden turned to in the mid-‘90s (after Bruce Dickinson left the band). It was a curious choice, given Blaze’s baritone voice. After a couple albums, Dickinson returned and Bayley was out. He went on, though, to form his own band and release some amazing material. This heartbreaking (but headbanging) ballad comes from his fourth solo album, The Man Who Would Not Die. It was dedicated to his wife, whom he credits with getting his career back on track. She was seriously ill at the time, and has died since, which only heightens the emotion of this intense masterpiece. Bayley has a new album in 2016, Infinite Entanglement (review soon to come!).
MISS CRAZY – “Shut Eyes” (2006)
These California rockers channel AC/DC and Cinderella on this fun single from their debut album, Can’t Get Enough. Vocalist/guitarist Markus Allen Christopher hits some high notes and addictive riffs.
CHRIS HERZEGOVITCH – HRD Music Scout
MEGADETH – “Symphony Of Destruction” (2012)
This version of “Symphony of Destruction” is from DirecTV’s Guitar Sessions, where Dave Mustaine and company relive the classic title track from their 1992 album. As part of that show, he described the “stroke of luck” inspiration that he had he was stricken with a headache while driving home, which gave way to the lyrics…“My metal brain’s corroding, my head is going to explode.” Also check out another great one from the Guitar Sessions archives, “Angry Again.”
ACCEPT – “Kill The Pain” (2010)
“Kill the Pain” is a tremendous power ballad of woe and regret from Accept, featuring Mark Tornillo debuting with terrific vocals and Wolf Hoffman cranking out gut-wrenching, blue-mood setting guitar solos. This great track is a deep cut from their 2010 studio album, Blood of Nations, which was very well received, and considered a great comeback for the band.